PIA News Service - Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Surigao City residents frown at water supply 

SURIGAO CITY (July 27) – Prolonged inadequate water supply from Surigao Metropolitan Water District (SMWD) last week has forced hundreds, if not thousands, of city residents to fetch water from neighboring barangays for their immediate consumption and daily use. 

In some high ground areas in Barangay Washington, particularly in the Capitol stretch, Pag-asa Hills and Silay Hills, residents were fuming on the lack of water supply which ran for over two weeks.

Also not spared from the water shortage was Barangay Taft, an urban barangay which has the biggest number in terms of population, where residents would berate SMWD personnel. Its most affected areas were Espina Village and the hilly portion of Talipapa. 

In low-lying urban barangays such as Luna, Sabang, Rizal and San Juan – they suffered from a low water supply. 

Joel Tudtud, a resident of Payawan I, Barangay Luna, said they have to wait for 11 o’clock in the evening before they could start filling in water on their containers because only at that time when water would start flowing from their faucet and would stop at around 5 or 6 in the morning. 

“This is an endless problem of our city. Every year we face the same problem especially during the dry season,” Tudtod commented. 

On the other hand, Laurice Congreso of Espina Village, Brgy. Taft, involuntarily found herself buying water at a costly price of ten pesos for every container with a capacity of 16 liters. 

Her neighbors who ventured in fetching water from as far as Sitio Bioborjan in Brgy. Rizal, approximately 8 kilometers away from the city proper, found the same tedious and energy-sapping. 

In a related development, City Mayor Nitoy Matugas and Governor Sol Matugas have demanded an explanation from the management of SMWD in connection with the water shortage which rocked the city populace. 

The duo said they would call the attention of SMWD so it could immediately find a solution to ease out the problem. 

City residents have noticed that during every heavy downpour of rain in the city, the SMWD would usually cease in providing potable water to the consuming public because the liquid accumulated in its reservoir would turn murky which could be dangerous to human health once consumed. 

SMWD General Manager Benjamin Ensomo, Jr. recently urged the public to save water at night because on that period the pressure was definitely faster due to low usage as compared to day time. (Roel N. Catoto/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


GSIS revises RA 8291 IRR, revisits disability benefits

The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has revisited the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 8291, the law governing the pension fund, with a particular focus on disability benefits.

The revised IRR clarifies the ambiguous provisions of the law and consolidates the policies implemented by the GSIS. It has undergone various deliberations among GSIS executives and former GSIS President and General Manager Winston F. Garcia.

Under the revised IRR, members will be entitled to disability benefits, whether for Permanent Total Disability (PTD), Permanent Partial Disability (PPD), or Temporary Total Disability (TTD), provided however that the following conditions will be met: he/she is gainfully employed prior to the commencement of disability resulting in loss of income; he/she is not a registered member of any social insurance institution; and he/she is not receiving any other pension either from GSIS or another local or foreign institution or organization.

Disability is defined as any loss or impairment of the normal functions of the physical and/or mental faculties of a member, which reduces or eliminates his capacity to continue with his current gainful occupation or engage in another gainful occupation resulting in the loss of income.

PTD is the disability due to injury or disease causing complete, irreversible and permanent incapacity that will permanently disable a member to work or to engage in any gainful occupation resulting to loss of income.

PPD, on the other hand, arises due to the complete and permanent loss of the use of any of certain faculties, resulting to the disability to work for a limited period of time.

TTD accrues or arises when the impaired physical or mental faculties can be rehabilitated and/or restored to their normal functions, but such disability shall result in temporary capacity to work or engage in any gainful occupation.

The corresponding disability benefits for each kind of disability shall be granted to a member based on the duration of incapacity to work and actual loss of income.

The revised IRR defines actual loss of income as the number of days when a member went on leave of absence without pay (LWOP) reckoned immediately from the date of commencement of disability and for the duration of entitlement, based on medical evaluation. Any LWOP incurred after the duration of entitlement to the benefit shall not be compensable.

If a member has two or more different contingencies during the same period of benefit entitlement, he shall be compensated only once for the overlapping periods.

Also, all injuries, disabilities, illnesses and all other infirmities compensable under Presidential Decree 626 (Employees Compensation and State Insurance Fund) shall not be compensable under Republic Act 8291.

The IRR, as revisited and made clearer for better understanding of the GSIS membership, will also serve as instrument of the GSIS for a strong financial condition and stable actuarial life.

The GSIS significantly increased the amount of its claims and benefits paid in 2009 at P39.68 billion from P22.88 billion in 2001. (GSIS/PIA-Caraga)


Cebuano News: 1st Caraga Media Summit ilunsad sa Surigao City

Ni Michael Imbo

BUTUAN CITY – Gitakdang mag-abot ang mga nagkadaiyang journalists ug tigbalita alang sa himoong 1st caraga Region Media Conference karung July 31 hangtud August 2, ni’ng tuiga, didto sa Surigao City.

Salmotan ang kalihukan sa Mindanao News and Information Cooperative Center (MNICC) kaabag ang Mindanao Media Forum (MMF), alang sa duha ka adlaw nga kalihukan ubos sa temang:“Mindanao 2020: Moving Forward.” 

Gikataho nga ang kalihukan maglangkub sa mga lectures ug workshops atol sa forum nga pagahimoon.

Katuyuan sa programa nga makat-onan sa mga media practioners sa rehiyon sa Caraga ang pagsulat sa positibong kausaban pinaagi sa pagpadayag sa mga balita nga haom sa reyalidad sa rehiyon ug lukop isla sa Mindanao.

Si Roel Catoto, Assistant Regional Director of Mindanao Media Forum (MMF) ang nagkanayon nga “This is not just a learning mechanism but also expand our knowledge more than the basic ropes in reporting which will be shared by top-caliber speakers who work in respected media outlets in the country,” 

Hisgutan sa kalihukan ang nagkalain-laing isyu lambigit sa Seminars on Environmental Reporting, Beyond City Hall ug Capitol Coverage, Safety of Journalist, Reporting Mindanao, Media Social Tools.

Mohatag sa pipila ka kasinatian ang mga award-winning journalist nga sila si Yvonne Chua, Luz Rimban ug Carol Arguillas. 

Ang tumong sa MMF nga mapalambo ang pagsaka sa kalidad sa mga media sa ilang paghatag sa impormasyon, critical citizenry, panlantaw sa kalinaw, hustisya, kalamboan ug progresong Mindanao.

Gidugang nga kadtong interesado sa maong aktibidades mahimong mokontak kang : Amy Cabusao, Convenor of the Mindanao Media Forum (0917-4662625) or Roel Catoto, Assistant RD MMF (0918-9469946) or email at: roelscribe888@yahoo.com. (PIA-Caraga)


PRESS STATEMENT
So That The Public May Know: Re Equipment Burning near Sitio Daging, Urbiztondo, Claver

On July 21, 2010, a group of armed men took two security guards hostage and, after freeing the security guards later in the day, proceeded to burn a number of heavy equipment belonging to a Surigao-based contractor, which equipment was under contract with our company. 

From cell phone conversations between the armed group and ourselves and from observations passed on to us by the security guards, it is apparent that the armed group was composed of indigenous peoples belonging to the Mamanwa tribe. It is also apparent that their action was caused by their unhappiness with the sharing of the 1% royalty from our company between the Mamanwa tribal communities in the affected area within or adjacent to our mine site, and other Mamanwa tribal communities that are not within the affected area.  

Our company pays a 1% royalty pursuant to the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (“IPRA”) and the 1995 Philippine Mining Act from our operations within the ancestral land of the Mamanwa tribe. Under regulations of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (“NCIP”), our royalty is being paid to the Mamanwa tribal communities that are within the affected area of our mining operations. We understand that such communities share the royalty with other tribal communities within the ancestral land. 

The records will show that we have made substantial payments under the royalty and that we provide substantial services to the tribal communities within the affected area, including employment, housing and education. We are indeed proud of our record with respect to the indigenous peoples, which is an obligation that we take seriously.

However, we wish to state that the sharing of the royalty or other benefits from our company between the affected and non-affected tribal communities is not a decision that our company can make, since we are bound by regulations of the NCIP. 

We deplore the burning of the equipment of our contractor and the disruption to our operations by this armed intrusion. We believe that this issue can be resolved by peaceful dialogue between the Mamanwa tribal communities, with the assistance of the NCIP and other concerned sectors of society. We stand ready to assist in such dialogues if called to do so. (Taganito Mining Corporation/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


NPAs burn farm equipment in Bukidnon

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY
– NPAs are once again doing their terroristic act when they burned 2 farm vehicles owned by Dole Philippines. 

“These lawless elements are targeting the so-called soft targets to terrorize this establishment and be able to project to the populace that they are still a force to be reckoned with,” said Major General Mario F Chan AFP, Commander of the 4th Infantry Division.

 403rd Infantry Brigade based in Malaybalay City reported that more or less 20 fully armed persons with female members believed to be local terrorists (NPA) disarmed the security guards of VV Security Agency detailed in Dole at Sitio Kubayan, Kibenton, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon on Sunday, 25 July 2010 at around 7 in the evening. The criminals carted away a shotgun, a pistol and 2 handheld radios owned by the agency. Subsequently, the rebels burned one water truck and one canter truck owned by Dole which is worth more than a Million Pesos.

Col Nicanor Dolojan, CO, 403rd Bde said, “These terrorists are doing these dastardly acts to terrorize the company and be able to pursue their extortion activities and collect much-needed logistical and financial support. Likewise, we encourage the populace to cooperate with the military and the PNP in bringing to justice the perpetrators, a small step towards achieving lasting peace and progress in Mindanao.”

As of this report, troops under 403rd Inf Bde are conducting pursuit operations and troop insertions to the probable withdrawal route of the local terrorists which is in the direction of Brgy Dalwagan, Malaybalay City. (4ID Diamond Division, PA/PIA-Caraga)


Village for the poor wakens up in Brgy. Mahay

BUTUAN CITY – The poor folks of the Immaculate Conception Parish (ICP) of this city have reasons to cheer and jubilate because a haven for them, dubbed as the CFC-ANCOP-ICP Village, is wakening up at Barangay Mahay here and will perhaps be made available by September 2010 if the funding support so warrants for the completion of an initial of 10 houses.  

According to Mr. Jaime M. Amamio, Provincial CFC-ANCOP Area Head for Butuan and Agusan del Norte, the Village is wakening because of kindhearted individuals and institutions that would like to provide a decent shelter for the poor. He said, “the acronym CFC, which stands for Couples for Christ, is a worldwide institution, and ANCOP, which stands for Answering the Cry of the Poor, is the very Program that helps its members, particularly those who have least in life.  

Rev. Father Severino M. Diamante, Jr., Parish Priest of ICP, revealed that “the housing project itself will be awarded primarily to Catholic church workers and CFC members who belong to the poorest of the poor.” He divulged also that the housing project is made possible because of the support coming from different sources.

“For example,” he shared, “this housing project is being established at this 1,000 square meters, which belongs to the ICP. Another 1,000 square meters is donated also by Mr. Ruel Calo for the livelihood endeavors of the would-be occupants.”

When asked what is the availment scheme, he pointed out that “the houses will only be provided on a stewardship basis for those who will pass our screening test. The stewards can stay in the houses and maintain them respectively, but they can never own them. If they get out from the housing project, they cannot sell it; they can only turn it over to the parish.”

As for funding support, he was enthusiastic in sharing that “TESDA Caraga is instrumental in pushing for the completion of the housing project . . . and is philanthropic enough to commit in completing at least one house to serve as a model.”  

The housing project was blessed also with a support from the Holcim Philippines as it provided for at least 125 bags of cement to fast track the construction.  

The presence of the Holcim Philippines in the area was made possible because of a tie up and collaboration with TESDA and CFC-ANCOP-ICP for the conduct of a competition, which was held on July 21 and 22, 2010.  

TESDA’s entry was in the area of facilitating the conduct of the bi-annual Holcim Philipines competition known as “galing Mason Olympics” in order to recognize masons for their skills and contribution.  

CFC-ANCOP-ICP on the other hand provided the venue for the competition and became the recipient of 125 bags of cement for construction purposes.  

It was learned that at least 24 qualified and certified masons coming from the different provinces around the Caraga Region clashed in the two-day competition. As for official result, Mr. Guancho O. Antipuesto of Surigao del Sur emerged as 3rd Placer; Leo V. Deindoy of Surigao del Norte was 2nd Placer; and Eric L. Mapalo of Agusan del Norte became the 1st Placer and will represent Caraga Region in the National ‘galing Mason Olympics next year. The winners received PhP3,000.00; PhP5,000.00; and PhP7,000.00 respectively.  

First Placer Mr. Mapalo shared that his face got reddened one time to the point of severe exhaustion and almost gave up because he, like his co-competitors, had to do everything – from mixing, hollow block piling, and finishing. But he persevered . . . until he got the surprise of his life by becoming the champion.  

The rest of the supplies and materials – such as sand, gravel, bars, wood, roofing – used in the housing project was through the benevolence of the ICP parishioners. Fr. Diamante hopes that outside funding support might come later.  

At the bottom line, it was an “everybody happy” event because all felt to have gained from the experience. (Gervacio C. Dauz, Jr., TESDA/PIA-Caraga)


Mindanaoan visual artists set to invade Manila Via Manilart 10

While cosmopolitan Manila enjoys the reputation of being the Philippines’ arts and culture capital, there are actually thriving art scenes across the archipelago. Various art communities in Zamboanga, Davao, Cotabato, Butuan and even as far as Sulu are emerging – proof that Mindanao with its melting pot of cultures and people generate expression released in visual arts form. And most often the works of art only get to be appreciated within the island…  

But from July 29-August 1, 2010, Mindanaoan visual artists will get to invade Manila through the country’s biggest visual arts fair, ManilART 10 at the Mall of Asia’s SMX Convention Hall 4.  

Now on its second year, ManilArt is an initiative of the Bonafide Art Galleries Organization (BAGO) and co-sponsored by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts. The sophomore year boasts of 1000 art works by 500 visual artists participated in by 56 of the country’s finest galleries nationwide.

Representing the roster of Mindanaoan artists is Gallery of Davao (g.o.d.) which is located within the Davao Crocodile Park Complex in the Davao City. It houses talented artists and beautiful artworks from all over Mindanao.  

Dr. Abdulmari Asia Imao – Mindanao’s first National Artist- joins the roster of artists. He is exhibiting his 2010 sari-fish series and his trademark sarimanok wood sculptures and a sculptured narra table. Presidential Medal of Merit awardee Tomas Concepcion who is Marawi born- Italy based artist contributes paintings from his bondage series and a bronze sculpture.  

Also included in the line-up are the works of Rameer Tawasil – Zamboanga’s pride and peace advocate; Davao City’s public artist the very prolific Kublai Ponce-Millan; Davao Del Norte’s Joel Geolamen,; Cotabato’s Raymond Malicay; and Anoy Catague from Butuan. Fullbright scholar and multi-media artist Toym Imao pledges support to the Mindanao booth with two of his artworks. And from the famous Ayala artists family of Davao - Cynthia Ayala Alexander completes the foray…

Visit www.manilart.com for more details or call (632) 531.6231 or (63)0917.851.1333. (Manilart10/PIA-Caraga)