Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2012

Agri Dept. to Raise Bicol Output for Nat'l Rice Production

The Department of Agriculture on Wednesday said it is focusing on the Bicol region to make a significant contribution to national rice production by putting in place organic farming that capitalizes on drought-tolerant varieties. The region's upland rice varieties are being developed for the market because of their potential for higher grain output and tolerance to drought — vital traits amid the threats from climate change. These include the cultivars Palawan, Gayang-gang white, and Kinaraba. Upland rice varieties have an average yield of 1 to 2 metric tons per hectare, but selected Bicol varieties have exceeded the yield average, according to the Agriculture Department. The region used to account for 20 percent of national rice output. Citing an International Rice Research Institute report, the Bureau of Agricultural Research noted that 63,699 hectares of upland areas in Bicol were devoted to rice production in the 1960s. The numbers dropped to 53,480 in the 1970s.�…

SEAFDEC Opens Gates to Mud Crab Domestication

TIGBAUAN, Iloilo – The complete life cycle of the mud crab is now documented, opening the gates for its domestication. That’s big time: next to China, the Philippines is the world’s second largest mud crab producer; it harvested 14,437 metric tons of mud crabs from aquaculture in 2010. “The study on the domestication of mud crab is the first ever reported in the Indo-west Pacific region,” said Dr. Emilia T. Quinitio, Scientist and Head of the Technology Verification and Demonstration Division of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center’s Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC/AQD). “The initial results would serve as guide to understand and eliminate the barriers to mud crab domestication.” “The breeding technology will support the production of good-quality seedstock for farming and eventually lessen the dependence on wild stock,” she said in an interview. “Genetic selection for desirable traits focusing on fast growth and better reproductive performance will be done while ma…

Boom in Philippines Cruise Tourism

The Philippines is getting a share of cruise passenger traffic, largely due to the global interest in Southeast Asia as the newest cruise destination. The Department of Tourism (DOT) is bullish on cruise tourism, as visiting international cruise liners contribute significantly to foreign tourist arrivals. The latest to make its inaugural call at Philippine ports on October 26-27, 2012, was the Florida-based Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Seas, with 2,500 tourists onboard the vessel. The cruise tourists toured Manila’s famous spots and explored the white powdery beaches of Boracay island. Cruise lines that regularly stop in Manila as part of their tour package include the P&O Cruises’ Oriana, Regent Seven Seas Voyager, Silversea’s Silver Spirit, and Swan Hellenic’s MV Minerva. More cruise ships are scheduled to make Philippine port calls in 2013. Part of government’s cruise tourism roadmap is to create tour packages showcasing magnificent attractions and amenities under “It’s Mo…

DOT, DENR & WBCP to Host the 8th Philippines Bird Festival

The Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP) will jointly host the celebration of the 8th Philippine Bird Festival on December 7 to 8, 2012 in the City of Manila. With this year’s theme of “Birdwatching. More Fun in the Philippines”, the annual event is considered to be the country’s largest celebration of avifaunal diversity and bird lore awareness. The festival aims to promote birdwatching as a nature tourism activity and drum up support for conservation and restoration of Metro Manila’s remaining wetlands in the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA), a 175-hectare protected habitat just off the Coastal Road leading to Cavite. To be held at the Teodoro F. Valencia Circle in Rizal Park, the event is open to the public free-of-charge. It will feature an exhibit of bird photos, displays on the biodiversity of Manila Bay, films and lectures, bird watching trips, and…

Duty Free Philippines Opens Store in Legazpi

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 30 (PNA) – Duty Free Philippines (DFP), a corporation accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT)opened its branch here recently. Maria Ong-Ravanilla, Bicol’s DOT regional director said DFP’s opened its branch in the city to provide the shopping needs of international travelers with an efficient service and convenient environment and to showcase the Bicolano traits of warmth and hospitality. The store was part of the DOT program to enhance tourism service facilities in Legaspi which is fast growing as Bicol’s main tourist destination, Ravanilla said. As a world-class retailer of international commodities, DFP carries out the task of supporting the development of the country’s tourism industry, she added. Housed at the second floor of Embarcadero de Legazpi, the posh lifestyle hub and tourist-oriented commercial and entertainment center sitting on a sprawling waterfront complex, the duty-free shop was the first to be put up in Bicol.(PNA) GHG/DOC/CBD/

Contribution of Tourism Industry to the Economy Posts 5.9 Percent in 2011

As measured by the share of tourism direct gross value added (TDGVA) to total gross domestic product (GDP), the contribution of tourism industry to the economy was 5.9 percent in 2011. It averaged 5.8 percent during the years 2000-2010. TDGVA, an indicator which measures the value added of different industries in response to activities of both domestic and inbound visitors, amounted to PhP 571.3 billion in 2011, higher by 10.2 percent than in the previous year. Among the tourism-characteristic industries, shopping had the biggest share to TDGVA at 22.9 percent, followed by accommodation at 11.2 percent, and entertainment and recreation at 6.8 percent. These are based on the latest results of the Philippine Tourism Satellite Account (PTSA) which also provides information on tourism expenditure and employment. Other key results from PTSA include the following: As measured by the share of tourism direct gross value added (TDGVA) to total gross domestic product (GDP), the contribu…

Korean Investors to Build US$70-M Pro-Environment Energy Plant Near Mt. Isarog

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 23 (PNA) -- The Naga City government has converted a five-hectare public land near the foot of Mt. Isarog into an industrial site where a Korean firm will establish the “first of its kind in the Philippines” waste-to-energy plant costing US$ 70 million. Technically dubbed “Waste to Synthesis Gas Project,” the facility will convert the city’s solid waste to electric energy through melting-gasification, the first to be introduced in the Philippines. To be put up by the Korean-owned CJ Global Company, the waste-to-energy project, inspired by a German technology-based process which is environment-friendly is expected to generate at least 10 megawatts of electricity to be supplied to local electric cooperatives and other existing power distribution utilities in the locality. The power generation plant will make use of the approximately 200 tons of solid waste and biomass generated daily by the city’s 27 barangays to produce low-priced electricity using the process of…

DTI-Sorsogon Strongly Advocates for Pili Nut in Global Market

SORSOGON CITY, Nov. 20 (PIA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) office here has convened anew pili nut farmers, producers, and other industry stakeholders to promote and make pili gain momentum in the local, and most especially, in the global market. The province remains the largest supplier of pili in Bicol region and has now developed processors in the province inching their way not only to the local market but priming for foreign market as well said Leah A. Pagao, DTI Sorsogon director. In fact, Tia Berning Pili Candies will soon be available in the Korean market, she proudly said. Pagao furthered that pili would not have made a hit in the market without the usual backings and support from various stakeholders. She took the opportunity to thank Mayor Leovic Dioneda of this city for fully supporting the efforts of championing Sorsogon as pili producer through their various programs, activities, and assistance to growers. She also said that for their part, DTI h…

Napocor Considers RE Facilities for Off-Grid Areas

MANILA, Philippines—State-run National Power Corp. is set to sign an agreement with PNOC Renewables Corp. to explore opportunities in constructing renewable energy facilities in remote and off-grid areas and reduce the cost of subsidies for rural electrification. In an interview with reporters, Napocor president Froilan A. Tampinco said that the renewable energy arm of Philippine National Oil Co. would look at the 14 areas included in the so-called first wave areas to be opened to private sector participation to find where it could put up power-generation facilities, possibly in partnership with the private sector. These areas include Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, mainland Palawan, Catanduanes, Bantayan, Masbate, Tablas, Romblon, Camotes, Siquijor, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan and Sulu. Most, if not all, of the power facilities in these islands are being managed by Napocor’s small power utilities group (SPUG). Of these areas, only Bantayan Island and Masbate may be c…

Aquino Names 2nd State University in Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY—There are now two state universities in Bicol. The second, signed into law by President Aquino, surprisingly is in the depressed island of Catanduanes, one of the six provinces in the region. Albay Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda broke the news, saying the former Catanduanes State Colleges had earned the reputation of providing good education to students in the region. He said students come as far as Camarines Norte, Masbate, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur and Albay. Both the Bicol University (BU) and Catanduanes State University (CSU) also have records of doing well, if not topping board examinations, particularly in the field of engineering. A BU graduate bagged the top score in the civil engineering board a few years ago. Its graduates have consistently landed in the top 10. Salceda said the state-owned BU and CSU are giving astounding performance in the field of education which other state colleges in the region are competitively following suit. He said his province has alre…

Agri Authorities to Rehabilitate Abaca Industry With 2.5-M Hybrid Plantlets by 2015

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 13 (PNA) – Bicol’s abaca industry is expecting more vigor from a new rehabilitation program that puts together various government agencies in collective works toward a wide-scale propagation of hybrid planting materials targeting some 2.5 million plantlets by 2015. The program which was launched recently by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) also involves the commercial production of antisera for abaca bunchy top virus (ABTV). PCAARRD, the program leader, is one of the sectoral councils of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) tasked to help national research and development (R&D) efforts in the country’s agriculture, forestry and natural resources. The PCAARRD presented the concept of the program and the accomplishments of its ongoing projects to the International Conference on Climate-Smart Management for the Uplands hosted by the city government and the Bicol University (BU) h…

Bicol Eyes Tilapia Production for Export Market

PILI, Camarines Sur, Nov. 8 (PNA) -- Bicol is taking the challenge of producing tilapia for both the domestic and export markets. Local fishery authorities say there is a big area for growth in the production in Bicol of both the small-sized tilapia which is a hit in the local market and the big-sized that is consistently gaining popularity abroad. The region had vast freshwater resources that are highly suitable for large-scale production. Among these are the Bato and Buhi Lakes in Camarines Sur, Danao Lake in Polangui, Albay, Bulusan Lake in Sorsogon and several other smaller sites sporadically distributed among the six provinces of the region. All in all, the region’s inland water resources capable of tilapia production are measured at 246,063 hectares of swamplands, 253,854 hectares of brackish water fishponds, 200,000 hectares of lakes, 31,000 hectares of rivers and 19,000 hectares of reservoir, according to data obtained from the Bureau of fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BF…

8 Bicol Caves in PH Protected List

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov 08 (PNA) -- Eight caves in the Bicol Region are in the country’s list of 158 that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has classified for protection, conservation and management. DENR Bicol Regional Executive Director Gilbert C. Gonzales said six of these caves are categorized as Class 3, that is, generally safe to inexperienced visitors and have no known threatened species and archeological, geological, natural history, cultural and historical values. The caves are the Luyang Cave in Barangay Lictin San Andres, Catanduanes; Versales Cave, Barangay Linao, Placer, Masbate; Lingaw Cave, Barangay Linao, Libon in Albay; San Ramon Cave, Barangay San Ramon, Libon, Albay; Rawis Cave, Barangay Rawis, Libon, Albay; and Pighulugan Cave, Barangay Misibis, Bacacay, also in Albay. These caves may also be utilized for economic purposes such as guano extraction and edible birds and collection, he said. Two caves are classified under Class 2 or those with …

WB, EU to Fund Agriculture Projects in Bicol

The World Bank and the European Union have approved the funding of agriculture projects in Bicol next year, the Department of Agriculture regional office said Thursday. The WB will finance the P28-billion Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP) and the European Union (EU) will bankroll the Enhancing Capacities for Disaster Risk Reduction in Agriculture (EC-DRRA), said Agriculture regional executive director Jose Dayao. PRDP is “a six-year national government platform for an inclusive, value-chain oriented and climate-resilient agriculture and fisheries sector expected to raise total funds of close to P28 billion from a loan portfolio of the WB and equity share of national and local government units,” Dayao noted. The program to be implemented in the six provinces of Bicol is the "upscale" version of the successful Mindanao Rural Development Program, he said. With funding support from the EU’s Disaster Preparedness- European Commission's Humanitarian Office, the …

Cardinal-Designate Tagle Laments 'Practical Atheism' Among Some Pinoys

Lamenting what he called a lack of faith among some Filipinos, Cardinal-designate Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle on Saturday called for a revival of faith in God. As he launched the Year of Faith at the San Fernando de Dilao church in Paco, Tagle said "practical atheism" s one of the major obstacles to evangelization. There is atheism which (some Catholics) openly said that they don’t believe in God and there are also those who claim that they are faithful but live as if God doesn’t exist, Tagle said, according to an article posted on the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines news site. He added that while some Catholics claim they believe in God, their actions do not match their words. This includes some Catholics who go to Mass on Sundays, he said. “During Sundays, we profess our faith to God. But starting Monday, cheating happens because of money ... we take advantage of other people for our own interests,” he said. Tagle, who returned to the …

Quilting Now a P5-M Industry in Catanduanes

BATO, Catanduanes, Oct. 29 (PNA) -- The art of quilting which at the start has lured women here as a pastime craft is now a P5-million industry with a wide market abroad. Introduced about 10 years ago, the craft is now drawing many households in the municipality and its neighboring towns of Virac and Baras not already as a hobby but a good alternative source of income. The couple, Mark and Pura Teocson who both hailed from the island province but are now established businessmen in Hawaii, United States, introduced the craft to a group of housewives in the municipality during their vacation sometime in 2002. Quilts are made from patches of fabric sewn together using tiny stitches to make finished products like bags, bed spreads, wall hangs and wallets, among other handmade novelties which are themed using appliqués or patterned patches of fabrics. The designs applied by crafters in the province originated from the Teocsons and thus appeal to the Hawaiian market. Quilting and appl…

Catanduanes Marks 17th Catandungan Festival

VIRAC, Cataduanes, October 23 (PIA) -- Catanduanes celebrates the provincial 67th founding anniversary this October, 2012 also marking the celebration of the 17th Catandungan Festival in the province. Catanduanes, a former sub-province of Albay, was created on October 24, 1945 by virtue of Commonwealth Act No. 687. Festivities kicked off with the Inter-Agency Basketball Competition which started on October 1, 2012. The 1st ever photography workshop was also held on October 13-14 at Rakdell Inn, Virac attended by photography enthusiasts. A five-day Majestic Puraran Surfing Cup was held at Puraran Beach, Baras on October 19-23, with the country’s best surfers and surfing enthusiasts. Puraran is one of the top tourists destinations in the province and is one of the Philippines’ best surfing spots. Tomorrow, October 24, a concelebrated mass will marked the start of the festival proper to be succeeded by a Civic Military Parade at downtown Virac considered as the longest parade i…

Top Catanduanes School Now a State University

VIRAC, Catanduanes—Twenty-one years after its establishment, this island province’s premier institution of higher learning, the Catanduanes State Colleges (CSC), officially became a university last Oct. 19. Rep. Cesar Sarmiento made the announcement to a group of CSC officials led by its president, Dr. Minerva Morales, at the school’s conference room Tuesday morning. The CSC is now a university, the congressman told the officials who clapped and cheered for several minutes inside the CSC conference room. He said that before his state visit to Australia and New Zealand, President Aquino signed Republic Act No. 10229 converting the state colleges into a university. Earlier, the CSC officials were prepared for bad news since Mr. Aquino first wanted his economic and budget officials to comment on the bill converting CSC into a university. Officials of the Commission on Higher Education had wanted the President to veto the bill because of a moratorium on the creation of new state co…

All Primary and Secondary Roads in Catanduanes Seen to be Concreted by 2016

LEGAZPI CITY, Oct. 11 (PNA) -- With the over P2.5 billion the administration is pouring into infrastructure projects in Catanduanes this year and next year, many locals are optimistic that all primary and secondary roads in the island province, known for its abaca and ecotourism would all be concreted by 2016. We might even be completing all road and bridge projects in Catanduanes ahead of the target of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III in paving 100 percent of national roads in the country by 2016, Engr. Danilo Dequito, the DPWH regional director for Bicol on Thursday said. The Catanduanes DPWH district engineering office headed by district engineer Ignacio Odiaman, Dequito said had P1 billion in allocations next year, the biggest so far that the island was given in history and P600 million of it is for road concreting alone. By the end of this year, the DPWH Central Office in Manila will be holding the bi…

Malacañang Declares October 26 as Non-Working Holiday in Catanduanes

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Sept. 26 (PIA) -- Malacañang has declared October 26, 2012 as non-working holiday in the province in line with the celebration of its foundation anniversary. Proclamation number 469 was signed on dated September 11, 2012 by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa. The proclamation aims to provide and enable the Catandunganons to participate in the activtities of the annual Catandungan Festival commemorating the province’s separation from Albay and making it as a province of Bicol Region. The Catandungan Festival is an event that celebrates the town's anniversary and its freedom from the province of Albay. The festival is filled with various form of merriment such as; Pantomina, beauty pageant, guided tours and photo exhibits. In line with this, the Catandungan Festival Steering Committee is set to convene this week to finalize the activities for the month-long celebration. (EA Bgaadiong/ PIA Catanduanes) Source: …

Circumferential Road to North Now Much Improved - DPWH

Less than 18 kilometers of the national road between San Andres and Caramoran remain unpaved as the Aquino administration goes for its 2016 target of paving 100% of national roads, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said last week. DPWH 2012 fund allocation map for Bicol region. Click on the map to open the info window (the heavier the shade the higher the budget allocation). Catanduanes DPWH District Engineer Ignacio Odiaman disclosed to members of the Provincial Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council (PMSMEDC) that 70 percent of the 63-kilometer highway linking the two towns are now paved. By the end of this year, less than 10 kilometers of the same route will be rough roads, Odiaman stated, upon completion of the 2012 road improvement projects. On the other hand, 2013 road concreting projects are scheduled to be bid out by November upon instructions of Sec. Rogelio Singson. At the close of 2013, only five kilometres will be left unpaved along the S…

Google Offers Virtual Dives in World’s Coral Reefs

SAN FRANCISCO—Google late Tuesday began letting users of its online mapping service take virtual scuba dives to explore precious living reefs being surveyed by scientists including in the Philippines. The first underwater panoramic images were added to Google Maps with the help of Catlin Seaview Survey scientific expedition, which hoped that the up-close view of underwater wonders would inspire people to protect them. This is a critical decade for coral reefs, Catlin project director Richard Vevers told Agence France-Presse while providing a preview of the Google reef mapping project. We need to be recording them as fast as we can and involving people to halt the decline, which is alarming at the moment. A small team of Catlin divers used a special camera to capture panoramic imagery woven together at Google Maps and in a special Street View online gallery to let people swim along without getting wet. With these vibrant and stunning photos you don’t have to be a scuba diver or…

Senate Bill to Protect "Sinarapan"

NAGA CITY—The preservation and conservation of the exotic fish “sinarapan,” said to be the world’s smallest commercial fish, will be advanced by a Senate bill that seeks to establish “sinarapan sanctuaries” in Camarines Sur and Albay provinces. With Senators Francis Escudero, Pia Cayetano and Franklin Drilon as authors, Senate Bill No. 3264, now on second reading in the Senate, seeks to place the sinarapan protected areas under the category of wildlife sanctuary, complete with institutional and enforcement mechanisms. The measure seeks to name four small lakes as the fish’s sanctuaries, with all lands surrounding them falling under the classification of “National Park as provided for in the Philippine Constitution.” Under the bill, lakes Manapao (2.7 ha), Makuao (1.03 ha) and Katugday (2.43 ha) in Buhi town in Camarines Sur, and Danao (8.3 ha) in Malinao town in Albay will be protected to ensure the conservation of sinarapan (Mistichthys luzonensis), an endemic fish species found …

DOTC to Bid Out P97M Port Project

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Transportation and Communications is set to develop 10 more municipal ports in various parts of the country costing about P97 million. The DOTC said the infrastructure project is being undertaken in anticipation of the increased passengers and cargo throughout in the Philippines. Ports to be developed are in San Andres, Catanduanes; Catarman and Balbagon, Mambajao in Camiguin; Kaputian, Samal in Davao del Norte ; Malimono, Surigao del Norte ; Kiamba, Sarangani province; and Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte. Three ports will also be developed in Sarangani province: the Batuganding wharf, Mabila port, and Patuco port, the DOTC added. The DOTC assured the public that the project, clustered in eight procurement lots, will undergo an open and transparent bidding process where all interested and qualified providers can participate. - Dennis Carcamo www.philstar.com

Labanay Folks Fail to Learn Lesson

What happened at the sea turtle nesting site at Bosdak beach resort on Aug. 24 shows that the government, particularly the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, needs to do more in terms of educating the people on protecting our natural resources. The caretakers of the resort, couple Peter and Joan Panti and their seven-year old child Mark Gerwin, were walking along the beach when they spotted a sea turtle digging into the sand, apparently about to lay its eggs. Instead of leaving the turtle alone, they, along with Felix and Juqueta Tabilog, captured the turtle. Barangay officials decided to bring the turtle to the beach house of Engr. Jorge Reyes at Sitio Labanay for safekeeping. Reyes contacted the local office of the DENR, which sent Juliet Araojo and Edith Milan the following day although it was a Saturday. The duo had just released a green sea turtle at Twin Rock beach resort, the 19th successfully returned to the wild under Gov. Joseph Cua’s Save Our Sea Turtles pr…

Digitel Pulls Out, PLDT Takes Over

Digital Telecommunications, Inc. (Digitel) ends its limited, unsatisfactory service in the capital town today (Aug. 15) as giant Philippine Long Distance Telecommunications (PLDT) takes over its facilities. According to Magnesia del Norte barangay chairman Juan Arador, the lone Digitel employee left behind after Digitel’s cashier was brought to the mainland, there will be no cut-off in telecommunications services which he said will be eventually improved by the new management. He informed that a team from PLDT inspected the facility in October last year, with the building and its equipment set to undergo upgrading first. Local businessmen and government offices were alarmed after a Digitel official called the DTI and several subscribers to inform that the company would be pulling out of Virac after finding its operation in the capital town as “not viable.” The company used to have a considerable number of subscribers despite the widespread use of cellular phones but typhoon Reming …

Benedict XVI: Appeal for Asian Nations

"Dear brothers and sisters, my thoughts go at this time to the people of Asia, especially to the Philippines, the People's Republic of China, hardest hit by violent rains, as well as those of the North-west Iran, hit by a violent earthquake These events have caused numerous deaths and injuries, thousands of displaced people and extensive damage. I invite you to join me in prayer for those who have lost their lives and for all the people tried by such devastating calamities. May our solidarity and our support not be lacking to these our brothers and sisters".

Finally, Our Own University?

By next school year, 42 years after it came into being courtesy of Congressman Jose M. Alberto, the Catanduanes State Colleges will officially become a university. According to Senator Edgardo Angara, chairman of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, the bill authored by Congressman Cesar Sarmiento proposing the conversion the CSC into a full-fledged university has already been approved by the Upper House. Sarmiento’s buddy in the Senate, Chiz Escudero, however, says that while the bill has been approved at the committee level, it still has to be formally okayed by the Senate membership. The remaining process is just a formality and the bill’s enactment into law before the end of the year is a crowning achievement on the part of Congressman Sarmiento, whose patient lobbying for the bill among fellow legislators deserves credit. More importantly, the solon has done it right in his very first term, something two congressmen before him failed to do even with three full …