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MAR 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS


HOME » TACLOBAN NEWS
BREAKING NEWS / TACLOBAN REGION


 
>>> MAR 2008 <<<


Local news for
Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines
continually updated.

Definitive Source of News and Information about the Tacloban region.

 




Mar 30, 2008

Tacloban City to expand hospital capacity

By Joey A. Gabieta

Inquirer.net - Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY -- The city government here will build a new hospital as part of its effort to improve the medical services it provides to the more than 200,000 residents in the city.

The planned new hospital would double the 25-bed capacity of the present city-administered hospital, Mayor Alfred Romualdez said.

"The construction of this new hospital is not only to make it more accessible and more convenient to our people but more importantly to provide them better service," Romualdez said.

The Tacloban City Hospital is located at Marasbaras District, which is more than 10 kilometers away from the city proper. The planned two-story hospital with a 50-bed capacity will be located at the Abucay District, less than 5 km from the city proper.

The city government wants to develop the Abucay area as the city's new commercial district after a bus terminal and a commercial complex were constructed on the site during the term of former Mayor Alfredo "Bejo" Romualdez, father of the incumbent mayor.

The construction of the new hospital would start within 2008 and cost P10 million, Romualdez said.

He said the new medical center would be built using the local government's own funds.

The mayor said that with the construction of a new hospital, the city government would hire additional doctors and nurses. The Tacloban City Hospital currently has 50 personnel, who include four doctors and 15 nurses. The chief of hospital, Dr. Jaime Opinion, is also the city's health officer.

Romualdez said that after the hospital construction, the present hospital building would be converted into a rehabilitation center for drug dependents and center for abandoned and abused women and children.

Aside from the city government-administered hospital, there are three private hospitals operating in the city.

The regional hospital, Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center, is also located in Tacloban but the number of patients always exceeds its 250-bed capacity.






Mar 29, 2008

Tacloban supports Earth Hour to fuel awareness on climate change

Philippine Information Agency

Tacloban City (March 29) -- Tonight, the City of Tacloban will join the whole world in dramatizing the need to reduce pollution and wasteful exploitation and consumption of resources and energy, by turning of the lights during the Earth Hour, from 8:00 o'clock to 9:00 o'clock in the evening.

More than turning the lights out, a group of young professionals who are members of the Junior Chamber International - Candahug Liberation, with its counterpart in Manila, the Kabang Kalikasan ng Pilipinas and the World Wildlife Fund Philippines, has organized the Walk for a Cause or Bicycle Ride which will be conducted during the Earth Hour.

JCI Member Sarah M. Lopez who is the chairperson of the event, informed the Philippine Information Agency that her group has been going around the city of Tacloban, visiting government agencies, schools and radio stations to encourage the City folks to participate in the global endeavor by turning off their lights for one hour tonight, from 8:00 o'clock - 9:00 o'clock in the evening.

The participation of the residents of Tacloban City will go a long way in spreading the message that individual droplets working collectively, could create an impetus far more powerful than the mightiest of rivers, she added.

Earth Hour was created to take a stand against the greatest threat the planet Earh has ever faced. It uses the simple action of turning off the lights for one hour to deliver a powerful message about the need for action on global warming.

On March 31, 2007, for one hour, Sydney made a powerful statement about the greatest contributor to global warming, the coal-fired electricity, by turning off its lights. Over 2.2 million Sydney residents and over 2,100 businesses switched off their lights, leading to a 10.2 % energy reduction across the City.

What began as one City stand against global warming, caught the attention of the World. And so in 2008, 24 global cities will participate in the Earth Hour, from 8:00-9:00 o'clock in the evening of March 29.

The Earth Hour is the highlight of a major campaign to encourage businesses, communities and individuals to take the simple steps needed to cut their emissions on an ongoing basis. It is about simple changes that will collectively make a difference from businesses turning off their lights when their offices are empty, to households turning off appliances rather than leaving them on standby.

The turnout of participants in the Tacloban activity tonight, will mirror the awareness and cooperation of the residents to the global call.






Mar 27, 2008

Househelp earns economics degree in Tacloban City

By Joey A. Gabieta

Inquirer.net - Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY, -- She was born to a poor farming family in Eastern Samar but Analiza Yape, who had lost both her parents to illness, did not give up on a dream to have a college degree as her ticket to a better future.

Her efforts paid off. After years of struggle, 22-year-old Analiza accepted her diploma from Senate President Manuel Villar during graduation rites held Thursday at the Eastern Visayas State University.

She was among the 81 graduates who earned a degree in Bachelor of Arts, major in economics, at the state university.

Analiza attained her dream by working as a househelp through high school and college.

"I am happy that finally, I am now on my way to achieving my aspiration in life -- to have a better life and to help my siblings. I now have a college diploma which I hope will open good opportunities for me," Analiza said.

Analiza is the third child in the brood of four of Virgilio and Emily who both died of illnesses she could no longer remember.

Her mother died when she was four and her father died when she was in Grade VI.

But her father's death did not discourage her from pursuing an education.

She worked as a househelp for a family who lived at the town proper of Llorente, two kilometers from their village of Naubay, until she finished third year high school.

Analiza decided to try her luck in Tacloban City, still working as a househelp, finally completing her secondary education.

"My employers agreed to send me to school on condition that I would not receive any salary, which I accepted. All I want was to finish my high school (studies)," Analiza said.

She did so in 2004 when she graduated from the Sagkahan National High School, Tacloban City.

Upon her graduation, she transferred to another household where her employer agreed to pay for her tuition and other incidental expenses on condition that she would not be paid any salary.

"My routine was always the same -- school and home. After my studies, I have to do my chores at the house. It was physically taxing, yes. But for me to reach my goal, I have to sacrifice so many things, including my longing to be with my siblings back home," she said as her voice broke.

Her brother and sister finished high school through the help of some relatives while another sister did not finish her high school studies. Analiza requested that her siblings and her employers remain unnamed.

"I will look for a job so I can help my brother and sisters. I want them to finish their studies for I believe that having a degree will really help us rise above poverty," she said.

Analiza said that without the help of kind souls, her strong determination would not have been enough for her to get this far. "That is why, I am so grateful to all of them (her employers)," she said.

But she turned sad when she remembered her parents. "My struggles are all worth it. I am offering my diploma to them and wherever they are right now, I am sure they are proud of me," Analiza said.

She added that she would never be ashamed to tell anybody that she worked as a househelp just to earn an education.

A classmate, Danica Monte, 19, said that she was "amazed" that Analiza was able to support herself to finish her studies. "And all the while, I thought she was just a regular student like me, who have parents who support my education," she said.

Analiza said she had not stopped dreaming. Her next target: to become a lawyer. With her strong determination, she may just realize this dream.






Mar 25, 2008

Provincial execs set to reiterate support for Arroyo

By Joey A. Gabieta

Inquirer.net - Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY, -- The Provincial Board Members League of the Philippines (PBMLP) will formally express their support for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during their national convention in Cebu City on Wednesday, according to a league official.

Eastern Samar Board Member Enerio Sabulao, PBMLP national information officer, said on Tuesday the league would pass a resolution, which he would sponsor, stating their continued support for the President during their 17th national convention in Cebu.

The President, who is facing calls for her to step down over the kickbacks in the aborted $329-million National Broadband Network deal, will grace the three-day national convention of the PBMLP, which has 1,053 provincial board members.

Sabulao said that their show of "continuing and unwavering support" to the President and her administration would be their way of expressing their gratitude for the good things she did for the country and the people in her seven-year presidency.

Sabulao cited as example the support extended by the President to Eastern Samar when it was badly hit by flooding that killed 14 persons and destroyed crops and properties. The President visited the province last February 29.

The league would discuss the effects of global warming in the country, he said.

Sabulao said he believed that the relentless rain that spawned the flooding was an effect of global warming.

"It's high time that global warming be discussed so that the people will be aware of its effect (to our environment)," he said.

Senator Pia Cayetano, chairperson of the Senate committee on environment, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro and Local Government and Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno will attend the convention.






Mar 18, 2008

Typhoid breaks out in Samar town; flooding blamed

By Joey A. Gabieta

Inquirer.net - Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY -- The Department of Health in Eastern Visayas blamed an outbreak of typhoid fever on the recent floods, saying the floodwaters contaminated the water sources.

Boyd Cerro, DOH regional sentinel nurse, said his office received on Friday a report that 110 persons in Barangay Alegria, Zumarraga, Samar, had typhoid fever. According to a 2000 census, Alegria had a population of 530.

The outbreak started on March 7 but was already contained last week, Cerro said. He said 39 percent of the cases were children of school age.

Cerro said he had also received reports of diarrhea and amoebiasis in the region due to the flooding brought about by incessant rains.

At the height of severe flooding in February, diarrhea downed 178 persons in Zumarraga, in the island town of Pintuyan, Southern Leyte, and in several towns of Eastern Samar.

In Pintuyan, 64 cases of amoebiasis were reported in the third week of February because of dirty water, Cerro said.

Most municipalities in the region get their water from open springs and deep wells, which are prone to contamination, so the occurrence of water-borne diseases is not a remote possibility, he said.

Cerro urged the people to boil water before drinking and to implement sanitary practices to prevent the spread of water-borne diseases.

He said the DOH had started distributing medicines and intravenous fluids in the affected areas.






Mar 17, 2008

LGU starts making dream of market modernization come true

Philippine Information Agency

Tacloban City -- The local government of Tanauan, Leyte has started the realization of its dream of modernizing its Public Market to accommodate its growing commercial and business sector.

Today, the local government, through the Bids and Awards Committee, conducted a pre-bid conference for the preparation of the Feasibility Study and Engineering Design.

Mayor Roque Tiu informed that the plan is for the old Public Market to be totally modernized by borrowing from a bank because of the big amount which will be needed to undertake such big endeavor.

Mayor Tiu added that the local government has opted to conduct a feasibility study first to see the viability of the project. The local government called for consultancy groups to make their bids. However, the local government made it clear that the payment for the conduct of the feasibility study to the winning consultancy entity, will depend on the acceptance of the feasibility study and the engineering design and the eventual release of the funds from the Bank.

The feasibility study is important especially because the Market Modernization Project will entitle a big amount of money, Mayor Tiu said, stressing the fact that the local government does not want to experience what happened to several local governments which undertook projects which later turned out not to be feasible.

Mayor Tiu believes that the Market Modernization project in Tanauan will prove to be viable considering the continuous increase of businesses opening following the local government's implementation of its streamlined application in opening business in the municipality.

Mayor Tiu disclosed that the people's pulse has been taken into consideration as it made a survey in its website as to the people's reaction to the proposed project. So far, those who are in favor outnumber the very few who are not in favor.

However, Mayor Tiu assured that public consultations will be conducted in order to know better what the people feel about the undertaking, after the same has been clearly explained to them. This is important, Mayor Tiu said, because the people, as the target of development projects, must know and accept the project for it to really be successful.






Mar 08, 2008

Leyte gov sustains crusade for relevant and quality education

Philippine Information Agency

Tacloban City -- In his continuous crusade for relevant and quality education for the young people of the province, Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla visited the municipality of Tanauan on March 7, 2008 to inaugurate Secondary Education Development and Improvement Project (SEDIP) Buildings and to turn over five computer sets.

Governor Petilla has always been consistent in his desire to provide not only quality but relevant education to the young people of Leyte. He believes that the best legacy to the future generation is being able to prepare the youth to become good future leaders.

First, the Governor together with Tanauan mayor Roque Tiu and the municipal officials, Board Member Malou Go-soco and DepEd Leyte Division Asst. Superintendent Pedro Escobarte, went to Barangay Kiling where he inaugurated two SEDIP Buildings for Kiling National High School which serves the students in the Northern Barangays of Tanauan.

Mayor Tiu said that the SEDIP building has various components like a home economics building, library building with faculty room and Guidance room. The DepEd project calls for counterpart funds from the provincial government and the municipal government.

Meanwhile, in Barangay Cabuynan, Governor Petilla inaugurated the SEDIP Building at the Tanauan School of Arts and Trade, the newest high school in the municipality serving the youth in the southern part, who are in the first year, second year and third year secondary education. The School will have its first graduates next year, Mayor Tiu informed, even as he expressed his joy that all the four public high schools in Tanauan now have SEDIP Buildings.

Governor Petilla also turned over five computer sets while another five sets were turned over by Mayor Roque Tiu to the Tanauan School of Arts and Trade, in order to make the public high schools in the municipality all connected to the cyberworld.

Governor Petilla has chosen the Tanauan National High School in Tanauan as a pilot ICOT- P IT high school while the Kiling National High School is a pilot school for the ICOT-P farming.

These will ensure that the high school graduates will already be able to engage in economically productive activities equipped with modern technologies, Governor Petilla said.

The municipal officials and the barangays officials together with the school administration and the students expressed their sincere appreciation for Governor Petilla's continued support for the welfare of the young people of the municipality.






Mar 06, 2008

Councilors' league head: Let truth come out of NBN scandal

By Joey A. Gabieta

Inquirer.net - Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY -- Unlike other political groups in the country, the Philippine Councilors League (PCL) in Eastern Visayas has decided to remain neutral on the issue of calls for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's resignation.

PCL-Eastern Visayas president Wilson Uy said the group had no plan to either pledge loyalty to the embattled Arroyo or join calls for her ouster or resignation.

"This issue is divisive. So, we chose not to come up with a resolution supporting or opposing it [calls for Arroyo's ouster or resignation]," Uy, a councilor from this city, said Thursday during the 2007 Local Legislative Award, sponsored by the PCL.

But while the group, with over 1,400 members in the region, refused to come up with a resolution or a statement on scandal, Uy said members could speak out on the issue.

Asked what his take was on the issue, Uy said that just like the rest of the Filipinos, he was "for the truth" to come out about allegations of corruption in the allegedly overpriced national broadband network (NBN) deal and other scandals.

"I just hope the President will also join this clamor [for truth], that [she would] let the truth come out," he said.

He also expressed hope Arroyo would support any investigation that would result in the people knowing the truth about the issues affecting her.

The renewed clamor for Arroyo's ouster was triggered by the testimony of Rodolfo Noel Lozada Jr. before Senate hearing on the alleged kickbacks that bloated the cost of the $329-million NBN contract with China's ZTE Corp.

Several organizations and local leaders, including governors and congressmen from Eastern Visayas, have pledged their continued support and loyalty to Arroyo.

During a visit to inspect the flooding damage in Eastern Samar, Arroyo received copies of the resolution of support from the region's 12 congressmen and the mayors' league of Eastern Samar.

Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez said those who would like to oust the President should do it through constitutional means, not through mass protests.

Arroyo was one of the principal sponsors at Romualdez's wedding to actress and now councilor Cristina Gonzalez.

Romualdez lamented that the current political trouble hounding the President had an impact on projects, such as the rehabilitation of the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport, which needed national funding.






Mar 05, 2008

Sex workers get free condoms in Tacloban City

By Joey A. Gabieta

Inquirer.net - Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY -- The city government here is giving away free condoms to the city's sex workers to protect them from sexually transmitted diseases (STD), according to the health officer, Dr. Jaime Opinion.

Opinion explained on Wednesday that the thousands of condoms in his office were not meant for the government's family planning program.

He said they had yet to detect any of the women getting STD since they started distributing free condoms to the city's more than 100 "legal" sex workers for the past few months.

A sex worker is considered legal if she is working in a karaoke bar or a massage parlor that has been issued a business or mayor's permit.

The Tacloban City government requires sex workers in these commercial establishments to undergo regular check-ups and issues pink slips to those who have been declared STD-free.

However, Opinion said the city government has been having difficulty in dealing with the "freelance" sex workers.

He said they have been working with village officials and even the parents of these "freelancers" who have been plying their trade in public places like parks.






Mar 04, 2008

Magnitude 6.5 tremor rocks Region 8

Philippine Information Agency

Tacloban City -- An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.5 rocked and woke up the sleepy Eastern Visayas and Bicol folks at 10:11 in the evening of March 3 and was felt in various intensities in the Visayas, Bicol and even in Metro Manila.

Engr. Nemesio Canete of the Phivocs in Palo, Leyte informed that the epicenter of the earthquake is in Catanduanes but the point of reference is Catarman.

The earthquake which was tectonic in origin, was 154 kilometers north and 46 kilometers east of Catarman, Northern Samar, with the epicenter located at 13.49 degrees north, 125.67 degrees east, with a depth of 050.0 which is considered shallow and a magnitude of 6.5 which according to Engr. Canete is strong in classification.

The tremor was felt at intensity 5 in Catarman, Northern Samar; Iriga City in Albay and Virac and San Andres in Catanduanes.

It was felt at intensity 4 at Legaspi City, Daet, Camarines Norte and Sorsogon City while it was sensed at intensity 3 in Tacloban City, Borongan City and Can-avid in Eastern Samar, Roxas City in Capiz and in Iloilo City.

In Masbate, Cebu City, Guiniyangan in Quezon Province, Surigao City and Bislig in Surigao del Sur, the tremor was felt at intensity 2.

Engr. Canete further said that the earthquake was reported to have been felt in Taguig, Rizal at intensity 1.

No damages are expected and no damages have been reported. Aftershocks are expected though, Phivolcs reported.

It would be recalled that the latest earthquake felt in Region 8 was on February 29, 2008, at 2:30 in the afternoon. The earthquake had a magnitude of 4.1 with a depth of focus at 051 with the epicenter estimated at 11.47 degrees North, 125.44 degrees East and 16 kilometers South and 2 degrees East of Borongan City in Eastern Samar.

It was felt at intensity 3 in Borongan City and intensity 2 in Tacloban City.







Mar 01, 2008

Leyte under state of calamity

By Joey A. Gabieta

Inquirer.net - Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines -- The provincial board of Leyte has declared the entire province under a state of calamity in the wake of severe flooding that caused "enormous damage" to its towns and cities.

The floods, spawned by relentless rain for almost two weeks in mid February, killed four persons in the province and damaged at least P200 million worth of crops and infrastructure.

"Leyte has suffered enormous damages due to the flooding.... In fact, 28 of our towns (and) Tacloban suffered most because of this incident," Vice Governor Mimiette Bagulaya said.

Bagulaya, who presides over the provincial board, said the board's decision to declare the province under a state of calamity was based on the recommendation of the provincial disaster coordinating council (PDCC).

The PDCC reported on February 28 that the floods destroyed P35.77 million worth of agricultural crops, affecting 4,674 rice farmers, and damaged roads and bridges to the extent of P186.90 million.

With the declaration of a state of calamity, Leyte could now expect assistance from the national government, the vice governor added.

"In fact, even before the declaration, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office had donated around P3 million to the province," Bagulaya added.

She said all the towns and cities in the province could now also use their respective calamity funds.

"And at our end, we can also use our own calamity fund to (help these affected areas)," Bagulaya said.

Government employees can also avail themselves of calamity loans offered by government-owned financial institutions like the Government Service Insurance System and the Pag-Ibig Fund, Bagulaya added.




    
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