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Vol 4

Issue 11

In this Issue WESTERN VISAYAS

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog (L) leads the signing of the Pledge of Support to the 2014 Tax Campaign of BIR Revenue Region No. 11 which kicked off with a caravan and program in Iloilo City, March 17 during which taxpayers were encouraged to file their Income Tax Returns for CY 2013 on or before April 15, 2014. (PIA 6/EJB)

More on Region 6, pages 2-3.

Mar. 17 - Mar. 23, 2014

Published by: PIA 6, 7 & 8

Iloilo, one of PHL’s most competitive cities BY: LEONARD T. PINEDA I ILOILO CITY, March 17 (PIA6) --- Iloilo City is the country‘s top 2 most competitive city in the National Competitiveness Council‘s (NCC) Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index. In her presentation during the agency‘s roadshow held Thursday in Hotel Del Rio here, NCC program officer Marina Saldaña said that Iloilo City obtained a score of 68.23 ranking second among 122 cities evaluated nationwide. Cagayan De Oro City topped the ―overall‖ Competitive Index under the city category with a score of 72.09. The result was the first competitiveness index developed by NCC together with the Regional Competitiveness Committees and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The rankings were released last year. NCC‘s Cities and Municipalities Competitive Index operates within three frameworks that include economic dynamism, government efficiency, and infrastructure. Iloilo City ranked 8th for economic dynamism which is measured by local inflation rate, growth of annual business registrations, local productivity, and seven other indicators. Under government efficiency, Iloilo City topped the

list. Government efficiency is measured by the presence of an investment promotion unit, local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) plan and eight other indicators. The city ranked 10th under the infrastructure category which includes indicators such as number of hotel rooms, health infrastructure, education infrastructure, among others. NCC is a public-private task force that aims to promote a more competitive Philippines and instill a culture of excellence, through public-private sector collaboration as a means to reduce poverty through inclusive growth. (JCM/ LTP/PIA-Iloilo)

National Competitiveness Council (NCC) Program Officer Marina Saldaña explains the importance of boosting regional competitiveness through public-private partnership during the agency's roadshow held Thursday at Hotel Del Rio here. (LTP/PIA-Iloilo)

Central Visayas top eco-tourism destination in PH CENTRAL VISAYAS

Students of Abellana National High School in Cebu City participating in the Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) on March 19 at 9:00 am. The Office of Civil Defense-Cebu, Military Officer from Cebu Central Command, and Philippine National Red Cross-Cebu Chapter conducted the Earthquake Drill which lasted for 15 minutes followed by an assessment. (VVV/PIA CEBU)

More on Region 7, pages 4-5.

BY: FAYETTE C. RIÑEN CEBU, March 18 (PIA) – Central Visayas is the top eco-tourism destination in the country as the Regional Eco-Tourism Committee chaired by the Department of Tourism (DOT-7) is fast-tracking the identification of eco-tourism sites in the region for tourism development. Regional technical director for Protected Area, Wildlife Conservation Zone and Management Services of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-7) Dr. Al Orolfo, disclosed about the number one status of Region 7 as an eco-tourism haven nationwide. ―Bohol is the top choice as an eco-tourism destination in Central Visayas followed by Cebu,‖ said Ornolfo during the recent meeting of the Regional Inter-Agency Steering Committee on Environmental Education. ―Eco-tourism has a very lucrative potential in Central Visayas,‖ said Orolfo which the government hopes to tap and further market in the domestic shores and abroad. DENR-7 used to chair the regional committee which this year is now led by the DOT-7. Apart from government stakeholders, also members of the committee are the local government units and other concerned sectors, said Orolfo. Orolfo said the vast potentials of eco-tourism have yet to be optimized as government is now gearing towards such

direction; of which Bohol he added is already very advanced in effectively promoting and marketing the province as an ideal eco-tourism destination. ―This year will be the identification of eco-tourism sites which is why we need the LGUs to help us identify these areas,‖ bared Orolfo adding the committee will then determine how huge the potentials are as a tourist crowd-drawer. He added, after the identification of eco-tourism sites in the region this year, by 2015 or next year, development of these eco-tourism sites will begin. This will be in partnership with the concerned LGUs and tour operators. Orolfo said that in 2016, aggressive marketing strategies will be applied to ensure the promotion of such eco-tourism sites. In Cebu, the DENR-7 official cited Bantayan Island, which has already gained a reputation as a popular tourist haven as one classic example of an eco-tourism destination. Late last month, the National Eco-Tourism Strategy Plan was launched which would guide government and other stakeholders on approaches and policies to be adopted for the development of eco-tourism destinations in the country. The Plan is good for the next 20 years, said Orolfo. (mbcn/FCR/ PIA-7)

Drones used to map Yolanda-hit areas in Leyte

BY: ERLINDA OLIVIA P. TIU TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, March 17 (PIA) – Medair, an EASTERN VISAYAS international NGO currently helping in the recovery and rehabilitation of Haiyan-hit areas, is using drones to make new maps for Tacloban and other hard-hit areas in Leyte. Mr. Joel Kaiser, emergency response officer of Medair told the Philippine Information Agency that Taloban City and Leyte have maps which anyone could Google, but these were made before the Yolanda onslaught. On Saturday, Medair sent off one small, lightweight drone in the presence of Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, and a few media representatives led by the Philippine Information Agency, at the City Hall grounds. It was learned that only one drone was assembled AECID, a Spanish organization, helps fisherfolk because of the unpredictable weather last Saturday in the in Samar and E. Samar provinces by providing City. More drones will fly when the weather is good, Mr. motor boats to replace the ones crushed by Kaiser said. "You can just push a button or launch them by hand to Yolanda in November 2013. (PIA-Catbalogan) see them fly, and you don't need a remote anymore—they are guided by GPS and are inherently safe," Kaiser added. The drone looked like simple model airplane, to survey landscapes and take photos with thousands of digital images that can be stitched together into 3-D maps. After the aerial survey and photography, the new 3D maps will already be More on Region 8, pages 6-7. ready. The same will be very useful for the rehabilitation work Also CLICK Here... that is ongoing in the Yolanda affected areas.

Mr. Kaiser said that the Swiss-based humanitarian aid agency, together with Drone Adventures, a Swiss non-profit organization that promotes the humanitarian use of drones, will also launch these devices in other parts of Leyte like Dulag. The ‗eBee drones‘ will take hundreds of aerial images of the disaster-affected area, which will then be merged to create 2D maps and 3D terrain models. These will be used to help Medair determine where the greatest need is and what the most appropriate assistance should be to affected families as they continue to recover. Medair is currently assisting recovery efforts by providing materials and expertise to build shelters in Dulag, which was hit by Super-Typhoon Haiyan last November. More than 80% of the town‘s homes and cropland were destroyed. ―Recovery from a disaster of this magnitude can be complex,‖ said Kaiser. ―The maps produced from the images taken by the drones will give everyone, including community members themselves, an opportunity to better understand not only where the greatest needs are, but also their potential solutions.‖ ―Having accurate images of affected areas will allow us to address the needs of individual households and advocate on their behalf when necessary,‖ he added. The images will be made public for free online, enabling community leaders and humanitarian organizations to use the information to coordinate reconstruction efforts. (PIA 8)


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WESTERN VISAYAS

Bayani Challenge organizers call for Panay volunteers

Agbalo Bridge in Pontevedra, Capiz

BY: ALEX A. LUMAQUE ROXAS CITY, Capiz, March 20 (PIA6) – A forum on ―Walang Iwanan: The Bayani Challenge 2014‖ was attended by hundreds of Capiceños and Aklanons last March 18 at Dinggoy Roxas Civic Center here to encourage more volunteers for the various Bayani Challenge activities this summer.

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ayani Challenge 2014 event head Jose Mari Oquiñena said that volunteers will go to the areas affected by recent calamities to help in house building, school refurbishing, mangrove tree planting and in other activities like supplemental feeding as well as storytelling and coastal clean up. The Bayani Challenge, with its battlecry ―Walang Iwanan‖ (no ones left behind), aims to register one million volunteers that will work together in nation-building. ―I hope this summer you chose five days to volunteer. You go

to www.bayanichallenge.com and chose where you want to go, when you want to go and what you want to do,‖ noted Oquiñena who is also the Director General of the Philippine Information Agency. It will be staged in among 300 sites of the 12 provinces nationwide that include Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Cebu, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Negros Occidental, Palawan and Samar which were hit by supertyphoon Yolanda last year. Bohol and Zamboanga which were affected by the killer quake and war last year are also in the list.

―I know there are houses that will be built here that will come from National Housing Authority and private donors,‖ the PIA official disclosed during an interaction with local mediamen, adding that Bayani Challenge is a venue for volunteers from various sectors and age groups to join together toward the goal of expressing love for country and caring for the poor. Bayani Challenge, which has grown exponentially after eight years, is a yearly campaign to inspire every Filipino to make volunteerism a lifestyle. (AAL/PIA 6 Capiz)

PIA-6 cites exemplary student writers BY: ELSA S. SUBONG ILOILO CITY, March 17 (PIA6) --The Philippine Information Agency in Western Visayas has given recognition to 38 student writers who have performed well in the field of development communication.

These campus writers, members of their publications, received the IWAG Award, the highest form of citation given by the PIA to graduating editors who have been participating in its series of basic journalism workshops and student press conferences. PIA-6 Director Atty. Janet Mesa said the IWAG Award has been there for the last 37 years, recognizing not only the performance of student writers, but their role in making the campus press ever dynamic and bringing it to the realm of community service. ―The campus publication is not just for the academic community but for the localities the papers reach,‖ Mesa said.

For 2014, the awardees are broken down as follows: Aklan, 4; Antique, 4; Capiz, 5; Iloilo, 10; and, Negros Occidental, 15. The awardees for Iloilo include (not in particular ranking) Daniele Liza G. Molina and Berl Stephen Dutosme of Ateneo; Ray Adrian Macalalag and Jerson Elmido of the University of San Agustin Publications; Keft Sobredo of John B. Lacson Maritime University-Arevalo; Marian Lea Moquite, WVSU-College of Education; Angelica Belarmino, Lapaz National High School; Angebvi Sepino, WVSU-College of Arts and Sciences; Stephen Dave Mosqueda, WVSU-College of Nursing; and, Jeline Bornales, Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State

College-Ajuy. The 38 recipients were given a citation and a medal from the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) which their schools can award during their Recognition Day or Graduation Ceremonies. The criteria included Development-oriented articles published (35%); Communication Work, Experiences and Training (20%); Involvement in Communication-related activities in the campus and the community (20%); Academic/scholastic achievements (15%); and, Other Awards/Recognitions (10%). (JCM/ESS-PIA6)

Antiqueños test earthquake emergency response plans BY: VICENTE W. VILLAVERT SAN JOSE, Antique, March 20 (PIA6) - - The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) conducted an earthquake drill on March 19 as part of efforts to strengthen awareness and to afford first responders rehearse emergency response plans.

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DRRM Officer Broderick Train said that the activity will ―help us assess the capacity of people and rescue teams in the event of disasters and other emergencies.‖ The Department of Education Division of Antique was the ceremonial site of the earthquake, where at 9:00 A.M. an earthquake scenario of stronger magnitude was simulated to test how the officers and employees would react and evacuate to a safer ground. Next, the Bureau of Fire Protection with their equipment, responded to put out the fire and rescuers bringing out wounded people to the area where they will be attended to by the

paramedics, then transported by the ambulance to the hospital. Traffic management was also in place to avoid further accidents. At the hospital, the incident commander Dr. Samuel Tonogan after experiencing also the magnitude of the earthquake supervised evacuation of patients to safer grounds, and after the assessment that the facility is stable and safe the hospital‘s personnel went back to their respective station. Ambulances coming from DepEd now start arriving at the hospital, and the incident commander shifts attention with his staff assessing the medical needs of the incoming patients. ―So far the activity is very helpful to

assess our preparedness during disaster and other emergencies,‖ Dr. Tonogan said. Earlier, Governor Exequiel B. Javier issued Memorandum Order 024, urging all provincial department heads, head of national agencies, municipal disaster risk reduction and management councils and educational institutions both private and public to participate in the conduct of the first quarter national simultaneous earthquake drill to enhance preparedness and response mechanisms to earthquakes and its associated hazards like collapsed structures, landslide, fires and others.(JCM/MLG/VWV-PIA6 Antique)


WESTERN VISAYAS

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Kalahi-CIDSS docu wins Best Public Sector Award Agbalo Bridge in Pontevedra, Capiz

by Elsa S. Subong

ILOILO CITY, March 19 (PIA6) – The documentary ―Ang Banas Padulong sa Kauswagan‖ (Trail to Progress), entry of the Kapit-bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Community Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) bagged the top prize as Best Public Sector Project for 2014.

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alahi-CIDSS is a community-driven project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development which highlights people empowerment in poverty-alleviation program. The documentary bested other contenders which included the ―OPLA Sagip-Hanap Eskwela of the DepEd-Guimaras; Excellence in Local Governance of the DILG; Promotion of Complementary Food Technology of the DOST; and, the Barangay Peace Keeping Operations of the Police Regional Office. Kalahi-CIDSS focal person Maricar Calubiran said the documentary tells of a barangay trail with foot bridge project in the island barangay of Macatunao, in the northern town of Concepcion, Iloilo.

The project, which serves 200 households and some 149 indirect beneficiaries from neighboring barangays and sitios, was constructed by the collaborative efforts of the people and the DSWD-6 Project Management Office. The special feature was of Vivian Dolor‘s story, who pawned her wedding ring just to buy the initial materials for the presentation of their concept for validation and approval. Dolor was the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee Chairperson, leading the community in the identification and conceptualization of the project. In the Kalahi-CIDSS, according to Calubiran, the community itself has to identify the project and present its concept for funding. The documentary also showed how

Dolor‘s team sacrificed and worked to realize the trail and the foot bridge to make their community accessible. These experiences have been featured in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the TV program Rated-K. The Best Sector Project Award was initiated by the Regional Development Council (RDC-6) with three categories, namely: national government agencies, local government units, and state universities and colleges. The Kalahi-CIDSS documentary will receive a trophy and a cash prize of P50,000, during the awarding ceremony on April 1 in Iloilo City, with Budget Secretary Florencio Abad as guest of honor. (DSWD/JCM/ESS/ PIA-Iloilo)

Aklan pet owners urged to be responsible BY: VENUS G. VILLANUEVA KALIBO, Aklan, March 17 (PIA6) -- As the country celebrates Rabies Awareness Month this March, the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian (OPVET) here once again reiterated the call to Aklanons to be responsible pet owners.

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he OPVET, through Dr. Ronald Lorenzo, Provincial Rabies Control Coordinator issued this call when he guested recently in the radio program hosted by the Philippine Information Agency aired over RMN-DYKR Kalibo as one of the activities of the province in observance of Rabies Awareness Month. The OPVET‘s renewed call for Aklanons to be responsible pet owners is one of the strategies seen by the office to help Aklan attain rabies-free status by 2020. As responsible pet owners, Dr. Lorenzo said people should have their pets vaccinated and registered, cleaned, and provided with food and shelter. This way, dogs will be least likely to be infected with rabies and other diseases, according to Dr. Lorenzo.

―Rabies is a deadly disease but it is also 100% preventable‖, Dr. Lorenzo said. For this year, OPVET is intensifying its campaign to vaccinate more dogs in the province to prevent if not eliminate rabies. In February of this year, 2 Aklanons were reported by the Provincial Health Office (PHO) here to have died due to rabies. A report from the Provincial Health Office (PHO) revealed that in 2013, animal bite victims in Aklan reached 3,608 which showed a continuous upward trend since 2010. Based on PHO records, in 2010, there were 2,719 Aklanons bitten by dogs and other animals; while in 2011, there were 3,033 and in 2013, 3,541. Not all animal bite victims, however, had consultations at the Animal Bite Center at the

Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital (DRSTMH) and at the Altavas District Hospital (ADH), according to Dr. Cornelio Cuachon, PHO I. Seeking consultations and having the animal bite victims injected with Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) as soon as possible are some of the life-saving measures the PHO and other health workers strongly advise Aklanons once they get bitten. The PHO report showed that in 2013, Kalibo had the highest report of animal bite victims with 8l1, followed by Banga with 342 and New Washington with 307. The rest of the municipalities had 276 and lower, with the farthest town, Buruanga, having the lowest with 32 animal bite cases. (JCM/ VGV-PIA6 Aklan)

DAR turns over farm-to-market road, health center BY: EASTER ANNE D. DOZA NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, March 18 (PIA6) - - More than P4-million worth of infrastructure projects were turned over by the Department of Agrarian Reform to the local government of Hinobaan town.

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he infrastructures include a 1.2 kilometer farm to market road and a health center that are expected to benefit 1,648 households of Barangay Asia of the town. This is under the Agrarian Reform Communities Project II (ARCP2), a rural development project of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) the executing agency under Foreign-Assisted Projects Office. DAR-ARCPII projects aim to alleviate poverty in Agrarian Reform Communities (ARC).

The Farm to Market Road extends from National Highway to Purok 5 with the project cost of ?3,238,995.21 started rehabilitation on May 7, 2013 and completed on November 29, 2013. Meanwhile, the 50.40 square meter Health Station cost P877,674.18 and was completed in August 6, 2013. Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II (PARPO II) Lucrecia S.Taberna, DAR Regional Office Representative Engr. Daniel Pongan and Rural Infrastructure Engineer (RIE), Provincial Project Office (PPO) Engr. Lodivico Guimapang officially

turned over the infrastructures to Mayor Ernesto A. Estrao and Barangay Chairman Elias P. Manlangit, the DAR press release said. Taberna challenged the community to commit in operation and maintenance of the said projects while members of the Asia Organic Farmer‘s Association (AOFA) represented by Naneelito Prado Pagbana-ag ARC thanked DAR for the projects. In 2013, a two-classroom building was also turned over to Barangay Alim of the same town.*(JCM/EAD-PIA6 Negros Occidental)


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CENTRAL VISAYAS

BJMP7 urges LGUs to donate lot for new jails BY: FAYETTE C. RIÑEN

Cansaga Bay Bridge in Cebu

CEBU CITY, March 18 (PIA) – All 34 jail facilities in Central Visayas under the management of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP-7) face the perennial problem of over-congestion as local government units are urged to donate a one-hectare lot for the construction of new jail buildings.

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ssistant regional director for operations of the BJMP-7, Supt. Bartolome Sagadal made this call as every year, inmate population per jail climbs between 10 to 20 percent which again underscores the dilemma of too much congestion. ―In Mandaue City Jail alone, the ideal capacity is only 54 yet the total inmate population is 1,002. There is a congestion rate of 1,741 percent. In the Cebu City Jail, ideal number is 864 yet the total number of inmates reached 2,216 so there is a congestion rate of 156 percent,‖ bared Sagadal adding the list goes on with the rest of the jails where overcrowding is a common major problem. Out of the 34 jail facilities in the region, 16 are located in Cebu; 11 in Negros Oriental while

Bohol has five jails and only one in Siquijor. Other two provincial jails in Cebu and Negros Oriental are not within the jurisdiction of the BJMP7 but are rather manned by the respective provincial governments of Cebu and NegOr. According to the BJMP-7 official, only the local governments of Ubay in Bohol and Argao in Cebu have heeded their plea for a donated lot. Sagadal said four jails are also working on an expansion this year to accommodate more inmates. Three of these jails are located in Cebu namely in the cities of Carcar and Danao and in Medellin town while the other one is in Tanjay Negros Oriental. Because of overcapacity, Sagadal said health problems such as respiratory diseases would

likely surface with tuberculosis or TB as the top health issue. Skin problems would also likely occur with the imminent summer period just like in the previous years, said Sagadal. Sagadal said they are very grateful to the assistance of the Department of Health (DOH-7) which has constructed 14 separate isolated TB cells within 14 jails since 2010, on top of providing free medications to inmates with TB. Sagadal along with the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center and the DOH-7 were the guests of the weekly forum of the Association of Government Information Officers (AGIO-7) this morning that tackled the topic ‗State of Our Jail Facilities and Addressing the Welfare of Inmates.‘ (mbcn/FCR/PIA-7)

DENR-7 celebrates Int’l Day of the Forests BY: HAZEL F. GLORIA CEBU CITY, March 18 (PIA) --- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-7) will celebrate the International Day of the Forests on March 21.

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n an AGIO7 forum at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA-7) today, DENR-7 Chief, Forest Resources and Conservation Division Clea Arceño said that this day is celebrated to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests. Countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize awareness raising activities involving forests and trees, Arceño added. She also said, DENR urged the public to help in protecting the forests as they are important in soil and water conservation and climate change mitigation and adaptation. Forests are essential in maintaining the

balance of oxygen, carbon dioxide and humidity in the air. With the observance of the event, DENR-7 initiated the mangrove planting and growing in a coastal barangay in Argao, Cebu with more than 3,000 mangrove propagules to be planted on March 21. DENR-7 Information Officer Dr. Eddie Llamedo said that mangroves will act as natural barriers in the coastlines to shield the communities from highly devastating storm surges and other tsunami-like waves. Other lined up activities are the social media campaign as preparing and sharing banners, leaflets, brochures, posters, infographics,

videos, news and messages; debates and drawing contests on forest and forestry issues; radio/TV talk shows; tree planting campaign; photo exhibits that portray the importance forests and tress; workshops and seminars and online media postings on blog, facebook and twitter. Meanwhile, Arceño said the illegal logging in Central Visayas is not that serious. DENR-7 encouraged the communities, to report illegal cutting of trees, ‗kaingin‘ or slash and burn practices; to participate in the tree planting or growi n g act i vi t i es; an d organ i z e a community-based forest protection group. (mbcn/ HFG/PIA-7/DENR-7)

Mysiquijor.com brings home a positive change BY: RIZALIE A. CALIBO SIQUIJOR, March 14 (PIA) -- Mysiquijor.com administrator Gary Harrison or ‗Siquijor Gary‘ as the islanders fondly call him has been in and out Siquijor, the small island in the Philippines he proudly calls his ‗home‘, for nearly two and a half decades now.

I felt something here..pardon me…but something magical. There was something here on the island that kept calling me back each and every year,‖ says Gary as he presents the cash donation of Pph51,000 for the renovation of Solangon Chapel in San Juan, Siquijor, the amount he solicited from generous donors from different walks of life through my.siquijor.com. But the solicitation or the donation is just one of the many ways of showing his respect and gratitude to the people for allowing him to enjoy life on the island for 24 years. Over and above it was his vision to bring positive change on the lives of the islanders that he pursued with his creation of a website named ―mysiquijor.com‖ in 2002. Mysiquijor.com, he is convinced, would help him realize his aspiration as it portrays his affection and appreciation for the island and his long commitment to show Siquijor‘s natural beauty to the world.

But when asked about promoting the island, Siquijor Gary responded by saying: ―I don‘t have to sell it..only to show it. The island sells itself.‖ While recognizing the island‘s many natural treasures such as the waterfalls, the beaches, the convent, etc. Gary also realized that the island‘s most important resource is its people. With it, he included in his vision for the website his desire to have a positive impact on Siquijor‘s medical capabilities, educational system, employment rate and in the preservation of its culture. And over the past 12 years Mysiquijor.com, indeed, has made several donations of medical equipment to the Provincial Hospital, the restoration of St Francis of Assisi Church and school supplies to the selected elementary schools, among others. Along with them are the promotion of local businesses and foreign investments, and the provision of assistance to thousands of tourists, apart from the ―gifts‖ he personally bring and

present every time he comes home to the island. Gary thanked all the generous donors: Linda Rumple Tieben, Scott Kim, Tom Ashton, Mike Eudy, Craig Norburry, Steve &Eileen Lyon, Coral Cay Resort, Samantha White, Craig & Ellen Lego, Tim & Rhea Larsen, D' Barkads, The Bruce & himself . ―A couple of them are my old classmates and have never been to the Philippines and probably never will,‖ he said while giving a brief background of the donors and the amount they gave for Siquijor. In closing, he challenged everyone, domestic or foreign, to reach into their pockets and give with their hearts to finish the chapel and move on to another project. This he said as he is aware that the donation given will not be enough to complete the project. Above all, he thanked the people of Siquijor and assure them that even though his eyes are old and tired, his vision for mysiquijor.com and the island remains very strong and clear. (mbcn/rac/ PIA7-Siquijor)


CENTRAL VISAYAS

Cansaga Bay Bridge in Cebu

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Bohol wants most hands in Bayani Challenge ‘14

BY: REY ANTHONY H. CHIU TAGBILARAN CITY, March 15 (PIA)— Bohol pitches in for the seemingly impossible in an attempt to engage the most number of volunteers for the country‘s Bayani Challenge (BC) in 2014.

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ohol, which is poised to do a massive rehabilitation for its public and private infrastructure which the earthquake toppled and the super typhoon Yolanda flattened, had the BC coming in time, according to volunteers during the recent coordination meeting held at the Governor‘s Mansion recently. A call to mainstream the small bits and patches of Filipino spirit of helping each other, BC also aims to build relationships among different sectors, groups and nationalities, creating peaceful and more caring communities that are ready for any eventuality, according to BC Bohol coordinator Christopher Rivera. BC is also the platform to gather and inspire volunteers who are key players in innovating and implementing plans that address poverty and other social challenges, making it also the opportunity to raise extraordinary resources that complement funded or unfunded programs of the local government, this was learned. Initially targeted for volunteer work are nine badly damaged towns, in the spirit of bayanihan, a Capitol functionary wants it in 47 towns and Tagbilaran City.

According to Rivera in previous meetings with Bohol officials, SEEM Cluster head Liza Quirog said she wants BC in all towns of Bohol. Excited by the development, Rivera said he has reasons to believe Bohol can put up the numbers as there really is a lot of things that can be done. Simultaneous in two months time in Alkan, Antique, Capiz, Cebu, Eastern Samar, Ilo-ilo, Leyte, Palawan, Negros Occidental, Samar and Zamboanga, the BC 2014 attempts to come up with a million volunteers from April 9-June 12. Also coming at a time when Bohol will have its fiesta months in May, Josephine Cabarrus, Bohol Tourism Officer believes it adds up to the taste of the patriotism. In 2013, one after another disasters hit us almost like a plague: the wars in Zamboanga, the killer quake in Bohol and the last straw was Supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan), unleashing a fury like the world had never seen before with an intensity and magnitude that quite literally blew away almost the whole of the Visayas islands. For this year's challenge, we will go to the areas affected by recent disasters and show our brothers and sisters that we will not leave them behind! In

response to the call for education as that which helps Bohol attain its progress, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) brought in student skills trainings to Candabong National High School (CNHS) in time for the HEAT-IT Caravan in Anda recently. Meanwhile, aspiring young writers, about 18 of them from Grades 7 to fourth year, gathered at the school‘s Computer Room, to learn about the basics of News-writing, do it and be critiqued of their work. The same group, now joined by school paper advisers then delved into the basics of photography and photojournalism, the basics of the digital camera and tips on taking good media-presentable shots as well as the basics of photo captioning. The short course also included a practicum on picture and photo coverage, photo captioning, minor desktop editing, cropping photographs, and preparing photo releases. School principal Zita Amora said she appreciated the government for offering the free training to their students who have gone to several annual press conferences with barely enough training. (mbcn/rahc/PIA7-Bohol)

Local gov’t support to responsible pet ownership sought BY: FERLIZA CALIZAR-CONTRATISTA CEBU CITY, March 14 (PIA)--- Health authorities sees the need for local government support in the implementation of the Responsible Pet Ownership Law.

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epartment of Health (DOH-7) regional director, Dr. Jaime Bernadas said there is a need to strengthen advocacy campaigns on the Responsible Pet Ownership Law at the municipal level. ―I admit we lack advocacy which is very important in our campaign against rabies, that is why despite our lack of manpower, we aim to visit these LGU‘s, attend their assemblies and be visible to them,‖ Bernadas said. Rabies and TB Control Program Coordinator, Dr. Jocelyn Tabotabo said the number of reported cases in 2013 had increased to 50,755 from 34,678 cases in 2012. There is an increasing trend as observed from the figures made available in 2008- 17,387 cases;

2009-20,338 cases; 2010-26,298 cases and 2011-28,964 cases. However Tabotabo said that despite the rise of reported cases, there is an observed downward trend among deaths caused by rabies. In 2009 there were 12 deaths by rabies, increased by one in 2010 then there were 10 deaths in 2011; seven deaths in 2012 and eventually only four deaths last year. Tabotabo said on the 4th year of implementing the ―Rabies Free Visayas Project‖ they have not reached 70 percent immunization coverage in the region. However, Tabotabo said that the increasing number of reported bite cases may also mean that

the people are already going to the Animal Bite Centers which are increasing in the region. At the Animal Bite Centers, the government shoulders two of the needed four doses of anti-rabies vaccine. The health authorities also advised the public not to resort to the popular quack treatment ―tandok‖ as according to Dr. Bernadas, ―it does not have no scientific basis to cure rabies‖. Rabies incubation period they said is between three to 57 days. ―And for the record, there is no official survivor of rabies,‖ Bernadas said. Local government units are therefore enjoined to adopt a local legislation implementing the Responsible Pet Ownership Law. (mbcn/FCC/ PIA7-Cebu)

Improper use of electrical gadgets among causes of fire BY: LEANDRIA P. PAGUNSAN DUMAGUETE CITY, March 14 (PIA) -- "Improper use of electrical gadgets and appliances are among the common causes of fire".

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rovincial Fire Marshal of Negros Oriental, CINSP William Tacaldo Jr, bared this during a Kapihan sa PIA held recently in observance of Fire Prevention Month at Bethel Guesthouse, Dumaguete City. Improper use of electrical gadgets such as battery charger, voltage regulator including appliances are among the causes of fire. "We should not leave these electrical gadgets/appliances plugged in outlets when not in use because this will overheat and trigger fire" according to Tacaldo. Tacaldo underscores proper housekeeping to prevent the occurence of fire. He also emphasized that installing grills on windows is a violation of the fire safety code because this will obstruct passage in case fire originates

from inside the house. Tacaldo urged especially the parents not to leave their children alone at home. Open burning is also discouraged because the flying embers can glow very hot and precede a fire in other places. One of the business establishments in Dumaguete City, Bethel Guesthouse/Hotel and Cang's Incorporated owner, Roy Cang cited that most of the fires usually happen in the residential areas and rarely in the business districts because of their compliance to the annual fire safety inspection done by the city engineer's office and the Bureau of Fire Protection. On the part of the City Engineer's Office, Engr. Erasto Crispo urged owners of residential houses to initiate in checking for deficiencies in

their electrical wirings and not to use substandard electrical materials for their safety. Meanwhile, Dumaguete City Fire Marshal Arnulfo Sayson reported that for this year the BFP responded to 10 fire alarms with only one big fire that has an estimated cost damaged of P800, 000. These fire brigades are then trained by BFP personnel in firefighting techniques so that they can immediately respond to fire incidents in their establishments and at the same time augment the presently undermanned fire personnel of Dumaguete City, said Fire Marshal Sayson. Sayson also commended the people in Dumaguete City and the community for their active involvement in fire prevention. (Mbcn/ LPagunsan/PIA7- Negros Oriental)


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EASTERN VISAYAS

DSWD-8 to scale up anti-poverty program thru NCDDP Agas Agas--Agas Bridge in Southern Leyte

BY: CONSUELO B. ALARCON

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, March 17 (PIA)—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Eastern Visayas is set to scale up its operation and coverage of its poverty alleviation program with the implementation of the National Community Driven Development Program in the region within this year.

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ubolo Co, Deputy Regional Program Manager of the National Community Driven Development Program (NCDDP) of DSWD Regional Office 8 said, the program is targeting 136 municipalities of the six (6) provinces across the region. Like the Kalahi-CIDSS, the National Community Driven Development

Program (NCDDP) uses community-driven development strategy to empower the people in order to capacitate them in solving community problems that may affect their poverty situation. Under the NCDDP, projects in the local level will be implemented in four cycles and in every cycle there is a

municipal allocation. Previously, Kalahi-CIDSS was implemented only in bottom poor municipalities comprising 25% of the muniopalities in the region. However, under NCDDP which is set to be implemented in the month of May, it shall cover all municipalities whether Yolanda affected areas or not.(PIA-8)

New Zealand sets coco farmers’ hope aflame BY: AURORA J. CASIMPAN TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, March 18 (PIA) - Hope burned bright in the hearts of farmers in the small coconut farming community in Brgy. Gacao in Palo, Leyte. Hope was the farmer‘s only hope that life would become better after their properties and coconut dependent livelihood were leveled by typhoon Yolanda on that fateful day in November 8.

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he farmers hope was set on fire when the government of New Zealand responded to the mute plea for help. In March 16, 2014, New Zealand‘s Minister of Defense, the Honorable Nikki Kaye and Ambassador Reuben Levermore in coordination with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations made a field visit to the potential coconut project site for development. Through the FAO, which is working closely with the Philippines‘ Department of Agriculture and other government agencies at all levels, the government of New Zealand committed a $2.5 million

grant to the coconut farming-community in Brgy. Gacao to be used in the recovery efforts for agricultural development. Initially, the Philippine government received $5 million from New Zealand as first response when the typhoon struck. In her short message, the Honorable Kaye told of her country‘s commitment to support agricultural development. She said that the $2.5million is focused on agriculture for sustainable development. She also informed the coconut farmers that since the productivity time of coconuts takes 6-8 years, community-based intercropping will be undertaken as alternative livelihood.

Other interventions to restore income include the provision of ruminant livestock, cash-for-work (land clearing) as well as the provision for post harvest equipment. As representative of her country, Minister Kaye underscored that the field visit was to stock at the situation and make sure that the help given would reach the beneficiaries of her country‘s committed grant. Meanwhile, FAO representative Rajendra Aryal clarified that New Zealand has committed $4 million annually to the country as assistance relative to development program of the government. (PIA-8)

Two women PWDs enjoy economic independence BY: NINFA ILUMINDA B. QUIRANTE CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar, March 18 (PIA) - Two women afflicted with different disabilities proved that they too can function like those endowed with complete senses.

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hese women are both entrepreneurs, Rica Dacles is a polio victim and walks supporting her left leg. Vivian Montejo another woman Person with Disabilities (PWD) is deaf-mute. But their physically challenging situation did not a bit deter them from pursuing a life of economic independence. Dacles, a single mother and a PWD is now a comparatively successful pastillas producer, she has hired two assistants, one mother and one student to help her in her Jezreel‘s food products. She produces pastillas, pacombo (also known as bukayo) and peanut brittle balls. ―I have to persevere so that my daughter can enjoy the best life I can of-

fer,‖ she shared. She added that her disability has never stopped her to pursue college and now her business. Meawnhile, Montejo in her early years was a manicurist, as she is deaf-mute, it was her sister Viola who shared how Vivian graduated from being a hired manicurist to having her own mini-store and acquiring foot spa paraphernalia for a few chosen customers. As she has the fund now, she can choose to serve but a few loyal customers. ―She is very frugal but generous to her nephews, nieces and god children, she does not know how to read and write but nobody can fool her when it comes to

money matters,‖ she said. As a proof of her skills in money and numbers, she alone tends to her store and does mental computation when serving her customers. She sells food and beverage and other household goods. She also personally shops for stocks. Vivian, her sister said, buys and wears branded clothing, she mused. She goes to Tacloban and Cebu to shop and has god taste in choosing clothes. Both women enjoy life as entrepreneur and both are economically independent. As it is women‘s month, the world hails these two for surviving the challenge and overcoming life‘s challenges with flying colors. (NBQ/PIA 8-Samar)


EASTERN VISAYAS

Agas Agas--Agas Bridge in Southern Leyte

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GSIS-Maasin introduces electronic billing, collection system

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, March 19 (PIA) – The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) - Maasin Branch introduced the Electronic Billing and Collection System (eBCS) in a training held March 19 at the Casa Ampil Function Hall here.

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SIS eBilling and Collection System is a web-based application that facilitates the dissemination of billing files to remitting agencies and supports submission and payment of remittances, GSIS Chief for Billing, Collection and Reconciliation Division Ma. Crisel Inocando disclosed in her rationale of the new system. ―This will be a preparation for the Department of Budget and Management‘s (DBM) circular on on-line remittances or payment through banks,‖ she said. She said that the application is publicly accessible to remitting agency users. ―A username and password pair will be provided to system users to access the system,‖ she elaborated.

A user manual were distributed to the participants which serves as a guide for eBCS users to the different functionalities of the system. The day activity was participated by different Agency Authorized Officers, Remitting Agency Officers and Finance Officers in Southern Leyte and some Leyte offices covered by GSIS-Maasin. The eBCS‘ objective is to let the agencies correct their own data before uploading to SAP. It is expected that there will be no more missing Electronic Remittance Files and clarificatory issues; can minimize if not eliminate undistributed collection; the operations group will have an exact view of

what the customers are doing; and a standard reporting of collection per group, per account. Among other activities during the day training was a pre-assessment exam for the Remitting Agency Officers and Finance Officers before the start of the eBCS rationale and a post assessment came after the training. An open forum was also conducted before the training session ended. Other speakers included Chief-Frontline Services Division Rodrigo Cajipe, BCRD Team Leader Allan Ang, Ms. Glenda Dator, Geno Molar and Cesar Zapata, all from GSIS-Maasin Branch. (PIA8-SoLeyte)

400 Samar fisherfolk to get boats from Spanish donor BY: NINFA ILUMINDA B. QUIRANTE CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar, March 21 (PIA) - - Some 400 new fishing boats with engine and fishing gears will be awarded to fisherfolk in Llorente, Hernani and Gen MacArthur in Eastern Samar and in Marabut, Basey, Sta Rita and Villareal.

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ccording to Emy Bonifacio of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), the giving out of the boats, now branded as peace boats is a form of convergence within the government and among governments. These are donated by Agencie Espanolade Cooperacion International para el Desarollo (AECID) to the Yolanda victims through Mainstreaming Peaceand Development Program in partnership with OPAPP, DILG, BFAR and other LGUs. To recall, on November 8, 2013, Eastern Visayas was ravaged by typhoon

Yolanda, the extent of damage required a convergent response not only from the government, but also from other development partners. While the Philippine Government is doing rehabilitation and reconstruction plan for Yolanda affected areas, it continues to welcome parallel initiatives to rebuild the lives of the survivors, thus the provision of boats for the fisherfolks. As fishing remains one of the livelihood for most Eastern Visayan, the replacement of their boats is a welcome gesture.

On March 25, fisherfolks identified from the towns of Samar and E Samar provinces will troop to the Balyuan Tower in Tacloban City not only to meet the generous donor AECID but also to meet the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, His Excellency Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo y Marfil and a host of other officials from the donor country. Other than providing livelihood, the provision of boats is also aimed towards social cohesiveness in the community, says OPAPP. (NBQ/PIA 8-Samar with Emy Bonifacio-OPAPP)

DILG trains newly elected barangay officials BY: REBECCA CADAVOS MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, March 18 (PIA) -- Around 5,OOO newly elected barangay officials in Southern Leyte for the term 2013-2016 underwent the Barangay Newly Elected Officials (BNEO) Program to be conducted by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), in coordination with the local chapters of the Liga Ng Mga Barangay (LnB).

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ILG Local Government Operations Officer II Rafunzel Bero in a press release said that the activity kicked off since the last week of February 2014 with 60 barangay officials trained in the municipality of Limasawa. ‖The "Laying the Foundation" component of the BNEO program is a three-day orientation-seminar on the basics in barangay governance and administration in all 500 barangays in the province,‖ he reported.

He added that an-going training of other barangay officials from the different municipalities in Southern Leyte is yet conducted. ―It is expected to end in the month of April this year,‖ acting DILG Information Officer Bero informed further. ―DILG Provincial Director Juan M. Badocdoc conveyed that the 2013 Barangay Elections ushered in the new set of barangay officials, thus the need to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to collectively govern their

respective communities,‖ he quoted. This term‘s BNEO focuses on the improved participation for the community in local governance through citizenship building by strengthening the barangay-based institutions, greater transparency through the implementation of the Full Disclosure Policy of the Department, and performance management through the use of Barangay Governance Performance Management System (BGPMS). (PIA8-SoLeyte)


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. BaĂąares 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 11