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Basey LGU conducts massive Jathropa tree planting

PGMA signs Anti-Red Tape Act

Government workers finally get 10% salary increase

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


Alfred takes post as new City mayor

July 3, 2007

Mayor Alfred Romualdez

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  As the new mayor officially took his post Monday, he assured the city government employees of his support and enjoined them to continue working on their respective field of assignments towards the betterment of public service.

Speaking before an overwhelming attendance during the flag raising ceremony (in which he led), Mayor Alfred Romualdez, said he look forward to working with everybody in the city government and at the same assured them of continuity. Mayor Alfred was referring to the good projects and programs that was left by former Mayor Bejo Romualdez, which he said, he will make them even better.

According to the new mayor, he has a different style of management, and that he wants to be closer to every employee. As part of his own style, he would call on every employee or by department, for dialogue to find out their conditions, situations, and what other concerns they have, so he (Mayor) would know where he could come in and help address a particular concern.

“You know tapos na ang election, and I feel that mataas and expectations ng mga Taclobanon sa atin, especially sa akin. So I would really appreciate it and ask that we work together”.

During his short speech, he also took the opportunity to thank those who supported his candidacy during the last election, and for who did not, he said, he respect their opinion.

“Everyone will be treated fairly, basta ako ang number one lang dito, is our loyalty to our people, lets show them that we are capable of ‘di lang good governance, but excellent governance for your future and the future of Tacloban City”, he said.

Meanwhile, during the oath taking ceremony last June 30, the young Mayor Romualdez, also offered his hands to government and barangay officials present, to working together for the City of Tacloban as he  envisions more projects and programs during his incumbency.





Leyte to develop Government Center into commerce and leisure hub

By Provincial Media Relations Center (PMRC Leyte)
July 3, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The provincial government of Leyte is currently underway to hold a Business Summit this November for interested investors and locators at the Government Center in Palo, Leyte.

This was revealed by Gov. Carlos Jericho “Icot” Petilla that on his second term as Leyte governor, part of his big project is to develop the 105 hectares property which is the Government Center.

The business summit, it was learned, is primarily aimed to gather together investors from in and outside the country who would want to invest at the said provincial property.

According to the governor, the provincial government has brewed up a development plan for the government center in the hopes of making it a commercial center and a leisure destination that would result to job creation and make another stir economy wise in this side of the region.

He revealed that part of the development plan is to make the government center into a commercial area, with a theme park, a golf park, a hotel including some areas for residential units.

He also said that the I.T. industry would still be one of the provinces major selling point via the PEZA declared IT Park which is the Leyte Academic Center.

“This property is 105 hectares. Diri ka la masiring nga commercial area la an aton himuon. Makuri ito punuon. We will develop it into a comprehensive, self contained community,” Gov. Petilla said.

He added that he would like to maximize all the potentials the area can offer to generate jobs, income and development for the province of Leyte.





The unifying effect of the Pintados Kasadyaan Festival, showcase of Eastern Visayas culture

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
July 2, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The staging of the Pintados Kasadyaan Festival on June 29 which showcased the unique Eastern Visayas culture drew the interest of thousands of people both from the other parts of the country and from other foreign countries.

This annual activity which is a tribute to the Patron of Tacloban City and the province of Leyte, had caused the crowd to fill up the streets along the parade route as early as 12:00 noon.

The staging of the Pintados Kasadyaan Festival entails the cooperation of both the government and the private sector. As Mayor Roque Tiu, the founding president of the Pintados Festival, it is impossible to hold the Festival without the support of all the stakeholders.

The business sector and the academe, the young people of the Region and the academe all join hands in order to stage the yearly Festival.

Ten Pintados Tribes and 17 merrymakers groups participated in the Pintados Festival while there were six entries in this year’s Kasadyaan Festival.

The Pintados Festival will not reach its 21st year if the Taclobanons did not merrily welcomed the celebration of the Pintados Festival on June 29, 1987. The Festival is a brainchild of a group of pro-active businessmen in the city who saw the need to organize a big relevant event that would set a joyful mood as a fitting homage to the Patron of Tacloban, Señor Santo Niño.

Composed of then Parish Priest now bishop of Naval, Msgr. Filomeno Bactol as chairman, Atty. Roque A. Tiu as the President, OIC Mayor Butch Veloso as the honorary chairman, Manager Shane Lim of Tacloban Coca Cola Plant, Manager Rommel Gonzales of the Philippine Airlines, Manager Mon Torralba of San Miguel Corporation, Mr. William Chan, Mrs. Evelina Acevedo of the Katolinan Dance Company, among others, formed the Pintados Foundation, Inc. This group made a thorough research with the help of the experts in the culture and the arts, and finally came up with the Festival that kindles appreciation for the Eastern Visayan culture.

The Pintados Festival showcases the ancient practice of body painting and shows how the Visayan ancestors came to accept Christianity and develop great love for Santo Niño.

After 21 years, the Pintados Festival grew to be one of the landmark events in the province of Leyte drawing Visayans from all over the world to come home just to be part of the annual festivities.

It is now celebrated jointly with the Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals, making the celebration of the feast of the Santo Niño an event the people of Tacloban and Leyte can truly be proud of.

The Kasadyaan Festival was first staged in 1996 as project of the Eastern Visayas Regional Tourism Council through the inspiring leadership of then Governor, now Congresswoman of the First District of Leyte, Hon. Remedios L. Petilla.

This year’s winners of the Kasadyaan Festival are the  Buyogan Festival of Abuyog, Alikaraw Festival of Hilongos and  the Lingganay Festival of Alangalang, The other entries to this year’s Kasadyaan Festival include Binaybay Festival of Baybay, Tribung Paghidait Festival of Palo and Pasaka Festival of Tanauan, all of the Province of Leyte.

But as one participant said, it is not the winning that counts, it is the privilege to be part of the people who unite themselves to pay homage and tribute to Señor Santo Niño, the Patron of Tacloban City and the Province of Leyte.





33rd Nutrition Month celebration focuses on adolescents

July 2, 2007

CATBALOGAN, Samar  –  From breastfeeding of babies then in the past year, this time adolescents’ food choices and lifestyles become the center of the 33rd Nutrition Month celebration this July 2007.

In a meeting presided by Samar Provincial Nutrition Committee (PNC) Ms. Alva Gadin said that this year’s theme is: “Healthy lifestyle ng kabataan, landas sa kinabukasan!”

The National Nutrition Council (NNC) and Local Government Units are mandated to coordinate the celebration of nutrition month (section 7, Presidential Decree no. 491 or Nutrition Act of the Philippines, 25 June 1974).

Gadin added that the theme focuses on the nutrition and health needs of Filipino adolescents particularly on the consumption of nutritious food to prepare them for adulthood and the practice of healthy lifestyle to stay fit and healthy.

The World Health Oragization (WHO) defines adolescents as those aged between 10 and 19.

WHO noted that the increasing prevalence and incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCD) during adulthood result from faulty nutrition and lifestyle practices during pre-adolescence and adolescence.

Teaching adolescents to practice healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition will give them a better chance to become healthy and productive adults in the future, added Baby Borata, head of the Samar Provincial Health Technical Services, also a member of Samar PNC.

The data showed that prevalence of underweight adolescents increased between 1993 and 1998 but declined in 2003. On the other hand, the prevalence of overweight adolescents continued to increase between 1993 and 2003.

The study indicated that physical changes that adolescents, particularly females, undergo also make them become conscious of the kinds and amounts of food they should eat.  Adolescent females tend to eat less because of fear of becoming fat. They also become choosy of the foods they eat, preferring more of the snack foods over full meals.

Nutritionists also noticed food choices available to adolescents especially in school also contribute to their nutritional status.  School canteens serve less nutritious foods such as chips, carbonated beverages and “artificial” fruit juices and often do not serve varied kinds of food to improve food choices of adolescents.

A study covering public high school canteens also revealed that the snacks offered to adolescents were of low nutritional value providing only 5% of the nutrient allowance of the adolescents for a day.

Another fact observed was Filipino adolescents are not fond of drinking milk which is a good source of nutrients. To them, milk drinking is only for young children. Also, others find drinking milk expensive.

Studies also show that female adolescents are iron deficient because of fewer intakes of iron and vitamin C-rich foods.

Lastly, skipping breakfast and poor meals are additional factors that contribute to nutrient deficiencies.

Cognizant of the foregoing facts that ail Filipino adolescents, Samar PNC will adopt strategies to reach the Samar adolescents for information and education campaign.

For now, adolescents are advised to observe that aside from proper nutrition, adolescents can achieve healthy lifestyle by balancing the amount of food eaten with physical activity; exercising regularly, avoiding smoking and avoid drinking alcoholic beverages.

Health workers and nutritionists also advised the adolescents to decrease stress by avoiding excess caffeine intake which increases feelings of anxiety and agitation, learn relaxation exercises like abdominal breathing and muscle relaxation techniques, have a positive outlook, learn practical coping skills like breaking large tasks into smaller and more feasible tasks, take a break from stressful situations like doing things that they love most (e.g. listening to music, drawing, writing, reading books); and seek friends who can help them cope in a positive way.





DENR-Samar PENRO drumbeats economic importance of tuba-tuba plant

June 28, 2007

CATBALOGAN, Samar  –  DENR-Samar PENRO George Guillermo exalted the economic importance of Jathropha Curcas (locally known tuba-tuba) in  a press conference, Friday at the Basey Gymnasium.

PENRO Guillermo said that jathropa has been endorsed by no less than PGMA who believes the economic benefits, Filipinos could get from planting tuba-tuba.

Guillermo also informed the media of the different uses of the plant to man like: jathropa curcas extracted oil is used as Bio-Diesel, varnishes, illuminants, soap, pest control and medicinal for skin diseases and purgative.

Jathropa Curcas is also resistant to drought and can be planted even in the desert climates, and it thrives on any type of soil, grows almost anywhere; in sandy, gravelly and saline soils. It needs minimal input or management, has no insect pests and not browsed by cattle or sheep, it starts yielding from the second year onwards and continues for 40 years.

Approximately 31-37% of oil can be extracted from the jathropa curcas seed. It can be used for any diesel engine without modification.

Basey Mayor Vicente Labuac also added that 1 liter of bio-diesel can be extracted from three kilos of tuba-tuba seeds.

The government, Guillermo added, is eyeing the production of some 5.6-billion liters of bio-fuel from the Jatropha plantations in the next 10 to 12 years.

Barangay officials have meanwhile expressed concern over the marketing of said plant but PENRO Guillermo replied that the Philippine Forest Corporation has assured a ready market.

To affirm his claim was LtCol. Jonathan Ponce of the 62nd Infantry Battalion who admitted that his troops have planted tuba-tuba some two years ago.

Basey -CENRO Elias Aya-ay said that stakeholders will be looking for some more planting sites but would in the meantime entertain thoughts of economic development through jathropa.





Leyte to create special anti-illegal drugs commission

By Provincial Media Relations Center (PMRC Leyte)
June 27, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla welcomed the creation of a commission that would particularly address the drug menace among the youths in the province following the approval of Ordinance Number 07-01 mandating the creation of the Leyte Provincial Commission on Drugs and Substance Abuse.

Gov. Icot Petilla

The Commission In will have the primary objective of devoting the commission to countering and putting an end to drug problem in the province.

Gov. Petilla said that with the set up of this special commission he noted three fundamental principles of the country's drug policy that says “prevention is better than cure, cure is better than harm reduction and harm reduction is better than doing nothing.”

The governor also recently signed his approval on the said ordinance.

This ordinance mandates the creation of the Leyte Provincial Commission on Drugs and Substance Abuse, which in itself establishes particularly a program to prevent, curb and stop incidence of dangerous drugs and substance.

Highlighting the commission’s scope of responsibility would be the plans and programs of the provincial government within its territorial jurisdiction to fight substance and drug abuse, the prevention, control and eradication of drug use, selling and trafficking, the information and communication campaign on illicit drugs and related matters.

Noting the country’s long and ongoing battle against the scourge of drugs, the newly signed provincial ordinance likewise seeks to assist the national government in safeguarding its political jurisdiction from the harmful effects that illegal drugs cause and recognizing its as “one of today’s social ills.”

The commission to be created under this ordinance will serve as a focal point through which various organizations and individuals would work together in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating adopted plans and initiatives which effectively address the drug problem.

It was learned that a workable feedback mechanism on these implemented programs is likewise expected to be provided for by the said commission.

The commission’s composition will be appointed by the governor who would sit as chairperson with the Provincial Board’s chairman on the committee on public order, human rights and protective services as the vice-chairperson.

Other members would include the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Regional Director, PNP Provincial Director, Provincial Social Worker Officer, Provincial Health Officer, Leyte Schools Division Superintendent, Parole, Pardon and Probation Provincial Director, and representatives from a civic group and youth sector.





Newly elected city mayor urges heads to tell their department’s shortfall

June 26, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Weakness(es) of every department head or any city government employee in the performance of their respective responsibilities will not be counted against them by the incoming Mayor, Alfred Romualdez.

Alfred Romualdez

This was made clear by mayor-elect Alfred Romualdez in his short talk during the Local Governance Performance Management System (LGPMS) meeting here recently. The young Romualdez, as a matter of fact, encouraged the department heads present to openly tell him what their weaknesses are so that he (Romualdez) would be able find ways to improve that particular failing area.

He said, any department head could come to him directly and discuss concerns affecting his/her work so that it would be given immediate and proper action.

“Don’t be afraid or hesitate to tell me what your weaknesses or problems are in the performance of your respective functions because that is the only way we can make some improvements”, said Romualdez. The newly elected mayor emphasized to the department heads that “we should be more open to each other”.

“I would appreciate it that if there are questions that you can not answer or tasks that you feel that a lot of questions and maybe difficult, I think its better na maaga pasabihin niyo na, and I don’t take it personal or I don’t look at it na mahina or malakas ka – there is no connection, in fact I appreciate that. Mas mahirap naman ‘yong people claim to know everything, and then, in the end when we get reports, they might give the wrong data”, Romualdez further said.

Meanwhile, outgoing Mayor Bejo Romualdez, who also spoke during said meeting, presented his future plans for the City which, he said, he has asked Alfred to continue and implement in his incumbency. One of those, is the relocation to strategic locations of all departments or offices involved in generating income for the government coffers. They must be properly situated within the immediate premises of the City hall building, he said.

During the meeting, also discussed was the plan for a centralized computerization of the whole system at City Hall, from time-in/time-out, payroll system, transactions and reporting system, which Mayor Bejo long wanted to happen. Now that these plans have been started, the outgoing Mayor  have asked  the department heads to be more cooperative and to support Alfred in his programs for the betterment of this central capital of Eastern Visayas region.



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