San Jorge marks 25th
Founding Anniversary Day
By RICKY J. BAUTISTA
SAN JORGE, Samar - The municipality of San Jorge will celebrate its 25th
year of existence as a town which started October 1, until its culmination
on the 10th day. The theme for this year's celebration is "Kauswagan
aton Makakab‑otan kun aton Pagburugligan”.
This fifth class municipality which is under the
new leadership of Mayor Joseph "Jojo" Grey takes a new stride by giving
importance to the celebration of the town embarking on several activities
geared towards making the celebration a meaningful and dramatic one.
As a whole, the town's chief executive wanted to
inculcate in the minds of all San Jorgehanons and Samarnons,
the sense of gratitude of the town's creation, making them aware of their
local history, rich cultural heritage that somehow can be proud of.
Thus, a series of activities have been prepared
by the local officials and its employees that started on October 1 until
Nancy Grey, the wife of the mayor and other
municipal councilors led the tree planting activity of almost 5,000 Pili,
Caimito, Jackfruits and other fruit trees seedlings along the town's
Maharlika highways and in the front and backyard of the Municipal Hall
around 9a.m. of October 1, and in the afternoon of the same day the office
of the mayor spearheaded a town‑wide clean‑up drive with the help of some
volunteer individuals from the Philippine Guardians Brotherhood Incorporated
(PGBI), 34th Infantry Division, PNP, and municipal employees.
On October 2, the town's famous tourist
attraction Blanca Aurora Falls, was the venue for the "Family Day" of all
municipal officials, employees, national and local government agencies, and
even to the residents of this town.
The October 3 Agro Fair was found beneficial to
those who were fond of native products. In this fair, several kinds of
native products such as vegetables, root crops, and other finished farm
products from upland barangays of San Jorge was displayed. The Agro Fair is
expected to last until October 8.
Meanwhile on October 9, is a cultural
competition on Minus‑One singing, Siday and Folk Dance contest wherein these
will be participated in by the talented town residents, especially the young
On the culmination day, October 10, a grand
parade will be held around the town and will showcase the highlights of the
celebration such as the field demonstrations, medical/dental mission, and
awarding of prizes to the winners of the previous affair‑related
Other highlights of the celebration is the
distribution of certificates of land ownership (CLOAs) which is, according
to municipal agrarian reform officer Luz Bisnar, has been granted by the
Department of Agriculture through the efforts made by the mayor.
During the evening socials, Major Gen. Glenn
Rabonza, commanding general of the 8t Infantry Division based in Catbalogan,
which is the main guest speaker of the affair will distribute the
"Outstanding Citizens of San Jorge Awards" to selected San Jorge residents.
He will be assisted by Mayor Joseph Grey, Dr. Teofilo C. Cailo SSACAF
Vice‑President, and Search and Awards Committee Chair Dr. Claudio Lapure,
District Supervisor of the San Jorge district Department of Education.
Heroes amongst us
- The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.(RAFI) is searching for unsung heroes in
the Visayas and Mindanao for its 3rd Triennial Awards. The awards give recognition to individuals
and institutions who, through their efforts, bring hope and change to better
the lives of the less privileged. By recognizing these noteworthy examples,
RAFI wishes to spread the light of hope and dispel the growing darkness of
uncertainty and despair.
Agriculture and beyond
For 32 straight years, Dr.
Warlito Laquihon spent time, talent, and even resources in bringing about
development right where the action is - The Mindanao countryside.
Ministering to the needs of
the poorest Filipino upland residents, Dr. Laquihon co developed the now
internationally famous Sloping Agricultural Land Technology (SALT), along
with Rev. Rodrigo Calixtro and the American Baptist Minister Watson.
Today, SALT has already
carved a name in agricultural development for the uplands throughout the
world. It is a package of technology on soil conservation and food
production. Up to 25 countries in Asia, Africa, and Central America have
adopted this method.
From the foothills of Mt.
Apo in Kinuskusan, Bansalan, Davao del Sur, Dr. Laquihon has also developed
the Mountain Integrated Development and Stewardship (MIDAS) project, the
first "natural farming" model in the Philippine uplands.
For over three decades, his
pioneering programs and projects have changed countless lives here and
All love to lose
In its 35 years of
existence, Eddie M. Alih is hailed as the only chancellor who finished his
five-year term in the Mindanao State University
- Tawi-Tawi College of Technology and Oceanography (MSU-TCTO).
MSU-TCTO operates 20
community high schools in nine municipalities and has three extension
colleges. Colleagues attribute the university's growth to the chancellor's
relentless efforts in terms of physical development, efficient
administration and management, institutional and academic advancement, and
Alih is an advocate for
social change, as he is a member of various non-government organizations
(NGOs) and actively participating in government efforts for peace and
"People go to him when they
need someone to settle conflicts," says a member of the Muslim religious
council. Alih is known in the community as one who can mediate disputes.
Quoting the Holy Qur'an ("Allah calls to the home of peace"), Alih maintains
personal contacts with former Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels
in the hinterlands. He does so to bring development and peace to the
Alih's work in bridging the
divide between the MNLF and government, paved the way for various peace
initiatives. These peace-building efforts culminated in the signing of the
1996 Peace Agreement in Jakarta, Indonesia.
"We give of ourselves to
those whom our hearts bleed for, and we are moved to doing what is right,
necessary, and true. We do it not because there is something to gain, but
that we have all that love to lose," Alih expressed.
Rays of hope
He or she may be your
teacher or doctor, a social healer in every sense of the word. Individuals
and institutions who do not seek glory and honor for themselves; yet choose
to uphold honor and dignity of those they work with - the ordinary farmer,
the fisher, the poor and disenfranchised.
There are others like Dr.
Laquihon and Alih whom we found. There are even more we need to seek and
Let us look into those who
think of others more and think of themselves less, so we may all have a
[For more information about
the RAFI Triennial Awards, please visit
www.rafi.org.ph or contact the Secretariat at (032) 255-5626 or 27.
Deadline for nominations is on November 30, 2004.]
8ID weeds out misfit in own ranks
Maj. FELIX M. MANGYAO, (INF) PA
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan, Samar – In line
the Philippine Army’s goal to have highly disciplined and professional
soldiers, the 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army has caused the
discharge of Fifty Two (52) Enlisted Personnel from the military service
after having found guilty of violating various offense covering the period
from 01 January this year to date.
Of the 52 discharged
personnel, forty (40) were found to be Absent Without Official Leave (AWOL);
five (5) were identified using prohibited drugs through random drug testing;
one (1) for murder; one (1) for Frustrated Murder, one (1) for Homicide, one
(1) for Breach of Promise to marry; one (1) for Breach of Command Policy,
one (1) for Detention; and one (1) for Indiscriminate Firing. The
involvement of military personnel in these criminal/illegal activities are
violations of different provisions of the Articles of War and other related
provisions of law.
recently directed the subordinate Commanders to strongly impose the policy
that when personnel is found guilty of the offense he has committed, the
administrative discharge/separation from the service shall take effect
immediately for the interest of justice. In instances where the case falls
under the jurisdiction of the civilian courts, the case shall be
relentlessly pursued in coordination with the prosecutor’s office or
Ombudsman as the case may be. In such cases, the administrative
discharge/separation of the erring military personnel after finding
substantial evidence of against him shall be immediately implemented
contemporaneous with the turnover to the appropriate civilian court. This is
clearly enunciated in the Administrative Order Number 40, dated February 24,
Thus, 8ID Commanding
General, MGen. Glenn J. Rabonza has consistently enforced disciplinary
actions on erring troops throughout Region 8. MGen. Rabonza also assures the
public that the rule of law applies in the resolution of cases. “I believe
and uphold the due process. We will continue imposing good discipline for
the good of the military service, as the Command does not and will not
tolerate abusive acts“, Rabonza added.
2 NGOs act on flood problem in
Samar’s First District to save 6,576 has. ricelands
CHITO DELA TORRE
CATBALOGAN, Samar - Two leaders of
non-government organizations here are hoping that top government officials
will soon be moving fast to restore the reliable productivity level of some
6,576 hectares of rice lands in four towns of the First Congressional
District of Western Samar that go under water for 7 days to 30 days during
each yearly visit by devastating flood waters brought about by heavy rains.
Chairman Gerardo M. Malinao
of GIOS-Samar and vice-chairman Albina Valles of the Samar People’s Economic
Council Foundation Inc. (SPECFI) assured that the non-government
organizations that they represent have already taken cognizance of the
seriousness of the perennial flood problem that had been occurring yearly
since the year 1960 in the towns of San Jorge, Gandara, Tarangnan and
Pagsanghan, as researched by development facilitator Pascual Cosmod of the
Department of Agrarian Reform municipal office in San Jorge.
Malinao, who is also a
fisherfolk sectoral council member of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC),
said he will push for immediate action by the NAPC, and even try to bring
this problem to the attention of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, when he
visits Metro Manila early in October to attend the NAPC national meeting.
Valles, meanwhile, has
appealed to her fellow members in the Samar Provincial Disaster Coordinating
Council to include in their next meeting’s agenda the flood problem and help
come up with strategies that could facilitate solving of the problem.
Malinao and Valles discussed the flood problem during the recent
consultative meeting between the DAR and the NGO-Media after hearing an
update on the validation activities being undertaken by DAR field
personnel. In that same meeting, chief agrarian reform officer Bernardo
Bacurio, who represented DAR regional director Tiburcio A. Morales Jr.,
revealed that being a native himself of Gandara, he is very much aware of
the problem that has been there a long, long time ago. Bacurio added more
barrios to the list of flood-affected barangays in Gandara.
Data presented by Cosmod
showed that of the 76 barangays heavily affected by the yearly flood, 33
are found in Gandara, 32 in San Jorge, 8 in Tarangnan and 2 in Pagsanghan,
all identified as agrarian reform areas of which 6,190.2808 hectares are
covered by 670 certificates of land ownership award and another 385.7238
hectares by 704 Emancipation Patents issued respectively to 2,630 and 425
farmer-beneficiaries, or a total of 3,055 such farmers who have become new
landowners pursuant to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.
In Gandara alone, submerged
are over 2,912 has. which have been distributed to 1,218 CLOA holders (for
an aggregate total area of 2,800.8018 has.) and another 180 EP holders (for
111.2830 has.), or a total of 1,398 CARP beneficiaries.
San Jorge has more than
2,543 has. affected, owned by 941 CLOA holders (for 2,299.0125 has.) and 233
EP holders (for 244.7965 has.), while the rice lands affected in Tarangnan
are some 1,098 has. owned by 462 CLOA holders (for 1,069.1256 has.) and 11
EP holders (29.2808 has.), and in Pagsanghan, 22 has. owned by 9 CLOA
holders (for 21 9874 and EP holders (for 0.3635 has.).
Tuberculosis – No. 1 affliction of teachers
of Volunteer Educators
September 24, 2004
MANILA, Philippines - The Alliance of
Volunteer Educators (AVE) partylist has expressed concern over numbers of
teachers, particularly those in public schools, who are suffering from
pulmonary tuberculosis (TB).
Gathered from the
Department of Education (DepEd), data shows that about 2,376 public school
teachers all over the country are afflicted with tuberculosis.
According to Director
Thelma G. Santos of the Health and Nutrition Center of the Department of
Education, this may be so because of their monthly compensation barely
permits them to afford vitamins and regular medical consultation.
Rep. Eulogio “Amang” R.
Magsaysay is deeply alarmed about this latest report on our educators.
“The root cause of this is
poverty. These teachers are not getting proper nutrition because they cannot
afford to,” he said.
He likewise mentioned that
most of these teachers live in areas where sanitation is very poor.
Also, facilities in schools
where they teach are inadequate and substandard. Classrooms in public
schools are congested and poorly ventilated. Some schools in the Metropolis
are even built near dumpsites. These factors adversely affect the physical
well being of teachers and students alike.
Teachers in public schools
in Tatalon and Payatas for instance handle at least 6 to 8 classes everyday
for 40 minutes to one hour per class.
“And, if one has to handle
100 to 120 per class, it means conducting classes to almost 1,000 pupils a
day. It’s like talking to a small rally everyday sans a megaphone,”
Magsaysay pointed out.
For the entry level, a
teacher gets P9,939 monthly, an amount that is hardly sufficient to buy
nutritious food, decent shelter and clothing.
Recent statistics released
by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) states that a
family of five needs at least P16,500 to be able to cope with the current
economic situation in the country.
“Such condition has forced
many of the brightest public school teachers in the country to leave for
jobs abroad as domestic helpers,” Magsaysay stressed.
AVE opined that this
problem on health could have been prevented had the government been quick to
address the plight of our teaching professionals.
PNP foils NPA’s plot to tear down Globe cellsite in Calbiga
By ROMMEL L. RUTOR
CALBIGA, Samar – An extremely well administered
intelligence network of the Philippine National Police (PNP) here save the
day for the newly constructed multi-million peso cellular phone
communications tower, operated by Globe Telecom Philippines, in this town,
from a supposed bomb attack by communist insurgents.
Intelligence operatives of the local PNP unit here were quick enough to
validate the reports furnished to them by some locals here, who informed,
that unidentified armed men were seen roaming the vicinity of the tower few
days before the scheduled cellsite activation slated on Sept. 15, this year.
Incidentally, all PNP units nationwide was in full alert status including
that of the Calbiga town, after the bombing of the Australian embassy in
Indonesia by the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah, so to avert possible
mimicking from the local communist terrorists.
As this developed, Samar PNP Provincial Director Supt. Conrado
Verzo-Calvario called up an immediate command conference Monday last week,
at the headquarters of the 810th PNP Mobile Group based in Brgy.
Canticum, this town, to reinforce the security measures being undertaken,
not just in the town of Calbiga, but likewise on other towns that are prone
to NPA raids.
With vital information at hand, Supt. Calvario instructed the Calbiga Police
Chief SPO4 Demosthenes Calidaya to regularly conduct security patrol on the
tower zone, and other areas with vital installations, to make sure that the
scheduled activation and operation of the communications tower will not be
Supt. Calvario likewise expressed his gratitude towards the locals for the
information they provided to the PNP, apparently, the local PNP here under
the leadership of SPO4 Calidaya was instructed to beef up their community
relations activities to further gain the support of the local populace.
It can be recalled that last year, alleged laxity in manning the local PNP
unit here, have resulted to an unpredicted town raid, with the CPP-NPA
overrunning the town’s police station. The raid caused a morbid perception
on the capacity of the PNP here against the insurgents, but Gen. Dionisio
Coloma himself, conducted the ocular investigation of the unpleasant
incident, to revive the spirits of the locals. Accordingly, at least seven
sightings have been recorded before town raid last year was executed.
In year 2000, a Smart Communication’s operated relay tower located in San
Andres, Catbalogan, Samar was the first to fall to this terroristic act of
the CPP-NPA, when the insurgents bomb and destroyed the tower, due to the
failure of the cellphone company to pay the revolutionary tax being asked
from them by communist terrorists. The same was the reason why the Smart
Communications Cellsite tower in Paranas town, suffered delay in the
construction due to the intervention of the CPP-NPA.
“But with the trust and confidence being extended to us by the residents
themselves of this town, any terroristic activities that are being plotted
by the New People’s Army will always be averted”, PNP Provincial Director
Conrado Verzo-Calvario pointed out.
H.R. 677 supporters gather more steam
LOS ANGELES, California, USA - With
the aggressive campaigns of Congressmen Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA) and
Bob Filner (D-CA), sponsor and main co-sponsor of H.R. 677 - Filipino
Veterans Equity Act, the bipartisan supporters increased to 195, as of
September 14th, according to Paul Mazzeno, legislative assistant of
Congressmen Cunningham and
Filner were very impressed by the unified support of the Filipino-Americian
community, including those from various veterans organizations, numerous
civic associations, and supporters of the Filipino WW II veterans' cause.
"We are within the striking
distance, and must seize the moment" said Cesar P. Patulot, the chairman and
CEO of the Los Angeles-based FilAmVets Foundation, Inc., in collaboration
with various veterans and civic leaders, and veterans cause supporters.
Congressman Filner in his
letter to Patulot on September 9, 2004, the San Diego legislator reiterated
to contact the House Armed Services Committee and House Veterans Affairs
Committee who have not yet co-sponsored the bill. He also requested for a
hearing in this bill, per Patulot's request.
"With few weeks remaining
before the 108th Congress' 2nd Session take its recess in preparation for
the November, 2004 Presidential election, time is of the essence for a more
innovative, forceful and united action in this campaign", said Patulot.
"While H.R. 677 is a
milestone step to partially rectify the long overdue injustices to our
valiant soldiers who are most ill, financially destitute, aging fast, and
dying at the rate of 7-10 a day, we must not loose sight in the final and
immediate resolution of the veterans' cause - Repeal the 1946 Rescission
Acts! Now!", further said by Patulot.
While this campaign in
bipartisan, the Republican legislators are dragging their feet. This is a
wake-up call and a challenge to the Filipino American Republican leadership.
Preparations for 2005 Sea Games in Manila should start now
of Volunteer Educators
September 17, 2004
MANILA, Philippines - Joining the nation
in applauding our athletes’ strong finish in the recently-concluded 2004
Olympics in Greece, the Alliance of Volunteer Educators (AVE) Rep. Eulogio
“Amang” R. Magsaysay today asked the country’s sports and education
officials to start preparations for the Philippines’ turn in hosting the
regional tournament in 2005.
“If we want to make our
country proud for the success and garnering the top spot in the 2005 SEA
games, the preparations should commence as soon as possible,” Magsaysay
Magsaysay is hopeful that the allocated P50 million for SEA Games in the
proposed 2005 national budget would be increased and adequately fund the
preparations for the international games.
According to AVE, apart
from building new facilities and sprucing up the old ones, the Philippines
needs to further improve training of its current athletes and discover new
ones. Early preparations will help ensure that our athletes would be more
than ready by 2005.
Last year, the Philippines
garnered 48 golds, 54 silvers and 75 bronzes in the Vietnam
meet, enough to overtake Malaysia in the medal rankings.
“It shows how our athletes
could deliver regardless of the meager government support. We join the
people in paying tribute to our athletes who made the flag fly high in
Vietnam,” the solon said.
Host Vietnam bagged the
overall champion with 158-97-91, followed by Thailand’s 90-92-98 and
He added that “with
adequate resources, the Philippines
could further improve its record and perhaps achieve the top spot among our
The AVE leader said
teachers from elementary to tertiary levels in both the private and public
schools could help the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine
Olympic Committee in finding potential sports greats in various fields from
among elementary and high school students.
“We would be more than
happy to participate in any project of the PSC and POC with the objective of
finding and training youngsters who have the potentials and skills of
becoming national athletes and representing the country in international
competitions such as the SEA Games,” said Magsaysay.