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

Friday, December 27, 2013

Health group conducts nutrition training


VIRAC, Catanduanes, Dec. 27, (PIA) - The Catanduanes Barangay Nutrition Scholar Federation (CBNSF) spearheaded yesterday, December 26, 2013 the Training and Orientation on Nutrition in Emergency.

CBNSF is an association of nutrition scholars in the province which implements nutrition programs in the different barangays of the province to eradicate malnutrition problem in the island.

The theme of the activity was: “BNS Bida ng Barangay, Bida ng Bayan.”

According to Ms. Liberty So-Guerrero, BNS volunteer and CBNSF president, the activity's purpose was to  update the malnutrition status of Catanduanes.

She said that with the continuous effort of every member of the group and through the support of the provincial and national government, they are hoping that the malnutrition status of the province will improve.

Based on the 2012 Nutrition Survey, Catanduanes has the highest case of malnutrition in the entire Bicol Region.

In attendance were the Barangay Nutrition Scholar of the entire province and all municipal nutrition officer of every town.

The Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos 2012 “Bicol Version: was also launched during the activity. (AAN/EAB-PIA Catanduanes)
- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=841388127961#sthash.h8BIFKDX.dpuf

DOH intensifies ‘Iwas Paputok’ campaign


VIRAC, Catanduanes, Dec. 27, (PIA)- As part of its yearly camoaign on "Iwas Paputok", the Department of Health (DOH) and the Provincial Health Office (PHO) here utilized the radio to solicit  the public’s support.

Dubbed as Aksyon: Paputok Injury Reduction (APIR), the campaign aims to reduce the number of injuries and deaths caused by fireworks/firecrackers, indiscriminate firing of guns, firecracker powder ingestion and fireworks-related non-neonatal tetanus.

This year’s theme is: “Maging ligtas ngayong kapaskuhan, mga biktima ng kalamidad handugan” (Be safe this Christmas Season and help victims of calamities).

According to Dr. Rey J. Millena, DOH Provincial Health Team leader, they chose to launch their campaign through print and broadcast media aside from posters and tarpaulins to reach Catandunganons outside the capital town of Virac.

The official endorsed that instead of using firecrackers, the public may instead use  car horns, cans, pots and pans, radio music, etc,  and other safer alternatives of making noise to welcome the new year or join street parties, concerts and games.

He also reminded the public especially children not to use nor play with any firecracker/fireworks or pick any used/lighted firecracker/fireworks in order to avoid injuries.

If injured, DOH advises to seek immediate medical treatment to prevent tetanus which could lead to death.

The province has recorded 5 cases of fireworks-related injuries last year. (AAN/EAB-PIA5 Catanduanes)

PNP Catanduanes seals guns for holiday season


VIRAC, Catanduanes, Dec. 27, (PIA)- To prevent injuries and deaths due to indiscriminate firing this Yuletide season, Philippine National Police (PNP) here on December 23, 2013 sealed their firearms.

PNP Provincial Director Police Senior Superintendent Eduardo Chavez led the traditional gun muzzle taping of Catanduanes Police personnel held at Camp Francisco Camacho.

 It was conducted simultaneously with other Municipal Police Stations in the 11 towns of the province.

In an interview, PD Chavez said that although their firearms were taped, they can still use it as their last resource when necessary and in line of duty.

He added that the ceremonial taping shows their commitment in promoting safety of civilians and assuring the peaceful celebration of the holiday season.

He also encourages the public to use other alternatives of making noise in welcoming the New Year.

By January 2, 2014, the guns will be checked by the unit chief whose sign appears on the seal to determine whether the order has been complied with.

Violation of the law may result to suspension and termination of duty. (AAN/EAB-PIA5 Catanduanes)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Bicol inter-agency committee on family strengthen its ranks

By: Joseph John J. Perez

LEGAZPI CITY, December 26 (PIA) – Some key government agencies composing the Regional Inter-Agency Committee (RIAC) on family in the Bicol Region recently conducted a team-building workshop to further strengthen its capabilities in implementing programs and projects for the family sector.

“The main objective of this activity is to deepen the understanding, appreciation and commitment among RIAC members towards shared goals for the family through the various programs and services of each agencies and the vision of our country as a nation of strong and  God-centered families,” Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Bicol Focal Person for Family Jindra Mingoy told the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

The two-day activity was designed to revive the participation and support of partner agencies, discuss issues and concerns confronting the RIAC, evaluate and assess the accomplishment for family sector for 2013, prepare the  RIAC plan for family sector for 2014 and strengthen partnership between DSWD and partner agencies, Mingoy added.

The RIAC on the Family is composed of the heads or  representatives of DSWD, Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources, (DENR), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Commission on Population (POPCOM), Technical Education, Skills Development Authority (TESDA) , Department of Justice (DOJ), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and representatives  from local government units, non-government organizations, civic and religious groups, marriage and family organizations, and educational institutions.

In Bicol, this committee has been organized and existed for more than a decade. RIAC has been conducting various activities relative to Family Week Celebration to include the Regional Parent Effectiveness Congress (RPEC). Members of the inter-agency serves as resource persons on topics related to family, DSWD told PIA.

The State recognizes the Filipino family as the foundation of the nation. As such, it strengthens its solidarity and promotes its total development. In addition to these, many other provisions of our Philippine Constitution and specific laws are relevant to family solidarity and total development, DSWD said.

Most notable among these laws is the Family Code of the Philippines. Through the years, a number of Executive Orders and Presidential Proclamations have also been issued in service to the Filipino family, DSWD added.

The RIAC on the Family is the focal point committee in providing the necessary information and reporting on the implementation of the plan at the regional level. (AAN/JJJPerez-PIA5/Albay)

Prov’l gov’t recognizes 11 model employees

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Dec. 26, (PIA) - The Provincial Government of Catanduanes recently gave the “Natatanging Kawani ng Catandungan Award” to 11 local government employees of the province during the ‘Pasko sa Kapitolyo’ Christmas Party held at the Provincial Capitol Dome.

Winners were: Bonifacio G. Molina of  LGU Virac; Lito T. Barba, LGU Bato; Nelia G. Tatad, LGU Gigmoto; Emilio T. Teves, Jr., LGU San Miguel; Elmo Tusi, LGU Viga; Roberto G. Ceballo, LGU Panganiban; Julian Velchez, Jr., LGU Bagamanoc; and Nenebeth Rima, LGU Pandan.

Other awardees were Jomar M. Tabinas, for the Job-Order Employee Category; Exaltacion S. Vargas, Regular Employee Category; and Julieta M. Tasarra, Head of Office Category. Each achiever received a plaque and check worth P5, 000.00.

The annual search for model employees of the province is pursuant to Section 1, Article 11 of the 1987 Constitution which seeks to promote high standard of public service and to hold officials and employees thereof accountable to the people.

Winners were nominated by their co-employees and were chosen based on the following criteria: punctuality, honesty, good reputation, obedience to rules and regulation of the office, accomplishments of assigned tasks and absence of any criminal or administrative charges.

According to Governor Araceli B. Wong, she is hoping that the annual search may serve as a motivation and inspiration to officials and employees to uphold the highest standard of ethics. She also encouraged them to work for the best interest of the public and not just for recognition. (AAN/EAB-PIA Catanduanes/PIMO)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sorsogon’s mentor is Saceda’s Most Inspiring Teacher of the Philippines for 2013

By: Bennie A Recebido

SORSOGON CITY, Dec 23 (PIA) – Six seems to be a lucky number for Teacher Chona B. Reyes, Saceda’s one of the Ten Most Inspiring Teacher of the Philippines this year.

Reyes, a faculty member of Sorsogon National High School (SNHS) in Sorsogon City, received the recognition together with nine others from the different parts of the country as the 2013 Saceda Youth Lead (SYL) Most Inspiring Teacher of the Philippines on December 6.

“Why did I say six is my lucky number? I started as a full time teacher in one private school here in Sorsogon, the St. Louise de Marillac College of Sorsogon formerly Colegio de la Milagrosa in 1996, then transferred to public school where I am now connected and became permanent in 2006. And have received such this prestigious national award in December 6,” said Reyes who is still elated of the award she got.

Saceda Youth Lead, a youth serving institution of the Philippines under the auspices of the National Youth Commission (NYC), builds leadership through education and action for 16 years now. It empowers students in all levels and professionals, as well, to become most effective citizens in the Philippines and in the ASEAN region.

Reyes said there were 28 nominees in all from the Philippines and two others from Singapore. “Sorsogon is lucky to have two nominees coming from the City Schools Division of Sorsogon, Mrs. Divina Diaz, our Social Studies Education supervisor and me”  she said.

Reyes who was the last to be called from among the list of Top 10 winners said the award speaks a new beginning in her life to inspire more what she called her VIPs (Very Important Persons) – her family, students, co-workers and parents of her students – whom she also considers her inspiration as a teacher.

“I feel proud having received the award on behalf of the people I serve and deal with. I may have inspired others, and I owe this recognition most to the parents of my students who are ‘my inspiring others’. When I reprimand students and their parents take side on me and support me, I become more inspired because it is an affirmation that the discipline I give my students has real meaning and better impact on them,” she said.

“When I was informed I am nominated and is invited to the awarding, I wasn’t able to decide right away and had second thoughts of attending the affair,” said Reyes.

The schedule coincides with the City Meet whom she serves as the Softball Team Coach aside from her being coach to school’s regional contests and attendance to seminars.

“Besides, super typhoon Yolanda has just ravaged the Visayas area where the awarding ceremony will be held,” she also added. Reyes, the only unmarried in the family, is also a caregiver to her mother with Alzheimer’s disease.

But perhaps, it was really her destiny to be chosen as Most Inspiring Teacher of the Philippines for 2013 just as she considers her being a teacher as “destiny”. According to her she never dreamt she would become a teacher someday, but destiny brought her to the field.

“My presence during the convergence of nominees in Dumaguete City was a destiny. Having lot of concerns in mind, I decided not to attend anymore, but my supportive co-teachers, Ms Aurora Caguia, who voluntarily rushed my 10-slide power point presentation, Mr. Dundee Lanuza and Mrs. Pamela Abecia, from SNHS English Department who patiently edited my narrative portfolio, and our softball trainer, Mr. Jose Credo, who persuaded me up to the last hour to attend the affair assuring me of the safety of my softball players, are more than enough inspiration to change my mind in the end,” Reyes recalled.

“Along the process of screening the nominees for the final awards, I really got too emotional thinking of my sick mother and the city meet which I left worried about the welfare and safety of people under my care. Despite the assurance of our trainer, still being their coach, I have the full responsibility over my player’s welfare. This maybe the reason why I was called by the judges as the ‘emotional’ nominee,” Reyes narrated.

Asked by the panel of judges about the principles she hold on in life, she answered without hesitation that the Spirit of Volunteerism is her principle. Being a volunteer herself, she could easily inspire others to become volunteers themselves.

Considered highlight of her achievement was her passion for the care of the environment and Solid Waste Management applied not only inside SNHS but also seen in her actions wherever she is.

Reyes got knowledge about the SYL in April of 2010 when she was still the adviser of SNHS Supreme Student Government (SSG) in Mindanao when she participated upon invitation the SYL’s sponsored international leadership training.

In 2012, for the second time, she again got the chance to attend the SYL sponsored leadership training in Legazpi City bringing along with her the SNHS students. In 2013, SYL was invited by DepEd Sorsogon to conduct the Division Leadership Training for SSG and Supreme Pupil Government (SPG) in Sorsogon.

“An inspiring teacher is rare to find and this award is a symbolic commitment to meet aside from  develop Inspiring Teachers of the Philippines who do not only teach but guide and navigate our kids for stronger families, safer Filipino communities and a more robust Filipino nation,” said Dave Saceda, chair and founder of SYL.

This year’s Search for SYL Most Inspiring Teachers of the Philippines was held in Dumaguete City, Negros Occidental with the theme: “Through our Teachers We See the Future of our Country and through their Good Deeds We Prosper as a Nation.” (AAN/BARecebido-PIA-5/Sorsogon)

Confab of researchers held in Bicol


LEGAZPI CITY, December 23 (PIA) – Around 100 researchers and research and development practitioners including researchers and journal editors from state and private universities and colleges, and other government agencies in Bicol gathered last week in this city for a regional training and seminar workshop on research performance evaluation.

“This gathering is in connection with the project of the Department of Science and Technology-National Academy of Science and Technology (DOST-NAST) on evaluation and improvement of the research publication of DOST research and development institutes,” DOST Bicol Regional Director Tomas Briñas told the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

The workshop featured speakers and issues that are presently vital in the field of research and development such as research performance evaluation in the academe discussed by Bicol University’s Research and Development Director Dr. Arnulfo Mascariñas.

Meanwhile, Dr. Percival Almoro, Photonics Research Program coordinator and deputy director for Facilities and Resources of National Institute of Physics at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman dealt with scientific mentoring and formation of research groups.

The ethical standards in research and development were tackled by Marco Nemesio Montaño of the Marine Science Institute of UP Diliman and member of the chemical, mathematical and physical sciences division of the NAST.

Dr. Arnel del Barrio, Philippine Carabao Center  center director discussed research performance evaluation in the research institutions while Dr. Percival Almoro gave a lecture on writing scientific articles and workshops.

Also included in the sessions are topics on ecotourism discussed by Dr. Carlos Libosada, assistant professor of the Asian Institute of Tourism in UP Diliman and animal welfare and safety discussed by Dr. Renato Almonte, chief of the Regulatory Division and Animal Welfare Office of the Department of Agriculture in the Bicol Region.

The participants also contributed their unpublished researches including technical reports, journal articles and other publications, Briñas told the PIA.

“This project aims to improve the productivity and the international visibility of the country’s science and technology,” Briñas added.

With the conduct of the training and workshop, the partner- institutions are expected to push for more science and technology initiatives and incorporate research and development in the national and regional agenda in the implementation of priority programs and projects in the region, Briñas told PIA. (AAN/JJJPerez-PIA5/Albay)

Camarines Sur nominated Biosphere reserve for UNESCO project


NAGA CITY, Dec. 23 (PIA) --- The province of Camarines Sur, once declared as a Biosphere Reserve will be globally recognized as a learning site not just for biodiversity conservation location but also as a pivotal area for tourism and sustainable development.

Currently, of the 621 Biosphere Reserves in 117 countries, Palawan and Puerto Galera were the only areas in the Philippines named as Biosphere Reserves as part of the Man and Biosphere program of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Camarines Sur hopes to be included in the list after it was nominated by various stakeholders that include representatives from the local government units (LGUs), private sectors, members of the academe and by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Protected Area Management Board (PAMB).

Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA) who will serve as the secretariat of the CamSur Biosphere Reserve Council, prepared the nomination document containing comprehensive description of the biological, socio-economic, cultural and other important details regarding the nomination.  Said document has been signed by the stakeholders and was forwarded to the UNESCO National Committee (UNACOM) for their perusal and final designation.

The UNACOM will then review the dossier and will endorse the nomination to UNESCO, Paris, France.

Camarines Sur Governor Migs Villafuerte, PENRO Arnel Rodriguez who represented DENR Sec. Ramon Jesus P. Paje and Clarin Tobias of the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) unanimously pledged their commitment to support the CamSur BR and officially nominate its designation as a Biosphere Reserve during the last day of the Camarines Sur Biosphere Reserve Management Planning Workshop held last week at the Alvaro Ravina Hall, CBSUA Pili Campus.

CBSUA Professor Arthur Estrella who is also the concurrent lead research associate of the project said that the BR management also contains salient characteristics that requires the cooperation of the stakeholders.

“ BR Management is stakeholder managed, it is integrative and coordinative and involve a wide range of partners.  It is based on dialogue, consensus and agreement of stakeholders. The proposed CamSur BR Council will be composed of members that are binded by an agreement based on dialogue and consensus, where every member has equal rights. Council has also oversight function and every member has assigned roles and responsibilities based on the management plan,” Estrella said in an interview.

Estrella added that the initial study of CBSUA conducted in July 2013, showed that initially, there are 16 municipalities that could qualify as a biosphere reserve. This would include the Mt. Isarog Natural park as the core zone including the six municipalities and one city immediately surrounding Mt. Isarog: Naga City, Pili, Goa, Calabanga, Tinambac, Ocampo and Tigaon.  This would comprise the core and buffer zones of the reserve. The core zone is a strict protection zone while the buffer zone provides area for sustainable development.

“Other areas which were found to be bio-geographically linked with the core zone are to be designated as transition zone. This zone provides opportunities for sustainable development and eco-friendly livelihood activities. This include the towns of Milaor, Bombon, Camaligan, Sangay, Bula, Magarao, San Jose and parts of Libmanan, Magarao, Lagonoy. The biosphere reserve is about 107,000 has,” Estrella stated.

Camarines Sur is optimistic that it can be a part of the world network of biosphere reserves around the globe and become an internationally recognized learning site managed by stakeholders. It endeavors to showcase a harmonious co-relation while enjoining community-based endeavors to promote conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.   (AAN/LSMacatangay-PIAV/Camarines Sur)

Friday, December 20, 2013

TASK Force Paputok tights up monitoring on firecrakers vendors


NAGA CITY, Dec. 20 (PIA) --- A few days before Christmas, member-agencies of Task Force Paputok here have already laid down safety measures to ensure a zero-casualty and injury-free Christmas celebration.

This was bared by Public Safety Office (PSO) Executive Director Lito Del Rosario during the FORUM@PIA held Tuesday at the Philippine Information Agency Provincial office in Camarines Sur together with Fire Inspector Peterpaul Mendoza, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Naga Chief of Operation and Regulation, P/Supt. Cerilo Trilles Jr, Philippine National Police Naga City Chief of Operation and Dr. Eduardo Quidoles from Bicol Medical Center Health Emergency Management Service (BMC-HEMS).

Del Rosario added that the Task Force, which is strictly asigned to enforce the provisions of Republic Act 7183 or the law regulating the manufacture and sale of firecrackers and pyrotechnics, will be closely coordinating with firecrackers and pyrotechnics distributors and retailers to prevent the occurrence of fire-related incidents.

“We want to minimize or reduce cases of firecracker-related deaths of injuries if we cannot totally eliminate it. We will ensure that only those with special business permits will be allowed to sell and distribute pyrotechnics products in the city,” Del Rosario said.

On the part of the PNP Trilles said they will be in heightened alert to ensure that their men are ready to respond to any eventualities during the Christmas revelry.

“Our main task is to ensure the safety of the community. Police visibility especially in crowded areas like shopping malls, down town area and similar places will be vigilantly guarded by our policemen. We will also be keeping a close watch to the illegal pyrotechnic products that will be sold by the firecracker vendors,” Trilles reiterated.

Baby rocket, bawang, small “trianggulo”, pulling of strings, paper caps, el diablo, judah’s belt, sky rocket and other types equivalent to the foregoing explosive content are listed as legal firecrackers and can be sold in the market by registered firecracker vendors.

Among the legitimate pyrotechnic devices include sparklers, “luces”, fountain, jumbo regular and special, “mabuhay”, roman candle, “trompillo”, airwolf, whistle device, butterfly and all kinds of pyrotechnic devices and other types equivalent to the foregoing devices.

On the list of prohibited firecrackers are Atomic Big trianggulo, super lolo, pla-pla and their equivalents.  Watusi and piccolo are also prohibited per DOH regulations.

BFP Fire Inspector Peterpaul Mendoza said that they are also enjoining the public to join them in their campaign dubbed “ OPLAN Paalala” under the theme “ Bombero ako, tungkulin ko kaligtasan mo ngayong Pasko.”

 The campaign focuses on ensuring the safety of warehouses where firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices are being kept.

TASK Force Paputok also fully supports the Department of Health’s Iwas Paputok campaign. (AAN/LSMacatangay-PIAV/Camarines Sur)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

4Ps beneficiaries in Bicol to be hired as tourist guides


LEGAZPI CITY, Dec 18 (PIA) – Beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in the Bicol region will be given opportunity to work as tourist guides and tourist spot caretakers.

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said this is under the “Trabahong Turismo” program set to be implemented next year.

The program is part of the department’s effort to provide a sustainable source of income to 4Ps beneficiaries in the region.

“We want the beneficiaries to become self-reliant,” Soliman said.

Soliman added the tourism industry in Bicol can open oppurtunities for poor families to earn considering that the region is one of the top tourist destinations in the country.

The memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the implementation of this program has been signed by the DSWD, Department of Tourism (DOT) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

“We will continue to tap other partner-agencies and the private sector as well to create more livelihood opportunities for our disadvantaged people,” Soliman added.

Under the agreement, the DSWD field office in Bicol will identify the beneficiaries of the program who will be attending DOT training courses.

The training includes multi-lingual tour guiding, frontline services, river guiding, housekeeping, tourism awareness, and mountain guiding.

The provinces of of Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Catanduanes and Masbate comprising the Bicol region has its own tourist destinations attracting both local and foreign visitors.

Among the famous tourism destinations are butanding or whale watching in Donsol Sorsogon, Camarines Sur Watersports Complex (CWC) in Pili town, Calaguas Island in Camarines Norte and majestic Mayon Volcano in Albay.

Currently, the Bicol Regional Development Council headed by Albay Governor Joey Salceda is pushing the Albay-Masbate-Sorsogon Tourism Alliance (ALMASORTA) to complement the Catanduanes-Camarines Sur-Camarines Norte Tourism Link (CCTL).

These regional tourism clusters are set to achieve a more integrated and comprehensive promotion strategy to market the potentials of tourism industry in Bicol. (AAN/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

Monday, December 16, 2013

2nd Bicol Essay Writing Competition

Deputy Secretary General League of Municipalities of the Philippines  Mayor Tito Sarion  of Daet Camarines Norte, delivered his message during the 2nd Bicol Essasy Writing Competition on Achieving Socio-Economic Development and Competitiveness of Bicol, Cities and Municipalities Regional Finals held at Central Plaza Mall, Daet, Camariens Norte last December 14, 2013. (Alex Cal/PIA5)


PIA- Regional Office V- Officer-in-Charge,  Aida A. Naz shared  her  time and expertise as Judge in the 2nd Bicol Essasy Writing Competition on Achieving Socio-Economic Development and Competitiveness of Bicol, Cities and Municipalities Regional Finals held at Central Plaza Mall, Daet, Camarines Norte last December 14, 2013. (Alex Cal/PIA5)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

 PIA-V Officer-in-Charge and Chairman RPEB Aida A. Naz delivers her message during the Second Regional Population Executive Board (RPEB) Meeting held at La Roca Veranda Suites and Restaurant, Gogon Legazpi City today December 10, 2013. (Alex Cal/PIA)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Donors visit, assess projects in Bicol under Kalahi-CIDSS

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 9 (PIA) – Finance and procurement consultants from International Business and Technical Consultants, Inc (IBTCI) conducted study visits in nine barangays in the municipalities of Bombon, Bula and Baao in Camarines Sur to assess and consequently simplify the community procurement and finance aspects of the implementation of the project under the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS).

Bicol regional director Arnel Garcia of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said the study aims to validate the current gaps encountered by the community-implementers of Kalahi-CIDSS in all project sites in the entire country.

“The community-implementers themselves are involved in this study since they are directly involved in the implementation of the project, much as they know the process and impacts to the community,” he said.

According to Javier Bersabal, one of the community volunteers interviewed in Baao town, the study visit was an opportunity to share his learning and address bottlenecks of the project.

“Maganda na kami mismo ang kinukunsulta nila kasi kami ang nagpapatakbo ng proyekto sa barangay [It’s a good thing they consulted us because we manage the project in the community],” he said.

The study group is composed of Kamal Altafullah, Roosevelt Holt, Franklin Ibemessie who are the Procurement Specialist, Finance Specialist and Senior Procurement Specialist, respectively, hired by Millennium Challenge Account – Philippines (MCA-P) and Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

The trio consultants from the United States of America (USA) were escorted by Rogelio Borbon and Samo Tucpi of MCA-P.

The same study visits were also conducted in Regions I, IV-B, VI and VII with 30 barangays to be assessed in total. It is expected to end by January next year.

MCC is one of the foreign donors of Kalahi-CIDSSS which provides grants to 15 municipalities in Bicol region from 2012-2014. Moreover, MCA-P is the monitoring body of MCC which provides technical supervision to ensure that Kalahi-CIDSS to meet the standards in successfully completing development interventions in the communities. (MAL/JBMarbella-DSWD5/PIA5)

CSC urges government entities to provide consistent public service amid Christmas festivities

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 9 (PIA) – The Civil Service Commision (CSC) in Bicol has reminded government agencies in the region, especially those in frontline services, to provide uninterrupted high quality service amid Christmas get-togethers and other similar year-end activities.

Relaying the message of CSC chairman Francisco T. Duque III, CSC Bicol rgeional director Cecilia Nieto remarked, “Christmas is the season of sharing and giving, and I know that the best gift we can give to the public is the promise of responsive, accessible, courteous, and effective public service, not only for the yuletide season but throught the year.”

Nieto said the Commission urged government offices to implement appropriate strategies such as rotation and gatherings in shifts to ensure that the public is consistently served within the prescribed government working hours.

Republic Act No 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) of 2007 provides that “heads of offices and agencies which render frontline services shall adopt appropriate working schedules to ensure that all clients who are within their premises prior to the end of official working hours are attended to and served even during lunch break and after regular working hours."

In compliance with this law, Nieto  said there should be no interruption in service even for Christmas parties scheduled during lunch break thus the need for a skeletal force to oversee the frontlines. (SAA-PIA5/Albay)

2nd Bicol Essay Writing Competition in CamSur today

NAGA CITY, Dec. 9 (PIA) --- Student-writers from various schools in Camarines Sur vie for the top spot of the 2nd Bicol Essay Writing Competition today held at the Naga City Youth Center, this city that win them cash prize, recognition and an opportunity to represent the province in the regional tilt. of the literary competion.

The competition evolves on the theme “Towards Achieving Socio-economic Development and Competitiveness of Bicol Cities and municipalities,” that intends to sustain the accomplishments of Bicol’s local government units in terms of infrastructure development, sustainable economy and good governance, among others.

The theme also pursues the recently released result of the National Competitiveness Council’s (NCC) first Cities and municipalities Competitive Index for 2013, using economic development and competitive indicators at the local government levels.

In Bicol, the local governments of Daet in Camarines  Norte and of this city were adjudged as the most competitive town and city in the region and first in the infrastructure development among thier counterparts.

Competitiors are expected to expound the various ideas on how their respective municipalities can achieve competitiveness in various areas of development as well as issues in socio-economic development, best practices of local government units and the way LGU leaders lead their constituents by promoting transparency and good governance.

Economic indicators such as development of road networks, provision of basic utilities and the number of registered vehicles including the health program of the local governments and the significance to promote growth can also be a part of the essay piece.

Daet information officer Ronnel Yu said that the project also aims to hone writing skills of the youth and make them as partners in the information dissemination campaign of the LGU’s good deeds.

“This brainchild of Mayor Tito Sarion - the Bicol Essay Writing Competition - intends to extol the best practices of the local government units as inspired by our late DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo. He also knows the great potential of the youth to be an instrument of information, thus the institutionalization of this essay competition,” Yu said in an interview.

Regional finals is set on December 14 to be held at the Central Plaza Mall, Daet, Camarines Norte.

The on-the-spot essay writing in English was spearheaded by the League of Municipalities (LMP) –Camarines Norte Chapter and all other Provincial Chapters in the region, Bicol Harvest magazine, Kaya Natin Movement and LGU-Daet.

This endeavor is also supported by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), Philippine Information Agency Regional and provincial offices, Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and ABS-CBN Bicol. (LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)