(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Tuesday, 05 December 2023) Easterlies affecting the country. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies / Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Moderate to Strong winds coming from East will prevail with Moderate to Rough seas (1.2 to 3.1 meters).

TOP STORIES –Tuesday, 05 December 2023

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

As of 5:00 p.m., 05 December 2023, Tuesday

1. NDFP peace talks 

-‘Agreement with the devil’: VP Sara against Marcos’ rebel amnesty grant, NDFP peace talks

-House party leaders pledge ‘unwavering support’ for Marcos Jr.’s peace initiative 

Abalos reaffirms support to NTF-ELCAC

[Philstar, Inquirer, ABS-CBN News, Business World, Manila Standard, Daily Tribune, Rappler, CNN PHL, News5, Bulgar, Manila Bulletin, Business Mirror]


2. PH inflation slows further, moves closer to target

[GMA News, Inquirer, Philstar, Business Mirror, DZBB, CNN PHL, Rappler, BusinessWorld, Business Mirror, Manila Times]


3. Marcos tests positive for COVID-19

[GMA News, Rappler, Philstar, Inquirer, CNN Philippines, Business World, Manila Times, Reuters, Daily Tribune]



-Marcos vows to go after terrorists behind Marawi bombing

-NCRPO raises alert, focuses on possible threats mimicking Marawi siege

-Persons of interest in MSU bomb attack now at least 4—PNP

-Senate sets closed-door security briefing after MSU terror attack

-No need for Mindanao martial law after MSU bombing – 2 House reps

-Muslim leaders condemn MSU bomb attack  

-AFP launches massive operation vs bombers 

[Philstar, Manila Standard, Malaya, CNN PHL, Pilipino Star Ngayon, Manila Times, Business Mirror]



-NTC urged to suspend SMNI’s operations for alleged franchise violations

-House jails SMNI host Celiz who said Speaker spent P1.8B in trips in 1 year

-House cites SMNI anchor Jeffrey Celiz in contempts on P1.8B trip spending in one year

[CNN PHL, Manila Times, Business Mirror, Manila Standard, Manila Bulletin, Inquirer, Rappler, News5]


6. CA panel recommends Herbosa’s appointment as Health Secretary

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



-3,812 out of 10,387 pass 2023 Bar exams; UST grad tops 2023 Bar exams

-Pres. Marcos to Bar passers: Ensure fair justice system for every Filipino

[Inquirer, Malaya, GMA News, CNN PHL, News5, ABS-CBN News, Philstar, Daily Tribune, Rappler]


8. Rescuers find missing Piper plane in Isabela

[Daily Tribune, GMA News, Inquirer, Rappler, CNN PHL, Philstar, Manila Times]


9. De Lima named as Liberal Party spox

[CNN Philippines, News5PH, GMA News, Rappler] https://www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2023/12/5/de-lima-liberal-party-spokesperson.html

10. No 'walking pneumonia' outbreak in PH: Health chief

[ABS-CBN News, Inquirer, GMA News]


11.  Magnitude 5.9 earthquake jolted Lubang in Occidental Mindoro

[News5, DZRH, ABS-CBN News, CNN PHL]


© Philippine Information Agency Monitoring Unit

Tuesday, 5 December 2023

Caraga dev't council adopts population, communication plans

CPD-Caraga Regional Director Alexander A. Makinano

BUTUAN CITY -- The Fourth Quarter 2023 Regional Population Executive Board (RPEB) meeting held on November 22 marked a momentous occasion as regional line agencies (RLAs) and provincial, city, and municipal population officers joined forces to shape the future through the adoption of crucial strategic plans.

Regional Population and Development Plan of Action (RPD-POA) for 2023-2028

In a unanimous decision, the RPEB - Caraga approved and adopted the Regional Population and Development Plan of Action (RPD-POA) for 2023-2028. Aligned seamlessly with the Philippine Population and Development Plan of Action (PPD-POA) for 2023-2028, this strategic roadmap set the stage for comprehensive and effective initiatives.

Derived from the PPD-POA, approved and endorsed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. through MC No. 40 signed on November 14, 2023, and endorsed by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary, Dr. Arsenio M. Balisacan, the RPD-POA served as a guiding framework. 

According to CPD-Caraga Regional Director Alexander A. Makinano, “This roadmap aimed to guide the region toward a balanced and sustainable future. The outlined strategies leveraged on demographic opportunities while mitigating challenges, ensuring the well-being and prosperity of Caraga region's residents across all age groups.”

Regional Communication and Development Plan for 2023-2028

Additionally, RPEB-Caraga endorsed the Regional Communication and Development Plan for 2023-2028, underscoring the commitment to transparent and impactful communication. Originating from insights and deliberations involving RLAs and local government units (LGUs), this plan harmonized communication strategies across regional and local levels.

Dir. Makinano explained that the plan provided a strategic framework for aligning communication initiatives with demographic dynamics, fostering a coordinated and effective approach to disseminating information. (May Ann O. Escobal, CPD-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


Tuesday, 5 December 2023

RDC backs house bill mandating LGU population officers

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte -- The Caraga Regional Development Council (RDC) endorsed House Bill No. 9420 which seeks to mandate the appointment of population officers in all provincial, city and municipal governments.

The endorsement was made during the fourth quarter 2023 meeting of RDC's Social Development Committee held on November 16. It was based on the presentation of Commission on Population and Development (CPD) Caraga Regional Director Alexander A. Makinano.

House Bill No. 9420, authored by Rep. Rufus B. Rodriguez, proposes to amend Section 488 of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991. The amendment will make it mandatory for provinces and cities, and optional for municipalities, to appoint population officers.

In his presentation, Dir. Makinano reported that the Regional Population Executive Board (RPEB) of Caraga passed RPEB Resolution No. 5 and 7 during its third quarter 2023 meeting. The resolutions call for the amendment of Section 488 of the Local Government Code to mandate the appointment of population officers.

He emphasized the bill's aim to address pressing population and development issues by enhancing the responsiveness of local government units (LGUs). The measure was aligned with RPEB and RDC resolutions expressing support for strengthening LGU capacity on population initiatives through plantilla positions for population officers as part of the Resources for the Awareness on Population Impacts on Development (RAPID) program.

The RDC-Social Development Committee (SDC) passed a resolution endorsing House Bill No. 9420 with a proposed amendment. They recommended that the appointment of a population officer be made mandatory for all provincial, city and municipal governments.

The committee's resolution will be transmitted to the congressmen representing the legislative districts of Caraga. The said endorsement is seen as vital to the bill's passage in Congress.  (May Ann O. Escobal, CPD Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

Tuesday, 5 December 2023

Survivors on illegal drugs inspire SK officials to support advocacy

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

Two illegal drug survivors in the Caraga region who are now government workers shared how they suffered for years on illegal drugs, yet they survived from addiction, and encouraged the newly-elected Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials to intensify the campaign against illegal drugs and help those who seek assistance or rehabilitation in their respective barangays.

Joyji Dumaplin, special operations officer of City Health Office-Butuan, recalled that at 12 years old, he was already exposed to smoking and later got hooked on other vices like drinking alcohol, marijuana, and tried illegal drugs. He said he became an illegal drug dependent for several years, making his relationship with his parents and his own family miserable as they suffered a lot from his addiction.

“My relationship with my family then was not good. I got separated from my wife and kids because I was not a good husband and father to them. I failed to provide for their needs. I was insensitive to them because I was addicted to illegal drugs,” he said. 

Until 2011, Dumaplin became one of the targets of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and was apprehended by the operatives led by Jose Ramon Miguel Zaraspe IV, who currently serves as the assistant provincial officer of PDEA-Agusan del Norte, and the project supervisor of “Adbokasiya Laban sa Iligal na Droga.” 

A few months later, Dumaplin was released from jail, but the vice of illegal drugs continued.

“It was in 2015 when PDEA caught me for the second time and got me stuck in jail for five years and four months. At that time, I realized I didn’t want to be alone within the four corners of the cell. I felt I had to do something to help myself and stop the addiction. It was never really easy, yet everything is possible when you have God with you. I was able to control myself until, five years later, I got my liberty and underwent rehab for 10 months. Now, I am clean and sober,” said Dumaplin.

Dumaplin also stressed that he was really thankful for all the experiences that taught him great lessons in life. If not for the efforts of PDEA that transformed him from  addiction, he thought he could have been killed or gotten into more trouble, especially during the administration of former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, wherein the government’s campaign against illegal drugs was intensified.

“I am here standing in front of you because I want to encourage you to live a life away from vices that could destroy your future. As SK officials, I believe you are called to save others from this menace. By creating and supporting policies, programs, and activities for the welfare of the youth, you could help them cope with life’s challenges. I am rooting for all of you; continue to do your best to serve the public,” expressed Dumaplin.

Meanwhile, Tristan Amante, project development officer of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) - Agusan del Norte, also shared his experiences and encouraged the youth to accept the things in life that they have no control over. 

“I started using illegal drugs when I was seventeen years old due to curiosity. I easily get curious about things; that's why I always get into them. I kept my addiction to myself for many years. When my family knew about it, they never neglected me; instead they gave me their due attention and helped me in any way possible. However, I was still quite in denial. I felt like everything in me was normal, and I was okay. It was in November 2014 when I was nabbed by PDEA for using illegal drugs, which was kind of insulting to my sister, who happened to be an employee of PDEA,” recounted Amante.

“I also felt the dismay of my family. I really felt sorry for them and for myself. In 2015, I made a strong and mature decision to undergo rehab. I also started reading the Bible while inside the rehab center. After rehab, for five years I was unemployed, yet I was able to recover fully and was given the chance to work in the government service. Our past experiences do not define us as people and would never make us less. The least that we can do is accept the past and move on,” Amante added.

Hearing all these testimonies during an orientation on the ALAB program, PDEA-Agusan del Norte provincial officer Emerson Joshua Santiago expressed his appreciation to Dumaplin and Amante for their bravery and inspiration to all the youth, especially the SK officials who play a vital role in their respective communities. 

“PDEA will continue to strengthen its efforts and initiatives to save more lives from illegal drugs and will help the youth achieve their dreams and aspirations. To all our SK officials, be equipped and educated as well on the Barangay Drug Clearing Program (BDCP) and be advocates of a drug-free community,” remarked Santiago. (JPG, PIA-Caraga)

Tuesday, 5 December 2023

393 job seekers benefit from DOLE-13's anniversary celeb

BUTUAN CITY – Some 393 applicants benefited from the mega job fair conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Caraga with more than 3,000 local and overseas job openings on December 1, 2023, as part of the 90th anniversary celebration of DOLE, held at Robinsons Mall, this city. 

Out of the 393 registered applicants, 120 of them or 31% were posted as hired-on-the-spot.

Nelfa Bungaos, an applicant who lately gave birth, expressed appreciation for this activity as it helped job seekers like her to avoid days of job searching and the tedious process in submitting applications to employers and offices.

"As a parent, the need to have an earning is inevitable. This job fair opened numerous opportunities to Caraganons who imminently need a regular job; it helped us save time and energy from the wear-out days we have to deal with just to find an opening," Bungaos stated.

Also, Art Ryan Escaño, another aspirant who was grateful to DOLE - Caraga for sustaining the job fair in the region.

"I would like to thank DOLE for this initiative that brought job openings nearer to us," Escaño said.

Different national line agencies were also present in the venue to provide their respective services, particularly in the management of the required pre-employment documents of the applicants.

In his welcome message, DOLE-Caraga regional director, Atty. Joffrey M. Suyao extended his gratitude to all the partner agencies for their unwavering support on this mega job fair and the services provided for the applicants and the general public. 

"I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to our partner agencies. Your initiatives bolstered our goals. This is not just a celebration; the main objective of this program is to provide opportunities to the people of Caraga," said Dir. Suyao.

To glaze up the celebration, DOLE - Caraga simultaneously initiated the payout of the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD), and the awarding of livelihood assistance to identified beneficiaries in the region. (JPG/EBM, PIA-Caraga)