Negros Oriental celebrates Arts Month with tourism forum, workshops

By Roi Lomotan


Department of  Tourism Asec. Myra Paz Abubakar (right) talks to Negros Oriental Provincial Administrator Henry Sojor and former Finance Sec. Margarito Teves (left and center) in a forum held on Feb. 8, 2019 at Foundation University.  The said activity is the kick-off event for the celebration of National Arts Month in the province. (PIA7-Negros Oriental)


The Province of Negros Oriental marks its observance of National Arts Month with a forum on tourism, music workshops for students, and workshop on heritage mapping.

Provincial Culture and Arts Officer Rafael Duhaylungsod disclosed the provincial government through the Negros Oriental Center for Culture and the Arts (NOCCA) and the Provincial Tourism Unit (PTU) has lined-up activities for the entire month of February to promote this annual monthly observance noting that this is the first time the province is celebrating Arts Month.

The local Arts Month celebration kicked-off with a Forum on Culture on Tourism held on Feb. 8 at Foundation University with Department of Tourism (DOT) Asec. Myra Paz Abubakar as guest speaker.

In her speech, Asec. Abubakar presented the major provisions of R.A. 9593 particularly the provisions which encourage and strengthen the culture of tourism in the country.

The DOT official underscored that it is important to highlight in all aspects the history, culture and arts of the people in order to promote a vibrant and authentic culture on tourism.

“Share and teach each visitors the story of our ancestors and our identity. This is very important kasi kung hindi natin alam ang istorya ng ating mga ninuno, darating po ang araw na wala tayong maikukwento tungkol sa ating mga nakaraan (If we don’t pass on the story of our ancestors, there will come a time that we could no longer share stories of our past),” Asec. Abubakar stressed.

“IPs (Indigenous People) should always be in the forefront. Cooperation with government instrumentalities and the private sector should be strengthened,” she added.

Asec. Abukakar addressed students and some tourism officers and key personalities in the province who attended the forum namely Provincial Administrator Henry Sojor, economist and former Finance Secretary Gary Teves, and  Silliman University Vice-President for Academic Affairs Dr. Earl Jude Cleope.

National Museum of the Philippines – Bohol Information Officer Emmylou Palacio-Noel also participated the event.

On the other hand, the NOCCA and PTU, in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) schools division of Dumaguete City, Bayawan City, and the province of Negros Oriental will hold a series of music workshops for students starting Feb. 11 to Feb. 16.

“We moved to the grassroots. Our participants are really students and not the professional singers and performers,” Duhaylungsod said.

Another round of music workshop is also slated on March 4 to 9 covering the school divisions of Bais City, Tanjay City, and Guihulngan City.

Aside from this, there will be a Call for Budget and Project Proposal Workshop on Heritage Mapping in cooperation with the National Commission for the Culture and Arts (NCCA) to be held in this city on Feb. 28.

All tourism officers, cultural officers and the chairpersons of the tourism committee of every Sanggunian Bayan or Sanggunian Panglungsod in the province are expected to participate in the said workshop.

Duhaylungsod also noted that universities and colleges in the city are also celebrating National Arts Month.

The official cited Foundation University who will be hosting the 11th Cinema Rehiyon or the annual gathering of over a hundred filmmakers across the country.

With this, Duhaylungsod expressed his gratitude to the agencies who have partnered with NOCCA and the Provincial Government of Negros Oriental in this endeavor.

“This may be a simple occasion but this will provide impact and also a lot of information to our students and our community,” Duhaylungsod remarked.


DOH, Dgte partner for P10.7-M satellite hospital

By Jennifer C. Tilos

Those going to the area where the new satellite hospital will be constructed may pass through this newly-concreted barangay road in Talay. (PIA/Negros Oriental)

A P10.7 million satellite hospital will be established in Barangay Talay, this city.

This is to be funded by the Department of Health (DOH) and to be equipped and staffed by the city government here.

The new health facility will cater to the medical needs of the city’s underserved barangays namely Talay, Junob, Balugo, Candau-ay, Cantil-e and Bajumpandan as well as the residents in Valencia and Bacong towns.

Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo and City Health Officer Maria Sarah B. Talla will lead the ground breaking ceremony today with local government officials and officers of the DOH to signal the start of the construction of the satellite hospital at the City Farmstead.

This will be the third new hospital in Dumaguete City for the next four years.

The first two hospitals nearing completion are the 250-bed ACE Dumaguete Doctors Hospital in Brgy. Daro and the Negros Polymedic Hospital in Sibulan town to accommodate additional 150 beds.

Remollo is also eyeing the construction of a fire substation, evacuation center, and police substation to bring basic social services closer to the barangays.

SSS considers offering pension loan program

By Amor Saludar

The Social Security System (SSS) considered offering a pension loan program for senior citizen.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said that the SSS is cognizant of the plight of its pensioners and in response to their clamor for the urgently needed support; the Social Security Commission is considering offering a pension loan program.

“We acknowledge the need of our pensioners for financial assistance to help defray daily expenses. Being a senior citizen myself, I also have needs for my medicines, vitamins and other expenses for my daily needs,” Dooc said.

Recently Federation of Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines (FeSCAP) President Jorge Banal Sr. on Thursday urged the Social Security System (SSS) to heed the clamor of pensioners for a pension loan.

“We urge SSS to provide pension loans to help us in our present financial needs. I know how much SSS loves us, so we hope that they will soon give these loans for our pensioners,” Banal stressed during the Pensioners’ Day held at the SSS Main Office in Quezon City.

Banal added that the SSS pension loan would put a stop to the growing incidence of pensioners falling victims to loan sharks.

“There are hard-up pensioners who borrowed money even at a high interest rate from these loan sharks and they are asked to surrender their ATM cards with their monthly pension in it to ensure payment,” he said.

It is in this matter that SSS recognizes the need to safeguard pensioners from loan sharks who take advantage of them in the guise of being good Samaritans that they can count on during financial distress.

“We want to thank Mr. Banal and FeSCAP for being our partner in continuously bridging our relationship with our pensioners. We assure them that SSS loves them and we will always look after their welfare,” Dooc noted.

The SSS Pensioners’ Day was held in cooperation with FeSCAP. It was attended by more than 300 SSS pensioners coming from Metro Manila.

To date, SSS has 2.3 million pensioners.