(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, May 20, 2015) Ridge of High Pressure Area (HPA) affecting Luzon. Forecast: Mindanao will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms mostly in the afternoon or evening. Light to moderate winds coming from the Southeast to south will prevail with slight to moderate seas. PAGASA Mindanao


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

OWWA kicks off capability building series for Caraga PESO managers

By Jean Pearl I. Millones

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 22 (PIA) - The increasing number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their dependents in Caraga region entails the rise of issues and cases encountered by OWWA members as well as their beneficiaries.  Clients from distant provinces take long ways of travel to report incidents and address their complaints to the regional office which involves both financial and non-financial costs (time, effort).

Recognizing these developments along with its underlying challenges, the role of the Public Employment Service Officers (PESO) as the principal implementing arm of the efficient delivery of services in the local government units (LGUs) essentially needs to be intensified and their capabilities amplified.

In the thrust of capacitating the PESO managers through transfer of knowledge and skills driven to provide response to the concerns of their constituent OFWs within their own local government units in an easy, convenient and minimal expense for the clients, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) spearheaded a series of Provincial PESO Conferences, a capability building activity for the PESO Managers, for the month of September 2015.

The forefront two of the five “PROVINCIAL PESO CONFERENCE: Enhancing the PESO to Better Serve the OFW” was participated in by 17 PESO managers and their understudy from the province of Surigao del Norte on September 17 and 22 in Agusan del Sur on the 18th. The exercises aimed to provide PESO managers with Enhanced Training Orientation on OWWA Programs and Services and capacitate them with the proper protocol in responding to the OFW cases, queries, concerns and program availment procedures.

POEA regional coordinator for CARAGA Meriam Balmocena, reiterated to the PESO managers, the forefront network of POEA in disseminating overseas employment opportunities, the legal documents and means of hiring overseas. She also emphasized the significant role of PESO managers in reducing and gradually eliminating the threats of Illegal Recruitment and Human Trafficking through heightened requirement in giving authorities to the recruitment agencies.

As a major objective of the conference, OWWA Caraga welfare case officer Annette Lovete discussed the Case Management Protocol. Lovete highlighted the common cases encountered by the OFWs as well as their dependents in Caraga Region. The basic procedures on handling complaints, requests for assistance and methods of intervention for each case were also introduced to the PESO managers. A workshop was also conducted to usher familiarity of the most common counseled cases.

Three more conferences shall be held in Surigao del Sur on September 23, Dinagat Island Province on the 28th and Agusan del Norte on October 2015.

This is an action of OWWA Caraga to continually develop its programs and services tailor-fitted to the needs and welfare of its members, right at their localities. (OWWA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

SSS NorMIn reports increase in benefit payments

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 22 (PIA) - Benefit disbursements for Social Security System (SSS) members in this city and the rest of Northern Mindanao reached P1.98 billion for the first six months of 2015, reflecting an increase of 14 percent from the P1.73 billion released for the same period last year.

SSS Assistant Vice President for Mindanao North Division Edwin M. Alo said the payments for regular pensions of about 95,400 SSS pensioners in the area, which amounted to P1.78 billion, comprised 91 percent of the total benefit disbursements from January to June 2015.

“The six-month pension total for North Mindanao was 15 percent higher than the P1.55 billion we disbursed here for the first half of 2014. This increase was bolstered by recent SSS benefit enhancements, particularly the five percent across-the-board SSS pension hike that took effect just last year,” Alo said.

Upgrading members’ benefits is among the key reforms implemented by current SSS management within the past five years. Effective September 2013, the SSS increased Employees Compensation (EC) pensions across-the-board by 10 percent and doubled the previous P10,000 EC funeral benefit to P20,000.

Following the EC increases, the SSS announced a five percent across-the-board pension hike that benefited nearly two million pensioners under the Social Security (SS) program effective June 2014. The SSS also increased its P20,000 SS funeral benefit to a variable amount of up to P40,000, depending on the members’ number of monthly contributions and average monthly salary credit.

Alo reminded workers of the advantages of active SSS membership, which entitles them and their beneficiaries to benefits for various contingencies such as sickness, maternity, partial and total disability, old age or retirement, and death. Lifetime pensions for retirement, disability and death are provided by SSS.

Butuan City is among the three North Mindanao locations covered by the SSS Regional Visit headed by SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio S. de Quiros, Jr. on September 21 to 23. The other two stops are Agusan del Sur and Surigao, where de Quiros and a panel of top SSS officials are scheduled to meet with employers and other SSS stakeholders in the area on September 22.

The SSS North Mindanao Division is headquartered in Cagayan de Oro (CDO) City. Apart from its CDO hub office, the division also supervises the operations of 10 SSS branches, including Butuan, CDO-Lapasan, Camiguin, Gingoog, Iligan, Oroquieta, Ozamis, Surigao, Tandag and Valencia.

It also oversees SSS Service Offices in Robinsons Place Butuan, Robinsons CDO and San Francisco, Agusan, as well as SSS Representative Offices in Cabadbaran, Trento and Dapa. (SSS/PIA-Caraga)

All systems go for 21st Siargao International Surfing Cup

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Sept. 22 (PIA) - It’s all systems go for the province's biggest international event, the Siargao International Surfing Cup held on Thursday, Sept. 24 in Gen. Luna, Siargao Island.

Governor Sol F. Matugas said that the province will bring the tournament to the professional surfers, after the surfing organizer - the Asian Surfing Champions made the competition part of the World Surf League qualifying series.

As it celebrates its 21st year, Gov. Matugas said the tournament is expected to be attended by more than 60 surfers from the various parts of the world, "as we have also increased the prize money to $50,000.00."

Surfers from Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Europe have already confirmed their participation.

This year’s event will start with a registration of participants on Sept. 23 and the formal opening will be on Sept. 24 at 3:00 p.m. to be held at Cloud 9, Gen. Luna. (SDR/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

Cebuano News: Balaod alang sa kabataan sa Kitcharao aprobado na

Ni Jay Vincent V. Demain

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 22 (PIA) – Pinaagi sa usa ka balaod, aduna nay kasegurohan nga maproteksyonan ang katungod sa kabataan sa lungsod sa Kitacharao, Agusan del Norte.

Pinaagi sa Municipal Ordinance No. 036, ang Children’s Code nga aprobado na sa Sangguniang Panlalawigan sa rekomendasyon ni Provincial Board Member Elizabeth Marie R. Calo, giila sa lungsod sa Kitcharao ang papel sa kabataan sa katilingban.

Ang ordinansa maghatag og garantiya nga proteksyonan niini ang pisikal, spiritwal ug inteliktwal nga katungod sa mga bata.

Kini nga ordinansa subay sa Provincial Ordinance No. 255-2009 kun Children’s Welfare Code of Agusan del Norte. (LGU-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)

Cebuano News: Carmen mitukod og AIDS council

Ni Jay Vincent V. Demain

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 22 (PIA) – Pormal nang gitukod ang Multi-Sectoral STD/HIV/AIDS Council sa lungsod sa Carmen, Agusan del Norte pinaagi sa usa ka municipal resolusyon aron pagsumpo, paglikay sa pagkuyanap sa among sakit makamatay.

Matod pa, usa sa pito ka nasod sa tibuok kalibotan ang Pilipinas diin midaghan na ang nagbaton sa sakit nga Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome kun AIDS.

Ang AIDS usa ka sexually transmitted disease diin kun dili dayon matambalan sa doctor, mahimo kining ikamatay sa taong nagdala niini ug mutakod pa sa uban sa sekswal nga paagi.

Tungod niini, gimandoan ang tag-iya sa mga establisimyento sa lungsod sa Carmen sama sa sauna ug massage clinics, barber shops ug entertainment bars lakip na ang ilang entertainers, nga moapil sa mga seminars nga ginahimo sa Municipal Health Office sa Carmen.

Kinahanglan na kini sa paghatag og permit to operate sa mga establisimyento sa maong lugar.

Aprobado na sa Sangguniang Panlalawigan ang nasangpit nga resolusyon, ang Municipal Resolution No. 6, sa rekomendasyon usab ni Provincial Board Member Rey G. Jamboy. (LGU-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Monday, September 21, 2015

Surigao Norte LGU inks MOA with 4ID, PA for insurgency-free province

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 21 (PIA) - A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the declaration of Siargao Islands as ‘insurgency-free’ and Surigao del Norte as ‘conflict manageable and ready for further development’ is signed on Sunday in General Luna, Siargao between the provincial government of Surigao del Norte led by Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) chairperson and governor Sol Matugas and Task Force Diamond, 4th Infantry Division (4ID), Philippine Army (PA) represented by Col. Henry Dar.

According to Gov. Matugas, the signing ceremony in the declaration of the island as insurgency-free is history in the making wherein said areas are given the proof of reality that indeed stable and habitable. " Such feat is never easy to achieve. I would like to attribute this to the disciplined and loving people of Siargao and Surigao del Norte who painstakingly perpetuate and preserved the time learned values of respect, love, pride of place, solidarity, generosity, and most of all religiousity. I also commend and recognize the Army forces for their best efforts in planting the seed of peace in the island of Siargao where east meets west,” underscored Matugas.

In a provision as contained in the MOA, Siargao Island has never been influenced by the CCP/NPA/NDF (CNN) as its politico-military infrastructure does not exist. The insurgent’s armed group has ceased to exist and there has been no record of terroristic and NPA initiated violent incident for the past years. Likewise, lawless criminal activities have come to a very manageable level which the PNP can ably address.

“The leadership of the Philippine Army (PA) through MGen Oscar Lactao and the Philippne National Police (PNP) through PCSupt Vert Chavez and their officers and staff have made a big difference in the province. Today, we stand with pride here in the island as we celebrate the recognition you accorded to this world gem of beauty and adventure – Siargao, an insurgency-free island,” articulated Matugas.

It can be recalled that a Joint Recommendation Report (Declaration of Siargao Island as Insurgency-Free Province) dated September 20, 2015 was passed and approved by the SDN-PPOC. It aims to build confidence among the people and the stakeholders in order to create an environment that is conducive to socio-economic, political and cultural development, free of CNN influence.

“Thank you to the Phil. Army, PNP and Department of Interior and Local Government for the job well done and for working with us in sustaining peace and security in Caraga region," said Gov. Matugas.

Along with the inking of MOA, all other local government officials of said areas also affix their signatures on the board of pledge as a manifesto of their unrelenting support by providing quality service, and ensuring the preservation of peace in homes/communities and environmental possessions abound its province. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)

Caraga tribal chieftains sign manifesto for peace

By Daisy Jane M. Apit

BUTUAN CITY, Sept.21 (PIA)  – Tribal chieftains of Caraga region unanimously sign the manifesto for peace last Friday, September 18 at the 4th Infantry "Diamond" Division's (4ID's) Advance Command Post, Brgy. Bancasi, this city.

The manifesto aims to strengthen the Indigenous Political Structure in accordance with the Indigenous Knowledge, Systems and Practices; and to express commitment of support for the peace and development government programs.

According to Sultan Julius Mabandos, chairperson of Indigenous Peoples Economic Union, the manifesto is just one of the steps of the chieftains to attain sustainable peace and development in the indigenous cultural communities in Caraga and also their commitment to help the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) to fight against violence.

Moreover, 4ID spokesperson Captain Joe Patrick Martinez said the military in coordination with the PNP is also exerting unified effort for law enforcement operations.

“The Army and the police force are here for unity, peacekeeping and protection of our people,” Martinez added. (DJA/PIA-Caraga)

Cop killed, another hurt in SurSur NPA ambush

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Sept. 21 (PIA) – A policeman was killed while another was hurt in an ambush launched by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels at Purok 5, Poblacion, Cortes town, 30 kilometers north, this city, at around 9:00 a.m. on Friday, September 18.

According to P/SSupt. Narciso Verdadero, PNP provincial director, four of his men on board a PNP vehicle were conducting a routine patrol when waylaid by an undetermined number of armed rebels.

Despite the heavy volume of fire, the policemen were still able to trade shots with the enemy forces that lasted for about 15 minutes, killing SPO4 Jesus Labastilla and also wounding PO2 Joy Turaja in the process, it was learned.

Fortunately, SPO2 Venson Sanchez and PO3 Rogelio Bagnol had managed to return to Cortes Municipal Police Station (MPS) unharmed.

Upon learning of the incident, clearing and pursuit operation was immediately launched by both PNP and 36th Infantry Battalion (36IB) of the Philippine Army (PA).

Relative to this, at about 3:30 p.m. of the same day, nine personnel of the Provincial Police Office (PPO) on board a patrol vehicle led by P/Supt. Edwin Noguera, deputy provincial director for operations (DPDO), while passing through the national highway at Sitio Banbanon, Barangay Matho, Cortes town, were land mined, which exploded five to 10 meters away right after the vehicle passed by.

Reportedly, the team was able to return fire with no casualty; however, the vehicle had sustained minor damage.

Earlier, at about 12:10 p.m., a special operations team from the same office led by P/Insp. June Hontanosas, provincial investigation and detection management (PIDM) division deputy, together with P/CInsp. Karen Virtudazo, chief of Provincial Crime Laboratory Office and P/SSupt. Pedro Urbano Obaldo, Jr., deputy regional director for administration (DRDA) conducted a crime scene investigation that was able to find 21 fired cartridge cases; eight fired bullet fragments; one ammunition link; and a stone with blood stains.

Also, upon directive of Verdadero, all stations/units had been ordered “to undertake precautionary measures by conducting strong checkpoint to intercept possible withdrawing enemy and intensify intelligence monitoring in coordination with AFP counterparts in AOR (area of responsibility).” (Radyo ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)

Surigao Norte maritime stakeholders celebrate National Maritime Week 2015

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Sept. 21 (PIA) – In line with the government's efforts to recognize thousands of Filipino seafarers working here and abroad, the stakeholders of the maritime industry here are celebrating the National Maritime Week from Sept. 20-27, 2015.

The event, which is anchored on the theme: “Edukasyon at Pagsanay sa Maritima: Kabalikat sa Patuloy na Kaunlaran," is spearheaded by the provincial station of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Surigao del Norte, Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

PCG Surigao del Norte Lieutenant Commander Geoffrey T. Gervo said the celebration is aimed to give tribute to all the seafarers and stakeholders who contributed much to the country’s economy and to promote maritime safety for travelers and the entire maritime sector.

One of the highlights of the week-long celebration is the conduct of the Basic Water Search and Rescue (WASAR) on September 24 to be participated by selected rescue volunteers of the province.

Other activities calendared for the event include hanging of streamers, motorcade, coastal clean-up, lecture on responsible disposal of garbage, garbage management plan, garbage book and shipboard and oil pollution emergency plan, regatta parade of motorboats, blood-letting activity, mangrove planting, and SCUBASURERO.

The National Maritime Week is celebrated by virtue of Proclamation No. 1094, consolidating the celebration of the National Seafarers Day (NSD), National Maritime Day (NMD) and the National Maritime Week (NMW), making the celebration more significant and more inspiring. (SDR/PIA-Surigao del Norte)