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22nd July 2016
DA to pour P100M for abaca rehab
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 22, 2016, 9:46 am


July 21, 2016

MAASIN CITY – The Department of Agriculture will download P100 million in abaca industry rehabilitation fund to Sogod LGU contrary to what DA secretary Manny Pinol has said during a gathering of farmers organization in Sogod, Southern Leyte last week.

The Agriculture secretary was in Sogod July 14 upon the invitation of former vice governor Sheffered Tan and Emmy Tan, reelected mayor of Sogod. Sheffered ran and lost to come backing Gov. Damian Mercado. Pinol claimed that Sheffered is a close friend of his younger brother.

In a press conference at the mayor’s office after addressing the farmers, Pinol committed that P100 million of the P2Billion left unspent by the DA will be used to rehabilitate Abaca industry in region 8, composed of six provinces in Samar and Leyte islands.

He said that all the money will be disposed before December “or else it go back to the national treasury.”

“It’s up to Sogod how fast they can produce the “inusa” variety,” said Pinol when asked if the amount will all be for Sogod.

He pointed out that P50M is allotted for the immediate procurement of planting materials. “This is however, a plant now pay later program”

He informed that President Rody Duterte knew about his coming to the province. Duterte was born in Maasin City. A decade ago, the abaca industry in the province was wiped out by bunchy top.

In a separate audience with Gov. Mercado, Vice Gov. Christofer Yap and all the mayors aside from Tan, the DA secretary said the same about the allocation intended for Eastern Visayas.

However, in article published in the DA website, the secretary said initial funding of P100 million (M) will be downloaded to LGU of Sogod through its Mayor Imelda U. Tan.

It was also reported in two other media outlets.

The reported downloading of the amount to Sogod LGU, doesn’t sit well with other provincials officials. They were asking why when the Secretary had said it will for Eastern Visayas.

When sought for his comment on Wednesday, Pinol in mobile interview told the Inquirer “what’s wrong with that?”

He added, “I can assure you that the P100M will not go into somebody’s pocket other than what it is intended for. And besides, they were the ones (Tans) who organized the abaca farmers.”

“Please don’t put political colors into our program. It will not be good for the LGUs.”

At the press conference in Sogod he had said in the presence of Mayor Tan, “local political divisiveness has taken its toll on me although I understand being a former local politician. After here I will be with another audience telling the same thing when I should be telling this at one time.”



6th July 2016
Butchoy intensifies; to boost habagat in south Luzon, Visayas
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on July 6, 2016, 6:39 am

(By Frances Mangosing, Jaymee T. Gamil; Philippine Daily Inquirer, 6 July 2016, 06:39 AM)

The satellite photo from Pagasa shows Typhoon ‘Butchoy’ swirling at the right of  Luzon. Habagat clouds
can be seen clustered over parts of the Visayas and much of Mindanao. PAGASA PHOTO

Typhoon Butchoy (international name: Nepartak) gained strength early Wednesday as it continued its northwest track.

The typhoon packed maximum sustained winds of 185 kilometers per hour near the center and gusts of up to 220 kph, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said at 5 a.m.

Butchoy was last tracked 1,010 kilometers east of Aparri, Cagayan and maintained its speed of 30 kph northwest.

Pagasa noted that while “Butchoy” has intensified, it maintains its speed and direction.


2nd July 2016
July 2016 Cebu Flood
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on July 2, 2016, 9:34 am

(Posted on YouTube by Cebuano residents, 1 July 2016)



29th June 2016
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on June 29, 2016, 6:14 am

REGRETTABLY, the conversation between President-elect Rodrigo Duterte and the news media has turned sharp and shrill. All but lost in the noise is the two parties’ common duty in law and tradition to serve and to inform the Filipino people on issues, events and policies that affect their interest and welfare.

A president—all at once the chief executive, fount of foreign policy, manager of the national household, guardian of peace and order, commander of the uniformed services, and arbiter of policy conflicts—is the most important pivot of news and policy in the land. The President is mandated by law to lead the nation and to promote transparency, accountability, and good governance.

But the Constitution also upholds the citizens' rights to free speech, free press, free expression, and peaceable assembly. It guarantees as well their right to due process, equality before the law, access to information, justice, and life.


25th June 2016
Arroyo asks SC to dismiss plunder case and set her free
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on June 25, 2016, 8:29 pm

(By Jeffrey A. Damicog & Rey G. Panaligan, 25 June 2016)

 Former President and re-elected Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has asked the Supreme Court (SC) to resolve her petitions on her P366-million plunder case involving funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) pending with the Sandiganbayan.

Arroyo elevated to the SC three issues -- the denial to post bail, determination of probable cause, and demurer to evidence.

A check with the SC showed that these issues may be tackled in next week’s full court session.

In a motion filed last Thursday, Arroyo pleaded the SC to resolve immediately her petition to dismiss her plunder case through a demurer to evidence after the Office of the Ombudsman has started investigation on a new complaint for plunder and malversation of public funds also in connection with the PCSO funds from 2004 to 2007.


22nd June 2016
PPI annual confab focuses on maritime disputes
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on June 22, 2016, 6:50 pm

A forum on the West Philippine Sea disputes will be among the highlights of this year’s 20th Annual Press Forum and Membership Meeting of the Philippine Press Institute, the country’s foremost association of newspapers.

Publishers and editors of PPI member-newspapers nationwide will convene in Manila for their two-day yearly gathering beginning on Wednesday, June 23, at the Century Park Hotel.

The forum, with the theme “Understanding the Disputes in the West Philippine Sea,” also marks PPI’s celebration of its 52nd anniversary.


17th June 2016
Nene bucks Duterte plan to bury Marcos in Libingan
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on June 17, 2016, 11:41 pm

(By Jovic Yee, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 17 June 2016 11:41 PM)

PARTIDO Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) chair emeritus and former senate president Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel said on Friday the remains of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos should stay in his northern hometown of Batac amid the raging debate over suggestions to transfer him to the Libingan ng Mga Bayani.

"I have been suggesting for a long time that Marcos should be buried in a place where he is honored by the people. And that’s in his hometown (Batac)," Pimentel told reporters when sought for comment on incoming President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to transfer Marcos at the Libingan, which has been the dictator’s family’s request over the past two decades.

He noted that at least in Ilocos Norte, Marcos would be able to “get all the honors that he wants.”


16th June 2016
Stakeholders craft management plan for two So. Leyte caves
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on June 16, 2016, 9:11 pm

(By Marcelino M. Pedalino, 16 June 2016)

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, June 16 (PIA)  --  For two consecutive weeks, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional and provincial offices took the lead in gathering various sectors to draft plans designed to manage two caves in the province.

The management function focuses on sustainability, to see to it that the caves remain protected and preserved, ensure visitors’ safety, even as uses for tourism purposes and other development projects are considered.

This week, a three-day workshop is underway , June 15-17, to do just that for the Guinsohotan cave located in barangay Cagnituan, this city, while next week, June 22-24, a similar activity is scheduled for the Cambaro cave in barangay Cambaro, Macrohon.


13th June 2016
Philhealth-Eastern Visayas aims P 4B release this year -- Bacariza
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on June 13, 2016, 4:40 pm

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, June 7 (PIA)  --  The Philippine Health Insurance (Philhealth) Vice President for Operations in Region 8 is hoping to release as much as P 4 Billion this year in payments to hospitals and individuals for health services rendered.

“We are the only health insurance in the world that is happy when we pay more,” Walter Bacariza, regional Philhealth head, announced Thursday, June 2.Bacariza was in the city to grace the inauguration of a well-improved provincial Philhealth office in the city, which was actually in the same location at barangay Mantahan, on the road leading to the old hospital, but this time Philhealth occupied the entire two-storey building.

Their main office used to be at the second floor, now it is on the ground floor, accessible to the elderly and persons with disabilities (PWDs), said Henry Madula, provincial Philhealth manager.In a short talk during the program, Bacariza recalled that in 2009 some P 200 Million in Philhealth claims were released in Eastern Visayas and, six years later in 2015, this ballooned to P 3.3 Billion.“I hope to do P 4 Billion release this year,”

Bacariza declared.He said the new, expanded office underscored the agency’s commitment to serve the public, to be the beacon on matters of health and wellness, as well as the accompanying financing.

The office of the Congressman was represented by its staff, Jason Calva, while the provincial government was represented by Administrator Jessie Quilanting in the ceremonies.

Calva cited Philhealth for always coordinating with his office, while Quilantang mentioned the creation of a hospital enterprise board in which Philhealth provided insights and suggestions.

In the impromptu interaction with the local media, Bacariza enlisted their help in getting across the message that everybody can avail of Philhealth benefits.“Even non-Philhealth members,” he added.  (mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte) 


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