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Leyte SP passes resolution to postpone Barangay, SK elections

Calbayog Mayor assumes office, vows rewards for good performance, mulls hospital construction

New Samar Governor vows to govern with transparency

All 2010 Pintados-Kasadyaan Fest tribes qualify in Aliwan Fest

Police nabs Gandara, Samar’s wanted person

DENR 8 prioritizes rehabilitation of 9 critical watershed areas in East Visayas

Barangay agent from North Samar turns over 71/2 kilos of suspected cocaine bricks to police

Zumarraganhons warmly welcomes Chief PNP in their island and in their home

Call for Subiran Regatta 2010 participants

Rotary Club of Tacloban named best club in Philippine Rotary District 3860





Leyte legislators to conduct media interaction after every session

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
July 16, 2010

TACLOBAN CITY  –  Starting the next regular session on July 20, 2010 of the Leyte Sangguniang Panlalawigan, a media interaction will be conducted by the SP Committee on Public Information in order to clarify issues which are not clear to the media.

Board Member Roque A. Tiu

First District of Leyte Board Member Roque A. Tiu said that it is the responsibility of the Public Information Committee to see to it that issues treated during the session are clearly understood by the media.

He added that due to unforeseen circumstances, there are times when one or two media reporters are not able to cover the earlier portion of the Session. The media interaction will give the media reporters to inquire the issues earlier discussed.

Board Member Tiu said that having the media interaction right after the Session when all the board members still around will also give the media the opportunity to ask clarifications from the Vice-Governor or the Board Member concerned.

He underscored that the idea is for all the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan including the head of the SP who is the Vice-Governor, to be present during media interaction.

The Board Member added that it is but proper that the Leyte SP interact with the media after the Session as the media practitioners are partners in public service.

Board Member Tiu said he is happy that when he presented the idea to Vice-Governor Mimyet Bagulaya and his fellow board members, they unanimously consented.

In an interview over a radio station, Vice-Governor Bagulaya said she is happy about the Committee becoming more active in the role of providing information to the public.

SP Floor Leader BM Carlo Loreto who was out of town during the deliberations, called up Board Member Tiu when he learned about this new development, saying, “this is a very good idea.”





KARAPATAN to PNoy: “Stop the killings Now! Scrap the OBL and don’t embark on another counter-insurgency program”

July 16, 2010

QUEZON CITY  –  “It is still the same military in denial mode speaking on the current spate of extrajudicial killings going on in the country,”  Marie Hilao-Enriquez, chairperson of the human rights group Karapatan, said, of AFP spokesman Brigadier General Jose Mabanta’s blanket denial of the AFP’s involvement in the said cases.

Karapatan has put the blame of these killings squarely on P-Noy’s hands, as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, especially in the light of the President’s NON-issuance of a categorical statement to the AFP to putting a stop to the extrajudicial killings, which the group says, is a license to the AFP to commit more of the same.

“We reiterate that it is not enough to be talking of human rights in the pursuit of counter-insurgency programs; it is our bitter experience that once counter-insurgency programs are implemented, violations of human rights are resultant features in the execution of such programs.  Even as supposed ‘development programs’ or ‘civil-military operations or CMO’ are supposedly incorporated in such programs such as what the government did in Oplan Makabayan of the Estrada administration, the results are the same: civilians are the ones who bear the brunt of human rights violations.  Oplan Bantay Laya is the worst and most brutal of these campaigns as it specifically targets legal organizations and personages resulting to a staggering body count, and brazen impunity in nine years of the Arroyo regime and it is still in place,” explained an exasperated Enriquez.

Counter-insurgency (COIN) is a program directly imposed by the American Government since its aggression in the country in the early 1900’s.  All COIN programs of all administrations are thus recycled COIN programs meant to silence the people’s resistance to break free from poverty resulting from government policies that benefit not the Filipino people but those of foreign, especially American, interests.  OBL, the latest COIN, is anchored on the ‘war on terror’ by the US Bush government and highly supported by GMA that benefited only the Bush regime and GMA herself. Thus, the victims of OBL are now labeled as “terrorists or communist-terrorists” or supposed supporters of such. It leaves thousands of killed, tortured, illegally arrested and hundreds of thousands displaced Filipino victims in its wake and brazen impunity among its perpetrators who remain unpunished up to this day.

“Department of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is correct. There is no doubt that the AFP is still behind the series of political killings, and that the counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) is the operational plan behind it,” the Karapatan chairperson said. “The military has the motive and the resources to implement the attacks against progressive and unarmed individuals, which they have done so in the past nine years under the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration.”

Since the implementation of the OBL, activists and civil libertarians are targeted by the military intelligence units for target research, which involves casing or surveillance, and “neutralization” or “liquidation”. Leaders and members of people’s organizations have been vilified and accused as communists or communist fronts by the military to lay the ground for liquidation and to justify the killings.

“As long as Oplan Bantay Laya is a state security policy, political killings remain a state policy. If indeed President Noynoy Aquino says that extrajudicial killing is not a policy of his administration, then he must scrap the OBL and desist from embarking on a counter-insurgency program to supposedly defeat the insurgency, as what his predecessors did, only to end up fueling more fire into the problem they vowed to end.  I hope he learns his lessons well and heed our calls for him to disallow the penchant for embarking on counter-insurgency programs that only victimize the poorest sections of the Filipino people who need most the government’s protection and nurturing.

Enriquez reminded President Aquino of the findings of United Nations Special Rapporteur Philip Alston on extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, which concluded that it is the military’s counter-insurgency operations that resulted to the killings of leftist activists. “We challenge the government to show its sincerity in ending the killings, impunity and the military’s atrocities, and to implement Alston’s recommendations,” Enriquez added.

Karapatan noted that the president has yet to categorically issue an order to scrap the U.S.-inspired counter-insurgency program, OBL. “Unless P-Noy announces the scrapping of the OBL and desist from implementing similar military campaigns, the killings and impunity will continue,” concluded Enriquez.

Karapatan believes that the insurgency can only be ended by meaningfully and substantively addressing the root causes of poverty and rebellion; NOT resorting to military solution!





PNP Catbalogan scores anew on the drive against illegal drugs

July 16, 2010

CATBALOGAN CITY  –  The Philippine National Police (PNP) Catbalogan City in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and PNP - Field Force Civilian Volunteers scored anew in its fight against illegal drugs.

The PNP here on July 13, 2010 pinned down at least three suspects named Gil Saludario 34, Renato Conde 39, and another one named Raynold Polo 37, all from Catbalogan City from two separate buy-bust operations of the PNP, PDEA and the PNP-Field Force Civilian Volunteers.

From a spot report, uniformed men led by P/Supt Joseph N. Pensotes bought a sachet of white crystalline substance known as shabu with estimated market value of P2,000, the PNP operatives immediately collared the suspects upon handling the illegal drugs.

The suspects also yielded P2,000 in cash suspected to be proceeds from sale of illegal drugs.

The police also confiscated one unit motorcycle said to be used in the delivery and distribution of said drugs. Police also found still in the possession of suspect Conde one sachet of shabu hidden on the right pocket of his pants.

Other PNP elements who joined the operation were identified as PCI Ismael V. Lantajo, PSI Francisco Sumpo, PI Edwin D Tolibas, SPO4 Eduardo Zeta Villanueva, SPO2 Proferio A. AMistoso, SPO2 Nelson Lapeciros, PO3 Sebastian M Pinangay, PO£ Jenny A Fabi, PO2 Rey D Delos Reyes, PO1 Ferdinand N Padayao, PO1 Sherwin Ivan Jaboli and PO3 Rolly M Dizon.

Meanwhile, Pensotes stressed that there will be no let up in the operations against illegal drugs in the city.

The suspects are now detained at the Catbalogan Police Station and will be charged with violation of Section 5 of Art II of Republic Act 9165 also known as Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2001 (pushing and illegal possession).





Pia pushes “Midwife to the Barangay Act” to curb RP’s high maternal mortality rate

Press Release
By Office of Senator Pia S. Cayetano
July 16, 2010

PASAY CITY  –  Saying that no mother should die while giving life, Senator Pia S. Cayetano has filed Senate Bill No.139, the proposed “Midwife to the Barangay Act of 2010,” to help reduce the country’s high maternal mortality rate (MMR).

One of Cayetano’s priority measures, the bill aims to deploy at least one registered midwife or “komadrona” for every barangay to complement existing professional medical personnel in the locality, especially in far-flung areas where maternal health services are insufficient.

Citing latest official statistics, she said 162 Filipino mothers die for every 100,000 births across the country – or equivalent to around 11 mothers dying while giving birth every day. The Philippines reportedly has one of the highest MMRs in Southeast Asia, outpaced only by East Timor and Cambodia.

She noted: “With this alarmingly high rate, our country will not be able to meet its own target under the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which is to reduce MMR to only 52 per 100,000 births in five years, or by 2015.”

“With the significant contribution of midwives in augmenting the presence of professional healthcare practitioners especially in rural areas, the increased community presence of midwives is necessary,” she added.

Cayetano’s measure seeks to deploy at least one midwife per barangay, guided by the recommended ratio of one midwife for every 5,000 population. The number of midwives will also be increased in barangays where the residents exceed 5,000. 

“Currently, midwives are forced to cater to the needs of 10,000 to 30,000 individuals in their catchment area. This big disparity prevents them from providing quality and efficient healthcare services,” she explained, while noting how lack of access to health services and medical personnel lead to maternal deaths, especially among the poor.

Under the measure, all “Midwives to the Barangay” shall be tasked to provide essential health care services to mothers and infants in their respective jurisdictions, including pre-natal and post-natal care, breastfeeding support and information on immunization and proper nutrition.

The bill likewise mandates that all “Midwives to the Barangay” shall be appropriately compensated by the Department of Health (DOH) and entitled to all benefits provided under Republic Act No. 7305, otherwise known as the "Magna Carta of Public Health Workers."

For a period of five years from the passage of the measure, the amount necessary to implement its provisions shall be charged against the DOH budget. Thereafter, such funds, as may be necessary for continued implementation shall be included in the appropriations of the respective Local Government Units.





Cash incentives given to Leyte district hospital doctors

By Provincial Media Relations Center
July 15, 2010

ORMOC CITY  –  More than half a million pesos in cash incentives were collectively received by 20 doctors of the Ormoc District Hospital as part of the provincial government’s motivation to make better the hospital’s professional and facility services.

Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla said the giving of cash incentives for the doctors is part of the province’s hospital improvement plan, which the governor initiated at the onset of his now three-term administration.

He said providing the hospital staff, doctors, nurses and other personnel with cash incentives is one motivational strategy for them to work harder, provide better services to the clientele thereby making the whole hospital operation “smooth and thriving.”

The governor personally distributed Saturday the checks of various amounts to the 20 doctors assigned at the Ormoc District Hospital. The checks given totally amounted to P688,520.

Under the governor’s reign, the provincial hospitals and district hospitals under the provincial government were placed under a management improvement program, to make better the services by improving both the hospital staff and the hospitals’ facilities.

State-run hospitals in Leyte started to charge its patients, excluding those categorized as “indigents” to provide the hospitals with their own income.

As the hospitals started earning, they are now able to sustain operations without subsidy from the provincial government, while other extra earnings were also provided to the doctors and the rest of the hospital staff.

Gov. Petilla said the 14 district hospitals in the province contributed more or less P60 million to the local coffers in the past years.

Instead of returning control over the district hospitals to the Department of Health, the provincial government helped these hospitals embark on income-generating activities.





Health issue in Uy’s 3D Flagship Program, a priority; LGU Calbayog-OLPHI MOA rescind, City Hospital soon to build

July 14, 2010

CALBAYOG CITY  –  “It is a very human tendency to want, to brag about our achievements. But true grace is found in humility. To become truly great, one has to stand with the people, work with the people, not above them; to serve the people, not to be served by the people.” This was the opening statement of Calbayog City Mayor Reynaldo S. Uy at the outset of a press conference with Calbayog media on Tuesday.

Calbayog City Mayor Reynaldo S. Uy during the prescon with local media.

After 9 years in Congress, Uy decided to get back into administration, recommencing his 3District Flagship Program which was interrupted when his mayoral term ended in 2001. This program according to Uy will focus on health, agriculture, livestock, education, environment, infrastructure, eco-tourism, housing, peace and order, small and medium industries and intangibles.

Been perceptive on health issue, he revealed that he was confronted with resolving cases of the “underprivileged” who were detained by OLPHI (Our Lady of Porziuncola Hospital, Inc.) due to non-payment of hospital bills or medical expenses.

“I am not hitting him personally, but hitting on the policy,” Uy clarified and addressed his statement to the management of said Catholic Franciscan Sanatorium.

“Karuyag ko igpasabot san aton mga kasangkayan sa Our Lady of Porziuncola nga an pagdetene san pasyente nga diri nakakabayad san ira obligasyon an pagtalapas san Illegal Detention Law. Kadamudamo san pila nga an problema puro kabaraydan sa OLPHI. An iba sini physically detained, diri pinapagawas, diri na ginrarasyunan pagkaun. So gintirok ko sira. “(I would like to inform our friends at Our Lady of Porziuncola that detaining patient/s for non-payment of obligation/s (hospital bills and/ or medical expenses) is a clear violation of Illegal Detention Law. Poor constituents in queue at the City Mayor’s Office were mostly dealing with non payments at OLPHI. Others were physically detained, were not allowed to leave the premises, and food supplies were blocked. So, I gathered them.)

He disclosed further that 11 patients have already executed their respective affidavits against OLPHI in violation of RA 9439 or An Act Prohibiting the Detention of Patients in Hospitals and Medical Clinics on Grounds of Nonpayment of Hospital Bills or Medical Expenses.

This Act which was approved by former PGMA on April 27, 2007, Sections 1, 2 and 3 states that, it shall be unlawful for any hospital or medical clinic in the country to detain or to otherwise cause, directly or indirectly, the detention of patients who have fully or partially recovered or have been adequately attended to or who may have died, for reasons of nonpayment in part or in full of hospital bills or medical expenses; Patients who have fully or partially recovered and who already wish to leave the hospital or medical clinic but are financially incapable to settle, in part or in full, their hospitalization expenses, including professional fees and medicines, shall be allowed to leave the hospital or medical clinic, with a right to demand the issuance of the corresponding medical certificate and other pertinent papers required for the release of the patient from the hospital or medical clinic upon the execution of a promissory note covering the unpaid obligation. The promissory note shall be secured by either a mortgage or by a guarantee of a co-maker, who will be jointly and severally liable with the patient for the unpaid obligation. In the case of a deceased patient, the corresponding death certificate and other documents required for interment and other purposes shall be released to any of his surviving relatives requesting for the same: Provided, however, That patients who stayed in private rooms shall not be covered by this Act.; and Any officer or employee of the hospital or medical clinic responsible for releasing patients, who violates the provisions of this Act shall be punished by a fine of not less than Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00), but not more than Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00), or imprisonment of not less than one month, but not more than six months, or both such fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the proper court.

It is note taking that in previous interview former mayor now First District Representative Mel Sarmiento explained the significance and the good concept of LGU Calbayog-OLPHI partnership which was fully appreciated by the Department of Health. He admitted that problems were encountered in the implementation of the MOA.

Under Uy’s administration, said issue had been thoroughly tackled causing for the retrieval of some medical equipment in the blood bank, ambulance and other facilities owned by the city provisionally utilized by OLPHI as part of the agreement. City Councilor Rogelio Casurao was given the instruction to execute a demand letter for the repossession of said facilities, and called the attention of General Services Officer Isagani Togonon for its immediate implementation.

While working on with his directive, Uy has given two years for the realization of Calbayog City Hospital at Sitio Talahib, Brgy. Trinidad with 25 bed capacity. Equipment will depend on the local revenue of the city, and he assured the public that he would provide complete facilities for this.

In another development, Mayor Uy stressed that the city would not be accepting new and additional scholars while facing an outstanding P2.5M financial obligations to Northwest Samar State University (NwSSU) incurred by the past administration. He said that he would ask Cong. Mel to help him settle first said account before accepting another set funded by the local government.

As a 3-termer legislator he shared his experience by disclosing that during his time he has allotted approximate funds intended for an equal number of scholars.

An nakakalipay sini kay an Congressman, pirmi may-ada pundo sa scholars. So, aruon ko kan Cong. Mel Sarmiento nga antes ako mangarawat scholars dinhe sa ciudad, kon mahimo mabuligan ak anay niya nga mabaydan ini nga obligasyon san NwSSU base makapasulod naman ak. Kay sapagkayana, di man pwede kumarawat an NwSSU san new and additional scholars nga mayda pa kit utang nga P2.5 milyones. Ngani kadam-an sini sa ira waray magpakatake san final exams. Pero kay ginhimuan pamaagi san aton City Treasurer and City Administrator Arnol Trani nga makatake san final exams. So, ngatanan happy ending. Ugaring la kay nalugi an NwSSu. I’ll see to it nga mabuligan kit ni Cong. Mel Sarmiento, Uy added.

At one point Uy clarified that before Cong. Sarmiento left for Congress a transition report was properly turned-over leaving no grave financial crisis.





Motorcab drivers train to become machinists

July 14, 2010

CATBALOGAN CITY  –  TESDA on Monday welcomed some 25 young men and a woman who started  the Motorcycle Mechanic Training (Galing Mekaniko) at the WESAMAR building.

Ms. Cleta Omega, TESDA Provincial Director said the training should have been done last year through the efforts of Rep. Sharee Ann Tan but the ‘election ban’ overtook them, such that the training was postponed.

The only woman participant named Joann Anigway, 21, said she joined the group as it was free and she would gain the knowledge she needs to operate a motorcycle.

Marlon Baculot, 23, reached only high school and is differently abled, uses crutches to get on his way but does not see this as a problem for his dream.

The two participants are just among the 25 who will be trained free by Ronald Paduganao, an instructor from the Balicuatro School in Allen, Northern Samar.

The participants will train for ten days and will be given free tools.

Omega just took their commitment to attend the training religiously. “I hope you came not just for the free tools,” the lady jested.

A participant said that the training and tools could cost them some P5,000.

On the final day on July 23, 2010, they will be subjected to a competency assessment and will be given a National Certificate - if they pass the test.

Mr. Dominador Cabanganan of the Samar Chamber of Commerce told the young group that even if the training is for small engines, the basic knowledge they will earn will help them deal with bigger machines eventually.

Meanwhile, DTI through Ms. Meilo Macabare promised them a seminar on enterprise development so they will not only become mechanics but owners of auto repair shops.

Half of the participants are motorcycle drivers who want to learn mechanical repairs.  (PIA-Samar)





Biliran mayors elect Kawayan dad as LMP prexy

July 14, 2010

NAVAL, Biliran  –  Six out of the seven municipal mayors comprising the eight municipalities of the province of Biliran unanimously elected Kawayan Mayor Gerardo S. Espina, Sr. as President of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines - Biliran Chapter (LMP-Biliran) held Monday at Biliran Garden Resort (BGR).

Mayor Espina, Sr. was voted by Mayor Dominador Agajan of Almeria, Mayor Leandro Enage of Biliran, Mayor Gemma Adobo of Cabucgayan, Mayor Eulalio Maderazo of Caibiran, Mayor Enrico Uyvico of Culaba and Mayor Uldarico Macorol of Maripipi. Mayor Susan V. Parilla of Naval was absent during the election.

The other elected officers of LMP-Biliran Chapter were: Enrico Uyvico - Vice-President, Dominador Agajan - Secretary, Gemma Adobo - Treasurer, Eulalio Maderazo - Auditor and Leandro Enage and Uldarico Macorol as Board of Directors.

Mayor Espina, Sr., the newly elected LMP-Biliran Chapter president in his short message urged the mayors present to allocate funds for the beautification of the Biliran Circumferential Road by planting ornamental and flowering trees along the national highways.

He also emphasized to the members of LMP-Biliran Chapter to give livelihood to their respective constituents as he set as an example his plan of improving the fishing industry in Kawayan by providing payaw to fishermen to improve fish catch. He also planned to tap the assistance of the Department of Agriculture (DA) along this line through the provision of boya.

He likewise presented to the group of mayors the possibility of asking financial assistance from senators to finance various development projects of the Local Government Units (LGUs) in Biliran province.

He reminded the new members of the LMP-Biliran Chapter to facilitate the payment of LMP dues to the national LMP so the chapter can participate in the activities that will be undertaken by the LMP national chapter.

The conduct of the election was facilitated by newly-elected Board Member of the first district of the province of Leyte and former mayor of Tanauan, Atty. Roque Tiu, representing the LMP-national chapter and Atty. Naomi C. Tumandao, the new Provincial Director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Biliran province.  (PIA-Biliran)





DOST One Visayas stages Invention Contest, Exhibits

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
July 13, 2010

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The Department of Science and Technology Visayas cluster composed of Regions 6, 7 and 8, is set to stage the 2010 Visayas Island Invention Contests and Exhibits on August 12 to 14, 2010 at Amigo Mall in Iloilo City.

DOST Region 8 Director Edgar Esperancilla informed that this year’s theme is “Filipino Inventions and Innovations: the Way Forward.”

The 2010 VIICE is a competition open for both the public and private sector inventors and researchers within the Visayas area. There are six (6) categories where talented Filipinos can compete in the invention contest.

The six categories include the Invention Category (Tuklas Award); Utility Model Category; Industrial Design Category; Creative Research Category (Likha Award); Student Creative Research Category (Sibol Award) for High School; and Student Creative Research Category (Sibol Award) for College.

Director Esperancilla disclosed that the Visayas Island Invention Contests and Exhibits (VIICE) serve as the elimination or qualifying round for the National Invention Contest, pursuant to Section 4 of the Republic Act No. 7459 also known as “Inventors and Invention Incentives Act of the Philippines”.

The good Director is inviting investors and researchers in Region 8 to submit entries for the said contest.

“This is time to showcase your inventions and compete with other inventors from the other Regions in the Visayas,” Director Esperancilla said.

The Inventions guidelines may be downloaded at DOST 8 website at The entry forms may also be downloaded from the same website.



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