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

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bicol on heightened alert for S. Korea satellite launch

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 29 (PIA) -- The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) in Bicol is on heightened alert Tuesday, Nov. 27, in the wake of the third attempt of South Korea to launch the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV1) today, Nov. 29.

OCD 5 regional director Raffy Alejandro and Bicol RDRRMC chairperson, has since activated the operation center and directed all local disaster councils in the region to be on Blue Alert (on stand-by) effective 8:00 am today and on Red Alert (24 hour operations) effective 8:00 am on Thursday.

Bicol RDRRMC, according to Alejandro, has also reactivated and placed on stand-by two Quick Response Teams comprised of military, police, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel in case rocket debris fall on Bicol waters and covered areas.

Alejandro said he has advised the Civil Aeronautics Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to enforce the “no fly zones”, while the PCG to ensure “no sail and no fishing” policies in the eastern part of Bicol, including the provinces of Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes and Sorsogon.

NDRRMC meanwhile also imposes similar policies in Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Weastern Samar, CARAGA region, Dinagat Island and Siargao.

In Albay, Governor and PDRRMC chair Joey Salceda meanwhile has advised the public to be vigilant, monitor official announcements and advisories from OCD 5, DRRMCs, respective local governments through radio and television and the province’s infoboard.

The governor has also directed PDRRMC member agencies and organizations to observed Red Alert status on the launch date starting 8:00 am.

Salceda furthered that commercial plane flights from Manila to this city and vice versa will not be suspended on Thursday since airways in the region are not included in the flight path of the rocket launch.

PDRRMC also advised that there will be no suspension of work and classes on Thursday in the wake of the rocket launch.

The council, on the other hand, has urged the cooperation of the public to report to the nearest authorities sightings of falling debris and related eventualities.

No contact should be made with the debris as same may be harmful to one’s health and only designated QRRT will recover and secure the debris, the advisory also stated. (MAL-PIA5/Albay)

CSC: Public officials, employees running for 2013 polls are considered resigned

By Sally A. Atento

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 29 (PIA) – The Civil Service Commision (CSC) regional office in Bicol issued a provision on the deemed-resigned rule for public officials and employees who filed their Certificates of Candidacy (COC) for the coming May 2013 elections.

“An employee who files a certificate of candidacy, even if later on disqualified or has withdrawn, is still considered resigned,” said CSC V public information officer Yoyie Jalmanzar during the Ugnayan sa Bicol radio program of the Philipine Information Agency here.

The said provision is in consonance with the guidelines issued by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) on the filing of COCs for the 2013 elections dated September 2012.

Jalmanzar said Section 4 of the said COMELEC resolution states the effects of filing the COCs.

“Any person holding a public appointive office or position, including active members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other officers and employees in government-owned or controlled corporations, shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his office and must vacate the same at the start of the day of the filing of his certificate of candidacy,” Jalmanzar stated.

The same ruling, said Jalmanzar, also applies to government workers under job order contract.

“While job order employees are not considered government employees due to the absence of employer-employee relationship, we cannot discount the fact that they work, though indirectly, for the government,” explained Jalmanzar.

Jalmanzar also stressed that government employee who lost in an election, shall not be eligible for appointment or re-employment to any office in the government within one year after the election.

“However, this policy exempts barangay elections so candidates for officials in the barangay level can automatically re-apply right after the election,” Jalmanzar said. (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

Bayanihan Music Video Launch
November 28, 2012
Philippine Army Officers' Club, Fort Bonifacio

The Armed Forces of the Philippines in cooperation with the Presidential Communications Operations Office, Optical Media Board, MTRCB, National Telecommunications Commission, OPAPP, and MMDA launches a music video entitled "Bayanihan" performed by Sarah Geronimo.

 It is an inspiring video encouraging Filipinos to work together to attain just and lasting peace. It captures the message that the Bayanihan IPSP wants to convey.

The Bayanihan Internal Peace and Security Plan is a comprehensive plan that aims “to reduce internal armed threats to a level that they can no longer threaten the stability of the state, and civil authorities can ensure the safety and well-being of the Filipino people.”

Col. Boyet Burgos, spokesperson of the AFP shared that Bayanihan IPSP is different from the previous plans because it focuses on winning the peace and highlights the role of the different stakeholders in society.

The Presidential Communications Office partners with KBP, private media organizations, and OAAP to show the new music video and air the song.

During the Nov. 28 launch at Fort Bonifacio, PCOO Undersecretary Lesley Cordero said that "it is not enough to tap the government mass media channels only for the showing of the video, we need to be able to reach out to more people and inspire them to contribute and get involved in the Bayanihan peace advocacy. Kailangan mapanood ng mga nasa iba't-ibang probinsya ang MTV.

This is a powerful and inspiring video that should go viral. We urge people who have seen the video to share it." We will use television, radio, LED boards, and social media platforms to share this video and encourage more young people to take part in the Bayanihan, she added.

The Optical Media Board and Movie Television Review and Classifications Board are also one with the AFP in promoting this advocacy.

" It is very reassuring to know that we have more artists who are willing to be part of the Bayanihan para sa Kapayapaan advocacy. Ms. Sarah Geronimo is a very talented and popular. She can inspire more people to be part of this," OMB Chair Ronnie Ricketts added.

MTRCB is also encouraging cinema and theatre owners to show the music video in cinemas all over the Philippines.

The Bayanihan Music Video launch was spearheaded by the AFP Major Services Commanding Generals, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Jesse Dellosa and the DND Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.

 Officials from other government agencies were also present together with the NGOs and other civil society stakeholders to take part in the launch of the video.

Atty. Christine Lovely E. Red

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

RDC endorses P1.484B  infra projects to hasten tourism development in Bicol

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 28 (PIA) -- The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), regional office here has included in its priority projects for 2013 the Convergence Program on Enhancing Tourism Access in Bicol amounting to P1.484 billion.

DPWH 5 regional director Danilo Dequito said in an interview that the Regional Development Council (RDC) had already endorsed the DPWH and Department of Tourism (DOT) convergence program through Resolution No. 35, series of 2012

Projects under the program include the improvement of Tabaco-Malinao-Buhi Road in Albay amounting to P591 million; President Cory Aquino Boulevard, inclusive of the construction of two bridges in Camarines Norte, with P450M allocation; Iriga-Buhi Road in Camarines Sur, with P368M; and, Virac-Pajo-Antipolo-Igang Road in Catanduanes, amounting to P75M.

These road projects, according to Dequito, will provide safe, efficient, convenient and easy access to tourism identified areas fortifying Bicol’s tourism roadmap for development.

Bicol RDC chair and Albay Gov. Jose Salceda has initiated and been pursuing the strategic approach, through the Albay Masbate Sorsogon Tourism Alliance (AlMaSorTA) and the Catanduanes-Camarines Sur-Camarines Norte Tourism Link (CCTL), to accelerate tourism development and enhance the attractiveness of Bicol as a tourist destination.

Salceda further cited that the clusters need the completion of several priority projects with the likes of infrastructure development to make the region fully accessible for its external market access.

DPWH, and DOT has since been pushing for an aggressive program on providing quality roads and bridges that will encourage tourist influx in Bicol.

“Increase in tourist arrivals will certainly step up economic opportunities not only in rural areas but also in urban centers,” RD Dequito said.

For the current year, P849.728M is allotted for roads leading to tourist destinations wherein P409.460M is allocated for the province of Camarines Norte, P250.268M for Camarines Sur and P190M for Sorsogon. (MAL/LVC-DPWH5/PIA5)

Bicol Consortium for Agriculture lauds DENR-ERDS research

By Sally A. Atento

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 28 (PIA) -- The Bicol Consortium for Agriculture Resources Research and Development (BCARRD) lauded the research conducted by the Ecosystem Research and Development Service (ERDS) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bicol. 

The project entitled, “Stabilization Strategies for Riverbank and Floodplain Areas in Guinobatan, Albay” by Alejo Balaguer and ERDS OIC regional technical director Lida Borboran, landed third among the best studies chosen by the BCARRD during the Regional Research and Development Symposium held on November 5 this year. 

The study suggests bio-physical assessment and study of impending dangers, study of disaster vulnerability and livelihood improvement of communities along the riverbanks and flood plain areas of San Francisco, Guinobatan Albay through a sustainable disaster risk management (DRR) program. 

Part of the study is the establishment of 150-meter bioengineering riverbank slope and flood control structure. Three designs, each measuring 30 meters long, have been constructed. 

Borboran added that the said project will serve as an initial study that can be conducted by other communities in the region as defense against calamaties especially against flooding. (MAL/SAA-PIA5, Albay)

Young writers vie for the regional champion of the essay writing competition on the legacy of Sec. Robredo on Dec. 8

By Rosalita Base-Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, Nov. 28 (PIA) -- Young writers from the six provinces of Bicol region will compete for the regional championships of the Bicol 2012 essay writing competition on the legacy of Secretary Jesse M. Robredo on December 8 in Naga City.

Among the themes that the writers will develop is leadership, taking off from a quote attributed to the late interior and local government secretary: “The most important ingredient of leadership is character. Most of the proficiencies can be learned, but what’s inside you is something that’s difficult to change.”

The young writers are the 12 provincial first placers who will compete for the regional champion in category I (6 secondary winners) and category II (6 tertiary winners) coming from the six provinces of the region.

Daet Mayor Tito Sarte-Sarion, Publisher of the Bicol Harvest Magazine and proponent of the essay writing competition, said that Harvey Keh, founder of the Kaya Natin Movement, will also lead the activity being one of the stakeholders of the contest.

He said that members of the board of judges will include Bam Aquino; Atty. Leni Robredo, widow of Sec. Robredo; Mark Yu, President of Seaoil, one of the sponsors; Mayor John Bongat, Vice Mayor Gabby Bordado and Councilors of Naga City; Regional Directors and heads of the different government agencies concerned and private institutions.

Sarion said winners of the regional competition in both categories will receive a trophy and cash prize of P10,000; P7,000 and P5,000 for the first, second and third placer respectively and 3 consolation prizes of P1,000.

The provincial winners will also be awarded on the same day in both categories of a trophy and cash prize of P5,000 for first place, P3,000 for second place and P2,000 for third place. Seven consolation prices amounting to P500 will be also be given.

The co-proponent of the competition are the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Local Government of Daet, Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), SM Naga and ABS-CBN Naga.

This is also in support of the Local Government Units of Naga City, Iriga City, Legaspi City, Albay, Tabaco City, Ligao City, Casiguran of Sorsogon, Catanduanes and Masbate City. (MAL/RBM-PIA5/Camarines Norte).

UNFPA donates anew medical equipment, supplies to Albay

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, Albay Nov. 28 (PIA) -- Albay's program to ensure women’s health got another boost as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is set to distribute to the province anew medical equipment and supplies.

Albay AIDS Council focal person Mike de la Rama said the turn-over of the second set of medical equipment and supplies is set on November 29 to coincide with the province’s earlier observance of December 1 World AIDS Day.

The donations, including drugs and medicines for sexually transmitted infections or STI, form part of the 5-year implementation in the province of the 7th country programme of the UNFPA.

Also included in the equipment are adult scale, instrument trolley, stretchers, midwifery kits, and intravenous stands.

UNFPA also donated 27 items of Reproductive Health Kit Number 5, composed of different STI medicines, information materials, condoms, antibiotics, syringes, needles and other medical supplies.

This is the second batch of commodities under the program donated to the province to prevent and control the spread of STI, HIV/AIDS.

Earlier this year UNFPA also turned-over midwifery kits, obstetric equipment and medicines for the use of health workers in the province to safeguard maternal health, promote family planning as well as adolescent reproductive health and gender equality.

The program covers maternal health, family planning, prevention of sexually transmitted infection and HIV, adolescent reproductive health and gender equality, as well as family-planning assistance.

Meanwhile, the UNFPA assistance will augment anew the provincial government’s resources and capability in its continued pursuit of zero deaths among mothers and infant, also in consonance with the zero casualty (deaths) goal of the province.

In Bicol region, Albay and Camarines Norte are the only remaining provinces to benefit from assistance to implement programs on reproductive health under the UNFPA 7th country programme. (MAL-PIA5/Albay)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nagueños commemorate Jesse’s 100th day

By Analiza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, Nov. 27 (PIA) -- Thousands of supporters joined the commemoration yesterday of the 100th day following the death of the late DILG Secretary and this city's former Mayor Jesse M. Robredo.

The commemoration day commenced with the "Walk for Jesse" joined by supporters, allies, family, relatives and friends carrying along flowers and candles towards the city hall where the “Light a Candle for Jesse" ceremonies followed.

Simultaneous candle lighting, participated in by Jesse’s friends coming from all over the Bicol Region and even other parts of the country was held around 6:30 p.m. meant to remember the late Secretary as the bastion of good governance, a legacy that he has left in the hearts of many.

At the Eternal Gardens' commemoration rites, the public were shown the video in a wide screen of the conferment rites of the Quezon Service Cross Award to Robredo by President Aquino in Malacanang earlier on the same day.

President Aquino lobbied for the recognition by seeking the nod of both Houses of Congress. Consequently, the Houses of the Representatives and the Senate both concurred with separate resolutions for the approval of the recognition.

The Quezon Service Cross Award is the highest recognition a Filipino can receive from the Republic meant to honor an outstanding civilian or public servant who has showed an exemplary deed in selflessly promoting the interest of his nation.

The posthumous accolade was received by his wife, Atty. Leni Robredo and daughters Aika, Patricia and Jillian at the Rizal Hall, Malacanang Palace yesterday.

The first recipient of the award was Carlos P. Romulo in 1951. Robredo was its 5th recipient.

Aquino, during his speech on the conferment, stated that the inscription in the medal which reads “Sic Floret Republica” (make the republic flourish) aptly describes what Robredo contributed to the country in his lifetime.

“All of Jesse’s works from transforming Naga, to the reforms he instituted when he headed the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) are rooted in his love for his family, for his fellowmen, for his community and for the nation,” the President stated.

A video presentation of the life of Robredo was also shown depicting his humble “tsinelas” leadership – from his stint as chief executive of Naga City for nine unprecedented terms until he assumed the post as DILG Secretary.

A musical tribute was also given to him, with featured homegrown Bicolano artists – Alibata, Elementals, Tanikala, 4k Barrel and Retrojam.

Atty. Robredo expressed her gratitude to all the supporters for the continuous outpouring of support for his late husband. (MAL/LSM-PIA5 Camarines Sur)

Tourism Congress starts today in Naga City

By Analiza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, Nov. 27 (PIA) -- Tourism key players and stakeholders from the six provinces, seven cities and several municipalities of Bicol region, are expected to converge at the Jesse M. Robredo Coliseum today for the 11th Bicol Regional Tourism Congress.

The Bicol Regional Tourism Council, chaired by Danny De Leon, in partnership with the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI), Department of Tourism (DOT) and the city government here, spearheads the activity. This aims to establish a performing and well-designed network of tourism advocates, policy makers, and tourism service providers who will respond to the emerging needs of tourism clients all over the globe.

The Congress also aims to sustain the rise of tourism industry in the region and share with the participants the distinctive tourism development strategies and introduce them to the innovative approaches in line with the promotion of tourism.

Invited to grace the occasion are Puerto Princesa , Palawan Mayor Edward Hagedorn, Mayor John T. Yap of Kalibo, Aklan, Rosemarie Galang, national president of the National Association of Independent Travel Agencies (NAITAS), Camarines Sur Governor L-Ray Villafuerte, and DOT Regional Director Maria O. Ravanilla.

Representatives from the academe, particularly from colleges, universities, and vocational schools that offer tourism-related courses, are also expected to attend the congress.

Organizers believe that the activity will serve as a perfect venue to update professors and teaching personnel of the latest trend in the tourism industry. It could also serve as a venue for networking.

As part of the continuing eighth Bicol Business Week activity, the Bicol Regional Tourism Congress also aspires to explore a platform of collaboration and cooperation between industry partners and to learn from tourism leaders.

“We will also showcase the beauty of the Bicol Region and other selected tourists spots, as natural tourist destinations, along with their unique cultural festivals and indigenous products, equipped with the necessary infrastructure, professional pool of tourism service providers, and a friendly culture of friendship and hospitality,” De Leon added.

The tourism stakeholders attending this Congress will also have a chance to mingle and interact with the speakers during the panel discussions and open forum. During the break-out sessions, travel and tour operators, tourism and hospitality educators and students, hotel, restaurant and resorts owners and operators and government policy makers can also take the time to exchange other avenues to enhance their respective services and programs. (MAL/LSM-PIA5, Camarines Sur)

Waterfront lifestyle mall showcases weekend night market fair

 LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 27 (PIA) -- A waterfront lifestyle mall in this city has added another attraction seen to allure Legazpeno and visitors alike with the opening of a night market.

Chester Celso Olitin of the waterfront mall’s Leasing Department said Embarcadero de Legazpi has since Friday last week opened the night market with an exciting combination of a wide range of products and a sense of community that awaits the consumers.

The the idea of putting up a night market in in Embarcadero de Legazpi, came from the idea of flourishing night market phenomenon in Metro Manila and across the country. Open-air night markets are also very popular across Asia Countries like Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Singapore and South Korea.

Embarcadero de Legazpi, according to Olitin, has adopted this concept suitable to the demands of the Albayanos.

Olitin also cited that people should check out the Embarcadero de Legazpi Night Market as it showcases yummy treats – good and affordable food are available and everyone can enjoy a variety.

One may also indulge into pricey goodies – people who are low in the budget and even those who would want to save a little money need not to worry for clothes, fashion accessories, pillows, trinkets, art, and other bazaar items are sold at very affordable prices.

The concept also promotes a sense of community – an informal crowded setup and the fact that some of the owners personally staff the stalls themselves to enthusiastically explain their products to their customers engenders a sense of community that cannot be seen in other markets.

Anyone can take a break from shopping in the waterfront mall or a long jog from Puro to eat some potato chips and cool down with a sip of fresh buko shake while meeting new friends and enjoying the live band music.

The opening of the night market was highlighted with a blessing of the location, followed by a fireworks display and the trademark Batucada Show [a style of Brazillian music performed by a group or ensemble of percussion which is influenced by African culture (yahoo.com)] of Embarcadero de Legazpi.

“Embarcadero de Legazpi is basically a night mall and people flock over to it during the night so it is very suitable to have a night market open here,” he added.

The Embarcadero de Legazpi Night Market is the first night market in this city.

“Legazpeños, tourists, shoppers and all are gladly invited to visit Embarcadero de Legazpi’s Night Market. Affordable items can be bought at affor`dable prices. Everyone is welcome to party with us and shop at our Night Market, the first one in Legazpi City,” Olitin said.

The night market is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 5:00 p.m.-12:00 mn until December. (Shannah Marie O. Montales/MAL-PIA5/Albay)

CSU stude notches 2nd place in Regional Stat Quiz

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Nov. 27 (PIA) -- A first year student from Catanduanes State University bagged the second place in the 21st Philippine Statistics Quiz (PSQ) Regional Championship held in Legazpi City on November 20, 2012.

Alvin B. Llabore, 1st year BS Accountancy student from Lictin, San Andres, is one point shy from Regional Champion Amiel Luis Villar of Divine Word College-Legazpi who garnered 21 points.

Villar will represent Region 5 in the National Finals that will be held on December 4, 2012 in Metro Manila, at stake include P30,000 cash prize.

Llabore received a trophy, check amounting to P3,000 and other souvenir items.

During the provincial eliminations of the 21st PSQ held at NSO Catanduanes Provincial Office on October 22, 2012, Llabore got the 1st place.

Other participants who represented Catanduanes to the said event were Rosario Peralta of Catanduanes State University-Panganiban Campus and Jamille Kaye T. Dayawon, also from Catanduanes State University (Main Campus).

Llabore was coached by Professor Vicente G. Padilla of Catanduanes State University-Math Department.

The PSQ is an annual search aimed to assess the competency and skills of students in statistics as acquired from the secondary education curriculum.

It also hopes to promote, enhance, and instill awareness and appreciation of the importance and value of science, statistics in particular, among the students. (MAL/EAB/NSO/PIA5)

DOE to spearhead multi-sectoral advocacy in Naga City

By Analiza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, Nov. 27 (PIA) -- The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) here will hold a multi-sectoral advocacy campaign on downstream oil industry from November 28 to 29 at the Regent Hotel here.

The discussion will focus on the Liquid Petroleum Products (LPP) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) laws, rules, and regulations, among others, in line with government’s thrust in ensuring a competitive market under a regime of fair prices, adequate and continuous supply of environmentally-clean and high quality petroleum products.

The advocacy drive also pursues Republic Act 8479 otherwise known as the “Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998.”

Media practitioners from different outlets in the province are invited on the first day of the forum, November 28 from 1 to 5 p.m. including the local chief executives and administrators of various local government units in the province.

DOE-OIMB director Zenaida Y. Monsada, together with other DOE officials, will be the resource persons.

The second part of the interfacing on November 29 from 9 a.m. to 12 pm, target participants are personnel from the LGU’s business and licensing office, municipal treasurer, Bureau of Fire Protection heads of office or employees and LGU staff directly involved in the approval of transactions in the municipal offices.

After the forum, DOE officials, and the participants will troop to the nearest gasoline station for the actual calibration.

The activity also endeavors to create and equip a critical mass of communicators that would serve as channels in disseminating the advantages and current development on the Downstream Oil Industry and to raise the awareness of stakeholders that the passage of the law encourages competition and the entry of new players in the market.

The briefing is part of the DOE’s continuous effort to inform and educate the public thru information and communication campaigns on Downstream Oil Industry (DOI) not just for the key industry players like the LPP retail outlets, LPG establishments but for the information of consumers and other stakeholders including women’s organizations, local government units, and the general public. (MAL/LSM-PIA5, Camarines Sur)

Camarines Norte formulates disaster risk reduction and management plan

By Rosalita B. Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, Nov. 27 (PIA) -- The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) in this province has finally crafted the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan (PDRRMP) in a series of talks and workshops within this month fulfilling the requirements of RA No. 10121 of 2010, which provides the legal basis for policies, plans, and programs to deal with disasters.

PDRRM office chief Carlos Galvez said that the formulation of the plan covers the four thematic areas namely the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation; Disaster Preparedness; Disaster Response and Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery which corresponds to the structure of the PDRRMC.

Galvez said that the plan for the year 2011-2028, also in line with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan (NDRRMP), is consistent with the NDRRM framework that serves as the principal guide to disaster risk reduction efforts of the country.

The framework envisions a country of “safer, adaptive and disaster resilient Filipino communities toward sustainable development.”

Galvez said that the plan will be integrated to the Climate Change Adaptation and Management Plan (CCAMP) previously formulated in order to have a comprehensive or wholistic PDRRM/CCAM plan for the province on the first week of December.

He said that the PDRRM/CCAM framework will also served as a guide for the municipality to have their MDRRM/CCAM plan and for the barangay for their BDRRM/CCAM plan.

It will be recalled that the PDRRMO has already conducted several trainings for disaster preparedness and response held at the DRR Training Institute or Sanayang Pangkaligtasan at Sitio Mat-i barangay Sto.Domingo in Vinzons town, the first training facilities in the bicol region.

He added that the province is aiming for a zero casualty when it comes to disaster as envisioned by Governor Edgardo Tallado. (MAL/RBM-PIA5, Camarines Norte)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Albay’s smoke-free ordinance now in effect

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov 26 (PIA) -- The provincial government of Albay has publicly launched on November 19 one of the province’s landmark ordinance prohibiting smoking in all public places manifesting an intensified campaign to ensure healthy lifestyle and protection of environment.

At least 500 anti-smoking advocates from government sectors, led by Albay provincial government officials, and private sectors thronged to the main streets of this city joining the advocacy parade and converged at the provincial park for the launching program.

The anti-smoking provincial ordinance takes effect 90 days after publication in local newspaper of general circulation.

The said ordinance was authored by board member and Committee on Health and Social Services chairman Herbert Borja and signed by Albay governor Joey Salceda last May 16 this year.

The launching of the provincial ordinance also paves the way for the full implementation of plans and activities and enforcement of policies that would apply to all persons, whether natural or juridical, whether resident or not, and all places, found in the three cities and 15 municipalities of Albay.

Borja said the legislative measure aims to protect and promote the right to health of the people, hence, the ordinance prohibiting smoking in public, private places whether enclosed or outdoor.

The ordinance also prohibits the purchase and sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to minors. It also imposes restrictions on advertising, promotion, and sponsorship activities of tobacco companies.

Also under this ordinance under section 9, referring to penalties, the provision states that any person found violating this ordinance will be fined P 500 for the first offense; P 1,000 for the second offense; and P 3,000 for the third and subsequent offenses.

In case the violator has no money to pay the fine he or she may opt to render community service such as cleaning the parks, canals, esteros, public markets and other public places or tree planting.

Tasked to pursue information dissemination and monitor the enforcement of anti-smoking advocacies of the province is the Smoke-Free Albay Network (SFAN).

SFAN was created through executive order No. 13-201 signed in October last year by Governor Joey Salceda, also the honorary chair, to monitor and encourage the enforcement of laws, circulars, ordinances and resolutions on anti-smoking.

It, too, promotes healthy lifestyle.

SFAN is an aggregation of national government agencies, local government offices and non-government organizations, including religious groups.

The provincial government’s provincial ordinance on anti-smoking complements programs of the Department of Health (DOH) but also the Civil Service Commission (CSC) which are mandated to promote public health through regulating cigarette or tobacco-smoking in public places.

Also highlighting the launch were messages on commitment of supports, led by board members and Committee on Environment chair Arnold Embestro, sectors of health, education, non-government organizations and civic society, national government offices, military and police, among others. (MAL/SAA-PIA5, Albay)

Sorsogon book to be launched Dec. 4

By Benilda A. Recebido

SORSOGON CITY, Nov. 26 (PIA) -- It has been some time since a resident of Sorsogon has published a book. On Dec. 4, Tuesday, a book, written by a Sorsogon native will be launched at the Sorsogon Provincial Museum, Sorsogon City at 5 p.m.

Entitled, “We Are In The Same Boat: Recollections, Impressions, Admonitions,” the book contains essays, speeches, and feature articles many of which were published in Sorsogon Today, a local weekly newspaper.

The book is authored by Dr. Higino A. Ables Jr., PhD in Education and Communication which he obtained from Michigan State University, USA.

Dr. Ables explains why he chose to use the title “We Are In The Same Boat.”

He says that wherever we may live and whatever beliefs we may hold, we have common needs, goals, and problems.

This commonness of our concerns should “compel us all to learn from and live in peace with each other, for we are in the same boat.”

This volume of selected writings of Dr. Ables has four parts:

Part One – Where We Live, is all about Sorsogon: the small town Dr. Ables remembers as a boy, the city now beset with its problems of traffic and sanitation, among others; and a scenario of the city and the province.

Part Two – How We Live, defines social responsibility of citizens, self-fulfillment, and gives amusing anecdotes about forgetfulness.

Also, in Part Two, he provides tips on safe driving, how to live longer, how to be socially intelligent. He proffers advice to officials on how to leave their positions gracefully, and describes abuse of power by persons in authority.

Part Three – has recommendations on how to rationalize higher education further, the Sorsogon Community College, and how to strengthen universities and colleges in the country.

Based on his lengthy experience in University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), he gives practical advice to administrators, teachers and students.

The last part, Part Four – is a brief autobiography of Dr. Ables. It traces his ancestry, his early life in Sorsogon where he attended public schools before enrolling in UPLB on a 4-H Club scholarship.

Perhaps, recognizing his potentials, UPLB held on to him after he graduated from college, sent him on scholarship abroad, and employed him until he retired as professor. He now resides in Bitan-o, Sorsogon City.

Edited by Ferdie M. Aragon, the book includes color photographs, has 154 pages, and will be sold at the Museum after the book-launching. (MAL/BAR-PIA5, Sorsogon)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

‘Karangahan’ Green Christmas ’12 kicks off Nov. 25
…zeroing in on family and safe environment

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 24 (PIA) – Karangahan sa Pasko: Albay Green Christmas kicks off Sunday, Nov. 25, marking a month-long holiday season celebration and advocacy campaign for healthy living, environment care and zero casualty goal in the province.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said this year’s Karangahan is zeroing in on fortifying family ties through showcase of numerous fun fares for every family and the entire community to indulge in for the holiday season and pursuing safe environment underlining ‘plastic-free, smoke-free and zero casualty from firecracker in the month-long revelry.

Karangahan is a Bicol term derived from the root word 'ranga', which refers to a higher level of joy and contentment, and later was used to mean endearment.

Salceda will lead the official opening of the Karangahan sa Pasko: Albay Green Christmas on Sunday night at Penaranda Park with the lighting of the 20-meter high Green Christmas Tree, a symbol that enjoys a central position in the Christmas celebration of Albayanos.

Karangahan is launched year after year with the lighting of this Green Christmas tree in a new concept that is assembled from over 3,000 Pili tree seedlings showcasing the campaign for proper solid waste management through a ‘no plastics – less garbage’ celebration.

Las Piñas Rep. Cynthia Villar and former Senator Miguel Zubiri will join the governor in the switching on the lights of the Green Christmas tree, while GMA-7 artist LJ Reyes and rock band Itchyworms will stage an entertainment show on the same opening night.

In 2010, Albay Green Christmas was held essentially to pursue advocacy for less pollution and reduced carbon emissions through ‘iwas paputok’ with zero casualty goal on holiday seasons and proper solid waste disposal through ‘no plastics and less waste revelries.

Salceda has since issued a memorandum to provincial government heads, employees and barangay officials strictly prohibiting the use and explosion of firecrackers and encouraging the use of organic and indigenous materials for decorations and food serving instead of plastics.

As the festivity evolves, new ingredients were added to bring out the bests in Albay and among Albayanos articulated last year by culinary arts and other cultural forms.

Of the many activities lined up of the Albay Green Christmas this year, of special interests anew are the Culinaria Albay that showcase Albay’s local cuisine and its world-competitive restaurants, Paskuhan Karangahan nightly entertainment, Luntiang Pasko garden show, Barangay on-site Green Christmas Belen contest, Pasko sa Kapitolyo-Agrikulturang Organiko, sports fests, trade fair, Albay art exhibition, Green Santa, sectoral day, among others.

Karangahan fittingly describes the relationship of Albayanos in the endearment (ranga) to its culture, arts, history and nature; collective and unrelenting advocacy for climate change adaptation, environmental protection; and sense of pride and attachment to place given its evolving dynamics of community-building. (MAL-PIA5/Albay)

Ground breaking ceremony held for waste-to-energy facility in Naga City

By Analiza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, Nov. 24 (PIA) -- A P3-billion facility will soon rise at Barangay San Isidro to address the problem on solid waste disposal that has beset this city for the past decade. 

A ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the said waste-to-energy facility has been held on Nov 22. Among those who attended were Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla and Department of Natural Resources and Environment Secretary Ramon Paje, representatives of the CJ Global Green Energy of South Korea, Hitachi Zosen and several other Japanese firms and the local government of Naga City. 

The nod to proceed with the construction of the plant was finally given by the DOE after two (2) years of negotiations with the city government and the investors. 

The project will be under the build-operate-transfer scheme. The facility will be erected in the 5-hectare expanse of Barangay San Isidro, this city. 

The project, which will also generate 20 megawatts of electricity will also be instrumental in ensuring that environmental concerns will be properly addressed. For one, the facility will produce low-cost and environment-friendly electricity for the residents of Naga and its neighboring municipalities. 

The plant, once completed, is projected to produce 8 to 10 megawatts of electricity from 100 tons of garbage that will be collected daily. 

To complement and sustain this environmental endeavor, Ms. Farah Bongat, the city’s First Lady conducted a tree-planting activity through the Pilimania, a project under the city government’s Greening, Environmental Protection, Entrepreneurship, Tourism or GREET program which aims to mitigate carbon emission as pili trees exhibit a high carbon absorption rate, improve air shed quality and enhance the city’s One Town, One Product program, among others. 

Bongat also assured the residents particularly the Material Recovery Facility or MRF workers in Barangay Balatas that they will be properly taken cared of. Bongat was referring to the income earners who derive their living out of the garbage within the MRF area. 

“Before taking care of the environment, it is one of the city’s paramount concerns that we take the priority of ensuring that our people are protected, socially and economically. They have already set up capability building initiatives to capacitate them to shift to some other economic activities to have sustainable income,” Bongat said. 

A process called gasification will be employed in the use of the facility. 

Gasification is the conversion of solid carbon fuels and other solid wastes into their basic elements by thermochemical process. The garbage will all be loaded in a close chamber with a temperature of 2,000 degrees centigrade or higher enough to reduce its content back to their natural state. 

The facility is expected to produce not just electricity but also hot water, steam and hydrogen and methanol which can be used as LPG for households and transport vehicles. 

The project was initiated by the late SILG Jesse M. Robredo in 2010. (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur) 

Friday, November 23, 2012

SEC: Aman not authorized to engage in lending, investment
urges public to report unauthorized transactions

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov 23 (PIA) -- The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Aman Futures Group Phil. Inc (Aman Futures) was not authorize it to engage in lending and investment-taking activities, as these activities require prior authority and registration from the commission.

Aman Futures has been tagged behind the P12-billion pyramiding scam that reportedly victimized around 15,000 people across the country in a get-rich-quick scheme.

In an advisory release November 21, SEC has urged anyone with information relating to the unauthorized activities of the Aman Futures to call their extension office here, with contact number is (52) 480-8272 or 480-8273, and Enforcement and Prosecution Department at (2) 584-6337 or the Complaints and Investigation Division at (2) 584-7652. An email can also be sent at ced@sec.gov.ph.

The Aman Futures is registered with the Commission as a stock corporation as of June 22, 2012 under SEC Reg. CS201211620 with only primary purposes of buying, selling, distributing and marketing at wholesale/retail basis, in so far as may be permitted by law, all kinds of goods such as but not limited to gold, coconut oil, manganese, nickel, ore and any agricultural products, commodities, wares and merchandise of every kind and description.

The commission has furthered advised the public to diligently study offer in order not to be victimized by lending and investment-taking scam, the likes of high or fantastic earning one can get on some business opportunities.

"Think, examine, and diligently study the offer. If you come across any investment offered by phone, e-mail, flyers, newspaper ads or directly by any person, or by any other means, you must ask questions to protect yourself and your money," SEC Bicol regional director Atty. Marilou Duka said.

Duka added that one of the best ways to avoid investment fraud is to ask questions.

"Be skeptical if you are approached by somebody touting an investment opportunity. Ask that person whether he or she is licensed and whether the investment they are promoting is registered with the SEC or with a state. Check out their answers with an unbiased source, such as the SEC or your state securities regulator," she said.

"Know that promises of fast and high profits, with little or no risk, are classic signs of fraud," she said. (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

Virac spearheads chess tourney

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Nov. 22 (PIA) -- The municipal government of Virac is spearheading a chess tournament on December 15-16.

The contest is composed of three-category -- Open Invitational Chessfest, 16-under age category, and 12-under category. It primarily aims to develop chess talents among the youths and to avoid them from being exposed to drugs and other similar things.

According to Bonifacio Molina, tournament coordinator, this chess tournament will serve as a venue for chess enthusiasts, particularly the young, to hone their skills.

Interested participants must bring a valid ID or birth certificate and must pay the required registration fee on or before Dec. 15.

Over P35,000-worth of cash and prizes are to be given away. (MAL/EAB-PIA5, Catanduanes)

DENR intensifies campaign on illegal transport of charcoal from Camarines Sur

By Analiza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, Nov. 23 (PIA) -- Camarines Sur Provincial Environment and Natural Resource Office (Penro) has intensified its campaign against the hauling and conveyance of wood charcoal from the province.

Camarines Sur Penro chief Atty. Arnel Rodriguez said that he has already directed community ENROs in the cities of Iriga and Naga monitor and prevent the transport of charcoal out of the province without the Certificate of Verification (COVs).

He has also notified the ENROs in the municipalities of Goa and Sipocot to strictly require the drivers or conveyors of the charcoal to present a COV to transport the charcoal.

ENROs were also advised not to issue a transport permit without the clearance coming from the DENR regional office.

Transporting wood charcoal without necessary clearances is a clear violation of DENR Administrative Order 32, issued in 1997.

The indiscriminate cutting of trees in the forest is being attributed to the high charcoal demand in the region and in the neighboring provinces. This in turn, feeds the members of the community to cut the trees even in their tender years just to make a living. If the cutting of trees to make charcoal woods persists, our forests will soon lost its cover. This will make our areas prone to flooding and landslides.

Pursuant to this, a DENR officer can confiscate the tools, implements, and conveyances used in the transport of any paraphernalia that could have been used to illegally cut trees and the making of wood charcoal.

DENR, meanwhile, has scheduled visits to various establishments directly involved in the buying and selling of charcoal, including the identification of the place where the charcoal originated.

“Aside from the stern and continuous reminder that we are sending to our DENR officers, we will also be conducting visits to various sites where there are reported cases of wood charcoal making. We will also check on the vehicles being used to transport the merchandise. If a violation is evident, the jeepney or the vehicle used to conduct an illegal activity will be impounded,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez added that they are also closely coordinating with terminal operators in the province where the charcoal are allegedly being delivered. They have also strengthened coordination with the Philippine National Police and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group. Just recently, the group was able to confiscate more than 500 sacks of charcoal in the province on separate operations.

The towns of Tinambac, Calabanga, Pasacao, San Fernando, and Minalabac are considered wood charcoal hotspots where there are rampant production and selling of the said commodity. (MAL/LSM-PIA5, Camarines Sur)

Police probes collapse of mining pit in Camarines Norte town, 3 confirmed dead

By Rosalita B. Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, Nov. 22 (PIA) --Police authorities here are investigating the collapse of a mining pit at Sitio Bulaay in Barangay Palanas, Paracale town that resulted to the death of three miners last Tuesday (November 20).

PSSupt. Jose Lipa Capinpin, OIC of the Camarines Norte Police Provincial Office (CNPPO) said that in an investigation conducted by the Paracale Municipal Police Station (MPS) the three miners were trapped inside the 300-meter deep mining pit due to the sudden influx of water from adjacent pit while they were conducting guerilla type of mining operation in the area that day at about 5 pm.

Fatalities were identified as Carlo Salen y delos Santos, 37 years old; Luis Sayson y Policarpio, 33 years old; both resident of Barangay Tawig, Paracale; and a certain Jay-Ar, true name and address still unknown as of this writing.

As of this writing, Paracale police and local government authorities are still conducting retrieval operations for unknown number of miners still trapped there.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) is still waiting for the report of the municipal DRRMC for possible intervention or assistance needed.

It will be recalled that December last year there were three miners who died due to the blasting of the mining pit in the said barangay.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB) has already ordered the closure of the mining area in barangay Palanas after the said incident in December because it is not anymore safe for miners, for the community and for the environment.(MAL/RBM-PIA5/Camarines Norte).

Thursday, November 22, 2012

PDEA nets lady drug pusher and cohort

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov 22 (PIA) -- A notorious lady drug pusher and her cohort were busted by narcotics operatives in this city after a drug net was laid out for their neutralization.

PDEA regional office V director Archie A. Grande reported to PDEA director general and Usec Arturo Cacdac that a buy-bust operation was conducted by joint elements of PDEA Albay provincial office, PDEA regional special enforcement team and Legazpi City police station at about 4:00 in the afternoon of November 14, 2012 along Tahao Road of barangay Cruzada in this city.

It resulted to the arrest of a notorious lady drug pusher Michelle Vargas Y Esplana and her cohort   Michael Basco y Apodaca, both residents of Brgy. 29, Sabang, Legazpi City.

Both were caught in flagrante delictu selling seven big heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing shabu weighing 38.687 grams with a street value of ₱210,000.00 pesos to the PDEA agent who act as a poseur buyer.

Also recovered from his possession, custody and control consisted of two (2) pieces of genuine ₱500.00 peso bill use as buy-bust money together with several cut-sized boodle money.

Charges for Violation of Section 5 and Section 26b, Article II, of RA 9165 has been filed against them before the Legazpi City Prosecution Office and they are now temporarily detained at PDEA detention facility.(PDEA ROV)

Barcelona town ventures on banana farming, processing

By Benilda A. Recebido

SORSOGON CITY, Nov. 22 (PIA) – Barcelona town has piloted a 21-hectare banana plantation from 19 upland barangays in the area with “lakatan” as the premier variety cultivated for about a year now.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Sorsogon provincial office here, which also provided technical assistance to the municipal government of Barcelona, cited “lakatan” variety is sourced from Davao, the banana hub of the country.

The first load of harvest was presented last October 2012 in time of the Kasanggayahan Festival of Sorsogon Province.

“Lakatan” is a type of banana that typically grows to a height of five to nine feet. The fruits can be harvested 8-12 months after planting. Its fruits are longer and thicker-skinned than the “Latundan” and turns a characteristic yellow-orange when ripe. Lacatan is the most popular banana in the Philippines. It is more expensive than the more common “Latundan”.

The document further stated that utilizing the suitability of soil to root crop production, the local government unit through its Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) came up with specific programs and activities that will help increase the farm yields of their upland farmers.

Aside from farm-based production, Rural Improvement Club (RIC) from eight (8) barangays signified interest in crop-based processing such as taro and banana chips.

Initially, a 2-day basic skills training was conducted at Barangay Lago in Barcelona last Sept. 6-7, 2012 to introduce new technologies that will provide value added to their raw products.

Some 28 micro processors of food from barangays of Bangate, Lago, Tagdon, Cagang, Alegria, Olandia, San Isidro and Layog and the participants appreciated the effort of giving them additional livelihood activities that will help augment the income of the local residents of the municipality.

Determined to become the Sorsogon’s biggest producer and supplier of “lakatan” in the province, LGU-Barcelona has come up with plans to maximize the production and marketing of their banana produce in the coming months.

Barcelona is a fifth class municipality situated in the 2nd district of Sorsogon. Historically it was named by Spaniards giving credit to the panoramic view of Barcelona the coastal capital city of Catalonia in Spain. Economically, the town is abundant with supply of coconut, abaca and root crops. (MAL/BAR/JMV-DTI Sorsogon/PIA5)

Philhealth Express opens in Bicol

by Sally A. Atento

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 22 (PIA) – The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) regional office here launched the first Philhealth Express in the Bicol region last November 19 at the Liberty Commercial Center (LCC) branch in Daraga, Albay.

“Philhealth initiated the project for the public to have easier access to the agency's services. That is why it is set up in places where people usually go so they can transact with us without going to our regional office,” said Philhealth V information officer Paulette Santiago.

Among the services offered by the Philhealth Express to all Bicolanos include registration of new members, amendment on member data and issuance of data record, issuance of Philhealth ID and hard copy report of monthly remittance, verification of premiums and inquiries on claim status.

Santiago added, “This project is part of our commitment through our Philhealth regional vice president Orlando Iñigo Jr to deliver quality public service and make services readily available to everyone.”

Moreover Santiago clarified that not all services are extended in the said Express.

“Among the excluded services are filing of claims since this will require medical evaluators, acceptance of payments although we hace accredited collecting partners in the area, and filing of remittance reports in soft copy since we only do this in the regional office. But we can accommodate it if they have the hard copy of the RF1,” Santiago said.

Santiago further reminded the public to issue an authorization for their representatives in case they cannot come in person.

The Philhealth Express is open to the public from Mondays to Fridays, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm under the supervision of the Local Health Insurance Office of Albay headed by Lorie Rubis.

Another Philhealth Express, said Santiago, will be established come November 28 at Iriga City. (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

Committee recommends removal of landholdings from Carper LAD balance of Sorsogon

By Benilda A. Recebido

SORSOGON CITY, Nov. 22 (PIA) -- A hundred and twenty four landholdings equivalent to 993 hectares located in the municipalities of Bulan and Pilar were recommended for removal from the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reform Land Acquisition and Distribution (Carper LAD) balance of Sorsogon.

The removal of said problematic landholdings was recommended through a resolution by the Provincial Agrarian Reform Coordinating Committee (PARCCOM) in Sorsogon to Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC).

PAR Officer Roseller R. Olayres, who chairs the Provincial Task Force on Problematic Landholdings in Sorsogon said that above 18 percent of the 124 landholdings are situated in slopes, are cogonal, and not suited to agriculture.

“The landholdings are also recommended for removal because they fall under landowner’s retention on co-owners with eroded portion, have duplicated Operation Land Transfer (OLT) with registered Emancipation Patent (EP), are under actual cultivation by the landowner’s children, and within unclassified public forest,” said Olayres.

Aside from said reasons, there are also landholdings whose landowners died prior to CARP. Also, some of the landholdings were already converted to fishpond and nipa plantation, others were reacquired/redeemed by landowner from mortgagee, while some others are with free patent title in the name of a particular person registered after the implementation of CARP on October 24, 1998.

Some other landholdings are now used as barangay halls, chapels, and school sites, while there are those already subdivided into several lots and being occupied by its new owners/buyers.

Olayres further said that aside from these lands in Bulan and Pilar towns, another 121 landholdings are being recommended by the Municipal Agrarian Reform Officers (MAROs) in Castilla, Gubat Cluster, and Magallanes to be deducted from the Carper LAD balance for the same reasons.

As per MC No.8, series of 2010, the PARCCOM is tasked to deliberate and issue resolution for exclusion of landholdings found to be deductible for Carper LAD balance. If however, there are tenants in the subject landholdings, it will be subjected to a leasehold contract to be worked out by the MAROs and legal officers.

While the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is busy completing the Carper LAD Balance, the PARCCOM’s Provincial Sectoral Representatives (PSR) of farmers, landowners, NGOs, People’s Organizations, Indigenous People, and Agricultural Cooperatives continue their monitoring activity and assistance to other CARP related matters.

Some of the projects they are currently monitoring are the agri-cash project of Saint Anne Family Service Cooperative, Gabao Samahang Nayon Multi-purpose Development Cooperative (Gasanamudeco) and the construction of permanent river control, all in Irosin town; the farm-to-market road project in Hidhid, Matnog; the P15 million-worth construction of irrigation open canal in Pulog, Balete, Bacon in Sorsogon City.

Meanwhile, aside from completing the Carper LAD balance, DAR is also focused on the implementation of the three major program of CARP: the Land Tenure and Improvement, the Program Beneficiaries Development, and the Agrarian Justice Delivery, PARCCOM monitors all the above-mentioned activities in Sorsogon. (MAL/BAR-PIA 5/AJA-DAR Sorsogon)

Symposium teaches HS studes on drug abuse prevention in Sorsogon

By Benilda A. Recebido

SORSOGON CITY, Nov. 22 (PIA) -- Fifty third-year and fourth-year students of the Annunciation College of Bacon Sorsogon Unit in Barangay Bibincahan in this city learned about the basics of drug abuse prevention and vowed not to be enslaved in the evils of drug abuse.

The symposium on drug abuse prevention and control was organized by the SPPO on November 16 at the same school in connection with the observance of the Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Week, said Jennifer Pertez, Sorsogon Women and Children Protection Desk chief police inspector.

Pertez said that the activity aimed at teaching about the unfavorable effects of illegal drugs on the health of every individual.

Police Chief Inspector Nonito F. Marquez, Police Community Relations Officer of the SPPO, meanwhile, discussed the effects of drug abuse to drug dependents. He gave emphasis on the harmful effects of drug abuse and likewise promoted healthy lifestyle among the young people.

Drug Abuse and Control Week is celebrated every third week of November pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 124.

This year’s Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Week is November 11-17, 2012 with the theme “Kalusugan ay Kayamanan, Droga ay Iwasan”. (MAL/BAR-PIA5/SPPO)

Police gives ultimatum to gun holders in Masbate

By Marlon A. Loterte

MASBATE CITY, Nov. 22 (PIA) -- Law enforcers in Masbate stepped up its campaign against loose firearms, hopeful it can recover undocumented firearms by the end of the year, the Philippine National Police (PNP) provincial office in Masbate said.

Police Sr. Supt. Heriberto Olitoquit, Masbate police chief, said the campaign is intensified in preparation for the May 2013 elections.

Police data presented during the Masbate Provincial Law Enforcement Coordinating Council meeting recently show that there are 2,178 firearms licenses that were not renewed by the PNP last year. Of this figure, 188 gun holders submitted their firearms for licensing.

In its campaign in every town of the province, the PNP said gun owners have only until Dec. 16 this year to renew their firearms permits.

Olitoquit said Masbate had been included in the list of 15 election hot spots across the country by the PNP and the Commission on Election (Comelec).

Masbate had consistently been tagged as election hot spot in previous elections because of the intense political rivalries among clans here and election related violence that claimed the lives of people here.

The PNP also warned gun holders who would not heed their call will be the subject of the campaign against loose firearms. (MAL/EAD-PIA5/Masbate)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Installation of power generator to benefit stakeholders - LTO

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Nov. 21 (PIA) -- Following successive power outages in Catanduanes, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) will install gasoline-fed power generator at the LTO district office here to facilitate transactions even during brownouts.

Mar Jose A. Magistrado, acting chief of the Operations Division, said that online-transaction processing (OLTP) in any district office and regional office of LTO has two key benefits: simplicity and efficiency.

Reduced paper trails and faster, more accurate verification, forecasts for revenues and expenses are patent examples of how OLTP makes things simpler for businesses.

He added that in any information processing system, security and reliability are to be considered.

Operations can be severely affected when the transaction system or database is unavailable due to data corruption, network availability issues, or systems failure such as power failure and/or communications line error, such as the case of LTO in Virac.

LTO 5 assistant regional director Vincent O. Nato, underscored the issues on “The constant availability of a site support and maintenance staff of IT provider Stradcom requires top management determination and intervention which were already seriously taken into account and a long-term solution being deliberated.”

During their three-day stay in the province from November 14 to 16, a series of consultations with LTO officials, Catanduanes police, office of the governor, and other stakeholders were also conducted involving the same issues and concerns.

An orientation-seminar was also held for presidents and other officers of various tricycle associations in the municipality of Virac on 14 November 2012. Similarly, a reorientation-seminar was administered for Catanduanes police in preparation for deputation of qualified applicants.

Field law enforcement operations with the assistance of PNP Catanduanes Police Provincial Office was carried out on November 15 and 16 resulting in 79 apprehensions for violations of the Land Transportation and Traffic Code with 41 motor vehicles literally impounded and turned over to LTO Virac District Office. (MAL/EAB-PIA 5/LTO release)

DTI-Sorsogon strongly advocates for pili nut in global market

SORSOGON CITY, Nov. 21 (PIA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) office here has convened anew pili nut farmers, producers, and other industry stakeholders to promote and make pili gain momentum in the local, and most especially, in the global market.

The province remains the largest supplier of pili in Bicol region and has now developed processors in the province inching their way not only to the local market but priming for foreign market as well said Leah A. Pagao, DTI Sorsogon director.

“In fact, Tia Berning Pili Candies will soon be available in the Korean market,” she proudly said.

Pagao furthered that pili would not have made a hit in the market without the usual backings and support from various stakeholders.

She took the opportunity to thank Mayor Leovic Dioneda of this city for fully supporting the efforts of championing Sorsogon as pili producer through their various programs, activities, and assistance to growers.

She also said that for their part, DTI has offered technical programs and services to develop the capability of entrepreneurs along managerial, skill, marketing, and even in accessing credit for business expansion or transformation.

Furthermore, Pagao narrated that apart from marketing and promotion activities being conducted by DTI, the Kasanggayahan Trade Fair 2012 last October highlighted the pili, which is considered the province’s champion commodity.

“Likewise, the same exposure will be repeated in December this year during the Sorsogon Festival of Sorsogon City,” she added.

Major issues and concerns from the participants were drawn out such as government’s assistance to the pili farmers, increasing the number of pili trees, comprehensive approach to pili industry or the need for pili development plan, and the support to the micro pili food processors.

Pili (scientific name: Canarum ovatum) is a tropical fruit native to Bicol and is considered by the Department of Agriculture (DA) the "flagship commodity" in Bicol Region. It is abundant especially in Albay, Camarines Sur, and Sorsogon.

In 1992, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources reported that Bicol supplied 82 percent of the national volume, most of which came from Sorsogon. This prompted the National Economic Development Authority to declare Sorsogon as the commodity champion for pili. Moreover, best quality of pili is found in Sorsogon.

As per record of the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, Sorsogon belongs to the top pili-growing provinces in the country with 3,693.10 metric tons (MT); followed by Albay with 1,818.79 MT; Northern Samar, 782 MT; Camarines Sur, 354.96 MT; Quezon, 104.95 MT; Samar, 101.16 MT; Negros Occidental, 89.98 MT; Eastern Samar, 84.83 MT; Camarines Norte, 43 MT; and Catanduanes with 11.04 MT. (MAL/BAR-PIA5/MPC-DTI Sorsogon)

2012 ISSAAS Congress underlines role of agriculture in achieving MDGs

By Sally A. Atento

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 20 (PIA) -- Over 300 local and foreign participants convened here for the 2012 ISSAAS International Symposium and Congress held November 13 to 16. The event aimed to promote greater awareness on the role of agriculture in reducing poverty toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The Bicol University Research and Development Center (BURDC) hosted the said meeting together with the International Society for Southeast Asian Agricultural Sciences (ISSAAS) and the Society of Agricultural Education-Research Development Abroad (SAEDA).

The three-day congress tackled agriculture-related programs and projects implemented in support of the MDGs.

Part of the sessions is the presentations of foreign experts and scientists from Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Iran and Australia on the agriculture-related projects and studies conducted in their respective communities.

Among the presentations are the development of a bio-based economy in Thailand, revitalization and development of hill farming in Japan and agricultural research and development in Malaysia.

Dr. Justino Arboleda, former dean of the BU College of Agriculture, also shared the success of the academe-based research and extension service for Filipino farmers on the various use of waste coconut husk.

Arboleda, also an agricultural engineering graduate from the Tokyo University, started his own coconut husk processing company which served as alternative source of livelihood for coconut farmers.

Likewise presented are the outcomes of the workshop sessions on food security and poverty reduction, climate risk management and sustainable agriculture, enhancing agribusiness enterprises, strategic partnership in agricultural development, support services for a productive agriculture and R&D governance system in agriculture.

Also featured on the last day through a field trip in the province of Albay are the local tourist spots and agricultural sites that showcase the community’s efforts toward the achievement of the MDGs. (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

Albay launches 2013 Search for Barangay Kasangga sa Edukasyon

By Sally A. Atento

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov 20 (PIA) -- The provincial government of Albay launched the 2013 Search for Barangay Kasangga sa Edukasyon (Bakas) on November 14 at the People’s Hall Albay Capitol here.

The search aims to recognize barangays in the province of Albay for their educational initiatives, contributions to the school and community, and attainment of zero illiteracy.

Nomination is set on November 16 until December 13, 2012 under three categories - barangays with elementary and secondary schools, barangays with elementary schools only and barangays without schools.

The Provincial Education Department (PED) of the province will be choosing the Top 50 entries from the initial screening.

Nominees must submit accomplished entry form with complete documents such as a copy of the barangay legislation on the creation of Bakas as sub-committee within the education committee of the barangay council and the list of education initiatives implemented by the barangay.

Deadline of entries is on or before December 15.

The first level screening is set Dec 19 -21 during the Karangahan sa Albay 2012. Review of documents, visit on sites and informal interview with stakeholders will be conducted.

Set on February 11-15 is the 2nd and final screening in which oral presentation will be done by the barangay chairman at the Bicol University Graduate School (BUGS).

One winner will be chosen per category.

Cash incentive for the winner is P100, 000.00.

The said launching and orientation was also attended by BUGS dean Dr. Norma Licup, sanggunian bayan on education chairman and provincial board member Arnold Embestro, Association of Barangay Chairman (ABC) president Joseph Philip Lee.

Bakas is part of the Gawad Albay sa Edukasyon award system of the Albay provincial government. The award is given to recognize barangays with exemplary projects in education. (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Board Member and Chairman Committee on Health  Herbet Borja joins and share  his message during the launching of Albay’s Provincial Smoke-Free Ordinance that marks the implementation and enforcement of the Law, the campaign  is in line with the Department of Health goal for a smoke-free environment and the  Civil Service Commission’s directive. Held at Peñaranda Park, Albay District, Legazpi City, Nov. 19, 2012. (Alex Cal/PIA) 

Albay Board member Herbert Borja,  PIA OIC Aida A. Naz (right)  and members of Smoke-Free Albay Network (SFAN)  joined the advocacy  of smoke-Free Albay and promote a healthy lifestyle and the protection of environment. 

Marlon Loterte, PIA Information Officer III and Ms. Rhaydz B. Barcia of Manila Times  shared their energetic moments as emcee during the launching of Albay’s Provincial Smoke-Free Ordinance, held at Peñaranda Park, Albay District, Legazpi City,  Nov. 19, 2012. (Alex Cal/PIA) 

Monday, November 19, 2012

CSC now a university

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Nov. 19 (PIA) -- The masonry work for the modification of over 40 years old signage of Catanduanes State Colleges starts Friday, November 16, 2012. The CSC signage is located right at the center and atop the iconic Administration Building .

The historic ‘renaming’ of the signage of the building, which is famous for its facade with windbreaker architecture fit for a typhoon-prone island, also synchronizes with the full page publication today of Republic Act 10229, which converts CSC to Catanduanes State University, in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Philippines Star newspapers.

As stipulated in Sec. 28 of RA 10229 signed by President Aquino on Oct. 19, the law “shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in two newspapers of general circulation.”

Congressman Cesar V. Sarmiento authored House Bill No. 4170 which calls for the conversion of CSC into a University.

In the masonry work, the word “Colleges” will be replaced with “ University."

Several students were elated upon seeing the masonry works grinding to a full start.

The ‘Catanduanes State College’ signage is made of pure concrete slab, fixed with high-grade steel bars on an equally solid concrete railing of the building’s rooftop.

The letters are 27.5 inches in length, 16 inches in width, 3.3 inches in thickness.

The university’s Buildings and Grounds Services undertakes the masonry and civil works, with the assistance of the Technical Working Group of the Planning Services.

It can be recalled that Congressman Cesar Sarmiento proudly announced during a meeting with the CSC Community last October 23 when President Aquino signed R.A. 10229, a law converting the CSC into a university.

This development for the province is a worth rejoicing for every Catandunganon, the 20-year dream has finally come into reality.

Likewise, Governor Joseph Cua himself a member of then CSC BOD and as permanent representative of Sen. Edgardo Angara, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education Culture and Sports also expressed his high hopes on the conversion of the CSC into Catanduanes State University.

A committee was also created to draft the Implementing Rules and Regulation which will be forwarded to the legal committee of the Commission on Higher Education and to be published in the National Daily's.

Fifteen days after the said publication, The new Catanduanes State University is set to formally celebrate her conversion on December 4 this year.(EAB/GSR-CSU/PIA5)

Albayano’s ‘100 Kislap’ named best fiction, Nat’l Book Award

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 19 (PIA/PGA) -- "100 Kislap" by Bikolano writer Abdon M. Balde Jr. was awarded the 2011 National Book Award for Best Book of Fiction by the National Book Development Board and the Manila Critics Circle during its 31st National Book Awards ceremonies held November 17 at the Old Senate Session Hall of the National Museum of the Philippines, City of Manila.

Balde hails from Busac, Oas, Albay. He is Albay’s Poet Laureate and provincial government consultant for Cultural Affairs. He is the current chairman of the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas and also a board member of the Filipinas Copywrite Licensing Society.

The award is Balde’s fourth.

The book, 100 Kislap, is a collection of 100 short-short fiction, each story not more than 150 words.

These are stories of love and passion, betrayal and revenge, crime and retribution, myths and legends, realism, absurdity, fantasy, and many, many more.

The citation reads, “After writing novels and lengthy stories, Balde has shown remarkable discipline in writing a hundred stories each of which does not exceed 150 words. By doing so, he reluctantly promoted the writing of "dagli" in the Philippines, a tradition at the turn of the 20th century that was restrained and suppressed by critics who were supporting the short story genre of the Americans.

In 100 Kislap, Balde heightened the effect of the dagli with his exemplary use of humor and irony. Balde’s example is proof that literary works need not be long and boring.

His third book, “Mayong,” a collection of the legends surrounding Mayon Volcano told in the present-day settings, won National Book Award for the year 2003, “for its engrossing narrative set in the Bikol Region—written in mellifluous Tagalog or Filipino—one that merges deathless legend and fantastic lore with the romance of present-day realities, in the process weaving a well-told tale of the crossover between the natural and the supernatural.”

His novel, “Hunyango sa Bato,” won the 2004 National Book Award and the Juan C. Laya Prize for Best Novel in Vernacular Language and was cited as “ a novel daring in style, topic, and characterization, a novel unafraid to challenge what were previously thought to be unbreakable rules of writing and language, a novel forcing the reader to remember past events that still mold the present, a chameleon-like novel showing only one true color.”

Another collection of short stories, “Calvary Road,” won the 2005 National Book Award and the Juan C. Laya Prize for Best Book of Fiction.

The citation read, “There are 32, count them, 32 very short stories, pinioned by the textured covers of Cavalry Road. There is painful truth, delicious uncertainty and confident craft in these tales. Its scope is ambitious and its scale is impressive. It is a narrative road to be trekked in bits and pieces, to be savored one story at a time. Balde’s invitation is not one to be ignored.”

Balde was also conferred the 2010 Ani ng Dangal Award by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the 2009 South East Asian Writers Award by the Crown Prince of Thailand and the 2009 Bikol Regional Artist Award for Literary Arts by Mayor Jesse Robredo.

He has won the 2003 Rokyaw Ibalong Award for Most Outstanding Bikolano in Literature and a Palanca Award for Short Story in the same year. (MAL/Albay’s Poet Laureate-PGA/PIA5)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

CamSur Polytechnic College elevated to a state college

By Analiza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, Nov. 17 (PIA) -- Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges (CSPC) Naga Campus was converted Bicol State College of Applied Sciences and Technology(BISCAST) by virtue of Republic Act 10231 making it the first educational institution in the Philippines offering applied sciences and technology.

The conversion, in time for the college foundation anniversary yesterday, was religiously pushed by Camarines Sur 3rd District Congressman Luis Villafuerte for the past years until he got the unanimous nod of the House of Representatives and the Senate this year. It was finally approved on October 19.

The law will not just give autonomy to BISCAST but also will entail a lot of advantages now that it is officially separated from the Camarines Sur State Polytechnic Colleges in Nabua, Camarines Sur. it now possesses academic freedom to pursue higher levels of endeavor pursuant to the mission of the said state college.

“With this conversion, we will take the pioneering effort to pursue research and production activities while taking aggressive steps to acquire and build equipment, tools, and other paraphernalia in order to accelerate socio-economic development in our region,” Villafuerte said during the press briefing.

Villafuerte reiterated the role of BISCAST in taking the challenge of translating and transferring pure science into practical application through the various courses and curriculum that they are going to pursue starting June next year.

“We will pursue exchange programs for both the students and the faculty members to give them an opportunity to visit other SouthEast Asian institutions and learn from their best practices. We will continue to offer extension services to the rural communities to ensure transfer of technology. We will use rural technology to achieve total rural transformation,”Villafuerte added.

As a state college, BISCAST is now mandated to strengthen the four (4) pillars of state collegial system which includes its programs on instruction, research, production and extension.

BISCAST newly-appointed officer in charge Dr. Richard Cordial Ph.D. will take the lead in ensuring that all of these endeavors will be met by coming up with a strategic plan for the next five (5) years. For a start, the state college is currently embarking on the construction of a 3-storey library which will serve as a repository of statistics and data necessary for extensive research in enhancing science and technology in the region. The project costs P25M.

BISCAST will continue the technical-vocataional element of the old Bicol College of Arts and Trade (BCAT), yet moving it to a much higher level this time.

In addition and as part of the grand plan for yet another conversion from being a state college to being a university, Villafuerte said that they are eyeing the adjoining 2hectares just beside the BISCAST as an information technology hub in the near future. (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

Friday, November 16, 2012

CSU students win prov’l Robredo essay contest

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Nov. 16 (PIA) -- Two Catanduanes State University students won the provincial elimination competition of the 2012 Bicol Essay Writing Contest on the life of the late Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.

John Ely Templonuevo, 3rd year BSEd student and Yllaisa Mae Gianan, 4th year high school student of Catanduanes State University were declared champions of the tertiary and secondary categories , respectively, during the provincial elimination held on November 10, 2012 at the provincial capitol dome.

The competition was conducted by the Bicol Harvest Magazine and Kaya Natin Movement, in coordination with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Catanduanes provincial office and Philippine Information Agency Provincial Information Center.

The theme: “The living Legacy of Secretary Jesse Robredo" aims to honor the late DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo for his achievements in service.

It aims to inspire local leaders to advocate for good governance; and inculcate in the minds of the youth his legacy as a good public servant and leader.

Templonuevo and Gianan will represent Catanduanes to the regional competition on December 8, 2012 at SM Naga.

Only three schools competed in the tertiary category and 26 vied for the secondary level.

Winners will recieve P5,000 each to be awarded in Naga City, with the top three regional winners getting P10,000, P7,000 and P5,000, respectively. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

On-the-spot contest in Masbate to honor Robredo

By Ernesto A. Delgado

MASBATE CITY, Nov. 16 (PIA)—Campus writers in Masbate can express their thoughts on the legacy of Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo and win cash prizes and trophies in the “Bicol 2012 On-the-Spot Essay Writing Contest” jointly sponsored by Kaya Natin Movement and Bicol Harvest Magazine.

The office here of the Philippine Information Agency said elimination on the provincial level will take place at 7:30 a.m. on Nov. 17, Saturday, at the Masbate National Comprehensive High School.

High school juniors and seniors will compete in the category I while first and second-year college students will vie in category II. Ten winners in this elimination will be picked out from each category, with the top three receiving P5,000; P3,000 and P2,000.

Consolation prizes of P500 each will be awarded to the next seven.

The first-place winners in both categories will advance to the regional finals, where the following cash prizes await the top three winners: P10,000; P7,000 and P5,000.

Singer-composer Noel Cabangon who along with others including Robredo founded the Kaya Natin Movement before Robredo’s death in a plane crash in the waters off Masbate City last Aug. 18, launched the contest last Sept. 21 in ceremonies at the Heritage Center in Daet, Camarines Norte.

The prize is named after Robredo, who is venerated in his country for his “what you see is what you get” attitude, his quiet but diligent work ethic, simple living and closeness to the masses.

The late secretary had served for nearly two decades as mayor of Naga City before joining the Aquino administration in 2010.

In recognition of his work as mayor, Robredo received individual awards for local governance including the 2000 Ramon Magsaysay Award, the 1996 Outstanding Young Persons of the World Award, the 1998 Konrad Adenauer Medal for Excellence as Most Outstanding City Mayor of the Philippines, the Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines, and the first ever “Dangal ng Bayan” Award of the Civil Service Commission.

Each public and private high schools and college can send one participant to the contest. Entry forms are available at the provincial office of the Department of the Interior and Local Governments, City Schools Division Office and its counterpart in the province, and PIA office at the City Hall Compound.

The contest is sponsored in part by SM Naga, ABS-CBN Naga, Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, the municipal government of Daet, DILG and PIA. (MAL/EAD-PIA5/Masbate)

DOLE steps up drive against child labor, leads advocacy run

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov 16 (PIA) -- Alarmed over the increasing incidence of child labor in the Bicol region, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is seeking people’s participation to address this social menace.

DOLE 5 Regional Director Nathaniel V. Lacambra said the agency will spearhead the “Run Against Child Labor” to inform, educate and call for action among the various sectors and general public in campaign against incidence of children engaged in hazardous work.

Lacambra said the fun run cum information and advocacy drive is a five-kilometer run that intends to raise people's awareness on the hazard of children working in hazardous environment.

The rising incidence of child labor in the region has prompted the agency to intensify related campaigns in partnership with local chief executives and the Department of Social Welfare and Development .

A survey by the National Statistics Office (NSO) has indicated that some 300,000 children in Bicol have been engaged in hazardous work.

NSO and the International Labor Organization (ILO) last year, indicated that Central Luzon tops the list of areas that have the highest incidence of child labor with 316,000 followed by Bicol region with 300,000, Western Visayas – 250,000, Northern Mindanao – 248,000, and Central Visayas with 225,000 child laborers.

Lacambra said they aim to remove Bicol from the list of regions with high incidence of child labor.

The study indicated that the country has a total of 30 million children with ages ranging from 5 to 17 years. Of this figure, 5.4 million or 19 percent are considered as working children.

“We are still in the process of validating the results of the survey. It’s hard to accept that we have this figure. This is the reason why we need to step-up our child labor program,” he said.

Taking part in conducting the “Run Against Child Labor” marathon are the DOLE 5 Employees Cooperative (Dolevecco), DOLE 5 Employees Union (DOLEV EU), and DOLE Regional Coordinating Committee as collaborators.

The fun run is one of the regional office's celebratory activities for the DOLE's 79th Foundation anniversary on December 8.

At stake during the fun run, Lacambra said, are prizes ranging from P7,000 for 1st prize, P5,000 for 2nd prize, and P3,000 for 3rd prize.

The proceeds of the marathon will be allotted for the 2013 Project Angel Tree, which gets 30 percent share. Project Angel Tree is an annual gift-giving and feeding event sponsored by the DOLE in partnership with private establishments.

Participants in the “Run Against Child Labor” will be charged a registration fee of P200, inclusive of a t-shirt.

Dolevecco chairman and DOLEV EU president Raymond Escalante said the fun run is the organizations' way of showing their support to the leadership of Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz and her anti-child labor agenda.

"The employees' union and the cooperative also share the burden on how to achieve our goal of eliminating child labor, particularly in its worst forms. Through cooperation with our leaders here in the region and at the central office, we know we could end this child labor menace in Bicol," he said.

For more details about the fun run, enthusiast can coordinate with Imelda E. Romanillos at 0939 7721296; Ching Banania at 0919 3588950; Cyre Cabredo at 0929 1503282 or at (052) 480-5830 to 31; or Ms. Ella Verano at 480-5987 or 0921 7118178. (MAL-PIA5/Albay)