Wednesday, September 17, 2014

SK polls set Feb 21, 2015, 
registrations start Friday

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Sept 12 (PIA) –Beginning Friday, September 20 until 29, Filipino Citizens 15-17 years old on or before February 21, 2015, who were not registered yet, who have established residency in the last six months in his barangay, will have to register to be eligible to vote in the upcoming Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.

This too as President Benigno Aquino III signed in October last year, Republic Act No. 10632, which postponed the SK polls originally set on Oct. 28 that year. 

The postponement law saw signed to allow Congress to reform the much-politicized and graft-tainted youth council. The reform did not happen as yet. 

“In the wake of calls for its abolition, Congress instead voted to postpone the elections in order to have time to pass a law that would either amend or revise the SK system. No such law has been passed, however, and so now the SK elections will have to be held, this time on Feb. 21, 2015,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said in a statement.

At this, consequently, the Commission on Elections promulgated Resolution No. 9899, which set the election officer’s offices in the towns and every city, the venue for registration in the upcoming SK polls.

The law also set the time span between October 28, 2014 to February 23, 2015, as the period within which, the Comelec could set the SK elections calendar.

Aside from the registration of voters, the COMELEC needs to allow candidates to submit their certificates of candidacies, put up other election activities like campaigns, 

The Comelec in Bohol, through election supervisor Atty Eliseo Labaria, said applicants for registration need to bring any of the following documents: certificate of live birth, baptismal certificate, school records or any document that would establish one’s identity and qualifications.

“If these documents are not available, any person may, under oath, identify the applicant,” Jimenez said.

In a previous statement carried by national papers, Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes admitted the poll agency was keen on pushing for another postponement of the SK elections prior to the May 2016 presidential and local polls.

This is so that the SK polls could not as much disrupt the government’s preparations for the larger election, Comelec sources said.

To probably save on costs, saving a necessity in the Comelec, Commissioner Brillantes hinted they would try to have the next SK polls.

The Comelec proposed that the next SK polls be held simultaneously with the regular barangay elections scheduled in October 2016. (PIABohol/ RAC)

PIA caps City Central SPED 
SSES journalism workshop

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Sept 12 (PIA) –The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in Bohol completes the two day School-Based Training Workshop on Campus Journalism for Tagbilaran City Central School Special Program for Education (SPED) Center with four school journalism topics and workshops, Saturday, September 6. 

The program was set for TCCS SPED Special Science Elementary School learners, the sole elementary science school in Bohol which prepares special modules to train young scientists. 

Around 30 young writers and 6 advisers sat it out for grueling 8 hours of writing workshops to complete the course which started with feature writing and editorial writing as well as photojournalism and junior broadcasting handled by City Information Officer Fiel Angeli A. Gabin and ace lensman secondary school teacher Meljun Daniel. 

The training seminar started August 30 with Gabin and Daniel while day two was September 6 with the PIA.

For day 2, the PIA handled News writing and Sports Writing which included its own separate writeshops and critiquing sessions in the morning, while the afternoon had Headline Writing and Copy Editing paired with Editorial Cartooning, which also bore its own writeshops and critiquing modules. 

A mock press conference also happened to simulate the news details gathering and puts the writers in a mood for asking the right questions to generate the correct responses. 

Jan Elvin Flor, who made the training design said the School-based Training Workshop said it has become an annual activity in the school especially for its SPED Special Science Program, with pupils clearly forcing a way to new skills as they venture into the nook of their capacities. 

And to make the subjects even more relevant, the PIA used as its focus content in the writeshops, the environment in the light of climate change, a new shift in its advocacy for more awareness and community participation in mitigating its effects. 

Participant Sophia Lorraine Aradanas said the training seminar gives them a new view of learning, using different resource persons other than the teachers they see every day. (PIABohol/RAC)

PCG conducts public hearings on 
SCUBA, dive shop operations MC

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Sept 12 (PIA) –Considering tourist safety as prime concern for Bohol and as well as our near perfect dive sites in the country, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) pushes for the passage of a memorandum circular (MC) setting the guidelines for dives in the country, for reasons of safety to life and property. 

From a laissez-faire policy on dives and resorts with dive operations, the PCG now is getting its hands into securing that there is clearer guideline for dives and related underwater activities, as it holds a series of public consultations on its mulled guidelines that would be implemented for the entire country. 

Last Friday, September 5, the PCG presented the draft MC to divers, dive shop operators and enthusiasts during a public hearing at 1:00 at the Panglao Gymnasium. 

Apart from stakeholders and even watercraft operators ferrying tourists, also present were Congressman Rene Relampagos, House Tourism Committee chair, Panglao local officials and even international dive consultants.

Using Republic Act 9993 or the PCG Law and its implementing rules and regulations, with reference to the International Convention of the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) chapter 3, Philippine Merchant Marines Rules and Regulations, PCG headquarters MC on mandatory pre departure inspections, Marine Authority MC on lifejackets and the Implementing Rules and regulations of The Tourism Act of 2009, the PCG consolidates existing guidelines to form a circular that promotes safety of life and property at sea, according to RADM Rodolfo Isorena of the PCG. 

He said the new memorandum circular applies to beach resort owners with dive shops, resorts owners operating watercrafts for bare skin diving or Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA) diving, accredited dive shops and boat operators who conduct underwater diving operations including fishing and explorative mining. 

Among those presented are policies on putting appropriate number of life vests on board watercraft, these should also be subject to pre-departure inspections by authorized PCG personnel, that these should have extra oxygen tanks for emergencies, captains licensed by Marina, now required to report by call or text upon departure to sea and upon its return. 

For Scuba diving instructors, they all must be certified by any recognized training institutions like Professional Association of Divers International, Scuba Schools International, Confederation Mondiale des Activites Subaquatiques and other similar international accrediting organizations. 

These scuba divers also must profess to abide by the safety scuba diving activities rules and carry out rescues and initiate necessary emergency actions as well as render reports to nearest PCG detachment any unusual incident pertaining to scuba and other underwater activities. 

For beach resort owners and dive shops, they are to be registered and accredited by the PCG, ensure that their scuba diving instructors or dive masters are qualified and certified, that they shall submit list of accredited scuba diving masters or instructors with corresponding certificates and training records as well as ensure they have necessary emergency equipment for emergency purposes. 

The MC also add up other tasks to the PCG: monitor and supervise its implementation, maintain data base for scuba divers, resorts with dive shops, receive the applications for accreditation, receive payments for fees and issuances of certificates, penalties for violations, program training for PCG inspection teams to dive shops and pre departure inspection teams. (PIABohol/RAC)

9-59 months: most vulnerable 
Ages for measles, rubella 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Sept 11 (PIA) –Health authorities agree that between 9 to 59 months, a baby will have used up its natural body defenses it inherited from the mother, that a supplemental body from immunizations will be helpful. 

The response was in fact, widespread among medical practitioners when asked why the measles rubella and oral polio virus mass immunization is given to these aged kids and not any younger or older.

Measles, a highly contagious viral disease is mostly manifested as fever, rashes which may come out later. 

While measles may not be among the top death-causing illnesses in the country, the complication it brings put it among the top priorities. 

Most patients afflicted with measles graduate into a complication of blindness, pneumonia and other pulmonary illnesses, added Macchiavelia Caliao, nurse at the Bohol Provincial Health Office.

“By birth, the child will have its natural antibodies that fight infections,” medical practitioners explained. 

These antibodies are the body’s natural soldiers that attack any infection, and these are what a child gets from its mother, they continued. 

But by about the 9th month, the antibodies would have been exhausted,” explains Dr. Nelson Elle at the Kapihan sa PIA last week. 

To make sure this does not happen, the government is implementing its supplementary mass immunization this month, for measles, rubella and oral polio virus (MR OPV) Mass immunization in the hopes of attaining population immunity from any more outbreaks, Dr. Elle bared at the radio forum aired live over Bohol’s DyTR AM. 

Supplemental immunizations, they said, because the government is already giving regular protection shots it dispenses from its health centers every month. 

We urge parents and guardians to bring their kids to immunization centers this September, to get their kids extra protection against outbreaks in measles and rubella, Dr Elle who sits as regional family and maternal health care director said. 

And to assure parents that the measles shots are not any concern, Elle said a child who has a shot may have a slight fever but it is normally managed like when one has a normal fever. 

Paracetamol will do, he said even as he assured, making the child comfortable may do just as effectively as normal fever medicines.(PIABOHOL/rac)

120 Bicao HS students 
Join PIA CC writeshops

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Sept 11 (PIA) –Over 120 student writers of Ambassador Pablo Suarez National High School (APSNHS) in barangay Bicao participate in the Photo-journalism workshop in time for the bi-monthly services caravan which Bohol has set to bring government services to the communities. 

During the 19th Health Education, Agriculture, Tourism and Information Technology (HEAT-IT) Caravan in Carmen town last August 28, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in Bohol offered its photojournalism workshop, in line with its trademark Leadership Enhancement Training Seminar (LETS) Workshop campus writers’ series.

PIA’s skills training workshops fall under HEAT’s education component and uses information technology skills to get students publishing their skills. 

The campus writers’ workshop series is PIA Bohol’s trademark service to elementary and high school students wanting to pursue a future in journalism and media work.

But in the recent calamities and disasters which have affected parts of Bohol, the PIA thought of helping wide the discussion space for preparing communities against the adverse effects of Climate Change (CC), according to the PIA here. 

“We could be hitting two birds in one stone,” the PIA said. 

The urgency of bringing up the issues and concerns of communities in the changing climate has pushed the PIA into using the environment issues as courses contents for its workshops. 

This is to trigger community awareness, discussions and engage them into self-help activities to snowball actions to mitigate and insulate communities and environment against its effects, the information agency in Bohol added. 

Using photojournalism and the intricate science of photography, the PIA engaged students toting cellphone mounted cameras, small digital cameras and digital single lens reflex cameras to capture varied subjects and moods as well as write in accompanying photo captions.

Other than photojournalism which uses the lenses and a camera equipment to tell stories, the PIA has also news writing and feature writing in its treasure chest of skills development modules for students to tackle environment and climate change issues. (PIABohol/RAC)

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