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City Folk Urged to Switch off Lights for Earth Hour on March 25

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Image Source: www.earthhour.org

Residents in the city are urged to join the Earth Hour observance on March 25 by switching off unessential lights in their homes for one hour from 8:30-9:30 p.m.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan made the appeal upon accepting the invitation of the World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines for the city to participate anew in the worldwide energy conservation campaign as a means of combatting global warming and climate change.

Now on its 10th year, the campaign according to WWF Philippines Earth Hour Pilipinas national director Angela Consuelo Ibay was participated in by 178 countries and “inspired over 18million Filipinos to switch off their lights for the planet” last year.

“This year, Earth Hour continues to encourage everyone to help shine a light on climate action helping spread a new era of climate awareness that started when the world came together and agreed on a global climate in Paris last 2015,” Ibay said.

“As the Philippines targets an emissions reduction of 70 percent by 2030, this global campaign will visually present the need for every Filipino to take action today as climate change affects people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures.”

City environment and parks management officer Cordelia Lacsamana who was tasked by the mayor to spearhead the activities said they will mount a simple but meaningful program to usher in the observance which will be marked by the switching off of streetlights and signages.

A “dance of the gongs” parade is being planned for the occasion starting from the top of Session Road to usher in the switch-off ceremonies at 8:30 p.m. and will wind up at the City Hall grounds for a short program until the switch-on time at 9:30 p.m.

Lacsamana said they will invite cultural troupes from the various schools and groups to participate in the dance parade.

Business establishments along the parade route and within the central business district will be encouraged to participate by switching off their lights as the parade progresses.

Lacsamana said the use of the native gong in the campaign is symbolic being a vital ritual tool of the Cordillerans.

“The gong and its reverberating sound will drum up support for this worthwhile cause and will be a symbol of our commitment to resiliency and environmental sustainability,” she said.

Inmates at the Baguio City Jail who have been setting records for going beyond the prescribed one-hour of lights out (usually beyond three hours) for the last eight years are expected to again go out of their way to support the program.

Both the ladies and men’s dormitories under chief inspectors Elvis Danglose and April Rose Ayangwa, are expected to mount unique programs in the hope of topping their erstwhile meaningful and moving shows. (Aileen P. Refuerzo-Baguio City PIO)

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

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Image source: pia.gov.ph

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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Image source: DSWD 7

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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Image source: http://www.philnews.xyz

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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DOH6 Enjoins Lgus to Create Local Aids Councils

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Image source: http://www.canadianinquirer.net

The Department of Health (DOH)-6 called on local government units in Western Visayas to establish or reactivate local AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) councils to strengthen local responses against HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and AIDS.

Dr. Elvie Villalobos, DOH-6 Infectious Disease Cluster Head, said there is a need to have functional local AIDS councils in the provincial, city, and municipal levels and tap involvement of multi-sectoral partners.

“Based on our data, the cases of HIV are increasing. Every 10 hours, a person is diagnosed with HIV in Western Visayas,” he said.

According to the DOH-6 Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU), a total of 606 cases were reported in Western Visayas for the period January to November 2017.

Of the figure, 495 of the HIV cases were asymptomatic while 111 were full-blown AIDS.

Data from DOH-6 revealed that majority of the cases were males registering 586 while the remaining 20 were females.

Most of the HIV and AIDS cases were transmitted through “male having sex with male” (MSM).

In an effort to address this concern, the Population, Health and Nutrition (PHN) Sub-Committee in Region 6 crafted a resolution enjoining all provinces, cities, and municipalities in the region to reactivate their local AIDS councils (LAC) and establish their corresponding service delivery network for HIV, and ensure functionality by providing funds.

The PHN Sub-committee said that DOH has identified HIV and AIDS as among the top health priorities of the current administration and has affirmed its leadership of the country’s AIDS response in partnership with various sectors.

Likewise, DILG Memorandum Circular 2013-29 mandates for strengthening local responses toward more effective and sustained responses to HIV and AIDS through functional LAC.

The LGUs shall enact an ordinance defining the functions of the LAC, and provide financial assistance, identify multi-sectoral plans, strategies, programs, projects, and activities for the prevention of HIV, AIDS, and other sexually transmitted infections.

DOH-6 through the PHN Sub-Committee shall endorse the resolution to the Social Development Council (SDC) for approval and the SDC shall facilitate endorsement to the Regional Development Council (RDC)-6.

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