Tag Archives: TACLOBAN

Limasawa Island marks quincentennial of First Easter Mass

FIRST EASTER MASS. Performers reenact the First Mass during the quincentennial program on Wednesday (March 31, 2021). The earliest recorded Mass in the Philippine territory was held in Limasawa on March 31, 1521. It was officiated by Fr. Pedro de Valderama, chaplain of the Magellan-Elcano expedition. (Screengrab from Quincentennial of the First Easter Mass FB page)

A simple celebration held in the island town of Limasawa, Southern Leyte markIng the 500th anniversary of the First Easter Mass in the Philippines

 March 31, 2021

TACLOBAN CITY – A simple celebration was held Wednesday in the island town of Limasawa, Southern Leyte to mark the 500th anniversary of the First Easter Mass in the Philippines.Hundreds of pre-selected pilgrims, government officials, and Roman Catholic priests flocked to the island town to… Read More

OPAV takes over functions of quincentennial body in Visayas

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 March 31, 2021

CEBU CITY– The Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) has assumed the responsibility of the National Quincentennial Commission (NQC) in overseeing quincentennial events in the Visayas amid the rising coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the National Capital… Read More

PHILIPPINES BRACING FOR 21st CENTURY NATURAL HAZARDS

Remembering Super-typhoon Yolanda

Gov’t to keep country ‘safe, adaptive, resilient’ vs. disasters

President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration will work harder to ensure that the Philippines is still “safe, adaptive, and resilient,” Malacañang said Friday as the country commemorates the 6th anniversary of super typhoon Yolanda that wreaked havoc in Eastern Visayas.

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Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo gave the assurance as he acknowledged that the super typhoon had caused massive deaths and destruction of infrastructure and livelihood in the central Philippines.

“Today, November 8, the Office of the President joins the entire nation in remembering the 6th anniversary of super typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan),” Panelo said in a statement.

“The Office of the President recognizes that natural hazards have become the new normal in the 21st century, and therefore, we must continue to be relentless in creating safe, adaptive and resilient communities. It is our collective responsibility,” he added.

One of the most powerful tropical cyclones ever recorded in the country, Yolanda unleashed its wrath in Eastern Visayas on November 8, 2013.

Around 6,300 people died while over 4.4 million people were rendered homeless after Yolanda hit the central Philippines.

Panelo said the Palace honors those who were on the front lines, including government agencies, several organizations, and volunteers who helped the country “during one of the most difficult times our country faced.”

“We laud the exemplary resilience of our own people, which in the face of great adversity, have remained steadfast and have moved forward,” Panelo said.

Panelo said the devastation in Eastern Visayas caused by Yolanda has taught the government a “hard lesson in public service.’

He guaranteed that the President and his administration would continue focusing on a platform of “tapang at malasakit“, particularly when it responds to the needs of typhoon victims.

“Yolanda has likewise taught us, especially those in the bureaucracy, a hard lesson in public service. Tapang and malasakit (Courage and compassion) became buzzwords from a people weary of government apathy.”

From 2013 to 2017 alone, some PHP67.1 billion were released for the rehabilitation works in the hardest-hit areas in Eastern Visayas, the Department of Budget and Management earlier said.

The National Housing Authority is also targeting the completion of at least 62,668 housing projects between 2019 and 2020. (PNA)

EASTERN VISAYAS RDC WANTS SHFC REGIONAL OFFICE IN TACLOBAN

TO STOP CORRUPTION IN YOLANDA HOUSING PROJECTS

The Eastern Visayas Regional Development Council (RDC) is pushing for the establishment of a regional office in Tacloban City of the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) to supervise its housing projects in the region.

The RDC also wants the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) to set up a regional office in the city, among cities ravaged by Super-typhoon Yolanda.

The RDC is pushing for the setting up of these two offices to eliminate corruption in the implementation of community-based housing projects and fast-track the issuance of clearances and licenses for housing activities.

Lawyer Arnolfo Ricardo Cabling is president of the SHFC, the lead agency implementing the government’s socialized housing program.

Lloyd Christopher Lao is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the HLURB,  the primary agency mandated to provide technical assistance in the preparation, review, and approval of Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) of local government units.

Eastern Visayas’ highest policy-making body sent the resolutions approved on June 21, 2019, to the Office of the President and to the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.

But the RDC is still waiting for the central government’s response on the resolutions requesting for the establishment of regional offices of the two government agencies.

National Economic and Development Authority regional director Meylene Rosales, the RDC’s vice-chairperson, however said that they are upbeat on the positive response of the President Rodrigo Duterte and HUDCC chairman Eduardo del Rosario.

The RDC pushed for setting up of these two offices to eliminate corruption in the implementation of community-based housing projects and fast-track the issuance of clearances and licenses for housing activities.

“There was an issue raised on the alleged irregular collection of fees from the beneficiaries of the government’s permanent housing project implemented through SHFC. The major factor behind this was the absence of their field office here in the region to monitor projects,” Rosales said in a report in the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Early this year, hundreds of housing beneficiaries have filed cases against a community housing organizer and her accomplices for overpricing of land acquisition, non-remittance of payments, and illegal collection of fees from recipients housing projects funded by SHFC.

Meanwhile, the absence of HLURB regional office has slowed down the pace of housing projects due to the lack of personnel and absence of authority to monitor and resolve issues and approve plans and applications for clearances and licenses.

“RDC members agreed that the presence of a fully staffed HLURB and SHFC offices in the region is important to regulate and monitor the implementation of remaining Yolanda resettlement projects and other ongoing and future housing projects,” Rosales said.

The HLURB regional office in this city has stopped its operation in 2010 after the merger of two field offices in Cebu and Tacloban due to the implementation of the Government Rationalization Program.

The agency has been maintaining a desk at the Government Service Insurance System office in this city to answer public queries. All transactions from the region have to go through the regional office in Cebu City.

All development and constructions on land of towns and cities without the CLUP will have to get the approval of the HLURB office in Cebu.

As of 2018, only 85 percent of the region’s 143 towns and cities have approved CLUPs.

YOLANDA HOUSING
YOLANDA HOUSING PROJECT. An unoccupied housing project in Carigara, Leyte meant for super typhoon Yolanda survivors. The Eastern Visayas Regional Development Council (RDC) is pushing for the establishment of two state-run agencies to supervise housing projects in the region, including resettlement sites for Yolanda victims.