Thursday, January 29, 2009

Connecting Calbayog's National High Schools

You are looking at pictures of some students from the Tarabucan National High School. The first one shows the usual classroom scene (something quite common in every school there is). The other picture has students in front of the computer, not just to encode assignments or projects but they were connected to the world via the internet. No big deal, you might want to say, but not for the schools in the left and right river areas of Calbayog. As of today, 8 National High Schools in Calbayog are connected. These schools are:
  • Calbayog City National High School (with 10 PCs)
  • Mag-ubay National High School (with 10 PCs)
  • Oquendo National High School (with 10 PCs)
  • Pilar Agricultural High School (with 20 PCs)
  • Rafael Lentejas Memorial School of Fisheries (Tinambacan) (with 20 PCs)
  • San Policarpo National High School (with 44 PCs)
  • Tarabucan National High School (with 20 PCs)
  • Trinidad National High School (with 31 PCs)

On the list of schools still to be connected are San Joaquin and Malaga National High Schools. Both schools are located in Tinambacan District (which many also refer to as the "along the coast" area).

This project was made possible through the tie-up between the City Government of Calbayog and Gearing up Internet Literacy and Access to Students (GILAS) Program of the Ayala Foundation.

Last Friday (January 23, 2009), Mayor Mel Sarmiento joined the representatives of Ayala Foundation and some DepEd officials for the program dubbed as "Celebration of Gilas milestone in Calbayog City: Connecting 100% of Connectible Public High Schools". The said program was held at the DepEd Calbayog Confrence Hall. After the messages were delivered, the GILAS School Recepients represented by Lolita Alera gave a message of commitment. Guests then proceeded to the Calbayog City National High School for a Tele-Conference with some teachers and students from the National High Schools in Pilar, Tarabucan and Mag-ubay. The same schools were visited by the guests after the Tele-Conference.

Mayor Sarmiento (partly hidden) talks with a student surfing the net from Brgy. Mag-ubay.

For more pictures, you may check this link.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

on that "Alleged Swine Mortality" in Sta. Rita, Samar

News had it that hog cholera hit some barangays in Sta. Rita, Samar. The City Veterinarian, Dr. Dick Balmes yesterday informed me that Calbayog is not affected by the incident. He provided me a copy of an "Investigation Report on the Alleged Swine Mortality in the Municipality of Sta. Rita, Samar on January 23, 2009". The report was signed by Dr. Andrew Orais, the Regional GMA-LP Coordinator and duly noted by Leo Cañeda, the DA Regional Executive Director.

Here's the report:

A Veterinary Team composed of Technical Staff of the Regional Operations Division and the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RADDL) in coordination with the Local Government Unit of Sta. Rita conducted an investigation on the alleged swine mortalities on January 23, 2009 after receiving report from the Province of Samar indicating occurrence of Hog Cholera in this municipality.

The findings of the investigation, based on the history, on-field observation, actual and ocular examination of active cases and laboratory examinations, are the following:

  • Initial cases were observed in sitio Lourdes of Brgy. Old Manunca, Sta. Rita, Samar on December 8, 2009 affecting 50 pigs.
  • The clinical signs include inappetence, high fever ranging from 40.5 to 42.7 degrees centigrade, diarrhea, some manifested nasal discharge and conjunctivitis, some died suddenly without showing any signs. Clinical course lasts fro about 3 days commencing with loss of appetite, high fever causing affected pigs to chill and end up to death.
  • There were a total of 221 pig mortalities as of January 23, 2009.
  • Active cases were observed in 6 barangays.
  • Clinical signs were highly suggestive for a mixed infections of viral and bacterial origin.
  • The liver and spleen tissues submitted to RADDL revealed positive for Salmonella sp.
  • Drug of choice based on sensitivity test conducted by RADDL were Trimethoprim and Oxytetracycline.
  • Based on clinical signs and other supporting findings, there is indeed an occurrence of mixed infections of Hog cholera and Salmonellosis in this municipality with sudden change of climate, extended rainfall and others as among the predisposing factors.

Blood samples were collected to be submitted to (the) Philippine Animal Health Center in Quezon city to further examine for the presence of other pathogen and for confirmatory diagnosis.

The DA -RFU 8 provided initial 250 doses of antibiotics to treat active cases and prophylaxis of exposed pigs. Also, 280 doses of vitamins and minerals were provided serving as support medication.

Our group convened this morning to lay out final courses of action to contain this recent swine disease outbreak the soonest possible time. discussion on the proposal of the LGU regarding the advisory on the control of movement of pigs and the prevention of additional drugs and biologics was finalized.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Courtesy Call

Last Monday, Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento received PSSupt Pancho Adelberto Hubilla, the newly-appointed PNP Samar Provincial Director. Supt Hubilla was accompanied by PSupt Lito Bigoy, the Chief of Calbayog PNP. (Photos by Vaughn Calvara)

Mayor Mel Sarmiento as he talked with PSSupt Adelberto Hubilla (r) and PSupt Lito Bigoy (back to the camera)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Assistance for the Leyte-Samar-Biliran Peace and Development Council

(January 13, 2009) Calbayog Officials led by Congressman Reynaldo Uy, Mayor Mel Sarmiento and Vice Mayor Ronaldo Aquino visited the 8th ID Headquarters in Catbalogan, Samar. They were on hand for the official turn-over of a five hundred thousand-peso assistance for the operating expenses of the Leyte-Samar-Biliran Peace and Development Council.

The said council which is something akin to the RDC, has as its members (or is spearheaded by) the Governors of the Provinces of Leyte, Southern Leyte, Samar, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar and Biliran and some Military Leaders in the region. The council aims to have just that - peace and development - by having the governors themselves getting their acts together and coordinating to put into place programs and projects that they deem most beneficial for the region.

(seated) Congressman Reynaldo Uy with (r-l) Col. Alexander Caballes, Mayor Mel Sarmiento, Gen. Arthur Tabaquero, Col. Romeo Gan and Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Mass Wedding

(09 January 2009) The City Government of Calbayog through the Local Civil Registry Office, in coordination with the Mutual Benefit Association (MBA) and Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, Inc. (CARD) conducted a Mass Wedding with Mayor Mel Sarmiento as solemnizing Officer. The event was held at the Girl Scout Home. 12 pairs of amancebados took part in the activity.

Mayor Mel Sarmiento with (r-l) Calbayog Civil Regitrar Fe Queroljico, MBA's Rose Buhat, CARD Unit Manager Jaylou Ann Ada and CARD Area Manager Sandy Bulalacao.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The JTED Experiment

Do you still remember the JTED meeting? We fondly refer to it as the first International Conference hosted by Calbayog City. It had delegates from at least twelve countries and International Organizations coming to Calbayog a few days before the 58th Charter Day Anniversary.

Officially called The Global National Coordinators' Review Meeting, its delegates came to the City to review the experiment on the Juvenile Trashfish Excluder Device (J-TED), a program under the auspices of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and supported by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). (You may check this link).

I came across the two (related) reports on the experiments (Mexico was the other city where the experiment was conducted) as featured in BBC News and Earth Report. I thought I wanted to share these with you. You may check on the logos below, or check these links: link 1, link 2.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Cebu Pacific flies to Calbayog

It's official, Cebu Pacific will be serving Calbayog starting February 18, 2009. Manila - Calbayog flights will depart at 5:50 am and arrive Calbayog at 7:15 am. Calbayog - Manila flights will depart at 7:35 am.

Here's what I got from the Cebu Pacific website:

Cebu Pacific flies to Catarman, Calbayog, Virac, and Cauayan

Cebu Pacific (CEB) is set to take delivery of its seventh brand-new ATR 72-500 aircraft which it will use to fly to Catarman and Calbayog in Samar, Virac in Catanduanes, and Cauayan, Isabela starting next month.

The new service to Catarman, Samar and Virac, Catanduanes will start on February 14; flights to Calbayog, Samar and Cauayan, Isabela will start on February 18.

Candice Iyog, CEB VP for marketing and distribution, said “We are expanding our Manila hub operations with the arrival of our brand new ATR and will make more areas accessible through our low fares and new planes.”

To mark the announcement of these additional services, CEB is offering a promotional P500 all-in ‘Go Lite’ seat sale for flights from Manila to Busuanga, Calbayog, Catarman, Cauayan, Naga and Virac. The airline has also included select Cebu hub flights to Cotabato, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Legaspi, Ozamiz, Siargao and Tacloban in the promotion.

The seat sale will run from January 9 to 14, 2009 and is good for travel from February 1, or the start date of respective flights, to March 31, 2009.

CEB will fly Manila-Catarman and Manila-Virac every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday; Manila-Calbayog and Manila-Cauayan on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Images from People's Day

The first People's Day for year 2009 was held today. As with the the previous People's Days, the City Officials led by the City Mayor together with the Department Managers were at the City Hall Sala to attend to the concerns of a good number of Calbayognons.

People's Day is an LGU program which aims, among others, to bring the City officials and the various offices of the LGU closer to the people (literally, if I may add). I fondly refer to it as the weekly (as it happens every Wednesday at 8:00 am to 12 noon) one-stop-shop of city officials and department managers.

Last year, some People's Days were held in various barangays and one at the City Hall stage.

Here are some pictures from today's acitvity.

Mayor Mel Sarmiento attends to a client at Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino looks on.

Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino with Councilors Ver Porlare and Danny Bernate.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Mayor's State of the City Address (SOCA 2009)

Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento delivered his 2009 State of the City Address yesterday. His speech was part of the agenda of the first session of the City Council for the year 2009.

Vice Mayor Ronaldo Aquino presided over the session. In attendance were Councilors Rey James Uy, Ver Porlares, Julius Mancol, Danilo Bernate, Regina Rabuya, Noel Sermense, Raymond Uy, Susano Salurio, Arturo Pasacas, Jonas Montealto, Virgil Clemens Florencio Enriquez and Charlie Boy Coñejos.

Also present during the session were the various Department Managers of the LGU. The session was broadcast live over DYOG Radyo ng Bayan and Community TV Channel 6.

The City Mayor opened his report with some LGU highlights from year 2008. The highlights showed that it was a busy year for the LGU. The acitvities presented included among others, the following:

- the USNS Mercy ENCAP and MEDCAP in Samar.
- the visits of President Gloria Arroyo, U.S. Ambassador Kristie Kenney and Secretary Arthur Yap.
- the introduction of the weekly People's Day at the City Hall and in some barangays.
- the campaign to reassure the public about the availability of rice in the city and the region.
- the continuing Secure Tenure Program of the City Urban Housing Division.

(For more highlights cited by the City Mayor, you may check the 2008 archives of this blog.)

Mayor Sarmiento also gave the Officials and the People of Calbayog an update on what the various Departments are doing with regard to the service they have rendered to Calbayog. This was done through the presentation of score cards of the various LGU Departments.

(It should be noted that it was the same score card system that the City Mayor presented to President Arroyo during the RDC meeting in September 2008. The same was ordered by the President to be implemented in various RDCs all over the country).

The City Mayor also included the various awards the recognition that the LGU received, foremost among which is the recognition from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) citing Calbayog as one of the Most Competetive Small-sized Cities in the Philippines.

(You may check the reports on the awards and recognition for the LGU in the 2008 archives section of this blog)

The City Mayor cited a good number of projects for 2009. Some of these projects are the following:
- the completion of the Calbayog City Sports Complex (Gymnasium)
- the new Market
- Convention Center
- Landfill
- a new Park

While he ended his report on a positive note, he noted the not-so-good forecast for the year ahead. He called on everyone to join hands to work hard for Calbayog and for the country. He did that by quoting a message that Finance Secretary sent him via text:

"Despite the generally unfavorable forecast, we are hopeful that 2009 will be better than expected if we continue to work hard, have faith in ourselves and pray together for our country."

Here are some pictures from yesterday's activity:

Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino presiding over the session

Councilors Bombie Enriquez, Charlie Boy Coñejos and Julius Mancol

(l-r) Councilors Jonas Monatealto and Virgil Clemens with some Department Managers as they listened to the SOCA.

Thursday, January 1, 2009