1.04.2010

PIA News Service - Monday, Jan. 4, 2010

Pres. Arroyo to sign RA 9854, inaugurates corn processing center tomorrow

BUTUAN CITY (04 January) – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will sign Republic Act 9854 tomorrow, January 5 establishing the Caraga State University (CSU) in the Caraga Region by integrating the Northern Mindanao State Institute of Science and Technology (NORMISIST) in Ampayon, this city, and the Northern Mindanao College of Science and Technology (NMCAST) in Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte, with its main campus in Butuan City.

Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is expected to arrive at 12:30 p.m. in Bancasi Airport. From the airport, the President will motor to NORMISIST Campus in Barangay Ampayon, Butuan City for the ceremonial signing.

The President will be received by NORMISIST/CSU officials headed by its President, Dr. Joanna B. Cuenca, as well as the institute’s Board of Directors, faculty, staff, and students.

Also, some guests composed of some members of the Senate and the House of Representatives will grace the occasion.

Prior to the signing, Congressman Jose “Joboy” S. Aquino will give his message. Afterwhich, the President will sign the law.

After the ceremonial signing, the President will have lunch together with officials and other dignitaries at the university’s Administration Building.

After the lunch, she will immediately motor to Barangay Mabuhay, Agusan del Sur to inaugurate the Corn Postharvest Processing and Trading Center.

President Arroyo will be received by officials of the Province of Agusan del Sur headed by Gov. Maria Valentina Plaza. Other officials of the province who will welcome the arrival of the President include former Gov. Eddiebong Plaza, Congressman Ompong Plaza, Municipal Officials and Board Members.

Aside from the inauguration of the corn processing and trading center, the President will also turn-over to LGU some farming equipment needed for corn processing.

From Bayugan, tentatively, she will motor back to Butuan City, particularly in Brgy. Amparo for a project road inspection and briefing.

She will be received by Butuan City Mayor Democrito Plaza II, DPWH-Caraga Regional Director Evelyn Barroso, and Amparo Brgy. Captain. Upon arrival, DPWH Sec. Victor Domingo will give a project briefing on the road project. Afterwhich, the President will listen to testimonies of some beneficiaries. From there, the President will immediately proceed to Bancasi Airport for her departure.

RA 9854 was sponsored by Senator Mar A. Roxas and has passed in the Senate’s second reading during the Upper House’s hearing on November 9, 2009. Per Committee Report No. 1240, it was authored by Congressmen Jose S. Aquino II of the First District of Butuan City and Las Nieves.

Other representatives of the lower house who co-authored the bill are Congressmen Angara, Villar, Lagman, Javier, Remulla, Amante, Romarate, Padilla, Madrona, Nicolas, del Mar, Amatong, Mitra, de Guzman, Garay and Angping. (Robert E. Roperos, PIA-Caraga)
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Caraga producers earn P305 million domestic sales from various DTI marketing programs

Caraga producers earned some P305 million sales from their participation in various marketing activities facilitated by the Department of Trade and Industry [DTI] for the first 11 months of this year.

The marketing unit of DTI-Caraga’s Business Development Division is confident the final figure will approximate that of 2008 at P378 million as soon as more reports come in.

Trade sales went to some 34 producers who joined DTI’s national, regional and provincial trade fairs, inbound and outbound selling missions, market matching activities, maintenance of trade houses and pasalubong centers.

Producers from Surigao del Norte got the biggest share with P113.93 million sales followed by those from Surigao del Sur with P88 million. Agusan del Sur sellers got P67.53 million sales while P35.77 was generated by Agusan del Norte.

Among the Caraga products soldt were processed food items , gifts, home decors made from wood, coco beads, nito, romblon, agsam, tikog, fashion accessories and wooden furniture.

The region’s products have continually inched their way to new markets owing to continued efforts in product development to ensure that the region’s products are competitive in terms of design, functionality and pricing. Activities for enhancing packaging and labeling especially for food products were likewise done as buyers get more enticed to attractive product packaging. (DTI-13/ PIA-Caraga)


DTI taps ANECO and PAG-IBIG for intensified consumer info advocacy

BUTUAN CITY, PHILIPPINES- The Department of Trade and Industry- Caraga has tied up with the Agusan del Sur Electric Cooperative (ANECO) and the PAG-IBIG Fund in advancing the agency’s consumer information advocacy program.

This year, about 35 consumer education activities were conducted to 734 ANECO and PAG-IBIG applicants.

The consumer education lecture series were conducted during ANECO membership seminars and PAG-IBIG housing loan seminars.

The consumer education lecture series include a brief discussion on the consumer rights, how to handle one’s complaints and the agencies to approach when lodging a consumer complaint.

ANECO and PAG-IBIG are active members of the Consumer Net (CNet).

CNet is the regional organization of line agencies servicing consumers, utility service providers, and consumer organizations advocating consumer awareness and vigilance in Caraga. CNet now has a total of 25 active member-institutions. (DTI-13/ PIA-Caraga)


DTI- Caraga launches 5K radio program

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is now on air.

At least for 30 minutes, twice a week through “5K- Kukabildo sa Katawhang Konsumador sa Karaga Karon”.

Anchored by Mareng Bebay and Mareng Gra, this program is part of the information and advocacy services of the agency especially on consumerism. Aside from the topics discussed on air, phone-in inquiries on consumer-related issues are also entertained and clarified. Other programs, services and activities of the agency are also discussed.

The radio program is aired Tuesdays and Thursdays over DXMK 97.5 Magik FM from 10:30 to 11:00 in the morning. (DTI-13/ PIA-Caraga)


DBP approves PhP 68.5 million for Caraga-OTOP projects

The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has approved the release of some P 68.5 million funds for two (2) One Town One Product (OTOP) projects in Caraga.

The P65 million San Francisco, Agusan del Sur OTOP Complex and the P3.5 million expansion of Ocean Bounty Food and Frozen Products in Surigao del Norte were the first two (2) OTOP projects which were able to avail of the project funds through the DBP-OTOP financing window.

These two proponents incidentally are this year’s OTOP Regional awardees. The Municipality of San Francisco was awarded the Most Supportive OTOP Local Government Unit, while Ocean Bounty bagged the Most Outstanding Micro Small and Medium Enterprise Award.

The San Francisco OTOP Complex, a terminal building with additional facilities was designed to serve as the trading center of the town’s priority products.

As an added component, the LGU has also allocated working capital fund assistance to micro-entrepreneurs who will be the ultimate beneficiaries and target locators in the said facility. These beneficiaries have also been provided trainings and assistance on business plan preparation to qualify for the fund.

The expansion of Ocean Bounty is expected to usher in more production and more sales of the fresh and frozen seafood delicacies from Surigao del Norte. (DTI-13/ PIA-Caraga)


NERBAC Caraga receives computers from the Philippine Business Registry Project

In a move to strengthen the one-stop business assistance centers in all regions including the National Economic Business Assistance Research Assistance Center in Caraga [NERBAC Caraga], the Philippine Business Registry or PBR recently gave a package of information technology [IT] equipment.

The package consisted of five (5) workstations or desktop computers, one (1) server with uninterrupted power supply (UPS), one (1) network switch, one (1) wireless router, one (1) colored printer and network cables.

The PBR is a government-initiated web-based I.T. system that will primarily allow the online filing of applications for business registration, business permits and licenses, and business dissolution using a single data entry facility. This facility which links the systems of national government agencies and local government units will facilitate business registration-related transactions by providing agencies and local government units (LGUs) the information they need in near real-time.

PBR is beefing up facilities of NERBACs nationwide as these centers can serve as access stations for business registration applicants especially for areas where LGUs still have difficulty connecting to the internet or are not yet fully computerized.

The procurement of these IT units is funded by the Asian Development Bank- Japan Fund for Information and Communication Technology (ADB-JFICT).

NERBAC- Caraga has been advocating among LGUs connectivity to the PBR. To date, the LGU of Bislig City has already signified their intention to connect and is now working on the technical requirements. Both Butuan City and Surigao City LGUs are still evaluating their LGUs readiness as against the needed technical specifications. (DTI-13/ PIA-Caraga)


Caraga Intellectual Property Advocates organized

BUTUAN CITY, PHILIPPINES- A regional group of inventors, artists and intellectual property [IP] advocates was recently organized in Caraga.

The group named themselves the “Caraga Intellectual Property Advocates or Caraga IPAd.

The creation of Caraga IPAd is envisioned to ensure that more of Caraga’s original talents, designs and inventions will be protected from theft or unauthorized use through patenting, trademark and copyright.

Its formation also came in the heels of a series of meetings, IP advocacies, clinics and consultations which were started early this year.

To date, Caraga has pending applications of 4 trademarks, 2 utility models and 1 copyright. (DTI-13/ PIA-Caraga)


ILO-DOLE-DTI Climate Change Adaptation Project prepares for selection of priority areas in Agusan del Norte

The Climate Change Adaptation [CCA] Project: Climate Resilient Farming Communities in Agusan del Norte through Innovative Risk Transfer Mechanisms is now finalizing the selection of priority areas for specific interventions.

ILO Project Manager Lurraine Baybay-Villacorta said the selection will be done as soon as the technical working group and subsequently the project’s advisory committee [PAC] is done with the final review of the baseline study which was commissioned some two months back, as well as the selection criteria in a special meeting set on December 22.

The PAC is currently chaired by Department of Trade and Industry [DTI] Caraga Regional Director Brielgo O. Pagaran with the Department of Labor & Employment [DOLE] regional director and Agusan del Norte [AdN] Governor Erlpe John Amante as members. The arrangement is for all PAC principals to assume as chair for a year each.

The draft baseline study was earlier subjected to a provincial validation workshop last December 3 with AdN provincial and municipal officials, representatives from farmers groups, people’s organizations, financing institutions and government line agencies.

Agusan del Norte is actually one of only five demonstration sites in the country for the climate change project under the Millennium Development Goals Fund. The demonstration projects are under the so-called Outcome 3 of a bigger project dubbed: Strengthening the Philippines’ Institutional Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change.

The AdN demo project is implemented by ILO in collaboration with DOLE and the DTI, with the latter two operating through their Caraga regional offices.

The Project is further given a boost by the commitment and involvement of the AdN Provincial Government formally expressed through the Memorandum of Understanding [MOU] signed by Governor Amante and Director Linda Wirth of the ILO Sub- Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific (SRO Manila), during the Project’s launching last August 26, 2009. (DTI-13/ PIA-Caraga)


Former socioeconomic planning secretary keynotes Caraga’s 1st regional economic briefing

BUTUAN CITY - Former socio-economic planning secretary Dr. Cielito F. Habito was the keynote speaker in the recent regional economic briefing held this city.

Habito, an economics professor and director of the Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development [ACERD] of the Ateneo Manila University talked on the global crisis, its effect on the Asian economies, and the recent key trends, outlook and imperatives of both the Philippine and Caraga economy.

His presentation titled: “Struggling through Global Crisis: Philippine Economic Performance & Outlook, 2009-2010 and Beyond” made special note of how the growth in the Philippine economy came from domestic investments mainly composed of government construction or what we may call as massive pump priming. Habito also shared how “the link between economic growth and poverty reduction has been stronger in Asia for every 1% of GDP growth . . . but not in the Philippines where poverty actually rose even as the economy saw a supposed record growth . . .”

In his consideration of the Caraga economy, the former NEDA Director General cited several positive developments such as increasing investments, tourist arrivals, mining output and tax collection among others, side by side with some disappointments [decreasing agricultural production and exports, elementary school participation rate, and high inflation rate] & challenges. He made particular mention on the challenge for the region to work for a much broader-based growth i.e. beyond mining & quarrying.

He also repeatedly emphasized the importance of good governance and the vigilance of the private sector to battle constraints to long term and sustainable economic development.

Habito was joined by NEDA Caraga Assistant Regional Director Cecilia Lopez who presented the Updated Caraga Regional Development Plan and Ms. Belinda Ato of the Father Saturnino Urios University with her talk on Caraga’s Perspectives & Challenges for Peace and Development, DTI Caraga Regional Director Brielgo Pagaran who welcomed the participants and the members of the National Economic Research and Business Assistance Center or NERBAC Caraga board of advisors in the panel.

The December 7 briefing was the first economic briefing organized by NERBAC Caraga. The half-day activity as attended by more than 100 participants – officials and representatives from the government, business, academe and banking sectors. (DTI-13/ PIA-Caraga)