Thursday, December 10, 2015

Anchor for Excellence Maritime Quiz Bee kicks off in Bicol

CAMARINES SUR— Mark Oliver and Jonel Tanierla of Mariners' Polytechnic Colleges Foundation – MPCF Canaman emerged winners of the Anchor for Excellence Maritime Quiz Bee eliminations which was held here yesterday.

Oliver and Tanierla will represent Camarines Sur in the regionals.

Other winners were Kaiser De Lima and Lloyd Eje (2nd place), and Michael Pilapil and Jhuzel Munda (3rd Place).

The Anchor for Excellence Maritime Quiz Bee was sponsored by ANGKLA, which is represented in Congress by Cong. Jesulito A. Manalo.

In an exclusive interview with BICOL STANDARD, Manalo said that the maritime quiz bee is in pursuit of ANGKLA's vision of elevating the Philippine maritime education as a global center of excellence.

“I believe that there is a compelling need to inspire students to strive for excellence. There must thus be a collaborative effort between the public and private sectors to make sure  that our students are globally competitive. This is necessary in order for the Philippines to maintain its position as the premier supplier of seafarers,” he said.

At the moment, one out of four seafarers on board international fleets are Filipinos. 

Meanwhile, preliminaries will be held at the different maritime schools across the region. The schedule of the eliminations are as follows:

University of Northeastern Philippines - UNEP Iriga City
University of Saint Anthony - USA Iriga City

Bicol Merchant Marine College Inc. - BMMC Sorsogon City

Mariners' Polytechnic Colleges Foundation - MPCF Legazpi City

Winners of the preliminaries will compete in the Bicol Regionals, which will determine the representative of Region 5 in the nationals which will be held early next year in Metro Manila.  

ANGKLA is the only party-list representing the maritime sector.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Applications for gun ban exemptions may be filed online—Comelec

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said the public can now apply for the issuance of Certificates of Authority to bear, carry or transport firearms or deadly weapons in connection with the May 2016 elections may be accomplished and submitted online.

Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said those who are interested to apply for gun ban exemption may go to the special link in the poll body’s official website,

During the Election Period, from January 10, 2016 to June 8, 2016, it is prohibited to bear, carry or transport firearms or deadly weapons outside of residence or places of business, and in all public places, including any building, street, park and in private vehicles or public conveyances, even if a person is licensed or authorized to possess or carry the same, unless authorized by the Commission, through the Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel (CBSFP).

The CBSFP is headed by poll body Commissioner Al Parred and senior officers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) as members.

In Resolution No. 10015, which outlined the “Rules and Regulations on the ban on the bearing, carrying or transporting of firearms and other deadly weapons and the employment, availment or engagement of the services of security personnel or body guards during the Election Period of the May 9, 2016 Synchronised National and Local Elections,” promulgated 13 November 2016, the COMELEC En Banc ruled that “only the Commission, through the CBFSP, has the sole and exclusive power to issue Certificates of Authority (CA).”

For more information on the 2016 Gun Ban, the public is encouraged to visit the official Comelec website or call its hotline, 525-9294. (PNA)

Boy, 11, hurt in firecracker explosion

LEGAZPI CITY—A top official of the Philippine National Police Bicol regional office on Wednesday has issued a stern warning to all who never learn their lessons on firecrackers after an 11-year-old is now in critical condition due to firecracker injury.

Firecracker stock photo from Pixabay user PublicDomainPictures
Police Chief Supt. Agusuto M. Marquez Jr., Bicol police regional director, disclosed a report coming to his office said an 11-year-old boy is now in critical condition after the unconsumed firecracker powder that he had gathered after a fireworks display on Tuesday afternoon at Centro Poblacion, Oas, Albay, particularly in front of Oas Parish Church, exploded.

Marquez said victim Jay-An Antonio De Vera, a student and resident of Iraya Norte, Oas, was rushed to the Bicol Regional Teaching and Training Hospital (BRTTH) in Legazpi City.

The fireworks display was done at about 2 p.m. in celebration of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the patroness of the town.

After the event, De Vera and his two companions decided to gather the unspent powder of the explosives, place these in a can and ignited the contents.

The burning powder exploded, causing burns in De Vera's face and body.

He is now being treated at the BRTTH.

The victim's two friends were spared as they were able to run when the powder was still burning.

"This should serve as a lesson to those who still plan to use firecrackers in the celebration of Christmas and New Year despite our strong warning and strict implementation of the firecracker ban," Marquez said. Authorities are investigating the incident. (PNA)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Bicol's top cop wants reopening of 'cold' cases

Funeral of Laesybil Almonacid in Albay
Funeral of Laesybil Almonacid in Albay
Photo via Justice for Laesybil
LEGAZPI CITY—The head of the Philippine National Police Bicol regional office has ordered the reopening of at least four cold cases that involve the killings of two Bicol University (BU) students and two broadcast reporters in Camarines Sur.

Police Chief Supt. Augusto Marquez Jr., Bicol police regional director, on Saturday told the Philippines News Agency that he had directed Police Senior Supt. Marlon Tejada, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) regional chief, to reopen the unsolved killings of BU student leader Cris Hugo, another BU student Laesybil Almonacid and broadcast journalists Ronaldo Anjo Julia and Romeo Olea.

Hugo, a BU journalism student, was gunned down in March 2006 by unidentified gunman while he was walking in front of the Bagumbayan Elementary School in Barangay 8 in this city.

The BU student leader, 20, was reportedly the regional coordinator and national council member of the League of Filipino Students (LFS) and the Grand Chancellor of the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) Fraternity BU chapter.

Almonacid, a BU third year Accountancy student, was found dead and half-naked in a grassy area, a few meters from their house in Barangay (village) Bascaran, Daraga town.

Julia was gunned down by unknown gunman while walking along the street in Magarao town in Camarines Sur in August 2008.

Meanwhile, Olea was shot dead in June 2011 in Iriga City by a motorcycle riding gunman while he was also on board his motorcycle on his way to work at the dwEB-FM in Nabua, Camarines Sur.

The reopening of the cases was prompted by queries from media amid reports that authorities are still facing a blank wall in identifying the suspects and gathering pieces of evidence and testimonies from witnesses.

Marquez committed to personally oversee the resolution of the murder cases earlier considered as “cold cases.”

He explained that cold cases refer to pending criminal cases that were not resolved in a span of six months due to the failure of police investigators to track down suspects and gather testimonies of witnesses and hard evidence to pin down the suspects.

Asked if there is a given timeline for these cases, Marquez said they can not give a timeline as the cases to be reopened need to be re-investigated thoroughly.

He said the reopening of these cases will form part of the regular agenda during Special Investigation Task Group's weekly conference where we will ask updates from investigators handling the cases.

Earlier, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III slammed the PNP "for its failure to resolve the killing of student activist Cris Hugo nine years ago in this city."

Pimentel asked the PNP why the alleged killers of Hugo and his conspirators -- who, reports said, belong to a rightist group in the military -- have remained at large.

In an emailed statement, Pimentel said that unless justice is done, killing students and other political activists in the country would be like an albatross that would weigh down the positive achievements of the present administration.

He added that he will maintain a database in his office of all unsolved killings and “move to make the crime of murder imprescriptible so that killers can be brought to justice anytime a killing is solved by the police.”

The lawmaker has appealed to the police to intensify their drive to arrest the killers of activists, who reports have identified as members of paramilitary or vigilante groups. (PNA) 

Catanduanes Gov. Wong cancels COC; son Jardin to run as substitute

VIRAC, Catanduanes—Incumbent Catanduanes Gov. Araceli "Manay Cely" Wong has filed her Statement of Cancellation/ Widthdrawal for her re-election as governor, in line with Section 27 of the 1978 Election Code.

Left: Aracely "Manay Cely" Wong Right: Jardin Brian "JB" Wong
Photos grabbed from Gov. Aracely Wong and Jardin Wong's Facebook accounts
The Election Code mandates: "No certification of candidacy duly filed shall be considered withdrawn or cancelled unless the candidate files with the office which received the certificate of candidacy or with the Commission, a sworn statement of withdrawal or cancellation at any time before the day of election."

In her place, the incumbent governor will field her son Jardin Brian "JB" Wong, who will file his Certificate of Candidacy as substitute today.

The governor's third son, Jardin will be running under the Liberal Party.BICOL STANDARD CATANDUANES / With additional report from Ramil Soliveres

Immaculate Conception as the Door to God’s Mercy by Fr. Joey Gonzaga

Immaculate Conception
Image via
December 8 is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

Chosen to be the mother of the God of Mercy, the Blessed Virgin Mary was immaculately conceived, that is, freed from original sin from the very moment of her conception in the womb of Saint Anne, her mother. The birth of Mary would not happen if her parents, Saints Joachim and Anne were not open to the beauty and sanctity of marital commitment to love and life. The parents ofMary did not put limit to what the God of mercy can do to them and to their child because the door of their hearts was always open to the will of God. They have room in their hearts for the Holy Spirit and His gifts to fill up.

The Immaculate Conception therefore prepares Mary for incarnation of the God of Mercy in Jesus Christ. Born of the Blessed Virgin, Jesus assumes the living human face of God’s mercy. Thanks to Mary’s Immaculate Conception, the gate of the great river of God’s mercy is opened for us, welling up and overflowing unceasingly in Jesus Christ.

Like the parents of Mary and like Mary herself, let us open always the door of our heart to the will of God. Let us allow the Holy Spirit to remove the obstacles that close us up into ourselves so that He can strengthen us and transform us with power and His gifts.

The Year of Mercy invites us to re-open the insensitive door of our heart to the poor, suffering, the sick and the marginalized. Let us allow our soul to remain open to receive God’s mercy and forgiveness in the reception of the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion. With Mary at our side, we can repeat with confidence and faith her own words to the angel Gabriel: “May it be done to me according to your word.”

Mama Mary, the Immaculate Conception, pray for us your children!

Fr. Joey D. Gonzaga
Dean, Holy Rosary Major Seminary

Monday, December 7, 2015

PHOTOS | Christmas in Naga City

PHOTOS | Christmas in Naga City

PHOTOS | Christmas in Naga City

PHOTOS | Christmas in Naga City

PHOTOS | Christmas in Naga City


PHOTOS | Poinsettias in Naga City

The poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima), nicknamed the Christmas flower, shows off its holiday hues in Naga City. (Photos by Oscar Esmenda/BICOLSTANDARD.COM)

PHOTOS | Poinsettias in Naga City

PHOTOS | Poinsettias in Naga City


Naga City has most incidents of theft, robbery in Bicol—PNP

NAGA CITY—Naga City was recently identified as having the police office which recorded the most number of Crimes Against Property in the entire Bicol region.

Naga City has most incidents of theft, robbery in Bicol—PNP
Photo by Oscar Esmenda
The report, which was released by the Police Regional Office 5, covers the period between January to October 2015.

In the report, Naga City has a total of 1,628 recorded Crimes Against Property, against Camarines Sur's 1,589 and Albay's 1,353.

Masbate, meanwhile, recorded 609; Camarines Norte, 580; Catanduanes, 302; and Sorsogon, 194.

Crimes Against Property in the Regional Office Report includes Robbery, Theft, Carnapping, and Cattle Rustling.

Shortly after the report was released, four incidents of theft and robbery were recorded by the local police on a single day—December 5—in various parts of the city.

The regional police journal notes that on said date, a 12-year-old minor at Cyber Mig's Computer Shop at Jimenez Park, Brgy. Concepcion Pequeña, reported that an unidentified person took his back pack while he was playing on the computer.

The back pack contained a cellphone worth P7,000; white boots of an undetermined amount, a white lunch box worth P1,000; and a black wallet containing P300 in cash. The incident occured at around 3 p.m.

In another case, victim Wenifreda Moreno-Dotillos of Mella Street, Camella Homes Subdivision, Del Rosario, reported that she discovered several items missing from her bag at around 5:45 p.m. These include a gold-plated ring worth P1,000, two necklaces worth P7,000, a pocket Wi-Fi device worth P995, and a cellphone worth P2,000.

At around 7:15 on the same date, victim Roberto Sarmiento y Achacoso of Monte Cielo Subdivision, Concepcion Grande reported that an unidentified person or persons forcibly destroyed the  window of his vehicle and grabbed his backpack. Contained inside the bag were a nebulizer worth P3,000; rubber shoes worth P2,000; and assorted clothes valued at around P3,000.

In all three cases, the Naga City Police said they have launched follow-up operations for the identification of the suspects and the recovery of the stolen items.

Meanwhile, the police apprehended two robbery suspects who were caught inside the Emerald Street, Barangay Calauag residence of 62-year-old victim Asterio Palencia y Lim.

The suspects, who were identified as Raymond Avila y Cabrillas, 38 years old, and Eric Buella y Espiritu, 29, are both residents of Haring, Canaman, Camarines Sur.

Recovered from their possession were a metal hack saw, a pair of pliers, a pair of scissors, and a chisel.

The police said they are now preparing criminal charges against the suspects.

Furthermore, they reminded the public to be extra cautious against persons who commit crimes against property, especially as the holidays approach.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM With report from Oscar Esmenda

Army, police find rebel grave site in Cam Norte

DAET, Camarines Norte—A joint group of soldiers and police officers discovered an area believed to be a grave site of the New People's Army at the boundary of Barangay Daguit, Labo and Barangay Tamisan, Jose Panganiban at around 10 p.m. on December 4.

Photo via 9ID
Col. Ferozaldo Paul T. Regencia, Acting Commanding Officer of the 49th Infantry Battalion said a civilian gave them information about the location where rebels identified as Ka James and Ka Omar are buried.

Ka James and Ka Omar, the investigation revealed, died on October 31, when the rebels allegedly attacked the Philippine Army at Sityo Namukanan, Barangay Daguit.

Meanwhile, Executive Officer Maj. Marcial M. Lumanga said they are coordinating with the Philippine National Police Scene of the Crime Operatives for the identification of the bodies.

Autopsies have already been conducted by the Camarines Sur Provincial Crime Laboratory Office last Sunday at the Bagongbayan Public Cemetery, according to Senior Inspector Michelle Sarmiento Estolatan.

The Army said they are willing to give a decent burial to the rebels, who appear to have been abandoned as their comrades were fleeing from the government troops.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM With report from 9ID

205 aspirants for national elections declared as nuisance candidates

Photo via COMELEC
A total of 205 aspirants for national positions in the May 2016 polls have been declared nuisance candidates by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

According to Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista, based on the decisions of the polls body's First and Second Divisions, the moto proprio petitions filed by the Law Department against the Certificates of Candidacy (CoCs) of 100 presidential, nine vice presidential and 96 senatorial aspirants have been granted.

However, he noted that these individuals may still file their respective motions for reconsideration, challenging the ruling of the Divisions before the Commission en banc.

“They still have the chance to file a motion for reconsideration with the Comelec en banc,” Bautista said in a press briefing.

Of the 130 CoCs submitted for president, 125 were filed petitions to be declared nuisance candidates.

In the vice presidential post, 13 of the 19 aspirants were included in the petitions while 129 out of the 172 looking to run for senatorial seats also faced motto proprio petitions.

The poll body is set to come up with the final list of official candidates for next year’s elections by Dec. 15.

“I am asking the other members of the Commission to immediately decide on the cases since the deadline to come up with the final list of candidates is near,” the poll body chief said. (by Ferdinand G. Patinio, PNA)

PHOTO | PNoy at blessing of Penafrancia mosaic at the Vatican

President Benigno S. Aquino III attended the blessing of a mosaic of Bicolandia patroness Our Lady of Peñafrancia last Friday at Vatican City. The blessing was led by Archbishop Ricardo Vidal. (Photo by the Malacañang Photo Bureau)


EDUCATION | Developing a love for learning

Photo by DariuszSankowski / Public Domain
by Leila A. Turiano
Don Lazaro Madara Memorial School

When the word “learning” is mentioned, many people would roll their eyes and groan. Studying is definitely not everybody’s favorite pastime. A lot of people get bored with the mere thought of learning and studying, and would rather do more “fun” things, like going out with friends, playing games, or watching movies.

However, I believe that the human race cannot stop studying, because there is always something new to learn, and how else will we be able to understand the world if we do not try to learn about it? As intellectual beings, we must process these information. Even if you are no longer a student, learning is still important, because not only will it help you become a better individual, but it will also contribute to the welfare of the society.

There are many ways to develop a passion for learning:

1.      Discover your learning style. There are many learning styles which can only be effective for particular people. Some people are auditory learners – they learn by listening.  They learn more effectively when they read aloud, or listen to the information. They also find studying with music effective. Other people are visual learners, who learn by seeing. They possess a photographic memory, which allows them to retain information effectively by recalling the visual properties of the object they are studying. Studying by highlighting text and drawing diagrams is helpful for these kind of people. Meanwhile, other people find it more effective to learn by doing. They are called kinesthetic learners. They sometimes create physical movements or even dance routines corresponding to certain information in order to be able to learn more quickly. It is also helpful to know whether you study more efficiently alone or with a study group. Some people find it hard to concentrate with other people around, so they need to study in a quiet place in order to learn. Others find it more helpful to study with friends instead, where they memorize and quiz each other to be able to learn the information. Discovering your personal learning style is a good way to develop love for learning because by finding the way of studying that’s best for you, you will be able to find learning easier and more enjoyable.

2.      Learn something new everyday. Learning is not only confined within the classroom. Even after you have already graduated, and even earned your Ph.D., you can still learn new things because the world is full of secrets to discover, understand, and learn. Trying to learn something everyday is not only a good way to exercise your brain, but it is also a way to develop love for learning because learning can become a hobby. Learning is a skill – when it is done everyday, one can develop an urge to learn something new, and with intrigue comes interest.

3.      Make a journal of your learnings. Of course, learning something for yourself is good, but it can also be very helpful for others if you share it with them. Using this same technique, centuries of people have contributed to all the information that we know now. Imagine if you can become one of those people! That is why it can be helpful to record your learnings. It doesn’t have to be fancy – you may just list your daily learnings however you like. What is important is that the information is recorded. This can become a great way to ignite a love for learning, because by listing and compiling your learnings, you develop an interest for learning, and you can see your progress, your learning achievements, and your overall work.

Beware of fake money this holiday season, Bicol's top cop warns

LEGAZPI CITY—The Philippine National Police Bicol regional office has warned the public to be vigilant against counterfeit money that is proliferating in different parts of the country this holiday season.

Police Chief Supt. Augusto M. Marquez Jr., acting PR05 regional director, in particular said fake Php1000 and Php500 bills are currently circulating.

Marquez reminded the public of the BSP-upgraded security features in all of its new generation banknotes to make it easier for the public to determine fake and genuine peso bills.

All these security features, he said, are in the Philippine banknotes to make it difficult for counterfeiters to copy but easier for the public to identify what is genuine and what is not.

The police official also encouraged the public to be vigilant, be calm and report any unscrupulous activities and other relevant and timely information to any nearest police stations or through social media (Twitter: @PRO5React, FB: Kasurog Bicol, or Dial 117 or text 2920 or CRMS hotline 09173097862). (PNA)

LIFESTYLE | 4 ways to be more professional at work

Photo by kaboompics / Public Domain
by Teresita V. Gonowon
Acting Work Order Officer,

Professionalism means going beyond merely showing up at work and accomplishing the day’s tasks. Rather, it entails adopting or acquiring attitudes and values to help one distinguish oneself as a true professional.

Be punctual. Punctuality is one of the sure marks of a professional. Whether for everyday work, for meetings, team discussions, or work occasions, it is crucial to be punctual. Punctuality signals respect for one’s superiors, co-workers, and subordinates. To be more punctual, consider taking into account your travel time, and the items you need to prepare for a particular event. Take note of any meetings you set up with colleagues using a calendar, and make sure you periodically check the clock or your watch.

Be organized. No one—whether from your office or outside of it—likes to deal with a disorganized mess. Keeping yourself organized is another way you show respect for other’s time and efforts. Make use of binders, folders, or other organizational office supplies to keep your desk clean and clutter-free. Be neat and orderly in the documents you prepare or are assigned to keep. Remember: these pieces of paper are a reflection of your attitude and values.

Be well-groomed. It is not only your work that should appear clean; you do, too. Make sure that you are clean and neat, so that you look ready to face your colleagues and clients. It is not necessary to have an expensive wardrobe, but it is important to follow the expected attire of your workplace. Avoid anything revealing or inappropriately loud, as these may distract from the quality of your work or the professional attitude you are trying to project.

Maintain a positive attitude. Doing your work with a smile not only makes you look more professional; it also eases the tension and helps you achieve your goals more easily. Being honest, responsible, and industrious will also inspire your co-workers to keep the atmosphere in the workplace positive and pleasant. Once in a while, you must also expect to receive feedback, which may be positive or negative. When you are given a compliment, be gracious. On the other hand, be humble and open when you receive constructive criticism.

Following these tips towards becoming more professional will lead one to success, not only in one’s current position, but also in his or her entire career path. In the long run, it will contribute to an individual’s happiness and well-being, as he or she performs duties even outside of one’s profession.


Travel association chief foresees heavy foreign tourists’ influx to Albay

File photo of the econocrete pouring at the Bicol International Airport runway (Project Management Office)

LEGAZPI CITY—Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) chief executive officer Mario Hardy foresees a heavy influx of tourists to Albay once the new and modern Bicol International Airport (BIA) gets operational in 2017.

Hardy with Albay Gov. Joey Salceda and Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Ramon Jimenez, co-presided the recently concluded PATA New Frontiers Forum here. DOT and Albay co-hosted the forum only last November 25-27 at the Oriental Hotel in this Bicol regional hub.

The PATA executive urged Albay to sustain its effective ecotourism industry and further expand its infrastructure support facilities like the BIA that will offer direct flights and help “intensify destinations connectivity.”

“Albay has tremendous potential, I can see a very good future for the tourism industry here, and when the new international airport opens, you can expect a huge influx of tourists flooding in,” he said.

During the forum, Secretary Jimenez noted that “Albay alone can provide fun and adventure equivalent to a small country,” referring to the province’s prize-winning tourism assets and program. “Albay may have less than a million visitors a year now but its potential is way beyond that,” he stressed.

Hardy agrees with Jimenez and said Albay’s lead role as a ‘new frontier’ destination in global travel, has been confirmed when it won the Top Destination Award PATA CEO Challenge 2015, conferred on it in London last month. The lead role becomes even more significant with its ecotourism program hinged on a wise strategy in adapting to the impacts of climate change.

The New Frontiers Forum here was attended by 561 travel and tourism executives from Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Fiji, Guam, Hongkong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

“The choice of Albay as venue for the PATA New Frontiers Forum also reflects our primary advocacy of dispersing tourists to lesser-known yet attractive corners of the world like Albay which has been recognized as such when it won the PATA award, he said. He noted that the forum’s theme, “Ecotourism-Transcending Climate Change” perfectly fits Albay being the United Nation’s Global Model in adapting to the impacts of Climate Change.

Salceda presented Albay’s strategy for a strong tourism program during the PATA forum. A noted economist, he stressed that investments in tourism generate more returns for every dollar spent on it.

Albay’s ecotourism program is a standout with its rich ecosystem. It is home to Mayon, the world’s near perfect-cone mountain and one of the most active volcanos in the Pacific. It is tentatively listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. It also boasts of some 462 species of flora, 137 of which are endemic and are in a protected Biosphere under UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme.

Salceda said beyond its natural wonders, Albay has more to offer in terms of leisure, adventure, travel, and research. It pursues a culture-based tourism, similar to that of Bali, Indonesia, and is now home to 21 native festivals celebrated by its three cities and 15 municipalities. The festivals showcase the local culture and arts.

Albay’s climate change adaptation program has been acclaimed world wide as a global model. Flattened to the ground by Typhoon Durian in 2006, the province rapidly recovered, using tourism as one of its principal tools for reconstruction. Foreign tourists influx swelled to over 339,000 last year from only 8,700 in 2006. Within the same period, it built 320 kilometers of roads that provide access to new and unique destinations. (by Johnny C. Nunez, PNA)

DON'T MISS: Bicol International Airport to be operational in 2017

Man killed over land feud

Photo by Oscar Esmenda
MOBO, Masbate—A family land dispute led to the death of a farmer at Brgy. Umabay Interior, here Sunday afternoon, the police said.

Nestor Bagalihog Sanay, the victim, was shot by unidentified suspects on his back while he was aboard his motorcycle en route from Brgy. Lalaguna, Mobo, Masbate to his residence.

The suspects fled towards an unknown direction after the incident while Sanay was rushed to the Masbate Provincial Hospital for treatment.

As of the time of this writing, the Mobo Municipal Police Station is continuing its investigation on the shooting incident.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM. Pirming enot. Pirming bago.


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Old banknotes good up to December 31, 2015

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reminded the public that the old banknote series launched in 1985 can still be used for daily transactions up to December 31, 2015.

From January 1, 2016 up to December 31, 2016, the old banknotes can still be exchanged in authorized agent banks and the BSP Cash Department. However, starting January 1, 2017, the old banknote series will be fully demonetized or without monetary value.

This means that the New Generation Banknotes introduced in December 2010 will result in the circulation of a single currency series in the country. The New Generation Banknotes have more and enhanced security features to protect the safety of the public against counterfeiters.

The demonetization process of the old banknotes is in line with the provisions of Section 57 of Republic Act No. 7653, otherwise known as the New Central Bank Act, which authorizes the BSP to replace banknotes that are more than 5 years old. The old banknotes have been in circulation for almost three decades.

The public is advised of the following important information:

1. The public may continue to use the old banknotes up to 31 December 2015 in paying and buying of goods and services and other business or financial transactions requiring the use of cash. Thereafter, these old banknotes will no longer be accepted for payment transactions;

2. From 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2016, the public may exchange with authorized financial institutions, namely universal and commercial banks, thrift banks, and rural as well as cooperative banks, their old banknotes with the New Generation Currency (NGC) Series at full face value, without charge. The public may also opt to exchange their old banknotes with the BSP or any of its regional offices/branches around the Philippines.

3. Government institutions holding old banknotes which could not be exchanged during the prescribed period, such as banknotes used as evidence in a litigation case, will have to request the BSP Cash Department in writing, within the period of exchange, for a special exchange arrangement;

4. For Overseas Filipinos (OFs) abroad, who have in their possession old banknotes which could not be exchanged within the prescribed period, they may register online starting 1 October 2016 to 31 December 2016 through the BSP Website. These old banknotes may be exchanged with the BSP within one (1) year from date of registration; and

5. Starting 1 January 2017, NDS banknotes that have not been exchanged shall no longer have any monetary value, and are considered demonetized. (

Don't choose hazardous plastic toys, eco group warns

An environmental group is warning the public to be cautious in choosing toys to buy this season of “gift-giving” because without knowing it, the materials of some toys could be containing toxic substances, especially if they are made from recycled plastics with hazardous chemicals.

At the same time, the group also discourages the act of recycling of toxic products containing hazardous chemicals as consumer products, especially toys for children, as it is always important to ensure the safety of the children who are hoped to be the country's future leaders.

The EcoWaste Coalition also calls on the people to always consider the safety of the children in buying toys to make them happy since not all toys are safe for the children and can be harmful to their optimum development.

The group notes that while the intention of the “gift-giver” is good when he or she buys a particular toy as a gift to a child, that intention can have “hazardous effect” on the part of the innocent recipient who will use it in playing.

“The recycling of plastics containing toxic substances such as flame retardants into toys raises health and safety concerns as this could expose kids to toxic substances known to interfere with brain and central nervous system development,” says Thony Dizon, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.

Dizon notes that since recycled plastics maybe containing such brain-damaging effects, parents or those planning to give away toys this Christmas should examine first if the toys they will be giving will be safe for the children.

EcoWaste Coalition, a group which consistently campaigns for safe toys and environment, says that upon close examination in a laboratory outside the country, two of four samples of China-made imitation “Rubik’s Cube” were found positive with significant levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) called OctaBDE and/or DecaBDE.

PBDEs refer to a group of brominated flame retardants (BFRs), which are highly toxic chemicals, commonly used in consumer electronics, including computers and TV sets, as well as in recycled foam padding in carpets and furniture.

The laboratory analysis was conducted at the Czech Republic.

OctaBDE is listed in the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) for global elimination, while DecaBDE is under evaluation by the treaty’s POPs Review Committee that has concluded “global action is warranted.”

The Philippines is a state party to the Stockholm Convention.

Both OctaBDE and DecaBDE are hazardous in the environment globally and being pinpointed to be causing disruption of human hormone systems.

The potential adverse effects can take place on the development of the nervous system and children’s IQ.

To showcase the presence of toxic chemicals in toys recycled from products with hazardous elements, the group purchased 10 samples of imitation “Rubik’s Cube” from formal and informal retail outlets in Manila.

They screened these for bromine using a portable X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) device.

The four samples that had bromine content higher than 1,000 parts per million (ppm) were sent to the Czech Republic for laboratory test.

As per laboratory analysis by the Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague, the four samples contained OctaBDE at concentrations ranging from 2 to 108 ppm. All four were also found to contain DecaBDE, a common toxic chemical in e-waste, from 5 to 293 ppm (parts per million).

The levels of OctaBDE and DecaBDE found in two of the four samples were above the 50 ppm limit that qualify polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) as hazardous waste under the Stockholm Convention. (PNA)

Sto.Domingo town is Bicol's bet for National Gawad Listahanan

The municipality of Sto. Domingo in the province of Albay will represent the Bicol region for the 2nd Gawad Listahanan of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. 

The municipality was nominated for using the Listahanan database in selecting beneficiaries in the implementation of social protection programs in their locality.

According to Hon. Mayor Herbie Aguas, the use of Listahanan is of great help for them especially in selecting beneficiaries for their social protection programs. “It serves as an arm in crafting more effective and efficient services to the people of Sto. Domingo,” he said.

The municipality used the Listahanan database for the implementation of Aid to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) which provides burial, medical, transportation, food and educational assistance. They allocated P 500.00 for this purpose giving priority to the Listahanan identified poor of the DSWD.

What is special and distinct that the LGU made use of the Listahanan is the referral system. The LGU is firm in the issuance of the Certificate of Indigency especially on legal and court matters, the Listahanan list of poor households was the primary tool used to this concern.

The Gawad Listahanan is an award given to Local Government Units (LGU) for providing services and assistance to the Listahanan-identified poor families.

It aims to promote the convergence of all social protection stakeholders on the identified poor to effectively address the different aspects of poverty.

The competition is classified into three categories: municipal, city, and provincial.

The national awarding shall be conferred on the DSWD anniversary in January next year. The winner for each category will receive a plaque and a cash incentive of P50,000.

Meanwhile, the sub-committee for Gawad Listahanan of the National Project Management Office conducted validation visit last November 28-29, 2015 to screen and review the program documents submitted by the LGU and conducted random interviews to their beneficiaries. (CRBarrameda)

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