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Municipality of Bulan Sorsogon-News updates


Bulan Jobs Fair set on October 24

Hundreds of job-seekers have now registered with the PESO office for the forthcoming Bulan Jobs Fair on October 24 sponsored by the Department of Labor and Employment and the Local Govrnment Unit of Bulan and the different POEA-registered and accredited recruitment agencies.

The Jobs Fair aims to help qualified jobseekers for work overseas, and to mitigate the unemployment problem of many Filipinos.

Mayor De Castro has intensely pursued the conduct of this Jobs Fair in Bulan, thru her PESO office, so as to help many Bulanenos to job placements here and abroad.


Bulan, Sorsogon – In what appears to be the biggest gathering of participants thus far, the Local Government Unit, through the Office of the Mayor and the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) are now preparing for the forthcoming Pista sa Kabubudlan 2009 to be held at the Bulan Ecological Park (Ecopark) on the first Friday and Saturday of October.

Several thousands of participants from all walks of life, especially from the youth sector, the schools, the barangays and from different organizations and sectors, will once more troop to Barangay Calomagon where the Ecopark is located to particiapate in different ecological activities, to be highlighted by a massive tree planting event in the 14.5 hectare-area.

This will be the fifth consecutive time this event is held since it was first launched in 2005 by the incumbent Mayor Helen C. De Castro, one of whose programs was on Environment Preservation and Protection.

The event will feature several festive activities which include environment film-showings, ecology seminars on recycling and re-use, concerts, disco-dancing, overnight camping, a Holy Mass and other religious activities, a Mutya ng Kalikasan Search, Laro ng Lahi, games and funfare, and the Tree-planting activity.

This year, several government agencies outside of Bulan, including Mayors from other towns will come to observe the Pista.

The Pista sa Kabubudlan and the Ecopark are part of the Mayor’s Environment Programs. The Ecopark was once a garbage site and the mayor was responsible for converting it to an Ecopark. Now it is part of the DILG Replication Program or GO-FAR Program for other LGUs to follow.

Bulan Town has been a consistent recipient of many awards and recognitions for its novel and trailblazing environment programs, among them the Gawad Pangulo sa Kapaligiran, as National Finalist from 1996-1999, Saringgaya Awards in 2007, Outstanding LGU for Solid Waste Mangement Program in 2008 and as GO-FAR Model LGU in 2008.

The MENRO is responsible for preparing all the activities for this year’s Pista. (PIO-Bulan)

LGU Bulan Regional, Provincial winner of CSC Best Brigada Ahensiya Search

The Local Government Unit of Bulan bested all other LGUs and other government agencies in the whole province and the Bicol Region when it bagged this year’s search by the Civil Service Commission for Best Brigada Ahensiya.

LGU Bulan submitted as its entry the Bulan Ecopark Project showcasing the efforts of all LGU employees in launching, and sustaining the project which is under Mayor De Castro’s environment program.

The Search for Best Brigada Ahensiya was intended by the Regional Civil Service Commission, in celebration of its 109th anniversary, to recognize laudable and trailblazing projects initiated and sustained by government agencies’ employees which impacts not only upon the employees but to the community as well.

The Bulan Ecopark Project was first launched by Mayor de Castro, together with the municipal employees, in 2005, The employees were the first workers and tree planters in the area before it soon became a venue for the yearly and now known Pista sa Kabubudlan. Aside from this, LGU employees have been involved in various environment and ecological activities. These were added points for the LGU to win the search.

The awards ceremony is due on September 30. Mayor Baby De Castro and HRMO Gemma A. Marquez shall receive the awards in behalf of the LGU employees.

For next year’s search, the LGU employees have decided to adopt the Bulan Municipal Hospital, a provincial government-run facility, as their next pet project. They are planning to spruce up and beautify the physical surroundings of the hospital. By now they are due to set in place the 12 units of electric fans solicited from the Barangay Night celebration last May.

Mayor Baby De Castro leads Blood Donors during Blood Letting Ceremony

In a true show of leadership, Lady Mayor Helen De Castro was the first person to extend out her arm and led forty (40) other donors during a blood-letting ceremony held at the Sabang Community Park on September 11. This blood-letting activity was jointly sponsored by the BIMS, CHD ( Center for Health Development) and the LGU-RHU.

Members of the Bulan PNP, Criminology students from the Solis Institute of Technology, ordinary citizens shared their blood for free in a response to the call of the DOH, through the Provincial Health Office, to donate blood.

Blood donors have to be screened first before their offer is accepted to make sure that the blood they are donating is healthy. As a simple gesture of gratitude to the donors, the Local Government Unit gave the donors a flaming red T-shirt with the print, “Kaogmahan ko, Blood Donor Ako!”. They also partook of a very hearty Jollibee meal.

Meanwhile, at the Sangguniang Bayan Session Hall, the Municipal Blood Council was re-organized with Mayor De Castro as the chairman. They were also oriented on laws and regulations about the setting up of Blood Councils and other pertinent issues on blood donation.

BMPS Police Chief Orlina nominated to 2009 Lead PNP Award.

Bulan Municipal Police Station Chief Efren Ebrada Orlina was nominated by Mayor Helen C. De Castro to the First Lead PNP Award. sponsored by the Philippine National Police to recognize and commend police chiefs who have shown exemplary transformational leadership.

In a nomination letter sent by the Mayor to the PNP Regional Director, she cited the exemplary performance of Inspector Orlina since he was first assigned here in June 2008. Mayor De Castro reasoned out that Chief Orlina, by the reforms he instituted at the Bulan Station , has raised the morale of his policemen and at the same time gained the trust and confidence of the local populace. She also mentioned Chief Orlina’s community relations programs as having an impact on the community. Among these programs are his supplemental feedings to selected undernourished children in two barangays, a bonsai livelihood activity for OSYs, and his improvement of the physical facilities at the Station. Aside from these, the police has a radio program that is now followed by thousands of listening Bulanenos. Inspector Orlina has also built a very cordial and harmonious relationship with local officials to the point that many of his programs are now being supported by the LGU Inspector Orlina also advocates that it is not in the battlefields against criminals that you can be a good police chief but in winning the hearts of the people in a community.

The Lead PNP Award is a program of the PNP in accordance to its Integrated Transformation Program. A winner shall be selected at the Regional Level, and he shall automatically be qualified for the National Award. Three winners will be chosen and feted in December.

Bulan Basketball Team to join 2009 Kasanggayahan Tournament

The best among the best of basketball players in this basketball-crazy town has been picked to compose a powerhouse all-Bulaneno team that will see action in the Kasanggayahan tournament this coming October.

Picked out to represent the LGU-sponsored Bulan Team are Kid Carpio, Dennis Bienviaje, Roger Daliva, Rommel Hicap, Eric Falcon, Jovet Gomez, Jeric Gomez, Bobby Desquitado, Marcelo Abano, JM Jacob, Jay-ar Ortiz, Angelo Guelas, Jeffrey Giba.

The players are now into rigid training under the guidance of their coach Engr. Nonoy Gilbas. Another sponsor who serves as manager is Engr. Ronnie Gigantone.

The basketball tournament among Sorsogon towns has been a regular feature of the annual Kasanggayahan celebrating the Province’s foundation anniversary. Towns from Sorsogon province send in their best teams to compete against each other. Although each team is allowed to “import” two players, Bulan has consistently fielded an all-Bulaneno team and has always finished strongly in every competition.

The tournament will start on the first week of October.

Liga ng mga Barangay to sponsor 2010 Bulan Town Fiesta

Early preparations are now being made by the Liga ng Mga Barangay, an association of Bulan barangay officials, as they now formally tendered their offer to be next year’s Bulan Town Fiesta sponsor.

In a meeting on Friday, September 18, the Liga Executive Committee instructed the formation of different working committees that shall make the necessary planning and preparations for next year’s sponsorship.

It has already been a tradition in Bulan that the town fiesta is sponsored by organizations. Some of the organizations that already sponsored the town fiestas were the Berting’s Circle, the X Fraternity, the 3Ms Squires, the We, the Debonaires, the Aiders A Fraternity, the Gemini Sorority, the Puericulture Center. The Liga has already sponsored before.

In 2001, when Bulan celebrated its Bicentennial, the Local Government Unit sponsored a yearlong celebration. This year’s fiesta was undertaken by the X Fraternity,

The Liga ng mga Barangay is headed by Sta. Remedios barangay chairman Antonio “Toto” Vytiaco.

Sitio Taromata 2 and Sitio Kabungahan, Butag now energized.

Finally, the residents of Sitio Taromata 2 in Barangay Taromata and Sitio Kabungahan in Barangay Butag shall be able to enjoy the comfort brought about by electrification.

On July 14 this year, Congressman Joey Solis, Mayor Baby De Castro and the Soreco I officials, led by GM Robert Fortes, switched on the energy for the two sitios.

It can can be recalled that the Administration of Mayor Babay De Castro provided funds to assist Soreco I for the needed electric poles and cables. Follow-ups by Bulan SORECO Director Tito Guelas facilitated the energization.

In her messages to the residents of the two sitios, Mayor De Castro emphasized that leadership is indeed an imperative to make things work. Also, that leaders provide the groundwork for development but people themselves must do the work of development. She also exhorted the resident-consumers to do their share of complying with their obligations to the Cooperative.

Sorsogon Province, Bulan Town now Filariasis, Malaria-Free

It was a really proud and celebratory day on July 23 as DOH, through the Regional Health Office, declared Sorsogon Province, which includes Bulan Town, as Filariasis and Malaria-free areas.

Governor Sally Lee formally received from Dr. Jimmy Talahid of the DOH, a plaque officially declaring the province as free of these debilitating illnesses. Together with Governor Lee, town executives and their health officials also attended the ceremony. Stakeholders and sponsors of the health programs were also present to witness the affair and join the Sorsoguenos in their celebration.

The Filariasis and Malaria Elimination programs were jointly sponsored by the DOH, the World Vision, Peace and Equity Foundation, Glaxo-Smith Kline and the World Health Organization. Sorsogon is the 22nd out of 81 provinces declared as malaria-free, and the 2nd as filariasis free.

Governor Sally Lee, Regional Director Dr. Nestor Santiago and the other speakers echoed the same messages that despite the eradication of Filariasis and Malaria, Sorsoguenos must continue to battle other illnesses, and thus must be vigilant at all times.

Bulan LCR commended for satisfactory performance

The National Statistics Office (NSO) presented the Bulan Local Civil Registrar’s Office with a plaque of commendation for its very satisfactory performance as one of the offices which always comply on time all the requirements on civil registration.

The Local Civil Registrar is headed by Registrar Irma B. Ong. It can be remembered that LCR Bulan has been consistently lauded for good performance.

Civil Registration is a requisite in many aspects of a citizens life, from birth registration, marriage to death.

The Office of the Mayor also congratulated the LCR for its performance and exhorted other departments to emulate the awardee office.

Bulan MCDC provincial entry to the Regional Search for Best Performing Cooperative Development Council

The Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) of Sorsogon Province nominated the Bulan Municipal Cooperative Development Council to the Regional Search for Best Performing Cooperative Development Council, after it has been adjudged as the best performing in Sorsogon Province.

The search is intended to boost the performance of local councils on cooperative development aimed at strengthening cooperativism and the cooperative movement in each locality.

Former Board Member Joy Dellomas-Fundano, who has been appointed by Mayor De Castro as Municipal Coordinator of the MCDC pointed out that Bulan has a very big chance of making it as the best in Bicol on account of the dedicated efforts of many member cooperatives at truly attaining the objectives of the cooperative movement in Bulan.

The MCDC Officers are Melina Gerona of BUFAFIDECO, chairperson; Percy Borras of Berting’s Circle, vice chair; Madeleine Del Monte of the Municipal Agrarian Office, Secretary; Josefina Agustin of the Bulan Fish Brokers and Dealers Multipurpose Cooperative, treasurer; and, Auditor Edwin Zuniga of the Sorsogon Newsweek Development Cooperative.

BNCS Pupil is DepEd Division winner in storytelling

In many school contests anywhere in the the Region, or even in the whole country, Bulan students have always shown that great confidence and mettle.

Sheina Marie Villareal, Grade III pupil of the Bulan North Central School B, Bulan North District bested all others in the Division wide or provincewide contest on Masining na Pagkukuwento ( Storytelling) in the elementary level. Another pupil from Bulan, Mae Raquel Razo, Grade III of the Bulan South Central School also placed seventh.

The BNCS B team also won first place in Team Reading. Mayor De Castro sent her congratulation to the Bulan North District and the Bulan North Central School B for the feat.

Student Researchers rate the Bulan Integrated Terminal services as Very Satisfactory; LGU heeds recommendation on Terminal revenues

Student researchers of the Sorsogon State College Institute of Management and Information Technology (SSC-IMIT), in their undergraduate thesis entitled ” The Viability of the Bulan Central Terminal” rated the services of the facility as satisfactory to very satisfactory compared to the services provided by private terminals.

They however, also recommended that the LGU and the Terminal Management must also improve other measures in order to increase the income of the terminal as an economic enterprise.

The researches focused on convenience, comfort, peace and order, safety features, cleanliness and sanitation of the facility as the bases of their research.

It can be recalled that before the construction of the Bulan Terminal, passengers of Bulan and Masbate have to make do with underserved private terminals in the poblacion. Many of these private terminals did not have the necessary amenities and facilities for the passengers.

Mayor De Castro, in a gracious effort of recognizing the work of the students promised to increase the effort of the local government on the issue of terminal revenues.

As of this news, the Terminal Manager has already reported that because of the RORO operation and the influx of more vehicles to Bulan for the RORO, the revenues from the Terminal enterprise has now increased from 2.8 million to 3 million pesos this year.

The student researchers were Roschel Dela Rosa, Susan June L. Glina, Alarne Joy A. Gloriane, Analyn G. Guban, Rexz A. Garilao.

Seventeen LGU-TESDA Trainees pass National Competency Examination

There’s a big opportunity for work for seventeen young people, at least in Motorcycle/ Small Engine Servicing, when they passed the National Competency Examination given by TESDA in August this year.

The TESDA National Competency Examination is given to LGU-TESDA trainees after they have undergone short term technical training for livelihood. It can be recalled that 19 OSYs were trained jointly by LGU Bulan and TESDA on Motorcycle/Small Engine Servicing from March 16 to April 20 for an equivalent of 278 hours.

The Public Employment Service Office is the office coordinating with TESDA to facilitate these trainings which also form part of the Mayor’s Programs on livelihood and education.

LGU, Bulan Doctors, BHWs participate in PCSO Medical-Dental Mission

In a huge show of solidarity with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes medical-dental mission held on September 16 at Sabang Park, the Local Government Unit officials, the RHU, the BHWs and almost all medical practitioners of Bulan participated in helping the poorest of the poor in Bulan.

The medical-dental mission conducted by the PCSO is part of its nationwide campaign of reaching out to all communities in the country. They also brought medicines for distribution to needy patients.

Hundreds of people flocked to Sabang Park to avail for free the medical services.

Among those who participated from the LGU were Administrator Luis De Castro, Councilors Dondon De Castro, Joey Guban, Simmy Gerona. Councilor Dentist Jolife Dellomas volunteered as dentist.

Among the medical doctors and dentists who participated were Dr. Christy Palacio, Dr. Aurora Luzuriaga-Dorotan, Dr. Francisco Way-o Gillego, Dr. Peter Can, Dr. Jolife Dellomas, Dr. Mariel Rebustillo-Tan, Dr. Estrella Payoyo and Dr. Kates Rebustillo of the RHU. Barangay Health Workers also assisted in the mission. The Bulan PNP , as well as elements from the 509th PPMG provided for the security and order in the park.

Rains hamper repair of Northern barangays’ roads; Mayor pledges immediate work once there is good weather

Mayor De Castro visited the Northern barangays of Bulan on Sunday, Spetember 13, to look into the conditions of the roads which were destroyed by the floodings brought about by Storm Dante this year.

In a dialogue with the residents of the Barangays of Dolos, Calpi, Bical and Roxas, the lady mayor promised that once good weather comes in, the Municipal Heavy Equipment pool shall immediately commence the work on the roads that have caused so much difficulty upon the residents of these mountain barangays.She exhorted the residents to be more patient since the local government can only do so much depending upon the weather.

During the time of Ex-Mayor Guiming De Castro,these roads were opened. It was continuously attended to and maintained by the administtration of Mayor Baby De Castro, until several floods devastated the town. Due to the continuous rain over the last months, repair has been hampered. Because of this, many of the residents have to resort to riding the Habal-habals, or single motorcycles improvised to carry as many as seven passengers and can be dangerous to commuters.

The produce of these northern barangays are forest products , vegetables and fruits. It is also in Dolos where the Bulan water resevoir is located.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Department of Foreign Affairs-updates

Reports from Philippine Embassies and Consulates (As of 8 October 2009)

Posted: 08 Oct 2009 02:33 AM PDT


(AS OF 08 October 2009)

Kuala Lumpur PE
  • Post reported that 65 cases of A(H1N1) patients had been discharged from the hospitals, 177 patients have been confirmed and 26 of them are being treated at intensive care units.
  • There are no reported cases of Filipinos being infected by the virus.
Budapest PE
  • Post reported that no Filipino contracted the virus. In Hungary, there are 205 cases of A(H1N1) and 2 deaths.
  • Post reported that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Canada conducted the “Information Session on Canada’s Ongoing Preparedness for the H1N1 Flu Virus Pandemic” on 01 October 2009.
  • The session provided the participants of Canada’s planning guides in response to the pandemic and information on the availability of vaccine and antivirals to foreign nationals in Canada.
Oslo PE
  • Post has not received any report that a Filipino has been infected with the A(H1N1) virus. It will continue to monitor the developments under its jurisdiction.
Riyadh PE
  • A Circular was issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia requesting International and Domestic HAJJ Missions to create medical teams that will provide medical care to their pilgrims for any untimely event and to promote precautionary measures and to be informed of the functions of the health care system of the country.
Hong Kong PCG
  • Post reported that the Centre for Health Protection of the Hong Kong Department of Health recently adopted a new series of surveillance indicators for H1N1.



Ambassador Mercedes Arrastia- Tuason Presents Her Credentials to Pope Benedict XVI

Posted: 08 Oct 2009 02:26 AM PDT

PR-821-09, 8 October 2009 – The Philippine Embassy at the Vatican reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See Mercedes Arrastia-Tuason presented her credentials to Pope Benedict XVI on 2 October, during solemn ceremonies at the Papa I Residence in Castelgandolfo. She was accompanied by her family and Philippine Embassy personnel.

During her meeting with the Holy Father, the Ambassador conveyed the greetings of President Arroyo and the love of the Filipino people. She highlighted the gift of faith of the Filipinos, a gift which gave them the resilience to live with joy and hope in the midst of difficulties.

Ambassador Tuason expressed to the Holy Father her commitment to deepen the bilateral ties between the Philippines and the Holy See, particularly expressing the desire to strengthen collaboration on the area of interreligious dialogue and cooperation. Along this line, she expressed gratitude to the Holy Father for his special concern for peace in Mindanao and briefed him on the momentum gained in the peace process.

The Ambassador – who is a fervent “pro-life” advocate – gave emphasis to one value that strongly binds the Philippines and the Holy See: the respect and reverence for life.

Pope Benedict XVI, in his address, asked the Ambassador to convey to President Arroyo and “to all the beloved Filipino people” the assurance of his “spiritual closeness and prayers, especially for the victims of typhoon Ketsana.”

As he pointed to the “excellent diplomatic relations” between the Philippines and the Holy See, the Holy Father expressed the hope that the “spirit of goodwill … will enkindle a fresh desire to work together so that justice and freedom go hand-in-hand, and that democratic principles be grounded in truth.”

The Holy Father noted the various development initiatives in the Philippines and expressed confidence that our country “will draw upon all her resources – spiritual as well as material- so that her citizens may flourish in body and soul.” He further stated that “the struggle against poverty calls far honesty, integrity, and an unwavering fidelity to the principles of justice, especially on the part of those directly entrusted with the offices of governance and public administration.”

In commending the steps being taken in the Philippines to foster reconciliation and mutual understanding, the Holy Father stated that the Special Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation far Peace and Development which the country will host in December “holds out the promise of advancing peace in Mindanao and throughout the world.”

After her presentation to the Holy Father at Castelgandolfo, the Ambassador and her entourage proceeded to Vatican City to meet with the Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone. Then she visited the St. Peter’s Basilica, where she prayed in the chapels of the Blessed Sacrament and of the image of the Blessed Virgin, and before the tomb of St. Peter. END



Livelihood Program Launched for OFWs in Brunei Darussalam

Posted: 08 Oct 2009 02:21 AM PDT

PR-820-09, 8 October 2009 – The Department of Foreign Affairs received a report from Philippine Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Alexander B. Yano that the Philippine Embassy recently launched a series of Livelihood Program for OFWs, notably “Sushi and Salad Making” aimed at providing skills to OFWs that would enable them to prepare/cook for their families or even venture into food business like “sushi”.

This program was initiated by the Welfare Section of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office of the Philippine Embassy, and funded by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.

Ms. Anna Rhodora Sta. Maria Quiambao acted as the resource person during this training where a total 37 participants registered, which included professional teachers, architect, business managers, construction workers, kitchen and household workers, among others, Welfare Officer Zenaida Ramos reported. The course methodologies adopted were basic lecture on how to make sushi and salad, video presentation and hands-on sushi making, Ramos added.

Likewise, the module on “Financial Literacy toward Starting a Business” was presented by Labor Attaché Elizabeth O. Recio aimed at imparting some basic theories, tools and techniques in managing the income of OFWs, promoting savings toward financial independence for setting up a business like restaurant/food business.

This activity is in support to the Philippine Government’s Reintegration program for OFWs, Ambassador Yano cited. END



57 Children Complete RP Embassy’s Language and Cultural Enrichment Program in Brunei

Posted: 08 Oct 2009 02:13 AM PDT

PR-819-09, 8 October 2009 – The Philippine Embassy in Brunei Darussalam reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that a total of 57 children completed a two-week Filipino language and cultural enrichment program offered by the Embassy during the school holidays.

The culmination of the program was the graduation ceremony held at the Embassy last September 25.

A total of 22 junior class students and 35 senior class students enrolled in the program, which the Embassy had launched in September 2008.

In his speech, Ambassador Alexander B. Yano thanked the 14 Filipino volunteer teachers for contributing their talents, time, and energy in ensuring the success of the program. He also thanked the parents for entrusting the children to the Embassy’s care, and urged them to continue Embassy’s work by ensuring that their children grow up with an awareness of the Filipino language, history, and cultural heritage.

Speaking on behalf of the parents, Ms. Carolyn Cruz revealed that their children showed a noticeable improvement in their use of the Filipino language, which she attributed to the Embassy’s program.

She also lauded several of the program’s activities intended to enhance their children’s knowledge of the country’s rich historical and cultural heritage such as:

 A story-telling session on popular Filipino myths and stories such as Ibong Adarna and Juan Tamad;
 Kite flying and Filipino outdoor games held at the Bukit Shahbandar Forest Recreational Park;
 Baking pan de sal as a hands-on activity
 A session on ASEAN and its member-countries, with resource persons from the various ASEAN Embassies/High Commissions, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Sports; and
 An inter-faith/inter-religion dialogue with representatives from the Catholic, born-again Christian, and Islamic faiths.

She expressed optimism that the program will soon be an official course and be an accredited subject by the DECS in the Philippines.

The highlight of the program was a drama presentation by the students, inspired by “Maalaala Mo Kaya” TV show. The presentation featured Philippine folk dances, a medley of Filipino folk songs, and Filipino values and traditions in a globalized world.

In her closing remarks, Minister and Consul Celeste Vinzon-Balatbat reiterated her appreciation for the Embassy personnel, volunteer teachers, parents, resource speakers, media partners, students, and sponsors for their support. She urged members of the Filipino community to continue partnering more closely with the Embassy, particularly by volunteering as teachers in next year’s program. END



St. John Ambulance Malaysia Donated 52,500 Water Purification Tablets for Typhoon Victims

Posted: 08 Oct 2009 01:55 AM PDT

PR-818-09, 08 October 2009 – Dato’ Dr. Low bin Tick (4th from left), Commander-in-Chief of St. John Ambulance, presents to Ambassador Victoriano M. Lecaros (4th from left) 52,500 pieces of water purification tablets for the victims of typhoon “Ondoy” at a ceremony held at the Embassy on 06 October 2009. The donated tablets which costs RM20,000 (approximately US$5,800) can provide safe drinking water to about 50,000 families for a week.

Ambassador Lecaros, on behalf of the Philippine Government, expressed his appreciation to the officers of St. John Ambulance Malaysia and told Dato’ Dr. Low that the donated items will be sent to the Department of Health for distribution to affected families.

Established in 1908, St. John Ambulance Malaysia is a humanitarian organization rendering first aid and home. It is an affiliate of the centuries-old medical service organization St. John Hospitallers in the United Kingdom. It also provides community service such as haemodialysis centers and a 24-hr emergency service.

Witnessing the donation ceremony were Mr. Hoh Hee Ooi (third from left), Honorary Treasurer, and other volunteers of St. John Ambulance Malaysia. END



Executive Secretary Ermita Signs RP-EU Justice Support Programme

Posted: 08 Oct 2009 01:43 AM PDT

PR-817-09, 8 October 2009 – The RP-EU Justice Support Programme, commonly known as the EPJUST was signed today by Executive Secretary Eduardo R. Ermita for the Philippine side and, on behalf of the European Union, EC Ambassador Alistair McDonald.

Present to witness the signing were Philippine Ambassador to the European Commission Cristina Ortega, Deputy Presidential Spokesman Anthony Golez, Spanish Ambassador Luis Arias Romero (representing the Presidency of the European Union), and Mr. James Moran, Director for Asia in the Directorate-General of External Relations, European Commission, Brussels.

In his opening remarks, Executive Secretary Ermita stated that the EPJUST will not only “support the Government’s ongoing efforts in addressing the issue of extralegal killings but also provide the Government with long-term capabilities at addressing this phenomenon”. Likewise, Ambassador MacDonald stated that “the EU has been happy to respond positively to the Government’s request to provide technical assistance to help the Philippines address the question of extra-legal or extra-judicial killings”.

The EPJUST is a cooperative venture entered into by the Philippines with the European Union to improve functional mechanisms and cooperation on human rights matters. The program is a 30-month long program with an approved budget of 3.9 million Euros, under which the EU will provide technical assistance to the Philippines in the form of an EU expert team who shall provide advice on enhancing the capacity and effectiveness of the Philippine criminal justice system, the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, and civil society organizations. The program also aims to strengthen the ability of the uniformed services to train their personnel in relevant international human rights standards.

A steering committee, which will meet every two months, will be established to review and guide the overall direction of the program’s work and to coordinate the activities of the agencies concerned. It will be chaired by a senior official of the Philippine government and will comprise of senior representatives of the judiciary, government agencies involved in the program’s work and the CHRP. The Head of Delegation of the European Commission in Manila and the Ambassador representing the EU Presidency in Manila together with the Team Leader will compose the EU side of the Steering Committee.

The implementation of the EPJUST is projected to begin in November 2009 and the program will be completed by March 2011. END..



Symbolic Turn-Over of Brazilian Donation of US$70,000 for “Ondoy” Victims

Posted: 08 Oct 2009 01:33 AM PDT

PH-173-09, 8 October 2009 – Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo acknowledges the Brazilian government’s donation of US$70,000 during a call by the Ambassador of the Federative Republic of Brazil to the Philippines, H.E. Ambassador Alcides Prates. Brazil responded to the UN Secretary-General’s call for international humanitarian aid for the victims of typhoon “Ondoy.”

The donation is being coursed through the UN Resident Coordinator and the UNDP Country Director in the Philippines. The Brazilian Embassy in Manila is coordinating with these offices on the nature of assistance to be earmarked from the donation. END (photo by: Benjamin Remo, DFA-PISU)



PCMB Donates US$5,000 to Victims of Typhoon Ondoy

Posted: 08 Oct 2009 01:15 AM PDT

PH-172-09, 8 October 2009 – Upon instructions from the Chairman of the Philippine Center Management Board (PCMB) and Philippine Ambassador to the United States Willy C. Gaa, the PCMB issued a resolution allocating the amount of US$5,000.00 as a corporate donation to the victims of Typhoon Ondoy in the Philippines.

Photo shows PCMB Business Manager Roberto de Lara handing the check donation for the National Disaster Coordinating Council of the Philippines (NDCC) to PCMB Vice Chairman and Consul General to San Francisco Marciano A. Paynor, Jr. Also in the photo are Deputy Consul General Wilfredo Santos, Consul Alfonso Ver, Police Attache Edwin Erni, PCMB Director and DOT Director Rene de los Santos, and Ms. Rosalie Say representing PCMB Director and DTI Commissioner Josephine Romero. END



RP Embassy in Madrid Closely Monitoring Francisco Larranaga’s Detention in Spain

Posted: 07 Oct 2009 12:23 AM PDT

PR-816-09, 7 October 2009 – The Philippine Embassy in Madrid reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) today the arrival in Madrid of prisoner Francisco Juan Larrañaga to serve the remainder of his life sentence there.

The Embassy reported that Larrañaga, who was turned over by NBI-Interpol agents to the custody of Spanish National Police-Interpol officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, arrived at the Madrid Barajas International Airport on October 6 at 11:34 p.m. (Madrid time) via Amsterdam.

Still under escort by Spanish Police officers, he was brought to the National Police station at the airport’s Terminal T4 and then taken to the Central Registry in Moratalaz, where his fingerprints and other data were taken.

Larrañaga was later transferred to the Centro Penitenciario Madrid 5 in Soto del Real, a maximum security prison, where he will continue to serve the sentence imposed by a Philippine court. Sotoreal is about 45 minutes away from the Spanish capital.

The Regional Trial Court of Cebu City convicted Larrañaga and others in 1999 for the kidnapping, rape and murder of sisters Marijoy and Jacqueline Chiong, and imposed on him the penalty of death. The Philippine Supreme Court later affirmed the sentence. With the abolition of the death penalty, his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.

The DFA has instructed the Philippine Embassy to closely monitor Larrañaga’s imprisonment in Spain to ensure that the terms of the sentence imposed on him in the Philippines will be observed.

The Spanish government has assured the Philippine Government that there will be no conversion of the sentence imposed by the Philippine court on Larrañaga. It added that it is “bound by the terms of the judgment of conviction, and no justification whatsoever exists to revise the decision handed down by the Philippine judicial authorities.”

Larrañaga has family members in the Guipuzcoa and Catalonia areas in Spain.

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice has announced that it is working on the request of two Filipino prisoners in Spain, who have expressed desire to be transferred and repatriated to the Philippines under the Philippine-Spain Transfer of Sentenced Persons Agreement (TSPA).

The TSPA provides the legal framework for the transfer of sentenced individuals, for humanitarian reasons, to their home countries in order to serve the remaining portion of their sentence. END



Philippines Condemns Attack on WFP, Remembers Humanitarian Heroes

Posted: 06 Oct 2009 10:59 PM PDT

PR-815-09, 7 October 2009 – The Philippines condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist attack perpetuated against the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) agency and its employees last October 5 in Islamabad.

Together with the international and humanitarian communities, the Filipino nation extends its deepest sympathies to the people of Pakistan and to the families, friends and colleagues of the WFP workers who perished in the attack.

In particular, the Philippines recognizes the vital humanitarian role played by the WFP around the world, where its workers provide crucial assistance to people and communities in dire need.

The loss of such humanitarian heroes in a cowardly terrorist atrocity is incalculable, not just for Pakistan, but for all nations.

The Philippines, therefore, calls on all countries to express their collective outrage against this terror attack and to resolve to protect all humanitarian aid workers from similar assaults in the future. END



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