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Jan 31, 2010

Region 8 not affected by possible rice shortage

By Sylvia Alvero Abadingo

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- Region 8 is not affected by the rice shortage despite experiencing dry season, Leo Cañeda, regional director of the Department of Agriculture, said.

Cañeda said Region 8 has already a rice variety which is drought resistant whose seeds is available to in case there is a prolonged dry season.

Region 8 is not affected by the rice shortage since we are one of the six regions that have surplus rice production, Cañeda said.

He stressed that although Region 8 might experience a big reduction of palay output since we are affected by the global economic crisis and climate change Eastern Visayas can still have manageable rice reduction of six percent.

But even with 6% rice reduction in rice output he said we will still be able to have a surplus on rice production which will make us a rice surplus region, Cañeda said

The DA regional director said rice sufficiency right now is 111 percent which is 11 percent in excess of the total rice production.

It is a challenge for the DA office, he said, together with their partners in the local government units as well as farmers how they are going to maintain and sustain the present rice production.

Meanwhile, Cañeda said the decrease in the price of rice is complimented with a lot of factors not only in terms of supply.

"Even if we are experiencing surplus in rice production, part of the excess production is used to support the other regions near Eastern Visayas," Cañeda said.

He said there is a need to intensify rice productivity in the region not only to meet domestic needs but also to ensure the rice supply in other regions.

Jan 20, 2009

Tacloban declares state of calamity in flooded barangays

Philippine Information Agency

Tacloban City -- The Sangguniang Panglungsod of Tacloban City, on January 19, declared a state of calamity in several barangays which have been flooded as a result of the incessant heavy rains.

The declaration was reached in a special session presided by Vice Mayor Arvin Antoni and attended by majority of the city legislators.

What prompted the City to declare a state of calamity was the fact that more than 40 families from Barangay 92, Apitong District evacuated to the Quintero Memorial Elementary School the night before due to waist-high flood waters.

Vice Mayor Antoni underscored that only the barangays specified in the declaration will be allowed to withdraw the five percent calamity fund from their budget.

In the early morning of January 19, Mayor Alfred Romualdez visited the evacuation center and looked into the needs of the families. He directed the declogging of the canals at Apitong to allow a continuous flow of floodwaters.

The immediate needs of the evacuees are food, drinking water and water for washing their clothes and water for the comforts rooms.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Region 8 also provided food packs to the families in the evacuation center.

Also affected by floods were other barangays in the City such as Barangay 88 in San Jose, Barangay 59 Picas Sagkahan and Barangay 109-A V&G Subdivision.

Tacloban and the rest of Eastern Visayas have been experiencing continuous rains which caused flooding in low-lying areas.

The Regional Disaster Coordinating Council has been giving daily advisories to the various provincial, city and municipal disaster coordinating councils to be vigilant and to immediately evacuate people in the low-lying areas so that they will be safe from flash floods and landslides.

Jan 20, 2009

30 families in Tacloban City evacuate due to floods

By Melanie L. Bingco

ABS CBN News - Philippines

Tacloban, Philippines -- Floods caused by several days of incessant rains have caused families in Barangay Apitong in Tacloban City to leave their houses and temporarily take shelter in a nearby school.

According to City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, 30 families have evacuated to the Don Vicente Quintero Memorial School.

"We used some of our trucks to take the people out of their flooded homes. We are also sending them relief goods," he said.

Among the evacuees is 65-year-old Ciriaca Martinez. She brought with her to the evacuation center some of her cassava and camote she had managed to harvest from her garden a day before the flooding.

"I'm glad I saved something to eat. But my plants are gone now. The floods will surely destroy them," she said.

Streets in the barangay were flooded with knee-high waters while some residents said the water reache up to their waist in some areas.

Jan 18, 2010

How politics is killing Tacloban

By Bong Austero

Manila Standard Today

I was recently in Tacloban City where I inevitably found myself immersed in pre-election concerns and had a whiff of the stink of local politics.

An unusual spectacle is unfolding in the electoral contest in the city. The incumbent mayor, Alfred Romualdez, is running for re-election. There's really nothing wrong with his quest for re-election because he has not yet exceeded his term limit. However, his slate includes his father, Bejo Romualdez, who is running for vice mayor. If both win, Tacloban will have a father and son sitting as Mayor and Vice Mayor, respectively.

I know. This situation is not really unusual in this country. Various permutations of political dynasty exist in this country such as husband-and-wife teams sitting as mayor and congressman or father and son sitting as mayor and chairman head of the Sangguniang Kabataan. But I think not very many families have the audacity to actually want to corner both the posts of mayor and vice mayor of the same city.

What adds to the unusual situation is the fact that Bejo Romualdez is the immediate past City Mayor of Tacloban City and he bequeathed the post to his son, the incumbent. In short, he is settling for a lower position in the 2010 elections. The even more twisted thing is that the older Romualdez has been reportedly telling people in campaign sorties that the situation bodes well for Tacloban because this means that the mayor cannot misbehave since he-the father-is watching him.

That's not it, yet. It gets even more outrageous. Former sexy actress Cristina Romualdez-Alfred's wife-is also running for re-election as councilor and has made it known that she wants to win as first councilor of the city.

The electorate has irreverently dubbed the trio the Holy Trinity of Tacloban-the son, the father, and the wife. In a rather twisted turn of events, the Romualdezes have latched on to the joke by using the same as some kind of justification for the anomalous situation. The incumbent mayor has been publicly saying that if Catholics don't have questions about the validity of the concept of the Holy Trinity, then they shouldn't question Tacloban's holy trinity. In Alfred's words: "If there is a Holy Trinity in the Bible, then Tacloban City has its own trinity. Dynasties have existed since the time of Jesus Christ."

I almost choked on the scallops I was eating when friends and relatives narrated the above to me. There were more reasons for consternation. Everyone had something juicy to contribute to the discussion about how the political situation in Tacloban City has degenerated to absurd levels.

There are 10 slots available for councilor of the city. There are 40 candidates who filed their certificates of candidacies. It stands to reason that anyone running for the post of mayor would field a complete slate. The Romualdez slate, however, is composed of 15 candidates for councilor. The Romualdezes want to convey the impression that they are so loved in Tacloban there's a long list of people jumping all over themselves to be associated with them. Fielding 15 candidates for the 10 slots increases the chances of cornering majority of the seats of the City council-a highly contentious battleground in the last three years for the incumbent mayor on account of a very strong opposition-but it also smacks of cheap opportunism. What kind of a leader willingly encourages members of his team to openly fight amongst themselves while he watches benevolently waiting to raise the hands of the victors?

Putting up a brave fight against the Romualdezes is media man Bob Abellanosa; the man who for many years read the evening news for the local television channel. Abellanosa is not exactly the first choice among those at the dinner table but most of them were willing to cast their lot behind the guy firmly believing in the mantra "anybody but the Romualdezes."

The political situation in Tacloban-something that has bordered on the absurd and the comical-has been simmering under the surface for quite some time now. The Romualdezes have only recently returned to power since they were thrown out with the Marcoses after the first Edsa revolution.

All over the city are tarpaulins of the handsome first couple of the city supposedly proclaiming the achievements they have made for the city. The joke among the citizenry is that whatever achievements are printed in the tarpaulins is unreadable as most of the space has been taken up by the huge picture of the very handsome couple. Some critics gleefully proclaim that that's exactly the major achievements of the couple-they've prettified themselves.

The Romualdezes have been at odds with the Petillas for many years now. The Petillas have held sway over the provincial capitol since the matriarch Remedios Matin Petilla became governor a few years after the Romualdezes' fall from grace. Petilla went on to become congressman and later on as deputy chairman of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation. The current governor of Leyte is her son Jericho Petilla.

The conflict between the Petillas and the Romualdezes has resulted in competition that has reached almost farcical levels- whatever programs for the common people initiated by the provincial government has been replicated by the city government and vice versa. For example, the province has a singing contest designed to discover singing talents. The city government has its own contest, held just a block away from the venue of the provincial contest. Even the backdrops of the two competitions seem to compete amongst themselves in terms of size. The provincial and city governments also compete in terms of who has the better morning exercise sessions.

The city folk have come to see the competition as akin to the kapuso vs kapamilya contest not only because it has become entertaining but more because it has become quite shallow although most concede that the competition has also somehow resulted in more services being offered to citizens.

The problem is that the competition had become dysfunctional in many occasions such as during the most recent city fiesta when the provincial government and the city government hosted their own festivals. Reports have it that the street dancing related to one festival was rudely interrupted because activities related to the other festival cut through the street dancing venue. During the recent Palarong Pambansa, which was hosted by the provincial government, the city government reportedly refused to allow the use of certain facilities owned by the city.

The result of all these is that there is now a seeming exodus to relocate most businesses to the nearby town of Palo, which already hosts most government regional offices. SM is reportedly building its first mall in the region in Palo and the Petilla matriarch, Remedios Petilla, is now running for the post of mayor of the town. There is also the plan to move the provincial capitol to Palo eventually. If all these happen, Tacloban will most like degenerate into a shell of what it used to be and what it could have become. No wonder "have mercy on Tacloban City" is an oft-repeated plea that's being whispered around by concerned citizens.

Jan 18, 2010

NSO Leyte & Regional office 8 to transfer to new building

By Marife R. Molon

Leyte Samar Daily Express

We would like to inform the general public that on January 28, 2010, the NATIONAL STATISTICS OFFICE (NSO) will be transferring to a new building, the LEYTE SR building located at Artemio Mate Extension, Brgy. Abucay, Tacloban City (former ABE College).

In this regard, all applications and processing of birth, marriage, death certificates and CENOMAR will be delayed from January 28 to February 15, 2010 to give way for the installation of lines and equipment of NSO CRS Outlet in the new building. All applications will be accepted thru BREQS at the NSO Regional office but processing will be done at the NSO Census Serbilis Outlet in Catbalogan, Samar. Results will be released one to two weeks upon date of application.

Endorsements, R.A. 9048 and R.A. 9255 transactions may still be filed at the NSO Regional office Census Serbilis Outlet (new building).

Clients are likewise advised to file their applications at Local Government Units (LGUs) that are using the BREQS. You may also avail of the Pilipinas Teleserve Inc. services by calling (02) 737-1111 or log on to

We do apologize for the temporary inconvenience but rest assured that the NSO management will do its best to get its services back to normal the soonest possible time.

For inquiries, you may contact (053) 321-5153 or email us at e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

We asked for your understanding and utmost cooperation.

Jan 17, 2010

City government to construct 3 flyovers

By Joey A. Gabieta

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- Soon, flyovers will dot some of the city's busy streets.

And the construction of these overpasses would mainly help decongest the traffic woes of the city, says Salvador Estudillo, chief of the Traffic Operations, Management, Enforcement and Control Office, during the weekly media forum "Express it at the Park" held at the Leyte Park Resort.

Estudillo said that the planned overpasses would be constructed along the streets of Justice Romualdez, Gomez, Rizal and at Marasbaras district.

The TOMECO chief identified those streets as among the busiest streets in the city where there are heavy volume of traffic.

"We have referred the plan to the City Architect Office for the design and the budget," Estudillo said.

But he said that planned construction of those overpasses is envisioned to be accomplished within this year.

"Those (structures) will help improve our traffic situation. Motor vehicles on those areas slow down whenever our pedestrians cross the streets. But with an overpass, there will be a smooth flow of the traffic considering that our pedestrians will now use the overpass," Estudillo said.

According to him, one overpass may cost over P300,000.

"The construction will start within this year," he said.

Estudillo admitted that because of the worsening traffic situation of Tacloban, their office has devised several schemes to address the problem. And one of them is the construction of flyover or overpass which has been put in place in other big cities in the county like Manila and Cebu.

Aside from constructing overpasses, the city government is also mulling of putting up additional traffic lights along Imelda and Rizal Avenues. Each traffic light costs about P5 million.

The installations of traffic lights in the city over a year ago helped improve its traffic situation.

Estudillo also said that new traffic scheme would also be introduced by the city government anytime soon.

The introduction of this new traffic scheme would be submitted to the members of the city council during their regular session this Wednesday, he said.

He said that all the six rerouting schemes put in place by the city government would be submitted by his office for the members of the city council to reconsider and for them to have a better appreciation of coming up of a new traffic rerouting scheme.

Jan 15, 2010

Mayor Alfred appeals to support senatorial bid of Bongbong Marcos

By Joey A. Gabieta

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY-- City Mayor Alfred Romualdez appealed to the people of the city and the rest of the region to support the senatorial bid of his cousin, Ilocos Norte Representative Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr.

Romualdez made this appeal yesterday as the senatorial aspirant joined him during his birthday celebration held at the old bus terminal this city.

The city mayor said that it's about time that the region will have its own representative at the Senate.

"It's been a long time since we have produced a senator. He will be a big help to us not only for Tacloban but even for the entire region," Romualdez said.

The young Marcos, who is the only son of former President Ferdinand Marcos and former First Lady Imelda Marcos, expressed his elation on the endorsement he got from his cousin.

Marcos echoed the call of his cousin that it's about time that Eastern Visayas be represented at the Senate.

"Region 8 is a place for me. I don't consider myself as just a representative of Ilocos Norte but of Eastern Visayas as well," Marcos said.

He vows to come up with pieces of legislation that would help address the region's problems.

If elected in the Senate, he said, he would pass laws that would help improve the country's agriculture and education sectors, among others.

The Ilocos Norte solon said that these two sectors are very important for the country to develop economically.

He said that improving the quality of agriculture and education would also be a big factor in addressing the country's problem on poverty.

The senatorial candidate, who is running under the Nacionalista Party, also vowed to help address the worsening graft and corruption problem in the country which he admitted to be a big reason why the country remains saddled in poverty.

Among those who welcomed Marcos in his visit to the city yesterday were his uncle Alfredo "Bejo" Romualdez, aunt Juliet Romualdez, mother of Leyte Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and Councilor Cristina Gonzalez-Romualdez.

On issue of political dynasty, Marcos said that it is still the choice of the people that should be respected regardless if those who would be elected came from the same family.

"The voice of the people is the voice of God," he said.

His mother, Imelda and sister Imee, are running for Congress and governor respectively in Ilocos Norte.

Here in the city, his cousin Alfred is gunning for a possible second term with his father, Bejo, and wife, Cristina, are also seeking for vice mayor and council seat, respectively.

Jan 15, 2010

Sambo says:
Traffic situation should undergo in-depth and
scientific study

By Fred Padernos

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- City Councilor Jerry "Sambo" Yaokasin, chairman of the committee on transportation of the city council, commented in an interview Wednesday that the traffic situation in Tacloban should undergo an in-depth and scientific study to be conducted only by experts.

Yaokasin added that it would be more ideal if an independent group would spearhead the study, so that its results would become more acceptable to the constituents of the city and to the affected commuters, transport operators and drivers and the business community as well.

He told Leyte Samar Daily Express in an interview that the re-routing scheme now being implemented by the city government through the TOMECO is reaping so much criticism because it was done haphazardly without even conducting a scientific study beforehand as it was considered still part of an "experimental" setup.

It can be noted that north and southbound public utility jeepneys were prevented from entering the city's central business district last December merely on the basis of the holiday rush. But until this month of January the re-routing scheme still remains prompting passengers and transport operators and drivers to complain.

Drivers and operators from Tanauan and Palo have already made their protest against this move and even filed a case against the city government, according to sources.

City Councilor and businessman Wilson Uy also lamented that the traffic scheme implementation is without legal basis and so inconsistent that it is already adversely affecting the commuters and the business community especially.

"Traffic re-routing such as this should be consistent and that it should be supported by an ordinance so as not to confuse the riding public," Uy said.

In an interview over DYVL radio station, Buddy Estudillo of the TOMECO said this re-routing scheme is yet "temporary and experimental" in order to come up with a final plan for an ideal city traffic scheme.

"From this experimental scheme, we will gather our observations and evaluation and we will forward it to the city legal office so that the City Mayor's office will give the necessary recommendations to the city council what to do," Estudillo said.

But Yaokasin expressed doubts if TOMECO people have enough expertise relative to conducting technical studies related to the traffic situation in this city.

"I recommend that an in-depth, independent, and scientific study should be conducted. I guess this would be more acceptable to the public to finally end these criticisms," Yaokasin said.

He said things like this should also not be politicized so as not to badly affect the various stakeholders.

"The traffic situation is crucial to every locality. That's a big factor to every city and its economy that's why a thorough study should be employed," Yaokasin said.

Jan 13, 2010

Tacloban strengthened revenue collection results in P17M excess of target tax collection

By Fred Padernos

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The strengthened revenue collection of the city government thru the city treasurer's office has resulted to a P17 million excess of the target collection for 2009.

Susan Cordaño, in charge of the city's treasury department, told Leyte Samar Daily Express that the target collection for 2009 was only P634 million - but on the process they had a P651 million or an equivalent of a 103% revenue collection efficiency.

All this, she said, was due to the full support that Mayor Alfred S. Romualdez had extended to the treasury department's programs and collection strategies which were also supported by the collection line managers and by the taxpayers.

With the excellent revenue collection in 2009, Cordaño pointed out that the city government did not implement any increase on taxes - it was just thru the improved collection program that resulted in a very effective tax collection.

For 2010, the treasury department would again face a new challenge in its revenue generation as its collection target has been elevated to P713 million. But Cordaño said, she is confident that they will be able to meet the target with the support of the local chief executive, and everyone involved in revenue collection.

She is encouraging all real property owners to pay their taxes within January in order to avail of the 20% maximum discount. However if they can't make it or if they would opt to pay in four installments and pay after January they could still avail of 10-15% minimum discount.

Those who would get their community tax certificate (cedula) are given time within January-February to avoid penalty. In March, a penalty of 6% would be collected retroactive from the starting month. To intensify the issuance of community tax certificate, more collectors had been deputized. A collector is now stationed at the Robinson's Place and Gaisano Central where people could pay their taxes, said Cordaño.

Jan 12, 2010

City treasurer:
Tacloban earned P651-M
in 2009

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The city government here generated more than P651 million income in 2009, a top city official reported.

City Treasurer Susan Cordaño said the total revenue collection for 2009 increased by 13 percent or P 80 million compared to the previous year, which stood at P 571 million.

"Of course, we were very much happy that the city's income increased without any tax increase. This is a testament to the excellent leadership of Mayor (Alfred) Romualdez and the city's business-friendly environment," she said.

The city treasurer added that it also showed that the city was able to withstand the effects of the global economic recession, and that the new strategies that the City treasure's Office (CTO) implemented in the revenue collection effort were effective.

"With the global economic recession we were not expecting a substantial increase in the city's income. At most, we were expecting a break-even income compared to the previous year," she pointed out.

Based on data supplied by Cordaño, the city government earned a total of P651,492,656 last year.

The bulk of the city's income came from its share of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) which increased by P 49. 2 million to P 395 in 2009 from P 346 million the previous year. The rest came from local sources.

Of the local sources, business tax collections contributed P 173 million to the city's coffer, up P 20 million or 13 percent from the P 153 million posted in 2008.

Collection from income-generating enterprises (including the New Abucay Bus Terminal and the Tacloban City Astrodome) increased by P 7 million or 18 percent, from the previous year's P 38 million to P 46 million in 2009.

Revenue from Real Property Tax (RPT) reached P 36 million in 2009, from P 33 million the previous year or a hike of P 3 million or 9 percent.

Cordaño attributed the increase in the city's income to the revenue collection strategies introduced by the CTO in the early part of 2009.

"The methods proved effective in increasing our revenues," she stressed.

Among the strategies introduced by the CTO were the strengthening of the revenue collection, conduct of twice a year auction of delinquent properties, and revisiting of existing tax ordinances.

Jan 10, 2010

Tacloban water system project to be started this week

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The implementation of the planned water system project for the City of Tacloban will start beginning this week.

Executive Assistant Eduardo Manadong in an interview Wednesday said that major parts of the project have already been bidded out and are set for implementation in the next few days.

"Private contractors that have won bids to implement the project's major components are just waiting for the Notice to Proceed," he said.

According to the city official, these major components are the improvement of water system in Basper with a budget of P 5.2 million; construction of water system in Sta. Elena worth P 3.5 million; putting up of water system in Upper Nula-tula; drilling of deep wells in three different sites in Cabalawan at a projected cost of P 6 million; construction of P 12 million water impounding dam in Palanog; and improvement of water system in Brgy. 60-A with a budget of P358,000.

"Those are the project's major components. There remain a few minor project components that will be implemented later on," Manadong disclosed.

Manadong said that once the project will be completed Taclobanons can expect a workable water system.

"The target is to finish the entire project by the end of March," he stressed.

Manadong explained that the city government decided to undertake the project because of the continuing "failure" of the provincial government-run Leyte Metropolitan Water District (LMWD) to adequately supply water to the city, especially the northern barangays.

According to him, residents of the 14 villages in the north will be the number one beneficiaries of the proposed project once it is finished.

The 14 barangays in the north are Palanog, Paglaum, Camansihay, Bagacay, Picas, San Roque, Sta. Elena, Cabalawan, Sto. Niño, San Isidro, New Kawayan, Old Kawayan, Salvacion, and Tagpuro.

"The project is primarily intended for people in the northern barangays, but it doesn't mean that other areas in the city will not benefit from it. People in the Downtown area and other villages outside the north will also get their own supply of water through water tankers," Manadong said.

"Though not a long-term solution, we, in the city government, are optimistic that the water supply problem will be somehow eased once the water system project will be completed," he added.

A priority of City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, the water system project was given a budget allocation of P50 million, it was learned.

Jan 08, 2010

Bayan-SB calls on city gov't to listen to plea of jeepney drivers

By Sarwell Q. Meniano

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TANAUAN, Leyte -- A progressive organization in Eastern Visayas has called on the city government to listen to the plea of drivers as they expressed support on the transport strike of jeepneys plying the Tacloban to Palo, Tanauan and Tolosa routes.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Sinirangan Bisayas (BAYAN-SB) spokesperson Bong Signo said in a statement that the rerouting implemented by the city government had caused a big slash of driver's income and entailed more expense on the part of passengers.

The group made the statement a day after jeepney drivers kicked off the transport strike, which paralyzed transportation in nearby towns of Tacloban.

"This transport strike is a sign that the city government has been implementing policies that don't consider economic burdens experienced by people," Signo added.

The city government has not allowed jeepneys to enter the downtown area since December 16, 2009 to avoid traffic jam in downtown during holiday seasons.

"Christmas season is over. We should be allowed to drive passengers up to downtown," protesting drivers said.

Signo said that the schemes imposed by the city government added up to the financial burdens wrought by oil price hikes, high registration fees, and penalties.

BAYAN SB has called on passengers not just to talk about the inconvenience but instead support the transport strike since they are also affected in terms of added fare expense.

The Traffic Operations, Management, Enforcement and Control Office (TOMECO) said that they are still awaiting orders from the city mayor's office whether to continue the temporary rerouting or make it permanent.

Jan 07, 2010

Foreigners, tourists to
report to BI within first
60 days of this year

By Fred Padernos

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- All permanent foreigner residents to include tourists who arrived in the country on or before Nov. 1 of last year must report to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) office within the first 60 days of 2010.

Milagros Repulda, alien control officer, told Leyte Samar Daily Express that pursuant to Sec. 20 of the Alien Registration Act of 1950, all aliens covered therein are directed to report in person to the BI office located at the City Engineer's compound along Justice Romualdez Street here. A report fee for 2010 in the amount of P300 will be collected from them.

Repulda further said that aliens who are 14 years of age and below and those aged 65 and above may be represented by their parents, legal guardians or legal representatives in complying with the above mentioned act.

Concerned aliens who would opt to be represented by a travel agent, broker or liaison officer, an amount of P500 as Express Lane Fee shall be charged in addition to the annual report and legal research fee, adding further that travel agent broker or liaison officer must present the original ACR I Card of the subject alien and a duly notarized special power of attorney (SPA) executed for such purpose, Repulda said.

Repulda clarified further that this is the Bureau of Immigration's process of accounting all aliens in the region for proper documentation and monitoring.

Jan 07, 2010

Construction of 3 health centers starts next week

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The construction of three new health centers for the City of Tacloban is set to begin next week.

This was disclosed by Executive Assistant Eduardo Manadong in an interview Wednesday.

According to the city official, the contract to build health centers in San Jose, Brgy. 61 (Sagkahan), and Brgy. 99 (Diit) has already been awarded last November 25, and the winning bidder, MAC Builders, is just waiting for the Notice to Proceed.

"Once the notice will be given, construction will begin, said Manadong, adding that they are expecting the facilities to be finished and fully operational by March of this year

City Health Officer Jaime Opinion in a separate interview said the health centers would be built to complement the existing public health facilities found in the city.

At present, there are 11 barangay health centers, six barangay health stations, and six main health centers, in addition to the city government-run Tacloban City Hospital and the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center, which is operated by the national government.

"We need more health centers that will cater to the poor, especially those living in the remote northern barangays," he stressed.

Opinion said that the more than 200, 000 residents here can expect better health services from the city government once the three projects will be completed.

"These are modern, well-equipped health facilities that will have the capacity to accommodate many patients," he pointed out.

For example, he said, the facility that will be built in Sagkahan will cover not only one or two barangays in the area, but the entire Sagkahan District.

A priority of City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, the construction of health centers was given an allocation of P 10 million, it was learned.

Jan 05, 2010

Boxing training center
to rise in Tacloban City

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The city government here will implement next month the plan to put up the first-ever Boxing Training Center in the City of Tacloban.

This was disclosed by City Sports Director Joel Bugho in an interview yesterday.

According to Bugho, he already talked with City Building Officer Danny Fuentebella, and it was agreed that implementation of the project will begin by February this year.

"Plans for the project are being finalized. The plan is to begin work on the project by next month," he said.

Bugho revealed that the city government will allocate P 150,000 for the project, which is strongly pushed by City Mayor Alfred Romualdez.

According to the city official, the planned Boxing Training Center will be located beside the City Engineer's Office (CEO).

"The garage beside the CEO building will be converted into a boxing training area that will be equipped with a boxing ring and other training equipment," Bugho disclosed.

Bugho said that the purpose of putting up such training facility is to provide a place where amateur boxers from this city can enhance their skills.

"Tacloban City has a big potential as far as amateur boxers are concerned. Despite lack of training facilities, young boxers from here have dominated most of the local and regional tournaments they have joined, said Bugho, noting the championship performance of Tacloban boxers in boxing tournaments held recently in Maasin City, Southern Leyte and in Palompon, Leyte.

Bugho said that a well-equipped training center like the one they are planning to build in this city will bring Taclobanon boxers to a higher level.

"The training facility will enable them to hone and further improve their boxing skills, which is necessary if they are to compete in national or international boxing events in the future," he stressed.

Jan 01, 2010

City government to upgrade Tacloban City Astrodome

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The City Government of Tacloban will implement next year the planned upgrade of the Tacloban City Convention Center (TCCC).

This was disclosed by City Building Officer Danny Fuentebella.

Fuentebella said the upgrade of the TCCC, which is popularly known as the Tacloban City Astrodome, is part of the plan of the administration of City Mayor Alfred Romualdez to convert the Astrodome into a sports complex.

"The planned upgrade of the Astrodome will be implemented next year and is expected to be finished before 2010 ends," he said.

"Once it will be finished, the dreamed of sports complex that will make Tacloban City the "Sports Capital" of Eastern Visayas will become a reality," the city building officer added.

Fuentebella bared that the upgrade of the said facility will involve the putting up of a soccer field, beach volleyball, basketball, and volleyball courts on the grounds of the astrodome complex; and the extension of the concrete sidewalk.

He added that aside from those, the city government will also install a ramp and an elevator inside the facility." Those will facilitate the entry and exit of disabled persons," the city official pointed out.

Fuentebella further disclosed that the city government will allocate P15 million for the project.

"The project entails a big amount as it will involve major construction and repair work," he said.

Constructed during the time of former Mayor Alfredo "Bejo" Romualdez at a cost of more than P300 million, the TCCC is the biggest and most modern facility of its type in the entire Eastern Visayas region. Presently, the Astrodome serves as a venue of a variety of local, regional and national events.

<<< FEB (01-28) 2010 NEWS




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