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2nd April 2014
PhilHealth to help make government hospitals self-sustaining - Ona
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on April 2, 2014, 8:30 pm

By Jani Arnaiz

Inquirer Visayas

MAASIN CITY, Philippines—Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona has expressed optimism that government hospitals would become self-sustaining as the Aquino administration was pushing for more PhilHealth enrollment, particularly among the poorest of the poor.

Ona, who was here to speak at the “soft opening” of the newly constructed Southern Leyte Provincial Hospital, told journalists  he saw  no problem in the operation of the new facility, or any other government hospital, as the government was increasing the number of PhilHealth beneficiaries. The hospital is not completely finished yet.

“By July of this year the DSWD will be evaluating the new list of indigents, targeting at least half of the population in the country through the Pangkalahatang Kalusugan program of the Aquino administration,” he said.

Ona said that under the program the government would pay for the yearly PhilHealth premium of poor families, many of whose members die  without seeing doctors or going to hospitals.

“With this, the PhilHealth will now be paying hospitals for the hospitalization of sick members of poor families. They will leave the hospital without paying a single centavo.”

By this alone, he said, hospital operations could be sustained.

Ona said close coordination between LGUs and the Department of Health was essential for the success of the Pangkahalatan Kalusugan program.

“The DOH could not… (provide) health service for the people without the help of the LGUs, which will be in charge of identifying the PhilHealth beneficiaries whose premiums will be funded by sin taxes,” Ona said.

Noting its modern structure, Ona predicted the new hospital, touted to be the biggest in Eastern Visayas, would become a premier hospital in the region, serving not only Southern Leyte’s 500,000 population but also residents of towns in Leyte province.

He said the hospital will have CT scan and state-of-the- art laboratory facilities so that patients will not need to go to Ormoc or Tacloban for these tests.

The new hospital, which cost around P300 million, has about one hectare of floor area with 87 private rooms sitting on 3.17 hectares of land  in the village of Dongon, five kilometers from the center of Maasin.

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31st January 2014
'Basyang' landfalls So. Leyte, hit hard Maasin city
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on January 31, 2014, 6:23 pm

By Jani Arnaiz

February 1, 2014

MAASIN CITY – The entire province of Southern Leyte has been declared in a state of calamity after several flashflood and landslides due to Typhoon Basyang have been reported in different parts of the province including Maasin city which experienced flashflood in more than two decades, said Southern Leyte Gov. Roger Mercado said

No casualty was reported. Power outage remains as of this writing.

At least 20 houses along a creek in Basak village in the city were totally damaged when flood water overflowed from its bank washing away the houses along the creek including a parked volkwagen Jwhich found in the sea near the Maasin port.

According Alan Eway, assistant engineer SLEDO, several national and provincial roads were rendered impassable due to landslide in Panaon island, the pacific and along Padre Burgos towns.

Eway said at least eight landslides caused the closure of the roads to traffic. These were Sudmon village in San Francisco, Amaga in Liloan, Punta, Mayuga and Maglasag villages in Libagon, Pancho villa in Sogod and Lungsod Daan in Padre Burgos and Sua village in San Juan town in the pacific area.

He said equipment from the DPWH’s Southern Leyte Engineering District office (SLEDO) and the provincial engineer’s office has been dispatched to clear the roads.

According to Pag-asa, the rainful that poured in the province for several hours wsaas equivalent to one-week of rain.

According to Basak village Kagawad Nick Lanugon, it was the first time in more 20 years that the Basak creek overflowed with such intensity in just three hours of rain.

No estimate yet on the extent of the damage brought about by typhoon Basyang.

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2nd December 2013
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on December 2, 2013, 2:34 am

(By Gil C. Cabacungan, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2:34 am | Monday, December 2nd, 2013)

Senators Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan II and Jinggoy Estrada. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has recommended to President Benigno Aquino III that legal action be taken against the “anomalous disbursement” of P220 million in 2011 that Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan II endorsed for the projects of 24 town mayors and 13 dubious nongovernment organizations (NGOs).

In a Nov. 8 memorandum sent to the President through Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., Agrarian Reform Undersecretary Anthony Parungao requested that “the investigation of who, if any, may be held accountable be undertaken immediately.”

Parungao has left it to the Office of the Solicitor General to evaluate the DAR report and to file the corresponding cases.


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7th November 2013
Strongest typhoon of the year slams Philippines
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on November 7, 2013, 8:15 pm

(By Jim Gomez, Associated Press, 7 Nov 2013)

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — One of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded slammed into the Philippines Friday, cutting communications and blocking roads in the center of the country amid worries of serious damage and casualties.

Telephone lines appeared down as it was difficult to get through to the landfall site 650 kilometers (405 miles) southeast of Manila where Typhoon Haiyan slammed into a rural area of the country.

Weather officials said that Haiyan had sustained winds at 235 kilometers (147 miles) per hour, with gusts of 275 kph (170 mph) when it made landfall at Eastern Samar province's Guiuan township.


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30,000 evacuated as ST Yolanda hits So. Leyte
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on November 7, 2013, 2:54 pm

By Jani Arnaiz

November 7, 2013

MAASIN CITY – The strongest typhoon in the world this year, Super Typhoon Yolanda, which is expected to hit the Leyte-Samar area Friday morning, has caused the evacuation of more than 5,000 families to different evacuation centers in the province, says PDRRMC liaison officer.

Southern Leyte Board Member Aileen Estrera, liaison officer of the provincial disaster risk reduction management council (PDRRMC), said the total evacuees in the 18 municipalities and one city totaled around 5,200 families or 26,000 individuals.

Estrera said, the evacuees are evacuated in the municipal gyms, public schools and different evacuation centers of the 500 barangays in the province.

As of 10:00 p.m., Estrera said evacuation of residents particularly in the disaster prone areas continues and that evacuees could reach 6,000 families or about 30,000 individuals.

Earlier Wednesday morning, Governor Roger Mercado has ordered the Provincial Engineer’s Office to deploy their heavy equipment to disaster prone areas.

While acting assistant district engineer Allan Eway said they also deployed their equipment and men to landslide prone highways particularly along Maharlika highway.

Noli Casas of Phil Red Cross has said 100 relief packs has been readied for the evacuees.

In an interview with provincial administrator, Crispin Arong Jr over DYDM, he said that they have procured sacks of rice from NFA, which has remained open to assist the provincial government in its effort to answer the needs of the evacuees


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6th November 2013
Classes in all level in So. Leyte suspended as prov braces for ST Yolanda
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on November 6, 2013, 2:24 am

By Jani Arnaiz

November 6, 2013

MAASIN CITY – The local government units (LGUs) has announced the suspension of classes in all levels starting Thursday after the state weather bureau said that Typhoon “Haiyan” will affect the Visayas.

The suspension was affirmed by DepEd OIC division superintendent Arthur Isip.

“I affirmed and advised the district supervisors and school heads to adhere to the decision of the Local Chief Executive’s decision for the suspension of classes,” Isip told the Inquirer.

As chair of local Municipal Disaster risk Reduction councils, the local chief executives knew what is best for their constituents.

Typhoon Haiyan, which will be named “Yolanda” as it enters the PAR (Philippine Area of Responsibility) with more than 200 kph winds. Signal #4 is expected to be raised as it hits the Visayas and Bicol regions.

Meanwhile, massive preparation is underway as the province braced for Super Typhoon Yolanda, which is reported to make a landfall in Leyte and Samar islands on Friday.

Governor Roger Mercado said he is convening the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Council on Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. even if all MRRDMC are already being alerted on the possibility that ST Yolanda would make a landfall.

“All quick response team in the province have been briefed for its preparedness,” Mercado told Inquirer in a mobile interview.

He also said the PDRRMC is already in “worst case scenario” incident planning and that all evacuation are identified and readied.

“All our equipment are on standby and relief goods are also ready when the worst time comes. We should have zero casualty if possible,” Mercado said.

On the other hand, Danny Atienza, Risk reduction Management officer in the province said, he is calling all response team in the city and representatives from all the municipalities of the province.

“We have to convene and made them aware of our action plan, incident preparedness,” he said in an interview.

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Giant underwater crack found in Bohol
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on November 6, 2013, 1:43 am


Posted at 11/05/2013 10:52 PM | Updated as of 11/06/2013 2:12 PM

MANILA -- A huge crack has been discovered under the sea in Bohol, three weeks after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit the province.

The crack, which is Y-shaped, was first seen at the Mabao Reef in Brgy. Booy, Tagbilaran City.

The crack measures six to eight meters wide. Experts have yet to determine the crack's depth.

According to Nestor Canda, environment officer of Bohol, the crack starts underwater in Tagbilaran, crosses the shore of Maribojoc and reaches all the way out to sea in Loon.

Canda said the public should not worry about the crack.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), together with the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will study the crack on Wednesday and will look at how it can affect ships and boats traveling from Mabao Reef to Tagbilaran Port. - report from Dexter Ganibe, dzMM

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Supertyphoon nears PH
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on November 6, 2013, 12:00 am

(By DJ Yap, Phil Daily Inquirer, Inquirer Southern Luzon, Inquirer Visayas, 12:00 am | Wednesday, November 6th, 2013)

SUPERSTORM COMING. Tropical Storm “Haiyan,” which is expected to strengthen in 48 hours into a supertyphoon with
peak intensity of 241 kilometers per hour, is forecast to make landfall in the Samar-Leyte area by Friday afternoon.
It will be named “Yolanda” when it enters the Philippine area of responsibility. DOST-PAGASA MAP

Tropical Storm “Haiyan” will likely turn into a supertyphoon as it enters the Philippine area of responsibility in the next 48 hours, US meteorologists said on Tuesday.

“Due to very favorable environmental conditions, rapid intensification is forecast over the next 48 hours with a peak intensity of 130 knots (241 kilometers per hour),” said a forecast by the Hawaii-based Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC).

The JTWC of the US Department of Defense categorizes storms with wind speeds of 241 kph as a supertyphoon. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) officially uses no such classification.


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18th October 2013
Aquino: Help is on the way
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on October 18, 2013, 12:31 am

(By Michael Lim Ubac, Inquirer Visayas, 12:31 am | Friday, 18 Oct 2013)

President Benigno Aquino III AP Photo/Malacañang Photo Bureau, Ryan Lim

"Help is on the way."

Malacañang gave this assurance on Thursday as the Aquino administration was swamped with calls for assistance from local government units in Bohol and Cebu provinces, which suffered heavily from a 7.2-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday.

Before leaving for Seoul on a state visit on Thursday, President Aquino issued instructions to government agenciesto respond to all the concerns of the calamity victims in the two provinces, his spokesman, Edwin Lacierda, said on Thursday.


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16th October 2013
Zamboanga court orders arrest of Misuari, 3 others
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on October 16, 2013, 4:51 pm

(By Tetch Torres-Tupas, Inquirer.ner; 4:51 PM  |  9 oct 2013)

 MANILA, Philippines— The Zamboanga City Regional Trial Court ordered the arrest of Moro National Liberation Front leader Nur Misuari and three others over charges of rebellion and violation of the International Humanitarian Law.

Prosecutor General Claro Arellano said Zamboanga Regional Trial Court Branch 13 Presiding Judge Eric D. Elumba issued the arrest warrants against Misuari, Ustadz Habier Malik, Assamin Hussin and Bas Arki.

The four, along with 57 others are facing criminal raps for the almost a month of siege in Zamboanga where more than a hundred people were killed and damaging over hundreds of millions worth of properties.

The 57 co-accused of Misuari and the three other commanders are already in detention.

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