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

Thursday, June 23, 2016

DOH intensifies drive for smoke-free schools

By Julius Embile

LEGAZPI CITY, June 23 (PIA) – With the common goal of eliminating tobacco consumption among students and minors, the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Education (DepEd) combine their efforts in reminding the public of the hazards of smoking.

In observance of the celebration of the National No Smoking Month this June, DOH and DepEd issued a joint statement last June 20, strongly reminding all partner agencies, schools, universities, colleges, and parents to religiously enforce a 100% smoke-free rule in all school facilities.

“Studies have shown that most young people who smoke regularly continue to smoke throughout adulthood and fall prey to being ‘replacement smokers’ of the tobacco industry. Hence, we call on students, as well as the rest of our young population, to never start smoking”, said DOH secretary Janette P. Loreto-Garin.

According to Garin, though it is important to educate the youth of the ill effects of tobacco, it also of equally important to protect them from secondhand smoke. The health chief added that the exposure or inhaling second-hand smoke is more dangerous than smoking itself, as it increases a non-smoker’s risk of developing heart disease, lung disease, and various forms of cancer.

With the school year having officially started this month, DOH intensifies their ‘smoke-free schools campaign’ by keeping students away from the dangers of firsthand or secondhand smoke.

Their efforts include a call of vigilant implementation of Republic Act 9211, or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003. RA 9211 strictly prohibits trade of tobacco products within 100 meters from a school perimeter, public playground or any location frequented by minors.

Violation of RA 9211 subjects the offender to a fine from Php 500 to Php 400,000 and imprisonment ranging from 30 days to three years, depending on the seriousness of the offense. Moreover, business and licenses may be revoked or cancelled.

DOH also looks to strengthen the full implementation of the Graphic Health Warnings (GHW) by November of this year. The full implementation of the GHW require all tobacco products manufactured or sold in the Philippines to have a picture depicting the damaging effects of smoking, in at least 50% of both sides of the pack.

For those smokers who would want to quit, Secretary Garin also states that professional help is available to those who would want to quit. “Not smoking, or quitting smoking, greatly reduces your risk for disease and early death” Garin explained. (MAL/JBE/PIA-5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3301466583486/doh-intensifies-drive-for-smoke-free-schools#sthash.1Nbs8MMu.dpuf

DTI holds Bicol’s NKATBP confab in Legazpi City

By Julius Embile

LEGAZPI CITY, June 22 (PIA) – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Bicol regional office goes “full speed” in its efforts to assist micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and local consumers with the launch of  the “Negosyo, Konsyumer at Iba Pa” (NKATBP).

Also dubbed as “One DTI Services”, the NKATBP brings together all of DTIs services under one roof, for easier accessibility by the local businesses and citizenry. It is a two to five-day activity that will run in all regions of the country from April to December of 2016.

For the Bicol region, the NKATBP will be held in Albay Astrodome in this city from June 23 to 25. So far, the NKATBP in the Bicol region is the sixth of the same event to be hosted this year.

The NKATBP aims on bringing focused and integrated DTI services to the public, in order to benefit industries and consumers. It also part of the effort of heightening people’s awareness on these services offered by the department.

For the consumers, the activities offer packages of service to raise public awareness of ‘consumer’s rights’ and knowledge on the quality of products and services. All activities are specified to strengthen the “ramdam effect” among DTI’s stakeholders.

Regarding business development concerns, the menu of services include enabling of business environment, access to finance, access to market, and efficient productivity. MSMEs are expected to benefit on the event through an integrated delivery of various assistance being extended by different DTI units.

Throughout its three-day duration, the NKATBP will be hosting entrepreneurship sessions, knowledge and empowerment lectures, business consultations and counseling, photo exhibits, and the Bicol’s Best Trade Fair.

The event will also host the launching of commercial development projects, including DTI’s Negosyo Center and the Fabrication Laboratory at Bicol University.

For DTI-5, the NKATBP serves as a major strategic move in their continuing drive for consumer and business development in the Bicol region. Showing the department’s full dedication to this cause, DTI Secretary Adrian Cristobal and Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya will be in attendance to address the stakeholders.

“We want the public to know that we (DTI) want to reach out and help,” said DTI-5 regional director Jocelyn Blanco. “We (DTI-5), for the entrepreneurs and consumers, only have their best interest at heart,” she added. (MAL/JBE/PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3301466574821/dti-holds-bicol-s-nkatbp-confab-in-legazpi-city#sthash.worZrYMo.dpuf

Pacific Partnership 2016 brings humanitarian mission in Albay

LEGAZPI CITY, June 22 (PIA) -- The Southern Luzon Command (SolCom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the provincial government of Albay will host this year’s Pacific Partnership 2016 with a multinational force led by the US Armed Forces and four other countries namely Australia, Malaysia and New Zealand.

Philippines was identified as one of the host countries laterally with Indonesia, Timor Leste, Malaysia and Vietnam to accommodate the participating multinational force.

Albay was chosen for PP16 as the site for various civic-action projects, community health exchanges, medical symposiums, and humanitarian and disaster relief (HADR) drills.

The humanitarian mission will be conducted from June 27 to July 10 this year.

Part of the medical services offered in this year’s engagement, the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) will anchor off the coast of Albay Gulf for medical services, surgeries and ship’s visit/ tour.

Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEE), HADR Trainings and Drills with both military and civilian participants will take place at different venues in Legazpi City.

Engineering Civic-Action Programs (ENCAP) offer the construction and repair of classrooms in three (3) different sites that will promote better learning environment for our students.

Talents among the AFP and US armed forces shall also be showcased through band engagements in specific venues in the province.

The Pacific Partnership came to be in response to one of the world’s most catastrophic natural disasters, the December 2004 tsunami that devastated parts of Southeast Asia.

Over the years, mission has evolved primarily as direct care mission to an operation focused on enhancing partnerships through host nation subject matter expert and civil-military exchanges.

The undertaking will have its formal opening on the 27th of June and will last until the 10th of July 2016. By then, all activities and constructions have been completed and the primary mission of the endeavor accomplished.   (MAL/Maj.ANBuan-PAF/JTFPP2016/PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211466582892/pacific-partnership-2016-brings-humanitarian-mission-in-albay#sthash.BfLix27M.dpuf

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

DFA Bicol to launch online passport application

LEGAZPI CITY, June 20 (PIA) – The Department of Foreign Affairs –Regional Consular Office Legazpi will start implementing online appointment for passport application on July 1, 2016.

DFA Legazpi officer-in-charge Manuel S. Moran Jr. said launching of the online appointment is set on June 24, 2016 through https//www.passport.gov.ph.

Moreover, applicants may still set appointments personally at DFA Legazpi Office, 3rd Floor of Pacific Mall Legazpi City until July 16, 2016.

On July 18, DFA Legazpi will only accept applicants with on-line appointment, except for senior citizens with valid ID and overseas Filipino workers with valid contract and flight details. A special lane will be set for other applicants who need to set an appointment particularly pregnant women with medical certificate, persons with disability with valid ID and infant one year and below.

Moran reminded applicants not to purchase outbound travel tickets until their passports are in their possession noting that the DFA will not be responsible for any rebooking charges, loss of income and other financial compensation and/or personal losses arising from the applicant’s travel arrangements  while the passport has not been released.

“Please also understand that force majeure, transport strikes, and similar unforeseen circumstances beyond our control may cause delays in the normal cycle of delivery and production,” he added.

For further queries, contact DFA Legazpi office at (052) 480-3000 or 820-3396. (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571466406071/dfa-bicol-to-launch-online-passport-application#sthash.XDWMfib8.dpuf

DOLE names safest companies in Bicol

By Julius Embile

LEGAZPI CITY, June 22 (PIA) – Encouraging the maintenance of occupational health and safety, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Bicol regional office has once again named the safest companies in the region on their bi-annual Gawad Kalusugan at Kaligtasan (GKK) Award.

Once every two years, DOLE Bicol's Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) grants the GKK Awards, the highest form of award in the region when it comes to workplace safety and health. After a meticulous selection process, the winner of the said award would bag the reputation as Bicol’s “safest” company.

“Getting the GKK award is not just an honor but also a prestige for both the company and its employees”, said DOLE Undersecretary Nicon F. Fameronag on his keynote address during the GKK Awarding event, at Legazpi City last June 8.

The GKK Award is divided into two major categories; the industry and individual category.

Winning the award for the industry category are the Philippine Geothermal Production Company Incorporated (PGPCI) and Petron Corporation – Legazpi Depot.

Both of the winning companies are involved in energy trade, an industry known to have great potential hazards to employees. However, through safety measure integrated by the companies for their employees as observed by the award’s selection body, PGPCI and Petron both claim the victory.

In the industrial category, a total of eight companies were nominated. Alongside PGPCI and Petron, the nominees included the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines Incorporated – Naga City Plant, AP Renewables Incorporated of Tiwi Geothermal Plant, DIESCO Sorsogon, Innodata Knowledge Services Incorporated in Legazpi City, and MERALCO Industrial Engineering Services Corporation.

The award for the individual category, given to a specific person with great contribution in occupational safety and health, was given to Mr. Anselmo M. Puse Jr. of PGPCI. Sharing the honor with Pusa as nominees to the award are Rodjel Renan E. Cuebillas (PGPCI), Victor C. Clet (PGPCI), and Ronald Vincent Garcia (NGCP).

With the chance to earn further honors, Bicol’s GKK Award recipients will be representing the region for the GKK National Champion Awards that will be held in October 2016. Hoping for the best, DOLE-5 regional director Maria Karina Perida-Trayvilla feels positive about a consecutive win by Bicol as the GKK National Award was won by the region two years ago. (MAL/JBE-PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3301466146714/dole-names-safest-companies-in-bicol#sthash.YTBK8BRr.dpuf