5.05.2010

PIA News Service - Wednesday, May 5, 2010

CSC sheds light on issue of third level career position

Butuan City - The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has clarified that career positions in the third level comprises only those in the Caree
Executive Service (CES) as enumerated in the 1987 Administrative Code, all of whom are appointed by the President.

In Resolution No. 100623, the CSC sought to end confusion on the scope of the third level by declaring that the third level or CES shall only cover the positions of Undersecretary, Assistant Secretary, Bureau Director, Assistant Bureau Director, Regional Director, Assistant Regional Director, Chief of Department Service and other officers of equivalent rank as may be identified by the Career Executive Service Board (CESB), all of whom are appointed by the President.

It further stated that executive and managerial positions in the career service other than the aforementioned shall belong to the second level of government.

In support of its position, the CSC cited precedent Supreme Court (SC) decisions clearly stating that only presidential appointees belong to the CES or third level of government, most recent of which is the case of National Transmission Corporation vs. Venusto Hamoy, Jr. (G.R. No. 179255) promulgated on April 2, 2009. In the said case, the High Court ruled that the position of respondent Hamoy as Vice President for Visayas-Mindanao Operations and Maintenance belongs to the second level.

Under the implementing rules of the 1987 Administrative Code (Executive Order No. 292), appointments in the career service are classified into three levels. The first level includes clerical, trades, crafts and custodial service positions in a non-supervisory or supervisory capacity requiring less than fours years of collegiate studies. The second level covers professional, technical and scientific positions which involve professional, technical or scientific work in a non-supervisory or supervisory capacity, and requires at least four years of collegiate work up to Division Chief level. The third level covers positions in the CES. (CSC-13/PIA-Caraga)


Actress-environmentalist visits Caraga's BCWD

Butuan City - Actress and environmentalist Chin Chin Gutierrez visited Butuan City Water District (BCWD) during its 36th Anniversary celebration, recently.

BCWD employees, headed by general manager Anselmo L. Sang Tian, warmly welcomed and entertained Gutierrez. They had the opportunity to talk with her in person and gamely pose in photo ops. Paying customers at the BCWD Lobby also had the chance to greet and shake her hands.

Fresh from the success of her environmental show on April 7 at the Urios Gym, Gutierrez expressed concern over the devastating state of the Taguibo River Watershed Forest Reserve. Reports on illegal activities – mining, logging and construction of road – within the said protected area reached to her knowledge. She promised to bring the matter to local and international environmental organizations that she is affiliated.

Gutierrez also urged BCWD employees to do everything to save and protect the Taguibo Watershed for only by saving and protecting it that the people of Butuan will be assured of a lasting supply of potable water for survival.

Healing the Earth, an environmental performance by Chin Chin Gutierrez, was not the same with the usual mainstream entertainment show. It was a combination of native songs, dances and lectures on the environment. It called for a high level of environmental awareness that would heal the damaged earth.

"To heal the earth is to know why we must heal the earth," Gutierrez said in her opening spiels.

"What has caused the earth to be in such a state that we must now need to heal the earth?" Gutierrez asked.

She said the earth is in a 50/50 situation; meaning, it is already in critical condition. Her data pointed out that man's garbage has been putting the earth in danger. The global warming is caused by man's garbage enveloping the earth; and heating it up.

"The sun normally gives us heat. Because of thick blanket of toxins covering the earth's atmosphere that come from man's garbage, the heat cannot bounce back to outer space. This makes the earth warm causing environmental imbalance," Gutierrez explained.

Gutierrez mastered so well the singing of the native songs. Her singing voice sounded like that of Jamie Rivera's. Her lectures were thoroughly researched. Ethnic dances were performed by students from the Father Saturnino Urios University (FSUU).

Healing the Earth was part of the 36th BCWD Anniversary celebration in cooperation with the FSUU and the Taguibo Watershed Network. (BCWD/PIA-Caraga)

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PNP, AFP, MinDA step up contingency plan to ensure power for May 10 polls

Butuan City - The Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) have stepped up their contingency plan to ensure uninterrupted power supply in Mindanao during the conduct of the country's historic and first automated elections on May 10, 2010.

Director Jaime E. Milla, Directorate for Integrated Police Operations-Eastern Mindanao (DIPO-EM), and Lt. Gen. Raymundo Ferrer, chief of the AFP?s Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMincom), are closely coordinating their tactical security measures to protect all hydroelectric and fossil-fed power plants in various provinces and cities in Northeastern, Northern, Southern and Central Mindanao regions.

Ferrer and Milla ordered on Sunday all Army field unit commanders and police regional, provincial and city directors to deploy security forces in all power stations and lines in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

The PNP?s DIPO-EM has jurisdiction over three regional police commands -? Regions X, XI and XIII. On the other hand, EastMincom has three combat maneuvering Divisions with respective brigade and battalions and other operational control units, including Navy and Air Force spread in the said regions.

"All our field units were already directed to redouble their effort to secure all power stations and stop at all cost those who attempt to sabotage the power supply to derail the election," said Milla.

"Our men on the ground are already on full alert to make this election peaceful and orderly," he added.

"We also asked the citizenry to help government security forces by way of immediately reporting any unusual movement in their respective areas," Milla said.

Lt. Col. Randolph G. Cabangbang, spokesman of EastMincom, also said all power plants are being secured by the government security forces and assisted by Special CAFGU (Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit) Active Auxiliary (SCAA).

Meanwhile, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has also announced its contingency plan on power for the May 2010 elections.

MinDA official Arthur Necesito said they have formulated mitigating strategies to address power generation deficiency during the elections.

Part of the projected strategies is to run the Iligan Diesel Power Plant (IDPP) at 100 megawatts (MW) and to temporarily increase the discharge of Lake Lanao from 30 centimeters (cms) to 100 cms. during the election period.

Another strategy is to accumulate additional capacity of Agus plants from 100 MW to 350 MW and to set up marketing and commercial relations to request industrial customers to shut down their plant on May 8-12, 2010 to ensure uninterrupted power supply at the polling places. (muc/PIA-Caraga)


Hinatuan town holds solid waste management workshop

Carrascal, Surigao del Sur - "Climate Change and current challenges affecting our environment call for a pro-active and responsive government efforts that need a strong political will from the implementors especially the local chief executives."
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Thus stressed Mayor Candelario Viola of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur during the strategic planning workshop for effective solid waste management held recently.

The workshop aims to aid the efficient and strategic formulation of solid waste management plan which specifically facilitates effective and efficient solid waste storage, collection, processing and disposal; increases public awareness through information and education campaign on proper solid waste management; generates local revenue; promotes entrepreneurship; encourages reduction, reusing and recycling of generated wastes; and encourages composting for production of organic fertilizer.

The activity highlighted the best replicable practices of the town of Hinatuan and was participated by the Municipal Solid Waste Management Board and 14 Barangay Ecological Solid Waste Management Committees of Carrascal.

Hinatuan was known to be the first which implemented this alternative approach to solid waste management in Surigao del Sur. "No Segregation, No Collection" policy; and the establishment of Solid Waste Management (SWM) identification system were one among the effective mechanisms they implemented which made them the Cleanest and Greenest Municipality (1st ? 2nd income class) in the recent Gawad Probinsiya sa Kapaligiran.

SWM I.D. cards were issued to individuals who complied all the requirements under R.A 9003 and their local ordinance. The I.Ds would serve as access card on availing related services of the LGU. "No SWM I.D., no issuance of barangay clearance or no ticket to other LGU services" said Mayor Viola.

The two-day activity responds to the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources' three strikes policy to non-complying local government units in the implementation of the provisions of Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 or Republic Act 9003.

Three (3) strikes policy was a public pronouncement by then DENR Sec. Jose Atienza, Jr. dated May 8, 2008 on the closure of all open and controlled dumpsites. It is a mechanism to enforce the law stating that no open and controlled dumpsites shall be established and operated, nor any practice or disposal of solid waste by any person including the LGUs, which constitute the use of open and controlled dumps for solid waste be allowed after the deadline.

The municipality of Carrascal has been starting to convert its dumpsite into an ecological park as best alternative solution substituting the costly sanitary landfill.

The workshop aims to aid the efficient and strategic formulation of solid waste management plan which specifically facilitates effective and efficient solid waste storage, collection, processing and disposal; increases public awareness through information and education campaign on proper solid waste management; generates local revenue; promotes entrepreneurship; encourages reduction, reusing and recycling of generated wastes; and encourages composting for production of organic fertilizer.

With over 130 participants, the active participation of punong barangays, barangay kagawads, SK Chairpersons, teachers, PTA presidents, barangay health workers, tanods, and the religious sectors were encouraged that will exert collaborative efforts and collective ideas for the effective waste management.

Mayor Alfred Arreza, the municipal mayor of Carrascal revives the involvement of the community sectors and other stakeholders that could help in the planning and implementation of this program. He added that the people should take an active part especially that Carrascal has critical challenges threatening the environment with its thrust for industrialization and socio-economic development through the mining business.

Carrascal was also a consistent winner of GPK (3rd to 4th income class) after the municipality of Lanuza's fate in the hall of fame as the cleanest and greenest in Surigao del Sur.
(Joseph L. Urgel, MLGOO, Carrascal, SdS/PIA-Caraga)


Feature: 4Ps gives hope to mothers

Basilisa, Dinagat Islands - Gemaceta is a mother ofand a resident of Barangay Geotina, Basilisa, Dinagat Islands. Her husband, Juan Rustia Sr. is a fisherman who earns an income not adequate for a family of nine.

"Sa iyang kita sa pagpanagat ra gyud mi ga depende, wala pud koy trabaho busa dili gyud igo nga makapaeskwela mi sa mga bata hangtud sa kolehiyo kung sa kita ra sa pagpanagat ang saligan, (we used to depend solely on my husband's income as a fisherman. But since I don't have a job, we can't send all our children to college)," remarked Gemaceta.

Among her seven children, three left for the city to find work and eventually continue their studies. For Gemaceta, it was a painful decision to allow her children to leave home and venture the city, but their abject poverty left her without a choice. "Tungod sa among ka pobrehon, akong giantos ang kasakit nga malayo kanako ang akong mga anak kay aron lang sila maka eskwela (because we are poor, I bear the pain of being away from my children, so they can find opportunity to go back to school)," said Gemaceta. She only hoped that they would find their luck wherever they are.

Among Gemaceta's three children who decided to find work away from home, two are currently residing in Manila and one is in Nueva Vizcaya. Ricky, 20, passed an entrance exam and earned a scholarship in a college in Marikina last March 2009. Instead of joy, Gemaceta was saddened when she heard it from his son. Even if the school would shoulder Ricky's tuition fee and fare to Manila, she was worried she might not afford the expenses on food, lodging and other school expenses. Disappointed with his parents' decision, Ricky went to Manila on his own.

Michburn, his younger brother, decided to follow his brother to Manila to work as a factory worker. He sends a portion of his earning to his family and allots some to help his brother Ricky in his schooling. Michburn believes Ricky will be kind enough to support the schooling of his other siblings after he graduates from college.

Jenny Rustia, the only girl in Gemaceta's seven children, went to Nueva Vizcaya to work as a house helper. After learning about the job, she immediately asked for her parent's permission. "I was at first hesitant to let my daughter work there, but I realized that if my daughter remains here in the province, she will never be able to finish her education," shared Gemaceta. Gemaceta shared that Jenny's employer allowed her to pursue her college education while working with them.

Unhappy to see her older children leaving one by one, Gemaceta is hoping that her four younger children will not have to leave home to look for means for their education. Luckily for Gemaceta, she is one of the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). 4Ps is a poverty reduction program that provides conditional cash grants to poorest households in the country in exchange of compliance to conditions on health and education.

Since August 2008, Gemaceta has been receiving a quarterly cash subsidy of P4,200.00 or P1,400 monthly through an over-the-counter release. With strengthened faith, Gemaceta exclaimed, "My husband and I will work hard for our family. With the help of God and 4Ps, my four younger children will not be like their elder siblings who have gone to other places to earn money to support their studies."

Gemaceta, like all mothers, wants to provide only the best for her children ? safe shelter, nutritious food, and quality education. But like all poor parents, as well, their ability to provide is limited due to insufficiency. It may be sad for Gemaceta to be far from her brood, but it will even be sadder to see her children's hopes fall apart. Gemaceta put aside her doubts and anxiety; and let God guide her children in finding their opportunities and fortunes.

Since 2008, 4Ps has been assisting Gemaceta in providing for her younger children's health and education needs. With continued hard work and support from the program, she and her husband will be able to provide their children a better stake in life ? a future without poverty. (Stella Maris V. Barcelon, DSWD-13/ PIA-Caraga)


DPWH completes 216 road projects in Caraga region

Butuan City - The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has completed at least 216 road projects located at various areas in the Caraga region.

Committed to complete some vital road components before President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo steps down by June this year, the DPWH Caraga also reported the completion ahead of schedule of the 2009 budget on the seven bridges totaling 63.519 lineal kilometers, also situated at various areas in the region.

These completed road and bridge projects late last year and February, March and April this year, some of them commitments of Mrs. Arroyo?s State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA), was part of the P4.74 million worth of various public works projects in the Caraga region, said DPWH Region Xlll Regional Director Dr. Evelyn T. Barroso.

The region?s DPWH chief said the completion of these road and bridges will spur the economic and agricultural activities in the Caraga region.

"This is a big help to them and full economic boom will be noted in a few months from now in this region," Director Barroso said.

Early this year, President Arroyo already inspected these completed infrastructure projects, particularly those in Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur where the remaining construction of the Surigao-Davao Coastal Road Section is located that will connect the Northeastern and Southern Mindanao regions.

"The remaining ground works of Lingig-Boston Section went into high gear and expected to be completed soon ahead of schedule," she said.

"Once all these projects are completed, it is expected to promote the development of agriculture and tourism in these areas," she added.

Meanwhile, DPWH XI also reported the completion ahead of schedule of the more than P2 billion worth Kapalong-Talaingod-Bukidnon Road which spans a total length of 57.79 kilometers.

The project also covers construction of six bridges.

DPWH Undersecretaries Romeo S. Momo and Bashier Rasuman said these big infrastructure projects will surely boost the economic and agriculture activities and more big investors, both foreign and local will come to Mindanao.

"We can foresee now the influx of burgeoning economic activities in this southern island," said Momo. (muc/PIA-Caraga)