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

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Postbank opens Bangko ng Nayon in Albay

BANGKO NG NAYON : Philippine Postal Savings Bank President and CEO  Cesar N. Sarino delivers his inaugural message during the blessing and inauguration of the PostBank Microfinance Banking Office in LGU-Bacacay, Albay, held on April 29, 2014. Bangko ng Nayon opens to serve the community to provide access to financial services. (Alex Cal/PIA5)

 Senior Manager, Legazpi Branch Head Hector G. Pili introduced the Guest of Honor and Speaker during the blessing and inauguration of the Postbank Microfinance Banking Office.
BACACAY, ALBAY : Sharing honors in the ribbon-cutting ceremony  PostBank President & CEO Cesar N. Sarino and  Bacacay Municipal Mayor Hon. Tobias B. Betito  during the blessing and inauguration of PostBank Microfinance Banking Office of the Philippine Postal Savings Bank, officiated by Rev. Fr. Neson Marantal, Co-Pastor St. Rose the Lima Parish. 

MALINAO, ALBAY : Sharing honors in the ribbon-cutting ceremony  PostBank President & CEO Cesar N. Sarino and  Malinao Municipal Mayor Hon. Alicia B. Morales, during the blessing and inauguration of newly open and ready to serve PostBank Microfinance Banking Office of the Philippine Postal Savings Bank, held on April 29, 2014 at LGU-Malinao. (Alex Cal/PIA5)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

COMELEC to resume voter registration on May 6

VIRAC, Catanduanes, April 23, (PIA) - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will open registration of new voters  starting May 6 this year in preparation for the May 9, 2016 national and local elections

Atty. Maria Aurea C. Bo-Bunao, chief of Comelec office in Catnaduanes, said the Commission has issued Resolution No. 9853 providing the rules and regulations on the resumption of the system of continuing registration of voters, validation and updating of registration records for the May 9, 2016 synchronized national, local and ARMM regional elections and other registration policies.

According to Bo-Bunao, Comelec offices will be open even on Sundays and a satellite registration will be set up in at least one (1) barangay in a locality and upon request.

The Comelec provincial chief thus encouraged those who still don't have biometrics data to validate their records.

"Voter registration is open to those who are 18 years old and above by May 6, 2014; to those whose 18th birthday would fall on May 6, 2014, and on any day up to and including May 8, 2015," she added.

Comelec will also cater services the likes of transfer of registration records, change of entries, correction of entries, reactivation, inclusion of registration records, reinstatement in list of voters, updating of records for PWDs, senior citizens and indigenous (IPs) and validation.

Applicants must present one (1) valid ID to their respective local COMELEC election officer.

As of 2013, Catanduanes have 167,468 registered voters. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=841398207385#sthash.K0dKiOuY.dpuf

Monday, April 21, 2014

DA turns over liquid Nitrogen plant, livestock and farm inputs in Masbate

LEGAZPI CITY, April 21 (PIA) – The Department of Agriculture (DA) turned over  the Mini-Liquid Nitrogen Generating Plant  worth P6.5M  to the city government here early this month expected to benefit stakeholders in animal breeding and raising.

DA Undersecretary for Livestock Jose C. Reaño, who led the turn-over rites of the facility to Mayor Rowena  R. Tuason of this city, said the availability of liquid Nitrogen not only in this city but also in the entire Masbate province comprised the logistical components  of the Artificial Insemination  Program (AIP)  of the agency that is vital for proper storing and  transporting of  animal semen.

“Artificial insemination is one of the strategies to improve genetics and breed of livestock,” he explained.

The facility, according to Reaño, will be managed and operated by the city government and is located inside the compound of Masbate Fish Complex and Bus terminal  here.

Tuason meanwhile thanked DA for making a reality  the long  time  demand of cattle raisers of their province, stressing that the presence of the plant right in their locality will greatly reduce the   cost of transporting  semen tanks and make them readily accessible at any  time.

She also strongly endorsed the establishment of an Animal Diagnostic Laboratory   as this  will  pave the way to realizing their vision of making Masbate an Organic Beef Producer by 2020.

Reaño, who also met with the livestock raisers and stakeholders following the turn-over of the facility, has also approved request of the Cattle Raisers Association of Masbate Inc., led by Gerry Aguilar, to establish  an animal diagnostic  laboratory  in the province.

He committed the agency will allocate some P3 million for the establishment of the laboratory  and the purchase of the essential equipment, including  an electro semen ejaculator which shall determine  if the semen  of bulls  are still viable.

The site for the proposed laboratory has yet to be determined and will be supervised by the DA regional office, according to Reaño.

Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) director  Rubina Cresencio has recommended to construct the facility at the Don Emilio B. Espinosa Sr. Memorial State College of Agriculture and Technology (DEBESMSCAT) in Mandaon town  or at the DA  Breeding Station  in Barangay Asid, in this city

Dr.  Grace Ceñas, administrator of National Dairy Authority (NDA), on the other hand, observed that Masbate has great potential for dairy development noting that the office   is ready to support the island province in this undertaking.

She presented a scheme where livestock breeds for meat production will be crossbred with dairy breeds.

NDA will buy the offspring   for milking purposes and later when there  are enough  dairy animals in the island , the establishment of milk   processing or dairy plants will subsequently follow.

On the same meeting with livestock raisers,  DA Assistant Secretary for Livestock Davinio Catbagan said that  imported  breeds  from the USA  are due to arrive in our country  this year, with the 300  heads  allocated for Visayas wherein Masbate will be getting its share  on the same allocation.

The importation of livestock  is  part of the  government’s   thrust  of infusing new  livestock   breeds to upgrade our native  stocks.

Reaño furthered that the DA will concentrate not only on  animal infusion  but also on  improving animal nutrition through pasture improvement and  mineral supplementation ,  improving calving  or  conception and continuing  education for breeders  through trainings.

He thus invited the breeders to visit the DA’s 187- hectare Regional Carabao Breeding Center   in Mabato-bato, Mandaon town where   native carabaos have been genetically upgraded and where nutrition-rich forage grasses are also available as source of planting materials.

He bared that only five personnel are assigned in the facility and yet it has now produced a total of 148 heads and generated a total income of  P234,000 over the last two years.

DA Bicol regional office also turned over to the city government here a check worth P2.9M as a first tranche  payment   for the opening  of a Farm-to-Market  Road  between Barangay Igang here and sitio Gatuson in Milagros town under the  Bottom-Up-Budgeting Program.

Likewise, it turned over 200 bags of hybrid cornseeds (at 20 kg per bag) worth P500,000.00 in addition to 200 bags earlier  turned over to the province  to be distributed to corn cluster areas there.

DA Bicol also turned over  to the local government of Aroroy  two units of palay threshers and two units of hand tractor also under the BUB program.  (MAL/EBBordado-DA5/PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=771398063476#sthash.1xDgwhRY.dpuf

PNP Bicol intensifies crackdown vs motorcycle theft


LEGAZPI CITY, Apr. 21 (PIA) – The Philippine National Police (PNP) here has urged anew collaboration and support from the community as they intensify their anti-carnapping campaign leading to the arrest of four suspects recently this month.

PNP Legazpi chief Police Supt. Alex Pederio said the suspects were caught in separate incidents but the PNP has established their connection as part of a carnapping group operating in the province of Albay.

“Four suspects were caught in separate incidents but we have established connivance. One of them is the person incharge with disposal or the selling of disassembled motorcycle parts so that can weaken their operation by 50percent," Pederio said.

Among the suspects is Johnlen Azuran, a former barangay kagawad, arrested by the joint elements of Daraga municipal police and Legazpi City police led by Pederio at about 8:40 pm on April 13, 2014.

He was caught in the act of loading assorted motorcycle spare parts to an alleged carnapped electronic motorcycle in front of his residence in barangay 23, Imperial Court Subdivision in this city where he also operates a junk shop.

Among the spare parts recovered from Azuran are four telescopic, five shock absorbers, eight rims and six foot rests.

Pederio said the suspect, along with the spare parts and the motorcycle, was turned over to the PNP. He was charged in violation of RA 6539 or Anti-Cranapping Act through inquest proceedings.

On April 9, 2014 at about 6:45 am, two suspects were caught at barangay Puro here in the act of driving a Honda motorcycle with plate number HK-7431 without helmet, license, official receipt and other documents to certify their ownership.

The engine and chassis number of said motorcycle used by Sherwin Nodalo of barangay Cabangan and Bryan Lovino of Sabang has been tampered.

Pederio said macro-etching examination will be used to determine the tampered serial number which can be defaced and grinded using a papel de liha or sand paper.

“We can have the result of macro-etching examination in 2-3 days. Although the engraved serial number outside the surface of the chassis has been defaced, the indented serial number inside can be determined using a certain chemical,” Pederio explained.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) will then research the owner who in turn will file the complaint for the PNP to arrest the suspect.

“The victims can come to our police stations to identify their ownership of the motorcycle parts. They will serve as complainants and the police as arresting officers,”Pederio said.

On the same date at about 5:05 am, joint police force also arrested Randy Orticio of barangay Bitano through a checkpoint conducted at barangay Bay-Bay.

He was caught in the possession of carnapped black motorcycle Honda XRM 125 originally colored yellow and white and was reported missing on December 21 last year while inside the garage of its owner Tiffany Celis at Our Ladies Village, Bitano Legazpi City.

Pederio said such arrests are results of preventive anti-carnapping operations such as checkpoints and impoundment of motorcycles without supporting documents.

“The successful operation is due to the support of the PNP regional director and other government units. It is the result of our preventive anti-carnapping operations conducted through checkpoints and impoundment of motorcycles due to absence of needed papers. These may be stolen in other places and used here or vice versa,” Pederio said.

“These intensified campaigns may be the reason why they resort to disassembling of motorcycle parts since they cannot freely use it,’” Pederio added.

He cited that some 42 motorcycles without proper documents, which might have been stolen in other places and used here, have been impounded by the PNP and are subject for research to determine the owners.

Meanwhile 37 motorcycles have been resported as of this month of which eight are reported by January, 11 by February, 12 by March and seven this April. (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=2571398070570#sthash.1RVP9xYz.dpuf

Monday, April 14, 2014

Caceres media on Lenten recollection


NAGA CITY, April 14 (PIA) ---  Archbishop of Caceres Most Rev. Rolando Tria Tirona, O.C.D., D.D. reminded Camarines Sur media practitioners of the significant commitment and responsibility that each one should contemplate as communicators especially during these holy days when the entire Christendom observes the Lenten Season.

This, as members of the media from various media outlets – print, broadcast and television took their time off to attend the Lenten recollection sponsored by the Archdiocese of Caceres at Villa Caceres, here during the weekend.

Tirona accentuated the critical role that media plays in forming public opinion through the news and information that they deliver to their audience. He said that there are three important things that each media person needs to ponder on before he can be an effective communicator.

“First, you need to have a dialogue with yourself, an awareness of your identity. Next, you need to discern. That is the process of trying to understand, weight and clarify issues before making a decision and the third one is direction. This means that we need to be aware of the critical and powerful responsibility that is in our hands,” Tirona added.

The good Archbishop also stated that members of the media also lead the people, the reason why it is important that each one is also guided by an educated conscience.  He also reminded everyone that as we remembers the sacrifice of our creator, we should also make it a point to realize that Christ is the center of this occasion.

After the Archbishop’s one-hour talk, attendees were given an opportunity to confess and attend the anticipated mass.

Fr. Louie Occiano, Caceres Commission on Communication Chairman stated in his homily the virtue of consistency.

“While we acknowledge that this is the most prayerful time of the year, we should also take the challenge of making this seasonal opportunity to be a one-time act of kindness last and linger. We should continue to be prayerful and pious everyday of our lives.”

The recollection also supports this year’s theme of the Year of the Laity : “Filipino-Catholic Laity: Called to be Saints..Sent forth as Proclaimers of the Gospel.”

The Archdiocese of Caceres also invites the faithful to contemplate and participate in the church’s activities this Lenten season.  (MAL/LSM- PIA5/CamSur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=861397445562#sthash.oonrwquE.dpuf

PSA-NSO conducts Labor Force Survey

VIRAC, Catanduanes, April 14 (PIA)- To gather data on the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the population, the Philippine Statistics Office (PSA)-NSO Catanduanes is currently undertaking the April 2014 Labor Force Survey (LFS).

According to Ms. Anavi F. Camacho, Prov’l Statistics Officer, the Labor Force Survey (LFS) is a nationwide survey of households conducted regularly towards the estimation of the levels of employment and unemployment in the country.

The survey is designed to provide statistics on levels and trends of employment, unemployment and underemployment for the country as a whole, and for each of the administrative regions.

It also aims to provide a quantitative framework for the preparation of plans and formulation of policies affecting labor market .towards: 1)Creation and generation of gainful employment; 2)reduction of unemployment and promotion of employment; 3)improvement of working conditions; and 4)enhancement of the welfare of a working person.

Moreover, it provides statistics on levels and trends of employment, unemployment and underemployment for the country and regions; it is used for the projection of future human resource, which when compared with the future manpower requirements, will help identify employment and training needs; it helps in the assessment of the potential human resource available for economic development; and it identifies the difference in employment, unemployment and underemployment according to the different economic, social and ethnic groups existing within the population.

In the province, nine (9) sample barangays will be visited. The municipalities with sample barangays to be visited are Baras, (1 barangay), Caramoran (1 barangay), Pandan (1 barangay), San Andres (3 barangays), and Virac (2 barangays).

The reporting unit is the household which means that the statistics emanating from this undertaking will refer to the characteristics of the population residing in private households. Persons residing in the institutions like the convents, sanitaria, etc. are excluded in this survey.

Actual interview of sample households will take eighteen days from April 8-31, 2014.

RA 10625, otherwise known as Philippine Statistical Act of 2013 authorizes PSA to conduct censuses and surveys. Pursuant to Rule 29 of this Act, information obtained from the respondents shall be held strictly confidential and shall not be divulged to any person except authorized PSA personnel acting in the performance of their duties. (MAL/EAB/PSA-NSO/PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=841397391711#sthash.KNmB1EVf.dpuf

Friday, April 11, 2014

LGU Naga and Plan, International, ink MOA on Collective Action to Promote non-violent and protective society for Children

NAGA CITY, April 11 (PIA) --- A model LGU for positive discipline advocacy after enacting its Positive Discipline Ordinance in 2013, this city is now chosen as implementer of a three-year project dubbed “Collective Action to Promote non-violent and protective society for Children.

Naga was among the six (6) model areas in the Philippines where the said project is being carried out.

On the forefront of the said endeavor is Plan International Philippines, in partnership with the Philippine Legislator’s Committee on Population and Development and Lihok Pilipina Foundation, Inc. The said agencies will be closely working with the City Social Welfare and Development Officers, DepEd officials, officials of LGUs Naga and Pili and other stakeholders to institutionalize positive non-violent and protective society in their respective communities.

The event’s highlight was the inking of the memorandum of agreement between Plan International Philippines and the local government units of Pili, Camarines Sur represented by Mayor Alexis San Luis II and the city government of Naga under the stewardship of Mayor John Bongat. Plan International was represented by Catharina Wilhelmina van der Hor, PLAN Country Director.

Both LGU’s committed to ensure that they will render and pursue programs that will protect the children from all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty and exploitation and other conditions prejudicial to their development pursuant to Republic Act Republic Act 7610 or Child Protection Act.

The MOA also contains the parties’ assurance that while they need to protect the children’s welfare, they also need to take into account the primary rights and duties of parents, legal guardians, or other individuals who are legally responsible and exercise custody over the child.

Plan International through this endeavor aims to raise public awareness on Anti-Corporal Punishment and Positive Discipline advocacy.

Reyner Villasenor, Plan International Philippines –National Program Unit Media Relations and Campaign Officer said that concurrent to their vision, they support the enactment of local ordinances prohibiting corporal punishment and promoting non-violent approaches to child discipline.

“Plan International envisions a world in which all children realize their full potential in societies that respect people’s rights and dignities, the reason why we are pushing for this program, “ Villasenor said in an interview.

Plan International, Philippines Project Officer Rowena Ilarde who is based here in Naga City, also stated that the program aims to achieve four (4) important goals to realize this vision.

“The Collective Action to Promote Non-violent Protective Society for Children Project aims organize or strengthen one National and six local CSO coalitions advocating for the protection of children from corporal punishment, degrading treatment and bullying; organize six children’s association advocating against corporal punishment, degrading treatment and bullying; support DepED and DSWD and six Local Government Units in implementing policies on anti-corporal punishment and anti-bullying; and develop model homes, schools and communities for positive discipline and anti-bullying in six areas.”

Bongat also lauded the said project and assured Plan International that these programs are all currently embedded in the city’s curriculum.

“The provision of our local ordinance are already integrated in all the programs of our city, especially in our programs in EDUCare, from pre school to high school to basic education in both elementary and high school and we thank Plan International for supporting us in this pioneering program,” Bongat stated.

City Ordinance No. 2013-026 dubbed "Promoting Positive Discipline of Children," to employ positive and non-violent forms of disciplinary actions on children was authored by filed by Ray-An Cydrick Rentoy with co-authors city councilors Cecilia Veluz-De Asis and Dan Paulo R. Morales. (MAL/LSM-PIA5/CamSur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=861397202584#sthash.l3WzHI2j.dpuf

BIR introduces new forms, conducts seminar

LEGAZPI CITY, April 11 (PIA) – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) recently launched new form for income tax returns (ITRs) that will be used by taxpayers when they file their tax returns on April 15 deadline this year.

BIR Bicol regional director Esmeralda Tabule siad the new form features bar codes and can be detected by an optical character reader (OCR) for ease in scanning, adding that, the new form facilitates systematic retrieval of information.

Tabule explained that  with the utilization of revised forms using new technology, changes in information required from said forms will be reflected.

RDO No. 67 recently conducted seminar with briefing to introduce the new ITR forms and other updates for government and private firms in this city. The said forms are available at RDO No. 67 and can be downloaded from the BIR website.

“We want to enhance services to taxpayers that is why we need additional information on the ITR form,” Tabule said.

The BIR issued Revenue Regulations No. 2-2014 on January 24 to prescribe the new BIR forms that will be used for ITR filing covering and starting the taxable year ended December 31, 2013. BIR introduced additional forms by increasing ITR forms from the original three to now five forms.

Under the directive, all taxpayers are required to file their ITR using the applicable forms such as BIR Form No. 1700 version annual ITR for individuals earning purely compensation income; BIR Form No. 1701 annual ITR for self-employed individuals, estates and trusts; BIR Form No. 1702-RT annual ITR for corporations, partnerships and other non-individual taxpayers subject only to the regular income tax rate; BIR Form No. 1702-EX annual ITR for use only by corporations, partnerships, and other non-individual taxpayers exempted under the Tax Code and other special laws with no other taxable income; and BIR Form No. 1702-MX annual ITR for corporations, partnerships and other non-individuals with mixed income subject to multiple income tax rates or with income subject to special or preferential rate.

Previously, these three-type of businesses and partnerships were only using the same ITR Form No. 1702.

Further, the requirement for entering centavos in the ITR has been eliminated by rounding them off to the nearest peso, BIR told the PIA.

Taxpayers who filed using old forms for their 2013 ITRs either manual or electronic must re-file using the new income tax forms upon their availability, BIR said. (MAL/JJP-PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=2591397197832#sthash.T7oE9Mb3.dpuf

P6.6B worth dev’t projects underway for Almasor tourism

LEGAZPI CITY, Apr 11 (PIA) – Development projects woth P6.6B has been allotted by the Aquino administration for the Albay-Masbate-Sorsogon (Almasor) tourist area, said Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda.

The governor made the announcement Tuesday this week as guest speaker during the opening of the Rodeo Festival in Masbate slated this April 8 -12.

Salceda said of the P6.6 billion worth projects allotted for Almasor, P3.5 billion went to Masbate to beef up its tourism and agricultural production.

Part of the flagship tourism projects are road projects called Almasor Tourism Development Area including the P3.6 billion Southern Luzon International Airport in Daraga, P900 million road projects in Masbate, P1.25 billion in Sorsogon and P1.56 billion in Albay.

The road projects intended to boost the said tourism areas have been included in the 2014 General Appropriations Act of the provincial government of Albay.

Salceda earlier said with the creation of the Almasorta, infra projects which were difficult to fund before became financially feasible considering that the base is not just one province but all three and that the infra projects linked to tourism has a significant annual budget in the Department of Public Works and Highways which is under the direction of the Department of tourism as directed by the Aquino administration.

Salceda, also the concurrent Bicol Regional Development Council Chairman, is the convenor of the Almasor Tourism Alliance which aims to integrate the world-class tourism potentials of Albay, Masbate and Sorsogon into one tourist destination package through a comprehensive promotion strategy.

Albay’s Daragang Magayon Festival and Masbate’s Rodeo Festival are currently ongoing this month.

 Magayon Festival started March 24 until April 30 this year.

Both festivals showcase the Almasor tourism package highlighting not only the breath-taking tourism spots but also the distinct culture and heritage that unites and embraces all Bicolanos iregardless of geographical differences.  

Salceda himself assured Masbateños of his support in integrating Masbate into the development efforts of the region.

“Whereas, before, you had felt not being a part of mainland Bicol but instead belonging to the Visayas regions, we have made you realized that you are very much a part of the Bicol region and, together, we will progress as one,” Salceda said.(MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=2571397209062#sthash.5w77U823.dpuf

Thursday, April 10, 2014

“Programang Agraryo Iskolar” ends with 9 new degree holders

SORSOGON CITY, April 10 (PIA) – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) takes pride having produced an additional list to the rooster of graduates under the department’s “Programang Agraryo Iskolar” (PAI) this year.

Nine (9) grantees composing the last batch of PAI marched at the Sorsogon State College (SSC) Social Hall on March 28, 2014 and recieved their long awaited diplomas, the proof of their hard-labored degree.

Two (2) of them are from SSC-Castilla Campus namely Rodolfo P. Dato who graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Science (BS) in Agriculture, and Christian M. Lotino, BS in Veterinary Technology.

The other seven (7) are from SSC-Sorsogon City Campus namely Angelo E. Canon who graduated the degree of Bachelor of Technology (BT) major in Electronics Technology;  Ailyn R. Dollison and April P. Domasig, both earning BT major in Food Service Management; Jhonalyn E. Estonanto, BT major in Garments Technology; Cherry B. Habitan, BT major in Electrical Technology; Erika L. Matabuena, Bachelor of Secondary Education major in Pilipino; and Leovic D. Rodriguez, Bachelor of Elementary Education major in Physical Science.

Grantees of the program were children and grandchildren of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) in the Province of Sorsogon.

The graduates expressed gratitude to DAR for helping them finish college and earn a degree, however, regretful for other youths who also wish to be PAI scholars in the coming school years, but wouldn’t make it anymore since they will be the last batch of DAR’s scholarship program.

“Programang Agraryo Iskolar” is a scholarship program of the DAR that aimed to help dependents attain education to be able to help their parent-beneficiaries improve their standard of living.

“Although there are still other scholarship programs offered by the government which they can also avail of, but this one has easier requirements to comply,” the graduates said.

According to Mr. Antonino B. Labrador, PAI provincial coordinator in Sorsogon, “Programang Agraryo Iskolar” is one of the most beneficial programs being carried out by DAR since June 2003, then named President Diosdado Macapagal Agrarian Scholarship Program (PDMASP), and sprinted until March 2014.

“For the past years since its implementation, Sorsogon alone was able to produce six (6) batches of graduates, with a total number of 69 graduates, 65 of them graduated with a four (4) year course while four of them finished a two-year course Diploma in Agricultural Technology (DAT),” he added.

“Now, that the program has ended after 11 years of implementation, I can say the program has contributed a lot in uplifting the economic condition of our ARB families and is such a significant accomplishment for the Department. In this world where competition among job seekers is so tight, graduating in college is an add-on to one’s confidence in facing his contenders with the faith of winning the race,” Mr. Labrador said. (MAL/BARAJaso-DAR/PIA5)
- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=801397124250#sthash.3qs3rqDI.dpuf

PNP Catanduanes creates advisory council

VIRAC, Catanduanes, April 10, (PIA) - In furtherance of the institutionalization of the Performance Governance System (PGS), Philippine National Police (PNP) Catanduanes Police Provincial Office (PPO) has created a Provincial Advisory Council.

Police Senior Superintendent Eduardo G. Chavez, provincial director of PNP Catanduanes, sworn-in the newly organized PNP Provincial Advisory Council on April 9, 2014 at Ardci Hall.

The council was chaired by Dr. Aida A. Dianela, Catanduanes State University Vice President for Academic Affairs, with Atty. Gregorio Sarmiento of CSU, Dr. Vietrez D. Abella, EBMC Chief of Hospital, Rev. Fr. Allan Martin Basilio of the Diocese of Virac, Edna A. Bagadiong of Philippine Information Agency, Mr. Domingo Robles, representative of DepEd Superintendent Jose L. Doncillo as members.

The PGS is the Philippine adaptation of the Balanced Scorecard, a management tool used in tracking the organization’s progress in attaining its vision by 2030.

According toChavez, the creation of the body is very vital in achieving their agency's mission.

He said that the primary duty of the council is to provide guidance in its quest for lasting reforms. It shall also serve as an advisory body for the PPO in realizing its vision and in guiding its strategic direction.

During the orientation, Chavez disclosed that PAC shall focus on issues of strategic importance taht are considered contributory to the successful accomplishment of PNP's mission and attainment of its vision.

Among the primary functions of the council is:1)To advise and assist the Comval PPO in identifying key priorities and strategic issues in accordance with the PATROL 2030; 2)Evaluate and revise the strategies for the implementation of the PGS in accordance with the CVPPO thrusts, programs, projects and activities of CVPPO; and 3) To  assist and advise the CVPPO on possible ways to generate additional resources to support and sustain the its plans and programs.

The PAC is also expected to carry out an active advocacy program, leading to the formation of a broad and effective multi-sectoral coalition to realize the PNP vision to become a capable, effective  and credible  Police Force. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=841397142530#sthash.OpJ8DgCs.dpuf

BFP sets up “Lakbay Alalay” 2014

SORSOGON CITY, April 10 (PIA) – The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) central station here has stepped up measures in time for the observance of Lenten season and summer vacation (SUMVAC) this year by setting up motorist assistance dubbed as “Lakbay Alalay”.

BFP City Fire Marshal SInsp Walter B. Marcial said he had directed his operation and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) personnel to set up the “Lakbay Alalay” starting April 1 to render assistance to motorists in their travel needs most particularly during emergency situations.

“Aside from motorist assistance, friendly tourist booths in the respective area of responsibility of our sub-stations were also established and supervised by the sub-station commanders,” added Marcial.

The undertaking aims to show the readiness of the city firefighters in providing safety services and in rendering medical and rescue assistance to the motorist and to anyone during emergency situations.

Early on, SInsp Marcial directed his men during their Troops Information and Education meeting to activate their strategic plan during this time when influx of people going to Sorsogon province is anticipated.

Deployment of fire truck and crew of Sorsogon City Central Fire Station were also made specifically along Mango Grill in Magsaysay St., Brgy. Almendras-Cogon and likewise the Bacon Fire Sub-station1 near the Bacon Gasoline Station in Balete, Bacon District, while the Abuyog Fire Sub-station2 deployed its fire truck and crew near the Petron Gasoline Station along Maharlika High Way in Abuyog, East District.

SInsp Marcial said the BFP will also extend assistance in case of emergency to all devoted Catholics who will join the procession on Good Friday.

Subsequent to the recently conducted Clean-up Drive at Bacon Beach Resorts, the team also conducts “Oplan Baywatch” where BFP renders medical and rescue services to all beach goers particularly to tourists who prefer to spend the coming Holy Week, reunion, and summer vacation on beaches.

SInsp Marcial said they are thankful to the government agencies that they have closely coordinated with to further promote public safety as well as avoid untoward incidents during this time and likewise reiterated to the public to be generally cautious and vigilant to ensure a solemn observance of the Holy week and more fun summer celebration. (MAL/BAR/MGCorral-BFP/PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=801397124066#sthash.W7qF8Tpa.dpuf

LTO, LTFRB, DOTC lead Transport Summit in Naga City


NAGA CITY, April 10 (PIA) ---  A more responsive transport sector towards shared economic development.

This is what Land Transportation Office (LTO) Bicol regional director Atty. Noreen Bernadette San Luis-Lutey has wished to achieve after meeting with operators, drivers and public conveyance stakeholders during the transport summit held today at the  Avenue Plaza Hotel, this city.

Lutey said that the occasion endeavors to hit three purposes- the conduct of the transport summit with other government agencies, public consultation with the members of the transport group on fines and penalties and collaboration with the Department of Tourism (DOT) towards a more enhanced tourism through the transport sector.

“We are happy with the turn-out of participants which only signifies their desire to know and collaborate with the programs of the government and work for the betterment of the transport sector as a whole. Everything that has been said here, all the suggestions will be incorporated in the draft and will be submitted to the transport secretary,” Lutey said in an interview.

Government agencies like the DOT, PhilHealth, Social Security System (SSS), Office of the Transport Cooperative and Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) or PAG-IBIG Fund Office were also invited to inform the members of the transport groups what are the readily-available government programs that they can avail.

LTO Operations Division Officer chief Mar Jose A. Magistrado said that there are a lot of benefits that members of the transport groups can avail but they do not know they exist.

“I guess there is a need to inform them of the many benefits that these agencies can offer it’s only that they are not aware that they can avail it.  We have invited our partner agencies here to talk about health insurance, social security and transport cooperatives. DOT is here considering the transport sector as their partners in tourism development.”

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Regional Director Engr. Roel V. Alsisto said that this is also an opportune time for the members of the transport sector to ventilate their concerns regarding the newly imposed penalties that they issued.

Under the new rules set by LTFRB, colorum buses will be sanctioned with a 1M-peso fine while out of line vehicles will be fined with P200,000.00

Alsisto said that this new scheme might deter the proliferation of colorum and out-of-line buses and other transport vehicles plying unregistered route to be wary since the stake is high.

At the end of the day, Alsisto hoped that the consultation will be a meeting of minds which would result to a win-win solution with the concerns affecting the public transport sector. (MAL/LSM-PIA5/CamSur)
- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=861397118754#sthash.6UyXWT6z.dpuf

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Naga City joins celebration of Araw ng Kagitingan


NAGA CITY, April 8 (PIA) ---  As the entire nation commemorates the heroism of our Filipino war fighters, the city government here has lined up various activities to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of Araw ng Kagitingan and Philippine Veteran’s week.

Mayor John Bongat of this city will grace the flag raising ceremony at the city hall compound with the members of the 9th Infantry Division Band of the Philippine Army to lead the singing of the Philippine national anthem.  It will be immediately followed by a wreath-laying ceremony to be attended by all the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

The wreath will be offered to the monument of the unknown soldiers inside the City Hall compound, aptly remembering their heroism in this year’s theme: “Balik –tanaw sa Sakripisyo ng Beterano, Gabay sa Landas ng Pagbabago”.

The Unified Troops of the Philippine National Police (PNP), including the men and women of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) will also give their respect through their hand salutes.

Expected to grace the said occasion is Hon. Salvador G. Cajot, Philippine Veterans Federation District Commander of Camarines Sur.  He will be joined by Bongat and Professor Danilo Madrid Gerona, a renowned Bicolano historian.

Every year, the city government celebrates Araw ng Kagitingan as their way of honoring our very own heroes’ sacrifices and their bravery as they fought for our freedom.

Bongat said that this is just a fitting tribute to the men and women who valiantly exchanged their lives just to defend our country’s honor.

The entire nation mourned the deaths of thousands of Filipinos who died during the historic Fall of Bataan when the Japanese invaded the Philippines. Mostly remembered is the Fall of Corregidor and the Death March in Bataan, which according to the historians and notable historic notes, is the most intense phase of the Japanese imperial invasion of the Philippines during the World War II.

Bongat and the entire City Council, under the headship of Vice Mayor Nelson Legacion, will see to it that this martyrdom will not be wasted and will always serve as an inspiration to the younger generation. (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=861396938491#sthash.V3dyz3Tz.dpuf

LGU, IPR office pursue harnessing business and technological opportunities thru utilization of IPR


DAET, Camarines Norte, April 8 (PIA) – The local government unit here and the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) jointly spearheaded an orientation seminar among stakeholders to increase awareness on intellectual property rights (IPRs) laws and guideline, especially on the utilization of intellectual property (IP) system among generators and users in this municipality.

The activity was attended by the business sector; entrepreneurs; faculty and students of the Mabini Colleges, Our Lady of Lourdes Foundation and Camarines Norte State College; Daet Food Producers Association and barangay officials of Daet.

Mayor Tito Sarion said during his opening message that with the idea of IP, the municipal government is mulling to register the “Pinyasan Festival”, the town's tourism showcase being held in Daet since 1993; pilipiña pie, the pineapple by-product of the town; and Bicol Harvest Magazine.

He said that there is a need to brand some of the handicrafts that the local government has produced, at the same time encouraged stakeholders to take the opportunity of the orientation seminar in order to be enlighthened of their IP rights.

Director general Atty. Ricardo R. Blancaflor of IPOPHL said that their office is aggressively mobilizing programs that provide incentives to encourage the creation of value-added products and services both for domestic and international markets.

He said that a destination branding position for Camarines Norte, one that capitalizes on the province’s assets like its stunning beaches in Bagasbas and Calaguas, its historical land marks, the first Jose P. Rizal Monument and the Monument of Martyrs of Camarines Norte; and its popular festivals like the “Pinyasan” or the “Pineapple Festival” and the Bantayog Festival.

He said that the star of the “Pinyasan” is the “Queen of Formosa” pineapple, the province’s prime agricultural product which is noted for its sweetness and flavor, this kind of pineapple is produced only in Camarines Norte.

Camarines Norte pineapple’s strong link to its production origin may qualify it as a Geographical Indication (GI) which is another category of intellectual property, he said.

Intellectual creations are keys to successful business since registered intellectual properties effectively allow its owner or creator recognition and control over the commercialization of the creation.

He said that IP is any creation or product of the human mind or intellect. It can be an invention, an original design, a practical application of a good idea, a mark of ownership such as literary, artistic works, among other things.

It consists of copyrights and related rights; trademarks and service marks; industrial designs; lay-out designs (topographies) of integrated circuits, patents, geographical indications and protection of undisclosed information.

He said that intellectual property is an intangible asset which has intangible value, which most often than not, is far more valueable than the monetary value of the product that is being sold.

He further explained that the intangible value has a positive correlation with the product’s competitiveness, hence, the need for its protection. He said that for example, a branded product or a product with registered mark is generally more competitive than one that is unbranded.

Meanwhile, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was also signed by Mayor Sarion and Atty. Blancaflor on the collaborative efforts of the programs of IPRs and the town’s creations that will push for economic opportunities not only in Daet but also of the province of Camarines Norte.

The IPOPHL is the lead agency responsible for handling the registration and conflict resolution of intellectual property rights. It was created by virtue of Republic Act 8292 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines. (MAL/RBM-PIA5/CamNorte)

Monday, April 7, 2014

DTI's consumerism caravan underway in Catanduanes

VIRAC, Catanduanes, April 7 (PIA)- Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) conducted a Consumerism Caravan to increase public awareness on consumer's rigths protection on March 25, 2014 at Rhaj Inn.

According to DTI, provincial director Heginio Baldano, the activity is the first run of its Consumerism Caravan with the activity to be held in four more towns in the next three months.

Baldano stressed that Republic Act No. 7394 or “The Consumer Act of the Philippines” provides that it is the policy of the State to protect the interest of the consumer, promote his general welfare and to establish standards of conduct for business and industry.

Towards this end, the state shall implement measures to achieve the following objectives: a. protection against hazards to health and safety; b. protection against deceptive, unfair and unconscionable sales acts and practices; c. provision of information and education to facilitate sound choice and the proper exercise of rights by the consumer; d. provision of adequate rights and means of redress; and e. involvement of consumer representatives in the formulation of social and economic policies

Bugkos Catandungan NGO, members of the Local Price Coordinating Council (LPCCC), and Consumer Welfare Desk Officers (CWDOs) of local government units were the participants of the activity.

They were reoriented on the Consumer Act of the Philippines, updated on consumer guides and tips, and together discussed plans for the conduct of subsequent caravans.

Republic Act 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines took effect on July 15, 1992. It’s intended to protect the interests of the consumers, to promote their general welfare and to establish standards of conduct for business and industry.

Same caravan will be conducted in the municipalities of San Miguel, Bato, Viga and Panganiban. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=841396880582#sthash.oKpBztuL.dpuf

Friday, April 4, 2014

DOST named 44 Bicolano youth qualifiers to SEI Merit Scholars for next school year

LEGAZPI CITY, April 4 (PIA) -- Forty-four Bicolano student examinees have qualified to the Science Education Instituteas (SEI) merit scholarship program of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for school year 2014-2015.

Bicol Director Tomas B. Briñas of DOST said DOST-SEI qualifiers are comprised of 28 graduating secondary students and 16 sophomore college students this current school year.

He added the secondary graduate-qualifiers shall be assisted with any Bachelor of Science degree scholarship in the identified priority Science and Technology (S&T) fields of study effective first semester this coming school year.
The twenty-eight (28) successful examinees are graduates from Philippine Science High School-Bicol Region Campus, Goa, Camarines Sur (21); Naga City Science High School, Naga City (2) and one (1) student each from Aquinas University Science Oriented High School, Legazpi City; Camarines Sur National High School, Naga City; Cataingan National High School, Cataingan, Masbate; Masbate National Comprehensive High School, Masbate City and St. Joseph School, Naga City.

Breakdown by city/municipality in the Bicol Region is as follows: Cities of Naga (6), Sorsogon (4), Iriga (3), Masbate (3), Legazpi (2), Ligao (1) and Tabaco (1); and Municipalities of Daraga, Albay (2); Daet (2), Vinzons (1) and Labo (1), Camarines Norte; Pio V. Corpus, Masbate (1) and Gubat, Sorsogon (1).

The 2013 Bicolano Merit Qualifiers for Sophomore College Student Scholarships in the Bicol Region are from: University of the Philippines (UP)-Los Baños-5; Bicol University (BU) Main, Legazpi City-5; Bicol University Tabaco Campus (BUTC), Tabaco City-2; UP-Diliman-2; Technological University of the Philippines (TUP), Taguig-1 and Ateneo De Naga University (ADNU), Naga City-1.

These students will pursue S&T Courses in Statistics (1), Food Technology (2), Biology (1) and Applied Mathematics (1) at UPLB; Electrical Engineering (3), Physical Science (1) and Mathematics Education (1) at BU Main; Physical Education (1) and Fisheries (1) at BUTC; Civil (1) and Geodetic (1) Engineering at UP-Diliman; Electronic and Communications Engineering (1) at TUP-Taguig and Physical Education (1) at ADNU.

Briñas congratulated the student-qualifiers and wishes great success in S&T careers for the Bicolano Merit Qualifiers.

The program is the precursor of all S&T scholarships of DOST, which originated from the “Science Talent Search” which begun in 1958 when the National Science Development Board (NSDB), the forerunner of DOST, was created.

The first set of awards consisted of 10 slots, which gradually increased through the years. The program has produced leaders and decision-makers in various areas of S&T in government, the academe and private industries.

Less than 300 scholarships slots are available every school year. (MAL/ POLucena-DOST5/PIA5)
- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=771396398618#sthash.UQ3QgQLl.dpuf

Ateneo Social Science Research Center bares result of poverty and governance poll in Naga City


NAGA CITY, April 4 (PIA) --- The Metro Naga Water District, Naga City Hospital and Naga City Health Office with the ratings of +57.5 %, +56.2 % and +41.7 % respectively were among the top three local agencies in this city given with a “Very good” satisfaction remarks in the recent 2014 First Quarter Naga City Poverty and Governance Public Opinion Poll conducted by the Ateneo Social Science and Research Center (ASSRC) .

Using face-to face interview to a representative sample of 400 randomly selected respondents from this city, the ASSRC and Ateneo Student Researchers Pool was able to gather the respondent’s view regarding the services being rendered by government and other agencies here.

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Naga together with the Naga City Public Safety Office, City government of Naga and City Environment and Natural Resources Office garnered a “good” rating while two other city agencies- the Naga City Solid Waste Management Office and the Naga City Philippine National Police received a moderate rating.

Ranking below the respondent’s expectation and unsatisfactory rating were the Philippine National Police (PNP) Naga with a moderate net satisfaction rating and CASURECO II with a neutral satisfaction rating equivalent to -8.0 percent.

Dr. Michael Cuesta, ASSRC Director stated that aside from exposing their students to the rigorous nature of research as part of their training program for their student scholars, they also endeavor to familiarize and involve them in social issues and concerns affecting the community.

“We want our students to see and feel what is actually taking place in the community for them to promote good governance. On the part of the agencies which are included in our research, we are happy to note that they appreciate this effort and even use the output to promote good practices and look at their weaknesses and strengthen them to give better service to their clienteles,” Cuesta said in an interview.

Aside from measuring the satisfaction rating of the respondents on the aforesaid agencies, ASSRC also included the percentage of people in the city who consider themselves poor.  Based on their measurement, ASSRC stated that median poverty or the amount of monthly income that an average Nagueno household needs in order to become not poor is P20,000.00.

Based on the poll, around 2 out of 5 Nagueno household considered themselves poor but are still optimist that their lives will still get better.

The respondents, who belong to the voting-age population of Naga gave PNP Naga a moderate net satisfaction rating. This was explained in the data gathered by ASSRC which states that about 12 % of Nagueno households were victims of theft in the past 6 months. The remaining percentage were either victims of break-ins (4%) , pickpocketing (3.8%), snatching (2.3%) , robbery (2.3 %) and hold-up (1.8%).

Naguenos, based on the survey, also perceived that PNP-Naga is incapable of resolving certain cases of violence against women and children, especially cases concerning prostitution, sexual assault and intimate partner violence.

At the end, the respondents recommended that in order for the PNP to gain the public trust and maintain peace and order, PNP-Naga should improve police visibility, response time, community relations and its public image.

The said poll was conducted from February 12 to March 6 this year. (MAL/LSM-PIA5/CamSur)
- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=861396586436#sthash.bjES3bQ1.dpuf

First Escudero museum opens at new Casiguran Municipal Hall


SORSOGON, April 4 (PIA) – The first ever museum in honor of the late Salvador H. Escudero III  was formally opened today in time for the inauguration and blessing of the new municipal building in Casiguran town this province.

“On the fortieth day after the death of Tatay (Salvador H. Escudero is fondly called), I thought of establishing a museum in his honor,” Sorsogon first congressional district Rep. Evelina “Nanay Evie” Guevara-Escudero told the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) – Bicol.

His son, senator Francis Joseph “Chiz” immediately agreed and suggested that it should be located at the new municipal building of the municipality of Casiguran which was being planned during that time. Casiguran Mayor Ester Hamor gave her full consent to the idea when she committed to allocate a space in the soon-to-be constructed edifice.

Escudero further revealed that the first option for the museum was the Sorsogon Dairy Farm located at Barangay Cabid-an, East District, Sorsogon City when Research Outreach Station Superintendent Dolores Ricrafranca proposed to construct a building inside the said premises in his honor.

 However, the construction of the said edifice need to undergo lengthy required bureaucratic process and the local government unit (LGU) of Casiguran can fast track construction of their municipal hall.

Thus, the Salvador H. Escudero III (SHE) Memorabilia (Highlights as Legislator and Public Servant) in Casiguran was first realized, Escudero added.

The Memorabilia features the highlights of Tatay’s life as legislator and public servant with collections of his personal mementos such as vintage photographs of his high school days; as youngest dean of the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Veterinary Medicine; as Bureau of Animal Industry Director during Marcos Era; as Batasan Pambansa member; post EDSA years as congressman; family pictures, awards and recognitions received.

“The future museum at the Sorsogon Dairy Farm will feature his professional life as veterinarian and agriculture secretary for both the Marcos and Ramos administrations,” Escudero told the PIA.

The museum’s curator is Cong. Evie Escudero herself with technical support from the PIA – Bicol Research Division.

The late Sonny Escudero was born in Casiguran, Sorsogon on December 18, 1942. He was married to educator now representative of the first congressional district of Sorsogon “Nanay Evie” with sons Senator Francis Joseph or Chiz, entrepreneur-artist Philip Joseph and entrepreneur-engineer Bernadette.

He took up Veterinary Medicine at the University of the Philippines (UP), Diliman, Quezon City and graduated in 1963 as valedictorian. He was conferred as Diplomate on Tropical Veterinary Medicine at the University of Queensland, Australia (1968) and Master of Public Administration at UP (1969)

He became the director of UP Veterinary Hospital from1968 to 1969 and dean and professor of College of Veterinary Medicine, at UP - Los Baños, Laguna (1970-1984), director of Bureau of Animal Industry (1975-1984), assistant minister of Ministry of Food and Agriculture (1980-1984), minister of Ministry of Food and Agriculture (1984-1986), representative of Batasang Pambansa (1984-1986), secretary of Agriculture (1984-1986, Marcos administration; 1996-1998, Ramos administration), representative of the first congressional district of Sorsogon (June 30, 1987 – June 30, 1998; June 30, 2007 – August 13, 2012).

He became the founding president of the Foundation for Upgrading the Standard of Education (FUSE) in 1994, member of the board of trustees and on call mentor at the Southeast Asia Interdisciplinary Development Institute (SAIDI), co-hosts to radio programs “Agri-tech aired over DZRH at 4:30-5:00 a.m., Monday to Saturday, and “Karambola” aired over DWIZ at 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Monday to Friday.

He was recipient of more than 300 Awards and Citations, among them were : Doctor of Humanities Honoris Causa, Bulacan State University (2003); KASAKALIKASAN Award, from Men and Women of Kasakalikasan (IPM), Surigao City (1999); Presidential Golden Plow Award – PGPA (1998); Adopted son of Lanao del Norte, conferred as Datu Bantugan III, 1997Outstanding Congressman Award (1988-1995); Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM ) Awadee and Andres Bonifacio Leadership Award (1971); youngest ever to be appointed dean of UP at the age of 26, served as dean for 14 years, (1969); Class Valedictorian, UP College of Veterinary Medicine (1963), among others.

He published more than 100 articles on Veterinary Medicine, Public Health, Agriculture, Public Administration and Policy Issues. Sonny Escudero did not finish his term that was expected to end by 2013 because he died of colon cancer. Sonny died on August 13, 2012. He was 69 years old. (MAL/JJP-PIA5/Albay)
- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=2591396588965#sthash.5bQXMIbt.dpuf

Thursday, April 3, 2014

MGB Bicol pushes for creation of mining regulatory board, "minahang bayan" in the region

LEGAZPI CITY, April 3 (PIA) -- The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Bicol is pushing for the establishment of a Minahang Bayan and the creation and reconstitution of the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PMRB) in six provinces of Bicol to address the plight of hundreds of small-scale miners operating in the region.

Engr. Theodore Rommel E. Pesta?o, regional director of the MGB Bicol, has since been coordinating with the chief executives of the six Bicol provinces for the creation and reorganization of PMRB, including the establishment of Minahang Bayan for each province, to end illegal operation on small scale mining.

Pestaño said similar regulatory boards in Masbate and Sorsogon were already operational while Albay, Catanduanes, Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur are expected to follow suit.

The director explained that the move was implemented in concurrence with Republic Act (RA) 7076 otherwise known as An Act Creating A People’s Small Scale Mining Program and for Other Purposes, which became effective last July 18,1991.

The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) is also embodied in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Administrative Order (DAO) No. 34, series of 1992;

Executive Order (EO) No. 79 has also entitled institutionalizing and implementing reforms in the Philippine mining sector, providing policies and guidelines to ensure environmental protection and responsible mining in the utilization of mineral resources.

Pestaño furthered that RA 7076 and its IRR lay down the policy of the state to promote, develop, protect and rationalize viable small-scale mining (SSM) activities in order to generate more employment opportunities and provide an equitable sharing of the nation’s wealth and natural resources while at the same time handing to the PMRB the task to implement the activities according to the directives of the DENR.

This law, he said, aims to achieve an orderly, systematic and rational development of the small scale mining.

EO 79, on the other hand, gave importance to the small scale mining particularly the establishment of a Minahang Bayan.

“Giving these small scale miners a mining area or a Minahang Bayan to work on legally will uplift their socio-economic status in the society and they will no longer be branded illegal in their own country,” he explained.

Without a Minahang Bayan, these small scale miners usually operate without any valid and subsisting permits either from the MGB or the PMRB and they are mostly operating in areas being claimed or registered in the name of legitimate large-scale mining companies; and other prior rights, including other end user.

“They practically lack the consent from these prior right holders so they remain illegal having no proper documents,” Pestaño said.

Small-scale mining, as defined under RA 7076 and its IRR, refers to mining activities which rely heavily on manual labor using simple implements and methods and do not use explosives or heavy mining equipments and requires only a small capital investment.

On the other hand, small-scale miners, according to RA 7076, are Filipino citizens who individually or in company of other Filipino citizens, voluntarily form a cooperative duly licensed by the DENR to engage, under the terms and conditions of a contract/license in the extraction or removal of minerals or ore bearing materials from the ground.

Pestaño stressed that it is now clear that only Filipino small-scale miners, organized as a cooperative, can operate in a Minahang Bayan.

“A limitation however, was set forth by RA 7076 that they can only mine gold, silver, chromite, kaolin, silica, marble, gravel and sand and clay in an identified mineralized area,” he said.

On the other hand, EO 79 provides for allowing only gold, silver and chromite under the SSM regime.

Albay, Camarines Norte and Masbate are rich in gold and silver and Camarines Sur for chromites.

For non-metallic, Albay is endowed with abundant deposits of boulder, earth fill, sand and gravel, aggregates, selected stone, shale clay and white sand; Camarines Norte with diatomaceous earth, sand and gravel, white clay, kaolin clay and silica sand; ball clay, decorative stone, earth fill and sand gravel for Camarines Sur; sand and gravel for Catanduanes; boulders, earth fill and sand and gravel for Masbate; and Sorsogon for sand and gravel.

PMRB is designated as the implementing body by the DENR to implement the identification of a Minahang Bayan. It has the authority to declare and set aside Minahang Bayan in sites on-shore suitable for small-scale mining operations subject to review by the DENR Secretary through the regional executive director.

The board is composed of the MGB regional director as chair; The provincial governor, or his/her authorized representatives, as vice-chair; and members composed of duly appointed representatives from the small-scale miners; Large-scale miners and non-government organization with environmental concerns.

Recently, efforts to organize the PMRB for Camarines Sur has been marred by a shooting incident involving the death of small-scale miners of Barangay Gata which resulted in four (4) casualties as reported, the assailant belongs to another group.

“This incident is currently under investigation by concerned authorities. Their death should not be in vain as concerned government agencies and LGU officials are committed to legalizing small-scale mining operations towards rural economic development and livelihood generation,” Pestaño concluded. (MAL/LDvaldez-MGB5/PIA5/ALbay)
- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=771396920326#sthash.ubiARrNP.dpuf