Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mayor Sarmiento assumes post as RDC-8 Chairperson

Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento formally took his oath as the new Chairperson of the Regional Development Council (RDC-8) yesterday.

Mayor Mel Sarmiento takes his oath before RTC Executive Judge Rodolfo Sescon
(photo courtesy of Vaugn Calvara)

Here's a news report by Ahlette Reyes of the Leyte Samar Daily Express:

TACLOBAN CITY - As he formally took his oath of office as the new chairman of the Regional Development Council in Eastern Visayas, three-term Calbayog City Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento exhorted political leaders and elected officials to actively participate in the council's activities and fortify their commitment to the council's development plans.

The new RDC chair took his oath before Executive Judge Rogelio C. Sescon of the Regional trial Court here during the Regional Development Council's meeting at the Hotel Alejandro Monday.

Mayor Sarmiento emphasized the need for a close working relationship with the existing chairmen of the different committees of the RDC as well as with local chief executives and political leaders.

"One of the things cited during our earlier meeting was the lack of commitment of some of our elected officials. Without them we cannot do the things that we need to do. Our politicians, through their political backing can sum and balance things up," Mayor Sarmiento said in his message shortly after his formal oath taking.

He added that "political will" have to be used sometimes to "get what we want." "We need political leaders to actively support the plan that has been given by the private sector, government agencies and local government units," Sarmiento said.

Among other things, the new RDC chair said he would focus on during his reign is for the council to actively participate in the legislation process and utilize their collective influence in lobbying for legislation that would really redound to the benefit of the region during its implementation.

"We now have elected officials who were formerly members of the Lower House and now they are having problems implementing some laws they themselves have approved before," he said.

Existing committees of the RDC had been retained with their respective chairpersons authorized by the newly appointed chairman to act on their own unless it would need "political intervention" from the higher officials of the board.

"I have also authorized the committee chairs to act on their own. If it needs political intervention that's the time that we come in the higher level," Mayor Sarmiento said.

Likewise he disclosed of a "score card" for the different committees formed under the council, which would show what the development body are supposed to achieve until 2010. This "score card," he said, was developed by the Harvard School for Business and has been modified for public use. The same has already been applied in the city of Calbayog under his leadership.

With a notable track record under him particularly his expertise on development strategies, other members and sectoral representatives of the RDC expressed confidence the body would be able to achieve their development goals during his three-year reign.

Mayor Sarmiento, who is known as an innovative and development-oriented local government executive, was the lone nominee of the RDC to the chairmanship post. His nomination was endorsed to and confirmed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The confirmation letter was received by the RDCEV Secretariat on November 9, 2007.

Monday, November 26, 2007

the road not less traveled

With all due respect (and apologies) to that literary classic, "The Road Less Traveled" was the first line that came to mind when I discovered that I had in my phone two videos which I took while on board a van during one of my trips to Tacloban sometime in September.

I decided to share these videos to give you an idea on what it is to travel from Calbayog (or is it from Gandara?) to Tacloban. Let me inform you however that during my latest trip (November 8 to be exact), thanks to PGMA, work is going on (or has been going on for quite sometime). Many portions of the highway have been cemented (or concreted, I dunnow which is the proper term). But then news had it that President Arroyo (during her latest visit to Region 8) got irked upon learning about the delay in the road project. Anyway, work is being done, thanks God.

Back to the videos. The first video was taken as the van approached Hinabangan or somewhere near it. I think it captured the bumpy ride that should be familiar to most travelers who trod this road that is not exactly less traveled. The second video is supposed to show the smooth ride from Calbiga to Tacloban.

a bumpy ride

some kinda smooth ride

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The CKC Jose Gomez Orchestra launched today

The CKC Jose Gomez Orchestra was officially launched today. Christ the King College President, Fr. Prisco Cajes, spearheaded the launching during the Concelebrated Mass at the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral. The mass was said in celebration of the Feast of Christ, the King of the Universe.

In his message, Fr. Cajes stated the following details:

In Celebration of the grace of our origins of the Franciscan Movement in this part of the world wherein the Franciscan Missions, thru San Pedro Bautista, pioneered the first school of Music after 1578;

In memory and tribute to your very own, the late Maestro Jose Gomez, who captured the souls of every people of Samar and composed them into music;

In the spirit of championing the cause of humanity of which Christ the King College has untiringly offered to you;

In gratitude to the benefactors and patrons thru the initiatives of Mr. Walter Rhumor and Mr. Tony Gomez;

To honor Dr. Francisca P. Santos in her 50 years of service to CKC.

And for the greater glory of GOD as we celebrate this Solemnity of Christ the King…

We now present to you the CKC Jose Gomez Orchestra!


The CKC Jose Gomez Orchestra envisions itself as a musical organization that promotes the musical heritage of the people of Calbayog City, Samar Island and Region VIII, and develops their love of music and their natural musical talents, especially by encouraging people to appreciate and learn music through formal education and playing, itself, this music for the people in public. It acts as an agent affirming the past musical compositions and in evolving the culture, specifically the music of the people in this part of the Philippines.


The mission of the Jose Gomez Orchestra is the establishment and furtherance of a professional symphony orchestra, the advancement of music appreciation and music playing among musicians in Samar Island, the enrichment of the community through music, the encouragement, development and support of musicians, the performance and promotion of the music compositions of Jose Gomez and other local musicians, and the promotion and support of the musical productions and special events in Calbayog City and surrounding area.


The Jose Gomez orchestra commits itself to organizing musicians including its members; to collecting pieces of musical compositions from great musicians in Region VIII, like the great Jose Gomez and others; and to learning these musical compositions and playing them for public. It will exert efforts in promoting these musical compositions in concerts and other occasions. Hence, it will help develop the culture and music of the City and Region through formal education in music, in coordination with Christ the King College and through other means as well as. Therefore, the CKC Jose Gomez Orchestra will act as agent for the cultural and musical development of the Calbayog City, Samar Island and Region VIII.

(For some pictures of the celebration and that of the members of the orchestra, please check this link: Feast of Christ the King.)

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Barangay Officials take their oath

The newly-elected and reelected Barangay Officials of Calbayog took their oath today.

The program was held at the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral. Fr. Rolando Vivas presided over the Thanksgiving Mass which preceded the oath-taking ceremonies.

Mayor Mel Sarmiento with the acting ABC President Romeo Evardone, DILG City Director Fernando Bohol, and Councilors Susano Salurio, Ina Rabuya and Benjie Dean

Councilors Noel Sermense and Virgil Clemens

Mayor Mel Sarmiento as he administers the oath to the Barangay Officials

DILG City Director Fernando Bohol delivering his message

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

OPLAN Sagip Mata 2007

Once again, the City of Government of Calbayog tied up with some private / non-government organizations for the Annual Oplan Sagip-Mata.

Oplan Sagip-Mata 2007 was launched today at the Our Lady of Porziuncula Hospital in Calbayog City. This activity is a joint undertaking of the LGU, the Rotary Club of Calbayog, Eastern Visayas Society of Opthalmology, OLPHI, EVRMC and the Cataract Foundation of the Philippines.

A streamer at the OLPHI entrance announcing the activity

Mayor Mel Sarmiento taking time to talk with the patients who availed of the free eye operation

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Region 8 Peace and Security Assembly

Calbayog City Mayor and Regional Development Council (RDC-8) Chairman Mel Senen Sarmiento actively participated in the Peace and Security Assembly which was held in Tacloban City last November 8 - 9, 2007. He presented to President Gloria Arroyo a copy of the Comprehensive Development Plan for Region 8.

Here are some pictures from that event.

Mayor Mel Sarmiento giving his presentation / report before the Peace and Security Assembly participants which included the President

Mayor Sarmiento as he presented his report to President Arroyo

Mayor Mel Sarmiento, Congressman Reynaldo Uy and PGMA with some Region 8 officials.

on the sidelights . . .

Mayor Sarmiento with National Security Council Member General Victor Mayo

Mayor Sarmiento with General Mayo and National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales

Northern Samar Governor Raul Daza, Congressman Paul Daza, Congressman Reynaldo Uy, and (partly hidden) An Waray Congressman Bembem Noel

Mayor Sarmiento with Congressman Paul Daza and Gen. Mayo

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I'm back!

Hi! My apologies for not giving you some updates during the past so many days. I was in Manila to coordinate the wedding of my cousin Pheona Camille Ladrero. I have posted some details of the wedding in my other blog. Check this link.