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Boy, dog accidentally electrocuted


TACLOBAN CITY – A 6-year-old boy and a stray dog died after they were accidentally electrocuted at a construction site in Brgy. Payao, Catbalogan City, Wednesday (July 13).

Initial reports disclosed that the victim was on his way home after swimming on the nearby beach.

However, he and the dog were accidentally caught by a live wire upon passing the road-widening site and got electrocuted. And when a team from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and emergency responders arrived, they were not able to immediately perform first aid on the victim since they had to wait for the linemen from the local power utility to cut the lines.

The boy already had no pulse and was no longer breathing when he was rescued. He was later pronounced dead on arrival at the Samar Provincial Hospital.

Authorities have yet to release the result of the investigation. However, some residents surmised that the tripped electrical wires were allegedly caused by the construction project. Samar Electric Cooperative II, in a statement, said they were only informed of the tripped secondary line by the city’s power distributor after the said incident. (By Marie Tonette Marticio, EV Mail July 11-17, 2022 Issue)

Ormoc issues CDO to fly-infested poultry farm in Valencia


ORMOC CITY – Egg layer poultry farm in Barangay Valencia, this city, received on Monday, July 11, 2022, a cease-and-desist order (CDO) from LGU-Ormoc’s Environment and Natural Resources Office (ENRO), headed by Environmental Management Specialist, Forester Rosilyn Sanchez, accordingly, for failing to acquire a proof of operation or right to operate permit and without adhering to various governmental provisions.

The farm is said to be owned by Mary Rose Arguelles of the said village.

Sanchez in an interview clarified that the farm was given the CDO because it did not have a permit to operate, saying, “Gipa-stop siya og operate kay in the first place wala man jud siya right to operate kay wala man siya’y permit.”

The order is said to be based on the findings of an inspection conducted by ENRO sometime Wednesday, July 6, 2022 wherein the said office found the farm to have violated several governmental regulations to include violations of Presidential Decree 856 or the Sanitation Code of the Philippines; Presidential Decree 1586, Establishing an Environmental Impact Statement System; Executive Order No. 648 which governs the Processing of Applications for Locational Clearance of Poultry and Piggery; and Executive Order No. 28 (Series of 2019), An Executive Order Prescribing the Rules for the Imposition of Administrative Sanction of Suspension and/or Closure of Business Establishments.

On the one hand, the said inspection arose as ENRO’s response to a complaint it received on Tuesday, July 5, from a concerned citizen of the said barangay for alleged fly infestation from the said egg layer poultry farm.

The said inspection was conducted by ENRO-PCMS Head Engineer Jocelyn A. Fiel together with technical staff Josefina T. Ocon and Sangguniang Barangay Member Joniel K. Edullantes of said barangay to verify the complaint. It was thereafter that the group found out that the owner did not conduct a public hearing prior the operation of the egg layer poultry farm and that no single permit was secured by the owner for the operation of the farm, which began October 2021. Further, the inspection team discovered that the farm had no prepositioned fly mitigating chemicals or structures and that the poultry is situated in a residential area.

On top of the CDO, ENRO-Ormoc has also recommended to the owner to relocate the egg layer poultry farm at least at a distance of 500 meters from the built-up areas; that the owner conduct a public hearing before resuming the egg layer operation in the new location; and finally, that the owner secure all required environmental and business permits for it to be able to legally resume its operations.

“Kinahanglan siya mokuha og permit before mo-resume iya operation kay the more nga mag-operate siya without permit, maka cause man gud og adverse environmental impact iyang operation kay mahulog man gud siya nga illegal operator and unregulated ang iyang activity,” explained Sanchez, adding, “Environmentally critical ang iyang operation kay when you have chickens, mangiti, and kanang iti source sa langaw.”

Finally, as of this writing, Arguelles is enjoined to show cause within 15 days from receipt of the CDO letter. (By Gwen Maurillo, EV Mail July 11-17, 2022 Issue)

Samar reps join minority bloc


TACLOBAN CITY – Despite supporting President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. during the May 9, 2022 elections, Samar island representatives have preferred to join the minority bloc of the lower house.

In a joint statement, Samar 1st Dist. Rep. Stephen James Tan and 2nd Dist. Rep. Reynolds Michael Tan said their decision aims to continue the legacy of former representative and now Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan-Delos Santos.

Governor Tan served as the Deputy Minority Leader during the 18th Congress.

They pointed out that their membership in the minority bloc should not be taken to mean that they have joined the opposition. 

“We supported them (President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. and Vice-President Sara Duterte-Carpio) even before they were elected and we shall continue to support them throughout their tenure as President and Vice-President,” the solons said.

They further clarified that their membership in the minority bloc would ensure that the concerns of the people of Samar would not be drowned out by the overwhelming number of voices in the majority. 

“Through the minority, we will have a platform from which we can speak for the people of Samar and ensure that the people’s hopes and dreams are heard by the House leadership. Through this smaller stage, we can reach a wider audience,” added said statement. Former Governor Michael Tan earlier vowed for a 100,00-vote margin between President Marcos and his opponents yet the province delivered over 160,000-gap between Marcos and Former Vice President Leni Robredo, who won in Samar in the 2016 elections. (By Marie Tonette Marticio, EV Mail July 25-31, 2022 Issue)

PopCom marks 8th birthday of EV’s 100-millionth symbolic babies


TACLOBAN CITY – The Commission on Population and Development (PopCom) in Eastern Visayas marked the eighth birthday of the six 100-millionth symbolic babies in terms of population count on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.

PopCom-8 Regional Director Elnora Pulma said this year’s celebration focuses on the health status of the symbolic babies through a monitoring tool that helps determine the type of support in terms of nutrition, education, and health services, among others that needs to be provided to them and their families.

“The 2014 demographic event was an institutional reality-check that the country was reaching a 100-million population record,” Pulma shared.

With the population projected to be 110 million this year, the official noted a 1.63 percent population growth rate (PGR) from 2015.

By comparison, the rate at which the population grew from 2010 to 2015 was higher at 1.72 percent. The Census population is done every five years.

“We aim to provide a quality life for the babies and make every Filipino count in the progress and development of the country as the population increases rapidly every year,” she noted.

She stressed that the birth of the 100 millionth babies eight years ago remains a challenge to the government as they are expected to demand an increase in the family’s capacity to provide for the needs of their children.

“As duty bearers of the society, PopCom will continue to monitor these babies as a reiteration of our advocacy through the years that every child should be born wanted, and his/her basic rights on social services such as health and education are ensured for his/her total development,” the official added.

Representing Eastern Visayas’ 100 millionth symbolic babies are Rian Go of Tacloban City; Miller Josh Tondo of Tanauan in Leyte; Blair Catalea Balabis of San Juan in Southern Leyte; Sunrey Abenales of Catarman in Northern Samar; Jody Cervantes of Borongan City in Eastern Samar; and Joven Rey Arsenio of Catbalogan City in Samar.

She assured that said babies are fully immunized, monitored, and their education is maintained under the K-12 curriculum, including their birth certification and PhilHealth coverage. (By Marie Tonette Marticio, EV Mail July 25-31, 2022 Issue)

So. Leyte’s SK officials gather in Canigao island for Peace Forum


ORMOC CITY – A Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Peace Forum was held for the SK Federation Presidents of Southern Leyte, which took place in Canigao Island, Matalom, Leyte on July 23 and 24, 2022.

The forum, accordingly, was in connection with the government’s program on Peace, Law Enforcement, Development, and Security (PLEDS) Cluster, Provincial Task Force, and National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) in Southern Leyte Province.

The 14th Infantry (Avenger) Battalion organized the event, and was attended by 31 SK Federation Presidents, SK Chairpersons, and other SK officials from 18 municipalities in Southern Leyte, led by David N. Labrador, Vice President of said federation.

The activity, it was said, aims to unite the programs and projects of the SK in relation to stopping the communist rebels’ radicalization, recruitment, and organizing the youth that would eventually become supporters or, worse, members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

During the said activity, an orientation pertaining to the communist rebels’ deception and illegal recruitment strategies for the youth was also thoroughly discussed by Arthur ‘Ka Art’ Tariman, the Regional Coordinator, SAMBAYANAN National Cadre Team, while KKDAT and the anti-illegal drugs orientation were discussed by Police Staff Sergeant (PSSg) Lunisa P. Obus of the Police Provincial Office (SLPPO).

The activity also featured former rebels who surrendered to the government now found sharing their testimonies with the youth participants. The activity was also attended by Colonel Noel A. Vestuir (MNSA), PA, the Commander of the 802nd Infantry Brigade, who said that, “It is good that we see the problem, but it is different kung magiging part tayo ng problem at hindi tayo naging parte ng solusyon.” (By Gwen Maurillo, EV Mail July 25-31, 2022 Issue)

Plebiscite merging Ormoc’s district barangays to happen on Oct. 8 – COMELEC


ORMOC CITY – The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) is set to conduct a plebiscite in this city for the merging of its 28 district barangays and the renaming of one district barangay.

Accordingly, under COMELEC Resolution 10796, the said plebiscite will be held on October 8, 2022 while the official “plebiscite period” will only start on September 24, 2022 simultaneously with the necessary information and education campaign period.

Further, according to Jenette Fariola-Ruedas, COMELEC Eastern Visayas Information Officer Designate, prohibitions will also take effect during the plebiscite period, which will last until October 15, 2022. Accordingly, appointment or hiring of new employees; creation of new positions; filling of new positions; salary increases, remuneration, or privileges; and construction of public works and release of disbursement or expenditure of public funds are all prohibited acts.

In addition, during the plebiscite period, prohibition on the bearing, carrying, or transporting of firearms or other deadly weapons in public places will also come into effect.

Finally, the LGU-Ormoc Technical Working Group, which oversees matters related to the plebiscite, had, accordingly, a dialogue on July 26, 2022 with COMELEC Regional Election Director, Atty. Jose Nick Mendros, to clarify issues and matters pertaining to the impending plebiscite.

To recall, on January 19, 2021, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Ormoc City enacted an “Ordinance for the Merging of Barangay District 1 to District 28 and Renaming Barangay District 29”, which was subsequently approved on January 22, 2021. (By Gwen Maurillo, EV Mail July 25-31, 2022 Issue)

OCPO, PNP honor stakeholders with ‘Gabi ng Parangal at Pasasalamat’


ORMOC CITY – To recognize and value the contributions of stakeholders to the success of the PNP’s efforts to maintain peace and order in Ormoc City, the Ormoc City Police Office (OCPO) conducted a “Stakeholders’ Night/Gabi ng Parangal at Pasasalamat” held at the Multipurpose Hall of the New Ormoc City Hall on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.

A total of 42 awardees each received a certificate of recognition, which pool included LGU-Ormoc employees, law enforcement agencies, civic organizations, religious institutions, Punong Barangays, private sectors, and journalists in the city.

During the said event, OCPO City Director Police Colonel (PCol) Nelvin Ricohermoso thanked and gave his snappy salute to the said stakeholders, adding that it is but appropriate to acknowledge and value the contributions of PNP stakeholders, as without them, he emphasized, the OCPO would not have succeeded in its efforts to uphold peace and order in Ormoc City.

“Crime prevention is everybody’s concern and the cooperation of everybody is necessary to make the city safe and to maintain its status as one of the safest cities in the whole country,” he said.

“Let’s work hand and hand to maintain the status of Ormoc City as one of the safest place to live, invest and do business. Together, we can make things happen,” PCol Ricohermoso added.

Meanwhile, Police Brigadier General (PBGen) Bernard M. Banac, the Regional Director of the Philippine National Police Regional Office 8 (PNP-RO8), also imparted his congratulatory message to the awardee-stakeholders through a video, saying, “It is very important to forge relationships with the stakeholders that contribute to peace, order, and public safety. Knowing that they can’t do this alone, they will be needing everyone’s unparalleled support, which will enable PNP to reach greater heights.” (By Gwen Maurillo, EV Mail July 25-31, 2022 Issue)

Abalos orders investigation on alleged hazing of BFP recruits


TACLOBAN CITY – Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos ordered an investigation on the alleged hazing of Bureau of Fire Protection-Region 8 (BFP-8) trainees that led to the hospitalization of eight of them.

Accompanied by investigators from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) central office, Abalos visited a hospital on Friday and talked to Jan Allen Ferreras, one of the two trainees who is undergoing dialysis but details of the discussion were not divulged to the media.

The eight trainees were rushed to the hospitals last July 5, 2022, four days after their training started, allegedly due to kidney failure. The hospitalization of trainees led to speculations here that the trainees could have been hazed.

Ferreras, who was diagnosed with Acute Kidney Failure and Liver Damage due to Strenuous Physical Activity or Rhabdomyolisis, was discharged from the hospital last July 7, 2022 but continues to undergo regular dialysis until his creatinine levels return to normal.

Ferreras’s sister Joebelle turned to social media to seek help from the public for the hospitalization cost of his brother. Up to the time that he was discharged from the hospital, the bill already amounted to Php 114,000, which the family settled through the help of friends and relatives.

“Recently, his creatinine level instead of going down it went up to 1400 plus, which really hurt all of us. His nephrologist suggested a Hemo Perfusion, which costs Php 45,000 per session and that he would need three sessions to finally get his creatinine level back to normal,” Joebelle wrote in her social media post.

Abalos sought the help of NBI to investigate the incident and appealed to other trainees to speak up and help shed light into the matter.

“The NBI must check into the medical records of the hospitalized trainees, their injuries, and the circumstances leading to this incident,” he said. He added that the NBI is now tracing the whereabouts of the six discharged patients to get their testimonies also.

“This is not good. I would like to know what really happened here and we have to immediately look into this,” Abalos said, adding, “These trainees are like our children and we would like to get into the bottom of this. We will get experts to investigate this.” 

FCSupt Rodolfo Denaga, Regional Director of BFP in Eastern Visayas, denied allegations of maltreatment during the training as there was no hematoma found in their bodies.

He said four of the trainees initially complained of muscle pain and were found to have discoloration of urine during a laboratory test prompting the doctors to recommend that they be admitted in the hospital.

Denaga said he is supporting the investigation and is ready to be relieved anytime if that will be the decision of the higher authorities.

FCInsp Jean Tolosa, Chief of Health and Services Section, earlier said the trainees were diagnosed to have ‘acute kidney injury from rhabdomyolysis’, which she says happens when a person is suddenly subjected to an extraneous physical exercise without preparation. Abalos said he will source money initially from his own private foundation to be able to give at least Php 50,000 to every trainee who were hospitalized for any kidney-related illness. (By Elmer Recuerdo, EV Mail July 25-31, 2022 Issue)

Civic clubs host mass bloodletting drive


ORMOC CITY – They say there is no special gift as precious as saving lives. So, for this reason, compelled by their humanitarian mandate, the Ormoc Supreme Lions Club and Ormoc Ultimate Lions Club led by its president Aristarco Camancho Jr. and Beatriz Oquias Guillemer, MJF, respectively, hosted a mass bloodletting activity in Brgy. Camp Downes, this city, on July 15, 2022.

The joint activity of the two clubs under 301-B2 was able to collect a reasonable number of bags of fresh human blood from its donors. Further, the two clubs also showed their support to the government’s vaccination drive, that is, the “RESBAKUNA, Kasanggang Bida” program, by initiating a similar activity.

The clubs, at the end of the activities, thanked their partners for the successful activity, that included the officials of Barangay Camp Downes and their Barangay Health Workers together with the City Health team from the Brgy. Ipil Health District led by Dr. Romualdo Movilla and the Philippine Red Cross Ormoc City Chapter team.

To note, July is Blood Letting Month and despite this challenging time, these civic clubs continue to serve and is so inspired to roar the LY 2022-23 theme of “Together We Can”. (By Josie Sersena, EV Mail July 18-24, 2022 Issue)

Ormoc culminates PWD week with talent showcase


ORMOC CITY – A total of 27 Ormocanon who are persons with disabilities (PWDs) showcased their talents at SM Center Ormoc during the city’s first “PWD Got Talent” in conjunction with the celebration of the 44th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week.

According to Joey Philip P. Fiel, the PWD Program Coordinator of the Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO), the participants showcased their talent in singing, dancing, drawing, and “doble-kara”, among others in a fun and competitive manner wherein the grand winner received a cash prize of Php 3,000, the second placer a cash prize of Php 2,000, the third placer receiving Php 1,000 and the non-winning contestants given Php 500 each.

And so, he added, emerging as the most talented of all talented PWDs, and being declared as the grand winner of their first-ever PWD talent show, was Rodolfo Alguno, Jr. of Barangay Ipil.

This year’s celebration, he further said, was held from July 17-23 under the theme, “Pamahalaan Kabalikat sa Pagtupad ng Pantay na Edukasyon, Trabaho at Kabuhayan, Tugon sa Pagpapalakas ng Taong may Kapansanan.”

The said weeklong event, moreover, was successfully facilitated in Ormoc City by PDAO, headed by Nina Bonita Z. Restauro, who believes that there is an ability in every disability.

It kicked off with a Holy Mass followed by a motorcade; and within the week, other meaningful activities such as the ‘Larong Pinoy’, a medical mission, a sportsfest, and a symposium, whose speaker was Angela Zeratzel O. Valdeavilla of Little Palm Occupational Therapy Clinic, were also held. Finally, at the opening ceremony of the celebration, Ormoc City Councilor Carmen Jean Torres-Rama, the Committee Chairperson of the Committee on Senior Citizens and Persons with Disability; PWD Federation President Joel Amistad; and PWD Federation Secretary Jocelyn Movilla imparted inspiring messages to Ormocanon PWDs and to their families in attendance. (By Gwen Maurillo, EV Mail July 18-24, 2022 Issue)