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

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

DOH Bicol bares gov’t programs for drug surrenderees

By Sally Atento-Altea

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 31 (PIA) – The Department of Health (DOH) Bicol noted the surging number of voluntary drug surrenderees  as an opportunity to solve drug menace in the country but admits need to work double time to intensify intervention programs.

Dr. Napoleon L. Arevalo, DOH Bicol OIC Director, said the intensified program of the national government on illegal drugs has created a sudden influx of people seeking treatment which likewise demand for intensified intervention programs from the government.

“The intervention of the government should not only be corrective but rehabilitative as well,” Arevalo said during the press conference held Monday.

He furthered that pushers and users voluntarily surrendering is a welcome change as they take the first step to stop their illegal activities and undergo needed treatment and recovery.

 Unexpected surge of drug surrenderees

 In the Bicol region, the Philippine National Police Regional Office 5 (PNP RO5) has recorded some 41, 474 voluntary surrenderees from July 1 – August 21, 2016, of which 2,349 are pushers and 39,125 are users.

 Senior Inspector Malu Calubaquib, PNP RO5 information officer, said their office initially expects for some 8,000 personalities in their drugs watch list to surrender.  Yet they themselves were shocked as the voluntary drug surrenderees in the region surged to 41, 474.

 “We were really shocked that we have a number this huge. That’s how rampant illegal drugs are in the region,” Calubaquib said.

 Treatment: How is it done

At present, there are two DOH treatment and rehabilitation centers (TRC). The Malinao TRC in Albay has 100 bed capacity and currently has 69 residents while Camarines Sur TRC in San Fernando has went beyond its 100 bed capacity with 125 current residents.

However, Arevalo said not all drug users need to be admitted to centers as intervention will depend on the level of drug use. Pushers on the other hand will be under PNP’s disposition.

“Drug use is classified into low and moderate to severe levels. Drug use ranging from low to moderate use need not be admitted to TRCs but will instead undergo community based rehabilitation program,” he explained.

Brief interventions for mild drug use, lasting four weeks, include inputs on prohibited substance and addiction, motivational interview, analysis and feed backing and referral system and network.  Certificate of Completion will be issued for non-recurrence of drug use after four weeks. If drug use recurred even after 2nd brief intervention, it will be classified as moderate.

“Moderate drug use on the other hand will be provided with outpatient care, lasting 16 weeks. It includes recovery skills, relapse prevention, family programs and recovery plan,” Arevalo said.

Severe drug use is then in need of residential treatment or admittance to TRCs for 10 -12 months. Before admittance, the user need to undergo medical examinations which can be done in DOH retained hospitals including Bicol Medical Center in Naga City, Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital in Albay and Bicol sanitarium in Camarines Sur.

Arevalo stressed the need for court order issued by the Dangerous Drugs Board to ensure that severe drug users will undergo treatment.

“The court order gives us the “teeth” for users to undergo and finish treatment. Yung iba kasi ilang  months pa lang umaayaw na kaya hindi na natatapos ang treatment. (Others refuse to finish treatment.),” he said.

Aside from medical treatments, TRC residents undergo interventions to recover spirituality and personally preparing them to be back to mainstream community.

 What has been done

DOH Bicol has initially released its quick response fund and has re-aligned funds allocated in other programs to provide the booming demand for intervention services.

Arevalo said five potential TRCs are underway in the Bicol region including the military camp in Tula-Tula, Albay which will be converted into a TRC. It will have 1000 bed capacity and will initially start with 50 bed capacity. The rest will be established in Caramoran District Hospital in Catanduanes, San Ramon Municipal Hospital in Camarines Sur, Sorsogon and Camarines Norte.

Other facilities in the region rendering intervention services are DSWD Center for Boys in Sorsogon City, Facenda de Ezperanza in Masbate, Facenda de Naga, Holy Face Mental Rehab Center in Tabaco City and tanchuling Hospital Detox Unit in Legazpi City.

Also conducted in the region are multi-agency and sectoral consultative conferences, formulation of plan of action/ development of training design and process for screening and community based rehab programs and capacity building for LGUs and health workers.

“At the national level, the DOH has sought P1 billion budget from Pagcor to establish TRCs in the country,” Arevalo added.

PNP Bicol on the other hand will soon be launching the Kasurog kan Kabikolan sa Kampanya Kontra Droga (K4D) Alliance.

“The K4D alliance was crafted in coordination with the media in the region. We will be informing you with the details as soon as we finalize it,” Calubaquib said.

 Costs and fees

Subsistence allowance to be paid monthly by public TRC residents is P3, 000.00; so far the lowest among regions. Other government rehab centers charge P5, 000 – P10, 000 monthly.

Arevalo said indigent residents can avail the service for free, shouldered by the DOH, but will need added budget allocation as demand for treatment increases.

Private rehab facilities cost P10,000 – P50,000, depending on the facility and type of rehab required.

Arevalo further calls on local government units to utilize the 2% mandatory allocation for anti-dangerous drugs programs to help in the treatment and rehab of drug users.  (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571471999649/doh-bicol-bares-gov-t-programs-for-drug-surrenderees#sthash.uR4KHUOk.dpuf

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Donsol is first Sorsogon LGU with 10-Year SWM Plan approved by NSWMC

By Bennie A. Recebido

SORSOGON CITY, Aug. 30 (PIA) – The National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) has approved 10-Year Solid Waste Management (SWM) Plan of the municipality of Donsol, now the first town in Sorsogon province with approved program in compliance with Republic Act 9003 otherwise known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000

Donsol Mayor Josephine Alcantara-Cruz has announced the local government received notice from the NSWMC on August 16 notifying us that the commission has approved our 10-Year SWM Plan and is now ready for implementation

Cruz relayed to the members of the Provincial Search Committee of the “Gawad Gobernador sa Kapaligiran Search for the Cleanest and Greenest LGU of Sorsogon” during the team’s evaluation and validation of the municipality’s compliance to environmental laws and policies.

The NSWMC’s notice of approval, signed by executive director and chief of SWM Division Engr. Eligio T. Ildefonso, commended the efforts and initiative of Donsol local government in formulating the plan in compliance with the provisions of  the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

NSWMC Resolution No. 626 series of 2016 approves the ten-year plan and may require LGU-Donsol to submit additional information and a submission of an annual progress report on the strategies implemented and accomplishments to the NSWMC through its secretariat.

Its approval would mean that LGU-Donsol can now implement the Ecological Solid Waste Management System such as segregation at source, segregated collection, establishment of Materials Recovery Facilities (MRF) and other recycling and composting methods within the locality and implement the specific activities contained in the approved plan.

Section 16 of RA 9003 requires provinces, cities and municipalities through their Local Solid Waste Management Boards to prepare their respective 10-year SWM Plans consisted with the NSWM Framework and in accordance with the provisions of the Act and the policies set by the NSWMC. The law also states that all LGU SWM Plans shall be subject to the approval of the NSWMC.

To date, three LGUs of Sorsogon have already been evaluated and endorsed by Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) to NSWMC for approval to include the municipalities of Barcelona and Castilla and the Provincial Government of Sorsogon.

The rest of the LGUs were evaluated by EMB and were returned to respective LGUs for revision and submission before it will finally be endorsed to NSWMC, while LGU-Matnog is still under evaluation.

The 10-Year SWM Plan of 14 municipalities, this city and the provincial governmet of Sorsogon are to be evaluated first by the EMB for endorsement to NSWMC. (MAL/BAR-PIA5/Sorsogon)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/801472470484/donsol-is-first-sorsogon-lgu-with-10-year-swm-plan-approved-by-nswmc#sthash.UYrzXGtN.dpuf

Albay to feature local tourism at Phl Travel Mart

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug 30 (PIA) – The amazing local destinations, activities and culinary delights of Albay province will be featured once again in the biggest and longest running travel trade exhibition in the country.

This year’s 27th Philippine Travel Mart is a widely anticipated event of both local and foreign travelers as it showcase Philippine destinations and provide the best discounted tour packages. It will be held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, on September 2 – 4, 2016.

Albay Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Officer Dorothy Fernandez Colle said the inclusion of the province in the Travel Mart will serve as opportunity to invite more tourists and visitors.

“With the partnership with Department of Tourism Region V, the Provincial Government of Albay hopes that our inclusion in this year’s Travel Mart will extend our reach in delivering information about our beautiful province,” Colle added.

She added that their office is continuously creating programs and projects that are both sustainable and practical for the Albayano people.

“We will continuously be putting Albay in the tourism spot, making our province not only the hub for Philippine tourism, but also connect it to the rest of the world,” Colle said.

She noted that tourism will play a crucial role in developing jobs and income for Albayanos as witnessed in many highly developed countries and cities.

The Albay booth, clustered with the other provinces from the Bicol region, will be the lead participant to entice tourists and visitors with its amazing local destinations and activities and samples of local culinary delights.

Organized by the Philippine Tour Operators’ Association (PHILTOA), this year’s Philippine Travel Mart will feature around 400 booths manned by local government units, tour operators and other stakeholders like hotels and airlines offering great discounts for travel and accommodation packages.(MAL/SAA/PGA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571472025397/albay-to-feature-local-tourism-at-phl-travel-mart#sthash.dJ4j39IM.dpuf

Monday, August 29, 2016

NEDA-ICC submits three transport infra-projects in Albay for funding

By Julius B. Embile

LEGAZPI CITY, August 29 (PIA) –With three major transport infrastructure projects in Albay now given the ‘green light’ for funding approval by the National Economic Development Authority’s (NEDA) Investment Coordinating Committee, the province is given a good reason to celebrate as it is poised for a big economic boom.

As of early August, NEDA-ICC has recommended ten infrastructure projects to benefit from the Php320 billion budget meant to accelerate infrastructure development.

Incuded on these are the three projects of Php 170.7 billion worth North-South Railway Project (NSRP) –South Line, the Bicol International Airport (BIA) amounting to Php 4.79 billion, and the Inclusive Partnership for Agricultural Competitiveness (IPAC) worth Php 10.15 billion.

Though the project’s funding is still subject for final approval by the NEDA Board, with President Rodrigo Duterte as chairman, the NEDA-ICC’s recommendation of these projects was a much welcomed news in Albay as all three projects would be located in the province.

The NSRP-South Line, which was approved after extensive project modifications, is designed to be a 653-kilometer railway system from Tutuban in Manila to Legazpi City in Albay, and eventually until Matnog in Sorsogon. The railway transport is expected to provide a faster and more efficient means of shipping and commute.

The BIA, on the other hand, is expected to open the flood gates of the Bicol region in terms of international tourism, given that Albay is becoming a national powerhouse in eco-tourism after it’s declaration as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

Initially mean for the benefit of agrarian reform communities, the IPAC is envisioned to enhance market access and competitiveness of farmers in rural community. After the completion of the IPAC in Albay, the productivity and marketability rate of agricultural goods in the province is seen to rapidly increase.

Combining the overall potential funding of these three projects, which is amounting to more or less Php 185 billion, Bicol (especially Albay) would technically benefit at an estimated 60% of the Php 320 billion budget.

The three projects were initially pushed three years ago by then Albay governor and now Albay second district congressman Joey Salceda, during his chairmanship of the Bicol Regional Development Council.

 According to NEDA, the final approval for the funding of the projects recommended by the NEDA-ICC would be decided by September. But, given the projects potential in uplifting socio-economic growth, the office is confident that it would have the President’s approval as needed. (MAL/JBE-PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3301471943013/neda-icc-submits-three-transport-infra-projects-in-albay-for-funding#sthash.EnwdlNXH.dpuf

Friday, August 26, 2016

NCCA calls for proposals for culture and heritage promotion, programs

By Julius B. Embile

LEGAZPI CITY, August 26 (PIA) – The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), as part of their nationwide caravan to encourage initiatives for cultural promotion, conducts a “Call for Project Proposal 2017” conference here to invite submissions of project proposals that will feature and develop local arts and culture.

According to NCCA, with a total estimated budget of P34 million the commission is willing to provide funding for approved project proposals as competitive cash grants. Hence, the said budget has been broken down and allocated to project categories conceptualized by NCCA.

The projects to be funded were classified into two categories. Category A covers projects which have been conceptualized during various levels of planning workshops following the identified needs of the locality. Specific outputs and deliverables have already been specified, Category A projects are those which would now only require implementers.

The second category, Category B, calls for proposals conceptualized by proponents to important cultural concerns. Under Category B, the organization submitting the proposal may cite their own plans and targets in line with NCCA’s priorities and outcomes.

The budget may be considerable but limited, so only the best proposal per project category is to be given the grant. Under Category A for instance, the “Probinsyudad”, which attempts to push culture-based development from cities to provinces, has only five slots available but with a grant of Php 2 million per project implementation.

However, to qualify for the NCCA’s Grant Program, the proponent must first submit an endorsement from their head office, if the implementer is a government organization or office. For private civic society organizations (CSOs), the proponents must first be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).

If a CSO is to be a beneficiary of the proposed project to be funded, they must first present a Certificate of Accreditation from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). This, according to NCCA, is a requirement set forth by the Commission on Audit (COA) to ensure that the grants are given to legitimate organizations in need of the funding.

NCCA’s Grant Program is the commission’s response to the government’s recognition of the important role of culture as the foundation for national development and unity. The program was the result of a series of organized participative planning workshops, which focused upon culture-based development strategies responsive to the sustainable development of communities.

As expressed by the NCCA team during their “Call for Project Proposal 2017” write-up session in Legazpi City, the Bicol region sets high hopes for project proposals due to the Bicolanos deep respect to tradition and culture.

“We (NCCA) are open to ways and means that may showcase the communities’ culture and arts, whether it’s in the field of literature, visual arts, music, theatre, cinema, or others… “, said Dr. Jasmin Llana, NCCA representative.

Being a Bicolana herself, Dr. Llana added: “Being someone who is once involved in the arts and cultural scene here in Albay, I am confident that we can expect brilliant project proposals from you (fellow Bicolanos).” (MAL/JBE-PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3301472547615/ncca-calls-for-proposals-for-culture-and-heritage-promotion-programs#sthash.zICri6Sk.dpuf

PSA Camarines Norte calls for cooperation of public in the conduct of surveys

By Rosalita B. Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, Aug. 26 (PIA) – The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) provincial office here called on for the cooperation of the public in their regular conduct of different surveys in line with their mandate as central statistical authority of government on primary data collection.

This was announced during the Talakayan sa PIA on air of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Camarines Norte here Monday, Aug. 22 at DWCN Radyo ng Bayan.

Registration officer Janice Espiritu said that one of their functions is to conduct statistical sample surveys on all aspects of socio economic life including agriculture, industry, trade, finance, prices and marketing information, income and expenditure, education, health, culture and social situations as well as the government and the political sector for the use of the government and the public.

She said that they are presently conducting Integrated Survey on Labor and Employment in the 14 establishments in the province which started in August 15 wherein the result of this will be used by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

They also conduct every first five days of the month the Price Survey of all the commodities for Consumer Price Index with inflation rate and purchasing power of peso.

Espiritu also thanked the cooperation of the public in their conduct of Population Census (POPCEN) in August 2015 wherein the province has recorded 583,313 populations of the 100.98 million in the country.

She said that the next survey for Census of Population and Housing will be conducted on May 2020.

She clarified that data gathered by the PSA is confidential only the statistical data is use by government agencies concerned while the number of population also served as a basis for the amount of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) for the barangay, municipality and province.

She also reiterates to the public that they can also request their needed documents like birth, death and marriage certificates via on line at psa.gov.ph. and will get the documents for 2-4 days.

Meanwhile she mentioned that the PSA together with the City, Municipal Civil Registrars and stakeholders on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) in Camarines Norte have joined in the 8th National Workshop on Civil Registration on August 23-25, 2016 in Iloilo City which aimed to provide a forum for best practices and sharing of experiences and ideas on CRVS.

She also announced that on Aug. 31–Sept. 2, 2016 there will be a National Convention on Philippine Statistician in Naga City wherein invited to this activity are the government stakeholders on planning, academe, students and among others concerned. (RBM-PIA5/Camarines Norte)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/871472025423/psa-camarines-norte-calls-for-cooperation-of-public-in-the-conduct-of-surveys#sthash.BC8dkl9M.dpuf

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Camarines Sur PPOC meets, delves on peace plans and war on drugs

By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

PILI, Camarines Sur, Aug, 25 (PIA) --- Camarines Sur Vice Governor Fortunato C. Peña, presiding officer of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) stated, upon the direction of Governor Miguel “Migz” Villafuerte that the province is one with President Rodrigo’s side on the government's campaign against illegal drugs.

“Our governor would like to convey his intent to make the province a drug-free zone and in fact has instructed the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to do everything in our means to come up with resolutions or ordinances in support of this endeavor,” Peña stated before the various government heads and representives who attended the council meeting, held Wednesday, August 24 at Villa Del Rey Function, Capitol Park here.

In a statement, Villafuerte invited the PPOC members to join him in the launching of a massive drug campaign, which will be immediately followed by the Provincial Youth Summit Against Drugs on September 1 at the Provincial Capitol.

The governor has invited all sectors to participate in the occasion - from the senior citizens down to the very young sector of the province.

His wage on war will be comprised of information and communication component which primarily endeavors to raise the awareness of the people, particularly among the youth on the ill-effects of drugs.  He also proposed the formation of Kabarangay ko, Tatabangan kong iwasan ang Droga or  (KATAID) in compliance with DILG Regional Memorandum Circular No 2016-015 dated Aug 22,2016.

KATAID will provide full support to OPLAN Tokhang  being spearheaded by the Philippine National Police (PNP) to ensure strategic options for the convergence of the delivery of basic services, identify issues and concern and actions at the local level, make recommendations to higher level to answer pressing issues and ensure the integration of law enforcement agencies in the peace and order plan of the province and allocate fund for the said purpose.

The young governor also plans to establish a 24-hour quick response team for drug emergencies with operational hotlines. This will facilitate an effective communication system between the community and the provincial government. The  following hotlines were designated to respond to related queries: Smart 0998 5762 072 , 0998 576 2071  and for Globe 0917 5260 647.

Aside from establishing rehabilitation centers through the utilization of various district and municipal hospitals in the province,  Governor Villafuerte intends to provide scholarship fund for the youth who got hooked on drugs yet successfully completed the prescribed treatment for them.

This also goes true to the head of the families who will be provided with supplementary livelihood system after proving that they have indeed turned their backs from illegal drugs. (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861472109775/camarines-sur-ppoc-meets-delves-on-peace-plans-and-war-on-drugs#sthash.L0BNxn4j.dpuf

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

‘Double Barrel’ in Bicol continues, yields drug-using minor

By Julius B. Embile

LEGAZPI CITY, August 24 (PIA) – Since ‘Operation Double Barrel’ got implemented last June 2016, the police operations in Bicol continued to reap success in eliminating illegal drug use in the region. However, recent statistics on the operations’ turn-outs raised some concerns to the authorities as the number of surrendering drug offenders included teenagers and children.

Oplan Tokhang, an off-shoot police operation of Operation Double Barrel wherein suspected drug users and traders are convinced to voluntarily surrender, swept through the Bicol region and visited a total of 20,664 residences owned by suspected drug offenders. Because of this, Philippine National Police of Bicol (PNP-RO5) recorded a total of 41,474 surrenders, composed of 39,125 drug users and 2,349 drug ‘pushers’, as of August 21.

Aside from Oplan Tokhang, other police operations against illegal drugs intensified in the region. Also, as of August 21, the police has conducted a total of 270 operations, including 97 warranted searches, 130 ‘buy-bust’s, and 43 other anti-drugs operations.

These police operations resulted to 320 arrests, with 33 personalities who resisted were killed in encounters. The operations also yielded a big load of confiscated drugs, majority of which are methamphetamine (shabu), and other item being used for drug trade. These include 55 firearms, 23 vehicles, and money amounting to Php 303,017.25.

What the police and other authorities in Bicol find distressing is the number of drug offenders within minority age. According to the data collected by the PNP in the Bicol region, 703 of the total surrendering personalities are below 18 years old. 692 of these children are found to be illegal drug users, three are involved in drug delivery, while eight are involved in selling.

Classifying these children within their respective age group, 49 are 15 years of age and below, composed of 44 males and five females. Between the ages of 15 and 18 years, the police recorded a total of 654, wherein 60 are females and 594 are males.

“For our part in the PNP, this is very alarming. This indeed proves the extent of the drug menace, and the necessity of our operations in combating it,” said PSI Malu Calubaquib, spokesperson of PNP-RO5, during a radio interview with PIA-5 yesterday.

According to PNP-RO5, majority of these minors are first offenders (with only 17 repeat offenders). However, the police are already in close coordination with partner agencies, like the DOH and DSWD, to provide the necessary intervention and help them become fruitful members of society after their treatment.

“These drug-using minors are more like victims than violators, and it is commendable that they have taken the steps in changing their lives for the better by coming forward,” said PSI Calubaquib. (MAL/JBE-PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3301472022421/-double-barrel-in-bicol-continues-yields-drug-using-minors#sthash.FtfJwoK6.dpuf

Bicol now has 24 Negosyo Centers, more to come to help MSMEs -- DTI

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 24 (PIA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Bicol regional office has been relentless in its efforts to reach out and assist the sector of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) throughout the region by setting up Negosyo Centers, now totaling to 24.

DTI Bicol regional director Jocelyn L.B. Blanco said at least 12 additional centers were launched for the first semester of this year.

Blanco said the establishment of the Negosyo Centers are in accordance with Republic Act No. 10644 or the Go Negosyo Act to help uplift the fate and develop more micro, small and medium enterprises.

Negosyo Center, according to Blanco, promotes easy way of doing business, facilitates access to grants and other forms of financial assistance, Shared Service Facilities (SSF) and other equipment, ensures management guidance, assistance and improvement of the working conditions of MSMEs, and facilitates a wider market access.

"The presence of the Negosyo Center in each municipality and province aims to provide better and more efficient services to MSMEs..  The same also provides referals and facilitates linkage of MSMEs with other national government agencies to avail of the latter's related programs and services," she added.

Of the 24 established Negosyo Centers, 7 were established in Camarines Sur, 4 each in Camarines Norte, Sorsogon, and  Albay, 3 in Masbate, and 2 in Catanduanes.

Blanco said that the presence of the 24 Negosyo Centers in the region will bring in more business opportunities to communities and MSMEs.

She also added that they will contribute in the rapid development of various cities and municipalities in the region.

With the Negosyo Centers now serving the Bicolanos, the DTI has assisted close to 5,000 existing and new entrepreneurs.

 DTI Bicol sets a target of 23 Negosyo Centers by end of the year. (MAL-JRB-DTI5/PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211471924719/bicol-now-has-24-negosyo-centers-more-to-come-to-help-msmes----dti#sthash.1rkPP0uw.dpuf

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

TESDA allocates P7.1M for TWSP, PESFA scholarship in Camarines Norte

DAET, Camarines Norte, Aug. 23 (PIA) – The Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) has allocated more than P7.1 million for the Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP) and Private Education Student Financial Assistance (PESFA) for the second semester of 2016 in Camarines Norte province

TESDA Camarines Norte provincial director Conrado E. Maranan, Jr. said that of the amount, more than P5.7 was allocated for the TWSP while P1.4 M was allocated for the PESFA.

A total of 805 students benefited for the TWSP which will be provided with training cost and free competency assessment by the TESDA.

Among the qualification titles for the TWSP are Trainer’s Methodology Level I, Motorcycle/Small Engine Servicing II, Electronics Products Assembly Servicing II, Computer System Servicing II, Automotive Servicing NC I, Electrical Installation and Maintenance, Shielded Metal Arc Welding NC I, Visual Graphics Design NC III, 2D Animation NC III, Food and Beverage Services NC II, Tourism Promotion Services NC II, Front Office Services NC II and Housekeeping NC II.

Meanwhile for PESFA, 148 slots were given to scholars who will be provided with the training cost, allowance per day, free competency assessment and book allowance.

Among the qualification titles for the PESFA are Computer System Servicing NC II, Bread and Pastry Production NC II, Electronic Products Assembly Servicing NC II and Shielded Metal Arc Welding NC I.

There are 17 accredited schools for the TWSP and 5 schools for PESFA within the province.

The beneficiaries who availed of the scholarship programs have passed the qualifications set by the TESDA.

Maranan said that those who passed the competency assessment can work local and abroad.

For those interested in the scholarship for the next semester, they may inquire TESDA located at the compound of the municipal government of Daet. (MAL/RBM-PIAV/Camarines Norte)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/871471933793/tesda-allocates-p7-1m-for-twsp-pesfa-scholarship-in-camarines-norte#sthash.XWkcOaIz.dpuf

Millennials showcase flair in DTI’s labeling competition

By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, Aug. 23 (PIA)  -- Three out of the 14 contenders from various schools and universities in Camarines Sur made it to the list of the Department of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Camarines Sur’s “Label-Up: Product Label Design Competition” held  August 17 at the SM City Naga Event Center, here.

Iann-Dirk M. Naldo of CBSUA bagged the 1st prize; the Antra Pickles Team composed of Jose Danding Sepcon, Jr., Noemi Vargas and Rachelle Rivero from PSU landed second while Robert Julius Matienza of STI-Naga received the award as 3rd prize winner.

They received P5,000.00, P3,000.00, and P1,000.00 cash, respectively, plus an additional certificate and a plaque for the 1st prize winner.

The panel of judges included top label designers and industry players, namely; Atty. Raquel Vergara of Caramel Bakeshop, Bernadette Delos Santos of BPMACS, Benedick Bana of Ateneo de Naga University, Melany Reyles of Twin Pears Advertising, and a representative of SM City Naga.

Entries were judged based on a set of criteria including creativity, alignment with the product positioning, originality and complete label information requirements.

Under the theme “Igniting the Creative Minds of the Millennials”, the competition according to DTI Camarines Sur provincial head Edna Tejada isan excellent learning tool for students to gain practical experience in utilizing their coursework learning in creating eye-catching graphics which conveys its purpose to the market.

It also endeavors to highlight and showcase the talents of graphic artist students in conceptualization and designing product labels.

“This contest involved the millennials. This is because the population of our country comprises mostly of young persons we dubbed as millennials. So, if we want to touch that market, we might as well get the feel of the young ones. What are the designs that appeal to them? This is what we want the micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to adopt. So, that’s the basic reason why we involve the students – the millennials in this contest,” Tejada explained.

The competition is not just for the purpose of competition as DTI has identified selected MSME companies who would benefit and who would need improvement in the packaging and labeling of their products.

Prior to the contest proper, a labeling seminar was held on July 16, 2016 to further enhance the skills of the students and equipped them with knowledge on the current label requirements for the food products.

Fourteen (14) universities and campuses from Naga City and neighboring municipalities joined the competition, namely; Partido State University (PSU), STI-Naga, Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA), Bicol State College of Applied Science and Technology (BISCAST) and other colleges in Naga City and Camarines Sur.

The label designs created by the graphic artist students will benefit the MSMEs under the Food Sector assisted by DTI-Camarines Sur. (MAL/LSM/JRM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

 - See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861471933632/millennials-showcase-flair-in-dti-s-labeling-competition#sthash.IMwsSIsW.dpuf

Monday, August 22, 2016

VP Leni helps build classrooms in CamSur remote village

By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

CALABANGA, Camarines Sur, Aug.22 (PIA) ---  True to her battle cry of serving the underprivileged communities coined those who are on the “laylayan ng lipunan,” Vice President Leni G. Robredo returned to Barangay Burabod in this this town last Friday and formally turned over a lasting symbol of her commitment to its people – a one storey-two classroom that will benefit the villagers here.

The edifice was built by Philam Life Foundation who responded to the call of VP Robredo when the latter, during her incumbency as Representative of the third congressional district of Camarines Sur was looking for sponsors and partners who can help her fulfill the dreams of putting up a school in this far-flung area.

“It was not easy looking for sponsors.  Everyone I have approached to help me out with my plans, would initially say yes but after visiting the place, would say they cannot make it. Until a good soul, in the person of Philam Foundation President Max Ventura, gave his nod on this project, and so began the unfolding of this long- time dream for the people of Calabanga,” Robredo said in her speech.

Philam Foundation, under its “Philam Paaralan” program had been in constant coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd) in looking for areas that were in need of new classrooms, most of them from calamity-stricken areas and far-flung communities where access to education is almost non- existent.

The family of incumbent Calabanga Mayor Eduardo Severo donated the one-hectare lot which will be home to more than 300 students who are now enrolled at Severo High School.  The once-isolated area is now a symbol of hope for the upcoming generation who don’t need to hike a 3-km trek just to pursue their education.

Philam Life CEO Aibee Cantos said that the classroom can accommodate approximately 100 students.   The classrooms, aside from being equipped with LED lightings, electric fan, new chairs and tables and a provision of comfort room inside are also typhoon-resistant and equipped with water sanitation and hygiene facilities.

Severo shared his appreciation for VP Leni’s gestures and for fulfilling her promise to look into the plight of those who are in dire need of intervention. In his speech, he recalled his father’s dream of also seeing their constituents as end recipients of the various programs of the government that will uplift them from poverty.

After the program, VP Leni’s team moved out to Tambang Central School in Tamban, Tinambac, Camarines Sur to deliver her commencement address to the 84 Alternative Learning System (ALS) graduates coming from the neighboring towns of Tinambac North, Tinambac South, Siruma and Lagonoy North.  (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861471933489/vp-leni-helps-build-classrooms-in-camsur-remote-village#sthash.FeJvvKFC.dpuf

Friday, August 19, 2016

DSWD to fund two Bicol state universities on 4Ps research

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug 19 (PIA) – The family of Richard and Mercy Susootin of Kabihug Tribe in Barangay Bakal, Paracale Camarines Sur is one of the 6,038 families of Indigenous People (IPs) in Bicol benefitting from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Indigenous People (MCCT-IP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“Kung dati po isang beses kami kumakain, minsan kamote lang, ngayon po ay tatlo na. Sobrang laki po na naitulong sa amin ng cash grant, [Before we only eat once a day, sometimes only sweet potato, but now we ate three times. The cash grant is a huge help to us],” Mercy said.

The cash grant is just but one of the components of DSWD’s CCT programs aiming not only to help alleviate poverty but also to empower its beneficiaries to become responsible contributors to nation building.

Thus to further enhance implementation of local CCT programs and help build resilience of 4Ps households to poverty and disasters, the DSWD has allocated support for conduct of mini-studies and research on its CCT programs.

Bicol University and Catanduanes State University were among the 8 universities chosen to be funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to conduct such research.

DSWD is a recipient of the technical assistance from DFAT of which part of the grant amounting Php 4.5 million will be allocated to support studies and research.

Bicol University will receive Php 219,000 for the proposed research entitled “Sustainability of the Expanded Grants-in-aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGPPA)”.

Likewise, Catanduanes State University will study on the “Prevailing Perceptions of LGU’s on the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program: The Catanduanes experience” with a working budget of Php 260, 000.

The Policy Development and Planning Bureau (PDPB) of the DSWD Central Office has earlier called for proposals from public and private state colleges and universities on May 2016. A total of 26 proposals from 11 field offices were shortlisted off which, eight were approved for funding.

The results of the studies will be presented at the National Research Conference to be held on November 14-18, 2016.(MAL/SAA/DSWD5-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571471590962/dswd-to-fund-two-bicol-state-universities-on-4ps-research#sthash.8GG3ZijK.dpuf

DOLE Camarines Norte to encourage companies implements workers’ rights to security of tenure

By Rosalita B. Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, Aug. 18 (PIA) - The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) provincial office here har urged companies and establishments to implement measures to esure workers’ rights to security of tenure aligned with the provisions of the Labor Code and policy directives of the agency.

DOLE Camarines Norte provincial head Jane Rolda said that this is in line with campaign of the government on the End of Contract (ENDO) wherein Secretary Silvestre Bello III has already issued directives on the prohibition against labor-only contracting and suspending registration of new applicants as contractors or sub-contractors.

She said that the government is targeting at least 50% may be reduced within this year for job contracts and be removed by 2017.

She said this may be done through their regular assessment of establishments and or companies in their labor standards compliance.

This was said during the unveiling of the DOLE Region V hotline (0918) 3096665 recently held at the Wiltan Hotel here.

This was in line with the simultaneous press conference launching of the hotline throughout the region.

She said that any individual can text or call the said number if they have job related queries and will be acted in 10 minutes for simple queries and 24 hours for those needs validation.

She said that during validation they will evaluate companies if they are labor law compliance and may encourage them if they can absorb their employees in their establishments. (MAL/RBM-PIAV/Camarines Norte)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/871471511407/dole-camarines-norte-to-encourage-companies-implements-workers-rights-to-security-of-tenure#sthash.wwcbyZjW.dpuf

Thursday, August 18, 2016

EDC’s Bacman named Saringaya awardee anew

SORSOGON CITY, August 18 (PIA) – For the seventh time, the Bacman Geothermal Business Unit (BGBU) of Energy Development Corporation (EDC) bagged anew the prestigious Saringaya Award  from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) Bicol regional office

The Bacman steamfields and power plants previously won the award in 2001, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2013.

DENR-EMB bestowed the award to BGBU for its long established programs and initiatives that protect the natural ecosystem, management of watershed resources and empowering communities that are aligned with DENR’s environment and natural resources goals.

This year’s awardees were chosen based on criteria founded on five pillars of good environmental governance, namely, environmental protection, conservation and rehabilitation, sustainability of the project and socio-economic and environmental impacts.

Honored of the award given, BGBU Vice President Liberato Virata said that beyond producing clean energy, they will remain active in forest restoration and biodiversity preservation to maintain the robust ecosystem services for the use of all our stakeholders in our geothermal reservations and secure our natural heritage for the benefit of future generations.

“This award inspires us even more to pursue the green path.  It is an affirmation that we are doing the right thing and that we are not alone in our advocacy,” he further said.

Saringaya Award is given to industries, non-government organizations, people organization, local government units, groups or associations, other government agencies, the Academe and other entities in the Bicol region who, as a group, corporate body or individuals have supported DENR Bicol through the establishment and implementation of the program towards protection, conservation, and safety of the environment.

During the awarding, EDC and BGBU were also recognized for being an important partner in the success of the Eagle Quiz Competition from 2006 to 2016.  Eagle Quiz or “Battle of the Eagles” is one of the highlights of the region’s Environment Month Celebration.

The contest which is being participated in by selected elementary and junior high school students from both public and private academic sectors in the entire Region is part of DENR-EMB’s campaign on environmental regulations, protection of ecosystems and conservation of natural resources. (MAL/BAR//EDC/PIA5/Sorsogon)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/801471517255/edc-s-bacman-named-saringaya-awardee-anew#sthash.imXaAWVC.dpuf

DOLE Bicol unveils Hotline, explains prohibition of labor-only contracting scheme

By Bennie A. Recebido

SORSOGON CITY, August 18 (PIA) – Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Sorsogon Field Office chief Marilyn Luzuriaga readily answered media queries in a press conference here, August 15, as  part of the simultaneous press conference organized by DOLE Bicol regional office for its six provinces covered in the Bicol Region.

The simultaneous press conferences primarily intended to solicit support from local media practitioners disseminate in a wider audiences the DOLE’s Regional Hotline (0918) 309-6665. The hotline is 24 hours a day and 7 days a week open.

Answering query on the procedure of accessing the hotline, Luzuriaga said the caller needs to have a cellphone and a load as it is a regular number, dial the hotline number, introduce details of the caller and state the concern.

DOLE assured that the call will be answered in 10 minutes and would be acted upon within 24 hours.

Lyn Jimenez, station manager of STV tried the hotline making a follow-up of her previous employment and labor concerns, and was promptly acted upon by the operator, an indication that the hotline is active, easy accessible and ready to serve.

Meanwhile, the press conference also delved on DOLE’s Labor Advisory No. 10 series of 2016 or the Prohibition Against Labor-Only Contracting, and Department Order 162 series of 2016 or The Suspension of Registration of New Applicants as Contractors or Subcontractors Under Department Order No. 18-A.

Luzuriaga said that prohibition against labor-only contracting is pursuant to Article 5 and 106-109 of the Labor Code, as amended, and consistent with the policy directives to strictly implement and enforce the workers’ right to security of tenure.

Labor-only contracting refers to an arrangement where the contractor or sub-contractor merely recruits, supplies or places workers to perform a job, work or service for a principal.

Citing as an example is the current common practice of establishments or agencies to hire workers for five months, at the end of a 5-month contract will again be hired.

The advisory covers contractors or subcontractors that do not have substantial capital or investment in the form of tools, equipment, machineries, work premises, among others and the workers recruited and placed by such person are performing activities which are directly related to the principal business of such employer.

DOLE, under the Department Order No 162 series of 2016, impose the suspension of registration of new applicants as contractors or subcontractors notwithstanding Sections 14,15,16,17,18,19 and 20 of Department Order No. 18-A series of 2011.

However, all certificates of registration of contractors or subcontractors issued prior to the order shall be respected, unless otherwise revoked through the exercise of the enforcement and adjudicatory powers of the Secretary of Labor and Employment or his duly authorized representative.

Contracts entered into by duly registered contractors or subcontractors prior to the issuance of the order shall not be impaired or diminished consistent with the provisions of the Labor Code, the Civil Code and existing jurisprudence.

Sorsogon Guardian Publisher Alice Lopez shared concern on the possible increase of unemployment rate once the campaign will be fully implemented.

Luzuriaga said the agency is concerned about the worker’s welfare and DOLE is in the process of coming up with safety nets plan where DOLE can provide livelihood opportunities for those who will be unemployed.

She further said that their advocacy is to stop end of contract or ENDO scheme and compel contractors or subcontractors to directly hire the workers to have regular working status or be considered employees of their company or establishment. (MAL/BAR-PIA5/Sorsogon)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/801471511285/dole-bicol-unveils-hotline-explains-prohibition-of-labor-only-contracting-scheme#sthash.NoVVlCYo.dpuf

On 4Ps and an orphaned child’s quest to reach her dreams

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug 18 (PIA) -- While some kids had their family to back them up, Emmalyn Lepiten, 12, of Barangay Washington, San Jacinto, Masbate only had herself and her determination to reach her dreams. And one of that is to finish her studies.

Emmalyn is a beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program under the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

“I believe that everything happens for a reason, even though we are poor, my parents are not around but it should not hinder me from reaching my dreams," says Emmalyn.

She grew up without her parents and hasn’t even seen them. Her Father had his own family prior to them while her mother, together with her younger sibling, left her when she was only four years old.

 “Eversince, Mamay and Papay took care of me and sent me to school (Magsimula pa po noon, si Mamay at Papay na po ang nag-aruga at nagpapa-aral sa akin),” she said.

 Her grandparents earned their living from fishing and farming.

“At times, when we had nothing to eat and it is low-tide, I would catch shrimps at the back of our house since we’re just near the shore (Minsan kapag wala kaming ulam at low tide, ako po mismo humuhuli ng mga hipon sa likod ng bahay dahil malapit lang kami sa dagat),” she added.

 Despite life’s hardships, Emmalyn learned to be responsible, industrious and resourceful.

“I study hard so that when I finish my studies, Mamay and Papay will no longer be working since they are already old (Kaya po nag-aaral ako ng mabuti para pagnakatapos na ako hindi na po magtatrabaho si Mamay at Papay dahil matanda na po sila),” she stated.

That is why the pantawid pamilya is of huge help to finance her studies. “It helped us in our everyday expenses especiallythat Papay is sickly at the moment (Nakakatulong din po ito sa amin sa pang-araw araw na gastos lalo na po si Papay ay sakitin na ngayon),” she stated.

But, Emmalyn did not consider her situation as a burden. In fact, she was known for being a consistent honor student; she graduated as class valedictorian during her elementary years. During her first year, she topped her class and awarded as first honor at Emilio Lee Lllacer Sr. High School.

Joining competitions like extemporaneous speaking, essay writing, math and science competitions and participated in catechetical activities also honed her to become strong, confident and inspired to do best in school.

She is also part of peer-coaching activity which assists low-performing students. “I am happy helping others(Masaya po ako na nakakatulong sa kapwa),” she said.

However, she admitted a feeling of emptiness for her broken family. “I’m always thinking of seeing my parents and sibling someday but I’m happy that my grandparents are here (Hindi po maalis sa isip ko na sana balang araw ay makita ko ang magulang at kapatid ko. Pero masaya po ako na nariyan si Mamay at Papay, “ she said in tears.

Despite her struggle, Emmalyn manages to be happy turning her sadness and frustrations to inspiration and motivation to do better at home, community or school.

“I believe that everything happens for a reason, even though we are poor, my parents are not around but it should not hinder me from reaching my dreams (Naniniwala po ako na lahat ng ito ay may dahilan, kahit mahirap kami, wala po akong magulang, pero hindi dapat ito maging hadlang para abutin natin ang ating pangarap)”, she proudly said.(MAL/SAA/GNL-DSWD5/PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571471500201/on-4ps-and-an-orphaned-child-s-quest-to-reach-her-dreams#sthash.Ith2z7VC.dpuf

Change Has Come: How an IP family rises from poor, isolated life through DSWD’s Pantawid Program

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug 18 (PIA) -- Over the past years, indigenous people (IP) are often homeless, dispossessed of their lands, or in the center of conflict for access to resources due to their location, or yet, in other cases they struggle to live, the way they wanted. This has been the life cycle of indigenous people from one generation to the other.

But, for the couple Richard and Mercy Susootin, of Kabihug Tribe of Barangay Bakal, Paracale, Camarines Norte, breaking this cycle is within their reach.

The family of Richard and Mercy Susootin
The couple belongs to a total of 6,038 families of IPs in Bicol who went through drastic changes in their lives, overcoming the life of isolation, discrimination, hunger and ignorance through the social services provided by the government under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Indigenous People (MCCT-IP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

At present, a total of 6,038 IP households from the Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA) in the region are benefitting from MCCT-IP.

Of this, 1,007 are in the province of Albay; 1,884 in Sorsogon; 2,908 in Camarines Sur; and 239 in Camarines Norte.

MCCT-IP is a special project of DSWD which is culturally responsive in improving IPs access to basic social services such as health, nutrition, sanitation and to formal and non-formal education.

 DSWD Bicol regional director Arnel B. Garcia, said MCCT-IP uses the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) strategy that is substantially distinct from the regular program being provided since there is a modification in terms of targeting, process of implementation, package of services, and the IPs are involved in identifying, formulating, and planning development strategies to be employed in the program implementation.

Embracing “genuine change”

Since time immemorial, the group of Mercy lived in separate settlements outside the ancestral domain without security in present dwellings, facing discrimination, and in deep poverty.

According to her, their group is afraid to the people living in the city. “Kadalasan ay pinapalayas kami, sinisipa, pinagtatawanan kaya takot po kami sa mga tao sa centro, [Oftentimes, we were being driven away, kicked out, laughed with, that is why we are afraid to the people living in the city],” she said.

But the implementation of MCCT-IP in 2012 marked the beginning of sensible government undertakings directed toward putting an end to the long history of marginalization and neglect experienced by many indigenous communities in Bicol.

According to Mercy, now they were exposed to various individuals. The Family Development Session (FDS) also made a big contribution to their development.

The FDS is a monthly activity being conducted to beneficiaries of the Program. It is a venue for educational, interpersonal, interactive and adult learning engagement that aims to empower and strengthen the relationship and ties among family members and the community.

“Natutunan ko kung paano makisalamuha sa ibang tao, kung gaano kahalaga ang pag-aaral ng mga bata at ang aming kalusugan. [I was able to learn how to deal with various people, the importance of education and health of my children],” she stated.

Both, the couple also attended sessions which made their relationship better and stronger. “Dati po wala siyang paki-alam sa amin, pero utay-utay po ay nakikita ko na tinutulungan niya ako sa pag-alaga ng mga bata. Nabawasan na din ang pag-aaway namin. [Before, he does not care to us, but little by little, I see him helping me take care of our children. It also minimizes our quarrel],” Mercy said.

 What the cash grant means to them

 Like the regular Pantawid Pamilya, MCCT-IP targeted IP families with children aged 0-18. Identified beneficiaries received a cash assistance of Php500 for health and Php300 for the education of children who are in elementary or Php500 who are in high school for a maximum of three children per family.

However, this cash grants are accompanied with certain conditions.  As beneficiaries, the IPs are made to comply as 85 percent attendance of all children and adults enrolled in school; regular health status monitoring of pregnant and lactating mothers; full immunization for children and pregnant women; deworming for children, pre and post-natal care; should deliver in government birthing facilities; and attendance to family-community development sessions.

For Mercy, her compliance to these conditions subsequently enriched their family’s living. The cash assistance her family received allows them to provide the basic needs of her five kids. “Kung dati po isang beses kami kumakain, minsan kamote lang, ngayon po ay tatlo na. Sobrang laki po na naitulong sa amin ng cash grant, [Before we only eat once a day, sometimes only potato, but now we ate three times. The cash grant is a huge help to us],” she said.

She is now able to buy new clothes, slippers, school supplies and allocate money for the tuition fee of her children.

 Apart from that, her children regularly visit the nearest health center. “Tinuturuan ko na din po sila na maligo araw-araw. Natutunan na din ng mga anak ko na mag toothbrush ng 3 beses sa sarong aldaw, [I teach them to take a bath daily. My children learn to brush their teeth three times a day],” she stated.

Faith and Determination is the Key

Mercy believed that the little income from farming would not suffice the needs of her family. That is why she enrolled in the alternative learning system. “Pangarap ko na magturo. Gusto ko po na may kabihug na nakapagtapos ng pag-aaral at nagtuturo sa tribu namin. Makaktulong din ito sa amin para makahanap ng mas malaking pagkakitaan. [I aimed for a kabihug to finish education and teach the tribe. It would also be helpful to us to look for higher income],” she firmly stated.

For the couple Mercy and Richard, they have already graduated from discrimination and isolation. They have proven that embracing the life introduced to them gave them the courage to pursue their dreams for their children to finish until college. As Mercy said “Proud ako sa mga anak ko kasi determinado sila mag-aral at gagawin namin lahat para maabot ang pangarap nila [I am proud of my children because they are determined to finish their education and we will do everything to achieve their dreams],” she proudly said.

 The couple added that staying positive and faith in God is their shield from all adversities that will come their way. “Kaya po ginagawa namin ang paraan para patuloy kami na magkaroon ng pagkakakitaan dahil ito ang magiging susi para tuloy-tuloy ang pag-unlad namin, para sa pamilya namin at mas makakatulong pa kami sa aming kapwa IP, [That is why are doing everything to continuously earn because it will be the key to improve our living, for our family and to be able to help our co-IPs as well],” Mercy said. (MAL/SAA/GNL-DSWD5/PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571471335753/change-has-come-how-an-ip-family-rises-from-poor-isolated-life-through-dswd-s-pantawid-program#sthash.zSKuJpTo.dpuf

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

President Duterte declares Jesse Robredo Day as Special Non Working Holiday in Naga City

By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, Aug. 17 (PIA) ---  President Rodrigo Roa Duterte declared August 18, Thursday as Special Non-working holiday here in commemoration of the former Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Jesse M. Robredo’s death anniversary.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea signed Proclamation No. 37 on August 9, citing among others the great influence of Robredo in pursuing transparency and as “champion of good governance who was instrumental on the implementation of far-reaching reforms in local governance” and as such should be bestowed with the said honor and recognition.

Robredo died in a plane crash on August 18, 2012 after the Piper Seneca plane that he was riding plunged into the waters off Masbate sea. After a few days of search and retrieval operations, his body, along with pilot Capt. Jessup Bahinting and student co-pilot Kshitiz Chand from  Nepal were found.

The late SILG secretary was a recipient of various national and international awards and accolades, most of which are in recognition of his programs on good governance.  He was also considered as the longest serving mayor with 19 years in service as Chief Executive of Naga City.

Along with the commemoration of his death anniversary, the city government of Naga under Mayor John Bongat thru the City Events, Protocol and Public Information Office headed by Allen Reondanga, has prepared a series of activities for the day.

At 7am, the Tsinelas Walk will commence at the City Hall along Magsaysay Avenue towards Eternal Garden where Robredo’s tomb is located. A Eucharistic celebration will immediately follow, along with the People’s flower offering at the grave site.

A JMR Poster-making and Essay Writing Contests are slated at the Plaza Quince Martirez at 1 and 3pm respectively. Awarding of prizes to the winners will be at 4:30pm.

The Naga City Grassroots Basketball Championship will be at 3pm and will be held at the Jesse M. Robredo Coliseum. The day-long event will be capped by the Bicol Urban Poor Forum and NC Urban Poor Federation Anniversary Fellowship Night at Naga City People’s Hall at 5pm.

During Robredo’s 3rd year death Anniversary, then President Benigno Aquino also signed Republic Act 10669 declaring August 18 of every year the Jesse Robredo Day, in honor of the internationally-recognized former mayor of Naga City who died while serving as Aquino's local government secretary. (MAL/LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861471413210/president-duterte-declares-jesse-robredo-day-as-special-non-working-holiday-in-naga-city#sthash.KwWYXqgJ.dpuf

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

MNCCI launches Bicol Business Month set on Nov. 2016

NAGA CITY, August 10 (PIA) --- In an effort to sustain the momentum of big economic gain from last year’s scaling up of Bicol Business Week, the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) has announced the upcoming 2nd Bicol Business Month (BBM) slated from November 7-30, this year.

 MNCCI president Gilbert Albero announced during a press conference over the weekend that on its second year Bicol Business Month 2016 promises another breakthroughs that will help push the Bicol region’s level of economic dynamism with bright prospects under the new administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

 Albero believes that business is really one of the key growth indicators or drivers of any economy, thus called on the support of the media to the annual BBM that will bring anew local economic growth noit only in this city bul also in the Bicol region.

“In every step toward progress that we take, it is everybody’s tasks to be part of it. We, who comprised the chamber, not only take the lead as contribution of the private sector but also bring everybody in the growth that we are looking forward not only in Naga but also in the Bicol region,”  Albero expounded.

Under the perky theme “Onward Powerhouse Bicolandia”, MNCCI hopes to sustain the promotion not just of Bicol businesses but also foster development and unity amongst the entrepreneurs.

Mayor John G. Bongat of this city, who has been very supportive of the endeavors of MNCCI, stated that BBM is one of the best things that happened to Naga City and Bicol because it re-awakened the good image of local businesses here and unifies the various sector towards a common goal.

“If there is one thing that binds or unites the Bicolanos aside from the Peῆafrancia Festival, it is the Bicol Business Month because this gives all businessmen across the region the opportunity to shine thru the Halyao Awards and be recognized, whether you are big or small. This is one big influence and a great testimomy that we are giving credit and importance to business,”  Bongat said.

 As in the past, this year’s BBM will feature trade fairs and exhibits, business seminars, and fora, with food and entertainment, and a sprinkling of social cum charitable events in between.

 MNCCI director Jose B. Perez, who chair the BBM 2016,  said that they will continue most of the programs and activities that they have started last year in addition to the new initiatives that they plotted out for this year.   (MAL/LSM/JRM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/861470800812/mncci-launches-bicol-business-month-set-on-nov-2016#sthash.2bRqKdFy.dpuf

Albay crafts comprehensive plan for war against drugs

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 10 (PIA) -- Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara has urged all local governments units and  other overnment agencies to develop a unified strategic strategy vital in the province’s anti-drug campaign in the wake of emerging problems due to the increasing number of personalities involved in peddling and use of illegal drug.

Bichara said the present protocol being utilized has no clear establishment in the roles of all concerned stakeholders, management while referral systems are not properly established yet with links to proper screening, assessment, and management of surrendering drug users still lacking.

The provincial government, according to the governor, will tie up with the Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol and the Malinao Treatment and Rehabilitation Center to conduct a two-day training activity among key personnel of local governments to remedy some gaps in the fight against illegal drugs and address other needs of personalities who submit themselves for reforms.

The stakeholders will train on "Rapid Screening, Assessment, and Management of Surrendering Drug Users in Bicol” on August 11-12, 2016 in Legazpi City.

"With such training plus other interventions, we hope that every city and municipality in Albay will have a formidable cast which will face the seemingly insurmountable task of properly managing the colossal turnout of surrendering drug users," Bichara said.

Bichara also proposed earlier during a meeting with the Provincial Peace and Order Council for the construction of a makeshift rehabilitation center using tents in Tula-tula, Ligao City to act as temporary shelter while more permanent and long-term solutions are being developed and implemented.

Bichara further called for a solid partnership from all concerned agencies to eradicate all presence of drugs in the province, including users and pushers who continually operate in Albay. (MAL/RCF- PIO-PGA/PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211470792826/albay-crafts-comprehensive-plan-for-war-against-drugs#sthash.I5gP9ipK.dpuf

Bicol region has 2nd highest employment rate in the Phl

Sally Atento-Altea

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug 9 (PIA) --  More jobs were generated in the Bicol region pushing its employment rate to 96.2 percent, the second among the regions and even surpassing the 93.9 percent national employment rate.

In the latest Labor Force Survey (LFS) conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority on April 2016, Bicol region likewise posted the second lowest unemployment rate in the country at 3.8 percent.

“We have almost a 100 percent employment rate and it is even more notable that we have the second lowest unemployment rate in the entire country,” said Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Bicol OIC Director Atty. Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla.

Cagayan Valley has the highest employment rate at 96.9% and lowest unemployment rate at 3.1 percent

The survey shows that out of the total population in the region, some 3.7 million Bicolanos aged 15 years old and above are part of the labor force comprising the 67 percent labor force participation rate of the region.

“This figure has gone up by at least two notches from 65.3% from last year’s LFPR,” Trayvilla said.

Trayvilla attributed these developments not only to their department but also to the active implementation of the programs and services of all the government offices and LGUs in the entire region.

“Although, our major employment enhancement programs like the Job Fairs, Employment Kiosks, Government Internship (GIP), DKSK, TUPAD and SPES may have been a big factor on this, still it is the convergence of programs from other agencies and LGUs that brought Bicol to this high employment rate,” she said.

DOLE Bicol further eyes lower poverty incidence in the region since most Bicolanos are actively earning.

“Of course if you’re gainfully employed then you are earning and that earnings could transform the daily living of not just an individual but the entire family. Our vision is to have at least two family members having sustainable income,” Trayvilla said.

However the region posted 33.6 percent underemployment rate, the highest among the regions and even higher by 4.3 percent compared to the underemployment rate recorded last year.

Moreover, Trayvilla said DOLE Bicol sees this as an opportunity rather than a set-back.

“We see this as a stepping stone and opportunity. Sooner or later those underemployed will transition to a better job,” she said.

Employed persons are classified as either full-time or part-time workers categorized as wage and salary workers, self-employed workers without any paid employee, employers in own family-operated farm or business, and unpaid family workers.

Visibly underemployed persons are those who work for less than 40 hours in a week.

On the other hand, Overseas Filipino workers are not considered part of the labor force in the Philippines. Thus in the LFS, data on economic characteristics of household members who are OFWs are not collected.(SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571470732880/bicol-region-has-2nd-highest-employment-rate-in-the-phl#sthash.NUYYePkN.dpuf

Metrobank, Probe Media hold journalism lectures, media training in Bicol

By Sally Atento-Altea

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 9 (PIA) – The Metrobank Foundation and Probe Media Foundation hold the second leg of its lecture and media training session this year in the Bicol region.

The lecture entitled 8th Metrobank Foundation Lecture Series in Journalism was held on August 4 at the Bicol University amphitheater for journalism and mass communication students with 2015 Metrobank Foundation Journalists of Year awardees as main speakers.

Sharing their knowledge and experiences are Philippine Daily Inquirer former senior reporter Nancy Carvajal, GMA Netwrok vice president and anchor Howie Severino and Rappler editor-at-large Marites Vitug.

The speakers underscored the contribution of their work to positive social change citing the practices in their respective careers in influencing and developing the public towards constructive growth.

The media training session dubbed “Journalism and Numbers: Making Stories that Matter” was held August 5 at the Ninong’s Hotel in Legazpi City for journalists, media practitioners and public information officers in the region.

Journalist Tess Bacalla, Philipppine Press Institute Training Director and De La Salle University lecturer led the session and workshop on “Journalism and Numbers: Telling Better Stories with Data” noting the need to understand numbers and to interpret and analyze data to be used meaningfully in media reportage.

She further urged the participants for stories that are meaningful, impactful and personal not just to inform the public but also engage and involve them to take action and contribute to positive change.

Nancy Carvajal discussed the session on “Making Stories that Matter and safety in Reportage” which focused on how powerful stories can contribute to positive change while ensuring safety.

Carvajal shared her experiences and insights on how to come up with good and powerful stories while ensuring safety from dangers that may come along with it further stressing on how powerful stories can contribute to positive change. She cited her investigative reports on the PDAF scam expose which led to changes in government policies and indictment of involved personalities.

The Metrobank Foundation lecture and media training series will likewise be held in various areas of the country to advance the knowledge of practicing and aspiring journalists and uplift the journalism profession. (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571470727297/metrobank-probe-media-hold-journalism-lectures-media-training-in-bicol#sthash.2kh38lgK.dpuf

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

DSWD programs contribute to the fast economic growth of Bicol, says NEDA

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 9 (PIA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Bicol regional office here has reaffirmed its commitment to further strengthen social protection programs and services to help uplift the live of the Bicolanos after alluded as one of the contributors in propelling the economic growth of Bicol region.

It can be recalled that Bicol regional director Agnes Espinas has credited the programs and initiatives of DSWD Bicol in helping achieve the significant growth of the regional economy in 2015.

Espinas noted that Bicol’s improving economic status was due to the continuing inter-agency efforts in the region, noting that of DSWD Bicol's as an example in the contribution to the economic growth with its various trailblaizing initiatives that now benefit the poorest of the poor in the remote areas.

Philippine Statistical Authority (PSA) Bicol regional director Cynthia Perdiz meanwhile said during the media conference on the 2015 Report on the Regional Economy of Bicol Region last week that the regional economy of Bicol recorded the highest growth rate of 8.4 percent which it has ever attained in terms of gross regional domestic product (GRDP).

Perdiz said Bicol region topped in terms of economic growth among other regions nationwide accelerating to 8.4 percent in 2015, almost double its pace in 2014.

According to her, the "services' sector has contributed the biggest share of the region’s economy with 56.1 percent while the "industry" share some 22.5 percent in 2015 which has improved by 2.8 percent in 2014.

DSWD Bicol has really bankrolled on services by investin in people through the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program or 4Ps wherein a total of about 369,000 received benefits from conditional cash transfers in 2015.

With the2015 Listahanan household assessment, jobs were since generated in the other services sector employing 2,966 field staff all across the region for the conduct of the second round of assessment.

Moreover, the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan - Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Services or Kalahi-CIDSS has contributed on the other capital outlays with the construction of 1,370 classrooms for senior highs school, 221 community centers or multi-purpose buildings, 217 flood/river control structures and 215 school buildings. Some 7,843 core shelter units were also completed under the Core Shelter Assistance Program.(MAL-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211470206032/dswd-programs-contribute-to-the-fast-economic-growth-of-bicol-says-neda#sthash.SoSwOIHX.dpuf

DOLE boasts improved employment rate of Bicol

Julius Embile

LEGAZPI CITY, August 9 (PIA) – “We have almost a 100% employment rate and it is even more notable that we have the second lowest unemployment rate in the entire country!” stated Atty. Ma. Karina Peridal-Trayvilla, OIC regional director of the Department of Labor and Employment of the Bicol region (DOLE-5).

This was upon receiving the news that Bicol have had a significant boost in its employment rate this year, based on the latest report released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

 Along with Trayvilla, the rest of DOLE-5 has been greatly elated as the Bicol region climbs the ranking as the second best in the country in terms of increased employment rate and reduced unemployment standing. Region 2 nabs the rank-one spot, but with only a ‘point seven’ (.7) margin from Region 5.

As per DOLE, the said statistical data was received by their office last July when PSA-Bicol’s regional director Cynthia Perdiz released the official economic standing of the region. The date gathered by PSA’s latest survey showed Bicol’s employment rate rocketing from 95.4% of last year’s first quarter to 96.9% of this year’s first quarter.

The statistics also presented a considerable plummet of the unemployment rate, from 4.6% last year to 3.8% of this year.

DOLE further states that, of the estimated five million Bicolano population, 3.7 million are categorized in the working population which resulted to the rise of the Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) to 67%. This reflects a two points increase compared to last year’s 85.3% in LFPR.

Furthermore, DOLE translates a lowering of the poverty incidences in the region as a result of the increased employment rate, given the fact that most Bicolanos are actively earning.

Though they have missed being ranked first by just a hair-line, DOLE-5 states that “second place isn’t that bad” as they also recognize other opportunities needing much attention. For instance, ‘underemployment’, or those employed in jobs below their given skill sets, also increased from 29.3% last year to 33.6% this year.

In response, Trayvilla said: “We see this as a stepping stone and opportunity. Sooner or later, those underemployed will transition to better jobs.” (MAL/JBE-PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3301470730367/dole-boasts-improved-employment-rate-of-bicol#sthash.EoFRsdge.dpuf

Stakeholders push for disaster resilient community, NDCM in Camarines Norte

By Rosalita B. Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, Aug. 9 (PIA) – Stakeholders have supported disaster resilient communities in the localities through various efforts in response to the Disaster Risk Reduction/Climate Change Adaptation (DRR/CCA) programs of the government.

This was tackled during the Talakayan sa PIA kapihan of the Camarines Norte Information Center here wherein stakeholders come from the Office of the Civil Defense, Region V; Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO); Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices (MDRRMOs) of Paracale, San Lorenzo Ruiz, Labo and Jose Panganiban; Department of Education (DepEd); Philippine Army 49th IB; and Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).

OCD Bicol regional information officer Mark Cirunay haslauded the provincial government of Camarines Norte for the conduct of the 5th DRR/CCA Skills Olympics in line with the National Disaster Consciousness Month (NDCM) this July.

He said that the activity was also in response to the program to build a safer, adaptive, disaster resilient communitiews to attain sustainable development.

He said that DRR/CCA strategy now is from the bottom - the family, community, localities, regional to national level to attain resiliency.

Cirunay stressed that we should be pro-active and focus on mitigation, resiliency, and preparedness at the family level wherein one in the home should know how to respond to calamities.

He said that if the community has the capacity, the risk will be reduce because we are targeting zero casualties or at least minimize it.

Arnel Ferrer public safety officer of the PDRRMO on the other hand said that other activities conducted in line with the NDCM celebration by the provincial government were hanging of streamers, land mobile compliance training, DRR/CCA summit and extemporaneous speaking contest.

The 5th DRR/CCA Skills Olympics is the culminating activity from July 27-29, participated in by selected students from elementary, secondary, college and municipal fire brigade.

Ferrer also announced that out of 12 MDRRMOs, eight are already in permanent positions which in turn will capacitate them to do their job in implementing DRR/CCA programs.

MDRRMO Adel Zamudio of Paracale said that in observance of the NDCM, they conducted mangrove planting resulting to 5,000 propagules planted in coastal areas; hold earthquake, fire and evacuation drills; and organized barangay rescue teams.

Paracale has established incident command system at the barangay level with appropriate training.

Zamudio also said that they have already identified hazard areas in mining sites, wherein they will close illegal mining in partnership with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) soon.

MDRRMO cheif Rommel Abejero of San Lorenzo Ruiz on the other hand said that although the town is elevated and one of the safest places in the province, they always remind families in their safety.

He said that they have conducted family contingency planning participated by 600 families from the eight barangay of the town and will also hold the same in the remaining localities.

San Lorenzo Ruiz has already purchased 80% of the equipment required for DRR/CCA coming from the 5% calamity fund.

Julio Luzarraga, designate MDRRMO of Labo said that they also support the activities of the PDRRMO especially the Skills Olympics which is very important because students can bring their abilities in their own family adding that several activities conducted in line with NDCM in the town.

Jose Panganiban local disaster risk reduction management officer Mia S. Sarumo said that they also led earthquake drills for students and urged BDRRMO to submit DRR/CCA plan.

DepEd Project Development Officer Geronimo Burce Jr. said that they see to it that new school buildings constructed are located in disaster free areas but those old in hazard areas were rehabilitate and some were advised not to use.

On the other hand, Fire Officer Anna Khristina R. Talento of BFP said that the participants to the fire rescue and evacuation scenario of the 5th DRR/CCA Skills Olympics are municipal fire brigades from the 10 towns of the province, this was the first time conducted for the barangay first responders.

Talakayan sa PIA kapihan was held after the opening program of the 3 day 5th DRR/CCA Skills Olympics on July 27 at Sanayang Pangkaligtasan, Sitio Mat-I Vinzons. (RBM-PIAV/Camarines Norte)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/871470202143/stakeholders-push-for-disaster-resilient-community-ndcm-in-camarines-norte#sthash.yCarpdul.dpuf

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Tech4Ed Center in Sorsogon now fully operational

By Bennie A. Recebido

SORSOGON CITY, August 3 (PIA) – Sorsoganons can now access the Technology for Education to Train Entrepreneurs for Employment Towards Economic Development or Tech4Ed Program after it became fully operational this August 2016.

Launched last February this year, the program can be accessed at the Tech4Ed Center located inside the Provincial Library at the second floor of the Provincial Capitol Building in this city.

Provincial Librarian Ms. Christine Sincua, who is also in-charge of the center, said that the Tech4Ed Program is an inclusion initiative of the Department of Science and Technology-Information Communication Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) to harness the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to enable the society to be more productive.

She said the primary targets are Sorsoganons who are out-of-school-youth, adult, senior citizen, farmer, fisher folk, women, entrepreneur, teacher, and indigenous people, among others especially those from the rural areas not yet reached by technology.

The program is focused on the accessibility of every individual to education, employment and economy. “This is likewise a solution to computer illiteracy,” said Ms. Sincua.

Engr. Antonio D. Bonganay, focal person of the Tech4ED project, meanwhile, said the program includes different features that can easily be learned, however, he admitted that one of the hindrances that Sorsoganons may face in accessing the program is that not all of them especially those in remote areas and the farming sector whom they give priority is not that knowledgeable on computer operations.

“This is the reason why we prepared and established Tech4Ed Centers to train them to become computer literates for free,” he said.

Bonganay likewise said that since Tech4Ed program is a computerized program composed of different classifications that uses internet, they will establish wireless connections in strategic locations that would boost up internet access.

According to Sincua, now that it is fully operational, the program would offer the e-EduSkill including Alternative Learning System (ALS) or the e-Skwela program; Learning English Application for Pinoy (LEAP); e-Skills Training; and Values and Character Formation.

It would also offer the e-Assist segment with the following components: the ICT for Digital Literacy; ICT for Financial Literacy; ICT for Career Development; and ICT for Entrepreneurs.

Other program classifications it offers are e-Agri; e-Marketplace: e-Trade and Job Portal.

 The e-gov program will cater on line application and access to government agencies.

 Sincua said that in order to access the program/platform, one has to approach the Tech4Ed center manager for enrolment. (MAL/BAR-PIA5/Sorsogon)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/801470196640/tech4ed-center-in-sorsogon-now-fully-operational#sthash.xHCyMbAM.dpuf

NNC showcases Bicolano moms’ creativity in preparing food for baby’s first 12-23 months

By Sally Atento-Altea

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug 3 (PIA) – The National Nutrition Council (NNC) Bicol, in coordination with the Regional Nutrition Committee, led the complementary food preparation contest Friday last week as part of this year’s Nutrition Month celebration themed “First 1000 days ni baby pahalagahan para sa malusog na kinabukasan.”

NNC Bicol Nutrition Program coordinator Arlene R. Reario said the month-long celebration seeks to create awareness on the significance of good maternal nutrition and proper infant and young child feeding practices.

“This year’s theme highlights the first 1000 days of life-starting from the first day of conception until the 2nd birthday of the child-globally considered as the golden window of opportunity for interventions that aim to achieve maximum potential of a child’s growth and development,” Reario said.

The food preparation contest for mothers with children aged 12 -24 months old aims to provide venue for mothers to showcase their knowledge and creativity on complementary food preparation to achieve optimal growth and nourishment of their children along with continued breastfeeding.

“The NNC also hopes to teach other mothers on the need to ensure adequate quantity and quality of the complementary food provided to young children,” Reario added.

Reario stressed the need for mothers to be creative in preparing and giving nutritious and balanced food to their children citing proper combination from the go, grow and glow food groups.

Ten mothers joined the contest bringing along their children for the actual food tasting.

The contestants prepared three main meal equivalent to breakfast, lunch and dinner and two snacks from the available cooked and raw food items provided by NNC Bicol.

The food prepared was judged based on creativity (20%), nutritive value (35%), acceptability (30%) and presentation (15%).

Cash prizes are awarded to top three winners ranging from P3000-P1,000 while non-winners were given P500.00 as consolation prizes.

Declared winners are Melanie N. Magsipoc (1st) of Brgy. San Agustin, Iriga City , Gemalyn Abunda (2nd) of Brgy. Lapu-Lapu, Legazpi City and Sharlyn A. Oquendo (3rd) of Brgy. Quitago, Guinobatan Albay.

The baby’s first 1000 days of life is the period between conception until the child’s 2nd birthday. The 1000 days comprise 270 days of pregnancy, 365 days for the first year of life of the child and another 365 days for the 2nd year of his/her life.

The first 1000 days is the period of rapid growth where nutrient deficiencies can have long-term consequences.

Studies have shown a link between undernutrition, especially stunting, in the early years of life and overnutrition in the child’s later years and consequent development of noncommunicable diseases. Stunting is defined as height or length-for-age below 2 zscore line based on the WHO Child Growth Standards. Stunted growth, or bansot in Filipino, means that the child is short compared to other children of the same age.  (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571470210161/nnc-showcases-bicolano-moms-creativity-in-preparing-food-for-baby-s-first-12-23-months#sthash.RahY4i4j.dpuf

Bicol joins observance of White Cane Safety Day on Aug. 1

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 3 (PIA) -- Advocates and stakeholders in the Bicol region joined the entire nation in observance of the White Cane Safety Day on Monday, August 1, pursuing the protection of the physical, moral and social well-being of the blind people in the the country.

Bicol regional director Arnel Garcia of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said there is still the need to instill awareness among the general public about the White Cane Act provided under Republic Act No. 6759 series of 1989 declaring August 1 of every year as White Cane Safety Day.

Garcia explained that it is the policy of the state to promote and protect the physical, moral and social well- being of all handicapped persons, such as the blind and to undertake studies on specific causes of high percentage of blind people in the Philippines.

"August 1 of each year is declared as White Cane Safety Day for the purpose of instilling public awareness on the plight of the blind, promoting recognition and acceptance of the “white cane” as a symbol of the need of the blind for specific assistance and as a reminder of the individual’s duty to care and accord due respects to his unfortunate brethren," he said..

The latest household assessment of the Listahanan revealed that there are 8,194 poor individuals in Bicol with disability and functional disabilities on seeing. This is where the importance of the White Cane advocacy will come in.

The cane is an important assistive device, thus proper use of the cane must be taught to them and even to the sighted guide.

The observance of the white cane day aims to instill public awareness of the plight of blind people; promote recognition and acceptance of the white cane as symbol of inability of blind person; serve as a reminder of the duty of the public to accord due respect to the blind; and, promote and protect the physical, moral and social well-being of blind persons.

“The White Cane is an international symbol for the blind," Garcia noted. (MAL-PIA5/Albay)  

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211470204273/bicol-joins-observance-of-white-cane-safety-day-on-aug-1#sthash.P4EmAzmW.dpuf

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Registrants for 2016 Barangay, KK elections in Albay reach more than 52K

 Julius Embile

LEGAZPI CITY, August 2 (PIA) – The registration period for the October 2016 Barangay and ‘Katipunan ng Kabataan’ (KK) elections has drawn to a close last Saturday in the province of Albay, garnering a grand  total of 52, 192 applications for registration, reactivations, and correction of entries.

The said registration period, intended as a preparation for this year’s Barangay and KK elections on October 31, spanned for 15 days from July 15 to July 30. During the said time period, officers and staff of the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) city and municipality election offices in all eighteen city/municipalities in Albay worked vigorously in receiving and processing the applications, even on Saturdays and Sundays.

According to the data from the Comelec Albay provincial office, the said registration period in the province has accumulated 36,790 new registrations for the KK elections (for 15 to 17 year old voters), 12,603 registrations for the regular elections (for voters 18 years old and upwards), 2,068 reactivations, 180 ‘change of name’ (CON), 150 ‘correction of entries’ (COE), and 401 ‘reactivations with change or corrections’.

During the 15–day registration, no application for transfer of voting registration was done in accordance to the orders of COMELEC’s head office. As per COMELEC, this is mainly for the elimination of the “hakot” scheme in which a candidate packs their barangay’s voters’ list with relatives and friends for ensured votes.

The first legislative district of Albay has accounted for a total of 14,571 applications, with a breakdown of 10,633 KK registrations, 3,205 regular election registrations, 564 reactivations, 89 reactivations with corrections, 36 CONs and 44 COEs.

On the other hand, the second legislative district of the province has given a total of 14,942 applications, composed of 10,406 KK registrations, 3,740 regular election registrations, 558 reactivations, 119 reactivations with corrections, 57 CONs, and 44 COEs.

Majority of the given grand total came from the third legislative district of Albay with 22,697. These include 15,751 KK registrations, 5,658 regular election registrations, 946 reactivations, 87 CONs, 62 COE, and 193 reactivations with corrections.

So far, Comelec Albay said that everything is going smoothly as planned in preparation for the upcoming election. The application they have gathered is scheduled to be processed and will undergo hearings of the Electoral Registration Board as scheduled.

Next for Comelec Albay is the filing of the Certificates of Candidacy on October 3 to 5  and the election’s campaign period from October 21 to 30. (MAL/JBE-PIA5)

Registrants for 2016 Barangay, KK elections in Albay reach more than 52K

By Julius Embile

LEGAZPI CITY, August 2 (PIA) – The registration period for the October 2016 Barangay and ‘Katipunan ng Kabataan’ (KK) elections has drawn to a close last Saturday in the province of Albay, garnering a grand  total of 52, 192 applications for registration, reactivations, and correction of entries.

The said registration period, intended as a preparation for this year’s Barangay and KK elections on October 31, spanned for 15 days from July 15 to July 30. During the said time period, officers and staff of the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) city and municipality election offices in all eighteen city/municipalities in Albay worked vigorously in receiving and processing the applications, even on Saturdays and Sundays.

According to the data from the Comelec Albay provincial office, the said registration period in the province has accumulated 36,790 new registrations for the KK elections (for 15 to 17 year old voters), 12,603 registrations for the regular elections (for voters 18 years old and upwards), 2,068 reactivations, 180 ‘change of name’ (CON), 150 ‘correction of entries’ (COE), and 401 ‘reactivations with change or corrections’.

During the 15–day registration, no application for transfer of voting registration was done in accordance to the orders of COMELEC’s head office. As per COMELEC, this is mainly for the elimination of the “hakot” scheme in which a candidate packs their barangay’s voters’ list with relatives and friends for ensured votes.

The first legislative district of Albay has accounted for a total of 14,571 applications, with a breakdown of 10,633 KK registrations, 3,205 regular election registrations, 564 reactivations, 89 reactivations with corrections, 36 CONs and 44 COEs.

On the other hand, the second legislative district of the province has given a total of 14,942 applications, composed of 10,406 KK registrations, 3,740 regular election registrations, 558 reactivations, 119 reactivations with corrections, 57 CONs, and 44 COEs.

Majority of the given grand total came from the third legislative district of Albay with 22,697. These include 15,751 KK registrations, 5,658 regular election registrations, 946 reactivations, 87 CONs, 62 COE, and 193 reactivations with corrections.

So far, Comelec Albay said that everything is going smoothly as planned in preparation for the upcoming election. The application they have gathered is scheduled to be processed and will undergo hearings of the Electoral Registration Board as scheduled.

Next for Comelec Albay is the filing of the Certificates of Candidacy on October 3 to 5  and the election’s campaign period from October 21 to 30. (MAL/JBE-PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3301470123128/registrants-for-2016-barangay-kk-elections-in-albay-reach-more-than-52k#sthash.qOuhDTWY.dpuf