Education Development Engr. Ronald Referente (leftmost), with
Dalaguete Mayor Ronald Allan Cesante (center) along with LGU
staff, visit the site of the two-storey, six-classroom building
in Dalaguete NHS for the High School Building Project.
RAFI, Dalaguete LGU
address lack of classrooms
By Ramon Aboitiz Foundation
March 19, 2013
CEBU CITY – The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) conducted a pre-construction meeting
last March 7 with school administrators, barangay officials,
Parent-Teacher Association officers from barangays Balud and Obong and
Dalaguete National High School (NHS), and Dalaguete Mayor Ronald Allan
Cesante for the Gabaldon Restoration Project (GRP) and High School
Building Project (HSBP).
The pre-construction meeting
marked the start of the implementation stage of the GRP, which will
benefit the elementary pupils in barangays Balud and Obong, and the
HSBP, which will benefit Dalaguete NHS. Both projects aim to improve
the quality of education by providing an environment conducive for
GRP focuses on the
rehabilitation, protection, and conservation of the decades-old
Gabaldon structures in the province. On the other hand, the HSBP
addresses the shortage of classrooms in public high schools by
constructing two-storey, six-classroom buildings in areas with extreme
classroom shortfalls, as indicated by reports from the Department of
RAFI, the LGU of Dalaguete,
the Province of Cebu, and DepEd-Cebu Province Division signed a
memorandum of agreement for the said projects last Feb. 15.
participatory nature of RAFI’s school infrastructure projects, Mayor
Cesante urged the stakeholders in attendance to be more involved so
that education infrastructure concerns can be addressed. Under both
projects, teachers, parents, and the barangay officials will monitor
the progress of the rehabilitation and construction, and will ensure
the safety of the construction materials.
GRP and HSBP are programs
under the Education focus area of RAFI, creating a conducive and
engaging learning environment to nurture the love for learning. Its
other focus areas are Integrated Development, Micro-finance &
Entrepreneurship, Culture & Heritage, and Leadership & Citizenship.
For more information about
these projects, please contact 418-7234 loc. 205 and look for Ma.
Rizza Labao, or visit www.rafi.org.ph or www.facebook.com/rafi.org.ph.
solve dilemma of P500-B unfunded laws – Chiz
By Office of Senator Chiz
March 18, 2013
PASAY CITY – Senator Chiz
Escudero wants closer coordination between the executive and the
legislative branches of government in the crafting of relevant laws as
he revealed that P500-billion worth of laws remain dormant because of
the absence of government funding.
Escudero said a solution to
this perennial problem of law creation and funding would be the
earmarking of funds on laws coming out of the legislative mill.
He cited as example the
assigning of funds raised from the sin tax amendment law or income
coming from state corporations such as those raised from gaming
operations of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) to
For instance, under Pagcor’s
charter, five percent of the state gaming firm’s income is earmarked
for the Philippine Sports Commission.
Earmarking would be a good
way of ensuring that laws serve the purpose for which these were
created since the funding does not need to pass through the Department
of Budget and Management (DBM) or the need for funds to first go to
the national treasury before these are released to a particular
Escudero said among these
unfunded laws is one which seeks to improve the welfare of persons
with disabilities (PWD).
“The PWD law has a worthy
cause but it is effectively not implemented even among government
offices because it was not funded,” the reelectionist senator said.
The situation is similar to
asking which comes first, the chicken or the egg, Escudero said, and
noted that it is the responsibility of Congress to craft laws but it
is the Executive’s task to allocate the budget to implement laws.
“If Congress becomes remiss
on the enactment of laws, the government will not have any
authorization for programs it espouses but on the contrary, the
enactment of a law becomes meaningless if there is no budget for it,”
He said that in the current
15th Congress, some 70 bills were enacted, creating about 300 courts
which did not have funding.
“If Congress did not pass
the bills, the Department of Budget and Management will not have
authority to allocate funding for the new courts in the budget, so
it’s a cat and mouse game,” Escudero said.
Ensuring that laws and
funding match is a joint responsibility of government, meaning the
Congress and the executive branch itself, he added.
“Under PD 1177, the
President has powers over the budget to decide which items to fund and
which items not to fund. We do not have a provision in the
Constitution which requires laws to be funded on a first-come,
first-served basis,” Escudero said.
“Nobody should be lulled by
the comfort of believing that simply because we amend the law and say
that funding should be automatically appropriated, it will already be
released by the DBM,” he added.
Escudero explained that the
only items that are automatically appropriated would be debt servicing
and the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) under the Local Government
Code and the budget for constitutional commissions.
Cayetano fights for
students' right to affordable education
By Office of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano
March 18, 2013
PASAY CITY – “The number one
concern of the country’s youth is that education is becoming too
expensive. This factors in everything – from tuition fees to
transportation costs to go to school,” Senator Alan Cayetano said
yesterday in his dialogue with the students of the Pangasinan State
University at Rosales, Pangasinan. "I have personally confirmed this
through my Listening Tours. This concern resonates among students from
the Cordillera Region to Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao."
Cayetano gave his message as
he expressed condolences to the family of Kristel Tejada, a
16-year-old Behavioral Science student from UP Manila who committed
suicide, allegedly due to her inability to pay for her education.
Cayetano underscored the
need to implement more effective student assistance schemes to address
Cayetano gave the assurance
that he, along with his fellow lawmakers, will continue to push for
reform and work hand-in-hand with the government to make their promise
of a truly accessible education system a reality. “Kristel symbolizes
hopelessness. But I promise the country’s youth that a better tomorrow
is being built for them. Don’t lose hope,” he said.
“Even if Kristel’s case
might be an isolated one, we cannot ignore the reality that so many
students' lives are affected because of high tuition fees, school
policies, and insufficient support from government,” he said as he
revealed how half of high school students drop out, and of those who
graduate, only 23 percent enroll in college. “Of this number, only 15
percent graduate from college.”
Lack of quality education
means lack of jobs
Cayetano said that the next
concern is the quality of education, given the shortages in facilities
still hounding our public education system. “We are still lagging
behind our Asian neighbors when it comes to education because our
public schools lack the facilities needed to produce quality
education,” he said.
The senator said that these
concerns are rounded up by the lack of employment opportunities that
greet students after they graduate. “Now 50 percent of graduates fail
to get jobs. All their hard work at making sure they finish college
becomes wasted,” he said.
Partner with banks
Cayetano proposed that the
Commission on Higher Education (CHED) make it easier for their
scholars to access their stipend and loans by partnering with banks.
“So instead of them missing a day of study just to get their money,
they can instead just withdraw what they need from the partner banks,”
Cayetano is running for
reelection under a platform aimed at addressing issues related to PTK:
Presyo, Trabaho, Kita. One of his proposed solutions to increasing
jobs in the country is through an Education for Employment program
that seeks to aid students gain employment after they graduate through
a partnership between schools and private companies.
Zero backlog in
courts nearing reality, says Chiz
By Office of Senator Chiz
March 17, 2013
PASAY CITY – The Senate is
heading towards a milestone in achieving zero backlog in the creation
of courts that would address complaints of a snail-paced justice
system which is embodied in the phrase “justice delayed is justice
denied,” Sen. Chiz Escudero said.
Escudero said the delivery
of justice among courts has vastly improved after the Senate passed or
is processing measures for the creation of 304 different courts
throughout the country.
He said 89 new courts were
created by law while bills for 215 new courts were approved on 3rd
Escudero said total courts
including those already created and with pending bills are 211 RTCs,
11 Municipal Trial Courts in Cities (MTCCs); one Municipal Circuit
Trial Courts (MCTCs); and 71 Metropolitan Trial Courts (MTCs) under
the current Senate session.
Escudero authored or
sponsored bills for the creation of one regional trial court (RTC) in
Region I; two RTCs in Region II; 25 RTCs in Region III; 80 RTCs and 10
municipal trial courts (MTCs) in Region IV; 10 RTCs, 71 Metropolitan
Trial Courts (MeTCs) plus the conversion of seven RTCs of Pasig to
Taguig; one Municipal Circuit Trial Court and 10 RTCs in Region VI;
Thirty-one RTCs and eight
Municipal Trial Courts in Cities (MTCCs) in Region VII; three RTCs in
Region VIII; six RTCs in Region IX; six RTCs and two MTCCs in Region
X; 27 RTCs in Region XI and three RTCs in Region XII.
Escudero, chair of the
Senate committee on Justice and Human Rights, said more courts in the
countryside means less of “justice delayed, justice denied.”
“This is the first time that
the Senate has approved this many new courts,” he added.
Escudero called on lawyers
to consider filling up the new positions created in government service
through the new courts.
“All lawyers, both new and
those who have long practiced the profession should not hesitate to
apply for positions in the local courts. I call on lawyers to advance
their careers in the judiciary and apply for the position of judges,”
The Constitution requires
three names to be submitted for each vacant court positions. One of
the three names shall be appointed by the President.
“Sometimes we cannot get
three applicants for one branch of court that we create in some parts
of the country,” Escudero said. He added that a pending bill in the
Senate seeks to provide additional benefits and allowances for judges.
abounds in the rich forests of Taft, Eastern Samar
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
March 16, 2013
TACLOBAN CITY – The
ecologically important bird species, the Philippine Eagle with the
scientific name of Pithecophaga Jefferyi naturally inhabits the rich
forests of Samar.
The recent citing of the
Philippine Eagle at the Taft Forest Wildlife (Philippine Eagle)
Sanctuary confirmed this, Department of Environment and Natural
Resources Regional Executive Director Manolito Ragub informed.
“The sighting of the
Philippine Eagle is something which the people of Eastern Visayas must
be proud of,” RED Ragub said. It is in this part of the country where
this important bird species naturally abound.
The presence of the
Philippine Eagle is an indicator that there is still an
ecologically-balanced forest in Samar, RED Ragub informed.
He added that while the
government is spending so much money just to propagate this species in
captive breeding like what is being done by the Philippine Eagle
Foundation Center in Davao, Eastern Visayas has its own naturally
breeding Eagles in the forests of Samar.
The Taft Forest Wildlife¸
the Philippine Eagle¸ was sighted on March 10, 2013 in the forests of
San Rafael, Taft, Eastern Samar which is part of the Philippine Eagle
Sanctuary, Samar Island Natural Park Protected Area Superintendent
Angelito Villanueva informed RED Ragub in a report.
The Philippine Eagle was
sighted in the by Ms. Ruth Francisco, a member of the Wild Bird Club
of the Philippines in the course of her birding activity. Together
with Ms. Francisco was Mr. Joselito Sierra, a local tour guide of the
Ms. Francisco who has been
conducting birding activities for two years already, has been to
different forested areas in the country like the Mt. Kitanglad in
Francisco said that she
usually sees wild birds in flight and the Philippine Eagle in
At the Taft Philippine Eagle
Sanctuary, however, she actually sighted a Philippine Eagle in the
wild just about 100 meters away from her standpoint.
Ms. Francisco was on her
second visit to the SINP to look for the Mindanao Bleeding Heart, a
species of bird in the pigeon and dove family (Columbidae) so named
because of a red blotch on its breast, which is endemic to the
At 7:55 in the morning of
March 10, “While hiking amidst the forest on a cloudy with occasional
rains morning, we heard the call of a Rufus Hornbill,” Ms. Francisco
excitedly shared to DENR Region 8 Regional Public Affairs Officer
“Expecting that the Mindanao
Bleeding Heart will follow, I positioned my camera and was excited to
see a raptor… the Philippine Eagle,” Ms. Francisco narrated.
“The Philippine Eagle was
preening while perching for about five minutes, on a leafless tree on
top of a cliff. It stayed there until three Rufus Hornbills flew in
and perched on a nearby tree. Disturbed by the noise of the Hornbills,
the Philippine Eagle flew away,” Ms. Francisco recounted.
She added that other birds
seen in the thickly forested area with surrounding perching trees were
two Samar Hornbill, two Yellowish Bulbul, one Amethyst Brown Dove,
four Red-keeled Flowerpecker, four Orange-bellied Flowerpecker, two
Philippine Bulbul, and one Sunpride Species.
RED Ragub said the sighting
of the Philippine Eagle is not only a moment of pride and rejoicing,
but more so, a challenge and reminder to every Filipino especially the
people of Samar to help protect the remaining forest of Samar.
The continued existence of
the Philippine Eagle and other wildlife species depends on the
condition of the forest, their habitat, RED Ragub said.
The Philippine Eagle was
first sighted in Paranas, Samar on June 15, 1896 by a British
collector John Whitehead. The various sightings of the Philippine
Eagle in the forests of Samar prompted then President Joseph Estrada
to declare on July 31, 1999, the 3,720 hectares of the said forests as
Taft Forest Wildlife (Philippine Eagle) Sanctuary through Presidential
Proclamation No. 155.
13 year old
Malaysian girl wins Greenpeace’s Flag for the Future Arctic
March 16, 2013
LONDON – Dame Vivienne
Westwood, the world renowned fashion designer, has selected the
winning flag design that will be planted on the seabed at the North
Pole next month, closing the global competition run by the World
Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and Greenpeace as part of Greenpeace’s campaign to Save the Arctic.
The contest inspired youth
from around the world to create a flag that would symbolize peace,
hope and global community, as a statement of the commitment of
millions of people who have signed a petition to protect the Arctic
from oil drilling and overfishing. The contest ran for three months
and inspired designs from young people from 54 countries.
The winning design was
submitted by Sarah Bartrisyia, a 13-year-old Girl Guide from Malaysia,
whose winning entry featured seven brightly colored doves and an
Arctic starflower. The seven doves, she said, represented each of the
seven continents; each carrying an olive branch which when brought
together formed a laurel wreath, a symbol of Arctic protection.
Sarah’s winning design will
be produced as a titanium flag to be planted at the North Pole, four
kilometres beneath the ice, and put on the seabed in a time capsule
containing the signatures of millions of Arctic defenders. At the
moment, no single country owns the international waters around the
North Pole, but as climate change causes the sea ice to melt,
countries and companies are moving in to exploit the resources
including oil and fish in the Arctic Ocean.
“We need to protect the
Arctic because it is the home of many indigenous peoples and many
animal species. It should be declared a global sanctuary,” said Sarah.
"The creativity of young
people is one of the most powerful tools we have to build a better
world. The winning flag for the future is a fantastic representation
of peace, hope and global community, and I am proud that it’s on the
way to the North Pole,” said Dame Westwood.
The judging panel also
included artists and atv presenter, as well as15-year-old Aishah
Morshed, a Girl Guide from Ireland. Aishah is passionate about the
environment, which she learns about through guiding, school and from
regular visits to see family in Bangladesh where she has witnessed the
impacts of climate change firsthand.
“I can’t bear to think of an
Arctic without icebergs and polar bears; even though the North Pole is
far from where I live, I feel a personal sense of responsibility to
protect it, which I hope others will share and join the campaign to
Save the Arctic,” Aishah said.
The Arctic is one of the
last pristine places on earth, home to more than four million people
as well as unique animals found nowhere else on the planet. Greenpeace
is working with youth organizations like the World Association of Girl
Guides and Girl Scouts to ensure that this precious region is
protected for generations to come.
ProGay welcomes new
Pope with open mind, wariness
By PROGAY Philippines
March 14, 2013
MANILA – The Progressive
Organization of Gays in the Philippines (ProGay), a gay rights
alliance in Roman Catholic majority Philippines, welcomed the election
of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as the new leader of the world's
largest organized religion with guarded hope for reforms in the
"The marginalized lesbian,
gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities especially the
discriminated, poor, and jobless millions living in the slums welcome
a leader who has publicly criticized neoliberal economic policies that
destroy livelihoods, the ecology, and health," said Jomar Amores,
spokesman of ProGay.
Amores however said that the
newly elected Pope Francis made negative statement in 2010 about
same-sex marriage as a "a destructive pretension against the plan of
God." Before the law allowing marriage equality was passed in
Argentina, he preached that "We are not talking about a mere bill, but
rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and
deceive the children of God."
The ProGay leader also noted
that in the 1970s, he was silent as the military dictatorship
persecuted fellow Jesuits who sided with the oppressed Argentinians
during the Dirty War.
"However, we remain hopeful
that Pope Francis continues to become more attuned to a world in
conflict. He is known for his outreach to the poor, his simple
lifestyle, his demonstrated compassion for persons hospitalized with
AIDS complications, and his disdain for hypocrite church officials. He
once reminded his fellow priests that Jesus went around with
prostitutes and thieves," Amores said.
ProGay wishes to see the
Vatican open new frank discussions on the increasing inclusion of LGBT
persons in the life of the church and proposals to increase legal
protections of LGBT rights in secular institutions with less meddling
from local church leaders in the Philippines.
“Oplan Katok” to ensure peaceful polls
By RPCRD, Police Regional
March 13, 2013
CAMP SEC. KANGLEON, Palo,
Leyte – At least 510 long and short firearms with expired licenses
were turned-in for safekeeping at different police stations in the
region as the Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) continued its campaign
against unrenewed and loose firearms.
Police Chief Superintendent
Elmer Ragadio Soria, PRO8 Regional Director said they expect to
account for more as the police intensifies its campaign against loose
firearms and guns with expired licenses as part of the effort to have
secure and fair elections this year.
“We thank those gun owners
who responded to our call to renew their gun licenses or voluntarily
turned-in their firearms. Those who did not heed our call may face
further discomfort as they will be then subjected to Search Warrant,
to be followed by filing of criminal case for violation of the RA 1866
as amended by RA 8294 or Illegal Possession of Firearm, Explosive and
Ammunition,” Soria added.
Soria directed all unit
commanders to strengthen their efforts with firearms being one of the
most common weapons used in violence.
PRO8 is trying to account
for 10,407 firearms with expired licenses in Eastern Visayas as
written notices were sent and a total of 13,901 house visitations were
conducted to the owner’s addresses and reminded those who have
unrenewed firearms licenses of their obligations and for those who
have unlicensed firearms to surrender such.
The police official added
that most of the firearms with expired licenses were from Leyte,
followed by Samar and Northern Samar.
Of the figure, 908 licenses
were already renewed while 579 are on-process of renewal.
A total of 5,372 gun owners
with expired licenses were advised to renew their respective licenses
while others were either not contacted, deceased, denied ownership,
transferred residence or the firearms were either sold, lost or carted
Forty firearms, meanwhile,
are in different courts as exhibits.
Soria, however, clarified
that even if the PNP is issuing licenses to firearms, the release of
permits to carry firearms outside of residence is still suspended as
the police is strictly implementing Commission on Election (Comelec)
The top police official
further informed that as the midterm elections draw nearer, a more
protracted and intense campaign against loose and unrenewed licenses
of guns will be implemented by his office.
East Visayas LGUs,
agri offices support Matuwid na DAAN website
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
March 13, 2013
TACLOBAN CITY – The
Department of Agriculture expressed appreciation for the overwhelming
support from the local government units and agriculture and veterinary
offices in Eastern Visayas for the institutionalization of the
agricultural related on-line project.
Dr. Wilson Cerbito, DA-8
Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulations and the
concurrent AGRO-Project manager, informed that said project (AGRO) is
a major component of the Matuwid na DAAN or Department of Agriculture
Dr. Cerbito announced during
a recently-held gathering of local government units and various
stakeholders that the regional office has come up with its new
official website, which prides itself as the first of its kind in the
Commenting on the usefulness
of such communication tool, Mr. Edgardo Codilla, the Chairman of the
Regional Agriculture and Fishery Council (RAFC) said “the website is
the agency’s answer to what is being espoused under the law of the
land calling for upholding of the right of the people to information
on matters and documents of public concern.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Amando
Apoderado, the City Veterinarian of Ormoc said “this project inspires
us to do more and excel in the development of the agriculture sector
in our locale. What we have been doing for our people would reflect in
Northern Samar Provincial
Veterinarian Dr. Jose Luis Acompañado said that this is a challenge
for them considering that the supply of data for the sustainability of
the website will come from the local government units.
On the other side, he
proposed to spearhead a similar project for their province, for them
to follow the example set by DA on good governance.
The Matuwid na DAAN website
provides a readily-accessible and fully-dedicated medium for the
Department of Agriculture's advocacy of adhering to transparency and
accountability in pursuing food security while promoting public
awareness of its community-focused projects and activities nationwide,
Dr. Cerbito said.
Among the features in the
website are the profiles of all the DA projects vis-a-vis their fund
allocation and cumulative disbursements, completion period, percentage
of accomplishment and other relevant data, including regularly updated
photos, which were provided by the attached agencies, corporations and
regional field units of DA.
Dir. Gary Glenn Fantastico
of the Information Technology Center for Agriculture and Fisheries,
shared that the website empowers the DA constituents and the rest of
the nation because they can track down and report the actual status of
the agri-related projects, validate the delivery of government
assistance and evaluate the utilization of the resources.
“Thus, the successful
operation of the project hinges largely on the people’s vigilance,” he
Aside from the Matuwid na
DAAN section, users can also find the online database of the DA-Leyte
National Farmers Registry System (NFRS) and the Inventory System of
Agriculture and Fisheries Investments (ISAFI), and the online
marketing hub called Agri-Biz Market Place.
arrests 2 more “shabu” pushers
By RPCRD, Police Regional
March 12, 2013
CAMP SEC. KANGLEON, Palo,
Leyte – The Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) is up on its toes
collaring high value targets in its watchlist as two more shabu
pushers fell in the hands of police authorities as vendors of the
popular illegal drugs continue to make their way into different jails
in the region.
“The successful anti-illegal
drugs operations were conducted as we confirmed the reports we are
getting from members of the community,” said Police Chief
Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria, Eastern Visayas police director,
adding that the continued support from different sectors is a big
boost in the anti-illegal drugs campaign.
The top police official
informed that one Larry Dee Conato Gonzales, of Brgy Matin-Aw, Maasin
City, was cornered with eleven sachets of shabu in a buy-bust
operation at Espina Blvd, Tunga-Tunga, Maasin City by the Provincial
Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group of Southern Leyte
Police Provincial Office (SLPPO-PAIDSOTG) led by PSInsp. Delfin Tan.
Gonzales was caught at
around 10:30 p.m. on March 7 selling two small-sized, heat-sealed and
transparent plastic sachets weighing more or less .04 grams of shabu
for P1,000 to a police poseur-buyer.
The police further
confiscated from the suspect’s possession 9 more small heat-sealed
transparent plastic sachet containing suspected shabu weighing more or
less 1 gram with estimated market value of P4,500.00, the two P500.00
buy-bust money, one Cherry Mobile cellphone, one unit Kawasaki rouser
135ls motorcycle and cash amounting to P2,500.00.
Meanwhile, a joint operation
at Brgy. Dawahon Island in Bato, Leyte conducted by a police team from
Leyte Police Provincial Office under PSInsp. Jonathan Camacho and Bato
Municipal Police Station led by PSInsp. Roger Octaviano on the evening
of March 6 resulted in the arrest of one Rolecito Gudes alias Cito, a
fisherman from said area, after selling one small sachet of shabu
worth P500.00 to a poseur-buyer.
The team further recovered
from the actual possession of Gudes two more small heat-sealed plastic
sachets of shabu with an estimated street value of P1,000.00 and the
P500.00 marked money.
Recovered illegal drugs were
brought to the Regional Crime Laboratory 8 for quantitative
examination while cases for violation of Section 5 and 11 (Sale and
Possession of Dangerous Drugs, respectively) of Republic Act 9165 (The
Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) were filed separately on
Monday against the Gonzales and Gudes by the arresting police units,
Soria further informed.