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



Friday, June 28, 2013

Active citizen participation led to arrest of wanted man

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, June 27 (PIA) -- Operatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP) recently nabbed Panganiban town's 5th most wanted person through a phone call from a concerned citizen.

Panganiban Police Chief Senior Insp. Edmundo Cerillo led the team that arrested the murder suspect by virtue of a warrant of arrest issued by the Regional Trial Court Branch 43 Presiding Judge Lelu P. Contreras under Criminal Case No. 4271.

The arrest showed the significance of the community's active participation in their campaign to apprehend criminals, according to PNP Catanduanes Provincial Director Police Senior Supt. Eduardo G. Chavez.

Chavez added that the continuous support of the people is a big boost to the success of their campaign against criminals.

The suspect was co-accused with other guerrillas in the execution of a farmer at San Miguel Barangay Plaza on May 22, 2010. (MAL/EAB/PIA5-Catanduanes)

CSC-Bicol pushes for HIV-AIDS workplace policy and education program

By Sally A. Atento

LEGAZPI CITY, June 27 (PIA) -- The Civil Service Commission (CSC)-5 called on heads of government agencies, departments, units, state universities and colleges to uphold the guidelines on the implementation of workplace policy and education program on HIV-AIDS.

Lyn Niebla, CSC-5 information officer, said the guidelines are in line with the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998 which mandates that “all government and private employees, workers, managers, and supervisors shall be provided with the standardized basic information and instruction on HIV and AIDS which shall include topics on confidentiality in the workplace and attitude towards infected employees and workers.”

“This act has been around since 1998 and since then HIV carriers have been hiding in the closet. However with this standardized policy, CSC believes this is the right time for them to come out, especially the infected employees, and help us intensify the awareness on HIV and AIDS of which increasing cases of infection have been recorded,” said Niebla.

Under the implementing rules and regulations of this act, various agencies and departments of the government are tasked to monitor and assess the implementation of HIV and aids programs in private and public work places.

Monitoring and assessment of HIV and Aids education program in the private sectors shall be the responsibility of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH) while members of the AFP and PNP shall be the responsibility of the Armed Forces Chief of Staff and the Director General of the PNP respectively.

“The CSC is in-charge with the monitoring and assessment of this program in government agencies and units,” Niebla added.

Part of the guidelines in the implementation of this program is the integration of information on HIV and AIDS in the employee health programs of government offices.

“Government agencies can integrate HIV and AIDS awareness on their Gender and Development (GAD) programs. For instance, they can coordinate with the DOH to conduct free awareness programs or tap members of the Philippine national AIDS Council (PNAC) and the regional Aids Assistance Teams (RAATs) for technical assistance in the implementation of the program,” Niebla explained.

Government agencies are also required to submit an annual report to the PNAC on the status of implementation of their respective workplace policy and education program on HIV and aids not later than the 15th of January the following year. (MAL/SAA/PIA5-Albay)

DOT-NPDC lauds 21st Pinyasan Festival celebration in Daet

By Rosalita B. Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, June 28 (PIA) -- Department of Tourism-National Parks and Development Committee (DOT-NPDC) Executive Director Juliet H. Villegas lauded the 21st Pinyasan Festival's unified celebration in the float competition participated by Daet's 25 barangays on June 19.

“This is my first time to attend the Pinyasan Festival and I’m proud to say that this is indeed fun because it’s more fun in the Philippines,” Villegas exclaimed.

She said the float competition is very colorful and the town has the sweetest pineapple - “Queen Formosa."

“We at the Department of Tourism will always support your municipality, because this is a nice place, it’s more fun in the Philippines through Daet,” she reiterated.

Villegas also said that June 19 is also a historic day for Daet and the whole nation because it is the 152nd birthday of our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal.

She further cited the launching of the book,"The First Rizal Monument, Nationalism and the 1898 Daet Uprising,” by renowned Bicolano historian Prof. Danilo Gerona.

Mayor Tito Sarion said that the float competition gave importance to the Formosa pineapple as a product that helps in the tourism and economy of the town and province.

He also extend his appreciation to the national government agencies, non-government organization, corporate sponsors, local officials and chief of offices of the town, media and Bobby Yan of “Kabuhayan Swak na Swak” for their support to the activity.

He said that the activity is also in celebration the 430th foundation day (June 15) anniversary and the town fiesta in honor of Saint John the Baptist on June 24.

The winners of the float competition are the Barangay Cobangbang which bagged the first prize with P75,000 cash prize while the Barangay Magang and Barangay IV were the 2nd and 3rd prize winners with P50,000 and P25,000 cash prizes, respectively. The winners also received plaques and certificates during the awarding.

The Miss Pinyasan, Miss Tourism, and Miss Daet candidates; Miss Pinyasan Little Angels and the local officials headed by Mayor Sarion also participated in the parade of the floats. (MAL/RBM/PIA5, Camarines Norte)

DOT-NPDC lauds 21st Pinyasan Festival celebration in Daet

By Rosalita B. Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, June 28 (PIA) -- Department of Tourism-National Parks and Development Committee (DOT-NPDC) Executive Director Juliet H. Villegas lauded the 21st Pinyasan Festival's unified celebration in the float competition participated by Daet's 25 barangays on June 19.

“This is my first time to attend the Pinyasan Festival and I’m proud to say that this is indeed fun because it’s more fun in the Philippines,” Villegas exclaimed.

She said the float competition is very colorful and the town has the sweetest pineapple - “Queen Formosa."

“We at the Department of Tourism will always support your municipality, because this is a nice place, it’s more fun in the Philippines through Daet,” she reiterated.

Villegas also said that June 19 is also a historic day for Daet and the whole nation because it is the 152nd birthday of our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal.

She further cited the launching of the book,"The First Rizal Monument, Nationalism and the 1898 Daet Uprising,” by renowned Bicolano historian Prof. Danilo Gerona.

Mayor Tito Sarion said that the float competition gave importance to the Formosa pineapple as a product that helps in the tourism and economy of the town and province.

He also extend his appreciation to the national government agencies, non-government organization, corporate sponsors, local officials and chief of offices of the town, media and Bobby Yan of “Kabuhayan Swak na Swak” for their support to the activity.

He said that the activity is also in celebration the 430th foundation day (June 15) anniversary and the town fiesta in honor of Saint John the Baptist on June 24.

The winners of the float competition are the Barangay Cobangbang which bagged the first prize with P75,000 cash prize while the Barangay Magang and Barangay IV were the 2nd and 3rd prize winners with P50,000 and P25,000 cash prizes, respectively. The winners also received plaques and certificates during the awarding.

The Miss Pinyasan, Miss Tourism, and Miss Daet candidates; Miss Pinyasan Little Angels and the local officials headed by Mayor Sarion also participated in the parade of the floats. (MAL/RBM/PIA5, Camarines Norte)

Maternal, child mortality rates in Albay decreasing

By Sally A. Atento

 LEGAZPI CITY, June 28 (PIA) -- Maternal and child mortality rates in Albay have been decreasing in the past six years according to the statistics provided by the Provincial Health Office (PHO) here.

The statistics show the number of maternal deaths in every 100,000 live births in the province has been on a downtrend from 2007 to 2012.

In 2007, 84 deaths were registered, 81 in 2008, 60 in 2009, 66 in 2010, 58 in 2011, and 20 in 2012.

Child mortality likewise posted a decreasing rate per 1,000 live births with 377 deaths in 2010 and 152 in 2011.

Children under five years old posted 13.09 percent and 14.24 percent decrease in the said periods.

In 2012, 373 deaths were recorded for children under this age bracket while infant and fetal deaths were posted at 262.

Furthermore, the provincial government of Albay headed by Governor Joey Salceda is confident that the province can achieve zero maternal deaths and 67 percent reduction in child mortality rate by 2015.

This can be done by providing the Albayanos with 100 percent access to reproductive health services among which are skilled birth attendance and facility-based deliveries. Access to these services has been increasing from 2007 to 2011.

In 2007, skilled birth attendance in the province was only at 52 percent, 57 percent in 2008, 62 percent in 2009, and up by 72 percent in 2010 and 76 percent in 2011.

The same uptrend is posted for facility-based deliveries from 2007 to 2011 with 19, 24, 35, 57 and 70 percent increase respectively. (MAL/SAA/PIA5, Albay)

BMC to expand centers, services

By Analiza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, June 28 (PIA) -- The Bicol Medical Center here will soon house a two-storey Cancer Center, eight-storey building for wards, five-storey Emergency Room Complex, and a Diagnostic Complex as the government embarks in the realization of its health modernization program.

BMC director Dr. Efren Nierva revealed the expansion program during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Medical Arts Building and celebration of the Department of Health’s (DOH) 115th anniversary Tuesday, June 25.

Nierva said the construction of various edifices is consistent with the Health Facilities Enhancement Program of government which seeks to address the urgent needs of the community to have an easy access to medical facilities and services specifically for those living in far-flung areas and in the provincial outskirts in various parts of the country.

DOH Usec. David J. Lozada Jr. and Bicol regional director Gloria Balboa meanwhile also graced the occasion.

The celebration of the DOH’s 115th anniversary, according to Nierva, pursues the health agenda of the present administration on Achieving Universal Health Care for All Filipinos.

"We have employed here the Public-Private partnership (PPP) scheme which will help us in modernizing our hospital, and DOH is tasked to oversee these initiatives. Aside from this, in the forefront is our mission to help the less fortunate and give them accessible, affordable but quality health care,” Nierva said in an interview.

The proposed P56 million Cancer Center will house new and modern medical equipment like the linear accelerator and mammogram machine among others.

The Medical Arts Building will house the doctors' offices, pharmacy, and other service offices.

These will all be built inside the BMC Complex located at Hospital Road, Panganiban, Naga City.

BMC, meanwhile, gave free consultation, urinalysis, blood sugar and cholesterol determination, and blood pressure to mark the anniversary celebration.

The DOH's anniversary celebration, evolving on the theme, “115 Taong Pangangalaga sa Kalusugan ng Bawat Pilipino (155 Years of Caring for the Health of Every Filipino)," coincides with the observance of National Kidney Month and No Smoking Month. (MAL/LSM/PIA5, Camarines Sur)
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Elected provincial officials to take oath of office

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, June 28 (PIA) -- Justice Jose Portugal Perez of the Supreme Court of the Philippines will induct the newly elected officials of Catanduanes on June 30 at the Virac Plaza Rizal this province.

According to Cong. Cesar V. Sarmiento of the lone district of Catanduanes, the Justice will be accompanied by Deputy Court Administrator Ruel Villanueva.

The oath-taking ceremonies will start with a Eucharistic Mass at Virac Cathedral to be celebrated by Diocese of Virac Bishop Manolo A. Delos Santos.

The oath of office will be handed to the newly elected officials at 12 noon which also signals the end of term of the outgoing officials.
Governor-elect Araceli B. Wong, Cong. Sarmiento and Vice-Governor Jose J. Teves Jr., Virac Mayor-elect Flerida Alberto along with the elected municipal officials will then take their oath of office consecutively.

This will be followed by the Congressman’s Night to be held on the evening where everyone is invited for a “salo-salo (party)."

Meanwhile, on July 1, Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s (SP) first session will take place where the newly-elected governor will deliver her inaugural address.

Expected to attend the ceremony are different government agencies, non-government organizations and as well as the public.

A party for the public will also be held on the evening of July 1 at the Provincial Capitol Grounds which will feature a live band and fireworks display. (MAL/EAB/PIA5, Catanduanes)

Students receive school supplies from electric company

By Analiza S. Macatangay

BUHI, Camarines Sur, June 28 (PIA) -- More than 500 elementary pupils from Monte Calvario Elementary School received school supplies from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) in line with its Balik Eskwela Program covering communities in barangays hosting their transmission facilities.

NGCP South Luzon Corporate Communication and Public Affairs officer Nelson Bautista said that as part of their corporate social responsibility, they see to it that members of the community are well informed of the thrust of NGCP and are aware of the great responsibility as caretakers of their power facilities.

“This is the last leg of our Balik Eskwela program which we have implemented in almost 27 elementary schools in the South Luzon area. Here in Camarines Sur, I think we have already delivered the same services in some eight areas which have benefited more or less 3,000 beneficiaries,” Bautista said in an interview.

In a simple program, Monte Calvario Elementary School Principal Marites Y. Abagat cited NGCP for including their school as one of the recipients of the said program.

The school belongs to the cross road sector within the Rinconada area. Most of its pupils, who belong to the indigent families, have to walk more than an hour just to reach their school and attend classes. The school site is more or less three to four kilometers away from the town proper.

Around 499 pupils of the Del Rosario Elementary School in Naga City also received the same merchandise.

School principal Margerie B. Bathan, together with the local barangay officials, Casureco III representatives, and parents welcomed the NGCP team and members of the local media.

The customized notebook contains safety tips on how to avoid accident particularly for the members of the community who resides near the towers.

“Through this project, NGCP wants the community to feel that they are not only caretakers but also shareholders of these power facilities. We want them to feel that their safety is of utmost importance to us. While we enjoy the benefits brought by electricity, we should also be cautious that the towers emits high voltages that can cause our lives, or the lives of our loved ones that’s why we are asking everyone to please observe and share these safety tips particularly to our children,” Bautista added. (MAL/LSM/PIA5, Camarines Sur)

DPWH celebrates 115th anniversary

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, June 28 (PIA) -- The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is celebrating its 115th anniversary this June with the theme “Sa DPWH, Bawat Isa, Tulay sa Pagbabago”, which underscores their organizational transformation program under President Benigno Aquino III’s administration.

In a letter sent by Sec. Rogelio L. Singson of DPWH, he stated that every employee regardless of rank contributes to the successful implementation of the program.

He likewise asked for the continuous support of all employees to the department’s institutionalized reforms and to carry on the legacy of good governance for the next generation.

Meanwhile, as a way of celebrating its anniversary, DPWH here offered a thanksgiving mass at their office where a short program was also held.

In his message, District Engineer Ignacio Odiaman expressed his gratitude to all the employees for their continuous support and cooperation in all the endeavors of the department.

Workers of DPWH also thanked President Aquino for the P10,000 anniversary bonus for all DPWH employees. (MAL/EAB/PIA5-Catanduanes)

Thursday, June 27, 2013


The Commission on Population welcomes the participants to the Regional Population Executive Board Meeting last June 26, 2013 at Hotel Venezia, Legazpi City. (Alex Cal/PIA)




FICELCO wins Dangal ng Kalikasan Award

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, June 27 (PIA) -- First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FICELCO) received the Dangal ng Kalikasan Award for this year’s Linggo ng Kalikasan celebration during the Gabi ng Parangal held on June 21 at Virac Plaza Rizal.

Pursuant to Executive Order No. 5 series of 2012 issued by Governor Joseph C. Cua, the Dangal ng Kalikasan Award was institutionalized and became an integral part of the annual celebration of Linggo ng Kalikasan every third week of June.

The award is being given to deserving institution that has contributed and is committed to protecting the environment. It likewise aims to inspire everyone to become good stewards of the environment as it honors individuals and entities.

According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) headed by Ed Joaquin Guerrero, FICELCO bested other nominees with its impressive solid waste management program which is gradually turning the entity into a model site.

FICELCO—this year’s lone awardee received a Plaque of Recognition with cash prize of P10,000 which was awarded by Mr. Pobleo M. Florece, Regional Technical Director, Ecosystem Research and Development Service of DENR who served as the representative of Mr. Gilbert C. Gonzales, DENR V Regional Executive Director.

In his message read by Mr. Florece, Dir. Gonzales lauded the Local Government Units (LGUs) in Catanduanes who “have initiated in one way or another, certain elements of the prescribed components of an ecological solid waste management system.”

According to him, the Provincial Government of Catanduanes has emerged as one of the region’s promising movers in eco-waste management.

Meanwhile, the awarding ceremony for the winners of other contests conducted during the duration of Linggo ng Kalikasan was also held during the Gabi ng Parangal.

Winners of the Pauragan 2013, Collage Making, Tagisan sa Paglikha and Provincial Eagle Quiz were given cash prizes and plaque of recognition together with their coaches.

According to PENRO Ed Joaquin Guerrero, this year’s celebration was successful with the cooperation of different government agencies and the Provincial Government of Catanduanes headed by Gov. Cua.

He said that the continuous effort of their department and the LGUs for an excellent Solid Waste Management System in the province will not be wasted.

Congressman Cesar V. Sarmiento and Virac Mayor Jose U. Alberto III were also present during the Gabi ng Parangal. (MAL/EAB/PIA5-Catanduanes)

CSU to launch Indigenous Hardwood Grove

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, June 26 (PIA) -- The Catanduanes State University (CSU) will launch its Indigenous Hardwood Grove through its College of Agriculture and Fisheries in response to the loss and vanishing species of dipterocarps in the province.

CSU president Dr. Minerva I. Morales said the project intends to promote CSU as an eco-friendly institution and venue for conducting seminars, lectures and enviro-camping and a buffer zone through enrichment planting along the CSU boundaries. The project also includes construction of a utility hall, concrete benches and tables, and road network provision for bike lane.

According to Morales, the institution believes that this will also serve as a potential picnic grove for the CSU community as well as to its nearby community.

Presently, different services are already feasible in the area. "Enrichment planting using dipterocarp species and other hardwood trees indigenous in the province has been conducted in the project and university," Morales said.

She added that these species shall serve as buffer zone for strong winds and be a carbon sink in the future because of its characteristic as dominant and large trees. (MAL/EAB/PIA5-Catanduanes)

Maternal, child mortality rate decrease in Albay

LEGAZPI CITY, June 26 (PIA) -- Statistics provided by the Provincial Health Office (PHO) here show that the maternal and child mortality rate in Albay has been decreasing in the past six years.

PHO statistics show that the number of maternal deaths in every 100,000 live births in the province has been on a downtrend from 2007 to 2012.

The PHO said that in 2007, 84 deaths were registered; 81 in 2008; 60 in 2009; 66 in 2010; 58 in 2011; and down to 20 in 2012.

The PHO also said that child mortality likewise posted a decreasing rate per 1,000 live births with 377 deaths in 2010 and 152 in 2011, with children under five years old posted 13.09 percent and 14.24 percent decrease in the said periods.

In 2012, 373 deaths were recorded for children under this age bracket while infant and fetal deaths were posted at 262.

With this development, the provincial government of Albay is confident that the province can achieve zero maternal deaths and 67% reduction in child mortality rate by 2015.

The provincial government said that this can be done by providing Albayanos with 100% access to reproductive health services in 2015 like skilled birth attendance and facility-based deliveries to be maximized at 80 percent in 2015.

The provincial government also said that access to these services has been increasing from 2007 to 2011.

In 2007, skilled birth attendance in the province was pegged only at 52 percent; 57 percent in 2008; 62 percent in 2009; up by 72 percent in 2010; and 76 percent in 2011.

PHO records also show that the same uptrend is posted for facility-based deliveries from 2007 to 2011 with 19, 24, 35, 57 and 70 percents increase respectively. (MAL/SAA/PIA5/Albay)

Comelec urges voters to register for Barangay, SK Polls

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, June 26 (PIA) -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) provincial office here is encouraging the public, particularly the youth, to register for the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Elections on October 8, 2013.

Lawyer Maria Aurea C. Bo-Bunao, Comelec provincial election supervisor, said the registration for the October polls will start on July 22 and shall end on July 31.

Those who voted for SK elections in 2010 need to register again to be able to vote for the Barangay Elections.

Registrants should have the following qualifications: Filipino citizen residing in the barangay for at least six (6) months; at least fifteen (15) years old but less than eighteen (18) years old on Election Day; and Duly registered in the list of the sangguniang kabataan or in the official barangay list in the custody of the barangay secretary.

Meanwhile, registration for the Barangay elections is open to new voters at least 18 years old, transferees, and those who need entry corrections and reactivation.

The filing of certificates of candidacy is set on Oct. 15 to 17 and the campaign period starts on Oct. 18 to 26. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

City agriculturist to monitor 50,000 tilapia fingerlings given to fishermen

LEGAZPI CITY, June 26 (PIA) -- The City Agriculture Office here will strictly monitor fishponds of 30 fishermen who received 50,000 tilapia fingerlings from the Regional Fisheries Freshwater Center of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

This is to ensure maintenance of the fingerlings for them to successfully grow and provide food and income to the beneficiaries and their families.

“The fingerlings distribution aims to give our fishermen an opportunity to have their own livelihood projects by way of caring for and protecting these fingerlings,” city agriculturist Jesus Kallos said.

He added that all the beneficiaries will receive technical assistance from his office to guarantee the project's success.

The activity was spearheaded by the city government through Mayor Carmen Geraldine B. Rosal in line with the celebration of the Month of the Ocean and Fisherfolk's Day.

In a separate interview with Rosal, she said marine resources have contributed a lot in the economic growth of the city.
She urged the legitimate fishermen to work hand in hand to promote the proper way of catching fishes and prevent illegal fishing activities to preserve the juvenile fishes.

“This is a strategy of the city government to maintain an adequate supply of our marine resources that contribute so much to the volume of our marine and freshwater production,” she added.

Rosal said she will ask the next city administration to focus on the implementation of the city’s environment and development programs and coral restoration project by way of protecting the mangroves and rehabilitating the coral reefs and watershed areas.

“We also need to compel all the village officials and the eco-managers of the 70 villages in the city to remind our constituents, especially those living near the river side, that throwing garbage in the rivers is strictly prohibited under RA 9003 and City Ordinance No. 0017-2009,” she pointed out.

Said laws were strictly implemented by the city government to further prevent the contamination of the rivers and to make sure that the water is always clean and not poisonous to the fishes.

Rosal said her administration designated some well-trained scuba divers in the territorial sea of this city to protect the city’s marine domain and put the corals in proper place.(MAL/Manny P. Solis -LGU Legazpi City/PIA5)

AACCUP starts evaluation of 12 CSU curricular programs

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, June 26 (PIA) -- The Accrediting Agency of Chartered Colleges and Universities in the Philippines, Inc. (AACCUP) started the evaluation on 12 curricular programs of Catanduanes State University (CSU) on Monday, June 24.

The week-long evaluation, which will last until June 29, and will survey eleven curricular programs at CSU Main Campus and one at the school's Panganiban Campus.

CSU president Dr. Minerva I. Morales said that AACCUP will evaluate curricular programs including Accountancy, Business Administration, and Nutrition & Dietetics - Third Survey (Level III) assessment; Biology and Mathematics- Second Survey (Level II) assessment; and Civil Engineering, Information Systems, Agriculture, and Public Administration - First Survey (Level I) assessment.

In the graduate school, Morales added that the Doctor of Education and the Master of Business Administration programs will undergo First Survey evaluation while the Agriculture program of the CSU Panganiban Campus will go through the preliminary survey.

Morales emphasized the need to work for a balanced scorecard in the university which requires the school's accredited programs as one of the significant indicators in attaining quality teaching and learning.

The Third Survey Visit, according to AACCUP, is the accreditation stage conducted after a program has enjoyed a Level II Re-accredited status for five years. Passing a higher level standard of quality entitles the program to apply for Level III. The program is then evaluated and must excel in four areas, namely instruction and extension, which are mandatory; and two more areas to be chosen from among research, performance in licensure examination, faculty development, and linkages.

The Second Survey Visit involves the evaluation of an accredited program, and if it has passed the standards set at a higher level of quality than the immediately preceding survey visit, may qualify the program to an award of Level II Re-accredited status, good for five years.

According to AACCUP, accreditation is a process by which an institution at the tertiary level evaluates its educational activities, in whole or in part, and seeks an independent judgment to confirm that it substantially achieves its objectives, and is generally equal in quality to comparable institutions.

There are 10 criteria (areas) that are used in the assessment of programs. These are Mission, Goals, and Objectives; Faculty, Curriculum, and Instruction; Students, Research, Extension, and Community Involvement, Library, Physical Facilities, Laboratories, and Administration.

To date, CSU has already 19 accredited programs. If the six other programs up for First Survey visit will hurdle the AACCUP evaluation, CSU’s accredited curricular offerings will now be 25. (MAL/EAB/GSR-CSU/PIA5)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

E-cigarette, shisha are not safe smoking alternatives – DOH Bicol

By Joseph John J. Perez

LEGAZPI CITY, June 26 (PIA) -- The Department of Health (DOH) regional office here warned the public that electronic – cigarette or e-cigarrette and shisha are not safe alternatives to dispel perception that these two popular smoking paraphernalia are healthy substitutes for typical tobacco products

“E-cigarettes including shisha should not be even considered as alternatives since those are still smoking and they contain harmful substances,” DOH Non-Communicable Diseases Prevention Program regional coordinator for Dr. Evy Sarmiento said in an interview during “Aramon Ta Daw,” a radio program of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

An e-cigarette also known as personal vaporiser or PV is an electronic inhaler that vaporises a liquid solution into an aerosol mist, simulating the act of tobacco smoking.

While Shisha, the origins of which are disputed (some say India, others Persia or Turkey) is a glass-bottomed water pipe in which fruit-flavored tobacco is covered with foil and roasted with charcoal. The fruit-flavored tobacco smoke passes through a water chamber and is inhaled.

Last year, the American Lung Association issued its own warning about e-cigarettes. It said that the product may actually be more harmful than traditional cigarettes since the doses of nicotine in an e-cigarette can be higher than a typical cigarette.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also tested a small sample of the contents of e-cigarettes few years ago and found a number of toxic chemicals including diethylene glycol - the same ingredient used in antifreeze. The findings forced the FDA to issue a nationwide health warning.

Meanwhile, the Niche Tobacco Advisory Group (NTAG) for North England recently introduced an educational campaign on shisha smoking. Dr Khalid Anis, chairman of NTAG in Manchester, says: "There's a misconception that shisha is not as bad for you as cigarettes, because the tobacco is flavored and passes through water first. But the carcinogens and nicotine are still there.”

A regular shisha smoker can expect to be at risk to the similar health problems that cigarette smokers face, whether that's respiratory, heart disease or cancer. As with any other tobacco product, regular shisha smokers will find it addictive, to the point that they may need it every day, Anis added.

According to research carried out by the World Health Organization (WHO), the volume of smoke inhaled in an hour-long shisha session is estimated to be the equivalent of smoking between 100 and 200 cigarettes. The estimated findings go on to show that, on average, a smoker will inhale half a liter of smoke per cigarette, while a shisha smoker can take in anything from just under a sixth of a liter to a liter of smoke per inhale.

DOH-Bicol reiterated that smoking is the cause of four deadly diseases which are obstructive pulmonary diseases, lung cancer, kidney diseases and diabetes.

“It harms not only the smoker but persons who are nearby like family members, office mates, friends,” Sarmiento said.

Meanwhile, the Smoke-Free Albay Network (SFAN) announced late last week that it already surpassed its target of 13,000 participants for the Guinness World Record (GWR)attempt for largest human no-smoking sign later this week in celebration of the International No-Smoking Month this June.

“As of Wednesday, June 19, we already have more than 15,000 participants who officially signed up for the event,” SFAN chairman and provincial board member Herbert Borja said.

The original plan of accommodating walk-ins and late registrants need to be dropped due to administrative and technical concerns, Borja added

The attempt will be executed on Friday, June 28, at seven in the morning inside the Bicol University (BU) football field that is expected to gain worldwide attention and support.

The event is the highlight in the series of activities that the Provincial Government of Albay (PGA) and SFAN had prepared in celebration of the International No-Smoking Month this June, Albay Governor Jose “Joey” Salceda said.

“(This is) to give relevance and meaning to the implementation of the Albay Smoke-free Ordinance and to educate or to instill awareness on the ill-effects of smoking and its hazards to the environment,” Salceda said. (MAL/JJJP-PIA5/Albay) 

Media briefing for the attempt of Albay for the Guinness World's largest no smoking human sign on Friday (June 28)  held at People’s Hall, Albay Capitol, Legazpi City.




Tuesday, June 25, 2013

CSU studes among PH delegation in ASEAN Workshop in Thailand

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, June 24 (PIA) -- Two students of Catanduanes State University (CSU) will be part of the Philippines’ delegation in the “Asean Workshop on the Role of Youth in Green Consumption: Stepping Forward to One Community” to be held in Bangkok, Thailand on July 14-22.

Bren Garette Z. Rivera, a third year student of Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in English and Jann Ursula Aree S. Ibones, and third year student of Business Administration Major in Financial Management were nominated by CSU to be its representative in the said activity along with two students of the Far Eastern University, Catarman, Northern Samar.

In a letter sent to CSU, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said the university was chosen by the Environmental Management Bureau of DENR after being declared as champion in regional and national finalist in the tertiary level category of the 2011 National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools.

The Environmental Management Bureau of DENR serves as the National Focal Point in the Philippines for the ASEAN Working Group on Environmental Education.

The event will be hosted and organized by the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of The Royal Thai Government.

The activity has the following objectives: To provide knowledge and understanding on the main concept of green consumption and its related issues to ASEAN youth, in particular the situation and good practice in Thailand;

To encourage ASEAN youth to exchange views and ideas regarding green consumption and to examine ways for further cooperation and commitment in the ASEAN region based on the power of youth and; To support the role of youth in environmental sustainability in ASEAN region.

Each country is requested to make a ten-minute presentation concerning green consumption situation and its good practices in respective countries.

A total of 56 participants, 20 of which from Thailand and four from each of the other ASEAN member countries are expected to attend the workshop. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes) 

Camarines Sur: LGU Naga honors 2013 Mayoral Awardees

By Analiza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, June 24 (PIA) -- The city government of Naga has spearheaded Tuesday the awarding of the prestigious Mayoral awards to deserving Nague├▒os at the Avenue Plaza Hotel here.

The award recognizes legacy of good governance, exemplifying good deeds, upholding moral integrity, and raising the bar of public service,

The Juan Q. Miranda award, the highest Mayoral awards formerly referred to as the Mayoral Distinguished Service Award was bestowed to Hon. Ramon Hidalgo Felipe, Jr. Elected as City Mayor of Naga in 1963, Felipe pushed for reforms that eventually contributed to the growth of the city. The dark streets of Naga then which became every criminal’s perfect spot were illuminated when he introduced mercury vapor lamps.

Felipe was instrumental to the construction of the Naga City Public Market when he started building the edifice during his term as the city’s Chief Executive. It has risen and became the biggest Supermarket in Asia after it was completed. It is now called the Naga City People’s Mall.

Felipe also pushed for Naga’s Cityhood in 1948.

The 2nd highest award, the Leon Sa.Aureus Awards was given to four (4) recipients who have excelled in their respective areas of endeavors, namely: Business, Education, Business and Culture and for Community Service.

Under the Business Category, Jeremie Janssen S. Lo, referred to as Businessman for Others, received the Leon Sa. Aureus Award for his significant contribution to the upliftment of the socio-economic status of farmers and the poor, and in general, by introducing ground-breaking practices in agriculture and by undertaking diverse social activities as benefactor and leader of various non-government organizations. He is the present Regional Governor for Bicol of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

This year’s 2013 Leon SA Aureus Awardee for Education is Rev. Fr. Stanislaus Chin who established and founded the Saint Joseph School in 1960. It is now considered as one of the best sectarian educational institutions in Naga and in the Bicol Region.

Fr. Chin, or Fr. Kim to those who are close to him, is a Chinese priest who sought refuge in the Philippines as a result of the ruthless prosecution of Catholics in mainland China. He pursued the evangelization of other Chinese refugees in the Bicol Region.

The New China Restaurant, dubbed as the Bastion of Naga’s History & Economy, was this year’s Leon Sa Aureus Awardee under the Business and culture category. Founden in 1943 by Wong Yee, it was home to puto lanzon, traditionally-made coffee and rice noodles. Even with the advent of big and modern restaurants, New China Restaurant remained unaffected. It is now recognized nationally as one of the historic landmarks of the city, especially of Centro Naga, contributing to the ich history of Naga.

The Rotary Club of Naga was also cited as one of the awardees under the Community Service category and dubbed as Volunteers of Peace and Goodwill. This volunteer organization of business, professional and community leaders has been consistently organizing activities that promote human dignity and continues to aggressively campaign for the eradication of poverty in Bicol.

Other awardees are: Mr. Daniel Philip V. Dy, the lone recipient of the Jesse M. Robredo Youth Award; Ma. Christine I. Bernarte, Dr. Christine Marie N. Chia, Lance Christopher P. Lelis and Shaira Gabrielle Guevarra, recipients of Mayoral recognition. (LSMacatangay/ PIA-Camarines Sur) 

Sorsogon’s MSMEs and weavers trained on Slippers Making

SORSOGON CITY, June 24 (PIA) – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Sorsogon has conducted a two-day skills training on abaca raw materials conversion into bedroom slippers, another product which will help augment the livelihood of the local folks living in abaca-rich producing communities of Sorsogon.

Abaca plant (scientific name: Musa textilis) is one of the most popular plants in the Philippines. Its by-products can be seen anywhere and is sold at many markets in the country like Sorsogon. Abaca is considered the strongest among natural fibers. Its strength, fitness, and versatility make it a preferred choice in making rope, bags, hats, slippers, and even clothes.

The training was conducted at Barangay San Pedro, Irosin, Sorsogon and attended by 20 Micro, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (MSMEs) and weavers coming from different barangays of Irosin and the neighboring towns of Bulusan.

Trade and Industry Development Specialist Glenda N. Goingo said abaca slippers are among the most promising products in the province.

“There is just a need for our local weavers to be trained in order to get the right technical know-how,” Goingo said. “What is good about venturing on abaca products is because aside from it is native to us here in Sorsogon, it is also environmentally friendly.”

She also said that they wanted to maximize the utilization of raw materials in the area especially abaca, and develop new and viable products so as to create more employment in the locality and at the same time increase the sales of the MSMEs and augment income of those involved in the trade.

“We also would like to intensify advocacy and promotion on utilizing native products in support to the environment preservation program of the government,” she said.

Abaca slippers are made from dried abaca plants and leaves. These slippers can be produced either robustly or lightly but comfortable to wear. Weavers' nifty fingers create a fine, tight weave, giving the slippers their durability.

Tapped as trainer was Ms. Nona F. Nicerio, Owner/Manager of the “The Rains Handicraft” of Camalig, Albay assisted by her two workers. Ms. Nicerio is the President of Camalig Slippers Association.

Said training was implemented by DTI Sorsogon Provincial Office in coordination with St. Ann’s Service Cooperative (SAFSCO) based in Irosin, a grassroot cooperative, whose members are mostly farmers and handicraft weavers. (MAL/BAR-PIA5/Sorsogon)

Bicolanos warned anew vs illegal recruiters

By Sally A. Atento

LEGAZPI CITY, June 24 (PIA) -- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) regional office here has warned anew Bicolanos, especially in rural communities, to beware of illegal recruiters operating in the region.

“We are advising not just the Bicolano people but the entire Philippine populace, to verify first with the POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) or DOLE about the status of the agency or the recruiters before applying or giving money,” said DOLE Bicol director Nathaniel V. Lacambra.

Lacambra said their department has been closely monitoring the activities of a group of illegal recruiters operating in the regions especially in rural communities together with the Regional Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee Sub-Committee on Anti-Illegal Recruitment (RLECC AIR SubCom)..

However they cannot yet divulge specific information since it can hamper with the ongoing investigation.

“Where they are and who they are, we cannot disclose it to the media. If we do it’s just like telling them that we’re coming,” Lacambra said.

Victims of said recruiters went to seek help from DOLE after giving money but were left waiting for months.

The recruitment method used, said DOLE Bicol assistant director Exequiel Ronie A. Guzman, was among the top 17-modus operandi of illegal recruiters.

Part of the measures done by the DOLE to address said concern is to advise barangay officials in this region to be wary of the presence of these recruiters in their barangays.

Should there be local or overseas recruitment in their areas, officials must ensure that they have the needed permits issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA).

“Local or overseas recruitment requires local special recruitment permit or special recruitment authority (SRA). It is best that barangay officials should look for these permits first before authorizing a recruitment authority in their area.” RD Lacambra said.

To further empower barangay officials in addressing such concern, the DOLE will also be conducting Barangay Empowerment Training (BeT), a series of training seminars slated on June 19 until August 19 this year.

The training, to be conducted together with the Bicol Information, Research and Development (BIRD) Center, will cover 3, 482 barangays in the entire region. (MAL/SAA/DOLE/PIA5/Albay) 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Albay’s "largest human no-smoking sign" participants surpass target

By Joseph John J. Perez

LEGAZPI CITY, June 21 (PIA) -- Organizers for Albay’s Guinness World Record (GWR) attempt for the largest human no smoking sign has set the deadline for registration by noontime today, June 21, as it has breached its target of 13,000 total number of participants.

“As of Wednesday, June 19, we already have more than 15,000 participants who officially signed up for the event,” Smoke-Free Albay Network (SFAN) chairman and provincial board member Herbert Borja announced in a meeting called by the group this week.

The original plan of accommodating walk-ins and late registrants need to be dropped due to administrative and technical concerns, Borja added.

Concerns on registration, security, safety, printing of official shirts and ground preparations need to be finalized days before the event are also considered that prompted the decision to set the deadline, SFAN told the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

“We are already 90 percent ready in terms of preparations and we are confident that the event will happen smoothly as planned,” Borja said.

Spectators are still welcome to witness the event despite the deadline though they cannot join the formation, SFAN said.

According to Borja, the 15,000 participants will make the image clearer and more distinct and the colors are more vivid for aerial documentation based on GWR’s guidelines. “We expect to produce an easily identifiable no-smoking sign on both short and far distances,” Borja said.

SFAN also disclosed that both national and international organizations have already taken notice on Albay’s unique strategy in pushing for its advocacy against smoking in a global platform.

“We are already receiving messages of support from national and international groups and individuals commending our efforts,” SFAN Secretariat head Rose Orbita said.

Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Francisco Tolentino, Health Justice, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids are among the early supporters for the activity, Orbita said.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Air Force Tactical Operations Group (PAF TOG 5) which heads the documentation committee called for a coordination meeting with the promotion and publicity committee headed by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Bicol together with SFAN and officers of media groups to finalize media accreditation procedures, requirements and guidelines for the coverage of the event.

The media community will participate in the event in two ways: first, conduct coverage or second, be part of the human no-smoking sign. As of this writing, a total of 50 local media signified to cover the event and 143 opted to be part of the human sign, PIA said.

“We anticipate however that national media outlets will send correspondents from outside ALbay during the event and we will accommodate them according to our guidelines,” PIA said.

A media area will also be designated for coverage since non-participants to the world record attempt will not be allowed to enter the perimeter fence enclosing the formation based on the GWR’s guidelines, PIA added.

SFAN also disclosed that the National Aeronautics and Scientific Administration (NASA) is considering to take a picture of the event from outer space.

“As early as today, I am already congratulating and thanking all the persons and organizations involved who are ensuring the success of the activity on the day itself,” Borja said.

The event is the highlight in the series of activities that the Provincial Government of Albay (PGA) and SFAN had prepared in celebration of the International No-Smoking Month this June, Albay Governor Jose “Joey” Salceda said.

“(This is) to give relevance and meaning to the implementation of the Albay Smoke-free Ordinance and to educate or to instill awareness on the ill-effects of smoking and its hazards to the environment,” Salceda said. (MAL/JJJP-PIA5Albay)

CSU, JMAMES studes bag 1st place in Prov'l Eagle Quiz

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, June 21 (PIA) -- A high school student of Catanduanes State University (CSU) and a pupil from Juan M. Alberto Memorial Elementary School (JMAMES) bagged the top place in their respective categories in the annual Provincial Eagle Quiz held, June 20, at Kemji Resort, Virac.

The Eagle Quiz is one of the activities led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the province as part of the celebration of the Environment Month this June.

Questions included topics related to the environment. Easy, Average and Difficult questions were given with corresponding points and a point system of correct minus wrong.

Out of 21 secondary schools in the province, Marko Rey S. Tapel, a fourth year student of CSU Laboratory Schools emerged the 1st place in the secondary level. He also took home P3,000, trophy and a certificate. He was coached by Mrs. Teresita S. Panti.

Tapel was tailed by Nonito John Tatel of Catanduanes National High School who landed 2nd place and Judy Ann Lumabi of Supang Datag National High School.

Meanwhile, Sacha Mae D. Abundo of JMAMES got the 1st place in the primary level where 30 primary schools provincewide participated. She was awarded a trophy, certificate and a cash prize of P3,000. Abundo was coached by Ms. Shianne Bisenio.

Marielle T. Tabo of Virac Pilot Elementary School bagged 2nd place for the elementary level followed by Lady Ericka Marintes of Buyo Integrated School.

Winners of the provincial level Eagle Quiz will represent Catanduanes in the Regional Eagle Quiz to be held at Gaisano Mall Legazpi on June 27. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes) 

Friday, June 21, 2013


The Housing  and Urban Development Coordinating Council, RDC-Regional Information Advocacy Committee and Bicol Communicators Network conducted a seminar on National drive against professional squatters and squatting syndicates last June 20, 2013 at Sarung Bangui Resort, Sto. Domingo, Albay.






Napolcom audits Masbate police

By Ernesto A. Delgado

 MASBATE CITY, June 20 (PIA) -- A team from the regional office of the National Police Commission (Napolcom) is conducting an operations audit of the Philippine National Police force in the Masbate province.

Senior Supt. Heriberto O. Olitoquit, police provincial director for Masbate, said the inspectors were led by lawyer Luis C. Adornado, the regional director of Napolcom .

Employing its administrative control and operational supervision over the PNP, the Napolcom performs an audit of the performance, activities and facilities of all police agencies throughout the country to come up with some basis to establish standards for such purposes.

Olitoquit said the month-long inspection which started Tuesday would cover the entire police units and personnel in Masbate, including the police stations in this city and 20 municipalities, the Police Provincial Office Public Safety Company and maneuver platoons in the province’s three districts.

Set to be assessed are their accomplishments and the implementation of various directives from their headquarters and Napolcom. On the spotlight is the police response to the high incidence of murder and rampant use of illegal methods in fishing.

The inspection includes the proper wearing of uniform, accounting of issued firearms and other government property, vehicles as well as equipment. (MAL/EAD/PIA5-Masbate) 

Camarines Sur Chamber launches first 'Tabang sa Negosyo Award' for LGUs

NAGA CITY, June 20 (PIA) -- The Camarines Sur Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CSCCI) recently launched the first "Tabang sa Negosyo Award" recognizing local government units (LGUs) in the province that promote models of good governance and business friendly programs.

CSCCI President Solomon Ngo said the award program initiated by the local chamber complements President Benigno Aquino III’s call for a strengthened Public-Private-Partnership (PPP).

CSCCI has partnered with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the implementation of the program, including provision of technical assistance for LGUs to come up with concrete programs that promote trade and investment opportunities in their respective localities and encourage fairness and competitiveness amongst the local market players, thereby improving the quality of life of their constituents.

Ngo said that the Chamber, as one of the voices of the country, continuous to introduce programs that encourage good governance and transparency among local government units.

“Tabang sa Negosyo" award program also encourages accountability, transparency and efficiency in the conduct of day-to-day operations, and promote competitiveness that will improve the quality of life of their constituents.

"We have also observed that stringent requirements for business registration and slow process for licensing, notably for small and medium enterprises (SMEs’) are the main factors that affects the growth enterprises and contribute to the cost of ventures in the municipalities of Camarines Sur,” Ngo said.

Aside from strengthening the ties among the local entrepreneurs in the province, the program is also in seamless harmony with the government‘s efforts to streamline their procedures in compliance with R.A. No. 9485, also known as the Anti- Red Tape Act.

The program with the theme “ano man na ikararahay kan tawo, ikararahay kan negosyo,” (whatever is good for man, is also good for the business), has two award categories: Level 1 for 1st to 3rd class municipalities and level II for 4th to 6th class municipalities in the province.

Special citations may also be provided to LGUs that have outstanding programs or initiatives in business.

Winners from both categories will receive P100,000.00 each plus plaques of appreciation.

Nomination is open to all local government units yet to be qualified, duly accomplished nomination form and the required attachments must be submitted on or before June 30, 2013 to the CSCCI secretariat.

Deadline for the submission of Bid Book/Write up is on July 5, 2013.

Any clarification/inquiry on the rules of the Award should be forwarded to the CSCCI secretariat, Camarines Sur Investment and Trade Center, Panganiban Drive, BMC Road, Naga City with email address camsurchamber_ph@yahoo.com and Telephone Number 473-3168. (MAL/LSM/PIA5-Camarines Sur)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

DepEd Bicol reminds public of smoking ban in all schools

By Joseph John J. Perez

LEGAZPI CITY, June 19 (PIA) -- The Department of Education (DepEd) Bicol) regional office here reminded the public that there is a total ban against smoking in schools.

Albay is attempting to make it to the largest human no-smoking sign category of the Guinness World Records (GWR) as part the province's observance of International No-Smoking Month this June.

The ban on smoking in school is implemented by virtue of Republic Act 9211 also known as the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003.

DepEd Bicol Administrative Office chief Jose Bonto said in an interview during “Aramon Ta Daw” radio program of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Bicol that the smoking ban in schools covers all persons including visitors.

“DepEd issued an order in support of R.A. 9211 prohibiting smoking in all its offices and school campuses,” Bonto said.

Bonto warned that stiff penalties are imposed on violators based on the order.

“We encourage the public to report to us the students and especially teachers, DepEd officials and personnel who are violating the order so that we can take proper actions,” Bonto said.

He revealed that a school principal in Albay was already sanctioned in violating the said order and law.

According to RA 9211, smoking is absolutely prohibited in centers of youth activity such as playschools, preparatory schools, elementary schools, high schools, colleges and universities, youth hostels and recreational facilities for persons under 18 years old.

“Schools and DepED offices have no smoking areas, smoking should be done outside the premises,” Bonto said.

The law also prohibits the sale or distribution of tobacco products within one hundred (100) meters from any point of the perimeter of a school, public playground or other facility frequented particularly by minors.

“We ask assistance from the police, LGU (local government unit) and other enforcement officers since they implement this rule that is outside of our jurisdiction,” Bonto told PIA.

The law was signed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to regulate the packaging, use, sale, distribution and advertisement of tobacco products. It provides penalties for violations which are the following: on the first offense, a fine of not less than P500 but not more than PhP1,000; on the second offense, a fine of not less than P1,000 but not more than P5,000; and on the third offense, in addition to a fine of not less than P5,000 but not more than P10,000, the business permits and licenses to operate shall be cancelled or revoked.

As part of DepEd Bicol’s advocacy against smoking, it committed its full support to Albay’s attempt for the world’s largest human no smoking sign which targets to gather 13,000 people in a formation inside the Bicol University’s football field on Friday, June 28 at seven in the morning.

Albay assistant schools division superintendent Bebiano Sentillas issued a memorandum to all division superintendents, supervisors, coordinators, school heads and teachers to send 3,250 DepEd personnel to take part of the historic event.

According to Smoke-Free Albay Network (SFAN), aside from DepEd Albay Division, another 6,876 participants will add up to the record led by Bicol University with 3,000 while DepEd Tabaco City will send 225, Computer Arts and Technological College with 209, Pag-asa Aational High School with 75 and Ponso National High School in Polangui with 17. Confirmation from other schools are still coming in, SFAN told PIA.

The event is the highlight in the series of activities that the Provincial Government of Albay (PGA) and SFAN had prepared in celebration of the International No-Smoking Month this June, Albay Governor Jose “Joey” Salceda said.
“(This is) to give relevance and meaning to the implementation of the Albay Smoke-free Ordinance and to educate or to instill awareness on the ill-effects of smoking and its hazards to the environment,” Salceda said.

Borja said that they welcome interested participants for the event. They can contact him at his office at telephone number (052)822-3175, or 0922-8398437 or at his email address hsborja8@yahoo.com. They can also coordinate through Governor Salceda’s office at telefax number (052) 481-2555 or 0908-8660824 or email address albaygovoffice@yahoo.com. Another option is through Add+vantage Community Team Services, Incorporated with telephone numbers (052)435-3003 or 0929-377-2442 or email them at smokefree.magayon@gmail.com or like them at www.facebook.com/SmokeFreeAlbay. (MAL/JJJP-PIA5/Albay)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Maternal, child mortality rate in Albay in a down trend


Maternal, child mortality rate in Albay in a down trend

LEGAZPI CITY, June 19 (PIA) – Maternal and child mortality rate in Albay has been decreasing in the past six years according to the statistics provided by the Provincial Health Office (PHO) here.

The statistics show that the number of maternal deaths in every 100,000 live births in the province has been on a downtrend from 2007 to 2012.

In 2007, 84 deaths were registered, 81 in 2008, 60 in 2009, 66 in 2010, 58 in 2011 and down to 20 in 2012.

Child mortality likewise posted a decreasing rate per 1,000 live births with 377 deaths in 2010 and 152 in 2011.

Children under five years old posted 13.09 percent and 14.24 percent decrease in the said periods.

In 2012, 373 deaths were recorded for children under this age bracket while infant and fetal deaths were posted at 262.

Furthermore, the provincial government of Albay headed by Governor Joey Salceda is confident that the province can achieve zero maternal deaths and 67% reduction in child mortality rate by 2015.

This can be done by providing Albayanos with 100% access to reproductive health (RH) services in 2015.

Among these RH services are skilled birth attendance and facility-based deliveries to be maximized at 80 percent in 2015.

Access to these services has been increasing from 2007 to 2011.

In 2007, skilled birth attendance in the province was only at 52 percent, 57 percent in 2008, 62 percent in 2009, and up by 72 percent in 2010 and 76 percent in 2011.

The same uptrend is posted for facility-based deliveries from 2007 to 2011 with 19, 24, 35, 57 and 70 percent increase respectively. (MAL/SAA/PIA5/Albay)

Bicolano solons seek reorganization of statistical system

By Joseph John J. Perez

LEGAZPI CITY, June 19 (PIA) -- Better access to more accurate and responsive data is at hand following the Senate's approval on third and final reading the proposed Philippine Statistical Act of 2012.

A Senate press statement said the proposed Philippine Statistical Act of 2012 consolidates House Bill No. 6229 with Senate Bill Nos. 103 and 347 that intend to reorganize the Philippine Statistical Sytem (PSS), by separating the data-gathering and -vetting function from the planning function, both of which are lodged in the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

HB 6229 is authored by Representatives Ramon H. Durano VI, Salvador Escudero III, Rufus Rodriguez, Maximo Rodriguez Jr., Neptali Gonzales II and Tomas Apacible, while Senate Bills 103 and 347 are authored by Sen. Francis Joseph “Chiz” Escudero and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, respectively, incidentally who both hail from the Bicol region.

"In this day of inter connectivity of markets, states, and its interests, there is a vital need to have useful information and statistics to be competitive in the global market,” Escudero stated.

"There is a need to develop an effective statistical system to provide such information to guide the leaders of this country in their decisions on what programs to promote and support that would be truly beneficial to our economy and the Filipino people," Escudero added.

Once enacted into law, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) will be created integrating under it the National Statistics Office (NSO), National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB), Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) and Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES)

PSA will be the government’s highest policy-making body for statistical concerns that will be mandated to conduct national censuses and surveys, sectoral statistics, consolidation of selected administrative recording systems and compilation of the national accounts, the press statement revealed.

The measure also proposes enforcement of sanctions to respondents who gave erroneous and lacking responses to statistical surveys and any person who violates its confidentiality due to carelessness, improper behavior, behavior with malicious intent, and use of confidential information for profit, the press release added.

The proposed measure also aims to repeal Executive Order No. 121 of January 1987, which reorganized the Philippine Statistical System (PSS), but failed to specify separation of the planning and implementation from the statistical, monitoring and evaluation functions of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

"The official statistical data from the PSS contribute to the formulation of policies and programs that address the social and economic development issues in the country,” Trillanes said.

There have been a number of concerns in the past years that directly affect the quality, reliability and timeliness of this statistical information, Trillanes added.

Trillanes furthered that the reorganization will centralize primary data collection, correcting unnecessary duplication of work by the different agencies concerned with statistics and problem of conflicting statistics and data gaps will also be addressed.

"The service of this reorganized system must be efficient and must be sustainable in the long run hence it must be constantly updated with advanced information technology, methods and techniques so as to continually enhance its contribution for the advancement of statistics," Escudero said.

"Achieving this goal would enable the government to have well-informed decisions for the present and equally important predictions of future of this country," he added.

Both Escudero and Trillanes were successful in their re-election bid under the administration’s Team Pnoy during this year’s mid-term elections. Escudero placed fourth while Trillanes landed on the ninth place. (MAL/JJJP/PIA5-Albay)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

2013 'Linggo ng Kalikasan' kicks-off

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, June 18 (PIA) -- The celebration of the Linggo ng Kalikasan (Environment Week) 2013 here started yesterday with a fun-run activity from Catanduanes State University to Provincial Capitol Dome.

The activity dubbed “Takbo para sa Kalikasan” started 5:30 a.m. It was participated by employees of the different national and local agencies in the province.


Aiming to promote social awareness to address solid waste management problems with emphasis on its environmental and economic dimensions, the week-long celebration will focus on the theme: “Basura: Pangasiwaan para sa Kalikasan at Kabuhayan” (Waste: Manage for Environment and Economy).

Meanwhile, a tree-planting activity was held this morning at Palnab, Virac as part of the Catanduanes Arbor Day which was led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

A Pauragan Competition among the employees of different government agencies will also be held today at Catanduanes State University. Questions will cover different topics concerning the environment.

Other activities scheduled for the celebration are: Collage Making, Logo Making Contest and Gabi ng Parangal.

The Linggo ng Kalikasan which is being celebrated for the third time this year began in 2011 pursuant to Provincial Ordinance 003-2010. (MAL/EAB/PIA5-Catanduanes)

DOH promotes Legazpi boulevard for 'Pilipinas Go4Health' program

LEGAZPI CITY, June 18 (PIA) -- Legazpi Boulevard has the perfect ambiance for physical fitness activities that the health department is promoting under its recently launched “Pilipinas Go4Health” movement.

The city government here has developed the Legazpi Boulevard, a 5-kilometer stretch of wide concrete road traversing the coastline of barangays Dapdap and Puro, two years ago and is now serving as a favorite place for walking, jogging and biking.

Mayor Geraldine Rosal said the area has opened more rooms for the city’s burgeoning metropolitan movements brought about by the unprecedented influx of investments.

Well-lighted at night, clean, easily accessible, secure and free of air pollution, “this boulevard is a good response to the call of Go4Health on Filipinos to indulge in four habits that affect one’s health, one of them physical activity,” she noted.

Legazpi City Boulevard at night
(Photo from http://wowlegazpi.com/legazpi-boulevard/)
Pilipinas Go4Health is a nationwide healthy lifestyle movement that aims to inform and encourage Filipinos from all walks of life to practice a healthy lifestyle by making a personal commitment to physical activity, proper nutrition and the prevention or cessation of smoking and alcohol consumption.

Through the movement, DOH and its partners work together to promote and establish a sustainable environment for healthy living.

The movement focuses four key areas: Go Sigla, which encourages physical activity; Go Sustansya for proper nutrition; Go Smoke-Free and Go Slow sa Tagay for the prevention or cessation of smoking and harmful use of alcohol, respectively.

This is part of the government's comprehensive projects for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that include heart diseases, cancers, respiratory diseases and diabetes that kill more than 36 million people in the world annually.

In Bicol region, 3,887 people died from heart disease, 2,357 from hypertension and 757 from diabetes in 2011, based on a study conducted by DOH.

Heart disease and hypertension, together with pneumonia, are listed as the top three killer diseases in the region.

These NCDs develop mainly because of lack of exercise, improper diet, and immoderate drinking and smoking.

Thus, Rosal enjoins Legazpe├▒os and visitors to make use of the Legazpi Boulevard in their physical exercises.

"While letting their eyes feast on its picturesque location back-dropped by the panoramic view of Mt. Mayon or cooling themselves on the fresh air blowing from Albay Gulf, everyone can freely do biking, jogging, running, walking or any other form of physical exercise at the boulevard," Rosal said.

According to the DOH, the human body is designed for motion and one of the keys to good health is regular exercise.

Rosal said the city government strictly implements an ordinance that bans smoking in public places, including government offices and their premises, parks, malls, public markets, restaurants and pub houses, hospital, church and school grounds and public conveyances.

The successful implementation of the ordinance four years ago has placed the city government in the hall of fame of the DOH’s Red Orchid Awards for winning in three consecutive years from 2010 to 2012.

Said award is annually given by DOH to local government units and other institutions that are successful in their campaigns to rid their respective communities of cigarette smoking.(MAL/Danny O. Calleja, LGU Legazpi City/PIA5)

SAR operations called off for 7 missing from Ro-Ro vessel that capsized off Masbate waters

By Marlon A. Loterte

LEGAZPI CITY, June 18 (PIA) -- Authorities have terminated their four-day search and rescue (SAR) operations of the seven remaining missing passengers of the MV Lady of Mount Carmel that sank early Friday morning off the waters of Aguja Point near Burias Island in Masbate.

Bicol regional director Bernardo Rafael Alejandro IV of the Office of Civil Defense said the command center has officially ended the search and rescue operations upon recommendation of the commanders of the Philippine Coast Guard, Navy and Air Force Tactical Operation Group (TOG) composite group that carried out the operations.

“The mission has been terminated on the ground that it had been carried out extensively for the past four days, surpassing the normal 48-hour SAR for missing victims," Alejandro said.

Besides, he added, extreme weather is expected for the next three days due to tropical depression “Emong,” that may endanger the lives of members of the units.

In an assessment conference here Monday morning, Commodore Aaron Reconquista, PCG commander in Bicol, said the teams did their best efforts since the first day of operation and so far these efforts have failed to find those missing.

Alejandro meanwhile said the teams decided to shift their operations from SAR to search and retrieval wherein local land, sea and air assets have been alerted at the community level to monitor if there are floating bodies or debris that have been sighted in the shorelines of coastal villages of Aroroy town.

When asked if there is any time frame for the search and retrieval operation, Reconquista said that as a normal practice, it will be an indefinite SAR operation as it all will depend on how the missing bodies, debris and pollutants will show up.

At the assessment meeting, Alejandro said at least five air assets (two islander planes and three helicopters) from TOG 5, Navy and PCG; four sea vessels from the Navy and PCG, and two motor bancas from local Bantay Dagat and BFAR were used during the three-day SAR operations.

He said the search teams have covered some 400 square kilometers of sea area in searching for the missing bodies while the air assets (planes and helicopters) also consumed 15 hours of flying time in the search.

Reconquista said the MV Lady of Mount Carmel was carrying a total of 70 passengers, 57 of whom were in the manifest while 13 were not listed.

Sixty one passengers survived, two elderly women died and seven remain missing when the 94-ton Ro-Ro passenger-cargo vessel sank on Friday morning some 11 nautical miles from the port of gold-rich Aroroy town in Masbate. (MAL/OCD5/PIA5)