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

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

DILG launches Project LISTO, spearheads disaster preparedness dialogue

By: Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

Naga City, March 31 (PIA) --- Readiness beats the ill-effects of untoward occurrences, saves lives and spare properties from destruction – this is the basic message that Project LISTO endeavors to convey to the partakers of the one-day disaster preparedness dialogue held over the weekend at the Star View Hotel, here.

 “Listo” , a local dialect which means alert was coined to represent the latest campaign of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on disaster preparedness. It aims, among others to promote complementation of efforts among the local government units (LGUs), civil society organizations (CSOs), private sector, local resource institutions (LRIs), and the media in building safer, more adaptive and resilient communities.

Prior to the said activity, all Punong Barangays from different Camarines Sur towns were gathered for a 2-day orientation- workshop.  The participants were tasked to come up with an action plan detailing the prevailing issues and concerns in their respective areas of jurisdiction and raise the awareness of their constituents through a wider information dissemination strategy.

DILG Camarines Sur Provincial Director Arnel Renato L. Madrideo stated that it is their agency’s primordial concern to identify key partners that will serve as coaches for the conduct of Barangay Coaching on Disaster Preparedness manuals.

“The DILG, being the Vice-Chair on Disaster Preparedness at the national level and as the primary agency tasked to develop and scale-up the capacities of LGUs,  launched Project LISTO primarily to help LGUs ensure the safety of their constituents.”

Also as part of the activity’s output, partakers are expected to come up with a locally prepared manual which will be utilized by other communities or LGUs in the implementation of their disaster risk reduction and management activities and initiatives.  This, DILG believes, will strengthen the commitment and partnership among all the stakeholders in DRRM and Listo Movement.

Madrideo also emphasized that although their focus is on disaster risk reduction and disaster preparedness, they have also included gender and development (GAD) concerns which are consistent to the objective to include women in disaster-related activities as well as in the other development efforts of the LGUs.

Project LISTO is composed of various phases: national launching, regional launching and orientation, provincial convergence action planning, preparedness dialogue, wemboree for DRR, one-on-one coaching with Local Chief Executives-DRRM Officers, barangay coaching and eventually the organization of DRRMO Federation.

The said project is also pursuant to the realization of Republic Act No. 10121  or an act strengthening the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management System and Republic Act no. 9729 otherwise known as the Climate Change Act of 2009 or an act “mainstreaming climate change into government policy formulations, establishing the framework strategy and program on climate change, creating for the purpose the climate change commission.”

Madrideo during the dialogue, enjoins everyone to be an active partaker to ensure the success of the said initiative.  (LSMacatangay, PIAV/Camarines Sur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861427784670/dilg-launches-project-listo-spearheads-disaster-preparedness-dialogue#sthash.qDZbP3oZ.dpuf

Monday, March 30, 2015

PNP Bicol intensifies patrol for summer vacation, assures safety for tourists

By Joseph John J. Perez

LEGAZPI CITY, March 30 (PIA) – The Philippine National Police (PNP) in Bicol has assured local and foreign tourists of their safety during the entire summer vacation in the region starting this Lenten break by beefing up their forces and intensifying their presence.

Police Regional Office (PRO) 5 information officer Police S/Insp.Malu Calubaquib told the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) that mobile and foot patrols will be intensified in areas and in times where they are most needed.

 “Police Assistance Desks (PADs) and Motorist Assistance Centers (MACs) will be established in in places of convergence, bus marshals will be deployed, checkpoint operations and PNP/AFP interdiction patrols will be jointly conducted with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to deter lawless armed elements,” Calubaquib said.

PRO 5 will be deploying a total of 5,000 PNP personnel during this holy week break with 1,198 assigned in places of convergence such as churches, malls, markets, commercial areas, parks and community centers and major tourist destinations, Calubaquib told the PIA.

“A total of 266 PNP personnel in transportation hubs and terminals such as bus terminals and train stations, 2,901 PNP personnel for route security such as standby points, road safety marshals, traffic management, checkpoint operations, mobile patrol and foot patrol and 635 PNP personnel to be deployed for vital installations and combat operations,” Calubaquib revealed.

According to Calubaquib, force multipliers and volunteer groups will also back up the police force such as the 2,556 Barangay Peace Keeping Team/Tanod/Traffic Enforcers, 631 Security Guards and 581 volunteer groups composed of non-government organizations, civil society and communication and radio enthusiasts with a total number of 3,794 volunteers.

“With the total strength of 8,794 composed of PNP personnel and volunteers, PRO 5 is confident that peace and order will be maintained during the duration of the Lenten Season and other activities that will be celebrated this vacation time,” Calubaquib told the PIA.

The movement of people generated by major events during summer and activities create traffic jams and congestions along major thoroughfares, commercial centers and places of convergence and also at this time of the year, criminals especially burglars, pickpockets, thieves and robbers  usually take advantage of the convergence of people to do their criminal acts, Calubaquib notes.

PRO 5 regularly gears up for summer vacation when various activities are being observed like Holy Week, Araw ng Kagitingan, Labor Day, National Flag Day and Flores De Mayo along with consistent influx of travelers taking vacation to provinces and attending fiestas and festivals, Calubaquib told the PIA. (MAL/JJJP-PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2591427681261/pnp-bicol-intensifies-patrol-for-summer-vacation-assures-safety-for-tourists#sthash.cTFz4oiR.dpuf

JCI Legazpi Dawani inducts 2015 Board of Directors, welcomes new members

LEGAZPI CITY, Albay, March 30 (JCI) -- The all-female organization Junior Chamber International-Legazpi Dawani (JCI-Legazpi Dawani) officially inducted on Saturday, March 28, the 2015 officers and board of directors, as well as welcomed the new members, commonly referred to as Baby JCI, in rites held at Casablanca Penaranda.

“Our battlecry for 2015 carries the acronym HUGS, that is Harmoniously Uplifting Gender equality and Social justice,  in line with JCI’s current year theme of 100 Years of Impact and JCI Philippines’ I am for Positive Change,” newly-installed Legazpi Dawani president Annielyn Z. San Pablo said.

Programs and initiatives cariied out under HUGS include “Lipstick and Politics” which pushes for gender empowerment; “JCI at AKO (Aklat, Kwaderno, at Optimismo) Makapagtatapos Ako”, and “I Goto School Full” which envision that every child be able to finish primary education; and IMPACT MAMA which advocates for maternal and child health pursuant to the United Nations Millennium Development goals.

“HUGS embodies the Dawanis all-encompassing principle of making sure the inclusion of the most vulnerable sectors. It stresses the importance of harmony both internally and externally,” San Pablo added.

“Together, the Dawanis continue to prove that women are powerful enough to infuse positive change while maintaining that balance of strength and femininity and recognizing the important roles stakeholders play in the success of every project,” she furthered.

Dawani is an offshoot of initiatives by the all-male JCI-Legazpi that was formed in February 1982 upon the chairmanship of JCI Member Floreno Somilano under project LACE or Lady Chapter Extension.

It was meant to serve as a platform in the discussion of women-related issues, to allow women to find solutions themselves to these.

The chapter was named after the mother of Daragang Magayon, the heroine who appears in the legend of Mt. Mayon, who died shortly after giving birth.

Members consist of mothers, wives, daughters, entrepreneurs, female bosses, creatives, and strategists who carry the Dawani brand of “Driven Active Women who are Naturally Impressive.”

Today, JCI Legazpi Dawani has become one of the leading province-based organizations that provide sustainable solutions to development problems.

Moreover, it continues to provide its members with opportunities to empower them to create positive change both in their lives and the community.

“As our Past National Secretary General Lani Loria said, we have to become better leaders in order to build better communities,” San Pablo ended.

Elected officers were Director for Community Gina Ritter- Lee; PIO Carla Nicole Alcala; Treasurer Rose Ann Isaac; Secretary General Kristina Azaña; Executive Vice- President Girlie D. Yap; Immediate Past President Vanessa B. Sipalay; 2015 President Annielyn Z. San Pablo; Vice- President for Internal Affairs Deolita Montalban; Assistant Secretary Justine Geremie Llaguno; Assistant Treasurer Mae M. Jacob; Auditor Kathryne B. Sarabillo; Local Training Director Anjeli S. Bancoro

Board of Directors/ Senators: Immediate Past President Vanessa B. Sipalay; JCI Sen. Alma Salazar; JCI Sen. Lani Loria; JCI Sen. Kathie Loria; Past President Gina Ritter- Lee.  (MAL/AZSP-JCI Legazpi-Dawani/PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/771427685557/jci-legazpi-dawani-inducts-2015-board-of-directors-welcomes-new-members#sthash.LBVEROII.dpuf

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Bicol LGU posts 170% increase in 2014 net income

By Rosalita B. Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, March 28 (PIA) – The municipal government booked a 170-percent increase in its net income to P22.1 million in 2014, the town’s chief executive said during a briefing recently.

Mayor Tito S. Sarion attributed the significant gain to their proper fiscal management and their campaign to collect more taxes from the business sector in the locality.

Sarion said Daet became a more vibrant economy in 2014 after it topped the National Competitive Council’s list of most competitive municipalities in the Philippines.

He also cited the gain in teaming up with other local governments not only in the country but also overseas through the city sisterhood and town twinning programs.

He said these partnerships brought about socio-cultural and economic development to Daet, he said.

“In 2014 I also consider my trip in the US fruitful because the Bicol National Association of America, Sister Cities International Conference and the Hawaii Business meeting assured friendship and interest in the sister twinning program,” he said in his “2014 Ulat sa Bayan.”

Sarion said that to enable each Daet resident to benefit from the economic growth, the municipality opened the Daet Go Negosyo Center, a one-stop shop at the ground floor of the municipal hall for those starting a business in the locality.

This would encourage the establishment of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that could reduce poverty in the locality, he said.

Sarion said that along with these accomplishments the municipality maintained its support to the Alternative Learning Systems (ALS) of the Department of Education (DepEd) through the passage of an ordinance creating the institutionalization of Instructional Managers in every barangay.

The municipal government has already allocated funds for the instructional managers’ trainings and honoraria, he said.

The effort’s contributions to the promotion of quality education in the locality was recognized by the national government when Daet was adjudged 1st runner up in the 2014 National Literacy Awards, he said.

With regards to the peace and order, the local chief executive said that the Daet Municipal Police Station was adjudged as Most Outstanding Municipal Police Station in the province for 2014.

This year, the local government’s theme is “Gayon Daet, Gayon Bicol 2015” or Greater Access on the Year of Opportunities and Nation Building.

“The theme signifies the lofty aspiration of the town to continue our amazing journey towards socio, economic, political, cultural development,” he said. (EAD/RBM-PIA5/Camarines Norte).

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/871425364146/bicol-lgu-posts-170-increase-in-2014-net-income-#sthash.rv5mDxgz.dpuf

Friday, March 27, 2015

DPWH, partners ready for Lakbay Alalay on Semana Santa

LEGAZPI CITY, March 27 (PIA) -- The Bicol regional office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has reactivated its assistance teams and established motorists assistance centers across the region to render services to motorists along major thoroughfares 24/7 in time for the influx of travelers these Lenten holidays.

DPWH Bicol regional director Melvin Navarro said that the motorists asssstance teams and centers, dubbed Lakbay Alalay, will commence operations starting at dawn of Holy Monday until noontime of Easter Sunday.

Navarro said that the teams will be providing services along Andaya Highway from Camarines Norte to Camarines Sur, Maharlika Highway from Camarines Sur down to Sorsogon and National Highway in Partrido Area of Camarines Sur.

At least 13 centers to be manned by the teams will be established in conspicuous places along these major arterial roads.

The centers will be located at the Camarines Norte’s Tabugon Section junction of Andaya Highway and; Gaongan, Sipocot, GAD Building, Pamplona, Concepcion Grande, Naga City, Sta. Teresita, Baao, Lourdes Young, Nabua and Caraycayon, Tigaon -- all in Camarines Sur;

In Albay, the teams will be stationed in front of the DPWH’s 3rd District Engineering Office (DEO)in Barangay Paulog, Ligao City; in Busay, Daraga to be manned by teams from second DEO; and Basud, Sto. Domingo, by the first DEO;

In Sorsogon, teams under the first DEO will be fielded at the Dona Pepita Park of Barangay Bucalbucalan, Sorsogon City, and the second DEO will man the assistance center in Barangay San Pedro, Irosin;

Assistance centers will not only be installed in the mainland provinces but also in Bicol’s islands of Catanduanes and Masbate.

Meanwhile, four stations will be set up in Catanduanes and 12 others to cover the Masbate mainland and its two sub-islands of Ticao and Burias, Navarro said.

This motorist assistance initiatives is carried out in coordination with the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and local government units (LGUs), according to Navarro.

All these assistance centers will be manned by engineers, car mechanics, equipment operators and other service crewmen who will give free roadside emergency repair and other assistance to motorists during the long holidays.

At the DPWH regional office in Barangay Rawis here, a skeletal workforce from the Maintenance Division will man the office to receive reports from field offices and to render other emergency services required during the holidays.

For the safety and convenience of the motoring public, all district engineers in the region are under instruction to expedite necessary road maintenance activities, including the installation of legible informational and directional signs along Bicol’s national road network.

Also, district engineering office officials and personnel shall ensure that all national roads, particularly those leading to religious institutions and tourist destinations are thoroughly maintained.

“DPWH Secretary Rogelio L. Singson wants to be assured that we also provide prompt and reliable assistance both to domestic and foreign tourists," Navarro furthered.

"With predominantly catholic population, our people sees Holy Week as an opportune time to go home to their hometown and spend time with their relatives and friends, he further said. To some, this is an ideal time for class and family reunions,” the director concluded.  (MAL/LVC-DPWH5/PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/771427767817/dpwh-partners-ready-for-lakbay-alalay-on-semana-santa#sthash.ipftH9jO.dpuf

BIR, agent banks to open on 2 Saturdays for taxpayers

By Edna A. Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes, March 27 (PIA)- The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) here and its accredited agent banks will open on two weekends—tomorrow, Saturday, and April 11, also a Saturday—to serve taxpayers.

Revenue District Officer Arturo D. Abenoja, Jr., said the office on those Saturdays was in compliance with Bank Bulletin No. 2015-03 issued by BIR Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares which requires all BIR-Authorized Agent Banks (AABs) to accept tax payments on March 28 and April 11.

Abenoja said AABs must also extend banking hours up to 5 p.m from April 1 to April 15 to accept tax returns and payments.

He added that authorized agent banks should refrain from refusing payments from taxpayers who are already within their premises by the close of the extended banking hours during the filing period.

Banks are also authorized to accept two or more checks or combination of cash and check in the payment of a single tax liability, Abenoja said.

In the province, there are two BIR-AABs: the state-run Landbank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines. (EAD/EAB/ PIA Catanduanes)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/841427380217/bir-agent-banks-to-open-on-2-saturdays-for-taxpayers#sthash.t6HgNRa6.dpuf

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Albay presses for more laws on women’s health

By Sally Atento-Altea

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar 25 (PIA) –The nation has made great progress in eliminating inequality between men and women in education, but not in health, economic participation and political empowerment, according to women’s groups in Albay.

This scenario prompted the heads of the committee on health and women in Albay’s 18 municipal councils and three city councils to convene in a forum and renew their commitment to champion local laws, programs and initiatives that will elevate women’s health and their over-all well-being.

Spearheaded by the provincial government of Albay to mark Women’s Month, the forum entitled “Legislative Concerns on Women’s Health and Other Issues” also drew the leaders of Albay Inter-agency Reproductive Health Committee (IARHC), Health Action Information Network (HAIN), The Forum for Family Planning and Development Inc. and party list group Gabriela.

Spelling out its purpose, Albay board member Glenda Ong Bongao, head of the committee on women, children and family and gender and development, said the forum was to “ensure protection and promotion of Albay women’s health through execution and development of local laws in the context of the health situation of women and the implementation of RA 10354” or Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act.

Frances Mae Ann Bondoc – Palatino of Gabriela provided an overview of the women’s situation in the Philippines, noting that gender inequality is still rooted in the Philippine culture and is still prevalent in society be it in politics, work and various industries.

“Nearly all of the workers in the country are men with women still receiving lower compensation and with most industries, including politics still dominated by men,” she said.

Palatino said that increasing commodity prices and electric and water bills likewise affect the women particularly in meeting the needs of their families with little and limited budget.

This factor, along with poverty and unemployment, push women to go abroad wherein of the total 6,092 Filipinos leaving the country everyday to work abroad, 55% are women aged 34 years and below commonly employed as domestic worker, she said.

On the major laws affecting women and their health, Palatino underscored the low percentage of mothers receiving free maternal health care, prevalence of malnutrition among Filipino children, increasing maternal and newborn deaths and privatization of health care systems as among the gaps and impediments.

HAIN executive director Dr. Ederlina P. Dela Paz delved on the health status of Filipino women noting the urgent need for effective reproductive health legislation and programs to address rising maternal mortality rate, high rates of unsafe abortion, increasing unprotected sex among young people and significant and increasing incidence of rape.

“The existing gross inequality in the health status of the people-particularly between the developed and developing countries as well as within them is politically, socially and economically unacceptable,” Dela Paz stressed.

Board member Bongao cited the general and health status of the women in the province.

Bongao disclosed that of the total 2,363 cases of violence against women documented in Bicol by the Philippine National Police last year, 1,018 were from Albay.

An increasing number of rape cases has likewise been documented in Albay. From 61 cases in 2009, it rose to 90 in 2010; 64 in 2011; 90 in 2011 and 114 in 2013.

Bongao said this prompted the province to strengthen its programs and initiatives and intensify its information dissemination campaign to address the problem. (EAD/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571427348018/albay-presses-for-more-laws-on-women-s-health-albay-pushes-for-legislative-protection-of-women-s-health-#sthash.IxVmrlCw.dpuf

Philippine Army partners with DA to assist retirees

PILI, Camarines Sur, March 26 (PIA)--- Retiring personnel of the 9th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (PA) based in Barangay Tinangis, this town successfully concluded their 3-day seminar on various agriculture-based livelihood projects through the Department of Agriculture DA) Regional Office here.

DA Regional Information Officer Emily Bordado stated that this partnership between the PA and DA has been going on for the past three (3) years and has efficaciously provided the retirees with alternative source of income after they left the government service.

Dubbed “Transition Assistance Program”, the said activity held from March 17 to 19, endeavors to provide Army retirees with opportunities to identify options where they can still be productive after being detached from their regular work due to retirement.

In a press statement, Bordado stated that while the mandatory age for retirement for most government personnel is 65, for military personnel it is 56. The Philippine Army, as part of their continuing assistance to their personnel and officers has introduced their retirees to a smooth switch to civilian life via its “Transition Assistance Program.”

“Retiring personnel are made to attend a business/livelihood seminar and training where livelihood or business opportunities are presented. They might consider venturing into these endeavors after retiring from active service.   This is also to provide them additional source of income   rather than merely relying on their monthly pensions.  Also, being engaged in a productive endeavour will boost their morale and give them a sense of pride as they mainstream into  civilian life,” Bordado added.

This year, twenty-nine (29) retiring personnel from the PA attended the said activity held inside the military camp.  The partakers were given a chance to have an actual visit to the facilities and projects inside the DA compound. They were also given an opportunity to experience hands-on learning on some of the topics that were discussed to them during the entire duration of the conference.

Talks on rice production, organic composting, goat production, native chicken production, grafting of fruit trees, cleft plant propagation, and mushroom production formed part of the discussion.

 A simple graduation ceremony capped the confab which was graced by Col. Milfredo M. Melegrito, Chief of Staff of the 9th Infantry Division, Phil. Army. Melegrito lauded the graduates for never allowing old age and retirement to take away their productivity.  (LSMacatangay-EBBordado DA-RAFIS 5/ PIAV/Camarines Sur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861427345543/philippine-army-partners-with-da-to-assist-retirees#sthash.MHvzB6zN.dpuf

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

CamSur announces Search for Youth Officials 2015

By: Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

PILI, Camarines Sur, March 25 (PIA) --- In cognizance of the significant role of the youth in nation-building, the provincial government of Camarines Sur will launch this May the 1st Camarines Sur Youth Month simultaneously opening the doors for the new set of Camarines Sur Youth Officials.

The positions are open to all students, out-of-school youths and working youths age 15 to 24 years old that possess exemplary characteristics of a good leader. Applicants must be a member of any organization to qualify. As future holders of the leadership reign, applicants should have not been subjected to any disciplinary action, criminal record or similar offenses.

At stake for the aspiring officials under the Youth Executive Department are Youth Governor, Youth Provincial Treasurer, Youth Provincial Auditor, Youth Provincial General Services Officer and Youth Provincial Program Managers.

The latter position would be further delegated to five (5) Program Managers who will head platforms on Linang Kabataan (Culture and the Arts), Sports and Recreation, Health, Education and Training and Environment and Disaster Management.

There will also be a Youth Legislative Department to be composed of Youth Vice Governor, Youth Provincial Secretary, ten (10) Youth Provincial Board Members , Sub- Sectoral Representatives (Ex-officio members), in school youth, working youth, out-of-school youth, youth with special needs and youth women.

This endeavor is also pursuant to the Camarines Sur Youth Code which states that the Executive Committee shall conduct and manage Youth Education and Leadership Training Week and pursue activities which will promote culture and the arts and the love for the environment.  Activities showcasing various activities related to health like health caravans and sports fest shall likewise be implemented.

It will be recalled that The Youth Code was launched at the Capitol Convention Center on February 27 this year to raise the awareness of the youth regarding their vital role in shaping the country’s future.

Emman Seguenza Cleodoro of the Camarines Sur El Verde Youth for Climate Change stated that the Provincial Government believes that in giving them an avenue to develop their capabilities and talents , they are also empowering them as partners in development.

Cleodoro is encouraging interested partakers to join the Search for Camarines Sur Youth Officials.

Applicants should submit the following: letter addressed to Camarines Sur Governor Migz Villafuerte, completed application form (Form 1), certificate of good moral character issued by the school for in-school youth and barangay captain for other applicants, residence certificate from the Punong Barangay, photocopy of Birth Certificate, list of leadership involvements, list of seminars, trainings and other activities spearheaded, if any, and attachments of the said involvements.

Application must be personally submitted on April 4, 2015 from 8:00am to 5:00pm at the Convention Center, Capitol Complex, Cadlan, Pili, Camarines Sur for evaluation and screening.

For inquiries, interested applicants may call telephone number 477-7063 and they may look for Emman, Aly or Eva. Application forms are also available at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)- Camarines Sur Provincial Office. They may contact telephone number 472-3210.   (LSMacatangay, PIAV/Camarines Sur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861427340840/camsur-announces-search-for-youth-officials-2015#sthash.4it84X0L.dpuf

DTI brings a taste of Bicol to Singapore Food and Beverage Fair

By Sally Atento-Altea

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar 23 (PIA) – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has featured Bicol’s best delicacies at the 12th Singapore Food and Beverage Fair slated March 19-22 at the Singapore Expo Hall.

DTI Bicol regional director Jocelyn Blanco led the region’s participation as component of its Food Business Development (BizDev) program noting that participation in the said international trade event brings the taste of Bicol not only to Singapore but Malaysia as well.

Jocely Berango, DTI Bicol information officer, said the program started in 2007 which primarily aims to boost sales of Pili Nut as Bicol’s flagship commodity but it has currently included promotion of other processed food products and beverage.

“The pili nut, touted as Bicol’s finest food gift to the world, thrives in an industry that pays homage to centuries-old practice of de-shelling nuts using bolo and wooden board or “pagtilad.” The government steadily supports the Pili industry to meet a rising global demand for innovative, new flavors and tastes,” Berango said.

The seven small and medium enterprise (SMEs) and leading manufacturers of pili nut products in the region exhibiting their best products in the said fair are Leslie Pili Products, Noveno’s Pilinut Candies, The R.A.I.N.S. Delicacies, Tia Berning Pili Candies, Antes Enterprises, Espeña Eco Farm Enterprises, and YML Health Food Products.

DTI Bicol regional director Jocelyn Berango headed the delegation noting that participation in the trade event will bring the taste of Bicol not only to Singapore but Malaysia as well.

Aside from various pili nut delicacies, other products exhibited made from the region’s leading produce are molido, coconut jam, taro chips, banana chips, ginger tea and other herbal teas and juice.

 “Beyond Pili, Bicol is also home to a feast of flavors and food offerings delightful to foodies worldwide,” Berango furthered.

The DTI likewise enjoined Bicolanos in Singapore together with their friends and relatives to visit the fair to indulge and try newly developed food delights.

“This 4-day event is a “food paradise” that must be enjoyed and experienced, a taste of Bicol right in the heartland of Singapore,” Berango added.

The Philippine Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has given the Geographical Indication (GI) mark to pili nut grown in Bicol’s rich volcanic soil to highlight its outstanding quality and taste satisfying the discerning palate of every global consumer.

The GI mark is a globally recognized label remarkably representing the quality standard and unique origin of pili nut in the region. (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571427098624/dti-brings-a-taste-of-bicol-to-singapore-food-and-beverage-fair#sthash.Z69tmDfF.dpuf

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Naga PDAO makes the “Right Real” for women with disability

By: Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, March 24 (PIA) --- In solidarity with the country’s observance of Women’s month, the city government of Naga and the Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) here came up with a one-day Disability Orientation Seminar for physically challenged girls and women.

Dubbed “Make the Right Real for Women and Girls with Disability”, PDAO believes that this confab held yesterday, will highlight the privileges of PWDs as they embark on a more aggressive journey.  This is also to ensure their full participation in all endeavors without discrimination.

PDAO Officer-in-Charge Christopher Molin stated that numerous women have already proven their worth as partners of the community in its quest for development.  He added that there are many modern “Juanas” who have already validated that physical disability is not a hindrance in realizing one’s vision.

Molin in an interview said that they have invited notable speakers and heads of partner agencies to grace the occasion and fill their partakers with more information regarding their rights and privileges, specifically those stipulated under the law.

City Councilor Cecilia Veluz De Asis, Committee in Family, Women and Gender Development Chairperson , also the concurrent Naga City Bantay Familia, Inc. Chairperson  also graced the program and shared her insights on the various endeavors that women have successfully immersed themselves in during the past years.

Policies on Human Rights and Gender Equality for Women and Girls with Disabilities, (WGWD), provisions stipulated under the Convention on the elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the current WGWD Situationer and salient points of the Incheon Strategy calling for Disability Inclusive Development was likewise discussed by HELP Learning Center Foundation, Inc. Program Officer Jose Antonio Delos Reyes.

The confab also adopted this year’s theme: “Juanang May Kapansanan, Kapasyahan mo ay mahalaga sa Bayan” as PDAO’s own battle cry emphasizing the critical role of women in nation building. The said orientation- seminar is also being envisioned as another tool that will propel women with disability into the next level of realizing their aspirations.

 City Mayor John Bongat expressed his full support to the undertakings of PDAO stating that the city government will continue to pursue gender mainstreaming to ensure that all Naguenos will be given opportunities for growth and development.

Barely two weeks ago, Bongat received a recognition for the city acknowledging it as Gender and Development (GAD) Local Learning Hub. This was given by The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) as recognition of the city’s effort in providing multi-sectoral and community-based programs for women.

These programs specifically seek to address gender-based violence and enjoin women in strengthening enterprises and take an active role in alleviating poverty in their own community.

Bongat, also in response to the national government’s call to establish an office that will oversee the welfare and promote the rights of persons with disability, approved City Ordinance 2010-039 authored by City Councilor Nathan Sergio. The said ordinance created the persons with disability affairs office (PDAO) which is directed to ensure that programs and policies for the promotion of the welfare of the sector are being implemented. (LSMacatangay, PIAV/Camarines Sur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861427182065/naga-pdao-makes-the-right-real-for-women-with-disability#sthash.mo8dNqg0.dpuf

DepEd extends assistance to families of studes in vehicular accident, survivors to attend graduation

By Joseph John J. Perez

LEGAZPI CITY, March 24 (PIA) – The officials of Department of Education (DepEd) Albay Division reported the assistance extended to the families of the four fourth year students of Anislag National High School (ANHS) in Daraga, Albay who figured in a vehicular accident after the conduct of the National Achievement Test (NAT) early this month.

DepEd Albay Division Information Officer Rafael Buema said in a report that their agency provided cash assistance of P28,000 which was  divided equally among the families of the students aside from providing transportation from the incident site to the Bicol Regional Teaching & Training Hospital (BRTTH) last March 5.

In a telephone interview conducted by Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Bicol, ANHS School Head Natividad Rapisora confirmed that the two survivors in the accident will attend their graduation ceremonies this week. They are Christopher L. Villagomez who can now walk in crutches and Lea M. Andaya who will attend in wheelchair.

Buema also disclosed that ANHS immediately had a meeting with the Barangay Council of Anislag and the School Governing Council for drafting of a joint resolution addressed to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to put up appropriate barriers and signage in the vicinity of the school.

The school also issued a memorandum reminding teachers and students of the schedule of class dismissal during mornings and afternoons, and checking of daily attendance, and the official time based on the daily class program, with emphasis on the responsibility of teachers in enforcing such directives, Buema added.

At around 2:15 p.m. on March 5, the four graduating students of ANHS namely: Laurence P. Soriao, 16 years old, resident of Purok 4, Barangay Peñafrancia, Daraga; Rona  L. Alcera, 16 years old, resident of Purok 4, Brgy. Tabon-Tabon, Daraga; Christopher L. Villagomez, 19 years old, resident of Purok 3, Brgy. Peñafrancia, Daraga; and Lea M. Andaya, 16 years old, resident of Purok 6, Brgy Tabon-Tabon, Daraga, were waiting for a jeepney ride along the National Highway of Purok 2, Barangay  Anislag, Daraga, when an Isuzu Elf truck with Land Transportation Office (LTO) Plate No. RHK 166 owned by Classic Movers and Forwarder Inc., with office address in Makati City traveling from Manila to Tacloban City, tried to overtake another vehicle, lost control and swerved to the left shoulder of the road, directly hitting the four victims.

Soriao and Alcera were declared dead on arrival (DOA) by BRTTH while Villagomez and Andaya both survived the accident.

However, Villagomez suffered a broken right leg and was put on cast while Andaya’s left leg was amputated.

After the accident, DepEd Bicol Regional Director Ramon Fiel Abcede immediately instructed the agencies' officials to pool resources and provide whatever assistance that can be extended to the families of the victims especially the fatalities. Some top officials of the DepEd Bicol, personally visited the wakes of the two fatalities to express condolences and hand over the financial assistance. (AAN/JJJP-PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2591427170647/deped-extends-assistance-to-families-of-studes-in-vehicular-accident-survivors-to-attend-graduation#sthash.5XpQpA3a.dpuf

Naguenos to declare lights out on March 28

By: Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, March 23 (PIA) ---  All Naguenos will declare a one-hour lights off as they join environment advocates from various parts of the world in the observance of Earth Hour comes March 28, Saturday.  Here, Naga City First Lady Farah R. Bongat, the Earth Hour 2015 Chairperson will be at the helm as the city preps up for this homage to Mother Earth.

The activity is also pursuant to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular No. 2015-25 enjoining all the local government units to come up with environmental activities and partake in the observance of Earth Hour 2015.

It is expected that hundreds of millions of people from every nook and corner of the globe, across 152 countries will simultaneously switch off their lights for one designated hour on March 28 only to give Mother Nature a respite from the consumption of electricity. The utilization of electricity is being pointed out as one of the main sources of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions which is said to be altering the earth’s climate, resulting to the ill effects of climate change.

City Mayor John Bongat directed the Earth Hour team to conduct various activities in consonance with the climate change advocacy while urging everyone to partake in this worthy endeavor of saving Mother Earth. The city government started this campaign in 2007 and had been attracting more and more stakeholders to join them in their advocacy.

Lined up for the significant day is the Earth Hour Advocacy Walk which will commence at the Plaza Quezon. Idlepitch and PowerLB bands will perform as an added attraction to the marchers. Glow in the dark sticks will be distributed to the participants before they embark on their walk from the starting point going to CBD, passing through the busy street of Panganiban Drive to SM City Naga where the formal Earth Hour program will be held.

Part of the SM Earth Hour activity is the Earth Hour presentation by the City government highlighting the LGU’s efforts in its campaign to combat the negative effects of climate change.  SM City Naga, as part of its participation will also show the SM Cares Campaign Video.

After the short program, VIP guests, SM Representatives, Officials and personnel of Naga City, representatives from the government sectors, private offices and business sectors, members of the academe and other stakeholders will join the ceremonial switch off which will commence through a 10-second countdown . It will be followed by the lighting of 60 candles as a symbol of Earth Hour 2015.

The celebration will be capped with the Earth Hour Advocacy Night Bike where partakers will pass along the business establishment of Earth Hour partners who are supporting Earth Hour 2015. The signing of environment commitment pledges for Earth Hour 2015 shall immediately follow.

First Lady Bongat enjoins everyone to partake of this event as the city push for one great act of unison in showing our great care to Mother Earth.

“We at the City Government of Naga, thru the Naga City Earth Hour 2015 Executive Committee care about the future of our planet and we expect to double our participants by raising their awareness through the various social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, Tweeter and related sites.  This is our commitment- to go beyond the hour with a positive action consistent with our programs and be a part of the solution to various environmental challenges.” (LSMacatangay, PIAV/Camarines Sur)

Monday, March 23, 2015

LTO awards winners of STRUT Challenge

By: Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, March 23 (PIA) ---  The campaign that goes viral in the social media and has become the byword of every student and its stakeholders, successfully concluded today as winners formally received their awards during the  simple yet significant ceremony held this morning at SM City Naga Activity Center, here.

This is the Students Today, Road Users Tomorrow (STRUT) campaign launched by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) Bicol Regional Office under the stewardship of Regional Director Noreen San Luis-Lutey.

The competition’s category includes the Bicol “Selfie Challenge”, Bicol Youth Shout-Out and the Speak Up For Road Safety Campus Journalism Awards.

The Bicol Selfie Challenge is a photo competition that intends to encourage partakers to be an active user of Facebook as part of the social media promotion of LTO. It specifically targets young people who consistently use their Facebook accounts and adopting the trendy Selfie shots.  The Selfie Challenge was further divided into sub categories: the Solo, Duo and the Groufie Challenge.

Andrew Y. Quides of Legazpi City Science High School in Legazpi City bagged the top prize under the Bicol Selfie Challenge- Solo Category.  Rhea F. Pajares & Cyra de la Cruz of Bicol State College of Applied Sciences and Technology in Naga City made it to the Duo “Selfie Challenge while Martina Louisees G. Serote, Ma. Paula Listanco, Roselle Lorilla, and Camille Apellado of Daraga National High School, Daraga, Albay got themselves P15,000.00, a certificate and a Rag Pet trophy.

The solo and duo winners received P10,000.00, a certificate and a Rag pet trophy.

The Bicol Shout-Out challenge on the other hand, is a video competition open to all high school and college students enrolled in any private or public school in Bicol, a Filipino and resident of the region. The competition also opened the said opportunities to the out-of-school youths who are not more than 25 years old and enrolled in the Alternative Learning System (ALS) of the Department of Education (DepEd).

The winners under this category are the students of Universidad de Santa Isabel - Pili Campus located in Pili, Camarines Sur. They are Julie Ciron, Joseph Christian E. Delmiguez, Angeluz Josephine E. Delmiguez  and Ronald Angelo D. Ciron. They also received P15,000.00 in cash, certificate and a Rag pet trophy.

Believing that campus journalism would be a perfect avenue to propagate the said campaign, LTO also included the Speak Up for Road Safety Campus Journalism Awards.  Campus writers are encouraged to tackle road safety in their papers.  Write-ups should also contain the LTO’s campaign on road safety, including the agency’s current programs and its intent to mainstream gender concerns and gender sensitivity on the road.

Winners of the Speak Up for Road Safety Campus Journalism were also given due recognition. For Best Editorial, RNAFS Harvest of Ragay National Agricultural & Fisheries School in Ragay, Camarines Sur got the top plum with their article entitled "Highway Safety and Behaviour". For Best Feature Article, the entry entitled "Tinampo Harani sa Peligro" by Jessa Q. Olor also got the jurors’ nods. The article was published in the RAGAYON, community paper of Ragay National Agricultural & Fisheries School, Ragay, Camarines Sur.

 "Seatbelt ay Palaging Gamitin Upang Byahe sa Kalye ay Di Malasin" by Sheila Mae Briones of The Herald from Oas Community College, Oas, Albay won the Best Opinion Article while the Best News Article goes to Joal C. Cocjin, SAVS official school website, San Andres Vocational School, San Andres, Catanduanes. The article bears the title "LTO Taps Schools for Road Safety Campaign."

Winners of the aforementioned categories brought home P5,000.00 each, a certificate and a Rag pet trophy.

LTO also gave special Awards for Editorial Cartoon. It goes to “The RNAFS Harvest”, of Ragay National Agricultural & Fisheries School, Ragay, Camarines Sur.  STRUT LTO Bicol Road Safety Campaign Campus Publication of the Year was awarded to The Herald of Oas Comunity College, Oas, Albay.  Both winners received P15,000.00 cash, a certificate and a Rag pet trophy.

STRUT is the brain child of LGU-Pili Public Information Officer Carlos Arejola. He coined the word to raise young people’s awareness on road safety, knocked on every school’s door to introduce this endeavor that he believes will save more lives on the road and eventually touched the heart of everyone who came to embrace STRUT as their own campaign. (LSMacatangay, PIAV/Camarines Sur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861427099225/lto-awards-winners-of-strut-challenge#sthash.KEwSiequ.dpuf

Plan International briefs media on positive and non-violent discipline on children

By: Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, March 20 (PIA) ---  Anchored on the impression that effective discipline for children should not be based on physical punishment, Plan International through its Project Officer in Bicol Adan Kristoffer A. Monterde invited members of the local media here and other stakeholders during a media forum held Monday.

Dubbed “Disciplining Children without Harm: Local Media Briefing on Positive and Non-Violent Discipline,” Monterde reiterated that disciplining methods should vary depending on the situation and the child’s development stage.  The approach, he added should also be guided by principles which will not cause an irreparable damage to the child’s perception of discipline while he is growing up.

“We are now in our second phase of implementing this project with the general thought of protecting the children from all forms of violence.  We also would like to improve the ability of the civil society, with emphasis on the families to see to it that children are not subjected to corporal punishment and bullying,” Monterde stated.

Plan International is also encouraging the government and other agencies to partake in this campaign and ensure that implementing guidelines geared towards children protection are properly implemented.

Members of the local media were invited to enable them to share to their respective audiences the intensity or the impact of abuses inflicted on children and its ill effects to the growing years of the battered victims.  Monterde, in an interview also informed the media of the milestones they have achieved in as far as their campaign is concerned.

Plan International have already organized one national and six (6) local civil society organization coalitions advocating for the protection of children from corporal punishment, degrading treatment, and bullying.  Aside from this, they have already put in place six (6) children associations and gained the support of two (2) national agencies and six local government units fighting for the same cause.

In a press statement, Plan International-Project Manager Jayson Lozano stated that the program is also being supported by the European Union (EU), Philippine Legislator's Committee on Population and Development and Lihok Pilipina Foundation.

Model homes, schools, and communities for positive discipline and anti-bullying were also developed in at least six areas.

The big support coming from the local government units also serve as a big boost to the said campaign. Two of the  most vocal and supportive advocates are the local government of Pili through the stewardship of Mayor Alexis San Luis and City Government of Naga with Mayor John G. Bongat at the helm. Both LGUs have ordinances and programs that extend support to the said advocacy.

The Positive and Non-Violent Discipline Approach being pushed by the aforementioned stakeholders refers to a “parenting style that educates children and guides their behavior. It teaches the children their duties and responsibilities as children, while respecting their rights to healthy development, protection from violence, and participation in their learning”. (LSMacatangay, PIAV/Camarines Sur)

 - See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861426835535/plan-international-briefs-media-on-positive-and-non-violent-discipline-on-children#sthash.Wl74rvnI.dpuf

Friday, March 20, 2015

Camarines Norte vendors join "Know Your Money" seminar on consumer protection

By: Rosalita B. Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, March 20 (PIA) – Some 70 market vendors from Daet Public Market participated in the “Know Your Money” Seminar on Consumer Protection Against Common Frauds conducted by the Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) here recently.

The activity was also in partnership with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in coordination with the Bantayog ng Camarines Norte Consumedores, Inc. (BCNCI).

BSP Research Specialist Keith Hidalgo discussed their basic functions, significant updates especially on the New Generation Currency (NGC) Series as well as the importance and purpose of money through the aide of a video presentation.

Flor Joson, BSP Senior Research Specialist also shared ways on how to be familiar with the design, characteristics and distinct security features of the NGC Series of Philippine Peso Banknotes.

The banknotes, with denominations ranging from n P20, P50, P100, P200, P500 and P1,000, contain upgraded security features as well as fresh and old design elements.

She said that the public have to familiarize themselves with the design, characteristics and distinct features of the banknotes by doing the following, feel the paper, examine the watermark, inspect the security fiber, view the windowed security thread check the concealed value, check the optically variable ink, check the serial number and recognize the portrait and color.

Meanwhile there are other pertinent laws and regulations to protect and maintain the integrity of the currency based on BSP Circular 61 Series of 1995 on the consolidated rules and regulations on currency notes and coins; Article 168, Revised Penal Code or illegal possession and use of false treasure or banknotes and other instruments of credit; and Presidential Decree No. 247 that prohibits and penalized defacement, mutilation, tearing, burning and destruction of Central bank notes and coins.

The replacement and redemption of legal tender Philippine currency notes and coins considered mutilated or unfit for circulation is under Section 56 of Republic Act 7653.

DTI Consumer Protection Head Elenita B. Avila said that the seminar was able to increase the awareness of the participants about common frauds and have determined possible actions for the prevention, solution and handling of related situations. (LSM, RBM-PIA5/Camarines Norte)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/871426829479/camarines-norte-vendors-join-know-your-money-seminar-on-consumer-protection#sthash.rn4loHzg.dpuf

City Government of Naga raises hope for a cleaner Naga River

By: Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, March 20 (PIA) --- Now on its second year of realizing the great vision of a cleaner and more enticing Naga River, Mayor John G. Bongat reiterated his appeal to all stakeholders to sustain what has been started and for the community to recognize the importance of keeping the river worthy for the next generation.

Bongat stated this challenge during the Naga River Development Council (NRDC) meeting and Defenders of the Naga River Summit held at the Eurotel Hotel, this city Friday last week in consonance with the celebration of the Naga River Day 2015.

Various Executive Orders were issued by Bongat, including other local ordinances to jumpstart activities concerning the development and full rehabilitation of the Naga River. In 2010, the Chief Executive issued Executive Order (EO) No. 2010-015, creating the Naga River Revitalization Project Team to ensure implementation of the action plans agreed upon by the members of the Sangguniang Panlunsod.

Executive Order No. 2012-014 was also drafted, creating the Naga City Natural Waterways Management Council tasked to take the lead in the formulation of a comprehensive water management program and its implementation.

 “The objective of this is to increase the awareness of the efforts being done by the government and the private sector to make the Naga River clean. There’s this cooperation between the local and national government thru Congresswoman Leni Robredo.  There’s a big fund that is channeled to this purpose in order that our efforts will be sustainable, such as the revetment project along the Naga and Bicol River.  Not only is Naga but the other parts of the 3rd District of Camarines Sur”, Bongat added.

The revetment project consists of putting in place concrete armor on the sides of the Naga River including the construction of concrete pathwalks with railings.  The structure will prevent the soil from eroding and is envisioned to keep illegal settlers away from the lengths of the Naga River.

Camarines Sur 3rd District Representative Leni G. Robredo was also invited to give the Summit attendees’ updates on the Naga River Flood Mitigation project. Robredo said that part of this is the approximately 4- kilometer Naga River Revetment Project which extends from Barangays San Felipe to Sabang.

 “In 2014, we received 3 separate projects.  The 4-kilometer area was separated into segments by barangays.  The first, the Penafrancia Section, the length is 751 meters with the budget of  P50M but because it was bided, the cost was lowered to P44,213,580.55.  It is 70% complete and the contractor asked for an extension until March 2015. The Dayangdang Section  is 772 meters long with a budget of P44,682,939.00 and is 18 percent complete. The Sabang Section is 611 meters long with a budget of P44,630,439.00 and is 36 percent complete,” Robredo stated.

Robredo admitted there were a lot of challenges in the completion of the project, one of which is the revision of design which has greatly affected the progress of the construction WORKS.

The revision in the design was no longer aligned to the original design in the program of WORK allowing an extension to be made.  The third extension is on March 28.  Aside from this, Robredo also lamented the fact that the project’s implementation is being hampered by the encroachment of illegal settlers along the Naga River.

“We have already agreed on the design, the fund is available but the river walk cannot be implemented due to the illegal settlers.  If this will not be implemented, the DPWH will be forced to terminate the contract.  If the contract is terminated, the unused portion of the fund will be reverted back to DPWH.”

Given these challenges, Bongat remains hopeful that everything will be put in place to give way to the Naguenos’ dream of bringing back the Naga River to its original state where the water teems with life and aspirations.  (LSMacatangay, PIAV/Camarines Sur)

 - See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861426827398/city-government-of-naga-raises-hope-for-a-cleaner-naga-river#sthash.Au6A6Jw5.dpuf

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

300 4Ps beneficiaries to get multi-skills training in Bicol U

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar 17 (PIA) – Some 300 4Ps beneficiaries in the Bicol region will undergo six month multi-skills training set by the Department of Social Welfare Development (DSWD) at the Bicol University College of Industrial Technology (BUCIT).

The said training is under DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Multi-Skills Training Program which aims to improve the socio-economic capacities of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries by facilitating their access to micro enterprise development and employment opportunities.

 “We want to provide a sustainable intervention to improve the well-being of Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries by empowering the disadvantaged individuals through skills training assistance and entrepreneurial activities towards gainful employment “said DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia.

Each trainee has P 20,000 allocation for the six-month training beginning June this year.

The short term training programs to be conducted are Troubleshooting and Repair of Household Appliances, Basic Welding and Home Mechanics, Defensive Auto Driving, Gas Engine Servicing and Hauling, Motorcycle Servicing, Basic and Advance Bread and Pastry Production 7. Bread and Pastry Production, Food processing, Construction of men’s and ladies’ apparel, Rough Masonry, Beauty Care, Silk Screen Printing and Vinyl Sticker cutting and Practical Electricity.

To ensure sustainability, Garcia said each trainee will be provided by DSWD with a livelihood kit to start up their own business or self-employment venture.

Post-training assistance will be provided by the university to help trainees in further honing their skills.

The 4Ps is a poverty reduction and social development strategy of the national government that provides conditional cash grants to “poorest of the poor” households to improve their health, nutrition and education particularly of children aged 0-14 years.

The Sustainable Livelihood Program on the other hand is a multi‐stakeholder program that aims to improve the socio‐economic status of 4Ps beneficiaries to generate greater impact on the government’s poverty reduction efforts.(MAL/SAA/DSWD5/PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571426577501/300-4ps-beneficiaries-to-get-multi-skills-training-in-bicol-u#sthash.Py4XCdWz.dpuf

Friday, March 13, 2015

DPWH completes 124 infrastructure projects in Camarines Norte

DAET, Camarines Norte, March 11 (PIA) – A total of 124 infrastructure projects amounting to more than P819 million were completed by the Camarines Norte District Engineering Office (CNDEO) of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

CNDEO officer in charge Engr. Elmer R. Redrico said that 124 are part of the 153 infrastructure projects targeted for the year, while the 29 other are still on-going projects. The programmed amount for the 153 infrastructure projects is more than P1.3 billion.

The district engineering office implemented and programmed the construction, maintenance and rehabilitation of infrastructure facilities like highways roads and bridges; flood control and drainage/river control; preliminary and detailed engineering; urgent arterial/secondary roads and bridges; farm to market roads and bridges and other infrastructure project; national buildings and various infrastructure including local projects.  These were locally funded projects.

There were also foreign assisted projects for highways; airports, flood control and water supply.

He said that some of the projects recently completed were Mabulao Bridge along Tagas-Daet-Poblacion-Magang Road; Laniton Bridge along Maharlika Highway; School Building at Alawihao High School, Daet; Portland Cement Concrete Pavement (PCCP) with seawall along Pres. Cory Aquino Boulevard, San Jose Section, Talisay; and construction of seawall and PCCP along Pres. Cory Aquino Boulevard, Bagasbas Section, Bagasbas, Daet.

The implementation of these projects also creates job opportunity to marginalized sector of the community, he said.

On the other hand the DPWH-CNDEO also participated in the Computer Literacy Examination conducted by the Regional Information Management Services wherein they got 100% passing rate last year.

The district contingent team to Tacloban City also received a certificate of recognition from the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for their unfailing support to the clearing operations launched during the calamity disaster operation caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2014.

They also conducted the blood donation drive as part of the 114th Civil Service Anniversary; coastal clean-up drive along Bagasbas Beach and participated several inter-agency activities in the province. (MAL/RBM-PIA5/Camarines Norte)

DepEd Bicol bares list of schools to offer senior high school in 2016

By : Joseph John J. Perez

LEGAZPI CITY, March 13 (PIA) – The Department of Education (DepEd) confirms that 1,251 schools in Bicol are ready to offer the senior high school (SHS) program under the K to 12 curriculum by 2016.

 “These schools, mostly big schools in the provinces, have basic facilities already and have already met the requirements of the SHS program,” DepEd Bicol Curriculum and Learning Management Division Chief Haydee Bolivar told the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) during the “Aramon Ta Daw”  (Be Informed)” radio program recently.

Bolivar also clarified that the list is constantly updated as more schools qualify for the SHS program and as other learning institutions express intent in establishing SHS facilities.

In an earlier interview conducted by PIA in the same radio program, DepEd V Education Program Supervisor Cecile Ferro disclosed that the SHS program will offer four components or tracks;  academic, technical/ vocational and livelihood (TVL), arts and design, and sports.

Bolivar further clarified that there will be four strands under the academic track, namely, Accountancy, Business and Management (ABM), Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS), Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and General Academic Strand (GAS).

Camarines Sur leads the provinces with 371 schools qualified to offer SHS followed by Albay with 251 and Sorsogon with 144 schools. Masbate province has 130 schools, Camarines Norte and Catanduanes have 108 schools each for SHS program.

Among the Bicol cities, Sorsogon City has the most number of schools with 35 followed by Legazpi and Tabaco Cities with 22 each, and Naga City with 19. Masbate meanwhile has 16 schools, Iriga City with 13 and Ligao City with 12.

All provinces and cities in the Bicol region have schools that will offer ABM, STEM and GAS under the academic track, and TVL.

However, both Ligao and Masbate Cities do not have any school yet that will offer HUMSS, while Iriga, Legazpi, Masbate and Sorsogon Cities is facing the same case for schools that will offer arts and design track. The same is true with Iriga, Legazpi, Ligao, and Sorsogon Cities with no schools yet to offer sports track under the SHS program.

In Albay, the following schools will offer senior high school: St. Benedict’s Academy, Rapu-Rapu Community College, Oas Community College, Virgin of Carmel High School, Libon Community College, Zamora Memorial College, Republic Colleges of Guinobatan, Inc., Bicol College, Mary’s Child Science Oriented School, Sunshine International School, St. Peter’s Academy, Dominican School of Camalig, Immaculate Conception High School, Carolyna Institute of Technology, Inc., St. Michael Academy and PLT College of Guinobatan.

In Camarines Sur, the schools identified for SHS offering  are: La Florianne Institute of Learning, Inc., Pasacao Academy, Inc., Philippine Computer Foundation College, Inc., Mariner’s Polytechnic Colleges Foundation, Colegio De Santa Rita Foundation, Inc., Mataas na Paaralan ng Pagatpatan, St. John The Baptist Institute of Bicol, Inc., Holy Trinity College, WRI Colleges, Partido College, Siena College Tigaon, King Thomas Learning Academy, Inc., Bicol Central Academy, St. Paul Academy, Camarines Science Oriented High School, Inc., Colegio Del Santissimo Rosario, Partido State University and Santa Monica Academy.

In Camarines Norte, Our Lady of Lourdes College Foundation, AMA Computer Learning Center, St. John the Apostle Academy, Calabaca Academy, Manila Bicol South Road Academy, Maria Aurora Academy, Capalonga Institute, La Consolacion College-Daet, and Mabini Colleges confirmed that they will also open SHS.

The Christian Polytechnic Institute and Catanduanes Colleges will offer SHS in the island province of Catanduanes.

In Sorsogon, the following schools will also offer  senior high school: AMA Computer Learning Center, Aemilianum College, Inc., St. Louise de Marillac College of Sorsogon, Solis Institute of Technology, Villanueva Gabao Institute, Inc., Estenias Science Foundation School, Inc., Data Base Technology Computer School, Sorsogon Our Lady of Foundation College, Inc. (ACSAT), Meriam College of Technology, Veritas College of Irosin, AMA Computer Learning Center, The Lewis College and the Dominican School of Pilar.

The University of St. Anthony, WRI Colleges and Ceguera Technological Colleges, Inc., in Iriga City will also do the same.

In Masbate, these schools are: Osmeña Colleges, Burias College, Inc., St. Anthony High School Seminary, Liceo de Baleno, Liceo de San Jose, Immaculate Conception Academy, Liceo de Masbate, Liceo de San Jacinto Foundation and Southern Masbate Roosevelt College.

In Legazpi City, the schools are: Informatics Computer Institute, Divine Word College of Legazpi, St. Raphael Academy, Aquinas University of Legazpi, Southern Luzon Technological College Foundation, Inc., Genecom Institute of Science and Technology, Inc., Computer Communication Development Institute, St. Agnes Academy, Datamex Institute of Computer Technology, and Mariners’ Polytechnic Colleges.

In Naga City, Ateneo De Naga University, Naga College Foundation, University of Nueva Caceres, St. Joseph School, WRI Colleges, Universidad de Santa Isabel, Naga Hope Christian School, Mariners Polytechnic College, Concepcion Pequeña National High School and Naga City Montessori School have also SHS offerings.

In Tabaco City, the schools that will offer the senior high school program are: Daniel B. Peña Memorial College Foundation, Informatics Computer Institute, Tabaco College, Computer Communication Development Institute, Polytechnic Institute of Tabaco, Dr. Carlos S. Lanting College, MTC Academy-Albay, Amando Cope College, St. Louise de Marillac School of Tabaco and Carolyna Institute of Technology, Incorporated. (JJJP-PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2591426235699/deped-bicol-bares-list-of-schools-to-offer-senior-high-school-in-2016#sthash.if4gzDgv.dpuf

Thursday, March 12, 2015

COMELEC raises Voter’s awareness through walk, run and ride activity

By: Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, Mar. 12 (PIA) --- Aside from the continuous and intensive province-wide campaign calling all registered voters to check their voting status through the conduct of satellite registrations and validation of voters, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Camarines Sur and the Association of COMELEC Employees (ACE-CamSur) initiated “Walk,Run and Ride” to inform the voting populace of their “No Biometrics, No Vote!” battlecry.

COMELEC Camarines Sur Spokesperson and concurrent Calabanga Election Officer (EO) Alex Marpuri, said that they are on the verge of despondent realization that they might not be able to complete the validation of 151, 722 registered voters who have not yet submitted themselves for the biometric capture.

This is equivalent to 770 applicants who should be trooping to COMELEC offices on a per day basis until October 31, 2015.

“We are actually worried looking at the statistics of our registered voters.  After deactivating 108,494 voters who failed to vote in the preceding two (2) successive elections, the number of registered voters of the province has declined to 917,286,” Marpuri stated.

The Fun Walk, Run and Ride activity which primarily endeavors to raise the voters’ awareness is slated on March 15, Sunday, 5:00am with the starting point at Plaza Quezon, Naga City. All partakers will all commence the run at the Plaza Quezon but will be allotted with separate routes.

 Partakers for the fun walk and run event which will cover a 3k and 5k loop and 5 to 10k loop respectively will pass along Panganiban Drive, Magsaysay Avenue towards Penafrancia Avenue and will converge at the Plaza Quezon.  Bikers who will be joining the Fun ride will cross the lines from the Diversion road area to Magsaysay, Balatas, Cararayan road, Salunguigui road near the Metro Naga City Sports Complex to Pacol road before passing through the Penafrancia area and back at the starting point.

During the FORUM@PIA, Marpuri lamented the fact that some voters think that October 31 deadline is still far, the reason why they are delaying the validation of their registration.

 “I would ask out friends from the media to please help us inform our voters that, if they go at the COMELEC Offices now, the validation will not take more than 5 minutes for every voter. They will just have to sit down, have their picture captured, their fingerprint taken and then their signature specimen. Then that’s it. No more than 5 minutes and you’re done”, Marpuri added.

Marpuri, together with COMELEC Naga EO Atty. Maico Julia, Magarao Election Assistant Dennis Gomez and ACE represented by its secretary, Gigi Barias were invited as guests during the FORUM@PIA held Wednesday at the Naga City Science Centrum, this city.

FORUM@PIA is a monthly endeavor of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Camarines Sur Provincial office that seeks to disseminate accurate information regarding the programs of the national government, including its agencies and encourage support and participation of other stakeholders. (LSMacatangay, PIAV/Camarines Sur)

First Lady Sergeant Major of Infantry Division in Philippine Army History hails from Camarines Sur

By: Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

 PILI, Camarines Sur, Mar.12 (PIA) --- The once male-dominated military profession has become the same arena where modern women have equally strutted their aggressive leadership prowess.  Some are now handling sensitive and high-ranking positions, expelling the wrong notion that women’s role are limited and should only be confined at the backseat.

Master Sergeant Rosa Maria C Lanila (SC) Philippine Army became one of the living testimonies of women’s continuous resolve to create a well-made niche in the society.  Lanila was hailed as the First Woman Sergeant Major after she assumed post as the Division Sergeant Major of the 9th Infantry Division, Philippine Army on January 15, this year.

Lanila is a product of the AFP Sergeant Major Course Class 09-14 at Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) Academy, Training and Doctrine Command, Philippine Army. Graduating on top in the academics, it is not surprising that she was also adjudged as Best in Staff Study in a Class of 56.

Philippine Army 9th Infantry Division Spokesperson Captain Mardjorie Panesa shared that Lanila’s assumption as the first Lady Sergeant Major  also boosted the morale of female officers and those who are contemplating on joining the military.  She narrated Lanila’s humble beginnings and the officer’s accomplishment that made her worthy of her current position.

“She hails from San Jose, Pili, Camarines Sur. Her dream of becoming a “lady in uniform” started when she was a young CAT Officer, continued as ROTC Officer at the Camarines Sur State Agricultural College (CSSAC) in Pili, Camarines Sur where she earned Bachelor of Science Degree In 1986. She finally entered her military career as 2LT in the Reserve Force, AFP (Inact) in July 1987.”

Before her present designation, Lanila was the Battalion Sergeant Major of the Service Support Battalion (SSBn) from September 1, 2014 up to the time she assumed her present post at 9th Infantry (Spear) Division, Philippine Army. She became instrumental in promoting the welfare and professional growth of SSBn personnel in her short stint in the battalion.

Her hard work and dedication to the service earned her various Awards and Decorations as recipient of 30 Military Merit Medals, 23 Military Commendation Medals, Long Service Medal, AFP Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation Badge, Military Civic Action Medal, Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Operations Ribbon, Anti-Dissidence –Campaign Medal & Ribbon, Luzon Anti-Dissidence – Campaign Medal & Ribbon 137 Letters Of Commendation and Certificates of Appreciation and Recognition.

In 2005, her book entitled “2nd Infantry (Jungle Fighter) Division History” was published.  This has earned her an Outstanding Achievement Medal by the Secretary of National Defense during the Philippine Army 105th Anniversary celebration at Fort Andres Bonifacio Metro Manila.

She is an Agronomist and a Researcher by profession.  She is happily married to Dental Technologist Leonardo A. Lanila Jr., who also works in the military. They are blessed with three children, Mark Leo who is a graduate of Civil Engineering at the Ateneo De Naga University, Jonathan who graduated with AB Communications degree and is now working as cameraman in ABS-CBN’s weekly magazine show MAGTV NA Oragon and Lhea Roselle, a 4th Year Dentistry student.

 Lanila will not only serve as an inspiration to all women who are aspiring to make a difference. She will continue to serve as a testament of what women empowerment truly means.  She will continually prove that women’s participation is fundamental to the progress of the economy in the achievement of sustainable development. (LSMacatangay, CPTMPanesa AFP, PIAV/Camarines Sur)

Viga town's government employees, villages chiefs submit to drug testing

VIRAC, Catanduanes, March 12 (PIA) – Employees of local government and punong barangays in Viga Town submitted themselves to a voluntary drug testing recently to assures the constituency that public servants are trustworthy, has integrity and serve as role models to the public especially on relentless campaigns against drug abuse.

The initiative was carry out after said parties agreed to the call of Viga Mayor Gordon Olfindo proposing a vouluntary drug testing among local government employees and barangay officials.

 The test was conducted by medical representatives from Bicol Medical Center based here.

According to Olfindo, he originally filed a formal request for drug testing on 2013 at Department of Health (DOH).

He further stressed that the drug testing was voluntary which gained positive response.

Only two LGU employees were not able to provide urine samples because they are on official travel, while all punong barangay captains  have submitted to the test.

Results of the test are expected to be released two to four weeks after the conduct of drug testing. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/841426458471/viga-town-s-government-employees-villages-chiefs-submit-to-drug-testing#sthash.O0BarAzL.dpuf

First Lady Sergeant Major of Infantry Division in Philippine Army History hails from Camarines Sur

By: Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

PILI, Camarines Sur, Mar.12 (PIA) --- The once male-dominated military profession has become the same arena where modern women have equally strutted their aggressive leadership prowess.  Some are now handling sensitive and high-ranking positions, expelling the wrong notion that women’s role are limited and should only be confined at the backseat.

Master Sergeant Rosa Maria C Lanila (SC) Philippine Army became one of the living testimonies of women’s continuous resolve to create a well-made niche in the society.  Lanila was hailed as the First Woman Sergeant Major after she assumed post as the Division Sergeant Major of the 9th Infantry Division, Philippine Army on January 15, this year.

Lanila is a product of the AFP Sergeant Major Course Class 09-14 at Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) Academy, Training and Doctrine Command, Philippine Army. Graduating on top in the academics, it is not surprising that she was also adjudged as Best in Staff Study in a Class of 56.

Philippine Army 9th Infantry Division Spokesperson Captain Mardjorie Panesa shared that Lanila’s assumption as the first Lady Sergeant Major  also boosted the morale of female officers and those who are contemplating on joining the military.  She narrated Lanila’s humble beginnings and the officer’s accomplishment that made her worthy of her current position.

 “She hails from San Jose, Pili, Camarines Sur. Her dream of becoming a “lady in uniform” started when she was a young CAT Officer, continued as ROTC Officer at the Camarines Sur State Agricultural College (CSSAC) in Pili, Camarines Sur where she earned Bachelor of Science Degree In 1986. She finally entered her military career as 2LT in the Reserve Force, AFP (Inact) in July 1987.”

Before her present designation, Lanila was the Battalion Sergeant Major of the Service Support Battalion (SSBn) from September 1, 2014 up to the time she assumed her present post at 9th Infantry (Spear) Division, Philippine Army. She became instrumental in promoting the welfare and professional growth of SSBn personnel in her short stint in the battalion.

 Her hard work and dedication to the service earned her various Awards and Decorations as recipient of 30 Military Merit Medals, 23 Military Commendation Medals, Long Service Medal, AFP Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation Badge, Military Civic Action Medal, Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Operations Ribbon, Anti-Dissidence –Campaign Medal & Ribbon, Luzon Anti-Dissidence – Campaign Medal & Ribbon 137 Letters Of Commendation and Certificates of Appreciation and Recognition.

In 2005, her book entitled “2nd Infantry (Jungle Fighter) Division History” was published.  This has earned her an Outstanding Achievement Medal by the Secretary of National Defense during the Philippine Army 105th Anniversary celebration at Fort Andres Bonifacio Metro Manila.

She is an Agronomist and a Researcher by profession.  She is happily married to Dental Technologist Leonardo A. Lanila Jr., who also works in the military. They are blessed with three children, Mark Leo who is a graduate of Civil Engineering at the Ateneo De Naga University, Jonathan who graduated with AB Communications degree and is now working as cameraman in ABS-CBN’s weekly magazine show MAGTV NA Oragon and Lhea Roselle, a 4th Year Dentistry student.

Lanila will not only serve as an inspiration to all women who are aspiring to make a difference. She will continue to serve as a testament of what women empowerment truly means.  She will continually prove that women’s participation is fundamental to the progress of the economy in the achievement of sustainable development. (LSMacatangay, CPTMPanesa AFP, PIAV/Camarines Sur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861426219642/first-lady-sergeant-major-of-infantry-division-in-philippine-army-history-hails-from-camarines-sur#sthash.PujUKUPo.dpuf

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

DPWH Sorsogon I DEO to inaugurate its new, state-of-the art office building

SORSOGON CITY, March 11, 2015 (PIA) – "Friday the 13th" is considered by many as unlucky day of the year surrounded with superstitions surrounding the day, but for personnel of the Sorsogon I District Engineering Office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) March 13, Friday, will be one of their most fortunate time as they set the inauguration and blessing of their new, state-of-the art office building.

The new two-storey building in Brgy. Guinlajon in this city has been already completed with a total project cost of P 28,792,000 charged to the General Appropriations Act (GAA) 2014.

The CTC Builder & Supplies, Inc. has carried out the construction and completed in December 2014.

Likewise, the P3 M worth of additional improvement for site development, perimeter fence and landscaping contracted by Roda Construction & General Supply was also completed first week of this month.

DPWH Secretary Rogelio L. Singson is expected to lead the unveiling of the new facility and to keynote the inauguration ceremony.

Singson will be joined by Sen. Francis Joseph G. Escudero, Sorsogon I District Rep. Evelina G. Escudero, Gov. Raul R. Lee and Mayor Sally A. Lee in the  ribbon cutting and the unveiling of the building marker.

According to District Engineer Ignacio T. Odiaman, the new two-storey DPWH Office Building adopting the standard plan as per DO No. 81, series of 2012, was constructed as a replacement to the old, semi-permanent and half-wooden office building constructed in the late 1960’s.

“This is to provide a better, quality, and secured workplace that can withstand calamities to avoid loss of life, government resources and properties of Sorsogon First District Engineering Office,” he said.

“The construction was also in line with the Department’s policy to continuously improve the delivery of its services, per D.O, No. 91- Implementation of Quality Workplace Standards,” Engr. Odiaman also said.

“With the new office building, our apprehension will be abated should there be a major calamity in our province that may totally destroy our present office building,” Engr. Odiaman said.

Engr. Odiaman By virtue of Special Order No. 79 dated 02 July 2013, was assigned as the new District Engineer of this Office vice Engr. Romeo D. Doloiras who was reassigned to Catanduanes DEO.

Meanwhile, guided by the overall policy directive of President Benigno S. Aquino lll “Tuwid Na Landas,” and the DPWH Reforms initiated by Secretary Rogelio L. Singson under the “DPWH Transformation Framework,” the DPWH Sorsogon 1st DEO committed itself to continuously transform the organization and its employees, simplify/innovate to reduce corruption and improve efficiency, and optimize available resources.

At present, DPWH Sorsogon First DEO’s workforce has close to a hundred personnel composed of permanent itemized positions, employees on Co-terminus status, casual employees, employees detailed from the Area Equipment Services, employees on floating status charged to Maintenance Fund and job order employees. (MAL/BAR-PIA5/Sorsogon)

Trade Fair and Jobs fair in Naga City highlights women empowerment

By: Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, Mar. 11 (PIA)--- In unison with other women in the various nooks and corners of the world, the office of 3rd District Representative Hon. Leni G. Robredo spearheaded the Advocacy Walk here, Monday as  a kick off activity to the 2nd Asenso Tercer Distrito Trade and Jobs Fair in celebration of the International Women’s day.

Dubbed 2loy² sa Asenso Tercer Distrito, the program is a rallying call of the partnership between the people of the 3rd District of the province and Robredo on its quest for an empowered citizenry, particularly of the women sector.  It consists of livelihood programs and packages that endeavor to uphold the dignity and self-worth of a Bicolano family.

The Congressional Office of Robredo in close coordination with The Naga City Women’s Council (NCWC) and other civic, government and non-government organizations successfully staged this year the Asenso Tercer Distrito program that aims not only to empower women but uplift the economic status of its constituents.

Forty-four (44) local companies and nine (9) international corporations responded to the call and took part in the two-day jobs fair.  Government agencies like the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Agriculture (DA), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), TESDA, PhilHealth, DSWD and AFP among others.

 Various local government units also showed their support by installing their booths inside the JMR Coliseum. The booth also served as a display center where the town’s One-Town-One Product (OTOP) merchandises were showcased.   LGU’s Magarao, Bombon, Canaman, Pili, Naga City, Camaligan , Ocampo and Calabanga were among the active partakers during the event.  The booths were manned by Lakas Kababaihan members coming from the said municipalities.

 During the first day of the event, an Entrepreneurship Camp was staged with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) at the helm.  DTI Senior Trade and Industry Development Specialist and Coordinator of Negosyo Center Jay Percival S. Ablan, as part of the camp[‘s program gave the talk on Formalizing the home-based business.

Mary Adelyn Tecson of Gawad Kalinga also shared her thoughts on Community Building through Entrepreneurship while Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. representatives Edgardo Veron Cruz and Pamela Castro discussed Agricultural Entrepreneurship.

Before capping the first day, TESDA spearheaded the graduation of the beneficiaries of the agency’s Special Training for Employment (STEP). Tool kits were also distributed to the graduates. It was immediately followed by the Solidarity night and was attended by the various stakeholders.

The second and last day of the event was highlighted with the continuation of the Jobs Fair and the Entrepreneurship Camp. After which,  the Plenary Open Forum was conducted.

Robredo’s Livelihood Program is just one of the four development dimensions for the district, in addition to health, education, and agriculture.  It endeavors among others to increase of family income of her constituents, especially that of the 48% of the households living on or below the poverty threshold.  (LSMacatangay, PIAV/Camarines Sur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861426048127/trade-fair-and-jobs-fair-in-naga-city-highlights-women-empowerment#sthash.UsLRW4tP.dpuf

Monday, March 9, 2015

DOH Bicol organizes RH Regional Information Team

By Joseph John J. Perez

LEGAZPI CITY, March 9 (PIA) – The Department of Health (DoH) and the Commission on Population (POPCOM) Bicol regional offices has organized last week the Regional Implementation Team (RIT) to popularize and ensure implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Law in the region.

The creation of RIT complies with Administrative Order No. 2015-0002 issued by DoH Acting Secretary Janette Garin on January 26 this year.

Also last week, the duo agencies led the orientation on the RPRH law which is also known as Republic Act 10354 among RIT members and other partner agencies which are identified in the said directive.

The AO provides that the DoH regional director will act as chairperson while the POPCOM regional director as co-chair and head of the RIT secretariat, together with representatives from the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Local Government Unit from Regional Development Council and representatives from civil society organizations (CSOs).

In Bicol, the RIT will be headed by both DOH RD Dr. Gloria Balboa and POPCOM RD Magdalena Abellera and will include other government agencies such as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), National Nutrition Council (NNC), and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

According to DoH Bicol Family Health cluster head Dr. Rita Mae Ang, the RIT shall manage the dissemination and implementation of all issuances pursuant to RPRH Law and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) at the regional and field levels.

Garin’s directive also defined the following tasks and functions of the RIT, that are, to coordinate the actions of the regional agencies implementing the law and its IRR in the areas of policy development, capacity building, advocacy, education, information, health service delivery, field operations, monitoring and evaluation; monitor the implementation and evaluate the impact of RPRH law and its IRR at the regional and field levels; organize, supervise and provide technical, financial and logistical support for field operations and monitoring and evaluation activities regionwide;

Craft an annual unified regional work and financial plan for RPRH Law implementation integrating resources from all members of the RIT; provide reports and recommendations to the National Implementing Team (NIT) to improve the implementation and impact of the RPRH law and its IRR in the region, among others.

Ang said that the creation of the RIT and NIT is in response to the need to establish a structure which will manage the implementation of the RPRH law and its IRR.

Earlier, Garin issued Department Personnel Order No. 2015-0200 on January 2015 designating member of the NIT with former Secretary of Health Dr. Esperanza Cabral as chairperson, DoH Assistant Secretary  Dr. Paulyn Jean Ubial as co-chairperson and Executive Director Dr. Juan Antonio Perez III as vice-chairperson and head of secretariat.

Other members of the NIT are: Dr. Irma Concepcion of DOH’s Disease Prevention and Control Bureau, Director Ella Nalipoguit of DepEd, Director Margarita Sampang of DSWD, Senior Vice President Ruebn John Basa of PhilHealth, Undersecretary Florencia Casanova-Dorotan of National Anti-Poverty Commission, Executive Director Emmeline Versoza of Philippine Commission on Women, Deputy Executive Director mateo Lee, Jr. of the National Council on Disability Affairs, Governor Alfonso Umali, Jr. of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, and Executive Director Junice Demeterio – Melgar, CSO representative of the secretariat.

The RPRH law and its IRR have been deemed effective with the lifting of the Status Quo Ante Order by the Supreme Court last April 8, 2014, Garin’s directive stated (MAL/JJP-PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2591425871585/doh-bicol-organizes-rh-regional-information-team#sthash.Oq4Iyu0d.dpuf

BSP intensifies awareness and education campaign on EFL Program

SORSOGON CITY, March 9, 2015 (PIA) – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) started making rounds in the country this year to make the public aware and understand the country’s key economic and financial issues under its Economic and Financial Learning Program (EFLP).

The first leg took place in Sorsogon City on February 24, 2015 with a press briefing giving the local media in the province lucidity in their queries in mind. Questions raised were focused on the resiliency of Philippine economy, government bank’s lending policy especially for LGUs, and other financial issues such as counterfeiting, demonetization and inflation rate, among others.

Panellists were Atty. Prudence Angelita A. Kasala, Director, Financial Consumer Protection Department; Ms. Marlyn J. Paje, Deputy Director and Head, BSP Legazpi Office; Ms. Maria Farah D. Angka, Deputy Director, Department of Economic and Financial Learning Center; Mr. Dennis M. Bautista, Deputy Director, Department of Economic Research; Mr. Aries T. Gamboa, Bank Officer V, Department of Economic Statistics; Mr. Edring Marqueses, Bank Officer III, Payments and Statistics Office; and Ms. Jo-Anne B. Ballacillo, Senior Currency Specialist, Currency Issue and Integrity Office.

According to Ms. Sharon Ang, Coordinator-Bank Officer III of the BSP Head Office’s Economic and Financial Learning Center, the BSP has been conducting public information campaigns in line with the effort to increase public awareness on the role of the BSP in the economy and the financial system and to further enhance the transparency of its monetary policy.

The BSP has also taken a proactive stance in embarking on a consumer education program that aims to improve the basic financial literacy of the public and the use of the various bank-related initiatives to improve the remittance environment and to channel remittances to productive undertakings.

Through the BSP-EFLP, the outreach and educational activities of the BSP are brought together under one flagship program which aims to promote greater awareness and understanding of essential economic and financial issues to help the public acquire the knowledge and develop skills needed to make well-informed economic and financial decisions.

The EFLP also embodies the goal of the BSP to promote economic and education among its stakeholders, who can then become the BSP’s effective partners in safeguarding price stability and in ensuring a stronger and safer banking and payment system.

Aside from the press briefing, the BSP in its three-day stay in Sorsogon also conducted the “Be up to SPeed on BSP”, an information campaign on the role of BSP in the economy following modules for students and for the workforce, giving emphasis on the three pillars of central banking – the price stability, financial stability, and efficient payments and settlements system.

Also conducted was the “Paghahanda sa Kinabukasan”, a financial learning campaign for the Overseas Filipinos and their beneficiaries which taught the participants on the importance of using the remittances to build up savings and directing these into investments in financial products and business ventures.

Another activity the BSP had was the Financial Education Expo for working sector, students, and members of the academe. This offered various financial education activities featuring learning booths with audio-visual presentations, graphic displays and interactive activities making the participants self-reliant in promoting their financial welfare.

The BSP representatives encouraged further all Sorsoganons and the public as a whole to engage in the various banking products and services that they usually encounter in ordinary financial transactions and to visit their offices for further inquiry and details.

The BSP has currently three regional offices located in La Union with branches in San Fernando, Batac Tuguegarao, Dagupan, Cabanatuan, Lucena, Naga and Legazpi; Cebu City with branches in Bacolod, Iloilo, Roxas, Dumaguete and Tacloban City; and Davao City with branches in Cagayan, Cotabato, General Santos City, Ozamis and Zamboanga. (MAL/BAR-PIA5/Sorsogon)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/801425853279/bsp-intensifies-awareness-and-education-campaign-on-efl-program#sthash.eBHDML2h.dpuf

Friday, March 6, 2015

4Ps provides beneficiaries better access to medicines by setting up 4Ps Botika

LEGAZPI CITY, MAR. 6 (PIA) -- Barangay residents of Colongcogong, Caramoan, Camarines Sur now  has easy access for basic medicines following establishment of 4Ps Botika in the village that now implemented under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Over the past years, accordin to DSWD Bicol, village residents has no access to basic medicines, also resorting to alternative ones and herbals to cure for their ailing children and parents.

“Kaipuhan me pa po magtravel nin harayo, magbangka, asin magbalyo sa kaatubang mi na probinsya sa San Andres, Catanduanes para makabakal nin gamot [I needed to travel long distances, ride on a boat and cross in our neighboring province in San Andres, Catanduanes to buy for medicines],” said Ningning C. Dizon, 35, resident.

According to Ningning as she is fondly called-off by her neighbors, since then, it had been their cry until the government reached their community.

The establishment of the 4Ps Botika is an offshoot of the needs assessment of beneficiaries in the village during the Family Development Session (FDS) – a monthly activity being conducted under the said program that serves as a venue for educational, interpersonal, interactive and adult learning engagement that aims to empower and strengthen the relationship and ties among family members and the community.

“Saro sa mga topic me sa FDS po ay kung ano ang pangarap mi sa samuyang pamayanan, kaya naisip mi na magkaigwa na kaini [One of the topic in FDS is our dream in our community which made us think of organizing this],” said Rossi Ortiz, one of the beneficiaries who lead the project.

Since the value of health is also being inculcated to the recipients of the program, the beneficiaries identified and agreed to put up the said botika reaching every household in the community.

“Sa tabang po nin Pantawid Pamilya nakaisip kami na mag-kaigwa nin 4Ps botika para makatabang sa gabos na pamilya digdi [Through the help of Pantawid Pamilya we were able to put up a 4Ps botika to help every family here],” she added.

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or conditional cash transfer is a program that invests in human capital that is contributory to poverty-reduction. It provides cash grants of P500 in health and P300 (elementary) or P500 (high school) in education for a family that has three children, ages 0-18, enrolled in the program.

“Nagtanom kami ki gulay sa bakuran mi tapos sa mga bakanteng lote para kumita na nagsilbi man na pambakal mi nin gamot tapos pinapabakal mi [We plant vegetables in our backyard and in vacant lots to earn. Then, our earnings serve as our fund to start to buy medicines and sell it],” Rossi said.

Starting a capital of P500 they were able to buy some sorts of medicines like paracetamol, ibuprofen, mefenamic acid, antibiotic, salbutamol and carbocistein, which help to cure simple illnesses like flu, fever, colds, cough, migraine, heart burn and stomach aches.

“Nagpasalamat kami ta grabe an tabang kaini sa samuyang pamilya, [We are thankful because it helps a lot to our family],” Rossi added.

Expanding and Plans At present, they (beneficiaries) tried to expand their botika by selling school supplies and foot wears. In addition to their capital, they also continuously plant vegetables to raise their current savings of P5,000.

“Balak mi po na padakulaon pa ini ta pangarap mi po na magka-igwa ki water system. Mahirap po an tubig mi digdi ta isla po an barangay mi [We plan to raise more money because we also dream to have a water system. Water is difficult here since we are an island barangay],” Ningning said with full of determination.

Lending Help Apart from the health benefits that the botika provided to the residents, last December 2012, they (beneficiaries) shared their blessings through conducting gift giving activity in the community.

“Nagtao po kami ki mga school supplies, grocery items sa 46 non-pantawid beneficiaries para ibalik man ang mga natangap mi na blessings sa kapwa mi po. Ma-ugma po na makatabang [We give school supplies and grocery items to 46 non-pantawid beneficiaries to return back the blessing we received. We are happy to help],” Ningning humbly said.

Here, the resident made a conscious effort of using their resources to help their community, they see’s their social responsibility in order to attain development.

As Ningning stated “Kung aasahan mi po kaya su cash grant na titao samuya, talaga kulang po ito sa pagkabuhay mi. Kaya dapat sabayan nin pagpursige na guminhawa ang buhay [If we will only rely on the cash grants provided to us, truly it will not suffice our daily needs that is why we need to add perseverance to improve our life],” she ended. (MAL/GANLindio-4PsIODSWD5/PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/771425624212/4ps-provides-beneficiaries-better-access-to-medicines-by-setting-up-4ps-botika#sthash.sUueqaUD.dpuf