Sunday, August 9, 2009

These boys are assured they could go on with their past times along the break-water near the Legazpi City Pier site even as high rise buildings for the Lifestyle Mall (Embarcadero de Legazpi) emerge at the nearby foot of the Kapuntukan Hill.

Roderick Mendoza, of the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) unwraps one of the Basic Life Support Kits given to 56 barangays around Mayon Volcano together with other emergency equipment and mountain bikes in preparation for possible evacuation of some 127,000 residents in case of an eruption.

The Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) has provided two mountain bikes for each of the 56 villages around Mayon Volcano’s hazard zones. Mr. Abundio Nuñez Jr. poses with them before the turnover ceremonies last Tuesday.

EMBARCADERO:Home of a lifestyle mall by the sea, the Embarcadero de Legazpi sits on top of solid foundation along the reclaimed portion of the Legazpi City Port area beside the Kapuntukan Hill known as ‘Sleeping Lion’. This area comes alive especially at night with bars, restaurants, shopping centers, celebration hall and other amenities inspired by the Fisherman’s Wharf of California.


LCWD to desalinate seawater for homes

LEGAZPI CITY - The city government of Legazpi is planning to boost its water supply by tapping another raw source aside from the Yawa River.

"The residents of Legazpi had suffered months, if not years of inadequate supply of potable water which prompted the local government unit to look for alternative sources for the growing demand," Engineer Rafael A. Villar said.

Villar said that the plan which is now at the committee on laws and rules of the Sangguniang Panlungaod chaired by City Councilor Alfredo A. Garbin, requests a passage of a resolution authorizing Mayor Noel E. Rosal to apply for and or avail of he Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) grant facility for a Seawater Desalination Plant Project with an estimated cost of some US$5 million.

Villar, spokesman of the Albay Consumers Association (Alconas) who was also invited by Garbin to the committee hearing Tuesday said the city said that Legazpi water consumers have been dependent on the natural springs along the slopes of Mayon Volcano particularly at Barangay Buyuan and Mabinit but have earlier been provided with purified tap water from the Yawa River by the Phil Hydro systems and the Legazpi City Water District (LCWD).

The said planned project although not yet clear which country will provide grant through the ODA will get water from the sea to be desalinated and purified and introduced into the existing LCWD pipelines to meet the demand of the consumers.

Villar said he would insist on proposing to the city to avail of the desalination technology which could maximize the by-products of the process such as the collection of salt, and electricity that might be produced in the process of steam and condensation stage. "There are four methods of water desalination plants that I know and these are 1) Electrodialysis 2) Vacuum Freezing 3) Flash Distillation and 4) Reverse Osmosis. And whichever they employ, must maximize the byproducts and resources," Villar said.

Phivolcs urges creation of Mayon watch volunteer groups

SCIENTISTS urge disaster councils to be on close watch and warn tourists to keep away from the Mayon Resthouse Resort in Tabaco City and the Lava Front, both within the danger zones, as Mayon volcano's signs of abnormal seismicity may lead to an explosive eruptions similar to that in previous eruptions.

Renato Solidum, Philippine Institute of Volcano and Seismology (Phivolcs) director on Tuesday came here and asked disaster authorities to strictly enforce their respective disaster preparedness plan in view of the complex abnormal condition of the volcano.

Solidum, also urged disaster authorities to organize a volunteer observer's network to be composed of ordinary residents and even the media practitioners designed to give information to Phivolcs concerning unusual occurrences in their respective areas related to the seismic abnormality of the volcano.

He said the community observation network would supplement the agency's seismic instruments put up to monitor Mayon volcano's condition with what is considered as physical observations

"Community observation reports such as animal behaviors, drying of wells, unusual sounds, increase in ground temperature would help the agency in assessing the seismic condition of the volcano," Solidum said.

Solidum who personally assessed the preparedness plan of the Phivolcs in relative to the Mount Mayon's restiveness said four Seismograph instruments, a Correlation Spectrometer (COSPEC), Global Positioning Satellites (GPS), Precise Leveling survey including visual observation instruments and the Fly Spectrometer are at work in harmony with each others to adequately provide scientific measurements of the activities of Mayon.

But he said the residents' physical observations are also essential and helpful just the same.

The Mayon Volcano crater taken by Roderick Mendoza during the first aerial survey sometime in July, this year that confirmed the need to raise the alert level 2.

He said these instruments would predict volcanic eruptions by recording earthquakes on the geological aspect, measuring Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emissions on the geochemical aspect, as well as ground deformation for the Geodetic aspect and other precursors.

Solidum urged disaster authorities to be on full alert and be prepared for the complex condition with a possibility for an explosive eruptions manifested by previous eruptions.

Although tourism is inevitable, Solidum suggested to Tabaco City Mayon Krisel Lagman-Luistro that it is best to designate a temporary viewing deck for tourists from a safer distance as the Mayon Resthouse is very near the crater and poses great hazards. "It is even more beautiful to view Mayon from a distance because you would have a full view of it rather than when you are up there," Solidum said.

Solidum citing previous eruptions records said in 1814 and 1897 Mayon volcano exhibited a Plinian eruption (the most violent type such as that of Pinatubo in 1991) that buried the Cagsawa church in Camalig town, 1984 had a Strombolian eruption displayed by lava flow followed later by ash explosion; 1993 was a steam driven explosion that triggered a crater collapsed in the southeastern part of the crater that killed close to a hundred villagers farming at the slopes the volcano.

In 2001, the volcano exhibited a moderate eruption while in 2006 was a Strombolian type of eruption where it exhibited a lava flow that cascaded 6.2 kilometers down the Mabinit channel.

As masbate sleeps one ‘purok’ is born

MASBATE CITY-Every time Masbateños rise to a new day, there are 23 more of them, the equivalent of a new purok.

Each time a month ends, there are 713 more Masbateños, the equivalent of a new barangay.

And each time a new budget of the provincial government of Masbate is approved every year, 8,556 more people are counting on getting something from it.

By the time Governor Elisa Kho finishes his three-year term next year, another 7,843 Masbateños will have been added to around 780,000 constituents today, the equivalent of more than half of the population of the municipality of Batuan.

This is the speed by which the province's population-768,939 as counted in the 2007 census-is growing, posing a heavy burden on government.

With more than one baby being born every hour, the local governments-including one city, 20 towns and 550 barangays-should be racing against time to be able to provide the social services required by its growing constituency.

Surveys have shown that most of the province's residents rely on the government for health, education and security because they cannot afford private services.

The province's dependency ratio shows that one Masbateño is providing for four others, a burden that many poor people are unable to take up and eventually pass on to local governments.

Cash subsidies

There was no available data on how much the provincial government and its counterparts in the lower government units are spending for the social service requirements of every Masbateño.

The national government, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development, has been providing monthly cash subsidies to at least 33,000 households in Masbate.

Missing LGU support

A recent United Nations-sponsored study reported that Masbate has conditions already approximating those in impoverished, often famine-stricken African countries.

In view of the UN report, two questions beg for answers: Will Masbateño families have enough means to feed their children and provide for their development as productive adults? Will the LGUs' social system for delivering health, nutrition and education become more efficient and faster than the additional children they will need to serve?

LGUs that have been failing low-income families by not helping them to plan their size, which drives them into poverty, ought to answer the questions. (EADelgado, PIA Masbate)

Stakeholders review Abaca Dev’t Program

VIRAC, Catanduanes -- The Catanduanes Unlad Abaca (CUA) Program, a joint of project of the Provincial Government of Catanduanes, Catanduanes State Colleges (CSC), Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA) and the Department of Science and Technology, sponsored an in-house research and development review recently and covered ten (10) completed and on-going research projects.

The panel, composed of Dr. Elena de los Santos of the Bicol Integrated Research Council, Catanduanes Colleges President Ephraim Antonio Garcia, DOST Provincial Director Jimmy Cabrera and PPDO planning and evaluation officer Romeo Aquino, reviewed the presentation of the researchers at the CSC Little Theater last July 22, 2009.
The CUA program was launched to address the challenges and concerns in an effort to bring about sustainability and stability of the abaca industry in Catanduanes. It has four major concerns: rehabilitation and densitification, production and mechanization, research and development and monitoring of evaluation.

It was funded for the period 2008-2010 a total project cost of P16.3 million. It also seeks to increase abaca production in the province through improved farming and techniques ensuring the province's dominance in abaca industry in the country. (EABagadiong, PIA Catanduanes)

7 vie for Friendly Schools Search

SEVEN educational institutions in Bicol are competing for the National Search for Sustainable and Eco Friendly Schools, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Bicol Tuesday said.

The national search is a joint activity of the DENR through the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Edeucation (CHED), and Smart Communication.

Gibert Gonzales, EMB regional director, said based on the selection criteria set by contest regional evaluators, the schools qualified to vie for the search are: Catanduanes State College in Virac, Catanduanes;

The Partido State University in Goa town; Camarines Sur State Agricultural College in Pili; Camarines Sur National High School in Naga City, all in Camarines Sur;

The Cawayan Exterior Elementary School in Masbate; the San Lorenzo National High School in Tabaco City and the Sunshine International School in this city.

Gonzales said the regional evaluation of outstanding eco-friendly schools from elementary to tertiary levels will select winners according to their physical accomplished projects committed on pro-environmental advocacy.

Evaluators would select among the qualifiers three of the regions finest schools exemplifying sustainable and eco-friendly programs which will represent Bicol to the National Search on November this year.

All winning regional entries will receive cash prizes and plaques of recognition for outstanding environmental friendly and sustainable programs and will qualify to the national search this November.

For the national level prizes include College, High School and Elementary levels: P50,000 for 1st Prize, P40,000-2nd Prize, P30,000-3rd Prize and plaques of recognition. (MSA)

Nutrition Day celebration held at Barangay Binitayan, Daraga, Albay with the theme "Wastong Nutrition Kailangan: Lifestyle Disease Iwasan" was held on July 31. In photo are pupils including Audi Jay Ante, his classmates and teacher Orly Marigondon.

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