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Vol 3

Issue 30

In this Issue WESTERN VISAYAS  

(From left) Regional Directors Minerva Newman of Region 7, Erlinda Olivia Tiu of Region 8 and Ma. Janet C. Mesa of Region 6 give a moment’s pause during their PIA Visayas Cluster meeting in Iloilo City, July 26. (PIA6 Photo)

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

CENTRAL VISAYAS  

Provincial Public Employment Service Office Manager Jose Ramon Benedicto (in blue stripes) leads the turnover of walking sticks to 16 blind persons in Dumaguete City during the Kapihan Forum marking the celebration of National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week. (RAL/PIANEGOR)

More on Region 7, pages 4-5. Also CLICK Here…

EASTERN VISAYAS  

Thousands of runners join the MOVE (Making Ourselves Vigilant to Exercise) in line with 35th NDPRW celebration to raise funds for Persons with Disabilities (PWD’s) initiated by the Philippine Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine (PARM) held at Tacloban City, July 21. (Raul S. Tiozon/PIA-8)

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

July 22 - 28, 2013

Published by: PIA 6, 7 & 8

Biri rock islands as one of top 10 emerging destinations pushed TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, July 26 (PIA) -- The Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 8 is calling on the public to vote for the Biri Island Rock Formation at San Antonio, Northern Samar, as one of the top 10 emerging destinations of the country. The search for Emerging Top Ten Destinations of the country is spearheaded by the Isla Lipana & Co. to mark its 91st anniversary this year, as part of its corporate social responsibility project dubbed as the Philippine Gems. The Philippine Gems aims to increase the awareness and appreciation for emerging tourism sites, foster both local and international interest and attention and eventually increase economic activities in these destinations. With tourists coming in and appreciating the country, the firm hopes that business investments will follow. Initially, 50 destinations were identified. These were further shortlisted to 25 by a panel of judges. Among these 25 destinations is the Biri Island Rock Formation. The 10 sites which will receive the highest number of votes through online voting will then be recognized in no particular order as the top 10 emerging destinations of the country.

Voting online is only until August 9. You can vote by clicking the link http://www.philippinegems.com/voting/. Every voter has to vote for a minimum of three sites. DOT Region 8 Director Karina Rosa Tiopes said that currently, Biri Island Rock Island is on the top 13 but with the help of everybody, it will hopefully land in one of the top ten positions. The Biri Island rock formation is composed of four small, rocky islands located in that perilous area where the San Bernardino Strait meets the Pacific Ocean. Natural forces have caused the islands to take on distinct and interesting shapes. Geologists from the University of the Philippines state that the rocks date back from the Early Miocene Period, and their ages range from five to 23 million years old. (PIA-8)

WV economy sustains growth ILOILO CITY, July 25 (PIA6) -- The economy of Western Visayas as measured by the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) sustained its growth at 7.5 percent in 2012 from 6.2 percent in 2011 and 4.5 percent in 2010, according to the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) here. In a presentation on the economic performance of the region for 2010-2012 at a news conference held July 25 at Iloilo Midtown Hotel here, NSCB-6 OIC-Head Nelida B. Losare said the recorded growth was higher by 1.3 percentage points than 2011, fueled by the good performance of the Industry and Service sectors. Services still comprised the bulk of the region’s economy accounting for 57.1 percent, followed by Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry and Fishing (AHFF) and Industry with 25.4 percent and 17.5 percent share, respectively. During the period 2011-2012 in particular, Services remarkably grew by 7.6 percent in 2012, from 4.8 percent in 2011. All subsectors managed to surpass their previous year’s performance except for Other Services. Trade and Repair of Motor Vehicles, Motorcycles, Personal and Household Goods, which accounted for 23.3 percent of the Service sector, posted a double digit growth of 11.7 percent , three times higher than its 3.9 percent growth in the previous year. Losare said financial Intermediation accelerated to 9.2

percent, up by 3.1 percentage points from its 6.1 percent growth in 2011. The Transport, Storage and Communication subsector posted 8.2 percent growth, surpassing its 5.4 percent growth in 2011. Moreover, Public Administration and Defense posted accelerated growth of 5.7 percent, higher by 5.2 percentage points from its 0.5 percent meager growth in 2011. The Real Estate, Renting and Business Activities subsector grew by 5.4 percent, faster than its 3.9 percent growth in the previous year. However, Other Services managed to grow at a slower pace of 4.8 percent from its 6.7 percent recorded growth in 2011. The AHFF sector had a reversal from a double-digit growth of 14.1 percent in 2011 to a negative 0.1 percent in 2012. The decrease in livestock, sugarcane and fishery production pulled down the performance of the sector. Industry sector rebounded to 19.9 percent from a negative 0.9 percent in 2011 brought about by the huge performances of Manufacturing, 21.4 percent growth in 2012 from 8.1 percent in 2011 and Construction, to 25.4 percent in 2012 from negative 12.5 percent in 2011. Among the three major sectors, Losare said that the Service Sector was the largest contributor to the overall economic growth of the region with 4.4 percentage points, followed by the Industry Sector with 3.1 percentage points. (NSCB/PIA-6)

IBP Cebu, farmers group laud PNoy's SONA By Ferliza C. Contratista CEBU CITY, July 24 (PIA) -- President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) earned praises from the legal and agricultural sector here. Atty. Mae Elaine Bathan, Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Cebu City Chapter president, said that his sending out of a stern warning to corrupt officials is laudable, his plans to make the country’s economy equally competitive in the world gives hope to the people. She also complimented the personal touch the President added on his SONA which boosted the morale of the Filipinos. However, Bathan said she expected the SONA to mention also issues on judicial reforms, such as strengthening of the judicial and justice system, closer collaboration between the Department of Justice and Supreme Court and Police to fight crimes and expedite the appointment of judges. On the other hand, Agriculturist Roberto Bajenting of the Cebu Coalition for Food Security (CCFS) said the SONA was worth praising for the President mentioned

inter-cropping of plants to maximize production and augment the income of farmers. The Department of Agriculture has already given CCFS the authority and support to be one of the initiators of an augmented rice production program to obtain food sufficiency. “I also hope there will be integration of livestock, vegetables, and corn staple and these should be priority for self-sufficiency and sustainable development especially with organic agriculture which he did not address,” Bajenting said. Meanwhile, Talisay City Vice Mayor Atty. Romeo Villarante said the President had heartily taken into consideration major concerns of the country. “It is not only about the achievements but it is in the examples that he set,” Villarete said. The local government units of Cebu City , Mandaue, Lapulapu, and Talisay have not issued any permit to rally for any group last Monday. A short rally by the labor sector Bayan Muna was staged earlier during the day but they also dispersed only after 30 minutes. (rmn/FCC/PIA Cebu )


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WESTERN VISAYAS

5 ARBOs get P15-M credit facilities Central Philippine University, Iloilo City

By Easter Anne D. Doza

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, July 25 (PIA6) -- Five Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Organizations from the southern part of the province got a total of P15-million worth of credit facilities as part of the Agrarian Production Credit Program.

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his came a day after President Benigno Aquino III delivered his State of the Nation Address this year. A total of 261 agrarian reform beneficiaries/members was directly benefited by these credit facilities covering 251 hectares, all planted to sugarcane. DAR and LBP, recognizing the lack of financial resources of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program beneficiaries has made possible these loans to be available to organized ARB organizations at a lower interest rate of 8.5 percent per annum. The five ARBOs include: Pacao Womens Association (PACWA), Tagoc ARBs and Farmers Association(TARBEFA), Magbawa III Womens Association, Estela Agrarian Reform Cooperative(EARC) and the Upad Mirasol Banuyo ARB MPC (UMIBA). Noel Maningo, chair of UMIBA, said, "Hindi na kami mangutang sa tama kataas nga

interes kay may ari na kami makuhaan nga pondo. Ang amun mga katapu, hindi na gid matam-an sa mapiguson nga saka sang amun ginautang, may Kooperatiba kami nga sarang mautangan" (We will no longer contend ourselves with high interest rate. Our members will have alternative source of credit, that is, from our own cooperative). Meanwhile, Mebelyn Villarosa, chair of PACWA, thanked the support given by DAR and LBP as this would be a big help to the members. “Daku gid ini nga bulig sa amon nga mangunguma, makabakal na kami sg abono kag may inugbayad na kami sa traktora, sa ikasanyug sang amun mga tanum, (This is a big help to us farmers because now, we will be able to buy fertilizer and pay for the rental of tractors),” Villarosa added. During the CARP Anniversary last month, DAR Negros South in partnership with

Department of Agriculture and Land Bank of the Philippines has also approved and released P109 million to 25 ARBOs bringing to a total of P124 million to 30 ARBOs, to date. Five applicants/ARBOs are still waiting for the approval and release at LBP in the amount of P27 million credit. APCP is a Joint DA-DAR-LBP 5-Year Credit and Capacity Development Program designed to respond to the credit needs of ARBs on various economic projects such as agricultural crop production, agri-enterprise and livelihood projects and shall target new ARBs whose respective organization are not yet eligible under the existing regular lending program of LBP. Negros Occidental is considered a priority area to access APCP having a high Land Acquisition and Distribution (High LAD) province wherein there is a high density of ARBs.*(EAD/JCM/PIA6/DAR Negros Occidental)

Aklan PWDs receive year-round assistance By Venus G. Villanueva KALIBO, Aklan, July 24 (PIA6) -- The National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week was held from July 17 to 23 to give persons with disabilities (PWDs) prior notice, know their needs and acknowledge their contribution to the community but in Aklan, this sector is extended year-round assistance and acknowledgement by the provincial government.

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ome of the assistance extended year-round to Aklan’s PWDs, according to Libney Inocencio, focal person of this sector, includes 20% discount in their hospital bills once admitted in a government hospital, fund assistance for medicines worth P1,000.00 and death aid assistance of P2,000.00. The death aid assistance, according to Inocencio, is provided by the PSWDO regardless the economic status of the PWD. The death assistance, Inocencio added, comes from the 1% allocation for the province’ PWDS taken from the general fund. PWDs, as provided by law, also enjoy 20% purchase discount from commercial establishments and 20% fare discount when travelling, provided they have a PWD card

issued by their respective Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officers (MSWDOs) in their areas. “Vehicles in the province, especially big buses, have designated seats for PWDs too, and in my stint at the PSWDO as focal person for the sector, I have never heard complaints involving travelling PWDs”, Inocencio said. In Aklan, one of the major activities of the province in connection with the NDPR Week celebration is the holding of a Capability Building and Forum for PWDs, which will have resource persons from the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC), Provincial Engineer’s Office (PEO), and Department of Public Works and Highways

(DPWH) at the Gov. Corazon L. Cabagnot Tourism and Training Center (GCLCTTC) on July 25-26. This is to aprise the province’ PWDs on their rights and privileges as provided by law and the services and programs that the government is providing them through concerned government agencies, as well as to hear their current concerns and needs. Some 40 to 50 participants are expected to attend the forum. Aklan’s Federation of PWDs is currently led by Nicasio Flores as president. This year’s NDPR Week theme is “Building an Inclusive and Non-Handicapping Environment”. (VGV-PIA6 Aklan)

72 donors, organizers to get ‘blood award’ in Capiz By Alex A. Lumaque ROXAS CITY, Capiz, June 24 (PIA6) -- Seventy -- two blood donors and mass blood donation (MBD) organizers in Capiz will be recognized by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) – Capiz chapter in an awarding ceremony on July 26 here.

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he activity is in line with the Blood socio-civic as well as non-government Donors’ Month celebration with the organizations, among others. theme “Give The Gift of Life; Donate Seven galloner awardees and nine towns Blood.” which have regular monthly MBD schedule will PRC – Capiz administrator Nelia also be recognized in the ceremony. Cartujano said that 31 major and 21 minor The Blood Galloners Award is given to an awards will be given to various bloodletting individual blood donor who has given more activity organizers like schools, local than 4,500cc of blood. government units, national government Capiz Gov. Victor A. Tanco, Sr. will be agencies, barangay councils, church groups and the guest speaker of the activity.

The PRC administrator added that nine from the 72 awardees are also set to receive the regional Sandugo Award from the National Voluntary Blood Services Program of the Department of Health (DOH) 6 on July 29 in Iloilo City. The recognition aims to motivate potential voluntary blood donors and MBD organizers to initiate and be involved and committed to the voluntary blood donation program. (JCM/AAL/PIA 6 Capiz)


WESTERN VISAYAS

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BSP urges Antiqueños to use coins, not keep them University of San Agustin, Iloilo City

By Vicente W. Villavert

SAN JOSE, Antique, July 23 (PIA6) -- The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) urged Antiqueños to circulate more coins and not keep them in order to help move the economic activity in the area.

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ylvia Tamayo, Bank Officer II of the BSP’s Cash Department clarified during the press briefing that there is no shortage of coins but the problem is on re-circulation of the coins. A team from the BSP is in San Jose, Antique to conduct a three-day Economic and Financial Learning Program for the students, members of the academe, professionals, overseas Filipinos and their beneficiaries and other labor sectors in San Jose. Tamayo said that “we do not like bringing coins due to its weight in the pocket and

simply keep it in a piggy bank, and or drawers, and this hinders the circulation of the coins.” She said the situation creates a limited coin circulation and in effect, store customers complain of short-changing. Tamayo however did not elaborate how much percentage of the coins are not efficiently circulating in the country, but emphasized the need to create awareness on the importance of re-circulating the coins, in order to help the BSP save expenses in minting another number of coins.

The BSP also mentioned that one of their programs to promote coin recirculation was the Tulong Barya sa Eswkela where the funds raised has benefited selected schools nationwide. For his part, Branch Head Mario C. Makam of BSP Iloilo Branch also called on the public’s cooperation and even suggested that when going to grocery stores or malls “we should also be ready with our coins so that the stores or malls will also have the chance to re-circulate it to the public.” (JCM/VWV-PIA6 Antique)

Training to enhance capabilities of mentors held By Lilibeth A. French ILOILO CITY, July 24 (PIA6) -- Teachers need to be equipped because of their vital roles for the effective and efficient implementation of programs and projects geared towards the welfare of schoolchildren, according to an official from the Department of Education Iloilo.

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r. Lilibeth Estoque, Assistant Schools Division Superintendent of DepEd Iloilo, said she is very happy that a series of trainings for the enhancement of teachers is being conducted particularly to address the need of child labor in sugar cane areas. More than 60 school administrators, teachers and Provincial Engagement Officers from Iloilo, Capiz, Cebu and Leyte participated in the Visayas leg of Episode 1 of the teacher’s training dubbed “Enhancing Teachers’ Capacity to Reduce Child Labor in the Sugar Cane Areas” under the ABK3 LEAP (Livelihood, Education, Advocacy and Protection) program in this city until July 25. “They have developed materials which are really relevant and appropriate which could help educate and improve academic performance of our children in sugar cane areas,” said Estoque. She added that DepEd is very much appreciative of the collaborative efforts extended by other agencies, non-government organizations and stakeholders who are more

than willing to extend their assistance as it worked hard to address the challenges in education such as the increasing rate in drop outs where child labor is one of the causes. “During harvesting and planting seasons these schoolchildren are also absent from schools because they have to take care of their younger siblings or they themselves are helping their parents to work in sugar cane areas and by which the literacy rate or the academic performance is greatly affected but if appropriate interventions are provided then at least we can lessen, if we cannot totally eradicate child labor in sugar cane areas,” said Estoque. Around 62% of an estimated 2.99 million child laborers working in hazardous conditions comes from the agriculture sector where sugarcane farms are included, according to the National Statistics Office survey on Children in 2011. The Teachers Training Series which is divided into three episodes was designed to help the teachers understand and appreciate their role in the ABK3 goals and education

interventions as an added value in their teaching vocation in reducing hazardous child labor in sugar cane areas. ABK3 LEAP Project Director Daphne Culanag said the teacher training falls under the education component of the program and episode 1 is mostly on consultation and helping teachers see the situation on child labor and their roles not only as teachers but as researchers and network builders. Culanag said the training is supported by DepEd through a Memorandum issued by Secretary Armin Luistro. “It is really helping government with its mandate and hopefully when teachers are aware of the situation of children in sugar cane areas they could help monitor and prevent children from doing hazardous works”. Iloilo, Capiz, Cebu and Leyte are among the 11 provinces covered by ABK3 LEAP which is being implemented by the World Vision Development Foundation and other partners. (JCM/LAF/PIA6)

Bike patrol up in Iloilo City streets By Leonard T. Pineda I ILOILO CITY, July 23 (PIA6) -- Using bicycles to patrol the busy streets in the city is an environment-friendly strategy to prevent crimes.

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olice Chief Superintendent Manuel Felix, Deputy Regional Director for Administration of Police Regional Office-6 (PRO-6), said that they are strengthening their “Cops on Bike” program for it deters criminality through police visibility and it is eco-friendly. Felix said that the bike patrol system is also a cost-efficient strategy since bicycles are cheaper to maintain than patrol cars. He also said that it is a fast way to respond to crime incidents and apprehend criminals in the streets in the city.

Twenty policemen are stationed as bike patrollers in Iloilo City while another 20 are assigned in Boracay Island. The PRO-6 is also looking into the deployment of cops-on-bikes in Bacolod City. Before these cops were deployed, they underwent a two-week Bicycle Patrol Course training conducted by the Mobile Training Team of the Philippine National Police (PNP) held at Camp Delgado, headquarters of the PRO-6 here.

Felix said that while these policemen riding on bicycles are no match to criminals riding on four wheels or motorcycles, their presence are seen to be effective in crime deterrence. He added that they have also deployed the Motorized Anti-Street Crime Operatives (MASCO) in strategic areas in the city that respond to crimes reported and serve as back-up to these cops-on-bikes if the need arises. (JCM/LTP/PIA-Iloilo)


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CENTRAL VISAYAS

DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS program to receive US Award Southwestern University

By Juju Manubag-Empuerto

CEBU CITY, July 25 (PIA) -- The core anti-poverty program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) was chosen as awardee of the United States Treasury’s second annual Development Impact Honors Awards.

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ccording to DSWD-7 Regional Social Marketing Officer Simeon Arbas Remata III, DSWD’s Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), was awarded over 40 other program contenders in different parts of the globe. US Secretary of Treasury Jacob J. Lew said the Kalahi-CIDSS project of DSWD was awarded because it has an “especially high-impact and noteworthy development intervention.” Development Impact Honors Awards recognizes the different projects supported by multilateral development banks all over the world.

They are meant to distinguish development-oriented programs, such as those that fight poverty, hunger and disease. The entries were judged based on criteria such as quality of results, focus on priority sectors, innovations used and the risk mitigations strategies utilized. Kalahi-CIDSS’s community empowerment process was able to put up 5,876 small-scale community projects to over 1.34 million households in the 42 poorest provinces nationwide. The project has also improved community participation rates in project activities which in turn make service delivery of various local

government units more participatory, inclusive and transparent. Kalahi-CIDSS has also improved household income per capita consumption of beneficiary communities by 5% based on studies done by World Bank in its Impact Evaluation Report in 2012. “We are glad that Kalahi-CIDSS has been recognized by an international awarding body since this will garner additional leverage and general patronage for the program which is needed in scaling up," said DSWD-7 Regional Director Mercedita P. Jabagat. (rmn/JSME/PIA-Cebu/DSWD-7)

DILG asks youth clubs to join TAYO search By Jennifer C. Tilos DUMAGUETE CITY, July 22 (PIA) --The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) through the local government units (LGUs) urged youth organizations in Negros Oriental to join the 11th search for the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO).

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he search is open to all groups, organizations, clubs and societies whose membership and leadership that are composed of at least 15 members who are 15 to 30 years old. Submitted project entries must be a recently concluded or an ongoing project by the youth organization. Entries will be judged on the following criteria which include impact of the project entry on stakeholders, harnessing the spirit of volunteerism and citizenship, creativity and innovation, sustainability and effective use of resources.

Apart from the prestigious recognition, the winning organizations will receive a P50,000 grant intended to fund new projects or continue long-term programs and a special trophy sculpted by Toym De Leon Imao. Sculptor Imao took inspiration from the bayanihan spirit of the Filipino and pays tribute to the collective efforts of a Filipino team when he executed the trophy. Deadline for submission of entries is on July 30. Interested organizations are encouraged to submit their applications online at website www.tayoawards.net using the online form.

Submit attachments via email to tayo11 entry@gmail.com and the name of the organization should be indicated in the subject of the email. Applications can also be mailed or hand-carried to the TAYO Secretariat at the National Youth Commission, Bookman Building, 373 Quezon Avenue , Quezon City. The TAYO Awards Foundation, Inc. is recognized as the country’s only award-giving body that supports the outstanding contributions of the youth organizations to the country. (mbcn/ JCT/PIA7-Negros Oriental)

Kasambahay Law - Empowers domestic workers group in Cebu CEBU CITY, July 22 (PIA) -- A Kasambahay organization in Cebu is seen to expand with the full implementation of Republic Act 10396 or the “Kasambahay Law”. his as registration of Kasambahay’s in contracts the services of a “labandera” for certain gray areas particularly in the Local Government Units will be laundry. coverage of insurance under the Social Security launched in Cebu City on July 28. Several years ago, she said there were a System (SSS). In the island of Mactan, where the first lot of reported cases of helpers and yayas The law mandates extension of benefits Filipinos headed by Datu Lapulapu, showed from neighboring provinces who were such as SSS and Philhealth to all domestic their resistance to foreign oppression, an rescued from the hands of abusive employers. workers whose salaries are below P5,000. organization of Kasambahays, domestic Manamparan, who had worked as a house DOLE will also regulate Private workers had been existing in the last five help for 30 years said she also experienced Employment Services (PES) in the deployment years. some abuses and even working under and not of Kasambahays to their respective employers. The Samahan ng mga Manggagawang paid. The other agencies include Department of Pantahanan ng Pilipinas or SUMAPI was Now in Lapulapu they will soon have a Education (Deped) and the Technical Education organized in 2008 mainly to answer to the Kasambahay Convergence Network in all 18 Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) to need to protect a somewhat vulnerable sector, barangays where members and soon to be answer the educational and developmental the house helpers. members can avail for information and needs of the Kasambahays. According to its president, 52 year old assistance to further enhance their working Former regional information officer of the Rosalinda Manamparan, they were very conditions. DSWD, Jaybee Binghay said they are fully fortunate that the Department of Social For now Manamparan said, they have 30 supporting SUMAPI and soon to be established Welfare and Development (DSWD) and active members of SUMAPI and will still have groups of domestic workers. Visayan Forum Foundation Incorporated, a non to reach out to an approximate 500 more or DSWD’s role in the law is in the rescue government organization had partnered to less in the island of Mactan. and rehabilitation of domestic workers. have them organized. Department of Labor (DOLE7) regional On the other hand Department of Lapulapu City is a highly urbanized City director, Chona Mantilla said they are looking Interior and Local Government (DILG7) with a population of 350,000. It also housed at a figure of more or less 2,000 Kasambahays announced that the national registration of big and small companies in the Export in Cebu which will benefit on RA10361. Kasambahay’s will be launched on July 28 in Processing Zones. With the economic DOLE had just issued its Implementing Cebu City and other key areas in the activities comes the need for helpers to tend Rules and Regulations which simplified and country. (mbcn/FCC/PIA7-Cebu) to the household and the children. detailed the conditions of RA 10361. Manamparan said, almost every household Mantilla however said, as of this writing, has a male or female house helper or a yaya or the IRR is currently under review because of

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CENTRAL VISAYAS

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DENR-7 issues stern warning vs corrupt personnel University of San Carlos, Cebu

By Juju Manubag-Empuerto

CEBU CITY, July 24 (PIA) -- Department of Environment and Natural Resources-7 (DENR) Regional Director Dr. Isabelo Montejo issued a stern warning against the department's officials and personnel who may be engaged in "irregular" activities particularly in the implementation of the National Greening Program (NGP).

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he warning came in the heels of reports that some employees of DENR 7 are allegedly involved in corrupt activities relative to NGP's seedling production. DENR-7 Information Officer Dr. Eddie Llamedo said these employees make money reportedly by selling the seedlings to a people's organization or to private partners who have existing contracts with the department. Last July 17, Montejo issued a memorandum addressed to four provincial environment and natural resources officers (PENROs) and six community environment and natural resources officers (CENROs) citing certain provisions of Republic Act No. 6713 or the “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.” Similarly, Dr. Montejo stressed the prohibited acts, transactions and penalties in particular under Section 7A of said law that

states “public officials and employees shall not directly or indirectly have any financial or material interest in any transaction requiring the approval of their office.” “There is now an ongoing investigation being conducted by the Legal Division on this matter,” he added. In a related development, Montejo ordered the creation of a five-member team to conduct a continuous monitoring on the status of implementation of NGP on the plantations establishment. “We are exerting our efforts not just to double but even triple to really meet our balance of 19,610.43 hectares as we have already accomplished 20 percent of our target of 24,361 hectares as of July 19,” Montejo said. Meanwhile, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-7 has, to date, achieved 41% of its target for

agricultural patents issuance and 72% for residential patents in Central Visayas. DENR-7 reported issuing a total of 8,277 agricultural patents covering about 3,201.8970 hectares, or 41% of their target 19,950 patents for agriculture. For residential patents, DENR-7 issued 1,889 or 72% of the 2,600 residential patents target. Based on data from the Land Management Services (LMS), as of July 12, Cebu has received 1,740 for agricultural and 542 for residential patents; Bohol with 5,907 and 848; Negros Oriental with 356 and 851; while Siquijor Province with 11 agricultural and 274 residential patents. “This is a good manifestation that the department is doing its best to deliver its tasks,” said DENR 7 Regional Executive Director Dr. Isabelo R. Montejo. (rmn/JSME/ PIA-Cebu/DENR-7)

Dumaguete City tourist arrivals up in 1st half of 2013 By Roi Lomotan DUMAGUETE CITY , July 24 (PIA) -- Tourist arrivals in Dumaguete City increased in the first half of this year.

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his after the city government recorded 214,045 tourist arrivals from January to June this year, higher by 87.3% from the same period last year. A statement from the City Tourism Office reported that of the total number, foreign tourist arrivals peaked at 28,531 or 107.6 % during the first six months of the year. On the other hand, local tourist arrivals reached 172,929 in the first half of 2013. The month of March had the highest foreigner visits at 5,612. Foreign tourists in Dumaguete City include Americans, Germans,

Canadians, British, Australians, French, Chinese, Koreans, and Swiss. Meanwhile, the month of April saw the highest number of local tourist visits due to the Palarong Pambansa which was hosted here. City Tourism Officer Woodrow Maquiling Jr. said the increase in the tourist arrivals in Dumaguete City can be attributed to different factors especially the recent recognitions earned by the city from various organizations. Dumaguete City has been a recipient of the Galing Pook Award for its effective implementation of city-wide septage management program.

It was also cited as one of the Top 10 New Wave Cities Award for the booming Business Processing Outsource (BPO) Industry here. Aside from these, Maquiling also pointed to the efforts made by the city government to boost the tourism potential of Dumaguete to attract more foreign and local tourists. “Not only the Negros tourism destination is more than likely to exceed the number of tourists visiting from abroad and meet the goal revenues, but the prospects for the next months are already pointing to further growth,” Maquiling said. (rmn/ RAL/PIANEGOR)

Three CV leaders awarded with Inang Kalikasan for Eco-Tourism By Juju Manubag-Empuerto CEBU CITY , July 23 (PIA) -- Three frontliners in environmental management in the region were awarded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-7) with the “Inang Kalikasan for Eco-Tourism” in a ceremony held last week in Quezon City . ENR-7 under the Integrated Coastal organization was dissolved but with her support to an SRG who will manage the Resources Management Program enthusiasm it was revived and aggressively enterprise to create social equity among its (ICRMP) cited the three awardees as campaigned for ecotourism. members. “Inang Kalikasan Champions” for ecotourism. Today, the group manages a cultural tour It can be recalled that ICRMP has four This is the first ever award bestowed among tourists while continuing to protect the project components, namely: policy and upon individuals who are role models in mangroves within the Olango Island. institutional strengthening and development; pursuing ecotourism as an enterprise and for Abing of LUFA was commended as she ICRM and biodiversity conservation; enterprise their determination to protect the was instrumental in organizing their SRG being development and income diversification; and environment through social equity. its former president, conducting regular social and environment services and facilities. Awardees under the self reliant group mangrove rehabilitation in Luyang, Siquijor. “ICRMP is being implemented by the (SRG) were: Olango Island Eco-Tour Now, they manage a mangrove tour with DENR with funding from the Asian Association (OIETA) president Estella Oral; accommodations within the area or an Development Bank and the Global Luyang Fisher Folks Association (LUFA) “ecolodge”. Environment Facility,” said DENR-7 Regional business manager Glory Abing; and Aloguinsan The Bojo, Aloguinsan river cruise is Cebu Executive Director Dr. Isabelo R. Mayor Cynthia Moreno for the Bojo ’s new ecotourism destination. It is a concept Montejo. (rmn/JSME/PIA-Cebu-DENR7) Aloguinsan Eco-Tourism Association being espoused by Aloguinsan Mayor Cynthia (BAETAS). Moreno. Oral was recognized for her efforts on The award was credited to her being able reorganizing and revitalizing the OIETA. The to provide a strong local government unit

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EASTERN VISAYAS

DA names 2013 best research papers in EVisayas Naval State University, Naval, Biliran

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, July 24 (PIA) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) has announced the top seven mature research and extension technologies and strategies for adoption by key stakeholders in the agriculture and fishery sectors in Eastern Visayas.

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r. Wilson A. Cerbito, DA 8’s regional technical director for research and regulations, said the winners were chosen after a thorough review by the Inter-Agency Research Development and Extension (RDE) conducted last July 18-19 at the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) 8 function hall in Tacloban City. “We considered the technologies that can be derived from our various researches as additional body of knowledge for use by policymakers, researchers, extension workers and most especially our farmers and fisherfolk, thereby transforming them from mere producers into agri-entrepreneurs,” Cerbito said. After the annual inter-agency review of 24 entries encompassing all four categories: research, development, extension and ongoing projects, the seven awardees were named. The Biological Study of Comptophallium radula by Jimmy Salamida of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources 8 got 1st place; The Biological Control of Jackfruit Borer in

Region 8 by Dr. Carlos S. dela Cruz, DA-8’s Organic Agriculture Program Focal Person got 2nd place while the Regional Rice Industry Assessment for Policy Formulation by Dr. Elvira C. Torres, DA-8’s Research Division Chief placed third for the Research Category. Two papers authored by DA-8’s Research Division staff also bagged the best paper award for the Development Category. Arnel V. Nombre’s paper on the Inventory System for Agriculture and Fisheries Investments in Eastern Visayas and Emma L. Morales’ study on the Development of Provincial Farmers Registry System, were awarded as 1st and 2nd placers, respectively. The Innovative Approach on the Declaration of Island Province and Municipality as Rabies-Free Areas in Eastern Visayas proposed by Dr. Norietta F. Orsua, DA-8’s Livestock Program staff, turned out to be the sole winner for the Extension Category. Meanwhile, the Community-based Participatory Action Research on Jackfruit

Production and Processing in Brgys. San Isidro and Malinao in Mahaplag, Leyte by Alicia D. Bulawan from DA-8’s research center in Abuyog, Leyte, bested others in the ongoing development project category. Cerbito said the winning papers will compete in the Regional RDE Symposium slated in August this year. The pool of evaluators during the Inter-Agency Review was composed of Dr. Beatriz C. Jadina from Visayas State University; Ronelie C. Salvador from the University of Eastern Philippines; Dr. Dionesio M. Bañoc from DA 8; Hazel Grace T. Taganas from the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) 8 and Victor Romero from the Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA) 8. Dr. Carlos S. dela Cruz also served as evaluator for the Ongoing Project Category, Jessa Faye Macapañas, DA’s assistant information officer said. DAR 8 Regional Director Eliasem P. Castillo also shared important insights to the participating researchers in the review. (PIA-8)

PhilHealth: CS patients not included in 'No Balance Billing' in private hospitals By Alicia E. Nicart BORONGAN CITY, Eastern Samar, July 26 (PIA) -- Patients who give birth through caesarian section (CS) in private hospitals are not covered by the “No Balance Billing” (NBB) policy of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

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herwin A. Aquino, PhilHealth information officer, clarified that only if the operation is done in a government accredited hospital will the patient be able to avail herself of the NBB. Aquino added that all private hospitals in the city have signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the implementation of the NBB. This followed after a mother sought media intervention when she was billed exorbitantly by a private hospital after a birth delivery through CS. Aquino explained that those covered by the NBB are those hospitalized under PhilHealth’s Case Rates which include 23 medical and surgical conditions. He said under the NBB, PhilHealth’s patients of sponsored members, including the family

beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program and those sponsored by local government units do not have to pay any amount in excess of those covered by the PhilHealth members once hospitalized in the PhilHealth ward of government hospitals. In most cases however, patients have to buy medicines outside the government facility, thus it is important that they keep the receipts for reimbursements or refunds, either by PhilHealth or by the hospital. The problem on refund and reimbursements set in when filled-out forms and processes are inaccurate and needs to be corrected which causes delay, he said. Eastern Samar has a 91 percent

PhilHealth enrolment for 2012 which covers some 431,000 beneficiaries. To enhance an increased rate of availment, the PhilHealth regional office 8 in Tacloban City adopted the PhilHealth Link. The system answers inquiries and verifications emanating from all local government units (LGUs) of the region regarding membership of would-be patients who wish to avail themselves of PhilHealth benefits. As part of the Aquino government's effort to attain the universal health coverage by the end of 2013, NBB also covers outpatient packages for treatment of tuberculosis, malaria and human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS). (PIA-Eastern Samar)

More funds poured in to improve PAMANA roads in Samar By Ninfa Iluminda B. Quirante CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar, July 26 (PIA) -- An additional funding of P200 million for Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) road projects is expected to strengthen roads toward conflict areas in Samar.

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he road projects, particularly the Barruz-Matuginao and the Lokilokon-San Jose de Buan road have been gaining headway despite the recent rains that have been pouring in Samar almost everyday. Emy Bonifacio, PAMANA area manager, said the amount will be split equally between the two projects. The government troops of the 546th Engineer Battalion are already deployed in Barruz, Matuginao where they will implement the previous funding of P4.5 million. “We will really make sure that this 1.8 kilometer Barruz-Matuguinao will serve the rural folks of Matuginao as soon as the sun shines,” said Col. Edgar Yerro of the 546th Engineer Battalion.

The program of works include re-gravelling and putting up of culverts in three areas where water stagnates when rains come. With a new source of fund, the concreting of at least ten kilometers leading to the town of Matuginao from Gandarara town in Maharlika Highway is now possible. Matuginao Mayor Melissa Dela Cruz expressed gratitude to the PAMANA technical working group as it visited the remote town yesterday. “I only wished for a concrete trail path, but this news is even better,” she said. Yerro then explained that the rural folks will be inconvenienced for some time, especially now

that rains have been hampering the concrete works of the culverts. Meanwhile, the Samar Provincial Engineering Office promised to fix the Lokilokon-San Jose de Buan road which is plagued by potholes as soon as possible. Despite this concern, the concreting of the road elsewhere continues. The additional fund of P100 million is seen to extend the concrete road leading to another frontier town of San Jose de Buan. “The road project will continue,” said Col. Cirilo Balaoro of the 87th Infantry Battalion, “it has to-because we believe that insurgency begins when the road ends.” (PIA-Samar)


EASTERN VISAYAS

Eastern Visayas State University, Tacloban City

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Search for 2013 Holcim Galing Mason Awards launched in Biliran By Flordelis E. Jackson

NAVAL, Biliran, July 25 (PIA) -- The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Biliran province is inviting Biliran masons to join in the 2013 Holcim Galing Mason Awards.

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ESDA teamed up with Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Biliran Provincial Information Center to conduct an information dissemination campaign on the nationwide search which was launched recently at a Kapihan forum. TESDA-Biliran Provincial Director Elizabeth Garcia said the activity is sponsored by Holcim Philippines in partnership with TESDA, the Philippine Construction Association (PCA) and the Association of Construction of Informal Workers (ACIW). The search aims to recognize outstanding masons who have shown tremendous pride and utmost improvement at work while being responsible members of the family and the community.

She said further that in Biliran, there are potential masons in the construction sector who are qualified to the search. The 2013 Holcim Galing Mason Awards is open to all Filipino masons, male or female, aged 25 to 55 years old. The participant must be a holder of a valid TESDA National Certificate on Masonry. He must also be nominated by a reputable individual or by a legitimate organization; must be of good moral character with no derogatory record or administrative infractions; in good health and most all, the candidate must meet the documentary requirements. The first prize winner at the regional level will receive a certificate of participation, a cash prize of P5,000 to be given on the day of the skills

competition and a chance to represent the region in the search at the national level. A consolation prize of P1,500 and certificates of participation will be given to non-winning contestants. The 2013 Galing Mason awardee at the national level will receive a certificate, trophy, cement gift certificate for 50 bags of Holcim cement and P150,000. The 17 regional finalists will each receive a certificate of participation, trophy, cement gift certificate of 20 bags of Holcim cement and P20,000. The deadline for submission of entries is on August 12. For more details, interested contestants may visit TESDA-Biliran at Bernardes Village 2 in Barangay Atipolo, Naval, Biliran or they may call telephone number 500-9446. (PIA-Biliran)

DENR, partners renew ties for Ulot Watershed Model Forest development PARANAS, Samar, July 25 (PIA) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in region 8 recently renewed ties with its partners for the development of the Ulot Watershed Model Forest (UWMF).

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ENR Information Chief Purificacion Daloos said the UWMF which is rich in forest, water, mineral and biodiversity resources is the focus of the DENR’s protection and development efforts. Comprising 87,536 hectares, it is located in the south central portion of Samar Island covering 36 barangays and 7 municipalities of eastern and Western Samar. Based on a set of criteria, the UWMF was established in 2000 as a Model Forest under assistance by the International Model Forest Network (IMFN) with headquarters in Canada. The DENR, through the financial and technical assistance of the IMFN, taps partners from all sectors to undertake development activities in the UWMF. Guided by a logical framework and a strategic plan, the DENR and its partners signed last July 15 at the Samar Island Natural Park (SINP) Headquarters in Barangay Tenani, Paranas, Samar, a four-year agreement which aims to provide an enabling environment for the conduct of development programming activities and placement of volunteers in support of achieving the UWMF logic model and strategic action plans. The agreement hopes to build the capacities of the Technical Working Group (TWG) and the

UWMF Federation Board of Directors in implementing UWMF strategic action plans and strengthen the sustainable conservation, education, management and protection for the UWMF Federation through networks and partnerships with other development actors such as private businesses, academe, Department of Tourism, Department of Trade and Industry and other government agencies. The DENR 8, through Regional Executive Director Manolito Ragub, signed the agreement with the municipal government units (LGUs) of Paranas, Samar and Can-avid, Eastern Samar; the SINP Protected Area Superintendent Office; Peoples’ Organization Ulot Watershed Model Forest Stakeholders Federation Inc. and non-government organization VSO Bahaginan Foundation Inc. for the implementation of development activities within the UWMF, a watershed inside the SINP Protected Area. Signing for the LGU of Can-avid, Mayor Gil Norman Germino pledged to continuously work with other partners in giving support for the UWMF activities and ensure the safety and security of the VSO volunteers who will be doing work for the UWMF especially in his municipality.

In addition, the LGU will provide technical and financial support in the implementation of the UWMF strategic plan. In terms of policy support, the LGU of Can-avid pledged to enact ordinances and resolutions that will support the UWMF implementation. UWMF Federation President Danilo Miralles thanked all the partners who are working together for the sustainable management of the UWMF. From being a mere nautical highway to being tagged as an illegal logging hotspot, Ulot River is now an eco-tourism destination with extreme boat riding as its main attraction. The Ulot River Torpedo Extreme Boat Riding was launched in 2010 which is expected to draw thousands of local and foreign tourists considering a different experience it offers-riding a boat without outriggers going downstream and upstream. The activity was described as “unique” and a never-been-seen adventure in the country and even in Asia. It was also noted that such tourism activity will provide jobs to people and would divert the people’s attention from cutting trees and hunting wildlife to providing services to tourists. (PIA-8)

SPES beneficiaries in Maasin City get DOLE salary counterpart By Erna S. Gorne MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte July 25 (PIA) -- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Southern Leyte field office has started to pay off their counterpart of the salaries of the beneficiaries of the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) in Maasin City. For the students who were employed this salary counterpart in the amount of P1,440 He said 1,320 SPES beneficiaries summer throughout the province, DOLE each, he said. amounting to P2.165 million has been allocated has started to pay off the department's 40 "They were employed by the city by the labor department for the province this percent counterpart of their salaries,” DOLE government of Maasin at P180 minimum wage year. Senior Staff Mario Tictic told the Philippine for 20 days last May," Tictic said. Tictic added that the employment of Information Agency in an interview. He said the payments were directly students is no longer limited during the One hundred six out of 150 SPES addressed to the beneficiaries with the summer but it will be a year-round activity beneficiaries in Maasin City were already purpose of complementing their education until December. (PIA-SoLeyte) issued their check payments for the DOLE endeavors to be tailored to fit their actual needs, like school supplies, among others.


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

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

Ms. Erlinda Olivia P. Tiu Regional Director, PIA8

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

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


One Visayas e-Newsletter Vol 3 issue 30