Saturday, February 24, 2018

EDUCO promotes mother tongue-based education

Commemorating International Mother Tongue Day , EDUCO stresses that teaching in a pupil’s own language is fundamental for reducing educational failure.

Mikel Egibar, Head of Education at EDUCO, insists that “when a child learns in a language that is the official language in the country and not the one spoken by his or her family, educational failure is considerably higher."

Forty 40% of the world population does not have access to education in their mother tongue according to UNESCO data. This figure includes more than 221 million primary school children. Egibar explains that “when children do not study in their mother tongue, they find it harder to learn, pass exams and participate in class. This leads to a loss in confidence and a lack of self-esteem because they don’t seetheir efforts rewarded”. Given this situation, EDUCO has been developing and supporting mother tongue educational programs in countries including the Philippines.

In the Philippines more than 170 languages are spoken, but most primary school children study in English or Tagalog, the two official languages. This often results in children not understanding what is being explained in the classroom. For this reason, EDUCO works in 192 schools in the country, promoting teacher training to enable them to teach in their pupils’ languages, and the creation of educational material and books written in their language.

The Education Department’s Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) Program was first introduced in 2009. It’s currently on its second phase. While it has encountered challenges in implementation, it is improving from its first phase of implementation.

In Bicol, for example, the Mother Tongue used by the Department was Bikol-Naga. Each province in the Region—even at municipal level—uses a different variety of Bikol as a local language. Teachers had difficulty teaching in local language because they are not used to it, they hail from another municipality, and they lack the materials or references to teach in Bikol.

EDUCO in the Philippines was part of identifying and solving these challenges by supporting the creation, publication, and distribution of contextualized books. Locals were given the platform and guidance to write and illustrate stories in their own local language. Books were published, and distributed to the communities that authored them.

Many communities still need similar support. The Education Department in Bicol continues implementing MTB-MLE, learning from teachers and students. It’s also taken from EDUCO’s experience as well as from the 2016 Program assessment that Bikol—as a local language, particularly its orthography or how it is written—needs to be standardized. EDUCO continues to work with DepEd to uphold quality and transformative education in Bicol region.


Bicolanas vie for Bb Pilipinas 2018

WILL A BICOLANA BE CROWNED BB. PILIPINAS 2018? Clockwise from top left: Angelica Corbe, Catriona Gray, Angeli Asuncion,  Sigrid Flores, Shane Tormes, Kayesha Chua, andMichelle Gumabao are setting their sights on the prestigious titl (Photos from Bb. Pilipinas website)

LEGAZPI CITY -- Seven Bicolanas are eyeing the Miss Bicolandia 2018 crown.

They are Michelle Gumabao (Baao, Camarines Sur), Catriona Gray (Oas, Albay), Sigrid Grace Flores (Catanduanes), Shane Tormes (Bula, Camarines Sur), Kayesha Clauden Chua (Legazpi City, Albay), Angelica Corbe (Legazpi City, Albay), and Angeli Aubrey Asuncion (Tabaco, Albay).

Among the Bicolanas, an early favorite is Catriona Gray, who was earlier crowned as Miss World Philippines 2016 and made it to the top 5 of the Miss World pageant.

Gray thanked her supporters on her Facebook page for their support and encouragement during the public presentation.

Meanwhile, also among the hot picks is Michelle Gumabao, who was a former Pinoy Big Brother housemate.

The coronation night is slated on March 18 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Last year, Bicolana Rachel Peters of Canaman, Camarines Sur was crowned Binibining Pilipinas.


Friday, February 23, 2018

NFA rice in Bicol only good for 4 days

LEGAZPI CITY (Bicol Standard)—National Food Authority Bicol spokesperson Lilibeth Jacob has urged the NFA national office to shorten the time to import the staple commodity, as rice supply has dropped in the region.

Interviewed by the media, Jacob said that at present, she estimates that their buffer stock is only good for around four days.

She further expects that their stock will be completely gone by the last week of March or the first week of April, if no measures are undertaken.

Because of this, she suggests that the 250, 000 metric tons of rice be imported in April instead of the original June schedule.

According to Jacob, the presence of NFA rice in the market is a big help in keeping the price of the staple commodity low.

Commercial rice costs around P45 to P55 per kilo in the region, she noted.

Meantime, the spokesperson emphasized that the Mayon-affected residents of Albay and other calamity-stricken areas are still in the top priority of the NFA.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Legazpi mayor wants evacuation centers smoke-free

By Emmanuel Solis

LEGAZPI CITY -- The mayor here is reminding all Mayon evacuees to strictly follow the smoke-free policy of the city government in the public schools currently serving as their temporary shelters.

Mayor Noel Rosal told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an interview Tuesday that some of the evacuees were seen smoking in the centers.

"In Legazpi, we are strictly implementing this local ordinance as a firm commitment to maintain the healthful environment for the constituents and visitors in order to prevent cancer, heart diseases, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary and other tobacco-related diseases," Rosal said.

He directed the office of the smoke-free ordinance enforcers and the office of the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) to ask the evacuees to stop puffing cigarettes in the compound of evacuation centers particularly at their respective rooms to prevent diseases caused by second-hand smoke.

Rosal also instructed the members of the enforcing team to conduct a regular monitoring of all the people in the evacuation centers and explain to them the penalties imposed on violators of the smoke-free ordinance of Legazpi.

Ordinance number ‎007-2009, otherwise known as the Revised Smoke-Free Ordinance which was approved nine years ago bans cigarette smoking in the city’s public places which include government offices, mass conveyances, parks, sidewalks, hospitals, school campuses, malls, public markets, cockpit arena, entertainment houses, restaurants, pub houses, roads sides, sports complex, evacuation centers and other crowded areas.

For three consecutive years starting 2010, Legazpi was a recipient of the yearly Red Orchid Award being accorded by the Department of Health (DOH) to local government units and other public institutions which have successfully implemented the anti-smoking drive.

In 2012, this city was named into the Hall of Fame of the DOH Red Orchid awards, an achievement testimonial of the city administration's commitment to free its communities of the hazards that cigarette smoking brings upon public health.

The search for the Red Orchid award that was launched by the DOH Center’s for Health Development aims to address the health risk posed by tobacco smoke, which kills at least 10 Filipinos every hour. (PNA)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

DILG to barangays: Submit report on use of SK funds by March 15

In preparation for the forthcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections on May 14, 2018, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) reminds all barangays to submit their annual reports on the utilization of their SK funds last year not later than March 15, 2018.

DILG Officer-in-Charge Eduardo M. Ano says that there is a need to ensure that the funds allocated for the SK were spent judiciously and for the benefit and welfare of the youth.

“Bilang mga lingkod bayan, nararapat lamang na ipaalam ng mga barangay sa mga mamamayan kung paano nila ginastos ang pondong nakalaan para sa mga kabataan,” says Ano.

Under the Guidelines on the Allocation and Utilization of SK Funds issued by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) last year, “the 10% of the general fund of the barangay allocated for the SK shall be used solely for youth development and empowerment programs and projects until the new set of SK officials shall have been duly elected and qualified”.

The guidelines also specify that the SK funds shall be allocated for the Mandatory Training and SK Pederasyon elections and for youth development and empowerment programs and projects that will promote and ensure equitable access to quality education, youth employment and livelihood, anti-drug abuse, gender sensitivity, sports development, and capacity building, among others.

DILG Spokesperson Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya said that DILG through the Local Government Academy is prepared to conduct the Mandatory Training for Newly Elected SK Officials but the cost of these trainings shall be charged to the 10% of the Barangay General Fund reserved for youth projects.

"We wish to remind all Barangays that they should reserve funds for the Mandatory Training of all SK officials to be elected this May. Thus, they should not spend the entire 10% otherwise their SK won't be able to attend the trainings," said Malaya.

Malaya said that barangays are required to submit the said reports on SK funds utilization to the Department through the National Barangay Operations Office (NBOO), copy furnished to the National Youth Commission (NYC).

He said that submission of 2017 annual reports on SK funds can be done through email to DILG NBOO at Copy to be furnished to NYC can be sent through

Task Force on Youth Development

As part of the Department’s advocacy on transparent and accountable youth governance, Ano says that the Task Force on Youth Development (TFYD) created in each barangay shall prepare the reports on the utilization of SK Funds as well as formulate the Annual Barangay Youth Investment Program until such time that the new SK officials shall have been duly elected and qualified.

He also points out that it is the responsibility of the TFYD to ensure and monitor the implementation of the youth development and empowerment programs, projects and activities.

Likewise, the task force shall conduct inventory of all properties, finances, and documents to ensure smooth transition to the incoming SK officials.

The TFYD is composed of a Sangguniang Barangay (SB) member, preferably the Chairperson of the Committee on Women and Family, as Chairperson, and four members who are chosen from the list of the nominees of the youth organizations in the barangays.


Monday, February 19, 2018

Papin vs Alfelor, malaban pagka Vice Gov sa CSur

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) - Posibleng magtapsok liwat si Imelda Papin sa lokal na politika sa provincia nin Camarines Sur.

Si Papin na nagi nang Vice Gobernador kan provincial, ultimong nag probar na maghagad nin mandato kan mga tawo sa distrito kan Partido, bilang congresista kan nakalihis na election, alagad dinaog nin dikit na boto ni Rep. Arnulfo “Noli” Fuentebella.

Base sa nagunong informasyon hale sa mga ayudante ni Papin, pig hihimunta guiraray niya an pwesto kan pagiging vice gobernador, ngonian na si Vice Gov Fortunato “Ato” Pena, dai pwedeng mag re-election.

Si Papin iyo an pig lalaoman na magiging ka-tandem ni Gov Migz Villafuerte, sa election lokal sa masunod na taon.

Mientrastanto, si Papin dai pa nin confirmasyon kan baretang ini.

Alagad, an enot na nagbungkaras na informasyon, preparado na siyang bweltahan an dati niyang pwesto sa gobierno provincial.

Mientrastanto, pwedeng makalaban ni Papin sa cargong vice gobernador iyo si Atty. Peachy Alfelor-Moraleda, na hale sa Ciudad kan Iriga, asin aki ni dating Rep. Nancing Alfelor Jr.

Si Alfelor-Moraleda nagdalagan kan naka aging election sa cargong vice gobernador, pero dinaog nin dikit sanang boto ni Vice Gov Pena.


Public Safety Officer, gadan sa saksak sa Oas, ALbay

Oas, Albay – Gadan an sarung Public Safety Officer sa banwaan kan Oas, ALbay, matapos na biglang saksakon ini sa saiyang daghan kan haloy na niyang kaiwal.

Sa Impormasyon kan Oas Municipal Police Station, binisto an biktima na si Arne Caño y Bisueña , 37 anyos, may agom, residente kan Brgy. Rizal, kan nasabing banwaan.

An suspek, iyo si Ian Saclag y Reburiano, 42 anyos, soltero, daeng trabaho, taga Brgy. Talongog, kan kaparehong banwaan.

Nangyari an insidente kan Sabado nin udto, Pebrero 17, 2018, sa mismong barangay kan suspek.

Segun sa istorya, nasa tindahan an biktima kan biglang ranihan kan suspek sa bay saksak sa saiyang daghan gamit an sarung kitchen knife na nakua sa sarung paratiyenda man sa lugar.

Matapos kaini, dulos kuminutipas nin dulag an suspek mantang an biktima na dinara pa man kuta sa JBDMDH, Ligao City alagad dineklarang dead-on-arrival ni Dr. Ma. Loielin A. Tolentino.
Sinasabing ang haloy ng iwal kan duwa an motibo kan krimen.

Tulos man na naarestar an suspek kan magsagibo nin hot pursuit an mga otoridad.

Sa ngonyan, sasangatan na ini nin maninigong kaso.

Bakwit, gadan kan makuryente matapos mag uli sa harong

Vince Villar

Ligao City – Dead-on-the-spot an sarung 17 anyos na daragang bakwit sa siyudad na ini matapos makuryente kan piglilipat niyuang saksakan nin kuryente mantang naglalaba.

Sa impormasyon na ipinaabot kan Ligao City Police Station, binisto an biktima na si Charlene Joy Yasol y Cardaño, grade-12 student kan Ligao City Technical Vocational High School, residente kan Purok-5, Brgy. Baligang, Ligao City  asin temporaryamenteng nag ebakwar sa Brgy. Nasisi Evacuation Center.

Nangyari an insidente bandang alas 9:00 nin aga nin Dominggo, Pebrero 18, 2018, sa harong kan biktima.

Segun sa istorya kan tugang kaini na si Marvin Yasol y Cardaño, 35 anyos, alas 5:00 nin aga kan maghali sinda kan saiyang tugang sa evacuation center ngani mag asikaso kan mga gibuhon sa harong ninda.

Pag abot sa harong tulos na nagbahog kan saindang mga ataman si Marvin mantang an saiyang tugang an nawalat ngani maglinig asin maglaba.

Alagad, kan magbwelta siya, nahiling niya an saiyang tugang na yaon sa laog kan kwarto, kapot an saksakan nin kuryente asin gadan na.

Nagtutubod si Marvin na nakuryente an tugang niya matapos ilipat an saksakan hali sa kubeta ninda pasiring sa kwarto.

BIR-Bicol surpasses 2017 tax collection target

By Connie Calipay

LEGAZPI CITY -- The year 2017 was a fruitful one for the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in Bicol as it collected a total of PHP10.7 billion, surpassing its target of PHP9.1 billion.

"Almost all of our Revenue District Offices (RDO) attained their respective collection targets for 2017,"Mary Jane Asuncion, BIR officer-in-charge and assistant regional director for Bicol, said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) after the launch of the region’s tax awareness campaign dubbed, "Salamat Sa 'Yo", earlier this week.

“For January 2018, we were able to realize a PHP1.1 billion collection, surpassing our PHP784.7 million goal for the month and 17.22 percent or PHP174 million over our collection for the same period last year,” Asuncion said.

Of the BIR’s seven district offices in the region, RDO No. 67 covering Legazpi City topped the collection performance for the month of January with PHP447 million, marking a 10.42 percent increase compared to the PHP404.8 million collected in January 2017.

RDO 65, which covers Naga City, placed second for collecting PHP298.9 million, which is 26.16 percent higher than January 2017’s PHP237 million.

RDO 68, which covers Sorsogon City, ranked third with a collection of PHP140.85 million, 41.26 percent more than the PHP99.7 million collected in January last year.

The fourth top performer was RDO 70 in Masbate City, with PHP92.694 million.

"We really recognize the efforts of the BIR personnel for their professionalism and competence," Asuncion said, expressing optimism that more could be achieved in the coming months with the continued cooperation of taxpayers and tax agents and the collaborative efforts of revenue officials to pursue their thrusts for a strong republic.

This year’s collection target for Bicol was set at PHP12.1 billion.

For her part, lawyer Lorna Cruz, chief legal officer of BIR-Bicol, explained the importance and benefits of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

"The objective of this law, primarily is to alleviate poverty so that we can compete globally. In fact, one of the effects of the law is giving an exemption on withholding tax for those receiving PHP250,000 and below per annum. This will increase take-home money and bonuses," Cruz said.

The lawyer clarified, however, that the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC), which was last amended in 1997, is still in effect.

"Some of the provisions in the NIRC were amended, not the entire revenue code and we are expecting that the taxation law will definitely be affected by the said amendments," Cruz added.

BIR-Bicol is set to conduct seminars and training courses to inform the public of the importance and benefits of the new law.

Meanwhile, the "Salamat Sa 'Yo" campaign acknowledges the public's contribution to the economy through the taxes they pay.

"Instead of explicitly asking the general public to pay taxes, we in BIR acknowledge their (public) contribution for the change that has come," Asuncion said.

The contribution of every taxpaying individual to nation-building has a ripple effect, she said, noting that while each tax contribution is small, its effect goes a long way.

According to the official, the BIR, as the lifeblood of the government, needs taxes to continue government programs and projects that benefit the people. (PNA)

SSS offers calamity loan assistance to Mayon-affected members, pensioners

Active members and pensioners of the Social Security Syastem (SSS) residing in areas affected by the Mayon Volcano eruption can get financial aid under the pension fund's Calamity Loan Assistance Program (CLAP) until May 15, 2018.

“SSS members and pensioners can avail of a maximum of P16,000 calamity loan, payable in two years. To further help them recover from this unfortunate situation, monthly amortization will only start after three months from the time that they received the loan,” SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said.

SSS has earmarked more than P193 million for the inplementation of the loan program in areas declared under state of calamity by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) due to Mayon Volcano eruption. SSS has estimated 19,354 potential borrowers with an average monthly salary credit of P10,000.

The calamity loan assistance program (CLAP) is a separate loan window from the regular salary loan. The loanable amount is payable within two years in equal monthly installments with an annual interest rate of 10 percent and monthly penalty of one percent for late payments.

“We also waived the one percent service fee as special consideration to our member-applicants,” Dooc added.

Qualified applicants under CLAP are those with home address or property in NDRRMC-declared calamity areas and have a minimum of 36 monthly contributions, six of which should be paid within the 12-month period preceding the date of application.

However, member-applicants with previous CLAP availments and outstanding balance under the Loan Restructuring Program (LRP), as well as those with final benefit claims such as for total permanent disability and retirement, are not qualified under the current program.

“OFW members whose residence is within the declared calamity area are also qualified to apply for calamity loan assistance. They only need to issue an authorization letter for their representatives to submit their application on their behalf,” said Dooc.

Aside from CLAP, members can also avail of three-month advance pension and Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan Program.

Pensioners applying for the advanced release of three months' worth of pension whose present address is different from the address in the SSS database will have to present a barangay certification as proof that they reside in the declared calamity area.

Availment of the three-month advance pension is until May 15, 2018.

Meanwhile, applicants under the Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan Program must not be more than 60 years old and with at least 24 monthly contributions, in which three of the contributions were posted within the last 12-month period prior to the month of filing.

“Members can borrow a maximum of P1 million pesos with an interest rate of six percent per annum fixed for 15 years. We also waived the regular processing fee so that members will only focus on paying their monthly amortizations on time,” Dooc explained.

Members have one year to submit applications for Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan program which will run until February 15, 2019.

SSS is also set to distribute relief goods in Bicol on March 02, 2018 as part of the “SSS Cares Program”, the pension fund’s corporate social responsibility program.

Featured Post

Watch out for kissable but poisonous lips

QUEZON CITY--Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a toxic chemical tracker has revealed that some lipsticks are laden with hazardous substanc...