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

Monday, September 30, 2013


PRESS CONFERENCE conducted in the Observance of Development Policy Research Month (DPRM) to elevate people’s awareness and appreciation of the value and importance of policy research in nation building with the theme: “Making health more inclusive in a growing economy”. The representative of different line agencies are (L-R) Jazmin Zantua, Chief Economic Dev’t. Specialist, NEDA-V; Felipe Salvosa II, Chief Publications & Circulation Div., PIDS; Dr. Virgilio S. Ludovice, DOH Chief, Support to Operations; Dr. Veronica T. Mateum, Chief, Health Care Delivery Mgt. Div., PilHealth-V and David Escandor, Chief, Field Operations Div., PhilHealth-V, held at Daguinsin Hall, DOH-V, Daraga, Albay, last September 27, 2013. (Alex Cal/PIA)

Philippine Information Agency Regional Office V OIC Reg.Dir. Aida A. Naz, served as  moderator during the Media Forum in Observance of Development Policy Research Month held at Daguinsin Hall, DOH-V, Daraga, Albay last September 27, 2013.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Juban evacuees return home as tension subsides


SORSOGON CITY, Sept. 25 (PIA) - Some 81 families, comprised of more than 400 individuals, of Upper Maalo in Juban town in Sorsogon who evacuated on Sunday evening, Sept. 22, have returned to their homes as threat of possible encounter between government troops and armed rebels cool down.

Juban local government information officer Reline Arellano said that late evening of Sunday, some residents returned to their  homes to attend to their livelihoods, while on Tuesday, all evacuees went back to their respectives residences.

Arellano said residents were forced to leave their homes out of fear they might get harmed following an encounter and helicopter strafing on Sunday.

Col Joselito E. Kakilala, commander of 903rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army narrated  in a press release that a platoon reinforced the 31st Infantry Battalion, led by 1Lt Rory Esico and 2Lt Dondon Canilang, encountered more or less forty heavily armed members of the New People’s Army around 3:00 pm on Sunday at Bintacan Complex at the boundaries of Barangays Maalo and Bulala in Juban town, Sorsogon.

Kakilala said that the soldiers were deployed in the area for combat operations in response to an anonymous complaint from a concerned civilian of the presence of armed NPA rebels reportedly conducting violent activities.  Relatedly, based on intelligence reports gathered, the rebels are also believed to conduct Plenum in the said area.

He added that when the troops arrived in the area, they were met with heavy volume of fires from the enemy that eventually broke into a firefight that lasted for almost one hour, after which the enemy withdrew towards north and east directions.  He further stated that during the pursuit operations, the fleeing New People's Army (NPA) rebels employed sniper fires against the government troops resulting to the exchange of fires between two opposing forces.

Consequently, due to the continued sniping from the NPA, two  UH-1H Helicopters were deployed to provide close air support (CAS) to government troops.  The conduct of air support which was aimed to precisely target the assessed enemy position was carried out through forward observer support from ground troops and with strict adherence to the rules of engagement thereby inflicting no collateral damage to innocent lives or their properties in the area of operation.

Government troops recovered five improvised explosive devices (IEDs), three (3) Motorola GP 2000 handheld radios, one (1) generator set, ninety rounds ammunitions for caliber 60 light machine gun, medical paraphernalia, personal belongings and voluminous subversive documents.

Col. Kakilala also emphasized that the recovery of IEDs from the rebels which they rampantly employ in their tactical offensives against government troops is a clear manifestation of the NPAs blatant disregard and violation of the Comprehensive Agreement for the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) which strictly prohibits the use of such deadly war materials, for which theCommunist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is one of the signatories.

He further said that the government will not stop going after the lawless NPA rebels who are continuously trying to sow fear and terror to the local populace through conduct of violent activities such as killing innocent civilians who refused to give in to their extortion demands as well as the merciless liquidation of retired Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel and ordinary civilians who are suspected to be government assets.

According to him, their records show that as of February 2012 a total of twelve (12) innocent civilians were victims of NPA liquidations in Sorsogon.

Meanwhile, evacuees sought refuge from their respective friends and relatives while the Local Government of Juban through the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office extended assistance in the form of foodstuff, blanket and medicines. Mayor Antonio Alindogan also extended personal assistance to the evacuees by giving additional food stuff. (MALBAR/PIA-5/Sorsogon)
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(L-R) DOT-V Reg. Dir. Maria ‘Nini’ Ravanilla, Keynote Speaker Undersecretary Hon. Maria Victoria V. Jasmin, Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, DOT-Manila Undersecretary Hon. Daniel G. Corpuz and City Mayor Noel Rosal exchanges pleasantries with each other  during the Regional Tourism Summit 2013 at The Oriental Hotel, Legazpi City.

BIICOL TOURISM SUMMIT : Keynote Speaker DOT Undersecretary,TRCRG Hon. Maria Victoria V. Jasmin delivers her message during the  opening of the Regional Tourism Summit  2013 at The Oriental Hotel, Legazpi City on Thursday (Sept. 26). With a theme: Bridging Boundaries and Building Connections.  (Alex Cal/PIA)

 Albay Governor Joey  Salceda  sign into a covenant and commitment wholeheartedly to support tourism development in the region while DENR Regional Executive Dir. Gilbert Gonzales witness the signing of commitment. Alex Cal/PIA)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Ceremonial  Pouring of Cement  led by Legazpi  City Mayor Noel Rosal,  NAVFORSOL Commodore  Manuel Natalio Abinuman, Chief of Staff, 3D MEB Col. John Peck, USMC,  assisted by  Taysan Elementary School  principal Ma. Analiza Ricamunda  and Brgy. Chairman Hon. Renato Valladolid. (Alex Cal/PIA5)
A Certificate of Appreciation presented by NAVFORSOL Commodore Manuel Natalio Abinuman, to Chief of Staff, 3D MEB Col. John Peck, USMC, for the valuable support to the Humanitarian and Civic Assistance projects of the RP-US Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX14) specifically the Cooperative Health Engagement and Engineering Civic Action project held at Legazpi City, given this 25th day of September at Taysan Elementary School, Legazpi City.  (Alex Cal/PIA5)

Skyjet to resume flight to Catanduanes in October


VIRAC, Catanduanes, Sept. 26 (PIA) -- The Skyjet Airlines will resume its flights to Catanduanes on October 15, 2013,  In time with the celebration of the Catandungan Festival 2013.

Aileen P. Munoz, Skyjet operation officer in Catanduanes, said the airline will have thrice per week flights on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

The airline will depart Manila Terminal 4 at 6:30 am, arriving at Virac at 7:10 am, and will leave this island’s capital town at 7:40 am, arriving at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 8:30 am.

Skyjet Airlines is operated by Magnum Airways, a 94-seater, four-engine British Aerospace 146-200 and can load up to 3,000 kilograms of cargo in its spacious hold.      

Skyjet Airlines commenced its maiden flight to Catanduanes on April 16 this year, however, due to management issues, it stopped its operation last July.

Catanduanes provincial tourism officer Carmel B. Garcia said that the resumption of Skyjet’s flight will help the island’s tourism especially during this time of the year where the province will be celebrating the its grandest festival. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

LCC mall groundbreaking ceremony

 LCC CEO Antonio Tan delivers his message during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Liberty City Center Mall a public private partnership of the local government of Legazpi City, a new landmark  in the heart of Legazpi City  that brings investment to the city and more employment opportunities. “Liberty City Center Mall at Home Kita Digdi” said Tan. (Alex Cal/PIA5)

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Liberty City Center  (LCC) Mall was led by City Mayor Noel Rosal, Vice-Mayor Vittorio Roces and LCC CEO Antonio Tan, held at Quezon Avenue, Legazpi City last September 24, 2013.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Penafrancia 2013, biggest yet the most peaceful celebration


NAGA CITY, Sept. 25 (PIA) -- With almost 2 million pilgrims and tourists who set foot in this city during the Peñafrancia festivity, particularly during the fluvial procession over the weekend, the Peace and Order Council (POC) here has declared this year's celebration as teh biggest yet most peaceful revelry.

City vice-mayor and POC presiding officer Atty. Nelson Legacion said during the regular meeting of the council yesterday the crowd was really overwhelming and fortunately no records of crimes appeared on the police blotter.

The local police office and the Joint Operation Center (JOC) has corraborated the account of Legacion on the latter's observation.

JOC chief Lito Del Rosario reported close to 2,000 security and health personnel were deployed to ensure the safety of the visitors during the Peñafrancia celebration, including 700 came from the Police Regional Office 5; 400 infantry personnel from the  9th Infantry (SPEAR) Division, Philippine Army (PA); 60 Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) personnel and more than 300 medical field personnel not to mention the Kabalikat CIVICOM members who were fielded to monitor the said event.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Fluvial Task Force also fielded 100 of its personnel from its various stations in Bicol which is almost half of the total strength of its agency in the region just to guarantee the safety of pilgrims and devotees. The team assisted the smooth flow of the Pagoda from the Danlugan in Tabuco until it reached its home at the Basilica Minore.

“The peaceful and solemn Fluvial procession may be attributed to the collective efforts of the partner-agencies under the ambit of the Peñafrancia Inter-Agency Task Group –Joint Operations Center and the ordinary pilgrims and devotees who dearly pay homage to our beloved Ina,” Del Rosario said in an interview.

City Mayor John Bongat’s hands-on presence in every activity also proved helpful in the smooth flow of the city’s endeavor to peacefully welcome all the pilgrims and visitors in this city.

Legacion said that the Sangguniang Panglunsod here during their session on Tuesday, already passed a resolution acknowledging the significant effort and contribution of the JOC members, partner agencies and other stakeholders in the successful conduct of this year’s Peñafrancia Celebration. (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

KALAHI-CIDDS brings safe, potable water to CamSur town


NAGA CITY, Sept. 25 (PIA) --- Safe and potable water now finds its way to Bombon town in Camarines Sur following completion of a water system project under the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) program of the government.

Bicol regional director Arnel Garcia of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Office (DSWD), in partnership with the municipal government of Bombon, has implemented the project in 2012 providing this remote area a hefty grant of P1,023,926 from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) that regularly assists to Kalahi-CIDSS program to provide the households with safe and clean drinking water.

Potable water seemed to be a precious commodity in this small municipality long before, with the residents having to get or buy the resource from the neighboring Calabanga town 15 kilometers away and such usually cost them P15 fare and P30-35 charge per water container.

Residents have to negotiate with the 15 kilometer rough road to reach the town’s centro or main area via a motorcycle ride or habal-habal.

Politically subdivided into eight barangays, Bombon is basically an agriculture-dependent area where its more than 15, 437 people rely on farming.  Water is nil in most of the areas, particularly in far flung barangays, particularly in the rural Barangay of Pagao, one of the coastal villages in the town of Bombon.

With the available grant, Bombon local government and Barangay Pagao forged a partnership with Calabanga Water District (CAWADI) to providewater services and supply that would help lift the community’s travail of sourcing their drinking water from other towns. This endeavor was fully supported by the DWSD, Kalahi-CIDDS, local government unit of Bombon and the people of Pagao.

Now, not only the 102 households of Pagao now enjoy the 12  water tap stands that provide safe drinking water but also the other 38 households in the adjoining towns of Carigsa and Magarao.

Garcia said DSWD regional office’s Social Marketing Unit reported that in order  to ensure the sustainability of the tap stands, two plumbers and one meter reader were chosen from the residents to attend the on-the-job training in CAWADI for free.

Furthermore, CAWADI has helped Pagao in terms of providing technical assistance and capacity building to the volunteers and fabrication of pipes and calibration of water meter during its construction. It also even trained women laborers in pipe laying.

Kalahi-CIDSS is a community-driven development (CDD) program in the Philippines which pushes for the active involvement of local communities in the design and implementation of development projects to address the issue of poverty in the country.

The program is also one of the core social protection programs of DSWD along with Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) which endeavors to solve poverty through convergent efforts in the context of Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2011-2016 pursued by President Benigno Aquino to reduce poverty and empower the poor and the vulnerable.

On October 1, members of the tri-media with the DSWD team will visit the on-going construction of Water Level System Level II in Barangay Pagao to monitor the status of the project and check on the construction of the daycare center in Barangay San Francisco, also in Bombon.  (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

DSWD, media to check on KALAHI-CIDDS barangay project sites

NAGA CITY, Sept. 24 (PIA) ---  The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Bicol regional office will conduct a media tour on October 1, to check on the status of its ongoing Core Social Protection Programs implemented in  various municipalities in Camarines Sur,

Program coordinators of the DSWD and the media will visit and interact with recipient-communities in the municipalities of Gainza and Bombon, two of the 23 municipalities in Camarines Sur where the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDDS).

First stop will be the town of Bombon with the Pagao Water System worth P1,263.742.05 and a Daycare Center in Barangay San Francisco costing P797,490.50 were underway. DSWD is also constructing day care centers in Barangays Sto. Domingo, San Roque; health station in Barangay Sampaloc and drainage canal in Barangay San Jose, also in this town.

A total of 525 children were enrolled at the three day care centers while 280 households will benefit from the constructed water system assured of a safe potable drinking water.

The team will proceed to the municipality of Gainza where five projects were implemented and funded from KALAHI-CIDDS grant and a counterpart from the local government unit.

Part of the projects in the said municipality is the construction of the drainage canals in Barangays Loob and District II covering Zones 2,3 and 4. Total amount cost for the two barangay projects totaled P1,428,456.70.  KALAHI-CIDDS grant was P1,040,048.00  while 388,408.75 came from the LGU.

In District 1, the fully covered drainage canal worth P735,541.05 will also be part of the site tour.

A training center for out of school youth (OSY) and mothers was also constructed at Barangay Cagbunga worth P754,105.58 and a Center for handicraft located in Barangay Malbong and is worth P745,030.08.

The said projects are expected to improve the living conditions of the local community and give them ready access to the government’s services.  These are also implemented in line with the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program (4Ps) and sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

DSWD Bicol regional director Arnel B. Garcia said that the activity will be opened to the media to give them the opportunity to monitor DSWD’s projects at the community level.

The project was first implemented in the eight municipalities in Camarines Sur in 2003. It includes the towns of Garchitorena, Balatan, Del Gallego, Minalabac, Pasacao, Presentacion, Sangay and Siruma and covers 152 barangays.  In the project expansion phase which started in 2012,  projects were funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) where 15 more municipalities were covered.  (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

Catanduanes launches 2013 Search for model employee


VIRAC, Catanduanes, Sept. 25 (PIA)- The Provincial Government of Catanduanes recently launched the province-wide Search for “2013 Natatanging Kawani ng Catandungan” to promote a high standard of public service as well as to motivate and inspire officials and employees of the provincial government to uphold the highest standards of ethics.

The search shall be open to all employees regardless of the nature of employment. The categorization which was set by the Ad Hoc Committee for activity are: Head of Office Category; Permanent or Regular Employee Category; and the Casual or Job Order Employee Category.

Nominations shall be accepted from September 20-30, 2013 through drop boxes at the Provincial Capitol Lobby and at the municipal offices of the eleven (11) towns.

Ad Hoc or ‘Search Committee’ is composed by Governor Araceli B. Wong  as the chairman; Vice Governor Jose J. Teves, Jr. as the co-chairman; Representatuves from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Civil Service Commission (CSC) Provincial Office as members; and the Secretariat are Angeline Corro, Ramil Soliveres, Ma. Theresa P. Mendoza and Ma. Zarina Ll. Avila.

According to Wong, it is only just and proper to give recognition to those committed and dedicated employees. She also said that this shall also encourage other employees to perform well and to offer excellent and selfless public service.

The awarding ceremonies will be held on October, 2013 during the culmination activity of the Catandungan Festival 2013. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

Election period starts Sept. 28, Comelec reminds public, candidates on regulations


VIRAC, Catanduanes, Sept. 25 (PIA) -- Provincial election supervisor Maria Aurea C. Bo-Bonao of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has announced today that the start of election period on Saturday, Sept. 28, and reminded the public and prospective candidates to observe election regulations.

Bo-Bonao has reminded prospective candidates that filing of Certificates of Candidacy will be on Oct. 15-17 only with no extension.

She said the Omnibus Election Code also provides the prohibition of several activities which will take effect on Saturday or 30 days before election until Nov. 12, 15 days after.

She also reiterated that ‘vote-buying’ in any form such as making donation or gift in cash or in kind and the like is strictly prohibited i8n this period as stipulated in Section 104 of the Omnibus Election Code.

Election ban further prohibits the 1) issuance of appointments, promotions, creation of positions, or giving of salary increases in government offices, agencies or instrumentalities; 2) alteration of territory of a precinct or establishment of a new precinct; 3) illegal release of prisoners; 4) raising of funds thru dances, lotteries, cockfights ,etc.; 5) carrying of firearms/deadly weapons; 6) organizing or maintaining reaction/strike forces; 7) transfer and detail of employees in the civil service, including public school teachers; and 8) suspension of any elective provincial, city, municipal or barangay officer.

Police S/Supt. Eduardo Chavez, Catanduanes police provincial director, has commited to ensure security and maintain peace and order in the province during the election period.

The police, according to him, has planned to set up and conduct checkpoints in various strategic areas of the province and increase police visibility in the eleven towns of the province.

He also reminded the public that during election period, gun ban is also in effect and strictly be implemented.

On the other hand, Lieutenant Colonel Bernardo Fortez, Jr. of the Army's 83rd Infantry Battalion also based here said that the unit is in full alert in time for the election period.
He stressed that as law enforcers, they will make sure that the province will have a clean and safe elections. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/ Catanduanes)

Election period starts Sept. 28, Comelec reminds public, candidates on regulations


VIRAC, Catanduanes, Sept. 25 (PIA) -- Provincial election supervisor Maria Aurea C. Bo-Bonao of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has announced today that the start of election period on Saturday, Sept. 28, and reminded the public and prospective candidates to observe election regulations.

Bo-Bonao has reminded prospective candidates that filing of Certificates of Candidacy will be on Oct. 15-17 only with no extension.

She said the Omnibus Election Code also provides the prohibition of several activities which will take effect on Saturday or 30 days before election until Nov. 12, 15 days after.

She also reiterated that ‘vote-buying’ in any form such as making donation or gift in cash or in kind and the like is strictly prohibited i8n this period as stipulated in Section 104 of the Omnibus Election Code.

Election ban further prohibits the 1) issuance of appointments, promotions, creation of positions, or giving of salary increases in government offices, agencies or instrumentalities; 2) alteration of territory of a precinct or establishment of a new precinct; 3) illegal release of prisoners; 4) raising of funds thru dances, lotteries, cockfights ,etc.; 5) carrying of firearms/deadly weapons; 6) organizing or maintaining reaction/strike forces; 7) transfer and detail of employees in the civil service, including public school teachers; and 8) suspension of any elective provincial, city, municipal or barangay officer.

Police S/Supt. Eduardo Chavez, Catanduanes police provincial director, has commited to ensure security and maintain peace and order in the province during the election period.

The police, according to him, has planned to set up and conduct checkpoints in various strategic areas of the province and increase police visibility in the eleven towns of the province.

He also reminded the public that during election period, gun ban is also in effect and strictly be implemented.

On the other hand, Lieutenant Colonel Bernardo Fortez, Jr. of the Army's 83rd Infantry Battalion also based here said that the unit is in full alert in time for the election period.
He stressed that as law enforcers, they will make sure that the province will have a clean and safe elections. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/ Catanduanes)
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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Prov'l gov't bares activities for Catandungan Fest


VIRAC, Catanduanes, Sept. 24 (PIA) -- The provincial government here will lead the celebration of the Catandungan Festival 2013 next month that will showcase the province's rich culture and tradition in time for the 68th foundation anniversary of Catanduanes.

Provincial tourism officer Carmel B. Garcia said the month-long festivity will be comprised of the pre-festival events that will commence on October 7 and main three-day from October 24-26.

Garcia said the executive committee has lined up main activities including Seminar on Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Operations; Seminar on Customer  Service Management; Training on Tourist Transport and Passenger Handling for Tricycle Drivers; International Research Forum; Catandungan Festival Bazaar; Capitol Sportsfest; Majestic Puraran Surfing Cup and 10th Ecotrek

She added that Catanduanes will also host the regional assembly and election of officers of the Vice-Mayor’s League of the Philippines in Bicol region with still undetermined specific dates but within the the festivity schedule.

On October 21, the festivity will feature the search for Ginoong Catandungan while Bb. Catandungan Pageant Night will be held on October 24.

The festival proper, said Garcia, which will start on October 24 will kick-off with a civic- military parade around downtown Virac to be participated by government employees, non-government organizations, students and other sectors of the community.

Meanwhile, the festivity will also showcase fashion show which will highlight the rich culture and creations of the province on the culmination of the celebration on October 26 . (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

PNP offers mobile validation for police retirees

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Sept. 24 (PIA) -The Pension Retirement and Benefit Unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP) regional office in Bicol  has since last week conducted a mobile validation of inventory of police retirees in Catanduanes to facilitate their access to program and services due them.

Catanduanes police provincial director Police S/Supt. Eduardo Chavez said that the measure was implemented following the approval of a resolution in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan proposed by provincial board member Lorenzo Templonuevo, Jr. providing for the conduct of a mobile validation in the island.

Chavez said that the resolution paved way for the conduct of a regular inventory and validation of retirees in the province which eases their burden in travelling to mainland Bicol especially those aged and sick.

PNP retirees who availed of the mobile validation activity expressed much appreciation and grateful to the initiatives that somehow manifested the government's concerns for police retirees much as the activity saves the beneficiary time and money. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

DSWD honors Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya winners in Bicol


LEGAZPI CITY, Sept 24 (PIA) –The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) lauded the winners of the Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya award in the Bicol region for inspiring their fellow beneficiaries to follow the conditions of the program and improve their lives despite the difficulties of their condition.

“I am proud of the beneficiaries who are able to improve their lives despite hardships. I hope they will continue toinspire and serve as model family to every beneficiary,” said DSWD assistant regional director Cora B. Miña during the awarding ceremony held recently at the DSWD regional office here.

Mr. and Mrs. Edward Macanas of Cawayan, Masbate was awarded as the Regional Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya 2013. They were also included among the five finalists at the national level.

“We are thankful for the program because it eleviates us from our condition. As a student I will continue to study hard to reach my dreams and be good example to my fellow students, “said Erwin Macanas, one of the children of Mr. and Mrs Macanas.

The family of Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Ogalesco Sr. of Viga, Catanduanes won the second place while Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel Hermo of Sorsogon notched the third place.

“These Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya winners have established a year of good standing in the community with no derogatory records. Also, these families earn their living and are not derived from gambling, prostitution, child labor, extortion, and similar illegal resources,” DSWD V information officer Jesseshan Marbella said.

The award, added Marbella, aims to recognize the families who are able follow the conditions of the program and adopt Filipino values and strong family ties.

The Search for Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya is open to all program beneficiaries in the country. Winners will be chosen on regional and national levels based on this criteria - 25% compliance to conditions, 20% healthy living promotion, 20% active involvement in community and environmental activities,  20% demonstration of love and respect to the community and environment and 15% proper utilization of cash grants. (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)


OCD-5 Regional Dir.  and Chairman, RDRRMC-Bicol  Bernardo R. Alejandro IV, presides over the 3rd Quarter Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC)  Full Council Meeting today September 24, 2013 held at Handyong Hall, OCD-5 Building, Camp Simeon A. Ola, Legazpi City. (Alex Cal/PIA)

US marines hold anew humanitarian mission in Albay


LEGAZPI CITY, Sept 24 (PIA) – Thirty six marines from the United States Marine Marine Corps (USMC) are now in this city gearing up for the PHL-US Amphibious Landing Exercise and Humanitarian Mission in the province of Albay.

US contingents team leader Major Grace Janosek said in a briefing Sunday, the excercise and mission will commence tomorrow, September 25, until October 10 to hold engineering works and health services in the villages of Taysan, Victory Village and Bigaa in this city.

The USMC engineering and humanitarian team was welcomed by Commodore Natalio Abinuman, commanding officer of the Philippine Navy (PN) Naval Forces in Southern Luzon (Navforsol), along with the officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and representatives from the provincial government of Albay.

The marines arrived via C-130 cargo plane from Okinawa Japan US military base where the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade and 13 Marine Expeditionary Unit are stationed.

Janosek said the humanitarian team will provide free medical and health related services to thousands indigent beneficiaries and will conduct repairs in classrooms destroyed by typhoons.

Marines' medical and dental team, assisted by local doctors and dentists, will provide a two-day services in the elementary schools of Bigaa on September 26-27 and Victory Village on September 30 to October 3.

The engineering team on the other hand will construct a 60-meter perimeter fence and repair three classrooms destroyed by typhoon at Taysan Elementary School and upland village in the said barangay on October 4-7.

Abinuman meanwhile said Filipino counterparts to the ten-day mission in this city will also be dispatched to be led by the Navforsol, Philippine Army and Provincial Health office.

Furthermore, Janosek stressed that the event is not a combat exercise but purely humanitarian, civic assistance and capacity building efforts.

The marine officer said Albay was considered for the mission since the province is known in pursuing effective disaster risk reduction and management and climate change adaptation initiatives.

She added that the humanitarian mission in the country is aimed at improving bilateral cooperation between the Philippines and the United States wherein the two countries will exchange experiences on matters concerning defense agreements, and humanitarian services.

The humanitarian services in this city is part of the three phases of the PHL-US Amphibious Landing Exercises currently done in the country which also include the Table Top PHL-US military planning exercise in Subic, Zambales and Clark in Pampanga and Amphibious Military combat exercise in Subic and Clark and Ternate, Cavite.

The Amphibious Landing Humanitarian Exercise is the fourth mission held in Albayfollowing the similar humanitarian mission held by the US Pacific Angel in 2010, USS Peleliu in 2007 and RP-US Balikatan in 2009. (MAL/SAA/PIA5-Albay)


K TO 12 SUMMIT – Keynote Speaker  1st District  of Sorsogon Representative  Elvie Escudero   discussing the Perspective on the Quality Education in the Philippines during the K to 12 Education Summit  held in Sorsogon City last September 20, 2013.   The  summit will provide the key players in the educational system in Sorsogon the necessary preparations on the upsurge of senior high school students and likewise assist the Higher Education and Vocational Institutions in creating a contingency plan for their coming year’s operations. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Tourism and Food Expo reels off in Naga City


NAGA CITY, Sept. 19 (PIA) --- Tourism and food venture stakeholders from Bicol region. Metro Manila and other areas converged at the Avenue Plaza Hotel  in time for the second Bicol Travel and Food Expo (BITFEX) showcasing respective places of interest, products, services and prospects.

The tourism and food expo which formally opened Wednesday this week featured seventy-four booths showcasing 50 exhibitors displaying various food products, delicacies, souvenirs, business opportunities, places and destinations, agri-livelihood opportunities, including health and wellness products and the latest innovations in technology.

The 5-day BITFEX expo, held in line with the celebration of the Penafrancia festivity here, will also feature daily thematic activities to showcase various fields of business interests.

In the opening day salvo, the city government here featured “Naga X sa BITFEX”, a tourism development initiative that includes the tourism attractions and the best of Naga City, including the best features of its 15 neighboring municipalities.

Culinary experts also showed off their ingenuity and creativeness in coming up with their featured delicacies in the “Bicol Food Festival” wherein contenders coming from various schools and food enthusiasts competed for the best foodstuff that would gain the nod and taste of invited jurors in the Interschool and Open Category.

Cosplayers will also showcase their best costumes during the “Otaku Fiesta Sa BITFEX” dubbed as the grand gathering of all cosplayers.  

Aspiring entrepreneurs and business enthusiasts will surely enjoy the third day as new business ideas and tips will be imparted to the partakers of “ Asenso Bicolano Go Negosyo” Agri-Livelihood and Entrepreneurs’ Day.

Talks will be given by speakers from the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship and the Department of Agriculture (DA).   In the afternoon will be a business-matching initiative with cocktails and 4k Barrel during the Sponsor’s Exhibitor’s Night.

Health and Wellness takes center stage on the 4th day of the expo where various products and services will be offered to the partakers.  This day also coincides with the Fluvial procession where the images of Our Lady of Peñafrancia and Divino Rostro will be carried in a pagoda via the historic Naga River going to the Basilica Minore.

People who will also shop and buy “pasalubong” and other products in the event’s venue will have a chance to take the products at discounted prices  and will have the chance of winning major prizes like LED TV, Misibis Bay Day Tours and other gadgets and giveaways from selected participating exhibitors.

Here, thousands of devotees and pilgrims are expected to fill the roads en route to Ina’s home.

On the last day of the expo will be a grand closing of BITFEX featuring “Fiesta Naga, Fiesta Bicolandia”, a song and dance competition that is expected to draw youngsters and dancers in a night of merriment and celebration.

BITFEX now on its second year endeavors to continually stir up the Bicolano’s interest in food, tourism and local economy and raise the awareness that they can be a part of the inclusive growth being pushed under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III.

PBN station manager Christine Ojeda said that with the growing interest of the exhibitors, there is a great possibility that they will again mount the said activity in the upcoming years.

“We want to be an instrument in pushing our local economy to where it should go and collaborate this effort with private organizations and government agencies for us to reach the economic stability as partners of the government,” Ojeda said in an interviews.

BITFEX is not only supported by private entities but also by TESDA, DA , DTI – a clear picture that Public-Private –Partnership is at work.  (LSMy-PIA5/Camarines Sur)
- See more at: http://r05.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=861379577868#sthash.b1JJxqI4.dpuf

Public servants plant 1,000 assorted tree seedlings in Cam Norte

DAET, Camarines Norte, Sept. 20 (PIA) – A total of 1,000 assorted tree seedlings were planted by the employees of the national government agencies and local government units along the Gawad Kalinga resettlement area in Barangay Laniton, San Lorenzo Ruiz town, this province yesterday (Sept. 19).

The tree planting activity formed part of the 113th Philippine Civil Service Anniversary with the theme “Tatak Lingkod Bayani: Isabuhay, Ipagmalaki at Ipagbunyi”.

 Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office chief PENRO Elpidio Orata of Camarines Norte said that the tree planting activity, led by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), supports the environmental protection program initiatives of other national and local government and private sectors.

He said that the initiative conformed with the priority National Greening Program (NGP) which targeted 1,154 tree seedlings planted to 2,308 hectares in upland and protected areas; and 468,000 propagules to 234 mangrove areas this year for the province.

Agencies which participated in the tree planting activity included Camarines Norte State College (CNSC), Department of Education (DepEd), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), National Statistics Office (NSO), Philippine National Police (PNP), local government units of Paracale, Labo, Basud and Daet.

Members of the Camarines Norte Council of Personnel Officers (CNCPO) also conducted an outreach program to 50 indigent children from the Zantua Abordo E. School in Talisay town.

The same organization spearheaded an orientation on the new Civil Service policies and benchmarking of the best human resource practices by the LGU-Vinzons.

On Sept. 25 there will be an on-the-spot grant of eligibility to barangay officials of LGU-Capalonga while on Sept. 30 will be the closing and awarding ceremony for the celebration.(MAL/RB-/PIA5/Camarines Norte).

Leatherback turtle eggs fail to hatch

LEGAZPI CITY, Sept. 19 (PIA) -- All the 90 eggs of the giant leatherback turtle failed to hatch on the expected period of 45 t0 70 days after they were laid last July 14 at the beach of Barangay Rawis in this city.

Wildlife specialist Nilo Ramoso of the Pawikan Conservation Project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said Wednesday that all turtle eggs failed to develop into hatchlings because of the salt water intrusion during high tide at the original nesting site near the mouth of the Yawa River also in the same village.

Ramoso said  that despite measures taken to protect the eggs from predators and further intrusion of salt water in the original nesting site , such as carefully transferring the eggs a few meters inland, It was unfortunate all the eggs failed to develop into hatchlings.

DENR personnel shows sample of the  Leatherback turtle eggs which failed
to develop into hatchlings due to salt water contamination. (Photo by Alex Cal)
The eggs were transferred then  to a new site under a half-a-meter-deep hole in the sand and with sand taken from the original nesting site buried the eggs. The site was protected with a perimeter fence with plastic screen.on the beach near the Philippine Navy regional headquarters.

Ramoso said laboratory findings revealed that the embryos or egg yolks and their albumin were contaminated with salt water, preventing them from maturing.

Ramoso added that the 70 eggs that were examined Wednesday were buried back Thursday at the nesting site while the remaining 20  eggs would be preserved and used in exhibits during lectures on sea turtle conservation campaigns.

The remaining eggs were preserved to be used during lectures
 on sea turtle conservation campaigns
 It can be recalled that a two-meter-long leatherback turtle weighing between 250 and 300 kilos laid the eggs on the bank of  Yawa River on July this year.

Leatherback turtle (Deomchelys coriacea) is the largest marine turtle in the world and considered endangered species.

DENR records showed that the arrival of the leatherback turtle last July off the waters of this city was the third sighting in Bicol. The first was in 1980 when a dead giant turtle was found by fishermen. The second sighting happened in 2012 at the coast of Ragay in Camarines Sur, with the leatherback turtle immediately released back to the sea.

Ramoso said the leatherback turtle’s laying of eggs in this city was the first recorded turtle nesting event not just in Bicol but in the country.  (MAL-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://r05.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=771379637281#sthash.QpOkjRwu.dpuf

Bicol University launches radio station


LEGAZPI CITY, Sept. 20 (PIA) -- Radio station DWBU-FM 106.3 signed on Wednesday, Sept. 18, with is launching program broadcasted live from Bicol University (BU) Ampitheater.

“The launching of this radio station is part of the BU’s services to Bicol and to the whole world to meet the highest level of clientele satisfaction,” BU president Fay Lea Patria Lauraya said in her message delivered live via phone patch from the hospital while recuperating from an injury.

Lauraya said that the radio station is not for the exclusive use of the BU College of Arts and Letters (BUCAL) that offers courses in broadcasting, journalism, audio visual communication, speech and theater arts, among others but must be utilized also by other colleges like Agriculture and Forestry by launching an agricultural oriented program; Business and Management on entrepreneurship, and Nursing that can launch a radio program on health and lifestyle.

“We believe in experiential learning that is not only relying on theory but more on practice,” Lauraya said.

BUCAL dean Ma. Julieta Borres said that the launching of a radio station indicates BU’s commitment in giving quality service and student-centered governance. “The station will primarily function as laboratory for broadcasting students and for other courses that intend to use it as medium,” Borres said.

DWBU will not compete with other commercial radio stations operating in Albay but will instead complement their presence. “We are looking forward to have you as our partners in this field,” Borres told the members of both local print and broadcast personalities who graced the event.

The official station ID was also launched during the affair which was composed by jingle writer and BU instructor Ramil “Plok” Chavenia.

“The song is melodic for easy recall that intends to capture the students and professional market segments and articulates BU’s core values,” Chavenia s told the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

BUCAL Print and Broadcast Media Department (PBMD) Chair Agnes Nepomuceno said that the university conducted a study in 2007 in preparation for launching a broadcasting course in 2008. Last March this year, the first batch of 42 broadcast students graduated and a total of 177 students are enrolled in broadcasting course of which 38 senior students are expected to graduate this present academic year, BU Office of the Registrar told the PIA.

Miss Universe 2010 first runner up and broadcast personality Venuz Raj graduated from BU in 2009 with a journalism degree cum laude. BUCAL has six departments namely, Journalism, Audio-Visual Communication, Speech and Theater Arts, Humanities, English and PBMD.

“We are waiting for this moment to come, it’s like a baby of BUCAL that should be taken care of,” Bicol Organization of Neo-Journalists (BONJour) president Joan Marcia Navarra said.

Meanwhile, Kapisanan ng Mga Broadcaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) Albay Chapter President Hermogenes “Jun” Alegre confirmed that DWBU will be included in the roster of members of KBP-Albay.

DWBU is still on test broadcast operating with 10 watts output with studio and transmitter located at MP Building of BU. Its hours and operation and programming are still being finalized in time for its regular airing in time for the opening of the second semester in November, Borres told the PIA. (MAL/JJJP-PIA5/Albay)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Salceda leads first Gayon Bicol awardees


LEGAZPI CITY, Sept. 19 (PIA) – The champion of the Albay-Masbate-Sorsogon (ALMASOR) tourism alliance, Albay Governor Jose “Joey” Salceda together with other tourism champions of the region will be honored through the first ever Gayon Bicol Awards during the two-day regional tourism summit this month.

“The first-ever Gayon Bicol awards seeks to recognize and stimulate knowledge creation, dissemination and innovative applications in tourism and to bring to light the latest advances in the region,” Department of Tourism (DOT) Bicol regional director Maria Ong-Ravanilla told the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

According to DOT-Bicol, individuals and groups or institutions are pre-determined by the selection committee to comprise the pioneering batch of Gayon Bicol awardees based on the major criteria of leadership, innovation and creativity; contribution to development of international, regional, national or local tourism activities and/or economy; contribution in a relevant field; nature and length of activities or services; degree of difficulty of the achievement and sacrifices made; personal and professional achievements; community involvement and voluntary work; and previous awards and recognition received.

Up for grabs for Gayon Bicol awards are four categories namely; tourism champions, enterprise service excellence, tourism development partners, and medal of valor.

Salceda frontlines the Gayon Bikol Awards for Tourism Champions together with former Camarines Sur Governor Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte, Naga City Mayor John Bongat, Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal, former governor now Sorsogon City Mayor Sally Lee, Daet Mayor Tito Sarion, former Bulusan mayor now board member of the second district of Sorsogon Michael Guysayko, former Iriga Mayor Madeline Alfelor-Gazmin and posthumous award for the late former mayor of Donsol Jerome Alcantara.

The Gayon Bikol tourism champions are recognized based on their initiatives that are highly innovative and managed by a public or public-private institution that reflects tangible and sustainable improvements in policy, processes, and governance and working towards an inclusive model of tourism governance which involves diverse tourism stakeholders, DOT told the PIA.

The Misibis Bay in Albay and Avenue Plaza Hotel in Naga City will be conferred with Gayon Bikol Awards for Enterprise Service Excellence for their projects, products and or services that are innovative in the tourism field demonstrated through new technologies, environmentally-friendly applications, corporate social responsibility engagement and other innovative contributions.

Meanwhile, DOT-Bicol consultant Mr. Danilo Intong, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and former president of the Sorsogon Provincial Tourism Council Mrs. Cecilia Hzu-Duran for her pioneering concepts in Donsol’s whaleshark interaction will receive the Gayon Bikol Awards for Tourism Development Partners for their initiatives managed by a non-governmental organization with a clear non-profit scope using grassroots, partnership, governance, and/or civil society actions as key factors for its achievements.

Their initiatives are original and inspiring in their nature, objectives, resource management and results, highlighting tourism as a strategic tool for balanced and sustainable development in economic, social and/or environmental aspects, DOT-Bicol told PIA.

Also, the Gayon Bikol Awards Medal of Valor will be conferred to Philippine Eco-Guides Association National President and Bulusan Municipal Tourism Officer Mr. Philip Bartilet, lifetime achievement award tour guide Aguinaldo Carino, Butanding Interaction Officer and dive master Bobby Adrao, Barangay Dapdap (Legazpi City) Kagawad Ryan Nuyda, and Mayon Accredited Naturalist Eco-Guide Association (MANEGA) represented George Cordova.

The special award is a merit distinction for the significant contribution of innovative tourism initiatives which are both competitive and sustainable in their character undertaken by the awardees which are highly inspirational and made a significant impact on the tourism sector which can be replicated.

The awarding ceremony will be held at The Oriental Hotel in Legazpi City on September 26 at 7 p.m. to cap the events of the first day of the two-day Bicol tourism summit. Expected to grace the occasion and confer the awards are DOT undersecretary Maria Victoria Jasmin, Undersecretary Daniel Corpuz, Assistant Secretary Rolando Canizal and DOT Regional Director Ravanilla.(MAL/JJJP-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://r05.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=2591379573372#sthash.t8JYzRpU.dpuf

DSWD provides P3M daily food assistance to evacuees in JFE Sports Complex

By Leilani S. Junio

MANILA, Sept. 19 (PNA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said Thursday that it spends an average of P3 million worth of food for the evacuees inside the Joaquin F. Enriquez Sports Complex or Grandstand on a daily basis.

According to DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman, since the start of the armed-conflict in Zamboanga City, a total of P30.97 million worth of food and non-food items were provided by the agency.

To date, there are a total of 23,794 families with 118,819 individuals or 54 percent of the total population of Zamboanga City were listed to be affected by the 11-day conflict.

Secretary Soliman said there are now a total of 57 evacuations centers that are spread in the city feeding and assisting a total of 21,261 families equivalent to 112,961 individuals.

The evacuees in the JFE sports complex or grandstand has still the largest number of evacuees sheltering about 63 percent of the total number of families inside the evacuation centers.

The DSWD chief also added that she instructed social workers to conduct computerized profiling of displaced families using the DSWD Disaster Assistance Family Access Card for validation and profile generation.

“That will be a basis for the provision of relief and further assistance including shelter assistance for families whose houses were damaged due to fires,” Soliman said.

She said that at present about 118 rescued hostages already went through under DSWD’s stress debriefing sessions and had gone home.

Soliman also said that DSWD’s social workers continue to provide stress debriefing sessions to other hostages, especially the children who were traumatized by the armed-conflict.

She also added the Psycho-Social Processing Sessions and Critical Incident Stress Debriefing in the tents put-up by the DSWD and the Department of Health (DOH) already served about 166 clients.

Aside from these, she added that financial assistance and burial assistance were also given to those who were unfortunately hurt and died during the crossfire between the government forces and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

She reiterated that DSWD is exerting all its efforts to ensure that there is continuous provision of food every meal time to the volume of evacuees especially the elders, lactating mothers and children.

The DSWD also has partnered with local food service providers that provides about 70,000 ready-to-eat packed foods for the evacuees three times a day.

Likewise, Soliman said community kitchen from the City Social Welfare Development Office (CSWDO) is also providing about 12,000 ready to eat foods three times a day while the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) with the help of local volunteers also cooks dinner for 10,000 individuals.

Community kitchen of the DSWD field office 9 inside the Grandstand are also providing food augmentation since the start of the on-going conflict.

Other evacuation centers are otherwise handled and managed by social workers of DSWD, CSWDO and other civil society organizations (CSOs) to ensure enough provision of foods are undertaken.
Soliman said that continuous provision of food is also given to some 613 badjao families who still preferred to stay in their vintas in front of the grandstand.

PRC/ICRC has also help in setting up water bladders inside the grandstand and near the Badjao families to keep the evacuees supplied with enough water.

Four medical stations inside the grandstand consisting of DOH, Zamboanga City Health Department, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), PRC/ICRC are deployed to provide medical assistance and medicines to the evacuees as part of the effort to monitor the health conditions of evacuees and ensure that those who get sick are given immediate medications.

She said several food and non-food assistance were earlier provided by DSWD Field Offices in Region 9, 10 and CARAGA and other private sectors such as United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), International Organization of Migration (IOM) as added support to the evacuees. (PNA)

Support for Zambo victims intensifies

QUEZON CITY, Sept 19 (PIA) – Government, in partnership with private organizations, intensified efforts at providing humanitarian support for the displaced 23,794 families who have fled their homes due to the attack of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)-Misuari group in Zamboanga City.

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Dinky Soliman said the DSWD has provided a total of P30.97 million worth of food and non-food items to address the immediate needs of the evacuees as of Wednesday, Sept. 18.  On a daily basis, the DSWD spends almost P3 million worth of food for the evacuees inside the Joaquin F. Enriquez Jr. Sport Complex also known as the Grandstand.

The department had been preparing at least 70,000 ready-to-eat food packs for every breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the ballooning number of evacuees inside the evacuation centers.  There are 112,961 individuals or 21,261 families in 57evacuation centers.

Its City Social Welfare Development Office (CSWDO) community kitchen has also been supplying 12,000 foods, thrice a day. About 613 Badjao families, who preferred to stay in their vintas in fron of the Grandstand, have also been receiving food packs from the agency.

The DSWD conducts computerized profiling of the displaced families using the DSWD Disaster Assistance Family Access Card for validation and profile generation purposes as basis for the provision of relief and further assistance, including shelter assistance for families whose houses were damaged due to the fires.

Amidst this crisis, humanitarian organizations have been sharing their resources.  The Philippine Red Cross/ International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Western Mindanao State University have been cooking supper for 10,000 individuals.  The World Food Program (WFP), for its part, has shared 800 boxes of high energy biscuits (HBs).

The ABS-CBN Foundation provided a shower van while the Lina Group of Companies, the city government, and the USAID installed portalets inside and outside the Grandstand.

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) such as the Archdiocese of Zamboanga/ Social Action Center, Zamboanga City High School Teachers, and Ateneo de Zamboanga have been handling other evacuation centers with the help of DSWD and CSWDO.  DSWD provides for food packs and/or raw food and supplies while the CSOs manage the community kitchens and food distribution.

Other interventions
There are areas specifically designated for Women and Children  Friendly Space which is managed by Silsillah and a Day Care Center being handled by the Zamboanga Basilan Integrated Development Alliance (ZaBIDA) and Katilingban.  These organizations are providing supplementary feeding for lactating mothers and children

Stress debriefing
 The DSWD and the Department of Health (DOH) have tents for the Psychosocial Processing Sessions/ Critical Incident Stress Debriefing which have served 166 clients.

Rescued Hostages
There are 118 rescued hostages that already went through DSWD’s stress debriefing sessions and have gone home and DSWD continues to provide for the rest of the other hostages. DSWD has provided financial assistance to the rescued hostages and burial assistance to the families of those who were caught during the crossfire between government troops and armed MNLF – Nur Misuari faction.

Ribbon Cutting and Blessing of the Radio Station DWBU-FM 106.3 at Bicol University MP Building, Legazpi City, photo shows Asst. Dean, BUCAL Dr. Leticia M. Lopez, Dean BUCAL Dr. Ma. Julieta B. Borres and Head PBM Department Dr. Agnes J. Nepomuceno.

KBP -Albay Chapter President  Hermogenes Alegre Jr, delivers his message during the launching of DWBU-FM 106.3 at Bicol University Amphitheater MP Building, Legaz;pi City. (Alex Cal/PIA)

Agricultural Training Institute Consultation Workshop

The Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) conducted a Consultation Workshop to Maximize the Services of the Farmers Contact Center (FCC) through the Development of a Communication and Advocacy Plan held at Hotel Venezia, Legazpi City last September 17, 2013. (Alex Cal/PIA)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

DPWH reactivates assistance centers for Penafrancia festivities

LEGAZPI CITY, Sept. 18 (PIA) -- With the anticipated influx of motorists and vehicles to bring devotees and visitors to the festivities for the feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia in Naga City on September 22, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Bicol has reactivated starting today the District Motorist Assistance Centers in the province of Camarines Sur.

DPWH Bicol regiona director Danilo Dequito said this program dubbed“Lakbay Alalay” will be implemented until September 23 in coordination with the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Philippine National Police (PNP) and local government unit (LGU) officials.

Four assistance centers manned by engineers, car mechanics, equipment operators and other service crews are located along the arterial roads of Camarines Sur to give free roadside emergency repair and assistance to motorists.

Motorists in need of assistance can stop by in front of the following offices: 5th District Engineering field Office (DEO) in Gaongan Sipocot, Traffic Mangement Group headquarters in Conception Grande Naga City, DPWH Camarines Sur 4th DEO and DPWH Camarines Sur 3rd DEO in Caraycayon Tigaon.

Dequito added roaming units are also assigned to monitor activities along the major routes particularly the stretch of Daang Maharlika.

At the DPWH regional office, a skeletal workforce from the maintenance division will be receiving reports from the field offices and will be rendering emergency services required on the specified dates.

All district engineers in the region are also instructed to fasttrack necessary road maintenance activities including installation of legible informational and directional signs along national road networks. (MAL/SAA/LVC-PIA5/Albay)

Regional Cooperative Congress set Oct 3-5 in Naga City


NAGA CITY, Sept. 17 (PIA) --- The Bicol Regional Cooperative Development Council (BRCDC) will gather member of various coops from different provinces in the Bicol region to identify cooperative entrepreneurial opportunities and provide prospects for aspiring and young industrialists to contribute in the economic growth.

BRCDC, in partnership with it provincial counterpart in Camarines Sur and Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), has slated Regional Cooperative Congress from October 3 to 5 here to shocase the roles and contributions of the cooperative sector in pursuit of economic development in the context of the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016..

The 3-day confab forms part of the month-long celebration of the Cooperative Month in October this year evolving on the theme: "Cooperative paves the way for inclusive growth".

CDA Naga City senior cooperative development Specialist Ma. Grace P. Layosa said the assembly aims to sustain the growth of cooperatives in the region that would eventually help produce more jobs, draw the majority into the economic and social mainstream and reduce mass poverty, as stipulated in the PDP 2011-2016 under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III.

“With the current state of cooperatives in the Philippines, inclusive growth is really not far to achieve. Cooperatives are distinct and it can create its way to achieve inclusive growth simply by living and following the values of cooperative, that is, self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity,” Layosa said in an interview.

The confab will also feature discussions on the preparation of the Code of Governance and Ethical Standards that will strengthen the commitment of cooperatives to protect, promote and advance the interest and welfare of the organization and the community, in general.

Resource persons from the regional offices of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will also delve on 'May Pera sa Basura' project, while from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will expound on Truth in Lending Act,

Representatives from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) was invited to give update in Taxation laws while other participating agencies like the Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Agriculture (DA), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)  and DTI will share lectures on business opportunities.

CDA Bicol regional director Atty. Ma. Lourdes M. Pesino-Pacao in a letter addressed to their fellow cooperators cited that the discussions are relevant insights that cooperatives can learn from and would enable them to have a firm grasp to cooperative entrepreneurial opportunities.

Other topics  on enhancing business for the cooperative towards community development will be discussed by resource persons from Bangko Sentral ng Pilippinas (BSP), Land Bank, United Coconut Planters Bank(UCPB) and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), DA and DTI. Their discussion will focus on how to . (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)
- See more at: http://r05.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=861379391618#sthash.VPSpxuRo.dpuf

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

CSU to lead coastal clean-up

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Sept. 17, (PIA) - As part of its commitment to the conservation and protection of the environment, Catanduanes State University (CSU) will once again spearhead the 2013 International Coastal Clean-Up on September 21, 2013.

International Coastal Cleanup is the largest volunteer effort for ocean's health which is being held annually every third Saturday of September where people around the world gather on beaches, coasts, rivers, waterways and underwater dive sites to remove trash and record information on the debris collected.

It aims to aid in better waste management policies/plans, product packaging designs and in stirring environmental consciousness among the people.

According to Dr. Maria S. Tugano, CSU Director for Extension Services,the activity in the province will start at 7:00 in the morning to 12:00 NN at Virac shorelines.

Participants are advised to provide themselves clean-up materials like glove, btooms, empty bags/sacks for waste collection & segregation.

Segregated wastes shall be recorded using ICC data cards and collected wastes will be hauled by the municipal garbage truck of Virac.

Before the clean-up kick off, a registration of participants will be held at Virac town Plaza which shall also serve as the assembly area for participants.

Moreover, Dr. Tugano is calling for the participation of government agencies, non-government agencies/organizations, students, and employees.

Interested parties may contact her at mobile number 09053831302.

CSU was a winner of the Search for Eco-friendly schools in the region and in the country. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

PDEA partners with DOLE, OWWA on anti-illegal drugs campaign in Bicol


LEGAZPI CITY, Sept. 17 (PIA) – Three government agencies have inked an agreement in pursuit of relentless drive to prevent and control the proliferation of illegal drugs in the Bicol region now.

Bicol regional directors Nataniel Lacambra of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Jocelyn O. Hapal of the Overseas Worker Welfare Administration (OWWA) and Archie A. Grande of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) signed the memorandum of agreement or MOA on Friday last week in accordance with the provisions, roles and responsibilities of each agency.

Under the agreement, the trio agencies will implement the Kapit-Bisig for a Drug Free Bicolandia program

Grande said that PDEA’s primary role under the agreement is provide technical assistance in the fields of information and advocacy drive activities and act on illegal drug-related concerns of the OWWA and DOLE in the region.

PDEA, according to Grande, will also partner with rehabilitation centers in the region in endorsement of candidates for recipients of DOLE livelihood packages.

Lacambra meanwhile committed that DOLE and OWWA, on the other hand, will pursue and help promote anti-illegal drug abuse program within the agencies, among private companies or workplaces as well as among clientele covering the entire region.

DOLE will grant livelihood packages for deserving individuals who wish to integrate back to society after rehabilitation.

Hapad said OWWA will also encourage their clients and stakeholders to attend anti-illegal drug information and education campaigns in pursuit of drug-free workers.

Grande said these agreements are also a welcome initiative for government agencies, noting that the Civil Service Commission Memorandum Circular No. 13 Series 2010 entitled “Guidelines for A Drug Free Workplace in the Bureaucracy” encourages all government agencies to adopt anti-drug campaign and projects to ensure that the workplace and their clientele are drug-free.  (MAL-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://r05.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=771379397875#sthash.LUZLKjoo.dpuf

Monday, September 16, 2013

Albayanos opt private-sector-participation scheme to manage, rehabilitate Aleco


LEGAZPI CITY, Sept. 15 (PIA) – Albayanos have opted in a referendum Saturday last week the private- sector-participation (PSP) over coop-to-coop (C2C) scheme to manage the financially-beleaguered Albay Electric Cooperative (Aleco).

In the results of the referendum, some 5,506 favored the private- sector-participation (PSP) option compared to  3,491 who voted for the coop-to-coop (C2C) scheme.

Alvie Boral, Aleco spokesperson, said a total of 8,997 or about nine percent showed up and qualified to vote at the precincts which opened as early as 8:00 a.m. to accommodate the voters from 15 towns and three cities of the province up to 3 p. m.

According to Boral, some 100,000 Aleco consumers were expected to show up at the 23 voting precincts in public elementary and high schools put up by the referendum coordinators.

“Yet the estimated voters turnout was much above the 5,000 average turnout in any Aleco-initiated elections for its board members, much more for any regular general assembly’s maximum attendance of a little over 1,000 member-consumers,” she added.

Some of those who came were not allowed to vote due to lack of identification cards and a copy of an Aleco bill.

The Philippine Rural Electricity Cooperative Association (Philreca), led by president Wendell Ballesteros and assisted by three lawyers, supervised and facilitated the referendum.

Breakdown of votes on the three districts of Albay were first district voted PSP – 941, C2C – 1,554; second district voted with PSP – 2,139; C2C – 1,222; and third district recorded 2,426 for PSP and 715 for C2C.

The two options were earlier offered by the Department of Energy as schemes to rehabilitate the ailing electric cooperative.

With the winning of the PSP option, the San Miguel Power Corp., through its SMC Global Power Holding Corp., will run the cooperative as a private corporation guided by its technical bid accepted by the interim board.

SMCGPHC technical bid provides, among others, that as sole and exclusive agent or concessionaire of Aleco, it will act on matters such as “applications for increase in tariff with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), provided the Concessionaire shall only collect such tariffs that ERC may approve.”

On the fate of the existing operations and maintenance personnel of the cooperative, the bid says that Aleco shall indemnify, defend and hold the concessionaire, its directors, officers and employees free and harmless from any claim or action brought by the employees by reason of their separation from employment.

A the same time, the bid presumes the transmission assets and facilities necessary to connect the Aleco distribution system to the grid and assets used for conveyance of electric power from the transmission facilities or embedded generators to end-users are functioning and in good working order, and free from all liens and encumbrances.

This provision means, as required by the technical bid, that all equipment of Aleco for transmission and distribution be in good condition and considering that the technical systems loss the cooperative has been suffering are due to equipment that are in need of repair, Aleco must first restore them before SMC comes in.

“In its effort to improve the cooperative’s operations and profitability, SMC Global Power will make an initial investment of P1.2 billion. This amount will be released over a three to four-year period and constitutes a capital expenditure and working capital earmarked to rehabilitate Aleco,” SMC President Ramon S. Ang said in a letter earlier.

In terms of Aleco's debt, SMC Global Power will implement a viable settlement plan for the payment of the P4-billion debt of Aleco.

“The paying of debt will be subject to the positive performance of the business and none of the debt will be passed on to consumers,” Ang assured, adding their immediate priorities are to rehabilitate Aleco, improve operational efficiencies and minimize systems losses.

“Over the next three years, SMC Global Power will work out a series of programs that include the upgrading and construction of new sub-stations, the correction of metering installations and the improvement of distribution lines,” the SMC boss explained.

Aleco’s debt has mounted to P3.7 billion, largely due to continuous losses for the past 18 years.

Based on DOE estimates, according to Albay Gov. Salceda, financial losses due to systems losses or power bought but not billed or sold amounted to P1.959 billion.  (MAL-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://r05.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=771379322913#sthash.LD59yNKZ.dpuf

DAR Bicol has new regional director, other key officials named


LEGAZPI CITY, September 16 (PIA) -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Bicol has a new regional director in the person of Luis Bello Bueno, Jr.

In a turn-over ceremony held in DAR Bicol regional office here on September 6, Bueno accepted his new post replacing  regional director lawyer Maria Celestina Manlagñit–Tam, who is now assigned as Director IV at the Legal Service Office of DAR Central Office in Quezon City.

“I thank Bicol for its warm welcome and I am looking forward to serve the Bicolanos in the best of my abilities,” Bueno was quoted as saying.

He also appealed for stronger unity and commitment among the ranks as the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) is nearing its completion.

Bueno, who hails from Santa, Ilocos Sur, is considered as an expert in the field of operations having served as provincial agrarian reform officer II (PARO II) in the provinces of Laguna, Rizal, Cavite, Batangas and Palawan before acting as Assistant Regional Director for Operations (ARDO) in Regions IV-A and B. He joined DAR in 1988 during the early days of CARP.

Meanwhile, Tam thanked her fellow Bicolanos for their support during her six-year tenure as DAR-Bicol’s head. “The experience prepared me for bigger challenges that DAR management will entrust me in the future,” Tam said.

Tam is best remembered for her innovations she introduced, the latest of which was the “One DAR Policy,” also known as DARamayan Bikolnon, which she opts to label the “radiation” scheme and personnel redeployment that provided reinforcement ot the present workforce in the provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur, Masbate and Sorsogon with high land acquisition and distribution (LAD) balances.

She also initiated the country’s first DAR’s partnership with the Philippine Coconut Authority in implementing the Coconut Seedlings Dispersal Project (CSDP) and led DAR-Bicol as the country’s most ‘time efficient’ region in matters of fund disbursements to expedite construction of approved subprojects of the Agrarian Reform Communities Projects II (ARCP II).

Aside from the regional director position, the turnover of leadership also transpired for DAR Bicol’s ARDO and PARO posts. Former DAR Camarines Sur A head Rodrigo Realubit is now the OIC-ARDO, taking the place of lawyer Miguel Gracilla who returned to his original designation as Legal Division chief in DAR Camarines Norte.

DARRO V support services former chief Jesus dela Rosa is now the PARO II for Camarines Norte, replacing PARO II Leonito Gaveria, who now heads DAR Camarines Sur A. DAR Sorsogon on the other hand has Felix Fruto as OIC-PARO II, replacing OIC-PARO II Gina Bolaños, who is now back manning the Planning Division at the regional office.

Meanwhile, PARO II Ramon Fuentebella of Camarines Sur B, PARO II Alex Teves of Catanduanes, PARO II Romulo Britanico of Albay and OIC-PARO II Samuel Ongcal of Masbate were retained in their respective posts. Likewise lawyer Leo Miguel Ramos still acts as the Assistant Regional Director for Administration (ARDA).

The change of leadership within the Department, which happened nationwide, was in compliance of Special Order No. 478 series of 2013, signed in August 22 by Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes. The movements are in consonance with the implementation of the approved DAR Rationalization Plan, which is designed to establish a mission-focused organizational structure, DAR-Bicol told the Philippine Information Agency. (MAL/JJJP-PIA5/Albay)

CSC, CSU sponsor fun run for school children

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Sept. 16, (PIA) - The Civil Service Commission (CSC) provincial office and Catanduanes State University (CSU)  here will spearhead a fun run activity on Friday, Sept. 20, in the main thoroughfares of this town to raise fundsthat will augment the procurement of basic school needs of public schools identified by Department of Education (DepEd).

Enida Abordo, officer-in-charge of CSC Catanduanes, said the benefit run is open to all government employees, students and other interested individuals

Anchored on the theme “Tatak Lingkod Bayani: Isabuhay, Ipagmalaki, Ipagbunyi”, the activity dubbed as “Race to Serve III: Run for a Cause” will form part of the 113th Philippine Civil Service Anniversary Celebration.

Abordo said unlike other fun run will not ask for a registration fee and instead, a voluntary amount of not less than P75.00 will be asked from each participant.

The activity will kick-off at Virac Fountain en route to CSU compound at exactly 5:30 in the morning.

Interested parties may inquire at CSU in Barangay Calatagan or CSC Catanduanes office inside DepEd compound. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

- See more at: http://r05.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=841379335924#sthash.7UuBymSV.dpuf

Friday, September 13, 2013

DTI to launch SME roving academy


VIRAC, Catanduanes, Sept. 13 (PIA)- Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Provincial Office will launch the SME Roving Academy (SRA) in four key towns of the province on September and October, 2013.

According to Heginio A. Baldano, DTI OIC-Provincial Director, the activity is a nationwide program that seeks to provide business information and services to existing MSMEs in the areas of skills & technology, marketing & promotion, business registration and permits.

It has the objective of empowering a total of 200 micro, small and medium entrepreneurs/enterprises from the targeted municipalities of Virac, San Andres, Pandan and Viga through knowledge sharing of the various government assistances in the business development particularly access to market, appropriate technology, and access to financing.

The initial roll-out of the roving academy will be held on the following dates: September 27, (San Andres); October 10, (Viga); Oct. 17, (Pandan); and Oct. 22, (Virac).

SRA is one of the flagship programs of the agency conceptualized to be a continuous learning program for the development of micro, small and medium enterprises to become competitive in the domestic and global markets. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes) roving academy

Naga spearheads inter agency clean up drive in preparation for the Penafrancia fluvial procession

NAGA CITY, Sept. 12 (PIA) ---  Prepping up for the official start of the Peñafrancia festivity, the local government of Naga, together with members of various private and government agencies, conducted thursday an inter-agency clean up drive, focusing the effort in clearing up the Naga River before next week’s Fluvial procession.

Naga City mayor John Bongat, together with members of the Sangguaniang  Panglungsod, personally spearheaded the said activity and encouraged the community, particularly those residing along the river banks to extend their utmost cooperation in keeping the river free of waste to allow the smooth passage of Ina’s pagoda in time for the fluvial procession next Saturday, Sept. 21.

The clean-up team particularly circled around Barangays Tabuco and around Tabuco bridge.

The Naga River is a historic site for the devotees and pilgrims of Ina since this is where the image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia is carried in a pagoda accompanied by   members of the clergy, selected city and government officials and Ina’s volunteers. A “Viva La Virgen” shout can be heard from the pagoda and responded with the same chant by devotees watching along the river banks. The fluvial procession also marks the end of the novena.

The river had to be cleaned up and water ways cleared to ensure that it is deep enough to let the heavy pagoda pass with ease to bring back Ina’s image in the Basilica Church.

Tomorrow, September 13, will be the Traslacion procession where the miraculous images of Ina and Divino Rostro will be brought by barefooted voyadores from the Basilica Minore to the  Metropolitan Cathedral. It will pass through the main streets of Naga City and will be ushered by other devotees and pilgrims coming from various parts of the country.

Two weeks ago, more than 3,000 Nagueños also positively responded to the city government’s call for a massive clean-up drive in the main streets of the city. Dubbed “Rilinigan sa Naga Para ki Ina” (Clean up drive in Naga for Ina), members of non- government organizations, private individual and City Hall employees led by Bongat cleared the city streets with garbage and trash to ensure that visitors will enjoy a clean surrounding when they troop to Naga for their annual devotion.

The activity was also participated by members of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, Girl Scouts of the Philippines, Naga Centro Business Club, Association of Barangay Councils and Personnel, Kapisanan ng mga Barangay Kagawad, Gawad Kalinga Federation, West Environmental Watch Group, East Environmental Watch Group, Senior Citizens Federation and various groups of the transport sector. (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)
- See more at: http://r05.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=861378953202#sthash.azvvuErM.dpuf