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Man runs amuck with a bolo, kills 9, hurts 18

Small Shot made Big Shots in the Congressional Slate in Eastern Samar

Eastern Visayas has new police regional chief

Marcos rights victims lauds UNHRC scoring of government delay of justice and compensation

“Loopholes in party-list law” Babae Ka blames Akbayan’s inaction

Tanauan riders rule national Skimboarding competition

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

Government workers finally get 10% salary increase

June 15, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Government workers will have reason to be more inspired to work harder these days because Executive Order (EO) No. 611 will already be implemented effective July 1, 2007.

With the signing of Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of EO 611 "Authorizing Compensation Adjustments to Government Employees", a 10% increase over the basic salaries as of June 30, 2007 of government employees will already take effect.

The increase of salaries was seen as a necessity because for more than five years the basic salary of government employees has not been increased. Likewise, it was learned that the subsistence allowance of the military and uniformed personnel was last adjusted in 1998, while the hazard pay has remained at P120.00 per month since its initial grant in 1987.

Malacañang feels that there is an imperative need to improve the morale of the civil service through a more competitive compensation system that supports the economic well being of government personnel.

Under EO 611, military personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and all uniformed personnel under the Department of Interior & Local Government, Philippine Coast Guard, and the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority will be granted a P30.00 per day increase in their subsistence allowance and a P120.00 per month increase in their hazard pay effective July 1, 2007.

The authorized 10% salary increase covers civilian officials and employees of National Government Agencies including State Universities and Colleges, Government Owned and Controlled Corporations, Government Financial Institutions and Local Government Units, which are covered by the Compensation and Position Classification System under R.A. No. 6758 as amended.

It is stated in EO 611 that except for the year-end bonus, and fixed personnel benefit contributions, there shall be no corresponding increase in the present allowances and benefits being received by or paid for civilian government personnel, which were computed at a percentage of their basic salaries, notwithstanding the 10% authorized salary increase.





Maasin mayor-elect spells out governance direction

By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern Leyte)
June 15, 2007

MAASIN CITY, Leyte –  This city’s Mayor-Elect, Maloney Samaco, has outlined in very clear, specific terms the things he intended to do when he steps into the Mayor’s shoes in less than twenty days away.

And what better way to bear in mind and work out his action plan than, well, using the spelling of his own name, attaching a particular plan of action for every letter to it.

In his acceptance speech following his oath-taking at the city gym here Tuesday, June 12, Samaco went straight to the point, declaring that the next three years will be focused on programs based on the spelling of his name, to wit: “M” stands for market and business improvement; “A” for agricultural production; “L” for livelihood assistance by intensifying the Self-Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran (SEA-K) program of the DSWD.

The letter “O” refers to orderliness and peace promotion; “N” for nutrition and health services; “E” for education of the masses, like the opening of the city college; and “Y” for youth empowerment.

His surname begins with “S” for sports excellence by producing champions in the field of sports; “A” speaks about anti-illegal drug campaign; “M” for mangrove and forest protection; “A” for advertisement to promote the city’s tourism potential; “C” for concreting and maintenance of roads; and the last “O” for overall barangay development.

Samaco, however, admitted that he could not possibly do it alone, saying he needed the help from the Sangguniang Panlungsod in order to pursue the “Aksyon, Solusyon, Inisyatibo” legacy of outgoing city Mayor Damian Mercado.





2 Samareños among this year’s Gawad Saka awardees

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
June 13, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  This is a news which will make Samareños proud. Two Samareños are among the 11 outstanding Filipino farmers and fisherfolk and 5 farmer organizations, the Department of Agriculture will be honoring through this year’s Gawad Saka Awards, for having made significant contributions to the sustainable growth of the farmers sector.

Glenn S. Saludar of Barangay Balud, Sta. Margarita, Samar, has been chosen as Outstanding Farmer/Fisherfolk while Arturo D. Pasacas and family from Calbayog City, will be awarded as Outstanding Farmer/Fisherfolk Family.

As awardees Mr. Saludar and the Pasacas family will receive cash prizes and Presidential trophies during the award ceremonies which will be held this month of June.

The Gawad Saka aims to showcase the achievements of small farmers and fishermen who have boosted their yields or harvests through the use of modern technologies.

Covering 22 individual awards categories and five group awards, this search for outstanding achievers in the field of agriculture and fisheries is a yearly undertaking of the DA in cooperation with other government institutions, non-government offices and the private sector.

Through Gawad Saka, the success stories in the field of agriculture and fisheries are documented and given due recognition are the dedicated individuals and institutions behind these accomplishments.

The Gawad Saka project aims to give due recognition and pay tribute to dedicated individuals and institutions whose exemplary accomplishments in their respective fields of endeavor and contribution to the country's agricultural development are deemed worthy of emulation. It is a tribute to farmers, fisherfolk, and institutions in recognition of their significant contributions towards a modernized and equitable agriculture.

The Search affords the occasion, the time and place to confer upon our heroes – the farmers and fisherfolk who have quietly belabored all year-round to keep the nation's economy going – the recognition they rightfully deserve. Now, more than 300 farmers who have this distinction are members of the Federation of National and International Outstanding Farmers of the Philippines, Incorporated. They did not rest on their laurels, but, instead, continued to be of service to this beautiful nation.





Pintados-Kasadyaan continues to lure local and foreign visitors

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
June 13, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Pintados-Kasadyaan is consistently drawing local and foreign tourists, dignitaries and ordinary citizens, young and old, to the province of Leyte.

This early, the Indonesian Ambassador to the Philippines has signified his coming to the province to attend the festivities. With him are some Indonesian officials and members of the Indonesian cultural group who will be performing at the RTR Plaza on June 28.

This was revealed by First District of Leyte Congresswoman Remedios Loreto Petilla who is the Chairperson of the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival executive committee.

Congresswoman Petilla said that she has sent invitations to the various embassies in the Philippines. So far, the Indonesian Ambassador has already answered in the affirmative, she said.

Congresswoman Petilla expressed optimism that as the June 29 Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival and the June 30 Feast of Señor Santo Niño draws near, more foreign dignitaries will signify their intention to come to Leyte.

The lady solon, who is the vice-chairman of the committee on Tourism in the House of Representatives said that the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival, aside from promoting and preserving the cultural heritage of the province, is good for the tourism industry of the province of Leyte and Eastern Visayas as a whole. The visitors especially the foreign tourists will not only want to explore Leyte but also the other provinces in the Region, she said.

The influx of tourists is always good to the economy, Congresswoman Petilla said. It will benefit even the small entrepreneurs because they will surely buy products, and look for good foods that are indigenous to the province, she continued.

This activity, Congresswoman Petilla informed is an answer to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Super Region program and the plan to make Central Philippines as the tourism capital of the Philippines.





Barangays push to topple groups opposing Catbalogan cityhood

June 10, 2007

CATBALOGAN, Samar  –  In much the same way of showing support to re-electionist Mayor Coefredo ‘Tekwa’ Uy, some 54 barangay chairmen out of the 57 have shown their ardent support for Catbalogan Mayor Uy’s passion to turn Catbalogan into a component city.

On June 5, the barangay chairmen of Catbalogan attended a workshop on how they could campaign for the YES vote in the upcoming plebiscite scheduled on June 16, 2007, Saturday.

Ms. Deborah Marco, Cityhood Committee secretariat challenged the group who is set to campaign for the NO vote, that the people’s yearning for Catbalogan’s cityhood that has spanned decades will never be toppled.

Marco added that the group of Calbayog Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento has unleashed some elements to make sure that the lone plebiscite question “DO YOU APPROVE OF THE CONVERSION OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF CATBALOGAN, PROVINCE OF SAMAR INTO A COMPONENT CITY TO BE KNOWN AS THE CITY OF CATBALOGAN PURSUANT TO RA 8391?” be answered in the negative.

Calbayog City Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento has been very vocal about his opposition citing that Catbalogan just filed an exemption from the income requirement.

Catbalogan LGU does not deny the charge but accuses the mayor of dragging the city council to support his opposition [see related news].

With the few remaining days, Catbalogan barangays have to push harder to vanquish the prospective NO votes. The Advocacy team for cityhood including the Sangguniang Bayan Members and Department heads has clustered some barangays to be easily covered by those who will explain to the common Catbaloganon why a YES vote should win.

Meanwhile, Uy does not begrudge comrade Sarmiento with his rabid opposition of Catbalogan’s cityhood, Uy said he is just sad that Sarmiento does not see the benefits the cityhood of Catbalogan will provide for its inhabitants which may even radiate to nearby Samar towns.

Presently, armed with nothing but a strong desire for the progress, cityhood may lead them. Catbaloganons will not cease to push and try to stop at all cost those who would stand in the way of Catbalogan’s cityhood.





Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival reels off

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
June 10, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The annual colorful Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival reels off with a soft opening at the RTR Plaza Friday early evening. This signals the start of the nightly activities at the RTR Plaza in connection with the Tacloban Fiesta in honor of its Patron Señor Santo Niño.

Already, a festive mood pervades at the Pintados-Kasadyaan Park, with barbeque kiosks along the sides of the Plaza already full of customers and promenaders. It is indeed a venue to while away the hours eating affordable food while watching the nightly shows or just listening to the music of the various bands scheduled to perform at the RTR stage from June 8 to 15.

Aside from the grand Festival of Festivals, a glimpse of richness of the Visayan culture, which never fails to gather thousands of spectators every 29th of June, various activities have been lined up by the executive committee chaired by no less than First District of Leyte Representative Remedios Loreto Petilla who was hand-picked by Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla to head this year’s Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival.

Congresswoman Petilla said that this year’s activities have been chosen not only to lure visitors to the province of Leyte but also to showcase Leyte’s bests. The Agri-Aqua Trade Fair for example will include the Harvest Festival which will feature the best and freshly harvested fruits and vegetables of the farmers who were trained by the Provincial Agricultural Office on the modern method of planting. Other components of the Agri-Aqual Fair is the Coconut Festival which will feature the best products derived from the Tree of Life; the Abaca Festival; the Bangus Festival with the bangus catch from the now-famous fish cages in the province; and the landscaping contest which will showcase the best landscape artists in the area.

The annual Subiran Regatta which does not only showcase the traditional sailboats of the Leyte fisherfolk, a truly breathtaking picture of colorful sails to behold at the beautiful Cancabato Bay which never fails to attract tourists, but it is also a unique way of advocating environment-friendly water vessels right in the very month June which has been declared as National Environment Month.

For young and old alike, the nightly shows sponsored by the different groups like the Region Eight Administrators League, the Department of Education and the other non-government and business groups, will surely be entertaining and full of fun, a good way to relieve oneself of the daily stress at the workplace and in the school.

More than the fun and the merrymaking, the Pintados-Kasadyaan will continue to be the force unifying the various sectors of the community to work together and contribute talents as a fitting homage and thanksgiving to Señor Santo Niño.





Most awarded town festivals to join this year’s Leyte Kasadyaan competition

Press Release
Provincial Media Relations Center (PMRC Leyte)
June 8, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  With the Tacloban City fiesta drawing near, the provincial government of Leyte under the helm of Gov. Carlos Jericho Petilla with the support of Leyte First District Representative Remedios “Matin” Petilla is already gearing up to host this year’s Leyte Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals.

Rep. Petilla said this year’s Leyte Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals would still be colorful and well-participated.

Late last month, a number of municipality have already signified their participation in this year’s grand street dance competition.

It was learned that this year’s Pintados Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals will again be participated by great cultural performers such as the Alikaraw Festival of Hilongos, Leyte, which just came fresh from winning third place in the Aliwan Festival in Manila early during this summer.

Alikaraw, will be gunning for a third straight win this year at the Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals after winning the dance parade for the past two years.

Also, according to the Kasadyaan Festival organizers, Abuyog town through Mayor Ofelia Traya, already gave its nod to join this year’s June 29 festivities.

It will be represented by its Buyogan Festival, one of the winningest festivals since the Leyte Kasadyaan Festival started in the late 90’s. The Buyugon Festival is likewise a decorated performing tribe after winning competitions outside the region during the past years.

Other contingents are said enlist in the coming weeks to vie in this dance-drama portrayal of Leyte ’s rich culture.

“Kasadya-an” means merry-making and gaiety in Visayan. During the celebration, various municipal festivals of Leyte converge in Tacloban City, the original capital, to stage a pageantry of colorful and vibrant dance-drama parade.

The festival plays a crucial role in instilling a sense of pride among the Leyteños. Each municipal festival has their own unique storyline. The contingents proudly portray their local history, folklore, legend and way of life.





Motiong LGU constructs P28M worth of water supply system

June 8, 2007

CATBALOGAN, Samar  –  To solve decades-old problem of insufficiency of water supply, Motiong LGU has embarked on an grand-scale Water System Project costing as much as P28M.

In a talk with Municipal Planning and Development Officer (MPDO) Engr. Nick Bermejo, he said that some 4,000 Motiong folks will be assured of a steady supply of potable water all year-round.

In the past, they would just be forced to buy P5.00 water-per container to a ‘water tank vendor’, This project is expected to deliver water in the most accessible and strategic places, said Bermejo.

The source, a tributary of Nasarang falls located in the heart of Samar , though far will assure an ample water supply for all Motiong folks. The present site is still is as bountiful in water. Said water sources are found in the heart of Samar forest where rich watershed still abound.

It took them a long time to start the project, added Bermejo because of the absence of a source in their area of jurisdiction. Nasarang Falls is located in the nearby municipality of Paranas.

Their resolution to request the Paranas SB to allow them to develop the water source inside Paranas was vetoed by then Mayor Elvira Babalcon citing that even Paranasnons need water.

Bermejo said that the rejection led them to survey other possible sources, the present site is still a part of Paranas but Bermejo praised the SB for not posing anymore objections. He also added that they have secured the DENR Water resources Board.

Presently, workers are in the site putting and connecting water pipes from Nasarang to the homes of Motiong folks to satisfy man’s number one need in life-water!

The water system project said Bermejo is a per project of Mayor Jun Pacanan and will be more vigorously pursued with his re election.





Catbalogan prepares for a cityhood plebiscite

June 6, 2007

CATBALOGAN, Samar  –  Catbaloganons will now have the chance to express whether they are for or against Catbalogan cityhood bid that is passionately being pursued by Mayor Coefredo Uy and party.

On June 16, Saturday, based on COMELEC Resolution Number 8085 some 48,000 Catbaloganons will troop to the polling places again to answer only one question: Do you approve of the conversion of the municipality of Catbalogan in the province of Samar into a component city to be known as the city of Catbalogan pursuant to RA 8391?

A COMELEC Resolution stated that the plebiscite for Catbalogan’s cityhood would have been simultaneous with the Midterm election but for some reasons, it was re scheduled on June 16, 2007.

Municipal COMELEC officer Josefina Aguilar said that like the recent May 14 polls, they would be conducting the plebiscite with the same Board of Election Inspectors.

COMELEC also said that the Municipal Treasury of Catbalogan has certified that it has prepared some P3.5M for the conduct of plebiscite, Aguilar said though that COMELEC would also spend for the activity.

Barangay Chairman of  Barangay 12, Catbalogan Jose Nuñez said that the cityhood bid will do Catbalogan best, he cited good reasons for the conversion like Investments that could benefit trade and commerce stakeholders.

Vendors in the public market have expressed apprehension on increase in taxes but Nuñez dispelled these talks saying that the slight increase is insignificant compared to the rise in business opportunities if and when Catbalogan becomes a component city.

With ten days left, LGU Catbalogan is all agog in conducting information dissemination activities to ensure a resounding YES for Catbalogan’s cityhood bid.

Mr. Vic Pagarao of the Treasurer’s office said that the few days between now and June 16 are enough to conduct education and information events for Catbaloganons.

A forum was conducted at Cocina de Cabral on Tuesday attended by the barangay officials of this municipality as part of its information and awareness campaign on the cityhood issue.





New congressman-elect of Biliran prioritizes concreting of circumferential road

June 6, 2007

NAVAL, Biliran  –  It started as a campaign promise, but now the completion of the concreting of the circumferential road is now the top priority of Atty. Glenn A. Chong, the new congressman-elect in the Lone Congressional District of Biliran.

In an interview with Representative-elect Glenn A. Chong with PIA and a member of the private media here in his temporary office at the 2nd Floor of the A & C Town Center right at the business center of Naval, the capital town of Biliran province on June 1, 2007, the new congressman-elect who prefers to be called representative, said that what he made as a promise during the campaign will soon be a reality.

“I must stood for what I have promised to the people of Biliran” Rep-elect Chong boldly said referring to some of his promises to include the distribution of P200,000 in each of the 132 barangays for their own projects and activities.

The young representative who is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) made mentioned of further improving the educational status of the Biliranons as he stressed the importance of education as the great equalizer.

He informed that he will infuse pump-priming activities that will spur economic development in the province like the creation of an office that will oversee the possible business opportunities that can greatly uplift the economic condition of the people in Biliran.

Representative-elect Chong said that laying down the necessary infrastructure like the concreting of circumferential road can provide plenty of jobs for the Biliranons.

With the completion of the concreting of the circumferential road, a lot of opportunities will come to Biliran like the development of the province’s tourism industry and more investments will surely start to pour in, the idealistic representative said.

However, Rep-elect Chong admitted that the completion of the remaining 53 kilometers of unpaved circumferential road is a big challenge for him since it entails a big amount of money.

He said that the P70 million per year of Countryside Development Fund (CDF) within his three-year term is not enough to cover the whole amount to be spent for the completion of the project saying that as of now he is starting to find possible sources of funds so that  the project will be realized.

“This is a big challenge that I have to surmount as the representative of the people in Biliran” Rep-elect Chong said.



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