PIA News Service - Thursday, June 18, 2009

KRs soon to become member of the backbone of the country
By: Dave M. Suyao
PIA, Agusan del Sur

Another 57 former rebels or “Kauban sa Reporma” (KRs) receive financial and livelihood assistance worth more that P2 million from the government during the 42nd founding anniversary of Agusan del Sur on June 17, in time with the closing program of the 17th Naliyagan Festival.

After the livelihood skills and moral recovery seminar conducted on June 1- 5, 2009, 30 KRs were awarded capital goods worth P50,000 each as livelihood assistance while another 19 received P20,000 immediate assistance and another eight who were not served during the mass awarding of immediate assistance last 30 this year.

Aside from capital goods and immediate assistance, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) also gave the KRs 34 carabaos, one unit mud boat, three units motorcycles, one sprayer and two plows because most of them identified farm implements and working animals during the livelihood skills and moral recovery seminar.

In an interview, Lando (not his real name for security reason), 28 years old, said they only realized the meaning of freedom and life itself when they decided to go back to the folds of the law few years ago. After hiding and hard struggle in the mountains believing in false principles for several years, they now experience how the government love them, and how sweet life is when one is free.

“Sa kadugayon namong nag tagotago ug nagsakripisyo sa kabukiran tungod sa sayop nga prinsipyo, karon pa kami nahigmata nga wala diay kami pasagdi sa atong gobyerno ug unsa ka hayahay sa kinabuhi kung kami gawasnon”, Lando said.

In her message, Gov. Maria Valentina Plaza of Agusan del Sur, said peace and order is a main ingredient of development all over the world. With the joint effort of the national and local governments, these KRs who once sow terror and fear in the countryside, will become partners of the government and the community in the development process and progress.

“Few years from now, with the assistance extended by the government to our KRs, we will never encounter food shortages in our tables because many of them are farmers and will soon become the backbone of our country. Our prayers in Agusan del Sur were heard by the heavens above, and now we see and feel the blessings that our Almighty have showered upon us as the answers to our prayers”, Gov. Tina Plaza said.

It can be recalled that the provincial government under the administration of then Governor Adolph Edward Plaza, in partnership with the Office of the President, have relocated and extended livelihood assistance to some 19 former rebels. The provincial government and the Office of the President have given them raw houses, farm equipments and land to cultivate to start their new life. Today, they are producing rice, vegetables and handicrafts as their livelihood while benefiting the community of their products.


7 NPAs surrendered to 58IB in Surigao del Sur

TANDAG, SURIGAO DEL SUR – Seven Militia ng Bayan (MB) from Talakag, Bukidnon peacefully surrendered to 58 Infantry Battalion (IB) here on June 9, 2009.
Shown here are the 20 firearms surrendered recently by 21 Former Rebels (FR) to Lt. Col Benjamin S. Pedralvez, Jr. Battalion Commander of 58IB, 4ID, PA. This was taken during the presentation to Governor Vicente T. Pimentel recently at Seminar Hall, Tandag, Surigao del Sur.

It was successfully negotiated by 58IB Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Benjamin S. Pedralvez, Jr. INF (GSC) PA in first District of Surigao del Sur.

According to the records of the 58IB, the MBs brought along with them eight (8) assorted fire arms composed of 1 Mi Garand rifle; 2 improvised caliber 5.56 rifles; 2 shotguns, 1 homemade shot gun, 1 cal. 357 pistol and 1 homemade cal.38 revolver.

The seven former rebels (FRs) are now housed under the custody of Philippine Army for the assessment and evaluation of their records.

It can be recalled that on May 24, 2009, two (2) Communist Terrorists (CTs) and 19 MBs also surrendered to 58IB bringing along with them 20 assorted fire arms. (Nida Grace Tranquilan, PIA Surigao del Sur)

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DENR-Caraga probes the reported illegal activities within Taguibo watershed forest reserve

BUTUAN CITY – DENR Caraga Regional Executive Director Edilberto S. Buiser has created a Multi-sectoral Team under Special Order No. 143 on April 28, 2009 to conduct investigation on the alleged illegal mining, illegal road construction and illegal cutting of trees within Taguibo Watershed Forest Reserve.

The Team is composed of NCIP, DENR, MGB, EMB, NEDA BCWD, CENRO Butuan City, ENRO Butuan City, Office of the City Mayor of Butuan and Catholic Conference for Peace and Development (CCPD). and is chaired by Regional Technical Director Virgilio C. Dela Cruz of DENR Caraga Forest Management Service.

Last May 26, 2009, the Team conducted the area inspection/investigation within the territorial jurisdiction of Butuan City. DENR Regional Office received initial information from field personnel participating in the site inspection that there was really road rehabilitation and widening activities being conducted in the area and that such activities were not covered by Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC), road right-of-way permit, and Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) from the holders of CADC 178.

CENRO Butuan City representatives also informed that based on the records, a total of 8,879.61board feet of illegally cut lumber/flitches were apprehended/seized allegedly sourced within the Taguibo Watershed area and were now under their custody.

The Regional Office is awaiting the team’s official report for further action or implementation of its recommendations.

The Multi-sectoral Team originally scheduled the inspection of the complained area on May 5, 2009 but did not push thru because entry of the subject area needs formal permission from the Lumads. The watershed area, under Presidential Proclamation No. 1076 dated on September 04, 1997, covers five (5) to six (6) ancestral domains which is why for this reason, the DENR sought the assistance of NCIP Regional Office in order for it to gain access into the complained area and to ensure the safety of the lives of its members.

Strategies to pursue the investigation of illegal road construction/rehabilitation and mining activities in Barangay San Antonio, RTR is being drawn-out. This investigation will be coordinated with the LGU-Agusan del Norte, RTR and Barangay San Antonio, the Philippine Army to clear and secure the areas from Anticala to Malinhawod particularly areas No. 7 and 9 prior to the conduct of area inspection, and the PNP to escort the team during the conduct of site inspection. (Herzon F. Gallego, DENR-13/ PIA-Caraga)


Race against time on World Population Day

Determined to continue the big push for the passage of the reproductive health bill in Congress, advocates are set to hold a unity run on 11 July 2009 to highlight the need for investing in women’s reproductive health.

A mini-marathon competition dubbed “Race against Time: Invest in Women’s Reproductive Health, Invest in Life Now!” will start from the Quezon City Hall grounds and will cover the stretch of Quezon City Memorial Circle, University of the Philippines Sunken Garden and back to the City Hall grounds.

Organizing this event are the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc. (PLCPD), Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (RHAN) and many other groups who are supporting the authors of the reproductive health and population development bill.

Ramon San Pascual, PLCPD’s Executive Director said, “we are very disappointed when the RH bill was sidelined in favor of Con Ass but that will not stop us to continue pushing for the passage of this very important piece of legislation when Congress open its third regular session in July.” San Pascual added, “we believe that the enactment of the reproductive health bill will pave the way for better health care services for women, children and men as well. It will drastically reduce maternal death, improve nutrition among infants, and pave way for greater participation of Filipino men in family life.”

“This unity run is a health-oriented, family-inclusive way of calling the attention of our lawmakers and other stakeholders to maintain their focus on the reproductive health bill amid con-ass, the coming elections and other political issues that may divert their attention away from this bill,” San Pascual concluded.

The unity run is one of the series of events, which includes policy and business forums, to be conducted by reproductive health advocates in observance of the World Population Day in July. The theme for this years’ international celebration is “In responding to Economic Crises, Investing in Women is a Smart Choice.” Interested participants may check on the details of the unity run at PLCPD website www.plcpd.org.ph. (Vigie Benosa-Llorin, Philippine Legislators' Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc.)

PPA bares 8 port projects in Surigao Norte

Surigao del Norte (18 June)
- In a bid to strengthen trade and tourism through the sea transport sector in Siargao Island and Surigao City, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) – Port Management Office in Surigao informed that eight (8) port projects in Surigao del Norte have slated for expansion or rehabilitation.

In a recently held Provincial Development Council meeting, PPA disclosed the recently approved PPA plans and programs for the province.

These include the rehabilitation of causeway in the port of Sta. Monica in Siargao Island, a six hundred (600) meters long and six (6) meters wide concrete Causeway project amounted to P40Million. It was reported that some portions of the causeway were already damaged as evidenced by massive cracks.

Another is the construction of new port in Pilar town in Siargao Island with a total estimated budget of P30Million. The scope of work covers the construction of wharf and RO-RO ramp with a back-up area and a drainage system plus port lighting system. The scenic coastal town of Pilar is now known to the world as the Gamefishing capital of the Philippines.

Construction of new port in Brgy. Jubang, Dapa, Surigao del Norte amounted to P75 Million. It also covers the construction of wharf and RO-RO ramp with a back-up area and a drainage system plus port lighting system. Also, re-channeling of waterway in Brgy. Consolacion in Dapa amounted to P3Million.

Still in Dapa, is the dredging of channel (waterway) in Dapa port amounted to P38Million and a another dredging of channel (waterway) in the port of Del Carmen, municipality of Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte amounted to P50 Million.

Meanwhile, projects in Surigao City include the construction of exit gate and guardhouse at the newly completed expansion project of the Surigao Base port known as the Verano port amounted to P3.10Million and the expansion of Lipata port in Brgy. Lipata amounted to P309 Million. The Lipata port expansion includes wharf extension and RO-RO ramp with a back-up area, drainage and lighting system.

Local officials here are very confident that with the construction and rehabilitation of these ports and terminal facilities, traveling to these seaports is now convenient to local and foreign tourists especially in the island of Siargao.

These constructions and rehabilitations are also significant in the tourism industry to meet the projected increase in the number of passengers in the coming years.
Early this year, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo inaugurated the newly expanded Verano Port last April 15, 2009.This P414-million expanded port, named after former Senator Felixberto Verano of this city, has helped address the needs of the flourishing tourism and mining industry, including the ferrying of mining equipment used by the different mining firms in the province. (Fryan E. Abkilan, PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Cebuano News: Pagsaulog sa 49th Araw ng Surigao del Sur, nakahan-ay na

SURIGAO DEL SUR - Sa pag abli sa Agri-Trade fair karon sa Kagamhanang Probinsiyal kalabot sa selebrasyon sa ika-49th anibersaryo sa probinsiya sa Surigao del Sur, gitaho ni Mrs. Annie Ty, presidente sa Tandag Chamber of Commerce and Industry nga adunay partisipasyon ang maong organisasyon kalabot niini.

Matud pa niya nga imbitado sila isip Huwes alang sa pakontes sa pinaka nga mga produkto. Gani, aduna usab matud pa booth ang Provincial SMED Council nga ipahimutang sa Caraga business Conference karong Hulyo didto sa Bislig City.

Malaumon si Mrs. Ty nga usa kini ka paagi usab nga maka-engganyo ug ubang mga negosyante sa pagbutang ug puhunan dinhi sa Surigao del Sur.

Kalabot niini, Nakahan-ay na ang aktibidad karong adlawa Hunyo 18 alang sa pagsugod sa selebrasyon sa 49th Araw ng Surigao del Sur. Sa programa nga gipanghatag sa buhatan sa Gobernador, usa ka parada ang himoon sa may alas 8 ang takna sa buntag palibot sa Tandag paingon na sa Tandag Gym kon diin pagapartisiparan kini sa mga nagkada-iyang ahensiya sa Gobyernong Lokal ug nasyunal.

Mosunod gilayon ang opening program ug pormal nga pag-abli sa Agri-Trade Fair diri sa provincial capitol Grounds. Samtang sa hapon, adunay parlor games ug Dance Sport Competition sa Capitol Seminar House.

Kagahapong adlawa, aduna nay mga kalihukan nga gipasi-ugdahan sa office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAG). (Nerissa Espinosa, dxJS-Radyo ng bayan Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)