Palapag quarrying regulation
By MARICOR O. POTOT, UEP
July 9, 2005
CATARMAN, Northern Samar
- The Provincial Legal Office
of Northern Samar rendered last May 30, 2005 an answer to the request of
Honorable Manuel Aoyang, Vice-Mayor of Palapag,
for a legal opinion with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
(DENR) on whether the Municipal Government has the authority to regulate
Sand and Gravel extractions and other quarrying resources.
In a three-paged letter,
Provincial Legal Officer Eduardo Potot, explained in full details the legal
antecedents for intelligible comprehension of the laws and regulations
covering the obligation of the Local Government Unit (LGU).
Atty. Potot stressed that
the power to regulate and collect quarry taxes belongs solely to the
Provincial Government as mandated under Republic Act 7160 or the Local
Government Code of 1991 and in RA 7942 or The Philippine Mining Act of 1995.
“Viewing all the laws
relative to the disposition of our mineral resources, there is currently no
single provision of law that has given the Municipal Local Government Unit
authority to exact taxes on the extraction of these mineral resource neither
it is allowed to regulate the extraction of the same,” Atty. Potot
elucidated in an interview.
Other members of the
provincial attorney’s office said that the Municipality of Palapag should
first ask Congress to amend RA 7160, if it wants to exact quarry taxes in
Moreover, Atty. Potot
advised the Municipality of Palapag that the exaction of the taxes on the
extraction of sand and gravel and other quarry materials under the guise of
a regulatory ordinance is illegal.
The Municipality of Palapag
took over the collection of quarry taxes deemed as regulatory fees in their
area as early as 1991 through the enactment of Resolution No. 08 Series of
1991 issued by the municipality.
Atty. Potot clarified that
the enactment of Resolution No. 08 series of 1991 did not pass the review of
the Sangguniang Panlalawigan as shown on the records; thus, it is considered
null and void.
Also, he further clarified
that delegating the collection of quarry taxes to a municipal local
government unit like Palapag “would be contrary to the provision of the
Former Calbayog City PNP chief is Jaycees’
outstanding police officer
By ELI C. DALUMPINES, PIA News Service
July 8, 2005
- Former Calbayog City PNP
Chief and the current Provincial Director of Northern Samar Police Office
P/Supt. Isaias B. Tonog was chosen as the country’s Most Outstanding
Policeman 2004 (Commissioned Police Officer category) by the Jaycees International during the awarding rites held on
June 1, 2005 at the Camp Crame Multi-purpose Hall.
Supt. Tonog during his 9-month stint as Chief
of Calbayog PNP was very instrumental in neutralizing the robbery hold-up
gangs operating in
Samar’s 1st district and in solving the illegal drug problem in the City of
Tonog, in an interview, informed he was able
to arrest 30 members of robbery hold-up gangs during his term as the City
police chief and greatly reduced the illegal drug trade in the City, not to
mention the arrests he effected on at least one member of kidnap-for-ransom
group and one high profile drug dealer in the region.
The police chief said he did not expect the
Jaycees would give him the award considering the charges he is now facing in
court. “As the moment I’m facing 8 charges in court in line with my duty as
a police officer”, he informed. But he assured that those charges will not
prevent him from performing his job in enforcing law.
City Mayor Mel Sarmiento, meanwhile described
Supt. Tonog as an officer who has a lot of initiatives. According to
Sarmiento, Tonog is not the kind of chief who depends much from the
logistics given to him by the local government but rather explores other
means with which to supply his troops with their operational needs.
Sarmiento, who is very supportive of the
PNP’s anti-illegal drug campaign, noted that Tonog’s performance is really
outstanding compared to the previous police chief assigned to the City. He
affirmed that the City’s image really changed when Tonog assumed
responsibility as the city police chief.
The mayor, however, stressed the
participation of the people as a great factor in the success of their
anti-illegal drug campaign. According to him, the people’s awareness has
already reached that level where they themselves are now the ones who feed
the authorities with information on drug dealing activities in their
The Policeman of the Year award is the third
award that Tonog has received as a police officer. Earlier, the Metro Bank
Foundation named him as the country’s Most Outstanding Policeman in Service
while NAPOLCOM honored him as the Outstanding Policeman of the year.
Samareños want lasting peace
By Cpt. CROMWELL I. DANGANAN, (INF) PA
July 2, 2005
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan,
Samar - Despite constant propaganda by the New People’s Army (NPA)
discrediting the 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army’s clearing
operations, the 8ID led by MGen. Jovito S. Palparan Jr. is one in the belief
that the NPA terrorists in the region have tremendously weakened in
Many rebels have surrendered
since last month, many of them exposing unacceptable rules and regulations
while inside the movement. “I wasted my life inside the movement,” said one
former NPA who recently surrendered to military authorities. “Magpapakita ng maganda sa una. Sa paglaon, lumalabas ang tunay na kulay. Masiba ang mga
lider sa pera na galing sa pangongotong sa mga naghihirap na mga mamamayan,”
The people of Region 8 have
already realized that the biggest stumbling block to progress and
development is the terrorism brought by the NPA terrorists. They not only
hinder investors and tourism from entering the region but are also guilty of
extortion from the local government units’ Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA)
which is supposed to be intended for community development projects.
“We are waging a war against
these terrorists,“ said Gen. Palparan. “And we will give it to them.” The
8ID Commanding General said that the Army is not fazed by the intimidation
and harassment of the CPP-NPA-NDF. “We have not only good and inspired
fighting men, but the overwhelming support of the masses. This is our
advantage over them. The people are tired of their deception and extortion
which has been affecting their way of living,” added MGen. Palparan.
The 8th Infantry Division is
credited for the continued surrender of NPA members as well as instilling
peace in the region. The fruits of their labor to reach out to communities
with potential NPA influence has gained positive results. The people now
know that they should help the government and the AFP in particular to fight
terrorism. They will not allow the NPA to further destroy their future and
those of their loved ones.
Two separate peace rallies
were held on June 11 and 18, 2005 in the towns of Calbiga and Hinabangan
respectively where the local officials and populace denounced the atrocities
and the problems brought by the NPA at the same time showed their commitment
and support to the Philippine Army and the government’s programs.
Military dispels NGO apprehensions about
July 1, 2005
CATBALOGAN, Samar -
Speaking before a group of non-government organizations (NGOs), 8th Infantry
Division Chief of Staff Col. Herbert Yambing, stressed the importance of
civil and military cooperation in stopping the rapid loss of forest and
biodiversity resources in the island as he called on DENR and NGOs to remain
vigilant and to help provide information to the military on illegal logging
activities inside the protected area, the SINP. The orientation-dialogue
held on June 22 at the Alpha Rho Function Hall in Catbalogan, Samar was
organized by the SIBP-DENR through DENR RTD Edgardo Galleon and Project
Managers Manolito Ragub and Jose Lim, in response to requests from NGO
partners to arrange a meeting with the 8ID to raise the concerns of NGOs
about the safety of their field staff in light of the ongoing
anti-insurgency campaign by the military.
While the military
acknowledges the sincerity and importance of the Community Outreach Program
of the SIBP, Col. Yambing pointed out that there is an immediate threat to
the biodiversity resources in the SINP that can not wait for plans to be
developed and implemented, and this is the continuing timber poaching within
and smuggling of logs from Samar Island that strips away the once lush
forest cover of the area. He explained that the anti-insurgency operation
also uncovers illegal cutting and sale of timber and non-timber forest
products carried out by “carabao loggers” (marginal farmers in the uplands)
who are funded by big-time financiers in the lowlands and/or in cities
outside the island.
The NGOs took the
opportunity to raise their concern for the safety and free entry of their
field staff in selected upland communities which are currently implementing
the COP, a community-based program that helps upland residents develop and
implement a natural resources management plan. COP implementation has been
contracted out by UNDP, SIBP’s funding partner, to ten service providers or
NGOs in 62 barangays in the three provinces of Samar Island. NGOs are
apprehensive that field activities will be affected by current military
operations and are concerned that they are being branded as “supporters of
the New People’s Army (NPAs)”.
Col. Yambing assured the
NGOs that they may continue with their programs in the field but advised
them to notify the nearest detachment or battalion in their area prior to
entry. He said that this must be standard practice to avert the possibility
of getting caught in the crossfire should there be a planned offensive
against the NPAs in their areas. He said the military does not discount the
possibility that some NGOs are being used as “fronts” by the insurgents or
that some of them have become victims of “extortion” by the rebels who
charge so called “access fees”. Eventually, he said the military would be
able to uncover if the NGOs working with SIBP are involved in any way in
supporting the rebel movement.
“We have soldiers all over
the island. If they link hands they can practically surround the whole
island. The presence of the military helps a lot in protecting the forests
but to be effective we need timely information from the field. You (NGOs)
have the advantage of being in the field all the time. You know the people.
All you need is to text or inform us through our People’s Center (located at
Camp Lukban, Maulong, Catbalogan Hotline: 0921-6916967/ 0915-7744361),
relevant information that will help us confiscate products or apprehend
violators of the law. You can leave the rest to us. Don’t allow what
happened to Aurora
province happen to Samar Island”. Col. Yambing ended the dialogue with these
SIBP Co-Project Manager Jose
Lim and Foresters Crisostomo Badeo and Myron Garcia headed the Project team
that organized the meeting and gave the briefing on the SIBP/SINP and the
COP for the military partners.
The half-day program ended
with commitments from the 8ID officials present to immediately forward a
directive to their field units to facilitate the NGOs’ access in the areas.
RTD Galeon on the other hand, assured the NGOs that he will facilitate the
issuance of DENR authenticated ID’s that can be worn by the service
providers when conducting field activities. The NGOs for their part, agreed
to get in touch with the battalion commanders nearest their area of
operation for proper coordination before proceeding to the field.
10 poorest towns identified in Eastern Samar
By CHIT COCA
June 30, 2005
BORONGAN, Eastern Samar
- Ten towns in Eastern Samar
have been classified priority areas for development assistance by a
non-government organization due to high incidence of poverty.
The Peace and Equity
Foundation, Inc. (PEF) has identified the municipalities of Maslog, Gen.
McArthur, Arteche, Jipapad, Quinapondan, Dolores, Salcedo, San Policarpio,
Oras and Can-avid as priority after a poverty mapping study in the entire
Eastern Samar province.
The study used 10
development indicators to assess the degree of poverty in the 23 towns and
cities of Eastern Samar.
Poverty indexes used in the
study are: households with access to potable water; those that occupy their
own house and lot; those with sanitary toilets; number of children/students
(elementary, high school and college); student dropout rate, and;
The study compiled data from
the Provincial Planning and Development Office, Eastern Samar Electric
Cooperative, National Statistics Office, Department of Education and the
Samar Island Biodiversity Program of the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources (DENR).
The study revealed that 33
percent of households in the
do not have access to potable water.
Among those in the priority
list, Maslog has the most number of households that lack access to potable
More than half of households
in the other towns in the list, though, have access to the resource.
The study also revealed that
the town of Dolores has the most number of malnourished children, with 1,638
as listed by the Provincial Health Office (PHO).
Among those in the priority
list, Gen. McArthur and Quinapondan have the highest number of number of
households that do not have sanitation facilities.
Forty-four percent of the
total number of households in the two towns do not have sanitary toilets,
according to a PHO report in 2002.
Gen. McArthur also has the
highest percentage of elementary dropout, with 54.3 percent.
The poverty mapping study
serves as guide for PEF in evaluating proposals for assistance programs.
The Foundation began a
nationwide poverty scanning in 2003 and came up with 28 priority provinces,
including Eastern Samar.
Last April 26, PEF turned
over to the Provincial Government of Eastern Samar the poverty map of the
NPA terrorists ambush soldiers in Basey
By Cpt. CROMWELL I DANGANAN, (INF) PA
June 29, 2005
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan,
Samar – Six (6) soldiers assigned with the 83rd Recon Company, 8th
Infantry Division, Philippine Army and three (3) civilians on board a Lite
Ace van headed for Tacloban City were ambushed by Communist Terrorists (CTs)
utilizing landmines at vicinity Brgy Balanti, Basey, Samar at around 8:45am.
yesterday, June 28, 2005. Two (2) soldiers were killed while four (4)
soldiers were wounded. Among the fatalities were one (1) civilian killed and
two (2) civilians wounded. Two (2) high powered firearms were also carted
away by the CTs. The Lite Ace vehicle was destroyed by the landmine.
The soldiers of whom only
two are armed and in uniform while the rest are in civilian attire together
with the two wives of the soldiers and one civilian resident from a nearby
barangay of Villa Aurora of Basey, were on their way to Tacloban City to
procure food and supplies when they were landmined and ambushed by the NPA
terrorists. The civilian casualties, whose identities are not yet
determined, including the wounded soldiers, were immediately brought to a
hospital in Tacloban City for treatment.
The suspects are believed to
be numbering more or less thirty (30) heavily armed CTs with M60 machinegun
led by Communist Terrorist Leader alias Diomy of the Southern Samar Front-2
(SSF-2) operating in the southern portion of Samar Island.
This violent incident
perpetrated by the CTs was done to slow down the military in its relentless
drive to expose the deceptive and evil ways of the NPA and free the civilian
populace from their stranglehold. The decisiveness of MGen Palparan to
eradicate/solve insurgency in the soonest possible time frantically made the
CTs murder soldiers and innocent people who were just doing their mandated
duty of protecting democracy.
The ambush violates the
International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and the Comprehensive Agreement on
Respect for Human Rights and International Law (CARHRIL) signed by the
Government of the Republic of the
and the CPP/NPA/NDF. (Note that the militants had been repeatedly accusing
MGen Palparan of ignoring the CARHRIL) Among the violations committed by the
CTs during the ambush were the use of landmines and the killing and wounding
of civilians not involved in armed conflict. The terrorists have a full view
of the passengers of the Lite Ace who are mostly in civilian attire but
still exploded the landmines and fired at the defenseless people on the said
In his statement MGen Jovito
S. Palparan Jr, Commanding General of the 8th Infantry Division, Philippine
Army said, “This incident confirms that the CPP/NPA is a God-less
organization and do not respect human rights. The cold-blooded murder and
excessive use of force to sow fear in the hearts of the people of Samar is a
trademark of a terrorist organization. Indeed, the Communist Terrorists can
resort to terroristic acts with total disregard of human rights and
civilian’s lives. As Commanding General of the 8ID, I condemn this murder of
two soldiers and the civilian woman in the strongest possible terms. I call
upon our citizens, people’s organizations and the so-called human rights
groups to condemn the Communist Terrorists as well. I challenge the Bayan
Muna and the militants to condemn the NPA and the Communist Party” He added
“I would like to further assure the people of Region 8 that the 8th Infantry
Division in close coordination with the Philippine National Police will
relentlessly pursue these lawless elements who are terrorizing our people.”
The names of the casualties
are withheld for the moment as the 8ID deems it necessary to inform their
family first. At present, the bereaved family of the casualties and the 8th
Infantry Division is preparing to file criminal and human rights charges
against the perpetrators of this cruel incident.
P5M livelihood awarded by
UNDP-EC to 2 POs and NGO in Samar
June 26, 2005
Kappas Inc., Olot Federation
(People’s Organizations) and the Eastern Samar Development Foundation (ESADEF,
an NGO) are recipients of over five million worth of assistance from the
Small Grants Programme for operations to Promote Tropical Forest. The three
organizations will start implementing their proposed projects in June.
The Small Grants Programme
for Operations to
or SGPPTF is an initiative of the UNDP financed by the European Commission
(EC). It helps the civil society organizations execute small forest related
Kappas will implement a
70-hectares pili plantation and a 20-hectare Rehabilitation Program in
Mined-out Areas in Camilia and
Paranas and in Sitio Arizona, Hinabangan, all in Western Samar. A total of
P2.226 million has been awarded to the organization to undertake the project
aimed at helping rehabilitate mined out areas in Hinabangan and developing a
commercial plantation of pili trees. Kappas is a federation of marginal
farmers and forest users in Paranas, Samar which received continuing
technical assistance from the project in farming system and livelihood
Another federation, the Olot
Federation, a multi-sectoral aggrupation of stakeholders working for the
conservation of the Olot watershed, will receive P2 million in grant for
their agro-forestry project in Olot. The municipalities in Olot comprised of
San Jose de Buan, Motiong, Paranas, Hinabangan in Samar and Taft and
Can-avid in Eastern Samar are currently developing their watershed
management plan with the assistance of the DENR and the SIBP. The
agro-forestry project intends to enhance soil and water conservation measure
to protect the rapid deforestation and erosion in Olot. A total grant of P2
million has been awarded by UNDP to the federation to implement the project.
ESADEF, an NGO based in
Borongan, Eastern Samar, for its part was granted a P1.774 million project
on Wild Honey Bee Production. The proposal was prepared in behalf of
Barangay Balagon in Can-avid, Eastern Samar that will be the directly
beneficiaries of the assistance. ESADEF shall extend support in organizing,
capability building and marketing of the PO products.
The proposals of these three
organizations were developed with technical assistance from SIBP.