Albay News

From Portal to The Philippines
Jump to: navigation, search

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

1 line 4d.gif

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

List of Provinces and Cities in each of the 17 Regions of the Philippines.
Capital Region
C. Luzon
W. Visayas

C. Visayas

E. Visayas
N. Mindanao

Regions | Philippine Provinces | Philippine Cities | Municipalities | Barangays | High School Reunions

Albay Photo Gallery
Albay Realty
Philippine News Headlines

Province of Albay - Archived News

Albay seal.png
Seal of the Province of Albay
Interactive Google Satellite Map of the Province of Albay
Albay map.png
Location of Albay within the Philippines
Albay provincial capitol.jpg
Provincial Capitol Building of Albay, in Legazpi City
Give the gift of Smile.gif
In as few as 45 minutes a child or anyone can be saved from a lifetime of pain, shame and isolation. You can give them a chance to go to school, make friends and have a bright future. For as little as 100 pesos you can help provide a surgery for a child suffering from a cleft palate or cleft lip(harelip).

One act of random kindness at a time.

Visit our website: B.O.S.S.
Mayon volcano albay province.jpg


PATA official sees Albay in global tourism map soon

By Nancy Ibo Mediavillo [(PNA), CTB/FGS/NIM/CBD/EDS]

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 26 (PNA) -- The Province of Albay is a promising future destination of tourists as it would be in the international tourism map soon said a media briefing Wednesday night at The Oriental Hotel.

This is how Mario Hardy, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) chief executive officer, foresaw the province as he admitted being impressed by the beautiful and rich greenery around as well as the interesting culture and fantastic native foods.

Hardy said the experience he and his wife have had in the province is a real achievement in their life.

"It is a true-to-life story for me and my wife," he said, as he claimed that when his wife saw the greenery that carpeted the surrounding when they arrived, she felt as if she had not left her home place.

The PATA official said that before he came here during the UNWTO meeting last year, he did not know Legazpi City but, he said, when he searched in the Internet, he was captivated by the place, especially when he set foot on the place.

Hardy said the holding of PATA forum in Albay will open a very rare and fantastic opportunity and great potential not only to the PATA members but also to Albay.

"This is because everything you offer is of great interest," he said.

The PATA chief executive officer said tourists look for things different that are not found in their own countries, like what are in Albay.

He urged the Philippine Government and the Provincial Government of Albay to build more infrastructure facilities like airports.

In Albay, people are very much waiting for the completion of the Bicol International Airport in Barangay Alobo in nearby Daraga town.

Hardy also called for the strengthening of destinations connectivity and products diversification.

He cautioned, however, that with more tourists coming to Albay, its beauty and verdant surrounding must not be sacrificed.

The tourism industry leader stressed the need to preserve water and energy resources and the practice of proper waste management. (PNA) CTB/FGS/NIM/CBD/EDS

PATA officials, resource speakers now in Albay

By Nancy Ibo Mediavillo [(PNA), FPV/FGS/NIM/CBD/EDS]

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 25 (PNA) -- Top officials of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and resource speakers for the New Tourism Frontier Forum, which will be held at The Oriental Hotel here for three days starting Wednesday up to Friday, are now in town.

Bobby Gigantone, Department of Tourism Bicol administrative officer, said the entourage is headed by Mario Hardy, PATA chief executive officer; PATA secretariat and the 21 resource speakers for the forum.

The international conference has for its theme, "Eco-Tourism -- Transcending Climate Change".

The delegates will have the centralized registration on Wednesday while there will be a media briefing at 5 p.m. at The Oriental Hotel.

Gigantone said 75 local and foreign media practitioners will cover the meeting.

There will be dinner in the evening to be hosted by the Tourism Promotion Board with Legazpi Mayor Noel Rosal giving the welcome remarks.

On Thursday, the delegates will be treated to a technical tour and Tourism Treasure Hunt .

Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez will be the guest of honor and speaker in the conference proper on Friday.

The Provincial Government of Albay (PGA) will tender a Barrio Fiesta at the Albay Astrodome in the evening.

Gigantone said that during a conference briefing, Hardy praised Albay as beautiful, inside out.

He quoted the PATA official as saying that this was the reason why the province was awarded as 2015 PATA One Million Dollar CEO Challenge Top Destination.

Aside from this, Gigantone added, Hardy said Albay has an international standard as a venue for international conferences.

In fact, five international conferences have been held in Albay, one of them being that of the UNWTO.

Gigantone said this will be the first for the Philippines to host a PATA conference and Albay has been chosen as host.

He said this is an honor not only to the province but also to the entire country.

Gigantone said a total of 600 will join the world meeting, 180 of whom are foreigners, composed of travel operators and tourism stake holders.

During the technical and treasure hunt tour, the guests will visit the Legazpi Boulevard, Lignon Hill, Cagsawa Ruins and Daraga Church.

They are also expected to experience ATV riding and lava watching.

Gigantone lauded the preparations for the PATA meeting led by the Provincial Government of Albay headed by Governor Joey Sarte Salceda, the different government agencies and the private sector.

Office of Civil Defense Bicol Regional Director Bicol Raffy Alejandro said it is all systems go, especially in the aspect of security and preparedness.

Albay all set for PATA New Tourism Frontiers Forum 2015

By Nino Luces

LEGAZPI CITY, Albay – Delegates of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) New Tourism Frontiers Forum 2015 from around the Pacific and Asian nations started to arrive Tuesday morning to grace the 3-day forum of different travel agencies, tourism agencies, and stakeholders, which is scheduled from November 25-27 at the Oriental Hotel.

DOT Bicol regional director Maria Nini-Ong Ravanilla said that Albay, as the host, is prepared for the international convention composed mostly of agencies and sectors from the tourism industry.

She said that among the first to arrive were officials and technical people from PATA, including PATA CEO Mario Hardy.

With this year’s theme, “Ecotourism Transcending Climate Change”, Ravanilla told the Manila Bulletin that the activities include a technical tour and tourism marketing treasure hunt, forums on marine tourism and the implications for water-reliant operations, global travel trends, and ‘ASEAN for adventure’.

Ravanilla said that five major tourist destinations–Ligñon Hill, Legazpi Boulevard, Mayon ATV Adventure and Mayon Lava Watching, Cagsawa Ruins, and Daraga Church– in the province of Albay will be showcased during the event on November 26.

In an interview with Mario Hardy, he said that there are 560 people who registered to attend the event, and it could be a good opportunity for the local tourism industry to promote what they have in the global tourism map.

Hardy, who came from Thailand, also appreciated the beauty of the Philippines, especially the province of Albay.

“Since we landed here, the people are very nice. All we can see is green. The landscape is great and very beautiful,” Hardy said.

On the other hand, Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal said that this PATA New Tourism Frontiers Forum is a great opportunity for them to promote the city’s tourism industry in the cheaper way.

“No need for us to travel abroad to promote our city. These travel agencies came here to see the beauty of our place and we’re confident that more tourists will be coming soon because of this event,” Rosal said.

Albay's Green Christmas: No plastics, No firecrackers


LEGAZPI CITY (PNA) -- Albay once again turns ‘green” the whole month of December this year with the celebration of its Karangahan Green Christmas Festival which bans the use of plastics and firecrackers.

The festival is consistent with its environment protection and “zero casualty” campaigns. Karangahan comes from the ancient Bikol word RANGA which means solace with a high degree of respect, caring and blissful joy.

Now on its sixth year, the festival features its usual iconic giant Christmas Tree — this time made of the ubiquitous Karagumoy plant — commonly used in weaving mats, hats and baskets. Karagumoy is a most essential material of Albay’s handicraft industry.

Pili seedlings and camote tops were previous materials of the iconic giant tree, the most photographed fixture of Albay’s Karangahan Green Christmas Festival in the social media.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda recently issued a memorandum to heads of offices and personnel of the Albay provincial government to ensure a “safe and joyful celebration” of the holidays with friends, visitors and tourists with emphasis on close family ties and a safe environment.

In his memorandum, Salceda said the Green Christmas initiative will again highlight their Zero-Casualty “sa paputok” and the promotion of low-carbon modes of celebration. Karangahan Green Christmas Festival supports Albay’s pioneering Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction (CCA-DRR) campaign, and forms an important component of the province’s strong tourism program.

Salceda’s green Christmas memorandum strictly prohibits firecrackers and the use of plastic materials in food servings and decorations. It encourages instead the use of organic and indigenous materials. It also enjoins government employees to invite the less privilege and vulnerable to their Christmas parties.

Albay has been a recipient of three consecutive Galing Pook Awards -- the third was this year -- for its Outstanding Governance Program on Disaster Preparedness; and Gawad Kalasag Hall of Fame Award in 2012, for Best Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council for three consecutive years.

The province is also among the country’s fastest growing tourist destinations and was a recent winner of the first-ever USD1-million 2015 Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) CEO Challenge’s Top Destination Award, as a prime global tourism site. Salceda personally attended the honors conferment and received the award during the PATA Advocacy Dinner in London last November 2.

This year’s Karangahan festival features a surprise sports offering – a Rugby match between the Manila Storm and Albay Vulcans on December 11. The event — made possible by the Asia Pacific Rugby League Confederation — was scheduled following Manila Storm’s recent inaugural game against the touring Hong Kong Residents XIII.

The event is projected to bring in Rugby enthusiasts and enable them to enjoy the holidays in the province. The Albay Vulcans is Albay’s team which had already made a name for its own, in various kinds of sports competitions.

Salceda said the Karangahan Festival, as before, will showcase Albay’s best -- its culture, its arts, its products and its rich heritage. “I enjoin you to interact with our artists as they perform the music and dances of Bikol during Christmas. Marvel at the new indigenous products of our creative industry, and experience the joy of sharing during this Yuletide Season,” he enthused. Many surprises await tourists who will spend the holidays in Albay -- from garden shows and culinaria booths at the Albay Penaranda Park where the giant Christmas Tree stands, to art exhibits and nightly entertainments.

Albay Gulf coral reef undergoes rehabilitation


LEGAZPI CITY: To save marine life and preserve the coral reef in Albay Gulf, Legazpi City has adopted measures to restore the 1,200 square-kilometer reef destroyed by a Vietnamese vessel five months ago here.

The Integrated Coastal Resource Management (IRCM) Unit of Legazpi started the rehabilitation works early this month to revive the Denson Reef locally known here as Pulang Buya.

The city government had imposed a fishing ban over Denson Reef, which is considered a favorite dive site of both local and foreign tourists, to proceed with the rehabilitation efforts.

Legazpi City has marine reserves covering 37.24 hectares with coral reef area of approximately 10.3 square kilometers and 72 hectares mangrove forest.

Denson Reef was destroyed by MV Ocean 3, a Vietnamese vessel owned by Hoang Anh Shipping that ran aground after unloading sacks of imported rice from Vietnam in June this year. The ship’s hull hit through the coral reef.

The mishap destroyed the 1,200-square-meter area within the 30,000-square meter Denson Reef, which is a marine protected region being managed by IRCM.

Mayor Noel Rosal has demanded the shipping company to pay P4 million in damages to rehabilitate the destroyed reef.

Meanwhile, IRCM officer in charge Benigno Redito said restoration works will entail about a year from the re-planting of corals, re-generation for fish shelter and habitat expansion.

The team set up more coral nursery with limestone embedded on concrete disk and generation through replanting on bleached coral as well as installation of artificial substrate. They also put up shelters to enhance coral and fish recruitment; planting of new coral fragments on coral nursery; coral planting on damage reef and replanted seagrass.

The ICRM Unit was organized to protect the city’s natural marine resources as well as to promote sustainable development and ensure food security for the people of Legazpi.

APEC spillover, PATA confab overbooks Albay hotels

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

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 21 (PNA) -- In the wake of the just concluded Nov. 16-20 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Summit in Manila, what’s now cooking up in Albay, a recently declared tourism destination of choice?

For certain, Albay has benefited from the spillover of the Manila 2015 APEC Summit, even before it hosts in Legazpi City the international Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) conference last week of the month. Hotel rooms here have been overbooked.

Recent related events of course may have also contributed to the surge in the influx of visiting tourists. One such event was the intensive marketing support from the very popular ABS-CBN TV reality show Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) finals, held here Nov. 7-8, which featured Albay’s prime tourism assets.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda noted that Manila-based employees and their friends, taking advantage of the 7-day break from work created by the APEC Summit, opted for out of town sorties. Many of them came to savor Albay’s top global destinations with their panorama still lingering fresh in their minds from watching teen PBB’s final episode. Two of PBB’s winners are Albayanos.

Albay hosts on November 25-27 PATA’s regional conference, bannered as the New Tourism Frontiers Forum 2015, at the Oriental Hotel here. Participants and their guests have booked practically all premiere hotel rooms here.

The international travel and tourism group has recently named Albay as its Top Global Destination and winner of the USD1-million CEO Challenge Award. The New Frontiers Forum’s originally projected 191 attendance has now swelled to over 360 so that top hotels here are now overbooked.

Aside from the Manila-based employees who opted to convert their “instant holiday” into an enjoyable vacation, unofficial APEC summit participants and students from colleges and universities in Manila found their way to Albay, home to the majestic Mayon Volcano and historic Cagsawa Ruins, both favorite selfie objects in the social media.

The government declared work stoppage during the APEC Leaders Summit officially from November 17 to 20 creating a four-day free week. Some of them, however, went on vacation a day earlier, making the entire 7-day free. Having planned ahead their out of town respite, they actually enjoyed a 9-day vacation, counting in the earlier two weekend days.

As host to the year-long series of senior officials’ and ministerial meetings that was capped by APEC Leaders Summit, the event’s organizers issued public advisories early enough which enabled the people to plan their work-free week ahead of time to visit their families, relatives and friends in the provinces. The exodus also saved them from the monstrous traffic chaos in Manila.

Salceda said ABS CBN reality show PBB 737, which featured Albay’s foremost tourism attractions in the background has recently helped boost domestic tourism. The show was widely watched around the country.

Albay was declared co-winner of the PATA USD1 million CEO Challenge Award for Regional/Provincial category. Salceda personally received the award early this month in London, where spoke strongly about the strong points why Albay was chosen as a foremost global destination and why travel agencies should put it in their list of priority spots. The London event was attended by some 151 tourism CEOs from all over the world.

The governor’s dinner speech drew a strong applause from guests, and many large travel players approached him with assurances that Albay will henceforth be on their list. Consequently, the registration attendance for the November 25-27 PATA New Frontiers Forum in Albay, soared from 191 to over 360.

Salceda has been the driving force in Albay’s strong tourism program for the past eight years, He has introduced many innovations which transformed the province’s sedate travel environment into a bustling world class destination.

The Department of Tourism has declared Albay as the Philippines’ fastest growing tourist destination having posted a sustained tourism growth of 47 percent in 2012; 66 percent in 2013 and 52 percent in the second quarter of 2014 and a soaring increase in foreign tourist arrivals of from 8,700 in 2006 to 339,000 in 2014.

Newfound ‘gold mine’—More to Albay than Mayon

By Mar S. Arguelles (Inquirer Southern Luzon,

LEGAZPI CITY—When people talk of Albay, what immediately comes to mind is majestic Mayon Volcano. Then food: “Bicol express,” pinangat or laing, sili ice cream and the iconic pili nut cooked every which way.

While tourism has been getting much of the attention in Albay, it has a silent booming industry providing a higher-than-minimum wage for salaried workers in the province: Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

With the emergence of about 20 major ICT players retaining a total of about 8,000 employees, the local ICT industry is growing fast and poised for even more growth. Salaries, according to industry insiders, range from P10,000 (entry level) to over P30,000 a month—premium pay for a province where the minimum wage is pegged at only P260 a day or an average of P7,000 a month.

Giving impetus to the industry are five major players: software developers, Internet service providers, telecommunication companies, educational institutions and, not least, the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector.

First BPO

Over 20 years ago, the forerunner of the BPOs came to Albay.

Japanese-owned Matsuoka Projects-Phil. Inc., an architecture CAD (computer aided design) firm that speeds up documentation of architectural drafting and design, was put up in Legazpi City in 1993. It was followed by Content Online Services, Inc., a data processing company, in 1999.

It was only in the last five years, however, that the BPOs as we know them now started to come in.

(The BPO sector is categorized into voice and non-voice. The range of services includes call centers, health care, animation, game development and software development.)

The BPO players in Albay include Sutherland Global Services (call center, data processing); Nolin BPO Services (call center, data processing, accounting); One Half Phil. (call center, accounting); All Nation e-Language Conversion (data processing); SLTCFI BPO Incubation Center (call center, search engine optimization); Dataquest (medical transcription); RAB Out Sourcing Solutions (call center); MTC Academy (medical transcription and M3 Medical); Management Service Group (medical transcription); BDPO Solutions (call center, web development); Mayon Outsourcing Solutions (call center, data processing); Equinox Virtual Solutions (call Center, SEO); and Times Telecom Phil. (call center).

Albay also hosts software development (CORE IT) Service companies, which are engaged in analysis and design, programming and testing, customization, reengineering and conversion, installation and maintenance, education and training of systems software, middleware and application software. These companies are BDPO Solutions, Mayon Outsourcing Solutions, and Equinox Virtual Solutions.

The BPOs are all located in Legazpi City and the adjoining town of Daraga and in Tabaco City, about 10 kilometers from Legazpi.

Dindo Nabol, ICT chief of the Department of Trade and Industry in Bicol, says most of the 50 or so educational institutions in Albay have been providing the BPOs with their manpower requirements. Five of these institutions—the state-run Bicol University and the private Aquinas University, Divine Word College of Legazpi, Ago Medical Education Center-Bicol Christian College of Medicine (AMEC-BCCM) and Bicol College—are fully accredited with the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), while the rest are mostly schools offering short-term and technical courses that are accredited by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority or degree course offerings accredited by CHEd.

CHED and Tesda statistics showed that in 2008, a total of 22,754 graduates finished various degree programs under CHED-accredited schools and universities, while 25,863 were Tesda graduates. But of this number, only 7,268 graduated from ICT-related subjects.

Bridging the gap

But the province has a “gold mine” of talents that could bridge the ICT gap, says Rosemarie Q. Rey. Because of these reserves, the industry in Albay is moving forward and has a bright future despite the challenges brought by natural calamities.

Rey, president of the Albay ICT Association Inc., (AICTA) and concurrent president of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines, stresses the need to improve school curricula attuned to the needs of the industry so educational institutions could supply the industry players with skilled and professional ICT workers.

Rey, who also owns the Southern Luzon Technology (SLT) school, says that until recently, investors and ICT locators were discouraged from putting up their businesses in the province because of the perception that it was a calamity-prone area frequented by typhoons, floods, and volcanic eruptions. Investors were also concerned with the readiness, adequacy and reliability of infrastructure support facilities, specially power, she adds.

However, Rey says, this perception changed over the past five years, especially after Albay province was installed in the Hall of Fame of the Gawad Kalasag Awards (given out by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council) in 2012 for its Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) program and for constantly attaining its “zero casualty” goal during disaster operations.

Legazpi City, the economic and education center of the province that also received this year’s Gawad Kalasag Hall of Fame award in the city category, has proven to local and foreign investors that it is indeed a “liveable” city, Rey says. “The outlook of the industry is getting better as Albay, specifically Legazpi, is almost there and will soon be included in the Ten Next Wave Cities in the country.”

Tax holidays

Rey says the ICT industry in Albay is expected to grow further in the coming years because of the lower cost of doing business in Albay.

For one, she says, Albay is a Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) accredited area. It also offers economical rentals in offices and buildings; has lower ICT wage levels than Metro Manila; and has friendly local governments that provide tax incentives to investors.

Albay province and Legazpi City both grant investors tax holidays for three to four years, she says. With these incentives, Rey says, the industry projects that about three to five new players will enter Albay every year.

Moreover, she says, Albay gained recognition as an important ICT area when AICTA hosted the National ICT Summit on Oct. 23 and 24 this year, in Legazpi City.

Albay to host PATA forum 2015

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

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 19 (PNA) -- The provincial government of Albay will host the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) New Tourism Frontier Forum on Nov. 25-27 at the Oriental Hotel.

The event will showcase a day-long conference, networking events and field trips to various tourism sites in this city as discussed during the media briefing Thursday morning.

The Tourism Forum will revolve on the theme Eco-Torusim -- Transcending Climate Change.

The forum will start on Nov. 25 with expected 400 delegates, 180 of which are foreign.

Arrival and registration of the delegates for the event will be at The Oriental Legazpi.

During the opening day, a media briefing will be held with Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda and Mario Hardy, PATA chief executive officer, as panelists.

A dinner for the guests and participants will be hosted by Tourism Promotions Board with a welcome message by Mayor Noel E. Rosal of Legazpi City.

On Nov. 26, a Technical Tour and Tourism Marketing Treasure Hunt will be participated by 150 guests.

For this one day field session, delegates will be challenged to explore and discover the hidden gems of a location, while immersing with the unique culture,geography and people.

They will taste their food, admire landscapes, savour their history -- while leveraging digital tools to identify, collect and promote new found treasures, Albay Provincial Tourism Culture Affairs Officer Dorothy F. Colle said.

Delegates will be taken along an action-packed journey, Colle added.

In Lignon Hill -- a place for hiking, climbing, zipline, rappelling, hanging bridge walking, Japanese tunneling and lava watching -- the delegates will b e treated to a 360-degree view of the Mayon Volcano and excellent views of the city, especially at night.

Vistors are encouraged to walk from the foot to the top of the hill but are advised to wear comfortable shoes.

Legazpi Boulevard is a long stretch of road that interlinks five barangays of Albay, Colle said.

It offers very good views of the Mayon Volcano and the Kapuntukan Hill.

Mayon ATV Adventure and Mayon Lava Watching are a one-of-kind adventure that includes a 9-km, 45 minutes ride going to the lava field below Mayon Volcano from the foot of the Lignon Hill.

Cagsawa Ruins is where remnants of an 18th century Franciscan church, whose tower remains -- a memorial ground for the 2,000 former inhabitants and reminder of the resilience of the Albayanos to the challenges that nature brings.

After the Cagsawa church was destroyed by Mayon s eruption in 1814, the Daraga church became the main parish church of Cagsawa.

The original façade and bell tower still remains today.

The design of the Daraga church is described as a blend of Renaissance Gothic and Mexican Baroque architectural styles. The Daraga church was declared a National Culture Treasure in 2007.

A Barrio Fiesta theme dinner hosted by Provincial Government of Albay will be held in Albay Astrodome for the 400 delegates.

On Nov. 27 the proper conference will be divided into different sessions that will focus on Eco-tourism and Climate Change.

The forum will be formally welcomed by Secretary of Tourism Ramon R. Jimenez.

The keynote speaker is Loraine Gatlabayan who will focus on Climate Change Mitigation and the Role on Tourism.

Tourism can be both a victim and contributor to climate change and the keynote speaker will explore the complexities of this issue and suggest actions that can be taken to mitigate the potential negative impact of tourism activities.

Session 1 is about Marine Tourism and Implications for Water-Resilient Operations; Session 2, Global Adventure Trends; ASEAN for adventure, where horizons are endless and Breakout sessions typically comprise of presentation questions and answer style, featuring speakers from prominent organizations who are leaders in their respective fields.

PATA is one of the biggest and premier organizations of travel and tourism players in Asia-Pacific region and a leading authority on the industry for 60 years.

The association is also a partner of the United Nations World Toursim Organization (UNWTO).

Winner of the 2015 APEC Video Contest Announced

(APEC Secretariat, APEC Press Release)

Manila, The Philippines – The winners of the APEC Video Contest have been announced in conjunction with the 2015 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Manila.

Entrants to the competition provided three minute video interpretations of the impact of trade and economic development on people’s lives in the Asia-Pacific, with particular focus on the benefits of technology and innovation for micro, small and medium enterprises.

Christhelyn Siena Quides who is from Albay, the Philippines was awarded top honors for her video, “Anna’s Village,” which depicts how technology helped to spur innovation in a small, remote community and promote its development. The announcement was made at an award presentation on Mondayalongside the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week meetings here.

“The APEC Video Contest is intended to provide the public with an opportunity to visually articulate the inclusive economies theme and priorities being taken forward through cooperation among member economies,” explained Dr Alan Bollard, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat.

“The story of Anna’s village creatively shows how technology and innovation can make a positive difference to people’s lives and livelihoods,” he continued. “Ms Quides’ video provides a clear picture of APEC’s work and its potential benefits to people and society as well as inspiration to Leaders, Ministers and Senior Officials for taking the region’s agenda forward.”

"Bridging Creative Economies for a Better World" produced by Robert Cristobal of Singapore and "Technology Runs the Artery of our Society” by Michael Golez of The Philippines won the competition’s second and third place honors, respectively.

The results were announced by Dr Bollard and Barbara Navarro, Director for Operations and Strategy, Public Policy and Government Relations at Google who supported the competition.

"Technology and innovation have the power to connect people from anywhere in the world by creating business solutions that can be used by anyone who has access to technology and the Internet," said Navarro. "These encourage start-ups to flourish and help bring more sectors and people into the fold of prosperity achieved through business.”

“Google is happy to be part of APEC’s efforts to get the message of inclusivity, access and integration across to the public, especially the youth,” Navarro added.

The winning videos will be screened at the International Media Center for the 2015 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week from 16-19 November 2015.

"Anna is a representation of of every Filipino child with dreams and hopes that future will be good. Anna's parents are representation of every father and mother striving hard to secure their children's future," says Ms.Quides. "I came up with Anna's Village because it is important not only to enumerate what people and communities can get out from innovation, technology, and development, but also to actually tell their story."

First Prize Winner - Anna’s village

Second Prize Winner - Bridging Creative Economies for a Better World

Third Prize Winner - Technology Runs the Artery of Our Society.

For more:

Additional information on the APEC Video Contest can be found here.

The 2015 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week agenda is described here.

40,252 Albay voters fail to validate biometrics record


LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 16 (PNA) -- About 40,252 registered voters in Albay failed to have their biometrics registered or validated at the Commission on Election (Comelec) office in Albay, a Comelec official said Monday.

Lawyer Romeo Serrano, Comelec Albay election supervisor, said the figure is equivalent to 5.36 percent against the 752,724 registered voters as of Sept. 30 this year.

In a phone interview, Serrano said the biometrics registration, which ended on Oct. 31, went on smoothly in the 15 towns and three cities across the province.

When asked if the 40,252 voters who failed to register and sought biometrics validation will be dropped from the official list, he clarified that the Comelec will assess and review the list and come up with a final list on December 16.

The Comelec official believes that the figure is not quite accurate as some of the voters that were previously registered here might have transferred to other places and registered there, so we would not want them to be disenfranchised.

He also cited that those who enlisted at the biometrics registration in 2013 but were found to have incomplete biometric data would be allowed to vote in the upcoming 2016 polls.

He even cited this city where, according to him, there were 1,739 voters who had been found with incomplete biometrics.

These voters, however, will be allowed to vote next year.

The Comelec central office has passed a directive that voters with incomplete biometrics registry will be allowed to cast their votes in next year’s national and local elections.

Statistics from the Comelec Bicol indicate a total of 164,803 voters will be dropped from the role of voters, representing around 5 percent from the 3.2 million voters in Bicol.

As this developed, the Comelec Albay office is currently training its personnel for the upcoming Vote Counting Machine (VCM) Roadshow Presentation set to be held in January to March next year in the 15 towns and three cities of Albay.

Serrano said the VCM roadshow will be pursued in partnership with the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), a church- based election watchdog.

The activity aims to further educate and familiarize old and new voters on how the VCM operates.

Ten VCMs will be used for demonstration, he said.

Serrano said that over 2,000 VCM machines will be needed for the 2,454 clustered precincts in the May 2016 polls.

Serrano said the agency has begun series of consultative meetings with the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in firming security plans for the forthcoming election.

He said they are assessing which areas in Albay will be considered as election watch list or hot spot areas.

In the 2013 election, only the town of Malinao was considered an election hot spot due to intense political rivalry and the presence of armed groups, especially the New People’s Army rebels.

Former Makati City engineering chief Nelson Morales, a close ally of Vice President Jejomar Binay and a mayoral aspirant in Malinao town was gunned down by hired gun men at the Catholic church ground after attending a wedding ceremony where he was one of the sponsors.

The incident was tagged as an election-related killing.

The victim was the sister of incumbent Malinao Mayor Alice Morales.

No Bicol province in 10 poorest list

By Danny O. Calleja (PNA)

LEGAZPI CITY — One piece of good news that lifts Bicolanos’ morale is that not one among the region’s six provinces made it to the latest listing released by the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) carrying the country’s top 10 provinces with highest poverty incidence among families.

“Although we regret knowing that our country has provinces where great numbers of families live in destitution, we are pleased by the information that not one Bicol province is now considered within the top 10 in the poverty incidence list,” this city’s mayor Noel Rosal said on Sunday.

This city is among the three localities among Albay province’s 18 local government units that made it to the latest listing of Bicol cities and municipalities with lower incidence of poverty.

The listing, which was recently released by the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) based on the project on the generation of the 2012 Municipal and City Level Poverty Estimates, says that poverty incidence in 88 of the 114 municipalities and the seven cities of the Bicol region declined between 2009 and 2012.

Legazpi City, which is noted for the tremendous improvements of its tourism industry since about 10 years ago, is mentioned in the NSCB list as the only city in Bicol to be among the top 10 municipalities and cities with the largest reduction in poverty incidence.

These improvements lifted Bicol from the rank of 4th to 7th among the country’s poorest regions with Masbate earlier ranked as among the 10 poorest provinces graduating from the circle in 2012 owing to the reduction of political violence and tourism industry advancement.

According to the latest listing made by the NAPC, the Top 10 provinces in the Philippines that have the highest poverty incidence among families from 2006 to 2012 are, Lanao del Sur, followed by Eastern Samar, Apayao, Maguindanao, Zamboanga del Sur, Sarangani, North Cotabato, Negros Oriental, Northern Samar, and Western Samar.

The listing, which was released for the recent observance of the National Week for Overcoming Extreme Poverty, said Lanao del Sur, which is a province located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), remains to be number one among the provinces with the most number of poor families with 67.3-percent poverty incidence.

The 2010 Census and Housing Population conducted by PSA also shows that there was a drastic drop of population in the same province with 933,260 number of people, which is -6.98 percent from 1,138,544 in 2007.

Eastern Samar, which is a province located in the Eastern Visayas region and whose main economic activities are agriculture and fishery, NAPC said, is now the second poorest province in the Philippines with 55.4 percent poverty incidence.

Apayao, which is part of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and the least densely populated province with an area of 4413.35 square kilometers and a population of only 112,636 as of 2010, comes third among the poorest provinces of the Philippines with 54.7-percent poverty incidence.

Maguindanao, another part of the ARMM which became the most talked-about province owing to the politically-motivated massacre of 57 people including dozens of local journalists in November, comes 4th with 54.5 percent of the total number of families living in poverty. The same province once more hogged the international limelight following last Jan. 25’s bloody encounter in Mamasapano town that left dead from the hands of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters 44 members of the police Special Action Force on a mission to neutralize Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist Zulkifli Abdhir aka Marwan.

Zamboanga del Norte in the Zamboanga Peninsula region, which was the country’s number one poorest province back in 2006 with its 64.6-percent poverty incidence rate, according to the NAPC listing, is now in the 5th spot by improving to only 48 percent the number of its families living in economic difficulties.

Sarangani and North Cotabato provinces, which are part of the South Cotabato-Cotabato-Sultan Kudarat-Sarangani-Gen. Santos City (SOCCSKSARGEN) region, registered 46- and 44.8-percent poverty incidences to be ranked 6th and 7th, respectively. Negros Oriental or “Eastern Negros” is located in the southeastern half of the Negros Island Region and despite the fact that it has been an electricity supplier to its neighboring provinces and has a good agricultural land, it still has a poverty incidence rate of 43.9 percent to be ranked 8th.

Northern Samar, which is one of the three provinces comprising the Island of Samar whose tourism industry has great potential but remains unknown to most tourists is number nine poorest with its 43.5-percent poverty incidence rate—a figure which according the NAPC might be lessened once its tourist attractions become fully utilized.

Western Samar which comes 10th, NAPC said, is another new entry in the list of the poorest provinces in the country with 43.5-percent incidence of poverty, same with Northern Samar and one of the most affected areas by the super typhoon “Yolanda” on Nov. 8 2013 which damaged the livelihood of the locals.

The NAPC explained that to be considered non-poor, a family with five members must earn at least Php8,778 a month while an individual also needs to earn at least Php10,534 for six months so he or she would not be considered poor. Also according to the commission, poverty incidence in 2014 increased to 25.8 percent—meaning, 20 percent or one out of five Filipino families– which is 1.2 percent higher compared to the 2013 first semester poverty statistics.

The higher count of poor people, it explained, is because of food prices and the result of Yolanda.

There are many factors that cause poverty like employment issues and high population growth, but the main factor affecting the country’s economy and the livelihood of Filipinos is the governance issues such as corruption and security issues which are prevalent in Mindanao and other poor areas.

The NAPC said entrepreneurs will not be interested in investing money in a place where there is violence, which results in low employment opportunity and a bad economy.

Poverty incidence, NAPC added, is the proportion of poor individuals/families to the population; those whose income fall below the poverty threshold or those who cannot afford to provide for their basic needs.

Gonzales, Molina head local drive in Legaspi tennis

(Philippine Daily Inquirer)

ACTION in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala regional age group tennis tournament shifts to Legazpi City starting today with Jennard Gonzales and Kurt Angelo Molina heading the huge field vying for titles at DPWH-RES Tennis Club in Albay.

Gonzales, one of the rising stars from the host city, and Molina from Daet, hope to build some momentum with a strong start but remain wary of their chances against a strong field in the four-day tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and hosted by Nards Gonzales, president of DPWH-RES Tennis Club.

Jan Harold Trillanes, from Iriga, is also expected to contend for the crown along with Naga City’s Nolan Gagalac and Jolo Basa, Ryan Taller and Kevin Madrid from Tabaco City, and Ligao City’s JC Gonzales, Jumari Gonzales and Kate Prianes.

Also competing in the event, presented by Technifibre, are Glydel Guevarra, Patricia Corporal and Nica Alanis from Iriga City, and Paolo Samson, Oswald Hernandez from Camalig, Albay.

“This tournament is a big boost not only to youth tennis here but to local sports as well and we thank Palawan Pawnshop for including Legazpi City in its calendar of events,” said Albay Rep. Al Francis Bichara.

5 Bicolanos among top 10 scorers in Midwife exam


LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 13 (PNA) -- Five Bicolanos were among the 10 highest scorers in the November 2015 Midwife Licensure Examination.

Arianne Mae S. Abella of Catanduanes State University in Virac town and Emarie L. Villare of Speed Computer College in Magsaysay, Sorsogon City were named as topnotchers garnering 88.10 percent.

Dante B. Parola of Camarines Sur Polytechnic College in Nabua and Ma. Karriza H. Tubalinal, also from Catanduanes State University, both got 87.30 percent and shared the sixth place while Marvie Jerusalem P. Odiaman of Catanduanes State University landed as eighth.

The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) announced on Nov. 11 that 1,273 out of 2,867 applicants passed the examination.

The second Midwives board exam this year was administered on Nov. 7-8 in the cities of Manila, Baguio, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Legazpi, Lucena, Tacloban, Tuguegarao and Zamboanga.

PNoy signs PAGASA modernization measure into law -- DOST

By Danny O. Calleja (PNA), CTB/FGS/DOC/CBD

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov 12 (PNA) – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Bicol regional office on Thursday said President Benigno S. Aquino III has signed into law the measure passed by Congress for the revitalization of the country’s weather bureau.

Tomas Briñas, DOST regional director based here, said the President signed into law last Nov. 3 Republic Act (RA) 10692 or An Act Providing for the “Modernization of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Providing Funds Therefore and for Other Purposes”.

Briñas said the law compels the weather bureau, an agency under the DOST, to modernize its technological operational capacity and strengthen its role as the premier national weather agency to attain its vision as a center of excellence for weather-related information services.

The modernization, he said, will cover PAGASA’s physical resources and operational techniques, which shall entail the acquisition and/or upgrading of state-of-the-art instruments, equipment, facilities and systems, with emphasis on weather and flood monitoring.

It also covers the improvement of warning and agro-meteorological observation systems to strengthen services for agriculture and food security.

The law, at the same time, mandates the enhancement of the bureau’s research and development capabilities and establishment of regional weather service centers and the DOST-PAGASA data center which shall include the centralization of the different technical outputs, including data and statistics derived from its operations and systems.

RA 10692 also provides for a regional and international cooperation program that would boost the agency’s collaboration with relevant international bodies and government institutions to complement its modernization efforts.

Aside from these, Briñas said, the modernization program will enhance weather data collection and information dissemination, aimed at developing effective weather information method using local dialects, non-technical terms and familiar graphical presentations to ensure a laymanized delivery of hydrometeorological information for greater public awareness and to draw appropriate response for disaster risk reduction.

Also included is the creation of a human resource development program and development of a new salary scale and additional incentives for its personnel.

Likewise, it will enable scholarship programs for undergraduate and graduate studies to sustain the needed number of experts in meteorology and other related fields, the DOST regional chief said.

Initially under the new law, the amount of Php3 billion to be taken from the national government’s share in the gross income of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) will jumpstart the modernization plan.

The entire Php3 billion shall be used exclusively for capital outlay, Briñas said, adding that two years after the effectivity of RA 10692, at least Php1.5 billion will be released to PAGASA every year.

The law will allow PAGASA to avail of loans, grants, bequests, and donations from local or foreign financial institutions for further enhancement of its operations.

PAGASA shall also be given the right to monetize its specialized products and services and cost recovery program to earn revenues from its issuance of specialized weather products and services, especially those related to aviation and maritime industry, weather certifications, and scientific and technical publications.

DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo, in a statement reaching here over the week, the enactment of the modernization law is a necessary development as weather conditions are becoming more severe as the years advance.

“We at DOST commend our legislators and the President for setting this vital legislation into motion,” said Montejo, adding that “this only proves that the government is looking closely after the welfare of its people."

And with the modernization of PAGASA and Project NOAH’s platform for disaster risk early warning, and the full cooperation of the public, he said, "we guarantee that in the coming years, our nation will no longer grieve for the loss of lives during calamities.”

In a separate statement, Senator Loren Legarda hailed the enactment of the Act, which effectively funds the enhancement of the state bureau's capability in providing services to protect the people and the environment and to ensure economic security against natural hazards.

Legarda, principal author of the bill at the Senate, said, "more lives would be saved because of RA 10692. PAGASA has done a lot for the country with limited funding and it could do much better as the government empowers them with better technology."

Legarda, chairperson of the Senate committee on climate change and United Nations Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for the Asia-Pacific, said investing in PAGASA will secure the safety and well-being of our people and contribute to national progress.

"As climate change and its detrimental effects progress, I am confident that with better weather forecasting and monitoring, we will be more prepared in dealing with natural hazards, thereby preventing loss of lives and properties," she said.

The Modernization Act shall take effect 15 days after its publication in at least two newspapers of general circulation, Briñas added.

Govt stages IPP roadshow in Bicol

By Voltaire Palaña

The Board of Investments (BOI) met stakeholders in Bicol on Friday to brief them on the government’s Investment Priorities Plan (IPP).

The forum, held in Naga City, also discussed investment opportunities in the region.

The IPP, the country’s investments blueprint, focuses on eight preferred economic activities: manufacturing, agribusiness and fisheries, services, economic and low-cost housing, hospitals, energy, public infrastructure and logistics, and public-private partnership (PPP) projects.

The IPP was approved last year by President Aquino thru Memorandum Order 74.

“The IPP supports the country’s new industrial policy to increase employment, promote higher value-adding activities of MSMEs (medium, small and micro enterprises) in the supply chains, and strengthen participation of our local industries in the regional and global production networks,” BOI Executive Director Raul V. Angeles said.

Salient features of the IPP include consideration for the impact of an economic activity in a particular region, province, or a cluster of local government units, such as in the generation of decent and quality jobs for the targeted locality.

According to Angeles, Bicol posted a 6.3 percent unemployment rate last year, above the national average of 6.8 percent. This has contributed to the region’s being the seventh poorest in the country.

“We are working in close partnership with the private sector to identify products where Region 5 has competitive advantage. There are many investment opportunities that are yet to be explored in the region. By providing appropriate and sufficient support, including policy interventions, major economic sectors in the region can ignite local development and inclusive growth,” Angeles added.

The forum was attended by stakeholders from Masbate, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Albay, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte.

Previous IPP briefings have been conducted in Baguio, Dipolog, La Union, Cagayan De Oro, and Palawan.

Climate change highlighted at Albay confab

(Manila Bulletin)

Climate change adaptation and tourism will take center stage at the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) New Tourism Frontiers Forum 2015 set on November 25-27, 2015 in Legazpi City, Albay.

With the theme “Ecotourism: Transcending Climate Change,” the three-day event brings together professionals to share their insights and experiences in marketing and managing tourism growth to lesser-known destinations for sustainable growth and development of travel and tourism.

The event stems from the need to help secondary and tertiary areas grow and develop into widely recognized, bucket-listed getaways.

Formerly known as the PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference, the rebranded forum includes and a technical tour.

Held in partnership with the Department of Tourism, resource persons will examine the ecotourism and adventure travel industry, marketing new destinations, and connecting adventure hubs.

PATA CEO Mario Hardy said communities will economically benefit through the dispersion of tourists to these new frontiers. He also noted that the confab will explore new opportunities based on sound eco-systems and climate change adaptations of which Albay has become a world-class role model.

Home to the iconic Mayon Volcano, famous for its perfect cone, Albay is also a UN Global Model for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation because of its “zero casualty” thrust during natural calamities.

Albay Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

Personal tools

Philippine Provinces
Philippine Cities