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Oct 31, 2009

Low dengue mortality rate noted in Tacloban

By Jean Mae M. Agullo

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- Dr. Jaime Opinion Jr., the city health officer, said in an interview that there was a low mortality rate of dengue cases in Tacloban City.

As of January to September this year, the reported dengue cases in the city as of January to September this year was around 224, based on the surveillance conducted on the different hospitals.

However, half of the reported dengue cases were just suspects, since in Tacloban most patients are not from the city.

"We're constantly vigilant in the monitoring of dengue cases because mag set-in na an cold season, of course tag-uran, so it is very risky," Opinion said.

Opinion said the help of the tri-media is really needed in order to inform the people and in terms of giving enough education to different constituents.

The City Health Office is constantly reminding everybody through radio, print and television regarding the threat of this disease, he said.

They also conducted seminars on different schools and barangays in order to give awareness in the prevention of dengue.

Join the Fight against the Dengue Fever!
DOH launches National Anti-Dengue Campaign

Oct 29, 2009

Fr. Suarez to conduct anew a healing mass at Sto. Niño Parish on Nov. 5

By Joey A. Gabieta

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- Healing priest Father Fernando Suarez is set to conduct anew a healing mass on November 5.

This was learned from Father Alvero Amadeo, media officer of the Palo archdiocese, who said that the healing mass of Father Suarez is to be held at the Santo Niño Parish Church starting at 9 am.

"But as we expect thousands of people, we are requesting that only the gravely ill attend the healing mass. They will be given the priority," Alvero said.

The Nov.5 healing mass of Suarez would be his second time as he had conducted the same rites in August of last year at the Santo Niño Church, which was attended by tens of thousands of people coming from different parts of the region.

Father Alvero said that colored yellow tickets will be issued at all parishes within the Palo archdiocese. Those who have the tickets will be allowed to get inside the church.

And to ensure order and security within the Church premises, they have asked assistance from the members of the city Philippine National Police.

Father Suarez, who is a native of Batangas, has gained massive followings, to include from other countries in the world due to his reported ability to heal sick persons.

Oct 28, 2009

City government to implement P50-M water system project

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The City Government of Tacloban will commence the implementation of a P50-million water system project this coming December.

This was bared by Executive Assistant Eduardo Manadong in an interview Friday.

Manadong said that work on the multi-million-peso project would go full blast once the bidding process will be completed.

"The bidding is scheduled next month. Once the winning bidder will be selected, project implementation will begin immediately. It could be in the first half of December at the earliest," he pointed out.

The executive assistant 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 13 villages in the north will be the number one beneficiaries of the proposed project once it is completed.

The 13 barangays in the north are Palanog, Paglaum, Bagacay, Picas, San Roque, Sta. Elena, Cabalawan, Sto. Niño, San Isidro, New Kawayan, Old Kawayan, Salvacion, and Tagpuro.

"The project is especially 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 ," he pointed out.

Manadong disclosed that the city government would use a P50-million loan obtained from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) for the completion of the entire project, which is one of the priorities of City Mayor Alfred Romualdez.

"The bulk will cover the putting up of water system facilities like water tanks and an impounding dam, while the balance will be used to acquire water tankers that will bring water from the source to the downtown area," he said.

The city official revealed that there will be three sources of water for the proposed pocket water system project.

The three sources, according to him, are deep wells to be dug up in three different sites in Cabalawan, surface water in Bagacay, and an impounding dam (water harvesting facility) in Salvacion.

"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," Manadong said.

Oct 28, 2009

Camella developments

BusinessWorld Online, Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY -- Camella Homes and Communities, a unit of Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc., aims to fully develop its nine-hectare property in Palo town in Leyte in less than two years.

Geraldine S. Gascon, Camella general manager in Leyte, said the development would be expanded to adjacent properties. The company is also looking at developing properties in other parts of Leyte as well as in Samar.

The Camella subdivision is the first housing project undertaken by a Manila-based developer here. Five model houses were opened this week for public viewing.

The property is located along the national highway in Brgy. Campetic in Palo town. Ms. Gascon said they target to complete 50 housing units by next month. The initial target was to build 200 housing units.

Around 70% have been sold since the project was launched in February this year, she added.

Oct 26, 2009

Alfred proposes P713 M budget for Tacloban in 2010

By Joey A. Gabieta

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- City Mayor Alfred Romualdez has proposed a budget of over P713 million for next year which he described to have been prepared under the principle of transparency.

The proposed 2010 city budget in the amount of P713, 450,012 was submitted by the chief executive to the members of the city council last week for their deliberations and approval.

In his budget message, Mayor Romualdez said that the 2010 budget was thoroughly deliberated by the members of the local finance committee as he stressed that it is open for scrutiny by the public.

"It is important to stress at this point that the preparation of the budget has been open to public make decisions more participative and democratic," Romualdez said, whose office has a tentative budget of P108.74 million for 2010.

The proposed 2010 budget, which is an election year, is relatively higher compared to the present budget of P634, 469, 164.

The P713, 450,012 is by far the biggest budget for the city which is operating as a highly urbanized city.

Share on internal revenue allotment (IRA), which amount to P395 million, remains to be a big source of Tacloban's income as mentioned in the proposed budget with the other sources of the appropriations taken from local sources like fees and charges and other revenue-generation efforts of the city government.

The remaining uncollected IRA shares of Tacloban covering the years 2000 and 2001 amounting to over P 5 million was also mentioned as a source of the proposed budget.

Under the 2010 proposed budget, the allocations on maintenance and other operating expenditures has the biggest allocation in the amount of P255.186 million with the personal services item receiving the second biggest allocation in the amount of P239.576 million.

Budget on capital outlay was given an allocation of P174.734 million which includes therein the more than P80 million for development projects which the city government intend to implement next year.

The appropriations to calamity fund was placed at more than P 35.672 million with the item on financial aid to the city's 138 barangays reaching the amount of over P8.280 million.

In addition, under the proposed 2010 city budget, items on so-called "operations of and to front line services" were given a combined allocation of more than P 409 million.

Item on "other projects" worth over P 136 million was also part of next year's fiscal budget of the city government.

The proposed budget also carried itself the amount of more than P41 million as payment of its debt payment.

Oct 23, 2009

City gov't to upgrade City hospital

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The City Government of Tacloban is set to begin next month the upgrading of the Tacloban City Hospital in Marasbaras.

This was bared by TCH chief of hospital Dr. Joedina Gumagay in a recent interview.

Gumagay said that work on the P30 million upgrade project will go full blast anytime next month.

"Funding for the project has already been secured and the bidding process has already been completed. Only a little is needed to be done before the go-signal for full implementation of the project will be given," she pointed out.

"Work on the upgrade is targeted to begin during the early part of November," added Gumagay, who said that the upgrade is expected to be finished by April of 2010

Gumagay said that the city hospital can offer more and better medical services to the more than 200,000 residents of this city once the upgrade will be finished.

"Because of antiquated equipment and inadequate facilities, we were not allowed to perform operations, major and minor, at the city hospital. We always referred persons in need of operation to the EVRMC," she pointed out.

"But once it is upgraded, operations could be performed in our hospital," the hospital chief added.

A priority of the Administration of City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, the upgrade 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; repainting of the entire facility; and purchase of new hospital equipment.

The upgrade will be funded by a P30 million grant from the Department of Health (DOH).

Of the P30 million, P13 million was set aside for hospital structure rehabilitation, while P17 million was earmarked for the purchase of new medical equipment like Sphygmomanometer, Stethoscope, Portable Suction Machine, Nebulizer, Bedside Table, Major OR Light, Surgical Suction Machine, and OR Table

The sorry state of the facilities and equipment of said hospital prompted Mayor Romualdez to prioritize its upgrade this year, it was learned.

Oct 23, 2009

City gov't to construct 10 mini-gyms next year

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The City Government here will construct 10 mini-gymnasiums in different barangays in this city next year to the tune of P40 million.

The proposed projects are included in the recently approved P1.2 billion annual investment plan (AIP) of the city government for fiscal year 2010, according to executive assistant for infrastructure projects Eduardo Manadong.

Manadong, in an interview yesterday, did not identify the 10 barangays where the mini-gyms will be put up, but disclosed that mostly barangays in the downtown area and in the suburbs will be the site of the soon-to-be implemented mini-gym projects.

"Almost all barangays in the north already have mini-gyms, so, we will now turn our focus to areas outside the northern barangays," he said.

This year, the city government completed the construction of eight mini-gyms, five of which are located in the northern barangays.

Those five are the mini-gyms constructed in Brgy. 106 (Sto. Niño), 12 (GE Palanog); 103 (Palanog); 107 (Sta. Elena); and 105 (San Isidro).

The remaining three are mini-gyms completed in Brgy. 60 (Sagkahan), 83-A (Burayan), and 68 (Anibong).

Manadong disclosed that the city government has already set aside P40 million for the putting up of the 10 proposed mini-gyms.

"Putting up a typical mini-gym cost around P4 million, so P40 is needed for the 10 mini-gym projects to fully implemented," he pointed out.

The executive assistant said that the target date for implementation of the mini-gym projects is the first quarter of 2010.

"We will make it sure that the projects are implemented before the Election Ban takes effect," he stressed.

Manadong, who was tasked by Mayor Romualdez to monitor the implementation of infrastructure projects, said that the city government prioritized the mini-gym projects because of their benefit to people in the barangays.

"Mini-gyms serve as a venue for a variety of important activities in the barangays like graduations, meetings, and sports and youth activities," he emphasized.

Oct 21, 2009

Amphitheater roofing to be replaced with a durable one

By Fred Padernos

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The expensive imported roofing of the Balyu-an amphitheater called high tension fabric would be replaced with a new set-this time with more durable than the previous.

City Architect Danny Fuentebella told Leyte Samar Daily Express that the replacement however would not cost the city government even a single centavo because the project is still under warranty - which means it will be the contractor who will shoulder the expenses.

Fuentebella further informed that the new roofing that is coming out in a month is a product of a more improved technology and design from the manufacturer abroad.

Because the existing design of the roofing is a bit shorter than the amphitheater's floor area, the new roofing would be equal in width so that spectators of any show thereat would not get wet when it rains, he said.

Fuentebella pointed out the old roofing which have been removed already was, for several times, hit by bad weather in the previous months- so that because of its minimal damage it has to be replaced with a new one based on the warranty agreement.

To further beautify and widen the floor area of the amphitheater a sizeable portion of the shore is now being reclaimed where a marker would be erected and make it an additional attraction in the city, said Fuentebella.

Oct 20, 2009

"Tagay!" event breaks Guinness world record on wine tasting

By Joey A. Gabieta

Leyte Samar Daily Express

GOV'T CENTER, Palo, Leyte -- As expected, the current world record of biggest gathering of people for a wine-tasting event was broken on Sunday as over 9,000 people participated the "Tagay!" event organized by the An Waray party list group.

"I could not find a word to describe how we feel with the success of this endeavor. Thank you to all who participated to this event, "muttered Representative Florencio "Bem" Noel.

Based on their counting, about 9,330 participated the "Tagay!" event, surpassing the current world record which was participated by 5,100 people established in 2006 in Spain.

But more than breaking the world and a possible honor from the Guinness book of world records, what made the event more fruitful and significant was the donations made by the participants, Noel said.

According to him, the items donated by the participants were estimated to have reached close to half a million pesos. "All these donated items will be delivered to the Palo archdiocese," Noel said.

The "Tagay" event, held at the MacArthur Landings Memorial National Park, had become an event for a cause wherein participants gave items to be donated to the victims of "Ondoy."

Noel said that while the current world record of the biggest wine-tasting event has been broken, this still remains to be unofficial as this will be verified by the people behind the Guinness book of world records.

"That is why, we have people from the PICPA," he said, referring to the association of auditors which checked the number of participants during the first ever "Tagay!" event.

Several mayors and private groups from various parts of the region participated in the event staged by the An Waray party list group headed by Noel and Rep. Neil Montejo.

Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho "Icot" Petilla, who was among the guests, lauded the effort of the An Waray party list group saying that aside from raising donations for the typhoon victims, the activity will further boosts the region's local wine industry, the "tuba."

With the unprecedented support that they received from the people, similar events might be undertaken by them in the near future, Noel said.

Popular television personalities, K Brosas and Karla Estrada, both from the region, entertained the huge crowd that gathered for the event.

Oct 20, 2009

Leyte to continue commemorating US landing, Gov assures

By Bong Pedalino

Philippine Information Agency

Palo, Leyte -- On the eve of the historic beachhead of the American soldiers in the shores here, both the heroism of the US troops and the Filipino guerillas were refreshed in the minds of those who actually participated in the action, and in spirit for the generations that followed after those war-torn years.

This was the mood last night at the Bethel International School here, during the awarding rites for the ten oldest surviving second world war veterans, particularly in these parts of the country, Leyte and Samar, one of the highlights in today's 65th Leyte Landing commemorative festivities.

"We will not forget your heroism," Leyte Gov. Jericho "Icot" Petilla told the attending US and Filipino war veterans, now in their advanced, senior years yet were still able to come and be counted for this year's anniversary.

"We young people look up to you, to be inspired, and we will continue to commemorate the Leyte landing for the succeeding years," said Gov. Petilla, adding that this will be the task of the sons and daughters of the veterans as a fitting tribute for their sacrifices.

Petilla acknowledged that the WWII combatants were a vanishing tribe, saying the "Veterans were disappearing every year," even as he wished them to be around for next year's celebration.

The 65th Leyte Landing commemorative events carried the theme "A Salute to the Valor of our Last Living Heroes."

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is expected to be the guest of honor and speaker in the anniversary program at MacArthur Park, the site where the "GI Joe's" landed, and where MacArthur delivered his now famous "People of the Philippines, I have returned..." address.

Oct 18, 2009

Leyte "Tagay for a Cause" breaks world record for largest wine tasting event

Philippine Information Agency

Tacloban City -- Leyte has broken the world record for largest wine tasting event with the support of the thousands of participants from all walks of life, in the Tagay for a Cause, tuba wine tasting event of Oktubafest which was spearheaded by the An Waray.

The PICPA which was the official tabulator for the event reported a total of 7,187 participants which is more than the current record holder, Spain, with more than 5,000 participants.

The Guinness Book of World Records had assigned an adjudicator for the Tagay for a Cause, the International Wine and Food Society, the representatives of which were present during the wine tasting event.

An Waray Partylist representatives Florencio Noel and Neil Montejo, both expressed gratitude for the overwhelming said the response of the people of Region was overwhelming.

About 10,000 people were at the Oktubafest's 'Tagay for a Cause' at the MacArthur Landing Memorial Park at Candahug, Palo, Leyte on Sunday, October 18.

However, the PICPA or the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants accounted for 7,187 participants who were registered.

It was learned that the cut-off time was 2:30 in the afternoon. Those who arrived after the cut-off time were no longer included.

Furthermore, three truck-loads of donations for the flood victims in Luzon were brought by the participants to the Tagay venue at MacArthur Park.

These donations were turned over to the Social Action Committee of the Archdiocese of Palo which in turn will send the goods to Luzon.

Donations varied from used clothing, canned goods, local dried fish, among others.

Oct 17, 2009

"Tagay" tuba tasting event to break Guinness Record on Sunday

By Joey A. Gabieta

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- A world-breaking effort for a good cause.

This will be the aim of this Sunday's "Tagay!" that is expected to draw huge crowd and break the standing record of the world's largest wine-tasting event.

And taking the center stage for this event is the "tuba" undoubtedly the region's most well-known wine, sourced from the coconut tree, itself a huge industry with millions of people in the region depending on it as their source of income.

Representative Florencio Noel of the An Waray, who is behind the event, maintained that it is not only to boost the wine-making industry of the region and land a page at the Guinness Book of World Records.

The lawmaker said that this Sunday's event to be held at the MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park at the Candahug, Palo, will also serve as venue for the people in the region to donate victims of the two devastating typhoons that hit Metro Manila and Luzon early this month.

All the participants will be asked to donate, be it in cash or in kind, during the afternoon event, Noel said.

"Originally, we have wanted to make the event as lively as we can but in the light of the calamity that hit Metro Manila and Luzon, we have decided to tone down by asking the participants to donate instead," Noel said.

Noel noted that many of the victims of "Ondoy" and "Pepeng" were from Eastern Visayas, the main base of the An Waray party list group.

The "Tagay!" event was originally designed as an attempt to break the world record of the most number of persons in a wine tasting event set in September 15, 2006 at Plaza de Toros, Arande de Duero wherein 5,100 Spaniards participated the event.

Around 7,107 participants, which represent the number of islands in the country, are expected to join the event, Noel said. The projected number of participants is expected to increase, he said.

During the event, all the participants will take a small amount of tuba.

The event will be held at the MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park in Palo, Leyte, the exact location where the legendary American general Douglas MacArthur landed 65 years ago which led to the liberation of the Philippines from the Japanese invaders.

Noel said that several groups and local officials in the region have pledged to join the event which is expected to surpass the record. Delegates from the International Wine Society will witness the event, he added.

Oct 17, 2009

City gov't to upgrade 2 FMR in the northern barangays

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The City Government of Tacloban, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Office of Leyte First District Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, will upgrade next year two major farm-to-market roads (FMR) in the northern part of the city to the tune of P 45 million.

This was disclosed by Assistant City Engineer Concepcion "Ching" Esperas in an interview Thursday.

Esperas said that the two FMRs slated for upgrade next year are the 6. 2 kilometer long Palanog-Paglaum FMR and the 5.2 km long Picas- San Roque FMR.

"These two FMRs are only gravel roads that need to be upgraded, " she pointed out.

Esperas said the upgrading will primarily involve the cementing and concreting of the two FMRs.

"Our Office has already prepared the Program of Works (POW) for the two proposed upgrading projects," she disclosed.

"Barring unforeseen circumstances, the upgrade of the two FMRs will commence in the first quarter of next year. Hopefully, before the end of 2010 the upgrade will be completed," added Esperas.

Esperas revealed that P30 million will be spent for the upgrade of the Paglaum-Palanog FMR, while P15 million was earmarked for the Picas-San Roque FMR.

Funding for the two upgrading projects, according to her, will be jointly shouldered by the city government, DA, and Office of Cong. Romualdez.

"Cong. Romualdez and DA have agreed to shoulder a part of the P45 million needed for the upgrading of the two FMRs," Esperas revealed.

The assistant city engineer said that the upgrading projects will not only benefit Palanog, Paglaum, Picas, and San Roque but will also help economically the seven other barangays in the north.

The other barangays in the northern part of the city are Sta. Elena, Cabalawan, Sto. Niño, San Isidro, New Kawayan, Old Kawayan and Tagpuro.

"Once finished, the upgrade will speed up movement of farm products from the benefiting barangays down to their market," Esperas emphasized.

The economies of most, if not all villages in the north are predominantly agricultural, the products of which include livestock, rice, corn, coconut and other high-valued fruits and vegetables.

Oct 15, 2009

55 barangay chairmen support supplemental budgets of city gov't

By Lito A. Bagunas

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- Majority of the Barangay Chairmen here are supporting for the implementation of the water system project as well as other priority projects that will be implemented this year by the city government.

This was supported by the more than 55 barangay chairmen who visited the Sangguniang Panglunsod during their regular session.

Eden Chua Pineda, ABC president, told Leyte Samar Daily Express that the barangay chairmen visited the Sangguniang Panglunsod without formal invitation to observe the session if the supplemental budget No. 4 amounting to P18 million and supplemental budget No. 5 amounting P95 million which is the supplemental budget for the priority projects of the some barangays in the city.

Pineda said they are in favor to approve the supplemental budget No. 4 and supplemental budget No. 5 which the city government has prioritize for implementation.

"Kami nga mga barangay chairmans denhi ha syudad han Tacloban are in favor nga ma-approbaran ini nga duha nga mga supplemental budgets kay para ini kaupayan han tagsa-tagsa nga mga barangays denhi ha city ngan mga Taclobanons nga nag kikinahang hin maupay nga serbisyo hin tubig," Pineda added.

She said if some of the opposition councilors are questioning the approval of th two supplemental budgets it's up to them because the city government is sincere in the implementation of all projects to the 138 barangays in the city, especially the water system project.

"Duro gad it paniguro hit aton mayor Alfred Romualdez nga ma-implement na ini nga tanan nga mga priority niya nga proyekto para han Tacloban ngan ngada man gihap ha mga kabarangayan denhi ha syudad han Tacloban," Pineda also said.

Meanwhile, councilor Jerry "Sambo" Yaokasin, chairman of the committee on finance, said that it is a very important that the city council should approve supplemental budgets.

Yaokasin said being the chairman of the committee on finance of the City Council, he is in favor of approving the two supplemental budgets which will be used for priority projects for the barangays.

Oct 15, 2009

E. Visayas to send rice

BusinessWorld Online, Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY -- Agriculture officials in Eastern Visayas said they were ready to ship the region's surplus rice supply to Luzon.

Eastern Visayas is currently 119% sufficient in rice, said Department of Agriculture (DA) regional executive director Leo P. Cañeda.

"As our moral duty, we should also be helping our brothers in Luzon. Whatever excess production we will have, it will go to that part of the country," Mr. Cañeda said.

He said previous projections of a decline in rice production this year might not happen because the region has been spared from destructive typhoons.

In the first semester of this year, palay or unhusked rice production was recorded at 518,174 metric tons. This was slightly lower than the harvest in the same period last year.

Oct 12, 2009

Wine tasting event festivities toned down due to calamity

By Joey A. Gabieta

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- Representative Florencio "Bem" Noel of the An Waray party list group said that the much-awaited attempt of a world-record for the biggest wine tasting event would be toned down amid the calamity that hit the Luzon areas.

Instead of a pure merry-making and attempt to land at the pages of the Guinness Book of World Records, the over 7,000 participants would donate, either in cash of in kind, Noel said during a press conference Saturday afternoon.

All the donations that would be collected on that day would be donated to the victims of "Ondoy" and "Pepeng," the party list solon said.

Noel, however, stressed that aside from changing the mood, the activity will go as planned.

The activity, dubbed simply as "Tagay," will go on as scheduled in the afternoon of October 18 at the Leyte Landing Monument at Barangay Candahug, Palo where American forces led by the legendary General Douglas MacArthur landed to liberate the country 65 years ago.

The "Tagay" participants will come from various parts of the region, mostly from towns of Leyte's first district and is expected to draw 7,107 persons. But Noel said that the number could increase due to the overwhelming support from different mayors and private organizations.

At present, the current holders of the world's biggest group of individuals who congregated for a wine tasting activity is being held by the Spaniards.

The An Waray party list solon said that the activity is expected to consume 55 jiggers of tuba, the region's most well known wine sourced from coconut tree.

"This is our way of promoting not only the entire (coconut) industry and tuba which is our very own product," Noel said.

Both Presidential Assistant Cynthia Nierras and Tourism Regional Director Karina "Rosa" Tiopes pledged their total support to the activity.

Nierras, a former trade and industry director, said that the activity should be supported by all considering tuba is closely associated to the region.

"I believe that tuba is something which we should all be proud of," she said.

For her part, Tiopes said that the activity could promote tourism in the region and in the process, help the tuba industry which is a main source of income of tens of thousands of people in the region.

"The Department of Tourism has been committed to this event from the very start because we believe that we can boost our tourism and the product as well," she said.

Oct 08, 2009

Bayantel plans rollout

By Paolo Luis G. Montecillo

BusinessWorld Online, Philippines

TACLOBAN -- The Lopez-owned Bayan Telecommunications, Inc. (Bayantel) will offer wireless landline phones with broadband in the eastern Visayas region next year.

Jose Adolfo Cornelio, Jr., general manager for eastern Visayas, said the company has to introduce new technologies to expand coverage in the region.

"We're looking at mid-2010 to launch solid plans. We want to roll out wireless technology that would cover both voice and Internet," Mr. Cornelio told BusinessWorld.

He declined to reveal other details, saying the project was in the early stage.

Oct 07, 2009

City to construct new abattoir next year

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- A modern, "AA" category slaughterhouse will be put up by the city government next year with a project cost placed at P 70 million.

City Veterinarian Eunice Alcantara, in an interview, disclosed that the construction of a new slaughterhouse is one of the priorities of the administration of City Mayor Alfred Romualdez for 2010.

"Considering the state of the Diit Slaughterhouse, there is a need for the city to have a new and upgraded slaughterhouse as soon as possible," she pointed out.

The city veterinarian disclosed that the planned slaughterhouse will be put up at the site of the old city government-run slaughterhouse in Diit.

"The old building there will be torn down and to be replaced by the new facility," she said.

Alcantara revealed that the soon-to-be constructed slaughterhouse will have a double- A status.

"Its classification will be a notch higher than the old slaughterhouse, which is of a single-A status," she said.

Alcantara explained that having a double-A status can boost the local meat industry as more investors will be enticed to use the facilities of the city-run slaughterhouse.

"Meat from a double-A slaughterhouse can be sold to other parts of the region and country," said Alcantara, who noted that with its single-A status, the Diit Slaughterhouse was only allowed to sell meat within the city

Alcantara added that an upgraded status would also mean that more hogs, carabaos, cows, and other animals could be slaughtered and processed at the new slaughterhouse.

"With a double-A status, the soon-to-be built slaughterhouse can accept double the number of animals being slaughtered on a daily basis at the old city-run slaughterhouse," she pointed out.

On a regular day, the Diit Slaughterhouse caters to 80-90 heads of hogs, 9-10 cows, and 5-8 carabaos.

The new slaughterhouse, based on the Project Plan, would be equipped with state-of the-art meat processing equipment.

Alcantara disclosed that the city government, with some assistance from the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), will set aside P 70 million for the project.

"The amount will cover the construction of new building, purchase of modern meat processing equipment, and the purchase of additional meat vans," she revealed.

"Once the planned slaughterhouse will be realized, the residents of this city stand to benefit a lot as a new facility will ensure that the meat the public will be buying is clean and safe," Alcantara ended.

Oct 06, 2009

Oktuba Fest, biggest boost to Leyte-Samar coco industry

Philippine Information Agency

Tacloban City -- After the success of the first Oktuba Fest last year, the An Waray party list, in its noble desire to promote the local coconut industry is coming up with the 2nd Oktuba Fest on October 17 to 18.

Mr. Philip Jude A. Acidre, chief political officer and Regional Chairman of An Waray, informed that local government units from all over Leyte and Samar have confirmed their participation to the said event.

The exciting activities for this year's Oktuba Fest include the search for the Best Bahal, Best Bahalina, Best Tuba Concoction and Best Tuba-infused Dish.

Participating in these activities are the official representatives of the various local government units in Leyte and Samar Islands.

Mr. Acide said that one of the highlights in this year's Oktuba Fest is the TAGAY: The Largest Wine Tasting Event which will be held on October 18, at the Government Center, Palo, Leyte.

This celebration hopes to bring together 7,107 tuba wine-drinkers, representing the 7,107 islands of the Philippines, to break the record in the Guinness Book of World Records for the Largest Wine Tasting Event.

Currently, the holder of the record is Spain, with a total of 5,095 participants. Breaking and setting the record in this event would prove to be a great achievement not only for the Eastern Visayas Region, but the Philippines as a whole.

The participants to the Wine Tasting event must at least be 18 years of age, Mr. Acidre said. Registration forms for the would-be participants, have been sent out and the deadline for submission of the pre-registration forms is on October 13.

The Pre-registrants will not only secure a slot for the event but are also entitled to an event souvenir.

Onsite registrations will also be conducted at the Rotonda of the Boys Scouts Monument near DepEd and Philippine Coconut Authority, the area near LAMP office at the MacArthur monument and the area on the left near the DENR office.

Oct 01, 2009

City population reaches 200,000, latest survey says

By Shiena Rose Castillano

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The City Population Office here confirmed yesterday that Tacloban had officially reached a total population of 217,199, according to the 2007 Census of Population Housing (CPH) of the National Statistics Office.

From last 2000's CPH of 178,639, the evident increase, however, was viewed by the City Population Office as not a cause of alarm since births occur normally every year. This just goes to show, according to Cielito Esquibel, the Population Program Officer of the City Population Office, that population cannot be controlled but can only be managed.

Esquibel also added that the being highly urbanized Tacloban City contributed to the population increase. "More migrants came here for schooling and employment. So migration, and not birth, caused the increase more," Esquibel stressed.

The Census of Population Housing is done every 10 years by the National Statistics Office. However, mid-decade or every five years CPH are also conducted when the need arises.

Oct 01, 2009

Tacloban to establish goat farm

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- In line with its Agricultural Development Program, the City Government of Tacloban through the City Veterinary Office (CVO) will push through with the plan to put up a Goat Multiplier Farm somewhere in the northern part of the city.

This as City Mayor Alfred Romualdez endorsed the said plan as a boost to livestock farmers and the agricultural sector in the city.

City Veterinarian Eunice Alcantara, in an interview yesterday, disclosed that the proposed farm will be established at the City-run Livelihood Training Center in New Kawayan.

"The entire farm will occupy 4 hectares of the 32-hectare livelihood center," she pointed out.

"Our target is to begin working on the project by November. Hopefully, before the end of this year, it will be finished," she added.

Alcantara said that the soon-to-be established goat farm will serve as source of goats for a Goat Dispersal Project that will be launched soon by the city government.

"The goats that we will disperse to identified farmer beneficiaries in the northern barangays by December or the next year will come from the goat farm," she said.

According to the city veterinarian, the project will be financed jointly by the city government and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

"NEDA will provide a P 2 million grant, while the city has allocated more than P 500, 000 for the undertaking," Alcantara disclosed.

She added that the Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Office headed by Director Leo Cañeda and the City Agriculture Office (CAO) led by City Agriculturist Alfredo Camposano would assist in the establishment of the goat farm by way of technical support.

The city veterinarian revealed that the farm will be managed by her Office. Initially, 25 goats of the Anglo-Nubian and Bower breeds purchased from a goat farm in the Municipality of Villaba in Leyte will be raised in the farm, it was learned.

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