Road Project ground breaking ceremony
By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
Catbalogan City – After conceptualizing Gandara-Matuguinao Road
Project, the simple yet meaningful Ground Breaking Ceremony was held
at Brgy. Canjumawid, Gandara Samar at around 10:30 AM on Wednesday
rehabilitation is part of the project proposals of the Command to the
different Local Chief Executives pushed thru the Regional Development
Council, Regional Peace and Office Council and Provincial Peace and
The project is a 3.7
km road rehabilitation to be undertaken by 546th Engineering
Construction Battalion, 53rd Engineering Brigade costing about P2.1
million funded by the Provincial Government of Samar. The ceremony
was spearheaded by the Commander of 8th Infantry Division Major
General Mario F Chan together with Honorable Governor Sharee Ann T
Delos Santos, Most Rev. Isabelo Abarquez, Bishop of Calbayog Diocese;
Rev. Fr. Erwin Rodriguez, Parish Priest of Matuguinao; Police Senior
Superintendent Ronald Cortiz Macapagal, the Provincial Director of
Samar; Commanding Officer of 801 Brigade Commander Colonel Romeo
Labrador and other military officers, local officials and media
personnel were present to witness the realization of the road project
that will be completed by 26 September 2011. Right after the
ceremony, the activity was culminated with press conference.
“Hindi sa pamamagitan
ng bala matatapos ang insurhensiya sa Samar, matatapos natin to sa
pagbibigay ng tulay, maayos na daan at iba pang infrastraktura para
matugunan ang pangunahing pangangailangan ng mamamayan ng Samar” Major
General Chan says.
Tan-Delos Santos expressed her gratitude to the Commanding General of
8ID and encouraged the people of Gandara and Matuguinao to be
responsible in order to achieve peace and order in the area.
Road project in Samar
blasted with UN-banned landmines to hurt 8ID troops
By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
Catbalogan, Samar – Headquarters-bound troops who recently performed
as area security in support of the ground breaking ceremony for the Gandara-Matuguinao road development project held yesterday were
harassed at about 11:30 p.m. last night along the way by a
communist-inspired criminal group at the vicinity of Barangay
Canligues and Concepcion, both of Paranas, Samar.
landmines usually employed by the communist-inspired criminal group
detonated along the road that caused the death of one soldier, the
wounding of six others, and damage to a portion of a currently
developed road. The wounded soldiers were immediately evacuated and
are now under treatment at Saint Paul’s Hospital in Tacloban City.
Responding troops in the area are now making sure that the traffic
along the route will not be hampered because of the incident.
The incident is an
expected reaction of the communist-inspired criminal group against the
efforts of the 8th Infantry Division who has committed to support road
development and other related projects in the Region at all cost. The
road where the incident occurred is among the roads that the 8ID
supports for development.
Chiz bill strips PCSO
board of discretionary powers over charity funds
By Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
In light of the
revelations in connection with the misuse of the multibillion funds of
the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) in the past, Senator
Chiz Escudero has moved to contain the discretionary powers of its
board over disbursement of charity funds.
Escudero filed Senate
Bill No. 2892 in order to institutionalize a just and equitable
distribution of the PCSO charity funds.
“We are amending
Section 6 of the agency’s charter as it has sanctioned the promotion
of patronage politics and has also become a source of injustice and
inequality with the way all these hearings have shown as to how the
charity fund has been disbursed with bias for or against those who are
in power," Escudero said.
provision of the PCSO charter divides its net receipts to 55
percent-45 percent distribution. The former is earmarked to winnings
and prizes, and the latter to charity fund and operating expenses and
The PCSO board of
directors is empowered to make payment and grant from the charity
fund, which is set at a minimum of 30 percent of net receipts. To top
that authority, it is also authorized to earmark a minimum of 15
percent of net receipts for operating expenses and capital
In the 2009 Commission
on Audit (COA) report, the agency’s disbursement from its charity fund
amounted to a whooping P6.2 billion. The disbursement includes the
highly questionable intelligence funds maintained by the PCSO.
“I am proposing that
the board's discretionary powers be removed and that the charity fund
be specifically earmarked based on the policies and mandate of PCSO,"
He also sought the
expressed approval of the Office of the President in cases when the
board needs to allocate over 15 percent of the charity institution's
“The PCSO fund mess
controversy has shown how the charity fund has been mishandled and
misused. This bill is a move to ensure that the government's money
will be distributed in accordance with specific and real needs
grounded on justice and equity," the senator explained.
Escudero said that the
proposed measure, once passed into law, will eradicate the lack of
institutionalized criteria and standard in the disposition of fund.
always led to abuse. We want transparency. As I have always espoused,
remove discretion, you can lessen, if not totally remove corruption,"
QUORUM. Where have all the Board Members gone? Bad politics picked them, every one. When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?
This is the common scenario at the Samar SP Session Hall during
regular session days.
Majority bloc’s been
conducting sessions in Calbayog says PCL Chair Casurao
The majority bloc is not remiss of their job as they
continuously work despite disallowances
By GINA DEAN-RAGUDO,
CALBAYOG CITY –
Philippine Councilors League (PCL-Samar) Chapter Chair Rogelio Casurao dismissed some allegations that the majority bloc deliberately
makes absences from attending the Sangguniang Panlalawigan regular
sessions in order to block the efforts of the provincial government.
In an interview with
Samar News.com, he clarified that they have been conducting regular or
even special sessions here in
for four consecutive times in the absence of the minority.
“Under our Internal
Rules, conducting sessions in other parts of the province is allowed,
and the Sanggunian acting on its collegial level can appoint anyone to
act as secretary in the conduct of the session,” said Casurao.
A reliable source said
that both the majority and the minority members of the August body
have not convened since its last session on April this year.
The problem of
constituting a quorum for the province will not be resolved while the
opposition is being deprived of their allowances that will allow them
to discharge their duties and functions as board members, Casurao
While the pro
administration is enjoying their privileges like brand new cars and
many others, the opposition members are being denied and battling on
their remuneration (i.e. gasoline, communication and travel) including
the salaries and wages of their respective staff, he added.
The PCL Chair said
that Calbayog and Catbalogan has a distance of more or less 75
kilometers and by ordinary computation, 20 liters of gasoline is
necessary to negotiate a round trip activity like attending the
regular session at the province.
Furthermore, the June
9 scheduled regular session where the indignation rally was
concurrently conducted in Catbalogan City had been questioned by the
But Casurao said they
acted on their personal capacity as citizens who have the “right to
peaceably assemble and express redress and grievances”, like talking
on their opinion on the latest political development in the province.
Lastly, the PCL Chair
also denied the P3M bribe of the provincial governor just for the
approval of the 2010 budget.
Laughing on the issue,
he clarified that nobody from them received such amount of money from
the office of the governor.
The 2010 budget of the
province which had been decided by the Court of Appeals in favor of
the respondents was remanded to the court a quo – the Regional Trial
Court Branch 31 Calbayog, acting on the motion for reconsideration
filed by the complainants, thus ordering said court to expedite the
proceedings for the immediate resolution of the case, Casurao
He believes that
whoever is responsible for disbursing money under a questioned budget
will be held liable.
President Aquino signs
law on early release of state workers’ retirement benefits
Government workers retiring from the service may soon enjoy their
retirement benefits and gratuities earlier than usual after President
Benigno Aquino III signed into law a legislation that would hasten the
release of such claims, Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr.
announced on Tuesday.
Ochoa said Republic
Act (RA) No. 10154, signed into law by President Aquino on July 15,
requires all state agencies to release the retirement benefits within
30 days after the actual date of retirement of a government employee.
It also provides for penalties for unjustified delays in the release
of these benefits.
RA 10154 shall take
effect 15 days following its publication in the Official Gazette or in
two newspapers of general circulation, Ochoa said.
Under the newly signed
law, Ochoa said the employer-agency, the Government Service Insurance
System (GSIS), Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) and the Department
of Budget and Management (DBM) are directed to ensure that all the
benefits of a retiring government worker are released on time.
and employees have spent the best years of their lives in public
service and it is only appropriate that they be extended what is due
them under our laws without unwarranted delays,” Ochoa said, noting
numerous complaints about the delay in the release of state workers’
He added: “RA 10154 is
consistent with the 1987 Constitution for the protection of the rights
of workers and the promotion of their welfare, as it is likewise in
accord with the GSIS Act of 1997.”
To ensure compliance
of the 30-day prescribed period, the law orders retiring employees to
submit their requirements to the concerned government agency at least
90 days before the effective date of their retirement.
In the event an
employee has a pending case and his retirement benefits are being
lawfully withheld due to possible financial liability, the head of the
agency handling the case is directed to terminate or resolve the case
three months prior to his actual retirement date.
Failure to resolve the
case within the prescribed period without justifiable reasons will
cause the immediate release of the employee’s retirement benefits
without prejudice to the ultimate resolution of the case.
RA 10154 covers all
branches, agencies and/or instrumentalities of the government,
including government-owned and/or -controlled corporations (GOCCs),
but excluding personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
The law shall be
applicable both to applications for compulsory retirement and optional
or early retirement as authorized by law.
Chiz asks senate to
uncover real winner in 2004 presidential polls
By Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
PASAY CITY – Amid
the resurrection of election cheating allegations during the Arroyo
administration, Senator Chiz Escudero today filed a joint resolution
asking both chambers of Congress to determine the real winner in the
2004 presidential race.
Last week, former
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor Zaldy Ampatuan
and former Maguindanao election supervisor Lintang Bedol have come
forward and accused ex-president Gloria Arroyo of orchestrating the
rigging of election results in 2004 and 2007.
Resolution No. 534 (SRN 534), Escudero, chairman of the Senate
committee on justice and human rights, is seeking the creation of a
fact-finding commission to look into the 2004 electoral fraud.
The senator, who was
the spokesperson of then presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ),
said the move will help bring closure to allegations of massive poll
fraud that benefited Arroyo, who ran against the king of Philippine
“The ghost of 2004 has
continuously haunted our democratic system and electoral processes. We
need to establish a fact-finding commission, define its powers and
functions to enable it to make recommendations on who to recognize as
the true fifteenth president of the republic,” Escudero said.
He said that unlike
any other elections, the 2004 election has remained unsettled and can
no longer be resolved given that the acts or omissions of electoral
fraud have already become academic, if not dismissed or mooted.
Escudero said the
controversies surrounding the 2004 presidential elections could have
been resolved by the Presidential Electoral Tribunal were it not for
the untimely demise of FPJ.
“This move is geared
toward setting the record and correcting history. It is not about
prosecuting or persecuting former president Arroyo; this is about
uncovering the truth and to serve and give corresponding recognition
to FPJ if indeed it can be given by that commission,” he said.
Escudero is proposing
the creation of the fact-finding commission which will be composed of
a retired justice from the Supreme Court, who will be appointed by the
President and will serve as chairperson; the secretary of the
Department of Justice; a commissioner of the Commission on Elections
to be chosen by the head of the poll body; the Ombudsman; and a
senator and a representative to be named by the Senate President and
the Speaker, respectively, as ex-officio members.
The commission shall
have the following powers:
To issue subpoena;
To compel the attendance of witnesses and production of
To cite in contempt any person who shall disobey any of its
issuances, orders or resolutions;
To issue orders and resolutions necessary or incidental to
its functions as a fact finding body;
To issue rules and regulations on the receipt, evaluation,
admission and custody of evidence in accordance with the policy set
forth in the joint resolution.
Borongan Mayor Abunda
vows to support PWDs
By NINFA B QUIRANTE, PIA Borongan
BORONGAN City, Eastern
Samar – Borongan Mayor Ma Fe Abunda, in an effort to inspire persons
with disabilities inspired them to aspire to be like persons without
commemorative program of the 33rd National Disability Prevention and
Rehabilitation Week (NDPRW) at the Borongan City Cultural Stage, Mayor
Abunda addressed PWDs who gathered to join a myriad of activities for
“Nobody has a monopoly
of all blessings,” Abunda told them.
Abunda added that even
normal people still have some unfulfilled needs. “There will be some
aspects missing,” she added.
She said that if all
our needs are provided, “then we will not strive anymore to improve
The mayor talked in
both English and the dialect.
She also hailed the
PWDs who continue to strive and show that they are not liabilities to
the society. She proudly informed them that she has approved the PWD
Code that Sangguniang Panglungsod Jennifer Anacio sponsored.
“I did not think twice
in approving the Code,” she said.
To implement the
discounts afforded to PWDs, the mayor said she has ordered the city
social welfare and development officer to distribute purchase
Abunda though admitted
that the city hall and the roads in the city are not yet accessibility
law compliant. But the Mayor with SP Anacio who is herself a PWD
pledged to implement the accessibility law before their terms end.
Aside from Anacio, SP
members Aurora Anasarias and Napoleon Bebita are also supportive of
the PWDs in Borongan City.
“Stormtroopers Wow Talent” search
By EMY C. BONIFACIO,
CATBALOGAN CITY – As
part of the prepared activities for the forthcoming 23rd Anniversary
of the 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, a weekly talent search
is being held at the camp’ covered court every Friday evening.
Dubbed as the
Stormtrooper’s Wow Talent Search, it intends to tap the potentials of
military personnel by showcasing their skills in dancing, singing and
all other forms of entertainment. The organizers required the nine
(9) competing battalions/units within its area of command to submit
their respective entries.
The activity is made
open to the public where three (3) independent non-civilian
personalities were invited to judge the weekly competition. Winners
are declared based on prescribed criteria.
The show was patterned
after the Pilipinas Got Talent Show where both the judges and the
audience were made active participants in determining winners by
airing their comments and raising their score cards. The emceeing
expertise of Capt. Borja made the show more entertaining.
“I designed this
activity to boost the morale of my men. I would want them to discover
their potentials and provide a venue for them to showcase these
talents. It’s surprising to see them perform like professionals,” was
MGen. Mario Chan’s observation.
The Commanding General
and all other officers and civilian spectators were seen to have
enjoyed watching one of the contestants performing a mesmerizing and
entertaining act of magic which got an 8 as an over all rating of
approval from the audience, especially from the kids. The second
contender did a ballad rendition of a popular English song and
received encouragements from the judges to further improve on his
timing and diction. The last presentation was a dance remix coming
from the Civil Military Operations Battalion group performers. The
performance was a big hit, which automatically made them a qualifier
in the grand finals.
More of these talents
will be unveiled on July 22 with five (5) more performances from the
different units. The weekly winners will compete on its grand finals
which is set on July 29, 2011.
The search is just one
of the many socio-civic activities being prepared by the 8ID in
preparation for its 23rd Anniversary Commemoration on August 1.
Leyte guv shares
experience on Mexico Study Tour on CCT
By PMRC / AHLETTE C. REYES
TACLOBAN CITY –
Database accuracy of indigent beneficiaries of government-sponsored
social welfare projects in the region.