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

Friday, September 30, 2011

Pilipinas Natin launched in CamSur... PCOO Sec. Sonny Coloma, joined by CamSur Gov. LRay Villafuerte and thousands of Bikolanos, leads the launching of the 'Pilipinas Natin' program
in the province of CamSur, Bicol held at the Provincial Convention Center in Pili town, September 23. (PIA CamSur)
KBP Albay joins 22 other chapters in nationwide tree-planting activity

by Aida Alcazar-Naz

LEGAZPI CITY, September 30 (PIA) -- On October 1, the Albay chapter of the Kapisanan ng mga mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) joins other 22 chapters nationwide in a tree-planting activity dubbed as oplan brodcastreeing.

"From broadcasting of news and issues to broadcasting of seedlings," as the adopted slogan of the activity, KBP Albay Chair Edgar S. Barrameda disclosed that some 5,000 trees will be planted on the dump site of Barangay Banquerohan, Legazpi City.

The organization is targeting at least 300 hundred broadcasters from the 16 member stations and non-broadcasters including their families and friends to plant narra trees at the said location designated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

This tree planting activity is in line with Executive Order 26 or the National Greening Program of the government which aims to plant 1.5 billion trees by 2016, explained Barrameda.

Other than that the endeavour is a demonstration of love and care for the environment, participate in the struggle against global warming and for disaster preparedness vigilance.

Two other KBP chapters in Bicol, Camarines Sur and Sorsogon will join the week-end tree-planting along with other chapters like Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, Cagayan Valley, Nueva Ecija, Mindoro, Quezon, Pampanga, Zambales, Metro Manila, Aklan, Negros Occidental, Eastern Visayas, Cebu, Iloilo, Butuan, Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro, Davao and Cotabato.

"Oplan Broadcastreeing" is the brainchild of KBP national chairman Herman Z. Basbaño who on the organization’s 38th anniversary signed a memorandum of agreement with Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo to assist in the nationwide tree-planting activity. (MAL/AAN, PIA V)

Bicol U leads project EDEN, first in Southeast Asia

by Aida Alcazar-Naz

LEGAZPI CITY, September 30 (PIA) -- Bicol University (BU) has operationalized Bicol EDEN, an extension flagship program which stands for Bicol Extension Disaster Education Network patterned after EDEN US run by the American Agriculture Department.

The memorandum of understanding between and among a dozen government agencies and local government units was held during its launching last August 25 with more organizations signifying its intention to join, disclosed Prof. Leilani D. Pavilando, director of the BU Extension Service Center.

The undertaking took-off with the orientation on emergency preparedness focusing on safety from fire and earthquake drill; kiddie, junior fire marshal olympics and production of information materials.

These activities will form part of a report that BU President Faye Lea Patria M. Lauraya and Prof. Pavilando will present during the EDEN Congress in US this October.

Bicol-EDEN focuses on disaster education and messaging as a key component in educating resilient communities, the region often visited by calamities. The organization solicits the involvement, cooperation and other partnership-related endeavor of institutions in addressing disaster as a major challenge brought about by climate change. Its thrust is risk reduction and management to eradicate vulnerabilities to calamities.

As a starter, BU along with agencies like the Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Air Force, Philippine Army, Philippine National Police, Albay Health Emergency Management (AHEM) conducted and orientation on emergency preparedness safety from fire and earthquake followed by a drill last August 25 at the university’s administration building. A similar drill will be conducted in November.

Another disaster education activity was the conduct of the Kiddie/Junior Fire Marashall Olympics held August 26, the first in the province of Albay according to F/Cinsp Joseph Reylito S. Espiritu, M.D., chief health and emergency services BFP Bicol. A new category was add to said olympics that of collge students.

The competition was participated in by 10 elementary schools, 6 high schools or Junior A and 4 higher education institutions or Junior B.

Declared winners after a whole day event aimed at fire disaster education focus at fire suppression and rescue skills to students were Sunshine International School, Daraga, Albay, Bicol College High School, Daraga, Albay and BU Polangui Campus, champions for Kiddie, Junior A and Junior B Yell Competition.

Winners for the Kiddie Fire Marshal Category were Sunshine International School, champion; Divine Word College elementary department, Legazpi City, first runner up; Team B of Sunshine International School, 2nd runner up and Camalig North Central School, 3rd runner up.

Teams for the Junior categories which won in the olympics were Aquinas University of Legazpi, champion; Bicol College High School, 1st runner up; BU Integrated Laboratory School, 2nd runner up and Computer Arts & Technological Colleges Foundation, Inc., Legazpi, 3rd runner up for Junior A or high school level; while Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation, Inc., Legazpi was champion; Bicol College, 1st runner up; BU College of Industrial Technology, 2nd runner up and BU College of Social Science & Philosophy, 3rd runner up for the Junior B category or college level.

Dr. Lauraya who personally handed out the trophies during the awarding ceremony pledged that BU will spearhead the Kiddie/Junior Fire Marshal Olympics every year. (MAL/AAN, PIA V)

Ako Bicol party-list proposes anti-dengue law

LEGAZPI CITY, September 30 (PIA) -- Ako Bicol (AKB) Party-list has filed on September 29, 2011 House Bill No. 5364 which proposes the passage of the Anti-Dengue Act of 2011 to prevent and control Dengue, which includes penalties for violations.

AKB Party-List acknowledges and commends the Department of Health in their efforts to control or eradicate Dengue in the country, however, has the need to strengthen the existing health policy by mandating local government units, communities, households, business establishments and schools to participate in the nationwide program against Dengue.

The DOH has reported a decrease in dengue cases from 25%-50% in the past year. As of September 10,2011 there are 70,204 reported cases nationwide, which shows that Dengue has remained one of the major health problems especially during rainy season.

In tropics and sub-tropics, such as the Philippines, and where population density is high, such as urban centers, and where solid waste collection and water supply and storing is inadequate, dengue is an all-year round disease and a threat to public health.

Representative Rodel M. Batocabe said that since most transmission happen among family members and inside the homes, where breeding places of the mosquitoes are most of the time overlooked, the bill engages private individuals, households, and establishments in the participation to effectively eliminate dengue.

This bill focuses on preventive measures which includes, but are not limited to, cleanliness of surroundings, personal hygiene, awareness of symptoms, and active reporting of possible incidence of dengue, which in general, are ways to prevent mosquito bites. It also includes early recognition and prompt support treatment that can lower the risk of acquiring the full-blown disease.

Rep. Batocabe said that the bill should be passed into a law because it encourages the maintenance of clean surroundings and pro-active participation of both private and public sectors while providing penalty to violators. (MAL/AKB)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

209 beneficiaries in Sorsogon get AKBAY livelihood assistance

by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, September 29 (PIA) -- A total of 209 beneficiaries were identified and confirmed by the Agrikultura: Kaagapay ng Bayang Pinoy Program (AKBAY) to receive a P10,000 livelihood assistance through the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) funded by the government of Japan.

This was learned last Monday during the meeting held here orienting several heads of national government line agencies of the program particularly, the Department of Trade and Industry , Philippine Information Agency, the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) with former governor Sally Ante-Lee , Executive Director ,of the Sorsogon Provincial Management Office (SPMO).

A P4M livelihood assistance fund to run for 2011-2013 will be given by the Japanese government to 4th and 5th class municipalities in the province of Sorsogon.

For the first tranche recipients, identified were the local governments of Barcelona, Bulusan, Casiguran and Juban and for the second tranche, the municipalities of Prieto Diaz and Sta Magdalena will be included.

The livelihood assistance was evolved to help the poorest of the poor in the agriculture and fishery sectors in the whole Philippines with a P150M livelihood assistance for Luzon and Visayas while a bigger amount was earmarked for the provinces in Mindanao, according to the representative of the NAPC.

OPA assistant provincial government head ,Maria Theresa V. Destura, said that the assistance to be provided to these identified beneficiaries is interest and collateral free.

She further said that the purpose is to primarily provide the identified beneficiaries to better their lives, reduce poverty in the country side and make agriculture and the fishery sector gain ground specially in areas where people are engaged in agriculture and fishery as their main source of livelihood.

Before the distribution of the financial assistance, beneficiaries will undergo training, orientation and reorientation on entrepreneurial enhancement with the assistance of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The livelihood assistance will be focused on short gestating scheme to zero in in crop production of mushroom culture, root crop production , backyard poultry raising while in the fishery component it identified seaweed , sea urchin, mussel, oysters , prawn, mud crab production and tilapia culture farming.

Equity on the part of beneficiaries will be land, labor cost and available facilities.

Destura said that the team that identified the beneficiaries had already conducted on site pre-evaluation , their farm household profile were already validated together with their project proposals and with a certification from the barangay captain of them being residents of the barangay for the past 3 years.

Project launch of the AKBAY will be this October 28 at the Sorsogon Provincial Gymnasium and will form part of the Kasanggayahan Festival 2011 celebration . (MAL/IAG, PIA Sorsogon)

40 beneficiaries receive Kabuhayan Starter Kits from DOLE

by Rosalita Base-Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, September 29 (PIA) – A total of 40 graduates in different vocational courses receives Kabuhayan Starter Kits (KSK) under the program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) held at the Little Theater, provincial capitol compound here yesterday.

The starter kit was distributed by DOLE regional director Alvin M. Villamor, Governor Edgardo Tallado together with ex-officio Sanguniang Panlalawigan Ricky Manarang, chairman of the Committee on Education.

Villamor said that the Kabuhayan Starter Kit is one the major programs of the DOLE to help qualified graduates of vocational courses, informal sectors, unemployed and disadvantage workers.

He said that beneficiaries were provided with their own tools and equipment that can be used to start their own small businesss if not employed.

The 40 beneficiaries were former out-of-school youth who avail of free-schooling program and graduated in vocational courses on Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), electronics, Automotive Mechanic Servicing (AMS), Electrical Installation and Maintenance (EIM) and beauty care hairdressing under the Educational Program for Deserving Out-Of-School Youth (EPDOSY) of the provincial government.

Of the 21 who are graduates of SMAW, 19 received a welding machine 300 AMP, 1 was given a grinder and electric drill and 1 received a grinder portable and electric drill portable while those 10 graduated in electronics, 7 were given each one set of digital tester, soldering iron, 30W and inverter 600W; 1 was given a inverter DC-AC 800W, AVR 110-220V, analog tester and soldering lead, 1mm (Duwell); 1 was given analog tester and soldering, 1 mm (Duwell) and 1 graduate receoved inverter 600W, digital tester and soldering pump (big).

The one who graduated AMS was given a hexagonal deep socket, box wrench, combination wrench and grinder while the 2 EIM graduate each receives an electric grinder, electric hand drill, wire stripper and tester OVM portable 200 AMP.

The 4 who graduated in hairdressing each receives curling iron, hair dryer, hair net, hair steamer, towel and tinting bowl while the 2 graduated in beauty care receives each make-up kit, hand spa/foot spa tolls/kit, facial scrub tools/kit and manicure/pedicure tools/kit.

Also a distribution of checks for the scholars of Camarines Norte Provincial Government College Education Assistance Program (CNPGCEAP) were distributed during the activity. (MAL/RBM/PIA Camarines Norte)


Castilla's Unod Festival 2011... a celebration of health and blessings

by Irma a. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, September 29 (PIA) -- "Unod" Festival expresses thanksgiving of the people of Castilla, a celebration of the bountiful harvest of root crops of the town and the value of being industrious people," thus stated Mayor Olive Bermillo of Castilla, Sorsogon

"Everything now is on high gear as the celebration of the festival to start this September 30 up to October 8," Bermillo said.

Castilla town is known to be one of the best farming towns in the province. Mostly all the people are dependent on the land produce of different varieties of root crops like camote, ube, cassava, gabi and uraro, hence Unod Festival is a celebration of these abundance derived from the land and the continued value of people making best the value of the land.

The mayor also stressed that the Unod Festival is also a celebration of blessings the people received from government assistance to make farming their prime industry and the direction that the local government of Castilla has envisioned for the town making their root crops become the most viable source for livelihood to fight poverty and an expression of the industriousness of the people of Castilla.

"This 9-day celebration will highlight a display of the root crops produced by farmers in the Agro -Festival Fair to be participated in by our 39 barangays showcasing how these products were preserved, made into candies, used as add on to viands and how these are now becoming a favorite food to advocate healthy lifestyle," Bermillo stressed.

"We have also dialogued here with our local officials, health workers and specially the Department of Education (DepEd) to make use of these root crops as the main snacks that should be served in the school canteens so that children will be made more aware that rootcrops are healthy food . It should also be the food to be served to visitors to help propel the economy of Castilla and eventually teach the next generation to do away with junk foods," Bermillo also explained.

Aside from the root crops, Castilla is also known as a fishing community and a fruit basket of the province.

People traveling in the national highway passing by the town of Castilla will always see the fruit stands beside the road abundant with year round local produce from the local variety of santol to Bangkok santol, pineapples, bread fruit, papaya, guyabano, atis, guava, biriran, melon and almost all local fruits and vegetables found in the province but basically these root crops mentioned always are in abundance.

This year's festival will start with the Thanksgiving Mass on Sept. 30, at 1:00PM at the new Municipal Building to be attended by all employees, local officials, guests and the people of Castilla. It will be followed by a press conference where the local media are invited.

A motorcade starting from Barangay Sugoy will pass by the barangays of Macalaya, Poblacion, La Union and to end at Barangay Cumadcad in front of the public market and at 7:00 pm will be the coronation of the Mutya na Castilla.

An Agro-Trade Fair to run for one week will showcase all the local produce of the town to include the Unod Festival Photo Contest , Media Invitational Tour to the tourism destinations and agricultural potentials of the place,a fun run, mangrove tree planting, carabao race and other activities that will show the total potential of the town in terms of agriculture.

A street dancing and float parade competition, Search of Talentadong Castillano, Civic Military Parade with the participation of the drum and bugle corps of the schools are activities included in the festival also.

"We hope to attract investors to our place also specially in tourism development and agricultural opportunities as there are now big corporations here in Castilla like the Manzehing Corporation who is now on to agro- development here and who have invested specially in agriculture,"Bermillo also explained.

"The Unod Festival is just a means to propel our agricultural potential as a town and ultimately become a statement of development where the people of Castilla will be able to live a better quality of life out of the land they till and these produce they will share to the national and hopefully to the global markets as health foods are now the trend," Mayor Bermillio beamed with hope in the success of the celebration.(MAL/IAG, PIA Sorsogon)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

DOH-FDA leads observance of Generics Awareness Month

LEGAZPI CITY, September 28 (PIA) -- The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) of the Department of Health (DOH) V pursues the need to increase awareness among the public on the availability of low cost, safe, and quality medicines in time for the observance of "Generics Awareness Month" this September.

The month-long celebration, pursuant to through Republic Act No. 6675, promote, require and ensure the production of an adequate supply, distribution, use and acceptance of drugs and medicines identified by their generic name.

This year’s theme “Generics para sa Kalusugan, Gamot Pangkalahatan Mag GENERICS na"

FDA stated that the use of generic medicines has already been patronized by the people in the wake of costly, expensive, abusively- priced medicines. All these years, these generic medicine companies have competed against their high-priced innovator counterparts.

Such competition has forced some of these high-priced medicine prices to go down to more affordable levels, just as it has further improved the quality of generic medicines through the years.

If more and more doctors prescribe generic medicines and more and more people use generic medicines, these offer more competition to further force medicine prices to go down.

Under RA 6675, also known as the Generics Act of 1988, physicians, dentist and veterinarians are required to indicate the generic names of all drugs prescribed whether through a personal prescription pad or a doctor's order sheet in the hospital chart.

It is required that generic names of all drugs must always be written first before a brand name which is optional and placed in parenthesis.

For violation of this act, the Secretary of DOH shall have the authority to impose administrative sanctions such as suspension or cancellation of license to operate or recommend suspension of license to practice profession to the Professional Regulation Commission as the case may be.

DOH encourages the public to ask for generic medicines to assure themselves of safe, quality medicines and to save money since generic drugs are cheaper than branded ones. (MALoterte, PIA V/Albay)

Albayanos pursue cleaner waters on Coastal Cleanup Day

LEGAZPI CITY, September 28 -- Representatives from various groups and organizations successfully conducted cleanup activities in selected sites in Albay last September 17.

Cleanup sites included the areas of Macabalo River, Brgy. Dapdap-Binanuaan and Puro; Victory Villages and Sabang; Pigcale, Baybay and San Roque; Rawis and Yawa River; and Sto. Domingo, Albay.

During the activity, participants were required to fill out data sheets that showed information on the debris and trash collected to determine the types and the total weight of trash collected in each area. The data gathered will then be analyzed and may be used in legislation, pollution prevention efforts, education of the marine debris crisis, and the creation of civic and environmental programs such as Adopt-a-Beach Programs and Plant-a-Mangrove Projects.

The Environmental Management Bureau 5 (EMB 5) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Rotary Club of Legazpi (RCLC) and Rotaract Club of Legazpi spearheaded the cleanup activity in the Albay area. Personnel of EMB 5 and RCLC oriented the participants on the proper filling out of data sheets and the main purpose of the activity.

Such cleanup activities are held annually and simultaneously on local, national and international levels in line with the observance of the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Day every third Saturday of September. Furthermore, EMB 5 encourages Bicolanos to conduct cleanup activities not only on the International Coastal Cleanup Day but all year round.

This year, the ICC Day had the theme "Trash-Free Seas" to augment the significance of clean seas, not only to aquatic life forms but to humans as well. Moreover, the celebration aimed to intensify public awareness and address the various issues on our environment and its seas.

The ICC Day is known as the world's largest volunteer effort in fostering a clean and debris-free environment. Said celebration began in 1985 as initiated by Ocean Conservancy, an organization advocating ocean health. Globally, the Philippines is the second country with the largest number of volunteers on said effort. (MAL/DENR EMB V)

ENR-EMB V has new regional director

LEGAZPI CITY, September 28 (PIA/EMB) -- The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional office here will now be led by a new regional director in the person of Dr. Eva S. Ocfemia.

By virtue of Special Order No. 671 as issued by DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje, Ocfemia has assumed her post last September 19, 2011 after a turnover ceremony held at the bureau’s office.

Ocfemia replaced director Fernando P. Quililan, who will be assigned as regional director of EMB Central Visayas.

Prior to her designation, Ocfemia has more than three decades of involvement in government service. She has also been engaged in environmental management for more than 23 years as chief of the Pollution Control Division (PCD) of EMB V since 1988. In her early career, she worked at the National Pollution Control Commission (NPCC).

During her term as PCD chief of the bureau, Ocfemia has been awarded as Most Responsible Employee and Most Outstanding Division Chief.

The new director hails from Muñoz, Nueva Ecija but now resides in Guinobatan, Albay. She took up BS Chemical Engineering at the University of Sto. Tomas, and thereafter finished Masters in Engineering Science at the University of Melbourne. Furthermore, she is a holder of a Ph.D in Public Administration as well as a CSC and CES Eligibility.

Ocfemia is also involved in non-government organizations. She has been the president of the Philippine Institute of Chemical Engineers (PIChe)-Bicol from 2008 to 2010. MAL/STBonos, DENR-EMB V)

Virac to conduct SWM contest

VIRAC, Catanduanes, September 28, (PIA)- The municipality of Virac will conduct its ecological Solid Waste Management (SWM) contest for 63 barangays in the town.

According to Jose U. Alberto, Virac Mayor, the said contest will be launched on October 7, 2011. The amount of P700,000.00 has been allotted this year for the project which will end sometime in May 2012.

The barangays will be evaluated according to their compliance with Republic Act 9003 particularly in Awareness (presence of billboards and flyers, pamphlets and handouts, conduct of meetings or pulong-pulongs), Governance (functional SWM council, ordinances, and citizens participation), Waste Segregation and Composting (at the level of the household, commercial and institutional users), and Barangay Eco-Park (materials recovery facility, composter, garden and collection system and services).

The committee assigned with preparing the guidelines disclosed that they are considering three evaluation rounds, with the first two rounds promising adequate cash prizes to the complying and winning villages, with the bulk to be awarded by Reyes Haircutters.

The event will be eventually held every year. (EAB, PIA Catanduanes)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Typhoon Pedring triggers flooding in Cam Sur towns

by Lizel S. Macatangay

NAGA City, September 26 (PIA) -- A day before typhoon signal 2 was hoisted over other Bicol provinces including Camarines Sur, residents near river banks and bodies of water were already alerted to keep a close watch for the occurrence of flash floods and landslides which could be triggered by the continuous down fall of rain.

In Minalabac, Mayor Gil Basmayor confirmed that most of the farm lots in their municipality are already submerged in floodwater.

In an interview, Basmayor expressed his dismay over the unfortunate fate of the farmers who have just finished planting palay seeds just a few weeks back and would lose the chance of their crop’s survival due to the large volume of waters that have accumulated in their farms.

Basmayor said that affected barangays included San Juan , San Lorenzo, Irayang Sulong, Baliuag Viejo , Del Carmen, Del Rosario, including areas around the Poblacion.

Several families already evacuated to safe grounds for fear that water upsurge will miserably flood their dwellings.

In Caranan, Pasacao, Camarines Sur, seven families transferred in Caranan South Elementary School , 5 families in Bula, Camarines also took refuge at Bula National High School while 20 families evacuated from Butawanan, Siruma, Camarines Sur.

One hundred (100) passengers were stranded in various ports in the province: 20 in Pasacao Port , 4 in Sangay, 20 from Sabang Port while 56 have no choice but stay at Tamban Port in Tinambac, Camarines Sur.

This morning, reports of 6 missing fishermen from Caranan, Pasacao reached the Camarines Sur Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC). They were identified as Leopoldo Nidea, 37 years old; Doikyam- 35 years old and Oliver Nidea, 28 years old. They were able to return after hours of struggling their way to Animasola Island , located at the boundary of Balatan and Burias.

Still missing are Francis Baqouinia, 23 years old; Danilo Delos Santos , 29 and Domingo Harol, 16 years old. They sailed from Pasacao unknowing that typhoon Pedring is starting to affect the province.

Twenty-seven (27) fishermen from Mercedes, Camarines Norte was lucky to survive the big waves but found themselves in the town of Siruma . They are now safely tucked at the Butawanan Day Care Center in Siruma, Camarines Sur.

Major Angelo Guzman, Spokesman of the 9th Infantry Division based at Camp Elias Angeles, Pili, Camarines Sur also confirmed the pre positioning of their teams in various land slide prone areas in any case of emergency. (MAL/LSM, PIA Camariens Sur)

FICELCO explains causes of brownouts in Catanduanes

by Edna A Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, September 26 (PIA) -- First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FICELCO) has released updates regarding the power situation in the province amid constant brownouts being experienced by member consumers province wide.

According to the report, load shedding schedules were implemented from September 18, 2011 up to present which is due to power supply deficiency, (mini-hydro power plants: Solong, Obi and Balongbong have low water level and Catanduanes Power Generation Inc. (CPGI) 3.6 MW Daihatsu is under maintenance).

FICELCO added that today, their total power reaches 4.55 MW during day load with a demand of 5.5 MW with Monark with 3 units at 850 kW each unit, Power Barge 110 with 3 units at 400 each unit and Viga Diesel Power Plant with 2 units at 400 kW each unit. Furthermore, FICELCO said that their hydro power plants are being reserved for peak load since they have a deficiency of 1,000 kW or MW.

In line with this, an emergency Board Meeting with Power Suppliers will also be conducted Friday, September 23, discussing the following resolutions: FICELCO will possibly rent a mobile genset to augment the power supply deficiency; Per NPC advice, Marinawa Diesel Power Plant and 1 unit Power Barge is under restoration to contribute in the current power supply;

Deployment of 2 mobile crews of the Marinawa Office for vening-detailed; Scheduled load shedding one week before implementation; All hydro plants to shutdown (from 12mn to 4 pm) the following day in preparation for the peak load; Tenderlinemen to closely monitor the Solong MHPP load.

They also stressed that FICELCO Management and Board of Directors and the power suppliers are working hand-in-hand to resolve the current power supply deficiency.

They are also encouraging the stakeholders and end-users to minimize the use of electricity and to be always ready with candles and lamps during night time. (MAL/EAB, PIA Catanduanes)

Classes suspended due to typhoon Pedring

VIRAC, Catanduanes, September 26 (PIA) -- Classes in all levels of public and private schools in the province were suspended amid the passing of typhoon "Pedring" in the province.

Weather disturbance brought by Pedring also caused the cancellation of flights via Manila to Virac and vice versa. Vessels are also not allowed to sail due to big wvaes and strong winds.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) noted a number of landslides in the municipality of Viga, Catanduanes.

Roads in some areas are also not passable due to flash floods and heavy rain.

Moreover, MDRRMCs are advised to take appropriate actions and raise warnings in their area of jurisdictions. (EAB, PIA Catanduanes)
MT. ISAROG WITH AMAZING CLOUDSCAPE -- Mount Isarog captured image with huge amazing cloudscape last Sept 25. The cloud believed to be a form part of the typhoon entered in the Philippine area of responsibility but the weather is beautiful. (Photo by: Marlon B San Esteban, AFP)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pilipinas Natin launching kicks off with Bayanihan activities

by Lizel S. Macatangay

HIMAAO, Pili, Camarines Sur, September 23 (PIA) -- Before the formal launching of Pilipinas Natin, a pet project of President Benigno Aquino that spells out the value of volunteerism, various Bayanihan activities were simultaneously done in different parts of the province. In Himaao, this town, no less than Secretary Sonny Coloma of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) graced the site inspection of a one-classroom building that will rise inside Himaao Elementary School.

Sec. Coloma, in his brief but snappy message conveyed that the heart of volunteerism boils down to the inner value of every Filipino—the act of “bayanihan.”

“This is a call for unity, for volunteerism and for solidarity. This is a realization of P-Noy’s vision to alleviate the country from poverty. Pilipinas Natin is one of the integral components of his economic program stipulated in his Philippine Development Plan and on top of this is his campaign for a better education,” Coloma added.

Close to a hundred volunteers composed of students, Parent-Teacher’s Association (PTA) members and officers, members of the Philippine Army’s Engineering/9th CMO Battalion and other stakeholders will join hands in completing the said classroom which will house more or less 50 pupils.

Mrs. Beatriz Teoxon, Himaao Elementary School Principal conveyed her gratitude to the local government of Camarines Sur, through Camarines Sur Governor LRay Villafuerte and to Pili Town Mayor Tomas Bongalonta for choosing them as a recipient of the said edifice. She also extended her appreciation to Secretary Coloma for being the first Secretary to set foot in their school.

Gawad Kalinga (GK) Founder Tony Meloto and Bula Mayor Ben Decena also graced the site visit at the 2-hectare site of a housing project at Barangay Pawili, Bula, Camarines Sur that will benefit more or less 44 poor families. Meloto, also dubbed as the “Builder of Dreams” has already spearheaded similar activities with the objective of providing homes to the homeless by encouraging bayanihan system in erecting the said edifices.

“ We need to prove to the world that Filipinos can afford to stay in decent houses and not as squatters in their own communities. Our President’s vision for Pilipinas Natin is the same vision that we want to show the world- that Filipinos, by helping each other, can reach their dreams and join hands in nation-building.”

Meloto also thanked the family of Mr. Denisio Eusibio for donating the lot which will serve as one of the landmarks of GK Community.

Thousand of youth volunteers and members of the community also trooped simultaneously at five (5) El Verde Tree planting sites this morning. 100,000 trees were allocated at Barangays Sto. Nino and Curry; 75,000 seedlings at Barangays Harubay and Lugsad in Calabanga; 65,000 trees in Barangays Villaflorida and Guinaban, all in Ocampo; 12,500 in Barangay Libod in Tigaon and 75,000 trees in Barangay Lupi, Tinambac, Camarines Sur. (LSM, PIA Camarines Sur)

New airline to fly Legazpi-Virac route

by Edna A Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, September 23 (PIA) -- An airline based in Legaspi City is set to start its non-scheduled operations in Virac, Catanduanes on October 15, 2011.

The South West Air Corporation, headed by Al Francis Bichara, Albay II District Congressman and Legaspi Savings Bank owner, will start its operations with an eight-seater Britten Norman Islander for short-run flights twice a week under the Bicol Air Express line which is expected to reach Virac in 45 minutes.

According to Captain Ramon Torres, airline management representative, the SWA is in the marketing stage to promote the flight to areas with popular resorts, with Phase 2, non-scheduled trips, by October. Expected passengers in the flights are tourists with confirmed holiday package bookings.

The company will lease two 50-seater Nihon YS-11 jetprops for its third phase of scheduled airline operations, with travel time between Virac and Legaspi further reduced to just 15 minutes.

Torres added that the company is seeking the endorsement of the local government units in the proposed destinations so that it would be granted a permit to operate by the national government.

The said airline targets to serve tourists in the province. (MAL/EAB, PIA Catanduanes)


Army's 'Tarabangan sa Brgy. Pandan', a convergence initiative to reduce poverty

by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, September 23 (PIA) -- Dubbed "Tarabangan sa Barangay Pandan", a local convergence initiative highlights a public-private cooperation and the spirit of Bayanihan with the inauguration of a two-room school building in Pandan village, Castilla, Sorsogon.

Col. Felix Castro, brigade commander of the 903rd Infantry Brigade, 9ID, Philippine Army (PA), said the infrastructure project was accomplished through the assistance of ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya Foundation Inc. and the support of Castilla town government.

Castro explained that the completion and inauguration of the classroom manifested the efforts and interventions of the government to accomplish community projects and pursue similar projects following the "Tarabangan" scheme.

He said that the activity during the inauguration was more of a "celebration of partnership", with the government being truly sensitive of the needs of the barangay and its residents, likewise showing concern through their (locales) labor support and commitment to sustainably take care of these projects accomplished, the on going and those that are programmed.

The army commander furthered that with the intervention of Secretary Imelda Nicolas of the Commission on Filipino Overseas (CFO), some five units of computers and eight ceiling fans were donated for the new building inaugurated.

The donation of the equipment was made also made possible through the efforts of the Asociacion Valencia de Asistencia Sanitaria y Social Voluntarios (AVASSV) and National Development Support Command (NADESCOM)

Simultaneous with the inauguration activity, AVASSV, with the help of doctors from the military, also conducted medical mission and provided free medicines.

Meanwhile, Castro also bared that "Tarabangan" was also able to pursue improvement project of the road in Barangay Dinapa, funded by the national government carried out by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

"Tarabangan" was also credited to complete construction of a school building, funded under the office of Sorsogon I Rep. Salvador H. Escudero III, while another was also completed, trough funding from the Department of Education.

More projects were also underway with ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya Inc. sponsoring six bayanihan scholars of Barangay Pandan now studying at the Lewis College here .

The same barangay will also be a recipient of a feeding program for four months commencing September 20 to benefit the elementary pupils of Pandan Elementary School through the Bantay Bata program of ABS-CBN.

Under the convergence program, the concreting of the Pandan Irrigation Canal worth P30 M is already on the pipeline with funding from the Department of Agriculture.

An additional P500,000 repair of the building of Parent Teacher Association office of the village primary education school will be provided by the provincial government of Sorsogon.

Sorsogon Governor Raul Lee also directed the implementation of project for the re-gravelling of the Pandan-Saclayan road and the repair of the Farm to Market Road of the Pandan-Tomalaytay- Cogon worth P4.5 million. (MAL/IAG, PIA Sorsogon)

Loboc Youth Ambassador Band adds color to the inauguration of Casiguran Gymnasium

by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, September 23, (PIA) -- The P30 M Casiguran Gymnasium, the first and biggest gymnasium in Sorsogon was inaugurated Wednesday, September 21, with thousands witnessing the first concert offered by the local government of Casiguran, featuring the famous Loboc Youth Ambassador Band of Bohol (LYABB).

Most Rev. Bishop Arturo M. Bastes officiated the blessing and inauguration rites and the thanksgiving mass as main celebrant and with an additional 15 more visiting-invited priests as co celebrants.

"We, the local government of Casiguran would like to give our people a feel of cultural maturity , we would also like to provide the constituency an atmosphere of something that only can be seen in cultural centers in Manila aside from venturing into a private enterprise making government financially capable to have a return of investment out of the money we have loaned", Mayor Maria Ester E. Hamor explained.

"We will be bringing to Casiguran local and nationally acclaimed performers of world class category also. We will also provide opportunities to hone the local talents of our young people as one of my flagship programs is the "Oo sa Kaakian" (Yes, to Children) and we have been recognized already nationally as a Child Friendly Municipality ", Mayor Hamor said.

"With this gymnasium, another component of good governance will be provided which is the the development of culture and arts. We will also strengthen our sports activities, open this gymnasium in hosting conventions so that the local government of Casiguran will inspire the young generation to excel and know that government is alive ", Mayor Hamor also explained.

"We in the church, would like to complement government in making our young people develop their talents so that they will not be swayed to do things that are not contributing to the development of their community'', Bishop Baster said in his homily.

"The LYABB as you will witness today here in the Casiguran Gymnasium comes from Bohol, the place where I was born and I was honed too to play different musical instruments, they will be performing here to show us that young people if properly guided by government and church combined can become their pride, bring honor to one's place and parents" Bishop Bastes also stressed.

The LYABB comprising of 40 members, mostly teenagers, wowed the audience with a one and a half hour performance. Rendering famous international and local musical band repertoire complete with dancing . The audience was truly very amazed and entertained with their presentation showing flawless synchronized choreography, truly eye catching and breath taking.

"The LYABB will have also a second performance after this 3:00 PM presentation, it will be at 7:00 PM and this will be opened to the whole community of Casiguran, mostly the senior citizens and those from other municipalities whom I have invited" Mayor Hamor also explained. (MAL/IAG, PIA Sorsogon)

Disaster preparedness measures up, Bayanihan Program to benefit Rapurapu residents

LEGAZPI CITY, September 23 (PIA) -- With the country still expecting several typhoons to come before the year ends, Albay Governor Joey Salceda has ordered the prepositioning of 300 sacks of relief goods containing 3,000 food packs to Rapu-Rapu Island Friday, September 23, as the province continues to build up its disaster preparedness posture.

In a meeting Wednesday, Director Raffy Alejandro of Office of Civil Defense (OCD) V, chairman of Bicol Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC), cited reports that a low pressure area (LPA) will enter the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) by Friday or Saturday that may intensify into a tropical depression by Sunday.

According to reports from Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services (Pagasa), the LPA will enter the country by Sunday, and is expected to intensify into a tropical depression and will be named “Pedring”.

“The prepositioning of relief goods is just one of the services to be brought in by the Joint Community Outreach Program for the island municipality,” said Captain Abraham F Celzo commander of Naval Forces Southern Luzon (Navforsol).

The program highlights the “Bayanihan” concept of the AFP Internal Peace and Security Plan by bringing several services from various partner agencies and organization to the island municipality of Rapu-Rapu, Albay.

Bicol regional office of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for its part will also preposition 500 relief packs in Rapu-Rapu as the agency’s counterpart in the Bayanihan program.

The local government of Rapu-Rapu, through its Municipal Health Office, in cooperation with Simbag sa Pag-Asenso Incorporated (SEDP) of the Diocese of Legazpi, and Navforsol will also conduct a medical and dental mission for some 600 patients.

Joining the humanitarian mission are medical teams from Police Regional Office V and other military units in the region.

Children will be also treated to a day of fun and learning as Junior Chamber of Commerce – Daraga Chapter will sponsor a Read Along project and fun games. Dios Mabalos Po Foundation Incorporated, a Daraga-based NGO will also facilitate a feeding program and other services.

Navy vessel BRP Bienvenido Salting (PG112) stationed at Legazpi City Port will ferry the multi-service caravan.

Recognizing the accessibility challenges those island communities faces compared to other areas, the Navy expresses optimism for the continued partnership for island communities. (MAL/Navforsol)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Renal Disease Control Program gets boost from Bicol health sector

LEGAZPI CITY, September 21 (PIA) -- Physicians of government medical institutions from all over Bicol region will convene here in an interfacing Friday, September 23, to beef up campaign on renal disease control program (REDCOP) maximizing the use of a basic tool for the diagnosis and prevention of kidney disease.

The National Kidney and Transplant Institute- Renal Disease Control Program (NKTI-REDCOP), in partnership with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), will spearhead the seminar on Urinalysis and Approach to the Kidney Diseases at St. Ellis Hotel here.

REDCOP national manager Dr. Paraiso said that “it is important that physicians are proficient in the interpretation of urinalysis results and well-oriented on the approaches to the diagnosis of kidney diseases for proper management and treatment of patients.”

Some 105 participants from provincial, city, town health offices and rural health units (RHUs), Department of Education medical doctors and district hospital physicians from Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon are expected to participate in the undertaking.

Resource speakers are experts in the field of technology, including Dr. Rodrigo Capahi who will expound on the basic anatomy of urinalysis; Dr. Edwin Tan, a Bicolano himself, who will discuss the approach to the diagnosis of kidney diseases and the 10 renal syndromes; and Paraiso, who will talk about urinalysis and the 10 clinical syndromes in Nephrology.

Open forum will follow the lectures.

The seminar is expected to re-orient the participants on the anatomy of the urinary tract, urine formation and basic information about urine, to be informed and familiarized on the components of routine analysis and should be trained on the correct approach to the proper diagnosis of kidney diseases. (MALoterte, PIA V)

South Luzon naval forces' disaster response teams train anew

LEGAZPI CITY, September 21 -– Naval Forces Southern Luzon (Navforsol) is taking an active stance in a bid to beef-up capabilities and preparations to respond to any calamities that may hit the region.

Bicol region is one of the most disaster prone areas in the country because it is frequently visited by calamities, especially typhoons.

The region is also vulnerable to floods and flash floods, thus making water survivability a must for the populace and a primary skill for the rescuer.

The Navy command convened its Disaster Response Operation Training Monday (September 19) with the vision to maintain a high degree of proficiency for Team Navforsol, particularly the Disaster Response Teams (DRTs).

The said training will tackle Boat Handling Operations and Water Rescue at Sea for duration of two weeks.

“This training is very important for our DRTs, since they are the front liners in rescue operations. We cannot afford to send a rescuer that will be rescued later on because he is not proficient in the needed skills for a DRT.”

Moreover, it will further our thrust and efforts in fulfilling our mandate for the people. Team Navforsol will always be ready to respond anytime in giving a helping hand to our kababayans in peril,” stressed Capt. Abraham F Celzo, Navforsol commander. (MAL/Navforsol)

Public-private partnership pre-school team up project ready for turn-over

by Aida Alcazar-Naz

LEGAZPI CITY, September 21 (PIA) -- When AGAPP Foundation disclosed its plan to build 100 pre-school classrooms during the first year in office of President Benigno S. Aquino III, the group composed of the President’s friends and supporters were not chasing a dream.

From July 2010 to June this year, said foundation called AGAPP which stands for Aklat, Gabay at Aruga Tungo sa Pag-angat at Pag-asa, led by Presidential Sister Pinky Aquino-Abellada, has already turned-over 100 classrooms to different Department of Education (DepEd) officials and local government units across the country.

Twelve of these classrooms stand today in two provinces of Bicol. These are located in Taysan Elementary School, Legazpi City; Anislag Elementary School and Daraga North Central School both in Daraga, Albay; Bato Central School, Nabua Pilot Central School and Romero Elementary School in Bula all in Camarines Sur.

As construction of more two-room school buildings are undertaken in other areas in the country, Bicol has its share of 1 school building ready for turn-over, four more under construction and still four upcoming ones.

Dr. Ofelia Samar-Sy M.D., president of the Pinoy Power Bicol Coalition of Volunteers (PPBCV) AGAPP’s conduit in the region disclosed to PIA that the school building ready for turn-over is located in Tiwi, Albay particularly at Nagas Elementary School on September 22.

The main donor of the school building is the Aboitiz Group of Companies. Other Aboitiz-sponsored school buildings will also be inaugurated in other parts of the country like those in Tarlac, Olongapo City and Cebu City.

Those under construction according to Sy are situated at Pilar Central School, San Francisco Elementary School in Bulan, Manhumlad Elementary School, Matnog town and Donsol West Central School all in Sorsogon province.

The upcoming ones are targeted for the island provinces of Masbate and Catanduanes. Preparation is underway for the building of pre-school at Guinhadap Elementary School in Monreal, Masbate.

The construction of colorful silid pangarap as AGAPP calls these classrooms are in step with the Aquino Administration’s thrust of universal pre-school for all with the introduction of the mandatory pre-school level which started this 2011-2012 school year as part of the new K+12 curriculum.

All AGAPP school buildings have distinctive design but Bicol has modified it into a typhoon proof school-building. This two-room schoolbuilding with toilet per room costs around P260,000 each.

AGAPP works in partnership with DepEd which provides pre-school teachers as a prerequisite before any pre-school building starts construction. (MAL/AAN, PIA V)

Feature: Marian devotees celebrate 87th anniversary of canonical coronation of Inang Penafrancia

by Lizel S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, September 21 (PIA) -- Eighty seven (87) years ago, this city witnessed one of the most significant events in the religious history shared by all Marian devotees all over the world – the canonical coronation of the Virgen de Penafrancia.

Devotees commemorated Tuesday, September 20, such significant honor which solely belong to the Queen of Bicolandia -our Inang Penafrancia.

It was in September 20, 1924 when Msgr. Guglielmo Piani, the Spanish delegate of Pope Pius XI to the Philippines, came to this city personally officiating the said ceremony. It was also during that time when the popular Marian hymn “Resuene Vibrante” was first played in public, particularly in Plaza Quezon. To date, this song still rings through every heart of every devotee of Ina, echoing it in every nook and corner of the world.

“Resuene Vibrante” or “Himno a la Nuestra Senore de Penafrancia was written and composed by Fr. Maximo Heguera, CM in Spanish. It was translated in Bicol by Bishop Timoteo Pacis together with Fathers Jesus Esplana and Sohl Saez.

The canonical coronation of Inang Penafrancia added more fervor and passion to the hearts of her increasing devotees, leading to the triumphant Tercentenary celebration last year. This 2011, this occasion is formally being closed, richer in faith and devotion.

In his message, His Excellence Leonardo Z. Legazpi, O.P. D.D. Archishop of Caceres , shared these lines: “We are blessed because Ina came to Bicol and we, her children, received Ina. The once private devotion of Fr. Miguel de Covarrubias, now became the devotion of the whole region. What was once a simple vow, now become the pledge of the Church in Bicol.”

Indeed, the growing devotion to our Lady of Penafrancia has reached far and wide, propagating the great news of faith and her unending miracles bestowed upon her faithfuls. This year’s theme : Monstra te esse filium – Show yourself to be a child of Mary caps the essence of the message that our Ina wants to convey to us, her children.

“In return, may we also become Mary’s true children. This is, therefore, her invitation to all of us: “Monstra te esse filium.” Ultimately, becoming a true child of Mary is tantamount to becoming a true child of God and this will only come about if we imitate Mary’s virtues and accept her too as our true mother, as Jesus did.

In this occasion of grace in the history of our Church, it is my prayer that our devotion to Ina will be a way to bring all of us towards becoming true children of Mary and of God.”

Fr. Louie Occiano , Chairman of the Caceres Commission on Communications (CCCom) also posed the challenge to all the devotees of Ina:

“The tercentenary celebration may be over but the challenge for all of us devotees remains.. Monstra Te esse Filium. how can we become worthy children of INA? Let our Penafrancia Fiesta celebration inspire us to imitate Mary in following Jesus Christ, who was a humble and obedient Son of Mary.”

There will be more celebrations of Ina’s festivity in the upcoming years and more and more people will gather to remember, to renew and recommit themselves as her children but the challenge to remain faithful and deserving of her love remains as we walk through our journey of faith. (MAL/LSM, PIA Camarines Sur)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Camarines Norte State Colleges and Saint Anthony U tops 2011 Military Parade Competition

by Lizel S. Macatangay

NAGA City , Sept. 20 (PIA) -- Camarines Norte State Colleges from the province of Camarines Norte was declared as this year’s over all champion in category 1, University of Saint Anthony from Iriga City in Camarines Sur emerged triumphant over other competing contingents under category 2 of the 3rd Penafrancia Regional Military Parade 2011 competition.

The military parade competition, participated in by 467 schools and universities from all over the region, successfully wrapped up with the winners and non winners alike, feeling fulfilled after executing their salute to Inang Penafrancia.

Perseverance did put Camarines Norte State Colleges above its other competitors as it was also adjudged as the Most Disciplined Unit under Category 1. It also ranked 2nd on both the Drum Lyre Corps and Majorettes Competition and also on the DLC Exhibition and raked again the 2nd place on the Crack Platoon Fancy Drill Competition.

Competing cadets and cadettes, including members of the drum and lyre corps from the University of Saint Anthony (USANT) dominated the Category 2 post, after getting the nod of the board of jurors for their exemplary performance. They were also named as this year’s Most Disciplined Unit under Category 2.

USANT also edged their competitors when their contingent won first place in the following categories: Best Marching Unit for Category 2, CAT Boys, Best Marching Unit, Category A-1 for both CAT Boys and Girls, Best Marching Majorettes-A, Crack Platoon Fancy Drill Competition and Band Majorette Exhibition. USANT CAT Girls and band members ranked second under the Best Marching Unit Category and Band Exhibition Competition, respectively.

Other participating schools and universities who were also cited as Most Disciplined Units include: Category 1: 2nd – Lyceum De Pasacao, 3rd- Malawag High School from Nabua, Camarines Sur, 4th- Rinconada National Technical Vocational High School from Iriga City and Pili Capitol College- 5th placer from Pili, Camarines Sur.

Also included on the list as Most Disciplined Units under Category 2 were: 2nd- Colegio Del Santisimo Rosario from Libmanan, Camarines Sur, 3rd- University of Nueva Caceres and 4th- Naga City Science High School both from Naga City and 5th placer- La Consolacion College from Iriga City.

Mariners Polytechnic Colleges (MPC) from Baras, Canaman, Camarines Sur was also adjudged as Best Marching ROTC while Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges- Nabua Campus was awarded as Best Marching WATC. (MAL/LSM, PIA Camarines Sur)

DILG awards ‘Seal of Good Housekeeping’ to 3 Catanduanes towns

by Edna A Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, September 20 (PIA) -- The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) here bestowed its ‘Seal of Good Housekeeping’ to the towns of Pandan, Viga and San Miguel for passing the agency’s 2011 assessment on good governance and performance.

According to DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo in a letter to the town executives last week, the said achievement was an affirmation of the towns’ commitment to good governance and performance particularly in demonstrating transparency and greater accountability, putting value on the full disclosure policy to encourage constituents’ and stakeholders’ participation in governance, and the practice of sound fiscal management highlighted by the absence of diverse COA opinion in the financial statements and transactions.

He likewise urged the mayors of the towns to continue improving the performance towards excellence in local governance for a more efficient and effective service delivery to the people and continuing improvement in the development outcomes.

The said towns moreover are entitled to access the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF), a subsidy to assist the LGU to jumpstart local development initiatives aligned with the thrusts and priorities of the national government in the form of P1 million according to DILG officials, for 20% Local Development Projects in the annual Investment Program (AIP) and funded out of the 20% Local Development Fund.

The LGUs were given 30 days within which to submit a letter of intent proposal documents, Sanggunian resolution authorizing the LCE to enter into a memorandum of agreement, approving the allocation of counterpart funds to the PCF subsidy, and certifying that the project is included in the 2011 AIP.

According to DILG provincial office, the said towns made the grade during round 1 during the assessment while San Andres and Virac passed the second round which will also be awarded the Seal of Good Housekeeping coming days. (MAL/EAB, PIA Catanduanes)

Cam Sur High, Catanduanes State College hailed most sustainable and eco-friendly schools in Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY, September 20 (PIA) -- Camarines Sur National High School (CSNHS) and Catanduanes State Colleges (CSC) were the chosen winners in the 2011 regional search for sustainable and eco-friendly schools for secondary and tertiary levels, respectively, of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) regional office here.

The schools got the top rank among other participating academic institutions because of their exemplary programs and initiatives, as the contest primarily aims to develop skills and understanding in initiating active responses and increase community awareness and participation on environmental concerns among students, faculty and school administrators.

As the regional winners, CSNHS and CSC will be awarded a Certificate of Recognition and P10,000 in cheque, and will represent the Bicol Region in the national competition to be held at the EMB Central Office. In 2009, both schools battled in the same national search where CSNHS got the second place and third for CSC in their respective levels.

Entries will be rated according to the environment-related aspects of the school's policy (20 points); environmental dimensions of school operations (30 points); environmental-related features of the school curriculum (30 points); presence of vibrant eco-organizations in campus (10 points); and linkages in various programs/projects (10 points).

Each of the national winners in all categories will get the following prizes: P50,000 for the first prize; P40,000 for the second prize; P30,000 for the third prize and plaques of recognition. All winning entries, together with selected entries, will be displayed during the awarding ceremonies on November 2011, coinciding with the National Environmental Awareness Month Celebration.

Launched in 2009, the search is a partnership program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), EMB, Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and Smart Communications, Inc.. (MAL/DENR-EMB V)

Construction of new police station building in San Jose town underway

by Lizel S. Macatangay

SAN JOSE, Camarines Sur, Sept. 20 (PIA) -- Mayor Antonio Chavez of San Jose town, in his desire to serve his constituents and strengthen his campaign against criminality, has pushed for the construction of municipal police station here.

Located within the 400- square meter lot in Barangay Tacolod this town, the construction of the three-storey building already started last week after all pertinent permits and documents were finally secured. GRELIPS Construction and Development (GCD) who won the said bidding, is given five (5) months to complete the structure of the said edifice.

Chavez clarified that the Php3.6M cost of the said building has passed through the standard bidding procedures and was conceded by members of the Awards and Bids Committee.

“Seventeen (17) bidders participated in the process which was held at the PNP Regional Office in Legazpi last July 2011. We see to it that all pertinent documents are in place and all the bidders were given a fair chance to present their proposals,” Chavez said in an interview.

Chavez also takes pride in the municipality’s Bids and Awards Committee who conducts their public biddings with religious observers coming from the three (3) parishes of San Jose , a practice which he says, could only be found under his governance.

Mr. Edsel Salvo of the Information and Communication Management Office said that the construction of a new municipal station is part of Chavez’ desire to give the members of the PNP a decent headquarters where they can efficiently and comfortably work while mapping out their campaign to ensure peace and order in their municipality.

LGU San Jose apportioned Php500,000.00 as their counterpart which will be used for putting up border fence around the station’s perimeter while the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) thru DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo allocated Php5Million for the completion of the said building.

Chavez vowed to remain transparent in all his programs and activities which aim to boost the morale of his constituents and enjoin their support in the projects being implemented by the local government unit. He believes that good governance should be punctuated with trust coming from his constituents and the electorates.

In line with this, he issued a marching order to all his department heads to publish significant documents in the web and in their bulletin board in the exigency of his campaign to re assure the trust of his constituents. Posted reports include the municipality’s annual budget report, quarterly statement of cash flows, statement of receipt and expenditures, trust fund ( PDAF) Utilization, quarterly report SEF (Special Education fund) utilization, abstract of bids as calculated, among others. (MAL/LSM, PIA Camarines Sur)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Unvelling of the Commemorative Marker at the Administration Building: A token of friendship and cooperation between the Government of Spain and the Philippines. (L-R) Ambassador of Spain to the Philippines Jorge Domecq, City Administrator Noel Rosal, Legazpi City Mayor Geraldine Rosal and Vice Mayor Vittorio C. Roces, held at Sitio Caridad, Brgy. Banquerohan, Legazpi City last Sept. 16. (Alex Cal/PIA)

LANDFILL FACILITY -- Spanish Ambassador Jorge Domecq (right) formally opened last September 16, 2011 the P41.8 million sanitary landfill at Sitio Caridad, Barangay Banquerohan, Legazpi City. Sharing the ribbon cutting are government officials lead by City Mayor Geraldine Rosal, Vice Mayor Vittorio Roces and City Administrator Noel Rosal. (Alex Cal/PIA)
Legazpi City Mayor Carmen Geraldine B. Rosal delivers her message during the unvelling and blessing of the Don Miguel Lopez de Legazpi Monument at Dap-dap, Legazpi City.

Ambassador of Spain to the Philippines His Excellency Jorge Domecq delivers his message during the unvelling and blessing of the Don Miguel Lopez de Legazpi monument at Dap-dap, Legazpi City last September 15, 2011. (Alex Cal/PIA)
Crime prevention focuses on the youth

by Aida Alcazar-Naz

LEGAZPI CITY, September 19 (PIA) -- The recently concluded 17th National Crime Prevention Week (NCPW) in Bicol focused its activities on the youth.

National Police Commission Regional Director Rodolfo G. Santos Jr., said this year’s commemoration focused on the involvement of the youth in crime prevention in order to address the escalating problems of youth violence and school crimes.

A crime prevention seminar was conducted in four of the most populated public secondary schools in Albay on September 6 and 7. These educational fora were held in Pag-Asa National High School, Legazpi City; Daraga (Albay) National High School, Polangui (Albay) General Comprehensive High School and Marcial O. Rañola Memorial School in Guinobatan, Albay. Other than deterring the in-school youths from offense, misdeed, law-breaking activities, anti-drug use was discussed. Likewise, the attendees were coached on how not to be victims of crime and violence.

To reach out-of school youths, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) conducted drug prevention dialogues in selected Barangay Peace and Order Councils in Legazpi City and Daraga town.

A pledge of commitment was solicited from the inmates of Legazpi city in Barangay Bogtong who promised to “become law-abiding citizens once we go out of the facility”. They further pledged to embrace the cause of promoting peace and order and will work towards a common goal in crime prevention.

The week-long celebration which started September 1 commenced via a series of opening day activity such as a kick-off parade from Peñaranda Park to the Divine Word College of Legazpi (DWCL) high school department gymnasium participated in by national government agencies, non-government organizations and the academe represented mostly by high school students of various academic institutions in Legazpi City and Albay.

P/Supt Renato Bataller of Police Regional Office 5 cited some 17 public and private educational institutions who participated in the foot parade. These were Aquinas University High School, Banquerohan High School, Cabangan High School, Computer Arts and Technology College, Dynamic Computer School, DWCL, Genecom Institute of Science and Technology, Legazpi City High School, Oro Site High School, Pag-asa National High School, Reyes Computer-Oriented School, St. Agnes Academy, St. Raphael Academy, Tanchuling High School, United Institute including the Mariners Polytechnic College and the Police Regional Training School.

A poster-making and slogan contests based on the 2011 National Crime Prevention Week theme, Pinoy Ako, Crime Prevention Misyon Ko! and the slogan Knock out Crime! were organized.

Winners of these twin activity were recognized as part of the opening activity. Adjudged winners on poster-making contest were Eric R. Besmonte, San Lorenzo National High School, Tabaco City, first place; Joshua Caleb P. Pacleta, Daraga National High School, Daraga, Albay, second place; and Rico O. Rodriguez Jr., DWCL and Mark Alaurin, Malabog National High School who both shared the third place honors, earning cash prizes of P1,000, P750 and P500, respectively.

The best slogan was won by Daraga National High School, first place and DWC second place with P1,000 and P750 cash prize, respectively.

A signing of the pledge of commitment to promote peace and order and public safety were made by the participants capped by the blowing of whistle, it being a warning that is expected to deter crimes.

Bataller also disclosed to PIA that PNP municipal, stations regionwide conducted pulong-pulong in the barangay on crime and tree-planting activities. PNP’s advise to the public is to cooperate when victimized and to report crime for easy resolution of case.

The Annual NCPW is commemorated each year every September 1 to 7 per Presidential Proclamation No, 461 dated August 31, 1994.

Gen. Oban, Palma to inaugurate 2-classroom building in Castilla

SORSOGON CITY, September 19 (PIA) -- General Eduardo SL Oban, Jr, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines together with Ms Tina Monzon-Palma, program director of the AFI Sagip Kapamilya of ABS-CBN will serve as guest of honor to inaugurate the 2-room school building at Barangay Pandan Castilla, Sorsogon here tomorrow, September 20.

According to Col. Felix Castro, commander of the 903rd Infantry Brigade, 9ID, Philippine Army, this 2-classroom building has been constructed though their initiative and had been made possible through the donation of construction materials provided by the ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc. Sagip Kapamilya and the labor component provided by the people of Barangay Pandan instilling the Filipino value of the Bayanihan spirit.

The event will will also be attended by other key officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the local officials of the municipality of Castilla to be led by Mayor Olive Bermillo.

The event will commence with a medical treatment where several government and military doctors will be at hand to provide needed medical assistance to pre -identified patients in the barangay earlier pre-arranged by both the local government of Castilla and the 903rd Brigade, 9ID under Col. Castro.

Castro said that aside from the environmental conservation initiatives PA is extending to the barangays within Castilla, Pilar and Donsol , education , medical , health and disaster risk reduction efforts are also being undertaken by their unit to better the lives of people and make them aware also of their own empowerment by engaging them as pro-active members in any program and projects undertaken in the community.

According to Col. Castro, Major General Carlos B. Holganza AFP Commander of Nadescom will share the "Bayanihan Experience" and will acknowledge the people in the barangay for the efforts they have contributed through collaborative endeavor, giving free labor services together with the PA Engineering Brigade and the support provided by ABS-CBN family.

Jay Andrew the Mesa, a student of Pandan High School (PHS) will deliver the message of gratitude for and in behalf of the students while Mrs. Lucila B. Villa, teacher -in-charge of (PHS) and Mr. Randy B. Bueno , barangay Captain of Pandan will also express words of gratitude.

Marjorie A del Ayre , a Bayanihan Scholar will also extend similar words of gratitude to the donors and to all the entities who have made the project a success.

Expected to grace the ocassion is Vice Governor Antonio H. Escudero Jr. MNSA, LTGen Roland M. Detabali, AFP Commander , Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM).

Highlights of the event after the blessing and inauguration of the building will be the messages of the two prominent personalities gracing the ocassion, Ms Tina Monzon -Palma, a well acclaimed television host of ABS-CBN and well known personality extending projects for the development of rural communities through the Sagip Kamilya and the very pride of the province of Sorsogon Gen. Eduardo SL Oban Jr AFP chief of Staff who hails from the municipality of Castilla.

"We share the dreams of our nation, a country at peace and a people with freedom from want", this are the words printed under Gen. Oban's invitation program.

The event will commence with a ceremonial pandan planting activity that will be done within the school premises of PHS.

Expected too, to be present and lend support to the occasion are the member-agencies of the Bayanihan Eco-Park Project at Barangay Sibago of Donsol town also, one of the assisted projects of the 903rd Infantry Brigade, 9ID PA. (IAG, PIA Sorsogon)

9,659 farmers, fisherfolks in Camarines Norte to benefit from rice subsidy program

by Rosalita Base-Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, September 19 (PIA) -- A total of 9,659 were identified as beneficiaries of the rice subsidy to small scale fisherfolks and farmers thru cash for work/cash for training program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in this province.

Marissa M. Paeste, Social Welfare Officer II of DSWD Region V, disclosed that the beneficiaries of the program will receive P900 cash for their participation in the 4-day training and P1,575 for seven days of work or P225 daily minimum wage in the province.

She said that the program is a temporary support for beneficiaries during the lean months and rainy season due to the increase of prices of commodities like oil.

The program started here last May where the beneficiaries of Talisay, Vinzons and San Lorenzo Ruiz towns have received the amount while the other 8 towns are scheduled starting this month of September.

She explained that the beneficiaries are included in the list of the National Household Targeting System (NHTS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) validated by the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO).

The four days training included topics on the increase of food production or the new technology for palay, corn and vegetable production while the seven days work included cleaning of drainage, other projects and activities for disaster preparedness, mitigation, relief, rehabilitation and risk reduction.

The P2,475 cash to be received by the beneficiaries, 50% should alloted the purchase of rice while the remaining 50% for their other basic needs.

Of the 12,614 target beneficiaries, 9,659 were already validated by the local government units and these include: Basud-992; Capalonga-1,526; Jose Panganiban-923; Labo-1,131; Mercedes-2,395; Paracale-557; San Lorenzo Ruiz-311; San Vicente-205; Sta.Elena-2,139; Talisay-377 at Vinzons-1,476 while the town of Daet will have to submit their validated list in order to include their beneficiaries. (MAL/RBM, PIA Camarines Norte)

Government to continue selection process for ARMM OIC applicants

NAGA CITY, September 19 (PIA) -- Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo said the government will continue with the selection process on the applicants for the various officers-in-charge positions in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao despite the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) by the Supreme Court.

Robredo said the second regional forum in Zamboanga City for the shortlisted OIC candidates will finally push through today, September 19, after it was temporarily shelved from its original schedule last September 15 following the issuance of the TRO.

The DILG Secretary was in Cotabato City Tuesday to attend the first regional dialogue for the seven shortlisted OIC candidates for governor and six vice governor bets in the Muslim autonomous region, who underwent tight scrutiny from a panel of multi-sectoral group leaders.

“The TRO did not bar us from continuing with the screening process; hence, we will resume the pre-selection activities,” he said.

Robredo, who heads the committee tasked to screen the OIC applicants, said that the screening panel will proceed with its pre-selection process and forward the short list to the Senate and the House of Representatives before submission to the President.

Last Tuesday, the High Court issued a TRO on the implementation of Republic Act 10153 or the law that deferred the 2011 ARMM elections to 2013 and allowed the President to appoint OICs in the region, which include regional governor, vice governor and 24 members of the Regional Legislative Assembly.

“I believe that this is just a temporary setback in our effort to carry out dramatic reforms in the region,” he said.

Robredo said the government will file a motion for reconsideration before the Supreme Court and expressed optimism that the TRO will be lifted. (MAL/LSM/DILG)

Friday, September 16, 2011


Gainza Trade Fair - an enterprising venue for aspiring entreps

by Lizel S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, Sept. 16 (PIA) -- Accruing an approximate P5.6 million earnings for its participants last year, the Bishop Gainza Trade Fair is expecting another overwhelming support as it continues to attract devotees, pilgrims and visitors from all over the world.

Gainza Trade Fair showcases wares and various products of the different producers, handicraft makers and all fields of enterprises at the SM City grounds here in time for the celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Penafrañcia.

Since its opening last September 12, the trade fair has already become a venue for entrepreneurs trying to promote their merchandise and what-have-you. It has also provided a break for small and medium enterprises to shine and introduce their products not only to the domestic arena but also to a wider market.

The event, organized by the Archdiocese of Caceres, in cooperation with the Caceres Social Action Foundation, Inc (CASAFI), aims to revive the spirit of fair trade and local entrepreneurship made prominent by Bishop Francisco Gainza in 1875.

It also intends to promote locally-made products while educating and enhancing the entrepreneurial skills of its participants.

Fr. Marc Real, trade fair project director, has reiterated that this activity is simply different as compared to other existent or similar pursuits since its interest is anchored on its apostolic mission.

As clearly stated in its vision, the Gainza trade fair is likened to a community of disciples alleviating poverty through entrepreneurship and solidarity towards the promotion of their community.

This year’s fair will offer variety of choices for typical Bicolano buyers, including their guests who will have a chance to rummage through furniture, gifts, toys, housewares, ready to wear garments, accessories, organic and natural products, souvenir items , religious items and even institutional and tourism services.

Buyers will also have to chance to have a glimpse of other products and items coming from Rizal, Laguna, Paranaque and Quezon City who also took the chance to be a part of the 2nd holding of BGTF.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) meanwhile has also lend its professional and skilled resource persons to enhance the skills of the participants by engaging their time in various trainings and seminars on organic farming, and the importance of implementing the 3Rs of considering our environment: Reduce, Reuse and Recyle.

Bishop Gainza Trade Fair is also made possible in collaboration with the Consuelo Chito Madrigal Foundation, Inc., Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Tourism, and other private organizations. (MAL/LSM, PIA Camarines Sur)

Distribution of certified seeds to affected farmers continue

by Aida Alcazar-Naz

LEGAZPI CITY, September 16 (PIA) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Bicol continues its assistance to farmers affected by typhoon Juaning through the distribution of certified seeds.

The seed distribution, according to DA information officer Emiliana Bordado, was started in August 1 and is hoped to reach all concerned farmers by September 30.

DA is subsidizing 50 percent of the cost of the 40 kilogram sack certified seeds.

Until yesterday, September 15, DA-attached agency National Food Authority has prioritized affected farmers in the remaining five percent stock of certified seeds under the rapid supply financing distribution project to tillers who suffered losses.

Bordado said the 103 percent rice sufficiency level attained by the region last year may be affected as 75 percent of farmlands in Bicol were devasted by Juaning in July.

These areas, mostly submerged underwater, were in the towns of Nabua, Baao, Bula, San Fernando, Milaor, Minalabac, and Gainza in Camarines Sur and the third district of Albay particularly Libon and Polangui.

The department is also pushing farmers to enroll in the crop insurance of the government as a fallback. DA is studying a plan to assume part of the cost of the insurance with Bicol as a pilot area.

Per the full damage report culled by the DA Bicol, a total of 62,132 farmers of palay, corn and high value crops experienced losses. A total of 59,267 hectares were damaged with an estimated volume of 94,100 metric tons equivalent to P347,155 million.

The same report revealed that 416 heads of livestock estimated at P209 million while the fishery sector particularly 128 fishery operators and aquamarine stations suffered a corresponding P2 million damages. Destruction of communal irrigation facilities was estimated at P255 million. (MAL/AAN, PIA V)

NTC to conduct one-day mobile registration and licensing

by Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, September 16 (PIA) -- The National Telecommunication Commission regional office V will conduct a "One Day Mobile Registration and Licensing" for 2011 on September 21 at Provincial Capitol Dome here.

The activity aims to register, legalize and license all unregistered radio transceivers being used and operated by different government and private agencies or individuals in the province.

NTC's services will accept and process all application for license of new or for renewal radio communication network and operator certificates, registration and licensing of all types of two-way radio equipment including mobile phone (cell phone) dealer, retailer and service centers and shall be releasing corresponding permits and license on the same day.

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

They shall also be receiving applications for blocking/unblocking of sim cards/ cell phones and complaints on text scam, illegal and malicious text and text spam.

Expected to attend during the activity are all radio communication transmitter and transceiver equipment users, telecom/broadcast and cable operators and all types of commercial and non-commercial radio operators license. (MAL/EAB, PIA Catanduanes)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Intervida turns over community center to Sorsogon province

by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, September 15 (PIA) -- In a simple ceremony held here this month at the Sorsogon Community Center, country delegate of Intervida, Restituto Ramos, formally turned over the management of this edifice to the provincial government represented by former governor Sally Ante-Lee.

The Sorsogon Community Center was an extension of the old Sorsogon Provincial Hospital which has been unoccupied for so long that Intervida through the initiative of former Board Member Rosario"Cherry" Diaz was renovated, refurbished and made as a skills and development center catering to grassroots communities and have been managed by the Intervida staff for almost 5 years.

"Now that Intervida is focusing more of its programs and projects in the municipalities of Castilla, Donsol and Pilar specifically along education and nutrition, we have made agreements with the provincial government of Sorsogon to formally turn over the management of the Sorsogon community Center to them ", Ramos explained in his message during the turn over ceremony rites.

Receiving the key of responsibility from Ramos, Lee explained that the center will be a training ground for culture and arts development which she believes should be an extension of the enrichment and enhancement activity of the Sorsogon Provincial Heritage Museum.

She explained that the provincial government has already provided the center with musical instruments, like guitars, electric organs , drums, percussion instruments, books and other materials that can be accessed by students or those interested individuals who would like to hone their skills in music, poetry , drama and the like.

The center according to Lee will be under the direct supervision of the provincial government with the assistance of the Department of Education, provincial schools division and counter-parting in the overseeing of the daily activities will be the Bukawel Performing Group Community Based Theater Group (CBTG) under the supervision of Dan Razo.

A special dance number was performed by the CBTG to provide entertainment in the ceremony called "Alay" which according to Razo is a dance that expresses gratitude specially offered to the Intervida to show appreciation for the assistance they have extended to the province of Sorsogon.

Meanwhile, Lee also expressed during the turn over ceremony that she hopes to see more culturally inclined individuals pursue their artistic inclinations through this center.

"Those who are willing to access the services of the center will just schedule their time to use the center and its basic amenities with the current management", Lee explained.

She also said that arrangements will be done to have skilled mentors in the center who can share their expertise and will also provide the center their spare time especially those retired teachers and other individuals willing to voluntarily share their time and knowledge in contributing to the popularization and enhancement of local songs, music and dances truly Sorsoganon or reflective of the Sorsoganon's culture and arts.

Department of Education assistant schools division superintendent, Danilo Despi who graced the occasion for and in behalf of Dr. Marilen Dimaano, provincial school division superintendent who is on official leave, said that the DepEd provincial office will also coordinate with the Sorsogon City DepEd so that both can access programs provided by the center and at the same time contribute to its sustainable development.

Despi had also expressed appreciation to Intervida for the feeding programs provided to school children in their three pilot municipalities, Castilla, Donsol and Pilar which is under the provincial schools division areas.

With special participation, Lee also requested the Philippine Information Agency office here, together with the Kapisanan ng mga Broadcasters sa Pilipinas, Sorsogon Chapter, represented by its president Andy Espinar to assist in training kids to do broadcast and other individuals who also like to undergo the same training.

Lee said that communication is the best form of art to better understanding and a culture that should be instilled in everyone to attain the culture of peace.

"In a positive note let us also provide the people of Sorsogon, the media mileage of the positive traits of the people of Sorsogon both in broadcast and in print', she said.

Present during the formal turn-over were members of the print and broadcast media in the province, DepEd personnel, staff from Intervida in Legaspi City and the head and staff of the Sorsogon Provincial Tourism Council.

Agnes Nan-Habla, Intervida Field Officer closed the ceremony by saying that ,"As adults teach children all about life and children should teach their elders what life is all about". (IAG, PIA Sorsogon)

Rep. Sarmiento calls to care for the environment

by Edna A Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, September 15 (PIA) -- Amid reports from local tabloids in the province regarding the rampant illegal cutting of trees in Catanduanes, Cong. Cesar V. Sarmiento has called on his constituents to show care to the environment.

"Illegal cutting of trees in our place is getting rampant (again) according to newspaper reports. This is alarming and disturbing because if these activities remain unabated - that will lead to great destruction of our island", Sarmiento said.

Moreover, the congressman said that everyone must take part in solving such problem and it can be done by reporting any incident of illegal cutting of trees to the concerned authorities.

He also urged the (multi-agency) Task Force Anti-Illegal Logging to be more aggressive in tracking down these illegal activities via filing of charges against the violators and making your accomplishments known to the public.

"Do your share in saving our province from landslides, floods and disasters - in doing so you are protecting the lives and properties of our kababayans (who may be your relative and/or friend)", he added.

It can be noted that the government has implemented total log ban to reduce forest and other environmental destruction. (MAL/EAB, PIA Catanduanes)

Enterprise development project to benefit 1,111 women in Catanduanes

by Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, September 15 (PIA) -- A total of 1,111 women from Bato town, who are members of the World-Kalipunan ng mga Pilipina (WOW-KALIPI), will be the primary beneficiaries of the Community Enterprise Development (CED) program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and its partner agencies.

DOLE has allocated over a million pesos for the group's "Abaca Catanduanes" abaca-weaving project while its partners are contributing a similar amount.

The program seeks to organize and focus the delivery of services of various government agencies and private organizations to achieve systematic and rational convergence of services and assistance to the community.

It is also in line with the thrust of the Aquino administration of creating employment in the community and transforming Philippine society so that very Filipino can enjoy a better and dignified quality of life.

Under the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), DOLE will take the lead role in the implementation, provide, funds, equipment, raw materials, services and others and extend assistance int he promotion of the products.

The project proponent and accredited co-partner, TESDA-Cabugao School of Handicraft and Cottage Industries, will act as conduit and provide the venue, facilities, shelter for equipment to be used in the training, skills development and preliminary activities including a product showroom, among others

On the other hand, the beneficiaries, headed by Lolita Tapas, will implement the project and receive the equipment, tools, suuplies and raw materials from TESDA-CSHCI. It shall render periodic reports and ensure the quality, target and standards are reasonably complied.

Among the cooperating agencies in the project include the local government of Bato, the provincial government, the congressional office, Catanduanes State Colleges, DOST, TESDA, DTI, FIDA, Saint Anthony of Padua Parish of Cabugao, ARDCI, Group of NGOs, Carpel Trading, and Solid Future Foundation, Inc. (MAL/EAB, PIA Catanduanes)