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Showing posts from 2012

CIDG-CIS Van Found Loaded with Narra

The Catanduanes police is still confirming a report that an abandoned van loaded with sawn narra lumber in San Miguel town belonged to the PNP’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Region 4.

PNP provincial director Senior Superintendent Eduardo Chavez said that a team led by Senior Inspector James Ronatay was conducting a checkpoint at District 3 in San Miguel at 5 A.M. of Dec. 11 when they signalled an oncoming van to stop. Instead of approaching the checkpoint, the van stopped some distance away and two men were seen coming out of the vehicle and escaping in the dark.

The lawmen discovered later that the silver gray Mitsubishi L300 van (PMP-346) bearing a CIDG-CIS sticker was loaded with sawn narra lumber with a volume of 415 board feet. Inside, the police recovered a CIDG-CIS commemorative plate, an ID card with the markings “Delegate Nat’l CIS Summit 2012, Cebu City” and “CIS De Vera AV,” and important documents.

Two days earlier, in San Miguel, Panganiban, a t…

Viga Mayor Partners with 31 Schools on Food Production

Thirty-one schools in the municipality of Viga have entered into a partnership with Mayor Emeterio “Bong’ Tarin in the Gulayan sa Paaralan program mandated by the Department of Agriculture.

Last Nov. 5-9, Mayor Tarin and wife Ma. Theresa Lorraine made the rounds of the four high schools, 26 elementary schools and one primary school to distribute seeds as the municipal government’s assistance to the schools in said program.

“This assistance is intended to uplift the livelihood and life of my fellow Viganons,” Tarin stated, adding that the effort is being coordinated with the recipient schools and its officials, particularly Viga West district supervisor Rosario Peña and Viga East district supervisor Henry Marin, barangay captains and officials, and the DA.

Tarin initiated the grant of the assistance upon learning of the Gulayan sa Paaralan program of DA Sec. Proceso Alcala who sought to promote self-help food production activities and values among children that will emphasize agric…

DAR Signs MOA with Farmer PO for Rice Production in Panganiban

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) led by PARO Alexander T. Teves recently signed a memorandum of agreement with a conduit Peoples’ Organization (PO), the CASAMA Farmer Irrigators’ Association, Inc. (CFISA) based in San Miguel, Panganiban town. Agustin Vicente Jr., CFISA Chairperson, signed the MOA with PARO Teves in a simple ceremony Oct. 10 witnessed by other officials and employees of the Department, specifically those from Beneficiaries Development and Coordinating Division (BDCD) led by its chief, CARPO Nelia V. Tadoy. The activity signaled the full blown implementation of the flagship project of the province under Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity and Economic Support Services (ARCCESS) where Panganiban qualified as its pilot area for Improved Rice Production with provisions of farm mechanization in barangay San Miguel. The latter is one among the DAR’s Agrarian Reform Community (ARC) in Catanduanes where its dominant land use is either devoted to coconut or rice…

Storm Surge Spawned by Typhoon ‘Pablo’ Hits Catanduanes

LEGAZPI CITY, Albay, Philippines —-A storm surge as high as six meters hit the shorelines of Catanduanes on Tuesday, preventing passenger vessels from docking in the Virac port, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Bicol said.

MV Eugenia, a passenger vessel plying the Virac-Tabaco routes, was forced to return to Tabaco City in Albay due to the big waves battering Virac port in Catanduanes, said Bernardo Alejandro, Office of Civil Defense (OCD) regional director and Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) chairperson.

Alejandro said the Coast Guard in Virac port had to order the ship captain of MV Eugenia to return to the Tabaco port after big waves spawned by the gale force prevailed at the Virac port.

Quoting an initial report from the Catandaunes PDRRMC, Alejandro said the storm surge hit around 25 coastal villages in the towns of Virac, Bato, Baras and Gigmoto.

The report said strong waves forced seawater to encroach into major highways in these area.


Catanduanes State University Grads rank 6th, 7th and 9th in This Year's Civil Engineering Board Exam

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 29 (PNA) -- The Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) released Wednesday the results of the 2012 Civil Engineering Board Examination showing that Catanduanes State University (CSU) grabbed the 6th, 7th and 9th top positions. Ranking 6th place is John Michael Tuazon Bernal who graduated Magna Cum Laude with 94.65 percent passing rate; 7th place is Yuri Ibatuan Soria of Bato with 94.60 percent passing rate and 9th place is John Aldren Caneta Molina, Cum Laude, from Virac, with 94.25 percent passing rate. Rep. Cesar Sarmiento said indeed, it is now becoming a good habit for CSU to be landing in the Top 10 of the board exams. He congratulated the topnotchers and passers and most especially their proud parents. CSU got the top three ranking in last year’s results of the Civil Engineering Board exams. Recently, CSU graduate Carlito Tudoc Gelito placed 10th in the Licensure Exams for Teachers. (PNA) LAP/CBD/ Source: PNA Bicol

Finally, Skyjet in January

Capt. Ivanhoe Arcilla, whose shuttered ZestAir office will handle ticket sales for the new airline, said last Monday that Skyjet Airlines will finally fly the Philippine skies this December following the approval of its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

The industry newcomer’s 94-seater British Aerospace BAe-146-200 will start its flights to Basco, Batanes on Dec. 14 on a thrice-weekly basis, to be followed by Virac flights in January, probably on the same frequency. It has the option to expand its fleet courtesy of Lionair which has two BAE146-200s, 72-seater BAe 146-100 aircraft, and a Dornier 328 jet. SkyJet has been quoted as promising first-class flying, including snacks and comfortable seats, at reasonable prices, with Virac flights estimated to cost about P3,000 one-way.

The same positive development, and the airline’s expression of gratitude, was communicated by Skyjet officials to Congressman Cesar Sarmiento, who had sought…

NDRRMC: Search On for Fisherman Missing off Catanduanes

Search operations are ongoing in Catanduanes province in Bicol for a fisherman who went missing after his motor boat capsized on Friday afternoon.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) identified the fisherman as Efren Salome, 52, a resident of Maculiw village in Panganiban town.

Citing initial reports, the NDRRMC on Saturday said Salome was with some companions when their boat encountered huge waves.

At the time, Salome was with Noel Cabrera, Alejandro Cabrera Sr., Alejandro Cabrera Jr., and Willan Cacilan. They were on their way to Barangay Maculiw in Panganiban.

The big waves caused the boat to capsize and sink, the NDRRMC said.

It added that the Office of Civil Defense is coordinating with the Coast Guard in Bicol to search for Salome. - VVP, GMA News

CSU Students Win Provincial Robredo Essay Contest

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Nov. 16 (PIA) -- Two Catanduanes State University students won the provincial elimination competition of the 2012 Bicol Essay Writing Contest on the life of the late Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.

John Ely Templonuevo, 3rd year BSEd student and Yllaisa Mae Gianan, 4th year high school student of Catanduanes State University were declared champions of the tertiary and secondary categories , respectively, during the provincial elimination held on November 10, 2012 at the provincial capitol dome.

The competition was conducted by the Bicol Harvest Magazine and Kaya Natin Movement, in coordination with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Catanduanes provincial office and Philippine Information Agency Provincial Information Center.

The theme: “The living Legacy of Secretary Jesse Robredo" aims to honor the late DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo for his achievements in service.

It aims to inspire local lea…

Catanduanes Student to Represent Bicol in National Engineering Quiz

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 15 (PNA) -- A civil engineering standout from the newly-created Catanduanes State University (CSU) in Virac, Catanduanes will represent Bicol in the 31st National Civil Engineering Student Quiz to be held at the Cebu International Convention Center in Mandaue City on Nov. 22. Roilan Magdaraog, a fifth year CSU Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (BSCE) student, was chosen to represent the region in the national quiz sponsored by the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) after emerging as champion in the annual Regional Civil Engineering Students Quiz recently held at the Camarines Norte State College in Daet, Camarines Norte. He bested over dozen other contestants from various colleges and universities in the region by garnering 12 points to capture first place. He was followed by the contestants from Camarines Norte State College, 2nd place; and University of Saint Anthony in Iriga City, 3rd place. The competition was three rounds covering four are…

PNoy Approves Law Elevating Catanduanes College Into a State University

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 6 (PNA) -- The premier state-owned higher education institution in the island province of Catanduanes is now a university, courtesy of a law recently signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III.

Covering its main campus in the provincial capital of Virac and its extension campus in the municipality of Panganiban, the Catanduanes State College (CSC) was converted to Catanduanes State University (CSU) to provide advanced education; higher technological and professional instruction; and training on trade, commerce, fishery, agriculture, arts and sciences, industrial technology and nursing.

President Aquino signed the law for its conversion last Oct. 19.

CSC was established on June 19, 1971 through Republic Act 6341, a law authored in Congress by then Congressman Jose Alberto which converted the former Virac National Agricultural and Trade School into a state college.

Following its conversion into CSC, the school opened collegiate courses in Education, Arts and Scien…

200 Fishers to Benefit from P3-M RP-AusAid Project

Two hundred fishermen and their families in Bato and Baras towns will be organized and trained on disaster preparedness and management as well as livelihood ventures under a P3-million project funded by the Philippine Government and the Australian AID.

Implemented under the Philippines-Australia Community Assistance Program (PACAP), the project being managed by the Diocese of Virac Social Action Foundation, Inc. (DVSAFI) began last September in the fishing villages of Pananaogan in Bato, Putsan and Danao in Baras and will end on February 28, 2014.

Rev. Fr. Laudemer Jose Gapaz, DVSAFI executive director, disclosed that AusAid provided P2 million while the balance was shouldered by the government as counterpart. The 18-month project is in support of the government’s thrust to educate coastal barangay residents on the importance of disaster preparedness and management.

All 200 fisherfolks from the three barangays will be trained on disaster risk management and on the use of appropria…

Cong. CS Bares Priority Infra Projects for 2012

Nearly half of the P20 million allocated by Congressman Cesar Sarmiento for priority infrastructure projects will go to the construction of 11 new multi-purpose buildings as well as the completion of previous MPBs and rehabilitation of similar existing buildings.

Test map on visualization and geotagging of government projects. Locations are approximate and photos will be added once available. Click on the icons to explore.
The 11 new MPBs are to be built at Datag Central Elementary School in Caramoran, Gigmoto Rural Development High School, San Jose National High School in Viga, Buyo Integrated School in Virac, Catanduanes National High School in Virac, the CSC Panganiban Campus, barangay Sta. Rosa in Viga, Magnesia del Norte in Virac, Palta ES in Virac, Macutal ES in Baras, and barangay Putting Baybay in San Andres.

Slated for completion are MPBs in barangay Eastern Poblacion in Baras, Alicia NHS in Panganiban, barangay Balatohan in San Miguel, San Miguel RDHS, barangay F. Tacorda…

DA to Award 2012 Gawad Saka Winners

QUEZON CITY, Oct 25 (PIA) -- A 48-year old civil engineer-turned-rice farmer from Kalinga and a 62-year old farmer from Ilocos Norte lead this year’s outstanding farmers and fishermen or 2011-12 Gawad Saka national awardees.

In a statement, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said engineer-farmer Teodoro Kub-ao Jr. of Kalinga is the national Gawad Saka winner for integrated rice farming, while Ricarte Corpuz of Ilocos Norte is the best in hybrid rice farming.

Kub-ao earned more than P1.2 million last year from his four-hectare integrated rice farm in Tabuk City, while Corpuz earned P1.5 million from producing hybrid rice at his farm in Laoag City.

The two are among the 25 national winners of the 2012 Gawad Saka, who will receive a total of P6.5 million in cash prizes and project grants, and presidential citation and trophy, in fitting ceremonies in November.

Alcala has invited President Aquino to be the main guest and keynote speaker during the 2012 Gawad Saka awarding cere…

October 15 is Global Handwashing Day

The Philippine Red Cross, Catanduanes Chapter, will spearhead the celebration of the Global Handwashing Day in selected schools and communities in the province this October 15.

The celebration is aimed at increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases, particularly diarrhea. Last summer, a cholera outbreak in Catanduanes killed nearly 20 people. Including children, due to poor hygiene.

“The simple act of washing hands with soap can reduce the incidence of diarrhea among children under five by almost 50 percent, and respiratory infections by nearly 25 percent,” the Red Cross said. Nearly 10,000 dying every year from diarrhea in the Philippines, with the Department of Health citing it as among the leading causes of death with a rate of 16 deaths per 100,000 children.

Red Cross 143 Community Health Teams will be mobilized by the Red Cross chapters nationwide to conduct hygiene promotion demons…

Catanduanes Joins Observance of 23rd National Statistics Month

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Oct. 2 (PIA) -- The National Statistics Office (NSO) provincial office here led the observance of the 23rd National Statistics Month (NSM) this October with the theme: “Monitoring Progress on Decent Work through Statistics: Pathway to Inclusive Growth."

The activity is pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 647 “Declaring the Month of October of Every Year as the National Statistics Month."

The National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) has issued Memorandum Circular No. 02-99 dated June 15, 1999 enjoining all agencies of government at the national, subnational level, including the local government units and the private sector to actively support and participate in this month-long celebration.

The observance of this event aims, a) to promote, enhance and instill nationwide awareness and appreciation of the importance and value of statistics to the different sectors of society and b) elicit cooperation and support of the general public in upgra…

Health Office Strengthens Malaria Prevention and Elimination Program

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Sept 6 (PIA) -- The ceremonial transfer and acceptance of the "Biyaheng Kulambo (Mosquito net travel)” campaign from the Department of Health (DOH) to the Catanduanes Provincial Health Office (PHO) will mark and form part of the new advocacy campaign against malaria with the theme "Saving Lives, Preventing Deaths and Sustaining Investments for Malaria.”

The said campaign will be highlighted by the “Traveling Long-Lasting Insecticidal Net (LLIN)” or the Biyaheng Kulambo.

With this, a symbolic LLIN will travel through all the provinces of the country starting from malaria-endemic areas in anticipation to the Malaria Awareness Month.

Aside from the transfer and acceptance, there will also be the affixing of the provincial logo on the ceremonial LLIN as a symbol of the province’s participation at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 7 at the governor’s office, provincial capitol.

The Malaria Prevention and Elimination Program is an advocacy campaign of the Dep…

PRC to Administer LET in Catanduanes

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Sept 19 (PIA) -- The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) will administer the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) in the province on September 30.

All examinees from Catanduanes who filed applications either in Virac or Legazpi City shall take the test in Virac following PRC's approval of the Resolution 190-2012.

Said resolution was passed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan requesting the chairman of PRC, Teresita Manzala, to administer LET in the province. It was approved on July 9, 2012 with Provincial Board Member Wilfredo Santelices as the sponsor.

Santelices cited that residents of Catanduanes have to take a long trip just to take the exam in mainland Bicol and other testing centers.

LET takers were thankful to the SP as well as PRC since the conduct of LET in the province will ease their financial burdens and other related expenses. (EAB/PIA Catanduanes)

Source: PIA

ERC Order Cuts Power Rate by P1

A recent order of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) mandating the charging of the claims for rate adjustments of the National Power Corporation (NPC) against small island grids to the Universal Charge-Missionary Electrification (UC-ME) fund has resulted in a reduction of over P1 per kilowatt-hour.

FICELCO General Manager Samuel Laynes said the cooperative already incorporated the rate reduction in the power billing received by over 40,000 member-consumers for the month of August 2012.

It may be recalled that in December 2011, ERC authorized NPC’s Small Power Utilities Group to recover P4 billion in fuel and foreign current losses partly through an increase of P1.4282 per kilowatt-hour to be applied for four years, or until 2016. The NPC rate increase brought the cost of each kilowatt-hour of electricity on the island to about P12.50 per kWh for residential consumers.

In the province of Catanduanes, power rates increased to as much as P14 per kWh, especially when the cooperat…

Maid Tells Senators of Employers' Abuse: 'I Was Their Dog'

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED 1:52 PM) Abused housemaid Bonita Baran told a Senate hearing on Wednesday that she was held in slave-like conditions at the Quezon City home of her employers for four years, repeatedly beaten and tortured, and generally treated like “their dog.”

Baran told senators it was Mrs. Annaliza Marzan in particular, who beat and maltreated her to the point of rendering her blind. Mrs. Marzan denied the accusation.

The Senate hearing was the first occasion for Baran to confront her former employers, who had gone into hiding for weeks until they were arrested and detained temporarily by the Senate while the hearing on Baran’s case is ongoing.

Mr. Reynold Marzan did not personally torment Baran, but it was revealed at the Senate hearing that Mr. Marzan had also abused his wife.

At one point, Annaliza tried to choke her, Baran said, while the woman screamed, “Bakit ang tagal mong mamatay?” Mr. Marzan intervened, but only to ask his wife, “At saan mo itatapon an…

Calatagan-Tibang RIC Vies for National Gawad Saka Award

The Rural Improvement Club (RIC) of Calatagan-Tibang in Virac is a strong bet to win at the national level of the 2012 Gawad Saka, the annual search for outstanding achievers in agriculture and fisheries.

Last week, a panel of evaluators from the National Technical Committee spent over two days in Virac interviewing members of the club and inspecting their home-based livelihood projects. Governor Joseph Cua, Mayor Cito Alberto, Provincial Agricultural & Fishery Council (PAFC) chair Ulysses Tabelin and Virac MAFC chair Jorge Reyes led local agriculture officials in welcoming the panel at Rakdell Inn.

The evaluators - Dr. Gina Nilo of the Bureau of Soil and Water Management (BSWM), Emiliana Mayor of the National Agriculture and Fishery Council (NAFC) and Alicia Rose Nebreja of the Agricultural Training Institute – arrived Aug. 29 and interviewed the RIC members that same afternoon.

In his message, Gov. Cua said that winning the Gawad Saka this year will become a lasting testimon…


Last night, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake hit the southeastern seaboard of Samar in the Visayan region. Strong tremors were also felt in nearby provinces including Catanduanes...

Earthquake and tsunami alert -…— Catanduanes (@catanduanesph) August 31, 2012Naramdaman din sa catanduanes. Lakas talaga! Eto na ba ang isa sa mga signs na end of the world na sa 12 21 12?— iamrochelle (@xielle1347) August 31, 2012@joseph_morong Bakit di kaya binabanggit ang Catanduanes sa tsunami alert? Di sila apektado?— milen samonte (@agomniallan) August 31, 2012Tsunami warning includes Catanduanes. Uh-oh. #StaySafe :(— Camille Santiago (@cam4ille) August 31, 2012@marchmallooows@itsmikojosh kahuna q sa catanduanes sana!— Joash De La Cruz (@mojojoash) August 31, 2012naramdaman din ung earthquake here in Catanduanes..— erika gianan (@07_ganda) August 31, 2012Hey peeps omg!!! earthquake!!! we got a long earthquake here in Catanduanes. Im so nervous BTW Vote @onedirection i…

It's More Fan

Quotes from locals complaining about the current power situation and outages on the island. One funny and others are calling for action. #Catanduanes#FICELCO A night with power. Am I supposed to be grateful?— Nic Houghton (@N1ckn1ght) August 30, 2012Catanduanes: BLACK OUT CAPITAL OF THE PHILIPPINES. #badtrip— karen alarte (@pretttykaren) August 29, 2012so hot! been 3 days already, hoping to resolv this crisis here in the province of catanduanes.— edielyn valen (@eiroiel) August 29, 2012@gmanews no electricity here in catanduanes until sept 1 is that true? Pls confirm.— Mark | マーク (@markdelarosa) August 29, 2012@gmanews patingin naman po sabi kasi hanggang sept 1 bago magka kuryente dito sa catanduanes.— Mark | マーク (@markdelarosa) August 29, 2012#Catanduanes Prolonged brown outs for days now. #Ficelco need a shake up.— Nic Houghton (@N1ckn1ght) August 28, 2012it's more fan in Catanduanes. Because we using fan to cool down, brownout always experience in the province.— caloy (@jomme…

Solon Seeks Probe on Rampant Harvesting of Crablets

A Party-list lawmaker is calling for a congressional inquiry on the reported rampant harvesting and sale of crablets as exotic food delicacy, which has resulted in the alarming decline in the harvest of mature mud crabs.

In filing House Resolution 2587, Rep. Angelo Palmones, (Party-list, AGHAM) said rampant harvesting and sale of crablets hinder the sustainability of mature crabs for food and livelihood.

Palmones cited that a 2009 report from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) that exports of crabs, in its live or processed form, accounts for 5.8 percent of the year's total export value in fisheries produce.

The study, Palmones said shows that crab production is a viable means of livelihood for some of the coastal areas in the country thus; this reported rampant activity of early harvesting for minimal amount will disrupt the flow of income in an area where crab produce is one of its main sources of income.

Palmones said several local government units have is…

Clueless on Catanduanes

Below are some notable comments from Twitter users on Pinoy Henyo, while a participating team was trying to figure out the word "Catanduanes". Enjoy!

Parang Brazil and Argentina lang in Euro2012. -_-" --> RT @jadysalonga: PAano naging Mindanao ang Catanduanes at Marinduque?!— Faith Aquino (@JenShinrai) August 10, 2012catanduanes!!! pinoy henyo!!!— kier berce (@kierberce) August 10, 2012grabe catanduanes dw nsa mindanao? shunga ka si ate....— yanna chua (@yannachua13) August 10, 2012Ang hirap naman talaga ng Catanduanes eh. :| :)) #EatBulaga#PinoyHenyo— Dyenn Hilario(@estrodYENNic) August 10, 2012Grabe. Catanduanes, parrot di nahulaan. Whoa. What happened to our knowledge, Filipinos? :-O #pinoyhenyo— Krystel C (@the19thkid) August 10, 2012@ayeenatienza Haha yung isa nga Catanduanes nasa Mindanao daw eh tapos mamaya na Visayas na. :)) Umaandar?— Carlo Enriquez (@carlowlowlow) August 10, 2012Naloka ako sa mga kasali sa #PinoyHenyo. uggghhh! CATANDUANES: Luzon? Hindi! V…

Social Media in Catanduanes

Being far, the only way to update this blog is through innovative and fun way, by posting public tweets from Twitter users. Here are some latest tweets from Catanduanes.
Good morning, it's a sunny day here in Catanduanes, God bless us all!— Tess Gonzales (@ma_teresita_29) August 8, 2012@captainknows catanduanes.. hehehe layo dba??? pero ok naman pagkain.. gaya nito.. bagong prito yan..…— tam (@MhondzkiReymond) August 8, 2012many these at my hometown... it's more fun in Catanduanes..;)…— Tess Gonzales (@ma_teresita_29) August 1, 2012Baras, Catanduanes— Noreen Coutts (@noreen09) August 7, 2012nakakatuwa nga kasali na ang catanduanes sa news— marziel cipres (@MarzCipres) August 6, 2012

DBP Execs Lead Inauguration of Virac branch

Forty years after it first set foot in Catanduanes as a mere agency, the Development Bank of the Philippines formally inaugurated its first-ever branch office in the capital town last week, with the bank’s top executives in attendance.

DBP President and CEO Francisco del Rosario Jr. expressed the bank’s gratitude for being part of the history of the province and said it would endeavor to assist its people in the development of the abaca industry and agribusiness sector, including micro-enterpreneural activities.

Branch manager Vicente Balmaceda, who has roots in Bagamanoc, said the Virac office completes the bank’s presence in each of the six Bicol provinces and would seek to improve its deposit base here and offer competitive market rates in financing business ventures.

On the other hand, Congressman Cesar Sarmiento, who flew in with the visitors, said he sought the assistance of DBP Director Alberto Lim in developing tourism in Catanduanes. He thanked Lim for allocating P5 milli…

DA GeoTagging Infra Projects Underway in Bicol

Legazpi City, July 3 -- The Department of Agriculture has adopted the geotagging technology in the Bicol region to ensure transparency and to enforce accountability in the implementation of government projects particularly those under infrastructure.

The Information and Technology Center for Agriculture and Fisheries (ITCAF), under the Matuwid na D.A.A.N. (Department of Agriculture Accountability Network) Program, spearheaded the implementation and application of the said technology.

Geotagging is the process of adding geographical identification metadata to various media, such as a geotagged photographs, websites, SMS messages, or RSS feeds. It is in a form of geospatial metadata that may include altitude, bearing, distance, accuracy data and names of places.

With this feature, the public can easily identify location-specific information of a project.

Currently, the DA-V Planning and Project Development and Evaluation Division along with the GPS team from the ITCAF are worki…

Bus Falls Into River; 7 hurt

Seven persons were injured when the bus they were riding to Bagamanoc fell into a shallow part of the river along the national road in Kilikilihan, San Miguel last June 21.

Catanduanes PNP provincial director Senior Superintendent Lito Pitallano identified those brought to the Viga district hospital as Teresita Peña of Sta. Teresa, Bagamanoc; Cylamie Tuquero of Burgos, Viga; Winnie Olesco of Roxas, Viga; Lenlen Villacorta of Bagamanoc; and, three unnamed members of the Llamera family from Panganiban town. They fortunately suffered only minor injuries, according to the police, who quoted officials at the Viga district hospital.

The report said the “Blem-Blem” bus owned by the family of Bagamanoc Mayor Odilon Pascua was traveling from Virac when at 12:45 P.M., the kingpin of its steering mechanism was accidentally detached, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. The heavy bus went off the road and fell straight down a 10–meter embankment, with its nose resting below the w…

Skyjet flies to Virac July 1

Set to fill the void to be left behind by Zest Airlines is newcomer Skyjet, which plans to operate a leased 94-seater British Aerospace BAe146-200 to the capital town beginning July 1.

Its first flight to Catanduanes is scheduled just two days after Zest Air’s MA60 jetprop makes its takeoff from Virac airport on June 29. Leased from Lionair Inc. with an option to buy, fhe four-engine Skyjet’s flight time to Manila will be just 40 minutes, shaving 25 minutes off ZestAir’s usual flight duration.

It will also fly to Virac on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, which would ensure that there will be daily airplane flights to the island.

Seats on board the jet, however, would be slightly costly as the airline plans to offer full hospitality and inflight service: unlimited snack and drinks, and newspapers. “Snack items like mamon, chips, coffee, water and soda will be offered after take-off and passengers can still ask for a second round and refill of drinks anytime they want,” the airlin…

Diarrhea Kills 3 in Catanduanes

MANILA, Philippines – Two children and a 59-year-old man have died from diarrhea in Virac, Catanduanes, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Tuesday.

NDRRMC said the 3 male victims, aged 1, 6 and 59, died of severe dehydration due to acute gastroenteritis.

Eighteen others are being treated at the Eastern Bicol Medical Center.

According to the NDRRMC, the victims may have been drank contaminated water from a spring at the Sto. Domingo River.

2010 Virac population per barangay. Drag your pointer on the shaded area on the map and click to open the info window. The darker the shade the higher the population.

The agency also cited lack of sanitary toilets, lack of potable water, poor hygienic practices and improper disposal of solid and liquid waste as possible reasons for an increase of diarrhea cases.

NDRRMC also said the increase in diarrhea cases in the province coincided with an increase in cholera victims. -- Report from Robert Mano, dzMM


Information Bill Gains Ground as Senate Starts Plenary Talks

A PRIORITY measure seeking to ensure easy access to state information was yesterday tackled at the Senate plenary session.

"Government is an instrument owned by the people, and all information in the custody of the State should be available for the people to access," Senator Gregorio B. Honasan, public information and mass media committee chairman, said in his sponsorship speech, recommending approval on second reading of the Freedom of Information (FoI) bill.

The FoI bill is part of the administration’s platform on transparency and has been identified as a priority by the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council.

"If we have freedom of information… high-placed syndicates and conspiracies, and excesses of partisan politics would be drastically reduced, if not eradicated," Mr. Honasan said.

Under the bill, "every Filipino citizen has a right to and shall, on request, be given access to any record under the control of a government agency."