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

Saturday, October 31, 2009


LEGAZPI CITY — The government‘s relief caravan has arrived in Bicol Thursday (October 29) to preposition relief commodities in the region in preparation for typhoon Santi (Marinae) threatening this area, according to official of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional office here.

Remia Tapispisan, DSWD Bicol regional director, said the relief caravan dubbed “ Sama-samang Pagtulong Relief Caravan” headed to the different provinces of the region in the wake of the weather disturbance predicted to hit by the end of the week.

She elaborated the caravan, consists of 21 truckload of relief food packs and clothing, blankets, bottled water, will be unloaded to identified drop-off points in Bicol including Daet, Camarines Norte; Pili, Camarines Sur; Legazpi City, Albay; Sorsogon City, Sorsogon; and, Catanduanes province via Tabaco City for eventual distribution by their respective local disaster coordinating councils to residents affected by the disaster.

Brought in by the caravan were 59 sleeping mattress, a water tank, water purifier machine, 59 Polyester tanks, 59 blankets, 140 kitchen set, 622 boxes cup noodles and 1,000 packs of Medicine kits, donated by the JICA, Mc Donald, Indonesia and PCSO.

She added the government-led caravan would benefit an estimated 500,000 affected families in Bicol, to also include areas in Region IV-A (Calabarzon)

The relief commodities were drawn from contributions of government agencies, led by DSWD, as well as international relief organizations and civic society.

Meanwhile, Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council chairman met the caravan and received the relief commodities intended for the province around last night in front of the provincial capitol building in this city.

Salceda on Wednesday has placed the province under alert and monitoring status as the threats of the incoming typhoon and the heightened restiveness of Mt. Mayon have elevated the risks of a “combo disaster” to lives and properties of residents.

He said that this “complex disaster risk” must be met and matched with greater preparedness so as to meet the long standing policy for a “zero casualty” goal of the province during disasters including a pre-emptive evacuation, not rescue disaster management operations.

Disaster authorities here are expected to move out over 400,000 people or 80,000 families in the event two complex disaster occurs, this include the looming Mayon volcano eruption and the incoming typhoon.

Salceda said the province has a total population of 1.2 million and of this 471,254 people living in low lying areas, mountain range, river banks, coastal areas are at risk for floods, lahar flows, landslides this weather disturbance might trigger and villagers living at the foot of Mayon volcano for volcanic eruption.

Cedric Daep, APSEMO chief, said they are working out an action plan to enhance preparedness and evacuation procedures in these areas of concern. (MALoterte, PIA V)


The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has intensified its efforts towards the immediate clearing and repair works on damaged flood sections in Bicol region following the declaration of long holidays next month.

“We want to ensure the safety and convenience of the motorists for these holidays particularly for those who will commemorate the All Saints’ Day to their hometowns,” said DPWH Bicol regional director Danilo C. Manalang.

He Excellency, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has declared November 1 and 2 special non-working holidays in observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, respectively. November 1 falls on a Sunday and November 2 on a Monday.

November 27, Friday and 28, Saturday were also declared special non-working holidays in observance of Eid’l ADha or the Feast of Sacrifice. Then the following Monday, November 30 is Bonifacio Day, a regular non-working holiday.

According to Manalang, he ordered his District Engineers to prioritize maintenance activities on road sections affected by flash floods due to heavy rainfall for the last few days and those that are prone to landslides.

“We cannot fight the force of nature but we can implement preemptive measures to counter possible destructions on our infrastructure projects,” the director added.

DPWH will also reactivate its Lakbay Alalay Program for the All Saints’ Day to start on October 30, 2009 until November 2,m 2009 wherein Motorist Assistance Centers will be installed in the strategic locations of Bicol region’s national roads. (LVCastañeda, DPWH/PIA)


SORSOGON PROVINCE (October 31) – The Coast Guard Station Sorsogon (CGS) along with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) activated on October 28 until November 4, 2009 the Passenger Assistance Centers (PACs) in ports of Matnog, Pilar and Bulan, the province’s major ports.

“This is in line with the observance of All Saints’ and All Soul’s Day on Nov 1-2, this year, wherein the Department of Transportation and Communication – Philippine Coast Guard (DOTC-PCG) under its eagle-eye program “Oplan Kaluluwa 2009” would like to ensure an orderly, safe, convenient and secured sea travel of sea faring passengers through the major ports in the province,” said PCG Sorsogon Station Commander LtJG Ronnie T. Ong, Jr. in a press statement.

“CGS Sorsogon is working closely with local Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed forces of the Philippines (AFP) and shipping companies to emphasize integrated commitment to security and safety in water transport service by improving and enforcing safety standards and regulations such as inspection of baggage and implementation of security layers in the ports and passenger terminals to prevent hostile elements from perpetrating terrorist acts and likewise, to ensure no overloading of passengers,” Ong stressed out.

The PCG Special Operations Unit and K-9 Unit personnel are also placed on full alert status to implement stringent security in the ports to preclude any safety and security breach as well as protect vessel and the riding public.

Said personnel are likewise placed on standby status for immediate response to any maritime incidents.

K-9 Unit personnel are also tasked to conduct pre-departure inspection to baggage and cargoes for possible entry of illegal contrabands aboard ships.

Ong also explained that the center will have information/assistance and complaint desks where passengers could simply and easily ask for assistance and lodge their complaints related to their sea travel needs.

“Said PACs which are manned by a minimum of six personnel from PCG, PPA, MARINA and volunteers are strategically situated in areas accessible to the passengers. Personnel are detailed on a 24-hour basis with three shifts at four hours per shift daily or as practicable and necessary,” said Ong.

“PAC will also act as facilitators on the requests and complaints of the seafaring public to refer matters on hand to the office and/or shipping/boat operators concerned,” he further said. (RTOng, PCG Sorsogon/PIA Sorsogon)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

LEGAZPI CITY MAYOR Noel E. Rosal (upper photo) welcomes guests and participants to the Public Consultation on Clean Development Mechanism and Climate Change program of the Department of Energy in cooperation with the Philippine Information Agency held at Casablanca Hotel last Wednesday (Oct. 28). (Alex Cal/PIA)
Science Research Specialist of Department of Energy Mr. Simon S. Leonor (upper, left photo) answer queries during the open forum on Public Consultation on Clean Development Mechanism and Climate Change. Leonor speaks about the Philippine Energy Efficiency project, held at Casablanca Hotel, Legazpi City last Oct. 28. (Alex Cal/PIA)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


LEGAZPI CITY — Minor ash explosions occurred anew at the summit of Mayon Volcano early this morning indicating sign of heightened unrest which could lead to a possible major eruption, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs)

“The ash explosion around 5:32 am today occurred at the summit crater of Mayon Volcano (13.2576 N, 123.6856 E) lasting for about one minute,” said resident volcanologist Eduardo Laguerta.

Laguerta said that the explosion produced a brownish ash column that rose to a maximum height of 600 meters above the crater and drifted to the northeast direction.

Phivolcs has already issued today a 24-hour advisory to local authorities and residents of areas surrounding the volcano on the current abnormal activity of the volcano.

The ash explosion today occurred exactly a month and 13 days after its first ash explosion on September 15.
According to its latest bulletin issued 8:00 AM today, the institute said that its seismic instruments recorded eleven (13) volcanic earthquakes during the past 24 hours.

Steam emission was at moderate level creeping down slope towards southwest direction. Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emission rate was measured yesterday at 250 tonnes/day. Crater glow was not observed last night due to poor visibility.

The institute also noted Mayon has since Tuesday blowing ashes.

Residents living near the slopes described hearing what they said was a “thud” followed by a whitish cauliflower like plume above the crater..

The minor explosion, meanwhile, has prompted Albay Governor Joey Salceda, chair of the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC), to direct local disaster managers to be on 24-hour alert and prepare to evacuate residents if things got worse.

“The explosion is a minor one and Alert Level 2 remains in effect over the volcano,” Phivolcs noted.

The institute strongly recommends that the 6-km radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) around the volcano and the 7-km Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) on the southeast flank of the volcano remain off-limits to human activities due to the threat from sudden explosions and rock falls from the upper slope.

The institute also warned that active river channels and lahar prone areas in the southeast sector of the volcano should also be avoided as life-threatening mud flows because ash and other loose volcanic deposits may be washed out during bad weather conditions or when there is heavy and prolonged rainfall.

Laguerta furthermore explained, “We still cannot raise the alert level to status 3 because we have yet to check if there is a new lava deposit at the crater and the scheduled aerial survey on Tuesday was cancelled due to thick clouds over the summit area.”

But the volcanologist admitted that if in case the intervals of ash explosions draw closer and closer, the institute might recommend raising status to alert level 3 which would mean that Salceda has to evacuate some 30,000 residents living along the 7-km EDZ. “We can’t predict yet when it will erupt but the possibility is always there. (MALoterte, PIA V)


MASBATE CITY—The opening here of a fish raisers’ park will give the entire province of Masbate long-term benefits in terms of food security and investments and livelihood opportunities, officials said.

Masbate City Mayor Socrates Tuason led Wednesday last week the ceremonial launching of Masbate City Mariculture Park (MCMP), a 200-hectare, P5-million facility that would be assembled on Masbate Bay for the production of high-priced marine products such as grouper, red snapper, milkfish and edible sea weed.

The first of its kind in the province and probably the biggest in the region, the facility is somewhat the equivalent of an industrial park on land such as the export processing zone in Cavite.

The MCMP is the other half of Masbate Fish Complex (MFC) that houses an ice plant, cold storage, and blast freezing and processing facilities adjacent to a port for fishing boats.

Together, the MFC and MCMP have accomplished Tuason’s medium-term fishery modernization program that has propelled the industry as the city’s flagship under its Coastal Resource Management Program (CRMP).

In a statement, Tuason said construction of mooring systems and amenities has begun with four cages serving as demos on production. As soon as completed, the structures will be up for lease to corporations, cooperatives and individuals who will operate in large, medium and small scales.

He said the money-making power of mariculture in Masbate Bay has already been proven by the initial structures operated by Crown B Farms, in which each 10 meters by 10 meters floating cage yielded between eight and 10 tons of milkfish or grouper. Thus, a hectare of mooring system with 24 cages is on a par with 12 hectares of traditional fishpond in terms of production.

He said the fish processing plant at the MFC was also being upgraded to the standards of United States and European Union, the prospective markets for products from the mariculture park.

Illustrating how will the global markets raise the returns of an investment in mariculture several notches higher, the mayor cited the prices red grouper and milkfish.

He said while red grouper is offered here at P350 per kilo, selling price to European and Asian markets is high as P1,400 a kilo. On the other hand, the price of milkfish which hovers between P100 and P120 per kilo in the local market is on the average P700 more per kilo in the US market.

Tuason said that because Masbate is endowed with rich coastal resources, the city is taking the direction of mariculture for more livelihood and revenue.

The thrust has the legislative backing of Vice Mayor Allan B. Cos and the city councilors, on top of the technical and funding support from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. (EADelegado, PIA Masbate)


MASBATE Province — Parents would always want their children to be safe. Even if, accidents would always be around no matter how guarded your kids are and parents would always take precautions.

This is the reason the parent-beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of barangay Morocborocan in Monreal town here built a fence along the cliff by the sea.

“Pag gabi po kasi nakakatakot dumaan kasi hindi mo alam kung saan ka aapak at kung saang direksyon” (It is frightening to walk here at night because you don’t know where to step and to what direction), said Lenie Rodriguez, a parent leader.

“it is very dangerous for the children at night and especially when there is no electricity,” she related.

Aside from building fences, they also built cottages that will not only serve as their meeting place, but also a place to rest for the community folks.

“Ito po ang naisipan naming gawin na community project para naman hindi lang puro bigay sa amin ang gobyerno, kundi kami rin ay nakakapagbigay tulong din sa iba, di man sa pamamaraan ng pagbibigay pera, pero sa pangangalaga naman sa kapakanan ng ating mga kalooban” (This is what we decided to do as a community project, so that it would not always be the government helping us, but for us to also help others, not through money but through taking care of our children),” she added.

This is one of the community projects of different 4Ps beneficiaries have done. Under 4Ps, beneficiaries should not only comply with the given conditionality but also make certain community projects or participation that will benefit not only their members but all the residents of the community.

With this, they are being practiced to participate in different social activities that would empower them and help them survive life. (MZVillagomez, 4Ps IO-DSWD/PIA)


LEGAZPI CITY — Security measure have all been set in time for the observance of the All Saints and All Souls’ days on November 1 and 2, respectively, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

P/Supt. Eliciar Bron, PNP Bicol spokesman, said the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), Department of Health (DOH), PNP, Philippine Army, and civic organizations have joined forces to implement measures dubbed “Oplan Undas” to ensure security and provide assistance to motorists returning home to the six provinces of Bicol.

Bron said that the inter-agency Oplan Undas Task Force will put up, checkpoints, assistance centers, police and military visibility in vital points and installation along major highways, ports, terminals, malls and cemeteries across the region in a 24-hour basis.

Policemen and military personnel will be deployed to beef up the existing police and military personnel in the different localities to maintain peace and order during the annual religious tradition observed throughout the country.

Bron stated that police and military personnel including civilian law enforcers are on full alert during this period.”

The task force will also provide traffic, security and medical assistance, among others, to commuters coming from other regions and provinces who are taking their vacations for the All Saints and All Souls’ days.

Assistance centers will also be set up in all private and public cemeteries, with police personnel and “tanods” to check and ensure that any kind of liquor, firearms and any bladed weapon sneak through inside the cemetery. (MALoterte, PIA V)


PILI, Camarines Sur — A unique experience for children, dubbed “The Gore House Workshop” will highlight the array of activities in the three-day “Wicked Weekend” festivities at the CamSur Watersports Complex here commencing on Saturday, October 31.

Participants in the event will have a taste of the unheard craft of blood making, zombie art, and slime experiments, which will be a whole new experience for those who dare to venture into newly-fangled endeavours this Halloween Season.

Trick or Treat will also be conducted after the event to give the participants an opportunity to experience the popular western tradition.

The “Wicked Weekend” experience slated until November 1 coincides with the 3-day Asian Wakepark Championship, an international competition in extreme watersports at the CWC to be participated in by top athletes in the sport.

The festivities will kick off with the Body Painting competition on Day 1 of the festivities while a number of other theme parties are also clocked in on the succeeding days such as Hallow’s Eve Costume Party on October 31, and the Walk with the Stars and Hollywood Legends on November 1.

The festivities aim to maintain the province’s standing on the pinnacle of tourism in the Philippines and Asias Watersports capital in line with Gov. LRay Villafuerte’s vision of raking in more progress to the province. (ANDujar, MMEC/PIA)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


LEGAZPI CITY --- The National Conference on Climate Change Adaptation (NCCA) +2 will push for a mechanism that can develop a model for financing climate change adaptation (CCA) by rich nations as their commitment to disaster risk reduction measures.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, lead convenor of the NCCA +2, said at the opening of the three-day that kick off on today (October 26) the conference has adaptation funding as one of its four thematic ingredients which include among others science, policy, practice and funding.

He said “until now, there is no model for financing climate change adaptation. I can not find one despite spending years in the Swissbank. Perhaps, there is none, yet, because adaptation financing is a relatively new field.”

He explained that the recent global economic crisis has already taught the country that it cannot leave markets to their devices; a sustainable world requires an inter-temporal transfer of welfare from the present to the future which means huge sacrifices for the present generation.

It would require state intervention as it would demand more than that with accumulated ecological debt, rich countries must step up to their historical responsibility for climate change and its current adverse impacts.

Climate change adaptation especially disaster risk reduction (DRR) has become more vociferous as a job for the community of nations more so to the rich nations to articulate their commitment to DRR.

Salceda, however, said the climate deal in Copenhagen without a sustainable mechanism for adaptation financing is nothing less than pharisaical.

He pointed out that the CCA practice are both local and national concerns where they rely on domestic resources earmarked but limited calamity funds to finance adaptation and mostly for response, reconstruction and hardly for risk reduction.

“The issue is not only intergenerational but also cuts across income classes. Sadly, those who are least capable of protection are also the most affected and most vulnerable”, Salceda said.

Adaptation increases the cost of development just as it would displace equally pressing social priorities to reduce poverty.

Recent events have been most punishing for the Philippines. First, the revenue base was undermined by the global economic crisis while it was under pressure to join a coordinated global stimulus with its deficit jumping fromP68bn in 2008 to over P300bn in 2009.

Second, a succession of natural calamities jacked up requirements for relief, rehab and reconstruction, thus, the country became a two-time victim.

“It was not a party to the monetary hedonism that led to the global economic crisis which bloated our deficits while it only contributes 0.27% of current carbon emissions” Salceda said. (MSArguelles, PNA/PIA)


LEGAZPI CITY — The Department of Energy (DOE), in cooperation with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Bicol, will hold a public consultation meeting on October 28, at the Casablanca Hotel Social Hall here on Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Climate Change in relation to the compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) distribution Program.

DOE said the program intends to increase consumer awareness on the use of more energy efficient lighting systems to reduce electricity consumption as well as greenhouse gas emissions which highly contribute in the depletion of the environment.

Target participants to the interfacing are the chief executive and chair of the legislative committee on energy of the city government, punong barangays of the different villages in this city, business groups and major stakeholders of the power industry.

The program, one of the seven project areas of the Philippines Energy Efficiency Project (PEEP), is in line with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s nationwide campaign to save on fuel costs and mitigate climate change.

The campaign involves the distribution of free CFLs to eligible beneficiaries to encourage the shift from the inefficient incandescent bulbs (IBs) to CFLs.

DOE stressed the government is targeting to distribute 13,000,000 CFLs nationwide in the coming months, entailing an energy savings of approximately 611,000 MWh per year with an end result of lessening 611,000 MWh per year displaced from fossil fuel power plants connected to the Philippine grid system.

A CFL utilized for 1,000 hours per year only consumed around 13kWh, compared to around 60kWh used up by one incandescent bulb utilized for the same period, saving 47kWh per bulb in one year, the agency stated.

By switching to CFL, households can save on electricity consumption as much as P400 up to P2,400 annually.

In addition to the energy savings that can be derived from the use of CFLs, the project will also benefit from the Certified Emission Reduction (CER) credits that can be secured from the CDM of the Kyoto Protocol.

The program will also reduce the country’s carbon emission by approximately 305,500 tons per year, thus allowing the Philippines to receive at least 200,000 tons of CER credits annually.

The agency also averred sustainable development benefits from the program include achieving energy independence, increased awareness on climate change issues and mitigating measures, participation of communities in mitigating GHG emissions and climate change, work and jobs for distribution and monitoring personnel.

The stakeholders’ consultation also intends to elucidate the salient technical features of the project and associated environmental and social impacts to the participants, on the other hands solicit feedbacks or the populace concerns on the project. (MALoterte, PIA V)


LEGAZPI CITY – “No to pollution, never!”, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Bicol regional director Ernesto C. Bihis stressed over a radio program, when asked about the agency’s contribution to the provincial government-led Albay Eco-Challenge over the week end.

DOLE Bicol, though it did not personally involve its personnel to the physical extremities of the eco-challenge, has launched during the first week of this month the Green Workplaces campaign in line with the national plan on climate change adaptation and mitigation.

“We (at DOLE) are pursuing the Green Workplaces drive by encouraging business establishments to use pollution free machines,” Bihis stressed.

At the national level, labor “think-tank” the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) contended head-to-head with other climate change adaptation teams nationwide in a friendly competition on the 1st Albay Eco-Challenge yesterday, October 25.

The ILS team, with its Green Workplaces advocacy, was composed of eight employees of the ILS who are ‘geared up’ to run, ride, swim and struggle in a battle of endurance and wits, competed in a series of physical and mental challenges set at the country’s 1st Eco-Challenge on Climate Change Adaptation.

“The institute is one with the nation in the search for practical ways to adapt to climate change,” said ILS Executive Director Cynthia R. Cruz, the prime mover behind the DOLE Green Workplaces advocacy.

“Work, workers and workplaces are most likely to bear the brunt of climate change given the unimaginable damage to livelihood and property that recent natural disasters have caused. Solutions to avert risks must be done,” Cruz added.

The Albay Eco-Challenge, designed to increase awareness on climate change and other important environmental issues, was organized by the Albay Center for Initiatives and Research on Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) as a major part of the 2nd National Conference on Climate Change Adaptation.

During the 1st National Conference in 2007, the Albay Declaration was unanimously adopted, to promote social dialogue between workers and employers to realize potential for green and decent jobs thru positive support for workers and employers in the transition towards environmentally sustainable patterns for production and consumption.

“The ILS will be the official representative of the whole DOLE. It will also be a good tourism opportunity for Bicol GO green workplace!” Bihis said. (RPEscalante, DOLE V/PIA)


LEGAZPI CITY — Dengue cases in the Bicol region went down by 19 percent this year compared to the incidence recorded last year, the Department of Health (DOH) Bicol regional office here.

Dr. Camilo Aquino, DOH Bicol Dengue Monitoring regional coordinator, bared from January to October this year the agency recorded a total of 498 cases compared to 616 cases on the same period last year.

For the entire 2008, according to Aquino, DOH Bicol monitored a total of 690 dengue cases in the entire region, with 6 deaths.

For this year, the agency documented two fatalities, one from the municipality of Pioduran, Albay and the other from Naga City in Camarines Sur.

Breakdown of recorded cases has shown that Camarines Sur topped the list with the most number of dengue infection with 191, followed by Albay with 14, Sorsogon with 8, Camarines Norte and Masbate with 2 cases each, while Catanduanes with nil.

Last year, Camarines Sur had 381, Albay 108, Sorsogon 78, Masbate 64, Camarines Norte 31, and Catanduanes 28.

Aquino underscored the decline of dengue cases by 19 percent in the region only manifested that the campaign against this dreaded disease was carried out effectively, giving credit to the 4S strategies recommended by DOH Sec. Francisco Doque III.

These 4S strategies include: search and destroy, seek early consultation, say no to indiscriminate fogging, and self protection.

Aquino also reiterated that residents should continue to practice the 4:00 o’clock habit that will ensure cleanliness in the households’ surroundings, furthermore, barangays should mobilize their dengue brigades to monitor anti-dengue drives in their respective villages.

In Naga City, the city government has turned over Thursday (October 22) an initial of 242 rolls, with each roll measures 25 meters long, of impregnated curtains to several schools within the city as part of the dengue prevention and control drives.

Aquino said the curtains will be installed in the windows to prevent mosquitoes from going into the classrooms and can be used up to 5 years

The project, costing some P2.4 million, is a joint undertaking of the local government, Department of Education (DepED), Department of Health (DOH) and World Health Organization (WHO). (MALoterte, PIA V/ NMediavillo, RNB)


DAET, CAMARINES NORTE - The National Anti-Hunger Task Force (NAHTF), along with its Bicol regional counterparts will be conducting field visits and service caravan on areas with the Anti-Hunger Mitigation Program (AHMP) in the province of Camarines Norte starting today until October 30.

. Architect Madonna A. Abular of the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) and team leader of the provincial task force, said that a 30-man team composed of Assistant Secretaries and Undersecretaries of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will be coming to assess the implementation of programs and projects on AHMP.

She said that the team will visit and validate the implementation of the different programs and projects of the local government units and the national government concerned.

AHMP is one of the pro-poor programs of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to increase food production, enhance efficiency of logistics and food delivery and opportunities for livelihood programs.

The Provincial Anti-Hunger Task Force, led by Camarines Norte Governor Jesus Typoco Jr., has identified six municipalities for the visit including the towns of Daet, Talisay, Vinzons, San Lorenzo Ruiz, Merecedes and Labo.

The programs and projects to be visited include: Tindahan Natin outlets, post harvest facilities, farm to market roads, mangrove reforestation, rice and coconut production, animal production, supplemental feeding, pineapple and other livelihood projects, Self Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran (SEA-K), breastfeeding support group, and fish and other marine products projects; and other related programs and projects. (RBManlangit, PIA CamNorte)


MASBATE CITY — Some 1,947 beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) have pledged to start taking action and fight poverty by pursuing the seven conditionality of 4Ps.
Parents from the municipalities of Aroroy, Cawaan and Uson in Masbate province have responded positively to the call as part of “Stand Up, Take Action, End Poverty Now” or “Stand United, Fight Poverty” program of the United Nations.

On October 16, this year, the Department of Social Welfare and Development spearheaded an orientation during the community assembly in different barangays of Aroroy and prior to the release of conditional cash grants and cash cards in Masbate City Cultural Center here.

“The orientation has provided a venue for the beneficiaries to know their roles in addressing the problem on poverty through the seven conditionality in support of the five Millennium Development Goals (MDGs namely: a) Eradicating Extreme Poverty and Hunger, b) Achieve Universal Primary Education, c) Improve Maternal Health, d) Reduce Child Mortality, and e) Promote Gender Equality,” said Fenina Cantuba, 4Ps municipal link of Aroroy.

The activity is one of the thousands that were held around the globe as part of the United Nations (UN) program seeking the support of all individuals to take responsibility and persuade their local and national leaders to act on responsibly to ensure the achievement of the MDGs by the year 2015.

Punong Barangay Maria de la Cruz of Nabungsuran, Aroroy testified that months after the implementation of 4Ps, an increasing number of residents have started to seek for medical check-up for the children and pre-natal check-up for the mothers who are pregnant in the Barangay Health Stations (NHS).

“This is indeed our simple way of fighting poverty one with the world. Through our simple actions we are actually taking part in the global aim of attaining the MDG’s”, added Captain De la Cruz.

4Ps is the government’s program that helps fulfill the country’s commitment to meet the MDGs and promote human capital among children and break the intergenerational poverty among poor households.

These conditionality of the program are:

1) Pregnant household member should avail pre and post-natal check-up and be attended by a skilled medical staff when giving birth;
2) children 3-5 years old should attend day care program and be present for at least 85% of classes;
3) children 6-14 should attend elementary or high school education and attend at least 85% of classes per month;
4) children 0-5 years old should be properly and completely immunized;
5) children 6-14 should be dewormed at least twice a year;
6) children should have their monthly check-up; and,
7) parents should attend parent effectiveness seminars.

The activity is coordinated globally by the United Nations Millennium Campaign and Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) in partnership with different international organizations and agencies. (MZVillagomez, 4Ps-DSWD/PIA)

Palace assures full implementation of Climate Change Act

MANILA — Malacañang is keen on implementing the provisions of the recently signed Climate Change Act to protect the citizens from calamities brought about by weather aberrations that affects the entire world.

In an interview Sunday afternoon, Press Undersecretary Anthony Golez said it was incumbent of the government to ensure proper implementation of all laws not just the Climate Change Act.

He pointed out, however, that addressing climate change is not the sole duty of the government but of the people as well.

The Philippine Climate Change Act of 2009 or Republic Act No. 9729, which was signed into law by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Friday (October 23), calls for the establishment of a program to deal with the effects of typhoons and other weather disturbances, which have been increasing in frequency and intensity as a result of changes in the climatic patterns.

The establishment of a National Framework Strategy and Program on Climate Change will focus on mitigation and adaptation – the two instruments to battle climate change – from the highest levels of government down to the more than 42,000 barangays.

Under the law, an autonomous policy-making body, known as Climate Change Commission, to be headed by the Chief Executive, will set up, coordinate, monitor, and evaluate action plans for the express purpose of preparing the country against heavy rainfall that bring floods and landslides, as well as strong winds, as a result of typhoons.

The law also calls for the creation of a roadmap to reduce risk of disasters on one hand and keep local carbon emissions within manageable levels on the other.

Aptly called Disaster Risk Reduction or DRR, this program includes emergency preparedness and rescue and relief operations.

The Climate Change Commission will have as members the presidents of the League of Provinces, League of Cities, League of Municipalities, and the Liga ng mga Barangay, to mark the crucial involvement of local communities in addressing climate change. (PIA V Release)

PGMA arrives from 15th ASEAN Summit in Thailand

MANILA — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo arrived Sunday night at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) from Thailand, where she attended the 15th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits in Hua Hin, October 23 to 25.

Accompanied by Press Secretary Cerge Remonde and Trade Secretary Peter Favila, the President was met by a contingent of honor guards.

In an interview, Remonde said the President was pleased with the outcome of the Summit.
Among the highlights of the Summit were the adoption of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), the creation of the Commission on Rights of Women and Children, the agreement to enhance intra-regional connectivity, both in terms of transportation and communication, and the setting-up of a permanent regional emergency rice reserve due to the increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters that hit the region. (PIA V Release)

PGMA orders implementation of Ro-Ro transport in BIMP-EAGA

MANILA — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has ordered the immediate implementation of a roll-on roll-off transport system in the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East Asia Growth Center (BIMP-EAGA).

The Chief Executive issued the directive during the 6th BIMP-EAGA Summit held at the Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand Sunday (October 25).

Mindanao Economic Development Council Chair Jesus Dureza said the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will have to undertake a study for such a project, projected to cost P40 million.

This early, however, the President wants the transport system set up in the port of Glan in Sarangani, which she recently inaugurated, and Tahuna in Indonesia.

Indonesia is committed to construct a port at Tahuna.

The President espoused the idea of establishing a roro system within ASEAN during the ASEAN Summit, held here last February.

In the same meeting, the Philippines and Brunei Darussalam agreed to put up a sardines factory in Dipolog, Zamboanga del Norte. (PIA V Release)

Reconstruction Commission may borrow from China's $15-B fund

CHA-AM, HUA HIN, Thailand -- The National Public-Private Reconstruction Commission may avail itself of the $15 billion commercial credit from the People’s Republic of China to repair infrastructure projects damaged by typhoons Ondoy in Metro Manila and typhoon Pepeng in Northern Luzon.

The commercial credit will be available to the ten ASEAN member-nations in the next three to five years.

The decision, however, rests on the newly created commission.

Trade Secretary Peter Favila pointed out that the commission, not the government, is making a study on the actual damage and the cost needed to fund the rehabilitation program.

The People’s Republic of China announced during the 12th ASEAN-China Summit held here Saturday that it will raise the preferential part of the commercial credit by $5 billion to demonstrate its support for ASEAN-China cooperation.

China is ASEAN's fourth largest trading and investment partner. Its trade with ASEAN accounts for 10.6 percent of ASEAN's total trade.

In 2008, the bilateral trade volume was $231.1 billion. China's direct foreign investment in the ASEAN reached $2.18 billion in 2008, with an increase of 125 percent compared with that of 2007.

In April during the cancelled ASEAN Summit in Pattaya, Thailand, China announced its plan to establish an ASEAN-China investment cooperation fund primarily designed for cooperation on infrastructure construction, energy and resources, information and communications. (PIA V Release)

Japan supports RP's reconstruction program

CHA-AM,HUA HIN, Thailand --- The Japanese Government expressed Sunday (October 25) support and promised to assist the Philippines in the rehabilitation program it had embarked on following the onslaught of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng, which left billions of pesos worth of damage to infrastructure, agriculture and properties.

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama also extended his condolences to the victims of the two typhoons, even as he wished the country immediate recovery during a bilateral meeting with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on the sidelines of the 15th ASEAN Summit.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said Japan will donate three doplar radars to complete the 12 radars needed.

''Included of course are the technical support and Official Development Aid(ODA)'', the Press Secretary said.

For her part, the President congratulated Hatoyama on his election as Prime Minister and on the historic victory of his Perty.

She said she looked forward to a strategic partnership of the Philippines and Japan under his leadership.

The President also invited the Japanese Prime Minister to visit the Philippines in view of the important RP-Japan bilateral relations.

According to the President, Japan is one of the members of the International Monitoring Team in charge of development assistance for Mindanao.

In response, Hatoyama said he ''attaches great importance to the peace process in Mindanao and expressed ''hope that peace will materialize.'' (PIA V Release)

PGMA, 9 ASEAN leaders cite need for rice reserve

CHA-AM, HUA HIN, Thailand --- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the nine other ASEAN leaders want to set up a permanent regional emergency rice reserve due to the increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters that hit the region.

ASEAN and Chian, Japan and South Korea, or ASEAN Plus 3, discussed the issue at the 12th ASEAN Plus 3 Summit Saturday at the Dusit Thai Hotel here.

The ASEAN leaders noted that the East Asia Emergency Rice Reserve (EAERR) Pilot Project is due to expire in February 2010. It is thus necessary to transform the project into a permanent aid mechanism under the ASEAN Plus 3 Emergency Rice Reserve(APTERR).

They urged their respective agriculture and foreign ministers, who will meet in Brunei Darussalam next month to work closely towards the early realization of APTERR in order to ensure the continuation of regional food security mechanism after the expiration of the EARR Pilot Project.

They reaffirmed their commitment to ensure food and energy security as high on their priority in accordance with the Cha-am Hua Hin Statement on ASEAN Plus 3 Cooperation Food Security and Bio-energy Development adopted at this summit.

The ASEAN Plus 3 leaders likewise expressed their openness to initiatives and activities to promote cooperation on civilian nuclear energy as they noted the convening of the 2nd ASEAN Plus 3 Forum on Nuclear Energy Safety in China last June as well as Korea's proposal for cooperation on civilian nuclear energy.

The leaders pointed out that progress have been made in the field of energy cooperation especially the development of the Oil Stockpiling Roadmap, the finalization of the 2nd ASEAN Plus 3 Energy Outlook, the reactivation of the ASEAN Plus 3 Energy Communication System and the enhancement of the Joint Oil Data Initiative. (PIA V Release)

Saturday, October 24, 2009


LEGAZPI CITY — Ivan Rhett Macabeo topped the national board examinations for Certified Public Accountants (CPA) held this month.

Macabeo, who attained a rating of 91.71% in the CPA board, hails from Guinobatan, Albay, and has constantly given honor to his family, having graduated as valedictorian of St. Benedict’s Academy in his hometown, as magna cum laude and College Outstanding Student for 2009, and now as top board passer nationwide.

His dream was simply to equal his predecessor, Hazel Angeline Q. Abenoja, who made it to 5th place in the same national exams last year.

Kaiser Ballecer, on the other hand, placed 7th Ballecer, a native of legazpi City, garnered a rating of 90.57%. He showed similar promise as a student, having been a consistent honor student since his elementary years.

Both are 2009 graduates of BS Accountancy, the former being magna cum laude, and the latter, cum laude.

Meanwhile, Marcelo Santillan and Christopher Sanchez made their university equally proud by placing 3rd and 7th respectively, in the national board exams for Mechanical Engineers (ME) held October 14 and 15. Both are similarly 2009 graduates of Bicol University, with Santillan finishing cum laude.

Santillan, who graduated cum laude, achieved a rating of 88.55% in the recent Mechanical Engineering board exams, while Sanchez got 87.2%. Santillan hails from Legazpi City, while Sanchez is a native of Ligao City.

All in all, Bicol University has a passing rate of 75% in the CPA board exams. The national passing rate is only 41%. Prior to this year, ten of the department’s graduates had already made it to the prestigious Top 20 in the country, among which Janeth T. Nuñez was 4th in 1996, Janel D. Mujar was 1st in 1998, and Hazel Angeline Q. Abenoja was 5th in 2008.

Meanwhile, passing rate of Bicol University for the ME board exams this year is 73%, while the national passing rate is 60.5%.

Besides Accountancy and Engineering, Bicol University likewise excels in other courses, specifically Nursing and Social Work.

In the latest Licensure Examinations for Midwifery, the university once again achieved a 100% passing rate, as it has in the past five years.

For the Nursing Licensure Exams this year, BU obtained an 81% passing rate, having maintained a passing rate of 75% and above since 2005.

The Social Work department has likewise brought prestige to the university by having passing rates in their Licensure Examinations not lower than 86 %, its highest turnout being in 2004 when 100% of the takers passed.

Because of all these achievements, Bicol University has been recognized as a Top Performing School in the country, though as such, it is also given a greater challenge to perform equally well in the coming years. (CGMeneses, BU/PIA)
LEGAZPI CITY — Its all systems go for the National Conference on Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) +2 slated on October 26-28, this year at the Diamond Hotel in Malate, Manila.

Albay Governor Joey Salceda, lead convenor of the conference, said national and local environment managers will hold a second round of talks on the gains of the first NCCA conference after two years of concerted efforts among government and private sectors and assessment of national and local policies translated into actions in the light of international development.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will keynote opening of the 3-day conference, while Environment Secretary Lito Atienza, Heherson Alvarez, Presidential Adviser on Climate Change, Senator Loren Legarda, chair of th Standing committee on Climate Change and German Ambassador Christian Ludwig Weber Lortsch as resource persons.

Salceda said participants from national agencies and local governments, academe, non-government organizations and other interest groups will be informed of the developments in domestic and international policy discussions on climate change, particularly adaptation as it relates to disaster risk reduction and mitigation.

He added the conference, with a theme “Moving Forward on Albay Declaration 2007”, aims to identify the Philippine Strategic Framework on Climate Change Adaptation.

The conference will also provide a venue for knowledge sharing on CCA and disaster risk management and give a thematic platform of Regional Development Council (RDC) cooperation towards common agenda in moving forward CCA and DRR and management initiatives.

It will also look into the progress of international policy discussions on CCA and DRR and management and the country's action agenda on CCA on technology transfer, financing, capacity building and research and development.

The second conference is organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the provincial government of Albay, National Economic and Development Authority and the Republic of Germany the funding institution.

Manuel Rangaza, Executive Director of the Centre for Initiatives and Research on Climate Change Adaptation (CIRCA) said it is expected that the NCCA +2 would list the various CCA best practices and science-based information.

A consensus would also be drawn with national, regional and local governance framework strategies for the Philippine Strategic Framework on Climate Change Adaptation (CCA).

Rangaza said the framework will be consistent with the international commitment for sustainable development, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the CCA framework in the United Nation Framework on Climate Change (UNFCC) and the implementation of the Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA).

Salceda said Albay has spearheaded the First National Conference of Climate Change Adaptation in October 2007; the conference brought the concern on CCA exploring concrete adaptation options to address the potential impacts of Climate change and discuss the policy implications for local government units.

He said “it is now widely recognized that climate change is real and a major threat to social, environmental, economic and human development.” (MSArguelles, PNA/PIA)


LEGAZPI CITY — Bicol will have an adequate supply of rice enough for the next three months, from October to December this year, according to the top official of the National Food Authority (NFA) regional office here.

Edgar Ventulan, NFA Bicol regional director, said the agency maintains a rice stock position of at least 1.7 million bags of rice ready for disposal in the next three months.

Ventulan said that NFA has a buffer stock including the 1.150 million bags of imported rice and some .683 million bags acquired through the agency’s rice procurement program.

Among the provinces of the region, Albay has a stock position of 650,382 bags that can last up to 123 days, Camarines Sur with 227,351 good for 44 days; Sorsogon, 99,931 for 67 days; Camarines Norte, 92,722 for 69 days; Masbate, 50,174 for 36 days; and, Catanduanes has some 30,412 good for 22 days.

He added that some 1.051 bags of palay were also purchased by NFA from the local farmers under the palay procurement program.

The agency, according to Ventulan, has purchased some 750,673 from Camarines Sur, 127,131 from Albay, 84,979 from Camarines Norte, 44,638 from Masbate, 40,638 from Sorsogon, and 3,971 from Catanduanes.

The director related that the daily rice consumption in Bicol pegs at 42,980 bags, while the daily average sale of the agency is around 16,000 bags.

Rice importation for this year for Bicol allocation is some 2.6 million bags.

“We expect to import more next year since palay production, according to Dr. Jose Dayao, Department of Agriculture (DA) Bicol regional director, is expected to go down until the end of this year following several typhoon that wrought havoc to our rice plantations in the region,” Ventulan noted. (MALoterte, PIA V/ NMediavillo, RNB)


LEGAZPI CITY — The Kabisig ng KALAHI, in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Mead Johnson Nutritionals, has recently launched the Supplemental Feeding Program in the provinces of Camarines Sur, Albay and Sorsogon benefiting 450 malnourished pre-schoolers.

Remia Tapispisan, DSWD Bicol regional director, said the feeding program will be implemented within 156 specifically in the towns of Del Gallego and Ragay in Camarines Sur; Magallanes and Bulusan in Sorsogon, Tiwi and Malinao in Albay.

Tapispisan noted, “These areas were identified having high prevalence of malnutrition.”

Kabisig ng KALAHI is a non-government organization which implements feeding programs for poor, malnourished children.

Mead Johnson Nutritionals is a division of Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Philippines, Inc. that provides milk through its Milk Feeding Program now called “Feeding Hope”.

Meanwhile, DSWD is closely coordinating with the respective local government units in strengthening the delivery of day care services and supplemental feeding program for the pre-schoolers. (EEJerusalem, DSWD/PIA)


PILI, Camarines Sur ― The CamSur Dragon Boat team added another feather in its cap by capturing the championship in three categories - International Freestyle, Corporate Club Crew Open and 200 m men open in the prestigious SAVA Sprints International V in Singapore last October 11 and 12.

The SAVA Sprints International V featured teams from Canada, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, England, Japan, United States, Malaysia and several teams from the Philippines.

CamSur Governor LRay Villafuerte, who has relentlessly shown his support to the CamSur Dragon boat Team, was exuberant of the team’s consistent outstanding achievements in dragon boat race in international competitions.

What was remarkable was CamSur paddlers’ performance in 200 meters men when the team defeated the Mountbatten CSC to snatch the championship. The CamSur Dragon Boat Team completed the 200 meter course in record time of 45 seconds.

In the International Freestyle, the CamSur team registered 46.03 seconds to trounce vaunted paddlers from the University of the Philippines and Drago Filipinas to capture the gold medal.

In the Corporate Club Crew Open, the CamSur team was a runaway winner to capture the gold with a time of 45.81 seconds. The Drago Pilipinas A was good for the second place honors with a time of 48.44 seconds. (SNieves, MMEC/PIA)


PILI, Camarines Sur – With the fastest growing global industry of business process outsourcing (BPO) making mark in the country today, the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur continues to bolster its free English Proficiency Program (EPP) to equip jobseekers in CamSur with the enhanced communications adeptness and technical skills of a call center agent more.

Some 5,876 graduates have successfully completed training in the continuing EPP and now enjoyed well-paying jobs in top call center companies like the Sutherland Global Services with most of its employees having gone through the program.

Sutherland is an international outsourcing company at the heart of the provincial capitol complex here employing close to 1,000 local and is expected to grow to 2,000 by the end of the year.

A large number of EPP graduates have also gained employment in other BPOs in different parts of the country with their adept oral communications skill while those already employed have made a distinct improvement in their command of the English language.

Initially geared at enhancing the communications skills of enrolees and for increased chance of employment for jobseekers, the EPP has now grown into an indispensable undertaking to most who intend to work in call centers as well as to those who needed help in English proficiency.

The 100-hour training program is an ongoing program of the provincial government, and has been a frontier in the administration of Villafuerte in the advocacy on enhancing the competency of his constituents as a major component in his comprehensive human resources development program

For details about the English Proficiency Program, interested person may visit the 2nd floor of the Camarines Sur Trade and Investment Center, BMC Hospital Road, Panganiban Drive, Naga City or call (054)473-03-94. (ANDujar, MMEC/PIA)

PGMA signs Climate Change Act of 2009

MANILA — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed into law on Friday the “Climate Change Act of 2009” that will create a national strategy in dealing with the global climate change and warming.

President Arroyo signed Republic Act 9729 on Friday in a simple ceremony in Rizal Hall of Malacañang with several legislators from the House of Representatives and the Senate and local officials in attendance.

Under the new law, a Climate Change Commission will be created as an autonomous policy-making body that coordinates the programs of the government and represents the country in international climate change conferences.

The commission, which is attached to the Office of the President, will be chaired by the President, who shall appoint three commissioners.

The signing of the law comes two months before global leaders approve a new climate change treaty during a conference in Copenhagen in December.

The treaty will chart the world's carbon emissions future, after the first commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

The new treaty will be voted upon by world leaders at the 15th Conference of Parties (COP-15) in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December.

Among the officials who witnessed the signing were principal author Sen. Loren Legarda, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, and Majority Floor Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri.

Deputy speakers Amelita Villarosa and Eric Singson, Senior Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II and Senior Minority Leader Roilo Golez.

Legarda, in a chance interview, said the Climate Change Act was a long-awaited measure that would consolidate government efforts in dealing with the impact of extreme weather, including the unusual rainfall and flooding from tropical storm Ondoy that ravaged parts of metropolitan Manila and typhoon Pepeng that devastated Northern Luzon.

Legarda also said the recent cyclones show that the climate change issue iss no longer limited to environmentalist advocates, as it affects everyone. Unless the country acts immediately, Filipinos would find their livelihood and even their own lives at risk from the changing climate.

The law aims to mainstream mitigation and adaptation measures in government policies from the national to the barangay level through a “National Framework Strategy and Program on Climate Change," which is expected to be crafted within six months.

The framework strategy and program includes the development of measures to protect vulnerable communities from the impact of climate change.

The Commission would have an Advisory Board composed of selected Cabinet members and representatives from the academe, business, non-government organizations (NGOs), and the presidents of the League of Provinces, League of Cities, League of Municipalities, and the Liga ng mga Barangay.

A panel of experts on climate change and disaster risk reduction will also provide advice, risk assessments and enhancement measures to the commission.

Also present in the signing were Cabinet officials led by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, Environment Secretary Lito Atienza and Presidential Adviser on Global Warming and Climate Change Heherson Alvarez; and local government units led by Antique Governor Sally Perez.

Alvarez said that under the law, a National Climate Change Action Plan will be crafted to provide the government with a roadmap for mitigation, with emphasis on the voluntary reduction of local carbon emissions and adaptation measures. (PIA V Release)

Give oil consumers cash rather than fix market prices – PGMA adviser

MANILA — It is better for the government to put money in the pockets of consumers than intervene in market prices.

Albay Governor Joey Salceda, one of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s economic advisers, said price controls have never proven to be correct.

In a press briefing in Malacanang, the governor shot down proposals to repeal the Oil Deregulation Law. He also said it is not good for government to run private business.

“A better option for government to take is to “just give them (the poor) money,” he said. “This is what the President is doing---giving conditional cash transfer and loan moratorium.”

He explained that if government will regulate the supply side, the natural reaction would be for the market to shrink. “That is why we approved the P86 billion demand-side relief for individuals and small and medium entrepreneurs,” he stressed.

Salceda pointed out that it is better for government to buy the oil and give it at subsidized prices to the transport sector.

Oil firms on Tuesday hiked their pump prices “due to the drastic change in prices in the international market.”

Oil prices in the world market was pegged at $79 to $80 per barrel last week.

Independent oil player Eastern Petroleum implemented a P2.00 per liter increase for diesel and P1.50 per liter for all its gasoline products.

Pilipinas Shell increased prices per liter of diesel by P2.00, unleaded premium gasoline by P1.25, regular gasoline by P0.85, and kerosene by P1.50.

Petron Corp. increased the pump price of premium gasoline by P1.25 (value-added tax included); regular gasoline by P0.85; diesel by P2.00, jet fuel/kerosene by P1.50; and fuel by P0.75.

In other areas except Northern Luzon, independent oil player Total Petroleum adjusted pump prices by P2.00 per liter for diesel, P0.85 per liter for regular gasoline and P1.25 for liter on premier unleaded, E10 and Protec (all VAT included). (PIA V Release)

Golez inducted as new OPS undersecretary

MANILA — Press Secretary Cerge Remonde swore into office Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Anthony Golez III as undersecretary of the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) in simple ceremonies at the Media Briefing Room in Malacanang on Thursday (October 22).

On hand to witness the oath-taking were Cabinet Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Presidential Spokesperson for Economic Affairs Professor Gary Olivar and newly appointed Public Works and Highways Secretary Victor Asis Domingo.

After the oath-taking ceremony, Remonde immediately designated Golez as OPS Officer-in-Charge (OIC) while he joins President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the 15th Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits at the seaside resorts of Cha-am and Hua Hin in Thailand from Oct. 23 to 25.

Golez was also designated as OIC when Remonde leaves with the President in the forthcoming 2009 Asia Pacific Economic (APEC) Leaders Summit to be held in Singapore next month.

Prior to his appointment, Golez was deputy administrator of the Office of the Civil Defense, Department of National Defense (OCD-DND) from 2004 to September 30 this year. He was also the spokesperson of DND from 2005 to September 30, 2009.

An added feather to his cap was the award he received as The Outstanding Young Man (TOYM) of the Philippines for Disaster Management in 2007.

The new OPS undersecretary obtained his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Santo Tomas in 2000. He finished his Masters in Business Administration in Healthcare at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business in 2005. (PIA V Release)

PGMA calls for prayer

MANILA — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo called on all Filipinos to pray for divine protection as typhoon "Ramil" (international codename: Lupit) moved closer to Northern Luzon.

In her keynote speech before the 3rd Philippine International Sisterhood and Twinning Association, Inc. (PHISTA) at the Batangas Provincial Auditorium in Batangas City Thursday (October 22), the President also called for prayer “for our countrymen in Luzon who have lost loved ones, their homes and properties as a result of the twin typhoons that hit the country one after the other.”

"I am also calling for prayer especially for those who have lost hope in the face of natural calamities that are still wreaking havoc on parts of our islands," she added.

The President maintained that prayers work. She pointed out that because of prayers, typhoon Ramil's winds, originally measured at 195 kilometers per hour, has weakened to 160 kilometers per hour.

“Its rain band or scope of rainfall has also considerably grown smaller, the President said.

She noted that the high pressure area in the vicinity has slowed down the typhoon’s movement "to allow us more time to prepare for its coming."

"Let us pray that the typhoon's strength further weakens and that it misses hitting our country altogether," the President said. (PIA V Release)

PGMA calls for town twinning to improve economy

MANILA — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo called for town twinning as a way to improve the economy of participating communities through the exchange of ideas, technology, services and manpower.

Town twinning or city sisterhood is an agreement between towns or cities in geographically distinct and adjacent areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.

In her keynote speech before the 3rd Philippine International Sisterhood and Twinning Association, Inc. (PHISTA) general membership assembly and 1st Tourism Summit at the Batangas Provincial Auditorium in Batangas City Thursday (October 22), the President said that both parties benefit from the agreement.

“Malaki ang maitutulong ng konsepto ng twinning ng mga bayan at lungsod. Madalas, ang ka-twin ay nagre-resulta sa pag-unlad ng ekonomiya,” the President said.

“Ang magka-twin na mga lungsod ay may matututunan na mga bagong pamamaraan mula sa bayan ng ibang bansa lalo na sa mga makabagong sistema at teknolohiya na nagaganap sa mga mayayamang ekonomiya,” she added.

The President said the concept can also work among countries. She pointed out that while the Philippines may not be as technologically advanced as other countries, “the Filipino trait of helping one another in the face of adversity is something tour neighbors may learn

“Sila naman, meron naman silang matututunan sa atin lalo na kung ipapakita natin na maari tayong magsama-sama upang harangin ang mga hamon ng pandaigdigan kalamidad sa ekonomiya at magtrabahot magkabalikat upang maghandog ng tulong at maglaan ng mga bagong paraan para labanan ang mga kalamidad ng kalikasan,” the President said. (PIA V Release)

Election gun ban starts Jan. 10

MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will enforce a total gun ban during the 2010 election period, which runs from Jan. 10 and ends on June 9.

Comelec chairman Jose Melo said the total gun ban would reduce election-related violence.
The commission expects to issue a resolution on the ban next week.

Melo said the ban prohibits persons to carry firearms during the start of the election period until the second week of June.

Only the detailed security personnel of mayoral candidates and higher positions may carry firearms, Melo said adding that only two security personnel in uniform were allowed per candidate.

Melo reiterated its earlier statement that the Comelec would no longer give exemptions.
However, Melo said the only people who are exempted from the ban are the security escorts of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Vice President Noli De Castro.

He also said that the commission would be asking for pictures of the security personnel assigned to each candidate. (PIA V Release)

Thursday, October 22, 2009


LEGAZPI CITY — Representatives of the different state universities and colleges, private higher education institutions, regional offices of government line agencies and civil society organizations will sign tomorrow (October 22) a consortium agreement in pursuit for peace and development in the Bicol region.

Dr. Herbert Rosana of the Bicol University said the agreement is a local multi-sectoral initiative that seeks to pursue the objectives of Executive Order 570 and with the end in view of responding to the goals of the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) and the Bicol Medium Term Regional Development Plan (BMTRDP).

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has issued EO 570 for the mainstreaming of peace education in the basic education and teacher education across the country.

“Cognizant to the peace and security situation of Bicol Region as outlined in the MTPDP and BMTRDP, there is the need to promote peace and development in the region addressing the most pressing concerns,” Rosana stressed.

Rosana added the technical working group, comprised of the personnel from the different government agencies and private organizations, has already completed the final copy of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), on the other hand, the Office of the Solicitor General has reviewed and already found the document in order.

The consortium agreement will also pave the way for the creation of the Bicol Consortium for Peace Education and Development (BCPED), governed by the Regional Peace and Development Committee (RPDC).

BCPED envisions a strong society of Bicolanos working for peace and sustainable development.

The consortium will lead in developing competent and committed individuals and institutions promoting peace and development in the region through advocacy, capacity building, education, networking and research.

The major tasks of BCPED include providing appropriate support system in advocating peace and development issues; developing and enhancing the knowledge, attitude, and skills of educators, civil societies, government workers, and other peace stakeholders or players for peace building; establishing network with the academe, the government agencies, civil society groups in the local, national, and international levels for information and resource sharing; setting the peace and research agenda and coordinate researches relevant to program development and policy recommendations for the region.

Undersecretary Nabil A. Tan, officer-in-charge of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), has been invited to keynote the signing and unveiling of the MOA at the Arcilla Hall of Bicol University Daraga Campus.
Albay Governor and Bicol Regional Development Council chair Joey Sarte Salceda is also expected to deliver his message during the launching activities.

Meanwhile, Rosana stated that BCPED targets two basic education institutions in Bicol namely San Isidro Elementary School in barangay San Isidro, Castilla, Sorsogon and Lupi High School in Lupi town, Camarines Sur to pilot test the peace education program. (MALoterte, PIA V)


GUBAT, Sorsogon — The municipal government here has notched this year’s Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner for Nutrition (CROWN) for its outstanding achievements in the implementation of nutrition programs for three successive years.

Gubat Mayor Deogracias Ramos personally received the P100,000 cash prize and a trophy from the National Nutrition Council (NNC) conferred by Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo herself during the awarding ceremony on October 15 held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Manila.

Ramos said Gubat has been chosen by the evaluation team from the NNC as the local government unit (LGU) with the most effective nutrition program being implemented in the region resulting to a remarkable decrease of malnutrition cases in the municipality.

He said the municipal government annually allocates P400, 000 for nutrition programs, and ensures to carry out and intensify measures in line with the hunger mitigation program.

“Likewise, each barangay allocates a minimum of P10,000 as seed money for their nutrition program,” he added.

The Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) here has also done its share staging the Children Summer Camp and spearheaded a 20-day feeding program, health and nutrition-related lectures to identified malnourished elementary school children.

“We also maintain community gardens in various areas of the town and the produce is used for the community feeding program. We also see to it that our documents are in tact and well-organized. That’s probably our edge over our contenders,” the mayor related.

He said CROWN award is a clear manifestation of the town’s strong commitment to provide adequate nutrition programs for the underprivileged sector of the community.

Gubat is a Consistent Banner Awardee, since early of 1996 up to present in the provincial and regional levels, qualifying them for this year’s CROWN Award.

“I owe this to my staff who have painstakingly exerted efforts to improve our nutrition program and to Gubatnons who keep supporting our programs,” Ramos also said.

The Green Banner Award for Nutrition is conferred to a province, city or municipality judged to have an exemplary performance in managing its nutrition action plan within the province and region.

The Nutrition Green Banner Awardees at the city, provincial and regional levels were evaluated by the City/Province/Regional Evaluation Teams during the MELLPI evaluation.

LGUS who garnered three Nutrition Green Banner Awards for three consecutive years will be recommended for the CROWN Award by the Regional Evaluation Team.

The CROWN award, on the other hand, is given to Green Banner Awardees that were able to maintain good performance in managing nutrition plans for three consecutive years.

CROWN awardees are monitored by an inter-agency National Evaluation Team for a period of three years to check whether their efforts in maintaining a downward trend of malnutrition are sustained through a well coordinated plan implementation. (BARecebido, PIA Sorsogon)


LEGAZPI CITY-- A Bicol entrepreneur will represent country to the workshop on Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) global market network under the auspices of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in Indonesia, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Bicol said on Tuesday.
Ma. Lydia Perez-Lomibao, owner of J. Emmanuel Pastries in Naga City, was chosen as the only Philippine representative to the SME’s global workshop in Indonesia.

The gathering of entrepreneurs from all over the Asia- Pacific region, dubbed “Workshop and Training on Developing Trade House for Strengthening SME’s Global Market Network, is being held at the Phoenix Hotel in Yogykarta, Indonesia from October 20 until 22.

J. Emmanuel Pastries exports quality pili nut products to developed countries like Japan, China, Australia, USA, and Canada.

DTI said the workshop is especially designed to examine the roles of trading houses and SME’s direct exporters to local economic development.

Experts from selected APEC member economies are expected to present at the forum and share their experiences in trading house development across the APEC economies.

The workshop is a direct follow up activity similar to items in the 2008 SME’s ministerial meeting in Chiclayo, Peru, that sought for the establishment, growth and development of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises to increase their competitiveness in the global trading system.

The workshop is also intended to benefit women business owners to enable their larger proportion on involvement and increase their entrepreneurial skills.

The workshop is also expected to work for the reduction of regulatory burdens and more effective regulatory practices in order to increase competitiveness of SME’s products in the global market.

Some 60 participants will come from APEC member countries such as China, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam, and 20 more from other countries that are not APEC members. (MSArguelles, PNA/PIA)


LEGAZPI CITY — The Albay Information and Communication Technology Association, (AICTA) has slated the Information Technology (INFOTEK) Exhibit on October 28-30, this year at the Embarcadero Business and IT Park here.

Rosemarie Rey, AICTA president, said the exhibit cum conference will congregate ICT stakeholders to promote the development of the ICT industry in the province as part of the 6th Biennial IT event in Albay.

Rey averred the three-day INFOTEK exhibit is expected to be draw hundreds of ICT enthusiasts not only from Albay but also across the country.

With the theme “The World Needs IT, Albay has IT”, the event aims to promote and present the IT capability and readiness of the province, especially this city as a promising destination for Offshoring and Outsourcing (O&O) investments projects.

She said the city has already been recognized as one of the “Next Wave Cities” for ICT business in the country by the Commission on Information and Communication Technology (CICT). (MALoterte, PIA V)


LEGAZPI CITY — With much enthusiasm and vigor, more than a thousand 1,000 elderly from 41 barangays of Tinambac, Camarines Sur gathered at the town’s sports complex to celebrate the 16th foundation anniversary of the Municipal Senior Citizen’s Association (MSCA) last October 6.

Remia T. Tapispisan, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Bicol regional director, assisted by Tinambac Mayor Ruel Velarde, vice mayor Jun Barrion and MSWD officer Nilda Avalla, led the distribution of the cash grant to the first 225 qualified recipients.

Aside from the cash grant, the local government unit also sponsored the meals and distributed groceries, kitchen utensils and other goodies.
Highlight of the day’s event was the distribution of the P500 cash grant under the “Katas ng VAT, Tulong kay Lolo at Lola”. About 995 elderly from Tinambac town benefited from the program.

Velarde related that the municipal elderly organization was first organized in October 1993 coinciding with the annual celebration of the Elderly Filipino Week then.

In this city, the weeklong celebration kicked-off with the “Walk for Life” and a fashion show held at the Landco Plaza here participated in by the different Barangay Senior Citizens Association (BASCA).

Meanwhile, Tapispisan has awarded the Certificate of Accreditation to the Office of Senior Citizen’s Affair (OSCA) of Irosin, Sorsogon, through Mayor Lilia Gonzales and OSCA chair Helen Baldenoro; and in Nabua, Camarines Sur, through Mayor Fernando Simbulan, OSCA head Narciso Florin

She explained that the annual celebration of the Elderly Filipino Week or “Linggo ng Nakatatandang Pilipino” held every October 1-7 of every year is in accordance with Presidential Proclamation No. 470 issued by former President Fidel V. Ramos. It aims to pay tribute to the older person in the country. (EEJerusalem, DSWD/PIA)


PILI, Camarines Sur — Latest laboratory results of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and local government units (LGUs), has revealed that shellfish collected at Sorsogon Bay and Juag Lagoon in Matnog, Sorsogon remain positive of the red tide toxin or unsafe for human consumption.

Dumanquillas Bay in Zamboanga del Sur; Bislig Bay in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur and Cancabato Bay in Tacloban City, Leyte are also still found out positive for paralytic shellfish poison that is beyond the regulatory limit.

Furthermore, Murcielagos Bay in Zamboanga del Norte is now positive for red tide toxin.

BFAR warned that all types of shellfish and Acetes sp. or alamang gathered from the abovementioned areas are NOT SAFE for human consumption.

BFAR added that fish, squids, shrimps, and crabs are safe for human consumption provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly, and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking.

The following areas continue to be FREE from toxic red tides: coastal waters of Cavite, las Piñas, Parañaque, Navotas, Bulacan and Bataan in Manila Bay; coastal waters of Alaminos, Anda, Bolinao and Wawa; Bahi in Pangasinan; Masinloc Bay in Zambales; coastal waters of Milagros and Mandaon in Masbate; Inner Malampaya Sound in Taytay and Honda Bay in Palawan; coastal waters of Pilar, President Roxas, Pontevedra, Panay, Roxas City, Ivisan and Sapian in Capiz; coastal waters of Pontevedra in Negros Occidental; Irong-irong, Maqueda and Villareal Bays in Samar; Ormoc, San Pedro and Carigara Bays in Leyte; Biliran Waters in Biliran Province; Hinatuan and Lianga Bays in Surigao del Sur; Balite Bay in Mati, Davao Oriental; and coastal waters of Kabasalan in Sibuguey Bay, Zamboanga Sibugay. (BFAR V/PIA)

PGMA leaves Friday for 15th ASEAN Summit

MANILA — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will leave on Friday to attend the 15th Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits at the seaside resorts of Cha-am and Hua Hin in Thailand on Oct. 23 to 25.

Presidential Deputy Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo, in a press briefing in Malacanang today, said the President will join her ASEAN counterparts in announcing the establishment of an ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights.

She said the ten countries that make up AICHR will appoint a commissioner each to serve for three years.

Fajardo added that other issues on the agenda include the recommendation to establish a free trade agreement between South East Asia and East Asia.

The ASEAN member countries include Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The ASEAN leaders will likewise meet with the six dialogue partners: China, India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea.

The President together with the other ASEAN leaders are also expected to sign the Cha-am-Hua Hin Declaration on Strengthening Cooperation on Education to Achieve an ASEAN Caring and Sharing Community, the ASEAN Declaration on Climate Change, to reaffirm ASEAN position on the negotiations under the United Nations Frameworks Convention on Climate

ASEAN Foreign Ministers will also sign The Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of ASEAN.

Apart from the 15th ASEAN Summit, related meetings at the summit level include the 12th ASEAN-China Summit, the 12th ASEAN-Japan Summit, the 12th ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit, the 7th ASEAN-India Summit, the 12th ASEAN Plus Three Summit (with China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea), and the 4th East Asia Summit (with China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia, and New Zealand).

Fajardo said the President will fly back to Manila on Sunday, October 25. (PIA V Release)

Palace assures gov’t doing its best to rescue Fr. Sinnott

MANILA — Malacanang assured Tuesday (October 20) the public that the government is doing its best to rescue 79-year old Irish priest Father Michael Sinnott from his abductors.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo said the Philippine government is as much concerned as the international community over the abduction.

“I understand the military has cordoned off the area, where Fr. Sinnot’s abductors are staying,” Fajardo said.

The United States and the European Community have expressed concern over the abduction.

Fr. Sinnot, the Founder of Hangop Kabataan Foundation that caters to the needs of disabled children, was abducted by still unidentified armed men at the Diocese of Pagadian on Oct.11.

Fr. Sinnott is a member of the Missionaries of St. Columban and has been working in the Philippines since the early 1980s. (PIA V Release)

Include veteran families in emergency employment program – PGMA

MANILA — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered Tuesday (October 20) the inclusion of family members of Filipino veterans, especially those veterans whose eligibilities for payment are still being determined, in government’s emergency employment program.

US President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on Feb. 17, 2009, authorizing the release of a one-time, lump-sum payment to eligible World War II (WWII) Philippine veterans.

These payments are to be made through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from a $198 million appropriation established for this purpose. Applying for this benefit will not affect other existing veterans’ benefits.

President Arroyo gave the directive to Cabinet members present in the 65th Commemoration of the Leyte Gulf Landing IN Palo, Leyte , including Presidential Adviser Gabby Claudio, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Esperanza Cabral, and Labor Secretary Marianito Roque.

The government’s Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) is a nationwide effort intended to protect the country's most vulnerable sectors --- such as the poor, returning expatriates, workers in the export industry, and out-of-school youths -- by providing emergency employment and by funding and supervising livelihood projects.

She added that since she assumed office, she has been fighting for more veterans’ benefits that would be given by the United States government.

In Leyte alone, there are 2,000 applicants for the US government’s veterans’ benefits program. (PIA V Release)

PGMA introduces ‘Balik Probinsya’ program in Leyte

PALO, Tacloban, Leyte – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Tuesday (October 20) told residents here that their relatives in Manila who want to return to the province for good can take advantage of the government’s “Balik-Probinsya” program under the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The “Balik Probinsya” project, the Chief Executive said, is open to victims of typhoon “Ondoy” in Metro Manila should they decide to go back to their respective provinces for good.

Through the program, the DSWD will provide the interested parties with transportation, food, and other needs. They will also be assisted upon arrival in their own province to seek employment or avail of a microfinance loan so they can start a new life.

DSWD’s “Balik Probinsya” is a long-time project of the agency which aimed to provide assistance to squatter families seeking to return back to their respective rural areas.

The program also aims to decongest Metro Manila of squatter families residing in the riverbanks and other flood-prone areas.

Over 200,000 families were displaced when “Ondoy” hit the country last September 26. (PIA V Release)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

LEGAZPI CITY MAYOR Noel E. Rosal welcomes guests and participants to the "Stand United, Fight Poverty" program of the National Week for Overcoming Extreme Poverty held at DWCL HS Gym (Oct. 16). (Alex Cal/PIA)
'STAND UNITED, FIGHT EXTREME POVERTY' observance of the National Week for Overcoming Extreme Poverty official guest Dr. Cesar Mercado (left) of the Development Center for Asia, Africa and Pacific receives plaque of appreciation from Dir. Jovie O. Morata during program held at DWCL HS Gym, Legazpi Citty, last October 16. (Alex Cal/PIA)

Monday, October 19, 2009

… underscores preservation of the environment and compassion to one another

SORSOGON PROVINCE (October 19) – National Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro emphasizes on eco-tourism, peace and order situation, unanimity, and concern for each other as strong points in combating the ill-effects of disaster and climate change, now felt not only in the Philippines but across the world.

“Our care for and preservation of environment and our compassion for others are best solutions to address the various environmental problems besetting the country, including global warming and climate change,” Teodoro said during the opening of the Kasanggayahan Festival ‘09 here, held Saturday, October 17, where he served as the guest of honor.

Saying the life of the next generation depends on how we care for and preserve our present environment, Teodoro delved on four-point agenda in his visit to the Land of Kasanggayahan.

First, he underscored sustainable eco-tourism which is now being advocated by the province as potential for its development. “Through this, the capacity of Sorsogon will be strengthened, tourists will flock, businesses will boom and the locals will have employment.”

“And since the province’s, city and municipalities’ income will grow, there will be sufficient budget for infrastructure projects that will protect the community and sustain the “build better, be better” program,” he further said.

According to him, if Sorsogon aims to become a premier tourist destination, its environment must be protected to uphold its advancement. “The local government must be very careful in advocating progress since borne as a burden of every development are damages to environment and the community as well,” he stressed out.

Second, Teodoro delved on peace and order situation. As DND Secretary, he believes that use of armaments has no space in democracy, “what is needed instead, is a clear-headed dialogue so as to meet each one’s purpose.”

He also called for the insurgents to drop off their arms and help in promoting Sorsogon, likewise, the public to accept and give them the chance to live a peaceful and normal life.

Thirdly, he conveyed his greetings and gratitude for the very laudable outpour of support from the local government units not only here in Sorsogon but even in Visayas and Mindanao in sharing part of what they will get from their festivals to help victims of the past two deleterious typhoons.

He also called on LGUs here to finish or review at once their respective Zoning and Land Use Plan before Sorsogon becomes a highly urbanized province.

Fourth, is to encourage Sorsoganons that besides material help, inspiration must also be provided for the immediate resurgence of our fellow Filipino every after a disaster strike.

Teodoro also said that the clear theme of Kasanggayahan festival convinced him that this has to be pushed through amidst the crises faced by Filipinos in Central and Northern Luzon due to the onslaught of successive typhoons “Ondoy” and “Pepeng”.

“Kasanggayahan Festival is needed for us to truly feel the real spirit of compassion,” he said. (BARecebido, PIA Sorsogon)


LEGAZPI CITY --- Government soldiers seized Monday another rebel encampment in sitio Taprang-Taprang, barangay San Miguel in Panganiban town in the island province of Catanduanes, an official of the Philippine Army (PA) said.

Capt. Razaliegh Bansawan, 901st Army Brigade spokesman, said the scout platoon of the Army 83rd Infantry Battalion, led by 1st Lt. Alex Parohinog, discovered the New People’s Army (NPA) camp around 10:00 am with the help of concerned residents in the area providing information to the troopers on the presence of the campground.

Parohinog bared in his report that the camp appeared newly abandoned by the communist rebels, who now fled to the hinterlands following a series of tactical offensive launched recently by the military in the province.

The government troopers accounted from the camp five big huts, a comfort room, a kitchen and a conference area, a couple of guard houses. More or less 30 individuals took shelter in the site.

He added the camp was used by the communist guerillas in their Batayang Kursong Panlipunan lectures for the new recruits.

Lt. Col. Romeo Basco, 83rd Infantry Battalion commander, said persistent reports on sightings of NPA rebels in Bagamanoc and Panganiban towns prompted the military to conduct anew military operations.

Bansawan, meanwhile, said the series of military operation in Catanduanes already led to the discovery of the fourth guerilla camp in the island province since the deployment of military troops in the area intensifying counter insurgency campaign. (MALoterte, PIA V)

…holds “Bunkusai” Cultural Day

PILI, Camarines Sur — The provincial government’s program on Japanese language proficiency continues to provide quality training on Nihongo to Camarines Sur constituents for free spearheading the “Bunkasai” or Cultural Day on October 16 at the Camarines Sur IT Park.

The program, debuted on February 15, 2005, has since undergone changes in its curriculum in order to ensure greater proficiency of the language for the graduates, giving them the edge in applying for work in Japanese owned corporations and outfits anywhere in the world.

Offering Level IV (Basic Conversational Skills Level) and Level III (Low Intermediate Level) at the onset of the program, now it offers Preparatory, Level IV, Level III and Level II (High Intermediate Level) conducted under the auspices of the Camarines Sur Japanese Language and Culture Center (CSJLCC).

The preparatory course (9 hours) is actually a new addition to the curriculum aimed at gradually introducing the students to Nihongo, allowing them a better grasp and appreciation of the language.

Gov. LRay Villafuerte, in his bid to overcome the “language barrier” which is actually the stumbling block not only for Filipinos but also for foreigners in penetrating the Japanese workforce, established CSJLCC initially called Japanese Language Learning Course (JLLC) by virtue of Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution Number 099 aimed at effectively addressing the problem, especially for his provincial constituents.

At present time, CSJLCC has produced 431 graduates in Level IV, 90 graduates in Level III and 20 graduates in Level II. Of said tally, 87 graduates are JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) passers for level IV, 44 graduates passed Level III and 2 graduates passed Level II respectively. Moreover, additional classes for preparatory course are slated to be held at its new satellite office in Naga City in order to accommodate more students upon the request of the public.

As a customary means of giving a foretaste of the rich Japanese culture, CSJLCC is once again holding a “Bunkasai” or Cultural Day which will showcase among others Ikebana Flower Making Contest, Calligraphy, Origami Making Contest, games and cultural competition.

For more information on the free Nihongo course and the schedule of classes, interested person may call CSJLCC at 473.03.92. (CRFernandez, MMEC/PIA)


DAET, Camarines Norte – Stakeholders of the One Town One Product (OTOP) in Camarines Norte were conferred with awards and certificate of assistance worth P50,000 during the 2nd Camarines Norte OTOP Congress held here last October 14.

Rodrigo Aguilar, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) assistant regional director, said the cooperation between the business sector and the local government units (LGUs) deserves the credit for the success of the OTOP which has gainfully brought relief and development to both the entrepreneurs themselves and development to the local economy as well.

Aguilar said the congress served as venue to recognized the initiatives and exemplary achievements of the program, consequently, encourage more aspiring and existing enterprises to venture into the product showcase of their locality.
He also cited the LGUs for their relentless support to the OTOP program, adding that DTI, on the otherhand, will continue to give financial and technical assistance to them.

For the Most Supportive LGUs, Labo town bagged the first place receiving a plaque of recognition, followed by the municipalities of Basud and Mercedes capping the second and third places, respectively, which also both received certificates of recognition.

Labo Progressive Multi-Purpose Cooperative topped the Outstanding Micro Small Medium Enterprise (MSME), which received a plaque of recognition. Caayunan Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Basud and the Abby’s Pasalubong of Daet notched the second and third respectively, which also both received certificates of recognition.

A certificate of financial assistance for special project worth P50,000 was also awarded to some ten OTOP players who participated to the OTOP Congress, wherein funds were provided for through the Priority Development Fund (PDF) of Congw. Liwayway Vinzons Chato of the province’s lone district.

Ernesto Pardo, DTI Camarines Norte provincial director, meanwhile said that it is the agency’s goal to bring products on higher level by ensuring their good quality and massive production to cope up with the market demands.

OTOP products of the different municipalities include pineapple of Basud, mud crabs of Capalonga, pineapple-pili based products of Daet, fine jewelry of Paracale and Jose Panganiban, pineapple fiber products of Labo, processed marine products of Mercedes, pineapple beverage of San Lorenzo Ruiz, pineapple fiber of San Vicente, dalanghita of Sta. Elena, dairy products of Talisay and sweet pastries of Vinzons. (RBManlangit, PIA CamNorte)



Food security as defined in the World Food Summit exists when all people, at all times, have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet the dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy lifestyle.

In the Philippines, achieving food security ma be farfetched since millions of Filipinos continue to suffer from hunger and malnutrition.

Results of the 7th National Nutrition Survey showed that more than three million preschool children suffer from undernutrition. School children, adolescents and adults also suffer from protein-energy malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies. Malnutrition among these age groups can be attributed to the unavailability of sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet the individual’s dietary needs.

According to the Food Insecurity Survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute as part of the 7th NNS, three in every 10 mothers and two out of 10 children experienced food insecurity in the past three months because there was no food to eat or no money to buy food. Two out of 10 mothers, while one out of 10 children experienced hunger. Skipping or missing meals was the most frequent experience among food insecure mothers and children.

About seven out of 10 mother respondents expressed anxiety regarding the sufficiency of the food in the household and the money to buy food.

The food insecurity survey results are consistent with the results of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) hunger survey which showed an increase in the number of Filipinos who suffered from involuntary hunger. (CPBabaran, NNC/PIA)


What difference do years of KALAHI-CIDSS project implementation make?

For the past six years, Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services or KALAHI-CIDSS has proven how collective action brought change for the communities, a shared responsibility for an improved quality of life.

The emergence of KALAHI-CIDSS, championed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in partnership with various government agencies and non-government organizations, has marked a turning point in Pioduran, Albay, setting up initiatives and innovative projects like roads, water system, bridges, school buildings, health stations, post-harvest facilities, irrigation and flood control system.

Roads bringing in development

For years, as if no vehicle could reach barangay Lawinon in Pioduran town, not even a motorcycle or an animal-drawn carriage and villagers needed to hike for hours to reach the nearest barangays and neighboring ones, including Poblacion.

Lawinon is seemingly isolated from the rest of the barangays in the municipality and deprived of the basic social services.

Pioduran Mayor Dante Arandia admitted that KALAHI-CIDSS brought changes in his municipality.

“The local government and people of Pioduran are just so thankful that now that we have a partner in bringing development to thisbarangay. It wasn’t easy at first. The people didn’t know the procedures in building projects. But KALAHI has provided different trainings for the community,” Arandia noted.

Access has been the top priority of the people manifested by their longing to have their roads opened and improved. The people pressed for the roads foremost; “this is what we have been waiting for”, said Arnel Timplancia, procurement team volunteer.

“When we have good roads, the rest follows for services to come in,” said Timplancia.

Volunteers explained how different barangays united for the same road project, as barangay officials and the project preparation team realized that individual projects would not be implemented well because of possible hauling problems for their materials (with the road’s absence). Moreover, the dire need to have roads improved would entail higher costs.

The municipal government meanwhile has funded extensions of road projects that included the Rawis-Mamlag road, also opening access to Lawinon.

Improving the road network in Pioduran town is a major thrust of the local government in bringing development to all its covered villages. By bringing development projects that the people themselves initiated, the local government would continuously be guided on the town’s future development goals.

The people of Pioduran now have this inexplicable joy for every vehicle that they could hitch along the new roads in their barangays. Motorcycle or locally known as “habal-habal” now operates in the community. And for people who take their first ride in a vehicle, getting dizzy and throwing-up after a ride is nothing.

For now at least, they could cut trips from days to hours. Little by little, they can now feel progress in their midst sari-sari stores begin to operate, more and more products are transported to and from nearby towns of Pioduran.

Truly, there is a promise for the people who showed cooperation and commitment with the local government units. With new roads to be taken, now all is set for the making of a better community. (CLMartinez, KCRSMO-DSWD/PIA)

WWF lauds PGMA initiatives on climate change

MANILA — The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), an international non-government organization with a mission to halt and reverse the destruction of environment, lauded President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for calling attention to climate charge and its effects on the environment.

In a courtesy call on the President Sunday night, WWF International Director General James P. Leape described typhoons Ondoy and .Pepeng as a horrifying reminder on what destructive forces climate change can unleash on the Philippines and the rest of the world.

He said that President Arroyo is adopting policies and initiatives designed to raise public awareness on the issue.

During the meeting, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap and Environment Secretary Lito Atienza joined the discussion on climate change and deliberated on what needs to be done in the forthcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference slated to be held in Copenhagen in December.

Leape likewise praised the President for encouraging private sector participation in support of the Coral Triangle Initiatives.

The Philippine government is working closely with the Conservation International and WWF to identify priority projects to protect the Ocean.

The Coral Triangle is a geographical term that refers to the waters of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste that encompass 75 percent of all species known in the world. (PIA V Release)

PGMA to lead 65th anniversary of Leyte Gulf Landing

MANILA — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will lead tomorrow (October 20) the 65th anniversary of the Leyte Gulf Landing that led to liberation of the Philippines from Japanese occupation in World War II.

The affair will be held at the MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park in Candahug, Leyte. The monument marks the spot where General Douglas MacArthur landed with the American Liberation Forces on October 20, 1944, starting the Battle of Leyte.

President Arroyo will be joined by the ambassadors of the United States and Japan, diplomatic representatives of Australia and Canada, the Veterans Federation of the Philippines of Region 8, and officials of the host province of Leyte.

Other government officials who will grace the event are Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, Press Secretary Cerge M. Remonde, National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) Lead Convenor Secretary Domingo Panganiban, Labor Secretary Marianito Roque, Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano, Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla and Palo Mayor Teodoro Sevilla.

During her visit, the President will hold a regional one-on-one media interview that will be broadcast live on the government run station DZRB Radyo ng Bayan and other participating local broadcast stations.

After the media interview, there will be a lighting of the Veterans' Torch for Peace, invocation by Monsignor Raul Aguilos, and brief remarks from the ambassadors.

The President will then motor to the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) at the Cabalawan town for the installation and commissioning of the P48.34 million state-of-the art maritime training simulators and equipment.

NMP is an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) mandated to provide maritime training and research that measures up to international standards.

The simulators and equipment were acquired by the NMP through the government capital outlay which ensures that Filipino seafarers will gain, upon completion of upgrading training courses, the knowledge and competence in operating navigational equipment installed in a ship's bridge, monitor and control the operation of a ship's engine and electrical power plant, or operate equipment used in handling liquid cargos, and gain confidence to take on higher responsibilities on-board ships. (PIA V Release)

Palace assures public gov't a uthorities on top of Sinnott abduction case

MANILA — Malacañang assured Sunday (October 18) the public that government forces are on top of the situation to rescue Irish priest Father Michael Sinnott from his abductors in Pagadian City.

The 79-year old Fr. Sinnott is a member of the Missionary Society of St. Columban in Pagadian City.He was abducted in the early evening of October 11, 2009 at the Columban House in Gatas District in Pagadian City.

In a radio interview at DZRB Radyo ng Bayan, Presidential Spokesperson for Economic Affairs Professor Gary Olivar said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police are doing their utmost best to rescue the priest from his abductors.

He noted that the military had earlier claimed it had information on the whereabouts of the priest. The military said that abductors are holding Sinnott in Sultan Naga Dimaporo.

The Columban Missionaries have already sent a letter to United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hoping that the assistance of US President Barrack Obama would pave the way for the release of the priest.

Olivar said the Palace is respecting the decision of the missionaries and understands their appeal since Fr. Sinnott has a heart condition. Everyone, he added, is entitled to seek help outside.

However, he stressed that the Filipino authorities will be the lead in the rescue operations of Fr. Sinnott since the local forces know the situation on the ground.

He pointed out that the Philippine government welcomes any assistance from other countries to help in the rescue of the Irish priest.

According to the military, checkpoints are now being put up in some strategic areas to prevent kidnappers from slipping out.

The military has also established a tactical command post in Sultan Naga Dimaporo but maintained that the deployment of more soldiers there was only for “containment operations.”

The priest is a long-time missionary in the Philippines who has served children with special needs.

The government is appealing to the abductors for his safe and immediate release given his advanced age and health condition. (PIA V Release)

PGMA orders CICT to ensure permanent internet connection in I-HUB, schools nationwide

MANILA — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Sunday (October 18) directed the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) to ensure that all iHub centers including high schools nationwide will have permanent access to internet connection.

The Chief Executive issued the directive after she spearheaded the launching ceremonies of the Information Hub (iHub) for the second district of Bataan at the Mariveles National High School (Poblacion campus). The project is part of the government’s effort to attain a higher computer literacy rate among students in public schools.

In his welcome remarks, Bataan Governor Enrique Garcia thanked the President for the project which, he said, the previous administration failed to provide them.

“Umasa kayo Madam President na ang lahat ng mga proyektong ibinigay ninyo para sa probinsiya ng Bataan ay hindi mapapariwara (We will assure you Madam President that all projects you provided for the province will be taken care of),” Governor Garcia said.

Some 500 computer units, which include computer laptops with LCD monitor, wi-fi routers and printers were also distributed to the 14 high schools within the 2nd district of Bataan.

This district has 14 public high schools with a combined a student population of 23,966 and total teaching force of 769 teachers as of April 2009.

Initiated by Rep. Albert Garcia of the 2nd District of Bataan, the iHub project give high school students hands-on experience on the computer and the wonders of getting connected to the world via the Internet. (PIA V Release)

Palace says Santiago's bill merits special attention

MANILA — Malacañang said Sunday (October 18) the proposed bill of administration Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago seeking to penalize persons or organizations that would encroach on any waterways should merit special attention following the damage wrought by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng in terms of lives and property.

Santiago filed Senate Bill No. 3483 to punish those who encroach on waterways and disrupt the natural flow of water which eventually leads to frequent and massive flooding.

In an interview, Presidential Spokesperson for Economic Affairs Professor Gary Olivar said the proposed bill should be considered and implemented.

“I think a law like that will have a place in the overall revised planning framework for developing Metro Manila,” he noted.

The Palace, according to Olivar, is in favor of any solution that will minimize in the long term the vulnerability of the provinces to natural disasters, including suggestions to improve the country’s capability to respond to calamities and institute rehabilitation efforts.

In her proposal, Santiago cited the indiscriminate construction of buildings and subdivisions along waterways, as well as poor planning which vastly altered the urban landscape of Metro Manila -- resulting to the disruption of the natural flow of water leading to massive floods.

Due to the catastrophe wrought by the two typhoons, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo earlier ordered the permanent relocation of informal settlers, particularly those in the river banks and lake areas. (PIA V Release)