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Borongan LGU steps up solid waste management

Region 8 remembers Doña Paz tragedy

SP endorses small-scale mining operations in Samar island-town

AHRC urges for an impartial investigation on the killing of 8 farmers in Leyte

Paranas residents rally against communism

Samareños to oppose Enrile-owned logging firm operations in Samar

Gov. Tan mum on solving perennial flooding in Samar

Peace rallyists brave the rain to oppose communism

NPA attacked SAMELCO personnel

Reported case of Meningococcemia in Samar kills 1


Listen to voice of the people, Evardone appeals to the senators

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
January 10, 2005

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  “ I am appealing to the Senators to listen to the voice of the people on the issue of Charter Change. After all the voice of the people is the voice of God.”

Governor Evardone

This was the appeal of Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone who is also the secretary general of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, as a reaction to the opposition of the Senators to his plan of mounting a people’s initiative and gathering five million signatures in support of Charter change.

Governor Evardone said that the Senators will be isolated and the people’s perception that it is becoming irrelevant will be bolstered if they will try to block the dreams and the aspirations of the Filipino people, especially those in the countryside.

He added that the opposition of a few Senators to the Charter Change is meaningless because the ultimate decision on the issue rests in the hands of the people. Once the people have spoken, the opposition Senators will have no other recourse but to abide by the will of the people.

Governor Evardone stressed that contrary to the allegations of the opposition Senators, the Chacha is not designed to benefit one person or a particular group. It is intended to overhaul the country’s entire economic and political system to address the demands of the 21st century under a new world order. If we will not address the fundamental defects of our system, Governor Evardone said, we will continue to lag behind our neighbors in terms of development.

The governor made it clear that he welcomes the opposition to people’s initiatives because it will spark more debates on the issue of Chacha. He believes that all sectors of society should actively participate to the enrichment of the national debate on Chacha.

He reiterated his statement that there should be no individual, however influential he may be, or any group, for that matter that would dictate on what they want regarding the issue of charter change.

In this fast changing world, the country’s political and economic framework and structures should be attuned to the times, Governor Evardone concluded.





Region 8 leaders advocate ConCom proposals

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
January 9, 2005

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Various leaders in Eastern Visayas openly advocates the approval of the Constitutional Commission proposals. They all agree that the Concom proposals are mere recommendations which will still be deliberated and discussed in Congress. The last say will be that of the people, whether or not the people will check yes when the proposals are presented to them for approval through a referendum.

Governor Ben Evardone, spokesperson of the ULAP, stressed that Chacha  was not designed to benefit one person or particular groups. It is intended to overhaul the country’s political and economic system to address the 21st century under a new world order. If the country will continue not to address the faults of the present system, the country will continue to lag behind its neighbors in terms of development.

Congresswoman Remedios Petilla of the first district of Leyte, in a gathering of the elective officials of the first district, explained that the Concom proposals are mere recommendations which Congress will deliberate when the session reopens. In the end, it will be the people who will decide whether or not they will approve the proposals, through a referendum, the lady solon said. It is therefore, imperative that the local government officials help in educating the people on the Concom proposals so that the people will be able to have an enlightened decision.

Southern Leyte Governor Rosette Lerias, chairperson of the Regional Development Council of Eastern Visayas expressed support to the Concom proposals, so do, the other local government executives in the province. The lady governor asserted that the No-el recommendation will ensure an unimpeded local governance and project implementation without the thought of a political campaign coming very soon.

The League of Municipalities Leyte Chapter president Mayor Carlos Cari of Baybay revealed, that majority of the members of the league are agreeable to the proposals of Concom. Saying that the presidential form of government has lost its effectiveness, Mayor Cari said it is time the country adopts a form of government that will meet the challenges of the 21st century. The question is not whether or not the proposal will favor a person or a group, but whether or not the proposals will answer the needs of the country for a more vibrant and more effective form of government.

In a television interview, Mayor Gerardo S. Espina Sr. of Naval who was the proponent of the No-El proposal of the Constitutional Commission, said that even when he was still a congressman, he was already proposing that the elections be synchronized to minimize the government’s election expense. He clarified that the proposal was not meant to favor a person or any group but to put a transition period so that there will be no disruption in government bureaucracy. He said, this will even affect him personally because instead of being able to run as a congressman soon, he will have to remain as mere mayor until 2010.





Search is on for models of Fil excellence and values overseas

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
January 8, 2006

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas announced the formal opening of the search for the 2006 Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas.

The Presidential Award is a biennial search for overseas-based individuals and organizations who have given form and substance to Filipino excellence and time honored values of pakikipagkapwa, pagtutulungan and bayanihan, by their exceptional achievements and humanitarian efforts.

The Presidential Awards have four categories, the Lingkod sa Kapwa Filipino Award, the Banaag Award, the Kaanib ng Bayan Award and the Pamana ng Filipino Award.

The Lingkod sa Kapwa Filipino Award is conferred on Filipino associations or individuals for their exceptional or significant contribution to reconstruction, progress and development of the Philippines.

The Banaag Award is conferred on Filipino individuals or associations for their contributions which have significantly benefited a sector or community in the Philippines, or advanced the cause of overseas Filipino communities.

The Kaanib ng Bayan Award is conferred on foreign individuals or organizations for their exceptional or significant contribution to Philippine reconstruction, progress and development, or have significantly benefited a sector or community in the Philippines, or advanced the cause of overseas Filipino communities.

The Pamana ng Pilipino Award is conferred on Filipinos overseas, who, in exemplifying the talent and industry of the Filipino, have brought the country honor and recognition through excellence and distinction in the pursuit of their work or profession.

Since its inception in 1991 through Executive Order No. 498, the Presidential Awards have so far been conferred on 235 Filipino and foreign individuals and organizations overseas based in 36 countries. 

Nominations to the awards are first coursed through and evaluated by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate nearest the place of residence or base of operations of the nominee. Nominees endorsed by Philippine Embassies and Consulates must then be transmitted to the CFO Awards Secretariat on or before 15 May 2006. Nominations sent by mail must be postmarked not later than the date of the deadline.

Nominees who have successfully passed the screening of the technical and executive committees and the Office of the President shall be conferred the 2006 Presidential Awards by the President of the Republic of the Philippines during the Awarding Ceremonies to be held in December 2006 at Malacañan Palace, Manila.





2 more bills establishing schools in Samar pass House fund deliberations

January 8, 2006

CATBALOGAN, Samar – Two more bills on the establishment of national high schools in the province of Samar had passed the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, a report from the congressional office of Rep. Catalino “Cata” Figueroa said Thursday.

The two bills, known as House Bill 3450 (Establishment of San Fernando High School in Basey) and House Bill 4003 (Establishment of Plaridel National High School in Villareal) were approved by Congress in its first reading last December 2005, and committee reports are now being readied for these two bills to have their second and third readings in the plenary, it was learned.

Congressman Figueroa

Earlier, Rep. Figueroa has submitted six education-related bills that were also passed in the Congress’s Committee on Appropriations. These were HB 2503 (Conversion of the Osmeña National High School into Osmeña Agro-Industrial High School in Marabut), HB 2506 (Conversion of the Calapi National High School into Calapi National Agricultural High School in Motiong), HB 3151 (Establishment of the Catbalogan National Comprehensive High School), HB 3153 (Conversion of the Magdawat Primary School into Magdawat Elementary School in Pinabacdao), HB 3211 (Establishment of the Silanga National High School in Catbalogan) and HB 3406 otherwise known as the establishment of the Zumarraga National High School in Zumarraga, Samar.

In an exclusive interview, Rep. Figueroa said these bills will benefit most of his constituents in the second district, most especially if funding for these schools will be approved and released to the Department of Education in Samar Division.

“Being a Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, I will do my very best to get the approval of the funding of these bills, which I authored, because I know these will benefit my poor constituents, especially those who cannot afford the cost of education,” the solon said.

Having been a former teacher and advocate of good education before he turned to politics, Rep. Figueroa said the establishment or conversion of these schools in Samar is a big boast to his constituents, especially the young ones.

“I give importance to education because I know it is a tool to build great citizen in our present generations,” he added.

The solon reiterated that several schools in Samar and other provinces in the region were declared “topnotch” among other schools in the country during the 2005 NSAT examinations.

“It is high time that the government give schools in Samar province the boost that they deserve. (It is by) providing and establishing more schools will augment this good performance of our provincial students,” the solon further said.





Armed men raid Albuera police station

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
January 7, 2006

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  In the middle of a brownout, heavily armed men suspected to be members of the NPA entered the Albuera Police Station at about 7:00 o’clock in the evening of January 6, hogtied the two policemen on duty, ransacked the office and lockers and carted away 21 pieces M16 rifles and 8 pieces caliber 38 revolvers and confidential documents.

In an interview with Col. Blando, chief of operation of the Provincial Philippine National Police and Police Senior Inspector Rodolfo Lomot of the Albuera Police Station, PIA 8 learned that the Albuera town was experiencing brown out when armed men aboard two close vans and one multicab entered the police station surprising the two policemen on duty and the three other policemen who were at the kitchen having dinner. The two policemen who were at the office were hogtied and made to lie down on the floor. The three policemen were made to lie face down on the floor.

Captain Lomot revealed that some men who were on foot conducted blocking force on both sides of the road going to Baybay and Ormoc. He said that the exact number of the armed men cannot be determined but estimated the raiding men to be about 100, saying that they were heavily armed with M14, M16 and three M60 machine guns.

After getting the police ammunitions and confidential documents, the men fled in the dark. The Albuera police immediately coordinated with the army troopers of the 19th IB based in Kananga and the 43rd IB based in Baybay who are now conducting massive manhunt operations.

PNP Leyte Provincial Director William Valencia when reached, just flew in from Manila where he attended a conference and was on his way to Albuera direct from the Tacloban airport. True enough, he was conducting a conference with Captain Lomot when re-contacted.

Captain Lomot confirmed the increase in the incidence of insurgency in Albuera especially in the mountain barangays of Sherwood, Salvacion, Tinag-an and Mahayahay which are four of the sixteen barangays of the municipality of Albuera, the town next to the city of Ormoc.

Captain Lomot, however, allayed the fears of the constituents saying that the PNP and the military are closely coordinating to ensure the safety of the people.





DPWH: P734-M worth of Samar Maharlika highway project underway

January 7, 2006

CATBALOGAN, Samar  –  The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 2nd Engineering District has announced that the most awaited construction and rehabilitation of the Maharlika Highway in Samar, which was the subject of regular commentaries among commuters passing this road section, is now finally underway.

District Engineer Pablo Aragon (right) of DPWH Samar 2nd Engineering District giving details to media on the Calbiga-Tizon (Tarangnan) road section rehabilitation project during the weekly CCATMAN Media Forum on January 4, 2005 at Cocina de Cabral in Ubanon, Catbalogan, Samar. 

In a weekly media forum sponsored by the Catbalogan Cable TV Media Advocates Nucleus (CCATMAN) on January 4, DPWH Samar 2nd district Engineer Pablo Aragon said that the Calbiga-Tizon (Tarangnan) road section rehabilitation project has already been awarded and is expected to commence construction in the first quarter of 2006.

According to him, the budget for this rehabilitation road project covering a total of 59.53 kilometers, is said to be worth P734 million.

“The bidding of this project has been recently done, and this was funded by the Philippine government with counterpart funding with some foreign government through the efforts of the congressional office of Rep. (Catalino) Figueroa,” Aragon said.

To recall, Rep. Figueroa earlier announced that the funding for this project has already been approved in the House of Representatives through his efforts and his buddy in the first district Rep. Reynaldo S. Uy.

The 2 Samar solons earlier told reporters here that because of the “bad” condition of these roads, it often discouraged the potential investors and tourists to visit our place despite the fact that we have here the best tourists’ attraction and destinations to offer.

As this developed the solons also said several complaints coming from the commuters and the bus operators hounded their offices as to the “bad road” condition of the Maharlika highway here.

On top of this, “many Manila-based bus companies also wrote letters of complaints to us citing the increase of highway incidents, which they said, majority happened only here Samar,” Rep. Figueroa said.

“It is high time that the rehabilitation should start the soonest possible time, and that is very sure, this first quarter of 2006,” the solon added.

Meanwhile, because of the incessant rains that recently occurred in the region, many road section of the Maharlika highway in this province suffered “road slips” which damage was estimated by the DPWH to be worth millions of pesos.

In Samar, for example, the Pisak road approaches has collapsed in the Wright-Taft road and was earlier declared by the department impassable to all kinds of heavy vehicles. “Passing through the 40-50 meter stretch is deemed dangerous because of continuous erosion to due to heavy rains,” Engr. Aragon said. He described that this pavement is between a high mountain and a deep embankment on the other side.

Aragon added that the regional office has declared a travel advisory closing the road to vehicular traffic but this was not followed by some of the commuters.

This prompted the department to make an improvised passage on the shoulder but only for light vehicles. Aragon said heavy vehicles were directed to take the Basey-Lawaan coastal road route.

Public utility jeeps and buses, however, been allowed as long as they unload their passengers first, when passing the perilous site.

Of this situation, Aragon said he has already submitted a report and a recommendation on how much will be needed to restore the “damaged” road slips along the Maharlika highway and the Pisak road approaches.

“We need at least P10 million that include the cutting of the upper mountain, trees, and constructing walls or structures to contain the soil,” he said.

The District Engineer forecasted to finish the project within the year along with other damaged road slips in the region which now reached more than P60 million.





Odon Sabarre pays tribute to Chief Justice Davide

January 7, 2005

Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. is flanked by Pearly Dawn & Odon Sabarre, Atty. Gemma Leticia F. Tablate and Amb. Raul I. Goco.

CATBALOGAN, Samar  – The number one ballet and jazz dancing king in the region Mr. Odon S. Sabarre along with equally talented former beauty queen Pearly Dawn gave tribute to the outgoing Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., this was learned recently.

In a brief interview with SamarNews, the only famous artist-in-residence in Eastern Visayas said they performed several impressive dance numbers which were later applauded by majority of the guests, most of them, prominent country’s justices and judges.

According to Sabarre, he was elated when most of the guests during the affair knew him by name including Mr. and Mrs. Chief Justice Davide Jr.

“They were all extending praises to me and my daughter Pearly Dawn, a former Mutya han Samar beauty titlist, especially when she performed a Hawaiian dance interpretation” says Odon.

It was learned that, during the evening affair, lawyer Gemma Letecia F. Tablate, the over-all chairperson of the affair performed a “special number” Kuratsa Dance paired with Odon.

Other performers were Justice Magdangal De Leon who performed an impressive vocal-solo number and the Supreme Court Choir who rendered a series of musical rendition.

Meanwhile, the affair was sponsored by the World Jurist Association Philippine Chapter headed by Justice Tablate in their tribute to the outgoing Chief Justice Davide Jr., who according to them, retired with honor and pride.

The tribute was held on December 2, 2005 at the Court of Appeals Auditorium, Centennial Building, Manila.

It was participated in by his fellow workers at the Supreme Court and some friends in the society such as Ambassador Raul Goco, Supreme Court Justices Angelina Gutierrez, Conchita Morales, Reynaldo Quisumbing, Court of Appeals Justices Estela Bernabe, Magdangal De Leon, Mariano Del Castillo, Eliezer Delos Santos, Portia Hormachuelos, Eugenio Labitoria, Delilah Magtolis, Jose Sabio, Monina Zeñaroza, Vicente Yap, CA acting presiding justice Godardo Jacinto, Retired Bennie Dela Cruz, among others.

Odon disclosed that after the said affair, Chief Justice Davide narrated in his message that he was happy and able to retire with full honor and pride as he done so much accomplishments towards the Filipino people.

“He was indeed contented with what he has done to the Filipinos. Let me also take this opportunity to say thank you Chief Justice, May your tribe increase, mabuhay po kayo, Sir,” Odon wholeheartedly said.



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