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Friends of the Divine Word Missionaries of Abra to participate in peace-building

Bangued, Abra- A group of lay people organized to help promote the missionary commitments of the SVD (Societas Verbo Divini) Community is being called to actively participate in addressing the pivotal problem of peace in the province.

Fr. Warlito Rabon, SVD, District Superior of the Society of the Divine Word Missionaries of Abra based in Ubbog, Bangued, especially called the attention of the “SVD Friends” to help address the peace problem as a consequence of the various acts of violence especially in Bangued, violations of human rights and of environmental degradation affecting the people both in the uplands and e lowland areas of the province.

Rabon likewise enjoined the SVD Friends to share in the missionary commitments of all the clergy of the Diocese of Bangued and the SVD Congregation to promote justice, peace and integrity of creation.

Rabon initiated the revival of the SVD Friends which had been inactive for many years already since he had observed the growing and consistent participation of some SVD Friends in the activities and celebrations of the St. Joseph Freinademetz Chapel in Ubbog.

As their missionary commitment, the SVD Friends work for their promotion of vocations at home, school and areas of work; participate actively in looking after the needs of the missions; and attend regular meetings and spiritual exercises on mission and become active mission partners of the SVD – Philippines in Abra.

The officers of the SVD Friends of Abra led by Leanida Balbin, manager of the Metro Bangued Water District, as their president, were inducted by the District Superior during the Holy Mass.

Abra college proclaims new president

LAGANGILANG, Abra- The Abra State Institute of Sciences and Technology (ASIST) has announced its fourth president.

In a simple but meaningful ceremony on April 16 held at the ASIST main campus in Lagangilang, Dr. Luisa Valencia, Regional Director of the Commission on Higher Education-Cordillera Region (CHED-CAR), and chairperson of the Board of Trustees (BOT) proclaimed Dr. Aurelio V. Labanen as the new president of ASIST and to lead the school for four years.

He replaced Dr. Roberto Tubaña, who reached the compulsary retirement age of 65 after serving the institution for two terms.

Before his appointment, Labanen served as professor of ASIST for 30 years. He hails from Lagangilang and bested four other candidates who battled for the presidency.

Lagangilang mayor Patricio Abaya, Jr. handed the seal of ASIST and other pertinent documents to the new school president.

In his acceptance speech, Labanen foresighted new development plans during his term and first of which is for ASIST to become a state university where education is best served in the province of Abra.

ASIST, the only agricultural college in the province had expanded to education and engineering programs when the then Abra School of Arts and Trades (ASAT) in Bangued was integrated into the ASIST.

DSWD-Abra LGUs sign MOA for 4Ps program

BANGUED, Abra- The expanded Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the province is now up for implementation with the recent signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the seven remaining municipalities.

The MOA signing between the DSWD-CAR through Director Leonard Reynoso, the local government units (LGUs) represented by Governor Eustaquio P. Bersamin and the mayors of Bangued, Pidigan, Manabo, San Juan, Tayum, Penarrubia, and San Quintin, was held at the Governors’ Gallery of the Provincial Capitol in Bangued last May 3, 2012.

According to Reynoso, all municipalities in Abra are now covered by the 4Ps program of government, that is focused on the poorest municipalities in the country are included in the 4Ps program. He said they hope to cover all the 30,300 target households in Abra by the year 2013.

Reynoso also explained that 79,000 poor families are targeted in CAR and there are now 54,900 poor families now being reached.

Although the 4Ps program is not a basis for the economic uplift of the families since it basically intended for children, still, it is a big help to poor families that children are able to finish their basic education even if they are not able to reach college. They have more edge in looking for a more decent job if they finish at least high school, he said.

The benefit of the 4Ps program was reaffirmed by Grace Valera, a parent-leader representing the 4Ps beneficiaries in Pilar municipality. In her testimonial, she said, the money they get out of the 4Ps program is used for the transportation and allowances of their schooling children. Aside from that, parents are also given various trainings that help them build their capacities as well as provide them the basic knowledge and skills they need in parenting and in their economic activities.

Philippine Red Cross – Abra Chapter turns 65

BANGUED, Abra- The Philippine Red Cross Abra Chapter is celebrating its 65th founding anniversary on May 6, 2012 highlighted by a concert as a tribute to the pillars of Philippine Red cross in the province.

The Chapter Board of Directors, staff and volunteers and invited guests will perform on stage with the special participation of Ms. Ella Guevarra, Starstruck 2004 Final 4 as main celebrity on said concert set at the provincial Capitol Atrium and will start at 6:00 P.M.

Funds to be raised in the concert will help rebuild the Philippine Red Cross – Abra Chapter and to continue its operation in giving services to the needy constituents.Tickets are available at the PRC – Abra Chapter Corner Taft and Washington Streets, Zone 6, Bangued.

In an interview with James Manuel Laygo, the Officer-in-Charge of PRC – Abra, he disclosed that , PRC-Abra chapter is one of the pioneer members throughout the country. It used to operate the Blood Bank in the province during its early years of operation. But when the Blood Program was taken over and regulated by the Department of Health, the PRC’s Blood bank program ceased to operate. This is one of the reasons why PRC – Abra is determined to push its fund raising activities to re-establish its Blood Program.

He also bared that the fund raising activity of PRC – Abra aims to expand its volunteer program and strengthen the same through intensive trainings on disaster preparedness and responsiveness.

Laygo reiterated his appeal to the people for their support to the PRC’s campaign for membership through the 143 Red C.

The 143 Red Cross is designed to form volunteer groups in the barangays composed of 43 volunteer with a leader. These volunteers will be trained on basic life support systems such as first aid techniques, water rescue, fire brigade management and even on the rehabilitation of disaster victims.

43 hired on the spot in Labor Day 2012 Job Fair in Abra

BANGUED, Abra- This year’s Labor Day Jobs Fair in Abra registered a total of 521 job applicants of whom 43 were hired on the spot (HOTS).

Of the total applicants, 440 applied for local employment and 81 for overseas. Hired on the spot are 43, 17 of them are domestic helpers to be deployed to Hongkong, Singapore, Malaysia and the Middle East. Eight nurses and seven skilled workers will also be deployed soon in various Asian countries.

For the 11 locally hired, Chowking-Bangued Branch enlisted 10 service crew and the FCP Group hired one office staff.

“It feels great that in Abra we have so many nurses and skilled workers who are qualified applicants in this year’s Labor Day Job Fair,” said Director Monette Villanueva, the cluster head of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) for Northern Luzon as she monitored the results of the Job Fairs.

There were a total of 15 agencies for overseas employment and 10 local agencies that participated in the Job Fair.

Director Henry John S. Jalbuena of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)–Cordillera Region is happy with the result of the Job Fair with almost half of the total number of HOTS are nurses and skilled workers. This shows that the program of the national government in capacitating our labor force by providing skills trainings and accreditation by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is gaining ground already, he said.

During the opening program of the Labor Day Jobs Fair held at the Provincial Capitol Atrium, Dr. Emerito A. Narag, DOLE-Abra Provincial Head, relayed the message of Secretary Rosalinda D. Baldoz for this nationwide conduct of the Jobs Fair with the theme “Pagtutulungan, Pagbabago. Disenteng Trabaho”, where she underscored the center of government reforms under the Aquino administration, that is the improved services to the Filipino workers by providing decent jobs to the Filipino people because the government is inspired with the skills, industriousness, and perseverance of our workers.

The Labor Day Jobs Fair in Abra was successfully carried out through the collaborative efforts of all member-agencies of the Provincial Jobs fair Committee under the leadership of Governor Eustaquio P. Bersamin and with the sponsorship of Congresswoman Ma. Jocelyn V. Bernos who provided funds for the food and accommodation of the participating employers from both local and overseas, as well as partner agencies such as DOLE, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), PhilHealth, Social Security System (SSS), TESDA, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), the local media, and the provincial and municipal Public Employment Services Office

Abra agri extension workers train on mango production

BANGUED, Abra- Around 32 agricultural extension workers in the province recently underwent training on mango production to help in the generation of livelihood projects for the people through food processing particularly of tropical fruits which abound in the province.

Dr. Eusebia Paderanan from the Abra State Institute of Science and Technology (ASIST) served as the resource person as she discussed the techniques of mango production from production to post harvest and storage of the mango fruit.

The lecture-discussion was supplemented by a practicum on asexual reproduction specifically on grafting. Observations were conducted in the orchards in Brgy. Villa Mercedes in San Quintin municipality to give the trainees a hands-on-experience of identifying pests and diseases of mangoes in particular.

The trainees were also given a chance to interact with the Magsasakang Siyentista, Mr. Pablo Dupo of La Paz.

Dupo shared his good practices on mango production stressing to the agricultural extension workers the value of implementing the improved technologies in order to yield more and ultimately high productivity and net income.

Harvesting on the proper time and observing post harvest and storage techniques would result to higher quality and classification of the mango fruit and consequently longer shelf-life of the same. This way, the produce would be able to command higher price in the market which is the ultimate goal of mango farming, he emphasized.

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