Vol. XX No. 41

December 20, 2000

Virac, Catanduanes


Major Developments

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The Catanduanes Tribune

Rawis, Virac


Philippines - 5001

Tel. No.:

   (052) 811-1267 

   or 811-2640

Fax No.:

   (052)  811-1267







Edwin A. Gianan




Simeon G. Cueno 


Web Master:

Richard T. Revelar

Calgary, Canada




by Fernan A. Gianan


Wanted: sane development plans

 The on-line community’s response to the Catanduanes Tribune’s website at http://catanduanestribune.tripod.com has been very encouraging.

As of presstime, more than 700 hits have been recorded on the site, with readers requesting that the site be updated as soon as possible.

The Tribune management has been hamstrung by lack of funds and technical personnel to operate the new venture. It is not as wealthy as people think; a tabloid these days, much more in Catanduanes where there are now five, would be lucky to break even at the end of the year.

The Tribune is not optimistic that some money may be made out of its website. On the contrary, the management started it as an e-mail service to friends and uprooted residents of this island who are now in Manila and in the US. Other than the acquisition of a scanner and the installation of new software, the management has not spent a cent for the services of its technical personnel, especially Web Master Richard Tayo Revelar without whom the Tribune could not have constructed its site on the Internet.

The management is gratified only by the warm response of on-line readers, who consider the website as the best thing that happened to local journalism. It aims to continue this service, for as long as support for it comes from its beneficiaries.



Mayor Serafin Sarmiento was right in demanding that several school fencing projects allocated for his town under the Annual Investment Plan of the province for the year 2001 be removed.

Such projects do not contribute to the economic gains of this island. The extent of perimeter fencing in local schools do not measure a local government’s seriousness in creating economic activity. It is the construction and improvement of roads, as well as the rehabilitation of existing arteries, that are included in the economic indicators.

Perhaps, such projects should be left to the discretion of local school boards, which have allocations from the Special Education Fund.

For too long, government administrators have ignored the recommendations of planning officers as well as village leaders and instead opted to spend development funds according to their political agenda. There is a tendency to concentrate on “concrete” projects instead of “soft” projects such as those intended to spur agricultural activity and those intended to enhance the delivery of basic services.

What the nation’s planning bodies should do is to issue guidelines on the use of the 20% Economic Development Fund, banning all pork barrel outlays such as the province’s “Executive/SP Outreach Program” and the “LGU Infrastructure Assistance.” A sane development plan would leave no room for chief executives and legislators to line their pockets and at the same time curry favor with barangay leaders and voters.



Maverick barangay captain William Tablizo of Cavinitan has a bone to pick with local government units which do not coordinate with barangay councils regarding the implementation of projects within the barangays.

He says that the Local Government Code of 1991 requires all infrastructure agencies, including LGUs, to have prior consultation with the barangays before the implementation of projects.

What is happening, Tablizo states, is that barangays learn only of such projects through contractors who contact barangay captains on the day they are starting the project. What should be done, he adds, is for mayors, the governor, and agencies such as DPWH and PEO to officially inform barangay councils in writing as to the details of the project, from the program of work to the contract amount.

This way, the barangay will have a chance to suggest where such a project would better serve the residents, preventing wastage of public funds. He also suggests that the barangay council be allowed to undertake projects through pakyaw labor so as to save government money and ensure quality workmanship.

Commander William also minces no word about the performance of the current Sangguniang Bayan, including the present ABC representative, which he says has done little for the lot of barangays. He notes that not a single municipal councilor has visited his barangay since the 1998 elections (except for one who inquired about a contract) and that the mayor has not shown his face to the people of Cavinitan since typhoon Loleng’s aftermath.



COOKING TROUBLES. Two confirmed bachelors sat talking. Their conversation drifted from politics to cooking. “I got a cookbook once,” said the first, “but I could never do anything with it.”

“Too much fancy cooking in it, eh?” asked the second.

“You said it. Every one of the recipes began the same way, `Take a clean dish and…’”


Copyright © 2000 The Catanduanes Tribune