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>>> DEC (23-31) 2008 <<<
Local news for Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines continually updated.
Definitive Source of News and Information about the Tacloban region.
Dec 31, 2008
Tanauan riders reign at 5th nat'l skimboarding competition
Philippine Information Agency
Tacloban City -- The Tanauan riders once again showed their dominance in the skimboarding water sports as they ran away with the choicest prizes at the 5th National Skimboarding Competition.
In the open category, the Tanauan skimboarders garnered the first four places with Lemuel Cobacha emerging as the champion. Coming in as first runner up is former National Champion Dariel Espada. The second runner up is Leo Espada, Champion of the 1st Penang, Malaysia International Skimboarding Competition, while the third runner up is Reuben Vivero.
Meanwhile, in the groumet division, Tanauan's Gerald Vargas was proclaimed the Champion. Nino Mercado, also of Tanauan, got the first runner up award while Palo's Nick Callosa got the second runner up trophy. Carl Gabas, the 2nd Penang, Malaysia International Competition groumet champion, received the third runner up prize.
The awarding was held on December 30 followed by the Reggae Party attended by thousands of spectators from various places of Eastern Visayas and the nearby regions.
Tanauan Mayor Roque Tiu expressed satisfaction on the outcome of this season's National Skimboarding Competition saying that with the kind of response the competition has been receiving from the enthusiasts, the local government is inspired to make it a continuing commitment.
Mayor Tiu also expressed his gratitude to Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla and the Provincial Government of Leyte, former Congresswoman and PAGCOR Vice President Remedios L. Petilla, Waray Partilist Representative Bembem Noel, and Victorias Skimboard and the other benefactors for their sponsorship to the Competition.
The 5th National Competition which was participated in by more than 100 riders was held at the scenic Skimboarding Area, Bantay Dagat, Sto. Nino, Tanauan, Leyte on December 27 to 30.
The National Competition was under the supervision of the Philippine Skimboarding Association and was managed by the Tanauan Pasaka Jaycees.
Dec 29, 2008
Taboso set to leave as Tacloban police chief
By Joey A. Gabieta
Leyte Samar Daily Express
TACLOBAN CITY -- After over a year, Superintendent Romulo Cleve Taboso is set to leave his post as chief of police of this newly-converted highly urbanized city.
Taboso, who was the youngest police chief of the city, has to leave the post as his current rank no longer fit to the new status of the city.
A police officer with a rank of senior superintendent should now act as police chief of Tacloban now that it is an HUC, Taboso said.
"For the meantime, I will attend my schooling. After that, I don't know what will happen next," he said.
Taboso, however, disclosed that Mayor Alfred Romualdez had signified his interest to get him back once he gets the needed rank.
"That is the plan. But let us see," he said.
At present, it is not yet clear who will succeed Taboso as police chief of the city.
As an HUC, a police chief of Tacloban is now co-equal with that of a provincial director whose appointment has to be approved by the city mayor in concurrence with the police regional director.
Taboso, who was named as city police chief in April, 2007 by Mayor Romualdez , said that he was proud of his achievement as he claimed that under his watch, the crime rate of the city decrease dramatically.
He said that prior to his stint in the city, Tacloban has one of the highest crime rates in the region.
In his first months of assumption, the prevailing crime rate of that time was reduced by 50 percent which was further decreased to 28 percent, Taboso said,
"And Tacloban police station has been named as one of the country's best police stations," he said.
"We also slowly, restored the confidence of our people towards the police (organization)," Taboso added.
He claimed that the police organization of Tacloban is efficient in solving crime accidents within the city that its capability could be an equivalent of ten municipal police stations.
"(But) of course we cannot do this without the support of the city officials led by our Mayor, Alfred Romualdez and our people..." Taboso said.
He said that he is lucky to have the support of the city mayor as he was provided with needed facility like new firearms, communication equipment as well as vehicles.
However, the city still needs new policemen in order to achieve a good ratio between a policeman and at least a thousand civilians.
At present, one policeman is responsible to the safety of 1,450 people. The ideal ratio should be one police officer to just a thousand people, he said.
Dec 29, 2008
Tacloban police seal service firearms
By Jenette Fariola-Ruedas
ABS CBN News - Philippines
TACLOBAN CITY -- Superintendent Romulo Cleve Taboso, Tacloban City police chief, has started sealing the service firearms of city cops with tape as part of preparations for the New Year's Day celebrations.
Taboso earlier warned his policemen that indiscriminate firing is highly prohibited.
All police personnel including officers were told to submit their firearms to be sealed then Taboso placed his initials on the tape.
"This is to make sure that they will not do indiscriminate firing, if my initials will be broken, then they might have fired their guns, those who will be caught firing their firearms indiscriminately to welcome the New Year will be arrested and charged," Taboso said.
He said there would be procedures to determine whose firearms would be used indiscriminately. Any police personnel caught firing their weapons indiscriminately during the long holidays would not be exempted from arrest, said the city police chief.
Taboso said that there was no record of indiscriminate firing during the last year's Christmas and New Year's Day celebrations and also said he hopes that it will still be the same this year.
Dec 28, 2008
Skimboarding is Tanauan's contribution to PGMA's Super-Regions dev't program
Philippine Information Agency
Tacloban City -- The municipality of Tanauan will continue hosting skimboarding competition as a fitting contribution to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's Super Region concept of development, Mayor Roque Tiu said.
Speaking before the big crowd gathered during the Opening Rites for the 5th National Skimboarding Competition on December 27, Mayor Tiu explained that in President Arroyo's Super Region concept of development the Central Philippines where Eastern Visayas is part, is being envisioned to be the country's tourism capital..
The local government of Tanauan is streamlining the municipality to the development highway of the President through skimboarding, Mayor Tiu said.
Tanauan is known as the skimboarding capital of the Philippines. This is what the town could offer to the prospective tourists, both local and foreign, Mayor Tiu said, and so this is what the LGU is developing.
Skimboarding national competitions in Tanauan is still a crowd-drawer. Not only do the more than a hundred competitors and their supporters come to Tanauan but also the thousands of spectators from the different parts of the Region. Not to be forgotten are the enterprising businessmen who come to Tanauan to sell their wares at the Skimboarding Area at Bantay Dagat, Sto. Niño, Tanauan, Leyte.
Mayor Tiu said that the local government will continue to develop not only the area but especially the young people because this will make them better citizens.
Already the municipality has produced international champions and inspired by this, the local government is committed to being the catalyst in honing the potentials of the young people.
Besides, this will divert their attention from vices which will only destroy their lives and their future, Mayor Tiu added.
Mayor Tiu thanked Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla for his unwavering support for the fast becoming popular watersports in this part of the world. This year, as in the past years, Governor Petilla has allocated funds for the competition which will run from December 27 to December 30.
Mayor Tiu also thanked the NGO partner, the Tanauan Pasaka Jaycees, and the usual sponsors, Victoria's Skimboards, the Philippine Information Agency, PAGCOR, Pepsi-Cola, New Leyte Edible Oil and the Department of Tourism.
Dec 28, 2008
8th ID chief reiterates vow to crush NPAs by 2010
By Joey A. Gabieta
Leyte Samar Daily Express
TACLOBAN CITY -- The insurgency-infested province of Samar will have a new face by 2010.
This was the bold prediction of Major General Arthur Tabaquero, commanding general of the 8th Infantry Division, who vows that their campaign to drive away members of the New People's Army would be over by that time.
"Hopefully, from 2010 onwards, we can change the entire Samar Island from being known as an island infested with NPA rebels to that of a progressive one," he said.
Tabaquero maintain that their campaign against the members of the armed group of the Communist Party of the Philippines is on the right track.
During her visit in Samar last September, President Macapagal-Arroyo personally instructed the commanding general of the 8th ID, which is based in Catbalogan, Samar to quell the insurgency problem of the region by 2010.
Tabaquero said that as directed by their commander-in-chief, he would make sure to carry out the order.
The region's top military official had repeatedly said that Eastern Visayas, including the three Samar provinces, have all the potential to become progressive but whose promise are not fulfilled due partly to the presence of the rebels.
While the rest of the region has been declared as insurgency-free, the latest of which was Biliran, the three Samar provinces remain to struggle with the problem on insurgency.
"As long as I am the brigade commander of the 8th Infantry Division, I will do my best to stop the region's insurgency problem," Tabaquero said.
He said that due to their relentless campaign against the insurgents, their numbers have considerably declined.
From as high as close to 1,000 armed members, the rebels have dwindled in number through the years, Tabaquero said.
Last year, there were around 700 active armed members of the NPA operating mostly in the three Samar provinces. But this year, their strength had gone down to 300, the commanding general of the 8th ID claimed.
The CPP-NPA has been conducting their Maoist guerilla campaign against the national government for four decades now. The armed struggle had already claimed thousands of casualties not only between the rebels and the soldiers but also civilians who fell victims to the armed conflicts.
Tabaquero maintains that while the government soldiers are aggressive on their campaign to end the insurgency in the region, the rights of the civilians are being closely considered.
"We are making sure that there will be no human rights violations committed against our civilians. Our soldiers are now reformed. Respect on human rights is now our priority because the subject on human rights is being taught in all subjects of recruitment..." Tabaquero.
Dec 26, 2008
Kaadlawan Festival by the beach never fails to evoke
Philippine Information Agency
spirit of christmas
Tacloban City -- The Kaadlawan Festival in Tanauan, Leyte has not lost its crowd-drawing touch as thousands of people from all walks of life and of all ages came to the Skimboarding Area at Barangay Sto. Niño to witness the different presentations evoking the true spirit of Christmas.
Held on December 21, the Kaadlawan Festival is an array of performances presented by the town's young talents in colorful Christmas costumes, from the selected kindergarten and elementary pupils, high school and college students, faculty and professional singing groups.
Mayor Roque Tiu said that in 2006, the municipal government decided to transfer the venue of the Kaadlawan Festival nightly activities, from the Tanauan Ampitheater to the Skimboarding Site in preparation for the December 27 Opening of the National Skimboarding Competition which is held in the area.
The entire two-hectare area which has been decorated with Christmas lanters, with kiosks scattered all over the area, huge tents to provide shelter for the spectators and the stage with the sea as its backdrop, provided a conducive atmosphere to this year's Kaadlawan Festival.
As usual, the presentations were well-applauded. The presentors, from the young toddlers to the professional groups, performed well and their enthusiasm in contributing thier own respective talents to make the Festival an outstanding success, is inspiring and worth emulating, Mayor Tiu said.
Conceived and initiated by Mayor Roque Tiu in 1994, the Kaadlawan Festival is a fitting tribute to the Lord Jesus Christ in anticipation and in commemoration of His Birthday. This is a much-awaited event where the best talents from the different sectors and from the different schools of the municipality perform Christmas plays, songs and dances. It is an offering of the best talents to Him from whom all these good things come from.
Dec 24, 2008
100 Tacloban City
workers to lose jobs
By Joey A. Gabieta
Inquirer.net - Philippines
TACLOBAN CITY -- Over 100 employees of the Leyte provincial capitol stand to lose their jobs early next year because the province's internal revenue allotment would drop by P90 million following the conversion of Tacloban into a highly urbanized city (HUC).
The affected employees, mostly casual and job order workers, were all residents of Tacloban City, whose voters overwhelmingly approved its reclassification into an HUC during the Dec. 18 plebiscite.
Leyte provincial administrator Vincent Emnas on Tuesday explained that they have to retrench the workers as part of their fiscal management.
"We will lose around P90 million at the maximum with the conversion of Tacloban into a highly urbanized city. The provincial government cannot afford [now] to maintain a big organization," Emnas said.
At present, Leyte receives around P950 million IRA.
However, Emnas said they projected a P90-million reduction in their IRA since a local government's share would depend on its land area and population.
He said the provincial government has to cut down on expenses by giving up some of their employees.
With the conversion of Tacloban into a highly urbanized city, it ceased to be under the control and supervision of Leyte, of which it was a component city for the last 55 years.
Aside from job order workers and casuals, even those holding permanent positions might also lose their jobs, Emnas said.
The provincial government has a workforce of over 2,000 and an allocation of P150 million for salaries and other benefits for the over 100 employees eyed for retrenchment.
Emnas also said that the planned mass termination of these employees should not be interpreted as an act of retaliation on the part of the provincial government.
However, the employees who would be affected have criticized the provincial government's plan.
"Why should we suffer? We have been working hard for the provincial government. It is not our fault to be living in Tacloban when its people voted for its HUChood," according to casual employee Lenita, not her real name.
However, she said they could not do anything if this was the decision of Governor Petilla.
"Well, I have learned that new positions and offices will be created by the city government now that it is already a highly urbanized city. Hopefully, if we apply for work there, they will welcome and hire us," she said.
On the other hand, the Civil Service Commission in Eastern Visayas said that the conversion of Tacloban into an HUC could not be a valid reason for the termination of workers.
CSC assistant regional director Marilyn Taldo said permanent employees, in particular, enjoy tenure of service.
However, Taldo said it would not apply to casual and job order workers who could be dismissed at the discretion of the appointing authority, in this case, Gov. Petilla.
"Any termination, dismissal or suspension of a permanent employee involves due process and should have a valid cause under the civil service rules," Taldo said.
She also expressed her disappointment over the plan, saying that the firing of personnel should be based on performance.
Dec 23, 2008
Governor Evardone lauds Tacloban's conversion into highly urbanized city
By Joey A. Gabieta
Leyte Samar Daily Express
TACLOBAN CITY -- Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone lauded the conversion of Tacloban into a highly urbanized city, saying that it could help "project" that there is an on-going economic activities not only in the city but even in the entire region.
The reclassification of Tacloban into an HUC would surely benefit not only the people of the city but even those outside of it, the governor added.
"The conversion of Tacloban into an HUC is a good development as the region has finally its own highly urbanized city. It will really help in terms of projection not only for Tacloban but even for the region; that there is (an on-) going (economic) activities...," Evardone, one of the closest allies of President Macapagal-Arroyo in the region, said.
The governor, who is the regional chairman of the peace and order council in Eastern Visayas, admitted that prior to the conversion of Tacloban into an HUC, he chose not to issue any statements regarding the matter.
"It could be misinterpreted because one of the effects of the HUChood of Tacloban is its separation from the province (of Leyte)," he said.
As an HUC, Tacloban has ceased to be part of the administrative control and supervision of the Leyte province. Tacloban was part of the province for 55 years now as its component city.
President Arroyo issued Proclamation Order Number 1637 dated November 4 declaring Tacloban an HUC. However, the proclamation must have the support of the city's residents through a plebiscite.
On December 18, the city's registered voters of 36,353 supported the HUChood against the 21,419 voters who chose to reject it.
The members of the plebiscite committee, led by city elections officer Susan Collamar, proclaimed the ratification five hours after they convened last Thursday, effectively placing Tacloban among the country's 34 highly urbanized city.
Evardone said that he believes that the conversion of Tacloban into an HUC has good impact that could even be felt by the region, which is one of the most depressed regions in the country.
Ironically, Eastern Samar's provincial capital, Borongan, is fighting its classification as a city after the Supreme Court nullified its conversion from being a municipality to that of a city.
Meantime, Leyte Vice Governor Mimiette Bagulaya said that while she personally does not agree with the results of the plebiscite, she still urged the people to respect the outcome.
"While I am one of those who campaigned for the no votes, let us respect the will of the people," Bagulaya said.
She, however, asked the residents of the city to be always vigilant on the actions of the city government under Mayor Alfred Romualdez.
"We should always be vigilant to see if the promises made by the mayor will be realized now that Tacloban is an HUC," she said during the Christmas party of the members of the "Express it at the Park," a loose organization of media practitioners based in the city.
For businessman Wilson Chan, the city should have an "HUC watch" similar to that of the "SONA watch" wherein the President outlines her programs and visions for the country she mentions during her annual State of the Nation Address.
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