Typhoon-affected farmers, fishers in Catanduanes get more than P200-M worth of agri-fishery assistance

November 18, 2020

Agriculture Secretary William Dar on November 10, 2020, handed over more than P200-million worth of farm and fishery assistance, benefiting thousands of farmers and fishers in Catanduanes, particularly in the municipality of Bato, where typhoon “Rolly” hit hardest, and in the capital town of Virac. The agri chief joined Senator Christopher “Bong” Go and three other department secretaries — Francisco Duque of health, Silvestre Bello of labor and employment, and Rolando Bautista of social welfare and development — who also extended their respective financial aid, food packs and other forms of assistance to Catandunganons, who felt and experienced the brunt and devastation of the strongest typhoon that visited the country this year, according to DOST-PAGASA. Senator Go led the handing of assistance to typhoon victims through Catanduanes Governor Joseph Cua, Bato Mayor Juan Rodulfo, and Virac Mayor Sinforoso Sarmiento, Jr., during a simple program held at the Bato Central Elementary School and at Virac municipal multi-purpose auditorium that were both partially damaged by typhoon “Rolly.” The various DA assistance for typhoon-affected farmers and fishers in Catanduanes and Bicol region, respectively, consist of: ·      P121 M – to rehabilitate abaca farms in Bicol region through the DA’s Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA); ·      P23-M worth of seeds of hybrid and inbred rice, corn and assorted vegetables, urea fertilizer, 4-wheel tractor, and farm implements for Catandunganon farmers; ·      P25 M – for fishing boats and engines, nets and other paraphernalia, marine plywood and other materials for boat repair, tilapia fingerlings, canned sardines, and other forms of assistance from the DA’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) for Bicol region, of which P5.5M will go to Catanduanes; ·      1,000 metric tons or 20,000 bags (50 kg each) of rice from the DA’s National Food Authority (NFA) for the Province of Catanduanes; ·      Crop, livestock or fishery insurance payments, ranging from P10,000 to P15,000 per insured farmer, from the DA’s Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC), alloting a total of P592.4 M as insurance payments for 32,761 Bicol insured farmers affected by super typhoon “Rolly;” and ·      Emergency and rehabilitation loan, worth P25,000 per borrower, from the DA’s Agricultural Credit and Policy Council (ACPC), under its Survival and Recovery (SURE) loan program. The DA-ACPC allotted an initial P100M for Bicol under the SURE program. The loan is non-collateral, has zero interest, and payable in 10 years. During the program in the town of Bato, Senator Go also handed over P10-M financial assistance from President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to the province of Catanduanes. He also distributed hundreds of face masks and shields, boxes of medicines, and dozens of bicycles and computer tablets. Last week, Secretary Dar also visited Polangui, Albay, where he led the distribution of P90-M worth of various assistance to typhoon “Rolly” affected farmers and fishers. The initial estimate of the agri-fishery damage in Bicol due to typhoon “Rolly” amounts to more P3 billion, said DA Bicol Regional Director Rodel Tornilla. During the visit in Catanduanes, Secretary Dar was joined by DA Undersecretary for Operations Ariel Cayanan, NFA Administrator Judy Carol Dansal, BFAR Director Eduardo Gongona, PhilFIDA Administrator Kennedy Costales, and DA Spokesperson and Assistant Secretary for Strategic Communications Noel Reyes.  (DA StratComms)  

As the school year begins, Bong Go distributes tablets to selected student in Paranaque City; extends additional assistance to their families

October 12, 2020

  PASAY CITY, Oct.11 -- After numerous calls for help from citizens received by his office, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go’s team distributed aid to 150 individuals in Brgy. Merville, Paranaque City on Saturday, October 10, to help them cope with the current COVID-19 pandemic. His team provided meals, food packs, masks and face shield to beneficiaries. “Nandiyan po ang aking staff, meron po akong ipinadalang pagkain, mga food packs, pananghalian n’yo po. Meron din akong ipinadalang mga mask at face shield,” Go told the beneficiaries in a virtual message. “Pakiusap ko lang sa inyo, pakisuot po ito dahil delikado pa ang panahon. Suotin n’yo parati ang mask at face shield dahil hindi pa normal ang sitwasyon. Hugas ng kamay parati at kung ‘di kailangan, ‘wag umalis ng pamamahay. Ingat lang tayo parati,” he reminded them. Selected students also received tablets from the Senator’s team to help them participate in their blended learning. Go reminded the students to study hard as a way to show gratitude for their parents’ hard work and sacrifices. “Sa mga estudyante, pakiusap ko lang po, please lang po, mag-aral kayong mabuti. ‘Yan lang ang nagpapasaya sa ating mga magulang,” Go reminded the students. “Alam n’yo, kaligayahan naming mga magulang kapag nakikita namin ang mga anak namin na nag-aaral at makatapos. Ang mga magulang, nagpapakamatay para lang makapag-aral ang mga anak kaya bilang ganti, mga estudyante, mag-aral kayong mabuti para po ang ating mga magulang sumaya naman,” he added. Go also gave away bicycles to the most needy beneficiaries identified by their barangay officials citing that these will help them in their daily commute to work. The Senator also highlighted in his video call that once the COVID-19 vaccine is available, he and President Rodrigo Duterte will make sure the poor and vulnerable sectors will be prioritized. “Konting tiis lang, ‘wag kayong mag-aalala kapag meron na pong vaccine at safe na po ang vaccine, na-certify na safe na po, kami ni Pangulong (Rodrigo) Duterte, uunahin namin ang mahihirap para makabalik na tayo sa normal na pamumuhay kung saan po pwede nating mayakap ang ating kapwa Pilipino,” he said. Representatives of the Department of Social Welfare and Development were also present during the aid distribution as the agency provided additional assistance to the residents. The Senator also urged the residents to go to the nearest Malasakit Center at the Ospital ng Parañaque for medical and financial assistance. “Bago ko po makalimutan, kung sino po kailangang magpagamot sa inyo, magpa-dialysis, magpa-ospital, meron po tayong mga Malasakit Centers.” “Nakapaloob na po sa ospital ang apat na ahensya ng gobyerno, PhilHealth, PCSO, DOH at DSWD para po hindi na kayo kailangang lumabas ng ospital. Meron na kayo sa Parañaque, meron d’yang Malasakit Center sa Ospital ng Parañaque, lapitan n’yo lang po,” he added. Go also mentioned that all Filipinos are qualified to seek assistance from the centers. “Walang pulitika dito, basta Pilipino, poor and indigent patients, qualified kayo sa Malasakit Center, inyo po yan,” he said. For patients who have severe medical conditions that need critical operation, Go asked them to approach his team so he could assist them. “Kung hindi po kaya sa Malasakit Center, kailangan n’yo po sa Heart Center, Kidney (Institute), ano pa man, lapitan n’yo lang ang mga staff ko, sabihin n’yo lang, kami na po ang tutulong para mabayaran ang hospital bills sa ospital at operasyon n’yo,” he said. Ending his message, Go asked residents not to hesitate to seek his and President Duterte’s help because it is their job to serve Filipinos and provide a more comfortable life for all. “Huwag po kayong mag-atubiling lumapit sa akin dahil trabaho po namin ‘yan ni Pangulong Duterte. ‘Wag n’yo po akong tawaging senador, Bong Go lang po. Kahit ano pong maitutulong namin sa inyo, sabihn n’yo lang po. Mula noon hanggang ngayon, bisyo ko po ang magserbisyo sa bawat Pilipino,” he said. “Maraming salamat po sa inyong pakikinig. Ipinapaabot lang namin sa inyo ni Pangulong Duterte ang pangamusta sa inyo, mahal po namin kayong mga kapwa naming Pilipino,” he ended. (OSBG)    

USAID provides laptops and learning materials to support education for out-of-school youth

October 12, 2020

MANILA, October 11 --The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), turned over 150 laptop computers, printers, projectors, and 80 sets of learning materials to the Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday, October 6, as part of the United States’ ongoing commitment to support the Philippine government’s Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan amid the COVID-19 pandemic.   USAID Mission Director Lawrence Hardy II led the handover ceremony with Assistant Secretary for Alternative Learning Systems (ALS) G.H. Ambat, who accepted the donations on behalf of DepEd.  USAID’s assistance augments DepEd’s efforts to help ensure continuity of education, especially for vulnerable out-of-school youth. In the coming weeks, USAID will provide more than 400 laptops, computers, printers, projectors, and other related materials worth Php34 million ($700,000) to DepEd’s ALS Task Force.   This assistance is part of USAID’s Opportunity 2.0, a five-year, Php1.9-billion ($37.5 million) project that works with DepEd, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and local governments to support their ongoing programs to provide relevant education, employability skills, and work experience to out-of-school youth.   In addition, DepEd’s five “e-Skwela Centers” will receive computers and other related equipment to increase access to technology and learning in these communities.  Opportunity 2.0 is also training teachers on blended learning approaches and will develop interactive audio instruction materials that can be used by those isolated by distance or lack of infrastructure.   Opportunity 2.0 is implemented by U.S.-based Education Development Center (EDC) with DepEd, TESDA, Accenture, Philippine Business for Education, Catholic Relief Services, Voluntary Services Overseas, and SEAMEO INNOTECH.  USAID’s assistance will benefit 180,000 youth in more than 12 cities across the Philippines. (US Embassy in the Philippines)  

INNOTECH’s teacher motivation research supports DepEd’s initiative on career progression

October 8, 2020

QUEZON CITY  – In line with the celebration of the National Teachers' Month, the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO INNOTECH) presented a research study on teachers' motivation, which supported the Department of Education's initiative the career progression of teachers. "I believe that we should honor, even as we are honoring now, our former teachers, those who continue to teach, [and those] who teach vocationally…. We may be asking ourselves, 'Why do people teach at this time?' [This] study shows that, possibly, [despite] the voice of a small minority, teachers go into formal teaching for the very same reason which our grandparents, mothers, and other relatives to go into teaching," Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said during her keynote address. Senior Specialist and INNOTECH Educational Research Unit Head Dr. Sherlyne Almonte Acosta presented the findings of the study, which showed that one of the motivations for educators in choosing to teach was economic considerations, which led to the push for revisiting the teachers’ career progression. "Nag-apply po sila [teachers] for promotion. In fact, I mentioned that 81% of them succeeded in the applications for promotion. So, nangangahulugan lang na mayroon talagang willingness na umangat ang bawat guro," Dr. Acosta said. Undersecretary for Planning and Bureau of Human Resource and Organizational Development Jesus Mateo emphasized that the Department has lodged a policy concerning the career progression of teachers. "I am happy to report that we are now almost have completed the policy on career progression, which will be jointly issued by DBM and [DepEd]. Based on the competency standards, one can now progress to the next higher position," Undersecretary for Planning and Bureau of Human Resource and Organizational Development Jesus Mateo said. Under the proposed policy, the Department will be creating teaching positions namely Teacher III, IV, V, VI, VII, and Master Teacher V, and will institutionalize merit-based promotion anchored on Philippine Professional Standards for Teachers (PPST) Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs Tonisito M.C. Umali, Esq. lauded the efforts of SEAMEO INNOTECH in coming up with a comprehensive study on teacher motivation, which could be supplemental for other policies focusing on teacher welfare. "[On policy recommendations], ang isa nga po doon ay career progression at halos lahat ng binanggit niyo po doon ay mayroon nang ginagawa ang Kagawaran. Kami po ay very interested na makita ang pag-aaral ninyo para lalo pa po naming mapaghusay ang ginagawa ng Kagawaran, kung mayroon pa pong pwedeng gawin," Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs Tonisito M.C. Umali, Esq. noted. With the theme "TEACHER MOTIVATION: iTEACH FOR A BETTER FUTURE", the National Teachers' Month Forum was also joined by UP College of Education Dean Dr. Jerome Buenviaje, Philippine Normal University Former President Dr. Esther B. Ogena, and DepEd Division of Iloilo City Master Teacher II Dr. Alma Janagap. The annual Teachers Forum was organized by INNOTECH as part of its contributions to the National Teachers Month Coordinating Council (NTMCC). INNOTECH or the Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology, headed by Center Director and former Undersecretary of the Department of Education Dr. Ramon C. Bacani, is part of a regional intergovernmental organization dedicated to developing solutions to address education development concerns in Southeast Asia. INNOTECH has been hosted by the Philippines since 1976 and serves the region through its service areas of research and innovation, training, and knowledge management.  (DepEd)  

DOST rolls out 20 R&D outputs, services for 2020

February 25, 2020

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has unveiled 20 research and development (R&D) outputs and scientific services that would provide innovative solutions to address some of the country’s existing challenges and limitations in different sectors.  In a media conference held 20 February 2020 at the Hotel Jen in Pasay City, DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña introduced 20 programs, services, technologies, and innovations developed by DOST agencies and regional offices, together with various industry partners.    "The DOST would like to kick-off the year 2020 by featuring 20 of our programs and technologies that we believe can make a big impact in the lives of our countrymen and push our country to attain socioeconomic growth and development," said DOST Sec. de la Pena.   Called "Big 20 in 2020", the DOST is set to spearhead a series of technology launches and events for the entire year. These technology launches will highlight the practical benefits of various R&D outputs and scientific services, particularly in the areas of agriculture, enterprise technology, space science, genomics, mass transportation, development of smart cities, health and nutrition, disaster preparedness, nuclear technology, among others.   The Secretary emphasized that while technology remains the driving force of any developed economy, it is a must for the Philippines to develop more technologies that can help improve people's lives.    Among the 20 R&D outputs unveiled by the DOST is the possible launch this year of two locally-built nanosatellites, an anti-dengue drug and biomedical devices, a 12-horsepower single cylinder diesel engine, and an automated guideway transit for Bataan.   Also presented was a program called Understanding Lightning and Thunderstorms for Extreme Weather and Monitoring and Information Sharing or ULAT, a comprehensive program on nutrition, and a partnership between the DOST and the Department of National Defense.  There will also be a nationwide tissue-cultured coconut planting day, the maiden voyage of a hybrid trimaran, launching of a “Science for the People” book series, a concert using bamboo musical instruments, the launch of several DOST-enabled smart cities, and an exposition on innovations in disaster risk reduction and response.   Several DOST facilities are lined up to start offering services this year including the country’s first fully automated gamma irradiation facility, a Regional Yarn Production and Innovation Center in Miagao, Iloilo, a tissue-cultured laboratory for ornamental plants in Bulacan, opening of various science discovery centers, the Philippine Genome Center in Visayas, and several laboratories including metrology laboratories in chemistry and biology, simulation packaging testing and green packaging laboratories, and a modular multi-industry innovation facility.    For more information on the DOST’s 20 programs and technologies, visit and view or download the "Big 20 in 2020" technology catalogue.           

Indie-Siyensya extends deadline to Feb 25 

February 12, 2020

Indie-Siyensya extends deadline to Feb 25    Indie-Siyensya judges (L-R) Dr. Ruby Cristobal, Prof. Seymour Sanchez, and Dr. Aimee Lynn Dupo with DOST-SEI Director Josette Biyo and PSHS Western Visayas Campus DirectorDr. Shena Faith Ganela led the program launch of the 4th Indie-Siyensya Filmmaking Competition at the Regional Science and Technology Week Celebration last October 19, 2020 in Iloilo City.  MANILA, Philippines – Science filmmaking competition, Indie-Siyensya, is extending the deadline for submission of film entries to 25 February 2020.  The contest, organized by the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), is open to all Filipinos who may join as individuals or in groups.  There are two categories: the “Youth Category” for high school, tertiary school and out-of-school youth aged 13-20, and the “Open category” for college students, teachers, and S&T professionals.  Entries must be short documentaries which should have a running time of under ten (10) minutes. The films must be relevant to the theme “Communities Beyond the Naked Eye” and should focus on the life and impact of insects, microorganisms, and other tiny living and non-living things.  Indie-Siyensya continues to promote science culture to the youth and the general public using film as a medium. According to DOST-SEI Director Dr. Josette Biyo, it is the agency’s response to the growing demand for excellent science communicators in the country.  “This competition aims to use filmmaking in communicating to the public scientific concepts as well as in highlighting the critical role of S&T in national development to the public and to entice the youth to become part of the growing S&T workforce of the country,” Dr. Biyo said.  Entries will be judged based on the following criteria: Scientific Content, Execution of Idea and Film Techniques. Winners for each category will receive trophies and cash prizes worth 100,000 pesos for the Best Film, 50,000 pesos for the second prize, and 30,000 pesos for the third prize.  One entry will also win the Viewers’ Choice award, which will be given to the entry with the highest number of votes during the film screening period at various DOST events, amounting to 20,000 pesos.   For contest mechanics and other information, interested participants may or (30)    DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña graced theprogram launch of the 4th Indie-Siyensya Filmmaking Competition.         Participants of the program launch of the 4th Indie-Siyensya Filmmaking Competition.


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