About 5 solons
allocate part of their ‘pork barrel’ to EVRMC patients
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– About five solons and one governor in Region 8 have allocated a
certain part of their priority development assistance fund (PDAF) to
Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC), Dr. Alberto de Leon,
chief of hospital informed the Philippine Information Agency.
Dr. De Leon named the
congressmen as Hon. Reynaldo Uy of the 1st district of Samar; Hon.
Sharie Ann Tan of the 2nd District of Samar; Hon. Carmen Cari of the
5th District of Leyte; Hon. Bembem Noel of the An Waray Party List;
and Hon. Martin Romualdez of the 1st district of Leyte.
Governor Roger Espina
of the province of Biliran also allocated a certain budget to the
However, Dr. de Leon
clarified that the EVRMC is not allowed to just disburse the funds
from the various congressmen and governor. The Memorandum of Agreement
is very definite that the allocation is only for the constituents of
the respective congressmen, Dr. De Leon bared.
The patient, in order
to be able to avail of the funds, must present an endorsement letter
from the congressman which specifies up to what amount the patient is
This should enlighten
the patients who usually request to avail of their congressman’s funds
at the EVRMC, without showing any proof that they are authorized or
entitled to the avail of the fund.
Dr. De Leon called on
the public who would like to avail of their congressmen’s hospital
allocation, to first secure a letter from the Congressman, addressed
to the hospital. This will prevent misunderstanding and mix-up in the
future, Dr. De Leon said.
Dr. De Leon also
clarified that although EVRMC is a government hospital, there is still
a counterpart of the patient. For Class C patients who are really
impoverish, they are required to pay 25% of the total medical
expenses. Class B or the middle income level patients, pay 50% of the
total hospitalization expenses while Class A are those who are capable
of paying and so they are supposed to pay 100 % of the total cost of
KSFi calls for
provincial official’s action on women’s issues
MYRA M. TAMBOR
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– Samar’s women organization Katungod Han Samareña Foundation, Inc.
speaks up and calls for the elected provincial officials to act on the
issues and concern of women and gender issues in the province.
In a letter dated
January 17, 2008 addressed to Board Member Casilda C. Lim, as Chairman
of Committee on Women of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Lim is being
requested to sponsor a Board Resolution creating the Provincial Gender
and Development Council.
Katungod han Samareña
Foundation, Inc or KSFi is determined to push the campaign to
mainstream Gender and Development or GAD into the development
consciousness of the Local Government Units in Samar into a higher
gear. “We feel, now is the opportune time to go for it because we have
women leaders whom we believe would appreciate what we are doing”, Ms.
Nenita B. Felebrico, KSFi Chairperson said.
Board has now five women leaders. Former Calbiga, Samar Mayor
Luzviminda L. Nacario, PCL Provincial Federation President Perfecta
Sabenecio, Former Zumarraga Mayor Casilda C. Lim, a young lawyer,
Atty. Eunice U. Babalcon and from the 1st District, Board Members
Rosenaida A. Rosales and Pamela M. Portaleza.
KSFi cited that in
this call, they are enjoining the lady legislators as a woman and as a
legitimate leader of Samareñas to be one with them in this endeavor.
The organization emphasizes that Lim as the chairman of Committee on
Women is in an enviable position to lead the campaign.
gender and development is the government’s strategy to implement its
policy on gender equality. This was introduced by the National
Commission on the Role of Filipino Women or NCRFW in 1994, but
Samar most of the
local government units according to some sources are not even aware of
In 2003, KSFi
initiated a campaign to mainstream GAD in selected areas of Catbalogan
City though it has limited funding and lacks policy support at the
local level. At present, KSFi campaign activities are limited to
advocacy and training activities for women among its NGO networks.
The said organization
is optimistic that their call will be properly addressed soon. They
intend to highlight women’s month celebration on March of this year by
the creation of the Provincial Gender and Development Council for
Samar. “If created this will spur the campaign to mainstream GAD
into the development agenda of the Local Government Units from the
Provincial down to the Barangay level of the province”, Felebrico
It will be recalled
that the Provincial GAD Council was first organized at the time of the
late Samar Governor Jose A. Roño and has been inactive since then.
But KSFi insists that they count on the good intentions of the
Provincial Elected Officials and their wise judgment to push this goal
into fruition so that collectively a difference can be made in the
lives of Samareñas.
DENR 8 produces 2
million seedlings under Trees for Life Program
By PURIFICACION S. DALOOS
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– Over 2 million seedlings were raised in 2007 with 48,957 seedlings
planted covering an area of 983.48 hectares and an aggregate of 37.61
kilometer stretch in Eastern Visayas.
“This is our
contribution to the Trees for Life Project implemented in 2007 which
seeks to raise 20 million seedlings for planting and nurturing all
over the country,” reveals Regional Executive Director Alfredo S.
Pascual of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
RED Pascual likewise
disclosed that most of these seedlings were produced and planted by
volunteers from the different sectors of society including the
military, other government agencies, academe, non-government
organizations, local government units, church and civic groups. “These
‘adoptors’ not only helped us plant the trees, but they also pledged
to nurture and maintain the planted seedlings,” RED Pascual added.
The planting of the
trees followed a “thematic-based” approach involving simultaneous
nationwide planting of seedlings in pre-identified planting areas.
Under the thematic approach, planting was undertaken in protected
areas, watersheds and open upland areas for the month of August;
mangrove and coastal areas in September; agroforestry and fruit tree
areas in October; and urban parks, school campuses, military camps and
subdivisions in November.
In Eastern Visayas,
tree planting in thematic areas was launched at the
Samar Island Natural Park
in Tenani, Samar as the identified protected area/watershed.
Identified mangrove and coastal areas was the Biri-Larosa Seascape in
Northern Samar which was planted with trees in September. Planting in
agro-forestry areas and fruit trees was launched at the IFMA site of
the Manobo Tribe in Tacloban City. Likewise, the planting in urban
parks and school campuses was launched in Maasin City.
“The Trees for Life
Project is one way of combating the effects of global warming,” RED
Pascual says. “Growing trees serve as our legacy for the future
generations. What we have started today should result in something
good in the future,” RED Pascual adds.
Under its regular
activities, the DENR has likewise reforested some 353 hectares in
upland and watershed areas in Eastern Visayas with over 0.52 million
seedlings in 2007.
All is set to the 13th
Boy Scouts Regional Jamborette in Maasin
By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern
January 21, 2008
MAASIN CITY, Southern
Leyte – It’s all set for the holding of another Regional Boy Scouts
Jamborette in this city within the month, from January 30 until
February 3, to be held at the Danao Forest Park.
The site is now “60%
to 70% ready,” said Mayor Maloney Samaco, in a sideline chat with PIA
Wednesday shortly before he delivered his first State-of-the-City (SOCA)
address at the city gym.
Some 3,000 to 4,000
scouts and scouters from various places in Regions 7 and 8 are
expected to come for the duration of the activity, where challenges
and adventures usually await the young for them to enjoy, learn, and
have clean fun.
“We just hope the
weather will cooperate,” Mayor Samaco said earlier in a radio program,
referring to the rainy conditions that continue to prevail last week
until this writing.
The guest of honor for
the occasion will be Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay, the national
President of the Boy Scouts, and he had confirmed his intention to
personally come to grace the opening ceremonies and spend the night in
the city, Mayor Samaco had said.
A parade to mark the
opening ceremonies will be held in the afternoon of January 30,
starting from Anatalio Gaviola Public Plaza in the city’s center up to
the Capitol Sunken grounds, to be followed with a brief program.
This will be the 13th
Regional Jamborette, but this is the first time the city will host
In his 13-point
agenda, on Youth Empowerment, Samaco included the activation of
scouting in all schools with matching trainings.
He also encouraged the
same degree of training for girl scouting, appointing his Mother, Engr.
Esperanza Samaco to become the “city girl scouting coordinator at a
salary of P 1.00 a year.”
Danao Forest Park,
a reservation of more than 400 hectares of forest lands under the care
of the city government, can be reached in about 20 minutes ride time
upland from the city proper going north.
training, set for Visayas Media
MYRA M. TAMBOR
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– Twenty media practitioners from Visayas Region to attend another
reporting skills training to be conducted by Center for Community
Journalism and Development (CCJD) on January 31 to February 2, 2008 in
Said training aims to
equipped media with the latest reports on human trafficking issue in
the region and how the community journalist will be able to use its
capabilities in taking part with the efforts of curbing human
trafficking in their localities.
Center for Community
Journalism and Development cited that the Philippines has been
identified as a source, transit and destination country for victims of
human trafficking and was placed on Tier 2-watch list on the 2005
United States Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report. CCJD
Project Coordinator Girlie Alvarez said that “despite the intensified
efforts coming from both the government and non-government
organizations to address this problem it is still disturbing to note
that the numbers are increasing and seemingly the reasons which
account for this dreadful situation have included indifference,
erosion of family values and poverty”.
With this seminar cum
hands-on training, CCJD will try to look into the role of the
community journalists in raising knowledge and awareness in different
localities of the country and participation of community stakeholders
in coming up with solutions to better address the situation.
Journalists are expected to be oriented on the different local and
international laws and conventions, state of trafficking in persons in
the country, best practices in combating human trafficking, ethics and
safety in covering human trafficking stories and reporting on human
From the Samar Island
5 journalists are expected to attend the said training. Samar
province has been identified by Visayan Forum an NGO advocating
against human trafficking in the country as one of the highway and
source of human trafficking in the country. Poverty and lack of
employment opportunities is being attributed as one of the factors of
this incidence in the said province.
believes that community journalists will be of great help in the
efforts being conducted to address the said problem. Center for
Community Journalism and Development is a facility for journalists
working with citizens, communities and institutions for social change.
attains 115% rice sufficiency
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– Region 8 attained a 115 % rice sufficiency in 2007, producing
950,000 metric tons of rice, Dr. Rufino Ayaso III, the Regional Rice
Coordinator of the Department of Agriculture informed when he guested
at the Panindugan television program of the Philippine Information
Dr. Ayaso said the
Region has been consistently increasing its rice production in the
past three years surpassing its annual target.
In 2005, the Regions
total rice production was 788,000 metric tons while in 2006, this
increased to 830,000 metric tons, Director Ayaso informed.
The 2007 rice
production of Region 8 achieved a 17.7 percent increase, surpassing
its annual target. In 2008, the Department of Agriculture in
Eastern Visayas is targeting a one million 64 metric tons rice and in
2010, the target for
Eastern Visayas is nine million metric tons.
Director Ayaso said
that the Department of Agriculture said that the Region was able to
achieve this target by its continuous advocacy on the
commercialization of hybrid rice, the planting of Certified Seeds in
low yielding areas and the application of location specific
For this year,
Director Ayaso added that the Department of Agriculture will continue
to work for the commercialization of Hybrid Rice particularly in Samar
provinces where rice production is still low.
The Department of
Agriculture will also strengthen the coordination with the Local
Government Units particularly in discussing the rice development
program of the provinces and strengthening the involvement of rice
enhancement programs in the local government units in order to
increase rice production.
Director Ayaso said
that although the Region has already attained 115 percent rice
sufficiency, the availability of rice is not at one time because there
are several cropping season in the Region.
Hybrid Rice production
in the Region will be encouraged not just in irrigated farms but also
in rain-fed fields because the experience showed that there is still
an increase in yield of farmers hybrid rice in rain-fed fields. The
total yield in rice production is 4 metric tons per hectare of
irrigated lands and 3 metric tons in rain-fed lands, Director Ayaso
Although the cost of
Hybrid Rice seeds is P3,000.00 per hectare versus the lower cost
certified rice, the Department of Agriculture is subsidizing
P1,000.00. The remainder could be paid in advance by the Local
Government Units as loans to the farmers and these are paid after
This way, the
income of the farmers will increase and the problem of the local
government units will also be reduced.
DILG helps small towns
avail of MDG fund
By MYLES JOSEPH E. COLASITO
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– Eleven towns in Eastern Visayas were trained recently by the
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on preparing
project proposals for submission to the Municipal Development Fund
Office (MDFO), a loan facility for poorer towns.
had earlier submitted Letters of Intent to DILG in response to feelers
from the office for project proposals that address problems targeted
by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The guest speaker,
Paizal Abutazil, Director of the Office of Project Development
Services (OPDS) of the DILG Central Office said the MDG Fund was
opened for fourth to sixth class towns to help them access financing
for projects they could not otherwise afford with their own revenue.
He assured concerns of
municipal mayors who attended the opening of the three-day workshop at
Hotel Alejandro in Tacloban City on January 14-16, 2008 that interest
rates have been made low to suit 4th to 6th class municipalities, in
contrast to other financing schemes intended for cities and higher
Director William C. Paler on the other hand, challenged municipal
mayors who attended the Opening Rites to take steps to increase their
local revenue so their local government could further improve their
delivery of basic services. Most LGUs in the country are dependent on
the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA).
Mayors who joined the
Open Forum were Hon. Rustico Balderian of Tabon-tabon, Leyte; Arnelito
Garing of Cabucgayan, Biliran; Joji Montallana of Jipapad,
Ricardo Diaz of Palapag, Northern Samar; and Rogelio Tan of Pambujan,
of municipal planning officers, MLGOOs and technical personnel,
learned what to include in project proposals, its format, and the
financing requirements. The MDG Fund is a joint project of DILG and
the Department of Finance which supports loans from 4th to 6th class
towns up to 15 Million Pesos aimed at addressing poverty problems,
such as those highlighted by results from the Community Based
Monitoring System (CBMS) survey that is being advocated by the agency.
The MDGs are the
country’s commitment to the United Nations Year 2000 Declaration on
the fight against poverty and hunger. Poverty indicators can be
gleaned from surveys such as the CBMS, which identifies households
below the poverty line.
filing of graft charges against 2 Customs police
By Office of the Ombudsman
January 18, 2008
Philippines – Ombudsman Ma. Merceditas N. Gutierrez today ordered
the filing of graft charges against two members of the Customs police
who connived to misdeclare a shipment of 50 laptop computers and pass
these off as electric lamps.
In a three-page
resolution, Ombudsman Gutierrez ordered the filing of charges against
Alfredo Cruz, a member of the Public Assistance Unit, and Rizalino
Calderon, Customs Examiner, both of the NAIA Customs police.
The case stemmed from
a complaint filed by George Sambre, who alleged that on March 30,
2007, a shipment consigned to one Mario Gonzales arrived aboard Cathay
Pacific Flight CX-901. The contents of the shipment were declared to
be Electrical Goods as shown in the airway bill.
The said shipment was
duly examined by one R.D. Calderon, who declared it as containing 50
pieces of portable electric lamps, as evidenced by the Examiner’s
findings which he signed and was approved by Alfredo Cruz.
examination of members of the Enforcement and Security Service-Customs
Police District (ESS-CPD) of the NAIA District Office, it was found
that the shipment actually contained 50 laptop computers.
upon learning that the said shipment was confiscated and was
recommended to be placed under a hold departure order contacted the
chief of the ESS-CPD and attempted to “fix” the problem. He was,
however, turned down by the ESS-CPD chief.
The Intelligence and
Enforcement Group of the Bureau of Customs summoned Cruz and Calderon
to explain their side, but both failed to appear and were reported to
be on leave. Thereafter, a recommendation was made to file charges
against them before the Office of the Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman, in
turn, directed Cruz and Calderon to file their counter-affidavits and
other controverting evidence, which they also failed to do.
In its resolution, the
Ombudsman said that Calderon’s act of signing the Examiner’s Findings
was an attempt to cover up the items for some special reason, and
constitutes a violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 (The
Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act).
In the case of Cruz,
his act of approving the findings of Calderon made him equally liable
for violating RA 3019. Moreover, his attempt to interfere in the
confiscation of the laptops constitutes a violation of Section 3(a) of
the same act as well as Article 212 of the Revised Penal Code.
In line with this,
Ombudsman Gutierrez urged the public to help in the campaign against
graft and corruption by reporting any information on perceived
irregularities and anomalies in government service thru OMB Hotlines
927-4102 and 927-2404.
NPA members surrender
By Maj. OTHELO D. YAÑEZ (FA) PA
Catbalogan City – The ranks of the CPP/NPA/NDF continue to diminish as
another two (2) NPA members voluntary surrendered to elements of 43rd
Infantry Battalion in separate occasions in Leyte province.
On January 4, 2008,
Narceso Lor alias Elor surrendered to elements of Bravo Company of
43IB in Brgy. Luneta, Lapaz, Leyte with a Caliber .30 M1 Garand rifle.
Likewise, on January 12, 2008, Antonio Selvio, a communist terrorist
member also surrendered to same elements of 43IB in Brgy. Caabangan,
Lapaz of same province with his M16 rifle and ammunitions.
The series of
surrender among Communist Terrorists members and supporters shows that
they are already fed up and dismayed with the false promises and
horrible lifestyle in the underground movement. Moreso, when they
learned that their commanders are enjoying a luxurious lifestyle in
the city as a proof of the earlier arrest of Iglecerio Peria “Ka Choy”
at Sta. Maria cockpit Arena in Bulacan spending revolutionary Tax
This was attributed
through the massive information campaign and tactical operations
conducted by the operating elements of 43rd Infantry Battalion in the
Major General Armando
L Cunanan AFP, Commander, 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army
commended the operating troops of the 43rd Infantry Battalion for a
job well done.
He also encouraged
other members and supporters of the New People’s Army to lay down
their arms and return to mainstream society while he extend his
gratitude to the people of Leyte for the unwavering support they are
extending to our troops operating in the province of Leyte.