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

Friday, August 30, 2013

Bicol preps up for Regional Tourism Summit next month


LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 30 (PIA) -- Home of the world's perfect coned Mayon Volcano in Albay, world's largest fish Butanding in Sorsogon, one of the country's popular devotion to Our Lady of Peñafrancia in Camarines Sur, with kilometric stretch of paradise-like beaches all over the region, sumptuous feasts of its native dishes and colorful festivals, the Department of Tourism (DOT) gears up for the regional tourism summit here on the last week of September this year.

"The Regional Tourism Summit 2013 intends to provide a venue for travel and tourism practitioners as partners to have a clear understanding of the Republic Act 9593 or the National Tourism Act 2009 and the 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) commitments of President Benigno Aquino III,” DOT Bicol Regional Director Maria Ravanilla told the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

In a project brief sent to PIA, DOT Bicol expects the summit help enhance the level of understanding and ability of local chief executives, legislative members, planning officers, tourism officers, committee on tourism, environment officers, permits and licensing officers and  tourism officers and cultural workers and practitioners of the local government units throughout the region in formulating their own local tourism development plans that could affect sustainable tourism development.

"Further, appropriate measures and actions that will facilitate the success of MDG by the year 2015 are expected to be prioritized by provincial stakeholders as a result of the regional summit," Ravanilla said.

Topics lined up for discussion in the summit include Tourism Act of 2009, National Tourism Development Plan focusing on tourism promotional services for international and domestic tourists, tourism development planning services, standards for tourism facilities and services, national tourism situationer, global trends in travel and tourism industry focusing on agri-tourism, sports adventure, food tourism, community-based tourism, Bicol tourism landscape, integrating national tourism development planning and decision making in the local level..

According to Ravanilla, Secretary Ramon Jimenez will be the summit’s keynote speaker together with other plenary speakers composed of Undersecretary for Tourism Services and Regional Operations Maria Victoria Jasmin, Assistant Secretary for Tourism Planning and Promotions Domingo Ramon Enerio III, Assistant Secretary Rolando Canizal, and Acting Undersecretary Daniel Corpuz.

Ravanilla said the summit will be a very good venue for planning and strategizing tourism development goals in the regional level. “It is composed of activities geared towards its vital purpose and strict adherence to our regional branding, cooperation and commitment as one region, one tourism destination experience,” Ravanilla said.

"There is a growing interest in sustainable tourism development among provinces, commercial operators, aid organizations and conservationists," she said.

Ravanilla said that the Regional Tourism Summit 2013 will bring together the country’s most respected minds in travel and tourism industry to discuss global travel trends.

“We expect 500 to 800 delegates from six provinces to come to Albay, attend in six plenary presentations from the country’s premier tourism experts and practitioners and to participate in forums and workshops on practical issues related to improving our tourism destination management,” Ravanilla said.

The activity is supported by the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Civil Service Commission, National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Public Works and Highways, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Trade and Industry, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Department of Science and Technology and the PIA. (JJJP-PIA5/Albay)
- See more at: http://r05.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=2591377764872#sthash.KxGfvQmZ.dpuf

Student leaders joined "Kaya Natin Youth Movement" launching in Daet


DAET, Camarines Norte, August 29 (PIA) --Student leaders from the tertiary schools in this town joined the launching of the “Kaya Natin Youth Movement” sponsored by the local government unit of Daet held Monday (August 26) at the Heritage Center here.

The activity was also highlighted with the photo-essay competition: A Tribute to Everyday Filipino Heroes with the theme “We need to make heroes of ourselves” in celebration of the National Heroes Day.

Mayor Tito Sarion, one of Kaya Natin Champions, said that the celebration of the National Heroes Day was significant because there are moves to remove the pork barrel or funds for the programs and projects which are being given and taking care of the elected officials of the government.

Sarion said that the presence of the student leaders in the launching made them aware on the advocacy of the "Kaya Natin Movement" for good governance and ethical leadership.

He said that good governance and ethical leadership is a continuing process wherein there are a lot of things that need to be changed to a person on whatever role or profession he or she  has in a society.

He is also thankful that he was chosen as one of the Kaya Natin Champions this year and this is a big challenge for him being the mayor of the town.

He also urged student councils to join the “Kaya Natin Youth Movement” to helped pushed good governance which can be started being the leaders of their schools.

Prof. Rex Bernardo, consultant of the local government unit of Daet on the other hand discussed the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and other forms of “pork barrel”. He was the one who lead the Photo-Essay Contest that made the competition a success.

Jonas Soltes, representative of Cong. Leni Robredo of the 3rd District of Camarines Sur on the other hand discussed the life of the late Jesse Robredo as  Mayor of Naga City, Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and one of the “Kaya Natin Movement” founders.

Also a video presentation of the “Kaya Natin Movement” was also made during the launching.

Among the group winners of the Photo-Essay Contest were: Mariel Batas, Sherry Mae Asia, Aina Rose Rodavia, Aillen Avilado and Manilyn Bino as first placer for the piece Marilou Iligan Lagdameo Park “Mothers Love”; Jessica Camus, Rosette Escolano, Ma. Victoria Obog and Lizel Calderon as second placer for Grace C. Parungao “Great Educator”; and Yla Jarapa, Michelle Ojo, John Arvin Almaida, Frances Marie Palean and Learenz Pango as third placer for Mrs Jocelyn L. Teodoro “Ang Turo ni Titser”.

The groups received P5,000, P3,000 and P2,000 respectively. All winners are students of Mabini Colleges in Daet.

The student participants together with Mayor Sarion and Prof. Bernardo also held their picture taking in support to the anti-pork barrel campaign infront of the First Monument of Jose Rizal held after the launching. (MAL/RBM-PIA5/Camarines Norte).

PhilHealth reaches above 100% health insurance coverage in Cam Norte


DAET, Camarines Norte, Aug. 30 (PIA) – The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) here announced that the province has already reached the above 100 percent health insurance coverage based on the number of population of the province of 566,708 this year, according to the provincial official of the agency during the "Talakayan sa PIA” of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) recently.

Social Insurance Office chief Ireneo A. Dacillo of PhilHelath in Camarines Norte said that total enrollment or members registered are 160,467, including 10,344 from government agencies; 22,074 in private companies; 26,196 regular individual paying members; 91,108 under sponsored program from National Household Targetting System (NHTS) and Non-NHTS; 6,500 overseas Filipino workers; and 4,245 under the lifetime membership program.

He said that there are 573,885 insured in the province from the principal members and projected number of dependents, including 36,101 from the government; 74,169 from private; 362,610 from sponsored program; 11,419 from lifetime membership program;  71,777 from regular individual paying program; and 17,810 from overseas Filipino workers.
Dacillo said that the high turn out of enlisting members to PhilHealth conformed with the promised of President Benigno Aquino III in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) to include more FIlipino benefit from the universal health care program oof the government.

He said that Philhealth already collected more than P41 million or 53 percent of the P78M targets for the period January to June this year.

He added that that the agency has recorded P127.9 million claims which is higher than the collection of P41M.

He said that there are already Rural Health Units (RHUs) in the eight municipalities which are accredited by PhilHealth for Maternal Care Providers (MCP), eight  for TB-DOTS and all the 12 towns for the Primary Care Benefits (PCB) 1 aside from the five accredited private MCP providers.

MCP program ensures that all births will be institution-based to prevent death among infant and mothers.

PhilHealth Camarines Norte admin officer Khristine Mae Oleguera said that the agency is now implementing case payment packages that will enable members to know outright how much benefit will PhilHealth provide for medical conditions and surgical procedures treated or performed at accredited facilities.

She explained that case payment will enable PhilHealth to reimburse accredited providers faster.

The case payment for medical cases are: dengue I and II, pneumonia I and II, essential hypertension, cerebral infarction, cerebro-vascular accident, acute gastroenteritis, asthma, typhoid fever, newborn care package in hospital and lying –in clinics.

For surgical cases include radiotherapy, hemodialysis, maternal care package, normal spontaneous delivery, caesarean section, appendectomy, cholecystectomy, dilatation and curettage, thyroidectomy, herniorrhapy, mastectomy, hysterectomy and cataract surgery.

She said that per case payment there were corresponding amount coverage and this packages has started last September 11, 2011.

Olegera also said that starting February this year, they also added case type C such as leukemia for children, P210,000; breast cancer and prostate cancers both P100,000; kidney transplant, P600,000; coronary artery by-pass graft, P550,000; tetralogy of fallot (TOF), P320,000; ventricular septal defect (VSD), P250,000 and cervical cancer, P120,000.

Social Insurance Office chief Eva Buan and P-AIMS Marissa Mago discussed membership, remittances, claims and other concerns of PhilHealth members.

The “Talakayan sa PIA” was facilitated by ICM Rose Manlangit and participated in by members of media from UNTV, Hello Bicol and Dateline Camarines Norte of STV6, Nation News, Bicolandia Updates, People’s Today News, Bicol Insights, Pilipino Star, DZMD, DWYD, DWSR and DWCN-Radyo ng Bayan and DWLB. (MAL/RBM-PIA5/Camarines Norte)

- See more at: http://r05.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=871377136534#sthash.AUEamvZD.dpuf

E-business offers profitable opportunities


LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 29 (PIA) -– In this New Wave City, creating start-ups in electronic business (e-business), which now offers bigger profitable opportunities for information technology (IT) communicators, is easy, industry leaders say.

Janette Toral, a multi-awarded e-commerce and e-learning specialist, said many Legazpeños have been into online business and freelancing but they are less aware of the bigger opportunity in e-business.

They are encouraged to take advantage of the standing of Legazpi as among the 10 New Wave Cities of the country.

It scored high in the cost of doing business and availability of needed physical IT infrastructures to support the outsourcing industry, Toral said.

She explained that e-business, derived from such terms as "e-mail" and "e-commerce," is the conduct of business on the Internet --not only buying and selling but also servicing customers and collaborating with business partners.

Toral said major corporations today are using the web to buy parts and supplies from other companies to collaborate on sales promotions and to do joint research, among others.

With many companies exploiting the convenience, availability and world-wide reach of the internet, they have already discovered how to use it successfully, she noted.

Karlo Alamares, president of Equinox Virtual Solutions, believes that Bicolanos can make a big difference in e-business.

He also enjoined participants of the recent information and communications technology (ICT) innovation forum to submit their start-up initiatives at his office in Daraga that will find all means for their funding.

For his part, Ronald Cirujano, country manager of Elance Philippines, also underscored the home-based opportunities for ICT talents.

“Philippines remains one of the biggest markets for freelancers, with businesses all over the world now hiring talented Filipino freelancers. Bicolanos should take advantage of this,” he said.

Businesses based in the United States, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and other European countries top the list of countries that trust the skills of Philippine freelancers.

Most of these hired freelancers are found to render services in administrative support, design and multimedia categories, Cirujano added.  (MAL/DOC-LGU Legazpi City/PIA5)

LGUs encourage CSOs, NGOs, POs to get accreditation

VIRAC, Catanduanes, August 30 (PIA) - The municipal government here and other local governments of the ten other municipalties of the province of Catanduanes are now accepting applicatons of civic society organizations (CSO), non-government orgnaizations (NGOs), and people's orgnaizations (POs) for accreditation.

The move, according to vice mayor Roy Laynes of this town, was in compliance of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular No. 2013-70 mandating “Accreditation of Civil Society Organizations and selection of Representatives to the Local Special Bodies”

The same circular provides that the accreditation of civic groups are significant for the development of the local government.

Laynes reiterated that organizations who will apply for new accreditation or for renewal must submit the following requirements, including a) letter of application; b) duly accomplished application form for accreditation; c) board resolution signifying intention for accreditation for the purpose of representation in th elocal special body; d) certificate of registration; e) list of current officers and members; f) annual accomplishment report for the immedite preceding year; g) financial statement, at the minimum, signed by the executive officers of the organization.

He said the local legislative council will also examine the standards fo accreditation puruant to Article 64 of the Implementing Rules and Regulation of the Local Government Code namely: a) registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); b) organizational purposes and objectives which include community organization and development, institution-building, local enterprise development, livelihood development, capacity-building, and similar developmental objectives and considerations;
c) community and sectoral-based with project development and implementation track record of at least one (1) year; d) reliability as evidenced by the preparation of annual reports and conduct of annual meetings duly certified by the board secretary of the organization; and e) such other related information which the concerned Sanggunian may deem essential in the evaluation process.

Mayor Flerida Alberto of this municipality meanwhile urged all interested organizations to apply for accreditation to continue their programs, projects, initiatives and advocacy. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

Catanduanes steps up promotion for preservation of natural ecosystem


VIRAC, Catanduanes, Aug. 30 (PIA) - To ensure the protection and preservation of the island’s natural resources, the provincial government of Catanduanes reorganized the Provincial Solid Waste Management Board (PSWMB).

Catanduanes governor Araceli Wong said that the reorganization is pursuant to Republic Act No. 9003 otherwise known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 Section 11 of DILG Memorandum Circular 2001-19 dated March 2, 2001.

PSWMB will now be composed by Wong as the chairman and the municipal mayors of the eleven (11) towns as members along with board member Nel B. Asanza, provincial helath officer Lubelia M. Sanchez,  Engr. Abelardo A. Abundo of the Provincial General Services Office, environment and natural resources officer Marlon D. Iñigo, and provincial engineer Felix U. Vargas, Jr.

PSWMB, according to Wong, will ensure the development of a Provincial Solid Waste Management plan from the submitted solid waste management plans of the respective municipal solid waste management board which shall reflect the general program of action and initiatives of the provincial government.

The board, she said, will also provide the necessary logistical and operational support to its component cities and municipalities in consonance with subsection (f) of Section 17 of the Local Government Code and recommend measures and safeguards against pollution and for the preservation of the natural ecosystem; and 4) recommend measures to generate resources, funding and implementation of projects and activities as specified in the duly approved solid waste management plan.

According to Wong, in order to integrate, synchronize, monitor and evaluate the development and implementation of the provincial solid waste management plan, PSWMB shall convene joint meetings of the provincial and municipal SWMB at least every quarter.

She added that SWM when properly studied, planned and implemented will help preserve the natural resources of the province which serves as the island’s pride. Gov. Wong also asked for the support of every Catandunganons to make the future undertakings of the PSWMB and MSWMBs successful.  

Executive Order No. 17 was signed by Wong on August 12, 2013 for immediate implementation. (MAl/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Camarines Sur hosts 1st Bikol GK Kapitbahayan Congress


PILI, Camarines Sur, August 29 (PIA) --- Gawad Kalinga (GK) beneficiaries from all over the region trooped Saturday, Aug. 17, at the Camarines Sur Convention Center here sharing their respective community’s best practices and showcasing convergence of cooperation, camaraderie and solidarity as a powerful tool to alleviate poverty.

Some 1,500 participants, representing the GK Area Coordination Team and Management Teams from South Luzon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, and Masbate, converged in the 1st Bikol GK Kapitbahayan Congress and shared their stories of hope, spirit of harmony and sharing.

Chief executives and representatives of towns with GK site also showed their support by personally gracing the said occasion.

Also highlighting the assembly was awarding of cash prizes to best GK communities who shared their best experiences and learning leading to an improved life and harmonious co-existence with their neighbors through their presentation or performance dubbed as GK Village People Competition.

Garnering the judges’ nod for the 1st place is GK Balatas in Camarines Sur, GK Bibirao in Camarines Norte as 2nd placer and GK Aroroy in the province of Masbate on the 3rd slot. They will receive a cash prize of P50,000.00, P30,000.00 and P20,000.00 respectively.

Bai Linda Eman, GK area coordinator for South Luzon, said that the cash prizes will not be taken home immediately as the winners still have to comply with their set requirements. Eman said that the winners cannot take home the cash prize until they have an approved project proposal from GK.

GK communities have to submit a livelihood or productivity project that is suited to the economic viability of their respective communities.  This should also significantly include the community members as recipients and beneficiaries of whatever project they intend to push for implementation.

GK’s mission is to restore the honor and dignity of the people, particularly of the poor by providing them with a safe and decent haven, in a community nurtured by the culture of sharing and giving. It endeavors to build communities and end poverty of the 5million families by 2024,  give land to the landless, provide home for the homeless and food for the hungry.

GK officially known as Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation is a Philippine-based poverty alleviation and nation-building movement that envisions to empower people with faith and patriotism and pictures a nation of caring and sharing communities. It was founded by Antonio Meloto or “Tito Tony” who believes that being heroes to one another through bayanihan will help us realize a slum-free, word class Philippines.  (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)
- See more at: http://r05.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=861376970575#sthash.KFxxSqK9.dpuf

Communication Seminar/Workshop

PIA OIC Regional Dir. Aida A. Naz welcomes all participants to the opening program of the one day  Communication  Seminar/Workshop of the Bureau of Fire Protection Information Officers held at The Regent Hotel, Naga City on August 28, 2013. She stressed the important of  role of  communication in the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016. (Alex Cal/PIA)

Gieza R. Esparraguerra, shared her topic about the economic growth in the Philippine Development  Plan 2011-2016.

 Ed Yu, discusses the media role in communication

PIA-Camarines Sur  Information Manager Ana-Liza S. Macatangay facilitate the one-day communication seminar/workshop of the Bureau of Fire Protection information officers held at the Regent Hotel, Naga City

Task Force Kalikasan seizes narra lumber

VIRAC, Catanduanes, August 28, (PIA) - Scoring its first accomplishment, the Task Force Clean and Green of the province of Catanduanes has seized 824 board feet of sawn narra lumber on August 19, 2013 in Caramoran town.

Vice governor Jose J. Teves Jr, task force's chair, said the apprehension of the illegal lumber was a result of a report from an informant who confirmed the presence of the narra lumber along the national highway of the municipality of Caramoran.

Upon confirmation of reports, joint operatives of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) LGU, Task Force Kalikasan, Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR-CENRO) and Philippine Army 83rd IB Alpha Company  proceeded to the area and discovered lumber off the embankment, stock-piled in a frosted area a few meters below the road while awaiting shipment via motorize banca allegedly to mainland Bicol or Quezon Province.

Confiscated lumber was brought to the provincial capitol for documentation and was eventually turned over to the CENRO.

According Teves, the task force will continue to monitor illegal logging activities especially in the northern part of the islands. He said that they will hunt those individuals behind the illegal activity.

Teves added that their campaign for environmental protection will continue to intensify to ensure the preservation of the island’s natural resources. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanudanes)

New SOPs set to improve power transmission service- NGCP

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 28 (PIA) -- The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has recently revised some of its technical standard operating procedures (SOPs) in a move to continuously improve its daily operations, especially those pertaining to the inspection of lines and substation equipment.

In an email to the regional news desk of Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Bicol, NGCP reported that while most of the SOPs inherited from the former grid operator National Transmission Corporation were already enhanced by NGCP concessionaire since it took over in 2009, the privately owned corporation is bent on finding more ways to better enhance the delivery of high-voltage electricity to its power customers.

“NGCP operates almost 20,000 circuit-kilometers of transmission lines and more than 27,000 megavolt amperes of substation capacity across the country. It’s a huge responsibility that NGCP takes very seriously,” said Venusto Hamoy, NGCP’s deputy assistant chief technical officer for Operations and Maintenance.

The revisions, according to Hamoy, cover the SOPs on inspection of critical substation equipment such as Power Transformer and Shunt Reactor. NGCP created a new inspection checklist to ensure that all parts of the substation equipment function at optimal conditions.
NGCP also improved its line patrolling and vegetation management on lands along the Right-of-Way.

Line patrolling, which includes activities like tower-to-tower inspection and aerial patrol, were made more stringent to thoroughly assess the status of transmission lines.

 For aerial line inspection, NGCP procured gimbal cameras to be installed on helicopters. The cameras are expected to arrive before the end of the year.

“We are working on the more detailed reporting of transmission line and substation inspections as a proactive measure to avoid line trippings that may disrupt services to our customers,” Hamoy added.

Aside from the new procedures, NGCP also conducted a series of training seminars for its engineers.

Before the first half of 2013 ended, all substation engineers were  given a refresher on substation operations and protocols while a more advanced substation course is scheduled to be rolled out by the 3rd quarter of this year.

NGCP also purchased more than a hundred line trucks and new personal protective equipment for its line personnel to be distributed to all its field offices.

“All these changes and purchases are expected to uplift the level of our day-to-day operations and to develop the skills of our personnel. We acknowledge that these seemingly small changes have a big impact on power delivery to the whole country,” explained Hamoy. (MAL/NGCP/PIA5)

CSU Statesman conducts basic training workshop for campus journalists


VIRAC, Catanduanes, August 29 (PIA) – Around 53 campus journalists and advisers attended the basic training workshop for student journalists that will equip them the knowledge and skills in various facets of journalism and communications practice and establish efficient groundwork in publication management.

The gathering of student journalists on Tuesday, Aug. 27, was organized by the CSU Statesman and CSU Public Relations and Information Services

CSU Statesman, the official tertiary school publication of CSU is an award-winning publication bagging awards in Regional and National Journalism confab.

According to its CSU Statesman technical adviser, Mr. Gerry S. Rubio, the activity is a small step towards bigger goals, like institutionalizing training as a component of the publication operations. He also said that it was part of the publication’s post 20th Year celebration.

Participants were students from the school publications of the different colleges in the University, Catanduanes Colleges and some secondary schools in Virac.

Topics discussed include News Writing, Sports Writing, Editorial Writing, Literary Writing, Photography, Feature Writing, Editorial Cartooning, Opinion Writing and Financial Management in Student Publication Setting.

Speakers came from the local media and former senior editors who were tapped to speak in their field of specialization.

According to the participants, aside from the additional knowledge that they gained from the training on the different fields of journalism, the information provided by the lecturers will be a great help to the improvement of their respective publications. (MAL/EAB-5/PIA Catanduanes)
- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=841377742563#sthash.Z24426wZ.dpuf

Albay Dev't. Council approves P5.3 B provincial investment program for 2014

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 29 (PIA) – The Albay Provincial Development Council (PDC) has approved on Wednesday, Aug. 28, the 2014 Annual Investment Program (AIP) of the province with a budget of P5.3 billion.

Albay PDC is headed by Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda and composed of chiefs of offices of the provincial government, city and municipal mayors, and representatives from civil society organizations in the province.

Breakdown of the budget showed that capital outlay eats up the bulk of the AIP allocation amounting to P4.3 billion, while  maintenance and other operating expenses and personal services have P830 millionand P230 million, respectively.

Out of the 19 provincial line offices, the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) has an allocation of P3.6 billion, with P3.5 billion going to capital outlay.

The Governor’s office gets the second highest budget at P614 million, followed by the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Office (APSEMO) with P497 million.

Albay Millennium Development Goals Office (AMDGO) has P140 million while the Provincial General Services Office (PGSO) is allotted P100 million.

Salceda said the P5.3 billion AIP budget will be utilized to achieve what we aspire for the province to “become the most liveable province in the Philippines known for good and quality education, healthcare and an environment for people to be healthy, happy, and employed.“

Salceda said the AIP will help Albay under his administration pursue the short term goal of achieving the millennium development goals (MDGs) by 2015, a medium term goal of becoming a bastion of education and  tourism hub,  and become a California in 30 years, which at present is on our way,”

The governor has also laid down the strategies and priorities for the last three years of his administration focusing more on aggressive programs on education and health and which will push the province towards shared socioeconomic advancement as well as on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation (DRR-CCA)

Education, according to him, remains the heart and soul of the province as it is the principal weapon in the fight against poverty, against climate change and for equality, adding that part of this program is the strategic partnership with the Bicol University (BU) to operationalize the BU Medical School constructed through a P50 million grant from the Office of the President.

Under health programs, the universal Philhealth coverage has been the pillar of provincial health strategies as more Albayanos benefitted from health programs and services despite the massive increase in premium rates.

Also under these programs are updating of rural health units (RHUs) in Polangui, Guinobatan and Bacacay to primary care facilities and modernization of Pioduran hospital to full secondary so it could further serve the health markets of Donsol, Claveria and Albay West Coast.

Albay also targets the opening of a cancer diagnostic and treatment center in the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital and the Albay West Coast, and the completion of the Polangui Water System with a total cost of P124 million.

The province, Salceda said, will further increase the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program which stood at 64,000 families as of March this year.

It will further enhance its fight against climate change and for the disaster risk reduction through flood control and mitigation projects and updating of barangay risk maps and contingency plans.

“We shall continue to provide training to other local government units and those coming from other countries,” Salceda said.

Through intensified programs on DRR-CCA such as the construction of the Climate Change Academy, the province is now a major national and global player in mainstreaming such programs serving eight countries and six regions and training 24 provinces, 27 cities and 189 towns.

 “We have chosen tourism, agriculture and small and medium enterprises as our principal industries to grow and create jobs, increase incomes and build competitive enterprises,” Salceda said.

In tourism, the project aims to achieve 1 million foreign tourist arrivals by 2017 through the Albay, Masbate and Sorsogon Tourism Alliance (Almasorta) stressing the bids of the province to host ten ministerial summits for the APEC Summit in 2014/2015, 48 countries for the Green Climate Fund, Ironman 2015 and Palarong Pambansa 2016.

Completion of the Southern Luzon International Airport, Guicadale Economic Township, Oas-Cagmanaba Road, Albay West Coast road, Daraga-Oas-San Fernando road and Albay-Donsol roads are also among the priority infrastructure projects of Salceda.

 “The Southern Luzon International Airport remains the center piece of ongoing development of the Aquino administration for the Bicol region,” the governor said, adding the province is providing the support facilities for the project. (MAL-PIA5/Albay)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

CACGO, CCHRMP to spearhead 113th Civil Service anniversary celebration


VIRAC, Catanduanes, August 28 (PIA) - "Tatak Lingkod Bayani Isabuhay, Ipagmalaki at Ipagbunyi" has been aptly chosen as this year's theme for the 113th Philippine Civil Service Anniversary to promote heroism in public service and encourages government workers to continuously move on, cross the barrier from being a contented ordinary worker to a higher realm deserving the title of “lingkod bayani.”

Enida B. Abordo, acting chief of the CIvil Service Commission (CSC) Catanduanes field office, said the maxim also aims to highlight the contribution of public servants as backbone of government.

The Catanduanes Association of Chiefs of Government Offices (CACGO) and the Catanduanes Council of Human Resource Management Practitioners (CCHRMO) will lead the province’s commemoration of anniversary next month.

CACGO and CCHRMO, in coordination with the CSC Catanduanes field office and provincial government have lined up various activities for the celebration.

On September 2, 2013, the festivity will kick-off with a Eucharistic celebration at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral to be followed by a Parade from Plaza Rizal to the Provincial Capitol Grounds to be participated by the various Local Government Units, National Offices, Government Owned and Controlled Corporations and different schools in the province.

Participating offices/agencies are encouraged to bring their office banners and they are also enjoined to hang PCSA streamer in front of their buildings or offices for the duration of the celebration.

An opening program will then follow which will feature raising of the Philippine Flag and Banner Raising of the participating offices/ agencies.

A massage therapy demo/ services will took place at the Provincial Capitol Lobby at 1:00 P.M. to be led by TESDA trained “masahista”.

On September 6, a “Hataw” or fitness activity will be spearheaded by the Provincial Health Office headed by Dr. Lubelia Sanchez to promote physical fitness awareness among employees.

An information caravan will also be conducted on September 17 at the Municipality of San Miguel to be led by CACGO. The activity is a package of information dissemination/ feedback gathering and related services such as lecture and demo, legal assistance, etc.

As part of the government’s commitment in protecting the environment, a coastal cleanup and tree planting activity will be headed by DENR-PENRO/CENRO.

Each office will be assigned a lot which they will adopt as its project area. This will be coordinated with respective Barangay as a joint undertaking. The office and the Barangay shall device a scheme together to see to it that the tree-seedlings are well taken cared until the next visit in 2014 and onwards.

On September 25, a seminar for Public Information Officers will be conducted to be spearheaded by the Philippine Information Agency in coordination with Radyo ng Bayan, local media, CSC, CACGO, CCHRMP and the Provincial Government.

The activity will cover both print and broadcast which will provide opportunity for every PIO to enhance his/her knowledge and skills in the dynamics of writing and broadcasting.

The month-long celebration will be culminated by a night of songs and dances for all government employees at Plaza Rizal on September 27. This is giving way for every worker to relax which shall also feature awarding of certificates to CACGO/CCHRMP retirees and transferees.

According to Socorro T. Bazar, CCHRMP president, the activities line-up for the celebration are slated for all employees of the government. She said that these activities can be considered as rewards for every public servant. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

First international research conference on K to 12 held in Bicol


LEGAZPI CITY, August 28 (PIA) -- Educators and researchers on the K to 12 curriculum worldwide converged for the first time in the Philippines as the Bicol Region hosted the event for a three-day conference in Albay province on August 20 to 22 at Oriental Hotel in Legazpi City.

“The international convergence on K to 12 education was open to all research practitioners and enthusiasts who have best practices, challenges and milestones in the K to 12 education all over the world,” Department of Education (DepEd) Regional Information Officer Roy Bañas said in an interview during the Aramon Ta Daw (Let Us Know) radio program of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Bicol.

With the theme “Charting Innovations in the K to 12 Curriculum for the 21st Century Learning: A Global Perspective,” The First International Research Conference on K to 12 Education featured Dr. Tony Bush of the University of Warwick of London in United Kingdom as the plenary speaker. Mr. Firth McEachern of Canada, a mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE) implementation volunteer and co-facilitator for Ilokano early grade reading assessment under the AUSAID PhilEd Data project also joined Bush in the plenary sessions.

Other plenary speakers were Dr. Felicitas Pado and Professor Ma. Hazelle Preclaro-Ontengco both from the College of Education of the University of the Philippines, Ms. Laine Velasco, AusAid Support to DepEd Chief and technical adviser, and Dr. Soledad Ulep, director of UP- NISMED.

Earlier, Deped Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro issued a memorandum calling for submission of abstracts of research projects in the regions to be presented during the conference. “The conference provided a continuing forum for the Philippine educational research practitioners in sharing practices on K to 12 implementation with national and international audience,” Luistro said.

The conference also showcased the educational research initiatives across curricula, ancillary and support services in DepEd and update participants on emerging trends on research technique and methodologies to enhance the skills of researchers in and across countries, Luistro added.

The conference covered various topics on K to 12 implementation on kindergarten, early childhood care and education, pedagogy, strategies, students’ and teachers’ behavior ,professional learning community access, quality and relevance, partnership, linkages, community involvement, environmental and ecological awareness, disaster risk reduction and management, climate change adaptation/education in emergencies, information and communication technology and computer-based education reading, MTB-MLE and communication arts, school leadership and management, special education and indigenous people education.

The event was supported by the National Educators Academy of the Philippines (NEAP) in cooperation with the Association of DepEd Educators (ADD), Bicol Association of Schools Superintendents (BASS) and DepEd CALABARZON, Bañas added. (MAL/JJJP--PIA5/Albay)

From scam to model farm : The Garchitorena redemption

LEGAZPI CITY, August 28 (PIA) – Garchitorena town in Camarines Sur became a buzz word in the late 1980s due to a controversial land deal involving the Garchitorena estate under the voluntary offer to sell (VOS) scheme during the infancy stage of the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

Today, Garchitorena is vindicating its tainted identity with the convergence of government agencies which are pouring resources to the once considered unproductive land.

“The 130-kilometer road from Naga City to Garchitorena was a tortuous and dusty five-hour ride then during summer, and slippery muddy road during rainy season, or through turbulent seas,” Municipal Agrarian Reform Office (MARO) chief Elmer Paris said.

Paris was one of the witnesses during the investigation process on the controversy in 1989 and now a retiring MARO in Goa town.

Absence of modern farming technologies, poor irrigation, and insurgency problem further complicated the dismal plight of the residents. Personnel of various government agencies who attempted to implement interventions were harassed by rebels. “Luckily, DAR was the only agency allowed access then,” Paris recalled.

Breakthrough finally came after 23 years with the recent approval of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the subdivision survey on lands under agrarian reform coverage. The long awaited and much needed support services intervention from DAR and other government agencies are now being geared for implementation.

To date, a total of P208,3481M from DAR-Agrarian Reform Communities Project Phase 2 (ARCP2), Department of Agriculture for production support and infrastructure projects, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)  has been committed, in response to the Indicative Development Plan of Garchitorena.

“We are overwhelmed with the community’s enthusiasm and hunger for interventions,” Provincial Agrarian Reform Program officer (PARPO) II Ramon Fuentebella said during a recent ground breaking ceremony for the rehabilitation of Poblacion-Ason farm-to-market-road (FMR) under the ARCP 2 funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) worth P14.6M.

"It is worthy to note, too, that other sub-projects under ARCP 2  totaling Php 47,992,585.84 million  have either been completed or underway,"said DAR Bicol regional director Maria Celestina Manlañgit-TamDAR Bicol.

“Our convergence program is focused on the agrarian reform areas in Barangays Pambuhan and Canlong in Garchitorena for maximum and integrated intervention,” she added .

According to PARPO I Maria Gracia Sales, the Pambuhan Canlong Farmers Organization (PACAFO) was formed and registered with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) last year with 106 initial members.

“The presence of an agrarian reform beneficiaries organization (ARBO) is required for the implementation of support services. At present, PACAFO already benefitted from at least three capacity development (CAPDEV) interventions of DAR," Sales added.

At present, the highlight of the convergence program in Garchitorena area is the Coconut Seedlings Dispersal Project (CSDP) which is the country’s pioneering collaborative effort of DAR and PCA in Bicol.
Earlier this year, Tam and PCA Administrator Euclides Forbers signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to accelerate coconut planting and re-planting in the entire Bicol Region.

“A one-hectare coco seedling nursery was established in Pambuhan which targets to produce 75,000 seedlings for the 500-hectare portion of the former Garchitorena Estate to be distributed to almost 800 farmers,” Tam said.

“We were so impressed with the high turnout of ARBs numbering more than 300 during the orientation for the project, an indication of their enthusiasm for development intervention,” Fuentebella enthused. "The first three years of the project implementation needs close supervision to ensure high survival rate of seed nuts," Fuentebella added.

Early this year, 45,000 seed nuts were already delivered to PACAFO which will be nurtured for six months in the one-hectare facility that will be eventually distributed to the initial batch of about 345 beneficiaries. In the entire duration, PACAFO will provide the labor requirements for sorting of seed nuts, fencing, installation of water pumps, and watering of coco seedlings.

Meanwhile, DAR provided the water management equipment, paraphernalia, and fencing materials. Further, DAR hired caretakers for the six-month duration to help maintain the project site and most specifically to ensure the safety of the nursery equipment and seedlings considering the distance of the farmers’ home lots from the nursery site.

Under the project, each beneficiary is required to pay back after 7 years approximately half the number of seedlings availed which will in turn be distributed to other farmer-beneficiaries in a roll-over scheme. “This scheme instills upon the members of the organization their social responsibility toward fellow farmers to ensure project sustainability.” Sales said.

“The coco project is just the first among the many interventions being prepared for Garchitorena,” Tam said. Early this month, DAR, DA headed by Regional Director Abelardo Bragas, PCA Officer-in-Charge Eduardo Allorde, and the BFAR had an exploratory conference to enhance the convergence for interventions in Garchitorena.

Also, DAR Camarines Sur Provincial Information Officer Gerry Buensalida notes the tourism potential of Kinahulugan Falls in Barangay Ason and the nearby Baticarao Island with its white sand beach.

“Garchitorena has so many things to offer that needs to be developed,” Buensalida said.

“I believe, Garchitorena’s moment and time to shine is finally here, like a phoenix rising from the ashes,” Tam said. (MAL/JJJP-PIA5/Albay)

Arrest drug dealer, recovery of P405 T worth of shabu boost PDEA's anti drug campaign in Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 28 (PIA) – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) regional office here arrested one female suspect and P405,000 worth of  methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu” yesterday, August 27 in Barangay 23, this city boosting the agency’s relentless anti-narcotic campaign in the region.

In a press statement, PDEA Bicol regional director Archie A Grande said the agency will continue to step up campaign to prevent the proliferation of illegal drugs and traders  to the extent of ensuring local communities drug-free.

PDEA Bicol operatives identified the suspect as Jamilah Lindas y Ampuan, also known as JM, female, 27 years old resident of B-25, Lot 1Sultan Esmael, Dasmarinas Cavite.

The suspect is believed to be is connected with the group of personalities sourcing illegal drugs from Cavite area and supplying the provinces of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur and Albay.

Grande narrated that after several weeks of surveillance and case build-up, the agency’s Regional Special Enforcement Team carried out the buy-bust operation at 2:00 in the afternoon in the room 203 of the Sampaguita Tourist Inn here.

RSET operatives confiscated one (1) piece of big heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance suspected to be “shabu” weighing more or less 75 grams with an estimated value of Php 405,000.00, one (1) off-white teddy bear used to hide the drug evidence, four (4) bundles of boodle money, four (4) pieces Php500 bills and one (1) unit Nokia cellular phone.

The suspect is currently placed under the custody of PDEA Bicol jail facility while a case for violation of Section 5 (Sale) of Article II of RA 9165 otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 has been readied for filing in court.  (MAL-PIA5/Albay/PDEA)

September 2 declared Ola Day, non-working holiday in Albay

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug 28 (PIA) - Malacanang has declared Monday next week, September 2, as special non-working holiday in the province of Albay to mark the 148th birth anniversary of its late local hero, General Simeon Ola.

Ola is an Albayano hero of the Philippine Revolution and the last revolutionary general to surrender to American forces during the Philippine-American War.

Malacanang issued the declaration through Proclamation No. 635 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. August 22 to give the people of Albay the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.

Ola was born September 2, 1865 to ordinary citizens Vicente Ola and Apolonia Arboleda.

In 1896, he stopped his studies at the University of Nueva Caceres in Naga City and joined the local branch of the Katipunan in his hometown, the province of Albay.

Ola was promoted to the rank of captain after the battle of Camalig in Albay in 1898 and again promoted to the rank of major after a daring ambush mission that led to the capture of three Americans.

He was also the leader of the subsequent valiant attacks on Albay towns namely, Oas, Ligao and Jovellar. He later surrendered to Americans on the condition that his men would be granted amnesty.

Ola was put on trial and was proven guilty of sedition and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. In 1904, he was given a pardon and returned to his place of birth.

In 1910, he entered politics and won a town mayor of Guinobatan, which he served until 1913. He was again elected as mayor in 1916 and served the term until 1919.

The regional police command in Legazpi City was named after him.

Ola died on February 14, 1952 and was interred at the Roman Catholic Cemetery of Guinobatan. (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Rapu-rapu mining firm's scholars among board topnotchers in licensure exams


LEGAZPI CITY, August 27 (PIA) -- Dailyn Asuncion Nivero notched the 8th place with her 84.9 rating on the top ten list during the August 2013 Mining Engineering Licensure Examination conducted by the Professional Regulation Commission Board of Mining Engineers.

Nivero was then against mining operations in the their community, Barangay Pagcolbon,a village among the three direct impact areas along with Barangays Malobago and Binosawan of the Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic Project (RRPP) that suffered controversies in the year 2006.

Nivero, however, has since been a RRPP scholar under its Mining, Technology and Geosciences Development Program (MTGDP) before she passed the board examination and even making it to the top ten passers.

Closely ranking next to Dailyn is another RRPP scholar, Sarah Mae Bañares Ajon from Sto. Domingo, Albay who placed 9th with 84.8 rating.

There are 10 other RRPP scholars among the 28 pioneering board passers out of 30 takers from the Bicol University College of Engineering (BUCENG) gaining a 93.1% passing rate.

“I even thought that I will not pass the exam after I took it,” Nivero told the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), adding that "fortunately most of the items in the exam were discussed during the review enhancement program which the RRPP paid for its scholars, Nivero said. “I just prayed that I pass the board without any idea that I will be among its topnotchers,” Nivero added.

Other 10 RRPP scholars who passed the mining board exams are Ryan Abejuela from Legazpi City, Julie Faith Aboabo from Masbate, Ryan Bado from Legazpi City, Julius Bañez from Bacacay, Albay, John Vic Grageda from Camalig, Albay, Geraldine Hufana from Tabaco City, Ivan Macandog from Legazpi City, Ghozel Marillano from Daraga, Albay, Ronaldo Niña from Legazpi City and Beann Natural from Masbate.

Successful passers from BUCENG also included Mark Joseph Astonal, Medelyn Aligan, Monica Mae Abengoza, Noah Balonzo, Krisna Lynn Bolaños, Aaron Camano, Samira Darish, Trizzia Generoso, Norberto Manlapas, Jr., Christina Matociños, Joven Pelaez, Roselie Pelaez, Alemar Velasco, Renier Villar, Irvin John Yuson and Bernadette Vallejo.

“We acknowledge the efforts done by the Bicol University and its top management in helping us craft our scholarship program including its implementation,” RRPP Community Relations Manager Lanie Lanuzo told the PIA. Together with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), BU and RRPP formed a committee in choosing deserving scholars. “We would like to ensure that the scholar will not only finish the course but pass the board,” Lanuzo said.

According to Lanuzo, their company have 90 scholars, 30 of which already graduated from geology course in Partido State University in Goa, Camarines Sur, mining and environmental engineering courses in BU. “A trust fund was already put up for the remaining 60 scholars to ensure that they will graduate up to academic year 2016-2017,” Lanuzo added. The RRPP mining operations will be until the last quarter this year.

“Our scholarship program comprises 10% of the 1.5% total operating cost where the Social Development Management Program (SDMP) is derived based on the Philippine Mining Act,” Lanuzo said.

Nivero and other RRPP scholars received monthly allowances which also cover expenses on books and uniform on top of the tuition and miscellaneous fees which are totally paid for by the company.

“Mining was not my first course, I studied education at Rapu-Rapu Community College but thought of quitting school because I lose the drive to study,” Nivero said. A former company officer knew of her situation and relayed to the Community Relations Manager then of her plight. The company management appealed to BU officials to accommodate Nivero even the semester started already and the scholarship program is still being finalized.

“I am hoping that the MGB in Legazpi City will accept my application,” Nivero said. The RRPP scholarship program requires its graduates and board passers to render at least two years service in the government. “We support the government’s program that intellectuals must help our government,” Lanuzo told PIA.

“Mining is necessary for economic development and growth provided it is done responsibly in compliance with laws,” Nivero told PIA. “I thank God, my family and all those who helped me succeed.”

Lanuzo also thanked BU, MGB, the present and past officials of RRPP for the success of its scholarship program. “As an African proverb says – It takes a village to raise a child,” Lanuzo told PIA. (MAL/JJJP-PIA5/Albay)

Sorsogon City to hold 2nd Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk


SORSOGON CITY, August 27 (PIA) - Sorsogon province is expected to gain anew international exposure in a worldwide photowalk both by professional and photography enthusiasts from Bicol and Sorsogon in a half day event to capture the culture and beauty of the province through the lens.

According to local multimedia artist/photographer Geri Matthew Despi Carretero, art director of Kurit-Lagting, on October 5, 2013 (Saturday), the whole world will be walking again with Scott Kelby, president of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) and the number one bestselling technology and photography book author, in his Sixth Annual Worldwide Photo Walk— the world’s largest global social photography event in the history of photography.

Interested participants may contact Cerretero through cellphone number: 09158779491 or email at www.gmcarretero.weebly.com. It has only 50 slots available on a first come-first served basis.

Kurit-Lagting Art Group is the lead convenor of this worldwide event in Sorsogon City. Kurit Lagting is the newest accredited member organization of the Sorsogon Arts Council under the Visual Arts discipline.

The said Photowalk will start at 2:30 p.m. at the Sorsogon City Public Market and will walk towards three barangays of Sorsogon City, the Barangays of Sirangan, Talisay and Bitan-o.

Carretero was also the leader of the walk last year in line with the celebration of Kasanggayahan Festival 2012.

To sign-up pls visit: http://worldwidephotowalk.com/walk/sorsogon-city-bicol-philippines-sorsogon-public-market/ where you can join to participate in the Photo Walk which is free and open to anyone who owns a camera – even disposable cameras.

More Photo Walk details are available at: http://worldwidephotowalk.com/ or visit the Scott Kelby Photo Walk G+ page. (MAL/BAR-PIA5/Sorsogon)

Archdiocese of Caceres spearheads march against Pork Barrel

NAGA CITY, Aug. 27 (PIA) --- Some 2,000 protesters marched off the streets of this city Monday, August 26. calling for the total abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel and urging the government to be vigilant in spending the people’s hard earned money.

Caceres Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona led the protesters in a peaceful protest dubbed “Prayer Rally for the Restoration of Integrity” as the church calls for a unified stance to condemn the use of the tax payer’s money under the pork barrel scheme.

In a pastoral letter read in various churches in the Archdiocese Sunday, Tirona called on the public to demand for speedy and fair investigation of those people behind the scam and make them accountable for using the government fund in their own personal use.

 “The lawful conviction of those guilty will signal the commitment of our government to truth and justice,” Tirona said to the church’s faithfuls.

Members of various non-government organizations, civil society organizations, private offices and concerned individuals composed of nuns, priests, students and teachers,   heeded the call of the Archbishop by joning the march rally undeterred by rains towards Plaza Quezon.

In a fused sentiment, the Coalition for Bicol Development, CamSur Net, COPE Foundation, Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), Scrap the Pork Movement, Robredo Movement and other groups expressed their gripe carrying placards calling for the abolition of PDAF.

During the prayer vigil, the CBCP Statement and the Pastoral Letter were read by heads of various organizations and later explained by Archbishop Tirona. Candles were lighted and after the final prayer and blessing of the Archbishop, “Bayan Ko” was sang by the participants. The protesters ended the activity by singing “Resuene Vibrante” hymn as Ina’s image exited the prayer site.

The "Himno a la Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia" or "Resuene Vibrante" as Bicolanos call it is the official hymn of the devotees to our Lady of Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia.

In the morning, members of the militant groups also gathered in a protest rally at the Plaza Rizal denouncing the use of the pork barrel.  The informal gathering dubbed as “Scrap the Pork Barrel” movement was participated by people from all walks of life who signified their presence by signing on the commitment wall and counting their names on the signature campaign to totally scrap the pork barrel in the country.

Meanwhile, the Palace also reiterated that the administration is on the people’s side on scrapping the pork barrel after President Benigno Aquino III unceremoniously abolished the PDAF, Friday.

“Despite the reforms we have implemented, we have seen, as the events of the past weeks have shown, that greater change is necessary to fight against those who are determined to abuse the system. It is time to abolish PDAF. Now, we will create a new mechanism to address the needs of your constituents and sectors, in a manner that is transparent, methodical and rational, and not susceptible to abuse or corruption,” the President stated. (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)
- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=861377578838#sthash.sr4uS770.dpuf

Newly elected officials, local registrars get updates on solemnizing marriages


VIRAC, Catanduanes, August 27 (PIA) - Eight chief executives and three local civil registrars  from the province of Catanduanes participated in the recently concluded 8th National Convention of Solemnizing Officers (NCSO) held at SMX Convention Center, Davao City .

The three-day event held annually aims to provide a venue for exchange of ideas and sharing of experiences of various solemnizing officers, civil registrars, other civil registry personnel, members of judiciary and stakeholders with regards to the conduct of marriage.

Moreover, it focuses on orienting newly elected and appointed solemnizing officers to be well versed with the laws on marriage and to update other officials and civil registrars with changes and enhancement on marriage laws and civil registration in general.

According to Ms. Anavi F. Camacho, OIC Provincial Statistics Officer, as chief executives of the local government unit, the municipal mayors as are designated authority to solemnize a marriage other than the appointed solemnizing officers of various religious groups, members of judiciary, etc., as provided in article 7 of the family code of the Philippines.

The municipal mayors are therefore expected and duty bound to observe strict implementation of marriage laws of the Philippines.

The MCRs meanwhile as responsible person for marriage registration needs to be updated with the latest laws and changes on civil registration.

Participants from the province were mayors from the towns of Bagamanoc, Bato, Caramoran, Gigmoto, Pandan, San Miguel, Viga, and Virac while the Municipal Civil Registrars were from the towns of Gigmoto, San Miguel, and Virac.

Also present in the event are NSO Administrator Carmelita N. Ericta, PAO Chief Persida Acosta and NSO Civil Registration Department Director Lourdes Hufana. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/PIA Catanduanes)

DepEd holds first int'l research conference on K +12 curriculum in Albay

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug 27 (PIA) -- More than 1000 local researchers, educators and international observers from United Kingdom and Canada convened August 20 – 22 this year at the Oriental Hotel here to participate in the first International Research Conference on K to 12 Curriculum for 21st Century Learning: A Global Perspective from .

Department of Education (DepEd) Bicol regional director Ofelina Tuy said the three-day international conference has been divided into eight group sessions for 285 research papers.

She said the output of the conference will be submitted to the DepEd national office to serve as a basis of the policy making body in making decisions and policies for the implementation of the K to 12 curriculum.

Albay governor Joey Salceda expressed in his speech as the guest for the opening ceremony the support of the provincial government in the conduct of such programs to upgrade the education system in the country.

“Thus your coming to our province today to review, on a global perspective,  the K-12 curriculum and to make it updated to today’s learning systems is a very welcome event. Its benefits would accrue to the benefit of our students and our tutors. Rest assured of our government’s support for your endeavor during your short stay in Albay,” Salceda said.

He further stressed the importance of good education to achieve better society and advancement of civilization.

“I always believe in good education as a stepping stone for self development and for the achievement of a better society and the advancement of civilization,” he said.

The conference, Tuy added, is a sequel to the National Research Forum held in Naga City last year.

DepEd Bicol and DepEd region IV-A hosted the activity with the assistance of the Bicol Association of Schools Superintendents. (SAA/NIM/PIA5/Albay)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Prov'l gov't strengthens campaign for protection of children


VIRAC, Catanduanes, August 26, (PIA)- As part of its continuing campaign to protect children in the province, the provincial government of Catanduanes has reorganized and reconstituted the Local Council for the Protection of Children (LCPC).

Catanduanes Gov. Cely Wong, who chairs the council, said  the rLCPC will review existing policies of units providing services to children in conflict with the law, determine the barriers to access these services and to take the necessary action to improve access to these services.

She added that protecting children in the community is very significant since they will become future leaders of our country.

Pursuant to Section 15 of Republic Act No. 9344 otherwise known as the “Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act” dated July 25, 2005, Wong on August 12, 2013 has issued Executive Order No. 12 Series of 2013 to ensure that the rights of children in the province are being protected.

LCPC shall perform the following functions: a) To serve as the primary agency to coordinate with and assist the Local Government Unit concerned for the adoption of the Comprehensive Juvenile Intervention Program as provided in rule 18 of R.A. 9344, and oversee its proper implementation;

b) To coordinate and assist the LGUs in calling on all sectors concerned, particularly the child-focused institutions and government agencies involved in delinquency prevention to participate in the planning process and implementation of juvenile intervention programs; c) To coordinate with the LGUs in the annual review and assessment of the comprehensive juvenile intervention programs;

d) To coordinate with the Sangguniang Kabataan in the formulation and implementation of said programs in the community; e)To provide coordinative linkages with other agencies and institutions in the planning, monitoring and evaluation of the programs in the community; f) To assist the Punong Barangay in conducting diversion proceedings in cases provided under Section 23 (a) of R.A. 9344 and Rule 43 (b) of its IRR.

The LCPC is also tasked to assist the Local Social Welfare and Development Officer in the development of the appropriate diversion program; institute together with schools, youth organizations and other concerned agencies the community-based programs on juvenile justice and welfare initiated by LGUs and to conduct capability programs to enhance knowledge and skills in handling children’s program.

Meanwhile LCPC shall be composed by the following: Gov. Wong (Chairman); PBM Marilyn T. Tatel, PBM Chair Committee on Women and family (member); Atty. Arnaldo E. Escober Jr., DILG (member); Ms. Rosemarie Cleofe, DOLE (member); Mr. Jose L. Doncillo, DepEd (member); Engr. Eloise E. Tabirara, PPDO (member);  Mr. Lucito G. Pastor, Budget Office (member); Dr. Lubella M. Sanchez, PHO (member); Ms. Marites Curativo, Nutrition Office (member); P/S Supt. Eduardo G. Chavez, PNP (member); Lt. Col. Bernardo R. Fortez Jr., Philippine Amry (member); Mrs. Julieta M. Tasarra, PTO (member); and Ms. Ela B. Popa, Provincial SK Federation (member).  (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

President Aquino declares September 2 as special non-working day in Albay In commemoration of 148th birth anniversary of the late General Simeon Ola

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug 26 (PCOO) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared September 2, which falls on a Monday, as a special (non-working) day in the province of Albay to mark the 148th birth anniversary of the late General Simeon A. Ola, the last revolutionary general to surrender at the end of the Philippine-American War.

The Chief Executive issued the declaration through Proclamation No. 635 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on August 22, to give the people of Albay the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.

Born on September 2, 1865 to ordinary citizens Vicente Ola and Apolonia Arboleda, Ola was a hero of the Philippine Revolution and the last general to surrender to American forces during the Philippine-American War.

In 1896, he stopped his studies at the University of Nueva Caceres in Naga City and joined the local branch of the Katipunan in his hometown, the province of Albay.

Ola was promoted to the rank of captain after the battle of Camalig in Albay in 1898 and again promoted to the rank of major after a daring ambush mission that led to the capture of three Americans.

He was also the leader of the subsequent valiant attacks on Albay towns namely, Oas, Ligao and Jovellar. He later surrendered to Americans on the condition that his men would be granted amnesty.

Ola was put on trial and was proven guilty of sedition and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. In 1904, he was given a pardon and returned to his place of birth.

In 1910, he entered politics and won a town mayor of Guinobatan, which he served until 1913. He was again elected as mayor in 1916 and served the term until 1919.

The regional police command in Legazpi City was named after him.

Ola died on February 14, 1952 and was interred at the Roman Catholic Cemetery of Guinobatan. PND(js) 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Oryol and Handyong comes alive on theater stage

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug 23 (PIA) - Jenine Desiderio and Remus Villanueva portray Oryol and Handyong during the musical-theatrical adaptation of Bicol epic Ibalong in this city. The musical adaptation is directed by Tuxqs Rutaquio and written by Rody Vera. (SAA/RAA/PIA5, Albay)

The marriage of Oryol and Handyong

Oryol bore a son and named him Makusog. Gugurang speaks a prophecy that he shall reign and lord over Ibalong, now named Bicol, and that he shall be the father of the Daragang Magayon yet to come. (An excerpt from the musical's synopsis)

Country's first DAR-PCA coco seedlings dispersal program launched in Bicol


LEGAZPI CITY, August 23 (PIA) – Being known for coconut-inspired menu with its famous laing (taro leaves cooked in coconut milk) and other cocomilk-based native recipes and delicacies,Bicol region is seen to become the country's coconut capital as the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) launched their first collaboration for the Coconut Seedlings Dispersal Project (CSDP) in the entire country.

“PCA reveals that Bicol is their first area with a partnership with DAR for coconut rehabilitation,” DAR-Bicol regional director Maria Celestina Manlagñit-Tam said.

With DAR’s initiative, a partnership was forged with PCA-Bicol led by Officer-in-charge Eduardo Allorde, Tam added.

Initially under the project, a total of 124,750 seednuts are being readied for planting to 1,098 hectares benefiting 1,135 agrarian reform beneficiaries in the provinces of Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur and Masbate. Catanduanes and Sorsogon are still in the process of project preparation such as conducting seminars and identification of locations and beneficiaries.

In Albay, the identified project location is the Balogo Agrarian Reform Community (ARC) covering 192 hectares benefiting 200 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) with total 20,000 seednuts of which 7,000 were already outplanted being the project’s pilot area.

The Dogongan ARC in Daet, Camarines Norte has 19,750 seednuts to be planted in 150 hectares with 130 ARBs.

Camarines Sur A will have 20,000 seednuts to be planted in 150 hectares in F. Simeon ARC in the municipality of Ragay with 50 ARBs to benefit from the program. Meanwhile in Camarines Sur B, Del Pilar ARC in Garchitorena is the project’s largest site with 246 hectares of land that will be planted with 45,000 seednuts with 395 ARBs as beneficiary.

In Masbate, two ARCS, Lantangan in the town of Mandaon and Curvada in Cataingan town will benefit from the coco project. Lantangan ARC will dedicate 216 hectares for the project wherein 216 ARBs will cultivate 12,000 seednuts. In Curvada ARC, 8,000 seednuts will be planted to 144 hectares with 144 ARBs benefitting from it.

Under the project, PCA provides planting materials such as coconut seednuts and seedlings, technical assistance on nursery establishment and operation, extension services, and regular monitoring of the progress of the project.

On the other hand, DAR identifies suitable lands where the project can be implemented. DAR Bicol also identifies the target municipalities and barangays with capable Peoples Organizations (PO) and provides local counterpart contribution for trainings and capacity building for beneficiary organizations.

The beneficiary organizations provide labor for the establishment and operations of the nursery project, formulation of policies on selection of farmer beneficiaries and roll-over scheme, which DAR Bicol will return the same value received in kind equivalent to 100 good quality seednuts per hectare seven years after planting that will be distributed to the succeeding beneficiaries, DAR Bicol told the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

“We are intensifying our coconut production given the industry potential with Bicol’s large areas ideal for coconut plantation,” Tam said. (MAL/JJJPerez-PIA5/Albay)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Scouts for Environment International Jamboree

Raising of their country flag representing different regions of the country and foreign contingents from France, Japan, Belgium, Croatia, Germany and United States participated in the 5 day Scouts for Environment International jamboree with the theme “SCOUTS: Help Save Mother Earth” was officially opened last  August 21, 2013 at Kawa-Kawa Natural Part, Ligao City, Albay. (Alex Cal/PIA)

Committee readies for Apec Summit 2014/2015


LEGAZPI CITY, Aug 22 (PIA) – Albay governor Joey Salceda has ordered the creation of the Albay Provincial Preparatory Logistical Committee (APPLC) to prepare for hosting of several ministerial meetings of the Asia-PacificEconomic Cooperation (Apec)  summit slated in the province.

Salceda issued the directive under Executive Order No. 2013-014 on August 15, providing that there is a need for a Technical Working Group (TWG) to assist, facilitate, prepare and provide technical support ahead and during APEC Summit 2015 on the province of Albay to ensure the successful holding of various events slated for Albay.

APPLC is composed of the provincial governor as chairman, regional director the office of the Civil Defense (OCD) 5 as co-chairman, department head of the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office as vice-chairman and vice governor, representatives of Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Albay and regional directors of government agencies and departments in the region as members.

Members of initial subcommittees are also selected to address the need for security, emergency preparedness and response (EPR) and venue preparation, invitation and logistics.

The executive order also specified the powers and functions of the APPLC which will also serve as the provincial counterpart of the national technical working committee on APEC Summit 2015.

“The committee shall initiate and coordinate efforts with the public and private sectors necessary for the conduct of the APEC Summit 2015,” the executive order stated.

It is also tasked to explore and do environmental scanning of the routes, venues and other places in line with the summit and conduct meetings and consultations with the proper and concerned agencies for updates and actions.

The committee can also decide to create new subcommittees or call upon other agencies to be its members.

“Expenses in the creation and operation of the Preparatory Logistical Committee shall be chargeable against the corresponding budget allocation of the offices concerned and such other available sources as may be approved by the governor,” it also stated.

The preparatory logistical committee shall convene regularly to ensure proper coordination especially on urgent matters. (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

Albay steps up preparation for hosting APEC 2014/2015

by Sally A. Atento

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug 22 (PIA) – The provincial government of Albay has been into extensive preparations to comply with the requirements for the hosting of three Asia Pacific Economic Council (APEC) meetings slated December this year and May and November next year.

In a conference Monday this week, Bicol director Raffy Alejandro of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD)   said the Albay Provincial Preparatory Logistical Committee (APPLC) has stepped up preparations to ensure that the host province will comply to the criteria set by the APEC National Organizing Council (NOC) as also required by protocols of the visiting states.NOC manages and supervises all activities to be hosted by the country including assessment of potential venues.

Alejandro said the national site selection and inspection panel will be visiting the province on September 4-6 this year to assess and validate the qualifications and preparations of the province to host the said three meetings.

“Our job is to ensure that Albay will not lose these three events since Boracay and IloIlo have also been designated as alternative venues. It doesn’t mean that we will surely host these three meetings since it will depend on our preparation for the inspection,” Alejandro said.APPLC will be conducting its own assessment and inspection on August 29 of the hotels in the province including the Misibis Bay and the Oriental Hotel to ensure their preparedness for the visit of the national team.

The national inspection committee will be considering many factors in assessing potential venues including logistics, accommodations, infrastructure, and security, given that heads of state will be taking part in the summit.

Albay is expected to host the Senior Official Meeting (SOM), the first and one of the biggest among 21 APEC meetings, on December 4- 5 this year at the world-class Misibis Bay Resort in Bacacay.

Salceda earlier said some 300 ranking officials of the 21 APEC member countries will be attending the assembly including ministers and their deputies and representatives of world media to cover the event.

“APEC hosting may pave the way to fast track construction of major infrastructure projects in Albay, among them the Southern Luzon International Airport in Alobo, Daraga town,” Salceda added.

The APEC Summit will bring together 21 world leaders from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, US and Vietnam to discuss issues aimed at strengthening political and economic ties. (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

The staging of "Ibalong the Musical" in Legazpi City, Albay

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug 22 (PIA) -- The cast of "Ibalong the Musical", the dance-theatre musical interpretation of the Bicolano epic"Ibalong", performs at the Ibalong Centrum for Recreation (ICR) on August 21 - 22, 2013 to highlight this year's Ibalong Festival. At the center are Jenine Desiderio portraying the half serpent creature Oryol and Remus Villanuevo the human hero Handyong.(Photos by Ric H. Altea)

Oryol and her 10 feet monstrous serpent tail. She cuts off her tail as she agrees to marry Handyong.

Cam Norte Liga ng mga Barangay supports "Bawal ang Epal Dito" campaign


DAET, Camarines Norte, August 22 (PIA) – Members of the Liga ng mga Barangay in the province of Camarines Norte have  committed to support the "Bawal ang Epal Dito" campaign of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Punong barangays in the province made the commitment during the Provincial Orientation and Dialogue Wednesday, August 21 here in anticipation of the barangay election October this year.

Jindra R. Mingoy, regional program coordinator of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of  DSWD in Bicol, said the agency is committed to safeguard the beneficiaries of the4Ps on their rights for free and honest election while protecting the integrity of its programs to include the safety and independence of its workers.

Mingoy said that the campaign seeks to eliminate the “epal” in the implementation of government programs especially the Pantawid Pamilya. It is guided by the departments’ Memoranducm Circular No. 24 issued last January 7 this year which prescribes rules and norms in the conduct of activities and transactions.

Provincial election supervisor Atty. Annie Romero-Cortez of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) here said that the “epal” is not an election offense but morally not good as a campaign strategy.

She said that the Comelec will be watchful of the campaign materials on the election period from October 18-26 in preparation for the Oct. 28 Synchronized Barangay and Sanguniang Kabataan elections this year.

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Camarines Norte provincial director Edwin Garcia said that indigents or poor are vulnerable during election period because they are being influenced because of poverty.

He said that the national government is sincere to addressed poverty and the 4Ps is one of the strategy that sometimes being used by politicians.

4Ps is a human development and right-based program of the national government that aims to contribute to poverty reduction and the attainment of Millennium Development Goals (MDG). It utilizes the conditional cash transfer (CCT) scheme to help poor families realized their children’s rights to health and education. (MAL/RBM-PIA5/Camarines Norte)

BIR extends validity of old receipts


VIRAC, Catanduanes, August 22 (PIA) - Amid rising complaints on the regulations on new receipts, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has extended the validity of old receipts until October 31, 2013.

Virac Revenue District Office chief Maria Teresa Noemi Pizon said the directives is pursuant to Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 52-2013 that provides  extension for business establishments  to their new Authority to Print approved by the Virac Revenue District Office before August 30, 2013.

This, according to Pizon, pertains to the validity of all unused or unissued principal and supplementary receipts and invoices with Authority to print issued between January 1, 2011 and January 17, 2013, provided a new ATP is issued on or before August 30, 2013.

All businesses, she noted however, must use the new receipts printed by the revenue-generating agency’s accredited printers after the date provided.

Pizon said a penalty of P1,000 pursuant to Section 264 of the Tax Code will be collected to those taxpayers who apply for authority to print receipts beyond April 30, 2013.

She advised that those who fail to use the new sets of receipts starting August 31, 2013 will pay the maximum penalty of P50, 000.

Meanwhile,  business owners who apply for tax clearance will have to attach a certified true copy of their establishment’s ATP. “Non-submission of ATP shall be a ground for non-issuance of tax clearance for whatever purposes,” she emphasized.

All RDOs have been directed to match the taxpayers’ database against the ATPs issued as of January 18, 2013 to verify the taxpayers’ compliance with the new circulars on receipts/invoices. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

DENR launches Cadastral Survey Project in Catanduanes


VIRAC, Catanduanes, August 22 (PIA) --Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here launched the first Cadastral Survey Project in the province last August 14,  in Baras town as one of the agency's banner program under the the National Greening Program.

Regional technical director for Land Management Services Pedro Noble said the survey will serve as the municipality's basis in the settlement of land disputes, titling of private lots, and finalization of political boundaries.

According to Noble, the municipal government can expect his full support as it will benefit not only the private lot owners but as well as the entire municipality of Baras.

Meanwhile, PENRO Ed Joaquin Guerrero said that he is confident that the project will be successful with the support of the town's officials and as well as their office.

The Cadastral Survey Project in the country started in 1913, with the enactment of Commonwealth Act No. 2259, otherwise known as the Cadastral Act. But through the years, the project has not been given enough resources for its implementation.

In 1992, with the passage of Republic Act No. 7160, also known as the Local Government Code of 1991, the functions to conduct cadastral survey, lot survey, and isolated and special surveys were among the functions of the DENR that were devolved to the local government units (LGUs).

Ten years later, in 2012, it was found out that not a single municipality had completed its cadastral survey due to lack of manpower and financial resources.

This prompted the DENR, through DENR Administrative Order No. 2001-23, to get back from the LGUs the devolved functions to execute, supervise and manage land surveys. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

Gubat, PCCED launch bottom up budgeting system for LGU

GUBAT, Sorsogon, August 22 (PIA) -- The municipal government here and the Philippine Center for Civic Education and Democracy (PCCED) launched the bottom up budgeting (BUB) system project for the local government here to encourage civic society participate in planning  programs and projects and in the budgeting process.

PCCED executive director Reynald Trillana said BUB, also known as "participatory budgeting" is one of the two components of PCCED’s program in Gubat town that aims to make the municipal budgeting process more inclusive and participatory by allowing ordinary citizens to deliberate and propose spending ideas to the local government unit (LGU) so that the budget reflects the real need of the community.

PCCED is pursuing the "Promoting Democratic Values in the Barangays of Gubat" program in Gubat.

“While there are other models of participatory budgeting, what we are doing here in Sorsogon is a program that is as close as possible to direct democracy. Here the people themselves decide how to spend their money,” he said.

He added that the program also hopes to educate people on the intricacies of public budgeting and make them meaningful participants in governance.

Gubat Mayor Roderick “Nonong” Co meanwhile said that the local government has aspired to become a model and center of participatory leadership or governnance in the country.

“We aim to inspire the people to work together for the community, especially those who, in one way or another, faced obstacles to participation and disillusioned by politics,” he said.

Participatory budgeting is a program developed in Porto Alegre, Spain that has been adopted by many local governments all over the world including New York, Chicago, New Zealand, Senegal, and South Korea.

The program is supported by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) through Asociacion Zabalketa, a Spain based NGO.

Over the past years, AECID has been supporting projects that would strengthen democracy and its institutions in the Philippines.

On the same event, Globe Telecom Inc. distributed communication equipment and insurance to the barangays as part of its program to strengthen local government’s “Sagot Ka ni Kap!”.

“Sagot Ka Ni Kap!” is part of Globe BridgeCom's nationwide initiative to help communities prevent crime in their areas by providing communication and relevant law enforcement equipment including mobile phones and SIMs, hand-held radios, uniform shirts, tear gas, boots, flashlights, raincoats, and handcuffs to the local community police auxiliary units or barangay tanods.

PCCED and Globe Bridging Communities have partnered for Barangay Rule of Law Program and Project Citizen.

The Barangay Rule of Law Program of PCCED is anchored on the belief that the barangay, the basic political component in the country, should function as a “school for citizenship” incorporating democratic values, skills, habits and dispositions as they perform their task as peacekeepers of the community.

Project Citizen teaches young people how democracy actually works by training high school students in seeking public policy interventions to solve community problems. It is an international program for increasing the democratic participation, political efficacy, and civic engagement levels of students at the middle and high school levels. (MAL/BAR/JELansang-PCCED/PIA5)