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Region 8 got ten of top 20 in National Achievement Test

Schoolgirl from Eastern Samar tops National Achievement Test

PNP, army forge MOA on internal security

PNP Talakayan Sa Isyung Pulis (TSIP) tapes 4th episode in Samar PPO

Licensing Chief warns delinquent establishment to secure permit or face closure

Leyte administrator dispels rumors governor is not in good health

Young Mathematics teacher from Leyte among this year’s Outstanding Teachers

Chinese investors visit Guiuan; Evardone welcomes more businesses to the province

Eastern Samar joins 30 Best Provinces in the country

New registrants swarm Comelec offices in Samar







Cong. Cari to refile bill creating Western Leyte province

By Provincial Media Relations Center (PMRC Leyte)
September 29, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Leyte Fifth District Representative Carmen Cari believes she gets the majority of support from local chief executives in her bill pending before the Lower House that seeks to create the Western Leyte province.

She said she is strongly positive the mayors comprising the eight towns and one city, that is wholly Leyte’s fifth district, would support her call for a separate province in order to spur progress.

Congresswoman Cari is taking into example the separation of Biliran from Leyte province in 1992 and has come a long way since then when it comes to development.

She said her intentions in filing for the bill is only for the best of the Leyteños in the western side of the island and maintaining that as large as the Leyte province is now, there are still a number of barangays, especially those far flung that would be hard for the provincial government to reach.

Although, she said, her nephew Gov. Carlos Jericho “Icot” Petilla is doing well in delivering the services directly to the people in the barangay, the province still large enough.

Cong. Cari said she has every intention of filing again the same house bill during the present Congress and hopes it would be enacted and prevailed upon by the people before her term ends.

House Bill 03784 pushes for the creation of Western Leyte, with Baybay, a newly declared city, as its capital town together with the towns of Abuyog, Hilongos, Hindang, Matalom, Inopacan, Javier, Mahaplag and Bato, all of the fifth district.

Early on, a number of mayors coming from the fifth district expressed opposition to the proposed bill while Gov. Petilla himself, earlier declared, Leyte province remains “just the right size to handle” for the provincial government.

On her part, Vice-Governor Mimiette Bagulaya, who is presently acting as officer-in-charge of the province, said she is in favor of the bill to lessen the number of towns, saying the 41 towns comprising the province is “quite big.”





Village chief killed in Samar ambush, 2 others

September 28, 2007

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  A village chief and his companions while aboard in a multicab were ambushed in Brgy. Calapi, Motiong, Samar on Thursday (September 26) at 10:00 o’clock in the evening.

They were reportedly ambushed by men who were armed with high powered weapons as revealed by the empty shells which were recovered in the crime scene.

The victims were reported to have just come from the military camp of the 46th Infantry Battalion based in Brgy. Calapi in the Municipality of Motiong and were on their way home to Brgy. Caranas when the ambush took place.

Before the incident, it was alleged that a certain Ernesto General, Barangay Councilor in the said Barangay, was shot to death at 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon of the same day.

Initial reports stated that the victims of the said ambush were killed on the spot. They were identified as Bedasto Dacatimban, 32 years old and barangay captain of Caranas; Benito Dacutanan, 16, a student of Calapi National High School; and Simplicio Ebit, 54.

The other victims were brought to the Samar Provincial Hospital based in Catbalogan City. Reported to be in critical condition are Jonathan Dacutanan, 21 years old SK Chairman and a student at the Samar State University; Wilson Garin and Noel Cabel.

It was also reported that two of the victims are missing, per the statement of the son of Dacatimban.
The motive for the ambush has not yet been declared by the Philippine National Police who are investigating the case.





Senator Mar Roxas graces Alay Lakad programs in Tacloban and Tanauan

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
September 27, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Senator Mar Roxas is scheduled to arrive in Tacloban City early morning of Sunday, September 30 in order to give the inspirational message in two separate Alay Lakad Programs, one in Tacloban City, the other one in Tanauan, both in the province of Leyte.

Senator Roxas will first proceed to Tanauan, Leyte to give his message in the annual Alay Lakad activity of the municipality which is for the benefit of the out of school youth of the municipality.

Mayor Tiu said that the funds derived from the annual Alay Lakad are used for the skills training of the out of school youth so that they could engage in productive economic activities. The municipality accounts for so many success stories regarding the proper use of Alay Lakad funds, Mayor Roque Tiu revealed.

This is the reason why the Alay Lakad Program of the municipality is not only being sustained but keeps growing bigger as the years pass, he said. The attractive raffle prizes are usually donations of the generous sponsors and benefactors of the out of school youth, he added.

Meanwhile, in Tacloban City, this year’s chairperson, Mr. Eugene Tan, said that thousands of Alay Lakad benefactors and supporters will walk from four convergent points towards the Tacloban City Convention Center in the morning of September 30.

The Alay Lakad Program in Tacloban City will be led by Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez and his wife Hon. SP Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez and the other City elected officials. It will be participated in by the barangay officials, officials and members of the civic organizations and the youth sector.

The Alay Lakad fund has been used to finance various trainings and activities of the out of school youth in Tacloban City. Particularly, the City Government is giving computer lessons to out of school youth to make them productive citizens.

Senator Mar Roxas is expected to have a press conference with the media of Region 8 in the afternoon of September 30.





ARARO assails DPWH

Press Release
September 27, 2007

QUEZON CITY, Philippines  –  The Alliance for Rural and Agrarian Reconstruction (ARARO) labeled as irresponsible the comment of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on the feasibility study of the road and proposed bridge that will connect the two provinces of Eastern and Northern Samar.

According to the DPWH Feasibility Center’s document entitled “Feasibility Study Report- North-Eastern Samar Inter-Provincial Road”, the construction of the Arteche-Lapinig Bridge is not economically viable because of low traffic.

”You cannot expect a heavy traffic on a highway that leads to a dead end. Obviously the study fails to appreciate the benefits it will bring to the travelers once the bridge is in place,” says Bong Cainday, ARARO spokesman.

“To continue ignoring the urgency of completing the existing Samar’s national highway and the Arteche-Lapinig Bridge that will link the three Samar provinces reduces government sincerity in implementing socio-infrastructure development program in that most backward part of the country” adds Mr. Cainday.

Samar is the Philippines’ third largest island composed of three provinces and five congressional districts with many rivers and tributary waters cutting through municipal and provincial boundaries such as the Mabini River that separates the towns of Arteche in Eastern Samar and Lapinig of Northern Samar.

Cainday said that once the bridge is completed, travel time from Arteche to Lapinig would be cut to only fifteen minutes from the present two to three hours of perilous cruising in the Pacific Ocean; and the cost of transportation would be a relief in itself.  There have been many incidents in the past that boaters plying Lapinig-Arteche ended up in Taiwan; while many others failed to return home.

At present, residents has to go through other Northern Samar towns then to Western Samar just to go to Southern towns of Eastern Samar like Borongan or Guiuan and vice versa.

The proposed Arteche-Lapinig Bridge is hailed by the local population for its positive impact on commerce and the relief it would give to travelers and the unquantifiable economic benefits to the citizens of the adjoining communities.

ARARO is urging the government officials of the three provinces of Samar to exert collective efforts for the immediate construction of Lapinig-Arteche Bridge and the completion of the roads that will conveniently link the three Samar provinces.





Calbayog election protest comes to light

September 25, 2007

INTRAMUROS, Manila  –  The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Second Division presided by Commissioner Florentino A. Tuazon, Jr., and Commissioner Rene V. Sarmiento,  heard on Thursday, September 20, the election protest filed by former Congressman Rodolfo T. Tuazon against Mayor Mel Senen S. Sarmiento of Calbayog City, Samar.

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Second Division Presiding Commissioner Florentino A. Tuason, Jr. (left), and Commissioner Rene V. Sarmiento (right), listen intensely to Atty. Leila de Lima (center), counsel of former Congressman Rodolfo T. Tuazon, during the hearing of the election protest filed by the former against Calbayog City Mayor Mel Senen S. Sarmiento.

Attys. Leila de Lima and George Erwin M. Garcia entered their appearance as counsels for protestant Tuazon, while a co-counsel of Atty. Maria Bernadette V. Sardillo, appeared for protestee Sarmiento.

At the start of the hearing, Commissioners Tuason and Sarmiento manifested that they are not related in anyway to protestant Tuazon and protestee Sarmiento, who happened to be their namesake, which elicited chuckles inside the Comelec session hall at Palacio del Gobernador, Intramuros, Manila.

During the hearing, presiding Commissioner Tuason set the reception of evidence for protestant Tuazon starting Tuesday, September 24 until September 26, in the morning and afternoon for the marking of exhibits, and five days after to submit a formal offer of evidence, while protestee Sarmiento was afforded the same period of time to present his evidence.

The commencement of the presentation of evidence is the crucial stage of an electoral contest wherein both parties are given equal opportunities to make their own submission of evidence after having completed the revision of  ballots, the first stage in the resolution of an election protest, last September 8.

This process would take a little more time, but it is the solution which is fair and just to everyone and is the best way to dispel, once and for all, the uncertainty that beclouds the true choice of the electorate.

The purpose of an election protest is to ascertain whether candidate proclaimed elected by the board of canvassers is really the lawful choice of the electorate.  What is sought in an election protest is the correction of the canvass of votes, which is the basis of the proclamation of the winning candidate.

Earlier, Tuazon counsels and revisors submitted written objections to thousands of ballots cast in favor of protestee Sarmiento; discovered fraud and irregularities which were patent on the face of the ballots, such as marked ballots, stray ballots, ballots written by the same hand, and ballots written by different hands; six empty ballot boxes in barangays Payahan, Obrero, Nijaga, San Policarpo and Pilar; and wet and unreadable ballots in barangay Peña.

“For nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed, nor is anything secret that will not become known and come to light,” Tuazon quoted a passage from the Bible.  “The contested ballots in all the 490 precincts in 157 barangays in Calbayog City, Samar, when properly appreciated will sufficiently establish not only my electoral victory but also the entire slate of the Nacionalista-Liberal-PDSP Party/Kampi candidates,” he said.

Meanwhile, the revision of ballots has resumed and is expected to be completed before end of the month on the electoral protest filed by Ariel M. Rosales, former City Councilor in the second district of Calbayog City, against Vice-Mayor Onald Aquino. Further, the COMELEC second division has set on October 1, the start of the revision of the contested ballots for the first district of Calbayog City for Councilors while the second district will follow.





President Arroyo exhorts the people of Leyte, “full steam ahead”

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
September 25, 2007

The Leyte Geothermal Power Plant in Tongonan, LeyteORMOC CITY, Leyte  –  President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo clad in her signature aqua blue pants suit, urged the local government officials and the people of Leyte “full steam ahead” right after she  witnessed the signing of the Deed of Transfer of the Leyte Optimization Geothermal Plants at noon of September 25 at the PNOC-EDC gymnasium.

President Arroyo said that the geothermal plant in Leyte is not only the largest geothermal plant in Asia; it is the largest wet field in the entire world. When PIA asked a personnel of the PNOC-EDC, he said by wet field, what is meant is that the steam is mixed with water in order to generate power.

The President stressed that she is happy that the PNOC-EDC is fast becoming a very good example of the benefits and importance of the privatization program.

The PNOC-EDC gears up for the final leg of its privatization, after the Government, thru the PNOC board, has approved the sale of its remaining stake in PNOC-EDC on September 1, 2007.

After full privatization, the geothermal firm will have greater flexibility in aggressively pursuing business opportunities, as it is no longer encumbered by rules and regulations applicable to state-owned enterprises.

The President arrived at the Ormoc City Airport together with Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Favila and Secretary Ebdane. They were met by Presidential Asst. for Eastern Visayas Secretary Victor Domingo, Congressman Eufrocino Codilla Sr., Mayor Eric Codilla of Ormoc City, Vice-Governor Mimyet Bagulaya, MGen. Armando Cunanan of the 8th ID and PNP8 Regional Director Abner Cabalquinto.

From the Airport, the President and her Party motored to the PNOC-EDC gymnasium where she was officially met by PNOC EDC President Paul Aquino, Mr. Aaron Choresh, Vice President of Ormat, Ormoc City Vice-Mayor Aparris, among others.

After her speech, the President gamely allowed a photo op with the officers and department heads of PNOC-EDC, the officers and department heads of Ormat, the municipal officials of Ormoc City and Kananga; the provincial officials of Southern Leyte headed by Governor Damian Mercado and the Local Government Executives of Leyte headed by the League of Municipalities Leyte Chapter President, Tanauan Mayor Roque A. Tiu.

Also present were the employees of both Ormat and PNOC EDC, regional heads of national line agencies and members of the government and private media in Region 8.





Samar fishing community gets KALAHI project inaugurated

September 23, 2007

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  Some 150 fisherfolks rejoiced over the cruising of KALAHI CIDSS to this fishing community safely hidden in the mangroves of the Samar Sea.

Barangay Dapdap, known before as Tinago availed of a close to a million worth of causeway (a concrete seawall-cum-pathway) of more than a kilometer stretch leading to the barangay from the mangroves.

Started late in December 2006, the project was turned-over on September 19, 2007 to the residents.

It would have been a water system, said Maria Sevilla, the Punong Barangay. But due to the absence of a source that could sufficiently supply the population, it was considered technically impossible, said Bel Villarin, KALAHI coordinator.

Being next in the list, they opted for the causeway.

Just how important to the fisherfolks is the causeway?

During low tide, the shores of Dapdap become dry, yet muddy and the long stretch from the shores makes the tired and sunkissed fisher folks seem impossible to traverse, besides, goods purchased from the town of Tarangnan seem heavier with traversing the muddy one-kilometer path to their homes.

With the concrete causeway, jutting out to deeper sea-water, boats can now anchor safely at the end of the causeway and walking on foot despite heavy load becomes easier. No more mud-wading, said Bobet, a fisherman in his 40’s.

While life is kinder to the people of Dapdap who toiled in the sea and the upland farm, basic services like better road to connect them to the highway has been remiss here. Folks would pay P100 to ‘habal-habal’ to be transported to the highway.

Or one would opt to cross the turbulent seas to Tarangnan, riskier but cheaper. Water system is also wanting, though KALAHI has been thinking solving this basic need of man.

Villarin said that Dapdap folks have undergone willingly, the 16 steps KALAHI proposed for sub-projects realization.

They have met, argued, eased fine tuned rough edges of their project, compromised and succeeded. The barangay also shelled out funds for counterpart, aside from the labor and the municipal counterpart.

For Lydia, the day care worker, there are still some facilities they miss, but the causeway construction is good enough for a start, with their newly acquired empowering skills, Lydia believes Dapdap will have them all with KALAHI in support.





“Batang Maasin” boxer takes a crack at international belt

By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern Leyte)
September 20, 2007

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte  –  A home-grown ring fighter will travel to South Africa to try his luck at a World Boxing Council (WBC) International title in a fight scheduled on Friday, September 21.

Alex Aroy, dubbed “Batang Maasin” and “Maasin Bomber” will face “WBC International minimumweight champion Zukisani Kwayiba in a 12-round bout on September 21, 2007, at the Carousel Hotel and Casino in Temba, South Africa,” said Mayor Maloney Samaco in his “Sports Roundup” column in the latest issue of a local weekly.

It will not be an easy outing for the Maasin boxing sensation, whose opponent has been billed as “one of the most exciting prospects to come out of Eastern Cape, South Africa in recent years” Samaco wrote in quotes, apparently reflecting the sentiments of top analysts.

Kwayiba, nicknamed “Troublemaker”, has been undefeated in all the nine professional fights he had undergone, seven among those victories coming by way of knockout.

He was also the conqueror of Filipino boxer Gabriel Pumar of Lapu-Lapu City, his record showed, and was highly successful in his first title defense versus fellow South African Sithembile Kibiti by a first-round technical knock-out (TKO).





RP court halts approval of GMO rice

Press Release
September 19, 2007

MANILA, Philippines  –  In a landmark decision yesterday, a Philippine court has ordered an injunction stopping the approval of a genetically-modified (GMO) rice in the country. Greenpeace, as well as the NGO Searice, hailed the decision as a "major step forward" for the campaign to protect human health and ensure the safety of environment from the adverse effects of GMOs. The injunction is the first major ruling on GMOs in the Philippines since the government allowed the entry of genetically-altered crops in 2002.

"Greenpeace welcomes the court’s ruling and calls upon the Agriculture Department to immediately scrap their current policy on GMOs. The DA has to prioritize the health and environment of the Filipinos. GMOs are not proven to be safe, and the current policy is patently biased and unacceptable. We hope the injunction will compel the DA to review its agenda independent of pressures and the lure of kickbacks from the multinational GMO corporations." said Greenpeace Southeast Asia Genetic Engineering Campaigner Daniel Ocampo.

The issuance of the said injunction is the latest development in an on-going court case which questions the constitutionality of DA Administrative Order (AO 8 - 2002), the government system for GMO approvals. Greenpeace has repeatedly asserted that the system is "hopelessly flawed" and violates basic constitutional rights. The environmental group helped file the legal petition against the said policy last August. The petition also sought a permanent injunction on the approval of Bayer corporation's GMO rice LL62 whose application, under DA AO8, is currently under review.

Branch 101 of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, presided by Judge Evengeline Marigomen, issued the preliminary injunction, stating that "a sampling of the petitioners evidence show that there is a violation of the constitutionally guaranteed rights 1) to information of public concern, 2) protection and promotion of health, and 3) a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature."

”Due to the nature of the petition, both the DA and Bayer Cropscience are respondents to the case, but it is exasperating to see that DA has abdicated its role altogether and left the entire defense of its policies to the Bayer's lawyers. In the hearing prior to the issuance of the injunction last Friday, Bayer presented 17 arguments in defense of AO8. The Department of Agriculture is the government’s most important agency, it is responsible for the country’s basic food sources, it cannot be run by profiteering corporate interests,” said Ocampo.

The preliminary injunction will be in effect while the court case is on-going. The next hearing on the petition is scheduled in the afternoon of November 16, 2007.



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