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17th April 2015
Fisherman catches turtle, DENR tags, releases it
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on April 17, 2015, 7:16 pm

By Marcelo M. Pedalino

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, April 16 (PIA)  --  A local fisherman in barangay Combado here got the surprise of his life when what he thought was a big catch for the day turned out be a turtle, a Green Sea Turtle, according to personnel of the Office of the City Agricultural Services (OCAS) who examined it.

The fisherman, whose name was not immediately known, was quoted as saying the hook in his fishing line found its mark on the left side of the turtle’s shell just below the head, so the animal was not at all harmed or injured when it was hauled to the shore early morning Tuesday.

Crowd of curious onlookers easily gathered and watched the “catch” brought ashore, tended by OCAS personnel who contacted the DENR-CENRO for tagging and subsequent release.

The shell’s length measured 30 inches from the base of the head to the base of the tail, the width 22 inches, circumference, 90 inches, and its weight was approximately 70 kilos. 

Comments of facebook users from Ormoc, Luzon, and Australia mostly inquired about its condition when pictures of the turtle was posted on PIA-Southern Leyte’s facebook account.

A very brief video also got likes and a share.

In less than two hours since the turtle was brought to shore, DENR personnel released it back to the sea after proper tagging procedures, according to those who saw the “send-off” ceremony.

Turtles are known eaters of the deadly crown of thorns, a kind of sea urchin whose massive number can destroy coral reefs, it was learned.  (esg/mmp, PIA-Southern Leyte)


Marine Protected Areas existing sites increasing in So. Leyte
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on April 17, 2015, 7:14 pm

By Marcelo M. Pedalino

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, April 14 (PIA)  --  In less than two years, the number of marine protected areas (MPAs) all over this province has increased to more than 60 sites, up from 40 barely a year ago.

Eva Abad, head of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Management Office (PENRMO), disclosed in a cable TV program last week, that seven (7) more are expected to be added to the existing sites, and these new locations are all in the coastal barangays of this city.

The Sangguniang Panlunsod (SP) or the city council was deeply in the process of deliberating in its regular session the approval of the 7 new MPA sites, Abad said.

Fishing is strictly prohibited in areas tagged as MPAs, with designated bouys as perimeter boundaries clearly visible for fishermen to understand it is not allowed to get in.

MPAs serve as breeding ground for many kinds of fishes, and when these fishes do populate the surroundings the mature ones go out into the open, beyond the bouy-lined zones, and that’s the time local fishermen can catch them, Abad explained.

Most MPAs in the province covered large areas of mangrove forests, which also served as natural barriers against storm surges during stormy weather, Abad also said.

PENRMO is the provincial counterpart of a national agency, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), as mandated by the local government code of 1991.

In Southern Leyte province, PENRMO began to exist as a separate office in 1998 with the passage of the Provincial Environment Code, Abad informed.  (ajc/esg/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)


8th April 2015
Fuel wood production in So. Leyte answers need for wood as fuel
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on April 8, 2015, 8:42 pm

By Marcelo M. Pedalino

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, April 8 (PIA)  --  The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Management Office (PENRMO) in this province has initiated a forest production project specifically aimed to address the common need for wood as fuel for poor households.

Started in earnest last year, with initial harvest of fast growing local species like ipil-ipil expected in three years, the project, aptly named fuel wood production, has covered 19 hectares spread in 14 municipalities and one city, said Melay Labata, in-charge of forest services at the PENRMO.

The ideal set-up for the project was one hectare in a barangay per municipality and city, but four towns  --  Sogod, Libagon, Limasawa, and Padre Burgos  -- could not find any space, so other LGUs have two or more hectares to compensate the shortage in area, Labata said during the Provincial Report cable TV program Tuesday.

The barangay concerned will be the one to maintain the project, as stipulated in the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) while the provincial government, through the PENRMO, provided for the site development and the seedlings, Labata said.

Eva Abad, head of PENRMO, disclosed that for this year, Libagon has joined the fuel wood production project after finding a suitable four-hectare lot.

Also for this year, Abad said that they will intensify the project by encouraging private landowners whose lands remained idle for years to join, so their untended lands can be productive.

Abad said her vision will be for the local government units to replicate the initiative at their own levels to ensure a steady supply of fuel wood, in which wood gatherers will not cut just about anywhere but in the designated area in the barangay solely for this purpose.

This will also provide a sustainable livelihood to wood gatherers in the long run, Abad also said.  (mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte)


13th February 2015
GMA labor case prompts House inquiry
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on February 13, 2015, 5:22 pm

Two party-list representatives filed separate House resolutions that will look into the contractualization and alleged unfair labor practice of network giants, as response to the regularization suit filed by the members of Talents Association of GMA Network, Inc. (TAG).

On February 9, ABAKADA Partylist Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz filed a resolution to look into the industry-wide contractualization practice, with the 117 members of TAG as its case study.

And on February 10, Rep. Emmi de Jesus and Rep. Luz Ilagan of Gabriela Partylist, and Quezon City District 6 Rep. Jose Christopher Belmonte filed a resolution to have the House Committee on Labor conduct an inquiry into TAG’s fight for regularization.

The case is pending before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). TAG and GMA Network have filed their position papers.


Salaries Withheld (#WalangSahod)

But meanwhile, GMA Network is withholding the last salaries of the 52 TAG members whose contracts were not renewed last December 31, 2014.

In text messages sent by Program Administrators to TAG members last January 10 (the payroll schedule), they explained that the Network’s Finance Department are still waiting for clearance related to accountabilities and documents that have to be turned over.

TAG members have not been given their final salaries as of this writing.

But in a brazen move, Program Managers set a condition to several TAG members from some Public Affairs programs to receive their salaries --- by returning to work and extend their service.

Return to Work Order (#LabanMedia)

Network Managers talked to TAG members directly to explain that the Network’s Project Employment Contract (PEC) has been postponed, allowing for talents such as TAG Members who did not sign the PEC to continue to work by signing renewal of their ‘talent services’.

Since the non-renewal of contracts last December 31, some programs have had difficulty filling in the vacant positions, which has resulted to the management’s latest action: to offer TAG members their jobs back.

TAG is convinced that this latest move by the Management only proves that talents are desirable to the network; and desirability is one important qualification to be a regular employee.

However, managers could not give direct answers as to how long will they be allowed to work under the renewed talent service agreement. More importantly, managers could not also say whether they will still be allowed to work once the PEC is finally implemented.

With unclear work provisions, TAG members refused to take up the offer.

NLRC arbiters are set to issue a decision on March. As in any case, TAG and GMA Network can appeal the decision to the Commissioners until a final verdict is given.

TAG is confident that the Commission will favor its case.

Meanwhile, the response from lawmakers is already a positive development not just for TAG but also for the whole industry which has endured decades of unfair labor treatment.


The general public is encouraged to help give voice to the plight of media workers in the country by using #LabanMedia on social media beginning February 9.


12th February 2015
Highest bridge in PH in danger of collapsing
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on February 12, 2015, 8:46 pm

Heavy rains in the Eastern Visayas area during the past 12 months have resulted in landslides, eroding the protective covers of the two piers or columns of the 350-meter-long structure, built from Nov. 17, 2006, to Aug. 2, 2009, by the Arroyo administration with a P1.24-billion funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).


9th February 2015
Graft rap filed vs Vice Gov Tan, mayor Tan and MGB official
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on February 9, 2015, 6:40 pm

By Jani Arnaiz

MAASIN CITY–A graft complaint was filed against Vice Gov. Sheffered Tan, his wife and an official of the Mines Geo-Science Bureau (MGB) for allowing two private entities to quarry the province's biggest river even if they had no authority to do so.

Aside from the vice governor, named respondents in the complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas based in Cebu City were Tan's wife, Sogod Mayor Imelda Uy-Tan and Alilo Ensomo, MGB director for Eastern Visayas.

The complaint was filed by Eriberto Bandibas, official of Sogod Small Scale Fishermen Association who advocates against the quarry of Subang Daku River.


5th February 2015
Quarry operators owe goverment P8M in fees
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on February 5, 2015, 10:25 pm

By Marcelo M. Pedalino

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, February 4 (PIA)  --  The treasurer of this province disclosed that sand and gravel concessionaires along the mighty Subangdaku river in the town of Sogod has accumulated unpaid dues in the amount of P 8 Million. 

Provincial treasurer Jesse Go, in a meeting at the RKK Function House Monday which discussed the Subangdaku issue in relation to the recent Court of Appeals ruling, said that his office had sent demand letters to these delinquent operators but to no avail. 

This developed as the provincial government mapped out moves to implement the January 15, 2015 resolution of the Court of Appeals 20th Division overruling an earlier decision of the Regional Trial Court Branch 39 in Sogod. 


Police arrests village official in buy bust
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on February 5, 2015, 10:21 pm

By  Elvie Roman Roa

ORMOC CITY, Feb. 4, (PNA) – A village official was arrested by police authorities during a buy-bust operation they conducted at a rotunda in San Pablo village (barangay) on Tuesday afternoon.

The police identified the suspect as Kagawad Roland Kent A. Caberos, 41 of Luna village this city.

Police elements pounded on Caberos after selling a sachet of suspected shabu to a poseur-buyer at the rotunda going to Tongonan and Taclban city.

The suspect, a motorcab driver, denied he owned the item and refuted the allegation that he is into illegal drug activities.

Luna chairwoman Norma Lord said that some months ago, she urged him to end his rumored drug activity despite his fervent denial.

Lord said she will asked the DILG that she be allowed to conduct random drug test in her village because she is already alarmed that many teenagers in her village are into prohibited drugs.

“I want to put an end to this illegal drugs activities,” Lord said.

A violation of section 5 of Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 or selling of illegal drugs was filed against Caberos in an inquest proceeding.

Two houses razed due to overcharged cellphone
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on February 5, 2015, 9:55 pm

By  Elvie Roman Roa

ORMOC CITY, Feb. 4, (PNA) – Two houses were razed to the ground by a fire reportedly caused by an overcharged cellphone that left unattended in Jica, Lao this city on Tuesday morning.

No one was reported hurt but the victims failed to save any of their belongings.

Initial investigation by the Ormoc Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) revealed that an electrical short circuit caused the fire as claimed by the Armandp Cortes, the house owner.

The fire which started from Cortes’ house spread to his neighbor’s owned by Carmelita Gastalia. The two houses made of light materials were already engulfed when the firemen arrived at the scene. Nobody’s home when the fire started.

The city’s fire department received the fire alarm at around 8:30. The blaze started at around 8:20 in the morning.

The initial cost of damage was estimated at P600,000.00.

The BFP has warned the public to attend to their cellphones while charging. 

27th January 2015
Court of Appeals stops Sogod RTC TRO ruling on SAG extraction in Subang Daku
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on January 27, 2015, 11:28 pm

By Jani Arnaiz

January 27, 2015

MAASIN CITY–The Court of Appeals has indefinitely stopped a lower court from implementing its order to lift the cease and desist order issued by the provincial government against sand and gravel permittees who wanted to quarry from the province's biggest river.

In an order promulgated on January 15, 2015, the CA 20th division partly granted a writ of preliminary injunction order against Judge Rolando Gonzalez of the Regional Trial Court Branch 39 in Sogod town, Southern Leyte until further orders of the Court.

“Wherefore, premises considered, the application for a writ of preliminary injunction is partly granted,” The CA ruling states. “Accordingly, let a writ of preliminary injunction be issued enjoining the implementation of the RTC Resolution dated 16 June 2014, until further orders of the Court.”


Your Link to the regional weather outlook for Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines
GMA labor case prompts House inquiry, February 13, 2015, 5:22 pm

Highest bridge in PH in danger of collapsing, February 12, 2015, 8:46 pm

GMA labor case prompts House inquiry, February 13, 2015, 5:22 pm

Highest bridge in PH in danger of collapsing, February 12, 2015, 8:46 pm

missing pumpboat found, passengers safe, December 31, 2014, 4:47 am

DPWH-SLDEO activates DRRM Team for 'Ruby', December 4, 2014, 8:13 pm

Highest bridge in PH in danger of collapsing, February 12, 2015, 8:46 pm

Tacloban folks flee Ruby, December 8, 2014, 2:44 pm

All Hands Volunteers to join fun run, August 30, 2014, 4:28 pm

Quarry operators owe goverment P8M in fees, February 5, 2015, 10:25 pm

Police arrests village official in buy bust, February 5, 2015, 10:21 pm


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