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JUN (27-29) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS


HOME » TACLOBAN NEWS
BREAKING NEWS / TACLOBAN REGION


 
>>> JUN (27-29) 2008 <<<


Local news for
Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines
continually updated.

Definitive Source of News and Information about the Tacloban region.

 




Jun 29, 2008

RP triumphs as Pacquiao downs Diaz in 9th round

Philippine Information Agency

Tacloban City -- The whole Philippines rejoices as Manny Pacquiao, the People's Champion, once more reaped honors for his country by becoming the WBC Lightweight Champion.

By winning over Diaz, Pacquiao becomes the first Filipino World Lightweight Champion, a fete which the late great Filipino boxer Flash Elorde and four other Filipino punchers before him failed to achieve.

Manny Pacquiao's wrestling Diaz, comes as a morale booster as the country reels from the extensive devastation caused by typhoon Frank and the sea tragedy which claimed the lives of hundreds of people.

The viewing sites in Tacloban and in Leyte were filled with shouts of cheers and joy as Manny Pacquiao was proclaimed as the new WBC Lightweight Champion.

Manny's win will again inspire millions of Filipino young people to continue to hope and work hard for a better future. These young Filipinos could identify themselves with Pacquiao with his humble beginnings.

His rising to popularity and wealth through hard work and determination, is an inspiration to the Filipino people.

As one spectator said, Pacquiao is a living proof that "Magaling talaga ang Filipino."






Jun 29, 2008

GenSan fishermen rescued off Suluan Island in Eastern Samar

Philippine Information Agency

Tacloban City -- Seven fishermen from General Santos City were rescued by fishermen in the vicinity of Suluan Island in Guiuan, Eastern Samar on June 24, 2008.

This was learned from the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council of Region 8 in its update on Typhoon Frank in the afternoon of June 28.

The seven fishermen are now currently confined at the Leyte Provincial Hospital at Pawing, Palo, Leyte, Police Regional Office 8 Director Abner Cabalquinto informed.

It was learned that the fishing boat departed from General Santos heading for Tacloban City on June 9, 2008 with ten fishermen onboard. On June 20, the fishing boat capsized and seven of its crew were rescued by the good hearted fishermen in the vicinity of Suluan Island.

The survivors were brought to the Leyte Provincial Hospital where they were treated and taken care of.

Three of the ten crew did not survive the accident and are still unaccounted for. Mr. Rommel Sumbilon, one of the survivors said that the three are already dead.

The survivors who are now confined at the Leyte Provincial Hospital are Rommel Sumbilon, Joseph Tambugoy, Daniel Sumbilon, Noel Moreno, Emi Sabalaon, Dondon Serail, and Efren Dehilio. Their companions who are missing are a certain Rene, a certain Junvie and another male crew whom they described to be about 50-55 years old.

There is no idea whether the families of the survivors have been informed about their whereabouts.

Meanwhile, a passenger vessel from Bato, Leyte bound for Cebu City and vice versa capsized at Bato seaport at the height of typhoon Frank. No person was reported injured.

Another fishing boat FB Simeon, owned by a Taclobanon, capsized off Dio Island in Tacloban City at the height of the typhoon. One of the crew died in the accident.






Jun 29, 2008

Latest tally: "Frank" leaves 14 dead, 21 missing, 25 injured, 707,375 persons affected

Philippine Information Agency

Tacloban City -- The latest update released by the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council at 5:00pm yesterday disclosed that 14 persons have been confirmed dead, 21 remains missing, 25 injured and about 707,375 persons in Region 8 were affected, due to the onslaught of typhoon Frank.

Police Regional Office 8 Director, General Abner Cabalquinto who is the chairman of RDCC in Region 8 said that typhoon Frank affected about 164,611 families in the Region, left 33,556 houses totally destroyed and 131,033 houses partially damaged.

All those who died due to typhoon Frank were from the province of Leyte which appeared to be the most hardly hit in the Region. Among those confirmed dead were three persons from Barangay Kambungan, Baybay City; three from Barangay Imelda, Matag-ob town; two from Leyte town; one from Barangay Libertad, Kananga town; one from Olot, Tolosa; one from Barangay Guindapunan, Palo; one from Tacloban City; and one from Baybay City.

Most of the casualties died because of drowning due to flooding. One of the victims died of electrocution at the height of the typhoon while another one died while crossing a swollen river.

The 21 persons who remain missing eight days after Typhoon Frank hit the Region are 10 from Tacloban City; 2 from Hernani, Eastern Samar; 2 from Abuyog, Leyte; 2 from Liloan, Southern Leyte; 2 from Malitbog, Southern Leyte; 1 from Kananga and 1 from Tomas Oppos, Southern Leyte.

Most of those injured are from Eastern Samar with 15; Biliran province with 6; Catbalogan with 3 and Abuyog had one injured person.

In terms of the number of persons affected, Tacloban City had the biggest with 69,335; Carigara, Leyte got the second biggest number of persons affected with 42,840; Guiuan, Eastern Samar with 32,935; and Merida, Leyte and Basey, Samar, each of which have about 30,000 persons affected.

The respective local government units and the concerned government agencies continue to take care of the immediate needs of the affected families in their respective areas of jurisdiction.






Jun 28, 2008

Pintados Kasadyaan Festival attracts nat'l officials, 25 competing tribes, thousands of spectators

Philippine Information Agency

Tacloban City -- The annual Pintados Kasadyaan held on June 27, despite being moved to another date, attracted not only thousands of spectators and more participants, but also representatives from the US Embassy and national government officials like Senator Mar Roxas, Senator Kiko Pangilinan, Senator Miguel Zubiri and MMDA Bayani Fernando.

The Pintados Kasadyaan Festival started at 10:00 o'clock in the morning led by no less that Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho L. Petilla and the provincial government officials; Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival Committee Chairperson Hon. Remedios L. Petilla and the municipal mayors and other local government officials.

Starting at the Leyte Sports Complex, the streetdancing participants was so long that it took hours before all the last participating team reached the Leyte Sports Complex where the dance drama presentation portion was held.

As a participant said, the Festival participants were too many that while the head of the parade has already reached the Leyte Sports Complex and yet the other participating groups have not yet even started.

Governo Petilla expressed appreciation that more local government units have participated this year. This, he said is a manifestation of people united as a people working together in giving tribute to the Sto. Nino.

He said that the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival is a showcase of what the Leytenos can do as artistic and innovative people not only in the culture and the arts but in other endeavors. The greatest asset a province or a country can have is its talented and productive human resource, Governor Petilla said.

The success of this year's Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival despite all odds, only inspires the organizers some more to make the Festival bigger and better in the years to come.

Everyone agrees that this year's Pintados-Kasadyaan is more spectacular than that of the previous years.






Jun 28, 2008

Ombudsman intensifies linkages with LGUs, other sectors in fight vs corruption

Philippine Information Agency

Tacloban City -- The Office of the Ombudsman for the Visayas recently conducted a Multi-Sectoral Forum at the Kanhuraw Convention Center in Tacloban City as part of the Agency's campaign for good governance.

Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Pelagio S. Apostol said that the Office of the Ombudsman intends to intensify its linkages with the local government units and the different sectors in the community in the whole Visayas Region.

With them as partners in the advocacy, Deputy Ombudsman Apostol said, the Agency believes that it will be able to raise the social awareness of the people using education as an effective tool.

He said that the Agency strongly believes in the power of convergence, the communal effort in fighting corruption.

Hon. Apostol thanked the City of Tacloban for the partnership in conducting the Multi-Sector Forum on June 24, 9:00 o'clock to 11:30 in the morning.

The Forum was participated in by local government officials, heads of departments and agencies, representatives from the religious, business, academe and civil society.

Meanwhile, Ombudsman Apostol, together with other officials of the Office of the Ombudsman for the Visayas also attended the General Assembly of the Association of Resident Ombudsmen of Region 8 at the LNU House Function Room on June 23.

During the Assembly, the Resident Ombudsmen discussed and decided on the hosting of the Visayas-wide Convention of Resident Ombudsmen to be held in the month of August.

The Office of the Ombudsman has been mandated by law the calling and badge of "Protector of the People." The Ombudsman protects the people from abuse and misuse of governmental power for personal aggrandizement. It summarizes the role of the Ombudsman in the scheme of governance. The Office of the Ombudsman is clothed with corresponding authority to implement this constitutional mandate with the passage of Republic Act No. 6770, otherwise known as the Ombudsman Act of 1989.

The Office of the Ombudsman is charged with five major functions. These are Public Assistance, Graft Prevention, Investigation, Prosecution and Administrative Adjudication. The framers of the 1987 Constitution defined the role of the Office of the Ombudsman as a watchdog, to monitor the "general and specific performance of government officials and employees." It also serves as a mobilizer, to effectively "utilize the support of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the youth sector and other major sectors of society" in the campaign against graft and corruption.






Jun 28, 2008

Typhoid fever outbreak in
E. Visayas alarming

By S. Q. Miniano

GMA news.tv

PINABACDAO, Samar, Philippines - A typhoid fever outbreak has killed a 14-year-old girl and downed 43 others in a village in Villareal, Samar this month.

Teogenes Baluma, regional director of Department of Health in Eastern Visayas, said the outbreak is alarming considering the number of patients within a short span.

The outbreak occurred after similar outbreaks that downed 48 people in the town of Abuyog in Leyte and 25 others in San Miguel village, Hernani, Eastern Samar.

In May, another outbreak was declared in an upland village of Guadalupe in Maasin City, Southern Leyte with 20 victims.

Mr. Baluma said water borne diseases are expected because of the frequent rain in the region this year.

In Villareal town, the disease spread easily because there is no doctor in the community, he added. The lone fatality, who was not identified for being a minor, succumbed to the disease on June 6. At least six victims were sent to hospitals in Catbalogan City and in Tacloban City.

"The town has no doctor for the past several months now. There's only one nurse in the local area tasked to check health problems," Mr. Baluma told reporters. A health team rushed this week to Barangay Igot, about three kilometers from the Villareal town center, to contain the outbreak.

Shallow well pumps are the major source of drinking water for the residents of affected barangays. Health officials suspect that rainwater has contaminated the wells.

"There's also a problem on sanitation in the area. Toilets are located close to shallow wells," said Boyd Cerro, DOH regional sentinel nurse in a telephone interview.

Mr. Cerro, who went to Villareal this week, said the outbreak was not immediately reported to authorities because the residents thought it was ordinary fever.

Samar 2nd district Rep. Sharee Ann Tan said that with the outbreak, she will allocate more funds for water system improvement.

"Safe drinking water has been a problem in many areas of Samar province. I always earmark a budget for health sanitation to address this concern," Ms. Tan said.






Jun 27, 2008

Eastern Visayas coconut industry loses P400M to 'Frank'

By Joey A. Gabieta

Inquirer.net - Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines -- The coconut industry in Eastern Visayas lost over P400 million when typhoon "Frank" (international codename: Fengshen) damaged more than 14 million coconut trees in the region, the Philippine Coconut Authority regional office said.

PCA-8 regional manager Edilberto Nierva said on Friday that of the region's six provinces, only Northern Samar's coconut plantations were spared the wrath of the typhoon. The region has more than 660,000 coconut farmers.

Leyte sustained the most damage at P175 million, with its more than 10 million trees affected and around 476,000 farmers incurring losses, Nierva said.

The typhoon destroyed around four million coconut trees in Eastern Samar valued at P257 million, affecting the livelihood of 156,000 farmers, he added.

In Biliran, 22,680 coconut trees worth P1.9 million were destroyed, resulting in losses for 1,000 farmers.

Southern Leyte and Samar experienced the least damage at P800,000 and P146,000, respectively.

The PCA-8 placed the number of affected farmers in Southern Leyte and Samar at 241 and over 100, respectively.

Nierva said that with the destruction of millions of coconut trees, the industry in the region registered a loss of P430 million.

"It will take a year to three years before our coconut farmers could recover from the loss that they have suffered due to the [typhoon]," Nierva said.

He said the PCA would extend assistance to the coconut farmers by providing them fertilizer.

Nierva said they would encourage the coconut farmers to intensify their planting and to use inter-cropping method.

Eastern Visayas is the country's second largest coconut producing region with an annual production of 1.9 billion nuts, with more than a million farmers working in the industry.






Jun 27, 2008

Analysis:
'Act of god'

By Amando Doronila

Inquirer.net - Philippines

MANILA, Philippines -- Officials of the disaster-prone Sulpicio Lines have blamed "an act of God" for the sinking of their ferry MV Princess of the Stars at the height of Typhoon Frank off Sibuyan Island in Romblon province last Saturday. The ferry sank with 849 passengers and crew on board. The latest reports on rescue efforts count 48 survivors, but the rest of the passengers have either been found dead or remain sealed in the hull of the capsized vessel.

This account of determining responsibility for the loss of human lives was given at the hearing of the Board of Marine Inquiry last Wednesday. This was understood to mean that the typhoon, which caught the ship was a natural phenomenon, and the logic seems to be that the shipowners and the ship's captain are not accountable for the loss of human lives caused by natural phenomena which are beyond the control of humans and their machines.

It may also be argued that when this "act of God" took place, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, half of her Cabinet and a large entourage were in the midst of an official visit to the United States, and it was just bad timing that the disaster broke out. This forced her to react to the emergency by running the government by remote control. She had no choice but to respond to the criticism in the home front that she was on a junket while the country was devastated by the typhoon that nearly submerged Panay Island by conducting a teleconference on the US West Coast, in which she issued a barrage of emergency directives to show that she was in control and hands-on despite her physical distance from the center of the catastrophe. Unfortunately for Sulpicio Lines, the President did not quite agree with the company's passing of the responsibility to "God," and she was determined to make it accountable for the Princess of the Stars tragedy.

Before a meeting with the US-ASEAN Business Council and the US Chamber of Commerce last Wednesday morning (Manila time), the President said: "We are holding the ferry company accountable to ensure that we find how this ferry tragedy could have occurred so we can take steps to make sure it never happens again." She said this as she ordered a thorough investigation of the tragedy, in which government agencies which have regulatory oversight on marine safety in the archipelago will be put on the carpet, including on the issue of why they cleared the ship to sail in the midst of the raging typhoon. While Sulpicio's shipping rivals, Super Ferry and Negros Navigation, anchored their ships in port in the face of the typhoon signals from the PAGASA weather bureau, Sulpicio Lines threw caution to the wind and tempted the wrath of nature, with tragic consequences, by sailing its ships into the seas threatened by typhoons.

An inventory by Inquirer Research of sea disasters in the country during the last two decades showed that Sulpicio Lines topped the local shipping industry in terms of sea disasters. According to the Inquirer survey, since 1987 and until the sinking of Princess of the Stars, Sulpicio Lines vessels figured in at least three maritime disasters. In all three accidents, the company was cleared of any criminal responsibility for the deaths of thousands of passengers.

On Dec. 20, 1987, MV Doña Paz, collided with a Caltex-hired oil tanker Vector in Tablas Strait which divides Mindoro and Marinduque. More than 4,000 people perished in the sinking of Doña Paz, in a disaster considered as the worst maritime disaster in the Philippines after the sinking of the Corregidor which struck a mine in Manila Bay during World War II.

On Oct. 24 1988, Sulpicio's MV Doña Marilyn sailed from Manila for Tacloban City in the middle of a storm. The ship capsized, sending at least 250 people to their death.

On Sept. 18, 1998, Sulpicio's MV Princess of the Orient left Manila for Cebu City in the middle of a storm. The ship sank near Manila Bay. At least 150 passengers died.

At the hearing of the Board of Marine Inquiry last Wednesday, Sulpicio Lines manifested that it was unaware of a new set of updated guidelines issued in June 2007 to be followed during stormy weather. The new guidelines put the movement of vessels during Storm Signal No. 1 (winds of from 30 to 60 kph) under the responsibility of shipowners. The company's lawyer, Arthur Lim, read to the inquiry a "protest" to report that the sinking of MV Princess of the Stars was a result of the "fortuitous event of an act of God, particularly Typhoon Frank, that was the cause of the frustration of the voyage and the loss of our good ship."

The chair of the inquiry, Rear Adm. Ramon Liwag, said the revised circular states that the movement of any vessel is left to the decision and responsibility of the shipowner when Signal No. 1 is up at the point of origin, route and destination. The 2007 circular says no vessel will be allowed to sail when Signal No. 3 or 4 is raised on its point of origin, route and destination. Liwag pointed out that Signal No. 3 was raised in Masbate which was on the route of Princess of the Stars.

Sulpicio Lines first vice president Edgar Go said he was not aware of the 2007 circular. Under questioning, Go said that when the vessel left Manila the sea condition was "slight."

Asked if Sulpicio Lines was aware that the ship's route was on the path of Typhoon Frank, Go replied that "during that time, the typhoon was far away from the pre-plotted track.




    
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