Page 1

Quarterly Publication of the Bicol Regional Development Council Volume IX Number 1

March 2014

Bicol welcomes first international flight Bicol welcomed the first international chartered flight of Philippine Airlines from Xiamen, China to Legazpi City on January 30. Aboard the maiden flight were 126 Chinese tourists who were greeted by Albay Governor Joey Salceda, Department of Tourism Undersecretary Maria Victoria Jasmin, Philippine Tourism Attaché to China Gerry Panga and Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal. The second international chartered flight arrived on February 3 carrying 156 Chinese tourists from the same region. The flights marked the opening of Albay as international gateway of Bicol. Although the opening comes ahead of the target completion of the Bicol International Airport, the international chartered flights give a clear indication that Bicol Region is poised to become the country’s new international gateway. This was made possible through the public-private partnership in tourism promotion among the provincial government of Albay, the Department of Tourism, Misibis Bay Casino and Resorts, and China Travel Service.

The two groups of tourists spent a 5-day and 4 -night stay in Misibis Bay, which include tours around Albay’s famous destinations and a trip to Donsol, Sorsogon for whaleshark (Butanding) interaction. The tour activities were carefully planned to maximize the stay of the visitors and give them the best travel experience. For 2014, the Albay provincial government is targeting at least 17,000 tourists from China alone. By 2017, the province is targeting the arrival of 150,000 tourists from other foreign markets like South Korea, Russia and Japan. The influx of tourists is expected with the promotion of more tour packages, ease in processing of tourist visas, and completion of the Bicol International Airport. The development of the tourism industry is seen as a big boost to the economy, not only in the province of Albay but in the entire region. This is in line with the desired outcome of the Regional Development Plan 2011-2016, which is to generate more productive activities for the people.

The first batch of Chinese tourists arrive in Legazpi City aboard the maiden international chartered flight of Philippine Airlines from Xiamen, China. (Photo courtesy of the Provincial Government of Albay)


Bicol Development Updates

March 2014

Editorial: The Challenges of Going Organic The demand for organically grown food products is increasing because people are getting more conscious of what they eat. In the Bicol region, local organic farming communities have emerged. These include the Pecuaria Development Cooperative in Camarines Sur and Fazenda da Esperanza in Masbate. However, the quantity and availability of supply remains a big question. In 2009, the organic production area in the country was reported at 52,546 hectares or only about 0.45 percent of the total agricultural area (Rodel Maghirang, UPLB). Small farmers are hesitant to shift to organic farming because of low yield compared to conventional farming. Based on global scientific studies by Kirchmann, et. al (2008), organic farm yield is lower by 25 to 50 percent than the conventional farm yield. To address this, some local organic farms have implemented multiple cropping, diversification, and integration which have resulted to higher yields. Small farmers have to grapple with the tedious task of production and high investment cost, especially during the transition period from conventional to organic farming. An additional cost is the premium paid for certification, which is essential for farm products to compete in the organic market. For a small farmer, acquiring certification is a low priority. Republic Act No. 10068 or the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 enacted on April 6, 2010 paved the way for the country to go organic. In line with this, the Bicol Regional Development Plan 2011-2016 advocates organic and natural farming. On the supply side, public-private partnerships are encouraged in promoting and supporting sustainable farming practices. Agrarian reform beneficiaries or small farmers may be organized

into cooperatives and provided with incentives and fund support to undertake organic farming. Certification processes should be made more responsive to the needs of small farmers. The supply of organic products in the domestic market is limited and unreliable. Only big supermarkets offer limited choices of organic commodities, such as rice, vegetables and other food products. On the demand side, consumers should be protected against fake organic products or those that are not in accordance with quality standards. Likewise, specialty restaurants advertising organic food should be inspected regularly. In terms of cost, organic food commodities are relatively more expensive. This is the reason why certified organic products mostly find their way to rich countries who are willing and able to pay more for such commodities. All of these challenges, including socioeconomic and environmental concerns confront a nation like ours that will find it inevitable and with no choice but to compete with other countries in an era of integration and globalization.

BICOL Development Updates The Bicol Development Updates is published quarterly by the Regional Development Council. NEDA Regional Office 5, Arimbay, Legazpi City Telephone No.

(052) 482-0498

Fax. No.

(052) 482-0504

E-mail Address:

Publisher Editor-in-Chief Associate Editors

Production Coordinator

Luis G. Banua RDC Vice-Chairman Edna Cynthia S. Berces Jasmin C. Zantua Gilberto A. Abion Felix M. Losita単o Ma. Teresa T. Chong Rosemarie O. Buan Gieza R. Esparraguerra

March 2014

Bicol Development Updates

Three out of 10 families in Bicol are poor



The Regional Development Plan envisions Bicol to be the most livable region in the country in 2020. This means that poverty is significantly reduced; adequate high paying jobs are available; livelihood opportunities are available; facilities, products, and services are globally competitive, and people are safe and secured. Poverty reduction strategies have been implemented to improve the quality of life. So, how far have we gone?

Updated Bicol 4 Regional Development Plan

The latest poverty estimates released by the National Statistical Coordination Board show that poverty situation in the Bicol region improved from 35.3 percent in 2009 to 32.3 percent in 2012. This means that in 2012, only 32 in every 100 families were poor.

RDC 5 at work

Region/ Province

Annual Per Capita

Poverty Incidence

Poverty Threshold

Among Families

(in Pesos)



RDC revises manual of operations

More training facilities for TechVoc students

RDC urges expansion of Bicol Agri -Water Project

RDC supports LDRRMO exemption from PS cap














RDC confirms SecCom officials








RDC confirms basic sector reps








CY 2014 schedule of RDC and SecCom Meetings















Modernization of Bicol Medical Center








BCC chairman is DAC member















Source: National Statistical Coordination Board

Among the provinces, Camarines Norte had the lowest poverty incidence of families at 21.7 percent. It likewise posted the biggest decrease in poverty incidence among provinces at 10.2 percentage points from 2009. Average annual per capita poverty threshold in Bicol was P18,257 in 2012. This means that a person needs at least P18,257 a year or P50 a day in order to be considered non-poor. A family of five in Bicol needs at least P91,285 per year (P18,257 multiplied by 5 family members) or about P7,607 per month or around P254 per day in order to be considered non-poor. Poverty threshold in Albay in 2012 stood at P18,610, the highest among provinces. This means that cost of living in Albay is high compared to the other provinces. The cost of living in Masbate and Sorsogon is lower with poverty threshold at P17,487 and P17,535, respectively.

Feature articles


Pawa Mangrove Park: From Waste to Wealth

BFAR moves to effectively monitor illegal fishers

Mainstreaming DRR CCA in Agriculture

4th Quarter


Economic Situationer

RPMC Corner



Bicol Development Updates

March 2014

VISION: BICOL REGION as the most livable region in 2020

Photo credit:

The Regional Development Plan (RDP) envisions Bicol to be the most livable region in the country.

Bicol as the most livable region means that poverty is significantly reduced; adequate high paying jobs are available; livelihood opportunities are available; facilities, products, and services are globally competitive, and people are safe and secured. Given this situation, Bicolanos need not go out of the region to have more decent lives, and those who are outside the region will be encouraged to return.

The Regional Development Council approved the updated RDP during its full council meeting on December 6, 2013. The updating of the RDP was guided by Memo Circular No. 43 issued by the President and Memo Circular No. 3 series of 2012 issued by the RDC. It was done parallel with the updating of the Philippine Development Plan. The updated RDP (2011-2016) contains: Chapter One – Introduction; Chapter Two – the Development Vision and Desired Outcomes; Chapter Three – the Midterm Assessment on the achievement of the development outcomes and major final outputs, and the challenges that should be addressed in the remaining plan period; Chapter Four – The Plan describing the development objectives, strategies, action plans, and priority programs, projects and activities; and Chapter Five – Implementing the Plan. Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

March 2014

Bicol Development Updates

The desired regional development outcome is that majority of the population in the region, especially the poor and marginalized, enjoy the benefits of social development and economic growth. This means that the average annual family income in the region is increased to a level more than the national average and income inequality is reduced.


Photo credit:

To attain the regional development outcome, the plan aims to achieve the following sectoral outcomes:

OUTCOMES Productive activities engaged by more people


A vibrant Bicol economy is sustainably producing goods and • services, and generating adequate high paying jobs and • • livelihood opportunities for the labor force population. Adequate and quality social services availed by more people

More people in the region are healthier, are equipped with productive skills, live in safe and decent houses, and are • provided with social protection to enable them to actively participate in the development of the region Reliable infrastructure facilities and services used by the people

increased GRDP growth from 2.6 percent in 2011 to 7-8% in 2016 increased employment rate from 94.7% declined underemployment from 35.9% improved labor productivity from P105,027 improved functional literacy rate from 79.9 percent to 83.1 percent increased life expectancy from 66 to 71 years (male) and 71 to 77 years (female)

increased number of passengers and cargo in air, water and land transportation

Transport systems are integrated, efficient, and able to handle increased volume of passengers and cargo. The communication facilities and services are efficient. The • increased number of telecommunication region enjoys sufficient, stable and low cost power supply. and internet subscribers. The supply of irrigation water is provided in sufficient quantity and delivered on time. Good governance and sustainable development practiced in the region

• • Conducive environment is provided for private investments, • the communities are prepared for disasters, and the •

natural environment is able to sustain the needs of future generations.

increased private investments increased forest cover reduced water and air pollution zero casualty from natural and manmade calamities.

Photo credit:


Bicol Development Updates

March 2014 The Bicol RDP identified the following challenges* that need convergent actions: ECONOMIC •

Generate more investments and high quality jobs

Reduce the cost of doing business


Attain MDG targets

Enhance the education and skills of the labor force

Widen social welfare and labor protection services to the poor and marginalized

Photo credit:

What it means to be the most livable region? 1. Poverty is significantly reduced


2. Livelihood opportunities are available

Encourage private investments in public infrastructure

3. Facilities, products, services are globally competitive

Interconnect all modes of transportation

4. Adequate high paying jobs are available


People are safe and secured


Improve governance, transparency and accountability

Improve land use management practices of LGUs

Major Programs, Projects, Activities* Ensuring Economic Growth

Providing for Basic Needs

Agri-Pinoy programs

Basic Literacy Program

Mariculture and Aquaculture

Universal Health Care

National Greening Program

Core shelter assistance program

Industry Cluster Program

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program

Tourism Promotion Programs

Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Programs

Small enterprise technology upgrading

Salintubig Project

Improving Infrastructure

Sustaining Development

Ports development

Community based management system

Bicol Railway System

Seal of Good Local Governance

Airports development

ARTA Interventions

Road network development

DRR-CCA enhanced CLUPs and PDPFPs

Development of renewable energy

Establishment of DRMO in all LGUs

Sitio energization

Emergency and Educational Preparedness * Refer to updated Bicol RDP for complete list

March 2014

Bicol Development Updates


Bicol as the most livable region in the country


Improved quality of life Majority of the population, especially the poor and marginalized, enjoy the benefits of social development and economic growth

Regional Development Outcome

Sector Outcomes


Productive activities engaged by more people

Reliable infrastructure facilities and services used by the population

Adequate and quality social services availed by more people

Good governance & sustainable development practiced in the region

Major Bicol RDP Strategies Ensuring economic growth Agriculture, Fishery and Forestry

Providing for basic needs Education

Improving infrastructure Transportation

Sustaining Development Good Governance and Peace and Security

Provision of adequate and Provision of adequate and quality education services quality technical assistance, to more people. extension services, agricultural inputs, and infrastructure facilities to farmers and fishermen.

Establishment of an integrated transportation system.

Manufacturing and Trade Social Welfare



Establishment of transparency, accountability, and productivity improvement systems in government offices. Provision of peace, security, and public safety services.

Provision of adequate and quality technical assistance, promotion services, and infra support facilities to MSMEs and exporters.

Provision of adequate and quality social welfare and protection services to the poor and marginalized.

Provision of efficient communication facilities.

Creation of an environment that will increase productivity of individual businesses.





Provision of adequate and quality tourism promotion services, and tourism infrastructure facilities.

Provision of affordable, decent and safe housing to more people.

Provision of sufficient, stable and low cost power supply.

Provision of forecast, warning and environmental services.

Mining and Quarrying


Water Resources

Land Use

Enforcement of mining and quarrying policies, regulations and standards.

Provision of adequate and quality health services to more people.

Provision of adequate irrigation facilities.

Assistance to LGUs on land use planning.


Bicol Development Updates

March 2014

RDC 5 at work RDC revises manual of operations The RDC adopted the revised manual of operations during its full council meeting on December 6, 2013. Amendments were proposed and subsequently approved to make the RDC more effective in carrying out its mandate and functions. The amendments were endorsed by the sectoral committees and subsequently approved by the RDC during its four quarterly meetings throughout the year. The amendments include the revised selection guidelines of the RDC private sector representatives, selection of sectoral committee chairmen and co-chairmen, re-organization of the

sectoral committees, and additional guidelines for the selection of basic sector representatives. Other amendments were on the affiliate and special committees of the RDC, selection of nominees for RDC chairman and RDC cochairman, recommendation of special non-voting members, and secretariat and operational support. Under the selection of nominees for RDC chairman and RDC co-chairman, the revised manual of operations provides that only regular members of the RDC who are present may nominate and be nominated.

More training facilities for TechVoc students

Proposed training and assessment center for automotive trade in Malilipot, Albay (left), proposed trainees’ dormitory in Libmanan, Camarines Sur (upper right), and proposed training and assessment center for ICT in Malilipot, Albay (lower right).

The RDC approved six project proposals from five technical institutions in the region submitted by TESDA for inclusion in the Regional Development Investment Program 2014-2016. The six projects have a total estimated cost of P38.2 million. The proposed projects are the following: construction of 2-storey training and assessment center for information and communications technology at the San Francisco Institute of Science and Technology (SFIST) in Malilipot, Albay; construction of 2-storey training and assessment center for automotive trade at SFIST; construction of 2-storey multi-purpose building at the Regional Training Center in Pili, Camarines Sur; construction of 2-storey trainees’

dormitory at the Camarines Sur Provincial Training Center in Libmanan, Camarines Sur; renovation/refurbishment of commercial cooking/ cookery laboratory building at the Masbate School of Fisheries; and construction of multi-purpose agricultural building at the Sorsogon National Agricultural School. The projects will respond to the increasing enrolment in technical vocational education and training (TVET) programs due to the implementation of the K to 12 curricula under the technical vocational track. The provision of quality and accessible TVET programs require the upgrading of training facilities to produce competitive graduates.

March 2014

Bicol Development Updates


RDC urges expansion of Bicol Agri-Water Project Recognizing the merits of the Bicol Agri-Water project, the RDC requested expansion of the project to other provinces in the Bicol region.

Photo courtesy of UPLB Foundation, Inc.

The Bicol Agri-Water Project funded by USAID aims to improve irrigation water management in selected Bicol River Basin areas frequented by climate-related hazards. It is focused on rice-based agricultural systems covering the Buhi-Barit and Quinale “A” watersheds. Project implementation period is from September 2012 to 2017. Specifically, the project aims to: (1) introduce climate risk management techniques for water security and climate resilience at the farm level; (2) improve water resource management at the watershed level through decision support tools; (3) build capacity of LGUs for effective water governance; and (4) promote, design and implement climate risk resilient water resource management policies. The technical assistance project is being implemented by the UPLB Foundation, Inc. in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit 5, the provincial governments of Camarines Sur and Albay, LGUs of Buhi, Nabua and Polangui, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society – Columbia University of New York, Bicol University, Central Bicol State University of Agriculture, and other water-based institutions in Region 5. Municipality of Nabua

Buhi-Barit Watershed

Municipality of Buhi

Municipality of Polangui

Project sites Quinale A Watershed Source: Bicol River Basin and Watershed Management Project

RDC supports LDRRMO exemption from PS cap The RDC supported the appeal for exemption of local disaster risk reduction and management offices (LDRRMOs) of third to sixth class municipalities from the personal services budget ceiling. RDC Resolution No. 55 (S. 2013) was transmitted to Congress for consideration.

provides for the creation of LDRRMOs at the provincial, city and municipal levels. However, the policy on personal services ceiling provided under Section 325a of the Local Government Code limits the creation of new positions that will exceed the budget ceiling for personal services.

The RDC endorsement supports the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Resolution No. 1 (S. 2013) appealing on behalf of local government units (LGUs) that positions of personnel for the LDRRMOs be exempted from the policy on personal services budget ceiling. Section 12 of Republic Act 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010

During the regional summit on disaster risk reduction and management for local chief executives held on July 29-30, the LGUs requested exemption from the policy. This will facilitate the institutionalization of LDRRMOs that will prepare LGUs to effectively address the constant threat of disasters and climate change.


Bicol Development Updates

March 2014

RDC confirms new SecCom officials The RDC 5 confirmed the new set of officials of the sectoral committees during the RDC full council meeting on December 6, 2013. The new set of officials were selected by the sectoral committees on November 21 and 22. The selection of the sectoral committee officials followed the approved guidelines on the reorganization of the sectoral committees and the selection of sectoral committee officials. The new sectoral committee officials are: Social Development Committee Chairman

: Dir. Conrado Bares (TESDA)

Co-Chairman: Ms. Salve Cadag (PSR-Camarines Sur) Economic Development Committee Chairman

: Mr. Jose Medina, Jr. (PSR-Masbate)

Co-Chairman: Ms. Marlyn Paje (BSP) Infrastructure Development Committee Chairman

: Mr. Alfredo Aquino (PSR-Catanduanes)

Co-Chairman: Dir. Danilo Dequito (DPWH) Development Administration Committee Chairman

: Dir. Blandino Maceda (DILG)

Co-Chairman: Mr. Ramon Bravo (PSR-Masbate)

Standing from left to right: Mr. Jose Medina, Ms. Marlyn Paje, Dir. Conrado Bares, Ms. Salve Cadag, ARD Ronnel Tan (representative of Dir. Danilo Dequito), Mr. Alfredo Aquino, and Mr. Ramon Bravo . (Editor’s Note: DAC Chairman and DILG Director Blandino Maceda retired on February 3, 2014. During its meeting on February 7, 2014 the DAC members nominated Mr. Ramon Bravo as the new DAC chairman and the DBM regional director as DAC co-chairman. The new DAC officials are for confirmation by the RDC.)

RDC confirms basic sector reps

CY 2014 schedule of RDC and SecCom Meetings

The RDC 5 confirmed Mr. John Abejuro and Ms. Melecia de Guzman as basic sector representatives (BSRs) through RDC Resolution No. 45 (S. 2013).

RDC Full Council - first Friday of the 3rd month of the quarter

The confirmation of the two BSRs completes the composition of the 15 private sector representatives as regular members of the RDC full council. The 12 provincial representatives and one labor sector representative were confirmed on September 6 by the RDC.

Sectoral Committee meetings - one month before the RDC full council meetings:

The BSRs, in accordance with RA 8425 or the Social Reform and Poverty Alleviation Act, represent farmers, fishers, workers in informal sectors, indigenous peoples and cultural communities, women, disabled persons, senior citizens, victims of calamities and disasters, youth and students, children, urban poor, and members of cooperatives.

Infrastructure Development Committee

March 7, June 6, September 5, December 5

Economic Development Committee February 6, May 8, August 7, November 6 (AM) February 6, May 8, August 7, November 6 (PM) Development Administration Committee February 7, May 9, August 8, November 7 (AM) Social Development Committee February 7, May 9, August 8, November 7 (PM)

March 2014

Bicol Development Updates


Modernization of Bicol Medical Center

PERSPECTIVE Improved health services and facilities will soon be provided to the people of Camarines Sur and the other provinces in the region as the RDC approved the inclusion of the modernization of the Bicol Medical Center (BMC) in the Regional Development Investment Program through Resolution No. 51 (S. 2013). Located in Naga City, the BMC caters not only to patients from the six provinces in Bicol but also to patients from the Southern Tagalog provinces of Quezon and Laguna and from Visayas and Mindanao. The project aims to upgrade the facilities to deliver better health care and achieve the national health agenda of “kalusugan pangkalahatan�.

Proposed 8-storey various wards building

The project cost is estimated at P2.7 billion. It involves the construction of hospital building, procurement of state-of-the-art medical equipment and facilities, enhancement of utilities, and computerization of hospital operations. The project will contribute to the improvement of health outcomes in the region, reduce dependence on national subsidy, and provide employment and business opportunities in the area. Proposed 5-storey Emergency Room Center Building

BCC chairman is DAC member The RDC, through Resolution No. 52 (S. 2013) confirmed the chairman of the Bicol Competitiveness Committee (BCC) as member of the Development Administrative Committee (DAC) representing the private sector. The revised RDC manual of operations provides that the four sectoral committees shall have four PSRs each. The 15 RDC PSRs selected among themselves who will represent the private sector in the sectoral committees. One PSR slot for the DAC was rendered vacant. The BCC was organized by the RDC to coordinate activities toward improving the competitiveness of LGUs, promoting investments, and increasing productivity of business enterprises. It is chaired by a private sector representative. With its functions related to promoting good governance, the DAC during its meeting on November 22, recommended the BCC chairman as the fourth PSR member of the DAC.


Bicol Development Updates

March 2014

Pawa Mangrove Park: From Waste to Wealth Photo courtesy of the City Government of Masbate

PAWA, Masbate City — The long line of the 21 hectare mangrove park does not only serve as a place where spawners can lay eggs in the brackish water to hatch. Various species of birds can also rest without being disturbed and hunted. Residents can also gather shells and hook fish that abound in the park. It also offers a relaxing environment and to a certain extent, econom ic benef it s t o residents and the neighboring areas.

Going to the park, trekkers may pass through the two-kilometer zigzag bamboo bridge that spans the coast of Barangay Maingaran. The village is a one-kilometer walk via the bamboo bridge where the fishpond and the dike are under the shades of aged mangrove trees. Established as Masbate City’s Mangrove Reservation in 2008, the 21-hectare park in the brackish coastline of this village is continuously being developed, as mangrove tree seedlings are planted in batches in the vacant patches. Before, the vast brackish coastline of this village serves only as floodway of upland rivers. Barrio folks, particularly women, were organized to take a proactive role in the preservation of the park. Activities include planting of mangrove seedlings and guarding the park against firewood gatherers for wooden coal makers. Pawa Mangrove has emerged an alternative tourist destination. The place is also one of the favorite venues of groups or agencies for their regular tree planting activities. Teacher Andiola or Manay Sising, as she is fondly called by neighbors, recalls that the park has played host to tourists from Singapore, Japan, Germany, Poland, and Sweden. The place is also a favorite of students for their field trips. Visitors also include workers from religious sects. The park has also seen new developments, such as mud and king crab breeding farm, culture farm for oysters and giant clams, and cottages for visitors. The local government of Masbate City has formulated a plan to develop the place where ecotourism flourishes while an ecologically balanced environment is sustained. This will contribute to the regional development plan sectoral outcome of good governance and sustainable development practiced in the region. (Article contributed by the City Government of Masbate )

Photo credit:

March 2014

Bicol Development Updates


BFAR moves to effectively monitor illegal fishers Bicol region, a peninsula, has wide coastal areas with coastline length measuring up to 3,116 kilometers. It has 94 coastal municipalities with 1,067 coastal barangays. It is endowed with five major fishing grounds, namely: Lagonoy Gulf, Ragay Gulf and San Miguel Bay in Camarines Sur; Sorsogon Bay in Sorsogon; and Asid Gulf in Masbate. These five major fishing grounds serve as a daily battlefield for competing municipal and commercial fishers — each group wanting to get easy access, a bigger share, and relative control of the rich marine and fishery resources in the region. According to the data of the BFAR Licensing Section under the Fisheries Regulatory and Law Enforcement Division, there are 197 licensed commercial fishing vessels in the region. Some of them have been encroaching in the municipal waters and conducting illegal fishing practices. These detrimentally affect the volume of fish catch of municipal fisherfolks. The implementation of the joint mobile registration and licensing of commercial fishing vessels aimed to register and license all commercial fishing vessels in the six provinces of Region 5. It was a welcome move by the government to take stronger measures against encroachment and/or illegal fishing by commercial fishermen.

BFAR Bicol Regional Director Dennis Del Socorro believes that the licensing and registration of commercial fishing vessels is a step towards effective monitoring of our fishing grounds to protect them from illegal fishing activities, and ensure their sustainability for the benefit of the present and future generations. Director Dennis Del Socorro signs the certificates to be distributed to the participants (top photo). Commercial fishing vessel operators register their vessels and fishing paraphernalia at BFAR 5 station in November 2013 in Tabaco City (lower photo).

The project commenced in October and ended in December 2013. It was implemented in three clusters in the six provinces of the region with the following components: Training on Safety in Life at Sea for the fishermen and the Joint Mobile Registration and Licensing of Commercial Fishing Vessels. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) collaborated and worked together for the success of the project. A team composed of representatives from the four implementing agencies visited the coastal communities to conduct actual inspection of existing commercial fishing vessels. BFAR examined the vessel gears. MARINA measured the gross tonnage of each vessel to determine its classification whether commercial or municipal. NTC inspected the capacity and running condition of the radio equipment. The PCG checked the existing safety measures and devices. The inspection ensured that all boats passed the requirements and abide by the laws and regulations. Out of 197 commercial fishing vessels, 139 commercial fishing vessels were licensed by BFAR 5. All have applied for new fishing gear license. (Article contributed by BFAR Region 5)


Bicol Development Updates

March 2014

Mainstreaming DRR & CCA in Agriculture The Department of Agriculture, together with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan conducted the regional institutional analysis workshop on mainstreaming climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) in agriculture and related sectors. Thirty agriculture technicians, municipal agriculturists and provincial agriculturists attended the workshop on January 29 at Villa Caceres Hotel in Naga City. The workshop was conducted under the Assessment of Climate Change Impacts and Mapping of Vulnerability to Food Insecurity under Climate Change to Strengthen Household Food Security with Livelihood Adaptation Approaches or the AMICAF project. Dr. Roberto Sandoval, Jr., climate change specialist, presented the AMICAF project overview. The project aims to assist developing countries to address climate change impacts on agriculture and to enhance adaptation to improve food security. The AMICAF framework involves four steps: Step 1 - generation of downscaled climate change scenarios and assessment of the impacts of climate change on agriculture using the Modeling System for Agricultural Impacts of Climate Change or MOSAICC. This includes variations in crop yields and their effects on national economies. Step 1 component statistically hydrology resources

has four components: (1) climate which facilitates the preparation of downscaled climate data; (2) component which estimates water under future climate conditions;

Dr. Roberto C. Sandoval, Jr. presents the AMICAF project overview.

(3) crops component which simulates crop yields under future climate change and technological progress scenarios; and (4) economy component which uses the provincial agricultural market to evaluate economic impact of future crop yields and water resources projections. Step 2 covers the assessment of current and future household vulnerability to food insecurity as a result of climate change through the development of an analytical econometric model using available national household data sets. Step 3 involves a community-based approach to identify, test and evaluate adaptation options that increase the ability of vulnerable groups to deal with the impact of climate change on food security. Step 4 is geared towards enhanced awareness on impacts and vulnerability and improved institutional mechanisms to conduct assessments. The participants worked on the take off points in DRR and CCA in their respective agencies, provinces and municipalities, including the challenges and hindering factors in the implementation of the project activities. The participants also identified the facilitating factors of the project, including the financing aspect in terms of mainstreaming DRR and CCA in agriculture. Climate projections and vulnerability assessments were considered. Dr. Eulito Bautista, the national project manager of AMICAF, presented the local climate information center reference manual and climate resiliency field school manual, which are very important for agriculture technicians. He also presented the results of the trial on Green Super Rice in different regions of the country. (Article contributed by DA Region 5)

Dr. Eulito Bautista presents two manuals for agriculture technicians.

March 2014

Bicol Development Updates

Regional Economic Situationer


Fourth Quarter 2013


Consumer price index at 139.5

Average inflation rate at 4.47 percent

Increased price indices in most commodities

Slight increase in employment

Decreased fishery and crop (except palay) production due to typhoon Yolanda

Increased tourist arrivals and receipts

US tourists topped among foreign visitors

Decline in total investments registered

Total value of investments registered at 1.45 billion pesos in 2013

Decreased estimated value of metallic minerals in Albay due to the closing of RapuRapu Polymetallic Project

Prices The region’s average Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the last quarter of 2013 was recorded at 139.5, up by 2.3 index points from the third quarter. Indices in most commodity groups increased, except for transport which decreased by 0.1 index point from the previous quarter. Food and non-alcoholic beverages and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels commodity groups increased by 4 points and 1.5 points, respectively. Average price indices for education and communication remained the same at 140.1 and 93.8 percent, respectively. For the rest of the commodity groups, indices increased from 0.03 to 1.2 points. The average inflation rate for the quarter was 4.5 percent, the highest quarterly average during the year. The increase in the average inflation rate was attributed to higher food and fuel prices, consumer spending during the holiday season, and impact of Typhoon Yolanda in the last quarter. The purchasing power of peso in the region dropped from 73 to 72 centavos.

Photo credit:

Period Indicator

4th Qtr 2012

3rd Qtr 2013

4th Qtr 2013

Ave. Consumer Price Index Food and Non-Alcoholic

133.6 143.9

137.2 148.1

139.5 152.1

Beverages Alcoholic Beverages and








Housing, Water, Elect.,








123.1 140.4

124.1 140.3


Gas and Other Fuels Furnishings, HH Eqpt. & Routine Maintenance Health Transport

138.7 92.5



Recreation and Culture








Restaurants and Misc.




2.5 0.73

2.9 0.73

4.5 0.72


Goods and Services Ave. Inflation Rate (%) Ave. Purchasing Power of the Peso (in Pesos)

Source: NSO Region 5


Bicol Development Updates

March 2014

Labor and Employment


Period Oct 2013

July 2013

Oct 2012

Population 15 years & above (in thousands)




LF Participation Rate




Employment Rate










Unemployment Rate

Employment Rate

94.5 94 93.5 93 92.5 92 91.5 91 January 2013

Underemployment Rate

April 2013

July 2013

October 2013

Figure 1: Employment rate for year 2013

Source: NSO Region 5

Bicol Region’s employment rate slightly increased to 93.8 percent in October 2013, 0.1 percentage point higher than 93.7 percent in July 2013. However, it decreased by 1.4 percentage point from 95.1 percent in the same period last year. The employment rate was highest in January for the year 2013 and lowest in April (Figure 1). Total population 15 years old and over reached an estimated 3.85 million persons in October compared to 3.86 million persons last quarter. Labor force participation rate increased to 64.3 percent in

Agriculture and Fishery The production of agricultural crops except palay decreased during the fourth quarter of 2013. The decline in production in corn (49.97 percent), coconut (11.12 percent) and abaca (25.90 percent) can be attributed to damage of crops in some provinces of the Bicol region due to typhoon Yolanda last November. The harvesting of palay was almost complete in the last quarter, resulting to an increase in production despite the typhoon. Total number of hogs slaughtered went up because of huge demand for pork. This was also accompanied by the increase in production of chicken meat, a close substitute for pork. The production of fish and other marine products fluctuated due to changing weather condition. The supply of fishery products was limited in November due to rough seas caused by typhoon Yolanda. Significant incidents related to the agriculture and fishery sector during the fourth quarter include fish coral training, mangroves plantation under the El Verde project, cattle upgrading in Sipocot, Camarines Sur, HapaBased Hatchery and Nursery Project in Castilla,

October 2013 from 62.9 percent in July 2013 resulting to an increase in the labor force population by 47,610. The unemployment rate was estimated at 6.2 percent in October 2013. Unemployed refers to persons in the labor force who are reported as without work and currently available for work and seeking work, or not seeking work due to: 1) belief that no work is available; or 2) awaiting results of previous job application; or 3) temporary illness or disability; or 4) bad weather; or 5) waiting for rehire or job recall.

Product I. Crops (MT) Palay Corn Coconut Abaca II. Livestock Carabao Cattle Goat Swine

3rd Q 2013

4th Q 2013*

% Change

227,881 79,158

390,076 39,605

71.18 (49.97)







1,750 3,358 843 27,104*

1,899 4,840 810 28,420

8.51 44.13 (3.91) 4.86

16,939 36,473 20,455

18,609 33,561 15,234

9.85 (7.98) (25.52)

III. Fisheries (MT)

Commercial Municipal Aquaculture *preliminary data

Source: BAS Region 5

Prieto Diaz and Bulan, Sorsogon, establishment of 15 hectares bamboo plantation in eight barangays in Ligao City and other initiatives of the LGUs. In Cagsao, Calabanga, Camarines Sur, European Union Ambassador Gay Lenox visited the 10 hectares of mangrove trees that he financed. Ambassador Lenox was impressed with the man-made breakwater made out of old fishnets and rocks. Sec. Proceso J. Alcala visited Sorsogon during the 1st COOPNATCCO Partylist Regional Consultative Meeting.

March 2014

Bicol Development Updates



Photo credit:

Sorsogon province hosted the 2013 Miss Earth resort wear competition. Thirty two candidates participated in the prestigious international event. Hosting the Miss Earth International competition is one of the efforts of the provincial government to promote the tourism potentials of the province in the international market. Another triumph for Bicolanos in the field of international beauty pageants was the crowning of Bea Rose Santiago from Masbate as Miss International 2013. Albay warmly welcomed her as special guest of honor of the province during the New Year countdown and culminating activity in the 4th Green Christmas and yearly Karangahan Festival. The opening of the 2013 Karangahan Festival was special when children survivors of typhoon “Yolanda” from the provinces of Samar and Leyte sang “Paano Kita Pasasalamatan” for their Albayano foster brothers and sisters. Sightings of whalesharks, locally known as Butanding in Donsol, Sorsogon have reportedly improved compared to the past three years of irregular presence. The Butanding interaction has been a great contribution to the economy of the Bicol region, particularly in the tourism sector. Butanding was also seen in Tabaco City in November 2013. The contribution of the tourism industry to the economy of Camarines Sur was manifested in terms of tourist receipts worth P753 million, the highest among the six provinces in the region. This was followed by Albay with P644 million and Sorsogon with P119 million. The other provinces recorded gross receipts of less than P100 million in 2013.



Gross Receipts 644,363,873

C Norte




Cam Sur




Cat’nes Masbate

49,726,400 77,863,600

8,724,915 5,793,614

58,451,315 83,657,214

Sorsogon Total

94,202,400 893,533,000

24,991,132 799,460,580

119,193,532 1,692,993,580

Province Albay



Source: DOT Region 5

Gross receipts from foreign visitors to the province of Albay recorded the highest among the six provinces with P455 million. This was followed by Camarines Sur with P296 million. Tourist receipts are in the form of consumption expenditures or payments for goods and services made by foreign visitors out of foreign currency. Most foreign tourists who visited Bicol Region in 2013 are from the United States which numbered 73,004. Included in the top six foreign tourists are those from China, Germany, Canada, Japan and Korea. Top 6 Foreign Tourists USA








Japan Korea

16,499 16,495 Source: DOT Region 5


Bicol Development Updates

March 2014

Investments The total registered corporations and partnerships in the Bicol region numbered 613 in 2013. This is broken down as follows: 140 stock corporations; 441 non-stock corporations; and 32 partnerships. Total investments for the year were valued at 1.45 billion pesos, of which 67 percent were by stock corporations, 29 percent by increase in capital stock, and the remaining four percent by partnership and non-stock corporations. Investments were in the form of paid-up capital or contributions. On a quarterly basis, there was a decline in total investments in the region registered Type of Firm

3rd Q 2013

4th Q 2013

Paid-up capital

Despite the decrease in the number of registered firms, non-stock corporations increased the value of investments from three million pesos in the third quarter to seven million pesos in the fourth quarter of 2013. The number of stock corporations and partnership firms also decreased, along with the value of investments.

% Change

% Distribution of Value of Investments in 2013

Stock No. of Firms

with the SEC from P763 million in the third quarter to P99.6 million pesos in the fourth quarter of 2013. This was due to lesser registered firms in the last quarter of 2013 compared to the third quarter.







Increase in capital stock 29%

Increase in capital stock

No. of Firms Paid-up capital

7 706,162,500

5 43,047,000

(28.57) (93.90)

No. of Firms











Non-stock 2% Stock 67%

Partnership No. of Firms














Total number of firms Total investments

Source: SEC Legazpi Extension Office


Source: SEC Legazpi Extension Office

Prov ince

Mineral Commodity

The estimated value of mineral production (metallic and non-metallic) decreased by 23 percent. The decline in the production was brought by the decrease in the metallic production in Albay due to the closing of the Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic Project in November 2013.

Total (Metallic and Non-Metallic)

The metallic production in Albay decreased by more than half (55 percent) of the metallic production in the third quarter.


The value of gold and silver in Masbate also decreased by 10 percent compared to the production in the third quarter. The decrease in metallic production was offset by the increase in the non-metallic production in Albay and Camarines Sur. Estimated value of non-metallic minerals in the region increased by 164 percent in the fourth quarter. There was no production of silver (by product of zinc) in Albay during the third and fourth quarters.

Estimated Value (P) 3rd Qtr 2013

% Change

4th Qtr 2013 3,124,630,230











































1,209,600 -

3,225,600 1,200

166.67 -






Zinc Concentrate Copper Concentrate Gold (byprod of Copper) Silver (byprod of Copper) Silver (byprod of Zinc)


Shale Clay CamSur


4,070,353,812 4,068,669,012

Source: MGB Region 5

March 2014

Bicol Development Updates


Highlights of 4th Quarter RPMC Accomplishments The Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC) secretariat reviewed the CY 2013 fourth quarter project monitoring reports of six regional line agencies, one state university, and seven local project monitoring committees (LPMCs) in Bicol. A total of 1,825 programs, projects, and activities were reported in the fourth quarter of CY 2013. Of the total, 31 percent is completed, 30 percent is ongoing and 39 percent is not yet started. RPMC MEETING The RPMC held its first meeting for CY 2014 on February 5. The items approved were: a) CY 2014 work program; b) CY 2014 first semester monitoring plan; c) recommendations from the problem solving session on the South Luzon International Airport; d) projects for post evaluation in 2014; and e) RPMES orientation for Guinobatan PMC. Other matters discussed were the: a) Legazpi City urban drainage project; b) CY 2013 4th quarter RPMES report; c) CY 2013 search for outstanding LPMC; and d) LPMC 4th quarter reports. The projects for post evaluation are: a) Mt. Asog rainforest project; b) Catanduanes circumferential road; c) school building cum evacuation center; and d) lying-in clinics in Albay. Provincial and City Planning and Development Coordinators as PMC secretariat, presented their fourth quarter monitoring reports on national government and locally funded projects. Notable is the report of the Tabaco PMC on the implementation of the irrigation windmill in Malictay Hacienda, Tabaco City. The information on the implementation of such project was recommended to be shared to other LGUs for possible replication. MAJOR PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS Health Facility Enhancement Program (HFEP) The HFEP is a program of the Department of Health (DOH) which seeks to upgrade the infrastructure facilities and equipment of government health facilities across the country. The upgrading and rehabilitation of public health facilities is in line with the DOH’s goal of providing Universal Health Care or Kalusugan Pangkalahatan and is in partnership with the local government units. Special emphasis is given to the poorest Filipino families as identified by the national household targeting system for poverty reduction. As such, areas with the highest counts of poor Filipino families are priority sites for health facility improvements. Since the start of the program in 2009, Bicol has been a recipient of almost P950 million worth of projects for the improvement of 49 hospitals, 131 rural health units, and 1,145 barangay health stations. The success of the program can be attributed to the consultations with LGU end-users which resulted to less revision of plans and variation orders. Additional engineering and architectural staff were employed to facilitate project implementation and the funds for the projects were released on time. The program will improve the capacity of each level of health care from primary, secondary to tertiary. With improved facilities, the LGU health facilities will have higher chances of being accredited to avail of the Philhealth benefit packages. Access of marginalized population to safe and quality health services will be enhanced.

PANTAO BRGY. HEALTH STATION (BHS), Pantao Albay before and after the program


Bicol Development Updates

Ibingan Small Reservoir Irrigation Project (Ibingan SRIP) The Ibingan SRIP is an irrigation project located in Prieto Diaz, Sorsogon. It targets to irrigate a total area of 255 hectares and will serve 329 farmers. The project components are: 1) pre-construction activities; 2) diversion and care of river during construction; 3) dam and reservoir; and 4) construction of irrigation canals. The estimated project cost is P498 million sourced from the General Appropriations Act. The project started in January 2012 and is targeted to be completed by December 2015. The project is 21.60 percent complete as of January 2014. The project aims to sustain the development in the rural areas by improving agricultural productivity, increase agricultural production to increase farmers’ income and uplift their standard of living. The project supports the economic sector's aim of productive activities engaged by more people through adequate infrastructure support facilities such as this irrigation facility provided to farmers.

Construction of elevated flume of the Ibingan SRIP.

March 2014

RPMES Orientation for LGU Guinobatan The RPMC conducted an orientation on the Regional Project Monitoring and Evaluation System (RPMES) for the Guinobatan PMC on February 11 at Arandurugan Hall, Guinobatan. This was upon the request of the newly organized LPMC of Guinobatan, headed by its chairman, Kagawad Robert BaĂąaga. Mayor Ann Ongjoco of Guinobatan, Albay expressed her appreciation to the RPMC. She said that she wants transparency in her administration. Notable was the participation of the private sector and civil society representatives. The RPMES manual of operations, the plan implementation monitoring system and the search for outstanding LPMC were discussed during the orientation. A workshop was conducted to assess the effectiveness of the RPMES forms under the enhanced monitoring and evaluation system.

Resource persons and participants during RPMES orientation.

NEXT ISSUE Second Quarter 2014 Theme: Tourism Article contributions related to the theme may be submitted to For queries and information, contact Gieza R. Esparraguerra at (052) 482-0498.

Bicol Development Updates ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS MAIL Under Permit No. 2013-17 May 22, 2013

Bdu 1stq 2014 final  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you