7.20.2009

PIA News Service - Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Butuan celebrates 31st NDPR week

BUTUAN CITY (July 21) – Parents’ faces light up as their children with disabilities shows off their talents during the opening salvo of the 31st National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week celebration at the Rizal Park, recently.

In that rare moment the city witnesses the untiring hand of parents and teachers as they guide their special children in the day’s activity. It shows the community how far can parents’ love, nurturing and community involvement could go in helping children with disabilities. 

The activity also highlights the capabilities of an empowered person with disability (PWD). It shows how much they can achieve and contribute to the community. The day’s activity proves that with community involvement and proper implementation of programs, the PWDs are assets and contributors to the country’s development. 

Mr. Ritchie Ravelo, President of the differently-abled association of Butuan despite his disabilities has achieved milestones in his life. He has inspired PWDs like him and has steered his organization to the right path. In his closing remarks during the opening ceremony, he implores the local government units and all enforcing agencies of the government to implement the laws pertaining to PWD’s.  

Another PWD, Jonathan Nonan proved that disability is not a hindrance in becoming a good father. Jonathan has six children and according to his wife a very good provider of the family. 

This year’s theme, “Tungo sa Katuparan ng Karapatan ng PWD’s” stresses the importance of enforcing the laws for PWD’s such as the accessibility law.  

To show the government’s support to the PWDs, Vice Mayor Dino Claudio Sanchez together with representatives from the different regional line agencies distributed 14 crutches and two wheelchairs during the opening ceremony. The crutches were donated by the Faith Baptist Church and by Vice Mayor Sanchez and the wheelchairs by the Seventh Day Adventists Church. (Lovely Laudette Gamba, PIA-Caraga)

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Butuan to commemorate IHL day and 60th anniv of Geneva convention

BUTUAN CITY (July 21) – The city is set to commemorate the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Day and the observance of 60th Anniversary of the 1949 Geneva Convention on August 12. 

Several activities were lined-up by the inter-agency committee to celebrate the occasion. The committee is headed by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). 

IHL is a set of rules which place restrictions on the use of weapons and methods of warfare. It aims to protect human dignity and to limit suffering during times of war.  

IHL prohibits or limits the use of weapons during war. It requires parties to a conflict to distinguish between combatants and civilians; to refrain from attacking civilians; to care for the wounded and sick; to protect medical personnel; and to ensure that the dignity of prisoners of war and civilian internees is preserved by allowing visits by ICRC delegates. 

The ICRC serves as the “guardian” of IHL, basing its work on the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their two Additional Protocols of 1977. These instruments of IHL give the ICRC the right to carry out activities such as bringing relief to wounded, sick or shipwrecked military personnel, visiting prisoners of war, restoring contact between members of families separated by conflict, aiding civilians and ensuring that those protected by humanitarian law are treated accordingly. 

IHL concerns two situations; international armed conflicts, which involve at least two countries and armed conflict that take place in one country such as those between a government and rebel forces. 

IHL applies to all parties to a conflict regardless of who started it. 

IHL protects those who are not, or no longer, participating in hostilities, such as civilians, medical and religious military personnel, wounded, shipwrecked and sick combatants, and prisoners of war. 

Recognizing their specific needs, IHL grants women and children additional protection. 

The ICRC is present in over 60 countries. Its network of offices is adjusted regularly to keep step with developments in armed conflicts and other situations of violence. (Lovely Laudette Gamba, PIA-Caraga) 

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TAGBABAPSA ARC gets P48-M development projects from DAR-ARISP III

BUTUAN CITY (July 21) - Some 14,835 people in five barangays in Remedios T. Romualdez, Agusan del Norte, stand to benefit from more than P48-million worth of projects approved by the DAR-Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project III (DAR-ARISP-III).

Agusan del Norte Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer Andre B. Atega, CEO VI said DAR-ARISP III is set to implement the P40-million farm-to-market road and the P8-million potable water system in Tagbabapsa Agrarian Reform Community comprising barangays Tagbongabong, Balangbalang, Basilisa, Poblacion 1 & 2, and San Antonio.

He also said that the 12-kilometer farm-to-market road and the water system would have far-reaching impact on the economic condition of the farmers.

He stressed that DAR is not only into distributing lands to the landless but is also involved in providing infrastructure projects as assistance to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs).

He revealed that aside from the infra projects, the DAR-ARISP III has also provided training and workshop funds for members and officers of cooperatives for effective coop management.

Governor Erlpe John Amante said the road and water system projects would go a long way in the province’s economic development and growth. (Gil E. Miranda, DAR-Agusan del Norte)

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DENR to stop issuing tree cutting permit 

BUTUAN CITY (July 21) - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will no longer issue tree cutting permit nationwide in an effort to protect and preserve the remaining vegetative cover of the country, while facilitating the issuance of environmental permits. 

DENR Secretary Lito Atienza made the announcement during the multisectoral consultation on streamlining the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) system procedures held recently at the DENR Social Hall in Quezon City, saying that proponents will no longer be required to secure tree cutting permits so as not to delay the issuance of their environmental permits. But, instead, said Atienza, they will be issued tree balling permit to enable them to transplant the trees in other areas. 

“We are making it clear that we will not allow any cutting down of trees to give way to any development project anywhere in the country, even those covered by environmental compliance certificates (ECCs), mining permits or any other construction and development permits for that matter,” Atienza said. 

“From now on,” explained Atienza, “project developers and proponents must design their projects in accordance with the position of the trees in the area.” However, should clearing the area could not be avoided, Atienza said that the affected trees shall be transferred to other areas through tree-balling. 

In the consultation meeting, Atienza proposed a reduction in the number of days allotted for the processing of ECC and certificate of non-coverage (CNC) by removing the unnecessary requirements and restrictive rules that block the flow of investment into the country. 

At the same time, he also announced the strengthening of the Department’s capability in monitoring environmental compliance of projects by securing the active participation of NGOs, people’s organizations and other stakeholders in multipartite monitoring teams that will be established for each project. 

According to the DENR chief, who is also a staunch supporter of pro-life movement, trees, like human beings, must be preserved and sustained. “For me, the life of a tree is like a life of a human being which must be preserved as long as it can be preserved and sustained. To cut down a tree is similar to executing a human being.” 

Atienza stressed that the move not to issue tree cutting permit is aimed not only to preserve every single tree in the country but also to facilitate the issuance of environmental permits to attract more local and foreign investments. 

“Part of the proposed streamlined procedures, project proponents will no longer be required to secure tree cutting permits so as not to cause any delay in the issuance of environmental permits,” said Atienza. 

During the consultation meeting attended by representatives of industry associations, non-government organizations, academe, media and other stakeholders, Atienza presented the proposed policy reforms that would reduce the processing period for ECC from six months to 20 days to one month, and the CNC from three weeks to one day. 

Atienza was quick to add, however, that the simplification of the EIS procedures was meant not only to reduce the processing time; it was also designed to strengthen accountability, improve efficiency, remove opportunities for corruption and to promote transparency for sustainable development. 

He likewise stressed that the adoption of the policy reform will not in any way sacrifice environmental protection and care. He said, “President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo fully supports the streamlining of DENR procedures but this should not sacrifice environmental protection and care.” (Herzon F. Gallego, DENR-Caraga)

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POLICE REPORTS

By PO3 Arturo Suganob Campania

Report on abduction of minor and the arrest of the suspect

On July 16, 2009 at 6:00 in the evening at Purok-2, Barangay Marcelina, Bayugan, Agusan del Sur, a certain Romelyn Hedi alias “Lynlyn”, 8 years old, grade 2 pupil and resident of said place was abducted by the suspect identified as one Reynante Gonzales alias “Wali/Bali”, of legal age, a native of Dapa, Surigao del Norte and presently residing at said place.

After the incident, investigation and hot pursuit operation conducted by PNP elements of Bayugan Police Station led by PCINSP Rudy T Cuyop in coordination with Engineering Brigade, Philippine Army led by Sgt Giovanes Agarin together with Barangay Officials and the CVOs of Brgy. Odiong, Brgy. Labao and Brgy. Aguinaldo, all of Espranza, Agusan del Sur which resulted to the apprehension of the suspect on June 17, 2009 at 5:00 in the afternoon.

On July 19, 2009 at 5:30 in the morning, the dead body of the victim was found by the residents floating at Panaytay River, Purok-2, Barangay Marcelina, Bayugan, Agusan del Sur. 

PNP elements of Bayugan Police Station together with City Health Officer proceeded to the area to take charge of the victim's remain for autopsy. Arrested suspect is now in the custody of Bayugan Police Station while case is now prepared for filing in court. Progress report to follow. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)

Report on alleged robbery incident 

On July 19, 2009 at 4:00 in the afternoon, one Cantilan Bank Incorporated located at Purok-1, Barangay Barobo, Surigao del Sur was allegedly robbed by unidentified person.

The incident later discovered by one of the employees of said establishment when they reported for work on July 20, 2009.

Upon receipt of the report, PNP elements of Barobo Municipal Police Station led by PSINPS Ramonito S Bajala conducted scene investigation and disclosed that suspect gain entry by passing through the ceiling, adjacent to the concrete wall of another building and destroyed the padlock of the steel cabinet were the cash box was hidden.

Suspect carted away cash in the amount of 3,030.00. It was also revealed that suspect is probably a minor as evidenced by the finger prints lifted at the crime scene. Further investigation is still ongoing for the possible identity and arrest of the suspect. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)