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Redaja reports of his 90 days to Samarnons

Biliran buy bust operation nabs suspected lady drug pusher

Rescued Suluan fishermen happily return home to Guiuan

Daramnons thank PGMA for her gifts

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

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



Army challenge KARAPATAN-EV to work with CHR8

February 15, 2009

CAMP DAZA, Fatima, Hinabangan, Samar  –  “We are waiting for a couple of days now for the Karapatan-EV to vehemently denounce and condemn the killing of one (1) innocent soldier based in San Isidro, McArthur, Eastern Samar last February 8, 2009 around 3 o’clock in the afternoon,” opened General Francis Lanuza, 801st Brigade Commander based in Fatima, Hinabangan, Samar.

Pfc. Hospicio Timola of Bravo Company, 62IB with another companion were having physical fitness preparation as they are about to undergo the Restructured Reenlistment System (RRS), a periodic procedure conducted to all Enlisted Personnel of the AFP every three (3) years if they wish to continue to extend their active military service.

801st army brigade commander MGen. Francis Lanuza
BGen. Francis Lanuza

While the duo jogged from Brgy San Isidro, members of the NPA on board a motorcycle shoot the victim. Five bullets hit the different parts of his body and head that caused his instantaneous death while his companion was unhurt.

Late Pfc. Timola was among the group of Army unit that helped on the rescue and relief operations during the LPA that struck some barangays in Eastern Samar with floodwaters four weeks ago.

Unarmed and innocent soldier in athletic attire was brutally killed by the ragtag NPA – and do we hear from the Karapatan-EV crying for justice? Does anyone heard from the human rights group crying for extra-judicial killing? None. Why? Is it because that the fatality is a soldier and not an NPA? Can we assume now that you are part of the jubilant few who are rejoicing for the death of late Timola? If not then, we want to see you working with the CHR8 in the investigation.

On a separate incident, in Paranas, Samar around 4:30 in the afternoon same day, thirty soldiers from combined elements of 62IB, 14IB & 83DRC led by Lt. Burac while conducting pursuit operations on the NPAs previously encountered by the group of 2Lt. Niño last February 5, 2009 in Barangay Sto. Niño same town, clashed anew that resulted to another one NPA killed and recovered one M16 armalite rifle. Two enemy killed in a row and recovered 3 high powered firearms in 4 days time. The enemy fatality was unidentified and the brgy officials and civilian populace of Brgy Anagasi, Paranas volunteered to bury the cadaver in their cemetery since nobody knew of his identity. Incidentally, one pregnant woman, identified later as Vicky Cedron and his eight year old son who were with the rebels during the encounter was rescued, and unscathed, and properly turned-over and received by the brgy officials headed by Barangay Chairman Leonilo Cedron.  If it were not through this pregnant woman and his child, the NPAs could have suffered more heavy casualties. Vicky saw there were five wounded as the rebels fled.

During an informal dialogue with the community after the burial, the masses admitted that they had fed up with the grave threats, intimidation, and coercion and extortion activities of these communist rebels. But they can’t do anything otherwise; their lives would be in danger, “kay diin man kamo yana nagpapakabuhi? maaram na kami ano hit karuyag signgon” remarked one kagawad of Anagasi. The incident confirmed to the intelligence reports gathered that barangay officals in remote areas in the towns of Paranas, Motiong & Jiabong that hundreds of pesos were extorted from the honorarium of these local officials and that 20% of the barangay development fund are demanded by the communist NPA. These complaints were undermined, overlooked and disregarded by the reported fact-finding mission conducted by Karapatan-EV here last month.

The two captured-surrendered communist NPA in an encounter last February 5 voluntarily assisted and pinpointed the government troops’ to the arm cache, main and satellite camps, logistics base of the enemy which resulted to the recovery of one (1) garand rifle, antipersonnel land mine, mimeographing machine, and other war materiel and subversive documents. The duo came to realized that despite of their present condition, the Army soldiers of 8ID spared their precious lives, giving them a second chance.

They are still in the custody of the military for proper documentation in order to possibly avail the Social Integration Program offered by the government under the Office of the Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process (SIP-OPAPP) for rebels who wanted to live a peaceful and normal life.

Alyas Sonny, 22 can’t still believe how come that the Army did not kill him in spite of being an NPA? He is a member of the rebel group that is responsible in the killing of certain Jesse Delmonte of Brgy Inalad, Motiong, Samar and Kagawad Noe Pagarao of Lawaan, Paranas in 2008. The same group that killed Brgy Kagawad General of Caranas, Motiong, Samar late of 2007. “We only want to prove that we are sincere in our quest for peace. That is why we kept on calling this rebel group to come down and surrender. Join us. Be a Kaibigan Member. We uphold and respect the human dignity, we support development, we assist and facilitated the delivery of government basic services, we are there in times of calamities, we work in tandem with our local government units, we investigate and punished any military personnel that committed offenses, we are taught, trained, we respect and observe human rights, what more could we do? Kill those enemies who remain stubborn and resist, those who refuse for peace, but spare the precious life of those who will surrender.” General Lanuza said.

“I personally extend my gratitude to all the Mayors and Kaibigan Members under my Brigade, who believe and for being partners in our peace efforts that is founded in truth, honesty, loyalty, duty to serve God and country.  Mabuhay po kayong lahat!”  Lanuza concluded.





Friday the 13th “Bird strike” cancels Cebu Pacific’s Tacloban-Manila morning flight

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
February 15, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The Friday the 13th early morning flight of Cebu Pacific, 5J562, from Tacloban to Manila was cancelled forcing passengers to take alternative flights later on the day.

A bird strike caused engine trouble for Cebu Pacific flight 5J651 as it was landing at the DZR Airport in Tacloban Airport in Leyte early morning of Friday, February 13.

Early information revealed that the said plane was landing at Tacloban Airport when a bird got sucked, breaking the engine’s three blades. The Cebu Pacific airbus 319 was able to land safely and the 125 passengers safely alighted from the plane, thanks to the quick and sound judgment of the pilot.

Cebu Pacific’s Ms. Michelle de Guzman confirmed the incident saying that “a Cebu Pacific flight from Manila had a bird strike as it approached Tacloban airport this morning. The plane landed normally and will undergo servicing and maintenance.”

Because the aircraft had to undergo servicing and maintenance, Cebu Pacific flight 5J562 from Tacloban to Manila was cancelled and the passengers who were in a hurry to reach Manila had to take other alternative flights.

The incident which was the first incident of bird strike in the history of aviation in Tacloban, is considered by others as a wake up call for the authorities to look into the implementation of the long standing ordinance in the City of Tacloban prohibiting the raising of birds within a four kilometer radius from the airport.

Just recently, on Thursday night (11:00 o’clock in the morning of Friday in the Philippines), a  passenger plane crashed into a house near Buffalo, New York, in snowy weather on Thursday night and burst into flames, killing 50 people.

The 74-seat commuter plane lost contact with air traffic controllers and went down a few miles before the runway at the Buffalo airport, authorities said.

Last month, a US Airways jetliner crashed into the Hudson River after a flock of birds appeared to have disabled both its engines.

Rescuers, however, were able to pull out the more than 150 passengers and crew members into boats before the plane sank.





South Korean aid funds PGMA’s P2.5-B Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
February 15, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY  –  President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Samar Pacific Coastal Road project will be funded with South Korean aid in the amount of P2.5 Billion, RDC Chair and Calbayog City Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento announced during the Regional Development Council of Eastern Visayas meeting held on February 13.

RDC 8 chair Mel Senen Sarmiento
RDC Chair Mel Sarmiento

Mayor Sarmiento said that the said project is one of the two projects which were approved by the National Economic and Development Authority that would be funded with South Korean aid, even as the Arroyo government is pump priming the economy through infrastructure development in order to insulate the Filipinos especially the poor from the impact of the current global economic crisis.

Of the total P2.5 Billion project cost, about P1.6 billion will come from South Korea’s EDCF and P900 million from the Philippine Government.

The Samar coastal road project which connects Northern Samar to Eastern Samar, is aimed at supporting development of potential agricultural lands and fishing grounds of the provinces of Northern Samar and Eastern Samar and easing the movement of goods and services.

The proposed road will stretch 108.4 kilometers and go through the towns of Laoang, Palapag, Mapanas, Gamay, and Lapinig in Northern Samar, and Arteche and San Policarpio in Eastern Samar.

Upon the instructions of President Arroyo, P500 million has been earmarked this year to continue work on the coastal road project, which has been fast-tracked starting last year to address areas that badly need good roads.

Although the road project is set for implementation from 2010 to 2013, the Department of Public Works and Highways has so far spent P287 million on it.

The other project approved by NEDA is the P3.5 Billion upgrading of the airport in Puerto Princesa City in Palawan.





Hundreds of delegates join Palo Archdiocesan Silver Jubilee Celebration today

February 14, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  As sweethearts and couples in love celebrate Valentines’ Day today, hundreds of delegates will join in today’s culminating Silver Jubilee celebration of then Palo diocese as an Archdiocese.

The delegates, coming from the different 60 parishes of region 8 under the Dioceses of Catarman, Borongan, Calbayog and Naval will troop to the Metropolitan Palo Cathedral in Palo, Leyte, center of activities to join the celebration.

Most Rev. Jose Palma, Archbishop of Palo
Most Rev. Jose Palma Archbishop of Palo

The three-day Silver Jubilee culminating celebration started its activities last February 12, as clergies, youth, lay workers, religious men and women, public officials and parishioners participated the Congress of Faith Communities, Jubilee of the Clergy & religious and Youth Jubilee Vigil in Palo and Tacloban City.

According to Palo Archdiocese Social Community coordinator Rev. Fr. Amadeo Alvero in an interview said that special guests of the 25th year celebration will include the Archbishop Emeritus Pedro R. Dean, the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Most Rev. Joseph Edward Adam, Cardinals, Bishops and clergies.

Highlight of the celebration of the Final Day of Festivities will be the 10 a.m. Eucharistic Celebration to be officiated by His Eminence the Papal Nuncio, followed by an AGAPE, a short talk of the Papal Nuncio at the Archbishop Cipriano V.Urgel Hall and a special presentation of the Sinulog grand winner the Buyugan.

As the Archdiocese celebrates its 25th year of Palo as an Archdiocese, Archbishop Most Rev. Jose Palma has proclaimed February 14, 2008 to February 14, 2009 as the Jubilee Year with its theme: “A celebration of the blessing of the past, a hopeful journey towards a renewed Church”.

The Archdiocese of Palo has lined-up many events for the yearlong celebration, one of which was the designation of pilgrim sites of churches & places of worship in the Archdiocese during the jubilee year.

Archbishop Palma himself has declared the following places as pilgrim sites: Metropolitan Cathedral of the Transfiguration of Our Lord (Palo), Sto. Niño Parish (Tacloban City), Holy Cross Parish (Carigara), St. Joseph Parish (Barugo), St. Francis Xavier Parish (Abuyog), Our Ladey of Peace & Good Voyage (La Paz), Sts. Peter & Paul Parish (Ormoc City) and Monasterio de la Virgen de Guadalupe (Kabaon-an, Ormoc City).

Aside from the pilgrim sites visit, the Silver Jubilee Cross likewise visited all the parish Churches.

It was in November 15, 1982 when His Holiness Pope John Paul II elevated the Diocese of Palo to the status of Archdiocese and was canonically erected February 14, 1983 with Most Rev. Cipriano Urgel as the Archbishop of Palo. Originally the Diocese of Palo was under the Archdiocese of Cebu.





Bising cancels ferry trips, strands passengers in Liloan, Ormoc ports

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
February 14, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY  –  Philippine Coast Guards in Liloan, Southern Leyte and Ormoc City in Leyte cancelled ferry trips the whole day of February 13, 2009, due to tropical depression Bising.

This was learned from the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council of Eastern Visayas Operations Center as of 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon of February 13.

As a result of the cancellation of trips, about 151 passengers were stranded at the Liloan Ferry Terminal in Southern Leyte. Of the 151 passengers, 74 were male, 61 were female and 16 were children.

Also stranded at the Liloan Ferry Terminal were 37 vehicles, of which 18 were light vehicles, 1 bus, and 18 trucks.

The number of ships at the port is three and the number of ships on hold is three, the report of the RDCC OpCen signed by RDCC Executive Director Angel Gaviola, showed.

Meanwhile, at the Baseport in Ormoc City, 322 passengers and 37 vehicles were stranded. The number of ships at the Ports is 3 and there is only one ship which is on hold.

Storm Signal No. 1 previously declared in Eastern Samar, Western Samar, Biliran Island, Leyte Provinces, Northern Cebu and Bohol in the Visayas as well as in Dinagat Province, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Norte in Mindanao was lifted as of 5:00 in the afternoon of Friday.

In a weather bulletin issued Friday afternoon, PAGASA said Bising "has weakened into a low pressure area as it interacted with the land mass of northern Mindanao and eastern Visayas." It was spotted 70 kilometers northeast of Surigao City at 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon of Friday.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said, however, that the affected areas could still experience heavy rains and residents "are alerted against possible flashfloods and landslides."





Catbalogan City police apprehends ‘human trafficker’

February 14, 2009

CATBALOGAN CITY  –  Catbalogan City Police apprehended a suspected ‘human trafficker’ wanted in Irosin, Sorsogon.

According to Police Superintendent Ramil Ramirez, Chief of the Catbalogan City Police force, it was only in February 11, 2009 when they were able to apprehend the elusive suspect of human trafficking based on a warrant of arrest from the Bicol town.

The suspect identified as Cristina Sultan, 45 is a resident of Catbalogan City.

She is now in the custody of Catbaloga City Police Force and is awaiting to be picked up by Sorsogon PNP.

This January, Ramirez said some adult males with questionable gender have also been charged of the same offense but the relatives of the victims refused to execute affidavits.

This is one time when the PNP is frustrated, Ramirez laments. “How can we solve criminality when there is a culture of silence?” he added.

Meanwhile, Ramirez cautions ‘lovers’ who are fond of going to dark places in the park as they are prone to cell phone snatching.

Two cell phone snatchers are now in their custody and positively identified by their victims, since then no report of cell phone snatching has reached their office.

However, Ramirez still gives a warning to texters to stay in places where more people can see you and can assist you in times of criminality.

This one incident, he said happened at the Imelda Park near NFA office which is not well lit, thus the snatching.

Even if the two notorious snatchers are now detained, and the PNP on 24-hour beat, still the public is reminded to be careful and to avoid dark places.





P6M ready for upgrading of Samar Provincial Hospital and Calbayog

February 14, 2009

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  Some P6M is in store for the Samar Provincial Hospital and Calbayog District Hospital.

Samar Provincial HospitalThis was bared by Integrated Provincial Health Officer II Dr. Dulce Cernal in an interview on Tuesday in her office.

Cernal said that the fund is still with the Center for Health and Development (CHD 08) but will soon be downloaded as the province has complied with the requirements.

The fund will be used for the upgrading of hospital facilities.

However, Cernal could not yet reveal as to the itemized objects in which the fund will be used.

It will be recalled that Samar’s health services has been wanting in the past couple of years that Samarnons who have the means just patronize Tacloban City hospitals.

In 2007, CHD 08 reported that three provincial hospitals namely the Northern Samar Provincial Hospital, the Eastern Samar Provincial Hospital and the Western Leyte Provincial Hospital in Baybay have already been upgraded using the same scheme.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque lll, then in his visit to Eastern Visayas in 2007 thanked the President and the members of Congress for prioritizing health in the 2008 budget.

It is the marching order of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to upgrade the local government hospitals, Secretary Duque added and so for 2008, P1.3 billion has been earmarked by the national government for the upgrading of hospitals in the country.

Aside from the fund amounting to millions, DOH-CHD 8 also supports the provincial hospital with medicines, vaccines, forms syringes even personal computers and printers, Cernal added.

Cernal said that presently, the provincial hospital is undergoing a process that will really help Samarnons cope up with their health problems.

With the return of Governor Milagrosa Tan to post, Cernal is hopeful that the reinvigorated spirit of Tan will be open to her proposals as regards public health concerns.





Village chiefs along Eastern Samar’s nat’l road turns to province for assistance on road repair

February 12, 2009

BORONGAN, Eastern Samar  –  Not able to bear any longer the agony of the worse national road conditions in the province, some 17 punong barangays in the central and northern part of the province, turned to Governor Ben P. Evardone to once again intervene in the rehabilitation of the national highway.

In a manifestation of concern for their respective constituents, the village chiefs said the “people of Eastern Samar could no longer bear the condition of the National Highway as it is full of potholes that travelling by land in the province is hazardous and a great burden for the commuting public.”

“This is no longer fair and just to the people of Eastern Samar,” said Prisca Daguro, chairman of Barangay Tamoso of Borongan town and one of the signatories of the manifest. “Concerned offices do not care about the agony of the riding public and the communities directly affected because of these roads,” Daguro fumed seemingly referring to Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Office of the Congressman.

DPWH maintained that the contractor could not move through with their work because of the rainy season. It further maintained that the non-implementation of the project should not be blamed on them because it has been awarded to a contractor already. Congressman Teodulo Coquilla said that he has nothing to do with the implementation of the road rehabilitation in the province.

Punong Barangay Norberto Cabo of Brgy. Pagbabangnan, San Julian, commented that these offices should be responsible in the implementation of road repairs especially that the national government already released an amount for the rehabilitation for some sections of the highway. “They should not wash hands on this,” he said.

Turning their hopes instead to Gov. Evardone, the barangay chairmen said they believe the provincial government’s equipment and resources, the road condition at its worst could be lessened. “Thus, we the Chairmen of the barangays which are located along the national highway starting from Borongan to Taft, Eastern Samar, manifest our cooperation and support to the provincial government in its desire to undertake intervention in the repair and rehabilitation work of the national highway,” they said.

“With the favorable response of Governor Ben P. Evardone to our urgent call, and as gesture of our collective support and cooperation, we the barangays will contribute by way of providing labor and manpower for the temporary repair and rehabilitation work,” the chiefs said. “We will further mobilize our constituents to voluntarily help in whatever they can to be able to address this perennial problem,” according to them.

Meanwhile, provincial sources said that the provincial government will start to mobilize its fleet of heavy equipment along the national roads in response to the manifestation of the barangay officials even if national roads are not under the jurisdiction of the provincial government.





As part of PGMA’s Hunger mitigation Program

Blanca Aurora hosts Samar’s Freshwater Hatchery

February 12, 2009

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  Barangay Blanca Aurora, San Jorge Samar now boasts not only of the majestic Blanca Aurora Waterfalls but to the first ever Samar’s Freshwater Hatchery as inaugurated on February 7, 2009.

Tilapia hatchery in Samar
BFAR Central office Asst Director for Technical Services Gil Adora and San Jorge mayor Nancy Grey, spearheaded the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the launching of the Integrated Freshwater Hatchery in Blanca Aurora, San Jorge, Samar on Friday. The hatchery has an annual capacity of 2 million tilapia fingerlings intended for free distribution to qualified farmers in the province. Also in photo is Daram mayor Lo Astorga (L) and NAFC Central office deputy exec director Marilou Enriquez (R).

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) pride, Gil Adora flew in from Manila to join the group of his BFAR family headed by Regional Director 08 John Albaladejo.

Provincial Fishery Officer Rolando Ay-ay, Regional Training Center (BFAR-RTC) Director Ronnie Berida and local officials headed by San Jorge Mayor Nancy Grey also trooped to the site located some 9 kilometers east of  San Jorge town.

Previously, Samar’s tilapia fingerlings would come from Babatngon, Leyte but with this new development, Samar may now supply the needs of tilapia farmers throughout Samar.

The new site is expected to further increase tilapia production in the country, increase income and provide livelihood opportunities among local fisherfolks to feed the upland farmers.

BFAR in Samar is advocating for the fishermen not only to hunt fish but to “plant” them. Berida of BFAR-RTC send this message to his technician in a forum recently.

He said that Samar Maqueda Bay known to have been the richest fishing ground in the Visayas has now been ripped of its natural riches due to overfishing and even illegal ones like the use of blasting and trawling.

Only fish culture will be able to respond to the need of the Samarnon as regards fish protein, so the advocacy.

Aside from providing fish materials, BFAR will also train fisherfolks fish production technology and introduce the new tilapia strain.

As to tilapia’s popularity in Samar, slowly, Samarnons are accepting the alternative to fish from the sea.





Cebu Pacific opens domestic flights for Catarman, Calbayog

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
February 12, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY  –  Low-fare carrier Cebu Pacific (CEB) will soon fly the Catarman, Northern Samar and Calbayog City, Samar routes.

Cebu Pacific has just acquired its seventh brand-new ATR 72-500 aircraft which it will use to fly to Catarman and Calbayog in Samar.

Cebu Pacific’s Ms. Michelle Eve de Guzman informed the Philippine Information Agency that the inaugural flight to Catarman will be on Valentines Day, February 14, 2009, at 7:00 o’clock in the morning.

Meanwhile, the inaugural flight to Calbayog will be at 7:00 in the morning on Wednesday, February 18, 2009, Ms. De Guzman added.

To mark the announcement of these additional services, Cebu Pacific is offering a promotional P500 all-in 'Go Lite' seat sale for flights from Manila to Calbayog and Catarman.

Ms. Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific VP for marketing and distribution, said “we are expanding our Manila hub operations with the arrival of our brand new ATR and will make more areas accessible through our low fares and new planes.”

Cebu Pacific will fly Manila-Catarman every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday; and will fly Manila-Calbayog on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

For flight schedules and bookings, passengers may log on to, call the reservations hotline (632) 70-20-888; or visit the travel agent nearest them.

Now in its 13th year, Cebu Pacific has the youngest aircraft fleet in the Philippines. It flies to 15 international cities and 27, soon to be 32 domestic destinations with the addition of Siargao, Virac (Catanduanes), Cauayan (Isabela), Catarman and Calbayog in the coming weeks.

The coming in of Cebu Pacific make three airline companies flying the Catarman, Northern Samar and Calbayog City, Samar route.





Samar Governor Mila Tan returns to post

February 10, 2009

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  Samar Governor Milagrosa Tan, after serving her 90-day suspension is back at the helm of the province of Samar officially on Tuesday, February 10, 2009.

Mila TanThe Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Regional Director William Paler came over to check if the governor has assumed office.

On Monday, the whole province watched as acting Governor Redaja then voluntarily vacated his post two days earlier than the law required.

Technically, according to a top DILG official, Redajas term should end Tuesday yet, but Redaja reportedly said the two more days seem insignificant.

Samarnons occupying near the capitol grounds were jolted when a motorcade bearing two ambulances with Governor Tans name suddenly emerged tagged by traffic police. As they all know that Tan was returning, they assumed the motorcade was to signal her return, yet PIA found out, the motorcade was for the Philippine Nurses Association forum.

A barangay kagawad who does not want to be identified said that Gov. Tan should explain the talks circulating about her unliquidated cash advances amounting to millions.

Another bystander said he is happy because the governor will be distributing rice again on her birthday on the 25th of this month.

Tan was served a suspension order for ninety days in November 10, 2008. Redaja, the reigning Vice Governor then was sworn-in as acting governor and the first Sangguniang Panlalawigan member, Nancy Rosales as Vice Governor.

On Tuesday, with the term expiration, Governor Tan started her official duties, although not necessarily at the Capitol.

Media liaison, Malyn Caya cautioned the media that the governor does not like to be published, all she wanted, Caya said is to work.

And work she will do, the governor is set to meet all mayors, capitol employees and a host of medical missions to be implemented.

Employees at the capitol also started the news that Governor Tan will be hauling big stars starting February 14, 2009 with the valentine concert of ABS-CBNs hottest love team Kim Chu and Gerald Anderson.

Movie stars like Vice Ganda, Ethel Booba, Pinoy Hunks and Pinay Babes will hold a spectacular show on February 24, 2009, aside from the usual grandiose raffle draw characteristic of a Governor Tan event, Samarnons will be treated to a medical-dental mission, supplemental feeding, rice-giving and other treats that endears her to Samarnons.





Upgrading of 3 government hospitals in EV nears completion

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
February 10, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY  –  Under the Hospital Upgrading Program of the Arroyo Administration, the upgrading of secondary to tertiary level hospitals in the provinces of Eastern Samar, Northern Samar and Leyte, are ongoing, about to be completed and have been completed.

The Eastern Samar Provincial Hospital, Northern Samar Provincial Hospital and the Baybay, Leyte District Hospital are the recipient last year of the Hospital Upgrading Program which is being implemented by the Department of Health and the respective local government units.

The components of the project are civil works, purchase of equipment facilities and supplies, purchase of medicines and other laboratory drugs and medicines.

The Report of the RDC8 Monitoring team shows that as of December 25, 2008, the upgrading of Eastern Samar Provincial Hospital with P16,947,330.65 funding covers civil works like the construction of OB-Gyne Examination and Consultation area; septic delivery and CSSR; the construction of second floor to serve as conference hall, affiliate room and library; expansion of X-Ray, Laboratory, Pharmacy, Billing, Chief Nurse and Chief of Clinics offices; rehabilitation of Supply office, partitioning and provision of mezzanine; and the repair and renovation of areas for ICU, OR and Delivery Room complex.

For the equipment component in the amount of P1,268,800.00, the procurement of the cardiac monitor, electrocardiograph and BP App/Sphygmo/Oxygen gauge are on process while the risograph machine has been procured and paid.

Of the P4,141,747.35 funding for the MOOE component, 92.20% has already been spent.

In the case of Northern Samar Provincial Hospital, P9,549,473.40 has been disbursed of the P10 Million funding for the civil works that include improvement of ICU/CCU; improvement of Nurses Station; provision of road network within the hospital; construction of waste holding area building; expansion of office room for DOH retained personnel; replacement of window at payward; repair of old nurses quarter; improvement of drainage system; and upgrading of electrical system.

The funding for the equipment component in the amount of P1,040,000. And P2,437,000. 00 for the MOOE component have already been disbursed.

For the Baybay Leyte District Hospital, the civil works in the amount of P2.4 Million; the equipment component in the amount of P3.95 Million; and the MOOE component in the amount of P7.15 Million, have all been completed and paid.





Association of Barangay Treasurers organized in Basey town

February 10, 2009

BASEY, Samar  –  The first-ever Association of Barangay Treasurers was finally organized in this locality recently.

In a bid to strengthen the collection of local tax revenue and to manage better the financial procedures in the barangay level as provided in the Local Government Code of 1991, the 51-barangay treasurers here had organized and formed the Association of Brgy. Treasurers of Basey (ABTB), last January 12, 2009, Monday, at the Audio Visual Hall, Basey, Samar.

Erwin Hidalgo of Brgy. Can-abay, the pioneering president of the association said that the move was in response of the clamor of his co-treasurers to have a common group that will somehow address the priority issues and concerns relative to their kind of work.

“It is our strong desire to empower and enhance the financial management capabilities of all the barangay treasurers in this municipality, as well as to promote integrity, efficiency and high ethical standards in the public service,” Hidalgo said.

He added that at first, “it is aimed solely to essentially re-orient and enhance the person manning the barangay treasury, but (after the election) it has been observed by many as an effective tool to have a group that has one voice - to cater issues that somehow may arise.”

Last January 30, at around 5 o’clock in the afternoon they swore into office with no less than Basey mayor Atty. Wilfredo “Didi” Estorninos as their inducting officer. Vice-mayor Paul Adona and some department heads among other visitors applauded.

In his message, Mayor Estorninos lauded the newly founded group and likewise vowed to support the objectives of the association. He also suggested that they should immediately go into further trainings and seminars so as to enhance their knowledge about handling the barangay coffers.

Meanwhile, Municipal Accountant Luisa H. Bacayo, who acted as their adviser, advised the officers and members of the association to be very active and dedicated in their work. “Since that you are the one manning the barangay treasury, each one of you should become more responsible and professional in your daily life, remember that every eyes in the barangay is looking at you, on how you handle the peoples’ money, she stressed.

The accountant added: “as of now, the country is experiencing some financial crisis, let us do our work effectively by doing good in our work, especially in the collection of local taxes. And I am sure that through the support of your chairman and the council, and the municipal leaders, we can beat that problem hounding our nation.”

The officers of the association were the following: President, Erwin Hidalgo (Brgy. Can-abay); Vice-President, Ricky Bautista (Brgy. Can-manila); Secretary, Aurora Taganna (Brgy. Roxas); Treasurer, Mila Marabut (Brgy. Baybay); Auditors, Aldonia Obregoso (Brgy. Mabini) and Lani Taganna (Brgy. Del Pilar); PIO, Ruel Caberic (Brgy. Bacubac); and Business Manager, Jessica Caillo (Brgy. Villa Aurora). The board of directors was: Chairman, Charito Advento (Brgy. Magallanes), Vice-chairman, Brenda Nueva (Brgy. Catadman) and seven board members who represents this town’s seven zones namely Ambrosio Bacayo (Brgy. Serum), Felma Amascual (Brgy. Buscada), Marissa Dela Cruz (Brgy. Sulod), Rusil Cajati (Brgy. Dolongan) and three other unidentified members.





WB: Contractors furnished more detailed report

Chiz to subpoena documents from the 3 banned contractors

By Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
February 10, 2009

PASAY CITY, Philippines  –  Senator Chiz Escudero on Monday said that the World Bank had furnished the three contractors who figured in the alleged bid-rigging activities on road contracts a "more detailed" report of the investigation into the collusion.

"Everything is there," Escudero said of the report given to the contractors, saying that he would ask the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs to subpoena the documents when it resumes hearing on the controversy this Thursday.

Escudero said that WB procurement officials in Washington told him that what were given to the contractors were more detailed than what was released to the Department of Finance.

"Washington World Bank verbally confirmed to me that prior to the banning of these contractors, they were each given a detailed list of allegations and accusations," he said.

The three Filipino firms included in the report were E.C. De Luna Construction Corp., Cavite Ideal International Construction and Development Corp. and the CM Pancho Construction Inc. – all named and banned by the WB for alleged collusion in securing foreign-funded road contracts.

During his meeting with the WB officials in Washington, Escudero said he made a direct appeal in his capacity as a Senator for the bank to release an official copy of the report to the Philippine Senate.

He met with Shaun Moss, Regional Procurement Manager for East Asia and the Pacific, Ben Gericke, Senior Transport Engineer and Steve Charles Burgess, Senior Operations Officer.

"I told them that it is a matter of public interest to the Filipino people. They first released the report to the Department of Finance, which was supposed to transmit it to the Office of the Ombudsman for investigation. But nothing has been accomplished. I told them (WB officials) to give it to the Senate, so something can be done," the senator said.

Escudero also said that contrary to what the contractors say, all of them have been afforded due process by the WB before they were imposed sanctions for alleged collusion.

The WB's Department of Institutional Integrity said it gave the Department of Finance a copy of the report in November 2007. The contractors, as part of the ensuing process, were given notice of sanctions proceedings in May 2008 containing all alleged wrongdoing.

They were given 90 days to respond in their defense, but all three failed to submit their rebuttal to the allegations in the report.

"It's a simple logic, if one accuses you of being a thief and you know very well it's not true, won't you defend yourself and your honor? Why the silence from these contractors?"



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