Sunday, 30 June 2013

Guts and hard work pay off for Malano family


AT 62, Virginia never slowed down in finding ways to improve the lot of her family.

She was engaged in basket and mat weaving and earned at least P300 a month. This measly income was augmented by her husband, Virgilio, who is a tenant of a 2ha rice and coconut land.

Life for the Malano couple was hard with nine children to feed. They do not have jobs to sustain the needs of their children especially in school and could not even bring their children to hospital or health center.

Virginia confided that when the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program reached their place, it brought a lot of hope to them.

Her family is just one of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries at Barangay Sevilla, Donsol, Sorsogon.

The family receives P500 for health and P300 per child for their education. Enthusiastically, she shared her story by telling how grateful she is that her family was included to be one of the recipients of the program

Virginia said the cash assistance for education her children receive inspires them to be in school regularly and do well in their studies.

They now have money to spend for their school projects and never experience going to school with empty stomach.

Virginia and Virgilio are aware that the Pantawid Pamilya implementation is only for five years.

Donsol belongs to Set II of which the program will end in 2014 and the Malano family is included in Set II.

"What will happen to us after 2015? Will there be other help from the government?" These are the questions which bother the Malano couple.

As revealed by Virginia, another good news came to the family. "The question that bothered us seemed to have found an aswer," she said.

In 2011, the DSWD brought the Sustainable Livelihood Program in Donsol,Sorsogon giving priority to the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries.

"Prayers answered," Virginia exclaimed.

She was one who qualified for the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

Sustainable Livelihood Program is a community-based capacity building program that seeks to uplift the program participants' socio-economic status.

It has two models; Micro-enterprise development, and employment facilitation. Virginia is under employment facilitation.

Virginia recalls that she wanted very much to use her skills in ginger tea making (salabat) and in basket and mat-weaving but the family has only a shoestring capital to start the business.

The P6,000 capital assistance received by Virginia was invested in her handicraft and food processing project.

When she started the project, Virginia was determined to make it grow.

Aside from attending to her project, Virginia  availed herself of trainings on handicraft and food processing sponsored by the Department of Trade and Industry.

With perseverance, dedication, and patience, the Malano couple was able to expand their livelihood project from handicraft and food processing to sari-sari store.

With the convergence of the Pantawid Pamilya and the Sustainable Livelihood Program, Virginia enthuses that her family can now get together more often, with decent food on the table especially during weekends.

Her children are all in school and she can sustain the medication of her husband who is sick.

Now, the Malano couple will soon have a fish pond. It would mean additional income for the family.

Virginia said that the success of business depends on one's will to succeed.

Guts and hard work always make sense. – Bicol Mail

FDI, tourism, education answer to unemployment


LEGAZPI CITY: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), tourism, agri-business, infrastructure, and education are among the economic drivers that would fuel employment in the country, according to Albay Gov Joey Salceda.

The governor said what the country needs are foreign investments that would generate more jobs as he called on  President Benigno Aquino III to invite Japan's major corporations to relocate and invest here.

He said this would bring in US$1 billion in strategic investments, although he said he would prefer non-mining investments.

He also said tourism should be given focus as visitors will be welcomed by our scenic tourist spots, good food, and hospitable people.

"Let's work for a possible visit of Pope Francis and other events that would constantly put the Philippines in the radar screen, " Salceda said.

An increase in advertising budget is also strongly encouraged that should match the bigger budget allocated by Vietnam for its own tourism program at around US$150 million compared to our country's current budget of only P1B.

Salceda said infrastructure and mass housing  projects should be pushed as employment boosters where millions of workers are needed that would bring down the level of job losses.

Investing in education would gain a significant advantage by improving and matching the type of courses students enroll in with the jobs being offered by companies, Salceda also stressed.

He also wanted to decongest the National Capital Region (NCR) as the bastion of economy where the country's Top 40 are based, accounting for 76% of the increase in GDP, and bring them to the provinces and boost their local economies.

Salceda wants to promote and focus on growth areas such as the Albay-Masbate-Sorsogon-Catanduanes (ALMASORCA) tourism development area.

Despite the 7.8% growth (which was investment-led, industry-led, construction-led, best in Asia that uplifted its investment grade status), the Philippine economy sustained jobs losses of about 21,000 as employment slid to 37,819 in April 2013 from 37,840 in April last year.

He pointed out that although employment may be affected by the way the government chooses to spend and the way it chooses to tax, employment is an outcome of a far more complex set of economic processes and policies, thus the employment picture must be addressed far beyond fiscal policy.

The Philippine predicament has been over studied and over discussed but under solved, he said. – Bicol Mail

DPWH to cut 651 big trees in Naga City


NAGA CITY, CamSur: The 651 old and giant trees along the national road in this city are scheduled to be cut once the road-widening project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) starts.

Mayor John Bongat said considering the roads involved in the widening are big enough to accommodate four lanes, the trees should be spared and the space on both sides of the road be designated as bicycle and jogging lanes instead.

He said condemning the trees aged between 40 years and 60 years would be painful.

In the inventory conducted by the City Hall Environment and Natural Resources Office (Enro), Enro officer Oscar Orosco said the 651 trees which line the entrance of this city’s “poblacion” make the site a “barren and lonely sight indeed”.

Orozco said the trees affected are those at the national highway of Concepcion Pequena, Concepcion Grande, Del Rosario and Mabulo, the areas covered by the road widening to four lanes.

He said the trees are narra, mango, acacia, mahogany and talisay, all providing shade, beauty and life in the vicinity.

DPWH Regional Director Danilo Dequito said there is a need to make the roads to four lanes, citing the volume of vehicles passing the area. 

He said the additional lane from both sides of the road could not be done without cutting the trees.

Concepcion Grande barangay captain Elmer Baldemoro said the government could find better use for the funds allotted for the road widening to other projects.

He said the trees are in already widened roads and are in areas beautified by the presence of old trees.

During the consultation meeting, however, most of the attendees composed of representatives from the DPWH, the Department of Environment and Natural Resoures, local officials, and their constituents, favored the road-widening project and the cutting of the trees.

DPWH officials said every tree cut would be replaced with 50 trees of the same variety.

Camarines Sur Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office chief Arnel Rodriguez said his office will issue the corresponding permit to cut, saying he sees nothing wrong with the condemnation of the trees to give way to the widening project. - BusinessMirror

CamSur chamber launches first 'Tabang sa Negosyo Award' for LGUs

NAGA CITY: The CamSur Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CSCCI) recently launched the first "Tabang sa Negosyo Award" recognizing local government units (LGUs) in the province that promote models of good governance and business friendly programs.

CSCCI President Solomon Ngo said the award program initiated by the local chamber complements President Benigno Aquino III’s call for a strengthened Public-Private-Partnership (PPP).

CSCCI has partnered with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the implementation of the program, including provision of technical assistance for LGUs to come up with concrete programs that promote trade and investment opportunities in their respective localities and encourage fairness and competitiveness amongst the local market players, thereby improving the quality of life of their constituents.

Ngo said that the chamber, as one of the voices of the country, continues to introduce programs that encourage good governance and transparency among local government units.

“Tabang sa Negosyo" award program also encourages accountability, transparency and efficiency in the conduct of day-to-day operations, and promote competitiveness that will improve the quality of life of their constituents.

"We have also observed that stringent requirements for business registration and slow process for licensing, notably for small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs’) are the main factors that affects the growth enterprises and contribute to the cost of ventures in the municipalities of CamSur,” Ngo said.

Aside from strengthening the ties among the local entrepreneurs in the province, the program is also in seamless harmony with the government‘s efforts to streamline their procedures in compliance with R.A. No. 9485, also known as the Anti- Red Tape Act.

The program with the theme “ano man na ikararahay kan tawo, ikararahay kan negosyo,” (whatever is good for man, is also good for the business), has two award categories: Level 1 for 1st to 3rd class municipalities and level II for 4th to 6th class municipalities in the province.

Special citations may also be provided to LGUs that have outstanding programs or initiatives in business.

Winners from both categories will receive P100,000.00 each plus plaques of appreciation.

Nomination is open to all local government units yet to be qualified, duly accomplished nomination form and the required attachments were to be submitted on or before June 30, 2013 to the CSCCI secretariat.

Deadline for the submission of Bid Book/Write up was on July 5, 2013.

Any clarification/inquiry on the rules of the Award should be forwarded to the CSCCI secretariat, Camarines Sur Investment and Trade Center, Panganiban Drive, BMC Road, Naga City with email address and Telephone Number 473-3168. -- Bicol Mail