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Vol 4

Issue 7

In this Issue WESTERN VISAYAS  

Sagay City Mayor Alfredo D. Marañon III (left) and Ayala Foundation Incorporated President Maria Lourdes Heras-de Leon (2nd from right) together with Ayala Land VisMin Head Emilio Tumbocon (right), Old Sagay Elementary School Principal Lyn Gaca (2nd from left), and Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Evelyn de Juan (center) lead the ground breaking of the two-storey, 13-classroom building in Old Sagay Elementary School in Sagay City. *(EADPIA6/Sagay photo)

More on Region 6, pages 2-3.

CENTRAL VISAYAS  

Socialized Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) Localized Community Mortgage Program Coordinator Zenona Clemen-Gread (2nd from left) and Account Specialist Joel Ejes (3rd from left) discussing the Localized Community Mortgage Program available for LGUs during the Kapihan sa PIA forum aired live over DYMR-Radyo ng Bayan. The forum was moderated by PIA Cebu Information Center Manager Rachelle M. Nessia and Wen Celen of Radyo ng Bayan. (vvv/PIA Cebu)

Feb. 17 - 23, 2014

Published by: PIA 6, 7 & 8

BOC-Cebu boosts measures to address rice smuggling By: Fayette C. Riñen CEBU CITY, Feb. 18 (PIA) – The Bureau of Customs - Cebu has adopted measures to prevent smuggling amid the disclosure the ports of Cebu along with Manila, Legaspi and Davao are the entry points of illegal rice shipments. BOC-Cebu deputy director for administration, Atty. Paul Alcazaren bared the BOC has strengthened its intelligence monitoring efforts and directed the police to be on their toes and be alert at all times on possible entry of smuggled rice. “We are now implementing strict thorough checking on arrival of imported rice, if they carry the necessary import permit. Failure to present proper documents warrants the seizure and detention of the goods,” said Alcazaren during the weekly forum of the Association of Government Information Officers (AGIO-7) this morning that tackled the topic “Measures to Curb Rice Smuggling in Central Visayas.” Alcazaren said newly-appointed Customs Commissioner John Philip Sevilla has ordered the strict monitoring and implementation of import permit presentation as part of the measures to prevent smuggling. Last year, the BOC-Cebu has seized a total of 1,166 containers of smuggled rice or equivalent to 616,463 bags.

Total worth of the apprehended goods was pegged at P791.51 million, disclosed Alcazaren. The BOC-Cebu official said most of the seized illegal rice shipments were disposed through public auction which fetched P 871.34 million or P79.82 million more than the determined value. So far, this year netted no seized shipments of illegal rice as Alcazaren attributed it to the strict measures they have implemented. Alcazaren said there are still 500 more containers of seized smuggled goods at the Cebu International Port including rice which the BOC-Cebu hopes to dispose through public bidding by month’s end. “Some of the common smuggled items are spare parts, used tires and ukay-ukay or used clothing,” said Alcazaren. A predicament faced by the BOC-Cebu in addressing rice smuggling is that the consignees of the illegal shipments used corporations. “When you check the corporation for the names under it, the people turn out to be fake. As you know, smugglers are very wise,” lamented Alcazaren. Alcazaren asked the public’s cooperation to notify them in case they hear about any possible entry of illegal rice shipments. Alcazaren however, said the Senate list containing the names of noted rice smugglers in the country does not include anyone from Cebu. (mbcn/PIA-7)

DPWH turns over completed bunkhouses to DSWD, LGUs By: Erlinda Olivia P. Tiu TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, Feb. 19 (PIA) – The Department of Public Works and Highways in Eastern Visayas, in line with the National Government’s thrust to provide temporary shelter for the families displaced by typhoon Yolanda, is set to turn over all the completed bunkhouses to the Department and Social Welfare and Development and to the Local Government Units this week. The completed 227 bunkhouses will be able to accommodate 5,448 families if the original plan of one family per unit will be followed, ARD Tabacon said. Assistant Regional Director Edgar Tabacon said that the original target was for the construction of 222 bunkhouses in the region. However, an additional 35 bunkhouses were implemented. The total number of bunkhouses to be turned over is 227 while the construction of 20 bunkhouses is still ongoing. Those completed with toilet and baths number 189 while the total number of units with toilet and bath facilities is 135.

In Tacloban City, of the total 53 bunkhouses targeted, 53 have been completed. Of the 37 completed with toilet and baths, 30 have been turned over. In Palo, Leyte, of the total targeted 50 bunkhouses, 39 have been completed while 11 are ongoing construction. Of the targeted 28 with toilet and bath, only 16 have been completed. In Ormoc City, all the targeted 44 units have been completed and 22 toilet and bath have been turned over. In Samar, all the 22 units of bunkhouses in Basey and the 16 units in Marabut are already completed with toilet and bath number to 19 and 11 respectively, already turned over. For Eastern Samar, of the 70 targeted, 51 have been completed for the municipalities of Guiuan, Hernani, Giporlos, Mercedes, Balangkayan, Quinapondan, Maydolong, Borongan, Lawaan, Salcedo and Balangiga. About 37 of the targeted 45 toilets and baths have been completed and turned over, Director Tabacon said. As per report of the RDRRMC, there are 240,367 totally damaged houses in Eastern Visayas. (PIA 8)

FishR's success depends on multi-sectoral support More on Region 7, pages 4-5.

EASTERN VISAYAS  

Mario Victor Baang talks about SOS Children’s villages in Iloilo, Cebu, Tacloban, Davao, Bataan, Calbayog and other places in Visayas to stakeholders caring for children and their rights during the 2nd Consultation Dialogue on Child’s Rights Situation Analysis at SOS Village in Calbayog City, Feb 18, 2014. (PIA Catbalogan)

More on Region 8, pages 6-7. Also CLICK Here...

BY: ELSA S. SUBONG ILOILO CITY, Feb. 20 (PIA) – Local government units and a host of other stakeholders are key players in the successful implementation of the Municipal Fisherfolk Registration (FishR) program, said Atty. Asis Perez, National Director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). Perez was in Iloilo, February 18, for the regional launching of the program. In a press conference that preceded the launching, Perez told the media that BFAR is banking on the active participation of the local officials, the Municipal Agricultural Officers, Fisheries Extension Officers and other stakeholders, especially in coastal fishing villages. He said that in the region the FishR has been disseminated to the LGUs but BFAR still needs media support to make the local stakeholders respond actively. The registration is simple besides the fact that it is free, Perez said. There is supposed to be a space for the registration which comprises a table, computer, printer and camera and a person trained for the task. The municipal fisherfolk shall go visit this station at the municipal hall, fill up the Fisherfolk Registration Form, sign or affix fingerprint and have his

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) lawyer Asis Perez (2nd from right) cites the important role of the media in generating the active response of local stakeholders to the Municipal Fisherfolk Rgistration (FishR) program, during the regional launching of the program in Iloilo City, Feb. 18. (LTP/PIA6)

picture taken. The municipal fisherfolk registration is prescribed under the Fisheries Code of 1998. BFAR will register workers in the fishery sector which include fishermen, fish vendors, fish farmers, and operators. Perez said the incentives for LGUs under the FishR is that the first 100 which will reach the target number of municipal fisherfolk registered will get some P2 million worth of projects. (jcm/ESS/PIA-Iloilo)


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WESTERN VISAYAS

Closer tourism ties between WVisayas and NMindanao seen Agbalo Bridge in Pontevedra, Capiz

BY: LILIBETH A. FRENCH

ILOILO CITY, Feb. 17 (PIA6) - - Department of Tourism 6 Director Atty. Helen Catalbas urged local officials and tourism partners and advocates in Northern Mindanao and Western Visayas regions to strengthen their ties as well as accelerate inter-regional travel that could further boost tourism and investment.

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his was the gist of the message of Catalbas as she welcomed delegates from Northern Mindanao and guests during the opening of the “Pasundayag Northern Mindanao sa Iloilo 2014” at SM City Iloilo Activity Center, February 16. Catalbas said the two regions have things in common, for one thing the link between them through the Iloilo International Airport in Cabatuan and the Laguindingan International Airport in Cagayan de Oro City has been built through Cebu Pacific Air. According to Catalbas the weekly flight from Iloilo to CDO makes international flights from Iloilo to Hongkong and Singapore strong because of this linkage. She expects that with the joint promotion of both DOT Regional Offices 6 and 10, flights from Iloilo to CDO will futher increase from 3 flights weekly to daily flights. The “Pasundayag Northern Mindanao sa Iloilo 2014” is organized by DOT 10 together with the Northern Mindanao Regional Tourism Council. It is a regional promotion project that aims to promote the local destinations and wonders, rich culture and products of the region. DOT 6 Director Catalino Chan III said they

chose to bring Pasundayag to Iloilo this year “because we have so much things in common”. The staging of the event in Iloilo City is the first in the Visayas. Among other reasons Chan gave are: Iloilo City has a clean river just like the Cagayan River which was a bit destroyed by typhoon “Sendong’ but is definitely back for business; Iloilo City, Batangas and CDO are identified by USAID-CDI as the 3 pilot cities for investment and promotions; direct flights from CDO to cities of Iloilo and Bacolod; and good relations with DOT 6. Also, Chan said Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, the Bishop of CDO is from Iloilo which is an example of close friendship between two regions. Chan assured Ilonggos that when they go to their region it will be more fun in Region 10, a perfect 10, because of its facilities and places of nature. Some of the famous destinations of the region are the whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro, Ma. Cristina Falls in Iligan, Monastery of the Transfiguration in Malaybalay, Lake Apo in Valencia City, ASEAN Heritage Park in Bukidnon, and Agutayan Reef in Misamis Oriental, among others. In his message, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the activity not only showcases the best

of Northern Mindanao but the noble endeavor will certainly foster strong sense of camaraderie, unity, harmony and fruitful cooperation which is very important. “The city of Iloilo is truly honored and privileged to host cultural and tourism advocates like you because it is a great opportunity for us to work together and help one another for the achievement of one common goal and benefit of the general welfare especially in the promotion of the Philippines, our own country,” said Mabilog. The week-long event is highlighted daily by the cultural presentations prepared by the participating local government units which have also booths showcasing their products, local attractions, and services located inside SM City Iloilo. A total of 10 traders have also joined the promotional event to display and sell their products including the famous pastel of Camiguin, Cheding’s peanuts of Iligan and Puyo handicrats of CDO at the mall’s jeepney bay area. Northern Mindanao is composed of the provinces of Camiguin, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte and the nine cities of Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, Ozamiz, Tangub, Oroquieta, Gingoog, Malaybalay, Valencia and El Salvador. (JCM/LAF/PIA6)

Bacolod ready for big investors BY: LORENZO O. LAMBATIN BACOLOD CITY, Feb. 19 (PIA6) -- The local chief executive said Bacolod City has started to host investors in its various business fronts and is ready to welcome more big money players.

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ayor Monico Puentevella said Henry Sy of SM, Ayala and Manny V. Pangilinan group as well as other BPO giants are already doing business in the province and in the city. “These people would not come to Bacolod unless they made due diligent study,” he said during a TV interview over Sky Cable. He said he is consulting with local power providers Central Negros Electric Cooperative to inquire on the need to fill up power gaps as well as the Bacolod City Water District

to come up with expansion plans at less expense. Puentevella said the two important utility firms need help to position the city for growth. Under his administration the city is pursuing free enterprise that will give options to the people and businessmen. The mayor is keen on opening the former major sea port of the province – Banago Port, presently undergoing repair and rehabilitation. Another slaughter house is also seen to open to prevent trade monopoly which,

according to him, is the worst thing that can happen to a city. He pledged to work to put Bacolod City in the international map that will start if the city’s bid to host an Asia Pacific Economic Conference ministerial meeting is approved by APEC ocular team. From there, he said he will invite big events in Manila to hold their activities here noting that SM is set to open, sometime in the last quarter of this year, its convention and cultural center that can accommodate thousands of delegates.( JCM/LOL/PIA6)

6 Aklanon studes hurdle DOST-PhilSci test BY: VENUS G. VILLANUEVA KALIBO, Aklan, Feb. 17 (PIA6) -- Six graduating elementary pupils coming from various schools here successfully passed the National Competitive Examination of the Philippine Science High School System (PSHS) given October 12, 2013 at the Noorthwestern Visayan Colleges (NVC) in Kalibo, Aklan.

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he passers, based on the list provided by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) here, are Dan Japeth C. Berondo of the Conferey Learning Center, Donna Hope C. Dela Cruz of Wadeford School, Athena Therese V. Dionela and Bassy Leiah V. Ibarreta of Infant Jesus Academy and Rex S. Hilis and Mark Rensel D. Yeban of Aklan Learning Center. All the passers came from private elementary schools in the province – 5 located

in Kalibo and 1 in Caticlan, Malay, Aklan – the Conferey Learning Center. According to DOST-Aklan, this school year’s crop of passers is lower compared to previous years’ number of passers. As qualifiers of the PSHS system, these passers stand to enjoy scholarship privileges upon their enrollment like free tuition fee, free loan of textbooks, monthly stipend, uniform, transportation and living allowances for low income groups.

Republic Act 3661 established the PSHS and mandates it to offer on a free scholarship basis a secondary course with emphasis on subjects pertaining to science with the end in view of preparing its students for careers in science and technology. Its first campus was in Diliman, Quezon City established in 1963. Presently, it has 12 campuses nationwide, one of which is in Iloilo City where most Aklanon PSHS passers enrol. (JCM/VGV PIA6 Aklan)


WESTERN VISAYAS

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UN-WFP assists in repair of Capiz NFA warehouses Agbalo Bridge in Pontevedra, Capiz

BY: JEMIN B. GUILLERMO

ROXAS CITY, Capiz, Feb. 18 (PIA6) -- The United Nations World Food Programme (UN-WFP) has set aside funds for the repair and rehabilitation of the typhoon-devastated grains warehouses in Capiz.

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nformation Officer Mary Christie Hari-on of the National Food Authority in Capiz disclosed that the said international agency has already deposited to the account of the NFA some P1,401,515.00 for the repair of the food agency’s two warehouses. She stressed that the said warehouses, namely A and C, including Warehouse B suffered great damage due to super typhoon Yolanda last November 8. “The amount appropriated by the UN-WFP is intended for the repair and rehabilitation of the NFA’s Warehouse A and C alone,” she explained. Hari-on said that the UN-WFP has been using the NFA warehouse here as storage area for their relief goods that are being distributed to the affected families in Capiz and northern part of Iloilo provinces. She said that the proposal for the

rehabilitation of their Warehouse B, which damage was estimated at P2-million, was already submitted to their Central Office. According to her, the NFA and the international organization had earlier entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the use of the food agency’s facilities. She added that the use by the UN humanitarian group is also extended for an additional three months, subject to the availability of the NFA facilities. Hari-on said that in exchange for the free use of the NFA facility, the UN-WFP has offered to assist in the rehabilitation of the destroyed warehouses. She pointed out that except for the free use of the warehouse, the said international organization is paying for the security and handling services as well as water and electricity expenses.

On the other hand, Capiz NFA Manager Erna Abello expressed gratitude to the UN-WFP for helping the government in the recovery and restoration effort. Abello stressed that the move by the said international agency in the repair of their warehouses here is already a big help for them to restore back what were lost due to the wrath of super typhoon Yolanda. She also said that they are thanking the UN-WFP for appreciating their partnership towards serving the public especially in times of disaster. In a letter to Abello by WFP Philippines Representative and Country Director Praveen Agrawal, he commended the NFA here its extraordinary efforts to assist the Filipino people especially those affected by typhoon Yolanda. (JCM/JBG/ PIA6-Capiz)

Iloilo City upbeat on biz forum BY: ELSA S. SUBONG ILOILO CITY, Feb. 17 (PIA6) – The Iloilo City government is eagerly looking forward to the investment forum in Metro Manila set next Month.

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loilo is set to showcase new investment want to develop. potentials during the forum dubbed “Iloilo On the other hand, Lea Victoria Lara, Means Business” in Makati City on March executive director of the Iloilo Business Club, said 12. that top executives of corporations who have In media interviews, Rex Drilon II, vice-chair invested in Iloilo City have confirmed their of the Iloilo Economic Development Foundation participation in the forum. (IEDF), said they are promoting Iloilo City and Among those expected to speak include Iloilo Province as investment sites. Kevin Andrew Tan, first vice-president and chief Among those which will be unveiled are the of commercial division of Megaworld Corp. key investments by businessman Alfonso Uy and Megaworld is developing the 72-hectare the cannery project in Northern Iloilo which is Iloilo Business Park at the old Iloilo Airport. already in the works. Antonio T. Aquino, president and CEO of Drilon said Iloilo has relatively stable power Ayala land, Inc, with a multi-billion investment with basic infrastructures in place. here is also included as speaker. Drilon added that it is not only about Francisco Sebastian, chairman of Global business that they are inviting investors, but also Business Power Corporation of the Metrobank to the arts and culture sector, which they also Group, Ramon del Rosario, president and CEO of

forthcoming Iloilo

the Philippine Investment Management, Inc. (PHINMA), which currently owns the University of Iloilo, and Edgar “Injap” Sia, CEO of Injap Investments, Inc, have all confirmed their attendance. The forum will feature a roundtable discussion with these industry players giving testimonies to Iloilo’s investment potentials. Included also according to the Iloilo Business Club, is the industry-matching session to bridge investors from Metro Manila with their counterparts in Iloilo. The business forum is part of the INVEST Project, a three-year initiative under the Cities Development Initiative (CDI) of the United State Agency for International Aid (USAID). (JCM/ESS/ PIA-Iloilo)

77,587 Antique PhilHealth members eligible for No Balance Billing Policy BY: PILAR S. MABAQUIAO SAN JOSE, Antique, Feb. 18 (PIA6) - A total of 77,587 members in Antique is entitled to No Balance Billing Policy of PhilHealth once admitted or confined in a government hospital.

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unie Sabusap, Chief, Social Insurance Office- PhilHealth Antique said members registered under National Household Targeting System (NHTS) and Sponsored Program (SP) need not shell out their money because they are covered under the No Balance Billing Policy. Provided however, Sabusap said, they are confined or admitted in a government hospital and under the care of government physicians or doctors on duty in the hospital, otherwise they forfeit their benefit as an

indigent PhilHealth member. Antique has 36,556 members under the first batch of NHTS coverage while 41,031 are under the Sponsored Program both the Provincial Government and Municipalities. With the No Balance Billing Policy under the Universal Health Care or Kalusugan Pangkalahatan, an indigent member is exempted in paying hospital bills, laboratory charges, doctors’ fee and medicines. Sabusap assured that PhilHealth will pay all the charges directly to the hospital

or doctors concerned under the Case Rate program. With this, Sabusap urged hospitals to upgrade their services particularly making medicines available in hospital pharmacies and upgrade their laboratory services. Members can always go to Office of Philhealth to secure a complaint form once they are not satisfied with the services of any government health facility covered under Philhealth programs. (JCM/MLG/PSM/ PIA6Antique)


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CENTRAL VISAYAS

DOLE-DOST identifies 20 projects for Yolanda victims in CV Cansaga Bay Bridge in Cebu

By: Hazel F. Gloria

CEBU CITY, Feb. 17 (PIA) --- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-7 identified at least 20 projects for Central Visayas in coordination with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-7 and other stakeholders during the recent livelihood convergence consultation meeting under the Reconstruction Assistance for Yolanda victims (RAY) program on February 6, 2014.

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OLE-7 regional director Chona Mantilla said this convergence program is to provide a menu of technology-driven and resource-based livelihood packages and sustainable to the poor, vulnerable, and marginalized workers and workers displaced by natural calamities. The group identified bulb making, charcoal briquetting, interlocking of concrete earth blocks products, as among the projects that will be introduced to the Yolanda victims. In her message, Mantilla encouraged the participants to do better than just talk about it.

Mantilla added the rationale of the activity is to emphasize three significant features on how to step-up projects that were identified in the 1st phase. International Labor Organization (ILO) representative Giovanni Soledad also shared his experiences and roles on the identified Proposed Livelihood Recovery Projects in Northern Cebu. He recognized DOLE’s efforts as an indispensable partner of ILO and laid down significant projects that need intervention or convergence of different social partners, not to mention the LGUs, DOST and RAFI in order to attain success. To fast track the projects, the

group decided to tackle action with communication plan with confidence that it will be set in motion the soonest possible time. Attending the consultative conference were representatives from the DOLE attached agencies: TESDA, RTWPB, OWWA, an International Labour Organization (ILO) and Labor Group of Clear Export Manufacturing and Incorporated representatives. For more information on this report, you may contact Emmanuel Y. Ferrer, Regional Labor Communication Officer at telephone number (032) 416-6167/ 266-9722. (mbcn/HFG/PIA-7/DOLE-7)

Cebu Capitol continues SPES for 100 students this year By: Rachelle M. Nessia CEBU CITY, Feb. 19 (PIA) -- Starting April this year, around 100 students in Cebu province will start working in various departments at the Capitol under the government’s Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES).

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he students, aged 18 and below, children whose parents’ income do not will work for a period of 30 days exceed P100,000 per annum. during which they will receive To date, PESO is already flooded with P5,886. more than 100 applicants. Cebu provincial government is “We started accepting applicants shouldering 60% of their wage, while the since January this year and so far, we have 40% is from the Department of Labor and already received more than 100 Employment (DOLE), according to Dr. applications,” said Julius Chua of the Cebu Mathea Baguia, consultant on Employment Public Employment Services Office Services at the Capitol. (PESO). Qualified to work under SPES are Applicants who are more than 18

years old are referred to private companies who are participating in the employment program. Cebu provincial government started implementing said program in 2009. SPES is implemented under Republic Act 7323 which encourages employment for poor but deserving students during summer and/or Christmas vacations. (RMN/PIA Cebu)

Funds available for socialized housing programs in LGUs By: Ferliza C. Contratista CEBU CITY, Feb. 20 (PIA) --- Local government units (LGUs) in Cebu especially those hit by calamities are encouraged to avail of funds for socialized housing program.

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n the Feb. 19 Kapihan sa PIA Cebu, guests from the Social Finance Housing Corporation (SHFC) announced that they have an Omnibus Commitment Line (OCL) program which LGUs can avail of to help them address issues on relocation of families living along disaster zones. Joel Ejes, SHFC account specialist, said that municipalities and cities can apply for as much as P50-million and P20-million for qualified barangays to bankroll identified social housing projects in their areas. This fund, Ejes said, has to be implemented in a year. An LGU can use the funds for offsite relocation, which is usually the case in disaster-hit areas. Funds for offsite projects will be used

to acquire and developing the lot where informal settlers, including those residing in danger zones, will be relocated under the concept of community ownership. According to Zeny Gread, SHFC local community mortgage program officer, said program is timely because there is already a strict enforcement of the 40-meter no-build zones policy aside from forced evacuation of residents from danger zones. Under OCL, SHFC can release 75% of the total land acquisition cost so that the project can start immediately. Other than that, off site project also include lot acquisition for those informal settlers covered with court conviction order and those that are voluntarily transferring from one community to another locality.

On the other hand, Onsite project is for the purpose of acquiring the land already occupied by informal settlers. Gread said this program also gives the LGU an opportunity to earn since they are entitled to 1/6 the total amount of the amortization provided that the collection rate is good. Here in Cebu, only Talisay City has so far enjoyed the benefits of CMP with a fast turn around of investment. Gread said they have five projects implemented in Talisay City. CMP is an initiative of the current Undersecretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government Francisco Fernandez. He is also a former Cebu City administrator and founder of Pagtambayayong Foundation Inc. (rmn/ FCC/PIA7)


CENTRAL VISAYAS

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DepEd NegOr to construct 767 classrooms worth P156M Cansaga Bay Bridge in Cebu

By: JENNIFER C. TILOS

DUMAGUETE CITY, Feb. 17 (PIA) -- The Department of Education (DepEd) Negros Oriental prepares for the construction of 767 classrooms under the Public-Private Partnership for School Infrastructure Project (PPP-SIP) before the end of first quarter of this year.

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he PPP of the national government has given P156 million to the local education department for the establishment of new classrooms in the three districts of the province. According to schools division superintendent Dr. Salustiano Jimenez, of the total number classrooms needed, 339 will be constructed for the 1st district which include 192 for kindergarten, 107 for elementary schools and 40 for high schools. The second district will get its share of 155 classrooms for kinder 108, elementary 24 and high school 23 and the third district will have 273 classrooms to be constructed

with 150 for kinder, 34 for elementary and 89 for high school. “As of now we are on the signing of contracts. After, I will sign the ‘Notice to Proceed’ so that our contractors can immediately start the construction of our classrooms by late February or early March. Starting June, our students will already have new classrooms,” Dr. Jimenez disclosed. He added that almost all towns specifically from Basay to Canla-on City have share allocations for classrooms. However, Jimenez said priorities are given to those schools that are labeled as black and red schools. Jimenez explained, black schools are

those whose classrooms are all makeshifts while red schools are those that have classrooms but still have great needs for additional classrooms. Jimenez added that newly opened schools usually belong to the category of black schools because the classrooms are usually makeshifts. Meanwhile, expanding schools belong to red category due to the increasing number of the students’ population, he said. Jimenez asserted that every year, classrooms are needed due to the increasing student populations. (mbcn/JCT with reports from Jingky Bucad/PIA7-Negros Oriental)

NGCP bares two expansion projects in NegOr By: Roi Lomotan DUMAGUETE CITY, Feb. 14 (PIA) – The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) announced it will have two expansion projects for Negros Oriental.

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ngr. Zosimo Briones, NGCP District III Head for Visayas, disclosed the power transmission company’s plans to put up a 69KV line from Guihulngan City to San Carlos City in Negros Occidental and to build a new substation in Dumaguete City. Briones said the 69KV line from Guihulngan City going to San Carlos City will give flexible power supply and improve power reliability to the two cities as well as the towns of La Libertad and Jimalalud. With the 69KV line, this would help resolve load end concerns in Guihulngan City and neighboring towns in the northern part of the province.

As of now, Guihulngan City sources power from the Amlan-Guihulngan Line, which is a long transmission line. With the help of the 69KV line, Guihulngan City can also get power from San Carlos City especially when they are conducting maintenance operations in Amlan. Meanwhile, the plan to build a new substation in Dumaguete City is still indicative, but Briones said it is included in the planning stages of NGCP. Briones noted that a new substation is needed in Dumaguete to address its growing power needs due to construction of new establishments and economic growth.

However, the proposed new substation in Dumaguete City still needs approval from the Energy Regulatory Commission before it can be built. On the other hand, NGCP also plans to link Negros Island to Panay Island through a new submarine cable. “The NGCP plans to construct another submarine cable linking Negros and Panay because right now, the massive development in terms of power plants is in Panay since there is a construction of coal plant in Antique,” Briones said. The expansion projects will ensure household-consumers reliability in power supply and better transmission services. (rmn/RAL/PIA7-Negros Oriental)

DOH-7 boosts anti-leprosy drive in CV By: Hazel F. Gloria CEBU CITY, Feb. 14 (PIA) --- The Department of Health (DOH-7) has intensified their campaign to eliminate leprosy cases in Central Visayas.

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OH is partnering with local government units (LGUs), civic leaders, academe, and media for a massive information and education campaign to remove leprosy cases in the region, said DOH-7 Regional Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas during the recent Association of Government Information Officers (AGIO-7) forum. Jaime said they trained local health units with Barangay Health Workers (BHWs) to diagnose and detect early symptoms of leprosy among suspected patients for immediate treatment and at the same time as frontliners on other health services. He said leprosy is now a curable

disaeas and not fatal. It can be treated at home because it has already preventive medicines, he added. DOH-7 leprosy control program coordinator Dr. Joanri Riveral said leprosy cases in the region decreased to 277 in 2012 from 424 cases recorded in 2011. In Cebu, there were 75 leprosy cases in 2012, lower than the 93 cases recorded in 2011. Riveral said they monitor cases in the areas of Medellin, Bogo City, Bantayan Island, Dumanjug, Moalboal, Ronda, Sibonga, Cordova, and Lapulapu City. Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease

caused by the rod-shaped bacillus Mycobacterium leprae. It is transmitted thru droplets from nose and mouth over long-term, close, and frequent contacts with untreated cases. It may cause progressive and permanent damage to the skin, eyes, nerves, and limbs if not treated, causing paralysis and loss of sensation. DOH-Center for Health Development for Central Visayas is observing World Leprosy Week on February 10 to 14 with the theme, “Joining Forces – Accelerating Progress” which aims to encourage stakeholders to raise awareness about leprosy and to improve quality health care for the patients. (rmn/HFG/PIA-7)


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EASTERN VISAYAS

PhilHealth bares special care for Region 8 Agas Agas--Agas Bridge in Southern Leyte

By: Marcelino Pedalino

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Feb. 18 (PIA) - The timing may be coincidental, or perhaps providential, yet it is definitely a welcome respite, a piece of good news for Yolanda-hit people, especially in our very own region.

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s the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) celebrated its 19th day of corporate existence February 14 – a “love day”, lest we forget -- it also unveiled a “Yolanda privilege” for Eastern Visayas. According to Henry Madula, PhilHealth Southern Leyte provincial head, the rare privilege can be enjoyed by indigent PhilHealth cardholders in the whole of Leyte and Samar who were enrolled by their respective local government units but whose coverage had already expired. In other words, even if poor Tal Pulano’s LGU-given card had December 31, 2013 as expiration date and he or any of his beneficiaries was admitted in the hospital right now, he can still claim PhilHealth benefits, citing Yolanda privilege. Here’s more: those who are hospitalized and found out as not a PhilHealth cardholder

yet, he or she will be made to fill up the routine procedures to claim refund and other benefits, citing the same Yolanda privilege. Of course, afterwards, this non-PhilHealth client will be made to undergo the necessary processes and procedures so this person can have his or her own PhilHealth card, Madula informed. In an interview at the PIA office Friday, Madula said the Yolanda privilege extended for Region 8 shall stay as long as President Benigno S. Aquino’ declaration of a State of National Calamity stays. This was covered by PhilHealth’s circulars concerning fortuitous events, particularly Circular 34 series of 2013, which was amended by Circular 6 series of 2014, Madula revealed. And this Yolanda privilege was retroactive, meaning those who were not able

to enjoy this one can still file their claims, as the regular filing has also been extended for 120 days since confinement, up from the regular 60 days filing, Madula said. This meant that anyone hospitalized on November 8, 2013 can still have until March 8 to file PhilHealth benefits. Philhealth came into being when Republic Act 7879 was passed 19 years ago, on February 14, 1995. It was amended by RA 10606 in June last year. This year’s anniversary theme is “Benepisyong PhilHealth Alamin at Gamitin.” For residents in Region 8, the theme carries its own life and weight amid the ruins and shattered lives left behind by the world’s strongest storm. Show your concern to the affected. Share this piece of good news to show you care. (PIA8-Southern Leyte)

Financing for rehabilitation of Yolanda-affected SMEs continues TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, Feb. 19 (PIA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry Regional Office in eastern Visayas is now in the process of validating the 23 small and medium business enterprises loan applicants for the second batch of the on-going Enterprises Rehabilitation Financing For Yolanda Affected SMES in Eastern Visayas.

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nterprises Rehabilitation Financing for Yolanda affected SMES is funded by the Small Business Corporation, the financing arm of the Department of Trade and Industry, which aims to help SMEs that need to repair damaged buildings, machineries and equipment and

operating capital to immediately resume their business operations and recover losses from Typhoon Yolanda. Atty. Lemuel Montes representing DTI-8 Regional Director Cynthia Nierras, in the weekly Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and

Mangament Council Meeting said that the distribution of checks for the second batch is either by the end of February or the first week of March. He further informed that the second batch are all from Tacloban City. (PIA 8 with Lizbeth Ann A. Abella)

UNFPA gives more for women, children’s health By: Alice nicart BORONGAN CITY, EASTERN SAMAR, Feb. 19 (PIA) – The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) handed over eight Tricycle Ambulances to the mayors of the eight most “Yolanda” affected municipalities here as part of its continuing commitment to support the province in its effort to promote women and children’s health care and services, especially this time after the super typhoon.

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nlike ordinary tricycles that are usually seen plying the streets, the side-car of the Trike-Ambulance is made rather long, just enough for a pregnant woman to stretch her weary bones and legs while being brought to the nearest health facility to deliver her new born. “We all know that in the rush of trying to provide shelter, food and clean water when disasters occur, issues of reproductive health (RH) are relegated to the peripheral”, expressed Dr. Dorothy Nyasulu, UNFPA RH Coordinator, in her message. “Yet, as we all know, the affected population comprises of pregnant women who could either suffer miscarriage or deliver if they are due”, she added. According to her, in any affected population, it is estimated that about 4% of the

total population will get pregnant, about 3.5% are lactating women, 15% are adolescents and about 16% will be subjected to gender based violence. Likewise, she said, that during disasters social support system affect the protection of young people who are left idle and on their own. UNFPA then comes in to ensure continued access to Reproductive Health information and services in order to reduce preventable mother and child illnesses, even deaths, the health coordinator on women and children concluded. The mayors present in return expressed their endless thankfulness to the donor organization, and they also committed to maintain their support to the regular conduct of “Buntis Congress”, which are

usually spearheaded by the fathers in the community. Other than the Trike-Ambulances, UNFPA also handed-over delivery and recovery beds and other medical equipment. Earlier, three ambulances were previously handed over to the hospitals of Balangiga, Guiuan and the Provincial Health Office. Present at the simple ceremony who likewise tried the running condition of the specially-welded tricycles were Mayors Edgar Boco(Hernani), Allan Contado(Balangkayan) and Enrique Cabus(Mercedes). Other mayors were represented by their municipal health officers. The UNFPA credo stays, that “NO WOMAN SHOULD DIE IN GIVING LIFE”. (PIA- Eastern Samar)


EASTERN VISAYAS

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LGU commits to build back better, stronger for a more resilient City of Tacloban Agas Agas--Agas Bridge in Southern Leyte

By: Erlinda Olivia P.Tiu

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, Feb. 17 (PIA) – “Amidst the staggering loss of lives and devastation, we have a reason to be thankful and to remain confident that we will build back better, stronger for a more resilient City of Tacloban.”

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hus, said Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez as he addressed the big crowd at the Tacloban Astrodome during the Commemoration of 100 days after Yolanda on Sunday, February 16. Mayor Romualdez said he is determined to build a city that will be safer and better for the sake of the children. He also acknowledged the support of the International Humanitarian Agencies who were also present during the commemoration saying “The overwhelming generosity of heart and strength of spirit demonstrated by the people who have come to our aid and the people of Tacloban, have inspired the world to come together and unite in the face of adversity.”

“As we usher in the phase to recovery and rehabilitation, we take this opportunity to acknowledge our milestones, check into our progress and make known to the different stakeholders, our future plans for the City,” the Mayor added. We remain mindful of the herculean task still ahead of us. The city government of Tacloban City remains dedicated and committed to ensuring that the welfare of the people of Tacloban and that the best interest of the City are promoted and protected. The commemorative program was preceded by a Thanksgiving service officiated by Rev. Fr. Amadeo Alvero. After the message of the Mayor, the International Humanitarian Agencies

particularly Mr. Casper Engbong, the head of the UNOCHA in Tacloban and the head of the Red Cross Mr. Allan Mosqueda also delivered their messages. Inspirational Songs were performed by the Tacloban City Choir while Councilor Cristina Romualdez rendered the song she sang while hanging on for her life and that of her children during the Yolanda onslaught. Those who attended the Commemoration wore purple shirts ribbons given by the organizers and included City Hall employees, barangay officials, private citizens and media practitioners. Also seen were two regional directors, Director Jose Llacuna, Jr. of DOH and Director Olive Tiu of PIA. (PIA 8)

Children in difficult situation need the support of family, government, says UNICEF TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, Feb. 18 (PIA) - Alfred Stual of United Nations Children’s Fund or UNICEF underscored the need for children in difficult situation to have all the support they could get from the their respective family and the government.

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r. Stual who visited the Philippine Information Agency on Monday, requested PIA for translation of the advocacy material to the local dialect and for the promotion of the advocacy in the 1 Eastern Visayas newsletter and over the PIA Power FM radio. Mr. Stual who is on child protection at UNICEF said that symptoms of a child in a difficult situation may be manifested by having nightmares, may have trouble sleeping or may become withdrawn, fearful or aggressive. Children may also complain thay they have pains like stomach aches, headaches, and nausea and fatigue even though it seems like nothing is causing it, said Stual. According to Stual, these are all common, temporary reactions to terrible event they have been through. Parent’s care, patience, understanding and support will make these children recover, added Stual. The UNICEF together with the Department

of Social Welfare‘s Child Protection Working Group listed ways 10 ways to help children recover from difficult situation. Children should be listened to when they speak about the typhoon, even if it maybe painful. Children’s distress and fears should be acknowledged and even if parents are busy providing for their children’s needs, parent should take time to comfort them and give them affection. Children should be reassured that they are safe now; strategies to comfort and calm the children can used, such as hugging them, telling stories, praying with them, and playing simple games. Children should be praised for their strength, such as showing courage, compassion, and helpfulness. As children may fear further storms, according to Stual, parents should take time to talk about these fears, and teach them about typhoons and about what they can do to stay safe now and in the in the future.

Parents should take time with their children and other family members, to discuss and plan what steps you will take to prepare in case of another storm, to help increase their sense of safety, he added. Stual said that parents should encourage children to help them in what they need to do in a safe way. Children should be supported to re-establish daily activities such as going to school, organizing a play, creative and recreation activities, or participating in sports which can help them regain a sense of normalcy. Stual pointed that if a child is suffering from distress that is difficult to comfort, parents should seek help from a teacher, social worker or health worker. For more help or support according to Stual parents should go to local Municipal Social Welfare and Development (MSWD) or City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) office. (PIA 8 with Lizbeth Ann A. Abella)

LGUs urged to take an active role in peace building By: Ninfa Quirante CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar, Feb. 17 (PIA)—A multi-sectoral group who attended a workshop on local peace and development in Samar urged the local government units to take an active role in peace building. ccording to one module in the workshop with the DILG said that it is time well being. workshop presented by Judy Batulan of that planners do ‘peace lensing’. By this, she With the growing advocacy for peace, the Department of Interior and Local means that all programs and projects of the LGUs are being compelled to take a more Government (DILG), if the LGU practices LGU must foster peace. active role in conflict prevention and peace transparency and strengthens the local peace “When people are contented with their programs particularly at the program and and order councils, it can foster peace. lives, with the environment, there is peace in policy levels. He added that peace can also be their midst,” she added. Although the brunt of peace-building is attained when the LGU is able to uplift the DILG outlines the roles of the LGU in borne by the LGUs, line agencies like TESDA, living conditions of the people and enforces peace building as they have a high stake in DEpEd, public works, health, agrarian reform, laws related to peace and order fairly without reducing conflict and violence. social welfare, environment and natural favor. More than reducing crime and danger, the resources and uniformed agencies like the For her part, Emy Bonifacio of the Office LGU must also manage conflict and promote police and the army also commit to assist the of the Presidential Assistant on the Peace peace by ensuring the economic growth, LGU in the promotion of peace through their Process (OPAPP) who co sponsored the security, productivity and people’s health and own projects and programs. (PIA 8-Samar)

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One Visayas e‐newsletter is published weekly by the Visayas Regional Cluster of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) comprising Region 6, 7 and 8. Its main editorial office is located at PIA Region 6, Iloilo City.   One Visayas e‐newsletter is part of the online news and information dissemination services of PIA and is powered by www.issuu.com. For inquiries and suggestions, call Tel. Nos. (033) 3378718/3377301 or e‐mail piaamo6@yahoo.com.     Ms. Minerva BC Newman Regional Director, PIA 7

Editorial Consultants Atty. Ma. Janet C. Mesa, Ph. D. Regional Director, PIA6

Ms. Erlinda Olivia P. Tiu Regional Director, PIA8

Managing Editor Jaime S. Cabag, Jr. Contributors All PIA Information Officers of Regions 6, 7 & 8 Production and Layout Edson J. Bañares Lynnor C. Regalado Regional Offices:

PIA 6, 2/F RC Building, Rizal St., Iloilo City, Iloilo 5000, Tel. Nos. (033) 337-8719/3377301/509-0993, Fax No. (033) 337-8719/509-0993, e-mail: r6_pia@yahoo.com/ piaamo6@yahoo.com PIA 7, Room 304, 3/F Machay Bldg., Garardo Avenue, Cebu City, Cebu 6000, Telefax No. (032) 232-4062/232-4126, e-mail: pia7_cebu@yahoo.com.ph/r7_pia@yahoo.com PIA 8, Children’s Park Compound, Sen. Enage St., Tacloban City, Leyte 6500, Tel. No. (053) 325-5124, Telefax No. (053) 321-2029, e-mail: pia_ev@yahoo.com/r8_pia@yahoo.com

One Visayas e-Newsletter Vol 4 Issue 7  

The official e-Newsletter of PIA Visayas