(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Sunday, 21 April 2024) Easterlies affecting the country. π—¦π—¬π—‘π—’π—£π—¦π—œπ—¦: Trough of a Low Pressure Area (LPA) affecting southern Mindanao. Ridge of High Pressure Area extending over the eastern sections of Northern and Central Luzon. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—˜π—”π—§π—›π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience Cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms due to Trough of a Low Pressure Area (LPA). Possible flash floods or landslides due to moderate to at times heavy rains. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—œπ—‘π—— 𝗔𝗑𝗗 π—–π—’π—”π—¦π—§π—”π—Ÿ π—ͺπ—”π—§π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Light to moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.1 meters).

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Agusan Sur stakeholders seek economic stability, social transformation initiatives

By Jennifer Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY (PIA) – Various stakeholders in the province of Agusan del Sur expressed support for the implementation of the Caraga Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2023-2028, as it will boost the economy of the province and open vast engagement opportunities for the locals. 

The RDP is seen to transform Caraga region towards prosperity, inclusivity, and resilience and is anchored on a strategy dubbed i2FAME. i2 stands for industrialization and innovation, while FAME represents the fishery, agroforestry, mining, and ecotourism sectors in the region.

The provincial government of Agusan del Sur, led by Gov. Santiago Cane, Jr., hosted the second provincial caravan of Caraga Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2023-2028 at the D.O. Plaza Government Covered Court in Patin-ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur. Photo by PIA-Agusan del Sur.

As host of the second provincial caravan of Caraga RDP 2023-2028, at the D.O. Plaza government covered court in Patin-ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, Gov. Santiago Cane, Jr. warmly welcomed all the participating sectors and appealed that everyone unite for the attainment of the plan.

"This RDP will only succeed if all of us will cooperate. Everyone should take part from the planning stage until its implementation from 2023 to 2028. With the formulation of this RDP, it is hoped that this will have a great impact on the lives of the Caraganons," he said.

It can be recalled that the first leg was hosted by the provincial government of Agusan del Norte and held in Butuan City.

Agusan del Sur Gov. Santiago Cane, Jr. assured the different stakeholders in the province that the provincial government will do its best to contribute to the realization of the Caraga Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2023-2028 in support of the Regional Development Council (RDC). Photo by PIA-Agusan del Sur.

Cane also expressed appreciation to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Caraga for being the secretariat of the Regional Development Council (RDC), especially headed by a Caraganon herself,  OIC Regional Director Gemima Olam. 

“We are very fortunate that the head of office of NEDA Caraga is from Caraga region, and with this, we are assured that we will have more engagements and innovations for the benefit of not only the Agsurnons but also the Caraganons in general,” added Cane.

The governor further highlighted that the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has been true to its commitment to help uplift the lives of the Filipino people, leaving no one behind, by continuously creating significant programs that will directly address the concerns of the different sectors, especially the marginalized.

"Since the onset of the current administration, President Marcos, Jr., laid down his 8-point agenda, and consistent with his directive, the Caraga Regional Development Plan (RDP) was formulated covering five years from 2023 to 2028, which is expected to elevate the lives and economy of Caraga," he said.

Alongside the conduct of the second leg of the provincial caravan of Caraga Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2023-2028 was the exhibition of the locally-made products in the province of Agusan del Sur, as well as the Science and Technology and Innovations of the Agusan del Sur State College of Agriculture and Technology (ASSCAT), among others. Photos by PIA-Agusan del Sur. 

During this event, Cane also took the chance to visit the different booths installed inside the venue that showcased their local products and machinery and urged the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to continue to innovate, expand, and gear up efforts in theirpartnership with other sectors.

He also promoted the wooden spoon and fork as one of the new locally produced materials inthe province. 

"This innovation will help us remove the use of single-use plastic, including the usual plastic spoon and fork used during events. It is promising to the economy of the province because we are surrounded with Falcata trees as the raw material of this product. We can promote it not only locally but also internationally," he said. 

The wooden spoon and fork product by one of the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the province of Agusan del Sur was highlighted during the provincial caravan of Caraga Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2023-2028 by the Regional Development Council (RDC). The provincial government that served as host of the provincial caravan emphasized the use of wooden products during gatherings and events instead of single-use plastics. Photo by PIA-Agusan del Sur.

OIC Regional Director Gemima Olam of NEDA Caraga, reiterated the significance of the Caraga RDP 2023-2028, stating, "The  RDP 2023-2028 contributes to the attainment of the country’s long-term vision of a 'Matatag, Maginhawa, at Panatag na Buhay Para sa Lahat.” 

“The plan establishes the foundation to sustain economic transformation, recovery, and creating quality jobs at the regional level. Consistent with the PDP 2023-2028, the strategies under the Caraga RDP are grounded on the President’s 8-Point Socioeconomic Agenda focused on addressing immediate, on-the-ground concerns such as high inflation, scarring due to COVID-19, and tight fiscal space; resolving long-standing, critical constraints to generating more jobs, quality jobs, and green jobs over the medium-term; and providing the necessary enabling environment characterized by robust macroeconomic fundamentals, disaster-resilient infrastructure, inclusive financial system, and lasting peace and security," Olam said.

"Each one of us has a role to play; therefore, I call everyone to join hands and commit ourselves to the realization of the Caraga Regional Development Plan 2023-2028. It is our collective plan for the people and by the people. Let us remain passionate, proactive, and resilient in advancing our goals for all the Caraganons. Let us act now, because together, we can," she added.

The Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-Agusan del Sur Information Center, together with the Provincial Public Information Office (PPIO)-Agusan del Sur, facilitated an interview with Vice Governor Samuel Tortor and Regional Director Gemima Olam of National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Caraga during the second Provincial Caravan of the Caraga Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2023-2028 hosted by the provincial government of Agusan del Sur. Other members of the local media also joined on interview. Photo by PIA-Agusan del Sur.

While representing the academic sector, Dr. Joy C. Capistrano, president of Agusan del Sur State College of Agriculture (ASSCAT), gave emphasis in her speech that the province of Agusan del Sur is a promising venue for industrialized and innovative fisheries, agroforestry mining, and eco-tourism, which she vowed that their institution will engage in and promote.

"As part of the academe sector, we are committed to molding the young generation to participate in the realization of this Regional Development Plan," she said. 

It was also learned that the next series of Caraga RDP caravans are scheduled forApril 16 in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur, and April 19 in the provinces of Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands. (JPG, PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Agusan Sur coffee farmers learn business strategies through ‘EntreFarm game’

By Jennifer Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY (PIA) – The coffee-producing farmers in Agusan del Sur are now engaged in a more fun and learning experience while taking steps to enhance their livelihood and expand their businesses through the “Entrefarm Game.” 

This initiative is facilitated by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Agusan del Sur through the Rural Agro-Enterprise Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth (RAPID Growth) Project. 

The “Entrefarm Game,” as a series of entrepreneurial development trainings, goes beyond the usual way of provid aing learning sessions to the farmer beneficiaries.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Agusan del Sur Provincial Office, through the Rural Agro-Enterprise Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth (RAPID Growth) Project, intensified the series of entrepreneurial development trainings using the Entrefarm Game for farmer beneficiaries in the province. Photo courtesy of DTI-Agusan del Sur.

According to Provincial Director Marson Dolendo of DTI-Agusan del Sur, the goal was to enhance the entrepreneurial knowledge and skills of the coffee farmers in the province. 

“Participants in these capacity-building activities include the 34 members of the San Jose Maasin Coffee Farmers Association (SMACOFA) and 28 members of the Hillstribe Economic Development Farmers Association (HEDFA),” he said.

Dolendo added that the DTI supports the welfare of the farmers; hence, various activities and trainings are being initiated to benefit the sector in the province, making them more productive and competitive.

“EntreFarm focuses on the agriculture industry. Participants in this fun game are divided into 'families' with equal amounts of cash and resources. They will go through the basic production cycle: negotiation with middlemen, formation of a cooperative, manufacturing and value-adding, and exportation. The lessons to be extracted from this game are endless, as different participants will have different strategies and decisions. Everything they do in the game will affect the outcome and lessons of the game,” explained Dolendo.

The training took place in two different areas, namely, Barangay San Juan Bayugan City and Sitio San Jose in Barangay Maasin, Esperanza.

Elsie Sag-od, a coffee farmer from Barangay. San Juan, Bayugan City, expressed elation at the relevance of the training to their own livelihood. 

“Gana kaayo sha sir, kay mura jud mi ug tinuod na nag-uma, maka-ideya pud mi ug unsaon pag-baligya sa among harvest,” she remarked at the end of the event.

(It’s really fun because you’re like farming in real life; you’ll also get ideas on how to market your yields.)

Charles Palen, the facilitator, went on to discuss that the EntreFarm Game is the better form of training. 

"Training using the Entrefarm Game is more engaging, more fun, and more practical," Palen emphasized during the lecture. 

“In contrast to the traditional training wherein participants would passively listen for hours, Entrefarm participants could strategize, plan, and prepare for crop production—skills that would be useful in their future farming endeavors,” he added.

Through the engaging and interactive two-day training utilizing the EntreFarm Game, coffee farmers from Agusan del Sur experienced what it's like to run their farms. The teams competed by planting, harvesting, and selling simulated crops to earn in-game money, and then the victorious team was chosen based onthe amount of final assets they hadearned based on their decisions and preferences in each stage. 

The DTI is optimistic that this unique approach will foster an entrepreneurial mindset among the coffee farmers in Agusan del Sur. 

The RAPID Growth Project’s development goal is to increase the income level of small farmers and unemployed rural women and men across selected agri-based value chains. This can be done by executing collaborative action plans and building commercial partnerships that will sustain the growth of agri-based MSMEs due to the strong backward linkages to farmers. With enabling conditions put in place for businesses to grow, the project hopes to achieve inclusive and  sustainable rural economic development. (JPG, PIA-Agusan del Sur with a report from DTI-Agusan del Sur)

TOP STORIES - Sunday, April 21, 2024

TODAY’S TOP STORIES (from online and print media monitoring)

As of 4:00 p.m., 21 April 2024, Sunday

PUZZLER Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos cited this security camera footage in questioning official reports about an October 2022 raid in Manila that led to the discovery of 990 kilos of crystal meth (“shabu”). The encircled figures are those of police officers whom he wanted investigated as he suspected a cover-up. — File photo from DILG

1. Marcos tells gov’t agencies to help DILG in its crime prevention program

[Abante Tonite, GMA News, News5, Manila Bulletin, Inquirer]


2. Marcos tasks government agencies to support anti-hunger, nutrition efforts

[BusinessMirror, GMA News, Manila Bulletin]


3. Marcos to DA: Ease importation of agri products

[Daily Tribune, GMA News, The Manila Times]


4. G7: No legal basis for China’s expansive maritime claims

[GMA News, BusinessMirror, Manila Bulletin, News5, The Philippine STAR, Inquirer, Daily Tribune]


5. Qatar’s emir visits Philippines to meet with Marcos

[Inquirer, Manila Bulletin, News5, Philstar]


6. Marcos vows to create 1M digital jobs

[Manila Bulletin, News5, The Philippine STAR, The Manila Times]


7. Signed Phl-Japan RAA seen before 2024 ends –NSC

[GMA News, Manila Standard, The Manila Times, Daily Tribune]


8. Padilla calls for probe into NTC's suspension of SMNI

[Manila Bulletin, News5, ABS-CBN News]


9. Fires hit parts of PGH, commercial area in Paco, Manila

[ABS-CBN News, DZBB, Manila Bulletin, Inquirer, GMA News]


© Philippine Information Agency Monitoring Unit

TOP STORIES - Thursday, April 18, 2024

TODAY’S TOP STORIES (from online and print media monitoring)

As of 5:00 p.m., 18 April 2024, Thursday

1. Marcos among Time's '100 Most Influential People of 2024'

[ABS-CBN News, Business Mirror, GMA News, Inquirer, Manila Bulletin, News5, Philstar, Rappler, Pilipino Star NGAYON, TIME]


2. Do not waste time on hecklers, trolls, Marcos urged

[Daily Tribune, Manila Standard, Inquirer, The Manila Times]


3. Marcos sets a grace period before ban on e-bikes, e-trikes is enforced

[ABS-CBN News, GMA News, Manila Bulletin, Inquirer, News5, Rappler, Philstar]


4. Luzon and Visayas grids on red, yellow alert again; DOE asks public to reduce power consumption

[GMA News, Inquirer, Manila Bulletin, News5, Philstar, ABS-CBN News, Rappler]


5. China told: ‘Peace-loving’ nations won’t take US-PH-Japan meet as threat

[GMA News, Manila Bulletin, Philstar, Rappler, Inquirer]



-Philippine Coast Guard to join military drills with US for first time

-Speaker seeks expanded Balikatan, appeals for increased US aid

[ABS-CBN News, Inquirer, Malaya, Manila Bulletin, Philstar, The Manila Times]



-China claims Marcos admin knows WPS ‘deal’ with Duterte, new handling of row

-Roque says Cayetano knows about ‘secret agreement’ with China

-Chinese Embassy slams ‘malicious’ claims vs surge of Chinese students in Cagayan

-'Probe presence of Chinese nationals near EDCA sites'

[BusinessMirror, GMA News, Manila Bulletin, Pilipino Star Ngayon, Remate, Inquirer]


8. DFA verifying deaths of 2 Pinoys in flood-stricken Dubai

[ABS-CBN News, Manila Bulletin] https://mb.com.ph/2024/4/18/dfa-verifying-deaths-of-2-pinoys-in-flood-stricken-dubai

9. SC urged to block Comelec-Miru contract for 2025 polls

[ABS-CBN News, GMA News, Inquirer, Manila Bulletin, News5]



-Batangas drug haul only P9.68 billion

-P218 M 'shabu' shipment seized, consignee falls at NAIA

[ABS-CBN News, Philstar, Daily Tribune, GMA News, Inquirer, Manila Bulletin, News5]


© Philippine Information Agency Monitoring Unit

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Program to save learners from dropping out of school launched in Surigao Sur

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

SAN MIGUEL, Surigao del Sur (PIA) – The  Provincial Convergence Advisory Committee (PCAC) in Surigao del Sur launched the program dubbed “Lahutay Tungha: Reach a Child” to save learners at risk of dropout at Libas Sud Integrated School in Barangay Libas Sud, San Miguel on April 12.

The pilot program initiated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Education (DepEd) Surigao del Sur Division, and other significant partner stakeholders, as members of the committee, will provide timely intervention to help students and pupils at risk of dropping out (S/PARDO) of school.

The Lahutay Tungha: Reach a Child is a local program and initiative of the Provincial Convergence Advisory Committee (PCAC) in Surigao del Sur. The launching of the program took place at Libas Sud Integrated School in Barangay Libas Sud, San Miguel on April 12. This program addresses dropout cases in schools of the province, especially learners residing in remote areas. Photo courtesy of DSWD - SDS.  

DSWD Provincial Officer Meiraflor Cabigon said, “The program was conceptualized last year as a result of the research study conducted in all schools of DepEd - Surigao del Sur Division that showed the prevalence of S/PARDO, especially among learners residing in remote or far-flung barangays in the province.”

“The research also indicated a list of schools in the province with high and alarming numbers of S/PARDO, such as Libas Sud Integrated School,” Cabigon added.  

Cabigon disclosed that the school has a total of 80 students identified as S/PARDO, comprising 25 pupil-ARDOs and 55 student-ARDOs. Further, 39 of them were children under the  Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

The study showed primary root causes based on interviews conducted with parents as respondents, such as some learners' lack of interest in going to school due to poverty and hunger in the family.

The Provincial Convergence Advisory Committee (PCAC) in Surigao del Sur identified 80 learners from Libas Sud Integrated School in Barangay Libas Sud, San Miguel to participate as beneficiaries of the program on Lahutay Tungha: Reach a Child. These learners will receive support such as feeding and nutritional assistance, fare assistance and other support from the members of the committee and stakeholders. Photo courtesy of DSWD-SDS.  
Adding to the situation is the distance of the school from their residence, and they needed to cross a stream to reach the nearest school in the area, including the painstaking journey on rough and muddy roads, especially during the rainy season.

Provincial Nutrition Office chief Miloniza Serra said, “The provincial government of Surigao del Sur, through the Provincial Nutrition Office (PNO), provided a month of dietary supplementation known as ‘Nutripack’ intended for the 80 identified learners.“

Another intervention made by the committee is the provision of free fare from April to May to the 34 learners who are living in far-flung areas, funded by the local government unit of San Miguel with a total amount of P56,760.

Babyjen Libura, as a beneficiary of the program, expressed her gratitude to the people behind the program for the help she received so she could continue with her studies.

“Salamat sa Lahutay Tungha nga programa kay dako kini nga tabang sa ako para mapadayon ako pag-eskwela. Labina layo ang amo eskwelahan sa among panimalay. Usahay moeskuyla da lamang kami nan way kinaon tungod sa kalisud,” Libura said.

[Thank you for the Lahutay Tungha as it greatly helps me continue my education, especially since our school is far from our house. Sometimes we go to school hungry because we do not have food to eat due to poverty.]

Meanwhile, to sustain the program and initiative of PCAC, partner stakeholders are also committed to the provision of hot meals for schoolchildren and beneficiaries. (NGPB/PIA-Surigao del Sur)