Friday, May 30, 2008

The MEDCAP Team has arrived

The Team Members of the Medical Civic Action Program (MEDCAP) of the USNS Mercy Mission arrived today. They arrived on board a C-130 plane from Cotabato City.

Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento was on hand to meet the team members. With him were Councilors Sonny Salurio and Jim Uy. Also on hand was City Health Officer, Dr. Cesar Sabenicio. The team was headed by USN Capt Kenneth Iesenberg.

Mayor Mel Sarmiento (in black) with Col Corleto Vinluan, Jr. (leftmost), Lt John Mc Combs and Councilors Sonny Salurio and Jim Uy.

Councilors Jim Uy and Sonny Salurio as they await the arrival of the team members.

CACO's Jonas Lim with the Sarkiki-Hadang performers. (For pictures of their performance, please check this link)

Mayor Mel Sarmiento as he exchanged pleasantries with Capt Kenneth Iesenberg. Looking on is Dr. Cesar Sabenicio.

The Sarakiki-Hadang Performers were on hand to do their ritual dance of welcome. For pictures, please check this link.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

ENCAP Update: Sta. Margarita Main Health Center

The repair of the Sta. Margarita Main Health Center has commenced. This is still part of the the ENCAP of the USNS Mercy mission in Samar.

About two weeks ago, the members of the to the Naval Mobile Construction Batallion (NMCB) 33 were divided into two. One group went to work at the Capoocan Main Health Center, while the other group started work in Sta. Margarita. Here are some pictures taken at the area:

Mayor Mel Sarmiento with Sta. Margarita Mayor Fred Serrano (in red) as they received updates on the project.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The PDA Dental Caravan

The Dental Caravan undertaken by the Philippine Dental Association (PDA) ended last Sunday.

The 27 Doctors and their local counterparts were able to extend various services to at least 1,221 patients.

In case you’d be interested, here are some figures that I got from some PDA members:

On May 23 (Friday), they were able to do 470 dental extractions, 110 oral prophylaxis, 55 restoration, and 150 pediatrics who were also given free toothpaste and toothbrush

Last Saturday, May 24, 2008, the group was able to do 250 dental extractions, 40 oral prophylaxis, 20 restoration, and 126 pediatrics.

Some members of the PDA will be coming back as part of the American delegation that will be conducting the MEDCAP of the USNS Mercy Mission in Samar.

That's part of the crowd that turned up for the PDA Dental Caravan

Dentists from the local PDA Chapter took charge of the screening of patients at the City Hall Stage.
Two "service areas" were provided. The children were treated at the Coop Conference Hall . . .

. . . while the adults were treated at the Main Conference Hall

Earlier, there was a "surge" of patients trying to avail of the free services. The City Officials were on hand to maintain order and to give instructions . . .
. . . among them Mayor Mel Sarmiento . . .

. . . Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino . . .

. . . and Councilor Ina Rabuya

. . . the other City officias were seen assisting patients, others were on hand to assist the dentists calm their nervous patients at the "service areas".

Friday, May 23, 2008

PDA Dentists in town for Dental Mission

The LGU welcomed 27 members of the Philippine Dental Association yesterday. Together with their local colleauges, they will form part of the team that will conduct a Dental mission in the City starting today.

Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento was on hand to welcome the group which was headed by Dr. Ariel Go (PDA Caravan Chairman), Dr. Rey Agcanans (PDA Protocal Officer), Dr. Liza Cu and Dr. Jay Tabije.

Also present during the program were Councilors Ina Rabuya, Sonny Salurio, Mon Uy, Ver Porlares, Virgil Clemens, Bombie Enriquez, Benjie Dean and Charlie Boy Coñejos.

(for more pictures, please check this link)

Sukabumi visits Calbayog: The Welcome Program

My apologies if this comes rather late (but better late that never). I recently got hold of some pictures taken during the Welcome Program for the visitors from Sukabumi, Indonesia. I got these courtesy of Mr. Vir Tomnob, the LGU's focal person on the UN-MDG. I have uploaded these in my other blog.

Please check this link.

Monday, May 19, 2008

RDC chair says EV solon block beneficial to development programs

(During the last Regional Development Council Meeting in Tacloban City, Mayor Sarmiento was interviewed by LSDE's Ahlette Reyes. Here's Ahlette's report taken from the LSDE website)

TACLOBAN CITY - Regional Development Council Chairman and Calbayog City Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento said the solid group of Eastern Visayas congressmen in the House of Representatives would prove more beneficial to the different development programs being pushed for by the council.

Mayor Sarmiento said during the recently held RDC meeting that the gathering of congressmen from the different districts in Eastern Visayas last May 6 in Manila, a gathering initiated by the RDC itself, was a very historic meeting with the region’s congressmen updated on the development direction of the region and consulted for their recommendations.

“More than what the governors, the mayors and the regional offices can do, our congressmen can help a lot through their funds in helping the region realize our many and different programs and projects,” Mayor Sarmiento said in an interview with the local media.

Eleven out of 12 congressmen from Eastern Visayas were present during the said gathering in Manila, where the legislators were presented with the regional development plan while allowing the congressmen to present their comments and recommendations on these proposals.

Only Leyte First District Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, according to Sarmiento, was not in attendance during the gathering as he was part of President Arroyo’s party in her visit to Bicol recently.

Apart from the regional development plan, what was also presented to the congressmen, it was learned, was the scorecard developed by the RDC-8 where the region’s program implementation are assessed and which would then be passed to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

May ada hira gin-incorporate ngada hini nga scorecard to include their own projects in the respective congressional districts.

The RDC chair believes that with most of the Eastern Visayas congressmen holding vice-chairman seat in the different House committees, they would be able to pull more for the region’s projects especially on the financial aspect.

“I have urged our congressmen to look beyond our political boundaries. If its for the good of the region whether it falls or not within her or his jurisdiction buligan naton kay aton man la gihapon ini,” Sarmiento added. (AHLETTE C. REYES)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Calbayog LGU to focus on spending habit change to improve status of malnourished children

(Mayor Mel Sarmiento was in Tacloban City yesterday to preside over the Regional Development Council meeting of which he is the chairperson. Sarwell Meniano of the Leyte Samar Daily Express interviewed him. Here's Sarwell's report taken from the LSDE website)

TACLOBAN CITY - The city government of Calbayog will focus on spending habit change this year in their bid to improve the status of malnourished children, which comprise 25% of the preschooler’s population.

Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento said that he’s not convinced that poverty is a major factor that hinders the achievement of a better nutritional status of children in their city.

“I feel that people have better income considering that prices of copra went up but the spending habit of people which has a problem here. They spend more in gambling and other vices,” said Sarmiento in an interview.

Calbayog has 4,988 children with below normal weights, according to the result of the 2007 operation timbang. From 25%, the local chief executive is hoping to reduce the incidence to only 17% this year.

The figure placed the city on the top of the list with the highest malnutrition prevalence among old cities in Eastern Visayas. In 2006, the city posted only 20% malnutrition prevalence. “There’s no reason that we can’t provide nutritious food for the family. We’ve been going around the city to educate families,” said Sarmiento in an interview with Leyte Samar Daily Express. The city government also incorporates responsible parenthood in their education drive.

“It’s not the quantity but a quality of life that they could provide to their children,” the mayor stressed.

In order to encourage barangay officials to actively participate in nutrition programs, Sarmiento affirmed that the city government will not approve budget for barangays unless they will procure a weighing scale.

“There are barangays with high malnutrition rate but their proposal is to build waiting sheds, we will not allow it. They are supposed to prioritize the monitoring of children’s nutrition,” he said.
“Barangay officials have to address malnutrition problem first before anything else.” Even if they have local autonomy, we will strongly discourage them from financing other projects,” he added. (SARWELL Q. MENIANO)

12,000 Calbayog residents to benefit from NMBC 133 goodwill service project

(Mayor Mel Sarmiento was in Tacloban City yesterday to preside over the Regional Development Council meeting of which he is the chairperson. Reyan Arinto of the Leyte Samar Daily Express interviewed him. Here's Reyan's taken from the LSDE website)

GOVERNMENT CENTER, PALO, Leyte - Calbayog City Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento said around 12,000 residents in his city and neighboring towns in the first district of Samar will benefit from the goodwill service to be extended by the members of the United States Navy Mobile Construction Battalion 133 (NMBC 133).

Sarmiento, who also sits as the chairman of the Eastern Visayas Regional Development Council (RDC), said the team will be conducting engineering assistance projects in Samar along with the 53rd Engineering Battalion of the Philippine Army.

The engineering projects are part of Pacific Partnership 2008, which also includes the visit of the USNS mercy to the Philippines particularly in Mindanao.“We deeply express our gratitude to them (NMBC 13) for extending their support to the people of Calbayog City and Samar,” Sarmiento said.

Sarmiento revealed that the team will help the Army engineers in constructing a health center in Sta. Margarita, renovation of a health center in Calbayog City, renovation of the Gandara District Hospital and help build a pharmacy dubbed as Botika ng Barangay.

“A sanitation project that is the first system compliant to the Sanitation Act passed by Congress years back will be put up by the team in Calbayog. It is also worthwhile to note that the projects are not just being undertaken by the NMBC 133 and the 53rd Engineering Battalion because a lot of non-government organizations have expressed their support for the projects,” Sarmiento added.

It was learned that the team will be staying in the area for one month where aside from the engineering works they will be conducting a medical and dental civil affairs projects next month.
“Doctors from Mindanao will be airlifted to Calbayog City to conduct a 10-day medical and dental mission in San Isidro (Northen Samar), Gandara, Santa Margarita and Calbayog City. We are happy that they will also be bringing in their own medical equipment and facilities for the conduct of their medical and dental mission,” Sarmiento said.

Pacific Partnership 2008 will bring together host and partner nation civilian medical personnel, as well as military medical and construction personnel. The month-long humanitarian and civic deployment is intended to strengthen relations of the United States with Southeast Asia and Oceania.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

the ENCAP has begun

The Engineering Civic Action Program (ENCAP) of the USNS Mercy Mission in Samar has commenced.

Some members of the to the Naval Mobile Construction Batallion (NMCB) 133 got busy yesterday. The group was divided into two, with one group doing repair work at the Santa Margarita Health Center; and the other one was assigned near the Hall of Justice to construct the Main Health Center for Brgy. Capoocan.

Mayor Mel Sarmiento he gets updated on the work by LCdr Jay Lutz.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Briefing the troops

The Engineering Civic Action Program (ENCAP) Team of the USNS Mercy was given a briefing today. The group officially belongs to the Naval Mobile Construction Batallion (NMCB) 133.

The said briefing on security and other details pertaining to the USNS Mercy mission in Calbayog was held this morning at the old Hermann Gmeiner campus. On hand were Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento and Lt Col Corleto Vinluan, Jr. of the 20th IB, among others.

The team arrived yesterday onboard a C130 plane from Okinawa, Japan. They were given a simple welcome dinner at the Marju Krisel Resort.

Friday, May 9, 2008

MOA Signing

The City Government today signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Landbank of the Philippines (LBP). The said MOA is aimed at pooling the resources and expertise of both the LGU and LBP in the development and implementation of The City Government of Calbayog - Landbank Cooperative Strenghtening Partnership Program.

Among the aims of the program are:

1. The establishment of cooperative sponsorship programs between Landbank and the LGU thru the City Cooleratives Office with the support of the Calbayog City Cooperative Development Council to accelerate and enhance the growth and sustainability of cooperatives in the city.

2. The strengthening of the operations and management capability of the cooperatives through transfer of technology and expertise of the concerned parties to the cooperatives.

3. The development and strengthening of viable city-based multi-sectoral cooperatives, capable of handling diversified socio-economic activities on a sustained basis.

Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento with (r-l) Vice Mayor Ronaldo Aquino,Cooperative Development Authority Samar Director Acila Cabañas and Landbank Tacloban Development Assistance Head Manuel Buenaventura. Standing (2nd from the left) is Councilor Ina Rabuya, Chair of the City Cooperatives Development Council.

Mayor Mel Sarmiento as he delivered his speech.

Mr. Manuel Buenaventura as he delivered his message.
Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino delivering his closing remarks.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sukabumi visits Calbayog: The Farewell Party

The visit of the MDG delegates from Sukabumi, Indonesia was capped by a farewell dinner which held tonight at the Marju-Krisel Resort in Barangay San Policarpo.

On hand for the affair were Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento, Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino, some City Officials and a good number of Department Managers.

For some pictures taken during the said affair, please check this link.

Sukabumi visits Calbayog: The Mayor's Presentation

Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento today formally met with the guests from the City of Sukabumi (Indonesia).

The visit of the 5-man team was part of the localization of The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) program in Indonesia. MDG is a development framework set by The United Nations, of which Calbayog City (as of September 2005) is one of the only 14 resource cities in the Philippines.

The City Mayor gave a presentation entitled "Sukabumi visits Calbayog". The said presentation gave emphasis on what the City Government of Calbayog has been doing in its effort to make real its vision and mission vis-a-vis the various goals as set or stated in the UN-MDG.

The said presentation was attended by the SP members headed by Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino, the various Department Managers and their assistants.

(If you should be interested, we would be very pleased to provide you with a copy of the said presentation. You may leave your contact details in the comment box.)

Dr. Kostaman as he fielded the first question after the presentation.

Mr. Rahmat Sukandar as he asked a question.

Dr. Suhermanb (Head, Local Public Hospital)

Mayor Sarmiento and Vice Mayor Aquino with (l-r) Dr. Sukarman, MPM (Head Infrastructure Divison, Education Office), Mr. Rahmat Sukandar, SSI, MT, MSC (Senior Planner, Local Planning Agency), Dr. Suhermanb, MKM (Head, Local Public Hospital) Dr. Kostaman, MM (Assistant III, Secretariat), Dr. Muhamad Noor Hanafie Zain, MSI (Head, Transportation Office)

The City Officials with the Indonesian guests.

Mr. Rahmat Sukandar with Councilor Ina Rabuya.

Dr. Suhermanb as he exchanged pleasantries with Dr. Teody Fortaleza and Dr. Cesar Sabenicio.

Mr. Rahmat Sukandar talks with Bebot Beso and Fe Queroljico.
(ps. thanks to Mr. Vir Tomnob (the City's MDG focal person) and Menjee Ortiz-Dioneda (of the CSWDO) for providing the data for this report.)