Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
In case you are having a hard time reading the text on the sides, it says THANKS TO: DepEd Central Office, Congressman Reynaldo Uy, Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento, VM Ronald Aquino and the City Councilors, Congressman Gabriel "Bembem" Noel and the Local School Board.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Calbayog City Mayor & Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII Chair Mel Senen Sarmiento presents the Score Cards and the Status Report on Major Infrastructure Projects to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during the Regional Development Council Region VIII Meeting at Tiburcio Tancinco Memorial Institute of Science and Technology (TTMIST) Calbayog City, Western Samar (Tuesday) July 15, 2008. Also in photo (from left) are Northern Samar 2nd District Congressman Emil Ong and DPWH Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane. (Benjie Basug OPS/NIB Photo)
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during her attendance at the Regional Development Council Region 8 Meeting at Tiburcio Tancinco Memorial Institute of Science and Technology (TTMIST), Calbayog City, Western Samar. (Tuesday) July 15, 2008. Also in Photo from left are Region 8 NEDA Director Buenaventura Go Soco and DPWH Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane. (Benjie Basug-OPS/NIB Photo)PGMA IN SAMAR—President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo gestures during the Regional Development Council Region VIII Meeting at Tiburcio Tancinco Memorial Institute of Science and Technology (TTMIST), Calbayog City, Western Samar today. (Tuesday), July 15, 2008. Also in Photo from left are Calbayog City & RDC 8 Chair Mayor Mel Senen, Presidential Adviser Victor Domingo, Region VIII NEDA Director Buenaventura Go Soco & DPWH Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane. (Benjie Basug-OPS/NIB Photo)
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Let me share with you some pictures taken during her first engagement at the Calbayog Airport.
President Arroyo being welcomed by Gen. Arthur Tabaquero
The President inside the terminal building as she waited for the PAL Express flight. With here were Mayor Mel Sarmiento, Sec. Gabby Claudio, Rep. Ann Tan and Gov. Mila Tan, among others.
President Arroyo greeting PAL President & COO Jaime Bautista
The President greeting PAL Deputy Chief Executive Henry So Uy
President Arroyo greeting Canadian Ambassador Robert Desjardins
For more images, please check this link.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
(President Arroyo listens as Mayor Mel Sarmiento made his report during the RDC meeting. To the President's left is DPWH Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane)
CALBAYOG CITY -- At least 45 major projects in Eastern Visayas were endorsed by the Regional Development Council (RDC) to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in a bid to get funding allocation and complete it at the “soonest possible time.”
These projects are roads and bridges, airports and seaports, power generation and transmission, flood control, post harvest facilities, small farm reservoirs, and irrigation.
RDC Chair and Calbayog City Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento said that the President was very happy with the output and that she expressed her desire to replicate the scorecards to other RDCs in the country.
The media was not allowed to listen to the President’s response after Mayor Sarmiento endorsed the score cards, but Arroyo said in an interaction with the media at the city airport that the national government will earmark more projects in Samar before her term ends.
“We want to see Samar enjoying the same blessings of Cebu and Bohol. This is a beautiful island with a big potential for eco-tourism destination,” Arroyo told the local media.
The President recently approved the release of a 478 million-peso fund for rehabilitation of coastal road network in Eastern Samar.
“She welcomed our output and our initiative to improve the economic status of (the) people in Region 8. PGMA has assured funding but not for all projects of course” Sarmiento said.
The endorsed road projects aimed at upgrading the road links between the three Samar provinces, the Biliran Circumferential Road, and the Panaon Island Circumferential Road in Southern Leyte.
Airports and Seaports included the redevelopment of Tacloban Airport, Calbayog Airport upgrading, Catbalogan Seaport improvement, construction of Carigara RoRo Port and Carigara Wharf.
Prioritized power generation and transmission projects were the Southern Leyte Geothermal Project, Wright-Taft-Borongan 69 KV Transmission Line Project and Sta. Rita-Basey-Quinapondan 69 KV Line Project.
Proposed flood control projects are situated in the towns of Tanauan, Palo, Lapaz, Burauen, and MacArthur in Leyte. Distribution of post harvest facilities and construction of small farm reservoirs will be concentrated in Leyte.
At least six out of eight proposed irrigation projects are in Samar Island. These are located in the towns of Basey, Sta. Rita, and Calbiga in Samar; Bobon and Mondragon in Northern Samar; and Dolores in Eastern Samar.
“For major projects, we are not in a position to decide the annual allocation. We are appealing to Her Excellency to endorse these projects to the line agencies, through the Cabinet Secretaries, with the hope that same line agencies will support the funding requirements, to complete the projects,” Sarmiento said in his presentation during a joint meeting of the RDC and Regional Disaster Coordinating Council held at the Tiburcio Tancinco Memorial Institute of Science and Technology.
Few minutes after her arrival, the President took part in the inaugural flight of Philippine Airlines' PAL Express. She also led the formal opening of the 56 million-peso Sto. Niño Bridge linking the towns of Gandara and Matuguinao in Samar before she convened the RDC members. The President left Calbayog City around 12:30 p.m. to visit Masbate and lead the cabinet meeting there.
CALBAYOG CITY- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Tuesday led in welcoming the passengers of the PAL Express inaugural Manila-Calbayog flight at the city’s airport.
Among the 48 passengers who were welcomed by the President was eight-year-old Stephanie Spillane who was with her mother Nenita and elder sister Josephine, 10.
“I don’t know who she was but still I was excited,” she said, referring to the frenzy that greeted the arrival of the passengers at the airport located in Barangay Trinidad, seven kms. away from the city proper.
Her 40-year old mother said that she had no idea that they would be welcomed by no less than the President, who was on a smart casual. “I am shaking because of the excitement. She welcomed us” Nenita said.
The family had just arrived in the Philippines from London after 13 years of absence. They are here for a visit at Nenita’s town of San Isidro in Northern Samar.
Nenita and her two daughters had a picture taking with the President who also shook hands with other passengers, which included six foreigners.
Among the passengers of the 76-seater Bombardier Q400 turbo-prop aircraft were six officials of Philippine Airlines led by its president Jaime Bautista, Canadian Ambassador Robert Desjardains and Leyte Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.
The President, who presided the joint meeting of the Regional Development Council and the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council held at the Tiburcio Tansingco Memorial Institute of Science and Technology, was joined by city and provincial officials led by Calbayog City Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento and Governor Milagrosa Tan.
Joining the President were Secretaries Hermogenes Ebdane of the Department of Transportations and Communications; Arthur Yap of the Department of Agriculture; Gabriel Claudio, presidential adviser for political affairs, and Sergio Apostol, presidential legal adviser and the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development-Eastern Visayas.
The commercial plane landed at the Calbayog Airport around 10:10 in the morning, just few minutes after the arrival of President. Ms. Arroyo arrived at the airport on board the presidential aircraft.
Bautista said that the new Manila-Calbayog route was in support to the President’s “super regions programs” as it would pave the way for the opening of a new route that could result to investments and tourists alike.
“This is (also) in response to the call of the government to improve the facilities of the airports so that we can carry more passengers,” Bautista said.
The PAL official personally asked the President to improve the more than 30-year old Calbayog airport facilities like perimeter concrete fence; asphalt overlay; runway lights and x-ray machine, among others. The President promised to accommodate the request of the PAL management.
Ms. Arroyo herself said that she was happy that the country’s premier airline company is now serving the Samar province. The President said that with the coming in of the PAL, influx of tourists as well as the coming in of more investors is expected to follow.
“(And) the coming in of PAL is also a recognition that peace and order in Samar is (improving),” said the President.
Samar Island, comprising of Samar, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar provinces, has an active insurgency problem in Eastern Visayas.
Calbayog City Mayor, meantime, could not hide his happiness with the new Manila-Calbayog flight, echoing the observations of the President that it would boost the province’s economy as well as its tourism industry.
“Calbayog is really poised for more development with the coming in of PAL,” he said. At present, the Asian Spirit is servicing the Manila-Calbayog twice a week. PAL, meantime, has a four times a week flight schedule.
(By JOEY A. GABIETA, SARWELL Q. MENIANO & MIRIAM GARCIA DESACADA Staff Writers)
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Among the VIPs on hand was PAL President and Chief Operating Officer Jaime Bautista. Mr. Bautista delivered a briefing at the airport.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
This blog update is more of an update on the airport. Do you remember my earlier blog about the CRs at the airport? Well, the management has done something about it.
Where there is PAL, expect Cebu Pacific to be there too. If plans should push through, the latter will start serving Calbayog on September 2008; and this area will hopefully serve as their check-in counter.
Now for the main reason of this blog update.Here are some pictures from the (male) CR.
the sinks were clean, the faucets were working and there was a garbage bin . . .
... and there was soap!
deodorizers / air fresheners were all over the place
... and the toilet bowls were clean
Before I was able to say congrats to the airpot management, I was informed that more improvement is coming. Now that's what I call good news.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
For the Manila Bulletin report, please check this link.
For the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Business Section), please check this link; and this link.
Friday, July 4, 2008
Calbayog was cited as among the top performing cities in the Small Cities Category during the recently completed Philippine Cities Competitiveness Ranking Project (PCCRP) 2007. This research undertaking is a project of AIM Policy Center’s City Competitiveness Program.
For this round, the study covered 90 cities in the country, which were clustered into three categories namely: small, mid-sized and metro cities. The ranking was based on six (6) drivers of competitiveness: Cost of Doing Business, Dynamism of Local Economy, Infrastructure, Human Resources and Training, Responsiveness of LGU to Business Needs, and Quality of Life.
Mayor Mel Sarmiento received the award during the National Presentation of Results which was held today at the Grand Ballroom of the Intercontinental Hotel in Makati City.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Flights from Manila to Calbayog will depart at the NAIA Terminal 3 at 5:20 am and will arrive in Calbayog at 6:40 am. Calbayog - Manila flights will depart at 7:10 am.