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DENR 3 Asks Public ‘S Vigilance in Protecting, Conserving Wetland Areas

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Deemed as important migratory sites and habitat of migratory birds frequenting the country from October to March every year, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Central Luzon appeals to the public to protect and conserve wetland areas in the region.

DENR Regional Director Franscisco Milla, Jr. said that aside from serving as shelter of migratory birds, wetlands are critical parts of the ecological system.

“Thus, they provide a range of benefits to local communities, including freshwater supply, food, biodiversity, and serve as flood control, groundwater recharge, and for climate change mitigation,” Milla explained.

With this, the regional director also appeals for more vigilance in protecting wetland areas in the region as these are vital for human survival and are among the world’s most productive environment.

“Right now, we have embarked on a massive information campaign and cleanup activities to raise the awareness of the public on the importance and value of wetlands and migratory birds in achieving a sustainable and liveable future for the present and future generation,” he pointed out.

Specifically, he cited that Candaba Swamp in Pampanga has been identified as one of the three “most important wetlands” in the Philippines and has consistently been listed in the Asian Bird Map as an essential wintering area for migratory birds.

Aside from the Candaba Swamp, other wetland ares in the region include Angat Dam in Bulacan, Pantabangan and Paitan Lake in Nueva Ecija, Puerto Rivas in Bataan, Uacon Lake in Zambales, and Canarem Lake in Tarlac.

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DepEd Says Senior High School Grads Ready for Work

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The Department of Education (DepEd) here assured the public that graduates of the Senior High School (SHS) are “equipped to face the world of work.”

Dr. Lea Belleza, information officer of DepEd Western Visayas, said Tuesday that there are three reasons the Senior High School education system was introduced. She explained that those who can afford can still go to college, or become entrepreneurs given the skills they acquired, or opt to find work.

Graduates of technical and vocational livelihood (TVL) courses are expected to pass the National Competency (NC) assessment of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) so they would be ready to work, Belleza said.

“As to the competency, I assure you that trainings given to our teachers, the provision of instructional materials to our learners and the provision of equipment to our TVL, I firmly believe that we will have the globally competitive graduates for 2018,” she added.

The first batch of Senior High School is expected to graduate April this year.

Meanwhile, Belleza emphasized that graduation rites must be “solemn, simple occasion but meaningful for children.”

She said that their advice is always to observe “austerity measures”, adding, “We don’t want to burden parents of pompous celebration”.

Belleza said that schools have budget for graduation to be taken from the  miscellaneous and other operating expenses (MOOE).  However, minimal contribution, which should not be imposed on the children, may be accepted, she said.

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650 senior citizens in Bacolod receive P1.95-M social pension

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Six hundred fifty (650) senior citizens received a total of PHP1.95 million in government social pension from the city government during the turnover rites Monday facilitated by the Department of Social Services and Development (DSSD) here.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, and DSSD head Pacita Tero led the distribution to the beneficiaries from various barangays.

Each senior citizen received a total of PHP3,000, or PHP500 each month covering six months.

The age requirement of beneficiaries has been lowered to 60 years with additional funds as provided for by Republic Act No. 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

Originally, only senior citizens aged 77 and above received the pension, but the age was later lowered to 65 and then 60 years old.

An elderly will also qualify as program beneficiary if he or she is sickly, frail and with disability, has no regular source of income, as well as having no financial support from family members and pension from the Social Security System, Government Service Insurance System, and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office.

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DSWD-7 Honors Partner CSOs

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Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), media organizations, a parish and a hospital were among the partner institutions who received special awards from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VII during its recently concluded 67th founding anniversary.

DSWD Undersecretary Florita R. Villar and DSWD-7 Regional Director Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre presented the plaques of recognition to Justice, Peace, Integrity of Creation Integrated Development Center (JPIC-IDC) and to Pagtambayayong Foundation Incorporated (FPI) for their invaluable support to the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) by providing assistance to the homeless street families, families in need of special protection and indigenous families. Partner CSOs who helped and supported DSWD-run centers and institutions like the Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center (AVRC II), Regional Haven, Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC) and Home for Girls (HFG) were also honored through the ‘Salamat Po’ award.

Salamat Po awardees were Buddhist Tzu-Chi Foundation Cebu, Cebu Doctor’s University (CDU), GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation, Juanito I. King Foundation (JIKF), Oasis of Love, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), Rotary Club of Cebu West, Verbum Dei Catholic Missionary and Virgen Delos Remedios Parish.

The Social Welfare and Development Learning Network (SWDL-NET) was also given a plaque of recognition for their support in providing accessible, relevant quality social welfare and capacity building program. For the Gawad Ulat award, three media outfits were given the highest recognition for their advancement in the advocacy, promotion, and publicity of the Department’s programs and services.

The awardees were Cebu Daily News (CDN) – Most Supportive Newspaper, DYAB 1512 – Most Supportive Radio Station and Cebu Catholic Television Network (CCTN) Channel 47 – Most Supportive Television Station. Other media partners were also given the ‘Salamat Po’ award namely ABS-CBN, DYHP 612, Sunstar Cebu and The Freeman.

Also awarded during the anniversary celebration were outstanding and long-time DSWD employees through the Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence or ‘PRAISE Awards’.

DSWD 7

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Phase 1 of P4.8-B of Bacolod Economic Highway Kicks Off

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Construction of the two-kilometer portion of Phase 1 of the PHP4.8 billion Bacolod Economic Highway (BEH) funded by the national government through the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) started on Friday.

This portion of the project will cost PHP200 million, and spans the road from Barangay Mansilingan towards Barangay Felisa.

The budget includes the allocation for the right-of-way of landowners affected by the road project.

Bacolod City Lone District Rep. Greg Gasataya, who facilitated the project implementation, said the two-kilometer portion is part of the economic highway that spans 21 kilometers.

Contractor Supreme ABF was given 280 days to finish the construction, he added.

“We prioritized this area because the property of the Province of Negros Occidental is also located here and we expect more development (in this site),” he added.

The latest project followed the construction of the Phase 1’s three-kilometer Section 2 of the economic highway which started in April last year with a budget of PHP300 million.

This portion, from Barangay Sum-ag to Barangay Cabug, is expected to be completed in May this year.

Gasataya added that the construction of the six-kilometer Phase 2 will begin in April, covering areas from Barangay Vista Alegre to Barangay Estefania, with the budget of PHP400 million, including payment for the right-of-way.

The 21-kilometer BEH will cover areas across Barangays Sum-ag, Cabug, Felisa, Handumanan, Mansilingan, Estefania, Granada, Mandalagan, and Bata.

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