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SEP (25-30) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS

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BREAKING NEWS / TACLOBAN REGION

>>> SEP (25-30) 2008 <<<

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Sep 30, 2008

Tacloban to open wildlife rescue center, mini-zoo

By Jenette Fariola-Ruedas

ABS CBN News - Philippines

The City Environment Resources Office together with the city government is set to open a wildlife rescue center and a mini-zoo in Barangay 104 Salvacion in Tacloban City.

An assessment of the 50-hectare area was done last Saturday to see the kinds of animals and plants in the area.

The proposed wildlife rescue center will temporarily house animals that will be surrendered or rescued by the environmental staff from residents of Tacloban and areas nearby.

Officials said the rescued animals will be released to their natural habitat after they are rehabilitated.

The mini-zoo and rescue center will be the first to operate in Eastern Visayas.

Officials added that the mini-zoo and wildlife rescue center will also benefit the residents of the village since these would generate employment opportunites for them.

Meanwhile, the city government has also announced that plans are underway to contstruct a dumpsite in Barangay Sto. Niño.

The landfill is expected to last up to 15 years if used properly by means of waste segregation.

Jonathan Hijada, the city's environmental resources officer, appealed to residents to make waste segregation a habit.

"Let's learn to do waste segregation and learn to throw waste materials the right way," he said.

".






Sep 30, 2008

Arroyo says:
Stop communists
"ideological nonsense"

By Joel Guinto

Inquirer.net - Philippines

MANILA, Philippines -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered troops in Samar to put a stop to the "ideological nonsense" and "criminal acts" of communists, saying they hamper the central Philippine island's tourism development.

"If we want Eastern Samar to become a tourism destination, we have to put a stop to their [rebels'] ideological nonsense and their criminal acts once and for all," Arroyo said her speech in Balangiga town, Eastern Samar province on Tuesday.

Arroyo said Samar beaches could rival popular destinations in other parts of the country, but development was being held back by the presence of the New People's Army (NPA).

"General Tabaquero will play a big role in the local economy. So [it's] either get rid of them now, or get rid of them, but before 2010, right general?" she said, referring to Brigadier General Arthur Tabaquero, the commander of the 8th Army Infantry Division, who was in the audience.

Tabaquero's area of operations includes the entire Eastern Visayas region.

"You know your marching orders, whatever happens, they must be stopped," Arroyo said.

The President also said that she has instructed National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales to form a Leyte and Samar Peace and Security Council.

Arroyo was in Samar to promote Calicoan Island in Guiuan town as a tourist spot, but an approaching storm, tropical storm "Pablo," forced her to cancel all her engagements there.

Instead, the President attended the 107th anniversary commemoration of the Balangiga encounter between Filipino and American troops, in Balangiga town, and later convened a Regional Disaster Coordinating Council meeting on storm preparations in Tacloban City.






Sep 30, 2008

Arroyo cuts Samar trip due to Storm "Pablo"

By RG CRUZ

ABS CBN News - Philippines

President Arroyo has cut short her trip to Samar on Tuesday due to Tropical Storm "Pablo".

Mrs. Arroyo's official schedule for Tuesday should have brought her and members of the National Economic and Development Authority cluster of her Cabinet to Guian town in Eastern Samar province for a Cabinet meeting on the poverty situation in the area.

The Cabinet meeting was scheduled at 1:30 p.m. at the Surf camp in Calicoan Island, Eastern Samar and should have been followed by an interaction with members of the local media and Malacañang Press Corps at 7 pm.

With Public Storm Signal No. 2 hoisted over Samar island however, the President cancelled the afternoon leg of her trip and instead decided to just host a Regional Disaster Coordinating Council meeting in Tacloban City, Leyte.

The president was scheduled to inspect and attend the groundbreaking of the Catumsan-Aguinaldo farm-to-market road in Arteche, Eastern Samar Tuesday morning, to be followed by a speech at the commemoration of the 107th anniversary of the Balangiga encounter.

Mrs. Arroyo is scheduled to attend Wednesday's Maskara Festival in Bacolod.

There is no word yet, as of press time, if she would proceed to Bacolod from Tacloban or from Manila.






Sep 29, 2008

P200-M needed to build standard landfill in Tacloban, says Hijada

By Fred Padernos

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- It would need P200 million to construct a standard and well-engineered garbage landfill for Tacloban. This, according to Jonathan Hijada, Environment and Natural Resources Officer (ENRO), was based on their studies.

At present, the dumpsite located in Brgy. Sto. Niño is still on stage 3 of the whole processes for it to become what he called as a scientifically designed sanitary landfill for the voluminous garbage from the city. Even at this stage alone, its budgetary requirement is leveled at P33 million already, Hijada said.

According to Hijada, the city government, at present, could not afford to spend P200 million in one shot deal because of the many other projects being undertaken. But to eventually fulfill this project, Hijada revealed that there is an ongoing talks between the city government and the Development Bank of the Philippines for possible financing of the big facility.

Hijada, who was among the department heads that went to Puerto Princesa for the Lakbay Aral, told Leyte Samar Daily Express that Puerto Princesa, the latest city to become Highly Urbanized in the last 10 years, has this P200 million worth landfill in full operation, which he said was constructed through a grant from another country. With his experience in the two-day stay in Puerto Princesa, Hijada said that solid waste management there was really excellent and that he would introduce the same here in the city in accordance with plans of the mayor.

In a related story, Mayor Romualdez said that he is contemplating of buying a machine worth P2 million. This machine, he said, pulverizes plastics which could be mixed in the cement for hollow block making and even in road concreting. This is one of the things he learned in Puerto Princesa - and the machine is invented by a Filipino which could be a very great instrument in the protection of the environment, said Romualdez.

Many businessmen became rich already because of the tons of plastics taken from the garbage dumpsite. In fact, there are several scrap and garbage plastic shops here where scavengers sell their scrap and plastics collected from the dumpsite and anywhere else.






Sep 29, 2008

Alfred pushes Tacloban's HUC bid

By Fred Padernos

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- In his strong dream for Tacloban to be more progressive in the coming years, Mayor Alfred S. Romualdez has assured the people that he will not put the Taclobanons in a shaky situation in his bid for the highly urbanization of this capital city of Region 8.

According to him, his family, the Marcos-Romualdez families, would only want Tacloban to shine in the region as a highly urbanized city to be able bring in more investments, projects, employment and development not only for the city but as a gateway and center of Eastern Visayas region.

At first, Tacloban was only a barangay of Basey, Samar, and eventually it became a municipality. But in 1953, Cong. Daniel "Danieling" Romualdez filed a bill in Congress declaring Tacloban as a city and the bill was passed. For 55 years now, Tacloban has remained a component city so, according to Mayor Romualdez, it is high time we make Tacloban a Highly Urbanized City.

At present, there are seven cities in the whole Eastern Visayas, namely Ormoc, Baybay and Tacloban in Leyte; Maasin in Southern Leyte; Calbayog and Catbalogan in Samar; and Borongan in Eastern Samar. But none of these is in a Highly Urbanized City (HUC) category.

According to Romualdez, it is Tacloban that is most qualified among these cities to be an HUC considering its population and annual income. In the Local Government Code of 1991, the two basic requirements to qualify for HUC is the population of not less than 200,000 based on latest survey certified by the National Statistics Office (NSO) and an income of P50 million per year. Both requirements have been met already- as the latest population census conducted by the NSO yielded over 217,000 and the city's annual income has escalated to nearly P600 million per year.

The moment Tacloban become a Highly Urbanized City, Romualdez said, it will be the first HUC among the seven cities in the region and would be 34th HUC in the entire country.

Last September 24, Mayor Romualdez was guest speaker of the Assessors and Treasurers Regional Conference held at Kanhuraw Convention Center here, with participants coming from different parts of Region 8. He revealed that in close coordination with Congressman Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez, they get a nod from President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for a P1 billion fund for the improvement of the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in San Jose district, this city. This would include an Instrument Landing System (ILS), at the soon to be international airport, which would facilitate landing of the aircrafts even during zero visibility at the airport's runway. Full blast works on the improvement of the airport would be in 2009, he said.

The most recent (Sept.26) forum attended by Mayor Romualdez as part of his Information Education and Communication (IEC) campaign on HUC, was with the group of Jaycees from different chapters together with the Tacloban Bankers Association. Most questions would revolve on the issue whether there would be automatic hike of taxes and what his programs are for an HUC - but all queries were clearly answered by the mayor himself and thereby erasing their doubts on any excessive increases on taxes.

Mayor Romualdez, describing Tacloban as the financial capital of the region, said that banks here are increasing in numbers. As of latest figure, there are 42 banks all over the city actively operating - an indication that economy is very well stable here, it was learned.

Romualdez further reported that, to date, there are over 13,000 establishments operating in the city - a tremendous increase from only 4, 000 a few years back.

The former dumpsite of the city in Brgy. Abucay that was converted into what is considered now as the biggest and multi- million bus terminal in the country, is now earning over two million pesos monthly.






Sep 29, 2008

Dead big shark found floating in San Pedro Bay

By Joey A. Gabieta & Fred Padernos, with a report from Jobel A. Bernales

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY-- A shark of unknown species was discovered by fishermen of this city last Friday night and was immediately buried the following day at a vacant lot owned by the city government.

Noel Ligtas, chief of the law enforcement of the Bantay Dagat task force of the city government, said that the shark, estimated to weigh 400 kilos and 17 feet long, was turned over to them by the fishermen just an hour after they have discovered it floating off the waters of San Pedro Bay.

"The shark was already dead when they discovered it," Ligtas said.

The Bantay Dagat task force official was not able to get the names of the fishermen who discovered the shark floating lifeless and who were residents of Anibong.

He said that based on the information of the fishermen, they discovered the shark around 7 pm.

"They turn over to us the shark an hour after they discovered it," said Ligtas, whose station is located along Balyu-an Park.

Ligtas also could not say as to what kind of shark it was as no personnel from the regional office of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources attended to their request to help them identify the huge fish.
Ligtas had earlier speculated that the shark could be a butanding (scientific name Rhincodon typus). "Even Mayor (Alfred) Romualdez said it was so," the official of the Bantay Dagat task force said.

The city mayor saw the huge fish after it was turned over to the task force.

Sightings of butandings have become common in the past few months in the waters off Cancabato Bay.
Ligtas had encouraged people not to harm this kind of shark, saying they are among the friendliest animals to human beings

Some people who went to see the lifeless shark took some pictures using their mobile phones. Among them was Raffy Salazar, member of the board of director of the state-owned Philippine National Oil Company who was also overwhelmed on the sheer size of the shark.

According to him, they have to bury the shark, which has brown and black colors, as it was already emitting foul smell.

It took seven men to place the shark to the bulldozer, which brought the shark to its final resting place located along Jaro Drive, Anibong district.

The shark has no wound, reason why they could not really established the cause of its death.

Ligtas said that it was not the first time that a huge fish was discovered along the Leyte waters. Last year, a whale shark was discovered off the waters of Cancabato Bay.






Sep 29, 2008

BFAR develops cage culture of bangus

By Ma. Genalyn B. Dagale

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) continues to develop the cage culture of "Bangus" or milkfish as this is considered the first techno demo fish in the region.

Here in the city, a Bangus cage culture area is located at Kataisan in Brgy. Nula-Tula and in the San Juanico Strait, which were started in 2004 yet by investors.

Justerie Granali, BFAR-8 assistant regional director, disclosed that the culture period of bangus is about three to four months, depending on the sizes of bangus.

Granali added that the survival ratio in a Bangus cage culture is about 95 percent and that the target size in harvesting bangus is about two pieces per kilogram.

"At first, bangus culture started in a pond and later on, it was transferred to a cage because the financial capital is much lesser compared to that in the pond," she said.

The cages used are of three types: the circular cage, 10 by 10 cage, and the bamboo cages, she said.
The investment for the cage culture of bangus is about P300,000 and the total expenses for one year are about P1.1 million while the total income for one year is about P1.8 million, she added.






Sep 27, 2008

People of Guiuan eagerly await PGMA visit on Tuesday

Philippine Information Agency

Tacloban City -- All is set for the visit of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, said Mayor Analiza Kwan of Guiuan, Eastern Samar. It is not the President's first visit but all the same, the people are raring to be able to take a glance, much more to talk to their beloved "Pangulong Gloria."

Guiuan is humbled to be the venue of a Cabinet Meeting, Mayor Kwan said, saying that such an activity will have big impact on her municipality. Already, guests are starting to come, Mayor Kwan said when she called the Philippine Information Agency, and she is ready to graciously welcome them.

In order to promote surfing and beach tourism in Calicoan Island which is about three hours away from Tacloban and 20 minutes away from the town proper by motorized banca, the President will preside over the NEDA Cabinet meeting at the Surf Camp in Calicoan Island of Guiuan town on September 30, Tuesday afternoon.

The Cabinet Meeting is schedule to tackle the eco-tourism development master plan for the Samar Island to highlight the island's potential as a tourist destination and map out strategies to lift Samar Island from the bondage of poverty.

Already, the President has caused the ongoing rehabilitation of the Guiuan Airport so that tourists will be able to fly directly to the island.

Calicoan Island is located in southern-most part of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, the 3rd largest island in the Philippines. Guiuan which is being promoted as the key destination in Eastern Visayas, is hugged hugged by the Pacific Ocean on the east and the Leyte Gulf on the west making it doubly blessed with natural beauty.

Its eastern coastline is characterized by miles and miles of interspersed with rugged cliffs& crashing breakers. In contrast the western shore has surf-ringed white sand beaches long stretches of white sand beach and verdant forest abutting the calm waters of the Leyte Gulf.

Calicoan Island is known as a Surfer's Paradise, with its rugged landscape, tropical forest, wonderful lagoons, breathtaking white beaches, crystal-clear water and magnificent sunlight.

Aside from its rich bounties of nature, Guiuan which is a 3rd class municipality, is a significant part of Philippine history. In the 16th century, when Ferdinand Magellan discovered the Philippines, it is believed that he first landed on the island of Homonhon. It is probably because of this fact that the majority of the population of the town are devout Catholics and the town's church, the Church of the Immaculate Conception, is one of the oldest in the country.




    
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