3.03.2012

PIA News Service - Saturday, March 3, 2012

GSIS grants emergency loan for members in La Paz, Agusan del Sur

BUTUAN CITY, March 3 (PIA)
-- The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has approved the grant of emergency loan for GSIS members in La Paz, Agusan Del Sur who were affected by flashfloods caused by heavy rains in the area during the early part of the year, announced yesterday by President and General Manager Robert G. Vergara.

According to Vergara, GSIS members in La Paz may apply for the loan from March 1 to April 2, 2012, saying that a total of 750 government employees in La Paz will benefit from the program. These employees are part of the 6,000 families who were affected by flash floods in the area that caused extensive damage to property, livestock, poultry, rice and corn fields, and infrastructure.

Government employees in La Paz are employed in three public agencies: Agusan Del Sur Division Office of the Department of Education, Municipal Government of La Paz and La Paz National High School. They may apply for the loan through the GSIS Wireless Automated Processing System kiosk using either the eCard or Unified Multi-Purpose ID eCard. GSIS members who lost their cards but who are eligible to apply for the loan may apply over-the-counter in any GSIS office.

“The GSIS Board has reduced the interest rate for the emergency loan from eight to six percent. We also removed the service fee in the loan to make it more responsive to the needs of members especially during difficult times,” Vergara explained.

Eligible members who may file for emergency loan include bona fide employees of the agency located in the declared calamity area or are resident of the declared calamity area; in active service and not on leave of absence without pay; have no pending criminal or administrative charges; have no arrearages in the payment of mandatory social insurance contributions; and have no loan that has been declared in default.

Members in agencies whose loan privileges were suspended because of non-remittance of premium and loan payments are not eligible to apply for the emergency loan. (RER-GSIS-Butuan Branch/PIA Caraga)

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Apl.de.Ap inspires Sendong survivors in Cagayan de Oro

By Danilo Escabarte

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 3 (PIA)
-- His visit to disaster-struck Cagayan de Oro, days after Tropical Storm Sendong, left a lasting impact on him.

Now, Apl.de.ap of the famous Black Eyed Peas is back in CDO, warmly welcomed by students, teachers and residents at the Balulang Elementary School, which was damaged by Sendong.


Hastily-made posters welcomed the Fil-Am international rapper to their school, while “student-disaster survivors” sang “The Power of your Love,” which put everyone in a reflectivel mood.

“Thank you for the warm welcome you've given me. I was touched by your song,” Apl.de.ap said in his message to the students. “Continue to dream...study hard. I was once like you. I was adopted when I was a child. Continue dreaming,” he told the students.


Apl.de.ap (a.k.a. Allan Pineda-Lindo, Jr) was in Cagayan de Oro recently for the groundbreaking ceremony of a 2-storey, 4 classroom schoolbuilding he donated for students of Balulang Elementary School. He was accompanied by Rafael Lopa, head of the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) and president of the Ninoy & Cory Aquino Foundation (NCAF).

Balulang Elementary School sustained major damage due to Sendong's wrath. Nine (9) of its students remain missing and presumed dead while another one was recovered. The school was submerged in six feet deep floodwaters during the deluge last December.

After the simple grounbreaking rite, Apl.de.ap gamely accepted the crowd's request for him to rap a sample of his hip hop composition. The audience made up mostly of survivors swayed and joined Apl in his rendition of “Bebot.”

Apl.de.ap's last stop was at the Ecoville Relocation site for survivors in Lumbia, Cagayan de Oro City. At least 130 families have already moved in to the 5-hectare relocation area donated by Xavier University when Apl.de.ap visited the place.

Kids at the relocation site recognized and called him “idol,” then rushed towards the hip-hop artist to talk to him.

Apl. talked to some of the kids at the site who readily recognized him.

Apl.de.ap together with NCAF and PBSP, spearheads the “We Can Be Anything” Education Advocacy Campaign that helps marginalized students, youths and communities.

Before leaving Cagayan de Oro on a barrowed private jet, Apl.de.ap made a wish: that is, to comeback and inaugurate the school building he donated to students of the Balulang Elementary School. (RER/PIA-Caraga)

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Surigao Norte integrates day care centers into mainstream schools

By Eugenio Lira

SURIGAO CITY, March 3 (PIA)
-- Governor Sol Forcadilla-Matugas on Wednesday announced the integration of day care centers into the mainstream elementary schools in the province.

Matugas made the announcement during a medical mission sponsored by the provincial government in Barangay Rizal attended by local officials and school teachers of B. Vasquez Central Elementary School wherein she committed to put up a pre-school day care center worth P400,000 for the said school.

“Integrating preschoolers into the mainstream elementary schools would result to accelerated development of their social skills, particularly peer interactions and basic self-care tasks such as grooming, feeding and the like. It would also hasten their learning skills considering DepEd could supply them with the latest learning materials and technology,” Matugas stressed.

“The classroom will be constructed inside the school’s premises and will be available before the opening of classes in June."

School Principal Eda Equibal-Ensomo thanked the governor for choosing her school as a pilot project of the latter’s education program.

Matugas said more preschool classrooms will be constructed within this year as part of their innovations to improve the quality of education in the province. (FEA/PIA-Surigao del Norte)