AKO BICOL tackles creation of Commission on Immigration

AKO Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe, a member of the House Committee on Justice, actively participated in the Justice Committee meeting to tackle salient proposed legislations, particularly in the creation of the Commission on Immigration to introduce structural and institutional reforms in our present immigration system.

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Other bills include the Philippine Immigration Act and the installment of state-of-the-art method of documenting persons with hold-departure orders.

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AKO BICOL meets with Australian Political Exchange Council

The delegates of Australian Political Exchange Council (APEC) from Australia met with House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez on Wednesday, May 17, accompanied by Deputy Minority Leader Alfredo A. Garbin, Jr. and Assistant Majority Leader Bernadette Herrera-Dy. Also present during the meeting were Majority Leader Rodolfo C. Fariñas and Finance Assistant Secretary Paola Sherina A. Alvarez.

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Priority bills of both houses were discussed, including the Tax Reform Package, which is still under careful scrutiny by the lower house. Also discussed was the swift passage of the Free Irrigation Act on the committee level, championed by Ako Bicol Party List Representatives.

APEC, in which Representatives Garbin and Herrera-Dy were part of the Philippine delegation to Australia in 2011 and 2012, respectively, aims to develop young political leaders by providing opportunities to gain insights into the political systems and cultures of countries through series of exchange programs, where long-lasting ties and friendships can be formed between future generations of political leaders in Australia and other countries, including the Philippines.

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AKO BICOL joins Brigada Eskwela 2017

Deputy Minority Leader and Ako Bicol Party List Representative Alfredo A. Garbin, Jr. joined this year’s launch of Brigada Eskwela at Bical High School, Barangay Salvacion, Sto. Domingo, Albay on Thursday, May 18, 2017 to personally turn-over painting and other materials for the improvement of the school’s facilities as part of the program “Tabang sa Edukasyon”.

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The program is aimed to promote quality education among students and inspire them to take continued interest in their studies as they strive to achieve their dreams and aspirations in life through better and improved learning facilities that are conducive for learning.

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AKO BICOL joins House Committee in Duterte impeachment hearing

Deputy Minority Leader and Ako Bicol Party List Rep. Alfredo A. Garbin Jr. joined the House Justice Committee during the hearing on the impeachment complaint based on claims of killings, corruption, and other illegal acts supposedly committed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

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However, the complaint was effectively dismissed as it was found by the committee sufficient in form, but declared insufficient in substance.

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AKO BICOL’s STEP: Achieving Success through Skills Development

Deputy Minority Leader and Ako Bicol Party List Representative Alfredo A. Garbin, Jr., in cooperation with TESDA-ROV, facilitated the closing ceremonies and turn-over of strter toolkits to Ako Bicol scholars under the Special Training for Employment Program (STEP) on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at the Naga City Hall in Camarines Sur. The program seeks to address the specific needs of the communities and promote employment particularly through entrepreneurship, self-employment, and service-oriented activities. Competencies include Dressmaking NC II and Small Engine System (Motorcycle Engine) Servicing NC II.

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Rep. Garbin graced the completion program by giving a message that emphasizes on the importance of technical skills in emerging industries that require special skill competencies over academic degrees, thus, providing every Bicolano with a chance to take the step towards a better future.

“Ako Bicol Party List, being true to its vision of strengthening the entire Bicolano community, is continuosly creating avenues that shall provide limitless opportunities for every Bicolano to have a better life, provide more for his family, and contribute to our collective effort towards regional development”, he said.

Ako Bicol Party List says YES to Availability of Livelihood and Employment Opportunities!

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AKO BICOL inducts Parents-Teachers Association officers

Deputy Minority Leader and Ako Bicol Party List Rep. Alfredo A. Garbin, Jr., together with Cong. Joey Sarte Salceda of the 2nd District of Albay, joined and co-administered the induction of the newly-elected officers of Daraga National High School’s General Parents and Teachers Association (GPTA) and Supreme Student Government on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at the Covered Court, Daraga National High School, Daraga, Albay.

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In a message, Rep. Garbin said “School-based organizations, like the GPTA and Student Councils, are established organizations that work for the betterment of the society by instilling sense of leadership and accountability amongst its members, especially for students in their formative years.” “We will continue to keep our promise of doing whatever we can to be of help in achieving our common commitment of creating quality and affordable education accessible to all Bicolanos”.

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AKO BICOL at 10th Samhod Festival

Deputy Minority Leader and Ako Bicol Party List Representative Alfredo A. Garbin, Jr. joined the celebration of the 10th Samhod Festival and Town Fiesta of Lagonoy, Camarines Sur!

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In a message, Rep. Garbin said “It is but an overwhelming feeling to witness such a beautiful culture and parade of colors as we celebrate our local festivals and continuously promote local tourism”. “Community-development is an essential factor in creating a stronger and better society that provides for the needs of the members through local tourism development and cultural preservation”, he added.

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AKO BICOl on Metro Manila Development

Deputy Minority Leader and Ako Bicol Rep. Alfredo A. Garbin, Jr. was present at the regular meeting of the Committee on Metro Manila Developement join the discussion about the proposed legislative measures to grant the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) additional powers and functions, and rationalization of the proposed terminals in Metro Manila to mitigate the worsening traffic situation.

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AKO BICOL encourages schools to prepare for the “Big One” and other disasters

HB 805 Disaster

A House leader in the Congress is seeking to assimilate an area-specific approach on Disaster Risk Reduction, Management and Education program for students in schools, colleges, and universities.

AKO BICOL Partylist Representative Rodel Batocabe filed House Bill 805 or the “Act Mandating All Schools and Universities to Establish an Area-Specific Disaster Risk Reduction Management and Education Program in their Respective Jurisdictions”.

Should this proposed legislative measure be passed into law, schools and universities would be required to educate the students, parents, staff, and teachers on all possible vulnerabilities and disasters their areas are prone to and craft a comprehensive disaster preparedness and emergency plan specifically designed for the use of the school.

“In the wake of strong typhoons that hit the country, as well as the threat of other exposures such as the impending Big One that will lay waste in  Metro Manila and the neighboring provinces, it is imperative that we educate our students with the proper decorum on the preparation and response to these kinds of disasters,” Batocabe said.

The passage of the Republic Act No. 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 mandated the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) to pursue a disaster risk reduction and management education in the curricula of secondary and tertiary level of education, including the National Service Training Program.

The passage of HB 805 would further dictate DepEd, CHED, and TESDA to conduct risk assessment tools for the identification of capacities, vulnerabilities, and hazards present in the schools.

“Teachers and students will be constantly reminded of the risks present in the school and the methods of preparation and response to conduct in the wake of the disasters”, Batocabe noted. “Information depicted in warning signs and illustrations will be posted in conspicuous places in the school premises”, he added.

The educational print materials shall contain a large, conspicuous text indicating that the school is disaster-prone, a large illustration of the disasters, a sequential illustration and text of a preparedness plan and a contingency plan in case of disasters, and a hazard map plotting escape routes from the area of posting.

Just this week, an earthquake swarm in the magnitudes of 4.6 to 5.9 hit the province of Batangas in a series of tremors that stunned the nation. Buildings and structures cracked while some of the walls of infrastructures got caught in camera falling down on vehicles. The town of Mabini in Batangas was damaged the most by the series of earthquakes.

“It is alarming to see how much damage and panic the earthquake swarm has created among the people despite the efforts of the government and non-governmental organizations to raise awareness on the arrival of the ‘Big one’,” Batocabe said. “It is reflective of the amount of preparation and readiness of our citizens should the 7.2 magnitude earthquake devastate the country”.

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AKO BICOL: No Place for Used Cooking Oil in Human Consumption

HB 814 Used Cooking Oil

Congressman Rodel Batocabe of AKO BICOL Partylist confronted the threatening practice of recycling used cooking oil for human consumption.

AKO Bicol Partylist filed House Bill 814 or “the Act Prohibiting the Selling and Retailing of Used Cooking Oil for Human Consumption and Providing for Penalties Therefor”. If the proposed legislation were approved into law, any individual or entity will be fined if caught in the unlawful trade of used cooking oil for human consumption.

The proposed legislative measure is currently pending in the House Committee on Health.

“Carcinogens are found in cooking oil as well as other dangeous toxins that may result to hypertension, damage to the liver, and increase of risks in acquiring  diseases”, Batocabe said. “Although it is cheaper than brand new cooking oil, its dangers posed to the health of the consumers will have a long-lasting impact to their well-being”, Batocabe added.

House Bill 814 would penalize the selling of used cooking oil for human consumption from Php 10,000-Php 50,000. Quezon City Councilors previoiusly noted that some retailers filter and bleach used cooking oil to deceive consumers that they are selling new cooking oil.

Used cooking oil are instead encoured to be utilized for industrial purposes such as in soap-making, lubricants, weather-proofing, and production of biodiesel fuel.

“Used cooking oil shall only be permitted  in the hands of accredited retailers.  As such, the Department of Trade and Industry will be instructed to fromulate the Implementing Rules and Regulations to operationalize the policy”, Batocabe said.

In 2016, Davao City issued Executive Order 32 to institute mechanisms in the “storage, treatment, transport, export, processing, reprocessing, recycling, and disposal” of used cooking oil. Residents, vendors, and business establishments were instructed to comply with the order as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) classified used cooking oil as hazardous waste.

Used cooking oil in Davao City will be converted to biodiesel fuel through the Php 4 million technology awarded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency to the city. The converted biodiesel fuel is seen to power the dump trucks of the City Environment and Natural Resources and other city government vehicles.

“Numerous cities have already recognized this issue and the need for its resolution. This bill seeks a nationwide implementation of the prohibition of the selling of used cooking oil for human consumption, and provides for penalties for retailers who continue to sell them”, Batocabe said.

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