DPWH in Bicol saves P130 million for 2011 projectsby Ed de Leon
LEGAZPI CITY, December 20 (PIA) -- The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) regional office here reported that the agency was able to generate a savings of more than P130 million in the implementation of its 2011 infrastructure projects in Bicol.
DPWH regional director Danilo E. Dequito said the savings were generated from the more than P4.044 billion released to the region as of the end of September for this year’s regular infrastructure program.
He said that the savings was generated as a result of competitive and transparent bidding of all the 160 projects for implementation by the regional and the 15 DPWH districts engineering offices in the six provinces of Bicol.
Dequito said that competitive bidding was one of the major policy reforms of DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson, in line with the “Tuwid na Daan” policy of the Aquino administration.
He added that because of the greater transparency in the bidding process, the cost of the projects went down by 4.23 percent.
Dequito said that P80.925 million pesos of the savings was generated by the regional office while P49.836 million was saved by the district offices.
The DPWH regional director said that out of 160 projects, 33 are being implemented by the regional office with the cost of P1.997 billion pesos while 127 is being implemented by the district offices with a total cost of P2.047 billion pesos.
He said 84 of the projects have been completed while 63 is still on-going while 13 has not yet been started with an over-all 45.05 percent accomplishment or 1.64 positive slippage.(MAL/EDL, PIA V)
Local health office launches Iwas-Paputok campaignby Lizel S. Macatangay
PILI, Camarines Sur, December 20 (PIA) -- Instead of the usual banner ads being endorsed to signify prohibition of the use of firecrackers like, “bawal”, “kontra” or “iwas”, the Department of Health (DOH) decided to launched a campaign simply reiterating the word “ingat”, which will serve as a reminder to every firecracker user to be responsible for their own safety.
This is in line with the “AKSYON: Paputok Inquiry Reduction” or APIR campaign recently launched by the Camarines Sur Health Office, a drive to lessen if not totally eradicate the alarming number of firecracker incidents being recorded every year.
APIR decided to have an alternative approach in pursuing its campaign against the precarious use of firecrackers especially during the Christmas and New Year revelry. The notable increase of almost 195 percent in firecracker-related injuries has particularly prompted the health authorities to shift its gear in raising the awareness of the community on the adverse effect of unsafe firecracker use.
The said campaign will strengthen its resolve to convey the following messages: the use of firecrackers is dangerous, all kinds of firecrackers or similar entities are not allowed to be used by kids, keep safe from people who are using firecrackers, do not pick firecrackers that failed to blast off and go to the nearest hospital for immediate treatment if you suffered from any injury caused by firecrackers.
Last year, the province of Camarines Sur recorded the highest share of injuries resulting from the use of the said pyrotechnics, most of them are children aged 10 years and below. Of the total 62 reported cases from different provinces, Camarines Sur recorded 54 cases or an equivalent of 92 percent.
Local authorities are now bent on reducing this number by encouraging each member of the community to be responsible in their handling of different firecrackers, not only for themselves but as also for the welfare of those innocent victims.
Republic Act No. 7183 or the act regulating the sale, manufacture, distribution and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices states that baby rockets, bawang, small trianggulo, pulling of strings, el Diablo, watusi, judah's belt, sky rocket or kwitis and other types equivalent to the aforementioned firecrackers are allowed by law but reminded the consumers to use them with utmost care. (MAL/LSM, PIA Camarines Sur)
DOH encourages Bicolanos to celebrate safer holiday seasonby Aida Alcazar-Naz
LEGAZPI CITY, December 20 (PIA) -- The Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) Bicol has intensified its campaign for a safer and fun-filled holiday season as Christmas and New Year draw near.
Engr. William Sabater announced at PIA Bicol radio program Aramon Ta Daw that as of late November, the department has already coordinated with local government units (LGUs) and concerned government agencies including the Philippine National Police to shore up the firework injury campaign hailed as APIR or Akyson: Paputok Injury Reduction.
Also dubbed as Give me five campaign, the department has called on LGUs to designate firecrackers zones and if possible, pass an ordinance prohibiting banned firecrackers.
Three days from today or by December 21, surveillance and monitoring of firecracker injuries start until January 7.
Sabater said that as of December 9, a meeting with focal persons of eight sentinel or reporting hospitals has been conducted to clarify roles.
These hospitals are the retained government hospitals, the Bicol Medical Center in Naga City, Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital in Legazpi City and Bicol Sanitarium in Cabusao, Camarines sur. The provincial hospitals of Camarines Norte, Sorsogon and Masbate along with the Eastern Bicol Medical Center in Catanduanes and the Naga City Hospital were also named as sentinel hospitals.
DOH Bicol hopes, according to Sabater to reduce the number of 62 firecracker-injury cases reported in 2010, which was more than double than 2009’s 28 cases. Also, five cases of gunshot wounds two of which were from stray bullets were treated last year.
Last year casualties were mostly children below 10 years old and the rest were nearly all males.
No watusi ingestion cases were reported in 2010 as this has been banned and removed from the market. However, harm caused by piccolo registered a high number among children, most of which were eye injuries. The health department called on parents and adults not to let youngster play with piccolo.
The APIR campaign emphasizes five reminders that the community must remember to prevent harm and injury. These are 1. fireworks cause injuries and endanger health, 2. children should not use any fireworks, 3. keep away from exploding fireworks, 4. never pick used nor unspent fireworks, and 5. for all fireworks injuries seek immediate medical treatment.
To complement these reminders, DOH advocates five simple happy, complete and stress-free holiday celebration by way of 1. promoting and participating in community fireworks display in respective areas, 2. celebrate safe holiday with family and loved ones, 3. use alternative noise-makers to welcome the new year like torotot, car horns, cans, pots and pans, loud radio or stereo music, 4. join merry-making activities such as street parties, concerts, games and 5. reflect on the lessons of the past year and make resolutions for a better 2012.
According to Sabater, community fireworks display must be in a safe designated area in the barangay. It must have an adequate buffer zone to avoid injury to individuals, fire hazards and other accidents. Through this strategy the community can pool resources for a fireworks display, a better way than individual purchases.
Sabater also said that DoH Bicol frown on tire burning as such triggers attacks among asthmatic individuals aside from the damage such act bring to the environment.
Aside from the firecracker injury surveillance, December 21 is also the start of the code white alert in all DoH offices and retained hospitals. The alert will run until Jan. 5, 2012. The emergency rooms of these hospitals are ready for patients, as manpower is ready and medicines are available on 24/7 basis. All health personnel at DOH are on call, too. (MAL/AAN, PIA V)
Camarines Norte's coconut production up by 25%by Rosalita Base-Manlangit
DAET, Camarines Norte, December 20 (PIA) – The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) has recorded some 25 percent increase in the production of coconut in the past 3 years in Camarines Norte, owing the uptrend to the salt fertilization project of the agency.
PCA Camarines Norte officer in charge Editha P. Idnani said that farmers were encouraged and trained to use salt as fertilizer for coconut trees and the technology for better results.
Idnani said that the agency has also distributed salt fertilizer for free to the coconut farmers in the province every year since the start of the program under the National Coconut Productivity Program.
Idnani said PCA also targets 40 coconut fruits per tree next year and also encourage other farmers to use salt fertilizer.
It can be recalled that before using salt fertilization, only 32 coconut fruits per tree can be harvested.
She said that the agency will continue to distribute salt fertilizers to other coconut farmers next year.
Further, some coconut farmers here are also focusing on product diversification where they can produce other coconut products aside from selling coconut copra. (MAL/RBM, PIA Camarines Norte)
Albay, Ako Bikol send aid to 'Sendong' victimsLEGAZPI CITY, December 20 (PIA) -- The provincial government of Albay has donated P1 million for assistance to the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan in Misamis Oriental province in Northern Mindanao
Albay Governor Joey Salceda said the cash assistance of P500,000 to each of the two cities, the areas hardest hit by tropical storm Sendong on Friday, was sourced from the province’s calamity fund.
Salceda said the financial aid is an expression of gratitude of Albay to the local government units and the national government for the assistance they also gave to Albay when it was hit by past disasters.
He said the cash assistance was decided as a better option in lieu of a “Wash Mercy Mission” (water, sanitation and health) and considering the local circumstances, specifically the distance of the province to the Mindanao area.
Salceda in a text message said “more than the amount which is modest, the Albay Sendong Aid Mission brings with them the spirit of solidarity and sense of kinship between our peoples,” a form of support which he said is “so critical to help them overcome the distressing period.”
A six-man team from the provincial legislative board and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) will leave for the two cities today to also consult with local officials and communities affected on how Albay could further help in the early recovery and rehabilitation period.
Meanwhile, the Ako Bicol (AKB)partylist based here will also donate P250,000 to the victims of Sendong in Cagayan de Oro.
AKB Representatives Rodel Batocabe and Christopher Co will personally go to Cagayan de Oro also today to personally deliver the financial aid.
Tropical Storm Sendong (Washi) today has already claimed 957 lives, 49 missing and thousands injured, according to reports from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). (MALoterte, PIA V)