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
Seal of the Province of Albay
|Interactive Google Satellite Map of the Province of Albay|
Location of Albay within the Philippines
Provincial Capitol Building of Albay, in Legazpi City
18,000 Chinese tourists seen to come to Albay annually starting January 2014
- Wednesday, December 11, 2013
- (PNA), FFC/FGS/NIM/CBD/UTB
LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 11 (PNA) -- At least 18,000 Chinese tourists will come to Albay annually starting January 2014 as the province stands ready to become an international gateway, Albay Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda said.
“This means our province will become a new travel destination of tourists from countries like China, South Korea and Russia,” Salceda said.
This, he said, will be ahead of the opening and operation of the Southern Luzon International Airport in Barangay Alobo in neighboring Daraga town.
Salceda said this will entail the use of the Legazpi Airport.
“We should take advantage of the foreign market trend showing that international tourists do not tend to repeat a local destination as they follow a cycle leading them from one place to another,” Salceda explained.
He added that this practice paved the way for the opening of new tourist destinations aside from Cebu, Boracay, Bohol and Laoag where there are flights going to key cities in other countries like China.
Salceda said that based on studies of international tourism organizations, a Chinese tourist spends US$ 300 a night.
In one year, about P213 million will be earned by the tourism industry in Albay, which is a big contribution to the economy of the province.
DOLE grants P1M to livelihood program for Legazpi’s poor; P140M up for employment assistance in Bicol
- Tuesday, December 10, 2013
- (PNA), FFC/FGS/DOC/NIM/UTB
LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 10 (PNA) -– After providing P1 million to an anti-poverty program for the poor here, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has earmarked P140 million to another set of livelihood assistance to the indigent sector of Bicol’s labor force that will be implemented next year.
The P1-million fund was recently released in terms of livelihood tools and equipment to 137 beneficiaries in five barangays of the city that had been earlier placed under the Bayanihan Program of the Philippine Army (PA).
The Bayanihan is part of the efforts for peace of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) wherein the PA is conducting continuous activities to find out the needs of communities and attend to issues villagers are raising.
The barangays are Rawis, Arimbay, Pawa, Tula-Tula and Victory where the beneficiaries of the program were identified by the local contingent of the military operating in the area and the city government under Mayor Noel Rosal.
"In these barangays where a number of families living in poverty are vulnerable to the threat of insurgency, livelihood assistance should be provided so that these families are given sources of lifetime income. When busy earning, these people will have no time entertaining the prodding of the communists,” DOLE Regional Director Nathaniel Lacambra said.
Each beneficiary, he said, received a package of tools and equipment, depending on their skills, where every package costs between P5,000 and P8,000.
“With this grant, our job in DOLE is done. Based on our agreement with the Army and the city government, they will now take care of the monitoring of the livelihood activities of the beneficiaries and submit report to us,” Lacambra said as he expressed confidence that the project will yield very good results.
In fact, he added, this project should be replicated in other regions of the country being pestered by insurgency.
“Giving chance to people who have gone a little bit astray in their life is a perfect example of government complementation,” Lacambra said.
He recalled that DOLE-Bicol is also the very first in the history of the agency to provide livelihood grants to ex-convicts or parolees in Sorsogon province in partnership with the Parole and Probation Office.
The P140-million allocation for next year, he said, would come from the DOLE’s regular livelihood funds, reinforced by its Bottom-Up-Budgeting (BuB) and its share from the budget originally intended for the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) but reassigned to implementing agencies.
The whole amount will be divided among Bicol’s six provinces, with Albay and Camarines Sur getting 25 percent each; Camarines Norte and Srosogon, 15 percent each; and Catanduanes and Masbate, 10 percent each, according to Lacambra.
Beneficiaries of this fund can avail of DOLE’s livelihood package such as Negosyo Sa Kariton (Nego Kart), Kabuhayan Starter Kits (DK-SK), Emergency Wage Employment Assistance (EWEA) and Group Livelihood Projects that are all given in support to Bicol’s regional development, he said.
- Monday, December 9, 2013
- By Johnny C. Nunez [(PNA), LOR/JCN/JSD]
LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 9 (PNA) -- Albay Gov. Joey Salceda has urged his well off constituents to resort to ‘edible landscaping’ and help reduce imports, improve the environment and promote food security.
Home-based organic vegetable gardening, he said, is also among the strategies for climate change adaptation, and a practical way to beautify houses in subdivisions and suburban residences where mostly the only available area for planting is the front yard.
“Eat your landscape,” Salceda said during a recent interview, where he tackled the advantages of home-based organic vegetable gardening over the expensive traditional landscaping that gives no tangible returns to homeowners except esthetics.
Edible landscaping or EL is what backyard gardening is to the countryside. It now being introduced by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) in cooperation with the University of the Philippines Los Banos, even among well off families, to enhance the country’s food production.
“Instead of just ornamental plants, government now encourages more households to plant vegetables in their front and back yards so we can provide for our basic needs, reduce vegetable imports and live healthy lives,” Salceda stressed.
A UN report shows that in 2012 alone, the Philippines spent P142 million in vegetable imports. The World Health Organization (WHO)also reported that the Philippines’ vegetable consumption of 60 kilos per person per year in 2007 was one of Asia’s lowest, which results in chronic malnutrition especially among children with shortage in intake of vitamins and minerals.
Salceda said people should be more practical and spend only on basic things that give them better returns, more particularly these days when survivors of super typhoon Yolanda in the Vizayas subsist on government rations and private sector donations.
EL, he added, also offers extensive livelihood opportunities for about 5.2 million Filipinos that are below the poverty threshold and could not afford the high cost of foods, especially in cities.
He said EL enhances the environment since more plants means less carbon dioxide emission that contributes to global warming and climate change, and at the same time promotes food security that could have a significant impact locally.
The governor has pioneered the campaign on climate change adaptation in his home province and now sits as co-chair of the UN Green Climate Fund, which is at the head of the campaign against global warming.
Green Climate Fund officials hope to realize objectives soonest
- Sunday, December 8, 2013
- By Nancy I. Mediavillo [(PNA), CTB/FGS/NIM/CBD/RSM]
LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 8 (PNA) –- Officials of the United Nations Green Climate Fund (UNGCF) expressed hope that they will realize the objectives of the Fund soonest, Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda told the PNA Sunday.
Salceda, UNGCF co-chairman, attended the recent opening and blessing of UNGCF office at the G-Tower Building in Songdo, Incheon City, South Korea.
He said he told his fellow officials that the Philippines has experienced the nightmare and so much hardships brought by super typhoon “Yolanda” and other calamities as result of climate change.
The green economist said he stressed before his co-Fund executives that it needs an immediate and solid action of the world to counter the effects and the risks brought by climate change.
Salceda said he is glad that the Fund is on the right track to be started t he next year.
“This would mean the flow of funds to countries that need them due to climate change,” he added.
In this connection, he called for the support of the countries all over the world to help mitigate the effects of climate change and implement climate change adaptation.
Salceda said Manfred Konukiewitz of Germany, UNGCF board co-chairman, thanked the hospitality of South Korea and its gesture to give a permanent office for the UNGCF.
He quoted his co-chairman as saying that the opening ceremony marks the end of interim phase of the Fund and the start of its full operation.
Konukiewitz added that South Korea has an important role in this operation even as he asked the support of every government and all sectors of the world to support the Fund and its objectives, Salceda related.
He said Héla Cheikhrouhou, UNGCF executive director, on the other hand, claimed that the occasion means the Fund is ready to be implemented.
Salceda quoted Oh-Seok Hyun, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategy and Finance of South Korea, as saying that the occasion is the first chapter in the history of UNGCF and stressed the need for political will, strength and courage of every nation to implement the Fund.
The Green Climate Fund is a multilateral fund agreed to be put up by representatives to the 2010 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Cancun, Mexico, and was ratified in 2011.
GFC, which aims to make a significant and ambitious contribution to the global efforts towards attaining the goals set by the international community to combat climate change, has US$ 100 billion in pledges from developed countries by 2020 in response to the urgency and seriousness of this weather phenomenon.
The Fund, Salceda said, will contribute to the achievement of the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC which in the context of sustainable development shall promote the paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways by providing support to developing countries to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
It would also provide for the adaptation to the impacts of climate change, taking into account the needs of those developing countries particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.
The Fund will be guided by the principles and provisions of the UNFCCC established in December 2011 with a vision to help the developing countries cushion the impacts of changing climate.
It is designated as an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the UNFCCC, in accordance with Article 11 of the Convention.
Arrangements will be concluded between the Conference of the Parties to ensure that it is accountable to, and functions under its guidance, Salceda said.
The Fund, he stressed, will operate in a transparent and accountable manner guided by efficiency and effectiveness so that it plays a key role in channeling new, additional, adequate and predictable financial resources to developing countries and will catalyze climate finance, both public and private, and at the international and national levels.
It will pursue a country-driven approach and promote and strengthen engagement at the country level through effective involvement of relevant institutions and stakeholders in scalable and flexible manner and will be a continuously learning institution guided by processes for monitoring and evaluation.
The Fund will strive to maximize the impact of its funding for adaptation and mitigation, and seek a balance between the two, while promoting environmental, social, economic and development co-benefits and taking a gender-sensitive approach, Salceda added.
DA exec says Albay way ahead in agri disaster risk reduction (Feature)
- Saturday, December 7, 2013
- By Danny O. Calleja [(PNA), CTB/FGS/DOC/CBD/]
LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 7 (PNA) – Take it from a Department of Agriculture (DA) executive who oversees disaster risk reduction (DRR) in agriculture — Albay province is way ahead of other localities in the country in terms of DRR.
“Albay does not wait for disaster to overwhelm the province’s agriculture as it has been making radical changes that enhance the resilience of its farmers, knowing that the cost of inaction far outweigh the cost of action,” according to Dr. Elena de los Santos, DA regional technical director for operations and extension .
These disasters that make Bicol’s and the country’s agriculture sector the most vulnerable, come from typhoons, storm surges, volcanic eruption, pests and disease infestations, she said during the recent Regional Forum on DRR in Agriculture initiated here by the DA’s Regional Field Unit (RFU) based in Pili, Camarines Sur.
Albay is especially exposed to eruptions of Mt. Mayon that usually affect its three cities and five of its 14 municipalities where about 120,000 people, mostly farmers, are threatened by pyroclastic flow, mudflow and lava flow.
Typhoons causing floods, landslides, mudflow, storm surge and strong wind that could destroy thousands of hectares of agricultural areas and around 190,000 houses and major landslides caused by other weather hazards that may affect 116 barangays or about 40,173 households also hang like a “Sword of Damocles” over the province’s neck.
Against all of these, however, the provincial government -- with its ultimate goal of “zero casualty” -- has, among others, institutionalized the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) with regular annual budget appropriation for DRRM and permanent personnel.
It also institutionalized research and education in partnership with academe; equipped itself and local government units (LGUs) with risk maps developed by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) and Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau (MGB) and maintains population data by type of hazard existing on file used as input in planning and conducts integration of DRR to Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
Education and training are also done by the local technical staff of APSEMO while structural projects are funded sufficiently and implemented religiously as part of the regular program.
These and many more commitments to climate change adaptation and DRRM earned for the province recognition of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction as Role Model in Institutionalized and Innovative Disaster Risk Management based on 10 essentials, the first indicated by local organizations, including local governments that sufficiently equipped with capacities for climate and disaster risk reduction.
The second essential is indicated, among others, by financial services available to vulnerable and marginalized households for pre- and/or post-disaster times.
To sustain recovery efforts, Albay Governor Joey Salceda, through an initial P2-million budget, earlier initiated the Bayan-Anihan in partnership with the DA as a post disaster program where backyard vegetable farms in limited production areas such as resettlement sites are established as a strategy to both climate change adaptation and the combat of poverty and hunger.
The governor said “these kinds of programs are part of our climate change adaptation strategy and at the same time, a way to eradicate poverty and hunger in the province.”
The next essentials involve, among others, land-use policies and planning regulations for housing and critical risk-reducing infrastructure like drainage and flood controls, taking current and projected climate risk and disaster risk into account; and the inclusion of DRR policies, strategies and implementation plans within existing land-use and development plans.
The conduct of awareness-building or education programs on DRR and disaster preparedness for local communities have also been included along with local government support in the restoration, protection and sustainable management of ecosystems services like forests, coastal zones, wetlands, water resources, livestock, fisheries and river-basins to reduce local vulnerability and protection against floods, drought, landslides or seismic hazards.
Salceda’s DRR program is holistic given that post-disaster or recovery projects are integral part of DRR cycle done in Albay, thus, “Humanitarian Response for Recovery Plans and Programs” from 2008 to 2010 includes disaster risk management and environmental management.
For disaster risk management, disaster preparedness training, disaster drills and exercises are implemented in order that the community is empowered in handling any types of disaster while for environmental management, solid waste management and enhancement program such as tree planting, capability building on solid waste management and beautification activities are conducted.
The DA forum, which was part of the government project in Enhancing Capacities for Disaster Risk Reduction in Agriculture being implemented in the country, especially in the region through the support of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), took all these interventions and activities of Albay as a showcase.
The project primarily aims to enhance livelihood resilience for small-scale farmers and fisher folk in disaster-prone areas through the institutionalization of DRR in agriculture, an undertaking that could be considered in Albay province done way ahead of the other provinces, De los Santos said.
The forum was purposely conducted here so that agricultural stakeholders, program implementers and other local government units in the region who participated could see for themselves what have been put in place by the Albay provincial government to be called DRR champion, she said.
Presented in the forum were the accomplishments of the province in DRR in agriculture from where interventions, strategies and activities to complement the existing regional action plan for the project were identified.
Topics tackled were FAO’s perspective in agriculture, progress on community-based disaster risk reduction management, good farming practices options, post-disaster needs assessment, and regional plan of action involving analysis and policy implications.
Classes in Albay suspended due to rain
- Friday, December 6, 2013 2:35 pm
- By Mar S. Arguelles (Inquirer Southern Luzon)
LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines—Provincial officials suspended classes at all levels in private and public schools in Albay before noon Friday as a public safety measure due to continuous heavy rain in most of the Bicol area.
Albay Governor Joey Salceda issued the order to suspend classes in Albay effective 11 a.m. Friday following a consultation with the Philippine Atmospheric and Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration and the Albay Public Safety, Emergency and Management Office, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said in a public advisory.
Salceda explained in a text message that the suspension was a disaster mitigating measure to ensure the safety of students and teachers across the province after Pagasa forecast moderate to heavy rainfall in Albay up to Friday evening, which could trigger floods in low-lying areas.
The weather bureau, in its bulletin Friday, said the tail end of a cold front would bring moderate to heavy rainfall to the Bicol and Eastern Visayas regions.
Salceda also advised various local disaster councils in the 15 towns and three cities of the province to be on alert for possible flooding in low-lying areas.
Salceda seeks world gov't's support to rebuild wreckage, combat threats of climate change
- Thursday, December 5, 2013
- By Johnny C. Nunez [(PNA), CTB/JCN/UTB]
SONGDO, Incheon City, South Korea Dec. 5 (PNA) -- Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, co-chair of the UN Green Climate Fund (GCF), issued a call from here Thursday, urging world governments to support and cooperate in the gargantuan task of rebuilding the devastation of climate change and combat its threats.
Salceda made the call as the GCF settled down December 4 in its new headquarters in this bustling Songdo Free Economic Zone in Incheon. He said his office shall initialize the operationalization of the fund to help small countries - like the Philippines - transcend the disastrous and persistent impacts of climate.
“The impacts of climate change on developing countries, most particularly in Asia, is globally accepted as cataclysmic; Haiyan, (Yolanda) which struck Central Philippines in November 7, left 5,719 dead, 11.2 million people affected, 1.1 million homes damaged and destroyed, and 4.4 million people displaced,” Salceda said.
He recounted how, with the help of the international community, his province Albay was able to rise up from a similar cataclysm in 2006 brought about by Typhoon Durian, which decimated 40% of its Gross Domestic Product, destroyed 203,000 homes and affected 1.1 million people.Administered by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the GCF has transferred from its temporary headquarters in Bonn, Germany to the modern Green Tower Building in Songdo, which is now the hub for UN offices. South Korea has won its strong bid to host the GCF.
The GCF headquarters inauguration was graced by South Korean President Park Kun Hye, who welcomed the GCF dignitaries.
The GCF, or the Fund, is tasked to promote the paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways by providing support to developing countries to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Salceda, who is also UN spokesman for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, said the GCF shall put more pressure on the international community to operationalize the fund in 2014, finance preparedness activities for developing countries and help provide for such programs.
Salceda is GCF co-chair for developing countries and Southeast Asia.
“In Paris, the GCF Board agreed that resource mobilization should begin at least three months after the second board meeting in May also scheduled in Songdo,” Salceda said during the rites that officially opened the GCF headquarters.
Present during the event, aside from the Korean President, were GCF co-chair, Manfred Konukiewitz, for developed countries, Korean Deputy Finance Minister Oh-Seok Hyun, GCF Executive Director Hela Cheikhrouhou, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, and Incheon Metropolitan City Mayor Young Gil.
Speaking before guests at the ceremony opening the GCF headquarters, Salceda also thanked the “Korean people for their help in 2007, in rebuilding 10% of the entire housing reconstruction in Albay damaged by Durian.”
“Six years after, and two days after Haiyan hit the Vizayas, I have led Team Albay with 179 personnel and 17 vehicles and became the first humanitarian mission to arrive - during the critical hours where lives could still be saved - in Tacloban City,” Salceda told the climate advocates.
He said Team Albay was “first to provide medical services in the area, first to provide free medicines, first to retrieve cadavers, first to raise the flag in the Leyte provincial capitol, and first to open a gasoline station.”
At the devastation Ground Zero, Team Albay also produced and delivered 1.2 million liters for the survivors through its water filtration machine, retrieved 622 corpses, provided free medicines and medical services to 2,142 patients, repacked 450,000 relief goods for the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and sourced 420 tons of relief goods.
Salceda said Team Albay has proven it can do more than what a 179-man team can in an emergency, but as CNN commented, they (Team Albay) do not talk but just keep on working and retrieving corpses.
He said the GCF can be likened to the Star of Bethlehem which led the Three Kings to the manger. It is like a Globe Positioning System for international events market especially with the opening of offices here by the World Bank, UN United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and North-East Asia.
As noted by world delegates to the event, the convergence here of these agencies “makes Songdo, Incheon the epicenter of global climate finance and the center for global engagements and international conversations on climate change.”
Male, female forum participants learn value of team work vs. hazards
- Wednesday, December 4, 2013
- (PNA), CTB/FGS/EMC/CBD/UTB
LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 4 (PNA) -- Working together, men and women can identify hazards that threaten their lives, homes, livelihood and communities and address vulnerability conditions, other factors -- and together, they can build safer, adaptive and disaster-resilient communities.
This was what some 60 participants in the Gender and Development (GAD) Convergence Forum held at the Ninong's Hotel on East Washington Drive, Legazpi City, on Dec. 3, came to realize at the end of activity.
The forum has for its theme “Gender Mainstreaming in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management."
The GAD convergence forum was conducted by the Provincial Government of Albay under the auspices of the Provincial Council of Women and the Spanish government’s Española de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarollo (AECID).
Dr. Cedric Daep, head of the Albay Provincial Safety and Emergency Monitoring Office, was among the resource speakers while the Office of Civil Defense 5 was a resource agency.
Participants in this women-centered activity were GAD in-charge persons and officials, employees of local government units of Tiwi and Polangui, representatives from government line agencies and civil society organizations, media practitioners, members and officers of the Albay Provincial Council of Women and some officials and employees of the Provincial Government under the stewardship of Gov. Joey S. Salceda.
EMB assures air in Legazpi is clean
- Tuesday, December 3, 2013
- By Danny O. Calleja [(PNA), LAP/FGS/DOC/CBD/]
LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 3 (PNA) -– Take a deep breath and make a sigh of relief, assured that the air in this prime Bicol city called the City of Fun and Adventure is indeed clean.
Take this assurance from Roberto Sheen, Bicol regional technical director of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Sheen said EMB records show that in recent years of smoke belching monitoring and air quality measurement, the city has maintained a good status of air quality.
“We will continue monitoring, especially now that our office is already equipped with a state-of-the-art instrument to regularly determine local air quality and determine the level of pollution prevailing in the city’s atmosphere,” he said on Tuesday.
The EMB regional chief said his office is now installing a brand-new Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS), the first ever to be acquired by the bureau for Bicol.
A DOAS is an instrument that measures concentrations of atmospheric trace gases such as nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, among others, that are chemically reactive factors of air quality in a given area.
Nitrogen oxides are produced when air is subjected to high temperature and high pressure such as in diesel engines while carbon monoxide is a product of incomplete combustion whose principal source is gasoline engine.
Nitrogen dioxide, on the other hand, is a toxic gas with a pungent, irritating and rotten smell released naturally by volcanic activity and is a potent global warming gas.
DOAS is also capable of determining levels of carbon dioxide and methane that are important greenhouse gases produced anthropogenically but mainly by plants and microorganisms, and from natural geothermal sources.
The DOAS that the EMB acquired, Sheen said, is combined with basic optical spectrometers such as prisms or diffraction gratings and automated, ground-based observation platforms to become a powerful means for the measurement of air pollutants.
A DOAS system consists of a light source and a detector, with an open path in between to measure a spectrum of the light that passes through it.
Any gas present there will leave its spectral fingerprint on the measured spectrum and the amount of light absorbed is proportional to the amount of gas present, he explained.
Sheen said EMB technicians have already set up the instrument at the bureau’s regional office at the Regional Government Center in Barangay Rawis here and now familiarizing with its operations.
After this, Sheen’s office will start the air quality monitoring in the city and come up regularly with reports so that the public and local government units are guided on measures that should be undertaken to maintain good air quality to achieve an air pollution-free environment in the locality.
The air quality monitoring, he said, is part of the mandate of the DENR, through the EMB, to generate necessary information in formulating a comprehensive air pollution management and control program.
The EMB regional offices regularly monitor roadside total suspended particulates (TSP) concentrations nationwide.
Monitoring of ambient concentrations of air pollutants other than TSP is conducted only in Metro Manila and in the cities of Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Davao.
Criteria pollutants are air contaminants for which the National Ambient Air Quality (NAAQ) Guideline Values have been established under the Clean Air Act of 1999.
EMB monitors the concentrations of these criteria pollutants, which include TSP; particulate matter 10 microns in diameter or smaller (PM10); sulfur dioxide; nitrogen dioxide; carbon monoxide; lead; and ozone.
The most recent period that air quality was determined through measurements here conducted by the EMB were between 2003 and 2004 or five years after the start of the implementation of the Clean Air Act wherein TSP concentrations exceeded the mean annual NAAQ guideline value.
Should the next measurements to be regularly conducted now that EMB-Bicol is already equipped with a DOAS would show higher level of air pollution, Sheen said local governments must initiate appropriate measures to address it.
Among these measures is the enforcement of the ban on the use of two-stroke engines in tricycles which is provided under the Clean Air Act, the provision of bicycle lanes on existing roads to encourage biking and minimize the use of motor vehicles and the absolute ban of cigarette smoking in public places, he added.
Albay allocates P11M for upgrading of Legazpi airport
- Monday, December 2, 2013 11:54 am
A new gateway for chartered flights
The domestic airport in Legazpi receives a boost from the provincial government of Albay with the allotment of P11 million for upgrading geared towards making the city a prospective gateway for chartered flights of foreign tourists.
This was confirmed as the provincial legislature unanimously approved last week the allocation requested by Gov. Joey Salceda.
The proposed upgrade is part of requirements in making the province a new gateway of foreign travellers via chartered flights directly coming from major markets like China, Korea and Russia.
In is also in preparation for the first Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit hosted by the province in December and the Green Climate Fund in April, in 2014.
Apart from the delegates coming to these international conferences, Salceda said, about a dozen of chartered flights carrying tourists from China have also been arranged and would start arriving in next year as soon as the upgrade and other requirements are met.
Part of the upgrade, Salceda said here on Saturday, is the setting up of Customs, Immigration and Quarantine-Health and Quarantine Agriculture to meet the requirements standard of international flights.
“Ahead of the opening of the Southern Luzon International Airport (SLIA) now ongoing construction in Daraga town, we are making use of the existing Legazpi domestic airport for chartered flights that would fly in foreign visitors who are making our province a new destination,” the governor said.
The province, he said, is taking advantage of the foreign market trend showing that international tourists do not tend to repeat a local destination as they follow a cycle leading them from one place to another.
This trend, according to Salceda, creates a demand for a new Philippine destination other than Cebu, Boracay, Bohol and Laoag where there are existing flights from and to various cities outside of the country, particularly China.
Having Albay as a new direct destination for the Chinese market, for example, means getting them to start a cycle from January to March of each year wherein they would arrive via chartered flights Sunday and leave Thursday, Salceda said.
With this, he said, the province would be expecting in terms of arrivals 200 persons per flight from China every five days for three months or 3,600 actual bodies who would be staying five nights or 18,000 guest nights per year.
Based on reports of international tourism organizations, Chinese tourists spend US$ 300 per night.
“With this as an example, a conservative estimate of US$ 275 per Chinese guest per night would be equivalent to about P213 million in tourism receipts that Albay will get starting from the moment they arrive at the airport and as they go along with city tours, enter the gate of Cagsawa Ruins, rent ATVs (all-terrain vehicles), eat in restaurants, get services from local providers and occupy hotel rooms,” Salceda said.
These are all in line with his policy to achieve inclusive growth for the province through tourism that will have direct impact on the community, the governor added.
“Tourism will definitely take a crucial role in the province’s and in Bicol region’s pursuit for inclusive and horizontal growth that will benefit not only big investors such as hotel and resort owners and operators but also the people in the countryside where most of tourist destinations are located by providing more opportunities for employment and business ventures,” he stressed.
Other services and small-scale businesses such as transport, souvenir shops, handicrafts and the like are created as tourism activities intensify in an area, while large-scale tourism stakeholders are needed to expand to include employment for common people such as housekeeping and food services, Salceda added.
According to Department of Tourism (DOT) Bicol regional director Maria Ong-Ravanilla, a group of local tour operators is working closely with this chartered flight tourism program.
Arrangements, she said, have already reached a 100-percent positive outcome insofar as the Chinese market is concerned.
Chinese travelers, however, are impulsive on the visa process that is why their biggest drawers are Jeju Island and Bali, Indonesia, that do not require entry visas, she said.
Albay, Salceda said, is arranging ways to provide ease and convenience so that entry requirements for this market are put in place as smooth as possible so that Chinese tourists would be able to enjoy the province as an alternative “complete” destination.
“We will be using the Laoag model as a guide in the processing of tourist group visa wherein tour operators will request for a recommendation letter from the Department of Foreign Affairs or its foreign post that a group of tourists will be visiting the province and this will serve as TGV for Chinese visitors,” he said.
Besides, Salceda said, there is already an agreement among countries regarding the laxity of issuing visas and on the problem with the Chinese market, with AJAX Rule, they are given 59 days upon landing in the Philippines”.
Multiple entry visa upon arrival (MEVUA) or Note Verbale for Chinese and Indian visitors can be requested from the DFA foreign post at least one week prior to travel to the Philippines and they can stay for 59 days. Japanese and Russian visitors can stay for 30 days and are not required to apply for entry visa.
For the Korean market, on the other hand, that is more on honeymooners and golfing travelers, the tour operators group is now working on the actual details such as visa needs and obtaining positive responses from the market.
On the Russian market, Vladivostok, in the Russian fareast, has direct flights to Cebu and Kalibo but Russians are getting tired of these places, reason why they are seeking new destinations, according to Salceda, adding that a Russian guest spend US$ 1,000 per night on incidental expenses exclusive of accommodation costs.
Under this new tourism project, the governor said, there would be chartered flights for the Russian market from November to March and Misibis Bay Resort will be allocating a minimum of 20 rooms for them every nine days which means 180 room nights per cycle.
Misibis is a private tropical hideaway built on a pristine stretch of a beach along the southern tip of Cagraray island in Bacacay, Albay which is considered as the luxury island playground in the Philippines.
From these three travel markets alone, Albay’s estimated arrivals are 10,000 in the first year, probably 2014, when all requirements are satisfied.
Government researchers say Bicol abaca strong vs substitutes
- Sunday, December 1, 2013
LEGAZPI CITY—Despite the emergence of synthetic substitutes, abaca keeps Bicol on top of its producers’ circle and remains unshakable in both the domestic and international markets, according to the Bicol Consortium for Agriculture and Resources Research and Development (BCARRD).
Synthetic ropes may have some technical advantages, but abaca has qualities that meet the needs for special purposes—specifically for oil drilling, navies, merchant shipping and construction—thus, maintaining for the Philippines its strong foothold in the global market, BCARRD Director Ninfa Pelea said over the week here.
She said this and many more good news about the product during the two-day Farmers Industry Encounter through the Science and Technology Agenda (Fiesta) at the Embarcadero de Legazpi that ended on Friday.
Organized by the BCARRD, the affair showcased the various abaca products and emerging opportunities, with science and technology playing a significant role in the industry.
Pelea said the country’s abaca industry continues with its bright prospects, especially in the export market, as many countries are shifting to the use of abaca products to replace synthetic and other non-biodegradable raw materials.
This, as the current global advocacy of going natural and going green is becoming more intense with the growing awareness and concern to protect the environment.
Abaca as a renewable resource can be an excellent part of the overall solution to climate change, as the plant absorbs more carbon dioxide than its emission, and is 100-percent biodegradable, which cannot harm the environment.
With this, eco-friendly materials like abaca are utilized by industries for products like home furnishings and housewares, fashion and its accessories, packaging of food, apparel and other items.
Pelea said demands in synthetic products, such as plastic bags, have been steadily declining as consumers now prefer to use eco-friendly fabric bags to replace plastic bags in their shopping sprees.
According to reports, Western consumers are shifting their preference from using plastic bags to fabric products because the former have been causing a lot of problems in the environment, such as littering and pollution.
“In this city alone, you don’t see stores, malls and other commercial establishments using plastic bags because of the ban being imposed by the local government,” Pelea said.
In various industries, instead of glass fiber, the use of abaca fiber brought primary energy savings of 60 percent, thus significantly reducing carbon-dioxide emission, the report said.
Other car-manufacturing companies, especially in the European Union, are expected to use natural fibers as material for their car parts in compliance with the end-of-life-vehicle regulation of the European Parliament.
Such regulation requires these firms to design and make their car components easier to recycle and safer to dispose at the end of life of their vehicle.
As composite material, abaca fiber has potentials in boat/shipbuilding industries, aeronautics, as well as in the construction business, especially in high-rise buildings, according to a report by the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA).
With stricter policies against the dumping of synthetic fishnets and cordage materials in open seas as enforced by most European nations, users are returning to the use of natural biodegradable materials like abaca fiber, the PhilFIDA report added.
Pelea said abaca pulp has also been gaining more popularity, owing to the expanding demand for specialty papers for tea bags, meat and sausage casings, currency papers, metalized papers, cigarette papers, filters, high-tech capacitor papers, and other non-woven materials and disposables, Pelea said.
Most specialty papers require high porosity and excellent tear, bursting and tensile strength, which characterize abaca fiber and shun synthetics that burn more readily than natural ones, are prone to heat damage and generate more electrostatic charge by rubbing than with natural fibers.
Pelea said the Philippines, especially Bicol, with Catanduanes maintaining its hold of the top slot in abaca production, could expect more demand for abaca fiber owing to its growing popularity, the opening of new markets for tea bags and meat casing in India, China and Eastern Europe, and increased demand by the US and Russia for abaca-based fiber paper and wrappers for cigarettes.
Abaca is now highly preferred for cordage material over synthetic materials, which are not environment-friendly and also serving as replacement for asbestos, which is carcinogenic and banned in other countries, she said.
A study conducted by the European Nature Heritage Fund said the utilization of abaca fiber in composites for highly stressed parts of automobiles would result in numerous ecological, as well as economic, benefits.
Replacing glass fibers by natural fibers could reduce the weight of automotive parts and enables the recycling of these components, it added.
The Fiesta, themed “Celebrating Bicol’s Amazing Abaca: Fiesta na, Pasko Pa,” featured a techno-business forum, fashion show, photography contest and e-marketing training among others.
The older news reports are kept here.