2.17.2010

PIA News Service - Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010

PGMA visits Agribusiness project in Lingig
By Michael A. Imbo

BUTUAN City (18 February) – President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo visits the provinces of Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur on Tuesday (16 January) as part of her Mindanao Agribusiness Legacy Tour.

President Arroyo landed at Sitio Kasunogan Poblacion, this municipality from Mainit, Surigao del Norte where she presented the Mindanao Agribusiness projects to students of Surigao del Norte College of Agriculture and Technology (SNCAT) in Brgy. Magpayang, and in Socorro, Bucas Grande Island, Surigao del Nore where she inaugurated the P42.211-million Socorro Feeder Port.

Upon arrival, Pres. Arroyo with her party composed of Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Sec. Jesus Dureza, Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Sec. Leandro Mendoza, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Sec. Victor Domingo, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Sec. Horacio Ramos, Press Sec. Crispulo Icban, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Commissioner Hadja Luningning Omar, and Agusan del Norte 1st District Representative Jose “Joboy” Aquino II were welcomed by Surigao del Sur Gov. Vicente Pimentel, 2nd District Rep. Florencio Garay and Mayor Luna.

The President, accompanied by the media group on board the “King Long Bachelor” bus motored to Barangay Union for the briefing of the Surigao-Davao Coastal Road Project by Department of Public Works and Highways Caraga Regional Director Dr. Evelyn T. Barroso and (DPWH) Sec. Victor Domingo. The construction of Bislig-Lingig Road Section with two bridges was already completed last Jan. 25. It was also learned that DPWH is still on the process of doing ground works on the Lingig-Boston boundary section.

After the briefing, the President proceeded to Lingig municipal hall and was welcomed by a crowd estimated at 5,000 composed of students from various schools, teachers, local officials and member-beneficiaries of the national government's “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program” or 4 Ps.

It was noted, that the completion of the road project, which is bordering the provinces of Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental, will complete the close to P2-billion Surigao-Davao Coastal Road under President Arroyo's SONA (State-of-the-Nation Address) projects.

“These big infrastructure projects are a big boost to the economic activity of Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental and other neighboring areas in Northeastern and Southern Mindanao regions,” Director Barroso said. (PIA-Caraga)


Pres. Arroyo inspects SDCR status in Lingig
By Michael A. Imbo

BUTUAN CITY (18 February) – On board a “King Long” Bachelor bus with a group of media personalities in Caraga Region, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo recently conducted windshield inspection on the status of Surigao-Davao Coastal Road (SDCR) and visited the community of the Municipality of Lingig, Surigao del Sur.
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While in the bus, local media were given the opportunity to interact with the President where according to the President, the construction of the Bislig-Lingig Road will surely improve the lives of the people of Lingig, one of the poorest and remotest municipalities in Surigao del Sur.

He President also said, an additional P400 million will be released by the Department of Budget and Management for the completion of the project.

In a simple ceremony held in Brgy. Union (Lingig), Surigao del Sur Governor Vicente Pimentel gave his Welcome Message. Highlighting the message is the Governor thanking the President for the projects given to the province where according to him, will surely uplift the lives and economic status of the province.

Meanwhile, DPWH Caraga Regional Director Dr. Evelyn T. Barroso briefed the President of the status of completion of the Surigao-Davao Coastal Road. Barroso further assured the President, the project will be completed before she (Pres. Arroyo) steps down on June 2010.

President Arroyo added that the Surigao-Davao Coastal Road was realized because of increased government revenues through the implementation of the expanded value-added tax law.

SDCR is also part of government’s program to build Mindanao as the country’s agribusiness super region. (PIA-Caraga)
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Army clashes NPA, 1 died
By Michael A. Imbo

BUTUAN CITY (18 February) - Joint elements of the 30th Infantry Brigade and PNP of Buenavista attacked a camp of the New People’s Army (NPA) capturing various firearms, medical paraphernalia and subversive documents at the forested area at the vicinity of Sitio Kiholao, Barangay Guinabsan, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte.

The incident happened at around 5:30 a.m. Friday (Feb. 12) when troops from the 30th IB encountered some more or less 100 NPA rebels at the vicinity of Sitio Kiholao.

Army Public Information Officer Major Symoun Semprun said a member of the NPA was killed while several others were wounded during the encounter. He said the government troops also suffered one casualty.

On the other hand, Lt. Col. Roberto Valencia, 30th IB, operation commander said that based on report, firefight lasted almost two hours after which the well-entrenched insurgents abandoned their camp and scampered to different direction bringing with them their wounded comrades.

The troop of rebels left behind the body of the one slain who was in possession of an M-16 Armalite rifle and the rest were able to escape to unknown direction.

The government troops confiscated the 3 additional M-16 rifles, one homemade rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), one generator, 2 anti-human landmines, medicines and medical equipments, subversive documents and one handheld Kenwood radio.

“This is a proof that the NPA forces are getting weaker due to the intensified combat operations, coupled with nations and community-building activities being vigorously undertaken by Army troopers all over the country," Valencia said.

Meanwhile, PSupt. Benson Leleng, Provincial Director of Police Provincial Office- Agusan del Norte also said that the encounter is still under investigation.

The cadaver will be brought to nearest funeral by the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO). (PIA-Caraga)
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Officials, residents thank PGMA for her continuing support to Surigao del Sur

LINGIG, Surigao del Sur (Feb. 18) – Local officials and residents of this province on Tuesday (Feb. 16) expressed heartfelt gratitude to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for her continuing support in making the province economically stable and globally competitive.

“Dili gayud matukib sa pulong and among dakung pagpasalamat kanimo mahal namo nga Pangulo,” (Our gratitude to our beloved President is beyond words) Surigao del Sur Gov. Vicente Pimentel said in his welcome message to the Chief Executive before more than 5,000 people at the Municipal Hall here.

He noted that the President made possible the construction of more than 200 kilometers of roads and bridges set to finish before her term ends in June, this year.

The provincial governor cited the Surigao-Davao Coastal road project that connects two regions in Mindanao - Northeastern Mindanao (Caraga region) and Southern Mindanao (Region 11).

Gov. Pimentel sees the full economic development of Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental due to the concrete road projects that are set to be completed.

“It is a big help to our farmers and to our businessmen,” he said.

Meanwhile, Surigao del Sur Representatives Francisco Garay and Philip Pichay also made the same separate statements including the mayors of the different towns in the province during the occasion.

President Arroyo, the first leader of the country to visit this far-flung town of the province, came on Tuesday to personally conduct an on-site inspection of the remaining ongoing ground works of the 15-kilometer Lingig-Boston Section. Under the 2010 budget, the road construction has P628-million fund.

President Arroyo’s visit here is the third leg of her Super Regions Agri-Business Legacy tour, beginning with the inauguration of P50-million Socorro Feeder Port in Socorro town, Surigao del Norte. (muc/PIA-Caraga)
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Sec. Ramos calls for all-out info drive on waste composting in rural areas
By Herzon F. Gallego

BUTUAN CITY – DENR Secretary Horacio C. Ramos has asked all his regional executive directors on Wednesday to intensify the information campaign on proper solid waste management in the countryside particularly on composting to encourage the people in producing organic fertilizers from biodegradable waste.

The move followed the call of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to all local mayors and barangay chairmen in Mindanao to start imposing their respective program on solid waste management as a measure to mitigate global climate change during her visit at the fishing town of Mainit, Surigao del Norte.

The President said that every barangay must have a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) center where people can bring waste materials that can be recycled and reused. She said bio-gradable waste, on the other hand, can be converted into organic fertilizers which can be used by farmers. “Mindanao is considered a bread basket,” the President said. “The government under my administration, therefore, has poured in huge funds to provide infrastructure facilities to promote development particularly in agricultural sectors” she added.

The President in her remarks also cited the other major accomplishment such as the irrigation of 358,000 hectares of land, the development of Socorro Municipal Port in Surigao del Norte, the Surigao-Davao Coastal Road and the extension of loans to farmers amounting to P 161 billion, in which 60 percent of the amount benefited the farmers in Mindanao among others.

Secretary Ramos who came with the team of cabinet officials of President Arroyo on her continuing visit to the provinces said the President has specific instruction to the DENR specifically on the intensification of information campaign on proper solid waste management practices in the countryside so that people can follow the law.

Secretary Ramos was also accompanied by his senior staff including Undersecretary for Special Constituency and External Affairs Demetrio L. Igancio, Assistant Secretary for Field Operations-Mindanao Atty. Ernesto D. Adobo and Assistant Secretary for Field Operations-Visayas Jeremias L. Dolino.

Prior to the arrival of the President at the campus of the Surigao del Norte College of Agriculture and Technology in Mainit, Surigao del Norte aboard a presidential chopper, the DENR under Regional Executive Director Edilberto S. Buiser has conducted a lecture demonstration on waste composting through the “windross” or plot-type process. The DENR team of the Environment Management Bureau has explained to the students about the simple process of producing organic fertilizers from garden waste.

The DENR said that it takes about two months for the waste to decompose and produce organic fertilizers under the natural process.

Director Buiser has immediately set his team into actions as he issued instruction to all 4 PENR and 13 CENR officers in the regions to coordinate closely with the local government officials in their respective area of responsibility about putting up of material recovery facilities in every barangay.

Buiser also met Mayor Ramon B. Mondano of Mainit, Surigao del Norte to assist the local government unit on its request for shredder equipment shortly after the President left to the neighboring province of Surigao del Sur to inaugurate a road project at the remote town of Lingig.

Mayor Mondano said the LGU will sustain this waste management program in his area but the DENR should provide support to their request for such equipment and the construction of the material recovery facility.
(DENR-13/ PIA-Caraga)
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PGMA orders AFP, PNP to secure government dev’t projects in Surigao, Davao

LINGIG, Surigao del Sur – President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Tuesday ordered field unit commanders of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) to secure workers currently doing ground works on the remaining road construction projects along the provincial boundary of Lingig, Surigao del Sur in the Caraga region and Boston, Davao Oriental in Southern Mindanao Region.

The Chief Executive, who made a drive-thru along with newsmen at the remaining unpaved 15-kilometers Lingig-Boston Section, also directed government field unit commanders to secure all equipments used in the road construction from any harassment posed by lawless elements.

The target completion of the on-going ground works of the Lingig-Boston section will be in June, the time Mrs. Arroyo finish her term of office. This road project will connect the two regions in Mindanao – Regions XI and XIII.

Several other peace and development infrastructures are ongoing in the border of Davao Oriental, particularly in Boston and Lingig towns where a huge road project is taking shape.
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When completed, the project will hasten travel time of Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental businessmen and farmers, particularly the Mandaya tribes.

Capt. Emmanuel R. Garcia, chief of Public Affairs Office (PAO) of the Army’s 10th Infantry (Agila) Division, noted the alleged terroristic and extortion activities of the communist-New People’s Army (NPA) in the area.

Capt. Garcia said two construction companies that are both at the forefront of the road construction projects that would connect Davao Oriental to Surigao Del Sur, were victims of such activities.

Troops from the AFP were compelled to secure different construction projects in the countryside due to prevalent threats from local terrorists, said Garcia.

In December of 2009, the same band of local terrorists attacked a construction site and attempted to burn the construction equipment in Boston town, where 55-year-old Rosalinda Clata and two government troops were killed, and two others wounded, who defended the road project, he said.

Also last year, local terrorists conducted a bomb attack against soldiers securing another peace and development project in the village of Puntalinao in Banaybanay town, also in Davao Oriental. This is after they burned three powerline towers which brought widespread brownout in the said province, he said. (muc/PIA-Caraga)


Food security, good infrastructure key to development and progress - PGMA

MAINIT, Surigao del Norte - President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Tuesday said that food security, through agriculture and good infrastructure are the key to development and progress.

Mrs. Arroyo stressed that the completion of the Surigao-Davao Coastal road will lift from the bondage of poverty poor residents in the area and will also answer the very needs of the farmers and businessmen, thus result in full development and economic prosperity of Surigao and nearby areas.

She vowed to “liberate” Surigao from poverty by improving the productivity and income of farmers and opening markets through ports and other vital infrastructures.

President Arroyo inaugurated the new P50-million Socorro Feeder Port in Socorro town, this province on Tuesday. She also inspected the ongoing ground works of the remaining 15-kilometer Lingig (Surigao del Sur)-Boston (Davao Oriental) road which is set to be completed by June.

Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur are both part of Agribusiness Mindanao of five super regions mapped out by the Arroyo administration in 2006 to spur the southern island’s economic development.

President Arroyo pointed out that agriculture and good infrastructure are both vital components in development and progress.

“Isiguro nato nga kada adlaw ibutang ang mga kinahanglan sa atong atubangan o centro, gusto nato ang kalinaw magadala sa prosperidad ug paglaom sa kada lalake ug babaye ug bata sa Mindanao (We must make sure that everyday we can have all what we need, we want peace that will bring prosperity and hope to every man and woman and children of Mindanao)," she said in the local dialect.

She encouraged local leaders to be more aggressive in agri-business to beef up the region’s productivity and to implement more innovative programs to make Mindanao the country's “food basket”.

The President cited the help of Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) which has so far provided P161 billion in countryside loans, of which P46 billion went to Mindanao alone. Most of these loans went to agricultural farming equipment such as driers and post harvest facilities to improve the quality of farm produce so they can command better prices in the market.

Addressing a huge crowd of students, teachers, and government, business and civic leaders at the Surigao del Norte College of Agriculture and Technology (SCAT) at Barangay Magpayang here, the President also encouraged various agricultural schools to be more aggressive and highly technically competitive.

She said that agribusiness is very potential in development and progress. “Better and better education for agri-business in order to fulfill the potential of Mindanao as bread basket,” Mrs. Arroyo stressed.

The President also cited the need to liberate the youth from violence and poverty which she called the “twin scourges of society,” through education and by expanding their opportunities to a better life.

President Arroyo has said she will continue to strive building a better life for the young generation even after she relinquishes power in June.

She told SCAT students, parents, and teachers that she has worked hard to improve the educational system for the next generation of Filipinos, and will continue to do so in the future.

"The youth of our nation are our hope and inspiration." "We must do everything to build a better life for each and every young person of this nation," she said.
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The Chief Executive stressed that it is the government's desire to see a brighter future for the hardworking men and women of the country, especially the teachers who mold the students. She also said she wants to see that the progress and development attained during her term is continued by the next leadership. She thus urged teachers and parents to help support the next administration in its effort to provide a better future for their children.

“We also need to beef up the region’s productivity some more through the provision of 300 composting facilities; giving MRFs (material recovery facilities) so that garbage becomes fertilizers; building irrigation for 400,000 hectares in Mindanao and spending P9 billion in farm to market roads and highways, including the Surigao-Davao coastal roads and ports,” she added.

The Chief Executive, accompanied here by Press Secretary Crispulo J. Icban Jr., Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro Mendoza, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Horace Ramos, Public Works and Highways Secretary Victor Domingo, Commissioner Hadja Luningning Omar of the Commission on Higher Education and Mindanao Agribusiness Super-region Champion Secretary Jesus Dureza, also urged her audience to help the government’s environment reservation and forest protection.

During her visit here, the DENR held a composting demonstration for students and farmers using used truck tires, carabao manure, farm wastes and farm or garden soil.

Impressed, President Arroyo ordered Sec. Ramos to direct his field personnel to coordinate with all LGUs to adopt the recovery facilities in all barangays as required by law.

The President was welcomed in Surigao del Norte by top regional, provincial and city officials led by Surigao del Norte Rep. Francisco T. Matugas (1st district), Surigao City Mayor Alfonso S. Casurra, Mainit Mayor Ramon C. Mondanao, Philippine Information Agency Director Abner Caga and other top military and police officials in the region. (muc/PIA-Caraga)