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MAASIN CITY

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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21st January 2014
Girl drowns trying to save her dog
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on January 21, 2014, 9:09 am

By Jani Arnaiz

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte—A nine-year-old-girl died after being swept away by floodwaters while trying to save her dog in the Southern Leyte town of St. Bernard town, a municipal information officer said Tuesday.

Jane Araneta of the St. Bernard municipal disaster and risk reduction management council identified the victim in a belated report as Alma Lasala.

Araneta said the girl drowned after she was swept away by onrushing floodwaters in Barangay (village) Cabagawan while trying to save her dog last Saturday. The report did not say what happened to the pet.

Araneta also disclosed that 19 families or 65 individuals were evacuated in Atuyan, Cabacawan, San Isidro and Tambis I villages due to the flooding.

There were also evacuees in flood- and landslide-prone areas in Lipanto, Hindag-an, Bolodbolod, Mahayag and Mahayahay, all villages in the muncipality of St. Bernard.

Meanwhile, three villages in the town of Sogod where isolated by a landslide early Tuesday morning, rendering another segment of Daang Maharlika impassable, according to engineer Alan Eway, assistant district engineer of Department of Public Works and Highways.

The isolated villages were Pancho Villa, Olisihan and Kahupian, Eway said.

A landslide also occurred in Kahupian on Sunday, cutting off direct access to Tacloban City although the villages could still be reached from Sogod proper. However, the area became isolated due to Tuesday morning’s landslide.

The landslides have been occurring due to prolonged heavy rains brought about a low pressure area. 

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15th January 2014
Two ships run aground in Cebu and Bato, Leyte
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on January 15, 2014, 11:05 pm

By Jani Arnaiz

January 16, 2014

MAASIN CITY – Two passenger vessels which left the port of Maasin and Bato, Leyte ran aground almost at the same at 1:00 early dawn on Thursday, Maasin Coast guard said.

Maasin Coast Guard station commander P01 Mario Madrigal said the MV Joyful with 237 passengers ran aground off Bantolinao point in Cebu at 1:00 a.m. I left Maasin at 4:00 p.m. Wednesday.

Another vessel, MV Our Lady of all nations with 90 passengers ran aground at past 12:00 a.m. Thursday off Dawahon island in Bato Leyte. It left Bato port at 9:00 p.m. Wednesday.

The vessels were owned by Roble Medallion shipping lines respectively.

The passengers of Our Lady of All Nations are safe and are given food, Madrigal told the Inquirer.

He said they awaiting Coast Guard search rescue vessel to rescue the passengers. “We could not conduct rescue from Bato because of strong winds and big waves brought by Amihan or North monsoon winds.

Two vessels of Gabisan shipping lines, Gloria 1 and Gloria 2, which are Hilongos based passenger vessels are docked at Maasin port to take shelter from the strong waves in Bato sea.

Madrigal said around 50 passengers and 12 rolling cargoes bound mostly to Bohol are stranded at the Bato port.

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11th December 2013
Province's number 4 drug pusher arrested
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on December 11, 2013, 9:07 pm

By Jani Arnaiz

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Philippines—A 30-year-old house painter, who was tagged by the police as the province’ number four drug pusher, was arrested Thursday dawn in a buy bust operation in Barangay Tagnipa, Maasin City.

PSupt. Avelino Doncillo, Jr, newly installed Maasin City police chief, said they seized suspected shabu and “marijuana” from Renan Fernandez of Abgao village with an estimated market value of over P50,000.

Doncillo said the suspect was under surveillance for over a month until his arrest in a buy-bust operation led by PChief Inspector Reynaldo Turlao of the PNP provincial anti drugs operations group and elements from Maasin police station.

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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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5th October 2013
SO. LEYTE SOLON BARES 2014 OUTLAYS SET ASIDE BY DEPARTMENTS
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on October 5, 2013, 7:59 pm

(By Marcelino Pedalino, Saturday, 5 Oct 2013)

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Oct. 5 (PIA)  --  Despite the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for next year’s budget, this province’s lone district representative still managed to secure projects coursed through some departments, all for the benefit of his constituents.

Cong. Damian Mercado, in a press conference held at his residence Monday, disclosed that in the Department of Education (DepEd) he was able to bag commitments for the construction of several school buildings, and hiring for teachers.

At the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), several infrastructure projects worth P 25 million were already intended for the province on top of the regular budget of the agency.

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22nd September 2013
PDEA agents nab CIDG 'asset', cop in buy-bust ops
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on September 22, 2013, 9:20 pm

By Jani Arnaiz

September 23, 2013

MAASIN CITY – A case for violation of RA 9165 or anti-illegal drugs was filed Monday at the city prosecutors office against a policeman and alleged CIDG asset who were nabbed in a buy-bust operation in Asuncion village here early noon on Saturday.

Agent Ryan DJ F. Galindo, PDEA provincial head, indentified the suspects as SP04 Nicolas Sunit of Maasin Police station and alleged CIDG asset Reynaldo Siega.

Confiscated from Siega were 0.5 grams of suspected shabu, a 9 m.mTaurus pistol with twelve live ammunition, two magazines and P3,000 peso bills used as marked money.

Recovered from SP04 Sunit were 9mm Pierro  Bereta pistol, two 9mm magazines, twenty five live 9mm ammunition and his PNP Id.

Galindo said agents Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency regional office and provincial office, elements from PNP Regional Special Operations group and personnel from Southern Leyte Police office conducted the drug buy-bust operation.

The PDEA provincial head said Siega was long under surveillance for pushing drugs.

"SP04 Sunit was not included in the operation but his presence at the house of Siega when we pounded on him should not peril our operations,” said Galindo over the presence of the policeman.

Sunit was the seventh cop at the Maasin police station reportedly involved in illegal drugs this year.

Early this month another police was seen on national TV when an unidentified man gave a video clipping to 3T program on TV5 hosted by Tulfo brothers of SP03 Michaelou Yepes preparing to snip shabu.

While early this year, five policemen were found positive to be using shabu during a random drug testing.

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19th September 2013
Australian based Maasinhon singer/songwriter back in Brisbane after recording with renowned music producer in LA
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on September 19, 2013, 7:10 am

By Jani Arnaiz

Maasin City

“I'll be back, Los Angeles! Temporary goodbye,” so says Cezka Mariz Lapurga in LAX International airport as posted on her Facebook account  on her way back home in Brisbane on September 19 after an “exciting” recording stint with Andrew Lane.

This Australian-based Maasin native has continued to make her home city proud.

Cezka Mariz Lapurga, 19, has finished recording her own compositions with renowned music producer Andrew Lane from September 4-18, just two years after she was selected by the Australian Institute for Performing Arts (AIPA) to record an eight-track album in Los Angeles.

Although the album with AIPA failed to soar, Cezka is now hoping that an album with Lane will help her break into Hollywood.

But to be invited by Lane, who had worked on platinum-record hits like High School Musical, Hannah Montana and Disneymania 4, was already a blessing, according to Cezka's father, Edgar.

“God is always good,” said Edgar in an online chat with Inquirer. “We are so blessed.”

Cezka is the eldest of three daughters of Edgar, a native of Baguio City, and Marlyn, of Barangay Dongon in Maasin City.
Her two sisters are also performers. Eliza Mae, 17, is also a singer and songwriter while nine-year-old Jazmin Monique has started performing last month.

Cezka was only seven years old when she first performed during a school play at Saint Joseph College in Maasin in 2001.

Since then, she was often invited to sing during Sunday Masses in Barangay Dongon, Maasin City and special gatherings and school program.

In 2002, the entire family migrated to New Zealand after her mother, Marlynn, found a job as a nurse there. Edgar later worked as architectural cad operator.

While in New Zealand, Cezka took private lessons in opera. She also enrolled in Performing Arts School of New Zealand and at Performance.net to hone her singing and dancing skills.

After five years, the family moved to Brisbane, Australia because New Zealand was too cold, said Edgar.

A year later, Cezka, then 14, later enrolled in Bright Stars Performing Arts Academy workshops and took private voice lessons.

On September 2011, then 17-year-old Cezka Mariz was the only Filipino among 15 teenagers from Australia who were selected by the Australian Institute for Performing Arts (AIPA) to record an eight-track album in Los Angeles.

“There's no proper launching or whatsoever to determine its level but the song she wrote and composed (for AIPA) is already available in iTunes,” said Edgar.

He added the album didn't sell well on iTunes because it was not launched properly. The album, he added, was the product of a program to put together all 15 talented singers and songwriters in Australia.

 

 

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DE Veloso bids farewell after seven years in Sled
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on September 19, 2013, 3:23 am

By Jani Arnaiz

August 9, 2013

MAASIN CITY – District engineer Carlos Veloso was reduced to tears as he bid farewell to his peers of nine years at the Southern Leyte Engineering district and two successive most outstanding engineering district in the Region 8 in 2011 & 2012.

He will be shuffled off to 2nd Leyte engineering district (Led2) with Carigara based Led2 district engineer Maria Victoria Junia.

The Led2 comprises 14 municipalities while the Sled covers 18 towns and one city.

His transfer though to a smaller engineering doesn’t mean a demotion for him. “The DPWH’s higher-ups may have seen in me how I worked in the Southern Leyte engineering district (Sled). (No offense meant to Engr. Junia), they may have posed this challenge to me to resolve the backlog projects in the second district,” said teary eyed Veloso in an interview after the turn-over ceremony.

Veloso claimed that he shared his success with his staff and workers who were also have passion for work. “I told them my secret of success; to work hard and pray deep.”

He also expressed his gratefulness to former Rep. and now Gov. Roger Mercado and Congressman Damian Mercado, “who are very supportive to me and the Sled.”

Gov. Mercado, who joined at the buffet lunch for the two district engineers, acknowledged the work Veloso had done in the province. “We thank him that he could also share his successes in the second district.”

For her part, Engr. Junia admitted that she has a big shoe to fit in Southern Leyte but she is optimistic she can do something with the help of the Sled division chiefs. “It’s kind of pressure for me. From 220 km road network in my last assignment to 290 plus impending conversion of provincial roads to national roads but I’m confident I can hurdle all of these with the help of the efficient division chiefs in Sled. I know I’m in safe hands.”

Junia officially assumed office on August 12.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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