Your latest news happening from here at home and abroad

news 124


more news...

NCAE should not be mandatory

P200 million-worth donations in Red Cross for displaced Saint Bernard folks - Sen. Gordon

PGMA K4K Program potable water system reaches Samar villages

Leyte hosts 51st BSP Annual National Meet

DILG turns-over new bridge to Southern Leyte government

Eastern Samar eyes on more tourism projects

Catbalogan officials receive hero’s welcome following approval of town’s cityhood bid

UN Rapporteur on arbitrary executions visits the Philippines

10 vie for UEP-Northern Samar presidency

Eastern Visayas holds 1st Mariculture Park Congress

Tanauan riders rule national Skimboarding competition

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
April 12, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The 3rd National Skimboarding Competition successfully ended with the festive awarding ceremonies and reggae party with four live bands, which lasted up to the wee hours in the morning.

Lording the Open Competition is defending champion Dariel Espada of Tanauan, Leyte who got his third championship trophy this year. Coming in as first runner up is his own brother Leo Espada and the second runner up Ricky Bañez who is also from Tanauan. Lemuel Cobacha who collided with another skim rider and hurt his foot got the third runner up trophy. Another skim rider from Tanauan, Obet Yanuario received the fourth runner up trophy.

The Wahini (Women’s) Category was won by Sheryl Pajelleno of Tanauan as the Champion, Kikay Espada of Tanauan as first runner up, Tina Cumpio of Tanauan as the 2nd runner up and Charmie Ann Deliarante of Talisay, Cebu as the 3rd runner up.

In the Groumet Category, Carl Gabas of Tanauan claimed the championship trophy. Nico Cobacha of Tanauan was the first runner up while Arjun Jimenez of Talisay, Cebu was the second runner up. Rolly Abarca of Tanauan was the third runner up while Herold Vargas of Tanauan was the fourth runner up.

The trophies and the cash prizes were presented to the winners by Mayor Roque Tiu assisted by Vice Governor Mimyet Bagulaya and PIA Director Olive Tiu.

To the awe of the huge crowd, the Champions in the three categories were given by Mr. Castillo of Victoria, P20,000.00 worth of skimboard, skim bag, skim pads and waxes. All the runner ups were also given skim pads and waxes.

Mr. Castillo also announced that he is making true the promise to bring the Open Champion to Laguna Beach, all expenses paid, to observe skimboarding in the United States.

Tanauan Mayor Roque Tiu said the success of the Competition inspires the local government officials and the provincial officials together with the sponsors to make it even bigger and better next year.

Vice Governor Mimyet Bagulaya who represented the provincial government of Leyte said that the Sangguniaang Panlalawigan will support the Governor and the Local government of Tanauan in really making Tanauan the skimboarding capital of the country by echoing the dream of Governor Petilla and Mayor Tiu to improve the area and to put up more permanent facilities and structures in order to attract more people.

The Department of Tourism through Director Karen Tiopes, assured Mayor Tiu and the public that the Department will do all it could in order to make Tanauan, truly the skimboarding capital  of the Philippines.

The certificates of Appreciation to the Skimboarding Groups were presented by Mayor Roque Tiu assisted by Vice Governor Mimyet Bagulaya, DOT Director Karen Tiopes and Mr. Niccolo Castillo of Victoria Skimboards of Laguna Beach, California.

Presenting the Plaques of Appreciation to the principal sponsors and the judges from the Philippine Skim Association were Mayor Tiu, Vice Governor Mimyet Bagulaya and PIA Director Olive Tiu.

Also present during the awarding ceremonies, was An Waray Partylist representative, Congressman Bembem Noel, who is also one of the sponsors.

Although Congresswoman Remedios Petilla was not around because she is abroad, Mayor Tiu extended the local government’s acknowledgement for the National Skimboarding Competition would not have been made possible without her unprecedented support to the project.





Samar mussel industry welcomes its godfather

April 12, 2007

CATBALOGAN, Samar  –  Tahong (mussel) and Mariculture godfather GiL Adora graced the First Samar Mussel Industry Development Forum at the Cocina de Cabral Wednesday, April 11, 2007.

Adora, who is now the Assistant Director for Technical Services at the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Central Office impressed upon the people how much he devoted his time and expertise to push the mussel industry forward.

According to BFAR Regional Director Ernesto Hilvano, Adora started the industry while still a junior marine biologist. He along with someone surnamed Mariano started studying the Maqueda Bay waters and started propagating mussels.

The very same livelihood has sustained poor mussel farmers in the municipalities of Jiabong, Villareal, Tarangnan, Talalora, Motiong, Catbalogan, Zumarraga and Daram.

Hilvano added that the industry has been enjoying large growth through the years. He cited that mussel farming started in 1975. In 1999 mussel production throughout Samar yielded some 13,849 metric tons of mussels. Five years later production soared in 2005 to 109,471 metric tons. While mussel production declined as a whole in the country, in Samar production has soared to a rough estimate of 790%.

Adora told the participants that Samar-Leyte is strategically located and can supply demands from both Luzon and Mindanao.

When PIA asked where the first mussel could have originated, Adora said it could have come from international ships that docked in our harbors. While docked, the ship’s crew stripped off the rust and shells from the imbedded part and along with these could have been the first mussels or tahong. The first mussels were flown in from Parañaque, Adora said, these must have come from Spain, he assumed.

Meanwhile, to solve some of the problems that beset the mussel industry, Adora urged the tahong farmers to manage their farms well.

He urged the organizers to call on the newly elected LGU officials to orient them on the rudiments of mussel production and that enabling laws be drafted to ensure safety nets of the industry. He said that he would also suggest ordinances to regulate the harvest of the mussels so that a steady supply of the commodity can be assured.

As for the farmers, he requested them to observe Red Tide Advisories and make sure these are not violated. If a mussel farmer ignores Red Tide Warning and the mussels he sells kill, Samar tahong will forever be doomed, said Adora.

Apart from this, the marine biologist also urged the mussel farmers to observe sanitation, never to transport mussels in trucks loading hogs.

He gave them recommendations to be observed to make sure that tahong production soars to benefit poor farmers in Samar.





Ormoc revenue district officer chosen most outstanding in the country

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
April 12, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The Bureau of Internal Revenue Regional Office in Eastern Visayas headed by its Regional Director, Atty. Estrella V. Martinez, has a reason to smile these days.

This is so because adjudged recently as the Most Outstanding Revenue District Officer of the Philippines (Category B) for the year 2006 is Christine Mijares-Cardona, head of Revenue District No. 89 based in Ormoc City.

Mr. Benjamin A. Mari, chief revenue officer II informed PIA that District Revenue Officer Cardona who received a plaque of recognition, was chosen from the field of 15 revenue district officers nominated from among the 119 Revenue District Offices nationwide.

The prestigious award, Mr. Mari said, is a sincere recognition for Revenue District Officer Cardona’s distinguished performance and qualities manifested in her able and successful stewardship of her revenue district for attaining the highest percentage collection efforts against targeted collection goals for the years 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Ms. Cardona was officially nominated and endorsed by Bureau of Internal Revenue Regional Director Estrella V. Martinez.

Her being highly nominated by the Rotary Club of Ormoc City, speaks well of her good rapport with the business community in Ormoc City.

Ms. Cardona was handed her award during the awarding ceremony held at Manila Hotel in Manila on March 30, 2007.

BIR Regional Director Martinez expressed optimism that the award received by Revenue District Officer Cardona will serve as an encouragement and an inspiration for the other Revenue District Officers to work harder and better for the best interest of the Filipino people and in line with the Administration’s thrust of good governance.





Military arrests top Leyte NPA leader

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
April 9, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  On Good Friday, the 19th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army arrested in a safehouse in Nulatula, Tacloban City, one Paterno Opo alias Noble/Loloy/Rex/Laloy/Icot, the commanding officer of the Front Operational Command codenamed Mount Amandewin Command, North Leyte Front, Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee (EVRPC) and currently, the Communist Terrorists’ organizing department secretary.

This was learned from 1Lt Dennis Almorato, military public information officer who said that the arrest is part of the intensified campaign against the communist insurgents in Leyte, the Commando troopers led by LtCol. Lope C. Dagoy, in a classic intelligence fusion operation with the PRO8 Philippine National Police.

Following a series of surveillance operations against the subject communist terrorist (CT) that started from Ormoc City to Tacloban City, the team was able to locate Paterno Opo’s presence at Bgry. Nulatula, this city, who was staying at a rented house that has been ably converted as the safe house used as haven for visiting CT’s coming from the different provinces of the region and for planning purposes before the conduct of their illegal and violent activities in Leyte.

Opo was arrested on the strength of Warrants of Arrest issued by Exec. Judge Ephrem S. Abando of RTC Branch 18, Hilongos, Leyte for the crime of multiple murder and by Judge Apolinario M. Buaya of RTC Branch 35, Ormoc City for Rebellon.

Opo is the second ranking NLF committee member who was neutralized this year by this unit following the neutralization of the Antonio Ramos alias Pingkoy/Mando, former Secretary of NLF last February 25, 2007.

Also arrested were caretaker-couples Freddie and Leonor Bolito, Romnick Gersola, a minor (16 years old), and a certain alias Leny, all members of the Regional White Area Committee (RWAC), EVRPC.

Confiscated from the apprehended CTs were the following: Two (2) Laptop computers; one (1) Motorcycle with temporary plate number; one (1) M653 armalite rifle; three (3) .45 cal. pistol with live ammunitions; one (1) .38 cal. revolver with live ammunitions; three (3) fragmentary grenades; three (3) Nokia 3315 cell phones; three (3) M203 grenades; voluminous subversive documents that included Bayan Muna 4th Convention Report re their plans for “Halalan 2007” and personal belongings.

The five (5) were subsequently brought to Tacloban Police Station for the appropriate filing of criminal charges against them and their cohorts including the owner of the safe house they are using for colluding with the Communist Terrorists.

The military said that this arrest is a strong manifestation of the unit’s resolve to dismantle the NLF much earlier of the deadline set at the end of 2nd quarter this year. LtCol. Dagoy said “this is line with my promise to get alias Noble/Loloy/Icot/Laloy soonest and we have done it now. He has done more than enough havoc to the economy and the lives of the people of Leyte and is about time for him to be stopped and to repay for the violent and terroristic misdeeds he has done to the people. More ranking NLF cadres are expected to fall especially with the support my unit is getting from the people who are now fed up with the terror that the CTs have been sowing for the past 39 years now, both in the cities and the countrysides. Information has been coming at a very tremendous rate and degree of reliability that enabled us to succeed in our given missions. I humbly urge those CTs who have still time to surrender and make amends with our law to make it fast as time is of the essence.”





Ombudsman warns public officials: Government vehicles are banned during Holy Week

Press Release
By Office of the Ombudsman
April 5, 2007

MANILA, Philippines  –  In line with the government’s energy conservation efforts, the Office of the Ombudsman issued a warning to government officials who will be using their government-issued vehicles, especially during the Holy Week break.

Assistant Ombudsman Mark Jalandoni, who heads the Task Force Red Plate, said they have already deployed personnel who will conduct undercover monitoring of government vehicles being used for non-official purposes.

“The crackdown on unauthorized use of government vehicles continues. The task force will collate all the information pertaining to government vehicles and will act on reports of concerned citizens, including complaints received by the Ombudsman,” he warned.

Ombudsman Merceditas N. Gutierrez has directed Jalandoni to directly submit to her, on a regular basis, a progress report on all the cases related to the unauthorized use of government vehicles.

The Office of the Ombudsman estimates that on a weekly basis, government is losing at least P9 million on government vehicles that are being used for non-official purposes nationwide

Jalandoni reminded government officials and employees that their service vehicles cannot be used for four days this week - from Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Black Saturday to Easter Sunday.

“These cars cannot be used for their out of town vacations. Cars bearing red plates should not be seen around, whether in Metro Manila or in the provinces. Our men are out in the field checking the use of these government vehicles,” he said.

Jalandoni nevertheless encouraged the public to support the program against the illegal use of government vehicles by reporting suspected violators to the task force at their hotlines: 426-7750; 926-9765; and 926-9032 local 411.

Jalandoni said that public officials should take notice of the prohibition on the unauthorized use of red plate vehicles, which is found under Section 361 (d) of the Government Accounting and Auditing Manual (GAAM).

The law particularly bars “the use of government vehicles on Sundays, legal holidays, out of regular office hours or outside the route of the officials or employees authorized to use them.”

Aside from this, Jalandoni reiterated that the law strictly prohibits the use of government vehicles for private social functions and “the use thereof by the spouses, children, relatives, friends, etc.”

The Ombudsman earlier slapped a suspension of six months without pay on Mariano Martinez, general manager of the Cebu Ports Authority after he was found to have used his Toyota Revo (GMC-990) unofficially in transporting his daughter to and from school.

Already, the Office of the Ombudsman has filed criminal and administrative charges against 32 government officials and employees for the unlawful use of government-owned vehicles.





DTI eyes Samar as Tahong Capital

April 5, 2007

CATBALOGAN, Samar  –  In the years to follow, Samar may be the country’s Tahong Capital.

To do this, the Department of Trade and Industry with other government agencies will have the “First Samar Mussel Development Forum” this April 11, 2007. The forum which will be held at the Cocina de Cabral in Catbalogan, will present issues and concerns related to Tahong production. The DTI will also present the Mussel Industry Roadmap.

According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the 4000 hectare mussel farming area in the province is the biggest in the country.

The industry has also provided the province revenue and is a source of living for many Samarnons. The producers from municipalities Jiabong, Villareal, Tarangnan, top Tahong producers in the province.

Last year, a group of government agencies like Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Samar State University (SSU), Samar Provincial LGU planned to hold the Mussel Congress in December then but due to unforeseen difficulties the activity was postponed.

As it pushes through in a week’s time, tahong producers and the government entities with their stake on the industry will be presenting issues and concerns as regards to the technologies, marketing, environmental issues, financing and livelihood opportunities to the tahong producers in the province.

DTI Samar takes pride in initiating One Town One Product (OTOP) of tahong for Jiabong, Samar which earned the province of Samar Model OTOP of the region.





Food for School Program benefits 5,905 Leyte grade I pupils this summer

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
April 5, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Food For School Program continues to benefit 5,905 Grade I pupils in Leyte, even during this summer vacation.

This was learned from Leyte National Food Authority Manager Francisca T. Mercado who said that the Leyte Provincial Office of the National Food Authority has started delivering on March 27, summer stock allocations to the schools involved in the Food For School Program.

The additional allocation is for Grade I beneficiaries 175 schools in nine municipalities of Leyte namely: Tolosa, Tabon-Tabon, LaPaz, Mahaplag, MacArthur, Sta. Fe, Pastrana, Tunga and San Miguel.

The Summer Food for School Program in the province of Leyte alone, will entail 1,771.5 bags of rice fortified with iron and a total amount of P1,771,500.00.

Manager Mercado said that in line with the government's thrust to achieve quality education and in consonance with the Millennium Development Goals, among which is to achieve universal primary education, ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling, the Department of Education (DepEd) and the National Food Authority (NFA) are jointly implementing the Food for School program.

As envisioned by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the Food for School addresses the malnutrition and hunger problems. It also improves the children's participation in school, like academic performance, enhance study habits and attendance in classes.

The Food for School Program of the government continues even during the summer vacation in response to the increasing percentage of families experiencing hunger, as indicated by the Social Weather Survey on hunger and poverty.

Anti-Hunger Task Force head and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, said President Arroyo has ordered the resumption of the program which involves the distribution of a kilo of rice to school children to bring home to their families.

In his statement sometime ago, Duque said the distribution of the rice will be made through school principals and Church leaders during the months of March to May when children are on vacation from school.

Duque further said the Department of Education will require principals to be on duty during these months, adding that politicians will not be involved in the distribution.

Duque also said the Food-for-school program can be expanded to involve the distribution of cooked noodle soups and milk supplements to school children, if more funds are allocated for it.



◄◄home I next►►