Novellino Wines launches Rebuilders project


Bel Mondo Italia Corp. (BMIC), makers of the Philippines’ leading wine brand Novellino, recently launched the Novellino Rebuilders project aimed at rebuilding homes in Capiz Province that were destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan  or Typhoon Yolanda as it is known in the Philippines.

The Novellino Rebuilders project is being piloted in Bgy. Ilamnay, Municipality of Panay, along the coast of Capiz province. The project aims to implement a sustainable and integrated community housing for the rehabilitation of victims of Typhoon Yolanda.

Around 40 homes in Brgy. Ilamnay were destroyed by Typhoon Yolanda.Ilamnay, which is one of the smallest baranggays in the province, has a population of 312 persons, including children, belonging to 55 household, all dependent on fishing and farming as sources of livelihood.  It is Located 7 kilometers from the town proper and accessible via a 120 meter bamboo footbridge.

Capiz based non-government organization The Atila Balgos is the implementing arm of BMIC in the area.  Long involved in working with the disadvantaged sectors  in the areas of  education, health, livelihood, sports, housing and environmental conservation and development, the ABFI organized the Bulig KasimanwaTask Force to undertake immediate relief operations and planned actions for sustainable recovery of the Province of Capiz after Typhoon Yolanda caused severe damages on houses, agriculture, fisheries, and other industries in Roxas City, the capital of Capiz, and all 16 municipalities of the province.

Novellino wine customers are also given an opportunity to help in the project.  Every time they purchase a bottle of Novellino wine, part of what they spend will go into rebuilding homes.  The promise of Novellino wine to its customers is “Every Bottle Builds”.

“We want to get the word out on this.  Social media is a great means of doing this.  I think people want to help other people, “ Chris Quimbo, BMIC COO and Marketing Manager stated.  “If they buy a bottle of wine, not only do they get to enjoy a bottle of wine, but they can be satisfied knowing that this contribution or their purchase is going towards a good cause.  It’s going towards rebuilding homes for people affected by the biggest typhoon that hit ground here in the Philippines.  You’ll see “neckers” on our bottles of wine are real pieces of paper that go on top - very simple.  It just says “Every Bottle Builds”. And that’s the name of our initiative, that’s the name of our cause.”

According to Vincent Nonoy Quimbo, BMIC President and CEO, BMIC has resolved to donate a portion of its revenues; not just profits. “So that we become a true channel of what it is that we have been blessed with.  We’ve been blessed to have a successful business, and so we want that to flow through.”

The Novellino Rebuilders initiative, Nonoy said, is viewed as one that will eventually involve other villages in the affected areas as well./PN


Off Grid Aid provides typhoon relief


Responding to Typhoon Yolanda, South Australian charity Off Grid Aid launches its “Philippines Eco Housing Project”, ambitiously aiming to empower Filipinos to build cost-effective, typhoon resistant housing using local materials. Commencing April 22nd, eight Australian and international volunteers will travel to Sigma, Capiz to run a 10-day building workshop in sustainable earth-bag and permaculture solutions. Earth-Bag building uses sandbags filled with stabilized earth, arranged in layers, organized in a curved configuration for superior bracing. Strands of barbed wire are placed between layers to act as mortar and structural reinforcement. Earth-bag structures have passed California earthquake and typhoon resistant testing.

Using an education-exchange approach, volunteers will work directly with locals to identify how these building technologies can be incorporated into traditional Filipino techniques.  Working together they will build the first prototype; a much needed community day-care centre, doubling as an evacuation shelter. Filipinos will walk away with the knowledge and experience to use these new building skills in their local community.

“Whilst handouts are great for temporary relief,” says Off Grid Aid co-founder Adrian Paech, “such aid often lacks long-term benefit, resulting in many feeling frustrated and dependent. Filipinos need an opportunity to stand-up and take ownership of the solution. During our food relief effort in December we witnessed their ingenuity and drive, yet few had the income or skills to build an adequate solution. Our ultimate goal is to enable Filipinos to come together to build sustainable housing for each other.”

A second hands-on workshop is scheduled for October, training Filipinos in permaculture systems, covering self-sustainable water, sewerage, food and cooking facilities. From 2015, Off Grid Aid hopes to assist Filipinos in rolling out sustainable housing back in their respective towns./PN


Bread & Butter Pandan opens new store


BREAD & Butter in Pandan, Antique finally opened its new store located now at the Mabuhay Building beside the Pandan Public Market.

During the grand opening, the streets of Pandan town proper was filled with people as they welcomed Baker Betty, the mascot of Bread & Butter, as she paraded with the caravan. The store was overflowing with people. Special discounted promo packs were offered to the people who came as far as Libertad and Sibalom as they lined up to buy their favorite breads from the Bread & Butter store.

The formal opening was held on March 19. The ceremonial ribbon-cutting was led by franchisee Mrs. Francisca Carmelita Sanchez, Mrs. Gilda E. Sanchez, Mrs. Aiza Manaay-dela Cruz and Franchise Manager Bernadith S. Iremedio of Bakers Dream Franchise Corporation. The store was blessed by Rev. Father Rafael R. Gillera. The store opening was attended by the family and friends of the franchisee, and the locals of Pandan, Antique who were very eager to welcome the brand that they have come to love.

Bread & Butter continues to delight people with its delicious, quality and affordable bakery products.

Watch out for the opening of Bread&Butter Branch 2 in Passi City along F. Palmares St. /PN


Panaad folk dance winners awarded


BACOLOD City- In line with the 21st Panaad sa Negros Festival held at the Panaad Stadium here, Talisay City still holds the title as champion in the rural category during the Philippine folk dances competition on April 2.

The delegates from Talisay City danced the “Surtido”. They also won the Best in Costume, Best Staging and Best Trainer awards in the respective categories.

Representatives from Cadiz City also bagged the first place and all the special awards—best in costume, staging and trainer-- in the Maria Clara category as they danced “Bayluhan”.

Following Talisay City was the municipality of Murcia and the City of Bacolod as they danced “Pamiparamag” and “Regoniza” respectively.

The municipality of Binalbagan got the second spot while Escalante City placed third in the Maria Clara category.

Talisay City received P25, 000, second placer received P20, 000, third placer received P15, 000, and consolation prizes to San Carlos City and municipalities of La Castellana, Hinigaran, Manapla and Toboso of P5, 000 each for the rural category.

Cadiz City got P30, 000 cash prize while Binalbagan received P25, 000 and P20, 000 for Escalante City. A consolation prize of P5, 000 each goes to the cities of Sagay, Himamaylan, Kabankalan, La Carlota and Bago in the Maria Clara category.

Special awards in both categories got P5, 000 cash prize each.

This event that aimed to develop and enhance awareness and interest about country’s folk dances was participated in by 27 cities and towns of Negros Occidental.

The event was spearheaded by the Provincial Planning and Development Office, Administrative Division of the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental. (Capitol News)/PN


‘Register helps by December’


The Pag-IBIG Fund has issued a reminder to employers of kasambahays (household workers) to have them registered as members of Pag-IBIG Fund by December 29 of this year.

“We want all Filipino workers, including kasambahays, to experience the many benefits of Pag-IBIG membership.  That’s why we have been stepping up our efforts to have kasambahays registered with Pag-IBIG and to make such registration as easy and as hassle-free as possible,” said Vice President Jejomar C. Binay, Pag-IBIG Fund chairman of the Board.

“To give enough time for employers to register their kasambahays, the Pag-IBIG Fund Board of Trustees extended the registration period up to the last working day of 2014.  Beyond this date, employers will already be penalized for registering their kasambahays late,” he added.

Darlene Marie B. Berberabe, Pag-IBIG Fund president and chief executive officer, also said, “Upon registration, employers will be asked to remit the monthly membership contributions of their kasambahay from the first month after the date of employment of the latter, or June 4, 2013 when the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the “Kasambahay Law” took effect, whichever comes later, up to the actual date of settlement.  We encourage employers to register their kasambahays before the deadline to avoid penalties on the amount due.”

In December 2013, Pag-IBIG formally launched the Kasambahay Unified Registration System (KURS), a unified system of registering kasambahays and their employers with the three government agencies, as mandated in the “Kasambahay Law.” KURS was launched in partnership with Social Security System and PhilHealth.
Registering with one agency now enables the kasambahays and their employers to be registered simultaneously in all three agencies, thereby eliminating the need to go to each of these agencies to register.

The forms required for registration of employers and their kasambahays are downloadable from Pag-IBIG’s corporate
“As of January 2014, Pag-IBIG has 22,723 kasambahays among its 13.5 million members.  Their Pag-IBIG membership entitles them to benefits such as access to our housing loan and short-term loan programs, as well as to Pag-IBIG’s savings programs,” shared Berberabe.
Employers paying their kasambahays less than P1,500 a month should pay for their kasambahays’  monthly membership contributions to Pag-IBIG which is equivalent to three percent of the kasambahays’ salary.  Employers paying P1,500 to P4,999, meanwhile, should pay four percent of their helpers’ salary.

Kasambahays earning less than P5,000 do not have to pay any contributions with Pag-IBIG because their employers will shoulder their membership contributions. Kasambahays earning at least P5,000 should pay  two percent employee or personal share, or P100.  Their employers should also pay two percent employer share, or P100./PN

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