Know what is happening on your provincial city shared from different local channels nationwide.

DepEd Enrollees At 4.7M Month Before Classes Start

August 17, 2021
SIGNUP. Parents enroll their children for Academic Year 2021-2022 in Antique on Monday (Aug. 16, 2021). Classes using the blended learning system will begin on Sept. 13, 2021. (Photo courtesy of DepEd Antique)

MANILA—The Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday reported that 4,777,942 learners are enrolled in public schools nationwide for Academic Year 2021-2022 two days after enrollment began.The DepEd’s Learner Information System Quick Counts logged 220,615 learners enrolled since Monday and 4,557,327 during the early registration as of June 2.
In a Viber message to reporters, Deped Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said those who registered early are considered enrolled for the coming school year.
“Unlike last year, the early registration happened before Covid so we had to reconfirm in June. This year, the early registration was already under Covid situation so no need for those who registered early to enroll,” Malaluan said.
For the safety of learners, parents, and personnel, DepEd utilizes communication platforms like Facebook chats, text messaging, and drop boxes in schools or villages.
So far, Calabarzon has logged the highest number of enrollees at 533,722 -- 53,013 learners enrolled and 480,709 early registrants.
Last year, 26,826,387 students enrolled in Kindergarten, Grades 1 to 6, Junior High School, Senior High School, and Alternative Learning System.
Registration will run until Sept. 13, the first day of the school year that will use blended learning as physical classes remain suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (PNA)Posted by

Bicol Pili Industry Receives Boost From Science, Tech

August 10, 2021

The Pili Research and Development (R&D) Center under the Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) continues to yield concrete results through science and technology interventions. This resulted in the improved production of Bicol’s “Tree of Hope.” 
The Pili Research and Development (R&D) Center under the Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) continues to yield concrete results through science and technology interventions. This resulted in the improved production of Bicol’s “Tree of Hope.” 
Recently, the program launched the Pili Information System and Marketplace developed by Partido State University (ParSU). The two websites, which serve as an e-commerce site for pili products and knowledge bank for all updates on the local pili industry, are now available for public access.
The Pili Information System can be accessed at, while the Pili marketplace can be accessed at 
Other notable output of the Pili R&D Center is the training of 80 plant propagators on pili asexual propagation. The farmers from Albay, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, and Masbate were trained by experts from Bicol University College of Agriculture and Forestry (BUCAF).
Five newly-improved designs of pili sorter, depulper, cracker, testa remover, and oil extractor were also developed by BUCAF to aid the farmers in pili processing. 
Meanwhile, the upgraded BUCAF’s Plant Pathology Laboratory facility equipped the research team to conduct quality standard procedures for pili nuts diagnosed with Tayangawon disease.
Currently, BUCAF is in the process of identifying pili varieties/accessions with promising characteristics. They have initially characterized 140 trees in the province of Albay and processed collected samples of pili nuts and kernels. 
Bio-fertilizer protocol for early growth stages of fruit-bearing pili nut trees is underway.Meanwhile, the team from Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA) almost completed the map of pili farms in the region. More than 4,000 pili farms across the Bicol region were surveyed.The  Pili R&D Program is being led by the Bicol Consortium for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (BCAARRD) Consortium Director Marissa N. Estrella and monitored by DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD). 
In preparation for its third year of implementation, the accomplishments of the Pili R&D Center were evaluated during a virtual meeting organized by the Crops Research Division (CRD) of DOST-PCAARRD. Dr. Domingo E. Angeles of the College of Agriculture and Food Science, University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) served as technical evaluator of the projects.(Danica Louise C. Sembrano, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Services)Posted by

SAFEWash For ALL: P&G Safeguard Donates ₱100 Million To Accelerate Hand Hygiene Support Nationwide

August 5, 2021

With one of the world’s longest quarantines, Filipinos are already experiencing “protocol fatigue,” which makes them more lenient about hygiene habits and puts them at risk of infection. Procter & Gamble’s Safeguard is stepping in to remind and reinforce the importance of proper handwashing through the SAFEWash movement. With the current increase in cases in the country, the brand is even more committed to becoming a force for good for all Filipinos who are put at risk every day.
SAFEWash Program Extends Help Nationwide

To help protect Filipinos from the threats of germs and illnesses, P&G and Safeguard ramp up its SAFEWash movement by donating a total of over Php 100 million worth of support. Launched last year, the SAFEWash movement enables organizations and individuals to work together to promote proper handwashing. On top of this, Safeguard is helping to rebuild handwashing facilities and provide hygiene kits for the Philippine General Hospital, currently housing the highest number of COVID-19 patients nationwide. Last May 2021, the hospital’s facilities were damaged by a fire that led to the swift evacuation of patients, including those being treated for COVID-19. Through its partnership with the Manila Water Foundation, Safeguard is adding three multi-faucet handwashing facilities for the hospital in key high-traffic areas to decrease the level of hospital contamination of germs and illnesses.

One Step Ahead in Safeguarding the Nation

With the acceleration of efforts in the past month, P&G and Safeguard have supported more than 20+ organizations, hospitals, and LGUs with the construction of public handwashing facilities, and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE), face masks, ventilators, and hygiene care packs to vaccine hubs and frontliners, through the SAFEWash movement.

As the trusted antibacterial soap brand for more than 55 years, Safeguard commits its support to the Department of Health in helping prepare the country for a hopeful reopening. Through the DOH and P&G partnership, 70,000 BIDA Solusyon health and hygiene kits were distributed to families in 36 provinces nationwide. The kits helped local government units manage COVID-19 community outbreaks, strengthened proper hand hygiene education, and influenced positive action on health and hygiene of families.

“Safeguard believes in helping protect every Filipino family through quality products that fight the spread of germs and illnesses. If everyone plays their part by practicing minimum health protocols, frequent handwashing being one of them, we can help protect those around us as well. At Safeguard, we are one with our partners in helping the country reopen to a SAFER normal,” shares Jan Ang, Senior Brand Director for Safeguard Philippines

Safeguard is working as a Force For Good in ensuring Filipinos get access to quality health and hygiene via the SAFEWash Movement. You can also view Safeguard’s range of germ-fighting products from bars, liquid soaps, to body wash, in Lazada, Shopee, or Facebook, to protect your loved ones of up to 99.9% germ protection today. Posted by

Bacteria From Mayon Soil Found With Potential Antibiotic, Anticancer Properties

August 5, 2021

From now on, Mt. Mayon will be known not only for its perfect cone shape and eruptive past but for its soils that host bacteria that has potential antibiotic and anticancer properties.
Researchers from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) have identified a specific bacterial species from the soils of Mt. Mayon that has shown potential antibiotic and anti-colorectal cancer activities.
This specific bacterial isolate identified as Streptomyces sp. A1-08 has shown antibiotic activity against numerous potentially pathogenic microorganisms and anti-colorectal cancer potential. It is one of the 30 bacteria that were isolated from soil samples of Mt. Mayon in Malilipot, Albay.
“We have high hopes of getting new and novel species because this is a less explored environment, a volcano”, said Kristel Mae P. Oliveros, the project leader and an assistant professor in UPLB Microbiology Division. “We were totally surprised and excited,” she added while describing how they felt upon finding out the results of their experiments.
Once the researchers have confirmed that Streptomyces sp. A1-08 is a new species, they will name it “Streptomyces mayonensis A1-08” in honor of our country. This was explained by Asst. Prof. Oliveros’ coworker Albert Remus R. Rosana who is currently a PhD student at the University of Alberta, Canada.
The researchers have initially isolated 30 bacterial species from Mt. Mayon’s volcanic soils. Thirteen of them have shown varying antibiotic activities in different test organisms that were known as pathogenic to humans or plants. The test organisms are Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus and its methicillin-resistant variant, Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger, and an unspecified Fusarium species. 
“One of the objectives of the study is to screen actinomycete isolates for antimicrobial activity. Therefore, we ensured that our selected test organisms would represent some of the major groups of microorganisms, including bacteria, yeasts, and molds to capture a broader antimicrobial spectrum result,” Asst. Prof. Oliveros mentioned.
“The choice of test organisms was also associated with World Health Organization’s (WHO) list of human pathogens that post eminent danger to human health by 2050, mainly due to antibiotic resistance,” Rosana added.
The research team assumed that since those 30 isolates thrive in a unique environment such as Mt. Mayon’s volcanic soils, they most likely produce unique chemical compounds that may have medical, pharmaceutical, and even cosmeceutical uses. Moreover, Streptomyces species in general are known to produce medically and pharmaceutically important products.
But Streptomyces sp. A1-08 stood out because it has shown antagonistic effects on all test microorganisms and the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or simply MRSA. Abundant in hospitals, MRSA is strongly resistant against antibiotics which makes treatment of infections more difficult. In fact, the WHO has declared antimicrobial resistance as one of the top 10 global threats to public health.
Anticancer, genomic tests
Because Streptomyces sp. A1-08 seems to fight off MRSA, this prompted Asst. Prof. Oliveros and team to study Streptomyces sp. A1-08 further using the anti-colorectal cancer test and genomic analysis.
Their anti-colorectal cancer test indicates that crude extracts from Streptomyces sp. A1-08 suggested low potency when compared to a doxorubicin, a chemotherapy drug. 
“It is good to remember that the positive control doxorubicin is a pure, proven and tested commercially available chemotherapy drug. In contrast, the ethyl acetate extract of [Streptomyces sp.] A1-08 which we have used in the study, [is] a crude extract, and therefore still a complex mixture and may contain multitude of raw compounds at different concentrations,” Asst. Prof. Oliveros explained.
Those raw compounds can be purified further to develop an exact anticancer drug.
To identify the specific genes of Streptomyces sp. A1-08 responsible for producing antibiotic and anticancer compounds, the researchers conducted genomics analysis – or the study of the organism’s complete set of DNAs. It also helped them zero in on the specific identity of Streptomyces sp. A1-08.
Rosana likened genomics to a blueprint of a house or different Lego pieces that a person can assemble to build their favorite character. “In our genomics work, we use computer software to build the correct sequence of the Lego pieces and predict target outcomes, which in our research are the different antibiotics and potential anti-cancer molecules,” he added.
Discovery is not the end
Asst. Prof. Oliveros defined their findings as a “jackpot” but pointed out that their discovery must lead to more research.
“Way forward, further studies should be made for us to establish that this novel species can likewise produce novel bioactive compounds,” she mentioned.
“Future rigorous research in drug chemistry combined with metabolomics are vital to claim that the secondary metabolites produced by our isolate is totally new and hopefully effective as a chemotherapy drug,” said Asst. Prof. Oliveros.
Metabolomics is the study of metabolites involved in chemical processes happening in an organism.
“This is also our dream, to put this project forward in the large-scale cosmeceutical and pharmaceutical pipeline!” the UPLB researcher added.
She finds it honorable to pioneer extending their discovery to industrial applications, and “to showcase the known and great potential of the Philippines as a promising land that harbor natural products for drug discovery”.
This paper was recently accepted in the Philippine Journal of Science (PJS), a peer-reviewed publication of the Department of Science and Technology. Although the paper is lined up on the PJS’ December 2021 issue, its full copy will be uploaded immediately on the journal's website ( as soon as its ready for public reading. 
Joining Rosana and Oliveros in their groundbreaking work are Andrew D. Montecillo, Dr. Rina B. Opulencia, Arian J. Jacildo, Dr. Asuncion K. Raymundo, and the late Dr. Teofila O. Zulaybar, who are all from UPLB.
This study was funded by the UPLB Basic Research Grant and scholarship grants given to Albert Rosana. (By David Matthew C. Gopilan, DOST-STII) Posted by

Bicol Governors OK Stricter Border Control Measures

August 4, 2021

LEGAZPI CITY—Provincial governments in Bicol have agreed to set up tighter border control measures for fear that the highly transmissible and more virulent Delta variant of the coronavirus disease might slip through.
This was confirmed by Bicol Pandemic Task Force on Tuesday, through Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Regional Director Anthony Nuyda, who also chairs the Bicol Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (BIATF).
Nuyda said all provincial boundaries, airports, and seaports especially in the region's border with Quezon province would be implementing said stricter measures, after the executive orders by the provincial governors are issued.
The measures would prevent the entry of local residents from the National Capital Region (NCR) who would like to return home in anticipation of the start of the enhanced community quarantine in the metropolis on August 6 until August 20.
Checkpoint personnel would only allow the entry of essential travelers such as those going home due to emergency situations and authorized persons outside residence (APOR) with health and travel documents including a negative antigen or reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result.
Nuyda said “the anticipatory measure would ensure that these returning local residents are not infected by the virus especially the Delta variant that is highly transmissible and dangerous.”
He said in Camarines Sur, the local IATF has decided to give all inbound travelers free antigen test, and those who would be found infected would be brought to the designated quarantine facility.
Likewise, only accredited Point-to-Point (P2P) passenger buses would be allowed provided that they follow the required passenger capacity. Passengers will have to submit during inspection their negative antigen or RT-PCR test results.
The Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (HPG) will field personnel at the border control areas to check and apprehend "colorum" or illegal vans and cars carrying passengers with fake travel passes.
Meanwhile, upon the recommendation of health authorities, the BIATF has issued a directive to all local chief executives to step up the disease surveillance, contact tracing, and putting up of separate facilities for people infected with the Delta variant, in provinces, cities, and towns.
It also urged local executives to direct their barangay officials to set up a system of monitoring and recording individuals that visit residents in their respective communities.
At the BIATF meeting on Monday, the Department of Health (DOH) in the region reported that while it has achieved a 100 percent vaccination for target health workers, it, however, failed to meet the 80-percent goal for senior citizens and persons with comorbidities under the A2 and A3 group, respectively, because of hesitancy.
“We have to launch an aggressive campaign to convince these senior citizens and those persons with comorbidities to be vaccinated because studies indicate that there’s a very high mortality rate, under this group,” Nuyda said. (With report from PNA)
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Stricter Border Control Eyed In Bicol Amid Delta Variant Threat

August 2, 2021

LEGAZPI CITY -- The Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol has called on local government units (LGU) in the region to implement tighter border control measures to prevent the entry and spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), especially the more transmissible Delta variant.
In an interview on Sunday, Dr. Ferchito Avelino, DOH assistant regional director, said “the best and (most) effective way to prevent the spread of the Delta variant is to have stricter health control measures in all borders from the provinces, towns, cities down to the villages”.

He said the DOH has recommended the renewal of the Bicol Pandemic Task Force's resolution reminding local executives to tighten their checkpoints against the possible entry of people who tested positive for Covid-19.

Avelino also urged local executives to direct their barangay officials to closely monitor the entry of non-residents and step up their contact tracing system in their respective communities.

Likewise, he asked politicians who have been extending assistance to villagers not to hold big gatherings as these can become “super spreader” events.

The DOH Covid tracker indicated that from May to July, an uptick in cases has been recorded in Bicol due to transmission of the Alpha and Beta variants. A total of 33 individuals were infected with these variants in the region.

Recently, two of the 11 Covid-positive crew members of the MV Clyde and Claudia (barge) that is currently anchored off the waters of Sto. Domingo, Albay, tested positive for the Delta variant.

Avelino said the DOH has recommended placing the crew under a longer quarantine.

The vessel carrying over 8,000 metric tons of coal came from Butuan but had previously gone to Indonesia, where cases of the Delta variant had been reported.

Avelino said after the 14-day standard quarantine, the crew members will have to undergo another six days of isolation, after which they would be subjected to another round of swab tests.

He assured the public that there is no Delta case yet in Bicol and the community would remain safe from the highly contagious variant for “as long as they (crew members) are kept inside the vessel and don’t go offshore or jump ship.”

As of July 31, there are 2,923 active Covid-19 cases in Bicol. The total number of cases since March last year is 21,190.

There have been 17,387 recoveries and 799 recorded deaths in the region. (by Mar Serrano, PNA) Posted by

Bicol Int’l Airport Now 89% Complete, DOTR Announces

July 29, 2021

MANILA—The Bicol International Airport (BIA) is closer to reality than ever, with its overall accomplishment rate is at 89%, as of 28 July 2021.
A news release from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) states that Secretary Art Tugade is poised to deliver on his pledge to land on the gateway’s runway as his symbolic act of his relentless pursuit to fast-track the completion of this long-delayed aviation project.
Said airport will be operational before the year ends, and is expected to accommodate an estimated volume of 2 million passengers annually, according to the same news release. Dubbed as the country's most scenic gateway, the BIA is eyed to boost the socio-economic activities in the area, especially foreign and domestic tourism, as well as generate employment opportunities for the locals.Under its construction phase alone, 755 workers were employed even during the challenging COVID-19 pandemic period.
“As part of the mammoth BUILD, BUILD, BUILD” infrastructure program, the BIA will be an important, long-term asset, not just for Bicolanos, but for the entire nation and its citizenry, with its promise of enhanced connectivity and mobility. This promise will fulfill the mandate of giving the Filipino people a most comfortable life,” the DOTR said.
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Cases Of Alpha, Beta COVID-19 Variants Detected In Bicol: DOH

July 29, 2021

LEGAZPI CITY—Eleven cases of the Alpha (B.1.1.7) COVID variant and 22 cases of the Beta (B.1.351) variant have been recorded in the Bicol region. Said cases were locally-transmitted, the Department of Health Bicol Center for Health Development (DOH Bicol CHD) announced this week.

According to its advisory, Albay has eight (8) cases of the Beta Variants; Camarines Norte has one (1) case of the Beta Variant; Camarines Sur, including Naga City, has nine cases of the (9) Alpha and 12 cases of the Beta Variants; Masbate has one case of the (1) Alpha Variant and Sorsogon has one case of the (1) Alpha and one (1) case of the Beta Variant. Catanduanes has no result for any variant from the submitted samples. 
The SARS COV-2 samples were from 260 samples sent to the Philippine Genomic Center (PGC) last April, the advisory explained. Said measure was instituted by the DOH Bicol CHD as part of the laboratory surveillance to determine the circulating strains in the region.
“With this finding, the increase in the number of COVID19 CONFIRMED cases in Bicol this year may be attributed to these variants. As a response, the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of the Bicol Center for Health Development is coordinating with Local Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (LESU) of LGUs where cases were identified,” the advisory reads.
“Cases were already considered recovered as of the writing of the report. However, the potential of infecting others during the period of their infectivity is more likely to have occurred. As such, the DOH Bicol CHD reminds the public that this number is just the “tip of the iceberg. Hence, a thorough case investigation needs to be conducted as part of the back tracing measures and correlation of each case including the clusters therein.”
It continues: “Evidence shows that the emergence of COVID19 variants, especially the variants of concern (VOC) such as the Alpha (B.1.1.7); Beta (B.1.351, B.1.351.2, B.1.351.3); Gamma (P.1, P.1.1, P.1.2) and, Delta (B.1.617.2, AY.1, AY.2, AY.3), respectively are believed to have increased transmissibility and severity. As such, the effectiveness of public health and social measures available or in place may be challenged.
The DOH Bicol CHD with the Bicol Interagency Task Force (BIATF) urges all of the government (both national and local) and the community to bring the transmission of the infection to halt. The following measures are hereby recommended for strict implementation to break the chain of transmission of any COVID19 variants that circulate in the localities of Bicol:
Strong and aggressive CONTACT TRACING by the local government units; Strict implementation of QUARANTINE of CONTACTS and or ISOLATION of SYMPTOMATICS following the Prevention, Detection, Isolation, Treatment, and Reintegration (PDITR) Strategies for COVID19. Putting an emphasis on the collection of specimens for RT-PCR testing shall be done on the 5th to 7th day after the last day of exposure. DOH Bicol also emphasized the importance of discouraging all forms of social gatherings that may predispose people to infection; and, the imposition of a robust border control. Comprehensive and far-reaching COVID19 VACCINATION roll-outs based on the PRIORITIZATION set by the National Vaccine Operation Center (NVOC), was also duly stressed by the Regional Vaccine Operation Center (RVOC).”Posted by

Delta Variant Patient From Bicol Not Local Case: DOH-5

July 23, 2021

LEGAZPI CITY – The Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) in Bicol on Thursday said the reported coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) Delta variant case from the region is not in any of the Region 5 provinces but in Metro Manila.

In an official statement, the agency said the DOH central office reported 12 new Delta cases in the country, one of whom is from Bicol.

“DOH Bicol clarifies that the said case who is Bicolano is currently working in the National Capital Region (NCR),” it read.

It noted that the patient is a 27-year-old female from Sorsogon who has neither traveled to Bicol for the last three years nor visited by someone from the region before getting sick.

The patient is not a local case of the Delta variant, the DOH-CHD said, adding that the woman's specimen was taken for testing at the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City last June 25.

DOH-Bicol reiterated that amid the threat of the Delta variant, the minimum public health standards remain as the best preventive measures against all mutations of the Covid-19 virus.

“Properly wear face mask and face shield, sanitize your hands, maintain social distancing, and avoid crowded and enclosed spaces,” it added. (by Connie Calipay, PNA)

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Harvard Humanitarian Initiative Invites PH Researchers To Symposium On COVID-19, Marginalized Sectors

July 23, 2021

Massachusetts, USA— The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) announces its call for submission of research papers about the experience of marginalized communities in the Philippines during the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The authors of the best papers would be invited to present their work at “Surviving COVID-19 on the Margins,” an HHI-hosted online symposium in October this year.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the entire globe, and has been particularly devastating in parts of Asia. It is also evident that economic, social, and political inequalities have been exacerbated by the pandemic for marginalized communities. We are keen to understand the ways marginalized communities in the Philippines are being affected by the pandemic, how their needs can be better met, and successful strategies that have been employed to address their needs,” said HHI Program on Resilient Communities Program Director Vincenzo Bollettino, PhD in a statement.
“We believe sharing experiences and stories can be an effective way to improve responses to the pandemic, and hope to elucidate some of these practices through this call for papers,” he added. HHI, the Harvard University’s humanitarian arm and humanitarian research center, invites researchers and authors with papers focusing on the pandemic experience of any marginalized or vulnerable communities in the Philippines that may include, but are not limited to: 
The Lumad or other indigenous communitiesCoastal and remote communitiesThe elderlyPersons with disabilities (PWDs)LGBTQ+ populationsCommunities living in poverty
The call for papers is open to all researchers and authors who are either:
Current graduate students at the masters or PhD level, preferably affiliated with universities in the Philippines;Scholars with a doctorate/PhD degree; orUniversity/college faculty doing research on these subjects, with a special preference for junior faculty
Preference would be given to authors who are of Filipino descent or are affiliated with a Philippine university. Papers written by more than one author are permitted. However, papers that were previously published are not eligible.
Each research paper should be between 5 and 10 pages in length and must be submitted by September 20, 2021 (Philippine time). This activity does not involve a cash prize, and the papers would remain solely the property of the authors. In addition to presenting their paper at the online symposium, authors may be given the opportunity to publish their work in an HHI report.
Each research paper should be between 5 and 10 pages in length and must be submitted by September 20, 2021 (Philippine time). This activity does not involve a cash prize, and the papers would remain solely the property of the authors. In addition to presenting their paper at the online symposium, authors may be given the opportunity to publish their work in an HHI report. 
The complete details of the call for papers can be found at the HHI website: 
For inquiries, please contact Mark Toldo of the HHI Program on Resilient Communities at Posted by

Academic Leadership During A Pandemic

July 22, 2021
Art by Melissa Basmayor

By Marina Aquino – ClederaHead Teacher III Juan F. Triviño Memorial High School
The COVID-19 Pandemic is causing educational leaders around the country to make tough choices. The big questions to answer are: How can our school heads manage their schools? How can they look after the welfare of their staff and students? 
Now more than ever is the best time for leadership, it’s important for principals to demonstrate leadership capabilities. They need to be flexible and adaptive to this new learning environment. The challenge to address unplanned circumstance and change needs to be addressed. There is no professional development workshop that could thoroughly prepare school heads for leading a global pandemic, but is given that leading students and staff in the midst of a global pandemic has to be learned “on the job’ and in real time with the guidance of experts. 
For many teachers, teaching on “new normal” set-up and designing instructions in the different Learning Delivery Modalities (LDM) is a very big challenge and in addition to this, many of them are balancing more familial responsibilities, including taking care of children and other members of the family or relatives.  Given this, school leaders and administrators must be aware of the said teachers’ responsibility. Understanding what teachers are going through is a must. School heads also needs to make certain allowances to support the staff. 
As teachers are trying to figure out how to maximize new learning set-up while keeping their students engaged, school leaders must maintain contact with the staff beyond their supervisory role. It is also important to strengthen the relationships with the staff and let them know as a school head they’re there for them. Compliment, encouragement, praises, and support to staff (via e-mail, department or grade-level online meetings, and so on) as often as possible must be provided to them. 
Also as an instructional leader, school heads must also act as an academic resource. Although distance learning resources can be obtained online, still school leaders/heads must be abreast of his thinking and actions. As an instructional leader, he must be an academic resource. He must provide resources and offer suggestions that will best serve the staff and students. He must let them know that he’s there for them and that they can continue to reach out to him via email, google or zoom meetings. As well, he can advise and assist the staff in engaging parents in meetings via Zoom/Google Meet. Communicate with the parents of the students (and, if possible, communicate with the parent and student together [via Zoom]) to ensure that proper communication is sustained and established. 
Dealing with situations like this pandemic COVID – 19 is a challenge in which looking to the past how to deal with challenges is necessary and taking initiatives is commendable but it must be consulted with the experts and people in the Department of Education (DepEd). 
Part also of leadership means looking out for the physical and mental well-being of students and their parents. School heads can build connections within the community and coordinate with other stakeholders of the school to create a network that parents and students can turn to for help. School heads must let students and parents know that they are always there for them. Encouraged parents to communicate with the school to ensure, establish and sustain constant communication with them. The important thing is to offer frequent communication. Let people know what is going on, be honest and transparent. 
Leading during a global pandemic is a tough and stressful job and a great challenge to take. However, despite the pressures and demands of the position as a school head, it is critical to maintain a sense of balance. The physical and emotional health of the school head is crucial. Self-care must be a priority. School leaders both work hard to make education work for the students and staff and balance the work life with the personal life. In a pandemic, school heads family needs a great deal of attention. They have to attend to the needs of their family and attend also to their personal needs. It is important therefore to communicate with as many other school heads within the division to be properly guided in decision-making with consideration to family and personal concerns. 
While school heads are consistently checking with teachers to see how they’re doing while giving them some updates, it is deeming necessary to communicate with the people higher than their position whether it is the public school district supervisor, the assistant schools’ division superintendent or the schools’ division superintendent. They must look at current policies to be used to address the current situation while still keeping the safety of the students. 
It takes a unique kind of school leadership to push against the natural human tendency to downplay and delay. Communicating bad news is a thankless task. School leaders who get out ahead risk demoralizing employees or subordinates. It takes wisdom and some courage to understand that communicating with transparency is a vital antidote to this risk.  Communicating with transparency means providing honest and accurate descriptions of reality — being as clear as humanly possible about what you know, what you anticipate, and what it means for school personnel as well as the school community. It is crucial to convey your message in a way that people or subordinates can understand. Communication must be a hopeful vision of the future toward which people or school personnel & subordinates can direct their energy, because without hope, resolve is impossible. 
Leadership in an uncertain, fast-moving crisis means making oneself available to feel what it is like to be in another’s shoes — to lead with empathy. In crisis situations, leaders must make a deliberate choice to practice a calm state of mind. Then they can step back from high-stakes situation and choose how to respond, rather than reacting instinctively. It will be incumbent on leaders to put themselves in another’s suffering, to feel with empathy and think with intelligence, and then to use their position of authority to make a path forward for us all. 
Lastly, leadership in education while going through with pandemic is working hard to make education work for the students and staff. A school leader goes through an unexpected occurrence, must learned how to deal with the immediate impact and provide for the students and the staff. On top of this, school leaders must learn to step back, reflect and say, this to, shall pass. 
1. Kafele, Baruti K. (2020) -  ASCD Book: The Assistant Principal 50: Critical Questions for Meaningful Leadership & Professional Growth.
2. Fernandez, A, F., & Shaw, G.P (2020). Academic Leadership in a Time of Crisis: The Coronavirus and Covid-19 
3. JOURNAL: SCHOOL LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT Formerly School Organization, Volume 40, 2020 – Issue 4
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39 Bicol Municipalities To Implement KALAHI-CIDSS Under Additional Financial Modality

July 22, 2021

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan –Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (DSWD KALAHI-CIDSS) increased its current coverage of Additional Financing (AF) from 37 municipalities to 76 municipalities in Bicol Region.
The Department allocated PHP 720,673,800.00 community grant for the 39 additional municipalities aimed at addressing the effects of the pandemic.

For the 39 towns, the project will be implemented in eight (8) municipalities of Albay, three (3) municipalities of Camarines Norte, 11 municipalities of Camarines Sur, three (3) municipalities of Catanduanes, nine (9) municipalities of Masbate, and five (5) municipalities of Sorsogon.

According to Regional Director Leo Quintilla, CESE, the AF project will be using the Disaster Response Operations Modality (DROM), a simplified procedure of the program to accelerate the implementation of the community-identified projects.

“The community projects that will be identified by the communities will be in relation to COVID-19 recovery efforts like Cash-for-Work scheme, rehabilitation of facilities or public buildings, provision of PPEs, hygiene kits, cleaning supplies, and other projects,” he explained.

AF Launching

The AF is a three-year implementation funded by the Government of the Philippines and the World Bank. To officially launch the project, the Department will spearhead its unveiling in three (3) clusters: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

For Luzon cluster, Bicol Region will host the event on July 22, 2021 in Legazpi City, Albay. The event will be streamed live through the official Facebook page of DSWD Region V.

Aside from the ceremonial launch, the Department will also promote how the Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach plays a role in disaster response and post-disaster response as well as gain support on the institutionalization of CDD as a national strategy for poverty reduction and disaster response.

KALAHI-CIDSS is a poverty alleviation program of DSWD that uses CDD approach to help communities in poor municipalities to identify challenges, make informed decisions, and control resources to address poverty. Posted by

Pag-IBIG Fund Releases Record-high P44B Home Loans In H1 2021, Up 113%

July 22, 2021

Despite the pandemic, Pag-IBIG Fund achieved another record by releasing over P44 billion in home loans in the first half of 2021, top officials announced earlier this month.
From January to June, the agency released home loans worth P44.34 billion - the highest amount ever released during the first half of the year - and more than double the P20.80 billion it released during the same period in 2020.
Compared with the P37.07 billion released during the pre-pandemic period of January to June 2019, when strict community quarantines in Metro Manila and parts of Luzon had yet to be implemented, disbursement in the first half of 2021 is higher by nearly 20%.

“This is an indication that the number of Filipino workers who are able to become homeowners via the Pag-IBIG home loan programs continues to grow. In these tough times, we remain steadfast in our commitment to answer President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for government agencies to provide social benefits to more Filipinos,” said Secretary Eduardo D. del Rosario, who heads the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) and the 11-member Pag-IBIG Fund Board of Trustees.

Meanwhile, Pag-IBIG Fund Chief Executive Officer Acmad Rizaldy P. Moti said that the P44.34 billion released in the first half of 2021 enabled 43,573 members to acquire their own homes. Out of the total amount, P4.66 billion was released to finance the acquisition of socialized housing. Of the total number of members who benefited from the agency’s home loan programs in the first half of the year, 10,640 or 24% belong to the minimum-wage and low-income sectors.

He added that with its home loan disbursement reaching a record high over the past six months, he expects to exceed by yearend the P86.74 billion home loans released in 2019, which is the highest amount ever released by the agency in a single year.

"With the way things are going, I’m very optimistic that by the end of 2021, we will surpass the total home loan releases of 2019, which is our best year yet. The P44.34 billion disbursed is especially important because we achieved higher figures this year compared to the same period before the pandemic happened. On average, we released over P7 billion in home loans every month in the first half of the year. If this trend holds and succeeding monthly releases remain higher than usual, home loan releases by the end of the year will likely breach the P90 billion mark and may even reach P100 billion. This translates to another ‘best year ever’ for us and, more importantly, even more members having a home of their own where they can be safe as the health emergency continues,” Moti said Posted by

COVID-19 Vaccines Are Free, DOH Bicol Reminds Public

July 15, 2021

LEGAZPI CITY—The Department of Health Bicol Center for Health Development has reiterated that all COVID-19 vaccines are free, after having received reports of individuals at the Local Vaccination Centers who are charging/soliciting at least fifty pesos per person for said vaccination.
Regional Advisory No. 2021-0277 states that public health services and commodities including that of COVID-19 vaccines are free.
The National Government procures the vaccines, therefore, any form of payment, be it voluntary or donation, from individuals availing of the COVID-19 vaccines are not allowed.
The COVID-19 vaccines are to be administered for free to the Filipino people. 
Charging for COVID-19 vaccination is counterproductive to the vaccination program of the Government, the DOH said. It might increase vaccine hesitancy along with inconvenience, myths and misconceptions. All Local Chief Executives, health offices and vaccination sites are advised to monitor and prevent such incidents from occurring in their areas, according to DOH Bicol.Posted by

DepEd Wants Proper Support, Protection For Teachers In 2022 Elections

July 11, 2021

MANILA— In preparation for the upcoming 2022 national and local elections, the Department of Education (DepEd) is seeking to facilitate the bulk application of more than 900,000 of its employees to obtain their Philippine National Public Key Infrastructure (PNPKI) digital signatures.
“We are continuously cooperating with our lead agencies to have a secure and peaceful elections, and part of our commitment is to ensure that our teachers are protected and given the proper support,” Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said in a news release on Monday.
The PNPKI digital signature is a new requirement of the Commission of Elections (Comelec) for all public school teachers who will serve as Electoral Board Members. It is a virtual ‘key’ that subscribers use to secure files sent over an otherwise unsecured ‘public’ network like the Internet.
In a letter from DepEd to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the Department requested to streamline the application process by waiving the requirement for individual application forms, including physically filling out the forms.
In previous discussions with the DICT, the requirements for individual interviews and supporting IDs have been waived. The DepEd, however, is further requesting the waiving of the requirement for individual application forms as this may be cumbersome to check individually for errors.
This rigorous process for teachers will entail the downloading of these forms, physically filling them out, and uploading the same wherein checking for accuracy is an altogether different tedious task.
“This proposal will guarantee that our teachers will not be burdened by rigorous steps and requirements anymore,” Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del B. Pascua pointed out in the letter.
DepEd also proposed the use of available secure and reliable technologies and the submission of documents for bulk processing in place of the PNPKI application forms.
Documents proposed to be submitted to DICT include a spreadsheet file containing DepEd employees’ verified data certified by Human Resources, and an institutional application from DepEd in place of individual applications.
In addition, the Department will facilitate the online registration of its employees through its DepEd Mobile App and DepEd Commons to expedite the application process. (PR)Posted by

DOH Bicol Reiterates Adherence To Gov’t Guidelines On Vax Rollout

July 11, 2021

LEGAZPI CITY—The Department of Health Bicol Center for Health Development (DOH Bicol CHD) has reiterated that the office follows the recommended guidelines and procedures for the COVID-19 vaccination rollout set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) and the Department of Health (DOH).
DOH Bicol explained in a statement earlier this week that these guidelines and procedures are cascaded to the Local Government Units (LGUs) through the Provincial, Municipal and City Health Offices by the Regional Vaccination Operations Center (RVOC) for compliance.
The Bicol CHD stressed that the national government determines the number of vaccine doses that the Bicol Region receives.
“This pertains to the whole region as well as pre-determined allocations provided to specific LGUs,” the statement reads.
“By virtue of the Local Government Code of the Philippines (R.A. 7160 of 1991), health delivery services are devolved to the local government. With this as premise, the province then determines the vaccine allocations of each locality within its jurisdiction based on the assessment of their epidemic and their submitted master list. The Local Chief Executives (LCEs) at the level of the province, city and municipality implement the vaccination activities as informed by vaccination guidelines and procedures.”
In line with this, the Bicol CHD strongly urged the LGUs to follow the prioritization for COVID-19 vaccination. Priority groups A1, A2 and A3, or the medical frontliners, senior citizens and people with co-morbidities or conditions affecting their immune system are priority in the conduct of the said activity. Prioritization based on the level of risk to infection and severity of outcome of disease are the bases to consider in light of limited supply of vaccines.
The statement continues: “The Bicol CHD captures vaccination coverage of the different provinces through the end-of-day reports submitted by the vaccination sites to the COVID-19 Bakuna Center Registry (CBCR) Quick Counts and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). Through this report, the number of vaccinated per priority group is determined.
Of equal importance, the Bicol CHD continuously reminds LGUs and all vaccination sites to adhere to the Minimum Public Health Standard (MPHS) during the conduct of vaccination activity. Transmission may also be prevented through proper crowd management and identifying the target number of vaccinees to be vaccinated in a day to avoid overcrowding. The public are also enjoined to properly wear facemasks and face shields and maintain social distancing and hand sanitation even after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.”Posted by

Poten-Cee Launches Newest Variants  Poten-Cee + ZN and Poten-Cee + ZN Advance 

July 11, 2021

In keeping with its thrust for purposeful innovation and to arm Filipinos further against this pandemic, PascualLab’s flagship brand Poten-Cee is leveling up its immunity offerings via two new variants, Poten-Cee + ZN and  Poten-Cee + ZN Advance.  
Moving On with the New Normal  
Facing the COVID-19 fear head-on, Poten-Cee, the no. 1 Vitamin C Adult Brand1 offers consumers two immunity-advancement options to choose from:  
Poten-Cee + ZN which combines the immunity benefits of Vitamin C and Zinc, and  
Poten-Cee + ZN Advance which likewise puts together the immunity benefits of  
Vitamin C and Zinc, plus Vitamin D3.  
Advanced Protection from Immune Essentials   
Poten-Cee + ZN has Vitamin C 2 that helps enhance the body’s natural defenses, by supporting various functions of the immune system.  It also contains Zinc that assists in blocking germs, including viruses, from entering the body, and prevents them from multiplying. ³  
Similarly, Poten-Cee + ZN Advance combines the immunity-strengthening effects of   
Vitamin C and Zinc, but this time with the addition of Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 aids in activating the immune system, to better attack viruses.  Vitamin D3 also regulates the immune response to help prevent sudden or dangerous inflammations that can cause organ damage.⁴  
To get more of this advanced protection in the new normal, take  
Poten-Cee + ZN and  Poten-Cee + ZN Advance daily along with proper nutrition, regular physical activity, and adequate quality sleep.  
Poten-Cee ZN and Poten-Cee ZN + Advance are the newest additions to the ever-growing Poten-Cee family of Vitamin C variants which address different lifestyle needs:   
Poten-Cee Sugar-coated, Poten-Cee Sugar-Free, Poten-Cee Forte, Poten-Cee N.A.,   
Poten-Cee Chewable, and food supplement Poten-Cee + C.   
Suggested Retail Price (SPR) for Poten-Cee + ZN is at Php 7.50 per capsule and for  
Poten-Cee + ZN Advance, at 13.50 each. Both variants are available at all Mercury Drug, Southstar, The Generic Pharmacy, and Watsons outlets nationwide  
###    Sources:     1. IQVA Data of 2021  2. Carr A, Maggini S. Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017; 9(11): 1211. doi: 10.3390/nu9111211.  3. Wessels I, Rolles B, Rink L. The Potential Impact of Zinc Supplementation on COVID-19 Pathogenesis. Front Immunol. 2020; 11: 1712. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.01712  
4. Aranow C. Vitamin D and the Immune System. J Investig Med. 2011; 59(6): 881–886. doi:10.231/JIM.0b013e31821b8755.  Posted by

Bicol Inflation Rate Highest Among Regions Outside NCR

July 9, 2021

MANILA—The Bicol region posted an inflation rate of 6.3 percent in June 2021. It has the highest among the Areas Outside of NCR (AONCR), the Philippine Statistics Authority reported in its Summary Inflation Report Consumer Price Index (2012=100) released this week.
The report, signed by Dennis S. Mapa, Ph.D., Undersecretary and National Statistician and Civil Registrar General, also indicates that eleven regions in the Areas Outside of NCR (AONCR) had lower inflation during the month. The lowest inflation among the regions in AONCR in June 2021 remained in Region VII (Central Visayas) at 1.7 percent.
Inflation in AONCR decelerated to 4.4 percent in June 2021, after registering an inflation of 4.7 percent for three consecutive months. Inflation in AONCR in June 2020 was noted at 2.7 percent. The downtrend in the inflation in AONCR during the month was mainly due to the slower annual uptick in the transport index at 11.2 percent, from 17.4 percent in the previous month.
Also contributing to the downtrend was the slower annual increments recorded in the indices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco at 11.2 percent; clothing and footwear, 1.9 percent; health, 2.8 percent; and communication, 0.3 percent.
On the other hand, annual hikes were higher in the indices of food and non-alcoholic beverages at 4.5 percent; housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels, 2.8 percent; and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services, at 4.4 percent.
The rest of the commodity groups retained their previous month’s annual growth rates. 
Meantime, the country’s headline inflation slowed down to 4.1 percent in June 2021, after recording an inflation of 4.5 percent for three consecutive months. This brings the Philippines’ average inflation for the first semester of 2021 at 4.4 percent. In June 2020, inflation was registered at 2.5 percent. 
The slower pace in the inflation in June 2021 was primarily due to the lower annual rate of increase in the transport index at 9.6 percent, from 16.5 percent in May 2021.
Inflation rates were higher in the indices of food and non-alcoholic beverages at 4.7 percent; housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels, 2.4 percent; and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services, 3.9 percent.
As for NCR, inflation eased further to 3.2 percent in June 2021, from 3.6 percent in the previous month. In June 2020, inflation in the region was posted at 2.0 percent. Lower inflation in NCR was mainly brought about by the slower annual hike in transport index at 5.1 percent during the month, from double-digit annual growth rate of 13.8 percent in the previous month.Posted by

CamSur Bamboo-framed Face Shield Maker Gets Support From DOST

July 8, 2021

NAGA CITY -- A Camarines Sur-based manufacturer of bamboo products received support from the Department of Science and Technology in the former’s production of face shields with frames made from kauayan-tinik.

In a news release by DOST Bicol, the Bula Masarig Engineered Bamboo was identified as the recipient of technical assistance from the Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI), and the Provincial Science and Technology Center (DOST-V PSTC) – Camarines Sur under the GREAT Women Project implementation.

According to the DOST, the kauayan-tinik is a perennial, woody-stemmed grass known for its versatile uses.

“Manufactured using FPRDI’s Bamboo-Framed Face Shield Technology, the face shield, which has a linear length of eighteen inches, is lightweight and convenient to use. It has a replaceable PVC sheet, and a non-slip adjustable strap,” the news release indicates.

Besides this initiative, Bula Masarig also previously developed an environment-friendly foot-pressed alcohol dispenser prototype made of bamboo.

DOST-V and PSTC-Camarines Sur said they continue to support, patronize, and promote locally-made products and technology to reduce the risks brought by COVID-19 as well as to revitalize economic growth and development in the region. (With reports from PNFelizmenio/ JCBarrameda, PSTC-Camarines Sur)Posted by

Anne Curtis Enjoys Great Delivery Deals On Foodpanda

July 7, 2021

Multi-talented actress Anne Curtis is tickled pink to share the good news about foodpanda’s great promos that will feed your appetite and fit your budget while you stay safe at home. She shares great deals and discounts in the foodpanda app, where you can find a wide variety of good food discoveries coupled with the convenience that foodpanda’s delivery service brings. Think: shops for groceries and pandamart for everyday essentials to keep you worry-free from sunrise to sundown.
It-girl Anne amps up the fun as she keeps you updated on everyday savings, with foodpanda promos such as Super Sundays that lets you feast with your family at 40% off and more on thousands of restaurants if you book between 12 noon to 6 pm; while Mega Mondays can be a great way to jumpstart your week with 30% off and more on your favorite restaurants and thousands of other choices for new cuisines to try if you book from 12 noon to 6 pm. Find Epic Deals every day on different brands with 50% off, and pandapro members can also enjoy up to 40% off on exclusive deals with only P50 a month!

Ever the go-getter, Anne enjoys the convenience of ordering through foodpanda, as it allows her to have more time to spend with her family. “With so many restaurant choices, it’s so easy to find what I am craving for on the foodpanda app and there are great deals to choose from every day! As a new mom, I also find it important that our food delivery is reliable and safe. With foodpanda, I am assured of quality service from our friendly riders that put safety as a priority. Kaya, tap mo na yan!”

“We are happy to have Anne on board to share the great deals and discounts we have for our foodpanda customers. We believe that she represents our savvy foodies who want to enjoy a wide variety of cuisines that can be delivered straight to your doorstep from our thousands of partner restaurants” shares foodpanda Philippines managing director Daniel Marogy.

It’s a comeback for sure, as the multi-hyphenate entertainer stages AnnePagbabalik with her popstar persona as she shares foodpanda’s promos, with video clips and more exciting appearances on the app. Catch Anne as she shares more of the great deals that are only a few taps away on the foodpanda app. For more details, visit the official foodpanda Facebook page or its official website www.foodpanda.phPosted by

Estate Tax Amnesty Extended Until June 2023

July 1, 2021

President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday signed a law extending the availment period of the estate tax amnesty for two years.

Republic Act 11569 amends RA 11213 or the Estate Amnesty Act to extend the validity of the estate tax amnesty program.

RA 11213, inked by Duterte on February 14, 2019, grants taxpayers a one-time opportunity to settle their tax obligations through an estate amnesty program that gives reasonable tax relief to estates with outstanding estate tax liabilities.

Section 6 of RA 11213 states that estate administrator, lawful heirs, or beneficiaries have two years or until June 15, 2021 to avail of the estate tax amnesty.

Under RA 11569, the new deadline for the filing of estate tax amnesty returns was set on June 14, 2023.

“The payment of the amnesty tax shall be made at the time the Return is filed: Provided, That for nonresident decedents, the Estate Tax Amnesty Return shall be filed and the corresponding amnesty tax be paid at the Revenue District Office No. 39, or any other Revenue District Office which shall be indicated in the Implementing Rules and Regulations,” RA 11569 read.

Those who avail of the estate tax amnesty enjoy immunity from the payment of estate taxes, civil, criminal, and administrative cases and penalties.

The Estate Amnesty Act covers the estate of decedents who died on or before December 31, 2017, with or without assessments duly issued, whose estate taxes have remained unpaid or have accrued, as of December 31, 2017.

RA 11569 mandates the Finance secretary, in coordination with the Internal Revenue commissioner, to issue necessary rules and regulations 60 days after the new law’s effectivity.

The newly-signed law takes effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in two newspapers of general circulation. (PNA)

Posted by

37 Bicol Towns To Get P571M Aid For Pandemic Response — DSWD

July 1, 2021

LEGAZPI CITY -- Half a billion pesos’ worth of projects has been earmarked for 37 poor and disaster-stricken municipalities across Bicol to help indigents cope with the effects of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, DSWD-Bicol director Leo Quintilla announced.
The PHP570-million undertaking, according to Quintilla, covers the construction of quarantine facilities, purchase of medical tools and supplies, and cash-for-work activities to be implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) under its Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) program.

The recipient municipalities include Bombon, Cabusao, Camaligan, Canaman, Garchitorena, Magarao, Pasacao, Milaor, Minalabac, Ocampo, Presentacion, Sangay, and San Fernando in Camarines Sur; Manito in Albay; Paracale, San Lorenzo Ruiz, San Vicente, Santa Elena, Talisay and Vinzons in Camarines Norte; Barcelona, Casiguran, Irosin, Juban, Prieto Diaz and Sta. Magdalena in Sorsogon; Baras, Bato, Caramoran, Gigmoto, Pandan, and San Miguel in Catanduanes; and Batuan, Claveria, Dimasalang, Mobo and Monreal in Masbate.

These towns were identified based on poverty incidence, income class, and the number of barangays affected by disasters from 2014-2020.

Quintilla said these towns had undergone capacity assessment to ensure that the local government units (LGUs) are ready to participate in this year’s implementation of the program dubbed Additional Financing–Community-Based Response for Covid-19 (AF-CBRC).

“The modality will be implemented in two groups of municipalities in which 37 municipalities belonging in the first group will implement (it) this July until December while the second group will start in August 2021 until 2022,” he said.

Quintilla said the second group of municipalities is still in the program’s enrollment phase.

The AF-CBRC will be using the Disaster Response Operations Procedure (DROP), a simplified version of the Community Empowerment Activity Cycle (CEAC) to hasten the process of approval of community-identified projects and implementation while still following the basic principles of the Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach.

KALAHI-CIDSS is a poverty alleviation program of DSWD that uses the CDD method to help communities in poor municipalities identify challenges, make informed decisions, and control resources to address poverty.

In 2020, the program completed 573 community projects amounting to PHP129 million in 15 municipalities of the Bicol Region. (with reports from PNA/DSWD Bicol)
Posted by

DOH Bicol Sounds Alarm Over Rise In COVID-19 Cases

June 25, 2021

LEGAZPI CITY -- COVID-19 cases in the Bicol region have been increasing since March this year, the Department of Health Bicol Center for Health Development (DOH Bicol CHD) reported in its 2021-0027 news release.
According to DOH Bicol CHD, there is now an average of 200 new cases being recorded daily. The positivity rate of laboratory tests rose to 23% as of June 13, 2021 from the previously reported 9% recorded on April 4, 2021.

Despite this, Bicol remains at moderate risk level equivalent to General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

While the risk level of the region remains unchanged, the DOH has classified certain areas in the region as high-risk, including the cities of Naga and Legazpi. The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has already placed Naga City under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ). Meanwhile, the Local Government Units (LGUs) in Bicol region have likewise determined their quarantine classification based on the risk assessment of DOH and in accordance with the IATF-EID’s guidelines. In Albay, Governor Al Francis Bichara has extended the GCQ status of the province, covering all cities and municipalities with the exception of Jovellar and Rapu-Rapu. Also, in Camarines Sur, Governor Miguel Villafuerte has placed Iriga City and 31 municipalities in the province under General Community Quarantine (GCQ). The Bicol Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) has concurred with these LGU declarations for the period ending June 30, 2021.

To determine the risk level of an area, DOH Bicol explained that a two-week risk assessment is being done covering the Average Daily Attack Rate (ADAR), the Two-Week Growth Rate (TWGR), and the Health Care Utilization Rate (HCUR). The risk assessment will serve as the basis for the Bicol CHD in recommending to the Local Chief Executive (LCE) the quarantine classification status of their area.
 The same report indicated that the rise in COVID-19 cases is attributed to a number of factors. These include lapses in the implementation of the minimum public health standards for prevention and “COVID intervention fatigue,” and lapses in contact tracing and in the enforcement of quarantine and isolation protocols. In addition, the delays in the collection of specimen, delays in the submission of the specimen to the laboratories due to incomplete information, and the delay in informing and releasing of individual test results by the local government units (LGUs) are other factors that compound the current situation in the region.

DOH Bicol reminded everyone that the fight against COVID-19 is a whole-of-government, whole-of-system, whole-of-society approach. The Local Government Units (LGUs) are directed to level up the implementation of the BIDA Solusyon Plus, provide safe and livable quarantine and isolation facilities, step up contact tracing, submit samples immediately, release individual results as soon as daily COVID-19 updates are posted, and facilitate the reintegration of individuals who have recovered to the community. Likewise, they are directed to roll out the COVID-19 vaccination in their respective localities.

It further said the LGUs have been vital in the country’s COVID-19 response, and their relentless efforts are greatly appreciated. However, as the health crisis persists, there is an emerging need to further intensify government efforts at the local level.

Individuals are urged to follow the minimum public health standards or the BIDA Solusyon Plus, report for signs and symptoms, follow quarantine/isolation protocols if they are close contacts, refrain from sharing information that cannot be verified, and support COVID-19 patients and frontliners and protect them from discrimination. This way, you can protect yourself and your family while playing a role in our unified fight against COVID-19.

DOH Bicol also called on other partners to support the COVID-19 and Resbakuna Campaign in any way they can according to their mandate, resources, capacity, and expertise. Areas that can be supported are the information campaign on COVID-19 and Resbakuna, combating fake news, and refraining from sharing anecdotal posts and posts with unknown sources. Posted by

Microsoft Unveils Windows 11

June 25, 2021

Microsoft today introduced Windows 11, a new experience designed to bring users closer to the things and people they love.
From intuitive design features that make multitasking a breeze to an all-new Microsoft Store that provides users with easy access to apps, games, and movies, the new Windows 11 is optimized for working, learning, and playing and delivering great experiences for all.

"The past 18 months brought an incredible shift in how we used our PCs, from something practical and functional to something personal and emotional. This is what inspired us as we were building the next generation of Windows, a platform that over a billion people rely on. With Windows 11, we wanted to build a familiar place where everyone can create, learn, play, and most importantly connect in improved ways," said Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer, Microsoft.
Windows 11 will be available on new PCs and through a free upgrade for eligible Windows 10 PCs beginning this holiday.

Faster, more secure OS and simplified design to boost productivity

Windows 11 features a fresh, clean interface and intuitive features to empower users to get things done and inspire their creativity. Users can easily find what they need by clicking the Start button which is located at the center of the screen. Start utilizes the power of the cloud and Microsoft 365 to show users recent files that were previously viewed across different platforms or devices, so users can pick up where they left off – even documents they were working on their Android or iOS devices.

Multi-tasking has never been easier with new Windows 11 features like Snap Layouts, Snap Groups, and Desktops that help users organize their windows and optimize their screen real estate. Users can now enjoy the flexibility of multiple windows and work on multiple apps simultaneously by snapping the apps side by side on their screens. With Desktops, users can customize spaces for each aspect of their lives, such as work, gaming, or school, and easily switch between them.

Users also get faster access to information they care about with Widgets, which provides a curated news feed powered by AI and best-in-class browser performance from Microsoft Edge. For creators and publishers, Widgets opens new real estate within Windows to deliver personalized content.

Windows 11 is designed to be a secure operating system perfect for hybrid work and learning. Secure by design, it has new built-in security technologies and provides a Zero Trust-ready operating system to protect data and access across devices.
Improved user experiences for gaming, entertainment and staying connected

Windows 11 comes with an all-new Microsoft store that has been rebuilt for speed, variety and convenience. It features a wider catalog of first and third-party apps that have been tested for security and family safety, bringing incredible experiences to entertain, inspire and connect users. For the first time, Android apps will be available in the Microsoft Store, and users can easily download these apps through the Amazon App store, a seamless process that was made possible through Microsoft's partnership with Amazon.

Just as with Windows 10, Microsoft is committed to app compatibility on Windows 11 with App Assure, a service that helps customers with 150 or more users fix any app issues they might run into at no additional cost.

Windows 11 also unlocks the full potential of a system's hardware, putting some of the latest gaming technology to work and providing users the ultimate, immersive gaming experience with:
DirectX 12 Ultimate, where users can enjoy breathtaking immersive graphics at high frame rates.
DirectStorage allowing for faster load times and more detailed game worlds.
Auto HDR providing a wider, more vivid range of colors for a truly captivating visual experience.
Access to over 100 high-quality PC games and new games, which are added all the time and made available to Xbox Game Pass for PC or Ultimate customers.

Windows 11 offers users a faster way to stay in touch with loved ones with the integration of Microsoft Teams into the taskbar, which allows users to instantly connect through text, chat, voice or video with loved ones anywhere in the world across Windows, Android or iOS. For friends and family without the Teams apps, users can still connect with them via two-way SMS. Integration with productivity features of Teams is also improved, allowing users to start presenting or muting themselves directly from the Taskbar.

Creating a more open ecosystem for developers and creators

Microsoft is taking a step further to unlock new opportunities for creators and developers by creating a more open ecosystem with Windows 11 that will benefit developers and bring more apps, games, movies, shows, and web content to users where: 
Developers and independent software vendors apps (ISVs) can bring in their apps to the Microsoft Store regardless of the app framework they are built on, such as Win32 or Progressive Web App (PWA).
A progressive change to Microsoft's revenue share policies means that developers can keep 100% of their commerce revenue. App developers can still use Microsoft's commerce ecosystem with a competitive revenue share of 85/15. Posted by

PCAARRD Backs Nutritional Analysis On Indigenous Vegetables

June 24, 2021

The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) is supporting a project to conduct nutritional analysis of indigenous vegetables, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said.
In a taped report aired on Friday, he said 12 vegetables commonly used by Filipinos will be involved: wild ampalaya (bitter gourd), labong (bush sorrel), erwad (black-jack), lupo (sessile joyweed), camansi (breadnut), kulitis/uray (spiny amaranth), papait (jima), amti (glossy nightshade), dadyos (pigeon pea), pannalayapen (chemperai), sapsapon (fireweed), and langka (jackfruit).

"The nutritional information on these selected indigenous vegetables will help popularize them and boost their consumption," he said.

De la Peña added that the results of this study can serve as a guide to the research and development (R&D) efforts.

The project will run for one year, and will be led by Dr. Lorna Sister of the Institute of Crop Science, College of Agriculture and Food Science (ICropS-CAFS), and will be implemented by the University of the Philippines - Los Baños (UPLB).

Samples will be collected from different locations nationwide, according to de la Peña.

As of posting, de la Peña is yet to respond as to what kind of support would be provided by PCAARRD, and when does it target to commence the project.

Meanwhile, de la Peña also reported that a team from UPLB recently partnered with the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) in conducting the “Oh My Gulay! (OMG) Sa FNRI: A Step Towards Biodiversity” online training.

The training is expected to promote homestead food production among Filipino households and was attended by over 50 participants.

"It focused on the principles and practices of edible landscaping, as well as its potential contribution to achieving food and nutrition security among Filipino households, especially in this time of pandemic," he said.

The two-day training is part of the “Edible Landscaping Technology Promotion and Information Dissemination Campaign Project”, funded by the Department of Agriculture - Bureau of Agricultural Research, de la Peña added. (PNA) Posted by

DILG Reminds LGUs To Implement Preparedness Measures, Typhoon Response Protocols

June 24, 2021

Following the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration’s (PAGASA’s) announcement of the start of the rainy season, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) reminds local government units (LGUs) to undertake necessary preparedness measures and their response protocols to ensure the safety of the people during heavy rains, typhoons, flash floods and landslides amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said that the pandemic presents unique challenges going into the rainy season, hence, “LGUs should be more alert and prepared this rainy season and must ensure that all vital aspects of local disaster risk reduction and management (LDRRM) are in place.”

He emphasized that local chief executives (LCEs) are expected to be present, especially during typhoon season. “Patuloy ang ating paalala sa mga LCE, huwag maging missing-in-action (MIA) sa panahon ng kalamidad,” he said.

In November 2020, the DILG issued show-cause orders to 10 LCEs who were MIA or were outside or their respective LGUs during the onslaught of Super Typhoon Rolly.

“Masidhi rin ang ating pagpapaalala sa mga LGU, lalo na sa mga disaster-prone areas na maghanda sa paparating na mga bagyo at iba pang kalamidad para maiwasan ang malubhang epekto ng darating na sama ng panahon,” Año said.

Through a DILG Advisory, Año enjoined the LGUs to implement DILG’s Operation L!sto Protocol for Hydrometeorological Hazards and be guided by DILG Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2020-125 that provides preparedness measures, and other relevant issuances. Operation Listo is an advocacy program of the DILG which aims to strengthen the disaster preparedness of LGUs using the whole-of-government approach.

In the same advisory, Año directed the LCEs to convene Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (LDRRM) Councils and conduct a pre-disaster risk assessment (PDRA) for floods, flash floods, rain-induced landslides, debris flow, storm surge, strong winds, and other hydrometeorological hazards.

He said these PDRAs are vital in the protection of the people who can get victimized by natural calamities during the rainy season. “Prevention is better than cure, sabi nga. Isa itong [PDRA] mahalagang hakbang tungo sa pagtitiyak ng kaligtasan ng mga mamamayan sa panahon at pagdating ng bagyo.”

He likewise said that structural integrity and capacity of vital facilities, especially those used as evacuation centers’ vaccination centers and multi-purpose buildings, LIGTAS COVID centers; health centers; and, hospitals for COVID-19 patients must be assessed.

The DILG Chief emphasized the conduct of monthly assessment and ensure top shape functionality, in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Regional Offices, of all established Early-Warning Systems (EWS).

LCEs are also reminded to update the Local Contingency Plans for hydrometeorological hazards; coordinate closely with relevant agencies such as PAGASA; ensure unhampered logistics flow and supply chain management; and, enjoin family and household preparedness through the Gabay at Mapa para sa Listong Pamilyang Pilipino.Posted by

IKalinga Lad Makes It To Top 9 Of PMA “MASALIGAN” Class 2021

May 4, 2021
Photo Courtesy || PMA Cordillera - A 23-year-old iKalinga who studied Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at Cagayan State University made it to the top 9 of the Philippine Military (PMA) "Masaligan" Class of 2021. Cadet 1CL Michael Angelo Areola Madriaga, who hails from Tabuk City, Kalinga will be joining the Philippine Navy. He became the Company Executive Officer and currently the Company Athletic Officer. He is a Dean’s Lister and also a Commandant’s Lister.READ ALSO: Igorota from Benguet graduates magna cum lau de in PMA "Masaligan" Class 2021 He is a member of the First Class Policy Board, Silent Drill Company, Chess Corps Squad and Marathon Corps Squad. PMA “MASALIGAN” (MAndirigmang SAmahan na Lakas at SandIGAN ng Bayan) Class of 2021 is comprised of 138 males and 26 females.  Among them, 82 are Army Cadets, 46 are Midshipmen and 36 Aero Cadets who will be joining their respective branches of service as Lieutenants/Ensigns after their Commencement Exercises scheduled on 10 May 2021.RELATED: Three Cordillerans among top performing cadets in PMA "Masaligan" Class 2021 On 03 May 2021, the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) named the Top Performing Cadets of PMA “MASALIGAN” Class of 2021 through the conduct of "Kapihan sa PMA" at Longayban Hall, PMA, Fort del Pilar, Baguio City.  The activity was streamed live in PMA Official Facebook Page which was graced by LTGEN FERDINAND M CARTUJANO PAF, Superintendent, PMA. It was also attended by other PMA Key Officials.source || PMA

Igorota From Benguet Graduates Magna Cum Lau De In PMA “Masaligan” Class 2021

May 4, 2021
Photo Courtesy || PMA Cordillera -  22-year-old Cadet 1CL Valeire Mae Vicente Dicang graduated magna cum lau de in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) "Masaligan" Class of 2021.  Cadet Dicang, who traces her roots to La Trinidad, Benguet is the youngest Cordilleran female to graduate in the prestigious military school in the country.  She took her Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology at the Saint Louis University in the Baguio city before entering the academy.  She became a member of Silent Drill Company and Softball, Chess and Arnis Corps Squad. She was also the Brigade Academic Officer. She was also a consistent Dean’s Lister and Commandant’s Lister. She was recognized for conducting the implementation of Distance Learning Provisions in the CCAFP.  Cadet Dicang was also the recipient of the Secretary of National Defense Saber for graduating number three in Military Precedence List.   Congratulations ma'am and may you keep inspiring our younger generations.

Three Cordillerans Among Top Performing Cadets In PMA “Masaligan” Class 2021

May 3, 2021

Cordillera - Three Cordillerans are among the top performing graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) "Masaligan" Class of 2021.  Cadet 1CL Jaevin A. Latugan from Tanudan, Kalinga is the Athletic Saber Awardee (Male Category). He is number one in athletic related activities, Intramurals and Sports participation. Photo Courtesy || PMA He will be joining the Philippine Army. He is from Tanudan, Kalinga. 23 years old and a College graduate of Bachelor of Science in Criminology at University of the Cordilleras. He is a member of Peer Counselling Group, Social Responsibility Committee, First Class Policy Board, Silent Drill Company, Athletics, Wushu and Boxing Corps Squad. He is the Delta Company Athletic and Finance Officer. He is a Dean’s Lister and is a champion is Wushu during the BBEAL 2019. Next is Cadet 1CL Michael Angelo Ariola Madriaga, who hails from Tabuk City, Kalinga is in rank number 9. Photo Courtesy || PMA CADET 1CL MADRIAGA is a proud member of Golf Company and will be joining the Philippine Navy.  He is a 23-year-old College Undergraduate of Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at Cagayan State University. He graduated with Honors in High School. He became the Company Executive Officer and currently the Company Athletic Officer. He is a Dean’s Lister and also a Commandant’s Lister. He is a member of the First Class Policy Board, Silent Drill Company, Chess Corps Squad and Marathon Corps Squad. The other Cordilleran is Cadet 1CL Valerie Mae Vicente Dicang from La Trinidad, Benguet. She will be joining the Philippine Army. Photo Courtesy || PMA Cadet Dicang is a College Undergraduate of Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology at Saint Louis University before becoming a cadet. She graduated with honors when she finished her High School. She is a member of Silent Drill Company and Softball, Chess and Arnis Corps Squad. She is the Brigade Academic Officer  She is also a consistent Dean’s Lister and Commandant’s Lister. She is recognized for conducting the implementation of Distance Learning Provisions in the CCAFP.  She is also the recipient of the Secretary of National Defense Saber for graduating number three in Military Precedence List.source || PMA

Cordilleran From La Trinidad, Benguet Rank 3 In PMA “Masaligan” Class 2021

May 3, 2021
Photo Courtesy || PMA Cordillera - CADET 1CL VALERIE MAE VICENTE DICANG C-21100, MAGNA CUM LAUDE from Foxtrot Company. She will be joining the Philippine Army. She is from La Trinidad, Benguet and a College Undergraduate of Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology at Saint Louis University before becoming a cadet. She graduated with honors when she finished her High School. She is a member of Silent Drill Company and Softball, Chess and Arnis Corps Squad. She is the Brigade Academic Officer  She is also a consistent Dean’s Lister and Commandant’s Lister. She is recognized for conducting the implementation of Distance Learning Provisions in the CCAFP.  She is also the recipient of the Secretary of National Defense Saber for graduating number three in Military Precedence List. source || PMA

Cordilleran General From Abra Among Contenders For Next PNP Chief

May 3, 2021
Photo Courtesy || PRO-COR Cordillera - A full-blooded Cordilleran from Abra is among the top contenders for the Philippine National Police (PNP)'s top position as PNP Chief to replace outgoing General Debold Sinas. Police Lieutenant General Israel Ephraim Dickson, who is from the Tingguian tribe of Abra is one of the top picks for the position when PNP Chief Sinas will leave office on May 8.  General Dickson is the 4th in command as chief directorial staff of the PNP.  He also served as the head of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations-Northern Luzon and also in Visayas before he was appointed as head of the PNP Civil Security Group. Prior to his appointment in the PNP's top office, General Dickson  served his own region in 2019 as the director of Police Regional Office (PRO) Cordillera. During his stint as PRO-COR Director, Cordillera PNP was recognized as the Most Disciplined Cops in the entire country. Gen. Dickson was also among the top officials who handled the case of PMA Cadet 4th Class Dormitorio, who died of hazing inside PMA campus. Dickson belongs to the  PMA class of 1987.  Some of the top names floated as the next PNP are Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, Brigadier General Vicente Danao and Police Lieutenant General Joselito Vera Cruz. Gen. Eleazar in the PNP's deputy chief for administration and the second highest-ranking police officer in the country.  Gen. Danao is the current chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) while Gen. Cruz is the current commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Covid-19 Shield.

Benguet Municipalities Soon To Get Their Own Brand New Ambulances

May 3, 2021
Photo Courtesy || Office of the Benguet Congressman Cordillera - All of the municipalities in the province of Benguet will soon have their own brand new all-terrain ambulance that would be used to provide medical assistance to the residents especially those from far flung areas of the province.  This was announced by the office of the Benguet Congressman in its official Facebook page.  In a photo posted earlier on Facebook, the office of the Congressman shows the kind of ambulance that would be soon delivered to the province.  The new ambulances are equipped with all the needed requirements in transporting patients such as stretchers, oxygen and large compartments for storing medical supplies.  The kind of medical vehicles can grip in nearly all terrain which would fit perfectly to the kind of roads in Benguet. Benguet Congressman Eric Yap is now finalizing the delivery of the said ambulances which will be used by people who are in need of medical assistance especially during this pandemic. He said, the ambulances would greatly speed up the delivery of quality health care services to the residents of Benguet.

Igorota Weaver Wins World Craft Council Competition

May 1, 2021
Photo Courtesy || Narda's Handwoven Arts And Craft Cordillera - An Igorota weaver has won prestigious award from the World Crafts Council Competition (WCC) of Excellent Crafts, Asia-Pacific Region. Ms. Lydia Langpawen, 62-year old of the famed Narda's Handwoven Arts And Craft received received a Certificate and a Plague of recognition from WCC for her tapestry creation held at Tashkent, Uzbekistan during the WCC 38th General Assembly on 4 - 5 December 2020. The award was turned over by Father Jose Quilongquilong SJ, Director of Jesuit Aid Foundation and Rector of the Jesuit Community at ADMU, who commissioned the tapestry and Ms. Venus Tan, former COO of the Tourism Promotions Board. Photo Courtesy || Narda's Handwoven Arts And CraftAlso present at the turn over ceremonies were Mr. Wilson Capuyan CEO of Narda’s, Dir Myrna Pablo of DTI Car, Dir Jovi Ganongan of DOT Car, Ms Andrea Mangusan Production Manager of Narda’s, Ms Lorraine Weaving Department Head of Narda’s, and Ryan Dale B. Mangusan Regional Development Council IP Concerns Committee Co-Chair and Igorot Global Organization Vice-President. The turn over ceremonies was held on April 30, 2021, at the Mirador Jesuit Villa Retreat House in Baguio where the award winning tapestry hangs. The other 3 Asian winners are from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Laos. Congratulations Ma’am Lydia, you make us all very proud of our crafts and of our culture. The World Crafts Council is a non-governmental,and non-profit organization to maintain, strengthen,and ensure the status of crafts as a vital part of cultural life,and to promote the human values of the crafts and a sense of fellowship among the craftspeople around the world.The World Crafts Council is the only body setup to support the aspiration of the world’s craftspeople, whether in maintaining honorable inherited traditions,or in extending frontiers by experiment and innovation. source || Narda's Handwoven Arts And Craft

LOOK: Residents In Buguias United To Help Restore Neighbor’s House After Consumed By Fire

April 30, 2021
Photo Courtesy || Satur Payangdo Cordillera - Residents in a small town in Benguet had shown once again the spirit of Binnadang among Cordillerans when they unitedly came out to restore their neighbor's houses that were torched by fire a week ago.  Two houses that belong to Mr. Randy Mediano and Mr. Denio Paldo located at Amlimay, Buguias were accidentally burned to ashes on April 17, 2021. After the incident, residents and neighbors came to provide aid to the victims. READ ALSO: Binnadang Spirit: Cordillera sends help for Cagayan A photo that was shared by netizen Satur Payangdo showed more than two dozens people who were busy setting up hollow blocks walling. These people voluntarily spend their time and skills without asking for any compensation.  This is how the "Binnadang" spirit works among Cordillerans when disasters struck some members of the community they unite together to come and offer much needed help.READ ALSO: Cordilleran culture of "Binnadang" manifested in search & retrieval operation of drowned 11-year old boy in Bontoc The "Binnadang", "Og-ogfo", "Aduyon", "Abbuyog" or known as "Bayanihan" in Tagalog has been common practice among the Cordillerans.  It is a mutual help system that works during difficult times where the people extend labor and support for the good of the community. Government officials from Benguet province also provided materials for the restoration of the two houses.

Eleven Cadets From La Trinidad Graduate Of PNPA Hinirang Class 2021

April 30, 2021
Photo Courtesy || P/Lt. Jethro Abaya Sab-it Cordillera - Eleven cadets from La Trinidad, Benguet were among the successful graduates of the Hinirang Class of 2021 which was held online on 21 April (Wednesday).  A total of 225 cadets graduated from Hinirang which stands for "Henerasyong Inihanda ng Panahon Upang Magsilbi at Isakatuparan ang Responsibilidad Alang-alang sa Bayang Sinilangan". 1.)P/LT Brynan D. Sequerra 2.)P/LT Ryan Focasan Cawed 3.)P/LT Raniel Ford Chil-ang Salipsip 4.)P/LT Zyril Celoy Burgos 5.)P/LT Jekko Mayomis Lazona 6.)P/LT Herbert Aswit Aowes 7.)P/LT Levie Placido Luis 8.)P/LT Jethro Abaya Sab-it 9.)P/LT Jame Ruff A. Kiney 10.) P/LT Franklin Russel G. Corpuz 11.).P/PLT Joab Mar P. Nacnas

Nine Cadets From Kalinga Graduate From PNPA Hinirang Class 2021

April 28, 2021
Cordillera - A total of 225 cadets comprising the Hinirang Class of 2021 have graduated from the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) on Wednesday (April 21, 2021) via virtual ceremony. Among the successful graduates were nine (9) cadets who traces their roots to Kalinga province.  P/CDT John Kevin Mangwag - Pinukpuk, Kalinga  P/CDT Sydmar Baawa Ableg Augas - Pasil, Kalinga 
P/CDT Jeremy Baligod Bongabong -Lubuagan, Kalinga P/CDT Koullin Asiaben Canabang -Pangol, Tanudan, Kalinga 
P/CDT Patrick Reyes Dasayon - Pinukpuk, Kalinga 
P/CDT June Canao Gayawet - Pasil, Kalinga 
P/CDT King Bagtang Giwed - Tinglayan, Kalinga 
P/CDT Brent Guilao Guimba -Tinglayan, Kalinga 
P/CDT John Jr. Agnaya Tacloy -Tabuk City, Kalinga Interior Secretary Eduardo Año officially announced the appointment of the members of the graduating class as new police lieutenants, jail inspectors, or fire inspectors in their chosen services.source || PNPA FB page

WATCH: Award-winning Igorota Actress Mai Fanglayan To Star In New Movie “Salidumay”

April 28, 2021
Photo Courtesy || Salidumay - a film by Dexter MacaraegCordillera - After her best actress wins at the 2018 ToFarm Film Festival and Urduja Film Festival for playing the title role in the award-winning indie film "Tanabata's Wife," which also earned her nominations at the Gawad Urian and the PMPC Star Awards for Movies, Cordilleran actress Mai Fanglayan, will be back on the big screen via "Salidumay" a short film by Dexter Macaraeg, for Sine Abreño. Mai portrays Ayo, a Tingguian with mix Ibaloi blood from Abra, who goes on her first date ever at a Korean restaurant.  READ ALSO: Gawad Urian Best Actress is an Igorota from Mountain Province Franz (Kenneth Jhayve Bautista), a former seminarian who grew up in Abra but moved to Baguio City, can't seem to find love through dating apps, he decides to use his culture's methods to arrange a marriage.  Their differences leads to a small collision of expectation and perspectives, but what it opens up in the tension offers a glimmer of hope for the would-be couple. Aspiring actor and model Kenneth Jhayve Bautista (Finalist, Mr. World Ambassador 2020), will portray as Mai's love interest; Seth Wayne Blas Chacapna (Mr. Benguet 2019 titleholder), Austin Docyogen locally known as 'Sayote Man', Janet Mondata and Eric Kelly. READ ALSO: How a high school graduate with no degree in film-making produces one of the top Igorot movies Introducing Vicky Macay and Lilian Ocan Siapol Castro.  'Salidumay' creative team are all from Benguet Province, namely Shem Padua, Jonnie Lyn Dasalla, Romnick Bayeng, JC Patnao, Julius Legoen Lumiqued, Ellen Castro Herrera and Melinda Ocan Castro, with some Baguio-based talents. Theme song by Sherylene Bagayao. source || Salidumanay - a film by Dexter Macaraeg

IKalinga Wins Gold Medal In 13th World Taekwondo Culture Expo In South Korea

April 27, 2021
Photo Courtesy || KTA Tabuk City Cordillera - A proud iKalinga has won gold medal in Taekwondo during the recently concluded 13th World Taekwondo Culture Expo in South Korea.  Engr. Jeffrey Ysmael, an employee of the city local government and working at the City Building and Architecture Office took home the award in the Under-40 Men Poomsae category. The competition was held online due to the pandemic so Ysmael decided to make his own video and sent it to the organizers.  He was surprised to win the 40-under category besting other taekwondo practitioners from countries like Croatia, Greece, Iraq, Ghana, Finland, the United State of America, Saudi Arabia, Kyrgyzstan and Zambia. He won an award package that includes a gold medal, a certificate and a whole set of uniform and a shirt. Ysmael is a member of the Philippine Taekwondo Association team which competed in various Taekwondo competitions in the world.  He also organized local taekwondo associations as part of his contribution of keeping the youth away from bad influences.source || PIA

Cordilleran Cop From Benguet Installed As Police Chief Of Pasig City

April 26, 2021
Photo Courtesy || Vico Sotto Cordillera - The city of Pasig has installed PCol. Roman Cornel Arugay as its new Chief of Police.  PCol. Arugay, who traces his roots to Itogon, Benguet has replaced outgoing Chief Moises Villaceran.  Pasig city Mayor Vico Sotto has commended Villaceran for his impressive performance during his stint as Chief of Police of Pasig. READ ALSO: Igorot cop assumes post as Chief of Police of Boracay Island In 2020, Pasig Police Station has been awarded the Best Police Station in the whole National Capital Region..  Mayor Sotto also welcomed the appointment of the PCol. Arugay as new Chief.  "We welcomed PCol. Arugay to Pasig. Kung Pagbabasehan po natin ang track record niya, makakaasa tayong magiging mahusay din siyang COP ng Pasig," Sotto said during the turn over ceremony on April 21, 2021. READ ALSO: Igorot Chief of Police in Cebu awarded for his commendable performance Prior to his appointment, Pcol Arugay worked as the Chief of the Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division in the PNP Regional Headquarters.  source || Vico Sotto || I Love Benguet FB

Proud Igorot Cop Chosen As Best Senior Police Commissioned Officer 2020

April 25, 2021
Photo Courtesy || Mhay Belle Cordillera - A proud Igorot cop was chosen as the Best Senior Police Commissioned Officer for the year 2020.  PLTCOL Jeff E. Fanged who traces his roots to Sadanga and Maligcong Bontoc Mt. Province is the current chief of PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG).  Last year he was chosen as the Best Senior Police Commissioned Officer and his unit was adjudged as the Best Field Unit in the entire country. He is the current chief of the PNP IMEG which is a special unit designed to conduct intelligence build-up and law enforcement operations against PNP personnel who are involved in illegal activities, such as drug and human trafficking, financial crimes, cybercrime, malversation, graft and corrupt practices, and security violations covering the whole area of Luzon.  Only police personnel assigned or detailed at the IMEG who pass the rigorous background investigation and screening process, including neuropsychiatric examination, and should be graduates of an intelligence course or seminars are accepted.

Smart High School Students In Abra Win Medal In World Robotic Games 2021

April 24, 2021
Photo Courtesy || DepEd Philippines Cordillera - Students from Abra High School who were part of the Robotics Team of the Philippines had won bronze medals in the recently concluded World Robot Games 2021. The theme of the World Robot Games 2021 online edition is “New World After Covid” where students were challenged to create an innovative robot in line with this year’s theme.  The team invention is a Portable and Dual-Powered Renewable Energy Source Hands-Free Hand Sanitizer Station. The group was led by their school principal Mr. Jose Bernardez and coach Jephunneh Gasmen. Despite the trials brought by the pandemic this year, the group was still successful in their mission.  Venice Balbin, one of the participants in the contest said, “Despite facing difficulties during our training because of the protocols, we did not stop.  "My parents would drop and pick me up at our training place and I really appreciated it. Our team would also have group chat meetings. Life definitely throws challenges in the pursuit of our dreams, but in this situation, no matter how hard life is, we should not surrender," she added. Regional Director Estela Cariño also gave a message for the participants.  “DepEd CAR congratulates the Abra High School Robotics Teams composed of Venice, Marc Dei, Keneth, Shefally, David, and Ma. Teresa for winning bronze medals in the World Robot Games 2021! Your representation of our country is already an achievement which is worthy of a spot in our history books! Congratulations also to your ever-supportive parents, coach, principal, and Schools Division Office, "he said. ”As a student, all I can say is that believe in yourself. Never give up just because of a failure given that it is part of success. Don't let any hindrance stop you from pursuing what you want, ”Sheffaly Valencia told fellow students.

Cordillera Farmers Feeds The Country With 1 Million Kilos Of Vegetables A Day

April 23, 2021

Cordillera - The country has a steady supply of fresh vegetables. Thanks to the hardworking Cordillera farmers who provides almost 1 Million kilos of vegetables a day.  According to the Department of Agriculture, the region has been the main contributor of food that feeds Filipinos in the whole country. READ ALSO:  Generous Igorot farmer donates 10,000 kilos of vegetables to Raffy Tulfo in Action  Dr. Cameron Odsey, DA-CAR regional director, on Thursday said the region is the no. 1 producer of highland vegetables in the country. "We supply 80 percent of the highland vegetable requirement in Metro Manila, and in other lowland provinces," he said. READ ALSO: The 'Comboys of Benguet' - The Igorot hard workers who bring fresh veggies to your table On average, he said Cordillera sells around 1,000 metric tons (MT) or 1 million kilograms a day. The vegetables usually come from Benguet, Tinoc, Ifugao, and Bauko, Mountain Province. The vegetables found in “chop suey” dish are brought to as far north as Batanes to the southern part of the country in Mindanao. WATCH: Korean TV features Cordillera's Unique Way of Farming Computed at an average of PHP30 per kilogram of vegetables, around PHP30 million moves around, helping propel the economy. “That’s a big production trade,” Odsey said. He said the farming sector contributes a significant amount to the regional economy with around 70,000 vegetable farmers tilling 25,000 hectares, with the bulk being in Benguet. source || PNA

Proud IKalinga Tops SAF Basic Airborne Course

April 22, 2021
Photo Courtesy || Eisenhower Bucalen Cordillera - A proud iKalinga has topped the Special Action Force (SAF) Basic Airborne Course that ended on April 21, 2021.  PCPT John Balliyao Agod, a graduate of PNPA Class 2016 received the Parachutist Badge during the Graduation Ceremony held at the Special Action Force Headquarters, Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, Bicutan. According to PCPT Agod, they started their SAF Basic Airborne Course and SAF Parachute Packing Course on September 25, 2020 however, due to unavoidable and unexpected reasons like typhoons and the current pandemic, the course was extended several times until April 21, 2021.  PCT Agod added that out of the original 97 trainees, only 86 commissioned officers plus the 78 non-commissioned officers were able to graduate. "If other countries had a very successful conduct of operations through Airborne insertion, we are also very successful here in our country," PCPT Agod said. As we advance in the modern technologies, the troops who have this kind of training will play an important role in every operation. The very important disciplined that should be learned in the training are Mental Alertness and Presence of Mind wherein, in every operation, you should decide as quick as you can depending on the situation and without causing any prejudice to your fellow operators, Agod added.  source || Eisenhower Bucalen

Proud Igorot Marine Officer Top 1 In Philippine Navy’s Civil Military Operation Course

April 22, 2021
Photo Courtesy || Dennis D. Sadlay Cordillera - An Igorot marine officer has graduated number 1 in the recently concluded Basic Civil Military Operation Course (CMO) by the Philippine Navy.  Captain Dennis D. Sadlay who hails from Mt.Province and Baguio City received the certificate of distinction for being the number 1 in the class of 27 students who joined the course. The CMO Basic Course is under the curriculum of the Civil Military Operations Group-Philippine Navy.  The course provides students with information and skills necessary to work in partnership with relevant agencies to pursue objectives in the operational and strategic level.  A Certificate of Distinction is given to a student who has achieved exemplary performance during the course.  Cpt. Sadlay is the Commanding officer of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-3 of the 23rd Marine Company. Throughout his term as the Commanding Officer, his company received the BEST RIFLE COMPANY award for three consecutive years in 2018, 2019 and 2020. While his Company has been maintaining the Best Rifle Company award for several years, his company also grabbed the GRANDSLAM BEST COMPANY award. In addition, his company was given the BACK TO BACK BEST IN ATHLETIC award for 2019 and 2020. His great leadership being a Marine officer as well as a commanding officer didn't go unnoticed when he was honored as the BEST OFFICER in 2019.

Benguet’s Rice Burger With “kinuday” Recipe Wins 1st Place In DA’s Regional Cookfest Contest

April 22, 2021
Photo Courtesy || DA Cordillera - Benguet cuisine, Cordillera rice burger with ‘kinuday’ recipe, bags 1st Place represented by Charity Joy Dulnuan of Sablan, Benguet during the Regional Cookfest conducted by Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR) through the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) via virtual screening at the New Conference Hall, Guisad, Baguio City on April 21, 2021. This is in support to the celebration of the National Filipino Food Month (FFM) also known as “Buwan ng Kalutong Pilipino” this April 2021. The FFM takes place to promote, preserve, and ensure the introduction of vast Filipino culinary traditions to the present and future generations. On the other hand, Percy Innog of Kalinga (‘binungor’ cuisine), Ramos Puracan of Apayao (‘sinursuran’ cuisine), Analyn Farongyad Kayad of Mountain Province (‘pinikpikan with etag’ cuisine), Celito Taguyongan of Ifugao (‘inlagim na pato’ cuisine) , and Belen Blanza of Abra (‘miki’ cuisine) ranked 2nd to 6th Place, respectively.  Regional Technical Director for Operations Danilo P. Daguio expressed his appreciation to the attached agencies, local government units (LGUs), farmers, fishers, and institutional partners on their active support and involvement to the activities being implemented by the department.  He added that the agency continues to support activities that promote indigenous food systems and cultures in the region as well as to provide support to farmers and fisherfolks. Further, Elmer Macalingay, owner of Ecolodge and Health 100 Restoreant in Baguio City; Glorinita Lasuden, and Tessie Lingbanan of Agricultural Training Institute-Cordillera (ATI-CAR) are the judges during the regional contest. Prior to the regional activity, the provincial cookfest for the six provinces was also facilitated and documented by the AMAD in coordination with the Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Section (RAFIS) following the minimum IATF protocol brought about by this pandemicsource || DA Press Release

Young IKalinga Wins Gold Medal In Wrestling In Spain

April 22, 2021

Cordillera - A young iKalinga has won Gold medal in free wrestling in Spain during the Andalusian Championship held last March 2021 in Maracena, Granada. 17-year old Mark Tawyne Saga-oc who hails from Dalupa, Pasil, Kalinga dominated the Junior and Senior 57kg free wrestling category.  His team Carmona has achieved the most wins and became the overall champion in all categories.  Photo Courtesy || Norma Saga-oc It was an unprecedented success for the team considering the challenge brought by this pandemic, but the the team has managed to train under its coach Santiago Moreno.  Moreno has a lot of respect to Mark Saga-oc and his fellow team mate Adrian Lopes who without doubt has made his best to become champion.  Both fighters achieved accolade after fighting in nine bouts in one day.  Team Carmona is looking at the next wrestling contest in the Spanish Championship which will be held in Santiago de Compostela. Meanwhile, Mark's sister Mariane also won 2nd in the wrestling tournament.  Congratulations to both of you and may you continue inspiring our Cordilleran kailyans to excel in sport.

Honest IKalinga Woman Returns Found P98,000 Cash To Owner

April 21, 2021
Photo Courtesy || Pearl Domalleg Namar
Cordillera - An honest iKalinga woman has returned to the owner a bundle of cash worth P98,000 that she found. Pearl Domalleg Namar, a real state agent and a native of Mangali, Tanudan posted on her social media account the money that she found and called the attention of the owner to contact her.  According to Namar, she was standing in front of JVA Hospital in Bulanao and waiting for a taxi when she noticed a bundle of money left at the side of the road.  Namar's conscience kicked in and what came to her mind is to return the money so she immediately posted on her Facebook account the lost money. She believed that the money is intended to be used for someone's hospitalization because she found it near the vicinity of JVA Hospital. "Iti adda iti panunut ko, nu ngay mausar nu ma-opera diay tao, ta batog garud iti hospital. Ti panpanutek ket nu ngay pang emergency use na piman. Konsensiya mon a diay," Namar said via gurupress-cordillera. Meanwhile netizens, expressed their admirations to the act of honesty by Namar.  One netizen said, "God bless you ma'am Pearl Domalleg Namar,...more blessing to come.  Another one said, "This woman should be given award for her honesty and not those politicians showing plaque of appreciation". The honesty of Ma'am Namar is a testament to the Cordilleran culture of "Inayan" which prohibits anyone from consuming or taking anything that he/she does not own. 

International Vlogger NAS DAILY Features World’s Oldest Tattoo Artist Apo Whang-od Of Kalinga

April 21, 2021
Photo Courtesy || Nas DailyCordillera - The oldest tattoo artist in the world Apo Whang-od of Kalinga has been given another shot of media exposure as she was featured by international vlogger NAS DAILY.  The 28-year-old Nuseir Yassin, better known to his social media name as Nas Daily tells the story of a 103-year old Apo Whang-od and why many tourists came to the Philippines, travels hundreds of kilometers just to get a tattoo from her.  Nas Daily crew traveled 2 days from Manila to Kalinga, took a local transport and trek the mountainous part of Buscalan.  Watch his vlog below.  Nas Daily has gained popularity on social media through his 1000 daily one-minute videos which he documented his travels and meetings with different people around the world.  A few years ago, he launched Nas Academy where he offers vlogging courses to aspiring students who would want to become successful in vlogging.READ ALSO: 5 Amazing Igorot Vloggers/YouTubers you should subscribe to He also offers live classes where he teaches content creating courses and advance video editing.  Started in 2016, Nas Daily has gained over 30 million followers on different media platforms and has inspired a lot of youth and millennials in to the world of vlogging.

Two Cordillerans In TOP 10 Of PNPA Hinirang Class Of 2021

April 20, 2021
Photo Courtesy || PNPACordillera - Two sons of Cordillera was among the top 10 graduating cadets of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) HINIRANG CLASS 2021.  P/CDT Joel James Jose De Guzman from Ifugao landed in Top 3 while P/CDT Ian Poyaon Limbawan from Baguio City landed in Top 8.  Photo Courtesy || PNPA De Guzman is the second child among the six children of Mr. Joel T. De Guzman, a retired soldier from the Philippine Army, and Mrs. Mercy D. De Guzman, a humble housewife, growing up in a farm. Learn more about P/CDT De Guzman: Cordilleran from Apayao is TOP 3 PNPA HINIRANG CLASS OF 2021 Photo Courtesy || PNPA Meanwhile, Limbawan is the eldest son of PLT ROGELIO T LIMBAWAN, a police officer from Lamut, Ifugao, and Mrs. Jesusa P. Limbawan, a Laundry Service Cashier from San Carlos City, Pangasinan, he was early exposed to the difficulties of life: difficulties that fueled his determination in achieving his goals. Learn more about PLT Limbawan: Baguio Boy lands TOP 8 in PNPA Hinirang Class 2021 Here are the other top graduating cadets of the PNPA Hinirang Class 2021: Top 1 - F/CDT KENNETH JOHN ESPALLAGAR ETUCAS - General Santos City Top 2 - P/CDT Carljobel Perez Lofranco - Bohol Top 4 - CDT Kenneth Van Alegasin Encabo -Davao Top 5 - P/CDT JOHN KENNETH FLORENTINO - Lanao Del Norte Top 6 - CDT 1C CORNELIO - Zamboanga Del Norte Top 7 - P/CDT GERALD ARQUILLANO LOPEZ - Samal, Zamboanga Del Norte Top 9 - P/CDT CHERVIL LERIOS FERENAL - Lanao Del Sur Top 10 - F/CDT MICHAEL ALLEN PABUSTAN LENON - Tarlac On Monday, PMGEN Rhoderick C Armamento, Director, PNPA formally introduced to the Chief, PNP PGEN Debold M Sinas and to the public the Top 10 Graduating Cadets of HINIRANG CLASS of 2021 during the NHQ Press Conference held at the MPC. CONGRATULATIONS to the TOP 10 Graduating Cadets, Special Awardees and to all members of PNPA HINIRANG CLASS of 2021.

Baguio Boy Lands TOP 8 In PNPA Hinirang Class 2021

April 20, 2021
Photo Courtesy || PNPA Cordillera - P/CDT IAN POYAOAN LIMBAWAN, one of the members of the HINIRANG CLASS of 2021 or the Chosen Ones, took his first glimpse of the world on the 14th day of September 1998 in the City of Baguio.  Born as the eldest son of PLT ROGELIO T LIMBAWAN, a police officer from Lamut, Ifugao, and Mrs. Jesusa P. Limbawan, a Laundry Service Cashier from San Carlos City, Pangasinan, he was early exposed to the difficulties of life: difficulties that fueled his determination in achieving his goals.  With such determination coupled with the call to lead, he was designated as the Regimental Executive Officer and soon climbed the echelon and became the Regimental Commander. Looking back to his track, he never failed to display exemplified excellence, both in academic and leadership aspects.READ ALSO: Cordilleran from Apayao is TOP 3 PNPA HINIRANG CLASS OF 2021 He finished his primary education at Aguinaldo Elementary School as the Class Salutatorian despite his responsibilities as the President of the Pupil Government Organization and an active Platoon Leader of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.  When PCDT LIMBAWAN finished his secondary education at Pines City National High School, he again kept the Salutatorian title amidst being the President of the Supreme Student Government, both in school and Division Levels, and an accountable Senior Crew Leader of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.  Although exposed to the different co-curricular activities such as Poster Making Contests, Math and Science Quiz Bees, Cheer and Dance competitions, and different jamborees by the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, he never took his Academics for granted.  Upon reaching college, he opted to take the BS-Criminology course at the University of the Cordilleras wherein he continued to excel as a Dean’s Lister Scholar while joining different clubs and organizations in pursuit of enhancing his skills in leadership.  Granted with multiple talents and achievements he was, but PCDT LIMABAWAN’s life did not go well as it may seem. There were times that his parents faced difficulties in supporting his study and that of his younger brothers. To alleviate the circumstance, he strived to excel in his studies to avail the scholarship from the school.  Another opportunity came when he knew about the Philippine National Police Academy while taking up the course in college. Taking the chance that faith vested upon him, he took the PNPA Cadet Admission Test and managed to ace among the thousands of Filipino youths who aspired to become a cadet and took his oath as an official member of CCPNPA on May 01, 2017.  Through ups and downs, PCDT LIMBAWAN trudged the steep road of becoming a refined individual for four years, ready to serve as police commissioned officer just like his father. From the first ‘tion’ or the Reception to the day of the Graduation, everything pays off as the golden anahaw falls unto his shoulders.source || PNPA 

Cordilleran From Apayao Is TOP 3 PNPA HINIRANG CLASS OF 2021

April 19, 2021
Photo Courtesy || PNPACordillera - “Do not just dream for it, Do the best for it”. The Top 3 cadet from the Philippine National Police Academy, hails from Malubibit Norte, Flora, Apayao.  P/CDT Joel James Jose De Guzman is the second child among the six children of Mr. Joel T. De Guzman, a retired soldier from the Philippine Army, and Mrs. Mercy D. De Guzman, a humble housewife, growing up in a farm. He already experienced hardships and the true meaning of hard work in order to earn and obtain food for their table. READ ALSO: Baguio Boy lands TOP 8 in PNPA Hinirang Class 2021 He finished his primary education at Malubibit Elementary School as a valedictorian and his secondary education at Flora National High School. He took up the course of Bachelor of Science in Criminology at Cagayan State University – Sanchez Mira Campus. During his childhood days, he dreamt of following his father’s footsteps as a soldier of the nation. By some twist of fate he took the Philippine National Police Academy Cadet Admission test and was successfully admitted to be part of PNPA Hinirang Class of 2021. For the next 4 years, his life inside the Academy was full of struggles, pressures and obstacles that he faced during his cadetship days. Despite daunting challenges, he successfully overcame all obstacles through sheer courage, perseverance and determination.  Amidst all problems that he went through, he still managed to graduate from this prestigious institution and be conferred with the Top 3 award of his class. His journey is indeed a difficult one. Having the determination to succeed, he went on and faced difficult odds for he believed that nothing is impossible as long as you will always continue to push forward for your goal without hesitation. He always put his heart on everything he does.  No matter how hard it takes, no matter what the odds are, he will always work hard in order to make his dream become a reality.