Eastern Visayas holds
1st Mariculture Park Congress
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– Eastern Visayas which is now considered as the mariculture center
of the country is set to host the First Mariculture Park Congress.
This was revealed by
Regional Director Ernesto Hilvano of the Bureau of Fisheries and
Aquatic Resources in Region 8.
Director Hilvano said
that the Congress is tentatively scheduled on October 18-20, 2007 in
He informed that some
1000 participants from both government and private sectors are
expected to attend the Congress which aims to promote the benefits of
mariculture parks and zones.
revealed that the participants to the 1st Mariculture Park Congress
will be coming not only from the different parts of the country but
also in the various countries of the world. He said that delegates
from Japan, China, Thailand and Norway have signified their interest
In view of this,
Director Hilvano said that BFAR is now busy with the preparations for
the forthcoming Congress.
In fact, he said, he
has scheduled a preliminary meeting of the Mariculture Congress
Steering Committee on January 31, 2007, 10:00 o’clock in the morning
at the Stephanie’s Smoke Haus along Avenida Veteranos St., Tacloban
The main agenda of the
meeting, Director Hilvano said, is the Presentation of the Tentative
Plans for the Congress.
called on those invited to attend the Preliminary Meeting and give
their utmost support and cooperation to ensure the success of the
first Mariculture Park Congress in Eastern Visayas.
of Mayor Grey continues in San Jorge town
By RICKY J. BAUTISTA
Mayor Joseph V. Grey
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
Undisturbed by the series of harassments apparently instigated by his
political nemesis, Mayor Joseph V. Grey with the support of his wife
Nancy and their benefactors-friends in
continues providing basic services and multi-million worth of
infrastructures projects in the villages of San Jorge, in the first
district of Samar.
Last December 2006,
another 4-room school building with male and female comfort rooms
worth P2.8 million was constructed in Brgy. Buenavista, San Jorge that
would benefit at least 230 elementary pupils in that village.
Buenavista village was the pilot project of Mayor Grey’s Education for
All programs of constructing more school buildings in his
municipality. He said, after the completion of said project in Brgy.
Buenavista, he is planning to construct the same school buildings,
with the same type and budget, in the villages of Tomogbong, Blanca
Aurora, Himay, Bulao, La Paz, Quezon, Aurora, Mabuhay, Rosalim,
Sapinit and Erenas.
If this plan
materialized, these would benefit at least 1400 elementary pupils
enrolled from Grade 1 to 6 in these villages. There were 35 teachers
working in these schools.
“These were the clamor
of my constituents, especially the parents – to have additional school
buildings, books, chairs and more teachers in their respective
villages for their youths. Naaawa ako sa mga bata, masyadong malayo
ang nilalakad nila papunta sa town proper para lang pumasok, whereas
kung magtatayo tyo ng mga eskwelahan sa mga barangay nila, mga
teachers na mismo ang pupunta sa kanila para magturo” Mayor Grey
The project, which was
being funded by the Serraphil Foundation Incorporated based in Makati
City, was an augmentation to the existing old and dilapidated school
buildings earlier damaged by the previous typhoons.
“These schools were
dilapidated, damaged and unsafe for our young pupils. It needs
rehabilitation and repair… so we sought the assistance of the
Serraphil Foundation and other donor-friends in Manila who were, from
the start, very supportive to our program of helping the poor here in
Samar,” Mayor Grey said.
Last year, according
to the mayor, with the help of the Serraphil Foundation, he has
finally completed the over-all rehabilitation of the San Jorge Parish
Church worth P6.5 million and the construction of the municipal
driveway grills and Senior Citizens’ building worth P1.2 million.
infrastructures project that are undergoing nowadays are the municipal
stage and the covered court in Brgy. Aurora. These, however, were
funded by the IRA of the local government unit of San Jorge. To the
date of interview, the mayor was in
looking for some donors or sponsors for his proposed construction and
rehabilitation of San Jorge Public Market, Municipal Health Center,
among other projects lined up this year.
In closing, the mayor
extended his thanks to his benefactors and his constituents who have
helped him in providing good services, building significant
infrastructures in the town of San Jorge.
2007 budget to
By ALICE NICART (PIA Borongan)
Samar – Governor Ben Evardone expressed optimism for the approval of
the 2007 budget which in many ways can improve the nutrition problem
among the children of Eastern Samar province.
Governor Ben Evardone
This he said in a
radio interview recently. In a separate forum, Evardone also said the
same thought during the Food and Nutrition Research Institute’s (FNRI)
Feedback Conference at the provincial capitol where a report revealed
some nutritional problems in children.
The report of the FNRI
showed that about 32% of zero to five year-old children are
underweight while 37% among six to 10 years old are underweight as
well, due to chronic malnutrition. The findings attributed this
problem mostly to adolescent pregnant and lactating mothers and the
unpopular breastfeeding campaign. It added that the Iodized Salt
utilization is likewise weak in some parts of the province. However,
the researchers found out that there is 72% level of awareness on the
Iodized Salt, but despite that, there is still a low percent
utilization of the commodity.- in fact, this coastal province has high
iron deficiency, it was told. Some mothers reveled though that
sometimes the salt is not available in their locality. FNRI likewise
suspects that it might be in the preservation of the salt that the
nutrient might be lost, hence their advice to place the prime
ingredient in a colored bottle.
With the above
findings, it was recommended that the promotion of proper nutrition
among children be intensified, particularly on breastfeeding,
appropriate supplementary feeding and strengthen Vitamain A supplement
distribution. On top of these, Governor Evardone immediately
instructed the Provincial Nutrition Action Officer, Sally Jabinal to
formulate an Action Plan which can address the malnutrition problem.
But still, Evardone
believes that should Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s "Food for School
Program" is funded through the 2007 budget, more benefits can be
derived from it, just like the participation of school-aged children,
he said; the program includes the distribution of fortified rice to
children, which in one way or another can encourage a hundred percent
participation. He also suggested to DA Secretary Arthur Yap that more
nutritious food be added to the package as in milk and eggs.
Senate inaction on
Renewal Energy Bill not an option, Greenpeace says
January 27, 2007
– Greenpeace on Friday intensified their call on the Senate to
fast-track the passage of the Renewable Energy (RE) Bill, in a press
conference in Quezon City with other pro-renewable energy groups,
contending that renewable energy can–and must–play a leading role in
the world’s energy future if we are to secure the planet for the next
The press conference,
which included speakers from World Wildlife Fund-Philippines and the
Klima Climate Change Center of the Manila Observatory, came at the
heels of the launch of Energy [R]evolution: A sustainable World Energy
Outlook, a groundbreaking new report produced by the European
Renewable Energy Council (EREC) and Greenpeace. The report details how
renewable energy, combined with the smart use of energy, can deliver
half of the world’s energy needs by 2050, and effectively help stop
climate change and its disastrous consequences.
“The Senate must
realize that the massive uptake of renewable energy is both urgently
necessary and technically possible. All that is missing is urgent
policy support. The Philippines’ RE Bill would be the first of such
policies in our region – if the Bill is enacted before the 13th
Congress adjourns. Otherwise, the bill, which took 10 years before it
was passed in the Lower House, can face another long wait-time which
our country can ill afford," said Greenpeace Climate & Energy
campaigner Jasper Inventor.
"We need a renewable
energy law with clear targets which would allow Filipinos to benefit
from the country's vast wind and solar energy potential. It is just
unacceptable that this potential remains mostly untapped, especially
given the daunting challenges we face in the areas of energy security
and climate change,” he added.
The Philippines, along
with other developing nations across the region, have been bearing the
brunt of the disastrous consequences of climate change. Last year, the
country was battered by three strong typhoons which left entire
regions in a state of calamity with the tragic loss of lives and
property. Early this week, the National Economic and Development
Authority (NEDA) admitted that damage to agriculture from typhoons
have adversely affected economic growth in 2006. Meanwhile, climate
change impacts are expected to worsen in the coming years, likely to
trigger fresh rounds of economic disasters.
The massive uptake of
renewable energy is the key to the fight against climate change. At
the same time it also addresses other challenges, such as energy
security and the increasing volatility of fossil fuel prices, which
are crucial to developing countries like the
"Inaction is not an
option. The RE Bill is a measure to protect the people and the
economy. For the sake of a sound environment and economic growth, the
Senate must immediately ensure the passage of this bill, and in doing
so commit to a truly secure and sustainable energy future," said
Greenpeace is an
independent, campaigning organization which uses non-violent, creative
confrontation to expose global environment problems, and to force the
solutions which are essential to a green and peaceful future.
Samar town Mayor shot
By RAY P. GASPAY
25, 2007 (9:42 am)
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
The town mayor of Daram, an island town in Samar southwest of
Catbalogan, was shot dead by still unidentified assassin early this
morning in Brgy. Birawan, Daram, Samar while attending a benefit dance
for the village fiesta.
Initial police report
identified the victim as a certain Benito Astorga y Bucatcat, married,
of legal age, mayor of Daram town this province, while attending a
benefit dance at about 2:00 o’clock in the morning of Thursday, January
25, 2007. The victim sustained five gunshot wounds from a caliber .45 pistol
which caused the instantaneous death of the victim when brought to the
Hospital in Tacloban City.
recovered five empty shells from a .45 caliber pistol in the crime
scene and the case is now under investigation.
As of press time, a
police team headed by Samar Police Director PSSupt. Asdali Idja Abah
is on its way to Daram to conduct a thorough investigation.
PLUNDER CASE IN SAMAR
motions filed by Samar Governor, others
By RICKY J. BAUTISTA
CATBALOGAN, Samar – The Ombudsman has denied for lack of merit the various motions for
reconsideration separately filed by Samar Governor Milagros T. Tan and
four of the six dismissed capitol officials accused of violating Graft
and Corrupt Practices Act.
Samar Governor Mila Tan
The graft charges,
contained in 8 information for violation of Section 3 (e) Anti-Graft
and Corrupt Practices Act (RA 3019) with SB-06 Criminal Case Nos. from
0457 to 0464, were filed by Ombudsman Merceditas N. Guttierrez before
the Fourth Division of Sandiganbayan in Quezon City last September 7, 2006.
Named respondents of
the cases were Governor Tan, former Provincial Treasurer Damiano Z.
Conde, Budget Officer Maximo D. Sison, Administrative Officer Rolando
B. Montejo, General Services Officer Aurelio A. Bardaje, Jr., GSO
Records Officer and Inspector Numeriano Legaspi, Provincial Accountant
Romeo C. Reales, John Does and Jane Does, all of this province.
In compliance with the
directive coming from the Sandiganbayan dated October 17, 2006 to
reinvestigate the cases, Deputy Special Prosecutor Robert E. Kallos
penned a 17-page resolution denying the motion for reconsideration
separately filed by the accused from September 25 to
November 7, 2006. The resolution, dated
Nov. 27, 2006, was
received by the office of Special Prosecutor on Jan. 17, 2007.
Tan, in her
manifestation, claimed that (1) there is no probable cause to indict
them; (2) the transactions are emergency purchases; (3) the
transactions are all in accordance with proper procedure; (4) there
was no conspiracy between them; and (5) before she affixed her
signature in the vouchers and supporting documents, it was examined,
evaluated and signed by the prior certifying officials.
But Kallos maintained
that there was “no cogent reason to justify or warrant the reversal of
the resolution contained in the Reviewer’s Resolution sought to be
reconsidered, there being no newly discovered evidence presented by
the accused or evidence of errors of law or irregularities that are
shown to be prejudicial to their interest.”
Meanwhile, the appeal
of accused Bardaje and Legaspi to serve as “state witnesses” and
“immunity” from any suit were granted by the Ombudsman saying “it was
through the voluntary disclosures of accused Bardaje and Legaspi of
facts, documents and circumstances which were constitutive of the
offenses complained of that the complaints against the other accused
were successfully investigated by this Office and by the Commission on
The graft cases were
offshoots of the complaint dated October 7, 2004 by the complainant
Isog Han Samar Movement received by the Office of the Ombudsman and
was docketed as OMB-C-C-05-0049-B, for plunder.
The Ombudsman, in a
September 7 report said the transactions made by the provincial
government, pegged to a total of 16.1 million pesos were considered
“questionable and anomalous” there was no competitive bidding took
place for the purchase of various goods and that the delivery were
made before the bidding.
Maasin City mayor
delivers last State of the City Address (SOCA)
By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern
January 24, 2007
MAASIN CITY, Southern
Leyte – Damian Gaviola Mercado, the bachelor Chief Executive in this
6-year old city, outlined the major tasks he had accomplished thus far
throughout the nine consecutive years he held office, including the
changing of the municipality into a component city.
“My dearest wish is
just to make a positive difference in our people’s lives as I know
history will judge me at my accomplishment. Part of this wish has
already come true. You can see how Maasin has transformed after six
years - the fruit of our endeavor, making our conversion into a city,”
Mayor Mercado said in a speech marking his last State of the City
Address (SOCA) at the gymnasium here Friday, Jan. 19.
This year’s address
was a departure from tradition, where it used to be held only in the
confines of the Sangguniang Panlunsod Session Hall in the past.
But the change was
deliberate to highlight the occasion as the Mayor’s last address, said
Vice-Mayor Maloney Samaco in an earlier radio interview.
Listening the Mayor
speak were barangay captains or representatives from this city’s
sixty-nine out of seventy barangays and heads of city offices, and the
speech was preceded by a formal opening session of the City Council in
complete attendance presided by Vice-Mayor Samaco.
mentioned in particular early on in his speech the citation received
by the local government unit in October 2006 as best performing LGU in
He stressed that
revenues generated by the city had increased year to year as
businesses slowly came, opened shops, and made their presence felt.
This enabled the city
government to plow back monies as capital expenditures in such
priority areas as agriculture, farm-to-market roads, farm inputs, and
access to technology which resulted to better crop harvest, Mayor
projects, the Mayor underscored that over 100 kilometers of road
concreting, accessible cross country road networks traversing interior
barangays, including bridges, had been finished, the latest of which
was a steel bridge linking barangay Canturing and Mambajao under the
President’s Bridge Program of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
For social services,
he cited an ongoing water system project from barangay Matin-ao which
was programmed to reach barangay Hantag within the year, the setting
up of day-care centers in all 70 barangays, a plan to establish a City
College, and another Rural Health Unit Station, a third health station
unit to cater for the health and nutrition needs of outlying barangays.
Among the awards,
recognitions received by the city LGU under his watch were the
accreditation of all health centers as “Sentrong Sigla” by the
Department of Health, the Most Child-Friendly LGU for nine straight
years, a consistent winner in Nutrition awards, including the Green
Banner Award, and five other Regional Awards for Healthy City
All the development
projects and allocations for social services totaled an investment of
about P 800 Million, Mayor Mercado emphasized.
The SOCA speech lasted
23 minutes and was interrupted by applause 13 times.
He thanked all
supporters and all the people who have had faith in his capacity to
lead the city, saying it was his “driving force, inspiration of
The end of his term
would not mean, he said, that the service he had rendered would also
end, hinting that he may “still be of service in what destiny would