Friday, August 15, 2014

NNC Bicol seeks new admin aide

LEGAZPI CITY--The National Nutrition Council (NNC) Bicol Regional Office needs a new contractual administrative aide, it announced over social media yesterday.

The applicant must be a graduate of any business course, preferably major in Accounting, or with background in accounting; knowledgeable in computer applications (MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, Adobe Photoshop); has typewriting skills; is creative, organized, dedicated, and hardworking, possesses a pleasing personality, and can work with minimum supervision.

Interested individuals may apply at the NNC Region V Office, 2nd Floor, DOH RO V Building, Bagtang, Daraga, Albay.

The deadline of submission of applications is on August 22, 2014.--BICOLSTANDARD.COM

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BFP battles bushfire in Buhi, Camarines Sur

BUHI, CAMARINES SURFollowing the numerous reports of forest fires across the region in recent weeks, a blaze was reported this afternoon at the mountain area of Barangay San Pascual, this town.

Bushfire in Buhi, Camarines Sur

According to the report of the Bureau of Fire Protection, the fire was put out at around 4:00 PM, with the help of the Buhi Emergency Response Team and several children residing in the area.

The cause of the fire was not revealed in the report.BICOLSTANDARD.COM


LPA east of Luzon has small chance to intensify into tropical cyclone -- PAGASA

The low pressure area (LPA) hovering east of Luzon has a small chance to develop into a tropical cyclone, the state weather bureau said on Friday.

PAGASA weather forecaster Fernando Cada said that as of 4 p.m. the LPA was spotted some 750 km east of Casiguran, Aurora (16.5ºN, 130.0ºE).

He noted that it was not expected to directly affect the country in the next two to three days since it would still be too far away to the country's landmass.

However, Cada said due to the trough or extended cloudiness and wind convergence, the LPA will bring light to moderate rainshowers and thunderstorms over the regions of Bicol, Eastern and Central Visayas, Caraga and Davao in the next 24 hours.

Based on numerical models, Cada said the weather disturbance has a slim chance to intensify into a tropical cyclone.

But Cada said the weather bureau will continue to monitor the LPA since it is still in the sea.

In case it intensifies into a tropical depression within the Philippine territory, Quitlong said it would be named “Kanor” -- it will be the second cyclone to visit the country this month and the 11th for this year.

The weather bureau still expects two or three more tropical cyclones to enter the country this month.

Cada said many parts of the country will continue to experience fair weather until weekend.

He said the rest of country including Metro Manila will have sunny to cloudy skies with possible isolated rains due to localized thunderstorms until Sunday. (PNA)
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Move heaven and earth to fast track power restoration in Albay, priests ask Salceda

LEGAZPI CITY – Local parish priests have asked Albay Governor Joey Salceda, considered as among the authors of the privatization of Albay Electric Cooperative (Aleco) into the hands of San Miguel Corp. (SMC), to “move heaven and earth” to hasten the restoration of power in the province.


“We appeal to Governor Salceda, considered among the authors and avid supporters of privatization, to do more than what he is presently doing and move heaven and earth to hasten power restoration in Albay for the sake of our suffering people,” the priests said in an open letter circulated in the province over the week.

The letter was signed by 45 Albay-based priests headed by Msgr. Ramon Tronqued, St. Raphael de Archangel Parish priest and vicar general of the Diocese of Legazpi.

Apart from Salceda, the letter was also addressed to Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jericho Petilla, the management of Albay Power and Energy Corp. (APEC) and to “the Big Bosses of San Miguel Corp. (SMC).”

APEC is a fully-owned and -controlled subsidiary of SMC Global Power Holdings Corp., created to run the affairs of the cooperative after the giant firm took control of the business and operations of Aleco early this year.

The hand-over was facilitated with the backing of Salceda by Petilla and Albay Bishop Joel Baylon, then acting as head of the interim board of Aleco appointed by the National Electrification Administration (NEA) which, for nearly 10 years, ran the cooperative after taking over from its local management.

These changes in the management of Aleco developed amid the huge financial difficulties suffered by Aleco, one of the biggest power cooperatives in the country that has incurred about Php 4 billion in unpaid obligations.

The new Aleco board, reorganized outside APEC early last month, has asked the Anti-Graft Division of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the missing Php 500-million fund provided to the cooperative by Malacañang under then Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo following super typhoon "Reming" that ravaged the province in November 2006.

Its president, Jaime Chua, said the general assembly has recognized that the root of today’s problems in Aleco is the missing fund intended for the rehabilitation of the distribution system of the power cooperative.

The system was not rehabilitated following its misappropriation that left the cooperative suffering from 24- percent systems loss which is equivalent to Php 48 million in monthly deficit or Php 576-million deficit per year.

Had the amount been spent as intended, Aleco would not have been having its Php 4-billion deficits that have drawn the cooperative into bankruptcy now, causing brownouts in the province, Chua stressed.

The new Board also asked the NBI “to investigate the sweetheart deal entered into by Bishop Baylon and Petilla, among others, with SMC Global, to whom they gave away the business of Aleco practically for free, because the signatories are not authorized by the member-consumers to sign away the business and the assets of Aleco,” according to Chua.

It is contemplating on filing a case in the court to win back Aleco from SMC.

“We, the undersigned Priests of the different cities and municipalities of the Province of Albay make this urgent appeal for the immediate restoration of electric power in the whole province, and by immediate, we do not mean a period of one month or so,” the letter said.

Power supply in the entire province was cut off at the height of the devastation wrought by typhoon "Glenda" last July 15.

After Glenda, the people of Albay thought that APEC could have power at the soonest time possible only to be told that it would take a month or so for power in the province to normalize. APEC, being backed by a blue chip corporation—SMC -- could easily restore power if it wants, the priests said in the letter.

“We are sure that before APEC/SMC signed the privatization contract, its corporate geniuses must have factored in the pact that Albay is always ravaged by typhoons; why the seeming inefficiency? The old Aleco, even with its inefficiency, did not take long to reenergize the province after typhoon Reming which was even more destructive than Glenda,” they said.

Reming struck Albay in November 2006 and by Christmas time that same year, power was restored in almost all parts of Albay, the priests recalled in the letter.

As of Friday, reports gathered by PNA have it that only about 30 percent of the province has been reenergized -- mostly town centers and city propers.

Here, Mayor Noel Rosal said power has been restored in about 80 percent of the city with only those outskirt barangays whose distribution lines suffered heavy damages left, but already being attended to. (Danny O. Calleja/PNA) CTB/FGS/DOC/CBD/

Mayon now on alert level 2--PHIVOLCS

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has raised the alert level of Mayon Volcano from 1 to 2 this afternoon.

According to the 1:00 PM bulletin, "[t]his means that magma is intruding at depth and that current conditions may eventually lead to a larger eruption."

"The public is strongly advised to be vigilant and desist from entering the six (6) kilometer-radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) to minimize risks from sudden explosions, rockfall and landslides," the announcement cautioned.

"Visual observation of Mayon Volcano’s summit crater on 12 August 2014 revealed the growth of a new lava dome approximately 30m-50m high. This event was preceded by inferred low-volume intrusions, signified by: (a) episodes of very slight inflation or swelling of the middle slopes of the edifice since the 7 May 2013 phreatic eruption, based on Precise Leveling, continuous tilt and continuous GPS measurements, and; (b) significant increases in SO2 flux beyond the baseline level of 500 tonnes/day, based on campaign and continuous gas measurements for the past two months. Other monitored parameters such as the occurrence of volcanic earthquakes and rockfall, however, have remained at baseline levels, while almost no crater glow or banaag has been detected in the last four months," the bulletin reads.

Meanwhile, the PDRRMC-Albay advised the public to refrain from mountain climbing, ATV-riding beyond lava fronts, and orchid-picking and vegetable-harvesting in the 6-kilometer Permanent Danger Zone radius.

The C/MDRRMCs and BDRRMCs of the Cities of Ligao, Legazpi and Tabaco and the Municipalities of Daraga, Camalig. Guinobatan, Sto. Domingo, Malilipot are likewise directed to submit to the PDRRMC through the APSEMO the number of families and individuals still residing within the 6-kilometer Permanent Danger Zone.

Earlier this month, the NDRRMC raised alert level 1 when it observed that the volcano was "at abnormal conditions."--BICOLSTANDARD.COM

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Code white alert up in Catanduanes over increasing dengue cases

The increasing number of dengue cases in this town prompted the Provincial Health Office (PHO) to declare code white alert status.

Under this status, government hospitals are directed to ensure the immediate treatment of patients, especially those in emergency situations. Emergency personnel are also placed on call status for speedy mobilization.

In response to the declaration of code white status, Vice Governor Jose "Bong" Teves, Jr., conferred with EBMC officials, including Dr. Alcantara, OIC Chief; Dr. Elmer Tatad, Dr. Aly Romano, and members of financial team of the provincial hospital to inquire on how his office can help.

Teves, after the meeting, committed to extend P1,500 of financial assistance per dengue patient confined at the EBMC, the Immaculate Heart of Mary Hospital and the Dr. A.P. Zantua Memorial Hospital, as part of his Social Service Program on Health.

He announced that P100,000 will soon be released to the financially handicapped or indigent patients of the EBMC to aid in the purchase of medicines that are not available at the hospital pharmacy.

It will be recalled that between April to May this year, the PHO also recorded some 28 dengue cases in Baras town in this province.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM
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Provincial buses from Southern Luzon off limits at EDSA starting next week -- MMDA

The officials of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Metro Manila mayors agreed on Thursday agreed to make EDSA off limits to provincial buses from southern Luzon starting Wednesday next week.

During the meeting held in MMDA headquarters on Thursday, MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said they agreed to set up a transport hub at the Filinvest area in Alabang, Muntinlupa City for these provincial buses.

He said that 556 out-of-line provincial buses from Southern Luzon earlier identified by the LTFRB will no longer be allowed to enter Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA).

Ito yung na-identify ng LTFRB na nag-out of line na may 556 na bumabagtas sa EDSA laging nahuhuli ito ay lilimitahan hanggang Alabang. Ibibigay sa amin kung sino sino ang mga ito,” Tolentino said in an interview after the meeting.

He added Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi will take primary responsibility in its area of jurisdiction.

Tolentino added that they will talk with Pasay City Mayor Antonino Calixto to look for a bigger space in Pasay City to transfer the three provincial bus terminals near LRT Buendia to ease traffic congestion in the area.

For his part, LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez said the proposed transport hub in Alabang will be open Wednesday next week as they still have to inform provincial bus operators on the plan.

"Magsisiumula ito Wednesday next week. Pupulungin pa po namin yung mga bus operators and by Wednesday dapat hindi na makikita yung 556 na pumapasok sa Magallanes,” Ginez said.

Ginez earlier proposed the setting up of terminal in Market! Market in Taguig City for the public utility buses that will be affected by the plan.

However, Taguig City mayor Lani Cayetano opposed this as the area is not designed for a terminal and could worsen the traffic situation along C5 Road.

Earlier, the LTFRB issued a memorandum circular that laid down the implementing guidelines on the conduct of the rationalization of provincial bus routes, particularly of buses plying routes between Metro Manila and the provinces in Southern Luzon. (PNA)

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Rehab, development of Naga, Bicol International airports urged

Senate President Franklin Drilon today urged the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to expedite the repair, rehabilitation, and development of major airports in the country.

With a proposed budget of Php 13.3 billion, the rehabilitation program intends to “improve the condition of the country’s airport facilities,” Driolon said.

The budget will be included under DOTC’s Php 59 billion budget.

In Bicol, the Naga Airport will receive Php 670 million for rehabilitation and enhancement.

Meanwhile, the Bicol International Airport will be allotted Php 1.55 billion for its development in 2015.

The other airports that will be improved and/or developed under the program are the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Clark Airport, Kalibo Airport, Iloilo International Airport, Busuanga Airport, General Santos Airport, Ozamis Airport, Calbayog Airport, Puerto Princesa City Airport, New Bohol International Airport, and Laguindingan International Airport.

Drilon stressed that airports give visitors their first and last impressions of the country. Thus, the government must ensure that they are efficient and capable.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

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Agom na babae, pinokpok batuta kan agom na lalaki, gadan

LUPI, CAMARINES SUR—Nagpoon sana sa iwal nin mag-agom, sarong babae digdi an nadagosan na bawian nin buhay kan siya malamoyoan kan saiyang esposo.

Sa pakihumapot sa mga awtoridad, nagluluwas na si Jocelyn Deocariza y Garcia, mayor de edad, nagadan kan siya rapadohon nin batuta kan saiya man sanang agom, na pigbisto na si Armando Deocariza.

An mga ibestigador nagsabi na yaon an duwa sa saindang cuarto, kan magsilyab an iwal, na nagpoon sa paghapot kan victima kun tano na pirme na sanang burat an saiyang esposo.

An agom na lalaking si Armando Deocariza nagpaliwanag na nagkaigwa sinda nin kaorogmahan kaibahan an saiyang mga amigo.

Dae nakontento kan mga paliwanag kan suspechado, naging mainit an iwal kan duwa, hasta sa magresulta sa brutal nang kurulogan.

Si Jocelyn rinapado nin batuta ni Armando na nagtama sa saiyang payo. Iyo na ini an causa kan saiyang kagadanan.

Alagad, sabi kan suspechado, pinanlingaw siya kaya nagbalos, kan enot siyang sinaksak kan victima.

An suspechado igwa man nin tama nin saksak sa saiyang tulak, mantang an saiyang esposa gatak an bungo kan saiyang payo.

An victima dinara pa kuta sa Sipocot District Hospital, pero an sabi kan mga doctor, mayo na siya nin buhay.

An suspechado dinara man sa Bicol Medical Center para ipabulong an tama sa saiyang estomago, hale sa matarom na kutsilyo.

An mga nag repondeng oficiales kan barangay na sinda Barangay Kagawad Gaudioso Garcia kan Barangay San Ramon, an nag dara sa suspechado sa doctor.

Bilang evidencia kan krimen, pig suko sa mga awtoridad an sarong kutsilyo asin an batota na ginamit sa pagpokpok kan victima.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM
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Robbers cart away P4-M cash in Bula

BULA, CAMARINES SUR—At least four million, one hundred eleven thousand (P4,111,000) pesos in cash, among other items, were taken by suspected members of a robbery gang that forcibly entered the house of Engr. John P. Antioquia at Zone 7 in this municipality last August 11.

Police investigators revealed that the perpetrators entered the house of the victim by making an opening at the rooftop.

This incident was reported to the police by Norma Silva, a helper in the victim's house.

Silva narrated that at around 4 PM of the said date, she discovered that the house was partly open.

Alarmed, she entered the house and was caught by surprise that some personal belongings of Mr. and Mrs. Antioquia were missing.

She immediately informed Mr. and Mrs. Antioquia of the situation.

Among the items reported missing were several pieces of jewelry and watches with an estimated value of  P1,869,600, two caliber .40 pistols with serial number F02000281, a caliber .45 Norinco pistol with an known serial number, and P4,111,000 in cash.

The criminals entered the house by destroying the door knob of one of the doors of the house, the initial investigation reveals.

They They used the front door of the building as their exit point.

The police probe team was headed by PSI Rodolfo Tordilla Oliver , Jr., with the assistance of the Provincial Crime Laboratory and the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO).—BICOLSTANDARD.COM)
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Tinambac bigtime drug pusher falls

TINAMBAC, CAMARINES SUR –An alleged notorious drug pusher identified as the driver of town mayor Ruel Velarde was apprehended at around 5 o’clock this afternoon while in possession of illegal drugs believed to be methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu.

The suspect, Nicanor “Nik-nik” Belleca y Asug of Barangay San Isidro, this town, just arrived from a long trip when the operatives served the search warrant.

Said warrant was issued by Presiding Judge Pedro Redoña of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 63, the police said.

Belleca has long been under the close surveillance of intelligence agents due to persistent reports of his alleged participation in the distribution of shabu in this town.

Seized from the suspect were seven bags and sachets of different sizes containing a substance believed to be shabu. The substance, the police noted, weighed more or less 10 grams, and had a market value of around P300,000.

The report added that the items were hidden among the suspect’s clothes in a plastic container.

Apart from the prohibited drugs, a caliber .45 pistol loaded with five live bullets was found in the suspect’s possession.

The combined elements of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG), Camarines Sur Provincial Police, and members of the Tinambac Municipal Police Station made the arrest.

Also included in the top ten were Libmanan, Camaligan, Minalabac, Iriga City, Pili, Sipocot, Ragay, and Goa.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

DOLE issues pay rules for Ninoy Aquino Day

MANILA, Aug 14 -- Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz on Wednesday said in a statement that proper wage rules and core labor standards for workers must be observed on Thursday, 21 August 2014, which is a Special Non-Working Day across the nation marking Ninoy Aquino Day.

The labor and employment chief said that the Special Non-Working Day is by virtue of Proclamation No. 655, Series of 2013, Declaring the Regular Holidays, Special (Non-Working) Days, and Special Holiday (for all Schools) for the Year 2014.

Baldoz emphasized that the declaration of 21 August 2014 as a special non-working day was meant to remember and honor the martyrdom of the late Senator Benigno Aquino which was first proclaimed by virtue of Republic Act No. 9256.

“Proper observance of the pay rules on a Special Non-Working Day strengthens decent work and encourages productivity. Voluntary compliance of companies with this labor standard is good business practice,” she said.

The labor chief reminded employers to observe the following pay rules during the Ninoy Aquino Day, thus:

(a) If the employee did not work, the “no work, no pay” principle shall apply unless there is a favorable company policy, practice or collective bargaining agreement (CBA) granting payment on a special day;

(b) For work done during the special day, he/she shall be paid an additional 30 percent of his or her daily rate on the first eight hours of work [(Daily Rate x 130%) + COLA);

(c) For work done in excess of eight hours (overtime work), he/she shall be paid an additional 30% of his/her hourly rate on said day (Hourly rate of the basic daily wage x 130% x 130% x number of hours worked);

(d) For work done during a special day that also falls on his/her rest day, he/she shall be paid an additional 50 percent of his/her daily rate on the first eight hours of work [(Daily rate x 150%) + COLA); and,

(e) For work done in excess of eight hours (overtime work) during a special day that also falls on his/her rest day, he/she shall be paid an additional 30% of his/her hourly rate on said day [Hourly rate of the basic daily wage x 150% x 130% x number of hours worked).

For inquiries about this release, please call the Bureau of Working Conditions at Tel. Nos. 527-3000 locals 303 or 307; the nearest DOLE regional office (for DOLE-NCR 400-6011); or the DOLE Hotline, 527-8000. (DOLE/End/mjlc)

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DA-Bicol expects mild El Niño in September

NAGA CITY(PNA) -- With farmlands still reeling from the destruction of typhoon "Glenda" that destroyed almost PHP 4-billion worth of crops and infrastructure, the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Bicol anticipates the coming of a mild El Niño in September.

DA OIC-Regional Executive Director Abelardo Bragas said Wednesday that the agriculture agency is focusing its preparation on mitigating the weather phenomenon that brings dry spell in Camarines Sur.

“Camarines Sur has the widest area of rice farms in the region that is composed of about 80,000 hectares out of the regional total of 160,000 hectares,” Bragas said.

He said the effect of El Niño on rice crop is the decline of yield should it strike when the plant is in fruiting stage due to lack of water.

Bragas said one of the mitigation measures the DA will implement is the provision of shallow-tube wells to augment the anticipated shortage of irrigation water.

But, he said, how to fast-track the mitigation measures will be a challenge because the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) responsible to provide irrigation to rice farms now belongs to a different agency.

The NIA, Philippine Coconut Authority, National Food Authority, and Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority have been transferred to the Office of Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agriculture Modernization headed by former Senator Francis Pangilinan.

“The problem here is that there will be no continuity on intervention,” Bragas quipped.

Bragas is optimistic that the effect of the El Niño on rice crop could still be recovered in December if the farmers plant in September. (PNA)

John Mark Escandor

DENR-Bicol intensifies anti-'kaingin' drive as wild fire preventive measure

 Rapu-Rapu, Albay bush fire
August 3, 2014
Photo: Shanti Nacion Serrano

LEGAZPI CITY (PNA)—Accusing fingers point to "kaingin" (slash and burn) farming system as the principal suspect in the recent series of wild fires in some Bicol forested areas, prompting the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional office based here to embark into a more intensified move against this prohibited use of the forest.

Kaingin or slash-and-burn farming refers to the common system of clearing areas for two purposes--cultivation and cutting trees that are burnt into charcoal.

Both purposes are sources of livelihood for some residents of barangays covering timberlands and forests areas in Bicol.

Kaingineros cultivate the area until such time that the soil is no longer good for planting, then transfer to another area that is again cleared and fell trees, burn these and sold as charcoal.

Unfortunately, this practice had, in the past few days or shortly after typhoon "Glenda" ravaged most parts of the region last July 15, been the main suspect in the series of wild conflagrations that had engulfed several forests and bushes in Albay, Sorsogon and Camarines Sur.

DENR Regional Executive Director Gilbert Gonzales on Wednesday said he had already directed the Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs) in all the six Bicol provinces to mobilize their forest rangers into an intensified campaign to suppress kaingin system in their respective areas of responsibility.

If necessary, court charges for violations of Presidential Decree 705 or the Forestry Code of the Philippines should be filed against kaingineros caught.

Imprisonment and fines await violators of this Code, Gonzales said.

While forest protection law enforcers are focused on illegal logging, particularly that a total logging ban is in effect all over the country as declared in 2011 by Pres. Benigno Aquino III, “we are now also focusing our attention on kaingin that is more dangerous than logging”, he said.

In logging, he explained, chances are high that there are seeds left over after the cutting of a certain tree which will sprout anytime to replace the one taken out.

But in kaingin, there will never be a chance that trees of its kind will sprout again after the area is burned, especially when it causes wild fires, Gonzales added.

It also contributes to soil erosion, habitat loss for wild animals and ultimate environmental collapse within the area, he said.

All these negative effects are expected to prevail in areas recently razed by the recent wild fires such as in the island-town of Rapu-Rapu, Albay, that destroyed last August 1 to 8 some 3,100 hectares of forested areas and threatened the densely populated downtown area of the island-town.

Last Aug. 4, five separate but simultaneous fire incidents—one in Cagraray Island of Bacacay town; another one at the Mayon Volcano Natural Park within the municipality of Sto. Domingo; Cayaban Mountain, Manito; Barangay Putsan, Tiwi; and Barangay Guadalupe, Rapu-Rapu also took place, turning to ashes vast forest and bush areas.

On Aug. 8, a fire also broke out at the forest of Mt. Isarog National Park along the municipalities of Calabanga and Tinambac in the province of Camarines Sur.

It destroyed around 150 hectares of woodland within the government protected park.

As fires raged in those areas, similar incidents were also reported in Sorsogon City and its nearby town of Casiguran that destroyed a total of about 100 hectares of cogonal areas, coconut plantations and root crop farms.

The Casiguran fire took place for three days last week in Barangay Inlagadian that is situated near the foot of Mt. Bulusan, following the Sorsogon City incident that engulfed for five days a forested site covered by the Bacon-Manito geothermal energy reservation in barangays Osiao and Sto Niño, both in Bacon District, according to a belated report reaching here Wednesday from the Sorsogon Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The Casiguran Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council also said over the week that two more bush fires were recently reported at the vast mountainous areas of barangays Sta. Cruz and San Pascual, destroying farms of agrarian reform beneficiaries.

“We have also alerted local authorities including barangay officials into becoming more vigilant against similar incidences that should be immediately reported to proper agencies for prompt response,” Gonzales said.

The DENR has also intensified its Climate Change Advisory Campaign to raise public awareness on the serious effect of the global warming which weather experts say is increasing the frequency and severity of bushfires and will lead to increased days of extreme fire danger.

It is also high time for the public to be more responsible in dealing with the environment and get rid of illegal forest activities, Gonzales said.

“Our forests could easily catch fire nowadays because there are huge volume of dried leaves and branches of trees scattered around due to typhoon Glenda” he said.

The region has a total of 543,000 hectares of forest land, out of which only 155,689 hectares have remained forested as of 2011.

“We are now hurrying up the organization and training of the Regional Forest Fire Respond Team (RFFRT) so that they are immediately dispatched as anti-forest fire vanguards,” Gonzales said.

The RFFRT is part of the DENR-Bureau of Fire Protection tie-up recently forged to enable a sustained and pro-active forest conservation and management protocol, he added. (PNA) 
Danny O. Calleja

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

DOLE skeds 3 job fairs in Cam Norte

MANILA--Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz announced the schedule of three upcoming DOLE-approved job fairs in the province of Camarines Norte.

On August 7 and 20, jobs fairs will be held in the town of Sta. Elena.

Meanwhile on August 26 to 27, a jobs fair at the Daet Heritage Center in the town of Daet will take place.

Baldoz encouraged job seekers to attend the job fairs, as they are venues where job seekers and employers may meet.

"Job fairs enable jobseekers to speed up their search for jobs and employers to fast-track their search for skilled and qualified personnel,” she added.

Job fairs in 15 other regions are also scheduled.--BICOLSTANDARD.COM

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LTO Bicol to release new standardized motorcycle plates


Robbers ransack 10 classrooms in Naga City

NAGA CITY—10 classrooms of the Concepcion Pequeña Elementary Schools were ransacked last night by unidentified persons who carted away several pieces of equipment and school properties.

Police investigators say that the robbers made their forcible entry by destroying the door knobs.

Others entered the building by breaking the jalousies and windows.

While inside the classroom, they destroyed some electric fans and took the fans' electric motors together with other personal items placed inside the teacher’s drawers.

Included in the missing items were the donation envelopes with small amounts of money earmarked for mass offerings.

Early this morning, the school officials were surprised when they discovered that their classrooms were already open.

At press time, police authorities are still compiling their investigation report.—by Boyet Paderes/BICOLSTANDARD.COM

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Ragay SB wants transparency in use of LGU funds

RAGAY, CAMARINES SUR—The Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of this town has passed a resolution requesting the members of the different heads of offices, thru the Office of the Mayor, to submit the utilization report of their funds during the first semester of this year.
Ragay Mayor Ricky Aquino
Ragay Mayor Ricky Aquino
Photo: Mayor Aquino's Facebook account
The essence of SB Resolution No. 117 series of 2014 is to make the Local Government Unit (LGU) responsive to the call of their residents to monitor religiously the activities of the government and to account for every single centavo that is being spent.

This resolution was approved last June 18.

Apart from the utilization report, the SB made a clear demand that the Program of Works (POW) for the projects already implemented must be included in the said report.

Based on the official record of the SB, six out of eight municipal councilors including the Liga ng Mga Barangay President, Joseph Cater, affixed their signatures in the resolution.

Meanwhile, the Liga ng mga Barangay (LnB) also passed a resolution of support to the said SB resolution No. 117 series of 2014.

Out of the 38 punong barangays of this town, 32 have signified their support for this call.

Their resolution of support to the SB Resolution was approved last July 30.

In a meeting called by the Liga ng mga Barangay held at the ABC hall, it was learned that a heated confrontation erupted between town Mayor Ricardo Aquino and several punong barangays. According to the report, when the issue about the distribution of relief goods was raised during the meeting, Aquino rushed to the ABC hall and scolded the barangay leaders.

The controversial issue ensued when it was alleged that the relief goods distribution was selective, since only those identified with the political group of Mayor Aquino were given the goods.

This matter was, however, belied by the mayor.

During such gathering, Aquino grabbed the microphone from the Municipal Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Officer (MDRRMO) Jojo Tipay, who was presiding the meeting, when the issue was discussed.

Aquino claims that some members of the LnB were using the Liga Meeting to further their political ends, which was vehemently denied by the Punong Barangays.

At press time, Aquino could not yet be contacted by BICOL STANDARD for his reactions and comments on the issue. –by Jener Villarez/BICOLSTANDARD.COM
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Bicolana beauty joins 'Pinay Beauty Queen Academy'

Joanna Angelica Romero of Naga City is one of the contenders in the upcoming reality show Pinay Beauty Queen Academy.
Joanna Angelica Romero in Pinay Beauty Queen Academy
Photo: Pinay Beauty Queen Academy Facebook Page
24-year-old Romero, who competed earlier this year in the Binibining Pilipinas Beauty Pageant, holds several titles and awards, including Mutya ng Ibalong 2010, Miss Bicolandia 2010 3rd Runner-up, and Miss Teen Bicolandia 2005 2nd Princess.

Romero previously worked as a Sales and Marketing Officer for a hotel in Manila before joining Binibining Pilipinas 2014.

Among her interests are music, sports, and surfing the Internet.

Mentoring Romero and her companions in the reality show are 1973 1st Runner-up Evangeline Pascual, Bb. Pilipinas Universe 1982 Maria Isabel Lopez, Miss International 2005 Precious Lara Quigaman and Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 1985 Joyce Ann Burton-Titular.

The show will give viewers a look at the rigorous training that beauty title aspirants undergo.

At present, the contestants are undergoing trainings on nutrition, makeup, and working out, among others.

Pinay Beauty Queen Academy will start airing in October on GMA News TV.--BICOLSTANDARD.COM

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Legazpi clergy joins call for APEC to restore power

LEGAZPI CITY--The priests of the Diocese of Legazpi are now waiting for the response of Albay Power and Energy Corporation regarding their appeal to restore the supply of electricity in the province of Albay.
Msgr. Ramon "Monching" Tronqued
In an interview by Radio Veritas Legazpi of Msgr. Ramon "Monching" Tronqued, Vicar General of the Diocese and Rector of St. Gregory the Great Parish said their group will base their next step on the action that APEC will make.

Tronqued, in the same interview, emphasized that once APEC fails to take action, or ignores their letter, their group will become "pro-active."

Meanwhile, multi-sectoral groups from the province are still calling for Albayanos to get involved in the APEC issue.--BICOLSTANDARD.COM

Photo: Ephraim de Vera

Photo: Ephraim de Vera
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Monday, August 11, 2014

Nagueña named outstanding teacher by Metrobank Foundation

A teacher from Naga City was named one of the ten outstanding teachers in the Philippines by the Metrobank Foundation, Inc.
Anna Bella Abellera
Anna Bella Abellera, who teaches at Naga Central School I, obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education in Ateneo de Naga in 1995.

She was also a Ford Foundation scholar at Ateneo de Manila and at Fordham University, New York, USA.--BICOLSTANDARD.COM

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Albay to nominate Mayon Volcano as UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

LEGAZPI CITY -- The provincial government of Albay will nominate Mayon Volcano as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Governor Joey Sarte Salceda disclosed Monday.

In a letter to Regional Executive Director Gilbert Gonzales of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Bicol, Salceda said the Philippines National Commission for UNESCO has provided the province with information for its guidance on the nomination of Mayon Volcano as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

A Biosphere Reserve, he said, is an internationally designated protected area meant to demonstrate a balanced relationship between people and nature, hence, promoting values such as sustainable development.

“The status is conferred by UNESCO, particularly by its Man and the Biosphere Program and currently, there are only two UNESCO biosphere reserves in the Philippines – namely, Palawan and Puerto Galera,” Salceda said.

He invited Gonzales to join a meeting on the nomination of Mayon Volcano as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve on Aug. 13 at the UNESCO office in Pasay City.

He also invited Edelberto Matusalem, Protected Area supervisor for the Province of Albay, to join the meeting. -- by Connie B. Destura (PNA) LAM/FGS/CBD/

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Paaram, Among

Flags and banners with messages of love greet the convoy with the remains of Archbishop Leonardo Z. Legaspi as it passes through the streets of Camarines Sur and Naga City.

Legaspi, who is fondly called "Among" or "Archbishop Narding" by the Catholic faithful in Bicol, died in Manila last August 8.--BICOLSTANDARD.COM

Photos from the Archdiocese of Caceres

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