PIA News Service - Thursday, November 19, 2009

Palace enjoins state workers, private sectors to participate “Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week”

BUTUAN CITY (19 November) – President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo recently signed Memorandum Circular 186 enjoining officials and employees in all departments, agencies and instrumentalities of the national government, including government-owned and controlled corporations to actively participate in the observance of “Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week” from November 19 to 25, 2009.

In the circular signed by the president, it was stated that in pursuant to Proclamation No. 1667, dated November 18, 2008, the period November 19 to 25, 2008 and every year thereafter has been declared as the “Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week”.

The said proclamation aims to create awareness on global warming and climate change by pursuing broad and intensive information and educational campaign to inform the general public the awesome and terrifying consequences of this phenomenon and to secure the collective cooperation of the Filipino citizens, as well as the collective action of private and public sectors at all levels in finding solutions to this concern.

The week-long celebration will be spearheaded by Presidential Adviser on Global Warming and Climate Change (OPACC), in cooperation with the Presidential Task Force on Climate change (PTFCC).

Among the highlights of the activity include the convening of a national organizing committee for the observance of the week-long celebration. This will be headed by OPACC in cooperation with PTFCC.

Members of the PTFCC who are designated as committee members are: DENR, DOE, DA, DOST, DOTC, DepEd, DILG, DPWH, DOH, DFA, NEDA, PIA, PAGASA, CHED, TESDA, NWRB, LMP, and LCP, including other relevant government agencies, especially media organizations with OPS-PIA (government TV stations: NBN-4, RPN-9, IBC-13, Radyo ng Bayan) with the support of the Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP).

Also, holding of the Friday Climate Change Briefing with President Arroyo as a “Media Summit on Climate Change,” developed into a national telethon over government TV stations, for a National Action Agenda on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation.

With these developments, the president enjoins the concerned agencies and organizations for the active participation in all activities and events for the week, and to conduct separate climate change activities such as fora, lectures, film showing, tree planting, painting, poetry and poster contests and other similar activities in respective government agencies throughout the week, with the special participation of the Cabinet Cluster on Education composed of DepEd, CHED, and TESDA, as well as the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

Moreover, the president requires all government offices and GOCCs to display “Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week” banners or tarpaulins to drum-up public support for the week-long activities. (Robert E. Roperos, PIA-Caraga)
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PIA bares agency’s tasks under RA 9729

BUTUAN CITY (19 November) – Following the issuance of Memorandum Circular 186 signed by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita on November 12, 2009 enjoining all public and private sectors to actively participate in the observance of “Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week,” the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) recently bared the agency’s responsibilities under Republic Act 9729, otherwise known as the Climate Change Act of 2009.

In a memorandum signed by PIA Secretary Conrado A. Limcaoco, Jr., all employees of the agency are tasked to disseminate information on climate change.

According to Sec. Limcaoco, “under Republic Act 9792, known as Climate Change Act of 2009, the Philippine Information Agency is responsible for disseminating information on climate change, local vulnerabilities and risk, relevant laws and protocols and adaptation and mitigation measures.”

With this, Limcaoco added that PIA will provide communication support to climate change activities nationwide by providing media coverage to climate change activities, producing and disseminating print and broadcast releases, column feeds and feature articles on the government’s adaptation and mitigation measures.

The agency will also facilitate the inclusion of climate change issues in radio/TV public affairs programs and different media fora, as well as to conduct briefings on climate change adaptation and mitigation measures with various sectors in cooperation with other government agencies involved in the program;

Also, the agency is mandated to support the IEC activities of other government agencies involved in the program, and to elicit the support of media organizations and associations of media practitioners and government information officers in the promotion of the government’s mitigation and adaptation measures.

With the aforementioned tasks, all Regional Offices nationwide are required to submit climate change communication activities accomplishment report monthly, including clippings of print releases, broadcast releases and photos of communication activities. (Robert E. Roperos, PIA-Caraga)
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DENR PUBLIC STATEMENT ABOUT THE ISSUES AND CONCERNS ON THE TAGUIBO RIVER WATERSHED FOREST RESERVE, BUTUAN CITY

The integrity and credibility of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, (Regional Office XIII) as a government agency mandated to preserve and protect the environment and natural resources of the country is once again being challenged with regard to the issues and concerns affecting the Taguibo Watershed Forest Reserve, Butuan City. In effect, however, it brought a negative perception that the DENR “is doing nothing” to address the problem which this Office claim on the contrary.

There are three (3) major prevailing issues that were raised about the Taguibo River Watershed Forest Reserve that need to be looked into and addressed upon by the DENR and other concerned agencies of the government. The watershed area is also an ancestral domain as being claimed pursuant to RA 8371 otherwise known as “Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997” which made the management of the watershed a very complex one. The current issues confronting the management of the watershed include:

1. Illegal cutting of trees.
2. Illegal mining
3. Illegal road construction and rehabilitation.


WHAT THE DENR HAS DONE ABOUT THESE ISSUES AND CONCERNS ?

1. Illegal Cutting of Trees: 

The DENR has established forest and mineral checkpoint at Sitio Mahayahay, Barangay Anticala in Butuan City by virtue of Special Order No.386 series 2009 which strengthened the forest protection campaign in that area. 

 This checkpoint has replaced the one established at Barangay Anticala on September 3, 2009 where 8 DENR personnel have been abducted by a group of armed men headed by a former CAFGU member Leonardo Andot Behing last October 21,2009. The establishment of this DENR-led and CCPD facilitated checkpoint was one of the agreements reached by the Watershed Multi-Sectoral Task Force to serve as deterrent to would-be violators in the conduct of illegal mining and timber cutting particularly within the Taguibo River Watershed Forest Reserve. 

Records show that on September 26, 2009, about 700 pieces of mixed dipterocarp lumber and flitches have been apprehended at the checkpoint by the DENR personnel. The apprehended forest products were taken at the CENRO office compound in Barangay Bading, Butuan City.

The DENR has also established another checkpoint at sitio Dandalanon, in Sibagat under the supervision of the CENR Officer of Bayugan, Agusan del Sur in reply to the concern of Fr.John Young of the Save Taguibo Network Inc. and Fr. Leo Madelo and the public in general, to check the movement of illegal forest products at the other possible exit points within the watershed.

The Task Force Watershed has also formed an independent composite fact-finding team through the facilitation of the Caraga Conference for Peace and Development (CCPD) headed by its convenor Bishop Juan de Dios M. Pueblos of the Diocese of Butuan City. The team conducted an onsite investigation at Sitio Tagubon in Barangay Anticala towards Sitio Malinhawod , San Antonio, R.T.Romualdez, Agusan del Norte on September 4, 2009.

In their report dated September 11, 2009, one of the findings reported by the composite fact-finding team is the presence of 44 pieces of newly-felled trees of mixed species, lumber and flitches. These trees were reportedly uprooted and cut down at the height of road construction and rehabilitation activities in the area. 

The PENR Officer of Agusan del Norte, Rosendo Asunto was immediately ordered to retrieve the illegally-cut timber. Criminal case with violation of Section 77 and Section 78 of PD 705 as amended by PD 1559 was filed against certain persons including the officers of the United Lumad Mining Corporation headed by Mr. Roger Patanao for illegal cutting of trees before the Provincial Prosecution Office ,Hall of Justice in Libertad, Butuan City on September 24,2009. The case is in progress. The other persons who were included in the criminal complaint filed by the DENR are Walterson Celiaclay,Sr , Warlito Mandag and Krause Murondoz , all residents of San Antonio, RTR, Agusan del Norte.

2. On Illegal Mining activities at the Taguibo River Watershed Reserve :

The DENR through the Composite Fact Finding Team found approximately 230 Metric Tons of newly extracted Manganese ores at the Sorting Areas Nos. 6,7 and 9.

On September 14, 2009, DENR Caraga Regional Executive Director Edilberto S. Buiser ordered the Mines Geo Sciences Bureau (MGB) Director Engr.Alilo Ensomo to issue the Cease and Desist Order (CDO) against ULMC and the filing of appropriate case in court and to retrieve all illegally-extracted ores found in the area. 

The MGB Regional Director subsequently filed a complaint for theft of minerals against ULMC with the Provincial Prosecutors Office- Agusan del Norte on October 13, 2009. 

A Confiscation Order was issued by RED Buiser, in favour of the government for the two hundred thirty (230) metric tons of newly extracted manganese ores particularly located at the identified mined areas 7, 9 and the designated sorting area.

Meanwhile, the Honorable Governor Erlpe John M. Amante issued Stoppage Order on September 30, 2009 for the illegal mining activities at Sitio Malinhawod addressed to the Barangay Captain concerned.

DENR-R13 thru MGB-13 is exerting effort to haul the confiscated manganese ores that are stockpiled in the sorting areas and will be sealing those inside the mined pit in order to avoid contamination of these manganese ores to the water sources in the watershed
   
The MGB is expected to haul the confiscated manganese ore at the sorting area immediately. These ore products will be deposited at CENR office in Tubay, Agusan del Norte for safekeeping.
The tunnel or portals where the rest of the manganese deposits are stored will be also sealed by the MGB to stop and prevent unauthorized persons from entering upon it and to prevent contamination. 
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3. On Illegal road construction and rehabilitation:

The Composite/Multisectoral team composed of representatives from the NCIP, NEDA, Butuan City Water District, Butuan City Environment and Natural Resources Officer (ENRO) and the DENR from the regional office, CENRO Nasipit , CENRO Cabadbaran , MGB and EMB had conducted an onsite inspection at the watershed area on May 26,2009 and found the following:  

a) Two dump trucks and one backhoe reportedly used in the widening,gravelling and quarrying of the old logging road at Sitio Iyao, Barangay Anticala toward the boundary of Barangay San Antonio, R.T.Romualdez , Agusan del Norte. The records later showed that the heavy equipments were registered to the United Lumads Mining Corporation (ULMC).

b) On their report dated September 11, 2009, the composite/multi-sectoral team has confirmed the illegal road construction traversing from Sitio Tagubon, Anticala to Sitio Malinhawod leading to sorting area of manganese ores , areas 3,6,7 and 9 at San Antonio, R.T.Romualdez, Agusan del Norte with an estimated length of 11.26 kilometers and 8 to 10 meters wide. There were also felled trees along the way caused by the road construction activity. 

Immediately, the DENR took actions about the findings. On September 22, 2009, the Environment Management Bureau (EMB) issued a Notice of Violation ( NOV) to ULMC proprietor Roger Patanao alias Datu Paglaum for conducting road construction activity without Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC) as provided under Section 4 of PD 1856. Upon proper deliberation, an Order was issued by EMB-R13 Regional Director Ester Olavides penalizing ULMC in the amount of Php 50,000.00 for conducting road construction/rehabilitation without ECC within the watershed, in violation of Section 4 of PD 1586 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.

Meanwhile, the DENR-R13 thru the facilitation of the CCPD has initiated move to activate and reorganize Taguibo Watershed Management Council during their meeting last September 9, 2009. The Council will serve as the governing body that will oversee the management of the watershed.

The council is composed of the following: 

DENR – Chairman

Butuan City Water District (BCWD ) - Vice Chairman

The members are the Caraga Conference for Peace and Development (CCPD), LGU of Agusan del Norte, LGU of Agusan del Sur, LGU of Butuan City, LGU of R.T. Romualdez, LGU of Cabadbaran, all in Agusan del Norte, LGU of Sibagat, Agusan del Sur, Father Saturnino Urios University( FSUU)-Save Taguibo Watershed Network, National Irrigation Adminstration (NIA) Regional Office, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), NCIP, Philippines Information Agency (PIA) , DILG, Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau-DENR, Environment Management Bureau-DENR, the Philippine National Police Caraga Region, and the 402nd Philippine Army ,4th Infantry Division. 

Meanwhile, the DENR-R13 created a team composed of technical personnel from the DENR and other stakeholders headed by PENRO Sixto C. Badua of Agusan del Sur per DENR Regional Special Order Nos. 370 and 374 to look into alleged issue on the internal conflict between the IPs and CBFMA holders in Sibagat, Agusan del Sur. 

The DENR with the support of the people, will do its best possible to preserve and protect the 4,367.44 hectare -Taguibo River Watershed Reserve being the primary source of potable water and irrigation.
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DENR shores up forest checkpoints to protect the Taguibo Watershed Forest Reserve 
  
BUTUAN CITY –The DENR regional office in Caraga region has strengthened its forest and mineral monitoring checkpoints at sitio Mahayahay, Anticala in Butuan City as part of its effort to protect the Taguibo Watershed.  

The DENR Regional Executive Director Edilberto Buiser has issued Regional Special Order No. 386 2009 on November 04, 2009 assigning certain DENR personnel at Mahayahay Checkpoint which will be manned by two teams. The checkpoint will be directly supervised by Forester II Greg Bayotas, Chief of the Forest Protection and Law Enforcement Unit (FPLEU), of CENRO Nasipit.  

At the same time, another Special Order (S.O.) was issued by the RED Buiser directing PENRO Sixto C. Badua of Agusan del Sur and the CENRO of Bayugan Consolador Mantilla to set up another checkpoint at the vicinity of Dandalanon, to monitor and check the movement of all forest products coming from the Community-Based Forest Management Agreement (CBFMA) in Sibagat and Bayugan.

This decision of the DENR officials was reached in answer to the clamor and request of the city residents through Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos who insisted that a checkpoint should be strengthened at the Taguibo Watershed area to deter illegal activities that may destroy the rich natural resources at the watershed which is considered the vital source of potable water of the city’s half a million residents.

CENR Officer for Nasipit, Agusan del Norte Jaime C. Acebu said the PNP police Regional Chief Supt. Lino de Guzman Calingasan has also given his assurance to established a police detachment in the area to provide police protection to the innocent people against the lawless elements. 

CENRO Acebu has also tasked the DENR personnel to conduct a round-the-clock monitoring of all movements of forest products and natural resources in the area on periodic rotation of assignment. They will also conduct regular patrol in close coordination with the Barangay Chairpersons, in the areas covered by their operation . 

CENRO Acebu said that aside from the police detachment, the Philippine Army also maintain a regular base patrol unit in the area that will also provide security of the DENR personnel assigned at the Checkpoint.

The establishment of DENR checkpoints in the area was an offshoot of the report of illegal cutting of trees, mineral extractions and road construction by unauthorized company at an area in the Taguibo Watershed.

Most areas of the watershed are considered ancestral domain and shall be governed under RA 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997. 
 
Director Buiser said the DENR has taken the necessary steps to prevent kidnapping of the DENR personnel in the future considering that the DENR checkpoint at Barangay Anticala was the same area where, a group of armed Manobo tribesmen headed by a certain Leonardo “Andot” Behing abducted 8 DENR personnel recently. The DENR hostages were released after 5 days owing to moral pressure.

Meanwhile, the DENR will look into the issues and problems of the indigenous people at the mountain villages of Sibagat, AGusan del Sur. 

The team of DENR technical personnel headed by PENRO Badua of Agusan del Sur is expected to coordinate with the NCIP Director Atty. Jake Dumagan, the local officials, and the leaders of the Manobo Tribal council to work out for possible solutions to the problems being raised by the lumads in Sibagat and Bayugan in that province.  

Specifically, the team will take up measures that may further improve the living conditions of the indigenous community and slowly reduce their dependency on the forest resources as major source of income. (Herzon F. Gallego, DENR-Caraga)
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POLICE REPORTS
By PO3 Arturo Suganob Campania

Report on illegal drugs

On November 17, 2009 at 2:00 in the afternoon at Purok-7, Barangay 16, Ong-yiu, Butuan City, personnel of City Anti Illegal Drug Special Operation Task Force and PNP personnel of Butuan City Police Station 2 led by PSINSP Alex A Celiz served the Search Warrant number 02-2009 (1066-2009), issued by Hon Judge Francisco F Maclang of RTC Branch 3, Libertad, Butuan City against Jamael Dorowan Camid of aforementioned place.

Seized during the operation were 64 sachets of suspected shabu; one 6120 Nokia cell phone and cash money amounting to 605.00 in different denominations. The search was witnessed by Barangay Officials of Brgy. Ong-yiu, lawful occupants and media personalities. Subject person and seized items were brought to Butuan City Police Office for documentation. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)
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PNP arrests wanted person

On November 18, 2009 at 10:09 in the morning at Purok 1, Barangay Tolosa of said municipality, a certain Macris Lacano, 27 years old and Roger Espina, 22 years old, both single, laborer and residents of Purok 1, Barangay Tolosa, Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte were arrested by joint team from 143rd RMG Company led by PINJSP Abraham U Mangelen and Cabadbaran Police Station led by PISNP Renato Badajos by virtue of WOA docketed under CC no. 10852 for theft with recommended bailbond amounting to Php 12,000.00 each issued by Hon Judge Nemesio S CaƱete of 4th MCTC Cabadbaran-RTR dated November 12, 2009. Subject persons were brought to 143rd RMG Company for documentation. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)

Report on loose firearm

On November 18, 2009 at 8:30 in the morning, PNP personnel of RTR Municipal Police Station retrieved one improvised shot gun from their Unwanted Firearm Drop Box located at RTR Municipal Hall. Said firearm is now under the custody of RTR Municipal Police Station for proper disposition. 

At 9:00 in the morning of the same date at Barangay Mahogany, Butuan City, PNP personnel of Butuan City Police Station 1 conducted operation on LOI Kontra Boga which resulted to the voluntary surrendered of one unit Caliber .22 revolver (paltik) without serial number by one alias “Isagani”, of legal age, married and resident of said place. Said firearm was turned over to Supply Division of Butuan City Police Office for proper disposition. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)

Report on illegal gambling 

On November 16, 2009 at 4:30 in the afternoon at Market Site District, Mangagoy, Bislig City, a certain Edwin Loy, 38 years old, married, jobless and resident of Purok-2, Caramcam District, Mangagoy, Bislig City was apprehended by SPO2 Emeliano Salazar Jr of Bislig City Police Station while in the act of illegal gambling activity known as last two digit. Confiscated from his possession were bet money amounting to Php 285.00; two filled-up stub and one piece ballpen. Suspect and confiscated items were brought to Bislig City Police Station for proper disposition. 

Again the team proceeded to Jeepney Terminal, Mangagoy, Bislig City and arrested one Nonito Bais, 29 years old, married, jobless and resident of Purok-2, Castillo Village, Mangagoy, Bislig City while in the act of illegal gambling activity known as last two digit. Confiscated from his possession were bet money amounting to Php 310.00; two pieces filled-up tally sheet; one piece filled-up stub and one piece ballpen. Suspect and confiscated items were brought to Bislig City Police Station for proper disposition. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)

Report on vehicular accident 

On November 17, 2009, one unit Nissan automobile Sedan, color black, bearing plate no. XKU 710, owned and driven by one Roneco Seno, 40 years old and resident of Valee Rosa Subdivision, Zamboanga City while traveling along national highway at Barangay Tagcatong, Carmen, Agusan del Norte accidentally fell down to the hilly portion of the road. The driver sustained injuries and rushed to the Hospital by the responding PNP personnel of Carmen Municipal Police Station. Progress report to follow. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)

Report on robbery incident 

On November 16, 2009 at 6:30 in the evening at Purok-2, Barangay La Purisima, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, a certain Marlyn Madronero, 38 years old, widow, businesswoman and resident of said place was robbed by three suspects identified as Richard Golez, single, jobless and resident of said place; Joseph De Guzman, 23 years old, married, jobless and resident of Puork-17, Brgy. Sta Irene of said municipality and alias “Jongjong Tondag”, cousin of the victim, also resident of La Purisima of same municipality.

Initial investigation disclosed that while the victim was about to close her store, suspects armed with homemade shotgun and knife barged inside the store and poked a knife to her. Suspects ordered her to proceed to the room where the money was place. Suspects carted away cash amounting to Php 100,000.00 and fled to unknown direction.

Victim immediately reported the incident to the Barangay Officials and CVOs of said place and immediately conducted hot pursuit operation which resulted to the arrest of Richard Goles on November 17, 2009 at 5:30 in the morning. The incident also reported to Prosperidad Municipal Police Station and immediately conducted hot pursuit operation which resulted to the arrest of Joseph De Guzman. Arrested suspects are now detained at Prosperidad Municipal Police Station for filing of appropriate charges in court. Progress report to follow. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)