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Calbayog mayor takes oath as new RDC 8 chairman

Roxas is the standard bearer of LP in 2010, Drilon says

PGMA showers Eastern Samar with more anti-poverty goodies

Calbayog cops nab 31 people, seize home-made guns, money for violation of election laws

One protesting Sumilao lady farmer hospitalized in Leyte

Leyte town adjudged most business friendly municipality of the Visayas

All is set for historic Leyte Gulf Landings commemoration

2 pharmacies from Catbalogan to receive “Quality Seal” awards from DOH-BFAD

Cong. Cari to refile bill creating Western Leyte province

Region 8 got ten of top 20 in National Achievement Test







Results of 2006 family planning survey bared

December 6, 2007

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  Only four out of nine currently married women 15-49 years old in Samar practice family planning; 26.4 % use modern methods.

Compared to the regional data; some five out of ten currently married women 15-49 years old practice family planning; 31% use modern methods.

These were some of the revelations by the National Statistics Office given to the line agencies in the province of Samar during the 2006 Family Planning Survey, Provincial Data Dissemination on December 4, 2007 at the Waling-waling Inn, Catbalogan City.

To compare, it seems that not even half of Samar women practice family planning, as compared to the whole region that posted at 50% which is similar to the data nationwide.

The survey further revealed that nationwide, there was a slight increase in the number of those who practice family planning; from 49.3% to 50.6% while data in the region showed that from 49.4 % slightly to 49.8% only and in Samar it was only 40%.

The survey involved some 2,132 women actually interviewed using the Stratified three stage cluster sampling design.

The pill also remains the leading contraceptive method in Eastern Visayas with 13.8%; second highest method was withdrawal at 9.9 % calendar /rhythm /periodic abstinence at 8.3%; ligation at 8.1% IUD at 5.3 %male condom at 1.2% while some other methods registered 1.3%.

As to socio-economic status, some 56.1 “non-poor” use any method while only 43.9% “poor” employ any method.

By ‘poor’ means the respondent lacks amenities like TV, refrigerator and other appliances while ‘non-poor’ posses at least two or three appliances/ amenities as explained by an NSO officer.

It is also noteworthy that the number of children per woman is decreasing with some 3.7% as the total fertility rate in region 8.

As to age, in the region, some 6.5% of women 15-19 years of age have begun child bearing. No data of this exists in Samar province.

While it is true that only a few poorer families practice family planning, more than what policy makers and program planners would like to, still some 51.9% both ‘poor’ and ‘non poor’ promised to use family planning method anytime in the future.





NPA leader in Leyte surrendered

December 3, 2007

AGUITING, Kananga, Leyte  –  The 802nd Infantry (Peerless) Brigade, Philippine Army and 19th Infantry (Commando) Battalion battered anew the beleaguered and waning Northern Leyte Front (NLF), EVRPC in its intensified campaign against the communist terrorists (CTs) in Leyte. At about 6:00 o’clock in the morning on November 30, 2007, CTL Edwin Commendador y Pepito alias Wendyl/Delfin, a resident of Brgy. Tag-abaca, Leyte, Leyte, the Team Leader of Squad Abe, PBEC Nepal, Mt. Amandewin Command, NLF, voluntarily surrendered with three (3) serviceable M16 Armalite Rifles to the operating troops of  Reconnaissance Platoon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 19th Infantry (Commando) Battalion, 8th Infantry Division led by 2Lt. Rod Vincent F. Babiera (INF) PA at vicinity Sitio Cabariwan, Barangay Tapol, Leyte, Leyte. He was brought immediately to the Battalion Headquarters for documentation and proper disposition.

Surrendered NPA leader in Leyte
CTL Edwin Commendador y Pepito alias Wendyl/Delfin, a resident of Brgy. Tag-abaca, Leyte, Leyte, the Team Leader of Squad Abe, PBEC Nepal, Mt. Amandewin Command, NLF

LtC. Henry M. Bumiltac INF (GSC) PA, Commanding Officer, 19IB said that Wendyl/Delfin can no longer bear the hardships that their group, which is now down to about thirty-eight (38) due to severe demoralization and desertion, is experiencing in the face of the tactical operations and massive information drive/awareness seminar that the Commando Troopers are conducting. He adds further that this is aggravated by the fact that their remaining ranking cadres/leaders can still afford to engage in sexual opportunism and other misconduct against their female comrades including a minor who was impregnated by a cadre despite their difficulty. Disgruntled by these realities, he decided to surrender and guide the operating troops towards a firearms cache hidden at a secluded place in Barangay Tapol, Leyte.

LtC. Bumiltac added that this development is consistent with our assessment that the remaining CTs operating in the 3rd District of Leyte are becoming more and more isolated from their own guerrilla bases as their red fighters and mass supporters have started to go back to the folds of the law disgruntled by the atrocities the CTs are committing even against their own comrades.

Col. Raoul J. Reyes FA (GSC) PA, Commanding Officer, 802nd Brigade, 8ID said that the surrender of the NPA regular fighter in the 3rd Congressional District of Leyte, considered as the last bastion of NLF, is a result of the intensive internal security operations backed by a massive peace and development advocacy Campaign of the unit.  In fact, the Communist Terrorist were made aware of the CPP/NPA /NDF methodology of arousing, organizing, and mobilizing the uneducated and poor farmers with the end in view of “creating rift between the farmers and government”, and not for the good of the people. This is part of the NPA’s effort to attain its ultimate objective to seize political power and establish a Communist Government.

Again, LtC. Bumiltac emphasized that this latest tactical victory against the CTs is a proof of the efficacy of the peoples’ support in the campaign against the insurgents. “We are getting effective in keeping their world smaller each day till they find no way out, but to surrender” he said. This is in line with the purpose of the unit to totally dismantle the NLF before the end of this year.

He warns the Communist Terrorist leaders and members to lay down their arms as their time is running out and return to the folds of law. At the same time, he enjoined the people to continue supporting the Army in its mission to make an insurgent-free Leyte.





Leyte town creates “Bantay Bayan” network to counter insurgency

By Provincial Media Relations Center (PMRC Leyte)
December 2, 2007

LEYTE, Leyte  –  Anchored on his belief that insurgency problem in their area can be solved through the concerted efforts of everybody including the community, the local chief executive of this town is now actively helping the 19th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army based in Kananga, Leyte to facilitate the organization of “Bantay Bayans” in several villages of the municipality of Leyte.

Leyte Mayor Armando Ysidoro said this is consonance to the national government’s goal of ending insurgency problem in the region and in other parts of the country the soonest possible time.

He said the counter-insurgency efforts they are initiating in their town is also intended to support the dream of the provincial government of Leyte through Gov. Carlos Jericho “Icot” Petilla in achieving a Leyte province that is free of insurgents.

It can be noted that Gov. Petilla has always emphasized how significant it is especially for the business sector to maintain an environment that is without any form of security threats and where people freely cooperate and work as one for the common good and progress of the place.

“I am doing this because I support the campaign of the government for peace and I am aware also that the provincial government of Leyte is banking on the province’s now manageable peace and security status in its bid to lure in more investments and economic activities for the province,” Ysidoro said.

At present, Ysidoro said they have already organized around 1,500 Bantay Bayans coming from different areas of the town of Leyte.

These Bantay Bayans, who are ordinary citizens forming a network of peace loving people and guardians of freedom and liberty, reside in the villages of Tapol, Mataloto, Bagabao, Taga-abaca, Wagi, and Consegra.

“We are hoping that the members of this Bantay Bayan network will considerably multiply in the next few months so to all the more strengthen our campaign against insurgents,” Ysidoro said.

He said this initiative has been realized through the big help of the troops of the 19th Infantry Battalion now being led by Col. Henry Bumiltac and the full support of Gov. Petilla as well.

Ysidoro also reiterated his call to the communist rebels to return to the folds of the law and work in one with the government in achieving peace and progress in their respective localities.

Ysidoro disclosed that a rebel returnee from Brgy. Ugbon in Leyte town is now under the care of the government. He said the parents of this returnee were also given appropriate livelihood so they could already meet the needs of their daily subsistence.





Mass surrender of Communist Terrorist supporters in Leyte

December 1, 2007

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City, Samar  –  Twenty two (22) Communist Terrorist supporters and sympathizers, all with firearms surrendered to elements of Bravo Company, 19th Infantry Battalion in two (2) separate occasions in Brgys. Taglawigan and Banat-e, all in San Isidro, Leyte.

The surrenderees are members of the Kahugpungang Mag-uuma sa San Isidro (KAMAS), a farmers’ organization who were influenced and deceived by the false promises of the CPP/NPA that they will be given better life if they join the movement.

Their sentiments was further aggravated when the Communist Terrorist movement spokesperson Fr. Santiago Salas admitted to have abducted and subsequently executed elected Barangay chairwoman Elizabeth Gutierez of Barangay Can-iyas, Basey Samar for refusing to cooperate with the movement after she returned to the folds of the law to live a peaceful and normal life. She was branded by the Communist Terrorist as government spy when she refuses not to run as candidate for Barangay Captain during the last October 29, 2007 synchronized Barangay and SK elections. Thus, the surrenderees could not wait with false hopes and become a victim of Communist Terrorists barbaric acts like those victims in the infamous Mass Grave at Inopacan, Leyte mass killings.

They also surrendered to the government troops following firearms: one (1) Garand rifle, one (1) Home M14, eight (8) Caliber 38 revolvers, two (2) Caliber 3516 revolvers, five (5) caliber 22 revolvers and five (5) Homemade shotguns.

In the recent Tripartite Consultative Assembly with the local government unit of San Isidro, Leyte, 19IB and member of KAMAS, the leaders and members of KAMAS signified to support the efforts of the military to provide a more peaceful and secured community  in the province of Leyte.

Major General Armando L Cunanan AFP, the Commanding General of the 8th Infantry Division commended the officers and men of 19th Infantry Battalion for their successful effort of convincing the group to join mainstream society.

He also expresses his gratitude to the local government unit of Leyte for their continuous support and cooperation with the military providing a lasting solution to the insurgency problem in the province.





53-foot giant Christmas tree lights Tacloban City plaza

December 1, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  To enhance the Christmas spirit of Taclobanons, a sixty-thousand worth of  Christmas Tree lights the city’s Plaza Rizal Wednesday night (November 28) as Mayor Alfred Romualdez , wife Councilor Cristina Romualdez and Leyte Vice-Gov. Mimiet Bagulaya switched on the huge Christmas tree.

Giant christmas tree of Tacloban
Tacloban city mayor Alfred Romualdez together with wife councilor Cristina Romualdez and their children pose with Leyte vice-governor Mimiette Bagulaya during the ceremonial lighting of the Christmas tree at Plaza 30 de Deciembre, Wednesday, November 28. (Photo by Vino R. Cuayzon)

The ceremonial switching on was witnessed and watched by hundreds of Taclobanons. In fact the people gamely joined in the countdown before it was switched on.

Around 1,300 colorful stars covered the 53 feet giant Christmas tree situated at the middle portion of Plaza Rizal while Mr. Snowman and box of Christmas gifts can be seen at the base of the giant tree as Christmas carolers sang Christmas songs as background music.

In an interview with Councilor Cristina Romualdez she said the tree symbolizes unity among the people of Tacloban. She was happy to see that such project which she spearheaded materialized.

Mayor Alfred Romualdez on the other hand said that the City of Tacloban is indeed progressing and we need to show the people that we can be united, the giant tree signify unity.

The tree will not only enliven Taclobanons he added, but will likewise encourage the inmates of the Tacloban City Jail who made the colorful and different sizes parols, to indulge in livelihood projects. 

Adjacent to the giant Christmas tree, showcases the different projects made by inmates of the city for sale. It showcases carved wooden lechon trays, fruit trays, parols and many more.

The switch-on ceremony was attended by the Division Heads of the City Government to include City Administrator Jim-jim Yaokasin, employees of government agencies, students from different schools and families as well. It ended with fireworks in the sky of the plaza.

Taclobanons can now spend leisurely their spare time at night watching the giant Christmas Tree at Plaza Rizal.





Police killed in action in a Samar village

November 30, 2007

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  In what seemed to be a happy and joyful fiesta event turned out to be bloody when one policeman from Pinabacdao town was killed in action Wednesday during the vesper night dance in Barangay Dolores, Pinabacdao, Samar.

This was bared by PO3 Manuel Ricalde of the Samar Provincial Police Office Investigator.

Ricalde said that at 9:30 pm of November 28, a team of PNP elements led by Chief of Police P/Inspector Dioneto Romano was providing security during the fiesta celebration of said barangay when they were attacked by a team of seven to ten armed CPP-NPA.

In the ensuing firefight, PO2 Ramil Ladrera died immediately while buddy SPO2 Quirino Espino was wounded in his thigh; civilians named Analiza Solano also died due to the crossfire while some visitors from adjacent barangays of Mambog and Laygayon named Eldito Nardo and Jerwin Mantais were also wounded. Ancheta Solano, another resident of the barangay also suffered injury.

The investigation report also bared that the gunmen believed to be sparrow units of CPP-NPA carted an M14 rifle from the fallen PNP Ladrera.

Injured civilians were immediately brought to Tacloban City for treatment.

Hot pursuit operations was done by a composite team of PNP men from Calbiga, 801st Mobile Group and the men of 62nd Infantry Battalion based in Calbiga town.

However, the investigator from the Samar PPO said he has not received any feedback as to the result of the operation as of presstime.





Gov. Evardone sworns barangay, SK officials in 4 towns

November 28, 2007

LAWAAN, Eastern Samar  –  Governor Ben P. Evardone presided over the oath taking of 1,632 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elected officials very recently.

Eastern Samar governor Ben Evardone and SK officials
Governor Ben P. Evardone shakes hands with new SK officials after the oath taking rites in Lawaan, Eastern Samar. Evardone also presided the oath taking ceremonies of newly elected barangay & SK officials in the municipalities of MacArthur, Balangiga and Giporlos.  (Bryan M. Azura)

The governor, despite the announced typhoon, braved in to personally sworn in the newly elected and reelected Punong Barangays, Barangay Kagawads, SK Chairmen and SK Kagawads of the municipalities of MacArthur, Balangiga, Lawaan and Quinapondan.

In his speech, the provincial chief challenged the October 29 synchronized Barangay and SK elections winners to “start working” for the betterment of their respective barangays. “Now that the election is over, you have to leave the political differences and start working towards progress,” Evardone challenged the officials.

“The presence of unity in every barangay is very important otherwise progress will never be attained,” Evardone said in vernacular.

Meanwhile, the governor dared the new sets of SK officials to be diligent in their respective functions as young leaders. “There are mounting calls all over the country to abolish SK alleging that it has no use at all,” Evardone said referring to various groups claiming SK councils could not attend to their regular sessions and other activities since most of them are students and are busy in their academic bustles.

“You have to prove the critics wrong,” the governor said to the young officials. “You will be the next leaders in the barangay, municipality and in the province,” he continued.

Evardone announced that the barangay aid coming from the provincial government will be doubled by next year. “I believe that the Sanguniang Panlalawigan will support this move,” he said. SP members Generoso Yu, Enerio Sabulao and Betty Lopez-Reyes attended the ceremonies with the governor. All of them expressed their support to the governor’s proposal.

In addition, the governor also divulged that the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) for every barangay will increase by fifteen percent (15%).  “Not only that, but by 2008, IRA will increase by thirty percent (30%) as promised by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,” he told the officials.

Mayor Jimmy Ty of MacArthur town expressed to his barangay officials that he will need their cooperation to bring forth a progressive town. MacArthur has thiry (30) barangays.

Balangiga’s top official, Mayor Viscuso De Lira, shared similar request saying the thirteen (13) barangays of the municipality should work hand in hand towards progress.

On the hand, Mayor Candida Gabornes of Lawaan said nothing will stop the advancement of her locality because the new barangay and SK officials will definitely be helping her in all the affairs of the town. Lawaan has sixteen (16) barangays.

In Quinapondan, Mayor Nedito Campo assured that his town will continue to support the programs of the provincial government through its eighteen (18) barangays.

The newly sworn in officials will formally take their respective barangay seats noontime of November 30, this year.

“You have been provided confidents by your constituents by electing you to your posts,” Evardone charged the officials, “so don’t fail them by working to uplift your respective barangays.”





DILG sets date for Liga, SK federation elections

November 26, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has scheduled the holding of the Liga ng mga Barangay elections and Sangguniang Kabataan Federation, as stated in memorandum circulars signed by Secretary Ronaldo V. Puno.

The Liga elections for municipalities and component cities shall be held on December 11, 2007; provinces, independent component cities, metropolitan cities and highly urbanized cities on December 29, 2007; and the National Chapter elections shall be on January 29, 2008.

The SK federation elections for municipalities, component cities, independent component cities and highly urbanized cities shall be held on December 6, 2007; provincial chapter and metropolitan cities on December 17, 2007; and the National SK Federation on January 17, 2007.

The SK municipal/city and provincial federation elections will be preceded by a three-day Integrated SK Organizational Leadership & Reorientation Program - Basic Orientation Seminar (ISKOLAR-BOS) to be conducted by the DILG (December 3-5 for municipalities/cities; December 14-16 for provinces, and January 14-16, 2008 for National Officials).

This was done to provide SK Officials an appreciation of their roles as youth leaders and understanding of the nature of local governance, said DILG-8 Regional Director William C. Paler.

As the office tasked with general supervision of local government units, the DILG set the dates for the elections in consultation with the Liga ng mga Barangay, SK National Federation and the National Youth Commission.

For the SK Panlungsod/Pambayang Pederasyon, the CLGOO/MLGOO shall inform in writing all SK Chairmen concerned of the activities, stating briefly the purpose, place, date and time of the elections at least five (5) days before  the scheduled  undertaking. He or she shall likewise initially preside over the meeting.

In the case of the Liga, the Municipal/City Chapter President, or in his/her absence the next highest ranking Liga officer shall send written notices to all reelected and newly elected Punong Barangays in his/her area, for a meeting to come up with committees for the chapter election.

The DILG Provincial Director/CLGOO/MLGOO will be joined by a member from Comelec and a local People’s Organization/NGO representative (for the Liga) and the Sanggunian Secretary (for the SK) as members of the Board of Election Supervisors which will resolve any controversy that may arise during the election meetings at their levels.

To be chosen by secret ballot is a President, Vice President and other officers of the municipal, city, provincial and national chapters.  The municipal and city Liga and SK Federation presidents shall represent their leagues in their respective local legislative councils. They shall likewise chose from among themselves their representative in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.



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