3.14.2010

PIA News Service - Saturday, March 13, 2010

OFWs receive DOLE 'Kabuhayan' in Surigao del Sur

SAN MIGUEL, SURIGAO DEL SUR - Fifty former Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) received recently a "Starter Kit" under the "Kabuhayan Program" of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in San Miguel town, Surigao del Sur. 

The "Starter Kit? was provided by DOLE based in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur province.

According to Philippine Information Agency (PIA), the starter kit that costs P4,000. 

Community Development Information Officer (CDIO) Nancy Elizalde said the local government of San Miguel headed by Mayor Alfeo Perez fully supported the program and conducted several trainings for qualified unemployed OFWs in the municipality. 

The trainings included massage, cosmetology, electrician and plumbing. The training program focused on hands on and lecture that were simultaneously held in the area. 

The DOLE "Kabuhayan Program" is under the Capacity Building Services (CBS) for Livelihood. 

The program is a priority project of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to enhance capacity building for livelihood of unemployed OFWs. (muc/PIA-Caraga)
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Quake rocks Mati City anew

TANDAG CITY, SURIGAO DEL SUR - A 3.8 magnitude earthquake rocked anew residents in Mindanao?s southern tip city of Mati, in Davao Oriental province on Wednesday. 

The earthquake already brought to two that took place in less than two weeks this month in Mati City, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. 

The Wednesday 3.8 magnitude earthquake occurred at 10:43 a.m. with the epicenter estimated at 67 kilometers northeast of Mati City. 

The tremor had a shallow depth of 34 kilometers and was tectonic in origin. 

It was felt as intensity 2 in Tarragon and Caraga, both in Davao Oriental and also intensity 1 in this city. 

There was no damage or injury reported and no aftershocks were felt, Phivolcs said. 

Last March 1, a 5.0 magnitude earthquake also rattled 16 kilometers northwest of Mati City. 

Last Feb. 26, also this year, a 5.5 magnitude earthquake also occurred 92 kilometers southeast also of the said city. 

Phivolcs said the area is seismically active because of the network of faults in the area that are connected to the complex fault system in the Molucca Sea. (muc/PIA-Caraga)

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Mindanao cannot afford another war, says Muslim official

BUTUAN CITY - Mindanao cannot afford another all-out war in the magnitude of the ?70s that brought a wide swath of destruction to lives and properties and a stagnant economic growth in the region, according to a ranking Muslim official. 

Sukarno Muhamad, regional director in Caraga Region of the newly created National Commission of Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), tearfully related his experience and the hardship of tens of thousands of civilians affected by the fighting between government forces and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in southern Philippines during that gloomy period of the country's history. 

Muhamad, who was young when the war broke out, was one of the resource speakers at the reflective dialogue conducted here Thursday which was attended by 430 people from various sectors of society in the Caraga Region. 

He recalled that sometime in February 1973, he saw more than 300 bodies, including those of women and children killed following a rampage by MNLF forces when the war broke out. Their bodies were strewn in the streets, he said. 

Muhamad stressed the importance of peace, saying "peace should be achieved now with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)." 

"War and armed conflict should not come back to haunt the people of Mindanao," he said. 

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) is conducting a series of "reflective dialogues" nationwide to find a lasting solution to the decades-old Mindanao problem that has claimed the lives of some 150,000 people with the government spending over P150 billion for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). 

Muhamad said the reflective dialogues would promote understanding among cultural-cross section of society. 

"The OPAPP reflective dialogues would help all concerned stakeholders to promote cultural understanding and not foment prejudices and conflict," Muhamad said. 

Among those who showed up at the forum here were representatives from the Caraga Council for Peace and Development (CCPD), priests and seminarians from Agusan and local officials from Surigao, farmers, fisher folks, and representatives from indigenous groups and other sectors from the religious, academe, business, women, youth and local government units (LGUs). 

"Dialogue Mindanaw" is a positive development as it reflects the true will and sentiments of the people as they can talk freely of their opinions. 

The daylong forum was held at the St. Peter's College Seminary here. (Ben Cal/PIA-Caraga)

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Participants in Caraga region 'Dialogue Mindanaw' want peace

BUTUAN CITY - The people of Caraga region hailed the holding of the reflective dialogue in this region's capital city because they were enlightened of the ticklish issues to be resolved in the peace process in the southern island. 

All of the 300 participants who attended on Thursday the "Dialogue Mindanaw" would like to see a peaceful settlement to the decades-old armed conflict in southern Philippines soonest. 

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) in cooperation with Caraga Conference for Peace and Development (CCPD), the "Dialogue Mindanaw" gathering was held at the Social Hall of St. Peter College Seminary at Kilometer 6, Barangay Ampayon, this city. 

The reflective dialogue, undertaken by OPAPP and CCPD, gathered representatives from various sectors in Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur and the cities of Butuan, Bislig and Surigao. 

Present at the dialogues were representatives of internally displaced people, local government units, Lumads, religious groups (Christians and Muslims) non-governmental organizations and civil society groups, women's groups, youth groups, the academe, and indigenous peoples. 

Also present were some regional directors of other line agencies of the government and members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP). 

Butuan City "Dialogue Mindanaw" was part of the series of dialogues conducted by the OPAPP. 

Representatives of the government panel and Moro Islamic Liberation front (MILF) spoke before their Caraga region audience about what the government and MILF wanted to do to achieve elusive peace in the island. 

Participants in Butuan's "Dialogue Mindanaw" also gave their different views, suggestions and resolutions during discussion and plenary session. 

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Annabelle T. Abaya said that reflective dialogue is an effective tool in getting the sentiments and opinions of the people about the conflict in Mindanao, particularly the on-going peace negotiation between the Philippine government and the MILF. 

It is being done by the government in compliance with a Supreme Court ruling to undertake a nationwide consultation in preparation for the drafting of an agreement between the two parties. 

Launched last February 20 in Jolo, Sulu, "Dialogue Mindanaw" is designed to inform the general public about the ongoing peace process between the government and the MILF and to encourage them to take part in the process by voicing out their concerns, sharing their views about the conflict in Mindanao. 

"Everybody wanted peace and everybody wanted kalinaw sa (peace of) Mindanao for progress and development," said Diocese of Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios M. Pueblos, founding chair of CCPD and former president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). 

The output from the Butuan's "Dialogue Mindanaw" will be presented to the central negotiating panel of the government and MILF. It will be used as basis for a draft agreement between both parties. (muc/PIA-Caraga)
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Cops seize illegally-cut lumber, logs in Surigao del Sur

CAMP RAFAEL RODRIGUEZ, BUTUAN CITY - The police anti-illegal logging task force apprehended some 2,100 board feet of illegally-sawn lumbers along the highway of Tagbina Monitoring Station at Barangay Poblacion, Tagbina town, Surigao del Sur province Thursday, a spot report received by the police regional command and tactical operation center here on Friday stated. 

The report said that the illegally-sawn "yakal" lumbers were loaded in a six wheeler truck bearing plate number RMG 961 driven by certain Ely Barcenal. 

No pertinent transport documents were presented by the driver when asked by authorities, it added. 

The apprehended lumbers and truck are now under the custody of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Tagbina in Surigao del Sur for proper disposition. 

Earlier, authorities also apprehended two 10-wheeler trucks loaded with illegally-cut round logs at Barangay Tagongon of that same town. 

The anti-illegal logging task force immediately brought the two 10 wheeler trucks at the DENR station for proper disposition and filing of charges against the suspects. 

The two 10 wheeler trucks, Isuzu bearing plate number GRF 495, driven by Gary Alasadas of Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur loaded with 44 pieces round logs "lawaan" with corresponding volume of 47.69 cubic meters and Fuso bearing plate number RHW 473, driven by Esteban Camellano of Valencia, Bukidnon loaded with 62 pcs. round logs "lawaan" with corresponding volume of 45.46 cubic, failed to show documents. 

Chief Supt. Lino D. Calingasan, regional director of Police Regional Office 13, ordered field units in Surigao del Sur to continue extending support to the DENR's anti-illegal logging drive. (muc/PIA-Caraga)
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Low water level in Mindanao forces power firms to shut down more turbines

Butuan City (March 14) -- The National Power Corp. (NPC) has shut down some of the hydroelectric turbines of Agus plants in Lake Lanao and Pulangi 4 in Maramag, Bukidnon due to "very low and critical water level." 

Pedro Ambos, officer-in-charge of operations and planning division of NPC, said the firm decided to turn off temporarily some of its turbines "to save water" and "avert damages." 

Earlier, Engr. Noli Namocatcat, corporate manager of Agusan del Norte Electric Cooperative (ANECO), said a 2-centimeter daily decrease in water level in Lake Lanao might force the coop to shut down its turbines. 

"At 2 centimeters water down a day, this Agus plants might forced to shutdown to protect its turbines from further damage," said Namocatcat. 

ANECO general manager Horacio Santos said major industries had lost millions of pesos due to power curtailment. 

The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), in its advisory Saturday, said the Lake Lanao water level had gone down further to 699.01 meters, which is already below the critical level of 699.15 meters. 

The NGCP advisory also said that the generating power capacity to date was recorded at 650 megawatts (MW), against grid demand of 1,447 MW. 

Lake Lanao is the source of Mindanao grid. 

Lanao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Laneco) manager Resnol Torres said the temporary shut down of some of the Agus plants' turbines had resulted in a further cut in the coop's power of around 40 MW. 

The new load curtailment scheme was meant for four-hour daily brownouts in the coop's service area, he said. 

In Cagayan de Oro, local power utility Cepalco said the public could expect longer rotating brownouts, even a total blackout if the power situation takes a turn for the worst. 

Total blackouts have also been scheduled in some provinces in Central Mindanao. 

The rotating brownout reaches from 8 to 12 hours in several areas in the southern island. 

The other day, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo already declared a state of calamity in Mindanao due to severe power problem. 

The declaration of a state of calamity would enable local government units (LGUs) to access calamity funds which could be used in mitigating the effects of power crisis. (muc/PIA-Caraga)
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DENR-13 bags best exhibit award

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Caraga was adjudged the “Best Exhibitor – Regional Line Agency Category” in WOW Caraga! 2nd Calagan Festival Celebration held recently at the Provincial Sports Complex in Surigao City on February 23-27.

DENR-Caraga Regional Executive Director Edilberto S. Buiser said the award is a testament to the good public service provided by the DENR personnel headed by Regional Technical Director Mario L. Eludo of the Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Services (PAWCZMS).

“The DENR’s participation is one way of helping mitigating climate change, through information and education, to help save our Planet Earth by urging people to be compassionate, caring and protective of our rich natural endowments,” RED Buiser added.

RTD Eludo meanwhile, said that DENR bested 42 other exhibitors by showcasing the region’s rich biodiversity highlighted by world-class eco-tourism sites presented in a stunning audio-video media technology, by drawing an average of 150 visitor-registrants a day from the academe, studentry, various local government officials, religious and civil-society advocates, businessmen, environmentalists, and domestic and foreign tourists.

“Our exhibition is in line with this year’s observance of the International Year of Biodiversity. Its slogan: ‘Conserve Biodiversity, Save Humanity’ is potent but clear enough to be understood even by children that our biodiversity (nature) is elemental to humanity’s survival in the face of climate change’s fearful backlash,” RTD Eludo said.

The 2nd Calagan Festival Celebration is spearheaded by the Department of Tourism. (Ronnel LMV G. Calo, DENR-13/ PIA-Caraga)