Southern Leyte Solon
seeks implementation of Republic Act 10121
By R.G. Cadavos, PIA Southern
January 14, 2011
Southern Leyte – Southern Leyte District Congressman Roger G.
Mercado seek for the proper implementation of Republic Act 10121 or
known as an act strengthening the Philippine disaster risk reduction
and management system, approved last May 2010.
In an interview with
the Lone District Representative at Barangay Malibago, during
President Benigno S. Aquino’s visit at Saint Bernard, he said that the
law as a whole “provides for the national disaster risk reduction, it
addresses the root causes of vulnerabilities to disasters,
strengthening the country’s institutional capacity for disaster risk
reduction and management and building the resilience of local
communities, among others.”
likewise urged the municipalities, particularly those calamity-prone
areas to help the government implement properly the disaster risk
reduction law to minimize if not avoid tragedies like what happened to
the past, referring to the flooding and landslide incidents that
killed three minors few weeks back.
“RA 10121 is
understandable,” he disclosed and added that he will ask for a review
of the law if it is enforced or if there are some lapses. “It is now
time to agree for a relocation – for the lasting safety of the
residents,” he said.
Cong. Mercado who was
happy upon the arrival of Pres. Aquino to respond to the problems of
the local government, specifically in Saint Bernard, bared for a
possible scenario for the residents who lived in a calamity-prone
place. “A re-channelling of the
River, a permanent relocation for the residents, the after-effect of
the tragedy which will include a relocation site, food and shelter,
their means of livelihood and the like,” he told.
While the disaster
risk reduction law will recognize and strengthen the capacities of the
local government units and communities in mitigating and preparing
for, responding to and recovering from the impact of any disaster.
Cong. Mercado who
welcomed the President Aquino and his entourage was with Vice-Gov.
Miguel Maamo, Saint Bernard Mayor Rico Rentuza, Sangguniang
Panlalawigan members, local and national government employees.
Women’s group to Sen.
Sotto: do your job or resign
QUEZON CITY – Sen.
Vicente Sotto III’s recent pronouncement against the controversial
reproductive health (RH) bill caught the ire of a group of women
Women of the Philippines (DSWP) represented by its National
Chairperson Elizabeth Angsioco calls on Sen. Sotto to stop
irresponsible talks and instead do his job.
According to Angsioco
Sen. Sotto’s responsibility is to facilitate the legislative process,
not derail it. This includes calendaring bills already reported out by
the Committees for plenary debates. “Saying that he would rather be
replaced from his position than see the RH bill enacted into law reeks
of arrogance. It’s proof that the good Senator only cares about what
he personally believes in, even if this runs counter to public
welfare,” stressed Angsioco.
“If he truly is a
statesman, he would not impose his personal opinion on the whole
nation. Using his important position as the Senate Majority Leader to
derail the legislative process is being untrue to his mandate as a
lawmaker. If he doesn’t want to do his job, then he should resign,”
Angsioco also stressed
that, ‘Sotto’s rejection of a national RH policy based on fears that
such would coerce people into using contraceptives even if they do
not want to is unfounded and misguided. The services offered by the
bill are for those who want and need these. Sotto, and people who
believe as he does, will not be imposed on. It seems that the Senator
has not studied the bill and has been relying on false things being
said about it. Studying legislative proposals is part of his job
‘Contrary to his
perception, an RH law will provide all family planning methods,
meaning, both the natural and modern methods will be equally
available,’ Angsioco explains.
Sen. Sotto must realize that the RH bill goes beyond providing
contraceptives, it is about responsible parenthood, arresting maternal
morbidity and mortality, training of skilled birth attendants,
upgrading of hospital facilities and services, RH education for the
youth, HIV and AIDS prevention, and many others, ” said Angsioco.
“Sen. Sotto must
sit down with the bill’s proponents so he will understand its merits
and perhaps realize that his opposition is misplaced. After doing that
and he still refuses to perform his responsibilities as Majority
Leader, then he should resign or be replaced,” she ended.
EMB issues final
notice to 360 LGUs to adopt ESWM
By RODRIGO S. VICTORIA, PIA 8
QUEZON CITY – With
the considerable number of Local Government Units (LGUs) in the country
still not complying what is required in the provisions of RA 9003 or
the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, the Environmental
and Management Bureau (EMB) issued a final notice to 360 LGUs in the
country to adopt the Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM).
EMB Assistant Director
Gilbert Gonzales relayed this information to the information officers
of the Philippine Information Agency coming from the different PIA
regional offices in a press conference held here Thursday in the
conference room of PIA Central Office.
Gonzales said that despite the enactment of RA 9003 ten years ago,
there were LGUs that did not bother to implement ESWM in their area.
Included in the final
notice issued by EMB is the establishment of Material Recovery
Facilities (MRFs) in all barangays nationwide, he said.
Section 10 of Chapter
II of RA 9003 provides LGUs to be primarily responsible for the
implementation and enforcement of the provisions of this Act within
their respective jurisdictions pursuant to the relevant provisions of
R.A. No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code.
He emphasized that
LGUs not complying with RA 9003 is penalized in the amount of P500,000
and will also be slapped with a criminal complaint.
However, he said that
there were many LGUs in the country which already complied with RA
He further said that
the financial capability of LGUs is one of the reasons why there are
LGUs that did not comply with RA 9003.
It will require 20 to
30 million pesos to establish a sanitary landfill having an area of
two to three kilometers in size which is required by RA 9003 plus the
additional cost of maintaining it.
Gonzales hoped that the 360 LGUs notified to adopt ESWM will comply to
avoid being penalized and to help solve the problem on waste disposal.
The compliance of
LGUs compliance would also contribute in maintaining a wholesome and
clean environment, he said.
Council declares province under a state of calamity
By EMY C. BONIFACIO,
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of
Samar formally approves a resolution that declares the entire
province under a state of calamity in its session held last January
The declaration was
based on a proposed PDRRMC Resolution No. 01, s2011 which recommended
for its declaration after conducting a three day deliberation and
on-site assessments of the extent of damages in flooded areas.
It has placed the
entire province under a state of calamity with estimated damages
amounting to 38.8 million in agriculture and 76 million in
The persistent rains
that started since January 3 resulted in flashfloods and landslides
that affected 152 barangays consisting of 12,384 families and 59,143
persons. The PDRRMC reported destruction of bridges, roads, houses and
potable water sources. This was vividly shown in a power point
presentation at the session hall to convince the SP members of the
extent of the damages.
In the same venue, the
attendance of Ms. Luz Tacal of the Provincial social Welfare
Development Office; Ms. Anita Taran of the Office of the Provincial
Agriculture and PNP Provincial Director, Col. Tomasito Clet were
requested to thresh out in detail the urgency of the declaration and
risk reduction and management plans that have to be implemented.
In its deliberations,
both Taran and Tacal were not ready and specific in their assessments
and contingency measures. They failed to accurately answer the
questions raised by council members of the 1st district as to the
exact amount necessary to assist flood victims and the various
programs and activities required in the rehabilitation of the reported
damages in agriculture and infrastructure in the province.
It was observed that
reports coming from the municipalities were not complete and unsigned
by the mayors. It was expected that these reports were also indorsed
by the MDRRMCs convened by the respective municipalities.
Other board members
did not fail to express their apprehensions in approving the
resolution considering the expected release of a huge amount which
comprises the 5% calamity funds of the province, estimated at 40
million pesos. Once the declaration is in place, the legislative body
will no longer have control over its disbursements.
It was PNP Director
Clet’s statement of alarm over the unpreparedness of the province in
these calamities that has laid premise for its approval. Candidly,
Clet said that “this is the first time that I have learned that there
are funds reserved for this purpose, yet the province has no
preparations to address these calamities especially on its preventive
side. Let’s equip the PDRRMC with capability trainings and purchase of
rescue facilities such as flashlights, batteries, raincoats, life
boats and other rescue needs”. He further states that his attendance
to the PDRRMC was the first time since his assignment in Samar.
According to him, his sponsorship of the resolution was a result of
the realistic assessments that were submitted to him by police
officers in the PNP.
Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, formerly known as the
Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council, is supposedly to be convened
quarterly. However, the provincial government has always been
criticized for being non-functional in the past years.
“With the declaration
approved by the council, we have no option left but to monitor that
calamity funds are disbursed wisely and efficiently. I am hoping that
the present administration will be reminded of the controversy that
former Gov. Mila Tan has experienced, where graft cases were filed
because of abuse of people’s money. I consider the appropriateness of
the declaration as it will be helping the Samarnons, but I’m appealing
to the present administration that they conscientiously and
effectively consider the plight of their constituents. I also
encourage every Samarnon to be more vigilant and help in the
monitoring of related activities to ensure that public funds are not
wasted and used for the interest and welfare of every Samarnon”, a
MATA-Samar member whose anonymity is requested, elaborates.
PNoy’s visit to
Southern Leyte charms calamity-stricken residents of Saint Bernard
By R. G. CADAVOS, PIA Southern
January 14, 2011
Southern Leyte – Landed at the grounds of Barangay Malibago, January
14 in the town of Saint Bernard, President Benigno S. Aquino III
expressed his reactions on how to assist the people in the
calamity-prone area of Saint. Bernard.
Boarded on a
Presidential chopper that arrived almost 10 in the morning here, the
awaiting residents were seen excited and happy as they saw the
President stepped down for the first time in their town to assess the
landslide and flooding incidents that took away three minors and
evacuated 1,280 families or 5,051 individuals, as of press time.
The President in his
visit here wanted to know what should be done, because the town lies
in mountain ranges – “if an evacuation is needed, we should identify
where these people would be transferred, for a long term solution to
the repeated problem of this town,” the President said.
He pledged to continue
assisting the victims of the tragedy specially those who have no other
means of income but farmlands. He brought along Department of
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala to distribute 100 bags of
certified rice seeds and at least 500 bags of vegetable seeds to help
the farmers rebuild their lives.
President conducted a ceremonial distribution of at least 10 family
packs to ten beneficiaries. There were 300 family packs prepared to
be distributed to the residents managed by Department of Social
Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman who was also
with the entourage of the president during the short visit here.
brought by President Aquino were assorted drugs and medicines through
Department of Health Secretary Enrique Ona and some 196 PhilHealth
who were with the President were Presidential Spokesperson Edwin
Lacierda, Department of National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin,
among others. For the province of Southern Leyte, Cong. Roger G.
Mercado, Vice-Gov. Miguel Maamo, Saint Bernard Mayor Rico Rentuza,
national, provincial and local officials welcomed the President.
finally faces charges while padlocked
By GINA DEAN-RAGUDO,
CALBAYOG CITY, Samar
– Calbayog City’s one of the most wanted persons was finally
arrested after years of hiding. By virtue of a warrant of arrest
issued on March 20, 2009 by Manuel F. Torrevillas, former presiding judge of
Regional Trial Court Branch 32, Joel Rama Cañete was captured by
Northern Police District Special Operation Unit of NCRPO (National
Capital Region Police Office) on
January 5, 2011 in
Operation Unit headed by PSupt Jose Hidalgo turned over the suspect to
Calbayog Police Chief Nestor Valenzuela in the morning of January 11,
2011 at Calbayog Domestic Airport.
While in custody of
NCRPO-NPDSOU and the composite team of the city and the Provincial
Mobile Group, Cañete was escorted from the airport up to RTC Branch
32. While waiting for the court’s commitment order, Cañete’s immediate
family has arrived and they were given a chance to talk and reunite.
Despite refusal for a media interview, suspect’s relative said that
they were planning to avail the services of the Public Attorney’s
Court record revealed
that Cañete and his brother-in-law Ramon “Montac” Ventures were the
suspects of an alleged ambushed occurred on August 14, 2007 at Corner
Pido and JD Avelino Sts, Brgy. West Awang this city against councilor
Jonas Montealto and killing his driver Reynaldo Ongcal. Empty shells
of .45 caliber and 9MM pistols were recovered from the crime scene.
Murder and frustrated
murder were filed in court by the aggrieved party against the
While waiting for
his arraignment, he was immediately delivered to Calbayog’s Bureau of
Jail Management and Penology while his co-accused Ramon Ventures is
still at large.
20 hectares of rice
plantations in Caibiran affected due to continuous rains
By FLOR JACKSON, PIA Biliran
Janaury 13, 2011
NAVAL, Biliran –
Some 20 hectares of rice plantations in the municipality of Caibiran
in the province of Biliran were flooded due to the continuous rains
being experienced in the province for the past weeks.
This was revealed by
Mr. Jaime Casas, Provincial Agriculturist of Biliran in a mobile phone
interview with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) -Biliran.
He informed that rice
plantations that were affected and some totally washed out were in
their vegetative stage and others newly planted.
Likewise, some rice
farmers in said municipality who were about to start planting were
unable to do so because the beds of rice seedlings were either washed
out or covered with mud.
Mr. Casas said that as
of now he cannot determine yet if there were damage to rice
plantations and other crops in the rest of the municipalities in the
province as they are still in the process of assessment.
He added that a team
from the Office of the Provincial Agricultural Services (OPAS) in
Biliran is currently going around the province to assess the damage to
However, he clarified
that the continuous rains left no serious damage to fruit trees and
vegetable plantations in some areas of the province.
Nascencia Abad, Municipal Agriculturist of Naval, the capital town of
Biliran province reported in an interview with PIA that damage to rice
farms were noted in the area.
Some rice farmers were
able to plant during the planting season but the rice fields were
flooded when continuous downpour started to set in.
She informed that rice
seedlings ready for transplanting were drowned and washed out.
“Other rice farmers
who harvested their rice when continuous rains started were not spared
from the damage because rice stocked in the ricefields started to
sprout even before they were threshed,” she said.
According to Ms. Abad,
the damage was doubled when pests called “rice black bug” started to
attack some rice plantations of Naval farmers.
She then advised the
farmers to go to the OPAS and ask for some pesticides that control and
eradicate this kind of pest.
“I also encouraged the
Naval rice farmers to insure their crops with the Philippine Crop
Insurance Corporation (PCIC) so that they will have something for the
next planting season and the effects of the damage will not badly
affect them financially,” she said.
“Fruit trees and
banana plantations in Naval were also affected by the continuous rains
these past weeks. Mango growers were unable to spray bloomers to their
mango trees, hence, fruit bearing will be delayed,” she informed.
As of this report,
the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist of Naval is still
progressing in their assessment of the damage to crops in the entire
Number of families,
persons affected by continues rains, floodings, landslides increased-NDRRMC
By RODRIGO S. VICTORIA, PIA-8
QUEZON CITY – The
number of families and persons affected by the continues heavy rains,
subsequent floodings and series of landslides brought by the tail-end
of a cold front increased based on the latest situation report from
the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
Based on the NDRRMC
update released today,
January 13, 2011
duly signed by Usec Benito T. Ramos, Executive Director, NDRRMC, the
number of population affected increased from 248,223 to 259,048
families and from 1,294,039 to 1,340,015 persons.
population came from the 1,429 barangays of 146 municipalities and 15
cities of 24 provinces in Regions IV-B, V, VI, VII, VIII, X, XI,
CARAGA and ARMM, based on the NDRRMC report.
It was stated in the
report that CARAGA had the highest number of affected population with
112,096 families and 601, 804 persons among the eight affected regions
Region VIII followed
in the number of affected population with 66,341 families and 338,064
persons while Region V ranked in third spot with 40, 202 families and
205, 571 persons, it stated.
The NDRRMC report also
mentioned that there are 70,568 families and 369,436 persons who have
been served both inside and outside evacuation centers from the
combined sources of DSWD and LGUs.
The report stated that
there are 37 evacuation center in Albay that remained open and still
serving 2, 405 families and 12, 360 persons in the municipalities of
Bacacay, Camalig, Daraga, Malilipot, Manito and Sto. Domingo while
Region VIII has 35 evacuation centers remained open and still serving
1,081 families and 4, 820 persons in the municipalities of Borongan
and Maslog of Eastern Samar and in the municipalities of Bontoc, St.
Bernard and Sogod of Southern Leyte.
A total of 42 dead, 8
injured, 6 missing persons have been recorded as of today, January 13,
2011 based on the NDRRMC report.
It reported also 443
totally and 919 partially damaged houses with Region VIII recorded the
highest number of damaged houses that reached to 744 and the lowest in
Region V with only one house damaged.
agriculture, infrastructure and private properties has reached to a
total of P1,045,713, 449.80 with infrastructure incurring the biggest
damage with P687,092,271 followed by agriculture with P337,624,878. 80
and private properties with P20,996,300.
Some of the roads in
Northern Samar, Samar and Eastern Samar in Region VIII are not
passable to all types of vehicles including a portion of road in two
barangays in Davao del Sur, as stated in the report
It was shown in the
report that the estimated cost of assistance from the combined
resources of DSWD, DOH, LGUs, NGOs, and other GOs reached up to
The report made
mentioned also of the actions taken by the NDRRMC member agencies in
the areas of warning, information dissemination, search, rescue,
retrieval, evacuation and clearing operations, relief operations,
damages and needs assessment
The NDRRMC report
enumerated the municipalities and cities in the affected areas that
were declared under a state of calamity as follows; Surigao del Sur
in CARAGA, Butuan City in Agusan del Norte, Bunawan, Esperanza, San
Francisco and Sibagat in Agusan del Sur, Surigao City in Surigao del
Norte, Talaingod and Sto. Tomas in Compostela Valley in Region XI,
Saint Bernard in Southern, Leyte and Eastern Samar in Region VIII and
Albay province and Juban, Sorsogon in Region V.
East Samar reports
P143-M damages, six casualties
By PIA Eastern
Samar – The Eastern Samar Risk Reduction Disaster Management Council
(RRDMC) through Pregerio Balase, RRDMC Coordinator, reported that the
province of Eastern Samar now endures damages worth P 143, 348. 071.
In a partial report,
as of today the municipalities of Balangkayan, Can-avid, Dolores,
Jipapad, Taft, Oras, Maslog, San Julian, Salcedo, Borongan, Sulat and
Llorente have been affected by the floods that swamped
Eastern Visayas since the New Year.
Some 180 barangays
have been affected while 19,761 families have been affected.
Some 1,122 houses have
been partially damaged while 297 houses were totally destroyed with
Can-avid town leading the most number of damaged houses at 241.
As to agriculture,
palay damages amounted to P 43,684,415.00 while other crops damages
amounted to P 15,062,056.00.
rose to six; one from Dolores, two from Oras, one from San Julian and
two from Borongan.
infrastructure amounted to P 91,335,600.00.
As of press time, the
two bridges, Borongan Bridge (located in Barangay Sabang, Borongan)
leading to the capital town from the north is now passable using only
one lane. Police authorities man the area to regulate the flow of
On the southern side
of Borongan, some two kilometers from the town proper, Can-Obing
bridge is also manned by the PNP as vehicles with more than 7 tons
cargo are prohibited from passing.
trucks have been warned to reduce their load to be able to pass the
affected families due to continuing heavy rains now 35,906
By TERESITA B. CARDENAS, PIA Northern
January 12, 2011
Samar – Due to continuing heavy rains,
Northern Samar affected families now reaches 35,906. This was learned
from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO).
Partial reports shows
Mondragon topping the number of families affected by the continued
heavy rains that prevailed the province for more than a month now
which has 6,729 families, followed by Las Navas with 6,014 families;
Bobon which has 4,453; Lavezares, 3,667; San Jose, 3,600; San Roque,
3,014; Catarman, 2,779; Rosario, 2129; Palapag, 1969; San Antonio,
1,404; and Lope de Vega, 145.
Relief goods like
rice, noodles and sardines were already distributed to some affected
barangays in the province. The provincial government continues to
monitor and assist the affected families of the heavy rains that beset
reported today that another roadslip occurred for about 30 meters long
in Catarman-Calbayog Road in Brgy. Washington, which is 3 meters away
from that roadway that collapsed five days ago in Brgy Macagtas and
DWH said that damage
on infrastructure for the first engineering district is estimated to
P85 million excluding the second engineering district which is
enumerated as follows, the Catarman-Calbayog road in Brgy. Macagtas
and Washington (collapsed roadway) 75 meters long - P25 million;
Allen-Catarman Road in Brgy. Old Rizal - P10 million;
Catarman-Calbayog road in Brgy. Washington (roadslip) 30 meters long -
P20 million; and Bugko-Nenita road in Brgy. Nenita, Mondragon (roadslip)
250 meters long - P30 million.
According to DPWH,
the 110 meters detour road in Brgy. Macagtas and Washington is now
passable to light vehicles only.