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‘SAGIP BUHAY’ BLOODLETTING SET ON JAN 21

BAGUIO CITY (PIA) -- A mass bloodletting donation activity dubbed “Tambalang Sagip Buhay, Karamay Habang Buhay Part III” will be conducted at the city’s Malcolm Square on Saturday,

BENGUET OFFICIALS OPPOSE HB 5518 GRANTING FRANCHISE TO SEPARATE ELECTRIC COOP FOR BAGUIO

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet(PIA)-- Provincial officials expressed their opposition to the proposed separation of franchise on the distribution of electric power from the existing Benguet Electric

DOT TARGETS TO BRING IN 10M FOREIGN TOURISTS BY 2016

BAGUIO CITY, Jan. 13 (PIA) - - To become the ‘must experience’ destination in Asia, is the strategic vision of the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) National Tourism Development Plan

HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE OF NHTS-PR POOR FAMILIES EXTENDED UNTIL DEC. 2012

BAGUIO CITY, Jan 13 (PIA) - - The health insurance coverage of Philhealth sponsored members under the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) is extended up to December

1,121 INDIVIDUALS IN CAR BENEFIT FROM DOLE’S EMERGENCY EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM IN 2011

BAGUIO CITY, Jan. 10 (PIA) - - Around 1,121 individuals from typhoon-stricken areas in the region were benefitted by the emergency employment program of the Department of Labor and Employment

DENR OFFICIAL SUPPORTS LAW ON STIFFER PENALTY ON ILLEGAL LOGGING

BAGUIO CITY, Jan. 10 (PIA)-- Department of Environment and Natural Resources(DENR)- Cordillera executive director Clarence Baguilat believes that the bill seeking the imposition of life

ENVIRONMENT IS A MAIN CONCERN FOR BENGUET

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet. Jan.9 (PIA)-- Environment protection will be a top priority of this vegetable producing province for the year 2012. Governor Nestor B. Fongwan said they will intensify the

DOLE-CAR DISPOSES 188 CASES OF INSPECTION-RELATED LABOR VIOLATIONS IN 2011

BAGUIO CITY, Jan. 9 (PIA) - - The Department of Labor and Employment- Cordillera Regional Office (DOLE-CAR), through the inspections they made to 736 establishments in the different parts of the

‘DSWD-CORDILLERA ROSE ABOVE CHALLENGES’ –SEC. SOLIMAN

BAGUIO CITY-- Department of Social Welfare and Development(DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman commended the DSWD-Cordillera personnel Wednesday saying the regional office has ‘risen

SAVING THE WATERSHED OF THE CORDILLERA THRU PES

BAGUIO CITY, Jan. 3(PIA)-- There is an urgent need to revive and to sustain the source of water which is necessity for the survival of all living creatures that include human, plants and

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‘SAGIP BUHAY’ BLOODLETTING SET ON JAN 21
Posted by: HELEN R. TIBALDO | January 14, 2012

BAGUIO CITY (PIA) -- A mass bloodletting donation activity dubbed “Tambalang Sagip Buhay, Karamay Habang Buhay Part III” will be conducted at the city’s Malcolm Square on Saturday, January 21, 2012.

Now on its third staging, the activity is in cooperation with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) - Baguio and E Carta Media Production and Promotions, Z Radio and other agencies.

“Blood is life, that is why I call all able bodied people to come and donate a blood. Who knows, the life you’re saving might be a friend or a relative of yours,” said Eddie Carta, a board member of the PRC-Baguio Chapter.

We saw the success and the eagerness of the people to help by donating blood with the first and second Tambalang Sagip Buhay last year, Carta said.

‘We hope we have more blood donors, volunteers, and sponsor to support this worthy cause,” he added.

Annie Tamayo, PRC-Baguio administrator, said the donated blood will help a lot of patients especially with dengue cases needing blood.

With the third Tambalang Sagip Buhay, we are asking the usual support of everyone, Tamayo said.

She again clarified that PRC is selling blood; what is being charged are the processing and laboratory fee in screening the blood.(JDP/JBZ- PIA CAR)

BENGUET OFFICIALS OPPOSE HB 5518 GRANTING FRANCHISE TO SEPARATE ELECTRIC COOP FOR BAGUIO
Posted by: HELEN R. TIBALDO | January 14, 2012

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet(PIA)-- Provincial officials expressed their opposition to the proposed separation of franchise on the distribution of electric power from the existing Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) serving Baguio City and the province for more than four decades now.

The Provincial Board passed a resolution on first reading expressing opposition to House Bill No. 5518 entitled, “An Act granting separate legislative franchise to the Baguio Electric Cooperative (BAELCO) to operate the electric system in the City of Baguio and appropriating funds thereof” filed in Congress by Baguio City Representative Bernardo Vergara.

BENECO, a non-stock and non-profit entity, was established in October 1973 and granted by the National Electrification Commission the sole franchise to operate an electric light and power service for a period of 50 years.

On the other hand, BAELCO was established in 2007 advocating to electric consumers’ clamor accordingly for better services with lower electric rates and with an electric cooperative duly accredited by the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).

Republic Act 9520 or Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008 calls for the conversion of electric cooperatives to regular cooperatives and be transferred under the supervision of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA). BENECO has not yet converted to a regular cooperative.

The SP members in crafting the measure claimed that the instant division of the BENECO and the creation of BAELCO will adversely diminish and stunt the projected development of rural areas and communities which are still being targeted for energization for their own development and economic growth.

They say that the operation of a different electric system for Baguio City separate from BENECO clearly prejudices the rights and privileges of all communities being catered to by the electric power generating utilities, which likewise are being safeguarded by the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2002.

It must be established that the main and sole source of electric energy for the province and other provinces including Baguio City are provided by the electric power generating dams located in the province such as the Ambuklao and Binga dams, the officials stated.

Governor Nestor Fongwan is also opposed to the separation of a franchise for Baguio as there were no consultations that took place.

He said giving another franchise to BAELCO contradicts concept of BLISTT or the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay. The concept is an alliance of the developing areas on population growth, land management, housing, tourism, infrastructure, natural hazards and plan implementation within the outskirts of Baguio City for economic upliftment and development. He said if they are questioning the management of BENECO then they just question management but not to have a separate franchise.(SCAro-PIA CAR)
 

DOT TARGETS TO BRING IN 10M FOREIGN TOURISTS BY 2016
Posted by: HELEN R. TIBALDO | January 14, 2012

BAGUIO CITY, Jan. 13 (PIA) - - To become the ‘must experience’ destination in Asia, is the strategic vision of the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) National Tourism Development Plan 2011 to 2016 as it targets to bring in 10 million tourist to the Philippines.

This was shared by DOT Regional Director Purificacion Molintas during the Regional Tourism Summit held at Hotel Supreme here, Wednesday, that was attended by various local chief executives, government line agency officials and multi-sectoral leaders from various parts of the region.

According to Molintas, the goal for such vision is to develop an environmentally and socially responsible tourism industry that delivers more widely distributed income and employment opportunities targeting 6.62 million international arrivals and 34.78 million domestic travellers by 2016, contributing 6.78% to Gross Domestic Product and directly employing 6.6 million people.

“The goal set by Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez is to bring in a minimum of six up to a maximum of 10 million foreign tourists in the country by 2016,” Molintas said.
She also disclosed that they are now converging their programs with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) for the fast development of infrastructures particularly roads leading to key tourist destinations and the improvement of all airports that would link such destinations to other parts of the country and abroad.

Included in the development plan are 21 strategic thematic tourism destination clusters, covering 77 Tourism Development Areas, in Northern, Central and Southern Philippines.

Molintas also reported that they have initially set eight tourism products to promote namely nature based, cultural, sun and beach, shopping, leisure and entertainment, MICE (Meetings, incentives, convention and exhibition), health and wellness, cruise and nautical tourism.

As part of efforts to promote the country as a must experience destination, Molintas also confirmed that DOT has already set a new international campaign slogan, “It’s More Fun in the Philippines.”

She also reported that 2011 was good year for tourism with more than 3.5 million foreign tourists visiting the country from January to November of last year which showed a 12.66 increase compared to the 3.12 million foreign tourists recorder during the same period in 2010.

Other speakers invited in the said Tourism Congress were John Hay Management Corporation (JHMC) President and CEO Jamie Louise Manzano-Agbayani, Mountain Province Congressman Maximo Dalog Sr. who chairs the North Quad Special House Committee, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Area Manager II Ronald Estabillo, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-CAR) Regional Director Edilberto Carabaccan and Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) consultant Atty. Niño Aquino.(JDP/LD-PIA CAR)
 

HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE OF NHTS-PR POOR FAMILIES EXTENDED UNTIL DEC. 2012
Posted by: HELEN R. TIBALDO | January 14, 2012

BAGUIO CITY, Jan 13 (PIA) - - The health insurance coverage of Philhealth sponsored members under the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) is extended up to December 31, 2012.

This was announced by Philhealth-Cordillera Public Relations Officer Maggie Del Rosario, in an interview during the PIA Hour radio program over DZWT, Thursday.

According to Del Rosario, in line with the President Benigno Aquino III’s Agenda of Universal Health Care, the national government through the Department of Health (DOH) last year sponsored the Philhealth coverage of all poor families listed in the NHTS-PR and though their coverage is supposed to end last December 2011, it is extended up to December 31 of this year.

She also informed that at present they are now sending communications to all PHilhealth accredited hospitals, health facilities and doctors regarding the matter.
Del Rosario also clarified that every Philhealth sponsored member cardholder under the said program does not need to present a new ID card to avail of the benefits.

She also advised members to get or keep a membership data record (MDR) even if they do not need it yet as this what Philhealth accredited hospitals or health care facilities require.

Del Rosario also reiterated the good news that Philhealth NHTS-PR sponsored members are covered under the ‘No balance billing’ policy of Philhealth, wherein members as well as their qualified dependents will not pay any balance out of the Philhealth Insurance coverage once hospitalized or confined in government- run hospitals or health facilities.

Here in Cordillera, based on the Department of Social Welfare and Development, there are more than 79,000 poor families listed in the NHTS-PR that are set to benefit from the said program.

In ensuring the attainment of Universal Health Care coverage especially to all the poor families in the region, Del Rosario also disclosed that Philhealth President and CEO Dr. Eduardo Banzon, plans to implement the ‘Philhealth Sabado’ campaign every week.

Del Rosario also reported that they are now implementing ‘Operation Suyod’, wherein Philhealth personnel will be going around to interview people if they are already a member of Philhealth, giving information on what benefits they can avail for being a member and also to give information materials for the public to read.

“We have already started here in the city’s Baguio’s Central Business District and we will be doing this in all sitios and barangay in every municipality/city here in the region,” Del Rosario said. (JDP/LD-PIA CAR)

1,121 INDIVIDUALS IN CAR BENEFIT FROM DOLE’S EMERGENCY EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM IN 2011
Posted by: HELEN R. TIBALDO | January 14, 2012

BAGUIO CITY, Jan. 10 (PIA) - - Around 1,121 individuals from typhoon-stricken areas in the region were benefitted by the emergency employment program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), in partnership with the concerned local government units (LGUs) in 2011.

DOLE-Cordillera Labor and Employment Officer III George Lubin Jr., in an interview, disclosed that in 260 individuals in Benguet who were affected by the onslaught of typhoon Mina were hired under the said program.

When typhoons Quiel and Pedring hit the region one after another,860 were benefitted by the said emergency employment program. Per province, 136 were hired in Apayao, 77 in Abra, 15 in Baguio, 180 in Benguet, 188 in Ifugao, 186 in Kalinga and 79 in Mountain Province.

Lubin also explained that the area-beneficiaries and the number of individuals hired depended on the project proposals of the LGUs, wherein they also shared a counterpart funding of the project.

Lubin also reported that only last month, DOLE spearheaded an ILO-funded emergency employment program in Alfonso Lista, Ifugao and Tadian, Mountain Province. ILO provided a P1 million fund for the said program – P500,000 for each municipality, which involved rehabilitation projects of farm to market roads.
.
In a related news, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz last week ordered the DOLE’s Financial Management Service to release an additional amount of P7 million to the DOLE Regional Office No. 10 to speed up the recovery of workers who suffered from the floods in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan brought about by Typhoon Sendong.

The said amount, which is in addition to the P10 million in emergency employment assistance funds already released to the regional office for the victims of the flash floods, is out of the regional office's program funds of P31.007 million for 2012 and is coming from the Workers' Income Augmentation Program of DOLE. (JDP/LD-PIA CAR)

DENR OFFICIAL SUPPORTS LAW ON STIFFER PENALTY ON ILLEGAL LOGGING
Posted by: HELEN R. TIBALDO | January 14, 2012

BAGUIO CITY, Jan. 10 (PIA)-- Department of Environment and Natural Resources(DENR)- Cordillera executive director Clarence Baguilat believes that
the bill seeking the imposition of life imprisonment on illegal loggers, if finally approved, would instill fear to those who intend to or are into illegal logging more so if this is unbailable offense.

Under the Sustainable Forest Management Act of 2011 or HB 5485 which was recently passed by the House of Representatives, harvesting gathering or collecting timber or other forest products from any forestland with a market value of more than P500,000 and without authority from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) would be illegal and punishable with life imprisonment.

Those who buy logs, flitches and lumber from illegal loggers will also suffer the same penalty.

If this bill finally becomes a law, the DENR will implement it with full force as we should really protect our few remaining virgin forest covers, Baguilat added.

Meanwhile, Ifugao Congressman Teodoro Baguilat Jr. said he supports the bill, but he emphasized that there should be qualification for exemption covering ancestral lands of Indigenous Peoples (IPs) who cut trees for their traditional subsistence like wood carving and other domestic use.

Long before, the IPs have lived in the forest and get their livelihood from there but they are not involved in any massive logging or cutting of trees, Baguilat said.

He also cited the IP’s traditional and sustainable forest management practices like the inhabitants of Ifugao who practice the “muyong “system which is a recognized watershed rehabilitation technique, a farming system and an assisted natural regeneration forest conservation strategy.(JDP/JBZ- PIA CAR)
 

ENVIRONMENT IS A MAIN CONCERN FOR BENGUET
Posted by: HELEN R. TIBALDO | January 14, 2012

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet. Jan.9 (PIA)-- Environment protection will be a top priority of this vegetable producing province for the year 2012.

Governor Nestor B. Fongwan said they will intensify the reforestation of the denuded mountains restore its life and greenery.

As initial step, Fongwan said they are now increasing the number of nurseries to provide the needed seedlings come planting season or the wet season.

Last year, the province encountered problems on lack of tree seedlings and samplings to be planted under the National Greening Program (NGP) of President Benigno S Aquino III.

Taking care of the natural environment is very important, Fongwan said while emphasizing that we should learn from what had happened in the past where lives and properties were lost when Mother Nature got back at us, referring to recent landslides and floodings in different parts of the country.

Fongwan also stressed importance of caring for the environment for the future generations to come, for their water needs, shelter and food


Meanwhile, another priority concern is sports and youth development. Fongwan said he wants the Benguet Provincial Sports Complex complete with the realization of the Multi-Purpose gymnasium.

We should invest for the youngster where there can be a modest place for them to enhance their skills in sports so that we can produce national and international athletes to be competitive, the governor said.

‘When we host the next Cordillera Administrative Regional Athletic Association (CARAA), we have better sports facilities to be used by our athletes,’ Fongwan added. *(JDP/JBZ PIA-CAR).
 

DOLE-CAR DISPOSES 188 CASES OF INSPECTION-RELATED LABOR VIOLATIONS IN 2011
Posted by: admin | January 14, 2012

BAGUIO CITY, Jan. 9 (PIA) - - The Department of Labor and Employment- Cordillera Regional Office (DOLE-CAR), through the inspections they made to 736 establishments in the different parts of the region in 2011, discovered 188 labor-related violations and made a 100 percent resolution of all the cases through Single Entry Approach (SEnA).

DOLE-CAR Senior Labor and Employment Officer Leonard Villanueva reported this during the PIA Hour radio program.
According to Villanueva, 730 of the inspections they made were routine inspections under their Labor Enforcement and Action Program (LEAP) while the other six stemmed-up from various complaints.

Villanueva also bared that of the 188 cases filed, 63 were minimum wage violations, 63 involved employees’ Cost of Living Allowance (ECOLE), 101 on holiday pay, 40 on service incentive leave, 20 on night shift differential, and the other 44 were on overtime pay.

“We attained 100 percent disposal of all the cases through SEnA, a major DOLE reform program which provides a speedy, impartial, inexpensive and accessible settlement procedure to resolve issues and concerns between workers and employers,” Villanueva said.

DOLE-CAR has been recognized in the areas of excellent performance in facilitating significant amount of monetary benefits for workers and for the speedy disposition of Requests for Assistance (RFA) during the pilot implementation the SEnA Program.

In the SEnA Congress during the first year anniversary of the program’s implementation held last October 24, 2011at the Ichikawa Hall, Occupational Safety and Health Center in Quezon City, DOLE-CAR has been recognized as best implementer for regional offices with 301-500 handled Requests for Assistance (RFAs).

In addition, some DOLE-CAR personnel were recognized during the SEnA Congress: Atty. Marisa Garcia and Francis Gonzalo, Jr. were among the 16 outstanding SEADOs while Emelita Ferrer and Gonzalo Jr. were given recognition for settling RFAs within the day. Gonzalo, Leonardwood Villanueva, Emerito Narag and Jocelyn Culaing were also recognized for settlement with reinstatement facilitated by a SEADO.

From January to December 2011, DOLE-CAR received 432 RFAs and resolved 423 of such cases through SEnA or a total of 98 percent disposal rate. The remaining nine cases or RFAs are still pending for resolution. (JDP/LD-PIA CAR)

‘DSWD-CORDILLERA ROSE ABOVE CHALLENGES’ –SEC. SOLIMAN
Posted by: HELEN R. TIBALDO | January 7,, 2012

BAGUIO CITY-- Department of Social Welfare and Development(DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman commended the DSWD-Cordillera personnel Wednesday saying the regional office has ‘risen above challenges’ brought by recent internal movements and operational difficulties in 2011.

The Secretary made the statement during her yearend meeting with field workers of the DSWD Convergence Strategy in the city.

“I acknowledge and commend everyone for a job well done. We have demonstrated our capacity (to implement) in 2011,” the Secretary said.
Soliman highlighted the challenges brought by the expansion of the flagship conditional cash transfer program of the agency which has covered over 25,000 households in the region this year.

The Secretary also thanked the DSWD-CAR workforce for working hand-in-hand with the new regional and assistant regional directors after movements of leadership within the organization.

Meanwhile, Soliman also shared the accomplishments of the DSWD in ‘introducing new programs’ such as the Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens, the Supplementary Feeding Program for Day Care Children, and the Rice Subsidy for Farmers and Fisher folks in the form of cash-for-work activities.

For 2012, the Secretary bared the directions that are focused on poverty-reduction and disaster risk reduction.

The DSWD Convergence Strategy, a three-program approach to reduce poverty among the 5.2 million poor households in the country, will expand to another 17 municipalities in the Cordillera next year. For 2011, it has covered 24 municipalities and Baguio City.

One of the three convergence programs, the Pantawid Pamilya, will cover all municipalities and cities of the Cordillera region by 2012.

Further, Soliman said there is an urgent need to prepare for the effects of climate change especially in the Cordillera.

She said there is a need to map out the most vulnerable areas and create proactive community programs on disaster risk reduction such as cash-for-work activities. She also directed DSWD Regional Director Leo Reynoso to coordinate such programs with the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The Secretary also said the agency will be implementing next year its own PAMANA program for conflict affected communities. The program will be lodged through one of DSWD’s convergence programs, the KALAHI-CIDSS Project or community-driven development.

She also noted that the DSWD is helping the government in its talks with the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA) particularly on the provision of livelihood projects for its members. The Secretary added it supports the region in its pursuit of real autonomy.

In ending, Soliman encouraged the staff to sustain their commitment and passion in serving the people. She emphasized the role of the workers in empowering the beneficiaries and gave the 2012 ‘mantra’ to the DSWD workforce, that is, “to communicate, coordinate, and collaborate.”( DSWD-CAR)

SAVING THE WATERSHED OF THE CORDILLERA THRU PES
Posted by: HELEN R. TIBALDO | January 7,, 2012

BAGUIO CITY, Jan. 3(PIA)-- There is an urgent need to revive and to sustain the source of water which is necessity for the survival of all living creatures that include human, plants and animals.

Regional Executive Director Marilyn Sta. Catalina of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said one of the ways to address this is through the Payment for Environmental and Ecological Services (PES) which is especially created to ensure financial sustainability and support to community watershed management initiatives.

Watershed management in the Cordillera region is a struggle with a large portion of its mountains is denuded causing problems on the environment.
With the rapid deterioration of natural resources in the country, the remaining forest areas and other potential natural resources should be protected, preserved and conserved, Sta. Catalina explained.

The PES technology carries out two principles. These are payment for environmental-ecological services if you benefit from them and payment to those land owners-stewards whose natural capital produces the services.

The implementation follows the following steps: establish a baseline which is essential to plan and later assessment for PES; identify the product or service that will be transacted; identify the service provider which covers the determining of property rights on the production system for the product or service; identify the beneficiaries; agree on the mechanism of transaction; agree on the mode of payment; determine need for mediator and identify roles; identify constraints to sustainability of transactions and lastly define and institute a conflict resolution mechanism, Sta Catalina explained.

Through PES, financial sustainability for watershed management could be attained and reviving watersheds is not too far from reach, Sta Catalina added. *(JDP/JBZ-PIA CAR)

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