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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

9 LGUs in Albay receive Seal of Good Housekeeping Award

LEGAZPI CITY, Jan 31 (PIA) -- It seems that more and more local government units (LGUs) are becoming conscious that good governance if fully appreciated not just by government but also by people governed. One city and eight municipalities in Albay received the Seal of Good Housekeeping Award granted by the Department of Interior and Local Government for its third round of assessment and validation.

The Seal of Good Housekeeping is part of the performance-based incentive granted by the DILG to LGUs with good performance in internal housekeeping particularly on the areas of Sound Fiscal Management, Transparency and Accountability, and Valuing Performance Management.

Tabaco City, along with the municipalities of Camalig, Jovellar, Malilipot, Manito, Oas, Polangui, Rapi-Rapu, and Sto. Domingo are the LGUs recognized for their continued practice of transparency, accountability, and participation in governance.

The said grant also makes them automatic recipients of the Local Government Support Fund (LGSF), which will depend on the proposed projects submitted by the qualified LGUs. From the proposal submitted, Albay and legazpi City will receive P20 million each from the Fund, while Ligao City will get P25 million, and the rest will get amounts ranging from P600, 000 to P1 million.

With the Seal of Good Housekeeping in hand, the recipients are likewise set to receive the Performance Challenge Fund which grants P1 million for municipalities, P3 million for cities, and P7 million for provinces as support for their local development initiatives in line with the development agenda and priorities of the national government. (MAL/SAA, PIA V/Albay)

Bayan Muna, Gabriela launch scholarship program at CSC

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Jan. 31, (PIA) -- Bayan Muna and Gabriela Party-Lists signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Catanduanes State Colleges (CSC) on January 24 for the implementation of a scholarship program that will benefit poor and deserving college students.The two congressional party lists each allocated from their Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) P100,000 or a total of P200,000 to benefit 20 scholars.

The program gives priority to students with strong social commitment and who are primarily children of full-time community and sectoral organizers, workers, peasants, indigenous peoples, the urban poor, and fisherfolks.

Dr. Minerva I. Morales, CSC SUC president, signed the memorandum of agreement with the Bayan Muna Party List and Gabriela Party List provincial coordinators Marlon A. Buenafe and Maria Dina C. Buenafe.

The P10,000 scholarship assistance for each grantee per semester covers tuition and miscellaneous fee, subsidy for books, uniform and other school supplies, and stipend and food allowance. (MAL/EAB/GSR/PIA Catanduanes)

CamSur town, Minalabac inaugurates birthing facility

NAGA CITY, Camarines Sur, Jan. 31 (PIA) -- There will be fewer mortality rates among pregnant and birthing mothers because of the care a government gives to its constituents. A new birthing facility was recently inaugurated in Minalabac town, graced by Health Undersecretary Teodoro J. Herbosa that has all the modern equipment to assist pregnant and mothers. This is in an addition to two existing birthing centers earlier initiated by Minalabac Mayor Leovegildo Gil Basmayor.

Basmayor, seeing the need for a facility that would ensure the safety of the mother and her child, sought the assistance of private entities to help him build an edifice which will contain a complete set of birthing equipment. This was realized last year when Zuellig, Philippines donated two birthing centers located in the coastal barangay of Salingogon and Hobo.

On January 27, another modern and well-equipped birthing facility was added to serve the maternal needs of its female constituents. The inauguration of the Naybalay building was spearheaded this time by another private entity - Pfizer Foundation, a pharmaceutical company that encourages patients to make a conscious choice to live a healthy and better life.

Herbosa congratulated the local government unit of Minalabac and the efforts exerted by Mayor Basmayor to come up with the ideal health facility that would cater to the health needs of his constituents.

“This is the perfect example of public-private partnership being pushed by President Benigno Aquino. We need institutions like them whose thinking is aligned with the programs of the government. This is so far, the best and most modern birthing facility all over the country that should serve as model for other communities to emulate,” Herbosa said in his speech.

Aside from the main birthing facilities, the local government of Minalabac has also spearheaded the creation of alternate birthing centers located at various barangay health stations. Four of them are in place at Barangays Malitbog, Antioplo, Tariric, and in Manapao in 2011.

Dr. Renabeth Vera of Minalabac Health Station, upon instruction from Basmayor has established a pregnancy monitoring board to collate important data vital for the monitoring of their health situations. Their list contains the total number of pregnant women in the municipality and their expected date of deliveries, number of normal and complicated pregnancies, and the number of expectant mother within a particular month.

This was also backed up by a local ordinance which was supported by the majority of the Sangguniang Bayan members. The ordinance specifically prohibits birth delivery with the help of a komadrona or local midwife and specifically orders that no delivery shall be done at home.

This continuing effort is also aligned with our country’s commitment to the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) which is to improve maternal health and reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015 the maternal mortality ratio. MDG consists of eight (8) international development goals that 193 United Nations member states, including the Philippines and other international organizations have agreed to attain by 2015. (MAL/LSM-PIA Camarines Sur)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Casiguran town hosts leadership training for student leaders

SORSOGON CITY, Jan. 30 (PIA) -- The Bicol Region believes in training them young to become upright leaders. A total of 1,750 participants comprising of student leaders across the Bicol Region attended the 4th Bicol Regional Leadership Training for Government Officers on January 27-29 held at the Casiguran Technical Vocational High School and Casiguran Central School.

The three-day training, hosted by the local government of Casiguran, aimed to enhance the participants' knowledge, skills, and attitudes as student leaders from their respective schools and local community by inculcating in them the values of cooperation, teamwork, service, responsibility, and accountability.

According to Orfelina O. Tuy, Department of Education officer-in-charge, RO 5, the training will also instill in them values which will enable them to actively engage in useful programs and projects in their school and communities.

The participants are the duly elected officers of the Supreme Student Government/ School Pupil Government accompanied by their teacher-advisers in Social Studies, Elementary School Pupil Coordinators, and department heads or school principals.

The young leaders had a chance to listen to resource speakers like Senator Francis Joseph "Chiz" G. Escudero who talked on Leadership Challenges Towards a Better Philippines; Franco Avelino A. Hilotin, on the mandated programs, projects, and activities; and Jose Doncillo, division coordinator of the Division of Sorsogon, who shared his views on effective leadership.

Also on hand were Rev. Fr. Treb Futol, parish priest of Juban who shared his views on Leadership or Servanthood and Dr. Lorna D. Dino of DepEd Region IV-A, who talked on Upgrading Basic Education: K+12 Initiatives.(PIA V)

Stakeholders meet with GSIS Prexy

NAGA CITY, Jan. 30 (PIA) -- A more consultative, more transparent and more service-focused assistance awaits the stakeholders of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) under its new board and management spearheaded by GSIS president and general manager Robert G. Vergara.

In a well-attended stakeholder’s forum held Friday (Jan. 27) at the Avenue Convention Center, Vergara reaffirmed the agency’s commitment to bring back the trust of its members by instituting various reforms in the implementation of its programs and bring the GSIS’s services closer to their partners.

Vergara enumerated some of the agency’s initiatives to provide responsive service to its beneficiaries. It includes its renewed partnership with the Landbank of the Philippines while giving the pensioners a chance to select the best convenient bank for them to handle their GSIS transactions.

They have also deployed additional GWAPS kiosks to make it easier for members to check their loan standing and other inquiries which are made available on line for their convenience. Vergara said that an additional 500 kiosks have been deployed in various parts of the country in its aggressive campaign to make their service accessible to their members.

GSIS chairman of the Board of Trustees Daniel “Bitay” L. Lacson Jr., who was also present during the forum, added that their service upgrade is aligned with the principle of deploying kiosks in every municipality, in every town and in at least one in every congressional area. Lacson said that this program has put on a positive result with 97 percent of their clients now transacting using the GWAPS kiosks all over the country.

Vergara said that they are also implementing new emergency loan program which will reduce interest rate of loans from eight to six percent. GSIS has also waved its one percent service fee and has extended its grace period for first amortization payment to three months from loan drawdown.

Having seen the sacrifices of the pensioners, Vergara said that they have also cancelled the Annual Renewal of Active Status (ARAS) for pensioners, revised survivor’s policy , adoption of the Choice of Loans Amortization Schedule for Pensioners (CLASP) and departing from the old Claims and Loans Interdependency Policy (CLIP) , GSIS is now giving the pensioners the chance to manage their own financial affairs, and rationalized its home lending program. They also conduct pre-retirement counseling which is being held every month at GSIS central office and in its field offices.

Currently, GSIS is also working double time to make its posting more efficient, including the reconciliation of accounts which became a long-standing concern of the said agency during the past years.

There are still more in store for the GSIS stakeholders, Vergara said.

“At the new GSIS, it is all about serving our members and pensioners, in the most responsive manner.” (MAL/LSM-PIA-Camarines Sur)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Rice Self Sufficiency program on track - Alcala

by Ed De Leon

LEGAZPI CITY, Jan. 28 (PIA) -- The rice self sufficiency program of the Aquino administration is on track according to Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala.

Alcala made the revelation during a press conference here Thursday (Jan. 26) after distributing P1.23 million worth of livelihood checks to 123 beneficiaries from Albay and P14.4 worth of farm equipment.

He explained that the target rice harvest of 18.75 million metric tons this year is still short by 1.3 MMT compared to the rice sufficiency requirement of 20.05 MMT.

Alcala said that the rice harvest last year was recorded at 17.2 MMT while the rice sufficiency requirement was 19.66 MMT.

He said that the rice harvest in 2013 would be equal to the rice sufficiency requirement of 20.44MMT.

He explained that to attain higher yield the government has allocated P24.7 billion for this year some P24.7Billion worth of irrigation projects are now ready for implementation which would result to restoring and constructing new irrigation facilities which will irrigate an additional 150,000 hectares of rice farms all over the country.

Alcala said the country has some 3.12M hectares of irrigable areas of which 1.54M ha had been developed and constructed with irrigation facilities.

Alcala was here yesterday at the first leg of his two day visit and met with farmers, fishermen and local government officials of Albay and Sorsogon and distributed livelihood checks and farm equipment to farmer beneficiaries. (MAL/Ed de Leon, PIA V)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Legazpi is next wave city for BPO

by Ed de Leon

LEGAZPI CITY, January 26 (PIA) -- The focus efforts of this city’s current administration to make Legazpi an attractive investment area for potential Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) investors is finally paying off when it tied in the 10th place with cities of Dumaguete and Dagupan City the next waves cities outsourcing industry.

The selection was done by the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPA/P) recently.

Currently, this city is considered as a feeder city meaning it provides qualified manpower to other cities with existing outsourcing industries who conducts recruitment activities in the city

This is an indication that the city has more than enough qualified manpower to supply the needs of existing outsourcing industry.

Many college graduates from the city usually end up working in call centers in Metro Manila for those who cannot find available jobs here according to the city employment office and according to reports they are doing very well.

This city produces more than 4,000 college graduates every year and is also a center of higher educational institutions of the region.

The accessibility of the city from land air and sea transport from Manila and Cebu plus having reliable and dependable telecommunications providers like Smart, Globe, Bayantel and lately the PLDT that provides reliable internet and bandwidth connectivity is an important factor for potential BPO investors to locate in the city.

Legazpi City Mayor Geraldine Rosal said that the city scored high in the cost of doing business and availability of needed physical Information Technology (IT) infrastructures to support an outsourcing industry according to the PPA/P ranking.

She added that a present Legazpi has two proposed IT park namely the Embarcadero de Legazpi and the Legazpi Information and Communication Technology ( ICT) Park which could be used by outsourcing companies when they decided to locate here plus the donated building by Bicol Hair in Barangay Bonot in this city.

Mayor Rosal said that this year they will be aggressively pursue promoting Legazpi as the next wave city for BPO’s to consider investing in and she is very optimistic that the city will be able to attract investors to locate their expansion in the city thereby providing job opportunities to our constituent.(MAL/Ed de Leon, PIA V)

CSC receives P1.5M from BFAR for inland fishery development

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Jan. 26 (PIA) -- Catanduanes State Colleges (CSC) has received an amount of P1.5 million from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) for inland fishery development last week.

The program aims to enhance the fish production as well as to develop a sustained livelihood through technology infusion in inland fisheries development to enhance food security and alleviate poverty.

There are five proposed projects that will be located in the CSC campuses in Virac and Panganiban with extensions at Viga and Bagamanoc.

One of the proposed projects is the Small Holder and Small Farmer Integrated Rice-Fish-Chicken-Gabi Farming System which shall involve 50 farmers and fishermen.

Another is the small scale sustainable organic tilapia and growing of juvenile crabs with low-cost feeds in nylon nets which will be done at the CSC Fishpond in Palnab, Virac, Ctanaduanes Crab Center, CSC Panganiban and selected mangrove areas.

AWARDING AND TURN-OVER OF FARM EQUIPMENT -- Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala delivers his message during the awarding of AKBAY livelihood checks and turn-over of farm equipment to farmers and fisherfolks beneficiaries, held at Naval Forces South Luzon Multipurpose Hall, Rawis, Legazpi City, today January 26, 2012. (Alex Cal/PIA)
PRESSCONFERENCE – DA Secretary Proseso J. Alcala, meets and interacts with the national and local media at the Marine Fleet Quarter Deck, Naval Forces for Southern Luzon in Rawis, Legazpi City. DA regional executive directror Jose V. Dayao and BFAR regional director Dennis del Socorro and heads of the DA attached agencies joined the secretary during the presscon. (Alex Cal, PIA V)

Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda and Hon. Proceso J. Alcala, Agriculture Secretary turn-over of farm and post-harvest equipment and Agri-inputs to members beneficiaries in Albay. (Alex Cal, PIA V)
Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda answers queries from national media correspondents Mar S. Arguelles (left, of PDI) Celso Amo (right, of Phil. Star) during the awarding/turn-over of AKBAY livelihood checks and farm equipment, held at Naval Forces South Luzon Multipurpose Hall, Rawis, Legazpi City, January 26. (Alex Cal/PIA V)

Photo above shows J/SSUPT PIO B CAPISTRANO with the Regional Command Group and Staff Officers of BJMP Region during the New Years Call last January 24, 2012 at the Regional Office.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

CSC meets the press for its HAP Program

by Lizel S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, Jan. 25 (PIA) -- Members of the local media here were invited during a mini press conference held yesterday at the Raul S. Roco Building for the formal launching of the Civil Service Commission’s 2012 Honor Awards Program.

This is to officially open the nomination for Outstanding Public Officials and Employees who have done an exemplary deed in the furtherance of their service.

Director Jocelyn Marifosque, Director II of Civil Service Commission (CSC) Camarines Sur Field Office said as allies in information dissemination, members of the media can give significant contribution in spreading the good news.

“The 2012 Honor Awards Program forms part of the Commission’s advocacy to promote excellence, recognize and reward deserving public servants for their outstanding performance and contribution which serves as a consistent manifestation of exemplary ethical behavior in line with their chosen field of endeavors,” Marifosque said in an interview.

This year’s Search for Outstanding Public Officials and employees is being implemented by CSC as mandated in the 1987 Philippine Constitution pursuant to Executive Order Nos. 292 and 502, series of 1992 as amended by Executive Order No. 77 series of 1993 and Republic Act No. 6713.

CSC RO5 Regional Director Cecilia R. Nieto also graced the said occasion. In her message, she also acknowledged the media’s role in publicizing the said endeavor through the extensive media campaign on the promotion of the said awards program.

Nieto reiterated that the Honor Awards program is one of the strategic agenda of the CSC which recognizes government officials and employees who have displayed outstanding work performance and manifested ethical behavior in rendering their service to the public.

She said that it aims to motivate and inspire government employees to improve the quality of their performance and instill deeper involvement in public service.

The award has three categories: Awards for Outstanding Work Performance or the Presidential/ Lingkod Bayan Award, CSC Pagasa Award and the Award for Exemplary Conduct and Ethical Behavior or Dangal ng Bayan Award.

With only 12 nominations last year, Nieto is encouraging more regional entries this year as part of their goal to increase and surpass the number of nominations every time they launch the said program.

Naga City Administrator Florencio “Jun” Mongoso, Jr. and City Council David Casper Nathan A. Sergio, Dangal ng Bayan Awardees in 1999 and 1997 respectively, also shared insights and inspiration as recipients of the said honor.

Mongoso said that the simple recipe for achieving the said award is by following the simple adage of creating an impression by what you say, but more so, creating an impact in what you do. Sergio, on the other hand, said that his inspiration to serve propelled him to go beyond his limitations. Following ethical standards is also of primary importance, he added.

Naga City Mayor John Bongat also said that their management style sits on a simple premise: good governance, transparency, a conduct guided by law and the dedication to serve. (LSMacatangay/ PIA-Camarines Sur)

DA Sec to distribute agri fund to 200 beneficiaries in Sorsogon

by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, Sorsogon, Jan. 25 (PIA) -- Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary, Proceso J. Alcala will be awarding checks, including agricultural comprehensive scholarships to farmers, fisher folks and irrigators, a total of 200 beneficiaries on Jan. 26 at the Sorsogon Provincial Gymnasium under the "Agrikultura: Kaagapay ng Bayang Pinoy (AKBAY)" program.

The beneficiaries were previously identified and have undergone validation by the four different attached agencies of DA as those that need immediate intervention to implement programs here in the province.

From the Fiber Development Authority (FIDA), 30 farmers will receive assistance on abaca development. Forty coconut farmers from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) will be granted funds while 30 fisher folks from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and 100 irrigators from the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) shall also benefit.

The AKBAY program is a mechanism for poverty alleviation given to identified provinces through the provision of livelihood and employment opportunities and augmenting the source of income of the farm households.

It also aims to strengthen the capabilities of marginalized sectors to involve and empower them in decision making processes.

This program was conceptualized by the National Agriculture and Fishery Council which is under the DA and will be implemented in tandem with the DA regional offices, the local government units and the local agriculture and fishery councils.

Alcala, assisted by Sorsogon Governor Raul Lee, will be handing in checks and award the Agricultural Comprehensive Enhancement Fund (ACEF) Scholarship to farmer beneficiaries.

Sorsogon has been identified as one of the AKBAY beneficiaries and was awarded P2.09-million assistance through the implementation of the different programs of the several attached agencies.

Ten more beneficiaries identified through the AKBAY will be awarded P10,000 each for agri-business.

Together with Alcala are DA-5 regional director Dr. Jose V. Dayao, PCA-5 regional manager Eduardo Allorde, DA-5 regional technical director for Research and Regulations Edgar R. Madrid, who will present the programs and project of DA.

Expected to attend are the mayors their municipal agricultural officers and heads of offices of the attached agencies under the DA here. (MAL/IAG/PIA-5)

Rice production up by 9% last year in Camarines Norte

DAET, Camarines Norte, Jan 19 (PIA) -- Rice production upped by 9 percent in this province last year compared to 5 percent increase in 2010, according to ther Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAg).

Provincial agriculturist Francia C. Pajares said that more than 100 percent or equivalent to 83,000 metric tons of rice production was noted last year compared to 92 percent or more than 82,000 metric tons in 2010.

She said that this was due to their information dissemination to the farmers to increase their harvest and also to the different programs on agriculture technologies implemented by the provincial government.

Pajares said that they have encouraged farmers to used compost or organic fertilizer in their rice field for better harvest.

The compost is an organic fertilizer coming from plants and from different wastes and other organic materials, and using compost can save 50 percent in commercial fertilizer.

She added that compost adds nutrients and holds the soil; it also does no harm to humans, animals, and plants; and farmers will become self-sufficient in terms of not relying on imported fertilizer for good production. (MAL/RBM, PIA Camarines Norte)

NSO conducts BSP’s January 2012 Consumer Survey

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Jan. 24 (PIA) -- The National Statistics Office (NSO), Catanduanes will be conducting the Consumer Expectations Survey (CES) from January 23-31, 2012.

In order to collect comprehensive information on the business conditions of the country in the household sector, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas contracted with the National Statistics Office (NSO) to conduct this survey. The NSO will collect the data and encode the questionnaires while the BSP responsibility will generate the tables and analyze the results.

The CES is a household-based survey on the consumers’ assessment of their financial situation, the economic condition of the country, and the overall performance of the government.

The objectives of the survey are: 1) to provide a quick and regular assessment of the financial condition of the consumers and economic condition of the country at present and in the near future, from the consumers’ own view points; 2) to generate forecasts in the direction of the country’s economic activity based on the consumers’ outlook in the next twelve months; and 3) to provide quick and regular assessment of consumers’ outlook in terms of their income and expenditures.

Consumer spending and saving have an important influence in determining the course of the national economy. The core questions cover three broad areas of consumer sentiments: personal finances, business conditions, and buying conditions. The results of the survey will guide planners in forecasting the direction of change of the economy as well as the behavior of key indicators such as inflation rate, interest rates, and exchange rates.

The respondent will be the household head or any responsible member of the household present during the time of interview who can provide reliable answers to the questions asked by the enumerator.

In the province, one sample barangay will be interviewed, covering 16 sample households in Barangay Icanbato and Barangay Maysuram, Caramoran. (MAL/EAB, PIA Catanduanes)

Navy dispatches vessel to rescue cargo ship reported sinking in Catanduanes

LEGAZPI CITY, Jan 25 (PIA) -– Naval Forces Southern Luzon (Navforsol) of the Philippine Navy dispatched on Saturday BRP Heneral Antonio Luna (PG141) to help in the search and rescue of M/V Sun Spirit, a Chinese registered vessel reported listing and sinking at vicinity 34 nautical miles off Binorong Pt, Catanduanes.

The said vessel is owned by PHILHUA shipping and manned by Chinese crew.

The Navy immediately responded to the call for humanitarian assistance and availability of air and floating assets upon the request of Coast Guard District Bicol.

Coast Guard District Bicol initially received the distress call and request for assistance, subsequently, Southern Luzon Command also dispatched Sunday two Huey helicopters from Tactical Operations Group 5 to assist in search and rescue operations.

"Humanitarian and disaster assistance operations which include search, rescue, and relief are among Hukbong Dagat Ng Pilipinas priority missions apart from our primary role of conducting maritime security operations," said Commodore Abraham F Celzo AFP, Commander of Navforsol. (MAL/DFN, Navforsol)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Legazpi City hosts 15th Regional Elementary Schools Press Conference

... 910 pupil writers assemble in biggest academic competition

by Aida Alcazar-Naz

LEGAZPI CITY, January 24 (PIA) — Fifteen years ago Legazpi City hosted the first Regional Elementary Schools Press Conference (RESPC), and this year the same academic event, this time bigger with more events unfolds today.

Delegations from the six provinces and seven cities in Bicol converge for the grand opening this afternoon at the Albay Astrodome after a holy mass, parade capped by the Mayor’s Night this evening courtesy of the local government of Legazpi.

A total of 910 student writers from both public and private schools will compete in seven individual events in news writing, feature writing, editorial writing, sports writing copy reading and photojournalism plus the group contest in radio broadcasting both in English and Filipino. Each contestant vies for a slot to the National Schools Press Conference (NSPC) 2012 set in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan in April this year.

Of the 910 contestants, 56 regional winners will be selected to represent the region in the forthcoming national event.

For the last three years, Bicol was adjudged national champion reason why the Department of Education (DepEd) Bicol hopes for another championship this year. This was the optimistic sentiment averred by Dr. Regida N. Vibar, DepEd chief of the elementary division.

The presscons’ theme centers on Promoting Digital Literacy Through Campus Journalism with a new group category dubbed collaborative publishing as the highlight of the NSPC scheduled for April 9 to 13, 2012 in addition to radio broadcasting.

Dr. Vibar said that the regional team who will compete in the national contest will be selected form the regional winners. She is confident that a winning team will be organized from the pool of these winners aside from the inputs provided during the regional training on this event conducted October last year.

Like the group contest on scriptwriting and radio broadcasting the collaborative publishing competition will have a team of seven expected to produce a four-page tabloid using Microsoft Publisher software.

The contest is an opportunity for campus journalists to demonstrate digital literacy, demonstrate journalism skills and a means encourage the students to pursue careers and studies in journalism. Most of all the occasion enhances journalistic competence through healthy and friendly competitions, explained Vibar.

The regional contestants now gathered in the city are joined by their coaches whose ratio is almost 1 per student, hence more than a thousand delegates are now assembled in Legazpi.

Bicol Association of Elementary Schools Publication Advisers Sixto Orzales disclosed at the PIA radio program that the thousand plus delegates are housed in six billeting areas in six public schools scattered in the city. These temporary quarters are located in Albay Central School, and the elementary schools of Bagumbayan, Ibalon, Legazpi Port, Arimbay anad Bigaa.

Contests will be held at Rawis Elementary School though editorial cartooning is set at an activity center of a mall.

Prior to the event both the DepEd and the local government collaborated in the preparation. LGU particularly, saw to it that lights and water connection are in placed. Security is provided by the police along with public safety officers. Roving police and security officers will make sure that drivers of jeepneys especially tricycle will collect the correct fare from the delegates who are visitors of the city.

Legazpi City Division Association of School Paper Advisers Frenesi D. Cruz said that the community especially the parents of billeting schools did a brigade eskwela to prepare the quarters. (AAN/PIA V)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Navy and CENRO Quezon score anew against illegal logging operations

LEGAZPI CITY, Jan 23 (PIA) -- Naval Forces Southern Luzon and Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Quezon continue its anti illegal-logging efforts where it left off last year with the discovery of new modus of illegal loggers and confiscation of 42 pieces or 1,773 board feet of Malaruhat hardwood at Magallanes, Dinahican, Infanta, Quezon on January 16.

Said logs were initially spotted along the river inlet at said place. The following day, navy divers conducted underwater recon along with CENRO personnel and found the said logs which were submerged into deeper water by the illegal loggers, said Navy Ensign Chibar Bullos of Naval Detachment Infanta.

The said logs were deliberately submerged in brackish water so that it will be hard for the authorities to locate and retrieve it. This is one of the modus of the illegal loggers in the area, said Miliarette Panaligan, CENRO from Quezon.

CENRO lauded the prompt response of the navy and continuous active support in anti-illegal logging operations in the area.

As mentioned in the Executive Order no. 23, it is the obligation of the State to protect the remaining forest cover areas of the country not only to prevent flash floods and hazardous flooding but also to preserve biodiversity, protect threatened habitats and sanctuaries of endangered and rare species, and allow natural regeneration of residual forests and development of plantation forests.

The order also called for the creation of the anti-illegal logging task force to enforce the moratorium and lead a reinvigorated anti-illegal logging campaign.

Commodore Abraham F Celzo AFP congratulated its personnel in Quezon and urged to continue active support to the advocacy and efforts consistent with EO 23.

Since the activation of said task force in the middle of last year, the Command has recorded a total of seven successful anti-illegal logging operations which resulted to the confiscation of 8,148.85 board feet of assorted lumber valued at P4.02 million, Commodore Celzo AFP added. (MAL/DFN, Navforsol)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Imposition of higher city realty tax, alarms landowners

SORSOGON CITY, Jan 20 (PIA) -- Landowners here in the city of Sorsogon are alarmed by the higher imposition of realty taxes that were implemented starting the first day of this year, 2012.

According to most of these landowners, the imposition of higher taxes was enacted by the Sanggunian Panlalawigan in the Provincial Ordinance No 01-2011 last July 18, 2011 and once implemented this year, would mean a very high mark up in their payments.

Landowners are reacting and would like to request for a dialogue with the local officials since abaca, coconut, and other agricultural products do not provide high profit since there is little value added to these products; also, there is the issue of high cost of farm inputs.

A total of 54 landowners who attended the committee hearing said that the increase seems to be high.

On top of this, homeowners have to pay the realty tax of their houses, which they consider as non-profit assets thereby making the payment of taxes for agricultural land and for their residences as exhorbitant.

The increase in the realty taxes range from 38 percent and above as compared to that of the previous rate of previous years.

Sorsogon City councilor Nestor J. Baldon, author of the said ordinance, said that under the local government code of 1991, the city of Sorsogon is mandated to enact an ordinance providing for the fair market value of all real properties based now on its assessed fair market value.

He also explained that since the city was established in 2000, it has implemented a tax moratorium, meaning that no increase in realty tax was implemented for the past 11 years.

He said that with the current market value of real property here in the city, there is also a need to upgrade the tax increase implementation to enhance the eroding tax base for realty taxes.

Baldon explained that the preparation of the tax revenue code is guided by the rules and regulations issued by the Department of Finance and that under the local government code, local government units has to undertake a general revision of property assessment once every three years.

The city of Sorsogon is almost on its eleventh year and based on the Local Government Code it should have undergone a three time increase in taxes.

The five-year grace period of tax moratorium has been made and according to councilor Baldon, the increase in realty taxes this year will also become an economic mechanism for development since the lifeblood of any local government is the generation of taxes. (MAL/IAG, PIA Sorsogon)

RD Loyola renews call on LGU on geohazards

LEGAZPI CITY, January 20 (PIA/MGB) -- Following recent order of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. Paje, Bicol Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) V officer –in-charge Luis B. Loyola has renewed his call on local chief executives in Bicol to take heed of the warnings on the likelihood of occurrence of geological hazards.

“With the on-set of the rainy season during the last quarter of 2011 which normally continues until the month of February, more landslides and flashfloods are expected in identified disaster prone areas in Albay, Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon and Camarines Norte,” Loyola said.

Loyola said MGB V has already completed the geohazard mapping and assessment of the Bicol Region in 2010 leading to the production of 1:50,000 scale geohazard maps.

“We have distributed these maps to most local government units to integrate preparedness and mitigation, including possible relocation or evacuation into their local disaster risk reduction planning” Loyola explained.

“All 113 municipalities and cities regionwide were covered in the MGB-V 1:50,000 scale geohazard mapping program” Loyola said.

Loyola also said the geohazard mapping program of the DENR is continuing with the launching last year of another major project to produce 1:10,000 scale geohazard maps for flood and landslide-prone areas nationwide.

”This project is called the densification of geohazard and climate change maps which aims to produce geohazard maps with scale of 1:10,000 covering critical areas to show more details of the area covered by the map” Loyola explained.

“It is like zooming in on the 1:50,000 scale geohazard maps previously produced by the Bureau’s regional offices to see the details of the area which cannot be represented in the 1:50,000 scale geohazard maps” Loyola said.

He added that among the details that can be found in a 1:10,000 scale geohazard maps include location of populations at risk, parameters or features in the area that may affect ground stability and the type of landslides that can possibly occur. “For example the relocation sites can be plotted, which cannot be done in the 1:50,000 scale maps” Loyola further said.

“Selected municipalities and or cities in Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon and Masbate in Bicol will be covered in the densification project” Loyola pointed out.

Loyola recalled the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) last August 17, 2011 in Manila by and between Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Paje and Albay Governor Jose S. Salceda to assess all cities and municipalities in Albay for landslide and flood hazard risks.

“The cities of Legazpi, Ligao and Tabaco and the municipalities of Libon, Polangui, Jovellar, Bacacay, Malilipot, Manito, Sto. Domingo, Oas, Pio Duran, Malinao, Rapu-Rapu and Tiwi will be assessed to enable these Local Government Units (LGUs) to further strengthen their disaster risk reduction plans” Loyola said.

“The MOA tasked the DENR, through the MGB, to conduct geohazard mapping on a scale of 1:10,000, assess and evaluate landslide and flood prone areas, assist in disseminating information on landslide and flood hazards and develop flood hazard and landslide hazard models for the most vulnerable areas in the Province of Albay, among others, for a year starting last year up to this year” Loyola further said.

Loyola also said that an assessment team composed of Geologists and technical personnel from the MGB Central Office and in Bicol have already assessed the Cities of Ligao and Tabaco and the Municipalities of Polangui, Sto. Domingo, Malinao and Tiwi and the assessment of the Municipality of Libon is ongoing. (MAL/MGB V)

AGAPP SILID PANGARAP BLESSING AND TURNOVER CEREMONY – Presidential Sister Ms. Pinky Aquino-Abellada, deliver her inspirational message during the turn over ceremony of four brand new pre-school buildings in the province of Sorsogon yesterday January 19, 2012. (Alex Cal/PIA)

RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY -- Presidential Sister Ms. Aquino-Abellada lead the ceremonial ribbon cutting blessing and turn-over of the Aklat, Gabay, Aruga Tungo sa Pag-angat at Pagasa (AGAPP) a foundation composed of President Aquino friends and supporters which initiates construction of pre-school building on private capacity was held on Thursday, January 19, 2012 at Matnog, Bulan, Pilar and Donsol, Sorsogon (Alex Cal/PIA)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

CSC awards certificates for career service exam passers

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Jan. 19, (PIA) -- The Civil Service Commission (CSC) Field Office here in Catanduanes conducted an awarding ceremony on January 13 for the passers of the Career Service Professional and Sub-Professional Examinations given on October 16, 20122 in Legazpi City.

Out of the total 321 examinees for both exams, only 21 made it: at the professional exam, only 19 passed while out of 48 hopefuls for the sub-professional level, only three made it.

Catanduanes garnered 6.56 passing percentage out of the 11.53 national average percentage.

Passing the Career Service Professional examination will qualify one to an entry position to Second Level career service in government or other technical/professional positions, provided the other requirements of the position are met. Second Level positions include professional, technical, and scientific positions, up to division chief level, e.g. accountant, administrative officer, engineer, customs operations officer, medical specialist, science research specialist, etc.

The successful examinees for the professional eligibility are the following: Charlene Aldea, Shalivie Atienza, Ma. Karla Avila, Abygale Bagadiong, Rachel Anne Belangel, Elpha Angela Bonilio, Maricel Hubilla, Melanie Isorena, Ana Zarina Llaguno, Jumebay Mangalino, Joel Navarro, Emmanuel Olarte, Russel Rubia, Kristine Samar, Shiela Sarmiento, Ana Marie Tabios, Winston Teves, Jason Uchi, and Ryan Valeza.

On the other hand the sub-professional eligibility is given to passers of the Career Service Sub-Professional examination that qualifies one to such position as: clerical, trades, crafts, and custodial service positions, e.g. accounting clerk, computer operator, artist illustrator, HRM assistant, etc. Those who passed the sub-professional level are Joel Papango, Cherie Rojas, and Aldrin Solero. (EAB-PIA Catanduanes)

Paturok Bridge construction up for bidding

by Edna A. Bagadiong

SAN ANDRES, Catanduanes, Jan. 19 (PIA) -- Mayor Antonio Romano of San Andres Town recently confirmed that bidding for the construction of Paturok Bridge in their municipality is underway.

The current Paturok Bridge is situated in a low lying area between Barangay Timbaan and Barangay Belmonte, San Andres that remains a problem for commuters especially when it rains since flood covers the area and causes damage to vehicles and strands commuters.

In the past, a joint resolution was forwarded to MalacaƱang requesting for a P50-million budget for the construction of the bridge; today, said construction will be funded through Congressman Cesar V. Sarmiento in the amount of P108 million.

Officials and residents of the said town are relieved on hearing the news since vehicles can travel with ease even during inclement weather while passengers and people in the area will not be stranded anymore.

Residents of other municipalities like Pandan and Caramoran will also benefit with the completion of the bridge since goods, people, and supplies can now traverse the area unhampered.

He likewise added that as soon as the bidding ends, the construction shall immediately start. (MAL/EAB-PIA Catanduanes)
DOE launches Best E-trike Design Contest nationwide

Produced by Philippine Information Agency


• All design entries shall be screened and evaluated based on conformity with the Official Contest Rules.
• Top Ten entries shall be shortlisted for further evaluation by the Board of Judges.
• The decision of the Board of Judges is final and non-appealable.


50 % - Aesthetics/Creativity
20 % - Originality/Innovation
20% - Safety & Functionality
(LTO to provide a simplified safety checklist)
10 % - Ergonomics
(Ease of passenger entry- accessibility, space requirements, total passenger comfort)


There will be ten (10) awardees to be chosen:
• Top three (3) winners will:
o Receive P 200,000 each
o Be acknowledged at the DOE official website www.doe.gov.ph
o Have their designs for possible adoption in the E-Trike Project of the DOE.

• Seven (7) consolation prizes to receive P50,000 each
For questions please contact DOE at Telephone numbers:
8402214 or 4792900 local 209

Nationwide E-trike Design Contest Guidelines


• Generate 2D and 3D computer-aided drawings of the best aesthetic and functional design for the future Philippine E-trike look (AutoCAD).
• Showcase modern tricycle innovation.
• Adopt the winning E-trike designs in the implementation of the E-Trike Project.


Bright Now! Do Right. Be Bright. Go E-trike!


• Maximum of six (6) passengers excluding the driver.
• Must be a three (3)-wheeled electric vehicle. Examples of three-wheeled electric vehicles can be viewed at DOE website, www.doe.gov.ph. These three-wheeled electric vehicles are deployed in some LGUs and are shown to provide easy reference to the design contestants. However, please note that for the design contest, all designs to be submitted must be original, new and have not been used for commercial or demonstration purposes.


• Open to all Filipino citizens of legal age (18 years old and above), whether individual or group residing in the Philippines.


1. Eligible participant must:
a. Fill-up completely the Official Registration Form. The form can be downloaded at DOE website www.doe.gov.ph or at PIA website www.pia.gov.ph
b. Produce 2D and 3D CAD drawings of the E-trike design using AutoCAD software with corresponding design description.
c. Submit entry in both CD and hardcopy (A3 size) and enclose in a sealed envelope.
d. Personally submit or send by courier the design entry, accompanied by completely filled-up Official Registration Form and duly notarized Oath of Ownership of the submitted design, not later than 4 pm of February 17, 2012, to:

Nationwide E-Trike Design Contest,
c/o Energy Utilization Management Bureau
Department of Energy
Merritt Road, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City 1631.

e. Submit only one (1) entry.

2. The design entry must be original and new and have not been used for commercial or demonstration purposes.
3. The design entry must not have the name or logo or similar markings, of the participating individual, school or establishment.
4. All entries submitted to and received by the DOE-Energy Utilization Management Bureau within the submission period are considered final.
5. All submitted entries will be coded for anonymity and impartiality during the evaluation.
6. All employees of the DOE, members of the selection and judging committees and their relatives up to the 2nd degree of consanguinity or affinity are disqualified from joining the contest.
7. Final judging will be on February 24, 2012 at the DOE Head Office located at Energy Center, Merritt Road, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
8. Top 10 winners will be notified either through telephone, email or registered mail.
9. The top 3 winning entries will automatically become the exclusive property of DOE and may be used, copied, reproduced and/or printed by DOE into any size or medium for exhibition, advertising, promotion or any other purpose.
10. Winners are required to attend the awarding ceremony on a date and venue to be announced later.
11. Winners must present the following documents to be able to claim their prize: any two valid original I.D. (birth certificate, passport, driver’s license or SSS/GSIS ID), and DOE notification letter. All prizes are non-transferable.
12. All prizes not claimed after sixty (60) days from receipt of notification letter shall be forfeited.

LGUs get boost with the Seal of Good Housekeeping Award

by Lizel S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, Jan 19 (PIA) -- More and more local government units are looking forward to the chance to be given the Seal of Good Housekeeping Award bestowed by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

For one, the municipality of Camaligan under the headship of Emmanuel “Emman” Trinidad Prado, has started to implement various programs following the mandate of President Benigno Aquino for a transparent leadership. Most of these programs are in line with the objective of the Aquino government like the provision of decent dwelling to the homeless.

Prado, pursuant to this, spearheaded the construction of 20 units of core shelters. Camaligan is the sole municipality in Camarines Sur awarded as first round passer in the search of municipalities with exemplary performance in internal housekeeping. This hallmark, he said, will serve as their guiding principle in pursuing more projects.

Second round passers include the municipalities of Canaman, Gainza, And San Fernando.

Fifteen municipalities, inspired by the incentives and various benefits, continue to serve under the direction of PNoy’s “Matuwid na Daan.” This includes the municipalities of Baao, Bombon, Calabanga, Del Gallego, Goa, Libmanan, Magarao, Milaor, Nabua, Pili, Ragay, San Jose , Tigaon, and the cities of Naga and Iriga. The abovementioned LGUs are all third round passers and recipients of the Seal of Good Governance.

DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, in his accomplishment report, disclosed that a total of 1,325 local government units were conferred with the Seal of Good Housekeeping in 2011, citing among others their strong adherence to upright management and honest spending of the people’s money.(LSM, PIA-Camarines Sur)

PAGASA Doppler radar to start operation on February

by Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Jan. 19, (PIA)- The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Doppler Radar facility located in Buenavista, Bato will start its full operation in February 2012.

The said facility was constructed through a loan of P560 million from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The equipment will be transferred to PAGASA before its full operation.

The Doppler radar, which is the first of its kind in Asia, is just one of the three radar facilities being constructed in the Philippines. The Aparri building is now halfway to completion while the Guiuan project just started.

Instead of the usual magnetron that generates radio waves, Japanese designers of the solid-state radar system shows excellent quality Doppler Radar images.

The meteorological equipment is capable of tracking the amount and movement of rainfall, particularly during typhoons and thunderstorms, within a range of 480 kilometers.

The radar facilities being built in the country has four major components- a radar system, a data display system, a satellite communications system, and Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT), all enclosed in a radar tower building.

To date, 19 personnel from PAGASA are now undergoing training for the use of the radar equipment. (EAB/PIA Catanduanes)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Bicol police chief to stick to 10-point agenda

by Ed de Leon

LEGAZPI CITY, Jan 18 (PIA) -- Newly installed police regional director for Bicol chief Supt. Jose Arne M. Delos Santos said that he will aggressively pursue the 10-point agenda of police national chief Nicanor A. Bartolome during his almost only one year and four months tour of duty as Bicol regional police chief.

During his inaugural speech during last Monday's turn-over ceremonies, presided over by Bartolome, Delos Santos stressed that he will be guided by the 10-point agenda of the PNP chief in the pursuit of the efforts of PRO 5 towards realization of making our communities safe to live, work, and do business in.

He pointed out that the 10-point agenda call for: 1) sustaining the Integrated Transformation Program and Performance Governance System; 2) periodic performance audit; 3) enhancement and specialization of skills; 4) one police per barangay supervisor; 5) promotion of Rights-Based Policing; 6) accounting of Wanted Persons and Service of warrants; 7) enhancement of Procurement, Financial, and Logistics Management Systems; 8) continues build-up of police equipage; 9) strengthening the Reward and Disciplinary System; and 10) enhancement of Moral and Welfare Projects.

The new police regional director said that he will ensure the accountability of all levels of his command and encourage a culture of integrity, excellence, and commitment as pillars of his leadership and as a way of life.

Delos Santos further stressed that the efforts towards genuine peace and order can and will only be achieved with the active support of a well-informed, responsible, and highly-mobilized community, without which no amount of talent, skills, and resources dedicated to law enforcement will ever succeed. “Thus we harness community support in our law enforcement efforts by earning the people’s trust, faith, and confidence,” he added.

He said that he will also work for an active partnership with local chief executives, heads of national and government agencies, leaders of non-government organizations, people’s organizations, the business sectors, the academe, church, and the media ensure solidarity and unity of efforts as "we push forward the frontiers of genuine community-based policing.”

Meanwhile, police director General Nicanor Bartolome urged the men and women of police regional office 5 to support their new director Chief Supt Arne Delos Santos and said that additional resources will be made available towards enhancing their skills and provide additional equipage.

Bartolome disclosed that the PNP will now go technical with the E-Blotter, E-Warrant, and E-Rogue.

He explained that E-Blotter will now be computerized while the E-warrant and E-Rogue will improve the data base to be accessible to all police units so that they could be updated on the crimes being committed anywhere. They would also be updated on outstanding warrants of arrest and photos of wanted will be placed in the E-Rogues for easy access to all police agencies.(MAL/EDL-PIA5)

BAS conducts local survey on small farmers

by Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Jan 18 (PIA)-- The Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) started yesterday, January 17, a Survey on Characterizing Small Farmers of the Philippines through the funding support from the government of Japan (GOJ) and in coordination with the National Agricultural and Fishery Council.

The said survey is the third component of the project dubbed as, "Enhancing Farmers' Capacity to Access, Analyze and Utilize Statistical Information," with an objective of improving farmers' productivity, efficiency, and income through institutionalization of improved and sustainable capacities on operational and financial farm management and planning.

The survey is intended to generate benchmark statistics on the socio-economic characteristics of farmers that will support the prioritization and development of agricultural programs and projects. Specifically, it aims to characterize Filipino Farmers and determine who they are, how many they are and where they are located in terms of level and sources of income, expenditure pattern, farm investment, living condition, assets and liabilities, and other related variables.

It shall also address the gap on statistical information regarding the socio-economic characteristics of farmers in the Philippines.

The survey covers agricultural households across the country covering 16 barangays in the province. The sample barangays were determined from those with households declaring crop farming, livestock raising or poultry raising as main occupation of at least one member, based on the results of the 2007 Census of Population of the National Statistics Office (NSO).

On the other hand, the sample households were drawn from the list of agricultural households prepared for each sample barangay through interview of key informants.(EAB/BAS/PIA Catanduanes)
Pres’l. Sis Pinky to turn-over four school buildings in Sorsogon tomorrow

by Aida Alcazar-Naz

LEGAZPI CITY, January 18 (PIA) — A year after Presidential Sister Pinky Aquino-Abellada turned-over the very first AGAPP school buildings in Albay, she returns tomorrow to relinquish four brand new pre-school buildings in the province of Sorsogon bringing the total to 11 two-classroom structures under the administration’s private-public partnership program.

AGAPP which stands for Aklat, Gabay, Aruga Tungo sa Pag-angat at Pagasa is a foundation composed of President Benigno S. Aquino’s friends and supporters which initiates construction of pre-school buildings on private capacity. Ms. Aquino-Abelleda leads the charitable organization as chairperson.

Dr. Ofelia Samar-Sy M.D., president of the Pinoy Power Bicol Coalition of Volunteers (PPBCV) and AGAPP’s conduit in the region, disclosed during the PIA’s radio program yesterday that the school buildings ready for turn-over after a blessing are located in Manjumlad Elementary School in Matnog town; San Francisco Elementary School in Bulan; Pilar Central Elementary School, municipality of Pilar and Donsol West Central School in Donsol town home of the gentle sea giants called butanding or whaleshark.

Ms. Aquino-Abellada presided over the turn-over of the first AGAPP school buildings in Bicol last January 14, 2011. These were the pre-school classrooms in Taysan Elementary School, Legazpi City and Anislag Resettlement Site in Daraga, Albay.

Other existing AGAPP pre-school buildings in Bicol are situated in Daraga North Central School Daraga, Albay whose turn-over last March 8, 2011 was led by another Presidential Sister Viel Aquino-Dee; Nagas elementary School, Tiwi, Albay; Bato North Central School, Bato, Camarines Sur; Nabua East Central Pilot School, Nabua, Camarines Sur and Romero Elementary School in Bula, Camarines Sur.

At present, two more pre-school buildings are under construction in far flung Cagaycay Elementary School, Goa Camarines Sur and at Guinhadap Elementary School in Monreal, Masbate and soon to follow at Tuguron in Monreal town, too, added Dr. Sy.

Starting with the construction of Sorsogon AGAPP two-room pre-school buildings, the cost was raised from P500,000 to P600,000. for minor changes in the design like bigger windows. All school buildings are utilizing a distinctive design created by Engr. Jerry Esquivel, the current general manager of the Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS). The Bicol school building plan is a modified model to conform to the typhoon-proof specification.

Each of the painted school building cum library is furnished with tables and chairs and other furnitures with comfort room for every classroom. These structures are aptly called silid-pangarap.

The AGAPP pre-school project is in step with the Aquino Administration’s thrust of universal pre-school for all with the introduction of the mandatory pre-school level which started for the school year 2011-2012 as part of the new K to 12 curriculum.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Crime volume in Camarines Norte down by 39.22 percent in 2011 - PNP

by Rosalita Base-Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, Jan 17 (PIA) -- Compared to 2010, crime went down in Camarines Norte by 39.11 percent - from 2,419 crimes in 2010 to 1,473 the following year.

Of the 1,473 crime volume for 2011, 826 were index crimes like serious physical injuries, theft, robbery/hold-up, homicide, rape, murder, carnapping and cattle rustling while 647 were non-index like abduction, adultery, scandal, and other cases of violations of different laws.

Crime solution efficiency was 15.21 percent last year as compared to 13.27 percent in 2010 or higher by 1.94 percent.

The downtrend in crime volume was the result of intensified crime prevention efforts, efficient law enforcement, investigation, and enhanced police community relation activities that resulted to the trust and confidence of the community for their support and cooperation in crime prevention and solution.

PNP provincial director PSSupt. Joselito Teodoro Esquibel Jr. said that they will continue to intensify the campaign against criminality, insurgency, and illegal drugs.

RPOC/PPOC chairperson Governor Tallado on the other hand is seeking the support of the different agencies to implement the laws against illegal drugs, illegal fishing, and illegal logging.

He said that as chairperson of RPOC he wants Camarines Norte to be a model of a peaceful province in the region.(RBM/PIA Camarines Norte)

DOST intensifies monitoring of mudflow in Juban and Irosin, recommends intervention

by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, Jan 17 (PIA) -- In the report tendered by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) provincial head here, Engr. Gerry Asuncion, he said that the several explosions of Mt. Bulusan have caused the deposit of enormous volume of ashes and other volcanic debris now compounded on the slopes of the volcano and gullys leading to the towns of Irosin and Juban causing mudflows.

According to Asuncion, the heavy continuous rains in the province have induced these volcanic debris to flow towards the river system and its tributaries leading to the Cadac-an river that traverses the two towns.

All smaller river tributaries in these two municipalities are now heavily silted despite the dredging conducted by the Department of Public Works and Highways together with the engineering department of the provincial government.

Asuncion said that the DOST technical report says that the flooding and siltation will greatly affect the water supply of some barangays in Juban dependent on the rivers for household needs.

He said that their agency had come up with the river map of these areas for regular monitoring and have also installed a mechanism to find out the volume of mudflow, its increase, and its impact on these certain identified areas.

With the heavy siltation of Cadac-an river, the barangays of Tampi, Taboc, Biriran, and Binanuahan in Juban have now become affected by floods.

The heavy downpour now overflows to these barangays causing floods and if not given immediate intervention, will create a greater problem in terms of water supply needs.

Asuncion also explained that they are now devising a water filter out of clay that can be used to filter water and remove the particles of sand and silt to come up with clear water for immediate needs.

He said that with the current situation specifically in these two towns, some highly flood-prone areas in Juban should be given attention especially in terms of clean and potable water supply, especially during emergencies.

The water filter made out of clay can also be used to remove particles on water affected by the silting.

“This water filter can be used for immediate needs in evacuation centers as part of DOST’s disaster risk reduction mechanism intervention to have access to clear water supply to people in evacuation centers affected by flooding or other calamities,” he said.

“Evacuation centers should be able to use alternative means to provide safe drinking water and this water filter made out of clay can be mass produced; what we need is funding so that areas affected by flooding can use these as a means to have clear water supply including for bath and toilet needs,” Asuncion explained.(PIA-Sorsogon)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Navy Team returns home after successful mercy mission in CDO

LEGAZPI CITY, Jan 15 (PIA/PN) -- Philippine Navy ship BRP Heneral Antonio Luna (PG141) now returned to its station in Pasacao, Camarines on January 8, 2012 after a successful disaster relief operation in Cagayan De Oro City.

Lt. Darwin F Nieva, director of the Naval Forces Southern Luzon (Navforsol) Public Affairs Office, said the vessel has been dispatched by the Philippine Navy attached to Joint Humanitarian Mission of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) V-Albay PDRRMC last month until early this month.

BRP Heneral Antonio Luna, logging a total of 834.35 miles, ferried Albay Water Purifying Machine and Water and Sanitation team that processed and distributed safe drinking water to the communities affected by typhoon Sendong in Cagayan De Oro City.

The vessel, according to Nieva, also conducted retrieval operations at the vicinity off Catarman Pt., Camiguin Island in search for a possible survivors swept to sea at the height of the typhooon, adding that officers and men of said vessel also participated in relief distribution, clean-up drive, and installation of tents.

Commodore Abraham F Celzo AFP commander of Navforsol, cited officers and men of BRP Heneral Antonio Luna and all personnel for their invaluable contribution to the success of Team Albay.

"Your unselfishness, dedication and sacrifices to work for the people and away from your family best epitomizes the true meaning of giving and sharing of Christmas, Bravo Zulo," remarked Celzo. (MAL/DFNieva, Navforsol).

Prov’l gov’t, LGUs get millions in project funds from DILG

by Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Jan. 16, (PIA) -- Catanduanes and its 11 municipalities will get millions in project funds from DILG after passing the Seal of Good Housekeeping program of the Department of Interior and Local Government.

The fund allotments from DILG’s Local Government Support Fund (LGSF) as listed in a memorandum issued by DILG Bicol regional director Blandino Maceda are the following: Catanduanes - P5 million; Virac - P1 million; Caramoran - P900, 000; San Andres - P800,000; Viga - P700,000; Gigmoto, Pandan and ,San Miguel - P600,000 each; and Bagamanoc, Bato, Baras, and Panganiban will receive P500,000 each.

The funding could be spent only for the implementation of any or a combination of the following projects: rural electrification local roads connecting national roads; arterial farm-to-market roads and bridges; local economic enterprises; and flood control and drainage.

It could also be used as support on priority projects of the national government such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) such as achievement of universal primary education through the construction of pre-school, kindergarten or day care centers; reduction of child mortality and improvement of maternal health through the construction of water supply and sanitation system, procurement of medical equipment and construction, repair, rehabilitation of rural health units and birthing centers.

The fund could also be used for the repair, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of school buildings, irrigation systems, flood control and roads and bridges in areas and communities affected by calamities; basic emergency response equipment; and relief operations and assistance to victims of calamities,

LGSF allocation in the case of municipalities may also be used for medical assistance, other social services such as assistance to indigent/displaced persons or families, or financial subsidy to LGUs.

The release of the funding by the Department of Budget and Management is subject to the endorsement of DILG regional office. (EAB/PIA Catanduanes)

ATM to make transactions easier

by Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Jan. 16, (PIA)-- ARDCI NGO Group Inc., (formerly the Agricultural and Rural Development for Catanduanes, Inc.) will open an automated teller machine (ATM) in the municipality of Baras, Catanduanes in the next few weeks.

ARDCI is a non-stock non-profit organization providing microfinance products and services to its members, mainly entrepreneurial poor Filipinos.

ARDCI had opened ATMs in the municipalities of Viga, Caramoran, and San Andres which was a big help to the citizens due to its convenience.

The said ATM program of ARDCI is in cooperation with Electronic Network Cash Tellers, Inc. (ENCASH), the first independent ATM deployer in the Philippines.

Since the installation of ENCASH ATM in rural areas, townsfolk can now easily transact their withdrawals within their towns.

Due to positive reactions from ATM users, ARDCI now includes installation of ATM in their yearly budget to cover more municipalities.

Said ATMs are compatible with Bancnet, Megalink, Cirrus, etc.

Forest protection council to intensify info campaign on environmental protection

by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, Jan 16 (PIA)-- “We have to intensify the awareness of the people in Sorsogon in terms of environmental protection and conservation given the disasters that struck the country because of man’s total disregard of the environment,” Andy Espinar, Multi-sectoral Forest Protection Council (MFPC) president said.

“While we have strengthened the apprehension activities of the MFPC through the active roles provided by the Philippine National Police, Philippine Army, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office, awareness on the mitigation mechanisms to protect and conserve our environment is of utmost importance,” he said.

During the meeting, the different sectoral groups were told to come up with their annual work plan to be collated as the provincial MFPC work and financial plan 2012.

One of the concerns that surfaced was the provision of a livelihood component so that those engaged in illegal cutting of trees could be identified and given assistance.

Provincial Environment and Natural Resources officer, Rene Camacho, said that he will give a copy of the environmental profile of the province as this will be the basis of the MFPC as a baseline data for dissemination.

It will also serve as the cue for local officials on what is the true condition of their municipalities in terms of forest cover to come up with their environmental plan and areas for reforestation.

The council also emphasized to all members to support the National Greening Program of the government, a strategy for environmental protection.

EDC-Environmental Management Department supervisor Henry Roy said that under their BINHI program, the company is pursuing to green the areas especially where geothermal plants were located.

An information dissemination campaign was conducted today at PBN-DZMS headed by the Philippine Information Agency, the Department of Education, and the Kapisanan ng Mga Broadcasters sa Pilipinas, Sorsogon chapter. (PIA-SORSOGON)