Friday, April 28, 2017

DOLE, DTI link up for job, business fairs
By Gina V. Rodriguez

LEGAZPI CITY, April 27 -- Jobseekers can expect both employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in the new concept of a “job cum business fair” come Labor Day here in the Bicol region.

“The concept, which is expressed in the ‘Trabaho, Negosyo at Kabuhayan’ or TNK caravan, will bring together the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Bicol and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in providing an array of decent work and business opportunities,” said Atty. Ma. Karina P. Trayvilla, DOLE-Bicol director.

She cited that the TNK concept is more than the filling up of available vacancies and hiring of jobseekers on the spot as was the norm in the previous years’ job fairs.

Trayvilla, in an interview, said this year’s fair would include the “Go Negosyo” concept on the setting up of a business and showcase DOLE’s livelihood-assisted projects.

She said the Legazpi City and Naga City TNK caravans would have around “2,000 plus solicited job vacancies” with 30 local firms, 10 overseas and 7 government agencies providing job openings to job applicants in the job fairs.

DOLE-Bicol through the tri-media in the region has announced to the public that the Albay and Sorsogon leg of the TNK caravan will be at the Pacific Mall in Legazpi City on May 1 while the Camarines Sur leg of the caravan will be at at SM City in Naga City on May 2 and 3.

On April 26, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) was signed by officials of DOLE-Bicol, DTI and its other partners for the conduct of the job and business fairs adopting the TNK concept.

Trayvilla signed in behalf of DOLE-Bicol while a representative of DTI-Albay Provincial Director Rodrigo Aguilar signed in his behalf.

The two agencies’ other partners in promoting the TNK caravan who signed the MOA were officials from the People Management Association of the Philippines or PMAP-Bicol chapter, Junior Chamber International or JCI-Legazpi, Pacific Mall Corp.-Legazpi and ABS-CBN South Luzon.

The MOA specified that under the TNK concept DTI will take the lead in the “Negosyo” component by featuring successful local enterpreneurs and the giving of advice on business options that are specific to the locality.

Aside from this, the DTI booths will provide information on how government support could be secured in starting a business, preparing a business plan and other concerns such as business registration, e-commerce, and SME (small, medium enterprise) support and assistance.

The MOA specified that the “Trabaho” and “Kabuhayan” components of the TNK caravan will feature DOLE’s services such as job fair, employment coaching, provision of training and starter kits and the “one-stop-service center.”

Trayvilla said the blueprint for the so-called “employment and entrepreneurship partnership” from 2017 to 2022 was signed by DOLE and DTI on December 2, 2016.

The partnership agreement, guidelines for which was issued by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on April 5 this year, “aims to achieve full employment at 5 percent unemployment rate by creating 7.5 million jobs” mainly in the “key employment generating sectors,” said the MOA.

These key sectors are in the manufacturing, agri-business, construction, tourism, IT-BPM, transportation and logistics, and retail trade, added the MOA. (PNA)

5 Legazpi cooperatives with PHp3-M annual income inspire 'micro-cooperatives'
By Emmanuel P. Solis

LEGAZPI CITY, April 27 (PNA) —- A top executive of the Cooperative Development Office (CD0) in this city has cited the success stories of five top-grossing cooperatives from among the 70 cooperatives in Legazpi City for showing annual incomes of PHP3 million and above.

City Cooperative Development Officer Gina Marie Belches cited the five to serve as an inspiration to participants attending a two-day seminar on “Capability-building for Micro Cooperatives” held in this city in partnership with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).

“They were given an award by CDA-Bicol as the top 5 grossers because they recorded an income of PHP3 million above annually,” she said.

Mayor Noel E. Rosal told officers of the cooperatives, who gathered for the two-day event, which started on April 27, that the city administration and CDA always support the projects of the cooperatives.

“This will improve the economic activities in different villages and will be one way of generating more employment opportunities to address the poverty problem in the communities,” he said.

Belches said the top five grossers are among the 54 cooperatives in the city which could be deemed as “functional and operational” from among 70 registered cooperatives in Legazpi City.

The five top grossers are the Legazpi City Government Employees Welfare Association Multi-Purpose Cooperative or LECIGEWA-MPC, Department of Interior and Local Government or DILG Development Cooperative, Legazpi City Division Credit Cooperative, Cathedral Parish Credit Cooperative (serving parishes in the diocese of Legazpi) and Bicol University Multi-Purpose Cooperative.

Belches said all the registered cooperatives here also render social services for people in the community such as the “Clean and Green program.”

“They also serve in the feeding program for pupils enrolled in the city’s Day Care Centers,” she added.

Belches said CDO will also conduct trainings on financial management, record management and strategic planning workshops for the officers and members of the registered cooperatives to enhance their know-how on cooperative management.

She noted that different cooperatives operating in this city have been categorized into “small, medium, large and micro.”

Belches said the small cooperatives operate with a capital of at least PHP3 million up to PHP 15 million while the medium cooperatives operate with a capital of PHp50 million.

“The large coops have a capital of PHp100 million and above compared to the so-called ‘micro cooperatives’ which have a capital of PHp3 million and below,” she added. (PNA)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

ASEAN agri engineers share notes to spur 'modern farms' in PHL conference
By Emmanuel P. Solis

LEGAZPI CITY, April 27 —- Agricultural engineers from the Philippines and two other ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries are in this city this week for a series of conferences seeking to help enhance the productivity of Filipino farmers so the country can attain food security.

“Always support the implementation of Republic Act 10601 or the Agricultural and Fisheries Mechanization Law,” Dr. Marife Pesino, president of the Philippine Society of Agricultural Engineers (PSAE), told participants to the event, that included her counterparts from Indonesia and Malaysia.

She said the law urges the use of modern and cost-effective machineries to prevent among other things “crop losses” in Philippine farms that would ultimately benefit both the agriculture and fisheries sectors.

The week-long gathering spearheaded by PSAE focuses on how “agricultural and biosystems engineers” could become “prime movers in developing and managing appropriate technologies for food security.”

Officers from PSAE chapters nationwide, including PSAE-Bicol, and the Board of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering represented the country in the event while delegates from the Malaysian Society of Agricultural Engineers and Indonesian Society of Agricultural Engineers lent their expertise to the gathering.

Legazpi City Mayor Noel E. Rosal through city public information officer Menjo Ofracio, welcomed delegates to the “four-in-one” event being held at the Legazpi City Convention Center from April 23 to 29.

The four events marked during the gathering are the-- 28th Philippine Agricultural Engineering Week; 67th PSAE annual national convention; 14th international agricultural engineering conference and exhibition; and 3rd Southeast Asian agricultural engineering student chapter annual regional convention.

Rosal commended all the agricultural engineers whom he said have helped the agricultural industry in developing farming methods that are “climate-resilient,” sustainable, safe and environment friendly.

“Through the methods and equipment designed by the agricultural engineers, the agricultural production of our farmers has improved and reduced the crop losses from damaged fields,” he said.

Among the topics discussed in the conferences was “Agricultural Engineering Management and Development Extension Program in Malaysia” by Nurhayati Binti Maarof.

Professor Lilik Sutiarso discussed the “strategy direction on the development of appropriate agricultural and biosystems engineering technology for supporting the food sovereignty program” in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, Professor Emeritus Dr. Mikio Umeda talked about “advanced farm mechanization in the Philippines” while Orlando Cablayan explained the “development of appropriate technology in irrigation systems in the Philippines.”

Pesino had emphasized during the conferences that in helping enhance farm productivity in the Philippines, food security will not only be attained but farmers will be assured of an “increase in their incomes.”

Rosal, in an interview, stressed the important role of the agricultural engineers as the “key persons in planning and analyzing agricultural operations.”

He added agricultural engineers develop the methods and design the equipment for land preparation, proper planting and harvesting.

Rosal also reflected on the important role of the conference in terms of promoting a one ASEAN community as the “ASEAN engineers are able to show cooperation” to hasten countryside development among the member countries of the 50-year-old regional organization.

Ambassadors to ASEAN of all 10 ASEAN member countries are currently conducting a series of official meetings that will culminate with the 30th ASEAN Summit on April 29.

They are set to meet anew before the year ends, the Philippines being the chairman of the 2017 ASEAN summit. (PNA)

Bicol police chief orders probe on 121 shooting cases in 4 months
By Jorge Hallare

LEGAZPI CITY, April 26 (PNA) —- The head of the Police Regional Office in Bicol (PRO5) on Wednesday ordered the Regional Investigation Division or R7 to investigate the cases of shooting incidents in the Bicol region, that to date have reached 121 from January to April this year, said an official of PRO5.

“Chief Supt. Melvin Ramon Buenafe, director of PRO 5, has ordered the Regional Investigation Division or R7 headed by Sr. Supt.Ronald Briones to investigate the 121 shooting incidents recorded in the region from January 1 to April 26,” according to Sr. Insp. Ma. Luisa Calubaquib, PRO5 spokesperson.

She said part of the investigation would find out if the incidents were drug-related or if loose firearms were used.

Of the 121 cases, 108 involved male victims while 13 were female, according to Calubaquib.

“There were 71 killed, 38 wounded while 12 others were unharmed in the shooting incidents,” she added.

Calubaquib said Masbate province topped the list with 43 cases, followed by Albay-28, Camarines Sur-22, Sorsogon-15, Camarines Norte-10, Naga City Police Office-2 and Catanduanes-1.

She said probers are also looking into those hours when when the shooting incidents occurred.

“Did they occur when there were not so many people around?” she added.

R7’s data showed 14 percent of the 121 cases occurred between 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. while another 10 percent, at 10 p.m.

The same records showed 8.5 percent occurred from 9-9:30 a.m.; 8 percent from 12 to 1 p.m.; 8 percent from 9-9:30 p.m.; and 7 percent from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

R7 added that 6 percent occurred at 1:30 a.m. while 4.6 percent happened from 2:30-3:30 p.m.

"We are still investigating why these incidents occurred within these period of time, who are these victims, who are the suspects and the motive behind these cases,” said Calubaquib.

She said many factors are being considered in the investigation but all the possibilities must be known so the cases could be solved and to “preempt” an increase in the number of victims. (PNA)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

NNC prioritizes areas with 'stunting, wasting' in 6-year action plan
By Connie B. Destura

LEGAZPI CITY, April 25 (PNA) —- The head of the National Nutrition Council (NNC) in Bicol said they have prioritized certain areas, where the local government units will be mobilized to help address “stunting” and “wasting,” which are among the nutrition issues being addressed by the agency in the plan of action it has mapped out in the next six years.

Arlene R. Reario, head of NNC in Bicol, said its plan of action, also known as the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition or PPAN from 2017 to 2022, has noted that malnutrition among children under five years old is a major concern.

“Malnutrition includes high levels of ‘stunting’ and ‘wasting’ for the under-five years of age, and those underweight and overweight-for-height (in the same age group),” she said.

According to nutrition policy makers and planners, stunting occurs when a child has a short height for his age while wasting is when a child has low weight for his age.

“PPAN 2017-2022 has prioritized the areas where there is greater magnitude of stunting and wasting,” said Reario.

She said this would mean that the local government units in these areas would be mobilized to help NNC in its action plan.

NNC-Bicol data showed that in 2015 the prevalence of stunting in the Bicol region was 40.2 percent which was 6.8 percent higher than the nationwide stunting of 33.4 percent.

As to wasting, NNC-Bicol records showed that in 2015 the prevalence of wasting in Bicol was at 8.2 percent compared to the nationwide rate of 7.1 percent.

In 2016, NNC has also recorded the top 20 municipalities in the region which have a high prevalence of underweight children: 10 in Camarines Sur; 4-Masbate; 4-Catanduanes; 1-Albay; 1-Sorsogon; and no town recorded in Camarines Norte.

Reario said aside from malnutrition, NNC’s PPAN from 2017 to 2022 has listed the six other nutrition problems prevalent in the country.

These are deficiencies in vitamin A, iron and iodine; hunger and food insecurity; overweight and obesity; maternal nutrition; poor infant and young child feeding; and exclusive breastfeeding.

Reario noted that NNC’s action plan is consistent with the health agenda of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte whose battle cry is “All for health towards health for all.” (PNA)

DOLE-Bicol showcases 'puto' maker in livelihood program competition
By Gina V. Rodriguez

LEGAZPI CITY, April 25 (PNA) -- A “puto” (rice cake) maker from remote Barangay (village) Balza in Malinao, Albay, who has helped other villagers in her community earn a living as well, is a contender of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Bicol in the agency’s nationwide search for “most successful livelihood beneficiary in the individual category.”

Raymond P. Escalante, DOLE-Bicol labor information officer, said the agency’s bet, Wilhelmina Reyes, is an enterprising and hardworking mother of four who ekes out a living making and selling puto, a native fare concocted from rice flour.

He said Reyes used to travel 15 kilometers from her house in Barangay (village) Balza to the nearest city in the province to avail of the services of a rice grinding machine so her rice could be turned into flour, the main ingredient of puto.

Escalante said those were the times when Reyes had to do everything by hand and start at the crack of dawn.

“With only her hands and some from her family, time in puto production has always been the enemy,” he said.

Escalante said Olga Ludovice, livelihood focal person of DOLE Albay Provincial Office, said Reyes had recounted that her travel of 15 kms is equivalent to taking a 30-minute full packed jeepney ride.

“The ride from Balza to the city four times a week can be tiring but I do not have any choice,” Reyes told Ludovice.

Reyes said she had to endure the difficulties because she has four mouths to feed.

In December 2014, however, Reyes was chosen as one of the beneficiaries of DOLE’s Integrated Livelihood Program or DILP and was awarded a heavy duty grinding machine that cost PHp13,500. ,p>The livelihood grant resulted in increased production and increased income for Malinao’s puto maker.

Ludovice said out of the increased income, Reyes has managed to buy a generator set and a motor vehicle. The generator set aided in the production especially during those times that power in Reyes’ area was intermittent.

“The grant made a big difference and helped the puto business grow,” Reyes told Ludovice.

Aside from the added machineries and tools, Reyes was also able to generate jobs by way of extending on consignment basis to 20 puto vendors in Barangay Balza.

Ludovice said from Php400 a day, Reyes’ income increased to PHp1,000 a day due to the DILP grant.

Escalante said before Reyes was chosen as bet for the nationwide search, she was honored by DOLE-Bicol as one of the best and most successful entrepreneurs in the Bicol region in its "2016 Oragon Awardees." (PNA)