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Student leaders join Bayanihan Run to ‘protect Bataan’

Student leaders join Bayanihan Run to ‘protect Bataan’ CITY OF BALANGA, Bataan, December 16 (PIA) – Amid concerns about the province’s susceptibility to storm surge in this time of haunting typhoons, students of Bataan Peninsula State University (BPSU) joined in a bayanihan-themed run here yesterday to raise funds for planting mangroves.

“We don’t let poverty, typhoons or the culture of neglect to ruin the beautiful country we have, and in your case, a beautiful province,” said Jose Mari Oquiñena, director-general of Philippine Information Agency (PIA), who keynoted the Bayanihan para sa Kalikasan forum in BPSU-Main Campus.

Oquiñena challenged the student leaders that if they want change to happen, they should possess the courage to say: “I want change!”

Prior to this forum, about 1,200 students under BPSU’s National Service Training Program (NSTP), employees and athletes joined the five-kilometer Bayanihan S5 fun run themed “Survive. Sow. Save. Strive. Strengthen” which started at Balanga City plaza going to BPSU-Main Campus.

Proceeds of the run will be used to buy mangrove propagules to be planted in the storm surge-prone barangays of Sta. Elena and Camachile in Orion town, and Brgy. Sapa in Samal town.

According to Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Bataan chief Raul Mamac, mangroves along the shoreline serve as sturdy and natural barrier against waves that bang into coastal communities of ocean-bound Bataan.

“We need to protect Bataan. More projects involving youth participation are needed more than ever to raise awareness on the importance of volunteering oneself for critical protection of environment,” said Mamac.

The Bayanihan S5 fun run and Bayanihan para sa Kalikasan forum comprised the first ever Volunteers’ Day of BPSU which signaled the start of an annual assembly.

In the forum, PIA-Region 3 Director William Beltran and BPSU President Dr. Delfin Magpantay entered into a memorandum of agreement which fortified partnership between their offices, stating the conduct of more information drive and youth-oriented activities.

The fun run and forum were organized by Balangay Bayani, the youth volunteerism organization of BPSU, PIA-Bataan, and BPSU-NSTP.

Jose Mari M. Garcia JPIA 3, Bataan

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Balanga City ranks 8th in managing taxpayers’ money

Balanga City ranks 8th in managing taxpayers’ money BALANGA CITY – This rising component city ranked 8th among Philippine cities by the Department of Finance (DOF) in their fiscal sustainability report from 2009-2012.

City Mayor Enrique “Joet” Garcia III told local newsmen here that the DOF’s report determines how well the local government units (LGUs) managed taxpayers’ money.

Balanga City garnered 80.2 percent rating from the DOF.

The assessment was based on the revenue-generation capacity with focus on local revenue collection growth, type of income classification, expenditure management and their compliance with the agency’s reportorial requirements.

Tagaytay City ranked number one with 86.5 score followed by Quezon City (86.3), Laoag City (84.7), Tanauan City (82.9), Batangas City (82.6), Vigan City (81.4), and Davao City (80.5).

The DOF stated that these eight high-ranking cities are fully compliant to their reportorial requirements and “all revenue and expenditure indicators are strong.”

The rankings among cities were also based on the Statement of Receipts and Expenditures submitted by the respective city treasurers to the DOF-BLGF as of August 2013.

Mhike R. Cigaral

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Open vehicle to be used by Pope Francis ready

Open vehicle to be used by Pope Francis ready Bishop Ruperto C. Santos of the Diocese of Balanga on Thursday said that Pope Francis will use an open vehicle while in the Philippines.

“Sa kagustuhan ng Santo Papa na maraming makadaupang-palad na mga tao, hindi sarado ang sasakyang gagamitin niya pero sa pakikipagtulungan ng Presidential Security Group, OK naman ang security niya,” he said.

Santos is chairman of the Committee on Transportation on the Papal visit. Pope Francis will be in the Philippines from January 15 – 19, 2015.

The Bataan prelate said the Pope mobile will not be brought and used. “Handa na at naka-secure ang open vehicle na gagamitin ng mahal na Papa.”

His committee in coordination with government takes charge of the transportation requirements of the Holy Father and other church dignitaries once they land at the airport.

“Maganda naman ang relasyon ng pamahalaan at Simbahan sa pagdating ng Santo Papa. Maganda at maayos ang preparasyon,” Santos said.

On calling Pope Francis as Lolo Kiko, he said that most Filipinos are closer to grandfathers than the father. “Maganda pagtawag ang lolo, higit na malalim,” the bishop said.

Perla Esconde

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IT-BPM Roadshow for the Next Wave Cities

IT-BPM Roadshow for the Next Wave Cities Close to three hundred students, faculty members and IT professionals assembled at Crown Royale Hotel on November 28, 2014 to participate in the ICT Road Show co-organized by the Bataan Information and Communication Technology Development Council (BICTDC) and DOST’s Information and Communication Technology Office (ICTO).

Governor Abet Garcia and Mayor Joet Garcia welcomed the participants to the road show and shared their future development plans for the province and city highlighting that attracting IT-BPM investors is one of the priorities on their list.

Mr. Mon Ibrahim, Deputy Executive Director of DOST-ICTO, led the ICTO team composed of: Mr. Jose Mari Mercado - President and CEO, Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP); Mr. Cesar Tolentino - Research Manager , Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP); Ms. Tae Abe-Abion - Director for Japanese Relations, Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA); Dr. Josefina Lauchangco, DMD - President, Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines (HIMOAP), and Mr. Alvin Juban, President- Game Developers’ Association of the Philippines (GDAP).

The morning session saw the ICTO team discuss current trends in the Information Technology (IT) - Business Process Management (BPM) Industry and encourage students to consider working in the industry among its options after graduation. In his speech, Mr. Mercado mentioned that Balanga City is one among only four cities to be developed as a Next Wave City--- a Philippine-specific term that identifies ICT hubs beyond Manila, based on criteria such as worker supply, telecom infrastructure and other factors necessary to sustain a local BPO industry--- by IBPAP in 2015.

In the afternoon, local IT-BPM practitioners gave testimonial on how the industry has helped them not only to subsist, but to grow as professionals as well. Testimonies were shared by Mr. Mark Colentava, co-founder, Balanga Makerspace (Software Development), Ms. Lisa Regulacion, HRM Manager, Mobile Edge (BPO- Voice), Mr. Arthur Areola, CEO, MSGNI (BPO- Voice/ Non-voice), and Mr. Eduardo Pudol, President, Lexorsoft, Inc. (BPO- Web Developer).

The Road Show aims to promote awareness of economic advantages in the IT-BPM industry among the province’s labor force. Through it we hope to realize our vision, which is aligned to that of the province’s and city’s, to be the prime mover of ICT initiatives that will lead to the development of IT/BPM-competent human resources in Bataan by inspiring our provincemates to work in a BPM industry and attracting BPM companies to put up business in the province.


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Branches of global stores, restaurant chains to open in Bataan

Branches of global stores, restaurant chains to open in Bataan BALANGA CITY – Branches of famous restaurants and convenience stores are all set to open here in Bataan.

In this fast-rising component city, the first branch of Shakey’s Pizza in the province is scheduled to open soon located along the Roman Highway in Barangay Camacho.

Shakey's is a pizza restaurant chain based in the United States which currently has about 500 stores globally, and about 60 in the United States.

McDonald’s restaurant, famous for its motto, “billions and billions served”, will be opening its second branch here in the province particularly in the town of Dinalupihan. The first branch is located beside the Galeria Victoria at the city proper here.

McDonald's is the world's largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, serving around 68 million customers daily in 119 countries across 35,000 outlets.

Recently, at the Freeport Area of Bataan in Mariveles town, Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) officials led by its Chairman and Administrator, Atty. Deogracias Custodio and top executives of Subic Bay Multi-Purpose Cooperative had a formal groundbreaking for a branch opening of MINISTOP convenience store.

MINISTOP is a 24-hour convenience store chain and is a franchise of Ministop Co. Ltd., one of the largest convenience store chains in Japan. The store carries a wide assortment of merchandise and extensive selection of ready-to-eat products.

In Hermosa town, the first branch of 7-Eleven convenience store in the municipality is now under construction following the recent development beside the town plaza converting a portion of lot there into a commercial complex as proposed by the municipal government.

7-Eleven is the world's largest operator, franchisor and licensor of convenience stores in the world with more than 50,000 outlets worldwide.

Meanwhile,  a seventh branch of Jollibee fastfood restaurant is also scheduled to open in Balanga City. At present there are six branches of Jollibee here in Bataan:  3 in Balanga City, and one each in Mariveles,  Orani and Dinalupihan. All of the branches are owned by the De Guzman Group of Companies chaired by Consul Eduardo "Don Eddie"De Guzman.

Jollibee is the largest fast food chain in the Philippines, operating a nationwide network of over 750 stores. A dominant market leader in the Philippines, Jollibee enjoys the lion’s share of the local market that is more than all the other multinational brands combined. To date, the company has a huge international expansion plan in the USA, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei.

By Mhike R. Cigaral

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