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SEP (01-30) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
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Sep 28, 2009

Barangay chair expresses support to proposed fish port in Tacloban

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The top official of Barangay 37, the place eyed as the site of a fish port to be put up in this city by the Department of Agriculture (DA), has expressed his full support to the proposed project.

Brgy. 37 Chairman Francisco Yerro, in an interview, said that he fully supports the planned project because he believes that it will be beneficial to residents of his barangay and will contribute much to the development of the city.

"Kun madayon ito nga proyekto dinhi ha amon lugar damo nga mga tawo it matatagan hin trabaho," he said.

He further said that a fish port would also be a boon to residents engaged in the food business.

"Damo it mabubuligan nga magtirinda hin pagkaon ha akon barangay ngan harani nga mga lugar. Magigin mas dako it ira sales ngan ganansya ha rason nga duduradamo na nga mga tawo it mapakanhi dinhi nga dapit," Yerro pointed out.

"Ha luyo nga kontrahon ito nga proyekto, dapat naton ito suportahan kay dako it mabubulig hito nga fish port ha pag-uswag diri la hit Brgy. 37, kundi hit kabug-usan hit Syudad han Tacloban," he added.

In the same interview, Yerro downplayed "insinuations" that the establishment of such fish port would result in the dislocation of informal settlers or squatters in his barangay.

"Diri ako hito natuod. Ito in usa la nga "propaganda" nga ginpapasarang hit mga nakontra hit pamunuan hit syudad," he said. "It akon gintutuod it pamahayag ni Mayor Alfred nga diri maapektuhan it mga squatter ha akon lugar ha panahon nga titindugon na ito nga fish port."

Earlier, City Mayor Alfred Romualdez disclosed that the proposed fish port would be put up at the Vegetable Section of the Tacloban Public Market in Brgy. 37 where there are no existing residential houses.

"Kun mayada manta plano it syudad pagpaiwas hit mga squatters ha akon barangay, ako it syahan nga ira ig-iinpormar, pero ha pagkayana, waray pa man notisya tikang ha syudad hiunong hito," he added.

A priority of DA and the City Government of Tacloban, the putting up of the fish port is targeted to begin within this year

Part of the project is the construction of piers, and the putting up of refrigeration facilities, storage plants or ice plants, and processing plants so that fishermen whose tuna catch come from the eastern seaboard or the Pacific side could immediately make the necessary processing of the commodity in this city.

More than P 300 million has been set aside by DA for the project, it was learned.






Sep 24, 2009

Tacloban gets
boxing ring from PSC

By Maria Quenny P. Claveria

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The Tacloban City Sports Office (TCSO) in cooperation with the City Architecture Office (CAO) is now preparing the program of work of the proposed Tacloban City Boxing Center.

The city mayor had asked a complete set of boxing ring from the Philippine Sports Commission and this was granted.

"It is good that we have an active group here, the so called Leyte Amateur Boxing Association, which encouraged to launch a boxing development program" Joel Bugho, City Sports Officer of TCSO said in an interview.

The center is open to all potential elementary, high school and college students from different school either in public or in private and as long as they are residents of Tacloban City.

Bugho added that they are helping promote sports tourism in the city and improving sports facilities.

"Hopefully the neighboring municipalities will radiate because we are catering this training not only for Taclobanons but to all people in Leyte and in Eastern Visayas," he said.






Sep 24, 2009

City gov't to improve
garbage collection

By Glenda B. Sabenorio

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The city government here is set to improve the recently assumptive operation and management of garbage collection to fully maintain the pleasant look and cleanliness of Tacloban.

"As far as the garbage is concerned, it is apparent that the city is now nice to look at, compared to previous times. Thus, the city government needs to plan and allocate budget to uphold and uplift the operation," Jonathan Hijada, department head of City Environment and Natural Resources, said.

Hijada stressed that the city still needs to have additional garbage trucks to accommodate the garbage of the city including those in remote barangays, and to double the operation of garbage collection.

Meanwhile, Hijada informed that the "No segregation, No Collection Policy" will not be implemented as of this time, since there is a need for additional garbage trucks to collect the biodegradable and non-biodegradable garbage.

However, he emphasized that Mayor Alfred Romualdez is attending this planned improvement of garbage collection through the incoming project, which is the Solid Waste Management.

Moreover, Hijada urged the residents of Tacloban for a total cooperation and participation on proper waste disposal.






Sep 24, 2009

Tacloban City Hospital receives P30M for facility upgrading, purchase of equipment

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The Tacloban City Hospital will get P30 million for facility upgrading and purchase of new equipment from the Department of Health (DOH).

This is part of the Government Hospital Upgrading Program in which guidelines and procedures for its implementation were issued recently by the DOH Central Office, according to Dr. Joedina Gumagay, chief of the Tacloban City Hospital .

Gumagay disclosed that priority listing for Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 appropriated P30 million to the DOH for the said upgrading project.

The City Government of Tacloban represented by City Mayor Alfred Romualdez signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the DOH represented by Assistant Regional Director Minerva Molon to formalize the transfer of funds from the DOH to the City and to ensure that the upgrading will be realized and the funds will be properly spent.

MOA signing was held at the Ritz Tower on Friday and witnessed by Dr. Gumagay and City Building Officer Danny Fuentebella.

Funds for the project will be released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). Fifty percent of the funds will be released once the City has submitted the Notice of Award and the duly approved contract of the project to the DOH. The remaining balance will be released once the City has complied with the Inspection Report duly approved by the City Building Officer.

Under the MOA, the City is in-charge with ensuring that systematic plans for upgrading are made according to DOH standards.

Also, it is tasked with applying for the necessary permits, supervising the construction of project, ensuring that the City Hospital implements the project according to DOH standards, and ensuring that funding will be provided for the continuing maintenance and operations of structure.

The DOH, on its part, must monitor the progress of infrastructure construction and installation and act promptly on any request for arbitration or for variation orders in construction works.

DOH must also ensure that necessary certificates and licenses are issued to the upgrade level of the hospital.

The upgrade of the said health facility, which has a P 13 million budget, will involve the construction of a new delivery room, nurses' station, pharmacy, and emergency room;

repair of the outpatient department and the fencing; expansion and completion of the emergency room; and the repainting of the entire facility.

On the other hand, the purchase of new equipment, which has a P 17 million allocation, will involve the acquisition of Sphygmomanometer, Stethoscope, Portable Suction Machine, Nebulizer, Bedside Table, Major OR Light, Surgical Suction Machine, and OR Table

The goal is to upgrade the Tacloban City Hospital from Primary to Secondary Level so that it would be more responsive to the health needs of the more than 200, 000 residents of the city.






Sep 23, 2009

Tacloban City Fire Station optimistic that city would grant 50% revenue share

By Nelene G. Panao

Leyte Samar Daily Express

Tacloban City -- The Tacloban City Fire Station is optimistic that the city government would grant its request to have a 50% revenue share that they are forwarding to the city.

SFO4 Bienvenido P. Tobilla, City Fire Marshall, disclosed that they have lobbied the request to the city government hoping for a "yes" after they got a unanimous approval from the city granting their request to be a City Fire District.

"I am hoping that this would be tackled on one of their sessions because the revenue actually came from the City Fire," Tobilla said.

Tobilla stressed that their station has nearly P10 million of revenue from its own account.

Asked why the city should grant their request, Tobilla informed that they need to transform and construct a new building and upgrade their equipments for efficient services to the city.

"If they would grant the request, we can construct a new building in just four years. We will do the construction by phase," he said.

It was learned from Tobilla that the Tacloban Fire Station has been requesting the city to have a 50 % revenue share for two years already but their request is still pending.






Sep 17, 2009

City gov't earmarks P3 M for construction of drainage systems in 3 Tacloban barangays

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The City Government of Tacloban has set aside almost P 3 million for the construction and completion of drainage systems in three different barangays in the city in the fourth quarter of this year.

This was disclosed by Engr. Ed Manadong of the City Mayor's Office (CMO) in an interview yesterday.

According to Manadong, P 1. 2 million has been earmarked by the city for the construction of a drainage system in Barangay 43-A (Quarry), while P 500, 000 was set aside for a drainage system project in Brgy. 32 (Burgos).

He added that another P 1.2 million has been allocated for the completion of a drainage system along the Apitong Road.

"The P 3 million for the aforementioned projects will be ready for release soon. Once the amount will be released and the bidding process is completed, work on the drainage projects will commence," said Manadong. "It could be by October of this year at the earliest."

Manadong pointed out that Barangays 43-A, 32 were chosen for the site of the multi-million drainage system projects because of their inherent vulnerability to flooding.

"The projects are specifically designed to prevent or minimize flooding and to relieve the flow of water especially from clogged drainage surrounding those areas," he stressed.

It has been observed in the past that the inadequate drainage system has greatly contributed to the overflowing of drainage and open canals along the said places and other low-lying areas of the city.

The planned construction and completion of the aforementioned drainage systems, it was learned, is part of the effort of the Administration of City Mayor Alfred Romualdez to solve the perennial flooding problem of the city.

Earlier, as part of the ongoing effort, the city government completed the construction and rehabilitation of two drainage system projects in Barangay 92 (Apitong) and Brgy. 86 at a cost of around P 5 million.






Sep 17, 2009

Bay in Tacloban
positive of red tide

By Ranulfo Docdocan

ABS CBN News - Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY -- The Marine Biotoxin Laboratory based in Palo town, found out that the Cancabato Bay in Tacloban City is positive for red tide.

According to center chief Imelda Siervert, the toxicity level of shell meat samples went beyond the normal level of 40 microrganism saxitoxin per 100 grams.

Sievert said on Tuesday morning that the toxicity level of shell meat samples reached 90-microrganism saxitoxin per 100 grams.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and the City Government of Tacloban have been informed of the laboratory results.

"We advice the public to not eat mussel or ‘tahong' that are from Cancabato Bay and even some types of shellfish. It's not safe to eat," said Sievert.

The public, in addition, was told that fresh fish from Cancabato Bay must be washed and cleaned thoroughly before cooking.

The laboratory said it will continue its efforts of monitoring the situation.






Sep 15, 2009

Labor law compliance pushed among medium-sized firms

By Sarwell Q. Meniano

BusinessWorld Online, Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY -- The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) will meet with around 3,000 medium-scale business owners in Eastern Visayas in the next three years in a bid to improve voluntary compliance with labor laws, DoLE regional director Forter Puguon said.

Consultations so far have shown that some business owners fail to comply because they don't know the labor standards, he said.

There are 21,000 registered businesses in Eastern Visayas, of which 3,000 are medium-scale.

The government classifies business size primarily according to capitalization: no more than P3 million for micro, more than P3 million up to P15 million for small, and more than P15 million up to P100 million for medium.






Sep 14, 2009

DOLE to sit down with business owners for 'voluntary compliance' of labor laws

By Sarwell Q. Meniano

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The Department of Labor of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will sit down with around 3,000 medium scale business owners in Eastern Visayas in the next three years in the bid to raise "voluntary compliance" of labor laws.

DOLE Regional Director Forter Puguon said that they will cluster employers into 30 and by industry in order to address specific concerns. The first group gathered by the labor department are the owners and managers of security agencies in Leyte.

"If the forum is industry-based, their common concerns will be more focused," Puguon told Leyte Samar Daily Express.

The official said that based on their consultations, they have found out that some of the business owners failed to comply because they don't know the minimum standards.

"Some of them appeared not to comply because they don't really understand. There were employers who know but they do not appreciate the standard," he added.

Common violation to the labor laws are those pertaining to wages and other monetary benefits.

Under the current procedure, inspection is concentrated on workplace with 10 to 199 workers but their manpower is not enough to cover all the establishments.

He admitted they temporarily hold the regular inspection to prioritize monitoring the impact to employment of the global financial crisis in the region.

The region has 21,000 registered with 3,000 are being categorized as medium scale businesses. Normally, these firms have no organized labor unions and human resource offices.

"We don't want them to be ignorant and punish them. We want them first to know, understand and appreciate why these labor standards should be followed," Puguon explained.

For small businesses, the labor department vowed to assist them to become more capable of complying the standards. In the case of large firms, DOLE is pushing for the implementation of self-assessment.

This voluntary mode is encouraged among large establishments with at least 200 workers wherein employers are being provided with a checklist to be accomplished by employers and workers who shall conduct self assessments of the company's compliance with labor standards.

The field offices of the labor department are now in the process of clustering the industry in preparation for the full implementation of employer's forum.

"Our office expects to cover these 3,000 employers until 2012. It is more effective if we will limit it to 30 participants," he said.

The labor department is hoping that through this forum, there will be a good partnership between their office and the employers.

"The ultimate objective of this forum is that they will comply as a matter of culture and not just because they are compelled. We want to see a culture of voluntary compliance because they know, understand and appreciate," he explained.

Eastern Visayas firms posted a compliance rate of 85% during last year's inspection activities.






Sep 11, 2009

PGMA to keynote Leyte Landings commemoration

By Joey A. Gabieta & April Uykieng

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is the main guest and speaker in this year's 65th Leyte Gulf Landings on October 20.

Aside from the President, other representatives of various countries led by American Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney have also confirmed their attendance, said members of the special committee in-charge of the historic occasion.

The coming of the President to this year's Leyte Gulf Landings commemoration is very opportune, Tourism Regional Director Karina Rosa "Karen" Tiopes said.

"We are commemorating another milestone of the Leyte Gulf Landings. That is why, the President is coming," Tiopes said during yesterday's "Kapihan sa PIA" held at the regional office of the Philippine Information Agency.

In 2004, the President was the main guest and speaker of the 60th Leyte Gulf Landings anniversary where she zeroed in on the fight against terrorism and poverty, among others, during her speech.

Antonio "Toto" Cinco, who chairs the technical group of this year's Leyte Gulf Landings celebration, said that with no less than the President in attendance, this year's affair is expected to be big.

"She has confirmed her attendance. But we don't know yet who will (join her)," Cinco said.

The President, aside from gracing this year's Leyte Gulf Landings celebration, is also set to inaugurate a multi-million and state-of-the-art "simulation equipment" at the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) at Barangay Cabalawan, this city.

Cinco said that several ambassadors have already confirmed their attendance to this year's 65th Leyte Gulf Landings anniversary.

Leading the foreign dignitaries who will join in this year's celebration is US Ambassador Kristie Kenney.

Ambassadors from other allied nations such as Australia, Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand and even Japan are also expected to join the celebration which has a theme "A Salute to the Valor of our Last Living Heroes."

And in keeping with this year's theme, a search on the oldest living World War II veterans had been launched, Tiopes said.

The tourism regional director explained that it is but fitting that the war veterans be given their due recognition.

"Without their sacrifices and heroism, we will not be where we are right now," Tiopes said.

The search, she said, was their way of giving tribute to the veterans whose number is diminishing fast.

Based on the records of the Philippine Veterans Affairs (PVA-8), there are about 2,000 living veterans across the region.






Sep 10, 2009

BFAR eyes Tacloban City
as site of P300-M fish port

By Sarwell Q. Meniano

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The fisheries bureau is eyeing this city as the country's next tuna capital with the plan to set up the P300-million Tacloban fish port before the end of June 2010.

BFAR Regional Director Juan Albaladejo said the project will give clear direction to the flourishing tuna industry in Eastern Samar and Northern Samar seas, which recently drawn catchers feeding the requirement of General Santos City tuna processing plant.

"The building of fish port is timely because of the dwindling tuna population in General Santos, which is known to be the country's tuna capital. Some of the GenSan commercial fishers have been going to Eastern Samar and they ship it out to their place," Albaladejo explained.

The official said that the city is the ideal place to build the new fish port not only that Tacloban is the capital of Eastern Visayas but also the geographic location facing the Pacific Ocean and their proximity to existing airport.

Albaladejo said the proposed facility that will be patterned after the fishing port in General Santos - it has piers, refrigeration facilities, ice plants and processing plants-to enable fishers to unload their catch, process them and export their products to whatever markets because of their nearness to airports.

The region has been identified as part of the country's super highway for tuna being located in the Eastern seaboard hosting the untapped exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the Pacific Ocean.

The Pacific Sea is home to migratory species like bluefin, yellowfin, and skipjack tuna, which usually go there during the colder months of the year's second semester.

"With the absence of fish port in the region, the tuna catch in Eastern Samar is being monopolized ice plant operators. Fishermen were forced to sell it to them at a lower price," he told Leyte Samar Daily Express.

If the project will be pushed through, it will attract canning operations, fish mill plants and many investors in the tuna industry and will create more jobs. He said that it will also boom the existing mariculture (marine agriculture) zones in the region because of the steady market.

The P300 million is ready for release by the Department of Agriculture but the realization of the project will depend on the response of the city government.

City planning and development officer Roland Hidalgo said that the local government is interested to locate within the two-hectare area covering the Old Bus Terminal and Brgy. 37 Reclamation Area.

Implementation of the project has been delayed with the opposition of informal settlers, saying that they will relocated during the construction of the new fish port.

In an earlier interview, the official assured that no families would be displaced considering that the city government will expand reclamation to accommodate the new facility.

BFAR is looking at the towns of Guiuan or San Julian in Eastern Samar as alternative project site if in case the plan will not succeed in Tacloban. Albaladejo is hoping to start the project before the end of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's term next year.

The agriculture department embarked on a medium-term plan to boost fish catch and sustain the high growth Philippine fisheries by investing in ports in the country's Eastern seaboard.






Sep 10, 2009

Establishment of Regional Wildlife Rescue Center and Mini-Zoo in Tacloban pushed

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The top environmental official in this city said that the establishment of a Regional Wildlife Rescue Center and Mini-Zoo in the northern part of Tacloban will be beneficial to Taclobanons, even as he strongly defended the project against critics who claim that it is unnecessary and distracts the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (ENRO) from its main task, which is to collect and dispose garbage.

City Environment Officer Jonathan Hijada stressed that we should count ourselves "lucky" that Tacloban City, of all places in the region, was chosen by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as the site of the rescue center.

"Borrowing from the Palawan experience, where a rescue center was put up earlier, the establishment of a similar facility here, I'm sure, will also bring many benefits not only to wildlife and plant species, but also to the environment and residents themselves," he said.

For one, according to Hijada, the establishment of a rescue center would ensure the survival of several threatened and endangered wildlife species found in the region like the Tarsier and Monkey- Eating Eagle.

"Each specie plays a vital role in the functioning of the ecosystem. Dwindling number or the extinction of any wildlife specie will have negative affects on our capabilities to sustain the well-being of human society," he emphasized.

Based on a study conducted by American scientists, the dwindling number or extinction of any wildlife or plant specie alters the biological communities.

These changes in components of the Earth's biodiversity, according to the same study, have a strong potential to alter ecosystem properties and the goods and services they provide to humanity. Taking strong steps to minimize current losses of species is necessary for responsible management of Earth's ecosystems and the diverse biota they contain.

Another advantage, according to the city environment officer, is that the project will protect the area from further degradation.

"The overall plan includes the implementation of a Reforestation Project within the site. That will reforest the denuded forest cover, prevent soil erosion, and ultimately prevent the occurrence of flooding in the area," he pointed out.

On the economic side, said Hijada, the rescue center is expected to boost tourism in this city

"The rescue center is aimed to eventually become an eco-tourism destination that will attract visitors from near and far," he said.

"We are fortunate that we host a project that is expected to benefit Taclobanons a lot with minimal effort and expenses on our part. The attention we focus on it doesn't even affect our garbage collection and disposal effort. Instead of attacking it, our critics should instead support the project," he appealed.

Based on the Project Plan, the Regional Wildlife Rescue Center and Mini-Zoo will sit on a 50-hectare lot within the nearly 200 hectares Community-Based Forest Management Area in Barangay Salvacion in the northern part of Tacloban.

The rescue center is primarily intended to be the temporary repository for abandoned and illegally-traded wildlife and plants in different parts of Region 8.

As agreed upon, the city government will provide manpower, management and veterinary service. DENR will provide technical support and financial assistance for the food and medicines of the animals, while the people's organization will continue in its efforts to protect the environment in the area.

Funding for the project will come from Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez of the First District of Leyte and the DENR.

Work on the project is set to start next month.






Sep 10, 2009

P25M water project
to start soon

By Jenette Fariola-Ruedas

ABS CBN News - Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY -- To answer the problem of insufficient water supply being suffered by households in the city, the Leyte Metropolitan Water District (LMWD) said is is set to start its automated in-line boosting project.

"So this is to temporarily answer the water problem in our area, especially at the city, while the rehabilitation project has no concrete plan yet," MWD information officer Maritess Pascua said.

The project's main objective is to bring enough water to supply in areas especially at the downtown area after insufficient water supply has become a problem of the majority here.

With the project, a booster pump will be used to get an increased volume of water from the source that will be distributed to the areas, instead of merely relying on gravity.

"The problem with gravity is that, if we have a very low pressure, the water is not distributed to high areas and even to some parts in the city," Pascua added.

Through the project, the office also expects that activities of illegal connections of water pumps will be eliminated, not merely minimized. The water utility said that defective pipelines would also be replaced.

A budget of P25.6 million has reportedly been allocated for the project that would be fully implemented on March 2010.






Sep 08, 2009

Eat Bulaga's Dabarkads show at Astrodome wows the audience

By Fred Padernos

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The Eat Bulaga Dabarkads, which wowed over ten thousand people at the Astrodome last Sunday, Sept. 6, described the show as a very successful one here in Tacloban.

Former senator and now Chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board Tito Sotto, who is one of the pillars of Eat Bulaga, told Leyte Samar Daily Express that the whole Dabarkads was overwhelmed by the warm welcome they got from the people of Tacloban, Samar and Leyte areas.

Sotto said people were really excited to personally witness the noontime show that the night before the show - hundreds of spectators coming from the neighboring towns and cities slept at the grounds of the Astrodome to make sure they could fall in line very early and get the chance to enter the Astrodome to watch the show.

Other members of the Eat Bulaga Dabarkads, namely Ruby, Lougie, Julia, Paolo and Kim, were one in saying that they had a great experience from Tacloban for their first Eat Bulaga show in the City.

However, only about 6,000 people were admitted inside the venue based on the maximized seating - while ensuring full security of the spectators. Those who were not lucky enough for an entry remained outside as they were provided with loud speakers for them to hear - at least, the audio. In fact, some winners of the different raffles were from those outside- they were only allowed entry to claim their prize.

For their part, Mayor Alfred S. Romualdez and Councilor Cristina Romualdez both said that the very popular manila based show - the Eat Bulaga - is a proof that Tacloban is really known nationally because of its ongoing developments, and also of the good people of city who are helping make Tacloban a peaceful city.

Mayor Romualdez also noted that the show boosted the economy and tourism aspects of city, saying that those who came for the show such as the whole Eat Bulaga group and the spectators spend a lot of money for their accommodations, food and transportation while in the city.

Aside from these, others also went on shopping at the big stores around the city especially at the new Robinsons Place being the newest attraction. All these helped stimulate the business and economy of Tacloban, said Romualdez.

Pinoy Henyo

While lots of people won thousands of pesos from the different raffles and game shows including the Kaserola Ng Kabayanan, supervised by DTI representative Dejo R. Molina- the biggest winner were the young couple who bagged the jackpot round of the Pinoy Henyo.

According to Tito Sotto, the young couple will represent Tacloban live over GMA7,s Eat Bulaga as studio contestants for their weekly finals. Their plane ticket, hotel accommodation, other expenses related to their appearance for the show will be shouldered by Eat Bulaga.






Sep 07, 2009

Work on proposed regional wildlife rescue center set to start in October

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- Work on the proposed Regional Wildlife Rescue Center and Mini- Zoo in this city is set to begin next month.

City Environment Officer Jonathan Hijada in an interview yesterday said that work on the said project will go full blast once a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) will be signed between the city government and project partners.

Last week, the City Council had authorized City Mayor Alfred Romualdez to enter into a MOA with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Paraclete Integrated Agro-Forest Development Association, Inc., a people's organization.

"The MOA signing will be held either in the middle or end of this month. Once it is done, work on the project will immediately start," Hijada said.

The city environment officer disclosed that the initial stages would involve landscaping and the putting of animal cages within the project site.

The proposed Regional Wildlife Rescue Center and Mini-Zoo will sit in a 50-hectare lot within the nearly 200 hectares Community-Based Forest Management Area in Barangay Salvacion in the northern part of Tacloban.

The rescue center is intended to be the temporary repository for abandoned and illegally-traded wildlife and plants in different parts of Region 8. The rescue center is also meant to become an Ecotourism destination that will attract visitors from near and far.

As agreed upon, the city government through the City ENRO and the City Veterinary Office (CVO) will provide manpower, management and veterinary-related service. On the other hand, DENR will provide technical support and financial assistance for the food and medicines of the animals while the people's organization will continue in its efforts to protect the environment in the area.

Funding for the project will come from Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez of the First District of Leyte and the DENR. The DENR initially pledged P 200, 000 for the project, it was learned.

Meanwhile, in the same interview, Hijada denied that the attention that his Office is devoting to the establishment of such rescue center is distracting it from its main task, which is the collection and disposal of garbage within the city.

"Our office is more than capable of performing the two tasks at the same time. It is not true that our performance in the collection and disposal has deteriorated. In fact, it has become better," he stressed. He pointed out that less garbage are left uncollected in the streets and their area of coverage has increased to 129 barangays.

Besides, Hijada explained, the putting of such rescue center is within their mandate of ensuring the preservation and sustainable management of natural resources.

"We should be happy that Tacloban has been chosen as the site of the rescue center because we only have to provide the site and technical support for a project that will benefit many," he ended.






Sep 06, 2009

Eat Bulaga noontime show scheduled at Astrodome Sunday

By Fred Padernos

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- For the first time in history of Tacloban, the GMA7's institution noontime show "Eat Bulaga" with its Kaserola ng Kabayanan segment will be done at the Tacloban City Convention Center on September 6, 2009 - a Sunday.

Tacloban was chosen by Eat Bulaga bigwigs as venue for the show as part of their on-going Tatlong Dekads ng Dabarkads 30th anniversary tour around the country and around the world.

On Sunday, eat Bulaga will feature its Kaserola ng Bayan game show wherein, as shown in their previous shows, the lucky one among the participants will have the chance to win the big jackpot cash prize. Many other game shows have been readied for all ages among the show spectators.

Ten popular Eat Bulaga hosts including Tito and Vic will lead the show. As of press time, Joey de Leon is still arranging his schedule for the Sunday show- as he has also a live show on the same day in Manila over the same network. The popular and celebrity sexy dancing group- Sex Bomb Dancers and EB Babes are also expected to come for the show.

Those who are interested to watch the show must have a minimum purchase of P20 of any product sponsoring the show. The business store hours at the grounds of the Astrodome would be from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday.

On the following the day, Sunday, the most awaited show will start at 9 a.m.-5 p.m. wherein the people will just have to present their proof of purchase (POP) as their entrance pass. The show would be taped, and will be featured immediately the following week on Eat Bulaga show.

Ms. Susan Vergara, incharge of Astrodome, told Leyte Samar Daily Express that Eat Bulaga requested for 5,000 seats, but due to the big stage for the show its seating capacity had reduced to 4,912 chairs on condition that no one will take sit on the stairways.

Mayor Alfred Romualdez and Councilor Cristina Romualdez, other councilors, departments heads and employees will join the Sunday Eat Bulaga show.

With this big show, Mayor Alfred S. Romualdez immediately created a composite team from the police, security groups, traffic enforcers, including to firemen and blue guards to ensure security and safety of the Eat Bulaga team as well as the audience.






Sep 06, 2009

Unilever Philippines to shoulder painting of Tacloban Supermarket meat section

By Fred Padernos

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- Unilever Philippines will shoulder the painting of the newly-renovated Meat section of Tacloban Supermarket which is set to start this week.

Ray Rodriguez, president of Tacloban Market Vendors Forum, told this paper that to make the meat market more attractive and clean officials from the Unilever offered to paint the building at their own expense.

Rodriguez said this is the company's way of helping the marginalized vendors sector and in support to the Limpyo Tacloban program of the city Mayor.

During the opening of the meat section last Aug. 28, Mayor Alfred Romualdez expressed his gratitude to Unilever, saying this is a big aid not only to the vendors but also to the city government which is now undertaking various projects for a better city.

Elizalde Ladrera, chairman, Tacloban Meat Vendors Multi-Purpose Cooperative, revealed that an agreement between their coop and the city government existed that the cooperative will shoulder the renovation of the stalls inside the meat section amounting to more or less P11,000 which would be reimbursed by the city government.

With the new tiled stalls, roofing and flooring, the meat section now is clean and convenient to both buyers and vendors compared to how it was before.

Ladrera who is leading the 68 meat vendors inside the market vowed to maintain the cleanliness in their area with the full cooperation of the whole organization.

Fraudulent weighing scales

Customers could now be assured of getting what they paid for when buying meat with the use of a digital weighing scales.

Ladrera also told this paper that they will now be using digital weighing scales to avoid deceitful manner of selling their merchandise and to protect the consumers.

"Nagsarabot na kami nga digital weighing scale an amon gagamiton para malikayan na an mga tsinamberan nga timbangan. Diri na gihapon kami makarawat han mga postor basi waray na gihapon panlimbong ha pamaligya," said Ladrera.

The cooperative chairman also vowed to police their own ranks and shield the consumers from any deceptive act of the vendors.

UNILEVER Philippines, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of laundry detergents and soaps, shampoos and hair conditioners, toothpastes, deodorants, skin care products, household cleaners, and toilet soaps.

Unilever works closely with the communities and other NGOs to protect and improve the environment.






Sep 04, 2009

Police chief says peace and order situation in Tacloban not alarming

By Joey A. Gabieta

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The top police officer of this city, Senior Superintendent Brigido Unay, assured the public that Tacloban remains to be peaceful, deflecting criticisms that the city has become a haven of persons engaging in illegal activities.

However, efforts to solve crime incidents in the city could only be solved with the cooperation of the people, particularly barangay officials.

"Tacloban remains to be generally peaceful. There is nothing to be alarmed yet. But your policemen are doing their best to address crime incidents in the city, which mostly involves petty crimes," Unay said.

According to the city police chief, it is unfair for them to be accused of not working and taking proper actions in addressing the occurrence of various crime incidents in the city.

The occurrence of crime incidents in the city, Unay admitted, had been used by other people who appear either to destroy his reputation as a police officer or after his post he occupied June of this year.

Still, the city police chief said that the 222 police men of the Tacloban police station are doing their best to address the crime incidents.

Unay stressed that for his critics to say that there is a breakdown of peace and order in the city is unfair and without any basis at all. He said that since he assumed as police chief of Tacloban, only 96 crime incidents have been reported to their station.

And majority of the perpetrators were minors who could not be charged in court, Unay said. "These minors were involved in petty crimes like snatching and (home) burglaries," the city police chief said.

Unay also said that only two major murder incidents had occurred during his stint as police chief, the latest of which involved a man who was gunned down in Barangay Tigbao-Diit, this city.

On this latest case, police authorities with witnesses which could lead to the identification of the perpetrators, who were said to be riding in motorcycle. The victim's involvement on a hold up group and love triangle are the angles being zeroed in by the police investigators, Unay said.

Unay also said that for the past several occasions, he had held conferences with various sectors, notably those in the business and banking, regarding the peace and order situation in the city.

However, any efforts to solve crime incidents in Tacloban could not be solved by policemen alone, Unay said.

"We need the full cooperation of our civilians including our barangay officials and tanods," he said.

Tacloban with more than 200,000 population is manned by 222 policemen.






Sep 03, 2009

Meat section in Tacloban City Supermarket open Friday

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- City Mayor Alfred Romualdez led the opening Friday of the newly-renovated Meat Section of the Tacloban City Supermarket.

Mayor Romualdez, assisted by other city officials and leaders of several vendors' organizations in this city, led the ceremonial ribbon-cutting that formally opened the said facility.

Joining the mayor during the opening were Executive Assistant Nestor Nachura, Market Superintendent Cesar Salipot, Ray Rodriguez, president of the Tacloban Market Vendors Forum (TMVF), and Elizalde Ladrera, president of the Tacloban Meat Vendors Multi-Purpose Cooperative (TMVMPC).

Mayor Romualdez said that the city government prioritized the rehabilitation and repair of the Meat Section because it wanted meat vendors in the city to have a clean and healthy place where they can sell meat products.

Ladrera, on his part, thanked the city government for its help in renovating the said Meat Section.

"We want to thank the city government, particularly Mayor Romualdez, for helping us through the renovation of this building," he stressed.

It was learned that the city government spent nearly P2 million to repair and renovate the already dilapidated building. Per data obtained from the city government, P 1. 2 million was spent on repairing the roof, while P 400, 000 was allocated for the rehabilitation of the flooring, stalls, and drainage system around the building.

Ladrera said that the newly-renovated Meat Section will be occupied by around 100 vendors.

"Sixty of them are meat vendors, while the rest are selling vegetables, fruits, and other products," Ladrera disclosed.

"We want the public to know that the newly-renovated Meat Section, which is clean as any place in this city, is now open for business," he added.

Renovation of the Meat Section was started in May this year, and completed this August after three months of work. During the renovation, the vendors who were occupying the Meat Section were temporarily relocated to a building nearby, it was learned.






Sep 01, 2009

Clamping ordinance proposed

By Fred Padernos

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- Most of the existing establishments around the city has no parking area for their and their customers' vehicles. As a result, side walks, road sides becomes the common parking space for them- to the extent of overnight parking, while some are permanently making their front space, road or sidewalk as their parking space in the case of a hardware store.

There also other motorists that would just park their vehicles indiscriminately even in areas not allowed for parking especially when a traffic enforcer is not in sight.

All these instances are contributory to the traffic congestion in some areas, especially in the commercial district of the city. Hoping to help regulate more the traffic congestions, some members of the city council is now crafting a proposed ordinance called the "Clamping Ordinance". This means that once this proposed ordinance would translate into a full blown ordinance in the city, wheels of the parked vehicles, that have violated certain traffic rule, would be clamped and would pay the necessary penalty.

Rebecca Obenieta, Chief, Operations Division of the Land Transportation Office (LTO), who attended the committee hearing last week on the proposed ordinance, told Leyte Samar Daily Express that the intention of the proposed ordinance is very good, that is why this is being scrutinized and studied carefully thru a series of brainstorming and hearings, to make sure this will not be in conflict with existing ordinances on the city and of the barangays.

Engr. Concepcion "Ching" Esperas, Chief Building Construction and Maintenance Division of the City Engineer's Office, earlier stated that it is in the Building Code that buildings and commercial structures should provide setback or parking area in compliance with the law. She said under the present administration of Mayor Alfred S. Romualdez, all new construction of building are being required to provide setback and parking space- and this is being complied with.

To mention a few of the newly constructed big buildings in the city , these are the Robinson Place in Marasbaras, Gaisano Central and Dynasty Center, both along Justice Romualdez streets, each has its own parking space for their customers, it was learned.

In a man from the street interviews, many were in favor of the clamping ordinance saying this would discipline more the motorists and establishments owners and operators. The pedestrians too would have more convenient space for walking in the side walks - once the vehicles are removed from those areas.

Mang Arthur, a passenger vehicle driver, in a casual conversation told this writer that the proposed clamping ordinance would be helpful to public utility vehicles, as they could really park on the roadside when dropping or picking up passengers. At present, often times, he said, it's hard for them to do because of the parked vehicles.




    
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