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

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Albay featured in Berlin Fair

Legazpi City, March 6 (PIA) -- The province of Albay has set another milestone as the first local government unit (LGU) in the Philippines to be featured in the 2013 Internationale Tourismus-Borse (ITB) – Berlin Fair, the world’s largest travel trade fair that commenced today until March 10 at Berlin, Germany.

“Albay is the first LGU ever to get a standee booth within the Philippine Pavilion, and we hope other LGUs will follow suit in future travels,” said Department of Tourism Bicol regional director Maria-Ong Ravanilla.

This booth, added Ravanilla, will be equipped with two giant audio-video monitors that will present all the eco-tourism marvels of the province and the fun and adventure that it visitors can enjoy in the province.

Aside from being featured as the highlight destination at the Philippine Pavililion, Albay will likewise feature and showcase the world class tourism destinations in Masbate and Sorsogon as part of its Albay, Masbate, Sorsogon Tourism Alliance (Almasorta), also dubbed the “Soul of the South.”

Around 170,000 visitors are expected to attend the fair of which 113,000 are trade visitors and 11,000 are company representatives from 180 countries.

The ITB Berlin Convention has been the leading B2B platform for all tourism industry offers as shown by its sales record of up to six billion Euros and satisfaction rate of 92%.

It is also said to enjoy worldwide media recognition and offers comprehensive support for all marketing questions exhibitors might ask.

This year’s ITB Berlin Convention will celebrate its 10th year anniversary and will focus on interaction with the audience and more application of new technology on tourism industry. ( Sally A. AtentoMAL/SAA-PIA 5/Albay)

GSIS requires Ombudsman's clearance for retirees

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar. 6 (PIA) -- The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) will require government employees who would retire starting March 15, 2013 to submit certificate of clearance from the Ombudsman.

In an advisory, GSIS stated that the directive is pursuant to Memorandum Circular No. 001-2013 issued January 10, 2013 by the Commission on Audit (COA) that all heads of departments, bureaus, offices, and agencies and instrumentality of national government, Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) and local government units (LGUs) are advised to submit the Ombudsman’s clearance for all retiring employees.

The imposition of the submission of certificate was based on Memorandum Circular no. 10 series of 1995, issued by the Office of the Ombudsman, the advisory explained.

The advisory furthered that documentary requirements on retirement benefits must include a certificate from the Office of the Ombudsman attesting whether the prospective retiree has a pending criminal or administrative case.

The GSIS will only accept retirement applications if filed with the certificate from the Office of the Ombudsman.

Meanwhile, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) has also issued guidelines on timely release of retirement benefits within 30 days from the actual retirement date of a government employee.

CSC has already issued the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 10154 or the Act Requiring All Concerned Government Agencies to Ensure the Early Release of the Retirement Pay, Pensions, Gratuities and other Benefits of Retiring Government Retirees.

The CSC advisory noted that retiring public servants must not be made to wait for they have spent the best years of their lives serving the public and the government, thus, the state ensures the prompt release of their retirement benefits which are due them under the law.

The IRR, which cites the responsibilities of retiring government employees, employer-agencies and all concerned government agencies, the period of release of retirement benefits and all other relevant provisions, shall apply to compulsory and optional retirement applications of government employees from all government instrumentalities including government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), except personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

The guidelines state that period for release of retirement benefits must be within 30 days from the actual retirement date of the concerned employee. The employer-agency or the government agency where the employee shall retire must submit all requirements at least ninety 90 days prior to the effectivity date of retirement. Retirement benefits under the Government Service Insurance Act must be released to retirees on his/her last day of service in government provided that all Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) requirements are duly complied with.

However, retirement benefits may be withheld if the employee has been suspended due to pending administrative case or has pecuniary liabilities. (MAL-PIA5, ALbay)

Vet office, NGO strengthen info drive vs. rabies

By Benilda A. Recebido

SORSOGON CITY, Mar 6 (PIA) -- Efforts to intensify the information, education, and communication (IEC) campaign on awareness and prevention of the spread of rabies are underway in the province of Sorsogon.

The Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO), in partnership with the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC), has initiated the installation of tarpaulins, posters, and billboards in various strategic places in the province to increase public awareness on the ill-effects of rabies, management of bite incidence, and responsible pet ownership.

Leaflets containing these key messages, translated in the local dialect, were also distributed in the province.

As stated in the leaflet, rabies is a highly fatal viral disease killing 300-600 Filipinos per year, mostly affecting children between 5-14 years old.

This disease can spread from animals to human and is transmitted when the virus, which is present in the saliva of an infected animal, penetrates the skin through a bite. It can also be acquired if a scratch, wound, and/or body openings such as the mucous membrane of the eyes, nose or mouth are exposed to contaminated saliva. More importantly, the leaflet also emphasized that rabies is an incurable disease.

The first sign of rabies in animals is the change in its behavior. Rabid animals may likely to become vicious and would bite at the slightest provocation, or depressed and would usually stop eating and drinking, want to be left alone, and begin to show signs of paralysis. Once the animal show signs of paralysis, the disease progresses very quickly and the animal dies.

In case of bite incidence, PVO and GARC also gave guidelines on the proper handling of these cases.

For those bitten by dog or other animal infected with rabies, they have to wash the wound with soap or detergent under running water; disinfect the wound with alcohol or tincture of iodine; and consult a doctor or seek the nearest bite center in their locality immediately.

On the other hand, the biting dog must be confined in a cage and observed for 14 days. If the dog dies within 14 days, the owner should immediately seek the assistance of a veterinarian for proper submission of the specimen (the dog’s head) for diagnosis and for other information on animal rabies.

Meanwhile, any person can also help prevent rabies by becoming a responsible pet owner. This can be done by having pet dogs and cats vaccinated against rabies at three months of age and every year thereafter.

Pets must also be provided with proper nutrition, enough care, and attention as well as clean and comfortable cage. The owner must also make sure to keep their pets on leash and not let them roam freely in the streets.

The leaflet also contains information on the Republic Act 9482 or The Anti-Rabies Act of 2007 as follows:

a) pet owners who refuse to have their dog registered and immunized against rabies will be punished by a fine of P2,000 and liable to pay for the vaccination of both dog and individual bitten by their dog;

b) P10,000 for those who refuse to have their dog put under observation after it has bitten an individual;

c) P25,000 for those who refuse to have their dog put under observation and do not shoulder the medical expenses of the person bitten by their dog; and

d) P500 per incident for pet owners who refuse to put a leash on their dog while they are brought outside the house. (MAL/BAR-PIA5, Sorsogon)

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