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Monday, January 19, 2009

Aklan PESO report: more females deployed overseas than males in 2008

Kalibo, Aklan -- More women from Aklan were deployed for work overseas last year than men, according to a report of the Provincial Employment Service Office (PESO) here.

The 2008 PESO Accomplishment Report, which was released by Manager Vivian Ruiz Solano, listed a total of 84 females who were deployed starting January 1 to December 15 last year to various countries to work as domestic helpers, factory workers and caretakers. On the other hand, only 3 males managed to find work abroad last year, as recorded by PESO.

The figures only include those who were assisted by PESO-Aklan to get employment abroad through different legal recruitment agencies which sought the coordination/assistance of the Provincial Government of Aklan through the PESO.

These recruitment agencies which regularly seek Aklanons for work abroad include Active Works Inc., which sent 15 females to work as domestic helpers/household service providers in Hongkong; Greenfields Int'l Manpower Services, Inc., 5 domestic helpers to Singapore, Hongkong and Malaysia; Hongkong Fil Company, 12 domestic helpers to Hongkong; JS Contractor, Inc. 15 factory workers and caretakers to Taiwan; Morthy Int'l Recruitment Services, 15 domestic workers, Hongkong; R.V. Personnels, Inc., 2 male welders to Saudi Arabia; STD Overseas Manpower Services, Inc. 4 female and 1 male domestic helpers, Hongkong; and Zontar Manpower Services, Inc., 7 domestic helpers to Kuwait and Singapore.

In 2008, a total of 5,287 clients were served by PESO-Aklan for various services like job applications for local and overseas deployment, complaints to OWWA on OFW matters, SPES payments, immigration and visa inquiries.

The PESO report also showed that more females in the province were able to find employment than males. Last year, 495 males were able to find employment in various business/service establishments here, while females numbered 530. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

DSWD turns over P7 million ESA "Frank" victims of 3 Aklan towns

Kalibo, Aklan – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recently turned over a total of P7,530,000 to 753 beneficiaries under the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) program of the government for families who totally lost their homes to Typhoon Frank last year.

DSWD Regional Director Teresita Rosales came all the way from Iloilo to distribute the checks to beneficiaries at P10,000.00 each. She and her staff also came to Madalag, Aklan to launch the town's Food For School program.

The assistance given was under Category A. Beneficiaries under Category B and C are yet to receive their assistance at P7,500.00 and P5,000 respectively.

Recipients of the latest ESA are from the towns of Banga, New Washington and Madalag.

Typhoon victims of Banga coming from 17 barangays numbered 200. New Washington had 263 beneficiaries coming from 3 barangays while Madalag had 290 from 25 barangays.

Rosales said that the DSWD has assisted a total of 1,870 typhoon victims from Aklan under the ESA program amounting to P18,700,000.

She said that the DSWD is still processing the papers of other beneficiaries, and expressed the hope that the Paglaum Fund for Panay will be released soon.

Director Rosales also thanked Governor Marquez and Aklan's local chief executives for working together with the DSWD as partners in helping the people. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

DSWD distributes P.7 M to 5 Aklan SKAs

Kalibo, Aklan -- Five Self Employment Assistance (SEA) Kaunlaran associations in Aklan recently received a total of P700,000.00 in checks from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) at a turn-over ceremony at the guest house of the Provincial Capitol here.

The checks were brought to Aklan by DSWD 6 Regional Director Teresita Rosales and her staff. The turn-over, held at the conference room of the Provincial Guest House, was spearheaded by Director Rosales and Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez.

Beneficiaries came from the towns of Buruanga, Malay and Ibajay. Mayors Lulu Miraflores of Ibajay and Quezon Labindao of Buruanga came with their beneficiaries, while Mayor Ciceron Cawaling of Malay sent a representative.

Buruanga has two groups of beneficiaries – the Alegria Port SKA, which received P100,000 and Buruanga SKA, P150,000. Ibajay has two groups too – the Colong-Colong SKA which received P150,000.00; and Polo Vendors SKA, with P150,000.00.

Manoc-manoc Batch III of Malay, Aklan, on the other hand, received P150,000.00.

Director Rosales said the fund is still a part of DSWD's augmentation/assistance to victims of typhoon Senyang which destroyed the livelihood of the people in the three municipalities more than two years ago.

Rosales said economic development is the provincial and municipal leaders' priority and they took part in identifying groups that should benefit from the seed fund.

"Aklan's SEA-K associations are very successful because majority of them paid back their borrowed capital," Rosales said.

The SEA-K seed fund is payable for two years with no interest to be paid to the DSWD.

The fund distributed to Aklan beneficiaries, according to Rosales, no longer came from the national government but part of the payments made by associations and made as a revolving fund of the department.

She enjoined the SKAs to use the fund well, saying the scheme will aid them in becoming entrepreneurs where they can source their livelihood.

For his part, Gov. Marquez welcomed the assistance of the DSWD to the SKAs.

"Even if the fund is part of the government's augmentation for victims of Typhoon Senyang which struck Aklan more than two years ago, the release of the checks only shows that the government has not forgotten us. We know that the DSWD not only takes care of our concerns here in Aklan but those of the whole country. The DSWD also takes care of evacuees in Mindanao due to the MILF conflict with the government, and there are more evacuees there now than the victims of Typhoon Frank in Aklan," Marquez said.

Mayor Lulu Miraflores of Ibajay assured the DSWD that her office will monitor how the SKAs in her municipality used the fund for their livelihood venture, while Mayor Labindao of Buruanga vouched for the prompt payment of his town's SKAs to the DSWD.

Dir. Rosales' party also came to distribute Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) checks in Madalag and launch the Food For School program in the municipality. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

NFA still buying palay with additional fertilizer incentive from Aklan farmers

Linabuan Sur, Banga, Aklan -- Aklan farmers can still sell their palay produce to the National Food Authority (NFA) here at P17 per kilogram. And, if these farmers would be able to sell 50 bags to the NFA with 2,500 equivalent net weight in one transaction, these farmers will still be able to get P1,800.00 fertilizer incentive.

These farmers, however, have only until January 31 of this year to sell their clean and dry palay under the scheme, according to Judith Tindog, Information Officer II of NFA-Aklan, at the radio program over IBC-DYRG here hosted by the Philippine Information Agency.

Tindog also reminded Aklan farmers that the food agency is regularly going around the province to buy the farmers' palay produce to save their time and effort, instead of bringing their palay to the NFA warehouse in Banga.

"Those who will be able to sell palay with 2,500 equivalent net weight in their respective areas will get their P1,800.00 fertilizer incentive right away, besides their palay sales," Tindog said.

For his part, NFA-Aklan Provincial Manager Marianito Bejemino reminded that only farmers holding farmer's passbook/master passbook could avail of additional incentive of P1,800.00. He also reminded farmers to revalidate their farmer's/master passbook each cropping season. For those who have no passbooks still, they could go to NFA-Aklan office so they will be given application forms.

NFA-Aklan assures that processing of the passbooks will be fast and easy.

Meanwhile, NFA Administrator Jessup P. Navarro said the NFA performed well last year both in domestic palay procurement and rice distribution that benefited its major stakeholders particularly palay farmers and consumers notably the poor.

Under the NFA's palay procurement scheme with fertilizer incentive, the NFA was able to pay farmers nationwide the amount of about P12 billion which the government has ploughed back to the agricultural sector to help spur the economy.

Navarro said that as of the end of the year, the volume of rice distributed by the food agency reached 39.8 million bags or 87 percent of the 45 million bags targeted in 2008. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Ladderized program to give jobs to students – TESDA

Kalibo, Aklan -- The Ladderized Education Program (LEP) of the government under the supervision of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) will be to the students' advantage if they take tech-voc (technical-vocational) courses before pursuing college education.

This belief was expressed by TESDA Director-General Augusto Syjuco, who said that ladderized program is designed to help students, particularly the self-supporting ones to pursue and finished college education without going the full circle.

Syjuco also said that a tech-voc graduate has a better chance of landing a job either in the country on in the international job market as skilled workers compared to those who finish four or five-year college course.

According to him, tech-voc graduates are issued certificate of expertise which can be credited to the curriculum corresponding to level of one expertise should they pursue a college education.

In Aklan, Technical Education and Skills Development Specialist Ely Arensol of TESDA-Aklan said that currently, 159 students in the province are enrolled under the LEP of the government.

These students, according to him, are enrolled at Panay Technological College (PTC), the lone school in Aklan registered at TESDA offering the LEP.

Under the scheme, these students will obtain qualifications and required to undergo an assessment from TESDA. If the students pass the assessment, they will be issued a National Certificate (NC) Level II, which will already qualify them to apply for employment inside and outside the country.

Students availing of LEP in Aklan are enrolled in the Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) course with the aim of filling tourism-related jobs in Boracay, other parts of the country and abroad.

Besides the Panay Technological College, there are 14 other schools in Aklan registered under TESDA, according to Arensol. These schools are also offering tourism-related courses and household services, among others and have their students undergo the mandatory assessment of their qualifications under TESDA. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

PESO accomplishment in '08 – thousands of Aklanons assisted, deployed for local, overseas jobs

Kalibo, Aklan -- Thousands of Aklanons were served by the Provincial Employment Service Office (PESO) here with its various employment related services in Aklan.

In her 2008 PESO Accomplishment Report submitted to Governor Carlito Marquez, Manager Vivian R. Solano said that her office was able to assist 5,287 Aklanons who sought assistance of PESO primarily for employment, scholarship, new passports, NBI clearances, Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) payments, verifications, complaints, inquiries, free medical-dental mission and others.

Solano said the services were extended in coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), other government line agencies and the different local government units in the province.

The assistance was also handy because Aklan was adversely affected by Typhoon Frank in June 2008 and the help of the Provincial Government and other government agencies to job seekers was vital to for the Aklanonons' eventual economic recovery.

Of the number assisted, 1,025 Aklanons were hired for local employment while 87 were deployed as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in HongKong, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait as domestic helpers, factory workers, welders and other categories.

Those assisted for local employment were mostly hired by Boracay resorts and establishments like the Boracay Gold Crown, Shakey's Boracay, Yellow Cab Boracay, Boracay Regency, Discovery Shores, DMCI Alta vista, Hotel Seraph and Shangri-La Boracay, while in Kalibo, job recruits were hired by Gaisano Kalibo, Greenwich Kalibo, Jollibee, Red Ribbon, Chowking, Taytay Sa Kauswagan, World of Fun-Gaisano, Cyber City Teleservices (Phils.) Inc., and many others.

They were hired as General Manager, Shift Head, OIC Manager, Branch Manager Representative, Account Management Supervisor, Service Crew, Service Technician, Cashiers, Call Center agents, front desk officer, engineer, project worker, program worker, bookkeeper, program assistant, finance teller, etc.

Besides job-seekers, others served by the PESO were those applying for passports and other matters.

Of the figure, females outnumbered the males seeking jobs or other assistance from PESO. For overseas deployment for instance, only 3 males were listed while 84 females from Aklan managed to work outside the country last year.

Just recently, the Department of Labor and Employment debunked claims that unemployment rate in the country could balloon to 11 million even as it revived employment assistance package for the workers to be displaced due to the global economic meltdown.

DOLE Secretary Marianito Roque did not give an exact figure as to how many workers will lose their jobs but "DOLE has already revived our assistance package" to ease the possible effect of the world financial crisis.

The DOLE chief said the employment assistance package also covers the OFWs who will also be affected by the global economic recession. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

DOH warns against dengue, typhoid and other water-borne diseases

Kalibo, Aklan -- This early in 2009, the Department of Health (DOH) is warning Aklanons against dengue, typhoid and water-borne diseases.

Dr. Myrtle Pelayo, Medical Specialist and Provincial DOH Representative here said these diseases are more likely to strike this early because of continuous rains in the province triggering floods, and stagnant and unsafe drinking water.

Dr. Pelayo said people should watch out for dengue because of continuous rains which could accumulate in upturned cans, coconuts shells and other containers that could be made breeding places of dengue-causing mosquitoes.

Floods and murky stagnant water, on the other hand, may cause leptospirosis, especially if people wading in these areas have open wounds.

DOH is also warning against typhoid which is chiefly caused by unsafe drinking water. Typhoid could also be caused, according to Dr. Pelayo, by unsanitary food preparation and unsafe eating habits.

Dr. Pelayo also warned against diseases brought by the cold climate. She reminded parents to properly care for their children, especially the babies and the younger ones.

"Feed them well with nutritious and well-prepared food, and give them warm clothing to protect them from the cold temperature, to avoid sickness," she said. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Kalibo slates '09 Ati-atihan Products Showcase

Kalibo, Aklan -- Forty (40) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) representing sectors such as crafts, food and garden will be joining this year's Kalibo Ati-atihan Product Showcase 2009, which will open on January 12 at the Kalibo Pastrana Park.

According to Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Provincial Director Diosdado Cadena, Aklan's unique indigenous fibers such as abaca, pina, and raffia cloths and crafts, gifts and house wares, furnishings as well as the newly developed products and labeling designs on processed food will be showcased in the yearly activity.

Started since 1989, the yearly activity is one of the attractions of the Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-atihan Festival.

The product showcase is organized and coordinated by the Municipal Government of Kalibo, through the Kalibo Ati-atihan Management Board, the Provincial Government of Aklan, Department of Trade and Industry, and Hugod Aklanon Producers Association, Inc. (DTI/PIA)