Your latest news happening from here at home and abroad
news 209


more news...

All is set for 5th National Skimboarding Competition in Tanauan, Leyte

Gov. Evardone, 3 bishops urge DPWH to act on road rehab in E. Samar

ASIA: 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Catbalogan city council member to sponsor ordinance to establish city AIDS council

Mac Arthur Park Beach Resort would need P700 million in investment for rehab

Samar governor Mila Tan suspended, Redaja assumed into office

Sandiganbayan denies motion of accused Samar governor, 2 others

Eastern Samar Governor is LGU Adviser for Public Affairs, PGMA says

Evardone visits Maslog town, releases P1 million dev’t fund

Trio of young leaders embarks on a crusade for good, ethical governance

PGMA rides through storm Pablo in region 8

An Waray partylist donates P1M for training center in Basey




It’s All Systems Go for the Palarong Pambansa 2009 hosted by Leyte

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
January 11, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  It is all systems go for the Palarong Pambansa 2009 on April 25 to May 3, which will be hosted by the province of Leyte.

The Executive Committee has mobilized various working committees that will assist in the preparation of a modest but ‘definitely different kind’ Palarong Pambansa that the athletes and the guests will remember in a long long time.

During the meeting of the Palarong Pambansa Socio-Economic and Cultural Committee on January 8, 2008 at the Leyte SMED Center, DepEd Region 8 Director Sol Matugas said that Region 8 has so much to show but time is the number one enemy.

Director Matugas said that the Leyte Sports Complex is already about 80% complete and by mid March it will already be ready for use in the EVRAA on March 29 - April 4.

The Palaro Board will definitely come in March in order to test how fast “we are in the technical aspect,” Director Matugas said.

The Palaro 2009 host will be showing “One Visayas” socio-cultural concept, Director Matugas added.

This early, the working committees are already in the final stretch of preparation when it comes to the Opening Ceremony , Paalam Night, and the various nightly cultural presentations which will start with the Search for Ginoo at Binibining Palarong Pambansa 2009 on April 25.

The Opening Ceremonies and Governor’s Night will be held on April 26 while a cultural show which will highlight the best cultural groups in the Region will be held on April 27.

The Dance Sport Competition will be held on April 28; the DepEd Director’s Night will be held on April 29 and the Gathering of Stars will be staged on April 30.

The Paalam Night is scheduled on May 2 whole on April 28 -29, the Aqua Sports will be featured.

An Agri and Trade Fair and Palarong Tindahan will also be featured during the whole duration of the Palaro.





As Samar pushes for rice self-sufficiency

Samar agriculturist workers distribute GMA certified seeds

January 11, 2009

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist in Samar is currently distributing certified seeds to Samar farmers.

The certified seeds come from the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit (DA-RFU 8) free taken from the GMA rice program.

In a talk with OIC Provincial Agriculturist Lina Saises, the lady said that 3,426 bags have been distributed out of the 8,525 bags allotted from Samar province.

On Monday, they disposed some 100 bags for Motiong and Matuginao towns, on Tuesday, the delivery trucks traveled to Jiabong, Villareal and Gandara towns for the same purpose.

Samar has some 29,695 hectares of rice land aiming to feed some 695,149 Samarnons, based on the 2007 census on population.

As it is, Saises said the province is only 46.99% rice self sufficient.

An average yield per hectare in Samar is only 40 bags when it could yield as much as 120 bags given the proper care and farm implements, minus natural calamities and disasters.

In a previous study, Saises said that the highest yield a farmer per hectare harvested was 165 bags recorded in Barangay Patag, Paranas town.

Presently, majority of the rice farmers have attended Farmers Field School given by ATI where they studied and raised demonstration farms as their projects.

With the farmers knowledge in the new rice growing technology, use of certified seeds and the growing support from the government, OPA hopes Samar would be able to attain rice self-sufficiency in five years time.





2 died of diarrhea at Ormoc City village

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
January 8, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The reported diarrhea outbreak at Sitio Visoria, Barangay Manlilinao in Ormoc City is now being controlled, Mr. Boyd Cerro, Regional Sentinel Nurse of the Department of Health Eastern Visayas told the Philippine Information Agency.

There are at least 88 persons fell ill and two children died due to diarrhea outbreak at Sitio Visoria which has a total population of about 147, Mr. Cerro said. This means that at least 27 percent of the total population were affected.

The nine-year old boy died last January 3 while he was being transported by his parents to the Ormoc District Hospital while the six-year old died at their house a day earlier, Mr. Cerro said.

About 25 cases were brought to the Ormoc City District Hospital and there are still ongoing cases, Mr. Cerro added.

Mr. Cerro said that the Ormoc City Health Office has been providing fluids and medicines, but has requested the Department of Health for more, so he brought fluids and medicines on Tuesday. He also brought chlorine so that the people could chlorinate their drinking water.

It was learned that the water system at the Sition is level 2 which means that from the source which is a developed spring, the water goes to the distribution sites from where the people fetch water for drinking and home use.

The Department of Health will provide more fluids and medicines because only on Tuesday about 120 bottles of fluids were consumed.

Mr. Cerro said that he was at the site Tuesday and said that because of the heavy rains, the way going there was really muddy. From Ormoc City, one has to travel by car for one hour and hike for another one hour before he could reach Sitio Visoria.

Mr. Cerro said he collected samples for laboratory confirmation. The victims of the diarrhea outbreak experienced watery stools and severe abdominal pains.

The people in the Sitio were advised to put chlorine in their drinking water to be sure that the water is clean before they drink it, Mr. Cerro added.





Incoming first year HS students must register in chosen school within the four Saturdays of January 2009

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
January 8, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  All incoming first year high school students for school year 2009-2010 must register in the public or private high schools of their choice within the four Saturdays of January, 2009, the Department of Education reminded.

This move is in line with the thrust of the Department of Education, to increase the participation rate in basic education.

DepEd Order No. 62 dated October 2, 2008 signed by Secretary Jesli Lapus stated that the objective of the early registration is to enable the secondary school heads to identify who among the prospective graduates of Grade Six are at risk of dropping out.

These students are the target clientele of the Drop Out Reduction Program through the Open High School.

When enrolling in January, the students should be advised to bring with them a certification from the school principal that they are candidates for graduation in Grade Six for School Year 2008-2009, Secretary Lapus said.

The Division Offices have been directed to coordinate the registration and assist the elementary and secondary schools in identifying at-risk students. The Division Offices have also been advised to mobilize the school communities and to utilize all means to reach even those students who are of high school age who have stopped schooling after completing elementary education.

Teachers of public schools who will serve during the Registration Period shall be entitled to service credits, Secretary Lapus said.

The Regional Offices are directed to submit the Registration Reports to the DepEd Central Office on or before February 23, 2009.

The enrolment for school year 2009-2010 remains to be in June, the Department of Education clarified.





US veteran photographer to conduct seminar in Tacloban

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
January 8, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  A Digital Photography and Photoshop Seminar is scheduled to be conducted at the Asian Convention Center along Real St. Corner Avenida Veteranos in Tacloban City on January 26-27, 2009.

Mr. Orlando Uy, immediate past president of the Leyte Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that this is a very rare opportunity as it is not often that such a seminar is offered in Tacloban City.

Moreso, Mr. Uy said that the participants will have the chance to learn from an expert as the resource speaker, Mr. Dave Fowler, is a veteran photographer from the United States holding degrees in Master of Photography and Master Craftsman.

In this seminar, Mr. Dave Fowler will share his favorite digital photography and Photoshop techniques. For each image he shows, he will offer a tip or a technique. The techniques the participants will learn will be worth more than the cost of the entire program.

Mr. Fowler has been in the photography business for over 30 years. He entered his first print competition in 1991 and earned his Master of Photography Degree in 1997 and his Master Craftsman Degree in 2001. With the exception of two "scenic" images, all of his print merits came from customer files. Fowler has had two Loan Prints, one EPCOT Center print and one of only 36 images accepted for display at the 1997 International Photokina Exhibit in Cologne, Germany.

Mr. Fowler started working with digital in 1997 scanning proofs and doing special effects for seniors. Since that time he has graduated to being a full digital studio. The studio does an average of 150 seniors per year …all digital.

The seminar will cover basic and advanced photography on Day 1. A workshop on Outdoor shoot will be conducted towards the end of the day, Mr. Uy said.

On the second day, the participants will learn how to use Adobe Photoshop for photo editing, Mr. Uy further said.

Every participant is required to pay the registration fee of P3,000.00 inclusive of lunch during the duration of the seminar.

The participants are also required to bring digital camera and jacket or raincoat for the photo shoot.





Chiz pushes reorganization of RP'S data system

Press Release
By Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
January 7, 2009

PASAY CITY, Philippines  –  The country's current statistical system needs an overhaul to serve its purpose as a data producing body of the government which can offer efficient and updated information useful in policy-making.

Thus opposition senator Chiz Escudero wants to create a national organization which shall be primarily responsible for all national surveys and act as a central databank for national accounts.

Through Senate Bill No. 2191 or the Philippine Statistics Act of 2008, Escudero seeks to create the Statistics Philippines or STATPHIL that will effect the reorganization and proper overhaul of the currently existing Philippine Statistical System (PSS).

The PSS is a decentralized, government-wide system of providing statistical information and services to the public.

The present system of PSS as defined in Executive Order No. 121 consists of the statistical organizations at all administrative levels, the personnel therein and the national statistical program.

Escudero said the presence of a statistical system alone will not suffice because what is more important is that it be effective and functional to respond to the needs of various society systems.

As statistics proves important in policy-making the world over, Escudero said the country must be equipped with every possible significant detail of current world trade and events.

"More than that of course, the country must fully know itself – its demographics, resource, capabilities, skills and potential as a state. Precise knowledge is power to a country in terms of trading, economic development, treaty-making and building respectable state relations".

SB. NO. 2191 proposes that STATPHIL be an independent body that will consolidate the nation's knowledge and facts to be intelligently used in decision-making for our development as a state and for the upliftment of the plight of every Filipino people.

"The current system is stymied by a very tall structure without really people in charge of it; it is just like a social network of individuals who share a common activity. A statistical system should be independent, competent and efficient".

In the government, the only agencies that produce statistics as their primary functions are the National Statistics Office (NSO), Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) and Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLAS).

STATPHIL, as proposed shall be attached to the National Economic Development Authority for easy policy coordination and collaboration. A national statistician will be in-charge of the administration of the office.

The development of a comprehensive and integrated research and training program for the newly overhauled system will be the responsibility of the statistical research and training institute which will be simultaneously established with STATPHIL.

"The country has to arm itself with the ability to know its necessities at present and options for the future. It must be able to troubleshoot anytime and be prepared to meet the demands of the future" Escudero said.





Tanauan riders reign at 5th National Skimboarding Competition

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
December 31, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The Tanauan riders once again showed their dominance in the skimboarding water sports as they run away with the choicest prizes at the 5th National Skimboarding Competition.

In the open category, the Tanauan skimboarders garnered the first four places with Lemuel Cobacha emerging as the champion. Coming in as first runner up is former National Champion Dariel Espada. The second runner up is Leo Espada, Champion of the 1st Penang, Malaysia International Skimboarding Competition, while the third runner up is Reuben Vivero.

Meanwhile, in the groumet division, Tanauan’s Gerald Vargas was proclaimed the Champion. Niño Mercado, also of Tanauan, got the first runner up award while Palo’s Nick Callosa got the second runner up trophy. Carl Gabas, the 2nd Penang, Malaysia International Competition groumet champion, received the third runner up prize.

The awarding was held on December 30 followed by the Reggae Party attended by thousands of spectators from various places of Eastern Visayas and the nearby regions.

Tanauan Mayor Roque Tiu expressed satisfaction on the outcome of this season’s National Skimboarding Competition saying that with the kind of response the competition has been receiving from the enthusiasts, the local government is inspired to make it a continuing commitment.

Mayor Tiu also expressed his gratitude to Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla and the Provincial Government of Leyte, former Congresswoman and PAGCOR Vice President Remedios L. Petilla, Waray Partilist Representative Bembem Noel, and Victorias Skimboard and the other benefactors for their sponsorship to the Competition.

The 5th National Competition which was participated in by more than 100 riders was held at the scenic Skimboarding Area, Bantay Dagat, Sto. Niño, Tanauan, Leyte on December 27 to 30.

The National Competition was under the supervision of the Philippine Skimboarding Association and was managed by the Tanauan Pasaka Jaycees.





Dengue outbreak in Naval being contained, DOH 8 says

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
December 27, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The Department of Health Region 8 confirmed that there is a dengue outbreak in Barangay Sto. Niño in Naval, Biliran but stressed that the same is now being contained.

Mr. Boyd Cerro of the Surveillance Division of the Department of Health Region 8 said that the reported dengue outbreak is now being acted upon by Health authorities.

“Dr. Salvacion Salas who is the Department of Health representative in Biliran and who has been designated by Governor Roger Espina as the officer in charge of Biliran Health Office, is the one coordinating the action regarding the outbreak,” Mr. Cerro said.

On the part of the DOH 8, it is now preparing medicine assistance to Biliran, Mr. Cerro added. DOH is also awaiting for other needs that the Biliran Health officials may require, he said.

About seven dengue patients have been referred to at the Eastern Visayas Medical Center in Tacloban City, Mr. Cerro said. This is the arrangement that will be taken, he added, for the patients to be referred at the EVRMC.

In the meantime, the people at Barangay Sto. Nino are encouraged to seek medical attention in case of fever. It is usually after fever when the hemorrhagic symptoms occur.

Also, the patients are advised to drink plenty of fluid in order to avoid dehydration.

Meanwhile, the public is advised to always remember the 4S in the prevention of dengue outbreak.

The first is Search and destroy mosquito-breeding sites. The second is Self-protection measures. The third is Seeking early treatment and the fourth is Saying no to indiscriminate fogging.

The community plays an important role in the prevention of dengue outbreak, Mr. Cerro said. Together the people in the community must clean their surroundings in order to remove the breeding places of dengue-carrying mosquitoes, he added.





PGMA’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program benefits 14,100 families in East Visayas

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
December 27, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  About 14,100 families in the hinterlands of Northern Samar are the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Ms. Yvonne Abunales, DSWD Region 8 focal person for the Program informed PIA that the amount of P5M has been released by DSWD to Land Bank Catarman for the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pinoy in the covered municipalities namely, Silvino Lobos, Las Navas, Mapanas, Lapinig, Catubig, Pambujan, San Roque, Palapag, Mondragon and Lope de Vega, all in Northern Samar.

The anti-poverty initiative aimed to curb poor health, nutrition and school dropout rate problem, will provide cash grants to poor households in 270 barangays of the 10 municipalities of Northern Samar province for a period of five years.

Ms. Abunales said that on October 28, about 9,157 beneficiaries from six municipalities, particularly, Catubig, Lapinig, Las Navas, Lope de Vega, Pambujan and San Roque received their cash assistance via the over the counter mode at Land Bank Catarman which is the only Land Bank branch near the areas.

The cash assistance is for the months of August to September, was claimed over the counter pending the release of the cash cards from Land Bank.

On December 15, the beneficiaries from Silvino Lobos, Palapag and Mapanas received their financial assistance for the months of August to September. Mapanas is the only municipality which received cash assistance since July because it was the first to comply with the requirements, Ms. Abunales said.

On December 17, about 5,000 cash cards were released to beneficiaries by Land Bank and the beneficiaries were given their cash assistance for the months of October to December.

Ms. Abunales said that the 14,100 beneficiaries exceeds the target of Eastern Visayas which is 13, 919. The beneficiaries were carefully selected, Ms. Abunales said. Computers were used to identify the poorest among the poor, she said.

The 4Ps will provide at least P6,000 per household every year for health expense and additional P3,000 for children’s education, Ms. Abunales said. One household is entitled to three qualified children, 0-14 years old.

The program issues cash cards for beneficiaries to use and withdraw money from the Land Bank of the Philippines. While the cash cards are not yet available, the over the counter mode or the off-site distribution mode are used.

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps is a poverty reduction strategy that provides money to extreme poor households to invest in human capital by sending their children to school and bringing them to health centers for preventive health check ups.

This is not a dole out since the beneficiaries have to do their part to achieve the purpose of the 4Ps.

The conditions are: pregnant women must get pre-natal care starting from the first trimester, childbirth is attended by skilled and trained person, get postnatal care and attend family planning sessions and mother’s class.

Children 0-5 years of age get regular preventive health check-ups and vaccines, children 3-5 years old must attend day care program/ pre-school, children 6-14 years of age are enrolled in schools and attend at least 85% of the time.

Conditions were set in a bid to break poverty cycle and reach millennium development goals addressing issues of high infant, child and maternal mortality rates; children’s malnutrition; and high drop out rate, high prevalence of child labor.





Suspected dengue outbreak in a coastal barangay in Naval caused one death, several others hospitalized

December 24, 2008

NAVAL, Biliran  –  The death of a five-year old boy, a suspected dengue patient, who died in the Emergency Room (ER) of the Biliran Provincial Hospital (BPH) at 2:15 pm on December 19, 2008, was the first casualty of the suspected dengue outbreak that occurred in Barangay Sto. Niño, a coastal barangay in Naval located a few meters away from the provincial hospital.

Based on findings released by a personnel of the BPH ER, Kyle Mark Gallosa died of dengue hemorrhagic and dengue shock.

In an emergency medical mission in Barangay Sto. Niño conducted by the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Naval on December 21, 2008 led by Naval Mayor Susan V. Parilla together with Dr. Fernando B. Montejo, Municipal Health Officer of the Rural Health Unit and other health workers of the Naval RHU, out of the 63 residents with fever who underwent medical check-up, 16 were recommended for confinement at the BPH because of the low platelet count in their blood level.

On the same date, Jerry A. Enriquez, Municipal Local Government Operations Officer of Naval convened the Barangay Disaster Coordination Council (BDCC) of Barangay Sto. Niño together with Chairman Arsenia Sabonsolin and the council members urging for a house to house campaign to clean their surroundings and their respective households particularly in the affected areas.

Based on the records of the BPH, there were 28 suspected dengue patients from Barangay Sto. Niño who were admitted since December 19, 2008 up to December 22, 2008.

As of Monday, there were eight suspected dengue patients who were referred to the Eastern Visayas Medical Center (EVRMC) in Tacloban City for further medication.

It was learned that the center of the suspected dengue outbreak in Barangay Sto. Niño was in Sitio Sabang and at the back of the Sto. Niño Elementary School. The said areas are planted to nipa.

It was also learned that there were other suspected dengue patients from Sto. Niño who were not included in the hospital record because they consulted for medical check-up with a private medical doctor prior to the occurrence of the reported suspected dengue outbreak in the barangay.

Likewise on Monday, the barangay council of Barangay Sto. Niño passed Resolution No. 108 series of 2008 declaring Barangay Sto. Niño under a state of calamity and further setting aside the amount of P10,000 from their calamity fund as financial assistance to the affected families in the barangay.

Meanwhile, both the provincial government of Biliran and the municipal government of Naval have extended assistance to the families of suspected dengue patients by providing free medicines, transportation, some financial assistance whose patients were admitted in a hospital in Tacloban City.

On the other hand, Barangay Sto. Niño Chairman Sabonsolin appealed to kindhearted individuals to give some assistance to the affected families since most of them belong to the underprivileged members in the community.





PMRC chief named Best Press Photographer

By Provincial Media Relations Center (PMRC Leyte)
December 24, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Leyte province’s Media Relations Center OIC-Chief Gina P. Gerez was adjudged the Best Press Photographer in the recently-concluded 1st Express It At The Park Mass Media Awards- a first of its kind media awards conferring recognition to exemplary works of practitioners in the mass media profession.

Ms. Gerez, who has been with the Provincial Media Relations Center for a number of years now, took the top award for the Best Press Photographer category, besting two other entries, by submitting her exceptional photo titled “A Stone at a Time”.

The picture captured mothers and their children helping place stones where their houses would be built inside a Gawad Kalinga Village. The award winning photo was taken by Gerez during a visit made by Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla to a rising GK Village in Palompon, Leyte.

For winning the top spot, Ms. Gerez received a trophy, cash prize and an appliance set.

Meanwhile, other media practitioners were also accorded awards and recognition in three other different categories such as Best News Feature Writer, Best Radio News Reporter and Best TV News Reporter.

Winning the Best News Feature Writer was Reyan Arinto of Leyte Samar Daily Express for his article “Breaking the Culture of Silence among VAW victims” which told the plight of abused women and how they are helped by non-government organizations and the government itself.

Arinto is also one of the co-anchors and news presenter of the province’s weekly radio program “Hingyap han Leyteño” and a consultant to the Leyte province’s official quarterly publication, The Leyte Chronicle.

Coming in as first and second runners-up were Emil Justimbaste of West Leyte Weekly Express for his entry “Dark Clouds hang over Lake Danao Toursim Program” and Sarwell Meniano of Leyte Samar Daily Express and BusinessWorld for his piece “Cause-oriented group vows to look for more anomalies.”

Meanwhile, in the broadcast category, the two local TV stations battled it out for the top three spots were ABS-CBN Tacloban’s Melanie Bingco declared as the grand winner in the Best TV News Reporter Category. She submitted the entry “Ordinaryo,” a report showing the real predicament of ordinary Taclobanons in the midst of the city’s bid to become highly urbanized.

On the other hand, the Best Radio News Reporter Category, which was pitted by reporters representing the two AM Tacloban-based radio stations, saw Francis Batula winning the top plum while Lizbeth Abella as the runner-up.

The surprise award for the night was the Media Personality of the Year, which plum went to Miriam Garcia Desacada of Leyte Samar Daily Express. A veteran reporter with more than a decade behind her working in the media profession, the Philippine Star and DYVL Aksiyon Radyo correspondent was cited for her number of years of dedicated work in the media and in maintaining responsible journalism.

Department of Tourism-8 Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes, who was also one of the awards’ esteemed member of the Board of Judges, said the award came in an opportune time “to recognize efforts of the men and women behind the news.”

She said the DOT is willing to support the awards next year should Express It At The Park decide to hold it again.

Mr. Dalmacio Grafil, founding chairman of the Express It At The Park, said during his talk that hopefully this year’s award would be an event that could be continued in the coming years.

Winners of the first awards ever held was chosen by a Board of Judges composed of Palanca awardee Prof. Merlie Alunan of the University of the Philippines, PIA-8’s Aurora Casimpan, Leyte Normal University AB Communication’s Head Cleofe Luangco-Lajara, Fr. Raymund Mazo of the St. John the Evangelist School of Theology and DOT-8 Dir. Tiopes.

Other guests during the media awards night held Sunday at the Leyte Park Hotel included His Excellency Archbishop Jose Palma and other members of the clergy, Vice-Governor Mimiette Bagulaya, Engr. Wilson Chan of the Leyte Park Hotel - a co-founder of the Express It At The Park, DYVL Station Manager Babes Custodio, ABS-CBN Tacloban Station Manager Clifford Nolido, Fr. Amadeo Alvero and other guests from government agencies who have been supportive of the Express It At The Park.





Housing units in disaster-stricken area turned over

By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern Leyte)
December 24, 2008

BARANGAY PINUT-AN, San Ricardo, Southern Leyte  –  Five years ago, the scene over this place was utter chaos and destruction, as loosened earth spawned by non-stop rains rushed down to the sea, destroying everything along its path.

Last week, December 17, 2008 – two days to the day before the fifth year remembrance of the Pinut-an tragedy in 2003 – the spirit of generosity was in the air.

“God shines in the mountains of Pinut-an,” Dr. Jerome Paler, the Provincial Gawad Kalinga (GK) coordinator told PIA in an email report.

He added, rather poetically:  “On that rugged landscape and verdant vegetations punctuated with steep cliffs that meet the hastening splashes of the deep blue ocean of the pacific, God shines on the generosity of people towards other people.”

In what is now collectively known as GK Rainbow Village, forty (40) new families of the DSWD/Diocese GK Village and thirty (30) new families of the ANCOP Canada – Calgary GK Village got the Christmas wish they had been longing for, a home they can call their own, right after the formal turn-over ceremonies were held.

They joined other families from NASSA GK Village and RAFI GK Village as new residents in the color-studied site.

Bishop Precioso Cantillas of the Diocese of Maasin officiated the Holy Mass during the hand-over rites, together with Rev. Fr. Eufemio Gohetia, the Diocesan Social Action Center (DSAC) Director, and Rev. Fr. Verchel Acain, the Parish Priest of San Ricardo town.

Also joining in the celebration of the Eucharist was Rev. Fr. Joy Catubig, the Parish Priest of San Francisco, a place where a budding GK village of the Mamanwa’s is blossoming, Paler said.

Bishop Cantillas honored the Couples for Christ (CFC) through their work in GK and vowed to go on working in partnership with them through the office of the DSAC and the Parish Social Action Center.

Among the honored guests of the occasion was DSWD Regional Director Letecia Corillo, who extolled the Kapitbahayan organizations to continue pursuing their dream of total human liberation not just on the physical but on the moral and spiritual level as well.

“This GK Village is also the holder of many firsts – First and Longest Bayanihan Line (1.5 km); First Youth Build where youth coming from the different parts of the world converged and built houses from Holy Wednesday up to the Easter Sunday of 2004; First Bishop’s Build where the Bishop celebrated his 46th birthday building houses in Pinut-an together with the Congressman Roger Mercado, then Governor Rosette Lerias, Mayor now incumbent Governor Damian G. Mercado together with 13 other mayors and 10 members of the clergy in July 3, 2004.,” Paler recalled.

Paler also said that the name Rainbow GK Village is coined when the first team of GK volunteers who arrived in Pinut-an days after the tragedy saw five separate rainbows signifying hope and affirmation of God’s covenant towards His people.



◄◄home I next►►