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

Friday, July 29, 2016

DILG issues memo on 2016 accreditation of CSOs to the local special bodies

VIRAC, Catanduanes, July 29 (PIA) - The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) invites civil society organizations to be part of Local Special Bodies (LSB’s) that will help in local governance and development process of local governments.

DILG Catanduanes provincial director (OIC) Uldarico S. Razal Jr. said the initiave is in accordance with Memorandum Circular No. 2016-97 issued on July 19, 2016 for the 2016 Accreditation of Civil Society Organization’s (CSO’s).

Razal added that pursuant to Article 64 of the Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR) of the Local Government Code, the Local Government Units (LGU’s), upon the assumption of the newly-elected Sanggunian must have accreditation of CSO’s for purposes of representation in LSB’s.

Although the IRR of the Local Government Code include the People’s Law Enforcement Boards (PLEBs) as one among the LSB’s, the provisions of the Code as to the manner of selecting representatives to the LSB’s do not find applicable to the PLEBs.

 As such, the circular does not apply to the PLEBs. Likewise, the Circular does not apply to the Pre-qualification, Bids and Awards Committees, now called Bids and Awards Committees established, considering that unlike the old PBAC, the composition of the BAC is now limited to local government personnel occupying plantilla positions in LGU’s .

Major activity and scheduled relative to accreditation and selection are indicated as follows: Inventory of CSO’s, (July 11-29, 2016); Call for Accreditation (August 1-12, 2016); Accreditation Proper (August 15-26, 2016); Selection of Representatives to the Local Special Bodies (LSB’s) (Sept. 5-16, 2016; Reconstitution and Convening of LSB’s (Sept. 19-23, 2016). (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/841469800816/dilg-issues-memo-on-2016-accreditation-of-csos-to-the-local-special-bodies#sthash.1qLnchOV.dpuf

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Duterte’s SONA draws cheers, support from Albayano netizens

LEGAZPI CITY, July 26 (PIA) – Albayano netizens expressed their support and admiration for President Rodrigo Duterte’s plans for the country presented in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) yesterday.  

Dr. Cesar Chua said “The President was making points clearly to the ordinary Filipino people, and he made the points clearly and vividly to be understood by ordinary people like us!”

He furthered, “Political analysts expects to hear all that is to done in six years, hello, intellectuals, this is just the first SONA, Duterte was only reporting to the Filipinos what he will and do in the first year if his office! That is perfect for us ordinary citizens!”

Albayano journalist and China Radio International posted “What was earlier reported to be a tearjerker turned candid and straight from the hip. Digong knew nobody among the legislators except a handful believed he'll win. But now, almost all of them are on his side.”

Private school teacher Jo Omala said she likes Duterte’s reiteration of “not to do drugs” noting his sincerity in asking for cooperation in fighting illegal drugs and in protecting authorities who will be loyal in their duty yet also reminded them not to abuse their position.

“I also like the changes he proposed such as extended validity of driver’s license and his call “not to hate too much,” she added.

 King M. Reginaldo also noted the said remarks as the best part of Duterte’s SONA.

 “I love this part of the SONA of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte..The Best of All! Let me make this appeal to you: “If we cannot, as yet, love one another, then in God’s name, let us not hate each other too much,” so it was said. [applause] I say the same to you today."

Jose Dela Riva commented “just the beginning, only time can measure how great he will be as a leader, president. So far, some good policies seems to be working in his favor. I praise him for that,”

Other netizens likewise hailed the historic, peacefully rally of militant groups formerly done to express protest against past administrations by burning effigies but this time, conducted to support the president through “portraits of peace” murals.

It was also the first time for the militants to get nearer Batasan Road with the police peacefully standing nearby.

Rome Candaza reacted, “Dito ako naiyak, sa wakas nagkaron tayo ng gobyernong para sa Tao na nawala ang iringan ng pulis at mga raliyista. Totoong tao ang nasa posisyon. Ituloy natin ang gobyernong para sa Tao. Salamat PNP Chief Bato para sa pangunguna ng pagkakaisa at kapayapaan (this is where I got teary-eyed. At last we have a government for the people, with peace between the police and the rallyist. The people in position are sincere. Let us continue this kind of government. Thank you PNP Chief Bato for leading unity and peace).”

Nhaldz Bilan Bon also said “Disiplinado ang mga rallyesta militante. Walang tulakan at balyaha. Umpisa na talaga ng pagbabago, sana sa susonod pang mga SONA (the militant rallyists were disciplined, no pushing, no riots. It’s really the start of change, hoping the same for the next SONAs).”

On the president executive order on Freedom of Information, Gerald Gallenito said “At last Na aprub man graray. Tnx to d President." (At last it was approved this time. Thanks to the president).”(MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571469509169/duterte-s-sona-draws-cheers-support-from-albayano-netizens#sthash.X7eBNNjK.dpuf

Polangui local official vows to increase health budget

POLANGUI, Albay, Jul 26 (PIA) – Vice mayor Herbert Borja of this town vowed to increase the budget for health to fully fulfill the implementation of all programs and services.

During the multi sector forum organized by the Philippine NGO council and Welfare, here, Monday, Borja told participants that the current budget for health is only P11.1 million and the P7.6 million is devoted to personnel services.

He said that only P1.9 million is the budget for all health programs.

According to him the budget is too small and the recommendation of the department of health to the local government is that the budget for health should be 15% of the total LGU total budget per year.

“We need to prioritize health if we want to provide better health services to the people, at least to have a realistic budget to be able to serve the 89,001 people of Polangui.”

He pointed out that the multi sector forum being conducted by the PNGOC with support from the Gates Foundation is very timely because the Polangui Sangguiniang Bayan will be guided properly in the proper budgetary requirements for health services especially in the full implementation of the Reproductive Health Law.

“Even President Rodrigo Duterte in his first State of the Nation Address made mentioned the full implementation of the Responsible Parenthood otherwise known as the RPRH Law.”

In this case, he said the LGU must do something in order to provide the necessary services on health to properly serve the constituents especially those in the Geographically Isolated Demographically Areas.

Borja also said that the sangguniang bayan is working hand and hand with the local chief executive to find other means to source out fund.

He however said that local policies will be enacted the soonest possible time and this are the creation of the Polangui Reproductive Health Council, Local AIDS Council providing funds for the purpose.

The local official also hailed the consortium for implementing the Sustained National and Local advocacy for Reproductive Health project in the Philippines. (MAL/MDR-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211469524062/polangui-local-official-vows-to-increase-health-budget#sthash.b4MfCkpv.dpuf

Thursday, July 21, 2016

DSWD: 29,346 poor Bicolanos have disability

LEGAZPI CITY, July 21 (PIA) – The recent household assessment conducted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) revealed that 1.3 percent or 29, 346 of the 2, 340, 468 poor individuals in the  Bicol region have disability.

DSWD Bicol Director Arnel Garcia cited the said data as one of the guest speakers during the opening ceremony of the National Disability and Prevention (NDPR) week celebration held July 18 at the Albay Astrodome.

Garcia said Camarines Sur posted some 10, 620 persons with disability (PWDs), the highest among six provinces in the region, followed by Albay with 6,658, Masbate 4,233, Sorsogon 4,015, Camarines Norte 2,777 and Catanduanes 1,043.

Garcia added that aside from this data, the Listahanan have records on individuals with functional difficulties such as seeing, hearing, caring, walking, remembering and communicating.

Listahanan is DSWD’s information management system that identifies who and where the poor are.

He noted that disability is a general term used to depict difficulties in functioning experienced by a person with health condition in interacting with his environment.”

“Therefore, a person with difficulty in functioning may experience activity limitations, which means difficulties in executing bodily functions such as mobility, seeing and hearing or cognition that limit their activities in the everyday environment and life. Difficulty in functioning may range from no difficulty or slight to severe difficulty or cannot do at all,” Garcia explained.

He furthered that for the Bicol region, DSWD is piloting a project for PWDs in Ligao City called Community Action and Resources for Accessible, Better and Leverage Environment (CARe-ABLE) for PWDs.

“The project aims to provide interventions to PWDs and to reduce barriers for greater access to resources both from the government and non-government sector,” Garcia said.

This year’s NDPR Week is celebrated on July 17 -23 with the there “Karapatan ng may kapansanan, Isakatuparan…Now na!” which focuses on the realization of the fundamental freedoms and rights of persons with disabilities as provided for in existing international mandates and national laws.

The weeklong celebration aims to stimulate public awareness on disability and encourage every citzen to take active responsibility in uplifting the economic and social condition of PWDs in the country. (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571469088161/dswd-29-346-poor-bicolanos-have-disability#sthash.r48n5i0n.dpuf

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Comelec Albay records 9,000 registrations for BKK elections

Julius Embile

LEGAZPI CITY, July 19 (PIA) – Since the start of the registration period last July 15 for the upcoming Barangay and ‘Katipunan ng Kabataan’ (KK) elections, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Albay province has recorded a total of 9,248 voters who have since enlisted.

According to Comelec Albay, as of July 18, it has recorded 6,624 new registrations for the KK voters, which are youths between the ages of 15 and 17. For the ‘regular voters’ or voters 18 years of age or above, the commission tallied a total of 2,074 registrations.

Comelec Albay also took into account 382 reactivations, for voters who had their registrations de-activated due to failure to vote for two consecutive elections. The total is also comprised of those who had registration updates, including 53 ‘change of name’ (for reasons like marriage), 34 entry corrections, and 81 reactivations with corrections.

Given that only three days have lapsed since the beginning of the registration period, COMELEC has stated that more registrations are expected in the days to come. The said period will be continuous from July 15 until July 30, and will be open to the public on Saturdays, Sundays and even on holidays.

To apply for registration, the applicant must register personally at the Office of the Election Officer (OEO) of their respective city or municipality.

The OEOs would be open during office hours, from 8:00AM until 5:00PM. However, Comelec strongly reminded  the public to register as early as possible to avoid the rush, as the given schedule is rigid with low-to-no possibility of any extension.

After the registration period, all registrations, reactivations and other applications would be subject for hearing by the Election Registration Board (ERB). Stated on the schedule released by the commission, August 4 would be the last day in posting the ‘Notice of Hearing’ with list of applicants or registration.

The last day of filing oppositions on the application would be on August 8, and the hearing for the approval or disapproval of applications would be on August 11. (MAL/JBE-PIA5)

Comelec Albay records 9,000 registrations for BKK elections

By Julius Embile

LEGAZPI CITY, July 19 (PIA) – Since the start of the registration period last July 15 for the upcoming Barangay and ‘Katipunan ng Kabataan’ (KK) elections, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Albay province has recorded a total of 9,248 voters who have since enlisted.

According to Comelec Albay, as of July 18, it has recorded 6,624 new registrations for the KK voters, which are youths between the ages of 15 and 17. For the ‘regular voters’ or voters 18 years of age or above, the commission tallied a total of 2,074 registrations.

Comelec Albay also took into account 382 reactivations, for voters who had their registrations de-activated due to failure to vote for two consecutive elections. The total is also comprised of those who had registration updates, including 53 ‘change of name’ (for reasons like marriage), 34 entry corrections, and 81 reactivations with corrections.

Given that only three days have lapsed since the beginning of the registration period, COMELEC has stated that more registrations are expected in the days to come. The said period will be continuous from July 15 until July 30, and will be open to the public on Saturdays, Sundays and even on holidays.

To apply for registration, the applicant must register personally at the Office of the Election Officer (OEO) of their respective city or municipality.

The OEOs would be open during office hours, from 8:00AM until 5:00PM. However, Comelec strongly reminded  the public to register as early as possible to avoid the rush, as the given schedule is rigid with low-to-no possibility of any extension.

After the registration period, all registrations, reactivations and other applications would be subject for hearing by the Election Registration Board (ERB). Stated on the schedule released by the commission, August 4 would be the last day in posting the ‘Notice of Hearing’ with list of applicants or registration.

The last day of filing oppositions on the application would be on August 8, and the hearing for the approval or disapproval of applications would be on August 11. (MAL/JBE-PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3301468908555/comelec-albay-records-9-000-registrations-for-bkk-elections#sthash.jZ6UAkqW.dpuf

Albay Guv vows full support for PWDs

LEGAZPI CITY, July 19(PIA) – Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara has expressed his full support on programs and initiatives supporting and promoting the welfare of persons with disabilities in the province.

In his message as one of the guest of honors for the formal opening program of this year’s observance of National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week, Bichara pledged his full support in realizing the   fundamental freedoms and rights of persons with disabilities as provided for in existing international mandates and national laws and providing even more for his fellow Albayanos suffering from any impairment.

“As the new Governor of Albay, I would like to assure you, especially the PWDs from this province, that we will adopt and follow this laudable advocacy of CHR, and perhaps, go a little farther by doing more, that is, by giving their sector more opportunities for progress and development,” Governor Bichara said.

The Commission on Human Rights Bicol led the opening ceremony of the weeklong celebration yesterday at the Albay Astrodome with the theme “Karapatan ng May Kapansanan, Isakatuparan… Now Na!”

Bichara furthered that “those who have less in life must have more in law, while CHR provides them with more protection in law, the provincial government of Albay envisions to promote their welfare and well-being so that just like the rest of us, they may also have a better quality of life.”

He also congratulated the CHR V and the Albay PWD sector for consistently holding the affair providing a channel for not only promoting awareness on the rights of the disabled, but also, in creating a higher level of self-esteem and self-worth among Albay PWDs resulting to them becoming more productive members of our society.

The third week of July is celebrated as the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week in accordance with Presidential Proclamation No. 361 dated last August 19, 2000 and Administrative Order 35 dated last May 3, 2002. (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571468894892/albay-guv-vows-full-support-for-pwds#sthash.kEWQe9zQ.dpuf

Monday, July 18, 2016

Albay KBP chair, radio reporters submit to voluntary drug testing

By Julius Embile

LEGAZPI CITY, July 18 (PIA) – To show support on the present administration’s campaign against illegal drugs, the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) Albay chapter chairman Jun Alegre has submitted himself and his radio station’s reporters and employees to drug-testing, and urged all media practitioners to follow suit.

“We (media personalities) are the considered the watchdogs of society and should act accordingly as good examples”, said Alegre this afternoon, before submitting himself for drug-testing under the supervision of the Philippine National Police.

Alegre, also the station manager of Z100.3 Zagitsit News FM, voluntarily took the drug testing along with 20 employees and reporters of the said radio station.

“W have to walk the talk. We (in Zagitsit News) support the efforts of the government in combatting illegal drugs, which is why we do this,” stated Alegre.

Two weeks ago, during his interview with the new Presidential Communications Office (PCO) secretary Martin Andanar, Alegre expressed his and his station’s open support in the Duterte administration’s drive to curb illegal drug abuse.

Alegre believes that they are the first in Albay, if not the entire country, to take this initiative in conveying a drug-free stand on the local media body.

“On our upcoming KBP meeting, we will be sure in bringing this up so that the rest of the media community here in Albay would be one in this advocacy,” added the KBP chairman.

 Alegre is confident that many more of his fellow media practitioners would take the same initiative against drug use. (MAL/JBE-PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3301468893983/albay-kbp-chair-radio-reporters-submits-to-voluntary-drug-testing#sthash.XG7TcoTV.dpuf

CHR leads intensified info drive on PWD rights for NDPR Week celebration in Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY, July 18 (PIA) – The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Bicol led this year’s celebration of the 38th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week in the region on July 17 – 23 with the theme “Karapatan ng May Kapansana Isakatuparan…Now na!”

CHR Bicol director Atty. Arlene G. Alangco said as this year’s host agency of the celebration, member agencies of the Regional Council on Disability Affairs (RCDA) are enjoined to take part in the activities aimed at stepping up the information drive on the rights and privileges of persons with disabilities (PWDs).

The weeklong celebration started July 18 with a motorcade followed by a holy mass and program showcasing success stories, talents and skills of PWDs in the region.

On July 19, a Forum on Air live over DWZR 828-khz will be led by the Philippine Information Agency and to be covered by radio and TV stations. At 2pm, Orientation of Rights and Privileges of PWDs for drivers, conductors and operators will be conducted by the Land Transportation and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) together with the Department of Justice and CHR to be followed at 3pm with posting of stickers on PWD rights in public utility vehicles (PUVs).

“Three teams composed of RCDA member will be simultaneously posting some 500 stickers on PUVs at van, bus and jeep terminals in the region,” Atty. Alangco said.

On July 20-21, the DOH will be leading the 1st Regional Health Summit while advocacy and other activities of RCDA members will be done on July 22 by LGUs in Ligao and Guinobatan and July 29 in Oas Albay.

Poster making contest, exhibit and forum/orientation will be held on July 25-27 at the La Piazza Convention Center.(MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)    

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571468826002/chr-leads-intensified-info-drive-on-pwd-rights-for-ndpr-week-celebration-in-bicol#sthash.2qyD6aAD.dpuf

Friday, July 15, 2016

Bicol seafarers urged to join NCRO-ISP Business Plan Competition

By Sally Atento-Altea

LEGAZPI CITY, July 15 (PIA) –Seafarers who can craft a business plan will have the chance to win cash prizes and be mentored by experts for their plan to materialize and succeed.

Such oppurtunity is part of the 2016 Business Plan Competition for seafarers launched yesterday in the Bicol region at the La Piazza Convention Center here by the The National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NCRO) and the Integrated Seafarers Philippines with applications accepted since June 22, 2016 until August 19, 2016.

“The 2016 NRCO-ISP Business Plan Competition is a great opportunity for qualified seafarers to convert their ideas into a business plan and win cash prizes which they can use as seed capital to start their own business,” NRCO Director Chona M. Mantilla said.

The competition is open to active seafarers preferably those who are planning to retire from sea life and interested to venture into entrepreneurship and inactive seafarers who have been in the Philippines for not more than five years and interested to venture into entrepreneurship.

“The business plan competition can be seen as a practical tool not only for building the capacity of qualified seafarers intending to setup their own business when they return home but also supporting the growth of jobs in their hometowns,” Mantilla said.

The participants must be Filipino and 25 years or older and may join the competition either in solo, pairs or groups with at least three members. Moreover qualified seafarers who wishes to join but is currently on duty must have at least one official representative to handle the tasks and activities required.

The competition is open only to start-up business plan. Agribusiness is strongly encouraged as a business plan idea.

The grand prize winner will have P500,000 to be given in three tranches and will have access to local government’s assistance in business registrations and other services. Special awards will also be given along with grants and access to preferential business loan funding from NRCO and its partners.

The entries will be evaluated based on the content of the plan including social business idea and purpose, impact on the community and financial viability.

Participants must complete the entry form downloadable at the NRCO website www.nrco.dole.gov.ph. (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571468564455/bicol-seafarers-urged-to-join-ncro-isp-business-plan-competition#sthash.2esIt2z2.dpuf

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

LCCAD, CCC, DepEd to host trainings for teachers of Grades 5, 6, 11 on K to 12 learning materials for CCA, DRVR

LEGAZPI CITY, July 13 (PIA) -- The Local Climate Change Adaptation for Development (LCCAD), in collaboration with the Office of the President - Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the Department of Education (DepEd), will be hosting a new set of trainings for selected “cream of the crop” public school teachers for the grades 5, 6 and 11 of the K to 12 learning materials for climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk and vulnerability reduction (DRVR).

 LCCAD executive director Nong Rangasa and the DepEd divisions of Albay, Ligao City and Legazpi City agreed that the teachers for the grades 5, 6 and 11 workshop will be composed mostly of the pre-selected teachers from the three day technical write shop last February at the Casabanca Hotel in Legazpi City.

The trainings will be held on July 27-31, 2016 at Hotel Villa Angelina here.

The project, in line with the vision of Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte on mainstreaming climate change adaptation and mitigation into the educational curriculum in the country, is in connection with the LCCAD project named “K to 12 Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation, Disaster Risk and Vulnerability Reduction: Learning Materials for Philippine Schools”.

CCC Sec. Manny de Guzman, who was joined by the National Panel of Technical Experts (NPTE) in the scientific fields of environment and climate during the February write shop, expressed his support for the K to 12 project led by LCCAD and is very eager for its roll out.

The outputs from the earlier workshops on grades 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9 and 10 are currently being processed and would be published and rolled out soon.

“The teachers who wrote and critiqued the learning materials will be the ones to do the initial roll-out or pilot testing to their respective schools in Albay Rangasa said.

The K to 12 project is in response and action to the mandates of RA 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 and RA 9729 Climate Change Act of 2009 which aims to integrate CCA and DRVR in the primary and secondary curriculum.

 It is also in line with the Paris Agreement – Conference of Parties of the UNCC, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2030 and Agenda 2030 – Sustainable Development Goals, which is dubbed by Director Rangasa as the “Triangle of Survival”.

The K to 12 project, which is the first of its kind in Asia, is also in partnership with the city governments of Legazpi and Ligao, the offices of Albay 3rd district representative Fernando V. Gonzalez, Legazpi City Mayor Noel E. Rosal and Ligao City Mayor Patricia Gonzalez-Alsua, the House of Representatives Special Committee on Climate Change, Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Region V, Ako Bicol party list, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Federalismo Alyansa ng Bicol (FAB). (MAL/GAN-LCCAD/PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211468396810/lccad-ccc-deped-to-host-trainings-for-teachers-of-grades-5-6-11-on-k-to-12-learning-materials-for-cca-drvr#sthash.C8EKRaaZ.dpuf

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Albay PNP receives surge of surrendering drug personalities

LEGAZPI CITY, July 12 (PIA) – Proving the effectiveness of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) recent efforts in battling drug abuse, the number of drug users and traders who surrendered to the province of Albay’s police surged to a total of 2,943 as of last night.

According to Police Supt. Rommel dela Rama, deputy director for Administration of PNP Albay, there has been an astoundingly rapid increase of surrendering drug personalities across the many police headquarters and stations of the province since the beginning of July.

Initially, during the first three days of July, the PNP records around three to four surrenders per day. The numbers, however, increased exponentially during the succeeding days; with 81 counts on July 4, 116 on July 5, 283 on July 6, 302 on July 7, and 451 on July 8.

On the days that trailed, the numbers continued to grow, peaking at 626 last July 9. More surrendered on the following days, as PNP records 465 surrenders last July 10 and 608 last July 11.

The final count, as of the night of July 11, is 2,943 surrenders, and this includes 31 drug personalities below 18 years old. According to Albay PNP, constituting the under-age personalities who surrendered are three 14 year-olds, ten 15 year-olds, six 16 year-olds, twelve 17 year-olds.

Among those who voluntarily surrendered are 46 government employees, including 4 barangay captains, 11 barangay kagawads, 20 barangay tanods, and 11 local government employees. Dela Rama states that this shows the peoples full confidence and support with the PNP’s efforts, but they are still in discussion with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on how to best deal with those who surrendered with government employments.

Dela Rama stated that the number are still subject to changes as more drug personalities in Albay are currently submitting themselves to the authorities. According to Bicol PNP’s spokesperson PSI Maria Luisa Calubaquib, the increase in the number of surrendering illegal drug personalities is credited to the effectiveness of ‘Oplan Tokhang’, from the Visayan phrase which means ‘knock and plead’.

Oplan Tokhang, derived from the PNP’s anti-drug and criminality campaign called ‘Operation Double Barrel’, prompts authorities to pay a visit to residences of those under the illegal drugs watch list and appeal for voluntarily surrender.

“We are giving them willingly surrender and lead better lives”, said PSI Calubaquib. To ensure that the surrendering personalities do not involve themselves again to illegal drugs, the local government will initiate continuous monitoring through the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC).

“The operations have proven well, and this will continue as long as necessary to ensure that the public remains safe,” added Police S/Insp. Calubaquib. (MAL/JBE-PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3301468304853/albay-pnp-receives-surge-of-surrendering-drug-personalities#sthash.5EHsuZ8k.dpuf

President Rody’s marching order to DA: A shift of paradigm

By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

PILI, CAMARINES SUR, July 12 (PIA) -  Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol faced Bicol Region’s governors, district representatives, selected party list reps, and various stakeholders this morning carrying with him two important directives from President Rodrigo Duterte: ensure available and affordable food and generate jobs and foreign earnings for the Filipino people.

“I am sent here for a mission coming from no less than our President and that is to create programs to ensure food sufficiency. The president believes that it is his moral obligation to guarantee that no one goes hungry. I am not here to deliver a speech. I am here to give you hope,” Piñol stated.

Piñol is the first cabinet secretary to set foot in Camarines Sur.

He said that he came with a marching order to let the people know that our president is aware of the threat to the agriculture sector and is prepared for the challenges.

In response, the new Da Secretary stated that there would be a complete paradigm shift to effectively implement agriculture programs that would respond to a call for change.

One of these programs is the Rice Productivity Enhancement or RIPE.  This would entail is a thorough review of the country’s water management and irrigation policies, nationwide soil analysis, an extensive program to improve rice farming technology, introduction of high-yielding rice varieties, effective soil rehabilitation and fertilizer programs.

Piñol also added that farm equipment is very important to increase the farmer’s productivity. He then vowed to aggressively push for the provision of modern and post-harvest facilities to farmer organizations to improve their production output and minimize losses.

“Aside from the provision of farm machineries, we will be introducing solar-powered irrigation facilities that will provide water for the rice fields, vegetable gardens and for drinking purposes. This will also provide electric power to the community,” the secretary added.

Three (3) prototypes of this new agricultural irrigation concept will soon find its way in the farmlands of three pilot areas in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Under Duterte’s administration, Piñol said that they DA will push the Family-based Agro-forestry program – an idea of stakeholdership where the stewards are encouraged to take good care the tree species within their areas and care for them as if it is their own.

He emphasized Duterte’s words that water should be free, thereby pushes for a free irrigation service for the farmers.  He called on the farm workers to focus more on small and community-based irrigation projects over the highly destructive and long-gestating mega-irrigation projects. (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861468322866/president-rody-s-marching-order-to-da-a-shift-of-paradigm#sthash.3ZYN8XQu.dpuf

POPCOM “investing in teenage girls” for World Population Day celebration in Bicol

By Sally Atento-Altea

LEGAZPI CITY, July 12 (PIA) – This year’s activities and programs of the Commission on Population (POPCOM) for the month-long celebration of World Population Day will focus on pursuing the welfare of teenage girls.

POPCOM Bicol director Magdalena G. Abellera said this year’s theme “Investing in Teenage Girls” for the WPD celebration highlights the importance of prioritizing programs that promote young girls’ education, health, and employment for national development.

“Every teenage girl has the right to a safe and successful transition into adulthood and the right to embrace the opportunities that the future holds for them,” Abellera said.

Abellera cited the study conducted by the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) that teenage girls around the world face greater challenges than their male counterparts while almost 20 million teenage girls in developing countries suffer from sexual abuse and the complications of pregnancy and childbirth.

“In developing countries, almost 20 million girls between ages 15 to 19 give birth each day, and ten percent of girls who had sex before age 15 said it was coerced.  Suicide and complications of pregnancy and childbirth are the leading causes of death among girls between the ages of 15 and 19,”she added.

The kickoff activity for the WDP celebration in the Bicol region started yesterday with a motorcade at 6:30AM around Legazpi City and Daraga followed by a short at the Activity Center of Embarcadero de Legazpi. The activity was attended by partner agencies, youth groups, population program officers, and the media.

Abellera said a summit on teenage pregnancy will also be conducted on July 18 together with Legazpi City Health Office (LCHO) to be participated in by some 100 teen mothers from the different barangays of the city.  Resource persons from the Department of Health and LCHO will discuss teen pregnancy, access to health services and the importance of facility-based delivery.

The National Nutrition Council, TESDA, Legazpi City Population and Nutrition Office, Department of Education Education-ALS, and the Philippine National Police,will be setting up their booths for young mothers to receive information on child rearing, nutrition, livelihood skills, alternative learning, and the laws on violence against women.

Youth camp and film making workshop has been earlier conducted on July 6-7 at La Edley Resort with 72 Grades 9, 10, and 11 students and their coaches from the thirteen (13) divisions in the province.

 Abellera further urged Local Government Units, Academe, Media, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), National Government Agencies (NGAs), and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) in the region to support the celebration by hanging streamers, conducting activities relative to the theme, or highlighting the message of investing in adolescent girls in their agency’s activities. (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571468294910/popcom-investing-in-teenage-girls-for-world-population-day-celebration-in-bicol#sthash.NRhGmYeE.dpuf

Monday, July 11, 2016

PP16’s ENCAP benefits grade schools of Albay

By Julius Embile

LEGAZPI CITY, July 11 (PIA) – Weeks of hard work finally paid off for the US Navy’s Construction Battalion (USCB) after seeing the thankful faces of the pupils of Kinawitan Elementary School. Last July 8, worn out but satisfied, the “SeaBees” (USCB) were among those who attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the classrooms they constructed in the said school.

“This is what we’re here for, we do it for the kids,” said USN Capt. Brian Vickers, the project manager for the Engineering and Civic Assistance Program (ENCAP), one of the main humanitarian programs constituting the 2016 Pacific Partnership (PP16) missions.

The ENCAP aims to enhance friendship, capacity and cooperation among allied nations by initiating construction projects that will benefit underprivileged communities.

Though the main continent body arrived in the Philippines last June 27, members of the “SeaBees” (USCB) have already been in the country as early as the middle of May to begin the constructions of school facilities. Three schools of Albay has been chosen to be beneficiaries of the ENCAP, namely Kinawitan Elementary School and Mabini Elementary School of Daraga, and Comun Elementary School of Camalig.

During the ribbon-cutting and turn-over rites of the new school building in Kinawitan Elementary, Capt. Vickers and his men were all smiles with what they have accomplished. Going above and beyond their initial plan, they also conducted renovations and repair on other buildings of the school.

“The original plan was just to build the new classrooms. But, when we saw the conditions of the other building, we had to do something,” said Vickers, referring a classroom with a rotten off roof which they replaced with a new steel roof.

Cutting the ribbon for the said ceremony is Rear Admiral Bette Bolivar, commander of the US Navy’s Joint Region Marianas and the only female of Bicolano-descent to be of the said rank in the US Navy. On her speech, Bolivar said that she could only hope the classrooms lasts for a long time as it serves as a testament that much could be achieved through cooperation and love for the common good. (MAL/JBE-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3301468227605/pp16-s-encap-benefits-grade-schools-of-albay#sthash.ksLiPmwX.dpuf

Escalating war on drugs drives 500 ‘users, pushers’ to surrender in Masbate

MASBATE CITY, July 11 (PIA)—Close to 510 confessed drug users and pushers in Masbate province have surrendered themselves to police since the launch of the antinarcotics drive of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, according to authorities.

Superintendent Eymard Gomez, head of police operations for Masbate, said 61 pushers and 441 drug dependents signed a pledge to stop trading and using illicit drugs, since June 30, when Duterte took over the presidency.

More than half of them were from the vastly populated Aroroy and San Pascual towns and Masbate City, the burgeoning capital of Masbate, an island-province 362 nautical miles from Manila.

Their mass surrender began after Duterte encouraged supporters to kill suspected drug peddlers and addicts if they resist arrest and fight back.

Those who were reached by reporters for comment admitted being scared of losing their lives under Duterte’s escalating war on drug trafficking.

According to local authorities, the surrender of residents who admitted they have been hooked to shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride, the drug of choice among local users) or have been engaged in trading was triggered by a mass hysteria caused by Duterte administration’s ultimatum.

“The (hysteria has sent a) rippling effect (to drug suspects),” said Senior Supt. Alexander J. Sampaga, police provincial director for Masbate.

Due to absence of arrest warrants, all of the 502 drug repentants were released after police profiled them, Sampaga said.

He said they will be monitored by police and village officials to make sure that they refrain from backsliding into their old habits.

Sampaga expressed optimism that more users and pushers would surrender in the next few weeks.

With pushers and users changing their ways, Sampaga also expressed belief that the volume of drug-associated crimes will likewise drop in Masbate.

Sampaga appealed to local government units to provide appropriate services and interventions to the plethora of drug pushers and users who have submitted themselves to treatment and rehabilitation. (EAD/PIA5 Masbate)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/821468227072/escalating-war-on-drugs-drives-500-users-pushers-to-surrender-in-masbate#sthash.Xo3GOB26.dpuf

PCW to empower six women’s organizations in Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY, July 11 (PIA) – The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) will be converging with other government agencies and partners to empower six women’s organizations in the Bicol region.

The six Rural Improvement Clubs (RIC) are among the women’s organizations to be assisted by the PCW through its Gender Responsive Economic Action for the Transformation of Women (GREAT Women) Project Part 2.

“This women project intends to contribute to job generation and inclusive growth by assisting and empowering women,”   PCW project manager Luzviminda Villanueva said.

Villanueva added that Bicol is among the four regions of the country which will engage the rural based women’s organization, in particular the RIC, in their medium enterprises.  The other regions are 2, 6 and 12.

She furthered that the project will adopt the convergence approach where various government agencies and partners will be  engaged to assist to women’s organizations through trainings or capacity building  and link them to  markets so they can  develop better products , learn about food safety and good practices  and establish  formal market linkages and agreements.

“Under the GREAT Women project, we are trying to link up the RICs to private business sector partners where the former can be a supplier.  Some of these   business establishments are Biggs’ Inc.,  a Bicol well known food chain, the ECHOStore , Tesoro’s, the National  Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCO), and  the Legend Villas, a well- known  hotel chain,” she said.

The six rural women’s organizations in Bicol chosen for this project are  Calatagan Tibang Rural Improvement Club (RIC)  and  Happy Farmers  Food Products  Inc (HFFPI) in  Catanduanes province, the  Nasipit Rural Improvement Club of Irosin, Sorsogon; Napawon RIC in Goa and Baao Burda Initiatives Inc. in Camarines Sur and  LABO Progressive Multipurpose  Coop (LPMC)  in Camarines  Norte.

The respective presidents of said RICs, who are outstanding and “great” women by their own rights, participated  and shared  their  views during  the  planning workshop  by the PCW  in Naga City.  They are Luzviminda  T. Oropesa of Catanduanes, Adel Magsino of Goa, Bernadette de los Santos of Baao  and Ana Barbuena , Vice president  of  Nasipit RIC who represented its  president Carena V. Arellano.

The six women’s organizations are currently engaged in micro enterprises.

The Calatagan Tibang RIC is into meat processing, pili peanut butter and women accessories using pili shells while the HFFPI is into organic farming , production of honey bee , banana vinegar and herbal capsule supplements.

Napawon RIC is  involved in value adding, production of fermented cacao , mushrooms, fruits and vegetables.  Baao Burda , on the other hand, is into hand embroidered bags, shoes and shawls while Nasipit RIC is engaged  in organic vermiculture, lowland vegetable production, handicrafts, accessories, and processing of cacao,  peanut butter, coco jam and pili confectioneries.  The LMPCI is into piña cloth weaving.

As an output of the workshop conducted, the participants came up with a work plan of activities for the year.

These include profiling of RICs in Region 5, product assessment s by business service developers, market matching forum in Metro Manila including MOA signing, business plan preparation and food safety learning session.

Also included are seminar on good manufacturing practices, orientation on credit windows/financial literacy, training on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Animal Husbandry Practices (GAHP); training on business leadership for women leaders and enablers and trainer’s training on ICT/e commerce. (MAL/SAA/DA5-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571468222766/pcw-to-empower-six-women-s-organizations-in-bicol#sthash.zFiXvkiw.dpuf

LCCAD to team up with DA, CCC on nationwide community food garden for every barangay

LEGAZPI CITY, July 11 (PIA) -- Local Climate Change Adaptation for Development (LCCAD) executive director Nong C. Rangasa recently presented the project concept on Community Food Gardens for Every Barangay (CFGEB): A Food Security Adaptation Strategy for the Philippines to Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol last July 5, 2016 at the Mabini Hall in Malacañang Palace in line with Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte’s call to address the impacts of climate change and disasters on food, water, energy, ecological and human security.

Rangasa said the project, primarily on food security and climate change adaptation (CCA), aims to provide food access to the poorest and most vulnerable barangays in the country.

“The adoption of the CFGEB could provide chemical-free, clean, nutritious, organic food, and a healthy, sustainable environment. We could generate material for food-based enterprises that could be sources of livelihood and income for communities and multiple stakeholders”, Rangasa stated in his presentation.

He also added that during the times of climate related disasters, food scarcity is prevalent and adds up to the “chronic hunger” felt by the nation’s poor population.

The community food gardens project was conceptualized during the summary of the outputs of the local government units which trained for the Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP) formulation.

Food security was highlighted as one of the key points of the outputs. It was also noted that the impacts of climate change is a “direct hit” to the local government, communities and areas.

The project outputs would include hunger-free communities through alleviation of poverty, communities free from malnutrition; healthy and productive people and harmonization of all community greening efforts to provide the community with highly nutritious food for the table which is a call to the president’s agenda: “Pagkain sa bawat mesa, laban sa kahirapan para walang matulog na gutom.”

For the project implementation, Rangasa told that he will tap the services of various government partners, local government units (LGUs), non-government organizations (NGOs), academic institutions and individuals who are willing to achieve the project’s goals. He also added that the CFGs will provide the poorest and most vulnerable barangays with organic goods and a source of livelihood.

Also present during the meeting were Climate Change Commission (CCC) Sec. Emmanuel de Guzman, Commissioners Frances Veronica Victorio and Noel Gaerlan and DA USec. Segfredo Serrano DA ASec. Bong Año.

De Guzman assured the commission’s support on the climate change projects on food security by DA. He also praised Piñol for the partnership of the two agencies.

During the meeting, Sec. Piñol presented other projects which will help the agriculture sector be climate change-resilient. Some of which are the Family-Based Agro-Forestry Program and the installation of solar-powered irrigation facilities in remote villages.

Rangasa, together with other stakeholders and project partners, had a closed door meeting last July 4 at the DA Head Office in Quezon City. During the assembly, the LCCAD executive director talked about the importance and benefits of CFGs in the barangays in the country. Project Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) Executive Director Mahar Lagmay and other high ranking DA officials were also in attendance during the meeting.  (MAL/GAN-LCCAD/PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211468218350/lccad-to-team-up-with-da-ccc-on-nationwide-community-food-garden-for-every-barangay#sthash.fZgSypKb.dpuf

Pacific Partnership 2016 typifies renewed partnership, cooperation among stakeholder-nations

LEGAZPI CITY, July 11 (PIA)  – Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara was all but thankful to the organizers and partners from both the Filipino and United States-led contingents in staging the Pacific Partnership 2016 providing humanitarian care services to the provincial residents in the past two weeks.

Bichara furthered that the mission has proven anew and strengthened the bond and friendship of the two countries, among other partners, that has stood the test of time and trials while providing the essential assistance to help uplift the lives of the locales especially in the countryside.

The governor keynoted the closing ceremony Pacific Partnership 2016  held at the Legazpi Convention Center here Sunday.

The 12-day humanitarian care mission commenced last June 27 and concluded on July 10.

Commanders of Armed Forces of tyhe Philippines (AFP) led by MGen. Romeo Gan and of the US led multinational force, RDML Babette Bolivar of the US Navy, who were also both present in the ceremony, share similar sentiments that the Pacific Partnership emphasized on the cooperation and mutual support of the two countries and other partners in dire circumstances such as natural calamities that often strikes the region.

The two military officers also accentuated the integration of international aid in supporting and performing local response in a given locality.

The collaboration and partnership among the uniformed personnel, local government units, other government line agencies, and volunteer groups, among others, was lauded and warmly received by the Albayanos as various services were offered.

The assistance came in the form of medical and dental civic action programs (Med/DenCAP), cooperative health engagements (CHE), engineering civic action programs (EnCAP), subject matter expert exchanges (SMEE), community relations (ComRel) activities and guided tours on board USNS Mercy hospital ship)

At least 7,859 locales benefited from the numerous services under the different programs of the Pacific Partnership  2016 that greatly helped in the capacity building among various stakeholders in the province.

In the course of the events, US contingent also facilitated the turn-over of Disaster Coordinating Center to the AFP, under the stewardship of the Philippine Air Force (PAF), located at the Tactical Operations Group (TOG) Bicol headquarters here.

The Pacific Partnership is a US led multinational contingent with a 14-country members that was organized after the December 2004 tsunami that affected The Pacific Partnership came to be in response to one of the world’s most catastrophic natural disasters, the December 2004 tsunami that devastated parts of Southeast Asia.

Over the years, mission has evolved primarily as direct care mission to an operation focused on enhancing partnerships through host nation subject matter expert and civil-military exchanges.

The multinational force is composed of 14 member countries that sends representatives for missions within the Indio-Asia-Pacific region.

This year, Pacific Partnership is embarked on the USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) and shall be starting their four-day voyage to Vietnam tomorrow for their next engagement.  (MAL/Maj.ANB-PIO JTFPP16/PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211468202647/pacific-partnership-2016-typifies-renewed-partnership-cooperation-among-stakeholder-nations#sthash.DDhTALez.dpuf

Friday, July 8, 2016

Pacific Partnership 2016 hosts Joint Disaster Management Symposium with Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital

LEGAZPI CITY, July 8 (PIA) -- Stakeholders of the Pacific Partnership 2016 held a Joint Disaster Symposium at Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH), June 30 providing personnel attached to hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, participating non-government organizations, and local medical personnel the chance to have an open dialogue about disaster management relief, in a medical context.

“I think the symposium is a great program to get all of our medical providers together in one room. Everybody can see how we do things similarly and yet how we do things differently, to get to the same result,” said Lt. Michael Bowe-Rahming, environmental health officer aboard Mercy.

Participants spent the day learning about BRTTH’s emergency protocols implemented during disaster, and regular emergency response, nutrition care in a disaster situation and clean water.

“I think this is a great [opportunity] for us. We will meet and exchange new ideas about how we will prepare when disaster comes,” said Capt. Danty E. Avergonzado, Armed Forces Philippines Nurse Corps. “At the same time we can also engage updates on other [nations’ disaster responses] and how they prepared. It will be a great [opportunity] for us; how we lend our hands to each other in terms of disaster preparation.”

Because the Philippines is located in a region prone to volcanic activity, many speakers focused on topics relevant to the area including respiratory trauma cases after volcanic eruption, burn management and forensic dental.

Lt. Cmdr. Franklin Margaron, pediatric surgeon assigned to Mercy, covered the prevention of pediatric trauma.

“Pediatric trauma is the number one cause of morbidity and mortality, not just in the United States but worldwide for children,” said Margaron. “More children are killed every year by traumatic injury than any other disease process.”

Army veterinarian, Capt. Erin Hennessey, focused her presentation on the working dogs often utilized in the recovery efforts following a disaster. She provided some basic tips for first responders who may be called upon to provide first aid care to an animal.

“There are not necessarily veterinary assets in the front line teams, so it’s human first responders who end up taking care of these [working] dogs. There is a general effort going on to increase awareness of what [the dogs] do, what hazards they might face and conditions they might develop,” said Hennessey.

She added that a dog’s health on scene and after the recovery efforts could also be an indicator of potential hazards to human health and safety.

After each discussion questions were answered and participants broke into small groups to further explore areas of interest.

“One of the biggest things we should take away from this symposium is the collaborative effort that we have built,” said Lt. Richard Tan, site supervisor for the disaster symposium. “We have a joint effort of engaging and tackling issues that are set forth in any emergency disaster and in managing that collaborative effort.”

The Armed Forces of the Philippines and Pacific Partnership 2016 cohosted a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief workshop July 5-9, at the Disaster Coordination Center, allowing for further in-depth discussion about collaborative disaster response. (MAL/1CEMeriam-P2016 Public Affairs/PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211467941351/pacific-partnership-2016-hosts-joint-disaster-management-symposium-with-bicol-regional-training-and-teaching-hospital#sthash.FAKHdsoo.dpuf

Thursday, July 7, 2016

US Navy Fil-Am female commander keynotes Pacific Partnership GAD Seminar in Albay

By Sally Atento-Altea

LEGAZPI CITY, July 7 (PIA) – US Navy Rear Admiral Babette “Bette” Bolivar, a Filipina-American commander of the Joint Region Marianas, with his father hailing from Nabua, Camarines Sur is happy and proud to be back in her hometown as part of the Pacific Partnership 2016.

Bolivar keynoted this morning the Gender and Development (GAD) Seminar held today at the conference room of the Bicol Regional Teaching and Training Hospital here which formed part of the activities in the province of Albay for the Pacific Partnership 2016 in terms of development efforts for women in the Philippines and other partner nations.

Bolivar is born in Hawaii and was raised in a traditional Filipino family by his parents Ted Sereno Bolivar from Bicol and Virginia Dolor Bolivar from Pangasinan with his two younger brothers also serving in the US Navy.

"I came from a military family. My father came from here and he was given the chance to serve in the US Navy and I wouldn’t be here without them. The military has given us the opportunity not only to serve our country but also to support our family,” Bolivar said.

She took helm of the US Naval Command, becoming the first female commander of the Navy Region Northwest and the first woman Commander of Joint Region Marianas. As the US Defense Representative for the Marianas Region, she is the highest ranking official in the region, and is also responsible for Guam.  The facility in Guam is the closest US naval base to the Philippines.

Bolivar recounted the challenges she encountered in reaching her current position including gender related concerns which she was able to survive through hard work and support of her family and the people she worked with.

“Where I am now, where my male counterparts are now, I was there because of hard work. It doesn’t have to men or women. Here in the military we’re recognized for what we do, how we work and that’s how we got promoted. It’s not that I’m smarter or better, I’m just blessed to be surrounded with supportive teams and family to get me to where I am now,” she said.

Bolivar also urged her fellow women to be strong and steadfast in reaching their dreams and goals in life citing the importance of goal setting and a supportive family.

“Follow their goals. No goal is unachievable. If there’s something they want in life, keep going on your way up there. Don’t give up. Family support is important, being able to set a goal, stick to it and believe in yourself,” Bolivar said.

Also with Bolivar during the GAD Seminar are Royal New Zealand Navy (RZN) Commander Karen Ward and Royal Australian Air Force Squadron Leader Amanda Norris, who shared the experiences of their country In UN peacekeeping missions as female peacekeepers who comprises at least 3% of the total number of UN peacekeepers of which 97% are males.

They cited the comforting presence of female peacekeepers in countries where women are considered inferior to men with cultures not allowing women or making women uncomfortable in talking with men, including male peacekeepers allowing deeper insights on their vulnerable conditions.

Part of their advocacy is to include more women in peacekeeping missions to empower local women and bring sense of security as they, together with children,  become vulnerable victims of violence, sexual abuse and trafficking specially in times of war and disaster.

Likewise discussed are policies and practices to enforce the Magna Carta of Women in the Philippines by Atty. Arlene Alangco of the Commission of Human Rights, the initiatives of Albay in the implementation of GAD programs by Albay GAD focal person Cynthia Samalea and USAID programs on gender equality and women empowerment in the country by USAID GAD specialist in the Philippines Bernadette Cariaga.(MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)


- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571467881528/us-navy-fil-am-female-commander-keynotes-pacific-partnership-gad-seminar-in-albay#sthash.hHlXe0s2.dpuf

Monday, July 4, 2016

Pacific Partnership 2016 brings health services to Ligao, Albay

LEGAZPI CITY, July 4 (PIA) -- The team of medical professionals from the USNS Mercy Hospital ship teamed up with local health officials and organizations to provide health education and services to Ligao City and its neighboring towns as part of the two-week humanitarian mission in Albay under the Pacific Partnership 2016.

Ligao City health officials led the cooperative health engagement (CHE) at the open courtyard of Ligao West Central Elementary School June 28-29 with an array of colorful booths promoting education on topics such as maternal and child health, infectious disease control, rabies awareness, HIV education, and nutrition.

"We're doing education side by side with the Philippine dietician. So, I'm learning from her, how they teach nutrition education here and I'm teaching her what we do back in America," said Lt. j.g. Shelby Naughton, registered dietician assigned to hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19).

Kids presentation, such as puppet show, was used for the anti-smoking education campaign to interact with young students.

"I think the children are enjoying this and I hope that they're learning and getting something from the presentation. It's good, it's interactive; after the presentation there is a question and answer session for the kids using the puppets," said Jairus C. Perez, welfare project manager for Latter-Day Saint Charities.

This charity also donated hygiene kits and offered translators for those seeking medical screenings.

"The services we are providing are optometry, dental and family medicine. So within family medicine, we're doing adult medicine as well as pediatrics," said Lt. Leland Comer.

The engagement also included veterinary and physical therapy services.

"We'll be here to help out the entire family for anything they need; whether it be their children, their animals, themselves, or their grandparents, we can help them out," said Comer.

Student nurses from the Bicol University College of Nursing assisted potential patients where they met with specialized doctors and nurses after completing the needed paperwork.

Comer discussed how partner nations work together to accomplish a common goal.

"We have the Philippines, and we have our partner nations, which today I've physically seen not only the U.S., but Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia are out working today. We've got all of us working together to provide health care for the population of Ligao City."

 After spending the day working closely with members of the Philippines Medical Corps, Lt. Emily Croom, a Navy doctor assigned to Mercy, said she thought the methods she used when providing medical care are very similar to the Filipinos she worked with in Ligao City.

"I think it's interesting to see the different cultures. And to see that it's the same complaints I see in my clinic back in the United States, and we manage them similarly. We also knew what services the Philippine doctors could offer and we could refer them to those locations if they needed further care," Croom said.

Capt. Jenna Marie S. Bonayao, Philippine Nurse Corps, said she had previously participated in events similar to the CHE, however this was her first time working with foreign military.

"I have done this several times, but for people who have come from the different countries this is my first time. It's very fun to be working with them," said Bonayao.

After the Philippines, Pacific Partnership 2016 will proceed to Vietnam where partner nations will continue to focus on enhancing regional responsiveness in crisis.

For more information on Pacific Partnership 2016 in Albay, follow Albay-Pacific Partnership 2016 or www.facebook.com/pacificpartnership on Facebook or @PacificPartnership on Twitter.(SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571467601155/pacific-partnership-2016-brings-health-services-to-ligao-albay#sthash.Ybbxis1I.dpuf

Friday, July 1, 2016

DILG beefs up “Operation Listo” vs La Niña

LEGAZPI CITY, July 1 (PIA) – In preparation for the La Niña, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) launches ‘Operation Listo’, a call-for-action plan to all local government units (LGU) to carry out disaster preparedness measures.

Operation Listo is an advocacy program of DILG which aims to strengthen disaster preparedness using the whole-of-government approach. Its first component called ‘Listong Pamahalaang Lokal’ was launched in 2014, institutionalizing local protocols for disaster readiness, response and monitoring.

The directive initiating Operation Listo was issued by DILG Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento last June 15, urging all city and municipality mayors, provincial governors and DILG regional directors to take precautionary measures against La Niña in their respective jurisdictions.

This directive released by DILG is in response to the La Niña warning release by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), which predicts increased storm visits during the second half of 2016.

As warned by PAGASA, the La Niña readiness efforts would focus more on areas that are most vulnerable to storms like the Bicol region, provinces of Isabela, Quezon, Samar, Leyte, Surigao, and Agusan.

For the preliminary step, Sarmiento reminds LGUs to implement early preparedness actions in the Operation Listo manual for hydro-meteorological hazards. These are the ‘Early and Critical Preparations Checklists’ for Mayors and the checklist for Municipal Local Government Operations Officers, Chiefs of Police, and Fire Marshalls.

These manuals lay down disaster preparedness minimum standards before, during and after a disaster. “As the manuals say, these are done during ‘peace time’ or when no immediate threat of disaster. Operation Listo reminds everyone that we must be pre-emptive instead of reactive,” said Sarmiento.

Before PAGASA raises a disaster alert, there are four General Actions would have been initiated by the LGU; namely the creation of Disaster Risk Reduction Management structures and systems to be mobilized, institutionalized policies and plans, have trained and competent units on the ready, and have contingency and rescue hardware on stand-by.

As of last month, President Benigno Aquino III led the launching of the two new components of Operation Listo: the ‘Listong Pamayanan’ and ‘Listong Pamilyang Pilipino’.

The Listong Pamayanan component focuses on capacity development interventions, cascaded from the LGU to their respective community. The Listong Pamilyang Pilipino component, on the other hand, focuses on the family and household level preparedness.

On her radio interview with PIA-RO5, DILG-5’s RDRRM regional action officer Jo Arndt said that Operation Listo is just one of many initiatives of DILG in celebration of the National Disaster Month. Other activities being conducted by DILG also included ‘Operation Yakal’ and the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill for earthquake preparedness. (MAL/JBE-PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211467683368/dilg-beefs-up-operation-listo-vs-la-ni-a#sthash.TnsAPPsK.dpuf

Drugs, crimes remain priorities for reelected mayor

MASBATE CITY, July 1 (PIA)—The relentless drive against drug running and criminality was at the top of reelected Mayor Rowena Tuason’s priorities as she officially began her second term yesterday.

Speaking after she took her oath of office in front of City Hall workers and Municipal Trial Court in Cities Judge Rolando Sandigan, Tuason outlined other issues she would focus on, namely the establishment of a center that will house national agencies, road infrastructure, livelihood and agriculture, education, tourism and health and sanitation.

Tuason said the city government will increase the budget for the police operations against the illegal drug trade.

The enormity of the drug problem in Masbate was spotlighted with the discovery of secret methamphetamine laboratories last year.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force operatives swooped down on two drug laboratories in Masbate City on Feb. 14, 2015 and arrested three suspects in the raid on the drug facilities located at the compounds believed to be owned by former municipal mayors.

The alleged chemists of the drug facilities—two Chinese nationals—were caught in a same-day entrapment operation in Manila.

Last January, two employees at the Moises R. Espinosa Airport were found positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu” in random drug testing conducted by Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines that month.

Only last June 20, a 33-year-old woman was arrested with her 18-year-old customer in an entrapment operation at Masbate Boulevard.

Tuason also disclosed that the city government has donated a lot to the Philippine National Police to be used for the construction of a new building of the city police force.

The police force is holding office at an old building inside the City Hall compound.

Putting the lawmen in a new and more spacious building will make the police force better organized and efficient in service delivery, Tuason said. (EAD/PIA5 Masbate)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/821467340111/drugs-crimes-remain-priorities-for-reelected-mayor#sthash.X5tvgkND.dpuf

DOH: Nutrition Month celebration stresses on maternal and infant nutrition

By Julius Embile

LEGAZPI CITY, July 1 (PIA) – To address the problem of maternal or infant malnutrition, the Department of Health’s National Nutrition Council (DOH-NCC) spearheads this year’s celebration of the “National Nutrition Month” this July by focusing on maternal and neonatal health.

With the theme “First 1000 Days ni Baby, Pangalagaan at Pahalagahan”, the said celebration aims to develop necessary health awareness of mothers, pregnant women, and newborns. This stresses the fundamentality of health and formative importance of a child from the first day of conception until their second birthday.

According to DOH-NCC, the first 1000 days of a child’s life is the “golden opportunity” for intervention in order to achieve the maximum potential for growth and development. The department aims to achieve this by advocating for increased investments in scaling-up the nutrition and relative intervention for the said formative period of infants.

The World Health Organization (WHO) identifies babies with a weight at birth of 2.5 kilograms as those with low birth weight, which is a result of lack of preterm birth or fetal development due to poor maternal care or malnutrition, results to low birth weight.

As per the 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), data shows 25.1% of infants with mothers aged 20 years and below, 20.2% of infants with mothers between ages of 20 and 34, and 24.2% of infants with mothers aged between 35 and 49, have low birth weight.

In all maternal age group, this means 1 in 4 babies in the Philippines have low birth weight. What alarms the DOH is that it is a significant increase of low birth rate infants. Compared to the previous data collected in 2008, the number increased from 21.0% to 23.2%.

Based on the data collected by the National Nutrition Survey (NNS) from 2008 to 2015, there is a consistent prevalence of stunting in children from 6-10 months old up to two years old. The latest data of NNs for 2016 shows that stunting is most prevalence among two-year old children, as it affect 2 out of 5 children in the Philippines (38.4%).

For the matter of maternal health, health experts have also expressed concern regarding underweight pregnant women. According to experts, women who are underweight before and during pregnancy, or those of small stature, are at risk of pregnancy related complications. According to DOH, 1 out of 4, or 24.8% of pregnant women in the Philippines are nutritionally at risk.

To answer these issues of infant and pregnancy malnutrition, the 2016 National Nutrition Month campaign targets improved awareness of proper maternal nutrition and infant feeding practices, particularly exclusive breastfeeding and use of appropriate complementary food for the first six months of infants. To ensure this objective is achieved, DOH-NCC looks to intensify the promotion of collaborative efforts among stakeholder in serving pregnant women and babies below two-years old.

In line with the said advocacy, DOH has called upon the support of local government units, line agencies and other stakeholders to show support in the campaign for improved health awareness. LGUs are encouraged to put streamers or posters of the Nutrition Month celebration in order to let the people know of the on-going efforts for maternal and infant nutrition. (MAL/JBE/PIA-5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3301467591546/doh-nutrition-month-celebration-stresses-on-maternal-and-infant-nutrition#sthash.zYVCD7vs.dpuf