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

Monday, May 11, 2015

Government launches ASAPP for poverty reduction

LEGAZPI CITY, MAY 11 (PIA) -- The government has launched a public-private partnership model to accelerate measures to reduce poverty, especially in the country side.

The program, dubbed "Salubungan" or also known as Accelerated and Sustainable Anti-Poverty Program (ASAPP) was launched last week in Camarines Sur province piloted in Iriga City, Bato, Libmanan and Sipocot as the growth hub.

Camarines Sur is one among the 10 provinces classified as category I with high number of poor families in the updated Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016.

Based on the latest data, the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) cited that the poverty incidence among the Filipino individuals and families increased is 25.8 percent and 20 percent, respectively in the first half of 2014 due to the devastating Typhoon Yolanda and high food prices. Camarines Sur was also identified having the capacity to supply raw materials like coconut, livestock,poultry, seafoods and other farm products.

Under the “Salubungan “ model, the poor communities will be matched with the enterprises which may need human and material resources through interventions that include skills to increase the poor’s employability in business with growth potential, trade facilitation and market linkages to allow the poor to supply the needed raw materials and provide inputs and services neded by the bigger businesses.

ASAPP  is an inter-agency support which aims to reduce poverty in multiple dimension through the creation of sustainable meployment, tap the skills and resources of the poor in enabling private enterprise to expand their production capacities and markets.It is a program informed by lessons from poverty reduction efforts.

Among several poverty reduction programs that will be implemented under ASAPP are the Universal Health Care, Conditional Cash Transfer , Sustainable Livelihood “ABOT ALAM” and others for informal settlers families.DSWD is the lead convener and the co-convener is DENR,

Present during the ASSAP launching were DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano Soliman, DENR Undersecretary Demetrio Ignacio, Undersecretary Oyen Dorotan of NAPC, Regional Directors,Media, Business Sector representatives, other enterpreneurs and other partners. (MAL/EEJ-DSWD5/PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/771431330544/government-launches-asapp-for-poverty-reduction#sthash.4e10ZbaD.dpuf

Saturday, May 9, 2015

BSP brings demonetization info drive to Catanduanes

VIRAC, Catanduanes, May 9, (PIA)—The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) held an information drive in this island-province in an effort to make its people understand the process in replacing the old peso bills dubbed as New Design Series (NDS) with the New Generation Currency (NGC).

The demonetization process is in line with the provisions of Section 57 of the New Central Bank Act authorizing BSP to replace currency designs that are more than five years old.

A team from the BSP branch in Legazpi City held a briefing before personnel of various banks during an excursion of Catanduanes Bankers Association at Amenia Beach Resort, Virac last  April 26.

The following day, the team briefed some local media practitioners.

Before the briefings, the team also gave lessons on earning, spending and saving for the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, the government’s conditional cash transfer to poor families, in 11 towns of Catanduanes.

Team leader Cynthia Ariola, the BSP currency operations division assistant manager for Legazpi, said the demonetization process of the NDS started last Jan. 1.

The NDS banknotes have been in circulation for three decades now.  Ariola said that after the demonetizatio process, only a single currency will be in circulation—the NGC, which was first issued in 2010.

Following are the salient points of the BSP advisory:

1)      The public may continue to use the NDS banknotes up to Dec. 31, 2015 in paying and buying goods and services and other business or financial transactions requiring the use of cash. Thereafter, the NDS banknotes will no longer be accepted for payment transactions;

2)      From Jan. 1, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2016, the public may exchange with authorized financial institutions their NDS banknotes with the NGC series at full face value without charge. The public may also opt to exchange NDS banknotes with the BSP or any of its regional branches;

3)      Government institutions holding in trust NDS series which could not be exchanged during the prescribed period, such banknotes used as evidence in a litigation case, will have to request the BSP cash department in writing, within the period of exchange, for a special exchange arrangement;

4)      For Filipinos abroad who have in their possession NDS banknotes which could not be exchanged within the prescribed period, they may register online starting Oct. 1, 2016 to Dec. 31, 2016 through the BSP website. These NDS banknotes may be exchanged with the BSP within one year from date of registration; and

5)      Starting Jan. 1, 2017, NDS banknotes that have not been exchanged shall no longer have any monetary value, and are considered demonetized.

Ariola was accompanied by BSP researchers Sharon Moyano and Paulette Gay Santiago. (EAB/EAD/PIA5-Catanduanes)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/841431141065/bsp-brings-demonetization-info-drive-to-catanduanes-#sthash.1oNi1Ilo.dpuf

Friday, May 8, 2015

Convergence program for ZERO-OSY Philippines, kicks off in Naga City

By: Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY , May 8 (PIA) --- Education, entrepreneurship and employment – the 3E’s  that will realize the “Education for All” or EFA goal of the Department of Education (DepEd). This is the focus of the convergence program launched Wednesday by the city government of Naga, together with the various government agencies who pledge support to the said endeavor.      

Dubbed “Abot-Alam”, the convergence program with the theme “Walang Kabataang Filipinong Maiiwan,” aims to provide opportunities for out-of-school-youth (OSY) by organizing efforts in integrating programs for them, with the vision of helping the community-based youth through opportunities covered by the three Es.

Mayor John G. Bongat expressed his full support to the program stating that LGU Naga and all other government agencies that is concern about the welfare of the youth have an obligation to provide opportunities for the youth

“Convergence is the buzz word today--- that means we all gathered here for one purpose – to make the lives of the youth better by giving them all the best opportunities, all the resources that we can give to ensure that they will walk with us in our vision to create a better place to live in,” Bongat stated.

Alternative Learning System (ALS) in-charge and Education Program Supervisor 1 Lynn Z. Padillo said that prior to the launching of the Abot-Alam here, the city government of Naga and ALS have already been doing initial activities in relation to Abot-Alam program, like mapping and data gathering of information on OSY using the Abot-Alam registration form, deployment and capability building for Abot-alam literacy volunteers, among others.

From convening a multi-sectoral alliance composed mainly of DepEd, local government unit, government agencies, private groups and other organizations to the enrollment and referrals of OSY and deployment of teachers for abot alam, the program had already been giving its clienteles an initial taste of the Abot-Alam blueprint.

Zuniga added that the newly-hired Abot Alam teachers were equipped with knowledge and skills to better implement the ALS program through the said convergence program. They also made use of existing ALS teachers to augment the needs for more instructors, including the hiring of new mobile teachers.

Eleven (11) teachers were deployed by the Division of Naga City as Abot-Alam teachers to address the needs of OSY enlisted in Abot-alam program

Early this year, the city government of Naga and ALS spearheaded the soft launching and district launching of abot-alam program here on January 21 and January 22 to 24 respectively.

Pili Mayor Alexis San Luis, who was invited to witness the historic MOA Signing of Abot-Alam partners, stated that he will also espouse the inclusion of the said education program in his town’s priority projects in support of the government’s vision of a ZERO-OSY Philippines. (LSMacatangay, PIAV/Camarines Sur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861431052841/convergence-program-for-zero-osy-philippines-kicks-off-in-naga-city#sthash.MTvbsLwB.dpuf

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Albay braces for impacts of typhoon Dodong

LEGAZPI CITY, MAY 7 (PIA) -- The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) of Albay has urged local DRR authorities in cities and municipalities in the province to monitor and take precautionary measures following entry today of a severe weather system to the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

In the latest Severe Weather Bulletin No. 2 issued at 11:00 am today by Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (PAGASA), typhoon Dodong was located based on all available data at 925 kms. East Northeast of Surigao City (10.8 N, 133.9 E) with maximum sustained wind of 140 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 170 kph. Forecast to move WNW at 17 kph.

Albay PDRRMC chair and governor Joey Salceda, in an advisory issued today, has advised local chief executives and DRR authorities to activate and convene their respective DRRM councils to come up with a local scenario for advance planning on appropriate counter measures based on forecast events, updates and developments from PAGASA, Albay PDRRMC and/or local radio stations.

Albay PDRRM Advisory No. 1 furthered that concerned should review local risk reduction plan on flood, wind, landslide, lahar and coastal flooding or storm surge as well as the corresponding vulnerable population for disaster avoidance.

PAGASA SWB has confirmed that heavy to intense rain is expected within the 300 kms in diameter; concentrate effort to put into action, the warning and evacuation movements on flood, landslide, lahar or coastal flooding which shall likewise be monitored by APSEMO with advance information sent through the provincial infoboard and local broadcast stations.

The advisory also directed DRR authorities to start reviewing the list of vulnerable population by sitio or purok and come up with quick evacuation plan on flood, landslide, lahar, coastal flood and wind.

It stressed that they should also keep in touch with the PDRRMC or LDRRMC for appropriate and support information that could guide and assist on areas beyond their capacity and control.

Advisories will be issued following each PAGASA Weather Bulletins which will be released by PDRRMC through the APSEMO infoboard to your local DRRMC chairmen from time to time.

Residents of vulnerable areas meanwhile are advised to keep on monitoring with the PAGASA Daily Severe Weather Updates and Forecasts for information and awareness of disaster threats through the local radio stations.

The directive advised the same to be aware and abreast on the local threats and hazards due to severe rainfall and probably wind force; maintain coordination with the local authorities and provide your full cooperation with the local authorities in case of emergency advisory issuance.

Salceda also encouraged the safe population to be supportive and generous to act as volunteers in helping the vulnerable population in barangay in the event of emergency needs.

"Don’t hesitate to call the attention of the local risk reduction and management officers for assistance on matters of security, transportation, warning, communication, evacuation, health and other related emergency services," he said.  (MAL-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/771430985216/albay-braces-for-impacts-of-typhoon-dodong#sthash.qzAB3Pbb.dpuf

DOT Bicol advises prohibition of tourism activities within Bulusan volcano 4-km PDZ

SORSOGON CITY, May 7 (PIA) –  The Department of Tourism (DOT) Bicol Regional Office has advised local government officials and other stakeholders to suspend all tourism related activities within the 4-km radius permanent danger zone (PDZ) down slopes of Bulusan volcano after Phivolcs recently hoisted Alert Level 1 due to the volcano's abnormal activities.

DOT Bicol Regional Director Maria O. Ravanilla said the issuance of the travel advisory conforms with the directives of Phivolcs to suspend any human activity in the 4-km PDZ to ensure the safety of tourists from the threats of eruption of Bulusan volcano.

“We have to remind local government officials and the public that all tourism related activities within the 4-km radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) are temporarily suspended until such time that the Phivolcs lowers the alert level status to zero and issue an advisory to the public and concerned government instrumentalities that entry to the 4-km radius PDZ will be allowed anew,” Ravanila said.

The advisory was in reference to the Bulusan Volcano Bulletin issued on May 7, 2015 at 8:00AM by the Philippine Institute of Volcano and Seismology (Phivolcs) raising Bulusan Volcano’s status from Alert Level 0 (normal) to Alert Level 1 (abnormal) which correspondingly prohibits the entry of tourist/s to the 4-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) due to the possibility of sudden and hazardous steam-driven or phreatic eruptions.

“We are also informing the public that Bulusan Lake is considered safe for the public to visit being outside of the 4-km radius PDZ. Eco-adventure activities such as kayaking, canoeing, boating and trekking within the lake’s perimeter can be enjoyed by tourists visiting this eco-tourism area within the Bulusan Volcano Natural Park (BVNP),” the advisory further stated.

Meanwhile, during the emergency meeting conducted by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council on Bulusan Volcano Risk Assessment and Preparation, LGUs concerned reported that tourism activities in Mt. Bulusan, Orok Cold Spring and Anog Cold Spring Resorts have been terminated already since May 2 following the volcano’s ash explosion on May 1, 2015 to avoid untoward incident.

Orok Cold Spring in Casiguran town and Anog Cold Spring in the municipality of Juban are both located within the 4-km PDZ, while it would be hazardous to climb Mt. Bulusan due to possible threat of suffocation and of ejected materials from the volcano. (MAL/BAR-PIA5/Sorsogon)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/801430993235/dot-bicol-advises-prohibition-of-tourism-activities-within-bulusan-volcano-4-km-pdz-#sthash.kLOGudR1.dpuf