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November 14 - 20, 2015

Why we should vote in 2016

This year has been a demoralising one for me, because (a) Maasin, the city I now consider my hometown, has been declared by the Department of Local Governmen’s Competitiveness Survey as the fourth least competitive city in the Philippines, and (b) the 2015 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority had also shown that Eastern Visayas was now considered the Poorest Region in the country.

I felt so bad about this development that I decided not to vote for any of our local candidates in the 2016 elections. Because, in all honesty, I felt they were largely responsible for the mess we were in. But what is pathetic about our situation is that the so called opposition isn’t offering anything better.

This is why I was pleasantly surprised when Vice President Jejomar Binay visited the Southern Leyte towns of Hinunangan, San Juan, and Padre Burgos. He said he came here because he had learned that the 2015 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority had shown that Eastern Visayas was now considered the poorest region in the Philippines.

He said the poverty incidence here rose to 54.9 percent in 2014, compared to 45 percent in 2012. This means that about 2.25 million residents of Eastern Visayas were now living below the poverty line.

The Vice President said he was concerned because the region was also considered the most disaster prone in the country, and the most vulnerable to mega storms and drought triggered by Climate Change.

This he stressed was inexcusable because there were existing funds which we could have availed off, but did not, because of the voluminous documentary requirements our national agencies had imposed.
He mentioned the People’s Survival Fund which was mandated by law to set aside at least P1 billion a year, for projects that would limit the negative impact of Global Warming on the people here. These would include fresh water resources management initiatives, sustainable agriculture and fisheries projects, and basic infrastructures like modern medical facilities, and the construction of modern airports and seaports.

However the Vice President said the People’s Survival Fund Board which managed the Fund only met twice a year (to review the projects proposed) and had imposed so many documentary requirements that most local leaders lost interests in availing of its assistance.

The Vice President assured Southern Leytenos in Hinunangan, San Juan and Padre Burgos, that if he were elected President, he would reduce the red-tape requirements of the People’s Survival Board. And make sure it meets regularly, so it can approve the funding requests of the local governments here.

“Dumarami na po ang mga malalakas na bagyo tulad ng Yolanda dahil sa climate change, at pinaka-apektado rito ang mga mahihirap nating mga kababayan,” he added. Let’s bear this in mind, and vote for the candidates who know what our problems are - and how to solve them.

Instead of blaming our poor politicians here for all our miseries, let’s help them, by excelling in our chosen vocations. And by remembering; that true democracy is not given, but must be earned!

Antonio M. Reyes is the publisher and editor of the Southern Leyte Times the largest circulating newspaper & website in Southern Leyte.


From the heart

Airport, APEC & Paris

As I browsed through last week’s Wednesday issue of a national daily newspaper, the front and inside pages blazed with narratives on the recent inhuman Paris tragic killings and the all-agog preparation for the grand Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Manila. These are topics that generated mixed feelings.

Then when I reached page eight, my heart beat faster upon seeing the Department of Transportation and Communication publish an Invitation to Bid for infrastructure projects amounting to P1.078 billion. What further caught my attention was the mention of Airports!

Upon reading through the entire page, my bright expectations suddenly sank when after eagerly reading about projects of different places in the Philippines being published for bidding, the Maasin City, Southern Leyte Airport was NOT mentioned. Nothing.

Why? What happened? Saan batayo nagkulang? Questions like these automatically come to mind. I know that this is as disappointing to our local leaders as well, and even to nearby localities which would be benefitted.

We all want Southern Leyte to at least be at par with other provinces in terms of progressive development. Having a functional commercial airport would make it accessible. And people would always consider visiting or doing business here. From experience, many people hesitate to come here because they feel it is a remote and difficult place to go to.

What has to be done? Our top local leaders may have already done the best they could. But for now their best is obviously not enough. Perhaps it just needs a creative way of establishing the proper linkage by tapping the right people or institution. Or a big push in some other direction that could be more effective. For what it’s worth, you may suggest a sensible solution to this important issue.





Editorial archives . . .


Controversy hounds Provincial Hospital

Mama Mary’s wrath rumors

VP Binay visits Southern Leyte

All SLSU Engineering graduates pass board

Cebu Pacific wants finished airport

Mercado launches vital medical assistance project

Warden Magallanes re-instated

Tan is still my Vice Governor - RGM

DILG Secretary visits Maasin

Pagara receives a hero’s welcome

PNP EV Director 22 others dismissed

HIV-related cases in Maasin rising

9,000 structures block Southern Leyte roads

Pagara apologizes for Cebu mistake

Imelda denies links with FIRM-K

2016 Candidates for Southern Leyte


Why we should vote in 2016

Airport, APEC & Paris

Taxpayers deserve better treatment


Let's look affter ourselves

Our hospital needs help


City drug pusher arrested

Pacquiao wannabe KOs friend

Police nab murder suspect


Happiest lttle beach in the country

Girl Scouting spells fun and promotes values

An evening with Maasin City’s fine ladies


Dongon hospital lacks medicine

Online comments from netizens

From a Foreigner's view






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