(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar daily Express)
Hi there! It’s another weekend and yes, I’m still wondering why the recent holiday was only for students. To give them time to ponder upon the nation’s history? Duh! That’s if I consider the kinds of students I’ve had the past so many years. History is never on their list of priorities which in the modern world includes load (bisan la pan unli) and time (and money) to surf do the net for chatting, friendster and other online games. But on the other hand, giving the working class a break to commemorate the EDSA anniversary won’t serve its purpose, I mean contemplating and learning from our history. Why do I say that? Please don’t ask me.
Recently heard in the news: Teen parenthood is on the rise. It’s not something new, is it? It’s been like that since time I can remember. Along that line we can say that pre-marital sex is on the rise. Well, obviously something went wrong somewhere. Is it the parents? Or the teachers? Or maybe the guardians of morality? (Please don’t ask me who they are). One thing for sure, a good number of them will be noisy again when the education department will seriously consider having sex education for our young students.
Talking about education. An honorary doctorate degree for Manny? I’m tempted to say duh! It’s not that I don’t like Manny Pacquiao, after all he’s one good reason for us to feel good about being Filipinos (what with all those exposes and what have you that currently plague the country; and not to mention the zero crime rate when goes to the ring), but the degree conferred upon him? Is the school in need of enrollees? I mean is it advertising itself? Oops me and my mouth.
And in the U.S. of A., the Oscar event has just given everyone some diversion from the economic crunch (yes both the economically stable and challenged). I felt bad Meryl Streep did not make it. But that’s not the point here. Days before the event, together with the news on the erratic movement of the New York Stock Exchange were the news reports on Oscar bling (so shiny it caught my attention). People are losing their jobs or their homes (whichever come first) and you get busy with advertising diamonds? Oops, my apologies, I forgot, everything, the Oscars included is for living up to what the stars stand for: the world of fantasy.
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I understand this news item appeared in yesterday’s edition of this paper. I would like to feature it in this column. RDC-8 Chairperson and Calbayog City Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento on Tuesday summoned some Project engineers from Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction, Co. (HHICC). On the agenda was the catch-up plan of the NIA / Irrigation and Drainage component of the Help for Catubig Agricultural Advancement Project (HCAAP). In this project are the irrigations systems in Catubig, Bulao and Hagbay (all in Northern Samar).
Hanjin is undertaking the billion-peso project which commenced on March 22, 2007. Its original contract amount of Php 994,391,744.00 is expected to grow as revisions come along the way. Originally expected to be finished on March 19, 2010, it is now expected be finished by August 25, 2010, with a contract duration of 1,253 calendar days from the original 1,095 calendar days.
As per January 31, 2009 accomplishment report, the HHICC’s actual performance was at 13.8% which is way below the 15.1% cumulative target. This was among the reasons for Tuesday’s meeting.
Mayor Sarmiento informed everyone that as RDC Chair, he regularly updates President Arroyo on the ongoing projects in the Region 8. Among other things, he also reiterated the President’s marching orders which “to develop Samar Island”. When finished, the HCAAP would be the first major irrigation system in Samar. The President is considering inspecting the said project anytime this year.
Hanjin’s engineers present in the meeting gave their commitment to meet the project deadline. Among other things, they cited the floods as one major cause of the delay in the implementation of the project. They also noted that the area is not easily accessible. One engineer gave the assurance that they will do their best for the project. They assured everyone of their best effort in terms of equipments and manpower. By March 2009, they will focus on the project sites at Catubig and Bulao.
The HCAAP is located in the Municipalities of Catubig and Las Navas. Its fund source is JBIC Loan PH-P221 in the amount of 5,210 million yen. Its lead agency is the National Irrigation Administration (NIA). Other implementing agencies are the DPWH, Department of Health, Department of Agriculture, the Province of Northern Samar and the Municipalities of Catubig and Las Navas. When finished, the Irrigation and Drainage Component is expected to provide a 40-thousand ton rice production output per year which translates to an incremental net farm income of 247.03 million pesos.
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Mayor Mel Sarmiento will lead the Calbayog City delegation which will participate in One Visayas Arts and Culture Exhibition. This is a showcase of the Arts and Culture of Regions 6, 7 and 8; and will be held at the Cebu International Convention Center in Mandaue.
One Visayas aims to serve as a venue to foster Visayan cooperation, greater understanding and respect among the diverse (Visayan) people towards progress and development utilizing the gains of the Visayas in the arts, culture, history and tourism. The event officially opens this Sunday with President Gloria Arroyo as guest of honor.
Calbayog will have three presentations:
- “Inodoro”, a theater / musical production on waste water management (March 2, 2009)
- “Calbayog Lakub”, Pasundayag san Lokal nga Arte, Kultura ug Bahandi (March 3, 2009)
- The showing of 3 digifilms produced by the City of Calbayog through the City Arts and Culture Office (March 4, 2009).
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The City Government of Calbayog through the Local Civil Registry Office and the Department of foreign Affairs RO-8 will be conducting a Mobile Passporting service tomorrow February 28, 2009 and March 1, 2009. This will be held at the Old Barracks Conference Hall
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The CKC – Jose Gomez Orchestra will have a concert in Catbalogan. This will be held at the St. Mary’s Academy Auditorium on March 4, 2009 at 2:30 pm.
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Belated birthday greetings. The Acting City Administrator of Calbayog. Engr. Arnol Trani turned a year older last Monday. Happy Birthday!
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This is it for now. Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!