Popcom 7 launches search for 100-millionth baby

Created on Friday, 25 July 2014

The Commission on Population (Popcom) 7 has launched a "Search for the 100 Millionth Baby" and urged all local government units in Central Visayas to participate.

According to a projection by the Philippine Statistics Authority, the 100-millionth baby would be delivered at around 12:06 a.m. on Sunday.

Popcom 7 Director Bruce N. Ragas urged the provinces and cities to take part and report the birth of the baby to their respective regional population offices until August 4, 2014.

"The purpose of the 'Search for the 100 Millionth Baby' is to call attention to the Philippine population growth and the tiny baby is just one, small part of our development goal. He/she is a symbol of hope and a challenge to all institutions and every Filipino to count on each other to live in a healthy, productive, and livable environment," Ragas said in a press statement.

He said the birth of the baby "signifies a happy as well as a challenging demographic moment in the lives of every Filipino."

"The 100-millionth Filipino will usher a symbolic hope for better quality of life as he/she epitomizes the challenge to make every Filipino count in prosperity and development," he said.

A baby each from the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor, and Negros Oriental; one from a city in the region; and another one from Metro Manila would be picked as regional winners.

The search is open to all babies born on 12:06 am or seconds later on July 27 in a government-licensed health facility run by the national or the local government.

According to the search guidelines, the facility must be certified as observing the Philippine Standard Time and the birth must be certified by the attending birth attendant/doctor.

Only babies who are born through normal delivery are qualified, with the winners' parents each receiving a P5,000 starter kit for newborns. (PNA)

GenSan to develop modern food terminal, market complex through PPP

Created on Thursday, 24 July 2014

The city government is planning to develop within the next three years a modern integrated food terminal and public market complex through the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.


City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said Thursday they are currently exploring possible investments partnerships with the private sector for the multimillion integrated food terminal and several other major projects through the assistance of the national government’s PPP Center.


He said they signed an internship agreement last week with the PPP Center to expedite the forging of investment partnerships for the projects.


Aside from the integrated food terminal, he said they are planning to link with the private sector for the development of more farm-to-market roads and agri-industrial facilities as well as the expansion and upgrading of the city’s central public market.


“Our goal here is to make GenSan the agri-industrial hub of Region 12. In doing so, we also want to give opportunities to small enterprises as well as open more employment for our constituents,” Rivera said.


Based on their memorandum of agreement, the PPP Center will specifically help capacitate the city government in pursuing PPP linkages for the integrated food terminal and city public market components of the Integrated Economic Development for Regional Trade (IEDRT) in General Santos City Project.


The internship program agreement is part of the PPP Center’s strategy initiative on engaging local government units for PPP linkages.


Under the agreement, the PPP Center, which is an attached agency of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), will provide hands-on training and assistance to the city’s PPP Board, PPP technical working group facilitated by the City Economic Management and Cooperative Development Office and PPP selection committee, which will be in charge with project development and bid management of identified PPP projects.


The agency will also mentor the city’s PPP team in the areas of project development, bidding and competition, and implementation.


Rivera said the IEDRT program is a priority strategic economic support initiative of the city government that is aimed at spurring infrastructure investments and improve the area’s capability to serve as the food and trading center of the greater part of Region 12.


He specifically cited the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and this city, which forms part the Socsksargen growth area.


“The project seeks to improve the physical and institutional linkages among the various stakeholders of the city’s food chain industry, he said.


The mayor said it also aims to benefit local residents through the creation of a network of food market-related activities that will spur the city’s economic development while also expanding access to quality and healthy food at a regional scope.


He said a pre-feasibility study on the program was commissioned by the Cities Development Initiatives for Asia in response to the request of the local government for a pre-assessment of the economic situation of the city.


In support of the project, the city council earlier passed a resolution approving the PPP implementation and another measure that authorizes the mayor to enter into an internship program agreement with the PPP Center.


“One of the problems in implementing PPPs here in the city is that no one has the exact knowledge on how to do it. This assistance coming from the PPP Center will be a great help so that we, in the local government, can finally engage knowledgeably in such ventures,” Rivera said.(PNA)

Lack of seedable clouds hamper cloudseeding operations in Isabela province

Created on Thursday, 24 July 2014

The cloudseeding operations being undertaken to drench parched farmland and refill the drying Magat Dam have been hampered by lack of seedable clouds in the past days.

1Lt. Charmaine Tabo-tabo, Philippine Air Force-Tactical Operations Group-Region 2’s civil-military operations chief and spokesperson, said that Magat Dam personnel and Air Force spotters have failed to see seedable clouds that can possibly give rains when planted with salts.

The Rainmaker plane—tasked to fly for the cloudseeding operations led by the Bureau of Soils and Water Management, National Irrigation Administration-Magat River Integrated Irrigation System, SN-Aboitiz Magat, and the Philippine Air Force—has “successfully” seeded clouds in the past two weeks with 134 bags of salt, causing rains and “somewhat alleviated the problem of the drying dam, according to Captain Michael Vincent Benolerao, PAF-TOG-Region 2 deputy commander.

“Looking at the situation, we somehow helped in bringing rains. Not necessarily na napuno but it slowed down the evaporation of water at the Magat Dam,” he said.

“In the past weeks, we recorded a 90-percent successful rate out of the seeded clouds. Anytime, as long as there are seedable clouds, we will fly immediately,” he said.

Lawyer Michael Hosillos, SNAP vice president for corporate communications, said they have been reducing their power generation capacity due to the low water level at the dam.

The cloudseeding operations have been funded by the SN-Aboitiz Power-Magat, Inc., a Filipino-Norwegian consortium which owns and operates the dam’s power facility while the irrigation component is still under the National Irrigation Administration.(PNA)

Bioethanol firm treats workers, loved ones in Family Day and Thanksgiving

Created on Thursday, 24 July 2014

At least 1,700 workers and family members of the Green Future Innovations, Inc. and Ecofuel were recently wowed with a fun-filled treat as company officials joined them during the Family Day and Thanksgiving held at the company compound in Barangay Santa Filomena here.

Various games, clown-initiated activities and crafts, singing and dancing bonanza and parlor games have punctuated the event, which saw workers, family members, and officials mingled in a single day aimed at re-energizing and giving them respite from work.

The event was initiated by the Green Future Innovations, Inc. (GFII), a bioethanol and co-generation plant corporation based in the province.

Company flyers have earlier advocated that the bioethanol plant has been utilizing sugarcane sources from Filipino farmers. The plant has a capacity to produce 200,000 liters per day or 54 million liters of anhydrous alcohol annually, “thereby displacing the country’s reliance on imported fossil fuels,” the flyer further said.

The cogeneration plant, after converting excess bagasse to energy, generates approximately 19 megawatts of renewable power, 13 megawatts of which has been exported to the National Grid in support of the Philippine Government’s Energy Development Program.

The company maintains sugarcane growership contracts with 4, 000 farmer families in Isabela.(PNA)

31 U.S. Peace Corps trainees start 3-month activity in Bataan town

Created on Thursday, 24 July 2014

Thirty-one trainees of the United States Peace Corps started on Wednesday the first day of their three-month activity in Bagac, Bataan.

Municipal Mayor Ramildel Rosario welcomed and officially opened the gates of the town to the trainees who were divided into three groups.

They were assigned in barangay Atilano, Tabing-Ilog and Ibaba. Some 31 foster families were selected to accommodate a trainee each during the duration of their stay in the respective village.

The mayor assured the Americans of their safety. “We are very grateful to all of you. I sincerely believe that your brief stay here will be fruitful and a significant one,” del Rosario said.

In a short program, the trainees tried to introduce themselves one by one in Filipino the best way they could. They enjoyed later a snack of turon and cashew nuts.

“I joined the training to be of help and to serve and learn from the cultural exchange,” Emilee Smith said. They will mingle with local folk and assist in community undertaking.

She said that they will be training for three months and then serve as volunteers for two years.

No age requirement is needed to enter the American Peace Corps butapplicants have to possess a college degree, Marissa and Stephanie said. (PNA)

Festivals sustain economic boom in Isabela, say execs

Created on Thursday, 24 July 2014

Festivals spell economic boom in the province, officials have confirmed.

The annual Mammangi Festival—which literally means planting of corn—has been reaping rewards for the city through promotions of its scenic tourism attractions and commercial areas aside from recognizing the "cream of the crop" among the villagers who excelled in their fields and who won in street dancing, corn-ilary cooking fest, souvenir making and other gimmicks, according to Antonio Montereal Jr., city information officer.

While the finances have been supported by non-government organizations, the city government has also allocated funds every year, he added.

“However, even if the city would be donation-less, it can still stand firmly with its own appropriations,” he said, adding that the amount spent every year has been under the treasury’s care. He did not elaborate the exact amount.

“Finances spent are reasonable because we are even having our return of investments for tourism promotions such as our Ilagan Sanctuary,” he added, saying that the site of the Mammangi Festival and Aggao na Ilagan have been mostly situated at the area.

The funds were spent to facilitate the events and shoulder prizes and other reasonable festival-related expenses, he added.

Mayor Josemarie Diaz said the festival has been boosting unity and economic prosperity of villagers, aside from inculcating the value of thanksgiving for bountiful harvests of corn and palay.

Ilagan used to celebrate Binallay Festival during the time of slain Mayor Delfinito Albano but it was changed into Mammangi Festival during the time of Mayor Diaz.

For Isabela province, the Bambanti Festival last January and the Isabela Day celebration on May 11 were practically shouldered by the Isabela provincial government with donations from non-government organizations and individuals.

Governor Faustino Dy III said the activities have been helping the province’s distinction as the agricultural tiger in Luzon—the primary corn producer and the second highest rice producer behind Nueva Ecija.

Isabela has been celebrating Bambanti Festival even during the time for former Governor Maria Gracia Cielo Padaca, now an election Commissioner.

Feasts in the province have been mostly honored for the patron saints while others have been focused on their major product in the city or town. Noted are the Balatong Festival (every May) of San Mateo town which focused on its munggo production, a rich source of protein, and the Baka Festival in San Pablo town which focused on its large cattle industry.

San Mateo town used to have the Pato (Duck Festival) until it was changed into Balatong Festival during the time of the Agcaoilis.

In Roxas town, its July 4 feast has been named Pagay (Palay) Festival. It used to be called Binnadangan (Volunteerism) Festival. “It has been celebrating the event as thanksgiving for the large stock of rice. They usually ward prizes to best-dressed farm implements, cookfest, and making of biggest rice cakes, among others,” Mayor Benedict Calderon said.(PNA)

PNP announces new requirements for firearm ownership

Created on Thursday, 24 July 2014

Police Provincial Director, Police Senior Supt. Samuel Gadingan announced the new requirements for the registration and renewal of firearms registration.


PSSupt. Gadingan said that any qualified person who wants to register their firearms or renewal of their existing registration must first secure License to Own and Possess Firearms (LTOPF) per  Republic Act 10951 or the Comprehensive Firearm and Ammunition Regulation Act.


According to RA 10951, LTOPF can be applied by a Filipino citizen, who is at least 21 years old and has gainful work, occupation or business or has filed Income Tax Return.


The requirements for the license are psychiatric test, drug test, gun safety seminar certificate, finger print, National Police Clearance (R2), and court clearance.


The act also states that the license must be renewed every two years; while the firearm registration must be renewed every four years.


Gadingan disclosed that the payment for the license and registration will be through registered banks.


“Unlike before that the personnel from the police office will receive the payment, all fees will paid through the banks,” he said.


Gadingan said that one of the factors of the license is to avoid fictitious firearm registration and corruption in the system.


He revealed that to disseminate the policies, the Davao del Norte Provincial Police Office (DNPPO) will conduct tomorrow (July 24) an Education Caravan at the provincial barracks, which will assemble stakeholders and media. One of the speakers for the caravan will be PNP Regional Director Wendy Garcia Rosario.


Based on the records of the DNPPO, the province has 8,319 firearms; 7,496 of which were renewed as of December 2013. (PIA)

Search on for symbolic ‘100M Pinoy babies’ in CL

Created on Thursday, 24 July 2014

Commission on Population (POPCOM) and its partners in Central Luzon shall welcome on July 27 the birth of the 100 millionth Filipino through a search for symbolic babies in all seven provinces and the City of San Fernando.


“The search is based on the projections of the 2010 National Census that the country will reach the 100-million mark in population this Sunday at exactly 12:06 AM,” POPCOM Regional Director Eleanor Cura said.


It is likewise meant as an opportunity to highlight the significance of the Philippine Population Management Program in pursuing national and local development.


“It is a call to make every child be born wanted and ensured of his/her basic needs, health, education, and other development concerns,” Cura emphasized.


To qualify, babies must be born through normal spontaneous delivery in a government-run health facility at exactly 12:06 AM on July 27 or seconds/ minutes later as certified by the attending birth attendant or doctor.


P5,000-worth of infant items and supplies as well as other forms of assistance await the winners.


POPCOM and its partners shall also track the development stages of the symbolic babies that will be highlighted during future Population and Development activities.


The search is being done in collaboration with Department of Health, National Nutrition Council, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, local government units, and Philippine Information Agency.


Based on the 2010 Census, the Philippines has an average Population Growth Rate (PGR) of 1.90 percent.


It likewise stated that Central Luzon has a PGR of 2.14 percent- the third highest among the regions based on population size. (PIA)

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