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Albay News

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List of Municipalities in the Albay Province within Region V in the Republic of The Philippines
Bacacay | Camalig | Daraga (Locsin) | Guinobatan | Jovellar | Libon | Malilipot | Malinao | Manito | Oas | Pio Duran | Polangui | Rapu-Rapu | Santo Domingo (Libog) | Tiwi
Cities in the province of Albay: Legazpi City (Capital) | City Of Ligao | City Of Tabaco

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Province of Albay - Archived News

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Provincial Capitol Building of Albay, in Legazpi City
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Albay to celebrate Mabini’s 150th birth anniversary

By Connie B. Destura [(PNA), CTB/FGS/CBD/]

LEGAZPI CITY, July 22 (PNA) -- The Provincial Government of Albay will celebrate the sesquicentennial or 150th anniversary of the birth of Apolinario Mabini on Wednesday.

The event aims to honor Mabini, the “sublime paralytic,” who, being physically handicapped, was considered as the brains behind the Philippine Revolution.

It has for its theme “Mabini: Talino at Paninindigan.”

Governor Joey Sarte Salceda said Tuesday that he has always acclaimed Mabini, a profound thinker and political philosopher, as his personal model and national hero for disaster risk reduction and management and climate change adaptation within the more overarching fight by the disadvantaged and disabled for social justice.

Apolinario Maranan Mabini was born on July 23, 1864 in what is now Barangay Talaga, Tanauan City in the Province of Batangas.

Mabini served as the prime minister and head of the Cabinet of the First Republic under the administration of Emilio Aguinaldo on January 2, 1899.

The event’s highlight will be the unveiling of his statue made by reknown scuptress Julie Lluch in the lobby of the Provincial Capitol of Albay at 4:00 p.m. Wednesday.

Abdon M. Balde Jr., Albay poet laureate and consultant for cultural affairs, will deliver a short biography of the hero while Albay Provincial Administrator Jesap Salceda will read the governor's annual Mabini speech.

Bridge widening in Legazpi gets Php 140-M allocation from Malacañang

By Danny O. Calleja [(PNA), FPV/DOC/MEC]

LEGAZPI CITY, July 21 (PNA) -– The funding for the urgent widening of a major bridge on the national highway that serves as main link between this booming city with various growth areas in the first district of Albay has been assured with funding from Malacañang, according to City Mayor Noel Rosal.

“Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III gave this assurance to me when he visited the city for the inauguration last May 19 of the newly completed Bicol University Health Sciences Building which will house the first state-run medical school in the Bicol region, the Bicol University College of Medicine,” Rosal told the PNA here Thursday.

In fact, the city mayor said, an initial amount of Php50 million had already been allocated for the project under the 2014 General Appropriation Act and released by the Department of Budget and Management to the Department of Public Works and Highways, which will implement it starting soon.

The project is the widening to four lanes of the Yawa Bridge, a 64-meter-long concrete structure whose two-lane make has grown too narrow for the burgeoning traffic between the city proper and its urban barangays on the northern side down to Tabaco City and five municipalities of the province’s first district.

The total cost of the project “which we consider a priority” was placed at Php140 million—an amount that was already approved by Pres. Aquino, Rosal said.

On apprehensions aired by some motorists that the construction will cause more traffic congestion along the route, the city mayor said “don’t worry, we are not going to knock down the bridge to give way to the construction. The additional two lanes will be constructed parallel with the two sides of the existing bridge so there is no need to close it and construct a detour structure.”

The bridge that crosses over Yawa River, a major waterway that emanates from the southern slope of Mt. Mayon facing the city, was constructed several decades ago and was repaired and reinforced in 2000 to withstand the avalanches of volcanic debris during flash floods.

Like most areas of Albay, this city is prone to flash floods due to its proximity to lahar gullies and waterways on the slopes of Mayon Volcano.

Lahar and water rampage during heavy rains while many of the city’s barangays are in low-lying areas.

“The city government, under its public safety program, has been enhancing its calamity resilience and with flood-resistant projects like Yawa Bridge, our place will soon be an all-weather city so that it becomes a very livable place more than ever,” Rosal said.

While the bridge serves that purpose and prevented the traffic cut-off during heavy rain and typhoon situations, the problem now, Rosal said, is the growing number of motorists to which the bridge would become the bottleneck of vehicles coming from both directions that are four-lane roads.

The improvement to four lanes of this bridge is also part of the local tourism-related infrastructure projects being helped by the administration of Pres. Aquino to maintain this city as the best haven for tourists and grand conventions or similar gatherings and business center for Bicol.

Recognized in the world’s travel market as the “City of Fun and Adventure,” the city’s tourism industry has been growing impressively with a whopping increase of 32.27 percent in tourist arrivals last year.

As recorded by the regional office for Bicol of the Department of Tourism based here, the total arrivals of both domestic and foreign tourists in the city for the whole year of 2013 reached 579, 470 which was higher by 141,370 over the 2012’s 438,100 figure.

“Our 2013 tourist arrival figure is good enough for the main time—surpassing even the 523,832 arrivals that the entire province of Albay posted in 2012. We hit the half-million mark last year and by 2016, our goal is to hit the one-million mark,” Rosal said.

Another local tourism-related infrastructure project that is supported by the Aquino administration is the P200-million “tourism mega highway” now ongoing construction to open a direct link between the city and the new Southern Luzon International Airport now being constructed in the nearby Daraga, Albay.

It will be a 10-kilometer concrete road whose prime section is the now-famous Legazpi Boulevard in Barangay Puro, a four-kilometer stretch of wide concrete road bordering the long beach of Albay Gulf and serving as an artistic milieu for physical fitness activities that is well-lighted at night, clean, easily accessible, secure and free from air pollution.

The “tourism mega highway” will traverse several upland villages along the southern sector of the city and become the new local investment haven and another site for tourism industry development, Rosal added.

Monetarist Approach to Post-Disaster Reconstruction in Albay

By Johnny C. Nunez [(PNA), CTB/JCN/RSM]

LEGAZPI CITY, July 20 (PNA) -- The declaration of a state of calamity in Albay following the devastation by Typhoon Glenda last week, has triggered a flow of assistance referred to as a ‘package of monetarist approaches to post-disaster reconstruction.’

This was the response to the Plan for Albay Glenda Early Recovery and Reconstruction (PAGERR), cobbled up body of the same name created immediately as the province’s Recovery and Rehabilitation Committee. It is tasked to initiate post disaster plans, programs and interventions towards sustained economic recovery and modernization.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, created PAGERR following Glenda’s devastation of Albay. Armed with the declaration of state of calamity passed by the provincial board, PAGERR is tasked to assess needs, identify intervention options in specific sites and their beneficiaries, formulate project proposals and implement the same, submit formative and summative reports to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Set to initially receive the package of assistance recommended by PAGERR are members of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS), and the government housing agency PAGIBIG. The list of benefits for them include, among others, deferral of loan amortizations, cash advances for pensioners and fast-tracked housing loans.

Hours after Glenda pummelled Albay, Salceda has ordered provincial government workers to immediately buckle down to rehabilitation work.

He said although Albay was successful in attaining ‘zero casualty’ it sustained damages amounting to P6.1 billion, the bigger bulk of which is in housing with P1.6 billion and the coconut industry, with P1.3 billion. Also heavily damaged were public infrastructure - P670 million, other infrastructures - P540 million, and Telecom infrastructure - P620 million.

The governor said “cash is the best form of relief because beneficiaries know what they need and won't cheat their own interests.”

Two days after Glenda hit Albay, PAGERR’s Economic Sector’s Group has pushed for the so called ‘monetarist approach in a meeting with representatives of GSIS, SSS and PAGIBIG.

The package includes: PAG-IBIG - automatic approval of P150,000 home improvement loan or up to 80% of member contributions, payable in 24 months with interest of 4%; SSS - deferral of instalment payment on housing and members loan for 12 months, and three-month advance on pensions; GSIS - deferral of instalment payments on housing and members' loan for 12 months, and three- month advance on pension benefits.

Salceda has also urged his constituents to pick up the pieces of their lives and recover. Having moved pretty much faster barely two days after Glenda, Albay is already back on its feet, back to business, back to work and back to normal.

PAGERR has eight components teams: Economic Sector (electricity, telecoms, banks, industry and manufacturing); Agriculture, Health, Health Facilities, Water and Nutrition; Housing, Setllements and Livelihood; Education. Public Infrastructure; Impacts on Environment and Natural Resources, and, Hazard Review and Update.

DSWD continues to give aid to 'Glenda' victims in Bicol region


MANILA, July 19 (PNA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) disclosed Saturday that a total of 2,400 food packs were provided to local government units in the Bicol Region devastated by typhoon "Glenda".

According to DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman, the food packs were an augmentation to the resources of the hardest hit cities and municipalities in Bicol Region battered by Glenda.

As of 4 p.m. Friday, around 809 evacuation centers in the region remain open serving about 79,294 families equivalent to 182,823 persons.

Soliman said some 18,828 families (92,292 persons) staying in other safer grounds like friends or relatives of victims referred to “outside the evacuation centers” are also being assisted and given relief packs to help them cope.

Meanwhile, she noted that they have received reports that the number of totally damaged houses reached to about 7,993 while partially damaged houses numbered 27,802.

She added that while damage to property and agricultural crops was massive, it is very notable that the affected LGUs in the said region practically achieved its zero casualty goal.

These were the provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon.

To date, only one casualty was reported in Libmanan, Camarines Sur, an elderly woman hit by a falling tree, while three were injured.

“The small number of casualty proved that the LGUs’ disaster preparedness measures, such as pre-emptive evacuation and information dissemination was effective,” she added.

She also assured the affected LGUs that they will continue to assist them as the need arises.

Currently, DSWD Field Office V has 3,780 family food packs available at the regional warehouse and in Albay Astrodome, Legazpi City.

Albay gov ponders: What to do with 107-year-old tree felled by Glenda?

By Joel Locsin /JST (GMA News)

Preserve it as a tourist attraction? Turn it into special trophies? Or carve small replicas of it?

After a 107-year-old acacia at Bicol University was uprooted by Typhoon Glenda (Rammasun) earlier this week, Albay Governor Joey Salceda took to Facebook to ponder what to do with the felled tree.

In his post, Salceda suggested the following options for the acacia:

1)Chop it into small bits and sell them to the alumni 2)Design expensive furniture from it and bid it out 3)Hire an artist to carve the tree and make it a tourist attraction 4)Engrave the tree with the names of all the graduates of BU and place it in a museum, and continue to add names yearly 5)Preserve the tree and make it a tourist attraction 6)Use a 3D laser scanner and carve small replicas using the same wood and sell it to collectors 7)Cut small pieces and make it into trophies for distinct awards

Salceda also posted a suggestion from user "yves eli yu" to use the funds raised from the tree to pay for scholarships or a new building at the university.

Among Salceda's followers, options No. 3 and No. 5 seem to be most popular, according to comments on the post.

Albay was among the areas hit hard by Glenda, which lashed parts of Visayas and Luzon this week before exiting the Philippine Area of Responsibility Thursday. Despite the onslaught of Glenda, Albay reported zero casualties with Salceda declaring that the province was "back on its feet."

Indomitable Albay: Salceda says province ‘back on its feet’ after Glenda

By Joel Locsin /JDS (GMA News)

Except for the power situation, Albay is "back on its feet" after taking a pounding from Typhoon Glenda (Rammasun) earlier this week, Governor Jose Salceda said Thursday evening.

In a post on his Facebook account, Salceda said residents of the province have returned to work and have resumed their businesses.

"Having moved around pretty much since Glenda, barely two nights after, Albay is already back on its feet, back to business, back to work and back to normal except for NGCP (National Grid Corp. of the Philippines) and APEC (Albay Power Energy Corp.)," he said.

Last Tuesday, Salceda indicated more than 320,000 Albay residents were evacuated to safer ground amid the threat from brought by Glenda.

As of Thursday morning, photos posted by GMA News' Steve Dailisan showed residents lining up to use one of the few operational automated teller machines in Legazpi City.

"There is an air of triumphalism but not overconfidence or invincibility. Hooray for indomitable Albay," Salcedo said.

Salceda gives updates, suspends classes until Friday in Albay

By Connie B. Destura [(PNA), LAM/CBD/UTB]

LEGAZPI CITY, July 16 (PNA) -- Albay Governor Joey Salceda has declared the suspension of classes until Friday and resumption set on Monday to give time for repairs of damaged classrooms and recovery for affected areas in the province.

Salceda issued the directive based on reports from the Department of Education (DepEd) in the region and assessment by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) on the impacts of typhoon "Glenda."

Salceda said that all major highways in Albay province are passable following clearing operations by the district offices of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). Assessment is ongoing to determine the damages in public infrastructures following the impact of the typhoon.

Salceda added that the National Food Authority (NFA)has assured enough supply of rice totaling 414,615 bags available that can augment the needs of affected residents especially evacuees. He said the provincial government earlier availed of 5,000 bags while other LGUs got 8,761 bags for prepositioning prior to the impact of typhoon "Glenda."

During the PDRRMC meeting here Wednesday, the Albay Power and Electric Corporation (APEC) also announced that the Bitano SS Feeders 1 and 2 and Washington SS will be energized anytime, with isolations, once the grid supplies power.

APEC said Bitano SS Feeders 3 and 4, on the other hand, can be energized possibly within the week, also with isolations. All these feeders are providing services to Legazpi City.

APEC added they are also fast tracking repair to other facilities in other areas to bring power supply back as soon as possible.

Albayanos can now access disaster-related info via fingertip


LEGAZPI CITY, July 15 (PNA) -- With the onset of bad weather disturbances in the country, monitoring of disaster warning in Albay is just within the “PINDOT” (pushing with the fingertip) of even an ordinary Albayano, according to a top disaster official of the province.

“With PINDOT, even the farmers, vendors, children or house helpers can relay disaster warnings from the authorities to their loved ones before, during and after disaster occurrences,” Cedric Daep, Albay Public Safety Emergency and Management Office (APSEMO) Chief, said. Daep said this is possible because the the provincial government is employing a mobile application in partnership with telecommunications giant SMART Communications, Inc.

He explained that the mobile app is an additional tool used by the province aside from mass media, infoboard and social networking sites to pass on in the fastest way disaster warning advisories to the public.

Named PINDOT, the mobile app is a pro-active, comprehensive and rational disaster management mobile and web application which the APSEMO adopted for easier and faster information dissemination to mitigate the disastrous effects of natural and man-made calamities with the help of new mobile technologies.

PINDOT is short for Provincial Information Network On Disaster Occurrences And Threats wherein this mobile app can be used to give government agencies, organizations and individuals immediate access to disaster warnings, advisories, location data and disaster mappings, daep said.

Albay, the united nations model for best disaster risk reduction mitigation and adaptation measures in the country, is pioneering the PINDOT mobile application in partnership with SMART to transmit early warning advisories to the public ahead of the impending natural disaster.

The provincial government of Albay led by Governor Joey Salceda is noted for taking eight steps ahead of the impending natural calamities as his paramount policy on disaster risk reduction management and adaptation measures in pursuit of attaining a zero-casualty goal.

The provincial government is using cellular phones to inform the people here of the impending threats to save precious lives.

Albay Province -- classified as the laboratory of all natural hazards such as volcanic eruption, earthquake, typhoon, flash flood and tsunami – has partnered with SMART to expedite the relay of disaster warning advisory.

SMART has chosen Albay among 81 provinces in the country for PINDOT mobile and web application as a pro-active tool before, during and after disaster occurrences.

“SMART knows that the technology will be optimized here because the adopter is engaged, which means we know what we want so the technology can deliver exactly what we need rather than dictate what it can do. Timely and accurate communications before, during and after disasters and emergency situations play a crucial role in saving lives,” Salceda said.

With PINDOT the weather forecast and advisories of the Southern Luzon Regional Office of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical And Astronomical Services Administration can now be accessed.

Equipped with a user-friendly interface, it features easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions that can guide users to safety during disasters. The application also allows users to contribute pertinent information to emergency assistance agencies easier and faster.

PINDOT also allows users to post photos, to provide concise details and information about events currently unfolding.

The application also offers useful tools which can convert one’s SMART phone into a siren, flashlight, strobe light and compass.

The phone can also store emergency phone numbers for easy access and deliver safety tips in cases of emergency.

After installing the app and following verification from the APSEMO one will be asked to sign up.

Once done, one can post remarks and events, check out updates from authorities, and use a host of features available to the app.

Ramon Isberto, head of the public affairs office of SMART, said earlier that SMART chose Albay as pilot local government unit for this valuable mobile app as the province is receptive to new communication tools and the province is widely known for its pro-active DRR programs, making it the perfect partner in propagating DRR awareness.

Asked on how to use PINDOT, Isberto explained that one should first log in and after logging in, he will see on the home screen recent events where he can input remarks, and check actions taken by authorities or post an event, its description, and even add hashtags.

It automatically pinpoints the user’s location.

Users can also add a photo via camera or photo library or see multiple events on the map.

When zoomed in, details will be shown including description, date and time, and the user, who reported the event.

Isberto said linking the developer and tech start-up community with local governments and institutions ensure that innovative mobile applications are put to good use and actually benefit the people.

“This is ‘apptivism’ or use of mobile apps for social good at its best,” he said.

SMART also donated free SMART phones to Albay’s 15 towns and three cities during the launch of PINDOT held earlier at the Climate Change Adaptation And Disaster Risk Reduction Management Training Iinstitute here.

PINDOT was developed by Cebu-based Tudlo Innovation Solutions, a technology start-up founded by Vince Loremia and his team, assisted by APSEMO, and is now available to download for free for ios and android users.

Tudlo is a Cebuano word that means “to teach, guide or point.”

It emerged as one of the 20 finalists in the first national competition for the best tech start-up idea of the Ideaspace Foundation. Tudlo was among 10 young innovators worldwide chosen by the United Nations-backed International Telecommunication Union last year.

Salceda suspends classes in Albay as PAGASA places province under Signal No. 2

By Connie B. Destura [(PNA), LAP/FGS/CBD/]

LEGAZPI CITY, July 14 (PNA) – Governor Joey Sarte Salceda has suspended classes at all levels in Albay, both private and public, after the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) placed the province under Storm Signal No. 2 at about 10 a.m. Monday.

In its 11:00 a.m. bulletin, the PAGASA said it had placed all provinces in the Bicol Region, except Masbate, under Signal No. 2.

Salceda said once the students go home at lunch time, they should not go back to their respective schools anymore.

Tropical Storm “Glenda” (international name: Rammasun), which was located at about 670 kilometers east of Legazpi City, is expected to make a landfall at Catanduanes at about 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday.

Salceda warned all residents along the river system and steep slope to pre-identify safer grounds and facilities for possible evacuation in case of flood and landslide for disaster avoidance.

He ordered all Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Councils to be on heightened alert in their respective areas of responsibility to monitor the status of Glenda.

On the governor's instruction, the Philippine Coast Guard has prevented small fishing vessels and passenger sea craft not to sail.

Salceda asked Albayanos to expect regular and periodic issuances of further emergency advisories through Albay PDRRMC’s Smart infoboard and local broadcast stations.

NOC commends Albay for its excellent preparations for APEC Summit's meetings

By Johnny C. Nunez [(PNA), SCS/JCN/PJN]

LEGAZPI CITY, July 13 (PNA) -- The National Organizing Committee (NOC) for the upcoming 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Summit in the Philippines has commended Albay for its excellent hosting preparations for the APEC meetings in the province.

The 2015 APEC Learders' Summit starts with an Informal Ministerial Meeting on Dec. 4-6 this year at the luxury hideaway island Misibis Resort in Bacacay, Albay, to be followed by a series of high-level meetings of ranking officials from APEC’s 21-member countries and culminates in the APEC Leaders' Summit in November next year.

Albay is one among the few sites chosen to host the series of high-level conferences. In its assessment of Albay’s ongoing preparations for the conferences last week, the APEC-NOC noted the “well executed tasks so far” by the province for the events.

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary for International Economic Affairs Laura del Rosario, who flew to Legazpi City last Thursday with APEC-NOC officials, said they believe in Albay’s “high level of capability… in hosting this kind of big event, most particularly in its self-confidence.”

Del Rosario said APEC organizers have chosen Albay as host on account of their respect for Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, who has excelled in implementing the province’s various mult-faceted programs, particularly those on Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and related concerns.

DRRM and CCA, which are global issues, will figure prominently in the more urgent agenda of the summit.

Del Rosario met Thursday with Albay provincial officials and representatives of other agencies involved in the APEC events’ preparations. She and other APEC NOC officials expressed satisfaction over the province’s preparations so far.

Aside from previously set schedules of APEC meetings in Albay, NOC officials said there will be four additional major events in the province -- one with 150 to 250 participants, another with some 300 participants, and still another with about 250 to 350 participants.

Salceda said that having been chosen to host a good number of the APEC Summit’s events is a concrete proof of the world’s confidence in the capability of Albay, which is not new to hosting international conferences. Only in May, it hosted three meetings of the United Nations World Trade Organization.

The APEC Summit “will further prove that our preparations and efforts respond to international benchmark demands," Salceda said, adding that Albay’s readiness and success in hosting world events should be credited to various local government units of their province and the entire Albay community.

Peasant leader slain in Bicol tags Army - rights groups


MANILA, Philippines -- The leader of a coconut farmers’ group in Albay was shot by motorcycle-riding gunmen Friday morning and, before he died, identified the attackers as soldiers, human rights organizations said.

Hustisya and Karapatan said Edgardo Lopez, 40, president of the provincial chapter of the Bicol Coconut Planters Association, was shot three times in front of a store in Barangay Mayon in Daraga town.

A statement from the group said before he died at a hospital, Lopez said: “Army an nagbadil sako (The Army shot me).”

Karapatan-Bicol spokesman Vince Casilihan said Lopez had been harassed by the military before his murder.

In April, troops of the 901st Infantry Brigade surrounded Lopez’s home because communist rebels were allegedly hiding out there. The troops also allegedly warned him against joining rallies and supporting the New People’s Army.

Karapatan-Bicol says the peasant leader is the 50th victim of extrajudicial killings in the region alone since President Benigno Aquino III assumed office in 2010, accounting for a quarter of the 204 murders recorded by Hustisya during this period.

US Ambassador Goldberg to visit Albay on Monday

By Nancy I. Mediavillo (PNA), LAP/FGS/NIM/CBD/

LEGAZPI CITY, July 11 (PNA) -- US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg will visit the province of Albay on Monday next week.

Goldberg's purpose is to personally see the Disaster Risk Reduction Management and Climate Change Adaptation program of the province in cooperation with the Bicol University.

Albay has been known worldwide as a model and center of DRRM-CCA domain in the entire country.

The ambassador will meet with Governor Joey Sarte Salceda; Dr. Cedric Daep, chief of the Albay Provincial Safety and Emergency Management Office and director of the DRRM-CCA Training Institute; Dr. Fay Patria Lauraya, BU president; and eight mayors in the province.

With Goldberg are officials of the World Food Program and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

In this connection, Dr. Lani Pabilando, BU Extension Services Office director, said the university has long been a partner of the province in its DRRM and CCA program and the same is true with the WFP and the USAID.

BU's role through her office will be education and training.

Among the projects the BU has been undertaking under the collaboration with Albay -- and other provinces like Sorsogon -- are mainstreaming of DRRM-CCA in the NSTP curriculum, Family Preparedness and Food Security and Synergizing Science and Technology with Indigenous Knowledge System on Climate-Smart DRRM through Extension in selected local government units down to the barangay level.

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