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19th August 2015
DOE to conduct massive inspection of liquid petroleum products in Southern Leyte
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on August 19, 2015, 7:25 pm

By Ma. Rebecca G. Cadavos

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, (PIA) – The Department of Energy-Visayas Field Office will spearhead a focused inspection and monitoring of the downstream oil industry establishments in the province of Southern Leyte as well as in Leyte province.

DOE Director Antonio e. Labios informed that the main objective of activity is to conduct massive inspection of liquid petroleum products (LPP) retail outlets and LPG establishments to ensure compliance with the existing rules and regulations governing the business of petroleum products.

He said that a simultaneous information, education and communication campaign will be conducted in the said area to provide venue for discussion to be participated by different stakeholders, concerned local government units , among other concerned government agencies on issues relative to the business of retailing petroleum products.

Labios further said that the energy department will be tapping the expertise of some partner agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry, Bureau of Fire Protection and the Department of Science and Technology to enhance public awareness and to encourage LGU participation in the implementation of the rules and regulations of DOE pertaining to the downstream oil industry.

Director Labios informed that a half-day coordination meeting is set of the 18th of August, 2015 at Maasin Country Lodge to be participated by concerned agencies, He said that details of the said activities will be discussed to include the roles of each agency .

Inputs on the procedures and mechanics surrounding the planned focused inspection and monitoring from the participants will also be solicited, Labios added. (rgc/PIA8-SoLeyte)


Philippine Rural Development Project in Southern Leyte to start soon
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on August 19, 2015, 7:24 pm

By Ma. Rebecca G. Cadavos

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, (PIA) –The Province of Southern Leyte will soon start the Rehabilitation/Improvement of Mahayahay-Manalog Farm to Market Road under the Philippine Rural Development Project, Gov. Roger G. Mercado informed in a procurement conference held August 12 at the Provincial Capitol here.

The said project coursed through the Department of Agriculture (DA) is one of the most priority projects of the province, Gov. Mercado said in his opening message to the participants composed of the Bids and Awards committee members, the DA team, among other observers including the Philippine Information Agency.

“The project will support the province’ vision, that is self-reliance and empowerment of our people,” Mercado said adding that the said project will fully support the agriculture development of the province.

He further said that “ as a coconut province the said project where farm to market road will support our coconut industry through delivering the products, among other planting materials to processing plants, will be convenient and with better time management in terms of travel using the new farm-to-market roads.”

The PRDP Farm to Market Road project under the Government of the Philippines Loan ‪#‎PRDP-1B-R008-SOL-002 through World Bank cost P188,390,000.00 or $501,250.000.00. It is a partnership with the DA and the local government of Southern Leyte as the implementing partner.

The whole amount will be counter parted by the DA with 10% share and another 10% from the provincial government unit and the 80% will be funded by the World Bank.

For the province of Southern Leyte, the 10% contribution or P18.390-M will be sourced from the 20% Economic Development Fund (EDF), Provincial Accountant Crispin Arong Jr. revealed.

The Provincial BAC is setting a pre-bid conference on September 18, 2015 at the Jose Rizal Hall, Provincial Capitol and as part of the transparency measures being instituted by the agriculture department.

The DA team led by Executive Secretary to Regional Director Leo Caṅeda, Onisimo Paduano informed that bidders for the said project can visit their office or website for the requirements of BAC. (rgc/PIA8-SoLeyte)


FEATURE: Maasinhons, netizens greet, praise victorious Pagara
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on August 19, 2015, 7:22 pm

By Marcelo M. Pedalino

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, August 17 (PIA)  --  The slight drizzle on Saturday nearly spoiled a parade meant to celebrate the coming home here of a rising star in professional boxing many had hoped to be the next Manny Pacquiao.

But the rain droplets fizzled out, and so the grand hero’s welcome for International Boxing Federation (IBF) Champion Prince Albert Pagara pushed through, adding yet another festive color for this year’s fiesta celebration and Ajonay festival.

Riding atop a blue pick-up with City Mayor Maloney Samaco by his side, the native from barangay Lib-og this city gamely smiled and waved to adoring fans, his championship belt in gold and red prominently displayed by a young aide up front, while the vehicle inched its way on the street behind the last ajonay dancing contingent.

Teen-ages swooned, shouted, shrieked to the top of their voices on seeing the 21-year old boxing sensation in person, who can easily pass as a showbiz star than a boxer by his looks.

Many could not contain their excitement they struggled to take selfies in handy mobile phones, and sophisticated cameras clicked non-stop as the vehicle barely moved on, the crowd simply enjoyed, relished the moment at hand, obviously with a mixed feeling of pride and awe.

The sense of euphoria overflowed into the cyberworld seconds after PIA posted photos of the motorcade in its facebook page (timeline pia-southernleyte)  --  the very first photos uploaded  --   with facebook user Atom Zyper apparently realizing that “aw Southern Leyte diay na cija?” (So he is from Southern Leyte?)

“So proud of him for putting Maasin City in the international arena,” commented Almira Leonor Miras, a feeling evidently shared by everyone.

“Proud jod ta ani nija kay Maasin City ang gidala nga lugar sa iyang international fight,” said Tabada Lee Yu. (We are proud of him because he carried Maasin City in his international fight.)

That fight happened in Dubai on August 7, 2015, Dubai time, where Prince Albert Pagara demolished Mexican Jesus Rios before the first round was over with a solid left upper cut, sending Rios to the floor.

The win improved Albert’s record at 24 wins, zero defeat, 17 victories by knockout.

Also on the same fight, dubbed Duel in Dubai 2, Albert’s elder brother, Jason Pagara, also won by a technical unanimous decision in the eight round of his match against Ramon Alcaraz, another Mexican, and the victory improved Jason’s record to 37 wins, 2 defeats, 22 victories by knockout.

“A technical unanimous decision means the referee stopped the fight because of an accidental injury, so the judges’ scorecards were read,” Mayor Maloney Samaco, himself a sports buff, explained when PIA sought clarification.

So it was not just one but two Pagaras who should have been in the street limelight?  “Jason was still nursing his wound caused by the accidental head butt so he was not able to come,” announcer Zaldy Olita blurted in bisaya through the public address unit perched on top of the blue pick-up vehicle, answering the puzzled faces of onlookers who expected to see not one but two Pagaras.

“Ang next Manny Pacquiao kay taga Maasin,” wrote facebook user Denver Che.  (The next Manny Pacquiao is from Maasin,) The experts and the street smarts in boxing also have that same vision.

The next question is, who among the two Pagaras will fill in the Pacman’s shoes?

For now, they will still be wearing their own shoes in their next bout on October 17 in California, USA, reportedly the last rung of the ladder to catapult them in more international fights for their professional boxing careers should lady luck be on their side.

Will there be another hero’s welcome?  Only lady luck, fate, and faith can answer that, too.

Or is it just destiny waiting to happen?  (mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte)


11th August 2015
Rep. Villar pursues passage of law for modified scholarship
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on August 11, 2015, 7:42 pm

By Marcelo M. Pedalino

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Aug. 11 (PIA)  --  Las Pinas Lone District Representative Mark Villar will push for a House Bill he authored which seeks to provide students willing to finish college courses but short on academic scholarship requirements.

Villar, who was in the city as keynote speaker for the 15th Charter Day rites August 10, told local newsmen in a press conference at Kinamot sa Abgao that his bill will not necessarily require maintaining a high rating average unlike in mainstream scholarship qualifications, but will be contented with a simple passing grade, at least no failures.

And the other good thing is that he wanted this house measure enacted within the present administration of President Benigno S, Aquino III.

“Pipilitin po natin i-push yan within this administration,” the Las Pinas lawmaker said when pressed how soon his initiative can possibly see the light of day.

As to the specifics on mechanics, Villar said he will leave it to the higher education department to thresh this out but as to the extent of financial assistance this will depend on particular needs of deserving students.

In his speech at the city gym for the anniversary program, Villar mentioned this kind of scholarship program to the wild, approving cheers of the jam-packed audience who were mostly students.

Later in a text message, he disclosed that “House bill 4591 providing for a comprehensive and unified student financial assistance system for higher and technical education, rationalizing access thereto, and approving funds (also known as UNIfast) was already approved by both Houses” in Congress.

As of now the proposed law is “awaiting signature of President Aquino,” the text message added.  (mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte)  


6th August 2015
Maasin City kicks-off activities for Twin Towers of August
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on August 6, 2015, 2:27 am

By Ma. Rebecca G. Cadavos

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, July 31 (PIA) --- The City of Maasin kicked-off activities for the 15th Charter Day and the Feast day of Our Lady of Assumption, August 10 and August 15, respectively.

A bike and fun walk was conducted yesterday around the city proper at around 3:00 in the afternoon, as part of the opening salvo for Maasin City’s twin events. City officials and employees participated the activity led by the Mayor Maloney Samaco.

The kicked-off activity also include drum and bugle competition participated by the local public schools throughout the city and a formal induction of the 15 candidates for the Miss Maasin City 2015.

Among other activities lined-up for the twin special events include Ajonay Festival, Pabulhon Festival, Battle of Champions-singing competition, Special Friends Night to be participated by Persons with Disabilities and Senior Citizens, Liga ng Barangay Night with Barangay officials as participants, KAB Olympics, Dance Sports competition, Employees Night-Masquerade Ball, Potpot Race, Farmers and fisherfolks get-together and Anniversary concert.

Different sports competition is also slated as part of the activities such as lawn tennis tournament, futsal competition, chess tournament, shootfest, basketball, volleyball , triathlon, badminton, among other activities to include the anniversary parade and luncheon.

The 15th Charter Day Anniversary is the Crystal Year for the City of Maasin, carrying the theme dubbed as, “Maasin City @ 15: Celebrate the City of Champions.”

Mayor Samaco in his invitation to the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) said that “this is a timely celebration of the city’s laurels and recognitions for its unwavering response to public service and governance.” (rgc/PIA8-SoLeyte)

Local Health Chief promotes healthy lifestyles for Pnoys
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on August 6, 2015, 2:26 am

By Ma. Rebecca G. Cadavos

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, July 31 (PIA) --- As the Nutrition Month ended, the Provincial Health Services Office, and the Provincial Nutrition Committee led by Nutrition Action Officer Dr. Noel Lumen conducted a culmination activity, July 30 at the OLAP Function Hall highlighting the healthy lifestyle for all Filipinos.

During the Nutrition culmination activity, Lumen promoted a healthy lifestyle campaign where hataw and Zumba exercises were included in the day activity, saying that “one of the main objectives of nutrition month celebration is to increase awareness on the role and important proper nutrition and physical activity in the prevention of overweight and obesity.”

He also encouraged all Filipinos, particularly the participants to make positive discussions towards consumption of healthy diets and be physically active to prevent overweight and obesity as well.

Dr. Lumen added that “ the prevalence of overweight is increasing, that’s why nutrition program focused on achieving normal weight through proper nutrition,” as in this year’s theme dubbed as “Timbang Iwasto sa Tamang Nutrisyon at Ehersisyo.”

He further noted that one of the reasons for overweight is physical inactivity and changing of dietary patterns of Filipinos in terms of quantity and quality. Hence the government is promoting a healthy lifestyle through different programs such as the Food-Based Dietary Guidelines - 10 Kumainments, the Pilipino Go for Health, Nutrition Labeling, Food Nutrition Guide Pyramid, the Pinggan Pinoy food Plate, to name a few.

On the other hand, provincial Nutritionist Nilda Rich reported the Garantisadong Pambata results for the Vitamin A supplementation and deworming program., among other health-related accomplishments of the province.

Rich also revealed the importance of Nutrition in Emergencies (NiE), a situation which food security, health and range of different services and strategies is often threatened during calamities

The participants during the one-day activity include PNC members, PHSO-Technical Department staff, Department of Education (DepEd) Health Department led by Dr. Consolacion Ruflo, Department of Health-Provincial staff, Southern Leyte Hospital Provincial Chief Dr. Imelda Rodriguez, among others.

The day activity ended with an open forum and updates from the different committee members and a Zumba exercise was conducted. (rgc/PIA8-SoLeyte)

2nd August 2015
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on August 2, 2015, 6:19 am

Duterte confident he won’t go to prison for corruption

“If ever I will go to prison, it will not be about money,” Mayor Rodrigo Duterte confidently declared before a gathering of judges, lawyers and law students.

Duterte issued the statement during the testimonial dinner for the four new lawyers of the Liceo de Cagayan University College of Law.

The mayor was enumerating the reasons why he does not want to be president when he made the declaration.

“What will I get from that? So many problems: China, Mindanao, ask any mayor who your friend what is the problem and he will tell you ‘drugs,” he said in the vernacular.

Duterte said the problem is so enormous that it can never be solved under prevailing conditions.

“You cannot fix what is unfixable,you cannot save democracy because democracy is fractured,” adding that “it is only for the elite and moneyed people”.

The mayor said there are now three million addicts in a country with a population of 101 million.

If by accident God makes him president, Duterte said going after the criminal syndicates will be “bloody”.

It did not come as a surprise to his audience many of whom are already familiar with his uncompromising stance against illegal drugs and criminality. 

Duterte recalled what it was like when he first assumed as mayor in 1988.

“Davao was a ghost country, my city suffered so much,” he narrated.

During the violent years, Duterte said the city lost 410 policemen, soldiers and militiamen.

The prosecutor-turned-mayor, however, was up to the challenge such that Davao is now the country’s safest city.

Duterte says he has “so many accolades to last me a lifetime.”

“Just thinking about it makes me happy,” he confessed.

Duterte insists that he needs the presidency “like a hole in the head”.

Acknowledging the persistent call for him to join the presidential race, Duterte said the enormous problems are what makes him avoid it “at all cost”.

“How do you deal with police who are into criminality? By what stretch of imagination can you really define due process if you want to reform this government?” he asked.

Duterte said that if anybody can answer these questions, “maybe I will consider it”.

“I will never give a space to criminals,” he vowed.

But if it is his destiny to be president, Duterte told his audience what to expect.  

“After six years, I’m going to give you a new government and a new order,” he categorically declared.

Pointing to the jail time that befell the last two presidents, Duterte hinted that he would be ready to suffer the same fate when he steps down.

If ever that happens, however, the mayor was sure it will never be about corruption.

“It will be about multiple murder or genocide,” he suggested. (CHITO A. FUENTES)


Duterte guests at Liceo testimonial
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on August 2, 2015, 2:12 am

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s mere presence during the testimonial dinner of the Liceo de Cagayan University College of Law was enough to guarantee a “record-breaking” event.

This was revealed by Jose Pepe Abbu Jr., Law Students Organization president, who organized the event.

“Even non-Liceo lawyers have inquired whether they can attend the testimonial,” Abbu said.

The testimonial in honor of the alumni who successfully hurdled the 2014 bar exams was slated at the N Hotel in Cagayan de Oro

Abbu disclosed that based on the advanced booking, this testimonial would be a record-breaker in terms of the number of people who have already signified their intention to attend the activity.

The mayor has attracted increasing interest as a possible presidential timber after turning Davao City around as from the killing fields of the 80s to safest city in the country.

Despite his consistent denials, his supporters have continued to grow in numbers which was proven when he placed a strong third in the last Pulse Asia survey behind Sen. Grace Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay.

While Poe, Binay and the recently proclaimed Liberal Party bet Secretary Mar Roxas have all waged national campaigns, Duterte until recently had limited himself to Davao which makes his impressive showing even more significant.

The country’s longest serving city mayor after Edsa, Duterte was prompted to go around the country to promote federalism which he described as the country’s “last card” to prevent a fresh outbreak of violence in Mindanao.

While the mayor had expressed opposition to certain provisions of the controversial Bangsamoro Basic Law, Duterte has declared his support for it “to buy time and to bide time”.

The mayor’s soaring popularity was proven when he guested on “Gandang Gabi Vice” on ABS-CBN which debuted on second place on world-wide trending behind only the Wimbledon tennis championship.

This proved that the Duterte magic has captured people from all walks of life particularly OFWs now based in different parts of the world. 

Duterte arrived in Cagayan earlier in the day to grace the baptism of the child of Glenn and lawyer Aimee Torrefranca-Neri.

From Cagayan, Duterte will proceed to Camiguin where he will address a forum on federalism in Catarman.

He will also pay a courtesy call on provincial officials led by Vice Gov. James Ederanga.

Surveys show that Duterte enjoys almost a cult-following in his Southern Mindanao base with a mind-boggling 93%.

Pulse Asia gave Duterte a 37% approval rating, the highest received by any of the top presidentiables but Mindanaoans insist this is still very conservative.

If Duterte changes his mind and caves in to the tremendous pressure to run, he is poised to make history not only as the first Mindanaoan president but also the first local official to jump straight into Malacanang. (CHITO A. FUENTES)


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.

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