Leyte IDOL Season 7
Final 8 named
Media Relations Center
March 20, 2012
TACLOBAN CITY –
After gruelling months of semifinal round, Leyte IDOL Season 7
announces its Top 8 Grand Finalists who would vie as this year’s best
Rendering some ballad
songs for their performance at the Provincial Gymnasium – Leyte IDOL’s
official home and studio, the following made it to the Final 8:
Richard Rey Bajar of Tacloban City who sang “The Warrior is a Child”;
Chelka Mae Seboquero of Ormoc City with “ Dito Ba”; Jessa Vilbar of
Hilongos, Leyte sang “Kailangan Ko’y Ikaw”; Carl Mae Enfermo of
Tanauan, Leyte who performed “Ngayon at Kailan Man”; Vanesa Grace
Tempo of Tacloban City with “Wala na Bang Pag-Ibig”; Justine Charles
Batican of Albuera, Leyte who sang “Ikaw”; Shintara Rose Crisostomo of
Sogod, Southern Leyte with “Sa Puso Ko”; and, Jeslee Ann Pacio of
Tacloban City who sang “Bakit Labis Kitang Mahal”.
This year’s Leyte IDOL
is an odd mix of singing talents from all over the region as Leyte
IDOL Season 7 opened its search to other provinces and held grand
Leyte Governor Carlos
Jericho Petilla earlier said that he also would like to discover other
talents from other parts of Eastern Visayas and give them with the
opportunities that Leyte IDOL provides for its talented pool of
singers and performers.
government of Leyte through Gov. Petilla vowed to continue to discover
singing talents and help them develop and explore their potentials for
personal development and later for professional practice.
The finalists will be
performing special shows every Sunday at the Provincial Gymnasium
until the Grand Finals Night set in May this year.
They would vie for the
grand prize worth P200,000. Of this amount, cash prize is worth
P150,000 and another P50,000 worth of other prizes and the chance to
be Leyte ’s singing sensation.
Second prize winner
will be awarded P100,000 worth of prizes, third prize winner to get
P50,000 worth of prizes while the non-winning finals contenders would
still be awarded a consolation prize.
18 year old college
student caught with shabu in Calbayog
By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
CAMP RUPERTO KANGLEON,
Palo, Leyte – PCSupt Arnold Rayala Revilla, PRO-8 Regional Director
vowed that the PNP’s campaign against illegal drugs in the region will
be pursued relentlessly in line with the PNP’s supply and demand
reduction strategy because illegal drugs is a menace not only to peace
but also to the economy of the country.
Just recently, on
March 16, 2012 at about
2:00 AM, joint elements of Calbayog City Police Station led by
PCInsp Eufronio Loyola Obong Jr and PDEA PRO8 arrested a female
college student for illegal drugs trade.
Subject person was
identified as one Samantha Erica Buensuceso Kenney, 18 years old,
single, college student of Northwest Samar State University, Calbayog
Samantha is a native
of Matuguinao, Samar and was at Lavista Hotel, room number 305 at
Barangay Capoocan, Calbayog City, Samar when she was arrested while on
the act of transacting illegal drugs known as “shabu” at said place.
According to report,
Samantha was with a companion identified as a certain Army Sgt Gilbert
de Luna Mastelero who managed to elude arrest using the comfort room
window as his exit point.
The arresting team was
able to recover physical evidences inside the room: one (1) medium
heat-sealed plastic sachet containing more or less 5 grams of
suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride known as “shabu”’, drugs
paraphernalia, Magnum .22 caliber loaded with ammos and two (2)
magazines of 9MM pistol loaded with ammos.
Samantha was brought
to Calbayog City Police Station for proper documentation and
appropriate charges were filed in court against her.
and appeals to the public to protect our neighborhood. If you notice
drug activity increasing in your neighborhood, school or near your
place of employment, report immediately or seek for assistance to your
nearest police station, he said.
Chiz asks Senate to
probe Mindanao power supply situation
By Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
PASAY CITY – With
widespread power interruption gripping
Mindanao and conflicting reports as to its main cause, Senator Chiz
Escudero has asked the Senate to look into the true power situation in
through Senate Resolution No. 753.
Escudero, a member of
the Joint Congressional Power Commission (JCPC), has asked the Senate
committee on energy to immediately conduct an inquiry into the power
deficit in Mindanao in order to 1) confirm its true situation; 2)
determine the issues to be resolved; and; 3) institute policy reforms,
even if it would mean amending Republic Act 9136 or the EPIRA Law.
Residents have been
experiencing rotating brownouts lasting one to two hours daily. Many
fear of prolonged power outages that may last up to eight hours with
the on-set of the summer season.
Escudero said getting
down to the bottom of the present power problem in Mindanao was “a
matter of significant concern because its impact may impair the
economic soundness and competitiveness of Mindanao as an investment
“Just because this is
not happening in the metropolis does not mean this problem is not
important. One-fourth of our population lives in
Mindanao. Immediate intervention must be given to this persisting
problem given the already volatile peace problem in
Mindanao. The only way
to avert and finally solve the peace problem is by improving the state
of development of the people and their livelihoods. This cannot happen
if future investors and current businesses pull out from
Mindanao because of unstable power supply which is a solvable
The National Grid
Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), which has been blamed for the
daily power outages, said power supply in Mindanao was acutely short
due to “lack of power supply generated by plants.”
Authority (MinDA) chairman Luwalhati Antonino has accused the NGCP of
creating an “artificial shortage” in its bid to have the Angus-Pulangi
Power Plant privatized.
The Department of
Energy (DOE), on the other hand, said the shortage of supply and the
electric cooperatives’ decision not to contract and purchase the
necessary capacities within their respective areas were the primary
causes of the power interruptions.
Escudero said the DOE
can consider opening up the market for competitive players to
construct more power plants in the island, with the government still
maintaining, if not controlling, at least influence over the market.
“There is a dormant
asset lying in the electric cooperatives nationwide who has an asset
base of 130 billion pesos at any given time. The Agus-Pulangi hydro
power plants, which supply half of Mindanao’s power demand, need to be
rehabilitated for at least 3 billion pesos so it can generate
additional capacity,” Escudero said.
“The government can
tap the electric cooperatives to rehabilitate the said plants. In
return, the government can sell them power at a low cost competitive
for the cooperatives to earn and get their return of Investment,” he
Escudero also said the
government, through an executive order, can make an inventory of all
privately-owned generator sets through mandatory registration. The
combined power generated from all the private generator sets has a
capacity to supply an entire city.
“As an example, in
Philippine Export Zone Authorities (PEZA) sites all over the country,
power pooled from all their generation sets can provide 278 megawatts
in capacity. If we can convince them to use it in times of need, it’s
like creating a 278- megawatt plant. Compensation and incentives
should be given to them of course,” the senator suggested.
DAR, UEP to sign MOA
for assessment of Samar Island ARBs’ needs
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
Samar – Top officials of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in
Region-8 and the University of Eastern Philippines (UEP) are set to
sign on March 26, a Memorandum of Agreement for the benefit of the
Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) in the three Samar Provinces.
DAR Region 8 Director
Eliasem Castillo disclosed that in the agreement, DAR will provide the
funding while UEP will conduct the needs and design assessments among
the identified ARB organizations in the provinces of
Samar and Eastern Samar under the Agrarian Reform Community
Connectivity and Economic Support Services (ARCCESS) project.
In the recent meeting
held to finalize the contents of the MOA, UEP President Dr. Mar P. de
Asis said that aside from providing quality education to students in
this province, they are also proud to be a service provider under its
Under ARCCESS, DAR
will assist identified ARB organizations by providing the necessary
machineries as the latter venture into agribusiness, Mr. Jose Alsmith
Soria, DAR Information chief, said.
implement this project, DAR ties up with professional service
providers (PSPs) that could lend their expertise such as State
Universities and Colleges (SUCs), Mr. Soria added.
Regional Director Castillo disclosed that under the MOA, UEP will
assess five (5) ARB organizations in Northern Samar; four (4) in Samar;
and three (3) in Eastern Samar.
He added that all
these ARB organizations are into rice production except for the two
(2) organizations in Samar which will venture in organic vegetable
also disclosed that UEP was the first among the three SUCs in Eastern
Visayas accredited by DAR for this project. The other two SUCs are the
Visayas State University (VSU) in Baybay City, Leyte and the Southern
Leyte State University (SLSU) in Sogod, Southern Leyte.
Baragay Tanods training conducted in Babatngon
Media Relations Center
March 19, 2012
TACLOBAN CITY – Barangay Tanods from all the barangays in Babatngon, Leyte recently
underwent a five-day “Professionalizing the Baragay Tanods” training
to further enhance their cooperation and abilities in the fight
against criminality and for maintaining peace and order in the area.
The training, which
was an initiative of the Liga ng Barangay in Babatngon led by ABC
President Nico Alde, was conducted to orient barangay tanods on their
duties and functions and provide them with adequate information on the
basics of internal security operations since they are the first
responders in their barangays.
Barangays have hired
tanods in consonance with the provisions of Republic Act 7160 or the
Local Government Code wherein the Punong Barangay or barangay captain
is given the power to create groups to maintain peace and order and
respond to calamities and disasters.
ABC President Alde
said that even with the concerted efforts of the ABC Office and the
local government unit of Babatngon to provide more benefits to the
barangay tanods, it must be acknowledged that the spirit of
volunteerism and public service stands.
“Despite their meager
honorarium, our tanods are persistently active in discharging their
roles and responsibilities to ensure the safety of the people in the
barangays,” Alde said.
Meanwhile, Leyte Gov.
Carlos Jericho Petilla lauded the efforts of the Liga ng Barangay for
conducting such a training while saying that barangay tanods play an
important role in maintaining peace and order within the barangay
level which is to augment the performance of functions of the police
The governor pointed
out that as provided in the trainors guidebook of the DILG, the duties
and responsibilities of the barangay tanod among others include
assisting the barangay officials in the prevention of crime, promotion
of public safety, and monitor the presence and activities of
suspicious persons and lawless elements.
In his message during
the pre-graduation rites of the training program, Gov. Petilla
committed to provide one bicycle for each barangay for the tanods’ use
during their nightly patrols. This aside from the uniform vest he
distributed to all the barangay tanods during his visit.
“Attaining a peaceful
community is not only a duty of a Local Government Unit and its local
officials, the PNP and the AFP, but a shared responsibility with the
community,” Gov. Petilla said.
97,703 Leyte farmers
register in the DA National Farmers’ Registry System
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY –
About 97,703 farmers registered with the National Farmers Registry
System which was piloted in the province of Leyte, the Department of
Agriculture recently reported as it announced the completion in the
implementation of the project.
DA Region 8 Regional
Executive Director Antonio Gerundio informed that the number of
registered farmers represent 62 percent of the total 157,465 target
farmers in Leyte.
RED Gerundio added
that of the total number of registered farmers, 58% comprises the male
population and 42% for the female.
It was also observed
that farmers aged 60 and above cover the most number of registered
farmers with 29.6%.
For the type of farm,
about 43% own rain-fed upland farms and about 53.64% has an area below
The commonly used farm
production machineries are plow, sprayer, rice transplanter, harrow,
farm tractor and hand tractor, the latter covers the most number.
For the post
production machineries, about 1,383 farmers own a thresher. Meanwhile,
the most number of small scale irrigation systems are small farm
reservoir and open source pump with 204 and 196, respectively.
Results also showed
that the municipality or city with the highest number of registered
farmers (5,052) is Baybay City and the best performing municipality
based on the validated targets and farmers registered is the
Municipality of Tabango (3,646 registered farmers and 3,708
The proposed National
Farmers’ Registry System (NFRS) program is a voluntary registration
system developed by the Department of Agriculture, wherein any farmer
who actually tills and invests in a farm may enlist by providing
relevant information and supporting documents.
The NFRS aims to
establish a reliable data of farmers and farmlands so that the
delivery of agricultural programs and services by the DA and other
government agencies could be accessed by and/or timely delivered to
the intended farmer clientele.
In addition, NFRS
will be linked to the Unified and Geospatial Information System, a
reliable and comprehensive database for agriculture and fisheries,
which is intended not only to address existing data gaps, but most
importantly, to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of support
services to farmers.
DOH Secretary bares
plans to turn EVRMC into a modern medical center
secretary Enrique Ona (center) answers questions from the media
during a press conference held at Leyte Park Hotel, Tacloban
City, March 15. Also in photo are (l-r) presscon moderator PIA-8
regional director Olive Tiu, PhilHealth regional vice-president
Jerry Ibay, DOH 8 assistant regional director Minerva Molon and
DOH regional director Jaime Bernadas.
(VINO R. CUAYZON)
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY –
There is a plan to transfer the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical
Center into a bigger location and to develop it into a modern,
state-of-the-art medical center.
This was disclosed by
Health Secretary Enrique Ona during the Harampang Ha PIA press
conference held at Leyte Park Hotel in the morning of March 15.
Secretary Ona said
that the plan to transfer the EVRMC to another location is part of the
DOH policy to ensure a better and more efficient health service to the
Considering that EVRMC
is serving the entire region, it has to have better facilities and
bigger space to cater to the growing health need of the people of
Eastern Visayas, Secretary Ona said.
“We have here a
catchment population of about 4 million. In any language, the region
no longer needs an ordinary hospital. You really need facilities and
health services that are also available in
so that the people would no longer go to
Cebu,” Secretary Ona said.
According to him,
considering that the project is a big undertaking, the amount to
bankroll the project would also involve a bigger amount as he
projected it to cost about P3 billion.
Since this is a big
project, Secretary Ona said that he does not expect the relocation to
be completed soon. The project cannot be realized within two years but
within the term of the present administration.
mentioned that DOH is eyeing the unfinished hospital at Barangay
Cabalawan in Tacloban to be the site of EVRMC. In fact, the Secretary
and his party were scheduled to visit the site after the press
however, said that the site is just one of the options. He disclosed
that he has requested Leyte Governor Petilla for a site and the
Governor pledged to look into the matter.
The Secretary said
that his visit to Leyte is part of his routine visits to the various
regional offices as he looks into the progress of the DOH Health
Facilities Enhancement program implementation.
Health chief lauds
Leyte’s program to improve hospitals
Media Relations Center
March 16, 2012
TACLOBAN CITY –
Health Secretary Enrique Ona lauded the hospital facility enhancement
project being implemented by the provincial government of Leyte and
its incentive program for doctors and staff which has helped improved
the facilities and services provided by province-run hospitals
including the Leyte Provincial Hospital (LPH).
In his recent visit,
Sec. Ona inspected new facilities constructed at the LPH and looked
over upgraded infrastructure and equipment provided by the Department
of Health under its Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP).
The Leyte Provincial
Hospital which has been allotted with DOH funding in the amount of
P11,034,000 about P5 million of which are for the repair renovation
and expansion of infrastructure, and the remaining P6,034 for
Leyte Gov. Carlos
Jericho Petilla personally briefed the health chief on how the
province managed to improve its hospital facilities and provided a way
to give incentives for doctors and medical staff of the hospitals,
which convinced them to stay and render their service in a government
hospital than the more lucrative private medical practice here or
The governor also
emphasized of the province’ thrust to widen its coverage for health
insurance under the LGU-sponsored health insurance program of
PhilHealth for indigent residents of the province.
He likewise shared
Leyte’s move to identify hospitals under it for specific
specializations such as the Abuyog District Hospital which is tapped
to be the regional center for the treatment of filariasis.
Gov. Petilla said that
the provincial government through the Provincial Health Office of
Leyte will also continue in 2012 the implementation and management of
the Inter Local Health Zone trust fund operations, with the province’s
40 municipalities and one city, having been divided into 10 Inter
Local Health Zones.
Meanwhile, Sec. Ona
lauded these efforts of the provincial government and called for the
fast tracking of the completion of the facility enhancements as,
“every government facility upgraded will lead to that many more
Filipinos with health needs being served in an appropriate and timely
While in the
province, Secretary Ona also attend the inauguration of Mother Bles
Birthing Center where he pledged to donate one delivery table to the
ES Ochoa leads launch
of battery-powered commuter bus
Secretary N. Paquito Ochoa Jr. leads the launching of
battery-powered commuter bus called eBus at the Kalayaan
Grounds, Malacañang on March 16, 2012. The Climate Change
Commission partnered with Victory Liner to produce the new breed
of commuter bus under the program “Victory Against Climate
Change”. (ROBERT VINAS / Malacañang Photo Bureau)
MANILA – Executive
Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr. turned on the ignition of a new breed
of commuter bus that was designed to run on batteries thus, produces
no greenhouse gas (GHG) and is a boon in the government’s efforts to
stop climate change.
The introduction of
the battery-powered bus, called eBus, was made possible through the
program dubbed ‘Victory Against Climate Change’, a partnership between
the Climate Change Commission and Victory Liner, one of the leading
transportation operators in the country. President Benigno Aquino III
is the Commission’s Chairperson.
Under Republic Act
9729, also known as the Climate Change Act of 2009, the Commission is
mandated to promote and provide technical support to local research
and development programs that will help address climate change.
“We are looking at the
eBus as one of the vehicles that will carry government efforts to
address the causes of climate change. The use of gasoline or diesel
in our vehicles has been identified by science as one of the causes of
climate change as it produces carbon dioxide, one of the major GHG in
our atmosphere,” Ochoa explained.
Sec. Mary Ann Lucille
L. Sering, Commission Vice-Chair, said that the use of battery-powered
vehicles is one of the strategies under the National Climate Change
Action Plan (NCCAP) to help reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.
She also said that the greenhouse gas inventory of the Philippines
revealed that the transportation sector is the highest emitter of
“You need not be an
expert to recognize the problem of pollution in the cities,
particularly in Metro Manila. Just look at our streets and you will
see commuter vehicles belching black smoke. That is not only bad for
our climate but also for our health,” she said.
Sering said that there
is a need to engage the private sector more in the effort to fight
against climate change and expressed hope that other transportation
companies will adopt the new technology.
The bus runs on
400V “Winston” rare-earth Yttrium Lithium-ion battery with a maximum
speed of 90 kph. The bus has 26 seats but can carry a total of 52
workers file complaints on violent demolitions and arbitrary detention
before the UN, ask support of int’l community for Palparan’s arrest
By Philippine UPR WATCH
– The Philippine UPR Watch, an ecumenical delegation of Philippine
human rights organizations and advocates that engages in the Universal
Periodic Review (UPR) process of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC),
capped the delegation’s activities in Geneva, Switzerland by filing
complaints before the offices of UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate
Housing Raquel Rolnik and Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Chair
Malick Sow on the continuous rights violations under Philippine Pres.
Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
In behalf of
Demolition Watch Network, a group of urban poor leaders and advocates
for rights to decent housing and livelihood, the group lamented the
“intensified violent evictions of residents in urban poor communities
in the Philippines and the continuing violations on the right to
adequate housing and other human rights.”
“Under the new
administration of President Aquino, Demolition Watch Network
documented more than 50 incidents of violent eviction of homes in
Metro-Manila alone, from 19 communities and affecting more than 16,000
families. Thousands of families were left homeless and jobless,
millions worth of livelihood and properties were destroyed and many
children stopped schooling and were traumatized,” said Nardy Sabino,
secretary general of the Promotion for Church People’s Response and
convener of Phil. UPR Watch.
Sabino further cited
the recent cases of violent evictions in Brgy. Corazon de Jesus, San
Juan City and communities along the Phil. National Railway Site, where
hundreds of police personnel and demolition teams were deployed to
violently disperse and illegally arrest residents and supporters
asserting their right to tenure in the areas where they live.
“These evictions are
being conducted to pave the way for so-called development projects,
but these only resulted to increase the number of poor Filipinos who
are forced to live on the streets and become homeless. They live in
makeshift tents, as small as animal cages, with no water and
electricity. They endured cold nights, typhoons; heavy rains and
floods in their tents. They have nowhere to go. Worst of all, every
now and then, the government forces have no mercy and forcibly evict
them from their tents instead of giving them decent housing and help
them in restoring their lives,” he added.
Sr. Stella Matutina
OSB of Panalipdan Mindanao meanwhile said along with violent
demolitions and violation on the rights to decent and adequate
housing, there are continuous occurrences of arbitrary arrests and
detention of individuals and activists.
The group filed
complaints on the cases of artist Ericson Acosta and film student
Maricon Montajes before the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention,
among the 347 political prisoners (as of December 31, 2011) who were
arrested and are currently detained under Aquino’s watch.
“Despite its denial of
the existence of political prisoners in the country, the Aquino
administration can never hide the fact that political prisoners
continue to be violated for each day they remain inside jail under his
administration. Criminalization of alleged political offenses, a
widespread practice to hide the political nature of the illegal
arrests and trumped-up cases filed against these individuals and
activists, remains a salient feature of Aquino’s counter-insurgency
policy Oplan Bayanihan,” Matutina said.
The mission likewise
conducted several activities to call for the support of the
international community to press the Aquino government to step up its
efforts for the immediate arrest of Ret. Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr.
“It has been three
months since the warrant of arrest was issued against Palparan and as
he remains scot-free, he continues to insult the victims by remaining
at-large. Palparan, by evading arrest, also mocks and makes a fool of
the P-Noy government,” said Cristina Palabay, spokesperson of
Karapatan. The delegation also distributed and showed Wanted: Palparan
posters during their activities in the 19th session of the UN Human
Sabino, Matutina and
Palabay were joined in the Philippine UPR Watch delegation by Atty.
Edre Olalia of the NUPL and the International Association of
Democratic Lawyers (IADL); and, Maribel Mapanao of the Campaign for
Human Rights in the Philippines (CHRP) - Switzerland.
The group met and
briefed various foreign diplomatic missions and international NGOs
based in Geneva as well as representatives of UN human rights special
procedures and the Filipino migrant community on the state of human
rights in the Philippines. The Philippines will be subjected to the
second cycle of the UPR this May 28 to June 3, 2012.