Thursday, August 17, 2017

PMA urged Bicolanos to take entrance exam

LEGAZPI CITY – The Philippine Military Academy urged Bicolanos to take the PMA entrance examination on August 20, Sunday as the first step in a military career, according to Major Angel Valenzuela.

Valenzuela, PMA head proctor team in an interview Wednesday said, an applicant must be natural born Filipino citizen, who are 17-21 years old, with a minimum height of 5 ft. both for male and female, physically fit and of good moral character, single and has never been married and high school graduate. Grade 12 senior high school students may take the exam provided that they graduate before April 1, 2018, said.

Application can be done online through

PMA entrance exam is set on Aug. 20 2017, Sunday at the Naval Station Julhasan Arasain, the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Naval Forces Southern Luzon (NAVFORSOL) in Barangay Rawis, the site of the regional government center for Bicol, Valenzuela said.

Examination permits will be sent through mail to the address given by the applicants in their application forms.

Applicants who applied by mail but did not receive a permit or notice can verify if they are qualified to take the exam by checking the master list for online applicants.

Those who are in the list can proceed to the exam center on examination day
We will accomodate walk-in applicants on Sunday, Valenzuela added.
On the exam day, applicants must bring a photocopy of birth certificate and grades, 2 x 2 ID picture, valid ID, preferably school or drivers license and at least two pencils (No.2).

The exam will cover algebra and geometry, grammar, composition, reading and comprehension and verbal/numerical reasoning and pattern analysis.
They are entitled to free college education with a well-rounded curriculum, monthly salary and allowances, guaranteed job after graduation and progressive career as an officer in the Army, Navy or Air Force, Valenzuela  added.

As of press time, 95 applicants are already in the list, these applicants are from Sorsogon, Albay, Catanduanes and Masbate, while applicants from Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur will take the exam at University of Nueva Caceres.

 Successful applicants will compose the PMA Class 2022. (Connie Destura/PNA)

Ibalong Fest organizers cancel flying lantern event due to call by environment group
By Connie Destura

LEGAZPI CITY — The organizers of the 4th Annual sky lantern flying activity have decided today to cancel the event after was met with strong opposition by a environmentalists group as well as the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), according to project chairperson City Councilor Lilian Ramirez. 

The sky lantern is an event to promote the 26th Ibalong Festival a yearly revelry that depicts Bicol’s cultural heritage where some 300 flying lanterns were to be released tonight at the Legazpi Boulevard here, Ramirez said. 
Ramirez in an interview said the cancellation of the activity was mainly due to the non-issuance of a permit by the BFP because according to the agency the falling materials from the lantern could “constitutes open burning, ” particularly in residential areas whose house are made of light materials. 

Although, the sky lantern is made of biodegradable materials due to the unpredictability of the wind and weather condition it can pose a threat to houses, saying “ this is what we don’t like to happen, as we give priority concern to the safety of everyone,” Ramirez said. 

She said since this event is a fund raising campaign the people who bought tickets to this event will be refunded by the organizer. 

The releasing of sky lantern dub as “The Wave Your Wish” is an event that symbolizes the flying lanterns that stand for positivity - promoting self-enlightenment, releasing of one’s deepest fears and desires, it is a symbolic cleansing, letting go of everything that troubles you and hope – we are already on our 4th year this activity, Ramirez said. 

The lantern is made of metal free environmentally friendly paper that will be powered by an attached fuel cell (made of paper wax) which is very safe to use, the lantern is 100% biodegradable, Ramirez added. 

Roden Galicha of the Bataris website of the Greenpeace has asked the officials of the Ibalong Festival executive committee to take out in its festival event the flying of the lantern as this activity is not good for the environment. 

He said “what goes up must come down,” the materials such paper, wires and candles that fall might be dangerous to houses made of light materials. 

Nonie Enolva, Bureau of Fisher and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Bicol spokesperson in an interview said she supports the claim of the Greenpeace saying “We cannot defy the rule of gravity, that everything that goes up must come down--- and for sure some of those lanterns will end up either in the sea or in the land.

She said the fallen materials from the flying lantern can also be mistaken for food by marine wildlife. (PNA)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

CSC Bicol set reminders to prospective public servants

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 01– The Civil Service Commission (CSC) regional office here has issued set of reminders for 7,563 examinees taking the Career Service Examination Paper-and-Pencil Test (CSE-PPT) scheduled on Sunday, August 6.

CSC-Bicol spokesperson Lynbee Navio, in an interview today, said their office released the "10 Things To Know If You're an Examinee" that is aimed at helping prospective public servant before taking the exam.

The reminders are: know your room number and school assignments at least one week before the examination through CSC RO V's Room assignment Inquiry System (; second have an ocular inspection of the assigned school/testing venue at least one day before the examination; third, during the examination day be at the assigned school early for verification and locating of the room assignment--- all testing venues shall be open to examinees at 6:00AM; and fourth, wear proper attire on examination day (sleeveless shirt/blouse, short pants and slippers are not allowed.

Examinees are also reminded to bring the following: (1) ID Card (2) Original PSA-issued Birth Certificate, (3) Application Receipt with CSC official receipt (if available) (4) black ballpen/s. and (5) water or preferred beverage place in clear/transparent bottle.

Use of any aid (calculators, cellular phones, smart watches, tablets, etc) is strictly prohibited, the CSC-issued reminders said. Bringing of cellular/mobile phones, smart watches and other gadgets is NOT allowed--if brought, these shall be surrendered to the Room Examiner for safekeeping, it added

“Failure to take the examination shall mean forfeiture of examination fee and slot, re-scheduling of examination date is NOT allowed,” the same set of reminders stressed.

Gates of testing venues shall be closed to examinees at exactly 7:30AM on examination day. Examinees who will arrive later than 7:30AM shall NOT be admitted and Lastly, access and read the Examinee's Guide in Taking Civil service Examination Pen and Paper test which can be downloaded through the link

Navio said that there are 2,488 in Albay; 1891in Camarines Sur; 782 in Camarines Norte; 971in Catanduanes; 775 in Masbate, and 656 in Sorsogon.

The testing center for examinees from Sorsogon, Albay and Masbate will be in Legazpi City, while those coming from Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte will take the examinations at the testing center in Naga City, and examinees from Catanduanes will be in Virac, she said.

The CSE-PPT is a general ability test designed to measure an individual’s preparedness to enter government service. Passers, who get a score of 80 percent or higher, are conferred a Career Service Eligibility, a basic requirement to obtain permanent appointment in government. (Connie Destura/PNA)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Bicol to abide by 4 protocols for responsible mining

LEGAZPI CITY, July 31 -- Follow the law, protect the environment, caring for the people, and providing social and economic activity in the community are the essence of responsible mining, this according to an official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)in Bicol.

Engr. Guillermo “Danny” Molina, regional director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB-DENR,) in an interview Monday, said environment protection, accountability, sustainability, and rehabilitation are the basic factors in responsible mining operations.

“Should a mining entity fail to follow these procedures, they have no business in engaging in this venture,” Molina said.

The MGB Bicol executive said responsible mining operation was the center of discussion during the recently held 4th Bicol Mining Summit here where members of the Philippine Society of Mining Engineers (PSEM)shared their respective best practices in the field of mining that would make the industry more resilient and strong amid the challenges and adversities.

As the summit members of the PSEM expressed support on Pres. Duterte’s call for the industry to indeed engage in responsible mining, Molina said.

Earlier, Pres. Duterte in a press statement called on the mining companies to shape up or face possible closure once they continue to destroy the environment.

Serge Gacad, PSEM past president, said under the law, mining operations follow four stages, which include exploration, construction, actual mining operation, and rehabilitation.

Gacad said in the new mining law, “there would be no responsible mining process when there is no rehabilitation.”

“The sins of the past, we allow mining to operate in 25 to 50 years, then we wait for them to rehabilitate the area after 50 years leaving the mine site bare,” Gacad said.

He, however, said that under the new mining law, miners are required to undertake “progressive mining,” which calls on miners to start rehabilitation while undertaking extraction, construction, and actual mining operation.

He cited Rio Tuba Mining in Palawan where the mining firm was given a citation for responsible mining practice.

Progressive mining rehabilitation should be included in every mining plan and before a mining project is implemented a consultation process should be presented to various stakeholders, the local government units (LGU) and ther host community.

As this developed, Albay Representative Joey Salceda plans to increase the excise tax on mining from 2 percent to 10 percent, this according to him would generate more income for the government.

Salceda, one of the country’s top economists, in an emailed statement said the proposed increase would raise higher tax returns for the government while the host LGU and community would receive substantial earnings from the mining entity operating in the area.

In Bicol, there are only three mining companies operating -- the Masbate Gold Project operated by Filminera, Aroroy town in Masbate; Mayon Cement Plant in Camalig, Albay; and, the Perlite Mining in barangay Lamba, this city.

The Rapu-Rapu Gold Mine Project in Rapu-Rapu, an island town in Albay, has been decommissioned and currently undergoing rehabilitation, Molina said.

MGB data indicated that the mining industry contributes only about 0.6 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product or GDP.

MGB reports indicated that the country is the fifth most mineral-rich country in the world for gold, nickel, copper, and chromite, with an estimated USD840 billion worth of untapped mineral resources.

About 30 million hectares of land area in the Philippines are possible areas for metallic minerals.

The metal deposit in the Philippines is estimated at 21.5 billion metric tons and non-metallic minerals are at 19.3 billion metric tons.(Mar Arguelles/PNA)

Newly constructed Legazpi City’s skate park opens

LEGAZPI CITY, July 31 -- The members of the Legazpi City Council have enacted an ordinance regulating the use, operation and maintenance of the newly constructed skate park located in front of the Albay Gulf at the southern boulevard in Barangay Dap-dap in this city.

City Councilor Vince Baltazar III, principal author of the ordinance, said this local law would serve as an instrument for the safety of all the BMX riders including those who want to play non-motorized scooters and roller skating at this newly constructed standard play court.

“All the riders who want to use this park should first register at the logbook before entering the court and they should wear a safety gear such as helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, appropriate footwear and other sporting attire to ensure the safety and protection of all the bikers--- however, those bikers below 12 years old must be accompanied by their parents or guardians”, Baltazar said.

Any act of bullying as well as smoking, drinking liquor and other forms of alcohol are strictly prohibited.

The city administration will assign personnel to handle the operation of the park and it will be used by the bikers daily except Monday morning and it will only be closed if there is weather disturbances, Baltazar said.

He said that based on the ordinance, any persons who violate this law shall be fined PHP1,000.00 for each offense and the penalty fee shall be collected by the personnel assign at the skate park and be deposited to the trust fund of the city administration for the purpose of youth and sports development.

The newly constructed skate park will be used as the venue for the First Mayor Noel E. Rosal Skate and BMX Tournament to be participated in by different group of bikers across the region including Metro Manila this August 19 and 20 as part of the sporting events of the Ibalong Festival 2017.

The tournament will be divided in different categories.

The winners in the BMX Class A category (Professionals) will receive PHP7, 000 plus trophy 1st prize; the 2nd prize will receive PHP5,000 while the 3rd prize will receive PHP3,000.

The winners in the BMX Class B category (Beginners) will receive PHP5,000 plus trophy 1st prize; while the 2nd prize will receive PHP3,000 and the 3rd prize will receive PHP1,500.

In the Flat Land Challenge category, the winners will receive PHP3,000 plus Trophy 1st prize while the 2nd prize will receive PHP2,000 and the 3rd prize will receive PHP1,500.

In the Scooter Challenge Category, the winners will receive PHP2,000 plus Trophy 1st prize, the 2nd prize will receive PHP1,500 and the 3rd prize will receive PHP1,000.

In the skate class A category (Professionals) the winners will receive PHP7,000 plus Trophy for the 1st prize while the 2nd prize will receive PHP5,000 and the 3rd prize will receive PHP3,000.

In the Skate class B category (Beginners) the winners will receive PHP5,000 plus trophy, the 2nd prize will receive PHP3,000 and the 3rd prize will receive PHP1,500. (Emmanuel Solis/PNA)

South Luzon media summit to tackle ethics, fake news

LEGAZPI CITY, July 31 -- The Kapisanan ng mga Broadcaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) Camarines Sur together with 9ID Press Corps (Bicol Defense Correspondents) will be holding the South Luzon Media Summit on August 3 and 4, at Villa Caceres Hotel, Magsasay Avenue in Naga City, to invite all media practitioners, station managers and information officers of different provinces, said program coordinator Ruel Saldico.

In an interview on Monday, Saldico said the summit would aim for the participants to understand and to reorient themselves on the responsibilities of a media practitioners and to maintain the objectivity and integrity in the delivery of news materials.

Saldico also said that the alarming situation of slowly undermining the integrity of journalism as profession, the proliferation of fake news through various digital media platforms are some of the important topics that would be discussed.

"It should be our aim to prevent becoming victims of fake news, to understand the role as information officers, media professionals and to augment the government policy in this issues", Saldico added.

We are expecting 100 to 120 participants from Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Sorsogon, Catanduanes and Albay, all in Bicol region and Calamba, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon (CALABARZON) area, Saldico said.

Topics to be discussed are: The Vital Role and Ethics of Mass Media and Addressing Issues on Current Public Information.

Speakers for the summit are Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares, Senate Chairman on Committee on Public Information and Mass Media; Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, House of Representatives Committee on Public Information chairman; 3rd District Camarines Sur Rep. Gabriel Bordado and Angelo Palmones, former news manager of ABS-CBN, DZMM. (Connie Destura/PNA)