LGU Summit+3i pursues climate change adaptation advocacy among LGUs
By Marlon A. Loterte
LEGAZPI CITY, March 9 (PIA) — The provincial government of Albay, through the Centre for Initiatives and Research on Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) will embark anew in pursuing the advocacy on climate change adaptation (CCA) cum disaster risk reduction (DRR)… now with chief executives of some 800 towns across the country.
Albay province, acclaimed a key frontliner in CCA advocacy in the country and abroad, takes the lead anew in staging the LGU Summit+3i – Mindanao Leg in Davao City set on March 15-17 at the Grand Regal Hotel in Davao City.
Manuel “Nong” Rangasa, executive director of CIRCA, told PIA News Service that the Mindanao leg is the third and final of the series of the LGU Summit+3i in the three main islands of the country.
Albay earlier hosted and sponsored the two CCA summit involving the League of Governors of the Philippines held in Albay on November 2010 and League of City Mayors in Iloilo on December, also last year.
Rangasa said the summit evidently manifests that the implementation of direct adaptation measures remains local or lies on the hands of LGUs and residents.
Rangasa added the Mindanao leg also forms part of the unrelenting pursuit and strengthen commitment to mainstream CCA to address climate variability and extremes, moreover, direct adaptation measures among localities in the country.
The CIRCA executive director elaborated further that in the end local governments will increase appreciation on the concept that the “development as usual” approach, without considering climate variability and extremes, may pose as a threat in meeting development goals.
The series of interfacing among chief executives and other stakeholders, according to Rangasa, intends to raise the urgent need for a concerted effort to fast track achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by the United Nations (UN), especially at the local level, to meet the 2015 target and share experiences of LGUs in tracking their MDGs progress.
“With provincial and city chief executives across the country earlier demonstrating their commitment to develop resilience and adaptive capacities of communities to the adverse impacts of climate change, the summit will now seek the commitment among towns’ chief executives to accelerate achievement of MDGs through appropriate interventions, including CCA measures,” he noted.
Along the way, according to Rangasa, local governments will be able to determine priority adaptation measures in line with the National Strategic Framework on CCA that would protect and facilitate MDG achievement by target year 2015.
The LGU Summit+3i Mindanao Leg is part of the over-all effort of the Climate Change Commission (CCC), in partnership with the Provincial Government of Albay, CIRCA, Climate Change Academy for LGUs, all under the helm of Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda.
The summit is supported by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Spanish Government Assisted Project MDG-F 1656: Joint Programme on Strengthening the Philippines’ Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change. (MALoterte, PIA Albay)
PNoy's sis,Viel, inaugurates 3rd preschool project in Albay
By Aida Alcazar-Naz
LEGAZPI CITY, Mar 9 (PIA) – Viel Aquino-Dee, sister of President Benigno Aquino III, led the inauguration of the Aklat, Gabay at Aruga Tungo sa Pag-angat at Pag-asa (AGAPP) Foundation, Inc. pre-school project for indigent communities in Daraga town, Albay.
Yesterday’s (Mar. 8) turnover and inauguration rites were held in Daraga North Central School (DNCS), one of the big public schools in Albay province.
Dee, who was also the guest of honor of the Bicol regional celebration of the International Women’s Day, took advantage of her presence in the province and led the turnover of the 60 percent completed DNCS AGAPP school building.
AGAPP, along with the Pinoy Power Bicol Coalition of Volunteers (PPBCV), believes that the activity will be cost effective. PPBCV is the local conduit of AGAPP.
When finished, the two-room school building will include a library including books, cabinets, tables, and chairs.
Dee announced during the turnover to Department of Education (DepEd) and Daraga local government that the main donors for the DNCS AGAPP are Letty Tan, Uratex, and National Book Store for the books.
At present, there are 157 preschool children divided in six classes. Next year, the school, according to its principal Nanet Kapitbahay, expects a higher number of enrollees, hence the AGAPP building is a welcome addition to the already scarce number of schoolrooms.
Dee recognized the effort of elder sister Pinky Aquino-Abellada who personally led the turnover of two AGAPP schools in Albay last January 14 this year.
Aquino Abellada is at the forefront in the AGAPP projects while Aquino-Dee, an AGAPP honorary trustee, is at the helm of the Assisi Development Foundation working closely for indigenous groups and church assistance projects.
She was responsible for sending medicines and stuffs for the January 22 medical mission to barangays affected by the tail-end of the cold front flooding in Albay. The recipients of the donation were the barangays of Bacacay town which benefited 700 residents.
The other two-room AGAPP school buildings are located in Taysan Elementary School, this city and Anislag Resettlement Site in Daraga town.
According to PPBCV president Ofelia Samar-Sy, each AGAPP two-room buildings costs some P600,000 each.
This typhoon-proof 104 sq. m. school building can be constructed in a month’s time barring weather constraints.
Three more school buildings will soon start construction in Camarines Sur. These will rise in Bato North Central School, Nabua Pilot Central Elementary School., Romero Elementarty School in Barangay Pawili, Bula.
PPBCV has received a report from the Aboitiz Corporation expressing its willingness to assume the cost of the AGAPP school building in Tiwi, Albay while Mayor Antero Lim of Goa, Camarines Sur is ready to subsidize 50 percent of the cost of the school building.
Sy said that AGAPP targets the building of 600 pre-school buildings throughout the country within the administration of President Benigno C. Aquino III. (PIA V/Albay/mal)
Sorsogon GAD council proposes a Halfway House for CICL and children at risk
By Irma A. Guhit
SORSOGON CITY, Mar 9 (PIA) - The Sorsogon Provincial Gender and Advocacy Council (PGAD) highlighted March 8 Women's Day celebration with a forum held here at the provincial training hall.
Provincial Prosecutor Regina Coeli Gabito explained the salient features of RA 9344 otherwise known as the Juvenile and Justice Welfare Act (JJWA).
Approved on April 28 of 2006, RA 9344 zeroes in to the right of the child on its restorative justice aspect which according to Gabito the child or minor who have committed offense or crimes are no longer referred to as juvenile delinquents but Children in Conflict of the Law (CICL) and should be provided a comprehensive juvenile intervention program.
Under RA 9344 the provisions of the law are more on the reparation of the offender. They will be given more reconciliatory assistance for reintegration to society more on counseling provided by social workers from the provincial or municipal Department of Social Welfare and Development Office (P/CSWDO).
Under its provisions a child is below 18 and is considered a minor. There are two types of these children. The child at risk meaning the child is incapable of taking care of himself which sometimes requires the expert opinion of a psychiatrist. The other is the Child in Conflict of the Law, those who have committed crimes or offense.
According to Gabito children at risk are those who are vulnerable and at risk of committing a criminal offense. These are the abandoned children and who also tend to abuse others.
These maybe are also sexually or economically abused, some are from dysfunctional families or broken homes while others are without parents, out of school or children left to fend for their own.
The children in conflict of the law are alleged to be those who are accused of or adjudged as having committed a crime.
The report of the Sorsogon Police Provincial Office (SPPO) here and the City Police Station Office (SPO) showed a high incidence of CICLs. In 2009, Sorsogon city alone recorded 15 cases of CICLs committed by 9-17 years of old while provincial records showed 23 cases involving CICLs.
The provincial records of CICLs in 2010 bear 24 cases distributed as 6 for Sorsogon City, Irosin -6, Pto. Diaz 3, Bulan 1, Castilla 5 Pilar 2.
In 2010 Sorsogon city has 6 cases of crimes committed by minors and in the province was 23. Jan- February 2011 registered 5 cases. According to most of the DSWDO workers a lot here were not reported since this has been arranged in the barangays lupon.
An analysis of the city and provincial situation of the problem several social workers believe that while they are doing their job and even the PNP, the need to have a halfway house were these children can be repatriated and given the right counseling is one of the collegial effort to be pushed by the PGAD so that these children can be given the chance to be mainstreamed again without stigma.
"It is very vital for us working in the reparation and reconciliation of these CICLs to provide them a safe haven where again they can be humanly treated" Gabito said.
"It is very difficult for us social workers when a child offender who has committed ten times of offense cannot be admitted to the Center for Boys here in Pangpang, here without court order", Rose Abay, coordinator of the City Balay Bukas Palad said.
A collegial decision was reached in the forum. First, the additional hiring of social workers who should tend to these concerns only created through a plantilla position and second, the hiring of a provincial psychologist and psychiatrist who can assist in court cases.
The overriding decision of the PGAD is really to build a halfway home where these children can be well given all the interventions and the assistance to reintegrated again in society and be able to live a a natural life in their communities. (PIA Sorsogon/mal)
TESDA conducts skills competency assessment for free
By Bennie A. Recebido
SORSOGON CITY, March 9 (PIA) – The Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) has good news for skilled workers and graduates of technical courses.
TESDA provincial director Rodolfo G. Benemerito, said that TESDA is staging a one-week conduct of competency assessment and certification in identified key qualifications that are critical and hard to find skills with high industry demand.
Said activity, known as Synchronized National Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Assessment and Certification (NATCAC) is slated on March 28 – April 1 in different TESDA schools or training centers which will simultaneously be conducted across the country.
“It will be a week-long activity, wherein assessment and certification will be offered for free,” said Benemerito.
He said a total of 300 slots were determined based on TESDA central office formula which gives due consideration to the number of TEKBOK (technical-vocational) graduates in a particular area.
The free assessment and certification are intended for the following work or skills:
A. Construction Sector
1. Electrical Installation and Maintenance NC III
2. Electrical Installation and Maintenance NC II
3. Masonry NC III
4. Plumbing NC III
5. Carpentry NC III
6. Shielded Metal ARC Welding NC III
7. Shielded Metal ARC Welding NC II
8. Construction Painting NC III
B. Information and Communication (ICT) Sector
1. Visual Graphics NC III
2. 2D Animation NC III
3. 3D Animation NC III
4. Programming NC IV
5. Computer Hardware Servicing NC IV
C. Electronics Sector
1. Mechatronics NC III
2. Instrumentation NC III
3. Consumer Electronics Servicing NC III
D. Tourism Sector
1. Food and Beverage Servicing NC III
2. Food and Beverage Servicing NC II
3. Commercial Cooking NC III
4. Bread and Pastry Making NC II
5. Housekeeping NC III
6. Housekeeping NC II
7. Events Management Services NC III
E. Automotive and Land transport Sector
1. Automotive Servicing NC III
2. Automotive Servicing NC III
3. Driving NC III
Benemerito also said that those who will pass the synchronized assessment can immediately get their National Certificate (NC) on the day of the actual assessment.
“Names of passers will be published in a national newspaper,” he added.
Interested applicants must bring three copies of passport size picture with white background and collared shirt and coordinate with the nearest TESDA school or office in their respective area to secure an application form and obtain a self-assessment guide. (PIA Sorsogon/mal)
New hospital to boost Naga City's bid as health and wellness hub
By Lizel S. Macatangay
NAGA CITY, March 9 (PIA) -- As the City of Smiles pushes for a more efficient delivery of services, it also continues to remain steadfast in its bid in making this city a haven for health buffs by encouraging more health facilities to flourish and serve the Naguenos.
Just recently, Mayor John Bongat attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the Naga Imaging Center Cooperative (NICC) along Roxas Avenue , Diversion Road here. The site would soon be the location of NICC Doctor’s Hospital.
Also present during the occasion were Dr. Nestor F. Santiago Jr., DOH regional director of the Center for Health Development in Bicol and Naga City’s multi awarded mayor now DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo.
The tertiary hospital will feature state of the art facilities, including diagnostic equipment. It will also house presidential and private suites, 55 private rooms, semi-private rooms, wards and doctors’ clinics, among others. These facilities will cater the medical needs of all Naguenos and residents of its neighboring municipalities.
Adding to the list of medical equipment is a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), which the NICC wishes to acquire as soon as the hospital commences its operation. Once realized, the said MRI will be the first in the Bicol region and is expected to serve not only residents of the province but as well as those from Samar and Quezon province.
Driven by a common desire to serve members coming from all economic dimensions, 41 doctors, headed by Dr. Olivia Tuy-Rances, a renowned pediatrician, have initially thought of putting up a hospice which will offer a modern medical facilities yet affordable health care services. Nearing its realization, NICC is just waiting for a year to finally reach its completion.
Now, NICC boasts of 100 doctors who will be manning the service cooperative under the headship of its general manager, Dr. Francia Lim Antonio. (PIA Camarines Sur/mal)
BFP-Naga to create Emergency Response Teams
By Lizel S. Macatangay
NAGA CITY, March 9 (PIA) --- “Preparedness beats disaster.”
This is an adage that the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) here wants to stride on in beating fire catastrophes in their areas of jurisdiction.
City Fire Marshall Chief Inspector Achilles Santiago is planning on putting up emergency response teams composed of volunteers who would be equipped with trainings and know how on fire situation’s do’s and dont’s in case of fire incidents.
This, he believes would lessen if not totally eradicate the number of casualties during fire occurrence.
Also in line with this endeavor, Santiago has already coordinated with the local officials thru the City Disaster Coordinating Committee to submit the list of fire-prone areas in their respective barangays. The data will help them to identify areas where they can possibly put up pumping stations and fire hydrants so that they can undertake emergency response in case of fire.
“We are putting new fire hydrants and replacing some which are already considered flawed to ensure the equipment’s effective service when we need them the most. We are also coordinating with the management of Metro Naga Water District (MNWD) to provide us with a stand by pumping engine to ensure a strong pressure of water during our operation.”
This undertaking is just one of the activities that BFP Naga has lined up for the long celebration of Fire Prevention Month.
During their kick off activity undertaken on the first day of the month, BFP personnel visited several municipalities, schools and universities as part of their education campaign and advocacy on fire prevention. They have also conducted an “open house” activity where residents where briefed on the use and importance of fire fighting equipment.
Santiago is confident that with the combustion equipment that the Bureau have, they will be able to effectively respond to any fire emergencies.
BFP Naga now boasts of 9 serviceable firetrucks, ladder, rescue tender , two (2) ambulances and state of the art search and rescue van. (PIA Camarines Sur/mal)
DTI warns public vs agents of fake detergents
By Edna A. Bagadiong
VIRAC, Catanduanes, March 9 (PIA) - The Department of Trade and Industry here warned the public against agents of fake detergents who victimized a group of housewives in Caramoran last February 22.
The group of women complained at the Caramoran Police Station regarding an alleged substandard detergent powder carrying the Brand N'Joy detergent powder which they bought from peddlers allegedly representing a Malabon-based distributor, MARKZEN Marketing.
The complaints alleged that the detergent did not produce suds as normal detergents. They demanded for refunds for the products they bought.
Based on Police Blotter Entry No. 1163, MARKZEN Marketing was being presented by Myla Bravo as manager and Genalyn Cabalag as supervisor. The group was composed of 11 pedddlers/ambulant vendors.
Further scrutiny made by LGU-Caramoran's Consumer Welfare Desk Officer, Gina I. Vera revealed that the product was underweight which is considered as prima facie evidence of profiteering based on the provisions of RA 7581 or Price Act of the Philippines. It also did not bear the manufacturer's name and the distributor's complete address which are outright violations of RA 7394 or COnsumer Act of the Philippines.The group also committed peddling wares without a valid LGU permit which is in violation of a local ordinance requiring Peddler's Permit.
Caramoran Police and Vera confiscated about 160 boxes of the said violative product upon confirmation with the office of the DTI to prevent the group from victimizing more consumers.
Half of the confiscated products were turned-over by the Caramoran Police Station headed by its officer-in-charge, Police Inspector Arnel B. Bellen and CWDO GIna I. Vera to DTI on February 28, 2011 to serve as evidence in filing formal charges against the erring parties. (PIA Catanduanes/mal)
Pensioners ask government for better benefits
By Edna A. Bagadiong
VIRAC, Catanduanes, Mar 9 (PIA) -- Pensioners from a newly organized elderly group are asking the national government particularly Congress to adhere to the law requiring the review and upgrading of retirement benefits.
The Pandan Retired Pensioners Association has united elderly retirees of the said town so that their remaining years will still be healthful and productive through socialization and physical fitness activities.
Teofila Isorena, president of the association, said that one of their primary purpose is to remind Malacanang and the legislative branch of the implementation of the benefits and privileges for retirees pursuant to Republic Act 9994, otherwise known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.
The said law provides that retirement benefits of retirees from both the government and private sector shall be reviewed regularly every year to ensure their continuing responsiveness and sustainability, and to the extent practicable and feasible, shall be upgraded to be at par with the current scale enjoyed by those in actual service based on the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) poverty threshold per region, as determined by the National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB).
In his inaugural address, Isorena pledged the group's support to the municipal leaders and vowed to strive to maximize their contribution to nation building.
The other officers of the association are: Mariano Tabirara, Vice-President; Aventino Interno, Secretary; Aurora dela Rosa, Treasurer; Fausto Eusebio, Auditor; Yolanda Cantar and Jovenal Trinidad, Business Managers; Aurora Evangelista, Mass Media Officer; Ninfa Namata, Muse; and Edgardo Bonifacio, Elena del Valle, Lucena Aznar, Milagros Reyes, Necia Alcantara, and Amparo Isorena, Directors. (PIA Catanduanes/mal)
OFWs from Libya have until Mar15 to exchange dinar to peso
By Aida Alcazar-Naz
LEGAZPI CITY, March 9 (PIA) – Bangko Sentral branches in Bicol along with the commercial banks have set up currency exchange facility (CEF) for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) repatriated from conflict troubled Libya.
These Libyan dinar exchange facilities opened starting Monday until March 15.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Legazpi branch manager Marilyn Paje made the announcement in Monday’s radio program of PIA’s Aramon Ta Daw who stressed that displaced Libyan OFWs have only up to March 15 to convert Libyan dinars to Philippine peso.
According to Paje, Libyan banknotes are not convertible to pesos prior to the opening of the CEFs. She advises the OFWs not to keep these dinars.
Paje added that they will await another authorization from BSP central office for any extension of the services of the facility after the March 15 deadline.
BSP notifies concerned returning OFWs that they are allowed up to a maximum P10,000 equivalent of Libyan dinars. The exchange rate for every dinar is P33.034.
OFWs are required to present documentary proof of travel from Libya such as passport or valid travel papers issued and signed by the Philippine Embassy stamped with the date of arrival in the country in order to qualify for the CEF services.
Paje disclosed that Monday morning, March 7, two OFWs have already benefited from the CEF at BSP Legazpi.
She explained that the setting-up of CEF is not new to BSP. It has previously established such services in similar emergency situations in the Middle East. These were carried out in the 1990s at the height of the Kuwait-Iraq war, in 2003 during the US-Iraq conflict. The last time CEF was set-up was in 2006 in connection with the Israel-Hezbollah discord.
Paje added that access to CEF then and as today is exclusive to returning OFWs who were given limited period within which to exchange the acceptable currencies for pesos and in limited amount. (PIA V/Albay/mal)
Women to House Members: Stop Maternal Deaths, Pass RH Bill Now!
LEGAZPI CITY, March 9 (PIA) — Members of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP) expressed their frustrations over the delays in the passage of House Bill 4244 or the “Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2011.
Elizabeth Angsioco, national chair of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP), call on to legislators for the passage of RH Bill as each day of delay the lives of 11 women are wasted due to lack of access to comprehensive reproductive health education and services, laments.
“March 8 is supposed to be a day for women to celebrate but such celebration is meaningless knowing that each day, eleven Filipino women, mostly poor, die due to pregnancy and childbirth complications.
Moreover, the bill that can help arrest this massacre of women is held hostage by some legislators who resort to all kinds of delaying tactics to block the RH bill’s passage,” expressed Angsioco.
According to her, DSWP members are dismayed by the fact that some members of the House of Representatives would set aside their mandate and instead become instruments of the Catholic hierarchy in blocking the bill. It is disgusting that some lawmakers resort to all types of antics - from being absent from sessions so there will be no quorum, to filibustering, even expressing needless complaints during plenary to eat up time, Angsioco said.
Angsioco laments that RH bill has been languishing in the Halls of Congress for more 16 years now. “So many lives have been wasted. The Catholic Church will never change their opposition on the use of contraceptives, but they are not the ones directly affected by the issue, it is the women, especially poor women,” she said.
“Again, as we commemorate women’s day, we demand accountability from our lawmakers.
Your mandate is to serve the people – us, NOT the Catholic hierarchy. Your responsibility is to see to it that bills are properly processed, not blocked. You must see the legislative process through. The RH bill should be voted on. This is all we ask. If you have the numbers, you should not delay,” Angsioco emphasized.
Almost all sectors – government agencies, academe, business, youth, interfaith organizations, media, medical organizations, civil society and community organizations are supportive of the bill, shared
Angsioco. The big majority of Filipino people want the RH bill to pass.
“Arguments on the issue have been exhausted. There is nothing new to add. There is no need for further delay. Stop maternal deaths. The immediate passage of the RH bill is the single most important legacy this Congress can give Filipino women. Pass the RH bill now!” she ended. (MALoterte, PIA Albay/RVAvila, DWSP)
Use of vermicompost pushed
By Rosalita Base-Manlangit
DAET, Camarines Norte, March 9 (PIA) – Department of Agriculture (DA) Assistant Secretary Edilberto de Luna led the Farmer’s Field Day or Harvest Festival on Organic Fertilizer Utilization (Vermicast) for rice Tuesday (Mar. 8) in Barangay Calintaan, Talisay, Camarines Norte.
Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAg) manager Dr. Helen Abordo explained that vermicast as an organic fertilizer was produced out of vermi worm or waste of worm and can reduce cost in farming.
She said that by using vermicast farmers will increase their yield in rice and at the same time will save 50 percent of cost of commercial fertilizers.
She said that using vermicast is environment friendly and will not destroy the physical structure of the soil.
Dr. Abordo cited that last year some 60 sets of composting facilities such as shredder machine, tea brewer, vermi boxes and vermi worms were given to farmer organizations, cooperatives, and State College Universities in the province.
The farmers were trained last year on how to raise worms through the help of composting facilities.
They have planted in compact areas and used vermicast fertilizers and they showcase their yield yesterday during the harvest festival.
She added that farmers were also taught of rapid composting of rice straw using trichoderma instead of burning it as another organic fertilizer.
The activity was sponsored by the Bureau of Soil and Water Management (BSWM) of DA in cooperation with the OPAg and the local government of Talisay headed by Mayor Ronnie Magana.
The activity was attended by more than 300 farmer’s organization and Municipal Agriculturist Officers (MAOs) or their representatives.
Other guests were BSWM assistant director Wilfredo Cabezon and DA Region 5 head of Organic Fertilizer Production Project Mercedes Fernando. (PIA Camarines Norte/mal)
Army eng'g brigade completes P58M worth of projects
By Ed de Leon
LEGAZPI CITY, Mar 9 (PIA) - Residents of 13 barangays in four towns of the third district of Albay welcomed the completion by Army engineers of a total of P58 million worth of various projects under the Kalayaan Barangay Projects (KBP) last year.
In his report to 9th Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. Ruperto Pabustan, Lt. Col. Nicasio A. Padua, 565th Engineering Construction Battalion commander, reported that a total of 52 projects were implemented in the towns of Guinobatan, Oas, Pio Duran, Jovellar.
He said 36 projects were implemented in nine barangays of Guinobatan composed of nine school buildings, nine health centers, nine water systems, and nine farm-to-market roads for a total cost of P40.5 million.
While eight projects were completed in two barangays of Jovellar town composed of two schoolbuildings, two health centers, two water systems, and two farm-to-market roads worth P9 million.
While the towns of Oas and Pio Duran were beneficiaries of four projects each, in two barangays each, consisting of two school buildings each, two health centers, two water systems, and two farm-to-market roads each at a total cost of P4.5 million for each town.
All the projects were undertaken in the 13 remote villages of the four towns to address the needs of the poor communities in conflict areas or in areas which have peace and order issues.
Pabustan said that the completed projects will go a long way in winning the peace than just winning the war which is now the new battle cry to address in insurgency problem in Bicol. (PIA V/Albay/mal)