Posted on 20 November 2013.
Some 750 workers of the Balanga City government on Monday opened an “ukay-ukay” outlet in front of the city hall aimed at raising funds for Yolanda victims in the Visayas.
City Mayor Jose Enrique Garcia III with some department heads led the opening of the outlet that will operate for one week.
“Ito’y bahagi ng fund-raising ng Bigkis-Balanga upang makatulong sa mga nasalanta ng bagyo. Proceeds of the sale will be added to other donations received by the city hall and to be turned over to a relief agency for immediate transmittal to the heavily-affected areas,” Garcia said.
Bigkis-Balanga is an organization of cityhall workers.
Gloria Abejar, chief of the City Social Welfare and Development Office, said the garage sale was an effort of city workers who donated and collected used clothes, shoes, toys, dolls, expensive imported lotions and perfumes and shirts.
“We are turning the items into cash in addition to other used clothes donated to us, then give them to either Red Cross or Caritas,” the social worker said.
“Bukod sa mura ang halaga ng mga gamit, pagkakataon na rin naming makatulong sa mga biktima ng bagyo,” said a woman buying clothes. Many buyers were seen crowding the “ukay-ukay” on the first day.
Maong pants are sold from P50 to P250 a piece, T-shirts for P50 and imported lotions/perfumes for P500.
Posted in COB News
Posted on 18 November 2013.
The Diocese of Balanga has given to the Archdiocese of Palo in Leyte through their social action commission a sum of P200,299.50.
Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos told newsmen in a press statement: “In this time of despair and destruction, our Diocese is one with our people in Leyte (and nearby provinces badly hit by typhoon Yolanda). We are brothers and sisters to them.”
“Constantly praying to God to give us strength to go on, and grant us His protection against calamities. With God’s grace and under His guidance we will rise and stand up. God heals our lands. God helps us all,” Santos added.
In a related development, the City Government of Balanga led by Mayor Jose Enrique Garcia III launched “Bigkis Balanga Tulong para sa Tacloban.”
Garcia urged Balangenyos to drop their monetary contributions to the City Social Welfare and Development Office inside the Balanga City Hall.
Meanwhile, Former Bataan Representative Felicito Payumo said through his official Facebook account, “Each one of us, in our own little way, should be able to extend help to the typhoon victims. Central Luzon, especially Bataan, had been recipient of aid from other regions whenever we get flooded. Now is the time to reciprocate. Aside from cash, everyone, regardless of stature in life, will find some clothes or possession we hardly used or need.”
Michael R. Cigaral
Posted in COB News
Posted on 15 November 2013.
Balanga City Mayor Joet S. Garcia led the city in planting 13,000 seedlings of various specie of hardwood trees during a tree planting activity dubbed, “Alay Tanim” 13.13.13: “Pagtatanim ng Labing-tatlong Libong Puno sa Taong Dalawampu at Labing-tatlo Bilang Paggunita sa Ika-Labing-tatlong Anibersaryo ng Lungsod” in the uplands of Barangay Tuyo on Tuesday, as part of the city’s annual tree planting program.
The project brought more meaning to Garcia’s 42nd birthday as he opted to sweat it out along with cityhall employees, barangay officials, NGO’s and local school officials to start a massive reforestation to help address the global climate change besetting the country and the rest of the world.
A younger brother of Governor Abet Garcia, both sons of incumbent 2nd District Congressman Enrique “Tet” Garcia, Mayor Joet said that this massive reforestation program was conceived to offer a solution to the flodding problem, after flash floods hit Balanga City and other low lying barangays a few months ago, the worst to hit the city in recent years.
Garcia said that city government intends to cover a sizeable area in the city’s uplands and make the project sustainable through the years leading to year 2000. “Let’s nip the problem in the bud before it gets worse. By that time, flash floods would be unheard of in this city.
According to the Mayor, this could also be solved by resuming the dredging operations at Sibacan River which was started in 2011 but was not completed since DPWH had to priotize the desilting of Pampanga rivers in 2012. “Due to soil erosion the city’s waterways and rivers are heavily silted anew, clogging the flow of rain water that causes these river systems to overflow,” said Garcia.
The Mayor added that the city government had been requesting from DPWH dredging equipments since 2008. Said request has now turned in the form of an appeal to the national government and DPWH to consider this request as urgent. It may be remembered that the last dredging and disilting of the city’s waterways and rivers were conducted way back during the time of former mayor, now governor Abet Garcia, more than 10 years ago.
Aside from dredging, the city and the Bataan provincial government have lined up several flood control projects to be implemented in the next few months before the onset of rainy season.
In another related development, Congressman Tet Garcia also appealed to DPWH secretary Rogelio Singson to rent dredging machines to likewise conduct immediate dredging operations along the heavily silted waterways and rivers in other municipalities in the province, otherwise, he said “Bataan will pay dearly if it won’t act now.”
Posted in COB News
Posted on 31 October 2013.
Wearing spooky costumes, about a hundred individuals participated in the “trick-or-treat” activity of Balanga City government on Tuesday, October 29.
The participants included pre-schoolers, elementary and high school students, and even parents.
The activity started around 3 pm with participants making the rounds of establishments in the city for the “trick or treat”.
Afterwards, they converged at the Plaza Mayor de Balanga where a program was held. City Mayor Joet Garcia, assisted by City Vice-Mayor Noel Valdecanas, distributed ‘treats’ to participants.
In his message, Garcia said Filipino Catholics celebrate All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day to ask intercession from saints and souls of departed members of the family for God’s compassion.
Fun booths were formally opened at the plaza after the program.
To wind up the night, University Town artists also performed in a mini-concert at the Plaza Mayor de Balanga.
Elias Almelor and Danica Hipolito acted as masters of the ceremony.
“Trick or Treat” is an annual activity of Balanga City to celebrate Halloween.
Posted in COB News
Posted on 16 October 2013.
Over 3,000 college students from this city converged recently in the Bataan People’s Center for the 4th University Town Summit which Balanga’s top official said was a needed step in the remaining seven years to complete the 2020 vision.
“The annual educational and motivational summit which brought in a horde of celebrated speakers was a ‘follow-up session’ to the previous conventions held to pilot the city’s 18,000 college students into academic, business and inspirational focus,” said Mayor Jose Enrique Garcia, III.
“The main objective of this summit is to inspire students. So we invited speakers to give tips and suggestions on what to do especially after graduation. I think the thing to do is to focus on follow-up sessions yearly,” said Garcia.
Among the lecturers were entrepreneurship champion Paulo Tibig, Divine Mercy Shrine Rector Fr. Noel Nuguid, Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines Executive Director for Talent Development Susan Vidal, and teen motivator Alyana Dalisay.
The city mayor added that in the remaining seven years prior to the realization of Balanga’s vision of becoming a world-class university town, the next steps are the improvement of the academic infrastructures and continuous development of quality education, which rely on the schools’ performance.
According to Balanga-grown entrepreneur Tibig, the city government has already set the foundations in achieving the vision and it should “finish strong” by 2020 to push the students past the current industrial challenges.
“We have gained not big wins. These are still small wins. While we have done things already, we need to make it a point that at the end of the destination which is 2020, we need to see that our thrusts become reality,” said the V-Cargo owner.
Students who attended the University Town Summit have one thing to say about this continuing program of the city: “We are getting ready to be globally competitive.
“This summit will be the stepping stone of us students to be globally competitive not only in the province. We should be very thankful that we have something that helps us as future professionals,” said Joey del Mundo, 4th year education student at Bataan Peninsula State University-Balanga campus.
Jose Mari M. Garcia
Posted in COB News
Posted on 14 September 2013.
The city government of Balanga and the provincial government of Bataan under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) venture with the LKY Development Corp. on Friday held the groundbreaking and capsule-laying that signals the construction of the P320-million New Bataan Terminal complex some meters away from the heart of the component city.
“We will invest here more than P300 million to construct a three-storey building that will have a hotel, convention center, commercial center and mall , said Wilbert Lee, president of LKY Development Corp.
Passenger buses, mini-buses, jeepneys and tricycles that use the former Bataan Transport Terminal will all be accommodated in the new terminal complex, he said.
LKY is engaged in the construction and operation of hotels, terminals and community malls like in Legaspi City, Bacolod City and Malate, Manila.
Construction will start after a month and to be finished in 18 months. Lee said that per request of former Gov. Enrique Garcia, now congressman of Bataan’s second district, all workers in the construction and operation phases will come from the province.
Gov. Albert Garcia said that the province has for its share in the PPP, the land and the existing structure. “Wala tayong competence to run and fund it kaya under PPP scheme natin ipinasok sapagka’t may sapat na pondo at kakayahan ang ating partner na investor,” the former congressman and son of the elder Garcia said.
LKY will operate the terminal complex under a 25-year lease agreement. Revenues will come from taxes and rentals and will mean employment generation for Bataan residents.
“This will serve as model in every towns of the province under the Public Private Partnership scheme that will be more efficient, more sustainable because the partner has enough funds and know-how,” the new governor said.
“Ang paradahan ng mga buses, mini-buses at tricycles at ang hintayan ng mga pasahero ay parang isang airport terminal dahil maganda, maayos at malamig at may added attractions pa,” Balanga City Mayor Jose Enrique Garcia III said.
The mayor, another son of the new congressman, said the convention center will have a sitting capacity for 5,000 people.
Lee and LKY chief architect William Lee presented a perspective of the New Bataan Terminal Complex as gift on the 73rd birthday Friday of the elder Garcia.
The city mayor and the governor acknowledged that the new terminal complex was a brainchild of their father.
Ernie B. Esconde
Posted in COB News
Posted on 11 September 2013.
The Diocese of Balanga through the personal foundation of Bishop Ruperto C. Santos gave smile back to 15 victims of cleft deformity in a surgery conducted Tuesday at the Bataan General Hospital (BGH) in Balanga City.
A check at the BGH showed that the beneficiaries of the free harelip operation were mostly children, the youngest at 11 months. A 22-year-old girl was among those who undertook surgery for cleft palate.
Santos said the cleft surgery, or harelip operation, was a project of his foundation, the Ad Seminandum RCS 10 Foundation, Inc., in collaboration with the Philippine Band of Mercy and the BGH.
“It is always the desire of the bishop of the Diocese of Balanga to help and be of service to children who are very special and precious to Jesus,” he said.
Under the diocese are Catholic faithful in parishes of 11 towns and a city in the province.
The prelate said he believes the operation will surely make children smile beautifully, restore their character and confidence and eliminate feelings of inferiority.
Santos said the diocese is and will always be helpful to children by giving them the necessary basic needs, guiding them to a better future and providing them good examples and charitable deeds.
“With this project, the children will think that there are those who love them dearly and want the best for them,” the bishop said.
Ernie B. Esconde
Posted in COB News
Posted on 07 September 2013.
Spurred by an onslaught of “Habagat” this August, whose waters inundated many areas of Balanga City including the City Hall, a more horrible repeat of last year’s “habagat” floods, Mayor Jose Enrique S. Garcia, III invited the Incident Command System (ICS) Group, Olongapo City which sent six trainers to facilitate a Basic Incident Command System Training Course for Balanguenos.
With the end in view of equipping the city’s residents on how to prepare for and handle incidents of calamity to minimize loss of lives and damages to property, the three-day training was held on September 4-6, 2013 at the Bataan Provincial Tourism Office. Representatives from every department of the city government, the twenty-five barangays, homeowners’ associations, DepEd and civic organizations attended the three-day training.
Certificates of Attendance/ Completion were awarded to participants by Mayor Garcia during the graduation program. Special awards were also given to selected participants for exemplary performance in the course of the training.
ICS is a standardized on-scene emergency management concept specifically designed to allow its users to adopt an integrated organization structure, equal to the complexity and demands of a single or multiple incident(s). The training course involved eight modules with the following topics: Introduction to ICS, ICS Organization and Staffing, ICS Incident Facilities, Organization and Managing Incidents and Events, Incident/Event Assessment and Management by Objectives, Incident Resources and Resources Management, Incident and Event Planning and Transfer of Command, Demobilization and Closeout.
Posted in COB News