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March 17 - 23 (3)

Special for The Capiz Times
With reports from PIA Capiz

 

ROXAS CITY—On March 18, 2014, 170 persons, mostly college students, trooped to the Dinggoy Roxas Civic Center (DRCC) to witness the forum of the Gawad Kalinga (GK) 2014 Bayani Challenge here.


Anchored on its slogan “Walang Iwanan” (no one must be left behind), the Bayani Challenge seeks to register one million volunteers across 12 provinces in two months who will work together toward nation-building.


GK is inviting people from all political and religious affi liations to log in to bayanichallenge.com and chose where you want to go, when you want to go and what you want to do.”


For five days as volunteers, they can choose where to go among the areas affected by recent calamities to take part and help in housebuilding, school refurbishing, mangrove tree-planting and coastal cleanup. Or they can also help in the supplemental feeding activities and storytelling for the community children.

 

For the Capiz leg, the GK forum featured Jose Mari Oquiñena, directorgeneral of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and GK volunteer, who stressed to his audience that poverty and corruption are not the country’s big problems. Rather the bigger problem among the Filipinos is the lack of unity. But he claimed that “Unity is possible!”


Woven on the values of damayan, friendship and volunteerism-in-action, the Challenge serves as venue where people meet together on equal footing—because, as Oquiñena put it, participation is “not based on how lofty your position is but on how big is your heart.”


Claiming that “religion and politics have divided us as a nation for long”—the PIA head enjoined everyone that “the very challenge we are now called upon is how to cross existing boundaries in the interest of nation-building.


For him, the real questions that must be answered are: “How far will you go as, say, a Catholic? Or how will you politicians treat those who did not vote for you?”


Oquiñena said that in the past, well-meaning GK volunteers would ask: “Does GK have to wait for crisis or disaster to happen before it goes to work again?”


Such questions prompted the GK pioneers to expand the scope of its service or operation to include events or situation like building houses in war-stricken areas like Bukidnon. In fact, the GK did not give up but rather learned an important lesson: “The more we sweat in time of peace, the less we weep for war.”


Saying that “change will not take place kung tayo ay hindi tatayo” (if we will not stand up), Oquiñena also shared how Yolanda devastation was a shocking crisis that instead became an opportunity for people of goodwill to show resiliency and extend the bayanihan spirit at their best—in efforts to rise and rebuild people’s lives.


The GK representative summoned everyone: “We just have to be together, Christians and Muslims alike, brothers and sisters to one another, inspired by a shared vision to rebuild the Philippines into a great nation.”


“We do not need more legislation to bring hope and genuine service to the rural communities. We simply need to work together again.”


Oquiñena said that the Bayani Challenge is a venue for volunteers from various sectors and age groups to join together toward the goal of expressing love for country and caring for the poor.


It is a yearly campaign that has grown exponentially after eight years—“seeking to inspire every Filipino to make volunteerism a lifestyle.”


The assembly was led by GK Capiz Coordinator Jessica Ortiz-Yu and Mr. Mark Tulbo, both GK team leaders for Western Visayas. It was supported by the academic community in the city and the local media practitioners.


For more details, interested individuals are enjoined to log on to bayanichallenge.com and signify.

ROXAS CITY—About 1,700 houses for supertyphoon Yolanda victims in the municipalities of Pilar and Dao will be completed in May this year by the Switzerland-based non-government organization popularly called HEKS in partnership with the Task Force Mapalad, Inc. (TFMI) as part of the non-government organization’s Typhoon Yolanda Shelter Project.


The houses, primarily made of bamboo mats, are constructed through a “bayanihan concept” wherein beneficiaries of the shelter project help the HEKS’ cash-for-work employed carpenters in building up the structures.


TFMI community organizer Danilo Gaban said that 900 housing units will be completed in Pilar this month while the construction of remaining houses allocated in identifi ed barangays in Dao will continue until May.


The international NGO has also conducted relief operations after the supertyphoon which benefited about 2,100 households provincewide.

 

“We will also be giving livelihood assistance to Yolanda victims based on their needs,” Gaban noted.

 

HEKS and TFMI are among the various NGOs and humanitarian agencies which responded to the Capiceños' cry for help following Yolanda’s devastation in the province last year.


Other groups which voluntarily offered immediate relief, shelter and livelihood assistance include Canadian government, United Sikh, Shelter Box, ADRA, UN agencies and various humanitarian as well as religious groups, Red Cross, other local government units, national government agencies, philanthropists and private individuals, among others. (AAL)

Cement supply in Capiz stable

Monday, 17 March 2014 00:00

There is sufficient supply of cement in Capiz. This was assured by the major retailers of construction materials who joined the consultative meeting held at Department of Education of Trade and Industry (DTI) Capiz Provincial Offi ce recently.


The meeting was called for by DTI Capiz amidst increasing feedbacks received through the Business Assistance Centers on the unavailability of cement and the increase in its price. DTI Director Ermelinda Pollentes wanted the retailers to shed light to the issue of low supply and the increase of price of certain types of cement.


The group admitted to the current seesaw in the supply of cement. But according to them, this is due to the fact that the Province is now into the reconstruction and rehabilitation mode.


As expected, they say, demand is above the normal and regular consumption of the province prior to Yolanda.


Aside from this, there is also the problem of transportation and hauling. They explained, there is only one RORO trip from Batangas to Roxas City and construction materials complete with other products in terms of space. Another burden is the truck ban being implemented in Manila.


However, despite all these problems, they assured DTI that the shipment of cement to Capiz is regular and continuous.


As such, there is no reason for the public to panic that there will be cement shortage in the coming months. (DTI)