Archive for September, 2014


“We live in a society where information can be obtained at the push of a button. These days, the speed with which we can produce, share or receive data spells the difference between moving at an average pace and functioning at a competitive level”, was how City Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan explained the importance of computer literacy in today’s world.

Knowing how this skill is in-demand both in school and the workplace, the City Government has forged a partnership with a Manila-based non-profit organization that gives free computer classes to interested individuals.

Through a partnership with the Aihu Foundation, the City Government of Catbalogan has brought the Van Aralan Project to the City to address the gap in computer literacy among Catbaloganons. “This is what today’s workplace is in need of. This is the kind of edge that our students, graduates, jobhunters or employees must have in order to perform well in their chosen fields”, she said.

After a well-received registration period weeks prior, the said project was launched at the City Plaza this September 27, 2014. City Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan led the activity together with Aihu Foundation President Alex S.E. Sy and his wife CEO Mila Sy. Hon. Coefredo Uy, Hon. Ernesto Arcales, and Hon. Maximo Pescos were among the city officials who graced the affair to show their support for the project.

They were joined by other special guests including Mayor Gemma P. Zosa from the Municipality of Sta. Margarita, which was where the project was previously implemented; TESDA Provincial Director Rolando Juanillo, who represented TESDA Regional Director Cleta Omega; Ms. Corazon S. Abella, who represented Department of Education Regional Director Luisa B. Yu and City Division Supervisor Ms. Maribel Ruedas, who attended in behalf of OIC-City Division Superintendent Editha S. De Veyra.

The Van Aralan Project is a mobile computer school that conducts free classes in towns and cities that they visit. In Catbalogan City, registration of out-of-school youths, persons with disabilities and senior citizens were given priority.

“Labis kong ikinatuwa ang pagdagsa ng maraming Catbaloganon – kabilang na ang mga estudyante, mga out-of-school youths, maging ang mga Persons with disabilities at mga senior citizens upang magparehistro sa isasagawang training,” she said about this turn-out which she credited to the coordination among barangay officials and the city’s community facilitators.

 Ipinapakita nito ang inyong interes na mapabuti pa ang inyong pamumuhay at ang inyong kagustuhang mapabuti ang inyong sarili sa pamamagitan ng karagdagang kaalaman sa computer. Higit sa lahat, dito ay napatunayan nating hindi balakid ang kahirapan upang magsumikap na maiangat ang kalagayan ng isang tao,” she added.

Speaking in behalf of the Division of Catbalogan City, Ruedas said that the project is an “avenue of quality education” for Catbaloganons “with the aim of transforming them or continuously improve their ability to be globally competitive”.

The container truck which houses the mobile class is supposed to stay in Catbalogan City for a total of nine weeks from September 29 until November 29. The registrants shall be divided into 5 classes consisting of 20 participants, which shall run for a total of three weeks. Upon completion of the course, a trainee will receive a certificate of completion from TESDA.

Mayor Step also lauded the partnerships that were made with various agencies to jumpstart the project. Aside from the Dep. Ed. and TESDA, she also thanked the Samar Electric Cooperative II for providing the electricity and Aksyon Radyo – DYMS for helping disseminate information about the project.

“To sum up this whole endeavour, the Van Aralan Project is the latest feather in our cap of public-private partnerships. As with our previous activities, it has once again proven that tapping the different segments of our community is the best way to serve our people”.


(Article by Ms. Lai Minh Mabulay; Photos by Paulus Aragon)


City Mayor Stephany Uy – Tan boldly goes where most politicians dare not thread – inside a radio station, face-to-face with a media man.

Proving to be the anti-theses of the typical politician who is wary of being put in an awkward situation by the media, Mayor Step willingly faced broadcaster Rommel Rutor on the premiere airing of the City Government’s radio program “Catbalogan, Gugma-a ‘Ta!” on September 22, 2014.

Throughout the said program, which has a time slot of 8:30 until 9:30 in the morning, the lady mayor answered questions from listeners and viewers regarding her administration’s projects, programs and other initiatives. She explained that the said program may also serve as a venue where the public may inquire about the city government’s regulations, policies and processes.

In relation to this, department heads of the City Hall had been given instructions to make themselves available in case there are queries concerning their office’s transactions. Mayor Step explained that it is better to answer questions early on than to let misconceptions and misunderstandings spread.

Airing from Monday to Friday, “Catbalogan, Gugma-a ‘Ta” has been airing for three weeks now.
(Article by Ms. Lai Minh Mabulay, Office of the City Mayor)

City gears up for 2014 National Children’s Month Celebration

In preparation for the celebration of 22nd National Children’s Month for the month of October, the City Council for the Protection of Children held a Consultative Meeting last September 26, 2014.

In behalf of City Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan, City Social Welfare and Development Office Nida Aroza presided over the meeting,which tackled the activities to be held on this month-long event with much emphasis on this year’s theme, “Bata Kasali ka, Ikaw ay mahalaga!”.

The annual celebration is in pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 267 series of 1993 to highlight the importance of child’s role within the family, the community and the society in building the nation.

Moreover, pursuant to DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2014-018 issued by Secretary Mar Roxas enjoining all Local Government Units to support and spearhead the Children’s Month Celebration in their respective jurisdiction and to ensure active involvement of all concerned.

Mayor Step gives temporary shelter to typhoon-affected families

Seventy-two families will now be able to start anew after being displaced from their homes when Typhoon Glenda struck two months ago. After weeks of being cramped in evacuation centers, the said families were able to move into their home in a place with a community-like ambiance.

What seemed like a dream for then finally became a reality after the City Government turned-over the constructed wooden bunkhouses to its intended beneficiaries under the Share a Temporary Home Program (STEHP). The turn-over ceremony was conducted last September 22, 2014 at the Villa Paula Subdivision, the site where the resettlement area was located.

The said program was undertaken with the support and assistance of various agencies as well as overseas Catbaloganon organizations. The Katbaloganon’s Association-East Coast, Katbaloganon’s Association-Canada and Katbaloganon’s Association-USA, along with DJ MOD, the resident disc jockey of the afternoon variety show “It’s Showtime” were given plaques of appreciation for donating funds for the construction of a playground in the resettlement area.

Also given the same citation were the Villa Paula Subdivision for lending a portion of their property for this program as well as service providers like the Samar Electric Cooperative II (SAMELCO) and Catbalogan Water District (CWD) for their assistance in enhancing the facilities of the said area.

City Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan also expressed her gratitude to the Department of Social Welfare and Development – Regional Office VIII for its donation of 100 sacks of rice in the typhoon’s aftermath and the Department of Health – Regional Office VIII for its pledge of medicines intended for a planned anti-tigdas immunization for the children in the resettlement area. Representing the two agencies were DSWD – RO 8 Assistant Regional Director Nestor B. Ramos and DOH Representative Dr. Tony Tirazona respectively.

The Memorandum of Agreement signed by the City Government, represented by Mayor Uy-Tan and the Villa Paula Subdivision, represented by its owner Rosario Tan-Pomida, stated that the short-term relocation site shall be occupied for a period of 8 months from September 22, 2014 until May 22, 2014.

Aside from the 810 square meters meant for the bunkhouses, the site also included a 66 square meter comfort room and wash area and 72 square meter – mini playground. The beneficiaries shall be staying there while a permanent relocation in Brgy. Lagundi is still being prepared.

Typhoon Glenda ravaged the city last July 15, 2014, resulting to the displacement of 586 families most of whom were residing along the sea wall and coastal areas of Catbalogan City. Whereas other survivors were able to find relatives that will temporarily take them in, 72 families were still left at the evacuation centers with no options.

Despite the damages caused by the typhoon, the mayor remained optimistic that the good consequences still outweighed the bad – particularly in showing the resilience and unity of Catbaloganons.

“This particular episode has indeed made us realize how blessed we are to be in a community where charity, compassion and concern for others are a way of life. Hinaot kunta nga magpadayon kita ha pagburublig para malapusan an iba pa nga mga challenges nga maabot ha aton”, she said.

(Article by Ms. Lai Minh Mabulay; Photos by Paulus Aragon)

LGU celebrates National Peace Consciousness Month

“Let us bear in mind that the biggest wars begin with the tiniest seed of hate sown in the hearts of men. Peace therefore, is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of justice, equality and progress – which are the very elements that we need to have in our community to erase feelings of anger and resentment in people”. With these words from City Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan, the City of Catbalogan has added its voice to the nationwide call for peace.

September being the National Peace Consciousness Month by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 675, series of 2004, the City Government has partnered with the 8th Infantry Division to mark this event last September 22, 2014 during the flag raising ceremony at the City Hall.

Speaking right after the mayor, 8ID Commanding General Jet B. Velarmino also made a similar call for united action to attain peace.

These messages were given due emphasis as the crowd recited the Ceremonial Pledge of Peace in unison. This was followed by the symbolic signing of the Pledge of Peace and the Community Prayer for Harmony.

Saying that achieving genuine peace should be a “matter of urgency” for everyone, City Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan warned against the complacency common in people not living in conflict-torn areas. She added Catbalogan City, which is composed of diverse groups, can also be susceptible to conflict.

“Where differences exist, biases, misunderstandings and misinterpretation tend to prevail. Therefore, our challenge lies in converting these threats into opportunities to encourage dialogue, harmony and trust within our ranks”, she said.

Addressing an audience that included Ms. Imelda Bonifacio, Coordinator for the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP), city and barangay officials, heads of various government offices, city department heads and employees, the mayor said that dedication on the job is in itself a big step towards spreading peace.

According to her, “It is by performing the duties and tasks entrusted to us public servants that we are able to gain the trust of the people. And where there is trust, there is solidarity and sincere desire for genuine peace”.

Although achieving true and genuine peace is a big responsibility, the mayor expressed confidence that it is possible in Catbalogan as she cited the multi-sectoral and inter-agency partnerships that have been made in previous activities. “At dahil dito, kampante akong hindi imposible ang adhikaing “Nagkakaisang Bayan Para sa Kapayaan”, she said.

(Article by Ms. Lai Minh Mabulay; Photos by Michael Balan)

City Government walks for Peace Month Celebration

Organized by the 8th Infantry Division Philippine Army, the City Government of Catbalogan headed by City Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan joined the Walk for Peace last September 21, 2014.

(Photos by Paulus Aragon)

Catbalogan City joins International Coastal Clean-Up Day 2014

Being a coastal city that has embraced “Manaragat” as its social, economic and cultural brand, marine protection is an advocacy that is close to the hearts of Catbaloganons.

Hence, with the City Government at the forefront, Catbalogan City took part in the worldwide observance of the International Coastal Clean-Up (ICC) Day last September 20, 2014. The LGU has also enjoined the participation of concerned agencies such as the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), Philippines National Police (PNP), 8th Infantry Division (8ID), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the Samar National School – Youth for Environment for School Organization (SNS-YES-O).

The thirty participants from each participating agencies concentrated in the coastal areas of Pier 1 and Brgy. Guinsorongan. For a wider coverage, City Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan also signed Memorandum Circular – 108 series of 2014, in which she also enjoined six island barangays and 24 coastal barangays to conduct a coastal clean-up in their respective jurisdictions.

Started in 1986 by an organization named Ocean Conservancy, the ICC was organized to raise awareness about the importance of preserving and maintaining the cleanliness of oceans and other bodies of water as a way of saving marine life and ecosystems.

(Article by Ms. Lai Minh Mabulay, Photos by Paulus Aragon)

City Health Office a recipient of a modern Dental Chair

A state – of – art dental chair was received by the City Health Office from the Department of Health and is now operational and functional.“Ini nga dental chair dako an mabubulig para han mas epektibo nga dental services han aton City Health Office, sanglit dako an aton pasalamat nga mayda na kita sugad hini nga moderno nga pasilidad” Mayor Step expressed.

She further committed to continue strengthening partnership with other stakeholders to deliver a much effective health services under her thrust “Serbisyo Panlawas nga Pinakusog”.

The schedule of dental services is every Monday and Wednesday at the City Health Office, every Tuesday and Thursday is barangay consultation and every Friday is devoted for the dental care of pregnant women.

(Article and Photos by Roldan John Ponay Larios, City Health Office)


City reconvenes partners during the SkolaRUN 2014

Consultative Meeting was organized last September 10, 2014 regarding the proceeds of the recently-concluded “SkolaRun” held last June 16, 2014 in celebration of the 7th Charter Day of Catbalogan City.

Among those present were the different stakeholders (DTI, DENR, NSO, PHILHEALTH, AFP, PNP, CWD, TESDA, SAMICO, BIR, NFA, DEP.ED) who participated in the fund raising run for the less privileged students.

The business sector being represented by the SCCI and Samar Runners Club for rendering its technical assistance. The City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) has identified the criteria as to the identification of beneficiaries.

City hosts provincial tourism training of DOT

The Department of Tourism Eastern Visayas conducted a 3 day Seminar on Tourism Awareness held at Hotel San Francisco, Catbalogan City on Sept. 10-12, 2014.
This was attended by almost 80 participants composed of the different LGU Tourism officers and their staff aimed to strengthen the capabilities of the Local Government Units particularly the Tourism Officers as enablers in the tourism development of their respective municipalities, cities, and province in the eastern visayas region.

The City Government of Catbalogan being the host city of the said event, sponsored a dinner for all the participants. Tourism is one of the flagship program of Mayor Step’s administration believing to spur up the city’s tourism industry and economic activities.

(Photos by Romana Ilagan, City Tourism and Investment Promotion Office)