PIA News Service - Thursday, July 15, 2010

City gov’t, BGF and partner agencies ready to launch 3rd Balangay boat

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY - The 3rd balangay boat with on-board engine will be launched tomorrow (Friday), July 16, 2010, 8:00am at Luna Compound, Brgy. Bading, Butuan City. Former Mayor Democrito Plaza II and incumbent mayor Ferdinand Amante of this city are set to deliver their messages during the launching. 

Most Rev. Juan de Dios M. Pueblos will do the blessing of the 3rd Balangay boat while Agusan del Norte Gov. Erlpe John Amante and Agusan del Sur Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza will do the breaking of Laksoy bottles. 

Also, it’s a “ride for a cause” amounting to P5,000 during the 2-day rivercruise on July 17 and 18 at 8:30 in the morning. The cruise will begin at the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) grounds, this city and pass by Magsaysay bridge - upstream to Macapagal bridge - turn around in Brgy. Bit-os - straight downstream to Lumbocan and will have free lunch at Masao Beach. It will then depart at 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon to Magallanes and Banza Church Ruins, then back to PPA grounds. 

Ms. Agnes Andaya, Project Overall Chairperson of “The Continuing Balangay Journey” of Butuan Global Forum, Inc., said that “the purpose of which is to raise funds in order to augment the monthly allowances/expenses of the Butuan Crew manning the Balangay “Masawa Hong Butuan” during their sea expedition to Southeast Asia.”

“During the launching of the 3rd Balangay boat, we would not only like to showcase Butuan’s heritage but also Butuan’s unity in its diversity as inspired by the Balangay code of all the team to work as one,” Andaya added.

On July 17-18, various activities are set to be conducted by the private stakeholders as well as a free mini-concert by the local bands at the PPA grounds here.

With this most-awaited event, BGF with its partners are encouraging the public to participate and support the Butuan Balangay Boat team as they journey with pride. This would show to the whole world that there is no impossible with the Filipino people working together as one. (PIA-Caraga)


Gov. Sol Matugas serious in curbing illegal drugs 

Governor Sol Matugas recently made known her commitment to put an end to the proliferation of illegal drugs in the province in spite of the fact the said underground industry flourished under the protection of syndicates. She revealed her official stand after being asked by a member of the local media during the “Kapihan sa Kapitolyo” held on June 9, 2010 at the Provincial Convention Center, this city. 

During an open forum, Jun Lira of Caraga Aksyon Balita asked the lady governor if she had the commitment and political will to unmask and bring to a court of justice the brains behind the said drug syndicates and their protectors composed of law enforcers and some high-ranking LGU officials. Lira wanted to elicit from the chief executive a definite reaction given the fact that it was very risky and dangerous for her to touch the said drug syndicates and their protectors which were all capable of staging reprisals. 

In her usual soft-spoken self, Gov. Sol Matugas assured everyone who attended the forum that she really meant business in stopping the drug menace in Surigao del Norte. 

“Political will, I have it but I cannot solve this alone without the close coordination of the concerned agencies and the cooperation of the community,” Matugas emphasized. 

She expressed apprehension on the unabated proliferation of illegal drugs which even invaded both the private and the public schools. 

“This drug menace is a universal concern, an age-old problem and this has got even into the schools,” she observed. 

She proposed that random drug testing should be conducted in schools by the Department of Education as one of the preventive measures. Another proposal was to strengthen the prosecution which must be “imbribable or incorruptible” to ensure that suspects will be brought to a court of justice. 

To achieve this, the governor said she will come up with a briefing and a dialogue with PDEA personnel and make an action plan involving all concerned government agencies and the community. She told the media that she will also tap the help of the PNP, through the newly-installed provincial director Police Superintendent Ruben Delos Santos. 

In the same forum, Surigao del Norte Prov’l. Director Police Superintendent Ruben Delos Santos informed the governor that he was still on the process of formulating a plan in coordination with the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and was also scrutinizing the operational plans of the former provincial director against illegal drugs. 

“The PNP is very serious on solving this problem and we are extending our efforts to the concerned agency which is the PDEA,” Santos said. 

Notoriously known for being on top of the list of provinces in Caraga Region with cases involving illegal drugs, Surigao del Norte for now may be in for the real thing as Governor Sol Matugas has vowed to find a solution to deter or eventually stop the said lingering menace in our province. (Roel Catoto, The Agusan-Surigao Enquirer/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


No suspension in GSIS services despite Basyang

While the services of most banks, ATMs, and government offices were down today (Wednesday) as an aftermath of typhoon Basyang, there was no interruption in the services of Government Service Insurance System, including its online transactions kiosk, the GSIS Wireless Automated Processing System.

 The GSIS being online in its services was a far cry to what it experienced last year, when the system was prone to systems shut down.

 The GSIS said its ability to keep its services available despite the calamity only shows that it succeeded in moving to a better and more stable system to service the loans and claims transactions of its members. 

 The GSIS also said it decided to keep its systems up in anticipation of clients visiting its offices, because many government offices declared suspension of work due to the blackout the ensued after Basyang’s onslaught.

 The suspension gave members the opportune time to file their loan applications and follow-up on other benefits.

The GSIS also said despite the bad weather, its datacenter, the heart of all GSIS transactions, will be working round-the-clock to ensure the processing of loans and claims. 

The GSIS G-W@PS kiosk, located in all GSIS servicing office, allows online loan applications, renewal of active status for pensioners, online viewing of GSIS membership records, and activation of the GSIS eCard. (GSIS/ PIA-Caraga)


7,000 indigent, poor senior citizens set to receive P3.5M from 'Katas ng VAT' 

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – At least 7,000 indigent senior citizens here have all the reasons to enjoy in the coming days as the city government of Cagayan de Oro is set to sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the release of P3.5 million funds for the “Katas ng VAT” program, it was learned on Wednesday. 

The city government is now fast-tracking the documentation process for the signing of the MOA anytime next week. 

“The processing of the documents to support our MOA to the DSWD is now ongoing,” declared Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Vicente Y. Emano. 

The city chief executive said the MOA intends to distribute P500 as one-time subsidy for the "Katas ng VAT Tulong Para kay Lolo at Lola" project for the indigent and poor senior citizens in the city, as stipulated in Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Valued Added Tax for Senior Citizens. 

The MOA was already tackled during the 16th City Council session on Tuesday. 

City Legislator Nadya Emano-Elipe, chairperson of the Committee on Social Services, also said the distribution of the P500 subsidy would be based on the updated records of the Office for the Senior Citizen's Affairs (OSCA). 

The city mayor and the city councilor said the check for the subsidy is already available and would be distributed once the MOA is signed next week. 

All qualified senior citizen are advised to secure identification cards to make sure that they receive all the benefits stipulated in the law. 

At present, at least 9,479 registered senior citizens in Cagayan de Oro City are set to enjoy of the P500 subsidy and also set to enjoy a full 20 percent discount on goods and services and other benefits and privileges as enumerated under the RA 9994. 

Aside from the Php 500 subsidy for indigent senior citizens, Mayor Emano said they also get to enjoy a full 20 percent discount on consumer goods and services, billing statements such as house rent, building rent, water bills, hospital bill and electric bills as well as purchases on medicines and essential medical and dental supplies, accessories and equipment, diagnostic and laboratory fees in all government facilities, fares for buses, jeepneys, taxis, shuttle services, public railways, domestic air and sea transport and other vessels. 

The tax privilege also applies to services in hotels, restaurants, and similar establishments, admission fees in cinemas, theaters, and other places of culture, leisure and amusement, and funeral and burial services. 

The city chief executive emphasized that any establishment that would deny the privileges to senior citizen as stipulated in the law would be penalized. 

Mayor Emano added senior citizens can send their formal complaint to the committee on senior citizens. (muc/PIA-Caraga)


Mindanao AFP commander vows to end communist insurgency in 3 years 

CAMP EDILBERTO EVANGELSITA, Cagayan de Oro City - The command group of the Army’s Fourth Infantry (Diamond) Division (ID), the largest infantry division in Mindanao, on Wednesday vowed to eradicate the communist insurgency in three years so full economic development can take place in the region. 

The 4th ID covers the areas of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur in Northeastern Mindanao, Bukidnon, Misamis, Camiguin and some parts in Lanao in Northern Mindanao. 

With the big number of personnel, combat maneuvering brigades, battalions and other operational control (Opcon) units, Maj. Gen. Mario Chan, commanding general of the 4th ID vowed to crush the communist insurgency. 

The Army’s area commander made this announcement during a press conference in deference to the order of President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III to the military to end insurgency within three years. 

Gen. Chan even assured of an earlier period, stating that three years is "too long" to do the job. 

“Three years is very possible as far as the areas of the 4th ID are concerned," he said. 

AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ricardo A. David, Jr. who was once the commanding general of the 4th ID, had also vowed to end the insurgency problem in the country within three years. 

Chan stressed that the Maoist communist-New People's Army (NPA) is no longer considered a threat to national security, particularly in the areas of the 4th ID. 

To prove this claim, he said the province of Misamis Oriental was recently declared insurgency-free and had turned over to local leaders and the police the task of handling their internal security. 

The Army’s area command chief also expressed gratitude to the local officials for their full support in eliminating communist insurgency in the province. "Thanks to the programs of Governor Oscar Moreno, this was one of the important factors why there is no more NPA movement in Misamis Oriental," he said. 

Chan, however, emphasized that when a province is handed over to the local government executive, it doesn't mean the presence of the military will not be felt anymore in that area. 

He said the military will still be in the area to assist the Philippine National Police. 

Gen. Chan also encouraged other local government unit officials to continue their full support to the AFP’s counter insurgency drive. He specifically mentioned the officials in Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Sur where there are remaining communist terrorists allegedly harassing the rural villagers and businesses. 

“Eliminating communist insurgency is not only the problem of AFP but also of local leaders,” he said. 

Chan acknowledged that causes of insurgency are poverty and education. (muc/PIA-Caraga)
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Cebuano News: DILG gipakusgan ang batakang gahom pinaagi sa CDEx
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Ni Michael Imbo
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BUTUAN CITY (July 15) – Gilusad sa Department of Interior and local Government (DILG) ang usa ka batakang agenda pinaagi sa Capacity Development Exposition (CDEx), nga gipahigayon ni’ng dakbayan, dili pa lang dugay.
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Gitambungan ang kalihukan sa nagkalain-laing opisyal, lider sa rehiyon sa Caraga pinangunahan sa mga Mayor ug Bise-Mayor ug empleyado sa lokal government units lukop rehiyon sa Caraga nga gilangkuban sa probinsya sa Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte. 
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Gipadangat ni DILG-Caraga Regional Director, Atty. Rene K. Burdeos nga ang gihimong kalihukan magpahibalo sa serbisyo ngadto sa dugang kapasidad gikan sa mga nagkadaiyang ahensya sa gobyerno, institusyon, langyaw sa ubang nasud aron mahimong tipik sa katuyuan nga ipaabot ang ilang dakong suporta nga matuman ang implementasyon ug mga agenda sa local nga kagamhanan.
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Gisaysay nga ang CDEx nagsentro sa kalamboan nga magamit sa lokal nga kagamhanan isip hinagiban sa ilang ipakitang performance ug competency gaps.
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Nahimong mabungahon ang gilusad nga kalihukan sa mga bag-ohang napili nga Mayor ug kanhi mga midaug nga mga alkalde sa ilang mga lugar lambigit sa programa sa CDEx. 
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Ang mga institusyon nga naghatag sa programa mipadangat sa ilang nagkalain-lain nga proyekto nga alternatibo ug magamit sa mga local nga kagamhanan nga mahatod didto sa ilang mga hingsakupan. (PIA-Caraga)
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Cebuano News: Caraga DILG palamboon ang lokal nga kagamhanan
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Ni Michael Imbo
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BUTUAN CITY (July 15)
– Gipadayag sa Department of the Interior and Local Government sa rehiyon sa Caraga nga palamboon ang lokal nga kagamhanan lukop sa rehiyon, atol sa gipahigayong seminar lambigit sa Caraga Capacity Development Exposition, kagahapon, ni’ng syudad. 
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Gi-awhag ni DILG-Regional Director Atty. Rene Burdeos ang tanan nga lokal nga opisyal sa rehiyon sa Caraga sa implementasyon sa gipalig-on nga batakang balaod ilalom sa ahensya sa gobyerno.
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Sumala ni Dir. Burdeos nga ipadangat ang mandato nga naglatid sa DILG aron klaro ug masabtan sa mga lider sa kada lungsod ug syudad lakip na niadtong mga bag-ong napili nga lokal nga opisyales.
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Matud sa Director nga ipatuman ang pagpasabot sa bisyon ug misyon sama sa “To deepen understanding on the Anti-Red Tape Law and its imperatives in valuing good local governance”.
“To support the capacity development of local governments in creating and sustaining a business-friendly environment.”
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“To help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of local government units in their delivery of frontline services.”
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 “To ensure accountability of local authorities in institutionalizing the ease of doing business and the ease of availing other frontline services in their localities.” sulti niini.
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Gipasabot usab ni Atty. Burdeos ang kabahin sa Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID) diin usa ka spanish government nga misuporta sa programa sa gobyerno sa Pilipinas.
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Dugang niini nga ubay-ubay na nga proyekto ang natunol sa AECID kinsa gipamuan ni Mr. Nielo Tingzon, Technical Officer ang misaysay nga mikabat sa P4 Milyones ang ulahing ecological program ug preservation to environment ang nahimo niini. (PIA-Caraga)
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DILG XIII Launches Regional Capacity Development Exposition (CDEX) 2010

Butuan City - The Department of the Interior and Local Government Region XIII held its Regional Capacity Development Exposition (CDEX) 2010 on July 14, 2010 in Dottie’s Place Hotel. The said activity was an offshoot of the National CDEX by the Local Government Academy in March this year. The general objective of the activity is to showcase competencies of LGUs in the different areas of governance.

Over a hundred participants from the local government units, regional line agencies, local research institute, foreign donors and other stakeholders attended the regional CDEX. Their presence means positive response to the call of addressing capacity gaps in LGUs.

One of the highlights of the activity was the audio-visual presentation of the State of Development, Performance and Competency of the Local Government Units in Region XIII for the past administration which presented the trends and challenges of the LGUs using the four areas of governance. It demonstrated the weakness and strengths of the local government units in Region XIII which encouraged the local chief executives to brave the challenges in bridging competency gaps. 

The much-awaited part of the activity was the Awarding of LGUs Exemplary Performance in Governance as Recognition for deserving LGUs in promoting good governance despite meager resources. The awards motivate other local government units to walk an extra mile to improve their performance by developing innovations and strategies in their delivery of basic services to the community. This shows that competent leaders perform better in local governance and can earn for their LGUs awards and recognition.

In his speech, RD Burdeos promotes the importance of forging alliances between LGUs and stakeholders in addressing the trends and challenges on capacity development. He expressed his gratitude to foreign donors for their generosity in extending financial assistance to recipient LGUs to further enhance the latter’s capacity development agenda.

A covenant signing by local chief executives, foreign donors, civil society organizations and members of the media sector followed suit. It served as an affirmation of capacity development partners to pledge their support and commitment in advancing good local governance in the region.

CDEX activity also provided a wide array of display of knowledge products from the LGRRC thereby promoting good local governance through marketing, advocacy and information dissemination.  

A press conference was also conducted at the closing of the activity.

Though DILG XIII was on its maiden trip to conduct the regional CDEX, the activity proved to be a tremendous success thereby gaining only positive feedbacks from the participants.
(Mary Christine Anthonette M. Salise, DILG-13/ PIA-Caraga)