Saturday, November 24, 2018

Ako Bicol lists feats

Garbin
NAGA CITY—"Ako Bicol will continue its advocacies and programs that resonate with the Bicolano community,” Rep. Alfredo A. Garbin, Jr. told the members of the media here as he announced his bid for Partylist Representative as the Senior Nominee of Ako Bicol at a press conference at a hotel here last week.

A lawyer by profession, Garbin was born and raised in Naga City, but studied his undergraduate and law degrees at Bicol University and Aquinas University in Legazpi City.

He has been cited for his exemplary contributions to local legislation involving disaster management, resettlement, tourism promotion, income generation, youth development, public welfare, legal aid, manpower training, transport service, information and communication and environmental protection and development.

Apart from Garbin, the other nominees are Atty. Justin Batocabe (the eldest son of Rep. Rodel Batocabe) and Atty. Bobby Ang. Batocabe and Ang will replace Rep. Batocabe and Rep. Christopher Co, who are now on their third term.

“Of our many advocacies, our top priorities are education, irrigation, the National ID system, the Anti-Hazing Act, and mandatory PhilHealth coverage for Persons with Disabilities (PWD),” Garbin noted.

In education, for instance, Garbin said Ako Bicol is now on its eighth year of selecting a list of Ten Outstanding Students of Bicol, in the hope of giving recognition to the hard work and contribution of Bicolano students to local and national development efforts.

This, he said, is in line with the vision of the partylist, which encourages leadership, scholarship, and service.

Meantime, the other advocacies (health, community development, and inclusivity) are likewise in keeping with the partylist’s objectives, he said.

Asked what difference Ako Bicol offers in contrast with the other partylists, Garbin explained that Ako Bicol’s emphasis is not on the nominees, but on the party itself and its goals.

“We speak of advocacy, not of representation. Thus, our programs and projects reach out not only to Bicolanos but also to other Filipinos,” he said.

Since the 15th Congress, Ako Bicol aimed to unite Bicolanos to work in the development of the Bicol Region. This is through programs and projects that will combat poverty, provide adequate social services, promote full employment, guarantee social justice and full respect for human rights, recognize the sanctity of human life, improve delivery of health services, democratize access to education and training, protect the environment, enhance disaster preparedness and advance the participation of youth, women, gays and lesbians and physically-challenged individuals as well as senior citizens in nation-building.

“Again, we are hopeful and confident of the support of Bicolanos,” Garbin said.
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Friday, November 23, 2018

Army, pulis sa Bicol may dagdag na tawohan- Malacanang

Pramis
NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) -- "Mahalat pa kami sa 9th Infantry Division kun ano an final na direktiba sa bareta na may dagdag na mga soldados na ididistino sa Bicol bilang suporta sa pina-isog na kampanya contra sa insurgencia," ini an sabi ni Army Capt Joah Pramis, an spokesman kan Army igdi.

Segun ki Pramis, an informasyon na hale sa Malacanang dapit sa dagdag na militar, maagi pa sa Southen Command asin pag-oorolayan pa kan saindang mga official an detalyes.

Maroromdoman na nagkapira nang bulan na parateng nagkakaigwa nin encontrada an mga rebeldeng miembros kan New People's Army asin an mga tawohan kan Army.

Maski an mga miembros kan PNP na dai man imbuelto sa combat operation parateng sinusurungan asin tinatambangan kan mga communista.

An pinaka ultimong incidente sa Camarines Sur iyo si nangyari sa Mambulo Nuevo, Libmanan, Camarines sur, na kun saen an mga pulis na nag escort sa medical team na hale sa medical mission sa Brgy. Bagamelon, Libmanan, biktik. Sa sinambit na incidente, 6 na pulis an nagsapo nin mga lugad sa lawas, nin huli sa itinaon na improvised explosive devise (IED), sa agihan kan mga pulis.

Mayo man nin nagadan sa incidente.
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National Cybersecurity wokshop ginigibo sa Naga City


NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) -- Dagmang an nagparticipar sa 3ng aldaw na National Cybersecurity Training-Workshop na ginigibo ngonian digdi.

Segun sa informasyon , an workshop ginigibo hasta ngonian na aldaw sa sarong hotel sa Magsaysay Ave., digdi.

Si Alkalde John Bongat an nag welcome kan mga participantes.

Pano-pano an venue kan sinambit na workshop, na may mga representantes hale sa Luzon, Visayas asin Mindanao.

An LGU Naga an saro sa mga co-sponsons kan workshop na ini. An iba pang sponsors iyo an NICP, DICT asin ICT@Bicol, sabi ni Bongat.
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Babae, biktima nin budol-budol sa Albay


NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) - Saro na naman na 57 anyos na balong babae an biktima kan budol-budol na nag-operar sa Daraga, Albay.

An biktima iyo si Ligaya Narvaez y Castillo, taga Brgy. Quirangay, Camalig, Albay, alagad nag eerok na ngonian sa Brgy. Market Site, Daraga.

Sa sumbong ni Narvaez sa pulis, mientras na nagbabakal siya nin mga gulayon, nagdulok saiya an 2ng dai niya bistong babae asin nag-olay-olay sinda sa awto kan suspechado.

An vehiculo pig mamaneho nin sarong lalaki na dai bisto kan biktima.

Mantang sinda nag eestoryahan kan enot na babae na saiyang naka olay, nagdulok an saro pang babae asin lalaki asin naki sali sa saindang estoryahan.

Dai maaraman ni Narvaez kun tano ta marikasong siyang na combensir kan saiyang mga kaolay na itao an saiyang Samsung J6, 2ng singsing, sarong kulentas, asin an kantidad na P20,000 na cash.

An karibay kan saiyang mga itinaong gamit sa mga dai bistong kaolay iyo an suboot kantidad P150,000 na cash na nasa laog kan clutch bag.

Marikas si mga pangyayari kaya pirang minutos sana tapos na si saindang pag orolay.

Kan solo na sana siya, hiniling kan biktima an laog kan clutch bag na si pagtubod niya dakulang
kantidad nin cuarta.

Nag ngalas asin haros madismayo an biktima kan mareparo niyang an laog palan mga tinarabas na papel.

Dai na naheling kan biktima si duwang babae asin duwa man na lalaki na nakaolay na niya, kan mangyari an krimen.

An incidenteng ini iyo an pinaka bago sa serye nin mga budol-budol na marikas na nagdadakul an biktima, pag entra sana kan bulan na Nobiembre 2018.

Nagpapadagos an imbestigasyon kan casong ini.
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Bicol police chief issues stern warning against gambling

Escobal
NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – Philippine National Police Regional Director Chief Supt. Arnel B. Escobal reiterated his stern warning against perpetrators of illegal gambling activities in the Bicol region as he installed the Senior Supt. Engelbert Z. Soriano as the new Director of Camarines Sur Provincial Police Office.

Soriano replaced Senior Supt. Reynaldo Pawid earlier this week following the two consecutive attacks on police personnel in Camarines Sur.

During the installation of the new Provincial Director, Escobal revealed that he expects a comprehensive campaign against all forms of illegal activities, including gambling and drugs.

Escobal said that among the six provinces, Camarines Sur had the most number of positive anti-illegal gambling police operations.

From January to September, some P124,790 worth of cash and items were confiscated, and 167 cases filed in court, covering the province of Camarines Sur, police records show.

“Illegal gambling is a social menace. It has become a means of corruption and an influential factor for an individual’s disregard for the value of dignified work, perseverance, and thrift,” he said.

“The PNP will not tolerate any form of illegal gambling not only in Camarines Sur, but also in the entire region,” he added.

Meanwhile, in a related development, Malacanang announced earlier today that more cops and solders will be deployed in Bicol following the number of recent sporadic acts of violence in the region.
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Palace orders more cops, soldiers to be deployed in Bicol

Photo via Official Gazette

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) -- Additional soldiers and cops were ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte to be deployed to Bicol following the number of recent sporadic acts of violence in the region.

Memorandum Order No. 32, which was signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea upon the order of the President, says "there is a need to reinforce the directive of the President to prevent further loss of lives and destruction of property and bring the whole country back to a state of normalcy as quick as possible."

Apart from Bicol, other areas where more troops were ordered to be deployed are Samar, Negros Oriental, and Negros Occidental.

Meantime, the intensification of local and transnational intelligence operations of the AFP, PNP, DOJ, and other law enforcement agencies was also ordered.

“No civil or political rights are suspended during the existence of a state of national emergency on account of lawless violence," the memorandum emphasized.
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Thursday, November 22, 2018

PhilHealth conducts Bayanihan: Intensified Membership Enrolment and Collection (IMECO) Pilot Run for Formal Sector in Rinconada, Cam Sur


NABUA, Camarines Sur -- PhilHealth Regional Office V will stage a four-day Bayanihan dubbed as Intensified Membership Enrolment and Collection (IMECO) Pilot Run in Rinconada, Camarines Sur, to assist employers in updating their records prior to the processing of their business permits for 2019.

The IMECo or Project Bayanihan will address the lack of manpower of PhilHealth Camarines Sur, through the support of its counterpart PhilHealth Offices whose staff will be temporarily assigned in Nabua for the week- long activity. The Project is pursuant to Section 6.f of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of the National Health Insurance Act of 2013 (RA 10606): “PhilHealth shall establish and maintain an updated membership and contribution database”. Employers and business owners in the said area are advised to prepare their PhilHealth records to be reconciled with PhilHealth’s database. They will be assisted by PhilHealth Accounts Information Management Specialists (PAIMS) from Legazpi, Catanduanes, Masbate, and Sorsogon, who will be doing the employer visitation and mapping activities during the Bayanihan. 

Along these lines, members under the Formal Sector (employees of Government and Private Establishments including family drivers and household help) who wish to have their data amended are hereby advised to prepare their duly accomplished PhilHealth Member Registration Forms along with the photocopy/ ies of the following documents: 

1.        Marriage Certificate (for change in marital status, inclusion of spouse as additional dependent);
2.        Birth Certificate of children below 21 years (for inclusion as dependent)
3.        Birth Certificate (for correction of spelling/ date of birth) 

PhilHealth will distribute the amended MDRs and/or IDs via their respective employers.

Aside from updating PhilHealth’s database, the Project will offer members a more convenient way of transacting with PhilHealth. The updated records will ensure ease of doing business, specifically when members or their dependents are confined in accredited institutions as they no longer have to line up at PhilHealth Offices to get their MDRs printed. Their updated and accurate data will be one click away through the PhilHealth Portal installed in all accredited providers.

Roughly 400 employers and 8,500 employees in Nabua and Iriga are expected to benefit from the pilot run of this Project.
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Top-performing implementers of corn, cassava programs accorded awards



BUHANGIN, DAVAO CITY – Some 2,000 delegates from all over the country gathered in an inland resort  of this city for the  four-in-one event :  the 14th Philippine National Corn Congress, the awarding ceremonies for   the 6th National  Quality Corn Achievers Awards(NQCAA),  the 2nd Cassava Cluster  Management Excellence Award (CCMEA) and the 2nd Cornucopia Awards on November 13-16, 2018.

The corn congress is an annual activity  which serves as the venue for the various stakeholders of the corn industry to gather and  discuss the current issues of the sector, share the best  farm practices, showcase modern farm equipment, technologies and forge market linkages.   It is highlighted with the conferment of the  NQCAA, CCMEA  and CORNUCOPIA  to recognize  the achievements of top performing Local Government Units  and stakeholders in producing quality corn and cassava  in support to the  development of corn and cassava industry and the animal feed industry.

For  the NQCAA, 5 top performing provinces  were awarded  with cash (project) grant of P5M and trophy  along with their  respective provincial agriculturists and corn coordinators who also received a trophy and cash prize.  Twenty five (25) municipalities and cities along with 21 municipal and city agriculturists and  16 corn coordinators were also awarded with cash prize and trophy.  This year a total of 90 agricultural extension workers (AEW)  were likewise accorded awards and recognition.

Three LGUs from the Bicol region qualified for the national awards.  These are the LGUs of Calabanga,  Iriga City and Ligao City along with their respective  Municipal/City agriculturist and corn technician or AEW.  A cash grant of P1M and trophy was  given to Iriga City and Ligao City.   The LGU of Calabanga, Camarines Sur  which had been a national  winner of the award for three consecutive years  was accorded the  Hall of Fame Award and was given a special trophy and a cash grant of P2M which was received by Mayor Eduardo A. Severo.  Correspondingly Calabanga’s  Municipal Agriculturist Gil Gabriel H. Bordado III  and AEW Joshua  T. Ipo were  accorded the Hall of  Fame Award and given a special trophy and cash prize of  P45,000. The trophy and cash prize for Ligao City  was received by Mayor  Patricia G. Alsua and City Agriculturist  Eng. Dexter  G. Mendoza.  The award for Iriga City was received by  Ruben S. De los Santos, City Agriculturist  in behalf of Mayor Madeline A. Gazmin.

Nine other AEWs from Bicol made it to the national award.  They are:  Noel G. Manaog and Buster Ibarbia of Buhi; Ryan F. Calatrava and Carlos B. Azanes of Calabanga; Marly L. Corporal and Honesto C. Sirios Jr. of Iriga City; Hector Llagas of Bato, Cam, Sur; Victor B. Cortes of Baao; and Mary Jane Alivcante of Cataingan, Masbate.  They each received a trophy and cash prize of P16,000.

 DA regional Executive Director Dr. Elena B. De los Santos along with OIC, Regional Technical Director for Operations and Extension, Rodel Tornilla, Lorenzo Alvina, Regional Corn Coordinator and Dr. Mary Grace Rodriguez also joined the Bicol  winners in receiving their awards.

Meanwhile, the  Cornucopia Award  which is now on its 2nd year  is being given  to  provide incentives  and recognize the ingenuity and resourcefulness of  organizations  in  implementing value adding  on corn and cassava primary products.  Three farmers organizations from Zamboanga  del Sur, Calamba, Laguna and Misamis Oriental  were conferred  this award.

For the Cassava Cluster Management  Award  which recognizes the contributions of cassava clusters to the advancement  of the cassava industry , three cluster organizations were also given awards one from Manolo Fortich Bukidnon, one from Banga, South Cotabato and another one from Carigara, Leyte.

The guest of honor and keynote speaker during the awarding ceremonies was Senator Cynthia A. Villar who is currently the chairperson Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food.   Among the legislations she already proposed  she  mentioned the Rice Competitive Enhancement Fund and the Rice Ratification Bill which will be a big help to the farmers.  She also assured  her continuous pursuit of legislations and push for government interventions such as shared facilities program, access to credit, training through farmers school, mechanization and promotion of new technologies .  

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Pinol who was not able to attend due to a conflict in schedule was represented by Eng. Ariel T. Cayanan, DA undersecretary for Operations and Agri- Fisheries and mechanization.  He reiterated the DA’s mandate to produce  enough, affordable, accessible and safe food.   He also underscored the vital role of the LGUs being at the forefront  in the implementation of agricultural programs.  He  said “LGUs provide the basic infrastructures that support and cater to the needs of the communities  in their respective areas  and they play a critical role in monitoring the various  development programs  in their respective areas.”

The other luminaries  who graced the four-in-one event were:  Dr. Andrew  B. Villacorta, Assistant  Secretary for Agri-Business and Field Operations, Assistant Secretary; Dr. Luz A. Taposok, OIC, Director, Agricultural Training Institute; Engr. Christopher V. Morales , Chief, Field Programs Operations Division;  Engr. Roger V. Navarro, president, Philippine Maize Federation, Inc.; Roderico R. Bioco, Chairman Emeritus , PhilMaize; Dr. Candido Damo, National Corn- Cassava Program  Director., Dir. Lorenzo M. Caranguin, Corn Program;  Dr. Edralina P.  Serrano, Adjunct professor, UPL:B and chair, NQCAA   (EMILY B. BORDADO)
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P160-M allotted for May 2019 poll supplies



MANILA -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Wednesday it has allocated more than PHP160 million for the purchase of various supplies to be used in the May 2019 mid-term polls.

According to the Comelec Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), the approved budget for the contract (ABC) for procurement of 13 items, among them ballot secrecy folders and ballpens, is PHP160,687,221.94.

Open for bidding are the procurement of 1,104,000 ballot secrecy folders (PHP11,956,320); 368,000 bottles of indelible stain ink (PHP56,672,000); 708,000 pieces of ballpens (PHP3,596,640); 129,518 pieces of Seal with Steel Wire for ballot box and ERSD (PHP12,822,282); 500,000 pieces of plastic security seal (PHP22,500,000); 129,518 rolls of transparent tape (PHP7,036,712.94); and 10,730 boxes of continuous forms (PHP25,752,000).

The poll body will also need 20,300 reams of A4 paper with security markings (PHP5,795,650); 92,000 pieces of thumbprint taker (PHP3,220,000.00); 3,376 pieces of Pearl P350 Printer Ribbon (PHP1,877,056); 3,104 pieces of Epson FX 2190 Printer Toner (PHP1,474,400); and 257 pieces of Genecom 6800/6815Q Printer Ribbon (PHP1,387,800).

The Comelec BAC said interested bidders may obtain a complete set of bidding documents until Dec. 11 from the BAC Secretariat Office at the Palacio del Gobernador building in Intramuros, Manila and upon payment of a non-refundable fee.

Bidding documents are available from the website of the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System and the website of the poll body, which can be downloaded free of charge.

The pre-bid conference has been set for all prospective bidders, at the FEMII Building in Intramuros, Manila at 10 a.m. on November 27
Submission of bids at the BAC Secretariat Office has been set at 9 a.m. Dec. 11 while the bid opening has been set at the FEMII Building at 10 a.m. on the same date. (PNA)
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‘Bringing quality education to learners is my lifelong mission,’ says Bicolano teacher Windel Alvarez

Photo courtesy of DepEd
“The Alternative Learning System (ALS) is an educational arena for the youth and adults where their dreams of becoming knowledgeable individuals is never impossible.”

This is what Windel Alvarez believes in as he fulfills his sworn duty as an ALS mobile teacher and Master Teacher I in Caramoan, Camarines Sur.

Teacher Windel shared that he always had great admiration to the teaching profession ever since he was a child, and he knows how teachers’ methods influence and shape the future of learners.

“I took secondary education course in college to materialize my greatest dream of becoming a teacher. It really inspires me when I am in the field seeing those kids wanting to be educated,” Teacher Windel said.

Serving learners in farthest barangays

In 2009, Teacher Windel became the first mobile teacher in Caramoan tasked to bring quality education to its farthest and secluded barangays.

“Caramoan stands out because of its unique beauty endowed by nature, but behind this majestic beauty are a number of underserved out-of-school youths and adults (OSYA),” he stated.

Determined to bring a difference to the community, Teacher Windel shook off all his worries and reservations in crossing mountainous paths, rivers, and areas where reported armed conflicts occur, just to reach out to and teach the learners of Caramoan. More so, he found it hard at first to gain the trust of the community, but he persevered, and did not lose hope: “I worked hard to let the community realize that my presence brings good to them through learning. This eventually paid off when even the barangay captain became one of my students.”

Bangkarunungan Project

Teacher Windel decided to widen his horizon and focus on serving learners in coastal barangays who face hardships in going to and from school because of scarce and expensive transportation services.

At present, he is teaching in Sitio Lipata, one of the remotest coastal communities in Caramoan, located at the tail-end of Lahuy Island facing the Pacific Ocean. It takes an hour of motor boat ride to reach this place, where the only means of livelihood is fishing — the seclusion reflects a picture of poverty.

“Absence of electricity and potable water, and battles in transportation were never a hindrance to serve and provide alternative education to the island folks. These dismal circumstances are the major factors why many OSYAs are not in school,” Teacher Windel mentioned.

He then knew what to do to further motivate and inspire them to attend school and learn.

“I have come up with a project because I saw the situation in the island and coastal areas. The distance and high-cost boat rental prevented the children from achieving their dreams. It is hard to see them being left behind, so I exerted much effort to reach the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation,” Teacher Windel recalled.

Through the help of the foundation and after outsourcing funds from generous stakeholders – Teacher Windel used a popular social media site to spread awareness on the hardships of the locals – the ALS Bangkarunungan Project came to fruition.

Bangkarunungan aims to bring education at the doorsteps of those who wish to have a better life by opening doors of opportunity with knowledge, skills, and values as weapons against poverty.

This project produced three boats, which are now being used by learners to go from island to island. This also aids other literacy volunteers who work alongside Teacher Windel to reach every island and coastal areas where they teach the OSYAs.

“Recently, my most awaited project has finally started. It is the construction of The Yellow School of Hope in Sitio Lipata, a two-classroom typhoon-resilient building which will serve as a community learning center, training center, evacuation center, and temporary classroom for in-school children from Kindergarten to Grade 2 while waiting for the classroom from DepEd,” Teacher Windel shared.

Inspiring hope, igniting the imagination

Because of Alvarez’s unwavering commitment to creating a supportive learning environment despite the many challenges in gaining access to education, he became one of the awardees of this year’s Civil Service Commission’s (CSC) Outstanding Public Officials and Employees (Dangal ng Bayan).

“A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill love for learning among the children. We, teachers, are the “living instructional material” in the classroom,” he said.

“As a teacher, let us keep their hope burning and inspire them by keeping our love for our profession. Let us also be hopeful with our job because positivity begets positivity – we can’t give what we don’t have,” Teacher Windel reminded his fellow educators.
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Former DPWH Bicol RD found guilty of graft



MANILA (Bicol Standard) – The Seventh Division of the Sandiganbayan has found Eleno Uttoh Colinares Jr., former Regional Director of the Department of Public Works and High ways (DPWH) Regional Office No. V guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 3(h) of Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act).

In its Decision promulgated on November 16, 2018, Colinares was sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of imprisonment for a period of six years and one month to eight years with perpetual disqualification from public office.

The same Decision quotes the Amended Information, which reads: "That on or about January 17, 2001, or sometime prior or subse quent thereto, in Legazpi City, Province of Albay, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above named accused, a public officer, being then the Regional Director of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Regional Office No. V, while in the performance of his duties and taking advantage of his position and committing the offense in relation to his office, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and criminally acquire and obtain a pecuniary interest in a business, contract or transaction in which he intervened or took part in his official ca pacity, by entering, in behalf of the DPWH, Regional Office No. V, into a Fully Maintained Equipment Lease Contract dated Janu ary 17,2001, with a certain ELVIN C. BAUTISTA of Zamboanga City, whereby the DPWH leased from said ELVIN C. BAUTISTA a motor vehicle described as Pajero Intercooler Turbo, model 1995 with Plate No. UEY-937, and thereafter, signing and approving the corresponding vouchers and checks authorizing the release of the total amount of Php 362,372.72 as rental payments of the said ve hicle; and later depositing one of the checks he signed and ap proved, LBP Check 0001028074 dated June 5,2001, in the amount of Phpl34,836.36, payable to the said ELVIN C. BAUTISTA, to his personal account with Metrobank under Account No. 31380588, when in fact, ELVIN C. BAUTISTA is a mere dummy, and the beneficial owner of the said leased vehicle is actually himself, to the damage and prejudice of the government and the public interest.”

“Clearly, accused Colinares Jr. is a party to both contracts of lease more specifically to the second contract where his direct financial and pecuniary interest were made more obvious,” the ruling reads.

“From the evidence of the prosecution, it is very evident that accused took part in his official capacity in connection with such interest, for accused Colinares Jr. did not only indorse the questioned lease contract but approved it and signed the same in his capacity as Regional Director,” the anti-graft court said.

“Colinares Jr. is undoubtedly an approving authority to the 2nd Fully Mantained Equipment Contract. Without his approval and signature, there is no Lease Contract to speak of nor will there be the issuance of Disbursement Vouchers for the payment of the rentals. These documents were signed by accused Colinares, Jr. thus readily showing his actual intervention to the transaction which is the lease of his service vehicle. Clearly, the 2nd Fully Maintained Equipment Lease Contract was perfected with the indispensable participation and intervention of accused Colinares Jr. Thusly, it is the perfect "actual intervention" that is contemplated by law that gives rise to his liability as a public officer.”

It continues: “Taking into consideration our observations above, this Court has no recourse but to find the prosecution's case far stronger than that of the defense especially so, that even the documentary evidence offered by accused Colinares Jr. were not admitted, which makes his case even weaker. Time and again the High Court said: "When the prosecution has succeeded in discharging the burden of proof by presenting evidence sufficient to convince the court of the truth of the allegations in the Information, or has established a prima facie case against the accused, the burden of evidence shifts to the ac cused making it incumbent upon him to adduce evidence in order to meet and nullify, if not overthrow, the prima facie evidence."

The Decision was signed by Associate Justice Georgina D. Hidalgo. Ma Theresa Dolores C. Gomez-Estoesta, Associate Justice, Chairperson, and Zaldy V. Trespeses, Associate Justice concurred.
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Leatherback turtle gets stranded in Cam Sur


Another leatherback turtle was stranded in Pararao, Balatan, Camarines Sur, BFAR Bicol announced this morning.

The turtle, which has a carapace length of 1.75 m, weighs approximately 500 kg, and is female, is said to be a lot bigger than the one that got stranded in the same barangay in July 2018.

The turtle was reportedly entangled in a fishing net.

Balatan, Camarines S can be considered a hotspot area for marine turtles due to frequent strandings.

(Credits: Ryan Cediño, NSAP Enumerator for the photo, and Rica Isleta, FCP CF for the report)
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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

TEACHER CORNER | Maximizing educational resources


by Ernan Esquivel Echalas

In a nation where education is not always given top priority— whether by the government, the private sector, or even families—it is a must to maximize resources. The goal is not to merely make ends meet; it is to ensure that every resource is put to good use so education is ultimately enhanced. There are several ways in which educational resources may be maximized.

The first is to define a clear focus on the goals of education. Here, the roles of the officials of the Department of Education, the school heads, the parents, the students, and the other stakeholders of education play are crucial. All of them are responsible for identifying the direction where they want education to head. Do they simply want to produce as many graduates as possible? Or do they want to develop lifelong learners who are ready for any challenge that the modern world has to offer them? What about their goals for the teachers and the other members of the school staff? What is their picture of an ideal school head? These questions must be answered in concrete detail if the school intends to genuinely address them.

The second is to identify the educational resources available to the school. Educational resources do not only mean money or educational materials; they can also mean support from other government agencies and non-government organizations. They can even mean time and attention from the members of the school community. All these resources must be managed in a wise and sustainable manner.

The third is to keep communication channels open among the stakeholders. Sometimes, teachers do not know what their students need simply because they are not communicating effectively with them. The third is to establish a system that addresses the needs according to the priorities. The needs of the school generally becomes longer and longer, and it can be overwhelming to deal with them all at once. But because resources are limited, there is a need to prioritize which ones are the most needed at a particular time. Does the school, for example, really need an expensive projector, or should the lightbulbs be replaced first? Does the school need to spend on decorations in the school canteen, or should the money be allocated on basic school supplies instead? School heads and teachers should be discerning in making these decisions so that no resources are put to waste.

The fourth is to be creative in finding more resources. Resources do not have to come from traditional means such as the government budget. A little creativity goes a long way in convincing more people to care about education. For example, some schools sell the vegetables in their Gulayan sa Paaralan for extra income. Others partner with private organizations to raise more money for school supplies, or even teacher development initiatives. In these scarce times, ingenuity, flexibility, and a sense of responsibility will go a long way in maximizing the resources available to schools. All it takes is teamwork among the stakeholders, and a true concern for the state of education in our beloved country.
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TEACHER CORNER | My Mentors Before, My Mentees Now


By Ryan A. Bradecina
Teacher-in-Charge
Buhatan Elementary School
Rapu-Rapu West District
Rapu-Rapu, Albay
Schools Division of Albay

Growing up as a student and seeing my teachers in our classroom, I was constantly curious about how they were able to manage their time, keep their patience, and on top of it all, teach us a wide range of concepts and skills, not to mention valuable life lessons.

I remember, for example, Mrs. Nanette B. Alamil, my teacher in Grade 3; Mrs. Ada A. Ipanag, my teacher in Grade 2; and Mrs. Eva L. Dayson, my teacher in Grade 3.

For me, they were always my beacons of hope. They cheered me on in my successes, and guided me to tread the right path when I faltered. When times got too bleak, they would always light up my life with a radiant smile, and give me a nudge whenever I doubted myself.

Thanks to their holistic upbringing, I grew up to be a responsible and productive member of society.

Moved by their efforts, I chose education as my career path and profession. I did this for several reasons. I wanted to pass on what knowledge and skills I learned to the younger generation. I desired to fulfill my personal crusade to improve education in the ways I know how, especially in underprivileged areas. Lastly, like them, I wanted to serve as an inspiration not only to my students, but also to the rest of the community.

I was assigned to be the Teacher-in-Charge of Buhatan Elementary School, where my beloved mentors from grade school also teach, in what can only be called a twist of fate.

In school today, we share the best practices in education that we learned in books and actual teaching. We give tips on how one may improve classroom management. We share resources, especially when they can be used to enhance the learning experience of the pupils. We continuously teach each other, and learn from each other, as mentors and mentees, colleagues, and most importantly as true friends.

We have successfully created a loving and nurturing environment at Buhatan Elementary School. We accept that no one is perfect, and that everyone can learn something from each other, if only we are all willing to humble ourselves. This means that even in my young age, I can share what I learned to them, in the same way that they taught me years ago. In the same manner, they can continue teaching me today, even if they no longer hold my report card.

I am genuinely thankful for my mentors, now my mentees. I hope that through my sincere efforts, I will be able to pay it forward to the Filipino youth, and inspire them the way I was inspired by my teachers when I was a starry-eyed grade school pupil.
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TEACHER CORNER | Empowering LGBT in the workplace



By Camilo E. Arriedo
TIII TIC of Mananao Elementary School
Rapu-Rapu East District
Albay Division

In Philippine society, members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community face many challenges. The sad truth is that while we are progressing in many fields like science, technology, communication, and transportation, many people still discriminate against LGBT.

This becomes a problem particularly in the workplace. Studies show that people perform much better when they can be themselves. When LGBT have to hide their true selves because of fear of judgment, their work performance consequentially takes a nosedive. The result: poorly-prepared presentations, sloppy reports, and a general feeling of anxiety and discomfort.

Fortunately, there are ways to make the workplace a more welcoming and inclusive space for LGBT.

First, workers can agree to support everyone. This goes beyond gender and sexuality, but also on issues such as educational attainment, social status, religion, or skin color. Everyone must be made to feel like he or she is able to provide worthy contributions to the group. Furthermore, the same rules and regulations must be made to apply to everyone, and no one should be singled out just because he or she is different from the rest.

Second, workers can also agree to communicate openly with each other. If criticism must be given, it must always be constructive, and not done merely to put down the feelings of the person criticized. Further, office gossip, especially about private and personal matters, should be avoided at all costs, as it does nothing to help the productivity and camaraderie of the group members.

Third, workers must strive to get to know each other. This allows them to develop understanding of each team player. Avoiding stereotyping, and instead accepting each person as a complex being who has strengths, weaknesses, successes, and failures, is very important.

These may be small steps, but they are crucial if we are truly serious about sending the positive message of love and respect. The bottom line is we are all humans who are merely trying to deal with the challenges we face every single day. If we can make things better for other humans by allowing them to be who they are, then the world will be a kinder, and ultimately, infinitely better place.
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PCI Espenido reassigned back to Region 8

Espenido
Photo via PTV
VIRAC, Catanduanes (Bicol Standard) -- Before even formally assuming office as chief of Virac Municipal Police Station, Police Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido was reassigned back to Police Regional Office 8 (Eastern Visayas).

The Catanduanes Provincial Police Office received a radio message from PNP Region 5 informing them of the reassignment effective November 20, 2018.

The message directed Espenido to report to his new unit assignment to avoid being marked as AWOL.

Reports say that cops from Police Regional Office 8 have signed a petition urging Espenido's return due to the alleged resurgence of illegal drugs in the area.

Espenido, it would be recalled, previously led operations against suspected narco-politicians such as Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa and Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog. (With report from Ramil Soliveres)
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Priest not off the hook in Rapiñan slay – PNP


NAGA CITY — “The dismissal of the complaint against Fr. Paul Mart Tirao in connection with the murder of Jeraldyn Rapiñan is but temporary,” Police Senior Inspector Juvy Llunar, Chief of Police of San Fernando, Camarines Sur told the Bicol Standard. 

“We have been ordered to conduct a deeper investigation into the circumstances surrounding the killing,” he said. 

He added that, in fact, they are conducting frequent case conferences to pin down the real culprit.

“We are appealing to the community to cooperate with the investigation so we can come up with solid evidence,” he said.

Meantime, he noted that apart from Tirao, there are other persons of interest whom he begged off to reveal given the sensitive nature of the case.

Llunar added that he is confident that the case will reach the court based on the evidence meticulously gathered after receipt of the dismissal order from the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office.

“Rest assured that we are working round the clock to help the victim find justice,” he concluded.

It will be recalled that the police filed the complaint for Murder against Tirao on August 1, 2018, roughly two months after the body of Rapiñan was found dumped at Barangay Del Pilar, San Fernando, Camarines Sur.

The victim was discovered with several stab wounds and signs of strangulation.
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Graft court denies ex-mayor Sarion's MR to set aside conviction

Sarion
DAET, Camarines Norte (Bicol Standard) – The Sandiganbayan denied the Motion for Reconsideration filed by former Daet, Camarines Norte Mayor Tito Sarion, who was convicted by the Third Division for Malversation of Public Funds and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act in 2017. 

In a Resolution issued by the graft court dated November 8, 2018, it said that the Motion for Reconsideration to set aside the decision convicting Sarions of violations of Section 3, Paragraph e of Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) and Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code is denied for lack of merit.

It will be recalled that on September 29, 2017, the Sandiganbayan found Sarion "guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 and was sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of imprisonment of Six years and One month, as minimum to Eight (8) years, as maximum, and suffer the penalty of perpetual special disqualification from holding public office.”

He was also found "guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Malversation of Public Funds or Property under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code, and was accordingly sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of imprisonment of two (2) years, four (4) months and one (1) day of prision correcional, as minimum, to six (6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor, as maximum; pay a fine in the amount of one million pesos (P1,000,000.00); and suffer the penalty of perpetual disqualification from holding public office."

Sarion was ordered to imdemnify the Municipality of Daet the amount of One Million Pesos (P1,000,000.00) as actual damages, plus interest at the rate of 6% per annum to be reckoned from the date of finality of the Decision until its full satisfaction.

This stemmed from his approval of the disbursement and disbursement voucher in the amount of P1,000,000.00 in favor of Markbilt Construction as partial payment for contract price escalation despite the absence of (a) Certificate of Availability of Funds; (b) the Government Procurement Policy Board's approval; (c) and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)'s determination as to the propriety of the price escalation.

"Markbilt is not entitled to payment for contract price escalation, in view of the absence of a GPBB approval of the payment and the absence of a NEDA determination of extraordinary circumstances to justify contract price escalation," the Sandiganbayan earlier said.

In his Facebook account, Sarion announced that he will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.
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PNP doubts sincerity of CPP/NPA in resuming peace talks

Durana
MANILA--The Philippine National Police again questioned the sincerity of the communist New People’s Army in talking peace with government after six policemen on a humanitarian mission in Bicol were treacherously waylaid by communist terrorists over the weekend.

The PNP leadership quickly condemned the latest hostility initiated by the CPP/NPA against government troops engaged in medical-dental civic action operations who were hurt in an ambush staged by the NPA, using internationally outlawed landmines in Sitio Patag, Brgy. Mambulo Nuevo, Libmanan, Camarines Sur.

PNP Spokesperson, Chief Superintendent Benigno B Durana Jr. described the attack as “another example of either duplicity or lack of influence of Utrecht-based CPP/NPA/NDF leaders who shamelessly ask for a meeting with PRRD while carrying out terror attacks against security forces personnel helping less fortunate Filipinos.”

The CPP/NPA leadership has obviously lost control over maverick commanders of its wayward guerilla fronts, Durana said.

Pursuit operations were mounted by AFP and PNP units in Camarines Sur against the NPA unit responsible for the attack.

Reports reaching the National Operations Center in Camp Crame, said the wounded PNP personnel were part of the 1st Camarines Sur Provincial Mobile Force Company on their way to the Libmanan town Proper from a medical mission in Barangay Bagamelon.

Upong reaching Sitio Patag, undetermined armed men who believed to be members of the New People’s Army ambushed the 9-man team resulted to the injuries to six members namely:

• PO3 Roland G Hermogeno;

• PO1 Vladimir Guadalupe;

• PO1 Roy V Carbonell;

• PO1 Eliseo Jomar N Palaroan;

• PO1 Daisy Bhel Genova;

• PO1 Mikhail Jose P Concina

The wounded were evacuated to the Mother Seton Hospital in Naga City while PNP and Philippine Army troops launched hot pursuit operations against the suspects.
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PH, China ink deal for Project Management Consultancy of PNR Bicol


MAKATI CITY – The Philippines and China entered a contract for the Project Management Consultancy (PMC) of the 639-kilometer Philippine National Railways (PNR) South Long-Haul Project (a.k.a. PNR Bicol) on Saturday, 17 November 2018, at the Chinese Embassy Economic and Commercial Section at South Forbes Park in Makati City.

The contract was exchanged between Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade and China Railway Design Corporation (CRDC) Chairman of the Board Liu Weiqun yesterday, 20 November 2018, at Malacañang Palace, and was witnessed by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Secretary Tugade and Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan signed on behalf of the Philippine government, and CRDC Chairman of the Board Liu Weiqun for the CRDC and Guangzhou Wanan Construction Supervision Co., Ltd. (WACC) Consortium of the People’s Republic of China.

The contract signing was witnessed by Economic and Commercial Counselor of the Chinese Embassy to the Philippines Jin Yuan, DOTr Undersecretary for Finance Garry De Guzman, Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Reinier Yebra, Undersecretary for Planning Ruben Reinoso, PNR General Manager Junn Magno, and CRDC Director Yang Xudong.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board previously approved the financing of the PNR Bicol Project through Official Development Assistance (ODA) from the Government of China.

The PNR Bicol Project is one of the flagship projects of the Duterte Administration under the “Build, Build, Build” Program. Upon completion, the PNR Bicol Project will connect Metro Manila, Region IV-A (Calabarzon), and Region V (Bicol), reducing travel time from Manila to Legazpi City from 13 hours to under 6 hours.

“The contract marks a milestone for the PNR South Long-Haul Project. Hereby, I commit that the CRDC and WACC Consortium will fully dedicate to the project, allocate the best resources, and do our best to perform the PMC services according to the contract stipulations and the requirements of the DOTr and PNR. We will contribute to make this important government-to-government cooperation project a high-quality elaborated project,” Chairman Weiqun said.

As with other ODA-financed projects, the DOTr engaged a PMC (also called a General Consultant) to provide consultancy services on technical and commercial matters concerning a project. Being a China ODA-financed contract, the selection of the PMC was based on a list of qualified and experienced bidders, as endorsed by the Chinese government.

For the PNR Bicol Project, the CRDC-WACC Consortium will conduct all pre-construction surveys (topographic, geotechnical, hydrological, parcellary, environmental, etc.), preparation of designs for bidding, preparation of bidding documents, bidding assistance, construction supervision, and defects liability period (warranty) supervision.

“I am very happy with our partnership with the Chinese Consortium, as this is our first contract with China for our railways sector. I am hoping that we continue this arrangement for more projects, including our Clark to Subic Railway project that I am hoping to be signed before the end of the year,” Secretary Tugade said.

“We will continue to improve our nation’s railways to better provide the riding public mobility and connectivity, and with the support of the Chinese government, we move closer to delivering President Duterte's promise of a more comfortable life for every Filipino,” Undersecretary Batan added.
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Violence, child labor, trafficking, disasters: The dangers faced by children on the move


To mark Universal Children’s Day, the NGO EDUCO reminds us that millions of children are forced to migrate to another country, or a different part of their country, accompanied by their parents and families, or even alone.

The Head of Protection at EDUCO, Laurence Cambianica, confirms that “it is difficult to have exact figures regarding this phenomenon. However, UNICEF estimates that there are around 50 million children on the move. In these contexts, they are doubly vulnerable: because they are children and because they are refugees or migrants.”

The reasons for moving are many, like for example to search for economic resources or new opportunities, but more than half of them, around 28 million, are fleeing from the violence of wars, natural disasters or the threat of an insecure and dangerous environment.

According to Cambianica, “Often, fleeing is their best option, to have a better future or just in terms of survival. However, they also face a number of dangers. These children are at risk of suffering physical, sexual or psychological violence, or of being victims of exploitation, trafficking or the worst forms of child labour. In situations like these, young girls and adolescent girls are especially vulnerable and may suffer gender-based violence.”

The head of Protection of the NGO adds that “it is important to remember that on many occasions these children cannot go to school. For example, only half of these refugees or internally displaced children go to primary school and only 25% attend the first phase of secondary education. That is why we also ask governments to take the necessary action to guarantee their right to education.”

In the most recent Mayon Volcano Eruption of 2018 alone, up to 90,000 learners were affected, 30-45% of whom are displaced. The rest are residents who are hosting evacuees in their schools or communities.

EDUCO insists that it is essential that these children on the move can travel safely; accompanied by their families or other people they trust. It, therefore, demands that States, through community child protection mechanisms, guarantee the security and rights of these children.
“EDUCO supports the government in strengthening implementation of laws and programs for children in times of emergencies,” adds Shiena Base, EDUCO Philippines Child Protection Specialist. “Children in Emergency Relief and Protection Act (RA 10821) must be enacted and cascaded down to the community level including the children. We must give more weight on the preventive rather than restorative measures.“
According to Shina Base, this can be done by strengthening child protection mechanisms in communities by establishing functional child protection and gender-based violence reporting and referral pathway even in times of emergencies.
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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

478 passengers stranded in Bicol ports due to 'Samuel'

PNA file photo
LEGAZPI CITY -- The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Bicol on Monday canceled the trips of sea vessels, grounding 478 passengers, 112 cargo trucks, passenger buses and cars in the ports of Masbate, Sorsogon, and Albay, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Bicol reported on Tuesday.

The OCD report said ports authorities enforced the “no sailing” policy following the raising of Tropical Cyclone Warning (TCWS) Signal No. 1 over Masbate.

As of 6 a.m. Tuesday, there were 223 stranded passengers in Matnog, followed by Masbate with 108, Pio Duran with 82, and Pilar with 65 passengers.

Affected by the cancellation of sea transport were the ports of Matnog, and Pilar in Sorsogon, Masbate and in Pio Duran Albay, according to OCD regional director Claudio Yucot.

The PCG canceled the trip of 19 sea vessels, which were docked at the ports of Pilar, Matnog, Masbate, and Pio Duran and are bound for the Visayas provinces.

The OCD also directed local disaster councils to advise fishermen not to sail out and go fishing due to rough seas,

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), tropical depression “Samuel” maintained its strength as it moves closer toward the Dinagat-Samar-Leyte area.

Aside from Masbate, TCWS No. 1 is hoisted over the provinces Romblon, Oriental and Occidental Mindoro and Northern Palawan. (PNA)
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PNP won't revive Alsa Masa

Durana

MANILA -- There are no plans to revive the "Alsa Masa", a network of civilian informers during the 1980s that transformed into a vigilante group, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Monday.

PNP Spokesperson, Chief Supt. Benigno Durana, made the clarification regarding the statement of Calabarzon police regional director, Chief Supt. Edward Carranza, that the PNP was considering the expansion of its Community Mobilization Project (CMP) into an intelligence-gathering network that would be like "Alsa Masa".

Durana said what Carranza meant was that the regional advisory council proposed the enhancement of a community mobilization project, which will gather stakeholders in the community, church, acedeme, business groups and all other to sit down and deliberate on pressing security and public issues.

This, according to Durana, will be a consultative mechanism to harness support and insights, talents and energies in solving matters.

“It will never be a policy of PNP to revive this concept of Alsa Masa because we don’t advocate vigilantism in our midst in solving security problems. On the context of the Regional Director of the Police Regional Office 4-A (Calabarzon), we gather the regional advisory councils of PNP in continuously promoting and advocating ang patrol plan 2030. Whether it is a security problem, peace and order problem, we believe all stakeholders in commmunity should be involved,” Durana told reporters.

The PNP spokesperson also said that with the presence of regional advisory councils, various sectors will be able to give insights on how to address various security issues.

“Community policing is a philosophy of growing the support of the public. It can be initiated by LGUs (local government units), by barangays with support of PNP to ensure laws will not be violated, human rights are observed. We're all in this together the community is the police and the police is the community that is a tried and tested concept,” Durana explained. (PNA)
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Monday, November 19, 2018

Catandunagnon student's short film among MMFF2018 entries



MANILA (Bicol Standard) -- A short film by a student from Catanduanes State University was selected as one of the eight official entries in the 2018 Metro Manila Film Festival - Student Short Film Category.

Filmmaker Demetrio Celestino III was earlier awarded a grant of P20,000.00 to produce the short film.

Meantime, the other seven official entries to the short film category are:

Balita - Centro Escolar University

Binibini 14. Beverly Lagdameo - De La Salle College of St. Benilde

Dalawampung Pisong Pag-asa - St. Dominic College of Asia

Kasilyas - Bulacan State University

Padyak - Northern Mindanao Colleges, Inc.

Paraiso - UP Diliman

Sasagot Ka Pa? - De La Salle College of St. Benilde

The judges announced that they had to choose from 123 entries.
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96 Bicol LGUs get Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance



LEGAZPI CITY--The Regional Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children (RSCWC)-Region V awarded the Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance (SCFLG) to 96 of the total 114 local government units (LGUs) in the region last November 9 at La Edley, Legazpi City.

“The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) prioritizes the vulnerable sectors specially the children. The SCFLG is not only for recognition and gratitude; our aim is to showcase LGUs as models for replication in terms of promoting programs and services for the children,” Dir. Arnel B. Garcia, the RSCWC Chairperson said.

Moreover, Ligao City, Albay and Castilla, Sorsogon were both honored as the 2016 Regional Awardees qualifying for the Presidential Award for Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities.

Special awards were also given to the following LGUs:

Naga City-LGU with Remarkable Investment for Children for 2016 (independent city category), Most Innovative LGU on Children’s Welfare Programs

Canaman-First Place: LGU with Highest Investment for Children for 2016 (4th-6th income class category)

Sagnay-Second Place: LGU with Highest Investment for Children for 2016 (4th-6th income class category)

Daet-First Place: LGU with Highest Investment for Children for 2016 (1st-3rd income class category)

Labo-Second Place: LGU with Highest Investment for Children for 2016 (1st-3rd income class category)

Legazpi City-First Place: LGU with Highest Investment for Children for 2016 (component City category)

Ligao City-Second Place: LGU with Highest Investment for Children for 2016 (component city category), Regional Winner for three consecutive years (2015-2017) as regional winner under Presidential Award for Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities

The Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) launched the Child-Friendly Philippines framework last 2014 that included the SCFLG which is a recognition system for LGUs that deliver positive results for children’s through planning, budgeting, legislation and delivery of services.

The SCFLG is complemented by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular of 2014-80 endorsing the Child Friendly Local Governance Audit (CFLGA) to all Provincial Governors, City and Municipal Mayors, the ARMM Regional Governor, DILG Regional Directors, and other concerned parties.

Likewise, the DSWD and the Department of Education (DepEd) are member of the CFLG Audit Team.

LGUs that will pass the CFLGA will be conferred the Seal of Child Friendly Local Governance by the CWC. The LGUs shall be audited based on the following twelve (12) criteria:

1. Percentage reduction in the deaths among children below five years old or under-five mortality rate.

2. Percentage reduction in the number of children under-six with below normal weight.

3. Percentage increase in the number of 3-4 year-old children attending center-based day care services.

4. Completion rate for elementary schooling.

5. Absence of child labor or percentage reduction in child labor cases.

6. Percentage reduction in the number of children victims of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation (all forms, including physical violence, sexual abuse and exploitation, and trafficking in persons).

7. Safety measures for children in the community and schools.

8. Extent of mainstreaming of children’s rights to survival, development, protection and participation in the core development agenda of LGUs (this includes LCPC functionality and child participation).

9. An ordinance establishing Barangay Violence Against Women and their Children (VAWC) Desks.

10. Philhealth accreditation in its main health facility or rural health unit for the Maternal Care Services and Primary Care.

11. A Local School Board (LSB) Plan that is aligned with the School Improvement Plan (SIP).

12. Completed at least 70% of its LSB Plan.

Conferees of the SCFLG are shortlisted and validated for the Presidential Award for Child Friendly Municipalities and Cities.

Furthermore, Ms. Conifer Codia, the focal person of the CFLG from the DILG Region V, said that the all cities and municipalities in the provinces of Albay and Camarines Norte received the Seal of CFLG. Furthermore, the town of Libon will vie for the Presidential Award next year.

Codia was also honored by Dir. Garcia during the event for her invaluable efforts in the successful activity.
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EDITORIAL | On the Filipino language



All this talk about the Supreme Court ruling that Philippine colleges may now exclude Filipino and Panitikan from the core subjects prompts a reflection on the value of language to Filipinos.

In the early days of its civilization, the Philippines did not have a single common language that could be understood by its plethora of cultural groups. It was only in 1937 that a resolution approving the adoption of Tagalog as the language of the Philippines, and declaring the national language based on Tagalog as the national language of the Philippines was signed by President Manuel L. Quezon.

This move did not go unopposed, predictably among non-Tagalogs, who saw the declaration as giving unfair advantage to those who hail from Tagalog-speaking areas.

Others contended, meanwhile, that one of the bases on which it was selected—as the most widely-spoken language in the Philippines—was not entirely true. Cebuano, it was argued, was the more widely-spoken language.

Meantime, others claimed that a fairer decision would have been to select a language that was spoken by the least number of people. This way, it was said, the majority of the people would have to learn the new national language, and the problem of the unfair advantage to the majority would be solved.

Today, Filipino remains the national language, and the Constitution mandates its development and enrichment, not only based on Tagalog, but also on other Philippine languages.

For the Supreme Court and the CHED to assert that the Filipino subject previously taught in college is now sufficiently accommodated in the additional years of Senior High School goes starkly against the idea of continuing its development and enrichment.

Regardless of the politics involved in its declaration as a national language, Filipino is all we have. Whether or not it was the best language to select as the national language is really beside the point. In this day and age, Filipino serves its purpose to bridge not only cultural gaps, but also divisions based on ideology and class. It functions to unite the archipelago by giving it a language in which to communicate dreams and verbalize ideas.

To eliminate the study of the language (as well as literature written in said language), therefore, is not only to deny the purposes it serves to our society, but also to hinder its growth to be the true national language it was envisioned to become.
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EDUCO releases report on the state of education in Bicol


“This is EDUCO’s gift to children this children’s month of November,” announced Country Director Imelda Abalos. Today, EDUCO Philippines, a global NGO working in Bicol with the Department of Education, released a report which enumerates the major factors that affect Bicolano children’s learning and development. Some of the highlights of the report are as follows:

Results show that poverty is still the top reason hindering access to education. Thirty-six (36%) of Bicolanos are poor. According to the report, while education is basically free in the Philippines, poor families cannot send their children to schools without ‘baon’ or transport expenses to high schools that are often only in town centers, far from where farmers till land or fisherfolks catch fish.

Poverty is inter-related to the high incidence of child labor in the Region. The report cites data from the Philippine Statistics Agency indicating that 10.4% (218,400) of Bicolano children are child laborers.

The report also mentions that Bicol was short in classrooms to which the Department of Education Assistant Regional Director Tito Eco clarified that this data might no longer be updated. There might be a discrepancy because DepEd Bicol has already allotted all resources necessary to eliminate classroom shortages. Of course, whether construction has already begun on the ground, could probably be where the discrepancy on information is.

In terms of quality, the report acknowledges reforms in improving the curricula in education, like the Mother Tongue-Based education or K-12 and enumerated the challenges of implementing them in Bicol. The report identified gaps such as the “Bikol-Naga” being the only language used for teaching and learning materials for Bicol. The report also revealed that the number of high schools is unable to accommodate the number of elementary graduates in K-12.

Another gap shed light into by the report was the preparation of children to enter primary school through early childhood education. The mandate of putting up child development centers (daycare) is lodged in local governments units with support from the Social Welfare Department and the National ECCD Council, not DepEd. DepEd does not require children to have gone through early childhood care and development (ECCD) before enrolling to Grade 1.

Children without ECCD who often come from poor families cannot read or write which already puts them at a disadvantage in primary school compared to others who did. When this is the case, they are more likely to eventually drop out. Mayor Joan Lorenzano-Aquende of Castilla, Sorsogon highlighted how a local government unit can invest and run ECCD on the ground.

“It is turning out to be worthwhile to invest in education,” said Mayor Aquende. While most local chief executives are tempted to invest in short-term, visible projects like infrastructure, Castilla reached out to the private sector, National ECCD Council, and the academe to set up child development centers, train workers/teachers, and provide nutrition and health services in all its 64 barangays.

Mayor Aquende reiterated the need to institutionalize such programs, noting that Castilla is working on an ordinance to keep a steady increase of funding for ECCD and other programs for children in the municipality, as its own local economy grows. “If you lift up families, you lift up the whole community—an electorate like that can elect great leaders.”

In response to the issues identified by the report, DepEd Bicol through ARD Eco shared its plans and its vision for Education in Bicol, citing among others the planned expansion of Alternative Learning Systems to reach out to out of school children through an “Oplan Balik Eskwela.” DepEd also will definitely address the accessibility of high school and improve reading programs to ensure the quality of education in Bicol. They will likewise be investing in modernity, digitizing administrative processes like grading and lesson plans so that these will be easier for teachers.

Way Forward Solution: Partnership

EDUCO and DepEd both agree that a critical part of ensuring the kind of education that includes every child, fulfills their rights and responsibilities, and truly sets Bicolano children for a life of dignity and full potential is collaboration. “Public-private partnerships are at the core of DepEd’s mandate, especially in reaching schools that are in very remote areas,” says ARD Eco.

As evidenced by experiences of communities like Castilla, education is funded, implemented, and sustained by stakeholders when everyone is involved. Meanwhile, DepEd’s Brigada Eskwela has raised Php 1.7 billion worth of repairs and constructions for 2018 alone, a program that fosters community volunteerism.

Through this report, EDUCO hopes to have a closer collaborative relationship with DepEd in ensuring children’s rights to education in Bicol in the coming years.

EDUCO is an international development NGO, working in education and the protection of children, which runs projects in 15 countries which involve the participation of 500,000 children and 150,000 adults.
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TEACHER CORNER | In reading, hope springs

Esteban B. Camano Master Teacher II Gen.T. De Leon National High School The wide spread of illiteracy is still one of the world’s bigge...