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

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Feature: Omar and the Gems of Donsol

SORSOGON CITY, April 30 (PIA) – One sunny Saturday morning in the middle of March, four Canadian tourists landed on the shores of Donsol in the province of Sorsogon, Philippines.

From the looks on their faces, one could guess that they just had an exciting interaction with the gentle whale sharks, a popular activity for visitors in the area. They were ecstatic and animatedly talked about their latest marine adventure.

Alighting from the white motorized boat too was Omar Nepomuceno, one of the very first marine tour guides in Donsol.

It was in 1998 when the bounty of marine resources of Donsol was unraveled. A sleeping town in the northwestern part in the province of Sorsogon, the municipality of Donsol was reported to be rebel-infested locality during the 70s, affecting economic growth in the area.

Little did the people of Donsol know that their waters were inhabited with giant mammoth fish or whale sharks (scientific name is Rhincodon Typus), locally known as butanding. They did not expect that these gentle giant sea creatures would eventually open up tourism and bring Donsol to the international scene, boost economy, and provide employment and livelihood to the people.

Seeing these opportunities, the Provincial Government of Sorsogon forged a tripartite agreement among the Municipal Government of Donsol, the Department of Tourism (DOT), and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 1999. DOT was to lead tourism promotion and marketing and training of marine eco tour guides. WWF would do research and monitoring. And, the Donsol municipal government was in charge of managing of tourism products and day-to-day operations.

Through this agreement, the tourism program of Donsol was conceptualized, planned, and implemented. Butanding Interaction Officers (BIOs) or marine tour guides in the area were also organized.

Omar, a marine guide and dive master, took to his advantage the rich marine resources in his hometown. Born in Donsol, he was among the pioneer BIOs. He knew that the Donsol’s natural resources would bring him personal and economic wealth.

As a BIO, Omar was able to build a house for his family. He sent his only child to a private Catholic secondary school in Legazpi City who is now on her third year in the University of the Philippines Baguio Campus. Simplicity, frugality, and proper financial management were his guiding principles. “Live within your means and always save from your earning,” Omar remarks.

Omar’s career as a BIO was further strengthened with the implementation of the joint Canadian and Philippine Governments’ Local Governance Support Program for Local Economic Development (LGSP LED) program. LGSP-LED sought to help local governments become more business-friendly and competitive to attract new investments that create more local jobs.

Through LGSP-LED, the Provincial Government of Sorsogon and local businesses came together and identified that Donsol needed refresher trainings to upgrade the skills of its local workforce in order to appeal to more tourists and businesses alike.

Training participants treading water during the Training on Marine Eco-Guiding and Enhanced Training for Butanding Interaction Officers (BIOs) held in Donsol, Sorsogon from November 26 to 28, 2014. The training was attended by forty two (42) participants, mostly men.

Omar attended various capacity building programs implemented through the LGSP-LED project in Albay-Sorsogon and gained new and enhanced skills on rescue, safety, foreign guest relations, and local history, among others.

Since then Omar has been more confident doing tours. Once, he performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR to a foreign tourist during an actual butanding interaction. He also echoes new knowledge and skills to fellow BIOs who have yet to undergo formal marine guiding training.

Omar believes that continuous training should be conducted for the forty one (41) registered BIOs during off-season. He expressed desire to learn more about care, preservation, and conservation of marine natural resources, tourism promotion, as well as the butanding that is providing livelihood to the local community.

He is thankful to DILG that even after the closure of the LGSP-LED project, financial resources through the Training for Better Access to Jobs and Opportunities (TraBAJO) program are still on the pipeline for capacity building interventions for the marine tour guides of Donsol.

“I no longer dream of anything for my future. I find fulfillment in my work as BIO. Seeing my customers happily swimming along with the butanding bring so much joy to me,” says Omar. He had turned down job opportunities as a dive master abroad before. For him, this is only because he finds fulfillment working in his hometown, but for Donsol, Sorsogon, and the Philippines as a whole, Omar’s story is so much more than Omar. It is about keeping jobs in local communities, attracting more business to go local because competent people like Omar are there and they attract more tourists.

Between 2013 and 2016, Albay-Sorsogon reported an increase of 200,000 in annual visitor arrivals. At the same time, businesses made new investments in tourism worth PHP 65 million. LGSP-LED estimates that about 1500 jobs were created through recent efforts of the government and the private sector in developing tourism. (MAL/BAR/PTO/PIA5/Sorsogon)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/801462003298/feature-omar-and-the-gems-of-donsol#sthash.rVIbJe58.dpuf

ProGED Financing Forum encourages Donsol MSMEs to promote Green Business Initiatives

SORSOGON CITY, April 30 (PIA) – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Sorsogon provincial office, in partnership with Donsol Entrepreneurs Association, successfully conducted a Promotion of Green Economic Development (ProGED) Financing Forum recently in Dancalan, Donsol.

The event provided the participants an awareness on various loan programs and credit facilities available to entrepreneurs and likewise promote awareness on “Green Economic Development” (GED) and its relevance to the business sector.

Evelyn Mateo, manager of Producer’s Bank-Sorsogon Branch, Christian Jamorabo, Account Officer of Bank of Makati, Legazpi Branch and Edena Diez, Naga Desk Officer of Small Business Corporation discussed their respective loan programs and other products available to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs) particularly in support to “green initiatives”.

They also explained the requirements and eligibility including rates and amortizations in availing the loan. They encouraged the participants to visit their banks for detailed presentation of their services.

Donsol Mayor Josephine Alcantara-Cruz in her welcome remarks emphasized her gratitude to the DTI for having organized and gathered the entrepreneurs in Donsol. She claimed that one of her advocacies as Donsol administrator is to strengthen the business group in order to promote the development of industries as a way to generate job opportunities.

Provincial director Leah A. Pagao of DTI-Sorsogon complemented the words of Mayor Alcantara saying it is indeed important to develop and strengthen the local business sector in Donsol especially that the town caters to both local and foreign tourists that visit the place it being a host to the world renowned gentle giants, the whale shark or locally known as the “Butanding”.

Supplier of greening technologies, Engr. Ding Camara, owner of the Sorsogon Solar Hub oriented the participants about the relevance, of solar panels, how it can minimize the cost of electricity and other environmental benefits. The participants were amazed with the technologies presented and got interested on the mechanics relative to its installation, usage, and preference.

A one-on-one encounter of participants to the different speakers were provided after the discussions raising their queries and clarification about the credit facilities, loan packages and matters related to their intention of applying for loans and on the installation of green technologies.

Dr. Rollo C. Milante, president of Legazpi Eye Center delivered his topic not as an ophthalmology practitioner but more of an environmentalist. He pointed out that the new challenge in the modern world of Business today is the advocacy for greener Environment. Aside from commendations as one of the top five successful companies in the industry, the Legazpi Eye Center is also noted for their commitment to practice Greener Initiatives to respond to this challenge by practicing Energy Efficiency and conservation, Water Efficiency, Waste Segregation System, and use of Environmentally Friendly Transportation.

Milante also challenged other companies to do their best to adapt greener initiatives so as to promote the green planet and healthy people.

Meanwhile, Delia M. Sergio, President of Donsol Entrepreneurs Association strongly and enthusiastically assured DTI that they are ready and on behalf of the association members’, committed to improve local products and services and likewise be an active practitioner and advocate of “Green Economic Development”. (MAL/BAR/RBL-DTI/PIA5/Sorsogon)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/801462012883/proged-financing-forum-encourages-donsol-msmes-to-promote-green-business-initiatives#sthash.Y0Td9Z3d.dpuf

Friday, April 29, 2016

“Technology on wheels” rolls on in Albay

LEGAZPI CITY, Apr 29 (PIA) – The province of Albay is one of the chosen pilot sites for the “Technology Commercialization on Wheels” (TCOW) project launched yesterday in this city.

The project is a collaborative undertaking of the Department of Agriculture - Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR), University of the Philippines Los Baños Foundation, Inc. (UPLB-FI) and College of Development Communication (UPLB-CDC).

Designed to establish a sustained agricultural enterprise among rural communities, the project is an initiative to ensure that package of technologies are strategically transferred to communities that most need them using a mobile exhibit vehicle.

Program partners and developers hope that through this project, innovative technologies will be delivered to areas that need them the most making the available technology a vital tool for developing enterprises.

TCOW was launched earlier this month in Quezon province, also one of the pilot sites.

Four municipalities and one city in Albay will be the beneficiaries of the TCOW project. These include Legazpi City, Guinobatan, Malilipot, Manito, and Tiwi.

Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda hopes that with the success of the project, the whole of Albay will soon reap its benefits noting that the province is fortunate to have been chosen as one of the two pilot sites of the TCOW program.

 “I know the importance of doing research to achieve development for our society, through research we can develop new and innovative ways to increase production and empower our farmers and livelihood, but what happens to the results of research if they are not properly delivered to end users? Thankfully, TCOW will be able to laser-target recipients that can make the most of these results,” Salceda said.

The governor furthered that through TCOW, Albay farmers will be given a new avenue for development, and in time they will be proud of saying that they are “Agri-Preneurs!”

“Through this program, Albayano farmers will not be simply planting produce or grow livestock, they may soon process their products themselves, do their own packaging, and market their products as well,” Salceda said.

Salceda likewise pledged the full support and cooperation of the provincial government and expressed hope that more programs such as TCOW will be in the works in the future for the benefit of the Albayano farmers.

The provincial government of Albay, as part of the developmental partners of the TCOW project will provide critical technical assistance delivering and disseminating information on production, processing, packaging, financing, and marketing of products.(MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571461911357/-technology-on-wheels-rolls-on-in-albay#sthash.Sa9NvhGv.dpuf

Feature: 4Ps helps couple, family to uplift quality of living

LEGAZPI CITY , April 28 (PIA) – Couple Fe and Rowel Villaruel dreamt of having a simple living, a life full of happiness, stability, love, and strong faith in God much as they also want to see their children have a better lives in the future by providing better education.

The Villaruel couple from Crossing, Uson, Masbate has five siblings whose ages are 18, 15, 12, 10 and 6. Life for the family was not easy.

For the past 18 years, Fe and Rowel faced many challenges and trials especially when the children started to be in school. A small vulcanizing shop which was owned by Rowel when he was still a bachelor was the family's source of their jam and bread. However the daily income of P200 could not suffice to meet the daily needs of the family.

With a starting capital of P400.00, Rowel thought of a buy and sell of interior of exterior of a bicycle. He started for one set, sold it for P600 on installment basis. The project was doing well that the couple were able to put up a small sari-sari store just in their house.

Hard Work for the Family

 "Nguni't hindi pa rin  sapat ang aming kita para sa pangaraw-araw na pangangailangan ng aming pamilya kung kaya kailangan  humanap ng ibang mapagkakakitaan." sighed Rowel. He then left the management of the vulcanizing shop to his brother.

From a meager capital of P500, Rowel started to buy and sell of fresh fish. His daily routine started from waking up early in the morning, hire a tricycle then go to Barangay Del Carmen and in Dimasalang town to buy fresh fish. Then he would go around the town to sell the fish on a reasonable current price. While Fe is left at home to take care of the household and attend to her sari-sari store. She was determined to make her small business grow. She did not use the money she earned for the family's needs. Instead she relied on the income netted from her husband's selling business.

From a gross sale of P750, it helped improve the family's economic status. If there are fishes left unsold, Fe would dry them and sell the dried produce by piece. "May naiipon na rin kami" Rowel said. To find ease in his mobility the couple then acquired a motorcycle on installment basis.

It was in 2008 when the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program was introduced in the municipality of Uson, Masbate wherein the family of Villaruel where among those who qualified for the program. With the 500 cash grant for the health and 300 for education, the family is grateful for having been included in the program.

Before the program came to their lives, Fe and Rowel were having thought that they might not be able to send all their children to school. That the younger ones will temporarily stop to give way to the older siblings to continue their studies. But because of the poverty reduction program of the government, they can now see that their lives is better than before. For the family, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is a heaven sent.

Fe as a mother has expanded her role. She became a Parent Leader of 25 members. Rowel and Fe both religiously attend the Family Development Session and they also comply with the conditionalities. "The Lord is really good to us, that is why we are actively involved in church activities said Fe. He, as a member of the Lay Ministry and both are active member of the Couples for Christ. Fe conveys that assurance that she and her co-beneficiaries will remain active, responsible grantee and will serve as a role member to other members.

 Going Through

 A sudden twist in the lives of the Villaruels. In 2011, Rowel was diagnosed to have acute anemia, stage 3. He was confined in the hospital for almost a month. He could not anymore earn for a living. The vulcanizing shop and the store is the only resources left for the family. The family savings is also depleted. To sustain Rowel's medication, Fe's biological mother asked the couple to go to Davao (Fe's place of origin). It was Fe's immediate family who supported the medical needs of Rowel.

In Davao, Rowel was advised by his physician to undergo dialysis but he refused. “ Ayaw ko nang magpadialysis. Malaki pa ang gagastusin dian. Meron naman  akong mga gamot na iniinom. Ilaan na lang ang pera para sa pag-aaral ng mga anak ko dahil ayaw ko silang matigil sa pag-aaral, di bale nalang na ako’y mamatay,”Rowel claimed.

Rowel was confined in the hospital for a week then just decided to stay home. He did not want to stay idle so he thought of looking for an alternative livelihood activity. But having no capital to start a business, he just ventured on shoe repair. Since Fe was once a resident of the place and has an acquaintances, she was able to get customers.

Luckily Rowel had an income of at least P40 to 100/per week. However after a year’s stay in Davao, the couple has to rush back home because of the death of Rowel’s uncle. Having been away from his hometown for almost a year, Rowel lost his buy and sell project. What was left as their source of livelihood is the vulcanizing shop and the small sari- sari store. This posted a problem to the Villaruels. To be able to find a job, Rowel engaged himself in farm work. But the work is tedious so that he had a relapsed.

Another blessing came to the family. The DSWD in coordination with the LGU invited the residents for a meeting most of whom were Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries. They were given orientation on the Sustainable Livelihood Program under the micro-finance of the DSWD. Residents were adamant. They thought that it is another false promises from the government.

During the meeting, there were heated arguments but the discussion was interesting. However, after series of orientation, 25 most of whom are Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries were qualified for the micro-enterprise and finally the SLP Association was organized. But nobody from the group would not want to get the position as president so Fe volunteered herself for the position.

Then came the cash grant of P10,000. For a while, the couple just kept the cash being hesitant to invest the business in farming as what Fe have proposed but due to the health condition of Rowel, they might not able to manage it well. Then one day, Rowel met a guy whom he did not even know personally. The person Ronelio Tarucan suggested to open a furniture shop and a small display area just adjacent to their house. .Fe remarkably said that they are now receiving orders. During this year's Rodeo Festival (2016) they joined the trade fair. They had a sale of 44,000 and this is aside from orders.

During the conduct of an interview with the couple, Fe could hardly articulate her profound joy.  As she expounded on the project's development, she almost burst into tears.

Today the couple is saving some money out of their earnings from their livelihood projects." We have high ambitions for our children's future. We have to save for their children's college education. “she confides. Yes, our house is small, and is made of light materials and even prone to natural calamities but its repair for now is our least priority. We have to sustain first our business, save more for the medical needs and for our children's future.

With the government's poverty alleviation program, the education of our children is assured and our stability on our source of livelihood. " Kapag may tiyaga may nilaga" Fe exclaimed. But all these will never be attained by my family without the intercession and blessing from God. This we praise Him.

Rowel said that guts and hard work always make sense.  (MAL/EEJ-DSWD5/PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211461890565/feature-4ps-helps-couple-family-to-uplift-quality-of-living#sthash.GqLi5Sif.dpuf

4Ps should be refined before institutionalized – PIDS expert

LEGAZPI CITY, April 28 (PIA) -- In response to calls to institutionalize the government’s conditional cash transfer program or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), an expert from state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) stressed that the targeting of the 4Ps should first be refined to   make it more effective in reducing poverty.

The move has somehow affirmed the series of campaigns staged in Bicol provinces calling for the institutionalization of the 4Ps to help marginalized families to cope up with the challenges of poverty.

In a briefing on the status of poverty, inequality, employment, and health in the context of social protection programs held at the House of Representatives, PIDS Senior Research Fellow Celia Reyes pointed out that institutionalizing the 4Ps will have massive implications on the national budget.

Thus, she asserted that policymakers should first refine the 4Ps by identifying areas in the program that need to be improved.

Reyes noted that programs like the 4Ps have produced encouraging results and was even ranked by the World Bank as one of the “best-targeted social safety net programs in the world” in its 2015 report.

“The proportion of children attending school has been increasing over time. This is something that is actually consistent,” acknowledged Reyes. However, she noted that the potential impact of such programs can be stunted when certain conditionalities are not fully considered.

“Initially, while the 4Ps was designed to assist children ages 6-14 years old, it has been noted that the school participation rate for that age group is already very high. It is really in the older group where you have the problem,” explained Reyes.

She also noted a huge disparity between the proportions of children aged 16-18 years old who are attending school in the poorest decile compared to children of the same age group in the richest decile.

“As we would expect, the average years of schooling would increase with income. So, that’s eleven years average schooling for those belonging in the richest decile, and only about five years for those belonging in the poorest decile. If you wanted to provide some assistance, you would really need to target the poorest,” suggested Reyes.

Aside from targeting the poorest, Reyes suggested shifting resources.

“If you want to finetune the program, we would need to shift the assistance from elementary to high school, and probably revisit the amount of grants that we give to high school,” recommended Reyes.

In relation to the need to help young and poor Filipinos attend high school, Reyes presented a comparison of average daily wage rates based on the level of education. It is no surprise that high school graduates earn higher income at about PHP 284 a day, higher than those who are not high school graduates at only about PHP 171 per day. Meanwhile, those who are college graduates earn around PHP 623 pesos per day while those who have completed post-graduate studies earn around PHP 1,216 per day.

Reyes clarified she is not recommending to extend the 4Ps to tertiary. However, she advised policymakers to explore ways to link up 4Ps recipients and broaden their opportunity of reaching tertiary level of education. She iterated looking at the possibility of shifting resources from elementary to high school and strengthening support at the high school level as a policy starting point.

Moreover, Reyes also emphasized that there should be different interventions or programs for chronic poor, or those people living in poverty over extended period of time, and for transient poor, or those who move in and out of poverty.

“Addressing the needs of the chronic poor requires structural and long term solutions like investing in education and human capital strategies. The transient poor, on the other hand, require a different and more specific approach, not to mention the policy input of other government agencies and sectors—like labor, finance, and disaster resilience—which are just as equally important to combating poverty,” Reyes said.

“Studies show that there has been a slight decline in poverty incidence in recent years, but the actual number of poor people has increased due to rapid population growth. Policymakers must tailor solutions to minimize the occurrence of poverty because poor people are not uniform and their needs are not uniform as well,” Reyes concluded.  (MAL/PIDS elease/PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211461891571/4ps-should-be-refined-before-institutionalized-pids-expert#sthash.3YmJeiBw.dpuf

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Livelihood Bazaar, Job Fair to highlight Labor Day observance in Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY, April 28 (PIA) -- Labor Day observance in the Bicol region has kicked off with the “Kabuhayan, Kapalibutan Labor Day-Earth Month Trade Bazaar” starting today until tommorow that will feature creations produced by beneficiaries provided with livelihood assistance by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Bicol regional office.

The bazaar marked the opening the celebration of this year's Labor Day set on May 1 with the theme “Kinabukasan Sigurado Sa Disenteng Trabaho”.

DOLE Bicol officer in charge Atty. Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla has called on the populace to support the event and patronize products, including services, provided for by the beneficiaries of DOLE Bicol livelihood assistance program to help them market the products and increase their income.

“We need to help sell their products for them to have sustainable livelihood,” Trayvilla said.

The bazaar carries the theme “Marhay Na Kabuhayan Asin Kapalibutan, Samong Mayo Unong Pangiturugan”.

Further, according to Trayvilla, a simultaneous Labor Day Mega Jobs Fair will be held on May 1 at the ground floor of Ayala Mall and at the Atrium of Pacific Mall, both in this city, while another similar fair will be held on May 2 at SM Naga City.

The Job Fair will be held in collaboration with ABS-CBN and MOR Bicol. (MAL-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211461224357/livelihood-bazaar-job-fair-to-highlight-labor-day-observance-in-bicol#sthash.vylMEOXj.dpuf

DOST to conduct technology forum on solar energy in Catanduanes

VIRAC, Catanduanes, April 28 (PIA) – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will conduct a forum on "Solar Energy and it’s Potentials” set on May 20 to promote technology on solar energy as a localized strategy on climate change adaption.

Jaime V. Cabrera, provincial director of the DOST Catanduanes, said the recurring power crisis prompted people in Catanduanes to look for other alternative source of energy.

He added that although the province is home to three hydroelectric power plants namely, the SUWECO hydropower plant in Solong, San Miguel, SUWECO Hydropower Plant in Hitoma, Caramoran, and NAPOCOR Hydropower Plant in Balongbong Bato, Catanduanes, the plants are still on minimal capacity to produce power during summer season

Said plants have a full capacity of 2.1, 1.8 and 1.8 (during rainy season) and a floating capacity of 0.5, 0.4 and 0.4 megawatts (dry season), respectively, plus outputs from fusi-fueled power generator system the present total power requirement is 5+ megawatts peaking to 8+ megawatts during summer.

Cabrera added that scores were inquiring about the potentials of photovoltaic generating energy systems in as much as recently there were international investors, believably from South Korea, offering to establish a solar farm through the LGUs. Thus, the activity will guide local communities to understand and assess the prospects of Solar Energy.

He also said that as a science agency and as a matter of moral obligation, the Department of Science and Technology is being pressed to go on board on this issue.

In the end of the forum, the participants are expected to understand better the technical nature, practical application and value of solar energy and be able to promote its use in the communities, businesses and researches.

Participants are from LGU’s, selected government agencies (including academe) and establishments from Catanduanes numbering about 50 people. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/841461081818/dost-to-conduct-technology-forum-on-solar-energy-in-catanduanes#sthash.ELSB9sQN.dpuf

DSWD proposes establishtment of “Bahay Pag-Asa” in all local governments of Bicol

By Julius Embile

Legazpi City, Apr 28 (PIA)  – In the wake of increasing number of ‘children in conflict with the law’ (CICL) in the Bicol region, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Regional Juvenile Justice and Welfare Committee (RJJWC) are now urging the local governments of Bicol to establish a “Bahay Pag-Asa” in their respective communities.

“DSWD urges the local governments for the establishment of Bahay Pag-Asa in their localities in reference to Republic Act (RA) 9344 and amended by RA 10630, mandating operations of ‘Bahay Pag-Asa’ in every province and highly urbanized city.”, stated DSWD Bicol assistant regional director for administration Victoria Tagum.

The ‘Bahay Pag-Asa’ is a 24-hour child caring institution established, funded and managed by the local government units (LGU) and/or licensed non-government outfits (NGO). To date, there are twenty-one ‘Bahay Pag-Asa’ in nine regions across the country.

Its purpose is to provide short-term residential care for CICL’s between fifteen and eighteen years of age, while waiting for court disposition of their cases or transfer to other agencies. It is also a place where these youths, especially those below the criminal responsibility, are given necessary intensive interventions.

The establishments of ‘Bahay Pag-Asa’ also have the legislative backing.

Last April 21, DSWD and RJJWC held an orientation in Legazpi City, with the Provincial and City Social Welfare Officers, Budget Officers, and their committee members within Bicol, to discuss the guidelines on the operation of ‘Bahay Pag-Asa’.

The ‘Bahay Pag-Asa’ institutions have been given a nationwide budget of Php 400 million, and Php 5 million is to be allocated to the Bicol region. However, the program requires staffing and man-power composed of social workers, psychologists, medical doctors, nurses, and houseparent.

The provinces of Albay, Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur have been recommended to be prioritized for the said program due to high CICL incidences, as per the Social Welfare Office and RJJWC. Though there is already an existing Comprehensive Intervention Social Juvenile Program Plan in Naga City, the province is still in-need of the ‘Bahay Pag-Asa’, according to situational reports submitted to DSWD.

DSWD stated that they will continue their efforts in pursuing ‘Bahay Pag-Asa’s realization. The department also affirmed that more orientations and meetings will be held for this program after the National Elections this May.  (MAL/LBE-PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3241461808914/dswd-proposes-establishtment-of-bahay-pag-asa-in-all-local-governments-of-bicol#sthash.wR7qkmSp.dpuf

Salceda honors teachers on Teachers' Night at DMF 2016

LEGAZPI CITY, April 28 (PIA) -- Governor Joey Salceda led last night the people of the province of Albay in honoring the teachers for their service, selflessness, and devotion to the development of the youth in the country.

Salceda, who keynoted the Teachers' Night forming part of the month-long Daragang Magayon Festival 2016 this April, stressed that, "tonight you are not underappreciated or the subject of ridicule because tonight you are the stars and we gaze upon your brilliance with awe and admiration."

The governor furthered, "Today, I won’t be telling you that I am the son of two great educators. I am sure you know that already. Today, I won’t even mention my seven auntie nuns who were, for all intents and purposes, my moral formators.  Neither will I regale you with stories about one of my former teachers who eventually became my boss and the 14th President of the Philippines."

Teachers, according to Salceda, are a rare breed of professionals who work tirelessly to impart knowledge yet whose professions are often taken for granted, as if teaching is just a routine of telling students to read and write.

"Yet the very nature of their profession requires too much time and effort, and demand too much of themselves to be fully devoted to the process and to students. Yet their remuneration rarely equal the efforts they exert towards achieving their tasks. The payback has always been less than expected, relative to other professions," he said.

The Filipino teacher is one of the lowest paid, most underappreciated teachers in the world.

"With that, here in Albay I have worked tirelessly to provide our teachers with opportunities for graduate education through our Graduate Studies Subsidy Program (GRASSP) I believe in enabling our teachers because a graduate degree does not only raise their chances for promotion and better pay, it also increases their level of expertise, thus benefitting the entire academic ecosystem," he stressed.

He observed that teachers are often unfairly blamed for the sad state of our educational system as a whole, but rarely praised for the efforts in complying with the requirements of their jobs.

"When I became Governor, I decided to institutionalize incentives for our teachers so they will be rewarded for their excellent service and tireless devotion to shaping the supple minds of our young," he recalled.

The governor cited that Albay has carried out the “Gawad Albay sa Edukasyon Awards” honoring the Ten Outstanding Teachers of Albay and Three Outstanding Principals in the Countryside of Albay among others.

"It is my hope that these awards not only motivate our teachers and principals to perform better, it will also give cause for praise and recognition," he concluded.  (MAL-PIA5/Albay)

Other News
- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211461824070/salceda-honors-teachers-on-teachers-night-at-dmf-2016#sthash.IqzE2VUP.dpuf

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

‘Rule of law must prevail as poll races heat up’

MASBATE CITY, April 26 (PIA)—The Philippine National Police expects politicians in the island-province of Masbate to follow the rule of law.

“I call on reelectionists and candidates to desist from arming their supporters with firearms. Taking the law into your hands will just make matters worse,” Senior Supt. Alexander J. Sampaga, PNP director for Masbate, told a press conference at Camp Bonny Serrano in this city on April 6.

Sampaga said that authorities will go after people with firearms.

Sampaga was addressing his warning to local candidates who in recent dialogues with the police and military had raised their concerns over the presence of armed goons in far-flung villages.

The candidates suggested that the rifle-wielding goons were employed by their rivals, saying the goons were terrorizing every day their unarmed followers.

“The Special Task Force Masbate is addressing their problem,” Sampaga said.

“We have security for them.  Your government security forces will defend civilians from those who threaten the conduct of fair, peaceful, and orderly elections in their area.”

“The Special Task Force of the PNP and AFP here will stamp out those elements,” he added.

Sampaga warned both the complaining candidates and their rivals against committing violence, saying the police and the military would do its best to maintain law and order in the province.

He offered as proof the seizure of explosives and high powered firearms from a residential house at Barangay Buenasuerte, Uson last April 6.

The  Special Task Force found three grenades, an M16 rifle and a 9mm-caliber handgun.

The task force raided a house where a certain Wilfredo D. Sartin was staying.  Sartin eluded the raiders, according to Sampaga.

He said police were still looking for clues as to whether Sartin was working for politicians.

But judging from the confiscated explosives and automatic firearms, Sampaga said Sartin could eventually be recruited by unscrupulous politicians because he was keeping “weapons of mass extermination.”

Only last Wednesday, April 20, the task force arrested three persons with ties to a private armed group in Dimasalang, a town 40 kilometers from this provincial capital.

Ramie O. Arizobal, his brother Ariel O. Arizobal and Porferio Atabay Jr. were arrested in their hideout at Barangay Aliño, Dimasalang.

Supt. Jennifer Tino, spokesperson of Camp Bonny Serrano, said a grenade, two firearms, ammunitions and illegal drugs were confiscated from the suspects’ safe house.

Masbate is home to some of the Philippines' entrenched political dynasties.

At the same time, it is one of the country's impoverished provinces.

Sampaga said that the PNP regional command has deployed 700 additional cops to beef up the 1,000 policemen manning the Masbate provincial command.

About 2,050 policemen and soldiers will be deployed for election duties in Masbate, he said. (EAD/PIA Masbate)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/821461699028/-rule-of-law-must-prevail-as-poll-races-heat-up-#sthash.l4XgTVOP.dpuf

TESDA Catanduanes placed second in 2015 performance review

VIRAC, Catanduanes, April 26, (PIA) - The provincial office of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Catanduanes placed second in Bicol region in line with the attainment of calendar year 2015 targets based on the Office Performance Commitment Review (OPCR).

During the executive committee and management conference at the TESDA Bicol regional office in Legazpi City last March 15, TESDA Catanduanes officer in charge Elpidio Tuboro received from regional director Conrado Baras the following Certificates of Recognition; 100% utilization of voucher on the Private Education Student Financial Assistance(PESFA) based on the 2015 accomplishment/OPCR;

101% of its 2015 Target for Assessment;102% of its 2015 Target for Training; and, 100% utilization of voucher for the Training for Work Scholarship Program(TWSP) CY 2015.

According to Tuboro, their performance was a result of strong support of their staff, public and private institutions.

He also lauded the municipal, provincial and national offices that provided the technical and funding support in the implementation of the TESDA programs in the province.

Tuboro also commended each member of the PO staff who worked hard in performing multi-function tasks to meet and exceed the targets set by the regional office for TESDA Catanduanes. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/841461819000/tesda-catanduanes-placed-second-in-2015-performance-review#sthash.CH1nbZFq.dpuf

Friday, April 22, 2016

DTI Bicol intensifies drive vs. sub-standard products

LEGAZPI CITY, April 22 (PIA) - As part of their intensified monitoring and enforcement of the Fair Trade Law, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the Bicol region has issued notices of violation to hardware stores who did not comply with the Product Standards Law.

DTI Bicol regional director Jocelyn L.B. Blanco revealed that out of 137 hardware stores that were visited, fifteen were issued notices of violation for selling uncertified and deceptive products. These products do not have the required Product Standard (PS) and Imported Commodity Clearance (ICC) stickers which is in violation of Republic Act 4109 and 7394, otherwise known as the Product Standards Law and the Consumer Act of the Philippines.

DTI Bicol estimated the cost of ther non-compliant products around P.3 million.

Blanco said the inspections were done throughout the Bicol region by DTI Bicol Regional Enforcement and Monitoring Teams from March 29 to April 15 of this year.

The enforcement activities are done twice every year to make sure that traders in the region always comply with the law.

Of the fifteen notices of violation (NOV); six were issued to hardware stores in Albay, four in Camarines Norte, one in Sorsogon, and two each in the provinces of Camarines Sur and Masbate.

Blanco appealed to the public to be critical in buying goods and commodities to get the best value for their money.

“Each should be cautious and must look for the appropriate markings, particularly on the mandatory products… We are serious in our quest to eradicate uncertified products in the market,” reminded the Director Blanco.  (MAL/JBE-PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211461308035/dti-bicol-intensifies-drive-vs-sub-standard-products#sthash.CPVRUoJJ.dpuf

DTI Bicol intensifies drive vs. sub-standard products

LEGAZPI CITY, April 22 (PIA) - As part of their intensified monitoring and enforcement of the Fair Trade Law, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the Bicol region has issued notices of violation to hardware stores who did not comply with the Product Standards Law.

DTI Bicol regional director Jocelyn L.B. Blanco revealed that out of 137 hardware stores that were visited, fifteen were issued notices of violation for selling uncertified and deceptive products. These products do not have the required Product Standard (PS) and Imported Commodity Clearance (ICC) stickers which is in violation of Republic Act 4109 and 7394, otherwise known as the Product Standards Law and the Consumer Act of the Philippines.

DTI Bicol estimated the cost of ther non-compliant products around P.3 million.

Blanco said the inspections were done throughout the Bicol region by DTI Bicol Regional Enforcement and Monitoring Teams from March 29 to April 15 of this year.

The enforcement activities are done twice every year to make sure that traders in the region always comply with the law.

Of the fifteen notices of violation (NOV); six were issued to hardware stores in Albay, four in Camarines Norte, one in Sorsogon, and two each in the provinces of Camarines Sur and Masbate.

Blanco appealed to the public to be critical in buying goods and commodities to get the best value for their money.

 “Each should be cautious and must look for the appropriate markings, particularly on the mandatory products… We are serious in our quest to eradicate uncertified products in the market,” reminded the Director Blanco.  (MAL/JBE-PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211461308035/dti-bicol-intensifies-drive-vs-sub-standard-products#sthash.5hiQGgO0.dpuf

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Albay congressional bets cite stand on peace in Minadanao

By Sally Atento-Altea

LEGAZPI CITY, Apr 21 (PIA) – Five out of eight congressional candidates in three congressional districts in the province of Albay presented their stand and platform on peace concerns in Mindanao at the Peace Forum held April 19 at the Bicol University.

Present in the Usapang Kapayapaan Forum for Congressional Candidates in Albay are Atty. Antonio Betito and Atty Gregorio Contacto for the 1st district, Danilo Maravillas for 2nd district and Atty. Oliver Olaybal and Elmer Pornel for 3rd district.

Betito, Contacto and Maravillas are pushing for federalism to give Muslims the opportunity to govern on their own and improve economic condition of communities as it can pave way to a bigger share in their collected taxes and revenues.

Betito, NPC congressional bet, said under federalism all regions in the country including Mindanao will become semi-autonomous since they are not independent from the central government in terms of defense and foreign relations.

“Let’s give our muslim brothers the autonomy they have been longing for, and that is through transition from unified government that we have now to federal form of government,” he said.

Contacto said he will be supporting federalism which is also the stand of their party’s standard bearer, PDP-Laban chairman Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte , to give muslims the right to live and govern according to their customs and traditions.

“Our muslim brothers should be given the right to live and solve their own problems. They must have their own government governed by fellow muslims based on their customs and traditions. The Christians have no right to interfere with our muslim brothers. We need to respect their traditions and culture,” he said.

Maravillas, an independent candidate, affirmed the need to respect each culture and religion citing that the conflict we are facing now in our society, including all corruption and illegal activities are rooted to broken relationship with God and neighbor.

Olaybal on the other hand, also independent, said federalism is not the answer to the issues and concerns that need to be addressed to attain peace in Mindanao such as poverty and armed conflict.

“Federalism is not the answer because it is not the question. The issues to be addressed are economic environment and segregation. Poverty in Mindanao can be solved by passing a law prohibiting centralized approval of loans by the big banks which are concentrated in Metro Manila that is why money is not properly circulated to other provinces including Mindanao. We call it hoarding of capital.” he explained.

Olaybal furthered that instead of segregating muslims to christians and fellow filipinos, they must be integrated and not treated differently “since we are now living in a world without borders.”

Moreover, all candidates are one in their stand not to support the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, in its present form, should they be elected in congress noting that some of its provisions are unconstitutional and need revisions.

Also in the said forum are government of the Philippines chief negotiator and Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) representative Prof. Miriam Coronel Ferrer and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) representative Prof. Aboud Syed Lingga as members of panel of reactors.

The panel of questioners are Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) Albay chair Hermogenes Alegre Jr representing broadcast media and ABS-CBN news chief Aireen Perol-Jaymalin for television.

Representatives from various sectors such as academe, government, religious, youth, media and business also participated in the said forum. (SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571461224118/albay-congressional-bets-cite-stand-on-peace-in-minadanao#sthash.2iGRNZFn.dpuf

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Diocese of Sorsogon slates Candidates’ Forum on April 22

SORSOGON CITY, April 20, 2016 (PIA) – The Commission on Media for Evangelization (CME) of the Diocese of Sorsogon, through the 102.3 Spirit FM Sorsogon of the Good News Sorsogon Foundation Incorporated (GNSFI), will spearhead the Candidates’ Forum, a non-partisan initiative for the 2016 May polls provincial post and calls for Sorsogon voters to actively participate during the event.

 According to Rev. Philippe Andrew B. Gallanosa, CME Chairperson and GNSFI general manager, the Candidates’ Forum is slated on April 22, 2016, 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM to be held at the Aemilianum College, Inc. Gymnasium located in Brgy. Piot, Sorsogon City.

The forum will be held partnership with multi-partite group composed of church, media, civic, government and other non-government entities who have the same advocacy of making the voting population of Sorsogon better informed about their choices for electing officials during this election season.

Dubbed as Sorsogon, Pili Na! (SPN) 2016, this local Candidates’ Forum is specifically designed to promote the common good and help the voters of Sorsogon come up with an informed choice and select during election day the best leader who can serve the purpose of true leadership.

“SPN 2016 is a platform and program-based forum, which will put together the people of Sorsogon, and the candidates for the local government offices of Representative, Governor and Vice Governor,” said Fr. Gallanosa.

He furthered that this will allow the candidates to present to the whole province and the whole world, through those who are physically present, and through the media, their platforms and programs and likewise will allow the sovereign people to air out concerns and issues, and platform and program-based questions.

This will be aired live on Spirit FM 102.3 radio and live streamed at www.ustream.tv/channel/spiritfmsorsogon to reach a wide audience.

The forum will be segmented with three parts. The first part will focus on issue based and platform based questions from the public or the stakeholders. The approved beforehand questions will be put into a sealed container and the candidates will pick their own questions for themselves and answer within the time allotted.

The second part will be slated for issue based and platform based questions from the panelists representing the different sectors of the society.

While the third part will be for screened questions from the live audience, physically present or via phone call or text message. The moderators on behalf of the live audience will ask the questions to the candidates.

Fr. Gallanosa pointed out that the SPN 2016 is a forum to hear and pose questions to the candidates. “It is not planned as a debate between opposing candidates,” he also added.

Meanwhile, Fr. Gallanosa calls on the candidates not to fail the public’s expectation by participating to the forum, and for the public not to miss the opportunity to have a personal encounter with the provincial candidates of Sorsogon. (MAL/BAR-PIA5/Sorsogon)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/801461117059/diocese-of-sorsogon-slates-candidates-forum-on-april-22#sthash.q6EmGHLS.dpuf

Sorsoganons mourn death of former Sorsogon City dad

SORSOGON CITY, April 20, 2016 (PIA) – Families, friends and supporters expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to family of former chief executive of this city, Leovic Reyes Dioneda, who passed away last night, April 19, around 9:00 pm.

It can be recalled that Dioneda was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) early afternoon on Monday, April 18, after he was found unconscious in his residence in Pangpang, Sorsogon City.

Atty. Ron Espinosa, spokesperson for the Dioneda family, said he was repeatedly revived by his medical doctors since he was rushed to the hospital until signs of his recovery were shown early in the morning of Tuesday as Dioneda’s blood pressure stabilized, moved his hands and opened his eyes. The former city mayor, however, died on this same fateful day.

Dioneda served Sorsogon City as mayor for six years from 2007 to 2013 and as municipal mayor of then municipality of Bacon before it was merged to Sorsogon town and became Sorsogon City. He was a close rival of incumbent City Mayor Sally A. Lee for city mayor post.

Dioneda is also a mayoralty candidate under PDP-Laban this 2016 elections.

He was 60 years old at the time of his death.

Details of his internment will be announced later. (BARecebido, PIA-5/Sorsogon)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/801461105220/sorsoganons-mourn-death-of-former-sorsogon-city-dad#sthash.dtK81gga.dpuf

Monday, April 18, 2016

Albay eyes hosting events for 2019 SEA Games

By Sally Atento-Altea

LEGAZPI CITY, Apr 18 (PIA) – Over-all, it was a successful and impressive hosting of the Palarong Pambansa even branded as “best ever” by national athletic associations in the country.

And this time, the province of Albay is raising its bar to set the stage for another sporting event branded as the second biggest sports event in the world – the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

 Albay governor Joey Salceda said the province is very much ready for bigger sports event with the new and modern facilities and the expertise in establishing and running orderly and systematic joint operation and incident commands which greatly contributed to the successful hosting of the Palaro.

“We only need a few more additional facilities to be able to have better hosting of a bigger sports activity, like facilities for indoor games and additional air-conditioning units for the existing facilities,” Salceda said.

The governor furthered that in terms of accommodation, the resiliency of the Albayanos has enabled them to handle and take care of a number of guests as they learned to face the hurdles brought by various calamities like strong typhoons and Mayon volcano eruptions with not less than 50,000 individuals being taken cared of for even a span of three months.

Security plan during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in the country can likewise be replicated.

Salceda said DepEd Secretary Armin Lusitro has agreed that Manila and Albay could be co-hosts for the SEA games with Albay to host two or three sports disciplines including swimming and athletics.

 The Philippines got the hosting rights for the 2019 SEA Games after Brunei backed out days before the 2015 SEA games due to "financial and logistical reasons."

The country last hosted the Games in 2005 where the Philippines emerged as the overall champion. Cebu City has also expressed willingness as satellite venue for some sports events in the SEA Games.

The capability of the province to prepare for bigger events has likewise impressed national  Palaro officials and organizers.

Salceda, who got emotional during the closing program, said DepEd Secretary Luistro cited the Palaro in Albay as a miracle further noting the relentless workforce of the provincial government to make the Albay Palarong Pambansa 2016 the best it could ever be.

“Tears of endearment…could be about Brother Armin calling Palaro in Albay a miracle, about proving skeptics wrong, about making it despite the constraints while our means are modest, about the thousands who must be thanked for helping make it happen, about the 1.4m persons whose self-esteem we have lifted, about seeing our 18,000 athletes coaches and staff go yet together we are richer with lessons and triumphs, happy memories and new friends, about the next moon Albay has to conquer,” the governor said.

DepEd Asec. Atty. Tonisito Umali likewise commended the readiness and preparations done by the province, in a limited span of time, to comply with the requirements set in hosting the said event.

“The grand and unique opening ceremony was very impressive specially the sporting venues and billeting areas I personally visited and inspected. The province of Albay has indeed proven their capability to comply with the requirements set for hosting the Palaro in a limited span of time. It’s really impressive,” Umali said.(MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571461033690/albay-eyes-hosting-events-for-2019-sea-games#sthash.DY4RNmnE.dpuf

Albay’s congressional candidates to talk peace in Mindanao

By Julius B. Embile

LEGAZPI CITY, April 18 (PIA) – On April19, eighteen days before the 2016 National and Local Elections, aspiring house representatives from all across Albay are now given a chance to state where they stand regarding the peace and order in Mindanao.

These candidates will sit together in attendance of the ‘Usapang Kapayapaan: A Forum for Congressional Candidates’.

The event intends to affirm legislative action, in order to ensure lasting peace in Mindanao, from the would-be congressmen once they take office after the May 9 national elections.

The forum for congressional aspirants will be held in Bicol University: College of Education’s training hall at Legazpi City, as part of a nationwide peace discussion including other ‘Usapang: Kapayapaan’ held at La Union City, Cebu City, Cagayan de Oro City, Davao City.

Attending these discussions are representatives of the ‘Ako Bicol’ party list. Also, taking part in the forum is Joey Sarte-Salceda, incumbent governor of Albay and now gunning for the congressional seat for the second district of Albay.

The two lawyers competing for the representation of Albay’s first district, Atty. Tony Betito and Atty. Ted Contacto, have also confirmed their participation. For Albay’s third district, candidates Oliver Olaybal and Elmer Pornel will also be joining the talks.

In the midst of the campaign period, this is the candidates’ plans for the said topic will be subject for assessment by those involved, namely the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Representing the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) is GPH chief negotiator Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer; and representing the MILF is Professor Abhoud Syed Lingga.

The forum is organized and facilitated by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)- Region 5, and will also be attended by the delegates from Albay’s public, private and mass media sectors.

The candidates’ plans on this sensitive matter of peace will be subject of scrutiny from these sectors. Media coverage of the affair was also arranged as it is also the forums objective to assist the Albayanos in weighing their options for the upcoming elections.  (MAL/JBEmbile-PIA5/Albay)

Other News
- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211460969553/albay-s-congressional-candidates-to-talk-peace-in-mindanao-#sthash.ns0A3jU2.dpuf

Camarines Norte celebrates 96th founding anniversary, 12th Bantayog Festival

By Rosalita B. Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, April 18 (PIA) —The provincial government of Camarines Norte has slated various activities on the 96th founding anniversary of the province and the 12th Bantayog Festival from April 14-24.

Last April 15 in time for the foundtion anniversary of the province, the provincial government commenced the celebration with a flag raising and wreath offering at the Bantayog Monument of the national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. The Thanksgiving Mass and opening program were held in the afternoon.

“On the occasion of the founding anniversary and Bantayog, let us look back on the role played by CamNorteños in the nation’s path to independence, whose heroism and patriotic fervor is evidence by our World’s First Jose Rizal Monument or Bantayog ni Rizal,” acting Governor Jonah Pimentel said.

“Let us draw inspiration from the patriots and martyrs of Camarines Norte so that each one of us CamNorteños will be in the forefront in rebuilding our country,” he said.

This year’s theme for the celebration is “Cam Norte: Land of Gold, Land of Growth”.

On the 12th Bantayog Festival, it started with a Bantayog Futsal Clinic on April 14 and will finish on April 24 at the Agro Sports Center; tunog Kalye last April 13 while the Bantayog Regional Ecological Camping at Mt. Labo was held on April 15-17.

A Youth Leadership Summit Cum Parada ng Kabataan Kontra Droga was held at the Bagasbas Beach which coincides the opening of the founding anniversary.

Among other activities held were Bantayog Surfing Clinic at Bagasbas Beach from April 16-18, Bantayog MTB Cross-Country Challenge at San Lorenzo to Bagasbas Beach and WAVE: Bantayog Festival Beach Party also in Bagasbas last April 16.

The Bantayog Youth Day and Bantayog Beach Mix Volleyball in Bagasbas Beach; and Environmental Princes-Miss Teen Cam Norte at the Agro Sports Center were both held on April 17.

A Bantayog Agri Tourism Trade Fair is located at the Freedom Park from April 18-24 where the province selected products was displayed.

The ceremonial opening of the Tourism Information Center at the provincial capitol complex was held this morning, April 18 while the Persons with Disabilities will showcase their talent at the PWDs Got Talent in the afternoon.

The Bantayog Art Exhibit at the Provincial Capitol Hidden Garden has started today, April 18 until April 22.

The other activities for the event are the Little Miss Cam Norte on April 19; Bantayog Script and Song Writing Workshop and Bantayog Variety Show both on April 20; Search for Bb. Cam Norte is on April 21; and Bantayog DLC Competition at the Central Plaza Complex to Provincial Capitol slated on April 22.

The Street Dancing and Grand Festival Parade will highlight the event on April 23 wherein different festivals of the municipalities are expected to join the event.

A Bantayog Kalesa Decorating Contest at the provincial capitol grounds and Bantayog Padyak Race at Vinzons town hall will be on April 23 while the TM Astig Bingo Fest at the Agro Sports Center and Bantayog Governor’s Night at Bagasbas Beach will culminate the event on April 24.

Several politicians and television personalities are invited to grace the different activities of the said event. (MAL/RBM-PIA5/Camarines Norte)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/871460967179/camarines-norte-celebrates-96th-founding-anniversary-12th-bantayog-festival#sthash.j4fn6OOC.dpuf

Friday, April 15, 2016

Bikolano siblings dedicate basketball game for OFW mom and diabetic dad in Palaro 2016

LEGAZPI CITY, April 15 (PIA) -- It is not every day that we encounter siblings playing for Palarong Pambansa.

Rufino B. Sablaon III, 14 and brother, John Remo B. Sablaon, 12, of Polangui, Albay are both Palarong Pambansa basketball players whose mom is working as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) and whose dad is suffering from diabetes.

They represent Region V in basketball boys secondary and elementary categories respectively.

The siblings said that their parents are the reasons why they play basketball. Their mom, Ma. Cristina B. Bola has been working as a caregiver in Macau for four years now. Their dad, Rufino M. Sablaon Jr. has been a diabetic after working abroad also as an OFW for 16 years.

One might think that they are already living a good life for having parents who had worked and has been working abroad. But everything is not what it seems to be.

Years ago, their family had encountered a tremendous complex situation which affected them much and consumed their life savings. They had been in a situation when they have to make both ends meet. That’s why their mom was compelled to work abroad in spite of their father’s illness.

Basketball to the rescue

 Rufino III started playing basketball in lower meet when he was in grade 4 and first made it to the Palarong Pambansa when in grade 6. That was the time when he was offered scholarship grant as a varsity player in Jesus the Loving Shepherd Christian College in Camarines Sur.

Seeing the opportunity of lessening the financial burden of their family, he accepted the offer even if it means that he has to be away from his family on weekdays. He is now an incoming grade 9 student in the said school.

John Remo, on the other hand, was encouraged to join the Polangui South Central School’s basketball team when he saw his big brother (Rufino III) played in the Palarong Pambansa. He is now an incoming grade 7 student.

He was also offered same scholarship where his brother is studying but he opted to turn it down so that he can be of help in taking good care of his ailing father. He plans to enroll in a public high school just a ride away from their home.

Life’s lessons

Despite the difficulties encountered, the siblings remain positive in their outlook in life. They said that their experiences and basketball have something in common — both taught them good lessons in life.

“Sa paglalaro ko ng basketball natutuhan na hindi sa lahat ng pagkakataon ay dapat laging panalo. Kailangan din makaranas ng pagkatalo para matuto,” Rufino III revealed.

(Basketball had taught me that we should not always win. We also have to lose in order to learn.)

John Remo also shared that playing basketball made him humble.

The two admitted that basketball bind them closer with each other because they are sharing the same interest especially during the times when they play together.

“Inspirasyon namin ang aming parents, gusto naming maging proud sila sa amin,” Rufino III concluded.

(“Our parents are our inspirations. We want them to be proud of us.)  (MAL/CUOS-DepEd/PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211460969337/bikolano-siblings-dedicate-basketball-game-for-ofw-mom-and-diabetic-dad-in-palaro-2016#sthash.99k4bhy6.dpuf

OPAPP, PIA to hold peace forum for congressional bets in Albay

By Sally Atento-Altea

LEGAZPI CITY, Apr 15 (PIA) – The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Regional Office 5 will be leading the peace forum for congressional candidates in the province of Albay.

The discussion dubbed Usapang Kapayapaan: A forum for congressional candidates will be conducted in five areas nationwide particularly La Union, Legazpi City in Albay, Cebu City, Cagayan de Oro and Davao City  in April this year.

“In this forum each candidate will elaborate on their stand on peace concerns in Mindanao, and how they will affirm this in their legislative agenda if they would be elected in office,” PIA Bicol director Aida Alcazar-Naz said.

In the said forum, a panel composed of three members from the media representing print, radio and television will be asking questions along with panel of reactors from the OPAPP and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“Invited to represent OPAPP is the Government of the Philippines Chief Negotiator Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and Mr. Mohagher Iqbal of the MILF,” Naz said

The forum for Legazpi City is set 1:00PM on April 19, 2016 at the Bicol University College of Education Training Hall.

The audience and participants of the forum are sectoral representatives from the media, youth, business, civil society groups, religious, academe, senior citizens, Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police.(SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571460704179/opapp-pia-to-hold-peace-forum-for-congressional-bets-in-albay#sthash.E3PpfWHA.dpuf

Thursday, April 14, 2016

DOH Bicol offers free medicines for hypertension, diabetes

By Sally Atento-Altea

LEGAZPI CITY, Apr 14 (PIA) -- Free medicines for hypertension and diabetes are now available at public health units and offices in Bicol.

Dr. Napoleon L. Arevalo, Department of Health (DOH) Bicol director, has announced the availability of medicines for hypertension and diabetes in all rural health units (RHUs) including city health offices (CHOs) in the region.

Arevalo said the provision of free medicines is in line with the initiative of the DOH in upgrading its facilities and services in delivering the universal health care program or “pangkalahatang kalusugan.

Available medicines for hypertension are Losartan, Amlodepine and Metoprolol and Metformin for diabetes.

“The four essential medicines known as the “4 molecules” namely Losartan, Amlodepine, Metoprolol and Metformin are needed to control the blood pressure and blood sugar of people suffering from hypertension and diabetes mellitus, respectively,” Arevalo said.

This strategy, Arevalo added, will ensure the regular follow-up of diagnosed hypertensive and diabetec patients in the community relative to facilitating risk assessment of community members.

“This in effect will result to more treatment of compliant patients preventing disability and possible deaths,” he noted.

To avail of the medicine, patients with hypertension or diabetes must be duly assessed, diagnosed and managed by the servicing RHU and CHO.

The patients must be enlisted in the registry of hypertensive and/or diabetec patients and become a member of the Hypertension and/or Diabetes Club of the RHU or CHO where they consulted. They will also be taught and encouraged to practice healthy lifestyle to help in their recovery.

“These strategies are done to ensure the prevention of complications related to the two most modifiable illnesses in the country and globally today,” Arevalo said.(MAL/SAA/PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571460619177/doh-bicol-offers-free-medicines-for-hypertension-diabetes#sthash.U85jnxBo.dpuf

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

PSA to conduct PBI, ICT surveys

VIRAC, Catanduanes, April 13 (PIA) – The Philippine Statistics Office (PSA) provincial office here will conduct the 2015 Annual Survey of Philippine Business and Industry (ASPBI) to collect and generate information on the levels, structures, performance and trends of economic activities of the formal sector in the entire country for year 2015..

Anavi F. Camacho, PSA Catanduanes officer in charge, said the 2015 Survey on Information and Communication Technology (SICT) will be a rider of this survey that would also collect/generate information on the availability, distribution and access/utilization of ICT among establishments in the country.

About 39 sample establishments in the province will be asked to accomplish the survey questionnaires.

Camacho also disclosed that their office will conduct the 2015 ASPBI/SICT Forum on April 19, 2016 at ARDCI Corporate Inn Function Hall, 1:00-5:00 PM.

The forum aims to promote awareness on the importance of the data generated in the survey, likewise create pleasant-sounding relationship between the office and the data providers.

Expected participants are representatives of 39 sample establishments in Catanduanes. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/841460549482/psa-to-conduct-pbi-ict-surveys#sthash.9dDrKyif.dpuf

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Albay’s grand, festive opening of Palarong Pambansa impressed guests, delegates

LEGAZPI CITY, APR 12(PIA) – Delegates from 18 regions in the country, guests and spectators were all cheers and praises for the grand, colorful and festive opening of the Palarong Pambansa 2016 in Albay.

Department of Education(DepEd) Asec. Atty. Tonisito Umali said he was very impressed with the grand and unique opening of the Palarong Pambansa commending the readiness and preparations done by the province, in a limited span of time, to comply with the requirements set in hosting the said event.

“The grand and unique opening ceremony was very impressive specially the sporting venues and billeting areas I personally visited and inspected. The province of Albay has indeed proven their capability to comply with the requirements set for hosting the Palaro in a limited span of time. It’s really impressive,” Umali said during the press conference held yesterday at the Media Center at Bicol University grandstand.

Albay athletes Mario Maglinao and Natalie Agaton are the torch bearers leading the parade of delegates from the 18 regions starting from Old Albay District towards the newly built grandstand at the Bicol University Albay Sports and Tourism Complex with each region loudly and energetically cheering and presenting their traditional festivals.

Albay Governor Joey Salceda recounted the days that heralded the prestigious event during his speech noting the start of a year-long journey which despite both major and minor obstacles, Albay was able to hurdle with flying colors.

“We went through a number of difficulties, some financial, some political, some local, but nevertheless, we have shown that we are the best choice as hosts for Palarong Pambansa 2016,” Gov. Salceda said.

Salceda said Albay deeply pleaded for the hosting stint as one of his dreams for the province to further push Albay in reaching its economic milestone.

“Why the big hunger for these games? Because this is an amazing end to a nine year journey for me where I have been an aggregator of dreams for the Albayano people and this is one of our dream, and also, the Palaro will further bolster the momentum of Albay as it becomes an economic heavyweight in our country, “he said.

President Benigno Aquino, through DepEd Secretary Brother Armin Luistro, thanked and congratulated Albay for aggressively pursuing the hosting stint noting the passion to capture the job which showed everyone that they could expect the best to come this year and that everyone will leave in awe.

“Next to you may very well be the next Lydia de Vega, and like her, many before you have gone through hard work and training and have moved on to become champions in their chosen fields,” Aquino added.

The program ended with the release of friendship doves declaring the formal opening and Palaro torch relay finale at the BU oval track led by professional basketball player Terrence Romeo and PWD athlete Francis Everesto.

The 2016 Palarong Pambansa, held in the province of Albay from April 10–16, is the 59th edition of the annual multi-sporting event for Filipino student-athletes. Athletic associations from the country's 18 regions are competing in different sporting events and discipline.

Negros Island Region which was created in 2015 is participating, for the first time, as a region.(SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571460429656/albay-s-grand-festive-opening-of-palarong-pambansa-impressed-guests-delegates#sthash.EfR707dv.dpuf

Daniella Camonoga of Guinobatan wins first gold for Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY, Apr 12 (PIA) – Daniela Camonoga of Quibongbongan, Gunobatan Albay notched the first gold medal for the Bicol region in the ongoing Palarong Pambansa in Albay.

The 13 year old lass, also 13th of 16 siblings, topped the elementary girl’s shot put competition with a winning heave of 9.42 meters held yesterday at the Albay Sports and Tourism Complex in Bicol University.

Emgiel Duran of the Negros Island Region claimed the silver medal with her 9.15-meter mark while Western Visayas bet Valerie Cassandra took the bronze with 9.01m.

Camonoga earned her ticket to the Palaro as she finished second on the regional meet held in Camarines Sur last February.

The first gold winner for Bicol will be receiving P5, 000 cash incentive as promised by Albay Governor Joey Salceda for gold medal winners in the region. She is set to compete in the javelin throw 3:00pm today and discus throw 6:00am on Wednesday.

The standing 10.93 meters record for elementary girl’s shot put competition was made by Canny Amor Bartolome of former athletics region Southern Mindanao during the 1996 Palaro edition in General Santos City.(MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571460432958/daniella-camonoga-of-guinobatan-wins-first-gold-for-bicol#sthash.NrsF20wZ.dpuf

Monday, April 11, 2016

Comelec, PPCRV all set for Harampangan 2016

By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, April 11 (PIA) --- It’s all systems go for the upcoming “Harampangan 2016” – a candidate’s debate initiated by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting  (PPCRV) slated on April 12 and 13, 4:00 to 7:00pm at the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary auditorium here.

The said event is also in close cooperation with  Caceres Commission on Communications (CCCom), Caceres Renewal Communities (CRC), Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE) and the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkasters sa Pilipinas (KBP).

Invited to grace the debate are candidates for the gubernatorial post and those running as representatives of the 3rd, 4th and 5th districts here in Camarines Sur.

Atty. Eusebio Alvina, PPCRV vice chairman during the FORUM@PIA held recently stated that the debate endeavors to know the candidates stand on critical and prevailing issues which include political dynasty, poverty, education, infrastructure, environment, drugs, among others.

As of press time, only gubernatorial aspirants Roger Buenaflor and Arnie Fuentebella confirmed their participation. District representative aspirants Gabriel Bordado, Luis Villafuerte and Arnulfo Fuentebella also extended their willingness to take part in the said debate.

Meanwhile, the organizers have yet to hear from incumbent Camarines Sur Governor Migz Villafuerte, Imelda Papin, William Iliw-iliw and Atty. Felix Alfelor, Jr.  Cong. Salvio Fortuno, according to PPCV Chair, formally sent his regrets that he cannot attend the occasion.

“While we recognize the right of those who have not replied to participate or not, we also believe we are entitled to the courtesy of a formal reply at the time it is expected.  For those who chose not to participate, we hope that they are aware that the people of Camarines Sur are  also entitled to hear their stand on issues in an impartial venue,” Alvina said in an interview.

The debate will only have a limited audience, owing to the venue’s limited capacity yet the organizers believe that through the help of different media outlets who were also invited to cover the event,  the information and issues that will be shared by the candidates will be widely disseminated to the public.

The debate proper will have three segments.  For the first two segments, each candidate will be given 2 minutes to answer. After giving their answers, the other candidate will be given 1 minute to comment. After the 1-minute comment from another candidate, the said candidate will be given a 30-second rejoinder.

A different time frame shall be observed during the third and final segment. Here, the opponent will be allowed to ask his co-candidate a question based on the notes earlier submitted by them. There will be a 5-minute break per segment. (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861460254375/comelec-ppcrv-all-set-for-harampangan-2016#sthash.C7EMgONe.dpuf

Friday, April 8, 2016

Naga City’s Resources Center for the Blind spearheads training for visually impaired

By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, Apr. 8 (PIA)  ---  Powered by its commitment to promote human dignity, especially among visually impaired persons, the Resource Center for the Blind (RCB) and the city government here, conducted a training  for visually impaired Wednesday, April 6 at the RCB Office, RSR Library Bldg., City Hall, here.

Dubbed “Assisting Client with Vision Impairment,” the activity, also supported by JMR Foundation and the Physicians for Peace,  aims to utilize the participants, mostly front desk officers or office frontliners on how to deal with vision impaired clients every time they have transactions and concerns in government or private offices.

This premise is aligned with the city’s disability inclusive development program to promote good governance.

“It’s our observation that government offices or even private offices set aside visually impaired persons, especially if they are the ones transacting in the office, hence, we come up with a training so that frontliners will know how to interact with the VIs,” states RCB Officer-in-Charge Teresita M. Domer during an interview.

RCB staff Felix Chavez II, a visually- impaired person and a passionate advocate for the welfare of persons with visual impairment, gave the lectures on how to assist clients with said impairment based on real experiences and situations. He also discussed the courtesy rules of blindness and other issues and aspects in dealing with persons with visual impairment.

According to Chavez, the discourses are very important especially for practicing Human Resource personnel as this is a good training for employees to have an effective service to clients.

Joseph Ochoa, Dean of the Visually Impaired Department of the Naga Central School II Special Education Program, a graduate of Computer Engineering and who became visually impaired at the age of 18, shared to the participants how to help persons with low vision to read again by making more readable and accessible print sizes.

The last part of the training was on Orientation and Mobility facilitated by Ms. Eva Azaῆa where participants were made to undergo actual demonstration of a blind person’s ability to move from one place to another safely and independently.

Prior to the start of the training, City Human Resource Management Officer Huberto I. Ursua in his message said that he hopes that when the participants go back to their offices, they can assess if they are indeed a “Person with Disability (PWD)-friendly office”, not only through their facilities but also in terms of the delivery of their services.

“I hope that we could be a model city as far as giving service to the PWDs is concerned,” Ursua added.

The activity was graced by Ms. Jean Robredo-Tan, sister of the late DILG Secretary and former Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo. She also represented the JRM Foundation and Physicians for Peace which sponsored the training.

A totally-blind person herself, Robredo was elated for the well-attended activity. She told the participants that she hopes that after the event, they will all come home renewed with more confidence after being given opportunity to save and share their resources.

The Resource Center for the Blind was created on April 13, 2009 through the creative influence of DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo and Family. (MAL/LSM/JRM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861460105316/naga-city-s-resources-center-for-the-blind-spearheads-training-for-visually-impaired#sthash.UvCy4Jy4.dpuf

Bicol bags four Gawad Kalasag Hall of Fame awards

By Sally Atento-Altea

LEGAZPI CITY, Apr 8 (PIA) – Bicol region has notched four out of five National Gawad Kalasag 2015 Hall of Fame awards.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) announced Legazpi City as the Best CDRRMC (Independent/Component City), Brgy. Oro Site for Urban category, Simon of Cyrene as Best Civil Society Organization and D.Q. Liwag National High School in Vinzons, Camarines Norte as Best School in Public Rural category.

Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Bicol has commended the awardees particularly the LGUs and agencies noting the recognition as a milestone for the region in DRRM.

“We, in the Office of the Civil Defense 5, commend the great efforts of our awardees most especially the leadership in the LGUs and the respective agencies. Gawad Kalasag award is one way to showcase best DRRM practices in the local areas and at the same time to boost the resiliency in our region. I congratulate the awardees for taking a milestone for DRRM.”OCD Bicol director Bernardo R. Alejandro IV said.

The Hall of Fame award is given to local government units, organization or agency that has won as 1st place for three consecutive years on the same category.

Also declared winners are Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital - 1st place for Government Hospitals National Category, Moreno Integrated School in Daet Camarines Norte - 2nd for Public Schools Urban Category and Buraguis Day Care Center in Legazpi City – 2nd for Early Learning Center  Urban Category.

Chief Insp. Achilles M. Santiago, MM from the Bureau of Fire was given special award for Heroic Act, Individual category.

The Bicol region has likewise notched Gawad Kalasag Hall of Fame awards in the previous years. The awardees include PDRRMC Albay, MDRRMC Sto. Domingo, Child Sponsorship for Community Development Inc. (CSCDI) in Legazpi City and MDCC Labo, Camarines Norte (now MDRRMC).

Daraga National High School and MDCC Calabanga, Camarines also bagged Gawad Kalasag awards.

KALASAG stands for KAlamidad at Sakuna LAbanan, SAriling Galing ang Kaligtasan. Gawad Kalasag awards is given to individuals, non-government organizations, private sector and government organizations, in recognition of their initiative in helping the Filipino government uplift the standard of disaster management in the country.

This year’s 17th Gawad Kalasag Awarding Ceremony is tentatively scheduled on April 18, 2016.(MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571460107535/bicol-bags-four-gawad-kalasag-hall-of-fame-awards#sthash.l0nvSyEu.dpuf

Thursday, April 7, 2016

PTALB bares shortlisted entries

By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

PILI, CAMARINES SUR, April 7 (PIA) --- The 8th Premyo Tomas Arejola sa Literaturang Bikolnon (PTALB) recently bared the shortlisted entries set to vie for the premier literary competition’s top prize for the “Pagrokyaw kan Pinakamababansay na Obrang Panliteratura 2016 comes April 22.

PTALB chair Carlos A. Arejola said three essays, eight short stories, four one-act plays, seven collections of poetry, and two short stories for children made it to the list of finalists from a field of 51 entries from all over Bicol and other parts of the Philippines.

The Selection Committee headed by Lorna A. Billanes, Ph.D. and his committee members painstakingly went through every contest piece, ensuring that every worthy detail is noted and indexed in their verdict sheets.

“Karsel” by Mary Karol Fe R. Go of Legazpi City, “An Huring Paraduno” by Niles Jordan Breis of Tabaco City, “Urulay Mag-ilusyon” by Elsie C. Albis of Naga City, and “N da neym ov da Pudra” by Richard Madrilejos of Tabaco City were short-listed for the one-act play category.

Shortlisted for fiction are “Anino sa Resort” by Irmina Torres of Naga City, “Abo sa Paggabas” by Marvin Davila Aquino of Tinambac, Camarines Sur, “Italbong sa Irarom kan Salog” by Gilmar Baran of Pili, Camarines Sur, “Rawraw”  by Nestor Alagbate of Daet, Camarines Norte, “Scoop” by Juan Escandor Jr. of Gubat, Sorsogon and Naga City, “Bisita” by Sharmaine Zen Manzano of Naga City, “Estudyante” by Michael Florano Sales of Pili, Camarines Sur, and “Basilio” by Jomark M. Baynado of Polanqui, Albay.

Making it to the final list of nominated pieces for poetry are “An mga Buto ni Kuracog” by Emmanuel T. Barrameda of Catanduanes and Imus, Cavite, “Gapo asin Iba pang Rawitdawit” by Elbert Olaso Baeta of Iriga City, “Ampaw asin Iba pang Rawitdawit” by Irvin Parco Sto. Tomas of Canaman, Camarines Sur, “Pano Padabaon an Diyos asin Iba pang Rawitdawit” by Richard Madrilejos of Tabaco City,  “Tag-ok sa Ginobat” by Nestor M. Awa of Iriga City, “Lapridarga Mga Rawitdawit Dapit sa Sakral asin Handal” by Niles Jordan Breis of Tabaco City, and “Mga Kasagkodan” by Jerome Hipolito of Calabanga, Camarines Sur.  

Arejola also confirmed that “Bako Ako Bikolano” by Richard Madrilejos, “Magurang Ka Man” by Arlan Abanes Alzaga, and “Kun Tano Kami Kadto Nagbabaralon nin Pangudtuhan sa Sinehan” by  Niles Jordan Breis, all of Tabaco City, Albay – made it for the essay category.

The finalists for short stories for children include “Ada Baruga”, a story for children by Jaime Jesus Borlagdan of Tabaco City and “An Apat na Kabalang” a story for children by Irmina V. Torres of Naga City.

In an interview, Arejola stated that the annual literary prize is a tribute to the great legacy of the Bicolano patriot Tomas Padilla Arejola, who was a leading member of the Propaganda Movement and Malolos Congress and a delegate to the First and Second Philippine Assembly.

The ceremony is also in support of Proclamation No. 968, s. 2015 signed on February 10, 2015 declaring April of every year as National Literature Month or “Buwan ng Panitikan”.  (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861460026597/ptalb-bares-shortlisted-entries#sthash.Rp726A2c.dpuf

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Team Albay all set for Palarong Pambansa 2016

By Sally Atento-Altea

LEGAZPI CITY, April 6 (PIA) – Team Albay has raised the Philippine Flag 7:00 this morning at the Albay Sports and Tourism Complex at the Bicol University (BU) grounds to signal readiness for the Palarong Pambansa 2016 slated in the province on April 10-16.

The Team, composed of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Philippine Air Force, Philippine Army, Coast Guard and Philippine National Police (PNP), pledged their full support to ensure successful holding and hosting of the Palaro.

Albay Governor Joey Salceda has noted safe and successful hosting of Palaro and memorable touristic experience of the delegates as the two-fold goals of the province directing concerned officials to “keep their eyes on the ball to achieve our twin goals.”

“Based on our contract with the Department of Education (Deped), Albay is principally sports venue provider but due to the procedural and resource constraints from Deped Central to Deped Bicol, PGA has assumed much of these issues since our two-fold goals are safe and successful hosting of Palaro and memorable touristic experience,” Salceda said.

The governor has likewise clarified that concerns raised by some Palaro delegations, particularly those stationed at Daraga North, Daraga National High School and Malabog have been addressed by promptly dispatching six separate groups to look into the current condition.

 “Based on the feedback, there are no longer pending issues with respect to the delegations of Calabarzon and Region 3 as they have been addressed with respect to water supply, comfort rooms, screened rooms and bed mats,” he said.

The teams are led by Cedric Daep of Albay Public Safety and Emergency Office (APSEMO), Nats Rempillo - Provincial Health Office (PHO), William Sabater - Water and Sanitation, Roderick Mendoza - Albay Sports Office, JP Ronda – Provincial Engineering Office (PEO) and Daraga Mayor Gerry Jaucian and Councilor Neil Montallana for the municipality of Daraga.

They are likewise ordered to make daily rounds as frequently as possible into all 24 billeting areas to prevent recurrence or occurrence of said issues.

“We thank our communities for taking up the slack and no longer leaving the remedies to wait for official action, “he added.

Salceda cited this year as the biggest Palaro in Philippine history due to the egocentricity of Albay which can be a strategic advantage to draw influx of participants and tourists in the province.

“This will be the biggest Palaro in Philippine history due to the geocentricity of Albay - the strategic advantage of Albay is 69% less man-kms. Thus, we expected 18,000 direct participants, 40,000 national tourists and 120,000 regional/provincial tourists to descend into Legazpi and Daraga,” the governor said.

Salceda further asked for forebearance of those who might get affected by restraints on traffic flow urging everyone to do their share to ensure safe and joyful holding and hosting of Palaro.

In the meantime, some 2,527 PNP personnel have been gathered for maintenance and order along with some 833 emergency responders.

The provincial government of Albay (PGA) has likewise tapped the Armed Forces of the Philippines assets and Department of Interior and Local Government units to secure the achievement of physical requirements for the holding of various events such as water for the swimming pool.

Salceda said all actions of the PGA and its partners have the authority of the provincial and regional DRRMC officially assembled invoking the High Density Population Gathering doctrine of the NDRRMC or the so called Nazareno of Quiapo procession rule for the Palaro including reasonable restraints on traffic flow.

The mustering of assets and capabilities will be done on April 7 at PRO5 grounds, Camp Gen Simeon Ola, Legazpi City. The activity is in preparation for a Simulation Exercise (SIMEX) on the same day at BU grounds.

 The Committee on Security, Peace and Order, and Emergency Preparedness and Response (SPOEPR) is now on heightened alert for the Palaro.(MAL/SAA/PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571459932414/team-albay-all-set-for-palarong-pambansa-2016#sthash.V0Q67KPp.dpuf

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

PGAlbay, DepED, ABS-CBN sign pact to telecast Palarong Pambansa in Albay

LEGAZPI CITY, Apr 5 (PIA) – The province of Albay and Department of Education (DepEd) have teamed up with the ABS-CBN Sports channel to telecast updates and highlights of the 2016 Palarong Pambansa to be held in the province on April 10-16.

Albay governor Joey Salceda represented the provincial government in the MOA signing and press conference on the national media launching of the Palarong Pambansa held today at the ABS-CBN main building in Quezon City together with DepEd assistant secretary Tonicito Umali, ABS CBN Sports and Action channel head Vince Rodriguez and ABS-CBN regional head Atty. Abigail Querubin-Aquino.

Salceda noted the preparation of the province to ensure that delegates will feel the warm welcome of Albayanos and experience the bests of Albay.

“We want to be a very good host of Palarong Pambansa to them and let the delegates experience the bests of Albay, especially on tourism, culture and heritage, cuisine and the warm welcome of Albayanos,” Salceda said.

Rodriguez, representing ABS-CBN Integrated Sports head Dino Laurena, said ABS-CBN’s sports division has committed to air some of the games and matches of Palarong Pambansa on their sports channel and to produce documentary and feature stories on the event and its former and present athletes.

The partnership is seen to help promote sports development in the country giving exposure to young Filipino athletes as the next generation of sports superstars and national athletes who will bring honor and inspiration to country.

Also present in the press conference are former Palaro athletes Senator Pia Cayetano, File Cainglet-Cayetano of Beach Volleyball Republic, carmela TUnay of the UST Women’s Volleyball team and March Espejo of the Ateneo Men’s Volleyball Team.

Senator Cayetano lauded Albay as a great sports destination perfect for Palarong Pambansa 2016.

“Albay is the Perfect Destination for Palarong Pambansa 2016 and absolutely Albay is a great sports destination... while providing opportunity to make the dreams come true for most of Filipino athletes to compete in Palaro and carry the banner of the Philippine to international sports. Hats off indeed to Amazing Albay,” Cayetano said.

The 59th edition of the annual multi-sporting event for Filipino student-athletes from the 18 regions in the country will commence at the Bicol University Sports Complex in Albay

ABS-CBN further urged the public to follow the journey of thecountry’s best young talents in sports at the Palarong Pambansa 2016 on ABS-CBN Sports and Action channel starting April 10. For more information, visit sports.abs-cbn.com or follow their ABS-CBN Sports official Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Some 26 sporting venues in Albay for 21 sports disciplines will be used for the entire duration of the 2016 Palarong Pambansa. These venues are located in the city of Legazpi and municipalities of Camalig, Guinobatan and Sto. Domingo.(SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571459839221/pgalbay-deped-abs-cbn-sign-pact-to-telecast-palarong-pambansa-in-albay#sthash.VkdRthXK.dpuf

Friday, April 1, 2016

DOH conducts orientation on mental health program

Virac, Catanduanes, Apr 1 (PIA) – The Department of Health (DOH) through the National Center for Mental Health conducted an orientation on the Medicine Access Program for Mental Health on March 29, 2016 at Rakdell Inn, Virac.

Participants were physicians and nurses of the Eastern Bicol Medical Center (EBMC), District Hospitals and Rural Health Centers from the eleven town of the Province.

Dr. Hazel A. Palmes of the provincial health office said that the objectives of the activity are to discuss the medicine program for mental health; to discuss the common mental illnesses; evaluation and management and; be able to handle psychiatric emergencies.

Topics discussed were: Assessment and Evaluation of Mental Disorders; Psychotic Disorders: Assessment and Management; Mood Disorders: assessment and Management; Psychiatric Emergencies and Updates on Medicine Access Program on Mental Health.

Speakers and Lecturers from the National center for Mental Health Dr. Beverly A. Azucena FPPA, MMHOA, Chief Medical and Professional staff II, Hospital Service; Dr. Joeffrey D. Cruzada, DPBP, FPPA, Medical Training Officer, NCMH; Dr. Rico J. Caraos, DPBP, Training Program Administrator; Dr. Roy K. Mapu, DSBPP, Residency Program Coordinator; Dr. Rodelen Paccial, Research Coordinator, NCMH; Dr. Alden C. Cuyos, FPPA, MMHOA, Chief Training Officer and Mr. PublioB. Plotena, Asst. Chief Nurse, Nursing Education Training and Research.

Palmes Added that the Expected outcomes the Clinical application of the learning objective provided for each topic discussed.

The activity is in coordination with the Provincial Health Office (PHO) and the Catanduanes Medical Society (CMS). (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/841459417102/doh-conducts-orientation-on-mental-health-program#sthash.YBpUIu6x.dpuf