DA turns over to
Calbayog Social Action Center the biggest organic farming enterprise
in the region
By EMY C. BONIFACIO,
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
A 9.7 million worth of agricultural package that includes installation
of greenhouse facilities as well as the conduct of a farmers’ capacity
building program was formally handed-over by the Department of
Agriculture during its blessing and turn-over ceremony held at the
Sustainable Agriculture Learning Center (SALC) in Brgy. Limarayon,
Calbayog City on October 13, 2010.
The facility was
blessed by Bishop Isabelo Abarquez of the Diocese of Calbayog. He was
assisted by DA Director Leo Cañeda, Ms. Maricar Constantino of the
National Agri-business Corporation (NABCOR), Ms. Marivic Manaligod of
Manna-lig Agri Industrial Corporation, WESA DEF, OCCI, Ms. Gina D.
Yulo of the UCPB, other guests and barangay residents.
Facility Project was provided to the Social Action Center of Calbayog
City by the Department of Agriculture (DA) under the leadership of
then Sec. Arthur Yap, as part of the department’s “Gulayan sa Parokya
Project”. The facility serves as a model for farmers in organic
farming. Each of the 16 greenhouses occupies a 120 sq. meter area
within the 5.6 hectares agricultural land owned by the Diocese of
Calbayog. Its nurseries have 80 sq meters area.
According to the SAC
Director, Fr. Cesar Aculan, 10 dioceses in the country have been
identified and selected by the Department of Agriculture to pilot a
mass production of organically-grown high value vegetables in a modern
green house facility. “However, even before we became a recipient for
the project, we were already implementing an Organic Agriculture
Program”, the SAC director explains. He recalls having started in 2002
with 50 MASIPAG varieties, brought by Fr. Pio Ignacio. Using organic
farming, they tried planting the varieties in a ¼ hectare trial farm
that became productive.
DA Regional Director,
Mr. Leo Cañeda, considers the project the “Biggest Organic Farming
Enterprise in Eastern Visayas”. He mentioned that out of the 143 local
government units in the region, the SAC facility in Brgy. Limarayon is
the biggest that he had known. He did not fail to extend his thanks to
the Social Action Center for spearheading the project implementation,
the partners such as the UCPB, OCCI, CIIF, NABCOR and the Manna-Lig
Agri-Industrial Corporation for the support in the realization of the
project. He especially thanked Calbayog Mayor Reynaldo S. Uy for being
a prime mover in sustainable agriculture efforts. According to him,
Calbayog always offers good news with either a farmer’s congress or a
new project where he frequently gets invited. He encouraged the
barangay folks to maximize the use of the said facility and expressed
hopes that this intervention will not only be helping the local
residents but the entire region, as well, in attaining sustainable
development of organic agriculture towards food security. “There will
be no food security without sustainable agriculture, no sustainable
agriculture without organic farming” Cañeda adds.
Agriculturist, Ms. Adelina Ocenar, who represented Mayor Reynaldo S.
Uy, conveyed the mayor’s support on sustainable farming. She shared
Mayor Uy’s vision for food sufficiency in Calbayog stressing that
no Calbayognon would suffer from hunger in the next few years. Ocenar
assured the farmers that a Bagsakan Center has been provided jointly
by the Department of Agriculture and the City government for their
products. The freezers and coolers bought offered a big help to the
members of the 1st Fruit and Vegetables Association in the city.
In the same manner,
1st District of Samar Representative, Congressman Mel Senen Sarmiento,
sent a personal note to Fr. Cesar Aculan apologizing for his inability
to respond to the invitation. He congratulated the SAC for
concentrating on innovative ways to address global poverty before the
Millennium Development Goals (MDG) deadline.
In a short welcome
remarks, Brgy. Chairman Manuales of Brgy. Limarayon cited a 2009
statistic where the barangay, has been ranked to be one of the highest
number of cases on malnutrition. The project was instrumental not only
in improving the nutritional status of most of their children but in
generating self-employment among the local residents.
Meanwhile, 28 farmers
received their Certificates of Completion after successfully acquiring
the skills and expertise from a Seminar workshop on Organic Farming
and Training on Greenhouse Operation and Management that they attended
last August 1-18, 2010 at the SALC.
In a related story,
the SAC is now preparing for the Annual Farmers Day Celebration on
October 28-29 in Calbayog where a mini fair trade, farmers’ forum and
turn-over of equipments to farmer-beneficiaries identified by the
Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) as armed
conflict areas will be witnessed by at least 150 to 200 farmers
gathered on that occasion.
Leyte festival bagged
Best Tourism Practice Award
Media Relations Center
October 11, 2010
TACLOBAN CITY – The
provincial government of
Leyte bagged the Best Tourism Practice Award under Festival
Category during the recently concluded Association of Tourism Officers
National Convention 2010 at the
Convention Center, Subic, Zambales.
The Pintados Kasadyaan
Festival of Festivals won the Grand Prize with Magayon Festival, Albay
as 4th runner up, Hudyaka Festival of Zamboanga del Norte as 3rd
runner up, Anilag Festival of Laguna as 2nd runner up and Panaad
Festival of Negros Occidental as 1st runner up. Criteria for judging
were based on achievement of the project 20%, contribution to the
community 25%, continuity and sustainability of the event/project 20%,
involvement and participation of the stakeholders 35%.
were Mr. Sofronio Jon Lingatong Jr. - Program Officer Center for
Social Involvement, Assumption College Manila, Mr. Casimiro Villarosa,
Jr. VP - The Philippine Premier Theatrical Family Show: Amazing Show,
Ms. Ellen Fullido VP-HR & Admin Services, Manila Broadcasting Company
and Star City member and founding and organizing committee of the
Chairman of the
Committee on Awards for ATOP was Mr. Kenneth Benignos, Tourism Officer
of Negros Occidental and Ms. Grace Marzan of DOT Manila served as
Board Member Nico
Villasin was on hand to receive the award.
convention is a yearly event that provides an avenue discuss pressing
issues on the country's tourism industry and the role of local
government units (LGUs), the local tourism officers and stakeholders
in the promotion of domestic tourism.
It was organized in
2000 with the end-in-view of promoting sustainable community tourism
programs in partnership with local chief executives who advocate
tourism development in their respective LGUs.
It was formally
established in October 2001 during its ever national convention held
in Cagayan de Oro, with DOT Region 10 Regional Director Catalino Chan
III as its founding president.
DOT Secretary Alberto
A. Lim was the keynote speaker of the convention who expressed his
unwavering support to the initiatives of the association of tourism
officers, who are at the forefront in promoting the different
Philippine tourism destination.
Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival is the province premiere twin festival
celebrated during the fiesta celebration of Tacloban in June in honor
of the city and the province's patron saint Sr. Sto.Niño. The festival
brings together the diverse, vibrant and colorful festivals from the
towns in the province of Leyte and other festivals from the other
provinces in Eastern Visayas.
Youth group WARAYA
covets two project grants from international donors
CATBALOGAN, Samar – Waray-Waray
Youth Advocates (WARAYA), the leading youth organization in Catbalogan
City and in the Province of Samar is in full throttle after winning
two youth projects from International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)
and from Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP).
Chapter, WARAYA’s mother organization, it was one of the few
organizations who bagged the small scale project grant of IPPF for its
project entry entitled “G.E.T. Peers Project or Girls Education
Through Peers” to be implemented from July to December 2010 in
Catbalogan City and Basey, Samar. WARAYA’s project aims to form a peer
counselors’ group (PCG) consisting of young girls in both the school and
community level and use counseling to impart information on Adolescent
Reproductive Health (ARH) to their counselees. A different counselors’ group shall be
formed in the school and the community in anticipation of differences
in issues confronting those in the schools and those who are more
immersed in community life.
Apart from the young
girls to be trained on
ARH, Peer Education and Peer Counseling, a separate group of adults will
also be trained during the project duration. Community-Based
Volunteers (CBVs) and In-School Volunteers (ISVs) will be tapped to
give technical and auxiliary support to the community and in-school
PCGs especially in situations wherein the provision of contraceptives
is already deemed necessary. For these circumstances, the CBVs and
ISVs will also serve as the mediator between the young client and her
family and might also be required to perform counseling for them.
Because of this, the CBVs and ISVs, along with the identified peer
counselors, will also have to undergo training on counseling and
The project areas are
Basey National High School (BNHS) and Barangay Mercado in Basey, Samar
and Catbalogan National Comprehensive High School (CNCHS) and Barangay
Silanga in Catbalogan City.
GET Peers was first
submitted as an entry to the “Girls Decide: Stand up for choice on sex
and pregnancy”, a competition initiated by IPPF for small scale
projects or activities that seek to empower young women and girls.
It was part of IPPF’s
efforts to show that their work on young women's and girls' pregnancy
respects the sexual rights of young people, and to demonstrate its
commitment to help and support young women and girls in their
decisions related to sexuality, whatever their choices may be.
IPPF is a global
service provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive
health and rights for all. It is a global network of Member
Associations (MAs), working in over 170 countries - providing and
campaigning for sexual and reproductive health care and rights. FPOP
is the sole member association in the Philippines with over 25
Chapters and Clinics all over the country.
The second project
that WARAYA won was the project entry “In Our Eyes: A Youth
Documentary and Film Festival Project” for the Youth Innovation Fund
of FPOP. The Youth Innovation Fund is a grant competition that seeks
to develop the capacity of FPOP through its youth volunteer leaders in
promoting adolescent reproductive health. The competition was made
open to Chapter Youth Groups of FPOP, which awarded maximum of P40,000
to innovative, creative and original small scale activities with a
minimum target beneficiary of 50 young people.
The September 2010 to
February 2011 project aims to conduct a youth documentary cum film
festival that’ll focus and explore the different aspects of RH and
observe closely how the aforementioned issues play in a family set-up.
It seeks to address the absence of ample information about RH and also
in response to the prevailing media which is directed more towards the
general public rather than the concerned sectors, resulting to
materials limited in scope and content, often leaving out other
important angles. The project will serve as a contest cum film
festival, open to young people aging between 15-24 years old. Groups
of 6 members with equal gender distribution will be considered
eligible. Each group must choose a family with a minimum of 10 family
members not including extended family members. The videos must only be
within 4-5 minutes and will be judged during the Film Festival on
The “GET Peers
Project” and the “In Our Eyes: A Youth Documentary and Film Festival
Project” awarded WARAYA $9,600 or more than P400,000 and P40,000
Advocates or WARAYA is the youth arm of Family Planning Organization
of the Philippines - Samar Chapter (FPOP-Samar). It was established on
July 2004 from a group of young volunteers of the chapter after a
series of trainings and workshops. It envisions a society that
understands, respects and nurtures the rights of young people to
sexual and reproductive health. These can be achieved through
orientations and workshops to raise their level of awareness; through
information, education and communication activities; and through
trainings aimed in creating a youth that is informed, decides on
choice decisions, and acts responsibly.
It is the only youth
organization represented in the region-wide FP coalition, the
Coalition of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Advocates 8
(COFPRHA-8) and in Samar Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (SRHAN),
a multisectoral network of reproductive health advocates from NGOs,
government agencies and media formed to advance RH concerns in the
WARAYA currently sits as the Advocacy and Networking Committee Chair
of the Samar Provincial AIDS Council (SPAC); a member of Catbalogan
City AIDS Council WARAYA; and a proud member of UNFPA Philippines
Youth Advisory Panel (UNFPA YAP) and Y-PEER Pilipinas.
It has received
numerous citations and acknowledgement from different organizations
like Visayas Reproductive Health Institute (VRHI) and Eastern Visayas
Reproductive Health Council (EVRHC) and from different Local
Government Units in Samar for initiating youth responsive programs.
WARAYA has been consistently a Regional Finalist for the nationwide
search for the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) of the
National Youth Commission for 2005 and 2007, and has recently become a
National Finalist for 2008 6th TAYO Awards – the first community youth
organization in the Province of Samar to make it that far.
continuously inspired the youth that anything is possible when all is
in one direction. It has shown that the youth has a voice, and that is
MCC, RPMT and
community stakeholders dialogue in Paranas
By EMY C. BONIFACIO,
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
Barely a week ago, President Noynoy Aquino in his recent visit to the
US announced that he is bringing home to the
a substantial amount of pro-poor projects that identified
Samar as a beneficiary. Immediately, the
MCC team visited the
project sites and conducted dialogues with its stakeholders in Samar.
The Local Government of Paranas hosted the Millennium Challenge
Corporation (MCC), Regional Project Management Team (RPMT) and
Community Stakeholders Dialogue last October 3, 2010. Paranas has been
considered as a recipient of the KALAHI-CIDSS project that will be
implemented by the
Challenge Corporation (MCC) is an innovative and independent U.S
foreign aid agency that is leading the fight against global poverty.
It has formed partnership with some of the world's poorest countries
who are committed to good governance, economic freedom and investment
in their citizens by providing large-scale grants to fund country-led
solutions for reducing poverty through sustainable growth. In order to
qualify as beneficiary, a compact-eligible country has to undergo a
competetive selection wherein the MCC Board examines its performance
on 17 independent and transparent policy indicators based on
performance. Countries should likewise identify their priorities in
achieving sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction and set up
its own local Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) to manage and oversee
all aspects of implementation.
The MCC Board of
Directors has approved a five-year $434 million compact with the
Government of the Republic of the Philiipines aimed at reducing
poverty through economic growth. It is intended to support reforms and
investments to modernize the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), expand
and improve a community-driven development project, KALAHI-CIDSS and
rehabilitate a secondary national road in
This compact was signed last September 23, 2010.
Challenge Corporation (MCC) Team headed by its Country Director, Mr.
Matthew Bohn visited Paranas and parts of Eastern Samar. With him were
Ben Campbell, Director for Environmental and Social Assessment and
Jozefina Cutura, a Senior Program Officer and Gender Specialist. Also
with the team are Benilda Redaja, National Deputy Project Manager,
Cesario Tingzon, National Infrastructure Engineer, Jaime P. Eclevea,
DSWD 8 ARD and Regional Project Manager. They conducted a dialogue and
focused group discussions with men and women, separately, who will be
involved in the implementation of the
MCC and the Philippine Government compact for the Samar Road
Project of DPWH and KALAHI-CIDSS of DSWD under the grant agreement of
the US. They, likewise, inspected the 222kms road network connecting
16 Municipalities of Samar for a proposed $214.4M road project which
will be implemented soon.
Mayor Babalcon shared
a "journey with KALAHI-CIDSS" experience in his municipality to stress
its success in human resource development using the KC (KALAHI-CIDSS)
process. "One good thing about KC is that from the inception of the
program, ordinary people are being capacitated and trained in the
simplest way, thereby enhancing their knowledge as they go further and
further in the learning process. At the end, one can see the real
transformation of these ordinary citizens becoming resource persons
and have mustered confidence in themselves. They participate and
decide matters affecting their welfare. KC instills value formation
among barangay folks and they become ready to render volunteer work.
Capacities to plan for their own development are enhanced and
safeguards are put in place so that resources are not wasted or lost,"
were just a few learnings that Mayor Babalcon shared. He was proud to
have successfully implemented KC programs in his locality where they
got cited for a regional award and nominated in a KC national
competition in Manila.
The Secondary National
Road Development Project is expected tol reduce transportation costs
and bring about savings in vehicle operating costs, road maintenance
costs, increase investment in and between provinces of Samar and
Eastern samar and ultimately increase incomes while the Adminsitration
Reform Project with the BIR will address the need to raise tax
revenues, reduce tax evasion and revenue agent-related corruption.
The MCC Team
encouraged Samarnons to actively participate in the monitoring of its
implementation. Mr. Matthew Bohn emphasized that the resources should
be responisbly used in order to bring impact to the lives of the
people. "We have a lot to do. Concentrate on preparatory works,
strengthen gender participation in economic activities and implement
projects transparently and effectively. This is a joined effort. We
would like to help you, learn from you, so that every peso is
transparently used and with end results. Let's take this forward and
let's make this the best development journey in the Philiipines," were
the final words of the Country Director.
As counterpart of the
identified beneficiaries, various organizations have signified their
commitment to take part in the monitoring. The Multi-sectoral Alliance
for Transparency and Accountability (MATA-Samar), a SIPPAD
sub-organization, has offered the voluntary technical services of its
engineer-members to oversee that the project implementation will be in
accordance with the MCA policies and guidelines. In the same manner,
women organizations such as the Katungod han Samareña Foundation, Inc.
(KSFI) through its Executive Director, Ms Myra M. Tambor assured the
mobilization of women's organization in various related activities.
The MCC assured the
stakeholders that the MCA is hurrying up with its preparatory works
for the immediate implementation of the project.
LP straight voting
“Hapros Magic” dominates Samar PCL election
By EMY C. BONIFACIO,
CATBALOGAN CITY –
The Philippine Councilor’s League, Samar Chapter, elected its new set
of Officers last
September 27, 2010 at the Samar State Univeristy. As mandated under DILG
Memorandum Circular No 2010-63, all Sangguniang Bayan Members within
their respective provinces are required to convene within 90 days from
assumption to elect from among them the Provincial Federation Officers
who will be serving a term of office until 2013.
To oversee the orderly
conduct of the elections, Mr. Brian Baena, the Island Treasurer for
PCL Visayas; Mr. Wilson Uy, Leyte PCL President; Mr. Raul Rivera,
Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental; Atty Alan Zulueta, National
chairman based in Tagum, Davao del Norte and Ms. Vicky Cayao, the PCL
National Accountant were present, while the DILG Provincial
Secretariat headed by its Director, Mr. Artemio Cañeja acted as
facilitators. This was the 76th PCL election conducted nationwide,
with four more provinces soon to hold its election to complete the
national PCL Officers.
From among the 266
Sangguniang Bayan Members of the entire
Samar, 261 actively installed
councilor Atty. Roger Casurao as its Provincial President, who ran
against Jiabong councilor Mr. Lucio M. Pacli Jr. with 249-110 garnered
votes, respectively. All the other winners were under Casurao’s slate
which is indicative of the strong party discipline that the Liberal
Party in the locality is popularly known. The “hapros” magic, meaning
a straight vote for the complete line-up, is most common in the 1st
district of the
“The Uy magic has already invaded the 2nd District of Samar”, says an
SB member from Paranas.
The winning of Atty.
Casurao was anticipated with an expected 172 vote turn-out based on
his own survey. However, he ran short of 23 votes in the end.
Similarly, Mr. Pacli was expecting for an 11-vote advantage against
Casurao with 144 warm bodies identified to be on his favor. Only 110
votes turned out after the results were counted. Out of the 266
PCL members in
Samar, only 261 members of good standing were qualified to vote.
line-up were Atty. Ernesto Arcales (Catbalogan), Vice-President; Hon.
Julius Mancol (Calbayog), Secretary General; Hon. Raymund Uy (Calbayog),
Treasurer; Hon. Jesus Calutan (Hinabangan), Auditor; Hon. Alfredo
Amantillo, PRO; Hon. Erdi delos Santos (Sta. Margarita), Business
Manager; Hon. Amado Abria (Sta. Rita), Hon. Rene Friginal (San
Sebastian), Hon. Jesus Gabon (Paranas), Hon. Leonardo Repol (Pagsanghan),
Hon. Reynaldo Romano (Villareal), Hon. Ronnie Casiano (Daram), Hon.
Nary Casurao (San Jorge) and Hon. Teodoro Ilagan (Catbalogan) as Board
“In the history of PCL
elections in Samar, this was the most controversial one” says a media
observer from Tacloban. The venue was tightly secured with police
authorities all over the place and a military vehicle with its
personnel were seen on guard until 11:30 o’clock in the evening. The
proceedings started hours later than the 9:00 o’clock scheduled time,
with members coming in groups obviously being guided by leaders of
both camps. Off limits sign for non-PCL members were posted at its
doors, thus, most Municipal Mayors were seen just outside the
premises, monitoring and patiently waiting for their SB members to
come out from the venue. The media were not exempted from being thrown
out of the session hall which has got adverse reactions from those
present. “The practice was not in accordance with DILG Sec. Robredo’s
pronouncements supporting the transparency policy in all government
activities and transactions. They could have provided for a media
corner for us to just sit down and observe the proceedings, but not to
be forcibly directed to step out of the room,” a tri-media
correspondent commented. However, the group did not fail to inform the
Office of the DILG Secretary regarding the incident for comment.
The determination as
to whose camp the emerging winner will come was very crucial as it
will fill up the slot of an ex-officio member in the Sangguniang
Panlalawigan. Casurao’s winning completed the 2/3 majority votes
requirement in deliberating major legislative actions. It may be
recalled that the number game in the SP played so much role in the
recent budget controversy. Thus, various strategies were allegedly
resorted to by candidates to ensure the winning. Reports reaching this
team revealed that there were SBs who were housed in Tadjao, Tolosa,
Leyte for several days prior to the elections. Likewise, text
messages that offer 30 to 50 thousand pesos in exchange for a single
vote were believed to have come from a candidate. An estimated total
amount of more or less 11 million was allegedly spent as campaign
funds for that
PCL election alone, told an insider. On the other hand, the support of
at least 18-21 mayors of Samar gave Casurao an edge over Pacli. A
victory party, led by Calbayog Mayor Reynaldo S. Uy and other LP
personalities, waited for Atty. Casurao and party at the Flaming Hat
In a short interview,
the newly elected PCL Federation president assured its members of
programs that will professionalize them through the Legislative
Academy of the Philippines. He intends to elevate the status of
legislative councils as independent bodies and co-equal with the
executive branch. “With my election, I will try to make a difference
for the Samarnons. I will encourage my colleagues to learn the art of
lawmaking and let them recognize the important role that legislators
play in development”, ends Atty Casurao.
OFF LIMITS. A
police officer was assigned at the entrance of the venue to
ensure non-entry of non-PCL members during the voting
proceedings. Even the media covering the event were not allowed inside to witness the proceedings.
Avenger’s Battalion Command to Lt. Col. Demafiles
By JAZMINE ODYSSA C. BONIFACIO
ORAS, Eastern Samar –
The 14th Infantry (AVENGER) Battalion welcomed its new Commanding
Officer in a simple turn-over ceremony held within its camp premises
at Barangay Dao, Oras, Eastern Samar last September 7, this year. A
mass was celebrated to start the activity.
Col. Jaime Fernando R.
Hidalgo served the “Avengers” as its 18th Commander for one (1) year,
seven (7) months and two (2) days since his assumption last February
05, 2009. His leadership gained much recognition and respect from its
stakeholders because of the many remarkable accomplishments he has
achieved through good rapport with local chief executives. In a brief
interview, Hidalgo is proud to have left his troops a simple legacy of
guiding spiritually and physically motivated men in uniform that
excelled in serving the interests of the populace in accord with that
of the higher headquarters. He humbly gave credit to the collective
effort of every men and women in his unit and appreciated the formal
working relations that he has established with the civilian
benefactors and friends, as factors in attaining the sustained peace
and development in his area of responsibility.
In his relinquishment
speech, Hidalgo went teary-eyed as he expressed his gratitude to the
Estahanons for their unwavering support. ”Walang katapusan ang aking
pagpupugay at pagpapasalamat sa inyong lahat sa suporta na binigay nyo
sa akin. Nagawa ko lahat ito dahil sa inyong walang sawang suporta,”
quips the outgoing commander. In addition to the Meritorious Medal
that was awarded to him by the Division for his exemplary service as
the 14thIB Battalion Commander, Hon. Emiliana P. Villacarillo handed
over a Plaque of Appreciation, for and in behalf of all the people of
Eastern Samar, who were the direct recipients of the peace efforts
that the battalion has achieved under his stint. The mayors serenaded
Col. Hidalgo with the famous friendship song, “Auld Lang Syne”, a
gesture reflecting a sincere and deeper friendship with the Estehanons.
This, according to the mayors, made the occasion more memorable.
The 14th IB leadership
was turned-over to Lt. Col. Hermilo Demafiles, a native of Antique. He
was the G7 at the 4th Infantry Division before Assumption Order No.643
directed him to replace Col. Hidalgo. Just like MGen. Mario F. Chan,
the new 8ID Commanding General, Demafiles is proud to have come from a
battalion that has been awarded nationwide, as the Best Division for
the past two successive years.
Col. Arnulfo Atendido,
the Assistant Division Commander of the Stormtroopers Division
presided the Change of Command Ceremony and acted as the guest speaker
in behalf of MGen. Mario F. Chan, the 8ID commanding General. The
activity was witnessed by Col. Alex Albano, 801st Brigade Commander;
Lt. Col. Virgilio D. Magaway, OIC Division Adjutant; Lt.Col. Quilana,
CO of the 543 Engineering Brigade; former Northern Samar Congressman
Wilmar Lucero; former
BID Commissioner Marcelino Libanan and
Director P/Sr. Supt. Felixberto Castillo.
League of Mayors of Eastern Samar led by Oras Mayor Neil Alvarez was
in attendance to deliver a message. Other guests present were Dolores
Mayor Emiliana P. Villacarillo; Can-avid Mayor Alicia Cesista; Dolores
Vice Mayor, Aquilino Mejica; Maslog Mayor Septemio “Boc “Santiago;
Board Member Jojie Montallana; Sulat Mayor, Virginia Sacate, Can-avid
Vice Mayor Gil Norman Germino; Giporlos Mayor Mateo Biong, Llorente
Mayor Tito Dindo Cudoy; San Policarpio Mayor Rolando Evardone;
Arteche SP Member Floro Balato; Oras Vmayor Franklin; ABC President of
Eastern Samar, Hon. Daniel Lucero; Dolores Vice Mayor Raul Tan and Dr.
“Am happy to commend
the outgoing commander, despite the constant demands of the battalion,
there is still part where the welfare of his men was his
priority-essential for every commander”, was Atendido’s reaffirmation
on Hidalgo’s mission of providing incentives for every productive
soldier that are morally and spiritually focused. “Accomplishment
bespeaks of you as a commander. You are a leader in your own right and
there is no better tribute today as the commander who is leaving the
Estehanons with a legacy”, were the final inspiring thoughts of the
ADC for Col. Hidalgo. As of press time, Col. Hidalgo was reassigned as
CG’s staff to oversee the tactical operations of the entire Division.
On the other hand,
Col. Demafiles has assured everyone that he will continue building on
what were initiated or established by his predecessor. He
congratulated the Avengers for maintaining the excellence of the
battalion which has been maintained for years. He ended his assumption
speech by issuing his operational guidelines centered on the
following: focus to neutralize the insurgents; enhance linkages with
support groups; support the thrusts of the government; uphold the
rights of the citizens by following the
AFP rules of engagements; and make sure that all policies and
guidelines issued by the battalion will remain in effect until