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Friday, July 30, 2010

Kalibo reorganizes MDCC

    Kalibo, Aklan - The municipality of Kalibo, Aklan's capital town, has now a reorganized Municipal Disaster Coordinating Council (MDCC).

    The reorganization of the council was made possible through Executive Order No. 004 issued by Kalibo mayor William S. Lachica dated July 20, in time for the country's observation of Disaster Preparedness Month.

    The issuance of the executive order is pursuant to Section 4 & 5 of Ra 1190 otherwise known as Civil Defense Law, which mandates that the Municipal Mayor is the Civil Defense Director of the municipality and is responsible for the establishment, coordination, supervision and direction of the Civil Defense organization in the community during times of disasters, calamities and emergencies.

    Mayor Lachica said the reorganized MDCC will oversee the status of the municipal disaster risk reduction and preparedness programs, disaster response, relief operations and rehabilitation activities by the government and private sectors; evaluate information and advise the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council on disaster situation and recommend appropriate measures; and perform other functions as may be required by the PDCC/RDCC and NDCC.

    The council, according to Mayor Lachica, will be composed of the Municipal Mayor as Chairperson, the Chief of Police of the PNP as Vice Chairperson and Action Officer and the Civil Defense Deputized Coordinator as the Head of the Secretariat.

    The council will also be composed of representatives from the private sector, organic municipal officials whose departments are tasked with specific emergency functions as well as national officials assigned in the municipality.

    The council will also establish an operating facility to be known as the Disaster Operations Center located at the municipal building and an alternate DOC located at the police station.complete with communication systemand rescue operations equipment where activities in the field will be monitored and controlled.

    With the organized council, Mayor Lachica said he has invited members from various organizations to be part of Kalibo's Team in order to solicit bright ideas to explore and integrate views of people from various walks of life and thus chart the progress, and safety of Kalibo in times of disasters, man-made or natural. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Aklan’s senior citizens welcome privileges of new law, member registrations up

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Aklan's senior citizens are starting to enjoy the benefits brought by Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, an act granting additional benefits and privileges to senior citizens.

    The Act further amends RA No. 7432 of 1992 as amended by RA No. 9257 of 2003.

    Privileges for the senior citizens include OSCA-issued Senior Citizens' Identification Card and Twenty percent (20 %) discount and VAT exemption.

    The card is used for the availment of benefits and privileges which will be honored nationwide while with the 20% Discount and VAT Exemption, the senior citizens will be entitled to the grant of 20% discount and an exemption from the VAT, if applicable, on the sale of the goods and services covered by Section 1 to 6 of the article from all establishments for the exclusive use and enjoyment or availment of senior citizens.

    "Since July 16, Aklanon senior citizens started enjoying the benefits of this law, and in Kalibo, we have noted that many are lining up to register as members," said Atty. Arnaldo Tejada Sr., Provincial Federation President of Senior Citizens in the province.

    Tejada, who was also recently elected as Sangguniang Bayan member of Kalibo said he himself could attest to the benefits brought by the recently-signed law.

    "I save a lot when I buy my maintenance medicines. If I buy P1,000.00 worth of medicines, I only pay P800.00 because of the discount. I can then use the saved amount for other things," Tejada said.

    Besides the discount in medicines, Tejada also said senior citizens can also avail of discounts in plane and boat fares, hotels, restaurants and fast foods.

    Tejada said drugstores and fastfoods in Aklan are already granting these benefits to their sector.

    Tejada also lauded the help of congressmen representing the Senior Citizens Party list for inking the bill that made possible the passing of theExpanded Senior Citizens Act.

    In Aklan, there are three municipalities with buildings for Senior Citizens – Kalibo, Malay and New Washington. Kalibo's building is located at the Dr. Rafael s. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital compound, its lot donated by the Provincial Government of Aklan.

    Besides the benefits now enjoyed by senior citizens in the province due to RA 9994, the province is also currently extending hospital assistance to this sector by giving them a maximum of P1,000.00 assistance for medicines. This is an offshoot of a concept paper forwarded by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) here requesting for hospital assistance to the elderly members of the community.

    A survey is also on-going to determine the poorest of the poor among senior citizens nationwide, so they could each avail of P500.00 monthly social pension.

    This is one other benefit stipulated in RA 9994. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Aklanon inventors wanted

    Kalibo, Aklan -- There is a dearth in inventors in Aklan.

    DOST-Aklan Provincial Science and Technology Officer Jairus Lachica said that because of this, nobody from Aklan could represent the province,display his invention or join in the forthcoming Regional Cluster Invention Contest which will be held from August 12 to 15 this year at the Amigo Terrace Hotel in Iloilo City.

    Lachica said the contest in Iloilo city next month will be joined by the Visayas Cluster – Regions 6, 7 and 8.

    According to the DOST, the Regional Cluster Invention Contest serves as the elimination/qualifying round for the National Invention Contest pursuant to Section 4 of the Republic Act No. 7459 also known as the "Inventors and Invention Incentives Act of the Philippines".

    The contest is open for both the public and private sector inventors and researchers within the Cluster Region. Talented Filipinos can compete in the Invention Contest under 6 categories namely Invention Category (Tuklas Award); Utility Model Category; Industrial Design Category; Creative Research Category (Likha Award); Student Creative Research Category (Sibol Award) for High School and Studen Creative Research Category (Sibol Award) for College.

    The contest is open to all inventors, makers, designers, and creative researchers who are Filipino citizens residing in the Regional Cluster. They are eligible to join in any of the six contest categories of the invention contest and compete for awards. However, an invention, a utility model, an industrial design or a creative research may be entered in only one regional cluster invention contest during the year.

    Entries in the invention, utility model and industrial design categories must already have patent, utility model registration and industrial registration respectively, on or before the deadline for the submission of entries.

    There will be a maximum of three qualifiers selected for each regional cluster for each category. The qualifiers, subject to submission of additional documents, shall be the finalists for the National Invention Contest. Each regional qualifiers shall receive a cash incentives of P10,000, a certificate and a plaque to be awarded during the awarding/closing ceremonies of the regional invention contest, according to the DOST.

    In Aklan, Lachica invited interested and budding inventors in the province to go to Iloilo, witness the competition and view inventions of the Visayas Cluster.

    He also called on Aklanons who might have inventions of their own to visit the DOST Office here so they could be assisted in applying for patents or for other concerns.

    "Do not keep your inventions to yourselves. Show them and have you inventions patented, or else, others with the same invention will beat you to it," Lachica said. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Energy department conducting spots checks in Aklan

Kalibo, Aklan -- A team from the Department of energy (DOE) has started conducting spot checks in government offices and buildings in Aklan.

    The conduct of spots checks in government offices is one of the activities of the Government Energy Management Program (GEMP) of the the DOE.

    The GEMP is one of the programs of the government aimed to reduce the monthly consumption of electricity (kwh) and monthly petroleum products (liters) by at least 10% in all government entities.

    Roland Meneses, one of the team members from the DOE, said the government was able to save P1,009,379,074.00 from September 2005 to May 2008 under this program. This was based from the 120 government agencies in the National Capital Region and 200 agencies from different regions submitting monthly consumption report.

    The DOE has already conducted spot checks in the provinces of Capiz and Iloilo this year, and is continuously conducting the activity nationwide.

    According to the DOE, some of the measures implemented aided by spot checks that generated savings for the government include operating aircon for six hours only; setting of aircon to fan during lunch time; maintaining room temperature not lower than 25 degrees centigrade, replacing incandescent bulbs with CFL and 40W fluorescent lamps with 36W or 32W slim type fluorescent lamps; turning off of lights from 12:00 NN - !:00 PM and turning off of computers/office equipment /appliances when not in use.

    As for fuel conservation, owners should have regular maintenance of all vehicles; retire old and inefficient vehicles; trips scheduling and reduction of fuel allocation for each vehicle by 10%.

    In Aklan, Governor Carlito S. Marquez, as early as June 2008, released Memorandum No. 2008-108 appealing to all provincial department heads and all heads of national offices whose water and electric bills are paid for by the provincial government to economize in water and power consumption.

    "Turning off lights, water taps and appliances when not needeD should be made a matter of habit. Airconditioners should be turned off at least 2 hours before 12:00 noon and 5:00 p.m. as aircon offices retain their coolness for that long," Governor Marquez said then in the memorandum.

    Governor Marquez also said then that the money saved from the economic use of water and power is better spent for the hiring of urgently-needed provincial school board teachers, tuition fees of provincial government scholars, and similar such expenditures for basic services. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Top killer diseases in Aklan known

    Kalibo, Aklan -- In 2009, pneumonia was the number one cause of deaths of Aklanons in the province. It topped the list which includes 9 others.

    This is according to a report compiled by the Provincial Health Office (PHO). The PHO has also a compilation of infant mortality as well as morbidity leading causes among Aklanons.

    Pneumonia caused the deaths of some 607 Aklanons last year, while other causes of deaths include Cancer with 341 deahts; Cardiovascular Accidents, 341; Hypertension, 234; Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, 160; Myocardial Infarction, 148; Heart Failure, 142; Accidents, 103; Pulmonary Tuberculosis, 89 and Renal Failure, 87.

    As for infant mortality, sepsis was the number one killer of babies last year, with 21; Prematurity, 19; Pneumonia, 16; Heart Failure, 10; Cancer, 4; Cardiovascular accidents, 4; Asphyxia, 4; Respiratory Distress, 4; Renal Failure, 3 and CRA, 3.

    Presently, the Provincial Health Office is zeroing in on the prevention of dengue, which, according to Provincial Health Officer Dr. Victor Santamaria, is now a year-round disease.

    According to him, there were dengue cases monitored even during the summer months here despite the scarcity of water in some areas.

    Although there were no reported deaths in Aklan due to dengue compared with other provinces in Western Visayas, he appealed to all Aklanons to help prevent it by cleaning surroundings through the 4'oclock habit, screening doors and windows and using mosquito nets.

    He also called on the people to strengthen their immune systems by sleeping early, eating nutritious food and exercising. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Altavasnons eager to try ‘engineered’ bamboo

    Altavas, Aklan -- Altavasnons who attended the recent advocacy program conducted by the Provincial Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (PMSMED) Council in celebration of SMED Week in Altavas, Aklan expressed eagerness to take on the 'engineered bamboo' industry.

    Engineered bamboo is now a flagship project of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) which involves the processing of slats into pressed bamboo which could substitute for lumber.

    DTI Provincial Director Diosdado P. Cadena, Jr. said the industry can create employment and provide income for bamboo growers in Aklan.

    Based on a survey conducted in the area, Altavas has a total of 60 hectares planted to bamboo. Other municipalities too, have large areas planted to bamboo, but disposal or marketing is not maximized due to difficulty in bringing the bamboos from the uplands to the lowlands where it is in demand.

    Director Cadena said engineered bamboo has a ready market in the Department of Education (DepEd), which he said, has a Memorandum of Agreement with them to produce school desks and chairs made of engineered bamboo.

    He added there are already 2 companies in Kalibo to take on the job of processing the bamboo slats into bamboo lumber.

    Under the technology, slats of regulated thickness and sizes are pressed to form 2x2 lumber or 1x2 with a length of one meter.

    Information passed by DTI-Aklan revealed that bamboo is 27% harder than oak and 13% harder than maple.

    As a job generator, DTI info also revealed that a 50-hectare farm planted to bamboo will provide employment to a community's more or less 200 residents, composed of bamboo producers, harvesters/gatherers and haulers. As for Community-Based Enterprises or NODES, some 1,300 persons will be involved, composed of weavers, laborers, machine operators, sorters and haulers.

    Besides DepEd, other markets for engineered bamboo are the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the National Housing Authority (NHA).

    Even with its newly-discovered use, the bamboo has been recognized too for its role against global warming. It has been given acknowledged and ranked by the Kyoto Protocol as one of the most suitable plants to earn carbon credits. Its capacity to sequester carbon dioxide is internationally recognized, and can store in excess of 40 tons CO2 per hectare.

    Unlike timber, it releases very little carbon into the atmosphere when harvested.

    At the advocacy program in Altavas, newly-elected Mayor Denny Refol thanked the PMSMED council for conducting the advocacy program in Altavas, which he said is one major way of eradicating poverty in his municipality.

    Refol said Altavas is aiming to be a major economic center with the opening of the Jamindan-Altavas Road and the Batan-Manila RORO route, and encouraged the participants to listen well and disseminate to others what they have learned.

    Refol said he sees Altavas' future as a center of trade – and a very busy municipality involved in business. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Price/supply of basic, prime commodities in Aklan sufficient

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Supply of basic and prime commodities for the first week of July in Aklan is sufficient, and prices are within the Suggested Retail Price (SRP), according to the monitoring report of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) here.

    The DTI report however, noted that compared with last month's prices, some items had significant changes in the monitored prevailing prices.

    The price of a kilogram of rock salt in the Kalibo Wet Market was found to have gone down by P2.00, from P12.00 a month ago to P10.00 first week of this month.

    Another item which decreased in price is Nescafe refill 25 grams, which a month ago, was sold for P17.75 in supermarkets, but now could be bought at P16.50 per pack.

    DTI-Aklan said the prevailing price of rock salt decreased significantly due to oversupply, while the 25-gm coffee pack decreased its prevailing price because its SRP also decreased.

    For construction materias – G.I. Sheet, steel bars of various sizes and brands also decreased in prices due to the decrease in the world market demand. An increase in the price of steel wire of P5.00 was noted by the DTI however.

    Two brands of tubular fluorescent lamp – 20 watts, GE and Omni increased by P4.00 and P5.00 respectively; while the price of Firefly 8 watts compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) went down by P7.00 from P90.00 sold at supermarkets last month to P83.00 first week of July. The same brand of CFL , 9 and 11 watts both decreased in prices by P7.00. Eagle Fuse, 15 amperes, also decreased its price by P2.00.

    The DTI report also revealed that various brands of hard flour decreased in prices – Montana, priced at P761.00 per 25 kilogram bag, could now be bought for P741.00 in supermarkets; Dakota, priced P755 last month is now at P735.00' and Washington, sold at P743.00 last month is now sold at P723.00. On the other hand, soft flour like Amigo brand was sold for P638.00 per bag a month ago but today, the same commodity could be bought for P623. Gold Key, another brand, priced P650.00 a month ago, is now sold for P635.00 per bag.

    For the monitoring period, four stores in the wet market, eight groceries/supermarkets and eight (8) hardware stores were monitored by the DTI.

    The current report on price/supply of basic and prime commodities in Aklan was shared by the DTI to Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez, chairman of Provincial Price Coordinating Council (PPCC) and members coming from various national government agencies during its latest meeting.

    Other members also shared reports on prices and supplies of goods, commodities and services they are tasked to monitor, like palay and rice supply, agricultural products, fish supply, transportation, peace and order, etc. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Malaynons reap gains from ARISE-CLEEP training

    Malay, Aklan -- More than 600 Malaynons are now reaping the gains they obtained from undergoing livelihood trainings from various national government agencies under the ARISE/CLEEP program that the government introduced in 2009.

    ARISE means " A Responsive and Innovative Strategy for Entrepreneurship, introduced by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in January 2009, which later became Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP).

    Under CLEEP, these 600 Malaynons coming from various associations formed by the municipality of Malay through its Municipal Social and Development Office (MSWDO) were trained on soap-making and "bariw" bag making with Boracay Island as the target market in October 2009.

    "Bariw" is a plant thriving in Malay and Nabas whose leaves are used to weave mats, bags, hats, etc.

    The trainors were provided by the DTI and the DOST. During their graduation, stakeholders from Boracay Island were invited to get their commitment and support for the livelihood project of the trainees.

    "One of those who gave her commitment to support us that time was the President of Boracay Foundation, Nenette A. Graf," said Antonia Sano, president of Malay Municipal Federation of SEA Kaunlaran.

    To start their livelihood venture, Sano and her group obtained a loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and started working.

    Just after several months of its existence, the group is now enjoying the attention given to its products by resorts in the island.

    "Fifty resorts from the island are now our clients, ordering soaps for use in their resorts, while our bags are also enjoying brisk orders," Sano said.

    Just this period, ONE MGM, a popular resort in the island, ordered 5,000 pieces of soap from the group, while the Boracay Beach Resort ordered 116 pieces of "bariw" bags, Sano told members of the Provincial Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (PMSMED) Council who came to Malay July 8 to conduct an advocacy program for entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs in the area.

    Sano confided to the PMSMEDC members, however, that they still need additional trainings or new ideas to improve their products.

    "Some customers specify they want this style of bags, but we don't have enough knowledge to execute the designs, so we need your help," Sano told the group during the open forum.

    Sano also said they need advice to further enhance their soap products.

    To these concerns, the DTI and the DOST promised to further assist them, while the Land Bank of the Philippines, through Manager Niña Iturriaga and Account Management Specialist Bernard Moises praised the Malay group for having good payment records in the bank.

    Through all their efforts, Sano said the Boracay Foundation had been supportive, helping them market their products in the island.

    The MMFSKA has a display area near the Caticlan Airport currently.

    Besides Malay, the PMSMEDC also went to Altavas, Aklan to conduct advocacy programs.

    The advocacy programs were conducted in celebration of the MSMED Week, with the theme "Negosyo…Tagumpay Mula Sa Kahirapan". (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

CSC to incoming elective, appointive officials: respect rights of career service employees

    Kalibo, aklan -- The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has advised all incoming elective and appointive officials to respect the constitutional right to security of tenure of career service officials and employees with valid appointments.

    This advisory is contained in Memorandum circular No. 11 series of 2010 issued by CSC Chairman Francisco T. Duque III which will serve as a guide to incoming officials as they assume their responsibilities in their respective areas.

    The MC reiterated that the 1987 constitution provides that "no officer or employee of the civil service shall be removed or suspended except for cause provided by law".

    The MC explained that under EO No. 292, it is a declalred policy of the State to "insure and promote the constitutional mandate that appointments in the Civil Service shall be made only according to merit and fitness, that the CSC, as the central personnel agency of the Government shall adopt measures to promote morale efficiency, integrity, responsiveness, and courtesy in the civil service and institutionalize a management climate conducive to public accountability."

    With the issuance of the MC, Chairman Duque called on incoming officials to observe the prevailing Civil Service laws, rules and regulations.

    "As the nation celebrates the triumph of democracy, the CSC exhorts all incoming elective and appointive officials and employees to put premium on public serve and collectively work for the general welfare of the citizenry" the Memorandum stressed.

    In Aklan, Evelyn Ejar, Director II of CSC Field Office here said that as of this time, her office has not received any formal complaint from government employees affected with the change in leadership in their municipalities.

    Ejar said the advisory is essential to incoming officials because this will guide or remind them to observe Civil Service Laws and Rules as government employees enjoy security of tenure.

    The MC is also seen to help alleviate the fears and apprehensions of government employees as they do their duties under new leaderships. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)


Friday, July 2, 2010

Advocacy to gain support for MSMEs slated for 2 Aklan towns

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The towns of Altavas in the eastern part of Aklan and Malay on the western part will be playing hosts to Aklan's Provincial Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (PMSMED) Council when the group goes to these towns to hold advocacy programs for the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in their respective areas.

    According to Engr. Diosdado P. Cadena, Jr., Department of Trade and Industry-Aklan Provincial Director, the advocacy program for Malay will be held on July 8 while that of Altavas will be on July 9.

    "This activity is part of our commitment to continuously promote, support, strengthen, and encourage the growth and development of MSMEs in Aklan," Engr. Cadena said.

    In the advocacy programs in Altavas and Malay, portfolio managers of PMSMED Council will present the programs and services related to Business and Investment Enabling Environment (BIEE), Access to Finance (A2F), Access to Market (A2M), and Productivity and Efficiency (P&E).

    Relevant issues and concerns of MSMEs are hoped to be addressed during the open forum, while a one-on-one consultation with the MSMEs concerning BIEE, A2F, A2M and P&E may also be scheduled to attend to the needs of MSMEs.

    The advocacy, according to DTI-Aklan, is seen to encourage the towns of Malay and Altavas to establish a Municipal MSMED Desks and for the respective mayors to designate coordinators to help address the needs of MSMEs in the areas.

    The Aklan PMSMED is an interagency body mandated under Republic Act 9501, known as the Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. It is attached to the Department of Trade and Industry.

    The council is composed of both national government agencies and private sector groups and was organized in January 1996. It was the first PMSMED Council to be organized in Western Visayas through DTI-Aklan and the Provincial Government of Aklan.

    Jusr recently, the council was strengthened further through the creation of the PMSMED Council and its working committees through Executive Order No. 16 issued by Governor Carlito S. Marquez.

    In the strengthening of the council, Gov. Marquez said MSMEs have the potential for more employment generation and economic growth and can help provide a self-sufficient industrial foundation for the country in general and the province in particular.

    Gov. Marquez chairs the PMSMED Council while the DTI Provincial Director co-chairs it.

    Members of Aklan PSMED Council includes Aklan Piñamantra through India Legaspi; Aklan Food Processors Development Cooperative through Roselita C. Sauza; Aklan State University-BAC, Agricultural Training Institute, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Labor and Employment, Fiber Industry Development Authority, Land Bank of the Philippines, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philippine Information Agency, Provincial Planning and Development Office, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Quedancor, and Uswag Development Foundation. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Aklan governor thanks SP for endorsing biomass plant project

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Governor Carlito Marquez thanked today members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Aklan for their recent endorsement of the Biomass Plant Project of Asea One Corporation.

    Marquez extended his thanks during the inaugural session of the SP here, where he presented his administration's programs and priority thrusts for the three years of his new term, and apprise the honorable body of the legislative support needed.

    The putting up of a biomass plant project is in line with Republic Act 9513, which is an act of promoting the development, utilization and commercialization of renewable energy resources.

    "Its declared policies are to accelerate the exploration and development of renewable energy resources such as biomass, solar, wind, hydro, geothermal and ocoean energy sources, including hybrids systems to achieve energy self-reliance, through the adaptation of sustainable energy development strategies to reduce the country's dependence on fossil fuels and thereby minimize the country's exposure to price fluctuations in the international market", Marquez said in his talk.

    The biomass power plant, the first of its kind in the country, is located in Venturanza, Banga, Aklan. For fuel, it will use agricultural wastes such as rice stalks, coconut husks, coconut fronds, shells and many others.

    For supplying agricultural waste products as fuel to the biomass plant, farmers are seen to have additional income. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)