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Volume XIII Number 4 - December 2018 Entered as second class mail

Bicol Development Updates Quarterly publication of the Bicol Regional Development Council

A story of hope and inspiration


(on page 7)

Accelerating Human Capital Development

In this issue:


3 4 5 6 8 9

Free college education eases burden of FIlipino Families Quick Facts on Accelerating Human Capital Development - Updated RDIP 2017 to 2022 gets RDC nod - RDC backs adjustment of LGUs’ IRA computation - RDC supports establishment of malaria elimination hubs - RPMC seeks adoption of CARHRIHL in project implementation - RDC supports adoption of RSDP 2018-2023 - BiWADA airs concerns on water pipelines affected by road projects - RDC recognizes the Most Competitive LGUs in 2018 - New PSR for Youth/Students Sector - Number of senior high school graduates exceed expectation - DOLE’s anti-ENDO campaign yields 6,721 regularized workers - DOH Bicol champions mental health program - Hakab na! gathers breastfeeding mothers and advocates

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte applauds the Civil Service Commission’s 2018 Dangal ng Bayan Awardee, Mr. Windel V. Alvarez of the Department of Education Region 5, on September 27, 2018 at the Malacañang Palace; Photo credit: Windel Alvarez FB


Editorial Board Publisher

Agnes E. Tolentino

Bicol Development Updates

Free college education eases burden of Filipino families by Noe R. Racho and Arlyn A. Ramirez, NEDA Region 5

puts an additional PhP16 billion in the pockets of families of college students in 112 SUCs and 78 Commission on Higher Educationrecognized local universities and colleges, because of free tuition, miscellaneous and other schoolrelated fees. The implementation of the law started in the first semester of academic year 2018 to 2019.

NEDA 5 Regional Director RDC 5 Vice Chairperson


Edna Cynthia S. Berces

NEDA 5 Asst. Regional Director

Associate Editors

Gilberto A. Abion Rosemarie O. Buan Ma. Teresa T. Chong Ma. Dinna Lynne O. OrdoĂąa Jasmin C. Zantua

Layout Artist & Production Coordinator

Mary Ann D. Montecastro

Article Contributors

DepEd Region 5 DOH Region 5 DOLE Region 5 Agnes Mae B. Alta Ma. Theresa B. AĂąonuevo Richel S. Arrogancia Joie Anne Y. Cultivo Gieza R. Esparraguerra Ruby Anne B. Lorca Joel P. Lustina Mary Ann D. Montecastro Marites D. Paje Noe R. Racho Arlyn A. Ramirez Grace C. Torres


Theme: Reducing Vulnerability Among Individuals and Families Article contributions related to the theme may be submitted to / or contact Ms. Ma. Teresa T. Chong at (052) 482-0499.


December 2018


ilipino families whose children are benefiting from free college education can now spend their money for other household needs. In 2017, the government implemented the free tuition program to give priority to financially disadvantaged but academically abled college students. The free tuition initiative of the government, which is included in the 2017 General Appropriations Act, gives around PhP8 billion to parents of college students enrolled in 112 state universities and colleges (SUCs) nationwide. The free tuition program is for academic year 2017-2018 only. The signing into law of Republic Act No. 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act in August 2017

Poor students will also get financial assistance through the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) for books, food and other education expenses in either public or private universities. The TES is a grants-in-aid program that provides funding for all Filipino students from the poorest-of-the-poor households enrolled in public and private higher education institutions. The free tuition initiative of the government in 2017 and the implementation of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act in 2018 are steps toward expanding access to quality higher education in the country as well as easing the burden of students and their families in paying for their education. This will contribute to reducing inequality that will lay down the foundation for inclusive growth, a high trust and resilient society, and a globally competitive knowledge economy.

December 2018

Bicol Development Updates

Quick Facts on Accelerating Human Capital Development


by Mary Ann D. Montecastro, NEDA Region 5

improving health and nutrition




health insurance coverage in 2017 or about 5 million Bicolano members and their qualified dependents

8.4% neonatal mortality rate in



of households have access to safe water in 2017 compared to 83.55% in 2016

of households have access to sanitary toilets in 2017 compared to 72.54% in 2016

infant mortality rate in 2017 compared to 7.6% in 2016

2017 compared to 4.6% in 2016

growth in the number of deployed health workers in 2017 compared to previous year

ensuring lifelong learning opportunities for all


growth in the number of constructed classrooms, workshops and laboratory buildings in 2017 compared to previous year


growth in the number of Training-For-Work Scholarship Program graduates of technical education and skills development programs in 2017 compared to previous year

increasing income earning abilities

93.75% growth in the number


of Trabaho Negosyo Kabuhayan caravan job and livelihood fairs in 2017 compared to previous year

growth in the number of DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Program beneficiaries provided with livelihood assistance in 2017 compared to previous year


17.45% growth in the number

growth in the labor market information on employment trends in 2017 compared to previous year

of jobseekers referred for placement in 2017 compared to previous year


RDC Actions

Bicol Development Updates

December 2018

Updated RDIP 2017-2022 gets RDC nod by Gieza R. Esparraguerra, NEDA Region 5

Percentage Distribution of cost (left) and number (right) of PAPs in the updated RDIP Ongoing PAPs (9%) PhP119 Billion Ongoing 186 PAPs (33%) Proposed 381 PAPs (67%)

Proposed PAPs (91%) PhP1,131 Billion


he RDC approved the updated Regional Development Investment

RDC backs adjustment of LGUs’ IRA computation

Program (RDIP) 2017 to 2022 through RDC Resolution No.31, Series of 2018 during the third

quarter RDC Full Council Meeting held on September 7, 2018 at RDC Hall, NEDA Region 5, Arimbay, Legazpi City. A total of PhP1.25 trillion investments for Bicol Region representing 587 ongoing and proposed programs, activities, projects (PAPs), are included in the RDIP. Accelerating infrastructure development ranked first among the sectoral outcomes in terms of the amount of investment required for projects that would help achieve said outcome. Among the agencies, Department of Public Works and Highways gets the bulk of investment PhP987 Million until fiscal year 2022.

RDC supports establishment of malaria elimination hubs by Marites D. Paje, NEDA Region 5

by Ruby Anne B. Lorca, NEDA Region 5


o beef up the implementation of the Supreme Court (SC) decision relative to the just share of local government units in the national internal revenue taxes, the Bicol RDC passed Resolution No. 32, Series of 2018 requesting the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to adjust the computation of the IRA of LGUs in the 2019 General Appropriations (GA) once SC decision becomes final and executory. It further enjoins the LGUs to pass the same resolution for endorsement to the DBM. The resolution passed by Luzon RDCom (No. 7, Series of 2018) encourages all RDCs to request the DBM to implement the SC decision on the automatic release of IRA to LGUs in the 2019 GA PhP3.75 trillion national budget once the SC decision becomes final and executory.


Malaria elimination hub team conducts vector mapping through mosquito collection and identification to assess receptivity; Photo credit: DOH Region 5


o help achieve zero malaria cases in the Philippines, the Bicol RDC passed Resolution No. 34, Series of 2018, enjoining the Department of Health Region 5 and all provinces of the region to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement to establish malaria elimination hubs in their respective areas.

The establishment of malaria elimination hub will ensure that malaria cases are properly assessed, managed correctly, and responded to accordingly through a surveillance and response system. The Philippines envisions to be malaria free country by 2030. To be declared malaria free, all its 81 provinces should be certified malaria-free.

December 2018

Bicol Development Updates

RDC Actions

RPMC seeks adoption of CARHRIHL in project implementation by Arlyn A. Ramirez, NEDA Region 5


nternational humanitarian law seeks to limit the effects of armed conflict through the protection of the rights of persons and entities, together with their property, from being the object of hostilities. The Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) is an agreement signed in March 1998 between the Government of the Philippines and the National

Democratic Front to protect all Filipinos against human rights violations in line with the principles of international humanitarian law. Said agreement is being adopted by the Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC) of Region 12 and such practice has protected the projects from insurgent attacks. In seeking to protect projects and project equipment in the Bicol region

from insurgent attacks, the Bicol RPMC requested support from the RDC for the adoption of the agreement. RDC Resolution No. 35, Series of 2018 enjoined all implementing entities in the region to adopt the CARHRIHL in the implementation of projects in areas affected by insurgency by requiring contractors to post notices on project billboards and equipment/facility at project sites.

RDC supports adoption of the RSDP 2018-2023


ith the goal of making credible statistics in different levels of disaggregation in the region, the Bicol RDC, through RDC Resolution No. 36 Series of 2018, supports the request of the Regional Statistics Committee (RSC) to adopt the Bicol Regional Statistical Development Program (RSDP) 2018-2023 for implementation in the region. The RSC, as the highest policy-making body on statistical matters in the region, spearheaded the preparation of the Bicol RSDP 20182023. The program provides framework for generating and disseminating statistics and indicators for policy formulation, development planning and decision making. The key information requirements of the

by Mary Ann D. Montecastro, NEDA Region 5

Bicol Regional Development Plan 2017-2022, Sustainable Development Goals and

other essential data needs of government, business, and society were considered.

PSA Region 5 conducts activities and surveys that contribute to the development of the Economic Statistics Sector; Photo credit: PSA Region 5


RDC Actions

Bicol Development Updates

September 2018

BiWADA airs concerns on water New PSR for Youth/Students pipelines affected by road Sector projects


by Joel P. Lustina, NEDA Region 5

o serve the people through the efficient and optimal use of government resources, the Bicol Water Districts Association (BiWADA) sought assistance from the RDC in addressing concerns related to the implementation of road projects that affect the water pipelines of the water districts. Acknowledging that the matter is a national concern, Bicol RDC passed Resolution No. 30, Series of 2018 enjoining the Local

Water Utilities Administration to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) regarding the relocation of water pipelines affected by road projects. The water districts through the BiWADA, were requested to submit their respective five-year development plans to the DPWH and local government units for reference and guidance in implementing road construction and widening projects.

RDC Recognizes the Most Competitive LGUs in 2018 by Richel S. Arrogancia, NEDA Region 5

RDC Chair Gov. Al Francis Bichara, Vice Chair Dir. Agnes Tolentino of NEDA Region 5 and Bicol Competitiveness Committee Chair Dir. Jocelyn Blanco of DTI Region 5 presents the Plaque of Commendation to Legazpi City Mayor Noel E. Rosal


even local government units (LGUs) in Bicol were awarded by the RDC with plaques of commendation for making it to the Top 20 in Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) survey in 2018. The CMCI is an annual ranking of Philippine cities and municipalities based on an overall competitiveness score which is the sum of scores on the following four main pillars: (a) economic dynamism; (b) government efficiency; (c) infrastructure; and (d) resiliency. Legazpi City was awarded as the Most Competitive Component City in the Philippines in 2018


by Agnes Mae B. Alta, NEDA Region 5

while Naga City as Second Most Competitive Independent/ Component City. Iriga City is the Ninth Most Competitive and 10 th Most Improved Component City, while Tabaco City is the 11 th Most Improved Component City. Among the first and second class municipalities, Polangui, Albay ranked Second Most Competitive in Government Efficiency, while Pili, Camarines Sur as Sixth Most Competitive in Economic Dynamism. Donsol, Sorsogon, on the other hand, is 18 th Most Improved Municipality among the third to sixth class municipalities.


r. Romeo S. Tan, Chief Executive Officer of the LCC Foundation Inc., was confirmed as the new private sector representative (PSR) of the RDC for the youth/students sector during the RDC meeting on September 7. Mr. Tan has a proven track record in implementing projects and activities in support of youth development in the region. These include the children’s fora and search for 10 outstanding students. During the PSR election held in 2016 for the term 2016 to 2019, there were two nominees for the PSR for youth/students, namely Mr. Romeo T. Soria, Jr. from the province of Catanduanes, and Mr. Tan from the province of Albay. Mr. Tan got the higher number of votes, but following the PSR election ruling of even distribution of representatives among provinces, Mr. Tan waived his representation. The PSR seat was declared vacant following the election of Mr. Soria as Barangay Captain of Bgy. Tamburan, Bato, Catanduanes during the May 2018 barangay election. When Mr. Tan was informed of the vacancy, he reaffirmed his willingness to represent the youth/students in the RDC.

September 2018

Bicol Development Updates

Feature Stories

A story of hope and inspiration by Ma. Theresa B. Añonuevo, NEDA Region 5

Windel Alvarez extends his learning sessions during weekends to teach students in Sitio Lipata, Caramoan; Photo credit: Windel Alvarez


indel Alvarez is an Alternative Learning System (ALS) mobile teacher assigned in his hometown in Caramoan, Camarines Sur. Many of the people in his hometown had no formal education, more so, the basics of reading, writing and counting. Children and young adults alike, preferred to work to help earn for the family’s upkeep rather than go to school. He wished that someday, he would be able to help those who cannot read or write in his community by serving as a teacher. Being an ALS mobile teacher enables him to serve the disadvantaged and marginalized members of the community, particularly the outof-school youth (OSY) and adults. Windel has served OSY and adults in 49 barangays and 23 sitios of Caramoan. Aside from teaching, Windel developed modules for Basic Literacy learners and encourages OSY and adults in his community to enroll or continue attending ALS classes. His dedication to help the less privileged did not stop as he networked with non-government and other civic organizations that resulted in the realization of other community projects. These include three motorized boats, trikes of hope, solar lamps, water system, the “school in a bag” project, and a two-classroom school building.

His hard work and dedication did not go unnoticed because he received various regional and national awards and recognitions such as regional winner of the 14th Gawad Geny Lopez, Jr. Bayaning Pilipino awards, one of the Outstanding Educators through the Gintong Parangal para sa Edukasyon. In September, the Department of Education awarded him the National ALS Te a c h e r s Achievements Recognition during the 2018 National Literacy Conference and Awards held in Baguio City. He was also recognized as a national awardee of the Civil Service Commission Dangal ng Bayan Award for 2018, with no less than President Rodrigo Duterte conferring the award in at Malacaňang Palace on September 27. His name has become a byword in the field of ALS because his story was carried in some broadcast, print and social media platforms. He was featured in ABS CBN’s local and national broadcast through their its “Pamilya, Pagmamahal at Pag-asa” campaign. His story was also featured in the Business Mirror on October 25, 2016 and was bannered in the Philippine Inquirer on November 30, 2016. Vice-President Leni G. Robredo also expressed her appreciation by giving him that hallmark in her campaign of inspiration through the “Istorya ng Pag-asa”, Camarines Sur Chapter, which is part of her Angat- Buhay Anti-Poverty Program for extra-ordinary life stories of ordinary individuals. For Windel, the numerous awards he received are only affirmations that he is doing the right thing. For him, what is more rewarding is to know that he is part of the journey of his learners take towards realizing their dreams. The country needs more of the likes of Windel, where service to others comes first over his own. He is truly an image of hope and inspiration to all education stakeholders who are working towards attaining the Regional Development Plan subsector outcome of ensuring a life-long learning opportunity for all.


Feature Stories

Number of senior high school graduates exceed expectation

Bicol Development Updates

December 2018

Article contributed by the Department of Education Region 5


iven that the Department of Education (DepEd) in Bicol has been dealing with problems like drop out of students and low percentage of enrollees at the beginning year who reached the final year of the elementary/secondary level in schools, the result of the first senior high school (SHS) batch is a symbolic mark of the K to 12 Basic Education Curriculum’s promising achievement. The agency has almost 60,000 students as the pioneergraduates of the SHS this year. The total number of graduates indicates almost a hundred


58,524 student’s enrollment in public schools to 59,228 at the end of the school year. This achievement on basic education contributes towards attaining the Regional Development Plan subsector outcome of ensuring a life-long learning opportunity for all.

DOLE’s anti-ENDO campaign yields 6,721 regularized workers Article contributed by the Department of Labor and Employment Region 5

he drive against labor contractualization is gaining tract as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Bicol noted an increase in the number of former contractual workers finally regularized by their private employers. The campaign is in response to the government’s call to end contractualization and other forms of illegal contracting arrangements. A total of 6,721 workers gained regular employment from their companies in Bicol for the


percent completion rate of all the students who enrolled in Grade 12 from the first semester of SY 2017-2018 or the first batch of the SHS Curriculum. Surprisingly, the data even exceeded the expectation of the regional office when the total number of graduates reached a 0.2 percent increase from

respective employers. DOLE recorded 167 establishments in all provinces of Bicol that regularized their workers from January to June 2018. Of these, 137 companies regularized their own workers upon visit by the agency’s inspectors while 30 establishments voluntarily regularized their own workers. first semester of the year. Of this number, 4,211 were regularized through inspections conducted by DOLE while 2,510 were regularized voluntarily by their

The regularization of contractual workers contributes towards attaining the Regional Development Plan subsector outcome of increasing income earning abilities.

December 2018

Bicol Development Updates

DOH champions mental health program

Feature Stories

Photo and article contributed by the Department of Health Region 5

Mental health and well-being is a concern of all because there is no health without it,” said DOH Regional Director Dr. Napoleon L. Arevalo during a press briefing on the newly signed Republic Act 11036 or the Philippine Mental Health Law held on July 3 in Legazpi City. Even before the signing of the mental health law, the DOH in Bicol and its partners have already established mental health service delivery network in health facilities and rural health units (RHUs). The Bicol Regional Mental Health Council (BRMHC) started in 2013 when it held the first Mental Health Congress in the region. The collaboration of the members of the BRMHC as well as the support of DOH and the World Health Organization, paved way to local initiatives and better linkages of psychiatric care.To date, a total of 114 or 75.7 percent of RHUs and city health offices (CHOs) provide mental health services. This is the outcome of the trainings DOH provided to doctors and nurses in RHUs and CHOs since 2015. The DOH also trained teachers, social workers, guidance counselors and responders on how to handle persons with mental health problem who seek or need help. Providing mental health services contributes towards attaining the Regional Development Plan subsector outcome of improving health and nutrition for all.

2018 HAKAB Na! gathers breastfeeding mothers and advocates by Joie Anne Y. Cultivo, NEDA Region 5


n celebration of the World Breastfeeding Week and the National Breastfeeding Month, the Department of Health (DOH) Region 5, sponsored the 2018 HAKAB Na! Breastfeeding Awareness Campaign on August 3, 2018 at the Ibalong Centrum for Recreation, Legazpi City. Dr. Rita Mae Ang-Bon, DOH Region 5 Family Cluster Head, said: “breastfeeding provides an array of benefits for the whole family as well as for the country.” The activity ended with a call for a multi-stakeholder support on exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant, encourage working mothers to

More than 500 breastfeeding mothers participated in the one-minute simultaneous latch

continue breastfeeding for as long as possible, and donate breastmilk whenever possible to help save other babies. The Hakab Na! is the biggest breastfeeding event in the country aimed to promote and normalize breastfeeding through simultaneous latch.

This year, the theme is “Sabaysabay na Pagpapasuso para sa Malusog na Mundo”. The breastfeeding awareness campaign contributes towards attaining the Regional Development Plan subsector outcome of improving health and nutrition for all.


Results Matrix


Bicol Development Updates

December 2018

Bicol Regional Development P Chapter 10: Accelerating Hu

December 2018

Bicol Development Updates

Plan 2017-2022 Results Matrix uman Capital Development

Results Matrix


Project Monitor Third Quarter 2018 by Grace C. Torres, NEDA Region 5

NHA opens Isarog Village AFP/PNP Housing Program to non-uniformed beneficiaries


o address the housing needs of uniformed personnel of the AFP and the PNP, the Isarog Village in barangay Del Rosario, Pili Camarines Sur was identified as one of the housing sites under the AFP/PNP Housing Program implemented by the National Housing Authority (NHA). House and lot packages were offered to the AFP and PNP Housing Homeowners Association composed of members or families of the AFP, PNP, BJMP, and BFP. Each package has a 40 sq.m lot area and a 22 sq.m. floor area. Financing scheme for the program is through the Community Initiative Approach Program in the minimum amount of PhP240 thousand per package.

Started in 2012, the first phase of the program was completed in 2014 with 931 units. The second phase is ongoing with a target of 191 units. Despite the attractive financing scheme offered for the uniformed

Ongoing construction of housing units in the second phase of the program

personnel, occupancy rate was low at 15 percent. As of June 2018, a total of 746 units for both phases remain unoccupied. With the approval by President Duterte of Congress Joint Resolution No. 2 authorizing the NHA to award to other qualified

Completed housing units in the first phase of the housing program


beneficiaries the unawarded/ surrendered/cancelled housing units, the NHA has started accepting applications for house and lot packages from non-uniformed beneficiaries even prior to the issuance of the implementing guidelines to implement the resolution.

December 2018

Bicol Development Updates

Project Monitor

Bicolanos await operationalization of the modernized BMC facilities

The completed 5-storey Emergency and Diagnostic Complex requires the installation of genset, transformer, and power compact before it becomes operational


s the regional referral center for cancer, neonatology, kidney, toxicology, infectious diseases, burn, rehabilitation medicine, dermatology, newborn hearing screening, psychiatry, and geriatrics, the modernization of the Bicol Medical Center (BMC) was a welcome development for the health sector. Implemented under the Health Facilities Enhancement Program of the Department of Health, the BMC Modernization Program involves the construction of three buildings: 8-storey general wards; 5-storey emergency and diagnostic complex; and 4-storey cancer center. When completed, the program will increase the bed capacity of BMC from 500 to 800 beds to serve more Bicolanos. Construction of the buildings has been delayed due to variation and suspension orders. The 8-storey general wards building is partially completed. Only phase 1 (shell structure) is completed; phase 2 is ongoing; phase 3 is for bidding; and the

remaining works will commence upon completion of phase 3. The 5-storey emergency and diagnostic complex building was completed last July 27, 2017, but still requires the installation of genset, transformer, and power compact before it becomes

operational. The cancer center was completed last January 7, 2018 but additional work on the transformer needs to be done. To date, it remains unclear when the modernized facilities of the BMC become fully operational.

The completed 4-storey Regional Cancer Center requires additional work on the transformer


Project Monitor

Bicol Development Updates

December 2018

Labo Bridge No. 2 to ease traffic congestion along Maharlika Highway

Labo By-Pass Road

Ongoing construction of Labo Bridge 1



abo Bridge No. 2 in Camarines Norte is a 150linear meter bridge, which is part of the Labo by-pass road that will be started within the year. The construction of Labo Bridge No. 2 is implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways District Engineering Office with a total project cost of PhP250 million. Once completed, it will serve as alternate bridge for Labo Bridge No. 1 which will ease traffic congestion along Maharlika Highway in Labo poblacion, thereby enhancing mobility of people and delivery of goods and services. The project is implemented in three phases. Phase 1 was suspended due to poor performance and noncompliance by the contractor of the requirements of the project, which resulted in the blacklisting of the contractor. Phase 2 is satisfactorily completed, while Phase 3 is 77.54 percent completed. Phase 3 encountered delays due to the suspension of Phase 1.

December 2018

Bicol Development Updates

Project Monitor

Ongoing construction of Labo Bridge 1


Pinagwarasan-Lanot FMR reduces travel time to Daet

he Pinagwarasan-Lanot farm-to-market road (FMR) under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) involves the construction of a 21.05-km provincial road. It will serve 17,563 residents in the 13 barangays of Basud and Mercedes. The FMR starts from Brgy. Pinagwarasan in Basud and ends at Brgy. Lanot in Mercedes.

Once completed, the FMR will link the fishery and agriculture production areas to the market centers in Daet, Camarines Norte. According to an interviewed farmer resident in Barangay Colasi, Mercedes, the FMR project reduces their travel time to Daet from 2 hours to 1.5 hours. As of August 22, 2018, the project is 40 percent accomplished. However, it was temporarily suspended due to heavy rains brought by Typhoon Ompong. The contractor was advised by the DA to immediately resume works once the weather improves.

Concreted Portion of Pinagwarasan-Lanot FMR


Quarterly regional economic situationer Third Quarter 2018 by Marites D. Paje, NEDA Region 5

A Quick Look at the Economy


Higher average inflation rate of 8.8% in the third quarter of 2018

Higher coconut and abaca production at 7,804 MT and 75,824 MT, respectively

Higher average CPI at 119.4 in the third quarter of 2018

Higher cattle production at 113,606 heads

Lower employment rate at 93.7% in July

Lower hog and chicken production at 956,440 heads and 9,384,404 heads, respectively

Lower underemployment rate at 28% in July

Higher production of non-metallic minerals at 1,728 MT

Lower palay and corn production at 202,814 MT and 75, 824 MT, respectively

Lower Gold and Silver production at 1273.7 MT and 785.2 MT, respectively

Faster price increases of commodities push inflation up

nflation rate in Bicol region averaged 8.8 percent in the third quarter of 2018. In September 2018, inflation rate rose to 10.1 percent from 9 percent in the previous month, and 7.4 percent in July 2018. The main drivers of inflation

were the increase in prices of basic food items due to lower supply in the local market, and the rising prices of oil in the global market. The weakening of the Philippine peso against the US dollar likewise contributed in the higher inflation rate.

Average CPI in the third quarter reached 119.4, an increase of 2.4 index points from the previous quarter. In September 2018, CPI went up to 121.1 from 119.5 in August and 117.7 in July. This means that on the average, prices of goods and services increased by 21.1 percent in September 2018 from the 2012 base year. During the third quarter, faster rate of price increase was recorded in the commodity groups of food and non-alcoholic beverages, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, and health. The increase in the average CPI brought down the average purchasing power of the peso (PPP) from 0.85 in the previous quarter to 0.84 in the following quarter. This means that a peso in the third quarter of 2012 is worth only 84 centavos in the third quarter of 2018.

Source: Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Region 5


Labor force contracts in July 2018

he Labor Force Survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority in July 2018 revealed that the Bicol region’s labor force was lower by 1.9 percentage points compared to the same period last year.


The lower labor force has an implication on the economy since it is associated with lower gross regional domestic product and lower tax revenues because the number of employed persons paying income and payroll taxes

tend to decrease. Some reasons for being out of the labor force are due to retirement, disability or illness, and being in school. Employment rate declined by 1.8 percentage points from 95.5

December 2018

Bicol Development Updates

percent in July 2017 which was equivalent to 50,000 persons. The decrease in employment was partly attributed to the student workers who went back to school after their summer jobs and to those workers who migrated or went to other places to look for better employment opportunities. Unemployment rate increased by 1.8 percent from the previous year. The increase in the number of unemployed persons may be attributed to the lack of available jobs suited to the educational qualifications of new college graduates and K-12 graduates. Underemployment rate dropped to 28 percent or 627, 780 persons in July 2018. This was lower compared to


Labor Force and Employment Indicators, Bicol Region, July 2018

Labor Force: 2.39 million persons (57.7% of the total population 15 yrs. old & above)

93.7% employment rate (2.24 million persons) 6.3% unemployment rate (0.15 million persons) 28% underemployment rate (0.627 million persons) Source: PSA Region 5

the 33.3 percent or 763,640 underemployed persons in the same period last year. This implies that lesser Bicolanos sought for additional or new job

with longer working hours in July 2018. The need for quality jobs remains a challenge to the region’s labor sector.

Agricultural production declines

202,814 MT


Source: PSA Region 5


Growth Rate of Agricultural Production by Commodity, Bicol Region, Third Quarter 2018

75,824 MT

66,387 MT



alay production decreased from 377,398 MT in the previous quarter to 202,814 MT and corn production decreased from 86,426 MT in the previous quarter to 75,824 MT, respectively, due to the effect of Tropical Cyclone Ompong which affected four provinces of the region in September. The lowlying areas of the Bicol River Basin in Camarines Sur province were flooded and so with some areas in the provinces of Albay, Camarines Norte, Sorsogon and Catanduanes which were placed under Signal No. 1. The Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 5, under its Rice Program, ensured the availability of palay buffer stock of 1,800 bags certified seeds,

355,187 MT

383 bags registered seeds, and 3,663 packs hybrid seeds to mitigate the impact of Typhoon Ompong. Around 6,650 bags of corn seeds were distributed under the Corn Program. The program assisted farmer associations/beneficiaries through the provision of farm inputs, postharvest machineries, and small scale irrigation facilities to support rice and corn production of the region. Total fish production in the third quarter declined by 11.95 percent or 66,387 MT due to weather disturbances. Decreases were noted on commercial and municipal fisheries at 33 percent and 26 percent, respectively, while aquaculture fishery posted increase of 31 percent.


7,805 MT


Coconut production is higher by 65.47 percent compared to previous quarter. More coconuts were harvested due the recovery from Typhoon “Nina” in 2016 and because of higher demand from traders. Abaca production increased to 7,804 MT. This was attributed to the continued rehabilitation of typhoon-damaged abaca areas in Catanduanes province and the implementation of “Abaka Mo, Piso Mo” incentive and skills development training for abaca farmers in Albay. The Philippine Fiber Industry and Development Authority gave 7,000 abaca seeds to the City Government of Legazpi for mass production of abaca planting materials and distribution to interested farmers.



Bicol Development Updates

December 2018

Growth Rate of Livestock Production by Commodity, Bicol Region, Third Quarter 2018

956,440 heads Source: PSA Region 5


The animal inventory recorded 956,440 hogs and 9,383,404 chickens in the third quarter of 2018.Compared to previous quarter, hog and chicken populations were lower partly due to increase in prices of animal feeds and antibiotics. The DA, through the Livestock


9,384,404 heads

113,606 heads


Program, provided the livestock and poultry raisers with support services such as drugs and biologics, dewormers, and feed supplements to decrease mortality and maintain good animal health to help improve production. As of July 1, 2018, cattle increased to 113,601

heads, 2.7 percent more compared to the same period last year. This was attributed to the infusion of geneticallysuperior animals through distribution of semen straws via artificial insemination and development of pasture areas with superior forage grasses.

campaign on the Extractive Industry Transparency initiative was conducted by the MGB to generate awareness and participation from among smallscale-miners.

Metallic and Non-Metallic Mineral Production, Third Quarter 2018

Mineral production declines but mining tax contributes to the regional economy


roduction of metallic minerals from July to August 2018 as reported by Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) declined. The large scale mining companies in Masbate province recovered 1,274 kilograms of gold and 785 kilograms of silver from the milled mineral ores. Among the non-metallic minerals, only perlite was produced weighing 1,728 metric tons. The decrease in mineral production may be attributed to the policies of the MGB which limit the affected area for metallic mining. Total value of gold and silver minerals amounted to PhP2.68 billion, a decrease by 28 percent compared to the previous quarter, and by 12 percent compared to the same period last year. This quarter, another Minahang Bayan site or People’s Small Scale Mining Area was established in Casalugan, Paracale, Camarines Norte as a designated area for the mining activities of small scale-miners. Information, and education


Quarrying operations in the region were affected by the issuance of MGB Memorandum Circular dated September 21, 2018 which suspends all quarry operations in eight regions, Bicol included, pending the conduct of safety, environment and geohazard assessment of the surrounding communities in all quarry sites. In Bicol region, the assessments were conducted in the last week of September and first week of October. Monitoring of the volume of extraction per quarry site was done regularly, particularly in Albay, to avoid over extraction. The total taxes paid by large scale mining companies amounted to PhP423.96 million in July and August. Around PhP420.90 million was from metallic minerals and PhP3.06 million from non-metallic

Perlite 1,728 MT


Gold 1,274 KG

Silver 785 KG



Source: Mines and Geoscience Bureau Region 5

December 2018


Bicol Development Updates

Events hosted by Bicol attract more visitors

icol region experienced steady growth in visitor’s traffic. More tourists came to the region due to the events and national conventions hosted by the different LGUs, such as the South Luzon Business Conference, 7 th National Blood Summit, Mt. Mayon ASTC Triathlon Asian Cup, and ASIAN Para-triathlon Championships. Tourism was likewise promoted through participation in exhibits, shows, tourism trade fairs, such as the UAP Regional CONEX, BICONEX 2018, Bicol Food and Tourism Expo, Regional Food and Travel Expo, and Philippine Travel Mart 2018, among others.

Other factors that boosted tourism are the improvement of access to natural tourism destinations and rich cultural heritage, intensive promotion of the region’s must see destinations. Each province in the region prides itself with tourism treasures that draw interest of tourists. This stimulates investors’ confidence to put up capital for tourismrelated facilities. Among the recently opened tourism related establishments are SM City in Legazpi, Vista Mall in Naga

City, One Platinum Hotel in Daet, Rock Resort in Virac, and various fast food chains.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) capacitated the LGUs through tourism manpower trainings and seminars to professionalize, level up the readiness, and upgrade the quality of services of those workers engaged in tourism


operations. Notwithstanding, the region’s tourism industry is faced with several challenges, namely (a) the need to enforce regulatory measures in various tourism sites to ensure environmental conservation and protection; and (b) proper waste disposal, sewerage and drainage system, among others.

Mt. Mayon Triathlon Asian Cup 2018 held on August 12; Photo credit:

Outlook for the Fourth Quarter 2018


alay and corn productions are expected to increase in the next quarter. According to DA Region 5, about 488,300 MT of palay and 32,401 MT of corn are expected to be harvested. The DA will continue to provide interventions under its Rice Program, Corn Program, and Livestock Program. New rice areas in the region will be provided with irrigation water from newly completed diversion dams. It is expected that in the succeeding period, measures will be put in place to bring down food prices. Price

monitoring of commodities will be strengthened to avoid profiteering. The rice tarrification bill, once passed into law, is expected to liberalize rice importation in the country and help reduce rice prices. The release of unconditional cash transfer to the poorest households and fuel subsidies to operators of public utility vehicles are social mitigation measures under the TRAIN Law that will help cushion the impact of inflation on the vulnerable sectors. As its mandate, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will continue to maintain price stability through implementation of monetary


On mining industry, more progressive rehabilitation work will be undertaken by the Masbate Gold Project to improve the production of metallic minerals. The MGB will continue its information and education campaigns that promote responsible mining in the region. Trainings/seminars for local workers will be conducted by the DOT to improve the quality of tourism services. Hosting of events and participation in trade fairs will be continued to promote tourism.


CY 2018 CMCI Awardees

The RDC Chair Gov. Al Francis Bichara, Vice Chair Dir. Agnes Tolentino of NEDA Region 5, Bicol Competitiveness Committee Chair Dir. Jocelyn Blanco of DTI Region 5 and Dir. Elouisa Pastor of DILG Region 5 presents the Plaques of Commendation to the CY 2018 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index Awardees to the following: (in top photo) Mayor Noel Rosal of Legazpi City; (in center left photo) Ms. Rosemarie Ciudadano of Naga City; (in center upper right photo) Acting Mayor Noli Samlero of Polangui, Albay; (in center lower right photo) representatives of Iriga City headed by Arch. Sofronio Sonny Magestrado; (in bottom photo) Mayor Rosal from Legazpi City, Acting Mayor Nestor San Pablo of Tabaco City, Mayor Tomas Bongalonta, Jr. of Pili, Camarines Sur, Ms. Ciudadano of Naga City, and representative from Donsol, Sorsogon.

2018 4th Quarter BDU  

2018 4th Quarter Bicol Development Updates

2018 4th Quarter BDU  

2018 4th Quarter Bicol Development Updates