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FOI death by inaction looms in Congress

NCPW kick-off ceremony draws multi-sectoral support

Alangalang acquires P13-M fire truck from Korea

Cash assistance released to 15 former rebels

25M peso project to finally bring potable water to Villareal, Samar

MCA-P CEO: Payment of affected properties reaches P5M

SSS members told to register online, monitor accounts

NSCB releases 2009 city/municipal poverty estimates for Eastern Visayas

Culture meets contemporary in City's kick-off program

Karapatan signs petition for disqualification of Abang Lingkod partylist




Army troops conduct bloodletting activity

20th infantry battalion bloodletting

By 20th Infantry Battalion, 8ID PA
September 8, 2012

BRGY. MAGSAYSAY, Lope de Vega, Northern Samar – The troops of the 20th Infantry (We Lead) Battalion, Philippine Army conducted bloodletting activities as part of their celebration of the 62nd founding anniversary of the said unit last September 6, 2012.

A total of seventeen (17) bags which is equivalent to more or less 8,500 cc were extracted from the troops which they donated to the blood bank of Northern Samar Provincial Health Office headed by Dr. Gleen Anthony Luzano, MD. The said activity was also participated by personnel from Lope de Vega Municipal Health Office headed by Dr Jocelyn Galvez, MD.

The conduct of bloodletting activities is a customary practice of the 20th Infantry Battalion as one of the highlights of their founding anniversary celebration every year.

According to LTC Noel Vestuir, 20IB’s commanding officer, “this year’s celebration of the 62nd founding anniversary of the battalion is not only a commemoration of the colorful history and heroic achievements of the gallant men of the unit, but also an occasion where each and every soldier renewed their commitment of service to the people”.

Among the activities were pinning of ranks to newly promoted personnel, field mass and mass wedding being officiated by the 8ID command chaplain, awarding of medals to deserving personnel who did a good job in accomplishing their tasks and squad challenge participated in by personnel from organic line companies of the battalion.

The 20IB also awarded certificates of appreciation in recognition of the support of civilian partners, other stakeholders from other local government agencies, the PNP and local chief executives for their continued support to the peace and development efforts of the battalion.





Core shelter homes in Matag-ob, Leyte
Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman and Leyte Gov. Carlos Jericho Petilla led the unveiling of the new marker for the newly-turned Core Shelter Project by the DSWD-8 in Matag-ob, Leyte. Thirty families were recipients of their new homes, whose former houses were destroyed during the 2008 Typhoon Frank. (PMRC)

DSWD, Leyte province turn over 30 core shelter homes in Matag-ob

By Provincial Media Relations Center
September 8, 2012

TACLOBAN CITY  –  Thirty families now have new roofs over their heads as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Office 8 and the provincial government of Leyte formally turned over permanent core shelters to victims of the 2008 Typhoon Frank in Brgy. San Sebastian, Matag-ob, Leyte.

The core shelters was formally given to the beneficiaries during a turn-over ceremony attended by DSWD Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman and Leyte Gov. Carlos Jericho Petilla together with other DSWD and local district and municipal officials.

The core shelter project, which has a total amount of more than P2.8 million for all the 30 families, was sourced from the combined funds of the DSWD of P70,000 per beneficiary, P10,000 each from the provincial government of Leyte and P15,000 each from the local government unit of Matag-ob.

The Core Shelter Project in this mountain barangay stands on a 6,317 square meter lot in Brgy. San Sebastian donated by the family of Mrs. Romilia Omega-Cotejar, whose kind donation was likewise recognized by the DSWD-8 during the turn-over rites.

The DSWD-8 also provided cash for work in the amount of P2,400 for each of the beneficiary; while, it was learned that 13 families out of the 30 core shelter beneficiaries, are enrolled under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

The Core Shelter Assistance Project (CSAP) is a rehabilitation program of the DSWD that aims to provide structurally strong shelter units to families whose houses were totally destroyed by natural and man-made calamities, and how have no capacity to rebuild or construct their own units.

The beneficiaries of CSAP are organized into the Neighborhood Association for Shelter Assistance (NASA), an association composed of the beneficiaries which promotes collective action in realizing goals of the project and to develop and uphold the values of self-reliance among the beneficiaries and the community.

The association also addresses the vulnerabilities of the community while empowering beneficiaries to make the core shelter livable and more sustainable.





PH economy at high risk from natural disasters

Climate group calls for genuine sustainable development platform

By The Climate Reality Project
September 8, 2012

MANILA  –  The emerging growing economy of the Philippines is at highest risk in falling out due to natural hazards according to the 2nd Natural Hazards Risk Atlas released by Maplecroft, a global risk research institution.

"Bangladesh, the Philippines, Myanmar, India and Viet Nam are among the ten countries with the greatest proportion of their economic output exposed to natural hazards. In addition, they also demonstrate poor capability to recover from a significant event exposing investments in those countries to risk of supply chain and market disruptions," Maplecroft statement said.

“High exposure to natural hazards in these countries are compounded by a lack of resilience to combat the effects of a disaster should one emerge,” explains Maplecroft’s Head of Maps and Indices Helen Hodge. “Given the exposure of key financial and manufacturing centres, the occurrence of a major event would be very likely to have significant impacts on the total economic output of these countries, as well as foreign business.”

Maplecroft said that the "Philippines’ resilience to natural hazards has been tested over recent days, with severe floods affecting the northern island of Luzon, including the capital Manila. At the time of writing nearly 2.7 million people have been affected by the floods which have killed at least 66 people. Large sections of the Philippine economy are exposed to typhoons, volcanic activity, landslides, floods and storm surges; a fact reflected by the 274 recorded disasters over the last 20 years."

An official statement from Malacanang Palace stated that "the Philippine economy grew by 5.9% in the second quarter of 2012, outpacing most of the economies in Asia. The gross domestic product growth for the second quarter was way above the Asean preliminary average growth rate of 4.7% and higher than the industry forecast of 5.4%."

"The growing economy of the Philippines seems to be good news for everyone, however, if the whole country is exposed to natural hazards with development platforms which induce vulnerabilities of communities instead of promoting resiliency, definitely the economy which is meant to be pro-people will fall down," said Rodne Galicha, Philippine District Manager of The Climate Reality Project (TCRP), a global movement based in Wasington, DC, with 5 million members and supporters worldwide.

"We see more coal-fired power plants planned to be opened; mountains, seas and agricultural lands being exploited for mining; land conversions giving way to large subdivisions and mono-culture plantations - all these, resulting to the depletion of natural resources and biodiversity, are hypocrisies yet to be addressed under the shadows of fake sustainability," said Galicha.

TCRP Filipino Climate Leaders, joining climate alliance Aksyon Klima, are calling for a genuine development platform to promote disaster resilient communities in the country by adhering to the basic principles of sustainable development which the United Nations' Brundtland Commission defines as meeting 'the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs'.

"The Philippines has been respected worldwide for pioneering sustainable development in its policies such as the Philippine Strategy for Sustainable Development and Philippine Agenda 21 but we have seen a gradual deviation of economic plans from the very essence of the agenda despite new laws like the Climate Change Act, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act and the People's Survival Fund," said Miguel Magalang, climate leader, Executive Director of Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns (MACEC), and private sector representative to the Regional Development Council of MIMAROPA.

Magalang assessed that the deviation from the principles of Philippine Agenda 21 is the result of a lack of understanding of the real objectives of sustainability especially in the time of climate crisis.

"The path to development should not be governed by an economy which aggravates exposures and vulnerabilities to climate hazards and disasters - we should learn our lessons from the realities we have been experiencing - high level of precipitation, unpredictable intensities of storms, floods, landslides. Does our economic platform address all these?," said Magalang.

The Climate Leaders also recommends that “disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation initiatives should not be standalone ones but should form integral part of an integrated and sustainable development framework. There is also a need to come up with a convergent institutional framework in the local governments that would push for the whole sustainable development platform. Local development councils from barangays to the regional level should be reoriented and reorganized as local sustainable development councils where all other councils, bodies and committees in the local governments are clustered under one umbrella. This will result in dovetailing of plans and savings in time resources because local chief executives will need only to preside in one meeting.”

"Together with Aksyon Klima, the Climate Leaders will continue to engage with the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to further our quest for a genuine platform which will address the needs of the present Philippines without compromising the survival of the next generations in the spirit of environmental sustainability and climate justice," Galicha concluded.





PRO8 honors model PNP families

Police model family

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
September 7, 2012

CAMP SEC. RUPERTO K. KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte  –  The Police Regional Office 8, embarking on a noble program to strengthen moral values and emphasizing the importance of solid Filipino family, paid tribute to model police families as the highlight of the culmination of the National Crime Prevention Week celebration.

“The search for PNP model families intends to bringforth transformational leaders within the organization and highlights the police’s capability as a leader and community partner”, PCSupt Elmer Ragadio Soria, PRO8 Regional Director said. This is also made to build public confidence and support to the police force and help induce positive changes in the environment by serving as role models, he added.

This year’s regional winners are PSupt Orlando Senedrin Gardiola, Jr. and family, assigned with Eastern Samar Police Provincial Office for Family Category and SPO2 Solita Miralles Canites and family of Quinapondan Municipal Police Station for Solo Parent Category. They were also adjudged as national finalists and were presented by PCSupt Soria, DILG Regional Director Pedro Noval, Jr and Napolcom Regional Director Nicomedez Jose during the Culmination Program of the 18th National Crime Prevention Week held last Friday morning at the PRO8 Matapat Hall.

First launched on September 1, 2009 during the NCPW Kickoff Ceremony, the Search for PNP Model Families is being undertaken by the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) in collaboration with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine National Police (PNP) and other member agencies/organizations of the National Crime Prevention Week Inter-agency Technical Working Committee.

The winners were selected for being God-fearing, responsible and hardworking parents who are providing for the needs of their families while at the same time serving the force with utmost dedication despite their busy schedule.

The 2012 PNP Model Families were divided into two categories to recognize not only those PNP personnel with complete members of the family but also single police parents who untiringly supported their family living with strong family bond, righteousness and social responsiveness.

“The recognition not only served as a vehicle in gaining support, cooperation, trust and confidence of an empowered citizenry in the police, but also motivates law enforcers to put more emphasis and value on the moral aspect of the PNP Integrated Transformation Program.”, the Regional Director averred.





On the tortuous passage and inaction over the Marcos Victims’ Compensation Bill

Martial Law victims to Noynoy: What’s keeping you from rendering justice?

September 7, 2012

QUEZON CITY  –  Martial Law victims led by the Samahan ng Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) today challenged President Noynoy Aquino to enact the Marcos Victims Compensation Bill into law as the nation commemorates the 40th year of imposition of Martial Law this month.

“It should make for a categorical pronouncement and decisive action to render the long-overdue justice for victims of human rights violations during the Marcos dictatorship,” said Bonfacio Ilagan, vice-chairperson of SELDA and a Martial Law victim himself. Ilagan was arrested, tortured and detained during Martial Law, while his sister, Rizalina, was among those who were forcibly disappeared.

“We demand no less than that, as it has become extremely disappointing that the son of Ninoy, who fought Marcos’ martial law, continues to be remiss in expediting the measure that would at least help victims of the dictatorship gain some justice after all these years,” said Ilagan.

“What’s keeping you, Mr. President? Is it the fear of the Marcoses, whose members are well-positioned again in politics – with Bongbong as Senator, Imelda as Congresswoman and Imee as Governor of Ilocos Norte – that has held you back in pursuing justice for the victims of martial law? Or is it because you have to keep them close to your heart as political allies, to include such a Martial Law relic as Senate Pres. Juan Ponce Enrile?” Ilagan asked.

Ilagan added that “the Marcoses are not only back in power, they continue to count and hold in their possession wealth that was stolen by the former dictator from the Filipinos.”

In May this year, Imelda Marcos ranked as the 2nd richest solon in Congress. In August, P36.55 million in her account at the Philippine Veteran’s Bank dwindled to just more than a million pesos due to still-unexplained withdrawals. Marcos crony Lucio Tan is US$23M richer, after the Singapore court awarded back to the Philippine National Bank this part of the Marcos ill-gotten wealth returned by the Swiss Government to the Philippines in 1997.

“In his first two State of the Nation addresses, Aquino declared the indemnification bill a priority. But in his last SONA, he was completely silent about it. Meanwhile, the Senate, led by Enrile, has not even taken it up in its plenary sessions. SELDA is enraged that a long-overdue bill should further be delayed, while the money that Marcos stole from the Filipino people remains in the possession of his heirs, or else stolen once more by corrupt government officials in whose custody it was entrusted,” Ilagan decried.

SELDA is set to conduct activities this September to push for the passage of the bill and demand justice for all victims of human rights violations from Martial Law up to the current Aquino administration.





Former rebels receives livelihood assistance in Northern Samar

September 7, 2012

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan, Samar  –  Nineteen former NPA members operating in the Municipalities of San Roque, Catubig, Catarman, Bobon and Pambujan all of Northern Samar who surrendered through the efforts of Colonel Rolando C. Malinao, Commander of the 803rd Infantry Brigade availed the Local Social Integration Program (LSIP) during the conduct of the Basic Business Management Skills Workshop along with Livelihood and Distribution of Livelihood Assistance on September 5-6 2012 at PSWD Office in Catarman, Northern Samar.

The activity was sponsored by Hon. Paul Daza, Governor of Northern Samar province in coordination with 803rd Infantry Brigade, 8ID, PA and Provincial Social Welfare Development Office and other agencies of the government.

Different livelihood projects such as Carinderia, Buy and Sell Rice, Abaca and Copra Trading, Rice Retailing, Hog and Swine Raising that amounted to P440,100 were distributed to said former rebels to start life anew. Also in attendance during the momentous event were Ms. Carmen H. Mejica, RSW, MPA, PSWDO-PGDH, Ms. Ethel D.Tan DSWD Development Officer, Police Superintendent Isaias B. Tonog, DSC, Mr Allan G Valeriano, Engr Romeo M Cardenas, PPDO and other stakeholders of the region.

In his message, MGen Gerardo T Layug, Commander of the 8th Infantry Division states that the 8ID will continue its effort in assisting former rebels to go back to the folds of the law and avails the government’s local social integration program.

“I further encourage those NPA members to voluntarily submit themselves to the government and help us in achieving true peace in the region” added Layug.

The Local Government of Northern Samar passed an Ordinance 05 series of 2011, granting monetary rewards to facilitators of voluntary surrender of any NPA member last May 2011.





Full Disclosure reaps more compliant LGUs in Samar, says DILG official

By PIA Samar / NBQ
September 6, 2012

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  The Full Disclosure Policy (FDP) Program of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is reaping a host of local government executives who are more careful and judicious in spending government money.

full disclosure boardThis is more or less the analysis of DILG Samar provincial director Marilyn Saboy in an informal conversation with PIA before the start of the Samar Provincial peace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting yesterday.

“This is a learning opportunity for LGUs, and when they do become compliant, the challenge to sustain is there,” she added.

The lady official is all praises for the LGUs of Marabut and Calbiga as the prime leaders who started compliance.

“Some 12 LGUs are closely following the Full Disclosure Policy trail,” she beamed.

Secretary Robredo was focused on drumming up public support for the FDP, an instrument he hoped would advance transparency and accountability in local governance, the DILG chief said.

According to DILG, the FDP requires LGUs to disclose in public places 12 key financial documents that show how funds are spent.

The FDP is a requirement in the conferment of the Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH), which is awarded to LGUs every year. As of June 2012, 856 LGUs who have qualified for the SGH have been granted P1.1 billion from the Performance Challenge Fund-money that based on guidelines are spent for the poorest of the poor.

SGH awardees are eligible to receive an incentive fund ranging from P1M to P7M for their local development projects.

“Robredo wanted to incentivize not to penalize,” said Saboy.

Secretary Robredo then said that, “Only those LGUs with the Seal and who walk the ‘Daang Matuwid’ will be able to borrow money from banks to finance their local projects.”

In Eastern Visayas, DILG reported that at least 118 LGUs may receive the SGH way up from the 35 LGUs granted the same award last year.

“And the number is increasing in Samar,” noted Saboy.





RD Soria cites role of barangays in anti-crime gains

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
September 6, 2012

CAMP SEC. RUPERTO K. KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte  –  The active support and participation of barangay leaders have greatly contributed in the campaign against all forms of criminality in Eastern Visayas.

“The maintenance of peace and order is not only the PNP’s concern but needs concerted effort from all stakeholders, especially at the barangay level.  We, at PRO8 expressed our gratitude for the support given to our policemen in the field”, PCSupt Elmer Ragadio Soria, PRO8 Regional Director said before barangay leaders and anti-crime groups during the “Ugnayan sa Barangay” jointly organized by Tacloban City Police Office and Tacloban City Peace and Order Council held this morning at the Balyuan Convention Center in Tacloban City.

Soria particularly cited the activation of Barangay Peacekeeping Action Teams (BPATs) and the rationalization of “Pulis Nyo Po Sa Barangay” as major contributory factor in the current manageable level of criminality situation in the region.

The BPATs conducted community-based activities and information campaign in support of the PNP’s anti-criminality effort, disaster management and control program and other public safety concerns.

A total of 4,051 BPATs were organized regionwide with 31,734 members serving as main operators of barangay peacekeeping operations in their respective localities and conducted 2,962 trainings with 1,276 PNP and 26,511 BPAT participants from the start of this year to date, Soria informed.

Meanwhile, the whole region has designated 100% Police Supervisors for the 4,390 barangays under the “Pulis Nyo Po Sa Barangay” program. The police official however stressed, that in some towns, the shortage of PNP personnel has constrained police stations to cluster adjacent barangays in their jurisdiction under one designated Police Supervisor.

The Regional Director also allayed fears that with the onset of “ber” months, crime volume will increase.

“On the contrary, based on our records, there was a downtrend in the reported crime incidents last year during the so-called “ber” months”, he averred. From 899 crime incidents in January 2011, total crime volume decreased significantly to 540 incidents in September 2011, 409 for October, 428 for November and 398 for December which was the month with the lowest crime volume, he added.

“We won’t let our guards down even with the said trend last year. On the contrary, we will continue to intensify our anti-crime efforts with your active support and cooperation”, the top police official ended.





Mary still relevant today

By Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.
September 6, 2012

CEBU CITY  –  One week before the Catholic celebration of the nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a Cebuano priest and a Marian devotee shared their insights and experiences on the life and miracles of Mother Mary.

“Blessed Virgin Mary is the sole instrument of God to redeem man. Through her, Jesus Christ was born by the power of the Holy Spirit,” Msgr. Esteban Binghay said during the September 1 episode of “Pagtuki”, the official radio program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI).

Binghay added that through Saints Joachim and Anne, Mother Mary’s parents, she received her training to be the mother of the Messiah.

“Mary was a young Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee. For all eternity, God chose the daughter of Israel to be the mother of His Son. She was born in order to give birth to the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who will redeem mankind. Before contracting the original sin, Jesus bestowed on her the privilege of the immaculate conception,” he said.

Binghay stressed out that in modern times, it is difficult to have faith in a divine and supernatural way. He said that people, especially the youth, should emulate Mother Mary’s faith in God.

“Mary is the model of faith, hope, and charity. She questioned God why she was chosen to be the mother of His Son. Mary’s faith was the unique witness of Christ’s reincarnation,” he said, pointing out that people should have purpose in what they do.

He added that Mother Mary's birth reminds the Christian community to celebrate through attending Mass, going to confession, and doing good deeds, such as helping those in need.

“Mother Mary is not just the mother of Jesus Christ but the mother of all people. Her feast is the beginning of the incarnation, passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Her birth is the beginning of the birth of His Son who was born to be crucified in the cross,” he disclosed.

Roel Sabelano, a devotee, shared that through the miracle of Mother Mary to his family last May of last year, her wife conceived a child.

“We consulted different doctors and did what we can do for us to have a baby. We almost give up. But my aunt advised to us to visit and pray to the Our Lady of Simala. We did not ask for a baby. Instead, we prayed that whatever happens, she will help us along the way,” he recalled.

Sabelano said that a month after their visit, his wife miraculously conceived and that was the start of their devotion to Mother Mary.

“Blessed Virgin Mary became the center of our relationship. We became a God-oriented couple. To those who have lost their faith on Mother Mary, you should pray every day for she listens to your prayers,” he said.

The Christian community will celebrate the nativity of Mother Mary this September 8.

Pagtuki” is aired over dyLA every Saturday at 10 a.m.-11 a.m. The program, which is one of the Knowledge Sharing & Advocacy capabilities of RAFI, tackles timely and relevant issues affecting the Cebuano community.

For more information about RAFI’s radio program please contact Fatrick Tabada at 418-7234 loc. 542, or visit or



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