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Maslog mayor fears hunger in his town

Southern Leyte Solon seeks implementation of Republic Act 10121

MATA-Samar identifies anti-corruption activities for 2011

Calbayog City hosts this year’s EVRAA

Civilian survivors dismiss Salas’s statements as total lies

Use of landmines: globally prohibited

Data privacy measure to bolster PH's top rank in BPO – Romulo

8ID starts month-long Christmas celebration

NPA attacks unarmed soldiers one hurt and killing another

Samar politicians denounce partisan activities of the military and police




Tacloban City declares state of calamity

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
January 19, 2011

TACLOBAN CITY  –  Tacloban City was placed under a state of calamity due to flooding.

This, per resolution passed by the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Tacloban City in a special meeting held at 3:30 in the afternoon of January 18, 2011.

The Sangguniang Panglungsod secretariat informed that the special meeting was requested by Mayor Alfred Romualdez who is the chairman of the Tacloban City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

It was learned that almost forty of the barangays of Tacloban City were under floodwaters caused by torrential rains. It would be recalled that heavy rains poured the whole day of Monday and on Tuesday causing most of the city streets to be under floodwaters.

The passage of the said resolution was followed by a corollary motion requesting for the list or report from the Tacloban City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council on the extent of damage wrought by the calamity.

Most of the members of the Sangguniang Panglungsod, except those who were out of town, were present in the special session despite the short notice.

Furthermore, the City Legislative Body passed a resolution addressed to the National Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), requesting for assistance from the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health and other concerned agencies.

Meanwhile, Tacloban City Vice-Mayor Arvin Antoni informed the local media that transactions at government offices in Tacloban City on January 18 was half day only and classes in the various school in the City have also been suspended due to flooding caused by heavy rains that flooded the City streets.

Other government agencies, however, like the Philippine Information Agency continued to work as per regular working day knowing that in times like yesterday, its services may be needed by the people.





“Bayanihan” of military and local residents clears landslide debris at isolated San Jose de Buan town

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
January 19, 2011

TACLOBAN CITY  –  At around 10:00 o’clock in the morning of January 18, 2010, the troopers of the 34th Infantry Battalion of the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army and the local residents of San Jose de Buan, Samar, voiced shouts of joy for the same reason.

Volunteers from the military and local residents work together to build a temporary bridge so that single motorcycles at least could go to the town of San Jose de Buan. (photo by PIA 8)

In the spirit of the bayanihan tradition that Filipinos are known for, they were able to clear the remaining landslide debris from Barangay Hibacaan to the Poblacion of the isolated San Jose de Buan town.

Major General Mario Chan, through a text message to the Philippine Information Agency in Eastern Visayas said that three KM450 off-road trucks were scheduled to bring the relief goods from GMA Kapuso Foundation up to Barangay Babaclayon at 7:00 o’clock in the evening of January 18.

There, they will be met by the military troops and the local residents who will carry and bring the relief goods by foot to Hibacaan where trucks of the 34th Infantry Battalion will be waiting.

This means that the troops and the local residents who will carry the relief good will have to walk about ten kilometers stretch of dirt roads.

For security reasons, the troops and the local volunteers have to wait for the morning of January 19, to go to Barangay Babaclayon to get the relief goods, Major General Chan added.

This is the best that the military can do for now because of the rainy weather situation and because of the two bridges which were washed out, the commanding officer said.

It would be recalled that the municipality of San Jose de Buan in Samar province has been isolated since January 8.

The situation was found out through a report received via e-mail by the Philippine Information Agency on January 11 from Mr. Raffy Llauderes, OIC Municipal Agriculturist of San Jose de Buan.

The e-mail report was forwarded to the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council of Eastern Visayas that same night it was received by PIA.

Furthermore, when the 8th Infantry Division called up the PIA Region 8 informing the coming to the Region of GMA Kapuso, the PIA requested the 8th ID through Lt. Colonel Vestuir to please include the isolated Samar municipality.





Project NARS out, “RN HEALS” project in, DOH says

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
January 19, 2011

TACLOBAN CITY  –  Project NARS is out but “RN HEALS” project has been launched, Department of Health Region 8 Director Edgardo Gonzaga who said he is in Manila attending the orientation for the new project, informed.

Director Gonzaga said that RN HEALS which is the acronym for Registered Nurse Health Enhancement and Local Service project is expected to address the shortage of skilled and experienced nurses in 1,221 rural and unserved or underserved communities for one year.

The nurses will undergo learning and development in accordance with the roles and functions required by the project. A certificate of competency and employment will be given by the DOH, DSWD, and the Professional Regulation Commission to those who have satisfactorily completed their requirements.

While on deployment, the nurses will be given an allowance of P8,000 a month by the DOH while the local government unit (LGU) where they are assigned shall supervise them, ensure their safety and security, and provide modest board and lodging. Likewise, LGUs are encouraged to provide additional allowances and benefits worth at least P2, 000 for these nurses.

PhilHealth and the Government Service Insurance System will provide group insurance to the nurses while private corporations are encouraged to chip in through their available resources.

The recruitment and selection of these nurses shall be under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through its Regional Offices.

Registered nurses who are physically and mentally fit and willing to serve in their municipalities may apply online at the DOLE website ( from January 17 to February 4 this year. Preference will be given to residents of the municipalities covered by the Health Facilities Enhancement Program of DOH and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or the Conditional Cash Transfer of the DSWD.

The list of successful applicants with their area of assignments shall be posted online at the DOLE website from February 7-10.

An orientation shall be held on February 11-12 in their provincial centers of assignment by the regional DOH, DSWD, Professional Regulation Commission – Board of Nursing and the Philippine Nurses Association prior to deployment.

“Eventually, these nurses will be part of the pool of competent nurses for later employment or absorption in health facilities, thus addressing the inadequate supply of skilled nurses and increasing the nurses’ employment rate,” Director Gonzaga said.





More than 1,000 barangays in Eastern Visayas susceptible to landslides, MGB says

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
January 18, 2011

TACLOBAN CITY  –  About 1,017 barangays in Eastern Visayas are susceptible to landslides, according to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

This is based on the MGB report after completing the Rapid Geohazards Assessment in five out of six provinces of Eastern Visayas namely, Southern Leyte, Leyte, Biliran, Easter Samar and Northern Samar.

Southern Leyte landslideThe results showed that there are 243 barangays in 18 municipalities and 1 city in Southern Leyte; 322 barangays in 33 municipalities of the province of Leyte; 63 barangays in 8 municipalities of the province of Biliran; 105 barangays in 11 municipalities of Eastern Samar; and 264 barangays in 19 municipalities Northern Samar, making a total of 1,017 the number of barangays in Eastern Visayas, which are landslide-prone.

In Leyte, the municipalities and cities with landslide-prone barangays are Abuyog with 31; Albuera, 2; Bato, 5; Baybay City, 28; Burauen, 22; Calubian, 28; Capoocan, 7; Carigara, 2; Dagami, 4; Hilongos, 5; Hindang, 8; Inopacan, 11; Jaro, 1; Javier, 4; Kananga, 5; La Paz, 5; Leyte, 19; MacArthur, 5; Mahaplag, 11; Matalom, 5; Merida, 4; Ormoc, 15; Palompon, 12; San Isidro, 12; Sta. Fe, 2; Villaba, 14; San Miguel, 5; Isabel, 15; Palo,5; Babatngon, 11; Matag-ob, 14; Tabango, 13; and Tacloban City, 18.

In Southern Leyte, the 243 landslide prone barangays are distributed as: Maasin City, 34; Hinunangan, 8; San Juan, 3; St. Bernard, 17; Liloan, 18; San Francisco, 14; San Ricardo, 12; Pintuyan, 13; Libagon, 7; Sogod, 26; Bontoc, 21; Tomas Oppus, 16; Malitbog, 20; Padre Burgos, 6; Macrohon, 17; Limasawa, 5; Anahawan, 2; Silago, 2; and Hinundayan, 2.

In Biliran, the town of Kawayan has the most number of landslide-prone barangays with 15; Naval, 7; Almeria, 9; Culaba, 8; Cabugcayan, 8; Biliran 1 and Maripipi, 9.

The 11 municipalities in Eastern Samar with barangays which are landslide prone are Borongan, 23; Taft, 11; Can-avid, 9; Dolores, 4; Policapo,8; Oras, 10; Salcedo, 4; Mercedes, 11; San Julian, 10; Guiuan, 6 and Sulat, 10.

Meanwhile, for the province of Northern Samar, the municipalities with flood-prone barangays are Pambujan, 8; Mondragon, 16; Catarman, 29; Lavezares, 19; Biri, 6; Allen, 12; San Antonio, 8; Rosario, 8; Bobon, 8; San Jose de Buan, 9; San Isidro, 12; San Roque, 14; Lapinig, 14; Palapag, 19; Gamay, 10;Mapanas, 6; Capul, 12; Victoria, 14; and Catubig, 40.

As an offshoot of the Guinsaugon landslide, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on February 22, 2006, directed the MGB to immediately conduct Rapid Geohazards Assessment in Leyte and Biliran islands and to issue appropriate warnings and recommendations to the local government units. High priority was placed on these provinces because of the recurrent occurrences of landslides in these areas.

Through the project, the Mines and Geoscience Bureau aims to generate information on the susceptibility to geohazards of every barangay and make information available to concerned local government units and agencies responsible for land use planning and development, disaster management and mitigation.

The objective of the project is to conduct assessment of barangays that are located at the foot of slopes, mid-slopes and mountain ranges and to identify and assess proposed and existing school and housing relocation sites.

The project also hoped to provide the much needed geologic data to development planners and disaster management experts so that consideration of the geologic factors can be made during the critical decision making stage; and to provide the necessary information and training to the concerned local officials and populace so that they can take appropriate actions during geohazards events.

The same assessment was also conducted in Eastern Samar after completing the first batch in Leyte and Biliran islands.

In February 2007, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau presented to RDC 8 the results of the Rapid Geohazards Assessment of Leyte, Southern Leyte and Biliran.





Biliran PDRRMC bares plans for 2011

January 18, 2011

NAVAL, Biliran  –  A tactical plan was presented by the Biliran Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) recently during a meeting of the council members at the Governor’s Hall located at the 3rd Floor of the provincial capitol in Brgy. Calumpang, Naval as part of the efforts to mitigate the effects of calamity and disasters and to be prepared always in times when situations like these happen in the province.

“We must always be prepared before any calamity hit our province”, thus said Governor Gerryboy Espina, chairman of the PDRRMC in Biliran and presiding officer of the PDRRMC meeting.

Governor Espina informed that part of the 70% of the calamity fund of the provincial government of Biliran amounting to some P11 million is planned for the purchase of vehicles which will be used for disaster preparedness and response activities.

He said, the vehicles to be purchased will include one unit Hilux pick-up, one Mitsubishi FB van, one mini dumptruck and one covered Elf truck.

Mr. Tiburcio Morales, a retired regional director of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in region 8 and now a member of the Biliran PDRRMC representing the private sector suggested that brand new units of mini dumptrucks and mini Elf truck must be purchased to ensure that these vehicles will be in good running condition and can effectively function during relief and rehabilitation activities in times of calamities and disasters.

The suggestion of Mr. Morales was immediately approved by Governor Gerryboy saying that brand new vehicles can function well for five years without undergoing engine repair.

Also to be taken from the P11 million fund representing the 70% of the calamity fund will be used for the conduct of disaster risk reduction trainings, seminars, capability building, installation of early warning signals and the conduct of drills and demonstrations to mitigate the effects of disasters.

“Part of the amount will likewise be used for the acquisition of emergency medical first aid kits amounting to P10,000 per barangay to be distributed to the 132 barangays of the province of Biliran”, Gov. Gerryboy said.

He informed that part of the funds will also be used for the construction of engineering structures like flood control, sea wall, bridges, roads and repair of some damaged structures in identified areas all over the province.

It was learned that under Republic Act No. 10121 and its implementing rules and regulations, 30% of the calamity fund is reserved as Quick Response Fund (QRF) while the remaining 70% goes to disaster preparedness, mitigation and rehabilitation efforts.





DSWD gives more than P600T worth of relief aid to affected families of landslides, floodings in Eastern Visayas

January 18, 2011

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) here in Eastern Visayas gave more than P600T worth relief aid to families affected by landslides and floodings in the region.

Sagip Kapamilya Foundation relief operation in Oras, Eastern Samar.  (photo by PIA Borongan)

In the 8th progress report on the flooding and landslide incident in the provinces of Leyte, South Leyte, Western Samar and Northern Samar of DSWD 8 as of January 14, 2011, it was reported that the agency gave 1,930 family relief packs worth P482,500.

A family relief pack consists of three kilos rice, two tins meat loaf, two tins corned beef, three packs noodles and 280 grams powdered milk in cartoon pack costs P250 each.

The report indicated that the family relief packs were distributed in Borongan City (500 packs) including the municipalities of Oras (500 packs), Dolores (500 packs) and Taft (400 packs) in Eastern Samar province and the municipality of Burauen (30 packs) in the province of Leyte.

Used clothing totaling to 1,930 packs worth P100 each pack were also distributed in the same identified local government units where family relief packs were distributed based on the DSWD report.

In a telephone interview with Pauline C. Nadera OIC Head, Disaster Response, Monitoring and Crisis Intervention Unit (DRMCIU) of DSWD 8, said there were other municipalities in Eastern Samar, Samar and Northern Samar provinces that have been considered by the agency to be recipient of the family relief packs and packs of used clothing.

The chief of the DRMCIU of DSWD 8 added that the municipalities include Laoang, Mapanas, Palapag and Rosario of Northern Samar, Maydolong and San Policarpo in Eastern Samar and the municipalities of Hinabangan, Pagsanjan, Sta. Rita and Pinabacdao in Samar.

However, Nadera said that DSWD 8 is still waiting for the funds coming from the DSWD Central office.

She further said that the DSWD Regional Office No. 8 based its augmentation assistance on report coming from LGUs in the region that still needs additional relief aid after exhausting the calamity fund of the concerned local unit.





DA 8 already has a rehabilitation plan for affected rice farmers in Eastern Visayas

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
January 18, 2011

TACLOBAN CITY  –  As early as January 12, the Department of Agriculture in Region 8 under the leadership of Regional Executive Director Leo Cañeda, already made a rehabilitation plan for the rice farmers in Eastern Visayas who were affected by the torrential rains and flooding occurrences.

Agriculture Regional Executive Director Leo Cañeda“With the entire region practically under water due to continuous heavy rains since the start of the new year, it can almost be ascertained that the Region’s agricultural production drive will encounter a major setback,” RED Cañeda told the Philippine Information Agency.

Thus, the DA Regional Field Office 8 deemed it a must to prepare a rehabilitation plan for the affected sector, RED Cañeda added.

RED Cañeda said that as of January 12, the partial estimated agricultural damage in the region was placed at P69 Million involving the inundation of about 12,000 hectares of rice lands with an estimated production loss of 19,000 metric tons.

This level of devastation calls for a quick implementation of a rehabilitation scheme to sustain productivity gains and to restore the morale of the affected farmers, RED Cañeda added.

The good RED stressed that said rehabilitation program should be implemented in close coordination with the local government units and the affected farmers themselves.

Moreover, it should be carried out in the most expeditious manner possible in order to avert further production losses and achieve a sense of normalcy in farm operations, RED Cañeda said.

The main intervention in the rehabilitation plan is the immediate distribution of certified seeds or good seeds to affected farmers on full subsidy at 40 kilograms per hectare.

This entails master listing of beneficiaries based on the official damage reports validated and submitted by the provincial and municipal agriculture office.

Per DA program coverage and budgetary requirement, Northern Samar has a total production loss of 19,481.73 metric tons, thus, it will be allocated 5,136 bags of certified seeds.





Eastern Visayas regional tourism board inducts officers on January 27

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
January 18, 2011

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The Regional Tourism Board of Eastern Visayas is set to induct its officers and board of directors at 12 o’clock noon of January 27.

Dr. Aurora A. Villarente, the chairperson of the Eastern Visayas Regional Tourism Board informed that the venue of the induction activity is at the Commonwealth Room of Hotel Alejandro in Tacloban City.

The Undersecretary for Tourism Regulations, Coordination and Resource Generation, USec Ma. Victoria V. Jasmin has been invited as the inducting officer and keynote speaker, Dr. Villarente said.

It would be recalled that the election of officers of the Eastern Visayas Regional Tourism Board was successful conduct of election of officers of the Eastern Visayas Regional Tourism Council.

Elected as Chairperson of the Council was Mrs. Aurora Villarente who is the chairman of the Leyte Council for Tourism, Culture and Arts.

Manager Glenn Vallecera of the Philippine Airlines was elected as the vice-chairman while Ms. Ludette Ruiz of the travel and tours sector was chosen as the Secretary.

Mr. Eugene Tan of the Leyte Chamber of Commerce and Industry was elected as the treasurer while Northern Samar Tourism Council chairman Mr. Sunday Lavin was elected as the Business Manager.

Two PIOs were elected, Eastern Samar Tourism Council chairman Ms. Eppie dela Cruz for the Samar Islands and Maasin City Tourism Council chairman Fr. Amien Borneo for Leyte Islands.

The members of the board are Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan-delos Santos, Southern Leyte Governor Damian Mercado, Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, Ormoc City Mayor Eric Codilla, Calbayog City Mayor Reynaldo Uy, Biliran Tourism Council chairman Dr. Cecile Espina, Naval Mayor Susan Parilla, Borongan Mayor Ma. Fe Abunda, and Catarman Mayor Rolando Carpio, Jr.

The Induction of Officers was tentatively set on November 16 at a venue which will be arranged by the DOT 8, the host of the activity. However, for one reason or another, it is only now that it will push through.

The election meeting which was conducted on October 1 at the DOT Region 8 Office was attended by the chairman and representatives of the various provincial, city and capital town tourism councils, tourism oriented organizations and establishments, from all over the Region.

The meeting was also attended by the officials and representatives of the partner government agencies like NEDA, DENR, DPWH, LTO, PNP, PIA and state universities.





ANAD dares Maoist terrorists to reciprocate government with sincerity and commitment for peace

Press Release
January 18, 2011

QUEZON CITY  –  “I call on all members of Congress to unite and rally behind the call for an equal and reciprocal sincerity and commitment for peace from the Maoist terrorist’s CPP-NPA-NDF and jointly seeks with government that elusive peace where all of us have maintained a burning desire to attain.”

These were the words of ANAD Partylist Rep. Jun Alcover in his privilege speech during Congress plenary yesterday (January 17) when the Lower House resumed its regular session after the holiday recess, Rep. Alcover pointed to the government’s “No Negotiation” policy with terrorists and other lawless groups.

“Has government already extended the status of belligerency to the Maoist terrorist CPP-NPA-NDF when it decided to revive the peace negotiations?” he asked even as he pointed out that this policy has transcended several presidential administrations since former President Corazon Aquino.

“As a matter of right, this representation and my constituency demand an answer from President Aquino III. We should not forget ANAD shares the same interest with the leaders of government to seek peace. But this must not be at the expense of justice, fair play, and the rule of law,” he explained.

Rep. Alcover further explained saying, “Prudence and mutual respect dictates that the legitimate should, at all times, prevail over the illegitimate; and the legal should never yield to the illegal. There is only one government in this country and that is of the Republic of the Philippines. There is no revolutionary government as claimed by the Maoist terrorists. If peace is what we seek, then this must be within the framework of our constitution and the Maoist terrorist NPA must remove their firearms before the resumption of the peace negotiations,” he clarified.

“It is absurd, highly outrageous, and unacceptable for government to talk peace with the terrorist M-16 rifles foisted at our back and their fingers on the trigger, ready to squeeze it,” he added.

On the other hand, ANAD strongly condemned the haste and quickness of pace in which the Morong 43 was freed, “…but on the issue of compliance to established rules of procedures and jurisprudence. In short, what was at stake was the issue on the Rule of Law, existing Jurisprudence, and the established Judicial Procedure that was blatantly violated probably because of political expediency,” Rep. Alcover said.

Rep. Alcover stressed that while many think that the issue on the Morong 43 is already ‘water under the bridge’, so to speak, “…on the contrary the issue must be raised in this august chamber because what happened was a blatant transgression of our laws to give way to the clamor of a few who are experts in drumbeating dirty and concocted propaganda against government,” he pointed out.


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