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

Friday, April 29, 2011

BFAR leads celebration of Farmers Fisher folks and Month of the Ocean
by Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, April 29 (PIA) --- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) regional office in Bicol will once again lead the celebration of the the Farmers, Fisher folks and Month of the Ocean this May 2011.

One of the highlights of this event is the installation and ceremonial turn-over of key to this year's Mangingisdang Direktor, Mr. Jesus V. Sumayang, the MFARMC Chair of San Andres and the concurrent Provincial Fisherfolk Representative of Catanduanes.

Mr. Sumayang shall sit as the Regional Fisher folk Director for the whole month of May 2011.

To add color to this event, there will be a motorcade along Virac main streets on May 3, 2011 at 7:00 a.m. to be participated in by the provincial fisherfolk leaders regionwide, BFAR5 personnel and inivited guests.

This will be followed immediately by the opening program of the Farmers, Fisher folks and Month of the Ocean then the installation of Mangingisdang Direktor 2011 at 9:30 a.m. to be held at the Capitol Dome, Virac, Catanduanes.

In the afternoon, there will be a launching of Provincial Tilapia Hatchery and the Ceremonial turn-over of office space for the Provincial Fishery Office of the Catanduanes provided by the Provincial Government of Catanduanes.

On May 4-5, 2011, there will be a Technology Caravan and trun-over of Seaweeds Input Assistance to the local fisher folks. (MAL/EAB, PIA Catanduanes)

World Vision-GVDP prepares for fun run for a cause
by Irma A. Guhit

Rembrandt Hotel, QC, April 27 (PIA)--- In an initial meeting with the World Vision Philippines and Green Valley Development Foundation (WVP-GVDP), last week, Leo C. Legaspi, City Development Officer of WV said that in preparation with the Lung Month Celebration this August 2011,preparations to launch a fun run for a cause has been discussed with some of the technical working group of the World Vision Philippines and other invited agencies who will support the activity.

Through its social arm which is the WV Social Mobilization on Tuberculosis Project, Legaspi said that the fun run proceeds will definitely fund the sustainability project of the WV-GVDP in acquiring a lot and constructing its own building since its program is to end this 2013.

The fun run that is being scheduled this August 2011 will have for its guest Derek Ramsey to be the one to spearhead the fun run according to Legaspi.

Several programs in the province of Sorsogon are being assisted by the WV-GVDP specially sending to school children of indigent families in the municipalities of Juban, Casiguran and the city of Sorsogon.

"We have also been in partnership with United Nation Development Program in implementing the health initiatives in the province of Sorsogon and in the elimination of tuberculosis through the WV- Social Mobilization Tuberculosis Project ", Legaspi said.

"This is a very crucial year for us to really pursue our roadmap for susutainability and one of these projects were we can generate funds to reach our goal of putting up our building is also through this fun run", Legaspi explained.

According to Legaspi they have requested the assistance of the provincial and city government here, the Department of Education, Philippine Information Agency, Provincial Health Office, Philippine Army and other partners who have been very supportive of this cause.

In the initial meeting with Legaspi the fun run for a cause is targetting quite an amount in the tune of Php 2 M for the start of the project.

The next meeting was slated early this May so that all the plans and suggestions of the partner agencies will be taken according to Legaspi.(MAL/IAG, PIA -Sorsogon)

2nd CS medical, dental, surgical mission to cater 200 surgical cases
by Edna A Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, April 27 (PIA) --- The 2nd Cesar Sarmiento "CS" medical-dental-surgical mission scheduled this April 30, 2011 at the Eastern Bicol Medical Center is expected to benefit around 200 individuals with surgical cases.

The activity was sponsored by Congressman Cesar V. Sarmiento in cooperation with GMA Kapuso Foundation, San Francisco del Monte Rotary Club of Quezon City, Provincial Government, Catanduanes Medical and Dental Associations, AKO Bikol and Alpha Beta Fraternity.

The mission aims to cater 200 surgical cases, broken down into 10 cases each for hernia and cleft palate while the remaining 180 cases will be for operations for harelip, any forms of lumps including non-malignant tumor, benign malformations, boils, cysts and other growth that can be treated thru surgery.

Dental and medical services will be provided by local doctors and dentists together with health workers and PSWDO staff. Only those patients from age 13 to 60, preferably indigent are qualified for surgery.

Qualified beneficiaries will be pre-screened by the Out-Patient Department of EBMC from Monday to Saturday at 8:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Congressional District Office is expecting another successful mission after the previous CS medical-dental-optical mission held at EBMC which benefited around 3,000 recipients from Virac and other neighboring towns. (MAL/EAB, PIA Catanduanes)

BFP, Army reservists to maintain order this summer
by Aida Alcazar-Naz

LEGAZPI CITY, April 26 (PIA)--- The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in Bicol is on heightened alert status not only during the Holy Week but the remaining weeks of summer.

According to its regional information officer SF02 Archimedes Balde, BFP Bicol will provide prompt delivery of first aid and rescue services in cases of accidents and assure safety of establishments.

Standby medical stations in its offices will be maintained by the corps of medical personnel of doctors, nurses and medical technologists.

Firefighters are on hand to protect establishments particularly hotels and resorts as they are also expected to provide information and direction to tourists and visitors.

Aside from these activities, BFP still continues its advocacy by reminding the public of good housekeeping as negligence is normally the cause of fire incidents. This is in line with the agency’s campaign for Kahandaan sa Sunog, Daan sa Kaunlaran.

Meantime, Army reservists and ROTC forces have set up assistance units in the region to help in the maintenance of peace and order as the region observed Holy Week and to continue during the entire summer season.

This was announced in today’s PIA radio program Ugnayan sa Bicol by Col. Nestor Lucas, chief regional community defense group of the Army Reserve Command.(MAL/AAN, PIA V)

Monday, April 25, 2011

PNoy's stand on RH, RP bills lauded

LEGAZPI CITY, April 23 (PIA) -- President Aquino fully deserves congratulations for his unequivocal endorsement of the enactment of the reproductive health and responsible parenthood bill (House Bill No. 4244) during the graduation rites of the University of the Philippines on Palm Sunday, according to Albay I District Rep.Edcel Lagman

Lagman said the President's stand is the “correct and conscientious thing to do”.

He said the President’s statement that his steadfast commitment to the controversial measure is at the risk of excommunication is yet his strongest declaration against the Catholic hierarchy’s opposition to the measure.

Lagman added the resolute and courageous stance of the President is a magna cum laude statement which he could elevate to summa cum laude status by categorically certifying to Congress the bill as a priority measure.

The allied advocacies for reproductive health and responsible parenthood have the following common salient features, freedom of informed choice; no demographic or population target is espoused; poverty reduction or alleviation is a principal agenda; voluntary family planning based on freedom of informed choice is promoted; all kinds of family planning methods from the natural to the artificial which are legal, medically safe and effective are made accessible to acceptors; and abortion remains to be prohibited and penalized. (MAL, PIA V)

“Adopt-A-Creek for Earth Day”, DENR urges Bicolanos

LEGAZPI CITY, Apr. 23 (PIA) --- As the whole country marks the observance of Earth Day on April 24, 2011, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources enjoins all Bicolanos to mobilize and sign up for local Adopt-An-Estero project in their respective areas.

“We are celebrating the 41st year of Earth Day this April with the theme ‘Earth Day Every Day’ which aims to enlist a billion acts of green worldwide, hence, as part of this global commitment, the DENR is also urging citizens to do their share and adopt an estero,” DENR Regional Executive Director Joselin Marcus Fragada explained.

Director Fragada cited a previous directive by Environment Sec. Ramon Paje to field officials for them to initiate their own adopt-an-estero scheme in the provinces as the impetus for the highlight of this year’s Earth Day event.

He said the DENR through Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) had identified at least ten creeks in six provinces as target areas. “Eleven large industries already adopted these esteros and initially laid down plans for the simultaneous clean up on April 25, 2011,” said EMB Regional Director Fernando Quililan in a report submitted to RED FRagada.

Director Quililan further stated that the industries are interested in improving the condition of the waterways which have become threats to public health and safety because of pollution.

Since March, the DENR has inked memorandum of agreements with industries for the adopt-an-estero program. In Albay, Sawang Creek will be adopted by ALINDECO, Palanog River by Goodfound Cement Corp., Yawa River by Sunwest Corp.; Camarines Sur has Sagop Creek adopted by Coca-cola Bottlers Philippens and Bimbo Construction and supply; Camarines Norte has Pasilakday Creek and Tugos Creek supported by Camarines Norte Small Scale Miners and Mineral Processors Service Cooperative; Sorsogon has Campsite Creek taken on by VLJ Farms, Catanduanes has Gogon River adopted by Catanduanes Power Generation, Inc. and Powerzone Petroleum Products Corp., Masbate has Tugbo River supported by DM Consunji Inc. and Rio Guinobatan adopted by Filminera Resources Corp.

The adopt-an-estero program of the DENR encourages the business sector, together with local government units (LGUs) and civil society, to clean up and maintain a particular estero. It is part of the agency’s massive cleanup and rehabilitation of tributaries of major water bodies.

According to Sec. Paje, the cleanup and rehabilitation of waterways or water bodies shall entail minimal cost to the sponsoring entity, and practically no cost at all to the government. The simplest and most feasible scheme, he said, is to set up garbage traps in certain places along an estero. The sponsoring entity could then hire people or tap the surrounding community to periodically collect the trapped garbage to prevent these from being drained into the receiving sea or larger rivers. (MAL/JSB, DENR V)

Feature: Convergence program in Sorsogon and Cam Sur, a leap for progress

The Sorsogon Convergence Initiative on Rural Development held on April 8, 2011 in Sorsogon City marked another leap for the progress of the province.

The three rural development agencies: the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) converge mainly to have a common operational ground for the collective interventions in terms of programs, projects, activities for implementation at the local level.

DA, with its agri-infra, production support, technology adoption, extension support and market development expertise, the DAR with its ability to organize agrarian communities, the DENR with its vast lands and environment and natural resource forte, and the local government of Sorsogon with the help of the district representatives, other agencies and non-government organizations (NGOs) will work as one in the implementation of rural development in the pilot municipalities of Casiguran, Castilla and the City Government of Sorsogon.

BFAR Regional Director Dennis del Socorro proposed a 49.8M budget for fisheries projects in the three pilot sites, highlighting the establishment of a Post-Harvest Technology Center in Sorsogon City which will cater the processing of sardines which is abundant in the province and other post harvest technology that would address food security and job generation for the sector.

Along this line, mariculture zone and other support to production are priority projects for the aquamarine enterprise development. Tilapia hatcheries in Sorsogon City and Casiguran will also be established to ensure local seed banks for fingerlings. Support to existing seaweed nurseries and seaweed input assistance will be undertaken in the pilot areas. Fishing gears will also be distributed to eligible fisher folk, bangus fingerlings and prawn post-larvae will be augmented for the qualified fish farmers while massive seeding of tilapia fingerlings in the communal bodies of water will be undertaken.

The DA-DAR-DENR national convergence initiative program launching in Sorsogon was graced by Philip Shull, Agricultural Counsellor of the United States Department of Agriculture together with DENR Secretary Ramon Paje; DA Undersecretary for Special Concerns Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, DAR Undersecretary Gerundio Madueňo; Senator Francis Escudero; Mr. Marriz Agbon, President of the Philippine Agricultural Development and Commercial Corporation (PADCC) and the National Focal Person of the National Convergence Initiative of PADCC; Congressman Salvador Escudero, III and Congressman Deogracias Ramos of the 1st and 2nd Districts of Sorsogon respectively; DA Regional Executive Director Jose Dayao; DAR Regional Director Ma. Celestina Tam; and DENR Regional Executive Director Joselin Marcus Fragada.

The provincial government of Sorsogon was represented by provincial administrator Sally Lee and attended by the local chief executives of the 14 municipalities and one city in Sorsogon and several other stakeholders, cooperatives and awardees.

The signing of the memorandum of understanding for the convergence program was witnessed by the local chief executives of Sorsogon City, Casiguran and Castilla, namely: Hon. Leovic Dioneda, Ester Hamor and Olivia Bermillo, respectlively.

BFAR regional director Dennis del Socorro is optimistic that the fisheries sector thru the aquamarine enterprise development with its six year investment plan could also deliver positive impact for the fisherfolk in Sorsogon mainly by means of job generation and food security. Del Socorro added that this program will be successful with the maximized complementation of the rural development efforts with the LGUs especially in the development of local convergence on agro-enterprise using the “ridge to reef” approach synergized by its competent leaders, NGOs and private sector partners.

Meanwhile, similar priority projects have been proposed by BFAR-5 for the province of Camarines Sur which was the first province to launch the convergence initiative program last March 11, 2011 with additional demonstration of organic aquaculture and hapa-based tilapia hatcheries in some pilot municipalities. The prioritiy areas for Camarines Sur include Baao, Bula, Ocampo, Pili, Tigaon, Del Gallego, Lagonoy, Calabanga, Caramoan, Siruma and Presentacion. (MAL/NEN, BFAR V)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

DPWH sets up motorist assistance unit in Camarines Sur
by Lizel S. Macatangay

BARAS, CANAMAN, Camarines Sur, April 21 (PIA) -- Anticipating the arrival of tourists and visitors this weekend for the observance of the Lenten Season, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Camarines Sur District Engineering Office has ordered its personnel to set up a motorist assistance center in strategic part of the province.

Engr. Willard Kenneth I. Atutubo, District Engineer of (DPWH) Camarines Sur-V District Engineering Office V assured travelers that there will be personnel from their office who will render their services during the whole duration of the Lenten season.

Atutubo, in a press statement said they have already set up a motorist assistance center at the DPWH-Sub Office located at Barangay Agrupacion, Ragay, Camarines Sur, just along the Rolando Andaya Highway and Daang Maharlika at the Lupi – Sipocot/ Libmanan boundary.

The said area is one of the fastest routes for travelers coming in and out of the province, cutting short the travel time by two (2) hours without passing the province of Camarines Norte.

The assistance center had been operational since April 18 and will serve the motorists until April 25, 2011. This is to ensure that travelers will be given aid during emergency instances. It will be manned for 24-hours to ensure that there will be no obstruction that would cause delay for motorists plying the route.

The communication office is based at the DPWH Camarines Sur V- District Engineering Office at Baras, Canaman, Camarines Sur which will also operate on a 24-hour basis to monitor, receive and transmit situational report coming from its personnel and report any activities monitored at the DPWH Regional Office. (MAL/LSM, PIA Camarines Sur)

NAPC leads consultation on RH Bill
by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, April 19 (PIA)-- National Anti-Poverty Commision (NAPC) Undersecretary Florencia "Oyen" Casanova-Dorotan will be the keynote speaker today in a one - day consultation conference on the Reproductive Health Bill (RH Bill) which will be held at the Governor's Training Hall, Governor's office here.

In line with the Provincial Gender and Advocacy Development Council's (PGADC) continuing thrusts to provide women awareness and right knowledge on current issues as stipulated in the Magna Carta for Women, this project has been set in cooperation with the Sorsogon Women's Network for Development which Usec Dorotan was the president before she assumed her position at the NAPC.(SWND).

"It can be said that one of the pressing issues we are facing today is the topic on the RH Bill " board member Rebecca Aquino of the Sanggunian Panlalawigan said during the small group meeting held here after the assessment of the Women's Month Celebration activities.

After the long month activity, Aquino said there still are a lot of issues that women should know so that they can be given the right for informed choices.

She also said that while a lot of sides has been taken by those who are not really directly involved in the issues in context of the RH Bill, women specially in the countryside and in the grassroots communities are not well-given the right information what the RH Bill is all about, how it will affect women and children directly in terms of choices, the right to information and the right to stand for their choices.

The RH Bill is one of the most controversial bills according to Aquino that has been debated but that its salient features has not been discussed fully nor that its importance to women specially has not been given that importance.

Dorotan meanwhile during the previous meeting held here last February of this year on the planning of how women will become developmental partners underscored that not unless women are well aware of issues and that they be well-informed, still the right to information to make wise choices and stand for these choices will be for naught.

This continuing activities for this year has been planned previously as part of the continuing information education campaign (IEC) component of the PGADC which PIA Sorsogon chairs.

Expected to attend in this consultation conference today are the members of the PGADC, focal person of the Municipal Gender and Development Councils (MGADCs) Vice Mayors League and multi-sectoral organizations.

It is hoped according to Aquino that continuous coordination and consultation will be done by the PGADC to all women sectors here in the province so that the Millenium Development Goal (MDG) no. 3 will be achieved locally to contribute to the achievement of this global goal for women. (PIA Sorsogon)

Irosin conducts basic life support training for lay rescuers
by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, April 19 (PIA) --- A two- day training for basic life support for lay rescuers was conducted by the of Irosin local government through the municipal disaster risk reduction council (MDRRMC), here last week.

"We at the local government of Irosin is mapping out all the necessary trainings needed by the LGU especially in trying to capacitate our constituency, municipal employees and barangays in the disaster risk reduction capability," Mayor Eduardo Ong, Jr. said.

Dr. Edgar Garcia provincial head of the Provincial Health Office (PHO) here, provided the participants, comprising of identified and selected members of the municipal disaster risk reduction council (mdrrmc) and barangay disaster risk reduction councils (BDRRMC) the risks and ailments that usually are prevalent during volcanic unrest, rainy and dry season and how can this be avoided or prevented.

Dr. Gladys D. Escote of the PHO provided the participants the guiding principles on the emergency health care that each family also should be able to know especially during and after volcanic ash explosion and how to handle persons with respiratory problems.

Dr. David Daza gave the introduction of the Basic Life Support procedures to the lay persons incharge of rescue.

He said that presence of mind should always be the guiding principle and that the readiness of health equipment be there to include medicines and other paraphernalia be provided by the LGU.

Meanwhile Fernan Ocampo, a registered nurse, provided the participants the knowledge on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). He explained that persons who are asthmatic may be greatly affected during ash explosion as they will surely be hard of breathing since ashes usually affect them.

Arthur Angeles another registered nurse explained the Automated External Defibrillator (AED). He said that there should be someone in the MDRRMC who can assist persons who are asthmatic especially among old person and children that earlier they be identified and listed as among those priority persons for immediate respiratory health care assistance.

Dr. Francisco De Jesus of the Emergency Management Rescue (E-B has explained on the topic Foreign Body Airway Obstruction.

"With what is happening now both locally ang globally, we local government executives, here are trying to network with all those who can really provide assistance to LGUs also through the League of Municipalities so that we can share and extend services to one another specially in times of these natural calamities, and observe the zero casualty thrust of the NDRRMC and develop resilient communities", Ong stressed. (MAL/IAG, PIA Sorsogon)

Monday, April 18, 2011

LGUs, gov’t. agencies to craft climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction framework
by Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, April 18 (PIA) --- Local governments’ senior officials across the Bicol region will convene next week to be trained on capacity development which is envisioned to pave the way in formulating the Bicol regional framework and action plan (BRFAP) on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

Manuel “Nong Rangasa, executive director of the Climate Change Academy (CCA) - Center for Initiatives on Climate Adaptation (CIRCA), said that this is an opportune time for senior technical staff to enhance their capabilities through localized knowledge management of climate change, integration of disaster risk reduction and adaptation strategies.

Meanwhile, United Nations (UN) Senior Global Champion on Disaster Risk Reduction and Albay Governor Joey Salceda said the negative impacts of climate change will hit the vulnerable sectors and especially the poor people in the communities causing loss of lives, food shortage, increase in water-borne diseases, damage to critical key assets and degradation of natural resources upon which livelihood activities of Bicol are largely dependent.

Salceda expressed fears of these threats that could hinder the attainment of the millennium development goals (MDGs) and the improvement of the human development index (HDI) in the provinces of Camarines Sur and Norte, Catanduanes, Masbate, Sorsogon and Albay.

The training will make LGUs further understand climate change impacts in their localities and find their best adaptation strategies such as contingency plan with disaster risk reduction and climate change considerations.

The training is a partnership among the Office of Civil Defense, Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) R5, the Provincial Government of Albay (PGA), CCA-CIRCA, Joint Program United Nations MDG Achievement Fund:1656 Albay Demo, and the Spanish Government.

On the training and action planning, Rangasa pointed out that the inclusion of anticipatory adaptation plans in the provincial level strategic planning will mitigate, if not minimize, potential impacts and prevent casualty during disasters.

Participants include provincial officers of planning and development office, agriculture services office, engineering office, environment and natural resources offices , health offices, disaster risk reduction and management council (DRRMCs), and the Philippine National Police provincial offices, regional agencies like the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Science and Technology (PAGASA, PHIVOLCS), Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Commission on Civil Service (CSC), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Commission on Audit, HLURB, Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force, Philippine Navy and Philippine Coast Guard.

The trainees are also expected to appreciate provincial considerations for disaster risk reduction and climate decision-making aspects. To this end, trainees should also be able to come up with hazard and risk mapping and contingency planning integration with disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation considerations.

CCA-CIRCA sets the training and action planning on April 26-28, 2011. (MAL, PIA V/Albay)

Bicol tax collection surpasses 1st quarter target
by Ed de Leon

LEGAZPI CITY, Apr. 18 (PIA) - Despite the slowdown in the implementation of government projects during the first quarter and the transfer of some large taxpayers to the central office, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Bicol regional office was still able to surpass its higher collection target for the period January to March 2011 by P58,616,398.87.

Atty Diosdado Mendoza, BIR Bicol regional director, said the collection was 5.63 percent more than the collection goal of P1,040,254,000 when the seven revenue district offices collected a total of P1,098,870,398.87 during the period under review.
Mendoza said that although their collection was 5.63 percent over the goal it was, however, P6,884,462.22 lower than their 2010 collection for the same period.

He explained that the slight decline in their collection was due to the slowdown in the implementation of government projects by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and some local governments. These resulted in a big drop in collection from these agencies from P26.4 million for the same period in 2010 to only P7.22 million this year.

Mendoza added that the drop in collection this year was also due to the transfer of some large taxpayers to the large taxpayers unit in the central office like the Good Found Cement in Camalig Albay, Filminera mining in Masbate, South Star in Naga City, and the Motortrade in Daet, Camarines Norte. Thus, there was a decline in collection of the value added tax from P414.58 million for the same period last year to only P293.23 million this year, a decline by P121.35 million.

The BIR director said that despite these odds, he is confident they will be able to surpass the collection goal of P4.99 billion this year as they have done during the past four years under his leadership through the implementation of more innovative approaches. These include automation of all the seven Revenue District Offices (RDOs), the coming out of BIR Bicol’s own website, and the harnessing of the potentials of BIR Bicol’s Facebook and Twitter accounts to be able to reach out to the Bicolano taxpayers and widen tax base.(MAL/EDL, PIA V)

Iriga to speed up pension program for senior citizens
by Lizel S. Macatangay

Iriga City, April 18 (PIA) --- Pursuant to the provisions of the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, the local government of this city, under the leadership of Mayor Madelaine Alfelor-Gazmen, has already started the registration process to check out qualified senior citizens who would benefit from the social pension for indigent senior citizen’s program, an endeavor also being pursued by the national government.

Gazmen said that among other sectors, the senior citizens should really be given priority in terms of the social benefits that they are entitled to. Under the amended Republic Act 9994, a monthly stipend will be allotted to the indigent senior citizens along with other assistance.

Meant to institutionalize social protection to older persons, the law also orders the provision of care and protection to sick and disabled elders. This provision also covers the impoverished senior citizens with no pension and no family support. They are also among the identified members of the society who belong to the master list of the national household targeting system for poverty reduction.

In line with this, Gazmen has ordered the office of senior citizens affairs, led by Mr. Simplicio P. Nueva, and directed acting city social welfare and development officer Teresita I. Talaguit to help possible pensioners in filling out the social pension intake form to fast track the processing of their documents.

Mr. Frank Penones, LGU Iriga information officer explained that not all senior citizens will be covered by the said program.

“Qualified beneficiaries shall be indigent senior citizens who are aged 77 years above, and not receiving any other pension from State or private insurance companies, or have permanent source of income or regular support from their relatives. As beneficiaries, they will be entitled to a monthly stipend of Five Hundred Pesos (PhP500.) starting January this year.”

Iriga City is eyeing more or less 100 beneficiaries out of the total 145,166 indigent senior citizens being targeted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development National Office nationwide. Total program allocation is pegged at PhP870,996,000.00. (PIA Camarines Sur)

Ordinance prevents jobs seekers falling prey to illegal recruiters
by Edna A Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Apr. 18 (PIA)--- No longer locals here can be easy prey to illegal recruiters following the enactment of the ordinance regulating the recruitment of manpower services by authorized, accredited and licensed recruitment agencies intended for local or foreign-based workers.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan here has enacted the ordinance citing that the Constitution declaring labor as a primary social economic force and mandates the protection of the rights of workers and the promotion of their welfare.

Board Member Jose Romeo Franciso, author of the approved ordinance, recalled that it has been noted that numerous Filipino workers were victimized by malpractices of recruitment agencies which prey on people’s ignorance, poverty and lack of access to information.

In which case, Francisco observed, that even without valid license or authority as stipulated under the Labor Code of the Philippines, some recruitment agencies have engaged in various acts, such as canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring or procuring workers and includes referring, contract services, promising or advertising for employment, locally or abroad, whether for profit or not.

Concerned International Labor Union meanwhile has also observed the Philippines having a high rate of violation of human trafficking and illegal recruitment activities, of which, many Filipinos ended up in the hands of international drug syndicates, sex tourism or slavery and child prostitution.

"There is a dire need for the provincial government to take appropriate and stringent measures to protect its constituents against unscrupulous recruiters by way of regulating manpower recruitment activities in the locality through a vibrant, dynamic and meaningful role of the local government," also noted Joice Atutubo, provincial employment services office.

The ordinance passed is titled “An ordinance regulating the recruitment of manpower services by authorized and licensed recruitment agencies for local or abroad based workers in the province of Catanduanes.” (MAL/EAB, PIA Catanduanes)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Magayon Festival salutes and honors our dearest teachers of Albay!
Titser's Nyt tonight 6pm at Astrodome.

by Jose Salceda on Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 12:49pm

Magayon Festival celebrates this day in honor of our teachers to whom we are most indebted.

Who I am, what I know and have are totally and inevitably due to my teachers- first to my father (Jesus Saquido Salceda was a high school teacher at Albay High School then, now PGCHS) and mother (Cielo Adelina Florin Sarte retired as district schools supervisors of Polangui North District), to the Dominican nuns of St. Peter's Academy, the diocesan priests of St. Gregory the Great Seminary, the Jesuits of Ateneo de Manila University and the business professors of Asian Institute of Management.

And my greatest inspiration was my aunt, Sr. Mercedes, OSB of St. Agnes Academy and St. Scholastica's College, whom I consider my personal saint. She instilled in me the virtues of total and constant kindness and deep respect for the dignit and diversity, the feelings and opinions of others and all people as the foundation of personal happiness and contentment.

Most of all, she taught me that all things are gifts and everything in life is grace; thus, openness to reality in all its mysteries as it unfolds and humility to the truth of others. To this day, I remain guided by the thought that when I knock on that door, He would only ask me two things- how many people have you helped and did you do your best. So, every night before I sleep, I thank God for giving me the will and the purpose to do good. And when I wake, I beg for guidance and show me the way for the day.

Right now, the people of Albay are my teacher. So, thank you alll Albayanos. And this is also your day as we celebrate the fourth Titser's Nyt of Magayon Festival. (JSS)

LGUs' 5 -year solid waste management plan assessed
by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY , April 13 (PIA)-- In a meeting the other day of the Provincial Solid Waste Management Board Technical Working Group (PSWMB-TWG) held at the Sorsogon Provincial Ecology Center (SPEC) here, the submitted 5-yer Solid Waste Management (SWM) plans of the five local governments units-- Bulan, Juban, Casiguran, Magallanes and Gubat, were assessed and deliberated on by the PSWMB- TWG based on the required annotated outline issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Department Administrative Order (DAO) 9003.

Several municipalities are yet on the process of finalizing their plans while the city of Sorsogon is on its printing stage already.

The basis for the submission of their plans is the Annotated Outline issued by the National Solid Waste Management Commission Secretariat Office (NSWMCSO) according to Engr. Maribeth L. Fruto , provincial head of the Environment and Natural Resources Office ((ENRO) .

Engr. Fruto also explained that the 5 municipalities who submitted earlier was before the issuance of the current annotated guidelines of the DENR and were returned by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) with recommendation for revision.

The NSWMCSO has directed that all local governments should follow the format they have issued since this will be the basis for the 5-year implementation of all LGUs and will show the comparative situation of the current implementation of the SWM vis-a vis the end goal of the plan in five years time.

The TWG has also provided several recommendations to all LGUs in the drafting and crafting of the SWM plan so that all will be in synch and that all can really be aware on the content, strategy and process delineation of functions and process of implementation are well articulated to all key workers. (PIA Sorsogon)

Forum on pili development held
by Edna A Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes Apr. 14 (PIA) - A one-day forum on Pili Development was held yesterday, April 13, 2011 at Rakdell Inn, San Pedro, Virac, Catanduanes.

The said forum was sponsored by the Provincial Agricultural and Services Office (PASO), Provincial Agricultural and Fishery Council (PARC) in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Catanduanes Provincial Office.

The said activity was attended by the members of the Catanduanes Pili Growers and Processors Association, Municipal Agriculturist of the 11 municipalities of the province, Municipal Agricultural and Fishery Council (MAFC) chairman and representatives of other agencies of the governmet.

Topics discussed during the forum were the following: Biology and General Uses of Pili; Chosen Pili; Assessment of the Pili Industry Bicol Region/Roadmap; Latest Technologies/Research for Pili Development; DENR's Program for Pili; Bicol PILI BOARD's Programs and DBP's Financing Program.

The said forum aims to enhance and develop the knowledge and capabilities of Pili growers and processors in the province. (PIA Catanduanes)

Bagasbas Boulevard re-named Pres. Corazon C. Aquino Boulevard
by Rosalita Base-Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, Apr. 14 (PIA) - The Sangguniang Panlalawigan here unanimously approved Tuesday (April 12) provincial ordinance No. 013-2011 naming the stretch of Bagasbas bloulevard as the President Corazon C. Aquino Boulevard.

It was immediately approved in preparation for the invited visit of President Noynoy Aquino slated on April 29, the scheduled date of the culminating activities for the 91st Foundation Anniversary of this province and 7th Bantayog Festival here.

Vice Governor/Presiding Officer Jonah Pimentel said that the ordinance was approved for the purpose of clarity, identification, historical and cultural values, emergency responses, developmental concerns and the like.

The naming of the stretch of Bagasbas Boulevard is in honor to ex- President Corazon Aquino who has a great significance in the history of our country.

Earlier, Governor Edgardo Tallado bared that the funds for the development of the said boulevard was pledged by President Noynoy Aquino III during his previous meeting with the President.

He said that PNoy is invited and expected to lead the groundbreaking ceremony of the President Corazon C. Aquino boulevard scheduled on April 29, 2011.

The Bagasbas Beach is known as the surfing area in the province where tourists visits here always for their surfing activities. (PIA CamNorte)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Grandma, 200 studes finish high school from gov’t free education program
by Lizel S. Macatangay

CAMALIGAN, Camarines Sur, Apr. 13 (PIA) — A 60-year old lad held on to her diploma as she receives the certificate of recognition naming her as one of the successful high school graduates of the Alternative Learning System (ALS) held April 12, 2011 at the Camaligan Municipal Pavillon here.

Cristita Sumpay or fondly called Lola Cristita, now with nine grandchildren, has managed to get her diploma in high school, realizing her dream by enrolling in ALS which offers free education implemented by the Department of Education and (DepEd) under the auspices of the Bureau of Alternative Learning System.

Sumpay, now a barangay councilor of Barangay La Purisima Nuevo, Ocampo, Camarines Sur, stopped schooling in 1967, got married and wedged over her motherly functions, eventually forgetting her desire to go back to school, yet now has pursued her education after all.

Lola Cristita was one of the 200 graduates of ALS coming from different municipalities of Camarines Sur and among those students who have reached past their prime years and unable to pursue formal schooling due to time and financial constraints.

With the program, they were able to avail of, not just of the free education, but also flexible class schedules, a perfect program which provided them a viable alternative to the existing education instruction.

Meanwhile, Ako Bikol (AKB) Party List Rep. Rodel Batocabe lauded in his keynote address the graduates for their perseverance and dedication to pursue their heart’s desire, not taking into account the grey hairs and wrinkled skins that have robbed their youthful years.

Batocabe announced that those who belong to the top ten of the graduating class, composed of more or less 20 students, will automatically receive a scholarship grant from AKB, giving the recipients a Php12,000 cash subsidy every year.

More Lola Cristitas are expected to finish secondary education in the future as the free education program of the government will open more opportunities for other people like her regardless of age, demographic characteristics, socio-economic origins and social status. (MAL/LSM, PIA CamSur)

DPWH Bicol to hire 658 maintenance crew
by Ed de Leon

LEGAZPI CITY, Apr. 13 (PIA)-- Here’S good news to out-of-school youths (OSYs) and other marginalized Bicolanos...

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) regional office here disclosed that the agency will be hiring some 658 additional maintenance crew to augment the regular maintenance personnel of its 16 district engineering offices in the six provinces of Bicol.

Engr. Antonio Saguinsin, DPWH regional maintenance division chief, said that the authority to hire is contained in Memorandum issued by DPWH Secretary Rogelio L. Singson dated March 21,2011 to all regional directors and district engineers.

He said that priority for employment are OSYs aged between 18 to 24 years old and those coming from the poor sectors of society and residents in the immediate vicinity of the work location.

Saguinsin said that the new workers will be hired under the job order basis with a daily rate of P250 and will be deployed under the roadside maintenance program at one worker per 3.5 kms of national road for the period from April to December this year.

He said these workers will assist the regular maintenance crew of the district engineering offices in performing various roadside maintenance activities involving the cleaning of roadsides; desilting of drainage canals, longitudinal pipes and cross drains; cutting of vegetation along shoulders; manual reshaping of shoulders and carriage way; manual pothole pactching; cleaning of sidewalks and respond to calamities.

For proper identification these workers, according to Saguinsin, will be provided with T-shirts and caps with a common design.

He said that the three engineering districts in Albay will hire 109, while the two districts of Camarines Norte will hire 57, the five districts of Camarines Sur will hire 186, Catanduanes districts will hire 90, the three districts of Masbate will hire 121, and the two districts of Sorsogon will employ 95. (MAL/EDL, PIA V/Albay)

Albay readies red carpet welcome for newly crowned Bb. Pilipinas International Dianne Necio

LEGAZPI CITY, Apr. 13 (PIA) -- Newly crowned Binibining Pilipinas International Dianne Elaine Necio will be given a red carpet welcome in Albay in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the province.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said the provincial government has already passed a special resolution recognizing the recent feat of Necio and is preparing activities to honor the Albayana for giving honor and pride to the province.

“Albayanos rejoice and are really proud of Bb. Pilipinas International Dianne Elaine Necio... Always Albay, Always Magayon (Beuatiful).” Salceda rexcitedly said.

Salceda furthered Necio is Albay’s third national beauty titlist since 1999, with Melody Gersbach crowned Bb. Pilipinas International 2009 and 3rd runner-up Miss International 2009; 2005 Miss International Precious Lara Quigaman from Ligao City; 1999 Miss Universe 1st runner up Miriam Quiambao from Bacacay town.

Last year Venus Raj, who hails from Bato, Camarines Sur and a graduate of Bicol University (BU) in Albay, won the Bb. Pilipinas Universe 2010 and bagged the 4th runner-up Miss Universe.

The governor meanwhile said activities lined up for Necio include motorcade from Legazpi Airport to Daraga town, then around this city's major thoroughfares.

Upon her arrival at the Albay Capitol Building, she will receive a special citation from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Albay.

Necio, a native of Polangui, Albay and town mate of Salceda, will also be given a red carpet welcome in her town with a motorcade and a Sangguniang Pambayan (SP) resolution giving honor to her.

Necio will be representing the Philippines in the Miss International competition to be held in Chengdu, China later this year.

Other Binibining Pilipinas winners are Shamcey Supsup, Bb. Pilipinas-Universe; Isabella Manjon, Bb. Pilipinas-Tourism; Janine Tugonon, 1st runner-up, and Mary Jean Lastimosa, 2nd runner-up. (MAL, PIA V/Albay)

NSO conducts establishments’ survey
by Edna A Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes Apr. 13 (PIA)- The National Statistics Office (NSO) Catanduanes Provincial Office will be conducting the 2010 Annual Survey of Philippine Business and Industry (2010 ASPBI) to collect and generate information on the structure and trends of economic activities in the entire country for the year 2010.

The conduct of 2010 ASPBI is authorized by various legislative acts and presidential directives namely: Commonwealth Act No. 591, Presidential Decree No. 418, Executive Order No. 121, Executive Order No. 352 and Executive Order No. 5.

The data collected from the ASPBI will be the bases upon which the government and the private sector can formulate policies and evolve economic development plans.

It will also be used in constructing national and regional income accounts of the Philippine economy, in formulating development strategies and monitoring plans/policies in the attainment of national and regional goals, in determining and comparing regional economic structures and performance, in valuating conditions of the economy, employment and income perspective in order to make more informed decisions, in evaluating business options, assessing opportunities for new investments and estimating market shares of industries and in providing updates for the frame of establishments.

The reporting unit is the establishment. Commonwealth Act 591 authorizes NSO to conduct censuses and surveys. Pursuant to the provision of Section 4 of this Act, information obtained from the respondents shall be held strictly confidential and shall not be divulged to any person except authorized NSO personnel acting in the performance of their duties. (PIA Catanduanes)

Labor code violations decreased by 24 in 1st quarter
by Rosalita Base-Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, Apr. 13 (PIA) – A decrease of 24 cases on the violations of labor code was recorded for the first quarter of this year or 11 cases as compared to 35 cases of the same period last year filed by workers against their employers at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) here.

Of the 11 violations against labor code recorded during the first quarter of this year, 4 cases were filed in court and were resolved while the 7 were settled at the DOLE.

On the 35 cases recorded violations during the first quarter of last year, 20 were resolved during the said period while 15 were resolved during the said year.

Chief Labor and Employment Officer Ruben L. Romanillos said that the decreased in number of the violations was attributed to their awareness campaign on Labor Human Relation (LHP) on Productivity particularly given to employer and employees in the different establishments in the towns of Jose Panganiban, Talisay and Mercedes.

He said that violations against labor code recorded include the unpaid salaries, low wages or not in a minimum wage, non payment of 13th month pay and overtime pay and holiday pay in the different establishments in the province.

DOLE Chief Romanillos explained that the way of solving complaints on different violations in DOLE is through the Single Entry Approach (SENA).

She said SENA will not handle the notice of strike and lockouts and these will remain in the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB).

The DOLE Chief also reminds employees of private establishments that additional P6.00 wage increased has started last month and those who will not receive such payment should inform their office.

The minimum wage in this province effective March 1, 2011 is categorized to non-agriculture (P 206.00 – P241.00/ day ) and agriculture (P200.00- P220.00 per day). (PIA Camarines Norte)

Pili growers seeks support for industry development
by Edna A Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes Apr. 13 (PIA)- The Catanduanes Pili Growers and Processors Association here is seeking the support of the Provincial Government of Catanduanes for the development of the local pili industry thru programs on Pili propagation, trainings, product development, marketing and other interventions and allocation of funds.

In a resolution No. 2011-01, s. of 2011 passed by the said association states that Catanduanes has been identified with pili plantation and number of pili processors.

Pili nut has been declared as "Bicol's Flagship Crop and Industry" and concerted efforts are now being done by various agencies, led by the Department of Agriculture (DA), local government units (LGUs) and non-government organizations to hasten the industry's development throughout the region.

To hasten its development, there is a need to aggressively implement various programs which will result to further increase in pili plantation, increase in pili processing not only of delicacies but also of other products such as manila elemi, pili oil, pili crafts, etc., creation of market niche, improvement of products, establishment of post-harvest facilitites and continuous research and development. (PIA Catanduanes)

2011 TOSP Bicol AWARDEE—Legazpi City Mayor Geraldine B. Rosal cites awardees of the 2011 Ten Outstanding Students of Bicol while at the same time reminding them of their mission to be role models, promote the common good, develop and share their talents and skills for nation building, and serving life, April 11. (Alex Cal/PIA)
Outstanding Students of Bicol... (front row L-R) Domar Nicolas Almonte Sara, Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship, Ateneo de Naga University; Jovic Maurice Laririt Yee, Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, Bicol University; Arleen Tapar de Los Reyes, Bachelor of Secondary Education, University of Nueva Caceres; Dion Lorenz Lipa Romano, Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication, Universidad de Sta. Isabel. (Second row: R-L) Francis Bombase Perdon, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Ateneo de Naga University; Kathrine Gepulle Lapayag, Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, CCDI-Sorsogon; Mary Grace Mendoza Alemania, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Universidad de Sta. Isabel; and April Ann Sapinoso Bigay, Bachelor of Science in Accountancy, Universidad de Sta. Isabel. (Alex Cal/PIA)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Disaster risk reduction, climate change up in development confab
by Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, Apr. 12 (PIA) -- The Center for Initiatives and Research on Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) and Climate Change Academy (CCA) of the Provincial Government of ALbay, led by Gov. Joey Salceda will spearhead a Capacity Development Conference to craft the Bicol Regional Framework and Action Plan on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

CIRCA executive director Manuel "Nong" Rangasa, in a text message to PIA Bicol News Service, said the interfacing will the first in the country on this particular concerns and will be participated in by the six provinces of Bicol region, Albay, Camarines Norte and Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon.

The activity, set on April 26-28, will be held in cooperation with the Bicol Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC), led by Director Raffy Alejandro of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) regional office here.

Meanwhile, Albay, since April 1 has been conducting briefings and trainings on DRR and CCA as an integral part of the Magayon Festival 2011 celebrations on a weekly basis for the different sectors of the community.

"We give high priorities to vulnerable sectors, like women and children, person with disabilities, elderly, and communities in areas highly prone to natural disasters, among others for this activity," said Rangasa.

Albay has been in the front line in mainstreaming climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction program in the country and abroad, with the United Nations adopting the Albay model for replication in other countries, while for local government units in the Philippines. (MAL, PIA V/Albay)

DENR eyes successful convergence implementation in Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY, Apr. 12 (PIA) —Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon Paje declared recently that the key to a flourishing agro- economic cluster program is proper use of natural resources. Paje, who keynoted the launching of local convergence initiatives in Sorsogon City Friday, maintained that the convergence initiative led by President Aquino is robustly filled with tangible and thematic projects that will benefit local communities by empowering them to utilize well their scarce resources.

“I believe the resources are there, I believe the funding of the three departments is there, and the programs are thereby defined, we just have to do it properly,” he pointed out.

He also lauded the local executives that signified support to the program while assuring that the DENR, Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) will be aiding them to fast track logistical assistance.

In the presentation of the convergence investment plan, Sorsogon Provincial Management Office executive director Sally Lee, called on the constituents to support NCI to reduce poverty, stabilize food security and promote a sustainable environment.

Lee stated that under the plan, a total investment of 795.8 million pesos will be drawn from the coffers of the province which will then translate to a 1.15 billion projected revenue or an almost 45 percent return of investment in just five years.

She cited seven commodities that they will develop in three pilot areas – Casiguran, Castilla and Sorsogon City.

Lee envisions the Sorsogon Agro Economic Cluster focusing on merchandise such as coconut, pili, livestock, pineapple, forest and forest trees, mariculture zone project, and organic farming.

The convergence initiative in the province could only spell success as the three government agencies already signified commitment with pledges of tenurial instruments, seedlings, fingerlings, infra projects like water impounding system, irrigation, farm to market roads and post harvest facilities, she explained.

“If this is implemented well, I can see its fruition soon, if each and every one of us will make a commitment to make a difference in the lives of the future generation” Lee further said.

Last March, the NCI was introduced in the region in Pili, Camarines Sur amid a thousand farmers, fisher folks and upland dwellers who wanted a tangible solution to poverty. (MAL/RLMendones, DENR V)

Sorsogon to intensify complementation on convergence initiatives
by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, April 12 (PIA)”When a community shares a common vision, a higher level of hope is generated that can propel people to establish a helping attitude that they express concern for the well-being of all. This is what convergence is all about", Governor Raul R. Lee stated as he vowed to promote the province of Sorsogon as a model for complementation of resources, expertise and partnership.

According to Lee, the local governments are now more aware on really transforming farmers and fishers from mere producers to agri-entrepreneurs, from mere job hunters to job creators and teaching them the value added technique by linking them to the global markets.

The convergence goals that the province will focus on is food security, job generation, poverty reduction, and sustainable development all these encompass the general objective of uplifting the economic life of the farming and fishing communities here in the province which almost all municipalities are identified as fishing industry generators and Irosin as one potential farming municipality.

Governor Lee explained that the Location-Specific Technology Development (LSTD) program of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PHILRICE) for instance has three pilot local governments here in the province : Gubat, Sorsogon City and Bulan and is provided a "personal touch " of assistance by PHILRICE starting from seeds to nutrient management and to pest management.

"We are committed to expand this program of PHILRICE to other areas in the province through the Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPA).

The local government of Sorsogon, according to Governor Lee heed the invitation of Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and he participated to the meeting in pursuing rice sufficiency by 2013 under the Rapid Seed Supply Financing Project (RaSSFIP)

"I immediately responded to Secretary Alcala's call by providing assistance worth to 1.5 million pesos as additional subsidy of the program", Lee explained.

Lee stated that all the local chief executives responded to the program and that the farmers' equity will only amount to Php300.00 per bag for the fertilizers.

He further explained that after this convergence initiative, all local programs will be prepared in consultation with partner agencies,providing the corresponding budgetary allocations, instituting the necessary policy and structural reforms and putting the interest of the constituents above anything else.

"Let us become a more convergent province by pulling together our resources, expertise and commitment to achieve our goal and that is poverty alleviation." Lee stated. (PIA Sorsogon)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Naga all set for "PILI mania"
by Lizel S. Macatangay

Naga City, April 11 (PIA) --- The local government of Naga City thru the headship of its chief executive counsel, John Bongat is all set for the Barangay Hopping Plant Nurturing Tutorial in line with its Economic Greening Movement come April 30.

After the program’s successful soft launch last week thru the First Lady of Naga City, Ms. Farah Bongat, stakeholders are all geared up to start planting Pili Seedlings , targeting a total of 30,000 plants before the end of 2012.

In line with this, each barangay will have a designated Barangay Pili Patrol team in close coordination with the Biotechnology Information and Organization Network (BIONET), Environment and Natural Resources Office (ENRO) and the Technical Working Group (TWG).

On April 30, Cluster A, composed of Barangays San Felipe, Pacol, Carolina and Panicuason will undergo the said tutorial. It will be followed by Barangays Concepcion Pequena, Concepcion Grande, Del Rosario and San Isidro, Cararayan, Balatas now comprising the B Cluster. Scheduled tutorial under the said cluster will be on May 21.

The remaining barangays under Clusters C,D, and E are scheduled on May 28, June 4 and June 11 respectively. The marking of the Pili seedlings is scheduled from June 1- to 8 for monitoring purposes and on June 17, LGU Naga will spearhead the simultaneous and massive planting of Pili in its 27 barangays.

Bongat said that this is just in time for the celebration of the city’s charter anniversary on June 18 where Naguenos and visitors will witness the opening of Maogmang Naga Trade Fair, Pili Gallery and Exhibit and Pili Business Congress.

Dubbed as “Pilimania sa Maogmang Naga” the event is aimed at encouraging more citizens to plant Pili trees, focusing not only on the business side of it but also to develop a sense of collective responsibility among environmental stakeholders.

Currently gaining popularity as the “almond of the tropics”, the pili nut is now a certified “pasalubong” favorite among foreigners and balikbayans. (PIA Camarines Sur)

Conference on cattle industry held today
by Ernie A. Delgado

MASBATE CITY, April 11 (PIA)—The challenges, prospects and opportunities in the cattle industry under the Aquino administration will be discussed by the Rodeo Masbateño, Inc. in a conference today at the MNCHS Student Center here.

Leading the presentation will be Regional Executive Director Joselin Marcus E. Fragada of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources who will discuss the status of DENR’s pasture lease agreements with cattle ranchers.

Jose V. Dayao, regional director of the Department of Agriculture, will present the current state of the cattle industry in Bicol.

National Dairy Authority area manager Jaime Lopez has been invited to present his agency’s role in the cattle industry.

Adrian Favis, managing director of Fortuna Ranch, will present the picture of cattle ranching in Masbate.

Senior Assistant Vice President Abelardo Monarquia of Development Bank of the Philippines will discuss his bank’s financing portfolio for the industry.

DA Assistant Secretary for Livestock Davinio Catbagan will be the keynote speaker, while Masbate Governor Rizalina Seachon-Lanete and Masbate City Mayor Socrates Tuason have been invited to render their messages.

Reactors to the presentations are ranchers and other industry players. (PIA Masbate)

DOJ urged to act on more tax evasion cases

LEGAZPI CITY, Apr. 11 (PIA) -- To ensure the success of the government's campaign against tax evaders, Bicolano Senator Francis Escudero today has urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to prioritize the cases already pending with the courts

According to Escudero, 36 tax evasion raps have been filed before the DOJ since the Aquino administration launched its campaign to run after tax cheats last year, but indictments have yet to be handed down.

"The only way that tax evaders will see that the government is serious about this issue is when they see that cases are actually being filed in courts. What is taking the DOJ so long to act on these cases? The President and his administration are really serious about running after tax errants and the DOJ as the pit stop of this effort should also seriously participate in the process," Escudero explained.

Every week the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) jointly announce that they will be file charges against suspected tax evaders and smugglers.

While the drive is most welcome to plug tax leaks and boost revenue collection, the senator said this must be done side by side with a serious partnership with the DOJ that has all the capability to see these cases move forward.

"This area in the drive against tax evaders should be connected otherwise the program will just scratch the surface while those tax cheats will just continue laughing all their way to the banks," Escudero said.

Escudero urged the BIR, BOC and the DOJ to put their acts together towards one direction to effect real and actual tax collection which could translate into better social services for the people.

"The program is not enough unless it is compounded with institutional changes and steps that run parallel to the end goal collecting real and actual revenues for the state. This program must have something to show for to get the message out there that the government means serious business against tax evaders. It is time for the concerned agencies to perform and perform high at that," Escudero added. (MAL/Office of Sen. Escudero)

GAD on the go at Catanduanes State College
by Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Apr. 9 (PIA) -- The Catanduanes State College (CSC) has established the Gender and Development (GAD) office, led by Prof. Socorro T. Brillante, to mainstream the program among its faculty members, students and the community.

Dr. Asuncion V. Asetre, CSC president, issued Office Order No. 30, Series 2011 on March 2, 2011 which establishes the GAD office with its coordinator.

The new GAD office was launched with a mass and blessing rites officiated by Rev. Fr. Joey D. Aguilar on March 4, 2011. It is located at the Ground Floor, left wing of the CSC administration building.

Prof. Brillante is tasked to take charge in planning, programming and implementing the GAD policies and programs and in developing linkages.

As a revitalized program, CSC GAD, aside from carrying out its mandate, works for the integration of women and development concerns in the programs, projects and activities in the four-fold functions of CSC.

The office of CSC GAD coordinator has proposed this 2011 series of activities such as Gender Awareness Symposium for students in June, Gender Sensitivity Training for Employees in August to October, Sexual Harassment in the Campus Seminar in November and Lakbay Aral for GAD core group.

The Gender and Development Committee at CSC initially gained foothold on September 21, 2006 when Dr. Estrella S. Placides, was designated as CSC representative in the Regional Gender and Development Core Group. It has then embarked into a series of institutional activities that create awareness, generate involvement and give more focus on gender issues and concerns through the promotion of gender equality not only within CSC but also in the community it serves. (MAL/EAB, PIA Catanduanes/CSC)

Japanese volunteer to work at CSC soil lab

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Apr. 9 (PIA) -- A Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer (JOCV) will work as technical specialist at the Catanduanes State Colleges, College of Agriculture and Fisheries (CAF) Soil Laboratory.

Tetsuya Ishikawa, a Japanese volunteer who is an expert in soil and fertilizer sciences, had a courtesy call with Dr. Asuncion V. Asetre, CSC president on April 4, 2011 as a start of his initial 5-day familiarization tour and cultural interaction in Virac in preparation for his duty at CSC.

Ishikawa will be back to Virac tentatively on May 2011 for a two-year assignment at the College of Agriculture and Fisheries.

A native of Nagoya, Japan, Ishikawa is a 2009 BS in Applied Biosciences graduate at Tokyo University of Agriculture. He studied pedology, plant physiology, fertilizer and plant nutrition. He was also a student staff to the laboratory of plant production chemistry of the university and conducted pot cultivation experiment of eggplant and soybean. He was trained by the JOVC training course program on the preparation, adjustment of sample, flame analysis and calometric analysis for soil and plants.

He will assist in the continued mapping and testing of soil in the province. Ms. Namiko Yamamoto, the first volunteer from JICA calibrated the spectro-flame photometer equipment and started the soil testing operation during her six-month assignment in 2009.

Mr. Akira Goto, the volunteer coordinator of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) earlier assessed the progress of the soil laboratory on March 14, 2011.

The laboratory had earlier conducted an extensive soil mapping in the province led by Yamamoto. It identified and gathered soil samples for testing from 64 identified soil gradients across the province.

The laboratory has already completed the Nitrogen, Phosporus and pH test for the soil samples, said Mrs. Lani Ilagan, designated technician of the soil laboratory.

After the completed macronutrients analysis undertaken by the previous Japanese volunteer, the studying of soil micronutrients will be the next activity of the laboratory.

The soil laboratory at the CSC is equipped with a Spectro-flame Photometer, a soil analyzer device composed of two main machines, a spectro-photometer and flame photometer. It can test mineral content of soils as well as its alkalinity or acidity. Through this test, proper crops management can be attained. (MAL/PIA Catanduanes/CSC)

Red Cross to conduct 11th Summer Safety Institute
by Edna A Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, April 11 (PIA)- The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Catanduanes Chapter will hold its 11th Summer Safety Institute from April 25 to May 13, 2011.

Safety Services is one of the services of the PRC tasked with a nationwide educational campaign to ensure the health and safety of the Filipino people.

To effectively carry out this task, the Safety Services includes the conduct of training in First Aid, Basic Life Support- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Water Safety (Swimming, Aquatic Lifesaving & Lifeguarding), Accident Prevention and basic rescue courses.

The following are the schedules for the training: April 25-29, 2011 for First Aid and BLS-CPR training (18 yrs old and above); April 25-27, 2011 for First Aid Training for Juniors (7 yrs old to 17 yrs old); May 2-6, 2011 for Instructor Training Course (18 yrs old and above and trained in FA/BLS-CPR); May 9-13, 2011 for Learn to Swim (7 yrs old and above) and May 9-13, 2011 for Water Rescue and Survival Swimming (18 yrs old and above and trained in FA/BLS-CPR). (PIA/Catanduanes)

Curfew eyed vs young burglars
MASBATE CITY, April 11 (PIA)—The spate of robbery involving young offenders has prompted several members of Masbate City Peace and Order Council to press the police to dust an ageing curfew ordinance and enforce it in the city.

Most vocal was City Prosecutor Edmundo O. Legaspi who expressed optimism that limiting the movement of children during unholy hours could help stem the tide of juvenile delinquency in the city.

Legaspi lamented that hoodlums were apparently exploiting the law prohibiting the prosecution of minors by using them in burglary.

He revealed that his home had been burglarized not only once but several times by minors.

One of the culprits had figured already in more than a dozen cases of robbery or burglary but lawmen could not run after him, he added.

It was learned that Judge Rolando G. Sandigan of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities had gone through a similar sad experience.

In response, Supt. Rowade P. Tombaga, chief of city police station, said the current curfew ordinance, in which the streets would be off-limits to minors between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., would lead to naught because it carries no penalty.

Tombaga urged the revision of the ordinance to strengthen it against juvenile delinquency.

Recently, Regional Director Blandino M. Maceda of the Department of the Interior and Local Government said in a legal opinion that “full implementation of curfew ordinance may be achieved through the full cooperation of barangay officials and the parents themselves.”

Citing the Child and Youth Welfare Code, Maceda said a curfew ordinance should be “enforced against the parents or guardians and not (on) the minor himself.”

The Code decrees that “the duty to enforce curfew ordinances shall devolve upon the parents or guardians and the local authorities” and “any parent or guardian found grossly negligent in the performance of the duty…shall be admonished by the Department of Social Welfare an Development or the Council for the Protection of Children. (EAD, PIA Masbate)

Convergence benefits four municipalities
by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY , April 11 (PIA)-- The four municipalities of Juban, Casiguran, Magallanes and Sorsogon City were recipients of several projects during the project launch of the Sorsogon Convergence Initiatives on Rural Development held here at Paradise Hotel last week.

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) turned over the Agrarian Reform Communities Project (ARCP) 2 which includes rural infrastructure projects, community development programs, survey and agro-enterprise development projects to the municipalities of Juban, Casiguran and Sorsogon City.

USEC Gerundio C. Madueno together with DAR Region 5 regional director Maria Celestina M. Tam turned over the manifesto and description of projects to Mayor Ester Hamor of Casiguran, Mayor Olivia M. Bermillo of Castilla and Mayor Leovic R. Deoneda of Sorsogon City who are the focus of the convergence initiatives..

These three local governments are the pilot areas of the convergence initiative program to run for 5 years from 2011 to 2016.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) headed by Secretary Ramon Paje and region 5 regional director Joselin Marcus E. Fragada turned over to the three local government units under the convergence program the DENR program component which is the Integrated Agroferestry Production /Support to the National Greening Program.

The project includes the establishment of agroforestry farms and maintenance of the existing assisted natural regeneration project in their areas.

In support to the national greening program which these three municipalities will support as stipulated in the memorandum of understanding which earlier during the launch they have signed will include the production of forest and fruit trees for distribution to their identified areas for planting.

DENR have also turned over to these municipalities titles of alienable and disposable lands, the title of issuance of free patents for agricultural lands and issuance of patent for school site.

The programs and projects also given to these three local governments from the Department of Agriculture was turned over by USEC Bernadette Romulo-Puyat together with DA Region 5 regional director Jose V. Dayao which includes Livelihood Projects Facilities, equipments, and other interventions by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

The project includes tilapia , bangus fingerlings, prawn, post larvae, tilapia breders, seaweed seedling dispersal; distribution and establishment of the Municipal and City Tilapia Hatchery, Mariculture Zone, Post Harvest Facility, Aquasilviculture Project, Fishing Gears Distribution, Seaweed Input Assistance and the re assessment of the Fish Sanctuary in these three local government units.

These three municipalities also received from the DA small water impounding projects from the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) which was turned over by Dr. Silvino Q. Tejada.

Two units of pump and engine sets were also turned over by Dr. Tejada to Congressman Salvador H. Escudero III.

The local government of Casiguran, Castilla and the City of Sorsogon also received Communal Irrigation Project and Communal Irrigation Service Extension from the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) thru Engr. Antonio S. Nangel , NIA administrator.

Mayor Roque L. Carranza of the municipality of Magallanes also received the Farm Mecahnization and Post Harvest Program Retrofitting of Mechanical Dryers thru PHILMEC as a separate program from the convergence initiative program implementation.

This project includes provision of farm machineries and dyying facilities such as hand tractor, thresher, flatbed dryer and multi-purpose drill pump in together with the three cluster local government of Castilla, Casiguran and Sorsogon City.

Additional project also turned over includeed the retrofitting of the existing kerosine fed mechanical dryers with rice hull furnace in the City of Sorsogon.

Other projects turned over to the three municipalities, as pilot LGUs of the convergence initiatives program were projects from the Fiber Indusry Development Authority, the Organic Demo Farm by the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Project Standards (BAFPS), the Nursery Developmet, Cassava Development Project in Casiguran and Castilla, the farm to market roads in Burabod-Palanas- Road, distribution of Irrigation pumps and the Institutional Capacity Building (ICB) project in support of the Credit Programs by the Agricultural Credit Facility.

The project launch was a success and the three municipalities piloted will be monitored closely and regularly according to the two congressmen of the the province of Sorsogon, Hon. Salvador H. Escudero III of the 1st district and Hon. Deogracias B. Ramos of the 2nd district.(IAG, PIA Sorsogon)

Female cops cited for outstanding performance
by Lizel S. Macatangay

Iriga City, April 11(PIA) --- A special recognition was awarded to two (2) female cops of Iriga City Women’s Desk for implementing the specific provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7610 otherwise known as the Anti-Child Abuse R.A. 9262, the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children(VAWC) Act of 2002; and R.A. 9208, dubbed as the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.

PO2 Jennifer Laut-Ibias, was cited as Best Women and Children Protection Desk Police Non-Commissioned Officers (WCPD- PNCO) while PO2 Eugienne Nueva-Alfelor was also named as Best Asst WCPD PNCO/Family, Juvenile and Gender And Development (FJGAD) PNCO. The duo was also hailed by their colleagues at the Iriga City PNP for their exemplary effort in the execution of their duties and responsibilities, particularly in the promotion of various women and children activities within their area of jurisdiction.

The awarding ceremony was held at the Camarines Sur Provincial Office in Naga City during the 20th PNP Day Anniversary celebration.

Ibias and Alfelor both showed their dedication in disseminating pertinent information regarding Child Abuse, the rights of women embedded under the Anti Violence Against Women and Children Act of 2001 and explanation of related provisions to raise the awareness of women and children, especially minors who are oftentimes the victims of various harassments.

Both police officers made way for the filing of significant cases in court, bringing to the fore fairness to the oppressed while sending a message to their perpetrators that justice never sleeps for those who seeks for it.

Among the cases that the twosome has filed in court includes the case of JASSA SINGH, an Indian National who raped a Fourteen (14) year old girl. They also filed 13 cases of Rape, 14 case for RA 9262 , 15 case for Acts of Lasciviousness, one (1) for the violation of RA 9208 and were responsible for the arrest of 9 person and the filing of this cases in court. (PIA Camarines Sur)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sorsogon Museum, PDI lead 'Read Along Program'
by Irma A.Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, Apr. 8 (PIA) -- The Sorsogon Museum and Heritage Center Incorporated (SMHCI), in partnership with the Philippine Daily Inquirer( PDI), will spearhead the first ever story telling session at the provincial museum here tomorrow (Apr. 9) to commemorate the life of our heroes in celebration of the Araw ng Kagitingan.

According to Mr. Joseph John Perez , SMCHI trustee, this event is part of the PDI's "Read Along Program" in its continuing support to make literacy one of its advocacy by focusing on the heroic deeds of our forefathers.

"Inquirer has since been holding similar events in different parts of the country to promote the interest and love of reading books among children, specially the lives of our heroes and people who have contributed a sense of history in our country," Perez related.

Cecilia Hsu-Duran, promotion head of the SMHCI, said that PDI Luzon Bureau correspondent Joane Los Banos coordinated with the SMHCI to sponsor the initial launch of the project in the province.

"We have tapped the assistance of the city government here and we are very thankful to Mayor Leovic R.Dioneda, the SHALOM Foundation and the Department of Education, for gathering 60 children aged 6 to 12 years old who will take part in this activity on Saturday at 10:00 am," Duran said.

Duran also cited that PDI founder "Eugenia "Eggy" Duran-Apostol, sister of former Mayor Fernando Duran and now chair of the SMHCI, has that special affinity to Sorsogon being a true Sorsoguena and would like to contribute a legacy for reading which now seems to be a fading value.

"Another personality within the Inquirer publication is Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc, editor in chief, is the daughter of the late Colonel Nicanor Jimenez who also hailed from Sorsogon and considered one of our veteran heroes during the World War II in the province," according to Duran.

Their life will be shared through the read along program to young children who should be made aware of such kind of heroism, according to Perez, and we also want them to develop the love for reading.

This activity according to Perez is open to the public and interested persons should contact the museum office.

Perez said that for this launch, local volunteers were tapped led by retired teacher Ms. Rose Enerio who is a long time volunteer of PDI's Read Along Program in Metro Manila.

Another volunteer is Sorsogon Arts Council spokesperson and Museum Trustee Perez himself once a part of Batibot World of Children Expo and founder of Radyo Pambata, and also to include Gibbs Cadiz, PDI Lifestyle section editor.

This activity that will be done this Saturday will also provide the children a guided tour of the museum, called a " A Walk Through History" telling them about the importance of the things that they will see inside the SMHCI to inspire them of the rich history of our province, its people and its aspirations.

The Read Along Program will be a continuing activity of the SMHCI and will invite national figures, and inspirational leaders who will read stories to children and promote literacy advocacy through reading monthly.

"Today reading seems to be a passing and unimportant activity to kids specially with the advent of computers, internet, cellphones and modern technology games.The life of our heroes are no longer given importance specially by our young generation", according to Mrs. Duran.

"Let us bring back the sense of history here in our province through our museum activities and the emulation of the heroic deeds of our war veterans who have fought for our freedom through reading ", Duran said. (MAL/IAG, PIA Sorsogon)

NSO opens Serbilis outlet in Iriga City
by Lizel S. Macatangay

IRIGA CITY, Apr. 8 (PIA) -- The National Statistics Office (NSO), and the University of Northeastern Philippines (UNEP) signed Thursday (April 7) the Memorandum of Agreement establishing an online Census Serbilis Center here.

The Serbilis outlet will serve as of one of NSO’s service points for the decentralized servicing or requests for civil registry documents.

By entering into this agreement, UNEP is given authority to use the system free of charge in accordance to the rules and regulations set for its purpose.

The outlet will not only be servicing the students and faculty members of UNEP but also members of the community from the neighboring towns and outskirts of Iriga City .

UNEP will use the BREQS-LGU System featuring an off-line method of encoding requests for birth, death and marriage certificates.

UNEP executive vice president and concurrently VP for Finance Deli Alfelor-Tibi said that the said endeavor will be a great help for their personnel and students especially now that NSO documents are being required for enrolment, job applications and other transactions that requires submission of NSO authenticated document.

“Through the Civil Registry System IT (CRS-IT) Project, people here from Iriga City , UNEPians in particular, will not have to endure the long queue in getting the NSO document. They will save a lot of time and their finances as well, having saved the penny to travel all the way from Iriga City going to Naga. In one hand, it also saves the university from investing just to build this kind of outlet,” Tibi said.

Clemente Manaog, NSO provincial statistics officer in Camarines Sur, said that Serbilis outlets are NSO’s way of fast tracking the transactions to better serve the populace.

“We understand that there is a great need for these documents from our office that’s why NSO have also devised a way to make it easier for the community and that is by providing them with accessible outlets.”

UNEP on the other hand, will designate the Local Civil Registry Office (LCRO) as the implementing unit of the BREQS-LGU system. (MAL/LSM, PIA CamSur)

Feature: State of Children, Abaca research in Catanduanes
CSC Pisog nin Uswag Awards cites best undergrad theses

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Apr. 8 (PIA) -- A case study on street children and a research about the antimicrobial property of abaca sap are this school year’s winners in the 2010-2011 Pisog nin Uswag Awards, an annual search for best undergraduate thesis conducted by the Catanduanes State Colleges Research and Development Services.

The thesis “Street Children of Virac, Catanduanes: A Case Study,” conducted by Kristel C. Malinana and Jayson B. Tabor, AB Economics students of the College of Arts and Sciences was declared best research in non-science and technology category.

Declared winner in the science and technology category is the study about Antimicrobial Property of Abaca Musa textilis Sap conducted by Renee Daisy J. Avila, BS Biology, also of the College of Arts and Sciences.

A typical street child in Virac, the study of Malinana and Tabor found out, is male, between ages 10-15, eldest in the family, has never enrolled in a school, lives with grandparents and engages in begging, scavenging, stealing, acting as drug couriers, peddling, going out with pedophiles, gambling and other vices.

Meanwhile, Avila determined the antimicrobial property of the abaca sap by using it as an inhibitor of the growth of a bacteria (Propioni bacterium) which causes acne. She used three samples – fresh sap, week-old fermented sap and month-old fermented in finding out which abaca sap has the most effective anti-microbial property. The research found out that as abaca sap ages, it becomes more acidic, hence it is more effective in controlling the growth of bacteria.

Declared second best research in the non-science and technology category is the study about the Acceptability of Virac Businessmen on the Dissemination of Rules and Regulations in the Payment of Taxes Implemented by BIR. This was jointly conducted by Ezekiel V. Tanael, Joefrey T. Ereso, Lionell T. Masagca, Elvin Randolph R. Jubay and Ronan John B. Toririt, BS Accountancy students.

According to the study, businessmen in Virac generally agree on the tax policies implemented by BIR and fairly agree on the manner of implementation. The study recommended that more information campaigns be conducted by the BIR for better awareness about tax policies.

It was also recommended that BIR should accept suggestions from taxpayers to know how they will adopt changes in their tax policies and that tax policies must be written in a manner that can be easily understood by lay people.

Moreover, the study of Geronimo B. Tapas Jr., BS Nutrition and Dietetics about Development and Standardization of Cream Puff out of Kadyos Flour was awarded second best paper for the science and technology category. The researcher compared the acceptability of using 100% all-purpose flour, 100 per cent Kadyos flour, and combined all-purpose and Kadyos flours of equal proportion.

It was found out that the combination with equal proportion of all-purpose and Kadyos flour produces the best quality cream puff. Kadyos or Pigeon Pea is a legume widely propagated in the tropics for the edible seeds and pods.

The study further concluded that there are no significant differences among the samples of formulation in terms of their overall acceptability; hence, it was recommended that Kadyos flour could be used as substitute in cream puff making and other baked products.

Only four student researches passed the preliminary screening of the CSC Research Services this year. The selection committee modified the selection process by categorizing the researches into S&T and Non-S&T categories to widen the scope of getting outstanding undergraduate theses from various academic disciplines. (MAL/EAB, PIA Catanduanes/CSC)

NTC to conduct one day mobile registration, licensing
by Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Apr. 8 (PIA) -- The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) Regional Office V will be conducting a "Mobile Registration and Licensing" here for this year to register, legalize and license all unregistered radio transceivers being used and operated by different government and private agencies/individuals in the province of Catanduanes.

The NTC will accept and process all applications for license of new/renewal radio communication network and operator certificates, registration and licensing of all types of two-way radio equipment including mobile phone (cell phone) dealers/retailers/service centers and shall be releasing corresponding permits and licenses on the same day.

An orientation/seminar on radio laws, rules and regulations, licensing procedures and proper handling/maintenance of radio equipment (RLM Seminar) will be held on the same day. Participants may apply and shall be issued the Restricted Land Mobile (RLM) Radio Operators Certificate.

NTC will also be receiving applications for blocking/unblocking of SIM cards/cell phone and complaints on text scam/illegal/malicious text and text spam. (MAL/EAB, PIA Catanduanes)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

BIR in Bicol reminds taxpayers to settle their dues before the April 15 deadline

LEGAZPI CITY, Apr. 7 (PIA) – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) regional office here has reminded anew the tax-paying public to settle their taxes as early as today with the April 15 deadline nears.

Atty. Diosdado Mendoza, BIR Bicol regional director said taxpayers should not wait for the deadline to pay their taxes, but rather settle them as early as possible to avoid the long queue and of paying penalties.

Mendoza said they can go to any BIR district or provincial revenue offices and other centers, on the other hand, if they have a clarification or two regarding their taxes our personnel are very willing to help and assist them.

Meanwhile, Mendoza remains optimistic the Bicol tax collection bureau will achieve a better revenue collection this 2011 and surpass anew the performance last year.

In 2010, some P4.84 billion were actually collected by BIR Bicol from the seven revenue district offices across the region higher by P254.68 million or 5.55 percent more than the P4.58 billion target collection.

Mendoza credited income tax as the primary source of taxes in Bicol comprising 63 percent of the revenue collection, while the value added tax added 31 percent, percentage tax with 3 percent, other form taxes taking the 2 percent and excise tax at 1 percent.

He said income taxes totaled P2.8 billion; VAT, P1.5 billion; percentage tax, P216 million; other taxes, P222 million, and excise tax, P1.9 million.

Mendoza said that the seven revenue district offices (RDOs) and the regional office were able to make good their collection performance because of several innovative approaches used to increase tax collection.

Among these approaches, he said, were the intensified tax information campaign, collection of delinquent accounts, the regular tax compliance verification drive, the close monitoring of withholding agents of National and Local Government offices, Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCC) projects and the voluntary compliance of top tax payers in the region.

This year, Mendoza said, they have lined up several innovations to be able to again overshoot their collection goal for 2011 with the usual strong support and cooperation being extended by Bicolano taxpayers. (MAL, PIA V/Albay)

DTI, Entrepreneurs’ council launch Outstanding Entrepinoy
By Edna A Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Apr. 7 (PIA) - The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Provincial Micro Small Medium Enterprise Development Council (PMSMEDC) here launched a Search for Outstanding Catandungan Entrepinoy to recognize local entrepreneurs who have shown exemplary performance and dedication in making their business successful.

There will be five sectors covered by the search namely: food processing, furniture manufacturing, handicraft making including wearables, commercial agri-business and tourism services.

The nominee enterprise must be operating in Catanduanes and duly registered with appropriate government agencies like DTI, SEC, COA, Local governments and BIR; must be in operation for the last three years; Filipino owned and must have no derogatory record.

They may be nominated by any government agency or province organization or by themselves. Nomination forms are now available at DTI Provincial Office. The nomination for should be submitted to the PMSMED through DTI not later than April 22, 2011.

Criteria for the selection are: Entrepreneurial excellence (75 points), management excellence (15 pts) and service to the community (10 pts).

The outstanding Catandungan Entrepinoy will each receive a plaque, trophy and cash during the Micro Small Medium Enterprise Council Forum on May 21, 2011.

Board of Judges will be composed of the PMSMED Chairman and representative of the PMSMED chairman and representatives from the academic, banking sectors and local media.(MAL/EAB, PIA Catanduanes)

Sorsogon tourism seen a vibrant and bullish industry this year
By Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, April 7 (PIA) -- The Sorsogon Provincial Tourism Council (SPTC) sees a vibrant and bullish tourism industry in the province in two years time through pursuing programs and measures at par with global trends.

Newly elected chair Angelita Hsu -Duran Agnes of the SPTC, along with 15 other young and dynamic members of the board of directors, said the council is now focused in pursuit of the goal making tourism one of the economic agenda for development in the province.

According to Agnes, members of the board mostly comprising of young entrepreneurs and tourism related businesses, resort owners and operators, are making a dynamic approach in handling the tourism industry here by coming up with an integrated approach of marketing tourism from destination, service and and culture immersion.

Other elected as officers of the tourism council are vice chair Reymund Yap of Giddy's Place in Donsol; secretary Michelle D. Galarosa of Rizal Beach Resort; treasurer Johnn Estipona of Una Pizzeria; press relation officer Josephine Pikal of Fritz Homestay here; auditor Marilyn Razo of Aguiluz Homestay in Donsol; ways and means Macario Chavez of Weks Place here.

The board of directors are Boy Mateo of Mateo Hot Spring Resort in Irosin; Bing Ravanilla of Villa Isabel Hotel here; Amy Quisumbing, operator of Olango Beach Resort in Sta Magdalena; Joey Lasala , proprietor of Casa Feliz in Juban town; Jayson Melgar, tour guide of the firefly watching in Donsol; jayson Deligero, representative of a people's organization in Prieto Diaz Mangrove Ecotour; Chuck Nares of the MMGroup; and Karen Go, owner of Janes Restaurant here.
With the accreditation of all stakeholders in the tourism industry here, the council will ensure that the standards followed globally will also be implemented in the practice of tourism service.

After the recent general assembly of stakeholders, the council has convened mapping out new collaborative measures to make tourism more vibrant and robust.

"This is by way of coming up with activities every month year round that will cater to the global needs and new tourism trends," stated Agnes.
The Aribada Festival, showcasing the whale sharks activities in Donsol, will commence this series of activities as it will already start on last week of April wherein the council will already provide assistance in terms of marketing.

All festivals will be also highlighted in the SPTC brochures and that all municipal tourism councils will be provided the draft plan of tourism packages according to Duran.

Meanwhile, Agnes cited that the Department of Tourism (DOT) in Bicol reported that n the comparative data of the regional distribution of travelers from January 2009 to December 2010, Sorsogon has recorded a 21 percent increase in tourist arrivals and ranked third in the arrivals for the past two years.

DOT Bicol Director Maria Ravanilla reported to the council that Sorsogon has a total of 51,433 domestic tourists and 32,921 foreign tourists arrivals from January-December 2009 with a total of 84,354 tourists.

Ravanilla added that from January to December 2010 recorded domestic tourists for Sorsogon totaled to 73,925 and 27,925 foreign tourists with a total of 101,799. (MAL/IAG, PIA Sorsogon)

San Jose opens 24-hour lying-in clinic
By Danilo C. Abad

SAN JOSE, Camarines Sur –Apr.7 (PIA)-- The San Jose Lying-In Center has officially opened on a 24-hour basis after its inauguration and blessing held last April 4 here.

The 12-bed facility is a pet project of Mayor Antonio B. Chavez which is expected to boost the promotion of health programs of the local government unit for the residents of this municipality.
Dr. Arnel Armea, municipal health chief, said that the center will give priority to maternity patients from this town needing “normal spontaneous delivery “.

He said that the nurses, midwives and attendants presently assigned at the health center here will likewise serve as such at the lying-in unit.

According to him, maternity patients from this town will not be billed for “normal delivery “and only minimal charge for medicine.

Meanwhile, Chavez explained that the project is part of his program to give his constituents affordable and easy access to health services from the local government unit.

The mayor said that the people of San Jose deserve a dedicated, compassionate and honest local government unit and that is what he is trying to give them.

He also appeals to those who have generous heart to extend any help or assistance for the clinic since it still lacks on facilities but due to his great desire to help the constituents opted to open it immediately and offer basic services for the meantime while the LGU continues to improve the edifice.

The clinic is located at the ground floor of the former ABC building adjacent to the San Jose Municipal Health Center of this town. (MAL/DCA, PIACamSur)