Southern Leyte sends
Search and Rescue Team to Albay
By REBECCA CADAVOS (PIA Southern
December 7, 2006
MAASIN CITY, Southern
Leyte – Southern Leyte Governor Rosette Lerias sent two teams to
help in the rescue and retrieval operation in mudslide-stricken
municipalities of Albay province.
The mudslide in Albay
may have buried at least 1,000 villagers who were crushed by boulders
and mud loosened from the slopes of
by the heavy rains spawned by the super typhoon "Reming".
The teams, composed of
five members each, belong to the Southern Leyte Emergency Response
Team (Solert). Some of the rescuers were identified also as employees
of the Provincial Disaster Management Office (PDMO) here while others
were selected Solert members throughout the province.
During their sendoff,
Lerias said the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council had decided
to send them in appreciation of the help extended to
when the province itself was struck by killer mudslides early this
"It is good when you
are able to help" the lady governor said. On Feb. 17, a portion of
rain-soaked Mt. Kan-abag disintegrated into a rushing wall of mud,
wiping out the entire Guinsaugon village in St. Bernard town from the
face of the earth where search-and-rescue teams from all over the
country and several nations came to Guinsaugon to help in efforts to
rescue more than 1,000 people buried in mud.
Gov. Lerias revealed
that Southern Leyteños particularly those hit by the landslides had
already experienced what Albay residents had felt now. "We know how
they (Albay province) feel because we have experienced it more than
anybody else. It’s our turn to help them," Lerias said.
Eastern Samar public
high schools receive 160 computers
By SAMMY CANDIDO (PIA Eastern
December 7, 2006
Samar – Some 16 public schools in Eastern Samar have one special
reason to rejoice nowadays. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
recently distributed 160 desktop personal computers to them under its
Personal Computers for Public Schools (PCPS) project. Report said that
branded desktop computers for each recipient school were completely
installed with softwares and peripherals; each school package of
computer was pegged at P375,000.00.
According to DTI
Provincial Caretaker Eleanor Alido, the PCPS project is DTI’s response
to the compelling challenges posed by the fast emerging knowledge
economy. It aims to enhance the information technology (IT) skills of
the Filipino youth as the country’s future knowledge workers and
promotes IT culture in Philippine classrooms as an avenue to develop
skills for the youths to be at par with global standards, she said.
In order to provide a
continuous pool of manpower in the IT sector, Alido disclosed that DTI
through the PCPS project promoted the need to incorporate IT in the
basic levels of education by providing computers to public high
Now on its third
phase, the PCPS has already distributed a total of 450 personal
computers to 29 public high schools and 14 LGUs since its
implementation in 2003.
The recipient schools
of the PCPS project will however provide a 9 by 9-meter computer
laboratory, refurbishment of the room and the provision of an
air-conditioning unit, the installation of proper electrical and
lighting facilities, and the needed computer tables and chairs as
counterpart to the project.
Teachers and students
of the beneficiary schools welcomed the much-awaited arrival of the
computers as these will be used in support to the computer education
curriculum program of the school. The following schools were the
recipients of DTI’s computer program: Lawaan National High School,
Southern Samar National Comprehensive High School (Balangiga),
Giporlos National Trade School, Malabag National High School (Giporlos),
Gen. MacArthur National Agricultural School,
National High School, Llorente National High School, Lalawigan
National High School (Borongan), Maypangdan National High School (Borongan),
Sto. Niño National High School (Sulat), San Julian National High
School, Can-avid National High School, Nicasio Alvarez Memorial School
(Oras), Samar National Pilot Opportunity School of Agriculture (San
Policarpo), Alugan School of Craftsmanship and Home Industries (San
Policarpo), and Arteche National High School.
Family Planning program violates women’s rights, FPOP claims
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA Samar)
December 5, 2006
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
Would you believe that violence is perpetuated each time a woman is
denied access to correct information and quality Reproductive Health (RH)
This was the question
posed by the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP)
during the Breakfast Forum with Media Partners and RH Advocates on
December 1, 2006 at Cocina de Cabral, Catbalogan,
FPOP and their RH
advocates learned that the government has launched a massive campaign
to promote Natural family Planning that are decried by RH NGOs as a
blatant attack to the right of women to decide freely on the method of
In a press statement
read by Chi Redaja of FPOP-Samar, Dr. Roberto Alcantara, National
President of FPOP cited that: "The scope of the problem is so
extensive and the consequences staggering to ignore".
Alcantara added that
dwindling supplies of contraceptives in many LGUs have forced women to
resort to drastic measures such as abortion. Besides, with close to
half of the Filipino women living in poverty, many couples, it said
are unable to buy contraceptives which used to be available in
government clinics for free.
remains to receive low priority among LGUS," the statement continued.
FPOP also observed
that very few LGUs have really initiated steps like engaging in social
marketing schemes to ensure the stable supply of contraceptives in
The FPOP supports the
pronouncements through the 2003 National Health and Demographic Survey
saying that the country has 17.3% unmet need (proportion of currently
married women who are not using any family planning method and who do
not want anymore children or preferred to space births) and found
highest in Region 8, Eastern Visayas (27.8%).
Further, FPOP stressed
that the most logical solution to this problem is to focus on all
methods that are safe and effective instead of endorsing only natural
family planning, considered to have a high rate of failure among
modern methods of contraception.
With this scenario,
FPOP believes that abortion will be the ultimate action any woman
Director, Atty. Rhodora Roy-Raterta confirms Alcantara’s statement by
citing the Alan Guttamacher Institute findings which confirms a study
of the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) that
close to half a million abortions occur in the Philippines on an
The statement added
that, "As such women expose themselves to unsafe practices when they
seek abortion since many are performed in clandestine settings. They
can die from complications. In the same manner, women who are not able
to time their pregnancies and space their children properly become
susceptible to many health problems."
In Catbalogan, Samar a
new organization called Samar Reproductive Health Advocates Nucleus (SRHAN)
has been scouring parents organization in the hinterlands to advocate
the practice of any safe method of family planning to arrest the
population boom and at the same time enhance reproductive health
within the context of improving gender relations and unmet need.
Solon to young
journalists: Do not be afraid to tell the truth
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
December 5, 2006
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
House Representative Catalino "Cata" Figueroa of the second district
of Samar urged young journalists to tell the truth and live by the
ideals of the youth.
Figueroa was the Guest
of Honor on the grand opening of the 2006 Regional Secondary Schools
Press Conference at the
Samar National School,
Addressing the close
to a thousand student-writers from all over
Eastern Visayas, Figueroa assailed most mainstream journalists whom he
accused of exposing, attacking and collecting. He reminded the
students not to be like them.
The solon told the
writers that it is their responsibility to tell the truth to their
communities. He was so passionate about this truth seeking behavior
that he challenged them all to criticize him, if necessary. He said he
welcomes criticisms if they are true.
The solon even
mentioned the controversial death of one Janine Paulin who was
discovered in the burnt grocery store Lester Lace that some people
have asked them to help the parents ‘find the truth’. He said he would
help them and will never spare any person from the liability or
time and again urged the authorities and the media to unearth the
mystery behind the death of the 14-year old girl.
He dared them to
expose the truth and offered: "I will take the cudgels for you!"
As he reminded them to
be truthful, he also asked them to be responsible saying, "responsible
storytelling is the order of the day."
The lawmaker also
asked his listeners to carve a future of hope, to wake up and be
While he urged them to
criticize, he also appealed to them to appreciate the better things
that any government official does.
Finally, he advised
them to criticize, fiscalize and best of all: to side with the truth!
Army clashed with NPA
in Basey town
By 1Lt. MARIO JOSE M. CHICO, (QMS) PA
Catbalogan, Samar – Operating troops from 62nd Infantry Battalion
under Lt. Col. Jonathan G. Ponce of the 8th Infantry Division,
Philippine Army clashed anew with NPA extortionists at vicinity of
Brgy. Mabini of Basey town on November 30, 2006 at 10 a.m. There was
no casualty on the government side while undetermined killed and
wounded on the enemy side as evidenced by numerous bloodstains found
along the escape route of the terrorists.
Reports reaching 8ID
Headquarters stated that said troops acted on a text message from
concerned residents regarding the presence of more or less ten (10)
communist terrorists belonging to the CPP-NPA-NDF represented in the
region by a former priest turned terrorist Fr. Santiago Salas.
Allegedly, said communist terrorist band was extorting foodstuffs from
the populace of said community.
The encounter was the
second to occur this month in the vicinity of Barangay Mabini located
at the hinterlands of Basey town in Western Samar. The last one
happened on November 10, 2006 wherein a NPA terrorist was killed.
The upsurge in
frequency of combat encounters by the Army troopers and the NPA
terrorist group was basically the result of the enhanced coordination
between the Army and the civilian populace. Undeniably, the people in
the hinterland communities were fed up with the extortion and
terroristic activities, the constant threats of being labeled as
military informants, and their economic hardship due to the grim
presence of the CPP-NPA-NDF terrorists in their area.
Maj. Gen. Rodrigo F.
Maclang, the Commanding General of the 8th Infantry Division,
Philippine Army commended the operating troops of 62nd Infantry
Battalion under 2Lt Archie Polenzo for a job well done of protecting
the people, and likewise expressed his gratitude to the people of
Basey for their wholehearted support to the intensified security
operations that the Army is currently performing in their
Military sow fear to
farmers in San Jorge
By JAZMIN BONIFACIO
SAN JORGE, Samar –
Residents, majority of them farmers of a heavily militarized village
here decided out of fear to evacuate into safer ground for survival
and local officials have initiated moves to investigate the so called terroristic acts of certain government soldiers.
This was spawned after
troops of the military were deployed to remote barangays of San Jorge
Samar as part of their counter insurgency campaign programs. Similar
to what the Basaynon's and other residents of other towns in Samar,
residents of San Jorge allegedly experienced from the hands of the
military, residents of Brgy. Sinit-an, Mobo-og, Kalundan and Brgy.
Bay-ang complained of human rights violations allegedly committed by
the Army of the 34th Infantry Battalion.
complained that they were being harassed, tortured, children were
allegedly being terrorized, guns were pointed at them during
interrogation and some of them were allegedly forced to utilized as
guides during military operations and even forced to admit being
members of the New People's Army or NPA.
The reports gave rise
to the formation of a Fact Finding Mission conducted by the Commission
on Human Rights who went to the town of
recently to look into the farmer's plight.
Residents as far as
Brgy. Sinit-an, Bay-ang, Kalundan and Mobo-og evacuated to the town
proper and sought refuge to Mayor Joseph Grey and other local
officials of said town.
The following were
some of the interviews conducted by local media to the evacuees during
the Fact Finding Mission with the names withheld for security reasons:
A 26-yrs. old man a
resident of a barangay in San Jorge said that at around 11:00 p.m. when he
meet soldiers and at gun point asked him where the NPA's were hiding
and because of negative response from him soldiers were forcing him to
admit that he was also a rebel and because of not saying something, he
was allegedly being castigated by the said soldiers.
A 15yr old boy alleged
that while in their farm together with his father, they were
approached by the soldiers. “Ginpipirit ako pasumaton kun hain iton
mga NPA ngan dara han kawaray ko ginsusumat gin hagyo pagtakdula an
akon tiil hin sundang han usa nga sundalo.”
A mother of 3 children
said, “We were not even able to take care of our rice farm, we were
not able to do any seeding.”
Meanwhile, Bon Lucero,
Vice Chairperson of Bayan
strong condemnation to the military atrocities inflicted against the
poor and defenseless farmers of San Jorge.