Mayor Sarmiento will
take his oath before Hon. Rogelio C. Sescon, Executive Judge, RTC
Branch 6,7,8,9 and 34, during the Regional Development Council meeting
on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 1:30 in the afternoon, at Hotel Alejandro,
Mayor Sarmiento who is
known as an innovative and development oriented local government
executive, was the lone nominee of the Regional Development Council.
His nomination was endorsed to and confirmed by President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo. The confirmation letter was received by the RDCEV
Secretariat on November 9, 2007.
Mayor Sarmiento, who
is on his third term as mayor of the City of Calbayog, ran and won as
mayor of Calbayog in 2001. Since then there was no turning back. Mayor
Sarmiento faced the daunting task of reversing a P144M deficit,
alongside a City Council and City Hall that were largely loyal to the
previous administration. Only over a year in office and already his
administration has exhibited impressive gains.
Through a series of
strategies he attributes to his experience in the private sector and
the Calbayog City Development Strategies process, his administration
has increased tax collection efficiency to 97.65% (from 6.87% in
1997), increased local revenue by 5.4%, and a 130% increase in
revenues from business collections.
His hardwork and
innovative programs won recognition and several awards for the City of
Calbayog, among which, first place in the League of Cities of the
Philippines (LCP) Best Practices Competition with its entry Coastal
Zoning - Delineating Waters for Commercial and Marginal Fishermen, to
respond to the problems of illegal fishing and poverty faced by the
City; and recently, as the Best Local Government in Region 8 in the
localization of the implementation of the Millennium Development
Mayor Sarmiento who is
also in his second term as the Secretary General of the League of
Cities of the Philippines, has won the respect and trust of his
colleagues. Recently, Mayor Sarmiento was invited as one of the
speakers in the four-day
and Local Governments’ World Congress in
where he spoke on the topic Scaling Up City Development Strategies in
The congress aimed to
exchange best experiences on the City Development Strategies in order
to inspire the delegates to emphasize on the role of cities in a
global context to promote effective economic growth and poverty
With the theme "Cities
without Slums - Strategic Responses in Fast Growing Cities," the
sessions centered on local government experiences in using CDS and
slum upgrading tools in cities where Cities Alliance members have
financed interventions and promoted cities as partners of
The City Development
Strategies process is a tool which aims to help create a well
governed, sustainable, productive and social inclusive city. In
Calbayog, the activities are being monitored and documented by the
City Planning and Development Office.
Mayor Sarmiento has
also recently been invited to attend the Public Policy Forum sponsored
by the Cities Alliance with Housing and Urban Development Coordinating
Council (HUDCC), League of Cities of the Philippines, Asian
Development Bank, World Bank and the UN Habitat.
With his expertise
on development strategies and with his commitment to public service,
Mayor Sarmiento’s term as the chairman of the Regional Development
Council of Eastern Visayas promises to be a fruitful one.
Diarrhea cases noted
in Mondragon, Northern Samar due to typhoon Lando
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– At least 47 diarrhea cases from the same barangay in Mondaragon,
Northern Samar were reported by the Provincial Health Office of
Northern Samar to the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council of Region
The dirty source of
drinking water that is also prevalent in the neighboring
municipalities, was pinpointed as the cause of the diarrhea cases.
Several children were the victims, 13 of who were confined at the
It was reported that
open dug wells and jetmatic pumps are the source of drinking water,
all of which are exposed to the elements and bacteria. More so, these
sources of drinking water are not treated with chlorine.
Because of the
continuous rains that was experienced for several days due to typhoon
Lando, the drinking water sources have been rendered unsafe for
As a safety measure,
the Northern Samar Provincial Health Office advised the villagers to
boil or put chlorine in the water that they use for drinking.
The Northern Samar
Provincial Health Office reported that the situation is now under
control and that no new cases have been reported.
It would be recalled
that a diarrhea outbreak was reported in the municipality of Gamay in
Northern Samar in the early part of November. This was caused by a
dirty source of drinking water.
As advised by the
Department of Health, in places where there is no supply of water from
a chlorinated water system, the water for drinking must be boiled for
30 minutes and the counting must start when the water starts to boil.
and home chlorination were emphasized until a system in chlorinating
the water for drinking is in place in these places, the Department of
Samar OTOP advocates
meet; thresh out issues
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Samar assembled the
province’s One-Town-One-Product (OTOP) advocates from Calbayog to
Basey on Friday at the Fame Hotel, this city.
In the meeting, DTI
said that Samar’s OTOP has generated jobs in the countryside both
directly and indirectly and has also pushed the development of the
Micro Small and Medium Enterprises in the different towns of the
A report showed that
42% of Samar’s OTOP is inclined in Aquamarine as Samar is considered
with rich marine resources.
However, DTI admitted
that only 55% yet of Samar’s 26 municipalities have already identified
their OTOP. DTI Provincial Director Ruthelma Samonte said that it is
the Local Chief Executive (LCE) that identifies the OTOP taking into
considerations some parameters for the choice.
Some members of the
audience could not hide their distaste over the power of the chief
executives over the choice of OTOP. They expressed that LCEs may not
include them in the financing scheme as they may not share the
political color of the LCE.
One LGU staff of
Jiabong (with Mussels as OTOP) stood to defend her mayor whom she said
would rather not involve herself in relending funds for small
The DBP expert replied
that the mayor has to get involved to help the constituents grow and
For the choice of OTOP
considerations include abundance of raw materials, availability of
skills and services present in the locality, among others.
Issues that came out
about financing were answered with the presence of the Development
Bank of the Philippines (DBP) James Laniwan who oriented his audience
about the financial assistance of the bank. He also told them that he
could assist in the formulation of project proposals. He just told
them to be sure of the project one proposes.
Laniwan reminded his
audience to ensure that the project proposed is financially,
economically, environmentally and technically feasible.
DTI Jeremy Balondo of
the so called Rural Micro Enterprise Program shared that the program
will finance micro businesses through their conduit lending partners
like Samar Micro Credit Cooperative (Samico) based in Samar’s capital
city of Catbalogan and Biatongan Multi purpose Cooperative in Calbayog
Other agencies offered
technical expertise, trainings and other assistance like Bureau of
Fisheries – Regional Training Center (BFAR-RTC), Technical Education
and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Environment
and Natural Resources (DENR) and others.
promised the other LGUs that have not selected their OTOP yet that DTI
will schedule a convergence planning for them to identify their OTOP.
admits execution of Barangay chairman in Basey, Samar
By Maj. OTHELO D. YAÑEZ, (FA) PA
Catbalogan City – The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas
Spokesperson, Fr. Santaigo Salas alias Mando/Grano admitted on
November 18, 2007 that Elizabeth Gutierrez, a candidate for Barangay
Chairman during the synchronized Barangay and SK elections last
October 29, 2007, was arrested and punished by the Arnulfo Ortiz
Command, Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee (ERVPC) operating in
Samar Province for being a military informant.
It can be recalled
that Gutierrez was abducted by Communist Terrorist in Brgy. Cancaiyas,
Basey, Samar last October 24, 2007 while having her house-to-house
campaign in the said place. But even in the hands of Communist
Terrorist NPA abductors, the people supported and voted her that led
to her victory during the last Barangay and SK elections.
Her abduction was not
because she was a military informant but because she was running for
barangay chairman in the areas whose populace are very supportive to
her and would runaway with the communist terrorists’ claws, hence, she
was executed. The Communist Terrorist feels that with her would-be
leadership they will lost the sympathy of the populace and will hinder
their plans to rule the barangay. Now, the Communist Terrorist branded
her as traitor which cause her untimely death.
Gutierrez was a former
NPA party member but turned her back with the underground movement due
to the continuous hardships, disappointments and lies of the Communist
Terrorist movement. The plight of Gutierrez is a clear manifestation
of a human rights violation committed by the CPP/NPA.
She was not the first
person being tried and punished before a so-called “Kagaroo Court”.
She was just one of the few innocent members of the New People’s Army
who decided to live a normal life but was deprived by the heartless
CPP organization. The infamous Inopacan mass grave in Leyte tells us
the barbaric acts of the Communist Terrorist movement.
Major General Armando
L Cunanan AFP calls all human rights group and investigative bodies to
look into the matter and take appropriate actions of the execution of
Gutierrez perpetrated by the Arnulfo Ortiz Command, front command of
the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee, CPP/NPA.
He also urged the
family and relatives of Elizabeth Gutierrez to file a case against the
CPP/NPA as well as denounce the group for taking the life of Gutierrez
without due process of law.
“This is the right
time that we work hand in hand to denounce the nefarious activities
and barbaric acts committed by the CPP/NPA to innocent civilians. This
has to stop otherwise many law abiding citizens will suffer the evils
of the merciless underground group.” Cunanan said.
Typhoon Lando leaves
P65.340 M damages to roads and bridges in Region 8
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte –
Tropical depression Lando which visited the Region early this week,
caused damages to roads and bridges in Region 8 initially estimated at
about P65.340 million, the Department of Public Works and Highways
through the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council reported.
The total estimate all
over the Region was taken from the DPWH Engineering Districts which
reported the conditions of national roads and bridges.
The Leyte Third
Engineering District reported the highest estimated cost of damages at
P29.96 million while Eastern Samar reported the least estimate of
damages at P2.900 million.
Southern Leyte placed
the estimated cost of damages of roads and bridges at P8.250 million;
Biliran Engineering District at P3.70 million; Leyte Fourth
Engineering District at P8.500 million; Northern Samar First
Engineering District at P9.080 million; and Samar Second Engineering
District at P2.950 million.
The Leyte First
Engineering District and the Leyte Fifth Engineering District reported
damages to roads and bridges but no estimate of the damages was
The Leyte Third
Engineering District reported estimated cost of P29.96 million,
includes the damages to the Tabango-Catmon-Minlawaan-Gimarco Road, the
Cabungaan-Tabunok-Consuegra Road and Tugas Bridge which was rendered
unpassable due to road slips.
Also in the Leyte
Third Engineering District, the Tabing-Tugas-Tabango Road was rendered
hardly passable due to rotten carriageway while the Calubian-San
Isidro-Tabango-Villaba-Palompon Road was only half-lane passable due
to road slips. The DPWH already installed barricades and warning
The Eastern Samar
Engineering District reported the least cost of damages estimated at
P2.900 million. The Eastern Samar Engineering District reported that
all road network are passable to vehicular traffic despite road
damages along Camp 5 (Bdry.)- Borongan Road and the two minor
landslides and fallen debris which were noted along the junction of
Buenavista-Lawaan-Marabut road and at Barangay Sto. Nino, Paco,
Quinapondan, Eastern Samar. Fallen debris along the roadway were also
noted along Borongan-Guiuan Road.
reported that all road network is passable to vehicular traffic except
Liloan-San Francisco Road at Km 106+650 which is only half-lane
passable due to landslide with estimated volume of 2,000 cubic meters.
Other damages in
Southern Leyte include washed out shouldering materials along
Barangay Matalom-Macrohon Road
and damaged bridge abutments on four bridges namely, San Roque Bridge,
San Juan Bridge, Timba Bridge and Iniguihan Bridge.
Fallen debris and
uprooted trees were also noted along Brgy.
Matalom-Sogod Road and Maasin-Padre Burgos-Tomas Oppus Road.
In the province of
Biliran, all road network are passable to traffic but damages which
include surfacing materials partially washed out, erosion on sub-grade
and shoulder and clogged up waterways.
All road network in
Leyte First Engineering District are passable to traffic and the
damages include minor soil erosion and water ponding on some road
section due to clogged-up canals.
There are no damages
were noted at the Leyte Fifth Engineering District except for minor
fallen debris from trees along the roadways.
In Northern Samar,
landslide was noted at Barangay Libas, Lavezares along
with an estimated volume of 200 cubic meters. Other damages noted were
clogged up culverts, silted canals and washed out surfacing materials
in some road sections.
Meanwhile, in Samar
Second Engineering District, damages were observed along Catbalogan
North Road where patching materials were washed out and some road
sections are flooded due to clogged up canals caused by fallen debris
and soil erosion.
Road and along Wright-Taft Road, some sections of the roadway are
flooded due to the same reasons.
extended support to surrendered NPA supporters and sympathizers
Media Relations Center (PMRC-Leyte)
November 22, 2007
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– The provincial government of Leyte extended the initial assistance
to farmer organization members who recently surrendered to government
troops after admitting they have been supporters and sympathizers of
the communist movement in the hinterlands of
This during the
Tripartite Consultative Assembly initiated by the Philippine Army and
the local government unit of
San Isidro town Tuesday which was attended by more or less one thousand
members of the Kahugpungang Mag-uuma sa
San isidro (KAMAS)
members held at the Municipal Gymnasium of San Isidro,
According to Leyte
Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla the initial assistance were in the
form of rice, canned goods and some relief goods.
However, the governor
said, he is expecting for the local government unit of San Isidro to
request other assistance, in financial terms, to aid the farmer-surrenderees
get back their feet in normal society and he said the provincial
government is willing to extend financial help.
With recent talks with
army officials in the province, the governor said, they have also
initially requested from the province financial reward in exchange of
surrendered firearms under the government’s Balik-Baril Program.
The "Balik Baril"
program consisting of cash and in kind materials are given to the
rebel returnees in exchange for their surrendered firearms. The
program intends to provide initial assistance to the surrenderees as
they are integrated in the mainstream of the Philippine society.
“I agreed to it
provided everything would be in order and the firearms would really be
those surrendered,” Gov. Petilla said while extolling the army in the
province for being active and in constant coordination with the local
government unit in its drive to flush out rebels from their lair and
encourage them to return to the fold of the law.
“What the government
is actually offering is to give them a chance to live normal lives
without any fear of being arrested or killed in armed confrontation
and make them realize that there is hope to alleviate their lives.
This in effect is motivation enough for these communist terrorists (CTs)
to surrender voluntarily with or without firearms,” the governor
It can be recalled
that about 46 supporters of the New People’s Army operating in Leyte’s
third district, and all members of some farmers’ organizations,
surrendered to the army’s 19th Infantry Battalion after the latter
continuously conducted intensive information drive of the true nature
of communist rebellion in the hinterlands.
DILG issues guidelines
on the conduct of Liga ng mga Barangay Chapter elections at all levels
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– The synchronized chapter elections for Municipal and Component
City Chapters of the Liga ng mga Barangay has been set for December
Provincial/Metropolitan/Highly Urbanized City/Independent Component
City Chapters, the elections will be on December 29, 2007 and for the
National Chapter, the election is scheduled for January 29, 2008.
This is contained in
the DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2007-151 signed by DILG Secretary
Ronaldo Puno, pursuant to Article One, Chapter 1, Title I, Book III of
the Local Government Code of 1991 which provides that "there shall be
organized Liga ng mga Barangay Chapters at the Municipal, City,
Provincial and Metropolitan Political Subdivision levels which shall
elect their respective officers and members."
This is also in
accordance with Sec. 3 of R.R. 9340 which states that “...the Liga nga
mga Barangay at the municipal, city and provincial levels shall,
within thirty (30) days after the next barangay election, conduct
elections for ex-officio positions in the in the Sangguniangs under
the supervision of the Department of Interior and Local Government."
From November 26 to
December 3, 2007, the incumbent Liga chapter President or in his
absence, the next highest ranking incumbent Liga officer will send
written notice to the newly elected Punong Barangays and the incumbent
Liga chapter board members to meet for the for the purpose of forming
the various committees like the nominations, registration/credentials
election committees, and board of canvassers and board of election
supervisors, for the chapter election.
The written notice
shall notify the Punong Barangay of the December 4 meeting and the
venue within the municipality/city and the time; and the date of the
chapter elections together with the election requirements which
include payment of registration fees to cover the election expenses,
the honoraria for the BES Chairman and the Members; and their
credentials such as certified true copy of Comelec Certificate of
Canvass and Proclamation of the winning candidate as the Punong
Those who are
interested to become officers of the Liga have three (3) days from
December 4-6, 2007 to file their certificates of candidacy which shall
be provided for the nomination committee. The same should be filed to
the Nominations Committee.
synchronized elections of the Municipal and component city Liga
chapters, the transmittal of the True Copy of the Certificates of
Canvas and Proclamation, minutes of the election meeting and other
pertinent documents to the Provincial or Metropolitan Chapters and the
National Liga must be conducted on December 13, 2007.