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.

890 coco farmers in Bicol get incentives from PCA

By Mike Dela Rama

LEGAZPI CITY -- The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) in Bicol has disbursed the incentives of coconut farmers amounting to PHP3.2 million under the participatory coconut planting project, benefiting 890 farmers in the region.

In an interview Monday, regional information officer Ed Bailon said the 890 farmers represents 85 percent of the 1,037 total farmer-participants who complied with all documentary requirements, validation and assessment.

"The first step to avail of the project is to enroll with the PCA regional office and the setting of their nursery for seeds nuts. This project requires the coconut farmer to plant 75 seeds in a minimum of ½ hectares or maximum of 750 seed nuts for 5 hectares," Bailon said.

From 2017 to 2018, the national government has allocated PHP14 million. However, if the performance of the farmer-participants is low, the remaining fund can be utilized for the coconut seedling dispersal program.

As of July 2018, PCA Bicol received 2,340 farmer-participants, however, only 1,037 of them passed the preparatory phase of the project.

“In the preparatory phase, farmer is required to satisfy the basic requirement which is operation of a nursery,” he said. “The monitoring start from the setting of seedling nursery then followed by field planting, this means that the coconut seeds are already rooted.”

In this project, the farmer-participant will be paid PHP18 per seedling with a maximum of 100 seeds per hectares and PHP22 per rooted (or stabilized) coconut seedlings with a total of 100 maximum seeds planted.

In Bicol, Camarines Sur has a total of 983 farmers from 15 municipalities enrolled in the project; followed by Masbate with a total of 402 farmers from four towns; Camarines Norte with 340 farmers from 8 municipalities; Sorsogon has a total of 195 farmers enrolment submitted from 10 municipalities; Catanduanes has 253 representing 3 towns; and Albay with 167 farmers from 6 towns. (PNA)

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

De Asis to run for Naga City Mayor

Nene de Asis

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – Naga City may have its first Lady Mayor if City Councilor Cecilia "Nene" V. de Asis wins the midterm polls next year.

“My decision to run for mayor of Naga City is final.”

This is the statement of Councilor de Asis aired over BBS DWLV FM in an interview this morning.

She confirmed that based on information reaching her, many sectors are of the opinion that the odds of Vice Mayor Nelson Legacion winning the mayoralty bid next year are rather slim.

“Even I am of the same opinion,” she said.

“We still want for the next mayor of Naga to come from our group so that we may continue the programs we have started many years ago,” she said.


Meanwhile, she noted she is willing to submit to the process which has been adopted by their group since the time of Jesse Robredo.

Said process involves a survey conducted by a private group.The person who gets the highest approval rating in the survey is normally adopted as the standard bearer, she explained.

Asked whether this was a ploy to make it appear that their group is divided, to give way to the candidacy of Aika Robredo, she answered in the negative.

“Aika has no interest in running for mayor. In fact, she gets angry whenever the subject is brought up,” de Asis said.

Tiangge issue

When her opinion about the controversial trade fair or tiangge at Plaza Rizal was sought, de Asis confirmed that she had already brought the matter to the attention of Mayor John Bongat.

“Makanuson talaga an kamugtakan kan plaza,” she said in Bicol.

Bongat told her that the permit will be revoked after they received loads of backlash on the tiangge.

De Asis noted that there was a violation in the agreement between the trade fair organizer and the city government.

'Ubos kun ubos' magic gone?

Political observers say that de Asis' announcement may be considered as a sign that the once-formidable 'ubos kun ubos' magic is gone.

It would be recalled that in previous elections, it had been the trend that in Naga City, the elected officials come from a single group.

Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Nelson Legacion has not been reached for his comments regarding this report.

Previously, it had been repeatedly announced that Legacion would be getting the endorsement of his partymates, given that he is the highest eligible elected official in Naga City.

6 na oras na byaheng Legazpi-Manila, andaman sa bagong PNR sa 2019

Madurar sanang anom (6) na oras an biyahe haleng Legazpi pa Manila sa rikas na 120 kph sa bagong serbisyo kan Philippine National Railways.

Ini an pahayag ni PNR General Manager Jun Magno, na nagsabing mapoon na sa 2019 an bilog na pagbago kan serbisyo kan Philippine National Railways hale sa Manila paduman sa ciudad nin Legazpi.

Segun ki Magno, bako sanang pag hirahay an saindang gigibuhon, en vez iyo an “total transformation” o enterong pagbago kan serbisyo kan tren.

Igwa ining budget na may kantidad P175.32-billion, sa irarom kan Build, Build, Build program ni Presidente Duterte.

Dinagdag pa ni Magno na saro sa dakulang grupong maapektaran kan programa iyo an mga informal settlers.

Ini nin huli ta bako sanang saro, en vez duwang riles an itutugdok sa rutang Manila to Legazpi.

An maasikaso sa mga nasambit na afectadong informal settlers iyo an National Housing Authority, dugang pa kan General Manager.

2ng miembro kan Army, gadan sa ambush

LEGAZPI CITY (Bicol Standard) -- Gadan an duwang miembro kan Philippine Army sa ambush na nangyari sa Barangay Panoypoy, Camalig, Albay kasubagong alas 4:45 nin hapon.

Nabisto an duwang biktima na sinda PFC Cris Aron Consolacion asin PFC Emmamnuel Clarinal, pareyong miembro kan 2IB.

Sa report kan pulis, sinabi na nakalunad sa motorsiklo an duwang militar kan paputukan ini kan nagkapirang pigtutubudan na mga rebelde.

Nagpapadagos pa an imbestigasyon kan Camalig PNP manungod sa ambush na nangyari. 


Sunday, August 19, 2018

Bicol Central Station to launch online booking and payment portal this week

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – The Bicol Central Station will launch on August 23 its Online Booking and Payment Portal as part of the station’s Modernization Project Phase II.

This is a project of the City Government of Naga, EasybusPH, DBP, and bus companies with booking offices at the Bicol Central Station.

The partner bus companies are Alps, Amihan, Cagsawa, DLTB, Raymond, Bicol Isarog, and Penafrancia.

Other details will be posted once available.

DOST-Bicol turns over P23-M projects to state U, college

By Connie Calipay

LEGAZPI CITY -- The Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) office in Bicol recently turned over to a state college and a state university in the region PHP23-million worth of Grants-in-Aid (GIA) projects to be carried out over three years.

Dr. Pelita Lucena, DOST-Bicol spokesperson, said in an interview on Friday that the Sorsogon State College (SSC) and the Catanduanes State University (CSU) have received PHP15 million and PHP8 million, respectively, from the department.

"The SSC PHP15-million project would be used for 'Crabmeat Processing and Canning Facility' that is designed to provide value-adding technologies to maximize economic gain by direct beneficiaries, such as crabbers, crabmeat processors, crab pickers, food-based micro, small and medium enterprises, and college students as well, while the PHP8-million project for CSU will be used for the 'Abaca Technology Innovation Center’ (ATIC)," Lucena said.

New variants and market-driven crabmeat and innovative crab-based products will be developed in the center, along with proper packaging and labeling.

Aside from crabmeat, crab shells and other residue materials will be processed for maximum utilization and to practice zero waste disposal, Lucena noted.

The center shall serve as a technology hub for the direct beneficiaries and college students, who can be trained on enterprise development, while the ATIC shall serve as research and development facility for abaca product development and value-adding.

Lucena said the ATIC will have three technology hubs – one for screening the phytochemical components of abaca stripping refuse parts; another for fabricating an abaca drying dome and improving the abaca stripping machine to produce better fiber quality; and the third for developing an abaca information system through geo-tagging and global positioning system.

"The project will benefit the researchers, industry players and stakeholders engaged in abaca production and processing in terms of improved technologies and applications and create more investment opportunities in the province of Catanduanes," she added. (PNA)

PDEA Bicol intercepts P800K worth of shabu in Albay's Sula Channel

Two drug personalities were arrested by joint elements of PDEA ROV- Regional Special Enforcement Team, Naval Intelligence Security Group, Naval Special Operations Unit and Legazpi PCP 3 in Maritime Interdiction operation and service of a warrant in Sula Channel Point, Albay Gulf on August 17, 2018.

In a report submitted to Aaron N Aquino, Director General, PDEA, the suspects were identified as Ariel Barcelon, 38 years old, resident of San Roque, Legazpi City and a certain Bernardo Dayto, 48 years old also from San Roque, Legazpi City. Ariel Barcelon was previously a subject of PNP Operations for selling illegal drugs but eluded arrest. He is said to be responsible in proliferation of illegal drugs in the islands in Albay Gulf.

The team received information that illegal drugs will be delivered to the island municipality of Rapu-Rapu via Sula Channel.

At around 9:15 in the morning of August 17, 2018, joint elements of PDEA ROV- Regional Special Enforcement Team, Naval Intelligence Security Group, Naval Special Operations Unit and Legazpi PCP 3 led by IA1 Van Dyke Fedilson and under the overall command of Director Christian O Frivaldo, Acting Regional Director, PDEA V served an arrest warrant against Ariel Barcelona a.k.a Ayie which led to his arrest and his cohort, Bernardo Dayto in the vicinity of Sula Channel Point.

The team also confiscated six pieces heat sealed transparent plastic sachets containing suspected shabu, several paraphernalia, mobile phones and one motorboat.

The confiscated illegal drugs weigh more or less 130 grams and have an estimated street value of Php 880,000.00.

“Maritime interdiction like this operation is one of the capabilities of PDEA to intercept drug transportation using the high seas. We are ready to all challenges to counter drug supply in the Region,” Director Frivaldo said.

Suspects are currently detained at PDEA RO V Facility and will be facing charges for violations of the Republic Act 9165, or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

P175-B ‘total transformation’ of PNR Manila-Legazpi to start 2019

By Jorge Hallare

LEGAZPI CITY -- The construction for the “total transformation” of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) service from Manila to Legazpi is scheduled to start next year, a PNR top official has said.

PNR General Manager Junn Magno, in an interview on Thursday in Manila, said the project is not just a rehabilitation nor modernization but transformation with PHP 175.32-billion budget.

"The transformation program is under the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program of the Duterte's administration and is expected to finish within span of seven years, nowadays the government is under the process of hiring consultants for the project called ‘South Long haul’," Magno said.

He said many informal settlers will be affected by the project because not one but two PNR tracks would be constructed to allow the two-way route from Manila to Legazpi and vice versa.

The problem of relocating hundreds of informal settlers lies in the hand of the National Housing Authority especially in the Bicol Area.

"All the old railway and travesa will be totally removed and replaced with new one to match with the new PNR coaches. The new PNR coaches will run at the speed of 120 km per hour and the travel time from Legazpi City to Manila will be only six hours." he added.

Under the project, the PNR railway will be secured by fence just like the MRT.

For the intersections and highway crossings, the railway will be elevated like the skyway. (PNA)

DepEd Bicol on bag-burning incident: There was clear manifestation of child abuse

LEGAZPI CITY (Bicol Standard) -- DepEd Bicol Regional Director Gilbert T. Sadsad has released his official statement on the schoolbag burning incident that involves a teacher-owner-administrator.

“We are deeply saddened and now investigating the matter,” he wrote.

“There was a clear manifestation of child abuse and a violation of our child protection policy.”

“While we cannot sanction the offending person because he is under the jurisdiction of the authorities of a private school, we will be reviewing our policies if we can provide sanctions in terms of possible revocation of the school's permit to operate and other benefits provided by the government,” the regional director explained.

“For child abuse we will recommend to certain group or agency like DSWD for criminal charges, but this is still to be studied,” Sadsad stated.

On Saturday, DepEd Sec. Leonor Briones directed Sadsad to submit an incident report on the burning, which was caught on camera and went viral on social media.

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