Official Publication of the Philippine Information Agency Bicol Regional Office, in cooperation with the RIAC-REDIRAS - RDC Bicol

Monday, November 28, 2016

CamSur guv strengthens fight against drugs through CASUROG Program

By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

PILI, CAMARINES SUR, Nov. 28 (PIA) --- Various efforts to curb the ill-effects of illegal drugs have already been implemented by the provincial government of Camarines Sur in response to the directives of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte immediately following his assumption of office in June 30.

Governor Miguel “Migz” Villafuerte recapitulated this commitment during the regional launch of the Department of Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) “Mamamayang Ayaw sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw sa Droga” or MASA MASID program Friday, November 25 at the Capitol Convention Center here.

“I mustered enough courage to speak with SILG Ismael Sueno and convince him to hold the MASA MASID regional launch here in the province simply to reiterate that Camarines Sur is 100 per cent in support of President Duterte’s campaign  against illegal drugs,” Villafuerte said

The young governor presented the province’s anti-drug program which is now slowly gaining grounds, particularly in the grassroots level.

Dubbed Camarines Sur Response Operations Group, popularly known as CASUROG program, includes among others the establishment of drug rehabilitation centers, provision of scholarship to the youth and providing supplementary livelihood programs to those previously involved in illegal drug use.

Believing that the youth will play a key role in the success of the campaign, Villafuerte first organized the youth through the Provincial Youth Summit against Prohibited Drugs held September here where he challenged the student-participants to raise their awareness on the ill-effects of drugs and encourage them to have an active role in the fight against illegal drugs.

He was also instrumental in the formation of Task Force KAbarangay Ko, TAtabangan Kong Iwasan ang Droga (KATAID)  in compliance with DILG RMC N0. 2016-015. Part of its commitment is  the provision of the provincial government’s full support to OPLAN Tokhang and Oplan Double Barrel being spearheaded by the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Villafuerte also cited the important role of the Barangay Health Workers (BHWs) as frontliners in rehabilitating drug addicts who will avail of the government’s program. He stated that he and his father, 2nd District Congressman LRay Villafuerte are already crafting a bill that would increase the current honorarium of the BHWs in the province.

To ensure that surrenderees will have a place to go, the governor said that a residential rehab center in Iriga City is now being worked on plus ten (10) non-residential rehab centers in the outskirts of the province to serve the out-patients.
“CASUROG is being fully implemented in the 1,03 barangays here in the province where we have designated 5 to 8 volunteers that will serve as the government’s eyes and ears. They will be in every nook and corner of Camarines Sur to safeguard the community against illegal drugs,” Villafuerte said in closing. (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861480333952/camsur-guv-strengthens-fight-against-drugs-through-casurog-program#sthash.Y84LCr3O.dpuf

DILG’s MASA MASID regional launch in Bicol

By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, Nov. 28 (PIA) -- With the war on drugs now in full swing across the country, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) inched another step forward to ensure that the campaign will be relentlessly pursued with the help of more stakeholders and volunteers.

DILG BIcol has  spearheaded the regional launch of “Mamamayang Ayaw sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw sa Droga, otherwise known under the acronym MASA MASID held Friday, November 25 at the Capitol Convention Center in Pili, Camarines Sur.

 DILG Secretary Ismael D. Sueno keynoted the event with more than 3,000 participants from various local government units, students, heads of national government agencies, law enforcement agencies , members and officers of DILG, government officials, youth,  barangay volunteers and members of the media, among others in attendance.

Sueno reiterated President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s directive to lessen, if not totally eliminate the drug menace in the country.

“President Duterte is very serious in his campaign to free our country from illegal drugs. One of the reasons for adopting MASA MASID is to ensure demand reduction that is, get volunteers from barangays to educate others on the ill-effects of drugs and for them to serve as the eyes and ears of the government. Second, ensure supply and demand reduction by rehabilitating and reforming the community where they live,” Sueno said.

Sueno also enjoined other government agencies, particularly those directly involved in addressing the war on drugs like the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the Department of Health (DOH), other attached agencies, particularly the local government units to innovate and pursue programs that would encourage more drug surrenderres to come up in the open and embrace reform.

DILG Bicol officer in chargeELouisa T. Pastor believed that the war on drugs will be won only if every stakeholder will do their part.  She acknowledged the significant role that the volunteers will play in diminishing the supply and demand of illegal drugs in every community.

The event was capped with the pledge of commitment led by the different Liga Presidents representing their respective provinces, Archdiocese of Caceres, League of Municipalities representative, and Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP).

The stakeholders, led by Camarines Sur Governor Miguel “Migz” Villafuerte signed their names at the commitment wall to signify their willingness to help in the fight against illegal drugs.    (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861480330478/dilg-s-masa-masid-regional-launch-in-bicol#sthash.bmZr9Ykc.dpuf

Police, military operatives discover ‘shabu lab’ in Catanduanes

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Nov. 28 (PIA) -- Bicol regional director PCSupt. Melvin Ramon G. Buenafe of the Philippine National Police (PNP) has confirmed yesterday, Nov. 27, the discovery of a clandestine shabu laboratory at Barangay Palta Small in this municipality.

According to PCSupt. Buenafe, said laboratory was secured in a joint operation of Catanduanes Police Provincial Office, Provincial Public Safety Company and 83rd IB of the Philippine Army in coordination with the municipal government of Virac, headed by Mayor Samuel V. Laynes early Saturday, Nov. 26.

Buenafe emphasized in a media interview that the relentless campaign of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s administration and PNP with the help of the community led to the discovery of said laboratory.

The L-shaped structure lies on a 1,000 square meter lot rented by a Filipino-Chinese identified as Jayson Gonzales Uy.

Found inside the building were hundreds of water containers, sealed plastic pails, freezers, electrical equipment and three machines for manufacture of shabu that have yet to be installed.

Also found were chemical containers, digital weighing scales, plastic bags and a notebook with Chinese words and numerals beside the letters “kgs,” which apparently meant kilograms.

Meanwhile, Governor Joseph C. Cua thanked local authorities for the efforts that led to the discovery of the laboratory.

Said laboratory was the first shab lab discovered in Catanduanes. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

Friday, November 25, 2016

DOH promotes HIV awareness on Albays LGBT community

By Julius B. Embile

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 25 (PIA) – Through the combined efforts of the Albay province’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and the Department of Health (DOH), Legazpi City hosted the Bicol region’s first LGBT Convention with the objective of addressing the threat of ‘human immunodeficiency virus’ (HIV) upon the LGBT community.

Held Thursday at Legazpi City Convention Center, the said convention was a one-day event with the theme: “LGBT… The Metamorphosis… Be free, Be Informed, Get Tested For HIV.” The convention featured the talents and solidarity of the LGBT community members from the different cities and municipalities of Albay, but the consistent focus of the event is HIV awareness and education.

Based on the statistics presented by Dr. Aurora Daluro of DOH during the convention, the department’s Epidemiology Bureau tallied a cumulative total of 34,999 cases of HIV infection in the Philippines, since the infection was first detected in the country in 1984 up until the present.

However, what concerns the health authorities the most is the big increase of HIV cases since 2009. Compared to the statistics before 2009, the recorded cases of HIV infection surged by about 832% from 2009 until 2016. The data shows an average of 26 victims are being infected in a daily basis.

“These statistics are alarming enough as it is, but it is also concerning that victims are getting younger and younger through the years,” said Dr. Daluro. This is in reference to the increased number of HIV cases upon those within the 15 to 24 year-old age bracket; an age group which the doctor described as the age of ‘youth and restlessness’.

In terms of treatment, however, only 611 HIV infected patients have enrolled into anti-retroviral therapy, out of 764 detected HIV cases since August 2016. Dr. Daluro added that. Since there are victims who did not submit themselves to treatment, continued proliferation of the infection is still a clear projection.

In the Bicol region, Camarines Sur comes in first with a total of 161 cumulative cases (since 1988) and 23 cases therein are recorded in 2016.Ranked second is Albay, with 131 cumulative cases and 16 of which is for 2016.

The province of Sorsogon accounted a cumulative total of 55 HIV cases, 6 of which were recorded this year. Masbate tallied a cumulative total of 41 HIV cases, wherein 9 were recorded this year.

Camarines Norte has a total of 28 HIV cases since 1988, including one which was recorded this 2016. The province of Catanduanes recorded the least cases with only 16 cumulative total, but 3 of whom were recorded this year.

Overall, the Bicol region has a cumulative total of 433 HIV cases since 1988, wherein 58 were recently reported.

The data from the Epidemiology Bureau also provided a break-down of HIV infection in the region’s cities. Top among these cities is Naga City, with a total of 65 cases since 1988 and 11 of which has been recorded in 2016. Coming in second is Legazpi City, with a cumulative total of 37 HIV cases wherein 6 were recorded in 2016.

Ranked respectively, the DOH also identified, in terms of HIV cases, the cities and municipalities of: Sorsogon (3rd), Daraga (4th), Masbate (5th), Tabaco (6th), Polangui (7th), Guinobatan (8th), Iriga (also 8th), Virac (also 8th), Camalig (9th), Baao (10th), and Buhi (also 10th).

The statistics also showed a shift in the breakdown of infection victims. According to the data, most cases of HIV are from female victims and very little are from male victims during the 80s and 90’s. However, recent analysis show that 9 out of 10 (90%) of HIV victims are male, and now only 10% of victims are female.

In a rationale presented by Ms. Hazel Lynn Bartolome, Provincial STI Coordinator of Albay’s Provincial Health Office, the LGBT community is the social sector most vulnerable to HIV, based on recent studies. According to Bartolome, 80% of HIV victims are male, between the age of 25 and 34, who engage in MSM (men having sexual relations with men).

“HIV infection could be treated, but victims refuse to come forward because of silence, ignorance, fear, stigma, and discrimination,” said Bartolome. She explained that many refuse to submit themselves to HIV testing because of the social judgment that they may get even before the result.

The health authorities, on the other hand, continue to convince the public, especially the LGBT community, to submit to HIV testing and not be afraid to prioritize their health.

The City Health Office of Legazpi, through their Social Hygiene Clinic, invited the participants of the convention to avail of their free HIV and STI testing, counseling and free contraceptives. If, in any case one suspects being HIV positive, they are invited to approach the National HIV and STI Surveillance and Strategic Information Unit (NHSSS) to be given necessary treatment. (MAL/JBE-PIA5)

Bicolano seaman notches top spot in NRCO business plan competition

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov 24 (PIA) --  A Bicolano seaman from Manito Albay bagged the P.5 million top prize for the 2016 Business Plan competition  of the National Reintegration Center for OFWs - Integrated Seaman of the Philippines (NRCO-ISP).

“It’s a lucky time for Bicol. This is another national award by year-end.” DOLE Bicol officer in charge Atty. Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla said.

Ryan Mark A. Antiquera is an active seaman for six years and is currently aboard the Philippine Transmarines Carriers.

His winning business plan entry entitled “Soft Broom Making” was judged as the best business plan in the entire country. The entries were adjudged based on the project feasibility, use of raw materials, and impact on community development.

According to NRCO Bicol Coordinator Ms. Kristina Briguera-Oliveros, Antiquera’s   winning entry captivated the national judges due to its livelihood impact not only to the plan maker but the entire community as well since ‘soft broom’ is said to be the popular native product of Manito, Albay.

The Soft Broom Making plan includes the cultivation, planting of tiger grass, of the owner’s 7-hectare agricultural property up to the actual making of the soft broom.

“In planting the tiger grass alone, the project is already expected to employ some 20-30 local farmers and more employment is expected to be generated come the actual production of the soft broom,” Oliveros said.

 Trayvilla added that soft broom making in said area is a local skill and has even become more like a “part time” hubby of stay-home mothers.

“The raw materials are available and the skills are inherent to locals. We believe that this business plan will really take off. With this project, we are even eyeing Manito as the future global exporter of soft broom,” she said.

The “Soft Broom Business Plan” has topped among 40 submitted entries nationwide.

Another Bicolano entry from Mr. And Mrs. Allan Delfin of Libmanan, Camarines Sur “Producing and Selling Naturally Gorwn Rice, Ducks and Eggs through Integrated Rice-Duck Farming System” has also entered the top 40 slot and has won a consolation prize of P20,000.00.

 “Technically we have two winners from Bicol. Although, the entry of the spouses Delfin’s were in the consolation prize, for us, DOLE and NRCO Bicol they still winners.” Trayvilla said.

With the half million cash prize, the implementation of the “Soft Broom Making” project is expected to start by December this year.(SAA/DOLE5/PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571479972777/bicolano-seaman-notches-top-spot-in-nrco-business-plan-competition#sthash.NZoSvwLc.dpuf