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Quezon City News April 2015

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Quezon City - Archived News

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Contents

Mayor Bautista orders structural assessment of all gov't buildings in QC

(PNA), SCS/LSJ/SGP

MANILA, April 30 (PNA) -- Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista said on Thursday he has directed all government offices in the city to assess the structural integrity of their buildings to make sure these are earthquake-resistant.

The mayor made the directive as he underscored the reality of earthquakes and the presence of the West Valley Fault line along a portion of city.

Bautista, who earlier spoke at the Kalikasan GP3 Press Conference at the Laguna Lake Development Authority Building last April 24, said that building owners, especially government, must doubly ensure the safety of their occupants and the general public by engaging professionals to examine their structures.

“Many of the government buildings in QC are decades-old. If these have to be retrofitted, then it must be addressed immediately,” stressed.

Leading by example, Bautista said the QC Hall high-rise building, which was built in the 1960s, and the legislative building, shall be undergoing retrofitting design in the next few months.

He also said that all buildings in Quezon City must adhere to Green Building standards.

In 2009, the QC government approved and enacted Ordinance No. SP-1917, the “Green Building Ordinance of 2009” which necessitates that all buildings in the city must follow minimum standards of green infrastructure in their design and construction.

For old buildings, this could require retrofitting and redesign. Infrastructures that are covered by the Green Building Ordinance of 2009 include commercial, institutional and industrial buildings.

According to the National Building Code, these are hotels, office buildings, malls, dry markets, wet markets and slaughterhouses, schools, hospitals, factories and warehouses.

The mayor also said that the ordinance and other environment management initiatives being implemented by the QC government form part of the city’s contribution in protecting the ecosystem and in mitigating the impact of climate change.

“The city government is determined to institutionalize eco-friendly systems and technologies to reduce greenhouse gases and other emissions from buildings and other structures in our city,” Bautista said.

QC commits to advance Green Economy Initiative

(PAISO QC/RJB/SDL/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY, 29 April (PIA)—The Quezon City government signed a memorandum of cooperation with various government agencies, non-government organizations (NGOs) and the European Union delegation to the Philippines to increase collaboration in advancing the Green Economy Initiative in addressing climate change.

The signing of MOC held at the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) building in Quezon City, coincided with the launching of the Kalikasan Green Purchasing, Green Productivity towards Green Philippines (Kalikasan GP3) 2015, which will be held on July 23-25 at the SMX Convention Center in SM Aura Taguig.

During the signing, Quezon City Mayor Herbert M Bautista called on private companies to shift to green business and adopt ecolabelling.

He also conveyed his thanks to the European Union Switch Asia Policy Support and the UN Environment Programme for supporting the Green Public Procurement (GPP) implementation in the city.

Bautista also urged other government agencies to adopt green, sustainable building as he reiterated his call for government agencies in Quezon City to retrofit their old structures and convert them into sustainable buildings with green features.

The signatories of the MOC a became members of the Convener Committee formed to promote the event, which aims to advance green consumerism and green business in the country through its conferences on ecolabelling and green public procurement, sustainable building, and green tourism.

The Kalikasan GP3 is an eco-product exhibition show that will include state-of-the-art environmental technologies, renewable energy technologies, energy-efficient machines and equipment, organic products, non-toxic industrial and household products, green packaging, and environmental service providers locally and abroad, among others.

Secretary Neric Acosta, Adviser for Environment Protection and LLDA General Manager, expressed the government desire to promote sustainable development through the green markets as he welcomed everyone to the first government green building model.

The Secretary also commended the city government for its pioneering initiatives in Green Building.

EU delegation to the Philippines representative Matthieu Penot praised Quezon City for leading the way in implementing the Green Public Procurement from among the other local government units (LGUs) in the country.

Penot also expressed their support for the government efforts to shift to sustainable consumption and production practices through eco-labelling, green public procurement and renewable energy.

Others present during the signing were the event organizers DTI Undersecretary Victorio Mario Dimagiba and the DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones, chairman and co-chairman respectively of the National Ecolabelling Programme-Green Choice Philippines (NELP-GCP) including representatives from the Climate Change Commission, and the Department of Tourism.

Also present were Raymond Rufino, chairman of the Philippine Green Building Council, Jess Reyes from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Liza Silerio of SM Care, and representatives of the green businesses such as Amon Marketing Corporation, Quanta Paper Corporation, Holcim Philippines and Unilever Philippines, Inc., among others.

QC to add bike lanes in city development plan

By Katerina Francisco (Rappler.com)

The city government also adopts another environment-friendly initiative: exempting vehicles powered by alternative fuel from the number coding scheme

MANILA, Philippines – Residents of Quezon City may soon find more bike-friendly roads, after the local government vowed to develop "green routes" and integrate these into the development plan of the highly urbanized city.

On Sunday, April 26, the city hosted Summer Cycling Convergence: Festival of the Fireflies, an event that aimed to bring together hundreds of cyclists from all over Metro Manila to promote the culture of cycling as a way to preserve the environment.

The Firefly Brigade, a non-governmental organization promoting clean air and habitable cities, organized the event.

During the event, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista promised to develop more "green lanes" to provide safe routes and encourage more people to use their bicycles around the city.

Bautista instructed the city's Department of Public Order and Safety, City Planning and Development Office, and the Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department, to study the creation of more bike lanes.

He also said that the government's support for cycling is part of the city's campaign to go green and help mitigate the effects of climate change.

The local government is also coordinating with the Firefly Brigade to respond to the needs of cyclists for an environmentally sustainable and safe form of transportation.

Quezon City currently has bike lanes opened along Katipunan Avenue – starting from Aurora Boulevard to Miriam College – and along University Avenue to Tandang Sora.

The cities and municipalities of Cainta, Caloocan, Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Manila, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, Pateros, San Juan, Taguig, and Valenzuela also participated in Sunday's event at the Quezon Memorial Circle.

No number coding for e-vehicles

Meanwhile, the city government also recently adopted another environment-friendly initiative: exempting vehicles powered by alternative fuel from the number coding scheme.

Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista signed the ordinance modifying the city's Traffic Management Code last April 20.

Under the ordinance, vehicles powered by electricity, liquefied petroleum gas, compressed natural gas, or other forms of green technology may travel across the city any day of the week.

The city government said the ordinance aims to help curb the emission of greenhouse gases and to reduce the harmful health effects of air pollution.

It also aims to encourage more people to shift to greener modes of transportation.

QC partners with POEA for 5 job fairs on Labor Day

(PNA), FPV/LSJ

MANILA, April 27 (PNA)-- About 15,000 domestic and overseas job openings will be made available during the forthcoming five job fairs that will be hosted by the Quezon City government in partnership with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and SM Supermalls during the celebration of Labor Day on May 1.

The job fairs will be conducted simultaneously in four SM malls located in Quezon City (North Edsa, Fairview, Novaliches and Sta. Mesa) and at the M-Place Mall at Mother Ignacia Avenue, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In the conduct of the said job fairs they adopted the theme: “Araw ng Paggawa, Trabaho Para sa Manggagawa,” which meant to focus on creatying job opportunities on Labor Day.

The city’s public employment services office (PESO) said that the said Labor Day job fairs will offer a wide array of job vacancies ranging from janitorial to managerial positions.

For local manpower pooling, available job postings are for call center agents, accounting clerks, office staff, service and kitchen crews, cashiers, baggers and sales personnel.

For overseas employment, those most needed are domestic helpers, skilled workers and heavy equipment operators.

PESO chief Carlo Magno Abella advises the job applicants to bring along with them all necessary requirements to facilitate their application.

These include bio-data/resume, with recent ID photos; school records, SSS number, and NBI and barangay clearances.

“The Labor Day job fairs in QC underscores the city government’s continuing effort to expand its employment base for its unemployed and under-employed residents,’ Abella added.

QC institutionalizes water-break time in schools

By Leilani S. Junio [(PNA), RMA/LSJ]

MANILA, April 26 (PNA)--Quezon City Mayor Herbert M. Bautista has signed into law an ordinance seeking the prevention of students from acquiring dehydration-related disorders.

Under the Ordinance No. SP-2393 S-2015, the city is set to institutionalize water-break time in all private and public schools in QC that offers day care, elementary and high school classes.

According to 2nd District Councilor Ramon P. Medalla. author of the ordinance, they want to ensure that school children develop the good habit of drinking sufficient amounts of water everyday.

“The measure aims to instill in the minds of young learners the importance of taking enough amount of fluids, especially water, to protect them from possible disorders caused by dehydration, Medalla said.

Medalla also said that through the ordinance, the city government would take the preliminary step in inculcating the daily habit of drinking water among residents, especially young students.

He said that the ordinance itself was a way to educate the residents and students awareness of the bad effects of playing under the sun, and satisfying their thirst by drinking soft drinks instead of potable water.

He said that developing the awareness among school children on the need to drink enough water everyday, not just on satisfying the thirst but also in keeping the body healthy is also a good motivating habit on strengthening the body’s immune system.

He also said that water intake is necessary to easily flush out harmful toxins, prevent constipation, keep the joints lubricated, regulate body temperature, and make the tissues moist such as eyes, nose and mouth.

Under the ordinance, school administrators are directed to strictly implement the new measure.

They are also directed to have close coordination with the parents-teachers association (PTA) and other socio-civic organizations for the possible installation of facilities for adequate potable /purified drinking water in school, to ensure that clean drinking water is always available to school children.

Medalla noted that the Maynilad, as part of their corporate social responsibility program, had installed drinking fountains in some QC schools.

For the water-break time observance, the City Health Department is tasked to periodically conduct water testing on faucets designed for drinking, as well as ensure availability of water in drinking fountains and water being sold in school premises.

The water-break time will be observed before the start of the first subject and at the end of the last subject of a school day, without deterring the students from drinking water at any other given time, provided that they will not in any way disrupt the classes.

QC passes ordinance regulating motorcycle backrides

By Dexter Ganibe (dzMM, ABS-CBNnews.com)

MANILA – The local government of Quezon City has passed an ordinance that regulates the back-riding of children on motorcycles.

City Ordinance SP 2395, series of 2015 states that a child can only ride a motorcycle if: a.) he is wearing a helmet; b.) his feet can touch the footrest of the motorcycle; and c.) his arms can completely go around the motorcycle driver’s waist.

Councilor Melencio “Bobby” Castelo Jr. was the principal author of the ordinance signed by Mayor Herbert Bautista on April 15.

Citing a study by non-government organization Safe Kids Philippines, Castelo said that no less than 35,000 Filipino kids are victims of road accidents every year. Most of these kids encountered accidents while on a motorcycle.

Drivers who violate the ordinance will be slapped with a P1,000 fine on the first offense, a P2,000 fine on the second offense, and a P5,000 fine on the third and succeeding offenses.

Aquino fetes CCT student-beneficiaries, cites gains of 4Ps

By Susan G. de Leon (PIA-NCR/RJB/SDL)

QUEZON CITY, 24 April (PIA)--President Benigno S. Aquino III on Thursday feted more than 10,000 beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer program who have graduated from high school in the National Capital Region.

The event held at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City was organized by the Department of Social Welfare & Development (DSWD) to recognize the beneficiaries for working hard and finishing high school.

In his speech during the event, the President stressed the importance of investing in education to have a better job, which he said is one of the conditions of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program.

He said the P10 billion budget allocated for the program in 2010 now reached P232.2 billion and there are more than 4.4 million beneficiaries now compared to the 800,000 in 2010.

He added that the government targets to increase the number of skilled workers in the country through the programs of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

This, the President said is on top of the other projects such as creation of jobs, infrastructure and economic development that will give support to the students after finishing their studies or after acquiring skills.

Aquino assured the graduates that the government will extend aid to them so that they can realize their dreams.

Aquino also challenged the youth to continue the reforms that have taken place under his administration saying that they will be the ones who will benefit from it.

According to the DSWD, more than 300,000 student-beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer program graduated from high school this year. On April 9, the first batch of 9,000 graduated with honors.

DSWD fetes 10,000 Pantawid Pamilya high school grads

(DSWD/RJB/LFB/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY, 23 April (PIA) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) feted today the second batch of Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who graduated from high school.

More than 10,000 graduates from the northern part of the National Capital Region (NCR) joined the post-graduation celebration hosted by DSWD and held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Cubao, Quezon City.

The event with the theme, “Pagtatapos Niyo, Tagumpay ng Pilipino,” was organized by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to recognize the beneficiaries for working hard to fulfill their dreams of finishing high school.

An earlier event was held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on April 9 with 4,000 graduates from the southern part of the National Capital Region.

“The activity is our way of expressing our appreciation for the Pantawid Pamilya students who never wavered in their determination to improve their lives,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said. “I am proud to say that these students are among the first high school graduates of the Pantawid Pamilya.”

Pantawid Pamilya is a human development program that invests in the health and education of poor families, primarily those with children aged 0-18. It provides cash grants to partner-beneficiaries who comply with the conditions of sending their children to school, bringing them to health centers for checkups, and attending the monthly Family Development Sessions (FDS).

In 2013, the DSWD expanded the coverage of the program to include the 15-18 age bracket to ensure that the children-beneficiaries will graduate from high school, and have a higher rate of employability.

The Secretary also shared that the post-graduation event served as the venue to give citations to those who graduated with honors.

She added, “These students are proof that given the little assistance, they too can excel.”

David Louie Manansala, who graduated valedictorian from Maligaya High School delivered the valedictory address to inspire his fellow graduates.

Furthermore, partner agencies, business sector, and civil society organizations also participated in the event wherein they presented their programs and services for the availment of graduates.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz gave the students orientation on academic and career opportunities, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Secretary Joel Villanueva, and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chair Patricia Licuanan shared their respective programs and services.

As the event is a celebration of the students’ accomplishment, selected Pantawid Pamilya graduates also showcased their talents and shared their inspiring stories.

“The more than 300,000 graduating high school children of the Pantawid Pamilya are a confirmation that development can indeed be achieved. All we need to do is help them continue dreaming and striving for a better life. It is important to tell these children to never give up,” Sec. Soliman enthused.

The Secretary said that whether in academic, technical skills, or other talents, the Pantawid Pamilya youth showed that, “Kaya din nila ang pagbabago (they too can achieve change and development).

10,000 Pantawid Pamilya high school grads demonstrate success amid poverty anew

By Leilani S. Junio [(PNA), LGI/LSJ/EDS]

MANILA, April 22 (PNA) -- In an effort to prove further that determination and perseverance coupled with a little help from the government are the key to success, more than 10,000 beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) who have graduated from high school in the National Capital Region (NCR) will be participating in the second post-graduation event at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Cubao, Quezon City on Thursday (April 23).

Utilizing the theme, “Pagtatapos Niyo, Tagumpay ng Pilipino,” organized by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that gives recognitions to the beneficiaries for working hard to fulfill their dreams of finishing high school will be highlighted in the event.

It can be recalled that the first event was held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on April 9 with 4,000 graduates from the National Capital Region.

“The activity is our way of expressing our appreciation for the Pantawid Pamilya students who never wavered in their determination to improve their lives,” said DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman.

“I am proud to say that these students are among the first high school graduates of the Pantawid Pamilya,” she added.

4Ps is a human development program of the government that invests in the health and education of poor families.

Through the said program children aged 0-18 are given cash assistance.

The cash grants is given to them through their compliance with the conditions like sending their children to school, bringing them to health centers for checkups, and attending the monthly Family Development Sessions (FDS).

In 2013, the DSWD expanded the coverage of the program to include the 15-18 age bracket to ensure that the children-beneficiaries will graduate from high school, and have a higher rate of employability.

The DSWD Secretary also shared that the post-graduation event will serve as the venue to give citations to those who graduated with honors.

She said, “These students are proof that given the little assistance, they too can excel.”

Graduating valedictorian from Maligaya High School in Novaliches, Quezon City, David Louie Manansala will give a valedictory address to inspire his fellow graduates.

Partner agencies, business sector, and civil society organizations are also expected to participate in the event to present their programs and services which the graduates may avail of.

To give the students an orientation on academic and career opportunities, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Secretary Joel Villanueva, and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chair Patricia Licuanan will share their respective programs and services.

As the event is a celebration of the students’ accomplishment, selected Pantawid Pamilya graduates will also showcase their talents and will share their inspiring stories.

“The more than 300,000 graduating high school children of the Pantawid Pamilya are a confirmation that development can indeed be achieved. All we need to do is help them continue dreaming and striving for a better life. It is important to tell these children to never give up,” Soliman enthused.

She further said that the accomplishment made by the first batch of high school from the program is a proof that they can have the power to moved positively with the change for the betterment of their lives with the education and determination that they gained and supported through the program.

NKTI acquires modern portable kidney transporters

(NKTI/RJB/SDL/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY, 21 April (PIA)--The National Kidney & Transplant Institute (NKTI) has acquired latest in technology kidney transporters that will provide improved kidney preservation, evaluation and transport prior to transplantation.

In a news release, Dr. Ricardo Jose DT. Quintos II, Head, NKTI Community Relations and Marketing Services said NKTI has acquired two (2) LIFEPORT, a portable, insulated perfusion transporters for kidneys retrieved from deceased organ donors.

“When a kidney from a deceased organ donor becomes available for transplantation it needs to be preserved and often transported from the donor to recipient in different hospitals all over the Philippines,” Quintos said

He further explained that traditionally, kidneys are packed in ice in a cool box known as cold static storage.

But he said initial data on their kidney transplants using LIFEPORT kidney perfusion machines showed beneficial advantage compared to the traditional cold static storage.

“LIFEPORT provides a sealed, sterile, protected environment where a solution is gently pumped through the kidney at cold temperatures to minimize damage, while the organ is outside the body,” Quintos added

He said that the kidneys were observed to function immediately after transplantation thus minimizing the need for post-transplant hemodialysis and resulted in a shortened hospital stay.

“These clinical benefits led to significant cost savings for the patients, despite additional costs for its use,” Quintos said.

“After retrieval of the kidney from the deceased donor, storage can be extended up to 35 hours using the LIFEPORT, resulting in immediate kidney function following transplant into recipient,” Quintos added.

The NKTI is the first in South East Asia to use the LIFEPORT machine perfusion in preserving its kidneys retrieved from deceased organ donors.

The NKTI has always been the trailblazer in innovations in renal diseases and organ transplantation. Since the Institution’s humble beginnings in 1984, advance technology and modernizations has provided better management options for patients suffering from end stage renal disease.


PDEA is now ISO-certified

By Lucia F. Broño [(PNA), RMA/CLTC]

MANILA, April 20 (PNA) -- The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the country’s lead agency in the fight against illegal drugs, is now ISO 9001:2008 certified.

PDEA Director General Undersecretary Arturo G. Cacdac, Jr., said this after receiving the prestigious certification from Mr. Renato V. Navarette, managing director of Certification International of the Philippines (CIP), during the regular PDEA Monday flag-raising ceremony at PDEA National Headquarters in Quezon City.

“Being a proud recipient of an International Organization for Standardization, or ISO certification, means that PDEA has demonstrated conformity with the quality management principles of the international standard-setting body that reinforces quality management of resources, the orderly, stable structure and documentation of systems and processes for continual improvement to ensure optimum client satisfaction,” Cacdac said.

ISO 9001:2008 defines the benchmark for a quality management system (QMS) that provides a blue print for good governance of an organization strongly focusing on public sector performance in satisfying the needs, expectations and requirements of its frontline services.

The PDEA’s ISO 9001:2008 certification covers the frontline services of the agency, particularly its regulatory functions through Compliance Service (CS) under Director Helen Maita Reyes, which is responsible in processing and issuing of permits and licenses to industry partners, medical practitioners, pharmaceutical companies, suppliers and retailers engaged in the importation, distribution, manufacture, prescription, dispensing and selling controlled precursors and essential chemicals; and PDEA Laboratory Service, under Director Belen Banog, for the qualitative and quantitative examination of seized drug evidence and its subsequent destruction sanctioned by court order and drug testing of arrested suspects during anti-drug operations.

“PDEA took a record-breaking eight months of painstaking audit stages and workshops to join the ranks of ISO-certified government agencies”, Cacdac said, adding that the PDEA ISO 9001:2008 certification is valid for three years, with issued date of March 18, 2015 until March 17, 2018.

The PDEA Chief vowed that agency shall continue to be a highly credible and competent agency leading the citizenry for a drug-free nation as testament of its commitment to service excellence with the adoption of ISO-certification principles.

DSWD preps for Listahanan 2nd household assessment

By Lucia F. Broño (DSWD/LFB/RJB/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY, 19 April, (PIA) -The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is currently conducting simultaneous training across all regions for field staff who will implement the 2nd round of household assessment.

“Training is a vital part of our preparation for the assessment. Through this, we can ensure that the staff that we will deploy are equipped with the right knowledge, skills and attitude to undertake the activity and produce high-quality, accurate and reliable output,” stated DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman.

Around 31,000 new field staff are attending the training. Additional training will be conducted in regions where screening for field staff are still going on.

In the National Capital Region, 3,274 field staff are needed to assess 1,267,292 families. Interested individuals may still apply as hiring process is still going on and the training will be on June 2015.

The training also serves as the final part of the screening process, where only those who complete and pass the final exam will be hired.

The five-day training includes lectures on how to conduct the assessment using the family assessment form, roles and responsibilities of each staff, and a practicum or a mock assessment in a nearby barangay.

The 2nd assessment which will be conducted in the 2nd quarter of 2015 aims to monitor and track the progress in the lives of previously identified poor and to identify a new set of poor and near poor households who maybe qualified to receive assistance.

The first assessment was conducted in 2009 where 10.9 household were assessed and 5.2 million were identified as poor. These poor households have since become beneficiaries of the Philhealth Indigent Program and 4.4 million of them have also been enrolled in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

As of April 2015, more than 47,000 individuals have applied for the 47,644 vacancies for the positions of area coordinators, area supervisor, enumerator, encoders and verifiers for Listahanan. In some regions, screening is still ongoing. Applicants are advised to contact the nearest DSWD field office to acquire information as to the schedule of screening in their respective cities and municipalities.

MM Earth Day ‘Bike’ Ride set on April 19

By Jerome R. Paunan (RJB/JCP/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY, 18 April (PIA) – A bike ride parade, which aims to promote non-motorized transportation in support of the objectives of the Clean Air Act is set on April 19, Sunday.

Dubbed as Earth Day Ride—a joint project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the National Bicycle Organization—the parade will start at 6:00 AM at Tiendesitas in Pasig City and pass through five other Metro Manila cities including Mandaluyong, Makati, Quezon City, Manila, and Pasay.

DENR Undersecretary for Administration and Information Systems Atty. Ernesto Adobo Jr. said the bike ride is just one of the many activities lined up by their agency in celebration of the 45th Earth Day this year, today.

Adobo said, “Community Ride for Clean Air and Road Sharing” is the theme for this year’s event.

For its part, the NBO is inviting the public to join and encourage others of the event as a way of not only supporting the environment but physical fitness as well.

An article posted on its website (nationalbicycle.org) said that among the benefits of biking include:

It is vastly cheaper than driving; it is free gym on wheels; quicker travel time; and fewer parking space problems.

DPWH schedules road reblocking, repair in QC, Pasig this weekend

(PNA), JBP/CLTC

MANILA, April 17 (PNA) -- Road reblocking and repair activities will be conducted by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Quezon City and Pasig City this weekend.

In its advisory, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said on Friday the DPWH will be doing road repairs and reblocking on the following areas from April 17, Friday at 10 p.m. until April 20, Monday at 5 a.m. at the following areas:

Southbound

1. Along Mindanao Avenue from Catleya St. to Road 8 (3rd lane)

2. Along E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave./C5 between Calle Industria St. and Ortigas Avenue (3rd lane from sidewalk)

3. Along C5 Road Pasig Blvd. to Bagong-Ilog Service Road

Eastbound

4. Along C.P. Garcia Ave. from Velasquez St. to Katipunan Ave. (2nd lane)

Westbound

5. Along Batasan Road from Sinagtala St. to Filinvest 1 (2nd lane)

According to Emerson Carlos, Assistant General Manager for Operations of MMDA, DPWH-National Capital Region Director Reynaldo Tagudando recommended the areas to undergo reblocking and repair this weekend for maintenance purposes.

All affected roads will be fully passable by 5 a.m. on Monday.

Motorists are advised to avoid the said areas and use alternate routes instead.

AFP Procurement Service now ISO certified

By Kristel Claudine D. Aslanbaigi [(AFP/RJB/KCDA/PIA-NCR)]

QUEZON CITY, Apr. 16 (PIA) – The Armed Forces of the Philippines Procurement Service (AFPPS) has earned its International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2008 Certificate this month, per AFPPS Commander, Colonel Alvin Francis Javier.

“The AFPPS officially obtained ISO 9001:2008 Certificate on April 6, 2015 from TUV Rheinland Philippines, Inc., a well-respected international audit body which specializes in evaluating management systems based on international standards. We are so proud of this feat,” said Javier.

According to Javier, the AFPPS is the first procurement office in the government to earn the coveted certification from an international audit body.

This statement was seconded by the President of the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), Antonio D. Kalaw Jr. when he said, “AFPPS is the first procurement office in the government bureaucracy to be ISO 9001:2008 Certified.”

The ISO 9001:2008 is an international standard that specifies requirements for a Quality Management System (QMS). Its goal is to evaluate an organization’s QMS, or the coordinated activities that direct and control an organization’s performance efficiency, effectiveness, and continuous improvement.

ISO 9001:2008 refers to documented policies, processes and procedures required for planning and execution of an organization’s core business process which impacts its ability to meet customer requirements.

A good QMS sets direction and meets customers’ expectations, improves process control, reduces wastage, lowers operating costs, involves staff, and raises morale of employees.

Notably, the institutionalization of QMS is one of the objectives of the on-going Government Quality Management Program espoused by Administrative Order No. 161, s. 2006 of former president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

11 agencies joining QC in a bid to cut business process

By Rio N. Araja

AT least 11 national government agencies have partnered with the Quezon City government to improve the process of doing business in the country from the current 16 steps and 34 days to six steps and eight days.

Mayor Herbert Bautista signed the agreement representing the benchmark city for “Ease of Doing Business in the Philippines” with the departments of Finance, Trade, and Interior and Local Government as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Social Security System, Philippine Health Insurance Corp., Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG), Land Bank of the Philippines, Development Bank of the Philippines and the National Competitiveness Council.

The partnership has cemented the commitment to carry out reforms undertaken by the government institutions through the NCC’s Gameplan 3.0 that would synergize government processes related to the ease of doing business, Bautista said.

This includes streamlining and simplifying the processes across 10 transactions related to “Ease of Doing Business,” which is gauged and monitored annually by the World Bank and the International Finance Corp.

The package of reforms to start a business included merging several steps to create single-window applications across the information technology systems of different agencies, removal of several outdated procedures and introduction of enhanced one-stop-shop procedures.

The city is enhancing its one-stop-shop operations by putting under one linked system the zoning and business registration functions, and co-locating the Bureau of Fire Protection representative in its business one-stop shop.

Its one-time assessment for new business registrants has eliminated the separate step for paying for community taxes.

According to Bautista, online registration for new corporation will be accepted through online application.

A unified form and accessible and convenient online payment systems have been adopted by SEC, BIR, SSS, Pag-IBIG, and PhilHealth.

Under the new integrated business Registration system, when a corporation registers with SEC, it would also be able to obtain its BIR tax identification number, Pag-IBIG Fund, PhilHealth and SSS

Employer numbers at the SEC as well.

The reforms will reduce the process for registering new corporations from 16 steps and 34 days to six steps and eight days.

AFP, PNP continue efforts to mend fences

By Jaime Sinapit (InterAksyon.com)

MANILA - Amid the stirred-up passions over the Mamasapano incident, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) strive to mend fences in the wake of blunders committed by some of their respective ground commanders in connection with the bloodbath in Maguindanao that left 44 commandos of the Special Action Force (SAF) dead.

On Tuesday, PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said SAF received a total amount of P3,565,410 in the form of a donation from the AFP for the families of the slain police commandos.

He said PNP Officer-in-Charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina received the donation from AFP Chief of Staff General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. during his visit to Camp Crame.

"We are very thankful to our soldiers for extending a helping hand to their brothers in law enforcement. This is a generous manifestation of the bond of camaraderie that unites the military and police establishments that has been very successful in maintaining peace and order and enforcing the law," Espina said.

Earlier, Espina said the PNP also was able to raise a total amount of P12 million from its own fund raising projects for the families of the #Fallen44.

According to Catapang, part of the P3.5M was sourced from each of the almost 120,000 soldiers who voluntarily donated P30 from their Subsistence Allowance.

Each soldier receives P150 in subsistence allowance daily.

"We have recognized the financial needs of the family members who were left by our gallant policemen. This is a simple gesture of appreciation from their partners from the armed forces," said Catapang.

In the hearings conducted by the Senate and House of Representatives, the ground commander of the disastrous "Oplan Exodus", sacked SAF director Getulio Napeñas partly blamed Army 6th Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan for not delivering the requested artillery fire that could have save the lives of some of the pinned down SAF men in the heat of the battle.

The SAF mission was not coordinated beforehand with the AFP to avoid possible leakage of tactical intelligence to the MILF community where the subjects of the law enforcement mission, the Malaysian terrorist Marwan and his cohorts Filipino bomb-maker Abdul Basit Usman, Malaysian terrorist Amin Baco and four other "foreign-looking" cohorts were located.

QC Hall midyear bonus ready before June

(PNA), FPV/QC-PAISO-PR/LSJ/SSC

MANILA, April 13 (PNA) -- The midyear bonus of the more than 5,000 regular Quezon City Hall employees will be ready for release before the opening of classes for schoolyear 2015 - 2016, the QC government has announced.

In a memorandum circular issued April 6, Mayor Herbert M. Bautista directed the city budget, accounting and treasury departments to release all available funds needed for the payment of the benefits, which he said must be given to the employees not later than May 30.

The mid-year bonus is equivalent to one-half of the employee’s monthly basic salary plus the one-half of the P5,000 cash gift. The remaining half of each will be given to the employees in November.

Covered by the incentive are all elective and appointive regular city-paid personnel who have rendered at least four months of service to the QC government, inclusive of leaves of absence with pay from January 1 toApril 30, 2015.

Personnel who are employed on a part-time basis are also entitled to said benefits, corresponding to the salary he is presently receiving and a pro-rata amount of the cash gift, provided they have rendered the minimum four-month service requirement.

Employees with pending administrative cases who qualify otherwise, shall also be entitled to these benefits provided that they are not on suspension or preventive suspension as of the cut-off date for the submission of names to the city personnel office, which will oversee the payroll preparation.

Mayor Bautista said the grant of the benefits, which is made in pursuant to pertinent budget circulars issued by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), will be instrumental in helping parents cope with the various school expenses of their children who will be enrolling this schoolyear.

8990 buys property in Araneta Center, Cubao

By VG Cabuag April

LOW-COST housing developer 8990 Holdings Inc. said it purchased a lot in Cubao, Quezon City, and plans to put up a condominium in one of Metro Manila’s busiest areas.

The company said it acquired a 4,200-square-meter property across the Farmer’s Market in Araneta Center in Cubao for P366 million.

It said the company plans to put up an Urban Deca Tower in the area, which would be its second along Edsa.

The project will be launched in 2016.

The company would adopt what it called a halfway-house concept, or offering a unit for as small as 13 sq m to address the need of workers in Metro Manila to have a place to stay during weekdays.

“The low-priced condo units would provide shelter for those working in the metropolis, allowing them to avoid the horrendous traffic jams when going to work,” the company said.

The high-rise condominium project would comprise of 4,500 units priced at about P1 million each. The property is also situated near the Cubao station of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 or MRT 3 along Edsa and the Araneta Center-Cubao station of the Light Rail Transit line 2 or LRT 2.

Its first project along Edsa was the 42-story Urban Deca Towers near Shaw Boulevard. It is expected to be competed in the third quarter of 2017.

The tower would consist of 1,148 residential units, 156 basement parking slots, a convenience store, a laundromat, a food hall, lounge area as well as commercial spaces.

The company has tapped Megawide Inc. as contractor for the high-rise condominium project. Price starts at P875,000 per unit and buyers with cars could avail themselves of parking slots at P500,000.

The average size of unit is 13.06 square meters, furnished with aircon, microwave oven, basic cabinets, mattress, curtains and a small dining table.

Quezon City eyes garbage as energy source

By Rima Granali (RC, Philippine Daily Inquirer)

With the looming power supply crisis in the country, Quezon City is eyeing the city’s garbage as an energy source.

Mayor Herbert M. Bautista has announced plans of acquiring a waste-to-energy (WTE) facility to scale up efforts in electricity generation.

The facility can produce 36 megawatts of electricity per day from the 2,000 tons of trash disposed of in the Payatas landfill daily, Bautista said in a statement on Friday.

Around P8-10 billion and 10 hectares of land would be needed for the construction of the facility.

The city currently operates the Payatas Controlled Waste Disposal Facility which generates about 40,000 kilowatt per hour (kph) of electricity monthly and supplies electricity to the Meralco power grid and free electricity to surrounding communities.

The facility under the Biogas Emission Reduction Project was registered and approved as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the Kyoto Protocol by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2008.

WTE is the process of converting waste materials into electricity or heat though combustion. It reduces methane generation from landfill.

Alyansa ng mga Samahang Nagkakaisa sa Payatas, a group of residents living beside the sanitary landfill, asked the Supreme Court in March to stop its operations and expansion as it poses health and environmental hazards.

The high tribunal, however, dismissed the residents’ petition, saying they exposed themselves to these hazards by insisting to stay there.

READ: Payatas dwellers expose themselves to environmental hazards by staying–SC

Bautista also directed the Division of City Schools and the Task Force Streetlights to study the viability of installing solar panels on school roofs.

The mayor earlier issued a directive to the task force to replace the existing high pressure sodium (HPS) in the city’s 22,000 streetlights with light-emitting diodes (LED) bulbs.

President Benigno Aquino III has sought congress for emergency powers last year, citing the projected power shortage in Luzon, especially in 2015 and 2016.


120 QC Jobstart beneficiaries completed life skills training program

(PAISO-QC/RJB/SDL/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY, 10 April (PIA)—Some 120 Quezon City youth beneficiaries of Jobstart culminated their eight-day life skills training program with a graduation ceremony led by Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz last March 30, 2015.

The training program conducted at the University of the Phillipines-Diliman and facilitated by the Institute for Integrality is aimed to optimize the participants’ level of competency and competitiveness in the labor market.

During the ceremony, the labor chief encouraged the graduates to maximize the opportunity given to them stressing that these are vital as it can be utilized as entry point to the actual professional world.

Baldoz was assisted by City Administrator Aldrin Cuña and QC Public Employment Services Office (PESO) Chief Carlo Magno Abella during the awarding of certificates to the graduates.

The graduates are second batch of beneficiaries for the Jobstart Program, an employment support initiative launched in Quezon City by the Department of Labor and Employment in August last year.

City Administrator Cuña noted that the program complemented the employment agenda of the City government as it provides assistance to the City’s unemployed youth.

Quezon City is home to the biggest contingent of Jobstart graduates since the program was initiated last year. Records showed that Jobstart graduates have 80% hiring rate.

Jobstart has already been pilot-tested in other areas like Taguig City, and General Trias, Cavite and San Fernando, Pampanga.

The program is funded by the Canadian Government represented by Senior Program Officer Narcisa Rivera of the Canadian Embassy in Manila and administered by the Asian Development Bank, represented by Mr. Kelly Bird.

After the completion of the training program, graduates may now take technical training and internship. During the internship, beneficiaries will be provided with daily allowance of P300, the amount is equivalent to at least 75% of the existing minimum wage and will be given during the on-the-job training or internship, which lasts for at least six months.

Aside from the chance to demonstrate their corporate social responsibility by assisting young people to become career ready, partner employers of Jobstart will also be receiving subsidy of up to P9,000 per intern for their participation in the program.

PNP opens annual sports training program

(PNA), CTB/PFN/PJN

MANILA, April 9 (PNA) -- With the vacation season in high gear, the Philippine National Police announced that its annual PNP Summer Sports Training Program is now open to all interested uniformed and non-uniformed personnel.

Opening took place last April 7 and will last the entire summer months. It is being implemented by the PNP Headquarters Support Service.

Sports training offered include arnis, aikido, basketball, boxing, ballroom dancing, badminton, chess, karate-do, judo, lawn tennis, muai-thai, swimming, table tennis, and taekwondo.

All PNP personnel, non-uniformed personnel, PNP dependents and other civilians who are duly sponsored or endorsed by PNP personnel could take part in the said program that is designed to promote their overall well-being through enhancing their physical and mental skills.

Camaraderie, discipline and other positive values are also expected to be acquired through active participation in the aforementioned sports.

PNP officer-in-charge, Deputy Director General Leonardo A. Espina said, “Camaraderie, discipline and other positive values are also expected to be acquired through active participation in the aforementioned sports.”

Registration is still on-going at the PNP Sports Center Office located at the PNP Gymnasium in Camp Crame, Quezon City. No registration fee is required.

The HSS Office welcomes any inquiry and interested parties could get more details about the program through telephone number 723-0401 local 4439/4319.

Write about Disaster Month and win P20,000, member agencies told

By Jerome Carlo R. Paunan (RJB/JCP/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY, 8 April (PIA) – To drumbeat disaster preparedness, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council is encouraging every personnel of member agencies to join its essay-writing contest on the proposed 2015 National Disaster Consciousness Month (NDCM) theme.

In his memo to member agencies, NDRRMC Executive Director Alexander Pama said the contest is open to all personnel of any member agency of the national and regional DRRMCs, whether permanent, casual, contractual, or under a contract of service.

“All entries must be related to disaster preparedness and must have a nationwide approach; must be original and unpublished; written in English and must be at least 500 to 2000 words,” Pama said.

Deadline of submission is on April 30 (Thursday) at 12 PM, just in time for the observance of National Disaster Consciousness Month in July.

Under Executive Order No.137, the month of July is declared as Disaster Month to increase awareness of every Filipino on natural and man-made disasters for a better appreciation of government’s disaster preparedness programs.

Prizes range from P20,000 for 1st prize, P15,000 for 2nd prize, and P10,000 for 3rd; plus, three consolation winners receiving P5,000 each, he added.

Pama said entries will be judged on Relevance (45%), Originality (25%), Structure (15%), and Style (15%).

He said to submit entries enclosed in a short brown envelope to the Policy Development and Planning Services (PDPS), Office of Civil Defense – Central Office, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City. Personally or hand-carried or via post/courier must have the following details: complete name, office/service/division address, contact number, and email address.

For contest details, please call Mr. Kenneth Menor of OCD-PDPS at telephone number 912-0441 or 912-5947 or email him at ndrrmc.secretariat@yahoo.com.

21,844 “Pantawid” student-beneficiaries in NCR graduate from high school

(DSWD/RJB/SDL/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY, 7 APRIL (PIA)--The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) announced that a total of 333,673 student-beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program nationwide have graduated from high school this commencement season.

In NCR, a total of 21,844 Pantawid beneficiaries have recently finished high school.

In celebration of the achievement, the DSWD will hold a post-graduation event dubbed as, “Pagtatapos Nyo, Tagumpay ng Pilipino,” that will be held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on April 9 with around 4,000 high school graduates from the National Capital Region (NCR) joining the celebration.

A second leg of the event will be held at the Araneta Coliseum on April 23 with around 14,000 students. The event aims to recognize the graduating beneficiaries for their efforts to hurdle another stage in their academic life.

During the event, exemplary graduates will be sharing their experiences to inspire their fellow beneficiaries to value education.

“The graduation is considered as a memorable achievement not only for the program, but also for the partner-beneficiaries who are now a step closer to a better life,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman in a statement said.

Moreover, the event will serve as a venue for the students to be linked to opportunities beyond high school, such as vocational courses and college scholarships.

“The Department’s partner-government agencies such as the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), National Youth Commission (NYC) as well as representatives of the private and business sectors have been invited to explore the possibility of graduates to avail of scholarships, internships, or part time jobs that will help them realize their dream,” Soliman added.

Pantawid Pamilya is a human development program that invests in the health and education of poor households primarily those with children aged 0-18.

It provides cash grants to partner-beneficiaries who comply with the conditions of sending their children to school, bringing them to health centers for checkups, and attending the monthly Family Development Sessions (FDS).

In 2013, the DSWD expanded the coverage of Pantawid Pamilya to include the 15-18 age bracket to ensure that the children-beneficiaries will graduate from high school and have a higher rate of employability.

Moreover, Pantawid Pamilya recognizes the need to extend support to its children-beneficiaries to further pursue the rights of children and enable the program to contribute in putting an end to the intergenerational cycle of poverty.

From the more than 7,000 households registered in 2007 when the program first started, it has scaled up, reaching more than 4.4 million households as of March 2015.

Solar power facilities to rise in Camp Crame

By Bea Cupin (Rappler.com)

The two facilities that will soon rise in national police headquarters are hoped to slash nearly P500,000 from the PNP headquarter's monthly electricity expenses

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City, will soon be fitted with Solar Generation Systems, the police force announced on Monday, April 6.

In a statement, the PNP said the PNP Sports Center and the Center for Law Enforcements have been chosen as the sites for renewable energy generating facilities in a deal with the energy department through the aid of the Japan International Cooperation System (JICS) and NEWJEC Incporated.

The Solar Generation System, the PNP said, will save the police organization roughly P5.3 million (roughly $119,357) a year or more than P444,000 (roughly $10,000) monthly. Citing data from the energy department, the PNP said the two sites will generate 600,000 kilowatt-hours and will run for at least 10 years beginning its date of commission.

The PNP and the energy department may opt to extend the deal for the facility. The national police spends over P12.4 million ($279,000) monthly for energy expenses for their headquarters in Quezon City.

Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla and PNP officer-in-charge Police Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina signed the Memorandum of Agreement for the two government institutions on Monday, April 6.

2 QC robbers arrested

By Francis Wakefield

Two men were arrested Wednesday for allegedly taking the wallet of a woman that contained R270 inside a mall in Cubao, Quezon City.

Police identified the suspects as Earl Ibańes, 47, single, and a resident of Muñoz St., Talanay, Batasan Hills, Quezon City and Rolando de Padua, 40, single, and a native of Batangas.

The suspects pulled off the robbery at 4:15 p.m. near the Tropical Hut Restaurant in New Farmers Plaza, Gen. Roxas Avenue, Cubao, Quezon City. The complainant was identified as Bea Sanchez, 28, single, and a resident of San Martin De Pores, Cubao.

Massive information drive for ASEAN integration pushed

By Patricia Denise Chiu / JST (GMA News)

A lawmaker is calling for a massive information drive to ensure that the Philippines will reap the maximum benefits of integration with other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members.

In a resolution sent to the House leadership, Quezon City Rep. Winston T. Castelo said an information drive could lay down the groundwork for the path the country will take, along with its ASEAN neighbors.

“[An] aggressive and massive information drive to all sectors on the 2015 ASEAN integration will lay down the groundwork for the nation’s essential role in the ASEAN regional effort and charting its economic and development road maps.”

The ASEAN integration sets in motion the creation of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), a single market spanning the 10-nation bloc that includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The integration is envisioned to usher in a freer flow of goods, services, investment and skilled labor in Southeast Asia with trade barriers out of the way.

In his House Resolution No. 1864 filed in early February, Castelo proposed that an information drive be started, to help bring awareness to Filipinos.

“[There needs to be a] massive and aggressive information drive to be instituted by all agencies educating all stakeholders of the implications and impact of the integration on the Philippine society,” he said.

“Efficient information drive or the lack of it can either make or break the country against the emerging Asean integration,” Castelo stressed, adding that “complacency is a sure formula to failure.”

Citing a robust economic growth, sound macroeconomic fundamentals and confidence from the international community, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said last year that the Philippines is fully prepared for the AEC.

DSWD remains on full alert for typhoon ‘Chedeng’

By Leilani S. Junio [(PNA), SCS/LSJ/NOD]

MANILA, April 2 (PNA) -- In spite of the slight weakening of typhoon "Chedeng," the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other member-agencies of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) remain on full alert for the possible devastating effects of the weather disturbance.

In a press briefing at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Thursday morning, DSWD Assistant Secretary Vilma Cabrera, the agency's focal person for disaster response, reported that the different members of the Response Cluster of NDRRMC have been activated and are ready to respond to any emergency situation that "Chedeng" might bring.

She said that all the members of the response cluster have already provided orders or directives to their regional, provincial, city and municipal teams to get ready and coordinate with the local government unit (LGU) officials.

“Monitoring teams were deployed in airports, ports and terminals to provide immediate aid to people who will be stranded,” Cabrera said.

She added that in case if Chedeng’s re-intensification, the DSWD will implement the "twin region" scheme wherein DSWD-Field Offices not affected by the typhoon will provide manpower and resource augmentation to those directly hit.

Earlier on Thursday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said that "Chedeng" has weakened slightly while continuing to move over the Philippine Sea in a west-northwest direction.

In its 11 a.m. weather bulletin, PAGASA said that as of 10 a.m. Thursday, the eye of the typhoon was located based on all available data at 995 kilometers east of Catarman, Northern Samar or 915 km east-northeast of Borongan, Eastern Samar (12.4°N, 133.8°E).

The weather agency said that due to vertical wind shear, the typhoon's maximum sustained winds decreased from 180 kilometers to 175 kph near the center and its gustiness also weakened from 215 kph to 210 kph. It is forecast to move-west northwest at 19 kph.

PAGASA launches simplified weather and climate info materials

(PAGASA/RJB/SDL/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY, 1 April (PIA)--The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) unveiled a series of new tools and information products under the name Payong PAGASA, including the USAID-supported simplified templates for public dissemination of PAGASA materials.

A play on the Filipino word “Payong” which means both “advice” and “umbrella”, Payong PAGASA aims to make it easy for the average Filipino to understand the advisories from the agency.

More than a tool to disseminate information, Payong PAGASA is designed to help Filipinos make decisions and take preventative matters to protect their lives and livelihoods.

PAGASA also launched the official icon of Payong PAGASA named Ella the Umbrella—she will be the visual cue that illustrates the effects of weather and climate change in a simple yet engaging way.

The launching was one of the highlights of the 150th Anniversary of PAGASA graced by Department of Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Gloria D. Steele.

Under USAID’s Water Security for Resilient Economic Growth and Stability (Be Secure) project, PAGASA staff redesigned forecast and storm alert announcements to better communicate PAGASA information to key stakeholders and the general public.