Thursday, December 17, 2009

Images from the opening of Halad Sa Pasko 2009

Fireworks lit the Calbayog sky last night as Halad sa Pasko 2009 officially opened. The annual Christmas Festival will feature nighthly presentations at the Nijaga Park AND the caroling and gift-giving to some our less fortunate brothers in some salected barangays. This annual event is being spearheaded by the Calbayog LGU through the City Arts and Culture Office.

Calbayognons will be treated to a "mid-size" Christmas tree this year. The organizers who used to setup the giant Christmas Tree at at the Cardinal Rosales Plaza (for the past so many years) forego the activity this year.

Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento delivering his Christmas message.

Councilor Julius Mancol as he officially opened the event.

The Calbayog Rondalla



As with the previous Halad sa Pasko events, the traditional lantaka competition was held before the opening program.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Halad sa Pasko 2009 opens tonight

Halad sa Pasko 2009 will officially open tonight at the Nijaga Park. The Opening Ceremonies will include production numbers by the CACO-ISKOLARS and the Rondalla Group. It will be highlighted by the lighting of the Christmas Tree and a grand fireworks display. Expected to deliver their messages are Congressman Reynaldo Uy, Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento, Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino and Councilor Julius Mancol. The opening program will be followed by the Lantaka competition; and the SIANO Concert at 9:00 pm.

Other activities slated during this annual Christmas Festival are the following:
  • December 17: "Paangbit" (CKC Show) at 7:00 pm; Akostiks Concert at 9:00 pm
  • December 18: "Riot sa Calbayog" with Pooh, Kay Brozas, Princess Ryan and Joseph Bitangcol at the Calbayog City Sports Center at 7:00 pm; VoyzTag Band / Akostiks concert also at 7:00 pm
  • December 19: Pioneer 505 / Akostiks Concert at 7:00 pm
  • December 20: VoyzTag Band / Akostiks Concert at 7:00 pm
  • December 21: "Parokya ni Edgar Live in Calbayog!" at the Calbayog City Sports Center at 7:00 pm
  • December 22: Share-a-Gift (gift-giving in some selected barangays; "Si Boloy ug si Podok: D Adbentyur" (a comedy play) at 7:00 pm; Akostiks Concert at 9:00 pm
  • December 23: Share-a-Gift (gift-giving in some selected barangays; Seleksiyon 2 (Waray-waray Christmas songs) at 7:00 pm; SIANO Band in concert with Ghille / Gilay at 9:00 pm
Unless indicated, all the activities will be held at the Nijaga Park stage.

Halad sa Pasko is an annual project of the City Government of Calbayog through Congressman Reynaldo Uy, Mayor Mel Sarmiento and the Sangguniang Panlungsod thorough Vice Mayor Ronald Aquino.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sarmiento pushes for revision of "unfunded" laws

Mayor Mel Sarmiento was in Tacloban last Friday to attend an RDC meeting. He sat down with LSDE's Sarwell Meniano. Among the issues they discussed was on the "unfunded mandates for LGUs".

TACLOBAN CITY — Calbayog City Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento will push for the revision of “unfunded laws” enacted by Congress in his bid to be a lawmaker representing Samar’s 1st district.

The official said that local chief executives like him are having a hard time complying with some laws passed by Congress due to financial constraints.

“I’m aiming for Congress in the hope that we can be advocates that will put to a stop unfounded mandates that seem to be one problem to many local government units,” said Sarmiento, who is running under the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD party.

Among the laws he cited that were approved without corresponding budget were the Solid Waste Management (SWM) Act of 2001 and the Clean Water Act of 2004.

As a result, only few towns and cities have established sanitary landfills, one of the requirements of SWM. “It’s very expensive to do it,” he added.

In the case of Clean Water Act, he said that the national government is pushing for establishment and operation of centralized sewage treatment system.

“The Congress said that they were supposed to do this in 10 years time. In fact the United State of America, which is a rich country, was not able to finance a centralized system,” Sarmiento pointed out.

The three-termer mayor, who is also the chair of Regional Development Council, lamented that lawmakers tend to copy policies from foreign countries without taking into consideration the budgetary requirements to comply with the enacted laws.

“In passing laws, Congress should be looking at the implementation phase whether local government units will be able to implement it or not,” he said.

Sarmiento, who is also the secretary general of the League of Cities of the Philippines, revealed that many mayors have been complaining about some laws enacted by legislators in the national level.

He also vowed to introduce some amendments of the Local Government Code, “with the hope to improve local governance in the country.”

The city mayor claimed that his desire to sustain what he had started in Calbayog prompted him to vie a seat in the House of Representatives.

“Whatever I gained as mayor in the past years, I can share it in a bigger scale in our province and probably guiding some mayors in our district,” Sarmiento stressed.

Other candidates in Samar’s first congressional district are former Rep. Rodolfo Tuazon (Nacionalista Party), and Mario Roño (Nationalist People’s Coalition), the brother of movie director Chito Roño and son of former governor, the late Jose S. Roño. (Sarwell Q. Meniano)

Monday, December 14, 2009

List of Candidates

Here's the list of Candidates for the May 10, 2010 elections:

Calbayog City, Samar
List of Candidates
May 10, 2010 Elections

(Name / Nickname / Political Party)


  1. RIVERA, Diego P. / Diego / Nacionalista Party
  2. UY, Reynaldo S. / Ining / Lakas-Kampi-CMD


  1. AQUINO, Ronaldo P. / Onald / Lakas-Kampi-CMD
  2. RICAFORT, Cesario M. / Totoy /Nacionalista Party


  1. AQUINO, Ronald Mark F. / Mark Lakas-Kampi-CMD
  2. AYONG, Sylvan Josef B. / Sylvan / Nacionalista Party
  3. CLEMENS, Virgilio B. / Vergel / Liberal Party
  4. DURMIENDO, Romeo S. / Romy / Nacionalista Party
  5. GAL, Bernardo O. / Narding / Nacionalista Party
  6. LUATON, Genaro S. / Enar / Nacionalista Party
  7. MARTIRES, Billy J. / Billy / Nacionalista Party
  8. MONTEALTO, Jonas A. / Onx / Lakas-Kampi-CMD
  9. PASACAS, Arturo D. / Nonoy / Lakas-Kampi-CMD
  10. SALURIO, Susano D. / Sonny / Liberal Party
  11. TAN, Jocelyn A. / Jocie / Nacionalista Party
  12. UY, Raymund C. / Mon-Mon / Lakas-Kampi-CMD


  1. BAGSARSA, Ligaya N. / Ligaya Noroña / Nacionalista Party
  2. BERNATE, Danilo G. / Danny / Liberal Party
  3. CASURAO, Rogelio T. / Roger / Lakas-Kampi-CMD
  4. DEAN, Teresita C. / Tetet / Nacionalista Party
  5. JOHNSON, Nancy R. / Nancy / Nacionalista Party
  6. MANCOL, Julius A. / Jul / Liberal Party
  7. PERITO, Fernando P. / Fred / Independent
  8. PORLARES, Virgilio B. / Ver / Lakas-Kampi-CMD
  9. RABUYA, Regina B. / Ina / Liberal Party
  10. SABI, Aquilina P. / Ann-Ann / Nacionalista Party
  11. SALIBIO, Ramon C. / Mon / Nacionalista Party
  12. TANGARAN, Dennis M. / Patod / Independent
  13. UY, Rey James R. / JimJim / Lakas-Kampi-CMD
  14. VENTURES, Cesar L. / Sar / Nacionalista Party
  15. YRIGAN, Alfredo S. / Botoy / Independent

Samar Province
List of CandidatesMay 10, 2010 Elections

(Name of Candidates / Nickname / Political Party)


  1. BOLOK, Pilar L. / Laling / Independent
  2. LABID, Pedro M. / Peter / Bangon Pilipinas Party
  3. LIM, Casilda C. / Ida / PDSP
  4. REDAJA, Jesus B. / Jess / NPC
  5. TAN, Darwin Z. / Erwin / Independent
  6. TAN, Sharee Ann T. / Ann Tan / Lakas-Kampi-CMD


  1. GREY, Joseph V. / Jojo / NPC
  2. ROSALES, Rosenaida A. / Nancy / Independent
  3. TAN, Stephen James T. / Jimboy / Lakas-Kampi-CMD

FOR CONGRESSMAN (1st District)

  1. ROÑO, Mario S. / Mait / NPC
  2. SARMIENTO, Mel Senen S. / Mel / Lakas-Kampi-CMD
  3. TUAZON, Alex C. / Alex / Independent
  4. TUAZON, Rodolfo T. / Rudy / Nacionalista Party
  5. TUAZON, Rodrigo R. / Rudy / Independent

FOR CONGRESSMAN (2nd District)

  1. ABEJUELA, Alvin V. / Bliss / PDP Laban
  2. ALLI, Urbano Paul Jr. C. / Banni / Independent
  3. ESTORNINOS, Wilfredo O. / Didi / Liberal Party
  4. FIGUEROA, Catalino V. / Cata / Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino
  5. TAN, Milagrosa T. / Mila / Lakas-Kampi-CMD
  6. TORREVILLAS, Manuel Van A. / Van / PDSP

FOR BOARD MEMBER (1st District)

  1. COÑEJOS, Charlito L. / Charlie / Lakas-Kampi-CMD
  2. DY, Prudencio Jr. A. / Tong / Lakas-Kampi-CMD
  3. EDEM, Yanicita D. / Nick-Nick / Nacionalista Party
  4. PALLONES-LIM, Arlene G. / Dra. Lim / NPC
  5. ROSALES, Jose Precioso K. / Jojo / Nacionalista Party
  6. RUMOHR, Vicky P. / Vicky / Nacionalista Party
  7. SABENECIO, Cesar T. / Boy / Nacionalista Party
  8. SERMENSE, Noel G. / Noel / Lakas-Kampi-CMD
  9. SUMAGANG, Jasper D. / Jas / Lakas-Kampi-CMD
  10. TIU, Antonio A. / Tony / Independent
  11. UY, Renato P. / Poli / Lakas-Kampi-CMD
  12. WHITE, Beatres A. / Edna /Nacionalista Party

(More listings for Eastern Visayas candidates at's Pinili-ay 2010)

NwSSU formally inaugurated

(This news item appeas in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

TACLOBAN CITY - The second state university in Samar province was formally inaugurated yesterday with no less than the chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education, Secretary Emmanuel Angeles, leading the occasion.

Among the highlights of the inauguration of the Northwest Samar State University was the installation of its first state university president, Dr. Socorro Bohol.

Those who witnessed the elevation of the then Tiburcio Tancinco Memorial Institute of Science and Technology (TTMIST) into a state university was Samar Representative Reynaldo Uy who shepherd for the passage of a law creating the second state university in Samar province.

The province’s first state university was the Samar State University in Catbalogan.

Aside from Angeles and Uy, those who witnessed the milestone were Calbayog city officials led by Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento and Vice Mayor Ronaldo Aquino, state university presidents in the region and members of the NwSSU board of regents that includes Regional Director Buenaventura Go-Soco of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

In his message, Uy said that his happiness over the conversion of the TTMIST into a state university was a fulfillment not only for himself but the entire people of Calbayog and Samar province.

"Being now a university, more challenges and bigger tasks lie ahead for NwSSU. All these in the name of extending better service to our constituents, of extending quality education for everyone. With our cooperation and dedication, capacity and integrity of our friends from the NwSSU, there is no doubt that we will succeed", the Samar solon said.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed into law the creation of the NwSSU last October 14 as contained under Republic Act 9717.

Mayor Sarmiento said that the inauguration of the NwSSU was a “step towards the path which leads us to extending quality education to the students of Calbayog and of Samar.”

“And I call on the NwSSU to do their share in achieving that,” he said, reminding the university’s officials and educators.

At present, the NwSSU has a total student population of 4,800 who are enrolled to its 35 courses which include education, engineering, hotel and restaurant, and Graduate studies.

The new university has about 105 regular teachers with another 60 working as part time teachers.

The first president of the NwSSU, meantime, vowed to provide quality education to the people of Samar province.

“With confidence, we look forward the challenge of the ideals that lie ahead. With confidence, we look forward to being able to achieve and perform the state universities and colleges mandates along instruction, research, extension and production, all in the name of relevant quality education,” she said.

The then Tiburcio Tancinco Memorial Institute of Science and Technology started as a vocational school way back until it was elevated into a tertiary level offering various courses. It was named after a former member of Congress. (JOEY A. GABIETA/LITO ABALA BAGUNAS)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Migara National High School granted permit to operate

(This news item appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

CALBAYOG CITY – City Schools Division Superintendent Editha Paculan recently announced the official approval of Migara National High School, this city, by the Department of Education to operate from first year to fourth year levels effective school year 2009-2010.

Pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act 9155, otherwise known as the “Governance of Basic Education Act of 2001", the Migara National High School in Brgy. Migara, Calbayog City, was granted a permit to operate 1st Year to 4th Year levels Secondary Education curriculum.

Upon the recommendation of Samar 1st District Congressman Reynaldo S. Uy and of the Office of Calbayog City SDS Paculan, a DepEd regional team evaluated the school. As of this writing, Migara National High School has a total enrolment of 186 students, and 7 teachers headed by the Teacher In-Charge Rolando Lacbo.

Paculan also informed that City Mayor Mel Sarmiento provided the school with school buildings and furnitures.

Migara National High School which started operations in 2005 produced its first set of graduates on March of this year (For a related post, please check this link). The school is located 12.5 kilometers northeast from the city proper.

Mrs. Paculan also said that another public high school will be opened in Brgy. Tabawan, as an integrated high school of Migara. So far, there are 13 public schools in the city.

As this developed, the office of Mrs. Paculan has been receiving text messages about alleged anomalies of school administrators demanding payments for transfers of teachers and promotions. Observers said that teachers are now courageous and brave to report about this alleged corruption by some school administrators.

Reacting to this complaint, Paculan said her office is open to any investigation. “For evils to triumph, let good men do nothing,” Paculan was quoted as saying. (Henry Puyat / Manding Toleza)

messages for the NwSSU inauguration

The Northwest Samar State University (NwSSU) will be formally inaugurated tomorrow. Here are the messages (greetings) of Mayor Mel Sarmiento and Congressman Reynaldo Uy in line with tomorrow's affair.

The message of Congressman Reynaldo Uy:

"I deem it a special privilege to greet everyone during the inauguration of the Northwest Samar State University (NwSSU).

As I congratulate the NwSSU community, my fellow Calbayognons and the people of the First District of Samar, I say thank you to Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal - Arroyo, Senator Mar Roxas, Mayor Mel Sarmiento, CHED Chairperson Emmanuel Angeles and especially to my fellow Calbayognons and the people of Samar for their active support as we took the challenges of converting then TTMIST into a university.

The hard task is not over. Being now a university, more challenges and bigger tasks lie ahead for NwSSU. All these in the name extending better service to our constituents, of extending QUALITY EDUCATION for everyone. With our cooperation and the dedication, capacity and integrity of our friends from the NwSSU, there is no doubt that we will succeed.

As I bid you all welcome to the Inauguration, I extend my congratulations to Dr. Socorro Bohol on her installation as the 1st NwSSU President.

Once again, Congratulations to NwSSU, to my fellow Calbayognons and to our constituents in the First District of Samar!"

Representative, Samar First District


The message of Mayor Mel Sarmiento:

"I am pleased to greet my fellow Calbayognons and our esteemed guests as we gather for the inauguration of the Northwest Samar State University (NwSSU).

I join the NwSSU community in expressing our gratitude to all those who have helped make this day possible: President Gloria Macapagal - Arroyo, Senator Mar Roxas, Congressman Reynaldo Uy, Secretary Emmanuel Angeles, and most importantly to all Calbayognons and the people of Samar for their support in making this dream a reality.

There is another dream that needs to be fulfilled - extending QUALITY EDUCATION for everyone. Today’s inauguration is a step towards the path which leads us to doing just that – extending quality education – to the students of Calbayog and of Samar; and I call on the NwSSU to do their share in achieving that.

It is along that line that I also greet Dr. Socorro Bohol on her installation as the 1st NwSSU President.

As I have always told the various stakeholders of the City of Calbayog, the task to put in place a progressive Calbayog is a never-ending one.
Padayun kita pagka-urosa ug pagkiwa para san mas progresibo pa nga Ciudad san Calbayog!"

Calbayog City Mayor
Chairperson, RDC-8
Secretary-General, League of Cities of the Philippines