Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Earth Hour in Calbayog

(March 28, 2009) Calbayog City was one of the hundreds of cities in the country that participated in Earth Hour 2009. The program was held at the City Hall stage where the countdown commenced at around 6:00 pm.

Present in the events were Councilors Sonny Salurio, Danny Bernate, Ver Porlares, Virgil Clemens, Charlie Boy Coñejos, Ina Rabuya, Julius Mancol, Mon Uy, Jonas Montealto and Jim Uy. Mayor Mel Sarmiento and Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino had to beg off from the event due to some emergency.

The Department Managers present were City Administrator Arnol Trani, PNP Calbayog Chief PSupt Lito Bigoy, City Planning & Development Officer Gil Lentejas, City Engineer Oscar Hugo, General Services Officer Isagani Togonon, Local Civil Registrar Fe Queroljico, City Cooperatives Officer Cipriano Baldomaro, City Agriculturist Adela Ocenar, Environment Officer Jose Raz, Jr., CEEDMO Nida Beso, Solid Waste Management Officer Reynaldo Gonzaga and CSWD OIC Tess Mumar.

Also seen at the event were the barangay officials of Carmen, Balud and Aguit-itan; the youth scholars and staff of SOS Calbayog; some students from the City High School and the City's ISKOLARS from the City Arts and Culture Office.

Agencies that participated in the event included PNP-Calbayog, DYOG-Radyo Ng Bayan, Radyo Natin, Channel 6, SAMELCO-1, STI-Calbayog and the Bureau of Fire Protection.

The event officially started with the prayer which was delivered by Fr. Iluminado Paulino. The Ceremonial switch-off was led by Engr. Arnol Trani. Councilor Sonny Salurio delivered a message on behalf of the City Mayor. Councilor Danny Bernate led in the saying of the Earth Hour pledge and Mr. Jose Raz delivered a talk on energy conservation on behalf of the City Vice Mayor. Julie Ann Co delivered a short speech on behalf of the young people of Calbayog.

Intermission numbers were given by the some Calbayog National High School student, the CACO ISKOLARS and the SOS Community Scholars who presented a hand play dubbed as "The Mission".

It was reported that a good number of households in the city switched off their lights during the event. At 9:00 pm. SAMELCO-1 switched off its power supply making the consumers in their service area participants in the event for at least 30 minutes.

Fr. Dondon Paulino (on the rostrum) as he delivered the prayer.

The SOS Calbayog Community Scholars.

City Administrator Arnol Trani as he led the ceremonial switch-off. With him are (l-r) Councilor Ver Porlares, Fr. Dondon Paulino, Councilor Ina Rabuya, Councilor Sonny Salurio, Councilor Julius Mancol, Fr Queroljico (partly hidden), Nida Beso, Councilor Danny Bernate and Councilor Charlie Boy Coñejos.

Councilor Sonny Salurio as he delivered his message. Onstage with him were (l-r) Councilor Ver Porlares, Councilor Julius Mancol, Councilor Virgil Porlares, Councilor Jim U, Councilor Ina Rabuya, Fe Queroljico, Adela Ocenar, Nida Beso, Councilor Danny Bernate and Councilor Charlie Boy Coñejos.

With a "petromax" as stage light, the Iskolars performed "Isang Lahi".

(photos courtesy of Vaugh Calvara)

Monday, March 30, 2009

High School Graduation in Barangay Migara

Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento was in Brgy. Migara early Friday morning for a graduation program. He was on hand for the First Commencement Exercises of the Migara High School (or officially the Migara Campus of the Calbayog City National High School).

It was no ordinary commencement exercises. The campus is located in a barangay that is considered "interior" as it is located in the Lower Happy Valley area of Calbayog District. Opened in 2005, the Migara High School produced 58 graduates headed by the Class Valedictorian Caroline Dumpit.

With Mayor Sarmiento were Calbayog City Schools Superintendent Editha Paculan and the Migara High School teaching staff headed by Karen Yu.

If plans will materialize, the said campus will be independent from the Calbayog City National High School by June 2009.

The Class Valedictorian Caroline Dumpit with her fellow graduates

Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento as he delivered his message.

Ms. Editha Paculan delivering her message.

Conference on Peace and Security for Calbayog's Punong Barangays

(March 25, 2009) DILG Calbayog conducted a special Conference on Peace and Security Concerns for the Punong Barangays of Calbayog City. The said conference was held at the Conference Hall of the Old Barracks Building.

The activity was designed to enable participants to provide support in solving the problem on illegal drugs and substances abuse. It aimed at having the participants:
  • Consider illegal drugs and substance abuse as a priority concern;
  • Organize the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADACs) in their respective barangays;
  • Monitor and report places in barangays where there is sale or use of illegal drugs and other substances;
  • Coordinate with PDEA and PNP authorities in its operations against illegal drugs;
  • Provide the necessary assistance and cooperation from operations to prosecution of illegal drugs cases.
Topics during the Special Conference were:
  1. Peace and Security: A Priority Concern for the City of Calbayog;
  2. Salient Features of RA 9165: Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002;
  3. The State of Illegal Drug Use in the City of Calbayog;
  4. MC No. 2009-09: Unified Action Against Illegal Drugs and Other Substances;
  5. Organization of the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils;
  6. Message of Support from the Sangguniang Panlungsod.
Discussants included Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento, Vice Mayor Ronaldo Aquino, Calbayog Police Chief PSupt Lito T Bigoy, DILG Calbayog City Director Valente P. Bajet, CDAPRO’s Clarita Oliver and Ms. Cielito Adelaine Peñaflor. (Report and pictures courtesy of DILG Calbayog)

Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento as he talked on Peace and Security as a Priority Concern for the City of Calbayog.

Vice Mayor Ronaldo Aquino as he delivered the message of support of the Sangguniang Panlungsod for the over-all efforts to address illegal drugs and other substances in Calbayog City.

Calbayog Police Chief PSupt. Lito Bigoy as he reported on the state of illegal drug use in the City of Calbayog.

Calbayog City DILG Director Valente Bajet discussing DILG MC No. 2009-09 re: Unified Actions Against Illegal Drugs and other Substances.

LGOO II Cielito Adelaine Peñaflor talking about the composition and function of the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils or BADAC.

CDAPRO Supervising Manpower Development Officer Clarita B. Oliver lectures on the salient provisions of RA 9165 otherwise known as Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Punong Barangay Adolfo Enguerra Sr. of Brgy. Baay as he raised a question during the open forum.

Some of the conference participants.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

Calbayog PNP nabs drug suspect

Mayor Mel Sarmiento (in blue) with Sr Insp Eduardo Serrano (left) as he watched some police operatives inventory some suspected shabu and drug paraphernalia siezed at the residence of suspect Ruben Pojadas (in blue sweatshirt and white cap).

March 20, 2009. Calbayog. The operatives of the PNP Calbayog led by INTEL/CAID Chief Sr. Insp. Eduardo Serrano, through a warrant issued on March 17, 2009 by RTC Branch 31 executive Judge Reynaldo Clemens, searched the residence of one Ruben Pojadas y Cabunce. Pojadas, 50 years old and married is a resident of Purok 7, Brgy. East Awang, this city.

The search resulted in the apprehension of Pojadas and the confiscation of six (6) sachets of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride known as shabu, six (6) empty cellophane, one (1) syringe needle, two (2) pieces disposable lighters, SIM Card, black wallet and cash amounting to Php 3,000.00.

The suspect was temporarily detained at the Calbayog City lock-up cell for booking and disposition while the case is being prepared for filing with the City Prosecutor's Office.

The PNP operatives who were part of this mission were SPO1 Ricardo Justiniano, SPO1 Nilo Martija, PO2 Martin Tarrayo, PO1 Alvaro Lino Palacio, PO1 Moises Bracamonte, PO1Jose Jay Senario, PO1 Rio Paano, PO1 Ignacio Mendros, PO1 Ronald Verzosa and PO1 Alberto Pandong. (Henry Puyat)

Friday, March 20, 2009

The official website of LGU - Cabayog City

The official website of the City Government of Calbayog is back.

The address is http ://web.evis.net.ph/lgu/calbayog. Now that's a mouthful, better yet check the Calbayog Charter Day logo on the left hand corner of this blog (just below the blog header). Or you may also check this link.

preparing for Earth Hour in Calbayog

Calbayog City is set to participate in Earth Hour 2009. Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino along with Councilor Sonny Salurio and CSWMO Head Reynaldo Gonzaga form the 3-man committee that Mayor Mel Sarmiento has tasked to come up with relevant activities and to coordinate with various agencies concerned with the event.

On the list of activities which will be held at the City Hall stage are the showing of the docu films "Earth Hour", "Switch" and "Panahon Na"; the ceremonial switch-off at 8:30 pm led by Mayor Sarmiento with the City Officials and Department Managers; Messages to be delivered by the City Mayor and Vice Mayor Aquino; and the reading of the pledge of commitment by Councilor Sonny Salurio. Presentations will be given by the SOS Children's Village and the City Arts and Culture Office. A concert of local bands will cap the event.

Other agencies which will be participating in the event are DYOG-Radyo ng Bayan, SAMELCO I, CCTV Channel 6, STI-Calbayog and Radyo Natin-FM, among others.

Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino (center) with Councilor Sonny Salurio and Engr. Reynaldo Gonzaga as they explained the Earth Hour activity before Calbayog's media.

Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino with Councilor Danny Bernate during the Calbayog Earth Hour coordination meeting at the SP Session Hall.

(r-l) Councilors Danny Bernate, Ina Rabuya, Julius Mancol, Calbayog BFP Chief SInsp Joselito Sabanal, Councilor Charlie Boy Coñejos and Calbayog PNP Chief PSupt Lito Bigoy.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

P368-M worth of Calbayog infra projects get funding

(Let me give you Jack Gadaingan's report which appears in today's edition of the Manila Bulletin)

CALBAYOG CITY — Some P368 million worth of economic infrastructure projects will be implemented soon in this city as an offshoot of an investment forum held at Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Manila last week.

The biggest finance taker during the investment forum was the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), which signified willingness to finance all the four major projects presented by the city of Calbayog.

The presentations of projects were also attended by corporate executives from San Miguel Corporation, Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and Pag-IBIG Fund.

The four major Calbayog projects amounting to P368.8 million are the Bangon Falls Mini-Hydro Power Development Project in the amount of P129 million; the New Calbayog City Public Market, P121.8 million; the medium-rise housing project for government employees, P68 million; and the rehabilitation of Ton-ok mini-hydropower plant, P50 million.

It was learned that aside from the DBP, Land Bank also aired its interest to finance the Calbayog projects.

Calbayog City Mayor Mel Sarmiento, who led the panel of presenters, said he was happy how the investment forum turned out in favor of his city.

“With more than one financing institution interested to partner with us in the implementation of the projects, the Calbayog City government is in the right position to choose which among them could offer more lucrative terms for the city,” he said.

The projects will be the biggest break for Calbayog City to have major economic infrastructures never experienced by the city before, he added.

Joseph Lim, financial analyst for Institute for Solidarity-Asia (ISA), said that with the current local revenue collection and Internal Revenue Allocation (IRA) of Calbayog from the national government, the city is eligible for even higher investment borrowings than what the four major projects require. (JACK C. GADAINGAN)

For related blog posts, please check these: link 1, link2.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Calbayog City supports observance of Earth Hour 2009

Calbayog City, March 16, 2009/ Come March 28, 2009, the whole city of Calbayog will put their lights out for just one hour, if only the city could have its way.

This morning City Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino led the ceremonial signing of the Pledge of Commitment for the observance of Earth Hour 2009.

Organized by the World Wildlife Fund in Sydney two years ago, Earth Hour is an international annual event which aims to give an opportunity to the people in the world to have their voices heard on the very important issue of global warming and to demand action on climate change.

For this year, the Earth hour is slated on March 28, when lights should be put out from 8:30 to 9:30 in the evening.

According to Vice Mayor Aquino, Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento will lead in the ceremonial “lights out” at the city hall and this will include the switching off of lights at the public park and plaza, government buildings and the city streets. Even though it is not compulsory for every household or establishment to observe the Earth Hour, still Aquino encouraged everybody who has household appliances or anything that runs on electricity to switch them off in order to give mother earth a rest, even for just one hour on said date.

In signing the said commitment, the city also agrees to support any activity that will aid in the successful observance of earth hour. With this, Calbayog City becomes one with almost 2,000 towns and cities in 80 countries across the globe who pledged to support earth hour 2009. Even the romantic City of Paris will turn out the lights of its famous Eiffel Tower in support of the activity.

According to the earth hour’s website, this lights out initiative began as a one-city environmental campaign in Sydney, Australia in 2007, but has evolved into a grassroots action that has captured the attention of the citizens of the world. In 2008, 371 cities across 35 countries turned their lights out in a united call for action on climate change. For this year, the organizers expected 1,000 cities and towns to join the campaign, but for just a week before earth hour, the number is almost double, and among those counted is the City of Calbayog. (ELEEN S. LIM, Radyo Ng Bayan-Calbayog)

The Earth Hour 2009 Pledge of Commitment

You are looking at the text of the Earth Hour 2009 pledge of commitment. Part of Calbayog's participation in Earth Hour was the ceremonial signing of the pledge which was done during today's People's Day at the City Hall Sala. Mayor Mel Sarmiento and Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino led the City Officials, Department Managers and some private individuals in the activity.

Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento

Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino

DILG City Director Valente Bajet

Some of the Department Managers as they took time to sign the Earht Hour pledge of commitment.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The ISA Public Governance Forum

The City of Calbayog, a PGS-compliant member city of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) participated in the ISA Public Governance Forum which was held at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel on March 11-12, 2009.

Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento led the Calbayog team which made presentations during the Forum. The team included City Treasurer Federico Resente Jr., Ms. Nida Beso of the City Economic Enterprise Development and Management Office, Mr. Cecinio Oquendo (Head of the Urban Housing Division of the City Mayor's Office) and Mr. Leo Baldomaro of SAMELCO I.

A Public Governance Forum is staged by the ISA every six months as a venue for public reporting of the accomplishments and performance commitments of PGS partners. The event has evolved into an Investment Forum for partners who are at least PGS-Compliant, to enable them to access the capital market to finance strategic initiatives specified in their road map.

Mayor Mel Sarmiento with (l-r) ISA President Joel Valdez and former Finance Secretary Jesus Estanislao, ISA Chair and Founding Fellow.

Vice President Noli De Castro as he addressed the ISA Public Governance Forum.

Mayor Mel Sarmiento as he made his presentation.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

LGUs push dev’t programs for cities to counter downturn

(This report was taken from the Manila Bulletin website)

Philippine cities are moving forward with development plans despite the impact of the economic crisis on local communities, according to the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA). In January, Balanga, Bataan – in only its ninth year as a city – designated an 80-hectare site as a university town. Plans call for developing a world-class educational center on the site by 2020 to support the city’s business development goals.

Balanga is confident, according to ISA officials, of meeting its goal of becoming a premier educational and business center. Its efforts towards that end have already been recognized. Last year, Balanga was named the most business-friendly local government unit in the Philippines by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

ISA conducted a Public Governance Forum on March 11-12.

Other cities represented included

Bayawan, Negros, which is pursuing efforts to become an agricultural center. The city government distributed 1,446 thousand cavans of rice seeds worth P1.16 million to farmers in the city in 2008. Bayawan is consistently one of the top rice producers in Negros.

Last year, the CAO produced 20,508 packs of Bio-N, an organic fertilizer, which was distributed to 4,100 farmers in the city. The city has vast economic potential, with 140 hectares available for agricultural development and production.

Iloilo City is also improving its infrastructure this year to support tourism. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recently declared the city’s 10.6% annual average growth in tourism as the best performance for the country in the tourism industry. Noteworthy projects include the new Iloilo airport. Iloilo City plans to improve other transport infrastructure with the construction of its second mega-flyover this year, following the construction of the Gen. Luna-Infante flyover in 2008. The city is the site of major foreign investment targeting the tourism sector.

Another city investing in local projects despite the downturn is Calbayog, Samar. Calbayog is developing into an agro-industrial community and is leading efforts to coordinate development programs for the region by championing a unification initiative with the theme “One Visayas, One People, One Destiny.” The local government supports local and international celebrations, such as Women’s Month this March, which can support women’s rights while fostering increased tourism.

The Calbayog city government also offers free medical, legal, and counseling care for women. Regina Rabuya, chairperson of the local Women and Family institution says these programs are an acknowledgement of the contributions of local women to the progress of the city.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Earth Hour 2009

Earth Hour 2009 happens in two weeks' time. Calbayog City is pleased to particiapte in this worthy undertaking.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

JICA hands over pilot MRF to Calbayog City

Ribbon-cutting to open the Calbayog Pilot MRF. Mayor Mel Sarmiento as he led the ribbon-cutting during the inauguration of the Calbayog Pilot MRF. In photo (r-l) Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino, JICA Philippine Office Representative Makoto Iwashi, Matuguinao Mayor Carlos De La Cruz, Sta. Margrita Mayor Fred Serrano, Councilors Ver Porlares, Sonny Salurio and Noel Sermense and JICA Project Team Leader Takashi Goto. (Photo by Henry Puyat)

As I have mentioned in an earlier blogpost, the Calbayog Pilot Materials Recovery Facility was inaugurated last Tuesday. Let me give you the report of DYOG's Eleen Lim.

(A compliance to an unfunded mandate, says Mayor Sarmiento)

Calbayog City, March 10, 2009/ It was almost like a hopeless case for the City of Calbayog and for other Local Government Units in the country: Establishment of a multi-million pesos sanitary landfill and Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) in every LGU in compliance to Solid Waste Management Act or RA 9003, or face administrative and criminal sanctions.

But then there’s always the Japan International Cooperating Agency to turn to. At least for the City of Calbayog.

On March 10, 2009, JICA thru its representatives Makoto Iwase and Takashi Goto handed–over 2.9 million pesos worth of MRF located in Brgy. Payahan, this city. The facility consists of a building, a shredding machine, rotating composter, a platform scale dial and a water jet cleaner. Built for almost 4 months, the facility will serve as the Central Composting Facility for biodegradable wastes from the backyards or gardens, and the public market, and food wastes from limited households. Said wastes will then be processed into soil conditioner or organic fertilizer.

And as if the MRF is not enough, the JICA also turned over a portable water quality analysis meter, and a 1 million pesos worth of equipment to be used for Information and Education Campaign regarding waste segregation such as video recorders, digital camera, LCD, laptop and printer. And for the “campaigners” to get moving: a Mitsubishi Montero Sports Car worth almost 2 million pesos.

During the simple inauguration and hand-over ceremonies, Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento said that when Congress passed the Solid Waste Management Act, there was no provision as to the funding of its implementation, leaving the LGU’s to fund the program on its own initiative. Congress did not even consider that the agency tasked to implement the law which is the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, lacks the technical capability and knowledge. Moreover, according the mayor, LGUs are mandated to implement the law within four years after its approval or face sanctions.

Mayor Sarmiento profusely thanked the JICA People for coming to their rescue.

From the 120 cities nation wide, JICA chose 3- Sagay City in Negros, Davao City in Mindanao and Calbayog City as pilot cities where they provided technical training for Ecological Solid Waste Management. As a collateral assistance to the establishment of MRF, three employees of the City, including Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino who sits as the chair of the City Solid Waste Management Board, were sent to Japan by the JICA to study the different Solid Waste Management Programs of the different cities which became successful in achieving its goal of reducing waste as a means to reduce the adverse impact of global warming and climate change.

JICA also took the initiative of providing the technical assistance, including research and geographical studies on the proposed site for the 50-million pesos sanitary landfill to be constructed sometime this year. The landfill, according to Mayor Sarmiento, can also serve the neighboring municipalities who cannot afford to put up their own sanitary dumpsites, but must put up their own MRF’s.

The MRF will serve as the “frontliner” for the landfill. From the barangay level, the household wastes are segregated into reusable, recyclable, residual or non-biodegradable, and biodegradable. The latter goes to the MRF, while only the residual wastes will go to the landfill. The city’s MRF will also serve as the model for other MRF that will be put up in other barangays in the city and the nearby municipalities.

Municipalities in the first district of Samar sent representatives, most of them the vice mayors, to the Ecological Solid Waste Management Technical Training conducted right after the said hand-over ceremonies. (Eleen Lim)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

on the Women's Day Celebration in Calbayog

(As I have reported last Monday, a good number women in Calbayog celebrated Women's Day. Here are some details of the said celebration as reported by Ms. Nimfa Quirante of PIA Samar. This report appears in today's edition of the Leyte Samar Daily Express)

Women pampered during Women's Day celebration

CALBAYOG CITY — Close to a thousand women were pampered during the recently concluded celebration of Women’s Month in this city.

Women’s groups led by Calbayog City officials, other government agencies and organizations, non-government organizations, other women’s groups down to the barangay, rganized a Multi-Services Fair where women were treated to various services for free.

The Julio Cardinal Rosales Plaza was teeming with several women and a few men eyeing the several booths put up there.

The Ophthalmology booth had the most number of patients. A limited edition of frames and lenses were given to indigent patients.

PIA also spotted a Reproductive Health booth where the women were given lectures on the topic.

Three dentist volunteers grappled with scores of women for their oral health problems while some women had their BP taken, submitted to fasting blood sugar test and even urinalysis test for those suspected of having renal failure.

In another nook, the City Nutrition booth took pride in their cooking demonstration with lessons on malunggay based recipes featuring malunggay polvoron and malunggay lumpia.

A legal service booth was also installed to draft affidavits for the numerous concerns of women regarding legal matters.

The Bantay-Abuso Network (BAN), through Western Samar Development Foundation (WESADEF) Inc., a group composed of government advocates on anti-violence against women and children also installed their booth to give information as to where women could seek help in case of domestic violence.

Women here are also taught livelihood skills to empower them and thus help the family in its economic aspect.

Aside from all these seemingly serious services for women, they also received pampering from foot reflexology, body massages, manicure, pedicure and haircut.

One such patron, Emma Calesa, indulged in a free manicure service. She said she belonged to an organization called Kalipunan ng Liping Pilipina from Tinambacan District.

Some women were also drawn by the crowd in beauty products where they were taught to put on make up and sell the beauty products.

The whole day had the women (for a day) experience booth hopping, if only to see what a women should be getting not only on Women’s Day.

Although it was Hon. Regina Rabuya who penned the invitation, Eleen Lim from DYOG who served as emcee, credited all donors, patrons and organizers including the two top government officials Mayor Mel Sarmiento and Rep. Reynaldo Uy who supported the Multi-Services Fair for the women even if only for a day. (Ninfa B Quirante)

Calbayog City to present 5 major project proposals in Manila Investment Forum

(Let me give you Ika Macasa's report from today's edition of the Leyte Samar Daily Express)

CALBAYOG CITY — The City of Government of Calbayog will present five major pro-economic development project proposals in an investment forum sponsored by the Institute of Solidarity-Asia (ISA) that would be held Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at Hotel Sofitel, Manila.

Institute for Solidarity Asia (ISA) is a non-government organization whose main service is to assist local government units acquire good governance skills.

The five projects are the Rehabilitation and Upgrading of the Ton-ok Mini Hydro Power Plant in Brgy. Barral, Oquendo District; Bangon Falls Mini Hydro Power Development Project in Brgy. Tinaplacan, Tinambacan District; Potential Project Sites for Renewable Energy in Calbayog City; Medium-rise Housing Project for Government Employees; and the New Calbayog City Public Market Project.

Led by City Mayor Mel Sarmiento who will deliver a short backgrounder about Calbayog City, the panel of presentors include Engr. Leo Baldomaro, the Power Generation Superintendent of Samelco 1; Engr. Jose Ilagan, President, Clean and Green Philippines; Engr. Leo Nicolasora, Engineering Department Manager, Samelco 1; Cicenio Oquendo, the City Urban Housing Division Chief; and City Economic Enterprise Department Manager Nida U. Beso.

In an interview, Calbayog City Mayor Mel Sarmiento expressed hope that through the investment forum Calbayog would be able to win a number of prospective investors as the city’s partner in the implementation of the said projects that could surely spur economic activity in the city.

It is the first time that Calbayog City is given the chance to present project proposals in an investment forum.

According to Joseph Lim, Financial Analyst of ISA, both the city’s local and internal revenue potentials could lure investors to choose projects in Calbayog.

Expected to be present during the forum are Calbayog City’s co-project presentors, which are the cities of Iloilo, Bayawan in Negros Oriental, and Balanga in Bataan, and the institutional partners of ISA that include Development Bank of the Philippines, Social Security System, and GSIS, among others. (Ike Macasa)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Calbayog Pilot Material Recovery Facility to be inaugurated today

The 2.9 million-peso JICA-funded Calbayog City Pilot Material Recovery Facility (MRF) will be inaugurated today. Mayor Mel Sarmiento and Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino will lead the officials and guests in the ceremony. JICA Philippine Office Representative Makoto Iwashi and JICA Project Team Leader Takshi Goto are expected to be in attendance. Also invited to the affair are the Mayors of the the Municipalities San Isidro (Northern Samar), Sto. Niño, Almagro, Tarangan, Gandara, Sta. Margarita, San Jorge and Matuguinao. The Calbayog MRF which is located in Brgy. Payahan (motorpool) is one of the only three MRFs which JICA constructed in the Philippines, the other two are located in the Cities of Sagay and Davao. Today's MRF blessing will be followed by the Ecological Solid Waste Management Technical Training.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Women's Month Celebration in Calbayog

The City Government of Calbayog today joined the National Women's Month Celebration. The opening ceremony was held at the City Hall stage with Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento in attendance. Also present were Councilor Ina Rabuya (Chair of the SP Committee on Women), Carmen Barangay Captain Amy Cabral and Myrna Tecbobolan of Bantay Abuso Network, among others. Various health, beauty and livelihood services for women were provided at the Cardinal Rosales Plaza (details of which I will be giving in my later blog updates). DYOG's Eleen Lim hosted the opening program.

Mayor Mel Sarmiento as he delivered his message. Onstage with him were Councilor Ina Rabuya (in black), Myrna Tecbobolan and Amy Cabral.

Urban Housing Program update

On March 6, 2009, Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento led the program of the Aguit-itan Riverside Homeowners Associaton (ARHOA). The said program was the distribution of the certificates for the ARHOA members who have attended a Capability-Building and Enhancement Training. That training was conducted by the the City Government of Calbayog through the Urban Housing Division of the City Mayor's Office. It is a requirement for the more than 100 ARHOA member families to qualify for their Land Tenure Certificates which the LGU will be distribuing in July 2009.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Responsible Parenting Movement in Calbayog

Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento signing the Responsible Parenting Movement MOA with Popcom RO-8 OIC Elnora Pulma. Looking on is City Population Officer Ruben Adona. (Photo by Henry Puyat)

Mayor Mel Sarmiento as he received the check from Popcom RO-8 OIC Elnora Pulma. Looking on are (r-l) Brenda Tan, Assistant City Population Officer; Ruben Adona, City Population Officer, Loida Gonzales, Popcom RO-8 Accountant and Aurora Alve, Popcom RO-8 Information Officer. (Photo by Henry Puyat)

On March 5, 2009, the City Government of Calbayog became the first Local Government Unit in Region 8 to enter into an agreement with the Commission on Population for the localized implementation of the Responsible Parenting Movement (RPM).

The Memorandum of Agreement was signed in simple ceremonies at the City Mayor’s Office. The MOA signatories were Mayor Mel Sarmiento and Commission on Population RO-8 OIC, Elnora Pulma. The MOA signing was followed by the ceremonial turn-over to the LGU of a check amounting to more than 1.6 million pesos from the Commission on Population. That money will be used for the implementation of the program in Calbayog.

RPM will be promoted through “Barangay Classes” among resident couples. For the year 2009, the program is aiming for 1,700 couples from various barangays in Calbayog. Its lead implementing agency is the Population Office and will be supported by the City Social Welfare and Development Office, the City Health Office and the City Agriculture Office.

RPM is being implemented in compliance with the directives of President Gloria Arroyo. It advocates the natural family planning program and is one that says "a 100% no to artificial contraceptives".