Your latest news happening from here at home and abroad

news 82


more news...

Biggest fire to hit Tacloban City razes five urban poor communities

Samar’s No. 1 Most Wanted fell

Army officer says San Jorge mayor is misinformed

802nd IB commander determined to destroy the remnants of NPA in Leyte island

Town dad seeks relief of top army officers in their locality

Taiwanese donor sends another P1.8M for Guinsaugon scholars

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


LCDE brings relief aid to fire victims

September 20, 2006

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  – In the interest of service to the needy and less fortunate, the Leyte Center for Development, Inc. (LCDE) launched a relief delivery operation Sunday for the fire victims here in the city.

At least 201 families were given relief packs, which consisted of rice, canned goods, salt, sugar and sleeping mat during the activity. The beneficiaries were victims of the fire that swept through the crowded communities in Sabang District last Tuesday afternoon and left 1,706 families or 7,895 people homeless.

Jazmin Jerusalem, LCDE Executive Director, said that the relief effort was conducted to address the food needs of the victims.

“It was our response to the request for food assistance of the victims, who have been experiencing food shortage since Tuesday. We heard reports that the health of the victims, especially that of the children and the elderly, further deteriorates due to this problem,” she said.

Jerusalem said that it was only after more than a decade that disaster-affected victims residing in the city benefited again from the agency’s services. She said that they usually deliver their services in remote disaster-stricken communities in the region since it is where poverty is extreme and government support services are nil.

“This time, however, we gave immediate assistance to the victims despite the fact that they live near government centers, where they can immediately ask for help from public officials. The fire left the victims economically dislocated and most of them come from the urban poor, who would indubitably find it hard to recover quickly from the disaster due to their lack of economic resources,” Jerusalem said.

The relief mission for the fire victims was the first of a series of disaster response activities, which the LCDE will launch this September and in the following months. Aside from emergency response, the agency has also plans of giving rehabilitation assistance and disaster management trainings to the affected communities.

To date, this was the seventh relief mission the LCDE has launched this year. The last relief effort it conducted was in Las Navas in Northern Samar, where it served two remote peasant communities affected by armed conflict.

The Leyte Center for Development, Inc. is a non-government organization assisting natural and man-made disaster-stricken communities in Eastern Visayas. Its programs range from disaster preparedness and mitigation, emergency response, rehabilitation assistance, advocacy and community health. The agency has already served more than 24,000 families from 455 communities in 32 municipalities in the region.





Calbayog City National High School topnotch in Region 8

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
September 20, 2006

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  – For the fourth year level of the National Aptitude Test 2005-2006 (NAT Y4), Calbayog City National High School is the topnotcher school in Region 8.

This was learned from DepEd 8 Regional Director Sol F. Matugas who congratulated the Schools Division Superintendent, the school heads, parents, teachers, the students and the academic communities and stakeholders for their support and assistance for the success of the programs and projects of DepEd 8.

Aside from Calbayog City National High School, the schools which comprise the top ten schools in Region 8 in the NAT Y4 2005-2006 are Sulat National High School of Eastern Samar, Lope de Vega National High School of Northern Samar, Maasin City National High School of Southern Leyte and Silago National Vocational High School of Southern Leyte.

Also included among the top ten topnotcher schools in Region 8 in the 2005-2006 NAT Year 4 are Victoria National High School of Northern Samar, Divisoria National High School in Southern Leyte, San Ricardo National High School in Southern Leyte, Esperanza National High School of Southern Leyte and Rustico Capahi Sr. National High School of Ormoc City.

Director Matugas expressed her elation for the outstanding feat in academic excellence that the students from the above mentioned school have displayed. DepEd Region 8 has always emphasized the importance of quality education and so far, it has been reaping accolades and awards.

The good Director also emphasized the important role that each stakeholder plays in the achievement of good results in the National Achievement Test Year 4 level.

She called on the schools and the other schools in the Region to continue if not work harder towards the achievement of excellent students through quality education.





City government allocates P15 Million fund for the rehabilitation of fire affected barangays

September 19, 2006

Mayor Bejo Romualdez giving some relief to the victims of the September 12 Sabang fire disaster, which leave thousands of families homeless, on Monday as part of the administration's effort in helping affected families in times of their difficulties.

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  An initial allocation of P15 million has already been released by Mayor Alfredo “Bejo” Romualdez for the construction of road networks at Brgy 36, 37, 65, 66, 66A - site of a devastating fire on September 12, as part of the City Government’s plan in the improvement, development and rehabilitation of the area.

The master plan for these areas includes construction of road networks (6m wide subdivision road and 4m wide riverside road), upgrading drainage system, and the installation of fire hydrants and streetlights. Civil works, like road clearing, and horizontal development has already started.

Mayor Bejo said that this site development plan and road-widening project, intends to improve vehicle access to the main highway including easy access of garbage and fire trucks.

He further disclosed that as part of a long-term plan, a boulevard would be erected in the port area up to these barangays.

The City Government of Tacloban made a proposal to Vice President and concurrent HUDCC chair Noli ‘Kabayan” De Castro for its plan to establish tenement housing intended for those residents affected by the disaster.

Mayor Bejo also wants to clear the issue of his intention to drive away those residents living in the affected areas. “I have no plan of driving these people away because these dwellers are the main ‘source of labor’ of this city,” the mayor clarified.

At this time however, the City Government will not allow residents to build back their homes while road construction and development is underway. Building permits will also be required from residents before they can start construction of their new homes.





Government troops scores anew!

September 19, 2006

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan, Samar  – The relentless conduct of pursuit operations as a result of the September 15, 2006 encounter between a Squad of soldiers from the 14th Infantry Battalion, 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army and the Communist Terrorists yielded another breakthrough when the troops under 2Lt. Michael Madayag caught up with the withdrawing enemy at vicinity Barangay Bunga, Paranas, Samar on Saturday at around 8:o’clock in the morning.

On the early morning of September 16, 2006, 2Lt. Michael Madayag PA, of the 81st Reconnaissance Company of the 801st Infantry Brigade Philippine Army received information volunteered by a barangay resident that armed men believed to be communist terrorists (CTs) are resting at the forested area located between Barangays Tutubigan and Bunga all of Paranas, Samar.

The troops stealthy jumped-off and furiously engaged the enemy by surprise. Firefight ensued for more or less ten minutes followed by a running gun battle that forced the enemy to withdraw towards different directions. The platoon scoured the area and recovered the following: One (1) communist terrorist killed (body count), One (1) bandoleer with three (3) magazines for M14 rifle, twenty (20) meters electric wires believed to be used for landmines, one (1) anti-personnel landmine and seventy six (76) rounds of ammunition for M16. The government troops suffered no casualty. The cadaver of the CT was brought to the Barangay for possible identification and disposition.

MGen. Rodrigo F. Maclang AFP, Chief of the 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army commended the soldiers for a job well done. He likewise extends his thanks to the people of Barangay Bunga, Paranas, Samar for the information that was timely provided to the soldiers. General Maclang also denounced the continuing use of anti-personnel landmines by the CT’s against government troops in the area.





Campaign for “better Samar roads” launched; Samar solon says road construction already started

September 18, 2006

Congressman Cata Figueroa

CATBALOGAN, Samar – The people of this country’s third largest island has to show anew its solidarity and unity in hoisting this native home. This time, the Samarnons demanded from the government to construct “better roads” in this province.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Samar solons, however, said the road construction operations have just started a month ago.

Officials of the DPWH said the contract has just been awarded to E.C. De Luna Construction who previously won the bidding of concreting and asphalting the Phases 1-4, which is from Calbiga-Catbalogan-Calbayog-Allen road. The road from San Juanico Bridge to Calbiga town has just concreted and asphalted.

Recently, a “petition for better roads for Samar Island” addressed to Philippine government was launched and a “caravan” to travel the route from Calbiga to Calbayog City was set on October 17, 2006.

The said caravan and the on-going petition which is expected to end on September 30 was both launched and created by the US-based Gugma Han Samar (Love of Samar) members.

According to Loudette Avelino of Gugma Han Samar, the roads in the island of Samar are entirely “destroyed, beyond broken and treacherous.”

Avelino, the one commissioned to compose the petition said the (roads in Samar) have caused serious harm, injury and even deaths to countless citizens of this island for years, which later earned the Maharlika Highway a moniker as the “Makaharadlok Highway or Scary Highway”

Avelino and her group blamed the “bad road condition” as cause of several road-related accidents in Samar’s maharlika highways.

“A woman traveling on a motorcycle with her husband was thrown off the cycle when it hit a rut and went flying off to her death; buses traversing from side to side avoiding ruts unwittingly veer towards one another crashing head-on and killing countless people; children heading home from school hit by vehicles; jeepneys weighed down with passengers on its roofs hit a bump and people fall off onto the roads and down cliffs to their deaths; a lawyer from Calbayog City, having suffered a heart attack was rushed to (a hospital in Tacloban City died en route due to bad road condition) that it took five hours to travel the 120-kilometer stretch instead of just two hours, are among those incidents that made us (edgy),” they said.

Aside from deaths and accidents, the petitioners also claimed the said “rotten roads” have (also) caused tremendous economic hardships on the citizens of this 3-province island for decades, which resulted to the permanent fixture of this province in the list of the poorest provinces in the Philippines.

The petitioners claimed Samarnons cannot make a decent living with the “hellish” road conditions and have been living at the very bottom of the economic heap, as if they were living in the dark ages, adding that “we cannot even attract tourists to experience and explore the wonders and beauty of the island.”

“The people of Samar are mad as hell and we are not going to take it anymore. We demand first class roads and bridges for the entire island of Samar now,” the group said in the petition, and calling all the trucking and business companies, national and local officials, non-government organizations, church leaders, professors and students to sign the petition said.

In an exclusive interview with administration lawmaker Catalino “Cata” Figueroa of Samar 2nd district, he said the “actual work” of the Calbiga-Catbalogan road project may start anytime now.

He said the move to petition the national government is “too late and useless because as of today the project has been started. As of now, “it is not visible yet as we are still in the process of augmenting heavy equipments and hiring of manpower.

In fact, he said, “the first batch of the heavy equipments that would be used in the project has arrived last month and is now in the batching plant and bunkhouse in Brgy. Pequit, Paranas, Samar being the central point of the project.”

According to the solon, two barges from Iloilo City carrying heavy equipments such as payloaders, bulldozers, backhoes, dump trucks has already arrived last month. “First batch pala adto, mayda pa masunod hito,” he added.

Also, payments to houses and establishments affected under the government’s road right of way (ARROW) has been processed now and hiring of laborers, heavy equipment operators, truck drivers, surveyors, foreman, timekeepers, etc. is now on-going, the solon said.

“I am calling to the Samarnons to be patient, nandito na yung hinihintay natin, mag uumpisa na ang construction ng Maharlika highways from Calbiga to Catbalogan, and subsequently, from Catbalogan to Allen town through me and Rep. Reynaldo S. Uy,” Figueroa told this publication.

“Let me assure my constituents that I am not sleeping in my seat in Congress. You may check how many infrastructures such as executive offices, farm-to-market roads, irrigations, basketball and covered courts has been established through me in the second district,” he said adding that it is better far from the performance, if there is any, of other provincial leaders in Samar.

Back to Maharlika project, Rep. Figueroa said the only thing they are waiting now is the concurrence or “notice to proceed” of the JBIC to start the actual work, and in fact, “I sought the assistance of NEDA chair Romulo Neri to “accelerate” that concurrence of the JBIC.”

The solon said the concurrence may arrive next week, and subsequently, the workers and equipments will immediately be deployed in Calbiga to Catbalogan – in time for the scheduled caravan of the residents to have a “better Samar roads.”





Communists Terrorist’s in total disarray; 1 soldier died in ambush

September 18, 2006

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan, Samar   – The Communist Terrorists (CT’s) in Samar is now in total disarray as they staged brutal and inhuman activities purposely to prevent the government troops in conducting symposium, information dissemination and face-to-face dialogue with students of different schools and other civilians in the area.

On September 15, 2006 at 5:30 p.m., after conducting symposium at Paranas National High School, a team of soldiers from the 14th Infantry Battalion, 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army led by 1st Lt. Julius Taniza while on their way back to Barangay Lawaan, Paranas, Samar were ambushed by undetermined number of heavily armed CT’s at Sitio Cantipon, Barangay Casandig, Paranas, Samar. Though the government troops were outnumbered, they were able to fire back at the enemy forcing the latter to withdraw bringing along with them their wounded comrades. The troops suffered one (1) killed in action and two (2) slightly wounded.

The Commanding General of 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army based at Camp Lukban, Catbalogan, Samar, Major General Rodrigo F Maclang together with the organic personnel of 8ID, were deeply saddened by the incident, and expressed his condolences to the family of bereaved Pfc Jhony Padilla.

Maclang disclosed that said incident was an isolated case and what had transpired was at all times expected by every member of the Armed Forces fighting for the country and its people against the lawless elements who want to topple down democracy. He even reiterated to his men and civilian populace as well to take extra vigilant for these CT remnants for they are now on disarray and shall conduct the same activity at any opportune time. More so, Maclang reiterated and assured the Samareños that the incident was only an isolated one.

“The CT’s were seriously affected by the information drive being conducted by the government troops in coordination with DepEd and LGU’s at different schools in the area purposely to unmask the true color and intentions of these CT’s to the people. This is one of the objectives of the CT’s so as to prevent the government from disseminating its socio-economic development program. The Philippine Army here in Region 8 will never stop conducting dialogue with the people to find out how the Phil Army can assist them in their locality to assist the local government units and other government agencies in implementing their programs.



◄◄home I next►►