Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Gov’t builds new floating assets to fight illegal fishing

Concept Design
The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources’ multi-mission vessel, MV DA-BFAR (DYCA), is no longer alone as the construction of two new units of steel-hulled offshore vessels is underway.

In a launching program in Novatas City, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala and National Coast Watch Center (NCWC) Undersecretary Jose Luis Alano along with other government officials led the ceremonial laying of keels for two units of 50.5-meter multi-mission vessels, which will soon be part of DA-BFAR’s inventory of floating assets intended to guard Philippine waters against illicit fishing practices.

“This momentous event indicates government’s serious commitment for inclusive growth and poverty alleviation in all sectors, particularly agriculture and fisheries sectors, as we further intensify the country’s stance against illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing,” said Alcala.

The multi-mission vessels, which will stretch half a meter larger than an Olympic-size swimming pool but 9.5 meters smaller than DYCA, are the first of their kind ever to be constructed in the Philippines. The vessel design was by Incat Crowther, a reputable ship designer based in the United States of America. All plans, drawings, and calculations, meanwhile, are in accordance with the rules of the internationally acclaimed Bureau Veritas Classification Society known for its expertise in Testing, Inspection, and Certification (TIC). The vessel construction is made possible through the collaborative efforts of MARINA, DA-BFAR, Philippine Coast Guard and Philippine Navy. Each vessel costs around P178.5 Million and will be built within 18 months at Josefa Slipways, Inc., a medium category local shipyard in Navotas City.

The project commences almost a year after the enactment of the amendments to the Philippine Fisheries Code, which mandates an integrated approach on fisheries management comprised of a Monitoring, Control, and Surveillance (MCS) Program to curb and deter IUU fishing practices. Aside from fighting destructive forms of fishing, the vessels will also be utilized for other purposes such as seaborne research activities and calamity response.

With the construction of the said assets, the Philippines as a member country of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) can now also fulfill its commitment to conduct MCS activities in distant waters such as the High Seas Pocket Number 1 (HSP1), a tuna rich fishing ground, as well as augment its existing capacity to operate at the West Philippine Sea and other non-traditional fishing grounds.

Masbate village chief, 2 others gunned down

SAN JACINTO, Masbate—Police are still conducting a follow-up investigation on the shooting of two barangay officials and one resident of this village at around 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

In the report obtained by BICOL STANDARD, Bartolabac punong barangay Rey Encabo y Sabues, 39, and barangay kagawad Robert Almodiel Sr. y Deinla, 44, had a drinking spree that morning at Encabo's residence.

As Encabo accompanied Almodiel out of the house, unidentified persons fired upon them, hitting various parts of their bodies.

Also accidentally shot was 14-year-old Jay Almoradie who had been urinating outside the residence, the same police report indicated.

The victims were rushed to the Rural Health Unit of this town where they were pronounced dead on arrival.

Following the fatal shooting, Bartolabac Barangay Tanod Err Esparraguerra y Bartolay turned over the Municipal Police Station 47 pieces of spent cartridges found at the crime scene. The cartridges were for an M16 rifle.

Police are now trying to establish the motive of the shooting.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM

Monday, February 1, 2016

Catanduanes gears up for Abaca Festival 2016

Photo via Philfida
VIRAC, Catanduanes, Jan. 28 (PIA) – Preparations are underway for the maiden staging of the Catandungan Abaca Festival set on May this year.

Governor Araceli B. Wong has recently issued Executive Order No. 004-s-2016, creating the Executive and Steering Committee to take the lead in planning and implementation of the various festival activities that will feature abaca as one of the major industries, along with other  showcases of the province

The same committee will coordinate and collaborate with other government and private entities to craft and implement significant and meaningful activities that shall bring out to the fore the economic, cultural and tourism value of abaca.

Under the EO, the provincial government shall undertake any of, but not limited to the following activities: Padadyaw Ginamlangan or Padadyaw kan Abaca, Pinukpok Fashion Show, Urag Catandungan Sports Competition; Binibini and Ginoong abaka, Hagyan sa Kabitoonan and Jobs and Trade Fairs to showcase the life and resilient spirit of Catandunganons, and its culture, as well as its people.

The Catanduanes Abaca Festival Executive Committee (CAFEC) and Festival Steering Committee were constituted with the following component and responsibilities; Executive Committee Chairperson Gov. Araceli B. Wong; Vice-chairman, Vice Governor Jose Teves Jr.;Members: PBM Jose Romeo R. Francisco, SP Chairman Committee on Tourism. Hon. Roberto O. Fernandez, President, LMP-Catanduanes chapter; Mr. Luicito Pastor; Ms. Julieta M. Tasarra, Ms. Sonia Villaluna; Engr. Elsie Reyes; Engr. Felix U. Vargas; Ms. Alicia V. Guevarra;and Dr. Santos V. Zafe.

The committee shall provide the general direction of the intent and purpose of the festival. It shall oversee the implementation and ensure smooth flow of the Abaca Festival line-up of activities.

Meanwhile, the steering committee is composed of the following: Hon. Jose Romeo R. Francisco, Chairman; Ms. Carmelita C. Javier, Executive Assistant, Governor’s office; Ms. Carmel B. Garcia, Provincial Tourism officer; Mr. Roberto G. Ceballo, OPAG; Ms. Lorgen  Z. Garcia, FIDA; Mr. Heginio A. baldano, DTI; Mr. Elpidio S. Tuburo, TESDA; Mr. Russell Ulysses I. Nieves, DOLE; Ms. Edna A. Bagadiong, PIA; Mr. Jaime V. Cabrera, DOST; Dr. Minerva I. Morales, President, Catanduanes State University; Ms. Arlene O. Bagadiong, PBS-Radyo ng Bayan; Mrs. Socorro V. Dela Rosa, SDS, DepEd.

Members of the executive and steering committees are set to meet this week for the identification of the final activities.

Provincial Ordinance No. 021-s-2015 institutionalizes the celebration of Catanduanes Abaca Festival every fourth week of May of every year. The ordinance takes cognizance of the importance of abaca in the local economy and the need to showcase its versatility as a major source of livelihood and craft materials which has brought fame and fortune. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

DepEd, Albay ink MOA for Palarong Pambansa 2016

The Department of Education (DepEd) signed an agreement with the provincial government of Albay—the host of the2016 Palarong Pambansa in Legazpi City—stipulating the duties and responsibilities of both parties to ensure a well-managed and professionally-run annual national sporting event.

DepEd Secretary Br. Armin Luistro FSC said this year’s staging of the Palaro will have many “firsts.” “I want to highlight that this is Albay’s first ever hosting of the Palaro. This is also the first time that 18 regions will take action -- not the usual 17 regions --because of the participation of the Negros Island Region,” he explained.

Luistro added that this is also the first time that the Palaro will be conducted following very specific provisions of the law.”

Based on the Republic Act No. 10588 also known as the Palarong Pambansa Act of 2013, the elementary level would have to compete in 15 games and the secondary with 17 games and four (4) demonstration sports, namely Futsal, Wushu, Billiards and Wrestling. In addition, four special games will also be conducted for our special athletes.

Participated in by elementary and secondary students from public and private schools nationwide, the annual sporting event will be held at the Bicol University, Legazpi City from April 10 to 16, 2016.

“We are institutionalizing this sports program to ensure that we are developing athletes that are of international caliber,” Luistro pointed out. Together with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the provincial government of Albay, DepEd will see to it that the standards are at international level and that the coaching staff, the technical officials as well as the playing venues conform to international standards,” the education chief said.

Albay Governor Joey Salceda responded by stating the province’s readiness and eagerness to host the Palaro.

“We want to show that it will be a joyful Palaro. It's something that celebrates the spirit of national unity, especially in Albay. Siguro kung mayroon isang bagay to define Albay, it is our resiliency or ability to recover from adversity—na kahit may bagyo ngayon, paggising mo kinabukasan, ni-isang pirasong kahoy wala kang makikita sa daan. Gusto naming ipakita na ang isang bayan, no matter how modest, no matter how limited its capacity, will still have the unity and ability to host the Palaro,” Salceda shared.

Seek early medical consultation to prevent Zika threat --DOH

MANILA -- The Department of Health (DOH) advised the public, especially pregnant women to seek immediate medication should they experience symptoms of Zika virus infection, dengue, chikungunya, or any other illnesses.

“Whether it be Zika or dengue or any other form magpatingin kaagad lalo na kung pregnant (seek consultation especially if pregnant,” said DOH spokesperson Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy in an interview with the media.

Lee Suy emphasized that seeking consultation is always important for pregnant women in order for them to protect themselves and more importantly, the babies in their wombs from any life-threatening diseases.

"Regardless whether or not there is a threat of Zika virus, whenever they (pregnant women) feel symptoms, we advise them to seek medication immediately," Lee Suy said in Filipino.

According to him, the DOH has always been reminding the public to improve their “health-seeking behavior” through seeking medical advice from physicians.

He also reiterated the call to the public to refrain from practicing self-medication.

“Regardless if its zika, dengue or any other diseases we must consult with the doctor immediately. We should not self-medicate because this may only worsen our condition, thus, making the cost of medication more expensive," the Health Spokesperson added.

He noted that health workers, doctors in particular, are the only ones who should decide on what medication must be taken by patients in order to avoid any complications or adverse reactions such as allergies.

Lee Suy made the statement in line with the DOH's call to the public to boost clean-up activities in order to eliminate “aedes mosquitoes” which carry the Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses.

He said that while the Zika virus has not yet reached Philippine soil, it is important to be pro-active in keeping the environment clean so that there will be no breeding grounds for these disease-carrying organisms.

Transmission can possibly happen if a mosquito bites a healthy person after biting a Zika-infected person.

In terms of curbing the population of mosquitoes, he said that people must consistenly search and destroy breeding sites of mosquitoes which is a part of the DOH's anti-disease campaign.

He said that every families in the communities all over the country should do their part in ensuring that their water storages are tightly closed so that mosquitoes cannot lay eggs on it.

Moreover, Lee Suy emphasized that participating in community clean-up activities will help eliminate not only the threat of Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.

He also reminded people to guard themselves two after sunrise and two hours before sunset as these are the times of the day where aedes mosquitoes strike.

In terms of severity, the symptoms of Zika are more serious compared to dengue.

Its symptoms include rashes, fever, influenza-like and conjunctivitis (redness of eyes).

However, the DOH said that Zika virus has a lower mortality rate as compared to dengue.

What is alarming about the Zika virus is its capability to cause microcephaly among babies born by infected women.

Babies suffering from microcephaly have small brains and shorter lives.

However, there is no clear evidence yet on these findings as of this moment.

Still, the DOH said the best thing to do is for pregnant mothers to protect themselves from the infection.(By Leilani S. Junio, PNA)

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