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

Friday, December 28, 2012

'Quinta' leaves many Camarines Sur municipalities flooded

By Analiza S. Macatangay

PILI, Camarines Sur, Dec. 28 (PIA) -- Torrential rains brought by the northeast monsoon and tropical depression (TC) Quinta has left 31 barangays in six municipalities in the province of Camarines Sur flooded.

The weather system has also stranded 140 passengers in various ports in Camarines Sur.

In the information released by the Camarines Sur Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMS), rivers in barangays Timbang, Baliuag Viejo, Catanusan, and Ombao Polpog all in Bula, Camarines Sur overflowed.

Some of the barangays in the municipalities of Nabua, Buhi, Bula, including Iriga City were not also spared from floods due to the continuous rains for the past two days..

The town of Nabua tops the municipalities on the number of flooded barangays which is 10. Bula comes next with seven barangays, Buhi with five barangays, and Iriga City with four flooded barangays.

Of the 140 stranded passengers, 65 came from Pasacao Port. They were bound for San Pascual, Masbate. In Garchitorena and Lagonoy, North Coastal were 45 passengers who took their chance to wait at the Tamban Port but the seacraft to sail. The same with 30 passengers bound for Guijalo, Caramoan who were also waiting at the Sabang Port.

Amidst continuous rains, local DRRMCS remained vigilant on a 24/7 watch to update local disaster units, especially the barangays.

The Camarines Sur Operation Center regularly sent weather bulletins and advisories. Members of the tri media were also furnished copies, including response teams and PDRRMC member agencies. (MAL/LSM-PIA5, Camarines Sur)

CSU bags top awards in regional tertiary schools press contest

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Dec. 28 (PIA) -- Catanduanes State University (CSU) tertiary student journalists, including their campus publications, bagged 27 individual and group awards in the 13th Region V Tertiary Schools Press Conference conducted by the Bicol Association of Tertiary Publication Advisers and Commission on Higher Education Region 5 on December 7-9 in Legazpi City.

Senior editors from The CSU Statesman, the official tertiary student publication of Catanduanes State University, which garnered top awards were Abygale A. Bagadiong, first place, News writing English; Marian Claire V. Tulod, first place, Opinion Writing Filipino; Dave S. Tolentino, third place, Editorial Writing, Filipino; Paul John Padilla, third place, Sports Writing English; Karen Ailene Benavidez, third place, Opinion Writing English; Dave S. Tolentino, third place, Feature Writing Filipino; Jerard Paul V. Tulod, fourth place, Sports Writing Filipino; Dave S. Tolentino, fourth place, Poetry Writing Filipino.

In the group competition, the SY 2012-2013 second semester issue of The CSU Statesman was declared Overall Best Publication, Newsletter Category, as well as first place in News Page, first place in Page Design, first place in DevCom Page and first place in Opinion Page.

Moreover The CSU Statesman Intramurals Issue was declared first place in Sports Page, second place in Page Design, second place, Features/Literary Page, third place in DevCom Page, and fourth place in Editorial/Opinion Page for tabloid category.

Now on its sixth year of grand slam winning, Abacatanduanes: Ikaanim na Paghahabi, the CSU Statesman Literary Folio was adjudged Overall Best Publication, Literary Folio Category, including first place in Literary Content, first place in Overall Concept, first place in Cover Design, and second place in Graphics Illustration.

The editors and staff writers who steered the three winning publications of the CSU Statesman were Karen Ailene P. Benavidez, Dave S. Tolentino, Abygale A. Bagadiong, Christine May P. Petajen, Marian Claire V. Tulod, Jerard Paul V. Tulod, Paul John C. Padilla, John Ely B. Templonuevo, Cyril Patrice O. Bernardino, Bren Garette Z. Rivera, John Kurt O. Vallez, Jordan T. Ignacio, Howell T. Cilot, Ma. Theresa Q. Dela Rosa,Crisanta P. Benitez, Dyan Camille L. Quintal, German T. Tejada Jr., Kathleen M. Arcilla, Kyle Rochelle B. Teves, Jessica Paola M. Aquino, Charisse L. Faeldonea, Jan Keith A. Abundo, Carmela Mae M. Brojan, Jessa T. Sebastian, Cherry Mae D. Villamartin and Gerry S. Rubio, technical publication adviser.

Meanwhile, the editors of Heringgilya, the official student publication of College of Health Sciences likewise scored five major awards—first place, Poetry Writing English, Angelica Z. Terrazola; fifth place, News Writing English - Kyle Rochelle B. Teves; fifth place, Devcom Writing Filipino - Chille Marlyn T. Vargas, and fifth Place, Editorial Writing English - Chille Marlyn T. Vargas.

More than 200 student writers from some 30 government and private, colleges and universities, and community colleges in the region participated in the annual competition.

The top five winners in each individual writing category will represent Region 5 in the Luzonwide Higher Education Press Conference in February 2013. The publications will also be competing in the group category. (MAL/EAB- PIA 5, Catanduanes/GSR-CSU)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

'Linggo ng Kabataan' manifests vital role of SK

By Benilda A. Recebido

SORSOGON CITY, Dec 27 (PIA) -- Republic Act 7160, known as the Local Government Code of 1991 directs the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) as the youth representation in various civic and social gatherings, and arranges activities in response to national as well as local issues and concerns.

Said decree prompted the SK Provincial Federation of Sorsogon headed by Patrick Lee Rodrigueza to carry out various activities as a way of observing the annual “Linggo ng Kabataan” activity.

The SK here, together with the provincial government of Sorsogon, the Public Employment Service Office, and the Department of Labor and Employment, organized a job fair on December 13-14 for career hunters.
Linking up with four local and overseas agencies, the job fair registered a total number of 216 applicants.

A First Aid and Basic Life Support workshop was conducted on December 15 for members of the SK Provincial Federation at the Sorsogon National High School together with the “Linggo ng Kabataan” events. This was supported by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), headed Raden D. Dimaano, and engineer.

The event was joined by Sorsogon’s champion on climate change, former governor Sally Ante Lee, who urged the SK for their further commitment to saving Mother Earth.

“I hope that in due time you will learn and take responsibility in protecting our environment,” she said.

Earlier, the SK headed by board member Rodrigueza, expressed their enthusiasm to implement programs under Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and to timely respond to the adverse effects of climate change.

The SK also had a tree-planting activity on December 16.

In coordination with forest ranger Wilfredo F. Duran Jr., Captain Arnel G. Sabas of the 903rd Infantry Brigade,and Brgy. Chairman Floro A. Mirabel, SK members planted acacia mangium, mahogany, and narra tree saplings in Barangay Amomonting, Castilla.

“The Campostella Valley tragedy was just one of the terrible catastrophes that hit the country and manifested insufficiency in preparedness and awareness of disaster risk reduction," Rodrigueza said.

“With any luck, these laudable activities will benefit responsive and active stakeholders in reducing risks during disasters and other calamities here in Sorsogon,” he further said. (VAELabalan, PIO/BAR-PIA 5, Sorsogon)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Albay placed on state of heightened alert in the wake of TS Quinta

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 26 (PIA) -- The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council of Albay has placed the province under the state of heightened alert and close monitoring in the wake of tropical storm Quinta which may bring increased volume of rainfall and may result to flooding and landslides.

Albay is among the areas where public storm warning signal#1 was hoisted at 5 a.m. weather bulletin of Pagasa on TS Quinta.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said he has already directed member agencies and organizations, as well as the general public, to carry out countermeasures now being implemented to prevent disaster and ensure “zero casualty” in the wake of the prevailing weather system affecting the provincial area.

Salceda said in an advisory that the no-sailing to sea policy is in effect, especially for small transport sea crafts and fishing vessels.

He explained that local governments down to the barangay levels and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), should work closely together along this line to inform and prevent fishermen and travelers from venturing into the sea due to dangers posed by Quinta.

The same advisory directs coastal barangays to monitor and prepare against possible storm surges.

The populace is also advised not to cross swollen rivers and artificial pools of water and to avoid low-lying and coastal areas for possible coastal flooding.

Barangays, especially on the eastern seaboard, should closely monitor rainfall rate and be prepared for countermeasures including evacuation of population residing near steep slopes for landslides and low-lying areas for flash floods, floods and lahar.

City, municipal disaster risk reduction and management councils and barangay committees, according to the same advisory, may utilize the Quick Response Fund, equivalent to 30 percent of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund to support emergency needs of evacuated populations if any.

Meanwhile, signal #1 is also hoisted over Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, and Burias Island in Masbate, while signal #2 had been raised over Sorsogon, Masbate, and Ticao Island, also in Masbate. (MAL-PIA5, Albay)

Monday, December 24, 2012

2 Bicolanos qualify in 2012 Rizal Model Students

By Shannah Marie O. Montales

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 24 (PIA) -- Two Bicolano students have successfully qualified in the top 20 finalists for Jose Rizal Model Students of the Philippines as announced in the 50th National Rizal Youth Leaders Institute Conference last December 15 in Teacher’s Camp, Baguio City.

They are Emil P. Lim of Divine Word College of Legazpi and Javier Leonardo V. Rugeria of Ateneo de Naga University.

Lim, a graduating Management and Accountancy major, is the current chairperson of the College Student Executive Board, the supreme student council of Divine Word College of Legazpi. He also served as a Philippine Student Ambassador under the Japan East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youth program last May 2012.

Rugeria, a fourth year student taking up Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Foreign Studies and International Relations, is the secretary-general of the AdNU-SSG Student Tribunal and an officer in AdNU’s Philosophy Society (PHILOSOC). He is also a musician in a band which performs in gig areas and has front acted in concerts of True Faith and The Bloomfields in Naga City.

Lim and Rugeria bested hundreds of student-nominees from public and private colleges and state universities from across the country during the paper screening. The submitted papers listed their basic profiles, academic achievements and extra-curricular endeavors.

The two, along with the other finalists, will undergo a final interview with prominent national figures on December 28 in the Knights of Rizal Building in Manila. From then, only top 10 students will be chosen to become the 2012 Jose Rizal Model Students of the Philippines.

The 10 winners will be awarded with a cash prize, medal, trophy and certificate and will be conferred by the Knights of Rizal on December 29, 2012.

The annual awarding ceremony, which has been successfully conducted for the last 25 years, aims to recognize the Rizalian qualities and exemplary performance of the Filipino youth in academic excellence, leadership skills and sustained involvement in extra-curricular activities on campus and in the larger community. (MAL/SMOMontales-PIA5, Albay)

Barangays in Legazpi City cited for good solid waste management

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 24 (PIA) -- The city government here has cited with honors and cash incentives 10 of the city’s 70 barangays that showed outstanding performances in ecological waste management this year.

“The success of the implementation of our solid waste management program is a luminous symbol of Legazpi’s identity as a strong, modern city that maintains healthful and environment- friendly communities,” Mayor Geraldine Rosal of this city said as she handed certificates of commendation and cash rewards to the awardees.

The urban villages of Sabang, Cabangan East, and Pigcale were top three of 10 villages under the small barangay category of the city’s Search for Outstanding Solid Waste Management Program implementers which received P 50,000 each.

Fourth and fifth placers were barangays Bañadero and Tamaoyan, which got P15,000 each as consolation prizes.

For the large barangay category, barangays 33-Peñaranda, Bagumbayan, and Gogon were the top three placers which also received P50,000 cash award each while the two runners-up, barangays Puro, and Arimbay were given another P15,000 each.

The awardees were adjudged best among the city’s 70 villages in ecological solid waste management in a yearly search being initiated by the city government to encourage local communities to observe proper disposal of garbage.

In congratulating the winners, Rosal urged all the city’s barangay chairmen and ecological protection workers to perform aggressively for the proper disposal of household and commercial wastes to maintain the cleanliness of their communities while preventing garbage from clogging canals and esteros that results to flooding during rainy days.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sutherland Global Resources to operate in Catanduanes

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Dec. 22 (PIA) -- The Sutherland Global Resources, one of the largest call centers in the Philippines, will soon operate in Catanduanes.

On December 6, representatives from Sutherland, Governor Joseph C. Cua and Center Mall Operator Joseph Lim signed an agreement on the joint project which provides, among others, call center operations on the third floor of the mall.

The parties agreed that the company may now start recruitment and training of call center agents, Cua said.

Applicants must be 18 years old and above and at least high school graduate.

Those who would qualify for hiring after the training would be deployed in the Legazpi or Naga branches of Sutherland, wherein they shall be allowed to go home weekly.

A target of 1,000 agents within five years will be required for the establishment of the call center in Catanduanes thereby assigning those deployed in other branches in the province to man the operations of the call center in Catanduanes.

Gov. Cua saidthe set-up would be very timely for the completion of Center Mall Annex (formerly JMA Theater and JMA Building being presently occupied by Land Bank) which he is planning to allocate for the call center. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

CIDG has 200 new informants in Masbate

By Ernesto A. Delgado

MASBATE CITY, Dec. 22 (PIA) -- At least 200 private citizens in the island-province of Masbate have been recruited by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to collect information that might help police in investigation.

The new informants were recruited by the CIDG recently as part of an expansive intelligence-gathering program that CIDG Director Samuel D. Pagdilao launched after he founded the Community Investigative Support (CIS) last year.

Pagdilao said last week that CIS members will provide law enforcement personnel with tips about current or future investigation.

Pagdilao, here on a visit to the provincial headquarters of the Philippine National Police, urged police officials to utilize the services of the CIS in the collection of information on suspected lawless persons.

“Communities are not just recipients of our services but they can also be tapped to work alongside the PNP in combating crimes,” he said.

“CIS members will render their services for free,” he added. “Just treat them with respect and give them their due, and they will give you your due.”

In reaction, Bicol Police Regional Director for Operations Arnold L. Albis expressed gratitude for Pagdilao’s generosity.

“The CIS, if utilized properly, can really be a big help in fighting criminals,” Albis said.

With the 2013 mid-term elections fast approaching, Albis said the CIS could play a part in ensuring a safe and orderly balloting in Masbate where most local positions are hotly contested. (MAL/EAD-PIA5, Masbate)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Giant parols light up Legazpi City, Oplan Iwas Paputok launched

By Shannah Marie O. Montales

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 21 (PIA) -- Thirty-four giant parols illuminated this city and brought more color and life to Karangahan Albay Green Christmas and to the Albayano community during the Green Lantern Parade yesterday, December 20.

All the parols were originally made by Albayano artisans.

Meanwhile, the Oplan Iwas Paputok Karangahan sa Pasko was launched on same day through the efforts of Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, Albay Public Safety and Emergency Office, Albay Provincial Health Office, Bureau of Fire Protection Albay and Philippine National Police Albay.

The project composes of three activities designed to provide maximum awareness to the Albayanos and to achieve its objectives of achieving zero casualty and zero incident in the province during the celebration of Christmas and New Year.

According to Salceda, the Oplan Zero Casualty through Iwas Paputok "Caravan of Partners" will be on Friday, December 21 starting 8 a.m. from Penaranda Park. The routes were as follows: Polangui, Nasisi, Sabloyon, Estanza, Tiwi, then back to Tabaco, enter Bacacay, then Sto. Domingo and back to Legazpi. End of route will be in Peñaranda Park.

Other activities include Information and Education Campaign (IEC) through broadcast media, inspection and monitoring and pre-positioning of medicines.

The Green Lantern Parade and Oplan Iwas Paputok are both part of the celebration of the Karangahan Albay Green Christmas which kicked off November 25 and will end December 25. (MAL/SMOM-PIA5, Albay)
She explained that the implementation of solid waste management programs of the city was is connection with Republic Act 9003 otherwise known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 and the City Ordinance No. 0017 which aim to improve the living condition of the people through proper environmental management.

City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) chief Salve Corral said the selection of the winners in the Search was based on the average results of this year’s performances of barangays under the criterion of segregation at source, segregated collection (no segregation no collection policy), collection coverage, cleanliness, operation and maintenance, barangay initiatives and apprehensions of violators. (MAL/MPSolis-LGU Legazpi City/PIA5)

CSC V reiterates rules on year-end bonus, cash gifts

By Sally A. Atento

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 21 (PIA) -- The Civil Service Commission (CSC) regional office V has issued guidelines on the grant of year-end bonus (YEB) and cash gift for government employees this December.

CSC V public information officer Yoyie Jalmazar during the Ugnayan sa Bicol radio program of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) here, the said guidelines cover in particular, government personnel who are formally charged with administrative and criminal cases in connection with their official duties and functions.

The guidelines are also in line with the rules of the Department of Budget and Management on position classification and compensation on the grant of year-end bonus (YEB) and cash gift.

Jalmanzar stressed that based from the circular, employees with pending formal charges but have not been proven guilty are still entitled to receive their benefits.

“As stated in the guidelines, formally charged government personnel whose cases are still pending for resolution shall be entitled to the YEBs until found guilty and meted penalties,” Jalmanzar explained.

However those found guilty shall not be entitled to the YEBs in the year the decision was handed down.

“The penalty for the charges will also be a factor to be considered for the employee to be granted with the said benefits. In case of suspension, the employee will not be receiving the grant on the same year the decision was given but in case of dismissal, the employee will definitely be disqualified for the grant,” Jalmanzar furthered. (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

Bicol studes join 50th NRYLI Conference

By Shannah Marie O. Montales

BAGUIO CITY, Dec. 21 (PIA) -- Five students from Bicol colleges and universities were among the 767 delegates that participated in the National Rizal Youth Leadership Institute (NRYLI) Conference held last December 13-16, 2012 at Teacher’s Camp, Baguio City.

NRYLI is now on its fifth decade in training young people composed of youth and teachers of colleges and universities as well as Sangguniang Kabataan representatives who hold leadership potentials through the ideals, teachings and life of national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal.

In Bicol, students represents Bicol University Legazpi, Bicol University Polangui, Divine Word College of Legazpi, Catanduanes State University and Partido State University.

NRYLI started way back in 1962 operating under the aegis of the Order of the Knights of Rizal (KOR). Unlike other leadership trainings, it employs Rizalism and serves as a continuing education for all the attendees.

They are expected to apply Rizal’s tenets which they have learned from the conference as they go back to their respective schools, families and communities.

The 50th NRYLI, with the theme “Buhayin si Rizal sa Bawa’t Kabataang Pilipino, organized by the KOR and Kabataang Pangarap ni Rizal (KAPARIZ), was called to order by Sir Reghis M. Romero II, KGCR, Supreme Commander, Knights of Rizal.

Baguio City mayor Mauricio Domogan said he was more happy and inspired to welcome the delegates who came from different parts of the country.

“This event is for you, young people. Looking at your faces cannot quantify the happiness that I feel as there are youth leaders under construction whom we can hand down our responsibilities,” he remarked.

Domogan was exalted to 3rd degree Knight Commander of Rizal for his exemplary performance as city mayor who embodies Rizal’s principles. With one hand raised and the other placed on the book of El Filibusterismo, he swore to propagate Rizal’s teachings in his words and deeds and emulate him in his every endeavor.

To inspire the youth leaders, speakers of prestige who conveyed Rizal’s life and revealed unknown facts about the hero were invited.

Former senator and KOR Supreme Commander Sir Jose D. Lina, Jr. served as the conference’s keynote speaker.

“Our heroes all experienced and accepted challenges; succeeding generations will, too. The youth should be galvanized and made aware of the ills of the society to attain progress in the country,” said Lina.

Other speakers include Philippine playwright and 1999 Centennial Honors for the Arts awardee Dr. Paul A. Domol, well-acclaimed journalist and Reader’s Digest 2009’s No. 6 in the List of Most Trusted Filipinos Howie Severino, News 5 anchor and Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awardee for Literature Lourd Ernest H. de Veyra.

Contests and fun challenges aligned with the theme of the golden NRYLI were also conducted. These were Essay Writing Contest, Extemporaneous Speaking, Oratorical Contest, History Quiz, Poster Making Contest, Amazing Race and Makabayang Sayawitan.

Delegates were given free time to stroll around the City of Pines during the last day.

The NRYLI is part of the celebration of the Rizal month and aims is continually propagate and Rizal’s teachings in and among all classes of Filipino people and by words and deeds as chartered under Section 2 of Republic Act 646. (MAL/SMOMontales-PIA5/Albay)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bicol U represents Phl in World Biz Confab

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 20 (PIA/BU) -- Bicol University in Albay province joined the ranks of business and organizational leaders in the World Business Capability Congress on December 6, 2012 at the University of Auckland Business School, Auckland, New Zealand.

Philippines, as represented by Bicol University president Dr. Fay Lea Patria M. Lauraya and BU’s ISO technical adviser, Gilbert M. Llovit shared to the world business leaders the paper on ‘Academe’s Journey to Total Quality Management: the Bicol University ISO 9001:2008 Experience.’

The paper delved on excellence, innovation, expertise and knowledge as the driving factors for the pursuit of higher education that has prompted sound strategies for the development of globally competitive students and faculty alike.

This is where Total Quality Management (TQM) comes into primordial importance as one of the strategic mechanisms to satisfy and delight the multitude of stakeholders to include the students, parents, partner-institutions, the government and the society as a whole.

Bicol University is on the lead to produce globally competitive graduates imbued with the highly held values of Scholarship, Leadership, Character, and Service, to generating and disseminating new knowledge and technologies beneficial to all stakeholders and to improve the well-being of the community.

Hence, this feat of the University will never be realized with religiously applying the principles and strategies of Total Quality Management in its system.

The World Congress was organized by the Center for Organization Excellence Research, New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation and the New Zealand Organization for Quality. (MAL/BU Release/PIA5)

CSC to gov’t agencies: provide continuous service, do not accept gifts

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 20 (PIA) -- Amidst the conduct of office parties for Christmas and other year-end activities, the Civil Service Commission - Region 5 (CSC - 5) calls on government agencies in this region for continuous, high-quality service to the public.

Appropriate strategies such as shifting schedules even during lunch break may be conducted to ensure consistent uninterrupted service within the specified working hours, said Yoyie Jalmanzar, CSC information officer.

The said call is also in line with the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) of 2007 which states that heads of offices and agencies which render front-line services must adopt appropriate working schedules to ensure that all clients who are in the premises prior to the end of official working hours are attended to and served even during lunch break and after regular working hours.

Jalmanzar also reminded civil servants not to accept gifts in exchange for the performance of their duties particularly from clients with pending transactions.

“Such gifts may be construed as a bribe or reward for a favor or better treatment. It may be deemed proper or improper depending on the value of the gift, the relationship between the giver and the receiver, and the intent,” Jalmanzar cautioned.

As cited under the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for public officials and employees, civil servants are prohibited from soliciting or accepting gifts, favors, loans or anything of monetary value in the course of their official duties.

Violation of said provision, Jalmanzar added, is classified as a grave offense punishable by dismissal from the service. (MAL/SAA-PIA5, Albay)

29,600 board feet of lumbers confiscated in Camarines Norte

By Rosalita B. Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, Dec. 20 (PIA) -- Some 29,605 board feet of lumber amounting to almost P1 million were apprehended from January to November this year by the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) in the implementation of forest protection and law enforcement program.

CENR Officer Ponciano M. Mabeza said that these were attributed to 47 apprehensions wherein eight were abandoned while 39 had claimants.

He said that they had already filed cases in court against 14 persons for violation of Sec. 77 of Presidential Decree 705 as amended.

The apprehensions were conducted in the barangays of Mercedes, Labo, Sta.Elena, Basud, Paracale, Daet, Capalonga, Talisay, and Jose Panganiban.

Seized assorted woods include: lokbob, diptero, batino, bamboo poles, apitong, pili, santol, batin, narra, derigcalin, red lauan, ilang-ilang, white lauan, kalamansanai, dapdap and malapapaya with some 265 sacks of wood charcoal.

The involved conveyances in the said operations include: two motorized banca, four public utility jeepneys, five ELP trucks, 16 motorcycles, one six wheeler, one close van, and one public utility bus.

The said logs and conveyances were in the custody of Cenro-Daet, Philippine National Police (PNP) in the said municipalities, and the Philippine Army.

He said that the apprehensions were made by four forest rangers in the Bicol National Park (BNP), three forest rangers in Abisog-Mananap- Matogdon-National Biotic Area (AMMNBA), and five forest rangers outside the protected areas and in coordination with the PNP and AFP in the said areas.

There were also 47 deputized Wildlife Enforcement Officers (WEOs) throughout the province who assisted in the protection of natural resources in the different areas in the barangay.

He added that aside from the forest protection and law enforcement program of Cenro, they managed other priority programs and projects as well as conservation of existing natural resources in the province. (MAL/RBM-PIA5, Camarines Norte)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

1.2 million tree seedlings planted under the National Greening Program in Camarines Norte

By Rosalita B. Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, Dec 19 (PIA) - More than 1.2 million assorted tree seedlings were planted in some 2,448 hectares established for the months of January to November this year as part of the National Greening Program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer Ponciano M. Mabeza said that NGP is one of the priority program of the government and its objective is to breen bald forests, uplift the living condition of the upland dwellers, and reduce poverty of poor households and indigenous people and in coastal/urban areas.

It will be recalled that under the NGP more than 400,000 assorted tree seedlings were planted to 614 hectares established for the whole year in 2011.

There are also other programs and projects as well as conservation/protection programs for the continuous development of vaiours ecosystems within the province.

Included in the program is the continuing implementation and monitoring of Bicol River Basin Watershed Management Program (BRBWMP) that contribute to the restoration of the denuded forest lands through different rehabilitation approached like upland reforestation, and assisted natural regeneration and agro-forestry by contract with non-government organization (NGOs), people’s organizations (POs), and local government units (LGUs).

The developed areas are being maintained and protected by selected organizations with the continues assistance of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO). (RBM/PIA Camarines Norte).

Christmas Cheers ’12 kicks-off in Catanduanes

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Dec 19 (PIA) -- The annual Christmas Cheers- a yuletide entertainment fest in the municipality of Virac started on December 15—a day early than usual.

The activity kicked off with a parade around Virac Poblacion participated by officials of the town headed by the Municipal Mayor Jose Alberto II.

The event was primarily aimed to bring joy and entertainment to local folks as well as to showcase the talents of the students of the various private and public schools in Virac.

The schedule of daily performance is as follows: December 15 (Saturday) – CSU Hablon Dawani; Dec. 16 (Sunday) – CSU Laboratory Schools; Dec. 17 (Monday) – Juan M. Alberto Memorial Elementary School; Dec. 18 (Tuesday) – Taytay Elementary School; Dec. 19 (Wednesday) – Virac Pilot Elementary School; Dec. 20 (Thursday) - Catanduanes Colleges/Ville St. John School; Dec. 21 (Friday) – Catanduanes National High School; Dec. 22 (Saturday) – Palta Small & Big Elementary School/Buyo Integrated School; Dec. 23 (Sunday) – Virac Central E/S, Antipolo E/S and Igang E/S; Dec. 26 (Wednesday) – FICELCO; Dec. 27 (Thursday) – Neo Catechumenal Communities/Hablon Dawani Alumni; Dec. 28 (Friday) – Little Ms. Christmas Cheers 2012/Star Kids; Dec. 29 (Saturday) – Provincial Government; Dec. 30 (Sunday) – Congressional District Office; and Dec. 31 – Virac Municipal Government.

This year’s program coordinator is Efren Sorra co-chaired by Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) District Engineer Ignacio Odiaman.

The activity was sponsored by Immaculate Conception Cathedral Parish, Congressional Office, Provincial Government of Catanduanes, Municipal Government of Virac, DPWH Catanduanes Engineering District, Marriage Encounterers, Catanduanes Tribune, Catanduanes Contractors Association, Mountain Care & Hikers Association, Abuab Auto Supply, FICELCO, Catanduanes Tulungan Club, San Miguel Corporation and Rotaract Club. (MAL/EAB-PIA5 Catanduanes)

DepEd holds First National Conference on K-12 in Naga City

By Analiza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, Dec 19 (PIA) -- The Department of Education (DepEd) regional office in Bicol conducted a 3-day National Research Conference on K to 12 Education (NRCKE) from December 12 to 14 at Villa Caceres Hotel, here.

This is to acknowledge the significant contribution of research and related studies to the success of the Philippine educational program.

The president of the Bicol Association of Schools Superintendent Emma Cornejo, also DepEd School Division Superintendent of this city, said the event aims to provide a forum where participants can enhance their skills, share their thoughts and eventually come up with the best educational researches in the country.

Under the theme, “Nurturing a Culture of Research for effective K to 12 Education Outcomes, the event aims to recognize and eventually utilize best educational projects and researches and update stakeholders on the current innovations on studies concerning various educational issues.

Cornejo said that the concept of K to 12 came from the collaborative effort of the members of the steering committee composed of DepEd, Commision on Higher Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and other stakeholders. It is designed to develop a learner to have a solid moral and spiritual grounding. One of its main feature is the strengthening of early childhood education otherwise known as the universal kindergarten.

Topics raised and shared by the participants during the activity include Common Problems on the implementation of Grade Seven Component of K+12 program in Payatan HS and factors affecting teachers perception and attitude towards K+12 implementation at the Camarines Sur National High School. The two concerns were raised by DepEd Camarines Sur researchers Ronald P. Enciso and Liberato M. Dimaiwat respectively.

The activity was also supported by the Philippine Public School Teachers Association, Philippine School Teachers Association and the National Educators Academy of the Philippines.

The interfacing communes with Republic Act No. 10157 or the Kindergarten Educational Act which institutionalizes kindergarten as the part of the basic education system and as a prerequisite for admission to Grade 1.

Cooperating agencies for the event were the Association of DepEd Directors and the Bicol Association of Schools Superintendents has enjoined the participation of DepEd Bureau Directors, Directors of Services, Center and Heads of Units, Regional Directors, Schools Division/ City Superintendents, Heads of Public and Private Elementary and Secondary Schools, among others. (MAL/LSM-PIA5 Camarines Sur)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

DOLE steps up measures to curb high incidence of child labor in Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 17 (PIA) --The Department of Labor and Employment in the Bicol region (DOLE-5) is stepping up effort to reduce the high incidence of child labor in the region

There are some 300,000 child laborers in the region, according to the latest survey by the National Statistics Office (NSO).

The DOLE-5 targets to reduce this by 75 percent, or 228,000 within four years starting 2013, Raymond Escalanate, DOLE public informatio officer said. “We are taking the results very seriously and we’re doubling our efforts and advocacy to cut down the high incidence of child labor in our region," he said.

The move is in accordance with the Philippine Program Against Child Labor’s national target of 70 percent in the eradication and prevention of child labor in the country by 2016.

Escalante, however, said that the figures need to be verified. "It’s possible that these children are simply helping their parents and are not to be considered as child laborers," he said. (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

Comelec bares official list of voters for May 2013 elections

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Dec. 17 (PIA) -- A total of 163, 563 voters in Catanduanes are qualified to participate in the May 13, 2013 elections.
This was revealed by the Commission Elections (Comelec) provincial office last week after the list was verified and approved by the Election Registration Board.

The breakdown of voters per municipality are as follows: Bagamanoc, 7,422; Baras, 9,499; Bato, 13,508; Caramoran, 17,310; Gigmoto, 6,188; Pandan, 12,648; Panganiban, 6,973; San Andres, 24,450; San Miguel, 10,257; Viga, 13,817; and, Virac, 41,493.

According to Provincial Election Supervisor Atty. Maria Aurea C. Bo-Bunao, there is a notable increase in the number of voters for 2013 by 6.67 percent, or 10,229, from the 153,334 in 2010.

She likewise urged voters’ to verify their names before the election day to avoid delay in the voting process.

The final list includes those who registered, transferred, and changed their names. (EAB-PIA 5, Catanduanes)

Laborer’s son tops new batch of soldiers

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur, Dec. 17 -- A laborer's son has topped the new batch of soldiers as the Candidate Soldiers Training for 2012 formally ended in a simple graduation rites Friday, December 14.

Private Joey B Gernale led the 95 members of the Candidate Soldier Course Class 300-12 after five months of rigid training starting on July 18 this year at the 9th Division Training Unit here.

Gernale, 23 years old, is the son of a laborer and a part time jeepney driver in Sorsogon City. He is the youngest of three siblings. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Technology degree Major in Automotive Technology before deciding to join the military service.

“I decided to join the Army to have a stable job in order to help my family financially,” said Pvt Gernale. “But during the course of the training, I realized that the profession of arms is a very noble profession,” he added.

According to Gernale, life has been very hard financially for his family as his father is “on and off” with his job while his mother stays home as plain house wife.

Gernale said that he remained unemployed after completing his college degree. “I heard on an Army radio program about the recruitment of the Army last year, so I tried my luck,” said Gernale.

Gernale is one of the more than 4,500 young Bicolanos who took the Philippine Army Qualifying examination for 9ID last year. About 3,000 passed the examination, however, only the top 100 were selected after series of physical/ medical examinations, trade skills tests and interviews were conducted.

“The hardships that our family had became my motivation to complete the very hard training,” said Gernale.

The new graduates were granted a fifteen day vacation by MGen Romeo V Calizo, Commander of the 9th Infantry (Spear) Division , after which, they will be deployed to the different field units of 9ID.

“I missed my family, so I’ll make this vacation a fruitful,” said Gernale. “When we report to duty, it’s the beginning of our service to God, Country, People, and the Bicolanos,” he added.

As a sign of gratitude to the all out support of his family, Pvt Gernale said that he will be giving all his savings during his training to his parents. (MAL/Maj. AGuzman-9ID-DPAO-PA/PIA5)

Laborer’s son tops new batch of soldiers

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur, Dec. 17 -- A laborer's son has topped the new batch of soldiers as the Candidate Soldiers Training for 2012 formally ended in a simple graduation rites Friday, December 14.

Private Joey B Gernale led the 95 members of the Candidate Soldier Course Class 300-12 after five months of rigid training starting on July 18 this year at the 9th Division Training Unit here.

Gernale, 23 years old, is the son of a laborer and a part time jeepney driver in Sorsogon City. He is the youngest of three siblings. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Technology degree Major in Automotive Technology before deciding to join the military service.

“I decided to join the Army to have a stable job in order to help my family financially,” said Pvt Gernale. “But during the course of the training, I realized that the profession of arms is a very noble profession,” he added.

According to Gernale, life has been very hard financially for his family as his father is “on and off” with his job while his mother stays home as plain house wife.

Gernale said that he remained unemployed after completing his college degree. “I heard on an Army radio program about the recruitment of the Army last year, so I tried my luck,” said Gernale.

Gernale is one of the more than 4,500 young Bicolanos who took the Philippine Army Qualifying examination for 9ID last year. About 3,000 passed the examination, however, only the top 100 were selected after series of physical/ medical examinations, trade skills tests and interviews were conducted.

“The hardships that our family had became my motivation to complete the very hard training,” said Gernale.

The new graduates were granted a fifteen day vacation by MGen Romeo V Calizo, Commander of the 9th Infantry (Spear) Division , after which, they will be deployed to the different field units of 9ID.

“I missed my family, so I’ll make this vacation a fruitful,” said Gernale. “When we report to duty, it’s the beginning of our service to God, Country, People, and the Bicolanos,” he added.

As a sign of gratitude to the all out support of his family, Pvt Gernale said that he will be giving all his savings during his training to his parents. (MAL/Maj. AGuzman-9ID-DPAO-PA/PIA5)

9ID enlists former NPA rebel

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur, Dec 17 -- From enemy to protector of the state.

Lamberto “Nonoy” Niebla, a former NPA rebel, took his oath Friday, Dec. 14, as a new member of the 9th Infantry (Spear) Division, the organization he fought against for almost ten years.

Now Private Lamberto Niebla joins 94 young men as new soldiers of the 9th ID of the Philippine Army as the Candidate Soldier Course class 300-12 formally ends in a simple graduation ceremony Friday morning.

The five month rigid started convened last July 18, 2012.

Private Niebla was a former active member of the New People’s Army (NPA) operating in the island province of Catanduanes. He was 16 years old when he joined the NPA, trained by the rebel group to become a speaker, influencer and recruiter for the NPA before he voluntarily surrendered to the 83rd Infantry Battalion of the 9th ID.

“I was made to believe about the barbaric acts of the soldiers,” Niebla said. “They are really very good in giving beautiful and inspiring messages, I was young then, and I was easily influenced.”

Niebla said that his views about the soldiers changed when he met and befriended a soldier.

“The soldiers are not the violent people I was made to believe,” he said.

Now as a newly enlisted Private of the 9th ID, Niebla wants to help those others who were misled like him before.

“I want to help in acountering the recruitment of the rebels of students and young teenagers,” Niebla said. He also wants be an example for those who are still in the rebel organization that there is still hope of a better life if they join the mainstream of the society. MAL/Maj. AGuzman-9ID-DPAO-PA/PIA5)

Monday, December 17, 2012

DA spearheads Organic Rice Field Day

By Analiza S. Macatangay

PILI, Camarines Sur, Dec. 17 (PIA) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Office here recently conducted a one-day Organic Rice Field day in line with its project, Development of National Organic Rice Seed Production Systems with Informal Sector. The activity, which was attended by more than 300 farmers at Lapigna, Bula, Camarines Sur, aims to revitalize organic agriculture in all areas of the country.

It was attended by members and officers of the Pecuaria Development Cooperative, Inc. (PDCI) and Camarines Sur Organic Advocateurs Development Council.

Planted in a one-hectare demo farm are organic and aromatic rice varieties which consist of JM 2, Basmati and MS 16, and traditional varieties RC 18 and RC 160. The demo farm is within the more than 800 hectare Pecuaria Rice Central in the municipality of Bula.

The activity is also pursuant to the Philippine Organic Agriculture Law which encourages propagation, development, implementation and promotion of organic agriculture in the Philippines, among other things. It is being implemented by the DA- Bureau of Plant Industry and funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research.

Dante Fidel, National Seed Coordinator and Agriculture Focal person of the Bureau of Plant Industry said that the seeds produced from this techno demo will be procured by the DA and distributed as starter seeds to farmers engaged in aromatic rice production.

Adelina Losa, Region 5 Organic Agriculture focal person, who came in behalf of Assistant Secretary Salacup commended PDCI for their praise-worthy efforts in coming up with programs and projects promoting sustainable agriculture and for being a model of farmer’s unity as evidence of the success of their cooperative.

In Salacup’s message, he commended the Bicol region for contributing 44 percent of the country’s organic crops production and for contributing 74 percent to the total organic palay production from January to September this year.

PDCI is the leading single producer of organic rice in Bicol region. It is among the five certified organic collaborators chosen by the Department of Agriculture nationwide for its project entitled Development of National Organic Rice Seed Production Systems with Informal Sector.

The other four certified organic farms are the Central Luzon State University in Nueva Ecija, Kahariam Realty and Farms Inc. in Batangas, the Negros Island Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Foundation Inc., and Bios Dynamis of South Cotabato.

In a press statement, Lovella Guarin from the DA Regional Office stated that Dr. Santiago Obien, Senior Technical Adviser of the DA National Rice Program was impressed with the PDCI’s organized efforts in rice production.

Obein urged the farmers to spread the production of aromatic rice varieties.

He disclosed that NSIC RC 160 is a high-yielding variety developed in CLSU, while the MS 16 (Maligaya Special ) developed by PhilRice has good eating quality. He emphasized the continued support of the DA National Rice Program to the Filipino farmers and promised to revitalize organic agriculture in all areas of the country. (DA/ LSMacatangay-PIA 5, Camarines Sur)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

PhilHealth Bicol cites health insurance privileges for 4Ps beneficiaries

By Sally A.Atento

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 15 (PIA) -- The Philippine Health Insurance Corp (PhilHealth) regional office in Bicol assures access to health insurance benefits and privileges for all beneficiaries and qualified dependents of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in the region.

Philhealth 5 director Orlando Iñigo Jr said that with PhilHealth Circular No 24 on June 22 this year, all 4Ps benefits and their qualified dependents are automatically eligible to avail of PhilHealth benefits in all accredited facilities.

“Through the said circular, the 4Ps ID card of a beneficiary is already acceptable to establish eligibility to claim National Health Insurance Policy (NHIP) benefits, in lieu of a PhilHealth ID or member data record,” Iñigo said.

Health cards issued to 4Ps beneficiaries are valid for three years.

Iñigo also clarified the additional guideline which applies only to a 4Ps beneficiary and at the same time a qualified dependent of an enrolled PhilHealth-sponsored program under the NHTS.

“Under the supplemental policy, a 4Ps beneficiary may be registered as a PhilHealth primary member provided that the patient-dependent is a qualified dependent of the said beneficiary but not a qualified dependent of the sponsored program or an existing member of the PhilHealth," Iñigo explained.

Among the PhilHealth benefits that 4Ps beneficiaries and dependents can avail of are preventive and diagnostic services under the Primary Care Package and all inpatient and outpatient care services at PhilHealth accredited facilities.

Qualified beneficiaries can also be free from paying other fees or expenses above and beyond the packaged rates as specified in the No Balance Billing (NBB) policy of all PhilHealth-sponsored program.

However, such policy will only apply to members and/or dependents who are diagnosed with any of the 23 cases under Case payment and admitted to non-private accommodation beds of government hospital, availed outpatient surgeries, hemodialysis and radio theraphy in accredited hospital facilities including free-standing dialysis centers (FSDCs) and ambulatory surgical clinics (ASCs) or those who utilized existing outpatient packages for TB-DOTS, malaria and HIV.

Members who availed services under the Maternity Care Package (MCP) and the Newborn Care Package (NCP) in accredited non-hospital providers are also qualified. (MAL/SAA-PIA5, ALbay)

Friday, December 14, 2012

"Project 12.12.12" to rehabilitate mangrove areas

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Dec 14 (PIA) -- At least 200,000 mangrove propagules were planted by volunteers to the different mangrove sites in the town particularly at Brgy. Palnab del Sur, Virac.

The mangrove planting activity dubbed as “Project 12.12.12” was a joint activity of the Congressional District Office, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Provincial Government of Catanduanes.

The event focused on the rehabilitation of the island’s mangrove areas and also served as the launching of the National Greening Program’s Mascot named GREENY, the newest endorser of the DENR’s various environmental programs.

Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Joaquin Ed Guerrero said that the original number of propagules to be planted during the activity is only 121,212 but due to the unexpected number of participants the propgagules reached 200,000.

The activity was participated by employees of the Provincial and Local Government Unit, Non-Government Organizations, students of the different educational institutions in the province and as well as local officials. (MAL/EAB-PIA5 Catanduanes)

San Jose commends outstanding taxpayers

By Analiza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, Dec. 14 (PIA) -- The municipal government San Jose has commended individuals and business institutions for paying their taxes religiously and adhering to the tax campaign of government.

San Jose Mayor Antonio Chaves said that for this year, seven individuals and three business owners comprised the Top Ten Outstanding Taxpayers for 2012. Jose Dellova Delloro and Wilfredo Apetrior Pervera top the list of those who have been religiously paying taxes for the past 20 years.

Salvador Rentoria came close with 18 years of regular tax payment which started in 1995 until the current year. Couple Rufino Ramirez Pasa and Paz Pena Paza, shared 16 years of dutifully paying their taxes with Fe Pasit and Melanie B. Picache.

Herminia Tuazon from Danlog, San Jose has also completed 12 years of religiously paying her tax. Danlog together with the above mentioned tax payers were not able to incur arrears in paying their taxes for the past years and has availed 20 percent discount deducted from heir taxable income as part of the LGU’s incentive.

Among the businesses in the said municipality, the Rural Bank of San Jose also received commendation for its 20 years of dutiful payment of taxes. Three businessmen were also given praises for not sleeping on their tax obligations: Milagros Penas Cledera of Barangay Sta. Cruz, Tomas Obias of Barangay Danlog, and Concepcion Sy Crescini from Barangay San Juan, all from the town of Sangay.

Chaves extended his gratitude to the awardees, not only for helping the local government raise more funds for its coffers but for being responsible and compliant of their obligations as citizens and members of the community.

Last year, Mayor Chavez’ administration was cited by the Bureau of Local of Local Government Finance for ranking first among 4th Class municipalities in the region for its outstanding performance and efficiency in income collection from economic enterprises. (MAL/LSM-PIA5, Camarines Sur)

Albay declared Filariasis-free province

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 13 (PIA) -- Albay is now Filariasis free following declaration and certification of the Department of Health (DOH) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Albay Governor Joey Salceda said the health agencies’ assertion of a Filarisis-free Albay province is another milestone achievement for the provincial government and the people as gregarious efforts to combat this disease in the province for years have finally been rewarded.

Salceda added that such another successful feat in the field of public health plays a big part in pursuit of really making Albay one the most liveable provinces in the country.

DOH assistant secretary Dr. Gerry Bayugo and WHO representative Dennis Romerick Tuazon led the conferment of the certificate for Filaria-free Albay yesterday to the provincial government, led by Salceda and provincial health officials.

Salceda also expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the DOH and WHO have been of help and lauded the local health authorities for carrying out an effective campaign against Filariasis, a mosquito born disease.

Filariasis, which is commonly known as “elephantiasis” because the victim’s legs and arms would swell to a size like those of an elephant’s, is a disease caused by a parasite transmitted by mosquitoes.

Symptoms of this illness are pain and swelling of the breast, vagina, scrotum, legs, and arms; fever, cough, chills, and wheezing.

Filariasis, also locally known as “buyong” (scrotal enlargement) and “tibak” (elephantiasis), involves parasites living along the lymphatic channels of affected humans.

Transmitted by mosquito bites, the illness causes enlargement of the scrotum, breasts, arms and legs of its victims leading to a lifetime of disability or death from severe skin infection. Filariasis is a disease group affecting humans and animals caused by nematode parasites of the order Filariidae, commonly called filariae.

Dr. Chito Mendoza, provincial health officer, said the office has sustained health awareness campaigns, surveillance, strengthened coordination and cooperation with rural health units and barangay health workers to make the province also free from leprosy, DPT, missiles, malaria, and recently filaria.

Mendoza also bared that the provincial epidemiologist recorded cases of filariasis in 2002 with 28 people afflicted with the disease in the towns of Manito, Daraga, Tiwi, Sto Domingo, Pioduran and Polangui.

He noted that public campaign and intervention to control the spread of these diseases, resulted to the decrease of the number of six in 2009 and no new cases reported this year.

Mendoza averred Albay province has attained a certain level based on the parameter of DOH wherein these diseases are considered no longer a public threat making it a basis for declaring the province Filaria free.

He furthered that aside from the Zero Casualty goal in times of disasters and emergencies, the province has aimed for a Zero Incidence in terms of health or Disease Free Zone.

Tuazon meanwhile said that among the six Bicol provinces, Albay and Sorsogon have already been declared as Filariasis-free provinces.

Tuazon citing WHO statistics said 44 provinces across the country have widespread cases of filariasis of which only 12 are filarial free this include Albay and Sorsogon.

DOH, on the other hand, has expressed confidence that the country will be declared Filariasis-free by 2018 as the agency is set to declare more provinces as Filariasis-free within the year, the likes of Eastern Samar and Marinduque. (MAL-PIA5/ALbay)

NKTI donates MRI to Bicol Medical Center

By Analiza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, Dec. 14 (PIA) --The National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) has donated and turned over a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine to the Bicol Medical Center (BMC).

Dr. Mary Jane Uy, BMC assistant director, said that new equipment will be very beneficial for patients of cancer, tumor, skeletal injury and other illnesses or disorders that need detailed imaging or picture of their condition. MRI is a medical imaging technique that will be used to visualize the detailed internal structures of the body.

Uy said that while BMC has the best CT scan services, an MRI will give their patients more extensive and more comprehensive result when it comes to the details necessary for the diagnosis of their ailment.

BMC management is thankful to the administration of NKTI for donating an almost P100M worth of MRI and handling the cost of its transfer to BMC.

BMC is one of the 13 medical centers in the region run by national government. Although classified as tertiary hospital, BMC still caters to minor cases and assists the influx of various patients coming from various parts of the region. BMC is also under the direct supervision of the Department of Health Center for Health Development in Bicol.

It is also mandated to accommodate all patients who will be in need of hospitalization or medical services and extend their assistance to indigent patients who, most of the times are not capable of paying their hospital bills.

BMC management also ensures that it will be the government’s partner in the implementation of the Kalusugang Pangkalahatan or the universal health care program of the government as part of President Benigno Aquino’s health agenda.

The MRI will be inaugurated tomorrow at the Bicol Medical Center which formally signals its readiness to serve not only the Camarinenses but also the Bicolanos. (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Philhealth urges members to use PIN and PEN for fast, easy transactions

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec 13 (PIA) -- The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) regional office here urged anew its members from the government and private sectors in the region to use their identification numbers for faster and easier transactions.

PhilHealth 5 Director Orlando Iñigo Jr said the office is currently implementing the use of Philhealth Identification Number (PIN) regardless of membership category and Philhealth Employer Numbers (PENs) for employers in all PhilHealth transactions.

“The PIN and PEN is the main key reference for document request, update of member/employer data, payment/collections, posting and/or uploading of contributions and availing benefits,” Iñigo said.

Iñigo added that these identification numbers are necessary for faster database-dependent transactions with their agency.

For further details and inquiries, members in the region are encouraged to coordinate with Philhealth V Public Affairs Unit at 481-5899 or to visit their office personally. (MAL/SAA-PIA5 Albay)

CSU, LGU join hands in connecting Buyo Integrated School to cyberspace

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Dec. 13 (PIA) -- Students in a local school here have gained access to information available in cyberspace.

This opportunity for students was realized after the Buyo Integrated School was chosen by the CSU Extension Unit as recipient of the Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) service for Internet connectivity.

The provincial government provides the WiFi equipment and facilities.

The launching of internet connection in Buyo Integrated School was led by officials of the Catanduanes provincial government, DepEd Catanduanes, and Catanduanes State University (CSU).

The project is part of the University’s Sustainable Ecosystem Program for Community Development to the Buyo District in Virac.

The outreach program, led by SUC president III Dr. Minerva I. Morales, along with the vice president for REPA Dr. Aida A. Dianela, and Extension directorDr. Maria S. Tugano, is undertaken in partnership with the Virac LGU, Diocese of Virac, DENR-PENRO, DTI Catanduanes, DOST Catanduanes, Provincial Government of Catanduanes, DepEd Division of Catanduanes and FIDA Catanduanes.

The program covers the nine barangays of Buyo District.

A computer laboratory with 10 computer units with Internet connection is currently being used by the Buyo Integrated School. The facility is open to all students, school employees and even to the community.

“I never let students surf the net without anyone supervising them,” said Frankie T. Turalde, principal of Buyo Integrated School.

Turalde also added that one of the advantages of having an Internet connection is that it is easier for the students to research, unlike before that the learning of students are very limited.

The Submission of Learner Reference Number – a 12-digit number used to facilitate the tracking of students and their performance – is much easier now with the help of the Wi-Fi connection, Turalde said.

The principal extended his gratitude to the CSC Administration for their efforts in making their school a Wi-Fi zone. Dr. Tugano said that they regularly monitor the status of the Wi-Fi connection. (MAL/EAB/GSRubio-CSU/PIA5

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tabaco City MDG-FACES brightens prospect for poor communities

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 12 (PIA) --The local government of Tabaco City projects a whole package of anti-poverty interventions through the Millennium Development Goals- Family Action Based for Children in their Environs of the Slums or MDG-FACES focusing on this pilot barangay seen with a great success for replication.

Tabaco City, according to Luistro, is the only local government unit in Bicol region granted with the 2012 Millennium Development Goals- Family Action Based for Children in their Environs of the Slums (MDG-FACES),

MDG-FACES, a joint program of the city government with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), addresses anti-poverty issues of selected pilot barangay with a minimum financial grant of P300,000.00 as initial capital for a demo project of its choice.

Mayor Cielo Krisel Lagman-Luistro said that the city government revitalizes the sea-weed noodle production and processed sea products as entrepreneurial initiatives to augment income of beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, a multi-sectoral City Core Team formed through an executive order of the chief executive is headed by Councilor Sheina Marie C. Onrubia as focal person.

Onrubia cited that Department of Trade and Industries (DTI) provincial office here has provided capacity trainings on simple bookkeeping and maintaining books , while the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), through its Nego-Kart project, also offered four carts for product display.

She said that the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) has also initiated values re-orientation and family development session and seminar on food safety and good manufacturing practices to assist the women on their business.

Philhealth cards were distributed to new members; six couples are assisted to legalize their bonds through mass wedding set this month and children beneficiaries received the basic health services in cooperation with the City Health Unit.

“Truly, Tabaco City is putting vibrant color to the face of a Tabaqueno child,” Luistro concluded. (MAL/RKallos/FMGM-LGU Tabaco City/PIA5)

CSC revises policy on Honor Graduate Eligibility
releases list of qualified schools

by Sally A. Atento

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 12 (PIA) -- The Civil Service Commission (CSC) regional office here has urged universities and colleges in the Bicol region to be accredited by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in order for their honor graduates to be granted with eligibility to work in the government for first and second level positions.

CSC 5 Public Assistance and Liaison Division (PALD) acting chief Sharon Flores said during the Ugnayan sa Bikol radio program of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) here, said the commission has issued the recommendation following the issuance of revised policies on the grant of Honor Graduate Eligibility (HGE).

Flores stressed that the revised policy intends to uphold, preserve and safeguard the integrity, credibility, and intent of the HGE which specifies that the honor graduate must complete their degrees from colleges and universities of good standing.

Previously under Pres. Decree 907, the commission grants eligibility for all summa cum laude, magna cum laude or cum laude graduates from any school regardless of the number of years of completion from school year 1972-73 and thereafter.

Revisions, however, in the said policy have been implemented effective November 23 this year.

“Under the new policy, the school must first be accredited by CHED, requiring the academic institution to have Level III or IV accreditation status for both state and local state universities and colleges,” Flores explained.

CHED is mandated by the government to set and enforce minimum standards for programmes and institutions of higher learning and at the same time, monitor and evaluate their performance.

In the Bicol region, according to Flores, only Bicol University (BU), Catanduanes State University (CSU) and Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA) have said accreditation, however, with still only a number of courses that qualify an honor graduate to avail of the HE.

For BU, graduates with degrees in Nursing, Industrial Teacher Education, Elementary or Secondary Teacher Education and Fisheries are the only qualified applicants for the said grant.

For CSu in Virac Catanduanes, degrees with Level III accreditation status are Elementary and Secondary Teacher Education, AB Economics, AB Political Science, Industrial Technology and Nursing.

Also qualified for CBSUA in Pili Camarines Sur are graduates of Elementary and Secondary Teacher Education, Agriculture and Agricultural Engineering from CBSUA in Pili Camarines Sur.

Likewise included in the new policy is the discontinued grant of eligibility for honor graduates of master’s and doctorate degrees and honors or distinctions for Bachelor degrees other than the Latin honors of cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude. (MAL/SAA/FMGM-PIA5/Albay)

Police holds seminar on detection of counterfeit money

by Bennie A. Recebido

SORSOGON CITY, Dec. 12 (PIA) – The Police Provincial Office (PPO) here spearheaded a Philippine Currency and Awareness Seminar on December 6 to ensure that the police personnel will not be deceived of counterfeit peso bills and coins.

Police provincial director Senior Superintendent John CA Jambora said that in the advent of the holiday season, authorities are anticipating for fraudsters especially those faking the Philippine currency to once again proliferate.

“It is important for our police force to be aware not only of the modus operandi of these charlatans but also to be familiar with the characteristics of fake and genuine Philippine money,” said Jambora.

Resource persons invited to give inputs were Cynthia S. Ariola and Silvestre M. Bernaldez Jr. of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Legazpi Branch.

Ariola explained that counterfeit money may spread anew as demands in time for the holiday season go up, adding that cashiers and ordinary people are at risk of being victimized as even bank tellers sometimes fail to recognize these counterfeit money.

According to the Ariola, genuine currencies have embossed prints like the words “Republika ng Pilipinas” that are rough when touched, adding that the serial number is composed of one or two prefix letters and six or seven asymmetric or increasing sizes, and the Security Thread running vertically across the note is visible from either side of the bill when viewed against the light.

Bernaldez also explained that genuine peso bills are printed on a special paper made of combination of cotton and Abaca fibers that are coarse and rough to touch while counterfeit money is mostly printed on bond papers, are smooth and thin.

He added that counterfeit money is easily torn while the legitimate ones are stronger and with some sort of elasticity before breaking.

Participants were also given the chance to have a hands-on experience of examining genuine Philippine currencies.

Said activity was attended by personnel from Provincial Headquarters, Sorsogon Provincial Public Safety Company, Sorsogon City Police station and different Municipal Police stations in the province. (MAL/BAR/NFMarquez-SPPO-PCR/PIA5)

Albay Guv proposes coordinating group for early rehab, recovery of typhoon Pablo-afflicted areas

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 12 (PIA) – Albay Governor Joey Salceda has proposed the creation of a National Coordinating Group for relief, early recovery and rehabilitation for areas heavily afflicted by typhoon Pablo in Mindanao.

Salceda said that there is an exigent need for such coordinating body to carry out more effective resource mobilization, fair allocation and efficient yet expeditious utilization.

The coordinating group, according to Salceda, will also help to coordinate the response of the international community to the United Nation’s flash appeal and as a mechanism for private sector engagement.

The governor observed that the NDRRMC's call for private assistance for helicopters is indicative of the special complexion of needs spawned by Typhoon Pablo.

“Assistance needs to be managed more centrally- decentralized initiatives are well-meaning but are limited by their logistical capacity thus ending up only in a few places like New Bataan, ComVal. Flow of relief to even places like Cateel, Baganga and Boston, DavOr are still hampered by physical constraints,” he said.

A coordinating group for the relief, recovery and rehabilitation of Pablo-afflicted areas needs to be established in the wake of already more than 1 million families affected over several regions and areas.

Salceda explained that the coordinating group will be established essentially to manage the fair allocation, effective distribution and monitor the flow of resources over a vast expanse and varying degree of intensity.

“This will also help mobilize resources including non-traditional means (trade assistance) coupled with the need to focus on the UN flash appeal, and possibly a special pledging session in the forthcoming Philippine Development Forum,” he also explained.

He said that it will also serve as a mechanism to optimize private sector engagement.

With such coordinating group, the government will be able to sustain the national effort towards the restoration to normalcy and the full reconstruction of the damaged population.

Meanwhile, Team Albay and OCD 5 disaster risk reduction and response authorities and personnel are now on their third day on the ground for the humanitarian mission in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental providing assistance to local government units to cater to the needs of locales from areas hardest hit by the typhoon.

The joint teams have since been providing medical, water and sanitary, psycho-social and relief mission dubbed "Tabang MindaNow".

On its nth deployment, Team Albay-OCD 5 now serves Davao Oriental, particularly the difficult areas of Cateel, Boston and Baganga focusing on post-disaster health interventions and services through the Albay Health Emergency and Management (AHEM) and providing water supply through deployment of filtration machine with a maximum capacity of 32,000 liters per hour and ensuring sanitation among communities.

Salceda also related that Team Albay-OCD 5 now sees that delicate sectors -- small children, pregnant women, lactating mothers, elderly and persons with disabilities are left to the care of similarly situated families as some communities have been totally devastated.

“With the national government taking up the role of a surrogate nourishing mother in these times of difficulty, we also feel the President is becoming truly the father of his people,” Salceda stated. (MAL/FMGM -PIA5/Albay)

Research training write shop for studes held

By Shannah Marie O. Montales

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec.11 (PIA) – Graduating students of the College of Arts of Sciences (CAS) of the Divine Word College of Legazpi (DWCL) honed their skills on research skills through a Research Training Writeshop held December 5-6, 2012.

The training, with the theme “Research Challenges, Academic Responsibilities and Initiatives,” was participated in by graduating students with courses AB Economics, AB English Language, AB Political Science, BS Biology, BS Mathematics, BS Psychology at BS Library Information Science.

Dr. Rose Marie Salazar-Clemeña, former dean and Psychology professor in the Department of Education of De La Salle University and Executive Vice President of De La Salle University – College of St. Benilde and now member of the Board of Trustees and Psychology professor of DWCL, served as the resource speaker.

Clemeña explained in detail the fundamentals and step-by-step processes of writing a research paper as well as every part necessary to complete a chapter.

The participants had the chance to present their research proposals to the body and these were critiqued by the resource speaker. She gave suggestions, corrections and tips which serve very useful on the students’ undertaking of their own studies.

The CAS, in cooperation with the Society of Arts and Sciences (SAS), the central organization of CAS students, organized the write shop.

According to Mr. Edgardo Besmonte, adviser of SAS, the activity was designed to enhance the students’ knowledge and nurture their abilities on research writing.

The writeshop also aimed to help the students who are currently busy writing their research papers especially that this is one of the requirements of their respective courses.

“Writing a research paper is a rough journey. We can’t avoid rough roads along the way but in the end, we will be able to reach the finish line. The writeshop helped me a lot.

Now, I already know the DOs and DON’Ts in writing a research paper,” said Leslie Leosala, one of the participants in the write shop. (MAL/SOMontales-PIA5/Albay)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Winners of the first Bicol 2012 Essay writing competition on the life and legacy of the late Secretary Jesse M. Robredo,  Althea B. Abergos of Ateneo de Naga University, Naga City and Mylene C. Gludo of Osmena College, Masbate City, secondary and tertiary were the champions of the Bicol 2012 Essay Writing competition on the legacy of Sec. Jesse Robredo held last Dec. 8 at the SM Naga City.(Alex Cal/PIA)

Naga City, Masbate studes top Bicol 2012 essay writing competition on Robredo's legacy

By Rosalita B. Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, Dec 11 (PIA) – Althea B. Abergos of Ateneo de Naga University (AdeMU) and Mylene C. Gludo of Osmeña College, Masbate City won the championships of the secondary and tertiary category, respectively, in the Bicol 2012 essay writing competition on the legacy of Secretary Jesse M. Robredo held over the weekend in Naga City.

Abergos and Gludo each received a cash prize of P10,000 in the regional championships, adding up to their earlier P5,000 cash prize each in the provincial level feats, plus trophies and certificates of recognition.

Ray Duovani N. Regondola of Abaño Laboratory High School of the Camarines Norte State College and Joanna Rizza Figueroa of Gallanosa National High School, Sorsogon bagged the second and third places, respectively, in the secondary level, while Valerie Salon of Libon Community College, Albay and John Ely B. Templonuevo of Catanduanes State University won the second and third places, respectively, in the tertiary level. All also received trophies and certificates of recognition

The second placers both in the high school and college levels won P7,000, while third placers got and P5,000 plus trophies and certificates of recognition.

Also the provincial winners of the first, second, and third placers were awarded with a cash prize of P5,000; P3,000 and P2,000 respectively and certificate of recognition together with their coaches. The first placers were given a trophy of memorabilia of Sec. Robredo and competed at the regional competition.

Daet Mayor Tito Sarte-Sarion, Publisher of the Bicol Harvest Magazine and one of the main proponents of the literary competition said that the winning essay will be published at the said magazine in order to inspire more people.

Sarion urged young writers to continue their advocacy through writing on the good governance and transparency that the late Secretary has imparted to all especially the leaders and the future leaders of this country.

Councilor Lord Arnel Ruanto of Infanta, Quezon representing Harvey S. Keh, the founder of the Kaya Natin Movement, also the co-proponent of the contest served as one of the board of judges together with Atty. Leni Gerona - Robredo, widow of Sec. Robredo.

The co-proponents and sponsors who also served as the board of judges include: Officer-in-Charge Aida Naz of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA); Asst. Regional Director Elouisa T. Pastor of the DILG; Education Supervisor Dr. Acelodonio Balderas of the Department of Education (DepEd); Education Supervisor Dr. Jean Salalima-Go of the Commission of Higher Education (CHED); Station Manager Amy-Garcia Villafuerte of ABS-CBN- Naga; President of Seaoil Foundation, Inc. Mark L. Yu, and Naga City Vice Mayor Gabriel Bordado.

Other sponsors were the Philippine Postal Corporation, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), SEAOIL, Moringa Vita, Planters Products, Penafrancia Tours, Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce, Inc. LMP-Camarines Norte, Chowking, Mr. Donut, BIGGs, Bob Marlin, Manila Bulletin, Bikol Reporter, various media groups also made the objectives of the said regional activity realized.

The event was also supported by 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)

201 island children get early Christmas presents

By Shannah Marie O. Montales

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 11 (PIA) -- Christmas came early to the delight of children from indigent families in the villages of Rawis and Visita in San Miguel Island, Tabaco City through Hirirasan 2012 held over the weekend.

“These children come from families whose houses are simple and small – one is considered lucky if it has a television. Computers, laptops, internet, touch screen phones, and other forms of modern technology are not the trends here,” said Janine Bio, chair of the Committee on Social Awareness and Responsibility (CSAR) of CSEB and a native of Tabaco City, of the beneficiaries and community-recipients of the gift-giving project.

Hirirasan 2012 is a project of the CSAR of the College Student Executive Board (CSEB) of Divine Word College of Legazpi, in cooperation with the Community Extension Service and Student Affairs Offices, and accredited student organizations of DWCL, with support from Tabaco City Mayor Krisel Lagman and Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda.

“Other groups and organizations prefer to conduct an extension service activity in poor communities in a city or in the mountains. Conducting it in an island is somewhat rare. That is why we chose two barangays in San Miguel Island to be our beneficiaries,” she said.

Each of the 201 grade one and two pupils of Rawis and Visita Elementary Schools were given schoolbags with two pieces of handkerchiefs, towel, toothbrush, and an umbrella.

There was also a Christmas program which included speech and dance presentations of the children from Visita elementary school and fun games which were participated not only by children, but by mothers as well.

Administrators and faculty of Visita Elementary School said not many people from the city and most especially from far places like Legazpi City, who come to visit their island to extend help to the students.

They were so thankful to the DWCL students and to those who helped them conduct the activity. What the children experienced through it was such a rare opportunity so she advised them to study hard as a form of gratitude to their benefactors.

This was the second time of Hirirasan 2012 in San Miguel Island. The first time was last June 9 for the Balik Eskwela Program in which the same group, in partnership with the Young Men’s Christian Association of Albay (YMCA) distributed school supplies to same beneficiaries.

All the items given to the beneficiaries for the two projects all came from students of DWCL.

The Hirirasan 2012 is in line with the Millennium Development Goals to eradicate poverty and giving assistance to primary education. 

“May this serve as a reminder to the government that we still have a lot of fellowmen out there who do not experience its services and need its attention and assistance,” Bio said. (MAL/SOMontales-PIA5/Albay) 

Bangko Sentral warns public of proliferation of fake money

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 11 (PIA) – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) branch in this city has warned the public against counterfeit money especially during the holidays.

Marlyn Paje, BSP Legazpi City deputy director, said fake bills may proliferate as demand for goods and services goes up, adding that cashiers and ordinary people are at risk of being victimized as even bank tellers sometimes fail to recognize these counterfeit money.

Paje urged the public to “look, feel, and tilt” when accepting payments of bills especially those in big denominations.

“Detection of a genuine or counterfeit peso bill can be done outright by examining the paper quality of every bill,” Paje said.

Paje explained that genuine peso bills are printed on a special paper made of combination of cotton and Abaca fibers that are coarse and rough to touch while counterfeit money is mostly printed on bond papers, are smooth and thin.

She furthered that counterfeit money is easily torn while the legitimate ones are stronger and with some sort of elasticity before breaking.

During manufacturing of the special paper, the watermark, security fibers, security threads and iridescent band are incorporated. During printing, the different printed features are well-defined, sharp and distinct and slightly embossed which can readily be felt by the fingers.

Meanwhile, data obtained from BSP Legazpi City branch show decreasing trend in counterfeit money proliferation in Bicol region.

From June to November last year, BSP recovered counterfeit money in different denominations: P1000 - 409 pieces; P500 – 412; P200 – 150; P100 – 104; P50 – 32; and P20 – 36.

From January to November this year, the recovered bogus bank notes were; P1000 – 176 pieces; P500 – 296; P200 – 124; P100 – 72; P50 – 28; and P20 – 37.

“The public must remain aware, observant and vigilant for these counterfeit money syndicates to be either prevented or brought to courts,” Paje said.

The BSP has assured the public of immediate assistance from the bank’s cash department if one gets hold of a doubtful or counterfeit note or coin.

BSP agents, furthermore, have been working closely with other regulatory authority such as the Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Officer of the Solicitor General in its fight against fake peso notes. (MAL-PIA5/Albay)

Bicolano student leaders joined ‘Youth Hours’

By Shannah Marie O. Montales

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 11 (PIA) – Twenty-eight schools all over the region participated in the Outstanding Students of the Philippines – Bikol Youth Hours 2012 last December 1, 2012 at the Naga College Foundation, Naga City. 

Now on its second year in Bicol, Youth Hours is an annual youth formation workshop which is focused on the three pillars of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP) program: academic and professional excellence, leadership, and social responsibility. 

Carrying the theme (EDGE)n or “Elevating Every Day Great Examples to Nation-building,” the event, which serves as a marketing collateral for the TOSP Program, aims to celebrate the positive ideas of the young participants, regard their ability to contribute to the region’s human development, and to awaken their sense of leadership grounded in moral values and nation building. 

The theme was lifted from the book EDGE: Stories of Every Day Great Examples, a collection of stories of past TOSP awardees which is catered to the cause and the tasks inherent to building a better nation. 

The morning session was highlighted with a Talk Show on (EDGE)n with guest speakers who shared their success stories and motivational tips to the participants. 

The guests were: Dr. Ofelia Samar-Sy, President of the Pinoy Power Bicol Coalition; Lynn Zuniga-Padillo, 2008 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Teacher of the Philippines; Carlo Buenaflor, Young Entrepreneur of the Year and VP Marketing of Biggs Diner and; Janine Patricia Robredo, 18-year old youth advocate and daughter of the late Sec. Jesse Robredo. 

In the afternoon, the TOSP Bikol and TOSP Alumni Community facilitated simultaneous parallel workshops on leadership, social responsibiilty and academic and professional Excellence. Each was designed to help the student leaders in their different fields of endeavor. A separate workshop was also intended for school administrators present. 
“The workshops were designed as something that we students really enjoyed. There were games, group-dynamics, and group-sharing activities which were actually focused on our self-realizations,” said Mark Piolata, a student leader from Legazpi City. 

“We at Naga College Foundation are happy to host the Youth Hours 2012. This proves that what others say about young people not caring for their nation anymore is not true. I am very impressed to see youngsters who have a balance of everything –good grades, leadership skills and selfless civic responsibilty,” remarked Ms. Margaurite Michelle Padua-Hornby, President of Naga College Foundation. 

Youth Hours 2012 was made possible by The Outstanding Students of Bikol, The Outstanding Students of the Philippines Alumni Community, in cooperation with RFM Foundation and was participated in by student leaders who are in their third and fourth year in college, respectively, and some school administrators. (MAL/SOMontales-PIA5/Albay) 

Monday, December 10, 2012

4 farm-to-market roads worth P150M to benefit barangays in 3 Camarines Norte towns

By Rosalita B. Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, Dec. 10 (PIA) -- Four farm-to-market roads (FMRs) were completed under the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Pamana) projects funded by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPPAP) in the three towns here, according to the provincial government official here.

Assistant planning officer Elena Austria of Camarines Norte in her report said that the four completed roads include the concreting of the Sta. Rosa Sur-San Rafael in Jose Panganiban town worth P20 million; concreting of Malibago-Maligaya of Labo town worth P40 million; concreting of Bakiad-Sta. Cruz-Fundado also of Labo town worth P10 million; and concreting of Pambuhan to Lanot Road of Mercedes worth P20 million.

The other project, the concreting and graveling of Exciban farm-to-market road in Labo town worth P50 million, is 80.72 percent completed due to some problem in the implementation.

The projects will directly benefit the farmers, entrepreneurs, students, and generally the residence of the said barangays of the three towns.

It will be recalled that last year the OPAPP allocated some P140 million for five farm-to-market road projects in the towns of Jose Panganiban, Labo, and Mercedes.

The projects were implemented by the provincial government with the Provincial Management Team chaired by Governor Edgardo Tallado.

Pamana projects for this year had already been identified to include the water system in Labo worth P9 million, farm-to-market roads in Jose Panganiban worth P7 million, and environmental projects in Capalonga worth P4 million for a total of P20 mlilion.

The amount will be provided by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) wherein necessary documents are being prepared as requirements to the release the funds according to Provincial Director Edwin Garcia.

There are also several projects identified for next year worth P105.5 million in the towns of Basud, Capalonga, San Lorenzo Ruiz, Sta. Elena, and Mercedes.

The projects include water system, construction of bridges, farm-to-market roads, corn and pineapple production, and construction/improvement of irrigation system; funds will come from the DILG and the Department of Agriculture.

This province is a recipient of the Pamana, a resilient communities program and a nationwide converged peace-building program focused on the development of conflict-affected areas and vulnerable communities. (MAL/RBM-PIA5/Camarines Norte).

AFP honors outstanding officer, confers military Merit Medal

By Benilda A. Recebido

SORSOGON CITY, Dec. 10 (PIA) -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) conferred the Military Merit Medal (Interim) to another outstanding officer in the military service for meritorious and invaluable service to the country’s defense force.

Col. Felix J. Castro Jr. who served as the commander of the 903rd Infantry (Fight and Defend) Brigade, 9th Infantry (SPEAR) Division, Philippine Army from January 17, 2011 to November 8, 2012 was the recipient of the medal for his deep sense of responsibility, outstanding leadership, professional competence, and managerial acumen.

The awarding of Military Merit Medal is pursuant to paragraph 1-6l, Section II Armed Forces of the Philippines Regulations G 131-053 dated 01 July 1986. Said medal is awarded to a military official for heroic achievement or meritorious service during, or in support of military action against an enemy.

Castro, in his term as 903rd Brigade Commander, ably supervised the successful conduct of the 23 Brigade-size Operations, 62 battalion-size operations, 97 company-size operations, and 12,026 small unit operations.

These operations resulted to the neutralization of 43 NPA personalities (23 killed, 10 wounded, nine captured, and 11 surrendered) and confiscated 106 firearms (60 high powered/46 low powered), although many of these were outside the focus area of the brigade.

The recovered firearms included one Cal .30 LMG, nine M16, nine 653, two AK47, and one M14, among others. Sixty Seven (67) improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were also recovered.

Among the more significant operational accomplishments of the Brigade under Col Castro’s leadership include the death in an encounter of Andres Baja Despi @ Tisoy, the vice CO of SDG, FC79, Komprob Sorsogon; the arrest of Vanjie Herrero @ Vivian, Execom member of Komprob Masbate; the death in another encounter of Luis Gonzaga @ JP- CO of SPP, Ind KSPN, Komprob Masbate; the capture of CTL Felix Marcaida @Megs/Boy/Migo presently Execom Member, KomProb Sorsogon, BRPC PSRL 4th quarter CY 2011 (the 3rd person of KomProb Sorsogon, BRPC; former Secretary of Komprob Sorsogon, BRPC year 2008, PSRL 4th quarter CY 2009; former Secretary of LArangan 3, KomProb Sorsogon.

In the absence of allocation for additional CAAs, the establishment of the Barangay Defense System (BDS) has been initiated to act as a holding organization in the cleared barangays. This has been proven effective as the NPAs find difficulty in recovering lost areas.

The Brigade conducted 141 occasions of Civil Military Operations which targeted 406 barangays with a total of 268,188 beneficiaries which paved way to the good relationship of the unit with the populace. The Brigade focus area is Barangay Pandan in Castilla, Sorsogon which used to be influenced by NPA’s before the area was cleared in 2009.

The “Tarabangan sa Brgy Pandan” Project started with the construction of a two-classroom building sponsored by ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc. Sagip Kapamilya for Pandan High School. Other projects soon followed after the initiative of ABS-CBN: one classroom building funded by Cong Escudero; another classroom building funded by DepEd; two-classroom (2 storey) funded by DepEd; five road improvement projects programmed for next year; ongoing cementing of the irrigation canal (P30M) funded by DA; six months feeding program by ABS-CBN; planned introduction of abaca growing by FIDA, and Mangrove Plantation at Sibago, Donsol, Sorsogon.

Another two-classroom building sponsored by Sagip Kapamilya is now being constructed by 9IB and 565th Engr Bn in Brgy Cabancalan, Aroroy, Masbate (our second focus area). Two scholarship slots were also given by ABS-CBN aside from the feeding program. The Brigade also had six Bayanihan Iskolars sponsored by ABS-CBN and the Lewis College in Sorsogon City.

Col Castro and his men have been active in the programs of PAMANA. The two provinces in its area have received funds for development-Sorsogon: P36 million (seven focus municipalities) and Masbate: P50 million (three focus municipalities).

The Brigade had enhanced intensive and extensive coverage through its intelligence networks with 591 informants that collected positive information.

On training, the unit successfully conducted a total of 20 in-house trainings.

On mobility, procurement of two sea crafts and the unit was able to repair the unserviceable vehicles of the unit.

On personnel, the brigade was able to grant a total of 1,304 Military Commendation Medal, 298 Military Civic Action Medal and 59 Letter of Commendation; recommended 227 awards for military merit medal; 66 EP were reenlisted into the Regular Force, AFP for another term of three years during his incumbency, and one cooperative was established.

On schooling, the unit was able to send two officers and 15 EP for career advancement.

On DLO, a total of eight cases were resolved.

On Morale and Welfare 8 Officers and 89 EP were granted R&R and 16 socials were conducted, procurement and repair of the following; Basketball court , repair of billiard table, two chess boards two flat screen TV sets and table tennis, 198 jersey uniforms, 90 polo t-shirts and 250 t-shirts for the birthday celebrators and rifle experts.

With the above-mentioned accomplishments, the brigade was adjudged as the Best Brigade of 9th Infantry (Spear) Division, Philippine Army for 1st and 2nd Quarters of 2012.

Maj. General Romeo B. Calizo, Commander of 9th ID, said the commendable and outstanding performance of Col. Castro served as the hallmark of honor and prestige, thereby contributing immeasurably to the accomplishment of the 9ID mission.

“By these remarkable achievements, Col Castro earned distinct credit and honor not only for himself and for the 9th Infantry (Spear) Division but also for the whole Armed Forces of the Philippines,” he added. (MAL/BAR/903IB/9ID-PA/PIA5)