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Calbayog makes it as one of 15 Dream Cities of RP

RDC 8 requests PGMA to appoint permanent Co-chair, submits nominees

St. Mary’s Catbalogan champions General Info Quiz for Catbalogan Fiesta

Tacloban New Transport Terminal now operational

Ancient town in Samar gears up for its 415th Grand Fiesta

2 towns in Eastern Samar complete Water Development Project

Power forum resolves to work for power rates reduction in Region 8

Police solves highway robberies in Samar

End the killings, petitioners cry worldwide

High incidence of teenage pregnancies in Region 8 alarming


Taiwanese donor sends another P1.8M for Guinsaugon scholars

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
August 30, 2006

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  – Another P1.8 M for the scholars who were orphaned because of the tragic Guinsaugon mudslide early this year, was sent in by the Dharma Drum Mountain Social Welfare and Charity Foundation.

This was learned from Mr. Henry Yaokasin Sr., the overall coordinator for the Dharma Drum Mountain Social Welfare and Charity Foundation’s Guinsaugon Mudslide Tragedy Orphans Scholarship Program.

The exact amount of One Million Seven Hundred Ninety Eight Thousand Three Hundred Ten and 75/100 Centavos (P1,798,300.75) was credited on August 18, 2006 to the bank account of the Rotary Club of San Juanico Love Foundation, Inc., being the implementing partner of the Taiwanese donors, Engr. Ronnie Ponferrada, the club president reported.

This amount of money will see the orphans through the second semester of this school year. The Dharma Drum Foundation generously accepted to sponsor the Guinsaugon orphans not only by giving them money for tuition fees, books and miscellaneous expenses in school but also for their board and lodging, clothing allowance and subsistence allowance.

Mr. Cheng Chao-Sung, the chairman for resource integration committee of the Foundation, personally came to the Philippines to interview the orphans and on another occasion, he came back to personally give the orphans the initial funds so that they will be able to enroll this school year.

The first trance of release was in May in the amount of P1.4 million, which was released to the orphans by the Rotary Club of San Juanico Love Foundation in the presence of Mr. Cheng, Mr. Henry Yaokasin, Mayor Virgilio Mortera of San Juan, Mayor Maria Lim of St. Bernard and Dir. Olive P. Tiu of PIA.

The additional amount will make the total donations of Dharma Drum so far, to about P3.2 million.

The 31 scholars will continue to enjoy the scholarship until they finish their college education. The scholars who are either in the High School level or in the college level, expressed their gratitude to the officers and members of the Dharma Drum Foundation and pledged that they will do their best so that the generosity of people to them will not be in vain.

Originally, the Foundation was only looking forward to a five year scholarship but when Mr. Cheng reported that five years is not enough for all the high school level scholars to finish college, the Foundation decided to extend it to seven years with the total scholarship fund amounting to P9 million.





Local scientist urges the use of biofuels due to dwindling world’s oil supply

August 29, 2006

NAVAL, Biliran  – His futuristic pronouncement and outlook on the world’s oil supply sent a chilling message to his compatriots in the field of research and to the other participants of the 18th Regional Research and Development Extension (RDE) held recently at Naval Institute of Technology (NIT).

In a plenary paper titled Biofuels: Current Status and Application in the Philippines presented by Dr. Roberto C. Guarte, Dean of the College of Engineering and Agriculture at the Leyte State University (formerly VISCA), the famous local scientist and inventor categorically stated that the world’s oil supply is dwindling.

This fellow who lived most of his life on research work that led to the discovery of several notable local inventions like the plant oil stove with Protos as brand name which can be operated even with the use of used cooking oil and the improvised solar copra dryer and many other local inventions that helped much in the agribusiness technology being credited to the person.

Dr. Guarte presented that the worldwide consumption of oil in 2005 has reached 121 million barrels per day and it is expected that the world’s oil will ran out of supply in 2040 due to the current consumption of 24 billion barrels per year.

He showed through a graphical presentation in his paper that about 1,600 billion barrels or more were available in 1960 compared to only 200 billion barrels that will be made available in 2040.

Dr. Guarte said that the need to use other alternative sources of oil energy like the use of renewable biofuels from biomass like methane, ethanol and biodiesel must now be intensely started, used and put to practice in the county considering the situation of world’s oil supply.

Biofuels has infinite supply which is the sun as the primary source where the energy released from it is transformed into chemical energy in the form of hydrocarbons by the plants, based in the paper of Dr. Guarte

The paper also showed that biodiesel which is one form of biofuels is produced using either of the following oil such as in the crude, refine and virgin coconut oil, jathropa oil, rapeseed, sunflower, palm oil, soybean, used vegetable oil and animal fats.

It is also said in the paper that biofuels are renewable fuels that can be produced in any climate using already developed agricultural techniques.

Presently, Shell Philippines is marketing E20 but the same is imported from Brazil and there is a need to source-out oil locally but there is no available company for this purpose, Dr. Guarte said.

However, Dr. Guarte also said that there were two pending legislations in the Senate requiring the use of biofuels like Senate Bill No.1677 on National Fuel Ethanol Program and Senate Bill No. 2226 requiring everybody to use biofuels such as ethanol for engines sold in the country.

He, too admitted that the gasoline used in the Ford Focus car he owned is blended with 5% biodiesel for almost a year now and he finds it to have a high octane rating, better combustion, cleaner fuel injection/engines, improved fuel economy especially in carbureted engines and likewise reduces greenhouse gas by 19%, carbon monoxide by 30%, toxic emissions up to 22% and lower the potential of ozone damage.

Dr. Guarte said that the energy sector goal under the Philippine Energy Plan Framework includes attaining 60% self-sufficiency level by 2010, increased renewable energy-based capacity in 10 years, attained 10% ethanol with gasoline fuel for vehicles by 2007 and to reach 25% in 2010, attained 5% biodiesel blend with diesel fuel for vehicles in 2010, increase oil and gas reserves by 20% in 10 years and to forge agreements with existing and new energy partners.

Dr. Guarte admitted that the realization to reduce the country’s dependency on oil using ethanol or biodiesel needs the strong political will of the country’s leaders to implement the good plans and objectives of the energy sector and to perhaps for the government to give full support to the local researches and inventions that have something to do with the reduction on oil dependency.





The Tinikling folkdance originated in Tanauan, Leyte?

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
August 28, 2006

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte – The local government of Tanauan, Leyte is now in the middle of an extensive research on whether or not the National Folkdance of the Philippines, the Tinikling, indeed, originated in Tanauan, Leyte.

The quest started when the attention of Mayor Roque Tiu was called regarding the 2005 Calendar of the Philippine National Oil Corporation entitled Sulyap (Glimpse) which highlighted the looking back into the home of Filipino culture and taking a glimpse into one’s roots in relation to moving forward in life. It inspired one to rediscover the Philippine cultural identity through the truly Filipino customs and traditions which have withstood the tests of time and live on to this day.

The second page, March-April page, featured the Tinikling with a brief description in Pilipino dialect …”ang Tinikling ay nagmula sa Tanauan, Leyte. Isa ito sa mga pinaka-kilalang Pilipinong sayaw sa buong mundo. Ang pagkamalikhain ng mga taga Leyte ay nagbigay buhay sa simpleng galaw ng ibong tikling, kung saan nakuha ang pangalan ng sayaw. Sa Tinikling naipamalas ang likas na halina at pagiging masayahin na nabubukod-tangi sa mga Pilipino.” (Tinikling originated in Tanauan, Leyte. It is one of the best known Philippine dance. The creativity of the people of Leyte gave life to the simple movement of tikling birds from which the dance got its name Tinikling. The dance mirrors the innate grace and joy of the Filipinos).

The municipal government of Tanauan is requesting historians and enthusiasts of culture and the arts to shed light on the issue so that the local government can initiate moves towards preserving the culture of the municipality which has been baptized the title of Cradle of the Intellectuals (Bungto Han Kamag-araman) ever since the Spanish Regime.

Mayor Tiu revealed that the municipal government has already made inquiries from some of the local well-known artists and intellectuals on culture and they all agreed to help in the research.

One version has it, that the Tinikling really originated in Tanauan, Leyte particularly in Barangay Kiling. Some stories have it that the name Kiling was derived from Tikling. This version have yet to be authenticated.

One thing is sure though, the Tinikling dance which is the national folkdance of the Philippines, originated in the province of Leyte. Which part of Leyte? That is a question which Mayor Tiu and the people of Tanauan want to be answered.





Bicol's whale sharks underscore need to defend Albay Gulf from mine pollution

Press Release
Southeast Asia
August 28, 2006

DONSOL, Sorsogon  – The recently-discovered presence of feeding whale sharks in the Albay Gulf, particularly along Legaspi City's coastline, only confirms the urgent need to defend the rich coastal waters of the Bicol region from threats like mining pollution, Greenpeace said Sunday during a welcome ceremony organized by the municipality of Donsol, Sorsogon, to celebrate the arrival of the Greenpeace ship MY Esperanza. Crew from the Esperanza which arrived in Legaspi Pier a day before, was able to document several whale sharks swimming in the waters of Bigaa, Legaspi City.

"The astounding numbers of whale sharks present in the waters all around the Bicol region is a clear indication that protecting the well-being of this unique marine environment should be an utmost priority," said Greenpeace Southeast Asia campaigner Beau Baconguis. "But as long as Lafayette corporation's mine in Bicol's Rapu Rapu island exists, these waters-home to whale sharks, sea turtles, mangrove forests and thick sea grass beds-will continue to be endangered by toxic pollutants."

Three days ago, Greenpeace revealed that very high levels of toxic heavy metals such as cadmium, copper, and zinc had already contaminated Mirikpitik Creek. The creek leads out from Lafayette's mine and into the seas around Rapu Rapu in the Albay Gulf. This new evidence of toxic contamination is based on test results of water samples taken from the creek on August 2, 2006 during the second stage of the mine company's 30-day test run undertaken after operations were halted due to environmental lapses.

The Esperanza, which visited the Lafayette mine site, arrives in Donsol following four days of joining local communities from Albay and Sorsogon in their campaign against the mine. The mine's continuing operations will inevitably leave grave consequences on the region's fragile marine environment, and on the coastal communities who rely on the seas for livelihood and subsistence.

The municipality of Donsol, famous for the pods of whale sharks which congregate in its plankton-rich waters, was one of the first towns to voice opposition against Lafayette. Donsol is concerned that the mine's toxic tailings will affect the whale sharks, a vulnerable species that congregates only in a few places around the world.

"The Bicol region, particularly Donsol which we consider the whale shark capital of the world, has
been blessed with very rich marine resources," said Donsol Mayor Salve Ocaya, "We're pleased that Greenpeace joins us in the campaign to stop the mine from spreading pollution in our seas."

The Esperanza is in the Philippines on the latest leg of her global Defending Our Oceans expedition to highlight the wonders and the environmental threats to the world's oceans and to campaign for the establishment of marine reserves. Scientists recognize the Philippine archipelago as the world's center of marine biodiversity, but warn that its seas are among the most highly threatened.





Church alarmed on political killings; Archbishop Palma urges people to respect human life

August 26, 2006

Archbishop Jose Palma

CATBALOGAN, Samar  – As Catbalogan celebrated its fiesta last Thursday in honor of St. Bartholomew, Archbishop Jose Palma of the Archdiocese of Palo who served as the main celebrant in the mass urged the people to respect human life.

Palma told the people that the church is alarmed with the political killings. He added that such dastardly acts could have not happen if the people have resolved to respect human life. He added that he has issued a Pastoral letter to show every form of respect for human life.

The Archbishop also told the faithful gathered to hear the Pontifical Mass at the Catbalogan cathedral that respect for human life should start from the womb until its natural extinction. "Every human life," he said, "comes from the Lord!"

Similarly, the prelate also encouraged the people to have a social concern for the environment and the creation. He advised them to be responsible for nature which God has provided. He said that the future generation will be given the decision how best they can utilize nature, but he stressed that, "never in my time!"

He mentioned the likes of Gov. Evardone, Daza and the three bishops of Samar whom he said have pushed for peace and development in Samar. He also mentioned the destruction of Bagacay and the Taft River. "Look at Bagacay, it has become poorer than before," he admonished.

"I want to be remembered as on with the bishops who opted for a moratorium on logging and mining," the prelate emphasized.

The Archbishop of Palo also told the faithful to practice solidarity in love. "To grow as Christians," he said, "we must unite."

He added that people must remember the Philosophy of the Fingers where the fingers are varied in length yet they helped each other. "Let the strong help the weak," the prelate challenged the mass attendees.

Finally, the Palo church leader praised businessman Gokongwei whom he said donated some 10.5 billion pesos for charitable purposes.





Maasin City gets 6 classrooms from FFCCCI

By ERNA S. GORNE, (PIA Southern Leyte)
August 26, 2006

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte  –  The school children need not seek shelter under the makeshift classroom to accommodate some of their classes anymore. This time classes will be held comfortably at newly constructed school building by the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FFCCCI) in Lib-og Elementary School, Maasin City.

No less than Mr. Hao Ping Hong, the FFCCCI donor of the 2-classroom school building personally signed the deed of donation together with Governor Rosette Lerias, Congressman Roger Mercado and Vice Mayor Maloney Samaco in the series of turn-over ceremonies held last August 18, 2006 in the presence of FFCCCI – Tacloban President Henry Yao Kasin and other donors.

The two other school buildings were turned over to Lonoy Elementary School and Maasin Central School, who caters to over a thousand elementary school pupils, both in Maasin City. All these were also personally turned over by donors Mr. Johnny Conbankiat and Mr. William Y. Castro, all FFCCCI members based in Manila.

Lib-og Elementary School was one time the object of media mileage years back upon discovering that at least two classes were held under the shade of the trees which bring about GMA News featuring the lack of classrooms over the airwaves as they also built makeshift classroom in the said school.

Governor Lerias then sought the assistance of Mr. Henry Yao Kasin for Lib-og Elementary School and developed the site for the location of the area.

The donated classrooms in Lonoy Elementary School is said to have been solicited by Lt. General Bonifacio Ramos, the Commanding General of the Northern Luzon Command of the Philippine Army, who graduated his primary education in this school, it was learned.

Each of the 2-classroom building amounted to Php 340,000.00.

Aside from the school buildings, Mr. Henry Yao Kasin also informed Gov. Lerias that the same group will furnish 12 ceiling fans for the classrooms and 400 pieces of school bags for the children to each of the school buildings donated in Maasin City.

While Mr. Castro, who also donated another school building at Sogod National High School, was very delighted that he also handed over Php 10,000.00 cash assistance each to the teaching staff of the two schools. Mr. Castro is the owner of the Gibi Footwear Corporation.

The school building donations are joint undertaking of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in cooperation with Tacloban Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Volunteer Fire Brigade under the "Operation: Barrio School" project.



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