(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Monday, April 27, 2015) EASTERLIES AFFECTING THE EASTERN SECTION OF THE COUNTRY. Forecast: THE WHOLE COUNTRY WILL EXPERIENCE PARTLY CLOUDY TO CLOUDY SKIES WITH ISOLATED RAINSHOWERS OR THUNDERSTORMS MOSTLY IN THE AFTERNOON OR EVENING. MODERATE TO OCCASIONALLY STRONG WINDS BLOWING FROM THE EAST TO NORTHEAST WILL PREVAIL OVER LUZON AND EASTERN VISAYAS AND THE COASTAL WATERS ALONG THESE AREAS WILL BE MODERATE TO OCCASIONALLY ROUGH. ELSEWHERE, WINDS WILL BE LIGHT TO MODERATE COMING FROM THE EAST TO NORTHEAST WITH SLIGHT TO MODERATE SEAS.

4.28.2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

BSP advises public to transact with authorized individuals, entities only

By Nora L. Molde

BUTUAN CITY, April 27 (PIA) – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) warns the public against transacting with unscrupulous individuals or entities who engage in unauthorized deposit-taking activities.

BSP in its advisory advised and reminded the public that only banks are allowed to accept deposits from the public.

Bank deposits are insured by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) up to P500,000 per depositor per bank.

Non-stock savings and loan associations (NSSLAs) are also allowed to accept deposits but only from their eligible members and they are not authorized to accept deposits from non-members.

But, the deposits from the NSSLAs are not insured by the PDIC.

Also, an NSSLA’s membership is confined to a “well-defined group” of persons as defined in its by-laws. An individual may not transact with NSSLA if he/she is not a member.

To confirm if the bank is authorized by the BSP to accept deposits, directories of authorized banks can be viewed at http://www.bsp.gov.ph/banking/directories/asp.

For further information, the public may contact the Financial Consumer Protection Department, Supervision and Examination Sector of the BSP through email address consumeraffairs@bsp.gov.ph or telephone number (02) 708-7087 (direct line), 708-7701 local 2584 (trunkline) or through the Economic and Financial Learning Center Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas - Butuan Branch (085) 815-1502 local 230.  (NCLM/PIA-Caraga)


DTI AgSur convenes Caraga cacao stakeholders to get updates on cacao industry

By David M. Suyao

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, Apr. 27 (PIA) - The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Agusan del Sur provincial office convened on Monday the Caraga cacao stakeholders in order to get updates on cacao industry and at the same time discuss issues and concerns that affect the industry and possible solutions that would address the problems.

According to DTI Cacao National Industry Cluster Coordinator Edwin Banquerigo from DTI Davao City Office, they have been pushing and encouraging cacao farming because cacao industry is a commodity itself that carries many things that could make changes in the lives of farmers who will engage in cacao farming.

“Why cacao? I want you to know that cacao industry triggers inclusive growth. It is believed to alleviate poverty and a good rehabilitation program. Cacao today has a stable market so fear of losing from cacao business is not seen. Instead, cacao has high export demand and has strong domestic market support. Unlike other crops, cacao production is year round and the industry enjoys the presence of support from the government,” Banquerigo said.

Banquerigo said although Philippines is along the equator line and cacao grows best in this part of the earth, the country has very low record of production. Countries like Ivory Coast, Ghana, Liberia and other countries also located along the equator line have been recorded as big cacao production countries.

“But we are targeting to hit 100,000 metric tons by 2020, and Caraga Region’s share will be 2,000 metric tons,” Bangueros said.

In his message, Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza said he is very glad that the meeting of the cacao stakeholders in Caraga was held in Agusan del Sur because of the potentials present in the province. Gov. Plaza only hopes that the program will not be like other national programs that are already “in the box” and almost no room for adjustment if needed.

“I said this because every place has its own suitability and kind of people and climate. But what attract my attention most is the mentality of the people who only rely and look upon the government for their living and not examining themselves what they can do for the government that could and would benefit their fellow Filipinos. But I believe the interest and attitude of these people will change if we exercise timing in everything we do with every program, if we could make them realize the importance of the program in their lives that can catch their deepest interest and that everything we should do will be done faithfully, sincerely and fairly,” Gov. Plaza said.

Encouraged by Valentine Turtur, chairman of Cacao Industry Council and Chris Lindo, cacao nursery owner from Cabadbaran, the cacao growers and stakeholders of Agusan del Sur is contemplating of organizing themselves in order to strengthen and expand the cacao industry in Agusan del Sur. (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


BCWD fully operates infiltration gallery by-pass line

By Ramil S. Barquin

BUTUAN CITY, Apr. 27 (PIA) – The Butuan City Water District (BCWD), in partnership with the Taguibo Aquatech Solutions Company (TASC), is now operating the by-pass line of the infiltration gallery. The facility was completed and has started functioning as a means of increasing production of potable water for the almost 40,000 concessionaires of BCWD.

While the operation of the by-pass line was ongoing, a bigger volume of BCWD’s water supply was dependent on the operation of the pumping stations and a small percentage coming from the infiltration gallery after having been partially declogged. Production of water at the filtration plant averaged only at 500 cubic meters per hour.

With the operation of the by-pass line, water production at the filtration plant increased to 800 up to 1,000 cubic meters an hour. As of April 2015, BCWD has already attained the 100 percent water supply distributed to its entire service area utilizing both the two sources of water, such as ground and surface water.

The by-pass line is an alternative method of extracting water from Taguibo River, conceptualized amidst the water crisis experienced by the city of Butuan after the tropical storm Señang damaged the infiltration gallery of BCWD. The idea is to extract water through an intake box at the upstream of the infiltration gallery and convey water to the transmission line through a combination of reinforced concrete pipes, steel pipes and uPVC pipes. When the turbidity level of the water is high, water will be pumped to the desander/filtration facility of the TASC and the product water will be conveyed through the by-pass line toward the injection point at the transmission line. Through the desander/filtration facility, BCWD will still be able to deliver to its concessionaires even if the water of the Taguibo River is very turbid during rainy weather.

As of press time, the desander facility of TASC is still under construction. Thus, during rainfall events at the watershed area, the service area of BCWD will still experience low pressure, and the extreme parts of the water system will have no supply of water.

The challenge of providing ample water supply to BCWD concessionaires is never ending. BCWD has been gearing toward the preparation in case another problem will occur with regards to the supply of water. In fact, as per observations of the technical personnel of BCWD, the water yield of the Taguibo River is now decreasing amidst the El Niño declared by the DOST-PAGASA. As, such, should the Taguibo River dries up, the source of water for BCWD will be coming from the underground. (BCWD/PIA-Caraga)


OWWA-13 releases P430,000 worth of livelihood starter kits to OFW returnees

BUTUAN CITY, April 27 (PIA) - In aid to the displaced and distressed migrant workers in Caraga region, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) recently released a total of P430,000 worth of livelihood starter kits under the “Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay” Program.

OWWA Caraga regional director Samuel Madrid personally distributed the starter kits to OFW beneficiaries amounting to P10, 000.00 each. A total of 43 OFW returnees from Agusan del Norte (39) and Surigao del Norte (4) benefited from the program.

Aside from receiving starter kits, these OFW returnees were also provided with entrepreneurship development training and other technical assistance which aims to enable them generate a small-scale livelihood enterprise and/or engage into wage employment.

The livelihood grant is part of OWWA’s reintegration services afforded to OFWs who underwent repatriation after premature termination of their contracts. The reasons given by the displaced workers as to why they were not able to finish their contracts include the following: political conflict, civil war, sickness, non-compliance by employer of agreed salary, maltreatment, sexual assault, death in the worker`s family, non-payment of salaries, closure of the company, and layoffs, among others.

One of the OFW beneficiaries, Glady May Buque decided to use the assistance to finance meat vending. OFW Gildo Ando, on the other hand, chose to venture on swine production, while, two other program beneficiaries, Randolp Lumain and Joiza Mae Go, preferred to utilize the livelihood grant to start rice trading.

Both Lumain and Go also expressed gratitude to the agency for its support to the OFWs who were unfortunate in their journey overseas.

More so, an additional P130,000.00 is currently being processed for release to 13 OFW beneficiaries from the provinces of Agusan del Norte (3), Surigao del Sur (5) and Agusan del Sur (5). (OWWA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


PNP highway patrol group trains motorcycle cops

By Noel B. Najarro

BUTUAN CITY, April 27 (PIA) - The Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Unit 13 conducted a refresher training for the motorcycle-riding policemen here.

The five-day refresher training which will end on April 29 is aimed to hone the motorcycle riding skills and techniques to ensure the maximum handling of the issued vehicles for the motorcycle cops.

The training is mainly participated by those cops who have been in charge of the recently issued 135cc Kawasaki Rouser Motorcycles from the PNP national headquarters Directorate for Logistics, supervised by the chief of the RHPU 13 PSupt. Lawrence B. Cajipe, according to PRO 13 chief spokesperson PSupt. Martin M. Gamba.

Recently, the Police Regional Office 13 received 25 units of 135cc Kawasaki Rouser Motorcycles, one unit of which was used by the PNP PRO 13 Liason Office based in Camp Crame, PNP NHQ.

The issuance of the motor vehicles as well as the recent training according to Supt. Gamba is in compliance with the PNP’s Peace and Order Agenda for Transformation and upholding of the Rule Of Law (PATROL) Plan 2030 to continually equip frontline service providers with the much needed police mobility.

All the representatives of the 24 recipient police offices and stations participated in the training, Gamba said. (PNA/PIA-Caraga)


EAGA leaders push for connectivity to propel sub-regional dev’t

KEDAH, Malaysia, April 27 (PIA) - Leaders from BIMP-EAGA are pushing for projects that will enhance connectivity among member countries in a bid to strengthen trade and increase investments within the ASEAN sub-regional group.

In the 11th BIMP-EAGA Leaders Summit to be held Tuesday (April 28) here at the Langkawi International Convention Centre, leaders from the member countries will discuss priority infrastructure projects aimed to improve roads within EAGA, as well as the current expansion of sea ports and airports that will help sustain socioeconomic development in the sub-regional economic bloc.

“While other BIMP-EAGA countries are connected through land transport, the Philippines is working on the establishment of air and sea linkages to be fully accessible to our EAGA neighbors,” said Luwalhati Antonino, chair of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and Philippine Signing Minister for BIMP-EAGA.

BIMP-EAGA stands for Brunei Darussalam Indonesia Malaysia the Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area. The initiative was launched in 1994 as a key strategy to accelerate social and economic development of less developed areas in participating countries.

Antonino, who is a participant in the summit added that establishing air and sea links within the sub-region is among the key strategies to further integrate the economy of Mindanao and Palawan within the larger economy of the ASEAN.

The BIMP-EAGA Leaders Summit is an annual meeting of heads of states of the four EAGA countries with the aim of assessing the developments and accomplishments of the sub-region.  Philippine President Benigno Aquino III heads the Philippine delegation composed of cabinet secretaries and key officials from government line agencies.

One of the connectivity projects to be discussed during the meeting is the Davao/General Santos – Bitung RoRo operation, which is expected to commence within the year. The leaders will also review the recent launch of the Brookes Point – Kudat sea route that strategically provides a faster and cheaper channel of trading goods from Palawan to Sabah, and vice versa.

“Maritime transport is crucial to BIMP-EAGA, thus the Philippines will continue to push for the Davao/GenSan – Bitung shipping service and the Brookes’ Point – Kudat,” said Usec. Prudencio Reyes of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) one of the Philippine senior officials who is participating in the summit.

He added that transport and connectivity hold crucial roles in achieving the goals of the other three EAGA pillars, which are agribusiness, tourism, and the environment.

An additional pillar, the socio-cultural and education will be formalized during the summit, which is seen to enhance multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder programs that promote education, social exchange, sports, and cultural exchanges within the sub-region.

“Connectivity brings food, people, and investments around the sub-region, and will stir further socio-economic developments within EAGA,” said Reyes.

In a recent statement, Reyes said DTI has committed to help pursue initiatives and projects aimed to spur trading and economic activities in the sub-region, while citing the steady increase of gross domestic product growth, tourism, trade and investment among EAGA-member countries.

Total trade within BIMP-EAGA reached P7.319 trillion, contributing to the sub-region’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 4.7 percent.

The BIMP-EAGA statistical information brief compiled by the BIMP-EAGA Facilitation Center showed that other factors contributing to the region’s GDP growth include the increase of its foreign direct investments which grew by 23 percent from P360 billion in 2012 to P444.8 billion in 2013.

Domestic investments in the sub-region also showed tremendous increase from P50.16 billion in 2009 to P202.84 billion in 2012, providing optimistic growth prospects for the sub-region in the coming years. Investments in 2013 grew by 6.6 percent from the previous year and amounted to P216.48 billion.

EAGA leaders are also keen on re-establishing the air linkages in the sub-region specifically the Davao-Manado, Zamboanga-Sandakan, and Puerto Princesa-Kota Kinabalu routes, as sea connectivity is being pursued.

All transport and connectivity initiatives developed within EAGA are supportive to the Masterplan on ASEAN Connectivity, given that the sub-region is viewed as a platform for the integration of its member-countries into ASEAN Economic Community. (MinDA/PIA-Caraga)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

P4.6-M police station turned-over in AgSur town

By Noel B. Najarro

BUTUAN CITY, April 26 (PIA) - The Philippine National Police rising to the various challenges in the organization had initiated reforms, improved its capabilities and upgraded its facilities to better respond to the community it served, a senior police official said in an interview recently.

Police Supt. Martin M. Gamba, chief regional police spokesperson here said that in line with this initiative, a new police station costing millions of pesos was turned over to Rosario Municipal Police Station, Rosario town in Agusan de Sur on Thursday.

According to Gamba, that the turn over rites of the P4.6 million pesos, the modern two-storey (with third as a roof top) building was attended by PCSupt. Keith Ernald Ll. Singian, Deputy Regional Director for Administration (DRDA) PRO 13, Supt. Ruel Acedre, chief of Logistics, PSSupt. Alexander J. Sampaga, Provincial Director, Agusan del Sur Provincial Police Office, top police provincial and municipal officials and other stakeholders.

Gamba said that the total cost of the project amounted to P4,653,075.00 with P3,153,075.00 coming from the national police headquarters and P1,500,000.00 local government unit counterpart.


The modernized police station which is strategically located and designed to be easily accessible main base to the remote police and military patrol bases, protectable and defensible of their occupants and the reinforcing force from and during enemy attacks, Supt. Gamba said. Threats of attacks and harassments, particularly from the CPP-NPA which are actively operating in the hinterlands of the area are recurrent to most police stations and remote police and military patrol bases in places such as Rosario town, Gamba said. (PNA/PIA-Caraga)