DENR-8 monitors entry of Bird flu virus in
Eastern Visayas wetlands
By RICKY J. BAUTISTA
October 20, 2005
TACLOBAN CITY - As of now,
authorities finds the ground zero of the air-borne disease but the
government, through the Wildlife section of the Department of Environment
and Natural Resources (DENR) regional office here continue its close
monitoring on the possible entry of the deadly Bird flu virus in Eastern
Meanwhile, Secretary Michael
T. Defensor of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
has recently suspend the issuance of wildlife import permits for all wild
birds including their by-products to prevent the entry of possible Bird flu
virus in the region.
In his unnumbered
memorandum, he directed all regional directors in the country to be more
"vigilant" and adopt necessary measures in preventing the possible
transmission of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus in the
"I am suspending the
issuance of Wildlife Import Permits for all cage and pet wild birds,
including their by-products or derivatives originating from countries where
the avian influenza have been recorded," Secretary Defensor said.
These countries, according
to him, are Cambodia,
China, Hongkong, Japan, Laos, Indonesia, Pakistan, South Korea, Thailand,
Taiwan and Vietnam. He added that the entries of wild birds coming from
other countries, particularly Indonesia, are the ports of General Santos
City, Davao City and Zamboanga City.
"These areas must be closely
monitored," the Secretary told the local Wildlife Monitoring Teams of the
In an interview, top
official of DENR-8, told media that, as of the moment, their provincial
counterparts in the region conducted monitoring activities but yielded
Marcelo Macanda, DENR-8
Wildlife section head, however, said they are closely monitoring the
region's "entry points" of the deadly virus carried in by the migratory
birds from neighboring Asian countries.
"We are now monitoring one
village in Guiuan,
Eastern Samar, and the bays of Cancabato, Capoocan and Ormoc bays, as
these areas are the possible entry points of migratory birds," Macanda said.
He said, these birds usually
migrated here in the
in the months of November-December-January-February, "that's why, we have
this world (simultaneous) monitoring activities in the month of February,"
To this effect, DENR-8
Regional Director Leonardo R. Sibbaluca reminded his provincial field
offices to conduct daily surveillance on possible entry points, areas where
migratory species congregate, and observe the high incidence of wild bird
The DENR top brass further
said, "undertake public awareness campaign and enjoin the local government
units, local communities, pier and airport authorities, customs officials
and the DA bureau of animal industry in implementing the said measures."
"I am also advising the
community to avoid catching or not to have contact with birds especially the
migratory birds, which might be a carrier of the bird flu virus (for this
virus is dangerous to local birds and even to human beings). I appeal to
report and coordinate with authorities for possible symptoms of this virus,"
Gov. Tan mum on solving perennial flooding in
By ROGER C. SORIA
October 17, 2005
CATBALOGAN, Samar – Despite
a series of appeal to the office of the Governor for a positive action to
solve the perennial flooding in the four towns of Samar’s first district,
still the office of the governor, failed to assure the Technical Working
Group (TWG) in pursuing to conduct topographic surveys in the affected
areas which is a requirement in the preparation of a Technical Study.
The TWG earlier learned from
the residence of Gov. Tan that the governor had already instructed the
provincial engineer to conduct the surveys. Much earlier, Gov. Tan
expressed to Samar Vice-Governor Jesus B. Redaja her assurance that she
would have the provincial engineer’s office in this job instead of granting
the P155,500 requested last July 12, 2005 by Samar II district engineer
Pablo Z. Aragon Jr. of the Department of Public Works and Highways.
However, the provincial
engineer’s office of Western Samar has no knowledge about any order from
Governor Milagrosa T. Tan regarding the continuation and completion of the
topographic surveys of the Ngoso and Nacube creeks in the flooding areas of
the First District of Samar.
The revelation has surprised
Engr. Ray P. Gaspay, president of the Catbalogan Cable Television Media
Advocates Nucleus (CCATMAN), and other officers of this media group which is
a member of the Technical Working Group which the Samar Sangguniang
Panlalawigan created last March 31 to look into the perennial flooding
problem in the TAGASAPA (towns of Tarangnan, Gandara, San Jorge and
The Samar I and Samar II
engineering districts, even if funds were not made available, nevertheless
conducted the topographic surveys, but with the assistance of Gandara mayor
Antonieto Cabueños and the local government unit of San Jorge. When their
personal funds were exhausted, the survey teams decided to stop their work
and wait for the governor to release the requested amount.
Engr. Gaspay and the other
CCATMAN officers sent some of their media members to the provincial engineer
and to their surprise, they found out that Gov. Tan has not yet directed
that office to conduct the surveys of the creeks.
On July 27, members of the
TWG and its project team, with Vice-Gov. Redaja as TWG vice-chairman and
team leader, assisted by PARSSO Chito Dela Torre as team coordinator, passed
a resolution appealing to Gov. Tan for her to release the P155,500 to the
DPWH. That resolution, signed also by San Jorge vice-mayor Marcelina Yu and
other officials of San Jorge and Gandara, including two representatives from
the Samar State College of Agriculture and Forestry who were sent by SSCAF
president Dr. Socorro Bohol, was marked “received” by the Governor’s Office
at the Capitol after Vice-Gov. Redaja caused its sending to that office.
Redaja told Dela Torre that Gov. Tan assured to mobilize the provincial
engineer’s office for the survey.
Vice-Gov. Redaja echoed to
Gov. Tan the representation made by Engr. Aragon at its much earlier meeting
at the Samar Island Biodiversity Project office here that no less than
Cabinet Officer for Regional Development (CORD) Secretary Gabriel B. Claudio
had instructed DPWH regional director Jaime Pacanan to submit a program of
work addressing the flooding problem in the TAGASAPA zone. He also told the
governor that Sec. Claudio had personally expressed to him his support to
the TWG’s efforts to solve the problem to thus restore the “lost rice
granary of Samar”.
Earlier, too, Engr. Aragon
briefed media men and PARSSO Dela Torre on the original proposal he made to
have a dredging and canal done from barrio Pajo in Tarangnan to the Samar
Sea. A resolution to this effect was also sent by Pajo barangay chairman
Judy Gabriela and his councilors and by the Pajo Agri-Developers Association
thru its president Nonito Berdida to Presidential Adviser on Poverty
Alleviation and Presidential Assistant for Eastern Visayas Secretary Victor
A. Domingo, after the same was presented at length during the August 12,
2004 first consultative conference which Department of Agrarian Reform
regional director Tiburcio A. Morales Jr. had with members of the media,
non-government organizations, people’s organizations in Samar.
As this developed, Dir.
Morales had asked the Regional Development Council (RDC) to take action on
the flooding problem.
In his latest letter to RDC
Chairman Rosette Y. Lerias (Southern Leyte governor), Dir. Morales pointed out the situation
confronting the more than 2,000 agrarian reform beneficiaries in the
Dir. Morales told Gov.
Lerias that in Tarangnan: “Farmers in these areas have been greatly affected
by the upsurge of water into their ricefields which perennially (has)
hounded them through the rainy season, resulting (in a) further damage to
their rice plantation. The communities of Brgy. Pajo have suffered the most
effect and in fact have urged their own Sangguniang Bayan to intercede in
their behalf for a possible solution to the problem.”
As regards Gandara, Dir.
Morales said: “Due to its geographic location especially of the numerous
creeks which easily overflow during heavy downpour, and being a lowland
area, farmers in this area are very much affected by frequent flooding which
severely damages their rice plantations and other crops. Hence, the
Sangguniang Bayan of Gandara has enacted numerous resolutions requesting
financial assistance from different sectors to study and identify the cause
of perennial flooding and the construction of drainage canal to control the
In San Jorge, he told Gov.
Lerias in his letter: “Thirty-two (32) barangays of this town have lost
floods a yearly average of 159Million Pesos in capital from harvests of
rice, corn and vegetables products to an aggregate area of 2,543 hectares.
According to Municipal Agricultural Officer Bienvenido Diongon, each time
that water inundates the agricultural areas in san Jorge, the damage to
1,597 hectares of rice costing P44,716,00.00. Hence, the local government
thru various resolutions addressed to different agencies/sectors has
requested financial assistance to identify the cause of perennial flooding
and the construction of drainage canal to control the floods.”
As for Pagsanghan town, he
said: “Perennial flooding has destroyed the livelihood of farmers living in
this area. Ricefields and other crops are totally overrun by the flood
every time heavy downpour occurs. Hence, economic development and stability
of production of the farmers were greatly affected. To resolve this matter,
the local government has enacted numerous resolutions requesting financial
assistance from different sectors to study and identify the cause of
perennial flooding and the construction of drainage canal to control the
Director Morales hopes that
the RDC will calendar the TAGASAPA flooding problem in its meeting and
recommend funding assistance from the national government to put an end to
this specter that denies farmers and ARBs of a plentiful harvest.
There’s so much to learn in
say EV accountants
By RICKY J. BAUTISTA
October 15, 2005
MARIKINA CITY - As if they
were listening from their old professor do a talking on a numbers-related
subject during old days, the 32 government accountants from Eastern Visayas
admitted there’s much to learn, especially in the course of financial
management, in this city called "the little Singapore."
These accountants, all
members of the Association of Government Accountants of the Philippines
Eastern Visayas chapter (AGAP-EV), were on this city last October 12, among
other top progressive cities in the country, to observe the financial
management strategy and electronic New Government Accounting Sytems being
Mayor Mardides "MCF"
Fernando explained to the group of accountants that they were effective and,
in fact, cited for the best practices in financial management and analysis
implemented and now being replicated to other cities. After their metro
tour, the group are expected to end their on-site seminar today, October 15.
The tough lady mayor said
Marikina was branded as the "little Singapore" as it attributes discipline,
self-sufficiency, effective governance, work ethics, environmental
soundness, economic dynamism and corrupt-free government like Singapore, it
With this in mind of the
city officials, an observer said, "no wonder why this city easily won the
2003 Metro Manila Most Competitive City award besting other highly top rated
cities in the country today."
City Accountant Erlinda
Gonzales who discussed all about the city’s financial management, investment
opportunities and quality of infrastructures said the city has garnered the
moniker as the shoe capital of the Philippines, "little Singapore" and
holder of several trademarks such as "best livable city in the country"
Gonzales said, they were now
investing much efforts to be called as the country’s "Knowledge City." In
fact, Gonzales stressed, they recently distributed books as gifts to those
children ages 4-7 in support to the National Book Development Board (NBDB),
the country’s lead government agency in the promotion of book development,
readership and literacy program.
The 32 AGAP-EV members, led
by its regional president Renato L. Limsiaco Jr., observed how the city
officials led their employees and constituents following their slogan
"discipline, good taste and excellence."
Mario Villanueva, chief of
city tourism here said
is like "a little Singapore," bustling in holistic progress, a vibrant
community where the citizens have pride of place, pride of self and mutual
concern for the common good.
"We earned that title
because of the culmination of the work we’ve all done in the last ten
years," he said.
He said, in 1992, new
directions towards progress and economic stability were set under the
leadership of former mayor, now top brass of the Metro Manila Development
Authority (MMDA) Bayani Fernando. "By hard work, he was able to transformed
into what it is today now," Villanueva told this publication.
Many people think that this
city, like Singapore,
is a small place but actually its not. As a business area,
is twice the size of Makati City, the country’s premier business and
has 2,150 hectares, twice that of 1,000 hectares of
Villanueva recalls that this
city used to be one of the biggest constituencies in the region. It used to
include Santa Mesa in
the whole Diliman and Katipunan and the areas which are now occupied by the
University of the Philippines, Ateneo and Maryknoll.
"Thanks to the dynamic
efforts of our former mayor (MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando) Marikina has
been reduced to its present size now," Villanueva said.
Marikina ranked No. 1 in the
three of the seven competitive drivers of growth, specially infrastructure,
responsiveness of the LGU and quality of life, besting its closest
competitors Pasig, Davao and Cebu cities.
And where it lacked on
points, Marikina’s city officials made sure it made up in other aspects -
for instance, where Marikina doesn’t have a seaport or an airport, this
factor was determinedly negated by road and vehicle density, which in turn
made possible by aggressive infrastructure development and excellent traffic
Meanwhile, after they were
oriented on the city history and financial management lessons, the delegates
from Eastern Visayas were accompanied by two polite city clerks - Sally
Manuel and Clarisse Dumulon - in their city tour which include Marikina City
Hall, Marikina River Park, Marikina Shoe Factory, the Shoe Museum (where
hundreds of shoes and sandals of former first lady Imelda Marcos was
displayed), Doll Museum and Market Mall.
OTOP-Philippines picks sisi for Zumarraga
with DAR’s support
By TERESA DE ASIS-TIJOL
October 13, 2005
ZUMARRAGA, Samar - This
island town of Samar, 6 of whose barrios have recently been recommended by
the Department of Agrarian Reform to be added to the country’s 1,682
agrarian reform communities (ARCs), may soon rise as the best manufacturer
of salted sisi or sea oysters which is abundant in its surrounding sea
Thus said chief agrarian
reform program officer Nenita Abinguna as she expressed the support of the
Department of Agrarian Reform to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s “One
Town One Product Program” (OTOP-Philippines) that seeks to promote
entrepreneurship and create job opportunities, as implemented by the
Department of Trade and Industry.
Abinguna, who heads the
DAR’s beneficiaries development and coordination division, was recently in
the company of DTI representatives for a town hopping on OTOP-Philippines,
spoke in behalf of provincial agrarian reform officer Marlu M. Merin.
She said during a conference
here that the DAR’s support will be in terms of community organizing and
human resource development, particularly trainings.
“The focus of DAR’s
intervention is on areas declared as Agrarian Reform Communities, or ARCs,
since the fund for Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development, or ARBD,
received by DAR is solely for ARC development-related activities,” Abinguna
She said that OTOP-Philippines
is “so timely” for Zumarraga because DAR has recommended this town for
inclusion as an ARC, particularly covering barrios Arteche, Alegria, Sogod,
Ibarra, Bioso and Tubigan, with the necessary documents already submitted to
the National ARC Deliberations Board of the DAR Central Office.
“Once these barangays are
launched as an ARC, this year,” CARPO Abinguna said, “expect for an
outpouring of DAR interventions. Livelihood projects, especially for women
which are a felt need of this community as expressed by honorable mayor
Neliptha Figueroa in this conference, will soon be addressed, of course upon
the initiative of the local government unit and coordination of other
“Once organized and then
strengthened and given the proper training on processing, packaging and
marketing, as enshrined in the OTOP, the sisi producers can earn a name for
Zumarraga as the best manufacturer of sisi products. In a little more time
from now, pouched, bottled or canned salted sisi, sisi paste and sauce will
be out in the market, competing in sales not only in the Philippines but
implementation is spearheaded by DTI. It was inspired by Japan’s successful
“One Village One Product Program” and adopted in the Philippines as an
effective tool for poverty alleviation, particularly in the rural areas.
The town hopping series
consisted of orientations, seminar-workshops and action planning conferences
on the program, conducted by DTI officials for representatives from the DAR,
Dept. of Agriculture, Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources, Dept. of
Interior and Local Government, Dept. of Science and Technology, and
Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, as stakeholders.
The group identified sisi as
the OTOP-Philippines product for Zumarraga because of the abundance of this
sea oyster which, when processed, sells like hot cakes and promises a
good market, as proven in recent regional and national trade fairs organized
by the DAR, DTI and other government agencies.
By SIBP PR
During the 17th National
Research Symposium held at RDMIC Building in Quezon City last October 4-5,
2005, Project Manager Manolito D. Ragub presented the paper entitled
“Biological Resource Assessment (BRA): Samar Island Natural Park; Floral
Resources and has won the most coveted First Place in the Basic Research
It may be recalled that the
same paper was initially presented during the DENR In- house review and was
elevated for the regional event during the 17th Regional Research
and Development Symposium held at
COA Candahug last August 24-25, 2005 and was recommended
as one of the regions bet to the National Competition for best Research
This is the first time DENR
won in the said research competition sponsored by DA, Bureau of Agricultural
Extension. Director Ragub on his part was so happy that he had bring
prestige not only to the Project and DENR but the entire Region 8 as well.
Manila-based Samareños forge to uplift Samar’s economy
By RICKY J.
October 09, 2005
CATBALOGAN, Samar – Samareños working and
residing in Metro Manila have forged themselves into one group and now
determine to help out the “sad plight” of their native province’ economic
Nena Fernandez, a native of
now residing in
Quezon City announced that a new non-government organization based in Metro
recently formed to drums up interest on how to turn around the plight of the
She said they wish to do that by encouraging local government
officials, private sectors and various stakeholders to work “hand-in-hand”
to attain this goal.
Fernandez said they will try to convene those people through
(scheduled) meetings and orientations and “set in a motion (for a) three
-year planning stage for investments, bring in those investments by year
2010, and move the various stakeholders to help build the economy now.”
“We need to act (now) and make a conscious decision to help
build the local economies of
Samar, not tomorrow, not later, but now,”
Fernandez, one of the organizers of the Consortium for the Advancement and
Development of the Local Economies of Samar (CANDLES) said.
The CANDLES, also a “venue” for talks on Samar’s development
and investments updates, invited other non-government organizations in the
metropolis and in abroad to “share-a-hand” with them.
“It is the Consortium’s privilege to invite you to
participate in this major event in the island. We hope you may be able to
join us in this exciting opportunity to turn around the local economies of
Fernandez said in her globally e-mailed letter.
Relative to this, the group invited every concerned NGO’s to
send a delegate or representatives to the forthcoming “Trade and Investment
Conference” to be held at the
Eastern Philippines, in Northern Samar on November 9-11, this year.
Fernandez said the activity with a theme “Move the Economy,
a 3-day major event in the island that concerned all about the development
of the province.
“These will a gathering of the most brilliant and visionary
minds in the fields of government, economics, education, trade & industry,
and development work,” she said.
According to the statistics released by Fernandez, about 62%
households live below the poverty threshold, 86% of
Samar children aged 5 to 6 years old is out of
school, and 87% of
Samar households have had deaths that are preventable.