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SCWD co-opting with environment agencies, plans to develop an eco-tourism park

Propose eco-tourism park of Sorsogon City Water District

By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.

SORSOGON CITY – After the installations of water pumping stations and the construction of water impounding structures, the Sorsogon City Water District is focusing to develop an eco-tourism park in their 631 hectare watershed area along the Macabog Pangpang Mountain Range that traverses the barangays of Capuy, Ticol, Basud, Guinlajon, Pangpang, Macabog, San Juan (Roro) and Bibincahan.

The plan was conceptualized back in 1994 when the Sorsogon Watershed Development Council, a multi-partite group formulated plans and programs to develop and protect the watershed area.

But unforseen events overcome the implementation of the project which according to Engineer Ronaldo Barboño, SCWD general manager,they hope to implement with the assistance of the provincial government of Sorsogon. They are readying the blue print of the eco-tourism park including the detailed plans they will present to Governor Raul Lee estimated to cost 2 million pesos covering basic infrastructure expenditures and operational expenses.

Funding constraint limited SCWD watershed protection programs to develop portion of the area as eco-tourism park showcasing the flora and fauna endemics in the area intended primarily for rest and education tours. It will include a botanical and animal zoo which are in-demand by nature enthusiast. Upon its completion, a management council will oversee the eco-tourism park aiming for self-liquidation through package tours and similar strategies of eco-tourism parks.

To protect the watershed, it initiated a proposal for the inclusion of the Sorsogon City Watershed in the Billion Trees Program for a three year period seeking funding from local and international environmental sources. They have likewise appealed to the city government of Sorsogon to spearhead the finalization of the Memorandum of Agreement among concerned agencies and the covered barangays regarding watershed development and protection.

Reference: BicolToday.com

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Little-known college tops engineering exams

source: Juan Escandor Jr./Inquirer Southern Luzon

SORSOGON CITY—Wanting in laboratory facilities but blessed with dedicated teachers, a little-known state college here has proven it can equal the finest engineering schools in the country. Its recent graduates have topped successive engineering board exams.

Sorsogon State College (SSC), some 500 kilometers south of Manila, has produced the likes of Joseph Cyril R. Gredoña and Daniel E. Forteza, who ranked first and second, respectively, in the mechanical engineering board exams last month.

Gredoña—a son of a tricycle driver—garnered a grade of 92.70 percent, while Forteza—a son of a farmer/fisherman—got 92.65 percent in the exams.

In April, another SSC graduate and a son of a shellfish vendor, Jhonrey Aguirre, topped the electrical engineering board exams with a grade of 89.65 percent. A college mate, Leandro Salamatin placed 10th with a grade of 87.05 percent.

SSC first made its mark among engineering schools in 2006 when its graduate, Emmanuel Liwag, placed eighth in the electrical engineering board exams.

One of the oldest trade schools in the country, SSC became a state college in December 1993 with three national vocational high schools in the province integrated to it.

“We don’t have Ph.D.s in our faculty, which we still dream of until now. But we could say our instructors are good teachers while we see a high number of students with talents,” says Felino S. Jasmin, SSC director of branding and communications.

He says most of the college instructors have at least 20 years of teaching experience.
Jasmin points out that the school’s performance is measured by its passing rate in board exams, which must not go below the national passing rate.

Against the national passing rate of 62 percent, SSC’s feat in the mechanical engineering board exams has become more meaningful because of the school’s 79 percent passing rate. Nineteen out of its 24 mechanical engineering graduates last school year passed the board exam.

P150 per unit

He says SSC only charges P150 per unit and a student here needs at least P5,000 for one semester.

The state college received a budget of P93.64 million from the national government in 2010 while the fees collected from 8,570 students totaled P44 million.

Jasmin says 260 personnel are paid from the budget given by the national government, while 147 personnel are subsidized by the income SSC derives from the fees it collects.

Noel Benavides, program chair of the engineering and architecture department, says SSC is still wanting in laboratory facilities, which are shared by 40 to 45 students in every class session.
He says the ideal class size in a laboratory is 25 to 30 students but the students have to make do with what they have.

This limitation, however, did not prevent the students from delivering very satisfactory performance in the board exams.

Jasmin says SSC caters to students from low-income groups whose parents cannot send their children to universities outside of Sorsogon, like Legazpi City, Naga City or Metro Manila.

Although SSC charges the lowest rate compared with those collected by other engineering schools, many students still have difficulty paying tuition and other fees.

Jasmin cites Gredoña and Aguirre who both struggled hard financially before topping the mechanical and electrical engineering board exams, respectively.

From Aroroy, Juban
The eldest among six siblings, Gredoña hails from the far-flung village of Aroroy in Juban, Sorsogon.

His parents were able to ask a landowner in Sorsogon City to allow them to build a small house in the city while Gredoña was in college.

Gredoña recalls that when he was in elementary school, he walked 2 kilometers to reach the school from their house.

Forteza, who placed second to Gredoña, also comes from a low-income family. His father, the only breadwinner, makes a living from farming and fishing in the village of Macabari in Barcelona town.

He was a consistent honor student from elementary to high school and found the questions in the board exams familiar. Still, he was surprised he made it to the top two.

Forteza says he hopes that his achievement will be a life-changing experience for his family, especially since a big company has offered him a job.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

School principal shot dead in Sorsogon

source: www.sunstar.com.ph

UNIDENTIFIED men shot dead a school principal in Castilla town in Sorsogon, a police official reported Friday.

Thirty-three-year-old Ariel Nebreja was riding a passenger motorcycle when two suspects blocked the vehicle’s path around 4 p.m. Thursday at Barangay Miluya.


One of the suspects then asked the driver if he had a passenger named Ariel, and then shot the victim using a caliber 45 pistol, said Superintendent Wilson Asueta, spokesperson of the Bicol regional police.

Nebreja, the principal of Miluya Elementary School who lives in Sorsogon City, died upon arrival at a local hospital. (VR/Sunnex)

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started My First Business

source: fitzvillafuerte.com

Starting a business can be tough, but I think nothing will ever be more difficult than putting up your very first venture.
Without the advantage of experience, your tools are usually just textbook knowledge, observed wisdom and generous advise.
So let me help you today by giving you one of those… generous advise.

It was in 2004 when I registered my very first business – a computer network gaming station in Makati.
Unfortunately, after almost a year, me and my partners decided to close it down. Our reasons are not important, but the lessons I learned in that small venture are certainly something worth sharing today.

Here are 5 things I wish I knew before I started that very first business.

five 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started My First Business
Your business plan can turn out to be useless.
Read any business book and they’ll tell you that a business plan is essential when starting a business. What many people tend to skip or miss reading is the part written in the end that you may have to ditch your business plan along the way. I was one of those people.

Don’t get me wrong, having a business plan BEFORE starting is important, after all – it is your roadmap to success. But understand that unexpected things are bound to happen and you will need to adjust your business plan, or make a new one at worst.
When the map becomes irrelevant or unworkable, don’t hesitate to find alternative routes that will get you to your destination.
Self-employment is a necessary initial cost.

Several months before I started that venture, I learned from a book the difference between the self-employed and the business owner – one works for the business, while the other lets the business work for him.
I wanted to be the business owner.

But I learned later on that one cannot be a business owner without being self-employed first. Businesses are like children, you have to nurture and take care of them until they become independent.
Good employees are REALLY hard to find.

I thought since a lot of people are unemployed, then it will be easy to find someone to work for you.
I was partly right… what I didn’t know was that it will NOT be easy to find someone who will do a good job. People working in Human Resources will agree – a person’s resume cannot guarantee his work ethics. And from experience, even those who shine in their interview can be quite sloppy at work.

So again, take some time to work on your business so you’ll know exactly what it demands from a person. This will help you screen applicants better – and you’ll be able to hire the right people fit for the job.

sleeping at work 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started My First Business
Marketing is essential in every business – big and small.
My first business was just a rented space in a small barangay. Being the first and only computer gaming shop in the area, I was confident that I wouldn’t need to do marketing and advertising after the grand opening.
“It’s just a small and simple business,” I thought. But then I learned that some of “my kids” are going somewhere across town because there’s a new shop that’s cheaper but with faster computers.

Relying simply on walk-in customers and word-of-mouth can be risky. And when business is good, expect competition to appear. A continuous marketing campaign will not only allow you to reach new customers, but it will also establish your brand and keep the trust and loyalty of your clientele.

It’s more than just about the money.
My primary reason for starting my first business was because I wanted passive income. Who wouldn’t want to “make money while sleeping” right? And one of the reasons why we decided to close it down was because it wasn’t making enough.
Then several months after, I realized that one of the reasons why we really closed down the business was because we were only after the profits – we were in it for the wrong reason.

It’s true that your business should make money, but more importantly, it should be able to take you closer to a noble goal – a mission and a vision that becomes the prime motivation for starting any business.
Learn more life and business lessons from a real entrepreneur, subscribe to Ready To Be Rich.
———
Photo credits: doug88888 and Harald Groven

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

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