villages declared as first 'Zero Open Defecation' barangays in Leyte
By Save the Children
September 27, 2014
WESTERN LEYTE, Philippines –
Seven Yolanda-hit barangays across 3 municipalities around Ormoc have
been declared as first in the entire Leyte province to eradicate
defecation in public – a practice known to cause contamination of
water sources and diarrheal diseases.
The declaration came after
an authorized government body, including hygiene specialists and
international organizations, certified the remote barangays of Bulak,
Masaba, and San Dionesio in Matag-ob town; Payao in Villaba town; and
San Ignacio, Santa Domingo and Libertad in Kananga town as the first
Zero Open Defecation (ZOD) barangays in the province of Leyte. To
achieve ZOD status, each household in a barangay should have access to
toilet and water supply. The recognition was a big feat given that 70%
of people in these communities did not have access to toilets
immediately after the super typhoon.
Western Leyte has areas with
some of the highest rates of open defecation in the country even
before 'Yolanda'. In the immediate aftermath, the Water, Sanitation
and Hygiene (WASH) cluster estimated that around 65% of areas in the
region did not have access to toilets.
Save the Children has been
providing remote and vulnerable areas, including the ZOD-certified
barangays, with construction materials and trainings to build and
repair toilets as part of its comprehensive 'Yolanda' response. To
date, Save the Children has provided construction materials for over
6,525 toilets in 32 barangays and plans to help build 3,475 more
across 47 barangays in 2014.
"Save the Children knows
that the practice of open defecation poses great health risks to the
disaster-affected communities, especially children. By providing
communities with toilets and clean water supply, especially those in
remote and vulnerable areas, we can help protect children and adults
from infectious diseases." said Tom Howells, Save the Children's Field
Manager in Western Leyte Office.
According to WHO, diarrheal
disease is the second leading cause of death in children under five
years old, and is responsible for killing around 760,000 children
every year. WHO added that the disease can last several days, and
eventually dehydrates the body. The disease is common particularly
among children and elderly.
Save the Children
recognizes, however, that building toilets and repairing water lines
alone may not fully address water and sanitation problems in Western
Leyte. In response, the organization launched a province-wide campaign
to educate people on the health risks of poor hygiene and sanitation.
At the household level, Save the Children consulted with and fully
involved communities and local officials in the design and
construction of toilets and water facilities.
"It is not enough that we
provide communities with construction materials. The communities that
achieved zero open defecation were successful because they now see the
importance of proper hygiene and sanitation. Without proper
consultation with and full involvement of the community and the local
government, these projects may not succeed in the long-term", says
Reggie Aquino, Save the Children's Program Development and Quality
Manager in Western Leyte Office.
Save the Children continues
to work closely with the local government, the Department of Health
and humanitarian organizations in restoring water supply systems to
provide clean water; engaging schools in hygiene promotion sessions
and training communities in reconstructing their toilets. Save the
Children's comprehensive response in the region includes providing
communities with cash transfers, community grants for food, security
and livelihoods and shelter assistance. The children's organization is
also undertaking repairs of schools, district health stations,
provision of medicines and establishment of Child Friendly Spaces.
PRO8: Crime up by
RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
September 24, 2014
CAMP RUPERTO K KANGLEON,
Palo, Leyte – Crime incidents increased by 20 percent after Super
Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) ravaged Eastern Visayas specifically Tacloban.
PCSupt. Henry P. Losañes,
Regional Director said, at that time all systems were down. There was
no power, no water, nothing. People were desperate. They were looting.
Hence, with this report
there was a rise in the number of crimes committed in EV for year
2013. This means that from January to December 2013, a marked increase
in number of crimes committed both in index and non-index crimes was
at 15,316 compared to year 2012 which was at 4,420 or 22% increased.
Another reason was the fact
that the crime reports as mandated by PNP National Headquarters to
include those that were committed at the barangay level. This is said
to be purposely done to have a better picture of our communities in
the whole Region 8.
To note, Index Crimes
involved crimes against persons such as murder, homicide, physical
injury, rape and against property to include robbery, theft,
carnapping/carjacking and cattle rustling. Non-index crimes, on the
other hand, are violations of special laws such as illegal logging or
Data show that there was a
fluctuating movement on the average monthly crime rate from year 2009
to year 2014. The Average Monthly Crime Rate for year 2009 was at
57.63 per 4,222,000 population, then it decreased the following year
to 10.35 at 4,480,000 people, but jumped to 16.08 in 2011 at 3,915,000
population; then lowered again at 9.00 in 2012 at 4,091,000 people;
then increased at 30.86 in 2013 at 4,140,000 and at 50.94 in 2014 at
Based on the statistics of
non index crimes from year 2009 to 2014 there was an increased of
crime incidents from 2,282 to 2,786 respectively. While for incidents
categorized as index crimes it decreases as shown below:
Total Index Crime Against
Persons. Murder: 2009 - 622; 2010 - 429; 2011 - 394; 2012 - 427; 2013
- 483; 2014 - 319.
Physical Injury: 2009 -
7,045; 2010 - 107; 2011 - 1644; 2012 - 914; 2013 - 4114; 2014 - 4093.
Against Property. Robbery:
2009 - 1243; 2010 - 496; 2011 - 476; 2012 - 332; 2013 - 644; 2014 -
Non-Index Crimes. Violation
of Special Laws: 2009 - 2282; 2010 - 795; 2011 - 1444; 2012 - 1157;
2013 - 2120; 2014 - 2786.
Meanwhile, PCSupt. Losañes
emphasizes that there are many ways of curbing, if not totally
eliminating crime. And that is to continuously increase police
presence and visibility especially in crime hot spots.
Further, with the
cooperation of local government units and civil society, crime can
also be eliminated through the implementation of community prevention
by way of developing neighborhood watch programs. So with this, the
Total Crime Cleared for year 2014 was 4,186 and the Total Crime Solved
was 3,821. Compared to 2013 which was at 5,170 and 3,157 respectively,
The public is encouraged to
join hand together with the law enforcement agencies in maintaining
peace and order by being vigilant. Likewise, the community is enjoined
to provide any information that will lead to the identification and
eventual arrest of criminals through the following: Dial 117 or text
2920; RTOC 09173114794/09478907155 and Isumbong Mo Kay Tsip
09178475757 or follow us on twitter @PcrdPro8.
Chiz questions big
budget to monitor BUB projects
By Office of Senator Chiz
September 24, 2014
PASAY CITY – While
hailing the bottom-up budget (BUB) as an excellent template in
enlarging the share of local government units in the national budget,
Senator Chiz Escudero, however, said it should be rid of expensive
riders that can be utilized to cover more towns or projects.
Escudero, who chairs of the
Senate Committee on Finance, said that P840 million has been proposed
in the 2015 national budget for the “monitoring and evaluation” of BuB
The amount, Escudero
explained, is on top of the P20.9 billion for a menu of projects
ranging from classrooms to clinics, which were identified by local
governments through a process involving citizens’ consultation, and
brings real allocation for the BUB to P21.7 billion.
“Kung monitoring lang, ang
P840 million ay masyado yatang malaki. Katumbas na ng budget ng 30
district hospitals. It's an expensive rider,” Escudero pointed out.
“I think, at the very least,
we should reduce the monitoring budget. Then we add whatever amount
slashed to the budget of the BuB proper. That way we can cover more
towns or increase the funding for those already in,” he added.
According to Escudero,
Aquino administration’s BuB project, which was introduced in 2013, can
be implemented without creating a monitoring industry.
Piloted last year, BuB has
been officially renamed Grassroots Participatory Budgeting Process (GPBP)
in the 2015 proposed spending plan. Under the program, funding for
projects chosen by local government units (LGUs) is incorporated in
the budgets of 11 participating national agencies. There is also a
separate budget for monitoring.
In today’s budget hearing of
the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Escudero
asked department officials on the particulars of its total BuB fund
amounting to P5.7 billion.
DILG Sec. Mar Roxas said
their BuB is spent on monitoring and evaluation and other activities
pertaining to projects in all 1,600 LGUs across the country. Escudero
asked the secretary to submit to the committee the detailed breakdown.
Among the participating
agencies with GPBP allocations are
Department of Tourism (DoT), P348
million; Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), P2.717
billion; Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), P641 million;
Department of Agriculture (DA), P4.28 billion; Department of
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), P323. 5 million.
of Education (DepEd), P1.49 billion; Department of Energy (DoE), P84.6
million; Department of Health (DoH), P1.47 billion; Department of
Labor and Employment (DoLE), P444.2 million; and Technical Education
and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), P296 million.
To monitor and evaluate the
projects which will be implemented in partnership with LGUs,
“monitoring and evaluation” expenses are proposed for the following:
P451 million; DepEd, P44.8 million; DA, P113.3 million; DOE, P2.5
million; DoH, P44.1 million; DoLE, P13.3 million; TESDA, P8.9 million;
DoT, P10.4 million; DSWD, P81.5 million; and DTI,18.4 million.
To illustrate how funding
for “monitoring and evaluation” of projects under BuB could be spent
to finance other programs, Escudero said the P44.8 million set aside
for DepEd could buy 64,000 classroom chairs, while the P81 million
proposed for DSWD could cover the expenses of the agency’s Balik
Probinsya Program for some 5,000 families.
“If you look at the DOH
budget, there is no distinctly identified budget for monitoring one
disease. There’s no funding to track dengue, for example. Kulang ang
‘health sentinel’ funding support, but sa BuB merong P44 million,” he
Cutting GPBP's monitoring
budget by half will free up P400 million and "if we later disperse
this to 800 poor towns at P500,000 each, it can do a lot of good at
the grassroots,” Escudero said.
Corporation receives USD 50 M in financing from Export Development
September 24, 2014
OTTAWA, Ontario –
Export Development Canada (EDC) today announced a previously signed
USD 50 M financing transaction for Philippines-based San Miguel
Corporation (SMC), a well-diversified conglomerate with leading market
positions in the food, beverage, and packaging industry in the
Philippines and Southeast Asia. In recent years, SMC has also become a
market leader in fuel, oil, and energy in the Philippines.
As a mature global
financier, EDC brings stability and reliability of capital to
international customers like SMC. With annual business volumes nearing
CAD 100 B, EDC has the capital and experience necessary to undertake
transactions of any size in support of deals involving Canadian supply
"At EDC we are flexible in
terms of the financing solutions we can provide to international
companies," said Rajesh Sharma, EDC's Regional Manager for Southeast
Asia who is based in Singapore. "We are always willing to tailor deals
to meet the specific needs of customers, whether that means working
alongside existing financial partners or acting as the sole financier.
In addition to reliable capital, EDC brings valuable market
intelligence and supply-chain matchmaking ability to the table."
SMC's total revenues of
nearly USD 17 B in 2013 accounted for approximately 6.5 per cent of
the Philippines' overall GDP. Last year, the company confirmed medium
and long term investment plans for an estimated USD 35 B within its
current business portfolio, making them the largest investor in the
Philippines. SMC was also recently awarded one of seven Philippine
government contracts under the Public-Private Partnerships program.
The contract, valued at USD 541 M, is for the NAIA Expressway project.
There are several more infrastructure projects in SMC's pipeline as
SMC will use EDC's financing
to fuel this growth, but the loan will also serve to strengthen the
business relationship between EDC and the Philippine conglomerate. As
part of this relationship, EDC will be able to help connect SMC with
Canadian suppliers in the oil, energy, infrastructure, mining, and
telecommunications sectors – all areas where SMC's procurement needs
match up well with Canadian expertise.
"We actively work with
global partners in our fast expanding businesses. Our relationship
with EDC is a fairly new one and we hope they will be able to connect
us with Canadian expertise and partners as we expand our operations in
the region" said Sergio Edeza, SMC's Senior Vice President and Head of
If your company is looking
for financing and is interested in doing business with Canada, EDC can
personally serve your company from Singapore, Mexico City, Monterrey,
Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Santiago, Lima, Bogota, Dusseldorf,
Istanbul, Dubai, Shanghai, Beijing, Mumbai, and New Delhi.
hundred sixty civilian runners and 375 military personnel
participated in the 6.3 kilometers fun run event while at 40
bikers joined the 7 kilometers fun bike category during the
8ID’s “Padyak at Takbo Para sa Kapayapaan” on September 21, 2014.
8ID honors Peace
Month with “Padyak at Takbo Para sa Kapayapaan”
By DPAO, 8ID PA
September 24, 2014
CATBALOGAN CITY – The
8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army based at Camp
Lukban, Catbalogan City, Samar held a fun run and bike back and forth
from its headquarters to Catbalogan City as part of the series of
activities commemorating the nationwide observance of the 11th
National Peace Consciousness Month with the theme “Nagkakaisang Bayan
Para sa Kapayapaan” on September 21, 2014.
One hundred sixty civilian
runners and 375 military personnel participated in the 6.3 kilometers
fun run event while 40 bikers joined the 7 kilometers fun bike
category. Highlighting the fun run was the participation of 118
runners from the City Government of Catbalogan headed by Hon. Mayor
Stephany Uy-Tan. Other partakers were from the Philippine National
Police, Philippine Information Agency, KABALIKAT Communications Group,
running enthusiasts from the Samar Runners’ Club and Catbalogan
Runners Society, Samar Mountain Bikers Association, military
dependents and other participants who took time to support this
A briefing on the route
followed by a warm-up exercise was conducted prior to the start of the
activity. Gun start was at exactly 5:30 AM in front of the 8ID
Grandstand at Camp Lukban, Catbalogan, Samar, where the finish line
awaits the runners.
Maj General Jet B. Velarmino,
Commander of the 8ID in his remarks said, “It can be gleaned that
under Presidential Proclamation No 675 dated 20 July 2004, the month
of September of each year is declared as National Peace Consciousness
Month. This activity that we undertook today is not only to promote
healthy lifestyle and camaraderie, but to remind us all that we should
always work hand-in-hand with each other in promoting a culture of
peace among Filipinos anchored on nonviolence, respect for fundamental
rights and freedoms, tolerance, understanding and solidarity.”
Chiz to include
funding for senior citizens’ mandatory PhilHealth coverage in 2015
Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
September 23, 2014
PASAY CITY – Senator
Chiz Escudero is allocating specific fund for the mandatory PhilHealth
coverage of all senior citizens under the 2015 spending package, after
the Senate passed a bill seeking automatic health insurance coverage
of elderly persons.
Escudero, chairman of the
Senate finance committee, voted Monday in favor of Senate Bill No. 712
which provides for the mandatory PhilHealth coverage to all senior
citizens, and whether the House of Representatives would approve the
bill or not, the lawmaker said he would include funding for this in
next year’s budget.
“Without prejudice to our
counterparts in Congress, PhilHealth’s 2015 budget will feature an
amount to cover the premiums of all senior citizens. We will not wait
for the approval of the counterpart measure of this bill in the House;
it could take a longer while before this gets funded so we might as
well appropriate funds now,” Escudero explained.
SBN 712’s author Sen. Ralph
Recto said PhilHealth has some P116 billion in reserves and has fiscal
room to absorb the coverage of senior citizens’ health insurance.
According to Escudero, the
same has been done for all barangay officials in the country for 2015
to include them under the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP)
through PhilHealth benefits.
Escudero added that he put a
special provision in the PhilHealth budget to include an amount
intended to cover the premium of barangay officials who are not yet
enrolled in the government health insurance program.
action needed as region braces for more extreme weather
September 22, 2014
MANILA – Southeast
Asia’s worst weather calamities in the last decade cost the region
tens of thousands of lives and more than USD 4 billion annually, an
NGO group revealed today.
According to the coalition
ASEAN For a Fair, Ambitious and Binding Global Climate Deal (A-FAB),
composed of Oxfam, Greenpeace Southeast Asia and EROPA, the expected
worsening of such trends due to climate change demands an ASEAN
response that is much stronger than what the regional bloc is
The call came during the
launch of the policy brief "Weathering Extremes: The need for a
stronger ASEAN response.” The brief details the effects of
climate-related disasters and what actions the ASEAN need to take to
curb these impacts.
The launch took place a day
before the United Nations Climate Summit in New York where more than
120 heads of states are expected to give bold commitments on climate
change response. A-FAB wants ASEAN leaders to speak as one voice for
the region to demand a fair, ambitious and binding global climate
deal, and for financing for adaptation as well as loss and damage.
Dr. Tun Lwin, CEO of Myanmar
Climate Change Watch and author of the paper, said climate change is
no longer an issue of individual countries, but an issue of the entire
"Extreme weather events are
increasing in the region, and we all suffer from its impacts. I think
this should be a call for us to work together, especially in terms of
adaptation and mitigation," he said.
The paper goes further to
illustrate the impacts of extreme weather to agriculture, the region's
main source of livelihood.
"In Myanmar for example,
disrupted monsoon patterns have affected agricultural production.
Monsoon seasons have become shorter, thus reducing crop yields," Dr.
What is happening in Myanmar
and throughout Southeast Asia underscores the importance of ASEAN
action on climate change, according to Riza Bernabe, Policy and
Research Coordinator of Oxfam's East Asia GROW campaign.
"With agriculture threatened
by climate change, livelihoods of millions of poor families are at
risk. There will be significant effects on food security. We should
not wait until it is too late to act," she said.
Zelda Soriano, Greenpeace
Southeast Asia Political Advisor, said the ASEAN should consider
policy support for renewable energy to mitigate the region's
contribution to global warming.
"Governments should phase
out subsidies on fossil fuels, and instead work towards transitioning
to low-carbon renewable energy. We cannot continue with a
business-as-usual scenario if we want to ensure our safety and that of
future generations," she said.
The ASEAN for a Fair,
Ambitious and Binding Global Climate Deal (A-FAB) is an organization
that calls for a more active and transparent participation of the
Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Church leaders call
for resumption of GPH-NDFP formal talks on UN day of peace
By Philippine Ecumenical
September 21, 2014
MANILA - On September 21, the
Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP), the largest ecumenical
network of church leaders in the country, marked the United Nations
Day of Peace by sponsoring a mass at the Malate Catholic Church in
Manila. The mass was lead by PEPP co-chair Archbishop Antonio J.
Ledesma, S.J., of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro.
Archbishop Ledesma stated
that "on this historic day, when the United Nations declared the right
to peace, and as we recall the long war that has raged in our country,
we call on the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National
Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to return to the
negotiating table to address the substantive issues that remain as the
root cause of armed conflict in our country".
He also stated that for us
Filipinos, September 21 has added significance as "it marks the
anniversary of the imposition of martial law which caused many
suffering”. He said that there “was unpeace during martial law and the
challenge of peace building still continues as an element of our
The statement of the
Archbishop shows that the roots of dissent are in the deeper social
realities of injustice. Peace cannot prosper without justice that
restores right relationship.
After the mass, members of
the PEPP unfurled a streamer in front of the church calling for the
resumption of the formal peace talks and rang bells with the same
message while the church's bells were tolling. They also reiterated
the call to both parties to respect the historical agreements that
have already been achieved in the peace process such as the
Comprehensive Agreement for Respect for Human Rights and International
Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).
Thirty years ago, the United
Nations issued the "declaration on the right to peace" which affirmed
peace as a sacred right of all people and a primary prerequisite for
the material wellbeing, development and the progress of countries. The
United Nations declared that the "preservation of the right of people
to peace and the promotion of its implementation constitute a
fundamental obligation of each state."
ng Bayan' bill to give 80k students access to free college education
By Office of the Senate
September 21, 2014
PASAY CITY – Senate Majority
Leader Alan Peter “Companero” S. Cayetano is optimistic that close to
80,000 graduating public high school students will be able to avail
free and quality college education next school year once the landmark
measure Iskolar ng Bayan bill is enacted into law.
Cayetano, principal author
of the bill, issued the statement after the bicameral conference panel
passed the measure on Thursday.
“The enactment of the
Iskolar ng Bayan bill into law will change the lives of almost 80,000
children dreaming of a better future for their families. It is a way
of letting 80,000 families feel the benefits of a growing economy.
This is the very essence of inclusive growth," he said.
"This will give deserving
students opportunities to land better paying jobs and subsequently
provide better futures for their families."
Once the bicam report is
ratified, the proposed law will be sent to Malacaňang for President
Aquino’s signature. Cayetano expressed confidence the President will
affix his signature to this landmark measure.
"I thank members of the
bicam panel as well as House and Senate leaders who made the measure a
priority bill. This is a testament to the ability of members of
Congress to disregard politics in order to work for the greater good,"
It was one of the priority
bills identified by House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and Majority
Leader Neptali Gonzales II.
"We also thank Senator Pia
Cayetano and Pasig City Representative Roman Romulo for shepherding
the bill in their respective committees in the Senate and House of
Representatives, and in the plenary. Our utmost gratitude for their
efforts to help improve the welfare of our youth," Cayetano added.
Under the proposal, the
government shall mandate all state universities and colleges (SUCs) to
give automatic admission and scholarship grants to the top ten public
high school students of their respective graduating classes.
"More than a landmark
measure for the 16th Congress, the enactment of the Iskolar ng Bayan
bill is a commitment to the Filipino youth that they have a government
working for their future. Kahit malayo pa ang graduation, ito na
siguro ang pinakamagandang regalo na mabibigay natin sa ating mga
kabataan at kanilang mga magulang na naghihirap sa pagtatrabaho para
mapag-aral ang kanilang mga anak," Cayetano said.
Cayetano earlier emphasized
that the measure becomes particularly important now that the pork
barrel has been abolished by Congress, leaving some 400,000 scholars
on their own to fend for their schooling.