Search This Blog

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Aklan households’ rice stocks up to September – BAS

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Rice stocks of Aklanon households are up to September 2010 only, but according to the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) here, farmers will also start harvesting rice in September, peaking in October.

    BAS-Aklan Provincial Officer Manuelito Deligencia said rice planting in Aklan was delayed due to the El Niño Phenomenon that struck Aklan last year until the early part of 2010.

    "Farmers in rainfed areas were not able to plant rice in June due to insufficient water, while planting in irrigated fields was also delayed because irrigation canals had no water yet in the early part of planting season, being dependent only on the availability of water from the Aklan River," Delegencia said.

    Delegencia said farmers from Balete and Libacao were also able to harvest upland rice last July but this was only for their own consumption.

    Just recently, the National Food Authority (NFA) here through Provincial Manager Marianito Bejemino assured the public of enough rice up to the harvest period in October.

    The NFA also revealed that monthly, some 20,000 bags of rice each month is sent to Aklan from NFA-Iloilo to augment the supply of rice in the province.

    Commercial rice also enters Aklan daily from Mindoro and other provinces through the RORO, and from Antique, Capiz and Iloilo to add to the supply of the private traders in the province.

    Meanwhile, BAS revealed that Aklan enjoyed a good harvest of vegetables and fruits from the months of April to June.

    "Our bananas have recovered from Typhoon Frank already," Delegencia said.

    Marine, aquaculture and commercial fishery products also increased during the same period, however, harvests in rootcrops like camote, cassava and gabi decreased due to the El Niño.

    Ginger crops also suffered, according to BAS, because of the heavy rains these recent months. Ginger, Delegencia said, takes a year to be harvested.

     BAS-Aklan is currently updating data of farmers in the province and performing their other routinary activities. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Blood coordinating council passes 4 resolutions to gain support

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The Aklan Blood Coordinating Council (ABCC), which was re-organized recently in response to the call for a stable source of blood and blood products due to the rising dengue cases in the province has formulated four resolutions to strengthen the council and gain support from Aklan officials, legislators and other stakeholders.

    The ABCC is headed by Dr. Cynthia dela Cruz who was elected President in the organizational meeting held recently at the Provincial Guest House.

    The first two resolutions were formulated during the organizational meeting and the other two, during the Special Executive Board Meeting at the Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital (DRSTMH) Function Hall.

    The first resolution – Res. 2010-001 requests financial assistance for the ABCC from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, the Provincial Health Board, all LGUs in the province, and other agencies concerned, while the second one requests Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez to provide a Secretariat Office with a Secretary to serve as custodian of files and to run errands for the ABCC and other needs of the council.

    The third resolution, on the other hand, is requesting all the 17 municipalities of Aklan to support the National Voluntary Blood Program through the Sangguniang Bayan Committee on Health; and the fourth is a resolution requesting Governor Carlito Marquez to immediately provide the following equipments: 1 refrigerated centrifuge, 1 plasma freezer, 1 platelet agitator and 1 plasma separator needed by the Philippine National Red Cross Aklan Chapter.

    The equipments are badly needed to immediately answer the needs of dengue and other sick Aklanons needing blood transfusion.

    Currently, blood samples are being sent to PNRC-Capiz for testing before being transfused to patients here, which is a risky practice as too much time is wasted, endangering the life of patients.

    Earlier during a press conference called by Governor Marquez, he told the Aklan media and health officials present that purchase of the needed equipments will be included in the provincial budget the province is preparing for 2011. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Aklanons get P3.1 M 4Ps cash grants, other assistance

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Beneficiaries of 4Ps in the municipalities of Buruanga and Balete recently received a total of P3.1 million cash grants under the Pantawid Pampamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) here .

    Beneficiaries from these towns numbered 1,364, according to Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez in his monthly report aired over DYRU-Kalibo.

    The 4Ps is a poverty reduction strategy that provides grants ro extremely poor households to improve their health, nutrition and education particularly children aged 0-14.

    Aside from the cash grant, 4,187 sacks of rice were also distributed to residents of Balete, Buruanga, Madalag and Libacao. As its counterpart, the province also distributed 413 sacks of rice there.

    The Provincial Government also extended a capital assistance of P75,321 to 16 Out Of School Youths of Tibiao, Altavas who are members of Timgas Ka PYAP Association or Pag-asa Youth Association of the Philippines, Inc.

    The province is also planning to establish social welfare desks at the Caticlan Jetty Port to protect the people especially the women and children. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Aklan coconuts less affected by El Niño

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Aklan's coconut cover was not affected too much by the El Niño Phenomenon which mildly strucked Aklan last year up to the early part of this year.

    According to Plevy Raco, Provincial Coconut Development Manager of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) here, the salt fertilizer which the office distributed to coconut farmers helped a lot in minimizing the effect of El Niño to the coconuts.

    Raco said all municipalities in Aklan had access to the salt fertilizer from the PCA. The salt fertilizer causes retention of water in the bases of coconut trunks, minimizing the effect of the dry spell on the coconuts.

    Presently, Raco said coconut farmers are enjoying good prices for their copra.

    "The copra price is dictated by the world market, and currently, there is a big demand for coconut oil", Raco said.

    Raco also revealed that the Participatory Coconut Project introduced by the PCA to encourage farmers to plant coconuts had been successful.

    Many farmers in Aklan participated in the program, according to Raco. Under the program, farmers who successfully grew seednuts which were planted on their own farms were paid in phases. They will also be the ones who would benefit when the coconuts start bearing fruits.

    Meanwhile, the province of Aklan will be hosting this week the 14th Regional Coconut Celebration particularly on August 25-27. Aklan was chosen as the venue, according to the PCA, for having the biggest coconut cover in Western Visayas.

    The month of August had been declared by the late President Corazon Aquino as Coconut Celebration Month.

    Raco said this is the first time for a province to host the celebration as all previous celebrations were held in the regional office.

    A motorcade, diorama presentation, coconut quiz bee, clinic and sports competition among PCA provincial provinces will highlight the celebration here.

    PCA Administrator Oscar Garin, DA RED Larry Nacionales of RFU 6, PCA Regional Manager Jose Cruz, Aklan Congressman Miraflores. Governor Carlito Marquez and other officials are expected to attend the celebration on August 26 at the Provincial Trade Hall.

    "Niyog, Yaman Ng Pinoy" is the theme of this year's celebration. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

DTI sponsors “Bayong” enhancement for Aklan MSMEs

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI    ) here recently sponsored an activity to enhance the Aklan "bayong" through a Product Development and Consultation for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

    The activity, conducted by Ms. Imelda Datul of Kosmos International at the DTI-Aklan Office for 9 bayong producers in Aklan, aimed to give them new directions in design and function for the production of shopping and fashion bayongs as well as to develop products for new markets.

    In Aklan, the "bayong" is commonly called as "tampipi" made of buri used before to hold items when one is buying provisions in the market. Nowadays, the "bayong" is still around, but has evolved for certain purposes, like being used by vendors when selling crabs, food delicacies and other native and novel items.

    According to the DTI, the second phase of the activity will be held on August 30-31 at the DTI Office to monitor the execution of ninety-nine (99) new product designs.

    As a result of the 1st phase product development and consultation, the designer identified La Herminia Piña Weaving Industry, HAMPCO and USWAG Development Foundation to present the prototypes for abaca and bariw fashion bayong bags and packaging materials to the merchandisers of Kosmos International for product screening and selection in Manila middle of August.

    Datul said Aklan MSMEs should prepare for the product presentation because this is going to be their "chance of a lifetime" for Philippine Exporters, specifically for the group to do business with Kosmos International.

    The Product Development and Consultaiton on Bayong was one of the activities awaited by Aklan MSMEs involved in bag and bayong-making in order to make their products more competitive, attractive and of superior quality. (DTI/PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Aklan organizes blood council

    Kalibo, Aklan -- To address the pressing need for blood and blood products in Aklan brought by the rising cases of dengue, the Provincial Government, the Aklan Medical Society, the Provincial Health Office and the Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital (DRSTMH) recently came together in a meeting and organized the Aklan Blood Coordinating Council (ABCC).

    The meeting was an offshoot of Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez' request to the Aklan Medical Society, headed by Dr. Cynthia dela Cruz to spearhead the organization of the ABCC through Administrative Order No. 2010-0002 stating policies and guidelines for the establishment and operation of local blood councils to support the implementation of the National Voluntary Blood Services Program for Blood Safety and Adequacy, Quality Care and Patient Safety.

    Before election of officers, Dr. dela Cruz suggested that the body should form a TRIAD-like leaders for the ABCC such as the DOH-PHO, Philippine National Red Cross and the Aklan Medical Society to serve and spearhead the council. She also suggested the drafting of a Memorandum of Agreement for all the members who attended to commit to help each other in the formulation and implementation of the ABCC.

    Before election of ABCC officers, the group nominated 11 members to the Executive Board. From among the 11 board members, elected officers were Dr. Cynthia C. dela Cruz of AMS, President; Dr. Emma Cortes, PHO, Vice President; Megs Lunn, Toastmasters International, Secretary;Boy Ryan Zabal, Aklan Press Club President, Treasurer; Dr. Beatriz Diel, AMS, Assistant Secretary Treasurer; Chita Heap, Kool Earth, Press Relations Officer; and Dr. Albert Marin, DRSTMH Lab, Auditor.

    The Board of Directors included Aklan Police Provincial Office Provincial Director Epifanio Bragais, Jr.; PA 601st CDC LTC Edgar I. Yerro; Dr. Oscar Hilario of AMS; Pete Ruiz of SEALS Rescue Aklan; and Mrs. Arcely Pelayo, PNRC-Aklan Administrator.

    Committees were also identified such as the Executive Committee headed by the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Assistant Secretary Treasurer, Public Education Committee, headed by Dr. Felma dela Cruz; Donor Recruitment Committee, headed by Pete Ruiz; Mobile Blood Donation Committee, Arcely Pelayo; Ways and Means Committee, Boy ryan Zabal and Local Blood donation Program Coordinator, Roger Debuque.

    The Secretariat will be appointed by Governor Marquez or the PHO.

    It was agreed that the elected officers will only have one year office term to give others a chance to lead the organization. It was also agreed that meetings will be held every 3rd Friday of the month at the DRSTMH Conference Room.

    In the meeting, 2 resolutions were presented and approved – the first was a resolution requesting financial assistance for the ABCC from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, the Provincial Health Board, all LGUs in the province and all agencies concerned; while the other one was a resolution requesting Governor Marquez to provide aSecretariat Office with a secretary to serve as custodian of files and to run errands for the ABCC and a cabinet for filing at the DRSTMH. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Aklan radio stations to conduct blood-letting activities

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Two radio stations in Aklan are set to hold bloodletting activities here to help augment the supply of blood at the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC).

    The need to have ample blood supply in Aklan is currently being emphasized with the rising cases of dengue in the province affecting Aklanons of all ages, with some of them needing blood transfusions.

    These two radio stations are RMN-DYKR and DYIN Bombo Radyo, which have started calling on their listeners to donate blood to be able to save the life of needy Aklanons.

    According to RMN-DYKR management, its blood-letting activity will be held August 28 at the Kalibo Pastrana Park, along with a Dental Mission.

    The Blood-letting and Dental Mission of RMN-DYKR is its counterpart to the nationwide launching of 1st RMN Medical Mission Nationwide in celebration of the network's 58th founding anniversary and as a tribute to Don Henry Canoy, Father of Public Service in the Broadcast Industry.

    Blood donors, according to RMN-DYKR Station Manager Jerome Vega, will be given T-shirts and snacks.

    "Those who wish to donate their blood can go straight to the Pastrana Park. For those wishing to avail free dental services, they will have to register at the station first," Vega said.

    DYIN-Bombo Radyo, on the other hand, slates its blood-letting activity in November, dubbed as "Dugong Bombo". The Bombo Radyo conducts this activity yearly.

    Many other organizations have signified their plans to conduct bloodletting activities. According to Arcely Pelayo, PNRC-Aklan Administrator, some of these include EMCOR-Kalibo, the municipality of Ibajay and Boracay Shangrila.

    PNRC-Aklan is presently a blood collecting center only, and samples of blood have to be sent first to Roxas City for screening before transfusion to see if the samples are not infected with deadly diseases.

    Taking a step further to aid patients who badly need blood transfusion, Pelayo said they have blood supplies at the PNRC which are screened already. She called on the people who avail of blood supply from the PNRC however, to provide replacement, so the chain of saving people will continue. (PIA/venus G. Villanueva)

DTI, Aklan furniture industries hold product design activity on bamboocraft

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) here in partnership with the Aklan Chamber of Furniture Industries, Inc. (ACFI) and the Product Development and Design Center of the Philippines (PDDCP) recently held a Product Design and consultancy cum Market Trends on Bamboocraft focused on engineered bamboo.

    The activity was held at DTI-Aklan Provincial Office.

    According to DTI-Aklan Provincial Director Diosdado P. Cadena, Jr., fifteen participants attended the Market Trends Seminar which included forecasts on product trends, consumer preferences, and worldwide tendencies to help Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) create and sell products that respond to shifting consumer lifestyles and market requirements.

    Eleven MSMEs availed of the one-on-one consultation conducted by Ms. Rowe Requejo of PDDCP.

    Sixty new designs were introduced during the activity.

    Main objectives of the activity, according to DTI-Aklan, are to introduce and develop new product designs on bamboo gifts, housewares, furniture, and furnishings focused on engineered bamboo slats; update participants on the latest market trends on bamboo and other crafts; and help strengthen the bamboo industry in Aklan by producing better quality products and advancing the creativity of bamboo manufacturers.

    Presently, Aklan's MSMEs are in the process of developing the prototypes utilizing engineered bamboo slats and traditional bamboo poles. The slats and poles will be combined with other materials like nito, wood, and metal for gifts, housewares and furniture and furnishings.

    The prototypes will be featured during the Aklan Product showcase at SM City-Iloilo on November 15-21 and in other marketing events organized or assisted by DTI-Aklan.

    This early, the Dela Cruz House of Piña, manufacturer of nitocraft, made initial arrangements with C&A Alternative Designs, one of the nodes /processors of engineered bamboo slats in Kalibo on the possibility of combining e-bamboo slats with nito for its existing market in Manila and possible market in the U.S.

    Engineered bamboo has caught the attention of Aklanons recently when the DTI introduced this through an Advocacy Program brought to Aklan municipalities as part of the MSME Week celebration.

    Almost all municipalities in Aklan produce bamboos. (DTI/PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We don’t lack blood, says PNRC-Aklan

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The province of Aklan has sufficient blood supply, according to the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) here, at a press conference held at the Provincial Guest House called for by Governor Marquez to address the rise of dengue cases in the province.

    "Presently, we have 57 screened units and 13 unscreened units of blood at the PNRC. We also have scheduled blood-letting activities. Emcor-Kalibo will have its bloodletting activity on August 20, RMN-DYKR will conduct it on August 28 while the municipality of Ibajay has scheduled it on September 3. Boracay Shangrila will also hold one on September 17," Arcely Pelayo, PNRC-Aklan Administrator told the Aklan media at the press conference.

    The province of Aklan, however, screens blood samples in Roxas City, because it has no equipment for screening, being only a blood-collecting center.

    The province has storage facilities to store at least 300 units of blood located at the PNRC and the Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital.

    At the press conference, Pelayo appealed to Aklanons who availed of blood to be transfused to their relaltives suffering from dengue to replace the blood they borrowed from the PNRC so others could also avail when need arises.

    According to Dr. Emma T. Cortes, Provincial Health Officer II of the Provincial Health Office here, a total of 292 dengue patients have been admitted to hospitals in Aklan. This does not include 8 others who came from other provinces like Antique, 4; Iloilo, 2 and Capiz, 2.

    "Kalibo has still the highest number of patients with 93 from January up to the 2nd week of August; followed by Numancia with 48; New Washington, 31; Banga, 21 and Batan, 20," said Dr. Cortes.

    Numerous patients suspected infected with dengue continue to be admitted in public and private hospitals here, while others were brought to Capiz and Iloilo City.

    At the DRSTMH, even the conference hall was utilized for dengue patients.

    For efficient and factual reporting purposes, Dr. Cortes said all hospitals in Aklan are now submitting reports on dengue cases at the PHO.

    The PHO maintained that only one death from dengue is recorded in the province, as 2 Aklanon deaths alleged to be caused by dengue transpired in Iloilo hospitals.

    To prevent dengue cases from escalating, the PHO advised Aklanons to practice the 4S – Search and Destroy Breeding Places of Mosquitoes, Self-Protection, Seek Early Consultation and Say No to Fogging.

    According to the PHO, fogging is very expensive and does not totally eliminate mosquitoes. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Aklan to concentrate on good production programs

    Kalibo, Aklan -- After El Niño's onslaught, the province of Aklan is zeroing in on agriculture to ensure food security for Aklanons.

    One of these is the Rice Hybridization Program which, according to Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez, is targeted for expansion.

    "From 1,000 hectares, this will become 1,500 next year, 2,000 hectares in 2012 and 2,500 in 2013," said Governor Marquez in his monthly report aired over GMA-DYRU.

    Marquez said Aklanons should know that through hybrid rice, farmers will earn more than double; and production will also be more than double compared with inbred rice.

    Planting hybrid rice, according to him, should not be a source of worry for farmers.

    "The province is willing to lend P10,000.00 for every hectare to farmers," Governor Marquez said.

    He is also pushing for the expansion of programs on high-value crops, abaca, corn, and mango, aside from the sustained implementation of Integrated Pest Management, Modified Rapid Composting, Palayaman/Kabuhayan, and other agricultural programs.

    The province is also maintaining a vegetable farm project at a barangay in Kalibo. On the other hand, its Lambaklad Project in Baybay, Makato, Aklan realized a net income of P358,986.88 with the Provincial Government getting a share of P161,544.10; 19 fishermen got P143,594.75; and Makato Fisherfolks MPC, P17,949.34. Meanwhile, P35,898.68 was spent for the repair and maintenance of Lambaklad.

    The province also deployed 9 units of fish enhancing device in Ibajay; and 3 units in Unidos, Nabas.

    The province has also an oyster culture project in Cabugao, Altavas; tilapia fry project in Janlud, Libacao; and is initiating 85 artificial reef units in Poblacion, Nabas.

    The province has also harvested from its seaweed production project in Union, Nabas, and is preparing for transplants.

    Governor Marquez said the positive development in food production in Aklan is very inspiring. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Aklan mothers urged to practice exclusive breastfeeding

    Kalibo, Aklan – The Provincial Health Office (PHO) appealed to Aklanon mothers to exclusively breastfeed their babies for 6 months.

    By exclusive breastfeeding, Cecile De Lemos, PHO Supervising Midwife and Provincial Breastfeeding Coordinator, said mothers should feed their babies with breastmilk alone for the first six months.

    "The baby should only consume breastmilk, no water and other supplementary foods," De Lemos said over PIA-Aklan's radio program aired by RMN-DYKR.

    De Lemos stressed that all mothers have the ability to breastfeed, and to produce milk. Patience, the right position as well as correct nipple attachment contribute to satisfying feeding time between the mother and the baby.

    Mothers should also eat nutritious foods to generate breastmilk.

    "In these hard times, mothers should practice breastfeeding. Breastmilk is very accessible, free and nutritious. I can't understand why there are still low income families who opt to bottlefeed their babies inspite of the fact that infant formulas are very expensive. Money saved from buying infant formulas could be used for other things," De Lemos revealed.

    De Lemos' radio guesting was part of the PHO's activities in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week from August 1-7, and National Breastfeeding Month this August.

    Based on PHO-Aklan's records in 2009, 60.24% of mothers initiated post-partum breastfeeding, while 86.70 practiced exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months.

    "We are aiming to attain a higher percentage of breastfed babies in Aklan this year and the following years, but it would be much better if we attain a 100% accomplishment of our target," De Lemos said.

    Presently, the Breastfeeding Advocacy in the province is fully supported by the PHO, Aklan Medical Society, Barangay Health Workers Federation, Botika ng Barangay Operators, Breastfeeding Task Force, and the Gerry Roxas Foundation. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Friday, August 6, 2010

PESO-Aklan needs job applicants

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The Provincial Employment and Service Office (PESO) here needs job applicants for many positions opened by private companies that coordinated with this office.

    According to Vivian R. Solano, Provincial PESO Manager, many companies from Cebu, Iloilo and Manila went to her office looking for applicants for various vacant positions.

    To accommodate the requests of these companies, PESO-Aklan is now accepting applicants for jobs here and abroad.

    For local employments, applicants are needed for branch officers, store supervisors, training assistants, marketing assistant, sales representatives, call center agents, program assistants, Jr. technicians, cashiers, service crews and utility/mechanic.

    For jobs abroad, these companies need a Cook for Australia, medical technologists, nurses, pharmacists, physical/occupational therapists, teachers and lawyers for America, nurses for London, and household workers for HongKong, Kuwait, Malaysia and Singapore.

    Solano said jobless should apply, because job generation for Aklan constituents is one of the programs of the Provincial Government under Governor Carltio Marquez.

    Interested applicants, according to Solano, could visit the PESO-Aklan in its new office located at the second floor of the new Provincial Capitol Annex building, bringing with them their application letters, resume', pictures, copies of their transcript of records and other credentials placed in a long folder.

    Throughout its years of existence, PESO-Aklan has been instrumental in providing jobs to thousands of Aklanons in the province, other parts of the country and abroad. (PESO/PIA-Venus G. Villanueva)

COMELEC starts voters’ registration for barangay, SK polls

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Municipal offices of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in Aklan's 17 towns have started registering voters-applicants for this year's Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections.

    Lorena Tumbagahan, Election Officer of the municipality of Kalibo, said registration for barangay elections is ongoing which started on August 4 and will be up to Aug. 13. On the other hand, registration for SK started August 6 and will be held up to August. 15.

    Regular voters are registered through the biometrics method, unlike voters for SK who are not subjected to such method.

    Presently, the COMELEC is in the process of deleting names of voters who were twice registered. The COMELEC assured, however, that there is no danger of disenfranchising voters should they have identical names, because individual voters could be identified through their fingerprints.

    The COMELEC said there will be no extension of voters' registration. For this year, barangay and SK elections will be held October 25. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Parole and Probation Office needs volunteers

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The Aklan Parole and Probation Office (APPO) here badly needs volunteers to help them monitor clients especially in far municipalities.

    Emma Narciso, Parole and Probation Officer here, said the office has some 34 active volunteers, but more are needed because they have 225 clients now who need to be monitored regularly.

    Narciso said the PPO clients are made to report monthly to their office in Kalibo, but there are times when these clients have no fare money so volunteers in their areas could monitor them instead and submit progress reports after.

    "There are no special qualifications for PPO volunteers. What is important is they have available time to monitor our clients, and be able to submit reports to the office.

    Narciso said there are instances when clients cannot regularly report to the PPO because they are jobless and have no fare money to use, or sick at the moment. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Parole and Probation office helps government save millions

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Years of tending to clients by the Aklan Parole and Probation Office (APPO) here enabled the government through this agency to save millions of pesos.

    Presently, the APPO has a total of 225 clients, and according to Emma Narciso, Aklan Parole and Probation Officer here, had these persons been placed inside rehabilitation centers because of their committed offenses, the government will have to spend for their daily needs, especially meals.

    "If our clients each get P25 for their daily meals, the government would spend P5,625.00 for just a day for them. For 30 days, this would amount to P16,750.00 and for one year, the total amount spent will reach P2,053, 125.00", Narciso said.

    Probationers, according to Narciso, include persons whose sentences are 6 years and below and who never appealed their cases, while Parollees are those who has served the minimum years of their sentences.

    To properly monitor these persons, Narciso said they are made to report to the Aklan PPO monthly. To avoid crowding considering the small size of the office, reporting of clients are scheduled. For new clients, they are told to report every first Tuesday of the month; while others are told to report every first Friday. Those from farther towns of the province are instructed to report every second Tuesday and second Friday monthly.

    The Aklan PPO makes it always a point to endorse reformed clients to the community for reintegration, according to Narciso. They also make regular visits and advocacies to various towns of the province. The three personnel including Narciso, divide the visit schedules among themselves.

     Through the years, Narciso said the parole and probation program of the government had helped many Aklanons reform and become good citizens.

    "We have known of former clients who became gainfully employed in government and private offices and were able to send their children to school to become professionals," Narciso said.

    These people, according to her, come back to their office from time to time to thank them and express their gratitude, because "if not for the Aklan PPO, they would not be where they and their children now are".

    Because of this, Narciso appealed to communities in Aklan with offenders who wanted to start a new life, to give them a chance, accept them in the community and support them.

    "There are many cases wherein clients wish to reform but when they go back to their communities, they already have no family waiting for them, they are shunned and distrusted by the community, and rejected. They become misplaced, which might lead them to stray again," said Narciso.

    Just last month, the Parole and Probation Office celebrated its 34th year of existence, and the 17th Parole and Probation Week. In Aklan, the PPO and its clients observed these activities through a Thanksgiving Mass, information drives, bazaar and cleanliness drives.

    The bazaar highlighted the celebration which was an opportunity for clients to sell their products like fruits, vegetables, seafoods and delicacies at the Provincial Capitol Grounds, which were all sold out in due time, according to the PPO. (PIA/Venus g. Villanueva)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Philippine Science HS opening doors for free secondary education

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Elementary school pupils are once again given a chance of a lifetime to enjoy free secondary education at the Philippine Schience High School (PSHS). First step they have to hurdle to enjoy this privilege is by passing the National Competitive Examination (NCE).

    Should these pupils pass the NCE, they will enjoy free tuition fee, free loan of textbooks, monthly stipend, and unfiform, transportation and living allowances to those belonging to low income groups, according to Jairus Lachica, Provincial Science and Technology Officer of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Aklan.

    The PSHS, with campuses all over the country, was established through Republic Act 3661. It is mandated to offer on a free scholarship basis a secondary course with emphasis on subjects pertaining to science with the end in view of preparing students for careers in science and technology.

    To qualify for the NCE application, a Grade 6 or 7 elementary pupil from a duly recognized school by the DepEd should belong to the upper 10% of the current class and does not have a grade below 80 as certified by the School Principal; a Filipino citizen with no pending application as immigrant to any foreign country; born on or after June 1, 1996; in good health and fit to undergo a rigorous academic program; of good conduct and behavior; and had not taken the PSHS NCE previously.

    If the applicant does not belong to the upper 10% he/she should have special aptitude in science and math as supported by the report card, with at least a grade of 85 in Science and Math and 80 in all other subjects.

    In Aklan, application forms for NCE could be obtained at the DOST Office located at the Provincial Capitol Compound. Deadline of submission of applications is on August 27, 2010. Examination date is on November 6, 2010. Designated testing center in Aklan, according to the DOST, is the Northwestern Visayan Colleges (NVC).

    In Region 6, the nearest PSHS campus is in Jaro, Iloilo City.

    Last year's NCE yielded a total of 10 successful examinees from Aklan, coming from public and private schools in the province. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)