Wednesday, December 21, 2011

KALAHI-CIDSS Project for newly-chosen municipalities

The Department of Social Welfare and Development recently conducted a forum on Conditions and Precedents of the KALAHI-CIDSS Project to provide newly-chosen municipalities with the framework, design, implementation process and key requirements for enrollment to the Project.

The Local Government Unit Forum was intended to provide mayors and their key officials the basic knowledge on how KALAHI-CIDSS is implemented so that these local government units can "make informed decisions" on their inclusion in the project.

The municipalities of Kapalong, Davao del Norte and Pantukan, Compostela Valley will join KALAHI-CIDSS in January next year after they were chosen during the municipal selection process held in July this year.

The forum was also a way of communicating the LGUs with "opportunities to engage the Provincial LGUs and the KALAHI-CIDSS Regional Project Management Office around the possible provision of technical assistance and other forms of support in KC implementation."

"The forum provided the mayors the venue where they could get the much-needed knowledge in assessing the dynamics in KALAHI-CIDSS implementation," said DSWD Regional Director Ester A. Versoza, also the KALAHI-CIDSS regional project director.

Versoza said the forum also allowed the department to link up with the municipalities not only for the implementation of KALAHI-CIDSS but also for other poverty reduction programs.

KALAHI-CIDSS or Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services is a World Bank-funded project which utilizes the Community Driven Development (CDD) approach.

Donate Caskets to Sendong Typhoon Victims in CDO and Iligan City

by Gideon C. Corgue

The provincial government of Zamboanga del Sur donates 100 handmade caskets for victims of the flood-affected area who died in a deadly flash floods that hit Iligan City in Southern Philippines.

Provincial information officer Leo Santillan said Governor Antonio H. Cerilles on Tuesday has ordered the provincial warden to immediately prepare funeral caskets for the victims.

Santillan said the caskets handcrafted by the 103 inmates of provincial jail were loaded in 5 dumptrucks delivered and turned-over this morning to a morgue n Iligan City.

Santillan said the caskets were intended to the victims in Iligan saying that it is near compared to Cagayan de Oro, whose people and properties also suffered death and destruction brought by typhoon Sendong.

OIC-provicial warden Arnell Joe Arcoy was impressed with the carpentry skills of the inmates adding that they have successfully produced the number of caskets as ordered by the chief executive despite the short number of hours given to them.

Arcoy closely supervised the inmates in making the caskets inside the Zamboanga del Sur reformatory center.

The efforts exerted is a show of unity between the government and civic organizations who manifested their great concern over the well-being of those who were victims of flashfloods Santillan said quoting Cerilles.

Despite the vicissitudes and turbulence in life, we, Filipinos still have the courage to rise up, Santillan added.

Seaweed Summit in Philippines

by Thelma C. Bicarme and Max Prudencio

To further develop the seaweed industry in Cagayan Valley region, several plans have been laid out during the recent Seaweed Summit in Region 2, participated by representatives from national and local government agencies, state universities and colleges and non-government organizations.

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Seaweeds Action Officer, Dr. Evelyn Ame said seaweed resources here are faced with threats and constraints which impeded its full development and optimum utilization.

Ame likewise laments that the seaweeds present in region 2 generally have low utilization as a food source.

"Seaweeds are highly nutritious and can help address nutrition problems among our constituents, sadly, these are hardly utilized except in the coastal communities," the seaweeds expert said.

"The open-access regime still exists, which if left unchecked, can eventually lead to lesser productivity. The gracilaria industry, on the other hand, suffer from low price as the seaweeds are mainly dried and shipped out of the region," Ame said.

To address these concerns, BFAR, with the assistance of other government agencies shall focus on the expansion of production areas, distribution of drying equipment, conduct of demos on seaweed processing and utilization, conduct of research on seaweed tissue culture and standardization of drying technique.

BFAR shall also create seaweed sanctuaries, pass resolution for regulated gathering and conduct massive information and education campaign on importance of seaweeds as alternative livelihood.

Philippine Football Players Play for Sendong Typhoon Victims

Philippine Football Players Play for Sendong Typhoon Victims

There is a reason to go back to the field on Christmas eve.

Football players will play a weekend more on Saturday, this time to raise funds for the flood victims of the devastating Sendong which recently hit Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City and claimed some 1,000 lives.

Dubbed DFAid II, the fun games will be staged at the Davao Crocodile Park football complex with four football fields playing simultaneous games. It will be the second DFAid football-for-a-cause after the first one last July 7 to help raise donations for the flood victims of Matina.

DFAid II is organized by the Davao Football Community and Bravetower Events Promotions in cooperation with Davao Football Association (DFA), Davao Crocodile Park, Mindanao Travel Channel, and ABS-CBN.

"Yes, we are going back to the football field on Christmas eve to help the flood victims. We celebrated our Christmas party on the same day the floods hit Cagayan de Oro and we felt we need to go back and play, not to celebrate but to help," said Boboy Arrieta of the DFC after declaring that there will be football games this Saturday.

The DFC has already declared no games on Saturday after the completion of the three-leg DFC tournament and its Christmas party last Sunday.

Neil Bravo of sports firm Bravetower said he spoke to Davao Crocodile Park Football Academy coach Christian Ea who was in Cagayan de Oro with the Metro TMS club in the ongoing Philippine Futsal League Mindanao and was told of the situation in the calamity-hit city.

Bravo was told by Ea that there were even reports that there were some players and referees whose families perished in the floods.

"We hope that our football community will respond the way they did during the first DFAid. Maybe even more this time because of the gravity of the situation and the spirit of the Christmas season," Bravo said.

He added that Davao Crocodile Park president Sonny Dizon expressed elation over the social responsibility shown by the sports community.

ABS-CBN Davao through DXAB head Andy Rara already responded to receive and deliver the donations to Cagayan de Oro.

DFAid II will be a fun games format with teams playing 7-a-side. All four fields will be used simultaneously. Registration will be P500 per team with all proceeds going to the flood donations. Players and even non-players are encouraged to bring foodstuff, clothing, and bottled water which are the immediate need of the flood victims.

Activities at FARMC national level

by Thelma c. Bicarme and Max Prudencio

The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (FARMC) in region 2 recently elected its new representative to the planning, consultation and related activities at the FARMC national level.

The newly-elected representative, Alexander Agra, the current chairman of the Municipal of Claveria, together with his alternate, Eminio Albindo of MFARMC Sta. Ana, shall represent the fisherfolk of region 2 at the national level.

As Regional FARMC Chair, Agra said his priority would be to initiate the mandatory registration of all municipal fisherfolk and work for their accreditation at the department of labor, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and other relevant government agencies.

Likewise, Agra said that he will also recommend for the conduct of continuous enhancement training for current MFARMCs and the training for Deputy Fish Wardens.

The creation of FARMC is mandated at the national level and in municipalities abutting municipal water, and it intends to institutionalize the major role of the fisherfolk and other resource users in the planning and formulation of policies and programs for the management, conservation, protection and sustainable development of fisheries and aquatic resources.

Meanwhile, Senior Aquaculturist Venchito Villarao, BFAR 2 focal person for the Integrated Coastal Resources Management Project, disclosed plans to reactivate the Babuyan Channel Integrated FARMC early next year as measure to have a unified approach towards the management of the Babuyan Channel and expedite the resolution of issues affecting the area.

Floods in Bulacan State University, Philippines

by Jose Mari M. Garcia

College students in low-lying Bulacan towns struggled to travel from their homes to attend classes during the previous massive flooding only to find out that Bulacan State University (BulSU) was also submerged.

With this perennial flood woe, the BulSU Board of Regents recently approved an P18 million budget to elevate the roads inside the main campus here and to repair the clogged drainage system which triggers backflow of rancid-smelling seepage.

BulSU president Mariano De Jesus said the fund came from the savings of the 20,000-strong university which was spawned from the development fee paid by the students.

"I am embarrassed seeing the students wade through flood waters while I'm in the comfort of my car. So when I saw that there was fund which can ease the problem, I decided to take action," said De Jesus.

When it rains, water pumps are placed in the main and second gates of the university to seep the flood which reached two-feet high and divert it to the roads outside.

Students were relieved at the said plan of the school.

"This plan to repair the road is beneficial. Our problem is that the flood outside the university is higher so the water is collected here inside. If this will push through, this will be a big help," said Lyndon Saguinsin, a fifth year in Civil Engineering.

Third year Journalism student Katherine Mae Corbillon was delighted as this flood problem has has been there ever since she entered the 107-year old university.

Doctors to the Barrios Program

Ten young medical graduates were recently deployed to 10 doctor-less municipalities in Eastern Visayas under the 'Doctors to the Barrios' program, Department of Health Region 8 director Edgardo Gonzaga said.

Gonzaga said the doctors were assigned in fifth and sixth class municipalities namely, Limasawa in Southern Leyte; Jipapad in Eastern Samar; Hinabangan, Tagapul-an, Santo Nino and Matuguinao in the province of Samar; and Laoang, Silvino Lobos, San Antonio; and Gamay in Northern Samar.

The doctors are part of the 73 doctors who were recently assigned in various regions of the country namely, Northern Mindanao, 12; Western Visayas, seven; Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, seven; Ilocos Region, six; Cagayan Valley, five; Mimaropa, five; Cordillera Administrative Region, four; Central Visayas, four; Zamboanga Peninsula, three; Central Luzon, two; Calabarzon, two; Bicol Region, two; Caraga, two; Davao, one; and Socsargen, one.

Said doctors were trained by the National Telehealth Service Program, a collaboration of the Department of Health (DoH), the Department of Science and Technology, and the University of the Philippines Manila, in using telemedicine applications to support their practice in doctor-less and single-doctor communities.

They were trained to do tele-referrals to refer difficult to handle medical cases to specialists in government-run Philippine General Hospital.

Gonzaga said that telemedicine is bringing more Filipino doctors to the barrios. The government is now using information and communications technology to expand the scope of public healthcare services to geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.

Due to the absence of doctors in rural communities, indigent patients have to travel long hours to seek medical attention from clinical specialists in provincial or city centers.

Seal of Good Housekeeping

Another feather in the cap for the municipality of Bayog!

Mayor Leonardo L. Babasa Jr. received yesterday, December 20, 2011 another award from the Department of the Interior and Local Government in a simple ceremony held at TIMMULCO Bldg., this municipality.

DILG Regional Director Paizal O. Abutazil arrived in the municipality to award the "Seal of Good Housekeeping" in behalf of DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo who was tied up with the relief operations in Visayas and Mindanao as an aftermath of typhoon "Sendong." Abutazil came with Provincial Director Abcede H. Asjali, Al Haj, Elmer L. Egama and Rhea A. Romanos, both DILG 9 staff.

Bayog bagged the award for passing the standard of good governance set by the DILG: compliance with the Full Disclosure Policy, no adverse findings from the Commission on Audit, and how the municipal officials run the local government in various aspects.

With this award, Bayog will get P1 million Performance Challenge Fund which Mayor Babasa received yesterday. This means the local government will benefit from the LGSP wherein LGUs will receive more assistance from other national agencies.

The awarding ceremony was also attended by the legislative body headed by Vice Mayor Romualdo Goding, barangay chairmen of the municipality's 28 barangays headed by Hon. Cesar A. Dela Cruz, President of the Liga ng mga Barangay, department heads and other key officials.

Public Warned on Swindlers in Isabela, Philippines

Public Warned on Swindlers in Isabela, Philippines
by Merlito G. Edale, Jr.

The Isabela Police Provincial Office has called on Isabelinos to be careful against swindlers who are operating in the province, following the arrest of some of members of said syndicate in the province yesterday.

Police Senior Superintendent Franklin Moises Mabanag said the arrest of the suspects is the result of the vigilance of the public in reporting to the police the dubious activities of the syndicate.

Mabanag said the modus of the suspects is the exchanging of fake checks to business establishments wherein they were caught at San Mariano, Isabela.

Police in the province believed that the apprehended seven-member swindling syndicate in the province is only a part of a big syndicate operating not only in the province but in other parts of the Luzon.

The suspects are now at the police custody and a three-count case of swindling has been filed against them at the province's prosecutors office.

Mabanag has called on Isabelinos to report to the police those people who are doing doubtful financial transactions using fake checks.

He said swindling syndicates tend to take advantage of the holiday season when employees encash the checks they received from their employers.

Bayog and the City of Makati Agreement

by Bernadine Astillero-Gabawan

BAYOG, Zamboanga del Sur, Dec. 21 (PIA) -- Hon. Leonardo L. Babasa, Jr., Municipal Mayor of Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur joined Hon. Jejomar Erwin S. Binay, Mayor of Makati City in signing an agreement marking the establishment of a twinning relationship between the municipality of Bayog and the City of Makati on November 23, 2011 at the 22nd Floor of the Makati City Hall.

Bayog was one of the 11 municipalities who entered into an agreement with Makati City on the said date where they expressed a common desire to promote and foster strong special ties, mutual understanding, friendship and goodwill.

The eleven municipalities are: Bato, Catanduanes; Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur; Cuartero, Capiz; Hinunangan, Leyte; Gen Nakar, Quezon; San Jorge, Samar; Sta. Cruz, Marinduque; Tadian, Mt. Province; Talisay, Camarines Norte; Tolosa, Leyte; and Virac, Catanduanes.

These municipalities share the same objective with the City of Makati in creating an atmosphere in which economic and community development can be implemented and strengthened. They have the common desire to strengthen friendship, mutual understanding through exchanges in science and technology, culture and arts, tourism, planning and urban development, commerce/trade and industry, education and sports development, environmental protection, public health and social services among others of common concern.

Relocation Sites for Sendong Typhoon Victims

Relocation Sites for Sendong Typhoon Victims
by Precie Catherine C. Cuarto

The government is preparing safe relocation sites for the victims of tropical storm 'Sendong,' an official from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Wednesday.

According to Cdr. Edgardo J. Ollet, Chief of NDRRMC-Office of Civil Defense, 49,441 families or 276,400 persons are staying in evacuation centers as of this morning.

As part of President Bengino S. Aquino III's thrust for poverty alleviation, Ollet said a cluster was formed to take charge of the relocation procedures to ensure that survivors will have a humane living condition after the deluge.

The cluster is composed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, National Housing Authority, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and local government units (LGUs).

Ollet said President Aquino's order was not to let anyone go back to the hazard-prone areas. Public lands which will be granted by LGUs to survivors will be further examined by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of DENR to ensure that the soil is safe from liquefaction and possible landslide.

How to Make Coconut Tree Healthy and Profitable

How to Make Coconut Tree Healthy and Profitable
by Ninfa B Quirante

Some 4, 900 bags of coconut fertilizers have been delivered to 10 municipalities in Samar under the National Coconut Productivity Program (NCPP).

In an interview, Samar's Coconut Development manager Emi Acasio said that the fertilizer is needed to make the coconut trees productive and bear quality fruits.

"The coconut fruit becomes heavier and the coconut meat thicker if the tree is fertilized," he told radio listeners in a phone patch interview, Tuesday.

As the province of Samar is divided into 10 coconut development areas; each area received 490 bags.

"These were directly delivered to the areas by a forwarder commissioned by PCA," added Acasio.

Aside from the fertilization of coco trees, another project under the NCPP, the Participatory Coconut Planting Project (PCPP), is also ongoing, the PCA director said.

Under the program, a farmer who plants a coconut tree is paid, this scheme starts when he plants the seedling and he gets P5.00. When the coco tree grows to a meter or so he is again given a certain amount; for a desired growth, a farmer gets paid, and all in all, a farmer is paid at least P30.00 just to make sure that the trees are surviving.

"Whats more, he can utilize the planted coconut, it is like saying that the government pays you for being a coconut farmer," said Acasio.

Relative to this, Acasio urged Samarnons to plant more coconuts.

How to Boost Local Halal Industry

by Perlita Changco

In a bid to boost the local halal industry, the local government unit is pushing for the construction of a modern slaughter house in Cotabato City, Mayor Jojo Guiani, Jr. announced.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod has approved the P30 million appropriation for the implementation of said project by early next year.

Guiani said, as counterpart of the city government, negotiations are underway with barangay officials and private landowners for the donation of the construction site through a memorandum of agreement (MOA).

The official said, the project would not only provide livelihood opportunities for many residents but also boost the local economy through possible export of quality beef and sheep meat slaughtered and processed in said modern facility.

Guiani said the slaughter house forms part of the city government's efforts to push and institutionalize the halal industry in the area.

Cinematography Workshop in the Philippines

Students of different schools in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi have undergone a four -day cinematography workshop conducted by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) at the Beachside Inn and Restaurant, which culminated last Dec 12.

Tawi-Tawi provincial information officer Abdel Nasser Tahang reported that the Introduction/Refresher to Basic Cinematography training program is aimed to inculcate basic knowledge on the components of cinematography or film making to its participants.

The workshop was attended by about 80 participants from the different colleges and secondary schools in the premier town, namely, Mahardika Institute of Technology (MIT), Tawi-Tawi Regional Agricultural College (TRAC), Mindanao State University (MSU), Abubakar Computer Learning Center Foundation Incorporated (ACLCFI), Notre Dame of Bongao (NDB), Tawi-Tawi School of Arts and Trade (TTSAT), Tawi-Tawi School of Fisheries (TTSF), and some volunteer employees of the provincial government of Tawi-Tawi and other LGUs.

It was learned that the decision to hold a seminar in Tawi-Tawi highlights the pledge of the FDCP to instill basic knowledge and understanding on how the people will undertake and achieve cinematography in this Southern island province of the archipelago.

Tahang said the workshop was the second FDCP activity in the province following its film festival by the Sineng Pambansa last September wherein about 10 films were shown to the people of Tawi-Tawi, which underscored the commitment of the FDCP "to bring Filipino films to Filipinos, wherever they may be in the scattered islands of the archipelago, or in their overseas communities," FDCP said in a statement.

Christmas tree made from sacks, dried coconut flowers and gihoy

A parol crafted purely out of old newspapers, a Christmas tree made from sacks, dried coconut flowers and gihoy (midribs) and accentuated with plastic soda bottles caps, and a Belen fashioned out of dayami (rice straws), were declared First Prize Winners in the first-ever Kamundagan Festival conducted by the Catanduanes State Colleges Without Borders (CSCWB), a Social Networking Site of CSC alumni.

The contest was co-sponsored and facilitated by the CSC Federated College Student Council (FCSC) headed by its president Glenda Rima on December 16, 2011 at the CSC main campus. A total of P30,000 cash prize was provided by CSCWB. It was generated from the donations of its members who are all alumni of CSC and working elsewhere around the globe.

Eight Student Body Organizations from five CSC colleges and three departments, including four recognized fraternities and sororities at CSC participated in the contest. The CSC-FCSC also gave additional P500 for the consolation prize, other administrative costs, and work force requirement.

The complete list of winners and their cash prizes are: Parol Making Contest – First, College of Arts and Sciences SBO (P3,000); Second Place – College of Health Sciences (P2,000); Third Place – College of Technology-Department of Industrial Technology (P1,000); Consolation Prizes – College of Technology-Department of Engineering (P500); College of Business and Accountancy (P500).

Christmas Tree Making Contest: First Place – Department of Engineering SBO (P5,000), Second Place – College of Health Sciences (P3,000) and College of Arts and Sciences (P2,000); Consolation Prizes – College of Technology-Department of Technology (P1,000); College of Business and Accountancy (P1,000), College of Technology-Department of Information and Communication Technology (P500)

Belen Making Contest: First Place – Beta Kappa Pho (P5,000); Second Place – Alpha Kappa Rho (P3,000) Third Place – Tau Gamma Phi/Sigma (P2,000), and Fourth Place – Alpha Phi Omega (P1,000)

The CHS Christmas Tree is made of banig (caragumoy mat) and decorated with plastic pharmaceutical bottles and further accentuated with gold painted dried mana£o (wild orchid) leaves. The Department of Information and Communication Technology's Christmas tree is composed of compact discs symmetrically attached to a net.

Solid Waste Management in Philippines

by Merlito G. Edale, Jr.

This Isabela town will not stop its solid waste management even during the upcoming holiday season as the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer (MENRO) will continue to ensure 24/7 that the municipality will not incur volume of waste materials before, during and after the holiday season.

Municipal Environment and Natural Resources officer Henry Magno said he has already instructed his men to work double –time even during holiday season as more waste materials will be produced by households in preparation and after the celebration of Christmas and new year.

"I have instructed my men to work even during the holiday season to ensure zero waste," Magno said.

The municipality is champion on solid waste management for several years now and will continue to practice waste segregation.

OFW Family Day

by Neil D. Lopido

Despite heavy rains caused by tropical storm "Sendong," the celebration of this year's OFW Family Day in Eastern Visayas last December 17 was successful, the regional Overseas Welfare Workers Administration informed the Philippine Information Agency 8.

OWWA-8 information office Florence D. Panao said that some 739 overseas Filipino workers and beneficiaries participated in the annual celebration with some who traveled from as far as Northern Samar and Southern Leyte just to show and experience the joy and value of togetherness despite the distance and bad weather condition.

Though it was expected that at least 1,500 OFWs and their beneficiaries will attend the event, still OWWA-8 through director Ma. Evangelina V. Filamor was confident to say that the activity was successful.

One of the highlights of the whole day activity include the awarding of a former OFW from Isabel, Leyte in the name of Victor Villegas who was represented by his son and wife, as a gesture of salutation to the achievements and heroic contributions to the country's economy. The award received include a cash donation of P5,000 and a check amounting to P5,000 plus a Noche Buena package, Panao said.

Other activities which highlighted the event, she said, include games and raffle of prizes like netbook computer, refrigerator, washing machine, rice cookers, oven toasters, cellular phones, USB flash drives, cellcards, t-shirts, and bags of Noche Buena packages.

Greening Program of the National Government of Philippines

by Ruel M. Orinday

In line with the greening program of the national government, the community environment and natural resources office (CENRO) has planted about 190,000 forest and fruit trees in various areas of its responsibility.

Ramil Gutierrez, officer-in-charge forest management sector of CENRO Pagbilao said, the areas planted by forest and fruit trees were roadsides of the towns of Sariaya, Tayabas and Pagbilao including schools in Lucena City.

Under the protected area community based resource management agreement program, the area planted was Mount Banahaw San Cristobal in barangay Mamala, Sariaya, Quezon.

Other areas planted were Quezon Protected Landscape specifically in barangay Malicboy Pagbilao, Quezon and barangay Malinao Ilaya in Atimonan, Quezon; Barangay Ilayang Palsabangon, Pagbilao, Quezon and barangay Rosario, Mauban, Quezon.

Gutierrez also said the tree planting activities which started in January to December 2011 were conducted in partnership with the different local government units, rotary clubs, students, Department of Education and civil society.

The DENR is also targeting 500,000 seedlings (trees and fruit bearing trees) to be planted in 2012 in 1,000 hectares through the national greening program. The national greening program aims to increase household incomes, enhance environmental stewardship, improve general well-being of communities, increase economic activity, increase interest in technology and business development and increase production of crops and forest-based materials, increase environmental stability and sustain provision of ecosystem goods and services.

Road Project of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)

by Joie L. Ceballos

Jabonga Mayor Glicerio Monton expressed optimism that the road project of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) will boost the economy of Barangay Baleguian in Jabonga, this province.

"This is a rich barangay, with rice as the major crop, and will prosper with this road", said Monton during the recently held turn over ceremony of the NRJ Baleguian – Bagang Farm-to-Market Road.

DAR-Regional Director Faisar Mambuay and Agusan Norte PARO Andre Atega handed pertinent documents to Mayor Monton during said activity.

Mambuay said that the 1.9 km road will benefit 250 agrarian reform beneficiaries and many other farmers and settlers in the barangay and its neighboring areas, and is expected to help them in their daily life.

For Barangay Kagawad Losantos Edilo, the project is an answer to a long dire dream and thanked DAR for its continuing effort of providing development for the farmers.

Also, Engr. Marybeth Burgos, representing Regional Director Danilo Versola of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), cited that the realization of the project speaks of the good relationship of the national and local government offices, particularly DAR and DPWH and the LGU-Jabonga.

Utilizing Pig’s Manure For Fuel

by Carmel Chammag

A project in Banaue, Ifugao utilizing pig's manure for fuel was given a P 1.36 million grant by the Productivity Enhancement Program or KR2 program managed by the National Economic Development Authority – Cordillera Administrative Region (NEDA-CAR).

The project entitled "Promoting Bio Gas Technology at the Grassroots Level, " covers 10 barangays namely: Bocos, Poblacion,Viepoint,Taman, Amganad, Batad, Poitan, Kanakin, Bangaan, Dudigan with about 100 household beneficiaries. The project will start January 2012 and is expected to be completed in a year.

The Memorandum of Agreement ( MOA) for this undertaking between the local government unit of Banaue and NEDA-CAR was held last December 16, 2011. Mayor Jerry Dalipog of Banaue sign the MOA on behalf of Banaue LGU while Director Leonardo N. Quitos, Jr. signed on behalf of NEDA-CAR. Also present during the MoA signing were Banaue councillors Joel Bungallon and Jun Dumar.

During the MoA signing, a check worth P1.08 representing 80% of the P 1.36 million was turned over by Director Quitos to Mayor Dalipog. The remaining 20% or P272,000 will be given upon completion of the project.

The technology for bio gas is not new, however, it will be the first time that this undertaking will be pioneered on a barangay wide level.

The bio gas technology would make use of manure from pigs to be deposited to the bio tanks where it will be processed into fuel. PVC pipes will be connected from the bio tank to the households to supply the households with fuel. Part of the project is also an Information and Education Campaign (IEC) for the households beneficiaries on the use of bio gas technology and hog raising livelihood project. About 20 bio tanks will be constructed around the coverage barangays and approximately 100 piglets to be distributed to 10-15 households.

Free Clinic and Accreditation to Licensed Basketball Referees

by Maritess B. Beñas

Members of the World Federation of Basketball and the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP) conducted free clinic and accreditation to licensed basketball referees and aspirants in the province last week here.

The clinic and accreditation was carried out by three licensed international referees and clinicians from the World Federation of Basketball and the SBP who came all the way to Abra to attend to the more than 70 participants here.

In an interview with the local media here, Daniel Soria, the SBP area head who came with Mr. Rocky Britanico and Mr. Reggie Valenzuela from the Philippine Basketball Association and Philippine Basketball League (PBA/PBL) in Manila, said the clinic and accreditation is conducted every two years for two reasons: first, for the referees to renew their licenses and second, for them to be updated of the changing rules of basketball.

The rules of the international federation of basketball change every so often that the referees have to be updated of these rules because basketball is global.

The SBP program on accreditation and licensing aims to enhance the referees skills and knowledge and push for the continuing movement and development of the basketball players because the performance of the basketball players is highly dependent on the referees' signals. The players must have a correct and common interpretation of the whistle of the referee.

The SBP conducted lectures, written examinations and practicum tests to the 70 referees and aspirants. Many of the participants are already trained and licensed referees who needed to renew their license.

Soria said there are a lot of potentials in Abra who can already go to the national and international levels of basketball.

Project on network of universities and research councils

The National Research Council of the Philippines (DOST-NRCP), in collaboration with the Ateneo School of Government of the Ateneo de Manila University, recently worked out a project on network of universities and research councils.

The three-year project entitled "Universities and Councils Network on Innovation for Inclusive Development in Southeast Asia (AUNIID-SEA) started last December 1, 2011.

Dr. Ellie Osir, program specialist of the regional office of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC Canada), initially met with NRCP executive director Dr. Cecilia P. Reyes as the projects new leader/coordinator.

The project aims to support universities and councils in Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam. They will be assisted by the network through NRCP in re-orienting their teaching, research priorities, and research agenda-setting.

Highest case detection and cure rate of tuberculosis (TB)

The Center for Health Development (CHD)-Calabarzon region of the Department of Health (DOH) recently awarded Rizal province for achieving the highest case detection and cure rate of tuberculosis (TB) in the whole region.

In a letter to Rizal Gov. Jun Ynares, Director Juanito Taleon of CHD-Calabarzon region said that the province is receiving an achievement award for being the regional champion with the highest TB case detection and cure rate during the 6th Tuberculosis program regional recognition rites held recently in a famous resort hotel in the province.

The award is the second recognition given to Rizal province. Rizal Gov. Jun Ynares said that the award is another manifestation of our unrelenting efforts to totally control the spread of the disease among the province's vulnerable constituents.

In a related development, the provincial government of Rizal has scaled-up its anti-TB program by collaborating recently with various government agencies and private groups and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) through the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The MOU signing marked the public-private partnership initiative in providing access to TB care and management and ensures all people can avail of the TB treatment.

Valenciana Festival

Thousands of Gentriseños including local and foreign tourists witnessed and joined the much awaited 2nd Valenciana Festival which was held at the town plaza.

Mayor Luis "Jon-Jon" Ferrer IV and Cavite Councilor's League President Morit Sison led local officials in tasting the special cuisine made of rice, vegetables, saffron, chicken, and seafood.

The primary objective of this festival is to promote cultural awareness, attract local and foreign tourists and investors as well. It also to support the government's One Town, One Product (OTOP) campaign.

Valenciana is famous all over the province that the food itself has become a favorite staple in almost every gathering.

Valenciana is a special cuisine of Gentriaseños that was inherited from the Spaniards during the early times. The dish is derived from the Paella Valenciana, which originated in Spain. It is a one-pan peasant's dish made of rice, vegetables, saffron, chicken, and seafood.

Lacierda to Palparan: Surrender now

Lacierda to Palparan: Surrender now

Come out, come out wherever you are.

Retired Major General Jovito Palapran, formerly so bold and brazen, and lavishly coddled by the former administration, is now a fugitive from justice.

Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo and Justice Secretary Lila de Lima have formed a joint task force composed of the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation for the purpose of finding, arresting, and detaining the fugitive Palparan.

While he no longer has men under his command, and while he can no longer behave with impunity, it is incumbent upon Mr. Palparan to submit to the authorities and face the charges in court. We would hope that he will face the music and face the charges. Surrender now.

Christmas treat by lowering power rates

by Cristina Arzadon

The Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC) is giving its consumers a Christmas treat by lowering power rates by P0.60 per kwh (kilowatt hour).

The adjusted rate will be reflected in the December billing making power rates at P8.80 per kwh from a previous rate of P9.40 per kwh.

Engr. Renato Balintec, Inec general manager, said the new power rate is a result of lower power costs that INEC bought from power suppliers like the spot market.

"This is also in line with the principle on supply and demand such that when there is an oversupply and under consumption, the result is lower power cost," Balintec said.

"For example, because of traditional Holiday vacations, we expect lower power consumption when government offices and other businesses close down for the Christmas and New Year breaks," he added.

He noted that the cause for high cost of electricity in the previous months was due to a power shut down of the Malampaya Gas which supplies power to major areas in Luzon including Metro Manila.

"When Malampaya gas shut down, our rates increased by P0.40 because big power plants stepped into the shoes of Malampaya to produce electricity that it should have generated. These plants were using expensive crude oil," he said.

Balintec said Malampaya has resumed its operations resulting in a reduction of power costs.

Achievements of the OFWs

by R.G. Cadavos

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Regional Office 8 gathered at least 739 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) throughout Eastern Visayas Region to participate in the annual OFW Family Day, December 17.

OWWA RWO 8 officer-in-charge director Ma. Evangelina V.Filamor in her report, Tuesday said that the gathering was attended by OFWs from as far as the uppermost part of Northern Samar to the municipality of Pintuyan in Southern Leyte.

"The joy and value of togetherness of the said celebration and a chance to take home major and consolation prizes were enough reasons for them to push through despite the distance and the bad weather," Fillamor said.

"We were expecting as many as 1,500 OFWs and their beneficiaries as evidenced by the number of pre-registrants who confirmed their attendance to the said activity. But the bad weather prevented them to do that. Nevertheless, we are confident to say that even if Sendong swept Eastern Visayas, the 2011 OFW Family Day was a success," Filamor said.

The occasion was a salutation to the achievements of the OFWs to the country's economy, she said. This year's OFW Family Day highlighted fun, games, and raffle.

Oplan Iwas Paputok

The Department of Health (DoH) and the provincial health office including the Cavite Provincial Police Office (CPPO) and at least 14 local agencies joined hands in the recent launching of the "Aksyon: Paputok Injury Reduction" (APIR) aimed to make the holiday season safe and joy for everyone.

APIR or "High Five" in English (formerly called "Oplan Iwas Paputok) is an all-out campaign against prohibited firecrackers in this premier province.

Provincial Health Office head Dr. George R. Repique and Provincial Epidemiologist, Dr. Nelson C. Soriano led the recent APIR conference at the session hall in Trece Martires City. It will be implemented before, during and after the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

During the conference, Superintendent Michael B. Secillano, chief of CPPO for branch operation was quoted in saying that "APIR is for everyone to heed and keep the Christmas and New Year celebration safe and healthy to one and all. We have to remind everybody about the risk or hazards of exploding firecrackers so that we can go on high five after the season."

Meat Safety in the Philippines

by Aurora J. Casimpan

As preventive measure against the expected influx of unsafe meat in the market this holiday season, local government units (LGUs) in Eastern Visayas are urged to reactivate its Task Force Bantay Karne (TFBK) by the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) in the region.

NMIS regional technical director Dario Bonifacio Canillas informed that only cities and provincial capitals in the region have active TFBK. Since it is expected that demand for meat products would rise during the holidays and that the 10 personnel of NMIS would be unable to cover all markets in the region, the active participation of LGUs would boost the drive against errant traders of unsafe meat in the locality.

Canillas disclosed that an LGU task force is composed of the city municipal mayor as head, with members coming from the veterinary office, local police, non-government organizations, social welfare office, municipal health office, and Sangguniang Bayan chairperson on committee on health and laws.

The function of the task force is to set up a checkpoint near markets to deter illegal meat traders to ply tainted meat.

Although TFBK of LGUs is functional year round, it is told to strengthen its monitoring function every December in anticipation of the high demand for meat during the Christmas season.

The responsibilities of the task force also include strengthening the checking of illegal slaughtering and hot meat distribution and sale within the municipality and inspection of pertinent documents of all meat products.

Proper waste management through different school activities

In support to the advocacy of Mayor Doy Leachon towards sustainability of the Green Calapan program, the Holy Infant Academy (HIA) complied with the city ordinance on proper waste management through different school activities.

Otherwise known as Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 or RA 9003, the HIA thru the joint efforts of Fr. Nestor J. Adalia, school director, and Alona V. Cueto, school principal, adapted a child-friendly waste segregation project, by practicing the least use of plastics and implementing the smoke ban in all premises of the school and the cathedral.

Themed "HIAns in action for Life", the school launched the "HIAns in action for Clean and Green campaign" which resulted to different activities anchored to the six undertakings of the Green Calapan program namely: No Smoking, No Plastic Use, Earth Hour, Tree Planting, Clean City, and Materials Recovery Facility.

In compliance with the No Smoking Ordinance, Sto. Niño Cathedral Parish and HIA prohibited smoking on parking areas inside the school and the church compounds.

As part of implementation of the No Plastic Policy, the canteen stopped using plastic drinking straws for softdrinks. The school also discouraged the use of Styrofoam - whenever there are celebrations the students are encouraged to bring their own containers.

Actively pushing the goal of instilling among students the right practice of waste segregation, the School Council of Students (SCS) distributed to each classroom two new trash bins for biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes; and boxes for papers which can still be recycled.

Moreover, garbage disposal areas of the school were specified. Located in these areas are groups of bins secured in structured plywood and covered with tarpaulins having cartoonish designs to get the attention of children of the designated areas to throw their trash.

Festivities and gift-giving in Philippines

Festivities and gift-giving welcomed the residents of this premier municipality with recent opening of the 678 Wet and Dry Market located along Molino Boulevard. It is the biggest wet and dry market in Bacoor.

678 Wet and Dry Market, with around 600 tenants is situated on a two-hectare project which encompasses the 678 Commercial Complex; the wet and dry and the 678 Sakayan Terminal.

It transforms the concept of a conventional marketplace into a community center that caters to all the needs of the nearby residents.

The complex is designed to be sustainable with the buildings properly distributed and a landscape that dedicates more than forty (40) percent of the land area to open spaces such as pocket gardens and park areas.

The Sakayan Terminal on the other hand, will serve various routes in and around the province and other parts of Metro Manila.

The market also supports a no-plastic bag policy and will use recyclable paper bags and other biodegradable materials for packaging.

Avoid indiscriminate firing during Christmas

The 1,568 police force from 4 cities and 19 municipalities were ordered to seal with tapes their firearms to avoid indiscriminate firing during the Yuletide season.

It started last December 16 and will last up to January 2.

The said order came from Cavite Police Director Senior Superintendent John C. Bulalacao as he reiterated his earlier call to the men and women in uniform and to the civilians that those who fired their guns indiscriminately will be meted with the filing of appropriate charges and immediate detention.

"We are reminding everyone about the hazards of gun-firing. We will not tolerate indiscriminate firing. Policemen and civilians will be arrested, charged and detained if ever they will be caught firing their guns," Bulalacao said.

The office of the CPPO Public Information Office headed by Chief Inspector Romulo Dimaya also urged the citizens to cooperate and report to PPO and to police officers those policemen and civilians who fired their guns indiscriminately.

Help Reduce Philippines' Food Wheat Import

The government is eyeing the use of 'uraro' as a potential wheat flour substitute to help reduce Philippines' food wheat import amounting to more than $200 million yearly.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) is looking into the expansion potential of arrowroot, popularly known as 'uraro,' even as a unique community participation technique has raised yield of 'uraro' tubers.

This is by an average of by 100 percent from four metric tons (MT) per hectare to eight MT per hectare in a pilot program of DA's Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) in Catanuan, Quezon.

'Uraro' thrives anywhere in the country for as long as there's enough moisture. With our program to raise farmers' "sense of ownership" in the project, we're able to help them realize that agriculture can be a lucrative business," said Rosemarie Bautista-Olfato, Department of Agriculture (DA) - Southern Tagalog Integrated Agricultural Research Center (STIARC) assistant manager for technical programs.

The use of organic fertilizer was one of the major interventions of government in raising arrowroot production.

At present, Catanuan's 'uraro' produces only starch. However, with processing interventions, it will subsequently produce flour. The starch is now branded in the market as 'Catanuan's All Natural Arrowroot Starch".

The Philippines has long been in a search for food and wheat-based flour substitutes that may help reduce the country's dependence on food wheat importation. Among these potential alternates are corn flour used in pan de sal, pigeonpea flour used in noodles and pasta, squash flour used in Food and Nutrition Research Institute's (FNRI) 'yellow pan de sal.'

Over the long term, government may also look into 'uraro' flour's use as bread and pastry which are the major food products consumed from wheat flour.

Help Filipinos in Cagayan De Oro and in Iligan Cities

The local government of Bacoor headed by Mayor Strike Revilla is accepting donation from individuals, groups and businessmen to help their kababayans in Cagayan De Oro and in Iligan Cities who are most affected by typhoon Sendong by donating medicines, clothing, foods and blankets.

The said donation will be turned over to ABS-CBN and GMA relief operation teams for immediate dispatch to the affected areas.

According to Ms. Khei Sanchez, Chief of Public Information Office (PIO) and currently president of the Cavite Communicator's Network (CCN), this move of the local government is a show of support and compassion to the innocent victims of the natural calamities.

Sanchez added that those interested, they may send their donations (goods) to the PIO at the 4th floor of the municipal town building and in Barangay Hall of Molino 3 starting today until Wednesday next week except on December 24, 25 and 26.

NFA Rice in Eastern Visayas, Philippines

by Neil D. Lopido

With barely 10 days more to go before the year ends, the National Food Authority (NFA) in Region 8 assured that the NFA rice in Eastern Visayas is sufficient - it has stocks of 834,925 bags including the 16,728 bags of iron-fortified rice or I-Rice.

According to Mary Agnes Militante, NFA information officer, as of December 15 of this year, the actual rice distribution in Region 8 was recorded at 1,134,076 bags which is 57 percent of the 1,997,000 bags of rice targeted.

On the other hand, the actual I-Rice distribution in the region reached 399,581 bags as of December 15 with the province of Eastern Samar recording the highest sales at 105,828 bags.

The price difference between NFA and commercial rice in the market is not that much, Militante explained.

As of this writing, the actual palay procurement in Eastern Visayas was already pegged at 23,586 sacks or 152 percent of the 15,500 target for this year distributed as follows: Biliran (8,680 sacks), Northern Leyte (6,420 sacks), Southern Leyte (3,407 sacks), Samar (1,817 sacks), Eastern Samar (1,727 sacks), and Northern Samar (1,535 sacks).

Militante said that Eastern Visayas has the highest number of palay procured among the regions nationwide.

Calamity Fund - 2011 National Budget of the Philippines

Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad today clarified that the P5-billion Calamity Fund was not vetoed under the 2011 National Budget, adding that the budget for disaster response and management remained intact under this year's General Appropriations Act (GAA).

"No amount of the total Calamity Fund was vetoed. The Aquino administration's capacity for managing and responding to disasters is still robust. In fact, we now have a balance of P1.297 billion from the Calamity Fund ready for Sendong victims," Abad said.

He said that contrary to recent reports, the GAA for 2011 merely cautions against using the Calamity Fund for pre-disaster activities, such as the preparation of relocation sites or facilities and the training of personnel directly involved in disaster management, as indicated in the Conditional Implementation of Special Provision No. 1 in this year's Calamity Fund.

Abad further noted that funds for disaster preparation had been effectively integrated in various agency budgets, including those for the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of National Defense (DND).

"In imposing the conditional implementation, the Administration actually ensured the proper use of public funds for disaster management, while allotting sufficient funding for pre-disaster programs to all responsible agencies. We took these into account to maximize government's ability to assist and rehabilitate calamity-stricken areas, as well as to avoid redundancies in public spending," Abad said.

Under the conditional implementation of the provision, President Benigno S. Aquino III stated that using the Calamity Fund for pre-disaster projects and programs "must be weighed against the imperious need of maintaining sufficient provision under the Calamity Fund for actual calamities," and that the conditional implementation will "prevent [the Calamity Fund's] full utilization for pre-disaster activities."

Requirements of Social Pensions in the Philippines

Requirements of Social Pensions in the Philippines
by Maritess B. Beñas

The Provincial Social Welfare Officer here reminded beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) to comply with the requirements and conditions on the provision of the social pensions and other benefits under the said Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program of the national government or else they will be dropped from the rolls.

Observations on the violations of the policies in the implementation of the program have been the subject of reports and commentaries by the local media here.

PSWD Officer Decimia D. Cabang said that the term conditional cash transfer implies that there are conditions that the beneficiaries have to comply with. Some of the basic requirements is for the beneficiaries to attend the regular seminar-training programs on various concerns such as basic health and nutrition, family planning, as well the attendance of their children to school.

There are now 13 municipalities in Abra where the 4Ps is being implemented. The beneficiaries were identified through the National Household Targeting System (NHTS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The provincial capital town of Bangued with more than a thousand beneficiaries was recently added to the existing list of 4Ps beneficiaries in the province.

Proper Waster Management in the Philippines

Proper Waster Management in the Philippines
by Wabilyn C. Mana-od

In their desire to help in the mitigation and lessening on the volume of garbage every day, the Bontoc Market Vendors Association (BOMARVA) started the advocacy on proper waste segregation and decomposition of collected garbages especially at the market vicinity.

The BOMARVA members informed Mayor Pascual Sacgaca about the organization's move to help in the waste management at the market as they asked assistance and support for the implementation of their garbage segregation and decomposition project.

The members earlier voluntarily dug out a compost pit at a private property of BOMARVA president, Ms. Paula Acofo. They will be using some element for faster decomposition. The decomposed output shall be used as a fertilizer by the members.

The mayor signified the support of the municipal government on the initiative of the said organization which is in support to waste management which is among the priority agenda of the administration.

Sacgaca immediately directed the laborers and garbage crew under the construction and maintenance unit of the Municipal Engineering Office to coordinate with the members of the BOMARVA for the scheduled hauling of waste from the market.

According to Acofo, they needed the assistance of the laborers to carry and haul the garbage because most of the members of the organization are elderly. She added that the garbage are properly segregated because all the vendors are informed on the proper waste segregation and that all the containers have their own labels. Further, Soledad Kittong, member of the organization, is also working out and sharing her knowledge in proper waste management.

Organizations Regarding Employee Retirement Plans

by Dan B. Codamon

The Provincial Tripartite Industrial Peace Council of Ifugao (TRIPC) with the assistance of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) recently conducted an orientation meeting to the Board of Directors (BODs) and Board of Trustees (BOTs) of its member organizations regarding employee retirement plans.

The BOD and BOT participants came from the different sectors representing cooperatives, transport group, retail services, hotel and restaurant, and the academe.

They were oriented about the several retirement plans and schemes that organizations can adopt for the benefit of their employees including the BODs and BOTs as provided in the implementing rules and regulations of the Labor Code of the Philippines.

TRIPC Chairman Hubert Immoliap said that the retirement plan of employees is very important because it gives a sense of assurance and security to the employees that can motivate them for greater productivity and efficiency.

The activity is part of the action plan formulated by the officers and members of TRIPC during their organizational meeting held last 21 June at the DOLE Office.

Meanwhile. DOLE Ifugao Field Officer Alexander Gumabol explained that the TRIPC can serve as a consultative mechanism to generate the views of the sectors regarding policy issuances, venue for implementing government thrust of maintaining industrial peace and advocating for shared responsibility among social partners.

He said that the group had already conducted a series of activities during the previous months after its organization such as orientation on the labor relations, human relations, productivity, seminar on the Code of Ethics of Cooperatives, performance evaluation and monitoring of staff and officers of the cooperatives.

They were also given lectures on the guidelines on the imposition of double indemnity for no compliance with the prescribed increases or adjustments in wage rates, guidelines for the implementation of a drug free workplace policies and Labor Standard Enforcement framework.

Bioethanol industry in the Philippines

by Danny O. Calleja

The country's bioethanol industry has the potential of generating about 180,000 jobs and generate foreign exchange savings of nearly US$ 800 million by 2015, according to the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Over the last five years, the BAR has been funding field testing of sweet sorghum varieties in different sites in the country in the vision to make Philippines less dependent on expensive, imported ethanol oil and generate rural jobs, its director Nicomedes Eleazar said in a statement here on Tuesday.

Through this initiative, Eleazar said it is estimated that bioethanol has the potential to generate jobs totaling 179,386 by 2015 and 289,611 by 2020. It may also generate foreign exchange savings placed at US$ 789.3 million in 2015 based on a study of the National Sweet Sorghum Program (NSSP).

"Sweet sorghum is a good alternative to other ethanol feedstocks. It can stand alone as a life-giving crop to farmers in far flung areas because it is used to make many food products like juice and syrup. But we will maximize its economic value by producing ethanol from it," Eleazar said.

BAR has already obtained outstanding varieties of sweet sorghum through its partnership with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and a distillery has also been developed with the assistance from Department of Science and Technology (DOST), he said.

The machine was developed by scientist Sergio Capareda following his recent return to the country after a long stint with Texas University in the United States.

Capareda designed the distilling column and guided its fabrication, while Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) Material Science expert, Samuel Franco designed the furnace.

The NSSP, Eleazar said already sees hope of Philippines' commercial production of sweet sorghum ethanol as several large companies have also positioned themselves for its processing. Among these are Seaoil's Fuel Inc. and Philippine National Oil Company-Alternative Fuels Corp. (PNOC-AFC).

Bugis boundaries of the Kalingas

by Peter A. Balocnit

A congress of peacepact holders and elders formally asked recently the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to recognize the "bugis" (boundaries) of the Kalingas as an established territory of an "ili" (settlement).

In its resolution to the NCIP, the body during the "bugis" congress held at the Pastoral Center here requested for an en banc approval of the delineated "bugis" of the ancestral domain of the different sub-tribes in the province.

The bugis, according to the Congress, is defined as the territorial boundaries of a particular ili or group of ilis under the "pagta" (peacepact bylaws) of their "podon" (peacepact) and encompasses all lands and natural resources traditionally owned by the sub-tribes by themselves.

The bugis is handed down from ancestors and constitute the ancestral domain to include ancestral lands, private properties, forests, pasturelands, agricultural and residual lands, hunting grounds, bodies of water and subterranean deposits.

The bugis since time immemorial is being self delineated by Kalingas' forebears indicating the significant natural landmarks and recognized collectively by all "pindonans" (peacepact ties).

The resolution also asked NCIP to formally accept the bugis as a native title, its metes and bounds to constitute the same as a legal instrument to show proof of ownership by a particular ili or group of ilis.

Governor Eugene Balitang Inaugurates Barangay Health Center

by Vency D. Bulayungan

Folks here are grateful as they joined local officials in the inauguration of the newly constructed barangay health center.

Governor Eugene Balitang said that the Pieza Barangay Health station is a milestone in the lives of the people here as this has been the clamor of the residents to meet their health needs.

"It has been our desire to bring services like this to the grassroots and since health is one of our priority agenda, we always see to it that we strengthen the preventive side thru our public health advocacies," Balitang said.

"With the establishment of the said health facility, people will not be hard up in going to the town center to seek for early treatment of their ailments and pregnant women who are about to give birth will be taken cared of and this will save the lives of both mother and child," Balitang added.

The health center is funded under the European Communities-Department of Health (EC-DOH) and the construction started during the administration of former governor Teddy Baguilat Jr, now the congressman of the province.

Increase in Tax Collection of BIR Philippines

Increase in Tax Collection of BIR Philippines
by Phres A. Evardone

The Bureau of Internal Revenue reported a 12 percent increase in its tax collection this year. This was announced Wednesday by Deputy Commissioner Nelson Aspe during the Communication and News Exchange Forum held at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

Aspe said the collection from January to February this year was P854.5 billion which is around P101 billion higher than the collection for the same period in 2010.

"Even though this 11 month tax collection is P5 billion short of our collection target for 2011, still, this increase is more than satisfactory considering that our gross domestic product (GDP) did not increase by 12 percent" Aspe added.

As for the year-round collection target of P940 billion, Aspe said the internal revenue office is still beefing up its efforts to collect the remaining balance of its 2011 target.

Aspe further said that the operations group of BIR is currently discussing various strategies to reach the P1.66 trillion revenue collection target for 2012.

Tips to maintain good health

by Vency D. Bulayungan

As the Christmas and new year celebrations draw near, the health department is sharing tips to maintain good health.

Dr. Dino Tuazon, the Municipal Health Officer of Hingyon town, said in a radio interview, that in occasions like this when plenty of foods and drinks will be served, "take anything in moderation."

Tuazon said people sometimes forget the negative effect of eating too much fatty foods and taking in too much alcohol, but he reiterated that the public should always put their health first in order to save on money and avoid spending Christmas or new year at the hospital.

He said that among the leading causes of death in the province nowadays are hypertension and stroke which are often attributed to unhealthy lifestyle such as eating too much fatty, salty foods, no exercise and drinking too much alcohol.

He also advised that with the cold weather, the public should always wear protective clothings so that they will not easily get sick. The cold weather has also something to do with diseases such as stroke, he further said.

Safety of all “Simbang Gabi” goers

by Mhars B. Lihgawon

LAGAWE, Ifugao, Dec. 21 (PIA) -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) has charted a round the clock security measures to ensure the safety of all "Simbang Gabi" goers in this capital town of the province.

Deputy Chief of Police (COP) Inspector Patricio Allaga, Jr said that PNP personnel were assigned to public places on a rotation basis to provide a continuous security to the populace.

"Each shift is composed of three PNP personnel assigned to public places particularly churches and other establishments to maintain peace and order and also to abate the occurrence of criminality," Allaga said.

He happily reported that since the start of the "simbang gabi" last December 16, they did not receive any report or incident of criminality.

Allaga further disclosed that their office is starting the implementation of the "iwas paputok" to avoid unwanted accidents during this yuletide season. He bared that they would conduct inventory of all known business establishments selling firecrackers to advise them to refrain from selling prohibited firecrackers and other hazardous pyrotechnics.

"We will furnish them communications including the banned lists of pyrotechnics for their guidance in purchasing their supplies purposely for sale to the people," Allaga said.

What to Eat During Christmas Holiday

What to Eat During Christmas Holiday
by Irma A. Guhit

With the holiday season, people are more likely to take in too much of fatty, salty, and sweet foods, which are bad for the health, said Dr. Edgar Garcia, provincial health officer here said.

It is during this season that the provincial health office registers an alarming increase in non-communicable diseases.

Garcia said that people should be aware of the effects of consuming fatty, salty, and sweet foods that if cumulatively consumed, may affect the heart, blood pressure, and blood sugar that will ultimately cause some health problems.

The rainy season had also resulted in the increase of people, especially children, catching colds.

"We should enhance our immune system by eating more fruits, vegetables, and by drinking lots of juice and water," Garcia explained.

Garcia also reminds families to be more aware in food preparation where children will be conscious of consuming only healthy foods and avoid junk foods that are high in salt, additives, and preservatives.

He also reminded the public to refrain from getting wet since the erratic weather now the province has been experiencing for the past two months has made everyone susceptible to water and air borne diseases.

"Admitted here now here in the hospital are cases of people with high fever, colds that may lead to pneumonia if not properly treated," Garcia explained.

The provincial office through its Health Education Management System (HEMS) has been conducting information drives regularly in their barangay health clinics , municipal and district hospitals so that health consciousness should be one of the best awareness to mitigate health problems.

Fliers and information materials have also been distributed in health centers where mothers are provided interpersonal education especially those who are under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) who regularly visit health center.

President Benigno S. Aquino III Blames Illegal Logging

by Robert E. Roperos

President Benigno S. Aquino III on Tuesday said illegal logging activities partly caused the recent flashflood in Iligan City, which left at least 283 people dead and 406 missing according to a report from the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD).

In his speech during the ceremonial distribution of relief goods at the Iligan City National High School (ICNHS) auditorium, Pres. Aquino said illegal activities must be stopped so that the disaster will not happen again.

He also directed the officials in Mindanao to take action against illegal logging activities in Iligan and nearby areas.

The President and his party arrived at ICNHS grounds at around 11 a.m. to distribute relief goods to flood victims. He was also briefed by National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director Undersecretary Benito Ramos.

After the engagement, the Presidential party went back to Cagayan de Oro and visited the flashflood victims housed in the evacuation center at Cagayan de Oro City Central School. The group then headed to Dumaguete City to assess the damages and extend financial assistance to the victims of Tropical Storm "Sendong."

In a related development, the Iligan City information office revealed that some 330 relief packs comprising blankets, mats, 3 kilos rice, noodles, coffees, sardines, and corned beefs from the Office of the President were distributed at the school's auditorium.

Meanwhile, data from the CSWD showed that as of December 19, 2011, 28 barangays were affected by the disaster. Families affected already reached 11,396 while houses totally damaged were 2,780 and 2,745 houses were partially damaged. Also, the estimated cost of damage is P195,833,856.

Policy of Mining Free Catanduanes

by EA Bagadiong

Julie V. Fajardo of the Bagamanoc Rural Development High School bagged the trophy during the 11th staging of the Cesar V. Sarmiento Oratorical Cup held Friday, December 16 at the Provincial Capitol Dome with the theme: " A Policy of Mining Free Catanduanes for Sustainable Environment Protection and Development."

Aside from a trophy, Fajardo also got P10,000 cash and her coach, Alma Villamor also brought home P5,000. They also won the Oratorical Piece Best in Content that earned them an extra P5,000.

The Catanduanes State Colleges Laboratory High School, a four-time CVS champion landed on the second place with Carla Angelica Tulipat and coach Rico Romero taking home the 1st runner-up trophy and P8,000 while her coach got P4,000. Meanwhile, Catanduanes National High School represented by Kathleen Ann Quintal coached by Evelia Malijan ended on the third spot earning a trophy and P6,000 (and P3,000 for the coach).

Non-winning participants from different participating schools received certificates and consolation prize worth P2,000 each.

The board of judges were the following: Atty. Alfred M. Aquino (chairman), Rev. Fr. Paul I. Isorena, Atty. Pamela Joy T. Herrera, Engr. Fernan A. Gianan, Dr. Vietrez D. Abella, Gina B. Pantino, and Zsarmaine Marie A. Sarmiento.

According to Cong. Cesar V. Sarmiento, the theme is just timely as he cites recent attempts to explore and mine the island's underground resoruces. He added that Catandunganons must continuously safeguard the province against the possibility that it will become a mining zone in order to reassess mining's billion-dollar benefits against the irreversible damage it causes.The solon also recalled that he has filed a bill declaring Catanduanes as free from mining.

How to Donate Sendong Victims in Mindanao

by Jomie Jean O. Apostol

Office of Civil Defense Operations Division Cdr. Edgardo J. Ollet called for the public to send relief/assistance to meet the immediate needs of the victims of typhoon Sendong in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City.

Ollet said aside from food and water purifiers or treatment plants, non-food items such as blankets and mosquito nets are needed because the unclean surroundings might pose health risks for the evacuees. He added that these cannot be considered as second priority but as important as food.

According to Ollet, another concern is the proper tagging of bodies and the shortage of cadaver bags, especially for the unidentified corpses which are already in an advanced state of decomposition. He also asked the non-government organizations to donate additional cadaver bags to the local government on the ground.

Ollet also pointed out that the water in CDO and Iligan are not yet safe for public consumption and given the lack of means like stove and firewood to boil the water with, he encouraged the evacuees to accept the government's help of bottled water.

He also reminded the residents to be careful in using the water because there are dead animals and dead bodies that might have contaminated it. That's why they are discouraging burying the bodies in places near communities to avoid contamination.

Donations for Tropical Storm Sendong can be sent to the following:

Peso: DSWD Donation-3122-1011-84

Dollar: DSWD Donation-3124-0055-81

Account Name: NDRRMC Donated Fund

Account Number: 0435-021927-130

Swift Code: DBPHPMM

Account Number: 36002016

Address: DBP Camp Aguinaldo Branch, PVAO Compound, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City

Account Number: 1432-1046-01

Address: DOH Trust Funds for Grants and Donation thru Land Bank of the Philippines

To donate thru GCash:

To Register: REG [space] 4-digit pin/mother's maiden name/first name/last name/address send to: 2882

Example: REG1234/perez/justine/cruz/199 Batasan Road Quezon City send to: 2882

To Donate: DONATE [space] Amount [space] Amount [space] MPIN [space] DSWD send to: 2882

Example: DONATE 1000 1234 DSWD send to 2882

For those who want to volunteer, you may inquire at:

DSWD Field Office 10

Masterson Avenue, Upper Carmen

Cagayan de Oro City

Tel. Nos.: (088)858-8134, 858-6333

Contact Manny Borres: 0906-6150095

National Resource Operation Center (NROC)

NAIA Chapel Road, Pasay City (beside Airport Police Department & back of Air Transportation Office)

Tel. Nos. (02)852-8081, 851-2681

Contact Francia Fabian: 0918-9302356

NDRRMC Central Office

Contact Person: Ms. Rufina Pascual

Address: Office of Civil Defense, Camp Gen. Aguinaldo, Quezon City

Contact Numbers: (02) 421-1920/0947-525-5536

Region X

Contact Person: Dir Ana Cañeda

Address: Hayes-Coralles St., Cagayan de Oro City

Contact Numbers: (088) 857-3907/0917-622-0901

For Foreign Donations:

Contact Person: Fe Catalina Ea

Address: Constitution Hills, Batasan Pambansa Complex, Quezon City

Contact Numbers: (02) 931-8101 loc. 226


Contact Person: Grace Ann Nisteros

Address: Constitution Hills, Batasan Pambansa Complex, Quezon City

Contact Numbers: (02) 931-8101 loc. 220


Contact Person: Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo

Address: Masterson Ave., Upper Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City

Contact Numbers: (088) 858-8134/(088) 858-6333



Contact Person: Merlina Villamin, RN

Address: Bldg. 12, HEMS, OpCen San Lazaro Cpd., DOH Sta. Cruz, Manila

Contact Numbers: 0915-662-4724


Contact Person: Dr. David Mendoza

Address: DOH-Cagayan de Oro

Contact Numbers: 0999-993-1774/0917-308-8197

Philippine Government Calamity Fund for Sendong

by Alice Sicat
The government has released a calamity budget of P1.3 billion to help the victims of the recent tropical storm Sendong.

According to Office of Civil Defense Cdr. Edgardo Ollet, the said budget was apart from the P300 million standby fund released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) three weeks before the onslaught of typhoon Sendong. The said standby fund was a reserved budget for calamities, as PAGASA has forecasted that at least 2 to 3 typhoons are expected to close the typhoon season this month.

The calamity budget will be utilized to help the affected 65,067 families or 348,749 persons in the 13 provinces of Regions VI, VII, IX, X, XI, CARAGA and ARMM.

On the latest report by the Department of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Department of Agriculture (DA), the infrastructure damages amount to almost P1 billion and the agriculture loss and damages amount to around P2 million.
Meanwhile, the latest list of casualties remains at 976. At least 432 individuals were rescued, 46 are still missing and a total of 1,603 people were injured.

The Palace assured the public that if additional disaster-response funds are required, the government has sufficient reserves to augment the calamity fund expedite relief operations to all affected areas and communities.