List of Municipalities in the Albay, Province 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
It’s the vision, not the person, Salceda says of 3rd election
- Sunday, May 19, 2013 12:01 am
- (Manila Standard Today)
Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, who ran unopposed for his third term as governor, said it was his vision for their province, and not him, that was unopposed in the just concluded election.
“Not I, but the vision for Albay is what is unopposed in this election and all Albayanos have united to make it an economic reality,” Salceda said after voting in his hometown of Polangui.
Unconventional yet zealous about his goals down to the details, Salceda embarked on new, pragmatic and specific program targets for Albay, leading resident to say he was reinventing local politics.
His targets included the realization of one million tourist arrivals by 2017 from 200,000 in 2012, a feat that will make Albay a tourism powerhouse. This target is partly anchored on the completion and opening of the Southern Luzon International Airport in 2016, the end of his final term as governor.
He envisions the new airport, now under construction in Daraga town, to open Albay and southern Bicol to the floodgates of international tourists and pump the blood into the Albay-Masbate-Sorsogon-Catanduanes (Almasorca ), the tourism alliance south of Manila.
The governor also sees the development of Albay as a bastion of education in Southern Luzon, with a goal of realizing “at least one college graduate in every family by 2020”, with a 188,000 college graduates by 2016.” Supporting this objective is a massive scholarship program that is now in place.
Salceda said the development programs he has laid out for the province also aims to make Albay like California in 30 years in terms of standards of living, with a vastly reduced poverty incidence by as early as 2016.
Towards this goal, substantive modernization is now being initiated in tourism, agriculture, entertainment, services, research and less energy-intensive industries, he added.
When he declared his reelection bid last year, Salceda noted he had no political enemies.”My only enemies are disasters, climate change and poverty,” he declared, suggesting his priorities for his third and last term as governor, and the fact that nobody opposed him.
His first two terms as governor, from 2007 to 2013 brought about innovations with impressive results—252,000 Philhealth enrolled members among the poor; 64,000 recipients of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program; 34,000 scholars; and increased tourists arrivals that hit 178,000.
Albay eyes world record in smoke-free human logo during June’s ‘No Smoking Month’ bash
- Saturday, May 18, 2013
- By Danny O. Calleja [(PNA), HBC/FGS/DOC/CBD]
LEGAZPI CITY, May 18 (PNA) – Albay’s anti-tobacco drive comes to a new height as the provincial government attempts next month to set a world record for the first-ever giant smoke-free human logo.
Expected to be formed by around 13,000 people, the human logo will deliver a message, saying “living a tobacco-free life is more healthful these days in any community such as Albay,” Gov. Joey Salceda on Saturday here said.
“While Albay has survived volcanic eruptions, massive flashfloods, lahar flows, earthquakes and super typhoons and getting more resilient against all types of natural or man-made disaster, we also want to tell the whole world that we can, at the same time, conquer the deadly habit of tobacco smoking in our communities,” Salceda stressed.
The move, according to the governor, enjoys the support of people from various local sectors such as students and youths, government and private workers, academe, faith-based and religious congregations, women, senior citizens, barangay leaders and residents, farmers and fishermen, public transport operators and practically all Albayanos.
These participants are now being mobilized by the provincial government through the Smoke-Free Albay Network (SFAN), a local non-government organization championing the anti-smoking advocacy in the province.
SFAN secretary-general Rose Olarte-Orbita said the world record-setting event will kick off early morning of June 28 at the Peñaranda Park here from where the participants will parade to the nearby Bicol University ground and assemble into the biggest smoke-free human logo ever.
The event, which will occupy a 5,033-square-meter area, is also in observance of the "No Smoking Month" and is meant to raise awareness on the ill-effects of smoking and its hazards to the environment.
Representatives from the Guinness World Record (GWR) will be around to act as adjudicator of the record attempt, Olarte-Orbita said.
The anti-tobacco campaign in the province was started by the city government here about four years ago under the administration of then city mayor Noel Rosal by way of strictly implementing a city ordinance that bans smoking in all public places that include mass conveyances, malls, restaurants, pub houses, parks, government premises, school grounds, churches and parks, among other places.
(Rosal, by the way, has been elected again as mayor of Legazpi City, after his wife, Geraldine, did not seek re-election to the top post).
As part of the campaign, the local government also displayed in conspicuous places around the city giant billboards bearing graphic images on the ill effects of tobacco to health.
“No Smoking” signs were also posted all around.
Those caught violating the ordinance are penalized with fines, ranging from P500 to P1,500 or community service for those who cannot afford the cash penalties.
For these, the city government has won the Department of Health’s Red Orchid Award in a row of three years, the latest of which was last year ,making it a Hall of Famer in the health agency’s recognition of local government units’ successful implementation of anti-smoking programs in their localities.
Inspired by the these achievements, the provincial government came out last year with its own anti-smoking ordinance which placed the entire Albay province under a ban on smoking in all public places effective November 2012.
The enforcement of the ordinance applies to all persons, whether natural or juridical, whether resident of the province or not and all places found in the three cities and 15 municipalities of Albay.
This is to protect and promote the right to health of the people of Albay and its visitors--especially non-smokers who, when exposed to second-hand smoke, can lead to heart attacks, according to Salceda.
Classified by the International Agency for Cancer Research as a carcinogen, second-hand smoke has been the cause of death of more than 600,000 people each year worldwide, of which 168,000 or 28 percent are children.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), exposure to second-hand smoke in the Western Pacific, which includes the Philippine,s is generally high.
“We are also promoting healthy lifestyle as tobacco smoking kills at least 10 Filipinos every hour and threatens one-third of the Philippine population that are at risk of dying from debilitating diseases due to tobacco use. Cancer, heart disease, stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases are considered as the top four tobacco-related diseases,” Salceda said.
The WHO, on the other hand, estimates that tobacco use will kill nearly six million people this year.
More than five million of them will be users and ex-users of smoked and smokeless tobacco, while more than 600,000 will be non-smokers who are exposed to second-hand smoke.
Albay’s smoke-free ordinance also prohibits the purchase and sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to minors.
It also imposes restrictions on advertising, promotion, and sponsorship activities of tobacco companies.
Its penal provisions state that “any person found violating this ordinance will be fined P500 for the first offense; P1,000 for the second offense; and P3,000 for the third and subsequent offenses.”
“By coming together towards this noble cause of forming for the Guinness World Records the largest ever smoke-free human logo ever, we can show to the world that it is possible and that it is also possible for Albay to be totally a tobacco-free community,” Salceda said.
Terms and conditions governing this record attempt are now set according to the authorization given by the GWR, the governor added.
DAR to turn over P1.4-M muscovado sugar processing facility to farmers group in Albay
- Friday, May 17, 2013
- By Joseph John J. Perez(MAL/JJJPerez/DAR5/PIA5/Albay)
LEGAZPI CITY, May 17 (PIA) -- Life will be sweeter for Albay farmers especially for the Maysua Farmers Association (MFA) in Polangui town for being the beneficiary of the P1.4-million Muscovado sugar processing facility. This is expected to create employment and increase income of farmers by providing and adopting new technologies in producing muscovado sugar.
The project is carried out by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) under the Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity & Economic Support Services (Arccess) supported by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).
Muscovado sugar is known for its healthy benefits. Unlike sugar, it retains all the natural ingredients of sugarcane because it does not undergo additional heating, filtering and bleaching process which removes most of its nutrients, DAR Bicol said.
The sugar processing facility was constructed through the collaboration of Paz y Desarollo (PyD), Local Government Unit (LGU) of Polangui, Third District Congressman Fernando Gonzalez, Aquinas University Foundation Inc. (AQFI), and MFA, DAR Bicol said.
The project is managed by MFA under the monitoring and supervision of AQFI and Project Management Board (PMB) of Polangui, Albay. The project promotes participatory community development towards reducing poverty nationwide, DAR Bicol said.
DAR Albay chief agrarian reform program officer (CARPO) Estreluna G. Ante said that the 4-wheeled drive tractor intended for MFA is now ready for turnover to support sugarcane production.
“There are trainings that will be conducted for MFA as part of the partnership for sugarcane production in Albay,” Ante said. She further added that proposed rehabilitation of farm to market roads in Purok 3 to 7 of Barangay Maysua was already validated by the province.
According to DAR Bicol, Polangui municipal government hopes to provide this year the hauling truck being requested by MFA under Arccess to facilitate the supply of raw materials in the processing plant.
The local government earlier pledged to donate additional P100,000 for the construction of extension building and water tank for the newly turned-over processing plant.
In addition, Congressman Gonzales has also pledged to donate P300,000 for the procurement of multicabs for MFA in the delivery of their muscovado sugar, DAR Bicol said.
The facility is also in relation to the project of strengthening the productive sectors in the rural areas and improving sexual and reproductive health in the regions of Bicol and CARAGA, DAR Bicol said.
950 classrooms targeted for Bicol this year
- Thursday, May 16, 2013
- (PNA), LAP/FGS/CBD/
LEGAZPI CITY, May 15 (PNA) -- At least 950 classrooms are targeted for completion this year in Bicol by the Department of Public Works and Highways, Danilo Dequito, DPWH Bicol regional director, said.
The DPWH Bicol is also monitoring the construction of 28 school building projects involving 60 classrooms being implemented by private entities through the sponsorship of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII) under its Operation Barrio School Program.
Under the Department of Education CY 2012 Regular School Building Program (RSBP), there also is an allocation of 73 school buildings with a total of 98 classrooms and with a funding release of P48.2 million.
“These school building projects being undertaken by the FFCCCII and the DepEd are now substantially completed and will be ready in time for the school opening this 2013-2014 school year,” Dequito said in a statement.
Under the DepEd CY 2013 Basic Educational Facilities Fund (BEFF) and the RSBP, the government intends to implement 357 school building projects involving 852 classrooms with an allocation of P629.2 million as soon as an exemption from Resolution NO. 9585, series of 2012 will be granted by the Commission on Elections.
The government is really intent on addressing the shortage of classrooms in the country, which is now estimated at 66,000, that is why there is an undeniable increase in the budget and hopefully, more in the coming years, Dequito added.
The breakdown of the total allocation of school buildings with its corresponding number of classrooms for the six provinces of the Bicol region for SY 2012 and and SY 2013 is as follows; Albay, 50 school buildings (sb)/85 classrooms (cl); Camarines Sur, 143 sb/319 cl; Camarines Norte, 46 sb/83 cl; Catanduanes, 20 sb/37 cl; Masbate, 98 sb/237 cl; and Sorsogon 73, sb/ 189 cl.
Salceda proclaimed as governor-elect
- Wednesday, May 15, 2013
- By Mar S. Arguelles [(PNA), LAP/FGS/MSA/CBD]
LEGAZPI CITY, May 15 (PNA) -- After two days of waiting, Albay Governor Joey Salceda, who ran for re-election unopposed, has been proclaimed as governor-elect of the province at exactly 10:55 a.m., Wednesday.
Salceda got 259,804 votes out of the over 500,000 votes cast on Monday’s national and local elections.
“If not for either the delayed or malfunctioned compact flash (CF) cards coming from the 15 towns and three cities of the province, I should have been proclaimed hours after the election,” the re-elected governor said in an interview.
Sitting at the first row of the bleacher of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan session hall, Salceda waited patiently for hours as he observed the deliberation of the provincial board of election canvassers.
The board, chaired by lawyer Annie A. Romero-Cortes, Commission on Elections (Comelec) provincial supervisor, had convened since Tuesday morning to consolidate the election results from the different towns and cities of the province.
It approved the motion of lawyer Rodolfo Bonafe, Salceda’s legal counsel, for the proclamation of the re-elected governor and immediately proclaimed Salceda as the duly elected governor of Albay
Cortes said that despite the strict proclamation procedures set by the Comelec, two board members opted for the proclamation of Salceda.
“I was overruled by two of my members so the decision to proclaim was in order,” she explained.
The Comelec attributed the delay in the proclamation of elected provincial officials to the late transmission of the CF cards from the 15 towns and three cities.
Another glitch was that some CF cards that arrived malfunctioned or the data from these card could not be read by the compact control system, causing delays in consolidating the election results.
The provincial board of canvassers said 12 CF cards had been recorded while six cards had yet to be accounted for and processed.
These included cards from the towns of Camalig, Polangui, Malilipot and Tiwi and the cities of Ligao and Tabaco.
The late transmission of CF cards also affected the proclamation of incumbent Albay Representives Al Francis Bichara (NP, 2nd District), Fernando Gonzalez (LP, 3rd District) and lawyer Edcel Lagman Jr. (LP, 1st District).
Gov Salceda, Representatives Lagman, Bichara, Gonzalez top Albay polls
- Tuesday, May 14, 2013 3:08 am
- By Edra Benedicto (Inquirer Southern Luzon)
LEGAZPI CITY—Running unopposed, Gov. Joey Salceda (Liberal Party) still garnered a whooping 271,717 votes from the 371,690 who actually voted in Albay, according to election results in Albay posted at the website of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Congressmen seeking reelection also dominated the congressional races in the province, the Comelec official count showed.
In the first congressional district of the province, reelectionist Rep. Edcel Lagman (LP) topped the race with 38,901 votes, representing 45.23 percent of the votes cast. Ricky Ziga (UNA) got 37,596 while Ted Contacto (PDP-Laban) got 9,501 votes.
In the second district, reelectionist Al Francis Bichara (Nationalista Party) got 116,733 votes against opponent Sultan Wally Magdato, an independent, who got 11,718 votes.
In the third district, Rep. Fernando Gonzalez (LP) garnered 71,792 or 70.98 percent of the votes cast against opponent Dante Arandia (independent), who got 29,349 votes.
765 Army men deployed to Albay’s isolated villages for election duties
- Monday, May 13, 2013
- By Mar S. Arguelles (PNA), CTB/MSA/RSM
LEGAZPI CITY — A battalion-size contingent of Army soldiers has been deployed to far-flung villages of Albay province to secure the peaceful and safe conduct of the mid-term elections on Monday, which start at 7:00 a.m.
Army Col. Raul Fernacio, 901st Infantry Brigade commander, said 765 Army troopers were deployed on Friday in mostly hinterland barangays in the third district of the province, which are known bailiwicks of communist rebels.
Fernacio said in a phone interview Sunday that the troops will secure these villages that cannot be patrolled by Philippine National Police personnel due to inadequate manpower.
Based on military intelligence reports, these villages in the third district where the soldiers have been deployed to are known “guerrilla zones” or areas frequented by New People's Army (NPA) rebels under the Santos-Binamira Command, a communist guerrilla front operating in Albay.
Albay's third district is composed of the towns of Guinobatan, Jovellar, Oas, Pio Duran, Polangui, Libon and Ligao City.
Aside from providing security to residents on election day, the government troopers will also guard the voting centers during the counting and secure the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.
They will stay until the election results are tabulated and guard these while these are being brought to the town’s tabulation center.
Police and military personnel are closely guarding at least 27 towns and a city in Bicol which have been placed under the Commission on Elections’ election hot spots because of intense political rivalries and the presence of private armed groups and NPA rebels.
The Comelec has considered 14 towns in Masbate as election areas of concern; followed by Camarines Sur with five towns and Iriga City; Sorsogon with four towns; Camarines Norte with two towns and Albay with one municipality.
The island-province of Catanduanes has none.
Law to regulate Mayon climb urged
- Sunday, May 12, 2013 12:00 am
- By Cet Dematera With Celso Amo, Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star)
LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – After the sudden explosion of Mayon volcano last May 7 that killed five climbers and injured 22 others, local authorities have agreed that there is a need for Congress to pass a law that will regulate climbing in the active volcano.
Cedric Daep, chief of the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (Apsemo), said the regulatory measure must be a national law to be passed by Congress so it will supersede existing laws that allow trekking on the volcano anytime.
Daep said at present, there is no law that legally prohibits ascent to Mayon although local policies have to be complied with by those who intend to climb.
For instance, the six-kilometer radius permanent danger zone imposed by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) around Mayon volcano prohibits any form of human activity within the area.
“But people continue to defy this prohibition because they seem to take it as a mere warning or reiteration of a danger that anybody might expose himself to anytime the volcano turns abnormal,” Daep told The STAR.
He also said that under Republic Act 7586 or the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act of 1992, it is the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that issues permits to enter Mayon volcano, being one of the protected areas in the country. And it is the Department of Tourism (DOT) that issues accreditation to Mayon tour guides. Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
“Because there is no law or official policy requiring them to ask permission from our office (Albay provincial government), they climb Mayon without bothering to seek any advice or briefing from us about the condition of the volcano,” Daep said.
He added that for the last two years, no one went to his office to seek a briefing on the condition of Mayon volcano.
Despite this, the Apsemo chief said Albay sets up checkpoints manned jointly with law enforcers whenever the volcano is in the abnormal stage.
“If you remember during Mayon’s 2009 eruption, (Albay) Gov. (Joey) Salceda had to order a forced evacuation by physically booting out residents who refused to leave the permanent danger zone. He also ordered cutting off of power and water supplies around the volcano just to force them to leave,” Daep said.
Maria Ravanilla, Bicol director of the DOT, agreed that an ordinance regulating Mayon climbing has to be passed soon to avoid a repeat of the May 7 eruption that killed a Spanish and three German climbers and their local guide.
“In fact, I already made comments on a proposed ordinance from Albay that passed my office months ago. I believe that such ordinance would help effectively regulate climbing on Mayon,” Ravanilla told The STAR.
Ravanilla also clarified that although their office is the one accrediting Mayon tour guides, they are not issuing permits to climb the 2,464-meter volcano.
“We want to make it very clear that we are not issuing permits to trek Mayon. We do not have jurisdiction over this volcano,” Ravanilla added.
DENR-Bicol regional executive director Gilbert Gonzales ordered a temporary stop to the issuance of visitor’s permits to enter Mayon’s protected area shortly after the May 7 tragedy.
Gonzales said they would first seek permission from Phivolcs before issuing visitor’s permits to the protected Mayon forest.
Meanwhile, Salceda said he has ordered the crafting of a protocol that would lay down guidelines for trekking Mayon volcano.
“All we need here is a protocol that would serve as basis in trekking Mayon. In the absence of such, we are not recommending any trek to the volcano,” Salceda said.
Salceda also brushed aside reports that the provincial government of Albay is not enforcing the ban on entering the permanent danger zone.
“In fact, we had already relocated hundreds of residents within and outside the permanent danger zone long before the 2009 Mayon eruption,” he added.
Salceda: Change Mayon alert level
Salceda also called on the Phivolcs to change the alert level zero for Mayon volcano, saying it is “deceptive.”
In their interview with Salceda, survivors said the four European mountaineers and their local guide, who nearly made it to the crater of the volcano, could have interpreted the alert level zero as the absence of risks on the active volcano.
“They said they read the present alert level and when they saw it was zero, of course, even if they read all the prohibitions as well as qualifiers and conditions, what sticks to their mind is the word zero,” Salceda said.
“This alert level should be removed because it is meaningless. It only misleads and it is deceptive,” he added.
Salceda suggests that alert level zero should refer to dormant volcanoes and not active volcanoes like Mayon.
Currently, Phivolcs has a five-step alert level for Mayon volcano.
Alert level zero means no eruption in the foreseeable future. Alert level 1 means low level of seismic unrest characterized by magmatic, tectonic or hydrothermal disturbance but no eruption is imminent. Alert level 2 means moderate level of seismic activity and other unrest with positive evidence for involvement of magma.
Alert level 3 means a relatively high and increasing unrest, including numerous low frequency volcanic earthquakes, and accelerating ground deformation. Alert level 4 means an intense unrest, including harmonic tremor, dome growth and small explosions, while Alert level 5 means hazardous eruption in progress.
Salceda has observed that Philvocs defines normal value as the absence of violent or hazardous explosion, and he suggests that the alert level zero be changed to normal plus.
“What does it mean when Mayon is normal? The adjective is normal but it is not zero,” said Salceda.
“So they have to change that. Not alert level zero, but alert -1, -2, -3, -4 and -5,” he added.
Phivolcs: Alert level zero can’t be changed
But Phivolcs executive director Renato Solidum yesterday said the institute could not follow Salceda’s suggestion and when it comes to Mayon volcano, risks are still involved even at alert level zero.
Solidum said, “The alert level is about the condition of the volcano, it is not about the risk.”
“There is always the risk from the summit. The risk is always there, that is why alert level zero means that the condition of the volcano in terms of its monitored parameters indicate there is no imminent threat from an explosive eruption, meaning the magmatic eruption,” he added.
Tourists flock to Albay as Mayon acts up; hotel occupancy rate rises
- Saturday, May 11, 2013 19:54
- (Busimess Mirror)
Tourists now flock in droves to Albay in a rush to catch up with the sudden activity of Mayon Volcano, the sudden outburst of which on May 7, despite its zero-level alert status, killed five climbers, four of them foreigners.
The massive tourists’ inflow is evidenced by the increased hotel occupancy rate by about 10 percent, from previous 80 percent to 90 percent, in the last few days. It had been an experience that guest arrivals in Albay surge up each time the volcano erupts.
Mayon’s activity serves as an added attraction to Albay’s offer of a package of three more festivals for the month of May under the Planet Festival Albay concept, which makes the province the festival capital of the country.
Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said the beauty of Mayon, the string of year-round festivals and the hospitality of the people of Albay are what tourists usually come for, and not really the mountaineering activities that attract only adventurers.
Mayon had a phreatic explosions on May 7 despite the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology’s alert level zero. It happened while two groups of climbers were scaling the vocano slopes near the crater. Five persons were reported killed in that rare display of volcanic tantrum.
“We are saddened by the accident, and we are set to ban the activity perpetually to prevent more deaths in the future. Mountaineering has never been our sponsored and recommended activity; it is even regulated,” Salceda said.
Albay is set to ban mountain climbing at Mount Mayon, with an ordinance soon to be passed, with a proposed penalty of one year in jail. Meantime, Salceda issued a memorandum prohibiting any form of human activities within the volcano’s 6-kilometer permanent danger zone. Previously, only human habitation was banned in the area.
Salceda said the increase in hotel occupancy rate by 10 percent, based on the report of hotel and lodge owners, only means more people are coming to Albay. “For one, we have the best ATV [all-terrain vehicle] experience in the world and nothing compares with it in its diversified track types, scenery that attracts even foreigners,” he said.
Hollywood actor Zac Efron recently tried Albay’s ATV experience in his brief visit to the province.
Records show that more tourists come whenever Mayon acts up. The Philippine Tourism Association of the Philippines has earlier declared Albay as its Summer Destination 2013.
Albay eyes ordinance penalizing climbing to Mayon Volcano crater
- Friday, May 10, 2013 8:53 am
- By Amadís Ma. Guerrero (KG, GMA News)
With the death of at least five people following a steam-driven eruption at Mayon Volcano Tuesday, the Albay provincial government is mulling penalizing climbing up to the volcano's crater.
Albay Governor Jose Salceda said the provincial government may pass an ordinance that disallows going all the way to the crater, radio dzBB reported Friday.
The dzBB report quoted Salceda as saying the ordinance may also reiterate that crater climbing is to be "perpetually prohibited."
Besides, he noted people are not to venture within the permanent danger zone of up to six kilometers from the crater.
"Perpetually prohibited na ang crater climbing... It's going to the crater that will be penalized," he said in an interview aired Thursday night on "Saksi."
A steam-driven eruption Tuesday caused Mayon to spew ash and smoke. Mayon has since calmed down, however.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said at least five people, four of them foreigners, were killed after getting caught in the explosion.
It added at least nine people were injured, while another seven were unharmed.
In Legazpi City, tourists come to taste ‘sili’ ice cream
- Thursday, May 9, 2013 2:37 am
- By Amadís Ma. Guerrero (Philippine Daily Inquirer)
PINANGAT and sili-powered dish
Ecotourism. Extreme adventure tourism. Spa tourism. Medical tourism. Agritourism. And now, make way for food tourism.
“Food should be the destination itself in a tourism program, not just an appendage,” said Brian Jao, project coordinator of Culinary Albay, a program under the office of Gov. Joey Salceda (firstname.lastname@example.org). And he added: “Tourists come here to taste sili ice cream.”
Jao spoke in a recent press conference at the First Colonial Grill in Legazpi City, capital of Albay, in connection with the Magayon Festival. Beside him was Wilson Tan, festival guest and owner of Top Meals in Makati City.
First Colonial is well-known for its innovative cuisine like tinapa rice and ice cream flavored with fruits and vegetables such as malunggay, ginger, and the spicy sili the Bicol region is known for.
“We want to popularize the restaurants here,” Jao said, and he recalled the Karangahan food festival last December (karangahan is a Bicol endearment). There were 15 applicants, and 10 stores were chosen, and all they had to do was sell their own food products.
CALDERETA and a Bicol specialty
“It was a major event, and the bestseller was sili ice cream,” said the project coordinator.
There was also a contest of the best restaurants in the province, and three emerged the winners: Small Talk, First Colonial Grill and Balay Cenauna, which has an elegant, Old World style.
On recent trips to Albay I have had the occasion to dine in these three restaurants and, although not a gourmet, I can vouch for the superb cuisine. They offer innovative Bicol, native as well as international specialties.
Another restaurant on my list is Alvi’s Albay Café in Daraga, co-owned by personable businessman-councilor Alan Rañola, who treated national media visitors to the best his restaurant could offer—pork Bicol express, pinangat (vegetables with coconut milk), callos, caldereta, fried lumpia and guiniling (ground beef).
The café, redolent of the past, is actually the ancestral home of the Imperial family, which has been rented out to Rañola and his business partner, Legazpi Vice Mayor Vittorio Roces.
“We want to raise the level of restaurants in Albay,” Jao said.
ENTREPRENEUR Allan Rañola co-owns Alvi’s Albay Café.
And next year the program expects more restaurants and food sellers to compete for the honor of being Albay’s Best. The menu of some restaurants is inconsistent, he noted, and a few have dirty toilets.
The program also has an Albay Social Media Team online, which researches on anything about Albay but focuses on food, traditional methods, and eventually will promote all Bicol dishes. Another output is a guidebook titled “Kaon Kita” (Let’s Eat) which was being printed as we went to press.
“Hopefully we will able to professionalize chefs in Albay,” Jao said. There are also plans to improve the quality of the food in schools, and for a rating system for carinderia and street food. As the project coordinator put it: “Hindi dapat iwanan ang mga maliit (the small eateries should not be left out).”
Zero alert status maintained on Mayon—Phivolcs
- Wednesday, May 8, 2013 4:13 pm
- By DJ Yap (Philippine Daily Inquirer)
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology on Wednesday maintained its zero alert status on Mayon Volcano, indicating no imminent eruption a day after steam-driven explosions rocked the volcano and left five trekkers, including four German nationals dead.
In a bulletin, the agency said it detected no increase in overall volcanic activity, and all seismic parameters remained within background levels in the past 24 hours. It monitored only two minor rock-fall events on the slopes of the volcano.
“Phivolcs still maintains Alert Level 0 over Mayon Volcano, which means that no magmatic eruption is imminent,” Phivolcs said.
However, the agency warned the public about “small phreatic eruptions,” including small steam and ash explosions that may occur suddenly with little or no warning.
On Tuesday morning, steam trapped in the crater of the volcano triggered a series of explosions, dislodging rocks and emitting gray to brown ash clouds that rose half a kilometer above the summit, seismologists said.
Phivolcs said the steam and ash ejections lasted about two minutes and 26 seconds. But the agency dispelled fears of any imminent magmatic eruption.
The ash clouds rose 500 meters high above the summit and precipitated traces of ash in the areas west-northwest of the volcano, affecting the villages of Muladbucad, Guinobatan and Nabonton, Nasisi, Basag and Tambo, Ligao City, Albay, and areas up slope of these villages, Phivolcs said.
Phivolcs also strongly reminded the public not to enter Mayon’s six-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone due to the “perennial threat of sudden steam-driven eruptions and rock falls from the upper and middle slopes of the volcano.”
Albay sends rescue teams to 3 towns near Mayon Volcano
- Tuesday, May 7, 2013 12:01 am
- By Connie B. Destura [(PNA), FPV/FGS/CBD/]
LEGAZPI CITY, May 7 (PNA) -- The Albay Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) has sent rescue teams to Sto. Domingo, Bacacay and Malilipot towns to scour the downslopes of Mayon Volcano for reported casualties in the wake of ash explosion this morning.
A report said three groups of mountaineers were still up in Mayon Volcano, with about 20 climbers still in Camp 2.
Still unconfirmed reports have it that four climbers, including foreigners, are already dead, according to a tour guide identified as Kenneth Jesalva.
The Mayon Volcano produced at about 8:25 a.m., Tuesday, a small phreatic event that lasted for about 73 seconds, according to Albay PDRRMC chair and Gov. Joey Salceda.
A phreatic explosion, a steam-driven one, is caused by the pressure of heat that developed underneath the volcano, causing a steam that pushed ash up and come out as ash cloud, explained Ed Laguerta, resident volcanologist of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
“It is like a heated pressure cooker,” Laguerta added.
Residents noted that it rained Monday night and said rainwater could have reached the superheated magma inside the volcano, thus, producing steam.
Laguerta said Mayon last erupted in 2009.
The veteran volcanologist said there is a set of detecting equipment available, including a seismograph, which was to be installed yet after election but “was overtaken by event.”
The gray-to-brown ash cloud Mayon emitted reached about 500 meters above the summit and drifted west-southwest towards Guinobatan town, Salceda said.
No volcanic earthquake was detected within the past 24-hour observation period, he added, saying seismic and gas emission parameters remain within background levels and indicate no intensification of volcanic activity.
The Phivolcs is maintaining the Alert Level 0 status, which means that no eruption is imminent.
However, small phreatic explosions, including small steam and ash ejections, may occur suddenly with little or no warning, it added.
Salceda strongly advised the public to refrain from entering the six-kilometer radius permanent danger zone due to the threat of sudden steam-driven eruptions and rock falls from the upper and middle slopes of the volcano.
330 villages in Albay hold Barangay Assembly for the first semester of 2013
- Monday, May 6, 2013 12:01 am
- (MAL/Princess R. Dupitas-OJT-BU/PIA5)
LEGAZPI CITY, May 6 (PIA) -- Three hundred thirty barangays in Albay had held barangay assemblies in the first semester of 2013, based on the Consolidated Monitoring Report on the synchronized barangay assembly released by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The holding of barangay assemblies started last March 30 in pursuant to Proclamation no. 260 which set the proposed date of the assembly to the last Saturday of March.
Elmer Villanueva, DILG officer, said that the said assembly will serve as a venue to discuss matters like the State of Barangay Address (SOBA).
The official added that the SOBA tackles 2012 second semester accomplishments and financial report. The latter includes Itemized Monthly Collections and Disbursement and the Summary of Income and Expenditures. Other topics are updates on 2013 on-going programs and projects which are accordance with Section 397 (b) of the Local Government Code, disaster preparedness, solid waste management, and peace and order situation.
Mothers, infants in milk marathon
- Sunday, May 5, 2013 12:01 am
- (Manila Standard Today)
Legazpi City — Some 700 mothers with their infants joined the recent first Albay synchronized breastfeeding marathon, considered among the most participated of such events in the country since the Philippines broke the Guinness world records in 2006 with 3,541 participants in Metro Manila.
Staged at the Albay Astrodome here, the breastfeeding demonstration was among the varied activities of Daragang Magayon Festival 2013, designed to further drum up Albay’s heightened ‘Zero’ maternal and infant mortality campaign. Experts say breastfeeding – particularly within an hour after birth – greatly reduces the danger of infection and other infant diseases.
Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said the breastfeeding event was timed to take advantage of the public attention in the month-long April festival to promote the exclusive breastfeeding of babies up to 6 months after birth.
It was held in coordination with the Center for Health Development – Department of Health V, National Nutrition Council, the Rotary Club of Legazpi, and the Albay Provincial Health Office.
Aside from tourism, Salceda promotes a vigorous health campaign in his province, and has piloted the ‘Zero maternal and infant mortality’ program in pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals and recently gained support from the United Nations Population Fund 7th Country Programme with a recent delivery of medical equipment for Geographically Isolated Demographic Areas.
Last year the UN agency delivered the first batch of equipment distributed to the towns of Tiwi, Jovellar, Camalig, Manito, Tabaco City, and two government-owned district hospitals.
Salceda stressed the need for a healthy citizenry as the foundation of a vigorous community and a strong Albay economy. He said mothers should learn the right nutrition practices for new-born and under two-year old infants, lactating mothers, and birth spacing to help slow down population growth and promote the health of mothers and children because “the breast is not a robot or a vending machine.”
Before the activity, nutritionists gave lectures on maternal and child health care. Sponsors provided the participants free transportation, food, T- shirts, nutrition kit for infants, personal hygiene kits, and a 90-day supply of ferrous sulfate for each of the lactating mothers.
Albay electric co-op’s privatization goes on unless stopped by TRO
- Friday, May 3, 2013
- (PNA), JBP/FGS/MSA/CBD
LEGAZPI CITY, May 3 (PNA) -- The pre-bidding process for the privatization of the Albay Electric Cooperative (Aleco) will continue despite the fact that a request for a temporary restraining order (TRO) is still pending at a local court here, according to Bishop Joel Baylon, Albay diocesian head and Aleco interim board chair.
Baylon said Thursday here that the pre-bidding process for private sector participation (PSP) will go on while the cooperative’s legal team is preparing the necessary action to counter the TRO filed by two electricity consumers. "We will be waiting for the TRO but the pre-bidding will continue,” he said.
The cooperative is running against time as it stands to lose P40 million a month in interest payments and systems losses once the PSP is not implemented, Baylon explained.
The top Catholic official in Albay said the Aleco interim board is pushing for the PSP as its sees that this plan will bail out the debt-ridden electric cooperative, the biggest cooperative in Bicol with 167,000 power subscribers.
Baylon debunked allegation that PSP is “privatization” as earlier claimed by group that is against the PSP plan.
He explained that under the PSP, a concessionaire will enter into a contract to manage and run Aleco for the next 25 years.
He, however, said that under the plan, a board of directors will still exist to check how the concessionaire is managing the cooperative.
Baylon said there are at least four companies that participated in last week’s PSP pre-bidding conference.
These are the: Aboitiz Power and Renewable Energy, San Miguel Corp., Lopez Co. and Meralco.
At the bidding conference, the Aleco laid down the following conditions: that the concessionaire will deposit P40 million as concessionaire fee in order to participate in the bidding.
Once a bidder wins, it will sign a contract that will assure Aleco of a bailout from the co-op’s close to P4-billion indebtedness, infuse P250 million in capital expenditures and grant separation pay to employees that might be affected by a reorganization.
Baylon said that by September this year, if the bidding process succeeds, a new management is expected to run the cooperative.
Earlier on April 26, two electricity consumers in Albay filed a petition asking the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Legazpi City here to issue a TRO preventing the Aleco interim board from implementing the “privatization” of the electric cooperative.
Lawyer Bartolome Rayco and Darlan Barcelon filed a civil case with the RTC docketed as Civil Case No. 11141 petitioning the court to prohibit through a TRO the Aleco interim board headed by Baylon from pursuing any move in connection with PSP plan, including the conduct of bidding for concession.
Rayco and Barcelon asked for a writ of prohibition by restraining the board members from making decision on the affairs of the electric cooperative for reasons that the members of the board were not duly elected by the members of the cooperative as provided for by its By-Laws.
Rayco claimed that the privatization scheme is violative of the franchise of Aleco as an electric cooperative.
“The interim board’s action on the PSP was without any jurisdiction and it committed grave abuse of discretion despite the rejection of the planned privatization,” he pointed out.
He also cited that the PSP option of a profit-sharing scheme violates the cooperative’s by-laws which states that it will operate as a non-profit public utility.
Rayco claimed that the National Electrification Administration is pushing for Aleco’s privatization to bail out the financially sick Aleco and to complete the government public-private-partnership (PPP) plan.
Aleco’s current systems loss is at 25.17 percent, way above the 13 percent allowable cap by Energy Regulatory Commission guidelines.
Aleco subsidizes the systems loss above cap, which amounts to P14.16 million a month or P300 million annually.
The cooperative’s collection efficiency is only 85 percent of sales but this is insufficient to cover the monthly operation as a result of the high systems loss.
The high systems loss is attributed to the antiquated, defective power transformers; power meters in various sub-stations and power lines while the substations are not compliant to the Grid Code.
To solve the problem of systems loss, it needs a huge funding requirements to improve electrical distribution, system reliability and reduction of the systems loss.
321 beneficiaries in Albay receives CELAs
- Thursday, May 2, 2013
- By Joseph John J. Perez (bicolmail)
LEGAZPI CITY — With the government’s thrust in providing shelter to the homeless, Vice-President Jejomar Binay led the distribution of Certificates of Lot Award (CELA) to 321 beneficiaries in Sto. Domingo town in Albay over the weekend.
The awarding of CELAs accords with Presidential Proclamation No. 40 that declared the unutilized land of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) in the province of Albay as socialized housing sites to qualified beneficiaries.
“The proclamation gives permission to use the PNR-owned lands that are not used or no longer be utilized by them to transform it into socialized housing,” Binay said.
Barangays which benefited from the distribution are San Andres, Bagong San Roque and Fidel Surtida.
According to Housing Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Regional Officer Engineer Cristy Abaño, more than 139 hectares will be covered by the said proclamation covering the abandoned PNR lines traversing the cities of Legaspi and Tabaco and the municipalities of Malilipot, Bacacay, Sto. Domingo, Daraga and Camalig with a total of 5,850 beneficiaries.
“There is more than 23 hectares of PNR lands covered for distribution,” Abaño said.
The land was disposed through direct purchase scheme under the Administration of the National Housing Authority (NHA), Abaño said.
The number of beneficiaries may increase or decrease due to marriages of household members who stay in the same dwelling unit, death of family heads, out-migration and declaration of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PhiVolcs) as danger area, Abaño said.
“I thank the Local Inter-agency Committee headed by Mayor Herbie Aguas and other agencies that assisted to realize the project, including HUDCC, NHA, PNR and the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP),” Binay said.
Binay also reminded the beneficiaries not to fail the monthly amortization. “This will ensure that in the future you will receive a land title which is very valuable for us Filipinos,” Binay said.
Young criminals alarm Albay town police
- Wednesday, May 1, 2013 00:00
- By Sonny Sales
POLANGUI, Albay -- A spate of robbery and thievery has alarmed the police and local officials here after a gang of thieves were found to be using minors in their illegal activities at the commercial district.
Police head Insp. Isagani Istay said two suspects, both 15 years old, were arrested and turned over to the local Social Welfare and Development Office for proper disposition.
Istay said the minor suspects who could not be charged criminally were apprehended for robbing a cellphone store of phone speakers, CPs, tablets and Php180,000 in cash.
An adjacent photo studio also lost Php10,000 in cash and other valuables from the suspects.
Police said the young suspects are members of a robbery-holdup gang whose modus is to bore holes on the rooftop to get into their targets. None of the leaders of the gang, however, have not been arrested by the police.
In Camarines Sur, a certain Arnulfo Macasaya, of San Rafael, Bato, who claims to be only 14 years old, was caught by Nabua policemen for robbing a cemetery.
Macasaya was arrested after a caretaker of the Nabua Catholic Cemetery caught him opening a fresh tomb last Monday and stealing the jewelry of an 86-year-old man buried inside. He said he robbed tombs for thrill.
Nabua policemen, however, said the suspect suffers mental illness.
The older news reports are kept here.