(Legazpi City, March 31, 2022) – As a campaign to end the stigma and stereotyping of women as well as the other existing genders, the Provincial Human Resources and Management Office (PHRMO) headed by Officer-In-Charge Maria Teresa A. Balane and Gender and Development (GAD) Office headed by PGDH Dr. Rowena L. Ondiz, Ph.D. conducted a two-day seminar for almost all employees of the Provincial Government of Albay (PGA), held alternately on March 30, Wednesday and April 1, 2022, Friday, at the Albay Astrodome.

Board Member Glenda O. Bongao, who chairs the Committee of Women and Children and Family, and Gender and Development in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Albay delivered her welcome speech through a video presentation, expressing her delight in having this kind of seminar and training which explained and gave more knowledge on how important the roles of women in the society.

BM Bongao highlighted that in order to achieve a society that treats women and other genders fairly and equally, everyone must be able to understand the role of everyone else. She concluded that conducting such a seminar is a step toward allowing everyone to learn and be sensitive to each gender.

The two-day training speaker was Dr. Rowena L. Ortiz, Ph.D. who discussed several topics on empowering women’s rights and gender sensitivity.

On day one, the topic discussed was the difference between sex and gender, as well as the roles of each, socialized institutions, and manifestations of gender bias, wherein she tackled the fact that most women are sometimes belittled by men or the fact that those who have power in the government are mostly men.

On day two, Dr. Ortiz recapped the learnings from day one and proceeded to tackle the topics such as women’s rights, the Magna Carta for Women, relevant laws that exist that protect women and children, and gender situations and gender-based violence.

Dr. Ortiz also discussed gender bias and the possible scenario of employees who have a hard time expressing their gender expressions. She emphasized the importance of being mindful of one’s actions and words because they may elicit suppressed emotions.

According to the information told by PHRMO to Albay PIO, the expected number of attendees from various departments of PGA was at least a hundred (100.)

In the celebration of International Women’s Day that recently ended, the PGA, GAD, and other concerned organizations about the welfare of all women and children, as well as all genders, advocated in continuously support the movement of strengthening the empowerment on women, of expressing and raising awareness among the women and children who are part of the vulnerable sector while respecting the gender identity and expression of every individual.

Jose M. Briones/Kristel Abad, Albay PIO

Photo Credits; Lorie Barcelon

(Legazpi City, April 1, 2022) – Preparing the mind and body for the next normal is a must to all individuals to avoid confusion, anxiety, and depression in the new normal after the long stressful months experienced during the COVID-19 virus crisis throughout the country.

This was the rationale of the forum on Gender and Women’s Health attended by the hundreds of personnel of the Provincial Government of Albay held last week March 31, 2022, at Albay Astrodome.

Organized by the Provincial Human Resource Management Office (PHRMO) headed by Officer-In-Charge Maria Teresa A. Balane and the Gender and Development (GAD) Office Dr. Rowena Ondiz, Ph. D., the health forum training seminar tackled on gender and women’s health issues in the next normal.

Windalyn G. Baluis, RN, MN, the morning resource speaker, spoke and emphasized the importance of taking care of one’s mental health.  In her talk, Ms Baluis carefully addressed the problems that existed regarding the status of women in each household, society, and even in the workforce.

Ms. Baluis also mentioned that taking care of mental health, be it with women or with men, is important so as not to feel heavy while working, as anyone is prone to this, especially those who lack interpersonal relationships or communication with peers.

She added that everyone is prone to experience stress and burnout, so an outlet such as bonding with family and friends is a must, predominantly for those who work hard or nonstop to provide for their families.

In terms of preventing suicide while at work, Baluis thoroughly explained the causes, effects, and signs if a person is currently facing it, warmly expounded on how to deal with it, discussed that expressing empathy and concern to them is a step, and consulting with a psychologist may further help them endure the stress and burnout they feel at work.

Moreover, Baluis mentioned that reaching out to a psychologist does not mean a person is insane; citing that a psychologist is a perfect person to talk to because they can give correct and better advice to people experiencing these kinds of problems.

In the afternoon session, disaster and emergency preparedness were tackled by Mr. John Eugene Vincent Escober of the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO), representing APSEMO PGDH Dr. Cedric Daep. Escobar thoroughly explained the different disasters that may occur in the community.

An officer from Albay Emergency Medical Services (EMS) demonstrated how to properly execute cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on an adult and a baby during the forum. Both resource speakers also taught proper chest compression and artificial ventilation, or rescue breathing, to clear the airway of the patient.

One of the resource speakers said that one of the common breathing emergencies that may occur is choking. He classified it as “Foreign-Body Airway Obstruction” (FBAO), in which an object may block the airway of a person. It may be life-threatening depending on the size of the object and the age of the patient. Escobar further mentioned that an emergency and safety drill in the future will be executed for PGA employees as part of disaster preparedness learnings in case an emergency occurs while at work.

Jose M. Briones/Kristel Abad, Albay PIO

Photo Credits; Lorie Barcelon

The Provincial Government of Albay under the dynamic and innovative leadership of Gov. Al Francis C. Bichara had been given a Vulcan Award by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) last April 1, 2022 during the “71st Founding Anniversary Culminating Activity” of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) held at Marison Pavillion Hall, Legazpi City.
The Albay Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) are honored to receive the VULCAN AWARD. The Vulcan Award was received by OIC PSWDO Dr. Eva Grageda with Social Welfare Officer VI, Ms. Maria Vivien Andes Cea. Award received was a commendation for the organization’s unwavering support in the delivery of programs and services of DSWD.
The PSWDO was also recognized as the only province in the Bicol Region for having attained the Level 3, the highest level category for the “Extended Service Delivery” for CY 2020. Hence, this will further motivate and inspire workforce or the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office to continuously work for greater accomplishments aligned to the service delivery indicators. The event was graced by DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista and other distinguished guest.

The Albay Agricultural Office (APAO) headed by Cheryll Rebeta together with the APAO Fisheries conducted its Refresher and Hands-On Training on Municipal Boat and Fisher folk on March 24, 2022 held at the Negosyo Auditorium, AFB Ville.

The said Training and Orientation was sponsored by the Provincial Government of Albay under the dynamic and innovative leadership of Gov. Al Francis C. Bichara. Hence, the Training and Orientation was also participated by the different AT fisheries, FARMC’s, MAO of Coastal Municipalities in Albay together with BFAR-5 and BFAR-PFO.

(Legazpi City, March 24, 2022) – Governor Al Francis C. Bichara attended the blessing and inauguration of the newly built Ligao City Hall and the commemoration of its Foundation Day as one of the honored guests, together with Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Ano, today, March 24.

Governor Bichara and Secretary Ano were graciously welcomed by Ligao City Mayor Patricia Gonzalez-Alsua and the other local government officials of the said city while celebrating and commemorating Ligao Day, March 24, at Barangay Binatagan, Ligao City.

Governor Bichara in his short message commended all the Ligao City officials for the continued success in celebrating the 21st Cityhood Anniversary and the full inauguration of the new city hall, which he lauded joyfully, and expressing his observation that it is a big and a commendable accomplishment.

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año showed his deep delight shown through a video presentation of the construction of the new Ligao City Hall, making him feel proud of its full completion at the end, expressing his elation and admiration in his message about the newly constructed City Hall.

The City of Ligao under the leadership of City Mayor Patricia Gonzalez-Alsua   commemorated the founding anniversary of the city which President Rodrigo Duterte has declared as a special non-working holiday for the City of Ligao that was made effective into law by R.A. No. 11113.

In the said blessing and commemoration, former Ligao City Mayor Linda Gonzalez and her husband, former 3rd District Congressman Fernando V. Gonzalez graced the occasion which was followed by a grand festivity.

Jose Briones/Kristel Abad, Albay PIO

(Legazpi City, March 23, 2022) – Under the initiative of Governor Al Francis C. Bichara, the Provincial Government of Albay’s simultaneous missions on medical, dental, optical, and three other forms of services catered to ten (10) barangays closely within the Albay District.

The ten barangays were Barangays Pinaric, Cabugao, Maoyod, Tula-Tula, Ilawod East, Ilawod West, Baño, Bagumbayan, Em’s Barrio South, and Em’s Barrio East.

This outreach program spearheaded by the Provincial Health Office (PHO) led by PGDH Estela B. Zenit in partnership with the other PGA departments was to answer the public outcries on the people’s need for government supports on social welfare, agriculture and veterinary helps.

The Provincial Health Office offered not only medical, dental, and optical services but also circumcision and laboratory exams.

The Albay Veterinary Office (AVO) headed by PGDH Dr. Pancho Mella closely monitored the vaccination of anti-rabies and intake of deworming pills to pet animals.

PGDH Che Rebeta in leading the Albay Provincial Agricultural Office (APAO) handed out free vegetable seeds to those interested residents who wanted to engage in farming either in their own farmyards or in their own households to at least answer the rising and getting expensive cost of almost all the basic necessities especially food.

As of March 22, 2022, since it started the series of missions, PHO has recorded a total of 49,396 given medical services throughout Albay. The breakdowns are as follows: 23, 449 on medical consultation, 8,718 on dental, 9,671 on optical, 2,442 on COVID-19 vaccination, 1,592 on free laboratory examinations, and 3,524 on circumcision for young boys.

The said MDO missions started on January 13, 2022. This report was posted by the PHO on its FB page to observe transparency and show to the Albayanos the updates of the on-going roving medical missions initiated by the Provincial Government of Albay under the leadership of Governor Al Francis C. Bichara that will end on March 24 where it will cater to nine (9) barangays as the last batch to be held in Albay Astrodome.

Jose M. Briones/Kristel Abad, Albay PIO

Photo Credits: Lorie Barcelon

(Legazpi City, March 21, 2022) — A sea of women wearing purple t-shirts flooded the Women’s Day Forum 2022 inside Albay Astrodome numbering at least 800 of the female gender coming from the cities and municipalities comprising the Province of Albay.

This number of women came from Albay Solo Parent’s Federation, Albay KALIPI Federation, and PIDO-DIDAY Women Empowerment separately originating from different municipalities with the top aim of celebrating and empowering the rights of women in connection with the National Women’s Month celebration in the month of March this year.

In her opening remarks, Board Member Hon. Glenda Ong-Bongao said “We aim for equality and empowerment. Being empowered doesn’t mean being dominant. Being empowered means you have a voice that needs to be heard.”

In gracing the event as a guest of honor, Governor Al Francis C. Bichara in his short talk emphasized how women must be treated equally.

“Most department heads from our office are women. They are treated and looked upon and respected by many. Those things mean that women are equal to what others can do. They can do what most of us men can.” Gov, Bichara said.

After Gov. Bichara’s short talk, he was called to lead in the oath-taking ceremony of the new set of officers of the different women associations.

As a way of showing gratitude, the outgoing officers were given presents such as monitors, keyboards, and computer mice to recognize their valuable efforts of having served the organization through the years.

The closing event was filled with fun combined with jamming and dancing, including photo sessions with Governor Al Francis C. Bichara.

Jose M. Briones/Jasmine Ollorga, Albay PIO

The Provincial Government of Albay (PGA) under the dynamic and innovative leadership of Gov. Al Francis C. Bichara in partnership with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Albay headed by TESDA Provincial Director, Ruth Estangki Dayawen the together with the Albay Provincial Agricultural Office (APAO) headed by Provincial Agriculturist, Cheryll Rebeta released the allowance to the 75 RMO NCII graduates of AFBVILLE Farm School under TESDA scholarship.

The said program aims to support the mission of Gov. Bichara in providing livelihood programs and assistance to provide and bring more services to the Albayano farmers.

(Legazpi City, March 18, 2022) – Hundreds of Albay Child Development Workers (CDW) received cash assistance of three thousand pesos (P3K) each from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in close coordination with the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) headed by PGDH Dr. Eva Grageda, of the Provincial Government of Albay under the leadership of Governor Al Francis Bichara.

Aside from the 3K cash assistance, Governor Al Francis Bichara gave additional financial support in the amount of three thousand pesos (P3K), considered as an added incentive paid through the Provincial Treasurers Office (PTO), enabling each Albay CDW to receive a total of six thousand pesos (P6k).

Only six hundred ninety (690) out of the 896 accredited Child Development Workers of the Social Welfare and Development Office got the additional 3K cash assistance during a program held today, March 18, at Albay Astrodome.

Besides the cash subsidy, PSWDO head Dr. Eva Grageda gave out health cards to each of the CDW attendees, including eighteen (18) printers and work books allotted for each municipality and city.

Albay PIO was told that the health card can be used as a free pass to hospitals if the CDWs are in need of medical assistance, exempting them from paying their medical expenses in the accredited hospital within the province.

According to DSWD, a total of 895 CDW from the three (3) cities and fifteen (15) municipalities comprising the Province of Albay have successfully passed the requirements which are needed to be submitted to qualify to get the accreditation approval. These requirements are a Certificate of Indigency and two (2) photocopies of their valid IDs

The breakdowns are Legazpi City (79). Tabaco City (63) Ligao City (91), Tiwi (36), Malinao (31) Malilipot (20), Bacacay (52), Sto. Domingo (27), Rapu-Rapu (40), Manito (15), Daraga (73). Camalig (58), Guinobatan (62), Jovellar (23), Oas (56), PioDuran (58), Polangui (50), and LIbon (61).

This said cash assistance was in compliance with R.A. No. 10410, otherwise known as “Early Years Act (EYA) of 2013” which mandates the government agencies down to the barangay level to have an existing early education service in order to provide holistic services to the children. The daycare workers acted as the second parents and are one of the first teachers of the kid’s ages four years old below to teach them basic education such as learning the alphabet, counting, determining colors, providing them nutritious snacks.

Jasmine Ollorga/Kristel Abad, Albay PIO

Photo Credits;  Lorie Barcelon

(Legazpi City, March 15, 2022) – The residents of Pio Duran, Albay were served with the on-going multiple missions conducted on health, social welfare, and development, agriculture, and veterinary services, four of the many departments of the Provincial Government of Albay last March 14 held at Pio Duran’s wide covered court.

The multiple missions were led by Governor Al Francis C. Bichara who joined in moving around to see the status of the implementation phases of every mission that projects the services of government close to the people.

These multiple missions were mental, dental, optical, free wheelchairs, seed distribution to farmers and farmers-to-be and even interested non-farmers, and lastly, on animal health care.

In accommodating the hundreds of Pio Duran residents’ simultaneously under one roof, the four PGA departments jointly facilitated in providing the residents on their basic but important needs on health care services, on caring for senior citizens and persons with disabilities and protecting pet animals with health care.

The Provincial Health Office (PHO) led by PGDH Dr. Estela B. Zenit, recorded 895 who availed free medical consultation, 437 on free eye-care services, 754 on dental care services, 25 granted free laboratory assistance inside the mobile medical bus provided by Josefina Belmonte Duran Albay Provincial Hospital (JBDAPH) medical team while 31 were administered anti-COVID-19 vaccines of the first dose, a second dose, and booster shots.

On health services for the youth, the Provincial Health Office stapled 244 young boys under its “Operation Tuli” program by undergoing circumcision, the second stage of becoming a real man.

Free haircut and vegetable seeds distribution were conducted by the Albay Provincial Agricultural Office (APAO) under the close supervision of PGDH Che Rebeta.

With the aim of ensuring the well-being of each pet animal, the Albay Veterinary Office (AVO) headed by PGDH Dr. Pancho Mella provided each pet with a free anti-rabies vaccine and deworming pills.

The Albay Emergency Medical Services (EMS) service team gladly helped in getting the blood pressures of each of every vaccinated individual, looking for a guarantee if they are good to go home; however, at the same time, staying on alert in case an emergency situation may suddenly occur.

Jose M. Briones/Kristel Abad, AlbayPIO

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