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

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Catanduanes governor conferred AFP award


VIRAC, Catanduanes, Feb. 28, (PIA)—As a testament to the strong partnership between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the provincial government of this island, Governor Araceli Wong recently received the award the armed forces can give to its civilian allies who have rendered extraordinary support to its “Bayanihan Program.”

In ceremonies marking the 28th Foundation Anniversary of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Southern Luzon Command, the AFP conferred on Wong the AFP Bayanihan Award.

The award was presented at Camp Guillermo in Lucena City last Feb. 6.

In a message encrypted in the trophy, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. said that the official was among the civilian partners of AFP who uplifted and supported the spirit and vision of AFP.

In presenting the award, the AFP cited Wong’s implementation of low cost but high-impact projects in Catanduanes.

Such projects, the AFP said, directly address poverty, unemployment and injustice, thus, they were “a great help to end insurgency problems in the province.”

Also cited were her advocacies for protection and rehabilitation of the environment, youth development, empowerment of indigenous people and her efforts to improve response capabilities of the province during disasters.

On the other hand, Wong expressed her gratitude to AFP, saying the Bayanihan Award is one of the most important and significant recognitions that she received during her term as governor of the province. (EAB/ PIA Catanduanes)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/841424960358/catanduanes-governor-conferred-afp-award-#sthash.5S15oiye.dpuf

Friday, February 27, 2015

TourismO Ateneo spearheads another leg of tourism and economic Forum

By: Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, Feb. 27 (PIA) --- With the provinces of Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte   tourist spots’ rising popularity as great get-away destinations, their dominions are likely to get more share of traveler’s arrival in the upcoming years, especially with the realization of an envisioned upgraded airport.

This was the essence of the Airport Forum spearheaded by TourismO Ateneo, the student body of Tourism majors of the Ateneo De Naga University under the Department of Allied Business Courses of the College of Business and ACCOUNTANCY, together with Tourismo Para sa Cam Sur Movement spearheaded by its President, Gabriel Fortunato V. Eufracio.

In his discourse, Eufracio highlighted the need for an upgraded airport, putting prominence on the priorities of tourists whenever they pick a place or a destination to visit.

“An upgraded airport will attract more tourists under their accessibility option.  A great number of tourists would translate to greater economic and tourism growth to the Camarines provinces and will bring in massive livelihood opportunities to the locale.”  

Anchored on the key message of economic development, the forum also endeavors to highlight the need for a safe and comfortable flight to every traveler. It also aims to engage more and more active stakeholders to strongly support programs and initiatives that would push for the realization of upgraded airport facilities.

Kristine Lizardo, ADENU Tourism Class Adviser underscored the need for an aggressive advocacy effort to raise the awareness of the community on the importance of a value-added and modern airport.  Lizardo believes that the much- coveted improvement will be realized by strengthening the LGUs initiative and by embarking on a tripartite partnership among the public and private sector and the academe.

“This is also in accordance with the objective of the University to be outcome-based in its teaching methodology – today is the application and the practice of this outcome-based practice. This was prepared by the students. The airport is a big project, not only it will affect the tourism and business but it’s also a big infrastructure project that needs to address the issues,” Lizardo added.

On the information leaflet distributed during the forum, few facts about the current situation of the airport were cited.  First, the Naga Airport has only a 1.4m runway, short of the minimum requirement of a 2.1km stretch.  Second, in this current condition, the said airport can only accommodate smaller turbo-propeller planes.  The present airport is still considered as a “visual” runway since it doesn’t have an instrument-based landing procedure.  For this reason, the airport is not capable of handling early morning, late afternoon and night flights.

Lastly, the fact also remains that airfares to Naga City are considerably more expensive than other cities, which according to the organizers is severely constricting to the local economy.

Naga City Planning Development Officer Wilfredo Prilles, Jr shared that the city is approaching the planning process multi-sectorally, in order that everyone in the province will benefit.  He said that after the Holy Week, they will consult with around 17 sub-sectors and look at the issues which the process needs to bridge.

Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) Air Transport Planning Division Chief Engineer Raphael S. Lavidez also said that DOTC have also considered the Naga Airport development as a main key project to support the growing economy of Naga City and Camarines Sur in terms of TRADE and tourism industry.

“With respect to the Naga Airport, the DOTC has decided to conduct this full study recognizing the potential and historical growth being REGISTERED in terms of passenger movement.  We have also been working with our counterpart department in terms of tourism and this Region is part of the national tourism development program that needs to be marketed and be provided with the infrastructure to serve the demand of tourism as well as trade in the Region.”

DOTC is an organization mandated by law to pursue the development of the country’s national transportation system.  (LSMacatangay, PIAV/Camarines Sur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861425031439/tourismo-ateneo-spearheads-another-leg-of-tourism-and-economic-forum#sthash.u7tsPPXr.dpuf

Chinese tourists coming in droves to Legazpi


 LEGAZPI CITY, Feb 27 (PIA) –This “city of fun and adventure” welcomed 60 tourists from China, the first wave of Chinese choosing Legazpi as their holiday destination.

The beaming tourists from the prosperous Guangdong Province in China were warmly greeted by City Mayor Noel E. Rosal at the Legazpi Airport last Friday.

The other prominent members of Rosal’s welcoming party included Regional Director Maria Ong-Ravanilla of the Department of Tourism and businessman Elizaldy Co, owner of the posh Misibis Bay Resort in the nearby Cagraray Island.

Rosal said the 60 were just the first of a series of mass arrivals of tourists from China this year that were arranged by the city government and Misibis Bay management.

The Chinese visitors love to see the picture perfect that is Mayon Volcano, the beauty of Lignon Hill View Deck and the relaxing ambiance of the city’s boulevard, he said.

Their preferred resorts include the world-class Misibis Bay Resort, which is famous for its luxurios recreation facilities, lush sceneries in its environs and the strategic view of the majestic Mayon Volcano.

The mayor said the number of Chinese tourists in Legazpi reached 1,000 during last year’s Ibalong Festival.

Direct flights from Xiamen City in Fujan Province in China to Legazpi during the festival period made their travel virtually hassle-free.

According to Visa Global Travel Intentions Study 2013, a Chinese tourist spends an average of $3,824 (roughly P165,000) per trip.

A Boston-based consulting company estimates that on average, there will be 25 million first-time Chinese international tourists every year for the next 10 years.

A total of 579,470 foreign and domestic tourists arrived in Legazpi last year with local government on track to reach its target of 700,000 arrivals this year, the city’s tourism office said.

The record arrivals in 2014 landed the city in the No. 14 spot in the DOT’s best tourist destinations in the country.

This year, Legazpi aims to make it to the coveted list of DOT’s top 10 best holiday destinations in the country.

Rosal said his administration has stepped up in selling Legazpi to key sources of tourist arrivals.

The conventions, seminars and other similar corporate gatherings that the city has hosted would greatly help in achieving its target of visitor arrivals, he said.

Twenty three conventions, including the APEC workshop on rebuilding resilient infrastructure in July and the APEC senior disaster management officials forum in September, have been booked in Legazpi so far, he added.

“This number of big gatherings is expected to increase until the yearend because we are always encouraging and inviting various giant organizations from Metro Manila and other parts of the country to hold their occasions in Legazpi, he said. .(SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571424852914/chinese-tourists-coming-in-droves-to-legazpi#sthash.5EqyK2bJ.dpuf

Sorsogon’s Forum on Climate Change Adaptation Advocacy yields positive result

By: Bennie A. Recebido

SORSOGON CITY, February 27 (PIA) --- The challenge to actively enjoin and embolden everyone to join the government’s campaign in combatting the ill effects of Climate Change is now starting to reap positive result.

This was bolstered by the challenge made by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) during the one-day Stakeholder’s Forum on Climate Change Adaptation Advocacy (People’s Day) held February 17, here.

Twenty-seven (27) multi-sectoral representatives composed of the local chief executives, environment and natural resources officers, local leaders, church, youth, academe, media, agri-fishery workers, transport, business, and other sectors of the society took an active participation during the said forum.

Imam Alibasa M. Labuan of the Muslim Mosque in Sorsogon City, as an offshoot of the said forum, immediately issued an announcement to the “Kapatiran” dwelling within the city’s Muslim community to take an active part in the solid waste MANAGEMENT program.

In a text message to PIA-Sorsogon Provincial Office, Labuan said they were grateful for the opportunity given to them by DENR and PIA and of the learning they got from the said forum.

“Aside from the letter which we will distribute to every member of the community, we will also hold a meeting to explain to them carefully how they can become an active partner in the advocacy on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Meanwhile, officers and the adviser of the Youth Debaters Union of Sorsogon City started conceptualizing an Inter-School Debater’s Congress highlighting environmental awareness including change in behavior in their proposition. “We are thinking of holding the Inter-school Debater’s Congress this March in partnership with PIA,” said Mr. Honesto Troi Borromeo III, Chairman, Sorsogon City Debate Union.

The forum aims to strengthen public awareness regarding climate change concerns including the government’s environmental agenda, popularize and strengthen adaptation and mitigation measures in response to climate change, inspire and motivate active cooperation and participation, facilitate partnerships with and mobilize action from public and private communities.

Topics discussed include Lands Administration and MANAGEMENT for Economic Development and how to guarantee land tenure to the local populace discussed by DENR V Asst. Regional Director Al Arolfo; Bio-Diversity Protection through Empowered Citizenry for the Sustainable Use and Enjoyment of Present and Future Generations by Wildlife Section Chief Myrna G. Baylon; National Greening Program (NGP) and other Related Environmental Laws by Forester Marlene Francia of NGP Office; and Solid Waste Management by Ms. Eden Calleja of the Environmental Management Bureau.

Resilient Species vis-à-vis Development of Protocols to Perfect Local Technologies re Shift from the Use of Exotic Species to Indigenous or Native Species was also discussed by Forester Alicia Bernadas, Chief of Ecosystem Research and Development Services; and Sustainable Mineral Resources Development for Economic Growth and Countryside Development by Engineer Astor A. Rejuso of Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau. Discussants were all from the DENR Regional Office V.

The occasion was also graced by DENR V Regional Director Engr. Gilbert C. Gonzales and PIA Regional Office V Officer-In-Charge Aida Alcazar-Naz who underscored in their messages behavioral change as a significant and effective strategy in addressing the issue on climate change. (LSM, BARecebido, PIA-5/Sorsogon)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/801424972587/sorsogon-s-forum-on-climate-change-adaptation-advocacy-yields-positive-result#sthash.No80kuMW.dpuf

Thursday, February 26, 2015

DOH: Catanduanes is disease-free

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Feb. 26, (PIA)- This island province is disease-free, the Department of Health (DOH) said last week.

The DOH conferred the Disease-Free Zone Award on Catanduanes to recognize its efforts in eliminating filariasis and also to challenge the province to maintain the status.

The award was personally received by Governor Araceli Wong and Provincial Health Officer Hazel Palmes in ceremonies last Feb. 20 at SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia.

According to Palmes, filariasis had been previously eliminated in Catanduanes.

To maintain that status, Palmes said the Provincial Health Office remains on alert for possible recurrence of the disease.

Filariasis, a parasitic infection that leads to a disfiguring disease called elephantiasis, was endemic in Catanduanes.

To wipe out the disease, a mass drug administration campaign was launched in the province in 2006.

Palmes also disclosed that with the significant drop in the cases of rabies in the island, Catanduanes will likely be declared as “rabies-free zone” this year or next year.

Wong lauded the health workers for their efforts that culminated in the province’s admirable status.

DOH launched the Disease-Free Zone initiatives in 2007. (EAB/ PIA Catanduanes)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/841424961569/doh-catanduanes-is-disease-free-#sthash.xwcBHbwt.dpuf