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Bicol, the philippines july 1 - 7, 2012 p5.00

vol. xx, no. 1

Iriga LGU, PNR ink pact on pedestrians safety



19 Years of serving the Bicolanos

3rd Floor, GERONIMO BLDG., BARLIN ST., NAGA CITY (054) 472-57-71 TELEFAX: (054) 475-62-62 CP 0921-3183720 / 0919-2822901 / 0920-5337766

Bikol reporter

(Atty. APA chairs Acyatan & Co., CPAs-DFK International is PICPA past president and Hall-of-Famer, past chair of ASEAN Federation of CPAs, and ACPAPP Lifetime Achievement Awardee). REVERSAL? Many Pinoys are wondering why the Bangko Sentral of a poor country (Philippines) is lending US$1.0 billion to the International Monetary Fund from which institution we used to borrow to balance our finances. The question is why lend our meager funds instead of just using said dollars to fund our economic requirements like helping the poverty-stricken population, building more schools, and giving jobs to our unemployed? Those are simplistic, illogical arguments. The source of the loan is our gross international reserves. The GIR is owned by the Bangko Sentral and these cannot just be used for our government expenditures. So also, our small loan to IMF (for the Financial Transaction Plan to bail out economically-stressed Euro countries) is an investment. Its just like reclassifying our GIR funds from foreign bonds to investments with IMF. Such gesture will raise Phls image in the financial world. LOW INCOME: The IMF investment rate of return .003 (3/10%) per annum. Oppositors say this is low compared to our borrowing rate. The reason why returns on deposits for both pesos and foreign currencies are currently down is because of the economic downturns in industrialized countries. The financial situation is not conducive to savings, but rather towards expenditures. Even if our assistance

july 1 - 7, 2012

Weekly Reflection


PHL BSP lends to IMF

opinions unlimited
through IMF is small it will be a vital part of the global financial aid package. Improvement of the world economy will insure the employment of our OFWs, wherever they may be. This is an assurance that our FX inflows will continue. The Philippines regularly borrows from IMF and the World Bank to prop up our finances, and to service our foreign obligations. Who knows, in due time we will be back as a big borrower requiring global succor to finance our needed projects. Offering help to others in their time of need is an investment. RETIREES: The realty industry is encouraged to address the housing and welfare needs of retirees, more so those receiving FX pensions. It is a wise directive pointing to potential, enriching business fields. Programs for retirees like retirement villages should insure peaceful day-to-day living, complete with health care amenities and recreation. Retirement homes are better-situated away (but not too far) from the madding crowd. Marketing strategies for retirees must consider leisure and entertainment facilities, healthcare and wellness. Realty sales programs should not just target senior wards, but must include junior retirees or those who have availed of early retirement programs. Thus their villages should be proximate to supermarkets and business outlets. Realtors must not limit strategies to property sales. There are other related income areas. FAKE DRUGS: Everyone should beware! Out there, there is an explosion of counterfeit drugs and these are sold around the world. We are at great risk because recent findings point to nearby China as a major source of fake drugs (and other merchandise, too). If you hate China for the bullying that our people are suffering now refrain from patronizing Chinese goods that flood our country. (Our OFWs should also be advised to find work elsewhere). Using fake drugs can be deadly instead of being a health-restorer. There is no guarantee that costlier drugs are genuine. Even the name drug stores are known to be victims of fake dealers. I am not an ardent user of drugs, relying most of the time on the recuperative capacity of my physical body. My contract with the Lord is He will call me to join Him when my time has truly come and my missions are fully done. Praise God! WISDOM: Viewing our lives from heavens vantage point, we see that our misfortunes are teaching lessons.

Among the seven sacraments, the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Matrimony are the most wonderful ones since it is when our parishioners are in the highest point of their lives. Everything is new, fresh and beautiful. There are the happy and celebratory parents and their godparents. The well-dressed groom and bride together with their sponsors, bestmen, bridesmaid, gifts.... and a hearty reception besides, later. How about the other sacraments such as the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick and Dying in which our parishioners are at their lowest and most unattractive point in their lives? This indeed entails an extraordinary amount of charity on the part of us, priests. Due to the size of the place where I am presently assigned, it was divided into two vicariates. A vicariate is an ecclesiastical district comprising a number of parishes headed by a vicar forane. It was on one of this occasion when we have our joint vicarial meeting wherein one of the point at issue was regarding hospital patients still making outside requests for the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and Dying when, in fact, a fulltime hospital chaplain is assigned and to which the chaplain responded that he is all alone ministering to a very large hospital. Besides this, he is also afflicted with some illnesses of his own. I, on my part, upon hearing his statements, immediately approached him and volunteered myself to take up some hours covering for him in case he is away for his day off. And it so happened that a week after I started my volunteer apostolate, the chaplain had his second stroke which necessitates him to go on a leave of absence for a few months or so. In the last few months that I have been devoting my time administering the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and Dying at that public hospital, I noticed that I felt a sense of strong fulfillment in my vocation, as a priest. I overheard bedridden patients and their loved ones beside them expressing their heartfelt thank yous as I passed them with the holy water and oil in my hands. I saw a number of patients who are already at the last throes of life or who have just died a few moments after I arrived in their wards... When I first started, since I still dont know the labyrinthine parts of the hospital, the patients with whom I am able to reach out to were so limited. As customary in that institution, I would usually just wait at the chaplaincy office for any request. However, one day, while going through the place, I noticed that there were big common patient wards to which I can do a mass reach out only if I have something to help me extend my voice amidst the noise. I was able to do it when I was able to borrow a megaphone from one of the departments. With the positive response from the patients with whom I administered the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and Dying, I urged the hospital pastoral council to buy a better one- an amplifier to extend farther my voice. To make the long story short, a portable amplifier was provided and a system was put in place in the hospital wherein there is a daily scheduled ward to be visited. For those in individual rooms, their room doors are requested to be opened while I, an assigned nurse and the portable amplifier powered ON finish our rounds of praying, blessing and anointing them with the holy water and oil. This is besides the regular visits to the most critical areas of the hospital like the Medical Intensive Care Unit ( MICU ), the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit ( PICU ), the Surgical Intensive Care Unit ( SICU ), Cardiac Care Unit ( CCU ), Dialysis Section.... I am so happy that through that portable amplifier my voice was extended to all corners where a patient awaits and listens as Jesus Christ, through me, says to them; TALITHA KOUM , which means; Little girl, I say to you, get up !!! Mark 5: 41

Hospital Rooms Shortage and Continuation of the Fuentebellas of Cam. Sur

I have been informed a long time ago how difficult it is to get a private room in our hospitals here in Naga City and we actually experienced it when my husband needed to be hospitalized last month in the Mother Seton Hospital. There were so many patients needing rooms and there were none available. It took more than one day to get a room. We also looked at other private hospitals and the situation is the same. There is hospital room shortage and this should be addressed by the national and local governments. Two balikbayans from New York came and got sick because of the hot weather. They tried to get a room in the hospital but there was none. Our national and local governments keep pushing the tourism industry and rightly so I hope they also include the availability of hospitals where tourists can go, not just the destination, food, hotels, sports, recreation facilities, etc. According to some doctors from Rinconada, it would help if the people of the province has a provincial hospital but it

from my window
has none. The Bicol Medical Center is for patients of the Bicol Region, not Cam. Sur only. We have a provincial Health Office in Bula, Cam. Sur but it is not a hospital. They say that the district hospitals under the provincial government are functioning only as clinics from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and not as hospitals because it does not have the required personnels, equipments, medicines, bed capacities, etc. There is no doctor on duty at night,

supposing there is food poisoning or an epidemic or diarrhea? Where will people go? Health services should be available to everybody at all times. IV. Health a. 11,634 patients served (Operation Reach-out, Medical/Dental Missiona annually) b. Established Municipal Hospitals, District Hospitals and Co-authorized the Establishment of Bicol Medical Center (R.A. 8058) c. Php 8.5 M per year worth of Medical Assistance provided to indigent patients (BMC & PGH) d. Provided sphygmomanometer to 299 barangay health units V. Tourism a. Passed into laws R.A. 9444 & R.A. 9445 Declaring Atulayan and Lahuy Group of Islands as Tourism Zones b. Street Lighting of National Arterial Roads in Poblacion Areas within
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What money cannot buy

Long before people argue in favor of giving economic value to the air we breathe, the water we drink, the tree shadow that gives us shade, an Indian chief in the early days of the great American continent had already put economic value on the wilderness home of his people. But the economic value was beyond pecuniary equivalent. meaning no amount of money was enough to buy his wilderness, not even tons of gold. Putting economic or market value on natural resources like forests and lakes and rivers is called green accounting which is the current craze today. If a country fails , for instance, to stop the denudation of its rainforests, it loses not only this natural wealth but loses billions, even trillion of pesos worth of bald mountains. Not only are the rainforests destroyed but also the home of wild life and everything that is in them, the unpolluted air, the fresh spring water, the peace and quiet you cannot find in the city.

A QUestIoN of PRIvILeGe

salvador d. flor

The letter of the Indian chief to US President Franklin Pierce who offered to buy Indian lands in the northwest in l854 expressed in a very clear language what people today are taking for granted. How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them,? the Indian chief said. Continuing, he said, There is no quiet place in the white mans cities, no place

to hear the unfurling of the leaves in spring and the rustle of an insects wings. There are finer things in this world that money cannot buy, the wilderness which provides man with a sanctuary from the noise, the pollution, the harsh weather. It cannot buy the pleasure one gets at the sight of a wild flower on a hillside. It was the Indians birthright-the forests, the rivers, the lakes, the wild animals, the lovers call of insects at night, the rustling of the leaves on a windy evening. Without the wilderness, they would have none of these things. No amount of money can buy more years in your life. That is beyond the reach of your material possessions. To people in the big city who are used to seeing big buildings instead of tall trees, there is nothing magical in the wilderness of the American Indian chief. But to those not happy with progress that offers nothing but emptiness, there

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july 1 - 7, 2012

Bikol reporter

Bikol reporter


july 1 - 7, 2012

jokee bOTOR-REyES
May-December Affair
Like most teenagers, my two teen-aged grandsons, ages 16 and 15 are booming with energy and enthusiasm for anything modern. They have been gifted by their father with sophisticated cellular phones while I still sport an old Nokia but which I find very effective in making calls and sending text messages as well as receiving the same. They are aware of the latest in music and dance and even the latest trends in fashion. Well, that makes them very normal. Now, they have started to become very conscious with the opposite gender. I would hear them talk of their crushes. And of course, they ask me a lot of questions about dating, getting into a relation, and the likes. I tell them these come very normally for their age. If there is something I am very serious about, it is telling them to keep away from older girls and gays. They can have girl friends their age because being of the same age, they would have similar outlook on life and sex. It would be wise to chose their girl friends from among their schoolmates. That way, they are very sure they know who they areare they the lazy type of students or its opposite? Are they good in class or stupid? Are they respectful, honest and know and practice their GMRC or good manners and right conduct? Do they go to church or elsewhere? Getting into a relation with someone older their age can be very risky. The older girl can just manipulate them and can even cajole them into doing something they might regret later. They could just be toying with them. Imagine if my 16 or 15 year- old grandson has for a girl friend a graduating college student. I can not imagine them years from now if they get to become very serious and find themselves marrying each other. After a few years, the girl will be quite very old already while the boy is still very young looking. I can not imagine that. I hate even just to think about it. I do not see anything wrong for a much older man getting involved with a much younger woman. Many marriage of this kind end up very successfully. We have known many such cases. Fred Elizalde marrying Liza Macuja but not Vicky Belo marrying Hayden Kho. Well they are not into a relation any longer. Zha Zha Padilla was talking on tv that Dolphy will very soon turn 84 while she will turn 48. What a lucky coincidence of number. Email jokeebotor_reyes@yahoo.com

Tours and Travel In Focus

How to develop our local tourism industry in a manner that would benefit the underdeveloped communities of Metro Naga is a challenge that must be addressed with bold initiatives by the local government units through the Local Chief Executives. Metro Naga Development Council as an alliance of 15 LGU members was organized to enhance local capabilities in partnership with the private sector for the purpose of identifying and developing tourism destinations, products and services. The idea is to bring local economic development to the smallest communities of Metro Naga with the end view of creating economic opportunities for our people and the reduction of poverty incidence in this growth area of tourism. Series of seminar workshop conducted including consultations with stakeholders revealed choke points and at the same time identified the measures to be done for the improvement of tourism operation in Metro Naga. The first is the realization that eco-cultural tourism sector is lagging behind as compared to other areas in Bicol. For this, we must raise the competitiveness of Metro Naga Eco Cultural Tourism for the expansion and upgrading of tourism offerings. Another weakness is the fact that Metro Naga is not being actively promoted as a tourist destination. This in itself calls for an approach to market and promote Metro Naga as alternative tourism site. Also the lack of market diversity was pointed out as a perceived problem and for this to be resolved a stimulus for the inflow of tourists to MetroNaga must be worked out. Notwithstanding the tourism boom in Camarines Sur the same must be linked with the labor sector especially the poor and marginalized sectors of our community. Special mention are the women, farmers, fisher folks, handicraft producers and other workers in relation to local tourism development. The goal is to strengthen their economic participation through product development marketing for the purpose of making it possible for them to benefit from the growth of tourism. processing of business permits and simplify regulations on business enterprises. These would in effect make the place business friendly and competitive to stimulate economic growth and development. It is therefore incumbent upon said LGUs to formulate and implement the needed policies, ordinances, programs and projects suited for said areas under the guidance and tutelage of the Metro Naga Development Council. These policy structures and implementing mechanisms should be institutionalized to avoid the risk of shifting priorities when local leadership changes from time to time. The Municipal Mayors as local chief executives should be the driving force of each and every local government unit. These would include the passage of resolutions on the creation and/or revitalization of Tourism Councils, adoption of environmental laws and other development dimensions. Local Chief Executives are therefore important in making the foundations on which the Metro Naga Development Council Local Economics Development strategy will be launched. With Camarines Sur now as one of the favorite tourist destination in the country, Metro Naga must be guided by the prescribed stages in tooling up its tourism initiatives the end goal of which is to reduce the poverty incidence in the area. This objective can be attained through the principle of balanced economic development which will bring to this growth area tourists and investments thereby realizing the growth and development of Metro Naga by way of widening the channels for tourism inflow. Barring unforseen circumstances, tourism livelihood opportunities for our people would in all probability catapult the province as the most improved tourist haven in the entire country. This would in effect make Camarines Sur with Metro Naga leading the way as a model for tourism growth and development.


President, Bicol Association of Tourism and Hospitality Educators (BATHE)

The Teacher in a Changing Environment

by lAllIE AMOROSO JARDInEl zeferino Arroyo High School, Iriga City As a teacher, I have opened my eyes to a lot of things about education and also about life. I have learned that the life of a teacher can be one wonderful phase for someone who had placed upon her shoulder the task of building lives of young people. The task of building lives of persons especially in their formative years is not easy. These persons are young high school students who do not quite know if they are still kids or already adults. These young adults can be so vulnerable. And the teacher stands to be their strongest support in building themselves. I am much pretty aware of this and as a teacher, I have taken upon myself the responsibility of seeing these children through in a changing environment. The task of a teacher to build young people and look forward to their fulfillment as persons is truly challenging and this, a teacher accepts and she uses her very best to respond to the challenge. This calls for a particular kind of response from a teacher who is worth her salt. That is why the Department of Education has not stopped to work on new measures, new strategies, new techniques to make the teacher responsive to the time and consequently, produce the best results in terms of graduates who are ready to take lifes challenges as well. It means these are persons who are ready for a career and live productive lives, become economically independent and responsible citizens of the country, Today. the education sector of Philippine society is focused on the new curriculum that has just been implemented starting this school year. The K+12 curriculum is now eyed as the solution to a problem that the new Education Secretary has seen. So, here comes the new curriculum now popularly known as the K+12 program. For years, the Philippines has been left behind in the international education scene. It appears that our high school graduates are not ready for work and our second year college students are mere high school graduates in other places outside the country. In effect, they are not qualified for works lined up for college graduates. With these new curriculum now in effect, teachers have opened their mind towards to this new program meant no less than for the Filipino student but most specially the graduates to become globally competitive. The Philippine Educational system has undergone a lot of changes and each change is perceived to improve the system. This is very good for the country as well as for the students. For example, the use of the mother tongue in the first grade in the elementary level has been designed to improve comprehension by the very young elementary pupils who are just starting their schooling and using the vernacular to teach them would make them feel at home and thus contribute to their understanding.
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The private sector for reasons given in the analysis that was made must be involved in the growth of Metro Naga tourism industry. The medium and longer term goal is to encourage investments from businesses by way of support mechanisms through policies offering incentives, infrastructure in transportation and other facilities that would attract tourists. Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry would play an important role in providing the needed assistance to business and at the same serve as a conduit to public and private partnership. The need to upgrade the capabilities of tourism front liners through skills training must be given extra attention. In this area of concern the academe in coordination with travel and tour operators including hotel, resort and restaurant owners should work hand in hand in addressing this perceived problem. For this purpose the local government units of the Metro Naga Development Council comprising Naga City, Pili, Camaligan, Pamplona, Pasacao, San Fernando, Milaor, Minalabac, Bula, Gainza, Canaman, Magarao, Bombon, Calabanga and Ocampo will play an important role in the establishment of an enabling environment for tourism growth. This would include policy formulation and the installation of systems to streamline

inner chess
by J. HEnRy DAnICAn

july 1 - 7, 2012

Bikol reporter


Bikol reporter


july 1 - 7, 2012

naga Airport to have runway lights

PILI, CAM. SUR - The tourism potential of Camarines Sur, which is already one of the countrys top tourist destinations, would get an added boost with the installation of runway lights for the Naga Airport in Pili town. The runway lights would allow the airport to operate even at night and enable commercial air carriers to add more flights. Gov. Luis Raymund Villafuerte said his office recently received an official communication from the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) that the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has earmarked a total of P157.5 million in its annual procurement plan for the current year for the partial modernization of the Naga Airport. The letter was signed by DOTC Undersecretary Efren Moncupa. The CAAP is the agency directly responsible for the financing and development of national airports in the country. Aside from the purchase and installation of an airfield lighting system at a cost of P50 million, also to be funded by the P157.5 million CAAP allocation are the provision and installation of an air traffic control console with VCS,



P15 million; purchase of rapid internvention fire trucks, P50 million; replacement of communication equipment, P20

million; expansion and improvement of the passenger terminal building, P16 million; and construction of an

UnEp-CCA hosts dance and drama workshop

In its continuous quest for artistic excellence, the University of Northeastern Philippines Circle of Consummate Artists ((UNEP CCA) will be conducting its 4th Annual CCA Integrated Theatre and Dance Workshop 2012 at the UNEP CCA Theatre on June 30, July 1, 7 and 8. UNEP CCA Artistic Director Rudyard Boboy Pesimo said that the workshop aims to enhance the participants dancing prowess and develop their talents in terms of drama and artistic performance. When we first started in 2008, these students already showed great potential in dancing and they already demonstrated improvement in the execution of their acts. Learning more techniques I guess, will further boost their abilities in conveying emotions to their audience. We are just lucky that the UNEP management strongly supports endeavors like this, Pesimo said in an interview. For three years in a row, UNEP CCA regularly conducted the workshop just to ensure that its members continually advanced their knowhow on improving their fields of expertise. This year, 50 students will partake of the workshop. These include the seasoned performers who are part of the core group and minted members and apprentices representing the new generation of performers. The lectures and training will be facilitated by experienced stage and theatre directors, workshop mentors and veteran choreographers. UNEP Executive Vice President and VP for Finance Miss Deli Alfelor-Tibi, and CCAs Executive Director said that the management fully support the said endeavor, believing that its result will not only be beneficial to the university but also to the development of their students. UNEP CCA has already
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administration building, P4.5 million. We would like to thank the DOTC, particularly Secretary Mar Roxas and Undersecretary Moncupa, for promptly acting on our request to up-

grade the operational capability of our airport. This will be a big boost to our tourism industry in particular and the provinces economy in general, Villafuerte said.

CamSur nutrition program improves childrens health

PILI, CAMSUR - the ongoing Community-based Supplementary Feeding Program being implemented provincewide manifests the determined efforts of the provincial government to improve the nutritional status of children below 6 years here. In fact, there are now around 15,000 children situated in 267 barangays of the province who are beneficiaries of the current program of the provincial government. Previously, these 15,000 children were evaluated as underweight and malnourished but after being taken in under the care of the supplemental feeding program; their weight and health have dramatically improved. Since the time Gov. LRay Villafuerte assumed the reins of the provincial government, the health and nutrition of children has always been a priority program. Before his term, CamSur had always been one of the top among Bicol provinces with underweight children, under the watch of Gov. LRay Villafuerte, however, the province of CamSur now boasts of a much improved nutritional status of children and has erased its previous reputation. The provinces nutrition program is not only about supplemental feeding with the vita meal, a combination of rice and lentil which is rich in vitamins and minerals, but its other components also calls for the establishment of communal gardens among the involved barangays so that the community will have other sources of nutrient-rich vegetables. The other important component of the program is the nutri-eskwela and pabasa sa nutrisyon where parents learn to identify health giving foods and the proper way to take care of the children to sustain their health and nutrition. - STN

Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) announced the election of its Board of Directors in the recent annual stockholders meeting held at the SMX Convention Center , Pasay City where some 5,000 stockholders, Filipino World War II veterans, widows & heirs were in attendance. Re-elected for another one-year term to the PVB Board were Col. Emmanuel V. de Ocampo, Atty. Democrito T. Mendoza, Ricardo A. Balbido, Jr., Engr. Antonio A. Balgos, Commo. Vicente R. Buenaventura, Atty. Eduardo P. Pilapil, Gen. Umberto A. Rodriguez, Atty. Ramon P. Miranda, Percianita G. Racho and Col. Francisco T. San Miguel. Completing the 11-member PVB board is newcomer Laurito E. Serrano, a son of a World War II veteran from Bulacan. In his report to the stockholders, PVB President & CEO Ricardo A. Balbido, Jr. said that PVB was able to produce an audited net income of P519.07 million in 2011, about the same level as the net income of P519.59 million last 2010. Balbido cited gains in its core businesses of corporate deposits and lending, trading gains and strategic management of its foreign exchange & investment portfolio as the main driv-

Veterans Bank Directors elected

ers behind the banks continued profitability. Balbido also reported that Veterans Banks total resources were pegged at P57.38 billion while capital funds stood at P5.68 billion as of end 2011, based on audited financial statements. Total resources slightly dipped by 3% from P58.24 billion in 2010 to P57.38 billion in 2011. Capital however moved up slightly by 5.5% to P5.68 billion from the previous years P5.465 billion. The Banks capital adequacy ratio (CAR), a measure to determine a banks capability to shoulder risks, stood at 16.15% under Basel II. This is still well above the 10% minimum requirement of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. As of April 30, 2012, the Bank reported that it grew

Veterans Bank stockholders cast their vote at the recent Annual Stockholders Meeting held at the SMX Convention Center where over 5,000 stockholders attended.

its total assets by P2.80 billion to P60.18 billion from the end of 2011 figure. Total deposits as of the same date was at P48 billion. Net income as of April 2012 was at P218.69 million. As a result, capital funds grew to P5.7 billion with a slightly improved Capital Adequacy Ratio (Basel II) of 16.85% compared to the 2011 yearend figure. Veterans Bank maintains a total of 60 branches nationwide. PVB is a private bank, but it has the advantage of an authorized depository of government funds as stated in Section 6 of R.A. 7169. PVB officials said that they have been offering banking services that fit the growing needs of both government agencies and private businesses. Philippine Veterans Bank is owned by some 400,000 Filipino World War II veterans and their designated heirs. As part of its mandate, it is committed to provide 20% of its annual net income to the Board of Trustees of the Veterans of World War II, which in turn manages programs for the benefit of the veterans, their widows, orphans and heirs. These include the VFP Museum and the VFP Out-patient Center where veterans and widows get free medicines & medical services such as consultations, blood tests, x-rays and physical therapy.



Children enjoy bowls of champorado enriched with vitamins and minerals while another child seems to gesture for more. Health and nutrition has been a prime concern of Gov. Lray Villafuerte since the time he became the provincial chief executive.

Iriga LGU, PNR ink pact on pedestrian safety

AlFElOR-GAzMEn by AnA-lIzA S. MACATAnGAy IRIGA CITY -- The city government and Philippine National Railways (PNR) has signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) that will help prevent accidents in the rails. PNR General Manager Jun Ragrario said that they will offer a P1,000 honorarium per month to whoever will man the railroad crossing and ensure that the warning signs are visible for traversing pedesRAGRAGIO trians and vehicles. The LGU in turn will provide the barricades and the signages. Mayor Madelaine AlfelorGazmen said that a schedule of the train trips will be provided by PNR that will serve as guide for the flagman to ensure that warning signals and barricades are properly in place. PNR can not resolve this alone. The community should also take part and of course the LGU. We are also thinking of a tripartite agreement, like involving the businessmen in this endeavor for a more effective implementation of safety standards regarding railroad crossings located in various barangays here in Iriga, Gazmen added. A recent train tragedy was when a tricycle was hit by Mayon Ltd., an ordinary train bound to Manito, Albay, when the driver persisted in crossing the railroad tracks despite the blowing of horns and warning by bystanders. On board the tricycle is a young teacher who perished together with a group of high school students who are about to go their respective schools. This incident killed six passengers and wounded eight others. This also caught the attention of Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas who immediately ordered for the thorough investigation of the said mishap that happened Friday last week at the boundary of Barangay San Isidro and San

july 1 - 7, 2012


Bikol reporter


Agustin this city. Gazmen said that her primordial concern now is the safety of her constituents, particularly those settlers along the PNR sites. She has also spoken with the group of tricycle drivers with regards to overloading of passengers. We have informal set-

tlers where the PNR railroad traverse and we are thinking of how we can reconcile with the legalities and of course the safety of our people, Gazmen said in an interview. PNR said that the crossing where the accident happened is unauthorized and is not part of the 256 existing

permissible railroad crossings operated by their office. Train drivers know the officially permitted crossings where they are taught to slow down and be watchful of crossing pedestrians. At a speed of 35 kph, a one-kilometer distance is required for the train to come to a full stop.

DSWDs top exec visits Donsol

Donsol, Sorsogon a wellknown tourist destination in the Bicol region was visited by DSWDs Top Executive Corazon Dinky Juliano-Soliman last Friday (June 22), not to look for Butandings (whale sharks) but to interact with DSWDs program beneficiaries, partners and stakeholders. During her visit, Secretary Soliman was warmly welcomed by the Local Government Officials, partners and beneficiaries. We are thankful for Secretary Solimans visit. She is the first National Secretary who went to Donsol not for leisure purposes but to sit down and meet with the local officials and discuss or plan out interventions that would be of help to the community, said Councilors Rey Aquino and Mary Ingrid Bonaobra. A Consultation Meeting with the local officials and members of Pantawid Pamilyas Municipal Advisory Committee (MAC) as well as KALAHI-CIDSS Municipal Inter-Agency Committee (MIAC) was attended by the Secretary. The group provided feedback as to their experiences as well as accomplishments and presented recommendations to improve program implementation and partnership. Meanwhile, forty (40) program recipients shared testimonies as to how DSWD programs helped alleviate their plight. A dialogue with the secretary followed in which beneficiaries had the chance to clarify issues regarding program implementation. According to DSWD Regional Director Remia Tapispisan, aside from monitoring the implementation

Bikol reporter

july 1 - 7, 2012

of various programs of the department, Secretary Soliman also looked into the operationalization of DSWDs Convergence Strategy. Said strategy harmonizes the agencys three core social protection programs namely: Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Sustainable Livelihood Program and KALAHICIDSS to generate greater impact on poverty reduction.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Dinky Juliano-Soliman poses with Director Remia Tapispisan,Vice-Mayor Emeterio Belmonte and the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries during her visit in Donsol, Sorsogon last June 22, 2012.

from my window . . .
Partido c. Electrification of Island barangays VI. potable Water System for 10 Towns, partido District (Construction Cost US$15M) a. Partido Water Supply System now provides potable water to thousands of households in all Partido towns VII. Education: Quality Education program a. Established the Partido State University and Philippine Science High School Bicol Campus b. Established several National High Schools in all towns c. Provided Scholarship Grants to thousands of students and teachers (Funding Php44.4M) d. Distributed Computers to Central Elementary and High Schools e. Established Computer Laboratories (equipped with servers, printers, scanners, internet access) f. Accessed the Mobile Information Technology Classroom of DOST Science Education Institute(Project Cost Php8M) g. Provided Trainings for Pre-school Teachers and Day Care Workers VII. poverty Incidence Drastically Reduced by 8.63% from 55.98% (year 2000) to 47.35 (latest). bicol 48.40%

unep-cca . . .

Message of Thanks
The bereaved family of the late

of Libmanan, Camarines Sur (who joined her Creator on June 24, 2012 at the age of 67)

wish to express our heartfelt gratitude and sincerest appreciation to relatives and friends who comforted and condoled with us, offered Holy Masses and prayers, sent flowers, cards of sympathy, visited and kept vigil and who in countless other ways, supported us in our time of sorrow.

proven their worth in various occasions. One of the honors that they brought to the university was when they were adjudged as the Grand Champion during the Voyadores Competition held last year at the Metropolitan Cathedral Grounds as part of the Penafrancia Festivity. UNEP contingent was also able to seize other major awards which include Best in Costume and Best in Music, Best street dancers, Best in Street Dance and Best in Pilgrim Dance. Pesimo said that this years workshop will contain modules on dramaturgy, theatre concepts and practices and different dance genres but would focus more on contemporary dance. We believe that this endeavor will not only develop the skills of our participants but will instill in them the value of discipline and self worth, Pesimo said in closing.

a question of . . .
is no better place to stay. One was a Taiwanese girl, Echo Chen, author of the Sahara Desert, who preferred to live in the Sahara. Not only because she loved the brutal and beautiful rolling burning land but also because her ex-soldier husband, Jose Diaz, worked at a phosphate mine nearby. Despite the very harsh weather-too hot during the day and too cold at night-she said she would not exchange it for another home. What had mesmerized Echo Chen is what has thrilled people watching the beautiful sunset in Manila Bay. And speaking of the sunset, the poorest Pinoy does not have the time to view the sunset because, according to the Philippine Political Law book on destitute Pinoy, he worries about the oil to light the lamp at night. It is bad enough that he is very poor in earthly things. It is doubly bad that he has little time to uplift his spirit. But that is no reason to sulk. The rich have everything that money can buy but their money cannot buy real happiness.

the teacher in a changing . . .

There was a time when all subjects in school except Filipino were taught in English. The students responded positively but somehow it put to test our sense of nationalism but never mind, English, after all, is one of the official languages in the country, that, being the language used in higher academic institutions and in business. That many Filipinos speak English is an edge when they file their applications for jobs particularly overseas. So, it is not surprising that even up to now, many academic institutions especially exclusive schools still impose a Speak English policy. These varied changes in our educational system have placed the teacher in a position where she has to adopt to the changing times and get exposed to the changing environment. As a teacher, I believe I have responded to the call for a positive stand in all the doings in the education department, I have likewise learned to adopt to new systems aware that whatever changes, if they be changes or innovations, as well as new methods and techniques have been well thought of by well meaning people whose aim is to improve the quality of education in the country and in the end, improve the life of our people and face a much brighter future,

aquino . . .
gether, he added. He pointed out that by endeavoring to achieve this feat as a whole would ensure that this dream would be completed faster. Through our shared efforts, we are beginning to realize the dreams we share with the Filipino people. We have, in fact, been steadily and noticeably upgrading the Filipino dream. With your help -- imagine the impossibilities we can make possible, and achieve, the President said. -rck


july 1 - 7, 2012

Bikol reporter

DPWH 5 celebrates 114th anniversary

by MARlOn A. lOTERTE LEGAZPI CITY -- The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) celebrated its 114th Anniversary last June 23 with the theme, DPWH: Katiwalian ay Labanan, para sa Bayan. Consistent with the policy direction of the present national leadership, DPWH Secretary Rogelio L. Singson ordered this year the change going into developmental activities. Our Secretary called for a week-long Nationwide Operation Clean-up and Maintenance on all our national roads and flood control structures for the period June 18-23, said DPWH 5 regional director Danilo Dequito during a radio interview. Dequito added that among the activities that were conducted by the regional and district engineering offices included cleaning of the road right-of-way of all illegal structures and informal settlers; cleaning and beautification of roadsides through planting green plants and ornamentals and vegetation control; clearing all flood control structures, esteros, rivers, creeks, and open waterways from obstructions; installation of correct directional signs in strategic areas of the national roads; and repainting of all pedestrian lanes, guardrails, centerline and edge line. The week-long activity in the agencys regional office here started with the launching of operation clean-up led by DPWH 5 key officials at Against Corruption from the national road of Lidong, Sto. Domingo, Albay all the way to Mayon Volcano Natural Park. Tree planting was also held by the group on the designated area by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. We have encountered many problems on the road going to the desired transformation program of His Excellency, President Benigno S. Aquino III. But in my opinion, we are on the right track. As our Honorable Secretary said in his anniversary message: we are now reaping significant milestones in terms of good governance, transparency and accountability, Dequito concluded.


the office compound and at the nearby estero. Painting of guardrails on the approaches of Yawa Bridge, Rawis, Legazpi City was also included. Last Friday, DPWH 5 officials and employees likewise staged a two-kilometer Run

Agriculture Secretary proceso J. Alcala (4th from left) leads the celebration of the Department of Agricultures 114th anniversary with the launch of a Food Staples Sufficiency Program (FSSP) policy document, and tribute to former DA secretaries. The DA, originally named Department of Agriculture and Manufacturing, was among the seven national agencies created by then 1st philippine Republic president Emilio Aguinaldo on June 23, 1898. Among the former DA chiefs who attended were Sorsogon 1st District Representative Salvador H. Escudero III (right), who received a DA lifetime Achievement Award, bohol 3rd District Representative Arthur C. yap (3rd from left), and Domingo F. panganiban, who was represented by Dr. Jess binamira. The FSSp is the banner food security program of the Aquino administration that aims to achieve sufficiency in rice and major staples by end of 2013, and enhance the countrys agricultural and fishery productivity and global competitiveness. Also shown (from left) are DA Undersecretary Joel Rudinas, Oriental Mindoro 2nd District Rep. Rey Umali, and DA Assistant Secretary and national rice program coordinator Dante Delima. (photo by Jose lucas, Information Service)

CEB lowers fuel surcharge on all domestic ights

The Philippines largest national ag carrier, Cebu Pacific Air (PSE:CEB) reduces fuel surcharges on domestic ights by as much as 20%, to further lower fares for its passengers. The following fuel surcharge reductions are effective starting June 25, 2012: from Manila to Visayas, Mindanao and select Luzon routes (less P100) from Manila to select Luzon routes (less P50) from Visayas to Luzon and Mindanao and within Visayas (less P50) from Mindanao to Visayas and within Mindanao (less P50) Fuel surcharges are added to air fares to help airlines all over the world offset the rising cost of fuel, which is a major cost component for airlines. We are committed to offering the public the lowest all-in fares in all the routes we operate. Now, CEBs all-in lowest fares will be even more affordable to business and leisure travelers in the Philippines, said CEB VP for Marketing and Distribution Candice Iyog. CEB will continue to look for ways to make flying accessible to everyone, with the expected delivery of three more brand-new Airbus A320 in the 2nd half of the year. More aircraft will make a difference in supporting the growth of Philippine tourism and trade, she added. CEB introduces its reduced domestic fuel surcharge with a sale from Manila to Visayas (P888 all-in seat sale), and from Manila to Mindanao (P1,188 all-in seat sale). This is available from June 25 to 27, 2012 or until seats last, for travel from August 25 to October 31, 2012. Passengers can also buy P688 all-in seats on its two newest domestic routes: DavaoPuerto Princesa and DavaoKalibo (Boracay). These new routes will be launched on August 2, 2012. All-in domestic fares are inclusive of fuel surcharge, administration fee, aviation security fee, 12% VAT and 7 kilos hand carry baggage allowance, but exclusive of check-in baggage. Meanwhile, an international seat sale to China (Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai or Xiamen), Korea (Seoul or Busan), Hong Kong and Macau is also available, for travel from August 1 to October 31, 2012. For bookings and inquiries, guests can go to www. cebupacificair.com, or call the reservation hotlines (02) 7020888 or (032) 230-8888. The latest seat sales can also be found on CEBs official Twitter and Facebook pages. CEB currently operates 10 Airbus A319, 20 Airbus A320 and 8 ATR-72 500 aircraft. Its fleet of 38 aircraft with an average age of 3.6 years is the largest aircraft fleet in the Philippines. Between 2012 and 2021, Cebu Pacific will take delivery of 22 more Airbus A320 and 30 Airbus A321neo aircraft orders. It is slated to begin long-haul services in the 3rd quarter of 2013. In its 16th year of operations, CEB has flown over 60 million passengers. It provides access to the most extensive network in the Philppines, with 32 domestic and 19 international destinations. The airline also remains a pioneer in the Philippine aviation industry by being the first to offer web check-in, self check-in, e-ticketing, and Lite Fares.

JULY 2012



The international humanitarian organization Action Against Hunger (ACF) represented by Country Director Philippines Eric Fort (center, lower photo) and Head of Base Rico Bentulan (left) turned over during closure ceremonies held Wednesday, June 27 at the Villa del Rey of the Provincial Capitol Complex, numerous projects designed to improve the quality of life of people in the rural areas, improve delivery of basic services and reduce disaster vulnerability in selected population clusters, received in behalf of Gov. LRay Villafuerte and the people of CamSur by Vice Governor Fortunato C. Pea (right). Top photo shows the ensuing signing of a memorandum of understanding between the ACF and program stakeholders confirming continued support to sustain completed and ongoing projects with Balatan Mayor Ernesto Bagasbas and Luzena Bermeo, head of EDMERO.

10 Bikol reporter

july 1 - 7, 2012

Aquino vows to go after corrupt govt ofcials


july 1 - 7, 2012

pres. AQUInO

MANILA - President Benigno S. Aquino III vowed on Wednesday to continue his advocacy to rid government of corruption and eradicate poverty by pursuing the removal and prosecution of other corrupt officials in government and implementing further reforms in order to sustain the momentum gained from his advocacy. In his speech keynoting the International Conference on Public Administration and Governance, a gathering of governance experts, at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City, the President enjoined all Filipinos to join him in this campaign. Clearly, our reforms have won us momentum. And it is up to us, to all of uswhether in the private or public sectorto maintain this momentum, the President said. There remain serious challenges ahead. The problem of poverty is one that must be solved. There are still corrupt officials who will be prosecuted and jailed. The changes we envision are massive, and these changes cannot be enacted by a single office. We have to do it to-

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