PRO8 leads 100 bikers for
Police Regional Office 8
April 29, 2013
CAMP KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte
In yet another effort to ensure a secured and fair elections come May
this year, some 100 bikers from different bikers clubs in the region
participated in the Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) Peace Caravan for
SAFE 2013 on Sunday morning which kicked-off from Calbayog City and Calbiga town and ended at the Catbalogan City plaza, all in Samar
“The support and
participation of the bikers is a welcome development and exemplifies a
good partnership from various sectors of society and PRO8 in attaining
SAFE 2013,” said Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria, PRO8
Soria added that the
activity aimed to promote awareness among the electorate and political
candidates in securing vital support to ensure secured and fair
elections in Samar province, one of the identified priority areas for
the midterm polls.
representing the Samar Off-Road Bikers Association led by its
president Mr. Ashley Albaña and DILG Northern Samar Provincial
Director Valentin Bajet led the bike tour from Calbayog City, some 72
kilometers to the convergence point in Catbalogan City plaza, at
around 5:00 o’ clock early Sunday morning.
Meanwhile, at around 6:00
A.M., bikers from Tacloban City Police Office (TCPO) Bikers
Association led by PSSupt. Romulo Cleve Taboso, Samar Adventure
Mountain Bikers Association headed by Mr. Joel Cinco and Catbalogan
Bikers Association led by Mr. Aron Garcia also biked from Calbiga,
some 44 kilometers to Catbalogan City.
The caravan from Calbayog
City passed through the municipalities of Sta. Margarita, Gandara, San
Jorge and Tarangnan in the province’s first district while bikers from
Calbiga passed through the towns of Hinabangan, Paranas, Motiong and
Jiabong, all in the second district of Samar.
After a simple welcome
ceremony, the participants released white balloons symbolizing the
advocacy of Secured and Fair Elections (SAFE) 2013.
Soria added that the caravan
forms part of the left-hand effort initiated by PRO8 to achieve
peaceful polls, aside from conducting focused police operations.
At the start of election
period last January 13, PRO8 initiated the Peace Covenant Signing in
Calbayog City with DILG Secretary Mar Roxas presiding and supported by
the Roman Catholic church, other election stakeholders and the
candidates themselves and on January 20, thousands of people actively
participated in the PRO8-initiated Unity Walk and Prayer Rally for
SAFE 2013 in Tacloban City in a show of full support in attaining a
peaceful May 13 polls.
Aside from peace covenant
signings, unity walks and peace caravans that were also replicated in
different parts of the region, other police-community relations
activities like the conduct of candidates’ forum, peace dialogues,
media engagements, coordinating conferences, voter’s education and
house visitations are being initiated by different line units of PRO8,
Director PCSupt. Elmer R. Soria addressing the policemen who
will be deployed to Samar provinces during the send-off ceremony
on Monday afternoon at PRO8 Caboboy Multi-Purpose Hall.
PRO8 to deploy 1000
more troops to secure polls
By RPCRD, Police Regional
April 30, 2013
CAMP KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte –
More than a thousand policemen will be deployed by Police Regional
Office 8 (PRO8) as augmentation personnel to different police
provincial and city offices’ even as it started sending troops to the
three Samar provinces in a send-off ceremony last week and on Monday
“As PRO8 is fully committed
for a Secured and Fair Elections, the need to properly address
security concerns comes to the fore. It becomes imperative to optimize
the utilization of manpower and logistical resources and synchronize
security operations with our military counterparts, other Comelec
deputized agencies and the stakeholders in general,” said Police Chief
Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria, PRO8 Regional Director.
Soria added that a total of
1080 policemen will be augmenting the different police stations as
additional security forces in securing the transportation of Precinct
Count Optical Scanner (PCOS) machines and security of polling centers
on Election Day.
PRO8 initially augmented 50
policemen to Calbayog City in Samar last week while 267 more personnel
from the Regional Public Safety Battalion 8 (RPSB 8) were deployed to
the three Samar provinces on Monday with 98 personnel augmented to
Samar, 72 to Eastern Samar and 97 to Northern Samar.
Other augmentation forces
will be deployed starting May 8 coming from the Regional Headquarters,
National Support Units and those undergoing mandatory schooling at the
Regional Training School 8 (RTS8).
Samar, identified as a
priority area in the forthcoming polls, will be augmented by 342
policemen, followed by Northern Samar with an augmentation force of
distribution is for Eastern Samar with 200 PNP personnel, Leyte and
Southern Leyte with 100 personnel for each province, Biliran with 55,
Ormoc City with 45 and Tacloban City with 22 augmentation policemen.
“As the lead Comelec-deputized
agency for law enforcement and security in Eastern Visayas for the
midterm polls, safeguarding the welfare of the electorate and the
entire community are our primary objectives aside from ensuring secure
and fair elections,” the region’s top cop added.
Eastern Visayas has a total
of 2,576,250 registered voters who will troop to 3,773 voting centers
with 17,328 established precincts and 5,135 clustered/grouped
precincts on May 13 wherein 3,239 candidates are vying for different
local elective posts.
homeowners’ associations to combat graft & corruption
By OVP Media
April 30, 2013
CEBU CITY – Vice President Jejomar C. Binay today said the home owners’ associations (HOAs) can
be effective agents in the drive to eradicate graft and corruption in
both the public and private sectors.
Binay, who chairs the
Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), was in
town to attend a meeting with members of the different HOAs in the
Central Visayas region to discuss their role in ridding the country of
graft and corruption.
The project was initiated by
the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) and was attended by
around 1,150 members from some 350 associations in Region 7 with
Deputy Ombudsman for Central Visayas Pelagio Apostol as resource
“We want to elevate the
consciousness of HOA members and empower them to become agents of
change,” the housing czar said.
He encouraged HOAs to report
any anomalous transactions in the government as well as in private
“We all have a role to play.
And it’s high time that the interests of homeowners are protected,”
the Vice President said.
“We want to prevent what
happened with Globe Asiatique wherein our kababayans were defrauded of
their hard-earned money,” he added.
Binay said a similar meeting
was scheduled with housing associations from Region 8 on May 6.
“We are now looking for ways
to try and replicate this in project in the entire country and we also
want to tap other shelter agencies,” the housing czar said.
HLURB chief executive
officer Antonio Bernardo and Commissioners Ria Cabrera and Luis
Paredes also attended the meeting.
examinee ranks top 6 in OWWA-EDSP exams
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
April 29, 2013
TACLOBAN CITY – A young
Eastern Visayas lass ranked top 6 in the latest Overseas Workers
Welfare Administration (OWWA) Education for Development Scholarship
OWWA Region 8 Director Norma
del Rosario identified the successful examinee as Rannikka Ann S.
Mondoñedo, a daughter of a seafarer OFW and a student of the
Philippine Science High School – Eastern Visayas Campus.
Director del Rosario
disclosed that aside from Mondonedo¸ a lad who is also from Tacloban
City also successfully passed the qualifying exam. He is Earl Antonell
P. Doctolero, a brother of an OFW working in the Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia and a student of the Eastern Visayas State University High
Mondoñedo will pursue a
bachelor’s degree in Clothing Technology in UP Diliman, while
Doctolero chose to take up Bachelor of Science in Tourism, Hotel and
Restaurant Management at the Leyte Normal University. Both scholars
will be signing a memorandum of agreement with the OWWA later this
month, Director del Rosario said.
As EDSP scholars, the two
young Taclobanons will receive from OWWA a P60,000 financial
assistance per school year for a four or five-year baccalaureate
degree course in any college or university of his/her choice. The
tuition fee of the scholar is directly paid by the OWWA to the college
or university while the remaining amount is given to the scholar upon
submission of grades at the end of each semester.
As announced by OWWA
Administrator Carmelita S. Dimzon, for School Year 2013-2014, no less
than 105 Top Examinees out of the 4,506 qualified dependents of OWWA
members who took the exam, were selected.
Administrator Dimzon said
that the program is a way to empower the youth. OWWA believes that
education is the leverage between the rich and the poor.
These scholars should serve
as an inspiration to other OFW children whose ultimate goal is not
only to help their parents, but make them proud of their achievements,
the OWWA Administrator said.
Every year, the DOST-SEI
simultaneously conducts the EDSP qualifying exam in Manila, Batangas,
Pangasinan, Cavite, Davao City, Laguna, NCR, Iligan City, Tagbiliran
City, Naga City, Iligan City, Negros Occidental, Butuan City, Bataan.
The same examination is also administered in Riyadh and Jeddah, Kindom
of Saudi Arabia, and the State of Bahrain.
Qualified applicants for the
EDSP are sons and daughters of active OWWA members. Siblings not older
than 21 years old of unmarried OWWA members may also apply for the
‘checklist’ of a pro-children candidate
By Save the Children
April 29, 2013
MANILA – In an effort
to educate the public on how to select candidates who will stand up
and fight for the rights of children, ‘Bata Muna’ campaigners
presented a checklist of a pro-children candidate for the upcoming
2013 national elections during the concert held yesterday, 27 April
2013 in Quezon City.
In the checklist, a
pro-children candidate must have a concrete platform that advances the
rights of children especially the most vulnerable children; already
stood up for children and their rights and continues to do so; value
children’s involvement and participation; one who thinks and acts
independently for the good of the majority especially of children; not
corrupt; has not violated any children and human rights; and must be
progressive – one who thinks of the present and the future
The “Bata Muna: Bomoto para
sa Kapakanan ng mga Bata” campaign seeks to put children in the center
of the coming elections. Early this month, the Bata Muna Caravan was
launched and gave children spokespeople from organized children’s
groups the chance to personally talk to candidates and share their
priority issues surrounding access to education, safety and welfare of
children, access to sexual and reproductive health education and
services, and children’s participation.
Unfortunately only 9
candidates and partylists granted the dialogue out of 36 Manila-based
candidates who were sent invites. This included Sen. Ramon Magsaysay
Jr., Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III, Greco Belgica, Paolo Benigno ‘Bam’
Aquino IV and Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero, and partylists Kabataan, Akap
Bata, Bagong Henerasyon and Akbayan Citizens Action.
Bata Muna, which is composed
of more than 30 children’s organizations and networks nationwide are
thankful to the candidates who faced them. “While all the issues of
children are not totally supported by the candidates we visited, we
are grateful that they listened to the children,” said Deborah Carmina
Sarmiento, Save the Children Policy Advocacy Manager.
“It was a learning
experience and a great opportunity for the children to learn and
somehow be involved in an electoral exercise, even if they still
cannot vote and choose their candidates,” she added.
According to Sarmiento, the
Bata Muna campaign will continue reaching out to candidates who do not
have the same views on their advocacies. “At least, the candidates who
faced us gave us the opportunity to understand where they are coming
from. We see this as an opportunity to continue dialoguing with them,”
Bata Muna campaign
activities are being held nationwide, most recently in Bicol and
Sarangani where children voiced out their issues during caravans and
The concert dubbed “Sa Mayo
13, Bata Muna!” organized by the Children talk to Children About the
UN CRC (C2C) Project, a project being supported by Save the Children,
which gathered more than 1,000 people presented Bata Muna’s checklist
of a pro-children candidate and the children’s agenda on child
protection, health, education, poverty and participation and the views
of senatorial candidates’ and partylists on these issues through songs
and dance numbers.
It featured local bands
Soapdish, UNICA, Silent Sanctuary, Parada, Nyte in Tunesia, and Bata
Muna’s very own Zone One Band.
Petilla a thumbs down for rejecting solar energy projects for Mindanao
April 25, 2013
MANILA – Environmental group
Greenpeace says that Energy Secretary Jericho L. Petilla has revealed
his true bias against Renewable Energy by opposing solar power
proposals in Mindanao. Petilla argued that RE projects take longer to
build and may be more expensive in the long haul.
“For an Energy chief to say
that solar-power plants are unsustainable and not readily available is
totally false and baseless,” said Anna Abad, Climate and Energy
Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia. “It shows the Department of
Energy’s bias towards Renewable Energy. Rather than waste time and
money on coal-powered plants to address the supposed power-crisis in
Mindanao, Secretary Petilla should have a long term vision in mind,
consistent with the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Plan that aims to
accelerate development of RE in the country.”
Since the passage of the
Renewable Energy Law in 2008, Greenpeace has been advocating for an
Energy [R]evolution scenario for the Philippines, where a massive
shift to Renewable Energy and energy efficiency measures would wean
the country away from the rising costs of fossil fuels.
Five years since the law was
enacted, coal fired power plants are still being approved,
consequently edging out any opportunity for RE to be harnessed and
mainstreamed. Greenpeace notes that of the 48 solar energy contracts
currently up for review, the DOE has only awarded just one solar
energy service contract for pre-development.
In January, Greenpeace
released a report that illustrates how RE can generate more jobs and
investments in the country. The Green is Gold report mapped out the
country’s vast potential for Renewable Energy, in this case, how the
Mindanao grid could be RE-powered by as much as 57.16% if measures are
quickly implemented, rising to as much as 77.34% by 2020.
Greenpeace also debunked
misconceptions that Renewable Energy is more expensive than coal. Abad
said that the true cost of coal – which is not included in the
accounting ledger or business cost model of coal proponents – are
human illnesses, displaced communities, destroyed livelihoods, mining
accidents, acid rain, smog pollution, water scarcity. This is where
the government, as well as some independent power producers, have
failed to grasp the economic realities of coal-fired power plants.
“Rather than succumb to fear
mongering based on old, outdated information about Renewable Energy,
it would do Secretary Petilla more good to update himself on the
latest realities and technological improvements. He would then realize
how solar energy is very much available and naturally abundant in
Mindanao,” Abad said. “He shouldn’t go with dirty quick-fix solutions
as his predecessors did. He should see the light and implement more RE
projects, so that Mindanao will not be left in the dark.”
Chiz files SALN
with waiver, urges peers, bets to follow
By Office of Senator Chiz
April 25, 2013
PASAY CITY – Senator Chiz
Escudero submitted to the Senate secretary his statement of assets,
liabilities and net worth (SALN) Thursday to beat the April 30
deadline and with it a signed waiver on secrecy of bank deposits in
line with his transparency challenge issued earlier to public
The Code of Conduct and
Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (RA 6713)
requires all government officials and personnel to submit sworn SALN
documents within 30 days after assuming office and not later than
April 30 every year thereafter.
Along with his SALN
submission, Escudero said he is reiterating a challenge to his peers
in the Senate and candidates for the elections next month to execute
bank secrecy waivers to give the Office of the Ombudsman a free hand
to look into questionable bank accounts both here and overseas.
“Even in the absence of a
law, candidates particularly those running for Senate seats have the
obligation to execute bank secrecy waivers to observe the standard
that was applied to former Chief Justice Renato Corona by the Senate
impeachment court in issuing a guilty verdict that led to Corona’s
removal,” Escudero said.
Legislators and those
aspiring to be members of Congress would adhere to the principles of
transparency by filing their SALN and with it a waiver on secrecy of
bank accounts, Escudero said.
He said candidates for
elective positions should make it a commitment to Filipino voters the
execution of the secrecy waiver as proof of their honest intent in
rendering public service and as an assurance against theft of public
“The challenge on
transparency should not be treated as child’s play. Those who consider
themselves as leaders do not need to be prodded to do something
right,” Escudero said.
“I think signing the secrecy
waiver is an obligation that each of us should do in the coming days
prior to the elections,” Escudero said.
“Those who have nothing to
hide has nothing to fear from my transparency challenge,” he added.
Youth decisive in
STEPHEN PAOLO C. BABAYEN-ON / RAFI Intern
April 25, 2013
CEBU CITY – Comprising 80
percent of the voting population, the Filipino youth can make a
difference in the May 2013 elections and even shape the future of the
The April 20 episode of “Pagtuki”,
the official radio program of Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI),
tackled the youth’s role in achieving an accountable and transparent
national and local elections.
“There’s so much that the
youth can do, especially in choosing the future leaders of our
country,” Erwin Chua Andaya, assistant secretary of the National Youth
Commission (NYC)-Visayas said.
According to data gathered
by the NYC in 2010, only one out of four youths want to participate in
the elections and two out of five youths want to vote. Meanwhile, 90
percent of them believed that corruption is the number one reason why
many Filipinos remain poor.
“The most important thing to
do is to give them the right information and make known to them that
their votes really count,” Andaya added, stressing the need for young
Filipinos already qualified to vote to register.
NYC launched an activity
that will bring registration precincts to colleges and universities
and the Precinct Count Optical Scanner (PCOS) machine to established
malls to orient and encourage the youth to exercise their right to
Mariejo Sevilla, Political
Science student at the University of San Carlos, recognized the
enthusiasm of today’s young people as a tool for social change,
particularly in ensuring just and honest elections.
Sevilla cited ABS-CBN’s
“Boto mo, Ipatrol mo” as a platform for the youth to be actively
involved as voters. The Political Science Department of USC has
partnered with ABS-CBN in promoting youth participation in the
She also shared how, as a
scholar of RAFI’s Young Minds Academy Season 6 (YMA), her team was
assigned to make a research on the platforms of a specific running
party and roll them out.
A recent initiative to
educate voters is the Mega Cebu Candidates Fora, which started last
Carol Ballesteros, Mega Cebu
communications and stakeholder relationship manager, explained that
the Mega Cebu Candidates Fora is not a debate but a venue for
candidates to lay down their respective platforms and stand on issues
being addressed by the Mega Cebu project.
The said project is a
30-year master plan program and framework for a long term and
collaborative planning and action towards a more sustainable
“Each candidate will present
his or her programs and top priorities for Cebu and we will see if
their plans are aligned to the vision of Mega Cebu for 2050,”
The Mega Cebu Candidates
Fora will hold sessions on April 25 and 29 at the Cebu Cultural
Center, Gorordo Avenue, Lahug, Cebu City. This will highlight
electoral candidates from Cebu City, fifth and sixth districts of Cebu
Province, and Lapu-Lapu City.
Pagtuki is aired over DyLA
every Saturday at 10-11am. The program, which is one of the Knowledge
Sharing & Advocacy capabilities of RAFI, tackles timely and relevant
issues on community development, politics and governance,
micro-financing, education, environment, early childhood care and
development, and culture and heritage that affect the Cebuano