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



Wednesday, March 27, 2013





PCOO FAMILY - PTV4,  PIA, Radyo ng Bayan, PNA joint meeting , for the preparation of TV program for Hatol ng Bayan 2013 election.

Bureau of Customs: PRESS CONFERENCE




PRESS CONFERENCE—Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Group Danilo Lim answer quieries from  media practitioner in Albay regarding the 94,000 bags of smuggled rice worth Php135-M seized by Bureau of Customs held at Tyche Boutique Hotel and Restaurant, Legazpi City, last March 26, 2013. (Alex Cal/PIA)

BoC to auction P135M worth of smuggled rice

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, March 27 (PIA) -- The Bureau of Customs (BoC) Legazpi will auction next month the seized 94,000 bags of imported rice from Vietnam worth approximately P135 million,

BoC Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Group Danilo Lim has already directed the BoC office here to start the auction of the seized imported rice now kept in a warehouse in this city.

Lawyer Leovigildo Dayoja, BoC collector here, said the bureau will immediately act on to dispose the seized imported rice through public auction to interested qualified rice traders.

Dayoja said the auction will give additional revenue to the government yet such cannot assure a 100-percent return due to depreciation value of the commodity, while the bureau has also already spent some P3 million to date on expenses for pilotage, wharfage, arrastre service, warehouse lease, fumigation, labor, supplies and trucking services.

Some 79,000 bags are stocked up at the rented warehouse while 15,000 bags are still being unloaded from the vessel at the port of Legazpi.

When asked if the multi-purpose cooperative involved in the rice smuggling importation can be qualified to participate at the auction, Dayoja said their pending case of smuggling automatically disqualifies them to participate in the auction.

BoC seized September last year the 94,000 bags of imported rice worth P135 million loaded in MV Minh Tuan vessel that docked at the Port of Legazpi from Vietnam.

The imported rice was consigned to the National Food Authority (NFA) on behalf of several multi-purpose cooperatives (MPCs) accredited by it, but these MPCs failed to present a memorandum of undertaking and pertinent import documents compelling the bureau to issue a warrant of seizure and detention order.

According to Lim, the consignees of the hot shipment of Vietnamese long grain white rice, the Samahan Ng Magsasakang Kapampangan at Katagalugan, Malipampang Concerned Citizens, Inc., Ugnayang Magbubukid ng San Isidro, Inc. and Kapatirang Takusa were charged for violating the Tariffs and Customs Code of the Philippine and the Department of Agriculture Rules on rice importations after they failed to show proofs of payment for the corresponding duties of their rice importation and other require documents.

"Most, if not all, of the consignees of this illegal rice shipment are either “for hire” cooperatives or non-existing at all, and yet, were given rice importation allocation quota by the NFA," Lim said in a press conference here.

Lim said that upon verification of the cooperatives’ allocation quotas with the NFA, it turned out that they had exceeded their given allocations.

He said the agency is closely checking areas considered as “high risk” countries for smuggling that include Vietnam, India and Thailand.

Lim said the BoC is focusing its attention on agriculture products smuggling, particularly rice and sugar import shipments coming from these so-called “high risk” countries for smuggling. (MAL-PIA5/Albay)


PIPOL POWER opens Philhealth express in Sipocot, CamSur

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, March 27 (PIA) – The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) regional office here announced the opening of the PIPOL POWER program that will bring all four core services on membership, collection, accreditation and claims inquiry to the members in Sipocot, Camarines Sur and neighbouring localities.

The PIPOL POWER or PRO V Initiates Philhealth On- Line, Philhealth On Wheels Enrolment and Remittance is a brainchild of Philhealth regional vice- president Orlando D. Iñigo, Jr to bring the services of the corporation closer to the members and the community.

The PIPOL POWER program will serve members and prospective from Sipocot, as well as Libmanan, Ragay, Cabusao, and Del Gallego towns.

A total of 287 Philhealth members were in attendance during the kick-off who were provided instructions and the guidelines in availing the service of the Philhealth express program.

Iñigo has also cited that the important role of the local governments in championing health insurance especially for the financially marginalized.

He cited Sipocot chief executive Rogener “Ogie” Astor, and other local officials for providing the office space, with free electricity and office equipment for the Philhealth Express at the municipal government compound.

Iñigo also underscored the 2013 directions and priorities of Philhealth utilizing the mnemonic or learning technique MUSE, which stands for Maternal and Child Care, Universal Health Care, Synergy among stakeholders, and Equity for all.

Through PIPOL POWER, Philhealth hopes to empower sponsored program members to take advantage of their Primary Care Benefit (PCB) 1 Packages in the Rural Health Units where they are enlisted.

The PCB 1 package includes consultations, regular blood pressure monitoring and health promotion like education and breastfeeding, counselling on lifestyle modification, and smoke cessation. In like manner, members across all sectors were also oriented on PhilHealth’s expanded packages including but not limited to Z Benefits, Animal Bite Treatment Package, among others.

Philhealth has one Local Health Insurance Office (LHIO) in Naga City, as well as three other Philhealth Express offices in Goa, Nabua, and Iriga City. The latest addition, the Philhealth Express- Sipocot, still directly under the supervision of LHIO- Camarines Sur, will cater to some 65,000 primary members in the railroad towns and nearby municipalities.

The Philhealth Express in Sipocot will be open from Tuesdays to Fridays, 8 am to 5 pm, starting March 19, 2013.

Philhealth aims to bring its services closer to the people through the P- Express, where members can request for their Member Data Records (MDRs), contribution records, status of claims, as well as request for revisions in their records. (MAL/CNAlcala-Philhelath5/PIA5/Albay)


NSCB report shows Bicol’s employment rate improved

LEGAZPI CITY, March 27 (PIA) – The recent round of Labor Force Survey of the National Statistics Office (NSO) showed the region’s employment rate improved one percentage point from 93.2 percent the past year to 94.2 percent this year.

The National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) regional office here observed that less Bicolanos were unemployed in January this year with unemployment rate slipping to 5.8 percent.

Among the regions, the NCSB report said Cagayan Valley (Region II) posted the highest employment rate at 96.7 percent while the National Capital Region (NCR) recorded the lowest employment rate at 90.5 percent.

NSCB report released on Tuesday attributed the increase in the number of jobs for the period possibly due election-related activities.

The labor force participation rate or the proportion of those in the labor force to the population aged 15 years old and over in Bicol was placed at an estimated 3.8 million individuals.

Underemployment rate, or the proportion of employed persons wanting more hours of work to total employed persons, however, inched up to 35.0 percent, 0.2 percentage points higher than that of the same period last year.

The Bicol Region continued to post the highest underemployment rate among regions of the country, according to the NSCB. (MAL-PIA5/Albay)


DENR 5 steps up measures to protect Bicol Natural Park

LEGAZPI CITY, March 27 (PIA) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional office in Bicol has come up with a comprehensive strategy to further strengthen the protection and conservation of Bicol Natural Park (BNP) in Camarines provinces.

“These strategies will provide solutions to various issues that are besetting the BNP which is contributing to further degradation of the protected area (PA)” said DENR Bicol regional executive director Gilbert Gonzales.

Gonzales said DENR 5 will strengthen the personnel in protected areas by supplementing manpower support; monitor cases filed against poachers and illegal settlers; implement capacity building workshops for field personnel (paralegal); carry out comprehensive info campaign on the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS); push for the co-management of the protected area with the local governments; empower peoples organizations (POs) and issuance of resource utilization permit (RUP); intensify the implementation of “no charcoal making policy” in the BNP by patrolling and no issuance of permit.

“Only by these strategies will we be ensuring that the BNP is well-protected from instances of encroaching by illegal settlers” Gonzales emphasized by citing the need for the forest occupants to clear out from the protected forest.

Alongside this new development, the regional office also considers implementing management zoning in the protected area, the strict protection zone and the multi-use zone. The former refers to areas with high bio-diversity value which shall be closed to human activity except for scientific studies and/or ceremonial or religious use by indigenous communities while the latter pertains to areas where settlement, traditional or sustainable land use including agriculture, agroforestry, extraction activities and other income generating or livelihood activities, may be allowed to the extent as prescribed by the PAMB.

Meanwhile, RED Gonzales directed Protected Areas Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Service (PAWCZMS) Regional Technical Director Felix Mendoza to further study the plans for the BNP and for the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officers (PENRO) of Camarines Provinces to adopt initial measures on intensifying mobile patrolling and and the conduct of checkpoints along the various entry and exit points straddling the forest.

The Bicol Natural Park is a protected area with an expanse of 5,201 hectares (has) and an elevation of 100-538 meters above sea level. It is located in the Camarines provinces - sprawling along the towns of Basud and San Lorenzo Ruis at the side of Camarines Norte including Lupi and Sipocot at the border of Camarines Sur. (MAL/RLM-RPAO DENR5/PIA5)


DSWD Bicol to intensify anti-epal drive

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar. 27 (PIA) -- With the official start of the campaign period for candidates running for local positions, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-5 intensifies its Anti-“Epal” Campaign to thwart efforts of politicians in taking advantage of the department’s social protection programs and projects to gain popularity and project positive image.

“Bawal Ang Epal Campaign will be launched on April 4 in partnership with the COMELEC and the media,” DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia said in an interview during the “Aramon Ta Daw” radio program of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

“DWSD is receiving reports and complaints from their beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps that some incumbent politicians are threatening some recipients that they will be removed from the list of the 4Ps beneficiaries if they will not vote for them,” Garcia said.

There are also incidents that some candidates who report their rivals who are running for the same position that are allegedly using the DSWD programs to their advantage, Garcia added.

“Only the DSWD central office can delist beneficiaries, and such can only be done if they failed to comply with the conditionalities set, from the roster of 4Ps and not the local chief executives,” Garcia said.

The information drive will start in Albay and will move to Camarines provinces, Masbate and the rest of Bicol.

Garcia stressed that the public should not be afraid in reporting these abuses because we treat them with utmost confidentiality.

"The role of the media is vital in informing the public on this campaign so that they will be confident in coming out to report such threats or abuses from erring politicians," Garcia said. (Joseph John Perez/MAL/PIA5)


Army in Sorsogon and Masbate observe “Semana Santa” while on Red Alert Status

By Benilda A. Recebido

CASTILLA, SORSOGON, March 27 (PIA) – Philippine Army’s 903rd Infantry (Fight & Defend) Brigade covering the provinces of Sorsogon and Masbate is also observing the “Semana Santa” with weeklong activities lined up, while on Red alert status.

Colonel Joselito E. Kakilala, 903rd Brigade Commander said that the Army, along with the Philippine National Police (PNP), intensified its security operations especially in destinations expected to be visited by locals and foreign tourists this Holy Week in these two provinces and nearby islands.

“Checkpoints were also put up along main roads in selected areas to ensure the safety of tourists and to have an orderly influx of devotees in churches and pilgrimage sites. The Brigade assigned personnel to assist the DPWH, the commuters and motorists that pass by the highways. There are also Army personnel assigned in main seaports, assisting Philippine Coast Guard in the provinces to ensure that there is no "overloading" of the ship and to prevent tragedy at sea,” he further said.

During the week, the troops will also be active in assisting during processions, Stations of the Cross, Carrying of the Cross, “Pasyon”, and other Holy week traditions which have been observed and vowed by the soldiers as Catholics.

A two-day Medical, Dental, and Civic Action Activities together with the Castilla Residents in Manila (CARESMA) will be conducted on March 31 to April 1, 2013 at the Church of St. John the Baptist in Poblacion, Castilla. CARESMA, is composed of residents from Castilla who are now living in Manila. The activity aims to share their blessings to Castilla folks aside from celebrating their homecoming meeting anew their relatives, friends, colleagues, and to remind them of their roots.

Some of the civic activities to be conducted are “Libreng Tuli”, haircut, and massage, among others.

Meanwhile, Col. Kakilala assured that the Army will assist and support the PNP, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to ensure the safety and security of the public and the tourists as well during the observance of these holy days.

While the troops in Sorsogon were busy in its Semana Santa activities, the Task Unit in Masbate, led by Colonel Samuel Felipe, is still in the conduct of Internal Peace and Security Operations to thwart Private Armed Groups, as part of its election duties’ mandate. (CptMPPanesa, PA/BARecebido, PIA Sorsogon)


LTO-KABALIKAT setup motorists assistance center for Semana Santa

By Analiza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, Mar 27 (PIA)--- Land Transportation Office (LTO) and KABALIKAT-Civic Communicators Association, Inc.-Bicol in a joint effort to ensure the safe travel of the motorists particularly those who will flock in various parts of the region for the upcoming Holy week observance, has placed various Motorist Assistance Center in strategic parts of the region.

Dubbed OPLAN Semana Santa, this endeavor is in line with the expected influx of visitors and pilgrims in the provinces to join the whole Christendom in the observance of Lent. Students who will also enjoy the semestral break are also expected to visit various destinations in the region, thus would add up to the bulk of incoming sight seers.

Archimedes P. Salvino, KABALIKAT-Civicom Bicol Regional Governor said that the booths which will be strategically placed along the Maharlika Highway will be manned by Kabalikat members and organic members of the National Highway Patrol Group (NHPG).

“We have set up various booths in almost all municipalities in the region with existing Kabalikat Centers. It is manned by our competent members who will assist motorists just in case they encounter problems on the road. This will be a 24/7 on-call service to ensure that there will be a round the clock Kabalikat personnel who will look after the welfare of our visiting kababayans.” Salvino said in an interview.

Salvino also assured the public that the motor assistance booth can also serve as a temporary resting area for those who want to take a respite after a long drive.

OPLAN Semana Santa already started on March 20, the day Kabalikat and LTO inked a Memorandum of Agreement and will end until after the students are back in their schools for the opening of classes next semester.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) here will also implement the PNP LOI 13/2011 or the SANG-INGAT-Charlie in concurrence to the directives for safe Summer Vacation 2013. This is also in compliance with the Memorandum issued by Director for Operations Police Director Alex Paul Monteagudo to all Regional Directors of Police Regional Offices and Directors of PNP operational units all over the country.

Various PNP Assistance Desks will also be placed in strategic road locations while Road safety Marshalls will also be assigned in convergence points including but not limited to bus terminals, airports, seaports, train stations, recreational and entertainment areas.

Crime prone areas, highways and main thoroughfares will also be deployed with PNP members to ensure that lawless elements will not take advantage of the situation. (LSMacatangay/ PIA-Camarines Sur)


SCUBAsura marks World Water Day in Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY, March 27 (PIA) -- Bicolano divers did their share of cleaning the marine environment with SCUBAsura, a seabed clean up in Albay Gulf in the area of Legazpi City that marked the observance of World Water Day on March 22, 2013.

Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Bicol regional director Roberto Sheen said that at least a hundred volunteers, divers and non-divers joined the SCUBAsura held in this city underlining the importance of keeping the marine environment clean.

Sheen said the Naval Forces Southern Luzon (NAVFORSOL) provided rubber boats ferrying divers from the boulevard to the dive site while the Bicol SCUBA Divers Foundation Inc. supplemented manpower.

According to Sheen, the bureau earlier conducted a simultaneous river and estero clean up last March 16 under the Adopt-a-Estero Program which the local industry adoptors have led.

World Water Day on March 22 has a theme “International Year of Water Cooperation.” The global event is celebrated locally on the theme, “Tubig Para sa Lahat, Lahat Para sa Tubig” (Water for All, All for Water). (MAL/RLM-RPAO DENR5/PIA5)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Naga parochial school accepts girls, grade 7 students


By Analiza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, March 26 (PIA) --- The Naga Parochial School (NPS) marked another milestone when it finally decided to accept girls and Grade 7 students. This comes at a time when more and more exclusive schools veer towards co-educational set-up.

Fr. Rex Andrew C. Alarcon, NPS school director, confirmed this in a press conference Friday. The elementary school had been exclusively for boys in the past 65 years. Changes in admission policies will take effect in school year 2013-2014.

“This decision was also based on a survey of NPS parents. The results showed that majority of the respondents prefer a co-educational set-up for varied reasons. We also would like to cater to more students, who also want to receive the Catholic formation that the school offers, “ Alarcon said in an interview.

The decision to open the High School Department is also in support of the K to 12 educational reform being implemented by the national government. As the core and basic curriculum, the NPS management believe that it is just right to revive its classical education while maintaining its focus on Science and Math subjects.

“Archbishop Rolando J. Tirona of Archdiocese of Caceres and the Archdiocesan Education Committee, and NPS Board of Trustees jointly decided on this matter, believing that we are answering the need to open this door of opportunity to everyone, “ Alarcon added.

The opening of the High School Department also intends to encourage those who want to enter the priesthood through the High School seminary. NPS for the past decades, has served as the foundation of Catholic formation and contributed to the emergence of Diocesan priests in the region, producing more than 65 priests and 3 bishops for the record.

Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, Bishop Jose Rojas, D.D. and Bishop Gilbert Garcera, to name a few.

The NPS has also produced outstanding alumni who have created their own niche in respective endeavors. The late Senator Raul Roco and DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo both hailed from NPS and spent their elementary days inside the said school. (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)



Life of every homeless family will improve with GK in Cam Norte

By Rosalita B. Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, March 26 (PIA) – “The life of every homeless family will improve with the Gawad Kalinga (GK) Bayani Challenge 2013,” according to Zarena Bacerdo, 21, a resident of Barangay Daculang Bolo, San Lorenzo Ruiz town in this province.

Zarena is one of the beneficiaries in the GK Friendship Village in Barangay Laniton, San Lorenzo town during the holding of the 8th Bayani Challenge this year from March 23-27.

She said that through the unity, the building of houses will become easier and faster.

“The bayanihan is good because of the cooperation of volunteers despite religious differences,” according to Esperanza Prades, 50 years old of Purok 2, Barangay Laniton, San Lorenzo Ruiz. She is a sales vendor with 9 siblings.

“Masaya na hindi maintindihan, maraming tao at nagpapasalamat kami at kahit man lang sa pagod ay masuklian namin ang ibibigay na bahay sa amin”, say’s Mylene Samson, 35, Purok 2 of Barangay Laniton, San Lorenzo Ruiz, She is a laborer with 6 siblings.

The first day of the Bayani Challenge in March 23 was highlighted with the opening ceremony and Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing of the stakeholders, opening ceremony, first day of house build and tree planting, holy mass. It will end on March 27 with holy mass, sharing and awarding ceremony and send off and boddle fight for the heroes or volunteers.

This is a nationwide activity where the GK Friendship Village in San Lorenzo Ruiz town is the only site in the Bicol Region and one of the 37 sites in 34 provinces in the country for the eighth Bayani Challenge this year.

Forty-four houses are to be constructed, 10 will be led by the local government unit of Daet, six by the provincial government of Camarines Norte, and six by the local government unit of San Lorenzo Ruiz with the total of 22 while the other 22 houses will be the counterpart of the GK Foundation. (MAL/RBM-PIA5/Camarines Norte).


Legazpi, Bacoor now tourism sister cities


LEGAZPI CITY, Mar 26 (PIA) -- A tourism sisterhood relationship has been forged between this city and the city of Bacoor in Cavite.

The partnership signed last March 21 during a simple ceremony at the Oriental Hotel here by this city’s mayor Geraldine Rosal and Strike Revilla of Bacoor City, the relationship will facilitate the mutual sharing of knowledge in tourism promotion between the two local government units (LGUs) separated by about 500-kilometer road distance.

Apart from tourism, the two cities will also share knowledge and experiences in the field of good governance towards economic prosperity and continuous successes in urban and rural development, Rosal said on Friday.

In tourism, this city that plays host to the iconic Mt. Mayon, the world’s most perfect cone and tourism wonder is referred to worldwide as the “City of Fun and Adventure”.

She said that this relationship will serve as an open window for opportunities to uplift the lives of all the people living around the territorial areas of the two cities.

Rosal pointed out that this sisterhood agreement would also serve as a vehicle to improve their initiatives towards the adoption of science and technology, culture and arts, planning and urban development, commerce, trade and industry, education, sports, environmental protection, public health, social services and other common concerns.

On the part of Revilla, he vowed to adopt the effective implementation of some programs and projects of Legazpi that he looks up as one of the most successful city in the country.

Revilla said his administration is very willing to share some programs to Legazpi as stipulated in the sisterhood agreement.

The city of Bacoor is a first class urban component city in the province of Cavite located approximately 15 kilometers southwest of Manila.

The city is among the key areas and formerly one of the fastest growing municipalities in Cavite mainly because of its location. (MAL/ Danny O. Calleja, LGU Legazpi City)


HUDCC ties up with police, agencies to stop squatting syndicates

By Joseph John Perez

LEGAZPI CITY, March 26 (PIA) -- The Housing Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) will train police personnel to detect fake land titles in the former’s effort to curb the activities of squatting syndicates.

Regional HUDCC head for Bicol Engr. Cristy Abaño said the agency sponsors today a regional training for at least 150 police personnel and participants from other agencies. The training aims to educate them on the modus operandi of professional squatters and squatting syndicates and fraud detection on land titles.

“Aside from their usual duty in maintaining peace and order during demolition activities, police officers must know how to properly address the cases of syndicated squatting and the proliferation of bogus land titles,” Abaño said.

The HUDCC is mandated as the lead agency under the Executive Order No. 153 issued on December 10, 2002 in the intensified campaign of the government against professional squatters and squatting syndicates, Abaño said.

Abaño said that fake land titles can be detected though identification of overt features of the title such as watermark, colors of fibers, planchettes, intaglio on borders, type of form and its uses, purposes including the judicial form number; verification of the date of issuance of title if consistent with the date the title of form was printed, serial number, TCT number especially the last two digits, the initials and signatures of the authorities; and comparison of the owner’s duplicate with the original title on file and other methods such as acetate or light exposure.

Professional squatters, she explained, are identified as, at first, they construct makeshift shanties and if left unchecked, will later construct concrete structures.

Squatting syndicates are classified into three types namely; class A, whose manner of operation is purely documentation which can be easily falsified, using contacts with other government agencies and courts; class B, who scout for a large community of squatters, organize them and orient them about the Titulo de Propiedad 4136 and OCT 01-4 Protocol; and class C, who organize urban poor associations and uses them as fronts.

Abaño revealed that the Philippines has an estimated population of 94 million with 1.9 percent annual growth rate wherein 62 percent estimated as part of urban population and will grow by 84 percent by 2050.

The national poverty incidence is pegged at 32 percent while poverty incidence in urban areas is only 17 percent that is considered as the main reason for the rural-urban migration, thus the growth of informal settlements, Abaño added. (MAL/JJP-PIA5/Albay)

Monday, March 25, 2013


CSU trains agri staff on rearing European Queen Bee

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, March 22 (PIA) -- As part of sustaining the program of its newly established Apiculture Center, Catanduanes State University Extension Services, in partnership with the Apiculture Center of Central Bicol State University of Agriculture, trained 25 municipal agriculture officers, agricultural technicians, farmers, and extension workers on Rearing of European Queen Honeybee on March 11-13, 2012.

Kelly Clark, Canadian volunteer and adviser, gave lectures at the Provincial Apiculture Center, CSU Bio Park.

Queen-bee rearing is the raising of healthy virgin queens from good genetic stock and providing conditions that will allow them to mature and mate properly and be the foundation of effective bee colonies.

Queen bee typically refers to an adult, mated female that lives in a honeybee colony or hive. She is usually the mother of most, if not all, the bees in the hive. The queens are developed from larvae selected by worker bees and specially fed in order to become sexually mature. There is normally only one adult, mated queen in a hive.

The Provincial Apiculture Center of Catanduanes State University was launched on November 29, 2012 with funding support of P300,000 from the local government of Virac through Congressman Cesar V. Sarmiento.

Several bee colonies housed in simulated beehives were installed at the Center to induce honey bee production. Beekeeping is recognized by the Department of Agriculture (DA) as an important agricultural activity providing income and livelihood to small farmers.

DA promotes beekeeping through the Bureau of Animal Industry in coordination with the NARTDI or the National Apiculture Research, Training and Development Institute. NARTDI was created through RA 9151 and it is under the auspices of Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University in La Union.

According to pinoybisnis.com, beekeeping is a business opportunity with social, economic, and ecological benefits that requires minimal time, labor, and resources.

Four species of honeybee thrive best in the Philippines:the Apis mellifera also called European honeybees, Apis cerana also locally called laywan, Apis dorsata commonly called pukyutan, Apis melliponinea or stingless bees

The Sunflower, pinoybisnis.com adds, is the source of nectar which is essential in beekeeping, particularly in producing quality and premium honey. Some of the forest tree species, which are good sources of pollen and nectars for the bees, are narra, calliandra, eucalyptus, oak tree, molave, camachili, kakawate, duhat, rain tree, African tulip, jacaranda, ipil-ipil, and other forest trees.

Cereal crops like corn and plants such as banana, mango, coconut, coffee, cacao, citrus, peanut, mongo, tomato, and eggplant are favorites of honeybees.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defines apiculture (from the Latin Api or bees) as the science and practice of bee keeping.

The words apiculture and beekeeping, FAO adds, tend to be applied loosely and used synonymously: in some parts of the world, significant volumes of honey are today still obtained by plundering wild colonies of bees – this honey hunting cannot be properly described as beekeeping. Honey hunting remains an important part of many rural livelihoods. FAO states that in some parts of the world apiculture forms part of the work of hunter-gatherers, while elsewhere apiculture is practiced by highly industrialized agriculturalists in the world’s richest nations.

An FAO expert further says the product people most associate with bees is honey, although beekeeping generates much more than just honey. The maintenance of biodiversity and pollination of crops are the most valuable services provided by bees.

Bee-keeping experts say that honey is just one of several products that can be harvested in the bee colony. Others are beeswax, pollen, propolis, royal jelly,and venom. Apitherapy, which is the medicinal use of honey bee venom as well as honey bee products, is also one of the benefits that can be derived from the beekeeping industry. (GSR/CSU)



Robredo's monument to rise in Naga City

By Analiza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, March 25 (PIA) -- A 2-storey Jesse M. Robredo (JMR) Museum will soon rise in a 3,450 square kilometer area just inside the Naga City Civic Center. On Thursday, March 21, President Benigno Aquino III personally graced the groundbreaking ceremony and capsule laying, to signal the commencement of the proposed edifice here.

Contrary to the usual concept of an imposing monument, JMR’s statue will convey the message of humility, simplicity and modesty as JMR best exemplified during his tenure as a public official.

As proposed, the ground floor of the museum will house commercial units, shops, temporary exhibits gallery, Center for Good Governance and public comfort rooms. The commercial spaces intend to generate fund for the maintenance of the said edifice.

The second floor will feature a Museum lobby where Robredo’s life will be depicted in photos from his growing up years as a typical Nagueño boy, to his tenure as a local public servant and as a national leader. The strings of photos will also include photos of Robredo as a loving father to his three daughters and husband to his wife.

These areas will be marked as JMR Gallery 1, JMR Gallery 2 and open Gallery. Visitors can also drop by the Museum Shop where souvenir items will be displayed and sold.

On the same space will be an audio-visual room which can also function as venue for lectures, seminars, book launches and similar activities. It will also feature a roof deck café, a curatorial office and a VIP room and conference room.

Naga City Budget Officer Frank Mendoza said that the monument costs P2 million. This will be taken from the national fund particularly as part of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines or NHCP’s promotion of culture and the arts.

The monument will portray Robredo sitting on the second layer of a stair, wearing his Viva La Virgen shirt, shorts and his welcoming smile. The design, Mendoza added, will depict Robredo as a listener and as a servant who is willing to accommodate people from all walks of life to share their stories.

“The structure will portray the Jess that Naga have loved and the world had embraced. As for the museum cost, it amounted to P50 million.
At present, the city government is still looking for possible sources of funding before we can start its construction. As for the design, the simplicity in architecture is synonymous to complete, straightforward and uncomplicated. It is not extravagant and excessive,” Mendoza said in an interview.

The monument and the museum will be both housed in the vast playground in the heart of the Naga City Civic Center. Surrounding the structures are full grown and age-old acacia trees which will serve as complimenting elements to the architecture as it endeavors to reinforce the deep sense of community of Nagueños. (LSM-PIA 5, Camarines Sur)

NAGA CITY -- President Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his message during the groundbreaking and lowering of time capsule ceremony for the Jesse Robredo Monument and Museum at the Naga City Civic Center in Taal Avenue, Naga City, Camarines Sur last March 21, 2013. (PIA-V)

NAGA CITY ---   President Benigno  S. Aquino III leads the groundbreaking and lowering of Time capsule ceremony for the Jesse Robredo Monument and Museum at the Naga City Civic Center in Taal Avenue, Naga City, Camarines Sur last  March 21, 2013. In attendance Atty. Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, Naga City Mayor John Bongat,  Agriculture Sec. Proceso Alcala and Transportation and Communication Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya.  (PIA-V)




Saturday, March 23, 2013

All systems go for the Bayani Challenge 2013 in Camarines Norte


By Rosalita B. Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, March 23 (PIA) -- All systems go for the Bayani Challenge 2013 in Gawad Kalinga (GK) Friendship Village in Barangay Laniton, San Lorenzo Ruiz town this province on March 23-27 where 2,000 volunteers from different provinces in the region are arriving today at the base camp in Daet Elementary School here.

This is a nationwide activity where the GK Friendship Village in San Lorenzo Ruiz town is the only site in the Bicol Region and one of the 37 sites in 34 provinces in the country for the eighth Bayani Challenge this year.

Forty-four houses are to be constructed, 10 will be led by the local government unit of Daet, six by the provincial government of Camarines Norte, and six by the local government unit of San Lorenzo Ruiz with the total of 22 while the other 22 houses will be the counterpart of the GK Foundation.

The land for the GK Friendship Village in San Lorenzo Ruiz was previously donated by a private person to the local government unit of Daet through Mayor Tito Sarion as one of their GK site project.

Based on the activities of the GK, March 23 will be the parade of heroes from the Department of Education (DepEd) Eco Athletic field going to the Daet Elementary School base camp to be followed by the opening ceremony at the said school.

In the afternoon, will be the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the local stakeholders and the GK Foundation, the first day of house building in the GK Friendship Village in Laniton, San Lorenzo Ruiz. The evening will be the GK videos, Kalinga Night, and Governor’s Night with Gov. Edgardo Tallado at the base camp.

On March 24 will be the deployment of volunteers to bayanihan activity sites for the bayanihan activities which include the house build and Paraisong Pambata School Build at the GK Friendship Village in Laniton, San Lorenzo Ruiz; and farm build in GK Bibirao, Daet and Matacong, San Lorenzo Ruiz. A GK video, Kalinga Night and LGU-San Lorenzo Ruiz night with Mayor Nelson de los Santos are scheduled on the evening at the base camp.

A continuation of bayanihan activities on the following days will be conducted at the sites and on the evening of March 25 will be the GK videos, Kalinga Night and LGU-Daet night with Mayor Tito Sarion and same activities on the evening of March 26 with LGU-San Lorenzo Ruiz night at base camp.

On the final day will be the bayani tour in Daet and San Lorenzo Ruiz to be followed by a holy mass and send-off and boodle fight for the heroes or volunteers. (RBM-PIA5, Camarines Norte).




DPWH-5 sets up motorist assistance centers for Holy Week

By Sally A. Atento

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar 22 (PIA) -- The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will be reactivating the District Motorist Assistance Centers in strategic areas along the highways of the Bicol Region to provide assistance to needy motorists this Holy Week starting March 24 until April 1.

These centers are part of the Lakbay Alalay program of the DPWH together with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and local government unit (LGU) officials.

To give assistance in these centers are engineers, car mechanics, equipment operators, and other service crews who will give free roadside emergency repair assistance to motorists during the holiday.

“Assistance centers will not only be installed in the mainland provinces but also in the island provinces. Four in Catanduanes and 12 in Masbate,” the DSWD-5 Director Danilo E. Dequito said.

In Camarines Sur, centers will be positioned in Gaongan Sipocot, GAD Building in Pamplona, Concepcion Grande Naga City in front of the Traffic Management Group Headquarters, Sta. Teresita Baao in front of DPWH Camarines Sur 4th district engineering office(DEO), Lourdes Young Nabua in front of Nabua Cemetery and Caraycayon Tigaon in front of DPWH Camarines Sur 3rd DEO.

In Camarines Norte the center will be in Tabugon Section Junction Andaya Highway.

In Albay, assistance centers will be in Paulog, Ligao in front of DPWH 3rd DEO, Busay, Daraga and Basud, Sto. Domingo.

In Sorsogon, motorists in need of assistance can stop over at Dona Pepita Park, Brgy. Bucalbucalan and San Pedro Multi-Purpose brgy hall in Irosin.

For the safety and convenience of the riding public in the region, the DPWH has also directed its district engineers to fast track road maintenance activities necessary for the holiday such as installation of legible informational and directional signs along Bicol’s national road network. (MAL/SAA–PIA 5, Albay)



It’s partnership, not privatization of healthcare facilities, programs - DOH

By Sally A. Atento

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar. 23 (PIA) -- The Department of Health (DOH) clears issues and oppositions as they take bolder moves to provide better and wider healthcare services to the public by further strengthening their public private partnership (PPP) strategy.

“It’s partnership not privatization. To privatize means to sell our healthcare facilities to private individuals but under our PPP, hospitals are owned by the government while our private partners provide services to the public,” said Department of Health (DOH) undersecretary Teodora J. Herbosa during a press conference recently held in this city.

Privatization of government-owned hospitals, which could lead to higher hospital bills and healthcare personnel losing their jobs to modernization of hospitals and facilities, were among the issues addressed by Herbosa together with DOH Bicol regional director Gloria J. Balboa.

“Our PPP is actually more of corporatization wherein private investors will supply the needed and modernized medical facilities and equipment. They will have a share in the hospital management through representatives on the corporate board,” he said.

He explained that the corporate board will include representatives from government and private sectors. This set-up can ensure efficient management since private investors are concerned of their returns and investments.

“The internal rate of return for investment on health system could range from 18 to 25 percent as determined by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA),” he added.

Herbosa also mentioned that under the PPP, 72 hospitals and centers all over the country will be upgraded to provide adequate and quality health care services. These include the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) which will be one of the eight heart centers in the Philippines.

This change, together with the establishment of more hospitals under PPP, will provide more jobs in contrast to the issues of health personnel losing their jobs.

The PPP strategy has been used by government in its health programs. These include partnership with Rotary International for eradication of polio, Novartis Foundation for elimination of leprosy and Global Fund and Pilipinas Foundation for control of malaria.

Herbosa said the poor are the main beneficiaries of these partnerships as they target 100 percent membership enrollment.

“Even if we give PhilHealth cards to the poor, but we lack the needed health facilities and hospitals, they still cannot enjoy it. That is why we are strengthening our PPP programs to provide them with modernized yet affordable health services,” Herbosa noted. (MAL/SAA-PIA5)

Friday, March 22, 2013


Catanduanes State U takes pride in 1,500 pioneer graduates

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Mar. 22 (PIA) - Around 1,500 degree holders of Catanduanes State University (CSU) main campus here and in Panganiban take the center stage in their respective commencement exercises as they carry the distinction of being the pioneer university graduates.

At the CSU campus here, the event will be made even more historic as the graduation ceremonies will take place in the University front grounds on March 26, 4 p.m.. The iconic windbreaker facade of the administration building will serve as the backdrop of the sundown ceremony.

Atty. Jorge V. Sarmiento, president and chief operating officer of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) will serve as the Commencement Speaker of the CSU Virac Campus.

The advanced education level will have 22 graduates—Doctor of Education - 3, Master of Arts in -Education - 3, Master of Arts in English- 1, Master of Arts in Industrial Education - 3, Diploma in Educational Management - 11, and Diploma in College Teaching - 1.

Producing the highest number of graduates in the higher education level is the Bachelor of Elementary Education at 123, followed by Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology – 120, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – 112, Bachelor of Science in Information Technology – 100, Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering – 69;

Bachelor of Science in Nursing – 68, Bachelor of Secondary Education -64, Bachelor of Science in Agriculture – 57, Bachelor of Science in Office Administration – 55, Bachelor of Science in Information Systems – 47, Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, 23, Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship – 21, Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics – 21, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science – 21;

Bachelor of Science in Biology, - 17, Bachelor of Science in Accountancy – 15, Bachelor of Science in Information Management – 13, Bachelor of Arts major in Public Administration – 11, and Bachelor of Science in Economics – 7,

Moreover, in the two-year diploma program, the Two-Year Trade Technical course has the highest number of graduates at 187, followed by Certificate in Agriculture Science – 77, Diploma in Midwifery Education – 30, and Certificate in Technology – 29.
Meanwhile, the Catanduanes State University Panganiban Campus conducted their graduation ceremonies on March 16, 2013, with 194 graduates in its four higher education course offerings—B.S. in Agriculture (29), Bachelor of Elementary Education (55), Bachelor of Trade Technical Education (27), and Certificate in Agriculture Science (83).

CSU’s beginning dates back to June 18, 1961 when Republic Act (RA) 3398, which called for the establishment of Virac National and Agricultural Trade School (VNATS), was enacted.

Ten years thereafter, Republic Act 6341, which was authored by Congressman Jose U. Alberto, converted VNATS into Catanduanes State Colleges (CSC).

On March 29, 2011, House Bill No. 4170, which called for the conversion of CSC into Catanduanes State University, was filed during the First Regular Session of the 15th Congress of the Philippines. This conversion bill was principally authored by Congressman Cesar V. Sarmiento, and co-authored by Congressman Juan Edgardo M. Angara.

Over a year thereafter, President Benigno S. Aquino III signed on October 19, 2012 Republic Act No. 10229 converting Catanduanes State Colleges (Virac/Main and Panganiban Campuses) into Catanduanes State University.

Catanduanes State University germinated in the established groundwork of its forerunner institutions, including its leaders, employees, students, and the stakeholders who served as the bedrock and the pillar upon which the University was built.

CSU is the only comprehensive higher education institution in Catanduanes and among the dynamic State Universities and Colleges in Bicol that offers a wide range of academic programs and produces placers in national licensure examinations. (GSRubio-CSU/MAL/EAB/PIA5)


Catanduanes State U presidency aspirants named

By Gerry S. Rubio

VIRAC, Catanduanes, March 22 (PIA) -- The Search Committee for Presidency of the Catanduanes State University (CSU) has presented a list of applicants for president of the university.

The three applicants for CSU Presidency—Dr. Lily P. Custodio, dean of the CSU Graduate School; Dr. Minerva I. Morales, immediate past SUC President III and incumbent officer in-charge of the CSU; and Dr. Jimmy Masagca, associate professor of CSU College of Arts and Sciences—took the center stage to present their academic and professional credentials, and mission, vision, and programs.

The CSU Board of Regents-constituted CSU Search Committee for Presidency is chaired by the Rector and President of Aquinas University, Rev. Fr. Ernesto M. Arceo, O.P. PhD., with the Chairperson of the PASUC V and Bicol University President, Dr. Faye Lauraya; the Regional Director of CHED Region V, Dr. Freddie T. Bernal; Engr, Sammy V. Laynes, representing the Private Sector; and CSU College of Education professor Dr. Charlene Cantar, representing the academic community, as members.

The composition of the search committee is specifically in accordance with Section 4 of the CHED Memorandum Order No. 16 Series 2009 or Rules and Regulations Governing the Search for President of State Universities and Colleges (SUCs).

While the usual search process, as stipulated in CHED CMO No. 16, s. 2009, starts at least six months prior to the end of the term of the incumbent President, what makes this search process practically unique only to CSU is the provision in Section 9 of RA 10229 or An Act Converting the Catanduanes State Colleges into Catanduanes State University. The last part of Section 9, which is the clincher in determining the First University President thus states: “Provided, that in order to effect a smooth transition to a state university, the CHED shall designate an Officer-in-Charge of the University, pending appointment of the first President of the University.”

CSU is the only higher education institution in the country which was converted into State University that has this particular provision. Incumbent Presidents of State Colleges converted into Universities automatically becomes the first university president.

Apart from the said unique clause contained in the law that created Catanduanes State Unviersity, the search process also followed the RA 8292 or the Higher Education Modernization Act of 1997

As stated in the CHED CMO No. 16 series 2009, “after the Governing Board has constituted the Search Committee and its Secretariat, a notice for the SUC Presidency shall be published in at least one newspaper of national circulation for at least three consecutive weeks.

The screening and selection of candidates/applicants shall generally consist of Compliance Check by the Secretariat, Profile Appraisal, Panel Interview by the Search Committee, Public Forum/Presentation, Finalization of the Search Committee for President Report, Submission of the SCP Report to the SUC Governing Board, and the Election of New President via Majority Vote of the Governing Board Members.

Moreover, as provided for in the CHED CMO, the applicants undergo three-tiered evaluation process composed of Profile Appraisal (Professional Competence and Academic Background), Public Forum, and Panel Interview.

Under Profile Appraisal – Professional Competence, the applicant’s crafted Philosophy, Mission and Vision is graded, as well as his or her Relevant Administrative Experiences, Managerial Competence, and Acceptability in the Community. In the Academic Background, his or her Tertiary Level Teaching and Extension experiences are accordingly rated, as well as Relevant Academic and Research Background.

In the Public Forum, the applicants are rated according to their Personal Traits, Grasp and Ability to Respond to Situation; Mission, Vision, Programs; Public Image, Acceptability and Rapport with Constituents, and Personal Credibility. (MAL/GSR-CSU/PIA5)



NSO to conduct cnsus on business and industry

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Mar. 22 (PIA) -- The National Statistics Office will be conducting the 2012 Census of Philippine Business and Industry (CPBI) from April to June 2013.

Anabie Camacho, NSO Catanduanes officer-in-charge, said that the 2012 CPBI will collect and generate information on the levels, structure, performance and trends of economic activities of the formal sector of the economy for the year 2012. Also, it will serve as benchmark information in the measurement and comparison of national, regional and provincial economic growth.

Specifically, the 2012 CPBI aims to collect and generate detailed information on employment, income, expense, capital expenditures and total assets of the establishments and enterprises; generate indicators such as value added, labor productivity and others necessary to evaluate the performance of industries at the national and regional levels; generate MSME (micro, small and medium establishments/enterprises) data using total assets; gather information for the improvement of the list of establishments and enterprises; and provide benchmark data on trade in ICT-BPO.

According to Camacho, the data collected from the CPBI will constitute bases upon which the government and the private sector can formulate policies and evolve economic development plans.

Camacho explained that the census results are used in constructing national and regional income accounts of the Philippine economy; formulating and monitoring plans/policies in the attainment of national and regional economic goals; determining and comparing regional economic structures and performances; analyzing the performance and contribution of MSMEs to the total economy; conducting market research and feasibility studies among others; and updating the frame of establishments and enterprises.

Pursuant to the provision of Section 4 of Act 591, information obtained from the respondents shall be held strictly confidential and shall not be divulged to any person except authorized NSO personnel acting in the performance of their duties and Section 3 of the same law provides the penalty clause for non-compliance of the survey.

In Catanduanes, Camacho said the actual distribution of CPBI questionnaires will be on April 1 to 30 while collection and field editing of said questionnaires will be on April 16 to June 14. (NSO-PIO/MAL/EAB-PIA 5)

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Cam Norte violence against women cases decrease

By Rosalita B. Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, Mar. 21 (PIA) -- A total of 56 cases were filed in court last year against perpetrators for violations of Republic Act 9262 or Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act, a decreased of five cases compared to the 61 cases recorded in 2011.

This was disclosed by P/Inspector Ana Rose A. Domingo, chief of Women’s and Children’s Desk (WCPD) of the Camarines Norte Police Provincial Office (CNPPO) during the “Talakayan sa PIA” featuring “Women’s Month Celebration.”

Domingo said the decreased was attributed to their social awareness activity through symposium in school wherein students and teachers were given lectures regarding RA 9262 or anti-violence against women and children.

She said most of the cases filed were on rape, attempted rape, rape in relation to RA 9262, acts of lasciviousness, physical injuries, RA 9262, threats, concubinage, qualified trespass to dwelling, and unjust vexation.

She said that on the violence against children, they recorded 106 cases in 2012 compared to 81 in 2011, an increase of 20 cases. This is because children are very vulnerable and are not aware that they are being abused, she explained.

She clarified that they observe confidentiality of the victim of abused within their office by not revealing the name of a victim and a perpetrator to avoid psychological distress on the part of the victim.

Dolores Tresmonte, GAD focal person said they counsel abused women and children especially those in the barangay.

She said that the provincial government is also maintaining a Halfway Home, a center for abused women and children, where they do the counseling and training of livelihood for women for alternative source of income to become independent.

She said the province has already incorporated gender and development in their programs, and on March 25, they will be conducting GAD orientation for provincial government employees in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Tresmonte said the province has a Provincial Council for the Protection of Children (PCWC), an inter-agency collaboration to address issues on minors especially those who are working in videoke bars in the province. Last year they conducted "dikit paalala (sticker reminder)" stating that minors are banned from working in the videoke bars, she added.

The Talakayan sa PIA was facilitated by Rose Manlangit of the PIA and attended by media from Hello Bicol and Dateline Camarines Norte of STV6, Pipol Event News (PEN), Nation News, Bicolandia Updates, DWYD-FM Bay Radio, DWLB-FM Labo, DWSL-FM, DWCN-FM-Radyo ng Bayan and DWSR-FM-Power Radio. (MAL/RBM-PIA 5


PNoy leads groundbreaking of Robredo Museum

By Analiza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, March 21 (PIA) --- President Benigno Aquino III will lead on March 21, the groundbreaking ceremony of the proposed Jesse M. Robredo (JMR) Museum in the heart of the Civic Center located at Barangay Balatas here.

Aquino will also lead the lowering of time capsule at the JMR monument and museum right after his visit at the tomb of the late DILG Secretary at Eternal Gardens here. He will be joined by Robredo’s widow, Atty. Leni M. Robredo, and her daughters. The late Secretary’s brothers and sisters will also be joining the President.

At the site of the JMR museum and monument, the President will be welcomed by Naga City Mayor John Bongat and local city officials together with the local leaders of the community, whom the President will be meeting right after the occasion.

After his meeting with the local leaders, the President will join the Team PNoy for photo opportunity with the 32 local LP slate.

Meanwhile, senatorial candidates under the Team PNoy have already started their regional sorties, starting off their trail in Camarines Norte.

At around 4 p.m., Thursday, the slate will have a motorcade which will end at Avenue Hotel, in Magsaysay, Naga City.

On March 22, the group will move to the Rinconada area where they will have a pocket rally. The team then will convoy with Polangui LGU where they will proceed to Ligao City. A pocket rally will also be held at Ligao City Town Plaza.

After the rally, the team will pass through Guinobatan, Camalig, Daraga, and Legazpi areas bound to Legaspi Astrodome for the continuation of their sorties. The team will depart for Manila on March 23. (MAL/LSM-PIA5, Camarines Sur)


32 CSU agri students complete rice production training course

By Edna A. Bagadiong

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar. 21 (PIA) -- Thirty-two agriculture students of Catanduanes State University (CSU) finished their 16-week Students Field School on Integrated Pest Management and Palay Check System on March 16.

The field school, the first of its kind at the Catanduanes State University, was conducted from November 2012 to March 13 at the College of Agriculture and Fisheries with the fourth year agriculture students taking up their practicum.

Angie A. Villanueva of Calabnigan, Virac, Catanduanes, was awarded with a plaque of commendation as topnotcher of the training course. She obtained excellent ratings both in theoretical and field research activities.

Other awardees were Jerryme Paul Tolentino of Cabcab, San Andres; second Best Performer. Rose Lyn T. Solaybar of Yocti, San Andres; third Best Performer. Special awardees were Jenelyn A. Tebelin of San Miguel, Baras, Best in Attendance; Arlyn L. Aquino of Lupi, Camarines Sur, Best Manuscript Writer; Jerryme Paul Tolentino, Best Field Researcher; and Angie A. Villanueva, Best Group Leader.

SFS was crafted by the Rice Sector of the Municipal Agriculture Office – LGU Virac as an academe version of the Farmers Field School, a group-based learning process and extension program for the local farmers where the farmer’s class are held in farmer’s field.

The training arms agriculture students on new trends in rice production technologies, develops their interest on rice research, and transforms them into future rice extension experts and farm managers.

Students were immersed in more than 40 special topics on rice production using Palay Check principles, which includes land preparation, nutrient management, weed management, pest and diseases, irrigation management, and harvest management.

They were also taught actual rice production (from land preparation to post-harvest operations.) A weekly Agro Ecosystem Analysis (AESA) also helped the students in understanding the various factors which directly and indirectly affect plant growth.

The AESA monitored the weekly increase in plant height, number of leaves, tiller number, stage of the crop, and the population dynamics of the natural enemies and insect pests.

The students were required to analyze the AESA data and its relation to the environmental factors such as rainfall, weather condition and day length, and nutrient availability.

They were also guided in making sound decisions as part of effective management strategy.

Eleven study trials were established at the Participatory Technology Demonstration field of the SFS. These are Pure Organic Fertilization, Nutrient Management using Microbial Inoculant, Balanced Fertilization, KeyCheck 1-8 Demonstration Field, Unlevelled Fields, Leveled Fields, Varietal Trial for Four Rice Cultivars, Drought Stress Field, Water Stress Field, Defoliators Simulation Study, and Stem Borer Simulation Study.

Six student researches which are related to the learning gained from the said PTD trials were also completed at the end of the 16-weeklong intervention.

The Field School, which is a joint project of the Catanduanes State University and the Local Government Unit of Virac, was conceptualized as a re-entry plan of its proponent and lead facilitator Alex A. Asuncion, Agricultural Technologist-Rice Program of the Virac LGU.

He established the project before completing his season-long Training of Trainers on IPM and Palay Check at the Agricultural Training Institute on May-September 2012.

The project immediately got the nod of the Institute’s rice specialist and training officer Roje Rebancos who had also conducted the same project at the Bicol University College of Agriculture and Forestry.

The proposal to conduct the field school at the University was approved by Municipal Agriculturist Jessie A. Urbano and Virac Mayor Jose U. Alberto. Consequently, a memorandum of agreement, which stipulates the collaborative implementation of the project, was signed by Mayor Alberto and CSU Office In-Charge Dr. Minerva I. Morales.

The training team of this year’s SFS are: Dr. Ruben P. Tablizo, CAF Dean (Practicum Professor), Alex A. Asuncion, Agricultural Technologist (SFS Trainer and lead facilitator), Salvacion Z. Noble, Agricultural Technologist (Documenter), Jimma V. Tadoy, Agricultural Technologist (Facilitator) and Hermogenes Sebastian, Provincial PalayCheck Coordinator (Overall Supervisor and Monitoring Officer).

They were assisted by Farmer Technicians Rogelio Panti and Gerry Marquez. The project was funded by the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Unit V, and was likewise co-implemented together with the Provincial Agricultural Services Office- Catanduanes, Agricultural Training Institute Regional Training Center V and the Municipal Agriculture and Fishery Council. (MAL/AAAsuncion-LGU Virac/MAO/PIA5)


DPWH 24/7 service during Lenten holidays

By Lucy V. Castañeda

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar. 21 (PIA) -- In anticipation of influx of motorists this Lenten holidays, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region 5 Director Danilo E. Dequito directed the reactivation of District Motorist Assistance Teams to start at 6 a.m. of March 24 until 12 noon of April 1.

This program, dubbed as “Lakbay Alalay” is in coordination with the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the local government executives.

Twelve Motorists’ Assistance Centers will be installed in conspicuous places in Bicol’s arterial roads: In Camarines Norte – a) Tabugon Section, K0248, Junction Andaya Highway; in Camarines Sur – a) Gaongan, Sipocot (K0340+950), b) GAD Building, Pamplona (K0418+100), c) Concepcion Grande, Naga City (K0439+820) or in front of the Traffic Management Group (TMG) Headquarters, d) Sta. Teresita, Baao (K0503+800) in front of DPWH Camarines Sur 4th District Engineering Office (DEO),

e) Lourdes Young, Nabua (K0472+350) in front of Nabua Cemetery, f) Caraycayon, Tigaon in front of DPWH Camarines Sur 3rd DEO; in Albay – a) Paulog, Ligao in front of DPWH 3rd DEO, b) Busay, Daraga (K0522+050), c) Basud, Sto. Domingo (K0541+010); and in Sorsogon – a) Dona Pepita Park, Brgy. Bucalbucalan, and San Pedro Multi-Purpose Brgy. Hall, Irosin (K0621+800).

“Assistance centers will not only be installed in the mainland provinces but also in the island provinces,” Dequito said during a radio interview, recently. “Four in Catanduanes and 12 assistance centers in Masbate,” the director added.

These centers will be manned by engineers, car mechanics, equipment operators, and other service crews who will give free roadside emergency repair assistance to motorists during the long holidays.

At the DPWH, Rawis, Legazpi City, a skeletal workforce from Maintenance Division (Tel. #482-0429) will man the office to receive reports from field offices and to render emergency services required during the holidays.

Also, for the safety and convenience of the riding public, all district engineers in the region are under instruction to expedite necessary road maintenance activities, including the installation of legible informational and directional signs along Bicol’s national road network. (MAL/LVC-DPWH5/PIA5)


Catanduanes town now uses e-copy of DSWD’s NHTS-PR data

By CRBarrameda-DSWD5

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar. 21 (PIA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Region 5 (DSWD-5) has turned-over the data on National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) to the local government of Baras in Catanduanes last March 15.

Ciriaco B. Abejuro, focal person on NHTS-PR of DSWD, said the system serves as database of poor households as reference in identifying potential beneficiaries of social protection programs of the government.

Abejuro explained that the system aims to establish an objective targeting system and reduce the leakage of social services to non-poor and minimize exclusion of the poor.

NHTS-PR is an information management system identifying poor families in the country.

Baras Mayor Chito S. Chi and Municipal Social Welfare & Development Officer Jean Triumfante received the electronic copy of NHTS-PR data based on its first assessment in 2009.

The National Household Targeting Unit (NHTU) meanwhile has identified 461,242 poor households in the six provinces of Bicol region.

Pursuant to Executive Order No. 867 issued in March 2010 has directed all national government agencies (NGAs) to adopt the results of NHTS-PR in identifying prospective beneficiaries for their social protection programs nationwide.

In the same occasion, DSWD 5 and Baras municipal government inked a memorandum of agreement, the first in Catanduanes province, for the use of NHTS-PR data of poor households.

Abejuro furthered that a moratorium on MOA signing was imposed relative to data sharing that already started from February 12 until May 13 in connection with the upcoming midterm elections.

Abejuro said that such is being done to protect the integrity of the NHTS-PR database and to ensure its data utilization. (MAL-PIA 5/CRBarrameda-DSWD5)


Naga council fortifying local democracy through People's Council

By Analiza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, Mar. 21 (PIA) -- The Naga City People's Council (NCPC) is pushing for the program, “Expanding and Fortifying Local Democracy through People’s Council in the Philippines,” before the city officials of this city, members of various people's organization and other stakeholders recently in pursuit of empowering members of the community by encouraging their participation in various programs of the government.

NCPC program director Johann P. Dela Rosa said the project aims to rouse the spirit of cooperation among members of the community and encourage them to come up with a unified stand in pursuing development by starting it from the local level.

"We want to consolidate and mobilize civil society organizations (CSOs) in the target areas to engage their respective LGUs in all levels of governance though organizing, capacitating, strengthening, and establishing of people’s councils,” Dela Rosa added.

The concept was taken from the experience and gains of NCPC and was among the almost 3,000 proposals submitted to the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDF). Of those submitted, only 73 were approved, including that of NCPC, for funding and signed by the UN Secretary himself. It was the only concept approved in the country.

Naga City Mayor John Bongat also gave his insights on the importance of People’s Council in the executive branch of the city while Vice Mayor Gabriel Bordado shared testimonies on the role and contribution of NCPC in the legislative branch of Naga.

Political Democracy and Reform (PODER) Program Director Joy Aceron talked on the social accountability and people participation initiatives in the country. Aceron is program director of the Government Watch Project of the Ateneo School of Government (ASoG) based in Ateneo de Manila University (ADeMU).

Atty. James Jacob, chairman, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and former Naga City councilor also graced the occasion to explain the enactment of City Ordinance No. 95-092 which was jointly and collectively approved by members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

Also known as the Empowerment Ordinance of Naga City, the ordinance gave legitimacy to the organization of the NGO/PO community in Naga City.

The project is expected to advance the tenet of partnership in local governance and push for deeper level of pursuing development and spur growth in the community. The partnership is also being encouraged by the government to concretize the spirit of participation amongst the members of the society. (MAL/LSM-PIA5)




MGB lifts moratorium on the acceptance of mining applications

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar. 21 (PIA) -- The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has lifted the moratorium on the acceptance of applications for Exploration Permit and Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement, according to the agency’s top regional official here.

Engr. Theodore Rommel E. Pestaño, regional director of MGB regional office in Bicol, said the bureau has issued a directive for the lifting of the more than two-year mining application moratorium that has something to do with the implementation this month of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Administrative Order (AO) numbered 2013-11.

Pestaño explained that the DAO provides for the procedural guidelines in the filing and processing of application for Exploration Permit (EP) pursuant to Executive Order (EO) 79.

“EO 79 was signed by his Excellency President Benigno C. Aquino III on July 6, 2012 to implement reforms in the Philippine mining sector and ensure environmental protection and responsible mining in the utilization of mineral resources,” he recalled.

Pestaño furthered that DENR suspended the acceptance of all types of mining applications starting January 2011 through DMO No. 2011-01 dated January 18, 2011 and the new Memorandum Order, which was dated March 7,2013, has recommended the lifting of the former order on March 18, 2013.

“With the lifting of the moratorium we are expecting investors to start filing their applications with vigor and they will be processed accordingly,” Pestaño said. (MGB-LDVMAL-PIA5)


MGB increases fees, minimum capital requirements for exploration permit

By LDValdez-MGB5

LEGAZPI CITY, March 21 (PIA) -- The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Bicol has increased fees for mining applications, minimum capital requirements for mining applicants, and also issued procedural guidelines in the filing and processing of applications for exploration permit

Theodore Rommel E. Pestaño, engineer and regional director of MGB regional office in Bicol, said Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2013-10 increases the filing and processing fees for exploration permit (EP), mineral agreement (MA) and financial and technical assistance agreement (FTAA) including renewal of EPs and exploration period of MAs and FTAAs.

“DAO No. 2013-10 increases the filing and processing fee for EP, from P60 per hectare but not less than P50,000 per application to P300 per hectare but not less than P200,000 per application; MA, from P60 per hectare but not less than P50,000 per application to P300 per hectare but not less than P300,000 per application; and FTAA, from P60 per hectare but not less than P100,000 per application to P300 per hectare but not less than P500,000 per application,” Pestaño explained.

“On the other hand, DAO No. 2013-01 increases the minimum capital requirements for applicants for EP, MA and FTAA from the P10 million authorized capital to P100 million and from the paid-up capital of P2.5 million to P6.25 million,” Pestaño furthered.

He added that in case of an applicant for FTAA, he is required to have a minimum paid-up capital of P500 million upon the grant of the FTAA by the President prior to its registration with the MGB.

“All mining applicants with pending applications for EP, MA and FTAA are required to comply with DAO 2013-01 within 60 days from its effectivity otherwise their mining applications will be denied,” Pestaño pointed out.

Pestaño also cited DAO No. 2013-11 which provides for the procedural guidelines in the filing and processing of applications for EP. “An EP application, together with the complete mandatory acceptance requirements required by the MGB is filed at the MGB Central Office,” he said.

Pestaño said after ensuring that the EP application does not encroach on areas closed to mining and upon verification of the mandatory acceptance requirements the MGB central office will issue the order of payment for the EP applicant to pay the required filing and processing fees.

“An EP application encroaching on areas closed to mining and or with incomplete mandatory acceptance requirements is automatically denied,” Pestaño pointed out.

“Upon payment of the required fees, MGB central office will forward the EP application and all the pertinent documents to the MGB regional office concerned for evaluation through the Mining One-Stop Shop,” he added.

“The filing of application for exploration under the FTAA follows the same procedures prescribed for EP application,” Pestaño said.

Pestaño clarified that the three new memorandum orders were all dated February 21 and are expected to become effective by March after their publication for 15 days in a newspaper of general circulation and 15 days after their registration with the Office of the National Administrative Register. (MAL/LDValdez-MGB5/PIA)


Wednesday, March 20, 2013


DTI confers Bagwis Award to 15 businesses in Bicol

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar. 20 (PIA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) regional office here has cited 15 business establishments that have manifested and practiced fair business and upheld the rights and welfare of consumers.

The business ventures operating in different provinces in the Bicol Region were conferred the Bagwis Awards, a program recognized by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and the Asean Committee on Consumer Protection (ACCP) as one of the best practices of the country in Consumer Protection, said Jocelyn Blanco, DTI 5 regional director.

The Bagwis awards program is given to establishment with Consumer Welfare Desks in business places that should provide accessible and speedy resolution of complaints to consumers.

For 2012, DTI 5 awarded the Silver and Bronze Bagwis Seal of Excellence after having met the criteria.

DTI Silver Seal of Excellence were conferred to Olivan Builders’ Center (Cam. Sur), ACC Hypermart (Catanduanes), CTL Trading (Catanduanes), Catanduanes Supermart (Catanduanes), Virac Fortune Enterprises (Catanduanes), One Centro Store (Sorsogon), RVT Merchandising (Camarines Norte), Centro Department Store (Camarines Norte), and Willy and Sons Corporation Service Center (Albay).

DTI Bronze Seal of Excellence meanwhile were awarded to Chase Distribution, Inc. (Albay), Willy and Sons Corporation (Albay), Ten Seven General Merchandise (Masbate), S.V. Ang Hardware Corporation (Masbate), Nagaland E-Mall (Camarines Sur), and Lisam Enterprises (Camarines Sur).

The winners received their awards in time for the celebration of the World Consumer Rights Day last March 15, 2013 at La Roca Veranda Suites and Restaurant here.

DTI 5, according to Blanco, is very much pleased and remains optimistic that more and more establishments will recognize the need to obtain the Bagwis Seal not only to help consumers and enterprises, but most importantly, to help themselves grow as model businesses. (JCBerango/DTI5/MAL-PIA5)



DTI confers Bagwis Award to 15 businesses in Bicol

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar. 20 (PIA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) regional office here has cited 15 business establishments that have manifested and practiced fair business and upheld the rights and welfare of consumers.

The business ventures operating in different provinces in the Bicol Region were conferred the Bagwis Awards, a program recognized by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and the Asean Committee on Consumer Protection (ACCP) as one of the best practices of the country in Consumer Protection, said Jocelyn Blanco, DTI 5 regional director.

The Bagwis awards program is given to establishment with Consumer Welfare Desks in business places that should provide accessible and speedy resolution of complaints to consumers.

For 2012, DTI 5 awarded the Silver and Bronze Bagwis Seal of Excellence after having met the criteria.

DTI Silver Seal of Excellence were conferred to Olivan Builders’ Center (Cam. Sur), ACC Hypermart (Catanduanes), CTL Trading (Catanduanes), Catanduanes Supermart (Catanduanes), Virac Fortune Enterprises (Catanduanes), One Centro Store (Sorsogon), RVT Merchandising (Camarines Norte), Centro Department Store (Camarines Norte), and Willy and Sons Corporation Service Center (Albay).

DTI Bronze Seal of Excellence meanwhile were awarded to Chase Distribution, Inc. (Albay), Willy and Sons Corporation (Albay), Ten Seven General Merchandise (Masbate), S.V. Ang Hardware Corporation (Masbate), Nagaland E-Mall (Camarines Sur), and Lisam Enterprises (Camarines Sur).

The winners received their awards in time for the celebration of the World Consumer Rights Day last March 15, 2013 at La Roca Veranda Suites and Restaurant here.

DTI 5, according to Blanco, is very much pleased and remains optimistic that more and more establishments will recognize the need to obtain the Bagwis Seal not only to help consumers and enterprises, but most importantly, to help themselves grow as model businesses. (JCBerango/DTI5/MAL-PIA5)



DTI confers Bagwis Award to 15 businesses in Bicol

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar. 20 (PIA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) regional office here has cited 15 business establishments that have manifested and practiced fair business and upheld the rights and welfare of consumers.

The business ventures operating in different provinces in the Bicol Region were conferred the Bagwis Awards, a program recognized by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and the Asean Committee on Consumer Protection (ACCP) as one of the best practices of the country in Consumer Protection, said Jocelyn Blanco, DTI 5 regional director.

The Bagwis awards program is given to establishment with Consumer Welfare Desks in business places that should provide accessible and speedy resolution of complaints to consumers.

For 2012, DTI 5 awarded the Silver and Bronze Bagwis Seal of Excellence after having met the criteria.

DTI Silver Seal of Excellence were conferred to Olivan Builders’ Center (Cam. Sur), ACC Hypermart (Catanduanes), CTL Trading (Catanduanes), Catanduanes Supermart (Catanduanes), Virac Fortune Enterprises (Catanduanes), One Centro Store (Sorsogon), RVT Merchandising (Camarines Norte), Centro Department Store (Camarines Norte), and Willy and Sons Corporation Service Center (Albay).

DTI Bronze Seal of Excellence meanwhile were awarded to Chase Distribution, Inc. (Albay), Willy and Sons Corporation (Albay), Ten Seven General Merchandise (Masbate), S.V. Ang Hardware Corporation (Masbate), Nagaland E-Mall (Camarines Sur), and Lisam Enterprises (Camarines Sur).

The winners received their awards in time for the celebration of the World Consumer Rights Day last March 15, 2013 at La Roca Veranda Suites and Restaurant here.

DTI 5, according to Blanco, is very much pleased and remains optimistic that more and more establishments will recognize the need to obtain the Bagwis Seal not only to help consumers and enterprises, but most importantly, to help themselves grow as model businesses. (JCBerango/DTI5/MAL-PIA5)


Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Naga City Council for Women leads Women’s Month celebration

By Analiza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, Mar. 19 (PIA) -- To highlight the Women Month Celebration this March, the Naga City Council for Women (NCCW), co-chaired by Naga City Councilor Cecilia “Nene” De Asis, has lined up its week-long activities under the theme, “Kababaihan: Gabay sa Pagtahak sa Tuwid na Daan.”

During the FORUM@PIA led by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-Camarines Sur Provincial Office this morning, De Asis faced members of the tri-media and sought their support in raising the awareness of the community regarding the role of women in various endeavors and the challenges that the said sector is currently facing.

De Asis said government also acknowledged the great part women play in society, the reason why it is also implementing various programs to protect the rights of women and safeguard their interests as vital partners in nation-building.

“In as far as empowering the women is concerned, I can say that we have raised another notch higher in terms of provision of services and giving them opportunities. We are continuously raising the bar of acknowledging the significant contribution of women in various undertakings of the government and we’re on the right path," De Asis said in an interview.

On March 19, NCCW will officially start the celebration with a Thanksgiving Mass to be led by Rev. Fr. Marc Real. It will be followed by the ribbon cutting ceremony of the “Tiangge kan Maogmang Naguena Year 3.” Before the noon break, partakers, specifically mothers will have a chance to attend a candle-making seminar and demonstration as part of the livelihood project of the NCCW.

Comelec Camarines Sur Spokesman Alex Marpuri, together with Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) Officer Fr. Wilmer Tria will serve as discussants during the forum on Advocating Clean and Honest Elections. Venue will be at the Naga City People’s Hall at 3 p.m.

One of the culminating activities of the celebration is the Lakas ng Kababaihan Culminating activity with Atty. Leni Robredo as guest speaker.

To wrap up the week-long celebration, the organizers will honor tiangge participants and women volunteers. Bantay Familia (BF) volunteers sa Barangay will also be inducted and announcement of winners for the Search for Best VAW Desk sa Barangay.

Women’s month celebration is pursuant to Proclamation No. 227, which provides for the observance of March as Women’s role in History Month and Republic Act (RA) 6949 series of 1990, declaring March 8 of every year as National Women’s Month. (MAL/ASM-PIA 5)



Bayani Challenge 2013 targets to build 44 houses in San Lorenzo Ruiz, Camarines Norte

By Rosalita B. Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, March 19 (PIA) -- Some 44 houses are to be constructed in the Gawad Kalinga (GK) Friendship Village in barangay Laniton, San Lorenzo Ruiz town here for the nationwide Bayani Challenge 2013 on March 23-27 where 2,000 volunteers coming from the different places in the region and in the province are expected to participate.

Of the 44 target houses, 10 will be led by the local government unit of Daet, six of the provincial government of Camarines Norte and six of the local government unit of San Lorenzo Ruiz with the total of 22 while the other 22 houses will be the counterpart of the GK Foundation.

Daet Mayor Tito Sarion said the land for the GK Friendship Village in San Lorenzo Ruiz was previously donated by a private person to the local government unit of Daet as one of the GK site project.

The local government unit of Daet, the provincial government of Camarines Norte and the local government unit of San Lorenzo and the Gawad Kalinga Foundation are on its way in their preparations for the big event of volunteer movement in the country.

Earlier Mayor Tito Sarion has already called the attention of media groups here to help in the dissemination of activities for the Bayani Challenge 2013 in GK Friendship Village.

The provincial government through Governor Edgardo Tallado has already prepared the GK site and will conduct a Governor’s Night as well as their Multi-Services Caravan in Laniton, San Vicente and in Bibirao in Daet during the five days challenge.

The GK Friendship Village in San Lorenzo Ruiz town is the only site in the Bicol Region and one of the 37 sites in 34 provinces in the country for the 8th Bayani Challenge this year.

Bayani Challenge is a new kind of People Power as volunteers from across the nation will work together to ensure that no Filipino will be left behind in the national pursuit for progress and sustainable development.

The Bayani Challenge has started in 2006 and this year’s theme “Isang bayan, Isang Bayanihan”, where volunteers sign-up in teams of fifteen (15) for a 5-day test of courage, endurance and love for country as they engage in varied nation building activities. (RBM-PIA5, Camarines Norte)


Albay Governor Joey Salceda delivers his message  during the Hospital Emergency Augmentation Team Program, Earthquake Simulation Exercise at the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital last March 18, 2013. (Alex Cal/PIA)

HOSPITAL EMERGENCY AUGMENTATION TEAM PROGRAM EARTHQUAKE SIMULATION EXERCISE