Page 1

Vol 6

Issue 9


Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala listens to farmers and representatives of associations as they air their concerns during the Farmers, Fisherfolk and AEWs Forum at the Rose Memorial Hall, CPU, March 2. (PIA6-Iloilo)

More on Region 6, pages 2-3. Also CLICK Here…


Published by: PIA 6, 7 & 8

Feb. 29 - Mar. 4, 2016

PNoy inaugurates school building, inspects restored heritage sites in Cebu CEBU (PIA) – President Benigno Aquino III inaugurated a school building and inspected restored heritage sites and other infrastructure projects in Cebu, March 3. Aquino started his day with the inauguration of a 4-storey, 20-classroom school building at the Guadalupe Elementary School at V.Rama Ave., Cebu City. The President said P12B has been poured for education from PAGCOR funds, of which P9B was allocated for DPWH and P3B for DepEd projects. The President cited the important role played by the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in addressing education in the Philippines. Cebu governor Hilario Davide III in his welcome message at the school building inauguration said, the new building will help improve the quality of education in our schools here in Cebu. Meanwhile, DPWH secretary Rogelio Singson in his briefing for the President reported that for 2016 budget, the allocation for infrastructure projects in Cebu reached P9.6B. This covers repairs, rehabilitation and widening projects, Singson added. Singson further said, “we also have identified the priority components for Cebu Master Plan with an allocation of P700M to address Cebu‟s flooding problems. From the inauguration event, President Aquino proceeded to Fort San Pedro to inspect the P12-million restoration works being implemented on the 227-year old heritage site that was damaged during the 2013 earthquake in Bohol and Cebu. From the run-through inspection of the Fort San Pedro, the President proceeded to his third event at the

Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño where church officials ushered him to the newly restored Magellan‟s Cross Pavilion to witness its blessing rites that was officiated by Archbishop Jose Palma. President Aquino lauded the convergence of agencies in the restoration of the heritage sites in Cebu. Rev. Fr. Jonas Mejares, Rector of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño church said it is his honor to receive and accept the complete restoration of the Magellan‟s Cross and the Bellfry of the Sto. Niño church. The day before, President Aquino was in Bohol to inspect the progress of the construction of the New Bohol Airport Construction and Sustainable Environment Protection Project or the Panglao Airport. (mbcn/PIA7 & its coverage teams/RAHC-Bohol)

President Benigno S. Aquino III witness the turnover of the documents for restored Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu by National Historical Commission of the Philippines Chairperson Maria Serena I. Diokno to Rev. Fr. Jonas M. Mejares on March 3 in Cebu City. (vvv/PIA Cebu)

SIPPAD asks PNoy to create 'One Samar Island, One Region' CATARMAN, Northern Samar, March 3 (PIA) – Samar Island Partnership for Peace and Development (SIPPAD) filed a resolution requesting His Excellency, President Benigno S. Aquino to issue an Executive Order creating a separate region comprising the three provinces in Samar Island (Samar, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar). The idea of One Samar Island, One Region was President Aquino leads the laying of the deliberated and approved by various sectors and Time Capsule for the New Bohol stakeholders, anchored on a contention that the three Airport in Panglao during his March 2 provinces lag behind their Leyte counterpart in terms of visit to the province. (PIA-7) opportunities and development. The package that wins arguments to pursue the matter with determination is moored on the facts as stated More on Region 7, pages 4-5. that the Samar Island comprising the three provinces is the largest island in the country, endowed with rich natural Also CLICK Here… resource and hundreds of thousand hectares of forest declared as protected area, vast mineral resources and 25 EASTERN VISAYAS major river systems that generate28 billion cubic meter of water, among others. A report reveals, that Samar Island has been designated as a “strategic destination area for tourism” in the Philippine Development Plan of the Aquino administration because of its more than 50 beautiful

beaches, marine parks, rock formations, pristine diving sites, cave systems, waterfalls, rivers, forest canopies and historical attractions. It added that the island is rich in natural resources, yet the three provinces of Eastern Samar, Northern Samar and Samar remain the poorest of the provinces in the Philippines. Forty-three years under the administrative region of Region 8 based in Leyte, the Samar provinces have not prospered compared to the three provinces in Leyte. Thus, conveners of the SIPPAD, the three Bishops of Samar Island Most Rev. Crispin B. Varquez, DD of Borongan, Most Rev. Emmanuel C. Trance, DD of Catarman and Most Rev. Isabelo C. Abarquez, DD of Calbayog facilitated to wrap the idea, "One Samar Island, One Region" with the support of the local government across Samar Island, church, civil society, academic institutions, business, private and government sector and other stakeholders component of the SIPPAD. The strong support and endorsement of the three provincial governments, city government of Calbayog and Catbalogan, Mayors and Councilors‟ league and other NGOs speculates positive response from the highest leadership of the country. (ADiaz/N. Samar)

Iloilo towns get P77M for RAY projects The Catbalogan City Fire Department signaled Fire Prevention Month through blaring of the sirens while firetrucks and other rescue cars rounded up the city streets. The Bureau of Fire reminds the public to observe ways to avoid fire with the theme: "Kaalaman at Pagtutulungan ng Sambayanan. Kaligtasan sa sunog ay Makakamtan." (PIA-8)

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

By Lilibeth A. French ILOILO CITY, March 1 (PIA6) - - The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) continues to see to it that local government units in this province fully recover from the devastation of super typhoon Yolanda which hit the country on November 8 , 2013. DILG-Iloilo Provincial Director Teodora Sumagaysay recently awarded checks worth P77,888,328.57 to six LGUs from the fifth district of Iloilo under the Recovery Assistance on Yolanda (RAY) projects, a priority program of the Aquino administration, implemented by the agency. RAY projects seek to rehabilitate and provide

immediate assistance to LGUs whose infrastructure facilities were either totally or partly destroyed by the super typhoon. Local chief executives and other officials of the recipient municipalities – Carles, San Dionisio, Lemery, Ajuy, Concepcion and Barotac Viejo - received their respective checks during the orientation of the new guidelines for RAY projects held in this city. Through the orientation, local officials were also briefed on some critical issues to help fast track the implementation of projects, according to a DILG 6 report. (JCM/LAF/PIA6-Iloilo)



Gov: NegOcc now biggest solar energy producer By Easter Anne D. Doza NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, March 3 (PIA6) - - The inauguration of the 132.5-megawatt solar power plant in Barangay Tinampaan, Cadiz City makes the province one of the biggest solar energy producers in the country.


overnor Alfredo G. Marañon in an interview said that total solar energy produced by all the solar farms in the province – including those in San Carlos City, Silay City, Manapla and recently Cadiz City – brings to a total of 280 -megawatts. “This is the pride of Negros and eventually, electricity charges will go down. We have the „sun‟ to light us up,” Marañon said referring to the energy generated from the sun. The P1-billion solar power plant in Cadiz City sits on a 176-hectare land of the 400-hectare property which is said to be the biggest solar power plant in Southeast Asia

and the 7thlargest in the world. According to Second District Board Member and former mayor of Cadiz City Salvador Escalante, the owners of the property are contemplating on converting the rest of the more than 200-hectare area into an Economic Zone. “This only shows that the officials of the province don‟t sleep on their jobs. We used to be „beggars of power‟ from neighboring Cebu City and Panay Island but now our mornings are powered from the energy generated from the solar farms,” Escalante said. The Cadiz City solar power plant was built by Soleq hiring more than 2,000

workers during its construction owned by Helios Solar Energy Corp. has started selling to the grid two weeks ago. “Now investors can say, we have excess power, we have efficient power and the best part is, it‟s a green, renewable power,” Marañon said. The Governor welcomes other solar plant investors but it should not be in prime agricultural land. “We have to weigh between food security and energy and now, since we have sufficient energy, we have to take care of our primary concern which is food security,” Marañon added. *(JCM/EAD-PIA6 Negros Occidental)

BFP to organize Kiddie, Junior Fire Marshals By Pilar S. Mabaquiao SAN JOSE, Antique, March 3 (PIA6) - - Kids are vulnerable during fire emergencies. The Bureau of Fire Protection hopes to organize Kiddie and Junior Fire Marshals as way of empowering children to actively get involve in fire safety and prevention.


CInsp Grossbee Gumowang, Provincial Fire Marshal said while we intensify our campaign for fire prevention among adults, government agencies and communities there is also the need to educate and encourage kids to take part in fire prevention campaign. The Kiddie and Junior Fire Marshals is one of the advocacy programs of the Bureau of Fire Protection for Elementary and Secondary students respectively with series of modules conducted in partnership with the Department of Education. SFO3 Alex L. Ortiaga Municipal Fire Marshal of San Jose acknowledged the importance of Kiddie and Junior Fire Marshal

in schools to inculcate the value of fire safety and prevention among children. This program is also a proactive approach to build consciousness among kids on fire safety as well as generate multiplier effect in schools and their families, Ortiaga said. communities in the campaign towards fire safety. When these kids become adults, even in personal capacities This is also one way of teaching children at an early age the capacity to help they could be fire brigades, rescue volunteers, disaster responders, first aid volunteers among others, he said. However, this program could only be

materialized with the help of the local government units who will provide support for the training of children as well as for the procurement of their firefighting gears. "With optimism, we hope that the local officials could also take this program as their priority so we could achieve our vision of a fire-free and fire safe nation in the near future", Ortiaga said. BFP Antique joins that rest of the nation in observance of Fire Prevention Month with a with the theme “Kaalaman at Pagtutulungan nga Sambayanan, Kaligtasan sa Sunog ay Makakamtan.” (JCM/psm/ PIA6Antique)

Five Aklan students to receive PIA6 IWAG Award By Sheila Q. Patoza KALIBO, AKLAN, Feb. 28 (PIA6) – Five students from Aklan are set to receive this year‘s best performing college and high school editors award in the field of development communication, dubbed as ―IWAG Award‖.


he IWAG Award is a yearly incentive scheme designed by the Philippine Information Agency in Region 6 to give recognition to campus paper writers who have published articles focusing on the development trusts of government. This year‟s awardee for college in Aklan is John Albert T. Rapista of Garcia College of Technology for the publication, The

Garcian. For high school, the awardees are Mary Ann Thea M. Bustamante for Pahayagang Iskolar and Maria Francesca S. Ortega for The Scholars‟ Gazette; both from the Regional Science High School for Region VI. Also awardees for high school are from Linabuan National High School, Diane Daphne V. Revesencio and Pia Jemimah C. Selorio, for the publications, The Viewfinder

and Pasip-eak, respectively. IWAG awardees will each receive a gold medal and citation to be given preferably during the school‟s graduation day or recognition day. Out of 50 nominations all over Western Visayas, 42 campus papers writers qualified for this year‟s IWAG Award; of which, three from Antique, 10 from Capiz, 11 Iloilo, and 13 from Negros Occidental. (JSC/SQP-PIA6 Aklan)



City intensifies drive vs. ‗bottled‘ petroleum products By Jemin Guillermo ROXAS CITY, Capiz, March 3 (PIA6) – The inter-agency task force against selling of petroleum products through ‗unprescribed‘ containers is intensifying its drive in Capiz.


his after the selling of “tingi-tingi” or bottled petroleum products has once again been apparent in the barangays. Roxas City Fire Marshall Rowel Limjuco, who is also the caretaker of the Bureau of Fire Protection provincial office, said that they are intensifying their campaign as part of the fire safety measures “We are conducting barangay-based inspection and monitoring of compliance

to this local ordinance as part of the observance of the fire prevention month this March,” he said. Limjuco also appealed to the barangay officials to help them in the enforcement of this City Ordinance No. 23-20015 in their respective areas of jurisdiction for the safety of everybody. The city ordinance prohibits the selling of petroleum products in soda bottles, plastic containers, jugs and other portable

containers not intended or suited for storing, handling and dispensing liquid petroleum products. The inter-agency task force is led by the BFP, Philippine National Police and concerned barangay officials. From January to March 2 this year, a total of 320 liters of petroleum products were already confiscated by the team, Limjuco said. (JCM/JBG/PIA6)

WV exceeds NGP target for 5th straight year By Leonard T. Pineda I ILOILO CITY, March 2 (PIA6) --- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-6 said that it exceeded its target for reforesting denuded areas in Western Visayas for a fifth year in 2015.


ing H. Garnace, National Greening Program (NGP) Regional Coordinator, said that in 2015 alone, the target for area planted was exceeded by two percent with 14,248.57 hectares actual area planted as compared to the target of 13,916 hectares. In 2014, the actual area planted was 12,108 hectares which was higher than the target of 12,105. A total of 11,143 hectares of land were planted in 2013 which was above the target of 10,960 hectares.

In 2012, a total area of 9,482 hectares were planted as compared to the target of 9,356 hectares while in 2011, 4,042 hectares of land were planted which was higher than the 4,033 hectares. From 2011-2015, the total area planted reached 36,775 hectares which is one percent higher than the target of 36,454 hectares. Garnace said that in 2015, a total of 11,835,280 seedlings were planted which was 16 percent higher than the target of

10,164,378 seedlings. Launched in 2011, the NGP operates under the provisions of Executive Order (EO) No. 26 which seeks to achieve forest coverage of 1.5 million hectares by this year. In November last year, under EO 193 the program coverage was expanded with the aim to cover “all remaining, unproductive, denuded and degraded forestlands” between 2016 and 2028. (JCM/ LTP/PIA-Iloilo)

Town coop goes e-commerce By Elsa S. Subong ILOILO CITY, Feb. 29 (PIA6)—The Pavia Entrepreneurs Multipurpose Cooperative (PEMPC)has created a website to invite more members and promote its programs.


oy Palmada, chair of the PEMPC Board of Directors said that they were able to do it upon attending the Ureka forum of the Union Bank held in Iloilo last week. “It is time for us to go e-commerce because we need others through it,” Palmada said. The Ureka Forum aimed at introducing e-commerce to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Established in 1999, the coop has now 700 members composed of market vendors, jeepney drivers, small entrepreneurs and municipal employees. “Ours is the only cooperative in the region, entrusted by the local government unit to manage the public market,”

Palmada told a panel during an interview for her bid to be chosen as outstanding Ilongga community leader. Palmada said that the website can help much in keeping the coop transparent as members and other stakeholders can look at how the coop is being run. “Much more, we can encourage more membership because more people from our town would know what our programs are,” Palmada said. Genaro Lapez, Union Bank executive vice president and forum proponent, said SMEs should use e-commerce to reach bigger markets. “E-commerce is borderless, as it does not limit you to just wehre you are,” Lapez said, adding that it can bring enterprises to

global markets. The participants were made to go through a circuit where they were able to sign up to a website, and access to a web needs internet connection. Meanwhile, Iloilo Business Club executive director Lea Lara said that majority of Ilonggo SMEs are too conservative for e-commerce. “But many are also opening up, especially those with advertising needs,” Lara said. She called on the telecommunications companies to come up with products and soft wares that can make it easy for the SMEs to handle e-commerce.(JCM/ESS/PIAIloilo)



CSC-7 launches 2016 Search for Outstanding Public Officials, Employees Fayette C. Riñen CEBU (PIA) – The Civil Service Commission (CSC-7) launched the 2016 Search for Outstanding Public Officials and Employees on Wednesday, March 2, at the Multi-Purpose Hall A of the CSC7 building here.


one every year, the CSC Honor Awards Program aims to give recognition and reward to public officials and state workers for their outstanding work performance and consistent ethical behavior. Awards to be given are the Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award, Dangal ng Bayan Award, and the CSC Pagasa Award. The Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award is given to an individual or group of individuals for exceptional contributions from an idea or performance which had a nationwide impact on public interest.

For the Dangal ng Bayan Award, this is given to an individual for performance of extraordinary act or public service and consistent demonstration of exemplary ethical behavior as provided under RA 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. The CSC Pagasa Award, on the other hand, is conferred to an individual or group of individuals for outstanding contributions resulting from an idea or performance which directly benefited more than one department of the government. Giving honor to deserving public officials and

government employees is hoped to motivate and inspire other workers in the bureaucracy to improve their performance and commitment in giving public service. Meanwhile, the CSC also turned over the financial assistance to the families of the 44 PNP Special Action Force members who died during an encounter with armed groups in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25, 2015. The Commission is granting the financial assistance of P100,000 to the families through its Pamanang Lingkod Bayani Program. (rmn/fcr/ PIA-7/CSC-7)

Hinterland schools benefit from ONCAN, Army partnership Jennifer C. Tilos NEGROS ORIENTAL, March 2 (PIA) -- The Oriental Negros Children‘s Advocacy Network (ONCAN) together with the Philippine Army has served 70 elementary schools in the hinterland barangays of the province under its ―Bayanihan Para sa Kabataan‖ (BPK) project.


ow on its seventh year of serving school children, ONCAN President Marrieta “Baby” Jambora said it started in 2009 from medical mission for children at risk into monthly „Lakbay Aral‟ for Grades 5 and 6 pupils, then lately school visits for Children‟s Environmental Campaign. Jambora said the group recently conducted the campaign in Salingkubong Elementary School, Tayak, Siaton with a series of lectures on environmental concerns, anti-child labor, anti-human trafficking, crime prevention, and peace symposium with Christian values. Some 17 member non-government organizations (NGOs) of ONCAN offer food as well as school supplies to school children after every environmental campaign, said Jambora. In its early years of BPK, Jambora said they

conducted a series of „Bayanihan Para sa Kabataan Lakbay-Aral,‟ an education tour program to show the children from mountain barangays how life is in the urban city of Dumaguete. The Lakbay-Aral aimed to widen the horizon of school children from the hinterlands and create a positive outlook in life by exposing them to places and events outside their communities. The activity also promotes education to the community as a key to a brighter future and strengthen the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) partnership with the various stakeholders in the province. The grades 5 and 6 pupils are accompanied by their teachers and school principal on board the military service vehicles to the city‟s different landmarks. Visiting Army General Manuel Ochotorena

said these kind of activities need the concerted efforts and convergence of all stakeholders to finally put an end to insurgency through peaceful means under the military‟s implementation of its Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) Bayanihan. Lately, the AFP awarded ONCAN for its contribution to the success of counterinsurgency project “Bayanihan”. Jambora received the plaque of recognition. On March 10, ONCAN in cooperation with the Army and Philippine National Police will award six elementary schools from mountain b aran gays f or supp ortin g Chi ldren‟ s Environmental Campaign activities at 10 a.m. at the Session Hall of Capitol Building, this city. (rmn/jct/PIA7-Negros Oriental)

D‘guete journalists complete training on biodiversity reporting Roi Anthoni B. Lomotan DUMAGUETE CITY, March 1 (PIA) – Around 30 local and student journalists from Silliman University (SU) completed the one-day training-seminar on biodiversity reporting held Feb. 29 at SU's American Studies Resource Center.


he event was organized by the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), U.S. Embassy, Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), Philippine Eagle Foundation, ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), and SU. The training-seminar aims to increase media interest in environmental reporting, specifically on biological diversity. It also aims to provide journalists with relevant information, key messages, and inputs related to biodiversity conservation in the ASEAN region. Biodiversity 101 coordinator and YSEALI grantee Karen Lapitan pointed out that there is a gap in the knowledge in biodiversity and most journalists write environmental stories only when calamities occur and most of the time do not pursue in-depth reporting on the environment. Lapitan disclosed she used to write for a national broadsheet before and shared that her

knowledge on environmental journalism was limited only to climate change and disasters. “The main goal is to connect you journalists with communication officers, scientists, and biodiversity experts and to brainstorm possible stories that you can write about after this workshop,” she added. The seminar featured lectures from National Scientist Dr. Angel Alcala who discussed the nature of biodiversity studies; Celia Acedo, Project Coordinator of SU-Research and Environmental News Service (SU Renews) who talked about environmental journalism; Dr. Hilconida Calumpong, a member of the United Nationas Group of Experts – First World Ocenas Report who shared updates on biodiversity and the first world oceans report; and Christian Elloran, database specialist of ACB who delivered a lecture on ASEAN-Clearing House Mechanism. In his talk, Dr. Alcala said that bio-diversity is

an attractive area for scientific studies and reporting since “Philippines is an archipelago in tropics with complex geological history resulting in rich biodiversity.” Acedo, on the other hand, also emphasized that “environmental reporting cuts across many of the traditional media specialties or beats such as politics, science, agriculture, business and economics.” She noted that despite the serious threats like global warming and loss of biodiversity, the environment is not covered by the press regularly. With this, Acedo challenged local journalists to develop their interest in writing about the environment and biodiversity. The event was the second training-seminar conducted by ACB for local journalists. The first one was held on December 4, 2015 in Manila and the second will be on April 23, 2016 in Davao City. (rmn/ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental)



10th Bright Leaf award for journalists kicks off Elvira C. Bongosia TAGBILARAN CITY, March 1 (PIA) -- The 10th year of Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards kicks off its search for the best agriculture stories for 2016.


he Bright Leaf Bohol caravan recently bringing to the public the various issues about the conducted here aims to encourage agriculture sector. Boholano journalists to participate in the Launched in 2007, Bright Leaf invites search by reporting on the country‟s agriculture journalists from all over the Philippines to submit sector. their stories and photos for the following Rep. Rene Relampagos (1st District), Rep. categories: Agriculture Story of the Year, Arthur Yap (3rd District) and Department of Agriculture Photo of the Year, Tobacco Story of Agriculture-7 Regional Technical Director Joel the Year, Tobacco Photo of the Year, Best Elumba encouraged the local media here during Television Program or Segment, Best Radio the caravan held at the Metro Center Hotel to Program or Segment, Best Agriculture News feature stories in agriculture and submit them to Story National, Best Agriculture News Story Bright Leaf. Regional, Best Agriculture Feature Story National, The competition is seeking published or Best Agriculture Feature Story Regional, and The aired stories and photos that best depict the Oriental Leaf Award. state of Philippine agriculture today whether it be The Oriental Leaf Award is a special award about best practices, latest innovations, given to those who have won five Bright Leaf environmental care, safety, crop sustainability, and Awards in any category. other relevant issues. The Oriental Leaf Awardees become part of Didet Danguilan, Project Director of the the Bright Leaf Hall of Fame, an elite group of Bright Leaf Awards, said that the company came journalists. up with the Bright Leaf Awards as a way of There is no entry fee required to enter.

Journalists and photographers may submit several entries for consideration. However, an entry may not be entered in more than one category. Entries should be published, aired, or broadcast between September 1, 2015 and August 31, 2016. Deadline for submission of entries is on September 1, 2016. Entries may be in English or any of the Philippine dialects. For entries that are not in English, participants will need to submit an English translation. Winners will be receiving cash prizes, premium items, and an all-expense-paid trip in an Asian country. For entry forms and more information, contact or visit Bright Leaf Secretariat at (0915) 550-8301 or (0918) 413-0797, (02)5456425 or visit the Bright Leaf website at (rmn/ecb/ PIA7-Bohol)

More projects to boost economic growth in Larena Rizalie Anding Calibo SIQUIJOR, March 1 (PIA) -- The construction of more infrastructure and implementation of more projects are seen to boost the town‘s economic growth.


arena Mayor Dean Villa, in a gathering of fisherfolks recently at Taculing, Larena, said that several projects are being undertaken to promote economic activities here. Among the projects that will soon rise in Larena are the construction of Fish Port and Cold Storage at Barangay Taculing funded by the National Anti Poverty Commission (NAPC). Villa said these two projects will boost the

fisherfolks‟ income. Another establishment is the new Hypermart Mall at the pier area, which will make available cheaper goods and commodities so that Siquijodnons need not go to Dumaguete or other neightboring island provinces. He also cited the P157 million worth of Larena pier extension project and the road projects within the town aimed at attracting more shipping companies to invest and bring more

convenience to the increasing number of tourists in the island. To complete the package, the mayor said he is pushing for the promotion of vegetable gardening as part of the government‟s effort for food sufficiency and stability as he envisions Larena to be the vegetable basket in the province. (rmn/rac/PIA7-Siquijor w/ reports from IAAbatayo)

PAL inaugurates thrice weekly Mactan-LAX flights Rey Anthony H. Chiu TAGBILARAN CITY, February 29 (PIA) -- Boholanos in the United States can now be closer to home once the historic long haul flight finally opens from Mactan, Cebu to Los Angeles (LA) International Airport (LAX) and back three times a week, according to a key Philippine Airlines (PAL) official.


As your local government officers continue to beckon tourists, your national carrier is relentlessly pushing for tourism and its access to people," PAL Senior Assistant Vice President for Passenger Sales Harry Inoferio said. During the PAL Visayas Roadshow held at the Metrocenter Hotel, Inoferio said PAL has finally acceded to the popular demand for the service, which they also see as very crucial to the continuing Bohol tourism campaign. Inoferio said the new route which would take its inaugural flight on March 15, would mean more tourists access to the Visayas region, opening up an unprecedented tourist access to Bohol from Cebu as well as. Industry-wise, the opening would trickle the benefits of access to Bohol. As this brings more flights to the US, Inoferio added that the flight that departs Cebu

every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday leaves at 6:25 PM and arrives in LA at 5:55 PM. For the LA, that same route puts up an LA to Cebu on the same days at 8:40 PM and arrives in Cebu at 4:40 AM. The flight incidentally also marks a milestone for PAL which would be celebrating its Diamond (75 years) jubilee, Inoferio pointed out. PAL boasts of being the oldest commercial airline in Asia, but currently maintains the newest fleet as their aircraft services are between 1 to 3.5 years old, Inoferio said. The flight for Mactan Airport becomes the 34th international flight from the Cebu Island airport. Currently, PAL has 11 flights non-stop from Manila to LA, 11 flights nonstop from Manila to San Francisco, and four flights from Manila to New York via Vancouver in Canada. With the development, PAL now has 42

international destinations as they continue to expand their domestic destinations, said Christopher Libumfacil, PAL Area Head of the Visayas. For the flights, PAL is deploying its new Boeing 777 300 ER, Airbus 340, Airbus 321, Airbus 323 and Airbus 330, Libumfacil said. Governor Edgar Chatto called the opening of the route a milestone in Bohol as it assures connectivity, which he incidentally lobbied for in his State of the Province Address (SOPA) he delivered that same day. At the SOPA, Chatto bared the ongoing negotiations between Bohol, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Immigration and Korean government for the proposed charter flights which would bring in more tourists directly to Bohol from Korea. (rmn/rac/PIA-7/Bohol)



DPWH‘s SoLeyte projects for 2016 ongoing MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Feb. 29 (PIA) – At least 53 of the 84 regular projects programmed for 2016 are now ongoing in Southern Leyte, ahead of rainy season and public works ban in connection with this year‘s election period.


n a press release, Department of Public Works and Highways Southern Leyte District Engineering Office (DPWH-SLDEO) Chief Engr. Ma Margarita C. Junia said the early kick off of construction works can be attributed to timely completion of bidding process for the 84 infrastructure projects intended for 2016. Junia added that the authority given by Secretary Rogelio Singson for the district to approve projects with allocations of P50 million and below, has paved the way for more effective and expeditious preparation activities, hence allowing the DPWH field office to proceed with the construction of majority of projects within the first two months of the year. “This is a milestone in the history of DPWH Southern Leyte as we worked hard to ensure that construction works are up and running early in the year,” Junia quoted. Of the 53 ongoing projects, 47 are bridges, which is up for major rehabilitation

this year. These are the bridges of Lilloan, Magaupas, Magkasag, Mayuga, Nahaong, Agogong, Awayon, Biliran, Bonbon, Caaga, Calayugan, Calian, Candatag, Canluwis, Canlupao, Cantamuac, Canumay, Casao, Concepcion, Dinahugan, Higusoan, Hilogtogan, Hipgasan, Iniguihan. It was learned that also up for rehabilitation are bridges of Looc, Mag-ata, Mahalo, Mapait, Maslog 1, Maslog 2, Padre Burgos, Pintuyan 1, Pintuyan 2, Sagbok, San Joaquin, San Jose, San Ricardo, San Roque, San Vicente, Sangaahon, Son-ok, Sta Cruz 1, Sta. Cruz 2, Sudmon, Timba, and Villa Jacinta. “Some of these bridges have been existing since 1970s. There‟s really a need for these bridges to undergo major rehabilitation,” the source added. Other ongoing projects are off carriageway improvements along the boundary of Maasin-Macrohon-Sogod and Liloan-San

Ricardo Road sections; rehabilitation of drainage in some portions of highway from Maasin to Sogod; repair of collapsed portion of Bato-Bontoc Road; rehabilitation of road with slips in Maasin City; and construction of alternative road along the saddle area along Liloan-San Ricardo Road. The DPWH field office rushed the bidding of these projects to ensure early start and completion. This also allowed the government to award the project to contractor prior to the March 25 to May 8, 2016 public works ban. Under the Omnibus Election Code, among the prohibited acts is the construction of public works, delivery of materials for public works, and issuance of treasury warrant or similar devices for a future undertaking chargeable against public funds. The DPWH-SLDEO has been preparing to apply for exemption of public works ban for ongoing projects. (with reports from DPWH/ PIA-SoLeyte))

NSamar completes Basic Incident Command System training Teresita B. Cardinas CATARMAN, Northern Samar, March 2 (PIA) – Some 52 Municipal Disaster Risk Reductions Management Officers (MDRRMOs), Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) members, army and PNP officials completed the recently conducted basic incident command system training by the Office of Civil Defense Region 8 held at the Farmer‘s Training Center, University of Eastern Philippines, Catarman.


r. Andy Fuego, former regional director of OCD 8, said that the purpose of ICS is to help ensure the safety of responders and the general public, and the achievement of tactical objectives as well as the efficient use of resources. Fuego encourages all disaster managers and responders to establish ICS in their

respective areas hence in place system meets the needs of incidents of any kind or size and allows personnel from a variety of agencies to meld rapidly into a common management structure. He also said that it provides accountability and a planning process, logistical and administrative support to operational staff and is cost effective by

avoiding duplication efforts. Given that the province is highly vulnerable to disasters and climate change, there is a need to set up a Provincial plan for disaster preparedness and establish protocols to be followed for the regions to efficiently and systematically respond to major disaster, he stressed. (Teresita B. Cardinas/PIA-Catarman)

Taxpayers urged : Pay correct taxes Ninfa B Quirante CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar, March 1 (PIA) — The Bureau of Internal Revenue District Office 87 in Catbalogan launched its tax campaign on February 29.


he campaign called Register, File and Pay (RFP) aims to urge taxpayers not only to pay the right taxes but also to pay even before the due date. Rosalinda Cabidog, Revenue District Officer in an exclusive PIA interview said that the public should be made aware that paying taxes is the basic responsibility of each citizen. Taxes are used to support programs and projects that benefits all Filipinos, said

Cabidog. “If people do not pay the correct taxes, the public is deprived of certain services that they should have had with taxpayers paying the correct taxes,” the lady BIR official said. She also told PIA that they are very passionate in the tax campaign because in the past; BIR Catbalogan fell short of its target by P 17 M. The Catbalogan Revenue District Office 87 now has a target of P 1.14 B for the year

2016. Cabidog also added that those whose income are fixed must have their taxes withheld, if the agency or company refuses to, the company officials concerned will be penalized. Finally, she thanked the religious taxpayers and all others who have shown support to the tax campaign by joining them in the tax campaign launch. (nbq/ PIA 8-Samar)



Kindergarten kids learn fire safety with Berong bumbero Ninfa B Quirante CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar, March 2 (PIA) — Though very young, kindergarten children will now have the experience to touch firefighting equipments in their friendly fire station on March 7-11, 2016.


he Bureau of Fire Protection in Catbalogan said the experiential event is one of the highlights of Fire Prevention month to instil in the minds of the young how to avoid fire and stay safe all the time. In the national scene firefighters are tasked to visit the schools for a fire safety lecture featuring Berong Bumbero. In Catbalogan, the City Fire Station

launched the 50th Fire Prevention Month on the first day of March by a five-minute blowing of sirens and a motorcade of some 10 firefighting vehicles which included those from the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and other rescue vehicles from volunteer groups. The usual fire safety awareness campaign will take most time as the teams will visit barangays for lectures on fire

prevention and fire safety. They will also do the rounds of different establishments to check if these are compliant to fire safety standards. The city fire marshall Rodrigo Almaden will also meet with different volunteer organizations to formulate a standard operating procedure in responding to fire. This year BFP drumbeats: Kaalaman at Pagtutulungan ng Sambayanan , Kaligtasan sa Sunog ay Makakamtan! (nbq/PIA 8-Samar)

Biliran women start Women‘s Month Celebration Mary Lailani Pitao-Tupaz NAVAL, Biliran, March 1 (PIA) – Biliran members of the Women‘s Organization for Rural Development-Kalipunan ng Lahing Pilipina (WORD-KALIPI), the Provincial Council for Women‘s Welfare, Inc. (PCWWI), and women employees of the different national government agencies, private establishments, and non-government organizations (NGOS) based in Naval joined the round-the-province motorcade on Tuesday, March 1, as an opening activity for the Women‘s Month Celebration.


omen-participants who came all the way from the municipalities of Naval, Almeria, Kawayan, and Maripipi joined the motorcade which started at the Biliran Provincial Capitol Compound at 7:00 o‟clock in the morning. More women participants joined en route to the municipalities of Biliran, Cabucgayan, Caibiran, and Culaba. Over 60 four-wheel private and government vehicles and a number of motorcycle riding participants joined the five

-hour motorcade following the Naval-Biliran -Cabucgayan, Caibiran, Culaba, Kawayan -Almeria route. A raffle draw awaited participants upon return to the Biliran Provincial Capitol Compound where some 40 cans of 900 grams powedered milk were awarded to the lucky winners who stayed during the raffle. Women-members of WORD-KALIPI and PCWWI are set to hold a one day Women‟s Congress on March 8, marked as

International Women‟s Day, at the Naval gymnasium where some 2,655 women-members from the 132 barangays and 45 organized sitio from the eight munisipalities of the province of Biliran are expected to attend. The theme for this year‟s Women‟s Month celebration is, “Kapakanan ni Juana, Isama sa Agenda!" so that no woman in the community would be left out. (mlt/PIA8 Biliran)

DOT, NCDA conduct seminar on handling PWDs in tourism industry Consuelo B. Alarcon TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, March 3 (PIA) – A Seminar on How to Handle Persons with Disabilities in Tourism Industry was held March 3 by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) at Patio Victoria, this city.


he activity is aimed at providing k n o w le dg e to f ron t li n e rs in the tourism industry such as hotel and restaurant managers, front desk officers, tourist transport operators, tour guides and other service providers on the proper way of dealing persons with mobility, hearing and visual impairments. The Seminar on “Accessible Tourism for Persons with Disabilities” is part of the effort of the government dubbed “Tourism for All”, a national campaign which provides the policy guidelines for stakeholders on accessible tourism as

provided in the government‟s National Tourism Development Plan of the Aquino administration targeting arrivals of 10 million tourists from foreign countries and 35.5 million domestic tourists by 2016. Distinguished resource persons who discussed disability-related topics included NCDA acting executive director Carmen R. Zubiaga, Rizalino R. Sanchez, Chief of the Information, Education and Communication of NCDA and DOT regional director Karina Tiopes. Participants of the seminar included officials of the national government agencies

with tourism related concerns and partners in the implementation of the tourism programs, local executives in the region and persons with disabilities. The concept of “Tourism for All” ensures tourist destinations, products and services accessible to all regardless of physical limitations, disabilities or age as long as they are able to travel and function independently in the soio-economic activities in places where they want to visit. (ajc/cba/NCDA/PIA-8)

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 For inquiries and suggestions, call Tel. Nos. (033) 3378719/3377301 or e-mail

Ms. Minerva BC Newman Regional Director, PIA 7

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

Ms. Alicia E. Nicart 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: PIA 7, Room 304, 3/F Machay Bldg., Garardo Avenue, Cebu City, Cebu 6000, Telefax No. (032) 232-4062/232-4126, e-mail: PIA 8, Childrenâ€&#x;s Park Compound, Sen. Enage St., Tacloban City, Leyte 6500, Tel. No. (053) 325-5124, Telefax No. (053) 321-2029, e-mail:

One Visayas e-Newsletter Vol 6 Issue 9  

The official e-Newsletter of PIA Visayas

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