Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Korean peace icon cites growth of Nueva Ecija

PALAYAN CITY, Nueva Ecija – A peace and development icon from South Korea has heaped praises on the political leadership in Nueva Ecija for steering the province to economic growth and development over the years.

          Dr. David Yoo, president of the Global Peace Festival Foundation Korea (GPFFK) told Filipino and foreign contingents that their group has noticed the massive development works being done in the province by the provincial government under the leadership of Gov. Aurelio Umali.

          “The Global Peace Festival Foundation of Korea has gone to Nueva Ecija no less than 40 times where we launched our project in 13 villages. We saw development and we were very impressed,” Yoo said in a speech during a dinner banquet at the Sierra Madre Suites here hosted by the provincial government Monday night.

          Yoo, along with other GPFF officials, visited the province for two days where they launched its “All Lights Village (ALV)” project by donating dozens of solar lamps to impoverished families in remote communities in the province.

Yoo noted that the province, the Philippines’ rice granary, has also been providing quality rice to Korean people. He said Korea has been helping the Philippines in its development efforts.

He noted that the Philippines is the only country in the world which persuaded the international community not to invade Korea six decades ago during the Korean war.

He added that Filipinos have shared knowledge with the Korean people, including in the construction of buildings in his country. “It is now the turn of Koreans to return the favor. That’s why we are building ideal communities,” he said.

He added that 80% of communities all over the world live in poor conditions. “Once we build ideal communities in Nueva Ecija, we can spread it all around the world. Let us make a better world together,” he said.

          Yoo, along with GPFF Philippines president Dr. Michael Zablan, Habitat for Humanity Philippines president and chief executive officer McCharlie Ayco (HHP) and Global Peace Foundation (GPF) founder and international chairman James Flyn made a courtesy call on Umali at the old capitol in Cabanatuan City Monday morning where the governor presented to them the symbolic key to the province.

Aside from Umali, the visitors were welcomed by provincial administrator Alejandro Abesamis, Board Member Edmund Abesamis and officials of the Department of Education led by Region 3 director Dr. Isabelita Borres and Nueva Ecija schools division superintendent Dr. Edna Santos-Zerrudo.

They then proceeded to the nearby Nueva Ecija High School gymnasium to grace the regional peace camp and leadership seminar. The school has been chosen as pilot school in implementing the character-based education and service learning program.

Afterwards, Yoo’s group launched the 4th ALV internation service project 1 (ISP1), a housing project for residents of sitio Cabiao, Barangay Bagumbayan, Llanera through partnership with GPFF, HHP and the municipal government led by Mayor Lorna Mae Vero.

They then proceeded to sitio Pulong Uway, Barangay Marcos Village in this city for the inauguration of the 13th ALV together with Mayor Rianne Cuevas. They also planted trees in the two areas.

On Tuesday, Yoo’s group participated in the Global Peace Advocates Assembly (GPAA), a walk for peace from the Palayan City central School to the Nueva Ecija Convention Center.

The assembly, which carries the theme : “”One World, One Family, One Celebration,” was participated in by thousands of GPFF volunteers from the Philippines and various nationalities, local officials and students.

The ALV, a component of the global peace leadership exchange project (GPLEP) of the GPFF Philippines and GPFF Korea, has been helping the Aquino administration in lighting up sitios through donation of safer, less expensive, healthier and environment-friendly solar lamps in place of kerosene lamps.

Yoo said the ALV complements the electrification project launched by President Aquino in Malacanang on January 21 last year where he announced that 30,000 sitios in the country were being targeted for electrification.

Through this LED lanterns, children can study their lessons at night and other family members can do their household chores during nighttime and spare them the risks of using paraffin lights and kerosene lanterns which pose as fire hazards aside from posing health risks such as respiratory illness for women and children due to indoor air pollution.

           Last year, over 300 families in this city and in the municipalities of Laur and Gabaldon received the solar lanterns while ALVs were launched in three big sitios. (Manny Galvez)

Palayan turns 48, Malacañang declares Dec. 5 special non-working day in NE capital

PALAYAN CITY, Nueva Ecija–All roads lead to this provincial capital today as local officials, led by neophyte lady Mayor Adrianne Mae J. Cuevas observe this city’s austere 48th anniversary celebrations amid the devastation wrought by typhoon “Santi.”

          Third district Rep. Czarina Umali, wife of Gov. Aurelio Umali will be the guest of honor and speaker in this year’s anniversary rites, which carry the theme: “”Kaunlaran at Kasaganaan Tungo sa Bagong Palayan Now Na! (Progress and Bounty towards a New Palayan Right Now!).

          President Aquino, through Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., issued last November 20 Presidential Proclamation 687 declaring December 5, 2013 a special non-working day throughout the city to enable the people to celebrate and participate in the event.
       The executive committee for this year’s anniversary rites, led by overall chairman, Kapisanan ng mga Magsisibuyas sa Nueva Ecija (Kasamne) general manager Rolando Manangan, launched the kick-off ceremony yesterday with an ecumenical service at the Palayan City Conference Center (PCCC) followed by the launch of a service caravan involving medical and dental mission, birth registration and other social services, the coronation of the Mr. and Ms. Day Care 2013 and the barangay and awards night at the Nueva Ecija Convention Center.
      Today, a get-together for the city’s elderly will be held at the PCCC followed by parade of the Mr. and Ms. Day Care 2013 in the afternoon. 
           Cuevas said the city was one of those hardest hit by “Santi” in October and there had been calls to exercise austerity after some P300 million worth of crops was damaged in the city.

 “In the aftermath of Santi, it was demanded that there should be austerity but since this is just a once-a-year activity, we decided to celebrate it. And we did pursue austerity by not inviting showbiz celebrities,” she told a media briefing.   

This year’s anniversary rites come on the heels of a major facelift undertaken by the fledgling Cuevas administration which implemented drastic political and administrative reforms, starting with the renovation of the city hall.
      Cuevas said the city, apart from being the seat of the provincial government, also would like to claim for it a rightful place as an agro-industrial center in the province.
       Presently, Cuevas has been inviting a number of investors to set up businesses in the city in line with her administration’s vision to turn it into an investors’ haven.

          This city was created as the new capital of Nueva Ecija on June 19,1965 by virtue of Republic Act 4475 signed by then-President Diosdado Macapagal. It first rose to prominence when it hosted the National Jamboree of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines in 1969 at its campsite, attended by thousands of scouts from Asia-Pacific countries. 

          The campsite is considered the BSP’s largest regional campsite where the Josefa Llanes Escoda national training center is also housed.

          The city also hosts the headquarters of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division at the Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation, considered one of the largest military training camps not only in the country but also in southeast Asia. (Manny Galvez) 

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

CAMP AQUINO, Tarlac City-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. (Lorie Gene C. Cruz)


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