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10 rice farmers in Ormoc receive CLOA from DAR

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ORMOC CITY – After more than a decade of tilling their small rice fields, 10 farmers in this city finally received land titles that will prove their ownership.

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) distributed the Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) to the said farmers through Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer (MARPO) Ruben Rebato in a simple distribution rite held in Barangay San Jose, where most of the recipients reside.

Rebato said the 10 individual CLOAs covered an aggregate area of 6.8660 hectares previously owned by the Concepcion Espina Agricultural Corporation and Anito Ygot. The landholdings are situated in the adjacent Barangay Guintigui-an in this city.

“I am grateful I received a title. Thank you, Lord, I now have my own title,” says 63-year old Ernesto Bolakinia after receiving his land title for the 0.6489-hectare rice field that he has been tilling. He said this would be of big help in sending his children to school.

Ramil Catado, a 42-year old recipient, happily received his CLOA for a 1.0255-hectare piece of land, as he will now be relieved of giving a share of the harvest to the former landowner.

“All the harvests will now be ours,” he said, adding, “Thank you very much, we now own land where we can plant for our livelihood.”

Elenita Godin, a recipient of 1.8 hectares of land, also said that she is very much grateful because it is her first time to own a piece of land. Rebato reminded the new landowners of their obligations as agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs), including the diligent payment of land amortizations and the real property taxes. By Elmer Recuerdo (EV Mail August 22-28, 2022 issue)

More modern transport to ply Ormoc route

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TACLOBAN CITY – Two modern public utility buses and three mini-bus type of public utility jeepneys add to the growing list of environment-friendly public transport that will ply the city of Ormoc.

Accordingly, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board regional office (LTFRB-8) awarded the Roberginia Transport Corporation a provisional authority to operate the modern transport during the launching of the Modernized PUV here on Friday, August 26.

Michael Matiga, president of Roberginia Transport Corporation, received the provisional franchise from LTFRB regional director Gualberto Gualberto and LTFRB Executive Director Robert Peig. The modern buses will ply the Ormoc-Merida-Palompon route while the PUJ will take the Ormoc-Merida route.

The awarding of the provisional authority to operate on modern public transport is part of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization (PUVM) Program of the government aimed to transform the road sector of public transport through the introduction of safer and climate-friendly vehicles, improved regulation, and industry consolidation.

“The present administration is committed to continue the PUV modernization program,” says Peig. The latest launch on Friday is the first in the country under the administration of Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., Philippine President.

Peig said LTFRB received numerous positive reactions from the riding public since the program was launched.

“Passengers are happier because our modern vehicles are comfortable, environment-friendly and safe. The fare is also reasonable and within the means of ordinary Filipinos,” he said.

Peig says Eastern Visayas ranks third among the regions in the country in the compliance of PUVMP next to Metro Manila and Central Visayas. Gualberto also thanked the local government units of Ormoc City and Palompon for its all-out support to the government transport program. By Elmer Recuerdo (EV Mail August 22-28, 2022 issue)

Tongonan’s coffee processing center to soon start production

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ORMOC CITY – The community-based Coffee Processing Center in Brgy. Tongonan, this city, which is jointly funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) regional office 8 through a ‘Grant-in-Aid Program’ and the Energy Development Corporation (EDC), will soon begin producing ground coffee using coffee beans grown in the said barangay.

The project aims to make the local coffee available in the local market, subsequently creating livelihood opportunities for the center’s farmer-members.

Accordingly, the project is implemented as a collaborative endeavor of EDC, DOST-8 through DOST-Leyte, the Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU)-Tongonan, LGU-Ormoc City, and the Tongonan Farmers Association (TOFA).

Meanwhile, in order to assure a consistent quality of the final product, a training on how to process coffee beans into roasted ground coffee was conducted during the first week of August 2022, which included methods for sorting and preparing beans for processing.

TOFA’s vice president, Albert G. Calarion, welcomed all guests, participants, DOST-8 through DOST-Leyte, and EDC-Ormoc to the said training activity.

Meanwhile, it was Mhardy C. Montejo, Science Research Specialist II of DOST-Leyte, who presented the rationale of the project including its background, objectives, and the list of equipment provided. He also highlighted the role of the proponent and the beneficiary group in the implementation of the coffee processing project.

On the one hand, Dr. John Glenn D. Ocaña, Provincial Science and Technology Director of DOST-Leyte, commended TOFA for its sustained passion to make the project work, as well as discussed food safety and good manufacturing practices.

Finally, a training on coffee processing was done by Candelaria Adanza of Adanza Coffee Farms, wherein Adanza emphasized the need for the proper sorting of raw coffee beans and observing the ideal moisture content to achieve a quality product. Accordingly, roasting and grinding processes using the equipment funded by DOST-8 were done at a later date when experts from suppliers were already available. By Gwen Maurillo (EV Mail August 22-28, 2022 issue)

Sec. Solidum lauds Ormoc’s biz community for successful VABC hosting

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ORMOC CITY – DOST Secretary Renato Solidum, Jr. lauded this city’s business community, as ably represented by the Ormoc Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (ORCHAM), in his message during the opening ceremony of the three-day Stakeholders Forum and Caravan in this city on August 25, for a job well done hosting not only the forum but the whole of the 31st Visayas Area Business Conference (VABC).

The activity is also in line with the 2022 Eastern Visayas Regional Science and Technology Week Celebration with the theme, “Agham at Technolohiya: Kabalikat sa Maunlad at Matatag na Kinabukasan”, and the VABC, of which ORCHAM is hosting under the banner, “From Setbacks to Comeback: Getting Business Back to Track.”

Among the many important topics that were given emphasis at the said forum was the briefing on the country’s technology transfer and commercialization landscape.

In addition, the Secretary during the Press Conference reiterated the different programs of the department alongside other partner agencies and stakeholders. He also said that among his focus is job creation and having a ‘blue and green economy’.

He further stressed the importance of innovations and even quoted, “Imagination is better than knowledge” to emphasize said importance. He also mentioned that their DOST scholars should also be taught entrepreneurial skills.

Further, he said that SMEs also has a special place in the department, as manifested in exhibit at the City’s Quadrangle, showcasing adoptors displaying their products after being successful beneficiaries of DOST’s assistance.

It was learned that Ormoc and the DOST had long been partners and are doing good in terms of collaboration especially on technology transfer for the people. Finally, the three-day event also aims to bring science and technology closer to the people while, at the same time, tackling different aspects such as health, strengthening of social protection and upholding public safety. By Josie Sersena (EV Mail August 22-28, 2022 issue)

Samar Local Peace Panel awards Php 2.1-M former NPA members

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CATBALOGAN CITY – A former high ranking official of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) who surrendered 23 high-powered firearms to the government received Php 650,000 from the Samar’s Local Social Integration Program (LSIP) as the provincial peace panel awarded Php 2.12-million to 17 former rebels.

Ka Dori, who served as the Organizational Department (OD) Secretary and the Second-in-Command in the Guerilla Front Damol operating in the areas of Villareal and Pinabacdao in Samar, was instrumental for the surrender of other guerillas in the two municipalities.

Dori said he did not expect to receive a large sum for his surrender as his only motivation was to live a normal life together with his family and to stop hiding from the military for fear of being caught or killed in an encounter.

“We are very grateful to the Philippine Army that we were able to see the help that the government is offering under the EO70 of Duterte, the ELCAC. The government’s promise to help is true. It will be a big help for us, for our family, and alleviate our economic status since we are back in mainstream society,” he said.

Under the LSIP, the local government will provide Php 25,000 to assist the transition of a surrenderee, Php 50,000 for livelihood assistance, and another Php 25,000 for each firearm surrendered.

Dori, as the OD Secretary, was the Samar Peace Panel’s bridge for the couple, alias “Noli” and alias “Messy” both under GF Damol, and six other CPP-NPA members to surrender and hand over different war material.

GF Damol plays a vital role in the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army’s (CPP-NPA) transport and distribution of war materials and medical supplies to the different units in the region. The said group also caters to key leaders of the Central Committee in the CPP-NPA-NDF organization.

Messy received Php 100, 000 from the provincial peace panel and expressed her gratitude for all the assistance they have received from the government.

Messy is a former Political Guide under Guerilla Front Damol together with her husband Noli, the Vice Commander, who also received Php 100,000.

Messy said she will start a livelihood and send her children to school. She also thanked the soldiers of the 46th Infantry Battalion who helped them to surrender and be reunited with their children whom they had abandoned when they were still active in the armed struggle.

Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan thanked the former rebels for their decision to surrender and lauded the impact of the ELCAC in the province.

“We are expecting them to really support and cooperate with the government. We are expecting that whatever financial assistance na we give to them will be utilized nang maayos at tama, makatulong para mas mag-improve ang buhay nila at pamilya nila,” Tan said.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Edgardo De Leon, commander of the 8th Infantry Division, encouraged the former rebels to help each other and sustain what they have started.

“Ang natanggap niyo ay galing lang yan sa Samar, ang hiling ko lang sa inyo pag-aralan niyo, magtulong-tulong kayo. Ituloy natin ang pagiging organisado pero sa magandang paraan; ang binigay na tulong ng gobyerno gamitin natin itong pang-umpisa,” De Leon told the former rebels. Aside from this financial assistance, the former rebels already received Php 3,000 cash assistance and food packs from the different government agencies and the Local Government Unit. They are also set to receive financial assistance under the National Government’s Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP). By Elmer Recuerdo (EV Mail August 22-28, 2022 issue)

FROM MATALOM W/ LOVE 2: Ninoy Aquino (#HindiKaNag-iisa)

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Dear Atty. Golo,         

Nganong “holiday” man ang Aug. 21, pasidungog kono ni Ninoy Aquino nga kumunista man to si Ninoy. Nakakita jud ko sa Youtube. Kon wa pa to mamatay si Ninoy, kumunista na unta ta. Diha man gani post sa PNP nga kumunista si Ninoy. Motoo jud ko sa PNP kay kontra gud na sila sa kumunista. Ang PNP guy nagdakop ni Ninoy. Unsa may kalainan sa police og army? Di ba mga army man ang nagpriso ni Ninoy kay na konvicto man siya. Hasta ang mga army miingon man nga kumunista si Ninoy. Mora ang ako lang ugangan ang belib ni Ninoy. Dali ra man gud ako ugangan ilaron, liwat sa ako bana.

Lagot sa kumunista, Prescila

Dear Prescila,

Aug. 21, matag tuig gideklarar nga Ninoy Aquino’s Day (RA 9256). Ang maong balaod gipasar sa kongreso og giaprobahan ni Presidente GMA. Mga pinili sa katawhan ang naghimo niining balaora. Ambot ang blogger sa Youtube kinsa ang nagpili niya. Si Ninoy gipatay niadtong 1983. Sa wa pa patya, gi priso si Ninoy. Karon, 39 na ka tuig gikan siya gipatay, gilibak na pod. Dunay nagsabwag og bakak nga balita, apil ang PNP, dili Philippine National Police kon dili Pulos Na Pekingnews, og sa Army, dili Philippine Army kon dili Trolls Army. Dili kumunista si Ninoy. Wa mailad ang imo ugangan. Siya ang nailad nimo.

Imong amigo, Manny G. Golo (EV Mail August 22-28, 2022 issue)

THE PASSERBY: Blending simplicity and shrewdness

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THESE TWO QUALITIES may look incompatible with each other, but that’s what Christ wants us to have. On the feast of St. Bartholomew, aka Nathanael, on August 24, we are somehow reminded of this apparently conflicting blend. Christ chose Bartholomew as one of the apostles for being a person with no guile. (cfr. Jn 1,45-51)

And more directly, he said that his disciples should be simple as doves yet shrewd also as serpents. (cfr. Mt 10,16) It’s a combination that is indeed confounding, but we just have to find a way to make these qualities blend.

I suppose the secret is again to look at the example of Christ. More than that, we have to learn how to be like Christ, to be another Christ, an ideal that we can manage to achieve because Christ has given us all the means. We just have to do our part.

And that means that we should try to develop the discipline of always looking at Christ and following him. I know this is not an easy task, but we can always try. If we persevere in trying, always asking for grace, there surely will come the time when such combination can become a reality in our life.

We obviously have to make daily plans and strategies, adapting and modifying them as circumstances demand, and as insights and lessons are learned along the way. It’s always a work in progress, and we just have to learn how to be patient and sport. There will be good times and bad times, victories and defeats, but we just have to move on, despite whatever.

Fact is, we are in an increasingly complicated world. There are now many smart people around, quick to rationalize their actions. This is especially true among our political leaders, who in their quest for power, will do everything—mostly unfair means and reasonings—to gain or keep that power.

But it would be a disaster to us if we respond to this complicated mess with our own version of convoluted self-justifications. This happens when we start thinking, judging, reasoning and concluding without God or, worse, when we think God’s clear commandments are already obsolete, irrelevant, a drag to our interests, etc.

Sad to say, there are now many people who think that God’s clear laws are out of touch with reality, and so they craft their own ideologies that are mainly based on what is practical, convenient, popular, or what can gain them power, etc.

In history, we have seen many cases like this. There were barbarianism, massive persecution of Christians or people not in agreement with the current administration. There were Nazism, Fascism, Communism and some questionable forms of socialism and capitalism, and now, an unhinged Liberalism.

What could be worse were those instances when religion was used to precisely go against God’s clear commandments. Some people have gone to the extent of using their religion to justify divorce, abortion, ethnic cleansing, terrorism, etc.

Yes, we have to deal with the complicated and complex situations as they come. That’s what Christ warned us about: “I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves.” But we have to remain simple just the same yet able to deal with these complicated situations. Simplicity is not naivete. It just means we have to know how to stick by God’s laws no matter how difficult a situation may be. It’s a matter of conviction that knows how to reinvent itself without compromising its essence as the need arises. It knows how to be flexible, adaptable and versatile. This is precisely the shrewdness of simplicity! By Fr. Roy Cimagala (EV Mail August 22-28, 2022 issue)

R&D BUZZ AND BYTES: Old skin/New skin

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RESEARCH HAS developed a method to  turn back the aging clock for cells for 30 years without losing their specialized function. Work by researchers has been able to partly restore the function of older cells, as well as rejuvenating the molecular measures of biological age.

As we age, our cells’ ability to function declines. Regenerative biology aims to repair or replace cells including old ones. One of the most important tools in regenerative biology is our ability to create ‘induced’ stem cells. In theory, these stem cells have the potential to become any cell type.

The new cell identity halt reprogramming part of the way through the process. This allowed researchers to find the precise balance between reprogramming cells, making them biologically younger, while still being able to regain their specialized cell function.

Shinya Yamanaka was the first scientist to turn normal cells, which have a specific function, into stem cells which have the special ability to develop into any cell type. The full process of stem cell reprogramming takes around 50 days using four key molecules called the Yamanaka factors. The new method, called ‘maturation phase transient reprogramming’, exposes cells to Yamanaka factors for just 13 days. The partly reprogrammed cells were given time to grow under normal conditions, to observe whether their specific skin cell function returned. Genome analysis showed that cells had regained markers characteristic of skin cells (fibroblasts).

To show that the cells had been rejuvenated, the researchers looked at multiple measures of cellular age. The first is the epigenetic clock, where chemical tags present throughout the genome indicate age. The second is the transcriptome, all the gene readouts produced by the cell. By these two measures, the reprogrammed cells matched the profile of cells that were 30 years younger compared to reference data sets.

The potential applications of this technique are dependent on the cells not only appearing younger, but functioning like young cells too. Fibroblasts produce collagen, a molecule found in bones, skin tendons and ligaments, helping provide structure to tissues and heal wounds. The rejuvenated fibroblasts produced more collagen proteins compared to control cells that did not undergo the reprogramming process.

Fibroblasts also move into areas that need repairing. Researchers tested the partially rejuvenated cells by creating an artificial cut in a layer of cells in a dish. They found that their treated fibroblasts moved into the gap faster than older cells. This is a promising sign that one day this research could eventually be used to create cells that are better at healing wounds. This work has very exciting implications. Eventually, we may be able to identify genes that rejuvenate without reprogramming, and specifically target those to reduce the effects of aging. This approach holds promise for valuable discoveries that could open up an amazing therapeutic horizon. By Manny Palomar, PhD (EV Mail August 22-28, 2022 issue)

Solidum: “Bigger One” angay nga pangandaman

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ORMOC CITY – Mismong si Secretary Renato Solidum, kalihim sa Department of Science and Technology (DOST), ang nihatag og katin-awan sa gikahadlokan og gikagubtan labi na sa social media kabahin sa gitawag nga “the bigger one earthquake” dinhi sa Leyte.

Gikompirma niini nga ang Eastern Visayas, kabahin ang probinsya sa Leyte, nga agianan sa fault line, busa potential ang lugar sa earthquake. Kon mahinumdoman naigo sa 6.5 magnitude nga linog ang Ormoc City ug lungsod sa Kananga niadtong 2017. May kinabuhi nga nakalas og daghang infrastruktura ang nadistroso. Gani sa Brgy. Tongonan, sakop sa dakbayan sa Ormoc, may namakwit nga mga biktima sa pag dahili sa yuta.

Matud niya nga bisan unsa pa ang termino nga gamiton mahimong, “the big one or the bigger one”, usa lang ang hatod nga mensahi niini, nga gamiton ang impormasyon og panahon sa pagpangandam.

Ang mga autoridad og ahensya sama sa DOST mag hatag lang sa senario og dili panag-an (prediction), hinuon ang siyensya mag estimate sa impact o gidak-on sa kadaot kon moigo kini. Tuyo niini nga maka preparar ang katawhan, dugang pasabot ni Solidum sa senario kon ugaling dunay magnitude 7.2 nga linog.

“Major yong threat,” pulong pa sa kalihim pero kon e-kompara sa Manila sa “the big one” dinhi sa probinsya, dili kaayo dako ang perdisyon. Kay sa building nalang daan daghang dagko og habog nga infrastruktura didto, halos walay luna na gani ka ipli-an. Busa ang impak sa kadaot og kadaghan sa kinabuhi nga maapiktahan mas dako sab og daghan. Unta kini nga mga impormasyon gamiton sa mga Leyteños o taga Eastern Visayas pag preparar, pananglit dugang palig-on kon konstruksyon sa tukoron nga balay o mga building. Sa laktod mag plano, mag himo og mga intervention karon palang daan. Ni Josie Sersena (EV Mail August 22-28, 2022 issue)

Tolo ka balay nasunog, duha patay

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ORMOC CITY – Duha ang kompirmadong namatay human nasunog ang tolo ka balay sa Purok Dahlia,  Brgy. Cogon ning syudad kadlawon sa Augusto 21.

Giila ang mga biktima nga sila si Belen Sumalinog, 62 anyos, og ang iyang anak nga si Lyndon, 36 anyos. Napalgan ang patayng lawas sa inahan dapit sa kusina, samtang ang anak didto sulod pa sa kwarto niini. 

Nadawat sa kabomberohan ang alarma sa sunog mga alas 2:35 sa kadlawon diin niresponde dayon ang BFP-Ormoc City Fire Station sa pag panguna ni SINSP Leo Joshua Dangatan.

Matud pa nagsugod pagkaylap ang kayo mga alas 2:26AM sa balay sa mga Sumalinog. Gidiklara kini nga fire under control mga alas 3:27AM og hingpit nga napawong pagka alas 4:02AM. Polos gikan ra sa Ormoc City Fire Station ang mga niresponde sanglit gipa ubos lamang sa ‘second alarm’ status ang katergorya sa insidenti. 

Ang lain pang naugdaw nga duha ka balay gipanag-iya sa manag suong Gracilda ug Randy Montalban. Ginama sa light materials ang usa ka andana nga balay nila Sumalinog, pero ang sa mga Montalban katunga simentado og ang katunga ginama sa light materials.  Gibana-bana nga niabot og dul-an sa duha ka milyon ka pesos (Php 1,890,735) ang danyos sa sunog. Padayon pa ang imbistigasyon sa maong hitabo aron masabtan ang hinungdan niini, sumala pa ni SFO1 Dino Daniel Barsumo, ang Fire Investigator. Ni Josie Sersena ug hulagway gikan sa Ormoc City Fire Station (EV Mail August 22-28, 2022 issue)