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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Plastic bag ban campaign gaining grounds in Albay

LEGAZPI CITY, May 31 (PIA) -- Albay’s drive to eliminate the use of plastic bags starts tomorrow focusing initially on informing the various sectors of the provisions of the ordinance leading to the full implementation of the program and enforcement of policies by March 2012.

Albay Governor Joey Salceda said that full enforcement of the prohibition of plastic bags in the province will take effect on March 2012, as board member Arnold Embestro, Sangguniang Panlalawigan chair of the Committee on Environment, leads and starts the massive information campaigns starting June 2011.”

“Learning from the China experience, 'white pollution', refering to plastic bags, bookstores and pharmacies are forbidden to give out free plastic bags, while supermarkets have to charge for shopping bags since June 1, 2008. China also banned the production, sale and use of ultra-thin plastic bags, becoming one of only a few nations around the world to take such tough measures,” Salceda said.

Salceda believes that the Albay version is positively welcomed by his constituents.

Donnaven Arizapa, a daughter of a sari-sari store operator in this city, commented “what my mom does is to reuse plastic bags as container for retailing charcoal which she has done for long even before the inception of the ordinance.”

Embestro meanwhile explained that the Albay local government encourages the use of alternative packaging materials in its desire to reduce if not totally eliminate the use of plastic bags

“One can use woven native bags (bayong), reusable cloth shopping bags (katsa), paper bags and other similar materials (banana leaves, taro leaves, etc.) and at the same time enjoying the promotion of the “Magdara nin sadiring kaagan (bring your own bag) program” or MSKP,” he elaborated.

The ordinance aims to lessen volume of plastic pollutants and beef up environment protection measures in the interest of public health and safety.

The provincial government has since been rallying to adopt measures prohibiting the use of plastics and other non-biodegradable materials in all business establishments, groceries, department stores, supermarkets, chain retailers and sari-sari stores in Albay.

Any establishment found violating the provisions of this ordinance shall be penalized with Written Notice of Warning for the first offense; fine of P2,000 and recommendation for 15 days temporary suspension of business permit for second offense; fine of P3,000 and recommendation for 30 days temporary suspension of business permit for third; and recommendation for cancellation of business permit for fourth. (MAL, PIA Albay)

CSC to stir Filipino patriotism thru “Kuwentong Kabayanihan” video contest

by Joyce M. Mejillano

LEGAZPI CITY, May 31 (PIA) — In an effort to bring out the hero in very Filipino and move the spirit of patriotism within their hearts, Civil Service Commission, in partnership with the Kabayanihan Foundation, a non-stock profit organization launches a video contest dubbed as “Kuwentong Kabayanihan: The CSC-Kabayanihan Foundation Video Contest.”

With the theme “Every Filipino is a hero. Every Filipino is part of the solution,” the contest emphasizes the SCS’s R.A.C.E (Responsive, Accessible, Courteous and Effective) public service.

CSC is looking for videos “that will move ordinary Filipinos to act on the most pressing concerns in their immediate fields/circles/areas of influence.” It should also “stir every Filipino to do something concrete for the country.”

The contest is open to amateur groups and individual filmmakers. There is no limit as to the number of entries per individual or group and there will be no registration fee required.

The video, according to CSC, should be strictly 30-40 seconds long and must be the contestant’s original material. The entry may be an animation, documentary or commercial video and should be clear, intelligible and not offensive to common law decency.

The entries will be judged according to subject relevance, video quality and audience impact.

There are corresponding amount of cash prizes for winners. First prize will get P20,000; second prize is P10,000 and P7,000 for the third prize. There are also special awards to be given

Submission of entries will be on May 18 to October 15, 2011. CSC advised interested individuals or groups to contact their office at (02) 358-3333, 0917-842-7111 or through email at info@kabayanihan.org. (JMM, PIA V)

DENR fine tunes key posts in Bicol
by Jessel S. Basanta

LEGAZPI CITY, May 31 (PIA) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Bicol has implemented organizational changes to improve further the services of the agency's different provincial offices and line services.

DENR Regional Executive Director Joselin Marcus Fragada re-assigned Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Elpidio Z. Orata, from his previous post at Camarines Norte to Sorsogon replacing PENRO Oscar Dominguez who will be reporting as the new Regional Technical Director for Land Management Service in DENR Region IV-B.

The Community Environment and Natural Resources Officers affected by the revamp were Rene P. Camacho formerly OIC CENRO Iriga City now designated as OIC PENRO Camarines Norte; Vivencio M. Cabanayan Jr. Previously CENRO officer of Sorsogon is currently assigned as OIC CENRO Naga City and Imelda D. Baltazar foremost OIC CENRO Naga City now OIC CENRO Iriga City.

Further, the newly named official, Forester Krisanta Marlene P. Rodriguez from the office of the Regional Executive Director, has been reassigned to CENRO Sorsogon City as an office-in-charge in lieu of Forester Cabanayan.

The special order dated May 24, 2011 took effect for the next 30 days that will automatically be renewed for the same period until a new special order is issued by DENR Secretary Ramon Paje. (MAL/JSB, DENR V)

Jobs overseas offered in CamSur fair today
by Lizel S. Macatangay

PILI, Camarines Sur, May 31 (PIA) -- In response to the needs of locales looking for employment opportunities, the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) in Camarines Sur holds a recruitment activity today at the Capitol Convention Center lobby here.

Representatives from 1st Northern International Placement, Inc. with POEA license number 039-LB 122309-R will be conducting the interview to interested applicants from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm today. Available slots await female nurses, domestic helpers, private midwives, private lady and male drivers.

The Al Salam Labour Supply will take the lucky applicants to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Age requirement of qualified applicants ranges from 20 to 40 years old. She must have completed his or her secondary schooling.

For those who wish to work at Doha , Qatar and Kuwait, Al Waleed Manpower Recruitment Co. and Al Rehayi Office for Manpower Recruitment respectively are also in need of fifty (50) domestic helpers. Qatar needs 50 while Kuwait needs 100 domestic workers. Qualified applicants should be at least high school level.

Applicants who will be chosen will have free accommodation in Manila and free air fare from the Philippines to their point of destination.

Aside from the interview, there will also be free processing of passporti for those who have not secured their passports yet, and free visa stamping for Kuwait and Qatar applicants only.

The recruitment agency is also pleased to announce that there will be no salary deduction, no placement fee and no processing fee for domestic helper applicants.

Interested job hunters may get in touch with Mr. Roger or Ms. Nhe at cp numbers 09296760947 or 09493451204. Or they may call or visit the Camarines Sur PESO, 2nd Floor, Capitol Main Building , Capitol Complex, Cadlan, Pili, Camarines Sur or call tel 477-5858 – 4777468. (MAL/LSM, PIA Camarines Sur)

Bulan town inaugurates 2nd of its museums

by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, May 31 (PIA) -- “The local government of Bulan, as part of its 210th town fiesta celebration has, for one of its grand events, the inauguration, blessing , opening and unveiling of the Bulan Heritage Museum", Mayor Helen de Castro revealed during the blessing last week of the second of two museums in the province of Sorsogon.

The 210th celebration of the town fiesta of Bulan, scheduled May 30-31 of this year, has several significant activities, one of which is the blessing and inauguration of its museum converted from the Old Residencia building which used to be the seat of government or the old munisipyo.

The museum, according to Mayor de Castro, will serve as a reminder of who they are as a people, as a community and what they aspire to become in the future. It will also serve as a repository of Bulan's rich historical and cultural heritage, she said.

"We also take pride to open and have this museum in support of the International Museum Day celebration. This is one of my thrusts as a local government official -- to show the next generation our historical past so that they will be able to see where they come from, relate with their past and at the same time appreciate their own history", De Castro further explained in her message.

“In time for this 210th town fiesta celebration, we are promoting our museum as one of the sites that our visitors should visit as it showcases of our collection of artifacts and diggings that have been donated and collected, books significant to the municipality and historical records of some important the people, pictures of significant events and accomplishment of our leaders and other contributions by private individuals", added De Castro.

She also stated that the museum will also serve as a repository for the local government's thrusts in preserving their rich marine and environmental resource records where students can access for their research and studies.

"In the evening of May 30, the local government, in partnership with schools in Bulan , will showcase cultural groups and the best talents from both the young and old people in a historical-cultural presentation called Bulanenos Heritage Night at the Bulan Freedom Park” De Castro announced. (IAG, PIA Sorsogon)

Bicolano DOST scholar is 2011 electrical engineering board topnotcher

LEGAZPI CITY, May 31 (PIA) -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) regional office here prides the topnotcher of the recent electrical engineers licensure examination being one of the agency’s scholars.

Engr. Jhonrey Layosa Aguirre, a DOST scholar and graduate of Sorsogon State College (SSC) in Sorsogon City topped board examination obtaining a rating of 89.65% besting the other 624 board passers out of 1,546 examinees.

Prior to being a DOST scholar, Aguirre, a hardworking and diligent third year BS Electrical Engineering student passed and qualified for the Junior Level Assistance Program (DOST JLAP-RA S&T scholarship).

JLAP examination is an aptitude test covering physics, engineering, sciences, mathematics and English for students willing and able to pursue priority S&T courses in identified higher education institutions.

As a DOST scholar, Aguirre enjoyed full scholarship privileges for three years and was provided with tuition and other school fees, book allowance, monthly stipend, transportation allowance and accident insurance, among others.

DOST scholarship gave him a great opportunity and a big help in overcoming his financial difficulties as a son of poor local fisherman.

Engr. Aguirre will lead the oath taking ceremonies of new registered electrical engineers on June 4, 2011 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia, Pasay City.

DOST through the Science Education Institute (SEI) continues its efforts to create a pool of quality S&T human resources through its various scholarship program. (MAL/POL/DAP DOST V)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Albay province earmarks P236-M for 34,000 college scholars

By Mar S. Arguelles

LEGAZPI CITY, May 30 -- Albay has earmarked some P236 million funds to finance the college studies of 34,000 scholars across the province despite budgetary constraints, a ranking official of the province said today.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said the Albay Higher Education Scheme (AHECS) this school year would have to spend some P116 million to finance the initial 11,160 AGHECS scholars that will enter their second year in their chosen courses.

However, the AHECS Finance Committee announced that, due to budgetary constraints, they were compelled to limit their scholarship slots to only 5,000 scholars this year, which would be equivalent to another P50 million in funding requirement.

This is on top of the P50 million for 13,000 students enrolled in community colleges under Education Quality for Albayanos (EQUAL), Salceda said.

He said that with 27,000 high school graduates annually, the Provincial Education Department (PED) has decided to provide a lifeline to 5,000 new college enrolees who can not be accommodated by the AHECS.

Total assistance to college students would reach P236 million in 2011 and total assisted post-secondary/tertiary students would reach 34,000 in various degrees and year-levels.

Aside from being the only province and the only LGU that has a Provincial Education Department, Albay now has the single-largest college scholarship program in the history of the Philippines, even exceeding Cocofed, GSIS or CHED at any point in their student assistance programs, he pointed out.

Salceda said to cushion the effect of funds limitation for education, he initiated an Emergency Financial Assistance for Students in Tertiary Education of the EFAST, a new educational program with P10 million funding to give limited assistance of P2,000 for those students not included in the AHECS or EQUAL programs.

“Like AHECS, the EFAST slots are being distributed through the provincial Board Members to ensure geographical balance,” Salceda said.

EFAST vouchers can only be assigned to a tertiary institution accredited by the Provincial Education Department and is good only for the 1st semester of SY 2011-2012.

He, however, said that the provincial government will exercise best-efforts to secure funding for future assistance. The new program has essentially compelled further cutbacks in other programs.

He said during his term as Congressman of the 3rd district of Albay, his congressional scholarships beginning in 1999, have benefitted some 87,000 college or post-secondary students. (MSA/PNA Bicol)

“Text2Teach” innovations to improve standards of education in the countryside
by Marlon A. Loterte

LEGASPI, Albay, May 30 (PIA) -- A public-private partnership initiative is on the move anew with some 24 public elementary schools in Polangui, Albay to benefit from Text2Teach (T2T) program spurred to improve the quality of education in the countryside by utilizing the technology of multi-media messaging system in mobile phones.

Text2Teach will provides an electronic system of bringing educational content through video downloaded via short messaging system (SMS) from a service provider to public elementary schools, including some 400 educational audio and video materials in various fields or subjects that would complement the learning process of Grade 5 and 6 elementary pupils in public schools.

The program was launched in Polangui town, the first recipient of the program in the province of Albay, just last week aimed at improving the standard of education in the field of English, Science and Mathematics.

At the launching held on Tuesday (May 24), T2T alliance has provided each school with Nokia N86 8MP mobile phone pre-loaded with 400 educational audio and video materials on Math, Science and English, and a Globe pre-paid SIM card, and 29-inch colored television set.

The Text2Teach alliance is comprised of the Ayala Foundation, Nokia, SEAMIO Innotech, Globe Telecom, Department of Education (DepEd) and Polangui local government.

Municipal Mayor Cherille Sampal also turned over to the T2T alliance a check amounting to P951,000 representing the local government’s counterpart funds to implement T2T.

Under the program, SEAMEO will train some 120 school heads and teachers on the use of the T2T technology and educational materials to ensure the quality and standard of teaching using the program.

Public elementary schools that received the T2T packages were Agos, Apad, Balangibang, Balinad, Danao, Itaran, Kinale, La Medalla, Lanigay, Lidong, Magpanambo, Magurang, Matacon, Maynaga, Maysua, Napo, Polangui North Central School, Polangui South Central School, Ponso North, Ponso Sout, Salvacion, Santicon and Sugcad.

Marisse Catangay of the Ayala Foundation said the T2T program was conceptualized in the United States of America (USA) in 2003 and was pilot tested in the country with a very satisfactory mark.

She said, to date, more than a million elementary pupils from 358 public elementary schools and 1,700 teachers nationwide are already using the T2T, adding that the program has won several awards and garnered accolades from various institutions worldwide.

Catangay said the country was chosen as one of the pilot areas because as Philippines has been acclaimed as the texting capital of the world.

“The program has proven to be effective as students’ learning was made easy, informative and entertaining while there was a noted decrease in the rate of absenteeism and dropouts among pupils,” she said.

In a project presentation, Nokia corporate communication manager Nikka Abes said the program has evolved from the original satellite-based delivery to a full cellular platform using 3G-enabled device such as the Nokia N95 8GB 8MP equipped with an application called Nokia Education Delivery (NED). (MAL, PIA Albay)

NAPOLCOM denies report of office disruption complaint

LEGAZPI CITY, May 30 (PIA) -- The National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) in Bicol yesterday denied allegations that the agency’s office transactions were disrupted following the recent mass leave of absence of half of its personnel, the agency’s spokesman said today.

The controversy stemmed after Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel who were seeking records and clearances for promotion, and lateral entry for officership complained to media that they were not able to transact business with the agency because the personnel and officer assigned to assist them went on leave.

Ricardo Fontanilla, NAPOLCOM spokesperson, said the complaint lodged by some PNP personnel was absolutely baseless and the accusation placed the office in a “bad light,” and experience would also dictate that such complaint could not come from the PNP.

Fontanilla pointed out that despite the mass leave of half of it personnel last May 17 to 20, the agency regional director assigned the remaining staff to attend to client requirements.

The complainant should have inquired and requested for assistance to the personnel assigned to replace the personnel that went on leave, the NAPOLCOM spokesman averred.

He clarified that the 23 NAPOLCOM staff were allowed to travel to Cebu City for a three day team building session from May 17 to 20, this year, in lieu of the earlier planned Gender and Development (GAD) trip.

But the training program did not push trough after receiving a directive from Local Government Secretary and NAPOLCOM Chair Jesse Robredo suspending the team building session indefinitely.

However, the personnel scheduled to attend the Personnel Administrative Enhancement Travel training decided to pursue their travel to Cebu City at their personal expenses and went on official leave to save office funds and continue to attain the office personnel enhancement objectives which was subsequently approved by Rodolfo G. Santos NAPOLCOM regional director.

The approved leave of absence of the 23 personnel was signed by the NAPOLCOM director last May 16 covering four days official leave of absence.

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) cited that leaves of absence of personnel may be allowed provided it is approved by the head of office and office transaction would not be impaired.

NAPOLCOM personnel data indicate that the agency in Bicol have a total of 35 personnel. (MSA/PIA V/Albay)

Sorsogon Nat'l. High School offers open secondary school program this year
by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY , May 30 (PIA) -- Sorsogon National High School is offering the Open High School Program (OHSP) that will allow students who graduated from the elementary and who were not given the chance to proceed and finish secondary education due to some reasons or circumstances

"The new learning program is very different from the Alternative Learning System (ALS) since this will be more of a structured learning program and students will be in a modular system, home-based but is also more patterned on the basic education scheme or principles ", Dr. Blanca Rempillo, principal of the SNHS explained during the interview in the radio program, Sararo Sarabay this morning.

SNHS is inviting students who graduated from the elementary and who would like to finish their secondary level education but can not go to a regular class yet still wish to graduate by just reporting once a week and can study by bringing home structured modules that will provide them a comparative education same as that of a regular class but will be more flexible and home-based.

According to Joan Lagata, OHSP program coordinator, announced that those who would like to enroll will undergo examination and pass the test that will show that they are independent learners and are independent readers and has the capacity to study on their own.

Lagata said that in the OHSP, the student who passes the examination will be enrolled in a modular class equivalent to the regular 8 subjects offered in the basic education scheme. The student will bring home these modules, study and answer the questions and will report once a week or may schedule a meeting with teachers who are handling the subject.

A student may finish the module depending on his capacity to pass the given module. They will also be given summative test and other needed tests required as a requirement to pass aside from the 8 modules equivalent to the eight subjects offered equivalent to a year level.

According to Lagata one can finish within 6 months the first year of high school depending on the student's capacity to pass the modules and examinations given. If the student pass the 8 modules within the six months period, the student will be promoted to the next year level just like being promoted in a regular class.

The OHSP has a maximum of six years to finish and should the student needs more time.Students who are more advanced and can really prove that they are able to do the modular system of learning may finish it on a four year schedule.

"This scheme that the SNHS is offering is really part of the academe's thrust to provide everyone, specially those who needs a high school diploma to pursue college education and will be provided the chance to finish their secondary level education and go to a university and have a degree", according to Lagata.

"What is very important here is the attitude of the student enrolling to really be an independent learner. The OHSP will ensure less expense on students specially if they are having families and if they really can not attend a regular class because of other constraints, usually because of age too or other circumstance. This program of the SNHS willl give them the chance to finish their secondary education aside from the ALS ", according to Rempillo.(MAL/IAG, PIA Sorsogon)
“This is more than enough for my large family”-Army Official
by Harold Magallanes Cabunoc

FORT ANDRES BONIFACIO, Taguig City – “This is more than enough for my large family” a middle-ranked Army officer, father of 6 children, commented upon receiving the newly constructed housing unit during the turn-over ceremony held here today.

Lieutenant Colonel Leodevic Guinid,42, a veteran of Mindanao personally received the 150 sqm living space which is part of the 10-door apartments constructed by the Philippine Army’s combat engineers inside the camp.

“My previous housing unit has only two rooms that accommodate my growing family. This 3-room apartment awarded to me is much better especially that it has additional spaces in the attic,” said Guinid who used to command the Army’s Marksmanship Training Unit.

Another officer, Lieutenant Colonel Oriel Pangcog, sighed in relief that his new living area is near the Army headquarters. He used to stay with his family at least 25kms away in Commonwealth, Quezon City.

“I used to travel from my house at 5:00am to beat the heavy traffic and arrive at my office on time. I think this is not part of my worry anymore,” Pangcog, a Scout Ranger and another veteran of Mindanao’s military campaign said.

Army Chief LtGen Arturo B Ortiz, together with BGen Romeo F Fajardo, Army Post Commander led the turn-over rites to soldier-awardees held here at around 10:00am (Monday). Initially, five 10-door apartments were awarded to deserving soldiers.

In his speech, Lt Gen Ortiz emphasized that the housing project has been funded, not from the outside source, but from the Philippine Army Trust Receipts and other internally-generated savings.

“Ngayong panahon na kung saan pinag-uusapan at laman ng mga pahayagan ang pondo ng AFP, kaliwa’t kanan ang batikos sa aming organisasyon. Kaya sa pagkakataong ito mahalaga na ipinapakita natin na sa ating pagsisikap, pagtitipid at maayos na pag-iingat ng ating kaban, ang Phil Army ay makapagtatayo ng mga pabahay na walang karagdagang pondo mula sa ating pamahalaan,” Ortiz said.

According to Col Antonio G Parlade Jr., Army Spokesperson, the project aims to provide affordable yet spacious and secure housing units to the soldiers to further boost their morale in order for them to become more dedicated, effective and focused in doing their mandated mission.

“Our soldiers can be expected to fulfil their duty and carry out their task well if they are confident that they left their families secured and protected, “ Parlade said.

In the name of transparency, the project went through public bidding for Straight Contract by the AFP Bids and Awards Committee on December 2009.

The contract was then given to Philworks Construction and Supply. Moreover, under the supervision of the Office of the Army Chief Engineers, the construction of the said apartment buildings strictly adhered to the approved priorities of work, plans and specifications to ensure quality workmanship.

The project is part of the Philippine Army’s project to construct 28 units of 10-Door apartment with ground development distributed Army wide under the AFP Modernization Fund.

As of February 2011, the Philippine Army has a total of 428 buildings with 2,031 quarters all over the country.

At present construction of more buildings, apartments and other ground development is on-going in different Army camps to provide comfortable on-base housing, better quality of life and security to the soldiers and their families. (HMC, GHQ PA)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Catanduanes State U grad ranks 5th in 2011 CE licensure exam
by Edna A Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Mayo 27 (PIA)--- Ramon Olalo Gonzales, 23, of Viga and a graduate of Civil Engineering in Catanduanes State Colleges (CSC) last March 2010 placed 5th in the May 2011 Civil Engineering Board Examination administered by the Professionals Regulation Commission.

Ramon who got a rating of 94.05 percent was the only top 10 finisher who came from a state college in an island province. The rest of the topnotchers are from leading universities and engineering schools in the country.

Ramon finished his elementary education at Almojuela Elementary School as second honourable mention and his secondary education at San Jose National High School.

Aside from Gonzales, CSC has also 13 more graduates who passed the CE Board Examination. They are Rotgard Cabling Barceta, MichaelFernandez, Dennis Velasco Francisco, Jayson Sambajon Magtangob, Edgar San Juan Montano, Jr., Jayson Tenito Morales, Ian Perlagio Razal, Jay Andy Teves Soneja, Philip Jayvid Sosito Sorra, Xander Tivar Tabuzo, Roncar Raffy Rommero Tivar, Alden Abareta Tonio, and Shiela Ann Bozar Vasol.

Ramon will receive P15,000 as incentive from the CSC administration and a certificate of recognition in an awarding ceremony for the CSC May 2011 CE Board examination topnotcher and passes.

Ramon is now the 18th graduate of CSC who topped the CE Board examination. (PIA Catanduanes/CSC)

SP urges LGU, agencies to have breastfeeding rooms, corners
by Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, May 27 (PIA)--- The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Catanduanes has urged the Local Government Units (LGUs) and all the agencies and other government instrumentalities in the province to establish breastfeeding corners or rooms in their respective offices.

Resolution No. 077-2011 sponsored by PBM Wilfredo Santelices and passed by the board in its 19th regular session last May 10, also calls on the agencies and LGUs to conduct a pro-breastfeeding campaign pursuant to Executive Order 51 and 273.

According to Santelices, establishment of such rooms and corners in offices would allow mothers in their respective workforce to breastfeed their babies or express breast milk while at work. It would also allow clients or customers who visit their office for official purposes to breastfeed their infants while waiting to be served.

The move is in pursuit of the country’s commitment to attain the Millennium Development Goals which among others seek to reduce child under-nutrition, by half of 2009 levels by 2015 as well as child mortality by two-thirds in the same year. (PIA Catanduanes)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Its back to work in Albay after Chedeng
by Joyce M. Mejillano

LEGAZPI CITY, May 26 (PIA) --- “Prayers do work!” This has been the sentiments of some Albayanos after typhoon Chedeng spared Albay from its wrath and continue to move Northwest as of 11 a.m. today.

Governor Joey Salceda already ordered the decampment of evacuees within 1st and 2nd district of Albay and lifted the suspension order that he imposed 2 p.m. yesterday for government and private offices in the province.

In his advisory issued at 11;30 a.m. today, Salceda said that evacuees within the 3rd district of Albay should remain in their respective evacuation centers until further notice. But the provincial government maintained its position to ban all sea-faring activities.

Meanwhile, based from DOST-PAGASA bulletin # 13 issued at 11 a.m. today, typhoon Chedeng “has accelerated and gained more strength as it approaches the eastern seaboard of Northern Luzon.” It has a maximum sustained winds of 170 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 205 kph.

On Friday morning, Chedeng is expected to be at 200 km Northeast of Casiguran, Aurora and on Saturday morning it will be at 250 km Northeast of Basco, Batanes. By Sunday, the typhoon will be at 680 km Northeast of Basco or 90 km Southwest of Okinawa, Japan.

Public storm signal number 2 is still raised over Catanduanes and Camarines Sur while the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino, Aurora, Quezon, Polillo Island, Marinduque, Burias and Ticao Island and Masbate are all under signal number 1. (MAL/JMM, PIA V)

Chedeng leaves, CamSur disaster managers on 24/7 monitoring, alert status
by Lizel S. Macatangay

PILI, Camarines Sur , May 26 (PIA) --- Camarines Sur Governor LRay Villafuerte refused to be complacent though typhoon Chedeng already veered of Bicol area and continued to enforce pre-emptive evacuation in various coastal towns in the province, particularly in the towns of Balatan and Bato.

Typoon Chedeng is tracking a direction away from the Bicol area as forecasted by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) early this morning.

The typhoon has moved from west northwest to northwest leaving behind intermittent rainfalls that might still flood low lying barangays in the province.

Camarines Sur Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) has already alerted those barangays in the province rated as moderately susceptible to highly susceptible to land slides.

Mine and Geosciences Bureau’s (MGB) data show that the towns of Baao, Balatan, Buhi, Bula, Libmanan, Lupi, Pamplona , San Fernando, Sipocot and Iriga City are identified as landslide prone areas.

MGB classified as “moderately susceptible” the barangays of Antipolo and Pugay in Baao ; Sagrada Nacacale and Camanggahan in Balatan ; Dela Fe, Salvacion, San Jose Baybayon in Buhi; Itanghon, Taisan, Inoyonan, San Francisco, Caorasan, San Roque Heights, La Victoria, and Bagoladio in Bula and Sagrada in Iriga City.

In Libmanan town, barangays which were also classified in the same category includes barangays Villadima, Udoc, Sigamot, Awayan and Tarum while in Lupi, barangays Cabutagan, Poblacion, Barrera Jr, Cristo Rey Barreras Sr., Hamorawon, Antipolo, Baliuag Nuevo and Del Socorro shares the same classification.

Barangays Tampadong in Pamplona, Bical in San Fernando and barangays Gabi, Lipilip, Carayrayan, Lubigan Jr., Lubigan Sr., Gaongan, Malaguico, Azucena, Impig and Bulan in the town of Sipocot were also named as moderate susceptible to possible erosion of land due to tremendous outpour of rain.

PDRRMC strongly recommends to residents of “highly susceptible” barangays to immediately leave and temporarily vacate their areas if continuous heavy rainfalls occur.

These include the barangays of Lubgan in Bula; Caima, Baguito Nuevo in Libmanan; Bagong Sikat, Bangon, Bulawan Jr., Colacling, Bangangan Sr., San Rafael Sur in Lupi; and barangays Tara, Manangke, Taisan, Mangapo, and Cabuyao in Sipocot, Camarines Sur. (MAL/LSM PIA Camarines Sur)

Chedeng update: Coastguard maintains no sailing-at-sea policy except for Matnog port
by Joyce M. Mejillano

LEGAZPI CITY, May 26 (PIA) --- As Chedeng moves to exit the vicinity of Bicol area, Philippine Coastguard-Bicol still maintains its no-sailing-at sea policy except for big sea vessels weighing 1,000 gross tons above.

Lt. Commander Nestor Torre of Coastguard District Office in Bicol said that as of 1:30 p.pm today, they already allow big sea vessels bound to Visayas from Matnog port in Sorsogon to sail since the signal number 2 status has already been lifted in some parts of Bicol Region, including Sorsogon.

Torre said that this development will make the number of stranded passengers in Matnog to subside. He said that as of 12 noon today, there are 4,567 passengers stranded in Matnog ports alone. By midnight, Torre said they are expecting these passengers to finally be transported to their respective destinations.

Meanwhile, Torres stressed that there are still hundreds of evacuees from other ports in different parts of Bicol considering the ban for sailing at seas especially for small sea vessels is still in effect.

He said that they will immediately order the resume of sea-bound trips as soon as PAGASA declare Albay and other concerned area out of public storm signal warning.

As of 11 a.m. today, Catanduanes and Camarines Sur are still under signal number 2, while Albay, Camarines Norte, Sorsogon, Masbate and nearby provinces are under signal number 1. (JMM, PIA V)
READY FOR DEPLOYMENT -- Albay Governor and PDRRMC chairman Joey Sarte Salceda and APSEMO Manager Cedric Daep inspected the rubber boats before its deployment to respected municipalities in the province. (Alex Cal/PIA/PDRRMC-Albay)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Albay dad orders pre-emptive evacuation, suspends offices due to Chedeng
by Joyce M. Mejillano

LEGAZPI, May 25 (PIA) --- In preparation for impending arrival of typhoon Chedeng that may affect some parts of the country, including Albay, Governor Joey Salceda orders pre-emptive evacuation of 49,893 families or 250,425 persons in 497 barangays in the province, especially in flashfloods and landslide prone areas.

In his advisory, Salceda said that residents within the eastern sea board, those who live in houses made of light materials, residents near Mayon Volcano and those who live near bodies of water should evacuate to much safer ground.

He likewise advised the public to make early procurement of basic goods like food supplies and other commodities needed in times of calamities.

The provincial government also issued an order for early suspension of government and private offices at 2 p.m. today in order to give employees more time to prepare their families as heavy rainful brought about by typhoon Chedeng is expected to unleash this evening. This except for offices involved in disaster preparedness and response activities like AFP, PNP, DOH, DRRMC, hospitals etc.

Meanwhile, based on 11 a.m. weather forecast of PAGASA, Chedeng intensifies into typhoon and remained almost stationary. It was located as of 10 a.m. at 350 km East of Catarman, Northern Samar, with maximum sustained winds of 130 kph near the center and with gustiness of up to 160 km per hour. It is expected to move West Northwest at 9 kph.

On Thursday, Chedeng is expected to be at 170 km East Northeast of Catarman or 210 km Southeast of Virac. By Friday, it is expected to be at 160 km Northwesr of Virac or 190 km Southeast of Baler, Aurora and my Saturday morning, it will be at 200 km North of Baler, Aurora or within the vicinity of Tuguegarao, Cagayan.

Provinces of Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte and Samar provinces are placed under signal number 2, while Marinduque, Masbate, Burias, and Ticao Islands, Southern Quezon and Polilio Island is under signal number 1. (JMM, PIA V)

Thousands of passengers stranded in Bicol ports due to typhoon Chedeng
by Joyce Mejillano

LEGAZPI CITY, May 25 (PIA) --- More than 2,000 passengers were stranded in different parts of Bicol after government authorities suspended all sea-bound vessels due to typhoon Chedeng which threatens some parts of the country including Bicol Region.

Lt. Commander Nelson Torre of Philippine Coastguard said that in Matnog port, there are total of 1,526 stranded passengers, 450 in Tabaco port, 120 in Pilar Port, 70 in Masbate and 62 in different ports in Camarines Sur.

Torre also issued warning against any activities in the sea and he said that they are conducting strict monitoring, along with other concerned agencies in order to ensure that the ban on seafaring is observed.

"We are monitoring the situation and we give assistance to small sea vessels who needs our help," Torre said.

As early as Tuesday, when the typhoon signal was raised in Bicol, government authorities already issued orders against traveling by sea or any fishing activities.

Meanwhile, Torre said that the Coastguard, along with the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, Provincial Government and other agencies are working closely to ensure the zero casualty target of the Albay provincial and even the national government during Chedeng's fury. (JMM, PIA V)

Philippine Coast Guard alerts seafarers for Chedeng
by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, May 24 (PIA)--- In an interview with Lt. 1st Grade Ronnie Ong, head of the Philippine Coastguard here in the province who visited the office here today for the coordination and updates of the incoming Typhoon Chedeng, internationally known as Sonnga, Ong said that proper coordination, advisories have been provided to all ports in the municipalities of Pilar, Bulan and Matnog and that seafarers were already alerted, advisories and provided warning, including a Swiss national, Pascal Daniel Vioblet of Plagne, Switzerland who was piloting a 10-person - vessel / launch but was travelling alone from Leyte and had temporarily docked here for marketing and buying needed supplies for consumption was just doing a leisurely sea tour.

Ong said that as early as 10 AM today he has already advised the ports of Bulan and Pilar for a suspension of all sea vessels for departure and issued the same advisory to the port in Matnog that all sea vessels with 1,000 tonnage below will be temporarily suspended for departure. Only 3 sea vessels were allowed to travel. the MV Anton Rafael. MV Don Beneto Ambrosio and MV Maria Vannessa, all of which usually has 500 passengers.

He also stated that, the coastguard here has maintained partnership with local shipping companies and operators to usually provide assistance for rescue and other sea disaster- incident needs, they are obligated to respond as the coastguard here has no floating assets.

As of latest count, stranded passengers in Pilar is 80, Bulan 106 and Matnog with 545 but some of the passangers in matnog has went home and the others stayed with some relatives, according to Ong.

"We usually implement preventive and precautionary measures in the conduct of our operation specially those vessels that are about to depart are strictly made to undergo mandatory pre-departure inspection to see if these vessels are sea worthy and safe for carrying or transporting passengers.", he said.

"Aside from these regular mandatory regulations , we also see to it that advisories of weather everyday are provided to those traveling by sea and that strictly they have to adhere to these rules if they can or will be allowed to depart", Ong explained.

"With this advisory today of the weather situation where Sorsogon is declared to be in typhoon signal number 1, the life and safety of passengers including the vessel personnel are of utmost importance. To date one of the best milestone our organization can claim is that no major maritime incident has happened here in our province ", Ong expressed.

"We are also glad that all local shipping partners here are very cooperative and had been advocating safe sea travel".

"We have 6 organic personnel in Pilar, headed by PO 1st Benigno Rico, 7 personnel in Matnog, headed by CPO Magin Advincula annd 3 in Bulan with Edgar Eduarte as it head, all these organic personnel are trained to provide what is safe and needed by our shipping companies operating in these three ports"' according to Ong.

Ong also said that here in Sorsogon , coordination with national government line agencies working in disaster risk reduction programs are very cooperative and supportive.(IAG, PIA Sorsogon)

Gov. Lee reminds public: 'Take all the necessary precautions'
by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, May 25 (PIA) --- In a wait and prepare situation now here in the province of Sorsogon, the public has been forwarned and given all the advisories on what to do in the current situation where Typhoon Chedeng is heading.

Governor Raul R. Lee has continuously called upon the PDRRMC to be ready and provide the public warnings, advisories and updates on the current status of Typhoon Chedeng that seemed stationary.

He called upon the public to take all the necessary precautions and be more alert and vigilant, those who are situated on the low lying areas should voluntarily go to high safer places, those whose areas are identified as highly vulnerable or prone to flooding , landslide and water/ sea surge should also on their own decide to move to safer areas.

Lee has instructed all members of the PDRRMC and other agencies in government to cohesively coordinate. provide information and made available needed assistance so that efforts in mitigation should be harmonized and effectively provided.

Gov. Lee also declared that even if the province is not identified to be the area for landfall, the public should brace themselves to be always prepared.

He also instructed the Office of the Provincial Agriculturists (OPA) to make assistance available to farmers and fisherfolks and provide them the right information on how they can also mitigate the effects of the typhoon especially with regards to their crops.

Through the PDRRMC, he requested the Department of PublicWorks Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to make the necessary clearing of areas that might cause immediate / some problems on major thoroughfares.

Proper coordination with the Department of Education has been observed in the conduct of evacuation and that he has instructed the National Food Authority (NFA) to make available the buffer stock of the province if these are urgently needed.

Sorsogonis now on Public Storm No. 2 and according to the governor, it is imperative that all should be ready especially with rechargeable lights, food stuff and other needed supplies.

"The government is ready to provide the needed assistance and vehicles in the event of emergency evacuation to certain areas that might be affected by the storm will be available.

This morning, slight rainfall was observed here and this afternoon although the weather seemed to be hot, again slight rainfall was observed between 3:00 to 4:00 PM. (PIA Sorsogon)

Navy all set and ready to assist in the wake of Chedeng
by Ens Chibar R Bullos PN

LEGAZPI CITY, 25 May 2011 --- The Naval Forces Southern Luzon has activated the Naval Task Group (NTG) 32.1 early this afternoon 25 May 2011 to address the risks that Typhoon “Chedeng” may bring to the country.

As part of the preparations, a component of NTG 32.1 has transported 100 sacks of relief goods from Albay Province Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) to the municipality of Malilipot and Tiwi, Albay. The NTG 32.1 has also evacuated 35 persons from landslide and flood prone areas in Malinao, Albay and the Naval Reserve Center-Southern Luzon (NRCEN-SL) activated the reservist/ Barangay Intelligence Network (BIN) in Legazpi City, Batangas City, and Lucena City in coordination the with the respective LGUs for necessary assistance.

The task group is composed of seven subgroups; the Disaster Risk Reduction Teams (DRRTs) strategically pre-positioned in critical areas and stationed in San Nicolas, Batangas; Milaor, Camarines Sur; Polangui, Albay; and Barangay Abiawin, Infanta, Quezon. The three other subgroups are composed of the Ready/Reserve, Transport, and Public Affairs Group.

The Public Affairs Group will provide advisories and official information from the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council. It is tasked to disseminate information through different media outfits, internet, and other media possible to keep the populace informed and updated on matters related to the typhoon. (CRV, Navforsol)

Gov. Cua reorganizes drug abuse council
by Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, May 25, (PIA) --- Governor Joseph C. Cua reorganized and reconstitute the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC) thru Executive Order No. 14 which was signed today, May 25, 2011.

The reorganization of PADAC was pursuant to Memorandum Circular 98-227 re: Creation of Provincial, City Municipal and Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council dated December 2, 1998 and by virtue of the authority vested to the governor by law.

The PADAC shall perform the following rules and responsibilities: Serve a focal point through which various organizations and individuals work together cooperatively in the planning, implementation and evaluation of programs on drug abuse prevention; Provide for an effective mechanism for the coordination of existing services and programs and those which might be developed in the immediate time; Provide for a mechanism to obtain funds, volunteers, facilities and technical expertise; Conduct Information and education campaign on the ill-effect of drugs, monitor and report to proper authorities drug-pushers and drug-users in their locality and perform other responsibilities as may be assigned by competent authorities.

PADAC shall be composed by the following: Chairman- Hon. Joseph C. Cua, Provincial Governor; Vice-Chairman- Chief Superintendent Lito B. Pitallano, PNP Provincial Director; Members are Hon. Jose Romeo R. Francisco, Provincial Board Member; Atty. Arnaldo E. Escober, Jr., DILG Provincial Director; Dr. Artemio Q. Rivera, DepEd Schools Division Superintendent; Atty Eugenio L. Abion, Provincial Prosecutor; Dr. Lubelia M. Sanchez, Provincial Health Officer; Mrs. Pricilla T. Navar, Provincial Social Welfare Officer; Mrs. Edna A. Bagadiong, PIA Infocen Manager; Mrs. Lydia T. ROmano, NGO Representative and Rev. Fr. Laudemer Jose A. Gapaz, Church Group Representative. (PIA Catanduanes)

CamNorte locals get business management and productivity training

by Rosalita Base-Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, May 25, (PIA) --- To properly equip with knowledge and skills in managing small business as additional income of the beneficiaries of the livelihood programs of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), a 2 day training on business management and productivity has started today at the Hebres Penthaus here.

DOLE Provincial Chief Ruben Romanillos said that aside from giving and providing livelihood assistance/grants to their beneficiaries the training will help a lot in maintaining their small business being the source of income of their families.

It will be recalled that yesterday a stakeholders’ forum was conducted discussing their livelihood assistance programs namely: DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP), Workers Income Augmentation Program (WINAP), DOLE Kabuhayan Starter Kit (DKSK), Negosyo sa Kariton (NEGO-KART), Youth Entrepreneurship Project (YES) and Community Enterprise Development (CED).

The training today on business management will tackle the understanding of the principles of entrepreneurship, management aspects, marketing strategies and financial aspects of business.

For the 2nd day tomorrow there will be a presentation of partner government agencies of their livelihood assistance and technology to be provided, presentation of status of livelihood assisted, workshop and presentation of Strenght Weaknesses Opportunity and Threats (SWOT) analysis and action planning, and presentation of consolidated plan of action and SWOT.

The activity is being attended by the different formal and informal sectors who are beneficiaries of the livelihood assistance/grants of the DOLE to include the employees with low income , self-employed, rural workers, entreprenuers and others. (RBM/Camarines Norte)

Casiguran to showcase new modern gymnasium
by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY , May 25 (PIA) --- Now on it's near completion, the local government of Casiguran will soon have its first newest and modern gymnasium complete with bleachers, stage, rest rooms and a very spacious basketball court and other amenities that can house more than six thousand people in one given time.

Mayor Ma. Esther Hamor of the local government of Casiguran said that here in the province, there is no modern gymnasium available that when there are very big affairs or event’s organizers find a hard time looking for a venue and usually if with the existing gymnasiums people are crammped out and feel very uncomfortable one inside this small venues,

"It is very difficult to find one place here in the province where thousands can be accommodated and feel comfortable especially if we want to have concerts or other events for fund raising," according to Mayor Hamor.

In other places where we have been to , specially as a local chief executive, we have been exposed to other local government units with facilities that can really become venues of big events and help make tourism one big come on for development through hosting of big events like seminars, and other national events according to mayor Hamor.

During biddings for these events, one of the requirements they will ask if there is a venue for hosting where thousands of people can be accommodated.

The construction of this gymnasium here in Casiguran has been brought up to the members of the Sanggunian Bayan and good enough, the new set of officials see the need of having venues like this that they have approved our desire to have a loan for the construction of this gymnasium.

Former Mayor Edwin Hamor, who is an engineer and husband of the incumbent mayor personally, oversees the construction of these first of a kind gymnasium here in the province, said mayor Hamor.

"I saw the need to have one big decent place where events like sportsfest, beauty pageant ,concerts and meetings could be held and although this structure has been a loan from the Land Bank, this can automatically generate funds and become self-liquidating" , according to Mayor Hamor.

"Usually when we go to meetings in different areas in the Philippines, I usually see gymnasiums as being a very good source of income for a local government since this can be rented and the rent will primarily be an income to pay for the amortization of the loan" , Hamor said.

This gymnasium will also make the people of Casiguran take pride, that although we are a small municipality we can venture into becoming more entrepreneur-oriented as we have seen in other countries and cities through our interfacing through the League of Municipalities.

The Casiguran gymnasium has been constructed March of this year and eventually be finished this August, now on its 43% completion stage.

The loan from the Land Bank for the construction of this modern gymnasium is in the amount of Php 33 M.(PIA Sorsogon)

P192.4 M road projects in Camarines Norte underway
by Rosalita Base-Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, May 25 (PIA) --- More than P192.4 million worth of road projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) are underway while are up for implementation in this province, according to the agency’s top provincial official here.

Assistant district engineer Ricardo Pacardo of DPWH Camarines Norte said that eight asphalt overlay projects in Daang Maharlika highways in the portion of Santa Elena and Labo towns are already 80 percent completed as of last month with the funding allocation of P116.9 million.

The concreting of Bagong Silang-Capalonga Road in the towns of Labo and Capalonga was 15 percent completed as of last month with funding of P4.8 million, while two similar projects in Talobatib-Jose Panganiban Poblacion Port road were 20 percent completed with funding of some P8 million.

Four asphalt overlay projects are also up for implementation where bidding was already undertaken last month and these include: the Daang Maharlika in the towns of Basud with P10.79 million and 3 asphalt overlay in the portion of Bagong Silang-Capalonga Road in Labo and Capalonga towns amounting to P22.66 million.

Three asphalt overlay projects for Daang Maharlika are to be implemented two in the towns of Santa Elena and one in the town of Labo amounting to P29.1 million.

He cited that the projects are part of their regular infrastructure project and preventive maintenance and funds come from the General Appropriations Act (GAA).

He explained that road projects will benefit farmers and traders in bringing their produce to strategic markets and for the safety and easy travel of commuters in the province.

Pacardo added that a total of 468 workers were hired for regular and roadside maintenance from January to April 2011. (MAL/RBM, PIA Camarines Norte)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

From Baguio to 'Bagyo': Albay chieftains cancel Baguio congress due to Chedeng
by Joyce M. Mejillano

LEGAZPI CITY, May 24 (PIA) --- They'd rather be with their constituents instead of being somewhere as Albay braces for typhoon Chedeng's impending arrival that threatens to smash some areas in the country, including Albay province.

This developed as 174 barangay captains from different parts of the province decided to abort their Liga Congress now being held in Baguio City just to return to their respective areas to personally take care of their constituents during this period of uncertainty.

Earlier, Governor Joey Salceda of Albay ordered the village chiefs to put their constituents in their priority as part of the province's aims for a zero casualty in times of calamities.

The congress was sponsored by the Regional Liga and was scheduled way ahead, but due to Chedeng's threat the participating village chieftains are now on the way back to the province.

As early as Monday, the provincial government already laid out plans and measures to prepare for the disaster.

Governor Salceda called for a meeting with concerned government agencies where they tackled contingency measures to be undertaken in order to achieve zero casualty.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) already identified the hazard zones and classified them into two: under alert status and under preparedness status.

Under alert status includes Libon, Oas, Pioduran, Ligao, Jovellar, Guinobatan and Camalig, while areas within eastern seaboard like Tiwi, Malinao, Tabaco, Malilipot, Bacacay, Santo Domingo and places like Daraga, Legazpi, Manito and Rapu-Rapu are under preparedness status.

Meanwhile, DOST-PAGASA said Chedeng is expected to be at 390 km East Southeast of Virac, Catanduanes on Wednesday morning and at 180 km Northeast of Virac or 360 km Southeast of Casiguran, Aurora on Thursday morning. Chedeng has a maximum sustained wind of 105 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 135 kph and moving West Nortwest at 13 km per hour.

Early Tuesday, PAGASA already put Samar Provinces, Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Albay and Sorsogon under typhoon signal number 1 and alerted the public against possible flashfloods and landslides especially in low lying and mountainous areas. (MAL/JMM, PIA V)

Climate change, disaster risk reduction now in education curriculum

LEGAZPI CITY, May 23 (PIA) --- Albay continues to live up as prime mover in the advocacy and mainstreaming climate change adaptation (CCA) in the community following the integration of the concept in the elementary and secondary schools curricula this school years and ahead.

Manuel Rangasa, executive director of the Center for Initiatives and Research on Climate Adaptation (CIRCA), said the center, under the auspices of the provincial government of Albay, and the Department of Education (DepEd) recently spearheaded last May 18-20 the seminar for school mentors laying out preparations and foundation of CCA concepts, thereafter re-echo to the pupils and students.

Rangasa said the integration program fulfils the requirements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), pursued in cooperation with United Nations Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund (MDGF), United Nations Development Programme, Spanish Embassy and the Agencia Española de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarollo (AECID).

He explained that the initial integration program into the curricula has been earlier implemented in pilot schools across the province.

After assessing the results and feedbacks from the pilot areas, Rangasa noted, the lesson exemplars have been updated and enhanced to provide the students full grasp of the climate change issues and its relevance to their studies.

Albay Governor Joey Salceda meanwhile said the integration of climate change adaptation issues in the curricula will instill awareness among young Albayanos in terms of the trends on the changing climate, its effects on health, environment and the day-to-day living.

Albay schools districts were divided into three different clusters, with cluster A holding seminar on May 18 at Malilipot Central School; clusters B, D1, D2 and D3 on May 19 at MORMS in Guinobatan; and cluster C on May 20 at Polangui South Central Elementary School.

Resource speakers of the 3-day seminar include Dr. Alice I. Terrell, schools division superintendent of DepEd Albay, Manuel Rangasa, executive director of CIRCA, and UN Senior Global Champion on Climate Change Adaptation/Disaster Risk Reduction and.

“We are now in full swing and the lessons will be given to all schools across Albay through CIRCA’s supervision in partnership with the DepEd,” Rangasa said. (MAL, PIA V)

Disaster council in Camarines Sur braces for typhoon Chedeng
by Lizel S. Macatangay

CADLAN, Pili, Camarines Sur, May 24 (PIA) --- Disaster preparedness and mitigation managers in Camarines Sur convened yesterday mapping up landslide and flood prone areas within its jurisdiction after confirmation from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) that typhoon Chedeng enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

The move was initiated by members of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), upon the orders from Governor LRay Villafuerte, after Camarines Sur registered the highest number of casualty on the onslaught of typhoon Bebeng which strucked Bicol Region just a few weeks ago.

Che Bermeo, department head of the Environment Disaster Management and Emergency Response Office (EDMERO), also in charge of the PDRRMC Secretariat, said that they will closely monitor coastal and other low lying areas which were seriously submerged in floodwater.

Bermeo also instructed heads of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) to personally check the condition of their constituents, particularly those who have previous records of landslide incidents, particularly the towns of Minalabac and Balatan.

With Typhoon Chedeng now heading its path towards West to West Northwest and expected to affect the Camarines area, local officials are now bracing themselves for the possible evacuation of those living near the coastlines.

Chedeng, with international codename “Songda” is moving with a maximum sustained winds of 110kp and gustiness of up to 140kph, according to the latest post of Mr. Mike Padua aka the “Typhoon Man,” in his T2K Public Advisory at 2am today.

Naga City, with its 22 out of 27 barangays literally under floodwater during Typhoon Bebeng, now gears itself up for a thorough inspection of its drainage system which obviously failed to hold the water down during the continuous downpour of heavy rains, three days before Bebeng finally touches Naga City and the neighboring towns of Camarines Sur.

Naga City Mayor John Bongat directed local barangay officials to take the necessary precaution in anticipation of the said typhoon. In line with this, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council also summoned its members to discuss possible preparations in case Typhoon Chedeng hits Naga anew with its floodwater. (MAL/LSM, PIA Camarines Sur)

Kaogma Fest 2011 rolls down events
by Lizel S. Macatagay

PILI, Camarines Sur, May 24 (PIA) --- Amid precautions in the wake of the expected landfall of Typhoon Chedeng anytime within the week, organizers still manage to work through the hectic preparations for the celebration of the annual Kaogma Festival here in line with the province’s 431st Founding Anniversary.

Major highlight of the festivity is the Opening of the Hot Buys, Hot Food on May 27.

A star-studded opening will be top billed by Jason Gainza who will be the occasion’s main host. Invited guests include Jennilyn Mercado, PGT Finalist Maria Jeline Oliva and the Chain Band.

On the same day at 8pm, Dalan sa Kalangitan Grand Finalists will take center stage with no less than Aiza Seguerra, Jimmy Bondoc and Princess Velasco as guests.

Come May 28, sports enthusiasts will have a chance to watch the opening of Extreme Sports Motocross and 4x4 Challenge at 9am. In the afternoon, the much-awaited parade of beauties will be viewed by thousand of Camarinenses and guests during the selection and coronation of Miss Kaogma 2011 to be hosted by Guji Lorenzana with the night’s special guest Lloyd Zaragoza.

Rock aficionados can jam with Parokya ni Edgar, Kamikaze and Rivermaya during the Music fest event which will took place on May 28 at 9pm.

On the following day, May 29, those wishing to be millionaires will not surely miss the Hot Hot Millions raffle draw which will be hosted by Arnel Ignacio and Ms. Jopay of the all-female group, Sex Bomb.

The said activities are part of Villafuerte’s vision to make Camarines Sur not only as an investment hub but also to showcase the many facets of development that it has to offer.

The Kaogma activities also speak of the province’s versatility when it comes to hosting big and significant events in the province.

Camarines Sur’s transformation, in terms of technology and tourism aspects, not only attracted foreign and local tourists but has also opened the gates of the province in various business potentials. (MAL/LSM, PIA Camarines Sur)

NSO bares consumer price index for all income households in Albay

LEGAZPI CITY, May 24 (PIA) --- The provincial inflation rate of Albay was down by 0.4 percentage point from 3.7 percent in February 2011 and 3.3 percent in March 2011. This is 0.6 percentage point lower than the 3.9 inflation rate posted in March 2010.

The March 2011 level of Albay’s inflation rate was the result of the downtrend in the rate of the food, beverage and tobacco (FBT) index (3.44 percent from 3.79 percent) and non-food commodity/service index (3.08 percent from 3.69 percent). Indices which registered an uptrend in the FBT groups are the indices of cereals and cereal preparation (1.79 percent from 1.18 percent), eggs (7.81 percent from 4.44 percent), and tobacco (4.51 percent from 3.32 percent).

While the beverages index recorded a stationary rate of 0.93 percent, the following indices revealed a decrease: dairy products (1.09 percent from 1.19 percent), fish (5.61 percent from 5.05 percent), fruits and vegetables (10.15 percent from 13.57 percent), meat (0.38 percent from 0.25 percent) and miscellaneous (4.66 percent from 5.61 percent).

In the non-food group, tow of its indices registered a downtrend – clothing (0.52 percent from 0.78 percent) and fuel, light and water (9.05 percent from 17.31 percent). Contradictory to these, an uptrend was recorded in the indices of housing and repairs (0.41 percent from 0.34 percent), services (3.67 percent from 2.46 percent) and miscellaneous (1.40 percent from 1.25 percent).

On a month-on-month basis, the Consumer’s Price Index (CPI) for all income households in Albay was registered at 174.3 percent in March 2011, lower by 0.4 index point over the February 2011 level of 174.7. This indicates a -0.23 percent change in the all-item index, which is the same as the previous month’s percent change.

Across commodities under the heavily-weighted FBT index, higher rates were exhibited in the indices of cereals and cereal preparation (0.66 percent from 0.22 percent), eggs (2.83 percent from -0.67 percent), meat (-0.69 percent from -1.06 percent), beverages (0.14 percent from zero percent) and tobacco (1.24 percent from 0.92 percent). On the other hand, lower rates were posted in the indices of dairy products (zero percent from 0.62 percent), fish (-0.91 percent from -0.11 percent), fruits and vegetables (-5.03 percent from 0.23 percent), and miscellaneous (0.16 percent from 0.43 percent).

Moreover, the over-all rate in the non-food commodity/service group increased to zero percent from -0.57 percent which was attributable to most of the indices in this group-housing and repairs (0.07 percent from zero percent), fuel, light and water (-4.53 percent from -4.63 percent), services (1.68 percent from 0.39 percent) and miscellaneous (0.29 percent from 0.07 percent). Only the index of clothing posted a negative rate (zero percent from 0.06 percent).

As a result of the price changes reflected in the CPI above, the purchasing power of the peso (PPP) in Albay maintained its value at P0.57. (MAL, PIA V/NS0 V)

Roll-Out of OL Trap Project set May 26

LEGAZPI CITY, May 24 (PIA) --- Count out Malaria and Dengue Now!

This is the strong battle cry from the World Health Organization (WHO) particularly for the Philippines in support to the efforts of the Department of Health (DOH) in implementing the National Malaria Strategic Plan got 2011-2016 and strengthening the National Dengue Prevention and Control Programme.

WHO revealed that death from malaria have been declining by 63 percent since 2005. However, it remains a significant problem in the country, now the eight leading cause of illness affecting up to 10.2 million people.

Ninety percent of malaria cases is found in the poorest provinces. Adding to this health threat is the rapidly rising incidence of dengue cases during the last decade.

As a significant initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI) in cooperation with the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) developed the “Ovi/Larvicidal (OL) Trap System”, a technology for control of female Aedes Mosquito utilizing natural larvicide that kills eggs and larvae of Aedes mosquitoes as carriers of dengue virus.

With initial significant results, the widespread adoption of the technology will greatly benefit the people in the country.

DOST launched the nationwide action project, Roll-Out of OL Trap System, now on its final phase through the distribution of OL trap kits in identified areas with high prevalence of dengue cases recorded in 2010.

For Bicol, DOST in partnership with DOH-Center for Development Health, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the local government units (LGUs) will conduct the Roll-Out of OL Trap System for Aedes Mosquito in May-November 2011.

OL traps will be distributed to 2,800 households in 28 identified areas in the provinces of Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon. In Legazpi City, two barangay, Washington Drive and Bogtong were the identified beneficiaries/recipients where the OL traps will be installed in 100 households.

Kick-off activities (Regional Launching and Orientation cum Training for Focal Persons) for the Roll-Out of OL Trap Project is set on May 26, 2011 at Ibalong Conference Room (ICR) City Hall Compound, Legazpi City.

Considering the importance and impact of this project, DOST, DOH, DILG and LGUs as partner-agencies enjoin the active support and participation of project stakeholders/beneficiaries in identified areas in the Bicol Region. (MAL/POL, DOST V/PIA)

DENR heightens campaign vs. illegal tree cutters, nabs offenders in natural park

LEGAZPI CITY, May 24 (PIA) --- With heightened anti- illegal logging and tree cutting operations, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) in Albay turned over to police authorities five residents of Sto. Domingo town after apprehension while cutting Agoho trees in Mayon Volcano Natural Park (MVNP) in Barangay Lidong of said municipality.

Edilberto Matusalem, MVNP Protected Area superintendent, led other PENRO Albay personnel in collaring Liluiza Balanta, Ritchie Balanta, Rodel Valenzuela, Aldin Bitara, and Darryl Ayado, all residents of Barangay Fidel Sortida, Sto Domingo, while in the act of cutting agoho trees on May 12, 2011.

PENRO Albay personnel has also confiscated cutting equipment from the suspects which include two axes, two hand saws, and a bolo.

“This will only prove that we are doing our job, and would strive harder to catch big time illegal tree cutters/gatherers that proliferate in the natural park,” Matusalem said.

He also added that illegal tree cutting/gathering is rampant in the natural park with suspects ranging from minors, young adults to senior citizens.

“Just this Friday (May 13) I’ve apprehended four minors that were conveying illegally gathered poles/piles that they are using/selling as firewood,” he cited.

Firewood sells at 200 pesos per stack/bundle.

Further, Matusalem assured that his office will continue to monitor illegal tree cutting activities in MVNP with the composite team deputized composed of local government personnel and police as members.

He said they will also intensify the information dissemination campaign around the communities adjacent to the natural park to promote the importance and the need to conserve the Park.

The natural park has total area of 5,000 hectares.

Despite the large area covered by the park, Matusalem expressed resolve to pursue the mandate to implement the National Integrated Protected Areas Systems (NIPAS) law as well as Executive Order 23 issued by President Aquino that puts moratorium on tree cutting in natural and residual forest. (MAL/JSB, DENR V)

News feature: Rebirth of Albay-Bikol Literature...

Inspired by Sùanoy Bikol literature, the An Banwa: Kultura buda Arte kan Tabaco, Incorporated (ABKAT Inc.) (The Town: Culture and Arts of Tabaco) under the benefaction of National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) held a three-day Albay Writers Workshop to channel an influx of Albay-Bikol literature recently.

Thirteen budding Albayano writers underwent an earnest critiquing of their works in rawit-dawit (poetry), osipon (short story) and dula (play) in Tabaco City last May 20-22, 2011.

Underlining the importance of form, style and imagery, members of the panel led by locally renowned poet-writer Juan Rafael Belgica, literature professor Dr. Paz Verdades Santos, multi-awarded contemporary BikolanowriterJose Jason Chancoco and locally renowned journalist-broadcaster-professor-poet Raffi Banzuela provided their expertise on Bikol literature.

“Magsurat sana, dae magtonong (Always write, and never give up),” Belgica enthused during the colloquium citing that Bikol literature is unique, beautiful so every writer should help in nurturing it.

Professor Banzuela likewise emphasized the need for writers to study Albay literature and should never forget the beautiful legacies of their ancestors.

The locally renowned poet-journalist expressed dismay in the manner that non-Bikolanos were the ones publishing the BikolDictionary with the likes of Malcolm W. Mintz, Jose Del Rosario Britanicoand Jason Lobel.

“Dakulaon tabi ining oportunidad para sa satuya gabos na mamuklat an satuyang mata sa yaman kan satuyang kultura,sa gayon kan satuyang literatura,(This is a huge opportunity for us to see the richness of our culture, the beauty of our literature),” Banzuela said.

He added everyone should provide a lending hand, every Albayano writer should strive to nurture the local literature.

The fellows admitted to the first Albay Writers Workshop were Arlan Alzaga, Jessel Basanta, Marnel Bataller, Juliet Barboza, Vilma Barrameda, Leticia Catalan, Allaine Imperial, Frnaces Jetomo, Saturnino Macasinag, Jr., Sarah Pauline Namia, Ma. Salve Rosal, Frnacis Gerard Toscano, Francis Candaza, Vicente Olavario and Jovert Balunsay.

Workshop director Jimple Borlagdan urged the fellows to sustain the workshop ethos and conduct similar activities in their respective cities and municipalities.

Meanwhile, ABKAT is looking forward to publishing the submitted works of the fellows with the patronage of the local government of Tabaco City. (MAL/JSB, DENR V)

Monday, May 23, 2011

UN launches 'Protect My School' Campaign
by Joyce M. Mejillano

LEGAZPI CITY, May 23 (PIA) --- In an effort to protect schools and hospitals against violence, especially during armed conflicts, the German Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) has recently launched "Protect My School" campaign.

The campaign aims to deter violence committed against educational and health facilities especially in war-torn areas around the world.

The UN, in cooperation with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), calls for submission of photographs, drawings or audio files that state why these facilities, especially schools deserve protection.

Contributed materials will become part of the position paper of Germany who intends to submit a draft resolution to UN Security Council during the German Presidency in July.

According to the institutions' website, www.protectmyschool.diplo.de, the resolution aimed "to establish an additional trigger to name and shame those who disregard the human rights of children in armed conflicts."

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) earlier noted that in war-torn countries, attacks on educational institutions can be devastating and 40% of 77 million children in the world who are not attending schools came from conflict laden countries.

Submissions should be emailed to protectmyschool@newy.diplo.de on or before June 10, 2011. UN will also conduct a preparatory meeting on June 27, 2011, where a slideshow of submissions will be also presented. (MAL/JMM, PIA V)

Bac-Man power plant pushes for Clean Development Mechanism registration
by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, May 23 (PIA) --- The Bac-Man Geothermal Inc. (BGI) has presented in a stakeholders’ interfacing its power plant complex rehabilitation acquisition project and compliance measures to register for Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Eduardo Jimenez, supervisor of Energy Development Corporation -Community Partnerships Department (EDC-CPD), said that BGI as its subsidiary, hopes to register the company with the CDM-UNFCCC which serves as the governing rule observed under the Kyoto Protocols for the operation of geothermal power plants.

The consultation meeting will also provide the various stakeholders within the 9 hosts barangays the current situation and the improvements made within the power plant complex to ensure that the current protocols of UNFCCC are complied with.

It can be recalled that the BGI, formerly known as the National Power Corporation (NPC), power plant complex has been out of operation for almost 3 years after having been heavily damaged by two succeeding typhoons in 2007, Milenyo and Reming, and the usual wear and tear conditions incurred due to the length of its existence since its commissioning way back in 1995.

Jimenez said that part of the BGI's and EDC's thrust under the new administration is to provide the various stakeholders the current situation and rehabilitations implemented under the administration of the FirstGen.

The plant after its full rehabilitation will be considered now on its best tip-top condition following the state of the art conditions implemented in other countries using geothermal power.

The rehabilitation of the power plant is also in conformity with the new global trends particularly giving more emphasis on environmental sustainability conditionalities and based on the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR.

"With the hiring of highly skilled and knowledgeable consultants coming from various countries implementing geothermal power plants focusing on high - technology advancement and more environmentally updated mitigating measures installed as to the processes of its operations, it is best to provide the various stakeholders of the province of Albay and Sorsogon how conscious we are at EDC and BGI to make this project compliant to the policies of the UNFCCC," according to Jimenez.

The project aims to produce renewable energy using indigenous geothermal steam thereby reducing the use of non-renewable fossil fuels for power generation.

"The newly rehabilitated BGI power plant complex is an assurance to contribute towards the Philippine sustainable development policy on clean environment and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. This consultation meeting will also validate the project's purpose for CDM registration ", Jimenez disclosed.

More than a hundred participants attended the consultation meeting comprising of local government officials from the host communities, national government line agencies, non-governmental organizations and representatives from the city and provincial governments of Albay and Sorsogon.

Marie Emerose M. Devilles of the EDC/BGI said the registration of the BGI rehabilitation project to the CDM is an agreement among industrialized nations calling for worldwide reduction of emission of greenhouse gases by an average of 5.2 percent below 1990 levels from year 2008 to 2012 resulting approximately 20 percent below what they would have the if the protocol had not been in place.

In the stakeholders meeting, BGI has presented their rehabilitation activities conducted and their registration to the CMD will help offset their acquisition rehabilitation cost incurred.

According to Davilles the CMD under the Kyoto protocol will give Certified Emission Reduction (CER) Certificates which is equivalent to the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) that is reduced by the project.

She further explained that the CER can be sold to countries that ratified the Kyoto Protocol to improve the project economics of capital intensive projects like Bac-Man Power Plant Rehabilitation. (MAL/IAG, PIA Sorsogon)

Magallanes shares best practices on solid waste mgm't program implementation
by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, May 23 (PIA) --- Engr. Regino Carrascal of the local government of Magallanes, during the just concluded meeting of the Provincial Solid Waste Management Board here, shared how their municipality has implemented the Solid Waste Management Program and its current milestones.

In his presentation, he underscored the conversion of the municipal waste disposal area into an Eco Park now being enjoyed by some of the locals who frequents the area and now being programmed by the local government to become a forested area to be continuously planted by students with fruit bearing trees and other shade trees.

Vice Mayor Augusto Ragrario said that the Sanggunian Bayan of Magallanes has a pending Municipal Ordinance regarding the banning of the use of plastics and other non-biodegradable materials now forwarded to the Sanggunian Panlalawigan for review and a committee hearing has been conducted way back 2010.

He further stressed that it was hold in abeyance since specification of what plastics should be banned be specifically identified.

Engr. Maribeth Fruto, provincial government head of the provincial Environment and Natural Resources said that in the same manner the PSWMB has submitted to the provincial SP a resolution regulating the use of plastics and that they were also advised to categorically identify the plastics to be banned or regulated.

The LGU of Magallanes reported that in their implementation of the SWM program, a regular monitoring and evaluation is conducted focusing on the establishments of more material recovery facilities to help those who are engaging in the gathering of recyclables and reusables as a form of livelihood.

Carrascal said that they have also established a chamber for the non-biodegradable materials recovered and this waste will be processed to come up with residual wastes.

A Waste Analysis and Characterization System (WACS) was also included in their Action Plan for 2011 according to Carrascal. This will help the municipal solid waste management board draw policies on how to manage their waste in a more realistic manner and that the municipality is more on the implementation of waste reduction.

With the report provided by Carrascal, the Department of Public Highways 2nd Engineering District through Engr. Edgar M. curativo said that the non-biodegradable will be experimented to combine with asphalt as an admixture materials for the repair and maintenance of roads specially in asphalt overlay. (IAG, PIA Sorsogon)

Councilors League, DILG conduct training on local legislation and administrative investigation
by Edna A Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, May 23 (PIA) --- The Philippine Councillors League-Catanduanes chapter in coordination with the Department of the Interior & Local Government (DILG) conducted the training on Local Legislation and Administrative Investigation and Procedures for the new sets of sangguniang bayan members in the province of Catanduanes last May 18-20, 2011 at Twin Rock Beach Resort at Igang Virac, Catanduanes.

The sanggunian under the 1991 local government code enjoys administrative and operational independence. It has the exclusive mandate to legislate and at the same time conduct an investigation whenever an administrative complaint is filed against elective officials.

As a legislative body, the Sanggunian must possess the necessary legislative skills and knowledge to ensure the implementation of meaningful local autonomy and good governance.

In the exercise of its quasi-judicial functions, the sanggunian plays the role of a judge and juror who should know the rudiments of due process and fair play in determining the guilt or innocence of the respondent.

Specifically the participants were able to learn the salient features of the local government code, local legislation and administrative investigation.

Topics discussed include the basic principle and policies of decentralization; basic services and facilities; local government finance; development planning; concepts of local legislation; parliamentary rules and procedures; local legislative process/review; legislative agenda for development; concepts of administrative investigation; process of disciplinary action; jurisdiction/ disciplinary authority/ penalties/ decision/execution and appeal.

The activity was attended by a total of 146 participants (mayors, sangguniang bayan members, sanggunian secretaries and staff. (PIA Catanduanes)

Camarines Sur organizes AIDS council, intensifies measures to prevent infection
by Lizel S. Macatangay

CADLAN, Pili, Camarines Sur, May 23 (PIA) -- Camarines Sur provincial government has recently created the Provincial AIDS Awareness, Prevention and Control Council to address the threat of AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) at the same time envisions an AIDS-free and any form of sexually-transmitted diseases province.

Gov. LRay Villafuerte and the provincial legislative body fully support the program by approving a provincial ordinance adopting the creation of the council and measures in pursuit of the goals of the program.

Said undertaking is also in concurrence to the provision from the Philippine Constitution emphasizing the protection and promotion of the right to health of the people.

Republic Act 8504 or the “Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998” also mandates that “all Local Government Units shall conduct an educational and information campaign on HIV/AIDS: and in coordination and in cooperation with concerned government agencies, non-government organizations, persons with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS and groups most at risk of HIV infections, shall provide community-based HIV/AIDS prevention and care services.”

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) meanwhile also jointly issued a memorandum circular to provide guidelines in the formation of regional AIDS assistance teams or RAATS and strengthening the interface and coordination among their offices in the complementation of their campaign against HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Alan Lucañas, regional STI/ HIV AIDS coordinator of the Department of Health (DOH) Bicol, revealed during the AIDS council meeting held here on May 17, that 48 cases of HIV/AIDS were recorded in the Bicol Region, 21 of them came from Camarines Sur.

The data from the National Epidemiology Center also bared that out of the 48 cases, seven has full blown AIDS - six of them already died, while the remaining one is still battling the disease.

The Provincial AIDS Council which will be composed of various government agencies to head various committees, with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in Camarines Sur and Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster sa Pilipinas or KBP leading the Information and Education Committee, while DOH will lead the Health Care and Support Service Committee.

DILG will lead the Coordination and Networking Committee and the Provincial Health Office for the Monitoring and Surveillance.

The council intends to mitigate the spread of HIV/AIDS and raise the awareness of the populace on how to prevent the occurrence of new HIV infections by ensuring access to HIV Treatment and accurate information. (MAL/LSM, PIA Camarines Sur)

Senior citizens get P500 yearly assistance, own ward
by Edna A Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, May 23 (PIA)--- The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) has asked for the approval of an ordinance from Governor Joseph C. Cua P500 yearly cash assistance to medically sick senior citizens in the province.

The Ordinance No. which 002-2011 was authored by PBM Rafael Zuniega provides for the grant of the cash assistance to senior citizens duly registered with their respective Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA).

They may avail of the cash assistance once every year, starting from the effectivity of the said ordinance, irrespective of the frequency of their hospitalization or medical check-ups. The assistance shall be given each registered member up to three times, provided that 12 months have already elapsed after the availment of the last grant.

The assistance shall be taken from the annual lump sum appropriation for senior citizens equivalent to one (1%) percent of the Annual Budget of the province of Catanduanes upon authorization of the SP, acting on the endorsement of the OSCA, the provincial government and the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office.

The provincial board also passed a resolution sponsored by PBM Wilfredo Santelices encouraging all chiefs of hospitals of Catanduanes to establish a senior citizens’ ward as mandated by the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 9994, otherwise known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010. (PIA Catanduanes)
Ready and prepared... Albay Gov. Joey Salceda turns over today (May 23) rubber boat, medical supplies to Lt. Col. Audrey Pasia, battalion commander of Army's 2IB, augmenting facilities of military in water rescue, emergency response operations in the province. OCD 5, Bicol DRRMC chief Raffy Alejandro (3rd from left) and APSEMO chief Cedric Daep (partly hidden) look on. (MAL/RMendoza, APSEMO)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bicol DRRMC gearing up for Mayon, Bulusan unrest... Albay Governor Joey Salceda briefs members of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) Monday (May 16) at the office of Civil Defense (OCD), Camp Gen. Simeon A. Ola, Legazpi City, especially handling situations for Mayon and Bulusan volcanoes which are merely 80 kilometers apart from each other. Both volcanoes are acting up anew as Mt. Bulusan had its recent explosion last Friday early morning, which is compounded by Mt. mayon's significant increase in volcanic quakes recorded accompanied by rockfall events, increasing sulfur dioxide emissions and inflation of its edifice. (PIA V/RMN)