Friday, August 31, 2018

EDITORIAL | The dawn of democracy in Naga City

Nagueños should rejoice at the recent tangible cracks in the alliances in the once-formidable Team Naga.

This is a clear sign that we will finally enjoy a true and healthy democracy.

A healthy democracy, it must be stressed, is not giving a single group virtually absolute power over the concerns of the city.

Rather, it is one where the administration truly gives premium to the welfare of the majority.

This is manifested by appreciating and entertaining the views of an opposition, and by extension, using such opposing views to clarify and fortify its own stand on vital issues.

Lamentably, we have for so long a time been under a monolithic group, which has proven perilous for our democracy.

What opposing views which may have arisen are often brushed aside, as if there were an unwritten law that it is forbidden to question the opinion of such ruling group.

Whatever happened, for instance, to the questions of former Councilor Nathan Sergio, who risked a showdown with his former political allies, to bring to the forefront alleged anomalies regarding the LGU’s missing documents on its expenditures?

Whatever happened to the critics who had been pointing out Naga City’s repeated failure to notch the Seal of Good Local Governance, despite the city branding itself as the seat of good governance?

These and other unanswered, silenced, and ignored questions expose the prime vulnerability of our local government in Naga: the lack of differing opinions that would challenge the administration.

We should stop bragging about the so-called “participatory governance” in Naga City, when the chosen representatives of the people’s organizations are mostly close allies, if not mere puppets, of the administration.

This being the case, there is no voice of a true opposition that would dare question the proposals and decisions of the administration.

Said opposition would function not only to provide alternative opinions, but also to revive the spirit of democracy from what has become a virtual rule of the few.

Naga City may have finally awakened from a deep slumber.

DA Bicol turns over P15.8-M farm implements during Agri Summit

Photo by DA Bicol
PILI, CSur — Close to 3,000 farmers witnessed the finale day of the First Bicol Agriculture Summit at the Capitol Convention Center here on Aug. 25. The Agri Summit was the highlight or culminating activity of the month-long Camarines Sur Business Expo, initiated by the Camarines Sur Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (CSCCI) in partnership with the provincial government of Cam. Sur, which took place from July 27, 2018 to August 25, 2018.

DA Bicol was a major sponsor in the conduct of the said summit.

The guest of honor in the grand finale day was Special Assistant to the President Bong Go but he has an urgent appointment, thus, he sent Atty. Karlo S. Bello, Undersecretary of Field Operations Office of the Department of Agrarian Reform. Usec. Bello underscored the support services of the DAR and DA to the agrarian reform beneficiaries. “Hindi magtatagumpay ang proyekto ng DAR kung wala ang mga support services na nakakatulong para maiwasang ibenta ng mga magsasaka ang lupang nakamit nila. Hindi dapat nagtatapos ang repormang agraryo sa pagbibigay ng lupa kundi sa patuloy na suporta mula sa mga ahensya ng gobyerno,” Usec. Bello added.

Rodel P. Tornila, OIC RTD for Operations and Extension disclosed that the DA Bicol turned over a total of P15,845,266 worth of various interventions to individual farmers, farmers’ associations and 37 LGUs of Camarines Sur. The Rice Program, headed by OIC RTD Tornilla, distributed a total of P7,210,000 consisted of 3 units combine harvester, 1 unit 4WD mini tractor, 9 units handtractor, 6 units thresher, 8 units PISOS, 4 units shallow tube wells, 1 units rice color sorter, seed spreader and 100 bags 0-0-60 fertilizer and 18 bags rice seeds.

The High Value Crops Development Program, under its OIC Chief Dr. Mary Grace Rodriguez, gave a total of P3,016,400 worth interventions consisted of 12 units rainshelter, 5 units multi-commodity solar dryer, 1,400 kgs ginger planting materials, and vegetable seeds. The Livestock Program headed by Dr. Josefina Bañadera gave P1,143,500 worth of animals earlier at the DA regional office to save the animals from unnecessary stress in their transport. Livestock included 10 heads cattle, 30 heads swine, 2,950 heads native chicken. The Corn and Cassava Program under its program coordinator Lorenzo Alvina, distributed a total of P2,041,000 worth of intervention consisted of 150 bags OPV white corn seeds, 420 bags hybrid corn seeds, 2 units PISOS and 2 units cassava grater. The Organic Agriculture program led by Adelina Losa distributed a total of 920 bags vermicast, 40 packets Bio-N, and 10 bags corn seeds.

On the same occasion, Adelina A. Losa, chief of the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) discussed the different loan windows of the DA through the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC). These are: Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA); Survival and Recovery (SURE) Assistance Program; Working Capital Loan Easy Access (CLEA) for cooperatives; Mechanization Loan Easy Access; and Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF). Losa added that all these loan windows provide easy access to credit for marginalized and small farmers and fisherfolks by tapping lending conduits such as rural banks, cooperatives, NGOs and Associations registered with the DOLE.

The purpose of loan may be to finance production of crops, poultry, livestock and fishery. Up to P50,000 could be availed for short gestating crops while up to P150,000 for high value crops and long gestating crops at 6% interest per annum. Farmers can re-avail loans without having to undergo credit/background investigation. Small farmers who can avail of these loans are those who own or amortizing not more than 3 hectares. They could be tenants, leaseholders, stewards or engaged in backyard poultry and livestock.

During the opening of the Agri Summit, Governor Miguel Luis Villafuerte of the host province of Camarines Sur warmly welcomed the exhibitors, participants and visitors to the agri summit which revolved around the theme “Bicol Agriculture in the Phase of Globalization. Senator Cynthia A. Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, was the guest of honor during the opening day on August 23. She discussed her programs and advocacies on agriculture in the country and imparted recommendations to help Bicolano farmers become globally competitive.

The three day Bicol Agri Summit featured trade fairs, trade exhibit of innovative products and technologies and techno seminars to help farmers improve farm productivity. The DA AMAD invited a total of 21 exhibitors who showcased and sold their products. Losa revealed that the DA exhibitors garnered a total sales of P454,987 from the 3 day trade fair. (Lovella P. Guarin)

Disaster preparedness is a must--CNorte Gov. Pimentel

Gov. Jonah Pimentel
DAET, Camarines Norte (Bicol Standard) – Gov. Jonah Pimentel emphasized the need for Camarines Norte to prepare for disasters, even if the province has not been put under state of calamity for several decades.

Pimentel made the pronouncement after meeting with Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Regional Director Claudio Yucot, who also discussed the same with the Municipal Risk Reduction and Management Officers (MDRRMO) of Camarines Norte.

Pimentel said the onset of the rainy season should signal CamNorteños to start preparing for calamities, both natural and man-made.

“It is always good to be prepared for any eventuality,” Pimentel said.

The PDRRMO, he announced, has formed several clusters to address the various stages of disaster risk mitigation and response.

These include the Cluster for Mitigation and Prevention, Cluster for Disaster Response, Cluster for Disaster Preparedness, and Cluster for Rehabilitation and Recovery.

Representatives of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) will provide assistance to these clusters.

Meanwhile, Pimentel said that while the government is leading the preparation against calamities, he stressed the need for households and individuals to initiate their own preparations.

For instance, they should be aware of the hazards present in their area, prepare their own disaster plans, devise evacuation and communications plans, learn first aid, inspect the home and eliminate preventable hazards, and regularly check safety devices such as fire extinguishers. Lastly, they should coordinate with the local authorities and learn about the community’s emergency plans and warning signals.

P340K shabu seized in Camarines Norte

DAET, CNorte— Anti-narcotics operatives nabbed on Tuesday night a lady drug pusher, who was in possession of suspected “shabu” or crystal meth worth PHP340,000, during an anti-drug operation at a hotel parking area in Daet, Camarines Norte, a Philippine National Police (PNP) report said on Wednesday.

Jazel Ponayo, 27, single, of Barangay Gahonon, Daet, was arrested while selling suspected shabu to a policeman posing as buyer around 6:30 p.m., according to Chief Inspector Maria Luisa Calubaquib, PNP-Bicol spokesperson.

The suspect is a high-value target (HVT) on the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency's (PDEA) watchlist, said Cotton Yuson Talento, PDEA-Bicol Information Officer.

The suspect was transacting with a police poseur-buyer at a parking area of Villa Mila Hotel in Barangay Gohomon, Daet town when the drug buy-bust was carried out, Talento said.

Joint elements of the Daet police force and PDEA seized from the suspect a total of 50 grams of suspected shabu packed in several sealed plastic sachets.

The suspect was committed to the PNP Daet station, where charges of illegal drug peddling and possession will be filed in court. (PNA)

20 candidates eye Miss Bicolandia 2018 crown

NAGA CITY—Twenty (20) official candidates, who will be competing soon for this year's Miss Bicolandia 2018, were already chosen last August 25 during the pre-screening at the Avenue Plaza Hotel.

Twenty-nine (29) candidates originally filed their application for the said pageant. However, only twenty-three (23) of them passed the pre-screening.

The candidates made their first appearance during the Public Presentation held at the Atrium of the Robinsons Place Naga last August 25, 2018 wherein out of the 23, the applicants were trimmed down to 20 who will officially compete for the Miss Bicolandia 2018.

They are: Monalyn Abaluado (Legazpi City), Clarisse Minette Abasola (Libmanan, Camarines Sur), Ancela Karla Abay (Tinambac, Camarines Sur), Christine Arnedo (Legazpi City), Jacquelyn Bernarte (Tabaco City), Famaele Nica Carriaga (Legazpi City), Carmela Diane Doma (Magallanes Sorsogon), Jessica Holz (Sipocot, Camarines Sur), Maryjoy Jacob (Camalig, Albay), Loraine Mae Morano (Canaman, Camarines Sur), Krizzia Lynn Moreno (Naga City), Mary Mildred Naldoza (Libmanan, Camarines Sur), Denise Omorog (Catanduanes), Nikka Joyce Penolio (Daet, Camarines Norte), Ma. Angelica Reyes (Lagonoy, Camarines Sur), Krystel Sales (Naga City), Miki Santiago (Legazpi City), Joane Tampoco (Naga City), Eryka Vina Tan (Legazpi City) and Maria Khristiine Tolete (Magarao, Camarines Sur).

This coming Friday, August 31, the candidates will be meeting with the local media during the Welcome Dinner and Press Presentation wherein they will be made to respond to certain current issues as Miss Bicolandia candidates. The activity will also give the local media to choose their candidate to be awarded as the 'Darling of the Press'.

The candidates will also be competing in the swimsuit and evening gown in the Fashion Show on September 1.

On the Monday after, September 3, they will be making their courtesy visit with Mayor John Bongat at the Naga City Hall.

The Coronation Night of the Miss Bicolandia 2018 will be held on September 5, 2018, at the Jesse M. Robredo Coliseum.

The Miss Bicolandia is an official pageant event of the City Government of Naga being staged every year during the celebration of the Peñafrancia Festival. (Naga Smiles to the World)

Divsion Philippine Professional Standards for Teachers & Results-based Performance Management System Roll-out

Teachers attend the Divsion Philippine Professional Standards for Teachers & Results-based Performance Management System Roll-out. In photo are Ronald Enciso, Lilibeth Fajardo, Edna Fernandez, Lita Mijares, Yhen Umbao Dayan and Leah Resuena.

DPWH Bicol, bago an RD

RD Virgilio Eduarte

LEGAZPI CITY -- May bago nang Regional Director an DPWH sa Bicol, sa persona ni Engr. Virgilio Eduarte.

Si Eduarte iyo an nagribay ki Engr. Danilo Versola, na nag retire na sa trabaho kan Augusto 4, nin huli ta naabot na niya an compulsory age of retirement.

Si Eduarte nag asumir kan pwesto bilang DPWH RD, sa bisa kan Special Order 124, na firmado ni DPWH Secretary Mark Villar.

Antes kan bago niyang assignment sa Bicol, si Eduarte nadistino bilang Regional Director sa Region 10.

Sa intrevista kan BBS FM ki Eduarte, saiyang sinabi na kaipohan pa niya an dikit na panahon para maadalan an mga programa asin plano para magkaigwa nin maray na dalagan an sinambit na oficina, asin mapara an duda na tatagan ini kan mga tawo na imbuelto sa corruption.


Virac, nasa 'state of calamity'

Magkatabang na pinagset-up kan mga personahes kan Virac MDRRMO asin Philippine Red Cross an Water Filtration System sa salog kan barangay Hicming tanganing makaprodusir nin malinig na inumon na tubig para sa pangangaipo kan mga konstituwentes. (Go Shine Virac)
VIRAC (Bicol Standard) -- Dagos na mananggad na pig declarar na nasa lindong kan state of calamity an banwaan kan Virac, Catanduanes, nin huli sa pira nang aldaw na na-experienciahan na pagkulang-kulang nin tubig na inomon.

Nanotaran kan gobierno lokal kan Virac na nagbaba na maray an lebel kan water sources sa lugar.

Pig confirmar ni Mayor Samuel Laynes na pinirmahan na niya an resolution na nagdedeclar sa Virac na nasa lindong kan state of calamity.

Mientrastanto, sabi sa report kan Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) kan Virac, 11ng barangay councils kan Virac an nag aprobar nin resolution na naghohorot na kaipohan na magkaigwa nin siring na declarasyon.

An mga afectadong barangay iyo itong mga namumugtak sa sentro kan cabeserang banwaan na nakukua nin supply nin inomon na tubig sa duwa kan tulong water sources na iyo an Paturog asin Sibanjan.

Afuera kan kasakitan na makakua nin supply nin inomon na tubig, an mga tinanom anas nang luyos, asin an gatak kan daga risa na.

Bukbok sa NFA rice, nahale na

TABACO CITY (Bicol Standard) -- Pakalihis nin 7ng aldaw na "fumigation" asin 24 oras na pinadurosan, declarado na ngonian an 200,000 na sako nin bagas na binakal hale sa Thailand na mayo na nin bukbok, sabi kan Bureau of Plant Industry Quarantine Service (BPIQS).

Segun ki Danilo Doblon, an manager sa Bicol kan BPIQS, pwede nang i-discarga an bagas hale sa barko para iwaras na sa lokal na mercado.

An BPIQS nag inspection sa MV Emperor 1 na naka doong sa pier an Tabaco City, poon pa kan sarong aldaw.

Mismong an mga representantes kan National Food Authority sa Bicol an nag testigo sa ginibong sampling kan BPIQS sa tulong batches kan barko.

Idinagdag ni Doblon na nag gibo sinda nin rondom check asin pig resting an bagas na hale sa sako, asin napatunayan na "gadan na gabos" an bukbok.

An ginamit na "fumigant" o pan-spray, inaapod na Phosphine, na sarong chemical na nasa forma nin tabletas na iyo an pigbugtak sa lugar na nagtunaw pig patunaw sana tangani na maging "gas" na iyo an nakagadan kan buhay na peste.

Pakalihis nin pirang oras na pinadurosan an mga sinakong bagas, an sabi ni Doblon, an pig importar na bagas salvado nang kakanon.

Mientrastanto, sa enot na interview, ipinahayag ni Nelsie Alcantara, an spokesman kan NFA sa Bicol, na an shipment na ini parte kan 800,000 na sako nin imported na bagas na pig alokar para sa Bicol para ngonian na taon.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

PACC intensifies anti-corruption campaign in Bicol

PACC Chairman Dante Jimenez

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – In a sincere effort to curb corruption in the Bicol region, Usec. Marvel Clavecilla, Presidential Assistant for Bicol Affairs, gathered the members of the Regional Executives and Directors Association (REDIRAS) to meet with the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) headed by Chairman Dante Jimenez.

Jimenez started the dialogue with a brief explanation on the powers, duties, and functions of the PACC, which was formed by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte.

The PACC, under Executive Order No. 43, has the power, on complaint or motu proprio, and concurrently with the Office of the Ombudsman, to hear, investigate, receive, gather, and evaluate evidence, intelligence reports, and information in administrative cases against all presidential appointees in the Executive Branch of the government and any of its agencies or instrumentalities occupying the position of Assistant Regional Director or an equivalent rank and higher.

He said their group will work with the agencies to ensure that projects are completed, turned over, and operationalized on time to prevent undue injury not only to the government but also to the citizens.

Since July 2018, the PACC have been inspecting and conducting fact-finding investigations on government projects in Bicol which are long delayed.

These include the Bicol Medical Center building projects, Calabanga infirmary, the circumferential road at Mayon Volcano, the Naga Airport, among others, according to Jimenez.

Jimenez further noted that 37 barangay health stations in Albay have poor flooring. Said health stations were funded by the national government in an P8.1-billion project by the Department of Health Central Office.

While he said that the PACC is “not on a witch hunt,” he still warned the Regional Directors that his group will go after corrupt officials, as this is the mandate of the PACC.

He further stressed that the investigations will not be based on political affiliations.

Atty. Manuelito Luna, PACC Commissioner, for his part, urged the Regional Directors to police their own ranks by organizing internal affairs offices that will look into irregularities.

“We cannot fail the Filipino people,” Luna told the group.

Jimenez, meanwhile, said that he wants Bicol to be a model region in terms of delivering services to the constituents.

“Ako po Bicolano man, kaya gusto ko kita an pangarogan,” (I am also a Bicolano, so I want us to be the model region) he said.

Except for the Regional Director of DOLE, all Regional Directors and Executives attended the event at Avenue Plaza Hotel on Wednesday afternoon.


Naga City is shabu hotbed in Bicol—PDEA, NBI, NICA

Regional Executives and Directors Association of Bicol with the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission
NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – “I agree with the President that Naga is a hotbed of drugs,” PDEA Bicol Regional Director Christian O. Frivaldo told Chairman Dante Jimenez of the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission during the Dialogue with the Regional Executives and Directors Association (REDIRAS) Bicol held at Avenue Plaza Hotel on Wednesday.

Jimenez asked Frivaldo point blank to confirm or deny the statement that has stirred Naga City officials and residents this past week.

Frivaldo, however, qualified his answer, saying that Naga City is a hotbed of drugs in Bicol only.

He continued that as per records of their office, at least 21% of all illegal drugs seized in the region come from this city.

“Naga City serves as the distribution point,” Frivaldo said.

The illegal drugs, he added, come from Manila and Region 3, as well as Chinese and African drug syndicates.

They are distributed in the provinces of Camarines Norte, Albay, and Sorsogon, he said.

Seeking further confirmation, Jimenez also asked Regional Director Atty. Tomas B. Enrile of the National Bureau of Investigation the same question.

“I am unanimous with the PDEA. Naga is the hotbed in Bicol, but not in the entire Philippines,” Enrile said.

Jimenez also asked Chief Supt. Lito B. Pitallano, who represented Bicol PNP Regional Director Chief Supt. Arnel Escobal, who was on official travel to Manila.

Pitallano declined to give a categorical answer, because he was only representing Escobal.

Meanwhile, Regional Director Ariel B. Bernardo of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) nodded to signify his confirmation of the hotbed tag.

He even added that should other agencies need their support for additional intelligence-gathering, his office would willingly provide it.

Jimenez emphatically stated that he is deeply against the use of illegal drugs because his brother was killed by drug users.

“Sisira yan ng kabataan,” (This will ruin the youth) Jimenez said in Filipino.

It will be recalled that the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Naga City unanimously approved a resolution which expressed indignation against the tagging of Naga City as a hotbed of drugs.

President Duterte’s statement was labeled as “irresponsible” and “without factual basis” in the resolution.

The hotbed tag was “deep insult hurled against the dignity of all Nagueños,” according to the resolution.

For her part, Vice President Leni Robredo branded the tag as a personal attack on her, as she comes from Naga City.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Naga City welcomes new police chief

Senior Supt. Felix N. Servita, Jr.
NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard)—“I am here to do my job,” Senior Supt. Felix N. Servita, Jr., the new OIC Chief of the Naga City Police Office told the Bicol Standard when asked about his new assignment.

Servita, who hails from Taguig, Metro Manila, was plucked from his assignment as Director of Catanduanes Provincial Police Office to replace Senior Supt. Jonathan Panganiban.

Panganiban is now assigned at Camp Simeon Ola in Legazpi City.

“Relief and reassignment is a command prerogrative and is very normal in the police organization,” Servita said.

In fact, he said, every one or two years, he gets a new assignment.

Previously, he worked as Regional Chief of CIDG Socsargen, and also in the police offices of Masbate and Camarines Sur.

Reports earlier said that the sudden reorganization is a result of President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement that Naga City was a hotbed of illegal drugs.

However, Servita said the issue is not for him to explain.

“What I can promise you is that I will be very professional, and coordinate with stakeholders of peace and order to serve and protect Naga City,” he said.

Meanwhile, he added that because of the upcoming Penafrancia fiesta, he will call for a staff conference to discuss the security measures that will be carried out.

He also vowed to sit down with the city officials of Naga.

A graduate of the Philippine National Police Academy, Servita is married to a resident of Tabaco City.

Injured grass owl rescued in Cam Sur

Photo courtesy of Jojo Villareal
NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – The team efforts of a group of Bicolanos paved the way for a grass owl to be saved from further injury, or even death.

Jojo Villareal of the Environment Disaster Management Emergency Response Office (EDMERO) and Kaddlagan Outdoor Shop & Services narrated that the grass owl was found in an injured state at a pig sty at Barangay Hibago, Ocampo, Camarines Sur by Benjie Benetiz.

Benetiz fed and applied first aid to the bird, which appeared weak.

Sensing that the bird needed more assistance, Benetiz posted photos of the grass owl on social media.

Villareal saw the post, and immediately coordinated with EDMERO Operation Chief Joco Celebrado and EDMERO Department Head Luzena Bermeo.

The team requested for an ambulance of the Province of Camarines Sur to be dispatched to Ocampo, Camarines Sur to rescue the bird.

Meantime, his friends from abroad recommended that the help of local veterinarian Dr. Williefredo Kho be sought.

“When we got to the grass owl, it was still bleeding and its right wing was badly broken,” Villareal said.

They brought the owl to Dr. Kho, who treated the wound in his clinic in Naga City.

The next day, they turned over the owl to the office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), which brought it to the Albay Parks and Wildlife for continuous treatment.

Villareal revealed that initially, he did not expect the EDMERO to respond to the incident, as the group is trained and experienced in rescuing victims of accidents.

However, he was heartened to note that the team believed the bird deserved to be given attention.

“Naisip ko na lang na tama man na igwa pa mga tao talaga sa Pilipinas na nag mamakulog man sa satuyang kalikasan na dapat pangarugan kan kadaklan po,” (I realized that it’s good that there are still people in the Philippines who are still concerned with the environment. They should be emulated by others.) Villareal said.

Photo courtesy of Jojo Villareal

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Bicolano artists gather in region's biggest art exhibit

WORLD OF ART. More than 1,000 paintings, photographs, and sculptures are on display at SM City Naga for the ongoing "Art for Everyone", Bicol's largest art exhibit in its entire history. (Photo by Melissa Basmayor)

NAGA CITY -- An exhibit dubbed “Art for Everyone” gathered over 1,000 paintings from top caliber and emerging visual artists from Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Albay, and Sorsogon at SM City Naga’s Activity Center on Tuesday.

Naga City Mayor John Bongat graced the opening of the event, considered as the biggest held so far in Bicol. He said the exhibit is a unique chance to showcase the region's rich culture through various oil, acrylic, watercolor, mixed media, sculpture, and photography pieces.

“Bicolano visual artists have a plethora of talents that are just waiting to be recognized. It is high time that we give importance to them as they are ambassadors of culture,” he told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Pancho Piano, an internationally-renowned Bicolano visual artist, expressed hope that the event would provide more opportunities to local artists to share their work to the community.

“We are not only showcasing art here; we are making history,” he said.

Piano is the president and founder of Salingoy Art Group, which partnered with SM in organizing the biggest art exhibit in the history of the Bicol region.

In his speech, Piano expressed his gratitude to SM Supermalls, for the unique opportunity for Bicolano artists to congregate in one big event.

The region has been seeing a boom in the art scene, as shown by the string of art exhibits and other art-related events held in its cities and towns.

"Art for Everyone" will run until September 2 at the SM City Naga. (PNA)

Monday, August 27, 2018

"Kiss mark," causa kan pag suicide sa Daraga, Albay

DARAGA, Albay 8/27/18 (BICOL STANDARD) -Makuring pag selos an posibleng rason kan pag suicide kan lalaki kan maheling niya na an liog kan saiyang kasaroan na igwa nin "kiss mark" sa lawas asin daghan.

Ini an report na naka abot sa mga awtoridad kun nata ta nagdecidir an 20 anyos na lalaki na tapuson na lugod an saiyang buhay.

An biktima taga Brgy. Salvacion, sa banwaan na ini.

Pinangaranan sa police report na an gadan na iyo si Raymundo Aperin y Medina, residente kan Arimbay, Legazpi City.

Alagad siya nag eestar na ngonian sa Brgy. Salvacion, digdi.

Nagluwas sa imbestigasyon na mina abot pa sana an biktima hale sa Laguna.

Poon kan maheling kan lalaki an "kiss mark" sa saiyang ka live-in, nagpoon na si saindang pag iwal.

Pirang oras sana an naka agi, an biktima nagparainom nin alak, asin kan burat na nagbitay kan saiyang sadire, na iyo an causa kan saiyang kagadanan.

Driver nin habal-habal, binadil sa Libon, Albay

LIBON, Albay 8/27/18 (BICOL STANDARD) - Gadan an sarong driver nin habal-habal kan siya badilon kan dai nabistong suspechado, mantang nahuhuron buda an saiyang agom kan Sabadong bangui sa Brgy. Villa Petrona, digdi.

Sabi sa report kan pulis, nabisto an biktima na iyo si Ramon Borromeo y Advincula, 50 anyos, taga Zone 6, kan sinambit na barangay.

Segun sa imbestigasyon, an incidente nangyari alas 7:30 nin bangui, mientras na an biktima nagduduyag sa kubo na kataning sana kan harong ninda.

Kan mangyari an krimen, nag eestoryahan an biktima asin an saiyang agom kan mag abot an dai bistadong lalaki na nagrani sainda.

Basta na sanang binadil si Borromeo kan suspechado, gamit an kalibre .45 na badil.

Dead on the spot an biktima nin huli sa tulong tama nin bala sa man laen-laen na parte kan saiyang lawas.

Nakakua an mga imbestigador nin sarong baseyo nin bala pinangyarihan kan incidente. (Ni Vince Villar)

2ng ginadan sa Albay, dai pa bisto an suspechado

CAMALIG, Albay 8/27/18 - (BICOL STANDARD) Blanko pa an pulis sagkod ngonian kun sisay an mga suspechado sa duwang magkasunod na pambabadil na nagresulta sa pagkagadannin duwang tawo digdi kan Viernes asin Sabado, kan nagtalikod na semana.

An enot na binadil iyo si Roberto Montecalbo y Manzanero, tanod sa Brgy. Magogon, na ginadan kan Viernes na bangui.

Sabi ni PSI Alan Concepcion, Deputy Chief of Police digdi, na hasta ngonian nagtitipon pa sinda nin mga evidencia sa nangyaring krimen.

An pamilya kan biktima may declarasyon sa pulis na  nagluwas sa saindang harong si ama ninda ta may nag-aapod kan saiyang pangaransa luwas kan saindang residencia.

Pirang minutos sana an nakalihis, nakadangog sinda nin surunod na putok nin badil.

Dai naghaloy naaraman ninda na si saiyang ama iyo palan an tinadtad nin bala.

May tama sa payo asin lawas an saiyang ama, na iyong ikinagadan.

Sa saro pang krimen, binadil man si Apolinario Blazo na taga Brgy. Del Rosario, digdi.

An mga nagsisiyasat kan mga casong ini nagsabi na dai pa sindang mga evidencia na pwedeng makatukdo kun sisay an responsable sa krimen.

Pig aaram ngonian  kan mga awtoridad kun an serye nin garadanan digdi iyo an resulta kan nag-iinit na ralaban kan mga soldados asin pulis kan gobierno kalaban an mga rebeldeng miembros kan New People's Army (NPA).

Kan nakalihis na semana, duwang soldados an binadil, gadan, sa Brgy. Panoypoy sa banwaan na ini.

May  saro pang civilian an ginadan pakalihis sana nin duwang aldaw. (Ni Vince Villar)

Sunday, August 26, 2018

4 katawo binadil ngonian sa Masbate, gabos gadan

MASBATE CITY (BICOL STANDARD) — Apat (4) na tawo an binadil, gadan sa duwang separadong krimen na nangyari kasubago (Aug 26), sa Provincia kan Masbate.

Segun sa report, alas 12:35 kasubago, si Ret. SPO2 Rommel Borromeo y Genova, 58 anyos, dating Intel Operative kan RMFB5, asin si Antonio Barsaga y Cantoria, 65 anyos, retiradong security guard, an inambush sa Sitio Danta, Brgy. Calipatan, San Jacinto, Masbate.

Dai nabisto an mga imbuelto sa pag gadan sa mga biktima, alagad, pig tutubodan na mga miembros kan New People's Army (NPA).

Sabi kan mga imbestigador, hinapaan an mga biktima sa dalan, kan dai aram na numero nin mga rebelde, dangan pinabuag an bomba na itinaon sa agihan.

Pakatapos nin makusog na pagputok kan bomba, nagpa-arakasak nin badil an mga NPA, na iyo an naging causa kan kagadanan ninda Borromeo asin Barsaga.

Tinadtad nin bala an saindang lawas na naging causa kan saindang kagadanan.

Inabotan kan mga pulis na nagkakarigos sa saindang dugo an mga ginadan.

Mientrastanto, idinagdag kan mga imbestigador na sa lugar man na ini inambush si PO3 Noly Bartolay, kan Abril 16, 2018. 

Kan Mayo 6, 2018, may makusog na bomba an pinaputok sa kapareyong lugar.

May nakuang 52 na capsula nin bala an mga awtoridad hale sa 5.56mm, 10ng pidaso nin 5.56 na dai nagbutok na bala; asin 55 metros na color itom na TW detonating wire, sa pinangyarihan kan krimen.

Liga kan mga barangay President, kaiba, binadil man, pareyo gadan.

Mientrastanto, binadil man kasuodma an duwa pang lalaki sa Brgy. Daraga, Placer, Masbate.

Nangyari ini alas 6:00 nin bangui, ngonian.

An mga biktika iyo sinda Rommie Bagaan, asin si Eric Tupas, Punong barangay kan Brgy. Luna, Placer, Masbate, asin iyo an Presidente kan Liga ng mga barangay sa banwaan kan Placer, Masbate.

Dai nabisto an duwang lalaki na nagbadil sainda.

Segun sa imbestigador an mga biktima nakalunad sa motorsiklo, hale sa Poblacion, Placer, pasiring sa Brgy. Daraga, kan inabayan sinda nin duwa man na lalaki, na nakalunad man sa motorsiklo.

Kan matungodan na an mga biktima kan mga kriminal, bigla na sana sindang binadil asin tinamaan sa man laen-laen na parte kan saindang lawas.

Nagadan si Bagaan asin Tupas sa lugar na pinangyarihan kan krimen.

Pig aaram pa kan pulis kun ano an motibo kan pag gadan sa sainda.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

2 dead in Nabua buy-bust

NABUA, Camarines Sur (Bicol Standard) – Two persons were killed in a buy-bust operation Friday afternoon at Zone 1, Barangay Dolorosa, this town.

They were identified as Joselito Namia, a resident of Nabua, and Eric Escolano, a resident of Naga City.

The authorities said the suspects sensed they were transacting with a police officer, which prompted them to pull out their firearms and shoot at the apprehending officers.

The police responded by immobilizing the suspects.

The Scene of the Crime Operatives are currently processing the scene, the Nabua police said.

Friday, August 24, 2018

VM Legacion expects VP Leni, Mayor Bongat to keep their word to support him

Naga City Vice Mayor Nelson Legacion

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – “I am expecting VP Leni, Mayor John Bongat, and other local leaders to keep their word to support me in the upcoming mayoralty election,” Naga City Vice Mayor Nelson Legacion revealed.

This after news broke out that Councilor Nene de Asis has said that she is eyeing the mayoralty post.

In an interview over radio station 91.9 BBS DWLV FM, Legacion emphatically said in Bicol: “Inaasahan ko pong papanindugan ninda an orolay,” he said.

He was referring to earlier public pronouncements of Vice President Leni Robredo, Mayor John Bongat, punong barangays, and barangay kagawads, as early as February this year, that they will support his candidacy.

He also mentioned that despite de Asis’s announcement, many local leaders and organizations have been assuring him of their support.

“I personally consulted the local leaders as well as the former councilors of Naga who remain important to Team Naga on whether I should continue with the candidacy. I have received positive responses regarding my query,” he explained.

He also pointed out that in 2013, he and de Asis already squared off in a survey after the two of them were considered for the vice mayoralty post.

“At that time, the group selected me over her,” Legacion stressed.

4 cops hurt in Masbate ambush

AMBUSHED. Policemen inspect the vehicle used by four of their colleagues who were injured in an ambush by suspected New People's Army (NPA) members in Barangay Biyong, Masbate City on Friday, August 24, 2018. (Photo by PNP-PIO 5)
By Jorge Hallare and Mar Serrano Arguelles

LEGAZPI CITY -- At least four policemen were injured in an ambush by suspected New People's Army (NPA) members in Barangay Biyong, Masbate City Friday morning, a police spokesperson said.

"The policemen were to attend a symposium on anti-drug abuse council in Barangay Malinta in Masbate City," said Chief Inspector Maria Luisa Calubaquib, spokesperson of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Bicol.

Those wounded were identified as Senior Police Officer 2 (SPO2) Ariel Espiel, and Police Officers 2 Leo Michael Azares, Melman Rapsing and Rosalito Apoya II, all members of the Masbate City police force. They were rushed to the Masbate Doctors Hospital for treatment.

Calubaquib said the police officers were on board their vehicle and were heading to Barangay Malinta around 7:30 in the morning when an improvised explosive device set up by the rebels exploded along the road, injuring the lawmen in different parts of their body.

"A brief gunfire was heard after the policemen returned fire," she added.

Members of Masbate City Police and Police Provincial Office immediately proceeded to the ambush site but the insurgents had already fled to the mountainous area of the said village before they arrived.

Police operatives are now conducting a pursuit operation against the rebels. (PNA)

Balutan: TRAIN law no effect to PCSO’s gaming public

Revenues from lotto products including digit games continue to increase with a total earnings of P5.2B in July, up by 18.66% despite the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) General Manager Alexander Balutan revealed on Thursday.

“The trust and confidence of PCSO’s gaming public remains high. Maraming-maraming salamat po mga kababayan sa patuloy na pagtangkilik sa ating mga produktong lotto, lalong-lalo na itong ating Small Town Lottery o STL,” Balutan said.

According to him, the overall sales of Lotto and other digit games have already earned P5,249,195,898, an increase of 18.66 percent compared with the same period last year.

“Topping the list when it comes to revenues for the month of July is Lotto and digit games at P2,591,971,830, however it was down by 3.64 percent compared to the same period last year. As against the Small Town Lottery (STL) revenues at P1,955,344,092, which is an increase of 57.94 percent compared with same period last year,” Balutan reported.

Keno reportedly earned P398,660,720, but was down by 13.74 percent and Instant Sweepstakes Ticket with P77,255,000, which was up by 100 percent, both were compared with the same period last year.

“Even though we increased the ticket prices from P20.00 to P24.00 due to our Documentary Stamp Tax (DST), people are still patronizing our products hoping they could finally hit the jackpot,” Balutan added.

Balutan said the agency regularly conducts market studies and researches to determine the reactions of the gaming public.

“So far as for the ticket price increase, there’s no ‘significant’ negative reaction [from the gaming public]. The gaming public continues to patronize our products because it is jackpot-driven. The higher the jackpot-prize, the higher the sales,” Balutan said.

Among all Lotto products, Ultra Lotto had the highest revenues as of July with P534,473,580, an increase of 91.24 percent compared with the same period last year.

As of this writing, no winner yet for the P406.1-million jackpot prize for Ultra Lotto 6/58 since February.

When Balutan assumed the position as general manager in September 2016, the agency is only earning P37.4 billion a year vis-à-vis the revenue by the end of 2017, which was at P52.9 billion.

“With the P15 billion revenue increase annually, the agency is targeting to P55 to 60 billion total revenues by the end of the year,” Balutan said.

The PCSO Charter, or RA 1169, particularly on revenue allocation, provides that the revenue of the PCSO shall be allocated to 55 percent for prize fund (payment of prizes), 30 percent for charity fund (various charity programs and service) and 15 percent as operating fund (maintenance and operating expenses).

“We are serving 1,200 patients daily, and this is including the patients coming from 63 PCSO branches and 62 partner-hospitals with ASAP (At-Source-Ang-Processing) desks nationwide. This is where the 30 percent for Charity Fund of the gross income of PCSO goes,” Balutan explained.

For the first semester this year, Balutan revealed that the agency has already spent P20 million a day for hospitalization, request for medicines, transplant/implant, chemotherapy, and dialysis, serving 400,000 patients.

Balutan credited the increase of the overall PCSO revenue to the cooperation of the top management and employees, leadership by example, incorruptible stance against all forms of illegal numbers and gaming, and of course, the support of the gaming public.

“Parati nating tinututukan ang ating gaing public dahil ito ang lifeline ng PCSO. ‘Pag nawalan ng tiwala ang gaming public, mawawalan tayo ng kita. Kaya sinisikap natin maging transparent sa lahat ng accomplishments ng PCSO. Inilalathala natin ‘yan sa newspaper kung magkano kinita ng PCSO, saan napunta, anung mga projects, at ilan ang na-generate na mga jobs,” Balutan said.

“The data can speak for itself. ‘Yan ang ginagawa namin para manatili ang tiwala ng publiko sa ating gaming products,” he added.

EDUCO condemns burning of students’ bags in viral video at CamSur school, cites act as child abuse

LEGAZPI CITY—EDUCO Philippines condemns the burning of students’ bags at Bicol Central Academy (BCA), a private school in Libmanan, Camarines Sur. The incident was reported to be ordered by Alexander James Jaucian after students failed to comply with “no-bag” policy for the school’s event.

A disturbing video of the BCA owner and administrator James Jaucian ordering and overseeing the burning of student’s bags went viral last Friday, August 17. According to reports, Jaucian was motivated to such a dangerous and damaging action simply because the students were not wearing the proper attire for a school event. The day after the incident, the video had caught the attention of the Department of Education.

EDUCO lauds the Regional Director Gilbert Sadsad and the DepEd Bicol for their quick action resulting to a 90-day suspension of the said school owner just days after the video was published. The Department’s child protection policy, as stated in DepEd Order No. 40 of 2012, upholds zero-tolerance for any act of abuse, exploitation, violence, discrimination, bullying, and other forms of abuse.

“EDUCO joins other organizations, local governments, individuals and concerned citizens in condoning the act, and calls for a transparent investigation over the incident,” Program Manager Eleanor Peña speaking in behalf of the organization.

EDUCO further urges the agencies concerned and capable, local governments and civil society organizations in the community to reach out to the students and their families to offer support in dealing with traumatic experience and replenishing the school supplies destroyed.

We call on all schools, both private and public academic institutions—and especially BCA—to uphold DepEd’s child protection policy, strengthen referral mechanisms, invest in trainings, and engage students and parents on child protection.

According to Peña, “We urge students, schools, and communities to report any forms of abuse in the future, regardless of whether they were caught on video or not. At EDUCO we work with the duty bearers, both in schools and communities in promoting the rights and interests of children in a way that it creates an enabling environment that respects their dignity, enjoy their rights and responsibilities, and live in a society free from violence.”

At present, EDUCO has trained hundreds of teachers on positive discipline in everyday teaching. It provides teachers the tools to view pupils in a larger context and equips them with techniques on discipline that does not harm the child in any way.

EDUCO Philippines views all acts of corporal punishment as child abuse and all responsible as will be found out upon the conclusion of DepEd’s investigation be held accountable and receive proper intervention. “Such action no matter what the motivation, compromises the rights and wellbeing of children,” adds Peña.

‘Uncultured’ celebrates Bicol contemporary art

Photo contributed by John Rick Miranda
LEGAZPI CITY (Bicol Standard) -- Local creatives recently converged in a celebration of contemporary art at Galleria de Embarcadero, this city.

Dubbed “Uncultured,” the event which opened on August 18, calls into question the notion of the arts and other displays of human intellectual achievement.

Among the participating artists are Dufang, Ako kalag Burabod Artists, Paul Anthony Silo, George Vibar, Ronaldo Bajaro, Ariel Art Borlagdan, Neil Jordan Jerusalem, Troy Carreras, Glenda Navera, John Rick Miranda, Vicky Balunzo, Emman Climaco, Pat Noveno, Djai Tanji, Joyce Cuadra, Dennis Concepcion, Andrea Karlsan Zapanta, Dan Vincent Barotilla, Harold Gomez, Cris Fragata-Gomez, Lemuel Nunez, Grace Guamos, Rigeen Ian Navera, Benny Santayana, Hernan Gamba, and Cyrill Severo.

Apart from the visual art exhibit, musical performances were featured at the event’s opening.

"Uncultured" is but one of the series of arts-related events happening in the Bicol region, which is presently experiencing a boom in art appreciation. (Photos by John Rick Miranda)

PRDP empowers Sea Patrol in Prieto Diaz coastal waters

by Annielyn L. Baleza, DA-RAFIS V

“Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.” This is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to Transform the World.

With the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP), Carayat Seaweed Farmers’ Association chairperson Candelaria Esplana is now ready to take the challenge and contribute in achieving this goal.

Esplana is an active member of the Bantay Dagat or Sea Patrol, a community-based, volunteer organization under the Department of Agriculture Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA BFAR) that collaborates with local and national government units to protect municipal waters against illegal fishing up to 15 kilometers from shore since 2015.

When PRDP delivered the motorized fiberglass boat on July 19, 2018, Esplana had triple reasons for rejoicing. First, because the association may now use it for project monitoring and hauling of harvested seaweeds, secondly, for additional income generation from fishing during off season and thirdly, as a patrol boat to curb illegal fishing in their coastal waters.

“Yung mga nag-iillegal nagpapahirap sa mga fisherfolk kasi sa halip na dumami yung mga isda, binobomba at nilalason nila ng cyanide, paunti ng paunti yung mga isda (Fisherfolk suffer from illegal fishers. Fish species continue to decrease),” she said.

Esplana also shared that transient illegal fishers oftentimes cut the ropes in their seaweed farm using three-ply fishnet. According to her, they do this to catch fish that thrive under the seaweeds.

“Nagpapasalamat talaga kami sa PRDP na nabigyan kami ng bangka. Magagamit namin ito hindi lamang sa pag-momonitor ng aming taniman ng seaweeds puwede din namin ito magamit sa pag-iikot sa mga nag-iillegal sa karagatan ng Prieto Diaz (We are thankful to PRDP that we were given this boat. We can use this not only in monitoring our seaweed farm but also in protecting the coastal waters of Prieto Diaz against illegal fishers),” she added.

PRDP is a six-year development project being implemented by the Department of Agriculture to establish an inclusive, market-oriented and climate-resilient agri-fishery sector nationwide.

NFA fumigates 186k bags of imported rice in Albay

FUMIGATION. The National Food Authority (NFA)-Bicol is currently fumigating 186,000 bags of rice from Thailand that are still loaded on a cargo ship docked at the Tabaco Port, and which were found to have bugs locally known as "bukbok". (Photo courtesy of NFA Albay)

By Jorge Hallare

LEGAZPI CITY -- The National Food Authority (NFA) in Bicol bared on Wednesday that 186,000 bags of rice from Thailand still on board a cargo ship in Tabaco City are currently undergoing fumigation procedure after bugs called “bukbok” were discovered in them, a top official of NFA-Albay said.

"Normal na talaga na merong kulisap or bukbok na makikita natin sa mga bigas kaya andyan yung mga expert natin from NFA, DA and the pest control personnel to check the quality assurance ng idenideliber na bigas. Kahit sa ating mga warehouses ay normal na rin na nakikita ang mga pesteng ito kaya we're always doing fumigation. (It is normal to have insects in our rice, that's why we have experts from NFA, DA (Department of Agriculture) and pest control personnel to check the quality of rice. Even in our warehouses, it is normal to have these that's why we do fumigation)," said Engr. Alan Sabaybay, NFA provincial manager.

He noted that the said volume of rice forms part of the total 200,000 bags that recently arrived in Albay from Thailand.

The pests were observed after they were able to unload 14,000 sacks from the cargo ship, Sabaybay said.

"We have to temporarily stop the unloading after discovering that insects were crawling on top of piles of rice sacks inside the cargo vessel," he said.

"We are hopeful that the 186,000 bags of imported rice from Thailand on board a cargo vessel docked off Tabaco Port which were earlier discovered to have 'kulisap or bokbok' will be unloaded on the first week of September," he added.

The cargo ship from Thailand arrived last August 7 but because of unfavorable weather condition, the unloading only started last week, lasting only for two days until pests were seen crawling on some bags of rice.

Sabaybay said the fumigation process could be finished on September 1 or 2, after which the unloading process could resume.

Aside from the 200,000 bags of rice that arrived at Tabaco Port, another cargo ship loaded with 164,000 bags of rice from Thailand is expected to arrive on August 25. (PNA)

DSWD-5 alerts public on text scam

LEGAZPI CITY—DSWD warns the public against text messages circulating from an impostor of Regional Director Arnel Garcia asking for cellphone load, money and booking hotels and catering services.

The first case was reported directly to Dir. Garcia last August 11, 2018 by his colleague, Regional Director Evelyn Macapobre of DSWD Central Visayas who clarified a query sent from another government official if he has transacted with a caterer. According to her, his impostor arrived with other guests requesting for PhP500.00 load cards for 11 persons.

Dir. Garcia immediately debunked these false requests by posting on his personal Facebook account claiming that he has never asked any favor from anyone.

“Do not entertain the scammers and individuals with doubtful identities who use my name to contact other government officials for their ulterior motives,” he said.

The DSWD Region V already reported the scammer’s details to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) who used the following mobile numbers: 0999 693 8760‬, 09274267919.

The impostor almost victimized the Local Social Welfare and Development Offices (LSWDOs) and other public officials of Bohol, Bukidnon, Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, Romblon, Benguet, Ilocos Norte, Nueva Vizcaya, Bacolod, Pampanga, Palawan, Quezon and Dumaguete City.

Dir. Garcia apologized to the victims of the scam and requested public’s vigilance to validate and immediately report if there are similar occurrences.

“You can reach our Official Facebook Fan Page: @dswdfo5 or call: (052) 820-1309,” he said.

EDITORIAL | Protecting children

Bicol Central Academy Administrator James Jaucian’s apology for having torched the bags of students comes at an opportune time, as DepEd holds the National Child Protection Summit this week.

This development is a timely reminder of the vulnerabilities of children against issues such as abuse, exploitation, violence, discrimination and bullying.

As DepEd Bicol Regional Director Gilbert Sadsad points out, the Department’s utmost priority is “to provide a safe, nurturing and free-from-fear learning environment to students, as well as to teachers and other personnel at the school level.”

Therefore, DepEd adopts a policy of zero tolerance against such abuse, in the hope that no child, teacher, or member of the personnel, has to endure such unfortunate practices.

RD Sadsad’s immediate action on the Libmanan incident is proof of this zero tolerance policy. This is proof that in the Bicol region, DepEd is serious not only about complying with the government directive, but also in doing what is just and proper.

In this case, what was just and proper necessarily involved the recommendation of reimbursement for the damaged personal properties, as well as stress debriefing for the students who might have been traumatized by the incident.

Meantime, what has happened is also proof that students today are aware of their rights, and in their words, “will not back down,” even if it means going to the proper authorities to report what they believe is a violation on the part of the school administrator.

Still, a lot needs to be done. What we need is to prevent these incidents of abuse from happening in the first place, and that warrants a lot of effort not only from the DepEd, but also from the private sector and local leaders. It is high time we educate ourselves on how to treat children, who at their impressionable age, will likely pattern their behavior on how we behave as adults.

Mayor Deleña slapped with 60-day suspension

PILI, Camarines Sur (Bicol Standard) — Camarines Sur Gov. Miguel Luis R. Villafuerte has implemented a 60-day preventive suspension against Presentacion Municipal Mayor Jimmy P. Deleña for Gross neglect of duty, inefficiency, and incompetence in the performance of official duties, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

This suspension order stemmed from the complaint by Florito C. Pabia, Jr. filed with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Camarines Sur.

It was based on the findings made by the Commission on Audit (COA) where Deleña failed to exercise the diligence of a good father of a family in supervising accountable officers under his control thus resulting in gross irregularities in the matter of disbursement of public funds of the municipality of Presentacion to the prejudice of said town.The complainant cited the COA report, which was duly noted by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, as follows:

1. Cash advances amounting to P35.61-million as of December 31, 2015, which amount remains unliquidated as of December 31, 2017

2. Disbursement vouchers amounting to P11.920-million which were not submitted to the COA until December 31, 2017

3. Undeposited collections by accountable officers amounting to P3.277-million, the same amount remained undeposited

4. Inventory count of property, plant and equipment valued at P17-million and inventory valued at P4.208-million

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Camarines Sur has recommended to Gov. Migz Villafuerte to issue the order of preventive suspension against Deleña pursuant to Sec. 63, (a)(2) of the Local Government Code of 1991.

The said order was signed by Gov. Villafuerte on August 14, and was implemented on August 17, 2018.

While Deleña is suspended, Vice Mayor Emon Goyena will assume as Mayor of said town by operation of law.

Gov. Pimentel urges youth: Avail of scholarship grants

DAET, Camarines Norte (Bicol Standard) -- The Provincial Government of Camarines Norte, led by Gov. Jonah Pimentel, is calling on the youth to avail of the scholarships offered through the Provincial Government High School Educational Assistance Program (PGHSEAP).

Earlier this week, Pimentel said that Grade 7 students who are entering Junior High School who are determined to study but lack funds for education may avail of said program.

Qualified to apply are those whose families earn a monthly income of P10,000.00 and below, he explained.

“I have always believed in the potential of our youth in Camarines Norte. Many of them, unfortunately, do not have the money to continue their studies, which is lamentable, as education unlocks many opportunities in life,” Pimentel said.

It is therefore my mission as governor to assist these members of our youth through the help of the Community Affairs Office,” he said.

Interested applicants may visit the Community Affairs Office at the second floor of the Provincial Capitol for further details.

Since 2015, at least 1,800 indigent youth have availed of the scholarship program, which was started by then Gov. Edgardo A. Tallado, and was continued by Gov. Jonah Pimentel.


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Jaucian breaks silence on bag-burning issue

LIBMANAN, Camarines Sur (Bicol Standard) – After having been admonished by the Bicol Central Academy (BCA)’s Board of Directors, Alexander James D. Jaucian finally broke his silence on the bag-burning incident.

“I have been directed to conduct a conference with the parents and DepEd officials; apologize for the unfortunate event; reimburse all damaged items at my own personal expense; serve 90 days of suspension without pay; and voluntarily submit to a development program,” he said in his letter addressed to DepEd Regional Director Gilbert Sadsad.

He read the same communication in the dialogue with the parents and DepEd officials earlier today.

For his part, Regional Director Sadsad recommended the following:

1. For every parent to submit an inventory of the properties damaged with the corresponding valued amount

2. For Mr. Jaucian to pay the amount to the parents or students

3. To coordinate for the stress debriefing of the grade 11 students, particularly those who were affected

4. For Mr. Jaucian to file a leave of absence from the school, not only for 90 days, but long enough to provide time for the students to recover from the trauma

Meanwhile, Sadsad stressed that DepEd Bicol will continue to look into the possibility of the revocation of the permit to operate for the BCA’s Senior High School program.

After the dialogue, stress debriefing as psychosocial first aid was conducted by the DepEd guidance counselors to the affected students.

The possibility of filing criminal charges against Jaucian has not yet been tackled during the dialogue.

Jaucian, apart from being the school administrator, is also a member of the Provincial Board of Camarines Sur, representing the second district.


BMC building project still on track--Dr. Litam

Dr. Ma. Estrella Litam
Bicol Standard file photo
NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – Bicol Medical Center (BMC) Chief Maria Estrella B. Litam made an exception to the media report that she was remiss in the performance of her function that triggered the delay in the completion of the 1.2-billion BMC building projects.

Interviewed by the Bicol Standard, Dr. Litam confidently said: “We are still on track.”

Design and build

She pointed out that one of the reasons for the delay is the fact that this is a design and build project.

A design and build project involves employing the service of a contractor to execute on paper first the design and later build the actual project.

“This is not an ordinary building,” she stressed. “There is complexity and necessary consultation with the end users.”

Apart from this, there were several failure of bid incidents in the past.

“This is precisely because we are complying with the law and not rigging the bidding,” she said.

It is also not true that the buildings have been inaugurated twice, contrary to earlier reports, she said.

For one, the ER Center, which was completed on July 2017, was only energized earlier this year.

It already has partial occupancy on the first floor.

White elephant?

It will be recalled that Dr. Litam was recently the subject of harsh criticism after Presidential Adviser on Bicol Affairs Usec. Marvel Clavecilla informed the media in a press conference that they are looking into the “undue delay” in the completion of the the P1.2-billion building projects.

Clavecilla called the projects a “white elephant,” since the buildings reportedly have been left unused for a considerable time.

Litam, however, emphasized that when she assumed office, the construction was already delayed.

“With effort and prayers, I am hoping this will be finished in the soonest time possible,” she concluded.

Cigarettes with fake BIR seals seized in Cam Sur

Photo courtesy of Mike Gravito

PASACAO, Camarines Sur (Bicol Standard) -- At least 23 boxes of cigarettes with alleged fake Bureau of Internal Revenue seals were intercepted by the Philippine Coast Guard in this town en route from Naga City to Pasacao.

The cigarette boxes were estimated to have a value of P690,000.00, according to the Coast Guard.

The investigation revealed that the boxes were to be brought to San Pascual, Masbate.

Authorities arrested Esteban Panuelos De Luna, 44 years old, a resident of San Isidro, Goa, Camarines Sur, the driver of the van in which the cigarettes were loaded.

Intelligence sources say the distribution of said cigarettes has long been under the close watch of government agents, after reports that cigarettes sold at a much cheaper price were being peddled in small store in the area, as well as adjacent communities.

The cigarette packs were clandestinely wrapped in gas stove boxes and garbage bags. (With additional report from Mike Gravito)

Masbate OKs FOI ordinance

Masbate Sangguniang Panlalawigan
Photo courtesy of Vice Gov. Kaye Revil
MASBATE CITY (Bicol Standard) – The Province of Masbate has approved the Freedom of Information ordinance in light of President Duterte’s drive towards good governance through a transparent and accountable administration.

This was confirmed by Vice Governor Kaye Revil, who sponsored the initiative, which was also duly supported by all the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan in this week’s session.

Revil said: “The right of the people to information on matters of public concern is guaranteed no less than in our Constitution. In all transactions involving public interest, a policy of full public disclosure, subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law is adopted & meant to be implemented.”

“This significant local legislation of our Province, making us 3rd in the country to pass the same would give us a brand new light that in Masbate, your public officials are serious about change & good governance,” she noted.


DepEd to conduct National Child Protection Summit 2018

The Department of Education (DepEd), in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Philippines and Child Protection Network Foundation, Inc. will gather youth representatives, teachers, guidance counselors, school heads, child rights advocates, and other education stakeholders from various government and non-government organizations for the National Child Protection Summit 2018 on August 23 and 24 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

Anchored on the theme “Bata, Bata, Ating Kinakalinga: Strengthening the Implementation of the Child Protection Policy.”” this summit aims to give the participants an opportunity to identify strategies that will further advance the implementation of the DepEd Order No. 40, s. 2012, or the Child Protection Policy, and thereby promote the best interest of all school children.

The Summit shall serve as a venue for the participants to gain knowledge on the issues and challenges encountered by schools in implementing the policy; for experts and child care practitioners to share their insights on the vulnerabilities that children encounter; for partners to share promising practices on child protection; and for all stakeholders to identify areas of priority action and further collaboration to help strengthen the Child Protection Policy of zero tolerance against all acts of child abuse, exploitation, violence, discrimination and bullying.

Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones iterated that one of the topmost priorities of the Department is to provide a safe, nurturing and free-from-fear learning environment to students, as well as to teachers and other personnel at the school level, and this gathering of champions in child protection will help the Department in ensuring this.

“DepEd actively promotes for a safe and conducive learning environment, not just for our learners but also for our teachers and other employees. We, in DepEd, continue to partner with different stakeholders in conducting efforts geared toward achieving this mandate, and an improved basic education system in our country,” Briones stated.

“UNICEF congratulates DepEd for taking a leadership role in this gathering, which is a very timely milestone in the landmark initiative that the Philippines has become a model in operationalizing the global INSPIRE strategies. We will continue to support DepEd and the Philippine Government in implementing the laws, addressing social norms, creating safe spaces for children, providing parent and caregiver support, strengthening families’ economic situation, providing support and response services, and empowering children and youth with key life-skills,” said UNICEF Philippines Representative Lotta Sylwander.

Furthermore, this activity responds to the targets of the Philippine Plan of Action to End Violence Against Children for 2017-2022, which stipulates that the Department has a stake in reducing the prevalence of violence against children. It is DepEd’s mandate to create a learning environment that is safe and conducive to the education of all children, one that respects, protects, fulfills, and upholds their rights.

DepEd’s Office of the Undersecretary for Planning and Field Operations and Office of the Undersecretary for Legal Affairs are grateful for the support and technical assistance provided by its partners and stakeholders in child protection.

List of Mr. Bicolandia 2018 candidates

The 20 official candidates of the Mr. Bicolandia pageant have been named.

They are:

▪️Rey Mendina-Tabaco City, Albay
▪️Rey Kristian Jiz de Ortega-Paracale, Cam.Norte
▪️Gerald Dela Cruz-Gubat, Sorsogon
▪️Michael Franco Bertumen-Pili,Cam.Sur
▪️Romeo Tarim, Jr.-Tiwi, Albay
▪️Mark Angelo Avila-Naga City
▪️Joshua Jame Diño-Pili, Cam.Sur
▪️Neil Kenneth Green-San Jose,Cam.Sur
▪️Marjon Aniel-Daet,Cam.Norte
▪️Mark Anthony Chiao-Gubat, Sorsogon
▪️Mark Francis Alarcon-Goa,Cam.Sur
▪️Royd Neil Salceda-Polangui,Albay
▪️Jude Dave Nocido-Daraga,Albay
▪️Karlo Pineda-Legazpi City, Albay
▪️John Albert Celencio-Pasacao,Cam.Sur
▪️Jezerel Sto. Domingo,Jr.-Balatan,Cam.Sur
▪️Roi Salva-Libmanan,Cam.Sur
▪️Ricky Luna-Pasacao, Cam.Sur
▪️Jomar Castillo-Tabaco City,Albay
▪️John Carlo Sargento-Naga City

A social advocacy initiative, Mr. Bicolandia 2018 aims to give service to the community.

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