Friday, July 15, 2011

Prieto Diaz Gawad Kalinga on to seaweed-noodles production

by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, July 14 (PIA)....."One of the most nutritious noodles one now can buy in the markets here in the province of Sorsogon is locally produced in the municipality of Prieto Diaz and these are seaweeds noodles." ,Imelda Romanillos, provincial field officer of  Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)said during an interview here this week.

"DOLE has allocated funds in the amount of P284,000.00 for the procurement of the needed equipments in the production of the seaweeds noodles by the Gawad Kalinga Tarabang Village Association (GKTV) of Prieto Diaz", she said.

In the pronouncement of President Aquino during his Pilipinas Natin Forum, Poverty Reduction and Empowerment of the Poor and Vulnerable is second to his wish lists, belonging to his 4 pillars for development.

According to Romanillos,  DOLE as an instrumentality of national government leads in  the provision of fund assistance in the reduction of poverty through providing local communities the empowerment to use their indigenous materials and promote local employment.

Seaweeds is in abundance in the municipalities of the second district of Sorsogon like Prieto Diaz, Gubat, Barcelona, Buliusan, Matnog and Sta Magdalena.

Convergence now being the language for development is being implemented here by various agencies according to Romanillos.

"We are trying to coordinate and facilitate interventions by identifying our resources and how these resources and technical assistance can be maximized  and harmonized for the development of employment in our rural communities", she said.

This project of seaweed noodles production is now being implemented through the concerted efforts of the local government of Prieto Diaz through GKTVA,

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is providing technical assistance, DOLE for fund assistance  and the Department of Agriculture-Regional Fishery Training Center (DA-RFTC) for indigenous resources identification in local communities.

GK as a program initiated by a non-governmental organization with  a component for livelihood development. Beneficiaries here of the GK are also provided values formation and  the right knowledge in the implementation of Solid Waste Management Program aside from livelihood development.

Meanwhile according to Maynard Doluntap of the DTI Sorsogon, their agency has assisted the GKTVA in terms of capability building through entrepreneurship, organizational development, costing and pricing including product development, packaging and labeling.

Doluntap also said that in the just concluded Small and Medium Enterprise -Work on Wheels (SME-WOW) Caravan, this product has been displayed and sales were generated.

"We are proud to say that developing the nutri-noodles can also answer the problems of malnutrition in the countryside. Specially now that we are celebrating Nutrition Month, we can recommend seaweeds noodles for snacks and even as a viand, it being a rich source for iron, calcium and other minerals", Doluntap also explained.

Product development using indigenous materials abundantly present  in Sorsogon has also been well identified during the SME-WOW Caravan.

The techno training provided by DTI and is currently continuing has made the seaweeds-nutri-noodles production now in full swing in the GKTV.

The seaweed-noodles are now being sold in Prieto Diaz market..It is now distributed in schools and in the local stores here. Packaging comes in 100 grams which sells at P10.00 each. (PIA-SORSOGON)

Congressman Ramos funds MSMEs in the 2nd district of Sorsogon

by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, July 15 (PIA)......A  P1.5 million fund  was released through the office of 2nd district representative of Sorsogon, Diogracias B Ramos to support the entrepreneurship and livelihood development  of  the Micro , Small and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs) for the 9 municipalities in the 2nd district.

This was learned from Senen C. Malaya, Information Officer of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) here in Sorsogon.

Dubbed as "Development Initiative in Building Resourced-based Enterprise" (DBR), the congressional allocation provided by the office of congressman Ramos is geared towards the strengthening of the MSMEs in his 2nd congressional district according to Malaya.

According to Malaya , congressman Ramos earmarked the amount to fund the  revitalization of  the handicraft industry, food processing production and to strengthen the production capacity of MSMEs  in the municipalities  of the 2nd district to eventually  propel the economic activities in rural communities.

 Malaya said that  Congressman Ramos is hopeful that  this project, with the  technical assistance of  DTI Sorsogon, will  upgrade  the production and entrepreneurial competence of SMES, provide them tools, equipments and machines needed for their production.

Congressman Ramos in his dialog with DTI regional and provincial personnel stated that the fund allocation  should  also shoulder costs to introduce latest designs and trends for craft producers, improve their packaging and labeling of products to be sold, improve product shelf life as in processed foods to enhance its marketability and enable the micro, small and medium enterprise to participate in trade exhibits and other marketing  activities as explained by Malaya.

Malaya said that congressman  Ramos in his stint as municipal mayor of Gubat has seen a lot of raw materials   found in the different municipalities in the 2nd district that can be made into different kinds of saleable product

Ramos believed that MSMEs need only capitalization that is why his office provided the financial intervention and lead agencies for MSMEs development  should be assisted by DTI.

Malaya said that with the dialog they have conducted with Congressman Ramos spearheaded by Leah Pagao in the presence  of regional director of DTI RO 5 Jocelyn L.B. Blanco ,  the overall view and plans on how this allocation should assist the local government units of the 2nd district in terms of enterprise and livelihood development was clearly spelled out so that return of investment should be generated as a way to improve the quality of life of his constituency.

Malaya said that they have now conducted a dialog  with the Local Chief Executives  (LCEs) of the municipalities of Bulan, Sta Magdalena, Matnog, Irosin, Bulusan, Barcelona, Prieto Diaz , Juban and Gubat together with representatives coming from various MSMEs.

115 participants from the different sectors of entrepreneurs like those involved in food, crafts,furniture industry, and point persons in the 2nd district  of the One Town One Product (OTOP)  were present in the dialog..

Discussion on the  manner and process of on how the allocation will be  and  given was agreed upon by the LCEs following the guidelines provided to them .

Malaya said that with this dialog conducted they can now  jumpstart the process on who and how to access the funds. (PIA- SORSOGON)

Sorsogon Provincial Tourism Council to promote agricultural tourism

by : Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, July 15 (PIA)...."Farm tours is now one of the current trends to make people aware of what the environment offers.It is an experiential exposure that should and can be initiated here in the province of Sorsogon, ours being a truly agricultural province. Agricultural tourism will complement our whaleshark interaction and we can have a year-long tourism activity, Sangguniang Panlalawigan  Board Member -Committee Chair on Tourism., Eric Ravanilla said.

"The national event we attended in Manila the other week on tourism development and opportunities,  gave us a deeper insight and learning on how other countries like Cambodia, Thailand and other Asian countries made cultural tourism one of its best dollar earner. because farming is also their way of life", he said.

"Sorsogon is a very rich province with all the agricultural land a natural wonder that has to be given importance as a highlight for cultural tourism. Today it is a global trend, this being the way of life of people, and agricultural tourism is cultural tourism in one.", he further explained.

The Sorsogon Provincial Tourism Council (SPTC) is now making a headway plan in identifying all farmlands  here that are now developed and  can be offered as agricultural tourism destinations.

According to Cris Racelis, provincial tourism officer, their attendance to the national  agricultural tourism exposure has given them a lot to think about and make agricultural tourism one of the banner tourism programs here.

"We have identified developed farmlands here like the Balay Buhay in San Roque, Irosin, the farmland now being developed in Prieto Diaz by Boy Espenida. Castilla has several farmlands fully developed also that can be linked as a resource for agricultural tourism and several in Juban, Casiguran and in Bacon district " Racelis said.

"Eventually the new provincial tourism building beside the Sorsogon Provincial Museum will soon be inaugurated together with the kiosks that will become the display center for the best products  of Sorsogon" she said.

"Here we will be offering best agricultural products that can also be sold and information regarding farm tours will also be provided and our new building can now be a venue for tourism trainings.", according to Racelis.

""Sometimes we do not value and appreciate the natural rural landscapes we have", Ravanilla explained.

" In the event we went to we were shown videos of how farms became tourism destinations. This is true with  our neighboring Asian countries. How these now have developed the basic communities and how people there become aware of what nature has offered them. Truly they are now exposed to the world, marketed online and they have an economic tourism boom", he said.

Today, many city dwellers want farm vacations to get away from city life and be immersed into what is different, what is basic and rural.

Agricultural tourism teaches what is basic, how to enjoy climbing trees, picking fruits.It is a new field where people are allowed to experience the cycle of life, waking up to the chirping of birds, the sight of mildew in the grass and the refreshing smell of a morning.

It will provide children to appreciate farm animals, how these are born and how they blend to the natural environs.

Farmers will also be able to explain to children the cropping season how rice is grown, how a local potato is being extracted or planted. and what farm life is all about and where food served in the table come from.

According to Ravanilla, just like Palawan who is now campaigning for the vote for the Palawan Subterranean Under Water Cruise, here in Sorsogon, our natural wonders are our farmlands, our mountains, lakes and natural resource and basically our farmers and our fisherfolks who can become tour guides if properly trained.

"We have the beautiful flat landscape here in our province planted to rice and these alone can provide tourists a refreshing sight so different from city life" he said.

Tha Sanggunian Panlalawigan will soon  approve the Provincial Ecotourism Code, there we will incorporate the agricultural tourism as one of our natural tourism which our  province can best offer, according to him.

According to Ravanilla there is also a need to train our farmers,SPTC will conduct ocular inspection and mapping of what we have here in the province.

SPTC now will start to sell agricultural tourism and provide the needed intervention on how this can be made into more of a realistic economic come on..

"We will see to it that with agricultural tourism in the frontline, children will learn to enjoy carabao rides, milking goats and cows, feeding chickens and other activities that will provide them more experiential learning, they will know that out of these advertisements boxes shown, they will find out where milk comes from", he said. (PIA-SORSOGON)

UN Habitat Philippines pilots SPES as SMART school

by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY, JULY 11 (PIA).... The Sorsogon Pilot Elementary School (SPES) has been piloted by the United Nations Habitat Philippines (UNHP) as a School Mitigating, Adapting Risk and Threat (SMART) school , the purpose of which is, as an identified evacuation center it should be safe and can withstand the effects of typhoons, floods, erosion  and other elements due to natural calamities.

"Investing in Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation (CCMA) is  investing in the future" mayor Leovic R. Dioneda, of the City of Sorsogon said in his opening message here last week during the training of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (MDRRMC) whereby a speaker from the UNHP explained the need to identify and establish a SMART school, in observance also of the opening of the month-long celebration of Disaster Preparedness Month this July.

Dioneda explained that Sorsogon has been a  pilot recipient  of the the UNHP  assistance for technical training and facilitation of fund sourcing specially in programs regarding CCMA implementation.

"We have identified SPES as our SMART school here, one of the most used evacuation centers that through the years as a place for people to go during natural calamities", he said.

It basic that based on the UNHP the evacuation center has to undergo retro-fitting and be water- fit so that It can withstand the effects of  typhoons and other natural calamities to ensure that evacuees are housed in very safe centers and provided also the needed basic amenities".according to Dioneda.

The two-day seminar workshop has identified the participation of people from the engineering departments of the city  government and other government entities together with some non-governmental organizations that provide coordination, facilitation  and camp management.

The engineering department of the city has conducted the ocular inspection, evaluation  and validation of SPES.They  will  submit the design for renovation following the guidelines or criteria set by UNHP for safe and sustainable evacuation centers.

"We have to make the school as a very safe evacuation center that can withstand the wind strength , volume or amount  of water and also consider its location since it is near Sorsogon Bay ", Engr. Onofre Jordan from the city government planning division  said.

"There are still other criteria to be considered based on the UNHP guidelines for safer cities which we have to take into consideration, that is also the establishment of permanent evacuation centers aside from schools so that disruption of classes will also avoided", he said.

The putting up of a SMART schools evacuation centers is now one of the main concerns  of the CCMA's mechanism.under the UNHP thrusts.

Interventions are being provided now to Sorsogon province because it is one of the identified areas most vulnerable to Climate Change.

Its topography and location according to Jordan as to the  CCMAC report has to be closely watched and monitored specially those areas along the coast.

Sorsogon  province is surrounded by two bodies of water, the China Sea and Pacific Ocean and with the constant sea level rise some coastal areas will experience erosion or inundation according to the findings of the UNHP.

The constant earthquakes experienced in Japan, Netherlands, Indonesia will also impact in areas considered to be in the Pacific Ring of Fire so that the global trend today done by UNHP is to identify areas vulnerable to such impacts and do some mitigation and adaptation measures specially the establishment of SMART schools..

The two-day seminar workshop also trained the sectors  in-charge of camp management and coordination so as they can also train  those communities who will be directly affected with such circumstances. (PIA-SORSOGON)

Mga babalang pangkaligtasan ilalagay sa paligid ng Mt. Bulusan

Ni: Bennie A. Recebido

Sorsogon City, July 15 (PIA) – Upang maiiwas ang publiko sa mga panganib dala ng pag-aalburuto ng Bulkang Bulusan, maglalagay ngayong araw ng mga babalang pangkaligtasan ang Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Bicol sa tulong ng Sorsogon Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) sa palibot ng Mt. Bulusan partikular sa mga lugar ng Casiguran at Irosin.

Ayon kay Sorsogon Provincial Disaster Risk Management Office (SPDRMO) OIC Head Jose Lopez, ang hakbang ay bahagi ng ipinatutupad na paraan ng mga awtoridad pangkalamidad upang patuloy na makaiwas sa panganib ang lahat sa tuwing nag-aalburuto ang Bulkang Bulusan.

Mamamahagi din ng mga dust masks lalo na sa mga residenteng palagian nang naapektuhan ng aktibong bulkan.

Ang mga aktibidad ay bilang pakikiisa na rin sa pagdiriwang ng National Disaster Consciousness Month ngayong buwan ng Hulyo. (VL/PIA Sorsogon)