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Govermnment pours P2.3T for Bicol’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino

LEGAZPI CITY—The government will be pouring in P2.3 trillion in fresh funds to finance the administration’s antipoverty flagship Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in Bicol, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional office here said over the weekend.

The fund will intensify the implementation of the 4Ps that would cover 331,000 households in 52 municipalities and four cities in the region within a span of five years ending 2015, said Mean Villagomez, the DSWD regional program specialist.

The program is a poverty-reduction and social-development strategy of the national government that provides conditional cash grants to extremely poor households to improve their health, nutrition and education, particularly of children aged 0-14.

The cash grants are assistance to alleviate poverty by providing the immediate need of the poor and to break the intergenerational poverty cycle through investments in human capital, Villagomez said.

The program is also an attempt to fulfill the country’s commitment to the Millennium Development Goals, which include eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality, reducing child mortality, and improving maternal health, she said.

Villagomez said a household-beneficiary with three children, 0-14 years of age can receive a maximum of P1,400 a month or P15,000 annually as long as they comply with the conditions on health and education.

The conditions require pregnant women to avail themselves of pre- and postnatal care and childbirth attended by skilled attendant, attendance in responsible-parenthood sessions and submission of 0-5 year-old children to regular preventive checkups and vaccines.

The other conditions are the attendance of 3-5 years old children to day care or preschool classes at least 85 percent of the time, enrollment in elementary or secondary school of 6-16 years old children devoting 85 percent of the time to classes, and submission of 0-5 years old children to de-worming twice a year.

In Bicol, the 4Ps will be implemented in Albay with 180,000 household-beneficiaries covering the towns of Polangui, Daraga, Libon, Jovellar, Pioduran, Rapu-Rapu, Manito, Sto. Domingo, Malilipot, Bacacay, Malinao, including the cities of Legazpi, Tabaco and Ligao.

In Masbate, it will cover 50,000 beneficiaries in the towns of Esperanza, San Pascual, Kawayan, Placer, Claveria, Balud, Monreal, Uson, Mandaon, Aroroy, Milagros, Cataingan, Dimasalang, Mobo and Palanas.

Camarines Sur will have 13 towns and one city under the program, namely, Pasacao, Siruma, Tinambak, Caramoan, Ragay, Del Gallego, Sangay, Presentacion, Minalabac, Libmanan, Lupi, Bula, Pamplona, San Jose and Naga City with some 20,000 household-beneficiaries.

In Camarines Norte, five towns such as Capalongga, Paracale, Sta. Elena, San Lorenzo Ruiz and Mercedez, with 15,000 families are included.

For Sorsogon, the towns of Donsol, Castilla, Matnog and Pilar with 10,000 families benefitting are covered, while the island-province of Catanduanes would have the municipalities of Caramoran, Pandan and Bagamanoc under the program, Villagomez said.

Written by Danny O. Calleja / Correspondent
Wednesday, 02 December 2009 20:41

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Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

POEA issues Christmas season advisory to prevent congestion

POEA issues Christmas season advisory to prevent congestion
Manila Bulletin – Manila,Philippines
From the usual 1000 applicants per day, the number usually doubles during the Christmas peak season, the POEA said, resulting to problems of congestion and

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Dubai debt no effect on OFW remittances—labor chief

Dubai debt no effect on OFW remittances—labor chief
Inquirer.net
Qatar at the start of the financial crisis late last year,” he said. An estimated 320000 and 500000 OFWs live and work in UAE, half of which are in Dubai.
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Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Short Supply of Nuts Threatens Pili Exports

NAGA CITY – A scarcity of pili nuts threatens a rapidly growing export industry.

“The scant supply is due to the decreasing number of pili trees,” said Lydia Lomibao who, together with her husband Joseph, turned a backyard business with an initial capital of P500 in 1997 into a P10 million business today.

The Lomibaos own and manage J. Emmanuel Pastries and source their nuts from the 105-hectare Hacienda de Naga. But they are worried enough to plant seven hectares of their own land to pili trees.

“Raw material supply is dwindling because farmers have little knowledge of the value and potential of pili-based products,” she told Malaya Business Insight. “I am confident, however, that we can still manage the volume of raw materials for our present needs, which is about 120 kilos of raw nuts a day.”

Lomibao said there are only two companies, one being J. Emmanuel Pastries, currently exporting pili products. J. Emmanuel Pastries sells its products to the United States, Japan, China, Canada and Guam.

Its product line includes roasted pili nut and pili coated with honey or garlic. Aggressive marketing in malls has expanded its three outlets to 30 in Southern Luzon, Cebu and Metro Manila, boosting sales by 30 percent and accounting for half of gross sales. Sales in airport and hotel outlets account for 10 percent.

“It took us one year before getting our first order in 2008 from the US, only to suffer during the recession there. Orders stopped last September and were renewed only this March,” she said.

“Pili has been there all the time, but it’s only now that we are seeing substantial exports,” said Lomibao. “When we started we had zero technology, until we turned to the SET-UP program of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to upgrade our equipment and bring our processes up to standard.”

SET-UP stands for Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program that encourages and assists small and medium enterprises to adopt technology innovations and improve their operations and boost productivity and competitiveness.

The program enables small firms to address technical problems through technology transfer and interventions and improve productivity through better product quality, human resources development, cost minimization and waste management.

Six priority areas are covered by SET-UP: food processing; furniture; gifts, decors and handicrafts; marine and aquatic resources; horticulture (cut flowers, fruits and high-value crops); and metals and engineering.

“They availed of P310,000 in SET-UP loans for processing and packaging equipment, with free training on good manufacturing practices, including cleaner production technology,” said engineer Ernesto Reyes Jr., a senior science specialist at the DOST Camarines Sur office.

The “clean” technology was the gasifier combuster designed by the DOST Industrial Technology Development Institute. The combuster, instead of using rice hull it was designed for, burns and converts pili shells and stela (skin) into an LPG-like gas which heats the oven used to cook pili pastries.

“Because of the combuster, they have zero waste in processing,” Reyes said, adding that the loan availed in 2004 was fully paid by 2007.

The pili tree is abundant and wild in southern Luzon, particularly in Bicol, and in parts of the Visayas and Mindanao. A 300 hectare farm in Negros Occidental, for example, is planted to 60,000 pili trees.

The trees, which are difficult to propagate, are collected from natural stands. They are harvested in Albay (3,750 hectares), Camarines Norte (150 hectares), Camarines Sur (600 hectares), Catanduanes (150 hectares) and Sorsogon (350 hectares).

While pili is indigenous to Southeast Asia, the Philippines has a monopoly in the world market because it is the only one which processes the nut commercially. In other countries, the tree is an ornamental.

This year, the Department of Agriculture (DA) budgeted P150 million for marketing, research and development and the replanting of seven pili varieties in Bicol, which accounts for 80 percent of national production. A Pili Research and Training Center is based in Guinobatan, Albay.

The DA expects the number pili trees to increase three-fold when over 600,000 seedlings distributed since 2000 for the establishment of pili orchards bear fruit. Areas planted for pili rose 29.3 percent to 7,046.5 hectares in July 2006 from 5,449 hectares in July 2000.

Pili provides income to some 13,435 farmers who own at least 10 trees as well as laborers hired as harvesters. The nut does not require costly storage treatment and, when properly dried, can be stored for one year under ordinary room conditions.

By Paul M. Icamina
Source: Business Insight, Malaya – 01 December 2009

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

89 OFWs in Saudi awaiting repatriation

89 OFWs in Saudi awaiting repatriation
Inquirer.net – Philippines
Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) and the Philippine Overseas Employees Administration (POEA) to suspend Annasban Co. from recruiting Filipinos.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Dubai OFWs fear job losses, pay cut

Dubai OFWs fear job losses, pay cut
Inquirer.net
OFWs have no option but to agree to lower salaries rather than be sent home with no job at all,” according to the OFW group Migrante-UAE.
See all stories on this topic

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

GIVING MIGRANT WORKERS A VOICE

Giving migrant workers a voice
Inquirer.net
Some were also quite concerned about the plight of some 35 other ofws still in the embassy who were also in need of financial assistance so they could come
See all stories on this topic

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Bicol CSOs hold participatory planning workshop

Bicol CSOs hold participatory planning workshop
Philippine Information Agency
by BA Recebido Sorsogon City (1 December) — 40 leaders and representatives from the Civil Society Organizations (CSO) here took part in the Participatory
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Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

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