7.01.2010

PIA News Service - Friday, July 2, 2010

Cinderella mayor prioritizes education 
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Surigao del Norte - Second-termer Bacuag Mayor Sheila Mae “Cinderella” Orquina-Cebedo will give first priority to education during the duration of her second term of office. She also revealed her desire to have secondary schools in all barangays of her town. 
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Reelected Bacuag Mayor Sheila Mae Orquina-Cebedo (5th from right) is flanked by her immediate family led by his father former mayor Loloy Orquina (5th from left), mother Emma, Provincial ABC President ebro Joy Orquina (4th from left) and husband Engr. Moki Cebedo (2nd from right). (Roel N. Catoto)
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“Education is the continuous process of becoming the best of what one can be. Providing quality education is an opportunity for our school children and still remains as our top priority for our school children,” this was the message of the “Cinderella Mayor” which she conveyed before hundreds of people gathered in the municipal ground during her inaugural speech at the oath-taking of municipal officials on June 26, Saturday afternoon. 
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“We will continue the Unlad Kabataan program by giving education assistance and scholarship programs for the poor but deserving students for the secondary and tertiary levels in all barangays,” the lady mayor said. 
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Cebedo then assured Bacuaganons that the out of school youth in her town will undergo skills trainings for free through the continuity of her manpower development program on technical and vocational skills trainings. 
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She vowed to pursue her dreams and plans to have a polytechnic college or an “annex school” of one of the colleges in the province. 
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“We will also provide Day Care Centers with state-of-the-art facilities and learning materials. And give enhancement trainings on service providers. Improve Day Care Centers with the help of Barangay Officials. We will implement a “schools infrastructure development program”. We will ask help from our Congressman Guillermo “Jun” Romarate and Governor Sol Matugas or from foreign-funded agencies for their assistance in the construction of new school buildings or repairs of dilapidated schools,” the concerned mayor stressed. 
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Mayor Shiela Mae Orquina-Cebedo earned the moniker “Cinderella Mayor” owing to her popularity with the masses, comely personality and magical political story for having transformed herself from a mere housewife to being the Poblacion’s barangay chairperson and from being the town’s federated president of the Association of Barangay Councils to being the first-ever elected lady mayor of Bacuag. 
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Now on her second term as Mayor, Sheila Mae is the “Darling of the Press” of the Media Association of Surigao (MASO), an organization of media practitioners of Surigao del Norte. (Roel N. Catoto, The Agusan-Surigao Enquirer/PIA-Surigao del Norte) 
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Solon urged to stop mining companies 
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Surigao City - Wary on mining firms which operate on lands covered by ancestral domain but did not pay royalty shares to the “lumads” or indigenous people who owned the same, Cong. Guillermo Romarate, Jr. recently said that he will seek for a congressional inquiry on the matter and will possibly recommend the revocation of mining permits to eventually stop the said mining operations when the 15th Philippine Congress convenes next month. 
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This was the statement of the second district solon during a recent press conference where he answered questions regarding the unfair treatment received by the “lumads” or tribal people of Surigao del Norte from the multi-million mining companies operating in their ancestral domain particularly the non-payment of the one percent royalty share on net revenues due to them. 
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Romarate said he will call first the attention of the concerned mining companies and inform them of the legitimate demand of the “lumads” which are locally known as “Mamanwas”. 
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“They have to remember that the lands they’ve been operating have ancestral domain titles. These are owned by the lumads. If these mining operations will continue to deprive our “lumads” to receive what is due to them, we will do the best thing that we can do especially to stop their operations,” the legislator stressed. 
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Being a member of the House Committee on National Cultural Communities, Cong. Romarate said he will also ask the office of National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) to help them claim what is due to the “Mamanwas”. 
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It was learned that a couple of months ago the native “Mamanwas” or tribal people implored for the help of Cong. Romarate in their effort to possibly collect the one percent royalty share due to them from the indifferent mining companies. 
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Often stigmatized as uncivilized and vagabond, the “mamanwas” looked up to the Tubod lawmaker as their only hope to recover the financial benefit they are entitled to pursuant to the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997. The said outstanding royalty share amounted to more than 200 million pesos. 
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Under the said laws, mining companies are obliged to pay at least a minimum of 1% share on their annual net income per year to the “lumads” or indigenous people whose owned lands have been declared as ancestral domain by the Philippine government. (Roel N. Catoto, The Agusan-Surigao Enquirer/PIA-Surigao del Norte) 
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Claver lady mayor vows to uplift the lives of townsfolk 
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Surigao del Norte - With a booming mining industry in her once-sleepy town, Mayor-elect Rosemarie Mira-Gokiangkee recently vowed to uplift the lives of her constituents in Claver this province. 
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Claver Chief Executive Rosemarie "Nene" Gokiangkee witnesses the signing og her oath of office by Executive Judge Victor Canoy of the Regional Trial Court Branch 29, Surigao City. Standing in extreme left is her husband Jerry Gokiangkee accompanied by her two sons and relataives. (Roel N. Catoto)
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This was the assurance given by the first-ever elected lady mayor of Claver last Friday morning during the oath-taking ceremony conducted for all elected and reelected municipal officials. 
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She took her oath of office as Municipal Mayor before Executive Judge Victor Canoy of the Regional Trial Court Branch 29, Surigao City . 
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“With vast mineral resources, presence of multimillion mining companies and the opening of the largest mine refinery in the country, the town of Claver will surely experience a surge in economic activity which will eventually hasten development and progress in the area. In achieving this, we will lay out a responsive economic agenda and master development plan for the municipality and the same will become the centerpiece of my administration,” Gokiangkee revealed. 
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Popularly known as “Nene” to the townsfolk of Claver, the lady chief executive won handily over her opponent during the just-concluded May 2010 elections. She was considered by the masses as the only hope who can bring true progress and development to the town. 
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With hundreds of people who attended the ceremony, “Mayor Nene” said there must be “Kausaban, Kalambuan ug Kahiusahan” (Change, Progress and Unity) to address the primary requisites in improving the lives of Clavernons. 
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She also gave assurance that once the mine refinery will be opened soon, Clavernons will be given the first priority during the hiring of workers. 
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Meanwhile, members of the Sangguniang Bayan of the said town who were sworn in are: Vice-Mayor Ferdinand Sajulga, SB Jan Karol Broniola, SB Alvin Mercado Galgao, SB Diosdado Acido, SB Nilson Ocon, SB Narlito Jamesula, SB Jaypee james Nasayao and SB Cyril Abonita. SB Expedita Larase was not able to grace the said occasion. (Roel N. Catoto, The Agusan-Surigao Enquirer/PIA-Surigao del Norte) 
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TelOf-CARAGA, LGU-Prosperidad conclude ICT month celebration with desktop publishing training

Pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No.1521 declaring the month of June as “National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Month”, the Telecommunications Office (TelOf) in CARAGA, in partnership with the local government unit (LGU) of Prosperidad, concluded the month-long celebration with a blast.

A two-day training on Desktop Publishing from June 28-29, 2010 was conducted in one of the telephone exchanges of TelOf in Prosperidad, Agusan Del Sur through the expertise of Engr. Annabel L. Vidal, ITU Chief of LGU-Prosperidad. Thirty-one participants from various offices, schools and Prosperidad's neighboring municipality, Talagocon, attended the training, including a 12-year-old who was all eagerness to learn about ICT. 

The training encouraged the participants to adapt and appreciate the advantages of ICT by learning more about it. In a short span of time, the participants were able to grasp the idea on how desktop publishing can benefit their lives. With desktop publishing, one can easily make ads, logos, posters, brochures, and greeting cards which can be distributed online or used for commercial printing.

With ICT, the learning process never ends. After the training, the participants anticipated to increase the knowledge they acquired and to enhance their creative skills. Patience and passion for the art are important factors that would help them master their craft.

Aside from the two-day training on desktop publishing, TelOf-CARAGA also offered one week free Internet access at the TelOf Community eCenter in Butuan City from June 7-11, 2010 to promote ICT awareness among community members. National ICT Month tarpaulins were also conspicuously displayed in building facades in all the local exchanges in the region. 

In view of the change of leadership in the local administration, National Computer Center – Field Operations Office Regional IT Coordinator for CARAGA, Ms. Melody Cocon, expressed her appreciation for the efforts of TelOf-CARAGA in pursuing the continued support of the local government of Prosperidad. These efforts will go a long way in keeping the people in the region updated on ICT.

Below is a couple of quotes of appreciation from those who participated in the National ICT Month activities in CARAGA:

“I would like to thank the CICT and the local officials of this municipality for conducting a program like this to cater to our needs; we have the need to be computer literate or technology literate. I believe that computers cannot replace [the work] that a person can do but I also believe that a person who remains to be illiterate in computers can be replaced with somebody who is well-adept in technology so we really have to learn a lot of things with technology or else we will be replaced.” –Prof. June Dumanhug, a participant from Philippine Normal University.

“We would like to thank Dir. Mindaya K. Disangcopan [in] choosing us [for being] the recipient of the training and looking forward for more partnership in the future” – Mr. Eldie Vidal, Municipal Administrator. (Melody Cocon, NCC-FOO/ PIA-Caraga)