Sunday, August 30, 2015

7,000 join Galing Pook Unity Walk in MOA
By Connie B. Destura

PASAY CITY, Aug. 30 (PNA) -- At least 7,000 representatives of various local government units, schools, non-government organizations and civil society organizations joined the Galing Pook Unity Walk here at 6:00 a.m. Sunday around the SM Mall of Asia complex.

About 200 Albayanos composing the Team Albay and headed by Governor Joey Sarte Salceda came all the way from the province, travelling by land the whole night, and arrived in time for the event.

The Unity Walk has for its theme “Mamamayan, Mamamayani.”

The Province of Albay’s Team Albay Humanitarian Assistance Program is vying for No. 1 in the Galing Pook Awards.

The Albayanos are positive that they will win the Award after the full-force support they have given to the governor.

There will be a presentation of the finalists’ entries, after they they face a panel of interviewers on Aug. 31.

The awarding and cultural night will be on Sept. 1.

The finalists in the awards are composed of various groups from the country's provinces who set examples in implementing key projects and initiatives for the betterment of their respective citizens.

The Galing Pook Awards is a pioneering program that recognizes innovations and excellence in local governance which started in 1993 under the joint initiative of the Local Government Academy, Department of Interior and Local Goverment, the Ford Foundation and other advocates of good governance from the academe, civil society and the government.

Winners are chosen each year from a wide array of programs from the local governments after undergoing a rigorous multi-level screening process.

The winning programs are selected based on positive results and impact, promotion of people’s participation and empowerment, innovation and efficiency of program service delivery. (PNA) CTB/FGS/CBD

Friday, August 28, 2015

Delegates from 150 countries unite for global water sustainability (Ms. Barcia is in Sweden Aug. 24-31 attending the conference on water sustainability--sol)
By Rhaydz B. Barcia

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Aug. 27 (PNA) -- Delegates to the World Water Week meeting from 150 countries hit the cobblestone streets of this capital city of water on Tuesday, calling for global water sustainability.

“Save water, water for life, for one planet” was the battlecry being chanted during the walk by the world delegates composed of government officials, scientists, members of the academe, private sector representatives, implementers and international organizations, including media.

The call aims to bolster public awareness and for world leaders to give special preference on water issues in the upcoming United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP21 Paris 2015 climate talks in Paris.

World Water Week is the annual global meeting on water, as water challenges become the planet’s greatest risk in the 21st century.

In September, UN member-states will decide on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to steer global development efforts in the decades to come and in December at COP21 in Paris where a new climate deal will be agreed.

One of the SDGs will be dedicated to water.

The ongoing one-week (Aug. 24-31) meeting on water sustainability in this city, which spreads out over 14 islands in Lake Malaren and looks out proudly to the Baltic Sea to the east, aims to tackle and provide solution to water crisis taking place around the world following the impact of climate change.

The global walk for water sustainability is the first-ever unified move of world leaders, nongovernmental organizations and other stakeholders across the globe in an effort to heighten and achieve SDGs.

Torgny Holmgren, executive director of Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), said water plays a most critical role in achieving the upcoming SDGs as water relates to a great number of poor people, hunger, health, energy and climate.

“Climate change manifests through water, too much or too little of it, and it is high time that the reality enters the rooms of negotiators,” he said during the high-level panel of discussion on World Water Week, the annual global water meeting on water discourse.

Holmgren said that it was 25 years ago when the first Stockholm Water Symposium was done with only few hundred dedicated scientists present and the world population was just five and half billion people, and no one had yet heard about SDGs.

“Looking ahead 25 years from now, I hope that those who gather here in Stockholm in 2040 can claim that the world has made great progress in the way that our scarce water resources are being handled. By that time all people should have access to clean and safe water. To feed a supply a population of some nine billion people, we also need to improve the way we use water,” he said.

The World Water Week in Stockholm is the annual focal point for the globe’s water issues organized by SIWI.

This year is the jubilee celebration for World Water Week and the Stockholm Water Prize with the theme “Water for Development”.

The World Water Week in Stockholm is a global water conference that focuses on big issues and practical solutions.

“It is my hope that in 25 years from now we will no longer talk about global water crisis because we will have developed ways to sustainability use our water resources. In order to do what we need to be innovative and let new ideas in and form new alliances,” Holmgren said.

The high-level panel discussion on water tackles key issues facing water and development, focusing on the financial aspect of the ongoing international processes for SDGs and the anticipated new UNFCCC climate agreement and its implications on global and national level.

The panel will also tackle the issue of implementation, financing, potential obstacles and constraints from implementation as well as lessons learned from the implementation of the SDGs and the UNFCCC financial mechanisms will be addressed.

The 2015 is the target year for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Almost two billion people will still lack access to safe water and about 2.5 billion people lack access to basic sanitation.

More than one billion people will go to bed hungry, Holmgren said.

For three consecutive years since 2012, the World Water Week in Stockholm focuses on issues in pursuit of addressing “Water and Food Security; Water cooperation in 2014; Energy and Water in 2014 to Water for Development 2015. (PNA) CTB/FGS/RBB/CBD

Sen. Bam to grace opening of 2 Negosyo Centers in Legazpi

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 27 (PNA) -- Senator Bam Aquino will lead the launch of two more Negosyo Centers here on Thursday.

The activity is part of the government efforts to further boost the development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Bicol Region, according to Joy Los BaƱos, Department of Trade and Industry Bicol regional director.

The Negosyo Centers to be inaugurated are at Sedcen Building at the Landco Business Park and at the DTI-Albay Provincial Office, both in Legazpi City.

“This is part of our continuing work to further improve the business environment for MSMEs. Now, our Bicolano businessmen can enjoy ease of doing business and other services through the Negosyo Centers,” Aquino, chair of the Senate committee on trade, commerce and entrepreneurship, said in a press statement.

?Aside from the senator, also expected to attend the event are Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal, Trade Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya, other local officials and representatives from private partners and stakeholders.

Aquino is the main author of Republic Act 10644, or the Go Negosyo Act, which mandates the creation of Negosyo Centers in all provinces, cities and municipalities in the country.

The Negosyo Center will provide access to linkages to bigger markets and financing for businesses, and a unified and simplified business registration process, thus, helping ease doing business and fast-track government processes in putting up a business.

With the two latest Negosyo Centers, the Bicol Region now has four such centers, with the other two located in Daet, Camarines Norte.

At present, the DTI has already established 84 Negosyo Centers in different parts of the country.

It has pegged its initial goal at 100 Negosyo Centers but with the present rate, the agency will exceed its target for 2015. (PNA) FFC/FGS/EMC/CBD

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Salceda shares expertise on DRR, other topics with UNDP, Nepalese group
By Connie B. Destura

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 27 (PNA) – Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda shared with an eight-man United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) officials and Nepalese delegation his experience and expertise on post-earthquake rehabilitation strategy, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in a dinner-meeting Wednesday at the Paparazzi Room of EDSA Shangrila in Mandaluyong City.

The group was led by former UNDP Country Representative to Nepal Renaud Meyer and composed of Joint Secretary Pandey, Nepalese Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development; Undersecretaries Paudel and Shivakoti, Nepalese Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development; Tom Wingfield, UK Department for International Development (DfID); Manju Lama, Embassy of Denmark to Nepal programme officer; Yam Nath Sharma, UNDP Nepal Governance head; and Anil Chandrika, UNDP Nepal project manager.

During the three-hour meeting, the Nepalese delegation invited Albay to provide technical advice from a practitioner perspective on a DRR law being considered by the Nepal parliament.

"I also told them of our friendship with Dr. Udip Shrestra who is responsible for bringing 70 Nepalese medical students to Bicol Christian College of Medicine every year. I told the delegation that the family headed by senior parliamentarian Maiya Devi Shrestha has been inviting me, the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital, and BCCM to Nepal. I was surprised to be told that the family matriarch is a billionaire,” Salceda said in a phone interview Thursday.

He said the Nepalese will visit Albay to see for themselves the work the Albayanos have done on DRR, including the APSEMO, Climate Change Academy, GUICADALE Economic Township.

In return, they also invited Albay, especially the APSEMO, to provide technical advice on post-earthquake rehabilitation and the formulation of the Nepal DRR law, especially since RA 10121 was based on the Albay model. (PNA) CTB/FGS/CBD

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Bicolanos back BBL passage for lasting peace in Mindanao
By Connie B. Destura

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 26 (PNA) -- Citizens of the province expressed support for the enactment of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) at a forum in La Roca Veranda in the city.

The BBL forum conducted over the weekend which was attended by 300 participants in the province aimed to provide a platform for an informed and programmatic conversation where accurate information may be shared as well as apprehensions and concerns that might affect the interests of the general public about the bill."If we can have peace here, why they can’t have it in Mindanao?," said Liza Grajo, a participant from Tabaco City.

Kathline Tolosa, forum convenor, said the proposed measure has already been taken up in both Houses of Congress.

Tolosa also stressed the need to understand the status of BBL. She said the first objective is to bring to the people the facts behind the proposal to create the bill after 17 years of negotiations between the Philippine Government panel and the representatives of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Meanwhile, Tolosa denied reports that the BBL is being pushed because of the controversial Mamasapano encounter.

“There is no truth that BBL was introduced due to the controversial Mamasapano tragedy,“ she said, adding that the issue on the Bangsamoro is not a concern of a certain organization or group alone, but it is the concern of all Filipinos. It is not a problem of Mindanao alone, which means that whatever conflict or concerns in the Mindanao region is also the concern of the entire country. We cannot take off as a nation, development-wise, if a huge part of the country is trapped in violence or conflict," she said.

The forum is a measure of the Security Response Initiative (SRI) and Bantay Bayanihan which aims to beef up information dissemination about the context and essence of the BBL.

These are also the lead groups working on security reform issues to achieve peace, especially among marginalized and vulnerable sectors of society.

Albay is the 10th site which was made as a venue for the said forum organized by the said groups.

“The entry point of lasting peace is the BBL. The cost of war is expensive, that is why in this peace process we have the opportunity to move away from conflict,” Tolosa claimed. (PNA) LGI/BNB/FGS/CBD/EBP

Legazpi City holds three-day ADR awareness roadshow
By Connie B. Destura

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 26 (PNA) --The Department of Justice (DOJ) is holding here its three-day public awareness road show on efforts regarding alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

The event is an initiative of the Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution (OADR), a DOJ attached agency.

The roadshow, which started Wednesday and will last until Friday, aims to promote, develop and expand the use of ADR through information, education, communication and policy formulation as well as monitor, study and evaluate the use of ADR by both the private and public sectors.

Higher education institutions from the province, whose students are currently attending the event, include Aquinas University, Bicol College School of Law and Bicol University.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is any process or procedure used to resolve a dispute or controversy, other than by adjudication of a presiding judge of a court or an officer of a government agency, in which a neutral third party participates to assist in the resolution of issues.

"The advantage of using ADR in our country is that it would reduce cost and time in the resolution of conflicts/ disputes. It will mean less stress because it avoids long litigation," said Rafael Villanueva, officer-in-charge of the DOJ-OADR Public Information and Promotion Division.

She Miraflor, a student of the Bicol College School of Law found the forum informative and interesting.

"It is very informative, being a law student, my friends and relatives always ask my opinion in terms of conflicts and disputes. Traditionally, we will go to court and file complaint, now we can undergo ADR, less stress and less expensive," she said.

As part of the outreach program of her school, Miraflor said they go to remote places in Daraga and other neighboring municipalities to conduct information dissemination on ADR and how the people could use the program of the government.

The roadshow started in Baguio, Davao and is now in Legazpi and will proceed to other cities and provinces that will be hubs of ADR.

Under ADR, there are many forms that the party litigants may choose. These include arbitration, mediation, conciliation, early neutral evaluation, mini-trial or any combination of the said methods.

However there are cases which cannot be subjected to ADR. These include labor disputes covered by PD No. 442 , otherwise known as the “Labor Code of the Philippines, as amended”, and its implementing rules and regulations, cases regarding the civil status of persons, the validity of marriage, any ground for legal separation, the jurisdiction of courts, future legitime, criminal liability and those disputes which by law cannot be compromised.

The OADR conducts training, accreditation for future ADR champions for free.(PNA) RMA/BNB/FGS/CBD