28th March 2017
Farinas: Duterte can appoint barangay execs
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on March 28, 2017, 8:12 am
By: Jani Arnaiz, Joey Gabieta - @inquirerdotnet
Inquirer Visayas / 04:04 PM March 27, 2017
TACLOBAN CITY — The House of Representatives has not taken up the proposal of President Duterte to postpone the elections and appoint barangay officials.
But Majority Leader Rudy Fariñas said he found nothing wrong with the President appointing new sets of barangay officials because the present term of the incumbents had expired in 2016.
“We have yet to talk about that in Congress because the leadership of Speaker (Pantaleon) Alvarez is by consensus. Kung ano man ang mananaig, yun ang mangyayari (Whatever is decided on by the majority will be adopted),” Fariñas said on Sunday.
Fariñas and some congressmen were in Tacloban City as part of their “Western and Eastern Nautical Highway Expedition,” an inspection tour conducted by the legislators to check on the state of the government’s Roll On-Roll Off (RORO) , the conditions of road network and the transportation system in the provinces.
Speaker Alvarez earlier signified his support for the plan of the President to cancel the barangay elections this October and appoint the barangay officials, to prevent those who have engaged in the drug trade from getting back into power.
“I see nothing wrong with appointing village officials if it’s mandated by law. Their terms have already expired but they are in hold-over capacity,” said Fariñas
He pointed out that since the terms of the barangay officials expired last year when the elections were supposed to be held, they could be replaced by appointment.
“In the Constitution, there’s no fix date in the election of village officials so that we in Congress can change the term of barangay officials whether it’s five or six years,” said the congressman from Ilocos Norte.
Fariñas said President Duterte has gained a wide perspective on illegal drugs trade over the years, compared to the congressmen who have only been confined to the peace and order problems of their districts.
The proposal to cancel the barangay elections and just appoint new sets of officials was opposed by village officials in Tacloban.
“This will deny the people (of their right) to vote directly officials they like to lead them in the barangay. Barangay officials, just like our other officials, should be elected and not appointed,” said Rosario Bactol, barangay chairman of 88.
Lawyer Jose Nick Mendros, Commission on Elections-Eastern Visayas director, said Comelec would continue to do its mandated work should Congress fail to pass a law cancelling the elections this October.
“Our registration (in our Comelec offices) will continue until April 29 while our satellite registration will end this week,” Mendros said.
“We cannot stop our work just because there is a proposal to cancel the barangay elections,” he added.
He said cancelling the elections might not be the answer to the problems of barangay officials’ involvement in the illegal drugs trade.
“Charge them (in court). We have charged a senator. Why not charged those alleged barangay officials,” Mendros, said referring to Senator Leila de Lima who has been detained on charges of illegal drug trade and protection.
He added that appointing barangay officials would be contrary to the country’s democratic principles and might exacerbate patronage politics.
20th February 2017
DPWH to build coastal bypass road in Maasin City
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on February 20, 2017, 3:41 pm
MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte – This city will get an alternative link to the commercial district – a 4.71-kilometer coastal bypass road with reclamation component meant to ease traffic woes and expand the city’s development.
The planned road, which will cost P1.5 billion, will get an initial budget of P50 million this year, said Ma. Margarita C. Junia, chief of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Southern Leyte district engineering office.
The proposed road, one of the key infrastructure projects in Eastern Visayas, will connect the city’s commercial center in Lib-og village to nearby populated village of Mambajao. It will traverse coastal areas of Abgao, Tunga-Tunga, and Combado villages.
The preliminary release, strongly lobbied by Rep. Roger Mercado for inclusion in the 2017 appropriations, will be used for the preparation of feasibility study for multi-year implementation, initial road construction, and some slope protection.
“The main roads leading to the city center are already congested even if those roads are restricted to one lane,” she said, referring in particular to R. Kangleon and Tomas Oppus Streets. “We cannot expand to the other side of the city since it’s mountainous.”
Maasin, a fourth class city and capital of Southern Leyte province, has a land area of 211.70 square kilometers with a population of 85,560. The city’s terrain is characterized by relatively flat lands along the coastal plains where population areas lay, and becomes rugged and mountainous towards the interior.
DPWH Southern Leyte planning section chief Vincent Sy said the proposed budget for the project in 2018 is P200 million. “Releases in the next years will mainly depend on the outcome of feasibility study, which will be completed within the first half of the year,” Sy added. The project is in compliance to Secretary Mark Villar’s directive to decongest traffic through construction of by-pass roads in populated areas. (PR)
9th January 2017
Farmer killed in Southern Leyte buy-bust; police claim shoot-out
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on January 9, 2017, 2:31 pm
By: Jani Arnaiz - Correspondent / @janiarnaizINQ
Inquirer Visayas / 07:03 PM January 06, 2017
MAASIN CITY—A 55-year-old farmer was shot dead on Friday in what the police claimed was a shoot-out following a buy-bust operation in an interior village of Ichon, Macrohon town, in Southern Leyte.
Felimon Labolabo was hit in the right forehead and right arm and died on the spot.
The buy-bust operation stemmed from a two-week surveillance operation on Labolabo who was allegedly a drug peddler.
Senior Insp. J-Rale C. Paalisbo, team leader of the Regional Anti-Illegal Drug Special Operation Group (RAIDSOG), said an undercover agent met with Labolabo near the latter’s farm in Sitio Santolan, Barangay Ichon, past 9 a.m. supposedly to buy “shabu” from the farmer.
The suspect drew his .38-cal. pistol when he sensed that he was dealing with a policeman, but the farmer was shot first.
Recovered from the crime scene were the gun and four sachets of suspected shabu.
It took four hours to retrieve the body since the crime scene was a secluded and hilly area.
Labolabo’s 18-year-old daughter, Tifanny, fainted after seeing her father’s body.
She said they had told her father to stop peddling drugs after he surrendered to the police during Oplan Tokhang, a campaign that required the police to knock on the houses of known drug peddlers and users and ask them to stop their illegal activities.
15th December 2016
5 die in Leyte road mishap
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on December 15, 2016, 4:01 pm
By Elvie Roman Roa
ORMOC CITY, Leyte, Dec. 14, (PNA) – A collision between two passenger vans owned by father and son from Palompon, Leyte left at least five passengers dead along national highway of A. Tumamak village, Villaba town in Leyte, the town police said.
A police report stated, that the van E.R. Jr., a Toyota Hi Ace owned by Ephraim Requitillo, Jr. bound to Palompon town from Ormoc City failed to control the steering wheel due to slippery road and bumped to Gee Rhaim, of opposite route.
The vehicle glided and ran crisscross before it finally head going to the lane of the other vehicle. The head-on collision caused severe damage to both vehicles but the five passengers including the driver of Gee Rhaim, also a Toyota Hi Ace van, sustained only minor injuries.
Three of E.R. Jr.’s seven passengers reportedly died on the spot including the driver Boy Salvador while another casualty was declared dead on arrival at the community hospital. Other injured commuters were rushed to Ormoc City hospital where one was pronounced dead.
Gee Rhaim driver Themestocles Hortelano who had minor injuries said he stopped upon noticing that E.R. Jr. was unstable while approaching.
“I stopped when I saw the van moving unstable after it glided while stirring down near our direction”, the driver said.
The vehicle bound to Palompon was severely damaged that caused deaths and major injuries to its passengers while Gee Rhaim’s right front was also heavily damaged..
The Requitillo family immediately showed up and provided the needs of the victims.
Barangay excluded in granting of PEI
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on December 15, 2016, 3:38 pm
By Jani Arnaiz
MAASIN CITY – The Productivity Enhancement Incentive or PEI given to LGUs and other government institution during Christmas as additional benefits is here for the taking but not for Barangay workers.
The Barangay LGU, the so called front liner in giving government service to the people, is not included in the PEI at least in the city thru the courtesy of City Budget Officer Essie Garvez.
“Hugno ang tanan,” said a village chair when Garvez announced during the Liga ng mga Barangay Christmas party.
According to Garvez, said the barangay captain, Barangay was not specifically mentioned in the Budget circular granting the PEI to LGUs.
"So is the city or the province are not specifically mentioned because the Circular only states all LGU heads. If her logic says that Barangay is not among the beneficiary of the PEI, then only the military or the PNP would benefit from the PEI since they were specifically mentioned."
The Budget Circular No. 2016 – 8, issued on December 12, by Budget Sec. Benjamin Diokno addressed “TO All Heads of Departments, Bureaus, and Agencies of the National Government, Including State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), and Government-Owned or -Controlled Corporations (GOCCs); Heads of Local Government Units (LGUs); and All Others Concerned.”
“Payment of the PEI shall be made not earlier than December 15, 2016,” states the Budget Circular.
But the barangay chairmen who attended their Christmas party on December 15 said “Garvez would have none of it for the Barangay LGUs.”
Christmas this year would be bleak this year just like the other year, said a Barangay Captain.
According to Tagnipa Kagawad Along Lutero, President of the Barangay Kagawad League of Maasin City, there are three composition of LGU, that is the Province, the City or Municipality and the Barangays.
Officially local government in the Philippines, often called local government units or LGUs, are divided into three levels – provinces and independent cities; component cities and municipalities; and barangays.
Provincial Budget Officer Joey Duarte said, barangay officials elected or appointed are entitled to PEI.
The Reporter tried to contact Garvez but to no avail.
Jade Nombrado, a Kagawad in one of the barangays of Macrohon town said they availed of PEI.
6th December 2016
Southwest Ferries to ply Liloan/Benit to Surigao city
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on December 6, 2016, 2:12 pm
By JANI ARNAIZ
MAASIN CITY – A brand new state-of-the-art roll-on roll-off vessel will ply the Liloan/Benit-Surigao City route and vice-versa by April of next year, says Jose Jericho Padua, managing director of Southwest Ferries incorporated.
According to Padua, the ship, MV SF Stella de Mar (Star of the Seas) is set to be delivered on March 2017 by Kegoya Dock Co. Ltd.,one of the biggest ship builders of Japan.
“By that time, hopefully, we will have our maiden voyage,” he said during luncheon with local media group.
Although they manage the Starlite Ferries which is plying the lucrative route of Bantangas-Mindoro-Caticlan, they choose Surigao City-Liloan/Benit ferry terminals for their initial venture into cargo-passenger vessel to serve inter-island transport requirements in the Philippines.
“We made a thorough feasibility study in these ports and we found out it has heavy cargo traffic,” Padua pointed out.
He added that their vessel can navigate even on typhoon signal number 2 since it is made based on the Philippine weather condition. “Of course with the approval of the Philippine Coast Guard.”
It is also a reefer type vessel which can navigate in shallow waters.
He said that cargo forwarders will be assured of safety handling of their rolling cargoes since it has a modern feature in lashing. “And modesty aside, we have accommodation for drivers for proper rest while on sea travel.”
It has a capacity of more than 900 passengers (business class 114, economy 843 and drivers 20) in its air-conditioned accommodation and can hold a total number of 17 buses and 4 trucks. Travel time would only take 2 hours and a half more or less.
To address the crewing requirements of their fleet (local and international)the Southwest Maritime Group of Companies, the mother company of Southwest Ferries, innovate the College of Maritime Leadership to develop character, competence, confidence of their crews.
Padua offered “This is where we would like to partner with Local Government Units (LGUs) to consider our scholarship program for mariners where we offer free tuition fees or study now pay later scheme for miscellaneous fees with guaranteed shipboard training and guaranteed employment in Southfield’s fleet of vessels, another subsidiary of Southwest Group.”
Earlier Padua and members of the Southwest Ferries core committee, Ms. May Cabasi and Nikki R. Santos made a courtesy call to Gov. Damian Mercado at the provincial Capitol.
Board Member Abelardo Almario, who accompanied the team, was thankful with the entry of Southwest Ferries for the benefit of the province tourism program.
1st December 2016
Teenage prime suspect in rape case arrested in Taguig Metro Manila
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on December 1, 2016, 7:01 pm
By Jani Arnaiz
December 1, 2016
MAASIN CITY – Police authorities have confirmed the arrest of seventeen year old prime suspect of a rape of a 15 year old student in Barangay Nasaug this city.
Police said he was arrested in Taguig, Metro Manila.
The heinous crime was committed sometime in July 2015 in Barangay Nasaug this city.
The victim was reportedly waylaid by three suspects who were drinking in a hut in Barangay Nasaug (all minors) when she passed by them on her way home in nearby Barangay Canturing.
She went missing until her body was found already in decomposing state half naked buried in shallow grave along Canturing river bank just a few meters from her house.
According to the police authorities the suspect will be presented to the media upon their arrival from Manila.
20th November 2016
Airing of Miss U Pageant in Philippines gets time slot
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on November 20, 2016, 5:40 pm
(By Azer Parrocha (philstar.com) | Updated November 20, 2016 - 5:40pm)
DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Philippines News Agency) —The Philippines' hosting of the next prestigious Miss Universe pageant on Jan. 30, 2017 will be aired live on all TV networks at around 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., a tourism official said.
Department of Tourism (DOT) Undersecretary for Media Affairs Kat De Castro made this confirmation in a press conference in Davao City on Saturday urging those interested in seeing the pageant in the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena to “come early.”
De Castro said that an inter-agency task force composed of the DOT, the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of Finance (DOF) was also formed to make sure the staging of the pageant runs smoothly.READ MORE OF THIS NEWS...
A Peek at Imelda Marcos' Wild Shopping Spree Splurges
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on November 20, 2016, 5:02 pm
(By Jacqueline Arias, Inquirer.net via preen | 20 Nov 2016)
If you still don’t believe that the Marcoses owe us a fortune, Imelda Marcos’ shopping list serves as a brief reminder.
Titled “5 Shopping Sprees So Wild, They Made History,” The Cut shows how extravagant the former first lady was. The article first notes that Imelda “left her collection of 3,000 shoes when they fled the country in 1986.”
It also goes into detail of her wild sprees in New York where she spent $2 million in jewelry and buying a $3.5 million Michelangelo painting in Rome. For some reason, she also spent $2,000 for chewing gum in San Francisco and asked a plane to make a U-turn back to Rome so she can buy cheese. Seriously, did she really need all this stuff? Not to mention that she spent $10.3 million to renovate the entire town of Sarrat, Ilocos Norte for the wedding of her daughter Imee.
And yes, if you’re going to do the math, the government would’ve built two major airports and can feed the hungry for generations with the ill-gotten wealth she embezzled from the Filipino people.
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