TOP STORIES

January 26, 2017

As case looms vs open dumpsite,

Naga council debates on budget

By Juan Escandor Jr.

NAGA CITY---As an Ombudsman case against the local government unit (LGU) of Naga City looms over the continuous operation of open dumpsite here in violation of law, the city council could not decide on Tuesday (Jan. 24) the budget approval of the planned sanitary landfill in consideration of the cost it would entail.

Mayor John Bongat, appealing to the council in its regular session, said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has already served several written warnings to the Naga LGU about its continuous violation of Republic Act No. 9003 (Ecological Waste Management Act of 2000) for its continuing operation of open dumpsite that should have been closed in 2006.

“I was even reminded by the Ombudsman about this (continuous operation of open dumpsite),” Bongat told the council. “If a case will be filed against the LGU, it will be the mayor, the vice mayor and the council who will be sued,” he added.

At present, six Bicol LGUs, including Camalig, Guinobatan, Tiwi, Daraga, Polangui and Tabaco City, have pending cases before the Ombudsman for violation of

R.A. No. 9003 filed by the Solid Waste Management Commission on Feb. 10, 2016.

City Planning and Development Officer Wilfredo Prilles gave two options between a three-hectare sanitary landfill which will cost the LGU some P203M and a five-hectare sanitary landfill at P237M to be constructed.

Prilles explained that the three-hectare sanitary landfill would last for three years while the five-hectare sanitary landfill to last for five to seven years when coupled with segregation of solid wastes and cooperation by the LGUs in the 27 barangays of Naga City.

However, the city council could not be convinced without the detailed breakdown of the engineering work on the proposed sanitary landfill.

Councilor Julian Lavadia Jr. questioned the costly establishment of the sanitary landfill of more than P200 million the Naga LGU would spend which he said will last for only 62 months.

Councilor Mila Raquid Arroyo said she cannot just approve the budget because “she has no solid basis” whether or not the computation presented was right while she demanded a comparative study of the engineering costs.

Arroyo said she wants the fund for the sanitary landfill to come from the coffers of the city instead of funding its construction through loan from the banks.

She reminded Bongat of the original plan of the city to buy a 10-ha land in Barangay San Isidro for the establishment of a waste-to-energy facility cum sanitary landfill during the time of the late Mayor Jesse Robredo which failed to prosper.

Bongat said the original plan of the waste-to-energy project has not been shelved because the planned sanitary landfill includes a facility for waste-to-energy by putting up methane plant after three years.

He said he is not rushing the council to approve the budget even though the continued operation of the old dumpsite is in violation of the law and a suit against the LGU looms.

Bongat said there is no other option of the proposed budget for sanitary landfill which will be charged from P1.1B budget of the city in 2017 while comparing the expenses of Quezon City of P2B for garbage collection from its annual budget of at least P17B.

Joel Martin, head of the solid waste management office, said the implementation of the closure of the old dumpsite will be done in February after 10 years of extension.

He said the closure of the old dumpsite would cost the LGU some P20M but its implementation must be done while the construction of the sanitary landfill is being constructed.

Martin said Naga City produces 96 tons of garbage in a day.




NBI Regional Office back to Legazpi

By Paulo Papa

NAGA CITY—The Regional Office of the National Bureau of Investigation V will be officially transferred from Maria Cristina St. nearby the Naga City Hall compound back to its original location in Rawis, Legazpi City in Albay on February 6, Monday this year.  

Atty. Tomas C. Enrile, the Regional Director of NBI V stated in an interview that “this is authorized by Dante Gierran,” the current National Director of the NBI.

He also said that “this is in accordance of a proclamation that the City of Legazpi houses all regional offices of the government agencies in Bicol Region, only the regional offices of the NBI and Department of Agriculture stationed here in Naga.”

Since the construction of the new regional office of the stated agency is not yet started in a vacant land provided to them, the NBI Regional Office will be swapped with the NBI Office in Quezon Ave., Legazpi Port District, Legazpi City.

So starting on February 6, 2017, the NBI office in this city will became a District Office but it doesn’t affect the providing process of the NBI Clearances of the citizens and people from municipalities nearby.




Judge orders Camaligan authorities to

stop catching Canaman tricycle drivers

By Juan Escandor Jr.

NAGA CITY--- With the issuance of temporary restraining order (TRO) last January 17, a regional trial court judge has ordered the authorities of Camaligan town in Camarines Sur to stop apprehending tricycle drivers of nearby Canaman town who pass by the road in the former town while going to their true destination.

Regional Trial Court Branch 61 Judge Soliman Santos Jr. issued the TRO against defendants Camaligan town represented by Mayor Marilou Hiroshi and Canaman town represented by Mayor Henry Ragodon after the president of tricycle association headed by Jose M. Portillo asked the court to grant them TRO and preliminary injunction following a series of apprehensions by traffic enforcers of Camaligan town.

Hiroshi was named defendant since the enforcement of the traffic emanated from their town

while Ragodon was named defendant/unwilling co-plaintiff for not joining the suit even though the Canaman local government unit (LGU) issued the franchises and “to avoid nullity of subsequent proceedings, and to prevent multiplicity of suits.”

Portillo filed the complaint in behalf of San Jose West-Iquin-Mangayawan-Sua-Del Rosario Tri-mobile Operators and Driver’s Association (SIMSDTODA) with application of TRO and preliminary injunction against Hiroshi and Ragodon after the Camaligan Deputized Traffic Enforcers (Cadete) conducted series of apprehensions of tricycle drivers with franchises approved by the Canaman LGU while they pass by Dugcal Road from Barangay Sua to Barangay  Del Rosario, all in Canaman town. There is no other road that connects Sua to Del Rosario but Dugcal Road which is located in Camaligan town.

Portillo and 19 other complainant tricycle drivers are members of SIMSDTODA who were apprehended, fined and penalized by Cadete for passing by Dugcal Road and “plying outside the specific route or area” (or out-of-line public utility motor vehicles under Section 99[5] of the Traffic Code)[1] and “colorum vehicle/no franchise” (i.e. public utility motor vehicles operating with expired or no franchise under Section 99[3] of the Traffic Code).

Criminal cases were also filed against complainants Portillo, William R. Langitan, Victor P. Verdad, Kimbryan P. Brandes, and Rogelio S. Agdoro, Jr. at the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Camaligan-Gainza-Milaor.

Through their legal counsels---lawyers Perfecto Nixon C. Tabora and Jake Rupert T. Tabora---they argued that they are holders of valid franchises and by passing through Dugcal Road which is a national road did not require them to get another franchise from Camaligan because their operation is not within that town.

“No local government can prohibit the passage of any vehicle, private or public, along a national road.”

At the summary hearing, Judge Santos verified application for a TRO and Preliminary Injunction, only the side of the 20 complainants represented by lawyer Jake Rupert T. Tabora who appeared and consequently were heard on their said application.

Forty other residents and the riding public of four concerned barangays of Canaman, Camarines Sur attended with a total of 60 court session attendees, the most so far before the presiding Judge.

But no representatives of the two municipalities of Canaman and Camaligan appeared despite notice, and so their sides could not be heard on the matter.

“More importantly, this Court could not explore the possibility of a compromise settlement which it had intended to do as its preferred mode of dispute resolution,” Judge Santos wrote in his decision.

“In order to prevent a threatened, if not actual, wrong and to protect the livelihood rights involved from further injury, until the issues can be determined after a hearing on the merits or otherwise amicably settled, this TRO is hereby ISSUED.”

The TRO restrains the Municipality of Camaligan and Cadete, and the Camaligan Municipal Police Station from enforcing “plying outside the specific route or area” and “colorum vehicle/no franchise” of Revised Transport and Traffic Code of Camaligan, Camarines Sur (Municipal Ordinance No. 012-008) against tricycle driver-members of SIMSDTODA plying Dugcal Road, Camaligan connecting barangays Sua and Del Rosario, Canaman, Camarines Sur.



CAMSUR TOPS LIST

High maternal death rate in Bicol noted

By Mike Dela Rama

LEGAZPI CITY --- The big number of maternal deaths in Bicol over the past two years continues to dampen the efforts of health authorities and local government agencies in improving the reproductive health of women in the region over the years.

The latest report from the Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol Family Cluster program cited “complications arising from hypertension” as the major cause of the maternal deaths.

“In 2015 alone, there were 173 maternal death cases (per thousand live births),” said Dr. Rita Mae Ang-Bon, coordinator of DOH-Bicol Family Cluster program.

She said the biggest number of cases were reported in Camarines Sur at 61, followed by Masbate at 31, Albay at 29, Camarines Norte at 23, Catanduanes at 16, and Sorsogon at 13.

Bon added they were able to record 124 cases in the region as of November 2016.

She said from 2015 to 2016, “hypertension resulting to pre-eclampsia, eclampsia and hemorrhage have contributed to the maternal death cases in the region.”

Eclampsia is a condition in which convulsions occur in a pregnant woman suffering from high blood pressure. Often followed by a coma these pose a threat to the health of the mother and the baby.

Bon said the other causes of deaths are “indirect medical conditions, sepsis infection (or blood infection), ‘home transit to health facility’ and unknown.”

Citing the 2015 data, the report said 85.50 percent of the 173 cases in the Bicol region cited the place of maternal deaths as the hospital.

“Only 14 percent of the deaths occurred while in transit (from the home to birthing facility) or at home,” added the report.

Bon said the consolidated report from the six Bicol provinces showed that “maternal deaths by stage at time of death” were mostly in the “post-partum phase” or the immediate period after the baby has been delivered.

She said local government units (LGUs) in the region have been intensifying their campaign on maternal and child health.

“This is to make sure that all pregnant mothers are being properly monitored and that they submit themselves to regular prenatal check-up,” said Bon.

She said barangay health workers (BHWs) and midwives have been deployed to all villages to provide direct services to mothers.

Bon said that rural areas also have higher Maternal Mortality Rates, also called MMR by statisticians, because many women in rural areas begin having children at a young age.

“Since adolescent women are normally not developed enough for childbirth, these young mothers face many complications during and after pregnancy and contribute to the high maternal mortality rate,” she said.

Bon said DOH, along with local population officers, BHWs and their rural health units have introduced many interventions to reduce maternal and child deaths.

“Since a majority of maternal deaths occur during and soon after delivery, many interventions concentrate on this period,” she said.

She said that currently traditional birth attendants or TBAs are only allowed to assist midwives and mothers during pregnancy or birth at the birthing facility.

Bon said programs have attempted to utilize this existing system by giving short training courses to TBAs.

“But there is little evidence that such programs are effective in reducing maternal mortality even if they may be effective in reducing mortality among newborns,” she said.

Bon said through a “nutrition promotion program” the DOH and its counterparts in the LGUs continue to implement effective interventions just before a baby is delivered by the mother.

“Immediate and exclusive breastfeeding is highly recommended to mothers,” she said.

Bon said there have been a number of interventions aimed at educating and supporting women to initiate breastfeeding and adopt optimal breastfeeding behaviors. She said it has been shown that “improving breastfeeding practices can help to reduce neonatal mortality.”

In its “2012 Philippine Health Statistics,” the DOH Epidemiology Bureau said the number of registered maternal deaths in Civil Registry Offices nationwide reached a total of 1,447 (per 100,000 live births) while the MMR was 0.8 per thousand live births.

It said that in 2012, the Eastern Visayas Region recorded the highest MMR of 1.6 maternal deaths per thousand live births while the Cordillera Administrative Region recorded the lowest with 0.5 deaths per thousand live births.

The bureau said six out of 17 regions “had MMR higher than the national rate of 0.8.”

In the Bicol region, the DOH-bureau said maternal mortality in 2012 was 103 per 1,000 population with the MMR at 1.05 deaths per thousand live births.

The Epidemiology Bureau reported that by province, for the same year, there were 23 maternal deaths in Camarines Sur with an MMR of 0.9; Albay-23 (1.3 MMR); Camarines Norte-19 (1.4 MMR); Masbate-14 (1.0 MMR); Sorsogon-12 (1.0 MMR); and Catanduanes-4 (0.7).

In the same report, the DOH bureau described maternal mortality rate or MMR as the “mirror of a woman’s health and nutritional status during pregnancy, at childbirth, or in the period after childbirth. It also highlights her access to professional medical services before, during and even after childbirth.”

Population Commission (PopCom)-Bicol Director Magdalena Abellera has said that “the target is to lower maternal mortality to 52 deaths per 100,000 live births” under the government’s new Sustainable Development Goals or SDG program.

SDGs otherwise known as the “Global Goals” are universal calls to action to promote development that are being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme in 170 countries.

Policy planners said the goals, that combine the factors necessary for quality life in the 21st millennium, must serve as a framework in governance.




Bicol mayors appeal for building

materials, alternative livelihood

By Juan Escandor Jr.

NAGA CITY---Mayors in the towns hit hard by Typhoon Nina appeal for rehabilitation assistance in terms of building materials and alternative livelihood rather than food packs, almost a month after the typhoon pounded Bicol with 185 km per hour winds on Christmas Day.

Mayor Leo Rodriguez, local chief executive of the town of Bato in Catanduanes, said they are now in the stage of rehabilitation and that in his town 1,700 houses have been destroyed and the families need help to rebuild their homes.

“We need iron sheets rather than canvasses to help families rebuild their homes,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez attended the consultation meeting of the 10 towns most devastated by Typhoon Nina that Vice President Leni G. Robredo facilitated on Friday last week.

Rodriguez said he is also appealing for assistance for alternative livelihood for his constituents and fast growing crops that can be harvested in short period of time for the rehabilitation.

Buhi town Mayor Margie Arguinillo also expressed the same predicament of the lack of assistance to rebuild homes in which she said there are villages in her town where most houses were flattened by Typhoon Nina.

Robredo said the 10 Bicol towns most devastated by Typhoon Nina are the towns of Bato, Baras and San Andres in Catanduanes; Tiwi in Albay; and Sagñay, Buhi, Bula, Ocampo, Pili and Pasacao in Camarines Sur.

She said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) provides P5,000 shelter assistance for families with totally damaged house which will be given by February.

Robredo said the shelter assistance will not be sufficient as she shared her experience when she was still a congresswoman at the time when Typhoon Glenda hit the third district of Camarines Sur wherein through donation from private donors, the P20,000 and ‘bayanihan’ labor would suffice to allow victims of typhoon to build semi-concrete houses.

“When we came back after this typhoon, their houses are still standing. I am saying this because every typhoon the same families suffer the same of losing their houses,” she said.

Robredo said what is worrisome is the damage to agriculture which according to the Department of Agriculture reached more than P5 billion in losses.

With the absence of additional assistance for the victims of Typhoon Nina coming from foreign embassies on top of the national government’s commitment of P500 million for agricultural rehabilitation, she encouraged local government units (LGUs) to directly asked assistance from foreign development agencies for their rehabilitation efforts.

Robredo said the consultation was meant to facilitate the assistance to the victims of Typhoon Nina that she said is now in the stage of rehabilitation in which building materials and means of alternative livelihood are more needed than relief assistance like food packs.

She said the meeting was attended by representatives from the DSWD, Department of Agriculture, Office of Civil Defense, Philippine Coconut Authority, Department of Education and Department of Trade and Industry that gave the mayors documentary requirements to access the government assistance.

Robredo said that with the absence of request for assistance from the national government to foreign embassies like the United States of America or the European Union, the available local resources of the LGUs and from private donors to rehabilitate the hardest hit areas will not be sufficient.

She said she had talked with the United Nations Development Program and European Union and was told that request from the national government is required for them to extend assistance but they are also open for LGUs to directly request from them.




Post-typhoon victim died of

severe dehydration, not

cholera, DOH clarifies

By Samuel M. Toledo

LEGAZPI CITY --- Health authorities, who followed up investigations of the lone post-typhoon Nina fatality, had confirmed that the 36-year-old farmer of Barangay Sto. Nino in Virac, Catanduanes died of severe dehydration due to diarrhea, and not cholera as earlier reported.

France Genorga, food and water-borne diseases program coordinator of the Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol, said they conducted a revalidation following persistent reports in the local and national media that the farmer died of cholera and that this disease was fast spreading out in the typhoon-hit villages of Catanduanes where Nina made its first landfall on Christmas Day.

Catanduanes Health Officer Dr. Hazel Palmes confirmed that the deceased, whose name was withheld, had been diagnosed with acute gastroenteritis with severe dehydration.

She said a fecal sample of the victim showed he was infected by “Entamoeba Hystolica,” a kind of bacteria, after reportedly drinking water from Inagasan Falls, a few meters away from Barangay Sto. Nino in Virac town.

Quoting reports from a DOH-Bicol inspection team, Palmes said some 12 samples collected from the different water sources at the Virac District Jail and in two villages with diarrhea cases had tested positive for fecal contamination.

Water samples collected from some faucets of the Virac Water District, a barangay waterworks system, and shallow and deep wells were found with fecal coliforms above safe levels.

Meanwhile, Engineer Connie Ramirez, DOH-Bicol in-charge of refilling station inspection, said that the two refilling outlets found positive with e-coli contamination had already turned negative of the bacteria in recent tests.

She said they subjected the water samples from these refilling stations to at least three tests that soon all turned negative already from ecoli contamination.

“When water samples from these refilling stations turned positive from ecoli, their pipelines were found busted by Typhoon Nina. But in the succeeding three tests after the lines were repaired, the samples turned  negative already of e-coli contamination,” Ramirez said.

Catanduanes Gov. Joseph Cua had earlier asked Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial to help them set up sources of safe and potable water in the typhoon-affected communities to prevent a possible diarrhea outbreak.

He asked for mobile filtration machines that could produce some 5,000 liters of potable water daily.

Diarrhea cases were reported to have hit Catanduanes as early as November last year.




Naga’s New Soundwaves Band

in pre-Valentine reunion concert

By Jose B. Perez, Editor
First of Two parts


WHAT did lovely partners Jesse Robredo and Leni, Tito Salvosa and Myrna (nee Parma), Dennis Caramoan and Vina (nee Chavez), Tony Blando and Lally (nee Requejo), and, ehem, Maria Bella Deocareza and this writer have in common before they ended up tying the knot to become happy married couples?

Well, they all looked lovey-dovey with nothing else to care about every time they were on a date at the city’s favorite watering hole where the magical music of the New Soundwaves Showband would make them promise to love each other forever ahead of their church wedding vow.

The other couples, even when they were already married, would also come as enchanted customers, such as entrepreneur Ower Andal and wife Melinda, businesswoman Lilibeth and her late farmer-husband Culacho Guysayko, and the countless others who live happily ever after. Surely, these couples will be coming out again on a date to relish those beautiful memories they shared because Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, even if their favorite dating restaurant had long closed its doors.

Naga’s entertainment scene

Naga’s nightspot habitués, especially the romantic ones and those who appreciate good entertainment, in the tradition of Manila’s standards by local talented performers, would come to Lindez Deckhouse of the then famous Lindez Hotel – downtown Naga’s finest restaurant and hotel in the 80s though the 90s -- for a generous recipe of jazz numbers and the classy beats of the Manhattan Transfer in such hits as “The Boy from New York City,” “Spice in the Night” and “Tuxedo Junction”;  from the disco rhythm of “Man Eater”, “Flashdance”, to the soothing blend of voices in “Red Rose for a Blue Lady”, to “Moonlight Serenade.”

Fast forward, or 35 years after, they will come live once more for a pre-Valentine Dinner Show and Reunion Concert at The Tent, Avenue Plaza Hotel here in Naga City on Sunday evening, February 12, 2017.  With a happy load of memories and tales of their adventures overseas, the band will once again bring together the city’s old romantics, lovers, and music habitues for a bottomless repertoire of all-time favorites, classical pieces in a capella, RNB of the 70s, jazz rhythm and other hits of the 80s, including blockbuster songs by Abba, The Carpenters, and Madonna!

It was a long wonderful journey since the band first evolved from the UNC Choral Cluster, a campus singing group under the baton of Mrs. Amelita P. Zaenz, who is lovingly referred to as Bicol’s musical diva. It soon became a four-member singing group called the Ask Family with guitar accompaniment. It morphed as the Family Connection with an electronic organ replacing the guitar. After a while it was renamed Soundwaves, and finally, the New Soundwaves Showband, with more members. The group’s first 9 members were composed of: five vocalists in the persons of Andy Belmonte, Cherry David, Ningning David-Belmonte, Val David, and Beth Guevarra; part-time deejay Rakki Delis who did the drums; Ranny Sugcang, bass; Babes Brocka, lead guitar; and Vic de Villa on the keyboard.

Disband, re-group

Ningning, in a newspaper interview, said there was a time when the group felt the need to disband to pursue their own personal goals and careers. But they would soon get bored with life offstage that they started calling each other up and getting their music together again.

By December 1983 the group hit the stage anew with no less than the owner and operator of Lindez Deckhouse, Otom Hernandez, taking over as their manager. Otom proved to be an excellent handler of young men/women with talents as customers to his restaurant came not only for fine food but also for beer, wine and song. The re-grouped singing band undoubtedly captured the bubbly and yet discriminating taste of the city’s business class, as well as the white-collar types, both from inside and outside Naga City. It was said that as the New Soundwaves started singing, the customers quickly get enthralled, leaving the ice thawing in their drinks.

Indeed, many, especially talent scouts and visiting managers from top companies in Manila who passed by Naga and dropped by Lindez Deckhouse, took notice of the group’s vast talent. No less than Celebrity Writer Crispina Martinez-Belen in her column at Manila Bulletin on Oct. 1, 1986 wrote, “Music lovers who happen to pass the night in Naga City could hear the fine music that soothes the tired body and soul in the Lindez Deckhouse of the Hotel Lindez and Restaurant. Alternating for the night are two bands, the Soundwaves and Final Edition.”

It was not a long while that Naga habitues had to miss them as they toured various nightspots in Olangapo City, including a jampacked show inside the US Subic Naval Base and in Legazpi City’s Casablanca Hotel and La Trinidad Hotel.

Immediately after a year, the New Soundwaves signed up contracts with famous entertainment houses overseas, such the Captain’s Cabin in Kuala Lumpur, and the posh Tanjung Aru Beah Hotel in Kota Kinabalo where one of their dinner shows was sponsored by Malaysian Air System.

They soon found themselves performing under the kaleidoscopic lights of China City Night Club in Kowloon, Hongkong, and the Kennedy House in Kumamoto, Japan.

The New Straits Times of Malaysia took note in its March 28, 1991 issue of the Soundwaves’ impressive talent via an article entitled “Filipino versatility is their middle name.” It made mention that the 8-piece band is a popular pop band from Bicol, in Southern Luzon, Philippines. “If you are the type that tunes in to Casey Kasem’s America’s Top 10, “Soundwaves” will not let you down. They play the latest releases by Bobby Brown and Taylor Dayne,” the Malaysian newspaper wrote.

Interestingly, or rather, unfortunately, their stint in Malaysia under a three-month contract was to be their last overseas, as well as here at home in Bicol, as the group, feeling tired and hoping to make up for their personal responsibilities finally decided to disband, after 8 years and more of loving and soothing us with their music. For a while, darkness and silence fell over Naga’s otherwise lovely night entertainment scene.

More on next issue.




VACC chair tells Villar

DPWH Bicol is most corrupt

By Manuel T. Ugalde

LEGAZPI CITY – Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption founding chairman Dante Jimenez point blank told visiting public works and highways secretary Mark Villar here that DPWH Bicol is the most corrupt agency in the region.

Jimenez told the secretary during their accidental meeting at the Legazpi airport departure area last Saturday morning (Jan. 14), according to a source speaking on condition his name be withheld for lack of authority to talk. Villar was with his Bicol executives headed by asst. regional director Armando Estrella, Bicol legal officer Oliver Rodulfo, Godofredo Beltran, district engineer Simon Arias and a certain Ogbon Relativo when Jimenez told Villar. The source said regional director Reynaldo Tagudando was not around.

During the meeting of Villar and Jimenez who were both bound for Manila, the Vacc chairman urged Villar to conduct a thorough probe about the Bicol scandals including the collapsed P50 million Naga City river flood control project. The source said it was Villar who called Jimenez and while the two in a standing position two meters before passing the second x-ray machine right within the departure room in the presence of the local DPWH executives.

The four local DPWH executives with Villar cannot be reach for comment and would not answer calls and text messages. Pressed to confirm in a series of calls and texts, Rodulfo finally confirmed in a text message what Jimenez told the secretary at the Legazpi airport. He refused to elaborate.

Villar visited Bicol for the first time since becoming President Duterte secretary where he met with provincial district engineers in Camarines Sur Friday morning and proceeded to Legazpi City in the afternoon to attend a staff meeting with his regional officials and district engineers at the regional office in Barangay Rawis. Villar was with Undersecretary Romeo Momo, and Usec Karen Jimeno for special projects and legal.

Effort of the local media, however, to catch Villar for interview proved to be costly as the secretary became so evasive, lamented Prof. Salvador Flor, president of the Bicol Reporters Association who said some dozen of journalists trooped to the DPWH to interview Villar even for a minute.

Flor said some journalist were posted at the DPWH office to stay closer with Villar while others stayed outside the DPWH compound waiting for a call should Villar give time for interview.

The media lamented that Villar suddenly exited via the DPWH employees’ back door where he boarded a car waiting for him at the main road. The waiting media said that
they could not understand why Villar tried to be evasive when it’s the only way he would get vital score about DPWH scandals adding the media Bicol had been very vocal against its corruption since the past 3 decades. Tagudando was assigned here since 2014 and has maintained his stand not to talk to the media nor answer calls and texts messages concerning DPWH issues.

Does Villar know that some of his executives are not even afraid of President Duterte’s first Order during his first cabinet meeting in Malacanang on July 1st that bans all government employees and public officials from entering gambling premises saying one district engineer in Albay has never been absent during cockfight derby in Legazpi and in other neighbouring cockpit galleries in the province. Said district engineer often seen in cockpit bleachers wearing a mask and cup to hid his identity, however, escorted by three of his junior engineers one of them is also a known cockfight aficionado who maintain dozens of fighting cocks. Journalists said the district engineer often had his entry cock in derby losing and winning hundreds of thousands pesos.

A small-time supplier identified as Jerson Lisay said with documents in his position, he also tried to see Villar but said it was a desperate efforts saying Villar was so evasive. He said that if given a chance, he would tell Villar how his local executives earns huge kickback no matter how small the cost of your transactions with the DPWH.

According to Elmer Bandol of the Bicol Mail, radio broadcaster Joshua Martinez already sounded scandalous at the DPWH shouting for the secretary to meet the media invoking they have goods against his corrupt engineers, this after a lady staff of Villar said the secretary who was inside the closed door conference room would not entertain an interview that they would just issue a press statement.

It was learned, however, that in the evening, certain few media personalities were called by a bigtime and prominent contractor to meet Villar dinner time at the Hotel De Venecia here said a DPWH insider who asked not to be named for lack of authority to talk. Bandol said not one from the media who desperately pursued Villar at the DPWH was invited or present during the meeting with Villar at the Hotel De Venecia where the secretary slept.

Professor Flor said that before the Villar meeting with selected invited media, Villar together with Usec. Momo reportedly proceeded to Hotel Casa Blanca some 300 meters from the DPWH regional office where the two was made to appear to check-in and and have dinner. Informed of Villar and Momo presence at the Casa Blanca hotel, the media ran to Casa Blanca only to be informed the secretary was gone through the back door and had no clue where he would stay overnight.




RPOC convenes first regular meeting

By Connie B. Destura

LEGAZPI CITY --- As newly appointed chairman of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC), Legazpi City Mayor Noel E. Rosal convened the RPOC’s first regular meeting Monday as it tackled plans for peace and order in the region, particularly the war against drugs, criminality and insurgency.

RPOC convened its first joint meeting with the Regional Management and Coordinating Committee so that it can address the key issues on peace and order, said Eloisa Pastor, director of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Bicol, who headed the secretariat.

She acknowledged the presence of the participants and declared a quorum as members registered their presence during the meeting, the first for this year, that was held Monday afternoon at Venezia Convention Hall, Renaissance Gardens in this city.

Pastor said the agenda included updates on security in the region and implementation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Rosal echoed what President Rodrigo Duterte said during his recent meeting with local government officials in Malacanang--from the mayors to the governors--that he is seeking their support in the fight against “the serious drug problem” in the country.

“He (the President) asked all the governors and mayors to join the local police in this (illegal drug) campaign because this is what it takes now if we want to attain peace and order in our country,” said Rosal.

Chief Supt. Ramon Melvin Buenafe, director of the Police Regional Office in Bicol, gave an update on the accomplishments of Project Double-Barrel, the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) anti-illegal drug campaign and how majority of the drug-affected barangays in the region have been “cleared” of the problem of proliferation of illegal drugs.

He also reported on the PNP’s campaign against illegal fishing, gambling, mining and logging.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Drug and Enforcement Agency updated the RPOC members on the implementation of RA 9165.

Other member agencies of the RPOC such as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Agriculture and DILG gave updates on projects that would benefit various villages in the region.

Early this month, the President appointed Rosal as RPOC chairman in Bicol, to become the first mayor to hold the post after it was previously headed by governors in the region.




FOR TYPHOON NINA VICTIMS

Papica foundation holds

dinner dance gala night

NAGA CITY --- The Francis Padua Papica Foundation, Inc.  (FPPFI) will celebrate on February 4 its 20th anniversary, according to its founder and namesake, Atty. Francis P. Papica.

“In all these years, we have been guided by the three pillars of scholarship, leadership and community service,” the US-based Bicolano lawyer said, adding that through 20 years, FPPFI has continued to provide scholarship, books, school supplies, educational assistance and conduct the yearly leadership convention attended by over 12,000 students.

As part of the celebration, Papica said they had planned a host of activities, including the annual Leadership Convention, a Fun Run, A Book and School Supplies Distribution and a Dinner Dance Gala Night.

“Given the recent calamity brought about by Typhoon Nina, however, I, together, with the FPPFI Board of Directors, have decided to cancel all of our planned activities except our Dinner Dance Gala Night on February 4, 2017 at The Tent of the Avenue Hotel in Naga City,” he said in a message transmitted to friends and supporters.

“All proceeds of the event will be earmarked for disaster relief to help schools hardest hit by the typhoon,” Papica said.  “Our focus is to provide structural assistance particularly to schools where immediate roof repairs are priority. Additionally, part of the proceeds will aid school children in need of specific assistance due to the effects of typhoon in line with our recent project: “SAVING SARDOS” – Students at Risk of Dropping Out of School,” the lawyer added.

The Dinner Gala Night Disaster Relief is in partnership with the Office of the Vice President; Camarines Sur Department of Education; The Rotary Club of Naga; the Rotary Club of Naga East; The Jaycees Pili-Isarog; The Jaycees Carinosa; the LGU of the City of Naga; The Avenue Plaza Hotel and DWNX.

Organizers welcome all kinds of assistance and support in the noble endeavor. Tickets are available for Dinner Gala Night at P1500.00 per person.




Humanitarian group schedules

surgical-dental mission in Albay

By Connie B. Destura

LEGAZPI CITY --- The Provincial Health Office (PHO) of Albay has announced the holding of a joint surgical-dental mission by non-profit humanitarian group Health Alliance of Volunteers and Medicine (HAVMed) in Albay’s underserved communities on February 20-24.

Daisy Adrales, Albay PHO nurse coordinator, said the mission is a joint undertaking of the provincial government, Department of Health (DOH) Bicol and Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) which aims to evaluate and treat the “underserved and unserved patients” in the 15 municipalities and three cities of Albay.

“The 2017 Joint Surgical and Dental mission is an undertaking of HAVMed and University of the Philippines (UP)- Manila through Ugnayan ng Pahinungod-Manila,” she said.

Dr. Rogelio G. Rivera, medical center chief of BRTTH, said the mission is primarily a project of HAVMed whose member volunteers from the United States seek to provide medical services to the marginalized sector of society.

“HAVMed’s primary purpose is to help with the medical needs of low-income families in impoverished communities in the Philippines through its medical missions,” he said.

On the other hand, Ugnayan ng Pahinungod is UP’s system-wide volunteer service organization.

Rivera, in an interview, said BRTTH will provide the venue for the mission.

“HAVMed will ensure that quality care rather than the number of patients attended to during the mission” will be the major consideration in conducting the activity, he said.

Rivera said BRTTH will extend the necessary hospital services and medical facilities during the patients’ confinement such as equipment, operating rooms, delivery room, dressing room and stock room for the equipment and supplies of the humanitarian group when they perform surgical procedures that will include minor and major surgery.

He said wards will also be made available for the pre-operative patients while there will be recovery rooms for the post-operative patients.

“Services to be given for free include thyroidectomy, cholecystectomies, hernia repair-Inguinal or abdominal, cystectomies, vasectomies, lumps and bumps excision, incision and drainage, circumcision, repair of mild to moderate congenital hand deformity and other hand deformities, vein stripping and carpal tunnel surgery,” said Rivera.

He said that being a partner of the joint mission, BRTTH shall ensure the safety and security of the humanitarian group within the vicinity of the hospital for the duration of the mission.

Adrales said the pre-screening of the patients will still be scheduled and patients who want to avail of the free surgical and dental services must coordinate with their respective Rural Health Units (RHUs).

“After the pre-screening in RHUs, the patients-to-be will go to the three district hospitals (in the province) for further screening,” she said.

Adrales said the final screening with the HAVMed team will be on February 19.

She said the provincial government as one of the sponsors of the joint mission shall facilitate patient recruitment and provide free transportation for patients from remote barangays. (PNA) LAP/GVR/CBD/RSM




Leni hopeful to meet

Digong after resignation

NAGA CITY---Vice President Leni G. Robredo is hopeful and optimistic she will personally meet and talk to President Duterte after she resigned December last year from the Cabinet over an order that prohibited her from attending the meetings.

“I thought we will see each other during the Vin d’honneur but the invitation to me was taken back. I think there will be an opportunity (to meet President Duterte). I am always hopeful and optimistic because there are so many things to be done,” Robredo said when asked whether she had met with the President after her resignation as chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

The vice president’s resignation was triggered by a directive from President Duterte not to allow her to attend his meetings with Cabinet members.

Robredo said she is always respectful to the President and she believes her relation with him have reached a level wherein she can express her disagreements to him.

“As I see it, he was fed with wrong information that destroyed our relation like the report that I attended rallies for his ouster which is not true,” she said.

Robredo said she would not dwell on that matter anymore because it had come to pass while there are many things that needed to be done for the constituents.

She said since she is now outside of the Cabinet she is viewed as adversary so that it is harder now to ask for help than when she was still the chair of the HUDCC.

“It could have been different if I am still part of the official family,” Robredo quipped.

However, she does not think that because she is out of the Cabinet the departments would withhold her requests for assistance to typhoon victims.

Robredo said she can facilitate the engagement of local chief executives to the national government like helping them complete the documentation requirements, follow up of their requests, and introduce to donor agencies that can provide additional assistance.

“Honestly, it could have been easier for me to solicit assistance if I am a Cabinet member because I can relay easily to the members of the Cabinet the requests,” she said.                             Juan Escandor Jr.




P4.7M medical machines to be

installed at Naga City Hospital

By Jason B. Neola

NAGA CITY --- Going through a top-to-bottom reform to be able to carry out effectively its mandate of providing the Nagueños with medical services as Level 1 hospital, the Naga City Hospital is tooling up its array of medical equipments with the planned procurement this year of P4.7-M worth of estate-of-the-art hospital machines.

Aside from the medical apparatuses, the hospital’s quandary on the shortage in number of medical practitioners, which limits the consultation time for each patient, has finally been resolved with the hiring of 2 more medical doctors recently, bringing to 4 the number of medical practitioners who conduct diagnoseson patients in shifts.

“Of the remaining three, one will be assigned to accommodate in-patient consultations and shall also provide services to out-patient consultations from 5 o’clock in the afternoon to 8 o’clock in the morning while the other, an on-call doctor, is tasked to attend to patients needing OB-Gyne services and another one, which is me, who holds administrative functions, shall from to time engages in the hospital’s clinical aspect,” says Dr. Reynaldo Caresosa, acting chief of hospital.

The increase in number of doctors and the intended purchase of 1 unit of pulmonary function test machine, 1 unit of digital X-ray machine and 3 units of defibrillator machines form part of Mayor John G. Bongat’s platform that aims to step up the operations of the wellness center, the only one in South Luzon, if not in the entire Bicol Region,which is owned and being operated by a local government unit.  

Each machine has an estimated price of P1-M except for the digital X-ray which costs P1.8M.  The installation of pulmonary function test machine and the defibrillators are being required by the Department of Health.   

The mayor even formally requested City Councilor Sonny Rañola, chairman of the local health board, “to oversee the overall operations of the Naga City Hospital.”It was Rañola who pushed for the idea that all laboratory tests be undertaken in the hospital and not in any private diagnostic company.  The decision has spared the Nagueños from paying exorbitant fees just like what happened for so long a time.

Caresosa hopes that before the end of the year, the hospital shall be given the opportunity to have a surgeon and an anesthesiologist.

The plan to beef up the operations of the hospital also contained the construction of Level 3 and isolation room.




Warning up on Mayon, Bulusan

due to month-long monsoon rains

By Samuel Toledo

LEGAZPI CITY --- Watchers of Bulusan Volcano in Sorsogon and Mayon Volcano in Albay this week reiterated their warning initially issued to the public by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) to avoid entry inside the mountains' Permanent Danger Zones (PDZ) due to the monsoon rains obtaining over Bicol for nearly a month now.

In Sorsogon, Crispulo Diolata, resident volcanologist at Phivolcs' Cabid-An monitoring station, said residents should refrain from entering Bulusan's four-kilometer radius PDZ and its six-km extended danger zone on the southern slopes.

“Deposited thick ashfalls could be mobilized into lahar in case of heavy downpour due to the prevailing monsoon rains in the province,” he warned.

Diolata said that thick ashes ejected during the November explosion of Bulusan “merely dropped along its slopes” due to the absence of strong winds at that time.

"We would like to inform the public to refrain from entering the danger zones of Bulusan because heavy downpour is likely to mobilize the latest ejected ashes into lahar," he said.

Phivolcs’ latest bulletin is reminding people living within valleys and along river or stream channels, especially on the southeastern, southwestern and northwestern sectors of the volcano, to be vigilant against sediment-laden stream flows and lahars in case of heavy and prolonged rainfall.

It recorded four volcanic earthquakes on Bulusan in the past 24 hours.

Bulusan Volcano remains at alert Level One, which means that hydrothermal processes are underway beneath the volcano that may lead to steam-driven or phreatic eruptions.

Phivolcs said pilots should avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ash from any sudden phreatic eruption can be hazardous to aircraft.

In Albay, volcano watcher Jude Mallorca said they were having difficulty making physical observations of Mayon in the past days due to thick clouds brought by the monsoon rains.

He said, however, that Phivolcs’ instruments have not yet detected any lahar movement along Mayon's slopes.

Mayon volcano remains under alert Level One, which means it is in an abnormal condition.

Mallorca reiterated their warning to the public that while magmatic eruption is not imminent over Mayon, “the public should not enter the six-kilometer PDZ due to the occasional heavy downpour over Mayon.”

Phivolcs’ latest Mayon bulletin added that “active stream or river channels and those identified as perennially lahar-prone areas on all sectors of the volcano should also be avoided, especially during extreme weather conditions when there is heavy and prolonged rainfall."

It said there is also the perennial life-threatening dangers of rockfalls, landslides and avalanches at the middle to upper slopes, sudden ash puffs and steam driven or phreatic eruptions from the summit.

But despite the warning, Mallorca said some farmers and orchid pickers continue to be spotted inside the 6-km PDZ.

Three volcanic earthquakes were recorded over Mayon during the past 24-hour monitoring period.

Phivolcs maintains close monitoring of Mayon Volcano and will report any new development.





Rehab problem hounds anti-drugs war

By Mar S. Arguelles

LEGAZPI CITY --- While the governments war against illegal drugs went on full throttle in Bicol, the campaign however find problems on the aspect rehabilitation, and treatment of thousands of drug personalities that have  surrendered  and  arrested during police anti-narcotics operations, this was disclosed at a recent  Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) meeting.

The intense campaign against illegal drug in Bicol took off July last year however the drive are saddled with hitches such as the proper handling of drug dependents, treatment and rehabilitations as only a few drug rehabilitation centers are operational in Bicol.

Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal the newly installed RPOC chairperson at the meeting on Monday put to task the Departments of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Health (DOH), Justice (DOJ), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to work out solutions to address the problems confronting the administrations centrepiece program.

Rosal said  Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s emphasized  at a recent dialogue with local town and city mayors in Malacañang, as he quoted the chief executive as saying  “the drug problem in the country is serious, I urge you to work closely with the local PNP in identifying and arresting drug pushers and users in your respective areas.”

He said the President after sharing his concern about the Narco Industry in the country the President  said he would provide the DILG with the names of local chief executives, judges, police officials involve in the “Narco Industry.”

The narco list includes 5,000 names of elected local officials, judges, police officials that are reportedly coddler of big time drug traders, Rosal said.

Rosal when asked if the narco industry list include local elected officials in Bicol, he said the agreement arrived at was the list would be handled by the PNP.

As agreed the PNP would coordinate with the Governors and Mayors and show them the list of names that are in the narco list for further validation and case build up.

Rosal when pressed to at least give the number of local elected and appointed  officials included in the list, he refused to give a categorical answer  instead said “mayroon” (there are.)

Following Duterte’s campaign versus illegal drugs, the PNP in Bicol reported that  86,428 drug personalities either surrendered or have been arrested, of these figure 5,935 were pushers while 80,493 were drug users.

At least 88 persons were reported killed while  resisting and putting a fight with police operatives during illegal drug buy bust operations.

Chief Supt.  Melvin Ramon Buenafe PNP Bicol regional director said of those surrenderees  822 were  government employees and elected barangay (village) officials.

Buenafe said  from July 1, 2016 to Jan. 18 this year showed that 466 of the 580 barangays have been “cleared” of the illegal drug problem.

 PDEA records showed that there were 580 barangays or 16.7 percent of the total 3,471 barangays in the region which it deemed to be drug-affected when the campaign started.

 “The remaining 20 percent or 114 barangays of the total drug-affected barangays are still under the PNP’S clearing operation,” said Buenafe.

 Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara questioned how many of those that surrendered are considered in severe moderate and light cases.

 He said that the categories drug dependents should be determined as these would be the basis of how many drug rehab centers should be put up.

 “Without the numbers and the categorization of drug patients we would not be able to provide the much needed intervention.”

 Catanduanes Gov. Joseph  Cua expressed concern on the procedures how the drug surrenderees should be treated and rehabilitated.

 Cua raised the issue on the need for a court order before a drug dependent undergo rehabilitation in a center.

 He said “this are issues that needs to work out so that we can determine what court procedures do we have to follow.”




NAGA, CAMNORTE ATTAIN 100% CLEARANCE

80% of drug-related

villages in Bicol ‘cleared’

By Jorge Hallare

LEGAZPI CITY --- A top official of the Police Regional Office in Bicol (PRO5) said that 80 percent of the total number of barangays deemed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) as drug affected in the region have been declared “cleared of the problem of proliferation of illegal drugs” during the past six months and two weeks since the government launched its war against illegal drugs.

Chief Supt. Melvin Ramon Buenafe, PRO5 director, said data from July 1, 2016 to Jan. 18 this year showed that 466 of the 580 barangays have been “cleared” of the illegal drug problem.

PDEA records showed that there were 580 barangays or 16.7 percent of the total 3,471 barangays in the region which it deemed to be drug-affected when the campaign started.

“The remaining 20 percent or 114 barangays of the total drug-affected barangays are still under the PNP’S clearing operation,” said Buenafe.

Sr. Insp. Ma. Luisa Calubaquib, PRO5 spokesperson, said they declared all of these barangays as "cleared" instead of "drug free" because only the PDEA has the authority to declare it as drug-free.

Among the six provinces and seven cities in the Bicol region, Camarines Norte and Naga City in Camarines Sur were able to record a hundred percent number of cleared barangays.

In Camarines Norte, 81 of 81 drug-affected barangays were declared "cleared" as with Naga City, where 15 of 15 drug-affected barangays were declared “cleared.”

In Sorsogon, the percentage of cleared barangays is 98 percent or 98 of 99 drug-affected barangays; Masbate-93 percent or 62 of 66 barangays; Camarines Sur-85.9 percent or 141 of 164 barangays; Catanduanes-73.6 percent or 36 of 81 barangays; and Albay-31.3 percent or 33 of 106 barangays.

Calubaquib said PRO5’s Double Barrel Alpha campaign from July 1, 2016 to January 16, 2017 recorded 86,141 drug surrenderees (80,222 users; 5,919 pushers) in the Bicol region.

She said Project Tokhang was able to knock on the doors of 1,166,872 houses, arrested 900 drug personalities while 83 drug suspects were killed in police operations in the region.

In November and December last year, anti-narcotics lawmen were able to confiscate multi-million peso worth of illegal drugs in the region.

These were in Barangay Palta Small in Virac, Catanduanes, where 359.7 kilograms of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) were seized, while in Barangay Sogod, Tiwi, Albay, authorities were able to recover 18 bricks of high-grade cocaine weighing 12.17 kgs off the sea waters of Sogod.




DPWH exec faces rap over promotion issue

By Manuel T. Ugalde

LEGAZPI CITY – Employees at the Department of Public Works and Highways regional office here simply described as a nauseating promotion of a highly favored engineer allegedly anointed by the regional director that virtually disregarded 56 others with same category many of them were already old but simply declared as “no interested applicants”.

This was the nature of a case filed before the Ombudsman against regional director Reynaldo Tagudando who was surprisingly, however, singled out in a complaint according to documents filed by the DPWH legal officer Oliver Rodulfo copy of which was obtained last week. The complaint under OMB Case-L-C-04990 and OMB Case L-C-160573 for criminal and administrative was filed on Oct. 14. On Dec. 19, the Ombudsman ordered Tagudando to answer within 10 days upon receipt of the complaint.

According to documents the latest graft case against Tagudando was the second incident the first was in May 2016 involving promotions scandal of three officials the Ombudsman have already submitted for resolution.

In his reaction, the regional director filed a disbarment case against Rodulfo whom the former accused of allegedly using his position to harass him after being stripped of certain authorities as legal officer. Tagudando said the case filed against him had no basis adding a Catanduanes district engineer Elmer Redrio also suffered same fate from Rodulfo prompting Redrico to file an earlier disbarment complaint against the legal officer. Tagudando wondered why he’s been singled in the case despite of the Selection Committee headed by his assistant regional director. Tagudando claimed he’s not bragging that he hired the known SigfredFortun as his lawyer in the disbarment case against Rodulfo, he told Elmer Bandol of Bicol Mail

The latest complaint said that Tagudando who allegedly has the habit of anointing and promoting someone he wants to promote allegedly promoted a certain Engr. Alejandro Arnedo from Engineer 2 to Engineer 3 against 56 other engineers possessing an item of Engineer 2 many of them were already old but were allegedly not included deliberately in the lists as “interested applicants” for the lone vacant Engineer 3 item. Rodulfo said the Selection Board no matter what it insist is simply disregarded by the regional director to give weight to his anointed one in grave violation of Republic Act. 1390 known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

In his three-page complaint, Rodulfo said he wrote the regional director for a copy of documents on Sept. 14 last year about Arnedo’s promotion to Engineer. On Sept. 22, Tagudando replied in a letter, however, without the requested documents by simply stating in the letter that Arnedo’s promotion was in order as provided by law.

On Sept. 24, Rodulfo reiterated in a follow up letter of his request for documents on Arnedo’s promotion but again was denied by Tagudando in a reply letter dated Sept 28, saying Rodulfo is not a “public” as mandated under Section 3 of Rule 1V of the Implementing Rules and Regulations under RA 6713 and that Rodulfo is neither an “applicant” and therefore not entitled to his requested documents.

The complaint added that on Sept. 27, Rodulfo wrote the administrative officer FlocerfidaAzotea for the lists of Engineers 2 in the office who responded through the Human Resource Management (HRM) officerIsabelo Alvarez a certified copy showing the DPWH regional office has incumbent 56 engineers possessing an item as Engineer 2.

Contacted for comment, asst. regional director Armando Estrella, head of the Selection Committee said the HRM had submitted to him a certification showing that of the 56 incumbent Engineers 2, only Arnedo was the lone applicant for promotion for the vacant Engineer 3 item. As to who was behind why the rest of Engineers 2 many of them he said were already old but did not apply, I don’t have any idea saying the regional director as the appointing authority have all the power to have it return to the Committee for review. Insiders said members of the Selection Committee should all be charged saying there is no law that says one has to apply to be promoted adding the job of the selection committee is to look who among the 56 engineers is most qualified. With only one interested applicant listed has been a long time nauseating script at the DPWH said the source.

In the first complaint in May 2016 the Ombudsman have already submitted for resolution, Rodulfo alleged that the promotion of Engineers MalouSariba and Cornelio Relativo from Engineer 3 to Engineer 4 and appointment of an outsider lawyer Felix Brazil allegedly also did not have the merit from the Selection Board saying the regional director simply wants his anointed Sariba and Relativo promoted to Engineer 4 to occupy the posts of asst. divisions chief of the Construction and Quality Control Divisions where the two respectively belongs.

The complaint said Tagudando allegedly signed hastily the promotions of Sariba, Cornelio and Brazil to beat the deadline of the March 2016 election ban period. It said that Sariba was ill and absent in office for a year while Relativo was a flunker in the DPWH-CSC promotional test who defeated a long time Engineer 4 and quality control experienced Benjamin Buitre who was among the top five in the 2011 DPWH-CSC promotional test.







































































 

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