Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Are 3 BMC buildings 'white elephants'?

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – Presidential Assistant for Bicol Affairs Usec. Marvel Clavecilla again showed his displeasure regarding three unused Bicol Medical Center (BMC) buildings here which remain empty despite having been inaugurated twice in the last two years.

In a meeting organized by the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce today, Clavecilla emphatically called the buildings a “white elephant” which cost the government a whopping P1.2-billion for its supposed “state of the art” and “world-class” facilities.

The three buildings include one with eight floors, another with five floors, and another with four floors.

They were intended to be cardiac and cancer centers, Clavecilla said.

“However, until now, they are empty and unused,” he lamented.


Asked whether they are already preparing complaints against the officers responsible for the undue delay, Clavecilla said: “We are still in the process of fact-finding and investigation. In fact, a technical working group has been organized to gather documentary evidence.”

“If we find probable cause, we will elevate the issue to the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) and even to the President,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Manuelito Luna of the PACC who was also an invited resource person, disclosed that on July 25, he had already requested the second-in-command of the Department of Health (DOH) to furnish the PACC with a timeline of the project completion.

The regional offices of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and other stakeholders are also monitoring the project, Luna said.

“We are not here to find faults, but to call the attention of the agencies involved to prevent undue injury to the government and the constituents, in compliance with the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” the commissioner said.

Other delayed projects in Bicol
The PACC is also looking into other delayed government projects in the region, including the Naga Airport, the Calabanga Municipal Fishport, Calabanga Ice Plant Project, Bicol International Airport, and the Bonga-San Roque circumeferential road in Albay, among others, according to the PACC.

They also reported that the Quezon-Bicol Expressway (QBEX), which spans 417 kilometers from Lucena to Matnog, and is worth P700-billion, is now being fast-tracked.

“If you are aware of any anomalies, please feel free to report the matter to us even in confidence only,” Luna said.

“Let us join hands to work against corruption in government,” Clavecilla added.

The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission was created on October 4, 2017 through Executive Order No. 43 to directly assist the President in investigation and/or hearing administrative cases primarily involving graft and corruption against all presidential appointees in fulfillment of the President’s mandate to stop corruption.

The Commission is directly under the Office of the President.

The PACC officers are Chairman Dante La. Jimenez, Commissioner Gregorio Luis Contacto III, Commissiner Grego Belgica, Commissioner Rickson Chiong, Commissioner Manuelito Luna, and Executive Director Eduardo Bringas.

Bicol Standard tried to get the side of the Bicol Medical Center, but was informed that the hospital will just communicate with the paper once the responsible official is available.



Monday, July 30, 2018

Lauraya is new UNC President

Photo: Bicol University
NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – Fay Lea Patria M. Lauraya, Ph.D. was introduced as the new President of University of Nueva Caceres at the Town Hall Meeting at 3 to 5 p.m. at the UNC Gym.

Lauraya previously served as the President of Bicol University in Albay.

Alfredo Ayala, the outgoing President, will now serve as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

In speech, Ayala said that Lauraya is the daughter of two educators, and was a working student while she was still in school.

Ayala asked for Lauraya to be given the same support that the UNC community extended to him.

Meantime, in her speech, Lauraya said she aims to make UNC number one.

She also bared her plans for the university, including having a top management commitment for students, faculty, and personnel welfare.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

DA offers P25k loan to Mayon-affected farmers

By Connie Calipay

LEGAZPI CITY -- Some 277 farmers from 15 barangays in Oas town, Albay province can now avail of loan with no collateral, no interest and payable in two years or four cropping seasons.

Small farmers and fisher folk in areas under a state of calamity could avail of loans under the Survival Recovery (SURE) Access Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) regional office in Bicol, DA-Bicol information officer, Emily Bordado said in a phone interview on Friday.

Recalling their helplessness early this year when Mayon Volcano erupted and covered their ricefields with ash and volcanic pebbles, 62-year-old Armando Rebagoda, a farmer with three children, expressed his gratitude for the loan program, which, he said, could help his family recover from the calamity.

Rebagoda is from Barangay San Isidro, which is 11 kilometers away from the permanent danger zone. Residents in the village, most of them farmers, were severely affected by the volcano's eruption last January.

Oas municipal agricultural officer Leonardo Ondiz said other beneficiaries will be using their loan proceeds to engage in swine, coconut, cacao, pili, fruit, corn, peanut, rice and vegetable production.

"Asked if they can afford to pay PHP6,250.00 cash every cropping season, said they said, 'ay siyempre man sir (of course, sir)' because they will be given ample time to save compared to private banks and loan sharks," Ondiz added.

The DA-SURE access loan can be availed of through its conduit bank-- the Banco Santiago De Libon (BSDL) -- which allocated PHP6.6 million for the program.

BSDL project management head Ma. Liza Dycoco also informed the farmers that this year, the bank offers a small farm financing loan to help them purchase equipment.

“This is like a mission of the bank to help our farmers,” she said.

There is also the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) for marginal and small farmers and fisher folk who want to avail of fast, convenient and affordable credit.

For Albay, the conduit banks include BSDL, Camalig Bank, Rural Bank of Pilar and Rural Bank of Guinobatan.

For Camarines Sur, the conduit entities include Magarao Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MPC), Sampaloc MPC, Camarines Sur MPC, Maymatan Farmers MPC, and San Antonio Farmers Irrigators MPC. (PNA)

Friday, July 27, 2018

One-strike policy vs. drug use in gov't pushed

In photo: DDB Chairman (Secretary) Catalino Cuy, DILG Undersecretary Austere Panadero, Assistant Secretary Ricojudge Janvier Echiverri and PNP Directorate for Operations Head (Police Director) Ma. O Aplasca. Also in the photo are DDB Undersecretaries Jose Marlowe Pedregosa and Earl Saavedra. (Photo courtesy of DDB)

MANILA -- Taking President Rodrigo Duterte’s marching order to intensify the campaign against illegal drugs in his State of the Nation Address (SONA), the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) convened the country’s law enforcement bodies to improve the implementation of the government’s one-strike policy against illegal drugs in the workplace.

Earlier this week, Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra endorsed the DDB’s one-strike policy and its enhanced execution, as a way for the government to intensify the campaign against the drug menace.

In a meeting organized by DDB Chairman Catalino Cuy, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) were asked to submit proposals to strengthen the enforcement of DDB Board Regulation No. 2, series of 2017, which mandated a sanction of dismissal at first offense for government officials and employees who will be found positive for using illegal drugs.

In a statement Friday, Cuy said the local government must also be included in the policy’s implementation.

“Since this policy was institutionalized as of February 2017, it is essential that we reiterate its implementation up to the level of the local governments. We look forward to supplement the existing Board Regulation on the one-strike provision by establishing clear protocols and mechanisms on the processes and procedures,” Cuy said.

He said he hopes to attain the changes and improvements in the policy when the DDB Board convenes on August 8.

Among the salient provisions the DDB looks forward to address are the requirements for random drug-testing, the administrators of drug testing procedures in the national and local government levels, the required due process for those found positive for illegal drugs and the disciplining authority on illegal drug violations.

“We would like to instill the importance of accountability, integrity and moral ascendancy among our ranks in the government service. It is our primordial obligation to be law-abiding citizens and lead by example. Being a drug free individual is a major step. This is the reason why we (at the DDB) are serious in our pursuit to lay down the directions that will strengthen our anti-drug priorities,” Cuy said. (DDB PR)

NAGA CITY CBD III: Almeda highway seen to be the city’s next business hub

By Jason B. Neola, CEPPIO

NAGA CITY -- With the proposed construction of at least seven public facilities along the Almeda Highway in Barangay Concepcion Grande here, prospective investors and stakeholders can expect another emerging business hub in the city that will find its center of development radiating from a 3-hectare estate owned by the city government. 

Mayor John G. Bongat last year issued Executive Order 2017-005 creating the Almeda Highway Area Development Project Council (AHADPC) which is tasked to come up with plans and approaches to pave the way for the development of another urban space in a more accessible and space-friendly setting.

The executive measure addresses the need for the city government to sustain the impact of effective urban spatial planning in the light of its proud reputation as the Most Competitive Component City in the Philippines for 2015 and 2016.

The mayor said the city property along the Almeda Highway will provide an opportunity to initiate and lead an area-specific site development that can incorporate contemporary environmental and structural innovations, along with other landowners and stakeholders along the 4.2-kilometer highway. 

The structures to be initially built on the property are:

1. Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Center
2. City Health Office 2
3. Convention Center
4. Life Counselling Center
5. Evacuation Center
6. Emergency Command Center, and
7. 2-storey 8-classroom building of the City College of Naga

The blueprint of each structure has already been readied and before the end of 3rd quarter 2018, construction will start for the P10M Emergency Command Center, the P28M City College of Naga, a 2-storey 8-classroom building, and the P10.9M Health Office 2. Right now, requirements for the bidding processes of these 3 facilities are underway.

Sources of funds

According to the mayor, the sources of funds are:
1. The LGU itself for the proposed Physical Therapy and Rehab Center, and the Emergency Command Center, and the P7M funds that will be augmented to the construction funds for the City College of Naga 

2. The Dangerous Drug Board national office for the Life Counselling Center

3. The national government for the evacuation center

4. The Quezon City LGU for the 2-storey 8-classroom City College of Naga 

5. The Department of Health for the City Health Office 2

Bongat said the city government will augment the funds intended for the construction of the school with P7M and raise it to P28M. 

Like the 3 facilities, construction of other buildings, such as the P4M Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Center, the P160M Convention Center, of which the funds are going to be borrowed from a bank, and the P5M Life Counselling Center will also be undertaken by the city government except for the evacuation center that will be handled by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The funds for the evacuation center, which was acquired by Mayor John G. Bongat from the national government, amounts to P50M.
The planned construction of all the 7 facilities was described by Bongat as “progressive,” which means the erection of each structure are expeditiously continuing or shall be built based on their own timetable.
The powers and functions of the AHADPC:
1. Draft and design the area development plan for the 4.2 km. Almeda Highway, including its branding;
2. Ensure the integration of Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change Adaptation and green technology into the area development plans, including strategies towards the area’s sustainable economic and environment-friendly development;
3.Recommend strategies for the adoption and overseeing of the implementation of the crafted area and development plan;
4. Encourage and coordinate with private investors and government agencies in the implementation 
of various suite development activities; and
5. Submit to the city mayor a bi-monthly progress report.

Albay Traffic Safety Team launched

LEGAZPI CITY--The Provincial Government of Albay led by Gov. Al Francis Bichara met with traffic enforcers and formally launched the Albay Provincial Traffic Safety Code Enforcement (SPA ORD NO. 99-009) at the Governor's Office, Albay Capitol earlier this week.

Present were representatives of the Philippine National Police R V, Highway Patrol Group R V, Land Transport Franchising and Regulatory Board R V, Land Transportation Office R V, Department of Public Works and Highways R V and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources R V.

Bichara raised his concerns about street accidents and other matters, saying that “Most of the vehicular accidents are from motor vehicles... we really need to address this problem so we came up with the launching of Albay Traffic Safety Team.”

He also mentioned the problem regarding the widened road used as parking lots that cause a slow flow of traffic.

Cedric Daep, head of Albay Provincial Safety and Emergency Management Office, discussed the Albay Traffic Safety Team’s goal, which is to protect the welfare of the people.

Under the ordinance, each municipality has a designated deputized traffic enforcer.

Violator's tickets and Deputized Traffic Enforcer's IDs were handed out to help with the job of the traffic enforcers.

Two support trucks, two tow vehicles, and 5 motorcycle units, along with the Provincial Impounding Area, are also available for the use of the traffic enforcers.

To contextualize the initiatives, PSupt Dixon B. Berango, Deputy Provincial Director for Operations, presented statistics on the current traffic situation in Albay. A total of 1,860 accidents were recorded in 2017, which dropped to 1, 561 accidents in 2018 with a 19.2% decrease.

At present, Legazpi City has the most recorded accidents in 2018 with a total number of 795, followed by Daraga with 192 incidents and 96 in Guinobatan, Albay.

Most of the causes of these accidents include pedestrian crossing, distracted driving, and wrong overtaking.

The factors that cause accidents include the lack of knowledge or disregarding laws, rules, and regulations, drunk while driving, drivers of PUV’s rushing the travel for higher income or commission, and using a cell phone or wearing the headset while driving, Berango noted.

On the other hand, contributory factors also consist of uncontrolled selling of Motor Vehicle, stray animals, pedestrians that do not follow traffic regulations, and construction sites that do not provide traffic signs.

For the government agencies, the factors which contribute to accidents are the lack of or faded road markings on highways, conflict of policy on concerned agencies on the proposed projects prior to its implementation (i.e electric posts, trees along the highways), improper road construction, and inappropriate urban zoning and land use.

Berango recommended the religious conduct of Safety Education Seminars by the provided by LGUs and LTO.

In addition, there should be strict implementation of existing traffic laws, rules, and regulations such as NPNT, Helmet law, Drunk Driving Act and city/municipal ordinance.

Personnel to enforce Ordinances and RA 4136 (Land Transportation and Traffic Code), especially at nighttime, should furthermore be assigned.

Lastly, ordinances regulating and providing requirements in procuring motorcycles should be formulated, he said.

Albay athletes receive incentives

LEGAZPI CITY -- Athletes who represented Albay in the Palarong Bicol received their incentives today, July 27, 2018, at the Provincial Treasurer's Office, Albay Capitol.

Gold medalists received Php 6,000; silver medalists received Php 3,000, and bronze medalists received Php 1,000 cash.

The Provincial Government continues to support the Albayano athletes because of the honor they bring to the province during athletic events.

Peñafrancia Festival 2018 schedule bared

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) -- The schedule of the major events of the Peñafrancia Festival 2018 has been released by the city government.

Miss Bicolandia 2018 Beauty Pageant - September 5
Penitential Procession of the Image of Ina - September 7
Peñafrancia Traslacion Procession - September 7
Regional Band, Majorettes and Fancy Drill Competition - September 8
Marian Youth Congress - September 8
Scouts Parade and Inter-School DBC/DLC Competition - September 12
Civic Parade and Float Competition - September 13
Peñafrancia Voyadores Festival Street and Pilgrims Dance Competition - September 13
Annual Bicol Regional Military Parade Competition - September 14
Peñafrancia Fluvial Procession - September 15

The annual Marian festival draws huge crowds not only from the region but also from other parts of the world.

238 MIESCOR workers get P9.4M benefits thru DOLE Bicol’s SEnA

Legazpi City – The Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office No. 5 (DOLE) Bicol recently facilitated through the Single Entry Approach (SEnA) mechanism the award of P9.4 million pesos as separation pay to 238 workers of Meralco Industrial Engineering Services Corporation (MIESCOR).

OIC Regional Director Rovelinda A. Dela Rosa lauded Ching B. Banania the Single Entry Approach Desk Officer (SEADO) of the Albay Provincial Field Office who facilitated the conduct of settlement proceedings last July 16.

Dela Rosa said that the endeavor was a product of close coordination and constant dialogue between and among DOLE personnel, Tiwi Mayor Jaime Villanueva, employees involved and the MIESCOR management.

“This was materialized after one (1) inspection and three (3) dialogues including this award that transpired by and between the LGU of Tiwi, MIESCOR and DOLE RO 5,” Dela Rosa added.

“We want to provide clients with immediate and viable solutions through this mechanism to prevent full blown labor and employment disputes,” she said.

236 out of 238 employees already received the checks which translated to a 99.16% successful release. Two of the employees who are out of the region were not able to get the cheques.

The employees involved are indeed very thankful upon receiving their monetary entitlements. Some of them will utilize the amount received for their planned business or no longer intended to be employed due to old age and for other personal reasons they may have.

“Masaya po ako at natanggap na po namin ang separation pay at nakikita ko na nakangiti na ang mga empleyado. Nagpapasalamat po ako sa DOLE RO 5 at naging maayos ang aming pag-uusap. (I’m happy that we have received our separation pay. I see all employees wearing their smiles of gratitude. I thank the DOLE RO5 for their intervention and for facilitating and ensuring a smooth proceeding.),” shared Maria Aileen Berces-Cuera, HR coordinator for three years in the said company.

SEnA is an administrative approach to provide a speedy, impartial, inexpensive, and accessible settlement procedure for all issues/complaints arising from employer-employee relations to prevent them from ripening into full blown disputes. Under this approach, all labor and employment disputes shall undergo a 30-day mandatory conciliation-mediation process to effect settlement among the contending parties.

Any aggrieved worker, union, group of workers, or the employer may file a request for assistance.

Meanwhile, DOLE Albay Field Office will evaluate the possible livelihood interventions to qualified displaced workers of MIESCOR as additional benefits to them in close coordination with the Public Employment Service Office of Local Government Unit of Tiwi as accredited co-partner.

Kasurog Clean Riders campaign to launch on August 1

Kasurog Clean Riders
LEGAZPI CITY (Bicol Standard) – A massive campaign for Bicolano motorcycle riders to be “organized, documented, and disciplined” will be launched by the Police Regional Office 5 at 7 a.m. this coming August 1 at Camp Simeon Ola here.

Dubbed Kasurog Clean Riders, the campaign aims to encourage Bicolano motorcycle riders to abide by motoring laws on registration, inspection, as well as rules on road safety.

Free stickers will be handed out to responsible motorcycle riders after they have presented pertinent documents such as the original receipt or certificate of registration of the motorcycle; deed of sale if the motorcycle is not registered to the rider; driver’s license; two government IDs; and fully-accomplished Clean Riders Application Form.

With the campaign, the Bicol police force hopes that crimes committed with the use of motorcycles will be curbed. It also aims to promote road safety by educating riders on safety measures.

The Kasurog Clean Riders program is spearheaded by Regional Director PCSupt. Arnel Escobal, following the initiative of the PNP national office.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Japanese man travels by bicycle from Zamboanga to Sorsogon

Japan's Fujimoto Tatsuhiko arrived in Sorsogon City earlier this week on his bicycle after travelling for days from Zamboanga using the same vehicle. Tatsuhiko said he is en route to Manila, which would take around 5 to 7 days by bicycle. (With report/photo from PIA Sorsogon)

DPWH employee arrested in Ligao City buy-bust

LIGAO CITY (Bicol Standard) – An employee of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) was arrested earlier today, July 26, in a buy-bust operation by the police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

In a report to the Bicol Standard, the Ligao police identified suspect as Danilo Perdigon Peralta, 49 years old, and a resident of Barangay Bagumbayan, this city.

Five small heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets containing a white crystalline substance believed to be shabu with an estimated street value of P3,500.00 were confiscated from the suspect.

Also seized from him were P500.00 buy-bust money and other drug paraphernalia.

The suspect will be charged for violation of Republic Act 9165.

DSWD cautions public vs fake Facebook accounts using agency’s name

"We would like to warn the public on the proliferation of fake Facebook accounts bearing the name of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The circulation of these accounts is alarming since they can be used to deceive the public to support or donate money for fake initiatives of the government that will allegedly help poor Filipinos.”

This was the warning of DSWD Secretary Virginia “Gee” N. Orogo after finding out about fake Facebook accounts and pages that are using the name of the DSWD to mislead the public.

One of the said fake accounts was discovered under the profile name, “DSWD PH” which uses the official social media logo of the DSWD Field Office (FO) in Central Luzon.

At present, the Department only maintains one official Facebook account under the link, https://www.facebook.com/dswdserves/ and one Twitter page under the account name, @dswdserves.
Moreover, the official pages of affiliated DSWD FOs and attached agencies of the Department can be located in the “Pages liked by this page” corner.
“As responsible social media users, we need to learn to discern the truth from bogus information and to be cautious in providing private information in social media and messaging applications. Dubious accounts should also be reported to proper authorities,” Sec. Orogo warned.

Last June, the Department also issued a public warning against fake social media accounts and pages that promote illegal adoption of children.

Father and son massacred inside home in Cam Sur

PAMPLONA, Camarines Sur (Bicol Standard) -- A father and son were massacred inside their residence at Zone 5, Veneracion, this town at around 6 a.m. Thursday, the Pamplona police said.

The victims were identified as Danilo Abunin, Sr. y Lunasing, 45 years old, and Danilo Abunin y Cortez, of legal age.

The Pamplona police reported that unidentified gunmen fired shots possibly from an M16 rifle a caliber .45 pistol at the father and son.

Empty shells and two slugs from caliber .45 pistol were found at the crime scene.

The SOCO is still processing the crime scene as of this writing.


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

NIN HULI SA SELOS | Agom na babae, naglampaw sa dagat, gadan

CARAMOAN, Camarines Sur (BICOL STANDARD) -Makuring selos an pigtutubodan na causa kan paglampaw kan agom kan babae, mantang nagdadalagan sa lawod an saindang pig lulunadan na motor sa dagat, sa Caramoan, Camarines Sur.

Segun ki P/Sr Insp Bienvenido Enciso, an hefe kan pulis sa Caramoan na base sa imbestigasyon ninda si Noe Fernando, 38 anyos, asin an saiyang agom na si Leny Fernando, nakalunad sa motorized banca papuli na sa saindang harog.

Antes pang maglund sa baroto igwa na nin iwal an duwa, nin huli sa sahot kan biktima na an saiyang agom may ibang pig tatago-tagong babae, na saiyang karelasyon.

Todo sa pagpahimutik an lalaki.

Alagad, dai nacombensir an agom na si Leni, kaya kan yaon na sa tahaw kan dagat an saindang pig lulunadan na motorized banca, bigla na sana ining naglampaw, na iyong causa kan saiyang pagkalamos.

An sabi kan agom na lalaki, pig probaran pa niyang sapodon an saiyang esposa, pero nin huli sa darakula an alon, dai na niya kinaya na isalvar siya.

Mientrastanto, si Noe yaon ngonian sa hospital, nagpapabulong nin huli sa dakul na dagat an saiyang nainom, mantang pig sasalvar kuta an saiyang agom.

238 firm workers get P9.4-M benefits thru DOLE intervention

By Connie Calipay

LEGAZPI CITY, Albay -- Some 238 workers of Meralco Industrial Engineering Services Corp. (Miescor) have received PHP9.4 million in separation pay through the Single Entry Approach (SEnA) mechanism of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Bicol.

Rovelinda dela Rosa, officer-in-charge regional director of DOLE 5 (Bicol), in an interview Tuesday, said the grant was the product of close coordination and constant dialogue among DOLE personnel, Tiwi Mayor Jaime Villanueva, employees involved, and the Miescor management.

“This materialized after one inspection and three dialogues, including this award that transpired by and between the LGU (local government unit) of Tiwi, Miescor and DOLE-5,” dela Rosa said.

“We want to provide clients with immediate and viable solutions through this mechanism to prevent full-blown labor and employment disputes,” she pointed out.

Out of 238 employees, 236 have received their separation pay checks, which translated to a 99.16 percent successful release. The other two employees were not able to get their respective checks because they were out of the region during the distribution.

"Issue resolved during the mediation period is whether or not the employees, being 'project-based', are entitled to separation pay," dela Rosa said.

Under the decision, Miescor was required to give the necessary separation pay for at least half a month’s salary for every year of service or one month’s salary, whichever is higher, including but not limited to service incentive, leave pay, holiday pay, incentives, final pay and other emoluments due the employees.

The workers expressed their gratitude to DOLE upon receiving their monetary entitlements. Some of them said they would use the amount for their planned business and for other personal expenses.

“Masaya po ako at natanggap na po namin ang separation pay at nakikita ko na nakangiti na ang mga empleyado. Nagpapasalamat po ako sa DOLE-5 at naging maayos ang aming pag-uusap (I’m happy that we have received our separation pay. I see all employees wearing their smiles of gratitude. I thank DOLE-5 for their intervention and for facilitating and ensuring a smooth proceeding),” said Maria Aileen Berces-Cuera, HR coordinator for three years in Miescor.

SEnA is an administrative approach to provide a speedy, impartial, inexpensive, and accessible settlement procedure for all issues/complaints arising from employer-employee relations to prevent them from ripening into full-blown disputes.

Under this approach, all labor and employment disputes shall undergo a 30-day mandatory conciliation-mediation process to effect settlement among the contending parties.

Any aggrieved worker, union, group of workers, or the employer may file a request for assistance with the labor department.

Meanwhile, DOLE’s office in Albay will evaluate the possible livelihood interventions to qualified displaced workers of Miescor as additional benefits for them. (PNA)

Cleanliness key to leptospirosis prevention

LEGAZPI CITY -- A health official here on Tuesday said cleanliness is still the best way to avoid leptospirosis infection even as she also warned against self-medication.

"Everything starts with cleanliness, always maintain cleanliness in the house as well as surroundings, proper waste management, personal hygiene is also important in preventing this disease,” Dr. Lulu Ramos-Santiago, Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases coordinator of the Department of Health (DOH) here, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Santiago even advised the public to avoid wading in floodwaters or potentially contaminated water, the common way to contract the bacteria causing leptospirosis.

Another way to be infected is through ingestion of contaminated food.

The regional health coordinator also told the public to immediately go to the nearest health facility at the first sign of one of the disease’s symptoms, which is fever.

"We don't recommend self-medication even during fever, consult your nearest health facility to prevent and diagnose the cause of the fever, leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that needs prescription of antibiotic, so self-medication is a big no," the doctor said.

Early consultation is the best way to diagnose if infected with leptospirosis, she added.

DOH Bicol posted and distributed ICE and Frequently Ask Question materials to let the public know how to prevent not just leptospirosis but other bacterial infectious diseases such as: wash hands with clean water and soap, use handkerchief when coughing or sneezing, maintain strong immune system, daily exercise, take a bath every day, proper use of toilets, and maintain cleanliness in surroundings.

A total of 65 leptospirosis cases, were recorded in Bicol from January to July 14 this year, compared to the 45 cases during the same period last year.

Of the six provinces in the region, Santiago said that Camarines Sur has the most number of cases with 46; followed by Albay with 11 cases; Sorsogon, seven cases; Camarines Norte and Masbate with one case each.

Santiago said so far, there are no reported leptospirosis cases in Catanduanes.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection commonly acquired through the urine of rodents, direct contact with infected animals, or superficial cuts and open wounds which are exposed to a contaminated environment such as flood water.

Leptospirosis is characterized by fever, muscle pain, headache, calf pain and in some cases, reddish eyes. It could result in renal failure and eventually, death, if treatment is not immediately administered. (PNA)

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Joint press briefing sa pag gadan ki Joey Llana, gigibohon sa aga

LEGAZPI CITY  (BICOL STANDARD) -- Magkakaigwa nin joint press briefing saagang alas 2:00 nin hapon, sa Camp Simeon Ola, sa Legazpi City, dapit sa casong pag gadan sa broadcaster na si Joey Llana.
Ini an pinaabot na bareta ni Sr Ins Malu Calubaquib, an spokesperson kan PNP Bicol kasuodmang hapon.
Sabi ni Calubaquib, gustong paisihon kan liderato kan PNP, na iyo an nag iimbestigar kan caso kun anon a an development sa high profile na krimen, na nakakua kan attention kan Malacanang.
Maroromdoman na si Llana, na sarong blocktimer sa Legazpi City, binadil kan dai nabistong para gadan, amay nin pagka aga kan sarong semana.
Paluwas na si Llana sa saindang harong, lunad kan saiyang service na awto na siya paarakasakan nin bala hale sa calibre .9mm na badil. May saro man nin bala na hale sa calibre .45 an nakua harane sa saiyang bangkay.

Ex brgy kapitan sa Del Gallego, binadil sa Ragay

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) -- Binadil sa payo, kaya tulos nagadan an dating Punong Barangay sa F. Semion, Ragao, Camarines Sur, sabi sa report kan pulis.

Segun sa report, sinurungan sa saindang residencia an biktima, poco mas o menos alas 8:00 nin bangui kan dai nabistong para gadan.

An biktima iyo si Erlinda Sallan Armillo, 55 anos an edad.

Nagkakakan an biktima kan siya badilon sa payo.

Binawian tulos siya nin buhay sa lugar na pinangyarihan kan krimen.

Mayo pa nin malinaw na informasyon kun ano an rason sa pag gadan saiya.

Mientrastanto, pig iimbestigaran pa kan mga awtoridad an motibo kan pagbadil sa saiya.

An nagunong informasyon hale sa Ragay PNP, naaraman na an biktima dating Punong barangay kan Bagong Silang, sa banwaan kan Del Gallego, Camarines Sur.

Naga City People's Mall to offer multi-level parking, banchetto area soon

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) -- The Naga City People's Mall will see changes as part of its rehabilitation soon, including a banchetto area and multi-level parking space.

This was confirmed by Mayor John Bongat in a press briefing on Monday.

Bongat said the changes concern the right-wing part of the edifice fronting Naga River.

The move comes after the City Engineer's Office discovered defects in said portion and suggested rehabilitation efforts for the area.

"The upper storeys of the NCPM will serve as the parking space with the implemention of the ordinance to cater to the traffic issues in the city," the news release from the LGU states.

"Other plans in the NCPM include the relocation of the fish section to the ground floor of the area. 
Other stalls that will be displaced will be relocated in the nearby area. Meanwhile, the riverside portion beside the NCPM will be converted into a banchetto area. Other fastfood restaurants will be allowed to rent other stalls in the area," it further reads.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

San Miguel Bay Writers Workshop now open to applicants

The Central Bicol State University of Agriculture- Calabanga College of Education in cooperation with The Writers Project and Parasurat Bikolnon- Calabanga Chapter are inviting young aspiring writers who are within the bay areas of 3rd and 4th District of Camarines Sur (Canaman, Magarao, Bombon, Calabanga, Tinambac, and Siruma) to the SECOND SAN MIGUEL BAY WRITERS WORKSHOP to be held from July 25 to 27, 2018. This workshop, as an extension program, is open to non-CBSUA writers.

Applicants should submit original works written in Bikol, English, or Filipino. To be considered as fellows, applicants for poetry should submit two (2) poems, applicants for fiction should submit two (2) short stories, and applicants for creative non-fiction should submit two (2) creative non-fiction. Selected fifteen (15) fellows will have a chance to hone their craft.

Manuscripts should be submitted at smbwritersworkshop@gmail.com on or before July 20, 2018. It should be encoded using Arial font, twelve (12) point, one (1) inch margin on all sides, double spaced, and must bear only the author’s penname. The applicant’s real name, address, contact number and selfie picture must appear in the letter of intent which should be   submitted accompanying the manuscript and addressing the workshop directors.

Panel members of this workshop are the alumni of Saringsing, CBSUA, and First Bay Area Writers Workshops namely  Lanie Biato Bogate, Edwin Breva, Jr.,  Maybz Bueson, Krisma Cabrador, Graciel Esperida Tandog, Ramil Estuya, Richard Pineda, Kristopher Magellan Reyta , Ma. Gloria Señar, Jan Oliver Tabinas, Mon Imperial, Jenly Balaquiao, Clark Juzzhua Locairo, and Ryan Cuatrona. 

This year’s SMBWW Directors are Abegail Sta Ana and Wende Tolalian. 

For more details, feel to contact 09074654082/09158360504.

Authorities raid Paracale mines operating sans permits

PARACALE, Camarines Norte (Bicol Standard) -- A composite team led by representatives of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Central and Regional Offices, Environmental Task Force, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Camarines Norte Provincial office, along with members of the police, army, and barangay officials trooped to several mines in this town earlier this week.

These include two mines operating at Barangay Casalugan, which according to the composite team had no permits. Said mines also did not have the required Environment Clearance Certificate (ECC) and other necessary legal documents.

Because of such alleged violation, they had a Cease and Desist order from the MGB Central Office.

Recovered from the mining sites were pieces of heavy equipment used in mining such as payloaders and generator sets.

No person was at the mining site at the time of the raid, according to the composite team.

Governor Cua OKs scholarship for aspiring doctors, lawyers

VIRAC, Catanduanes--Governor Joseph C. Cua finally signed the ordinance institutionalizing scholarship program for would-be doctors and lawyers, true to his promise during the State of the Province Address (SOPA) in 2017.

“Kulang pa an mga doktor asin abogado uya sa sato. Dahil free tuition na kita, an sobrang pondo sa scolarships, i-alokar niato sa planong magbukas ning scholarship grants sa deserving na mga estudyanteng gustong magin doctor asin abogado, pati na man itong mga ga-pursue nin higher learning on the condition that they will have to serve the province for a maximum of five (5) years,” Cua stated in his SOPA speech last October.

However, instead of five years, grantees will render return service obligation for one year for every two scholarship year.

Under the ordinance, applicants must be bonafide resident of Catanduanes and actually residing for at least five (5) years prior to the application;

Applicants must also have a general weighted average of 1.75 or its equivalent in undergraduate program. Likewise, he/she must pass and obtain a rating of 85% in Philippine Law School Admission Test (PhilSAT), and at least 90% in the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT).

The ordinance also featured scholarship grants to teachers pursuing Masteral and Doctoral degree.

Interested applicants are encouraged to visit the Governor’s Office-Information Unit located at 2nd Floor, Provincial Capitol Building.

Meantime, Governor Cua also thanked the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for their support and cooperation.

PTFoMS forms task force to probe on Llana death

Joey Llana

By Liza Agoot

BAGUIO CITY -- The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) said a special investigation task group, dubbed “Task Force Llana”, has been formed, less than six hours after the reported killing of Blocktime broadcaster Joey Llana in the morning of Friday, July 20.

PTFoMS Executive Director and Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco in an interview with Baguio media said the task force would extensively look into the killing of the journalist.

“Para mas mabilis yung imbestigasyon ng ating mga pulis sa local, mahuli agad yung mga gumawa noon (To speed up the investigation of the local police and immediately arrest the perpetrators),” he said.

Egco pointed out that PTFoMS directly participates in issues involving the security and safety of the media practitioners like that of Llana.

"Sayang kung nabanggit niya agad, naaksyunan agad natin (Pity, if only he had mentioned it right away, we could have acted on it fast)," he said. "Hindi natin hahayaang walang mangyari sa kasong yan just like what we did in past and previous cases of killings of the members of the media. Iniimbestigahan agad natin, naso-solve naman natin yan, nakikilalala at napaparusahan gumagawa niyan. hindi katulad noong araw na wala lang, deadma lang. This time, hindi na pwede yan (Just like what we did in the past and on previous killings of members of the media, we will not allow this case to just be part of the record. We are already investigating and we will be able to solve this, identify the perpetrators, and place them behind bars, unlike before when it was left unattended. This time, it will not happen).”

Egco said he had spoken with Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go and expressed confidence that the information on the death of Llana was already brought to the attention of President Rodrigo Duterte.

He revealed that since 1986, there have 170 cases of media killings, including that of Llana.

Under the present administration, there are three verified media work-related killings, which include that of Larry Que in December 2016, Christopher Lozada in March 2018, and another.

He, however, said there were 13 killings involving media workers, but only three were work-related. The nonwork-related cases include the Cebu incident, where the house of a media practitioner was robbed and he was killed in the process.

Egco defined mediamen as all those involved in the process of news gathering.

PTFoms info campaign

"Napakahalaga na bumababa kami sa local, nalalalaman ng mga kasama natin sa hanapbuhay na meron na palang ganitong task force na pag may konting problema, sumbong mo agad sa amin, naaksyunan agad natin (It is very important that we go to the local so that fellow media practitioners will know that there is a task force where they can go report for whatever problems and we act on them),” Egco continued.

He said just like the event here in Baguio on Friday, the PTFoMS visits regions and provinces to do information campaigns, inform the stakeholders, not just the members of the media. From Baguio, Egco said he would go to Bicol to personally see the situation. They will also go to Visayas and Mindanao.

"Bumababa tayo. We do face to face campaign kasi nga hindi natin pwedeng basta iasa lang na maireport. Being a journalist myself, naintindihan ko yun kung bakit. So with that in mind, bumababa na ang Malacañang sa ilalaim para ipaalam ang good news na ito (We go down. We do face to face campaign and we cannot just rely on news reporting. Being a journalist myself, I understand the situation and with this in mind, we bring Malacañang to the community to relay the good news).”

PTFoMS protocol

Egco said there are five instances when the PTFoMS can come in--when a media practitioner receives a threat, is threatened online, physically harmed, subjected to surveillance, and when killed.

He related that the media practitioner reports to the task force or to the nearest police station, which is the basis of the task force to handle the case.

He said that the PTFoMS is going to the grassroots, holding seminars. The goal is for the creation of local PTFoMS and the identification of special prosecutors who will handle cases of work-related killings or injuries.

He added with the PTFoMS informed, the media practitioner could be provided with an armed escort or with an intelligence cover acting appropriately.

The local councils, he said, would do a risk mapping. “Sino nanganganib, sino may threat, sino may banta, kailangan mai-document yun. Hindi pwedeng ilihim tapos pag namatay na may problema tayong lahat. Proactive and progressive campaign. Why wait to be harmed. Threat pa lang aksyunan na (Who is at risk, who is threatened, it has to be documented. It cannot be kept and later on when someone dies, it becomes a problem for everybody. Our campaign is proactive. Why wait to be harmed? A mere threat has to be acted upon),” he said.

The Administrative Order No. 1 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte is envisioned to address the vulnerabilities of the media, who are “being used as pawns in a proxy war”. (PNA)

Friday, July 20, 2018

ADNU Senior High teacher found dead

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) -- The lifeless body of Senior High School teacher was discovered hanging at the room she was renting at CEMENI Dormitory along Arana St., Barangay Sta. Cruz, this city Thursday evening.

Marylen Aguilar Malate, 20 years old, single, and a teacher at Ateneo de Naga Senior High School Department, was found hanging from a cabinet with a black plastic straw by one of her boardmates.

The boardmate cut the straw, and tried to revive the victim before the authorities arrived, the Naga City police said.

The victim was declared dead by the City Health Officer, Dr. Vito Borja.

Her body was brought to Abiog Funeral Parlor, Naga City.

According to the police, the family refused to have an autopsy conducted on the victim's cadaver.

2 women tagged in carnapping in Naga City

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – Two women were named suspects in the latest carnapping incident at a food joint at Barangay Dayangdang, this city, early Friday morning.

One of the suspects was suspect was identified as Heyzel Adan y Camacho, 18 years old, a resident of Calauag, Naga City, and a cook of System Technology Institute (STI).

The Naga City police said Adan, along with fellow suspect Andrea Mendoza of Villa Karangahan Subdivision, San Felipe, Naga City, were the suspects in stealing the motorcycle of victim Palpito De Luna y Vasquez while the vehicle was parked at DYD Hub between the hours of 7 p.m. and 3 a.m.

The motorcycle was a Honda Wave model with plate number EMB 8206.

Adan was arrested and is presently detained, while Mendoza is still at large, according to the Naga City police.

The police said this is not the first time that the duo has been involved in carnapping.

Adan was identified by police operatives through the CCTV recording.

Previously, however, no complaint was filed against the two.


Kusog Bikolandia party aims to spur regional development

Kusog Bikolandia officers hold a meeting regarding their plans for the Bicol region.
NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – A new regional political party that aims to spur inclusive and genuine socio-economic development in Bicol has recently emerged.

Kusog Bikolandia, which is headed by its chairman Noel N. De Luna, seeks to promote "development, empowerment, leadership, unity, nationalism, and autonomy."

De Luna, a former broadcast, print media, and public relations practitioner, also previously worked as president and authorized managing officer of Wellconstruct, Inc.

“I envision Kusog Bikolandia to take the lead in promoting the interest of the Bicolanos, especially those at the margins of society,” De Luna said in an interview by the Bicol Standard.

“This will be realized not only through the concerted and conscientious efforts of its officers, but also of the region which it serves,” he added.

Kusog Bikolandia Party’s officers include:

Atty. Jorge Sarmiento – President; Former Post Master General; Former President of PAGCOR; Former USEC of DICT

Atty. Robert Rafael Lucila – Executive Vide President; Current head of Legal Department of GMA Network, Inc.; Former Deputy Executive Secretary of Malacanang

Redencion De Leoz, Jr. – Secretary General; Former Presidential Management Staff Program Head

Flor B. Azotea – Executive Treasurer

Jose B. Perez – Vice President for Sectoral Affairs; Editor-in-Chief, Bicol Mail

Atty. Steve Resari – Executive Director; Vice President for Albay

Atty. Felix Brazil – Vice President for Camarines Sur

Juan Escandor, Jr. - Vice President for Sorsogon/Masbate

Febes B. Rada - Vice President for Camarines Norte

Fred Gianan – Vice President for Catanduanes

De Luna said he hopes this new initiative would bring genuine growth to the region.

He further stated that they are presently evaluating possible alliances with other groups.

20-year-old hangs self in Naga City

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) -- A love problem reportedly pushed a 20-year-old man to take his own life in the room he was renting at San Jose Dorm, P3, San Jose Street, Barangay Penafrancia, this city.

The Naga City police identified the victim as Mark Jay Velascuez y Placio, single, and a resident of Barangay Alawihao, Daet, Camarines Norte.

His body was found in a state of decomposition hanging from the side rail of a double deck bed at around 6:25 p.m. Thursday, after foul odor was reported emanating from his room.

The police said he left his cellphone on video recording mode during the incident.

Velascuez allegedly had been having problems with his boyfriend prior to the incident, the police said.

He was in Naga City to seek a job, and was last seen alive on July 17 with another friend.

Albay broadcaster shot dead

Joey Llana

LEGAZPI CITY (Bicol Standard) – A radio broadcaster was gunned down earlier today (July 20) at Alternate Road, P6, Penafrancia, Daraga town.

The victim, Joey Llana y Manata, 38 years old, was on his way to work at 4:45 am when the suspect shot him using caliber 9 mm and 45 firearms.

He was hit two times on the body and five times on the head.

Llana was a blocktimer at radio station DWZR Zoom Radio. He was known for his hard-hitting commentaries.

Recently, he would announce on air that he had been receiving threats.

He was declared dead at 6:05 a.m. by the Emergency Management Staff, the regional police said.

Investigation is still ongoing as of this writing.

Albay Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster Chair Tito Ordinario this morning condemned the incident. He also reminded broadcasters to be careful. 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

LGU Naga turns over Material Recovery Facilities to four barangays

Photo courtesy of CEPPIO

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) —Four mobile Material Recovery Facilities were turned over to four barangays to reduce the waste brought to the city’s dumpsite by 50%, the City Events, Protocol, and Public Information Office announced this week.

The MRFs were given to Barangays Tinago, Del Rosario, Concepcion Grande, and Concepcion Pequena after the flag ceremony Monday morning.

Said facilities will help increase the waste segregation efficiency, Engr. Joel Martin, SWMO chief explained.

Martin added that the city has very poor compliance on waste segregation, achieving only 20 to 33% segregation efficiency.

“The construction of stationary MRF costs about P50,000 each while the price of the trailer-type has an estimated amount of more or less P85,000 each. The mobile MRFs are to be installed in barangays that are situated in commercial or business district which do not have sufficient spaces to acquire stationary MRF like Dinaga, Tabuco, Peñafrancia, and San Francisco,” the CEPPIO news release reads.

Martin is expecting all 27 barangays to start operating their own MRFs before the Peñafrancia Fiesta this year.

Meantime, the city also purchased new plastic garbage bins that are now placed along the city’s major roads.

Such efforts are in compliance with Republic Act 9003, otherwise known as “The Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000,” which reinforces the role of the local government units down to the barangay level in the segregation and collection of solid waste.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

2 commercial fishing vessels intercepted in Cam Sur

Tubs of fish were confiscated by the authorities after the apprehension of two commercial fishing vessels.

BULA, Camarines Sur -- Joint operations of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and Philippine Coast Guard on July 17, 2018 resulted to the apprehension of two commercial fishing vessels, FB Rosie Moneth and FB Reyanna.

According to BFAR, the vessels were in violation of the amended Fisheries Law (RA 10654) specifically, Section 86 (Unathorized Fishing), Section 93 (Use of Fine Mesh Net), Section 113 (Commercial Fishing Vessel Operators Employing Unlicensed Fisherfolk, Fishworker or Crew), Section 121 (Use of Unlicensed Gear) and Section 128 (Other Violations) in relation to Fisheries Administrative Order No. 198 (Rules and Regulations on Commercial Fishing).

The vessels were intercepted after its fishing operations in the municipal waters of Calabanga, Camarines Sur within the San Miguel Bay.

Confiscated were 49 tubs assorted fish, mostly anchovies, with estimated total valuation of P9,800.00. These will be distributed to charitable or penal institutions nearest the apprehension site.

Corresponding administrative and criminal charges will be filed against the owners, three highest officers and other offenders.

The joint operation is in line with the swift order of the Undersecretary for Fisheries/BFAR Director Eduardo B. Gongona to end illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and to eradicate hulbot-hulbot and other destructive fishing methods in the country.

BFAR Bicol Regional Director Dennis del Socorro emphasized the need to fully understand why fishery violations are happening and why it is necessary to raise the level of awareness on socio-cultural sensitivities.

Del Socorro further cited that there must now be an integrated and multi-sectoral law enforcement approach to have an effective implementation of the fisheries law, rules and regulations. BFAR will continue to conduct “soft-approaches” such as social marketing and mobilizations, information and education campaigns and community-based resource management and “hard-approaches” in fishery law enforcement such as visibility and covert patrolling, deceptive tactics, market denial and inspections and multi-agency collaborations.

Counterfeit cigarettes seized in Sorsogon

SORSOGON CITY (Bicol Standard) – A resident of Barangay Balogo, this city, was arrested early Wednesday while in the act of transporting 14 boxes of undocumented and allegedly counterfeit cigarette products.

The police identified the suspect as Osama Diora Madid, 38 years old, and a vendor.

The cigarette products have an estimated value of P210,000.00.

Madid will be charged with violation of the Consumer Act of the Philippines (Republic Act 7394), the regional police reported.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Random tests done to verify prevalence of drug use, not users: DepEd

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

MANILA -- Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones said Friday it is too early to conclude on the effectiveness of the random-sampling done by the department as the drug testing process on high school and college students is not yet complete.

This, after Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Director General Aaron Aquino said DepEd's current system on drug testing is "ineffective as it couldn't pinpoint who should be hit by the drug test".

In a press conference at Pembo Elementary School in Makati City, Briones explained that the objective of DepEd's drug testing process is to determine the prevalence of drug use in schools in specific areas and not to determine who the drug users are.

"It is too early to say it's not effective at all...We have different numbers because we use different methods. And sampling is really acceptable, legitimate manner of determining the status of a particular phenomenon," she said.

DepEd spokesperson and Chief of Staff of the Office of Secretary Nepomuceno Malaluan explained that the sampling methodology DepEd uses for familiarity is similar to the sampling methodology done by Pulse Asia or Social Weather Stations where they can provide a representativeness of their survey with respect to the entirety of the Philippine population.

"Again, DepEd's mandate is to determine the prevalence as an input to our preventive drugs or anti-illegal drugs program. It is not to determine each and every drug user or in the entire secondary school and we also showed them the initial resource, it is a less than, even less that 1% so far, the partial result that we are getting," he said.

Recognizing the need for a single comprehensive education material on drugs, Malaluan said, DepEd will seek the support of PDEA and other agencies so that learners will be well-informed about illegal drugs use.

"In the development of such a comprehensive material, the information that was mentioned or was presented to us by the PDEA Director General can be included," he added.

When asked if she's amenable to PDEA's proposal of mandatory drug testing for high school and college students, Briones said DepEd's current drug testing process is legally allowed and that the department wants to avoid cases and protests about matters on privacy.

"They asked for our support and my answer was that I cannot make a commitment by my lonesome self. They have to do a lot of consultation with the parents, with the rest of society...and privacy is very difficult and very sensitive," she said.

If PDEA wants to push through with the proposal, Briones said it would need to propose a bill which will make drug testing mandatory for high school and college students as it involves all sectors of the society. (PNA)

UCT beneficiaries swarm Land Bank Naga for payout

UCT payout in Naga City
Photo by Monica Basmayor

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard)--Beneficiaries of the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) converged in the Land Bank General Luna branch here for the start of the payout on July 15.

This caused heavy traffic in the area, but the beneficiaries stayed until around 9 p.m. to claim the money, which amounts to Php200 per month.

UCT is a cash subsidy provided under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law to lessen the adverse economic effects brought by the said law to poor Filipinos.

This will be implemented for three years (2018-2020).

Motorized banca partially capsizes en route to Matnog

SORSOGON CITY (Bicol Standard) -- Twenty-one passengers en route from Northern Samar to Sorsogon were rescued by the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office of Matnog, Sorsogon.

The Police Regional Office 5 citing a report from the Philippine Coast Guard said that the motorized banca the passengers were riding partially capsized at around 4 p.m. Saturday at the territorial seawaters of Northern Samar.

Rough waters was the cause of the incident.

The boat, which was marked Nonon Matnog Sor., was carried off to Bulusan, reports said.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Lalaki tinaga an agom na babae; nag-suicide

NAGA CITY 7/15/18 (BICOL STANDARD) – Pinili kan sarong padre de familya na magbitay na sana kan saiyang sadire, tangani na magadan, pakatapos na tagaon an saiyang agom sa payo.

Sabi kan imbestigador kan pulis sa San Fernando, Camarines Sur, si Joel Marco, 38, asin an saiyang agom na si Vivian, nagkaigwa nin grabeng iwal, poco mas o menos alas 11:00 nin bangui kan naka aging Sabado (Hulyo 14).

Bakong pang malinaw sa mga awtoridad kun ano si saindang pig iwalan.

Nin huli sa iwal kan mag agom, tinaga kan agom na lalaki an saiyang esposa na tinamaan sa payo, na iyo an rason para siya aragap-agapan kan mga residentes kan lugar.

Idinalagan sa Bicol Medical Center an agom na babae, na apisar kan dakulang lugad sa payo, nakalibre sa kagadanan.

Mientrastanto, an agom na lalaki, nagbitay kan saiyang sadire sa paagui kan pag gakod nin pisi sa liog, na iyo an saiyang ikinagadan.

Pig iimbestigaran pa an kasong ini.

An babae nagpapa omay ngonian sa BMC.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Generics Drug Express offers free medical checkup

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – Generics Drug Express will hold its free monthly medical checkup on July 15 at its store at Haring, Canaman (at the boundary of Naga City-Canaman, near LCC Express Mart).

The free medical checkup is open to all ages and will run from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

It is part of Generics Drug Express’ commitment to ensuring the health of the community it serves. It is founded on the belief that pre-emptive measures such medical checkups are key to detecting and averting possible health problems.

The checkup is in coordination with Camarines Sur Lions Club.

For more information, please contact 0995-736-3058 (GLOBE) 0948-182-7059 (SMART). Look for May/ Karen.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Suspect in Masbate journo slay arrested in QC

Jun Briones

MANILA (Bicol Standard) -- The National Press Club (NPC) through its President Rolly ‘Lakay’ Gonzalo has announced the arrest of one of the alleged gunmen in the murder last year of tabloid columnist and NPC member Joaquin ‘Jun’ Briones.

It will be recalled that the Bicolano columnist was shot repeatedly by suspected hired killers along the national highway in Sitio Feeder, Bgy. Bacolod, Milagros, Masbate province on March 13, 2017.

Information reaching the NPC disclosed that suspect Antonio Villaran del Rosario was collared in the vicinity of Tandang Sora Avenue, Quezon City early morning of Thursday, July 12, 2018, by the elements of the Masbate CIDG office under Chief Insp. Vitallano Pagaran, in coordination with the Quezon City Police District.

Del Rosario has been positively identified by one of the witnesses in the murder of Briones. He is presently detained in Quezon City pending his transfer back to Masbate.

The suspect, according to his police profile, is a hardened criminal involved not only in contract killing but also, in robbery/holdup; the suspect also ranks as the ‘number one most wanted person’ in the municipality of Balud, Masbate, Gonzalo added.

A warrant for del Rosario’s arrest for the murder of Briones was issued by the Hon. Arturo Clemente Revil of the Masbate Regional Trial Court on September 6, 2017.

"Even as we continue to fondly remember Jun as an active member of the NPC, we now also express our sense of relief that at long last, the first step in giving justice for his murder has finally begun with the arrest of del Rosario,” Gonzalo added.

Gonzalo also urged the authorities to compel the suspect to reveal those who contracted him to kill Briones.

"Laudable the arrest of del Rosario is, substantive justice also demands that those who paid him money to kill our colleague should also be unmasked, face trial and put behind bars,” Gonzalo said.

UCT payout commences for indigent senior citizens in Bicol on July 14

Legazpi City—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region V will start its payout of the PhP2,400 under its Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) Program to 195,107 indigent senior citizens as its target beneficiaries in Bicol.

There will be a simultaneous payout tomorrow (July 14) in different towns in Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur.

With the ongoing payout, Social Pension Program beneficiaries are advised to present their Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) ID and Certification Issued by DSWD Regional Office.

UCT is a cash subsidy provided under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law to lessen the adverse economic effects brought by the said law to poor Filipinos. This will be implemented for three years (2018-2020).

“The UCT cash grant cannot cover all the household expenses. This is only an augmentation to the poor affected by the inflation,” Dir. Arnel Garcia said.

For this year, each beneficiary will receive a total of PhP2,400 which is equivalent to PhP200 per month and for the succeeding years, a beneficiary will receive PhP300 monthly or PhP3,600 annually.

The UCT will be given to beneficiaries of Social Pension and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and Listahanan-identified poor households.

To date, DSWD paid a total amount of PhP897,964,800.00 to 374,152 households under Pantawid Pamilya in Bicol.

On the other hand, DSWD Region V has completed the validation of 147,486 Listahanan-identified poor households for potential inclusion in the UCT Program.

The DSWD targets to complete the release of the grant before the end of the year or by September.

The DSWD has partnered with the Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) to handle and monitor the distribution of grants.

Bodyguard kan mayor sa Masbate, binadil, gadan

LEGAZPI CITY (Bicol Standard) -- Pig iimbestigaran na ngonian kan pulis sa Masbate an pag gadan kan private bodyguard ni Mayor Salvadora Sanchez kan banwaan kan Uson, Masbate, na binadil gadan kan dai nabistong mga lalaki, mantang nag-aasikaso kan saiyang ataman na baka.

An biktima iyo si Charlie Moncada, 51, residente kan Brgy Madao, Uson, Masbate.

Naaraman sa bareta na si Moncada, nagtatrabaho bilang security aire kan alkalde binadil kan Mierkoles, poco mas o menos alas 3:00 nin hapon, sabi ni Sr Inspector Ma Luisa Calubaquib, spokesperson kan PNP sa Bicol.

An biktima malawig kan saiyang ataman na baka, harane sa saiyang harong kan mag abot an tulong dai nabistong mga lalaki na armado nin badil asin pirang beses siyang binadol sa lawas.

Nagadan an biktima sa lugar na pinangyarihan kan krimen.

Pig aaram pa ngonian kan mga imbestigador an pangaran kan mga suspechado asin kun ano an motibo kan pag gadan.

An mga imbestigador pig iisi an gabos na angulo kan krimen, kabale an politika asin problema sa insurgencia sa lugar, maging an personal na problema na imbuelto an ginadan.

PNP Bicol chief vows crackdown on crime

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – A no-nonsense campaign against erring police officers will be implemented by Acting Bicol PNP Regional Director Chief Supt. Arnel Escobal during his administration.

In a command conference with the chiefs of police of Camarines Sur, Escobal stressed that he will not tolerate scalawags within the organization.

Further, he reminded them of the implementation of the laws on illegal drugs, loose firearms, and gambling, which are also the focus of the national police force.

An intensified crackdown on organized crime, especially those related to the upcoming elections, will also be carried out under his term, he said.

The Nabua, Camarines Sur native, who took over last week after the retirement of Chief Supt. Antonio Gardiola, is expected to work hand-in-hand with fellow Nabua native Police Senior Supt. Jerry Bearis of the Camarines Sur Provincial Police Office.

Escobal is a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Hinirang” Class of 1987 and previously served as the road and traffic director of the Philippine National Police.

“I promise to carry out my duties and responsibilities without fear, favor, bias, or discrimination to police officers failing under my charge and members of the public whom we are serving,” he said in a statement following his assumption.

Meanwhile, Police Supt. Venerando Ramirez, spokesperson of the Camarines Sur Provincial Police Office, also confirmed to the Bicol Standard that the campaign against drugs, criminality, terrorism and as well as the intensified reform to clear the PNP ranks will continue under the administration of Escobal.

Ramirez added that Escobal turned over 192 units of bullet vests for patrollers in the province during the recent command conference here.

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