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19th January 2015
Record 6 million turn out for pope's final day in Manila
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on January 19, 2015, 12:00 am

(By Associated Press, 19 Januray 2015, 12:00 AM)

A group performs the traditional "sinulog" dance for Pope Francis on Sunday in Manila

MANILA, Philippines -- A crowd estimated at a record 6 million people by officials poured into Manila’s rain-soaked streets and its biggest park Sunday as Pope Francis ended his Asian pilgrimage with an appeal for Filipinos to protect their young from sin and vice so they can instead become missionaries of the faith.

The crowd estimate, which could not be independently verified, included people who attended the pope’s final Mass in Rizal Park and surrounding areas, and lined his motorcade route, said the chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Francis Tolentino.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the Vatican had received the figure officially from local authorities and that it was a record, surpassing the 5 million who turned out for St. John Paul II’s final Mass in the same park 20 years ago.


18th January 2015
Pope Francis in Manila: Six million attend outdoor Mass
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on January 18, 2015, 8:46 am

(By Caroline Wyatt, Religious Affairs Correspondent, BBC News | 18 Janury 2015, 8:46 AM)

An aerial view of Rizal Park shows the millions attending Mass 

Pope Francis has celebrated an outdoor Mass in front of unprecedented crowds in the Philippine capital Manila.

Six million people attended the ceremony or lined the Papal route to Rizal Park, city officials estimate.

That would be a record for a papal event. About five million welcomed Pope John Paul II in Manila in 1995.

The Vatican said Pope Francis had dedicated the service in part to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the country in 2013.

The Mass will be the Pope's final full day in the Philippines, where there are 80 million Catholics, concluding his six-day tour of Asia.


17th January 2015
'Amang' makes landfall in Eastern Samar; Metro Manila under Signal No.1
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on January 17, 2015, 1:42 pm

(By Bong Lozada, Inquirer.net | 5:27 PM, Saturday, 17 January 2015)

MANILA, Philippines—Tropical Storm “Amang” made landfall over Dolores, Eastern Samar, and is traversing Northern Samar Saturday afternoon shortly after Pope Francis left.

In its 5 p.m. weather bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Amang has maximum sustained winds of 100 kilometers per hour and gusts of 130 kph while tracking a northwest path at 19 kph.

Pope Francis was in Leyte Saturday morning to celebrate Mass with the survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”


16th January 2015
Registered pilgrims for Tacloban airport Holy Mass nearing 80,000
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on January 16, 2015, 7:37 am

By Marcelo M. Pedalino

TACLOBAN CITY, January 16 (PIA) -- The warm bodies that await Pope Francis’ arrival at the DZR airport here where he is going to celebrate what Catholics hold as the highest form of prayer tomorrow, January 17, has almost reached 80,000.

Rev. Fr. Cris Militante of the Palo Chancery Archdiocese said the number of pilgrims registered so far was “going 80,000” and still counting, as young volunteers kept on processing pre-filled-up papers coming in from various parishes all over the region and from other places.

“Everyone is invited, even other faiths,” Militante, a member of the Information and Communications office, disclosed Thursday after the press briefing at the Palo Chancery.

Asked if political leaders will also be attending the Holy Mass at the airport led by the visiting Pope, Militante said that the Archbishop had sent formal invitations to Mayors, Governors, and Congressmen, and they will be seated with the people during the open air engagement at the airport tarmac.

“Let us remember that the Pope is coming here for the victims of Yolanda, and politicians are also victims of Yolanda” Militante said.

During the press briefing, Rev. Fr. Amadeo Alvero, head of the Information and Communications Office, advised the various media outlets covering the event to be at their airport assignment before 6:00 in the morning Saturday for the area will be closed.

After the Holy Mass at the airport by around 10:00 AM, the Pope breaks bread in a lunch with Yolanda survivors at the Palo Archbishop residence, blesses the Pope Francis Center of the Poor by 3:00 PM, and later meets with Priests, Women and Men Religious, Seminarians, and Families of survivors at the Palo Cathedral.

He will depart to Manila by 5:00 PM.

Alvero said journalists intending to cover these events better stay there and pre-positon their paraphernalia hours before to get full access.

“The Holy Father really wants all his activities covered by the media,” Alvero also said. (mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte)

9th January 2015
Patients at the new hospital may not pay any cents at all, administrator
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on January 9, 2015, 4:09 pm

By Marcelo M. Pedalino

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Jan. 6 (PIA)  --  The provincial hospital, now in its new, interior, but spacious location at barangay Dongon this city, will function much like a business establishment.

And this will be set into motion starting this year, said Jesse Quilantang, Provincial Administrator, in an interview at his office Monday.

“The hospital will function much like a business entity since its expenditures is financed from the income that is generated from the health care services being provided to patients,” Quilantang remarked.

He added:  “Charity patients are those being treated by government doctors and are staying at wards. Paying Patients are those who prefer to be treated by private doctors and stay at private rooms.   With Philhealth Point Of Care Program, all patients may be enlisted with Philhealth and they benefit the refund from Philhealth for the cost of hospitalization.”

For charity patients the excess of hospitalization cost after deducting the Philhealth benefits will be subsidized by the provincial government through its Fund For The Indigents, Quilantang said.

He said this year, 2015, the province budgeted P 175 Million as Fund For The Indigents, the amount equivalent to the annual budget of the provincial hospital then.

Rooms for charity patients should not be put down, as these will be provided with decent amenities much like private rooms, such as air-conditioning system for the comfort of everyone, patients and tanods alike, Quilantang disclosed, quoting the instruction of Gov. Roger Mercado.

“The main feature of the operation of the hospital as an enterprise is the assurance that charity patients will be discharged from the hospital without paying a single centavo for the hospitalization costs, since Philhealth and the Provincial Fund For The Indigent take care of this, as long as the patient will cooperate in providing the necessary papers in supporting his charity status as patient.

“The special power of attorney (SPA) will be issued by the patient through a ready form provided during admission to SLEMCOOP PHARMACY. Through this SPA, the SLEMCOOP PHARMACY will be able to collect the reimbursement of the cost of medicine prescribed to the patient,” Quilantang explained.

Last month, transfer of equipment and services from the old to the new health facility began in earnest.  This month, the technical personnel are expected to hold office to the new location, it was learned.  (mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)

Police secures a vintage bomb found near a school
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on January 9, 2015, 8:33 am

By  Elvie Roman Roa

ORMOC CITY, (PNA) – A vintage bomb which was found along Punta village street already emitting smoke was diffused by ordnance expert, said Senior Inspector Bryan Erandio. It was brought to Camp Downes for safekeeping.

Police authorities said that a construction worker of the ongoing shouldering project along Punta street found the bomb covered with umbrella on Monday. It was not known where the bomb came from and who put it in the street which was only a few meters away from the Punta Elementary school and a kilometer away from the city proper.

“The bomb was covered with umbrella when I found it,” Jason Crisostomo, construction worker, told authorities.

The discovery created a stir among residents, school authorities and parents of schoolchildren who scampered to fetch their children from school when it was found that the bomb was already emitting a smoke. School officials, however, prevented them from leaving until it became under control.

Police authorities slowly picked a vintage bomb and soaked in a pail of water to prevent it from possible explosion.

Maasin employees attending papal visit on official time, says Mayor Samaco
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on January 9, 2015, 6:16 am

By Marcelo M. Pedalino

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Jan. 5 (PIA)  --  Personnel from the city local government unit here who wish to be in Tacloban for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis will be on official time, City Mayor Maloney Samaco declared.

“While it cannot be done on official business, we can consider it on official time, and we will just look for somebody who can gave us certificates of appearance,” Mayor Samaco said on dydm prime time news over the weekend

Pope Francis is scheduled to be in Tacloban next week, January 17, a Saturday, but for those who will be going ahead  -- since the holiday declarations for Thursday and Friday, January 15 and 16, respectively,  are limited only to the National Capital Region (NCR)  -- hence the idea to make it on official time, Samaco explained.

He himself, with his family, will already be in Tacloban on January 16, Samaco said, adding that it was a personal schedule, and not in coordination with other city officials or heads of offices.

Meanwhile, Samaco said he was glad to know there was zero injury in the city with regards to firecracker-related burns and accidents at the height of the revelry celebration welcoming the new year.

The new provincial hospital at barangay Dongon also had not received any similar cases of firecracker emergencies, a record maintained for three consecutive years, it was learned.  (mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte)

31st December 2014
missing pumpboat found, passengers safe
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on December 31, 2014, 4:47 am
By Marcelo M. Pedalino
MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Dec. 30 (9:30 PM) (PIA)  --  The seven passengers of a pumpboat that left barangay San Roque, Macrohon, Monday afternoon, supposedly enroute to Limasawa, reported missing until today, were washed ashore this afternoon at barangay Sto. Rosario, Maasin City  --  more than 40 kilometers away from their point of origin  --  tossed by “habagat” winds after enduring 24 hours at sea.
At about 3:00 in the afternoon today, December 30, a text message received by PIA from the Southern Leyte Police Provincial Office (SLPPO) stated:  “All missing passengers were found alive and accounted for at barangay Sto. Rosario.”
A few minutes later, Danilo Atienza, head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) also texted PIA:  “All of the missing persons are now rescued and are brought to our new provincial hospital in Dongon.”
The survivors --  two males and five females, (the four of five females all teenagers)   -- were earlier identified as Police Sr. Insp. Richard Castanares, 41, chief of Limasawa Municipal Police Station; Lourdes Rogador, 46, married; Charlotte Malunas, 15, church server; Claissa Malunas, 13, church server; Joanah Juanico, 14, church server; Ednamae Cabanero, 15, church server; and Eusebio Pelenio, Jr. 30, single, the pumpboat operator.
They were heading back home to Limasawa after attending a parish-related activity in Padre Burgos town, it was learned. Tropical Storm “Seniang” was up and about on the day they ventured to sea, and in fact, Southern Leyte was under storm signal number one when they left off.
Maasin Coast Guard Officer Felino Ingan, who was able to talk to Pelenio at the Dongon provincial hospital, told PIA their boat, with a 16 horsepower engine, capsized in the rough seas just within an hour after they departed, in a location estimated as between Macrohon and Limasawa.
They held on to the boat for dear life, with a rope helped and managed by Pelenio and Castanares, as they aimlessly drifted along with the current for the next twenty-four hours, battered by winds and waves, until they came upon a coastal community where they sought help from residents who saw them weak and tired, Coast Guard Ingan told PIA by phone.
All of them looked fine even as they were obviously weak from trauma and hunger.  Pelenio and Castanares had “gasgas” or skin rashes suffered while trying to control the rope that held them together, Ingan added.
Their respective families were already informed of their situation, but for now they will stay overnight in the hospital for much needed rest, Ingan also said.  (with report from Erna Gorne)

29th December 2014
Eight went missing due to 'Seniang'
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on December 29, 2014, 10:10 pm


December 29, 2014

MAASIN CITY – A pumpboat with 7 passengers went missing after it left for Limasawa at around 2:00 p.m. Monday, said the chief of the provincial disaster risk reduction management council.

Danilo Atienza, PDRRMC head, identified the passengers as Police Inspector Richard Castanares, 41, Lourdes Rogador, 46, unidentified four church workers and the operator of 16 horse power pumpboat with marking Junjil Kirby and yellow color.

According to Limasawa Mayor Melchor Petracorta, Lourdes Rogador, one of the passengers, called her husband Police investigator Rogwan at around 4:00 p.m. that they lost their way due to zero visibility caused by heavy rains and big waves.

The mayor said, the town parish priest Margarito Soco was supposed to with the missing persons but decided not to join them.

“We already have several pumpboats on standby for search and rescue at break of dawn on Tuesday,” Petracorta said adding they also requested to province for possible helicopter that scour the area.

On December 27, one Arvin Fernandez went missing after went out to sea to fish. He did not return since then.

Magnitude 6.5 quake rocks Zamboanga City, aftershocks expected
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on December 29, 2014, 6:21 pm

(By Aries Joseph Hegina, Inquirer.net | 6:21 PM, Monday 29 Dec 2014)

MANILA, Philippines -- A magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit Zamboanga City late Monday afternoon with aftershocks expected, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.

The quake was recorded at 5:29 p.m, with its epicenter located 200 kilometers northwest of Zamboanga City. It had a depth of 31 kilometers.

Intensity IV was felt in Zamboanga City while Intensity II was recorded in Dumaguete City and Basilan province, Phivolcs said.

Your Link to the regional weather outlook for Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines
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