cited as 19IB turns 39
By 19th Infantry Battalion,
October 23, 2012
KANANGA, Leyte –
Leyte chief executives who attended the 39th Founding Anniversary of
the 19th Infantry Battalion on Friday, October 19, 2012 cited before
other guests the integrated efforts of LGUs and commandos towards
sustaining peace and development in the province.
In an evening social held at
an Army camp based in Kananga, Leyte, chief executives figured out how
19th IB back the LGU’s quest to bring development for their
Mayor Eric Codilla of Ormoc
City recalled how startled he was when abandoned NPA camps were
discovered by the soldiers at the outskirts of his town in 2006.
“They even have tunnels
connected in the vicinity of a certain hospital in Ormoc City which
was believed to be the rebels’ passageway whenever they have
casualties”, the three-termer mayor of Ormoc said.
On the other hand, Mayor
Maria Corazon Remandaban of Tabango, Leyte who is to host a Youth
Leadership Summit before end of this month lauded the commandos for
its continued support especially when 19IB conducts seminar on
Disaster Rescue Operations to her constituents.
Meanwhile, Mayor Elmer
Codilla of Kananga, Leyte named 19IB as a close partner in various LGU
undertakings in his town even up to present. One of the celebrated
accomplishments of 19IB and LGU Kananga was the surrender of former
rebels and supporters during his second term as mayor.
Lt. Col. Joel Alejandro
Nacnac, commanding officer of 19IB was humbled by the feats cited by
the chief executives. He was grateful that the LGUs in the area of
responsibility of 19IB extended the same support given to the
forerunners of the Leyte based Army battalion which remained in Leyte
In his anniversary message,
Lt. Col. Nacnac stressed the significant feats of 19IB since he
assumed command early January of this year. He also highlighted their
week long activities which were conducted in commemoration to the same
Likewise, he was confident
that with the LGU’s strong leadership, remnants of the NPA rebels in
Leyte will surrender and return to the folds of law before end of this
unsafe in India, Greenpeace calls on PH to follow suit
October 22, 2012
QUEZON CITY –
Greenpeace today called on the Philippine government to cancel all
approvals of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) following a
landmark move in India which is expected to put a stop to all GMO
experimental field trials in the sub-continent.
The move – an official
report submitted by the technical Expert committee set up by the
Supreme Court of India comprising of India’s leading experts in
molecular biology, toxicology and biodiversity – unanimously
recommends a 10-year moratorium on all field trials of GM Bt food
crops, due to serious safety concerns. The committee has also
recommended a moratorium on field trials of herbicide tolerant crops
until independent assessment of impact and suitability, and a ban on
field trials of GM crops for which India is center of origin and
The report’s recommendations
are expected put a stop to all field releases of GM food crops in
India, including the controversial Bt eggplant, whose commercial
release was put under an indefinite moratorium there last February
2010. Contrarily, the same Bt eggplant is currently being evaluated
for approval in the Philippines.
“This official unanimous
declaration on the risks of GMOs, by India’s leading biotech
scientists is the latest nail on the coffin for GMOs around the
world,” said Daniel M. Ocampo, Sustainable Agriculture Campaigner of
Greenpeace Southeast Asia. “It is yet another proof that GMOs are bad
for the health, bad for the environment, bad for farmers and bad for
the economy. The Philippines should learn from this expert
recommendation and use it as a guide for more stringent policies
concerning these transgenic crops.”
leading experts in India are recommending an end to GMOs, certain
Filipino scientists who midnight as paid lackeys of agro-chemical
corporations, are attempting to railroad GM field trials in the
country – without the benefit of a comprehensive and objective study
and analysis of safety data. The Department of Agriculture should be
the first one to put a stop to such indiscriminate promotion of GMOs
as it goes against the interest of Filipino farmers and consumers,” he
The India Supreme Court
report said that the moratorium was necessary because of the potential
harm GM crops can cause to human health, and biodiversity. They also
warned of the possibility that field trials will contaminate regular
crops and our food supply. The expert body believes that India’s
current regulatory system to assess the safety of GM crops is
inadequate and raises questions about the ability to safely conduct
field trials. The paper also raises concerns on conflict of interest
within India’s GMO regulatory body.
Among the most significant
recommendations were: the need for independent, long-term and
inter-generational studies in the biosafety risk assessment; a need
assessment of the GM crop technology; and a socioeconomic risk
analysis before open releases are permitted.
The Philippines has never
rejected approval of any GMO – even those GMOs which are banned in
other countries due to health and safety concerns. Alarmingly, the
government's system of regulation and assessment of the safety of GMOs
remains largely closed to the public. Since 2004 the Department of
Agriculture, through the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), has approved
67 GMOs for importation as food, feed and processing. The most
worrisome GMO approvals are for rice – the country’s staple food.
Greenpeace is challenging
the country’s GMO regulatory system. Last April, the environment group
filed a petition for a Writ of Kalikasan and Writ of Continuing
Mandamus against Bt eggplant field trials in the Philippines. The
hearings for the Writ of Continuing Mandamus are currently ongoing.
“The Philippine Department
of Agriculture (DA) should cancel all GMO approvals, including
experimental field trials. It is a fact that the GMO regulatory system
for in the Philippines is hopelessly flawed. With the growing
opposition against GMO crops and the increasing body of scientific
research that underlines the threats of GMOs, the government must wake
up and create policies that look after the interests of the people.
The DA has taken the first step Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, but
this effort continues to be undermined by continued approvals of GMOs,
as well as support of commercial research and field trials to
propagate these harmful modified crops,” Ocampo concluded.
soldiers killed in Samar
By DPAO, 8ID PA
October 22, 2012
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City
– Four (4) army soldiers from 43rd Infantry Battalion, 8th Infantry
Division, Philippine Army conducting Bayanihan Activities were killed
in an armed encounter against the NPAs at vicinity Brgy Ramon, Gandara,
Samar yesterday October 21, 2012 around 10:30 in the evening.
Another two (2) soldiers
were also wounded in the same armed encounter which lasted for about
30 minutes while undetermined number of casualties were recorded on
the enemy side.
The soldier heroes were
members of the ‘Bayanihan Teams’ performing Peace and Development
Activities in close coordination and collaboration with the local
government unit of the Municipality of Gandara, Samar.
“I personally extend my
deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those killed. They
were killed while protecting the Filipino people and in pursuit of
peace and development in the area” said MGen Gerardo T Layug AFP,
Commander, 8ID, PA.
“The heroic deeds of my men
will steel our resolve in pursuing peace and development in the area,
that their ultimate sacrifice will not be in vain” added Layug.
“Despite the loss of lives
of my men, we will pursue our efforts in conducting Peace and
Development Activities to assist the local government attain Peace and
Development not only in the Municipality of Gandara but in the whole
area of operations of 43IB” LtCol Glen Jun Calambuhay, Commander, 43IB
Greens slam arrest
of activist due to Facebook post
October 22, 2012
The country's largest environmental coalition slammed the recent
arrest of an anti-mining activist in Cagayan province using a Facebook
post as main evidence for a libel suit.
In a statement, the Green Convergence for Safe Food, Healthy
Environment and Sustainable Economy (Green Convergence) condemned the
arrest of Esperlita Garcia for the facts that she stated in Facebook
about the destructive black sand mining in Gonzaga municipality and
the local authorities' unbecoming behavior in dealing with those who
"What is the basis of this arrest? Publicizing information is not
libelous and should not be stopped whether it appears in print or
online," said Marie Marciano, vice president of Green Convergence.
"Surely, the Cybercrime Prevention Law does not mean to prevent such
publication. If this Law were the purported basis for her arrest, the
judge who issued the warrant for her arrest should have known that the
Law has not taken effect as the Supreme Court has issued a 120-day
Temporary Restraining Order on it," Marciano added, emphasizing,
"Garcia's arrest is clearly illegal and should not be tolerated by the
Department of Justice nor by any freedom-loving Filipino."
Garcia is president of the Gonzaga Alliance for Environmental
Protection and Preservation (GAEPP), a network-member of the
Federation of Environmental Advocates in Cagayan Province (FEAC) and
of the national alliance pushing for mining policy reforms, the
Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM). Garcia is also a member of the board of
trustees of Save Sierra Madre Network Alliance (SSMNA). Both ATM and
SSMNA are members of Green Convergence.
"In view of climate change, it is criminal to minimize by even an inch
the stretch of land that serves as buffer between human settlements
and the rising sea level," explained Dr. Angelina Galang, environment
professor at Miriam College and President of Green Convergence.
Galang said that it is terrible enough that local officials have been
approving such business ventures which benefit only foreign countries
where our land will be exported. "To arrest a citizen who has been
fighting against this activity and spreading awareness on the harm it
has done is a great disservice to our country," she lamented.
"Green Convergence, therefore, supports Esperlita Garcia in her brave
campaign for our country’s environment and we call on President
Benigno Aquino and the relevant government agencies to stop this
obvious harassment and to correct this great injustice," Galang
Challenge Corporation (MCC) CEO Daniel Yohannes, together with
DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman and Leyte Gov. Jericho "Icot"
Petilla led the turn-over of 11 completed KALAHI-CIDSS
sub-projects funded by MCC to the barangays in Lapaz, Leyte
during the CEO’s visit to the municipality. The MCC team also
witnessed the formal turn-over of a school building project in
Brgy. Sta. Elena, Lapaz. (PMRC)
MCC funded Kalahi
CIDSS project inaugurated in Lapaz
By Provincial Media
October 20, 2012
TACLOBAN CITY – Leyte Gov. Carlos Jericho Petilla said Kalahi-CIDSS principles provide
the very essence of how his governance and project implementation
under his three-term administration in the province of Leyte.
This the governor stressed
during the turn-over of a Kalahi-CIDSS school building project funded
by the Millennium Challenge Corporation in Brgy. Sta. Elena, Lapaz,
“We have been very
supportive of Kalahi-CIDSS as it mirrors our idea of a community
driven development. The projects are identified by the communities and
the implementation is done by the people themselves. This is actually
the same process that we have been doing for our community development
projects in Leyte,” Gov. Petilla told the mission.
He likewise disclosed that
the provincial government has always been supportive of the principle
of engaging the community in identifying the projects they most need
in the community and including them in the decision making.
Kalahi-CIDSS implementation allows the community to “choose, design,
and implement sub-projects that address their most pressing need.”
The governor likewise
disclosed that he approved the counterparting scheme employed by
Kalahi-CIDDS for each of the project implemented.
MCC CEO Daniel Yohannes,
together with DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman, led the inauguration of a
one-classroom school building in Barangay Sta. Elena in La Paz, Leyte,
one of 11 completed KALAHI-CIDSS sub-projects turned over to the
barangays during the CEO’s visit to the municipality.
The other sub-projects
consist of five concrete pathwalks/tirepath with a total length of
1,190 meters; 2 Level 1 pump-driven water supply systems; two drainage
canals with a total of 758 linear meters; and one concrete box culvert
of 11 linear meters.
Total cost of the
sub-projects amounted to P5.3 million with P1.28 million covered by
local counterpart and the rest by the MCC grant. The sub-projects are
expected to benefit 1,081 households in the municipality.
community-based rural development program for poor communities, is one
of three projects in the Philippines funded by the US Government under
Kalahi-CIDSS seeks to
empower communities in targeted poor municipalities to achieve
improved access to sustainable basic public services and to
participate in more inclusive LGU planning and budgeting.
emphasized private sector’s role in economic development
By Provincial Media
October 20, 2012
TACLOBAN CITY – Leyte Gov. Carlos Jericho Petilla said the private sector still
remains to be the main driver for local economic development as well
as the growth of small and medium enterprise in the province and the
The governor disclosed,
during the culmination convention of the Leyte Private Sector
Promotion - Small and Medium Enterprise Development for Sustainable
Employment Program (PSP-SMEDSEP), that the “government alone cannot
support all efforts towards SME’s development, but more help from the
private will help achieve that.”
“Eversince, I have espoused
that the government is a ‘poor businessman’. And that it cannot in any
way compete with the private sector. The government can only act as
support to any local economic development as well as the growth of
small and medium enterprise,” Gov. Petilla said.
Highlights of the program
included a presentation of business opportunities for MSMEs and LGUs
by cooperating national government agencies, one-on-one consultation
by MSMEs and LGUs who wish to avail services offered by agencies,
giving of special awards to PSP-SMEDSEP stakeholders who made a major
and significant contribution to PSP-SMEDSEP success stories and gains
in Leyte; signing of covenant of commitment and support to celebrate
the long partnership among key PSP-SMEDSEP players for the development
of the MSMEs in the province.
PSP-SMEDSEP is a joint
program of the DTI and the GIZ in support of the Philippine economic
development strategy. It started in September 2003 which program
objective is “to improve the framework conditions for private sector
development in the Philippines, especially in the Visayas.”
The program involves
planning, developing and implementing promotion models for small
enterprise development and competitiveness, according to Belas.
The DTI and SMEDSEP have
also worked together in other development initiatives such as the
simplification of business registration process, cash flow based
lending, private sector provision of business development services and
promotion of value chains.
SMEDSEP contributes to the
efforts of the Philippine government to improve the framework
conditions for private sector development in the country. It is
implemented in partnership with the DTI at the national, regional and
provincial levels on behalf of the Philippine government and the
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
In 2003, The Philippine
government, in partnership with the Federal Republic of Germany,
initiated a private sector promotion program to create a more
favourable business environment for MSMEs in the Visayas. In time this
program became popularly known as PSP SMEDSEP.
At the national level, PSP
SMEDSEP’s advisory service helped shape the 2011 to 2016 National
Strategy for MSME Development which has been adopted by the Philippine
Development Plan of the Aquino Administration.
DPWH 2nd LED tops
testing fee collections
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
October 20, 2012
– The Department of Public Works and Highways 2nd Leyte
Engineering District, topped the collection of testing fees in
September 2012 among the 12 District offices in Eastern Visayas.
This was learned during the
recently-held monthly meeting of the 2nd LED section chiefs with
District Engineer Margarita C. Junia.
Engr. Junia attributed the
good collection performance which exceeded even the collection of the
Regional Office, to the acquisition of new equipment..
From January to August 2012,
the 2nd LED has generated P525,570 from fees and charges in
laboratory, higher than the P489,000 collected by the regional office
during the same period.
The lady District Engineer
intimated that “ Out of this generated income, we can make a request
from a national treasury to download money to upgrade our laboratory.
Our new laboratory chief Engr. Delia Lim has already listed all the
needed equipments and we are trying to acquire those so we can expand
Meanwhile, the lady engineer
revealed that her office will conduct an inventory of equipments in
line with the plan of the DPWH Central Office to replace old
“Priority for replacement
are equipments that have been used for 40 years or more. We really
need new ones so we can efficiently deliver services,” Junia said.
The 2nd LED ensures that the
laboratory’s operation adheres to the guidelines formulated by the
Bureau of Equipment with regards to utilization of equipment required
by various infrastructure projects, equipment leasing, conduct of
research on modern brands and models of equipment, performance and
operation, and administering the rental management system, Junia
policy also applies to illegal logging
By RPCRD, Police Regional
October 18, 2012
CAMP SEC. RUPERTO K.
KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – The Police Regional Office 8
has expanded its one-strike policy from illegal gambling to illegal
“This will ensure that our
police units would also go after illegal loggers and this will keep
police chiefs on their toes’, said Police Chief Superintendent Elmer
Ragadio Soria, PRO8 regional director.
Soria added that the
one-strike policy sought to reinforce and invigorate efforts against
illegal logging by clearly defining leadership responsibilities of
lower unit police commanders.
PRO8 is strictly
implementing Executive Order 23 “Declaring a Moratorium on the Cutting
and Harvesting of Timber in the Natural and Residual Forests and
Creating the Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force”, in coordination with
the Department of Environment and Natural Resources leading to
successful police operations against illegal logging activities.
“While there are no logging
concessions in the region, police efforts to neutralize the presence
of small time loggers resulted in 369 operations conducted, the arrest
of 114 persons and confiscation of an estimated total of 136,355.82
board-feet of assorted lumber worth P4,082,951.65 from January 1 this
year to date’”, Soria reported.
“The creation of Task Force
“Kalibungan” (Kalikasan Teams) by this office and the firm directive
to all police units to conduct relentless drive against illegal
logging have lessened these nefarious activities.”, he averred.
accomplishment this year to the same period of last year, there is an
increase of 24 or 27% on persons arrested and an increase of
P657,781.10 or 19% on worth of lumbers confiscated.
Aside from sustained
anti-illegal logging drive, the top police official also presented his
office’ accomplishment to the PNP’s “Pulis Makakalikasan: 10 Milyong
Puno Pamana sa Kinabukasan” program, the PNP’s tree planting program
aiming to plant 10 million tree’s by February 2013 in exemplifying its
organizational core value of being “makakalikasan”.
“Our policemen have planted
a total of 418,886 seedlings or 94.85% compliance to the Chief PNP’s
directive”, he noted.
By including illegal logging
under the one-strike policy and the religious compliance to the PNP’s
tree planting campaign, Soria is personally assuming a commanding role
in environment protection initiatives in the region.
Government urged to
activate ASAP inter-agency task force deal with LPG-powered taxis
By Associated Labor Unions (ALU)
October 18, 2012
QUEZON CITY –
The Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP)
today expressed grave concern over the Department of Health (DOH)
findings the other day confirming the Liquified Petroleum Gas
converted taxis poses health hazard to thousands of cab drivers and
The ALU suggests that
government should respond by activating quickly its existing
inter-agency health task force previously assembled to deal with
potential and emerging health problem in dealing with this particular
ALU Executive Vice President
Gerard Seno said: “Now that it has been clinically confirmed, we
expect the government to be quick and aggressive in its resolve in
addressing this pandemic because it involves the everyday lives of
60,000 estimated taxi drivers working in shifts and unknown thousands
more of commuters.”
“We want to see, as soon as
possible, an inter-agency health task force made up of people from the
DENR, the LTFRB, the DTI, and the DOH on the ground inspecting LPG
conversion shops and taxi terminals. We want the inter-agency team to
interview affected taxi drivers and draw measures to permanently stop
this man-made pandemic,” he added.
Taxi drivers depend solely
on their daily wages. They are categorized as part of the informal
workers’ sector who don’t have social protection nor health benefits.
Thus, the more the government should ensure that this new found health
problems caused by exposure to LPG must be dealt with high urgency so
that no one will have to endure further, he said.
“On one hand, we also urge
the taxi operators to cease denial. They must heed the findings and
cooperate conscientiously with the authorities to rectify this
emerging health problem,” Seno also stressed.
The study was conducted by
the DOH-NCR and the Rapid Assessment for Monitoring Exposure Risks in
Conventional and Alternative Fuel Use Among the Public Transport
Sector Study and the UP-National Poison Management and Control Center
(UP-NPMCC) on 28 and 25 taxi drivers that uses LPG and regular
Of those exposed in LPG, 26
complained of headaches, back pain, nape pain, chest pain, cough,
dizziness, dry throat, fatigue and muscle weakness, nausea and
difficulty in breathing.
There are 40,000 registered
taxi cabs in the country. Half of the figure are converted into LPG
fuel and operate mostly in Metro Manila.