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22nd July 2015
Girl reported as missing found
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 22, 2015, 10:16 am


July 22, 2015

MAASIN CITY – The girl who has been reported missing last week has been found in a shallow grave near her house in Soro-soro village this city.

In a live report, DYDM reporter Monchng Buyser, said that the victim, identified as Shalene Milloren Liwag 14 years old, was positively identified by her aunt.

Buyser said the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) operatives is putting chemicals to the victim’s body to prevent it from emitting foul odor.

The DYDM reporter gathered that a group who was looking for the victim, incidentally found the victim’s body in shallow grave while walking along the banks of Canturing river.

“After our motorcycle got flat in the second bridge of the Canturing, we decided to walk along the river bank looking for victim we incidentally found a newly scoured area and combed it with a stick, there we saw a human foot,” Buyser told The Reporter online quoting one member of the group, whowas  looking for the victim.

As of this posting the authorities are still in the area investigating.




DPWH-SLED officials, staff join earthquake drill
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 22, 2015, 2:50 am

MAASIN CITY– About a hundred staff of the Department of Public Works and Highways Southern Leyte Engineering District (DPWH-SLED) office joined the earthquake drill on July 20 to test their ground shaking preparedness.

Led by District Engineer Margarita C. Junia and Assistant District Engineer Allan D. Eway, the 100 employees joined the drill scenario revolving around the occurrence of a magnitude 7 earthquake.

Junia initiated the conduct of an earthquake drill, acknowledging the fact that human resources are the most important assets of an organization.

“We would like to ensure the safety of the workplace environment of its employees by imparting to them the knowledge on what to do and not to do before, during and after an unfortunate happening of a disaster,” Junia said in her welcome remarks.

The more than an hour drill held within the compound of DPWH-SLED office in Barangay (village) Asuncion, this city included a lecture by Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Eastern Visayas Regional Director Rey M. Gozon.

The official discussed about impacts of earthquake and rising seas as well as appropriate preparation activities.

“The drill helps administrators and their disaster action groups to design a specific response plan of the office for earthquakes. This will also train managers and employees on how to practice proper action and response during earthquakes,” 

Primarily, the drill aims to ensure safety of managers and employees during and after a damaging earthquake by testing various elements of the response plan designed by the disaster control group.

Eway said the exercise was a learning experiencing for them especially that their building is categorized as vulnerable to earthquake-induced damages.

“We will coordinate with OCD to conduct more drills. This is to help our staff realize that disaster preparedness and response is a serious matter,” he added.

Drills and exercises are part of the government’s continuing efforts in enhancing preparedness and awareness through participative disaster risk reduction and management advocacy.

20th July 2015
GSIS has lowest interest rate at one percent per month
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 20, 2015, 10:40 pm

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, July 15 (PIA)  --  The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) is offering loans to qualified active members at a very low interest rate of one percent a month, the lowest among lending institutions.

GSIS-Maasin Branch Manager Igmidio Ponay, Jr. made this clear in a radio-TV program last week as the state pension firm embarked on its latest borrowing window for active members.

The Enhanced Consolidated Loan, which took effect July 1 this year, is now a regular feature in the GSIS’ list of loans available, and as such it has no deadline, Ponay said at the weekly Action Center CableTV/dySL program Tuesday.

He was reacting to reports that in other branches, GSIS members were rushing to avail of the loan, thinking that the enhanced consol loan can only be enjoyed in a limited period of time.

Ponay also doused the reservations of some members who were under the impression of a high interest rate, saying that in fact GSIS has the lowest interest in the lending market.

As to the new loan program, Ponay explained that the regular consolidated loan of ten months times the basic monthly pay of an employee, which is not less than P 3,000.00 net take home pay, was upgraded  --  “enhanced” is the term used  --  to twelve months if the employee had reached fifteen years of active service and the required premiums paid.

Those who are already twenty five years in active service can make use of 14 months times their basic monthly pay, and those retiring can have some options to avail of the loan, details of which can be explained in a personal visit at the GSIS office, Ponay said.

For those who are not due to retire yet, Ponay advised that they use the many GWAPS kiosks in their nearest location, so as to save on expense and time, and need not visit the GSIS.

There are eleven kiosks installed by GSIS for its area of coverage, which is the whole province up to Baybay City, with five more requested to serve its more than 11,000 members.

Meanwhile, members who are still below fifteen years in service can avail of the usual mode of loans, Ponay also said.  (ajc/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)

6th July 2015
PCSO pledges 11 ambulances for So. Leyte
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 6, 2015, 6:32 am

By Marcelo M. Pedalino

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, July 6 (PIA)  --  A top ranking official of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has pledged to deliver eleven ambulance vehicles, including a sea-faring one, for use by the local government units of this province.

Bem Noel, PCSO Director who once served as the An Waray Partylist representative, made the pledge during the commemorative program marking the 55th founding anniversary of the province Wednesday July 1.

Noel was one of the visiting guests during last week’s celebration, along with his sister, the incumbent An Waray Rep. Binky Noel.

The guest speaker of the occasion, former Senator Panfilo Lacson, was unable to come reportedly due to health reasons, but he sent in his stead Atty. Karen Jimeno, the Undersecretary of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Recovery and Rehabilitation.

In his very brief remarks, PCSO Director Noel noticed the need for some LGUs in the province which have no ambulances yet to have one, committing at least ten units for distribution.

The eleventh medical emergency vehicle would be a sea ambulance, and he categorically stated that this will be for the island-town of Limasawa.

Earlier, on June 30, a blessing ceremony for two ambulances was held in front of the provincial capitol witnessed by Gov. Roger Mercado and several Mayors.

The two ambulance units containing sophisticated life-saving devices while on fast transport was acquired by the provincial government at P 4 Million each, the funds sourced from provincial coffers, it was learned.

Another visiting official, Department of Agriculture Regional Director Leo Caneda, announced the approval of close to P 500 million from the World Bank-funded Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP) to finance two major farm-to-market road projects, one in the Panaon island and another in the pacific area of the province.

Meanwhile, Atty. Jimeno read a prepared message from former Senator Panfilo Lacson, who stressed the need for fiscal independence of LGUs down to the barangay level by increasing their share of the nation’s revenues, so they can implement more meaningful programs and projects that have direct impact to their respective constituents.  (mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte)

2nd July 2015
Tesda maintains high standards to produce globally-competitive graduates
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on July 2, 2015, 7:08 am

By Marcelo M. Pedalino

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, June 26 (PIA)  --  The Technical Education Skills Development Authority (Tesda) has always adhered to the constant need to level-up with current demands in order to come up with a workforce that is competent enough to face the domestic or global market.

This is carried out in partnership with accredited learning institutions in the public and private sector, and with leaders of industry, such as businessmen and members of the local chamber of commerce, according to Rodrigo Lacaba, Tesda Provincial Director.

In an interview at the Provincial Report/Action Center cable TV program Tuesday, Lacaba acknowledged his agency will have its hands full with the complete implementation of the K to 12 program of the Department of Education and the upcoming Asean integration.

The K to 12, despite some opposition, mandated additional two years in high school education starting next year, and Tesda is expected to train mentors to cater to Grade 11 students taking up vocational-technical tracks.

As to the upcoming Asean integration, which reports said will start December this year, the challenge is to equip the local labor force with skills to be ready with the anticipated entry of workers from other countries in the Asean region.

But Lacaba said even with or without the K to 12 program, Tesda made sure its mentors undergo rigid screening and assessment, and subjected to competencies as pre-requisite requirements, just like any student taking Tesda tests to gain national certification merits.

The agency has also linked with the local chamber of commerce and industry to match their demand for workers, adding that Tesda is already ISO-certified hence it is already qualified in an Asean integration setting, Lacaba also said.

It was learned that an ISO certification was one of the requirements before an office or agency can be considered ready for Asean integration.  (mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte) 

19th June 2015
Environment-friendly LGUs in South Leyte known June 29
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on June 19, 2015, 1:10 am

By Marcelo M. Pedalino

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, June 18 (PIA) -- A comprehensive search for the most environment-friendly local government units in the province will be revealed and honored on June 29 as part of the activities marking the 55th founding anniversary of this province July 1.

According to lead evaluator Dr. Eva Abad of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Management Office (PENRMO) her team already had the results following a month-long assessment but this will be known only on the said date.

For the purpose of the search, LGUs were classified into first to third class categories, and only this city and the towns of Sogod and Hinunangan can fit in this classification, while the rest of the 16 municipalities fell under the fourth to sixth class types, Abad said during the Provincial Report/Action Center cable TV program Tuesday.

The barangays in each of the LGUs will also be judged based on the above-mentioned categories.

Abad said the main objective of the search, which is held for the first time, was to measure how awareness was matched with concrete action at the LGU levels, to institutionalize pro-active steps towards sustainable development, and to evolve integrated, climate-resilient communities.

The activity will also serve as a venue to recognize the efforts of the meritorious LGUs, share best practices, and push for improvement for those at the tail-end of the list, Abad explained.

In the cable TV program, Abad was joined by Nedgar Garvez for tourism-related activities, and Marina Gador, the provincial Agriculturist, for the Agri-Aqua fair that highlights the works of farmers and fisherfolks, both as individuals and organizations.

Together, the three formed the TEA team, for Tourism, Environment, Agriculture -- the main governance agenda of Gov. Roger Mercado.

This year’s 55th anniversary theme is “I love Southern Leyte.” (mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte)


15th June 2015
Kidnapping case vs Gov. Mercado, others dismissed
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on June 15, 2015, 4:40 pm


June 4, 2015

MAASIN CITY – Southern Leyte Governor Roger G. Mercado said he feels vindicated over his crusade against illegal quarrying of sand and gravel at the biggest river in the province after a case of kidnapping filed against him was dismissed by a joint panel of prosecutors for lack of probable cause.

In a press conference at his office, Mercado said they can now proceed with the filing of a case against their accusers for stealing minerals at the Subang Daku river in Sogod town in violation of Section 103 (theft of minerals) RA 7942 .or Philippine Mining Act of 1995.

The case stemmed from the apprehension of workers at a crushing plant in Sogod town by the provincial officials led by Governor Mercado himself. The employees of the crushing plant, including the plant manager, Federico Ozon, the skipper of a barge and several crew members were brought to the provincial police office after they failed the show the necessary permits to extract and documents for loading extracted materials.

The incident prompted the complainants to file a case with the provincial prosecutor’s office for serious illegal detention or kidnapping against Mercado, SPO! Rogelio Orit, PO3 ovanni Galo, PO2 Windee Lim, Atty. Cromwell Gerong, provincial attorney, Eva Abad, prov’l environment officer and Noel Mercado.

In their compliant, Emmylou Sinagan, deck cadet of the LCT 369 and Engr. Federico Ozon, plant manager of Ernesto Dacay owned Shemberg Corporation, accused Gov Mercado and several officials of the province for violation of Article 267 of Revised Penal Code or Kidnapping or serious illegal detention.

They alleged “that on October 10, 2014 Gov. Mercado and his escorts SPO1 Rogelio Orit, PO3 Jovanni Galo and PO2 Windee Lim entered the said crushing plant and started making arrest by force, threat and intimidation then pushed people in the crushing plant to enter a coaster owned by the province.”

They further alleged that they are aware that respondents are public officers but considering that they acted neither in furtherance with their official functions nor in the pursuit of any legal authority vested in them, they charged them with the violation of Article 267 of the revised penal code.

In his counter-affidavit, Mercado alleged “that they were at the sand and gravel extraction area of Shemberg Marketing Corporation/Prime Rocks Aggregates in Subang Daku river in Sogod on October 10, 2014 for an inspection and the conduct of og on the spot investigation of the reported ongoing illegal extraction in the said area.”

Mercado said that “when the plant manager, Federico Ozon and the barge skipper Emmanuel Mausisa could not produce the required documents to extract and load extracted sand and gravel materials, they were brought to Maasin City and turned over to the provincial police office for violation of Section 465 of the local government Code and Section 103 for violation of RA 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.”

In reply to Mercado’s counter-affidavit, Ozon alleged, “Respondent Mercado was not performinghis function under Section 465 of the Local Government Code because he was restrained by the RTC to implement his functions and power. And that the arrest was illegal because the respondents were not deputized by the MGB or DENR on the date of the incident.”

In their joint resolution, the panel of provincial prosecutors resolved, “After a careful evaluation of evidence on record, we are convinced that there is reallyno kidnapping or serious illegal detention to speak of . It is very clear that there was no motive on the part of the respondents to resort to kidnapping of the alleged date of incident. They have no personal interest on the herein complainants and their companions. They are ust performing their duties and responsibilities as requiredby law.”

“the lack of motive to esort to kidnapping is manifested by the determination of the respondents to deliver the arrest persons to the proper judicial authorities. The case ofor theft of minerals was filed before this office for inquest proceedings but the respondents, the herein complainants and companions opted to avail their right to a preliminary invstigation and waved their righrt under Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code.”

The joint panel of prosecutors stressed, “that it beas stressing that the arrest was made in good faith for the the herein complainants and companions failed to present pertinent documents regarding permits on the extraction, loading and transport of the sand gravel on the daate of the incident plus the confirmation of the PNRMO-SAG monitoring the LCT 369 is loaded with sand and gravel illegally extracted from the are without any valid and existing permit.”

“Foregoing premises considered, the undersigned respectfully recommends the dismissal of these cases for lack of probable cause.”

The dismissal was signed on May 14, 2015 by Raymundo C. Clavejo, Deputy provincial prosecutor, “Felix B Vivares, Assistant Provincial Prosecutor, Judy O Ramos-Navarrosa, Assistant provincial Prosecutor and approved by Anotonino G. Ruiz, Provincial Prosecutor.

When the case was filed last year, it saw print in some national paper after complainants’ lawyer Winsor Calamba, told the weekly media forum at Annabel’s in Quezon City, that ‘‘Governor Mercado, who is a lawyer, knowingly broke the law and brazenly defied a court injunction.”

Gov. Mercado had heavily criticized the publication of the kidnapping case without taking his sides. “Some papers just showed their irresponsibility by publishing the story without getting my side.”


14th June 2015
DSWD-8 Director to 4Ps: show that public funds are spent well
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on June 14, 2015, 10:39 am
By Marcelo M. Pedalino
MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, June 11 (PIA)  --  Social Welfare Regional Director Nestor Ramos issued a direct challenge to beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps):   that every peso they got from the government is worth the effort they make to make 4Ps a success.
“Show that the money was invested, indeed, in health and education for your children,” Ramos said in his closing message during an event that celebrated the first batch of 4Ps graduates, among them top-notch honors of their class, June 9 at the city gym here.
Ramos addressed his call in particular to the parents attending the ceremony, in which more than 300 fresh secondary graduates in March this year coming from the 18 towns and one city of the province were gathered, all wearing their respective high school uniforms of their respective schools.
He reminded them that education is the parents’ primary responsibility, saying the government extended support to them from taxes generated from paying taxpayers, hence the funds must be used in the most prudent manner.
“DSWD invested in education, for this will be a lifetime treasure we can provide for our children, our enduring legacy for them,” Ramos said.
Education is also widely seen as a ticket to escape the never-ending cycle of poverty among the poorest of the poor, he added.
The DSWD regional boss had some exciting tidings up under his sleeve when he announced that he will continue to renew his partnership and commitment to the various local government units in the province.
This year, 2015, the 4Ps coverage in the province will be expanded in close coordination with the LGUs, Ramos said, adding that by now enumerators are going around to list those qualified but not covered by 4Ps.
He said he expects the data from enumerators be available to him by July or next month.  (mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte)

9th June 2015
LGU-Maasin and Cebu Mitsumi offer scholarship for women workers
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on June 9, 2015, 11:40 pm
By Marcelo M. Pedalino
MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, June 1 (PIA)  --  The city local government unit here has worked closely with a Cebu-based firm last week in recruiting an all-female workforce for a scholarship program on any of two TESDA-accredited short term courses, complete with a daily allowance while undergoing the required training.
Cebu Mitsumi, Inc. in partnership with Cebu Technological University and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) offered Consumer Electronics Servicing (NC-II) and Computer Hardware Servicing (NC-II) for women 18-30 years old, married or single, at least a High School Graduate or Alternative Learning School (ALS) passer, and had not worked with Mitsumi before.
Qualified trainees will undergo 1,200 hours of training or approximately five months in a learn and earn scheme wherein each individual will have a P 255.00 daily allowance
In addition, they will also enjoy 100% free tuition fee, free hospitalization and accident insurance, with overtime and holiday pay, free medical examination, and free I.D., uniform and ATM card, the information based on a flyer that announced the offering.
Screening of interested applicants was held for four days last week, May 26-29 at the city’s Public Employment Service Office (PESO).
A total of 201 persons had applied for the Mitsumi-driven opportunity from Maasin City, the first batch due to depart to Cebu for further processing on June 4, the second batch on June 9, said Sara Jane Edjoc, the City 4Ps link.
It was learned that members of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in the mountain barangays of the city were among the sectors duly informed or recruited for the Mitsumi offer.
In a text message to PIA Edjoc said that those who qualified in the initial screening were not all 4Ps, and not all the 70 barangays of the city were covered.  (esg/mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte)

13th May 2015
Duterte: Passing the BBL will not solve Mindanao problem
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on May 13, 2015, 9:15 pm

May 11, 2015

MAASIN CITY – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte on Sunday reiterated that he is not a candidate for president and that his “listening tour” around the country is for advocating for federalism.

“I’m not a candidate. I am advocating for federalism to avoid bloodshed in Mindanao,” Duterte said when Inquirer reminded him of his statement in previous interviews that he will only run if his rating goes up higher than Vice President Binay.

“Please don’t get me wrong and please don’t believe on surveys. We are not actors that should be rated upon.”

What the people need to do is choose the best person who can solved tremendous problem of our country.

When Inquirer asked the mayor should his campaign be bankrolled would he reconsider running? He said I would get ten percent and go home to Davao. The mayor had claimed that he could not afford to run a presidential campaign because he has no money.

In a speech before provincial and city officials at the City Hall, speaking in Cebuano, he said he is passionate about federalism because I pity Mindanao.

“The President himself, the negotiator and the MILF has warned that should the BBL not passed there will be bloodshed in Mindanao,” Duterte said pointing out that passing the BBL will not prevent chaos in Mindanao.

He said they don’t know about Mindanao. “In Mindanao, different bloodline of Muslims are not even united. The Tausugs. The Maranaws, etc., etc., They are not nice with each other.”

Now, if they pass the BBL, the faction of Misuari and the other factions of Muslims, you think they would not revolt.

“So please pity us. Help Mindanao and let us go for federalism,” he said adding where would I go, I have a daughter-in-law who is Muslim. Muslim grandchildren.

“Passing the BBL would not solved the Mindanao problem. Muslims have been there years before the Spaniards dominated the country and introduced the Christian faith.”

The Davao mayor, who was in Maasin for the Roa clan reunion, was met by provincial and city officials at the Maasin port where his chopper landed from Cebu.

After having lunch hosted by the government he proceeded to Laboon village, 10 km from the city for the clan reunion.

He then proceeded to Laboon Elementary school for the nostalgic meeting with his four classmates in grade one. The meeting was very emotional,his classmates were teary eyed including the mayor.

He then invited the four to Davao all expenses will be shouldered including air fare and hotel accommodation.

Duterte also promised to give a school building to his alma mater.

Duterte’s mother was from Laboon village.

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