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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)

15th December 2016
Barangay excluded in granting of PEI
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on December 15, 2016, 3:38 pm

4th update

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.




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.


28th November 2016
SOLECO, LGUs share efforts for pro-poor DOE electrification program
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on November 28, 2016, 6:06 pm

(By Marcelino Pedalino, PIA-8 Southern Leyte | 28 Nov 2016)

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Nov 28 (PIA)  --  Local power distribution utility Southern Leyte Electric Cooperative (SOLECO) has coordinated with the different local government units (LGUs) in the province to extend electricity connection for poor households by 2017.

Thus far, some 9,753 households are qualified to avail of free electric connectivity by virtue of Household Intensification for Nationwide Electrification (HINE), a project of the Department of Energy (DOE) coursed through local governments and power coops.

Priority for connection are those having flying connections of electricity from neighbors and relatives, with HINE granting them P 3,750.00 worth of wiring materials, said Alan Ferrer, SOLECO’s member development officer (MDO) during the Action Center Kapihan sa PIA cable TV program last week.

Ferrer was also the focal person in-charge of Sitio Electrification Program (SEP) of the National Electrification Administration (NEA), a continuing line extension project so that unlit homes in remote areas capable of paying electric services can have access.

He explained that HINE is more on areas with already existing power lines, and those qualified as determined by the LGU through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will be given the necessary materials, but the monthly bill will be shouldered by the beneficiary.

Benson Mindajao, member service development head, downplayed insinuations intended recipients may be lost in the selection due to politics, saying SOLECO will validate the list submitted by the LGUs prior to installation.

He advised those who may qualify to approach their Punong Barangay and have his, her name included in the list for submission to the municipal level for there is a second batch of HINE qualifiers.

Meanwhile, Mindajao also mitigated the common fears that sudden on-and-off flashes of power in a passing brownout can increase one’s power bill. 

He said this has no impact on power consumption, or the amount one pays for using electricity, but do have negative effect on home appliances especially those without voltage regulators.  (ajc/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)

24th October 2016
Alleged drug pusher killed
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on October 24, 2016, 6:32 pm

MAASIN CITY – An alleged drug pusher was killed when he attempted to shoot it out with the policemen during a buy-bust operation at Mantahan village on late Monday afternoon.

Police identified the victim as Mark Lorzano, who resides at said barangay. His companion, Andro Milloren was arrested.

Southern Leyte PNP provincial director, PSSupt. Warren de Leon, who was at the crime scene, said Lorzano drew a 45 caliber when police operatives tried to arrest him prompting the arresting officers to shoot him during a buy-bust operation.

The victim and his companion tried to drive off their motorcycle after sensing that the poseur buyer was a policeman but was block by the service vehicle used by the apprehending policemen.

"Nanglaban kaya patay. Tingnan mo kasama nya buhay kasi hindi lumalaban," said De Leon.

According to the police director, the victim was the sixth killed in a legitimate police operation in the province and 42 others were arrested since the start of “operation tokhang”.

29th August 2016
Crimes committed in South Leyte greatly reduced within first 50 days
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on August 29, 2016, 10:11 pm

Marcelo M. Pedalino PIA8-Southern Leyte   

Figures, it has often been said, don’t lie.   

While it is true that the turn-out of surrendering drug personalities is overwhelming the direct impact on the non-commission of crimes is just as staggering.   

The numbers gathered from the Camp Alfredo Bantug Southern Leyte Police Provincial Office (SLPPO) show that for the 50-day period from July 1 up to August 18, 2016, 16 crimes were committed, as against 93 unlawful acts carried out in the same period last year, July 1 – August 18, 2015 all over the province.   


“Dako kaayo og kalainan (There’s a real big difference),” said PO3 Russel Balansag, the Provincial Crime Registrar, adding that clearly this has been the concrete results of the Oplan Tokhang (Tok-Tok, Hangyo; knock, appeal) and Double Barrel.  

Balansag was candid enough in assessing that not all of the crimes are drugs-related, even as he affirmed that a quick reality check on recurring heinous incidents were generally traced to the unimpeded use of the banned methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu.  

But noteworthy items in the stats reveal that in the same period last year there were nine rape cases, while for this year there was none;  there were 32 physical injuries listed, now there were only five;  29 cases of theft lessened to only 5;  11 robbery cases now zero; 8 homicide cases, now only two. (PIA)

2nd August 2016
Its a go for Weesam Express
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on August 2, 2016, 11:28 am


August 2, 2016

MAASIN CITY – Weesam Express top official has confirmed on Tuesday (August 1) that one of their fast craft will have its maiden voyage on August 10, in time of the city’s Charter Day celebration.

 Daisy Sypiecco, Weesam Marketing manager, told the The Reporter online in mobile phone interview that “it’s a go. We will have our maiden voyage on August 10.”

She added, “in fact we are on our way to Maasin city with our vice president and 10 board members of the company to finalize our entry.”

Sypiecco said the fare would be affordable in our three class accommodation with the economy at P500, for tourist class P600 and business class P700.

According to Pascal Canning, an official of Tourism Association of Southern Leyte, their group (TASL) the Tourism office made the initiative to make Weesam’s entry into the city.

During a press conference last week with Sypiecco, TASL and some members of Southern Leyte chamber of commerce, Philippine Ports Authority manager Rody Morano expressed his excitement saying “We are very excited ma’am our ports are very much ready and besides we are long deprived of a comfortable ride to Cebu please make it happen.”

27th July 2016
Weesam Express to ply Maasin-Cebu route
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 27, 2016, 3:11 am


July 27, 2016

MAASIN CITY – Businessmen in the city were upbeat over the possibility of a fast craft plying the Maasin-Cebu-Maasin route daily after a visit of Weesam Express executive.

In a press conference on Wednesday held at Kinamot restaurant, Daisy Syppieco, Weesam marketing manager assured the members of Tourism Association of Southern Leyte (TASL) and the members Southern Leyte Chamber of Southern Leyte headed by baker Effipania Sy, that her boss is just waiting for my return to Cebu.

According to TASL official, Pascal Caning, the TASL initiated the talks with Weesam with Capitol tourism head Nedgar Garvez.

“After ocular inspection of the port facilities here and their new port in Guadalupe and of course around the city, I called my boss of the great possibility of favorable entry of our company,” Sypiecco told the businessmen.

She added that “with your overwhelming support I could say that we may have our maiden voyage by first or second week of August,” to the applause of her audience.

“We are very excited ma’am,” said Rody Morano, Philippine Ports Authority manager in the city. “Our ports are very much ready and besides we are long deprived of a comfortable ride to Cebu please make it happen.

He added that our port is being monopolized by one shipping company and it leaves Maasin midnight and very early dawn.

Morano also said there is no worry about south monsoon (habagat) because we have a very safe port in Guadalupe village which is new. Sypiecco confirmed having visited the port.

For his part, Pascal Canning, owner of posh Caimito hotel, pitched that Maasin is very much improved, the people are wealthy compared to nine or so years ago.

The Weesam marketing manager who claim she has a voice in her company’s decision making said, “I don’t want to make sip-sip with you guys but I also have a say in our company’s decision so I might as well make it happen.

She said the fare may come around P500-600 in their business class and lower on their economy class.

The possible entry of Weesam Express was made by the Tourism office, headed by Nedgar Garvez during a travel mart held in Cebu city last year.

Maasin had its last taste of a fast craft vessel long before Maasin became a city. The city will have its 10the anniversary on August 10.

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.”



18th July 2016
pusher killed in buy-bust
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 18, 2016, 9:10 pm


July 16, 2016

MAASIN CITY – A suspected illegal drug pusher who is in the watch list of Maasin City police station was killed during a buy-bust operation on Friday midnight.

Police authorities identified the fatality as 32-year old Jerry “Jerjer” Zamora of Combado village this city.

Maasin city police personnel led by Police Inspector Clea Marie Lapastora conducted the buy-bust operation at the suspect’s rented house in the said village just less than 200 meters from the police station. The rented house was also used as drug den, authorities said.

According to the police, Zamora has sensed that the poseur-buyer P03 Roderick Ingeniero was a policeman he immediately drew his 38 caliber pistol but Ingeniero beat him to the draw hitting the suspect that caused his instantaneous death.

Recovered from the crime scene were .38 caliber with five live ammunition, 3 fired cases of 9mm, two pcs. medium size heat sealed sachet believed to be shabu, two units myphone and P680 in cash.

Zamora was the first known pusher in the city to be killed in the continuing campaign against illegal drugs.


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