Friday, October 2, 2015

Sergio hits Naga City’s failure to notch good governance seal

NAGA CITY— Councilor Nathan Sergio did not mince words when he expressed his dismay and indignation over Naga City’s failure to earn the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) this year.

Sergio hits Naga City’s failure to notch good governance seal
“Anong nangyari?” (What happened?) he demanded in his privilege speech Tuesday at the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

This was the first time in history, he said, that Naga City was unable to receive said award.

He called the failure a shameful affront and a slap on the face on the city officials, barangay officials, and even the department heads of the City Hall, especially because Naga City trumpets itself as a center of good governance.

The councilor drew attention to how visitors from other LGUs, and even other nations, would visit the City Hall to study how the local government is run, in the hope of replicating its practices.

In response to Sergio’s speech, Councilor Gabby Bordado admitted he felt disappointed at the failure as well. He added that an immediate review of the cause of the city’s inability to get the award is in order.

Social Protection

Naga City’s failure was due to its poor implementation of the Social Protection criterion, as observed by the DILG’s assessment teams.

Social Protection refers to “[sensitivity]” to the needs of vulnerable and marginalized sectors of the society like Women, Children, Indigenous People and Persons with Disabilities,” according to DILG’s primer on the SGLG.

The city, however, received passing marks in the other assessment areas, including Good Financial Housekeeping , Disaster Preparedness, Business-friendliness and Competitiveness, Peace and Order, and Environmental Management.

In the same primer, the DILG explains that an LGU needs to pass the three assessment areas, which includes Social Protection.

“Recognizing diversities, assessment criteria vary by LGU level and income class. Assessment draws from the primary data and secondary (certified) data from other agencies. National and sub-national validations are to take place. Validation approach includes document inspection, on-site visit, and/or interview,” the primer adds.

This year, only 17 out of the 120 LGUs in the Bicol Region received the SGLG.


This morning (September 30), Vice Mayor Nelson Legacion and City Administrator Florencio “Jun” Mongoso called for a press conference to announce they have filed a protest against the DILG evaluators.

They claimed that Naga City should have received a passing mark for the Social Protection criterion, as it is committed to protecting persons with disabilities (PWD) and maintains a Children’s Home.–Report by Ron-Ron Enon, BICOLSTANDARD.COM

FEATURE | It runs in the blood

When they joined two separate pageants during the Penafrancia fiesta, siblings Ara Isabel and Nelson “Nins” E. Diocos weren’t really expecting to win. For them, joining the Miss Bicolandia and Pretty Boy Bicolandia pageants were all in good fun, an experience from which they could look back, years from now, with thrilling memories.

The children of chemical engineer Gina Salvacion Ebio Diocos and the late Nelson Diocos, a civil engineer, of Concepcion Pequena, Naga City, Ara and Nins are each flourishing in their chosen fields—Ara in physical therapy and Nins in civil engineering.

Ara, for one, was the high school class salutatorian at University of Nueva Caceres. She also graduated Magna Cum Laude at Universidad de Santa Isabel, and is fresh out of passing the Physical Therapy Board exam last August. And as if those weren’t enough, she also happens to be one of the Ten Outstanding Students of Bicol, an Ayala Leader in 2014, and Miss Youth Nagueno in 2013.

Nins, on the other hand, a second-year college student at University of Nueva Caceres, is closely following his ate’s footsteps, setting his sights on a fruitful career in civil engineering.

Truly, they hardly needed another plaque, trophy, or certificate to show off their great potentials. But win the pageants they did, anyway, making Bicol pageant history as siblings who both bagged prestigious prizes in a single year.

BICOL STANDARD had an opportunity to sit down with Ara and Nins and listen to them share their experience and plans.

BICOL STANDARD: Hello Ara! Could you describe your experience in the Miss Bicolandia pageant for us?

ARA: It was my first time to join an actual pageant, so the whole process seemed new to me. I underwent trainings and heavy preparations prior to the pageant proper and it was never easy for a newbie like me. During our six-day pre-pageant days, I was able to gain friends, not just among my co-candidates, but also with various people I’ve encountered. It was a very nice experience which I will forever treasure for as long as I live.

BICOL STANDARD: What were the challenges that you have encountered while running for Miss Bicolandia?

ARA: Many times I doubted myself. I used to be a cowardly person, who was afraid to take risks. However, because of my supporters from whom I get my strength, I made sure that I always give my best and to always put up a good fight in everything that I do. Apart from this, I also consider my preparations as challenges: learning to adjust from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one, having a healthy and balanced diet, and learning to walk in 6.5 inch heeled shoes! I must say, nothing worth having comes easy, and those challenges help you to improve and to do better.

BICOL STANDARD: What kept you going during the competition? Who/What was your inspiration?

ARA: My family, friends, and supports were the ones who helped me get through my challenges and kept me going. They are the reasons behind this great triumph and to whom I offer my victory.

BICOL STANDARD: What do you think makes a true beauty queen?

ARA: A true beauty queen is not just about the physique, but mostly about the inner character –someone who has a good heart to share to everyone through showing concern and giving service. She is someone who could serve as a great influence, epitome, good example, and an inspiration to others.

BICOL STANDARD: As the newly crowned Miss Bicolandia 2015, what can you do to make a difference for your fellow Bicolanos?

ARA: I would prove to everyone that Miss Bicolandia is more than just a pretty face. She is someone who accepts the responsibilities and duties that come with the crown. And so, it is part of my plans this year to not just continue my legacy of serving as an inspiration, but also to create concrete programs and projects, of course, in partnership with the organizations I am involved with. I will also continue promoting my advocacies and participating in volunteer works. My reign this year, with the help of Ina and God almighty, will be a purposeful and meaningful one.
Ara, in our interview, proved to be the not only the proverbial lady with both beauty and brains, but also one blessed with a big heart. As Bicolanos, we are deeply honored to see her wear the crown and serve as a symbol for the region.

Meantime, Nins, who had been joining pageants for men frequently in the past, said joining the competition greatly improved his confidence and personality. According to Nins, joining Pretty Boy had greatly improved his confidence and personality. He added that a true man is someone who has a big and humble heart for everyone, with good values and with love and trust to God.

Being siblings who have both become icons to the Bicolano youth, they have decided to use their titles to their advantage and collaborate with each other in their programs and plans for the Bicolano people during their reign.

“As Miss Bicolandia 2015, I will soon be launching community service projects, and my brother, Nins, who is also Pretty Boy Naga City 2015, will be part of this project,” Ara says. “This shared goal will also be possible with the help of our partner organizations and other sponsors. We will be doing the best that we can do to encourage the Bicolano youth to participate and be one with us to achieve these aspirations. It will be for the betterment of not only our place, Naga City, but also to the Bicol region as a whole.”

Ara and Nins are living proof that despite the barrage of the superficial and sensationalistic in today’s society, we Bicolanos still prize that which is much more important: the rare and timeless beauty of the soul.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

COMELEC reiterates guidelines on filing of Certificates of Candidacy

NAGA  CITY—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) reiterated its guidelines on the filing of the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) in connection with the May 9, 2016 national and local elections.
As stated in Resolution No. 9984 which was promulgated on August 18, 2015, the period for filing of COC is on October 12 to 16, 2015, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Photo via COMELEC
The commission also reminded aspirants that any person holding a public appointive office or position, including active members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other officers and employees in government-owned or -controlled corporations, shall be considered ipso facto resigned from the office and must vacate the same at the start of the day of the filing of Certificates of
Nomination and Acceptance.

The COC shall be filed by the aspirant or through a duly authorized representative with a sworn and signed Authority to File the COC.

No COC filed by mail, electronic mail, or facsimile shall be accepted, the same Resolution states.

On October 30, 2015, the Comelec Law Department shall prepare the Certified List of Nominees.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

BMC seeks applicants for residency training

NAGA CITY—The Bicol Medical Center (BMC) is now accepting applicants for residency training in pediatrics, anesthesia, radiology, internal medicine, surgery, and OB-Gyn. This was announced earlier this week by Dr. Marla Litam, the hospital's newly-installed medical chief.

BMC Naga City
Litam said the hospital is the place to be in Bicolandia for teaching and training.

The biggest hospital in Bicol, BMC is a 500-bed public facility under the direct supervision of Department of Health, Center for Health Development- Bicol in Legazpi City. It is a non-profit institution and one of the 13 medical centers under the National Government.

BMC, which is committed to providing high-quality tertiary health care services, professes compassionate and excellent service with integrity. It also aims to be the premier medical center in the entire Bicol region.

Last year, it received the prestigious 9001:2008 certification from the International Standardization Organization (ISO).

For inquiries, kindly visit the hospital or call 811-34-34 local Training Office or 09189057064.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

Masbate’s Lapay Bantigue Festival soars to new heights

MASBATE CITY—In the southern part of the region at the end of September, the Lapay Bantigue Festival takes to the skies in celebration of the island’s fascinating culture.

Lapay Bantigue Festival
Photo by Gagha Valencia
Held alongside Masbate City’s cityhood anniversary, the festival highlights a traditional folk dance inspired by sea birds called lapay. 

Masbateños say that such birds are a common sight in the coastal barangay of Bantigue, especially at dawn when they wait for the fishermen arrive with their catch.

Among those who were mesmerized by the birds’ tender beauty was a woman called Felisa Tupas.

Lola Felisa, as she is fondly called, was inspired to invent a dance that mimicked the fluid flapping of the bird's wings, their graceful swoop to kiss the sparkling waves, their playful frolicking by the coastline as they search for spare catch.

The dance soon spread among the villagers, who offered it to their patroness Saint Philomena.

To her they attribute many blessings, including the healing of a fisherman’s child, and an abundant supply of fish.

Some say a separate dance called the Bantigue was blended with the Lapay dance, resulting in a distinctive mix.

Later, National Artist, choreographer and dancer Ramon Obusan improved the traditional dance with music and additional steps.

In 2002, the performance of the dance in the streets of Masbate was designated as one of the highlights of the cityhood anniversary.

Masbateños today, often in elaborate costumes, dance the Lapay Bantigue to commemorate the tradition and give thanks for the bountiful catch that they enjoy from the waters that surround the island.

Lola Felisa’s story, meanwhile, continues to be passed down to younger generations, reminding them of the spirited and creative woman who started not only a dance, but a spectacular celebration of Masbateño culture.

The Lapay Bantigue festival has since been bringing honor to the island province, notching prizes in festival competitions, such as the Sinulog Festival and Gayon Bicol Festival of Festivals. To the rest of Bicol, the nation, and the world, however, it is a “pamana kag tradisyon,” a legacy and a gift to the present and the future.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM



Public school teachers in Bicol to receive performance bonus

LEGAZPI CITY—Over 35,000 public school teachers in Bicol will start receiving their Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) for this year early next month, the regional office of the Department of Education here on Monday announced.

DepEd Regional Director Ramon Fiel Abcede
Photo by DepEd Sorsogon
Each classroom teacher in the elementary and secondary levels will receive starting this Oct. 5 an amount ranging from Php5,000 to Php35,000 based on their performance, DepEd Regional Director Ramon Fiel Abcede said.

The DepEd, he noted, evaluates and grants the PBB to all its bureaus or delivery units and employees who have worked diligently and have performed well according to their contribution to the achievement of the department’s overall performance targets. These will, in turn, determine the amount to be received.

Abcede said the DepEd regional office has already gotten the amount from the Department of Budget and Management and will distribute it upon the completion of requirements that schools division heads should submit prior to the processing.

Only classroom teachers are to receive their PBBs out of this initial release. Other DepEd personnel such as non-teaching staff and employees assigned with the regional and division offices are not yet included, he clarified.

The grant is based on Executive Order No. 80 signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III in July 2012, directing the adoption of the Performance-Based Incentive System (PBIS) consists of the Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI) and the top-up PBB for government employees.

EO 80 is based on the principle that service delivery by the bureaucracy can be improved by linking personnel incentives to the bureau or delivery unit’s performance, and by recognizing and rewarding exemplary performance to foster teamwork and meritocracy.

Guidelines issued by Sec. Armin Luistro say that PBB shall be given to all personnel in accordance with their contribution to the accomplishment of their department’s overall targets and commitments.

To be eligible for PBB, the performance of each agency shall be measured using verifiable and credible indicators based on the pillars of the Results-Based Performance Management System (RPMS) that include Major Final Outputs (MFOs) and Performance Targets as specified in the Organizational Performance Indicators Framework.

Other RPMS pillars are good governance conditions based on the performance drivers of RPMS, namely, financial stewardship, process efficiency, and leadership, learning, and growth.

Once the agency acquires eligibility to PBB, the DepEd guideline says, the delivery units and personnel shall be evaluated according to their performance in the achievement of the agency’s performance targets by the task force assigned to oversee its implementation.

The DepEd, according to Abcede, qualified for the top-up PBB for its personnel this year as it has achieved at least 90 percent of last school year’s targets of each MFO, Support to Operations, and General Administrative Support Services as well as of its priority program or project targets.

As for teaching and non-teaching personnel of the schools, there will be no individual ranking at the school level, thus, the performance category of the school shall determine the level of PBB that each employee will receive.

DepEd employees who are recipients of awards such as the literacy swards and national awards from the Civil Service Commission and Metrobank Foundation last year are guaranteed beneficiaries of the Php35,000 bonus, the highest incentive level of PBB.

On the contrary, employees who received a “Below Satisfactory” rating or who are guilty of administrative and/or criminal charges shall automatically be disqualified from receiving the PBB.

The PBB acts as an incentive in addition to the across-the-board bonus of the Productivity Enhancement Incentive and will not replace any given incentive, Abcede said. It aims to promote excellence and accountability among government employees, thus, providing their best public service. (By Danny O. Calleja, PNA)

Naga City pet hater still on the loose; kills cat

NAGA CITY—Another pet, this time a cat, was killed by an arrow shot into one of its hind legs, a local veterinarian confirmed.

TOP: Another victim of the unidentified suspect who injures pets in Naga City; BOTTOM: Arrow taken out of the cat Photos by Dr. Manny Victorino
In an interview by BICOL STANDARD, Dr. Manny Victorino of Animal Palace Veterinary Clinic, Barangay Tabuco said the cat was brought to their facility from Diversion, Naga City, where it was hit by the improvised weapon.

It took the owners two days to catch the cat, which had been evading capture.

When it was caught, its owners discovered that the arrow had pierced through its stomach.

The cat died from infection and complications, Victorino said.

Around two months ago, he recalled also having treated a dog which was injured by a similar arrow at Sabang, Naga City. Unlike the cat, however, the dog survived because the arrow did not hit a major blood vessel.

Dr. Victorino's patient two months ago
Photo by Dr. Manny Victorino
Victorino is among the growing number of Nagueños who have raised howl over the incidents of animal cruelty.

A few days ago, photos of a dog which was shot dead with an arrow at Barangay Tinago circulated online.

On social media, the photos have since ignited a lengthy discussion, with netizens offering opinions on animal abuse and pet owner responsibility.

Other pet owners, who claim their dogs are also victims, have joined the discussion.

Meanwhile, the Naga City Police Office said no pet owner has approached their office to file a report.

The suspect/s behind the incidents have yet to be identified as of press time.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

Rep. Lanete to DOLE: address lack of benefits granted to fixed term workers

Rep. Scott Davies S. Lanete (3rd District, Masbate) has filed a bill urging the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to conduct feasibility studies on how to address the lack of benefits given to contractual workers.

Rep. Scott Davies S. Lanete (3rd District, Masbate)
"The lack of benefits given to fixed-term employees has been going on for years and DOLE should address this matter," Lanete said.

Lanete, author of House Resolution 2391, said ordinary employees have not been given the full benefit of their labor compare to the profits enjoyed by their employers.

He said the globalization of the market has resulted in increased competition among business entities.

"This lead to implementation of various devices aimed at reducing the cost of producing goods to enable every business entity to remain competitive," said Lanete, vice-chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations.

He said the common worker has seemingly been left forgotten as the competition grew and the quality of goods improved.

Lanete said one of the devices or schemes that has been increasingly adapted nowadays is service contract employment.

"This scheme, which is now a globally accepted practice, involves the outsourcing of the direct hiring of employees by service contract employers which is already an improvement of the fixed term employment or contractualization," Lanete said.

Lanete said a service contract employee could not be qualified for a retirement pay since the entitlement for such benefit needs service of employment for at least five years.

"Thus, a service contact employee is at a disadvantage compared to other types of employees," Lanete said.

Lanete said there is an urgent and absolute need to remedy this miserable condition suffered by service contract employees in order to tip the scales of justice to a more equitable condition.

Lanete said one of the remedies looked into is to accord the service contract employees compensation to include retirement pay consistent with Article 287 of the Labor Code, which they would be receiving had they been hired as regular employees.

"Another way or remedy looked into is for employers to provide these service contact employees with lump sum cash incentives at the expiration of their contracts," he recommended.

Lanete said there is no need to pass a law to implement these solutions, as the pertinent provisions of the Labor Code are sufficient to authorize the DOLE to enforce these by virtue of issuing the necessary guidelines. (by Ma. Victoria I. Palomar, Media Affairs and Public Relations Service)

DOH activates express lanes for dengue cases in hospitals

The Department of Health (DOH) said on Monday it has ordered the activation of dengue express lanes in all government hospitals nationwide to help hasten the facilitation of suspected and confirmed dengue cases.
Photo: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Dr. Lyndon Lee-Suy, DOH spokesperson, said the express lanes will help separate dengue cases from other medical conditions that have to be managed by the medical facilities.

In a media interview, he explained that the revival of express lanes in government hospitals and its health facilities in diagnosing dengue patients is a “regular” program and not a new concept which is being done during times when there is an expected rise of suspected dengue cases.

“This (referring to the revival of the dengue express lanes) is not something new. Even before, there were express lanes activated during the season when there was expected rise in cases of dengue which needed abrupt diagnosis and treatment to prevent patients from waiting too long before they could be diagnosed and treated,” Dr. Lee-Suy said.

He further clarified that the measure should not be misunderstood and magnified as being revived in government hospitals and its health facilities to create an impression that the number of dengue cases is really soaring or reaching an alarming state but rather as a way for “quick” diagnosis of possible dengue cases as well as other deadly diseases.

The DOH spokesperson said that such express lanes are usually placed in areas near the emergency rooms to facilitate the consultation and conduct of laboratory examinations for faster and accurate findings on the suspected dengue cases and to distinguish which patients are manifesting symptoms of dengue or not.

He cited that based on the observations and analysis of dengue cases, the usual rise occurs during the frequent rains brought by the southwest monsoon or tropical cyclones passing through the Philippines.

He noted that it is good that the public is also becoming aware of the existence of express lanes that they can turn to in times that they have to deal with suspected dengue cases.

He further said that in a way the, express lane can also serve its purpose of keeping the people aware of dengue prevention, especially in times that the “El Nino” phenomenon can create its strong impact.

He said that since the tendency of the people prior to the "El Nino" occurrence is to store water, it is possible that the stored water, if not properly covered, can be a contributing factor to the rise in dengue cases because such stored water can be possible breeding site of mosquitoes that are carriers of dengue.

He said that with the people knowing about the express lanes, they can also promote at the same time the boosting of awareness of how the people in the community can participate in the fight versus dengue and make the necessary preparation and positive change of behavior in dealing with the threats of dengue.

“It is good that we have this so that the campaign can be continuously carried out as we face the threat of El Nino phenomenon,“ he added.

Based on the latest records of the DOH, there was a total of 78,808 dengue cases from Jan. 1 to Sept. 5, 2015. This was actually higher by 16.2 percent compared with 67,637 cases for the same period of last year.

“But then, that 16.2 percent rise is very much lower if you will compare it with the figure for the same period in 2013,” Dr. Lee-Suy added.

There was a total of 117,658 dengue cases in 2013 which, if compared with the figure for this year, translated to a decline of more than 40 percent.

Meanwhile, it was learned that the provincial government of Cavite has declared a state of calamity after it recorded a total of 3,904 cases of dengue with 16 fatalities from January to Sept. 12. (PNA)

Monday, September 28, 2015

At least 3 dead, 31 hurt in CSur accident; cops temporarily divert traffic

NAGA CITY—The Andaya Highway from Tabogon, Sta. Elena, Camarines Norte to Naga City was declared passable at 8:30 p.m. earlier tonight, September 28.

This was confirmed by Senior Supt. Walfredo Pornillos of the Camarines Sur Provincial Police Office (CSPPO).

The same road was temporarily closed due to a vehicular accident at around 7:10 pm at Barangay Lower Sta. Cruz, Ragay, Camarines Sur.

Said accident, which caused a huge traffic jam, claimed the lives of at least three commuters. They include Joseph Cater, ABC President of the Liga ng mga Barangay, Ragay; Alejandro Purca, 8 years old, a resident of Barangay Lower Sta. Cruz, Ragay; and Alea Liana Saraza, 4 years old, of Barangay Poblacion Ilaod, Ragay, Camarines Sur.

Around 31 were also reported to be injured.

Involved in the accident were a Mahindra patrol car of Ragay Municipal Police Station; a 10-wheeler dump truck driven by Jose Badong Sinfuego, 33, of Sta. Teresita, Baao, Camarines Sur; a southbound R. Volante bus driven by Dodong Biato of Bongga, Bacacay, Albay; and a Mitsubishi Adventure driven by Melvin Mantuano Estrope of Caima, Sipocot, Camarines Sur.

In response to the accident, the CSPPO diverted all buses and other vehicles en route to Naga City, Legazpi City, and Sorsogon.

Meanwhile, Sinfuego, the driver of the truck which is believed to have caused the accident is now under custody of Chief Inspector AP Blanco, OIC of the Ragay Municipal Police Station.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM. Pirming enot. Pirming bago.

Para budol-budol, dinakop kan tanod sa Naga City

Para budol-budol, dinakop kan tanod sa Naga City
Kua ni Boyet Paderes, BICOLSTANDARD.COM
NAGA CITY—Pagtios. Ini an gasgas nang linya kan mga tawo na nadadakop kan mga awtoridad na sinasahotan na imbuelto sa mga ilegal na gibo.

Ini an ipinahayag ni Analyn de los Santos y Olaso, 24 anyos, taga Camagong, Tinambac, Camarines Sur, na dinakop kan tanod sa Zamora, St., Sabang, sa sahot na siya imbuelto siya sa sarong forma nin budol-budol.

Si de los Santos, itinukdo kan mga tanod na na imbuelto sa pag pa-order nin laptop asin kutson na higdaan asin iba pang mga gamit, sa terminong mensualan.

Susug sa reclamo, si de los Santos hinagadan an victimang si Corazon Maxion, 43 anyos, may-agom nin kantgidad P1,800 bilang antisipo, bago i-deliver an sinambit na pinaorder na mga gamit.

Sabi kan suspechado sa entrevista kan BICOL STANDARD, pinapahimutikan niya an mga sahot saiya ta bako siyang manloloko.

Siya suboot nasugo sana kan sarong lalaki na dae niya bisto an pangaran para magpa-order nin mga efectos.

An tugon kan kaolay niyang lalaki, bastang an saiyang gibo magpara-paorder sana, asin segurohon na maghagad nin antisipo, ta seguradong maabot an mga binabakal na efectos pagkalihis nin pirang aldaw sana.

Kan mag-abot an talaan na plazo sa pagdeliver kan efectos, nagsabi an suspechado na mayo pa an binabakal kan nagpidir.

Suboot nagkaigwa nin problema sa Oficina kan Bureau of Customs, kaya dae pa nakakaluwas an kargamento.

Mientrastanto, kasoodma, poco mas o menos ala-1:30 nin hapon, sa may LCC sa Sabang, itinukdo kan victima an suspechado sa mga tanod.

Tulos siyang tinakma kan mga tanod para panimbagon kan mga isinasahot na kasalan.

Si de los Santos hirit na maray an pahimutik na imbuelto siya sa budol-budol.

Segun sa mga awtoridad sasangatan nin casong pagsuba si de los Santos, huli kan malinaw na pagbalga kan ley sa Estafa.—Report ni Boyet Paderes, BICOLSTANDARD.COM

DENR rejects bid to cut down mangroves in Mobo, Masbate

MASBATE CITY—The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Bicol regional office rejected an application by a power company to chop down some 50 mangrove trees in Barangay Tugbo, Mobo town.

David M. Consunji, Inc. (DMCI)'s power business

David M. Consunji, Inc. (DMCI)'s power business

Photo: DCMI

Said application was requested by David M. Consunji Incorporated  (DMCI) in preparation for the construction of a wharf.

Grace Cariño, DENR Bicol, Division Chief of Conservation and Development Division said approval of the application runs counter to the agency's committment to protecting the region's natural resources.

Mangroves, she emphasized, are vitally important to the ecosystem, especially to the marine food chain.

DMCI, she added, accepted the decision and is studying an alternative site for the construction of the wharf.

The wharf is part of the power firm's plan to put up a coal facility, which it believes will be a less expensive source of energy, as compared to petroleum.

The project, it would be recalled, has been met with opposition both by the local government and private individuals.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

Comelec reminds Sorsoganons: No bio, no boto

SORSOGON CITY—The Sorsogon provincial office here of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Sunday staged a last ditch activity to convince the local electorate to submit themselves to a biometric capture to validate their registration and be able them to vote in the 2016 elections.

Dubbed “Fun Walk and Run: Huling Hirit sa Pag-Validate”, the activity participated in by over a hundred physical fitness buffs, according to assistant election supervisor Renie Daymon, was in line with the poll body’s information drive called “No Biometric, No Vote” which carries a stern message that voters will never be allowed to vote without validating their registration records.

The validation refers to the capturing through an electronic machine of each voter’s biometrics such as photograph, fingerprints and signature for them to be recognized as a duly registered voter and allowed to vote in the forthcoming national and local elections pursuant to Republic Act (RA) 10367.

Signed by President Benigno Aquino on Feb. 15, 2013 to become the Mandatory Biometrics Registration Law, RA 10367 states that voters who do not have biometrics will not be able to vote in the May 9, 2016 local and national polls.

Hence, Daymon said, it has become the policy of the commission as declared under Comelec Resolution No. 9853 to establish a clean, complete, permanent and updated list of voters through the mandatory taking of photograph, fingerprints and signature in the registration process.

At present, the Comelec is holding a registration of new voters and validation of old ones, which was started in May 2014 and to end on Oct. 31.

For the purpose of validation, all previously registered voters without biometrics are required to go to the Local Election Registrar’s Office and have themselves subjected to biometrics capture using the Voter Registration Machine (VRM).

The VRM is simply a desktop computer, with a digital camera, fingerprint scanner and signature pad attached to it and biometrics capture becomes possible with the use of this high-tech equipment.

Daymon stressed that the absence of biometrics in the voter’s registration record will cause Comelec to deactivate the concerned registration records “and when that happens, the concerned voter shall not be allowed to vote in the May 2016 elections”.

In the case of Sorsogon, he said, the province has a total of 409,426 registered voters as of last Aug. 31 and 37,618 of them remained without biometrics data; 135 incomplete; and 371,673 complete.

From this with complete data figure, Daymon said, 56,213 are previously registered voters who have come to their respective Comelec registrar’s offices for validation since the process was started.

Apart from the massive information drive, the Comelec municipal and city offices have also gone into barangays for their satellite registration and validation program that significantly contributed to the achievement of this number, he recalled.

This turnout for the validation is quite good but not yet satisfactory since as much as possible, Daymon said, the Comelec wants a 100-percent result so that all registered voters in the province will be able to cast their votes in the next elections.

“We hope that this fun run awakens the awareness of those who have not complied and finally drive them into presenting themselves to the Comelec field offices where they are registered for the biometric capture which is a very easy process that takes only at least five minutes,” Daymon said.

All they have to do is introduce themselves to the personnel manning the VRM sit in front of the camera for his or her picture to be taken, have his or her fingerprints captured by the scanner and write his or her signature in the signature pad, that’s all, and everything is done, he explained.

Daymon said the Comelec safeguards the integrity and secrecy of the biometric voter registry as he noted that while biometric systems are increasingly being deployed in the developing world with the aim to ensure a fair and efficient electoral process, it is important that countries, such as the Philippines, ensure that such data is properly regulated and safeguarded.

The “Fun Walk and Run: Huling Hirit sa Pag-Validate” event was started with a zumba exercises at the Capitol ground here at 5 a.m Sunday followed by a run/walk event that covered a 3.2-kilometer distance around the city proper.

Participants were local government workers, members of civic organizations, students and individuals who believe that the right to vote is an inherent right and one of the democratic means to choose capable and worthy leaders in our government, Daymon said.

The future of the government, he stressed, rests largely upon the active participation of the public in the cherished democratic right of suffrage and upon the kind of people they elect to public office.

Accordingly, each qualified and registered voter should vote, regardless of his personal dissatisfaction towards the government, so that those elected to public office derive legitimacy and authority from those who are governed, Daymon added.(PNA)

RDC approves feasibility study for Larap Airport rehab

DAET, CNorte—The Regional Development Council (RDC) in Bicol has approved the conduct of a feasibility study on the rehabilitation of Larap Airport in Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte during its meeting held September 18 at Pineapple Island Resort here.

Map via openstreetmap
The conduct of the feasibility study will be endorsed for fund support to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

The rehabilitation of Larap airport will allow for alternative transport facility for tourists visiting the Bicol Triple C - Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur and Catanduanes tourism area, and for businessmen transporting goods from the special economic zone at Larap, Jose Panganiban. It will also be an alternative hangar and aircraft maintenance site for private planes, and as staging facility for Philippine Air Force air assets.

Jose Panganiban Mayor Ricarte Padilla said that they are eyeing for the Larap Airport more in terms of development into an international standards and will serve as an entry point for tourists to Triple C provinces and as well as to Almasor -Albay, Masbate, Sorsogon.

Daet Mayor Tito Sarion on the other hand said that he agreed to the additional airport aside from the development of the airport in the town which will also boost more tourists in the province.
 It may be recalled that the RDC has already endorsed the provincial government allocation of P100 million for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the Daet airport.

The council has already passed a resolution and transmitted to Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) wherein the latter has informed that the Daet airport is capable of serving turbo-prop type of aircraft.

Earlier Governor Edgardo Tallado thanked the RDC for the support in the province wherein there are endorsed projects under the Convergence on Tourism Support Infrastructure Program in partnership with the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Among these are the rehabilitation/improvement of 5 road sections along Pres. Cory Aquino Boulevard with P50 million each or a total of P250M; construction of 4 bridges along Pres. Cory Aquino Blvd. with P50M each bridge or a total of P200M;rehabilitation/improvement of Daet San Vicente Road of P50M; rehabilitation/improvement of 3 road sections along Mercedes-Basud Road with P50M each section or a total of P150M and the rehabilitation/improvement of 2 road sections along Daet-San Lorenzo Road with P50M each or a total of P100M. (by Rosalita Manlangit)

RAWITDAWIT | 'Pagbisto sa Sadiri' ni Estelito B. Jacob

Pagbisto sa Sadiri
(Matapos madalan sa TV-Patrol Bicol an manungod sa lamos na nadukayan sa salog kan Camaligan)
Ni Estelito B. Jacob

Binibisto ta an rarum
kan satong mga sadiri
sa babaw o rarum kan salog.
Sa paglataw kan satuyang
butod na lawas nagpupoon
an mga tataramon nin pagbisto,
apwera sa lubag-lubag nang
pandok, kamot, tulak, bitis,
pati na sa babad nang bado,
pantalon, pitaka, ID, resibo.
Nagtitinir sa satong lawas an kita
maging ati man o tignarakol an salog;
siring an kita magin malinaw man
o malibog an an nangingini-kining tubig,
asin siring an kita magin tuninong man o maribok
an nagngungurob-ngurob na sulog;
siring an kita magin pano man an salog
nin mga nagbuburak na lili o nagsasalbidang ati.
Nagtitinir an kita sa satong lawas.
Dai kaini maitago an nakaaging dingkilan,
durulak, kaangutan, asin kagadanan.
May rarum an rarum kan sadiri
na katakod sa lawas--dawa anong gabat
malataw sa matabang na tubig kan salog.
An sungaw kan lawas, nagsusurok
labi pa alisngaw kan kada tataramon
kan nagkakabirilot na reporter.
Kun madalan kan satong mga namomotan,
diyan ta na matutungkad an rarum
asin hangganan kan satong mga misteryo
sa pagbisto kan sadiring butod na lawas.

Oktubre 14, 2014
7:13 n.a.

RAWITDAWIT | 'Nagkaminidbidan' ni Estelito B. Jacob

ni Estelito B. Jacob

Nagkaminidbidan na kami kan kamunduan.
Sinabat niya ako mantang patuyatoy ako
sa madiklom na kakahuyan nin agrangay.
Inagihan ko an pinakaharayong kapungawan.
Minasdan ko an mga gatok asin mapungay na mata.
Nilampasan ko an karayuan kan dai mapugulan na hibi.
Inalok ninda ako nin pagtiner, pagbalik asin pag-paaram.
Sa rumarum kan banggi na may pirikit na liwanag,
Dai ko masabutan an dapat na gibuhon, basta
An aram ko, sa pagbaklay na ini nagkaminidbidan
Kami kan nagdudulag-nagraraning kamunduan.

Oktubre 18, 2014
 8:16 n.b.

Hands-on Science Education

by Jean V. Reginaldo
Iriga City

Over the last few years, significant strides in technology have allowed teachers to make use of more and more electronic resources to aid in the teaching of science. While students from earlier generations had to content themselves with black and white line drawings in textbooks, students today can see the tiniest parts of cells, the internal structures of the human body, even mountains on distant moons, in full color and sometimes, in three-dimensional illustrations or even videos.

Despite these advances, many educators still believe that hands-on education is still crucial and irreplaceable in science teaching, no matter how advanced our teaching resources become.

Hands-on education provides students direct experiences with phenomena and materials. For example, instead of merely looking at video recordings of different kinds of weather conditions, students are encouraged to go outside and observe the sky for themselves.

Rather than relying on drawings of cells in textbooks, they are urged to look under a microscope and investigate slides containing such cells.

Instead of simply showing video presentations on how magnets work, why not let the students hold a magnet and see how some objects are attracted to it, while others are not?

There are probably a million and one ways to practice hands-on science instruction, especially for younger learners, who have yet to experience many phenomena that we adults tend to take for granted.

Much research supports continued hands-on science education. Hands-on science education enables students to not only encounter and remember scientific information, but also build a functional understanding of such data. It aids in the development of communication skills, as learners attempt to articulate their own observations instead of passively memorizing facts provided in books. It promotes keener perception and positive attitudes towards learning. It allows students to become independent and creative learners, able to interpret information and make their own judgment.

As a science teacher, I believe that hands-on science education is a vital instructional approach. Practical application has so many advantages that it should not be brushed aside, even as we enjoy the new and undeniably easier ways of presenting the lessons to students. I urge my fellow science educators, if they haven’t already, to take a chance on hands-on science education. It is a rewarding experience for both the teacher and the students they discover the wonders of the world together.

DA OKs amended fisheries code IRR

BULA, CAMARINES SUR – Six months since the drafting of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 as amended by Republic Act (RA) 10654 started, Department of Agriculture’s Secretary Proceso J. Alcala has finally signed the IRR on September 24, 2015.

During a meeting on September 16 in Quezon City, the drafting committee finalized the provisions included in the IRR that formally capped the 20-day drafting process.

“After thorough discussions and sharing of opinions, we have come to this day. The IRR has been formulated through multi-sectoral participation and consensus-building approach,” DA Undersecretary for Fisheries and BFAR national director Asis G. Perez said.

To fully implement the Amended Fisheries Code, the IRR lays down the guidelines on the enforcement of various fisheries conservation measures. It covers the specific procedures on how to impose the penalties to fishers who committed illegal, unreported and, unregulated (IUU) fishing activities.

Meanwhile, members of the National Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Management Council (NFARMC), the highest recommendatory body on fisheries policy, convened on the last four days of the deliberation until they reached the common decision to adopt the finalized version. NFARMC was regularly provided with copy of the draft during the entire course of the consultation to keep track of its development, Perez said.

“Once the IRR takes effect, the hard work starts. We have always believed in the success of collaborative works. We count on our partners—the private sector, the academe, government agencies, the fisheries sector and the general public—to continuously exert efforts to protect and safeguard our marine and aquatic resources,” he said. He then proceeded to thanking members of the drafting committee, the secretariat and, participants for their valuable inputs and contribution.

Representatives of the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have expressed appreciation of the participative process through which the IRR has been crafted.

BFAR Bicol Regional Director Dennis del Socorro said the agency will do its best to fully implement the amended Fisheries Code. He added, “our next step is to have a massive information dissemination on the approved IRR especially to our municipal fisherfolk who have been receiving false information on RA 10654 which has resulted in their participation to Fish Holidays. Good thing the pambansang welgang dagat conducted in the Bicol region last September 23, 2015 has been peaceful and the protesters went home clarified of the law and are happy and satisfied. We are optimistic that they will support the law. It will benefit the whole fisheries sector and we can now move forward to sustainable fishing.”

The bureau will be soliciting support to the member-agencies of the Regional Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (RLECC) especially its Sub-Committee on Fishing and Marine Environment Protection to fully enforce the amended law.(NONIE P. ENOLVA, BFAR 5 Regional Information Officer)

Aerial photo of Naga City

PERSPECTIVE. This is an aerial photo of Naga City taken from a Philippine Air Force UH-1H Helicopter. (Courtesy of PIO Solcom)

Legazpi City wages all-out war vs. overcharging tricycle operators

LEGAZPI CITY—Councilor Raul Rosal today said the LGU is declaring an all-out war against the allegedly abusive tricycle drivers of this city.

Photo via Councilor Rosal
Rosal said he appeals to the riding public to exercise their right by not paying the excessive charge and to file a proper complaint at the offices of the Bicol Communicators and Environmental Rescue Group (BCERG), Philippine National Police, Public Safety Office (PSO) and other deputized enforcers.

The proper fare, he reminded, is only P8.00 for the first kilometer, and an additional P1.00 or fraction thereof for every succeeding kilometer.

Rosal rallied support for the Tamang Singil Advocacy Program, which had already caused the impounding of several vehicles.

The councilor also explained that the program had long been in operation. Several complainants, however, would not see through the entire process, making it difficult for the PSO to file appropriate action.

Meanwhile, his brother Mayor Noel Rosal also asked Legazpeños to cooperate with the program.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

MASIRAM | Alfred Vargas tries sili ice cream

Actor-politician Alfred Vargas called the sili ice cream a "great Bicol invention" when he tried it during his visit to Albay last week.

"The zinging sensation complements the cold sweet touch of ice cream," he said of the dessert, "You guys should try it."

He also visited Cagsawa Ruins and the port of Legazpi.

The  was invited to judge at the Mr. and Miss Bicol University pageant. The other judges included Maria Sofia Love, Rene Salud and Teejay Marquez, among others.

Vargas is presently representative of the fifth congressional district of Quezon City.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM


Bicol has second-highest number of rabies cases in PH

MANILA—The Bicol region has the second highest number of rabies cases in the country, next to Central Luzon.
Bicol has second-highest number of rabies cases in PH
This was announced by the Department of Health today, which was designated as World Rabies Day.

The region has 20 registered cases of the infection, which is slightly lower than Central Luzon, which recorded 23.

Rabies is a human infection that occurs after a transdermal bite or scratch by an infected animal, like dogs and cats. It can be transmitted when infectious material, usually saliva, comes into direct contact with a victim’s fresh skin lesions. Rabies may also occur, though in very rare cases, through inhalation of virus-containing spray or through organ transplants.

Rabies, according to the DOH, is considered to be a neglected disease, which is 100% fatal though 100% preventable. It is not among the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in the country but it is regarded as a significant public health problem.

To prevent the spread of rabies, the DOH reminded pet owners across the nation to have their pets vaccinated.

DOH aims to declare the Philippines rabies-free by 2020 with the aid of activities such as health education, Provision of Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) to all Animal Bite Treatment Centers (ABTCs), Establishment of ABTCs by Inter-Local Health Zone, Provision of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to high risk individuals and school children in high incidence zones, advocacy, training and capability-building, and joint evaluation.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

Naga City police deny 'most dangerous city' tag

NAGA CITY—The Naga City Police Office refuted the claim that it was the "most dangerous city in the Bicol region" as reported by a local media outlet.

Photo via Naga City Police Office
Said outlet, which claimed to have compiled data from the Police Regional Office 5 in Legazpi City, noted that Naga City had the highest number of index crimes in the months of January to July 2015 as compared to the other cities in the region, except for Iriga City, which did not have available data.

Senior Supt. Narciso Damaso Domingo, OIC City Director said in an official statement that the label is "not only offending to the Naga City Police Office (NCPO) but also an outright insult to the very peace-loving Naguenos."

"While it is true that Naga City may have the highest index crimes among the 7 cities of Bicol, you must had checked your facts before jumping into conclusion. First and foremost, it would be unfair to compare Naga City- w/c collects about 50% of the total internal revenue allotment (IRA) among all other cities and with hundreds of thousands regular visitors."

Domingo explained, "While it is true that Naga City had the highest, you must had checked first what are these index crimes? Our data shows that 48% of these index crimes was theft (salisi, pickpocketing, shoplifting, etc.), 39% were physical injuries resulting from reckless imprudence (vehicular accidents) and 8% were robbery incidents (akyat bahay/establishments).

As you see, 95% of these are crimes against property and traffic accidents which is a phenomenon akin to Naga, the center of economic activity in the region where thousands of motorists/motorcycles come and go to do business. Naga City had contributed only 3 murder cases out of 322 incidents in the entire Bicol Region for the period from January to August 2015 (2 of these were cleared/solved by the way)."

The City Director further explained that the peaceful celebration of the 2015 Penafrancia fiesta, in which an augmentation team of 700 cops were deployed, could dispute the "most dangerous city" label.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

Catanduanes Vice Gov Teves: I am running for governor

VIRAC, Catanduanes—Jose “Bong” Teves, incumbent vice governor, has declared his intention to run for governor in the 2016 polls.

Catanduanes Vice Gov Teves: I am running for governor
Speaking before members of the media, Teves confirmed he is running under Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).

He has been serving as vice governor since 2010.

He will reportedly slug it out against former governor Joseph Cua and incumbent governor Aracely Wong.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

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Bichara faces charges of grave abuse, misconduct

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