workshop on tourism plan preparation
By ADOR LEANDA HURTADO
April 4, 2011
CATBALOGAN CITY –
The tourism stakeholders of the three provinces of Samar gathered for
the Samar Island Tourism Master Development Plan Workshop from March
30 to 31 at the New Maqueda Bay Hotel in
The two-day activity was organized by the Department of Tourism -
Regional Office 8 (DOT-RO8).
The Department of
Tourism also brought along a team of experts from the Berkman
International Incorporated (BII), a private professional consulting
and project management firm contracted by the DOT for the purpose of
preparing the Tourism Master Development Plan (TMDP). The BII team was
led by former DOT Undersecretary Dr. Evelyn Pantig and also included
Professor Reil Cruz, the Marketing Specialist and the Dean of the
Asian Institute of Management; Dr. Victoria Apuan, a Sociologist and
Gender Specialist; Ms. Elizabeth Espino, a Landscape Architect and
Land Use Planner and Ms. Agatha Gatbonton who is the BII Product
The workshop was meant
to assist the three provinces in the preparation of their respective
Tourism Master Development Plans (TMDP) on which the tourism plan for
the entire island shall be based on. It was designed according to the
project’s objective of creating a Samar Island Tourism Master
Development Plan (SITMDP) that balances economic development and
environmental preservation. DOT and BII endeavours to come up with a
framework that will veer towards community-based empowerment that
values the preservation of the area’s natural resources and cultural
To attain these
objectives, the first workshop had each province identifying the
existing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in their
area. This exercise enabled the participants to identify traits,
resources and policies that could hinder or facilitate their growth.
It also enabled them to identify certain circumstances that they
should take advantage of, avoid or prepare for. These learnings were
taken into consideration in the second workshop as the participants
formulated their Mission, Vision, Goals and Objectives. The last
workshop was the Selection/Identification and Reprioritization of
Tourism Development Areas.
Based on the workshop
inputs, the SITMDP shall be formulated containing other key
information including an an assessment of how existing policies,
resources, constraints and threats affect each province’s potential
growth. The plan will also cover a wide range of data ranging from a
conceptual design for the Tourism Areas for Development (TDA)
including a development strategy and targets with timeframe and cost,
to an investment portfolio for the identified TDAs, Strategic
Destination Areas or Tourism Enterprise Zones. A marketing strategy,
implementation strategy and monitoring and evaluation system are also
incorporated in the plan.
Palace directs DBM to
create comprehensive gov’t manpower database to stop abuse of PS
March 31, 2011
MALACAÑANG, Manila –
Malacañang has directed the Department of Budget and Management (DBM)
to establish a comprehensive database on government personnel to
prevent the abuse of savings generated from the release of funds on
the basis of authorized positions.
Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said on Thursday the directive was contained in
Executive Order No. 31 signed by President Aquino III on March 30,
which aims to cut down spending on personal services (PS).
According to Ochoa,
the creation of the comprehensive database will allow government to
accurately determine the number of people under its employ so that
“only the appropriate funds for filled positions will be included in
the national budget and be released accordingly.”
The government is the
single biggest employer in the country with 1.3 million workers and
spends one-third of its P1.645 trillion national spending package on
“The government is
doing everything to ensure that we maximize our resources, and that
begins with spending only what is necessary and avoiding extraneous
costs because every peso counts,” Ochoa said. “If daang matuwid will
save money lost to graft and corruption, daang matipid will help
government save money lost to wastage and inefficiency.”
Under EO 31, the
Comprehensive Database on Government Manpower (CDGM) will replace the
existing Government Manpower Information System (GMIS), a
computer-based management information system on employees in the
Executive, Legislative and the Judiciary, as well as constitutional
It also expands the
coverage of the CDGM to include military personnel under the
Department of National Defense, uniformed personnel of the Department
of the Interior and Local Government and the Philippine Coast Guard,
casual and contractual government workers, and employees of
government-owned and -controlled corporations and government financial
management and control of the PS expenditures require the urgent
coverage in the GMIS of all the personnel in all these aforementioned
departments and agencies… through the enhancement and continuous
development of this information system in order to accurately
determine the government’s manpower complement for budget management
purposes,” the EO said.
The DBM has three
years to establish the enhanced information system on government
personnel. All heads of departments and agencies of the national
government are required to immediately submit to the budget department
complete information on positions, incumbents and authorized
compensation of all civilian, military and uniformed personnel –
whether they are regular, casual or contractual – and the source of
their PS requirement.
To ensure responsible
budgeting, agencies and department heads shall ensure that their
proposed PS requirement is consistent with the CDGM and in accordance
with authorized compensation.
The DBM, in
coordination with the Civil Service Commission (CSC), is also
instructed to conduct a regular risk-based personnel audit of the
manpower complement of government agencies.
The EO also
authorizes the linking of the CDGM with the personnel information
systems of the CSC, the Government Service Insurance System and Bureau
of Internal Revenue.
shows Contract of Services: admits flaws, asks people to join effort
for proper waste disposal
By GINA DEAN-RAGUDO, Samar News.com
March 30, 2011
CALBAYOG CITY – Amid
confrontations questioning his capabilities to meet his obligations as
the sole service-provider for Calbayog City’s garbage collection,
Cleoje Contracting Services (CCS) thru Gregorio Jusayan showed the
contract of services executed between him and the local government and
argued that garbage privatization and street sweeping took effect only
in 2008 and not in 2006 as what City Solid Waste Management Officer
Reynaldo Gonzaga disclosed.
For fiscal year
2010-2011, the contract took effect last March 1, 2010 until February
28, 2011 with the city’s obligation amounting to more or less P508,000
per month, a total of P6.09 million a year.
For this year onward,
the contract of service has yet to finalize as there were other
negotiations being conducted between the parties. Pending the absolute
closure of the deal would not affect his obligation as the city’s sole
service provider for garbage collection, he stressed.
The local government
on the other hand is mandated to provide a solid waste disposal or
environment system and services facilities related to hygiene and
sanitation. It is committed to implement a sustainable system of solid
waste collection and cleaning and disposal services for the
Based on the
agreement, the LGU through the City Solid Waste Management Office
shall be responsible for the supervision and monitoring on the proper
implementation of the provisions of the contract and reporting to the
chief executive in violation thereof; and the LGU thru the chief
executive shall inform the contractor in writing of any violation on
the terms of references (TOR).
committed by the contractor such as inability to carry out an
efficient solid waste management collection, cleaning and disposal
services in the area of assignment shall constitute cancellation or
termination of contract.
Based on the scope of
services embodied in the agreement, the area of collection designated
by the city are the Public Market Phase 1 and 2, slaughterhouse and
the 22 barangays which include Aguit-itan, Bagacay, Balud, Cagsalaosao,
Capoocan, Carayman, Carmen, Central, Dagum, East Awang, Hamorawon,
Matobato, Nijaga, Obrero, Oquendo Poblacion, Payahan, Rawis, San
Policarpo, Tinambacan Norte, Tinambacan Sur, Trinidad and West Awang.
Exempted from the services are the hospitals, clinics and sanitaria
where wastes or refuse are considered toxic, hazardous and infectious.
For street sweeping,
the 24 personnel shall only render services at the public market phase
1 and 2, slaughterhouse and city streets.
Inconsistent to the
previous report that the contractor should provide 6 units of dump
trucks, the contract stipulates that its obligation is to provide at
least 3 with a minimum capacity of 4 cubic meters per truck, both
sides of the body bearing a slogan “NO TAG, NO COLLECTION POLICY, and
should have an identifying or distinguishing sound to inform the
public that garbage collection is being undertaken.
In this case, Jusayan
admitted that he failed to fix the sound system of the truck.
In conformity with the
“motor pool issue” that the CSWMO been asserting, the contract
specifies that CCS shall provide a dispatching area garage
strategically located within the city which can accommodate its fleet
or dump trucks and other heavy equipment used in the solid waste
contractor’s dump trucks are still visible within the city proper and
no particular dispatching area garage was built for it.
Another provision of
the contract requires the contractor to submit his key personnel to
undergo basic solid waste management orientation before the CSWMO,
though it had been disclosed by the office that no training or seminar
had been conducted towards said personnel at the onset of
In an interview with
Jusayan, he said that while the local government through CSWMO is
still intensifying its advocacy campaign on Republic Act 9003 or the
Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 (i.e. waste segregation,
construction of Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) in other service
areas and creating Barangay Solid Waste Management Councils and etc.),
he had been unmindful of the provisions and doing services beyond the
mandates of the contract such as collecting all refuse and
non-segregated wastes from every household; wherein the “No Tag No
Collection Policy” is not even followed, he added.
Be it noted that even
a CSWMO employee has confirmed that the service provider’s
responsibility is to collect only the residual wastes which would
directly be dumped to the sanitary landfill.
He made an appeal
to the public to follow the collection schedule given by the CSWMO
(i.e. 5:00-9:00AM & 6:00-10:00PM), and request further that garbage
bags or containers/boxes should be properly tied or packed and be
situated in accessible areas for easy collection.
Gays warn Philippine
village councils: condom ordinances to boost HIV risks
By ProGay Philippines
March 30, 2011
BAGUIO CITY – GAY,
lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights (LGBT) activists decried the
ordinance restricting the sale, distribution and use of condoms in
several barangay (village) councils in a Philippine province, saying
that the measure will surely spike the rising HIV infection rates
spokesperson of the The Progressive Organization of Gays (ProGay
Philippines), said that the group opposes the successive passage of
local ordinances that require consumers to obtain medical
prescriptions for acquiring condoms in Manila and in Bataan.
This is such a
dangerous trend, coming at a time when HIV infections in the
Philippines have suddenly increased in the past two years. Making it
difficult for most at risk populations or MARPs to obtain preventive
measures such as condoms can surely promote more transmission of HIV
and parallel infections," Candelario said.
ProGay also said that
it is high time to enact the comprehensive reproductive health bill so
that not only heterosexual couples can get access to health care but
also the low-income LGBTs of the country, which the groups said should
also benefit from health legislation.
The gay advocacy group
is backing the Comprehensive Reproductive Health Bill proposed by
Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan in the House of
Representatives. At the moment, five different bills have been
consolidated into House Bill 4244 or An Act Providing for a National
Policy on Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population
ProGay said that
although LGBT health concerns are not yet highlighted in HB 4244, any
positive reproductive health measure can eventually benefit LGBTs as
some services, education campaigns and benefits can be tailored by
creative local governments to cater to the special needs of LGBTs.
"Gays and lesbians are
also members of poor families and caring and providing for health
needs that are part of our burdens. If the RH Bill is passed, that
would provide a little government assistance for health care,
lessening costs which can then be channeled for education, housing and
food," Candelario explained.
The ProGay leader
revealed that the health care sector of the country must also be
updated to become more gender-sensitive and focus specific services
for LGBT reproductive health needs, as the these populations can be
more prone to undiagnosed cervical cancers, breast cancers, and STDs.
ProGay said that poverty has pushed some gay and transgender youth
into prostitution, which exposes them to even greater risks of HIV
discrimination they suffer from misinformed doctors and health
workers, many LGBTs delay or avoid altogether early diagnostic
procedures rather than be humiliated by moralistic medics," Candelario
The group said that
condom ordinances in Bataan would increase the sense of shame and
discrimination that LGBTs suffer, raising the likelihood that young
and low income gays would practice unprotected sex.
Mosley: I will never
drink my own urine
By ALEX P. VIDAL / PNS
March 30, 2011
welterweight champion Sugar Shane Mosley told the ESPN Sports Nation
recently while it is true that there have been reports in the past
that Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez “drinks his own urine” reportedly as
secret of his ring success, he won’t do the same even as he prepares
to fight seven-time world champion Manny Pacquiao on May 7 at the MGM
Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“No,” swore the
39-year-old Mosley, who was studio guest in the one-hour popular TV
sports show in the United States. “I will never drink my own urine. I
will rely on my natural talent.”
Now training in a
high-altitude camp in Big Bear,
Mosley (46-6, 39 KO’s) had bolted from the management of the Golden
Boy Promotion to sign a rich deal with Top Rank to fight the
32-year-old Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KO’s).
He had served notice
as a serious customer by personally lobbying to face Pacquiao since
2009 and was always visible in the press conferences of Pacquiao’s
three previous fights in Nevada and Texas.
“Manny’s a great guy
and when I look at him I look at him as a true competitor. I look at
him as someone who really wants to win. He loves the sport of boxing
and he loves to fight,” Mosley said.
Mosley mangled Antonio
Margarito in the 9th round for the WBA weltereight belt on January 24,
2009. Margarito, on the other hand, lost to Pacquiao by unanimous
decision in Arlington, Texas last November 13, 2010.
Mosley lost by
12-round split decision on Nov. 10, 2007 to Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto
(36-2, 29 KO’s), who was stopped in the 12th stanza by Pacquiao on
Nov. 14, 2009 for the WBO welterweight title.
He will fight Pacquiao
for the WBO 147-lb championship in a pay-per-view card to be
co-promoted by the MP Promotion and HBO in the same arena where
Margarito tortured and tore to shreds Cotto for the WBO welterweight
bauble on July 26, 2008.
Marquez (52-5, 38
KO’s) fought Pacquiao twice, splitting the first and losing in the
rematch by a hairline decision.
In their first duel
for the WBA/IBF featherweight titles on May 8, 2004, Pacquiao dropped
Marquez three times in the opening round but could not finish of the
hard-hitting Mexican warrior known as “Dinamita” or dynamite.
Marquez, 37, one of
the most effective counter-punchers in the world, turned the rest of
the rounds into a bloody brawl and salvaged a draw after 12 rounds.
In their rematch on
March 15, 2008, Pacquiao scored the only knockdown in the 12-round WBC
superfeatherweight title bout and once more failed to put away
Marquez, but hammered away with a controversial 12-round split
Pacquiao suffered the
ugliest cuts in his ring career.
Ring expert Freddie
Dawson of Las Vegas said Marquez, the reigning WBA/WBO lightweight
champion, will forever be a nightmare for Pacquiao, who has reportedly
nixed a third meeting with Marquez. Pacquiao’s camp has been egging
Floyd Mayweather (41-0, 25 KO’s) to face the Filipino lefty but has
closed the curtains for a third match with Marquez.
“Even Muhammad Ali had
a hard time each time he fought Joe Frazer. The style of Marquez is
difficult for Pacquiao to handle,”
didn’t comment that it is because of Marquez’s alleged propensity to
drink his urine why he has become durable and packs extra ordinary
power in both fists.
Halloran, MGM Grand Sports Entertainment director, quipped during a
recent press conference to kick off the Pacquiao-Mosley setto: “We’re
not happy you’re (Pacquiao) back, we’re ecstatic. We know that when
you get the best promoter you ultimately get the best fighter and
that’s what we have in Congressman Pacquiao and Shane Mosley.
Globally, the most popular fighter in the world today is Manny. We got
Halloran added: “Every
time this guy fights, we open the ticket office and then they all go
home in an hour. We’ve got about 580 tickets left for this fight and
we’ll have about 30,000 closed circuit tickets available at our
different properties around Las Vegas.
“You may not have this
many cameras at the Grammy’s on Sunday night. They’ll be lucky if they
have this many.”
congressman representing Saranggani province in
Mindanao, is now on the final stage of his two-month long training in
Baguio City supervised
by his foster father and trainer Freddie Roach.
He and wife Jinkee
will fly to Hollywood, California for his final preparations at the
Wild Card gym two weeks before the showdown with Mosley.
More children’s rights
violation by the Armed Forces of the Philippines
By KATUNGOD-SINIRANGAN BISAYAS
March 29, 2011
TACLOBAN CITY – Last
March 4, 2011 more than 30 members of the Armed Forces of the
military operations in the hinterlands of Brgy.
Matuguinao, Samar. The residents of Brgy. Carolina heard gunfire for
five minutes. Moments later, these soldiers burned down a house
located just outside the barangay proper. Upon entering the Barangay,
the soldiers forcibly summoned all the residents of the Barangay to
the town plaza.
Residents who did not
heed the summons were “visited” by the soldiers at their houses, and
deliberately bombarded their houses with stones just for them to
attend the meeting.
The soldiers even
entered a house with four children inside. The children, with ages
ranging from four to 12 years old, were left on their own because
their father was picked up by the military to attend the town meeting.
One soldier who acted as the team leader, interrogated the children.
The children were asked if they have a gun. The children answered no
and the team leader accused the children of lying. The eldest child
then answered the team leader that if he does not believe them, he can
search inside the house. That was the time that the soldiers left.
“The Internal Peace
and Security Plan Bayanihan of the AFP, on its text gives “primacy to
human rights”. Does this incident show any iota of respect to human
rights?” Katungod-SB-Karapatan through its Documentation Head Kathrina
R. Castillo commented.
The Regional Alliance
for the Advancement of People’s Rights, Katungod-SB-Karapatan,
condemns in the strongest possible terms this blatant and
unforgiveable violation of children’s rights. Children are considered
as “zones of peace” and at all times must be respected. This incident
shows the ignorance of soldiers and the culture of disrespect and
shroud of impunity arrogated by the soldiers to themselves as they
obediently implement the counter-insurgency program devised by the US-Aquino
“We call on all
advocates of human rights in the Region to be one with us in
condemning this disrespectful act of the military to the rights of our
children. We must make effective measures to ensure the protection and
the advancement of the rights of our children, as we ensure the
attainment of the progressive future that we are all fighting for”,
House passes bill
compelling hospitals to display price list
March 28, 2011
QUEZON CITY – The
House of Representatives has passed on third and final reading a bill
that seeks to mandate hospitals and other healthcare providers to
clearly display in their premises a full price list of their services
The compulsory posting
of an exact price list under the proposed Healthcare Services Price
Disclosure Act would cover hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers,
diagnostic and laboratory clinics, medical offices and related
facilities, including those providing dental services.
The displayed price
schedule would be binding on the healthcare provider upon the
patient’s admission, and any price increase would take effect only
after proper posting.
"The measure gives
more meaning to the State's avowed policy in The Consumer Act to
protect the interests and general welfare of buyers, and to establish
the fair standards of conduct for business and industry," said House
Deputy Majority Leader Roman Romulo, the bill’s author.
transparent and readily available price index would safeguard
consumers against misleading and unfair sales acts and practices, said
Romulo, who represents the lone district of Pasig City in Congress.
"This will also
facilitate sound choice by end users of hospitalization and other
healthcare services," he said.
Romulo pointed out
that patients invariably get billed for the flimsiest expense while
being treated in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
He added: "In some
cases, without their prior knowledge, patients even get charged for
the extra cotton balls or toilet paper they use in the hospital."
A complete price list,
to include all incidental charges for room and amenities, meals,
medicines, and use of medical equipment and technology, would enable
patients to compare costs and freely decide where best to obtain the
services or supplies that they need, according to Romulo.
"For instance, once
the patient becomes aware that he could get charged for hospital
toilet paper that is five times more expensive, then he might just opt
to bring his own supply," he said.
Romulo's bill requires
the posting of the price catalogue in a conspicuous place within the
healthcare provider’s grounds.
Violators face fines
up to P25,000 per instance, without prejudice to administrative
sanctions such as the suspension of their professional licenses for up
to 60 days.
If the offender is a
firm, it faces a fine up to P50,000 per instance, plus suspension of
its license to operate for up to 60 days. The firm's officers directly
responsible for the infraction also face fines and suspension of their
SELDA on proposals for
Marcos burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani and the distribution of
the victims’ compensation from the settlement agreement
March 26, 2011
QUEZON CITY – “Our
struggle for justice is far from over. At this time that martial law
victims are receiving a small amount of indemnification, a dangerous
proposal to bury the remains of the fascist dictator Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is being pursued hurriedly and in earnest by
Marcos allies in Congress. We find this grossly unacceptable and a
travesty of history.”
Thus said Marie Hilao-Enriquez,
Chairperson of the Samahan ng Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensyon at
Aresto (SELDA) and daughter of one of the original named plaintiffs in
the historic class suit against Pres. Ferdinand Marcos, in a press
conference today with other victims of the Marcos dictatorship. SELDA
initiated and led the 9, 539 Martial Law victims in filing the case
against Marcos in the US Federal Court system on April 7, 1986,
barely two months after the dictator’s ouster by the so-called People
Power I or EDSA I.
House Resolution 1135, recently filed and signed by legislators from
the House of Representatives appealing to President Noynoy Aquino for
former Pres. Ferdinand Marcos’s burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
“It makes a mockery of
the horrors that the Filipino people endured during the Martial Law
era: plunder, numerous human rights violations including summary
executions, enforced disappearances, torture, illegal arrests and
detention, hamletting and forced evacuation, among others. While we
welcomed the distribution of funds from the $10M settlement agreement
with the Marcos crony Jose Campos, such victory won by the victims
should not be seen as a sign that the Marcoses can just get away with
the obliteration of the gross human rights violations committed by the
Marcos dictatorship against the Filipino people," said Enriquez.
SELDA also monitored
the distribution of the funds for the Marcos victims which started on
February 28, 2011. Enriquez and her fellow victims noted the
following reports in summary:
1) The reduction of
the number of claimants from 9,539 to 7,526 victims is arbitrary.
In the National
Capital Region, there were some 150 victims and their relatives who
were among the 9,539 victims who were not given their claims and were
made to accomplish forms to indicate that their claims are for further
investigation. Among the victims who were among the original list of
victims were Fidel and Rosario Agcaoili, Prof. Joma Sison, Satur
Ocampo, Judy Taguiwalo, Josephine Dongail, Bonifacio Ilagan, Carol
Araullo, Sonia Brizuela Planas, Rhodora Julian Clemente, Maxima Luneta,
Corazon Casambre, Manuel Navarro, Ramon Veluz, Melvin Cayabyab, Jose
Barsoles, Carlos Ortega, victims of the Tatalon massacre during the
Martial Law period, and many others were not given the compensation
The victims who
struggled against the construction of the Chico River Dam and
operations of the Cellophil Resource Corporation in the
Cordilleras were not in the reduced list even though they are among the 9,539.
Many victims from
Southern Tagalog, Bicol, Central Visayas, Western Visayas, and
Southern Mindanao were also arbitrarily delisted. Many of them belong
to the urban and rural poor and are in the twilight of their lives.
They spent money to go to the regional centers of the Commission on
Human Rights (CHR) but their names were not in the so-called
2) The system of
distribution is not efficient and inconsiderate of the situation of
Some victims who were
told that their names are not on the masterlist were soon told that
their names are included in other regions’ masterlist.
Some victims did not
receive notices from the court or Atty. Swift but when they checked
their names in the masterlist, they were able to find their names and
receive their claims.
Some victims received
notices from the court and Atty. Swift but when they checked the
masterlist, their names were not included in the said list.
“With the arbitrary
delisting of victims, they find themselves victims all over again.
Such action is tantamount to saying that they are not victims of human
rights violations and therefore not entitled to justice and
indemnification. It denies victims of our legitimacy of status as
victims and their claim to justice,” Enriquez commented.
SELDA calls on
Judge Manuel Real and Atty. Robert Swift to accord the compensation
due the victims and demands the reinstatement of the 2,013 delisted