PIA News Service - Wednesday, March 17, 2010-B

DOH-Caraga conducts newborn screening sales confab
By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY – To address issues and concerns on the Newborn Screening (NBS) program implementation in Caraga region, the Department of Health (DOH) Caraga recently conducted sales conference among potential partners in newborn screening program implementation held in one of the local convention centers here.

Stating the benefits and importance of newborn screening and its historical background, newborn screening nurse – Nanette Fat of DOH-Caraga, discussed the nature of the program. She also said that that newborn screening is a simple procedure to find out if your baby has a congenital metabolic disorder that may lead to mental retardation or even death if left untreated. 

“Most babies with metabolic disorders look ‘normal’ at birth. By doing newborn screening, metabolic disorders may be detected even before clinical signs and symptoms are present. And as a result of this, treatment can be given to prevent consequences of untreated conditions,” Fat said.

Fat further said that newborn screening is ideally done on the 48th-72nd hour of life. However, it may also be done 24 hours from birth. Some disorders are not detected if the test is done earlier than 24 hours.

When asked how newborn screening is done, Fat explained that ‘Newborn screening is a simple procedure. Using the heel prick method, a few drops of blood are taken from the baby’s heel and blotted on a special absorbent filter card. The blood is dried for 4 hours and sent to the Newborn Screening Center (NSC).’

Meanwhile, Newborn Screening Regional Coordinator Dr. Glynna Andoy of DOH-Caraga bared that the blood sample for newborn screening may be collected by a trained physician, nurse, midwife or medical technologist.

Dr. Andoy also stressed that Newborn Screening is available in participating newborn screening facilities like hospitals, lying-ins, rural health unit and health centers.

As to when the newborn screening results are available, Dr. Andoy said that the results are available 7-14 working days from the time newborn screening samples are received at the newborn screening centers while positive NBS results are relayed from the NSC to the Newborn Screening Facility (NSF) immediately. 

“Parents should claim the NBS results from the physician or health practitioner,” Dr. Andoy added. 

Dr. Andoy also pointed out that babies with positive results should be referred at once to a specialist for confirmatory testing and further management. Consult http://www.nsrc.nih.org.ph for the list of specialists.

Other issues and concerns were also raised and addressed thru an open forum right after the discussions of the speakers of the sales conference. (PIA-Caraga)


NYC intensifies commitment of RDC-RAC members
By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY – The Regional Advisory Council (RAC) of Caraga Region headed by the National Youth Commission (NYC) convened for a meeting, Friday (March 12) at the City Mayor’s Conference Room here.

NYC-Northeastern Mindanao Area Officer Eddie Cuaresma presided the meeting participated by representatives of various government line agencies.

RAC-Caraga Secretary Salma Jayne Tamano of NYC, said that presently, all regional line agencies that have youth programs are invited to be members of RAC and shall serve as the regional counterpart of the National Advisory Council (NAC).

 Also, Cuaresma bared that RAC was put in place for many valuable reasons, some of which is to strengthen inter-agency collaboration, it serve as a venue for sharing and disseminating info on each agency’s youth program.

“RAC members are expected to attend and actively participate in the RAC meetings; recommend innovations and strategies to NYC program implementation in the region; and assist the NYC in information dissemination and advocacy campaigns on various youth issues in the region,” Cuaresma added.

Cuaresma also stressed that RAC will serve as a mechanism for the NYC to reach the regional and provincial levels. It is a reality that NYC lacks regional infrastructure that would deliver services to the regional and provincial levels thus this hampers the realization of the agency’s objective to reach the youth sector in remote communities. (PIA-Caraga)


Caraga holds “Dialogue Mindanaw” on GRP-MILF peace process
By Michael A. Imbo 

BUTUAN CITY - Government of the Republic of the Philippines-Moro Islamic Liberation Front (GRP-MILF) PEACE PROCESS initiated by the Office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) through the coordination of Caraga Conference for Peace and Development (CCPD) conducted peace dialogue dubbed as “Dialogue Mindanaw”, held recently at Bishop’s Home, St. Peter’s Seminary, Barangay Ampayon, this city.

Among the highlights of the activity include: collecting ideas, gathered information and find solution on the conflict in GRP-MILF issues and Peace in Mindanao.

The activity is participated by the different sectors from Caraga region composed of religious groups, local government units, businessmen, professionals, farmers, indigenous peoples, women, youth societies, non-government organizations, fisherfolks, urban poor, academe, media, AFP, PNP and Muslims.

Dr. Ronald Adamat of the GRP panel presented the GRP-MILF Peace Talks last March 3, 2010 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Adamat said “there are three major aspects of the Projected GRP-MILF peace agreement. These are: Security Aspect (Ceasefire); Humanitarian, Rehabilitation and Development Aspect; and the Ancestral Domain aspect.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Guimba Poingan, MILF speaker discussed the importance of solving the GRP-MILF conflict. According to him, the MILF is the largest armed group in Mindanao.

Dr. Poingan also said that the peace agreement between the GRP-MILF issues will make it easy on the part of the government to address other conflicts in Mindanao.

Negotiations are the prominent approach to resolve self-determination conflict as one of the best approaches, he said.

The MILF Speaker also said that there are six major issues arising from GRP-MILF negotiations, as follows: identity, homeland, resources, governance, security and relationship.

Also, Atty. Charina Sanz, representing the Regional Management Team gives orientation and determined the importance of every opinion and dialogue of Caraganons to share ideas in deliberation of peace process.

In the afternoon, part of the session required participants to form small group discussions with the presence of trained facilitators and documenters. 

Moreover, Rev. Fr. Carlito Clase of CCPD stressed that “instead of all out war we want all out dialogue.”

Dialogue Mindanaw is hosted by OPAPP in cooperation of CCPD lead Convener Most. Rev. Juan Dios M. Pueblos, Butuan Bishop. (PIA-Caraga)
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Cebuano News: GRP-MILF isyu gituki sa Dialogue Mindanaw
By Michael A. Imbo

BUTUAN CITY  – Gipahigayon ang usa ka “Dialogue Mindanaw” sa katuyuan nga makab-ot ang kalinaw sa tibuok isla sa Mindanaw tali sa kagubot sa panggamhanan sa Pilipinas batok sa Moro Islamic Liberation Front GRP-MILF aron matagaan kini sa tukmang kasulbaran pinaagi sa gihimong konsultasyon sa kumunidad dili pa lang dugay, didto sa Bishop’s Home, St. Peter’s Seminary Social Hall, Barangay Ampayon, ni’ng syudad.

Gihimo ang programa pinangunahan sa Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) inabagan kini sa Caraga Conference for Peace and Development (CCPD) nga gipangunahan ni Most. Rev. Juan Dios Pueblos, Arsobispo ni’ng dakbayan.

Sa bahin sa gobyerno si Dr. Ronald Adamat ang nahimong tigpama-ba alang sa pagpasabot sa mga isyu lambigit sa prosesong kalinaw tali sa GRP-MILF.

Gibutyag niini ang tulo ka aspeto sa GRP-MILF agreement, una ang seguridad, tawhanong katungod, kauswagan ug ang kalabot sa yutang kabilin (ancestral domain).

Sumala ni Adamat nga dunay negosasyon nga gihimo didto sa Kuala Lumpur ang duha ka paksyon sa gobyerno ug MILF lambigit sa hisgutanang peace process.

Si Dr. Guimba Poingan ang mibarog kabahin sa MILF, gisulti niini nga angayan tutokan ang lalom nga kasulbaran tali sa GRP-MILF nga sa taas nga panahon nahimo nga ugat sa kagubot sa Mindanaw.

Dugang ni Dr. Poingan nga katuyuan sa grupo sa MILF ang sinserong negosasyon sa GRP-MILF ug matagad ang identipikasyon, yutang kabilin, bahandi, pagdumala sa gobyerno, seguridad ug relasyon.

Samtang si Atty. Charina Sanz, representante sa Regional Management Team ang mihatag sa kinatibuk-ang pagpadayag alang sa pagtampo ug mga ideya ug opinyon sa tagsa-tagsa aron magamit sa proseso sa pagkab-ot sa kalinaw.

Gisalmotan ang Dialogue Mindanaw sa nagkalain-laing sektor, gikan sa relihiyosong grupo, lokal nga kagamhanan, negosyante, propesyunal, mag-uuma, mangingisda, lumad, kristiyano ug muslim, apil sab ang kasundalohan, kapulisan, media, academe, grupo sa kabayen-an ug kabataan.

Sa katapusang bahin si Rev. Fr. Carlito Clase ang mitak-op sa programa ug iyang gisabwag nga ang Dialogue Mindanaw, dili pakig-debate kini pagtampo sa opinyon nga makatabang sa kasulbaran alang sa pagkab-ot sa Kalinaw sa Mindanaw. Gilauman nga magpadayon ang paglawig sa “Mindanaw Kalinaw!”. (PIA-Caraga)
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PIACAT Surigao del Sur strengthens implementation of RA 9208 & 9262

TANDAG, SURIGAO DEL SUR – The Provincial Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking in Person (PIACAT) of this province spearheaded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) convened recently to discuss on updates of Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Person Act of 2003 and Republic Act 9262 – Anti-Violence Against Women and Children of 2004. 

The conference aimed to strengthen the roles and responsibilities of each members of the council for the implementation of RA 9208 and RA 9262 for local level, held at the Provincial Capitol Conference Room participated by the PIACAT members from different line agencies and non-government organizations.

DSWD-Caraga Project officer Mr. Jbionne Pagalan discussed what RA 9208 is. According to him, it has given highest priority to the enactment of measures and development of programs that will promote human dignity; protect the people from violence and exploitation; eliminate trafficking in persons; and mitigate pressures for involuntary migration and servitude of persons. It will also ensure their recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration.

“RA 9262 on the other hand, will value the dignity of women and children; guarantee full respect for human rights; recognizes the need to protect the family and its members particularly women and children from violence and threats to their personal safety and security,” Mr. Pagalan added. 

Also, DSWD-Caraga revealed that there 17 victims were intercepted and rescued from Anti-Trafficking in Person as of June 2009. According to Mr. Pagalan, among the 17 victims, six are from Surigao City, five in Surigao del Norte, three in Agusan del Sur, two in Agusan del Norte and one in Dinagat Islands. 

Mr. Pagalan further said that trafficking in person cases mostly involved the minors, aged 13-17 years old, involving to sexual exploitation, force labor and organ donor.

Meanwhile, reorganization of PIACAT Members was suggested to add more members from line agencies and non-government organizations that could contribute for strengthening of implementation of the program. Proposed schedule for the orientation and roadshow campaign was also agreed by the members to be scheduled on April.
(PIA-Surigao del Sur)
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German gov’t mounts peace-building, anti-poverty projects in Caraga region
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German and Filipino development workers are cooperating with Region 13 local government units and civil society members in preparation for implementing a long-term, integrated program of poverty reduction through peace-building in the Caraga region. 
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The program supported by the German government aims at addressing the structural causes of the region’s conflicts. Most of the conflicts have to do with inequitable access to land and overlapping claims of land tenure, resulting in poor economic development and the exploitative depletion of the region’s resources.
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“Resource-based conflicts tend to result in unequal economic growth, severe poverty, environmental degradation, weak institutions, and the marginalization of entire population groups, particularly the indigenous peoples and women,” according to Holger Zahn, program manager of German Technical Cooperation (GTZ).
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The Caraga activities will be undertaken in the spirit of development cooperation between the Philippines and Germany. Among the organizations commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) to implement the program are GTZ, German Development Service (DED), Center for International Migration and Development (CIM), ZfD, forumZfD and Germany’s development banking institution KfW. Key players on the Philippine side are the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Mindanao Economic Development Council and the Office of the Presidential Adviser for the Peace Process. 
“We count very much on the Philippine government’s support for a successful and pragmatic implementation of our two countries’ development efforts,” said Zahn. 

Already completed is one of the program’s core elements - a participatory conflict analysis involving interviews with a wide representation of Caraga stakeholders, many of whom are also in the middle of conflict situations. These stakeholders from uplands, agricultural as well as coastal areas were able to shed light on the roots and dimensions of various conflicts by sharing their personal or in-depth knowledge.  

According to Zahn, the main advantage of a participatory approach over an externally driven analysis is its potential to achieve genuine dialogue and motivate the stakeholders themselves into taking ownership for conflict transformation. Furthermore it helps ensure the legitimacy of processes, decisions and peace-building measures to be undertaken, he added.

“The conduct of a participatory conflict analysis is an important part of the overall intervention. By its characteristics and inclusive nature, a participatory analysis promotes empowerment and increases the likelihood for sustainability,” he explained.  
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The conflict analysis gathered people’s perceptions and impressions towards a better understanding of the Caraga situation. It was not just about uncovering the background of Caraga’s prevalent social and political disputes but hearing out proposed solutions, as well. Lessons from previous peace-building initiatives were also surveyed.  
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The participatory conflict analysis lays the groundwork for a broader development mission in the region. Beginning 2011, the two governments will implement the integrated peace building and poverty reduction program entitled “Conflict Sensitive Resource and Asset Management” or COSERAM.
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“During the interim phase prior to COSERAM, we will draw up and test appropriate conflict transformation strategies and plan specific activities to support the people of Caraga in dealing with resource based conflicts effectively,” Zahn said. These activities are likely to include technical assistance in agro-forestry, coastal management, agriculture and the municipal management of resources such as water, which aim at directly benefitting the local population. (Oscar Gomez, German Technical Cooperation/ PIA-Caraga)