PIA News Service - Friday, March 27, 2009

OPAPP to award socio-economic assistance to former rebels in Agusan del Sur

BUTUAN CITY (27 March) – The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) is set to award socio-economic assistance to unassisted former local communist movement (LCM) rebels on Monday, March 30, 2009, 7:30 in the morning at the Government Center covered court, Patin-ay, Agusan del Sur.

Aimed at providing socio-economic assistance to former LCM rebels prior to the effectivity of Administrative Order 172 otherwise known as ”Creating the National Committee on Social Integration,” the program will be implemented in two phases: social preparation, and mainstreaming.

In the social preparation phase, identification and planning of appropriate interventions for former rebels with LGUs will be conducted. It also involves individual profiling and needs assessment inclusive of registration to fingerprint scanning system as well as photo documentation. In particular, profiling will be a one-on-one interview by a Social Worker using an OPAPP-designed tool. Also, photo shoots will be taken per participant.

Mainstreaming phase, on the other hand, involves conduct of relevant skills training and provision of socio-economic assistance amounting to Php 20,000.00 per participant.

Prior to the awarding ceremony on Monday (March 30), profiling of former rebel-participants is scheduled tomorrow, Saturday, March 28 and on Sunday, March 29. For District 1 participants covering the municipalities of Sibagat, Esperanza, and the city of Bayugan, the activity will be conducted at the Sibagat gymnasium. For District 2 participants, it will be held at Talacogon gymnasium. These cover the rest of the municipalities of Agusan del Sur.

During the awarding ceremony, OPAPP Undersecretary Pedro Cesar Ramboanga, Jr. will grace the activity who will also lead in the awarding of the socio-economic assistance to the recipients along with Agusan del Sur Governor Maria Valentina Plaza and Vice Governor Santiago Cane, Jr. They will be assisted by Col. Emiliano Gupana II, Philippine Army 402nd Brigade Commanding Officer and Dir. Susan Marcaida of the Program Implementation and Monitoring Office (PIMO) Unit.

It can be recalled that the rebel returnee program was transferred in 2001 from then National Program for Unification and Development Council (NPUDC) to OPAPP by virtue of Executive Order No. 3, “Defining Policy and Administrative Structures for Government’s Peace Efforts.”

In 2004, releases to former rebels were held in abeyance, as the Program underwent review. It was on March 2007 when Pres. Arroyo signed AO 172 making way for the establishment of the Social Integration Program (SIP).


During the cabinet meeting held in Iligan City on January 6, 2009, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo approved the provision of socio-economic assistance to former LCM rebels who returned to the fold of the law prior to the effectivity of AO 172, and OPAPP record shows that there were about 4,345 recipients of the program nationwide. (Robert E. Roperos, PIA-Caraga)


Spain to expand assistance to poor schools

ZAMBOANGA, SIBUGAY- The Spanish government provided scholarship assistance to 5,100 elementary and high school students in Zamboanga Sibugay. Completing a three-year education program in Mindanao, the Spanish aid agency Agencia EspaƱola de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarollo (AECID) also built 30 new classrooms in 13 schools, provided 7,250 armchairs and 5,677 books. Fifteen audio-visual rooms, four laboratories and four technology and livelihood workshops were also established. In-school feeding and parent-teacher-community association trainings were also conducted.

“The Spanish support is a holistic program that addressed both the problem of poor access to basic education among children in Mindanao, and the need to improve the quality of education,” explained Paul G. Dominguez, Director of Sarangani Agricultural Co. and Vice Chairman of the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), which implemented the program on behalf of AECID and the Spanish NGO Fundacion Humanismo y Democracia (H+D).

DepEd data show that in Zamboanga Sibugay, only four out of 10 children of official school age were enrolled from school year 2006-2007.

Poverty keeps children out of school. Cely Baid who teaches at Gugawang Bugas Elementary School explains that, “At first, children stop temporarily, but some children later decide not to go school anymore because of the urgent need to help the family at home.”

“However, I observed most of them would come back during enrolment in June. The construction of a new school building here (a donation from AECID and H+D) also encouraged them to go back to school because it’s nearer” Baid added.

“We have reported to our Spanish partners that the enrolment rates in our assisted schools have increased to as much as 29%,” explained Gil Salazar, PBSP Executive Director. “Dropout rates also declined, meaning, the children were encouraged to stay in school. When we implement education programs, our goal is to improve the performance of the students and the schools, and we were happy to receive reports from the schools that the NAT scores increased by an average of 7 percentage points,” Salazar added.

The Spanish donors will expand their assistance and include Curuan and Vitali districts in Zamboanga City, towns of Tungawan and R. T Lim in Zamboanga Sibugay, nine (9) municipalities in Agusan del Norte in CARAGA region , and the typhoon-ravaged areas of Bicol through a new four-year development initiative. PBSP has been tapped to continue to implement these programs.

“High incidence of poverty and poor access to basic services are the major issues that will be addressed in the expansion sites,” Salazar explained.


“PBSP will continue to work with the DepEd and the school district heads. We also have strong links with the LGUs, and our distinct focus is the capacity-building of parents and teachers. Community participation, we have seen in many sites, is a key in making our children gain the most from education,” Salazar emphasized. (Danny Escabarte, PBSP/PIA-Caraga)


CCPD stakeholders to undergo recollection, assessment, planning workshop

BUTUAN CITY (27 March) – Stakeholders of the Caraga Conference for Peace and Development (CCPD) will undergo a recollection, assessment, and planning workshop after a year of numerous and challenging work.

The activity is set on March 31 to April 2, 2009 at the San Lorenzo Ruiz Pastoral Formation Center, Ampayon, this city.

In a written statement of CCPD, Most Rev. Juan de Dios Pueblos, CCPD Co-Convenor and Butuan Bishop said the activity will enable the stakeholders to engage in a reflection on their role in Caraga. It also reviews and reflect on the guiding spirit behind the formation of CCPD, assess the CCPD’s plans and activities, as well as to develop plan for 2009-2011.

Among the highlights include the identification of actual activities and plans for the next years.

As part of evaluation, CCPD’s 2008 plans and actual activities will be assessed based on CCPD’s guiding principles, covenant and Constitution and By-Laws.

The stakeholders will also undergo reflection of what CCPD should continue, stop, or start doing.

Meanwhile, CCPD will discuss the clarifying mandates of the different partner-stakeholders.

During the planning, the stakeholders are required to state specific clear objectives, activities, schedules, responsible institutions and individuals, as well the identification of resources needed.

With this activity, CCPD Executive Committee believes it is time to stop and locate where the conference is at present.

CCPD is composed of government agencies, non-government organizations, academe, and private and public organizations. (Robert E. Roperos, PIA-Caraga)

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DENR-Caraga to spearhead river bank cleanup

BUTUAN CITY (27 March) – As the Philippines takes part in the international observance of the World Water Day which is celebrated every 22nd day of March, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Caraga Regional office will spearhead the conduct of river bank cleanup on Sunday, March 29, 2009, 6:00 in the morning at Libertad-Masao river, this city.

The international theme for World Water Day 2009 is “Shared Water, Shared Opportunities” while the national week-long celebration from March 23-29 is anchored on the theme “Makibahagi at Pagyamanin, Tubig Natin” (Share and Develop, Our Water).

The local theme highlights the significance of cooperation among water-agencies, stakeholders national and local government units of then country and promotes the importance of clean rivers for a healthy society and wholesome environment for the present and future generations.

Relative to the activity, DENR is inviting government and private offices and establishments to participate as part of preserving the environment which is also embodied in the plans and programs of the national government to mitigate the problem in global warming.

Participating agencies are also enjoined to bring garbage bags containers, personal protective, personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning tools or equipment, which will be of help in the conduct of the cleanup activity. (Robert E. Roperos, PIA-Caraga)



Cebuano News: KACOSA ni Gov. Ace Barbers padayon nga nang apud-apud ug mga pagkaon sa pipila ka mga elementary schools sa probinsya

Surigao del Norte (27 March 2009) – Walay puas nga nagtabang ug nagserbisyo sa mga katawhan si governor ace barbers hilabi na ngadto sa paghatag ug dakong bili sa mga kabatan-onan pinaagi sa pagpahigayon sa ubay-ubay nga mga programa sama sa feeding program nga gipaisugdahan sa tanang miyembro sa Kapit Bisig Community Services Association o KACOSA.

Dili pa lang dugay, ang maong asosasyon malampusong mipahigayon sa maong feeding program sa pipila ka mga tulunghaan sa nagkalin-laing barangay sa matag munisipyo. Niadtong milabayng duha ka semana, sila nang apud-apud ug pagkaon ug mga story books sa halos 700 ka mga tinun-an didto sa Canlanipa Elementary School. Ug kagahapong adlawa usab sila mituyo ug adto sa Brgy. Sukailang aron usab sa pagpakaon sa may 386 ka mga bata sa Sukailang Elementary School ug aron sa pagpadayon pa sa maong programa, karon nga adlaw ang mga miyembro sa KACOSA mobisita sa Anomar Elementary nga sa nahibal-an adunay 220 ka mga malnourished children ang ilang pakan-on.

Gikalipay sa mga bata ang presensya sa maong asosasyon hilabi na sa kaayuhan nga ilang gidala ngadto kanila tungod ang pagkaon nga ilang giluto ug gipakaon ngadto sa mga malnourished children nakahatag man ug kabiskog ug sustansya.

Nakita ni Gov. Ace ang kadasig ug hugot nga pagtinambayayungay sa tanan miyembro sa KACOSA ug kini iyang gikahimuot ug maayo. Tungod sa kalampusan sa maong kalihukan, siya mipasalig sa tanan nga iya gayud hatagan ug dakong importansya ug suporta ang tanan nilang programa tungod iyang nakita nga ang kaayuhan sa tanan mao may ilang giprayoridad hilabi na ang paghatag ug tubag sa mga panginahanglanon sa mga kabatan-onan nga maoy atong giila nga mga “pag-asa ng bayan.” (PGO-Media Burea/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Cebuano News: Gov. Ace Barbers gitagaan ug dakong pagtagad ang panginahanglanon sa mga kababayen-an; Skills Training malampusong gipahigayon

Surigao del Norte (27 March 2009) – Subay sa pagselebrar sa Women’s Month, malampusong gipahigayon niadtong miaging adlawa ang skills training on Recycling Used Materials and Flower Arrangement didto sa Provincial Convention Center sa tanang miyembro sa Gender and Development Coordinating Committee nga pinanguluhan sa GADCC Chairperson nga si Board Member Regina G. Alaan.

Sa maong pagbansay-bansay, gi-awhag ug gitudluan ang mga kababainhan nga giila nga “ilaw ng tahanan” sa pagrecycle sa mga butang nga gituohang dili na magamit sama sa mga plastic wrappers, cut flowers ug mga coconut husk o bunot aron kini mapuslan pag-usab.

Dugang pa niini, ang tanang partisipante gitudluan usab sa mga saktong pamaagi ug proseso sa pagplastar sa mga bulak o ang gitawag nga “flower arrangement,” nga pwede mamahimong panginabuhi-an sa uban, hilabi na sa kalisod sa panahon karon nga ang tanang panaliton sama sa mga bulak nagkamahal na.

Daghan ang nalipay ug nakadayeg kang Gov. Robert Ace Barbers sa paghatag ug dakong suporta sa maong kalihokan, hilabi na gayud nga dako ang nahatag nga tabang niini kanila. Ila gayung nakita ang tiunay nga panirbisyo ni Governor Barbers hilabi na sa paghatag niya ug dakong bili ug pagpakabana alang sa kalamboan sa tanan hilabi na sa mga kakabayen-an, pinaagi sa pagpahigayon sa maong mapuslanong kalihukan. Ubay-ubay ang mga nakat-unan ug nakutlo sa mga partisipante sa maong pagbansay-bansay, ug ang maong mga dugang kahibalo ila gayud magamit sa ila tagsa-tagsa ka mga panimalay ug panginabuhian. (PGO-Media Bureau/PIA-Surigao del Norte)