Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mayor Mel Sarmiento to attend High-Level Symposium on "Cities, Climate Change and Finance" in Barcelona, Spain

Mayor Mel Sarmiento will be in Barcelona, Spain today. He will be participating in the High-Level Symposium on Cities, Climate Change and Finance. He is there upon the invitation of the event organizers namely, the City of Barcelona, the Government of Spain and the World Bank.

This event aims at promoting dialogue around climate-friendly city development paths and facilitating knowledge exchange within and between relevant stakeholder groups - city mayors, senior officials from government and city networks, business leaders, multilateral development organizations, leading thinkers form academia and research - from developing and developed countries.

The symposium, in particular will launch the "City Twinning for Carbon Finance Capacity Development" program, which will be assisted by CF-Assist, World Bank with the support of the Spanish government; and aims at fostering partnerships among cities for networking among peer and knowledge sharing on carbon finance in cities.

The event is also being held in conjunction with Carbon Expo 2009 which will be held in Barcelona, Spain from May 27 - 29, 2009. Said expo will feature the focal theme "Cities and Carbon Finance" in its official Conference and exhibition.

Mayor Sarmiento's expenses for this trip were paid for by the event organizers.

Monday, May 25, 2009

20IB troopers join US Navy, LGU at Calbayog Brigada Eskwela

Tacloban City (May 24) -- "What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal."

With this quotation as their guiding principle, troopers of the 20th Infantry Battalion based at Tinambacan, Calbayog City, joined the local government officials of Calbayog City and the US Navy contingent from the USS John S. McCain, in spearheading the Brigada Eskwela in Calbayog City.

In coordination with the Department of Education officials and employees in Calbayog City, the participation of the 20th IB to the Brigada Eskwela 2009 was realized when Calbayog City Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento, 20th IB Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Francis B. Cabugon and Asst. Attache of the US Embassy Hon. Qasim Majied met to chart the activities of the visiting US Navy Contingent having an exercise dubbed as "CARAT 09" or Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training, in Calbayog City.

Mayor Sarmiento who chairs the Regional Development Council of Eastern Visayas thought that the ready pool of manpower of the 20th IB and the US Navy will be a great help to the week-long Brigada Eskwela.

He then proposed the spearheading of the Brigada Eskwela activities by the LGU, the 20th IB and the US Navy.

With the city government of Calbayog providing the materials for the one-day activity, 50 troopers of the 20th IB led by Lt. Col. Cabugon and 40 US Navy men led by Capt. Choi Heedong, went into a day-long painting of school fences and school cleanliness drive.

Mayor Sarmiento lauded the community service of the Army troopers and the US Navy contingent, as a model in instilling the value of Bayanihan spirit among all the stakeholders which is the true noble objective of the Brigada Eskwela.

The following day, resolved on finishing what they have started, some seventy troopers of the 20th IB continued the painting and cleanliness drive in other schools in Calbayog City.

Such noble soldiers, the 20th IB troopers are. They are the real ones who could say, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." (Rolito Sorila/PIA 8)

Economic dev't to solve human trafficking in Samar island, advocates sayIJM

Calbayog City (May 23) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has effected major infrastructure developments in the whole island of Samar to spur economic development.

Thus, if there is economic development, Samarnons will be less prone to human trafficking – a situation that has destroyed lives of women and children.

This was the contention of Calbayog Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento during the International Justice Mission (IJM) sponsored launch of Samar anti-trafficking program on May 21 at the Joggers Court after a 25-vehicle motorcade that extended up to a ten-kilometer radius within the boundaries of Calbayog City.

IJM is a Non-Government Orgnization (NGO) that aims to combat child trafficking in Samar. The same organization gets funding from the US State Department.

One reason why human traffickers go to Samar to recruit unsuspecting families is poverty, stressed Sarmiento.

Sarmiento also lamented that people always point to the Wary-waray as criminal offenders because he said, "We are poor."

The mayor, known for his development projects also pointed out the city's initiatives in combating trafficking.

He also proposed to establish halfway houses like the ones maintained by Visayan Forum in every province.

"Let us make the NGOs run them and the local government unit (LGU) will pay the board and lodging."

The same stark reality of poverty stricken communities was also confirmed by GMA 7 personality Love Anover.

Anover admitted she was looking for an advocacy program that will help children especially those from Eastern Visayas where she grew up before becoming a GMA 7 talent.

Speaking in the Waray-waray language, Anover immediately hit it off with the Calbayognons.

Both Sarmiento and Anover advocated to the parents that no matter how poor, not to yield their children to recruiters who deceive Samarnons in the guise of helping minors look for work and eventually help their poor families. (PIA-Samar)

Mayor Mel Sarmiento as he took time to talk with some IJM staff before the program.

Mayor Sarmiento with (r-l) DILG-Samar Director Jovito Lacaba, Bishop Isabalo Abarquez and IJM's Atty. Carmela Andal-Castro.

Bishop Isabelo Abarquez.

Atty. Carmel Andal - Castro of IJM.

GMA 7's Love Añover.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Courtesy Call by the DSWD Undersecretary

Mayor Mel Sarmiento received (on May 19, 2009) Ms. Celia C. Yanco of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Ms. Yanco is the DSWD Undersecretary for Operations and Capability-Building Groups. Ms. Yanco was accompanied by DSWD FO-8 OIC-Director Leticia Corillo.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Orientation on the AH1N1 virus

As part of the measures to combat the threat brought about by the AH1N1 virus, the City Health Office in coordination with the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of the Department of Health Eastern Visayas conducted an Orientation on the AH1N1 virus. The activity was held late last week at the Conference Hall of the St. Camillus Hospital.

Topics discussed were:
  • "Preventive Measures against pandemic flu in Region 8" by Dr. Raita Tamaki.
  • "Infection Control" by Mr. Boyd Cero
  • "Surveillance of Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT)" by Dr. Nick Antonio Bautista.

The activity was attended by various stakeholders which included the City Health Office staff, members of the City Disaster Coordinating Council, staff of the City Veterinary Services Office, the PNP, the Philippine Ports Authority, the Civil Aviation Agency, the three private hospitals in Cabayog, media practitioners from DYOG-Radyo ng Bayan, FilProducts and CTIO and the Sangguniang Panlungsod through the Chair of the SP Committee on Health, Councilor Raymond Uy.

Dr. Nick Antonio Bautista, Regional Epidemiologist; Chief of Regulation, Licensing and Enforcement Division of the DOH-RO-8.

Mr. Boyd Cero, Regional Sentinel Nurse.

Dr. Raita Tamaki.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Save Calbayog Rivers Foundation

DILG-Calbayog in coordination with the City of Calbayog has put into action The Save Calbayog Rivers Foundation (SCRF). Its initial activity, the Save Calbayog River Technical Planning Workshop and Organization Meeting was held at the DepEd Conference Hall on May 9, 2009.

The activity was designed to encourage participants to provide support in saving the Calbayog River. It was aimed at making the participants realize the importance of Calbayog River in the lives of Calbayognons; re-establish the value of cooperation among the different sectors of society in cleaning the Calbayog River; clean, save and protect the Calbayog River; and organize the Foundation for a Clean Calbayog River.

The Technical Planning Workshop had the following activities

  • Video Showing of “Salug”.
  • The Mission to Clean the Calbayog River: A Call for Calbayognons.
  • “Calbayog Ko Salug Ko”: The Values Calbayognons Must Have to Save the Environment.
  • Action Plan Presentation and Critiquing.
  • Organization of the Foundation for a Clean Calbayog River.
  • Signing of Action Plan and Commitment of Support.
A good number of participants and guests coming from government, non-government organizations, people’s organizations and the private sector participated in the conference.

To ensure the sustainability of the program, the DILG Program Officer/District Officer shall monitor the projects and activities implemented by barangays in line with the provision of support to save the Calbayog River. A regular report shall be required from the barangays.

Though a government-initiated one, the Foundation is schemed as a private, non-profit organization that will serve as a full-time advocate and guardian of the Calbayog River and its tributaries.

SCRF is now on its way to resuscitating the dying Calbayog River by cleaning and protecting it, and by educating the foundation’s membership and the public on river matters and other related issues and concerns.

SCRF is a membership-based organization that would rely on the support of the government, NGOs, POs, civic and religious groups, businesses and concerned citizens that recognize the value and importance of the Calbayog Rivers.

Members of the event organizing committee were Councillor Susano Salurio (SP Chair on Environmental Protection), DILG Calbayog City Director Valente Bajet, Engr. Reynaldo Gonzaga (CSWMO) and Dr. Sylvia De Guzman (CHO).

Councilor Sonny Salurio

Fr. Dondon Paulino

DILG-City Director Valente Bajet

Dir. Bajet affixing his signature on the SCRF Pledge of Support and Commitment

DYOG's Eleen Lim signing on the pledge of support and commitment.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

International NGO to launch anti-trafficking project in Samar

Calbayog City (May 13) -- The International Justice Mission (IJM), an international NGO is set to launch Samar Anti-Trafficking Project on May 21, 2009 in Calbayog City.

In an interview with Project Coordinator Janette Bragais-Borac, she said that the US State Department has awarded them a grant to create a satellite office in Samar (Calbayog City) to combat child sex trafficking.

Borac added that she feels honoured to be of service to Samarnons.

The grand event will start with a motorcade at 8:00 am.

Expected visitors will come from the US Embassy and IJM's partners, including officials of the local government unit of Calbayog City, Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento, local barangay officials and members of the local protestant and Catholic churches.

Based in an account, On March 29, 2009, IJM proved its readiness to respond to an emergency when the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer(MSWDO) of Gandara and the local police intercepted three minors and two adults bound for Manila.

IJM staff immediately tended to the aftercare of the victims and transported them to a government shelter.

The two adults who brought the minors were charged with trafficking.

Samar's field office aims to support IJM's field offices in Cebu and Manila by providing aftercare to trafficked children, reintegrate them with their families in the province.

IJM also aims to prevent the recruitment of children in Samar for prostitution in Manila.

In the international scene, IJM is a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppressions.

IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to ensure immediate victims rescue and aftercare and to prosecute perpetrators and promote a functioning justice system.

The Arroyo administration has meanwhile opened in 2008, Bahay Silungan sa Paliparan (Shelter at the Airport) located along Ninoy Aquino Avenue and Chapel Road in Parañaque City.

The shelter with Visayan Forum is aimed to show the government's commitment to curb human trafficking which continues to prey on unsuspecting and trusting Filipinos, especially women and children. (Ninfa B Quirante / PIA Samar)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

At the Climate Change Summit in Cebu

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signs the covenant on climate change during the “One Visayas Summit on Climate Change” Tuesday (May 12) held at the Imperial Palace Waterpark Resort Hotel and Spa in Barangay Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City in Mactan, Cebu. Eighteen “One Visayas Summit” leaders led by Calbayog Mayor and RDC-8 Chair Mel Sarmiento (in white polo) and Cebu Governor and RDC-7 Chair Gwenn Garcia (partly hidden at the back of the President) and other stakeholders also signed the covenant to signify their commitment to address climate change. (Dado Aguilar/OPS-NIB Photo)

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

Calbayog City launches Citizens' Charter

Mayor Mel Sarmiento as he handed a copy of the Calbayog Citizens' Charter to CSC Assistant Commissioner Anicia Marasigan - De Lima. In photo are (l-r) Councilor Florencio Enriquez, CSC-Samar Director Michael De La Cruz, Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino, Mayor Sarmiento, Commissioner De Lima and CSC RO-8 Director David Cabanag, Jr.

Calbayog officially launched its Citizens charter on May 8, 2009, making her the first city in Region 8 to do so. The event was held during a ceremonial cutting of the Red Tape at the La Milagrosa Academy Auditorium. Mayor Mel Sarmiento and Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino led the LGU officials and employees in the activity which was graced by no less than the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Assistant Commissioner Anicia Marasigan - De Lima.

Also present in the event which was attended by City Hall employees and Barangay officials were Councilors Noel Sermense, Ver Porlares and Florencio Enriquez; and Civil Service Commission officials namely CSC Region 8 Regional Director David Cabanag, Jr., Director Marilyn Taldo, CSC-Samar Director Michael De La Cruz, CSC-Northern Samar Director Rey Albert Uy and CSC-Eastern Samar Director Emmanuel Fuentes.

Mayor Mel Sarmiento receiving a Plaque of Commendation from CSC Assistant Commissioner Anicia Marasigan - De Lima. The plaque cited the City Mayor for making Calbayog the first city in Region 8 to launch its Citizens' charter. In photo are Councilor Florencio Enriquez, Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino, Mayor Sarmiento, Commissioner De Lima, CSC RO-8 Director David Cabanag, Jr., Director Marilyn Taldo and Director Michael De La Cruz.

The Charter was put in place in compliance to RA 9485. It puts together a comprehensive host of mechanisms, systems and programs that give teeth to government efforts to stamp out inefficiency and corruption in public service. It is a listing of processes in the local government unit. It shows proper process in availing of a specific government service. It also includes price listing of payments and correct procedures in maintaining ratings of services.

DOST techno-demo on portable micro fish smoking machine

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the City Government of Calbayog through the City Cooperatives Office conducted a techno-demo on the Portable Micro Fish Smoking Machine. The event was held last Friday, May 8, 2009 at the I's Plant activity area.

Mayor Mel Sarmiento was on hand to welcome the participants which included Engr. Alfredo Apolinar and Dr. Dominica Sajonas, resource persons both of the Pangasinan State University (PSU); guests from the DOST; tinapa processors from Barangay Matobato namely Maritess Tapahan, Estring's Tapahan, Yayang's Tinapang Tagalog and Babe's Tapahan; 6 Calbayog Food Processors Associations; the Rural Improvement Center; TTMIST; and Barangay Saljag.

The activity was done in line with the One-Town-One-Product (OTOP) program of the LGU. It was held to introduce and demonstrate the operation and utilization of a new design of smoking machine which is easy to operate, more hygienic, has control for smoke and temperature and is suitable for small-scale producers. Said machine which can be an alternative to the traditional smoking oven was developed by PSU with funding from the DOST and the Philippine Council for Industry and Energy Research and Development (PCIERD).

Mayor Mel Sarmiento as he delivered his message. Seated are Engr. Ramil Uy of DOST -8 and Engr. Rosella Gopo of DOST-Samar.

Monday, May 11, 2009

One Visayas heeds PGMA's call, embarks on a Climate Change Summit

(Mayor Mel Sarmiento will be in Cebu City today and tomorrow for the One Visayas Summit on Climate change. Here's a report from PIA-8)

Tacloban City (May 11) -- The three Visayas Regions, Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Eastern Visayas, unite as One Visayas as they address the global environment threat through a Climate Change Summit on May 11 and 12 at the Cebu International Convention Center in Mandaue City, in answer to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's call for the adoption of necessary measures to mitigate the impact of climate change and global warming.

No less than Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has been invited to attend the Summit to receive the Summit Outputs and to deliver a inspiring speech at the Closing of the Summit on May 12, Calbayog City Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento, who is the Regional Development Council of Eastern Visayas, informed.

Mayor Sarmiento expressed hope that the members of the Regional Development Councils who have been invited to attend the Summit will participate actively, volunteer suggestions and help solve the problems of climate change and do their share in saving Mother Earth for this and the future generations.

DENR Secretary Jose L. Atienza, Jr., is scheduled to talk about the Climate Change Initiatives in the Philippines.

Fr. Jet Villarin and Ms. Tony Loyzaga will present the overview of climate change, its consequences and impacts with focus on the Visayas Region while Dr. Julian Amador of the Environmental Management Bureau will present the GHG inventory of the Philippines.

In the afternoon, the participants will be divided into seven island groupings: Negros, Panay, Samar, Leyte, Cebu, Bohol and Small Islands.

The focus questions will include the major concerns of the respective islands; the current practices that have great impact on climate change (health, business, environment, social); and the specific mitigation and adaptation measures, either policies, programs and projects, that could be undertaken.

Other topics during the Summit are the Climate Change resiliency tools for LGUs; the opportunities for Carbon finance; and the legal aspects of climate change.

The highlights of the Summit are the covenant signing, presentation of the commitment and the action plans to the President and the keynote address of Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

One Visayas is the brainchild of and is led by the chairpersons of the Regional Development Councils of each of the three regions, Antique Governor Sally Perez for Region 6; Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia for Region 7 and Calbayog City Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento for Region 8.

The One Visayas Climate Change Summit is the second major collaborative undertaking of the One Visayas Region. The first was the One Visayas, One Culture, One People fair held in the month of March. (PIA 8)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Courtesy Call

Mayor Mel Sarmiento received Dr. Elizabeth Fernandez earlier today. Dr. Fernandez is the RO VIII Regional Vice President of the Phillippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhiHealth).

Calbayog Citizen's Charter to be launched today

The Calbayog Citizen's Charter will be officially launched today. The event will be held 2:00 pm at the La Milagrosa Academy Auditorium. Mayor Mel Sarmiento and Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino will lead the LGU officials and employees in the activity.

Invited to the event are Congressman Reynaldo Uy, Civil Service Commission (CSC) Assistant Commissioner Anicia Marasigan - Delima and CSC Region 8 Director, Atty. David Cabanag Jr.

In compliance to RA 9485, the charter puts together a comprehensive host of mechanisms, systems and programs that give teeth to government efforts to stamp out inefficiency and corruption in public service. It is a listing of processes in the local government unit. It shows proper process in availing of a specific government service. It also includes price listing of payments and correct procedures in maintaining ratings of services.

(For details on the Charter, please check this link)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Courtesy Call

Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento received CSC Director Michael De La Cruz yesterday. Director De La Cruz is the Samar Provincial Director of the Civil Service Commission. He is in town in connection with the Anti-Red Tape campaign and the launching of the Calbayog Citizen's Charter which will be held at 2:00 pm tomorrow (May 7, 2009) at the LMA Auditorium.