bill banning sex change angers transgenders
MANILA – LGBT
advocates are seething with rage after discovering that a bill filed
in Senate was going to block the efforts of transgendered Filipinos to
achieve the right to legally change their genders according to their
true identity and expression.
Escudero and Antonio Trillanes IV filed Senate Bill 3133 (download a
copy at http://www.senate.gov.ph/lisdata/1272410734!.pdf) that amends
RA 9048 or the law that regulates the change of clerical errors in
civil registry papers. The benefits of the bill, according to its
proponents, include making it easier to correct errors in spelling,
dates of birth and gender without having to go through expensive court
However, lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists are worried and angry that
certain provisions could be tantamount to making it even more
difficult for transgendered persons to legally change their genders.
They are also incensed that Escudero, who was publicly campaigning for
LGBT equality in his electoral campaigns, drafted the bill.
Section 3 of the SB
3133 states: "Nor shall any entry involving change of gender corrected
except if the petition is accompanied by a certification issued by an
accredited government physician attesting to the fact that the
petitioner has not undergone sex change or sex transplant."
"This is a truly
disgusting slap on us transgenders by the government and especially
Senator Escudero who we mistook for being a champion of the
marginalized sectors like the LGBT!" said Goya Candelario,
spokesperson of the militant gay movement Progressive Organization of
Gays (ProGay Philippines).
According to ProGay,
the bill now grants the medical establishment and the civil registry
bureacracy almost absolute powers to determine if transgenders
applying for a gender change can ever get to practice their rights to
their own gender. The court system, including the Supreme Court, have
made harsh rulings in the last ten years dismissing legal applications
by transgenders to change their birth certificates, passports and all
ProGay said that it
was doubly ironic that the bill was filed with the Committee on
Justice and Human Rights, because according to the group, the measure
violates human rights on several levels.
medics perform unethical medical procedures on LGBT. So now people,
whether transexual or not, can be exposed to even more invasive and
costly medical exams that are not scientific anyway. Testing will
impose more financial burdens and open the door to more opportunities
for corruption and unethical practices. And soon all government
agencies will want to have gender testing for their services and
documents. The horrors will never stop," Candelario added.
The group said gender
testing counters the recommendations it submitted to the United
Nations Human Rights Council in
Geneva for the second Universal Periodic Review of the Philippine
republic's human rights violations in May this year. Another LGBT
human rights group, the Rainbow Rights Project, has recommended in
another human rights report to the Council that the government remove
all legal impediments to providing transgenders fast, legal and
effective means to change their genders in identity documents.
ProGay said that the
bill goes against international human rights instruments, such as the
Yogyakarta Principle No. 19 that protects the rights of transexuals to
full expression of identity or personhood. It wants the provision
changed to make it easier for transgenders to apply for gender
ProGay demanded the
Senate to scrap SB 3133 and instead immediately pass the
Antidiscrimination Bill protecting sexual orientation and gender
identity in time for the International Women's Day on March 8.
Advocates have been pushing for a counterpart bill in the House of
Representatives, House Bill 1483 penned by Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy
Casino since 2010 but the impeachment proceedings and opposition by
the Roman Catholic bishops has slowed down the progress of the bill.
"We are advising
Senator Chiz to be true to his grandstanding that he is for LGBT
rights by junking anti-transgender provisions and instead champion the
Antidiscrimination Bill, or he loses our support," Candelario said.
Pambujan village chief
killed by CTs
By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
CAMP RUPERTO KANGLEON,
Palo, Leyte – PNP PRO8 supports the government’s ruling for an
“all-out war” against the CTs (Communist Terrorists) and all other
lawless elements responsible for their criminal acts and to serve
justice to their victims.
In this connection, on
February 5, 2012 at about
10:15AM, a certain Rowena Sosing appeared at Pambujan Police Station
averring that her father Norberto Sosing, Punong Barangay of Busak,
Northern Samar was shot to death by unidentified perpetrators while on
his way to attend the Barangay Council Meeting in his barangay.
Upon receipt of the
information, PO3 Leo Mejos, Duty Investigator together with other
Pambujan PNP Personnel have proceeded to the area on board two (2)
motorcycles to verify and investigate the veracity of the report.
Subsequently, they coordinated and asked for augmentation. Then, a
team of 8RPSB Personnel led by PI Felix Beril, Jr. on board the
PNP patrol vehicle followed immediately to Barangay Busak.
Soon, the group of PO3
Mejos arrived ahead and conducted investigation of the incident.
Minutes later, Pambujan Mayor Rogelio Tan and Vice-Mayor Tirso Tan III
with some civilian escorts also arrived at the area for verification.
Reportedly, on same
date at 11:20AM, while the augmentation team was approximately 600
meters from the barangay proper, an Improvised Explosive Device (IED)
exploded from behind the PNP patrol vehicle that prompted the
augmentation team to immediately alight from the vehicle to take
defensive positions. Then, another IED exploded followed by sporadic
gunfire from undetermined number of CTs believed to be responsible in
the killing of Sosing.
The firefight lasted
for about 15 minutes. Upon sensing the arrival of reinforcing troops,
the CTs then withdrew to the forested area of Barangay Busak heading
towards Barangay Canjumandal. RPSB8 Team then secured the ambush area
while waiting for the reinforcement troop.
No casualty was
reported from the PNP side but undetermined on the enemy side.
At about 2:30PM, same
date, reinforcing troops from the 63rd IB arrived and thereafter,
composite troops of the AFP and PNP pursued the CTs in their route of
Eventually, the dead
body of Punong Barangay Norberto Sosing was recovered from the scene
and was brought to Pambujan Municipal health Office for the conduct of
Post Mortem Examination.
Both the PNP and AFP
are coordinating closely and are committed to apply the full force of
the law against the CTs and lawless elements so that justice will be
The public is also
assured that the PNP will aggressively pursue its mandate of enforcing
the law, preserving peace and order and protecting lives and
properties. The public is further encouraged to help their police by
way of giving vital information essential in the solution of crimes.
Leyte guv lauds Leyte
athletes for EVRAA 2012 win
Media Relations Center
February 6, 2012
TACLOBAN CITY – Leyte
Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla lauds the latest feat earned by
athlete-scholars of the Leyte Sports Academy at the concluded Eastern
Visayas Regional Athletics Association Meet 2012 held in Maasin City
in Southern Leyte.
The Leyte delegation
hauled most of the gold medals in the 17 sporting events while LSA
athletes lorded over in swimming, athletics, boxing and badminton.
According to Dr.
Lucrecio Calo, the sports consultant of the Leyte Sports Academy, the
LSA-bred athletes in track and field earned a total of 34 medals out
of the 49 medals up for grabs in this sport.
swimming, out of 64 participation in various swimming heats, the LSA
tanks garnered a total of 47 medals out of the 56 medals in
In boxing, LSA
athletes hauled in four medals while in badminton, six medals were
Gov. Petilla said the
EVRAA has been a good venue for the LSA athletes to test the skills
and discipline they have learned at the academy.
“I would like them to
regularly compete so their skills can be tested. And we are quite
happy with the result,” Gov. Petilla said.
He added that the goal
now is for them to have a good exposure and performance at the
Palarong Pambansa to open more doors of opportunities for them.
With the medals
earned, the LSA athletes will again receive additional incentives from
the provincial government at the end of the year.
Out of 10 competing
teams, Leyte garnered a total of 730.5 points – 369 points from the
elementary level, 361.5 points from the secondary level – to grab the
glory of being awarded the EVRAA 2012 champion in the closing
ceremonies at the Southern Leyte Sports Complex recently.
More than 6,000
players, officials, and school personnel from the Department of
Education (DepEd) family participated in the week-long EVRAA games
games from January 29 - February 3, consisting of seven provinces and
three cities around Region 8 clashing it out in a friendly sports
2 nabbed for illegal
By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
CAMP RUPERTO KANGLEON,
Palo, Leyte – PNP PRO8 in its incessant anti-illegal drugs campaign
arrested two individuals for violation of the Republic Act 9165,
otherwise known as “Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002”.
At about 10:50AM on
February 3, 2012 at Poblacion Zone II, Capoocan,
Leyte, two informants identified as Amalia Bico Mahawan and Robel
Cabanada Icil, cashier and private security guard respectively of Best
Value Mart Grocery in Hagonoy, Bulacan, personally appeared and
reported to Capoocan Police Station.
Report disclosed that
a certain Jimboy Bansuli Mansalay, a robbery incident suspect that
transpired on January 31, 2012 at said grocery. Mansalay is reported
to be hiding at the house of a certain Julio Masuela Cabias in
Poblacion Zone II, Capoocan, Leyte.
A joint team from
Intelligence Section of Leyte Police Provincial Office led by PCI
Jesus N Son and operatives of Capoocan Police conducted immediately a
follow-up operation and consequently arrested said Jimboy Mansalay, 23
years old, a laborer from Barangay Maraska, Oriental, Mindoro.
After a thorough
investigation, the team recovered in direct possession from the
suspect, four (4) teabags of suspected dried marijuana leaves
contained in a cellophane. Afterwhich, the suspect voluntarily
turned-over cash amounting to P295,380.
Mansalay together with
confiscated items were brought to Capoocan Police for documentation
and proper disposition. A case for violation of Section 11, Article 2
of RA 9165 is now filed in court.
Again, on same date at
the vicinity of Barangay Tangnan, Carigara,
Leyte, joint elements of LPPO and Carigara Police conducted an
operation based on a report of an illegal drugs transaction.
Thereafter, the team
arrested Bella Cabalijo Toriano, 28 years old, jobless and a resident
of Barangay 6, San Vicente,
They were able to confiscate from her possession and control, a medium
size heat sealed plastic cellophane containing suspected shabu.
During the arrest,
suspect was apprised of her rights in a language known to her and
subsequently was brought to Carigara Police Station together with the
confiscated item for documentation. A case for violation of RA 9165
has been filed in court against Toriano.
Director, PCSupt Arnold Rayala Revilla remains firm on his stand
against illegal drugs directing all law enforcers to keep watch of
drug violators in order to eradicate and maintain a drug-free
Don't believe in hoax messages
All official warnings
from Phivolcs are coursed through DRRMCs, Dir. Solidom says
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – The
Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has not issued any
warning about volcanic eruption and tsunami occurrence in
Eastern Samar, Phivolcs Director Renato Solidom, Jr. said.
Director Solidom, in a
text message in answer to the query of the Philippine Information
Agency, said that all official warnings from Phivolcs are coursed
through the DRRMCs.
“Not true at all.
There is no truth that a Phivolcs personnel issued such warning by
Phivolcs as all official warnings are coursed through DRRMCs,” Dr.
The Phivolcs chief
said that the series of earthquakes beginning the third week of
January 2012, the latest significant tremor with magnitude of 5.9
kilometers which occurred at 9:09 in the evening of February 4, 2012
with epicenters offshore of Eastern Samar and felt in Samar and Leyte
islands, are the result of movement of the Philippine Sea Plate diving
down under Eastern Philippine Trench.
“These are not caused
by volcanic activity,” Dr. Solidom added, saying that there are no
underwater volcanoes east of the
and it is not possible to have volcanoes there.
sprang from a hoax text message which circulated in
Eastern Visayas after an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 rocked
at 9:09 in the evening of February 4. The hoax message headlined
“NOTICE” stated that at 5:00 o’clock in the morning of February 5, the
underwater volcano in Matarinao, Salcedo, East Samar will explode with
a magnitude intensity of higher than 12 kilometers. It also warned
people to evacuate “as early as now” to open space and higher grounds.
Dr. Solidom said that
aftershocks may still happen, although the exact timing cannot be
predicted. Most aftershocks are not significant in sizes but stronger
ones cannot be discounted, the Phivolcs chief added.
Dr. Solidom called on
the public not panic and not to believe in text rumors, more so,
However, Dr. Solidom
said that the public should always be reminded that strong earthquakes
have happened in the area in the past.
Therefore, it is
always important that earthquake and tsunami preparedness be conducted
by the local governments and the public, Dr. Solidom concluded.
field, power subsidiary in Leyte get DENR PEPP Seal of Approval
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
ORMOC CITY, Leyte –
In recognition of their green initiatives, the Leyte project site and
power subsidiary of geothermal leader Energy Development Corporation (EDC)
were each recently given the Philippine Environment Partnership
Program (PEPP) Seal of Approval by the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources (DENR).
The Leyte Geothermal
Production Field (LGPF) and Green Core Geothermal, Inc. (GCGI) were
recognized for the implementation of various programs on pollution
prevention and control, and environmental protection and management.
In particular, DENR
recognized the green initiatives of LGPF and GCGI such as toxicity
reduction of cooling tower sludge, use of vertical discharge
diffusers, BINHI reforestation program, and enhancement of monitoring
and environmental management systems.
The DENR observed that
EDC management made significant improvements to the sludge recovery
procedures of the Unified Leyte power plants after it took over
operations from CalEnergy in 2007. The concentration of impurities in
the sludge have been so greatly reduced that the facility now meets or
falls below the limits set by the DENR.
The vertical discharge
diffuser is pollution control equipment designed and piloted in LGPF
in 2008. By trapping the steam released from geothermal wells for
condensation and re-injection, this innovation has reduced and, in
some cases, eliminated the release of fluids to the atmosphere,
defoliation, community disturbance and environmental damage.
BINHI is the enhanced
reforestation program started by EDC Chairman Emeritus Oscar M. Lopez
in December 2008 as a commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative. The
program calls for the reforestation of 10,000 hectares of land in 10
years. BINHI covers four modules – Tree for Food, Tree for Life, Tree
for the Future and Tree for Leisure. Tree for Life aims to reforest
gaps in major forest ecosystems to promote the country’s unique
biodiversity. Tree for Food promotes the conversion of denuded lands
into agro-forests or plantations for soil protection and to serve as
livelihood options for forest dwellers and communities near EDC’s
geothermal project sites. Tree for the Future establishes tree parks
for indigenous and rare premium species throughout the Philippines to
preserve the gene pool of important tree species. Tree for Leisure
will preserve the natural beauty and ambience of forests by
designating them as ecotourism sites.
The PEPP is the joint
effort of government, industry and civil society to promote improved
environmental management and performance of businesses. This
cooperation involves the provision of Program of Support to industry
by PEPP partner agencies and institutions to encourage the proper and
sustained implementation of environmental management systems and
EDC and GCGI were
awarded under the “Track 1” category for proven or demonstrated
superior environmental performance which requires sustained
implementation of environmental management systems for at least three
The award of a Seal of
Approval under this category entitles EDC and GCGI to regulatory assistance, financial and fiscal
DOT commissions EDSA
architect to build First Mass Shrine
By BONG PEDALINO, PIA Southern
February 3, 2012
Southern Leyte – A well-known architect who created the famous
People Power monument at Epifanio De Los Santos Avenue (EDSA) in
Manila has been commissioned by the Department of Tourism (DOT) to
build a sculpture depicting the First Mass in this
This was learned from
Limasawa Mayor Melchor Petracorta in a recent interview with the
Philippine Information Agency (PIA).
Petracorta, renowned Architech Nene Miranda was tasked by the tourism
department to make the First Mass image with a height of 32 feet at
the public plaza in barangay Magallanes near the public stage.
The perspective of the
upcoming artwork was already finished in the last quarter last year,
Petracorta said, adding that this was due for implementation this
year, hopefully in time for the annual observance of the First Mass
celebration on March 31.
The DOT set aside a
budget of P7 million for this undertaking, the Mayor also said.
Based on historical
accounts, the group of Ferdinand Magellan, a Portugeese navigator
under the services of Spain, sighted the island while they were on
their long, uncharted voyage to look for spices in the East.
It was a Holy Thursday
when they landed in Limasawa island, and on the succeeding Sunday, an
Easter Sunday, March 31, 1521, they celebrated the Holy Eucharist in
the shore of what is now barangay Magallanes, and afterwards planted a
Cross on top of the highest hill.
Last year, during
the 490th First Mass celebration, Bishop Precioso Cantillas of the
Diocese of Maasin launched the “Decade of Evangelization” that will
culminate on March 31, 2021, the 500th year anniversary of the
MOA between NFA and
Leyte provincial government ensures increase in palay procurement
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
PAWING, PALO, Leyte
– The signing recently, of a memorandum of agreement between the
National Food Authority and the provincial government of Leyte, will
ensure an increase in palay procurement accomplishment this year.
Signed by NFA 8
Regional Manager Alan Borja and Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho L.
Petilla, said MOA allows the NFA to procure the palay deliveries
collected by LGU-Leyte from farmers who have availed of the Increased
Crop Output thru Rural Infrastructure and Community Empowerment,
otherwise known as the ICOT-RICE project.
NFA 8 Regional Manager
Alan B. Borja said that the increase in palay procurement will ensure
the availability of cheaper NFA rice for the disadvantage sector of
society. With more buffer rice stock in the country, there will be
lesser need to import rice.
This also assures the
replication of the 124% palay procurement accomplishment of the NFA
Regional Office. For 2012, the Agency expects to surpass last year’s
procurement accomplishment of 23,573 bags translated to P19,591,065
This mode of
procurement is a novel idea because nowhere in the country, with the
exception of Leyte, has the Agency been allowed to procure palay from
any LGU, according to Director Borja.
He informed that last
year, the Provincial Government sought the assistance of NFA for the
procurement of the palay proceeds from the ICOT-RICE Project which
provides soft loans to poor farmers who pay the same in the form of
palay after harvest.
“At the outset, this
would seem to be a mission impossible considering that the Agency is
not allowed to buy palay from any LGU,” Manager Borja said.
“We underwent through
the nitty-gritty process until we finally got the approval of
Administrator Banayo and the perfection of the MOA,” Manager Borja
The Regional Manager
said the signing of the memorandum of agreement between NFA and the
Province of Leyte became a landmark conclusion to an otherwise not
Ms. Agnes Militante,
NFA-8 information manager, said that under NFA’s palay procurement
program, the Agency buys palay at the current government support price
of P17.00 per kilogram, clean and dry or those with fourteen percent
(14%) moisture content and “Purity A” level.
falling below this specification can also be accommodated subject to
buying price adjustments computed in accordance with the current NFA
Equivalent Net Weight (ENW) table for standard palay specifications.
Based on the MOA, in
cases when LGU-Leyte shall avail of NFA’s drying facilities for its
collected palay stocks from its farmers-beneficiaries, the latter
shall charge the corresponding drying fees of twenty centavos (P0.20)
per kilogram, if stocks are sold to NFA.
On the other hand, if
the palay after drying fails the NFA standard specifications and
cannot be procured, LGU-Leyte shall be charged with the drying fees
based on commercial rates.
The MOA further
provides that the LGU can also avail of the twenty centavos (P0.20)
delivery incentive if palay stocks are delivered to the NFA warehouse.