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Quezon City News June 2016

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Quezon City - Archived News

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How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
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Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm

Contents

PDEA adds 70 new agents

(PDEA/RJB/LFB/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY (PIA) -- The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has additional 70 agents, recent graduates of the Drug Enforcement Officers’ Basic Course (DEOBC).

PDEA Director General Arturo G. Cacdac Jr. conferred to the 70 new agents their PDEA badges during the 8th PDEA Academy Commencement Exercises for DEOBC held at the PDEA Gymnasium, PDEA National Headquarters in Quezon City.

In his speech, Cacdac said,”This is the third and last batch of PDEA agents to graduate under my term as Director General. I am proud to present the latest addition to the PDEA family, the product of our very own academy. PDEA is set to infuse new blood to boost the manpower of the nation’s premier organization against illegal drugs.”

The 70 agents of DEOBC 16-08 KAWALONG SILAB class is the eighth batch of drug enforcement officers who successfully completed six months of training at the PDEA Academy under the leadership of PDEA Superintendent Director Aileen Lovitos.

The class name KAWALONG SILAB stands for “KAWAL NG IKA-WALONG SIBOL NA SINANAY LABAN SA ILEGAL NA DROGA.”

The eight batch of PDEA agent-trainees have passed rigid screening and selection processes, namely the Neuro-Psychological Examinations, Medical and Physical Examinations, Agility Tests, Background Investigation and Panel Interview.

The six month training course started on January 4, 2016 with eighty-two (82) agent-trainees as DEOBC Class 16-08 at the PDEA Academy, Silang, Cavite.

“Through the six-month training, only 70 agent trainees successfully hurdled the rigorous training to become bonafide drug enforcement agents. I have high hopes that the 70 new PDEA agents will exemplify the Agency core values of professional, dynamic, excellence-driven and accountable,” Cacdac ended.

8990, Megawide ink deal for PHP3.6-B condo project

(PNA), JMC/LDV

MANILA, June 29 (PNA) -- Listed mass housing giant 8990 Holdings, Inc. (House) has signed an agreement with Megawide Construction Corporation to build a condominium project in Quezon City which is expected to generate PHP7.2 billion in sales.

House said its new project, the "Urban DECA Towers-Cubao", comprises 45 floors, inclusive of two floors of 651 parking slots, eight floors of 260 commercial spaces and 35 floors of 5,207 units.

Megawide shall be the general contractor for this project that will cost PHP3.6 billion. Period of completion is pegged at 48 months, with the initial delivery of lower ground units by the third year.

8990 president and chief executive officer Januario Jesus Atencio said the condominium project which will be built on a 4,310-square-meter lot fronting the Farmers Market in Araneta Center will expand the company’s "halfway house" concept.

Under 8990's "halfway house" concept, the units measuring 13 square meters will come fully furnished.

“With about 10 million workers in Metro Manila looking for living spaces near their work places, the halfway house concept is the better alternative to bedspacing or renting in dormitories and sharing apartments in the weekday where our buyers can enjoy quality of life while retaining their primary residences outside the metropolis which they can come home to in the weekends,” Atencio said.

The retail prices start at PHP1.2 million to PHP1.5 million per unit.

8990's first "halfway house" condominium located along EDSA between Shaw Boulevard is already 100 days ahead of its construction schedule and 55 percent sold when its sales was launched in January 2016.

The first EDSA Tower is expected to top-off this August and the first 200 units are targeted for delivery to individual buyers by the fourth quarter of this year.

DOST-ICTO holds Nat'l ICT Summit

By Ma. Cristina C. Arayata [(PNA), RMA/MCCA/EDS]

MANILA, June 28 (PNA) -- The Department of Science and Technology - Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) has organized the National ICT (NICT) Summit slated from June 28 to 29 at Novotel Hotel in Cubao, Quezon City.

About 300 executives, ICT professionals and industry officers are expected to grace the event to promote ICT as an enabler in governance and delivery of public services.

With the theme, "Transitioning eGovernance to the Next Administration", the summit is also part of the country's ICT month observance.

During the first day, GovNet was officially launched.

GovNet was created for faster, better connectivity among government agencies by connecting them to a fiber optic cable network.

The two-day event focuses on the developments and challenges the ICT sector is facing.

"Many of the challenges we face today have ICT solutions which can ease the pain they cause," said Senator Ralph Recto during the opening ceremony.

He cited that in fighting crime, for instance, there's a need to launch a 9/11 hotline.

"If pizza delivery can be at the doorstep in 30 minutes, the police can do no less. The foundation of good policing is great ICT," he added.

The NICT Summit also aims to secure interest and support on ICT policy, according to DOST-ICTO.

Meanwhile, attendees can also visit exhibit booths showcasing the latest ICT products and applications.

QC opens emergency response facility

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

QUEZON CITY, June 27 (PIA)--Mayor Herbert M. Bautista recently led the soft launch of QC government’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which boasts of an integrated surveillance and emergency response system designed to improve not only the city’s crime watch and prevention mechanism but also that of the city’s response capabilities during disasters and other emergency situations and vehicular traffic monitoring.

The city’s emergency operations center, housed at the newly constructed QC Disaster Risk Reduction Management building at QC Hall compound, is equipped with high-end servers, networking and communication equipment and an integrated video wall. The center also boasts of an advanced automatic telephone switching system.

The city government poured in nearly Php 300 million for the acquisition and installation of state-of-the art equipment and technologies for QC’s new emergency response system, which will be fully operation by next month.

“What the city is having is an integrated, seamless and end-to-end operation emergency system, making it one of the country’s most advanced systems to date,” said Gen. Elmo San Diego, action officer of the QC Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council.

Part of the city’s new emergency response system will be the setting of an emergency telephone hotline for QC: that is 122

According to Chris Ledesma, representative of project contractor Green Energy, QC’s emergency response system features an underground fiber optic cable deployment on national roads, back up wireless communication network, high-definition surveillance cameras, computer-aided dispatch application system, LED display boards erected on major roads of the city and a 36 kw solar hybrid system, which acts as an emergency power supply for the city’s emergency operations center in cases of prolonged power outage during calamities.

A total of 243 units of high definition IP surveillance cameras with video analytics of face recognition, vehicle and crowd counting, license plate recognition, flood monitoring, video image enhancement shall be deployed in major intersections and primary hotspots all over the city.

So far, San Diego said, around 50 surveillance cameras have already been installed along QC’s major thoroughfares, including Quezon Boulevard, Timog Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue. Installations were also made around the QC Hall complex.

San Diego said the number of cameras could further increase since plans to cover schools and banks are also underway.

Aside from the soft launch of the city’s emergency operations center, the QC DRRMC will also be conducting simulation exercises relative to the city’s disaster preparedness capability.

104 NCR barangays pledge community-based disaster preparedness

(PNA), BNB/CLTC

MANILA, June 26 (PNA) -- The Department of the Interior and Local Government announced over the weekend that leaders from 104 barangays in 10 Metro Manila cities pledge to stand up for urban resilience by continuing and sharing community-based disaster risk reduction management (CBDRRM) taught to them through the agency's partnership with the Australian Aid (AusAID) and the Disaster Risk Reduction Network-Philippines (DRRNet-Phils).

The barangay officials signed their commitment to CBDRRM during the culminating activity of the technical assistance of AusAID to the DILG, through the contracted non-government organization DRRNet-Phils, in securing the safety of informal settler families (ISFs).

A part of the pledge read, “Ako’y isang mamamayang Pilipino, tumitindig tungo sa bayang ligtas; nakikiisa sa panawagan ng pagbabago nang may paninindigan at adhikaing makatao. Gagamitin ang karunungang taglay sa pagtaguyod ng pamayanang matibay; bukas-palad akong gagabay aagapay sa higit na nangangailangang tunay.”

Austere A. Panadero, DILG Undersecretary for Local Government, lauded the Informal Settler Families – Project Management Office (ISF-PMO) lodged at the DILG, the AusAID, and DRRNet-Phils for conducting CBDRRM workshops in the said barangays located in the eight major waterways in Metro Manila.

These waterways are Estero de Maypajo, Estero de Sunog Apog, Pasig River, Estero Tripa de Gallina, Tullahan River, San Juan River, Manggahan Floodway, and Maricabon Creek.

“Magtulungan po tayong muli para ipamahagi ang kaalaman ukol sa CBDRRM sa iba pang mga barangay sa buong bansa,” Panadero said during the program at the DILG Central Office in Quezon City.

He assured that disaster preparedness is one of the cornerstone programs of Secretary Mel Senen S. Sarmiento as well as the incoming Secretary, Ismael ‘Mike’ Sueno.

Meanwhile, AusAID Portfolio Manager Anne Orquiza responded that, “Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Louise Gorely hopes that with the AusAID assistance, communities and families in these vulnerable barangays would now be more informed and more capable in disaster preparedness.”

A message of hope was also imparted by Maria Lourdes L. Agustin, Director of the DILG National Capital Region, “Sa darating na mga kalamidad, sana’y mga kwento ng kahandaan, pagharap, pagbangon at pagsulong ang ating ibabahagi sa halip na mga kwento ng takot at hirap ang ating maririnig.”

There were 11 flood simulation drills conducted in selected barangays and a series of 6-day CBDDRM workshops benefiting 115 barangays throughout the 10 cities of Metro Manila from June 2013 to May 2015.

Early warning devices for flood preparedness were provided to all of the covered barangays in the cities of Manila, Makati, Mandaluyong, Quezon, Pasig, Pasay, Caloocan, Valenzuela, San Juan, and Malabon.

As a result of the trainings, beneficiary barangays have started to organize and enhance their Barangay DRRM Plans.

Meanwhile, select barangays that have completed the CBDRRM workshops were given a “E-Learning Pack” which is a repository of all knowledge products generated during the CBDRRM activities.

Even though the technical assistance on CBDRRM came to a close, there shall be continuity in the information and awareness drive through the project’s “E-Learning Pack” which contained a tool kit or a digital interactive library of knowledge designed to provide local government units (LGUs) with easy-to-understand processes, steps, strategies in CBDRRM.

QC holds mega job fair

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

QUEZON CITY, June 25 (PIA)--Hundreds of job applicants trooped to the QC MEGA JOB FAIR held yesterday, June 24, at the QC Hall covered walk.

The activity was undertaken through the QC Public Employment Service Office (QC PESO), in coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment – QC Field Office (DOLE-NCR-QCFO), QC Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (QC-TIPC) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

The Job Fair, is part of the city government’s continuing efforts to provide employment to its residents and enhance government drive for inclusive growth.

According to QC PESO, around 41 local employers and 5 agencies for overseas employment participated in the job fair.

Military hosts Olympic Day Celebration Friday

(PNA), JMC/PFN

MANILA, June 24 (PNA) -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) formally hosted this year's Olympic Day Celebration at its headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Friday.

Olympic Day Celebration is an annual worldwide activity of International Olympic Committee adopted locally and is a day to promote a healthy and active lifestyle.

The celebrations were spearheaded by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), AFP public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato said.

A Solidarity Run, highlighting close cooperation between the military and sport agencies, was held at 5:30 a.m. at GHQ Parade Grounds.

Detoyato said an estimated 1,500 officers and enlisted personnel joined national athletes in the fun run.

Acting AFP chief Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda and POC president Jose Cojuangco, PSC representatives and other stakeholders were also present.

DSWD, partners to present results of study on Pantawid Pamilya’s impact on economy

(DSWD)

QUEZON CITY, June 23 -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) with the Ateneo School of Government (ASoG) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is set to hold a public forum to present the results of the research study entitled, “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program: Stimulus to Local Economic Growth?” today at 2:00 – 4:00 pm at the Ateneo de Manila University, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City.

Led by the study consultant, Dr. Lourdes S. Adriano, the research study’s main objective is to determine qualitatively and quantitatively the nature, form, and degree of the economic impact of the Pantawid Pamilya cash grant expenditures on the local economy. Its overarching thesis is that the provision of regular and predictable cash grants to poor households in the context of malfunctioning or nonexistent markets can generate positive productive and economic impacts.

The presentation of the results of study will be divided into five topics as follows:

Household Economy

Economic Sector: Bicol Rice Value Chain

Economic Sector: Flea Market Case Study

Regional and Macro Perspective

Integration of Recommendations

Impact evaluation studies on Pantawid Pamilya showed evidence of the program’s effectiveness in achieving education and health outcomes. There are also indications of potential positive spillover effects of the program to the local economy particularly, in the areas of work motivation, labor allocation, savings, and access to credit. It has been observed that the huge transfer of cash to the poor and poor areas of the country has produced unintended economic impacts or the “ripple effects” both at the household and local economies.

With the scaled up implementation of CCT, the need to understand these unintended impacts on attaining inclusive growth have become increasingly important to government decision makers and planners. A greater understanding of these economic and productive impacts of CCT can contribute to broadening the policy menu for the inclusive growth strategy.

“Pantawid Pamilya has made significant gains in the last six years, and I am confident that the next administration will continue the program. Research studies, such as this, will also serve as guide to further improve the program,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said.

QC Services are now ISO-certified

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

QUEZON CITY, June 20 (PIA)--Fifteen departments of the Quezon City Government have now passed the quality standards demanded by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), an independent, nongovernment organization which is recognized as the world's largest developer of voluntary international standards.

The standards help operating units increase productivity while minimizing errors and waste. Compliance with these standards means that the city's services conform to minimum standards set for such services internationally.

Mayor Herbert Bautista said the ISO certificates will further boost the efforts of the city government to provide better and more efficient service to QC residents.

The certificate was given after an “assessment of the processes and activities demonstrated evidence that the organization has adhered to the legal and regulatory obligations and contractual agreements by applying best-practices of Quality Management System ISO 9001:2008, with the aim to protect communities and consumers.”

The 15 departments and offices which received ISO certification include the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO), Accounting Department, Assessor's Office, City Budget Department, Civil Registry office, General Services Department, Personnel Department, City Planning Office, City Treasurers office, City Tourism Affairs Office, Department of Building Official, Liquor Licensing and Regulatory Board, Market Development Administration Department, City Administrator's office and the General Procurement office.

A quality management system (QMS) is a set of policies, processes and procedures required for planning and execution (production/development/service) in the core business area of an organization. (i.e. areas that can impact the organization's ability to meet customer requirements.) ISO 9001:2008 is the Quality Management System adopted by QC-LGU.

It means that these 15 departments have developed detailed, understandable and workable instructions which define both expectations and actions to achieve stated quality goals.

193 QC cops attend workshop on disaster response conducted by foreign volunteers

By Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan [(PNA), RMA/CLTC]]

MANILA, June 22 (PNA) -- Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Director Chief Supt. Edgardo Tinio said on Wednesday that 193 personnel of QCPD Public Safety Battalion, Police Stations and other units attended a seminar on disaster response conducted by the International Scientology Volunteer Ministry of Southeast Asia held in Camp Tomas Karingal, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City.

Tinio said that the seminar/workshop aimed to impart to the participants the knowledge and skills in assisting victims of trauma, shock illness as first responders in any untoward incidents,

The workshop was facilitated by volunteers from International Scientology Ministry of Southeast Asia, an international response organization that also trains personnel for free.

They are Volunteer Ministers who help fellowmen on a voluntary basis by restoring purpose, truth and spiritual values to the lives of others. Pacific Director Sir Damian Nicholl-Caddell leads the Scientology Volunteer Ministers.

The seminar gave emphasis on hands-on application and lots of practice and drills, so that in this way there is a certainty in real life application.

The QCPD director said that the seminar/workshop was very useful especially in times of natural disasters such as earthquake, flood, and fire which could bring severe damages to lives and properties.

As first responders, the knowledge and skills that the participants acquired from this training would certainly help them boost their confidence to help victims of disasters.

Tinio expressed his gratitude to the Scientology Volunteer Ministers in reaching out to the QCPD for the said endeavor.

DA-BFAR nears completion of National Fisheries Complex

By Cielito M. Reganit [(PNA), SCS/CMR]

MANILA (PNA) -- The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) signaled the final phase of the construction of the main and annex buildings of the National Fisheries Complex with a topping out ceremony held on Monday in Quezon City for the future headquarters of BFAR.

“Topping out” is a builder’s tradition when the last beam is placed on top of the structure.

The two structures, whose construction began in June 2015, sit on a 10,751-square meter lot inside the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) compound along Visayas Ave. in Barangay Vasra, Quezon City.

Agriculture Undersecretary for Fisheries and BFAR National Director Asis Perez said the construction of the new headquarters is a testimony of the agency’s enduring commitment to further enhance BFAR’s services to the fisheries sector.

“Once completed, the new structures and facilities would bring about further improvement to our front line services not only for our fisheries stakeholders but also to the general public as well,” he said.

“We target the completion of the Main and Annex buildings before December this year and expect the Fisheries Complex to be fully operational by 2017,” Perez said.

The main building will house both BFAR and the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA) while the annex building will be occupied by the general services unit, dormitories and other agency offices.

Besides the main and annex buildings, two other structures are being constructed inside the complex site.

In April this year, BFAR held a groundbreaking ceremony for two five-storey structures for the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute’s (NFRDI) research facilities and laboratories.

These include facilities for Oceanography and Fish Biology studies; Seafood Safety and Quality; and Fish and Fish Product Development and Processing, among others.

A library and knowledge management center will also be put up as a repository of fisheries researches and scientific information.

The buildings were all designed by Palafox Associates, an internationally-acclaimed Filipino firm known for innovative and sustainable architecture.

Meanwhile, the Agriculture official said that BFAR personnel are very proud and happy with the construction of the complex.

“After 69 years, BFAR will finally have a home of its own. The entire BFAR family is both pleased and excited to see that their home is nearing completion,” Perez said.

QC Services are now ISO-certified

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

QUEZON CITY, June 20 (PIA)--Fifteen departments of the Quezon City Government have now passed the quality standards demanded by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), an independent, nongovernment organization which is recognized as the world's largest developer of voluntary international standards.

The standards help operating units increase productivity while minimizing errors and waste. Compliance with these standards means that the city's services conform to minimum standards set for such services internationally.

Mayor Herbert Bautista said the ISO certificates will further boost the efforts of the city government to provide better and more efficient service to QC residents.

The certificate was given after an “assessment of the processes and activities demonstrated evidence that the organization has adhered to the legal and regulatory obligations and contractual agreements by applying best-practices of Quality Management System ISO 9001:2008, with the aim to protect communities and consumers.”

The 15 departments and offices which received ISO certification include the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO), Accounting Department, Assessor's Office, City Budget Department, Civil Registry office, General Services Department, Personnel Department, City Planning Office, City Treasurers office, City Tourism Affairs Office, Department of Building Official, Liquor Licensing and Regulatory Board, Market Development Administration Department, City Administrator's office and the General Procurement office.

A quality management system (QMS) is a set of policies, processes and procedures required for planning and execution (production/development/service) in the core business area of an organization. (i.e. areas that can impact the organization's ability to meet customer requirements.) ISO 9001:2008 is the Quality Management System adopted by QC-LGU.

It means that these 15 departments have developed detailed, understandable and workable instructions which define both expectations and actions to achieve stated quality goals.

MMDA, ADMU set to launch "Ateneo Shuttle Service Program"

By Christopher Lloyd T.Caliwan [(PNA), RMA/CLTC/SSC]

MANILA, June 19 (PNA) -- The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) will launch Tuesday a shuttle service program designed to reduce the number of vehicles plying along traffic gridlock Katipunan in Quezon City during school days.

MMDA will sign a Memorandum of Agreement with ADMU for the launching of the "Ateneo Shuttle Service Program" on Monday.

Atty. Cris Saruca, head of Traffic Discipline Office of MMDA, said on Sunday that the program aims to decongest traffic along Katipunan through lessening the number of private vehicles going to the ADMU campus.

"Bukas po ng umaga magpipirmahan po ang Ateneo De Manila University at ang MMDA regarding the Ateneo shuttle service program ililunsad po ito sa Tuesday ng umaga kung saan ang mga magaaral empleyado at mga guro ay ibaba na lang po sa tatlong transport hubs ito po ay sa Temple Drive, sa UP-Ayala technohub sa Commonwealth at sa SM Marikina ibababa po sila doon ng mga pribadong sasakyan nila at ito pong mga pasahero ay lululan na lang po sa mga bus na siyang magdadala sa kanila sa Ateneo," Saruca said during the weekly agency radio program.

He noted the Ateneo will provide shuttle service for the employees, students, teachers along the hubs that will drop them off in Katipunan.

The signing of MOA will be held at Makati City Room, Office of the Chairman, MMDA Main Bldg. EDSA cor. Orense St. Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati City.

Saruca also said MMDA would intensify the deployment of traffic constables and mobile assets who would impose no parking zone in front of La Salle Greenhills.

"Noong biyernes nagmeeting kami sa Manduluyong council kasama po ang pamunuan ng La salle-greenhills at Mandaluyong traffic at Barangay Wack-Wack at napagisipan po na ayusin yong traffic sa La Salle at immpose po ang no parking sa kalsada at sidewalk starting tomorrow maagang maaga nandon na mga tow trucks iimplement po yong no parking policy doon," he explained.

According to MMDA, once the school opens the volume of vehicles increases to 20 percent on particular rush hours starting at 5:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Maynilad sets P42B-capital expenditure for three years

(MAYNILAD/RJB/JEG/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY (PIA) – The Maynilad Water Services, Inc. has set a capital expenditure (CAPEX) target of about P42 billion for 2016 to 2018.

Maynilad President and CEO Ramoncito S. Fernandez said that the said amount will help accelerate the improvement and expansion of water and wastewater services for its customers.

“Through this three-year CAPEX program, we hope to ramp up our massive investments by accelerating the completion of new projects so we can meet our service obligations to our customers and the government,” Fernandez said.

According to Maynilad, some P21 billion will be spent for water projects, which include service expansion, management of water losses or Non-Revenue Water, operational support programs such as the upgrade of pumping stations, and the development of new water sources.

About P20 billion is also earmarked for Maynilad’s sewerage and sanitation program. This covers the construction of sewage treatment plants, laying of conveyance systems, acquisition of lots for new wastewater facilities, and maintenance of the existing wastewater infrastructure.

Funding for Maynilad’s infrastructure investments will come from local and international bank loans, and internally generated funds.

QCPD ‘tourist policemen’ culminates 5-day seminar

(PNA), FFC/CLTC

MANILA, June 17 (PNA) -- Sixty five policemen assigned with the Quezon City Police District’s Police Stations and Public Safety Battalion finished on Friday a five-day tourist police seminar at the Aloha Hotel, located in Roxas Blvd. Manila, QCPD District Director Chief Superintendent Edgardo Tinio said.

Tinio said that the seminar on Tourism Oriented Police for Community Order and Protection (TOPCOP) was conducted by the Department of Tourism (DOT) in partnership with the office of the Quezon City Tourism Department headed by its Officer-in-Charge Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte.

He said that the seminar aims at strengthening the relationship between the DOT and the PNP in order to provide a safe and secure environment for both local and foreign tourists, especially in Quezon City.

During the seminar, the establishment of a 24-hour tourist office in various tourist destinations with enhanced tourist police visibility were also recommended.

Present during the culmination program were Ms. Ma. Fe Santos, Head, Internal Affairs, DOT-NCR; Amado Dela Cruz Jr. of Quezon City Tourism Office; Police Senior Superintendent Clifton Empiso, NCRPO Acting Chief Directorial Staff; Police Senior Superintendent Roberto Alanas, NCRPO Chief, Regional Training and Education Division; and Police Senior Superintendent Crizaldo Nieves, Chief District Directorial Staff, QCPD.

Tinio told the participants the importance of tourists in the economy not only in Quezon City but also in the entire country, asking them to fully support tourism industry in the Philippines by providing quality public safety services for tourists.

He added that aside from the TOPCOP seminar, the participants will also undergo other similar tourism awareness seminars to further enhance their skills and knowledge.

QC to hold Mega Job Fair on June 24

(PNA), SCS/LSJ/EDS

MANILA, June 16 (PNA) -- The Quezon City government, through the QC Public Employment Service Office (QC PESO), will hold a Mega Job Fair on Friday, June 24, 2016.

It will be conducted in coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment–National Capital Region-QC Field Office (DOLE-NCR-QCFO), QC Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (QC-TIPC) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

The activity will be held at the Quezon City Hall Covered Walk, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., in support of the celebration of the 118th Philippine Independence anniversary last June 12.

Interested job seekers are advised to bring the following requirements:

• Bio-data/resume with recent ID picture (extra copies)

• School records/credentials

• SSS Number, NBI/Barangay clearance (if any)

For more details, call telephone 988-4242, loc. 8435/8436/8437.

The activity is part of the city government’s effort to provide employment to its residents and enhance government drive for inclusive growth.

“Job fairs are one of the more tested and effective strategies to provide employment to our people. The QC PESO is implementing various programs to provide jobs to our residents all year-round,” Alex Macabulos, head of the QC PESO Employment Section, said.

The QC PESO, led by its chief, Carlo Magno Abella, received the Hall of Fame Award during the 15th National PESO Congress held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City October last year.

The QC PESO bested 16 other cities in the National Capital Region, winning the Regional Best PESO Award seven times and National Best PESO Award for the Highly-Urbanized City Category. The National Best PESO Award is given during the National PESO Congress initiated by the Department of Labor and Employment and the PESO Association of Managers of the Philippines (PESOMAP).

The award is given to different categories from municipal, provincial level up to highly urbanized cities with the following criteria: CORE Functions of PESO from Referral and Replacement, Employment Guidance and Counseling and Labor Market Information. Points are also given to PESO Institutionalization, Implementation of DOLE Programs, Membership to Organizations providing employment services and recipients of award from prestigious institutions.

(Feature) Need for obesity prevention in childhood cited

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

MANILA, June 15 (PNA) -- Obesity, which can start at childhood, is something that should be prevented and the country's lawmakers should push and support legislation that will help fight it.

Health experts say obesity is a term used to describe somebody who is very overweight, with a lot of body fat.

"Kung nag-start from childhood, mas masama kasi based sa pag-aaral, pag ikaw ay obese sa first two to three years of life, malaki 'yung tsansa na maging obese ka rin pagtanda mo," said Dr. Lorna Abad, a noted pediatrician and endocrinologist, during a health forum organized by the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) on Tuesday at Annabel's Restaurant along Tomas Morato Ave., Quezon City.

Dr. Abad cited a study that says 80 percent of teenage boys and girls who are obese while between the ages of 10 and 15 years can be obese during their adulthood.

She explained that obesity can bring a lot of problems and affect the lives of obese children, including their psychological and physical health.

She also said that obesity can lead to development of diabetes.

"I have a patient, an eight-year-old child with type 2 diabetes already," the pediatrician admitted during the forum.

She said that obesity can also affect different internal organs of the body such as lungs, liver and gallbladder.

"Pwede rin silang magkaroon ng problema sa buto na akala mo ay sakang (bowlegged) sila," she added.

According to her, another effect of obesity can lead to poor performance in school.

"Nagiging object sila ng bullying at nagiging mababa 'yung self-esteem nila," she said.

In that aspect, she said it is very important to fully understand that there is a need to prevent and fight obesity and that lawmakers can help a lot as well as the parents.

Dr. Abad said that one of the best protective factors is ensuring that babies are breastfed.

"So talagang ine-encourage namin ang mga nanay na mag-breastfeed," she said.

She also said that the mother or caregiver of the baby should be aware that it is only during the sixth month age of the baby wherein the first solid food should be introduced.

She noted that parents who prepare the food should also guard their lifestyle-eating habits and food preferences because their children can imbibe them as they grow.

She said that schools also play a major role to which the lawmakers can focus about on how to regulate the foods being sold and served which will not promote obesity.

She also cited the need to ensure that schools have enough spaces wherein schoolchildren can be allowed to exercise.

In addition, parents should also learn to check the nutritional components of the kind of foods that they are preparing as "baon" or snacks of their children.

"Dapat may vegetables, fruits, grain, dairy products and avoid sugary products," the pediatrician said.

She said that recess snacks should not be more than 200 calories a day and the sodium content should be low.

Dr. Abad added that going back to basics such as eating of "kamote" and boiled bananas which provide good snacks for children.

She also noted that it is important that children are given enough time to eat their lunch, adding that the time spent by children in gadgets should not be more than two hours.

"We really want to address obesity with the school as one important partner and dapat magkaron ng legislation para ma-address lahat ng mga ito," Dr. Abad stressed.

PRC joins World Blood Donor Day celebration; urges public to keep donating blood

(PNA), SCS/PR-PRC/EDS

MANILA, June 14 (PNA) -- In celebration of World Blood Donor Day, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) urges the public to continue donating blood to help save lives.

PRC, together with the Department of Health and Philippine Blood Coordinating Council, held an Advocacy Walk Tuesday morning, June 14, at the Quezon City Circle to highlight the importance of blood donation in saving lives.

“For the Philippine Red Cross to continue helping save lives, we need blood donors to continue giving blood. Without voluntary blood donors, we will not be able to provide blood to the many patients suffering from life-threatening conditions,” said PRC Chairman Richard Gordon.

Transfusion of blood and blood products save millions of lives every year.

According to Gordon the PRC was able to provide 50 percent of the country’s blood needs in 2015.

Adequate blood supply can only be guaranteed through regular donations by voluntary unpaid donors, who have been identified as the safest source of blood and blood products.

“We aim to provide blood and blood products to more patients in need, which is why we are encouraging more people to voluntarily donate blood on a regular basis,” he said.

In the Philippines, 118 blood units are needed every hour, 2,832 units every day and one million blood units every year.

The Red Cross chairman also encouraged the Red Cross 143 volunteers in every barangay in the country to spearhead blood donation drives and to keep a directory of people in the community and their respective blood types.

“Having a readily accessible list of people in every community with their blood types will make it easy for us to identify who to tap to in case a particular blood type is needed in the community, particularly in times of disasters and emergencies,” Gordon said.

From Jan. 1 to June 13 this year, the PRC has served 132,249 blood units for a total of 90,087 patients.

PRC also supports indigent or charity patients through its Blood Samaritan Program. From Jan. 1 to June 13, 2016, PRC National Blood Services has served a total of 7,259 charity patients and 9,453 indigent patients.

World Blood Donor Day is being celebrated annually to raise awareness on the importance of blood donation and to recognize the importance and contribution of voluntary unpaid donors in improving health and saving lives.

This year’s campaign theme, “Blood connects us all,” focuses on recognizing and giving thanks to all blood donors, highlighting the concepts of sharing and connection that binds blood donors and patients.

8TH Clean Air Forum set on June 14-15

(PNA), SCS/PR/EBP

MANILA, June 13 (PNA) -- Government regulators and their partners for clean air are holding their annual forum from June 14 to 15 and will attempt to discuss ways to have effective airshed governing boards in responding to the air pollution problem.

Now on its eighth year, the Clean Air Forum was established to review on a yearly basis the progress of implementation of Republic Act No. 8749 or the Philippine Clean Air Act. This year’s theme is, “Effective Airshed Governing Board: A Response to Air Pollution.”

The event is a joint undertaking of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Partnership for Clean Air Inc. (PCA), a multi-sectoral coalition of clean air advocates whom the DENR has engaged since 2009 to advance the effective and meaningful implementation of the law. It will be held at the DENR Social Hall, DENR Compund, Visayas Ave., Diliman, Quezon City.

Expected to address the forum are DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones, Department of Transportation and Communications Assistant Secretary Sherielysse Bonifacio, Executive Director Bjarne of the Clean Air Asia.

The highlight of the two-day forum is the implementation of the NCR Airshed Governing Board Action Plan, which will tackle five different issues/concerns such as: Transport Modernization, Local Government Unit Concerns and Organizational Matters, Private Emission Testing Centers/ Smoke Belching, New Year Air Pollution, and Technologies for Clean Air.

The forum also aims to discuss at some detail the Transport Modernization Program, particularly in the areas of Euro 4 Emission Standards, Euro 4 Specifications for Fuels, and Euro 4 Specifications for New Vehicles.

Institutions such as the Environmental Management Bureau of the DENR, the Department of Energy, and the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. are giving presentations of their respective inputs in this regard.

DILG to LGUs: Participate in the 2nd "Pagyanig" Challenge

[(PNA), BNB/CLTC]

MANILA, June 12 (PNA) -- Outgoing Interior and Local Government Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento Sunday called on all local government units (LGUs) to participate in this year’s 2nd Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) dubbed 2nd #Pagyanig Challenge slated on June 22 at 9:00 a.m.

Sarmiento, who is also concurrent Vice Chair for Disaster Preparedness, said the second quarter drill ceremonial launching will take place at the General Headquarters (GHQ) Grandstand, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

This year’s NSED’s hashtag (#Pagyanig challenge) is aimed at developing a “culture of preparedness” among Filipinos by educating them on how to properly respond to calamities such as strong earthquakes.

The National Disaster Response Plan (NDRP) for Earthquake and Tsunami and OPLAN Metro Yakal PLUS, were prepared in collaboration with the different government agencies, civic and international humanitarian organizations including the DILG.

Most of the local government units (LGUs) in the country have their own operational plan and/or manual for disaster preparedness and response, and the drill will confirm the consistency between the NDRP and the manuals or unwritten protocols of each LGU or organization.

“We need to validate through periodic executions the related manuals to make sure that our plans are effective and efficient,” he said.

He acknowledged that the success of any drill depends on the effectiveness of information dissemination, and urged all sectors concerned to help amplify the information drive to encourage more participants to the nationwide drill, which was mandated by law to be conducted quarterly every year.

Sarmiento expressed optimism that with a unified communication plan to be carried out by the DILG alongside the NDRRMC like Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) and other national agencies, a higher public awareness and preparedness against earthquake hazards could be achieved.

Just like the 1st quarter NSED #Pagyanig Challenge, the focused was around government agencies and interested individuals who accepted the challenge of demonstrating the proper “duck, cover and hold” response through their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

In line with this, the DILG is reiterating the invitation posted by the OCD to private and public agencies, including those with social media accounts to take the #Pagyanig challenge by following these steps:

1. Like the OCD’s official facebook page: Civil Defense PH.

2. Show your commitment to the conduct of the 1st quarter NSED by posting a video saying: I accept the #Pagyanig Challenge or a photo with the fan sign ‘I accept the #Pagyanig Challenge.”

3. Tag us on Facebook and invite your friends to do the same.

4. On June 22, share with us your earthquake drill experience by posting your photo or video on social media doing the “duck, cover, hold with #Pagyanig hashtag.”

The DILG has been promoting the 2nd NSED on DILG’s official social media accounts and information is being cascaded to all its regional information officers for information dissemination.

PHL Blood Center, partners bring-out silent heroes among blood donors

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

MANILA, June 11 (PNA)--Different donors from all walks of life responded once more to the call to be "silent heroes" and set examples to others the good acts of donating blood to support the annual worldwide campaign to be part of saving lives.

This was seen in an annual activity, jointly conducted by the Department of Health's (DOH) Philippine Blood Center and TV 5 Alagang Kapatid Foundation in partnership with other organizations, held at Fisher Mall, Quezon Avenue, Quezon City.

The activity started at 7:00 a.m. and by 12 noon a total of 182 blood donors had unselfishly donated their blood with the intention to be "lifesavers".

According to Dr. Andres Bonifacio, assistant director of Philippine Blood Center, the event was not new at all, especially to the Fisher Mall management, because every year since 2012, they had been been doing the activity to celebrate World Blood Donor Day.

"This is an initiative from the World Health Organization and this is our contribution so that we can entice other people and simply give them the information that blood donation is very important and it should be part of their lives to donate altruistically for this is the only way for us to address sustainability so that nobody will die because of lack of blood," said Dr. Bonifacio in an interview with the Philippines News Agency.

Bonifacio said that blood donation is essential among patients needing blood transfusion such as "thallassemic patients".

"Thallassemic patients need red blood cells because their red red blood cells are being destroyed...That is why we are here to help them and support their needs as much as possible so that they will also enjoy quality lives," he said.

The blood donation event also featured another way of collecting blood or through "Apheresis donation".

The apheresis machine separates and collects the platelets or plasma and returns the rest body of the donor.

With this kind of collecting of platelets, donors can give either blood or specific blood components only.

He further said that as they performed blood donations, they are very careful in closely examining the donors to ensure also that blood donated are safe from other infectious diseases.

He said that said blood donations will undergo further testing to ensure that it is free from HIV and hepatitis.

Donors undergo evaluation as they participate in the blood donation wherein they are ask to answer some questions and then get interviewed in the process before they are determined if they are qualified to donate.

Most of the donors were staffs of Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, security guards, students, medical healthworkers and other mall-goers (walk-in) enticed by the campaign.

The theme of this year's World Blood Donor Day on June 14 is "Blood connects us all".

It focuses on thanking blood donors and highlights the dimension of "sharing" and "connection" between blood donors and patients.

The slogan "Share life, give blood" was adopted to draw attention to the roles that voluntary donation systems play in encouraging people to care for one another and promote community cohesion.

The campaign aims to highlight the key role that voluntary blood donation play for strengthening social cohesion and to encourage community participation towards a healthier society.

Bautista signs anti-catcalling ordinance

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

QUEZON CITY (PIA)--Mayor Herbert Bautista has signed into law the city’s amended gender and development code, making Quezon City the first local government in the country to penalize the street-level harassment of women.

The ordinance, also known as the anti-catcalling ordinance, imposes a fine and jail term for acts considered as sexual harassment of women in public spaces.

According Bautista, the primary objective of this law is to change the cultural mindset of males toward females while empowering women at the same time.

The law that also supplements other national laws that protect the interest of women such as the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 as well as harmonize with the provisions of Republic Act No. 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women.

Introduced by Councilor Lena Marie Juico, the ordinance was approved by the City Council on March 7 and signed into law by the Mayor on May 16.

Under the measure, light violations, such as cursing, catcalling, repeatedly asking the subject for a date or her contact number, or taunting a woman with constant talk about sex, which tend to ridicule, humiliate or embarrass the woman, are punishable with a fine of from Php 1,000 to P5,000 or a jail term of up to one month.

Stalking, making offensive mouth, hand or body gestures with the intention to demean or threaten a woman are considered medium violations with the same range of penalties.

Severe violations include acts such as unnecessary touching, pinching or brushing against the subject’s body; public masturbation or lascivious exhibition directed at a woman, and inserting any object into the genitalia, anus or mouth of any person whether of the same or opposite sex.

For a third offense, persons who commit light and medium violations will be jailed for 11 up to 30 days or asked to pay a fine of Php 5,000 while those who commit severe violations will be jailed from six months up to a year.

These penalties were the maximum allowed under the Local Government Code.

Female victims of sexual harassment may file a complaint in the women’s desk in police precincts. They can also seek help by calling the QCPD's Women and Child Protection hotline: 436-72-11.

To implement the city's measures on women and child protection in the community level, the city government has also operationalize Barangay Councils for the Protection of Children, and Violence against Women (VAW) desks.

The amendments to Quezon City’s gender and development code were introduced after a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), which chose Quezon City as one of the pilot areas for its Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces Initiative.

Philippine Blood Center and Alagang Kapatid Foundation to mark 'World Blood Donor’s Day' on June 11

(PNA), SCS/LSJ

MANILA, June 9 (PNA) -- The Philippine Blood Center of the Department of Health (DOH), in cooperation with TV5 Alagang Kapatid Foundation Inc., will celebrate the “World Blood Donor Day” at Fishermall in Quezon City on June 11 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. to encourage "sharing a part of oneself to others needing blood."

The annual activity highlights voluntary blood donation efforts to ensure adequate and safe supply of blood when needed at DOH health facilities conducting blood transfusion for daily life-saving medical and surgical procedures.

Another aim of the blood donation campaign is to illustrate that blood transfusion is needed among people who suffer severe accidents and for those with diseases that result to low platelet count.

“Giving blood is giving the most precious gift to another person: the gift that will extend the life of the sick while at the same time reinvigorating the giver. We do not lose blood when we give because as we donate blood, we refill our bodies with new and fresher blood,” said DOH Assistant Secretary for Health Regulations Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial.

“Our participation, no matter how small, will make a big difference,” said Paul Vincent C. Santos, a Registered Nurse (RN) from the Philippine Blood Center.

Santos said that since blood transfusion is a life-saving measure and millions of lives around the world have been saved each year because of access to safe blood transfusion, it is very important to continue the efforts towards creating safe sources of blood donation.

He added that safe adequate sources of blood are essential to also protect at the same time the recipients of the donated blood from incurring transmissible infections, including HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).

In view of this, certain screening procedure or measures are being followed to ensure safe blood donation wherein the donors are being screened or required to undergo medical evaluation and interviewed first prior to donation.

World Blood Donor Day is a campaign started by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2004 to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products, and to thank blood donors for their voluntary, life-saving gifts.

It is celebrated on the birthday of Karl Landsteiners, the first person to type blood, effectively making it safer for people to get the blood they need.

The campaign also aims to highlight stories of people whose lives have been saved through blood donation.

It also wants to motivate regular blood donors to continue giving blood, and encourage more people in good health who have never given blood to begin doing so, particularly young people so that they will realize that "all of us are connected and can extend care to others or promote community cohesion."

199 new classrooms ready for QC senior high school

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

QUEZON CITY, June 8 (PIA)--The Quezon City government announces the readiness of 199 classrooms to accommodate incoming senior high school students in the City this school year.

The project is part of the city’s comprehensive program to prepare for the needs of K+12.

The City Government said there are 551 more undergoing construction.

In District 1, 54 new classrooms were completed while 160 are undergoing construction; District 2: 18 new classrooms ready, 108 undergoing construction; District 3: 38 new classrooms ready, 55 undergoing construction; District 4: 28 new classrooms ready, 68 undergoing construction; District 5: 45 new classrooms ready, 65 undergoing construction; and District 6: 16 new classrooms ready, 95 undergoing construction.

In addition, two new school properties have been acquired in barangays Kaligayahan and Pasong Tamo for the construction of three (3) new buildings with 72 classrooms.

Three more properties are in the process of acquisition, with each able to accommodate one new building each with 12 to 20 classrooms.

Quezon City is one of the early implementers of the K+12 program.

Under the Senior High School Modelling Program ran from SY 2012 to 2016, the Don Alejandro Roces Sr. High School and Technology Center, 58 have graduated from such courses as: Bartending, Food and Beverage Services, Bread and Pastry Production, Automotive Servicing, Housekeeping with Front Office competencies, and Small Engine and Motorcycle Servicing.

Bloomberry may start construction of Quezon City hotel, casino in 2017

By VG Cabuag

BLOOMBERRY Resorts Corp., the operator of Solaire Resorts and Casino, may put up a casino and hotel in its Quezon City property, which will commence construction by the middle of next year, billionaire Enrique Razon Jr. said.

Razon, Bloomberry chairman, said the company is in the middle of putting up the plan that will see a mixed-use development rise in the 1.5-hectare property in Ayala Land’s Vertis North development, which sits right across TriNoma Mall.

“We’re already working on it now,” Razon said, adding that the project “will have to go through the regulatory process.”

Bloomberry in October last year said it is acquiring the property from the National Housing Authority for P1.98 billion, or at P126,142 per square meter, using its unit Sureste Properties Inc.

Bloomberry said Sureste will develop the property into a mixed-use development, “in accordance with the Vertis North master plan, and subject to required regulatory and local government approvals.”

Razon said the project’s gaming component is tied to Bloomberry’s Solaire casino license, which allows for two separate gaming operations. The Vertis North will be more of the mass-gaming operation, Razon said. “There’s a market there that doesn’t have easy access to this [Solaire] area,” he said.

Solaire is one of the four big casinos in Entertainment City in Parañaque. Razon said part of the mixed-use concept would be a hotel component that will complement Ayala Land’s own hotel project called Seda.

A hotel is a major component before a casino is put up.

Bloomberry, meanwhile, remains optimistic on the prospects of the company for the year, as things are “looking OK.”

“Our experience with City of Dreams Manila is we still had higher revenue even after they opened so hopefully, the same thing happens,” Razon said.

Bloomberry’s outlook doesn’t change even with Kazuo Okada’s Tiger Resort is set to open its own gaming complex in the Entertainment City by the end of the year.

The company closed 2015 with losses of P3.38 billion, a reversal from a P4.07-billion profit the prior year.

Consolidated revenues were at P34.36 billion, up 7 percent from last year’s P31.11 billion.

The figure also includes a P998-million loss from Bloomberry’s Korea operation. Bloomberry operates the Jeju Sun Hotel and Casino in Jeju Island in South Korea.

Jeju Sun Hotel and Casino was acquired in May 2015 with the casino closed for nearly six months last year to make way for the extensive renovation and expansion of its casino gaming floor.

DENR spearheads Environment Month celebration

By Claro A. Lanipa (ALT/CAL/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur)

PAGADIAN CITY, 7 June (PIA) – The month of June has been declared Philippine Environment Month by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 237 signed in 1998 by then President Corazon C. Aquino, with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as primary focal agency, implementing different activities.

This year’s theme is “Go Wild for Life, Combat Biodiversity Loss #GreenEnvironmentGawingForever.”

“We celebrate Environment Month this year with a renewed and strengthened conviction to care for the land we live on, the air we breathe, and the water which gives us life. More than any time in this planet’s history, it is now that we must put our acts together to combat increasing threats to our ecosystem,” DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje said in a press statement.

Meanwhile, DENR-IX kicked off the celebration in Lake Maragang Rainforest Park, Mt. Timolan Protected Landscape (MTPL), a declared protected area by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 354 signed on August 14, 2000 pursuant to Republic Act No. 7586, also known as the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act of 1992.

Regional Director Arleigh J. Adorable said, “the establishment of the NIPAS is primarily aimed to combat biodiversity loss and Mount Timolan is a perfect venue to launch the celebration of the Environment Month.”

The Philippines is part of the 18 “mega-diverse” countries in the world, and considered as a biodiversity hotspot. It also contains two-thirds of the earth’s biodiversity.

“Combating biodiversity loss and being an advocate of wildlife protection starts with being vigilant. Report any illegal trade activities, any plant or animal species that are in the verge of abuse, maltreatment, or any illegal activities being held in protected areas to agencies like the DENR, World Wildlife Fund and to local government units,” the DENR official urged everyone.

Other environmental celebrations being observed in the month of June are as follows: June 5 – World Environment Day; June 4-10 Philippine Eagle Week; June 8 - World Ocean Day; June 9 - Coral Triangle Day; June 17 - World Day to Combat Desertification; and National Arbor Day on June 25.

DOLE teams up with DA to provide agri training to OFWs

(DOLE/RJB/SDL/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY, June 6 (PIA)--Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families should take advantage of the undertakings provided by the government to make the most of their savings and investments. One such opportunity is venturing into agricultural businesses.

Executive Director Chona Mantilla of the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) said this during the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) between the NRCO and Agricultural Training Institute.

“We are optimistic that this partnership with ATI, our OFWs and their families who have parcel of lands and savings to invest would be encouraged to venture into agri-business opportunities,” said Mantilla after she signed the MOU with ATI Director Asterio P. Saliot.

Under the partnership, NRCO and ATI will jointly implement the “Byaheng Agripreneur”, an agriculture and business development project for OFW entrepreneurs or would-be entrepreneurs and their families, which provide opportunities for exposure visits, experiential learning, and skill enhancement training, specifically in agricultural business.

The partnership also aims to encourage OFWs and their families to venture into productive and sustainable undertakings on agricultural businesses.

“ATI will fully support the endeavour of DOLE and hopefully will also be part to improve the livelihood and the status of OFWs,” Saliot said, adding, “in the future, program will convince OFWs to stay in the country together with their families”.

ATI is the lead agency for extension of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the overall manager of agriculture and fisheries training and extension of the Philippines.

The NRCO, on the other hand, is mandated to develop, promote and implement a national agenda on sustainable return and reintegration to address the multi-faceted reintegration needs of returning OFWs and their families, including the development of their hometowns and communities.

Solon pushes for National Scholarship Program in Nuclear Science and Technology

(PNA), SCS/PR/PJN

MANILA, June 5 (PNA) -- A Quezon City lawmaker is persistent that the country must keep abreast with the fast-phased global developments in nuclear science and technology.

“One basic step is youth education through the establishment of a national scholarship program for students in Nuclear Science and Nuclear Engineering,” reelected Quezon City 5th District Rep. Alfredo D. Vargas III, author of House Bill No. 6464, said.

HB 6464, entitled “An Act Establishing a National Scholarship Program for Students in Nuclear Science and Nuclear Engineering,” is expected to be reintroduced come 17th Congress in July.

The proposed “Nuclear Science and Nuclear Engineering Scholarship Act” will heighten the State’s investment in quality youth education, he explained.

“We want to motivate and encourage the youth to be involved in Nuclear Science and Engineering by providing scholarship grants to deserving Filipino youth,” the bill's author said.

Vargas said that developments in science and technology greatly influence the way people live, connect and communicate, bringing about significant effects on the country’s economic development.

“Science and technology are key drivers or catalysts towards national development because the evolutions in these fields promote economic advances, improvements in health systems, education and infrastructure,” he added.

He noted that countries like the United States and Japan ensure the flow of needed investments on nuclear science and engineering because, as evidenced by their growth, technological innovations lead to efficiency and economic prosperity.

The scholarship program shall be created and spearheaded by the Department of Science and Technology, in coordination with such government agencies and institutions involved in fostering the development of nuclear science and engineering in the country.

Section 5 of HB 6464 provides: “An eligible undergraduate institution may receive a grant upon proper application to the Secretary of the DOST. The application shall include a cost effective proposal on how the scholarship grant shall be expended to attain the objective of fostering the development of nuclear science and nuclear engineering in the country, including but not limited to proposed scholars willing and capable to undertake comprehensive training on nuclear science and technology as well as the institutions, locally and abroad, which will provide such training.”

Under the bill, the scholarship program shall last for four years from the effectivity of the Act and, thereafter, it shall be evaluated according to criteria and measures to be determined by the DOST.

Likewise, the DOST shall transmit a progress report to Congress every year for the duration of the program.

The funding requirements shall be appropriated from the National Treasury, the bill provides.

US, PH thought leaders to hold forum on EDCA

(RAM)

Influential figures from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of National Defense will lead a forum on the regional impact of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) next week.

Analysts from United States, Australia and Japan will also join the forum that will be held at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Tuesday, June 7, a media advisory from the defense department said.

“The newly approved Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement will be the jump-off point for discussion, to look at the progress in its implementation and how it has impacted cooperation with others in the region,” it said.

Speakers in the forum are Former Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert del Rosario, Undersecretary for Defense Policy Pio Lorenzo Batino, Assistant Secretary for American Affairs (DFA) Maria Andrelita Austria, Convener of the National Security and East Asian Affairs Program Renato de Castro.

Insights from Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative Director Gregory Poling, Center for Strategic and International Studies fellow Zachary Cooper, Australian Strategic Policy Institute Senior Analyst Lisa Sharland, and Katsuyuku Yakushiji of Tokyo University will also be given.

The forum is held amid brewing sea disputes in the South China Sea.

“The challenge, therefore, to the new leadership in Manila and in the region will be to manage tensions and channel public energies toward areas of cooperation,” the advisory said.

The dialogue will be attended by representatives from government agencies, the diplomatic corps, academic and analysts and business community.

The EDCA, a military agreement between the Philippines and United States intended to boost their alliance, was signed in 2014. Its legality was questioned, delaying its implementation, but it was upheld constitutional by the Supreme Court early this year.

READ: Supreme Court upholds legality of Edca

The US says EDCA is strengthening its maritime role in the South China Sea, as well as in areas of humanitarian assistance and disaster response, joint training, among other things.

QC steps up declogging of waterways

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

QUEZON CITY, June 3 (PIA)--To minimize flash floods this rainy season, the Quezon City government has stepped up declogging of the city’s waterways, especially rivers, creeks and big canals.

City engineer Joselito Cabungcal led the conduct of a massive clean-up drive in the city’s more than 20 waterways, a program which started as early as April 2016.

To date, the clean-up drive along rivers, creeks and big canals in the six districts of QC is almost 90 percent done, according to Cabungcal.

The city engineering department also undertook massive drainage declogging operations along major city streets such as Manga in Barangay Katipunan and Barangay San Antonio, Baler and Sison Drive in Barangay Bungad; West Riverside in Barangay Del Monte; Calamba in Barangay Salvacion and Barangay San Isidro; Pag-Asa, Gen. Mascardo and Gen. Macabulos, all in Barangay Bagong Silangan; De Gloria in Barangay Batasan Hills, Ideal Subdivision in Barangay Commonwealth; Aurora Boulevard in Barangay Silangan and Manga, Calderon, Malong and Aguinaldo, all in Barangay Marilag; Jasmin, Asucena, Waling Waling in Barangay Roxas, 3rd Avenue and Mariposa in Barangay Bagong Lipunan ng Crame; Horseshoe in Barangay Horseshoe and Barangay Valencia; Lantana in Barangay Immaculate Concepcion; Jordan Plains I and III, Villa Verde in Barangay Sta. Monica; Cenacle Drive in Barangay Culiat, Heminihilda in Barangay Pasong Tamo; Cypress in Barangay Tandang Sora; Mozart in Barangay Sauyo; and Piko in Barangay Talipapa.

Among the creeks already declogged of water debris are Katipunan/ San Antonio Creek, Baler Creek, West Riverside Creek, Sapang Malamok, Gen. Mascardo Creek, De Gloria Creek, Ideal Subdivision Creek, Buaya Creek, Supa Creek, Quince Creek, Asucena /Waling-Waling Creek, Bagong Lipunan ng Crame Creek, Horseshoe/Valencia Creek, Immacualate Concepcion Creek, Jordan Plains Creek, Villa Verde Creek, Crossing Cenacle Drive, Crossing Herminihilda, Crossing Cypress, Crossing Mozart and Crossing Piko.

Cabungcal added that the city engineering also set-up a monitoring system to immediately determine areas or streets that will be flooded once heavy rains pour.

The city government has also operationalized a drainage improvement plan to expand the capacity drainage networks going to Mariblo Creek, Matalahib Creek, Culiat River, San Francisco River, Tangue Creek, Balaba Creek, Bayan Creek, Katipunan Creek, Dario Creek, and Pasong Tamo Creek, all in District I.

In district II, the drainage improvement plan covers Tullahan river, which runs through North Fairview, Sta. Lucia, Sta. Monica, Gulod, Nagkaisang Nayon and San Bartolome.

The plan in district III will be implemented at Barangays East Kamias and Tagumpay, while in District IV, the area coverage will include Campupot creek going to San Juan river, Aurora Boulevard bridge and Lagarian creek.

Member-borrowers flock to SSS to apply for loan restructuring

(PNA), RMA/PR-SSS/EDS

MANILA (PNA) -- Shortly after announcing the launch of its Loan Restructuring Program (LRP) on April 28, the Social Security System (SSS) has received 20,953 LRP applications from calamity-stricken borrowers all over the country who want to settle their overdue short-term SSS loans, preserve the value of their future benefits, and regain their good SSS standing.

SSS Diliman Branch, which is adjacent to the SSS main office along East Avenue in Quezon City, has accepted 685 applications within a span of two weeks from members and future pensioners with past due loans. Among them are Judith D. Ferranco (at the counter, right), a voluntary member from San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan, who immediately submitted her application on May 4 after watching SSS’ announcement on television.

Ferranco recalled that she applied for SSS salary loan before the onset of Tropical Storm Ondoy in 2009. Upon validation, records showed that her loan principal and interest totaled P9,100 while her loan penalties were nearly P5,700. Ferranco decided to settle her overdue loan principal and interest within an installment payment term of 12 months, with a restructured monthly amortization of about P770. The SSS will waive her loan penalties once Ferranco has fully paid her restructured loan.

LRP is open to member-borrowers with past due loans for at least six months as of the first day of the restructuring period and who reside or work in a calamity area as declared by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council or the national government. The LRP availment period will end on April 27, 2017.

Interested member-borrowers may submit their LRP application form and supporting documents at the nearest SSS branch. Members whose date of contingency for death, disability or retirement (DDR) falls on or before the last day of the availment period and filing of the benefit claim is within the LRP availment period are qualified for loan restructuring. They are advised to first confirm their eligibility for DDR benefits at the DDR Claims Counter before filing their application at the LRP Counter in any SSS branch.

DAR teams up with religious,business to uplift farmers’ lives

(DAR/RJB/SDL/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY (PIA)--The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Catholic Relief Service (CRS) and Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) to facilitate the farmers’ market linkages with small, medium and large companies.

PBSP Livelihood and Enterprise Development Program Director Caroline Pedrosa said the business program dubbed as “Agro-enterprise Development Convergence” aims to enhance the DAR-CRS’ existing LinkSFarM project by providing better access and link to corporate markets.

LinkSFarm or Linking Smallholder Farmers to the Market organizes farmers into barangay-based small groups and are assisted to access greater value in the market chain through coordinated production program and collective marketing of their products. The project is being implemented in 10 regions, 21 provinces and in 31 project sites covering a total of 45 organizations.

The partnership of DAR, CRS and PBSP, particularly in Pampanga, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija, will focus on capacity-building, access to market, business development services and credit, and other relevant support interventions.

PBSP Executive Director Rafael Lopa said that the initial effort between DAR, CRS and PBSP opened the avenue for Hacienda Luisita farmers to be potential suppliers for NutriAsia, a member-company of the PBSP.

“For years, PBSP continuously find avenues to help our people. We deliver assistance and help them engage in business to become self-reliant,” Lopa said.

DAR Secretary Virgilio delos Reyes said that this project is very important to sustain the farmers’ livelihood. “These three agencies will be instrumental to the farmers in developing their business skills,” he added.

Farmer-beneficiary Joel Domingo said the government’s intervention in their farming activities is a big help. Their assistance, technologies and trainings, has greatly improved their productions.

“I am hoping that other farmers in neighboring barangays will emulate us in taking the government’s assistance seriously,” Domingo said.

CRS was founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States to serve World War II survivors in Europe. Its mission is to assist impoverished and disadvantaged people overseas, working in the spirit of Catholic social teaching to promote the sacredness of human life and the dignity of the human person. PBSP, on the other hand, leads a consortium of corporations in the advocacy and practice of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate citizenship.