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

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spear Troopers to Give Free Ride to Job Seekers from Far-Flung Areas to Jobs Fair

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur --- In order to give chance to job seekers who might not have the resources to bring themselves to Naga City to seek their luck this Labor Day, the 9th Infantry (Spear) Division will come to the rescue with a Free Ride or “Libreng Sakay para sa mga Manggagawa” with pick-up points in three provinces in Bicol Region

The Jobs Fair and Livelihood Fair, jointly spearheaded by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Bicol Region and SM City Naga with other stakeholders, are slated on May 1 Wednesday. It will be a whole day activity at the SM City Naga with at least 67 establishments participating to give job seekers chance to look for careers that would suit their qualifications and livelihood grant beneficiaries of DOLE to showcase and sell their products to the public, DOLE Region 5 Official Christine Soriano said.

Army trucks from battalions and brigades of the Philippine Army will have their respective pick-up points in Albay, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte to fetch applicants for the Jobs Fair from far-flung barangays and deliver them to the venue for free.

The use of Army truck is to ensure that even those who live in hard to reach areas would be given equal chance with those living near the event venues.

Units participating in the Free Ride are 2nd Infantry Battalion, 42nd Infantry Battalion, 49th Infantry Battalion, 901st Brigade, 902nd Brigade and the 9th Civil Military Operations Battalion.

SM City Naga Press Relations Officer Tina Sumayao said that there will also be a pre-registration of applicants on April 30 Tuesday where participants will be given stubs to allow them a slot at the “express lane” on May 1. Those who would avail of the pre-registration will be able to avoid the rush and having to wait in line on the event day itself.

“The Free Ride is to assist poor, yet qualified and deserving people within the division’s area of responsibility to find employment in the Jobs Fair which is in support to the poverty reduction program of the national government slowly being realized through the efforts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ IPSP-Bayanihan,” said Major General Romeo V Calizo, Commander of the 9th Infantry Division.

Another similar Jobs Fair will also be held at Embarcadero de Legazpi City simultaneously on Labor Day.

BPO company, to venture in Naga City

By Analiza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, April 30 (PIA) -- Soon to join the big names in the business in this city is the IBM-Global Process Services (IBM-GPS), one of the fast-growing business process outsourcing company in the country.

The IBM-GPS building will soon at the Central Business District (CBD) II at Barangay Trianggulo here and will be IBM’s first extension site outside of Metro Manila.

Mayor John Bongat of this city said when completed and operations commenced for this BPO venture, it spells job opportunities for the Nagueños and job seekers in its neighboring towns.

“This city was chosen among the 15 other cities considered for putting up the venture. And, We are grateful for this opportunity that will not only bring employment to the locals but also business prospects to a lot of our entrepreneurs and businessmen, “ Bongat said.

Inaugurated on the 2nd week of April, the building will occupy the 12,000- square meter lot that formerly served as the UV Van Express and jeep terminal, now also declared among areas of Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) as it endeavors to promote a globally competitive, sustainable business environment and provide employment to Filipinos in various parts of the country.

IBM-GPS, through a resolution passed by the members of the Sangguniang Panglungsod on March 26, will enjoy incentives such as tax holiday alongside with its declaration as the PEZA Information Technology Park/ Center.

IBM-GPS is a multinational IBM corporation with corporate headquarters in New York. It employs almost 4,000 employees based in different parts of the globe. It also endeavors to assist the government in ensuring that services are delivered effectively through efficient management of the economic zones and focusing on a upbeat developmental programs in tune with the development plans of the Aquino administration. (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

Search for Bicol’s outstanding barangay nutrition scholars on

By Monaliza Z. Eser

LEGAZPI CITY, April 30 (PIA) -- The National Nutrition Council (NNC) regional office here has been assessing entries for the regional outstanding barangay nutrition scholars (BNS) that have shown or achieved exemplary performance and achievements in pursuit of nutrition programs and initiatives.

The council will choose from among 3,600 BNS from the six provinces and seven cities of Bicol, NNC Bicol Regional Director Arlene Reario said.

Reario explained that giving recognition to outstanding regional, municipal and city BNS serves as a tool in monitoring and evaluation of the performance of BNS.

The awards program, according to her, is an integral function of the council to assess and enhance their efficiency and effectiveness in responding to the tasks mandated to them.

A BNS, as mandated by Presidential Decree 1569 of 1978, is a barangay-based volunteer worker who facilitates the delivery basic nutrition and related health services, and links community development projects with nutrition and related service providers.

Reario said that the council has organized three teams among the Regional Nutrition Committee (RNC) and the Provincial Nutrition Committee (PNC) to evaluate the BNS performance in the cities, municipalities, and provinces of the region.

The three teams include city and municipal evaluation teams tasked to assess the BNS performance in their respective localities who have served for at least two consecutive years, while the provincial evaluation team to select the provincial outstanding BNS.

The regional evaluation team will validate the performance and choose among the top performers in each province and city to be the regional outstanding BNS.

Evaluation, Reario said, will cover an assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of the BNS.

Efficiency includes ability to meet targets set by the BNS in the delivery of basic nutrition and related services; identification and location of target groups; and records management. Effectiveness refers to the changes in the nutritional status of identified severely and moderately underweight preschool children served by the BNS.

City outstanding BNS will receive a cash prize of P3,000 and provincial winner will receive P4,000.

The regional outstanding BNS will receive a cash prize of P8,000 and a trophy, while the first runner-up and second runner-up will receive a plaque of recognition and gift check of P2,000 and P1,000, respectively.

The outstanding regional BNS could join the top eight National Outstanding BNS chosen among 38,000 BNS nationwide and could also be chosen to take home the National Outstanding BNS Award, an award given by the National Nutrition Council to Barangay Nutrition Scholars across the country.

Last 2010, Marilou Cañete of Barangay Concepcion Grande, Naga City won the National Outstanding BNS and received a trophy, a cash prize and a desktop computer with printer set given by AGHAM Partylist. (MAL/MZE-OJT-BU/PIA5)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Escudero cites gov't data showing Sorsogon has less poor in 2012

LEGAZPI CITY, April 29 (PIA) -- Sorsogon province has shown significant improvement in the poverty incidence among its households as it registered among the lowest poverty figure in the Bicol region for 2012 based on latest government data.

Bicolano Sen. Francis Escudero said that the National Statistical Coordination Board’s (NSCB) latest survey on the state of poverty in the country showed that Sorsogon province in Bicol region had a poverty incidence of 32.1 percent, below the 34.1 percent average in the region.

Escudero noted that The figure for Sorsogon was also an improvement from the figure in 2006 of a 34.3 percent poverty incidence.

The NSCB survey, however, showed the poverty incidence for the whole country was estimated at 27.9 percent in the first semester of 2012. The NSCB said the figure was not much of an improvement compared with the 2006 and 2009 first semester figures estimated at 28.8 percent and 28.6 percent, respectively.

Escudero said that the latest NSCB survey did not reflect the claims of his critics that he did nothing to uplift the economic condition in Sorsogon which he and his father, Salvador Escudero III represented at the House of Representatives, while at the same time labeling Sorsogon as being “one of the poorest provinces” in the country.

The 2012 survey showed that the poorest provinces in the country were Apayao, Bukidnon, Cotabato City, Davao Oriental, Eastern Samar, Ifugao, Lanao del Norte, lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Masbate, Negros Oriental, North Cotabato, Northern Samar, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat and Zamboanga del Norte.

Escudero had made it a policy to spread the use of his PDAF to cover the entire country, or about P500,000 for each municipality that went mostly to the putting up of public markets and the provision of medical assistance.

He said the practice of even distribution of his PDAF will continue in the next Congress but this time the funds will be used to set up and refurbish school buildings.

The re-electionist senator said that while he is not new to black propaganda being peddled against him and his family, the efforts insult the intellect of voters.

"For me, my records stand clear in so far as my 15 years in public service is concern. One of my objectives is clean governance and honest service,” Escudero said.

Escudero can only surmise that half-truths and outright lies hurled against him were all aimed at pulling down his survey rankings.

“I am wondering why they have to drag me and my father’s name in their muckraking, they should think of a better issue than peddle lies against my family,” Escudero said. (MAL/Office of Sen. Escudero/PIA5)

US District Attorney honors Catandunganon OFW for heroism

VIRAC, Catanduanes, April 29 (PIA) -- “I felt happy because, as a Catandunganon, I was able to show to America that even if we come from a small province, we do have big hearts to help others; that it is an instinct on our part to help because God is always with us.”

Still brimming with gratitude from her kababayan’s online praises for the recognition she got from the Unites States of America Los Angeles District Court Attorney, Nida Arjona Tapel, 52, of San Miguel, Catanduanes, Philippines, counts her resolute faith for foiling a criminal in defense of her 95-year-old client who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. She has been working in the United States for five years now as a teacher and a part time home-care provider.

An alumna of the Catanduanes State Colleges, now Catanduanes State University (from undergraduate to post graduate studies) Tapel was honored by the Los Angeles District Attorney, USA, with the Courageous Citizens Award on April 12, 2013. She, along with three other equally valiant citizens of Los Angeles, USA, respectively received the honor from District Attorney Jackie Lacey.

The District Attorney's Courageous Citizen Award was created to commend those individuals who have acted with courage and at considerable personal risk to help a victim of crime, assisted in the capture of a suspect, or testified in the face of extraordinary pressures.

In the online portal information of the LA District Court, Tapel received the citation for her presence of mind, bravery and heroic act in thwarting a kidnapping incident in Los Angeles.

In its press statement, the Los Angeles District County Attorney hailed the awardees “who have taken extraordinary steps to assist others when they were most vulnerable. They stopped a crime. They made sure that a criminal was prosecuted. They helped a crime victim during a terrifying moment of need. They are vital to the pursuit of justice and our community is a safer place because of them."

Jean Guccione, Director of Communications of the Los Angeles District County reported that Tapel endured a painful pepper spray attack in an effort to prevent the kidnapping of her frail, elderly client in Los Angeles on Dec.19, 2011. "With her eyes and face burning after being pepper sprayed by her client’s daughter, Tapel ran outside, yelled for help and got a passerby to call 911. Tapel then jumped into the suspect’s SUV to protect her client."

The same account revealed that Tapel remained in the vehicle as the suspect took off and led police on a wild chase for several miles before being captured.

The defendant pleaded no contest to charges of attempted kidnap, battery and evading an officer and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 2, the report said.

When asked by this writer what insights she can share with fellow OFW’s, Tapel singled out prayer as her only protection. “As an OFW, my only weapon is prayer. God made me strong all the time, because it is really very hard to be in a foreign land. [There are] plenty of challenges along the way, so embrace God tightly.”

She acknowledges the nurturing she got from her aunt, Dr. Cleofe Buen Reyes, for her resilient spirit. “I was raised by my aunt to call God all the time; nothing is impossible with Him. I did not do it alone; I am just an instrument of Him.”

Tapel dedicates her award to her fellow Catandunganons and to the Filipinos as a whole. “Let us show to the world that our purpose in life is to help others, not to hurt them. We only live once in this earth; let us make it significant. Let us not be afraid of death for God will be always there for us.”

She counts her school, the Catanduanes State Colleges (now CSU) for imbibing in her the value of humility. “The school taught me to be humble; that the higher you get, the more humble you must be. “Saan mang sulok ng mundo tayo mapadpad, alalahanin natin na dapat ang ating mga paa ay sa lupa pa din nakatapak." And if you are to do something, you must ensure it will bring you up, not put you down, Tapel concluded. (MAL/Gerry S. Rubio, CSU/PIA5)

DOLE to conduct Mega Jobs Fair, highlights event with a Fun Run event

By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, April 29 (PIA) -- In line with the celebration of World Safety Day on April 28 and the observance of Labor Day comes May 1, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Office V will be launching two (2) major events to be held here and in Legazpi City on May 1 and 2 respectively.

Slated on May 1 is the Mega Jobs Fair to be held at SM City Naga in cooperation with the local government unit of Naga through the Naga City Public Employment Office (METROPESO), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), ABS CBN Regional Network Group and SM City Naga.

The Labor Day Mega Jobs Fair will be simultaneously held in all SM-City branches and DOLE Regional Offices in the country. It aims to provide employment opportunities particularly to fresh graduates and job seekers who want to try their luck in other companies.

DOLE Public Information Officer Raymond P. Escalante said that thousands of job offers, both domestic and outside of the country are at stake during the May 1 event.

“This is an opportunity not only for our fresh graduates but also to returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who want to stay in the country for good and even to Out-of-school youths (OSYs) who might found companies who need their skills,” Escalante said in an interview.

Escalante added that the career exposition will also give the participating companies a chance to look for qualified employees and future personnel. The event will also encourage future companies to join the fair and contribute to the pool of job opportunity sources in response to the growing number of students in search of employment after graduation.

On May 2, the Labor Day celebration in Legaspi City will be highlighted by a Fun Run dubbed “ Obrerong Bikolano, Oragon Ka! Dalagan para sa Salud asin Kaligtasan. It aims to showcase the positive features of every Bicolano worker who toils hard every day just to bring food on their tables.

DOLE Regional Director Nathaniel Lacambra will also conduct radio hopping in various local radio and television stations in Naga to hype the said celebration. (LSMacatangay/ PIA-Camarines Sur)

DILG to establish sub-regional resource center in Cat’nes

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, April 29 (PIA) -- The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Bicol has selected the province of Catanduanes for the establishment of sub-regional Local Governance Resource Center (LGRRC) of the agency.

DILG Bicol regional director Blandino M. Maceda said the establishment of LGRRC in the province came after Local Government Academy (LGA) has cited DILG 5 as best performing LGRC among the 17 centers in the country.

Maceda said LGRRC has the purpose of bringing the DILG’s services closer to the local government.

LGRRC, a physical structure composed of a library, reading area, conference room and an internet section, shall be constructed within the premises of the DILG provincial office here.

With the aid of the European Union (EU) and the LGA under the strengthening LGRRCs in the Philippines project, the center will be manned by a technical staff of the DILG provincial office.

Hand in hand with the activity, DILG will also lead the organization of the Multi-Stakeholders Advisory Committee (MSAC) here tomorrow, April 30, at Rakdell Hotel, Virac.

MSAC is an organization composed of National Government Agencies, non-government organizations, academe, leagues and private sector that will partner DILG in the implementation of various capacity development projects.

It will also serve as the advisory committee of DILG in further strengthening the LGUs. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Comelec in CamSur all set for the coming elections

By Analiza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, April 29 (PIA) -- It’s all systems go for the Commissions on Elections (Comelec) in Camarines Sur as it gears for the midterm elections in May 13.

This was disclosed by Comelec Camarines Sur spokesman Alexander Marpuri during the FORUM@PIA this morning. The program was carried live over DWRB Radyo ng Bayan as Marpuri and members of the local tri media here in the province discussed election-related issues and concerns.

Marpuri disclosed 1,559 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines had already been delivered in the province and in their custody. They are expecting 76 more as reserves should these PCOS breakdown during the election day.

“I can say that in terms of preparation, Comelec Camarines Sur is 90 percent ready for this year’s conduct of the election. We have already conducted training with members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs), PCOS technicians were already trained and have passed through the examinations. We also have backed up measures to ensure that the upcoming elections will be fair, honest and most especially, peaceful,” Marpuri said during the forum.

Marpuri said that they have already instructed the BEIs to bring emergency lamps and flashlights in case of power interruption or brownout especially during the canvassing of votes. There are also stand-by generators in polling precincts to ensure that brownouts will not hamper the ongoing poll.

Members of the local media who were not able to get their accreditation, will have a limited opportunity to enter polling precincts and offices but are not barred from covering the said event.

“Accredited members of the media have more access to news sources and stories but it does not mean that those who were not able to secure one, will not be able to cover. We just have to remember a few things like taking photos or videos of the ballots,” Marpuri added.

As for the signal jammers during the canvassing of votes and its subsequent release, Marpuri said the Comelec is now doing the necessary precautions and have alerted the Bureau of Customs in Manila to be specifically watchful of said gadgets.

He also allayed fears that the jammers can create a significant damage to the election results, clarifying that the jammers can delay the sending of results but it can not tamper the outcome of the said political exercise. (MAL/LSM-PIA5, Camarines Sur)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Naga City opens children’s home

By Analiza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, April 26 (PIA) -- “Finding a place that they can call home is a longing that I have long wanted to realize, and today I can say, it’s a dream come true.”

This was the statement of City Mayor John Bongat during yesterday’s blessing and inauguration of the first ever local government unit-operated Children’s Home located at the Metro Naga Sports Complex, Barangay Pacol, this city.

“The project also supports the national laws which we now turn to local ordinances. Naga City will support children who are in need, children who are in conflict of the law, street children and any child who needs a home,” Bongat stated.

The Naga City Children’s Home (NCCH) will be under the auspices of the city government, in cooperation with various government agencies like the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWSD) and Department of Education (DepEd).

The edifice is complete with amenities complementing the activity rooms, kitchen, administrative office, classrooms and wards specifically designed for those children in conflict with the law. The center will also cater to the needs of abandoned, neglected and abused children.

DSWD Bicol Assistant Regional Director Alex Armenia also expressed the full support of DSWD to the city’s endeavor.

Armenia also lauded the city government for this landmark project and encouraged other government agencies to support the project to help distressed children who are badly in need of guidance, particularly those who needs rehabilitation.

Naga City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) Officer James Reblando said that their office is going to focus on the rehabilitation phase or aspect of the said program.

“These children need to undergo rehabilitation if we want to successfully bring them back to the folds of a normal life and before integrating them in the mainstream,” Reblando said in an interview.

As part of the rehabilitation process, the children will follow a daily home routine like keeping their bedding, preparation of the mess hall and participation in household chores and other endeavors. Before the clock ticks at 7pm, the kids are expected to have finished bathing or cleaning themselves in time for the preparation of dinner. After which, they will be allowed to watch the Knowledge Channel on TV together with some ALS teachers.

On Saturdays and Sundays, nuns from various religious organizations will join them for formation activities. (MAL/LSM/PIA5-Camarines Sur)

700 mother-child participants join synchronized breastfeeding in Albay

LEGAZPI CITY, April 26 (PIA) –- About 700 mother-child participants gathered for a synchronized breastfeeding or "sarabayang pagpadodo" activity at the Albay Astrodome on Thursday morning, April 25 as part of the month-long Daragang Magayon Festival 2013 celebration.

The event was organized by the Department of Health (DOH) Bicol regional office, National Nutrition Council (NNC), Rotary Club of Legazpi and the Provincial Health Office (PHO).

Albay Governor Joey Salceda said the synchronized breastfeeding activity is a social marketing strategy that seeks to piggyback on heightened public attention during the Daragang Magayon Festival in order to widen the reach of information on good nutrition and child-rearing practices.

"The event was timed to take advantage of the heightened public attention in order to promote the practice of exclusive breastfeeding up to the first six months," Salceda said.

The key highlights were a motorcade around the Legazpi-Daraga area; an education through lecture-forum by nutritionists, followed by a well-participated question-and-answer portion with nutrition experts; and distribution of free transportation tickets, food, T-shirts, nutrition kits for infants, personal hygiene kits, and 90-day supply of ferrous sulfate to lactating mothers.

In his inspirational message, Salceda stressed the need for a healthy citizenry as the foundation of a vigorous community and a strong economy.

He also noted that the main objectives of the exercise are right nutrition practices for new-born and under-two-year-old infants; right nutrition for lactating mothers and "birth spacing," an element which, he said, is not just for slower population growth but more so to promote the health of mothers and children since "the breast is not a robot or a vending machine," and to highlight that breastfeeding is not only popular but also the right nutrition so that the rest of the 25,000 births every year in Albay will be guided accordingly.

Salceda requested media's help in propagating the practice of breastfeeding by focusing on the mother-child aspects of the event. (Mike de la Rama, Albay AIDS Council/MAL/MDR-PGA/PIA5)

Sangguniang secretaries of Bicol hold annual assembly in Catanduanes

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, April 26 (PIA) -- The Bicol Association of Sanggunian Secretaries (BASS) is holding its annual assembly here from April 24-26, 2013 at Twin Rock Beach Resort.

This gathering of Sanggunian panlalawigan, pambayan and panlungsod secretaries is being held to tackle different issues and programs that will help strengthen the organization.

According to Ursus de Quiros, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Secretary of Catanduanes, five barangay secretaries and the Association of Barangay Captain (ABC) of the 11 towns of the province also participated in the activity.

Meanwhile, a representative from the Department of Tourism will give a talk to provide awareness and to promote the province’s tourist spots.

Through this, the provincial government expects that the participants from different parts of the region will eventually promote the province’s tourism to other individuals.

Enhancing legislative excellence is one of the topics discussed during the activity. Around 150 persons participated in the event. (MAL/EAB/PIA5-Catanduanes)

Bicol crime volume down by 6%

LEGAZPI CITY, April 26 (PIA) -- The crime volume in Bicol in the first quarter of 2013 has dropped by six (6) percent, according to the police regional office here.

Police Supt. Renato Bataller, Bicol police regional spokesman, said during the “Aramon Ta Day” radio program that during the first quarter of 2013, from January to March, only 2,419 crime incidents were reported, indicating 155 incidents or 6 percent lower than the 2,574 incidents registered during the same period last year.

Of the total crime incidence reported, 1,390 were identified as index crimes while 655 were non-index crimes.

He explained that index crimes are committed in violation of the revised penal code while non-index crimes are crimes committed in violation of special laws and local ordinances.

Based on the crime situation, Bataller said that index crimes registered a total of 1,390 cases this year as compared to the recorded 1,505 cases last year, registering a decrease of 115. While on the non-index crime, a drop of 66 cases was reported or was 9.15 percent lower than the 721 recorded for the same period last year.

He reported that physical injury has still the highest crime volume as in past years with 547 cases, followed by theft with 397 cases, robbery with 215 cases, murder with 86 cases, rape with 77 cases, and homicide with 25 cases.

Bataller also added that Albay recorded the highest crime incidences with 540, next to rank is Masbate with 511 cases while Sorsogon had the lowest with 118 cases beating the record of Catanduanes which had the lowest crime volume for the same period last year with only 105 recorded cases.

Catanduanes’ crime volume, for the first quarter of this year, has escalated with 146 registered crime incidents.

Of the 2,419 total crime incidents, 1329 were cleared while 675 cases were solved representing a crime solution efficiency rate of 27.9 percent, higher than the 25.8 percent rate in the same period last year.

Bataller furthered that the decline in crime volume and increase in crime solution were the result of PNP’s resolve to strengthen its crime prevention campaign and also the active support of the community.

However, according to him, crime volume is likely to escalate this coming election especially to those areas with intense political rivalries among candidates and history of poll violence.

Battaler emphasized that this is a challenge to them to further boost their manpower strength and to all other concerned agencies and the community as a whole to support anti-crime campaigns to assure peace and security throughout the region. (MAL/MZEser-OJT-BU/PIA5)

Honest, peaceful elections can be achieved in Masbate – Solcom chief

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, April 26 (PIA) -- The joint forces of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and Commission on Elections in Bicol are confident that honest, orderly and peaceful elections can be attained in Masbate, Major Gen. Ceasar Ronnie F. Ordoyo, the commanding officer of the Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) said.

In a press conference during the celebration of Albay’s Heroes Day, Ordoyo noted that for the past three years, a lot of improvements happened noting the cooperation being given by all sectors of society in the province in pursuit of clean elections.

He said a peaceful place will gain economic benefits, citing that the confidence given to the Aquino Administration by the business community within the country and abroad manifest such.

Ordoyo said the government is implementing a cocktail of tactical drives toward lasting peace, attributing to unity and cooperation, assurance from the authorities that the local folk are protected, continuing advocacy campaign to end or abandon the armed struggle or culture of violence and negotiation or peace talks among the concerned sectors, particularly among the enemies of the government.

Ordoyo said the Bicol media also plays a very vital role in the attainment of a lasting peace or in having a gun-less society.

He furthered that this cycle of violence in Masbate will be put into end through this procedure, and more reports are welcome.

He said that for the past three years, the government has maintained the Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Center in Masbate to ensure peace stability that already brought positive results

The province posted low cases of election-related violent incidents compared to previous elections. (MAL/NIMediavillo-RNB/PIA5)

‘Talakayan sa PIA’ tackle election preparations and voters education in Cam Norte

By Rosalita B. Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, April 25 (PIA) -- Voters education activities and preparation for the May 13 national and local election were featured in the “Talakayan sa PIA” of the Philippine Information Agency(PIA)-Camarines Norte, last Thursday (April 18), here.

Provincial Election Supervisor Romeo Serrano of the Commission on Elections said that they have already conducted series of trainings for teachers as Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) since February this year and also for the technicians and supervisors of the PCOS machines.

He said that the teachers or the BEIs of the Department of Education (DepEd) are deputized persons of the agency during elections because they are in-charge in the precinct while the policemen have already made their plans to ensure the safety of the PCOS machines.

Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting diocesan coordinator Fr. Edwin Visda said that they continuously conduct trainings for volunteers to be assigned in the precincts across the province as well as candidates forum and voters education in the province and municipalities.

He also reminded voters that they should not receive money so that their vote will not be compromise because of their conscience that if they accepted money in exchange they will turn to one of the traits of Filipino’s “utang na loob” (sense of indebtedness).

Provincial Director Edwin Garcia of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on the other hand said that their agency is also reminding voters to choose the right candidates in their voters’ education in the barangays.

He said that they are also monitoring the peace and order situation in the province wherein they have a Provincial Management Committee together with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Phil. Army, Phil. National Police, National Police Commission and the Bureau of Fire Protection.

PENRO Elpidio Orata of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said that their campaign banning the posting of political materials in the trees was effective because they have observed in their monitoring the absence of any campaign poster near the national highways while few were reported in the barangays.

The “Talakayan sa PIA” was headed by ICM Rose Manlangit of PIA and participated in by media persons from Hello Bicol and Dateline Camarines Norte of STV6, Pipol Event News, Nation News, DWYD-FM Bay Radio, DWLB-FM Labo, DWSL-FM, DWCN-FM-Radyo ng Bayan and DWSR-FM-Power Radio. (MAL/RBM/PIA5-Camarines Norte)

DSWD provides P7.7 M worth of core shelter project for 110 families in Camarines Sur town

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, April 25 (PIA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Bicol region released an additional P7.7 million fund for the construction of core shelter units that will benefit 110 families in Lagonoy, Camarines Sur.

Bicol regional director Arnel Garcia of DSWD 5 said the family-beneficiaries were either found to be vulnerable to disaster or those who are up to the present are unable to restore their damaged houses.

Garcia said each recipient received a check amounting to P70,000 to help repair or restore their damage shelters .

The director further said the family-beneficiaries are from Barangays Bocogan, Kinahulugan, Amoguis, San Vicente and Manggogon.

DSWD has since provided core shelter units to indigent families who were rendered homeless due to disaster.

The core shelter is an structurally strong and environment friendly shelter units which can withstand 180 to 220 kph wind velocity, intensified four earthquakes, flooding and other similar hazard.

It is a restoration and rehabilitation strategy that uses work teams composed of the beneficiaries themselves to provide labor for the construction of the core shelter units.

Garcia bared the municipality of Lagonoy is one with the highest number of core shelter units completed and occupied and occupied in Camarines Sur.

From year 2005 to 2009, Lagonoy was able to construct 251 units and will have an additional of 110 core shelter units to be constructed. (MAL-PIA5/Albay)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A message delivered by Dr. Virgilio Ludovice, during the synchronized breastfeeding  with the theme: “Eksklusibo, Aprubado sa mga Albayano” one of the activities of Daragang Magayon Festival 2013.  Together with DOH CHD V, National Nutrition Council, Rotary Club of Legazpi, and the Provincial Health Office, held at Albay Astrodome, Legazpi City, April 25, 2013. (Alex Cal/PIA)

Synchronized Breastfeeding at Daragang Magayon Festival 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Albay Gov. and RDC Chair  Joey Salceda and  DSWD Sec. Dinky Soliman  at NEDA V — Philippine  Development  Plan (PDP) Updating Workshop by Regional Development Council  V.  (Alex Cal/PIA)

Philippine Devt. Plan (PDP) updating Workshop

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) ink a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda, DSWD Sec. Corazon-Juliano-Soleman, DILG Usec. Francisco L. Fernandez for the pilot testing of the enhancement of provincial local government unit (PLGU) engagement in Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) held at The Oriental Hotel, Legazpi City today April 24, 2013. (Alex Cal/PIA)

MOA SIGNING Kalahi-CIDSS PLGU Pilot Engagement

Former drug lair, now a promising livelihood area

By Analiza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, April 24 (PIA) -- Determined to remove the stigma attached to the Sitio Sagrada Familia’s reputation as “Shabu Tiangge,” Mayor John Bongat together with Naga City Police Office Director Abdulkadil Guialani recently launched a livelihood program for women.

Bongat specifically asked the sitio’s residents to group themselves and work on the initial boneless bangus (milkfish) project as introduced by the city government. Thirty women underwent livelihood seminar through the assistance of various government agencies like the Department of Agriculture, particularly the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Department of Education (DepEd) and non-government organizations.

Guialani said the said move intends to give mothers an alternative livelihood while their husbands are working.

“We have specifically designed the livelihood project for those mothers who are left at home. At least they have a chance to earn something while at home. For each boneless bangus, they will have P5 each. The more boneless bangus that they can produce, the more earnings that they can have,” Guialani said in an interview.

Aside from the aforementioned project, Guialani is also encouraging mothers to put up a backyard garden where different vegetables can be planted. Guialani said that he has already spoken to the local officials of DepEd here and requested for their assistance in helping the mothers put up a backyard garden.

Located at the university belt area, the produce of the mothers can be sold to teachers in adjacent schools and universities.

“Keeping them busy and giving their hands something to work on will take their attention away from selling illegal drugs. The root of engaging in the illegal drug trade is somehow rooted in their inability to look for decent sources of living. I hope that this project will be the start of these positive changes,” Guialani added.

Sitio Sagrada Familia located in Peñafrancia Avenue, Naga City, known before as Isla Sison was notorious as a place for illegal drugs vending. In the past, the said sitio has been a regular subject of police entrapment and buy bust operations.

Guialani, together with the city government of Naga is bent on removing the harsh tag and make the best changes to convert it into a better community.

Meanwhile, Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) Chairman Dante Jimenez will donate one computer set at the NCPO extension office. (MAL/LSM-PIA5, Camarines Sur)

CSC bares job vacancies in Masbate

By Ernesto A. Delgado

MASBATE CITY, April 24 (PIA) -- The Civil Service Commission (CSC) field office here has announced over the weekend 39 vacancies in the teaching force of the Department of Education (DepEd).

The announcement, uploaded on the Facebook page of the CSC field office in Masbate, shows the vacancies are for teachers, school principals, guidance counselors, and librarians.

Teacher I has 24 vacancies; guidance counsellor, 11; head teacher, three; SPED teacher, two; teacher III, one; school principal I, two; school principal II, one; and librarian, two.

Applicants must hold a current RA 1080 license. The CSC field office did not specify the places of assignment of those who will get the jobs.

The hiring is part of government’s goal to meet the requirement for public school personnel in a province whose student population has considerably grown this year.

Those interested in serving on public schools in Masbate are advised to get in touch with the CSC office in Masbate City.(MAL/EAD-PIA5, Masbate)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

AFP Chief of Staff GEN. EMMANUEL T  BAUTISTA  receives the National Climate Change Champion  award from Albay Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda, OCD Dir. Raffy Alejandro and DILG Dir. Blandino  Maceda, for being the first Chief of Staff Armed Forces of the Philippines  to recognized and acknowledge that Climate Change, as a more potent challenge than armed conflict, and in giving high priority by integrating Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management into the program and projects of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, held at the Climate Change Academy, Legazpi City today April 23, 2013. (Alex Cal/PIA)

Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda delivered his message during the memorial celebration of the Albayano Heroes  of National Liberation,  the  memorial event aimed to highlight the legacies of the brave men and women who fought for the freedom of the province,  held at Bicol University, Legazpi City, today April 23, 2013. (Alex Cal/PIA)

Bicol is 2012 top organic rice producer in the country -- DA

By Aida A. Naz

LEGAZPI CITY, April 23 (PIA) -- The Bicol region is the top organic rice producer in the country last year. It contributed 74 percent to total organic palay production in the country from January to September.

Department of Agriculgture-5 information officer Jayson Gonzales said during the “Aramon Ta Daw” radio program of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Bicol that Bicol also accounts for the 44 percent of the country’s organic crop production last year.

“Our country is aiming not only to be rice self-sufficient but a net rice exporter this year,” Gonzales said.

The year 2013 is declared as the National Year of Rice by President Benigno Aquino through Proclamation No. 494 signed in October 18, 2012 with the DA as lead agency in the campaign together with the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice). “The theme for this campaign is – Sapat na Bigas, Kaya sa Pinas! (Sufficient Rice, The Philippines Can!)” Gonzales said.

Meanwhile, the Pecuaria Development Cooperative, Incorporated (PDCI) based in Bula, Camarines Sur is chosen together with four others as certified organic partners of the DA for its project for the development of national organic rice seed production systems with the informal sector. PDCI is the leading single producer of organic rice in the Bicol Region.

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

PDCI is maintaining a more than 800 hectare Pecuaria Rice Central in Bula, Camarines Sur with a 100 hectare demo farm. It cultivates organic aromatic rice varieties such as JM 2, Basmati and MS 16 together with traditional varieties such as RC 18 and RC 160, according to the DA.

The seeds produced from the Pecuaria’s techno-demo farm will be distributed by the DA as starter seeds to farmers who are engaged in aromatic rice production, according to the DA. (MAL/JJPerez/PIA5-Albay)

2 spoonfuls of rice saved daily can feed 2M Filipinos every year - DA

 LEGAZPI CITY, April 23 (PIA) -- If you habitually throw away left over rice every meal, think again.

“The importance of rice is being highlighted today with the declaration of President Aquino of 2013 as the National Year of Rice,” DA Information Officer Jayson Gonzales said in an interview during the “Aramon Daw” radio program of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Bicol.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has announced the recent findings of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) study that every Filipino wastes an average of two tablespoons daily or nine grams of raw rice everyday that can feed about two million poor Filipinos in a year.

With the campaign theme “Sapat na Bigas, Kaya sa Pinas! (Sufficient Rice, The Philippines Can!),” President Benigno Aquino III signed Proclamation No. 494 in October 18, 2012 assigning DA as lead agency in the campaign together with the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).

“The DA targets rice self-sufficiency before the end of this year by implementing a medium term agricultural and fishery sector mechanization and modernization that commenced in 2011 and to be implemented until 2016,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales said that PhilRice is also developing a high-yielding rice and cost-reducing technologies for farmers in response to the same target of rice self-sufficiency of the country by end of 2013 and further augmented by increases in nationwide palay production over the past 12 years.

“The government is shifting from traditional to mechanized farming to increase agricultural productivity to keep pace with the farm input capability of other rice producing Asian nations,” Gonzales said. Rice output and other crops also improved through irrigation projects and promotion of better certified seeds, Gonzalez said.

“We are conducting an activity called ‘Usapang Palay’ (Rice Talks) together with the local government units to disseminate technologies and provide farmers updates on DA programs and projects,” Gonzales said. It is an interactive activity with farmers to clarify issues and get their feedbacks on various agricultural concerns in line with the Food Staples Self-Sufficiency Program (FSSP), Gonzales said. (MAL/JJPerez/PIA5-Albay)

Albay honors local heroes

By Sally A. Atento

LEGAZPI CITY, Apr 23 (PIA) – The provincial government of Albay led today the memorial for Albayano heroes in time for the celebration of the Daragang Magayon Festival 2013.

Albay governor Joey Salceda said that the memorial day for Albayano Heroes of National Liberation, held since last year and will be observed every April 23 the following years, is a tribute aimed to highlight the legacies of the brave men and women who fought for the freedom of the province against its oppressors.

Salceda said that the event is expected to promote awareness among the people of Albay on the contributions of local heroes and in turn appreciate their heroic deeds foster unity as one race and enrich national pride.

To be honored are General Jose Ignacio Paua, General Simeon Arboleda Ola and Camilio Jacob.

Paua is the chinese revolutionary sent by Emilio Aguinaldo to the Bicol region in 1899 to raise funds for the newly-established Philippine Republic while Ola is the last revolutionary general from Guinobatan, Albay to surrender to the Americans in 1903.

Jacob, a photojournalist from Polangui Albay, was one of the 15 martyrs of Bikol shot on the same spot where Jose Rizal was martyred.

Also featured on the said event is the Sesquicentennial 150th year anniversary of the birth of Andres Bonifacio who is considered as the Father of the Philippine Revolution.

Salceda related that Bonifacio had been in this province between 1895 and 1896 to work and recruit members for the Katipunan.

“Albay then was a very rich province and Bonifacio was working here. He actually belonged to the middle class contrary to the common notion that he comes from a poor family,” said Salceda.

“This story has been in the history books of Teodoro Agoncillo, Gregorio Zaide and Ambeth Ocampo,” Salceda added.

The statues of these four local heroes will be highlighted in the civil-military parade and wreath laying ceremonies at the Bicol University oval, opposite the Camp Simeon Ola in Albay.

The Memorial Day is part of the week long events headed by the provincial government in partnership with the uniformed service departments in promoting peace, development and tourism in the province.

These departments include the Office of the Civil Defense Region V, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

Also part of the events is the 2nd Youth Leaders Training on National Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation at Cagraray Eco Park, Misibis, Cagraray Island on April 22 -26.

Among the events lined-up for the culmination of the week-long events are the “Ang Sir kong Pogi 2013 on April 23 at Albay Astrodome, a friendly competition among uniformed officers and “Adopt a Barangay (Barrio Fest)” on April 28 at Barangay Taysan, Legazpi City. (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

CHED opens scholarship program for SY 2013-2014

LEGAZPI CITY, April 23 (PIA) -- The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has invited anew qualified students to avail of the three types of financial grants for incoming college students under its Student Financial Assistance Program (StuFAP) this 2013-2014.

Education program specialist Cyril Badiola of CHED said the program is comprised of the Full or Half Merit, Grant-in-Aid, and Student Loan.

Badiola explained that scholarship of full merit is for poor but deserving Filipino students whose General Weighted Average (GWA) is 90% in above. Beneficiaries under this can enrol in ant government or private college/ university. Stipend P15,000.00 per semester.

Half merit scholarship, according to Badiola, is given to poor but deserving to Filipino students whose GWA is 85-89%. Beneficiaries under this program shall enrol in any government or private higher education institutions (HEIs). It also includes person with disabilities (PWDs). As allowance will be P7,500.00 per semester.

She furthered that Grant-in-Aid Programs which is Tulong Dunong is also for poor but deserving students whose GWA is 80-84%. It is intended for the following members of cultural minority groups of the hill tribe, solo parents and their children and, and senior citizens.

Students Loans are also offered. Under its Study-Now-Pay-Later Program, indigent but deserving students can avail of an educational loan.

According to her, CHED also offers other Grant-in-Aid Programs to deserving students under the office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process-CHED Student Grant Program for Rebel (OPAPP CHED SGPRR), DND-CHED-PASUC Study Grant and CHED Special Study Grant Program for Congressional District/ Senate.

In addition, the office has also a priority courses which are Information Technology, Teacher Education, Engineering, Agriculture, Science and Math, and Atmospheric Science. (MAL/RBEbuenga-OJT-BU/PIA5)

2 firms in Masbate pay P1.1M workers’ claims

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, April 23 (PIA) -- Two sub-contractors of Filmenira Mining Resources in Masbate province, one of the biggest mining firm in the region, paid P1.1 million to 592 workers on April 10 after having been found out that they violated a number of labor laws.

DOLE Bicol regional director Nathaniel V. Lacambra said owners of the two sub-contractors intend to pay their employees following findings during a routine inspection of the agency that violations were committed on non-payment of holiday pay, premium pay, overtime pay, night shift differential, and non-payment of service incentive leave (SIL).

“Labor violations found during inspections, if not settled or corrected immediately, will result into a labor case," Lacambra said.

“Upon receipt of the notice of violations, they (sub-contractors), paid their workers and the best part of it is, no worker was terminated,” he said.

The subcontractors are the NC Lanting Security Specialist Agency which paid P1,036,874.28 to 516 employees and Galeo Equipment and Mining Company, Inc. which paid P117,491.66 to 76 employees.

It can be recalled that DOLE Bicol had initiated an inspection of subcontractors in mining firms early this year after a number of employees of Good Found Cement factory came to DOLE to air their complaint of underpayment of wages and related benefits.

“It was a wake up call. We need not wait for any other complaints to come, the reason why I ordered the inspection sweep on subcontractors,” Lacambra said. (MAL-PIA5, Albay )

Catanduanes hosts seminar on children’s rights and child abuse prevention

By Marvie Ann Gonzales

LEGAZPI CITY, April 23 (PIA) -- The Catanduanes Police Provincial Officer (CPPO) and the Regional Women and Children’s Protection Desk (DESK) spearheaded a two-day seminar on Children’s rights and child sexual abuse prevention on April 15-16 at the CPPO conference hall.

Aimed at strengthening the capability of police officers in dealing with abuses against women and children, Nancyline P. Agaid, senior trainer and advocacy officer of Stairway Foundation, discussed the duties and responsibilities of police officers and the different approaches and skills in dealing with said types of abuses.

Judge Ave Alba, presiding judge of Municipal Trial Court of Daraga and Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Catanduanes, dealt on the salient features of RA 9344 or "Juvenile Justice Act of 2006."

Alba explained that the Juvenile Justice Act of 2006 was enacted into law as the State recognizes the vital role of children and youth in nation building and for the State to promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being.

Pursuant to Article 40 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the State recognizes the right of every child who is alleged as, accused of, adjudged, or recognized as having infringed the penal law to be treated in a manner consistent with the promotion of the child’s sense of dignity and worth, taking into account the child’s age and in promoting his/her reintegration.

The administration of the juvenile justice and welfare system should take into consideration the cultural and religious perspectives of the Filipino people, particularly the indigenous peoples and the Muslims, consistent with the protection of the rights of children belonging to these communities; and the State should apply the principles of restorative justice in all its laws, policies and programs applicable to children in conflict with the law.

Judge Lelu P. Contreras, presiding Judge of Regional Trial Court Virac Catanduanes, meanwhile discussed RA 9262 “Anti-Violence against Women and their Children Act of 2004.″

RA 9262, explained Contreras, provides protective measures and safeguards for survivor-victims, and prescribes penalties for the commission of the act.

This seminar also aimed to enhance the knowledge and awareness of police officers in handling child sexual abuse cases and to assist in strengthening existing networks catering to the protection of the children and women. (MAL/MAG-OJT-BU-PIA5)

Police steps up operations for peaceful election in Masbate

By Sally A. Atento

LEGAZPI CITY, April 23 (PIA) -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) in Bicol is determined to make a difference in its effort to attain a secure and fair election (SAFE), according to PNP RO5 spokesperson PSupt. Renato Bataller.

Bataller said, along with this effort is the intensified campaign and police operations in the province of Masbate against loose firearms and presence of private armed groups (PAGS) which is part of the challenge posed by PNP Director General Alan Purisima during his recent visit here.

“The intensified campaign and relentless efforts were the result of the challenge posed by Purisima to PRO5 regional director P/CSupt Clarence V. Guinto, RSOTG Masbate commander P/SSupt Heriberto Olitoquit to step up the campaign against loose firearms and presence of private armed groups (PAGS) in Masbate leading to the May 13 elections,” said Bataller.

Bataller reported that the operations conducted by the Regional Special Operations Task Group Masbate (RSOTG) and Masbate Police Provincial Office (MasPPO) in the province have recorded 58 persons arrested due to election-related violations and one dismantled private/partisan armed group.

Also confiscated were eight deadly weapons, 46 low-powered firearms, 23 high-powered firearms, and 315 explosives.

Bataller added these campaigns are also in compliance with the rules and regulations issued by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on the ban on bearing, carrying or transporting of firearms and other deadly weapons and the employment, availment or engagement of the service. (MAL/SAA-PIA5, Albay)

Legazpi City vows to produce manpower needs for BPO industry

By Danny O. Calleja

LEGAZPI CITY, April 23 (PIA) -- This city will live to its name as a “feeder” of highly qualified manpower to the country’s business process outsourcing (BPO) industry at the height of shortage in talent confronting the industry.

Mayor Geraldine Rosal of this city said that the local government is coming up with measures to improve its current pool of talents in the wake of recent assessment of the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) that the supply of manpower cannot meet the growing industry.

This shortage, according to BPAP, continues to increase at the rate of 20 percent even as the country has 500,000 college graduates annually.

Rosal revealed that the city government is coordinating with the regional office of the Commission on Higher Education in doing an inventory of these graduates as well as previous graduates for possible enlistment with the city’s current pool of BPO talents who are already gainfully employed locally.

The chief executive noted that the city’s two universities, Bicol University (BU) and Aquinas University of Legazpi (AUL), plus the over a dozen of colleges produced this year a total of about 10,000 graduates, and majority of them--like those in information technology (IT), nursing, finance, accounting and other courses related to business outsourcing--could serve the purpose.

There are now several BPO firms operating here with a combined call center seats of about 15,000.

The city is also anticipating the opening this year of Sutherland Global Services, an international provider of business process and technology management services that will offer 4,500 seats in its three-storey building now undergoing construction along the Legazpi City Boulevard.

“We are especially concerned with graduates in the fields that will address the demands for talents in Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing, Finance and Accounting Outsourcing, Human Resources Outsourcing and Animation and Game Development Outsourcing which are fast growing and emerging as promising fields,” she said.

According to the Department of Science and Technology, Healthcare IT-BPO careers have expanded into various disciplines that open windows of career opportunities for nursing graduates and allied medical professionals.

Through the IT-BPO sector, these professionals can opt to take alternative careers such as medical transcriptors, medical secretaries, medical coders and billers, medical assistants, medical representatives, medical butlers and clinical research associates.

For BPAP, the health information management continues to be the fastest growing sector at the BPO industry, growing 200 percent in 2012, and although BPO health sector requires US-registered nurses, anybody employed under the industry will be earning more than what an overseas Filipino worker is getting abroad.

The BPAP said USA covers 80 percent of the country’s BPO clients and the country hopes to capture more clients from Europe and Australia.

Finance and accounting, digital management and game development are other growing BPO industry sectors and according to BPAP.

The big gap in manpower supply is on the finance and accounting sector that is expanding mostly in captive banks and require highly-skilled and certified public accountants.

As to English language proficiency, which the BPAP is citing as another problem, Rosal said, “We are arranging interventions, perhaps remedial courses, with schools and local industry players in addressing this.”

The BPAP has said that based on testing of 15,500 students from 45 schools, majority falls below industry’s minimum competency requirement of 60 percent.

“We do not want our reputation as feeder city for providing highly qualified manpower to other outsourcing centers across the country to go to naught, that is why we want to maintain for the city a large pool of highly qualified manpower to the BPO industry,” the lady mayor said.

Legazpi is now listed as among the New Wave Cities--joining last year top-listed Davao City and other early entrants such as Bacolod, Baguio, Malolos, Iloilo, Cavite, Lipa, and Cagayan de Oro cities.

The city, the government’s regional center for Bicol, also scored high in the cost of doing business and availability of needed physical IT infrastructures to support the outsourcing industry, according to the BPAP.

Being a New Wave City provides a great avenue for local empowerment as its increases its talent pool and stems salary and rental inflation.

It also eases the pressures to raise salaries and rental rates in these major hubs, and spread the benefits of employment, higher incomes and increased business activity across the country. (LGU/MAL/DOCalleja-PIA5, Legazpi City)

Comelec creates task force for ‘Operation Baklas’

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, April 23 (PIA) -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) provincial office here has recently created a task force that will remove illegal posters in the 11 towns of the province.

The group is composed of the Comelec, PNP, Philippine Army, DENR, DPWH, and other government agencies.

According to Comelec provincial election supervisor, Atty. Ma. Aurea C. Bo-Bonao, "Operation Baklas (remove)" will remove over-sized campaign posters placed in prohibited areas.

For parties and partylist, posters must be 12 by 16 feet, or its equivalent but must not exceed a total area of 192 square feet.

Meanwhile, common poster areas for independent candidates must be 4 by 6 feet or its equivalent but not exceeding a total area of 24 square feet.

As stated in Comelec Resolution Number 9615, common poster areas will be allowed by the election officer in selected public places such as plazas, markets and barangay centers where posters can be seen or read by the public.

Except when private residences allow, Comelec rules that candidates must not post their campaign posters in houses, fences, electric posts, trees, and other public structures.

Furthermore, parties and candidates may put up a common poster area in every barangay. (MAL/EAB-PIA5, Catanduanes)

Feature: Going Beyond: A Mother’s Love

She bags gravel and sand, shovels cement, mixes, pours, and spreads concrete. She smoothens and finishes freshly poured cement -- a whole new experience for a woman who persists despite life’s difficulties.

Five months have passed since the day her husband abandoned them without any word. She now assumes the full parental responsibility over her sons performing both the roles of a mother and a father.

“Pangarap ko para sa aking mga anak na makatapos ng pagaaral. Hanggat kaya, ikakayod ko para sa kanila [I only wish my children would finish their studies. For as long as I can, I will do it for them].”

This was the emotional utterance of Rose Oximar, a mother of two, who shares the same dream just like any mother would do.

She earns a living by salvaging garbage in their community. On average, she earns P300 a week which is enough to buy them rice. However, she was forced to try a construction job and was accepted as a paid laborer in their community.

“Nagtanong ako kung pwede pumasok at tinanggap naman ako. Dagdag naman kasi yun sa kikitain. [I inquired if I could apply and I was accepted. It will be an additional earning],” she said.

She provides any form assistance whenever the mason asks for her help and gets paid with P300 daily which is better than collecting and selling trash.

“Alas singko gising na ako para magigib ng tubig. Nagluluto na rin ako para sa buong araw kasi iiwan ko na ang mga anak ko para makapagtrabaho. [I wake up at five in the morning to fetch water. I cook all the meals for the day because I will leave my children for work]”

A mother’s love does not end in preparing and cooking the dishes, washing clothes, tidying up the house, looking after the kids and performing other household chores. It entails a greater fortitude when traversing difficult situations.

“Kahit anong trabaho pinapasok ko mabuhay lang ang dalawa kong anak kasi wala naman akong ibang maasahan [I will apply to any type of work just to support my kids because there’s no other person whom I can rely],”she said.

Though her engagement in the construction is temporary, she was very thankful for it.

“Malaki ang tulong nito sa amin kasi wala akong ibang trabaho kundi ang pagbabasura tsaka lumayas ang aking asawa [It is a big help for us because the only work I know is to make money out of garbage and my husband left us],” Rose said.

On the other hand, being part of the people in making a long time dream come true is monumental for her. The construction of their health center through Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehnsive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) project implemented through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), was an answer to Rose and their community’s need of an accessible health facility.

“Maalala ko na nadiyan ako nung tinatayo ang aming health center [I will remember the time I was there during the construction of our health center],” she added.

Kalahi-CIDSS is a community-driven development (CDD) project in the Philippines which strongly advocates the involvement of local communities in the design and implementation of development projects to address the issue of poverty in the country. It aims to improve local governance by employing the participation of the people in the communities in the development process.

Kalahi-CIDSS advocates the participation of women and other marginalized sector by involving and capacitating them in its activities.

“Kaya talaga ng mga babae. Kung pahina-pahina ka, magugutom ka. Hindi ka mabubuhay sa pagnanakaw. Kailangan ka magtrabaho ng maayos. Sige lang hanggat kaya. Kung kaya ng lalake, kaya ng babae kaya na bastat para sa pamilya [Women can do it. If you’re vulnerable, you will starve. We can’t live by stealing. We need to work. As long as I can, I will do it. If men can do it, women can also do it specially for their families.],” Rose added.

Community residents consensually decide on what type of poverty-reduction projects they prioritize for funding based from the collective analysis of their needs. Community proposals can vary from public goods/access projects, enterprise or livelihood projects or human development projects.

“Magandang programa ng gobyerno ang Kalahi dahil kahit papaano nakakatulong sa amin. [Kalahi-CIDSS is a good project by the government because it supports us even and offers even the smallest form of assistance,” Rose said.

Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the core programs of DSWD along with the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP). The convergence of the three programs is aimed for a greater impact in reducing poverty. (MAL/JBM-DSWD5/PIA5)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Albay towns to receive additional UNFPA medical equipment

LEGAZPI CITY, April 22 (PIA)-- Nine towns and one city in the province of Albay, under the Geographically Isolated Demographic Areas (GIDAs), will receive additional medical equipment from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) as part of its 7th Country Programme.

The second batch of assorted medical equipment will be equally distributed to health facilities in Ligao City and in the municipalities of Polangui, Guinobatan, Daraga, Malinao, Sto. Domingo, Pio Duran and Rapu-Rapu.

Last year, the first batch of medical equipment was distributed to Tabaco City, the towns of Tiwi, Jovellar, Camalig and Manito, and Ziga District Hospital and Josefina District Hospital.

The provision of medical supplies to all health facilities in the province of Albay is a component of the 7th Country Program to equip all health facilities for total improvement of health services that will cater to pregnant women, children and infants.

One of the objectives of the project is to eradicate infant and maternal mortality through a well-equipped health facility.

This year, the Albay provincial government has accelerated its efforts to address the unmet needs of pregnant women, children and adolescents.

Rural health units in the province have started establishing a separate section to cater to teenage pregnant mother.

Albay Governor Joey Salceda said the services must be made available and accessible to all.

Health facilities, he said, have been upgraded not only in terms of equipment but also in terms of skilled health personnel.

Aside from equipment, the UNFPA is also providing assistance through capacity building of barangay health workers and midwives.

Midwifery kits were distributed to midwives assigned in GIDAs. (MAL/Miguel de la Rama-Albay AIDS Council/PIA5)

Agri sector confab tackles adaptation to climate change impacts

LEGAZPI CITY, April 22 (PIA) -- The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) regional center spearheaded on Wednesday, April 17, the Bicol Regional Climate Forum for the agricultural sector to provide understanding on the impacts of climate change.

Pagasa South Luzon Regional Services Division chief Dr. Landrico Dalida, Jr. said that the forum will hasten understanding and familiarize on scenarios of climate change or severe weather conditions so that measures can be planned out or carried out efficiently.

“Let us equip local planners, farmers and other stakeholders to minimize impact of calamities,” outgoing DA Regional Executive Officer Dr. Jose Dayao said.

The event was a timely endeavor of Pagasa, with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and other stakeholders, since Bicol is prone to disasters and hazards due to climate change impact.

Bicol economy is basically agricultural that is why the sector is greatly affected with losses in every weather disturbances, Dayao explained.

“The agricultural sector suffers the most damage in climate change,” he added.

Pagasa planning officer Meriem Carbonel said that there is a need to learn the science of climate to promote climate forecast and to guide user-sectors such as farmers.

"Aside from preparing and mitigating climate impact, there is also a need to take advantage of its benefits," Carbonel said.

According to Dayao, the forum can provide information on how farmers will adjust in the next coming seasons as they adapt to climate change in minimizing impact of calamities. as he reiterated DA will be more specific on climate concerns.

“There is a need to emphasize preparedness and immediate response so that the agricultural sector can easily recover in case of calamities,” Dayao said.

Dalida and Dayao both lauded the enthusiasm and strong partnerships established by the stakeholders in the Bicol region in climate change adaptation initiatives that saw the birth of the country’s first and the only Climate Change Academy based here.

The other partner organizations in the forum are the Food and Agriculture Organization and the European Union. (MAL/JJJPerez-PIA5/Albay)

PPCRV spearheads walk for peace, covenant signing for 2013 elections

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, April 22 (PIA) -- The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) led a “Walk for Peace Rally” today, April 22 in collaboration with multi-sectoral stakeholders.

The activity aims at promoting an atmosphere of peace during the election period and encouraging the people to participate actively in the electoral process as a service for the common good.

Before the walk for peace, a holy mass at Virac Cathedral was held which started at 5:30 a.m. Participants assembled at Virac Plaza Rizal at exactly 6 a.m.

Simultaneously, a “Peace Covenant Signing Ceremony” was held at Plaza Rizal attended by the local candidates.

The peace covenant affirmed the candidates’ commitment and involvement in ensuring the truth and integrity of the election process.

The activity is in coordination with Philippine National Police, Department of Interior and Local Government, Philippine Army, Commission on Elections, Philippine Information Agency and National Movement for Free Election. (MAL/EAB/PIA5-Catanduanes)

BFP steps up fire safety campaign this summer

By Benilda A. Recebido

SORSOGON CITY, April 22 (PIA) -- Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) city headquarters here has intensified its fire safety campaign this summer season through fire truck visibility and massive information drive to prevent incidence or mitigate fire hazards in the communities.

BFP Sorsogon City chief FS/Insp Walter B. Marcial observed that the alarming rate of disastrous fire incidents in the country, including this city, has greatly affected the country's economic growth and has contributed to increasing the rate of poverty.

Marcial recalled that one of the biggest fire incidents recorded in this city occurred in Old Almasin of Barangay Sirangan on April 26, 2012.

"Though no big fire incident followed, I would like to continuously remind the public of the hazards brought by fire not only on properties but particularly on the lives it claims," Marcial said.

The month-long massive campaign focuses on fire safety campaign in the community with fire truck visibility, house to house inspection and information drive.

Leaflets containing fire safety tips, fire prevention measures, safety precautions against electrical hazards, fire and earthquake management, techniques in using fire extinguisher, and BFP hotline numbers were also disseminated to the public. Sorsogon City Central Fire Station together with the Fire Sub-station in Bacon and Abuyog took charge of the activity.

Furthermore, in anticipation of the upcoming election on May 13, BFP personnel also conducted a fire safety inspection to the different schools which will be utilized as polling precincts to ensure safety of everyone.

“Safety of the public is not just BFP’s task, we appeal for the cooperation of the community as our partner in this advocacy in order to attain fire-free community. We will also strictly implement RA 9514 otherwise known as the Fire Code of the Philippines towards a safe and progressive society,” said Marcial.

In case of fire incidents or other related emergency situation, BFP Sorsogon City can be reached at the following hotline numbers: 421-6320; 211-7996/ 09072927215 or 160. (MAL/BAR/MGECorral-BFP Sorsogon City/PIA5)

CSU to offer BS Computer Engineering course next school year

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, April 22 (PIA) -- The Catanduanes State University (CSU) here will offer the Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering (BSCoE) program at the start of the first semester of school year 2013-2014 this June.

With this development, the CSU College of Technology - Department of Engineering is now accepting enrolees for its new curricular offering.

The Office of Guidance, Counseling, and Testing Services will administer an additional schedule of entrance examination for incoming first year students and transferees on April 24 at the CSU College of Education Building.

Interested applicants must proceed to the Office of the Dean, College of Technology - Department of Engineering for enrolment details.

Aside from BS in Civil Engineering, the new curricular offering will be part of the academic programs offered by the College of Technology – Department of Engineering under the deanship of Engr. Pedro R. Arcilla, Jr.

The program offering passed the policies and standards compliance evaluation of the Commission in Higher Education (CHED).

As per CHED monitoring, Catanduanes State University’s BSCoE complies with the requirement for every engineering school to have a defined orientation, goals and objectives, instructional program quality (presence of full time faculty members to handle professional subjects), laboratory facilities, library holdings, instructional facilities, materials, methods and support, research, community involvement, site, and buildings.

The CHED Regional Quality Assurance Team, composed of Engr. Franklin M. Miranda, Engr. Andrew Rey M. Belleza, and Engr. Janet Naag, conducted the monitoring and presented the result of evaluation to Dr. Minerva I. Morales, CSU SUC President III, on April 15-16, 2013. (GSR-CSU/MAL/EAB/PIA5)

NGCP, Casureco conducts preventive maintenance measures for election

By Analiza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, April 22 (PIA) -- The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines’ (NGCP) and the Casureco II Electric Cooperative temporarily shutdown power recently as part of their preventive maintenance measure for the upcoming May 13 polls.

After the power outage last Thursday, April 18 due to a temporary shutdown of the NGCP's Naga 100MVA transformer and its associated equipment, Casureco II Electric Cooperative followed with their own version on Friday, April 19.

In an interview with Casureco II Spokesperson Manny Rojo, he said that the temporary shutdown of power is in line with the continuing annual preventive maintenance of Naga 20MVA transformer and its associated equipment.

Affected areas are feeders 3, 6 and 8 covering Barangays Concepcion Pequena, Concepcion Grande, Del Rosario up to the Capitol Complex corner. The upper portions of Naga City including Cararayan, Panicuason, Carolina, Pacol, San Felipe and Balatas are also affected by the brownout.

Other areas affected by the day-long brown out are Barangays Liboton,Calauag, CLUPA, Karangahan, Bagumbayan Sur, Bagumbayan Norte, part of Magsaysay, Dayangdang, Tinago, Peñafrancia, part of Igualdad , Sta. Cruz and Queborac.

Rojo added that the maintenance is meant to check the loading capacities of the said equipment and ensure that they will not experience power outage during the conduct of the upcoming May 13 polls.

NGCP South Luzon CorpComm and Public Affairs Officer Nelson Bautista also said that the NGCP’s maintenance work is also geared towards the same purpose.

“The supply of electricity throughout the elections, especially during the counting of the ballots will play a very critical role. On the part of the NGCP and of course on other power providers like CASURECO, the responsibility of ensuring that we have enough supply of power rests on our shoulders. These preventive maintenance are meant to ensure that our equipment are stable and can sustain the supply of electricity,” Bautista stated.

In the entire province of Camarines Sur, only Casureco 3 power consumers, specifically from the Rinconada Area were spared from the power outage. Their power source was temporarily shifted to Albay sub station. (MAL/LSM/PIA5-Camarines Sur)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bicol's rice stock to last beyond December this year – NFA

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, April 19 (PIA) -- The National Food Authority (NFA) regional office said the agency’s rice stocks will last for 270 days.

As of April 15 this year, the NFA Bicol declared a total stock of 174,213 bags, each containing 50 kilograms of rice.

“Based on our grains stock position report, we also have 816,891 bags of palay stocks,” saio NFA Bicol information officer Nelsie Alcantara.

According to NFA Bicol, the region consumes 40,500 bags of rice daily.

Camarines Sur leads in rice consumption with daily requirement of 14,200 bags of rice, followed by Albay with 9,500 bags and Masbate with 5,860 bags of rice. Sorsogon also posted 5,400 bags of rice as its daily consumption requirement, Camarines Norte with 3,980 and Catanduanes with 1,560 bags of rice daily consumption requirement.

Albay tops other Bicol provinces in rice stock position with 73,594 bags.

“Albay supplies rice to the island provinces that explains its high number of stocks,” Alcantara said.

Catanduanes follows Albay with its rice stocks of 26,158 bags while Camarines Norte has 24,386. The province of Camarines Sur has 23,016 bags of stock rice while Masbate has 13,585 and Sorsogon with 13,474 bags of rice reserve, according to NFA.

However, Camarines Sur leads in palay stocks with 426,527 bags, followed by Albay with 137,030 and Sorsogon with 126,734 bags of palay stocks. Masbate has 95,572 bags of palay, Camarines Sur has 22,284 and Catanduanes with 8,744 bags of palay reserves, NFA reveals. (MAL/JJJp/PIA5-Albay)

DOH-CHD gives free immunization for influenza and pneumonia

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, April 19 (PIA) -- The Center for Health Development (CHD) of the Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol provided free immunization for influenza and pneumonia to indigent senior citizens in this city yesterday.

Dr. Gloria J. Balboa, DOH Bicol regional director, said the activity formed part of the series of vaccination drives across the region to boost immune system and resistance against influenza and pneumococcal infections of the elderly in the region.

The DOH Bicol, according to Balboa, targets some 95,000 indigent senior citizens for pneumonia Vaccination and 114,987 for influenza.

In 2012, the DOH Bicol has immunized a total of113,780 indigent senior citizens, including 10,365 against influenza and 10,415 against pneumonia.

Balboa explained Pneumonia was the second leading cause of death in 2011, while influenza was next in the region

Both diseases were responsible for hospitalizations, including deaths worldwide and complications occur among elderly especially those having underlying chronic medical conditions.

“Immunization remains the best preventive measure to fight cases of pneumonia and influenza,” Balboa revealed.

Balboa furthered that indigent senior citizens are given pneumococcal immunizations only once while influenza vaccine is being provided yearly. This is because pneumococcal vaccine provides lifetime immunity for senior citizens. On the other hand treatment for influenza depends on the strain of the flu virus prevailing for a given year.

DOH Bicol, in cooperation with all local government units in Bicol, has encouraged all indigent senior citizens to coordinate with the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) in their respective localities for updates and schedules of vaccination.

Health authorities are optimistic that after the vaccination, indigent senior citizens will be more protected against the disease reducing the risk of contracting it. (MAL/Shar Ann Ballon-OJT-BU/PIA5)

Candidates’ forum on health, family planning and coop dev't held in Cam Norte

DAET, Camarines Norte, April 19 (PIA) -- A candidates’ forum on health, family planning and cooperative development was held April 16 at the Nazareth Development Center here.

The forum was sponsored by the Philippine NGO Council on Population, Health and Welfare Inc., Camarines Norte Coop Ugnayan Inc., The Forum for the Family Planning and Development Inc., SCAP, HAIN and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Among the issues raised during the open forum were illegal mining in the province, participation of civil society in the local governance and their stand on the anti-political dynasty and same sex marriage.

The forum was attended by representatives of the 59 cooperatives in the province and media persons.

The candidates who participated in the forum are the two (2) candidates from partylist, two (2) congressional candidates, one (1) vice gubernatorial candidate and three (3) Board Member candidates. (MAL/RBM/PIA5-Camarines Norte).

PNoy praises country’s social workers

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, April 19 (PIA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday, April 17, praised the county’s social workers for their vital contribution to uplift the lives of their countrymen.

“Indeed this group is a source of courage and strength for many of our people, especially the marginalized sector, in extending counsels and social support as they face life challenges,” President Aquino said in a message to the participants in the 17th National Social Welfare and Development Forum and General Assembly being held at the Oriental Hotel here from April 16 to April 19.

The forum formally opened Thursday morning.

The President’s message was contained in the souvenir program distributed to more than a thousand participants in the assembly, with its theme “Social Protection and Convergence: Opportunities and Challenges for Social Welfare and Development Stakeholders.”

The occasion aims to discuss current issues in ensuring social welfare and development services which are consistent with the vision, mission and goals of local government units towards nation-building.

Aquino said he hopes that the country’s social workers will remain among the reliable partners in carrying out social welfare and development programs, one of which is the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps that has already helped million Filipino families across the country.

Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda also expressed his warm greetings to the men and women of the Association of Local Social Welfare and Development Officers of the Philippines, Incorporated (ALSWDOPI).

Salceda said the event augurs well with the current trend of inter-agency participation and involvement of all stakeholders in their plans in addressing current issues regarding improvement of the lives of the Albayanos, especially the disadvantaged or marginalized sector.

Albay, he said, implements the principle of team efforts to ensure smooth implementation of programs, projects and activities which are designed to reduce poverty.

Salceda presented the province’s best practices in terms of poverty alleviation and enhancing knowledge in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

He invited the participants to come back to Albay with their families and friends and spread the good news on matters of tourism and festivals in the province of Albay.

Meanwhile, convention organizers announced the 2013 National Gawad Parangal Awardees as follows: Batangas Governor Vilma Santos Recto for Outstanding Governor Award; Governor Rodolfo P. del Rosario, Special Commendation; Mayor Socrates C, Fernandez of Talisay City in Cebu, for Hall of Fame-City Mayor; Mayor Jennifer Austria Barsaga , Dasmarinas City, Cavite, for Outstanding City Mayor; Mayor Librado C. Navarro of Bislig City, Surigao, for Special Commendation; Mayor Vicente B. Flores Jr. of Oton, Iloilo, for Hall of Fame-Municipal Mayor; Mayor Dahlia A. Loyola of Carmona, Cavite, for Outstanding Municipal Mayor; Nina Joy M. Tanada MSWDO of Oton, Iloilo, for Hall of Fame-Municipal Social Welfare Development Officer; Mildred A. dela Cuesta, MSWDO LGU Malungon, Sarangani, for Most Outstanding Municipal Social Welfare Development Officer; Outstanding Local Chapter is ALSWDOPI Leyte Provincial Chapter.

Special commendation for retiree went to Gloria L. Pabillore of Agusan Del Norte.

The code of ethics of the organization was presented by Jerwin T. Navarro, executive vice president of the association.
An intermission number was rendered by the Albay Mabuhay Chorale, followed by the opening remarks of Arsenio L. Alagenio, ALSWDOPI national president.

Salceda and Legazpi City Mayor Carmen Geraldine Rosal welcomed the guests.

The keynote speaker was Vilma R. Cabrera, DSWD Assistant Secretary for Institutional Development Group. (MAL/NIM-RnB Legazpi/PIA5)

First Daet Cooperative Congress set

By Rosalita B. Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, April 19 (PIA) -- Some 39 cooperatives in this town will meet on the First Daet Cooperative Congress on April 25 to strengthen the sector's collaboration and cooperation in pursuit for development of the community .

Daet Mayor Tito Sarion said that the activity also aims to provide updates to cooperatives on issuance and directives that will help improve livelihood program and enterprise initiatives.

He said that the local government supports livelihood programs of the cooperatives particularly in promoting the pineapple by products as the One-Town-One Product (OTOP) of Daet.

Sarion said that the theme for the activity is “Converging for a strong collaboration and cooperative communication”.

Among the topics include: cooperative updates by Erlinda N. Valera, Provincial Cooperative Development Specialist of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA); cooperatives and directives to be discuss by CDA Regional Director Atty. Maria Lourdes P. Pacao; strengthening cooperatives in the countryside by Congressman Cresente Paez, Representative Coop NATCCO partylist/Chairperson of Camarines Norte Cooperative Bank.

Newly appointed Cooperative Development Officer of Daet Ronnel C. Yu will lay down the local government's program and project updates for the cooperatives. (MAL/RBM/PIA5-Camarines Norte).

Comelec to strictly enforce checkpoints

By Analiza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, April 19 (PIA) -- An official of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) here has sought the assistance of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to strictly implement checkpoints in strategic parts of this city.

Lawyer Fatima Gados Gados, Comelec election supervisor, instructed members of the police force to enforce its on-sight inspection, particularly of four-wheeled vehicles entering and going out of the city’s vicinity, to ensure that no illegal firearms will be transported during the campaign period and the actual election time.

“We are continuously monitoring election-related incidents which could be a violation of Comelec rules and regulations. We would like also to focus on the checkpoints as we have noticed that most of the vehicles being flagged down in checkpoints are motorcycles,” Gados said in an interview.

The Comelec official added that the checkpoints are proven useful when it comes to the apprehension of individuals who are keeping illegal weapons or firearms in their cars.

Gados also said that her office is also keeping a close watch on posters and campaign paraphernalia illegally posted on prohibites sites, reiterating that under Republic Act 9006 otherwise known as the Fair Election Act, Section 3 has a specific provisions on Lawful Election Propaganda.

Meanwhile, Comelec Camarines Sur spokesperson Alex Marpuri said that only those technicians and Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) who have passed the qualifying examinations given by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) have the authority to operate the Precinct Count Optical Scan or PCOS machines during the elections.

Last week, BEIs comprised mostly of teachers, trained to ensure that they are properly equipped with the necessary know how as they take the big task and responsibility of keeping the election tarnish-free.

Early last week, Marpuri that the first batch of trainees composed of 1,500 teachers from Camarines Sur have already finished and passed the qualifying examinations. One of the lectures that they have attended is about the Poll Automation law as provided under Republic Act 9369. (MAL/LSM/PIA5-Camarines Sur)