Friday, February 8, 2019

CSPC Nabua soon to be university

CSPC Nabua
Photo: Wikipedia Bicol
NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard)--The Bicol region will soon have a new university, after the Senate has passed a counterpart measure yesterday for the conversion of Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges in Nabua, Camarines Sur.

Earlier, the House of Representatives approved House Bill 8730 converting the status of the school into a university.

It will be known as Polytechnic State University of Bicol, once the bill is approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“This new university will provide great opportunities to Bicolanos, especially to residents of the Rinconada area,” Camarines Sur 5th District Rep. Salvio Fortuno, one of the authors of the House bill, said this morning.

“I am extremely happy that one of my greatest dreams of having a university in my district will be realized during my last term as congressman,” he added.

“Education has always been very close to my heart, as I am married to a public school teacher, and my parents are also teachers,” he revealed.

“This is probably one of my most important legacies, not only to the people of my hometown Nabua, but also to the entire region,” he explained.

The school is known for producing many topnotchers in licensure examinations.

The new university will provide advanced education, higher technological and professional instruction, and training in education, science and technology, engineering, environment, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, arts and sciences, business administration and management, health sciences, and other related fields of study.

It will also undertake research and extension services, and provide progressive leadership in its areas of specialization.


SSS Naga, bukas sa calamity loan

NAGA CITY -- Bukas na an opisina kan Social Security System (SSS) sa ciudad nin Naga sa pag ako nin mga application para sa Calamity loam kan mga miembros kaini.

Segun sa pahayag kan sinambit na opisina, sa paagui ni Queenie Joy Agsao, Senior Communications Analyst, an gobierno nagtagama nin labing P451 M na fundo para gamiton sa loan assistance program kan mga miembro, kabale an mga pensionaldo, na naafectaran kan nag aging bagyo, TD Usman.

Sabi sa pahayag kan SSS kasuodma, pwedeng maka aprovichar kan loan, advance na tulong bulan na pension, asin direct house repair and improvement loan an mga miembro na nag eestar sa lugar na inagihan kan kamamidad, asin pig bugtak sa state of calamito kan National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Sa lindong kan programa, pwedeng mag apply nin loan na maabot sa P16,000, alagad saro sa mga condisyon iyo na kaipohan nakahulog na an miembro nin dai makulang sa 36 na bulan na kontribusyon, kun saen an anon na bulan digdi ipig hulog sa laog kan 12ng bulan antes an petsa kan saiyang pag apply.
Linalaoman na madagsa an mga miembros kan SSS na gustong mag aprovichar kan pig oofrecir na pautang na ini.

DOH Bicol puts increasing measles trend under watch

Following the reported measles outbreak in Metro Manila, the Department of Health Center for Health Development (DOH CHD) Bicol put measles under careful watch to prevent an outbreak in Bicol.

The DOH Epidemiology Bureau reported that the number of measles cases in other Regions, namely - Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, and Bicol Region, have shown an increasing trend.
As of January 1 to February 2, 2019, records from Bicol Region revealed 54 new cases of measles with 2 laboratory confirmed cases. Reports show that Sorsogon has the highest number of measles cases at 21 cases, followed by Masbate – 12, Camarines Sur – 12, Albay – 5, and Camarines Norte – 3, and Catanduanes – 0.

DOH CHD - Bicol assured that it will be coordinating with land and sea terminals, markets, schools, and other government agencies and non-government organizations to disseminate information and enjoin them to actively participate in the prevention and control efforts of DOH. DOH CHD - Bicol is also lobbying to push mandatory immunization as counter-measure to prevent a possible outbreak and re-emergence of vaccine-preventable diseases.

“There is a possibility of a spill-over, that some of these children carrying measles from Manila will travel home to Bicol because the hospitals cannot accommodate them anymore due to the influx of measles patients. That is why we should be ready and ensure that our children here in Bicol have the necessary protection against measles,” said Family Health Cluster Head, Dra. Rita Ang-Bon.
Ang-Bon also suggested that parents should review their children’s immunization cards and bring their children in the nearest health centers.

“There is no known cure for measles, our best defense here is immunization,” added Ang-Bon.
Bicol’s Immunization Program Coordinator, Dr. Monrey Isaiah Mancilla further emphasized that 9 out 10 unvaccinated children with close contact to a measles patient may develop measles. Mancilla advised the public to be vigilant and refer a person showing symptoms of coughs, colds, red eyes, fever, and skin rashes to the nearest health facility for early diagnosis and promt case management.
Meanwhile, in response to the increasing trend of measles in Bicol, DOH OIC - Regional Director, Dr. Ernie V. Vera calls on the parents to make their children’s health concern their utmost priority, and not to wait for the complications before taking action.

“The measles vaccines that we are using have been around since 2010 and there have been no reported deaths from the vaccines ever since. We urge the parents to trust the DOH because we review our medicines thoroughly to ensure that they are safe,” said Vera.

“We advise the public not to immediately believe unfounded scares, or reports without basis at the expense of the children’s health. We seek the public’s cooperation with our programs because it will be all for naught if no one would receive them,” added Vera.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It is transferred from person-to-person by sneezing, coughing, and close personal contact. The disease’s complications included diarrhea, middle ear infection, blindness pneumonia, malnutrition, and encephalitis (swelling of the brain), which may lead to death.//nsau

Mayor Ochoa boosts agriculture in Daet

Daet's pineapples
Photo from DA Bicol
DAET, Camarines Norte (Bicol Standard)--Mayor Benito Ochoa believes Daet can supply this town, and even neighboring towns, with locally-produced fruits and vegetables.

In an interview on Tuesday, Ochoa said he decided to give priority to agriculture, which has a huge potential to help Daeteños.

“Daet has a total of 5,861 hectares. Sixty-one percent of this, or 3,590 hectares, is composed of agricultural lands. These include Calasgasan, Dogongan, Bibirao, Bagasbas, Borabod, Pamorangon, Awitan, Alwihao, Pamorangon, Gubat, Magang.”

“By giving priority to agriculture, we are providing livelihood to our constituents, as well as showing the world that we are capable of producing other agricultural products apart from the sweet Formosa pineapples, for which we are now widely known,” he explained.

He estimates that agriculture can provide an additional 40 percent to the livelihood to Daeteños who presently have no source of income.

“With this boost of support for agriculture, our constituents no longer have to travel to places far away from their families just to earn a living,” he said.

Ochoa urged Daeteños to support the agricultural initiative, not only by purchasing from local farmers, but also by considering engaging in this lucrative industry themselves.

Bicolanos wary of impending closure of EDSA bus terminals

Bicol Central Station
Bicol Standard file photo
NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – Bicolano commuters want their voice to be heard in relation to the forthcoming closure of the 46 provincial bus terminals along EDSA slated to begin this April. 

This after the Metro Manila Development Authority announced earlier this week that passengers from the south would have to alight at an integrated terminal in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, then transfer to city buses to get to different parts of Metro Manila.

The MMDA maintained this would help decongest EDSA of traffic.

Boyet, 51, who frequently travels to Manila from Naga City for business, believes this move will create more problems than solutions.

“While we all want EDSA to be declogged of traffic, let us not forget the welfare of the commuters not only from Bicol, but also from Visayas and Mindanao,” he told the Bicol Standard during an interview at the Central Bus Terminal on Friday morning here.

Rosa, 45, also a commuter from Camarines Sur, meantime said: “Instead of decongesting traffic, this will create even more traffic, as many city buses will be needed to ferry the passengers from Laguna to Manila.”

“Where is the wisdom in this?” she asked.

She added that while politicians are now busy preparing for the midterm elections, they should attend to this pressing concern, as it will affect ordinary people who depend on public transport.

MMDA General Manager Jose Arturo Garcia, Jr. late last year told the media that it was President Rodrigo Duterte who directed the closure of all provincial bus terminals along EDSA.

Bus drivers plying the Naga-Manila route would not react on the same, as they are waiting for the formal announcement from their operators.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Masbate province all set for Palarong Bicol 2019

LEGAZPI CITY -- The host division for this year’s regional athletic meet has officially presented to members of the Bicol Regional Athletic Association (BRAA) some important dates and activities of the 2019 Palarong Bicol.

During yesterday’s BRAA meeting presided by DepEd Regional Director Gilbert Sadsad, Schools Division Superintendent Bebiano Sentillas of the SDO Masbate Province announced that the opening ceremonies for the Palarong Bicol will happen at the Masbate City Sports Compex in Masbate City on February 24, 2019. Prior to the parade, there will be a Zumba Run/ Tree Planting at Mayong Payong Masbate city at 4:30 a.m.

The opening tip for all the games will start on February 25 at the above-mentioned sports complex and other playing venues. All games are expected to end on March 1, while the closing parade and ceremonies is on March 2, 2019.

Other important activities mentioned during the meeting are as follows: Refresher Course for Officiating Officials (Feb. 21-22), Solidarity Meeting (Feb 23); Trade Fair (Feb. 24); Mayor's Night (Feb 24); Governor's Night (Feb 25).

Reflections of an enlightened child in conflict with the law (CICL)

Life is like a candle. Darkness enfolded a child when life hit him hard and lost any sight of the light at a young age.

Jose, not his real name, was a victim of inhospitable circumstances. His parents lived separately with his mother who shouldered the sole parental responsibility over four children in the family while his father sent them money to support them financially.

Moreover, he was confronted with a life changing event after his father’s death in 2009. His mother pulled the ends together by exploring alternative livelihood activities for their daily sustenance including the payment for their school expenses.

According to Jose, from being a household manager, his mom attended trainings in cosmetics and caregiving, hence, she worked as part-time on call beautician and caregiver thereafter.

In the absence of his mother, Jose’s eldest sibling replaced his mother. But according to him, it was not enough.

He admitted that they had more time to engage with their peers due to limited adult’s supervision.

Jose discovered the life without boundaries. A life where he can decide on his own without his parents’ reprimand.

Soon, Jose engaged with friends who introduced him to different vices.

“I cut classes. I learned how to smoke and drink alcohol while my older brother got into illegal drugs,” he said.

Jose became unstoppable. In 2015, Jose who was in third year high school decided to steal a motorcycle parked in his school because he wanted to have his own service; something that his mom cannot afford.

However, his world crumbled down when he was apprehended the same year. He violated the Anti-Fencing Law and was admitted at DSWD’s Regional Rehabilitation for Youth (RRCY) in Sorsogon City for his suspended sentence and directed him to undergo rehabilitation instead of full blown court trial.

After his three-year stay at RRCY, he was discharged out of the facility and was integrated to his family.

At RRCY, a residential institution that provides protection, care, treatment and rehabilitation to abused and exploited boys below 18 years of age, Jose received the following from DSWD: social services, home life services, educational services, health services, psychological services, spiritual enrichment services, productivity program and socio-cultural and recreational services.

After all those years, the most valuable lesson he learned is that life is important.

Jose described life like a candle. Its light may end in an instant if not taken care of.

But the people who gave them the opportunity to live a reformed life kept the light burning and its continuing illumination serves a source of inspiration to those who were lost in the darkness.

According to U.S. President John F. Kennedy: “We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light the candle that can guide us through that darkness to a safe and sane future”. (DSWD)

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

7 farmers groups in Bicol to get dump truck from DAR

DAR dump trucks

LEGAZPI CITY -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) will distribute seven 6-wheeler dump trucks worth over Php 21 million worth to agrarian reform farmers’ organizations in Bicol provinces.

Bicol Regional Director Arnel S. Dizon said the common services facilities (CSFs) were provided under the Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity and Economic Support Services (ARCCESS) project of the DAR.

Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones and Support Services Undersecretary Emily Padilla will lead the distribution of said trucks to recipients in a ceremony that will be held at the CARP Development Center compound, Rawis, Legazpi City on Friday, February 8.

Of the 7 trucks, three will be given to the farmers’ group in Camarines Sur I, two for Albay, and one each for Camarines Sur II and Catanduanes provinces.

Said dump trucks will be used to transport agriculture products from the farm to the market. (Geri C. Buensalida/DAR)

Catanduanes State U cancels classes due to alleged bomb threat

VIRAC, Catanduanes (Bicol Standard) -- An alleged bomb threat prompted the officials of Catanduanes State University to cancel classes at 10:30 a.m. today., the local police confirmed.

Reports say that several professors received text messages last night regarding a bomb threat, but it was only earlier this morning that it was brought to the attention of the police.

The Explosive Ordnance and Detection Team is conducting assessment and clearing operations this morning inside the campus.

After the clearing and assessment this morning, classes will resume this afternoon, the police said.

Catanduanes State University has a population of around 8,000. -- With report from Ramil Soliveres

Bato to Arch. Tirona: Sorry for drug war casualties

Bato dela Rosa in Naga City
NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – Former PNP Chief and now senatoriable Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said he would ask for forgiveness for those who died in the drug war, if given a chance to meet with Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona of the Archdiocese of Caceres.

“Pag nagkaharap kami, sabihin ko sa kanya, Archbishop ako po ay humihingi ng tawad sa lahat ng mga namatay sa aming war on drugs, dahil konsensya ko po iyon,” he told the members of the media in a brief news conference held at Avenue Plaza Hotel here this morning.

“Kahit hindi ako mismo ang pumatay o nakipagbarilan sa kanila, pero ako po ang PNP Chief, it happened during my watch so konsensya ko po yun,” he clarified.

“Ako po ay maka-Diyos na tao,” he further stated.

Asked what response he expects from Tirona, Dela Rosa said he believes he would be forgiven.

“He [Tirona] is a representative of God, at ang Diyos, pag nasa puso mo yung pagsusumamo, yung paghingi ng tawad, pagbibigyan ka naman siguro,” he added.

Dela Rosa is in Naga City to woo supporters in his senatorial bid.


If elected, he said he will push for the re-imposition of the death penalty, only for bigtime drug traffickers, and not for smalltime drug users.

He will also attend to the needs of OFWs in distress, especially those in the Middle East who are victims of the abuses of their employers.

Meantime, in the Bicol region, he said he would support the plan to implement the flood control projects.


Dela Rosa believes his edge over the other candidates is his sincerity and honesty.

“I am fundamentally honest. Those are not my words, but the President’s. During my stint as police officer, I was never involved in corruption and other abuses,” he asserted.

“We are only given one chance in this life to do good, so let us make the best of it,” he emphasized.

Dela Rosa has a number of meetings scheduled in the province of Camarines Sur to spread his advocacies.


CSC-Bicol clarifies rules on electioneering

LEGAZPI CITY -- Direct or indirect engagement of government workers in electioneering or partisan political activities is punishable.

This was given emphasis by Civil Service Commission Regional Office 5 (CSC RO5) Information Officer Rona Jane Nuñez as reminder to government workers in line with the preparations for the national and local elections.

"Direct or indirect engagement of government employees in electioneering or partisan political activities is a less grave offense punishable by suspension or dismissal from service,” Nuñez said.

Nuñez also cited the Omnibus Election Code which penalizes government workers and military who will be involved in election offenses such as electioneering and partisan political activities. Sanctions range from imprisonment, disqualification to hold public office to deprivation of the right of suffrage.

Electioneering or partisan political activity refers to any act designed to promote the election or defeat of particular candidates or parties to public office.

Nuñez however clarified that workers may still express personal views on political matters, even on social media but without promotions for or against a particular candidate or parties.

“Government workers may also attend gatherings of political candidates but for the purpose of knowing their plans and agenda as voters. Consistent presence in political activities may cause the employee to be closely identified with such candidates or parties,” she added.

Also identified as election prohibited acts are usage of government vehicles and other properties, posting and distribution of campaign materials, wearing of election paraphernalia, membership in political organizations and personal financial support or contributions.

“Government workers are not allowed to become a watcher for a political party or candidate during the election. They may engage in such prohibited acts but they must first resign from their government positions,” Nuñez pointed out.

Moreover, she added that a formal complaint must be filed along with evidences to prove the guilt or engagement of government workers in electioneering or partisan political activities. (SAA-PIA5/Albay)

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Most Filipinos not fully ready for disasters—Harvard study

People feel they lack resources to prepare 

MANILA–Self-rated disaster preparedness among Filipinos is low: only 36 percent of households reported feeling fully prepared for disasters, a recent study by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) DisasterNet Philippines reveals.

With almost a quarter of the population considered poor, most Filipinos cite money as the main barrier preventing them from preparing for disasters. Among the 4,368 Filipino households surveyed across the country, 74 percent were unable to invest in disaster preparedness, mostly due to lack of funds (47.5 percent) and lack of time (20 percent). In the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) alone, 92 percent reported insufficient funds.

Despite campaigns by the government, nongovernment organizations (NGOs), and media, nearly 47 percent of respondents claimed to have done nothing to prepare for a natural hazard in the last five years. Although most respondents claimed to have discussed emergency plans with family members when prompted (83 percent), most respondents do not have a ‘go-bag’ or emergency kit (82 percent), and first aid kit (62 percent).

Strikingly, very few Filipinos are adequately insured to deal with disasters. Only 19 percent claimed to have life insurance, 56 percent had health or medical insurance, three percent had home insurance, and two and a half percent had asset insurance.

Level of preparedness

Respondents living in areas more frequently impacted by typhoons perceived themselves as being more prepared. 52 percent of residents in Eastern Visayas felt very prepared, with 49 percent in Bicol, 44 percent in Western Visayas, and only 32 percent in the National Capital Region (NCR). Similarly, advance discussions on disaster at the household level were high in Bicol, Western Visayas, and Eastern Visayas.

The lowest level of preparedness cited was in Northern Mindanao with only 31 percent.

Furthermore, most Filipinos believed they are self-reliant in preparing for a disaster and cited their experience with previous disaster as the reason for being prepared for future events.

Damage and recovery

Aside from preparedness, the study also tackled other measures of resilience such as, adaptability, coping, and recovery.

Unsurprisingly, the study shows a large portion of the population (42 percent) had experienced significant damage to property, assets and had been displaced from their homes due to a disaster.

In Eastern Visayas which was severely hit by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, 97 percent of homes were either partially damaged or completely destroyed at some point by a disaster. At a national average, 16 percent of the population had been displaced for at least a week and seven percent for more than three months.

The study also revealed Filipinos’ perceptions on ability to cope and recover was limited. 38 percent felt they would have difficulty recovering from a disaster in the near future, and only 22 percent were confident they would be able to recover. People living in the Visayas noted the longest periods of time required to recover from disasters.


In terms of assistance, the vast amount of support Filipinos received in the aftermath of a disaster was provided by LGUs (52 percent), which is consistent with the country’s national disaster management policies.

The assistance received following a disaster came in the form of food and water (57 percent), emergency shelter (five percent), medicine (eight percent), temporary employment or cash (four percent), or livelihood assistance (four percent).

Only a small portion of the population reported receiving housing and relocation assistance: nine percent in Central Luzon, six percent in Northern Mindanao, and five percent in Eastern Visayas.

Temporary employment and cash-for-work represented a small portion of overall aid received by Filipinos with the exception of those living in Eastern Visayas (20 percent) and Western Visayas (17 percent).

Building resilient communities

The study, conducted in 2017, aims to highlight people’s perceptions of their own level of disaster resilience and experience with disaster preparedness systems in the Philippines.

“The HHI report offers important insights into the way Filipinos understand and prepare for a variety of natural hazards that they face. The first nationwide survey of its kind in the Philippines, the data offer a rich look into material levels of preparedness, Filipinos’ views on climate change and its anticipated impacts and offers unique reflections on Filipinos’ expectations of who is responsible for disaster response,” HHI Resilient Communities Program Director Vincenzo Bollettino said.

“As an archipelago located in the Pacific Rim of Fire, the Philippines is exposed to an array of natural hazards. How Filipinos understand their own exposure to these hazards and the steps they take to cope with them is crucial to formulating relevant national policy and planning,” he added.

The DisasterNet Philippines program of HHI will continue to engage with relevant government agencies, NGOs and other academic institutions using evidence-based approaches to contribute to understanding disasters and resilience especially at the household level.

Php6.8-M shabu seized in Legazpi

LEGAZPI CITY--The series of anti-drug operations in this city has resulted to the confiscation of suspected shabu with a street value of P6.8 million in just two weeks, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) reports say.

On Wednesday night, an 18-year-old resident of Barangay San Isidro, Pili, Camarines Sur was arrested while in possession of 500 grams of a substance believed to be shabu with a street value of Php3.4-million along the Obelisk-Eco Homes Road in Barangay Puro here.

Christian Frivaldo, acting regional director of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Bicol, said Oliveros was connected with the drug suppliers of the Rinconada area in Camarines Sur.

Meantime, on Jan. 24, PDEA seized suspected shabu also amounting to P3.4-million in Barangay Bogtong here from suspects Victor Balictar Jr., Steven Roger Altea, and Kenjie Babasa.

In an interview with the media, Frivaldo said the suspects supplied drugs to Barangays Oro Site, Bitano, and Bonot.

All three areas are considered by the PDEA to be the “illegal drug hubs” of Legazpi City.

PH needs better cyber defense

MANILA -- There is a pressing need to improve the country's cyber security, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Monday.

"Another concern is the increasing attacks in cyber space. Previous years have seen the rise of cyber threats, which can be expected to persists as the vital economic and security mechanism become more connected; thus propagating the opportunity for adversarial states and even non-state actors to create disruption on a global scale," the defense chief said during the National Defense College of the Philippines Alumni Forum, which was dubbed "The National Security Outlook for the Philippines in 2019" and held at the NDCP Compound, Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

Given the large scope that a simple cyber-attack covers, much attention and resources are needed to curb such incidents, Lorenzana pointed out.

"Extraordinary attention is required on this matter. It is important to note that the Bangladesh Central Bank heist to which a local bank was implicated must serve as reminder to strengthen both civilian and military networks," the DND chief emphasized.

Lorenzana said he is pushing for the passage of a law requiring the mandatory registration of SIM cards since a lot of improvised explosive devices in the southern part of the country are being detonated by cellphones.

"I did not ask Congress, only (Senator Richard) Gordon. I asked him if he could sponsor a bill that requires the mandatory registration of SIM cards. How will it help us? It makes tracking criminals easier," the DND chief said. (PNA)

THE PASSERBY | Same spirit, different expressions

IT’S important that as we flow with the times, obliged to go with the different and changing developments and circumstances, we don’t get lost along the way and that we manage to stay focused on our ultimate goal which is to be with God in heaven, from whom we came and to whom we belong.

We have to learn how to relate everything to God. Whether, according to our human standards, things are good or bad, favorable or unfavorable to us, we have to know how to relate them to God and how
to react to them according to God’s will and ways.

This divine way of handling all possible situations and everything else in our life has been shown to us already by Christ. He identified himself with us and continues to do so up to now till the end of time, so that we would know how to behave in any situation we can find ourselves in, whether it is good or bad.

Christ precisely went all the way to make himself like sin without committing sin so that he could show us how to behave in our worst scenario. He also showed us how to behave when times are good.

For this, we have to have the spirit of Christ, which is actually given to us and reinforced every time we receive the sacraments. It’s just a matter of being mindful of this truth of our faith and of acting on it, by learning how to have constant presence of God, and conversing with him all the time.

Thus, it is important that we know how to pray and meditate and to become an authentic contemplative even in the midst of our earthly affairs. This is a skill that everyone of us should learn.
This is basic and indispensable if we want to be consistent with our identity as a human person and a Christian believer. 

This is when we can say that we have the same spirit even if that spirit is expressed in different ways depending on the circumstances that we would be in. A Latin expression articulates this
very well. “Non nova, sed novae.” Not new things but in different forms, etc.

St. Paul assures us that it is only in Christ that we can manage to be “all things to all men,” (1 Cor 9,19) which can be paraphrased into us being able to be adapt ourselves to all people, to any kind of situation, without getting confused or lost. St. Paul also assures us that it is only in Christ who can truly strengthen us so that we do not get lost along the way. (cfr. Phil 4,13)

We obviously have to acknowledge that this is not easy to do. In fact, it is impossible for us to do it if we only would rely on our own powers. But Christ himself tells us that as long as we are
with him, nothing is actually impossible.

And St. Paul reinforces this assurance of Christ by saying that “for those who love God, everything will work out for the good.” (Rom 8,28) Even our human mistakes and faults and what-have-you can be taken advantage of to derive some good.

We just have to stay the course, that is, to be with Christ. And this is always possible because Christ is always with us. Being our creator and savior, he cannot be absent from us. It is simply us who need to learn how to be with Christ all the time.

We need to train ourselves to relate everything to God by way of following the example, and more than that, also by identifying ourselves with Christ who makes this identification possible through
his grace, the sacraments, his word, etc.

Thus, we need to meditate often on Christ’s life, on his words and deeds. It should be a habit with us to spend some time daily for this meditation, so we can become familiar with all his ways of
coping with our human condition

Fr. Cimagala is the chaplain of the Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise (CITE), Talamban, Cebu City. E-mail him at roycimagala@gmail. com.

DOH Bicol issues food safety reminders for Chinese New Year

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – In light of the Chinese New Year celebration, the Department of Health Regional Office in Bicol issued a health advisory on food safety via social media.

Unclean food may cause illnesses such as diarrhea, hepatitis A, and parasites, DOH Bicol said.

The office added that fruits and vegetables must be washed before eating or being prepared for cooking.

It also cautioned against purchasing food items from sidewalk vendors.

Further, cooking just the right amount of food will prevent spoilage.

Food containers should be clean and covered.

Let us summon luck this 2019 with health and safety, the office said in the same post.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Brgy. captain sa Masbate, nakasalvar sa ambush

MASBATE CITY (Bicol Standard) -- Naka salvar sa kagadanan an sarong Punong barangay kan digdi kan Sabado (Feb 2).

Sabi kan pulis si Raul Depedran, 42, chief kan Brgy. Madao sa Uson, Masbate an nakalunad sa motorsiklo kasuno an saiyang aking lalaki kan sinda paputokan kan dai pa nabistong mga suspechado.

Pinaharorot ni Depederan an saiyang pig lunadan na motorsiklo kaya nalikayan an mga bala, apisar na siya pinaarakasakan sinda nin bala.

An tinamaan lugod nin bala iyo si tulak kan saiyang aking lalaki na pigbubulong ngonian.

Sabi kan PNP Regional police office, nagpapadagos pa an pagsiyasat kan krimen na ini.

71% kan reklamo sa Ombudsman, nai-file sa Sandiganbayan

MANILA -Nasa 71% kan mga reklamo na isinansangat sa Office of the Ombudsman an naka-abot sa Sandiganbayan kan 2018, sabi sa annual report kan Anti Graft Court.

An Ombudsman nag file nin 739 na caso sa kabilogan kan nagtalikod na taon -- an limang bulan digdi, si Ombudsman Samuel Martirez na an nakatukaw sa pwesto.

Segun sa pahayag ni Martirez nagsugo siya sa officina na mag gibo nin imbentaryo kan gabos na caso sa lindong kan fact-finding investigation, an nag order kan dismissal kan dismissal kan mga reklamo na labing sarong taon na an naka agi, "without prejudice" sa pag file guiraray kan caso.

Poon kan pagtukaw ni Martirez sa pwesto, dakul na an saiyang inaprobaran na caso na imbuelto an mga nakatukaw na official kan gobierno, na parte kan mga nawalat na reclamo asin backlog kan panahon ni dating Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales.

An pagbalga kan Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices an nanginotan sa numero kan mga casong pig file kan 2018 na may 341 gabos, sunod an malversation na 144, asin falsification na 115 an numero.

Mientrastanto, dinismiss kan Sandiganbayan an nagkapirang caso kan sarong taon, na nag abot sa 15%.

Lalaki, gadan sa buy-bust sa Mercedes, CNorte

DAET, Camarines Norte (Bicol Standard) -- Binawian nin buhay an sarong drug suspect sa Mercedes, Camarines Norte kan siya makilaban sa naka-transaksyon na pulis, na nag conducir kan buy bust operation.

Sabi sa report, mag-omagahon kan sarong aldaw na maging positibo an buy bust operation kan composite team kan Provincial Intelligence Branch kan Camarines Norte PPO asin Mercedes MPO na ginibo sa Cory Aquino Boulevard, na an target iyo si Noel Ramirez, saro suboot na pusukit na para tinda nin shabu, na taga Brgy. 3, Daet, Camarines Norte.

Arog kan dating mga report, nakamalesya an suspect na pulis an saiyang ka-transaksyon, kaya nagbunot si Ramirez nin badil, kaya siya binadil kan pulis.

An sabi, naka likay an pulis na tamaan kan bala hale sa suspechado, kaya binalos siya, na tinamaan nin lagarto sa gadanan na parte kan lawas.

Idinalagad pa kuta kan nag respondeng miembros kan MDRRMO personnel an suspechado pasiring sa Camarines Norte Provincial Hospital, pero pig declarar na gadan na pag abot sa docktor.

May nakuang revolver na calibre .38 sa pinangyarihan kan buy bust operation asin tulong capsula nin bala kan badil.

Guardya sa BJMP Tigaon, nagwala, inarestar sa Naga

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) -- Yaon na sa laog kan carcel digdi sa Naga City an sarong oficial kan Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) na ipig reklamong nagparapaputok kan saiyang badil kan Sabado (Feb. 2).

An saiyang pangaran iyo si Jail Officer 3 Reynaldo Nicolas y Generoso, 41, may agom, asin residente kan Bagumbayan Sur, digdi.

Base sa report kan Naga City Police Office, ipig osip si Nicolas sa mga awtoridad kan salang gibo kan mga kataraid man sana ninda sa harong, sa Bagumbayan Sur.

An incidente nangyari poco mas o menos alas 9:25 nin banggui.

Huli kan disturdo sa communidad, nagpadara tulos nin mga miembros kan SWAT an NCPO para arestaron an suspect.

Alagad, nakisuway pa guiraray siya na mag suko sa mga pulis.

Pakalihis nin pirang minutos, nadakop si Nicolas asin binitbit pasiring sa hepatura kan pulis para imbestigaran.

Confirmado kan mga imbestigador na an suspechado empleado sa BJMP asin nakadistino sa Tigaon District Jail.

Sinangatan na siya nin mga kaso arog kan illegal discharge of firearms, resistance and disobedience sa mga awtoridad asin pagbalga kan RA 10591, o illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
Pwedeng problema sa familya an causa kan saiyang pag-wala.

EDITORIAL | Will there be an end to the drug menace?

Despite the efforts of the government in abating the country’s drug problem, the volume of drugs seized with each operation appears not to diminish, but to escalate.

These days, the street value of drugs confiscated are now in the millions, instead of the tens or hundreds of thousands in earlier operations.

This may be because the anti-drug campaign has become more effective, that big fish instead of small fry are now being nabbed.

On the other hand, it could also be because the supply of illegal drugs continues, despite the massive and even deadly campaign.

Those in the drug trade also appear to have gotten more enterprising, this time utilizing not only dark street corners and residences for their clandestine transactions but also inns, lodging houses, and motels. Even Facebook, with the speedy communication it offers, has become a site for the local drug trade, with several suspects confessing to having used their personal accounts to contact sellers and buyers.

Whatever the case, it is clear that efforts should not relent until an effective, long-term solution to the drug problem is identified and implemented. This is no longer the time for mere rhetoric, but rather one for concrete action. This is no longer the time for senseless political bickering and protecting personal interests, but rather one for unity against the common enemy. This is no longer the time for social pessimism, but one for real and positive change.

Instead of being desensitized to the reports, let us keep seeing them for what they are: an alarming reflection of the real condition of Philippine society, and especially if our present decisions are wrong or inadequate, a dire prediction of our future as a nation.

PHOTO | The Beauty Queens and I

Bicolano pageant guru Anjo Santos poses for a souvenir shot with Miss Universe 2018 Top 5 finalist H'Hen Nie of Vietnam and Miss Universe 2010 4th Runner-up Venus Raj in Naga City over the weekend. Both beauty queens were under Santos' tutelage and guidance. (Photo coutesy of Santos)

OWWA-Bicol scholarship program, bukas sa mga aplicante

LEGAZPI CITY (Bicol Standard) -- Pig mamawot liwat kan Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) na magkaigwa liwat nin dagdag na mga scholars para sa mga miembros kan saindang familya sa masunod na mga bulan.

Nin huli kaini, sa Abril 1, 2019 pwede na guiraray na makakua sa sainda nin application forms hale sa saindang opisina.

Segun ki Rowena Alzaga, an parataram kan OWWA-Bicol, maabot sa kantidad P60,000 an itinatao kan saindang ahensiya sa lambang scholar para sa 4 na taon na curso, sa kada school year.

Sa 2-taon na curso, an itinatao nindang ayuda sa scholarship program P20,000, depende sa salary bracket kan mga magurang ninda na nag tatrabaho sa luwas kan Pilipinas.

Kun an OFW mayo pang familya (single), pwedeng mag aprovechar kan scholarship program an saindang tugang na nag eeskwela digdi sa nasyon.

Sen. JV prioritizes railway modernization in Bicol

Bicol Standard photo
NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – Re-electionist Senator JV Ejercito urged Bicolanos to join him in pressuring the government to expedite railway modernization, especially of the South Line of the Philippine National Railways.

In a press conference on Feb. 1 at Villa Caceres, this city, Ejercito underscored the relevance of a modern railway system to the economic growth of the country.

“I understand how important this is to Bicolanos,” he stressed.

He said he is currently the only one pushing for the railway system’s revival, which began when he was still a member of the House of Representatives, representing San Juan, Manila.

He narrated that the contract with the Project Management Consultant (PMC) was already signed in Nov. 2018.

The PMC is responsible for preparing the designs, will assist in the bidding, and perform construction supervision.

From Dec. 2018 to June 2019, the PMC is scheduled to prepare designs.

Procurement of contractors will start in July 2019, concluding with the contract signing in Dec. 2019.

Meantime, land acquisition, resettlement of informal settler families (ISF), and utilities relocation will happen simultaneously with the design preparation, from April 2019 onwards.

At present, the country is lagging at least 15 to 20 years behind in terms of infrastructure development, which includes the mass transport system, Ejercito explained.

“I believe there is no other way than the railway system that we could address the traffic congresion in Manila and other key urban cities,” he noted.

“The railway system could serve as the backbone of our economy. It will create growth nodes and spread out development across the countryside,” he said.

“Only an efficient, reliable, cost-effective, environment-friendly, and modern railway system which moves people and goods faster can be the catalyst for economic growth,” he concluded.

Comelec includes socmed use in poll campaign rules

MANILA -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has included the use of social media propaganda in the rules and regulations of Republic Act No. 9006, known as the “Fair Elections Act”, for the May 13 mid-term elections.

“Each registered political party and candidate shall register with the Education and Information Department of the Comelec, the website name and web address of the official blog and/or social media page of such political party or candidate,” the poll body said in Resolution No. 10488, promulgated on January 30 and made public on Saturday.

It added that other blog or social media page that is endorsing a candidate will be considered as another blog or social media page of the latter.

According to the resolution, a “blog” and “collective blog” refer to websites, on which an individual or group of users, respectively, records news, opinions, and information, in varying degrees of regularity.

A “micro-blog” refers to a blogging format which allows users to exchange small elements of content — referred to variously as posts, entries or status updates — such as short sentences, individual images, or links to video material uploaded to the Internet.

On the other hand, it added that “Social Media” refers to the collective of online communication channels, including websites and applications, which enable users to create and share content, collaborate, and interact with each other.

For the purposes of these rules, video-sharing sites that allow users to post comments on individual entries shall be considered as falling within the broad category of “social media.”

The poll body said that “Social Media Account” refers to a user’s personalized access to a social networking site or application. Typically using a username and password combination.

A social media account allows a user to interact with other users on the same social networking site.

“Social Media Post” refers to any text, audio or graphic content — or any combination thereof — publishes online using a social media account.

At the same time, the Comelec reminded the candidates of the aggregate amount they may spend during election campaign.

Candidates who belong to a political party are only allowed to spend PHP3 per voter while independent bets are allowed to spend PHP5 per voter.

Party-list groups, meanwhile, may spend PHP5 per voter.

As for campaign materials, the size of pamphlets, leaflets, among others should not exceed eight-and-a-half inches in width and 14 inches in length.

Streamers should not exceed three feet by eight feet in size.

These materials may be posted in authorized common poster area in public places and private property, provided that the posting has the consent of the owner.

The Comelec noted that violation of the Fair Elections Act and these rules constitute an election offense punishable under the Omnibus Election Code in addition to administrative liability, whether applicable.

The campaign period for national positions, senator and party-list representative will begin on February 12 while the local candidates will have their campaign period starting March 29.

The campaign period for this year's mid-term elections will end on May 11. (PNA)

P3.4-M na shabu, dakop sa Milaor

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) -Nadakop kan mga miembros kan anti-drug operatives kan sarong aldaw an duwang suspechado sa pagbariwas nin droga hale sa Cavite, asin nakumpiscar sa sainda an kantidad P3.4 million na shabu, sa drug operation sa Milaor, Camarines Sur, sabi kan Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) sa Bicol.

Pugol ngonian kan mga awtoridad sinda Jane Christine Luzvi Nuevo a.k.a "Jing", 32, asin Marlon Luisse Esperitu, 23, pareyong residentes kan Bacoor City, Cavite.

Naarestar sinda mantang nagpapabakal nin shabu sa underconver agents kan PDEA sa Milaor-Naga bypass road sa Brgy. San Jose, poco mas o menos alas 11:45 nin aga, segun ki Christian Frivaldo, an acting regional director kan PDEA.

Pigtukdo ni Frivaldo an mga suspechado na iyo an mga suppliers nin druga na nag ooperar sa Camarines Sur.

An mga tawohan kan PDEA nakakua sa suspechado nin limang plastic bags na may laog nin pig tutubodan shabu na may gabat na 500 gramos asin may street value na kantidad P3.4 million asin awto na Ford Lynx na gamit kan mga suspechado sa pag distribuir kan illegal na druga, sabi ni Frivaldo.

Sabi ni Frivaldo sa interview na sa laog nin duwang semana, an total na nacompiscar kan PDEA na illegal na druga hale sa Camarines Sur asin Albay nag-aabot na sa total na kantidad na labing 10 milyones de pesos.

Universidad de Sta. Isabel recognized as national historical landmark

Photo courtesy of USI
NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) -- Universidad de Sta. Isabel in this city was recognized as a national historical landmark after the marker indicating the same was unveiled by the National Historical Commission and university officials on Jan. 30, 2019.

Dr. Nathalie C. Ranin, Administrative Officer for Public Relations and Linkages, said this was pursuant to Resolution No. 3, issued on February 26, 2018 by the National Historical Commission.

Established in 1868 by Bishop Francisco Gainza, O.P., Bishop of Nueva Caceres, the institution then known as the Escuela – Colegio Diocesano de Sta. Isabel was the first normal school for girls in the Philippines and the Far East.

On January 11, 1872 a Royal Decree elevated the Colegio de Sta. Isabel to Escuela Normal de Maestras.

In 2001, Colegio de Sta. Isabel was granted University Status and renamed Universidad de Sta. Isabel.

Just last year, it celebrated its 150th year.

"For more than 150 years, USI sustained the mission set by its founder Bishop Francisco Gainza, O.P., which is to produce teachers in the different municipalities, and serve their respective hometowns," Ranin said.

Today, the University envisions itself to be a "an audacious Christ centered educational and health care institution committed to empowering communities of persons into inner-directed Vincentian leaders, compassionate healers who are advocates of persons in poverty situations and of God's Creation."

Among those in attendance at the unveiling were University President Sr. Lourdes C. Albis, D.C., and Dr. Rene Escalante of the National Historical Commission.

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