(PAGASA PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Thursday, 19 July 2018) At 3AM today, the center of Tropical Storm INDAY was estimated @840km East of Basco, Batanes (19.4N,129.9E) w/ maximum winds of 65kph near the center & gustiness of up to 80kph. Moving almost stationary. SW Monsoon affecting Luzon. Mindanao will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies w/ isolated rainshowers due to localized thunderstorms. Moderate winds from South to Southwest w/ moderate seas. PAGASA-DOST Mindanao/dab

Tuesday, July 17, 2018


DICT to activate 78 free public wifi sites in Butuan City

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, July 17 (PIA) -- The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) will be activating its 78 free public wifi sites through a launching ceremony on July 26, 2018 at Almont Hotel’s Inland Resort here.

Dir. Evamay Dela Rosa of DICT Mindanao Cluster 2 said the initiative is pursuant to Republic Act 10929, also known as the Free Internet Access in Public Places Act, where DICT will lead in the implementation of PipolKonek or the Free Public Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places Project.

In Butuan City, Dir. Dela Rosa said the 78 sites where the free public wifi internet access will be activated comprised the government agencies in the city.

“During the launching, city mayor Ronnie Vicente Lagnada will deliver his wecome message, while DICT assistant secretary Alan Silor will also share his message of support to the local government unit and national government agency beneficiaries,” said Dela Rosa.

PipolKonek is the first of its scale in South East Asia, providing free internet access across all municipalities and cities in the Philippines.

This project aims to raise digital literacy and citizen productivity in the country by providing easy access to government online services, information, and other online opportunities.

For more information, the DICT office in Butuan City can be reached at telephone number (085) 817-2011. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

CSC Caraga to host fun run in Butuan City

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, July 17 (PIA) -- In line with the 118th Philippine Civil Service Anniversary celebration, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Caraga regional office will be hosting a Fun Run activity here on September 2, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.

According to Annabelle Rosell, CSC Caraga regional director, the event is a duly approved fund raising activity by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which aims to raise funds for the CSC’s Pamanang Lingkod Bayani (PLBi) – a program that grants financial assistance to the bereaved family and scholarship to family members of government officials who died in line of duty via CSC’s partner educational institutions.

“Your active participation will go a long way in funding our PLBi, in spirit of ‘Malasakit’ and as token of our solidarity with our fellow public servants who have died while in the performance of duty,” said Dir. Rosell.

Dir. Rosell also bared that every male and female winner for every event will be given prizes. For the 10-kilometer Run, first prize winners will each receive PhP3,000.00 and medal; second prize – PhP2,000.00 and medal; and third prize – PhP1,000.00 and medal.

For the 5-kilometer Run, first prize – PhP2,000.00 and medal, second prize – PhP1,500.00 and medal, third prize – PhP1,000.00 and medal; while for the 3-kilometer Run, first prize – PhP1,500.00 and medal, second prize – PhP1,000.00 and medal, third prize – PhP500.00 and medal.

The lady director also clarified that registration for 10k run is PhP700.00, 5k run – PhP400.00, and 3k run – PhP300.00.

“Registration is on a first-come-first-served basis and singlet is good while supply lasts. The event is not limited to government employees; other fun run enthusiasts are also welcome,” she said.

It was also learned that for government agencies, they may grant half-day compensatory time-off to their participating employees pursuant to CSC Memorandum Circular No. 11, series 2002, regarding R.A.C.E. to Serve II Fun Run. (PIA-Caraga)

ARBGB members to participate in river basin summit, strat plan workshop

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, July 17 -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Caraga, in collaboration with the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), provincial government of Agusan del Norte, city government of Butuan and the Agusan River Basin Governing Board (ARBGB), is spearheading the conduct of the Lower Agusan River Basin Summit on July 18, 2018, followed by a Strategic Planning Workshop on July 19-20, 2018 to be attended by the ARBGB members at Almont Hotel’s Inland Resort, this city.

Lawyer Felix Alicer, regional director of DENR Caraga said the results of the planning workshop will complete the ARB organization.

“The ARBGB under the chairmanship of the late Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos was created during the ARB Summit on September 3-4, 2015, while the Upper and Middle Agusan River Sub-basin Summits were held on October 11, 2016 and May 23, 2017 creating the Upper and Middle Agusan River Basin Councils, respectively,” recalled Atty. Alicer. 

Alicer reiterated the importance of the ARB being one of the eight major river basins in Mindanao.

“It is the third largest river basin in the country covering a total area of 11,936 square kilometers," he said.

"It encompasses portions of Claveria and Bukidnon in Region 10, Compostella Valley and Davao Oriental in Region 11, and Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Sur in Region 13 (Caraga region),” Alicer added.

Atty. Alicer also said the ARB is sub-divided into three sub-basins: Upper, Middle, and Lower ARB Basins.

The province of Agusan del Norte and Butuan City fall within the Lower ARB with a total area of 1,495.28 square kilometers comprising 13 percent of the total basin area. (PIA-Caraga)

AgNor prov'l gov't honors service awardees

By Nora L. Molde /Jessica O. Mellejor

BUTUAN CITY, July 17 -- In recognition of their cooperation, support and services provided to the people of Agusan del Norte, the Provincial Government recently gave recognition to the 30 employees of the provincial capitol and hospital held at the Provincial Training Center here.

Service awardees included employees who have rendered 30, 35 and 40 years of service. Awardees who have rendered 35 to 40 years of service received PhP5,000 each and a plaque while those who have reached 30 years in service received PhP4,000 and a plaque.

Among the awardees who have rendered 30 years in service were Ronaldo A. Bermejo of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office; Pio C. Bagaloyos, Dioscora C. Fornolles, Olegario C. Galon, Edgar J. Decamotan, Fladelita B. Dela Pena, Emma D. Caniga, Ma. Dauden B. Ebarle, Anecito T. Gay, Luz A. Mendoza, Cecilia P. Patingan of the Provincial Health Office (PHO); Wilfreda T. Soria, Wilfreda L. Langit of the Provincial Assessors Office (PASSO); Alicia A. Baclaan of the Provincial Budget Office; Luisito P. Azura, Daisy M. Mejia of the Provincial General Services Office (PGSO); and Daisy O. Demavivas of the Provincial Social Welfare Population and Nutrition Services Office.

For those who have served for 35 years, these included Rhoda F. Avellana of Kitcharao District Hospital; Jocelyn M. Magdaraog of the Provincial Accountant Office; Cristina R. Dacilla of PGSO; Joselito L. Cabaron of the Provincial Economic Enterprise Development and Management Office; Marilyn T. Lumontad - Provincial Agriculturist Office; Dr. Elizabeth N. Campado, Ramon V. Loja, Daisy D. Morales of PHO; and Felicidad T. Labajo of PASSO.
Awardees who have served for 40 years were Marlyn C. Butal and Faith M. Dumoran of PHO; Maria Leah B. Dacera of Sangguniang Panlungsod Office; and Lolita Q. Paler of PASSO.

Provincial Board Member Virgilio R. Escasiñas, Jr. encouraged the provincial employees to provide good service and utmost dedication not only to Agusanons but to the public as well. (LGU-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)

DAR AgNor launches Farm Business School for agrarian-farmers

By Gil E. Miranda

TUBAY, Agusan del Norte, July 17 -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) of Agusan del Norte has intensified its effort to enhance the knowledge in agricultural productivity and promote economic activity under the recently launched Farm Business School (FBS) project for the two Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Organizations (ARBOs) here.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Andre B. Atega said the government is now providing enough support services to the ARBOs with the aim of developing the farmers to become agricultural entrepreneurs. 

He added that the FBS project develops farmers to make their farm profitable and can effectively respond to present day farming challenges.

The recipients of the training program are some 28 members of the Doña Rosario Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) Holders Vegetable Producers Association (DRCHVPA) and Kabayawa Sala Farmers Association.

Tubay Mayor Fidel G. Garcia, in his message, challenged the farmers to work hard and should learn lessons from the failures of several projects implemented.

DRCHVPA President Hector dela Cruz proudly accepted the project and promised to do their best to make it more profitable.

“Dako namong garbo na kami nakadawat niini nga hagit ug among ipasalig na kami maningkamot aron kini malamposon (We accepted the challenge and promised to make it a success, in support to the call of the government to make it sustainable)," he said.

The project launching was also attended by DTI provincial director Brenda Corvera, Agricultural Training Institute representative Engr. Joel Laure, municipal agriculturist Delma Vasquez, Tubay vice mayor Raquim Cuyos, and CSWD officer Evelita Regis. (DAR-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)

PNP Caraga chief to focus on lowering traffic accident

BUTUAN CITY, July 17 -- Philippine National Police (PNP) Caraga regional director PCSupt. Noli A. Romana vowed to bring down incidents of physical injuries attributed to traffic incidents and help in finding a solution to the traffic problems in Caraga region. 

Romana said the crime rate in Caraga region rose to 17 percent from January 1 to June 2018 compared with the crime rate during the same period in 2017 due to Non-Index Crime that increased from 581 in 2017 to 750 in 2018.

“Traffic incident in our region is not only the concern of the police but it concerns other agencies. So, we will be coordinating with them,” Caraga’s top cop said.

Data also showed that a total of 4,612 crimes were reported in 2018, which is higher than 3,932 crime volume listed in 2017.

However, 3,968 or 80 percent of crimes were solved in 2018 among the 4,612 crimes compared with only 1,938 or 47 percent cases in 2017, Romana refers to the record from the Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division (RIDMD).

Crimes related to murder, homicide, rape, robbery and theft posted a significant slide to 5.98 percent with only 942 totaled crimes in 2018 compared with 971 crimes in 2017.

Romana noted that the downtrend of index crimes was the result of combined efforts of the PNP, other law enforcement agencies, local government units and the community.

“We will give our best to be able to help in the traffic problem and I am also appealing on the people in Caraga to continue working with our cops and partner agencies to sustain these substantial gains in bringing down crime incidents in the region,” Romana added. (PNP Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

69 Mamanua families receive houses

JABONGA, Agusan del Norte, July 17 -- Sixty-nine families of the Mamanua Tribe in this town finally received their own houses under the Jabonga Mamanua Tribal Village Project of the National Housing Authority (NHA) and the Local Government Unit (LGU).

Jabonga Mayor Jasmin F. Monton, in her message during the turnover ceremony on June 30, said that although the journey took longer - more than five years, she was happy that the project has finally materialized and will now be enjoyed by the Mamanuas.

Monton also said the NHA provided PhP10 million and about PhP5 million from the LGU for the said project.

Although the village is a recipient of a royalty share from the operations of a nearby mine - the Agatha Mining Ventures, Inc.,  the LGU of Jabonga has seen the need for the tribe to be given assistance and guidance in terms of sustainable livelihood and source of income.

Currently the families’ means of living are either farming, fishing and working in the mine.
In the pre-program huddle with Mayor Monton, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Agusan del Norte OIC-provincial director Brenda B. Corvera, Negosyo Center (NC) Jabonga project staff Mikie D. Villanueva and Evelyn P. Mordeno discussed about doing needs assessment first with a profiling of their skills and interest as a first step.

Agatha Mining representative Jecil Lad also expressed interest to help.

NC Jabonga will also be working closely with personnel from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Elsie Namuag who is assigned in the area and the tribe’s leader Datu Rogelio “Baludoy” Bebe. 

In the same activity, both LGU Jabonga and the Mamanua tribe recognized the pioneering efforts of Engr. Carlito Oraiz of Orgon Wood Industries in helping the tribe through their religious’ outreach programs.

Also present during the ceremony were representatives from the NHA, the Department of Social Welfare and Development and other LGU functionaries. (DTI-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)

Dinagat PDRRM launches arts, literary contest

SAN JOSE, Dinagat Islands, July 17 -- The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) of Dinagat Islands spearheaded recently the DRR-Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) Arts and Literary contest at the Aurelio gym here.

PDRRMO officer Rosario Roxas-Alon said the activity aims to equip learners with skills and improve their understanding on DRR and CCA concepts focusing on emergency response, exposure and vulnerability to prevent losses and mitigate the impacts of disasters.

She said the students competed for the jingle making contest, essay writing, and poster making contest where the winners here will compete for the regional level.

The contest was participated in by high school and elementary students from the different secondary and elementary schools in the province.

This year's event is anchored on the theme, “Katatagan sa Kalamidad ay Makakamtan Kapag Sapat ang Kaalaman sa Kahandaan.” (SDR/PIO-Dinagat Islands/PIA-Dinagat Islands)

AgSur IP producers to join October Fair

AGUSAN DEL SUR, July 17 -- After its experience from Sikat Pinoy National Arts and Crafts Fair last June, the indigenous peoples (IPs) assisted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) thru the Strike Team program will join in the next Sikat Pinoy Arts and Crafts Fair this coming October 26 to 28, 2018.

By this time these IPs will focus on selling their products.

It was learned that DTI Agusan del Sur recently sent its assisted IP producers to the 2018 Sikat Pinoy National Arts and Crafts Fair organized by the Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion (BDTP) with the theme “Inobasyon Hango sa Tradisyon.” 

In her message during the opening ceremony, Director Rhodora Leaño of BDTP mentioned that this particular edition of Sikat Pinoy Fair had a special place in her heart because of its resounding success for the past several years.

"I am happy to see that we have now move beyond the market niche and are now reaching out other areas like creative industries,” Leaño said. 

"Who would have thought that our indigenous crafts and traditional products would find a market niche in the modern world,” said Senator Loren Legarda, the event guest of honor.

Sen. Legarda also encouraged DTI together with the other government agencies to continue to work and intensify promotion of IP products.

She further encouraged the convergence of the government agencies and bring all resources to help the micro small enterprises in the rural areas. 

The event was participated in by over 200 exhibitors all over the Philippines wherein Agusan del Sur had Virginia Indias of Manobo Dolls, Panagangan Women’s Association with their Tikog Hand-woven Mats, Panghiusa alang sa Kaugalingnan ug Kalingkawasan, Inc. - Romblon bags collection and San Francisco Agsam Weavers Handicrafts Assocationg - agsam gift, decors and home styles.

The exhibitors were just few of the beneficiaries assisted by the Negosyo Centers and specifically the program on Strike Team for Indigenous Peoples in the province.

The aim of the Strike Team for IPs to promote its crafts and traditional items has reached beyond expectation.

Other significant officials attending the activity were DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez and Assistant Secretary Ameenah Fajardo. (DTI-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Feature: An automotive mechanic turns corn farmer

By Aurelius P. Arais

“Corn farming is our family tradition and this is our life” said Renato Frias, a 43-year-old resident of Purok 3, Barangay Basa, Trento, Agusan del Sur, who owns a three-hectare farm land. 
He said that he was nurtured in a farming environment, that is why despite his academic achievement as an automotive mechanic, his love in tilling the soil remains.

“My mother is a farmer who managed to send us to school through corn farming, so I am following her footsteps so I can send my own children to school, too,” Frias said.

Kagawad Renato, as he was fondly called since he was a former barangay councilor, said that aside from corn, he is also planting various vegetables.  

“Upon harvest of corn, I won’t sell everything right away, I will spare some for value adding so I can sell them on much higher price for additional income, I would sell these during flea market every Saturday together with my vegetables,” Frias said. 

He said that aside from selling corn kernel, Kagawad Renato also sells crack corn, corn grits and corn bran. 

Aside from family members who help him in the farm, he hired 10 persons mostly his neighbors especially during planting season, thereby contributing employment on his community. 

To be resilient on climate change, he patterned his planting schedule on weather conditions.

“In a year, we are planting corn twice, the third one will be rice, so we will be harvesting three times to maximize the time and the weather pattern,” he said.

He also revealed that he has applied the technology he learned during trainings particularly the Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

“I am so grateful to the Department of Agriculture and to the local government unit of Trento, because once, I was hailed as an outstanding young farmer and an outstanding 4-H of the year and I was given the opportunity to travel to Japan for an eight-month training with the help of the LGU and the Department of Agriculture,” he narrated. 

As fruit of his labor, Kagawad Renato was able to own a farm tractor, which is a great help in preparing his farm and which also serves his neighboring farms for a minimal fee.

Currently, Kagawad Renato is a cluster leader in three barangays - the Manat-Basa-Tudela or MABATU corn cluster in the said town.

“Corn farming is a viable livelihood and a stable source for the family’s income," he added. (DA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)