suspension of all small-scale mining permits in East Samar by DENR Secretary
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
PALO, Leyte – The
Mines and Geoscience Bureau of the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources in Eastern Visayas has recommended for the
suspension of all the small scale mining permits in Eastern Samar by
DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje.
MGB Region 8 Director
Roger de Dios informed that he has made the recommendation through a
communication which was sent in December of 2011, addressed to MGB
Director, Engr. Leo L. Jasareno, copy furnished the DENR Secretary.
Director de Dios said
that it is only by suspending the small scale permits issued in
Eastern Samar, that the proliferation of illegal small scale mining
activities in the province will be stopped.
The MGB Director also
recommended for the creation of a composite team composed of MGB 8,
EMB-8, PENRO Eastern Samar, and the Provincial Government of Eastern
Samar, to reassess or validate all SSMP areas for possible lifting of
the suspension subject to compliance of stringent requirements like
submission of work programs and rehabilitation plans, establishment of
Mine Rehabilitation Fund for each permittee and creation of Municipal
Monitoring Team for close monitoring of mining operations.
The recommendation was
reached after a thorough monitoring and field investigation conducted
by the MGB technical personnel on November 28-29, prompted by numerous
complaints about the rampant illegal small-scale mining activities in
the province of Eastern Samar.
were conducted in the municipalities of Salcedo, Guiuan, General
MacArthur, Llorente and Hernani, all of the
of Eastern Samar.
observation of the investigating team was that the SSMP holders were
buying ore concentrates from illegal contractors.
Another observation is
the reluctance of several concerned local government executives to be
at the forefront of the campaign against illegal mining operations
because it will adversely affect their bid in the coming elections.
They are all, however, amenable for the suspension of mining permits
to stop illegal mining in their respective areas, the investigating
It may be recalled
that during the Congressional-LMP Interagency Consultations initiated
by the Hon. Congressman of the Lone District of Easter Samar Ben
Evardone on November 18, 2011, at Borongan City, the illegal
small-scale chromite mining operations which reportedly caused great
environmental damage in their respective areas, was the main concern
raised by the LGU representatives. They were all amenable to putting
a stop to the illegal mining activities in their localities.
By ANAD Partylist
The Alliance for
Nationalism and Democracy (ANAD) Partylist blasted Jose Ma. Sison for
his continued lies and deceptive skill when he said that he has no
interest in coming back to the country, much more a Cabinet position
ANAD Rep. Jun Alcover
lambasted Sison for saying “. . . Return home and a Cabinet post for
me? That is just psy-war intrigue spread by a military group
associated with former Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales, the
butcher general Palparan, and Alcover of ANAD. . . . I continue to be
abroad in the hope that formal talks between the government and the
National Democratic Front of the
negotiating panels will resume in Oslo” (01-24-12
“His (Sison) denial
has fallen flat on his face because it meant nothing, much less any
change, on his terrorist organization’s intention seeking a truce and
alliance with government anchored on a 2005 10-point Concise Agreement
for an Immediate Just Peace that government has rejected time and
again,” said Rep. Alcover.
“Even in 2011, the
same was demanded by his group which was flatly turned down by the
government of PNoy. What alliance with government is Sison and the NDF
peddling around? In truth and in fact his motives and direction are no
different from the 12-Point NDF Agenda and the CPP 5-year plan (2011
to 2015) that seeks to establish a coalition government and strategic
stalemate, respectively, in the country leading to the total
capitulation of our freedoms, democracy, and government!,” Rep.
“Now who is doing psy-war
and caught lying to his teeth? Unbelievable is the fact that Sison and
his cabal of vultures have never manifested sincerity in the many
peace negotiations with government. Yet, they have the guts and
courage to exact sincerity from government? For what?” the
pro-democracy solon said even as he decried continuing efforts by both
the Smiling communists and Maoist terrorists political operators for
Joma’s return and a cabinet position.
“Until today, nothing
has changed. It is only Sison who is denying it. But nobody believes
him anymore. He was caught lying to his teeth on the Plaza Miranda
bombing; the thousands of Filipino lives wasted in many Maoist
terrorist purgings, and the thousands of innocent Filipino lives
snapped and sacrificed in the altar of the violent and inhuman Maoist
communist ideology,” Rep. Alcover pointed out.
“He was lying before,
lying today, and shall always lie in the days to come! We must be wary
of liars!” Rep. Alcover added.
The importance of CSO
participation in the budget process
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
PALO, Leyte – The
importance of civil society organizations’ participation in the
process of budget preparation was emphasized during the FY 2013
Regional Budget Forum conducted on January 20, 2012 at the DPWH
Multi-Purpose Hall in Palo, Leyte.
DBM Region 8 Director
Imelda Laceras said that transparency is an important element of a
good budget process. The participation of CSOs will increase the
transparency in the budget process and will help increase
accountability and use of public funds.
The Lady Director said
that the DBM-8 conducted an inventory of CSO operating in the Region
in order to ensure the participation of CSOs in the budget preparation
The 26 CSOs listed
were duly invited to the FY 2013 Regional Budget Forum but although
only one CSO was represented, the DBM Director expressed appreciation
that CSOs are gradually actively participating in the budget
During the Forum, Dr.
Socorro S. Gasco representing the Association of Deans of Philippine
College of Nursing honestly admitted that she’s a stranger to
government’s budget processes and budgetary terms and languages. She
made comments however, from the point of view of CSOs, on some budget
execution practices that they observed of some government agencies.
Director Laceras in
response to the comments said DBM will coordinate with the concerned
agencies mentioned. She also said that the workings of the bureaucracy
is guided by laws and rules and regulations and that the Commission on
Audit is tasked of seeing to it that agencies will not deviate from
policies on the use of government funds.
Dir. Laceras lauded
the presence of CSO representative. She said that, “this is the
scenario that we are aspiring for, the convergence of CSOs and
government agencies in the budget processes.”
She also expressed
hope that more CSOs will be engaged in the near future.
To underscore the
importance of CSOs, the DBM Central Office is in the process of
crafting guidelines anew in regards to CSOs’ involvement not only in
the budget preparation phase but also in the other phases of the
budget cycle, such as in the execution and accountability, Dir.
Media Relations Center
January 25, 2012
TACLOBAN CITY – The
Local Government Support Program for Local Economic Development (LGSP-LED)
pushes for private sector-academe partnerships for local government
units to deepen economic collaboration and to help fuel local economic
government of Leyte hosted on Tuesday the LGSP-LED Forum on Engaging
the Private Sector and Academe to share concrete Filipino, Canadian
and international examples and experiences on how the LGUs can link
with the private sector to grow and diversify their local economies
resulting in more investments, jobs and an increased tax base.
The forum’s speakers
were global expert on developing creative rural economies Dan Taylor
and Leyte Gov. Carlos Jericho Petilla.
In his lecture, Taylor
shared his experiences in growing local economies, emphasizing the
role of government as enabler and facilitator of the process.
Taylor espoused that
as “economies and the practice of economic development change,
communities must look at all of their assets both performing and
underperforming, and determine which ones can be harnessed as
community and economic building blocks”.
Gov. Petilla, on the
other hand, shared Leyte’s experience in partnering with the academe
in the challenging work of human resource development to ensure that
job skills match the needs of the local industries.
The governor shared
that the province has continuously worked with state colleges and
universities in the region to diversify their offered courses to
address the employee needs of existing and operational industries in
and outside the region.
The LGSP-LED forum was
also an opportunity to introduce the upcoming Guide for LGUs on
Formulating a Local Investment and Incentives Code. The code, it was
learned, is a proactive measure to draw both local and foreign
investments especially in priority area in a locality.
Select LGU alliances,
namely the designated Local economic and Investment Promotions
Officers, across the Philippines participated in the forum that
Allah Valley Landscape Development Alliance comprised of the provinces
of South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat, Panglao-Dauis-Baclayon (PaDaYon)
Marine Triangle of the province of Bohol and Northern Samar.
LGSP-LED is an
eight-year old collaborative program of the Philippines and Canada
through the DILG and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
Now on its fourth year, LGSP-LED is geared towards strengthening the
enabling environment for good governance and sustainable local
Women hit CBCP
official on continuously misinforming the public on RH
MANILA – Reacting to
news reports, a group of women advocates working with grassroots
communities hits a Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)
official for his statement warning the public to be vigilant because
of his suspicion that the highly clamored Reproductive Health (RH)
bill may end up like the Corona impeachment complaint.
National Chairperson of the Democratic Socialist Women of the
Philippines (DSWP) argued that Father Melvin Castro, Executive
Secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Episcopal Commission on Family and
Life, is again propagating misinformation and disinformation on the RH
bill by insinuating that the said bill has not been subjected to due
process in Congress.
“Is this a case of
selective amnesia?” Angsioco asks. “Fr. Castro knows well that the RH
Bill has been pending in Congress for more than a decade and that it
has been the subject of discussion from the Committee level up to
plenary sessions in both chambers of Congress,” she explains.
Angsioco said, “all
arguments, for and against have been exhausted; that many times, anti-RH
lawmakers resort to repetitive, sometimes absurd ‘arguments’ against
the RH bill.”
Angsioco asserts that
the anti-RH lawmakers have failed to come-up with new arguments. What
they do is use technicalities as delaying tactics to prevent the bill
from being voted on. Thus, the RH bill cannot and should not be
unfairly compared with Chief Justice Corona’s impeachment by the House
statements only revealed that the anti-RH camp does not have the
numbers in Congress and that they are scared to put the bill to a vote
because they know they will lose, said Angsioco. “Why else do they
continuously oppose the voting? Clearly the delaying tactics are meant
to prevent Congress from taking the vote on the measure,” she added.
calls on Congress leadership to already close the period of
interpellation and move on to the period of amendments then vote.
“After more than a decade, legislators by now surely have their
positions even if some choose to remain quiet on the issue,” she said.
“There is no more
reason not to call for a vote. The Filipino people have been
patiently waiting, mothers, particularly poor mothers, continuously
die because of CBCP’s opposition and Congress’ turtle-like pace in
processing the much needed bill, Angsioco ended.
Calbayog hosts First
Provincial PCL Convention
By EMY C. BONIFACIO,
CATBALOGAN CITY –
More or less 156 Samar legislators attended the 1st Provincial
Convention of the Philippine Councilors League - Samar Chapter held
last January 19, 2012 at the Cultural and Convention Center in
The participants were
welcomed by a Sarakiki-Hadang Ritual performed by the scholars of the
Calbayog City Arts and Cultural Office (CACO).
Being hosted by
Calbayog City, no less than the City Mayor, Hon. Ronald P. Aquino; PCL
Samar Chapter President, Hon Roger Casurao and Samar’s First District
Congressman Mel Senen Sarmiento graced the occasion to welcome the
As speakers, the PCL
invited its National Chairman, Hon. Alan Zulueta and its National
President, Hon. Alma Moreno-Salic.
In its welcome
message, Mayor Aquino thanked the PCL for holding its first convention
in Calbayog. He expressly shared his vision to make Calbayog as the
convention capital in Eastern Visayas.
lengthily the “Innovations in Local Legislation” which is said to be a
key to building transformational governance in
Samar. Moreno-Salic gave an update on what she has accomplished
under her term. On the other hand, Cong. Sarmiento shared a timely
discussion on climate change and its challenges to urbanization and
the government’s policy response.
The session was ended
with a press conference attended by the local media. The panel was
composed by Hon. Roger Casurao, Hon. Alan zulueta and Hon. Mel Senen
One of the questions
raised was on the performance evaluation of the legislators. According
to Zulueta, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) as
partner of the Philippine Councilors League, provides an assessment
tool for local government units. A tie up with other agencies in the
implementation of the Local Legislative Award Program where a regional
selection committee is tasked to assess the performance of the
legislative councils based on specific criteria has been undertaken. A
Sangguniang Bayan’s performance is being rated on the number of
legislations passed, office structure, sessions and effectiveness of
Moreover, an ongoing
competition for the Ten Most Outstanding Councilors of the Philippines
is being partnered with Sen. Edgardo Angara. An outstanding councilor
is expected to receive one million pesos worth of project funded by
Angara. The award
is intended to encourage legislators to enhance their capabilities and
motivate them to better serve their constituents.
To further improve the
competency level of PCL members, Casurao announced the
institutionalization of the PCL’s Legislative Academy. The academy has
already produced 19 graduates of a Masters Degree and 600 more are
expected to graduate from its masteral and baccalaureate degrees.
Recently, the Civil
Service Commission thru Republic Act No. 101-56 has conferred upon
members of the Sangguniang Bayan or Sangguniang Panlalawigan the
appropriate Civil Service Eligibility. The said law was approved by
President Benigno Aquino on December 20, 2011.
A councilor who has
finished college or a bachelor’s degree and has served nine (9) years
or three (3) terms will be entitled to a Career Service Professional
Eligibility. If a member has only six (6) years service as legislator,
he is entitled to a Career Service Sub-professional Eligibility,
provided that he has earned at least seventy-two (72) units in any
four year course in college or baccalaureate degree program.
The members are
reminded to comply with the Civil Service Commission’s requirement in
the conferment of the said eligibility. The qualified applicants have
to submit their service records, transcript of records and other
credentials which will be processed for approval by the CSC.
Another issue raised
by the local media is the possibility of amending the qualifications
of would be legislators in order to fully deliver its mandate as
legislators. As legislators, the need to increase the educational
level in order to have a comprehensive understanding of their
responsibility as lawmakers and respond effectively to the needs of
their constituents was a topic of discussion.
This was asked by the
media after commenting on the reality that there are legislators who
cannot even read and write.
PCL Chair Zulueta
informed that moves have been initiated to deliberate on the issue.
However, the Local Government Code and the 1987 Philippine
Constitution provides for a very minimal requirement. Casurao
explained that the provisions could not be violated to give every
citizen the opportunity to run as mandated in a democratic country. A
constitutional amendment needs a legislative act of congress, Casurao
The convention was
generally considered a success by the organizers despite the absence
of more than fifty (50) more legislators from
participants were delighted to be billeted at the new Ciriaco’s Hotel
that hosted a party in the same evening.
NPA ‘organized crime
group’ havoc in Northern Samar: Acts of desperation
By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
Catbalogan City – “The recent attack against a community of
peace-loving people in Lapinig, the despicable murder of Mr. Jovito
Pajanustan in Catubig and the ambush on soldiers doing community work
in Las Navas by the ‘organized crime group’ locally known as the NPA
were all desperate acts of terror to restore their influence in
Northern Samar” said Maj Gen Mario F. Chan, Commander of the 8th
Infantry Division of the Philippine Army.
“We condemn in the
strongest possible terms these dastardly acts of terror perpetuated by
the NPAs against the peace-loving people of Lapinig, the brutal murder
of an innocent farmer and the ambush on soldiers who were engaged in
community work to help the people in Las Navas”, added the good
According to the 8ID
Commander, the climate of fear sowed by the NPAs among communities in
Samar Island has dissipated as the people have come to realize and
appreciate the sincere efforts of the government and stakeholders to
bring peace and sustainable development in the Region as manifested in
the declaration by the Local Government Unit of Southern Leyte of an
“Insurgent-Free” province on September 29, 2011 and followed by the
declaration of the Local Government Unit of Leyte of a “Manageable
Conflict-Affected and Development-Ready ” province on December 8,
“Because of their
waning influence, this NPA or group of thugs and bandits has embarked
on a systematic and orchestrated employment of deception, treachery
and violence and terror beginning with their murder of Mr. Pajanustan
in November 2011 in order to blame it on the soldiers who were
actually involved in community work,” said MGen. Chan. He stated
further that, “Knowing the futility of this deceptive act, the NPA
group called on its cohorts ‘Migrante’ and ‘Sagupa’ to join in the
accusation with fabricated data and information that was readily and
handily exposed as lies by affidavits of local officials in Barangay
Osang of Catubig and San Miguel of Las Navas and the PNP-Catubig Spot
“The truth would
eventually surface to manifest their peddled lies so the NPA embarked
on acts of violence such as the ambush of the soldier-community worker
in Las Navas in December and the recent attack on civilians in the
quiet town of Laping last January 20,” said the 8ID Commander.
“These acts or
desperation to regain lost influence are typically manifested in NPA
armed engagements where their volume of fire is greatest during their
retreat,” observed MGen. Chan.
acts of terrorism by the NPA, the 8ID will continue to pursue to ‘win
the peace’ in the affected areas and finally rid the region of this
menace to development,” MGen. Chan concluded.
of 62 bridges part of $214 MCC Samar road project
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – The
construction and rehabilitation of 62 bridges in
Eastern Samar are part of the Secondary National Roads Development
Project (SNRDP) under the Philippine Compact with Millennium Challenge
Engr. Rene Galapon of
the Department of Public Works and Highways Regional Office 8, who is
the Project Engineer, informed that of the 62 bridges, 17 are for
total replacement, 42 are for rehabilitation and repair and three are
for completion as they are now ongoing.
Under package A of the
project, 28 bridges are involved. These include 12 bridges that are up
for minor rehabilitation, three (3) bridges which are due for super
structural replacement, six (6) will undergo sub-structural repair,
pier retrofit and pier replacement and seven (7) bridges are due for
Package B includes 34
bridges, 16 of which will undergo minor rehabilitation, four (4) are
due for pier retrofit, and 14 are due for total replacement.
The SNRDP involves not
only the construction and rehabilitation of a 220-kilometer of
existing roads and bridges covering two provinces in Samar Island but
also involves road widening, drainage installation and other road
safety improvements, Engr. Galapon said.
The SNRDP begins at
the junction of Pan Philippine Highway and Buray (Wright) in Western
Samar and passing along mountainous terrain to Taft, Engr. Galapon
From Taft, it
continues southward along the coastline of
Eastern Samar ending in Guiuan, passing through a total of 15
municipalities. The roads project is expected to accrue economic
benefits by lowering vehicle operating costs, and saving the time of
people living near the roads thus enabling them to have greater access
to commercial activities as well as to their basic needs, Engr.
The project recognizes
DPWH standard right-of-way limit, the DPWH engineer said.
However, in an
attempt to minimize disruption to the inhabitants and users along the
road, the right-of-way shall be limited to the construction limits,
which is estimated at this time to have a width spanning the existing
road width plus approximately 2-3 meters on each side of the existing
A year after Palawan broadcaster’s killing
killers now, human rights groups say
QUEZON CITY – “Dr.
Gerry Ortega had the interest of the people of
Palawan at heart and he died defending them. The Aquino government
can do no less than give Dr. Ortega the justice he and the people
This was the message
brought by human rights advocates and families of victims of human
rights violations at the Department of Justice today on the first year
of the killing of Palawan broadcaster Gerry Ortega.
wife, Patty, and their four children are in
Palawan for a Mass held in Ortega’s grave. There will also be a
candlelighting activity in the afternoon.
“Ang bagal ng hustisya
sa Pilipinas. Isang taon na, nag-uumapaw ang ebidensya, hindi pa rin
masampahan ng kaso ang itinuturong mastermind sa pagpatay kay Daddy
(Justice is too slow. Amid overwhelming evidence, a year after, a case
has yet to be filed against the mastermind in Daddy’s killing),” said
Micaella Ortega, eldest daughter of Ortega.
continued delay of the release of a DOJ resolution, Hustisya,
organization of victims of human rights violations, said they are
disappointed that a strong case such as that of Ortega remains
unsolved after 12 months.
“Not all cases have
the same strong evidence against the mastermind and Ortega’s killers.
We have hoped that the evidence presented in Ortega’s killing may
speed up the resolution of the case. However, the snail-paced progress
of the prosecution further perpetuates impunity because the
perpetrators remain on the loose,” Hustisya secretary general Cristina
At the DOJ preliminary
investigation, the gunman and the other suspects involved have
implicated former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes in Ortega’s killing. In the
first preliminary investigation, however, Reyes was not included in
the respondents of the case. The family then appealed for a
reinvestigation of the case, seeking to include Reyes.
“We need to prosecute
criminals such as those implicated in the case of Dr. Ortega. They do
not only kill environmental defenders. With their greed to further
profit themselves at the expense of the environment, they destroy and
kill more people.” she said.
Apart from being
involved in corruption issues in the province such as the misuse of
Malampaya funds, and his connection with former president Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo, Reyes is also known to promote mining in the
province, which Ortega and the people of Palawan have strongly
“If the Aquino
government can hasten the impeachment of a crony of former president
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the Supreme Court, it should by all means
do the same in prosecuting all her other minions,” Guevarra concluded.