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Crablet mentality stalks young earners in Sorsogon

by Manila Standard Today

BARCELONA — Children in this seaside town brave sun and rain to gather day-old crabs to eke out a living.
At low tide, they gather crablets that sell for 75 centavos to P3 a piece to local buyers in Sorsogon for delivery to Pampanga and other regions where they are processed and sold as a gourmet food.
Imelda Romanillos, Labor provincial officer, said state policy prohibited child labor.
“No person below 15 of age is allowed to work,” she told Manila Standard. “If these minors collect crablets in the seaside only, there is no serious problem. The possible negative effect on children is loss of interest to go to school because they are earning.”
In case the children failed to attend their classes, will the parents face criminal charges?
“We will go to the place, not to reprimand, but assess the situation to base the safety nets on and offer help,” Romanilos said.
Chief Insp. Roque Merdegia, also a lawyer, agreed with the labor office.
“There is no violation of the labor law except when parents use coercion and expose the lives of children to danger,” he said.
Darzy Gacosta, a resident, commended the self-supporting kids doing a decent job.
“They would rather (work) than steal for food,” she said, noting that a crablet gatherer averaged about 30 pieces in summer and as many as a hundred during the cold months.
Aldrin, 11, said the fruits of his labor went to good use.
“I can provide my own allowance in school and save part of my earnings for a new pair of pants and T-shirt,” he said. “We are able to help our parents serve enough rice on the table.”
Elementary schools Principal Liza Salonga said work could distort priorities for the young.
“It can cause dropping out because if they get used to earning money they will become lazy to attend classes,” she said, adding that a suitable arrangement is needed. “It’s good if they do it only during weekend because they can help their parents.” – Oliver Samson

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

CENRO awards 100-has of land to Sorsogon PO for mangrove development

By: Bennie A. Recebido

SORSOGON CITY, May 1 (PIA) – One hundred (100) hectares of tidal mudflat was awarded by the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) here to the Seaweed Grower and Aquaculture Association of Sorsogon, Inc. (SEAGRASS) in Brgy. Gimaloto, Sorsogon City.

The SEAGRASS, a people’s organization composed of fisher folks and farmers in Brgy Gimaloto, West District, in this city, was chosen by the CENRO in coordination with the Sorsogon City Agriculture Office as beneficiary in line with the National Greening Program being implemented by the national government.

According to SEAGRASS president Redentor Lasay, the 100 has mudflat is currently dominated by mangrove species like bakawan, pagatpat, miyapi, lapis-lapis and nipa, among others.

“As per the initial agreement, the SEAGRASS will serve as the steward of the site for mangrove development for 25 years starting upon the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). Inclusive of the agreement is for the SEAGRASS to protect and develop, as well as, benefit from the said area, where members will be allowed to harvest pruned branches of mangroves and nipa shingles as well as aquasilvi culture yeilds, under the supervision of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR),” Lasay explained.

CENR Officer Krisanta Marlene P. Rodriguez said that the MOA is underway and will immediately be signed upon compliance of the prescribed requirements by the concerned parties.

She also added that this week, BFAR in coordination with Community ENRO will conduct assessment and survey of the said mangrove project to determine the type of mangrove species suitable to the 50 has out of the awarded 100 has mudflat.

Propagules to be planted in the site will be bought directly from the SEAGRASS members, and the growing of mangroves will be monitored and taken good care by the members themselves for the span of six months as per the agreement.

City Agriculturist Adeline Detera said, the City Agriculture Office is set to establish a one-hectare Mangro-vetum, a mangrove propagule nursery in Barangay Gimaloto for sustainability of the mangrove project and to showcase at the same time a rare package of mangrove species both for tourism and educational enhancement.

Meanwhile, SEAGRASS is currently a beneficiary of aquasilvi culture project grant of BFAR which includes seaweed farming and green mussel (tahong) production which is soon to harvest anytime in May this year. The project amounts to P150,000.

Aside from this, BFAR has also established “hilay”, a fish breeding and shelter area which at the same serve as protection against troll and dynamite fishing and any other form of illegal fishing activities.

SEAGRASS was also granted by BFAR with 6.5 horse power motorized banca and a nipa hut for the convenience and smooth management of the members of the organization. (BARecebido, PIA Sorsogon)

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

DPWH eyes P17B for tourism infra

By: Riza T. Olchondra
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Tourists follow a huge whale shark, nearly 6 meters (20 feet) long, swimming near the surface of the plankton-rich water of Donsol, Sorsogon, which has become a prime tourist spot offering visitors a swim with the whale sharks. The Department of Public Works and Highways said it plans to allot P17 billion for infrastructure projects, including road improvements to major destinations including Donsol. AFP PHOTO/SCOTT TUASONIt may take P17 billion worth of road and related projects to fully prop up the country’s tourism industry, according to a proposal from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

It may take P17 billion worth of road and related projects to fully prop up the country’s tourism industry, according to a proposal from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Public Works Secretary Rogelio L. Singson said in an interview that he and Tourism Secretary Mon Jimenez have talked about the road projects needed in key tourism areas all over the country.
“We are submitting P5 billion worth (of infrastructure projects) for 2012 and P12 billion for 2013 in support of the [tourism] master plan,” Singson said.
The economic development cluster of President Aquino’s Cabinet recently endorsed the tourism road map.
The Cabinet cluster is composed of the DPWH, National Economic and Development Authority, and the Departments of Tourism, Budget and Management, Science and Technology, Finance, Energy, Interior and Local Government, Agriculture, and Trade and Industry.
Singson identified some of the infrastructure projects included in the DPWH proposal.
“Road projects in Cebu and Bohol cost P1.2 billion. In Palawan, there are projects like the Coron-Busuanga and Taytay-El Nido roads which, together, cost P150 million,” he said. “Road projects in Puerto Princesa are estimated at P138 million. The roadwork in Sorsogon going to Donsol costs P150 million. There are also projects in Benguet province, Davao City, Cagayan de Oro City, Zamboanga and other areas.”
On his other role as “water czar,” Singson said he had submitted a proposal on the restructuring of functions and responsibilities of water-related agencies.
“It’s now being reviewed by the Office of the President,” he said.
Cebu, Tagbilaran and Puerto Princesa cities are among the tourism areas to be supported by infrastructure work under the government’s program alignment strategy, according to the DPWH website.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cayetano W. Paderanga Jr. said that the alignment of infrastructure projects with key programs, such as the tourism road map, was meant to maximize the impact of every peso spent.
Paderanga has described tourism as a “low-hanging fruit” that can quickly generate jobs and spark business activity in the countryside.
Energy Secretary Rene D. Almendras also noted that roads, airports and other infrastructure must be prepared to ensure the comfort of tourists even before the Philippines goes all-out with its tourism promotions.
Otherwise, Almendras said, “it will not be fun in the Philippines for the tourists.”
The Philippine economy must expand, in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), by a yearly average of 7 to 8 percent from 2010 to 2016 in order to reduce poverty incidence.
The country’s GDP only grew 3.7 percent in 2011, but is expected to recover starting 2012 due to higher public spending and more business activities brought on by infrastructure and public-private partnership projects, among others.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Bicol’s hidden natural, historical treasures await summer vacationers

by Danny O. Calleja

LEGAZPI CITY — People tired of rat race and packing for summer vacations have good places to go in Bicol that offer discoveries of hidden natural and historical treasures.

Bicol, a beautiful region southeast of Manila is boundless in terms of natural and century-old man-made wonders distributed among its six provinces composed of Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon.

It is a peninsula famous for its majestic mountains and volcanoes like Mount Mayon, Isarog and Bulusan.

Apart from hospitality that Bicolanos offer as a priceless present, the region also has a lot of “must visit” places for vacationers — hot springs in Sorsogon, water falls in Albay and Catanduanes and world class resorts making it the right destination for people who love to have a cool, relaxing and adventurous vacation.

From Manila or elsewhere out of the region, they could come directly to this city, the regional center of government, transportation, communication, commerce, hospital services and education.

The city is served by at least five commercial flights of leading domestic airlines daily and land trips are available 24/7 to and from almost all points of destination and origin.

Hotels, logging houses and restaurants for all classes are in here for vacationers to stay while enjoying the fantastic view of the famous Mayon Volcano, the world’s most perfect cone as they plot shorter routes to other parts of the region.

Shopping for provisions and later, take home commodities is not a problem in this city where giant department stores, food shops and souvenir stores abound.

From the city, the regional office of the Department of Tourism (DOT) could guide them where to go first and where to stay last to complete a once in a lifetime journey through the wilds, islands, deeps and heights of the region.

For those taking a luxurious option, the DOT says they could come and stay at the Misibis Bay Resort and Spa, a private tropical hideaway built on a pristine stretch of beach along the southern tip of Cagraray island in Bacacay, Albay.

This breathtaking, five-hectare island resort with lavishly furnished villas and world-class amenities could be reached via 45-minute scenic travel by land, 15-minutes by a private helicopter or 30 minutes by fast watercraft.

Vacationers can experience the diversity of Misibis Island where exquisite adventures arise from a treasure trove of infinite possibilities and discover Misibis Bay, the country’s leading luxury island playground.

Great things to do in Albay apart from getting up close with Mt. Mayon, according to DOT regional director Maria Ravanilla are cooling down at the waterfalls, exploring caves, feasting on the local cuisine, burying feet in the volcanic black sand beaches, hiking up Ligñon Hill, exploring the wild of off-shore islands, scuba diving and visiting century-old churches including the Cagsawa Ruins.

From here, Catanduanes, an island province in the Pacific Ocean could be an ideal destination for its virtually still untouched by development and ecological treasures that makes it a great vacation getaway.

The island is two and a half hours via ferry boats with regular daily trips from Tabaco City, 30 minutes away from this city.

Catanduanes boasts of Puraran Beach in the town of Baras which is the site of the so-called “Majestic” waves prized by surfers. The island also has yet-unspoiled white beaches all along its coastline, as well as diving spots for snorkelers and scuba enthusiasts, and cascading waterfalls farther inland.

It is paradise waiting to be discovered.

Another destination is Sorsogon, so as not to miss the chance of interacting with the “gentle giants of the ocean”, the butandings (whale sharks) of Donsol.

The month of May is the peak season for butanding interactions.

Staying in Donsol overnight at any of the dozens of resorts and lodging houses in town would also be exciting because of the natural attraction of fireflies while watching along the beach and river banks right off the sanctuary of whale sharks.

Down southeast of the province are clean beaches along the coastlines of the Pacific Ocean and San Bernardino Strait, the vast virgin forest within the Bulusan Volcano Natural Park that lies down the slopes of the restive Mt. Bulusan rimming the magnificent Bulusan Lake and the sprawling mangrove forest of Prieto Diaz town that serves as sanctuary of hundreds of bird species including migratory ones.

Along the way between these sites is Barcelona town, the home to the oldest church in the province built in 1874. The church was beautifully built out of corals that form its walls and the enchanting carvings on the coral façade make it a priceless relic.

Matnog town at the southern tip of Sorsogon that serves as the jumping board between Bicol and the Visayas is another paradise to discover being gifted with preserved nature, immaculate white to pinkish powdery sand beaches kissed by crystalline waters, uphill caves, fish and lobster farms, fish and marine turtle sanctuaries and an amazing view of sunrise and sunset.

The larger portion of the municipality’s mainland is rimmed by high mountains teeming with coconut palms and residual forests that offer a soothing feeling of relief from the air pollution in urban cities because of its lush green growth.

Accommodation and food in these areas are less expensive.

From Sorsogon, Ticao Island in Masbate province would be the best destination where sea diving in the Manta Ray Bowl down Ticao Pass off Fernando and San Jacinto towns is a once in a lifetime experience.

It will be an hour boat trip from Bulan town. Accommodations and good foods are available at beach resorts along the Pass.

From Ticao, access is easy to the Burias Island for a visit of the historic Claveria town that offers a lot of cultural experiences, beautiful sceneries, religious antiquity, superb cuisine and impressive hospitality.

The municipality locates an underground cave that can be reached through an underwater entrance called Boca Engaño where stone caskets with human remains believed to be more than 500 years of age exist and the San Isidro Beach that is being compared to the Miami Beach of Florida, USA and Cancun of Mexico.

Lacing the southern strip of Burias Island and spanning more than 10 kilometers of pure white sand and turquoise water and boasting of diverse marine ecosystem that houses endemic species of sea plants and animals, San Isidro Beach is more of a sanctuary for fairies and searching souls severely bruised and beaten by the intricacies of urban living.

For those introverts trying to avoid the din from bars and entertainment houses in the cities, the entire length occasionally interrupted by few thrusts which serve to decorate it for more effects, the beach is an enchanting paradise for the living coral reefs and crustaceans that outnumber the people residing alongside its shores.

Claveria could then be the last island hopping stop and daily boat trips across the Burias Pass to Pioduran town in Albay available to facilitate a return trip to the Bicol mainland.

The boat trip is about two hours and Pioduran is an hour and a half by land to this city or nearly three hours to the Camarines Sur Watersports Complex (CWC).

Located in Pili, Camarines Sur, CWC is the wake boarding playground of Bicol for those who are looking for real water sports adventure.

The place could be a take-off point to the Gota Village Resort in Caramoan town which is another world-class vacation and eco-tourism spot of Camarines Sur.

Indeed, completing this vacation island hopping in Bicol would show a vacationer that the region is a combination of the old and the new.

Old churches, untouched natural wonders, rich history and culture and the picture of modern Bicol never ceases to impress even as newly-built structures in support of its fast-pacing development takes place.

Come and experience the wonderful destinations in the region and feel the real meaning of vacation and relaxation.

It’s cool to be spending summer Bicol. (PNA)


Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Sorsogon Police Office bags major award in “Takbokasyon 2012”

By Marlon A. Loterte

SORSOGON CITY, April 9 (PIA) — Personnel of the Sorsogon Police Provincial Office has proven anew their agility and prowess, garnering the major award in two categories during the fun run activity dubbed as “VAMOS SEMINARIO: TAKBOKASYON 2012” held in Sorsogon City in March 31, 2012.

Topping the five-kilometer(km) fun run were PO2 Jayie Encinares, PO1 Geraldine Dave, and PO1 Kwencie Ann Fortuno, while PO1 Mariel Esquiros bagged the first place for the 10-km run.

Said fun run activity was sponsored by Batch 1987 Seminarians of the Our Lady of Peñafrancia Seminary in Sorsogon City.

Meanwhile, SPPO Provincial Director PSupt John CA Jambora said that SPPO personnel does not only excel in running but even in dancing competition where policewomen of SPPO also got the second place award in the Ballroom Dance Competition during the Women’s Night, a culminating activity of this year’s women’s month celebration with the theme: “Women Weathering Climate Change: Governance and Accountability Everyone’s Responsibility,” held at the Multi-Purpose Building at Camp Simeon Ola in Legazpi City last March 30, 2012.

Ten contestants from different Provincial and City Police Offices of the Police Regional Office V (PRO5) were bested by the women of SPPO during the said dance competition.

Likewise, on March 26-30 members of the SWAT TEAM of Sorsogon Police Provincial Office got the second place during the SWAT competition and Hand Gun Classification Marksmanship Test at the PRO5 Grandstand in Villa Hermosa, Daraga, Albay and in Brgy. Padang, Legaspi City. (MAL/BAR/PCI NFMarquez-PPO-PIA 5, Sorsogon)

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Joint venture of LGU Sorsogon City with LKY Dev’t. Corp. to create 500 jobs

Sorsogon Shopping Center and tricycle grand terminal Project nearing completion. PHOTO COURTESY OF ENGR. PURISIMO A. PROSPEROSO, JR.

By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.
SORSOGON CITY ( – The agreement and understanding of LGU Sorsogon City with LKY Development Corporation is expected to create five hundred jobs for Sorsoganons.
It will materialize after the completion and full occupancy of the renovated Sorsogon Shopping Center now in its finishing stage of construction and the on-going Sorsogon Bay City project. The projects are hubs for fast food chains, drugstores, supermart, gas station and the Bay City will host condotels and marinas offering the view of the sunset of Sorsogon Bay. Both offer commercial leasing spaces.
The renovation of the old shopping center became one of the focal points during the first term of Mayor Leovic Dioneda, to attract and create job opportunities, doubled-up by the investment of Wilbert Lee, Chief Executive Officer of LKY Development Corporation, the biggest construction concern in Sorsogon, who foot the bill for the renovation.
When the project was tossed to the Sorsogon Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Wilbert Lee took the opportunity and the challenge to prove that Sorsogon City is a good investment area, thus a roadmap for domestic investors was created.
LKY Sorsogon Bay City project to host integrated bus, jeepney and van terminal at Barangay Balogo, Sorsogon City. PHOTO COURTESY OF ENGR. PURISIMO A. PROSPEROSO, JR.

This is not the first time that LKY took a giant step, back in the late eighties, the construction firm responded to the offer of then Municipality of Sorsogon when it built a commercial building in a government lot fronting the public market, then another foothold when the diocesan leadership offered the development of the back portion of the cathedral lot which now stands as a landmark in the city proper.
This time, the response of Lee’s firm was a class act for Sorsogon City. It was a silent statement that private-public partnership can design, build and offer new landscape for business opportunities.
It started way back in 2009 during Dioneda’s first term, when the third city council was challenged by him to come-up with a resolution to attract investors for built-operate, built-lease, and built transfer scheme offering safety nets for investors.
LKY responded with a grand proposal not only to boost Sorsogon economy but put on record that the traffic problem of the city center be corrected. Thus the renovated Sorsogon Shopping Center when completed will host the tricycle integrated terminal and the Sorsogon Bay City project at Barangay Balogo will house the integrated bus, jeepney and van terminal. Rolling up its sleeves when the projects were given the green lights, LKY never look back. It was committed and it was proving to all that it is not lost in Sorsogon after all.
Both Mayor Dioneda and Wilbert Lee of LKY are sort of visionaries, they have the knack of what can be done and how can it be done. Dioneda created an investment climate, Lee responded in ways never imagined by Sorsoganons.
Simultaneously starting the project created employment to skilled workers and tap the labor force not only of the city but from the other towns of the province. Masons, carpenters, plumbers, welders, pipe fitters, steel fabricators and many more who for sometimes were not employed are now having a week pay to look-up. At its peak LKY was employing close to three hundred workers in the two projects pumping a large sum of money in the local economy. This was an indirect contribution of the construction firm in prime-pumping the local economy. The construction lessened the number of employment seekers at city hall.
The two projects are now the center piece of construction in the city. It’s because, Mayor Dioneda made a big difference and LKY of Wilbert Lee nurtured the big difference.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Bishop hails Pacquiao as ‘modern-day saint’

By Jocelyn R. Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer
To some, boxing champion and Saranggani Rep. Manny Pacquiao may be losing his marbles, but for some bishops of the Catholic Church he just may be a modern-day Filipino saint.
“Let him be called crazy because when God converts people, others cannot understand whether it is the great grace of God,” said Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes, who was ecstatic about Pacquiao’s decision to heed God’s message and retire from boxing.
Bastes said some of the most revered saints and prophets were called “crazy,” citing St. Francis of Assisi, an Italian monk and son of a wealthy cloth merchant who left everything behind for the sake of the Lord in the 11th century.
“Many saints were called crazy … we can also have some modern saints in the Philippines like Pacquiao,” said Bastes in a phone interview with reporters on Tuesday.
The prelate said he was very happy the world champion was heeding God’s call and was becoming more detached from worldly pursuits.
“I like it. I approve of it 100 percent. Maybe [it’s] because of the prayers of his very devout mother. Every day she prays the rosary that Pacquiao will retire,” said Bastes.
Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez also praised Pacquiao for his decision. “He is a changed man, trying to be an obedient son of God our Father,” he said in a separate phone interview.
Gutierrez said Pacquiao must obey God’s message “soon.”
Pacquiao revealed recently that he was seriously considering retirement after God appeared to him in a dream in January and told him to quit boxing. The eight-time world champion said God told him he had already made something of himself and it was getting “dangerous.”
“He should really retire from boxing. In the Bible, God sometimes appeared to people in their dreams, so the result is very good for him,” said Bastes.
The Catholic Church doesn’t back the sport because of the danger it poses to the boxers, said Bastes.
“We in the Catholic Church, we consider boxing a bit immoral because many people have been killed because of [it],” he said.
Last month 21-year-old Filipino boxer Karlo Maquinto died from a blood clot in the brain following a bout in Caloocan City. He fell into a coma after the match in which he was knocked down twice but still won a majority decision against his opponent.
“So I commend Pacquiao. Let him forget about boxing and make him do other things. Let him become a governor, let him be a Bible ambassador, etc. Just let him forget boxing,” said Bastes.
Earlier, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo revealed that Pacquiao had held a retreat for priests of the Marbel diocese in South Cotabato in his home on March 13.
The Catholic Bishops’ Episcopal Commission on Biblical Apostolate has also invited the boxer to be its “Bible ambassador.”

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Sorsogon mourns death of cultural worker, artist

SORSOGON CITY, March 16 (PIA)  —  After a bout with paralysis due to a stroke, Reynaldo “Tootsie” Jamoralin died past 4:00 p.m. of March 12, 2012 at the age of 66.


Founder and President of the Sorsogon Arts Council (SAC), he is considered as one of Sorsogon’s “Provincial” artists. His body lies in state at their residence  in Sorsogon City.


Jamoralin was the editor and writer of the two editions of the book ‘Tracing: from Solsogon to Sorsogon,’ published by the SAC and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) in 1994. He also edited and co-wrote Pulang Hamtik, a collection of biographical sketches, of Bikolano youth martyrs during the Martial Law years up to 1990s, published by the Bikol Agency for Nationalist and Human Initiatives, Inc. (BANHI).


As a member of the Kapisanan ng Mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas, he co-anchored the public affairs program “Damayan” over DZGN-FM during the late 80s till early 90s. A long-time journalist from the 1970s, he edited several local weekly community newspapers, notably the Sorsogon Times, Balangibog, and Sorsogon News Service including Sentro Sorsogon, which he himself published.


For a time he was correspondent and feature writer for the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) and credited for exposing the slaughter of whalesharks in Donsol popularly known locally as Butanding that initiated the advocacy for its protection in his front page article on March 23, 1998. He was a member of the board of editors of letra, a bikol magazine, the first regional cultural and literary magazine and Centro, a Bikol magazine.


A playwright and folklorist, he wrote the dance-drama in the Bikol dialect, Si Bulusan nan si Agingay, based on the local legend of Lakes Bulusan and Agingay, which received several production and tour grants from the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and NCCA, and Kantada ni Daragang Magayon, Mandirigma, adopted from Bikolano artist Merlinda Bobis’ epic poetry of the same title, which was toured around the country and presented at the CCP Little Theater in 2000. He also rewrote, revised, and adapted Sorsogon Sarswelista Asisclo Jimenez’s Pagkamoot sa Banuang Tinoboan, under a production and tour grant from the NCCA in 1994.


A long-time cultural worker, he was a founding member of the Kasanggayahan Foundation, Inc. and responsible for the institutionalization of Pantomina sa Tinampo every Kasanggayahan Festival in October. He was also a member of Sorsogon Heritage Society chaired by PDI Founder Eugenio Duran-Apostol, the publisher of Sarabihon, a journal of Sorsogon studies where he wrote several articles. He was also one of the organizers of Pagsurat, the first gathering of Bikol writers in 2000 at the Aquinas University of Legaspi attended by over a hundred participants including a septuagenarian chanter from Albay and New York-based poet Luis Cabalquinto.


He was the brains behind the establishment of the Sorsogon Museum and Heritage Center which involves the adaptive re-use and restoration of the old Sorsogon Provincial Hospital building built during the American occupation in the 1920s.


He earned his academic degree from the University of Santo Tomas, B.S. Major in Psychology. He taught at the Mass Communications Department of the Aemilianum College, Inc. in Sorsogon City.


He is survived by his wife Ella, sisters Mercia and Millet, daughter Suyin, adopted son Ian, and grandson CJ. (MAL/JJPerez/PIA Sorsogon)

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates, Sorsogon Outstanding Achievers, Sorsogon Success Stories, We will make you SHINE!, What's Happening Here?, , , , , , , , , ,

DOLE Sorsogon holds Career Coaching Seminar

LEGAZPI CITY, March 6 (PIA) — Sorsogueños are looking forward to better employability and career path in the coming years after the field office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) here led the Capability Training in Career Coaching for stakeholders held last week.

DOLE V was able to train 18 managers of Public Employment Services Office and 11 guidance counselors from Sorsogon province; they will eventually guide graduating students in deciding what career path to take.

DOLE V was assisted by the Bicol Career Guidance Network (BCGN) and PESO Federation of Sorsogon (PESO Sorsogon) in holding said training event.

DOLE V regional director Nathaniel V. Lacambra explained that career coach is a well trained officer responsible in determining the talents and skills of a client, whether a student, a job seeker, or an employee, needing advice in choosing a career or helping students in trying to figure out the right college course.

The two-day training equipped the participants to become career coaches on career pathing, latest employment trends, recruitment and placement, illegal recruitment, overseas opportunities, cultural employment attitude orientation, entrepreneurship skills, and personality development.

“ Career coaches are very much needed since the region has a high 38.4 percent underemployment rate,” he noted.

Lacambra said the unemployment rate in the region entails that the career choices or the courses being taken by Bicolanos do not match the skills needed by the local industries here.

He added that in the U.S. and other developed countries, career coaches are employed by the government to align the skills demand of that country and this has given these countries an edge in placing workers to specific jobs.

In Sorsogon, concerns on skills mismatch and unemployment incidence of four-year courses graduates have prompted DOLE Sorsogon, headed by provincial director Imelda E. Romanillos, to intensify its campaign in establishing more career coaches in order to guide high schools and college students, in choosing their college courses or career paths so to speak.

“We have seen youngster in Sorsogon taking up courses because their friend took it or because their parents wanted them to take it. Later these youngsters would realize that they are nor really inclined to it and this is the reason why they perform poor and more often drop out from school. Waste of time, money, effort,” Romanillos said.

The training is the first BCGN activity this year and is in-line with the Project Jobs Fit (PJF) and Skills Registration System (SRS). (MAL-PIA V/DOLE V)

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Inmate killed in Sorsogon jail riot


LEGAZPI CITY- An inmate was stabbed dead while two others were wounded in a jail riot on Sunday evening inside the Sorsogon Provincial Jail in Sorsogon City, police said on Monday.

Rommel Lanuza, a jail “mayor” and a member of the Sputnik Gang was pronounced dead upon arrival at a nearby hospital in Sorsogon City, according to Police Senior Inspector Jerry Cereno, commander of the Philippine National Police Community Police Assistance Center (CPAC) 3, in Sorsogon City.

Two more inmates, Ronaldo de Vera and Jerry Habla, also members of the Sputnik Gang, sustained stab wounds in different parts of their bodies.

Police said that at about 8:30 p.m. Sunday while the victim with fellow inmates was celebrating his birthday and having a drinking spree, they were suddenly attacked by members of the rival gang Bahala Na Gang, led by a certain Raffy Bolanyo, reportedly armed with improvised knives.

Reports said that the group of Lanuza were dancing and singing while a videoke machine was playing at a cell they were occupying, when they were attacked by the rival gang members.
The riot was controlled immediately by the Special Disorder and Commotion Unit of the Provincial Jail Guard.

Jail records showed that there are 395 inmates that are under the custody of the Sorsogon Provincial Jail awaiting resolution of their cases in various local courts in Sorsogon.PNA

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

OPAPP-DILG peace and development initiatives in Gubat and Barcelona towns inaugurated

By Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY , Feb. 27 (PIA) — Several infrastructure projects under the Sorsogon Peace Initiatives (SPI) to bring peace and development program in the countryside were inaugurated last Friday, February 24, here in two separate venues in the province of Sorsogon.

Undertaken under the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PaMaNa) , a convergence initiatives of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) the project was undertaken under the funding complementation of government and non-governmental organization through the Agencia de Espanola Cooperacion National para del Desarollo (AECID) under the core program of government , Strengthening Local Government in the Philippines (SLGP).

In Gubat, the projects were the construction of the 1.5 km Sta Ana Access Road to Barangay Beriran to Carriedo; rehabilitation and expansion of the 1.5 km Sitio Puro Communal Irrigation System; and the repair of the Sta Ana Elementary School Building and the widening of the 1.5 km Apgo Barangay Road with a total cost of P4 million.

Meanwhile, the projects in Barcelona town, also amounting to P4 million, included the Community-based Training for the Youth in Masonry and Engine Trouble Shooting; Support to the Banana Production Sustainable Agriculture -Based Enterprise Program of the local government unit; Capacity Building Program with Catalystic Project for Fisherfolk Groups; Construction of the Operation and Construction of the Coordinating Center Peace Alliance of the Barcelona Development Cooperative (BADECO) and Rehabilitation of the Layog-Penaric Communal Irrigation System.

OPAPP ASec. Howard B. Cafugauan , Representative Deogracias B. Ramos of Sorsogon second congresswional district , Norberto Gomez de Liano of AECID, and Director Maria Eileen Jose of OPAPP led the inaguration and turn-over ceremony of these projects.

The SPI aims to empower local communities through enhancing their participation in local governance, and involving different agencies and the local communities in the preparation and implementation of peace and development projects in the local communities as a way to bring development and achieve lasting peace. (MAL/IAG, PIA Sorsogon)

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Information to Empower Filipinos World Food Program conducts disaster risk preparedness training in 3 municipalities

SORSOGON CITY, Feb. 24 (PIA) — The World Food Program (WFP) conducted a three-day training on disaster preparedness and risk reduction for three municipalities here in line with technical support it pledged to the country affected by a recent earthquake and floods, a WFP release said.

The training, which started Feb. 21, included participants from the local governments of Juban, Casiguran and Bulan in Sorsogon province, and officials from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (SPDRMO).

The activity will reinforce hardware and financial support and relevant training and planning activities in regional, provincial and local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Offices (DRRMOs), the WFP said.

The three municipalities were identified by the provincial government as areas with high vulnerability and recommended for inclusion in the training.

The WFP is the food arm of the United Nations System and acts in response to urgent situations specifically along disaster stricken areas. (MAL/IAG, PIA Sorsogon)

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Sorsogon City visualizes itself, “A Magnet for Development”

By Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, Feb. 16 (PIA) — The 18-man delegation from Cambodia that visited Sorsogon City for the past two days this week was impressed with Sorsogon City’s climate change adaptation and mitigation initiatives and strategies; components of the disaster risk reduction contingency plan like shelter, livelihood, evacuation centers; comprehensive land use plan; and where tourism and wellness were the emerging highlight of the city’s development.

Mayor Leovic Dioneda of this city shared with the Cambodian entourage that the key message that they learned in the implementation of the Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (CCAM), is that, being the only pilot area of CCAM in Southeast Asia, it is now becoming “a magnet for development” where doors of funding agencies just opened up to provide the city the needed funds for development.

He said that this year, the city is becoming known not only for its fast-paced infrastructure development but is also becoming introduced to the world because of its”complementation-strategy” with funding agencies working for enhancing environmental sustainability programs, and the city now focusing more in its tourism potential and wellness of the constituency.

“For the past several years, the city leaders have become a real unified body; both the legislative and executive have focused their mandate in the development of the city, the security of the people, and harnessing outside source for development that outpouring of resources coming from our representatives and senator have been just easily provided aside from global funding source,” Dioneda said.

“Here in the city, Senator Francis Joseph “Chiz” G. Escudero had committed funds for the development of the four-hectare environmental tourism area in Brgy. Cabarbuhan, district of Bacon that will be turned into a zoo where children will be provided the chance to interact with animals and a recreation area for families and for those who simply would like to commune with nature,” he said.

He also presented to the visitors the other add-on components of the CCAM that will create livelihood opportunities — the P 40 million training center and slaughterhouse now being constructed.

The visit was highlighted by the tour of the group to the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) where exposure to geothermal energy featured the essence of technology and environment in harmony. It is now one of the best ecotourism destinations here in the province. (MAL/IAG-PIA Sorsogon)

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

17 Bicol schools to impose tuition hikes

By Media Solutions

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – Seventeen higher education institutions (HEI) in Bicol region signified intentions to raise tuition fees on school year 2012-2013, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) here confirmed.

Janette Naag, CHED-Bicol supervisor in-charge of tuition fees, said the 17 HEIs were the only ones who submitted “Letter of Intent” as of February 13, the last day of filing LOI.
Among the applicants for tuition fee hikes included:

DB Pena Memorial Colleges Foundation, Oas Community College, Immaculate Concepcion College, all in Albay province, Mariner’s Polytechnic College Foundation in Camarines Sur, Masbate College and Southern Roosevelt College in Masbate, St. Louise de Marillac College, RG de Castor College, Sorsogon College of Criminology in Sorsogon, the Mariner’s Polytechnic College Foundation, Divine Word College and Aquinas University in Legaspi City, Ateneo de Naga University, Mariner’s Polytechnic College Foundation, University of Santa Isabel and University of Nueva Ciaceres in Naga City and Catanduanes College.

Naag, however, said the applicant-HEIs have yet to undergo process as required by CHED Memorandum No. 13 series of 1998 which governs the increase of tuition fees by private schools.
The HEIs also must submit certificate of intended compliance as well as certificate of compliance which would show that they complied with the directive regarding the utilization of the tuition hike which mandates that 70 per cent must be allocated for salary increase of its personnel, 20 per cent for improvement of facilities and only 10 per cent shall be retained as return on investment (ROI), Naag said.

The CHED official said there is no limit as to the amount of increase the HEIs may impose as long as all the sectors concerned gave their approval to such hike, she said, adding that the institutions must conduct consultations with the students, parents and other stakeholders.

This is based on the CHJED memo 13 which in return was based on Education Act of 1984, Naag said.
However, only tuition fee is covered by the memorandum while other charges like miscellaneous and other fees are left to the discretion of the school authorities, she clarified.
Naag reminded the HEIs that they must submit proof of the consultation signed by the president of the student council as part of the requirements which must be filed with CHED not later than April 1.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Sorsogon City now a “Learning Site to Visit,” shares success implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies

By Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, Feb. 13 PIA) — A number of visitors from a neighboring country are in town not to see the sights but to learn how a Philippine province is readying itseIf for any natural disaster. They are representatives from several local governments in Cambodia to immerse and learn the strategies implemented by the local government of Sorsogon in terms of Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (CCAM).

Recommended by the UN Habitat as one of the places here in Asia whose strategies for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (CCAMs) are well in place, Sorsogon City is now among those under the CCAM- assisted cities considered as a “Learning Site to Visit” as a local government in Asia.

The representatives from Cambodia who arrived yesterday will be exposed to the different CCAMs’ human and infrastructure initiatives stategies that had been instituted here in this city, assisted by several global funding agencies working on disaster risk reduction mechanisms and strategies to adapt and mitigate effects of climate change.

Sorsogon City Mayor Leovic R. Dioneda said that the representatives from Cambodia will be shown the implementation of programs under the CCAMs starting from the practice of the city’s Ecological Solid Waste Management program, the establishment of their Materials Recovery Facilities; the installation of the Light Emitting Diode (LED) using solar energy in the city vicinity and street lights ; the School Mitigating Adapting Risk and Threat (SMART) schools used as evacuation centers; the retrofitting program of houses exposed to highly vulnerable areas and the establishment of the city’s CCAM office where equipment and devices are installed to include the automatic weather station.

The city will also share the implementation of the Executive Order 3, s 2011 local scheme/policy/programme on the conversion of 2-stroke tricycle motors to the more efficient and emission reducing 4-stroke motors developed and adopted by the city government.

He will also explain to them the city’s contingency plan in Disaster Risk Reduction Management as he had been usually invited in foreign countries to share the success story of the city in terms of creating an aware and enlightened citizenry when it comes to managing natural calamities and becoming a resilient community.

He will expose these visitors to the organizational structure of the CCAM starting from the barangays, the schools, non-governmental organizations and other government entities on how they harmonize efforts to implement a resilient community with regards to disaster risk reduction management.

Mayor Dioneda will also share the communication strategies being implemented in the city and the use of the comprehensive land use plan to ensure safety mechanism of infrastructure development following the CCMA scheme.

The Cambodian visitors will in the same manner share their experience in the implementation of their CCAM strategies but according to Manny Daep, city information officer, Sorsogon City has been now highlighted as a “Learning site to visit ” since last year 2011, a lot of visitors from local and international communities have been here and to see and learn from the city’s CCAM strategy projects. ( MAL/IAG, PIA Sorsogon)

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

700-MW of wind projects get nod

by Alena Mae S. Flores

The Energy Department approved over 700 megawatts of wind projects last year, boosting the country’s efforts toward energy independence, government data showed over the weekend.

The department cleared the application of CoastalPower Development Corp.’s Prieto-Diaz wind power project in Sorsogon province, which has a capacity to generate 420 MW of power, the biggest approved to date.

The department also gave the greenlight to CoastalPower’s 100-MW Mercedes wind power project in Camarines Norte.

Approved contracts include those of Energy Logics Philippines’ 100-MW North Pasuquin wind power project in Pasuquin-Burgos, Ilocos Norte, and 112-MW Mt. Redondo wind power project in Zambales.

The others are Philippine Hybrid Energy Systems Inc.’s 15-MW Puerto Galera wind project, PhilCarbon Inc.’s in Sagada and Bulalacao and Pan Energy Corp.’s Redondo wind power project.

Wind developers are waiting for the release of the feed-in tariff that will guarantee them a fixed rate over a 20-year period. The feed-in tariff is undergoing hearings at the Energy Regulatory Commission.

Wind developers, who are members of the Wind Energy Development Association of the Philippines, are also in talks with National Grid Corporation of the Philippines for the construction of transmission lines that will support the development of their projects.

National Grid has proposed a new transmission project, called the Northern Luzon 230-kV Looping project, that will serve the needs of wind projects in the north.

“This project aims to loop the north-western and north-eastern 230 kV backbone in Luzon in order to provide adequate transmission facilities in catering to the huge wind power generation potential in the region and at the same time improve the overall reliability of the transmission network,” National Grid said in its draft Transmission Development Plan 2011-2020.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

DA asked to lift ban on cutting coconut trees

Manly M. Ugalde / Correspondent

Tuesday, 07 February 2012

LEGAZPI CITY­—Barely two weeks after Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala ordered a total ban on the cutting of coconut trees in Albay, his officials in Bicol want the ban relaxed.

Alcala ordered the total ban during his visit here two weeks ago when he distributed P14 million worth of farm equipment to farmers’ and fishers’ cooperatives, irrigators’ associations and local officials in Albay and Sorsogon.

Albay Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda had asked Alcala for a total ban on the cutting of coconut trees in Albay, saying the uncontrolled cutting could trigger landslides and flooding in low-lying barangays in the province which is prone to heavy monsoon rains.

The agriculture secretary gave his order to Philippine Coconut Authority Administrator Euclides Forbes to stop issuing permits to cut coconut trees effective Jan. 30, 2012.

Coconut lumber is normally used as scaffolding in the construction of houses and buildings as well as in road construction due to the scarcity and high cost of good lumber materials. Coconut lumber has also been used by local residents in building houses.

But local coconut-lumber dealers said that many residents would lose their job if the total ban  is enforced.

PCA Regional Director Eduardo Allorde said those who have cutting permits might not be affected by the ban. He said he will ask for exemption on the ban and that only those with existing permits would be allowed to cut on condition that only aged coconut trees and those affected with the disease known as cadang-cadang will be cut. He said trees cut need to be replaced with new trees.

The continued cutting of trees was also noted in the nearby provinces of Sorsogon, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte and Catanduanes.

A source told the BusinessMirror that some coconut lumber found in Albay also comes from other provinces.
Allorde said the cutting ban imposed by the DA was only for Albay. However, the cutting permit issued in other Bicol provinces are limited to the cutting of unproductive, aged trees and those afflicted with the cadang-cadang disease.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Better weather info for PHL agriculture urged

February 7, 2012

The weather office should start fine-tuning its weather report for agriculture to aid farmers who are grappling with extreme weather events, a crop scientist at the University of the Philippines Los Banos said.

Dr. Lucille Elna De Guzman, a researcher at the UP College of Agriculture and a member of the UPLB Interdisciplinary Program on Climate Change, said the weather for the past year has become “so erratic.”

At present, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services (Pagasa) only provides a general agricultural weather report every month.

De Guzman, in an interview at the sidelines of a climate change adaptation workshop organized by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture, said the report should be localized as weather in one place is different from another.

“The weather in the plains is different from the weather in the mountains,” she said.

De Guzman said many Filipino farmers still base their planting schedules on observable weather patterns. This, she said, is not advisable anymore as the patterns have become too unpredictable.

It would be helpful for farmers to have a more accurate information on rainfall, temperature, and sunlight so that they can plan their planting schedules to avoid extreme weather, she said.

Recently, the DA said it would purchase weather systems for farming communities to better equip farmers against the threat of climate change.

The Philippines have been experiencing the effects of climate change, scientists said. A Pagasa study of climate data from 1960 to 2003 showed significant increases in the frequency of hot days and warm nights in many areas of the country.

Pagasa also observed that cooler days had decreased. This trend mirrors the experience of other countries in Southeast Asia, Pagasa said as it predicted more rains in the Philippines in the coming decades.

Previously, DA Undersecretary Segfredo said the DA is the only country in the region that doesn’t have its own meteorological service.

He estimated that P1 billion should be enough to cover the main agricultural lands with automatic weather stations.

Having accessible data on the weather would boost farmers’ resiliency and lessen their risks against climate change, officials said. Experts said more accurate data on weather patterns will help farmers decide on what and when to plant and harvest their crops.

In Sorsogon, a province that faces the Pacific Ocean and is on the path of typhoons, the local government and the Department of Agriculture recently piloted an early warning system report for farms.

Sorsogon Assistant Provincial Agriculturist Tess Destura said the weather bulletin for farms provide data on soil condition and issues advisory on what to do with crops and livestock.

The weather calendar also has information on when the monsoons would start and end, giving farmers a better idea when to plant and harvest their crops.

Destura said there were difficulties along the way. She noted that the bulletin was sometimes late. There was also the matter of interpreting data for farmers.

“We requested Pagasa to assist us on how to forecast weather,” she said. They also translated the bulletins to the local dialect for farmers.

Destura said Sorsogon has started to experiment with early maturing varieties of rice as part of their strategy to adapt the agricultural sector to climate change. She noted that calamities always pull down their rice yield.

The province, Destura said, is hoping that by using early maturing varieties of rice would allow their farmers to harvest rice before the stronger storms hit their region. — TJD, GMA News

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Sorsogon gearing for economic high this 2012

By Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, Feb. 6 (PIA) — There’s a fresh wind blowing across Sorsogon, and it is envigorating everyone. There are new changes and improvements in the landscape that have been observed by almost all who had been in the area.

For one, the Infrastructure has been undergoing a thorough facelift — there are now well paved roads, new buildings constructed and being constructed, additional banks are being located in the city and in some municipalities, and a new terminal is now being constructed; it shows that the province is gearing up for 2012.

Sorsogon Electric Cooperative II (SORECO)has a new three-story building open to serve its clientele.

On the other hand, the Sorsogon City Water District (SCWD) is upgrading its facilities and equipments with the Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) providing 24/7 water supply and has added a gym for the healthy lifestyle of its employees.

In the local government units, all municipalities have birthing facilities and two district hospitals are being renovated/ rehabilitated, while the provincial hospital is adding 15 more beds.

Just this December, a big supermarket opened for business while two more big supermarkets are being constructed and set to open this semester. People say that business opportunities are now felt here in the province.

According to Leah Pagao, provincial director of the Department of Trade and Industry, Sorsogon has now become a trade center here in the south with people from down Masbate coming to the province via Bulan and Pilar ports to purchase goods in bulk and do trading.

Several eateries have also sprung up from small and medium carenderias, to fast food chains and restaurants catering to the big number of students here studying in the city and people doing business and other economic activities.

The one-stop shop of the city of Sorsogon has recorded a 17 percent mark up in tax collection compared to the previous year even if there was an increase in tax due to the imposition of the new city tax code according to Ireneo Manaois, Sorsogon City administrator.

It has also been observed that the influx of tourists here in the province continue to increase due to tourism marketing strategies of the provincial and municipal tourism offices involving the participation of private partners who have build new hotels and add on bed and breakfast inns.

The improvements and the newly constructed roads leading to Mt. Bulusan are now almost complete making for a fast link to several tourism destinations particularly to both land and island travelers.

Local government initiatives in terms of improving the services of the municipal and provincial employment offices have also made a significant mark in employment locally with the opening of new eateries, supermarkets, and banks as recorded by the provincial and municipal employment officers here.

According to Pagao, Sorsogon has gained impact on the global market not only because of its natural tourism destinations but also because of its local products like pili, abaca, karagumoy, moras now locally produced and assisted in terms of development by the two representatives from the first and second districts through the small and medium enterprise development initiatives as reflected in their congressional fund allocations.

With the new thrust of the national government under President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino’s administration, implementation of the Philippine Development Plan, Sorsogon has now become according to most observers here a hub of economic opportunities, its location being the gateway to the south and to the north.(MAL/IAGPIA-Sorsogon)

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Provincial health office records 18 deaths of Cholera, advises public to take extra health precautions

By Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, Feb. 5 (PIA) — Dr. Edgar Garcia, officer here of the Sorsogon Provincial Hospital reminded the public today to take all the necessary exigent health precautions against cholera; to date, the province has 18 recorded deaths in a span of three months.

According to him, the provincial hospital intensified its campaign against the disease due to the alarming rate of deaths.

He also said that he had made representations with all local chief executives to be aware of this health concern specially here in the city of Sorsogon through their municipal health officers.

He also explained that there were 12 deaths related to this illness recorded in Sorsogon City, 3 deaths in Gubat, one in Castilla and one in Bulusan.

He also explained that the cause of death can also be attributed to the presence of “fecal ecoli “ that may have contaminated river stream in some areas due to poor hygiene and wrong toilet habits.

Garcia also explained that after receiving the results yesterday based on rectal swabs and the findings of the cause of deaths, he immediately went on radio today to give the results of the findings of the several patients who were rushed to the hospital with the same symptoms and immediately conducted emergency meeting with the local health boards.

The PHO, according to Dr. Garcia, had intensively informed the public and issued warnings to the municipal health workers to be vigilant and keep watch of the incidence and remind public to take health precautions especially by boiling their water for drinking. He also had made coordination with the Sorsogon City Water District for water chlorination.

He also said that a total of 200 plus patients for the last three months here had been admitted with the same symptoms and have been provided the immediate medication only those who were not brought immediately to the hospital and were not given the needed first aid treatment by their family died.

Garcia also again reminded the public to rush immediately patients who suffer loose bowel movement as this is one of the symptoms of diarrhea and that if the patient has low resistance as in the case of a lot of people today because of the weather, then vigilance is needed.

He also informed the public that all Rural Health Units have the needed antibiotics and health workers know what to do in this case.
Intensive daily and weekly surveillance on the cases according to him should be done not only by health workers but members of the family as well. Children going to school should bring boiled water for drinking and avoid buying street food or food which they think may not be properly and safely prepared. (MAL/IAG, PIA Sorsogon)

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Port projects awarded

THE PHILIPPINE Ports Authority (PPA) has issued separate notices of award for P268.42-million worth of port development projects.

In a copy of the Notice of Award posted on the government agency’s Web site yesterday, Luck-Well Construction was awarded the P185.81-million expansion project for the Port of Matnog, Sorsogon.

The project involves the construction and development of the port’s back-up area, deck on piles, two roll-on roll-off ramps, and the lighting system, according to the notice.

PPA noted it expects to enter a contract with Luck-Well Construction within 10 days from the receipt of the notice.

The notice was issued by the government agency last Jan. 24, and was received by the winning contractor on Jan. 26.

Meanwhile, PPA also issued a notice of award to Kwan Sing Construction Corp. for the P82.62-million dredging project at the Port of Zamboanga in Zamboanga del Sur.

The project, dubbed as dredging of berths and maneuvering areas at Port of Zamboanga, involves rock breaking, blasting, dredging or removal of broken rock and coral formation, and disposal of dredged or excavated soil materials.

The notice of award was issued by PPA on Jan. 31 and was received by Kwan Sing Construction on Feb. 2.

The government agency expects a contract to be entered into by said parties within 10 days from the receipt of the notice.

Last month, PPA has already sealed P332.1-million worth of port development projects and issued notices of award for another P209.08-million worth of projects.

PPA expects cargo volume to increase 5% to 175.40 million metric tons (MT) in 2012 from a forecast of 167.82 million MT in 2011, the agency previously said.

Because of the expected increase in cargo volume, PPA said continuous port development projects will be undertaken by the government and various private firms.

In 2010, the country’s cargo volume reached 166.4 million MT. The 2011 projected figure of 167.82 million MT is a 1% growth from 2010 levels. — Kathleen A. Martin

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

DepEd Sorsogon readies for mother-tongue based instruction this June 2012

SORSOGON CITY, Feb. 3 (PIA) — Sorsogon City Schools Division Superintendent, Dr. Virgilio S. Real disclosed yesterday that the Department of Education (DepEd) here is now ready to implement the “Mother-tongue-based instruction” in classrooms, meaning, that the language of instruction will use the local dialect in schools starting grade one this school year June 2012.

Real said that the DepEd is now ready with books and other instructional materials that were translated into the local dialects of each town.

Real said that the use of the local dialect as the medium of instruction especially in grade one is a very effective way of teaching a child or pupil because then, they can easily interact with the teacher.
He also said that here in Sorsogon, two schools in Sorsogon East Central School have been pilot-tested and have shown a remarkable significant easy communication process where pupils were able to comprehend better and school achievement was remarkably high since the language used is the first language taught and learned at home.
He said that teachers did not have difficulty in communication or language barrier and that no interpretation or explanation is done as to unlock difficulties in communication.
Real said that the “lengua–franka or mother tongue based instruction” is also a very easy means for teacher-pupil learning process as full participation of pupils is expected since barriers for understanding are removed and teacher can explain better using the local language and examples can be given in more understandable language.(MAL/IAG, PIA-SORSOGON)

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Sorsogon prov’l. government turns over water tourism facilities to Bulusan town

SORSOGON CITY, Feb. 2 (PIA) — Some P2.9 million worth of new water tourism facilities comprising of 10 kayaks; three rowboats with six to eight person capacity; two patrol boats; eight aqua trike with two-person capacity, and another four four-row boats with a maximum of four- person capacity each were turned over by the Sorsogon provincial government to the local government of Bulusan this week

The new facilities are to drumbeat the activities that tourists will love and enjoy to go around the lake of Mt. Bulusan and to give life to the tourism monicker “It’s more fun in the Philippines.”

All these boats are made of fiberglass and sizes vary depending on the number of tourists who would like to avail as each has specifications for the number of persons who will occupy the boat.

According to Cristina Racelis, tourism officer designate of the province of Sorsogon, these new water facilities are still part of the tourism initiatives made way back during the time of former governor Sally Lee but was only now acquired due to the technical descriptions to be followed as prescribed by the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Governor Raul R. Lee, together with USEC Antonio Cleto of the Department of Agriculture (DA); Jose Dayao, regional director DA RFU 5, former governor Sally A. Lee, and Sanggunian Panlalawigan Tourism committee chair, Eric Ravanilla turned over the facilities to Bulusan mayor Michael Guysayco in the presence of the local residents and some visitors coming from abroad.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the provincial government and the local government of Bulusan as to the use and manner of safekeeping.

According to mayor Guysayco, the additional water tourism facilities were the complementary facility provided by the provincial government especially now that the road component going to Bulusan has been already completed through the national government initiative.

Guysayco also thanked the national government in looking into the tourism value of local governments and the livelihood opportunities that will trickle down to basic communities and the hope of people to also interface with other people coming from different places and countries according to Guysayco.

The province of Sorsogon has been known as one of the best ecotourism sites globally with the presence of the famous whale shark of Donsol,and with the added water equipments in Bulusan Lake, the local government of Bulusan expects more tourists, local and foreign, this year. both the local.(MAL/IAG, PIA Sorsogon)

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Disaster risk reduction office beefs up action in preparation for La Nina

By Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, Feb.1 (PIA) — El Nino was felt in 2011; it will be La Nina’s turn this year and provinces have been instructed to prepare for any eventuality. The Sorsogon Provincial Disaster Risk Management Office (SPDRMO), in its continuing effort to heighten awareness about La Nina, is urging its members to intensify activities in support of La Nina awareness.

SPDRMO spokesperson Vhon Andre Labalan, explained the needed harmonization of efforts of member agencies especially in its preparations being done for the coming La Nina.

SPDRMO has also engaged the assistance of different non-governmental organizations working in information dissemination particularly in the identified areas with peculiar vulnerabilities like Juban, Irosin, Casiguran, and Bulan.

The effects of the Mt. Bulusan explosion also made these four municipalities vulnerable to ash transmitted by wind; the municipalities of Juban and Irosin to mudflow siltation, and other municipalities highly vulnerable to erosion and landslides as in the case of Magallanes , Donsol,and the city of Sorsogon particularly the West and Bacon districts.

According to Labalan, SPDRMO head Jose Lopez has collated all the documents and reports submitted by all local government units particularly in the implementation of their contingency plan.

The disaster risk reduction efforts of Sorsogon has been lauded by the different international funding agencies.

Labalan explained that SPDRMO continuously monitors the rainfall situation through rain gauges that have been installed and proper documentation is being forwarded regularly to their office.

SPDRMO, in collaboration with the Sorsogon Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Council (SPDRRC), has also provided all local governments the list of equipments that can be handy for evacuation and rescue. (MAL/IAG, PIA Sorsogon)

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Earthquake rocks Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Albay

By Mar Arguelles
Inquirer Southern Luzon

LEGAZPI CITY—An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.5 rocked the provinces of Catanduanes, Sorsogon and Albay on Saturday morning, said the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
Phivolcs said the quake struck at about 8:27 a.m. with its epicenter traced to Virac, the capital of Catanduanes.
Ed Laguerta, resident volcanologist of Phivolcs, said the agency’s instruments located the epicenter of the earthquake at 62 kilometers southeast of Virac with a depth of less than a kilometer.
The quake was felt at intensity 3 in Baras, Catanduanes, intensity 2 in Sorsogon and intensity 1 in Irosin and Legazpi City.
Laguerta said the earthquake was of tectonic origin, which means the quake was triggered by the movement of the earth’s crust.
The quake rocked the Bicol area for about 1.8 seconds but no one was reported injured and it did not cause any damage to private and public structures, he said.
The Philippines has several active fault lines and dozens of quakes hit the country every day although most are too weak to be felt.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Kalihim ng DA bumisita sa Sorsogon; pondo at kagamitang pang-agrikultura ipinamahagi

Ni: Bennie A. Recebido

LUNGSOD NG SORSOGON, January 27 (PIA) – Matapos ang mahaba-habang paghihintay kahapon sa pagdating ni Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso Alcala, nasulit naman ito lalo na nang maipamahagi na ng sekretaryo ang mga tseke, iskolarship at mga kagamitang pangsaka sa mga benepisyaryo nito sa Sorsogon.

Naroroon sa ginawang forum ang mga matataas na opisyal ng lalawigan sa pangunguna ni Sorsogon Governor Raul R. Lee, mga alkalde, hepe ng ilang mga piling ahensya ng pamahalaan at mga kinatawan ng Provincial Agriculture Office.

Tinampukan ang pagbisita ng pamamahagi ng mga tseke at Agricultural Comprehensive Enhancement Fund (ACEF) sa mga aydentipikadong mga farmer beneficiaries at iba pang tulong sa pagsusulong ng agrikultura sa lalawigan sa kabuuang 200 mga benepisyaryo mula sa sektor ng magsasaka, mangingisda at mga irrigator sa ilalim ng programang “Agrikultura: Kaagapay ng Bayang Pinoy” (AKBAY) ng DA.

Ang Sorsogon ay isa sa mga napiling benepisyaryo ng AKBAY at nabigyan ng P2.09 milyong tulong sa pagpapatupad ng iba’t-ibang mga programa ng ahensyang nasa ilalim ng pagsubaybay ng DA.

Ang mga benepisyaryo ay masusing pinili at sumailalim sa balidasyon kung saan 30 magsasaka ang nakatanggap ng tulong sa pagsusulong ng abaka mula sa Fiber Development Authority (FIDA), 30 mga mangingisda mula sa Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), 40 mga cocoteros mula sa Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), habang 100 naman mula sa National Irrigation Administration (NIA).

Sampung karagdagang benepisyaryo din ang nakatanggap ng sampung libong piso bawat isa para sa agri-business.

Ang programang AKBAY ay isa sa mga mekanismo ng pamahalaang nasyunal sa pagtugon sa kahirapan na ibinibigay sa mga aydentipikadong mga lalawigan sa pamamagitan ng tulong pangkabuhayan, trabaho at mga pagkakakitaan ng mga nasa sector ng sakahan. Layunin din nitong maitaas ang kapasidad ng mga mahihirap lalo na sa paggawa ng desisyong makakatulong sa kanilang pag-unlad.

Samantala, sa ginawa namang press conference, sinabi ni DA Secretary Alcala na dapat na mapagtuunan ng pansin ng mga lokal na opisyal ng pamahalaan ang agricultural land conversion sapagkat kung hindi maagapan, isa ito sa magiging dahilan sa pagkakaroon ng kakulangan ng suplay ng pagkain sa hinaharap.

Hinikayat din ang mga Sorsoganon na patuloy na magtanim hindi lamang ng palay kundi maging ng mga niyog lalo pa’t mayaman ang lupa ng Sorsogon pagdating sa pagpapatubo at pagpapalago ng ganitong mga uri ng produktong agrikultural. (PIA Sorsogon)

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Bicol revs up economic engine


By Fernan Gianan, Jonas Cabiles Soltes, Mar Arguelles

In this Year of the Water Dragon, Bicol is poised to take off. The optimism stems from the region’s economic growth in previous years as most of its provinces turned to tourism and services to boost their standings. Some, however, were hobbled by challenges brought about by high power costs.
“Last year, Bicol shed off its ‘poorest’ image with a leaping growth rate of 8.2 percent, the highest so far among the other regions and even surpassing the national growth rate,” says Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, who is also current chair of the Regional Development Council (RDC).
The economic landscape, Salceda says, “looks different, and the momentum of growth it had taken had been decisive.”
In Albay, the official says he needs to focus on addressing high power costs, which he describes as “the biggest single stumbling block to faster, more sustained and more inclusive economic growth.”
Rising power costs have emerged as the biggest disincentive to more domestic and foreign investments, he adds.
“While provinces like Albay have been providing Luzon with cheap geothermal energy of almost 464 (megawatts) while getting virtually nothing, under Epira (Electric Power Industry Reform Act), (Albay) is now compelled to purchase the same power at WESM (Wholesale Electricity Spot Market) for P7.8 per kilowatt-hour (kWh),” he says.
Salceda says the RDC would endorse flagship infrastructure developments, particularly on multimodal transportation infrastructure and the Bicol River Basin Project which are both under way, and the P3.4-billion Southern Luzon International Airport (SLIA) in Daraga town.
“The SLIA is seen to uplift the economy and position of Bicol on the global tourism map,” he says.
In the first-class province of Camarines Sur (annual income: more than P450 million), which is embroiled in a politically charged “partition” issue, a sustained boost in the economy fueled by steady tourist arrivals is expected.
Provincial administrator Fermin Mabulo, who spoke in behalf of Gov. Luis “LRay” Villafuerte, says that aside from tourism, the financial standing of the largest province of Bicol was fed by a boom in the housing industry.
The entry of real estate giant Ayala Land in the property adjacent to the Capitol complex would be complemented by the improvement of the facilities of the capitol, including the Camarines Sur Watersports Complex (CWC), he says.
“The improvement of the CWC is included in the overall development of 9,000 square meters of provincial land near the capitol, which would be turned into a convention area as Camarines Sur poises to market itself as the convention hub of the country,” says Mabulo.
While CamSur would be harshly affected by the cut in the internal revenue allotment from the national government this year, he says it would remain an affluent province—even if the proposed Nueva Camarines province materializes. He says the partition could hurt growth plans, but he remains hopeful it would not push through.
In Naga, planning and development coordinator Wilfredo Prilles says the city’s economy did very well amid continuing challenges, mainly coming from a slowdown in the property sector.
Last year, the total number of registered firms grew by 33 percent in terms of new business and renewals, says Prilles. “For 2012, we expect this trend to continue,” he adds.
“We see more businesses opening at the same pace, especially with the PNR (Philippine National Railways) services to Bicol now restored. Tourism will continue to be a sunshine industry, with at least two hotels expecting to operate next year,” he says.
In Iriga, tourism is expected to provide an “additional shot in the arm in the short term” as Iriga stages the second “Gayon Bikol” Festival in February, says city information officer Francisco Peñones Jr.
Maj. Angelo Guzman, spokesperson of the Army’s 9th Infantry Division based in Camp Elias Angeles in Pili, Camarines Sur, sees “improving peace situation” as the government’s anti-insurgency program that was implemented starting last year “was slowly harvesting its fruits.”
He claims that more communist rebels will go back to the fold of the law because of dwindling mass support.
Sick man no more
For Camarines Norte, Mayor Tito Sarion of Daet expects a booming year for Bicol’s longtime sick man as the capital town welcomes businesses that provide amenities taken for granted by more urbanized areas.
The “newcomers,” Sarion says, includes Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., which has started installing facilities.
Daet is also undergoing an urban renewal program, including the construction of an integrated terminal, a well-lit plaza, and a renovated government center.
Evelyn de Leon, chair of the small and medium enterprises council of the province, says the entry of McDonald’s, 7-Eleven, Liberty Commercial complex and other investors augurs well for Camarines Norte.
She says the inactive Bagasbas Airport in Daet is being refurbished starting 2013.
The influx of tourists in the Calaguas group of islands is another boost, along with the growing popularity of the province as a water sports destination.
But De Leon says a slowdown is expected in the mining industry because of the nonissuance of permits to small-scale miners by the provincial government.
Looking bright
In Sorsogon, Gov. Raul Lee expects an improved situation, pinning the fortune of the province mainly on tourism.
“On the peace and order side, we are relatively peaceful. On the economic side, business in the province is relatively slow.” Lee says.
He says he is hoping that 2012 will be a year of less crime and improved economy for the province famous for the butanding or whale sharks that feed off its shores.
In Masbate, Placer Mayor Joshur Judd Lanete, son of Gov. Rizalina Seachon-Lanete, sees a rosy future despite the province being put in bad light due to political violence and criminality.
“The economy and peace and order situations are looking bright. With the help of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, it seems that the people feel safer already. It bodes well for the tourism industry in the province,” he says.
Prospects are up in Catanduanes despite a significant drop in the buying prices of abaca fiber and a steep rise in power rates beginning this month, according to Ireneo Panti, Jr., provincial director of the Departmentof Trade and Industry. The island produces 20 percent of the country’s annual production.
Panti says the plunge in the price of abaca fiber has kept businessmen worried even as the trade in abaca bacbac (dried leaf sheaths) continues to expand.
Over 20,000 farmers and their families depend on the abaca industry for subsistence.
Catanduanes is also burdened by the unreliable and expensive cost of power, with the Energy Regulatory Commission recently approving six petitions to increase power rates filed by National Power Corp. to recover losses in fuel costs and foreign exchange fluctuations.
The increases, which will bring the cost of residential power to over P12 per kWh, will be implemented over the next four years.
Bishop Manolo delos Santos and Provincial Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council chair Rene Abella have appealed to Malacañang to defer the power-rate increases. They suggested that these be stretched over six years to cushion their impact on consumers.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

DA Sec to distribute agri fund to 200 beneficiaries in Sorsogon

by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, Sorsogon, Jan. 25 (PIA) — Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary, Proceso J. Alcala will be awarding checks, including agricultural comprehensive scholarships to farmers, fisher folks and irrigators, a total of 200 beneficiaries on Jan. 26 at the Sorsogon Provincial Gymnasium under the “Agrikultura: Kaagapay ng Bayang Pinoy (AKBAY)” program.

The beneficiaries were previously identified and have undergone validation by the four different attached agencies of DA as those that need immediate intervention to implement programs here in the province.

From the Fiber Development Authority (FIDA), 30 farmers will receive assistance on abaca development. Forty coconut farmers from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) will be granted funds while 30 fisher folks from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and 100 irrigators from the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) shall also benefit.

The AKBAY program is a mechanism for poverty alleviation given to identified provinces through the provision of livelihood and employment opportunities and augmenting the source of income of the farm households.

It also aims to strengthen the capabilities of marginalized sectors to involve and empower them in decision making processes.

This program was conceptualized by the National Agriculture and Fishery Council which is under the DA and will be implemented in tandem with the DA regional offices, the local government units and the local agriculture and fishery councils.

Alcala, assisted by Sorsogon Governor Raul Lee, will be handing in checks and award the Agricultural Comprehensive Enhancement Fund (ACEF) Scholarship to farmer beneficiaries.

Sorsogon has been identified as one of the AKBAY beneficiaries and was awarded P2.09-million assistance through the implementation of the different programs of the several attached agencies.

Ten more beneficiaries identified through the AKBAY will be awarded P10,000 each for agri-business.

Together with Alcala are DA-5 regional director Dr. Jose V. Dayao, PCA-5 regional manager Eduardo Allorde, DA-5 regional technical director for Research and Regulations Edgar R. Madrid, who will present the programs and project of DA.

Expected to attend are the mayors their municipal agricultural officers and heads of offices of the attached agencies under the DA here. (MAL/IAG/PIA-5)

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

A Touching Story of a Doctor

Guys, I came across this Touching story of a Doctor. Please read this story and I hope it will inspire your day too! Dios Mabalos po saido gabos!

A doctor entered the hospital in hurry after being called in for an urgent surgery. He answered the call asap, changed his clothes and went directly to the surgery block. He found the boy’s father going and coming in the hall waiting for the doctor. Once seeing him, the dad yelled:
“Why did you take all this time to come? Don’t you know that my son’s life is in danger? Don’t you have the sense of responsibility?”

The doctor smiled and said:
“I am sorry, I wasn’t in the hospital and I came the fastest I could after receiving the call…… And now, I wish you’d calm down so that I can do my work”

“Calm down?! What if your son was in this room right now, would you calm down? If your own son dies now what will you do??” said the father angrily

The doctor smiled again and replied: “I will say what Job said in the Holy Book “From dust we came and to dust we return, blessed be the name of God”. Doctors cannot prolong lives. Go and intercede for your son, we will do our best by God’s grace”

“Giving advice when we’re not concerned is so easy” Murmured the father.

The surgery took some hours after which the doctor went out happy,
“Thank goodness!, your son is saved!” And without waiting for the father’s reply he carried on his way running. “If you have any question, ask the nurse!!”

“Why is he so arrogant? He couldn’t wait some minutes so that I ask about my son’s state” Commented the father when seeing the nurse minutes after the doctor left.

The nurse answered, tears coming down her face: “His son died yesterday in a road accident, he was in the burial when we called him for your son’s surgery. And now that he saved your son’s life, he left running to finish his son’s burial.”

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Heart Attack Symptoms You Are Most Likely to Ignore

Source: Yahoo Health
Melanie Haiken

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pay Attention to Your Ticker

Heart attacks don’t always strike out of the blue — there are many symptoms we can watch for in the days and weeks leading up to an attack. But the symptoms may not be the ones we expect. And they can be different in men and women, and different still in older adults. Last year, for example, a landmark study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Institute found that 95 percent of women who’d had heart attacks reported experiencing symptoms in the weeks and months before the attack — but the symptoms weren’t the expected chest pain, so they went unrecognized.
Don’t let that happen to you. Here are 10 heart symptoms you’re likely to ignore — and shouldn’t.
1. Indigestion or Nausea

One of the most oft-overlooked signs of a heart attack is nausea and stomach pain. Symptoms can range from mild indigestion to severe nausea, cramping, and vomiting. Others experience a cramping-style ache in the upper belly. Women and adults over age 60 are more likely to experience this symptom and not recognize it as tied to cardiac health.
Most cases of stomach ache and nausea aren’t caused by a heart attack, of course. But watch out for this sign by becoming familiar with your own digestive habits; pay attention when anything seems out of the ordinary, particularly if it comes on suddenly and you haven’t been exposed to stomach flu and haven’t eaten anything out of the ordinary.

2. Jaw, Ear, Neck, or Shoulder Pain

A sharp pain and numbness in the chest, shoulder, and arm is an indicator of heart attack, but many people don’t experience heart attack pain this way at all. Instead, they may feel pain in the neck or shoulder area, or it may feel like it’s running along the jaw and up by the ear. Some women specifically report feeling the pain between their shoulder blades.
A telltale sign: The pain comes and goes, rather than persisting unrelieved, as a pulled muscle would. This can make the pain both easy to overlook and difficult to pinpoint. You may notice pain in your neck one day, none the next day, then after that it might have moved to your ear and jaw. If you notice pain that seems to move or radiate upwards and out, this is important to bring to your doctor’s attention.
3. Sexual Dysfunction

Having trouble achieving or keeping erections is common in men with coronary artery disease, but they may not make the connection. Just as arteries around the heart can narrow and harden, so can those that supply the penis — and because those arteries are smaller, they may show damage sooner. One survey of European men being treated for cardiovascular disease found that two out of three had suffered from erectile dysfunction before they were ever diagnosed with heart trouble.

4. Exhaustion or Fatigue

A sense of crushing fatigue that lasts for several days is another sign of heart trouble that’s all too often overlooked or explained away. Women, in particular, often look back after a heart attack and mention this symptom. More than 70 percent of women in last year’s NIH study, for example, reported extreme fatigue in the weeks or months prior to their heart attack.
The key here is that the fatigue is unusually strong — not the kind of tiredness you can power through but the kind that lays you flat out in bed. If you’re normally a fairly energetic person and suddenly feel sidelined by fatigue, a call to your doctor is in order.

5. Breathlessness and Dizziness

When your heart isn’t getting enough blood, it also isn’t getting enough oxygen. And when there’s not enough oxygen circulating in your blood, the result is feeling unable to draw a deep, satisfying breath — the same feeling you get when you’re at high elevation. Additional symptoms can be light-headedness and dizziness. But sadly, people don’t attribute this symptom to heart disease, because they associate breathing with the lungs, not the heart.
In last year’s NIH study, more than 40 percent of women heart attack victims remembered experiencing this symptom. A common description of the feeling: “I couldn’t catch my breath while walking up the driveway.”

6. Leg Swelling or Pain

When the heart muscle isn’t functioning properly, waste products aren’t carried away from tissues by the blood, and the result can be edema, or swelling caused by fluid retention. Edema usually starts in the feet, ankles, and legs because they’re furthest from the heart, where circulation is poorer. In addition, when tissues don’t get enough blood, it can lead to a painful condition called ischemia. Bring swelling and pain to the attention of your doctor.

7. Sleeplessness, Insomnia, and Anxiety

This is an odd one doctors can’t yet explain. Those who’ve had heart attacks often remember experiencing a sudden, unexplained inability to fall asleep or stay asleep during the month or weeks before their heart attack. (Note: If you already experience insomnia regularly, this symptom can be hard to distinguish.)
Patients often report the feeling as one of being “keyed up” and wound tight; they remember lying in bed with racing thoughts and sometimes a racing heart. In the NIH report, many of the women surveyed reported feeling a sense of “impending doom,” as if a disaster were about to occur. If you don’t normally have trouble sleeping and begin to experience acute insomnia and anxiety for unexplained reasons, speak with your doctor.

8. Flu-like Symptoms

Clammy, sweaty skin, along with feeling light-headed, fatigued, and weak, leads some people to believe they’re coming down with the flu when, in fact, they’re having a heart attack. Even the feeling of heaviness or pressure in the chest — typical of some people’s experience in a heart attack — may be confused with having a chest cold or the flu.
If you experience severe flu-like symptoms that don’t quite add up to the flu (no high temperature, for example), call your doctor or advice nurse to talk it over. Watch out also for persistent wheezing or chronic coughing that doesn’t resolve itself; that can be a sign of heart disease, experts say. Patients sometimes attribute these symptoms to a cold or flu, asthma, or lung disease when what’s happening is that poor circulation is causing fluid to accumulate in the lungs.

9. Rapid-fire Pulse or Heart Rate

One little-known symptom that sometimes predates a heart attack is known as ventricular tachycardia, more commonly described as rapid and irregular pulse and heart rate. During these episodes, which come on suddenly, you feel as if your heart is beating very fast and hard, like you just ran up a hill — except you didn’t. “I’d look down and I could actually see my heart pounding,” one person recalled. It can last just a few seconds or longer; if longer, you may also notice dizziness and weakness.
Some patients confuse these episodes with panic attacks. Rapid pulse and heartbeat that aren’t brought on by exertion always signal an issue to bring to your doctor’s attention.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Imposition of higher city realty tax, alarms landowners

SORSOGON CITY, Jan 20 (PIA) — Landowners here in the city of Sorsogon are alarmed by the higher imposition of realty taxes that were implemented starting the first day of this year, 2012.

According to most of these landowners, the imposition of higher taxes was enacted by the Sanggunian Panlalawigan in the Provincial Ordinance No 01-2011 last July 18, 2011 and once implemented this year, would mean a very high mark up in their payments.

Landowners are reacting and would like to request for a dialogue with the local officials since abaca, coconut, and other agricultural products do not provide high profit since there is little value added to these products; also, there is the issue of high cost of farm inputs.

A total of 54 landowners who attended the committee hearing said that the increase seems to be high.

On top of this, homeowners have to pay the realty tax of their houses, which they consider as non-profit assets thereby making the payment of taxes for agricultural land and for their residences as exhorbitant.

The increase in the realty taxes range from 38 percent and above as compared to that of the previous rate of previous years.

Sorsogon City councilor Nestor J. Baldon, author of the said ordinance, said that under the local government code of 1991, the city of Sorsogon is mandated to enact an ordinance providing for the fair market value of all real properties based now on its assessed fair market value.

He also explained that since the city was established in 2000, it has implemented a tax moratorium, meaning that no increase in realty tax was implemented for the past 11 years.

He said that with the current market value of real property here in the city, there is also a need to upgrade the tax increase implementation to enhance the eroding tax base for realty taxes.

Baldon explained that the preparation of the tax revenue code is guided by the rules and regulations issued by the Department of Finance and that under the local government code, local government units has to undertake a general revision of property assessment once every three years.

The city of Sorsogon is almost on its eleventh year and based on the Local Government Code it should have undergone a three time increase in taxes.

The five-year grace period of tax moratorium has been made and according to councilor Baldon, the increase in realty taxes this year will also become an economic mechanism for development since the lifeblood of any local government is the generation of taxes. (MAL/IAG, PIA Sorsogon)

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Siltation of waterways down Mt. Bulusan alarming, says DOST

by Danny O. Calleja

SORSOGON CITY — There is an alarming state of siltation in the major river and all its tributaries that serve as receiving ends of volcanic debris swept down by rain waters from the slopes and crevices of Bulusan Volcano, according to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

All smaller tributaries of Cadac-an River, the main river system that traverses the municipalities of Juban and Irosin are now heavily silted even as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) had recently conducted dredging operations, Gerry Asuncion, the DOST provincial chief said here on Wednesday.
The huge volume of lahar and other volcanic debris stored at the slopes of Mt. Bulusan during its series of eruptions starting since about three years ago and cascaded with rain waters into these river system brought about these siltation, said Asuncion as he warned local disaster management authorities and residents against its consequences.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Newborn care program sought in Sorsogon

MANILA, Philippines – Sorsogon Rep. Deogracias Ramos Jr. is seeking the implementation of mother and newborn care programs in the province, saying that this would help reduce deaths in childbirth.

“Bicol faces a great challenge in lowering maternal and infant deaths. There is an immediate need to identify barriers, standardize maternal and newborn care services and strengthen the health system in the region so expectant mothers and newborns receive the highest standard of care in government and private hospitals,” Ramos said in a press statement.

The lawmaker noted that hospitals that have implemented the program have reported savings, improved birthing experience for the mother, lower neonatal intensive care unit admissions and higher breastfeeding rates.

He also said that local government officials should allocate resources properly to ensure that the public receives the best health care possible.

The statement said an estimated 82,000 Filipino children die every year before they even reach 5 years old. From this number, almost a half are newborns or less than 28 days old.

In the Bicol region alone, infant deaths per 1,000 live births rose to 11.1 in 2010 from 8.61 in 2009.

A team of doctors practicing Essential Intrapartum Newborn Care held a maternal and newborn care training from January 11 to 13 in the second district of Sorsogon.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Mild quake hits Catanduanes

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

MANILA — State seismologists on Wednesday recorded a magnitude 4 earthquake in the island province of Catanduanes but no damages or aftershocks are expected.

According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, the quake occurred 27 kilometers southeast of Virac town at 1 p.m.
The quake had a depth of 30 kilometers, the agency said as Intensity 4 was felt in Cabid-an, Sorsogon City; Intensity 3 in Juban, Sorsogon; and Intensity 2 in Virac, Viga, and Bato, Catanduanes and Legaspi City. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Local gov’t optimistic on Gubat tourism development

by Bennie A. Recebido

SORSOGON CITY, January 10 (PIA) -– The municipal government of Gubat is determined to develop and promote their tourism industry to both domestic and foreign tourists to prove that it is more fun in the coastal town of Gubat.

Municipal tourism officer Rebecca Ermino said that they are currently in the process of conducting dialogue to resort owners as well as to local officials of barangays in Gubat with potential tourism sites so as to know their respective tourism development plans and to give them assistance, if needed.

Ermino said they have already established resorts and other tourism sites where tourists, local and foreign have frequently visited already, but they wanted to make sure that best services will be offered to them so tourists would get beyond what they have spent.

Among the tourism destinations that Gubat takes pride with are Rizal Beach in Brgy. Rizal located 5 kms south of the town, which hosted the 9th edition of Philippine Hobie (PhilHobie) Challenge on February 2009.

“It is famous because aside from its fine-off-white and gradually sloping beach along a still very intact coast, its shoreline is also best for campfire and beach games,” she said.

Ermino also said that aside from the numerous resorts, they also promote their Liang Caves found in Brgy. Togawe, Kalayukai Beach, Dankalan Beach located at the south eastern cove of the town in between Brgy. Pinotingan and Ariman, Gubat Cadaop Spring in Brgy. Bentuco and Handawan Island in Brgy. Cogon.

Gubat town is now also being recognized as the Surfing Capital of Sorsogon gaining positive feedback from local and foreign tourists due to its big surfing waves that could thrill both swimmers and surfers. The sand bottom beach breaks of Brgys.

Ariman and Buenavista which produces 2-5 feet waves is also considered as a beginner friendly surfing spot especially during the months of September to May.

With the formation of Gubat Bay Surfers by Bidge Villarroya and surfboards donated by the Local Government Unit under Mayor Ding Ramos, surfing is more accessible to the local population and tourists alike.

Aside from the invigorating beaches, Gubat town also offers tourists with scrumptious native delicacies such as baked “Timitim”, which is similar to cassava cake made up from grated cassava, mixed with coconut milk, sugar, vanilla and pili nuts and the steamed “Kinagang” made of crayfish meat mixed with strips of young coconut and leaves of mint (herba buena) and wrapped in a very special type of leaves known as “hagikhik” which is believed to be the secret of the delicacy.
Gubat is a 2nd class municipality with 42 barangays. (MAL/BAR, PIA Sorsogon)

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Ordinance on standards for low cost typhoon resistant housing mulled

by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, January 10 (PIA) — Warned by the impact of typhoons and how to promote awareness among people in typhoon prevalent areas, the Sangguniang Panlungsod here is mulling to pass an ordinance to institute standards on typhoon resistant low cost housing.

Tito Fortes said the city government through the assistance of the UN Habitat Foundation Urban Planning (UNHFUP) has already piloted here several houses that have been retrofitted according to the standards of typhoon resistant housing following set by the UNFUP.

These houses are located in the six pilot-barangays here in the city that has been constructed/ retrofitted and have become the proto-type model for low cost housing typhoon resistant houses.

The Sanggunian Bayan through the assistance of the UN Habitat Foundation will formulate the criteria that will be followed as a pioneering accomplishment of the city to mitigate the effects of natural calamities and will be contained in a tool kit that will be the basis for assessment of houses specially those located in the shorelines of the different barangays here.

Fortes also explained that the thrust of the city now is to make people more aware in the style of houses that will be more resistant and assess location where houses should be built that will be contained in the city urban planning mechanisms in creating resilient communities.

The city engineering office here, according to Fortes, is conducting the rapid assessment and profiling of communities within the areas indicated as highly vulnerable to certain kinds of climatic conditions and the proper mitigation will be part of the city ordinance housing standards.

He also explained that the standards set for the creation of typhoon resistant houses will partly be provided funding coming from the international funding agencies of the CCAM program, from the disaster risk reduction fund assistance projects and local government budgetary allocation for urban planning.

He also said that hand in hand all other departments have forge their efforts to arrive at a city action plan and cascade it to the community action plan so that necessary implementable doable projects can be cooperatively accomplished specifically along housing standards.

The identified highly six vulnerable areas here under the UN Habitat program will be constantly provided capacity enhancement trainings on governance skills, bench markings of environmental situations and the vigilance mind set especially in promoting disaster risk reduction efforts within the confines of their homes.(MAL/IAG, PIA Sorsogon)

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Massive mangrove project to bring fireflies to Donsol

By Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer

A shower of flying “stars” will soon accompany whale sharks in Donsol, Sorsogon province, thanks to a massive mangrove planting project on the coast of one of the country’s top tourist draws.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-Philippines started to plant 10,000 mangrove seedlings in Donsol’s Sibago village last December to enhance and protect the ecosystem that is shared by whale sharks and tiny organisms like plankton and fireflies.

The mangroves enrich nutrients along the coast and in the water, attracting both whale sharks and fireflies, the WWF said.

“Whale sharks congregate in Donsol because of the plankton. Plankton consume nutrients discharged by Donsol’s still-healthy rivers, one of the few habitats where fireflies still thrive,” said WWF-Philippines project manager Raul Burce.

“Remove mangroves and the fireflies shall be driven off. Without the healthy rivers needed by fireflies, plankton populations cannot bloom and the whale sharks will migrate elsewhere. If one component crashes, the others follow suit. This can be catastrophic for the people of Donsol,” Burce said.

The project in Donsol came on the heels of the government’s new tourism campaign with the slogan “It’s more fun in the Philippines.”

The WWF said Donsol was an example of how good environmental management and tourism programs could improve the lives of communities.

WWF-Philippines CEO Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan said: “The key here is balance. Without it, the productivity of our natural systems will crash. Strike a balance between conservation and development, and we can ensure sustainability.”

Donsol’s economy has boomed as tourists flock to its waters to see the whale sharks.

A total of 24,191 local and foreign visitors swam with the gentle giants from December to June 2011.

Donsol’s municipal tourism office estimated that the 2010 season alone generated more than P100 million from transportation, food, lodging, registration fees, and whale shark, mangrove and firefly tours.

Around P20 million was retained by the local government, bolstering incomes and improving lives.
Known in Filipino as “bakawan,” mangroves are considered to be one of the most productive of marine habitats—able to generate 500 kilograms of seafood per hectare annually.

The roots of the trees provide shelter for marine life, and their fallen leaves are used for food.

The roots of the mangroves also absorb heavy trace metals, minimizing coastal erosion and preventing inland saltwater contamination.

Mangroves also protect the soil from erosion and the communities from storm surges caused by typhoons. This is important for the residents of Donsol as they live in a region frequented by tropical storms.

The importance of mangroves in the Philippines, with its 36,289 kilometers of coastline and a largely shore-borne population, has been recognized by the environment and agriculture departments.

Recently, the Department of Agriculture earmarked P237.5 million for the planting of new mangroves and the setting up of “aquasilvi” projects in coastal communities.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources also included mangroves as a priority area in its national greening program.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

40 Bicol towns identified as geo-hazard areas

By Media Solutions
LEGASPI CITY, Philippines – Forty municipalities in Bicol Region are highly susceptible to natural disasters with the provinces of Camarines Sur and Catanduanes being on top of the lists, the Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau office here revealed.
Of the number, 26 municipalities are high risk for flooding while 14 towns are highly susceptible to landslides.
Luis Loyola, MGB regional director, said these areas were identified following the completion of the 50,000-scale Bicol geo-hazard mapping done by his office under the Geohazard Mapping and Assessment Project (GMAP)
A more detailed 10,000-scale map is now being undertaken with the province of Albay as the primary focus, he said.
Arlene Dayao, supervising geologist and head of the Geosciences Division, said geo-hazard maps had been distributed to LGUs, including barangay officials since they are the ones on the front lines.
“We have already informed the local government units of these hazard areas and MBG had conducted series of seminars to explain the details of our findings,” she said in an interview with Media Solutions.
Dayao said it was crucial that local officials of these hazard areas consider the data contained in the maps in coming up with their disaster-risk reduction plans as well as their land use maps to avoid disasters that might hit vulnerable areas.
Local officials should no longer allow human habitation on areas that had been identified as high-risk for flooding and landslides, she stressed.
Based on the geo-hazard mapping conducted by the MGB, almost half of Camarines Sur’s municipalities are classified as high risk areas for flooding, which include the towns of Baao, Bato, Bombon, Buhi, Bula, Cabusao, Calabanga, Camaligan, Canaman, Gainza, Libmanan, Magarao, Milaor, Minalabac, Nabua and San Fernando which are mostly part of the Bicol River Basin.
Dayao said the Bato- Baao areas serve as catch basin of flood waters from Albay before it flow north up to Naga City and San Fernando.
Three towns in Albay- Libon, Oas and Polangui are also classified as flood-prone areas together with the municipalities of Bato and Viga in Catanduanes, Juban in Sorsogon, Mercedez, Talisay and Vinzons in Camarines Norte.
The cities of Legazpi, Tabaco and Naga were classified as moderately susceptible to floodings.
Meanwhile, Catanduanes has been identified as the most landslide-prone province in the region based on the same study conducted by MGB.
“Mainly it’s because rock formations in that province are already old and cracked and many of its mountains are covered with thick soil which erode during heavy rains” Dayao explained.
She also attributed the hazard to the past commercial logging activities that occurred in Catanduanes wherein illegal cutting of trees still happens until now.
Dayao identified the towns of Caramoran, Gigmoto, San Andres and Viga as the most flood-prone together with Manito, Sto Domingo and Tiwi in Albay, Capalonga and Labo in Camarines Norte, Pasacao and Sangay in Camarines Sur, Baleno in Masbate and Juban and Magallanes in Sorsogon province.
The cities of Ligao and Sorsogon were listed as moderately prone to landslides.
Aside from the flooding and landslides, Dayao also warned of another geohazard especially in the province of Sorsogon.
The MGB official said ground subsidence or sink holes are observed in at least three areas in the province, the towns of Gubat and Prieto-Diaz, in the district of Bacon in Sorsogon City and in Guinobatan, Albay.
She said sink hole, which vary in depths, usually occurs when lime stones underground are dissolved and carried away by underground water or when the roof of an underground cave collapses.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Snorkeling with whale sharks

By Atty. Gloria Estenzo Ramos

Cebu Daily News

Two of our children had the distinct privilege of experiencing what they described as an incredibly “amazing” dive with whale sharks, also known as butanding and tuki (in Cebuano), at Donsol, Sorsogon. The place is world-famous for the abundance of the gentle giants in its waters, from November to May. Whale sharks are also spotted at Sogod Bay in Leyte. Apparently, warm seawaters teeming with planktons and krill attract whale sharks to said areas. The Philippines is identified as one of the fourteen whale shark hotspot countries in the world. (
The news about the tuki’s presence in the municipal waters of Oslob, in Cebu, stirred a lot of excitement in not a few residents, this writer and our clan members included. Having the chance to snorkel with the gentle giants of the tropical seas was an unexpected dream come true during the holiday break. However, while it was unforgettable, the possible effects of the manual feeding of whale sharks, and the unregulated numbers of tourists and bancas converging in the area is worrisome.
The whale shark is listed as “vulnerable” in the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List ( It faces real danger of extinction, if conservation measures are not undertaken.
Our country committed to conserve and protect wildlife, including whale sharks, as a signatory of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Bonn Convention for the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). Republic Act No. 9147, the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, penalizes killing, trading and any form of maltreatment and/or inflicting injury upon whale sharks and wildlife. Under the CMS and RA 9147, we are duty-bound to conserve and protect the whale sharks and their habitats “to promote ecological balance and enhance biological diversity” and “to pursue, with due regard to the national interest, the Philippine commitment to international conventions, protection of wildlife and their habitats.”
The Department of Agriculture (DA) has jurisdiction over all declared critical aquatic habitats, all aquatic resources including but not limited to all fishes, aquatic plants, invertebrates and all marine mammals, except dugong. For the implementation of International agreement on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and fora, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) of the DA is entrusted as the management authority for aquatic resources (section 19, RA 9741).
To provide advice to BFAR as a management authority, the designated scientific authorities for aquatic/marine species are the BFAR, the University of the Philippines (UP) Marine Science Institute, UP Visayas, Siliman University and the National Museum and other agencies as may be designated by the Secretary.
Former president Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo issued Administrative Order 282, where the Philippine Navy, the Coast Guard, Philippine National Police Maritime Command, the DA, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and concerned local government units were directed to “coordinate with academe and marine fisheries expert to locate, monitor, and protect the whale sharks’ pathways in Philippine waters.” In addition, the National Bureau of Investigation and National Prosecution Service of the Department of Justice were ordered to step up the investigation, filing, and prosecution of criminal cases involving violation of laws, rules and regulations on the protection of whale sharks.” ( 250830/gma-move)
Is feeding of the whale sharks in Oslob detrimental and a violation of our laws? BFAR and the aforementioned scientific authorities must already intervene and coordinate with the local government units on this issue. Hopefully guidelines will soon be issued for all stakeholders to comply.
Many scientists believe that whale sharks should not be manually fed as this will impact their behavior, foster dependency, apart from consequences that are not safe to both the tuki and humans.
“Whale sharks are passive creatures and can be agitated by aggressive behavior such as being touched, or chased. It is as much a diver’s responsibility as anyone’s to ensure the survival of Whale Sharks for future generations. This means causing minimal disturbance to the sharks when approaching by boat or when diving. Although whale sharks are harmless, their sheer size makes it necessary to exercise caution around them, especially at the tail end.” (
It is most important that stakeholders be educated on what constitutes responsible behavior in the inter-action with whale sharks. A Whale Shark Code of Conduct was developed by The Shark Trust, the Australian Department of Conservation and Land Management and PADI and the Project AWARE Foundation, both for the safety of divers and of the whale sharks, and also by Donsol,, as follows:
1. Do not attempt to touch, ride, or chase a whale shark.
2. Do not restrict normal movement or behavior of the shark.
3. Maintain a minimum distance of 3 meters from the whale shark and at least 4 meters from its tail.
4. Do not undertake flash photography.
5. Do not use underwater motorized diver propulsions.
We cannot over-stress the importance of respect for the whale sharks. Noise should be avoided and the required distance maintained. Feeding and touching the may cause harm. While it is normal to be stupefied by their humongous but gentle presence, our over-excitement might just drive them away, or worse, cause them and the swimmers harm. It is a big loss on “environmental, ecological, genetic, scientific, aesthetic, recreational, cultural, educational, social and economic” grounds, if the whale sharks chose to change their migratory route and by-pass Cebu, should our behavior threaten their tranquil existence.
The tuki’s charm might just make political authorities more conscious of the need to conserve and protect our biological wealth and implement our long-languishing environmental laws, coinciding with the UN Decade on Biodiversity (2010-2020).

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Sorsogon City children’s park and wellness center in the pipeline

by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, Jan 6 (PIA) — Sorsogon City will be uplifting the landscape of the area by including a Children’s Park and Wellness Center beside the city hall by 2012.

According to Sorsogon City Mayor Leovic R. Deoneda, the proposed Children’s Park will have a more environmentally sound feature – the existing trees will be retained, more greenery will be provided, and there will be more open space to allow children to play in a safe area.

Deoneda said that the open space in front of the city hall has become a favorite spot for families; it has become one of the best areas most visited.

People who love to brisk walk in the mornings and even in the evenings, those who exercise, or just to stroll have been using the open space near the city hall.

“I have seen that there is still a need to have more open space to allow people within the city enjoy their morning or afternoon walks and I have also seen the park in front the city hall now become a family bonding place especially during Saturdays and Sundays,” he said.

“The need to have additional separate park for the children where they can enjoy and at the same time be safe is now part of the urban planning mechanism to address the need to create safer cities and Sorsogon City is one of the emerging cities now that has heeded this call,” he said.

“The Wellness Center will also allow people of all ages to have physical exercise in an area big enough to accommodate people who would like to flex their muscles for stamina and health development and maintenance,” he said.

The direction of the city is now towards the human development and environmental conservation so that all facilities and structures that will be constructed will conform to address wellness and the effects of climate change.

He also said that there are still other projects in the pipeline for 2012 to include smoother traffic flow, management of solid wastes, creation of safer facilities for work, enjoyment and other activities, and development that conforms to the global needs as a way to implement good governance.

He also said that such infrastructure or development like parks and centers will always be in synch with the climate change adaptation and mitigation mechanism as this is now the in thing in developing cities.

He also underscored the need for the constituency to help him in becoming aware of how to safeguard these facilities being provided by the city government and take good care of them as if its their own.(MAL/IAG-PIA Sorsogon)

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

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