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First Posted 13:47:00 03/03/2011

Naval, Biliran – Dr. Editha S. Genson, President of the Naval State University, strongly criticized the management of the Leyte Samar Daily Express in their news allegedly written by Alvin P. Cardines last March 2, 2011 issue of their newspaper citing among others that the Asian Development Foundation College in Tacloban City (21.8%), San Lorenzo Ruiz College in Ormoc City (21%) and Naval State College (30.7%) in Naval, Biliran among the three schools in Region VIII who are facing possible closure due to poor performance in the recently concluded Nurses Licensure Examination (NLE) conducted last December 19-20, 2010.

“The report of Mr. Cardines is baseless and unfounded considering that based on CHED Memorandum Order No. 14, series of 2009, Article 11, Sanctions: provides that the initial implementation of the gradual phase-out of the Nursing Program and an average of below 30% for a three-year period starting School Year 2010-2011 until SY 2012-2013
in the Nurses Licensure Examination will be implemented starting 2013″ Dr. Genson emphasized.

She added that based on the CHED Memo, NSU is not included in the report for possible closure considering that 30.7 passing percentage is above the 30% baseline as cited by CMO # 14. Besides, the writer has no bases that NSU is not a performing school considering that the NSU examinees is the pioneering batch of the University who only graduated last March 2010.

“Likewise, the performance of the ADFC of Tacloban City and SLRC of Ormoc City last year was above 30% and it is only this time that they got below 30% which is contrary to the report because based on the CMO only the schools who got 0% to below 30% for the last three consecutive years will be sanctioned for closure. Besides, the effectivity of the said closure will only start by the year 2013,” Dr. Genson stressed out.

In an interview, the NSU president looks forward that the management of the Leyte Samar Daily Express should write a letter addressed to the schools concerned and rectify their report to be printed in the next issue of their newspaper to shed light to the false report written by one of their writers which causes misinformation among the reading public in the entire Eastern Visayas Region.
(John D. Romagos, NSU University Information Officer)

NSU University President III


Leyte Samar Daily Express

Former Congressman Glenn C. Chong and the people of Biliran who are in the midst of the electoral protest filed against Dr. Roger Espina must be tickled pink with the open declaration of support from an international religious organization.

Franciscan priests and lay leaders who attended the Asia-Pacific Regional Training workshop on the UN Human Rights system and Advocacy of at least 39 members from various countries have come out with this support for the people of Biliran in their desire to have an immediate manual re count of the votes in the May 2010 elections for congressman of the lone district of Biliran.


Signatories of the manifesto include Fr. Santosh Ekka of Mumbay, India, Brothers Tomas Matthew and Selwyn Suma, Sri Lanka and Papua, New Guinea respectively and several Franciscan nuns who expressed their support for a recount of the contested congressional district elections that proclaimed Dr. Espina as the winner.


Biliranons have been expressing their frustrations and dismay at the very slow process the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) is undertaking the request for an immediate vote recount in spite of the fact that protestant Atty. Glenn Chong had already complied with all the requirements needed to beef up his argument that he was cheated in that election.


The HRET should pick up that moral challenge to speed up an unquestionable and credible recount so that by doing so, it will serve to satisfy three purposes:

1. If indeed, Dr. Rgelio Espina won that election it will ease the emotional tensions gripping the inner systems not only of Dr. Espina, his supporters but most especially Biliranons themselves. It will give Espina the opportunity and time to unite the people of Biliran in his planned programs that should cascade down to their welfare.

2. On the other hand, if former Congressman Chong wins in the recount, it shall strengthen the prevailing belief of people of Biliran that justice is alive in this country. Likewise the credibility of the May 2010 Biliran elections shall be upheld and this democratic exercise shall henceforth be critically watched in the future so that it won’t happen again.

3. Neutral observers of the island province are praying that this electoral conflict between Atty. Glenn Chong and Dr. Roger Espina must resolved soonest to ease the tension now playing into the minds of both camps.

By: Alvin Gz. Arpon


Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY – Poverty incidence has worsened in Eastern Visayas from 2006 to 2009 with nearly half of the region’s population have remained poor, the National Statistical Coordination Board regional office said in its report released yesterday.

From 1.56 million (39%) poor individuals in 2006, it rose to 1.73 million in 2009, which accounts 41.4% of Region 8 population. The data is way up than the 26.5% poverty incidence in the national level.

The latest poverty incidence data is worst than the 37.6% in 2003 but better than the 45.1% figure in 1991.

The latest official poverty data indicate that a family of five in Eastern Visayas needed P934 in 2009 to meet his/her monthly food needs alone and P1,325 to stay out of poverty.

Southern Leyte registered the highest increase in poverty incidence from 2006 to 2009 (30.2% to 43.3%), Samar (38.5% to 45%), Eastern Samar (47.8% to 54%), and Biliran (33.8% to 34.9%)

Of the six provinces, only Leyte 34.9% to 34.3%) and Northern Samar (53.8% to 51.2%) registered an improved situation during the three-year span.

However, Leyte was identified by the NSCB main office as one of provinces with the highest share in the total number of poor families for both 2006 and 2009.

NSCB regional head Evangeline Paran has called on government agencies and local government units to assess their performance and think of ways to improve the delivery of services to improve the lives of the people.

”Concerned officials have to reflect why this happens despite efforts to fight poverty,” Paran said.

According to her, the official 2009 data is very important for the government since it will be a basis for planning and implementation in the next years. The next poverty incidence data will be crafted from 2012 survey.

She said that the worsened poverty situation could be attributed to damages to farms and properties wrought by natural calamities and rising prices of basic commodities.

”That affected the capability of families to meet their basic needs,” she pointed out in a phone interview with Leyte Samar Daily Express.

In terms of the magnitude of the poor families, there was an increase of about 33,809 from 253,347 in 2006 to 287,156 in 2009.
Consequently, a family of five in Regtion 8 needed P4,869 monthly income to meet the basic food needs and P7,017 to stay out of poverty.

The official data was crafted from Family Income and Expenditure Survey, studies from Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Bureau of Agriculture Statistics, and National Statistics Office.

The estimates for 1991, 2003 and 2006 were revised by the NSCB following refinements in the poverty estimation
Paran said that it must be noted that these estimates were generated based on the refinements in the official poverty estimation methodology approved by the NSCB Executive Board.

”In general, the trends of the poverty estimates from 2003-2006 and 2006-2009 using the refined methodology are consistent with the trends in the estimates generated using the old methodology,” the NSCB said in its statement.

The recent official data has raised doubts for the region to reduce by a third by 2015 the portion of the regional population living in “extreme poverty” based on the target set under the Millennium Development Goals. (SARWELL Q. MENIANO)


Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will hand over P 1 million to the local government unit (LGU) of Kawayan, Biliran, as an incentive for its attaining the criteria on the seal of good housekeeping.

DILG-8 Assistant Regional Director Aida Laruda in a press statement said that Kawayan was one among the 15 towns in the entire country that passed the department’s seal of good housekeeping award. The 15 municipalities belong to the 4th to 6th class classification of municipalities.

In a phone interview with DILG Public Information Officer, Myles Joseph Colasito said that the three municipalities in Eastern Visayas have undergone an evaluation for the said award conducted by the Bureau of Local Government Supervision (BLGS) last November 17 to 19. The said municipalities were Kawayan and Caibiran, both from Biliran, and Balangiga in Eastern Samar.

It was also learned from Colasito that Kawayan has earned the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) grant that could be used on the implementation of projects which addresses the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

“This PFC grant incorporates the criteria of values transparency, accountability, participation and performance in local governance,” the information officer said.

According to Colasito, the evaluation for good housekeeping focused on four areas major areas, namely good planning, sound fiscal management, transparency and accountability, and valuing of performance monitoring.

Furthermore, Leyte Samar Daily Express learned that the area on good planning involves questions on presence of an approved and updated comprehensive development plan and executive-legislative agenda.

Secondly, the sound fiscal management places high marks for absence of negative Commission on Audit (COA) findings or observations or the LGU’s full implementation of audit findings or observations. It also involves an assessment whether the LGU’s annual budget was crafted and approved pursuant to the Local Government Code and complied to mandatory and statutory requirements, the presence of updated local revenue code, schedule of market values as well as regular submission of statement of receipts and expenditures.

Then the transparency and accountability area refers to the compliance of the LGU to the Anti-Red Tape Law and DILG memorandum circular on full disclosure of local budget and finances likewise the bids and public offerings.

Moreover, the valuing performance monitoring area places higher values to LGUs that enables to utilize performance monitoring tools or scorecard system in their local planning as well as those which have garnered any awards of recognition for doing the said matter.

In connection to the said award that would be received by the municipality of Kawayan, the DILG 8 hopes that their performance will motivate other LGUs in the region to improve their fundamentals of governance for them to avail of the incentive grant that DILG offered.

Lastly, Colasito said that DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo will award the PCF grant to Kawayan, Biliran on January 28, 2011 at People’s Center of this city. (REY GERILLA GRADO)


Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY – Eastern Visayas continues to have great number of malnourished and undernourished children as revealed by National Nutrition Council (NNC) regional coordinator.

Karina Santiago said in an interview that malnourished and undernourished children are associated with poverty as it resulted to hunger that causes a person not to get enough nutrients that the body needs.

In the region, Northern Samar has the highest prevalence of malnutrition as based on the “Operation Timbang” of the NNC while in the case of malnutrition based on the survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Biliran and Northern Samar have the highest incidence of malnutrition, Santiago said.

The implementation of the anti-hunger mitigation program by various sectors in the six provinces in the region was recently assessed by the NNC in a meeting held in this city.

In the meeting, the NNC asked their partners to identify and inform their agencies what are the problems that are currently being encountered by the community-based organizations, local government units and their health and nutrition implementers in every community.

“We would like to know what are the problems that they encounter in the implementation of the anti-hunger mitigation campaign of the government in their areas, so that we can provide them assistance that will help improve the implementation of nutrition program in various areas in the region,” Santiago said.

Santiago said that they are strongly campaigning and advocating mothers to practice breastfeeding and supplementary feeding as most victims of malnutrition and undernutrition are new born babies and toddlers.

Although most mothers in the region practice breastfeeding at 91.6% and complimentary feedings at 80% for infants age six to nine months and 11.6% for infants who receive complementary feeding below six months, Santiago revealed that based on survey the median duration of mothers that practice exclusive breastfeeding is 2.3 months.

“The rate for breastfeeding mothers in the region is high but sad to say most of them practices exclusive breastfeeding for about 3 months which we consider it as malpractice in breastfeeding because it will not provide the full nutrients that infants needs in order to have a healthy body and proper nutrition,” Santiago said.

Having this problem, their agency together with their local counterpart strongly promote good nutrition by convincing mothers to practice breastfeeding and complementary feeding to their newly-born and young children ages 0 to two years old, “Pabasa sa Nutrisyon”, promotions of vegetables, eggs and the nutrition guidelines for Filipinos.

Aside the above mentioned activities, they are also encouraging people in the region to have a backyard garden or to have a communal garden where they can have fresh supply of vegetables. (ROEL AMAZONA)


Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY—Mayor Gerardo Espina, Sr. of Kawayan, Biliran reiterated his call for the turning over of the school buses which were purchased during the term of former Rep. Glenn Chong as representative of the lone district of Biliran. file photo. Photo by Kenskie

“I believe those were bought with government funds and it should be surrendered to the province or to the municipality where the bidding was conducted,” Mayor Espina, who sits as the president of the province’s League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP),said.

According to Espina, the school buses were bid out in the island municipality of Maripipi and added that the transaction was already questionable.

“Maripipi is an island municipality…and why is it that the bidding was held there? So, I will also ask the mayor (Uldarico Macorol) to check whether the buses belong to their municipality,” Espina added.

To recall, right after the May elections, Espina sought an inquiry before the Commission on Audit (COA) central office on the legality of the purchases of the 12 school buses used in the Free School Bus System of former Rep. Chong.

“Based on reliable sources, the buses are now placed in a private garage in Baragay Caraycaray (Naval). They should have been turned over especially that those are government properties,” Espina stressed.

He added that he also intends to check the ownership of the buses, which were reportedly bought as second-hand from a private individual.

“If the purpose was to shuttle students from the far-flung barangays of the province to their schools, then it should continue by way of turning them over to the proper agency like the provincial government or the office of the congressman,” the mayor said.

He also said that if the buses would be recovered, it should be equally distributed to the eight municipalities of the province to serve as school bus services. (REYAN L. ARINTO)


Leyte Samar Daily Express

NAVAL, BILIRAN—Mayor Gerardo Espina, Sr. of Kawayan, Biliran envisions the island province of Biliran to be the vegetable basket in Eastern Visayas.

Mayor Espina, who is the president of the League of Municipalities (LMP)-Biliran chapter said the province has rich and fertile land that could be planted with a variety of high value commercial crops.

“Biliran has better soil compared to other areas in the region. Water is not a problem since we have abundant supply coming from the mountains of the island,” Espina said during the turn-over of four greenhouse facilities of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to three Biliran municipalities of Almeria, Culaba and Caibiran.

“I wanted Biliran to be the number one vegetable producer in Region 8. If we have more than enough supply, we can also deliver vegetables to Cebu and Masbate,” Espina added.

Biliran is currently dependent of vegetable supply from Cebu, but according to Mayor Espina, this could be lessened if the people will start planting even in their own backyards.

He added that transportation of farm produce in the island province is already accessible since all roads of the province’s 132 barangays have been concreted.

“That was what I have envisioned when I was still a congressman. If all barangay roads will be cemented, farmers will have easy access to markets to sell their farm produce,” Espina said.

As this developed, local chief executives of Almeria, Culaba and Caibiran already received their greenhouse projects from the DA regional office.

Mayor Eulalio Maderazo of Caibiran told Leyte Samar Daily Express that the greenhouse in his town would boost vegetable production and would translate to additional income of his constituents.

Maderazo said he has allocated additional budget for the local agriculture office to intensify vegetable production among its 17 barangays.

Mayor Dominador Agajan of Almeria, Biliran meanwhile said the greenhouse project turned over to his municipality would augment farmers’ income, particularly the vegetable growers.

Based on DA data, Biliran has the highest food self-sufficiency index. In terms of rice production, the province has 250% sufficiency index compared to other provinces in the region. (REYAN L. ARINTO)

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