7.22.2009

PIA News Service - Wednesday, July 22, 2009

PIA MEDIA RELEASE
July 21, 2009

CLEEP employs 237,601 Pinoys

National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) Secretary Domingo F. Panganiban revealed that at least 237,601 Filipinos have earned employment during the last six months under the Arroyo government’s Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP).

In a statement, Secretary Panganiban said the generated jobs are in public works and services with more than P7 billion already committed of the P13.58 billion as pledged by various agencies to the CLEEP.

Panganiban reported that DPWH has hired some 46,604 workers; DA provided emergency jobs for 37,524 workers; DSWD 27,127; DTI hired some 29,545; DepEd employed 19,356 workers for its herbal soap-making project and as utility workers; and 13 other government agencies provided jobs to 77,445 Filipinos across the country.

The Secretary hinted that the figure is yet to grow as agencies are still in the process of tallying its CLEEP reports.

Accordingly, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is closely watching the implementation of the project to ease the burden of the people amidst the challenges of the global economic slowdown.
In a related development, the Arroyo administration, in its relentless effort to open new and better job opportunities here and abroad, has already generated more than 6.3 million jobs since 2001 for wage employment alone in sectors like the ICT and BPO and through jobs facilitation program.

To better the workers condition, the daily minimum wage in the private sector were increased from P265 in 2001 to P382 to date, while in the government, salaries of state employees were raised four times, including this year with the first of the four tranches of the Salary Standardization Law 3 after being signed by President Arroyo. (PIA)


PGMA, VP Noli groundbreaks new housing project for state workers

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chairman and Vice President Noli de Castro have graced the groundbreaking of a new socialized housing project that will benefit less than 3,000 state employees.

The housing project, located within the New Bilibid Prison Reservation Property in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, will be developed on a 41-hectare property which will be offered to employees of the Office of the President (OP), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Bureau of Correctional, and the City of Muntinlupa.

HUDCC chairman and Vice President de Castro said the houses and lots will also be offered to other government employees after four months that the priority agencies’ employees were not able to buy the units through their Pagibig Fund contributions.

Project developer R-II Builders was also present through its chairman Reghis Romero III and president/CEO Pol T. Sanchez. Romero said they have one year to finish the first phase of development in 16.76 hectares covering 1,495 units which involves the construction and selling of the housing units.

Close to 3,000 government workers stand to benefit from the government housing project within the New Bilibid Prison reservation in Muntinlupa following its groundbreaking this morning by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Vice President Noli de Castro.

The new socialized housing project on the 41-hectare gently rolling property will be offered to employees of Office of the President, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Department of Justice and its attached agency the Bureau of Correctional and the City of Muntinlupa.

In the same event, President Arroyo signed into law the Home Mutual Development Fund (HMDF) Bill with Vice President Noli de Castro, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Representatives Edcel Lagman & Amelita Villarosa as witnesses.
(PIA)


Caraga Police to strictly implement E.O No 817 - the National Firearms Control Program


BUTUAN CITY (July 22) - Caraga Police Regional Director PCSupt Jaime Milla vowed to strictly implement the National Firearms Control Program in line with the E.O No 817. The government is now in its massive campaign against loose firearms, offering ultimate amnesty for holders of loose firearms. After this, aggressive police operations will commence against firearms law violators, and there will be no let-up in the campaign to rid our society of these tools of criminality. Stiffer penalty will now be imposed for firearms law violators. Following is the Press Statement of DIRECTOR GENERAL JESUS VERZOSA, Chief, Philippine National Police on July 16, 2009:

“As ordered by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo pursuant to Executive Order No. 817 implementing the National Firearms Control Program, the Philippine National Police shall, henceforth, conduct aggressive interdiction operations to confiscate loose firearms in the hands of threat groups, criminal elements, civilian gun holders, and delinquent license firearms owners.

Among other objectives, The National Firearms Control Program seeks to account for all firearms in the possession of the general population including those covered by expired licenses: to account for all captured, confiscated, surrendered, deposited, abandoned and forfeited firearms in the custody of the AFP, PNP and other law enforcement agencies; to account for all firearms under custodia legis or firearms submitted as evidence in court; and to account for loose firearms in the possession of the threat groups and criminal elements.

Police operations against unregistered firearms will continue with random weapons check operations in crime-prone areas; mobile checkpoints and chokepoint operations; intelligence build-up; internal security operations; application of Search Warrants; and dismantling of private armed groups.

Part of the over-all effort in support of the program for effective firearms control is the legislative agenda that seeks stiffer penalty for possession of firearms particularly when offenders are known members of organized crime groups. We are particularly seeking legislation that will make possession of three or more loose firearms a non-bailable offense.

Among the measures on firearms as recommended during the Firearms Control Summit convened by stakeholders representing the different sectors of society, we have generated a list of more then 500,000 delinquent gun owners who have failed to renew their respective firearm licenses, thus adding to the over-all estimated 1.1 million loose firearms in the country.

Effective October 1, 2009, the PNP is offering a Final General Firearms Amnesty for loose firearms under the National Firearms Control Program.

However, as early as August 1, 2009, we will start processing applications for registration of loose firearms and renewal of expired licenses.

We are starting early in anticipation of the heavy volume of applicants when the month-long general firearms amnesty comes into effect in October. By that time, we hope we will be able to process all applications and issue the updated firearms license cards.

From August 1 until October 31, 2009, all holders of firearms with expired licenses will be given the chance to renew their expired licenses waived of penalties and surcharges.

Likewise, we are giving all holders of undocumented firearms the chance to peacefully surrender these illegal weapons during the last and final amnesty period 1-31 October to avoid criminal prosecution. At the same time, we are giving those holders of loose firearms the opportunity to legalize their ownership of these unregistered guns to become duly license firearms.

To ensure effective implementation of the Amnesty Program for loose firearms and expired licenses, we are streamlining systems and procedures to facilitate convenient and simplified processing of all firearms license applications.

This is the ultimate amnesty we are offering for holders of loose firearms. After this, aggressive police operations will commence against firearms law violators, and there will be no let-up or sacred cows in this campaign to rid our society of these tools of criminality. We are optimistic that upon the termination of the last and final gun amnesty on October 31, laws imposing higher penalties and non-bailable offenses shall have been enacted.

Graduated actions against those who will fail to register their guns or renew their licenses include:
1. Confiscation of firearms
2. Legal Action i.e. Application of Search Warrant
3. Prospect of facing the non-bailabe offense of illegal possession of firearms as legislated

The certainty of punishment is fully provided under our justice system that prescribes 1 to 12 years imprisonment of firearms law violators.

To encourage greater citizen participation in the campaign against loose firearms, we are offering monetary reward for information leading to the confiscation of stashes or cache of loose firearm.

I urge all concerned loose firearms holders to avail of this last and final amnesty that the government is offering.

Anticipating the sudden influx and heavy volume of applications, we urge applicants to file their applications early to avoid the rush. All City and Municipal Police Stations as well as Police Provincial and Regional Offices will be available to accommodate and assist applicants.

Finally, we appeal to our concerned sectors for support in this national undertaking to rid our society of the instruments of crime and violence to establish lasting peace in our country. All of the activities and programs as enumerated were proposed and agreed upon by the delegates who represented various concerned sectors of the Philippine society at the National Summit of Firearms Control held last May this year”. (PCI Nelly Tabornal Villagarcia, PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)


DOH-CHD Caraga bares AH1N1 update

BUTUAN CITY (July 22) - Following the increase of A(H1N1) cases in Mindanao, the Department of Health (DOH)-Caraga Region recently bares update of the pandemic flu that first hits Caraga Region in May, 2009.

To date, this is the latest statistical report of Influenza A (H1N1) in Caraga region:

Number of Cases Under Observation (CUOs) since May 23 to present -33
Number of recovered CUOs-26
Number of CUOs under home quarantine-3
Number of CUOs hospitalized-4
Number of cases with negative result-21
Number of laboratory confirmed cases-7
Number of cases with pending laboratory result-5

The Center for Health Development Caraga region is strengthening its coordination with the agencies involved especially the Local Government Units to contain or limit the spread of Influenza A (H1N1) through contact tracing, surveillance of influenza-like-illness, early detection and reporting of suspected cases and continued advocacy at the community.

Of these 33 cases under observation (CUOs), 18 are female and 15 are male with the age ranging from 3 months old to 77 y.o. One of the positive cases is from Rainbow school in Butuan City which prompted school authorities to suspend classes for ten (10) days starting tomorrow (July 22, 2009). Ongoing investigation and contact tracing is still being conducted in areas with new confirmed Influenza A (H1N1) cases.

Again, the precautionary measures to prevent the infection or its spread are: make frequent hand washing a habit, practice proper cough manners, avoid close contact with sick people, stay at home if sick, avoid crowded places if possible and boosting your immune system is the best defense against infection.

We reiterate to the public to be vigilant and comply with the precautionary measures recommended by DOH. If you develop flu-like symptoms (or TRANGKASO) such as fever, sore throat and cough immediately consult a medical professional or call the DOH Hotline at (085) 225-3876 especially if you belong to these highly vulnerable groups with uncontrolled diabetes, frank cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic liver and kidney disease. In addition those who have undergone organ transplant, immunocompromised, and suffering from other infections like HIV/AIDs and TB; pregnant women and the very young and the elderly are more at risk of developing serious cases of A (H1N1). (DOH-Caraga)


Blasting activity made by Wee-Eng Construction resulted damaged in Cortes Surigao Sur

BUTUAN CITY (July 22) - More or less One Hundred Thousand pesos the estimated cost of damage caused by the blasting activity made by Wee-Eng Construction yesterday afternoon at about 1:30 in the vicinity of Brgy. Balibadon to Matho section in Cortes, Surigao del Sur.

Four poles structures located in the area were damaged when the falling rocky debris hit the Structures after the blasts.

It took seven hours for the SURSECO II maintenance crews to restore the damaged structures. We replaced three (3) new poles and the other one was only being repaired because it still serviceable. The cooperative also replaced the cut and damaged wires measured about 300 meters and other electrical materials.

Our crews from different offices helped our maintenance crews in Main Office in restoring back the damaged structures.

According to GM Iglorio R. Hinayon that it is very hard and difficult for us to restore the damaged structures because it’s already afternoon when the blasting was made by Wee-Eng that’s why it took for many hours before it become serviceable.

The management of SURSECO II is still negotiating to the management of Wee-Eng Construction regarding the costs of damage. The management would like also to ask an apology to its member-consumers which are affected by the service interruption caused by the incident. (Aguinaldo L. Jaluag, SURSECO II Tandag/ PIA-Surigao del Sur)


SURSECO II set an election for BOD this July in Surigao del Sur

BUTUAN CITY (July 22) - The Surigao del Sur II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SURSECO II) is conducting District Elections for Board of Directors in different municipalities/districts in its franchise area this month of July, 2009.

The election is in line with the Board Resolution No. 35 series of 2009 approved by National Electrification Administration (NEA) which set the elections of the Districts of Carmen, Bayabas, Tago, Carrascal and Cortes, all of this province.

The election in Carmen was done on July 11, 2009 (Saturday). The former member of the Board, Jilberto C. Tupas was proclaimed by the District Election Committee (DECOM) as the winner against his opponent Brgy. Capt. Pedrito S. Liquit. Director Tupas was a former member of the Board but he resigned last 2007 because he ran for Mayor in Carmen.

While, in Bayabas, the incumbent Director, Maurelio E. Baghari was disqualified to run because he was not able to comply with all the requirements set by NEA. His opponent for directorship Engr, Macedonio L. Andoy, DTI employee was proclaimed by the DECOM as the winner after the election conducted on July 18, 2009 (Saturday).

On the other hand, the incumbent Director of Tago, Cirilo M. QuiƱonezs, Jr. defeated by his opponent, Nicolas C. Laurente, MPDO of Tago on July 19, 2009 (Sunday) election.

This coming July 26 & 27, 2009 will be the schedule for elections in the municipalities of Carrascal and Cortes respectively. The incumbent Director of Carrascal, Celso P. Azarcon is opposed by Mr. Raul Uriarte while in Cortes, the incumbent Director, Felipe G. Cabuga, opposed by two candidates; Reynold Dumagan and Welfranie Lumancas. (Aguinaldo L. Jaluag, SURSECO II Tandag/ PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Illegal mining and logging in Taguibo Watershed under Fire, Network formed

BUTUAN CITY (July 22) – “Illegal mining and illegal logging activities in the Taguibo watershed area must be stopped now.” Declared by Rev. Fr. John Christian U. Young, President of FSUU and Convenor of the Save Taguibo Watershed Network, during the media forum held recently at FSUU Conference Room-College building East, this city.

The formation of the said network was reportedly triggered by the inability of concerned government agencies to stop these illegal activities.

A ‘Composite Team’, composed of various government agencies and led by NCIP-Caraga, conducted an ocular survey and site visitation to the watershed area last 26 May 2009 and made recommendations for an immediate issuance of ‘cease and desist order’ to the illegal operators in the area. Reportedly, mining operations continue to this day.

Fr. Young, said that the people of Butuan must come forward and make a common stand against these irresponsible actions that endanger our health.

The level of turbidity in Butuan’s water has gone past a tolerable level that increases the propensity for health risks, confirmed by Butuan City Water District (BCWD) based on the agency’s study conducted every quarter.

“The whole idea of this network is to get the broadest number people as possible into a common goal, that is, to press for the immediate stoppage of all illegal activities such as mining, logging and the construction/rehabilitation of 10.6 kilometer road,” emphasized by Fr. Young.

“After these illegal activities been put to halt, we are committed to work alongside other efforts to rehabilitate whatever damage there may be within the watershed area,” Fr. Young concluded.

The Taguibo watershed is a 4,367.44-hectare area declared by virtue of Proclamation 1076 by then President Fidel V. Ramos in 1997. (FSUU/ PIA-Caraga)


POLICE REPORTS
By PO3 Philip Amer Posas Mazo

Progress report on abduction of minor

Reference abduction of minor victimizing Roselyn Hede that transpired on July 16, 2009 around 6:00 in the evening at Purok-2 Barangay Marcelina, Bayugan City, a case of Kidnapping with Homicide was already field against the suspect identified as Warlito Zarragosa at Bayugan City Prosecutor's Office docketed under NPS no. XIII-09-INQ-09G-00035 dated 20 July 2009 with Mr Romeo Hede, father of the victim as the complainant. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)

Progress report on qualified theft

Reference Qualified Theft that transpired on July 17, 2009 around 6:45 in the evening at Purok-6 Barangay Maygatasan, Bayugan City inside the establishment of Nabunturan Central Warehouse owned by Mr Cresencio Yap perpetrated by two security guards namely SG Faisal Abduhare and Rojane Hayon. A case of Qualified Theft was filed against the two suspects at Bayugan City Prosecutor's Office docketed under NPS no. XIII-09-INQ-09G-0033 dated 20 July 2009 with Lorina Castro, Branch Manager of Nabunturan Central Warehouse as the complainant. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)