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This COPS awardee is Leyte's pride

Northern Samareños avail of PAGCOR led PGMA Serbisyu Muna

Zumarraga OTOP now operational

Pinabacdao garners Panibagong Paraan grants anew!

Jiabong Food Exhibitor rises through trade fairs

Semana Santa in Basey

Agrarian reform beneficiaries in Eastern Samar receive 10 coco twining machines

DYOG Calbayog celebrates its Silver Jubilee


Peasant women brave palengke challenge







Radyo ng Bayan-Borongan airs Boses Han Sinirangan from seas of Guiuan

October 30, 2009

GUIUAN, Eastern Samar  –  It’s possible yet it has never been tested yet. Radio station DYES Radyo ng Bayan, a government owned station, proved anything is possible in broadcast nowadays especially with the development of new technologies.

Boses han Sinirangan radio program with Bryan Azura
Boses Han Sinirangan anchor Bryan Azura, interviews Jodi Paano of the Office of Prov'l Agricultural Office, while on board a motor banca from Manicani Island to Tubabaw Island in Guiuan town. The program was aired live for more than an hour over Radyo ng Bayan DYES.

Recently, Boses Han Sinirangan, a daily program handled by the provincial government, aired live while the anchors were traversing on a motor boat from Manicani Island to Tubabaw Island through the equipment of DYES Radyo ng Bayan, a government owned station in Borongan.

Using a cellular phone, a mobile sound mixer and a microphone, the program lasted an hour and 30 minutes on a motor boat on the seas of Guiuan, around 110 kilometers south of the provincial capital.

Joey Policarpo, the station’s chief technician said that the DYES team made live coverage from further places including in far flung areas with cellphone signals, but it really has not tried making live broadcast from sea.

“I was worried the audio will be distracted by the sound of the wind and the loud noise of the motor engine,” Policarpo said.

Boses Han Sinirangan anchor Bryan Azura himself found the experience amusing. “I never thought we will be making that feat,” he said. “We were worried we will miss another episode of the program because of the distance and the situation,” says Azura.

Carlos Capito, popularly called Mr. Public Service for his daily public affairs program Barangay Patrol, said that what transpired in Guiuan seas was really a landmark broadcast as it only happened now in the history of DYES. Capito is among the pioneering members of the station which went on air in February 1989.

Capito, head of News and Public Affairs, said that the radio station is continually stepping up its facilities despite the meager resources to cope up with the media demand in the province. DYES is the only AM station in Eastern Samar. 3 FM small radio stations, all on franchise schemes from Manila Broadcasting Company, are also operating in various towns of the province.

The veteran anchor also revealed that even the interior of the station will undergo rehabilitation to make it more accommodating especially to visitors. Policarpo said that the station might go off air for around 2 weeks to give way to the rehabilitation of the station especially the announcer’s and technical’s booths.

“I propose a bigger space for the announcer’s booth so as to accommodate more people inside,” Capito said.

For his part, Governor Ben P. Evardone said that he is thankful for the public service the government station is providing to his province. “DYES had been consistent in bringing about the necessary, relevant and timely information to the people of Eastern Samar,” the governor said.

“The province will continue to be a partner of DYES so as to keep the Eastern Samareños updated what their provincial government is doing for a better province,” the provincial chief said.

Station Manager Byron Bugtas, meanwhile, noted that despite the lack of manpower, his station will continue its function as “Radyo ng Bayan.” Bugtas is also among the pioneer of the radio station.





Aussie, Thai ring officials rob Filipino underdogs

October 14, 2009

LOS ANGELES, California  –  Unless the Philippine sports authority will flex its muscles and reveals its fangs, the abuses and highway robberies victimizing struggling Filipino professional fighters abroad will go on unabated.

This was the strong lament made by Anastacio “Mang Tacy” Bartolome Sr., an 84-year-old World War II veteran and former boxing trainer in Capas, Tarlac in the Philippines when he learned that two Filipino boxers have been robbed of sure wins simultaneously in Sydney, Australia and Songkhla, Thailand on October 9.

Bartolome, who lives in Irvine, California, was referring to the fates of featherweight Reynaldo Belandres and super featherweight Dante Paulino, both underdogs, who were robbed of “clear” wins against their respective foreign opponents despite their dominance and “impressive” performances.

“During the time of Little Campo and Flash Elorde (in the 50’s and 60’s), we have heard of bum decisions victimizing Filipino fighters in Thailand and Japan but they were quickly minimized because of strong protests lodged by the boxing authority in the Philippines which was (and still today) the Games and Amusement Board,” sighed Bartolome, who fought Japanese invaders in the Southern Philippines alongside American soldiers under the U.S. Army Forces Far East.

‘Shocking Results’

Belandres (12-1-2, 8 KOs) lost to Davey Browne (16-1-1, 4 KOs) in a controversial 10-round tiff for the World Boxing Council (WBC) world youth featherweight title in Sydney but not after he reportedly rearranged the nose of the taller Aussie champion.

The controversy prompted the Grange Old School Boxing Promotion to call for a rematch after the verdict was harshly criticized in media.

Belandres reportedly swarmed over the disheveled Browne from the opening bell until the final round and “clearly” outclassed the hometown favorite with over right hand and crisp jabs that found their marks mostly on Browne’s face. But the judges did not agree with his gallant efforts.

In Songhla, some 400 kilometers away from Bangkok, Paulino, 29, who once lost to former world championship challenger Randy Suico and concurrent world champion Chris John, reportedly mauled former world super bantamweight champion Somsak Sithchatchawal in 11 heats for the interim Pan-Asian Boxing Association (PABA) super featherweight title at the Taksin University but the bout ended in “horrific” split draw.

The draw reportedly came as a total shocker as Paulino (14-8-2, 10 KOs) scored two knockdowns in round two and round five.

Somsak (60-3-3, 44 KOs), who won the World Boxing Association (WBA) super bantamweight jewels with a 10th round disposal of Mahyar Monshipour in Hauts-de-Seine, France on March 18, 2006 and lost it via 3rd round technical knockout to Celestino Caballero in Wat Ban Rai, Thailand on October 4 of the same year, reportedly was puzzled by Paulino’s style and could not effectively connect against the moving target.

Paulino reportedly refused to be intimidated by Somsak’s signature body punches and launched his own attack without let up and emerged with more clear shots and superior defense to the delight of the partisan crowd.

When the fight went the distance, two Thai judges submitted different scorecards. Chuchrt Kaokit saw his compatriot winner, 105-104, while Prommase Chakshuraksa played safe at 105-105. Filipino Gil Robiego gave the bout to Paulino, 105-104.

To settle the controversy, the Kokiet Promotion has called for a rematch tentatively next year.


“But the damage has been done,” rued Bartolome, referring to the twin calls of the Australian and Thai promoters for a rematch.

“Something must be done to teach them (cheating ring officials) a lesson. Strong words must be used to condemn these non-stop highway robberies that deny our local fighters the chance to improve their ratings in the world and damage their morale,” Bartolome, who stands only five feet and one inch, the same height of the first Asian world champion Pancho Villa, boomed.

“Even if they will hold ten more rematches over the next years, who will compensate or restore the busted morale of these Filipino boxers who only earn a living to feed their families and make their country proud?” he concluded.





Good Samaritan from Leyte emerges during the Ondoy disaster

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
October 6, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY  –  Indeed, everybody has somebody to worry about when calamity comes.

Watching the television coverage of the wrath of typhoon Ondoy on that fateful day of September 26, brought to mind friends and relatives who are living in Metro Manila and in other parts of Luzon.

Leyte governor Icot Petilla on jet ski
Governor Icot Petilla (right) with his jet ski

Prayers for them said, the thought of them submerged in flood waters, made one make text messages and send them to all relatives and friends who are in mobile phone list.

One wanted to make these people know that they are being prayed for and thought of amid the calamity they are in.

The first answer came from Ann, the beautiful better half of Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla who is fondly called Icot.

“Thanks,” Ann’s text message read, “Icot just left for Provident Village to help evacuate relatives and friends.”

Suddenly one realized why Provident Village in Marikina sounded familiar. Governor Icot lived there when he’s studying at Ateneo, several of his friends from way back live there, so does his younger brother Dominic and his family, and his Mom, the former Congresswoman of the first District of Leyte who also has a house there. Fortunately, his Mom was out of town that Saturday.

Sunday afternoon, on national television, actress and TV hostess Ruffa Gutierrez was heard thanking a young jet ski riding governor whose name she didn’t know but who helped her family during the typhoon.

The co-host Boy Abunda asked governor where and Ms. Gutierrez said in Leyte. Boy who is from Region 8 immediately said “Oh, Governor Icot Petilla.”

It turned out Governor Icot went to Manila Saturday morning to attend an 11:00 meeting, which later on was cancelled because of the flooding. Watching over the television that Metro Manila is flooded, he and his security men went out to get his jet ski with a raft and a rubber boat and didn’t mind the long hours they had to travel escaping the stalled traffic, stranded vehicles and electric cables and all the floating debris.

Governor Icot, in a radio interview, said that there were only two rubber boats being manned by the military when he arrived at the chaotic Provident Village in Marikina. Friendly as he is, the Governor soon was working hand in hand with the military bringing stranded people to higher houses.

The Governor had to tow rubber boats and speed boats which are in distress. This is how he came across an actor who told him he was on his way to rescue a friend. There was no time for proper introductions, the good Governor said saying that everybody’s thoughts during that entire 7:00 o’clock in the evening of September 26 up to 4:00 o’clock in the morning of September 27, were on rescuing fellowmen who were in distress.

Considering what he went through, Governor Icot still was able to make many observations and intimated that he has learned many lessons from the calamity. For one, Governor Icot said he learned the importance of Inventory of the equipments and materials needed in times of calamity.

Under Governor Icot, the province of Leyte is one of the few if not the only PDCC in the Region that is completely equipped with tools including rubber boats and trucks that are badly needed in times of disasters.

Leyteños have reasons to be proud. They have a governor whose good heart takes him to any place where help is badly needed, not for show but for a good cause, that of trying to ease the burden of the suffering and the needy, in whatever way he could, not because he is a governor but because he is a good brother, a good son, a good friend, a good Filipino citizen, a good Samaritan.

May the young people of Leyte learn from Governor Icot’s example. As an exemplary government official, may Governor Icot’s tribe increase!





149th Pueblo Day - A grand celebration in Naval

September 28, 2009

NAVAL, Biliran  –  Navaleños as well as visitors who witnessed today’s 149th celebration of Naval since its inception into a “pueblo” or town can only say one thing – what a grand celebration!

The day-long affair started with a solemn religious activity – a mass at the Naval Cathedral. Outside the cathedral, everybody’s excitement went high as the inclement weather disturbance threatened the festive mood of the day.

However, the high spirits of the Navaleños conquered all the fears brought by the bad weather with the energizing tone of the marching bands as they made their majestic strides in colorful and mesmerizing parade around the town.

The gleeful crowd beamed their best smiles notwithstanding the heavy traffic on the pedestrian with eyes concentrating the best looks among the participants of the parade. They patiently waited their favorite sons and daughters, friends, relatives and buddies to pass in order to give their heartfelt greetings by waving their hands.

If one’s attention was captivated during the parade, perhaps everybody’s energy was imprisoned by the remarkable opening ceremony and the different worthy services that took place right at the municipal grounds.

One of which was the releasing of doves and balloons by town officials led by Mayor Susan V. Parilla and guests of the celebration sending a message of hope, prosperity and peace to the town in the years ahead.

“Name it and you will have it for free” was the byword of the day. One can have a haircut in order to look differently today, others have executed their deed of sale to avoid paying legal fees, some visited the booths just to eat food products without handing a single penny, many have listed their names in order to avail of the medical and dental check up and many other social services offered by national government agencies which included NSO, DOH, TESDA, DTI, CSC, DOLE, NBI, PRC and other agencies, non-government organizations such as the IBP-Biliran Chapter, Biliran Medical and Dental Society, Naval Blind Masseurs, government-owned and controlled corporations like the GSIS, PAG-IBIG and SSS and other private entities such as the ABS-CBN-Cebu, Unilever, Nestle, Knorr, Fracasso and other food, refreshment and beauty establishments in Naval.

Form part of the day’s activity was the ABS-CBN-Cebu’s Feeding sa Bantay Bata 163 where children from all walks of life relished the nutritious food offered.

However, ABS-CBN’s participation led by Rico Lucena, the station’s news anchor and a native of Naval, did not stop in just giving nourishment to the body but also nourishment for the society to make a difference in the upcoming 2010 polls by initiating the “Iboto Mo, Ipatrol Mo” registration activity held at the jampacked NIT Gymnasium. Thousands of Biliranons went to the venue and registered as election patrollers including the young solon from the Lone District of Biliran, Representative Glenn A. Chong.

Time went unnoticed by many who availed of the different social services at the municipal grounds and in NIT Gymnasium. Everybody was overwhelmed by the splendor of things offered that satisfied their attendance to the celebration.

Everybody knows the celebration won’t end with an awe-inspiring activities held during the day but pretty sure this will be matched in the evening today by the dazzling and beauteous revelers who will sway and wiggle to the tune of cha-cha, curacha, tango, boogie, ball room and modern music and other animated sounds one wish to dance in the wide dance floor of the Naval Gymnasium tonight.

In the end, the celebration demonstrates hospitality and friendliness which are trademarks of a true Navaleño.

Mayor Susan V. Parilla in her message during the program said, these characters are what made Naval what it is today which attributed to the success of the 149th Pueblo Day celebration.





Army engineers turn over Kalayaan projects to Calbayog barangays

September 24, 2009

CALBAYOG CITY, Samar  –  Five barangays from the northern part of Calbayog City received the fruits of their “liberation” from being affected by the insurgents: through the Kalayaan Barangays Program or KBP Projects of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Col. Arnaldo Fernandez, Jr, commander of the 53rd Engineer Brigade and Col. Arnolfo Atendido, commander of 803rd Infantry Brigade, turned over to city mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento and the five punong barangays the fully accomplished KBP projects package consisting of a 2-room school building, a health center and street lights.

The simple turn-over ceremony was held at Brgy. Peña in Tinambacan district.

Barangay officials, health workers and teachers of Barangays Peña, Cagmanipis Norte, Malaga, Tinaplacan and Bugtong received the projects worth P1.5 Million per package.

According to LtCol. Rizalito Tibon, the commanding officer of 543rd Engineer Construction Battalion, the Kalayaan Barangays Program of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was intended for conflict-affected communities all over the country.

It is given to barangays who lack basic infrastructure projects such as health centers, school buildings and water system.

The recipient barangays in Calbayog, according to Col. Tibon, were selected when the Special Operations Team (SOT) from the 20th IB conducted a pulong-pulong with the people as to their needs.

These needs were submitted to the National Development Command, which in turn, requested the funds from the President.

Residents noticed the good quality of work done by the army engineers.

Col. Tibon said, “Iyon lang po talaga ang gawain naming mga army engineers, lahat ng gawin namin, kailangan matibay, para hindi na magkaproblema ang ating mga communities, at hindi masira ang gobyerno.”

He added that army engineers are “service oriented,” hence whatever funds allocated for the project are being spent.

In case there are savings, they use it to buy tables and chairs for the teachers.

Col. Fernandez also promised to provide lavatories for the health centers and a complete set of computers for each of the school buildings.

Students, teacher and the rural folks showed their appreciation by applauding the army engineers.





All 30 Isuzu-TESDA Center scholars successfully pass Phase 1 of training

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
September 17, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY  –  For the concerned citizens who are wondering what has happened to the Isuzu-TESDA Training Center in Leyte which opened in the last quarter of last year, here goes the update.

The first batch of 30 scholars enrolled at the posh Isuzu-TESDA Auto Mechanic Training Center in Leyte has completed with flying colors the first phase (NC1) of the course and are now on their way to hurdling the second stage.

As the first batch composed of 19 male and 11 female scholars completed the first Phase, the second batch composed of 14 male and 16 female scholars has begun training in the middle of 2009.

The awarding ceremonies was attended by no less than Isuzu Motors Limited chairman Yoshinori Ida who flew in from Japan to lead the awarding ceremonies held at the Isuzu-sponsored TESDA facility in Leyte.

Joining him in awarding the top performers of the program’s maiden batch were TESDA Regional Director Juan Sabulao, Jr., and Plan Philippines Country Director Michael Diamond.

A female scholar, Marilou Cabarles, was the overall first placer with an average grade of 83 percent; followed by a male scholar, Jonathan Mangubat who is the overall second placer for the practical and written exams and who topped the written exams with 82 percent grade.

The overall third placer was Jonnalyn Navarrosa with an average grade of 81 percent. Topping practical exams was Jumar Verano, with a score of 87 percent.

The first batch of 30 Isuzu scholars is scheduled to complete the special two-year course in October 2010, after hurdling all national certification levels from I to IV within a two-year period in order to pass the course.

NC1 or the first phase tackles automotive servicing. Among the basic modules included in the NC1 curriculum are workplace communication, teamwork, work values and housekeeping. After completing the NC1 modules, the scholars underwent competency assessment to determine who among them are qualified for an NC1 certificate.

Twenty-five modules make up the second curriculum, including workplace communication, team environment, career professionalism, occupational health and safety, shop maintenance, and the servicing of various vehicle components.

Isuzu, which is funding the training facilities and the students’ board and lodging costs, also donated an Isuzu NHR Passenger Van and one Crosswind XTi  for the students’ and the training center personnel’s use.

The second batch of scholars coming from the provinces of Samar, Eastern Samar, Camotes Island, Occidental Mindoro, Southern Leyte and Masbate, brings to 60 the total number of Isuzu scholars.

The fact that female scholars now outnumber the males indicates that automotive-mechanic training has a growing appeal even to a demography previously thought unfit to participate in such a program.





ARADO graduates 200 more skilled workers ready for work abroad

By Provincial Media Relations Center
September 10, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY – From earning meager pesos by driving the local pedicab in Palo, Leyte, Nono Salangsang, now earns thousands more as a welder at a company in Saudi Arabia.

Salangsang, who is one of the graduate of the ARADO Foundation Institute of Technology in Alangalang, Leyte, was one of the number of graduates who landed a work abroad after graduating from short-term course offered at the said foundation.

He recently made testimonies of his present state during the latest graduation rites of more or less 200 new skilled workers in the field of welding and pipe-fitting, both short term course being offered by the ARADO Foundation.

The graduation rites held at the Governor’s Hall saw to graduates who were mostly males but for the first time at least five females were able to hurdle the tedious 3-months training.

According to Sister Eloisa David, the managing directress and one of the founders of the said private institution, the new graduate would be filled in for the current great demand for skilled workers here and abroad.

"We have already coordinated with agencies for them to work abroad as we have done with the previous batches. Right after their short course ended, an agency already awaiyts them to conduct examinations and interviews,” Sister Eloisa said.

Also present during the graduation rites was the ARADO’s founding chairman, Mrs. Anne Petilla and TESDA-Leyte Director Ester Pulma.

It was learned the new graduates are being placed to work in countries such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Taiwan, Canada and Australia.

Mrs. Petilla said the institution is most aware of the strong demand for male skilled workers and realized they could provide a steady supply only if there was a venue where people could get formal training in the said trade.

Since the organization was put up, the foundation has produced more or less 500 graduates from the welding course and also pipe fitters. A number have already landed jobs abroad while some were locally employed.

Meanwhile, Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla, who graced the graduation ceremonies issued a challenge to the graduating group "to make good in their stint abroad" if they finally get to work there.

The new batch of ARADO graduates came from the towns of Mayorga, Julita, Alangalang and other towns all over Leyte province.

Meanwhile, the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) here have earlier declared that demands for welding professionals here and abroad would continue to climb.

TESDA-Leyte Director Pulma said the last Job Bridging Program they conducted at the Leyte SMED Center showed a lot of companies looking for skilled workers needed to work in various companies abroad.

The ARADO foundation, was originally founded to give assistance to indigent children of farmer folks who can ill-afford to send their children to college, by offering vocation-technology courses, sustainable agriculture and direct services.

However, in the course of setting up the foundation, its founding members were able to establish that its mission would not only to become an appropriate technology center for agricultural growth, but also to focus on modern technology, particularly welding being the most in demand here and abroad today.





Park visitors recommend innovative ecotourism services

September 6, 2009

BASEY, Samar  –  The students of Masters on Public Resource Management (MPRM) of Eastern Visayas State University (EVSU) Burauen Campus in Burauen Leyte has visited two of the famous ecotourism sites in Samar as part of their 2-day educational tours over the weekend.

Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park - photo by DOTLed by campus director Dr. Felixberto E. Avestruz, Dr. Ann Rose Refuerzo and Dr. Dennis de Paz, all professors of said campus, the group visited the mystical Sohoton Caves in Basey and the Langon-Gobingob Caves in Calbiga town, which are both protected areas under the Samar Island Natural Park (SINP) last August 29-30, 2009.

In Sohoton, the group composed of Melinda Tan, Lizley Prejula, Darlene Monteros, Fe Maningo, Riza Dumaduma, Erlinda Malate, Iman Alvinez, Aileen Tacbalan, Eduard Nerja, Luisito Rodriguez, Liza Pedere and Crisostomo Badeo were entertained by members of the Sohoton Services Association (SSA), a people’s organization duly registered with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) who at that time having meeting. They were interviewed by the group before taking the cave tour.

At around 10:28 a.m. the group entered the Sohoton Cave and amazed by the different rock formations distinctly described by the guides as stalagmites, stalactites, helectites and columns or pillars.

At the end of the Sohoton tour, the group recorded the following observations, to wit; the management should install public calling booth within Sohoton area, improve the vicinity map, revive usual visitor management by briefing them first before entering the cave, and provide trash receptacles in the area, among others.

In Calbiga, on the other hand, the participants of the tour, most of them wore sandals and rubber shoes, said they experienced their most difficult journey of the tour as they hike at least three kilometers to the cave, and while inside the cave, loose soil, sticky and slippery rocks made them feel uneasy to walk.

After an hour cave explorations, the group got out exhausted. “(Majority of us) experienced difficulty on breathing due to insufficient supply of oxygen wherein one of our classmates was not able to continue and decided to go out for fear that she may collapse inside the cave,” said Forester Crisostomo Badeo, one of the participants who is also a DENR employee.

But nevertheless, “we are mesmerized by the huge doom ever seen by our naked eyes, I think that first chamber has the size that can fit the 5-story building inside,” one of the participant said in full excitement.

At the end, they arrived at the following observations. The trail leading to the cave needs clearing and maintenance, picnic tables and kiosks at the cave entrance should be installed, graded trail with hand railings and elevated cantilever bridge within the cave is suggested as, according to them, it may serve the tourists better.

In an interview, Dr. Avestruz informed that the tour was a culminating activity of the three subjects and was conducted with a concomitant purpose of yielding salient information about protected area management of the park.

“Apart from unwinding break after a series of lecture-discussion in the four-walled classroom, this activity enabled the students’ erudition to review on how biodiversity resources along with the identified mapped and non-mapped issues were addressed by the SINP as contained in its management manual and thereafter come up with a group report with categorical recommendations,” the director said.

It was learned that the group, through Dr. Avestruz, will submit their observations and recommendations to concerned agencies such as the respective local government units and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, particularly the SINP.





Army Engineer Brigade bares status of Kalayaan Barangay projects in Eastern Visayas

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
August 21, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The 543rd Engineer Construction Battalion of the 53rd Engineer Brigade of the Philippine Army disclosed that as of August 11, 2009, it has already completed nine (9) out of the 54 projects under the Kalayaan Barangay program being implemented in 23 barangays of ten municipalities and city in Eastern Visayas.

In a report submitted to Presidential Assistant for Eastern Visayas, Hon. Cynthia Nierras, Lt. Colonel Rizalito A. Tibon, the commanding officer, disclosed that these Kalayaan Barangay projects are under Batch 2 (CY 2008).

The completed projects include the construction of 2 classroom school building; construction of 1 Health Center and farm to market road at Barangay Trojillo, in the municipality of Bobon, Northern Samar.

Among the completed projects are the 2 classroom school building, one Health Center, installation of streetlights at Barangay Geguinta; and the installation of streetlights at Barangay San Andres, both at Las Navas, Northern Samar.

At Barangay Guindaulan, in the town of Rosario, Northern Samar, the construction of 2 classroom school building and the construction of one Health Center have also been completed.

Always upholding its motto “to build not destroy, to bring happiness not sorrow, the 543rd Engineer Construction Battalion of the 53rd Engineer Brigade of the Philippine Army, has also started the implementation of the remaining 48 KB projects in Samar and Northern Samar.

Several of the projects are already near completion while the others are less than 50% completed, the report prepared by Operations Officer, Major Tomas Tabangcura, indicated.

The Kalayaan Barangay Projects being implemented by the 543rd Engineer Construction Battalion will benefit the people in 12 villages of Northern Samar namely Barangay Imelda and Barangay Alejandro Village in Allen; Barangays Calantiao, Barangay Sumuroy and Barangay Trojillo in Bobon town; Barangay Geguinta and Barangay San Andres in Las Navas; Barangay Caburihan and Barangay Malikoliko in Lavezares; Barangay Guindaulan in Rodario and Barangay Caglanipao and Barangay Happy Valley in San Isidro town.

About 11 barangays of Samar province are also beneficiaries of the Kalayaan Barangay projects. These are Barangay Makabetas in Gandara; Barangay Concepcion, Barangay Jose Roño and Barangay Paco in Paranas; Barangay Poblacion 1 and Barangay Poblacion 2 of San Jose de Buan; and Barangays Bugtong, Cagmanipis, Malaga, Pena and Tinaplacan in Calbayog City.

The Kalayaan Barangay Project of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo which is being implemented by the Department of National Defense, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, aims to address the needs of the poor communities in conflict areas or in areas which have peace and order issues.

This is a government initiative which is a non-combat approach to solve the insurgency in areas affected by the problem, Lt. Colonel Tibon said.

Kalayaan Barangay Project (KBP) was conceptualized to promote peace and development in the countryside. Specific program interventions include, core Infrastructure projects and services like improvements on transportation, communication, road and rail network, electrification and water supply facility as well as classroom buildings and educational establishments.

For the 2006 and 2007 batch, the 53rd Engineer Brigade has turned over 16 school buildings in the 16 barangays of the three Samar Provinces; 3 water supply system projects in three barangays of Calbiga, Samar; 4 water supply system projects in 4 barangays of Jiabong and San Jose de Buan in Samar; and 3 Health Centers for 3 barangays, one each for Bobon, Las Navas and Rosario, all in Northern Samar.





Mayor Samaco is grieving over death of amateur boxer

By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern Leyte)
August 19, 2009

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte  –  As President of the Amateur Boxers Association of the Philippines (ABAP)-Southern Leyte Chapter, City Mayor Maloney Samaco was deeply saddened by the untimely demise of a Maasinhon amateur boxer on Monday, August 17, the day after seeing action in the inter-town amateur boxing tournament at the city gym here.

Samaco, who also sits as the Chairman of the City Sports Council, declared during the city-paid block time program in DYDM on Tuesday that this was the first time such an incident happened in the last seventeen (17) years since he started promoting boxing as a major sports attraction in 1992 when he started his political career as municipal councilor.

He was referring to the ill-fated life of Francisco Saludo, Jr., 23, an amateur boxer from barangay Lunas, this city, who was rushed Sunday evening to the provincial hospital after his 4-round clash with Arturo Maglasang, 23, another amateur boxer from the municipality of Bontoc.

The inter-town amateur boxing tournament on August 16 was an integral part of the series of activities marking this year’s ninth charter day and fiesta celebrations.

Zaldy Olita, the ring announcer, told PIA it was a close fight between Maglasang and Saludo in the twentieth bout of the 38-bout boxing night, and both boxers survived the four rounds at two minutes time per round for amateur players.

Maglasang won by a slight margin on points, 34 against Saludo’s 30, Olita said, adding that national referee Nelson Factoranan saw no need to stop the fight since there was no hard blows and everything was fair game, no foul play.

City Mayor Samaco himself watched the fight and saw nothing wrong about it, Olita added.

After the fight, Saludo was seen vomiting, so he was immediately taken to the hospital where all his detailed needs were taken care of as ordered by Mayor Samaco, Olita said.

The upstart fighter – it was Saludo’s second amateur bout, the first time was last year – expired 7:45 Tuesday morning due to internal hemorrhage in the head, according to a report aired live by Monching Buyser, quoting technical sources.

This was also Maglasang’s second try at amateur boxing, the first was last month during the provincial anniversary.

Mayor Samaco stressed that what happened was already beyond their control, adding that amateur boxers in the city would usually undergo strict physical screening before they are allowed to play inside the boxing ring, complete with medical certificates, and the bouts were duly supervised by authorized officials, among them a ring physician.

Last year, a promising boxer by the name of Alex Aroy, who had started his professional fights, also died after a fight in Villaba, Leyte, Samaco recalled, even as he pointed out that it was found out later he had fever just before the fight.

The city government would extend everything needed for a decent burial of Saludo, including a long-lasting assistance to his family, Samaco assured.

Burial was set Wednesday at barangay San Jose, it was learned.

Having condoled with the family, and having declared his all-out support, Samaco said he would move on despite a grieving heart, to attend to other needs of the city that requires his attention.

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