NOLCOM eyes conduct of climate change summits in all provinces in area of responsibility

Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is eyeing the conduct of climate change summits in all provinces within its area of responsibility or those from regions 1,2,3, and Cordillera.

“Preparation for calamities is not an easy thing to do. It is too tedious, that it may require us a year or two to really arrive at a 100% fully equipped status. The need to make the public aware about these environmental phenomena is indeed important,” NOLCOM Commander Lieutenant General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. said.

Taking into account the aftermath of super typhoon “Yolanda” in the Visayas, Catapang underscored awareness and responsiveness as key elements in gearing the public during calamities, which could only be achieved by doing summits.

“Awareness is important. The terminologies we use during calamities should be clear and understandable to the public. Teaching them the meaning of these scientific terms helps them in responding appropriately,” he added.

Catapang vouched for the development of crisis management protocol encouraging not only government officials but also ordinary citizens as well to take the initiative in facilitating and providing assistance to areas affected by calamities.

“We only have one common enemy and that is climate change. Let’s help each other in terminating this adversary,” Catapang underscored. (CLJD/LGCC-PIA)

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Tarlac capitol cancels Christmas party, donates money to ‘Yolanda’ survivors

The provincial government of Tarlac has called off its scheduled Christmas party next month and instead donated its budget to survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda in the Visayas.

“This is a show of solidarity to our kababayans in Regions 6,7, and 8. We donated the money to them so that we can do our share in the rebuilding of the lives of those who became unfortunate victims of this natural calamity,” Governor Victor Yap said.

Apart from cancelling the party, the home province of President Aquino also held a relief effort drive dubbed “Tawid Tulong Visayas” where several residents who were survivors of typhoon Santi last October gave food and non-food items.

These are now presently being delivered to the hardest hit areas in Central Philippines.

“I hope in our own simple way, we are able to help in easing the suffering of our kababayans there specially this holiday season,” Yap added. (CLJD/PIA )

There is life after the tragedy

The vicious rage of ‘Yolanda’.

Whose heart would not be broken, after witnessing peculiar scenarios we usually see on the mainstreams of fictional movies and films? Whose tears would not fall, after having a glimpse of death and nightmare, depicted on the realms of reality? Whose feelings would not be wounded, after hearing stories of transience and melancholy?

With the superior strength of this tropical cyclone, super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) is one of the strongest storms in the world, based on maximum windspeed and wide range, walloping and washing out large portions of Leyte, especially Tacloban.

Ravaging the central part of the Philippines, Yolanda, with maximum sustained winds of 275 kph, produced a deadly storm surge and brought to major parts of Visayas torrential rainfall, causing widespread flooding and massive mortality.

Accordingly, based on the latest statistics made by National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), there are at least 2, 000 people included in the updated death toll, with the lying possibility that this number might still grow in the succeeding rescue operations of the government.

Unlike any other environmental adversary Philippines has encountered, Yolanda’s aftermath, perhaps, is one of those which are primarily described as severe, deadly and fatal.

Due to its indescribable force, many lives were put into a mournful closing stage. The profound future and superb dreams of the aspiring generation were enclosed in the corners of broken hopes. Pictures of happy homes were scattered in devastated premises, like pieces of puzzle thrown in the midst of nowhere.

Beyond doubt, the tickling hours, when Yolanda is ravaging the country is undeniably agonizing, leaving everyone restless and hopeless.

Nevertheless, there is life after the tragedy – a chance to start anew, a moment to restore everything that has been destroyed and a possibility to get back into life, even after the threats, which once afflict our course of survival.

Notwithstanding the fact that Yolanda is the strongest typhoon we have encountered over the course of time, we shall never let go of the ideology that Filipinos are the strongest people on Earth. Thus, Philippines is the strongest nation in the universe.

In the long run, Filipinos are resilient and manage to be still, despite prolonged sufferings and shortcomings.

Even people from all over the world believe in our ability to survive and get back into life.

CNN, believing in the Filipino spirit, shares its belief towards Filipino’s utmost resiliency:

“At the end of the day, the Filipinos will just shake off dirt from their clothes and go about their business – and SMILE. They do not complain much, they will bear as long as they can. Maybe this is why they were given the ‘privilege’ of bearing the burden of the strongest typhoon ever recorded. The indomitable human spirit at its finest.”

It is of no doubt that beyond the recent catastrophe lies stories of hope. Truly, there is life after the tragedy. (LGCC/PIA)

Resiliency beyond the fatal catastrophe

Bangon Pilipinas.

Bangon Pilipinas.

The aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda, internationally known as Haiyan, is beyond words. None has the ability to explicate its repercussion, as it has left everything hanging on air – drained, murky and hopeless.

Days after the vicious rage of this destructive environmental wrath, the whole province of Leyte seems to be a clear picture of obscurity, filled with much woe, mourning and emptiness.

The violent tropical storm ravaging the central part of the Philippines is said to be one of the strongest typhoons to hit the Philippines, leaving a whole host of casualties and lost residents, mainly in Tacloban City alone.

While needs of the victims and affected families have seriously intensified, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III placed the country on Monday under a state of national calamity to immediately execute disaster relief and rehabilitation drives in Central Visayas which is ferociously walloped by Yolanda.

Along with this significant undertaking is the allotment of P1.1 billion for the recovery efforts in areas, which severely suffered from “widespread destruction, substantial damage and death”, including those localities which have not yet recuperated from the October 15-killer quake.

Despite the powerful hit and strong gusts of the so-called fatal weather disturbance, the whole Filipino nation has remained optimistic in conquering this catastrophe.

This, on the brighter side, has paved the way for all national government agencies, non-government organizations, community groups, and volunteers to unify and work towards one mission – to keep the spirit of hope alive and to revive the meaning of life, which was once lost and threatened by the deadly storm.

Prolonged grief might threaten our return to the reality of life, but this shall never be deemed as a reason to inhibit our gradual process of getting back into the grounds of genuine survival.

As we embark towards a new beginning, PNoy’s aspiration and faith shall always be a reminder to us about a new day the whole nation is about to face.

Like what the President always says, “Ang pagiging kalmado, pagdarasal at pakikipagtulungan ang siyang magbabangon sa atin mula sa sakunang ito.” (LGCC/PIA)

PCW summons communication bodies to advocate gender equality

Aiming for a gender-fair society, Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) Chairperson Remedios Rikken encouraged mass media and government information officers to partake in shoring up gender equality campaign.

Rikken underscored that mass media, plainly dubbed as the fourth state of the nation, was the most effective socializing agent to mold gender roles in the society. Accordingly, this image irrefutably shows the fundamental role of media as a metaphorical “guru” and shaper of public opinion.

Recognizing the valuable influence of communication, PCW, along with Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) and other members of the Gender Equality Committee (GEC) for Media, urged government and private media practitioner, journalism and communication students, and other interested groups to join the campaign of promoting a better and fairer perspective of women in media.

“We believe that through the involvement of mass media, especially with the utmost support of Philippine Information Agency (PIA), we can realize and accomplish the goals of gender equality and women’s empowerment,” said Rikken, during the Gender Sensitivity Training for PIA at International Institute of Rural Reconstruction, Silang, Cavite, November 6-8.

The pervasive campaign on social fairness likewise sought to change the patriarchal practices in Philippine media, to contribute to the production of more gender sensitive media content and to promote empowerment and equality in media organizations.

“Filipino people deserve to get quality and fair news reporting, radio and TV programming, print ad and film content, among others. Let us all do our share in making the country’s media landscape gender fair,” Rikken ended. (LGCC/PIA)

PNoy votes in Tarlac, promises assistance to villagemate

President Benigno Aquino III went home to Tarlac today and not only exercised his right of suffrage but was able to help a villagemate as well.

Dressed in blue polo shirt, he arrived in precinct 0175-A of Central Azucarera de Tarlac Elementary School in Barangay Central, Tarlac City at 11:01AM.

He was joined by sisters Maria Elena “Ballsy” Cruz and Aurora “Pinky” Corazon Abellada, in-laws Eldon Cruz and Manuel Antonio Abellada, and nephews who are all registered voters of the barangay as well.

It took the Chief Executive less than five minutes to vote.

Meanwhile, villagemate Domingo Simon became an instant celebrity after having a productive chitchat with Aquino while they were both undergoing the voting process.

78-year old Simon said he told the President about his kidney ailment and that he has not been receiving his pension.

He shared that the Chief Executive promised him of medical assistance and help in expediting his claims.

Tarlac has a total 722,626 registrants- the fourth biggest in Central Luzon.

It has 2,424 clustered precincts in 479 voting centers in its 511 villages. (CLJD/PIA )

Social entrepreneurship gives birth to social transformation

Notwithstanding many a few social adversaries, Philippines has continuously advanced towards an emerging economic disposition. With the expanding growth on gross domestic product (GDP), our country has been coined as the world’s largest center for business process outsourcing, due to the inflow of foreign direct investment and remittances.

As Aquino administration carries out the current Philippine Development Plan (PDP), one factor is foreseen to completely achieve the country’s Millennium Development Goal – the rising power of social entrepreneurship.

The ideology of social entrepreneurship does not only revolve in putting up a business, earning money and gaining profit. Rather, this step of venturing in the realms of business and industry concerns development and growth of the society, while developing solutions to social problems.

In the Philippine context, the budding force of young social entrepreneurs has paved the way to adopt a mission of undertaking a business, which creates opportunities for the livelihood of Filipinos and shapes the moral values of local workforces.

Gawad Kalinga (GK), as one of the fastest growing communities which caters development of social entrepreneurship, is developing schemes on how to provide livelihood sources in each GK village by partnering with young social entrepreneurs to create sustainable employment opportunities.

If and only more local enterprises will enter the world of trade and industry the same way GK and other social entrepreneurs do, Philippines will certainly be a society of employed citizens who does not only work to earn a living but bears positive returns to humanity.

If that aspiration happens in real life, we can see several Filipinos working hand in hand for the betterment of the society; cohesive workforce uplifting ‘bayanihan’; joyful homes receiving basic needs of the family; and employed citizens exhibiting social values and morale.

Drawing upon a mission of harnessing partners towards national development, it is a noble initiative to realize that to uphold social entrepreneurship is to give birth to social transformation. (PIA/LGCC)

Gawad Kalinga begets the spirit of bayanihan

The power of bayanihan.

The power of bayanihan.

Jammed and caught in the edge of several social dilemmas, poverty has been described as a fatal syndrome of the society. Due to its bugging fretfulness, many have lost the optimism of ending this phenomenon.

Nevertheless, on the bright side of life, one group seems to contradict with this discouraging idea.

Unified by the aspiration of serving the Filipino people and shaping the future of the Philippines, a throng of nation builders and change-makers from all over the country unified themselves to establish a noble organization dedicated to let the underprivileged experience the dignity and comfort of life.

Tony Meloto’s dream for a poverty-free world triggers his passion towards nation building. Thus, dedicating him to embark on community service and establish Gawad Kalinga.

Meloto, as the frontliner of GK aspirations, has inspired millions of families and has encouraged young volunteers to work towards building model communities, where deprived families can thrive and attain their fullest potentials.

Looking forward to a better future of the succeeding generations, GK signifies the Filipino culture of caring and sharing.

Since the essence of “Gawad Kalinga” is paramount to the idea of giving care, each member of GK’s “kapitbahayan” (residence) believes that building a prosperous community means leaving no one behind.

The “Walang Iwanan” kind of thinking paves the way for the naissance of the true spirit of service and companionship. As the whole community acts as brothers and sisters, GK is certain of helping each member by giving the best for the least and by doing more for others and less for self.

Yearning to let the underprivileged go through a prosperous life, GK aims to build communities of mutual respect and reverence (Faith Community); higher principle of neighbourly love and the common good (peace zone); dignified human dwelling (Tourist Spot); dynamic human and natural resources (Productivity Center); proper utilization and preservation of environment (Environmentally Healthy Community); engaged citizenry (Empowered Community); and a well-prepared residence in times of sudden calamities (Secured Community).

The faith of Gawad Kalinga is to build a nation, which drives each volunteer and villager to achieve an empowered populace with faith and patriotism, an archipelago of caring and sharing communities and modern ‘bayanis’ dedicated to eradicate poverty and relieve human dignity.

If only we start asking ourselves, “What simple acts can we do to contribute to the mission of ending poverty?”

Perhaps, the spirit of “bayanihan” will start pouring in the mainstreams of our beings. If only we aspire and hope the same way GK does, we can end poverty and set the closing stage of sufferings and living in miseries.

Like Gawad Kalinga, let us all aspire to accomplish a mission of ending poverty for five million families by 2024.

Let us all work together to provide land for the landless; home for the homeless; and food for starving stomachs.

Through the undying spirit of bayanihan, let Gawad Kalinga be an epitome of the country’s hope.

More than anything, let the GK mission and vision be as viral as a social infection positively disturbing the sleeping consciousness of many Filipinos. Let this dream, which for some is impossible to reach, a stepping stone to completely realize the profound tomorrow of the Pearl of the Orient Sea.

Let us instill in our hearts and minds that impossibility is nothing. In the long run, together, we can end poverty. (PIA/LGCC)

Sec. Coloma exemplifies formula to attain PCOO’s version of GNP

Highlighting the role of information in national development, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Sonny Coloma exemplified a formula to achieve Good News Pilipinas (GNP) as part of the country’s undertakings towards inclusive growth.

PCOO’s version of GNP is based on the concept of Gross National Product or the prime indicator of economic growth based on market of products and services produced per year.

“We shall spread the good news about our country. Philippines is progressing and Filipinos are participating in the process of change. We are working hand in hand with our friends from all the countries in the world to build a more robust economy. That is Good News Pilipinas,” Sec. Coloma explained during the closing ceremony of Gawad Kalinga’s 10th Anniversary at Enchanted Farm.

PCOO’s formula of GNP is: Citizen engagement (C) plus Informed choices (I) plus Good governance (G) plus Excess (X) minus Moderation (M).

Citizen involvement, according to Sec. Coloma, is an important factor for inclusive growth. Filipinos must take part in nation building, since their insights and views are significant in addressing social predicaments.

Informed choice and intelligent decisions, on the other hand, are realized when truthful information is presented to the public.

Good governance respectively aims to eradicate corruption and deceitful actions in the government, so that public officials will learn to follow the mandate given by the mass of people they are serving for.

Lastly, “excess minus moderation equals balance perspective” signifies transparency and presentation of truth to Filipino people, because it is the value of truth that will set them free.

Sec. Coloma encouraged multitude of nation builders and volunteers to work hand in hand with other sectors of the society to make Gawad Kalinga vision of ending poverty by 2024 a dream come true to every Filipino.

“Let’s bring to reality the spirit of bayanihan for a brighter future of our country,” he ended. (PIA/LGCC)

On remembering the valor of a Tarlaqueño revolutionary man

Francisco Makabulos

Gen. Francisco Makabulos.
(Photo from Google Images)

Heroism is more than just embracing the aspiration of sacrificing one’s life for God and for country. Beyond that idealism lies the reality that heroism is paramount to an unconditional love and absolute commitment moving towards a noble mission for the whole civilization.

Many Filipinos who fought during the colonization of Spaniards went through series of abuses and injustices. “Bayani” really they are called – Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio and other revolutionary men who courageously waged war against the disparity of the period’s antagonists.

Yes, many are coined as “bayani”. But local Katipuneros – from eight rays of the sun in the Philippine flag representing for the eight provinces that first took arms against Spain – was not given the same amount of significance given to heroes like those of Rizal.

While some of the so-called heroes had been put behind in the limelight of Philippine’s democracy, one of the heroes who bravely set his valor for the liberation of the Central Luzon’s Melting Pot was a Tarlaqueño revolutionary man, Francisco Makabulos.

Giving his all for the welfare of the youth province Tarlac, Makabulos succeeded in leading his force against the Spaniards in 1896 and was able to unite other local Filipino warriors, by exhibiting a clear picture of bravery, compassion and dedication to unbound the whole province from the maltreatment and exploitation of Spanish troops.

While the rising generation seems to forget this brave man from Tarlac, President Benigno Aquino III has declared September 17 a special non-working holiday in the province for commemorating the 142nd birth anniversary of a Tarlaqueño revolutionary man, Gen. Francisco Soliman Makabulos.

Aside from the goal of crossing out fraudulent actions and dishonest procedures in the government, it is a very worthwhile for every Juan dela Cruz, especially for the Tarlaqueños, to witness how the current administration values and signifies the sacrifices of heroes, who struggled and  brawled for the sake of the Philippines.

Indeed, every hero deserves to be valued and be remembered. Some may not be as famous as Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio, but the reality that they let their blood shed in the grounds of our Fatherland is enough to realize how much hope and love they have offered for the country.

Like Makabulos, a patriot and a Tarlac Katipunero, every hero is truly a pride of their abode. Indeed, every bayani must be remembered and be honored at all times.

Naragsak nga paka-iyanak, Francisco Makabulos! (PIA/LGCC)