Monday, June 30, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Let me share with you something I got (by accident) from the website of the Office of the President. It's a speech delivered by PGMA wherein she made a reference on what she called "the Calbayog City experience".
The paragraph referring to Calbayog is as follows: ". . . but while the fiscal numbers are better than expected, we need to work harder and more effectively in improving the tax effort together. I ask our governors to join the BIR’s LGU Assurance Program which will result in better collections of both national and local taxes, as illustrated by the experience of Calbayog City . . . "
For a complete text of the speech, please check this link.
Monday, June 23, 2008
I just got hold of some pictures taken during the Dedication of the Calbayog City Main Health Center. The said center is one of the projects undertaken under the MEDCAP of the USNS Mercy Mission or the Pacific Partnership 2008. It is located in Brgy. Capoocan, near the Hall of Justice and a few steps from the (soon-to-be-finished) Calbayog City Gymnasium.
Bishop Isabelo Abarquez as he said the Prayer of Blessing
. . . and a reply was made by the Ambassador
Ribbon-cutting. Ambassador Kenney with Mayor Sarmiento and some members of the PA Engineering Batallion and the US Navy Seabees. Partly hidden are Cong. Reynaldo Uy and Bishop Isabelo Abarquez.
The Ambassador and the City Mayor as they unveiled the plaque
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
CALBAYOG CITY - Last Saturday’s visit of US Ambassador Kristie Kenney to this city has the trimmings of a presidential visit.
(Ambassador Kenney with Gen. Arthur Tabaquero)
(Ambassador Kenny with Mayor Mel Sarmiento)
(Ambassador Kenney with Cong. Reynaldo Uy)
(Ambassador Kenney with Gov. Raul Daza)
Kenney, in her speech, said she too was happy to be accorded with warm greetings from the people and officials of the city. In her own words, she described the welcome as “extra-ordinary.”
Members of the city’s dance troupe provided the entertainment to Kenney’s group.
The US ambassador also proceeded to visit a high school where she conducted a reading session with some of the school’s students and teachers. She also led in the inauguration of a barangay health center.
Earlier, the members of the US mercy mission were also treated to a special evening by the city government as a send-off was tendered to them at the Nijaga Park. Local artists including the famed Sarakiki Festival, entertained their foreign guests.
(Ambassador Kenney as she watched the Sarakiki-Hadang Performance with Cong. Reynaldo Uy, Mayor Mel Sarmiento and DFA Asec Edsal Custodio)
Monday, June 16, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
(U.S. Ambassador Kristie Kenney was in Calbayog today. Among her engagements was the Closing Ceremonies of Pacific Partnership 2008. Let me give you Joey Gabieta's report as printed in the LSDE)
CALBAYOG CITY– After more than a month of conducting their medical and engineering works in this city and in two towns in Samar and one in Northern Samar, the close to 3,000 members of America’s mercy mission packed their bags and things yesterday morning with their ambassador in the country, Kristie Kenney expressing the “extraordinary experience” that the group had during their stay.
Kenney, in her speech, said that the medical and engineering work conducted by the members of the mission, dubbed by local officials as “Pacific Partnership 2008: Samar Mission,” said that she was sure that the members of the mission savored their experience and stay in Samar provinces.
“Our engineers learned new techniques; our doctors and nurses benefited from the expertise of (local) doctors and nurses.
And you taught us how to sing and dance,” she said to a warm applause from the audience at the socio-cultural hall of the Tiburcio Tancingco Memorial Institute of Science and Technology (TTMIST), this city.
She was welcomed by Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento, Northern Samar Governor Raul Daza, Samar Rep. Reynaldo Uy, Samar Vice Governor Jesus Redaja and Brigadier General Arthur Tabaquero, commanding general of the 8th Infantry Division.
Ambassador Kenney was accompanied by Edcel Custodio, acting secretary of the Foreign Affairs Department.
The 928 men and women members of the USNS Mercy Mission, arrived in Samar last May 13 and formally ended their work last Friday.
Aside from this city, the group, which was composed of 500 doctors and nurses and 68 engineers, among others, conducted their “mercy mission,” in the neighboring towns of Sta. Margarita and Gandara in Samar and in San Isidro, Northern Samar.
The mission group was headed by Captain William Kearns who said that he was overwhelmed by the warm reception their group received from the local people. “Thank you for your great welcome. The mission served as a lasing reminder of friendship and teamwork between (the United States and the Philippines),” he said in his speech during the send-off.
Mel Senen Sarmiento, mayor of this city, said he could not find words in expressing his gratitude to the coming of the mission which he said had benefited close to 30,000 poor people.
On top of providing medical services, the group also constructed a health center; water and waste treatment facility, both in this city and another health center in Santa Margarita.
For his part, Northern Samar Governor Raul Daza said that the goodwill mission conducted by the members of the USNS Mercy Mission, was an indication that theAmerica cares for people living in less developed countries like the Philippines. “The people have witnessed that the US is not only an instrument of destruction just like we have witnessed in Iraq but also an instrument of preserving lives…,” Daza said.
The coming of the mercy mission to Samar and Northern Samar provinces was realized upon the request of Mayor Sarmiento who asked President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. In turn, the President had requested the US government, through its embassy here in the country, to conduct the mission. Sarmiento himself said that the mission was the second ever to happen in the province after its first mission in 1987 which also served “thousands of poor people in the island.”
The USNS Mercy, which was docked in the Samar Sea bordering this city and the island town of Sto. Niño during their goodwill mission, is described as a hospital ship whose primary mission is to provide an afloat, mobile, acute-surgical medical facility to theUS military with the secondary mission of providing medical and surgical services, afloat and ashore to support US disaster relief and humanitarian operation worldwide.
Here are some pictures taken during the program at the TTMIST
An American band member as he sang the "Star-Sprangled Banner"
Mayor Sarmiento delivering a thank you speech in behalf of the Samareños
with the presidential table re-arranged minutes before the program, the American envoy settled for the floor to watch the AVP on the USNS mercy mission.
Capt. Crispin Mercado, the Mission Co-Director from the Armed Forces of the Philippines
Capt. William Kearns III, the Mission Co-Director from the US Navy.
Ambassador Kristie Kenney
DFA Acting Secretary Edsal Custodio
Ambassador Kenney as she received a Resolution of Thanks. Said resolution was signed by Mayor Sarmiento, San Isidro Mayor Conrado Avila, Sta. Margarita Mayor Fred Serrano and Gandara Mayor Antonieto Cabueños.
Tokens of Banig and Lakub were given to the four VIPs
Chaplain Dance as he delivered a speech during the Project Hand Clasp Ceremony
Calbayog Bishop Isabelo Abarquez receiving the Project Hand Clasp donations on behalf of the Diocesan Commission on Health Care.