PRO8 targets “zero
crime” rate as SY 2013-2014 starts
By RPCRD, Police Regional
June 3, 2013
CAMP KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte –
After ensuring the peaceful midterm elections, the Police Regional
Office 8 (PRO8) has shifted its focus to the opening of classes as the
entire police force in Eastern Visayas was placed on heightened alert
status wherein an estimated 1.2 million students troops to various
public schools in the region as school year 2013-2014 formally starts
PRO8 director PCSupt. Elmer
Ragadio Soria informed that Police Assistance Desks (PADs) were
established in different schools regionwide as intensified Police
Integrated Patrol System (PIPS) is continuously conducted in different
schools, campus, and universities particularly in Tacloban City and
other urban cities where huge volume of students are expected to
“We plan to achieve a ‘zero
crime incidence’ as school officials and students returns to schools,”
said Soria, “Aside from securing them, we want also to prevent the
occurrence of any untoward incidents in nearby areas”.
Uniformed policemen will
conduct mobile and foot patrol along traffic routes leading to
different institutions of learning and within the immediate vicinity
of school premises, aside from assisting the traffic enforcement
groups to help smoothen the flow of traffic.
PRO8 has prepared security
plans to ensure that crimes usually committed during the opening of
classes will be minimized, if not totally eradicated, Soria assured.
Aside from ensuring peace
and order, police personnel manning the PADs would also coordinate
with school officials in handling and guiding the anticipated surge of
students and pupils and ensure the smooth resumption of classes.
Flyers on safety and crime
prevention tips have been distributed to parents and students during
the enrolment period the past two weeks, Soria said.
Notwithstanding the security
preparations, Soria advised the public, especially parents and
students, to remain vigilant and observe precautionary measures to
avoid being victims of petty crimes, like theft, pick pocketing and
Soria earlier ordered the
deployment of anti-illegal drug operatives near school premises to
ensure that the school environment would be free of pushers and users
who may influence students and introduce them to illegal drugs.
Further, the police official
called on the public to immediately seek the attention of the nearest
PAD or report to the nearest police station any suspicious looking
person, groups or actions in schools and their surroundings.
Cayetano says COA’s
blacklisting of NGO should prompt government, lawmakers to take strong
action vs. erring contractors
By Office of Sen. Alan Peter
June 3, 2013
PASAY CITY – Senator Alan S. Cayetano today urged the government and fellow lawmakers to be
vigilant and take strong action against fake non-government
organizations (NGOs) and contractors which avail of government
infrastructure funding, including lawmakers’ Priority Development
Cayetano made the statement
following the Commission on Audit (COA)’s blacklisting of
Pangkabuhayan Foundation Inc., which the agency found to have
submitted fabricated documents and forged signatures to liquidate
P161.914 million in PDAF allocations it received in 2009 and 2010.
"PDAF funds projects can
help communities create jobs and build for the future. These funds
should never be allowed to enrich unscrupulous organizations and
individuals.” Cayetano said. He added that “We need to send a strong
message that PDAF funds are a tool to help poor families all over the
“It is the poor who suffer
for every ghost government project, substandard bridges and roads, and
other anomalous contracts entered into by such erring contractors.”
Cayetano was re-elected in
the May elections on a platform of PTK (Presyo, Trabaho, Kita). He
said that “Filipino families suffer daily from high prices of goods,
lack of available jobs and low wages and we cannot stand idly while
the funds that are supposed to be for them are stolen by these groups
The senator also encouraged
lawmakers to file cases against erring contractors and to blacklist
them in order to avoid further incidents of corruption. He added that
by blacklisting these fake contractors and NGO's, fellow lawmakers can
create informed decisions before releasing their PDAF.
“Through this, we can help
assure the people that their money is going to worthwhile institutions
aimed at creating jobs and improving our communities,” he said.
Furthermore, Cayetano called
on the Commission on Audit (COA) to ensure an NGO’s capacity to fully
utilize the PDAF by conducting a strict and thorough internal audit of
their track record and capabilities.
“The release of PDAF without
implementing strict measures would allow corrupt practices to
continue. Instead of the people's money going to NGO's and contractors
aimed at helping those in need, they simply go to the pockets of
unscrupulous individuals,” Cayetano said.
Green groups slam
Atienza’s anti-Buhay track record
By Sibuyan ISLE
June 1, 2013
SIBUYAN ISLAND, Romblon – An
environment group in Romblon scored Buhay Hayaan Yumabong (Buhay)
party-list representative-elect Lito Atienza’s anti-life background on
environmental protection. Backed by a strong Catholic charismatic
renewal group El Shaddai, BUHAY party-list got three seats for the
next congress as it gained victory garnering 1,265,992 votes
equivalent to 4.74 percent of the total votes cast.
According to the website of
Buhay, the party-list’s core principles are based on the Pledge of
Allegiance to the Philippine Flag: for God, people, environment and
country. In being maka-kalikasan or pro-environment, Buhay believes
that the Creator gave us abundant and overflowing natural resources
which must be developed and used justly for the benefit of all
Filipinos and the next generation – not only for the chosen few. Buhay
further sees that the Philippines was formed by God to be emulated by
the world through the promotion of good and effective governance.
But Sibuyan Island Sentinels
League for Environment Inc. (Sibuyan ISLE) director Rodne Galicha said
in a statement that the background of former Department of Environment
and Natural Resources (DENR) secretary Lito Atienza as future lawmaker
goes against the very principles of Buhay.
“One working day, on
December 23, 2009, before Atienza resigned as DENR secretary to run in
Manila as mayor, he signed five mineral production sharing agreement (MPSA)
permits and three exploration permits. What was questionable? All
these are midnight deals. How come? December 24th was non-working
holiday, 25th a regular holiday, 26th is a Saturday and 27th is
Sunday. He resigned December 28th, Monday.”
Atienza stayed as head of
DENR from 2007 until 2009 under the baton of former President Gloria
Macapagal Arroyo. The lady president that period was bullishly
promoting the mining industry left and right through Executive Order
270-A and the Mining Act of 1995 despite lack of social acceptability
and environmental threats in communities.
“In 2007, he vowed to help
us in Sibuyan as we personally delivered our petitions and opposition
letters against nickel mining. After an anti-mining activist was shot
to death, even the thee mayors of our island that year signed a
memorandum of agreement that destructive mining shall not be allowed
and the barangay councils revoked former recommendatory resolutions.
But lo and behold, in 2009 he signed through a midnight deal an MPSA
for 1,581 hectares of land to mine nickel, iron, cobalt, chromite and
other associated mineral deposits.”
Sibuyan ISLE demanded that
Atienza must be held accountable by Buhay itself, in the first place.
By approving mining in Sibuyan, the source of almost 95% clean energy
is threatened – Cantingas River. It is also the source of irrigation
of San Fernando town’s rice granary on top of being the summer tourism
capital of Sibuyan and apparently, of Romblon province as a whole.
“Being pro-life is to
protect human life as a whole – not only from the Catholic Church’s
claim of conception, or from birth when the fetus becomes a baby
curiously staring for the first time at the kaleidoscope of Earth’s
life. Protecting life in the present and in the future is as important
as protecting it from conception, fertilization or birth, or else one
becomes a backward pro-lifer being pro-conception, pro-fertilization
or pro-birth but generally, anti-life”, said Galicha.
Meanwhile, national group
Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) coordinator Jaybee Garganera urged the
national government through the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC)
to conduct an immediate investigation on the alleged midnight
approvals and eventually revoke the license.
“As our country becomes a
candidate for the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative or EITI,
transparency and accountability in governance especially in mining
deals must be promoted. Although the Sibuyan license has been
suspended, it must be revoked due to lack of social acceptability and
threat to the environment and people’s lives.”
ATM further challenged the
new elected officials in Sibuyan to stand firm and prove themselves
right to defend their people. It also urged Buhay party-list to make
Atienza accountable and to be true to their principle on environment
by supporting pending legislations like Freedom of Information Act,
National Land Use Act and Philippine Mineral Resources Act or the
Alternative Minerals Management Bill.
Alyansa Tigil Mina is an
alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of
NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who oppose the
aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The
alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation
of EO 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, and passage of the AMMB.
Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.
May 31, 2013
CEBU CITY – Now that elected
officials are already proclaimed, Filipinos await the fulfillment of
these winners' promises of good governance, sustainable growth and
development, and a better quality of life, among others, in the next
“After the elections, we
need to stop talking and start working. Our transparent service to the
public is our payback to the trust people gave us. Nothing is
impossible if there is unity among the stakeholders,” Mandaue City
Mayor Jonas Cortes said, during the May 25 episode of Pagtuki, the
official radio program of Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI).
Collaboration, Cortes said,
between the executive and legislative departments will result to more
projects and programs for the barangays.
The Mandaue local government
is currently addressing issues in the areas of education, housing,
infrastructure, and traffic.
“We all know that many
schools lack classrooms. We need to draft solutions on how to address
this growing concern. In solid waste management, it is everybody’s
concern. These issues should not be left alone to the leaders but to
all of us,” he said.
Cortes also pointed out the
need for a province-wide, multi-sectoral collaboration through the
Mega Cebu project. He said that what the project started should be
nurtured and continued.
“Mandaue City cannot address
alone the problem on drainage and traffic. Sooner or later, the
problem of one city will be a problem of other cities in the future.
Thus, we need to have a unified development plan,” he stressed.
“People have spoken loud and
clear. It is now time to set aside politics. We should consider
ourselves as part of the problem and the solution,” he added.
executive director of RAFI Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center
(EADSC), said that RAFI is ready to work with whoever is installed in
“We are encouraging local
leaders to pass a resolution for Mega Cebu project, and at the same
time to review their respective local visions and how they can align
their visions to the bigger vision of the Mega Cebu project that is
seen to benefit not only the Metro Cebu area but the entire province
of Cebu,” Castro noted.
She hopes to get active
participation and support from the different local governments to
achieve the aims of the Mega Cebu.
“We are encouraging the
newly-elected and the freshly mandated officials to take leadership
role in the project. We need to take actions to realize the 2050
vision of the Mega Cebu project,” she said.
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
water projects undergo DILG spot checks
By MYLES JOSEPH E. COLASITO
May 30, 2013
TACLOBAN CITY – Four water
projects in Leyte and Biliran under the Department of the Interior and
Local Government (DILG) were recently inspected by the DILG Central
This was revealed by
Regional Dir. Pedro A. Noval Jr. who added that the team, composed of
personnel from the DILG Office of Project Development Service (OPDS)
and DILG-8 Regional Office, visited the towns of Alang-alang, Calubian
and Tolosa in Leyte and the municipality of Culaba in Biliran last May
Dir. Noval said the group
looked into the financial and physical status of projects being
implemented by beneficiary towns under the Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig
sa Lahat (SALINTUBIG) program to ensure that government money is spent
for its intended purpose. He added that inspections would be done in
all other DILG projects to promote accountability.
The water system for the
Rural Health Unit (RHU) of Culaba, Biliran is now fully completed.
Aside from serving the RHU, the water supply system was expanded to 30
households covering three barangays. The Level 3 water project in
Calubian is about 45% done and on time for completion by July. About
five barangays in Calubian which are presently using Level 1 (communal
well) water system will be able to avail of potable water inside their
own homes once the project is finished.
On the other hand, the
project in Alang-alang, Leyte is at the detailed engineering design
stage. Slated to start by August, it is expected to end by December of
this year. The municipality of Tolosa, Leyte has already bought a 1.8
cubic meter water tank for its RHU, and is arranging for its eventual
connection to the water district. Once completed, the project will
also serve the needs of the newly built municipal executive building.
The office shall be hiring
additional engineers on a contractual basis to assist in the
monitoring of its projects. RD Noval likewise encouraged citizens to
take an active part in the project through their cooperation and
DILG-8 is currently
assisting 25 LGUs which benefited from the regular SALINTUBIG program
for 2012, and 33 LGUs which availed of SALINTUBIG projects under the
2013 Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) system.
SALINTUBIG aims to provide
water supply systems to waterless municipalities, waterless barangays,
and waterless health centers as part of the country’s commitment to
attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
65 EV cops undergo
random drug testing
By RPCRD, Police Regional
May 30, 2013
CAMP KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte –
The war against illegal drugs in Eastern Visayas started right in the
own backyard of the region’s primary law enforcement agency as 65
policemen assigned in Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) were subjected
to random drug testing on Wednesday.
"Policemen are expected to
strictly adhere to the policy of non-use of dangerous drug. Drug
dependents within our ranks should be weeded out as law enforcers
should set as good example to the public,” said Police Chief
Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria, PRO8 director.
Soria added that the random
drug testing will ensure that his men are not using illegal drugs as
he will not hesitate to dismiss from the police service those who will
be found positive for drug use.
Personnel from the Regional
Crime Laboratory Office 8 (RCLO8) administered the surprise test since
police officers only knew about it early in the morning when they
reported for duty.
The drug testing for PRO8
personnel is prescribed in Letter of Instruction 17/2012 “Kontra Droga
Charlie-Waray” issued on May 3, 2012 as an internal cleansing strategy
in line with the National Police Commission (Napolcom) Memorandum
Circular No. 99-008 which requires the administration of drug test on
PNP uniformed personnel.
Those found positive for
illegal drug use shall be separated from the service after notice and
summary hearing without prejudice to the filing of appropriate
criminal charges against the offender.
Further, any PNP member who
without any justifiable reason, refuses or fails to submit a drug test
when officially required shall be liable for misconduct and after
notice and summary hearing will be penalized accordingly.
Passing the drug test is
also one of the general requirements for appointment to the PNP and
when policemen apply for promotion, mandatory schooling and deployment
for United Nations peacekeeping missions.
Relatedly, Soria ordered the
deployment of anti-illegal drug operatives near school premises in
anticipation of the opening of classes next week.
“We will ensure that the
school environment would be free of pushers and users who may
influence students and introduce them to illegal drugs.” Soria said.
15 million informal
workers target of TUCP, gov’t and LGU partnership
May 30, 2013
QUEZON CITY – Around 15
million vendors, drivers, barbers, tailors, fishermen, barbers,
plumbers, tailors and construction workers nationwide stand to benefit
from a social protection program designed by the Trade Union Congress
of the Philippines (TUCP), various executive departments and local
A memorandum of agreement
creating a national convergence program aimed at establishing social
protection floor for workers in the informal sector will be signed
today, Thursday, May 30, between TUCP, various government departments
and agencies led by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and
representatives from Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP).
“We are committing fully to
this comprehensive but targeted approach in addressing the growing
perceived needs of millions of informal workers’ immediate access to
government services such as affordable housing, health and nutrition,
skills development, job matching, loan and credit facilitation,
expanded social security coverage and subsidies. We are going to
collaborate with government and give our best effort,” said Gerard
Seno, general secretary of TUCP.
The agreement is between
TUCP, local government units, 23 government departments and agencies
led by DOLE, DENR, DOH, DepEd, DPWH, MMDA, DILG, DSWD, DAR, CHED,
HUDCC, Pag-Ibig, DA, DAR, DTI, NHA, PCSO, NSO.
“It’s like diverting
government resources and labor group’s expertise towards informal
workers who have no protection and access to basic government services
especially if unemployment, disaster, or sickness strikes them,”
explains Seno adding: “We really hope it will work out because
informal workers desperately needs this kind of intervention.”
The MOA designates the DOLE
as the program manager by ensuring that the program strategies are
working and that respective partners are contributing their identified
Beginning next year, an
initial target of 2.5 million informal workers will be benefited by
the program’s expansion of SSS and Philhealth coverage by requiring
membership of all government livelihood grants and subsidies,
livelihood, training on safety and health in performing their jobs,
skills training and labor market information for graduates of
government’s Conditional Cash Transfer program.
in government offices prohibited, CSC reminds
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
May 27, 2013
GOVERNMENT CENTER, Palo,
Leyte – Officials and employees who are caught in the act of consuming
intoxicating liquor and other alcoholic beverages during office hours,
as well as those who will be reporting for work under the influence of
alcohol, shall be held liable for Misconduct which is punishable by
suspension for one to six months for the first offense, and dismissal
from service on the second offense.
The pronouncement was made
by the Civil Service Commission as it reiterated the prohibition on
the consumption of alcoholic beverages in government offices.
CSC Region 8 Director
Attorney Raymund Gonzales said that pursuant to CSC Resolution No.
1100039, the consumption of alcoholic beverages such as, but not
limited to, malt, wine, and intoxicating liquor in workplace among
government officials and employees during office hours is prohibited.
He said that the mere
consumption of alcoholic beverages in the workplace during office
hours, as well as reporting for work while under the influence of
alcohol, is considered as an administrative offense, separate and
distinct from the offense of habitual drunkenness.
Director Gonzales clarified
that the consumption of alcoholic beverages may be allowed during
programs and rituals such as ceremonial toasts and observance honoring
of local customs and traditions.
During such instances, the
alcoholic beverage must be limited to malt and wine, and the
consumption shall not result to intoxication. Director Gonzales
explained that intoxication is defined as, “the impairment of a
person’s mental faculties ensuing to the loss of control over his/her
behavior and/or actions.”
Both the head of office and
the officials or employees concerned will be held liable should an
untoward incident happen as a result of such consumption, Director
June 29 is
Festivals Day in Tacloban City
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
May 27, 2013
TACLOBAN CITY – June 29,
2013 is Festivals Days in Tacloban City. The Pintados-Kasadyaan
Festival will be conducted in the morning while the Festival of Lights
will be held in the evening.
This was the agreement made
during a meeting held on Friday, May 24, by the representatives of the
City Government through City Administrator Tecson John Lim and the
Pintados-Kasadyaan represented by Alangalang Mayor Loreto Yu.
Quoting Atty. Lim,
“representatives of Sangyaw and Pintados-Kasadyaan were at City Hall
to discuss how we can all have a peaceful and fun-filled Fiesta this
year and for the years to come.”
Mayor Yu said that the
Pintados-Kasadyaan will be allowed to street dancing parade in the
parade route requested by the group.
Since the original request
of the Pintados-Kasadyaan is for a June 27 activity, Mayor Yu said the
organization will have to write the City again for permit to hold a
festival parade on June 29.
Moreover, the request of the
Pintados-Festival organizers to have nightly activities at the RTR
Plaza was also approved, Mayor Yu added.
For his part, Atty. Tecson
noted in his Facebook, “So happy with the results of the meeting as it
would seem that Pintados-Kasadyaan would be amenable to having a "Day
of Festivals" where Pintados-Kasadyaan will hold their parade in the
morning and the Sangyaw staging their Parade of Lights in the
Pintados Festival is now in
its 27th year, Kasadyaan Festival is in its 18th year while the
Sangyaw Festival of Lights was introduced last year by the City
The Pintados Festival is a
religious festival that pays homage to Senor Santo Niño, the Patron of
Leyte, through merry-making event displaying the rich cultural
heritage of Leyte and Samar in a unique and colorful way, showcasing
the art of body tattooing which Visayans were known for in the past.
The Kasadyaan Festival of
Festivals showcases the unique cultural and colorful history of the
Province of Leyte.