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

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Virac MPS bares accomplishments for Q1 2016

VIRAC, Catanduanes, March 30 (PIA) - The Municipal Peace and Order Council (MPOC) here convened this morning for the first quarterly meeting for 2016 delving on updates on the peace and order situation of this capital town

P/SInsp. Edgar Clerigo, officer in charge of the Virac Municipal Police Station (MPS) presented the report noting that a total of 188 crime incidents were recorded covering the period from January 1- March 30, 2016 compared to 263 incidents for the same period last year indicating a significant decrease of 75 incidents or 28.5 percent.

Clerigo added that Index Crimes recorded  totaled to 67 for the period in review, compared to 83 for the same period last year showing a decrease of 16 incidents or 19.27 percent.

Theft is the most prevalent index crime with 52 cases with carnapping, physical injury and rape as the least with 3 cases each. A total of 118 crime incidents were recorded for the period in review composed of 60 violations of special laws and 58 other forms of non-index crimes, which reflects a decrease of 62 cases or 34.44 percent as compared to the same period last year.

Average Monthly Crime Rate (AMCR) for the period pegged at 85.19 compared to the same period last year. AMCR registered at 121.49 per 100,000 population. And total of 188 crime incidents reported for the period in review, 53 cases were cleared or 28.19 percent, 41 incidents were solved or 21.81 percent .

For the operational accomplishments from January – March 30, 2016 five (5) Anti-Illegal Drugs Operations were conducted with 8 persons arrested and 62.684 grams of shabu and illegal drug paraphernalia were confiscated and seven (7) cases filed in court.

21 Other Wanted Persons were arrested by virtue of warrant of arrests. On illegal logging one (1) violator arrested with 1,305.82 bd ft. lumber seized with an estimated market value of 65,291.00 case against the person, case p now in court.

Election activities and security preparation were also presented by Clerigo. Since the start of Election period the station has confiscated four (4) guns, three (3) cases filed in court for violation of RA 10591 and violation of Omnibus election Code (Comelec Gun Ban).

They are also conducting ComelecCheckpoints twice a day. Data shows that Virac has a total of 45 voting centers with 323 established precincts and a total of 44.025 registered voters.

Clerigo said that the 36 voting centers to be secured by Virac MPS personnel on the day of elections and nine (9) voting centers will be delineated to the 83rd IB of the Philippine Army.

Despite of the decrease in the Total Crime Volume and Average Monthly Crime Rate (AMCR). Minor Offenders are mostly the suspects in Robbery and theft incidents, peace and order situation in Virac is within manageable level Clerigo added.

The meeting was presided by Mr. Oseas Alberto, Virac Municipal Administrator in behalf of Mayor Flerida Alberto who is the Chairman of the MPOC. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/841459348801/virac-mps-bares-accomplishments-for-q1-2016#sthash.8twftJk4.dpuf

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Catanduanes all set for 1st Abaca Fest on May

VIRAC, Catanduanes, March 30 (PIA) -- The Provincial Government of Catanduanes is ready for the celebration of the 1st Abaca Festival in the province from May 23-27, 2016.

According to Hon. Jose Romeo Francisco, Abaca Festival Steering Committee chair, this year’s celebration will focus on the theme: “Abaca Festival: Banwaan Asenso, Turismo!”.

He added that the theme aims to give recognition to the significant contribution of the abaca industry to the province’s socio-environment and economic development.

In this connection, several activities were identified and lined-up by the steering committee to highlight the milestone of the abaca industry from production, skills and technology development, processing, marketing and investments.

It will include the showcasing of various abaca by-products and distinct culture and heritage of Catandunganons in support to the tourism industry and sparring business as a whole.

The following activities and events are set: May 23, 2016, the opening program at Capitol Grounds, Unveiling of Abaca Showcase and Photo Booth; Opening of Trade Fair and Travel Expo; Street Dance Parade and the Abaca Dance Showdown at the Catanduanes Athletic Complex; On May 24 – Skills Olympics, Launching of Tramline, Pag-Hag-ot Contest and Techno Demo at Capitol Grounds;

May 25 -  Jobs fair at Capitol Dome and the Paharalabaan nin Bandala Contest at Capitol Grounds; On May 26 – Investment Forum dubbed as ”The Potentials and Prospects of Abaca Pulp Factory in the Province of Catanduanes”, Paglubid Contest, Sug-ot Making contest and Techno Demo at Capitol Grounds.

On May 27, a Float Parade and Abaca Fashion Show cum Flores De Mayo will highlight the event. The fashion show will feature the evolution of Pinukpok/Sinamay from traditional saya to the modern cocktail dresses, to the elegant Philippine Terno and Baro’t Saya.

 On the other hand, the Trade Fair during the one-week celebration will promote the versatility of abaca showcasing its different by-products; provide selling opportunities and expand market for locally-produced products, and generate additional sales for local producers. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/ Catanduanes)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/841458537224/catanduanes-all-set-for-1st-abaca-fest-on-may#sthash.T9yVDhbY.dpuf

PNP Bicol reaffirms support to end violence vs. women

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar 29 (PIA) – The Philippine National Police (PNP) Bicol egional office has renewed its commitment to uphold the rights of women as the newly elected officers of the all-male advocacy group Men Opposed to Violence against Women Everywhere (MOVE) were sworn into office Monday this week.

PNP Bicol head C/Supt. Augusto M. Marquez led the oath taking of the new set of officers of the MOVE.

PNP Bicol spokesperson S/Insp. Maria Luisa Calubaquib said the group has been long organized in the region with this year’s oath of office was done this month in time for the celebration of the women’s month.

Part of their vows as MOVE members are to be at the forefront of the campaign to eliminate violence against women (VAW) be it physical, psychological or other aspects, be at the forefront of gender advocacy and help in the establishment of MOVE from the regional level down to the provincial, city and municipal levels.

The new set of officers are Supt. Nonito Marquez of the Sorsogon Police Provincial Office (PPO) as president; Supt. Wilmor Halamani of the Police Community Relations Office of Camarines Norte PPO, vice president; SPO4 Marcos Bea of PRO5, secretary; SPO2 Tobias Bongon III of Naga City Police Station, assistant secretary; non-commissioned personnel Reggiemar Doctolero of Talisay MPS, treasurer; PO3 Josephus Ramos, assistant treasurer; and Insp. Jhon Verlano, auditor.

The public relations officers representing their respective PPOs are SPO4 Pepito De Los Reyes, Albay PPO: PO1 Brian Aceron, Camarines Norte PPO; SPO1 Ely Langitan, Camarines Sur PPO; SPO4 Juanito Tevar, Catanduanes PPO; PO1 Romeo Bislumbre, Masbate PPO; SPO2 Tomas Haloc, Sorsogon PPO; SPO2 Noel Dennis Ajero, Naga City PS; and Insp. Uldrick Tilos, 5th Regional Publice Safety Battalion.

Calubaquib said under PNP Bicol Chief Marquez, the group was institutionalized as part of the program of PRO5 Police Community Relations Division which conducted a seminar-workshop starting March 17 for police officers coming from PPOs, CPS and MPS. Culmination of which is the election of MOVE officials. (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571459329916/pnp-bicol-reaffirms-support-to-end-violence-vs-women#sthash.4TCqjemA.dpuf

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

DILG lauds Barangay Palestina for good financial housekeeping

By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

PILI, Camarines Sur, March 29 (PIA) --- Out of 1,063 barangays in Camarines Sur, Palestina ranked first among this municipality’s villagess complied with good financial housekeeping as evidenced by its level of compliance to the Full Disclosure Policy program of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) , particularly in the implementation of budget preparation, revenue generation and utilization of barangay funds.

Barangay Palestina, led by Punong Barangay Efren Amesola was also recognized by Pili Mayor Alexis San Luis for its continuous coordination and collaboration with interfaith organizations to ensure that every sector’s concerns are properly represented.

During last Saturday’s Barangay Assembly, more than a hundred barangay constituents trooped to Barangay Palestina’s Multi-purpose Hall to participate and be a part of a collective decision that the assembly will come up with.      

One of the projects that was agreed upon during the assembly was the fencing of Palestina Elementary School worth P800,000.00 and construction of drainage canal along the said school which is also worth P200,000.00.  The Sangguniang Barangay will then proposed the funding worth P1M under the Barangay Bottom-Up-Budgetting (BuB) for fiscal year 2017.

Aside from implementing various projects in the barangay, Palestina has also opened its door to patients coming from neighboring barangay with the transfer of the Barangay Health Center or Rural Health Unit 2 from Barangay Cadlan to Palestina.  Here, they continue the monthly immunization, operation timbang, deworming and distribution of vitamins, pre-natal check-up and other related health services.

Last year, the barangay council passed a total of 31 resolutions relating to the improvement of general services including one (1) tax ordinance.

P03 Eleno Calongui, who represented Philippine National Police (PNP) Pili Municipal Chief Chito Oyardo also reported the PNP’s accomplishments for their Oplan Lambat Sibat, particularly their campaign against illegal drugs.

Hon. Michael Burce also reiterated that they have strengthened their Barangay Anti- Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) as instructed by Amesola pursuant to the latest DILG Memorandum Circular revitalizing the C/M/BADAC.

In a letter from SILG Mel Senen Sarmiento which was read by Madrideo, the official spoke of the virtuous effects of President Benigno Aquino’s Tuwid Na Daan in creating a government where funding are judiciously put in place and where reforms are prudently implemented.  (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

Other News
- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861459241609/dilg-lauds-barangay-palestina-for-good-financial-housekeeping#sthash.8wI5scvy.dpuf

Monday, March 28, 2016

Comelec tasks DOST team as Board of Election Certifiers for May polls

LEGAZPI CITY, March 28 (PIA) – Twenty six personnel of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Bicol regional office recently undertook the Trainers’ Training for Board of Election Inspection (BEI) Certifiers in preparation for the 2016 national and local elections on May 9 this year.

DOST Bicol regional director Tomas Briñas explained that in the certification process, written examination was administered to trainees that need to get a passing grade of 60 percent by getting 24 of the 40 items correct. The test was followed by the practical or hands-on test which they need to get a perfect (14/14) to pass.

Briñas added that as a requirement, the teacher-participants should pass both written and practical examinations. A retake is only allowed once for those who failed in the written examination but passed the practical examination. Retake for those who failed the practical examination is not allowed.

The training commenced last February 29 and will run until April 15, 2016 based on the preparation timeline of the Commission on Election or Comelec.

Ralph Martin N. Roque, SRS II of the Provincial Science and Technology Center in Albay and named as BEI regional coordinator and supervising certifier for the province, led the conduct of certification training, while the provincial S&T directors across Bicol region who were designated as supervising certifiers did the same in their respective areas of responsibility.

In accordance with DOST Administrative Order No. 012, series of 2015, the certifiers submit the list of examinees and results to the regional certifier who then prepares the list of certified BEIs to be signed by DOST regional director.

DOST through Special Order No. 732, series of 2015, created the implementation structure for the 2016 DOST Certification Program for the BEI in the coming May 2016 national and local elections.

The Program Steering Committee (PSC) and the Program Implementation Staff (PIS) establish the DOST Certification Program Protocol and General Instructions to ensure appropriate implementation of the said program. (MAL-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211459216366/comelec-tasks-dost-team-as-board-of-election-certifiers-for-may-polls#sthash.g85mVd24.dpuf

Albay’s Daragang Magayon Festival kicks off today

LEGAZPI CITY, March 28 (PIA) – This year’s Daragang Magayon Festival (DMF) formally opens today at the Albay Astrodome.

The month long festivities started with a Eucharistic celebration followed by formal opening ceremonies featuring the Albay Planet Festival or the showcase of other various festivals celebrated in the three cities and 15 municipalities in the province. A fusion of music, colors, dances, balloons and confetti highlighted the said ceremony.

The guest of honor and former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri congratulated the Albayanos in his message and lauded the efforts of Albay Governor Joey Salceda for putting Albay in the map, as well as for the remarkable developments that the province has undergone during his last three terms.

”Governor Joey is the best thing that happened to Albay. He is a champion of the environment being the center for climate change adaptation, the champion of education with over a hundred thousand scholars, a champion of tourism elevating Albay from a sleepy province, to know a true and veritable Cinderella story in tourism with the concept that tourism creates jobs,” Zubiri said.

The senator also commended the political unity in Albay, noting the partnership between the governor and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Albay, helmed by Vice-Governor Harold Imperial, calling it the epitome of performance politics.

Salceda, now on his last term as Albay governor, chose this year’s theme as a celebration of his past nine years in leading the province.

“This year, we are going to revive, recreate and relive that golden era when we bask at the greatness and goodness of our lives, this is the reason why we choose gold as the basic motif of our celebration, we have soared so high with our achievements in protecting our environment, in keeping our families and properties away from harm’s way, in pushing for the education of our children, in achieving world recognition for our cultural endeavors, and ultimately in providing better lives for our constituents,” said Salceda.

Governor Salceda also showcased another milestone for the province of Albay, the hosting of Palarong Pambansa to be held simultaneous with DMF 2016.

“Having done the laborious works, we are now ready to play. This year, we crown our accomplishments with the hosting, for the first time, of the Palarong Pambansa. And it is but fitting that gold is our motif because we are also aiming for the most gold in the national games that we are hosting,” Salceda stated.

He furthered saying, “We shall hold our usual featured events while we host the Palarong Pambansa because we wish to showcase our capability to work and play while we take care of our visitors and our tourists, we aim to make this month April a truly spectacular period”, we wish to make it a once-in-a-lifetime event that our constituents, irrespective of their standings in life, shall always remember long after we have passed the torch of glory to our next generation.”

The governor ended his message with the formal declaration of the opening of the DMF2016 as he raised his glass to offer cheers to the guests of the ceremony.

The participants then proceeded to the open grounds of the Albay Astrodome for the releasing of doves and balloons rituals before moving to the different areas surrounding the Albay Capitol Grounds for the ribbon cutting of various exhibits, shows, and settings.

In the afternoon, the opening day celebration for the DMF2016 will continue with the Legends Showdown, a dance exhibition and competition from 6 contingents composed of different festivals from cities and municipalities in Albay; a fireworks display in the Penaranda Park and the Concierto sa Magayon later tonight at the Albay Astrodome, a free concert with guests Loisa and Joshua from the famed PBB show, along with Ronnie from the Hashtag Group and comedian Kiray from the GGV show.(MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571459150776/albay-s-daragang-magayon-festival-kicks-off-today#sthash.FsQ6t2SP.dpuf

Monday, March 21, 2016

Albay declared 3rd UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Phl

By Sally A. Altea

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar 21 (PIA) – The province of Albay has been included by the UN specialized agency, UNESCO, in its network of protected biosphere nature reserves worldwide.

In the Philippines, Albay joins Puerto Galera and Palawan, declared 1977 and 1990 respectively. Other 19 new sites made it to the network summing up 669 protected biosphere reserves across 120 countries.

Albay governor Joey Salceda said it is an honor for the province to be approved as a new UNESCO Biosphere Reserve noting that the province welcomes it as an ecological marker of excellence and as a challenge to the community.

“We consider it as our country's modest contribution to the intergenerational transfer of resources to the future of the Philippines and the future of everyone,” Salceda said.

The province of Albay is known for variety of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and a home to a multitude of biodiversity, including five species of endangered sea turtles with the perfect Mount Mayon as an enduring symbol of national pride and heritage.

Salceda stressed that for centuries up to the present, local communities live in harmony with nature treating it with a deep sense of respect and responsibility and has made sustainable development as a way of life particularly in terms of sustainable fishing, agriculture, and tourism.

“We in Albay are deeply committed, nationally and internationally, to climate change mitigation and adaptation. For these reasons, we believe we can contribute greatly to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves and the robust implementation of the recently adopted Lima Declaration and Action Plan,” he said.

The governor also cited his role as the former co-chair of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in helping introduce cultural heritage as fundable activity for adaptation and biosphere for GHG emission further disclosing US$10.4bn raised fund which can be mobilized for sites in developing countries determined by UNESCO.

The province of Albay has likewise addressed issues raised by the UNESCO International Advisory Committee (IAC) and has responded by the deadline set.

These include the increased terrestrial buffer zone from 35,000 hectares to over 62,000hectares, inclusion of over 68,000 hectares as a marine buffer zone and over 65,000 hectares as a marine transition zone in the revised zonation and strengthened measures to protect endangered turtle spawning sites across Albay.

Salceda further lauded UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere – International Coordinating Council (MAB-ICC) for the endorsement which will serve as inspiration for the local government and community to work together and achieve sustainable development.

“We deeply thank the MAB-ICC for this endorsement. It means very much to the people and local government of Albay as this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve will inspire our local government and our community in our journey based on shared value, on shared goals and shared impacts for a transformation into a low emission inclusive and empowering, resilient and sustainable development,” Salceda said.

The UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) covers internationally designated protected areas, each known as biosphere reserves that are meant to demonstrate a balanced relationship between people and nature.

Biosphere reserves are areas comprising terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems. Each reserve promotes solutions reconciling the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use.(MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571458550761/albay-declared-3rd-unesco-biosphere-reserve-in-the-phl#sthash.pJzHzvfw.dpuf

15 “job machines” deployed in Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar 21(PIA) – Jobseekers in the Bicol region can use for free the 15 job machines deployed region wide for faster and easier job applications.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has started the deployment of the 15 PhilJobnet Kiosks units dubbed “Bicol’s Job Machine” strategically located in the six provinces of the region for the Bicolanos to access and avail of its free services.

“This is very useful especially to the island provinces. Jobseekers need not come to the mainland just to apply for a job,” DOLE Bicol director Nathaniel Lacambra said.

The “job machine” is composed of three refurbished bulky-old model Job Kiosk and 12 sleek designed 2016 ultra light model with advanced touch screen features which looks and feels like a modern bank ATM machine.

“With this machine you can find jobs, like withdrawing money from a regular ATM” Lacambra said.

The deployment of the said units can provide jobseekers with instant access to available job vacancies both local and abroad especially the new graduates this month.

Of the 15“job machines,” two were deployed for Albay, three for Camarines Sur, two for Sorsogon, two for Masbate, two for Catanduanes and one for Camarines Norte. The other two are still stationed at the Regional Office for routine maintenance but will be deployed soon.

Specifically, jobseekers can access the machines at the municipal hall of Polangui and city hall of Legazpi in Albay, city hall of Naga, Iriga City and provincial capitol in Camarines Sur, municipal hall of Bulan and provincial capitol in Sorsogon, municipal hall of Aroroy and provincial capitol in Masbate, municipal hall of Virac and provincial capitol in Catanduanes.

The units are linked on-line and in real time with the PhilJobNet system for jobseekers to access job opportunities anytime or anywhere they may be in the region.

It is capable of processing job applications and matching it to existing vacancies suited to the qualifications entered by the applicant. It can further match several hundred applications with accuracy.

The DOLE chief however said that although the “job machine” can job-match applicants and vacancies, the hiring of an applicant still depends the employer.

“This speeds up the process of application but it does not guarantee the hiring of applicant. Hiring still depends on the company and the qualification of the applicant whether or not they pass other criteria set by the company matched to them by the system,” Lacambra explained.

DOLE Bicol further encourages graduates to try the machines aside from going to job fairs schedules by the DOLE in the region.

“As I said this is our additional arsenal to help and guide our applicants in their job hunting this March,” Lacambra noted. (MAL/SAA/DOLE5/PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571458546827/15-job-machines-deployed-in-bicol#sthash.NdvFJZ80.dpuf

Friday, March 18, 2016

Tourism enthusiasts ink intent to donate travel and investment office spaces in Bagasbas, Daet

DAET, Camarines Norte, March 18 (PIA) – Tourism enthusiasts signed intent to donate tourism and travel investment office spaces in Bagasbas, Daet held here recently.

The commitment papers were signed by Jorge T. Palma, landowner and president of Upswing Realty and Tourism Inc.; Paul Andrew S. Redburn, president of Quikblox, Inc.; and Akio Takasaki, proprietor, Oh Bang Ramen Restaurant in the presence of Mayor Tito S. Sarion of Daet and Darius Mirasol, investment officer of LGU-Daet.

The office spaces to be donated are for Daet Tourism, Investment and Bicol Association of Travel and Tours Operators (BATTO) to be situated at a portion of the land owned by Jorge T. Palma at Barangay Bagasbas, Daet, Camarines Norte. This can also be used by the Department of Tourism (DOT), the local government units of Daet and Camarines Norte.

Jorge T. Palma, who also leads the Bagasbas Business Club, said that they have created a core group with 10 members recently aimed to attract investments and tourism in the town and in the province.

He also believed that said endeavor will be attained through public-private partnership.

He said that he is a member of BATTO of which is composed of all travel operators in the Bicol Region. “We will include Bagasbas Beach and other tourist sites in the province in our tour package”, he said.

Palma is also a member of the National Association of Independent Travel Agencies (NAITAS) Bicol Chapter.

He also urged volunteers like potential surfers group, women’s organizations, youth and vendor’s association and other organizations to join hands in promoting Bagasbas Beach and later the other tourism sites in the province.

Mayor Tito S. Sarion on the other hand said that the local government unit of Daet is currently preparing the comprehensive land use plan and profiling and will include areas in front of Bagasbas Beach for development as tourism estate.

He said that previously they have organized the Bagasbas Beach Development Council, life savers and guards, and Bantay Dagat to protect the sea.

“We also started surfing in 1990 including kite boarding, paragliding to promote Bagasbas and this coming March 25-27 will be the 4th international aerosports show”, he said.

He also thanked the initiative of the Bagasbas Business Club that will complement to the PLDT fiber optic facility which will operate soon in the area.

He said that with the business club, it is a good opportunity again besides the town was adjudged as the most competitive town in 2014 and recently received citation as one of the 14 LGUs for the Seal of Local Governance.

Sarion cited that the P3 million from the Seal of Local Governance award is being used now in the construction of a One-Stop-Shop for tourism and investment promotion near the Heritage Center of Daet.

Meanwhile a launching of the book entitled “Tito Sarte Sarion On the Go His Story and Daet’s Transformation” authored by Francisco V. Peñones Jr. was held after the activity. (MAL/RBM-PIA5/Camarines Norte)

 - See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/871458278659/tourism-enthusiasts-ink-intent-to-donate-travel-and-investment-office-spaces-in-bagasbas-daet#sthash.bszSMWeR.dpuf

Naga City Children’s Home turns 3

By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, March 18 (PIA) --- True to its inclusive governance, this city showed that everyone, even lost and abandoned children, are included in its development agenda.

The birth of the Naga City Children’s Home (NCCH) is a testimony of upholding this commitment and a validation of the city government’s pledge to protect, nurture and ensure that they too, will have a share of the opportunity that every child is entitled to.

Naga City Mayor John Bongat, in his message during the celebration of NCCH’s 3rd Anniversary yesterday, reiterated that the city government is determined to save these unfortunate children from hopelessness and incorrigible situation by giving them education and providing them opportunity for a better life and a better future.

“When we say that we are pro-children, when we say that we should take care of them who need the help and assistance of the local government, we mean what we say,” Bongat added.

The Chief Executive also shared that in spite of the big spending that the city will put into the NCCH, he believes that every penny would be worth its cost.  

“The operational expenses for their maintenance ran into millions of pesos every year for food and for their education. Yet in return, what we got is an assurance that the future of these children will not be destroyed. For every life that we save, for every child that we save, we are actually saving millions of pesos, because their lives will not be destroyed and they will have good education.”

NCCH was founded in 2013 at Barangay Pacol, this city to serve as refuge for abandoned and abused children and a temporary haven for those children who are in conflict with the law. It is being manned by social workers, a parent, a caretaker and security guards to ensure the safety of its occupants.

Just a year ago, two children beneficiaries graduated from Grade 6 and are now performing well as Grade 7 students at Camarines Sur National High School (CSNHS), also here in Naga City.

City Councilor Elmer Baldemoro, Chair of the Naga City Council for the Welfare and Protection of Children (NCCWPC), said he was grateful for all the donors and benefactors who shared the city’s vision of helping these unfortunate kids shape a better future.

“This is something big – that we help these homeless, abandoned and neglected children to have a second home here at NCCH. Thus, we continually support the NCCH to let the children feel that they are part of the society and that they are truly loved and cared for,” Baldemoro stated. (mal/LSM/JRM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861458255835/naga-city-children-s-home-turns-3#sthash.c31TuVtD.dpuf

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

DILG urges residents to join barangay assembly on March 26

By Sally A. Altea

LEGAZPI CITY, March 16 (PIA) – The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) urges the public to participate in this year's barangay assembly for the first semester to be conducted in their respective communities on March 26, 2016.

DILG Bicol assistant regional director Danton Vibar said since March 26 falls on a Black Saturday, barangays in the region can have it rescheduled on or after that date so long as they conduct at least two assemblies in a year as required in the Local Government Code (LGC).

Under Section 397 of the LGC of 1991, every barangay in the country is enjoined to deliver their State of Barangay Address (SOBA) at least wtice in a year for the barangay administration to present updates, programs, achievement and other concerns in the barangays and their constituents.

For this year, DILG enjoins barangay to present to the public their accomplishments and financial reports as well as their priority projects under the recently launched Barangay Bottom-Up Budgeting (BBUB) program.

Faith-based organizations and other civil society organizations in the barangay can also join the assembly yo discuss their role on the implementation of BBUB program.

During the assembly, barangays are also encouraged to educate their constituents on the revitalization of the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) and its role in drug-clearing operations and to discuss issues and concerns on disaster preparedness and solid waste management.

The barangay assembly aims to strengthen partnership of the government and the community as the means to effectively serve the people.

The barangays cannot hold the assembly meeting without written notice one week prior to the scheduled meeting except in cases of public safety or security.

Any resident of the barangay, concerned citizen or governmental or non-governmental entity can file complaint against barangay officials who will not conduct the said assembly at the Sangguniang Panlungsod or Sangguniang Bayan or the Office of the Ombudsman. (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571458113803/dilg-urges-residents-to-join-barangay-assembly-on-march-26#sthash.41DdzEFv.dpuf

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

CSC Bicol “goes local” in curbing red-tape

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar 15 (PIA) – This year’s Anti-Red Tape Act Report Card Survey (ARTA-RCS) of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) in the Bicol region will go local.

Dubbed as “ARTA Goes Local,” the survey will mainly focus on local government units (LGUs), local water districts (LWDs) and state universities and colleges (SUCs).

CSC Bicol director Cecilia R Nieto said CSC has expanded the coverage of this year’s ARTA to further intensify the implementation of the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 as provided by RA 9485.

ARTA Watch is one of CSC’s interventions in curbing red tape in the country wherein a team, usually headed by a CSC Director, conducts surprise spot-check in frontline service offices to monitor its compliance with the ARTA.

A total of 68 LGUs, LWDs and SUCs will be subjected to ARTA-RCS from April-October 2016.

Nieto said CSC field directors in Masbate, Camarines Sur and Albay have started to conduct ARTA watch in other LGUs and LWDs but majority of these agencies has not been subjected to ARTA-RCS .
The CSC is mandated to initiate the ARTA-RCS which shall be used to obtain feedback on how the provisions of the law are being implemented, as well as information on hidden costs and access to government frontline services.

For the past years, the CSC has been conducting ARTA-RCS to national government agencies (NGAs) and government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) to check on these agencies’ compliance to ARTA.

Nieto said client satisfaction ratings have significantly improved over the years based on the results of recent surveys.

Among the factors checked by the CSC during ARTA watch are observance of the No Noon Break policy, posting and implementation of the Citizen’s Charter, basic facilities, Anti-Fixer campaign, wearing of readable ID or nameplates, Public Assistance and Complaints Desk, and the overall service quality of the office.

After each surprise visit, the ARTA Watch Teams conducted a brief talk on the salient points of ARTA, the Report Card Survey, the Citizen’s Satisfaction Center Seal of Excellence, and the Service Delivery Excellence Program.

Teams also generate a written feedback on observations and suggestions to improve frontline services, a copy of which is given to the concerned office immediately after the visit.(MAL/SAA/CSC5/PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571458015768/csc-bicol-goes-local-in-curbing-red-tape#sthash.aMy2WxHx.dpuf

Monday, March 14, 2016

DOLE Bicol, ready for new job seekers

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar 14 (PIA) – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Bicol is all set for the bulk of new job seekers as graduation days approaches.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Bicol director Nathaniel Lacambra said this has been a yearly trend as job seekers flock over DOLE offices, at least a day or two after graduation.

Lacambra said DOLE Bicol is equipped and more than ready for this coming trend this March through job fairs slated region wide.

“As early as now we wanted to inform Bicolanos, especially the graduating class that we have scheduled several job fairs. This is to help them find a job quickly,” Lacambra said.

DOLE Bicol holds three major job fairs annually. These include the Magayon Jobs Fair sponsored by the Provincial Public Employment Services Office (PESO) of Albay on the last week of April, Labor Day Mega Jobs Fair held simultaneously at SM Naga City and Legazpi City on May 1 and the Independence Day Jobs Fair at the Plaza Trese Martires, Naga City sponsored by Metro Naga PESO on June 12.

DOLE Bicol assistant regional director Atty. Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla said job fair is still the most economical, practical and easiest way of landing a job.

“In one day you can apply to at least 5-10 companies joining the Job Fair. Compare against the hassle of going from one company to another just to apply. We advice graduating students to calendar our Job Fairs and take advantage of these for it is the fastest way to find jobs that are best suited to their qualifications and abilities,”she added.

For this year, DOLE Bicol will be holding job fairs aside from the three major job fairs in cooperation with the different municipal and school-based PESOs.

With these municipal job fairs, graduates will have wider options and broader chance of landing their desired job.

These Jobs Fair schedule are as follows:

1. March 15-16: City Park, Ligao City, Albay
2. March 15: Speed Computer College, J.B. Alegre St., Brgy. Salog, Sorsogon City
3. March 19: Ground Floor Lobby, City Hall Annes, Tabaco City, Albay
4. March 21: SL Expansion Bldg., Ramon Santos St., Brgy 33, Peñaranda, Legazpi City, Albay
5. April 28: Malinao Covered Court, Malinao Albay
6. April 15: Bato Multi-Purpose Bldg., Bato, Catanduanes
7. April & October: Little Theater, Provincial Capitol, Daet, Camarines Norte
8. May & Sept.: Municipal Hall, Labo, Camarines Norte
9. May: Municipal Hall, Bulan, Sorsogon; Capitol Dome, Virac, Catanduanes
10. June 28: Municapl Hall, Vinzons, Cam. Norte
11. June: Municipal Hall, J. Panganiban, Cam. Norte
12. July: Municipal Hall, Bulan, Sorsogon
13. September: Municipal Hall, Irosin, Sorsogon
14. Aug. 13: Municipal Hall, Capalonga, Camarines Norte
15. October: Capitol Compound, Provincial Government of Sorsogon
16. November: Plaza San Andres, San Andres, Catanduanes
17. December: Plaza Rizal, Virac, Catanduanes

Lacambra further advised job seekers to coordinate with DOLE provincial offices or the nearest PESO office in their area for possible changes on the date and place of said provincial and municipal job fairs.

DOLE Bicol Job has likewise conducted job fairs as early as January this year.

Aside from these job fairs, DOLE Bicol will also issue tips on how to apply for a job and how to pass an interview as part of the Career Guidance program of the office. (SAA/DOLE5/PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571457925911/dole-bicol-ready-for-new-job-seekers#sthash.1x9TQbGI.dpuf

Albay preparations for Palarong Pambasa 2016 in final stages

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar 14 (PIA) – Albay is nearly 100 percent ready in hosting this year’s Palarong Pambansa.

In the reports given by different chairman of the sub-committees during the final technical conference held last week, the preparations needed are in final stages from billeting of the participants to rehabilitation and construction of sporting venues.

Representatives from the provincial government of Albay, Department of Education (DepEd) Bicol and other line agencies and stakeholders such as tournament managers and representatives from different regions gathered at the technical conference held at the DepEd Regional Center to discuss further concerns and technical needs for the staging of the Palarong Pambansa in the province.

The DepEd reported that schools from different cities and municipalities are nearly prepared for the billeting of the tens of thousands of participants in the said venue.

The sporting venues on the other hand ate nearly available for use as the Provincial Engineering Office speeds up the construction and rehabilitation projects.

The Bicol University oval track, where majority of the competition will be held, has undergone major makeover and is 90 percent done. Other sporting venues are likewise catching up with the deadline.

Tournament managers and representatives from different regions all over the country also shared their inputs on different matters needed to ensure smooth and efficient hosting of the Palarong Pambansa 2016.

Participants in the conference visited the sporting venues and billeting schools to make ocular inspections for further preparations and renovations.

Governor Joey Sarte Salceda, who worked hard to win the bidding for the prestigious annual sporting event, said in his message that this is one of his dreams for the province of Albay.

Salceda noted that hosting the Palarong Pambansa 2016 will once again put Albay in the forefront and boost its image as a force in the tourism front with sports tourism being added in the forefront of its marketing system.

Albay won the bidding for hosting Palarong Pambansa 2016 as the province was deemed one of the most accommodating and prepared LGU, which has won many accolades during the three terms of Governor Joey Sarte Salceda.(SAA/PGA/PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571457923261/albay-preparations-for-palarong-pambasa-2016-in-final-stages#sthash.D8lvoK0K.dpuf

Healthy and happy home takes center stage in the 1st Atlantic Bakery TV Ad Competition

By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, March 14 (PIA) --- Atlantic Bakery has launched its first ever TV Ad competition in the region to encourage more and more families to live a healthy life and inculcate the value of nurturing their homes.

“At Atlantic Bakery, we strongly believe in living healthy- thus our breads are made without preservatives added. We acknowledge the significant role of families in taking care of their homes by ensuring that each member lived a healthy life. We like to deliver these values to all the families in Bicol with the help of the broadcast media,” Kim Legazpi-Poon, Atlantic marketing officer stated.

In a press conference held over the weekend, Atlantic Bakery announced the competition to all commercial and media enthusiasts, including all organizations and individuals, encouraging them to create a television ad that will “inspire others to promote living healthy by eating fresh food especially bread and pastry to deliver that message through generations.”

“Ads should contain positive messages that could, for example, show what people can do to live fresh, happy and healthy lives every day and what we can do as a family, as members of the community, as a country and as global citizens to make this happen,” Poon added.

The competition is divided into two main categories; the Student Category and the Open Category. Sub-categories under the two are Product Ads and Corporate Ads which will be judged separately but with the same prize and freebies.

Grand winners under the two (2) Categories, both for the Products and Corporate Ads will receive Php 30,000.00 cash prize and Php15,000.00 for the first runner up. All participants, including the participating school, will receive certificates in acknowledgment for their achievement and participation.

To register, participants should have an accumulated or single purchase of at least P250 worth of any Atlantic Bakery bread within the registration period starting on the day of the launch until April 10 at 5:00pm. Deadline for submission of entries is on May 15 until 5:00pm.

The submitted work must bear the Atlantic Bakery logo.

High definition quality entries should be submitted burnt on a single CD/DVD and may be given to the organizers in any of the following file formats: .avl, .flv, .mpeg, .mp4, wmv or .mov. Registrants will fill up an Official Entry form upon submission. Participants should bear in mind that their entries will be disqualified if it fail to meet the correct technical specifications crafted out by the organizers.

Originality of work is equivalent to 40 per cent as set by the jurors. Creativity, which include editing and use of the medium is also equivalent to 40 percent and Impact and recall consists of 20 percent, completing the 100 percent criteria for judging the entries.

For additional queries, interested participants may visit any Atlantic Bakery Store or they may get in touch with Miss Eloisa at telephone number (054) 473-9196 or 09399233649. (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861458017947/healthy-and-happy-home-takes-center-stage-in-the-1st-atlantic-bakery-tv-ad-competition#sthash.l2jE2slE.dpuf

Thursday, March 10, 2016

World Kidney Day celebration in Bicol highlights children’s renal health

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar 10 (PIA) – The Department of Health Bicol leads today the celebration of the World Kidney Day with the theme “Kidney Disease and Children: Act Early to Prevent It” with the kick-off activity held at the Bicol University Integrated Laboratory School grounds here.

DOH Bicol director Napoleon Arevalo said this year’s theme resonates the need to learn the habit of taking care of our kidneys at an early age noting that adult renal diseases can be traced from childhood.

The DOH has likewise teamed up with the Philippine Society of Nephrology (Bicol Chapter), Department of Education, Bicol University and selected public and private schools.

The kick-off activity will also serve as information campaign aimed for children and young students through a short lecture on the functions and steps that can be taken to ensure healthy kidneys and prevent renal diseases.

Arevalo said the activity will be concluded with a ceremonial “Move your feet” dance exercise as reminder that regular exercise and physical activity can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and obesity which are the leading causes of kidney diseases.

The elementary schools selected to join the kick off activity are Polangui Elementary School, Oas North Central School, Daraga North Central School, BInitayan Elementary School, Bagtang Elementary School, Bagumbayan Elementary School, Albay Central School, Sto. Domingo Elementary School, Paimont Elementary School, St. Agnes Academy and Sunshine International School.

Arevalo said the disease is a global health concerns with over two million people worldwide, including children, who are currently undergoing dialysis or kidney transplant to stay alive.

He noted that in the Philippines, it is the seventh cause of death with an estimated 23,000 Filipinos going into dialysis due to kidney failure. Some children develop it at an early age while others have it since birth.

“Renal disease is highly preventable when we start young and practice healthy living. It is essential that we educate children on the early detection of renal disease and the importance of healthy lifestyle. We must inculcate this to the young people for them to develop a healthy habit that they will continue until old age which will ease them not only from the burden of kidney related disease but other illnesses as well,” stressed Arevalo.

The Philippine Society of Nephrology – Bicol has noted that the number of dialysis centers in the region has lately been increasing which may be an indicator of growing number of Bicolanos, including children, suffering from kidney failure.

This may be the result of unhealthy practices acquired in early childhood such as eating foods that are too salty, fatty and sweet or not drinking enough water, holding the urge to urinate and lack of good personal hygiene.

Thus, Arevalo urged the public to support the advocacy through healthy lifestyle and proper diet.

“Let us support this advocacy by having regular exercise and healthy lifestyle in our lives. Exercise does not only mean extensive workout. It can be in a form of simple household chores like “pagwawalis” and “pagbubunot.” Likewise, this should go along with proper diet,” he said.

The World Kidney Day is a global health awareness campaign celebrated every year on the second Thursday of March in more than 100 countries. It focuses on the vital functions of the kidneys and reducing the frequency and impact of kidney diseases and associated health problems worldwide.(MAL/SAA/DOH5/PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571457600721/world-kidney-day-celebration-in-bicol-highlights-children-s-renal-health#sthash.R9j4ueDf.dpuf

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

CCA stakeholders join hands, launch national alliance platform

By: Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, March 9 (PIA) --- The Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management Philippines (A-PAD Philippines), in its endeavor to strengthen the commitment of its allied countries and partners, recently launched its national platform at Hotel Jen in Manila, Thursday last week with the theme: “The Philippine Platform: Beyond Response. Building Resilience. Securing our Future.”

The international symposium and national platform launch also served as a venue for disaster management advocates to converge and share their respective experiences that would enhance efforts to minimize harm if not totally eliminate casualties in times of disaster.

Two of the attendees, Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) President Gilbert Albero and Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Camarines Sur Information Center Manager Lizel S. Macatangay represented Luzon cluster. Albero and Macatangay were both signatories of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) earlier signed here to promote and enhance cooperation among private sector, government and civil society organizations. The common goal is to build disaster resilient communities.

Albero, in his speech shared how the business sector closely collaborates with other organizations in the city just to put in place disaster management at the core of its priorities. He also made it clear that the business sector in the city is committed in ensuring that all activities and projects will be done without harming the environment as part of mitigating the impact of disaster.

The event was also graced by Advisory Board member of Indonesia National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction known as PLANAS and  A-PAD Chairperson Faisal Djalal who was also actively involved in the Aceh Post-tsunami earthquake disaster response and rehabilitation activities including consultations with large-scale stakeholders.

Other international guests who also came to witness the historic launch include partners from A-PAD Sri Lanka, PLANAS Indonesia, A-PAD South Korea, Dhaka Community Hospital (DCH) Trust Bangladesh, and A-PAD Management Office in Japan.

Civil Defense Administrator and National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director USEC Alexander P. Pama also acknowledged the invaluable assistance of civil society organizations (CSOs), non-government organizations (NGOs) and other volunteers in the success of disaster management in the country.

“Our efforts in taking people out of harm are undoubtedly bearing positive results.  This endeavor p goes beyond minimizing losses and saving lives or the significance of decreasing casualties but protecting the livelihood of affected communities,” Pama added.

APAD Philippines is being jointly organized by Citizens’ Disaster Response Center Foundation, Inc. (CDRC) and Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) with the support from Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs through APAD Japan. (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

Other News
- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861457494764/cca-stakeholders-join-hands-launch-national-alliance-platform#sthash.IEULLeES.dpuf

DOH calls for vigilance, precautionary measure to prevent Zika viral disease

LEGAZPI CITY, March 9 (PIA) -- The Department of Health (DOH) has reiterated the need for vigilance and precautionary measures to eliminate carier-morquitoes and their breeding places to prevent infection and spread of Zika virus and viral disease among individuals and communities.

In an advisory emailed to Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Bicol News Desk from DOH, Health Sec. Janette P. Loreto-Garin stressed that It is very important to search and destroy the potential breeding sites in order to prevent the spread of Aedes mosquitoes that serve as vector of the virus.

“We reiterate that cleanliness is still the key against mosquito-borne diseases. We should step up our strategies with the ‘4S campaign’, that is, Search & destroy mosquito breeding places, use Self-protection measures, Seek early consultation for fever lasting more than 2 days, and Say yes to fogging when there is an impending outbreak.” Garin concluded.

The move was called upon following the recent report from US-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC) that an adult non-pregnant US resident, with a travel history of four weeks in the Philippines in January 2016, was confirmed positive for Zika virus. She developed an illness with symptoms of fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis, and muscle pain during her last week of stay in the Philippines before returning to the United States of America (USA).

“Currently, we are coordinating with US-CDC for the profile of the patient, including information on places she visited in the Philippines. We were informed that shortly after returning home to the US, an evidence of Zika virus infection was detected from the patient.” Garin explained.

Zika viral disease, caused by Zika virus, is characterized by fever, rash, and conjunctivitis. Other symptoms are joint pain, muscle pain, headache, and vomiting. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for 2-7 days. Although most individuals infected are asymptomatic or does not manifest any symptoms, they still have the capability of transmitting the infection.  Zika virus is usually transmitted through the bite of infected female Aedes mosquitoes, the same mosquitoes that transmit dengue and chikungunya. There have been reports that the virus can be transmitted through sexual contact and blood transfusion.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there are 55 countries and territories that have reported local Zika transmission from January 2007 to 3 March 2016. Local Zika virus transmission has also been detected in neighboring countries such as American Samoa, Cambodia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, Lao PDR, Indonesia, Maldives and Thailand. Most Zika cases are from other regions specifically from Latin America.

 The health chief added that in the Philippines, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) is capable of testing suspected cases of Zika virus through Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT PCR). The test is also available in Visayas and Mindanao.

The symptoms of Zika virus disease can be treated with common pain and fever medicines, rest, and plenty of water intake. If symptoms persist, patients are advised to consult the nearest health facility. Currently, there is no available vaccine to prevent Zika virus infection.

DOH emphasized that Zika infection is asymptomatic in 80% of cases and most of the time the disease is self-limiting. However, the effect on the result of pregnancy should not be discounted. Zika virus has been linked to congenital CNS malformation like microcephaly. DOH calls on pregnant women to avoid mosquito bites especially during day time. For those with fever, rash, and conjunctivitis, submit yourself for consultation.  (MAL-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211457504644/doh-calls-for-vigilance-precautionary-measure-to-prevent-zika-viral-disease#sthash.rktIyign.dpuf

DOLE Bicol provides P1.6M worth of livelihood assistance for Sorsogon localities

LEGAZPI CITY, March 9 (PIA) -- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Bicol regional offices has released a total of P1,693,057 grant for livelihood programs in Bulan town and Sorsogon City, both in the province of Sorsogon.

DOLE Bicol regional director Nathaniel V. Lacambra said the grant was part of the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP) and the Bottom-Up Budgeting (BuB) that provide sustainable-alternative livelihood to 88 beneficiaries in Sorsogon province.

Lacambra, however, clarified that the grant given was in the form of materials, tools and equipment and not in cash.

“This grant is just the start. We plan to create more livelihood opportunities at the country side. Rest assured that there will be more, all for the benefit of the Sorsoganons”  Lacambra said.

The bulk of the grant amounting to P1,481,391.00 was provided for three BuB projects in Bulan, including DOLE Kabuhayan Starter Kits (DKSK) project for 18 beneficiaries with a budget of P166,391; Coconut Husk Decorticating, a group project for 16 beneficiaries amounting to P520,000; and Nego Kart Project for 53 beneficiaries with P795,000 budget.

Anilin G. Diaz, Bulan PESO manager, said that the grant will be beneficial to their constituents not just on their day to day life but it is also a way of curbing illegal recruiters.

The other part of said grant amounting to P211,666 was given to Barangay Salog, Sorsogon City with 35 home-based workers as beneficiaries.

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa DOLE sa malaking tulong na ito para sa aming mga ka barangay na nagsusumikap upang magka hanap-buhay ng marangal. Dahil sa DOLE na aming kaagapay ay pagsusumikapan naming alalayan sila (beneficiaries) na umasenso sa napili nilang maliit na negosyo,”  Mr. Royce H. Manzanares, Brgy. Treasurer, Salog, Sorsogon City.

The home based workers-beneficiaries are mostly married women who are usually left home. These women are trying their best to “help-out” since income is far less than household expenses.

Melody Ecal, 35-year old, and a “Peanut Butter Maker” said that her produce would probably double because of the additional equipment she has now.

Herminia Pareja, 74 years old, and a veteran sewer said a similar statement “Kahit ako ay matanda na, malaking tulong ito sa araw-araw na gastusin.” (MAL/NEClerigo-DOLESorsogon/PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211457503020/dole-bicol-provides-p1-6m-worth-of-livelihood-assistance-for-sorsogon-localities#sthash.V9mS03Hk.dpuf

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

PhilHealth Albay opens new office at Landco Business Park

LEGAZPI CITY, March 8 (PIA) -- The Philippine Helath Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) Albay Local Health Insurance Office (LHIO) opens its new office today located at the 2nd Floor of De los Santos Building in Landco Business Park here.

LHIO Albay chief social insurance officer Darlene L. Nuyles welcomes the new office as a way to bring the services closer to Albayanos, as the LHIO is strategically located in the heart of the city.

Nuyles hopes to help decongest clients served in the regional office by catering to all membership and collection functions at the LHIO. Meanwhile, claims and accreditation functions still remain at the regional office located at the Alternate Road, Legazpi City.

Prior to the LHIO’s establishment, the membership and collection functions were carried out by the PhilHealth Members Assistance Counter (PMAC), the forerunner of LHIO Albay, operating inside the regional office.

The PMAC was under the supervision of Marcia Natalia Simsiman, then CSIO of the Membership Section, in 2011.

LHIO- Albay was formally proposed for creation under then OIC- RVP Veronica T. Mateum in October 2011. It was approved by PhilHealth’s former president and CEO Eduardo P. Banzon in November 4, 2011, and was operationalized under RVP Orlando D. Iñigo as soon as he was reassigned back to PRO V after his short assignment as head of PRO IV- A. Since its creation, LHIO Albay was located at the ground floor of the regional office.

Iñigo decided to transfer LHIO Albay to a much bigger office after it was given enough resources to rent its own office space.

As of today, the LHIO has two PhilHealth Expresses under its wing: P- Express Tabaco and P- Express Ligao, catering to members in the first and third districts, respectively. The LHIO covers close to 1.1 Million PhilHealth Albayano members and their dependents representing 85% of the population. These are catered to by 32 accredited hospitals, 107 non hospital facilities, and 306 professionals in the province.

For the RVP, the LHIO’s inauguration establishes its presence as a separate entity from the regional office, and is expected to boost PhilHealth coverage rate from 85% to at least 90% of this year’s population in Albay.

Albay Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda and Legazpi City Mayor Noel E. Rosal are expected to grace the inauguration, along with PhilHealth Board Member representing elected Local Chief Executives, Dr. Eddie Dorotan. The inauguration will officially open with a motorcade at 7:30 am, followed by a Mass and blessing of the LHIO.   (MAL/AZSanPablo-PhilHelath/PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211457402564/philhealth-albay-opens-new-office-at-landco-business-park#sthash.fZ2jqsn9.dpuf

Monday, March 7, 2016

Albay to put up regional wildlife rescue center

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar 7 (PIA) –The first Regional Wildlife Rescue Center in the Bicol region will be put up in the province of Albay.

The Rescue Center is a joint project of the PGA, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bicol and Legazpi City government.

 Albay provincial veterinarian Dr. Florencio Adonay stressed the importance of the facility, complete with all the necessary equipment, to cater to the needs of animals living in the wild especially those that require medical attention and rehabilitation.

“If we had this facility back then when there was a Philippine Hawk Eagle injured in Camalig last year, we would have been able to save its life and return it to the wild after,” said Adonay.

The groundbreaking ceremony at the Albay Park and Wildlife was held in time for the celebration of the 3rd World Wildlife Day.

DENR Bicol director Engineer Gilbert Gonzales commended Albay governor Joey Sarte Salceda for his initiatives on environment noting that the DENR and the PGA have spent three years to conceptualize the new Regional Wildlife Rescue Center and has now become a reality.

“The DENR is only a part of this initiative, we are here for support, financially and technically, but it is still the PGA who will be at the forefront of this endeavor,” Gonzales stated.

Legazpi mayor Noel Rosal also showed his support for the project and exclaimed that the new Regional Wildlife Rescue Center is another landmark for Albay and the City of Legazpi, noting that projects like these are possible through the stewardship of governor Salceda.

“This is the type of projects that our local government should immerse in, it shows the people that we care,” Mayor Rosal said.

In his message, Salceda said the partnership of the PGA and the DENR under his three terms has been very solid, noting that through the partnership, Albay has remarkably grown its forest areas giving the local wildlife a highly livable habitat.

“Unlike in other advanced areas, where progress equates to lower areas for wildlife, Albay has made a different impact, we have created a good balance where progress and nature can develop together,” Salceda said.

Further stating that, “we create homes for God’s creations, and if everyone unites, any endeavor becomes easy.”

The new Regional Wildlife Rescue Center is one of the various projects reflecting Albay’s commitment to fight climate change, both in its causes and in its adaptation. (SAA/PGA/PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571457313084/albay-to-put-up-regional-wildlife-rescue-center#sthash.r2QdaTr6.dpuf

Friday, March 4, 2016

Edukasyon.ph reaches out to OFW kids on Senior High

LEGAZPI CITY, March 4 (PIA) -- With the recent educational shift to K-12, The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) featured Edukasyon.ph to help the 27,500 students and their OFW families in searching for the right Senior High Schools for their children. Edukasyon.ph is a free website platform that gives choice, convenience, and advice on education to career options around the Philippines.

“We understand how difficult it is for OFW parents to involve themselves in the education planning of their children especially now that there’s Senior High School (SHS). Through Edukasyon.ph #SeniorHighDreams component, they will no longer feel disconnected from their child’s education,” Edukasyon.ph Executive Officer Linartes Viloria said.

This February, the CFO was able to circulate a memorandum addressed to the 40 PSO school principals based in 10 countries (Bahrain, China, East Timor, Greece, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates) with enclosed tutorial kits for teachers on understanding Edukasyon.ph's services and brochure for students on how using the website can aid them in their selection of senior high tracks, career guidance and advising.

Through the Edukasyon.ph website, parents and students can easily search for senior high ready schools and senior high offered tracks that are near their home location.  They can also see which tuition fees are within their budget and what scholarship opportunities the educational institutions are offering.

“#SeniorHighDreams” is one of the newest features of Edukasyon.ph which aims to educate the parents and students about SHS, its tracks and specializations, and the Voucher Program. Not only that, Edukasyon.ph has comprehensive information on careers and scholarships.

 “Parents will have a bird’s-eye view on Senior High through Edukasyon.ph. Our job at Edukasyon.ph is to make sure we bridge the educational information gap and enable more parents and families to make informed decisions on the educational investments for their children,” Edukasyon.ph Founder Henry Motte-Muñoz added. (MAL/Edukasyon.ph/PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211457505568/edukasyon-ph-reaches-out-to-ofw-kids-on-senior-high#sthash.yxNSkWyU.dpuf

OPAg supports “Be RICEponsible” campaign; re-launches “Panatang Makapalay”

SORSOGON CITY, March 4 (PIA) – With the dry spell that farmers in some areas in the country are experiencing, the Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPAg) here is more determined to help the Philippine Rice Institute (PhilRice) in its campaign to prevent rice wastage and promote the consumption of healthier rice.

Taking off from the National Year of Rice in 2013 as declared by President Benigno Aquino III, the campaign dubbed as “BE RICEponsible”, is a crusade that aims to encourage farmers, legislators, and the people to be RICEponsible in their own way. It is informing everybody, particularly the consumers, on how they can help the country achieve rice self-sufficiency.

Last year, PhilRice started urging Government Organizations (GOs), Local Government Units (LGUs) and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to support the campaign, and likewise sponsored a “Be RICEponsible Contest”, a year-long search that started on October 15, 2015 for GOs, LGUs and HEIs that best implements the campaign.

According to Provincial Agriculturist Dr. Thess Destura, OPAg is joining the contest in support to the campaign and they are also re-launching the “Panatang Makapalay” to strengthen their office’s commitment towards responsible rice consumption and encourage, as well, other employees of the provincial government to do the same.

“The re-launching of “Panatang Makapalay” will be incorporated during the Monday Flag Ceremony of the provincial government on March 7, 2016,” said Destura. “This is also our way to make the people pay gratitude to our farmers who sweat out to provide us rice to eat three times a day,” she added.

Aside from the re-launching activity, Destura also said that they will also be hosting an exhibit featuring the basic messages promoted by the Be RICEponsible campaign, as well as food sampling of rice delicacies using brown rice.

Some of the BE RICEponsible messages that they would want to relay to the people include the following:

  • As a consumer, he/she should not waste even a single grain of rice, eat brown rice and rice to be mixed with other staples, and appreciate our rice farmers by thanking them literally or valuing the fruits of their labor
  • If you are a farmer, plant rice and adopt recommended technologies to increase your income and your farm’s yield.
  • If you are a policy-maker, help institutionalize the availability and default serving of half cup of rice to prevent wastage and give consumers more options. You could also help promote the production and serving of healthier rice such as regular milled rice, brown rice, and rice mixed with other staples.

 The campaign promotes consumption or brown rice or unpolished rice as it provides more nutrients compared to white rice because of its Vitamin B1, B3, B6, B9, dietary fiber, antioxidants, protein, manganese, phosphorous and iron that are found in its rice bran. (MAL/BAR-PIA5/Sorsogon)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/801457066284/opag-supports-be-riceponsible-campaign-re-launches-panatang-makapalay-#sthash.LkyEwP5B.dpuf

Comelec Sorsogon calls on the public to support the 3-in-1 activity for fair, honest and peaceful 2016 election

SORSOGON CITY, March 4, 2016 (PIA) – In preparation of the May 9 national and local polls, Commission on Election (Comelec) Sorsogon will conduct a 3-in-1 activity that will include Unity Walk for Peace, Peace Covenant Signing and Candidate’s Briefing on Saturday, March 5, 2016.

Comelec Sorsogon Provincial Election Supervisor Atty. Maria Aurea C. Bo-Bunao said that the activity aims to ensure a safe, credible and peaceful election and therefore encouraged the public to support the activity by joining the Unity Walk for Peace and witness the Peace Covenant Signing and the brieifing which the Comelec will give to the candidates.

“Basically, we shall start this 3-in-1 activity at the provincial level, then eventually, will be replicated in all the municipalities of Sorsogon,” said Atty. Bunao. “We expect to be present during the event, aside from the candidates, those deputized by the Comelec like the DepEd, Philippine National Police and Philippine Army. We also invited the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and non-government organizations who would like to join,” she added.

Atty Bunao said they would also allow representatives of the aspiring candidates to attend on their behalf if it would really be impossible for them to attend due to prior commitment.

Following a 6:00 AM to 7:00 AM Holy Mass at the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral is the Unity Walk for Peace going to the Provincial Capitol Park for the Peace Covenant Signing, then will proceed to the Provincial Gymnasium where the Candidates’ Briefing will be held.

She said, supporters and leaders who will be bringing posters and tarpaulins are only allowed to display them during the Unity Walk.

Asked about some posters seen around where names of aspiring candidates are printed, Atty Bunao said that “In the case of Pinera vs Comelec, Supreme Court promulgated that for the purposes of election, those who filed their Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) are not yet considered candidates until the start of the campaign period. This made our hands tied in removing posters which the Supreme Court do not consider as election paraphernalia.”

As prescribed, campaign period for the local positions starts on March 25, 2016 onward.

Meanwhile, Atty Bunao also bared that their office already received the counting machines to be used during the May 9 election but these have still to be certified by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

The province of Sorsogon has a total of 44 running candidates for the provincial posts: eight (8) aspirants for provincial governor, three (3) for provincial vice-governor, sixteen (16) for first district board member, fourteen (14) for second district board member, one (1) unopposed aspirant for first district member of House of Representatives while two (2) are aspiring for the second district member of the House of Representatives. (MAL/BAR-PIA5/Sorsogon)

 - See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/801457064217/comelec-sorsogon-calls-on-the-public-to-support-the-3-in-1-activity-for-fair-honest-and-peaceful-2016-election#sthash.HNFsI8L7.dpuf

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Comelec lays down preparations for 2016 national and local polls in Camarines Norte

By Rosalita B. Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, March 3 (PIA) – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) provincial office here bared preparations for the coming May 9, 2016 national and local elections during the Talakayan sa PIA of the Camarines Norte Information Center held recently.

Atty. Noriel P. Badiola said that they are on the right track in the preparations wherein they have already undergone the trainers’ training for the election supervisors and officers recently; and slated the training for  all the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) in the province from March 1-15.

He said that BEIs will be trained by the Comelec on theoretical aspect particularly on general instructions and practical aspect on the actual operation of the Vote Counting Machine (VCM). This will be followed by the examinations to be conducted by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) who will certify passers.

Badiola said that they are expecting some 84,000 VCM to be deployed in the province and will do sealing and testing of the machines. “We will also tap deputized agencies for the protection of the machines”, he said.

The PCM has its own battery that when plug will be automatically charging and in case of power interruption it is already full charge, he said.

He also said that there will be a 100% remittance in the result of the election because all the areas will have satellites and they have already conducted survey for the smartmatic and rated those areas with high and low signals.

He said that the challenge for him in the coming polls is that to be less controversial as he expects to proclaim winners on the following day.

He also reminded candidates on their compliance to the Omnibus Election Code regarding the submission of expenditures and they invite them for consultation.

Badiola said he will reorganized the task force for the removal of the illegal campaign materials or “operation baklas” in partnership with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and other deputized agencies. “We will not hesitate to prosecute those who will not abide the laws and we will also strengthen the implementation of checkpoints”, he said.

He urged the media and the public that if there are willing to testify in the case of vote buying, the Comelec can prosecute with evidence or maybe  this can be done through a posture buyer.

On the other hand, Atty. Francis D. Nievez, Municipal Election Officer of Daet said that there are 300,890 registered voters in Camarines Norte for the coming elections.

He said that the challenge for the Comelec is to be a non-partisan and to maintain the peace and order in partnership with the Philippine National Police (PNP).

He urged media to not openly show candidates they are supporting because this will be a lack of respect and beside they should deliver unbiased reports.

Joy Cabrera, officer-in-charge chief, Curriculum Implementation Division of the Department of Education (DepEd) on the other hand said that they have already disseminated the schedule of the trainings for the BEIs.

She clarified those teachers who received delayed payments in the last elections were due to instances that those in the list were not the one who served because of emergencies. They have already coordinated these to transfer the payment and all of them have been paid, she said.

She said that they have already reminded teachers on the DepEd policy on banning political candidates from schools’ graduation ceremonies.

Cabrera cited that they are also guided by the rules of the COMELEC on how to handle during elections those Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) as well as those who cannot read and write.

Police Supt. Wilmor Halamani, chief of the police community relation/public information officer of the Camarines Norte Police Provincial Office (CNPPO) said that the PNP has been alerted since January this year. “We have also implemented last year the “Lambat Sibat” wherein 95% of policemen were assigned outside for police visibility”, he said.

He said that Camarines Norte was one of the peaceful provinces during the 2010 national and local elections. “We are now conducting seminars for the barangay tanod who will serve as our force multiplier in maintaining peace and order during elections”, he added. (MAL/RBM-PIAV/Camarines Norte)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/871456969650/comelec-lays-down-preparations-for-2016-national-and-local-polls-in-camarines-norte#sthash.VPK7UoFs.dpuf

Rerouting for bus, trucks to give way for bridge replacement along Daang Maharlika in Nabua, Cam Sur

LEGAZPI CITY, March 3 (PIA) -- Buses and cargo trucks going to and from Camarines Sur and Albay will have to follow a rerouting scheme effective today with the construction of a bridge along Daang Maharlika in Nabua, Camarines Sur.

DPWH Camarines Sur 4th Engineering District officer in charge Engr. Nestor P. Gorimbao said the old two-lane San Miguel Bridge in Barangay San Miguel, Nabua, Camarines Sur will be closed to traffic for replacement works with access to the constructed detour bridge limited for light vehicles only.

In his report to DPWH Bicol director Reynaldo Tagudando, Gorimbao said that traffic advisories were earlier installed by his office along Daang Maharlika to inform the general public particularly bus commuters and delivery trucks of the bridge closure.

Under the traffic management plan for the construction of the new San Miguel bridge, four alternate routes may be followed by buses and trucks namely:

1) 18.860 kilometers Pawili Pili, Bula Proper, Panoypoyan, Topas Proper, Tanday Jct.;

2) 16.657 kilometers Baao-Iriga City-Masoli-Crossing Bato;

3) 19.348 kilometers Baao (Div)-Nabua-Iriga City-Masoli-Bato;

4) 36.5 kilometers Nabua Poblacion Intersection-Tandaay JCt.-Bonbon-Libon-(Daang Maharlika) Kinale Polangui.

With a contract cost of P46 Million, the bridge replacement project is expected to be completed by the month of May 2016.  (MAL-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211456985720/rerouting-for-bus-trucks-to-give-way-for-bridge-replacement-along-daang-maharlika-in-nabua-cam-sur#sthash.LOvBGLsp.dpuf

DOH sets series of RPRH provincial fora in Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar. 3 (PIA) -- The Department of Health (DOH) Bicol regional office has commenced Tuesday, March 1, the series of provincial dissemination fora on the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 or RA10354 to guide stakeholders and help educate the populace to ensure and improve women's health.

In the recent forum in Albay province, Dr. Rita Mae Ang, head of the Family Helath Cluster of DOH Bicol, said these series of information drives intends to create more awareness and provide guidance among stakeholders, including national ang local governments concerned, non-government and other organization providing reproductive health services with the salient provisions of the law.

"The passage of RA 10354 mandates the universal provision of reproductive health services as a means to improve maternal health. The RPRH law and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) have been deemed effective with the lifting of the Status Quo Ante Order (SQAO) by the Supreme Court last April 8, 2014," Ang related

The provincial dissemination forum delves on the basics of the RPRH Law, its IRR and other frequently asked questions on its provisions. The same venue also provides the presentation of the different health programs that conforms with the mandates of the law as well as clarify and correct misconceptions about the RPRH Law.

Lastly, DOH Bicol, according to Ang, intends to solicit, consequently, gain support from stakeholders and the populace to demand from concerned implementing agencies for RPRH services and commodities.

Upcoming RPRH dissemination fora will be for Masbate, Catanduanes and  Sorsogon on March 3, 15, and 22, respectively, while Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur will host the same on April 4 and 5, respectively.  (MAL-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211456984127/doh-sets-series-of-rprh-provincial-fora-in-bicol#sthash.obkP0Q9e.dpuf

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

BFP leads Unity Walk to kick off Fire Prevention Month

By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, Mar. 1 (PIA) -- The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) headquarters here led the unity walk in the main thoroughfares of this city to jumpstart the month-long Fire Prevention Month observance in unison with other fire stations simultaneously conducting similar events all over the country.

As a show of support, officers coming from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), City and barangay officials, including other fire volunteer groups like the Naga White Fire Rescue and Chin Po Tong Fire Volunteer Brigade also joined the Unity Walk dubbed “Walk for a Fire Free and Fire Safe Nation” held this morning.

Camarines Sur provincial fire marshall C/Insp. Juan B. Paz commended the various sectors of the community for their contribution in reducing fire incidents in the province.

“Why March is selected as the month to celebrate Fire Protection Month, is because, as in the previous years, this is the start of the hot season in the country. Based on records, March is the month with the biggest number of fires over the years. Now, with the help of all the sectors of the community, fire occurrences diminished, that means each of us has participation in order to prevent the cause of fire.”

Paz was also joined by Naga City Mayor John Bongat and Naga City Central Fire Marshal F/CINSP Alberto D. De Baguio.

In his message, Bongat thanked all the fire volunteers who never faltered in rendering their support every time their presence is needed.

“The city government of Naga is always in support of the activities of the BFP in connection with the Fire Protection Month. We are happy that the volunteers are always present – Naga White and Chi Po Tong, and also our allies helping together. What is important is not putting off the fire, but the prevention of it”, Bongat added.

The Chief Executive also reiterated that fire consciousness should be every one’s advocacy as fire is not forecasted and comes just like a thief in the night hence, preparedness and prevention are of paramount importance.

De Baguio announced that they have close coordination with the Metro Naga Water District (MNWD) in case they need their tankers to suppress or subdue fire.  Currently, BFP Naga has 113 fire hydrants which can be utilized in case of any fire incidence.

Other activities lined up for implementation this month include poster-essay-writing contest and exhibit of fire trucks and fire equipment at the BFP Station. The event’s culminating activity will be the blessing of the BFP Central Station set on March 31. (MAL/LSM/JRM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861456816638/bfp-leads-unity-walk-to-kick-off-fire-prevention-month-#sthash.3uWENE50.dpuf