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Quezon City News August 2013

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Quezon City - Archived News

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The Founder Manuel Quezon
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University of the Philippines
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Wars of ancient history were about territory, power, family or lover's quarrel, politics and sometimes religion.

But we are in the Modern era and supposedly more educated and enlightened .

Think about this. Don't just brush off these questions.

  • Why is RELIGION still involved in WARS? Isn't religion supposed to be about PEACE?
  • Ask yourself; What religion is always involved in wars and consistently causing WARS, yet insists that it's a religion of peace?

WHY??

Herbal remedies for diabetes.JPG
How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm

AFP gets new ambulances, other benefits from AFPMBAI

By Chito A. Chavez (AFP-PAO/RJB/JEG/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY, August 31 (PIA) – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday received four brand new ambulances from the Armed Forces and Police Mutual Benefit Association, Inc. (AFPMBAI).

AFP Chief of Staff General Emmanuel Bautista and AFPMBAI President Retired BGen Ricardo Morales signed the Deed of Donation for the new ambulances together with health, dental, sports and entertainment benefits.

The signing ceremony was also witnessed by key officers and heads from the AFP and AFPMBAI held at the GHQ canopy area in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

According to the AFP, the new ambulances and other donated benefits will be given to the Philippine Army, Air Force, Navy and AFP Central Command.

Public warned on reusable plastic net bags

By Chito A. Chavez

Manila, Philippines --- An environmental group based in Quezon City yesterday warned the public on the danger of reusable plastic net bags being used to extract coconut milk or “gata,” instead of cheese cloth, saying that this exposes consumers to lead, a hazardous chemical.

Thony Dizon, EcoWaste Coalition project protect coordinator, said the practice of using net bags to squeeze coconut milk exposes the household consumers to lead due to the normal wear and tear of the extracting agent.

The EcoWaste Coalition expressed concern over this prevalent practice in public markets in Metro Manila after detecting lead in 13 out of 22 net bags commonly used to get the milk out of grated coconut meat.

“Gata” is widely used as ingredient for Filipino delicacies such as Bicol Express (pork cooked in coconut milk with shrimp paste and chilies) and meats and vegetables simmered in coconut milk and desserts and soup dishes.

“The lead on the net bags might get into the coconut milk with normal wear and tear after repeated use and become an unintentional contaminant in the food we eat,” Dizon said.

“Contaminant is any biological or chemical agent, foreign matter or other substances not intentionally added to food that may compromise food safety or suitability,” according to the World Health Organization.

Twenty-two samples of the net bags were procured by the group on August 25-28, 2013 at the Guadalupe and Sacramento Markets in Makati City, 9 de Febrero and Marketplace-Kalentong in Mandaluyong City, Sta. Ana and Quinta Markets in Manila City, and Mega-Q-Mart, Commonwealth and Farmers’ Markets in Quezon City.

The group analyzed the samples using a portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometer and detected average lead levels of 2,213 parts per million (ppm) on the yellow twine of 13 samples, with one sample having 3,551 ppm of lead.

Trace amounts of arsenic (average 308 ppm) and chromium (average 1,021 ppm) were also found on the 13 lead-positive samples, while eight samples had mercury (average 38 ppm).

LLDA plans unveiling landmark green headquarters this year

By Catherine Teves [(PNA), HBC/CJT/UTB]

MANILA, Aug. 29 (PNA) -- Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) targets soft launching around October this year its landmark climate-smart headquarters at National Ecology Center in Quezon City.

"That structure will be government's first accredited green building," said LLDA Gen. Manager Nereus Acosta.

He’s optimistic the structure’s environment-friendly design and features augur well for such accreditation.

Experts describe green buildings as being energy- andwater-efficient as well as cheaper to operate and maintain.

They noted such buildings also have reduced negative impacts on the environment and create healthy surroundings for users, improving their productivity and quality of life.

LLDA earlier raised the possibility of its headquarters securing a three-star Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE) rating.

BERDE is the Philippines’ national voluntary green building rating system.

Acosta noted the LLDA headquarters' design as well as positioning in its site inside NEC enables this structure to capture as much natural lighting and ventilation as possible.

He also said instead of tap water, gray water collected through the structure's rainwater catchment system will be used to flush water closets there.

The project will feature a constructed wetland for cooling hot breezes, he continued.

LLDA likewise noted its headquarters is raised on stilts with ground-level parking to minimize ecological footprint and reduce adverse effects to existing biodiversity in the area.

With such features and other green strategies incorporated in the structure, LLDA said it expects to realize at least 20 percent energy reduction.

Acosta said construction work on LLDA's headquarters is already about 70 percent complete.

LLDA noted its headquarters is being built on a 3,021 sq. m. lot inside NEC.

The headquarters covers about 5,600 sq. m. of floor space housing all departments, executive offices, laboratories and other facilities of LLDA, the agency noted.

Acosta believes the climate-smart design LLDA adapted for its headquarters reflects this agency's commitment to promote environmental protection and sustainable development amidst climate change.

He also considers LLDA's headquarters a means for raising public awareness about the value of green building design.

Earlier, experts highlighted urgency for environment-friendly buildings, noting such structures are among top emitters of greenhouse gases.

GHGs trap heat in the atmosphere, resulting in higher global temperature that drives climate change.

Archipelagic Philippines is among countries most at risk for climate change, experts warned earlier.

They said among repercussions of the changing climate are rise in sea level and temperature as well onslaught of weather extremes.

Additional 18% discount for QC’s seniors eyed

By Jeannette I. Andrade (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

To make Quezon City’s senior citizens “feel the love” on their birthday, a councilor has proposed that they be given an additional 18 percent discount on medical and dental services they may avail themselves of in any laboratory, clinic or hospital in the city.

he “birthday treat” is on top of the 20 percent discount and VAT-exempt privilege they are already entitled to under the Expanded Senior Citizen Act of 2010. To qualify for the additional discount, they must avail of the medical or dental services within 15 days of their birthday.

Under Councilor Maria Victoria Co-Pilar’s proposed ordinance, all of the city’s public and private hospitals, clinics and laboratories as well as doctors and dentists will be required to give an additional 18 percent discount to elderly residents on laboratory fees, basic medical and dental checkups and other services as long as these are done within two weeks of the beneficiary’s birthday.

Pilar said that she wanted to encourage senior citizens in the city to undergo annual medical and dental checkups and avail themselves of other health services as they were more susceptible to diseases.

She added that she hoped this would make them “feel the love, care and concern of the Quezon City government on their birthday.” According to data from the Quezon City government website, as of April this year, the city had 15 government and 32 private hospitals, 271 medical clinics, 154 dental clinics and 141 laboratories.

TESDA turns over 500 chairs to QC school

(PNA/Xinhua), FFC/EBP

MANILA, Aug. 27 (PNA) -- A public elementary school in Quezon City was the latest beneficiary of armchairs that trainees of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) produced from confiscated lumber.

San Antonio Elementary School in San Francisco Del Monte received the 500 units of school chairs on Tuesday. August 27, to help assure children of a better learning environment.

"Some students squat on the floor or sit on slab of benches while in classroom. How can they concentrate on their lessons and perform better in school?" said Secretary Joel Villanueva, TESDA director general.

"This is our own small way of helping eradicate the shortage in classroom chairs, so that soon, there will be one for each student," Villanueva, who led the turnover of the furniture, together with other government executives, to school officials.

The TESDA chief was joined by Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Armin Luistro, Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon Paje and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) chairman Cristino Naguiat Jr. Actress and television host Anne Curtis Smith was also present during the event.

Wilma Manio, principal of San Antonio Elementary School, received the school chairs in behalf of the school.

The project is under the PNoy Bayanihan project, a collaboration of TESDA, DENR, DEpEd, PAGCOR, which aims to turn confiscated lumber into school armchairs and turn over them to needy public schools in selected areas of the country to help ease the shortage.

With funding from PAGCOR, TESDA has established production centers in CARAGA and National Capital Region to manufacture the chairs through the training-cum-production scheme.

"We are actually achieving two things under the training cum-production scheme. While on training, we teach our trainees some carpentry skills and at the same time produce the armchairs," Villanueva said.

Since last year, thousands of school chairs have been distributed to public schools, including those in Mindanao, as identified by the DepEd.

At the TESDA production site at its complex in Taguig City as of July 31 this year, a total of 5,000 armchairs have been produced and are ready for distribution. These came from a total of 353,368 board feet of confiscated lumber delivered to the site by the Bureau of Customs.

The turnover of the chairs also coincided with the DepED's launch of a new building in San Antonio Elementary School to accommodate more students.

San Antonio was identified last year by the city government as one of the flood-prone public schools in Quezon City.

LRT-1, MRT-3 common station up for approval

By Miguel R. Camus (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

A “common station” in Quezon City meant to link two major elevated railways in the capital—the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) and Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3)—is up for approval by the National Economic and Development Authority, Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya said.

“We are ready to get approval. I think we are due to present it in the next Neda board,” Abaya said in a text message.

Getting Neda approval is a key step in moving the much-delayed project forward. This will be followed by a public bidding and, if the auction is successful, the awarding of the contract. The project design and construction will take about one year and a half.

The station, which will be located within the Trinoma mall complex owned by the Ayala Group, would make it easier for commuters using the railways to transfer to either line.

However, the current design is smaller in scope than what was originally intended as it would provide a link only for LRT-1 and MRT-3.

The initial plan, hatched at the start of the Aquino administration, called for the construction of a larger terminal that would service LRT-1, MRT-3 and the upcoming MRT-7. This station was earlier considered to be built across Trinoma at the Sy-owned SM North Edsa.

The MRT-7 line, controlled by San Miguel Corp., would extend the MRT-3, which now ends at the Trinoma shopping mall, to San Jose del Monte in Bulacan province.

Abaya said the decision to locate the new common station at Trinoma was considered a “cheaper” alternative.

Nonetheless, the LRT-1, LRT-2 and MRT-3 are key railways that serve more than a million Metro Manila commuters daily.

The common station project has been delayed due to numerous reviews undertaken since 2010. The DOTC had also changed leadership two times since Jose “Ping” de Jesus stepped down in mid-2011.

LRT 1 is a 20.7-km elevated track that runs from Baclaran in Parañaque City to Roosevelt in Quezon City. LRT 2 is a 13.8-km track that starts in Santolan in Pasig City and runs through Recto in Manila. MRT 3 is a 17-km elevated railway that starts in North Avenue in Quezon City and runs through Taft Avenue, Manila.

QC execs cleared of raps over demolition

By Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines - The Quezon City prosecutor’s office dismissed the charges filed against Mayor Herbert Bautista and six other officials over the alleged demolition of two houses in Batasan Hills last year.

In an 11-page resolution released yesterday, Assistant City Prosecutor Maximo Usita Jr. said he found no probable cause to warrant the indictment of Bautista on the grave coercion, malicious mischief, and illegal demolition charges.

The prosecutor also dismissed the complaint against Secretary to the Mayor Tadeo Palma; Marlowe Jacutin and Lolita Mercado of the Task Force for the Control, Prevention and Removal of Illegal Structures and Squatting; Ramon Asprer of the Urban Poor Affairs Office; and Noel Orpiada and Rodolfo Abraham of the Sandigan ng Maralita sa Batasan Hills Homeowners Association.

The case stemmed from a complaint of Artemio Advincula and Rolando Sangyahon Jr., who claimed that their houses on Presidential Road in Barangay Batasan Hills were illegally demolished on Sept. 14, 2012.

Advincula and Sangyahon insisted the property where their houses were located was not the same property covered by the lease/purchase agreement under the city’s Community Mortgage Program (CMP).

In their joint counter-affidavit, Bautista and the other city officials said the houses of the complainants were demolished since they illegally occupied the lot that was the subject of the CMP.

The respondents added that the complainants can be summarily and legally evicted from the property due to their failure to pay their monthly amortization for a period of 15 years.

GSIS offers emergency loan to its members hit by TS Maring

(GSIS/RJB/JGR/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY, Aug 23 (PIA) --The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) offers emergency loan to its members who work or reside in areas declared under a state of calamity due to Tropical Storm Maring.

GSIS President and General Manager Robert G. Vergara, in a statement said, members may either apply for the loan in any GSIS branch under its "file anywhere" policy or through its 147 GSIS Wireless Automated Processing System (GWAPS) kiosks located in the provincial capitols, city halls, municipal offices, national government agency offices and selected Robinsons Malls.

"Members may apply for the loan beginning today (Fiday, Aug 23). The loan proceeds will be credited to their eCard accounts by Saturday, August 24, at the earliest," PGM Vergara said.

They GSIS will also put up portable kiosks in worst-hit areas to facilitate the loan application of affected members.

Under the GSIS Emergency Loan Program, eligible members may borrow Php20,000 payable in 36 equal monthly installments. They may renew their emergency loans upon payment of at least 12 monthly amortizations.

GSIS has reduced the interest rate of the loan from eight to six percent, waived the one percent service fee and extended the payment of the first monthly amortization to three months from the loan drawdown.

For active GSIS members, they may avail of the loan if they are working or residing in areas declared in a state of calamity; not on leave of absence without pay; have no arrearages in the payment of mandatory social insurance contributions; and have no loan that has been declared in default.

Meanwhile, members who do not have an eCard but who are eligible to apply for the loan may apply over-the-counter (OTC) at any GSIS office. Proceeds of OTC applications will be credited to a temporary eCard which the GSIS continues to distribute.

Members may go to the nearest GSIS office or the nearest kiosk for the status of their account if the loan proceeds are not credited within seven days from the date of application.

Members may call the GSIS hotline at (02) 847.4747 or visit the GSIS office nearest them for questions or more information about the program.

QC declares no classes in elementary and high school levels

(PNA), LAM/LSJ

MANILA, Aug. 22 (PNA) -– As of 3:00 a.m. Thursday, August 22, the Quezon City government announced that classes in pre-school, elementary and high school, both in private and public, are still suspended.

The announcement was made by QC Mayor Herbert M. Bautista upon the recommendation of the Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (QCDRRMO) that many parts of Quezon City will still continue to experience heavy rainfall that may cause severe flooding in low-lying areas.

On Wednesday night, Bautista earlier declared that classes in all levels in QC will resume Thursday upon his assessment that all major roads are already passable due to improving weather condition as typhoon Maring began to left the Philippine area of responsibility.

But the QCDRRMO made a recommendation taking into consideration the weather bulletin of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) still placing Metro Manila into orange warning where heavy rains can still be experienced Thursday.

However, Bautista clarified that QC hall employees will resume work to continue serving the great number of QC constituents whose transactions were impeded by the inclement weather and two holidays since the start of the week.

Bautista left to the discretion of Commission on Higher Education (CHED) the decision to suspend classes in colleges.

UP Diliman in QC has already declared a suspension of classes.

QC residents troop to evacuation centers at first signs of rain—mayor

By Jeannette I. Andrade (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines—The sight of dark clouds and the sound of pelting rain were enough to send residents in the flood-prone areas of Quezon City fleeing to higher ground.

By noon Wednesday, nearly 8,000 families from 39 barangays sought shelter in more than 80 evacuation centers around the city.

Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista said that local officials hardly faced opposition in evacuating residents who, by themselves, sought refuge in evacuation centers aware of the danger posed by the monsoon rains.

Bautista told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that at the first sign of rain: dark clouds and a few drops, residents barely needed convincing to leave their homes. “They have grown afraid (of the effects of the habagat [southwest moonson]),” he said.

He added that some of the evacuees would leave one or two persons, usually men, behind to guard their homes against possible looters who might take advantage of the calamity.

Most of the evacuees, the mayor said, have started to return to their homes as the floodwaters started to subside.

“We hope that the weather would not be like that of yesterday (Tuesday). At least for now, I think we have already gone through the worst of the habagat,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

It was all hands on deck for the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) for the evacuation operations in some 39 barangays, particularly in Bagong Silangan, Sto. Domingo, Sta. Cruz, Dona Imelda and the Roxas District.

Chief Supt. Richard Albano, the QCPD director, said that all policemen on duty were deployed to the areas to assist in the operations and maintain peace and order. “There were some residents who wanted to see floods first before fleeing but there are more who voluntarily evacuate,” he told the Inquirer.

According to Fely Corpuz of the Quezon City social services and development office (QCSSDO), as of noon Wednesday, there were 7,845 families from 39 barangays in the different evacuation centers. In the first district, 2,695 families from 13 barangays, including Roxas District and Sto. Domingo; in the second district, there were 1,715 families from Barangays Bagong Silangan, Batasan Hills, Payatas and Commonwealth; while in the third district, there were 432 families from three barangays who fled their homes.

In the fourth district, 1,087 families were evacuated from four barangays; 1,336 families from nine barangays in the fifth district; and 580 families from five barangays in the sixth district.

Corpuz told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the QCSSDO had set up community kitchens for some residents, who have returned to their homes after the floodwaters subsided.

Gilas' cagers vow to give it all in the 2014 World Cup

By Kevin Patrick V. Mariano [(PNA), DSP/UTB]

QUEZON CITY August 20 (PNA) -- Two members of 2013 FIBA Asia Silver medalists' Gilas Pilipinas vowed to give their best in the FIBA World Cup despite the uncertainty on the final lineup that will be sent to Spain next year.

Gilas Pilipinas Forwards Ranidel De Ocampo and Marc Pingris stated their opinion in their DZSR Sports Radio guesting on Tuesday at the PIA Building in Quezon City.

Marc Pingris stated that height differential will never stop them to give it their all against the much taller foes. "Alam naman natin na maliit tayo, pero dala dala namin ang Pilipinas habang naglalaro, hindi kami basta basta magpapabugbog sa World Cup".

However, Ranidel De Ocampo said that their team should be intact, and only injuries can be the only reason to replace some of the players in the final roster,"Sana kung may mapapalitan, dahil lang sana sa injury pero yung papalitan lang bigla wag naman sana".

The two both agreed that Marcus Douthit should be retained because of his impeccable efforts in the recently concluded FIBA Asia Championships,"Si Marcus ang nagpakahirap maglaro sa FIBA Asia eh, kaya karapat dapat na siya ang lumaro sa World Cup".

Marc Pingris also stated that it will still be everybody's ballgame, "Bilog naman ang bola eh,hangga't andyan yung puso mo eh may laban ka. Dala dala parin natin ang bandera ng Pilipinas".

QC commemorates President Quezon’s 135th birth anniversary

(PNA), LAM/LSJ

MANILA, Aug. 19 (PNA) -- On a rainy Monday, the Quezon City government conducted the wreath-laying ceremony commemorating the 135th birth anniversary of President Manuel Luis Quezon at the Quezon Memorial Shrine at Elliptical Road.

Mayor Herbert M. Bautista, Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, QC congressmen, councilors and other officials attended the ceremony with guest of honor former senator Edgardo J. Angara.

“This is a big honor for us. Indeed, Baler is very proud of its son, the former President Quezon whose notable achievement and contribution as leader of the country was hailed as being the founder of Quezon City and father of our national language,” said Angara.

In his speech, Angara said that he plans to write a coffee table book featuring the inspirational life, work, achievements and contributions of Quezon to the country and turn-over one to the Quezon memorial museum for public viewing.

“I feel that there is a need to publish his great contributions and other memorabilia that will highlight his distinctive qualities as a leader that generation of today should emulate and be source of inspiration,” he said.

Angara added that Quezon’s selfless passion and advocacy in pushing for some social justice programs for the welfare of the Filipino people like agrarian reform, right to suffrage, educational reforms, national language, among others, must continue to flourish in the hearts of Filipinos.

For his part, Mayor Bautista said that young Filipinos should also be inspired to emulate Quezon.

“The self-discipline which he imposed upon himself by being selfless and thinking of the welfare of his country and countrymen rather than himself is something that each generation and leaders must be inspired to follow,” said Bautista.

In doing so, Bautista encouraged his constituents to be hardworking, courageous and equipped with the passion to cope against any obstacles in the battle to achieve self-sufficiency and empowerment.

Republic Act 6741 declares August 19 of each year a special non-working holiday in the provinces of Quezon and Aurora and in Quezon City.

President Quezon, who died of tuberculosis on August 1, 1944 in Saranac Lake, New York, is best remembered as the founder of QC, first president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines and the country’s father of social justice and national language.

QC to create new beneficial programs for elderly, PWDs and vendors

(PNA), DSP/QC-PAISO-PR/LSJ

MANILA, Aug. 18 (PNA) --Three social development programs which will be for the benefit of senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PWDs), and vendors will be prioritized by the Quezon City government.

This was disclosed over the weekend in a statement by QC Mayor Herbert M. Bautista who vowed to prioritize the said three social development programs during his second term.

Mayor Bautista admitted that his administration had concentrated on projects and programs on housing and disaster risk management for the past three years.

He explained that it was due to the city’s desire to provide decent homes to informal settlers, and protect them from harm and danger including man-made and natural calamities.

However, he promised that on his second term, senior, citizens, PWDs and vending issues concerns will be among his top priorities.

“In my second term, I will also focus on concerns of senior citizens, PWDs and vending issues. Inaamin ko na medyo nakapag-concetrate ang programa ng lungsod sa housing at disaster,” the mayor said.

Bautista explained that it was his great desire to have a good program for senior citizens.

“I want to have a program that truly addresses the elderly’s needs, which they can enjoy for the rest of their life,” he said.

He said that he consulted city hall executives to list down better program proposals for the elderly, excluding burial assistance and other forms of assistance that the city could offer.

He also directed office heads to study programs for PWDs including health- related programs.

On vending program, the mayor cited that he would like to create a set of policies for street vending.

“The policies will be a guide for the market development and administration department (MDAD) in issuing permit for hawkers or those vendors plying their trade in designated vending sites,” he said.

He said that he will order for the creation of a board that will decide on areas to be declared as vending sites and will determine the stall rates depending on the sites the vendor would like to occupy.

He believes that in having a board to decide on the approval of vending sites and rates, there will be no “political color” on the issuance of permits and collection of fees because there will a set of requirements that will be implemented and should be complied with by vendors.

Special discount on rates, the mayor said should be given to legitimate residents of QC who will sell their goods in designated vending sites.

He added that higher rates on permits and other fees will be collected from non-QC residents to discourage them from vending in the city so that only the legitimate city residents who wants to engage in vending activity as source of income will be given priority.

He also added that those “hard headed” vendors who will sell goods by occupying the sidewalks may be allowed, provided that they could afford to pay higher fees per day.

“Those vendors who will insist to continue selling on the sidewalks, instead of occupying the stalls inside the market, will be impose with higher hawker’s fees. For example, if it in the stall, they were ask to pay P200.00 a day, in the sidewalk, they will be charged P1,000.00 a day,” he said.

He explained that the city will do that to discourage vending in non-vending areas such as sidewalks.

QC enforcement of Kasambahay law in barangay level

(PNA), HBC/QCPAISO-PR/LSJ

MANILA, Aug. 17 (PNA) -- The Quezon City government is beefing up efforts to encourage the city-wide registration and data-basing of QC-based household helpers or “kasambahay.”

“The city government’s continuing intervention to address the problem of child domestic labor in the city has led to the adoption of the Kasambahay program,” said Mayor Herbert Bautista in a statement Saturday.

According to Bautista, the Kasambahay program embodies a comprehensive package of services for domestic workers in QC.

QC first district Rep. Francisco Calalay, Jr, who had served for three terms as QC councilor, is the author of the city’s Kasambahay ordinance.

The program’s components include the city-wide registration and data-basing of domestic helpers, education support program, skills and livelihood training, vocational training, art and recreational activities, counselling and access to social protection.

Bautista disclosed he had ordered the conduct of a forum at QC City hall that discussed provisions of the Kasambahay Law and its implementing rules and regulations.

He said he directed the public employment service office in conducting that one-day forum that was participated by the city’s 142 barangay executives and members of the QC Tripartite Industrial Peace Council.

DPWH resumes QC, Caloocan repairs this weekend

(DPWH)

MANILA, Aug. 16 -- Motorists are advised to take alternative routes as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) resumes its concrete re-blocking and road repair program along EDSA, covering Quezon and Caloocan cities, this weekend.

The affected areas include: northbound lane of Palanza St to Bayani Steet (Northbound) along Araneta Ave. and Shell Gas Station to Balintawak MRT Station (3rd lane, Northbound) – both in Quezon City; and, southbound lane of Monumento Circle (4th lane) and MCU Hospital to Monumento Circle (northbound) in Caloocan City.

Repair works to start tonight (August 16) at 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. on Monday, August 19.

DPWH is taking advantage of the weekend in implementing these long-overdue road rehabilitation works to avoid heavy traffic build up causing inconvenience to the riding public.

For updates and concerns, please contact DPWH through text: type DPWH (space) your message, then send to 2920 or Hotline Number 165-02. You may also view our Facebook page (DPWH Central Office) or follow us on twitter @dpwhco.

QC’s senior citizens and indigents get free eye refraction and eye glasses

(PNA), DSP/LSJ

MANILA, Aug. 15 (PNA) -- The Quezon City government led Thursday eye refraction service and eye glasses distribution for city’s senior citizens and indigents.

The free eye examination and eye glasses distribution is facilitated under the initiative of QC vice mayor Joy Belmonte as part of QC’s office of vice mayor public service to the city’s marginalized constituents.

According to the staffs of vice mayor Belmonte, every senior citizen in the city can avail of the said free services through the registration facility provided for them at the QC hall lobby.

Each senior citizen must present an original and photocopy of their senior citizen’s ID card and barangay certificate to qualify to the service throughout the weekdays except Tuesday.

Indigents who are non-senior citizens must present certificate of indigency from their respective barangay captains to receive the same service every Thursday of the week.

After the eye refraction process, the senior citizens can pick them up on a schedule date given to them by the eye specialist.

The service is open but strictly intended for senior citizens and indigents in the effort to provide services for the welfare of senior citizens and indigents.

PDEA trains more personnel to detect illegal drug labs

By Jimmyley I. Guzman (PDEA-PIO/RJB/JEG/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY, Aug. 14 (PIA) -- The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) recently trained 37 Drug Enforcement Officers (DEOs) and personnel to strengthen their expertise in detecting hidden facilities being used in manufacturing illegal drugs.

PDEA Director General Arturo G. Cacdac, Jr. said the Clandestine Laboratory Investigation Course strengthens the competence and capability of PDEA personnel especially in dismantling clandestine shabu laboratories and chemical warehouses in accordance with the operational thrust of the agency in achieving quality operations.

“Our goal here is to have specialists who are trained to investigate and process the information and pieces of evidence coming from clandestine laboratories and transform them into much needed intelligence to aid our operatives on the ground,” Cacdac said adding that the course will boost efforts to thwart illegal production of dangerous drugs.

The four-day training was made possible in partnership with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (USDEA).

Seasoned lecturers from the International Training Section of USDEA conducted the training to selected personnel from PDEA’s regional offices and PDEA operating units in the National Capital Region.

DENR, Manila Water planted 1,700 seedlings at the La Mesa Watershed

(PNA), FFC/PR/EBP

MANILA, Aug. 13 (PNA) -- Ayala-led Manila Water has linked arms with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-National Capital Region (DENR-NCR) and the La Mesa Watershed Multi-Sectoral Management Council (LMWMMC) to rehabilitate portions of the La Mesa Watershed in Quezon City by planting native forest trees.

Manila Water headed by its Operations Group Director Geodino Carpio joined the DENR-NCR and the LMWMMC in planting 1,700 seedlings of native forest trees such as Batino, Bitaog, Supa and Banaba within a four-hectare portion of the watershed.

“Manila Water is very honored to be part of this environmental sustainability program that will benefit our people and our future generation," Carpio said, adding that the event is also part of Manila Water’s commitment to protect the watersheds which are critical to its service delivery.

With a total area of 2,700 hectares, the La Mesa Watershed is the last remaining forest of its size in Metro Manila, and along with a 367-hectare man-made lake inside the reservoir forms, part of the vital water supply link to the east zone metropolis’s more than six million Metro Manila residents as more than 1.5 million liters of water pass through the reservoir every day. This watershed also serves as a carbon sink and sanctuary to many indigenous species of flora and fauna.

To ensure the protection of these critical watersheds, Manila Water will continue to undertake tree planting and nurturing activities in collaboration with MWSS, DENR, and partners from academe, civic and private corporations.

Manila Water is the east concessionaire of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) providing water and wastewater services to Marikina, Pasig, Makati, Taguig, Pateros, Mandaluyong, San Juan, portions of Quezon City and Manila and several towns of the nearby province of Rizal.

PNP celebrates 112th Police Service Anniversary Tuesday

(PNA), FPV/CLTC

MANILA, Aug. 12 (PNA) – The Philippine National Police (PNP) will celebrate Tuesday its 112th Police Service Anniversary in commemoration of the joint founding anniversaries of the Insular Constabulary established in 1901 and the Integrated National Police, organized in 1975, both forerunner organizations of the PNP.

PNP Chief Director General Alan Purisima said the anniversary is celebrated with the theme: “Serbisyong Makatotohanan, handog ng pulisya sa ating pamayanan.”

President Benigno S Aquino III is guest of honor and keynote speaker in the celebration at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

Purisima said that the President is expected to issue major policy pronouncements on concerns related to national peace and order issues as well as reform and modernization of the PNP in the heels of the release over the weekend of a P2.86-billion outlay by the Department of Budget and Management for the 2013 PNP Capability Enhancement Program.

Among the highlights of the ceremony is the presentation of awards and decorations to PNP units and personnel for outstanding achievements. DILG Secretary Manuel Roxas II and PNP Chief, Director General Alan Purisima will assist the Chief Executive in the presention.

Chief Supt. Marcel Garbo Jr., Regional Director, NCRPO will receive a Plaque of Recognition for outstanding achievement in the field of Police Administration. He was cited for introducing policing innovation initiatives during his tour of duty in PRO7, primarily, by developing individual capabilities of personnel through 45 unit training programs for 8,425 personnel and achievement of 100 percent computer literacy in PRO7, as well as the establishment of 40 Tourist Assistance Centers throughout the region.

Police Officer 2 Webster Liwag of Malolos City Police Station will receive a similar Plaque of Recognition for outstanding achievements in the field of Police Operations. Liwag is cited for his role in interdiction operations against key personalities affiliated with the Dominguez Group operating in Bulacan including the arrest Ryan Dominguez and the confiscation of high-powered firearms that were believed used in the murder of a state witness.

Meanwhile, the unit awardees are the following:

Police Regional Office 9 for outstanding achievements in the campaign against terrorism, regional level; Highway Patrol Group, for outstanding achievements in the campaign against organized crime, NSU level; Agusan del Sur Police Provincial Office, for outstanding achievements in the campaign against organized crime, provincial level.

President Aquino will also present Special Awards to the following:

Batangas Police Provincial Office for recording the most number of firearms accounted during the May 2013 midterm elections; Ilocos Sur-Regional Special Operations Task Group, for recording the least number of violent incidents during the May 2013 midterm elections; and Lanao del Sur-Regional Special Operations Task Group, for the most improved security preparations during the May 2013 midterm elections.

QC homeowners' associations hold summit

(PNA), JBP/QC-PAISO-PR/LSJ

MANILA, Aug. 11 (PNA) -- The Quezon City government has disclosed over the weekend that it hosted a summit for subdivision homeowner associations for three consecutive Saturdays at QC Hall.

The summit is an effort to forge greater collaborative efforts on city policies involving infrastructure, health and sanitation and peace and order.

In a statement, QC mayor Herbert M. Bautista cited that he ordered the subdivision administration unit of the city planning and development office to organize and sponsor the summit to provide subdivision homeowner associations’ a venue to express their concerns and opinions on issues affecting them.

According to Bautista, it was deemed proper to conduct dialogues and consultations with these associations to keep them updated on the various programs and projects being undertaken by the city government.

During said meeting, Architect Pedro Rodriguez Jr., head of the QC subdivision administration unit, revealed that QC is home to about 548 subdivision communities.

District VI has the most number of homeowners associations with 231.

“What the city government will be doing is to acquire a comprehensive and updated data on all the subdivisions and villages located in Quezon City,” said Rodriguez. In the said forum, among the topics that were discussed are concerns on the turnover of parks and open spaces, encroachment of informal settlers and traffic management.


QC to set up breast milk bank

By Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines - The Quezon City local government is set to open its first breast milk bank in time for the celebration of Breastfeeding Month this August, Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte announced yesterday.

Belmonte said the breast milk bank, which will be operated by the city-owned Quezon City General Hospital, is expected to provide a healthy and cheap source of milk for infants.

She said the milk bank will be operated in compliance with the ordinance approved by the city council last year. The measure, authored by councilor Aly Medalla, seeks the creation of human milk banks in all local government hospitals offering pediatric care.

According to Belmonte, the city‘s first milk bank was established with the help of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, which donated equipment including a pasteurizer, refrigerator and freezer.

Based on the ordinance enacted by Mayor Herbert Bautista on Sept. 17, milk banks would collect, screen, process, store, and distribute donated human milk in the pediatrics departments of all city-owned hospitals.

It will operate like a blood bank, where infants who do not have access to their own mothers’ milk would be provided an alternative feeding option. Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

The milk bank shall operate on a non-profit basis, but a minimal processing fee may be charged for the screening process and administrative costs.

However, Belmonte said that inability to pay the fee shall not be a reason for non-availment of the milk by infants in need of human milk.

The ordinance delegates the task of manning the milk bank section to trained health personnel knowledgeable in human milk banking and lactation management.

A lactation specialist will be tasked to interview and conduct physical examination on milk donors, while medical technologists are tasked to conduct laboratory tests after the initial screening interview and physical interview of donors.

The donated breast milk will be dispensed by prescription or by hospital purchase order to infants at the intensive care unit, pediatric wards, pay wards, and emergency rooms depending on various health conditions.

“No person, including hospital employees, other than the health personnel stationed in the human milk bank shall be allowed to allocate the breast milk collected unless otherwise sanctioned by this ordinance,” read the ordinance.

“In the distribution of donor milk, priority will be given to service or private patients who are pre-term, post-surgical, or critically-ill newborns and for infants in disaster and calamity-stricken areas,” it added.

Muslims in QC mark Ed’l Fitr

By Leilani Junio [(PNA), HBC/LSJ]

MANILA, August 9 (PNA) -– Groups of Muslims from several areas of Quezon City ended the holy festive month of Ramadan with early morning prayers and worship at the Quezon Memorial Circle Friday.

They joined their fellow Muslims from other areas of the country and the world in celebrating the holiest holiday of Eid’l Fitr.

President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared Aug 9, 2013 as a nationwide holiday in recognition of the Islamic holiday.

As their early prayers and worship wound up, some Muslim parents and their children were invited to join in some fun and game activities organized by volunteers from Nur Factory, a Muslim youth organization.

Chiash, one of the youth volunteers, said their groups decided to hold the fun activities to enable fellow Muslim brothers and sisters and their kids in parts of QC and Metro Manila to have the chance to get to know each other and enjoy the end of Ramadan also.

“Since the end of Ramadan is also a sort of festivities for us, we took it as an opportunity and a way to help them (Muslim brothers and sisters and their respective children) get connected or be bonded to each other, especially those who have few contacts and friends,” Chiash explained in an interview with the Philippines News Agency.

She said they feel inspired and happy as they had contributed to the joy and laughter of Muslim children who had joined several games and singing activities and received prizes as a give a way.

“We hope that all people (especially our Muslim brothers and sisters) will realize and therefore created reflections on the essence of Ramadan and continue the good habits they had formed with it,” she added.

For non-muslim brothers she also appealed for greater understanding and erase any negative or misconceptions ideas about them.

Aug 19 non-working holiday in QC, Quezon and Aurora provinces

(PNA), HBC/LSJ

MANILA, Aug 8 (PNA) -- Aug 19 will be a working holiday nationwide but a non-working holiday in Quezon City, Quezon and Aurora provinces.

This is in line with the commemoration of the 135th birth anniversary of the late President Manuel Luis S. Quezon.

Quezon is also dubbed as the “Father of the National Language (Filipino)” for advocating Filipino-language amendments to the 1935 constitution.

His date of birth is then regarded as “Quezon Day” in accordance with Republic Act 6741.

Quezon is the first president of the Philippine Commonwealth.

He became president of the Philippines from 1935 to 1944.

He was born in Tayabas, Quezon on Aug 19, 1878 and died in Saranac Lake, New York, on Aug 1, 1944.

UN invites nominations to ESCAP Award for PWD-inclusive businesses in Asia-Pacific

By Precie Catherine C. Cuarto (NCDA/PIA-PMD)

QUEZON CITY, Aug. 7 (PIA) -- The United Nations is inviting nominations to the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Award to recognize businesses in the Asia and the Pacific region that demonstrate exemplary practices responding to the needs of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).

The award, which was launched in November 2012 by the ESCAP, Nippon Foundation, and the Asia Pacific Development Center on Disability, aims to: (1) publicly recognize and reward businesses that demonstrate good practices in responding to the needs of PWDs in their operations; (2) raise awareness on the opportunities available to the private sector for inclusion of PWDs in business; and (3) catalyze Asia-Pacific leadership in disability-inclusive business.

The award is open to all commercial enterprises that have regional operations in any of the 58 countries and territories within the ESCAP region.

Categories are: (1) Disability-inclusive multinational enterprises; (2) Disability-inclusive enterprises at the national level; and (3) Disability-inclusive entrepreneurial business.

An independent international jury will be established to review the nominations for the Award and select winners.

Winners will receive public recognition for excellence and innovation in the field of disability-inclusive business. Moreover, the winner of the entrepreneurial category will receive a grant in the range of US$50,000 to US$100,000.

Nominations may be submitted through the ESCAP-SASAKAWA Award’s website at www.di-business-award.com on or before 19 August.

For inquiries, contact Christopher Endozo at telephone number (02) 834-3827.

In addition, copy of the nominations must be sent to the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) for documentation purposes. The NCDA may be reached at telephone numbers (02): 951-6033 and 951-5925 or via e-mail, council@ncda.gov.ph. NCDA is located at Isidora Street, Barangay Holy Spirit, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines 1127.

QC cinemas to help in GSP fundraising for the month of September

(PNA), FPV/LSJ-QC-PAISO

MANILA, Aug. 6 (PNA) -- Starting September 1 to 30, 2013, a one peso (P1.00) increase in admission fees in all cinemas in Quezon City will be implemented.

This is in compliance with the QC government ordinance which aims to help raise funds as a support to the Girl Scout of the Philippines (GSP) of QC.

In line with this, Mayor Herbert Bautista requested all cinemas in QC to help implement the one-month increase in admission fee.

He cited how QC theaters’ participation and the public can contribute a lot in helping the GSP continue their missions of helping the youth develop and grow as productive members of society.

He added that the GSP QC Council has various programs and activities that need financial assistance from the city government which can be addressed through the imposition of the one peso admission fee increase from cinemas in QC.

He also added that the proceeds of this one peso increase will enable the GSP – QC to improve its programs of developing the well-being of the youth in terms of physical health, moral health and spiritual health.

Among the activities that the GSP youth program include were development in sports and livelihood programs.

In this whole month of August, the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) – QC is the current recipient of the proceeds from the one peso increase in cinemas in QC to also support them in their programs and activities.

DOLE to hold consultation on the rescue and rehabilitation of abused ‘kasambahay’

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

QUEZON CITY, August 5 (PIA)--The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will hold a consultation on the rescue and rehabilitation of abused domestic workers, or kasambahay.

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz has instructed DOLE Undersecretary for Social Protection Ciriaco A. Lagunzad to initiate consultation with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the Philippine National Police (PNP) as part of the agency’s initiative towards a coordinated and responsive effort in providing necessary assistance to abused kasambahay.

Section 31 of R.A. 10361, the Kasambahay Law, provides that any abused or exploited domestic worker shall be immediately rescued by the municipal, or city social welfare officer of the DSWD in coordination with barangay officials.

The law mandates the DSWD and DILG to develop a standard operating procedure for the rescue and rehabilitation of abused domestic workers, and in coordination with the DOLE, possible job placement for them.

Earlier, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has issued Memorandum Circular No. 2013-61 which contains the guidelines for the registration of the kasambahays in all barangays nationwide.

The DILG circular will serve as guide for all city and municipal mayors, punong barangay, and others concerned in establishing a local registry of kasambahay as required by the law.

The Social Security System, PhilHealth, and the Pag-IBIG Fund are also set to sign Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will effect the unified registration system (URS) called for under the Kasambahay law.

Baldoz explained that the memorandum of understanding between the Social Security System, PhilHealth, and the Pag-IBIG Fund contains the specific duties and responsibilities of the three agencies with regards the implementation of the unified registration system.

“The unified registration system will make it convenient for employers to register their kasambahay with the SSS, PhilHealth, and the Pag-IBIG Fund for they will not need to transact business with each agency,” said Baldoz.

“Once an employer has registered his kasambahay with the SSS, all pertinent information will be shared with the Pag-IBIG and PhilHealth which information will serve as basis for the two other agencies in registering the same kasambahay,” she added.

New pro-poor education program launched in QC’s 1st District

(PNA), LAM/QC-PAISO-PR/LSJ

MANILA, August 4 (PNA) --Some 1,000 poor but deserving high school graduates in the first congressional district of Quezon City are soon expected to benefit in an educational assistance program.

The educational program is a result of the city’s partnership with three educational institutions to help unemployed youths prepare themselves for employment.

QC 1st District Councilor Victor Ferrer Jr., in a statement over the weekend, disclosed that he has partnered with AMA University, Informatics International College and STI College–Muñoz to facilitate the grant of special discounts in tuition to qualified program beneficiaries.

Ferrer said he has already signed a memorandum of agreement with the school administrators of the three educational institutions to formalize the partnership.

Under the agreement, AMA University and Informatics International College will provide a 50% special discount in tuition to qualified beneficiaries.

He added that STI College, on the other hand, agreed to provide a 20% special discount.

It is also provided that the office of Ferrer shall be responsible for the selection and endorsement of program applicants from the 37 barangays in District I.

Preparations are now underway for the launching of a massive information campaign to ensure the success of the program.

“The educational assistance program highlights the QC government’s continuing effort, under the administration of Mayor Herbert Bautista, to provide self-empowerment opportunities to QC students to help them become responsible and productive members of society,” said Ferrer.

QC eyes more public-private partnerships in next 3 years

(PNA), HBC/QC-PAISO-PR/LSJ

MANILA, Aug 3 (PNA) -- The QC government will be seeking more public-private-partnership projects in Quezon City in the next three years.

This was disclosed in statement Saturday by QC Mayor Herbert Bautista who vowed to boost the city’s infrastructure support, physical make-up and economic goal in his second term of office.

Bautista explained that at present the city government has partnered with private companies and non-government organizations as part of the effort to realize that goal.

Among the private companies and NGOs are Phinma, Gawad Kalinga and Habitat for Humanity in constructing the city’s Bistekville socialized housing projects for informal settler families.

“These projects are now being undertaken in eight sites in the city,” said Bautista.

Aside from this, Bautista said he wants to enter into PPP agreements on slaughterhouses and public markets to improve their facilities, services as well as physical component.

He said he wants to maximize the utilization of the big lots occupied by public markets to spur more economic activities.

He added that public markets can expand vertically with multi-level residential structure to provide additional residential units for ISFs.

BSP’s 2-week “Money Matters for Kids” exhibit kicks off

By Josine F. Estuye [(PNA), DSP/JBO/UTB]

MANILA, August 2 (PNA) -– In an effort to improve financial education in the country, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), in cooperation with the Department of Education (DepEd) and Araneta Center Inc. on Friday launched their “Money Matters for Kids” (MMK) campaign at Gateway Mall, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City.

BSP Deputy Governor for the Supervision Examination Sector Dr. Johnny Noe Ravalo, officers from the DepEd, Araneta Center Inc., Museyong Pambata, Binibining Pilipinas title holders, led the ribbon cutting ceremonies of the exhibit at 10 a.m.

The MMK exhibit, which is a component of BSP’s integrate Economic and Financial Learning Program, is intended to promote financial literacy to kids who are in primary school or those aged 12 years and younger.

For the launching of the event, 35 pupils from P. Tuazon Elementary School in Quezon City were initially invited to participate to the activities, which will teach them about money, saving, spending, and sharing.

By batch, kids were able to play money puzzles, “spot the difference” of huge replica of peso bills, and “rub it in” counter where they have to put a paper on top of a large embedded coin and rub crayons to draw the picture of the coin.

The exhibit also served as a mini museum for currencies all over the world. Philippines’ bills and coins in the past can also be seen there.

Most liked by kids however were the: make-believe bank where children can play the roles of bank managers, tellers and guards; mock Automated Teller Machine (ATM) that teaches kids how to use ATM cards and enter personal identification numbers; and the mock grocery shop which teaches kids how to budget and to differentiate between needs and wants and also has an ultraviolet light equipment which allows kids to detect genuine and fake banknotes of a peso bill.

According to Ravalo, the concept of playing and learning at the same time that was used in the project was recommended by the Museyong Pambata, while Araneta Center Inc. provided the venue and Deped for the participants.

“For us to be here today, a lot of effort from a lot of individuals have had to be invested to make this exhibit come true. This is not simply a BSP affair, this is a stakeholder affairs of many organizations and individuals,” he said.

Ravalo said those who have helped in making the event possible deserves to be thanked since what they have produced is something that would promote development for the people, and the country.

“To these individuals, whether you have directly or indirectly contributed in setting up this exhibit, this country certainly owes you a debt of gratitude,” he stressed.

He explained that the people from the BSP have always believed of the benefits people will get from financial education.

When asked about why facilitate financial education exhibit for children, Ravalo pointed out that children, when trained to be financially educated, would eventually grow up into financially responsible adults who would positively contribute to the development of the country’s economy.

If you take a look at international standards for financial education, the idea is to really start young. “We have a defined financial education program for employees, for college students, so why not for kids?” he added.

“The benefits of this type of activity (is that) people understand the value of saving and the benefits of a process involved in handling financial matters,” he also stressed.

He explained that in order for the Filipino people to reach their financial goals, they must first value learning so that they would understand how and in what way they would achieve that.

Ravalo also announced that the MMK exhibit will be a nationwide campaign of BSP. He said they are opting to bring the next MMK exhibit to Laguna soon.

“For us in the BSP, this is a commitment, it is not a onetime event. We will continue to do this for as long as we see the benefits of the exhibit,” he said.

In line with this, he urged parents and teachers to bring kids to participate to the exhibit which will run until August 17 at Gateway mall, from 10 a.m. to 9 a.m.

“The journey towards future will have to start at the very start and that very start must emanate from learning what it is in the decisions that you will make,” he ended.

Meanwhile, Nerisa Beltran, an Education Program Specialist of DepEd Central Office commended the efforts of BSP for organizing event for financial education, saying it will complement what the DepEd has been doing.

“It would strengthen (DepEd’s program), para wholistic ang lesson nila. So even at home or sa mall, they get to learn about financial literacy, it should make their learning about saving complete", she said.

Parents of the participants who accompanied their children to join the exhibit also lauded the BSP for facilitating the event.

Ann May Verona, a resident of Project 6, Quezon City and mother of 2 participants who are aged 8 and 11, said the MMK exhibit will be of big help for the development of her kids.

"Kasi ang mga bata ngayon, hingi lang ng hingi, so dahil dito, matututunan nila na ang perang hinahawakan nila ay pwede nilang mapalago kung matuto silang mag-ipon," she said.

The MMK exhibit is one of many financial education program for kids that BSP has facilitated, as a response to a survey a few years ago, showing that only less than five percent of Filipino youth regularly save money.

In 2007, BSP and DepEd collaborated to promote savings and money management in public elementary schools. This led to the develop teaching guides on financial education for integration in the curriculum of all public elementary schools for three subjects: Sibika at Kultura, Heograpiya, Kasaysayan at Sibika, Edukasyong Pantahanan at Pangkabuhayan, and Edukasyong Pagpapakatao.

In 2011, BSP partnered with 12 banks for its "Banking on Your Future" (BOYF) Kiddie Account Program, which allows children to save in banks. The program, banks’ permitted kids to open an account at initial deposit of only P100.00.

DA enters partnership with SUCs to boost quality rice seeds production

By Cielito Reganit [(PNA), HBC/CMR]

MANILA, Aug. 1 (PNA) -- The Dept. of Agriculture has inked an agreement with State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) nationwide to become effective partners in the production and promotion of high quality seeds for the country’s massive rice production program.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, with DA Assistant Secretary and national rice program coordinator Dante Delima, signed the memorandum of agreement with the heads of 16 agri-based SUCs at the DA main office in Quezon City Wednesday afternoon.

Alcala said the partnership with the SUCs will complement efforts of research stations of DA regional offices and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in the production of registered seeds of inbred varieties for distribution and sale to farmers.

The partnership would harness the great potential of the partner SUCs to assume unique and strategic roles in high quality seeds production and in the promotion of modern rice technologies to farmer.

Besides being found practically in every rice producing region and even in every major province in the Philippines, these agri-based SUCs have substantial idle areas suitable for rice cultivation and likewise possess the manpower and technical know-how to sustain the program.

“The DA-SUC partnership would become a sustainable support service program to provide easy access of quality rice seeds to farmers in the regions where these SUCs are situated,” Alcala said.

Under the partnership scheme, the DA, through PhilRice, will provide the SUCs with parental or breeder seeds for propagation which would produce registered seeds.

The DA will likewise provide partner SUCs with an initial P50,000 per hectare that includes cost of parental seeds, and training of technical staff in rice seed production.

Meanwhile, the SUC partners will allot at least two hectares and up to a maximum of 10 hectares depending on the available land that would be developed for the program.

The 16 SUCs have made available a total of 72 hectares of land which, according to the DA, would yield an estimated minimum of 288 tons of quality rice seeds.

The SUCs will also be tasked to train farmers in their respective areas to plant registered seeds that would in turn yield certified seeds.

The SUCs would also tap accredited farmers’ cooperatives and irrigators’ associations that are already engaged in the production of certified inbred rice seeds.

They could also distribute or sell their excess registered seeds to farmers under a profit-sharing scheme.

The participating SUCs in Luzon are: Mariano Marcos State University in Ilocos Norte; Cagayan State University; Isabela State University; Nueva Vizcaya State University; Pampanga State University of Agriculture; Western Philippine University in Palawan; Mindoro State University in Oriental Mindoro; and Romblon State University.

For the Visayas, participating are Eastern Samar State University and University of Eastern Philippines.

In Mindanao, the partner SUCs are: Central Mindanao University in Bukidnon; Southern Philippines Agri-Business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology in Davao del Sur; University of Southern Mindanao in North Cotabato; and Sultan Kudarat State University.

The Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, meanwhile, has two participating SUCs – Upi Agricultural School in Maguindanao and Mindanao State University in Marawi City.