8.24.2010

PIA News Service - Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010

Human trafficking incidents hit record high in Surigao City 
  
SURIGAO CITY — The number of victims of human trafficking here in the first half of this year has reached record high. 

The Visayan Forum Foundation Inc. (VFFI), a non-government organization based in Lipata Port and known for its effective measures on anti-trafficking programs revealed that the number of victims they have assisted has reached a record high of 227. Of this number, 63 are female minors. 

VFFI’s regional head coordinator Zenaida E. Calungsad told MindaNews this number is more than last year’s total of 164, 89 of them women and children. 

In 2004, VFFI recorded 244 victims but that was for the period of 12 months. This year, the figure has reached 227 and it is only the first six months of the year. 

Nineteen of the 244 victims in 2008 were rescued during the first and second quarters. 

Calungsad said that in the first six months this year, authorities have filed four cases, including one against a suspected foreign recruiter, for violation of Republic Act 9208 or An Act to institute policies to eliminate trafficking in persons especially women and children, establishing the necessary institutional mechanisms for the protection and support of trafficked persons. 

This was achieved through the joint efforts of the Philippine Port Authority-Port Police, the VVFI, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Labor and Employment, and the Philippine Coast Guard. 

Calunsag said most of the victims, especially the minors, were returned to their families. 

She said 11 suspects are currently facing charges but some of them are still at large and the rest were able to post bail for their temporary liberty. 

Calunsag noted that Mindanao is one of the primary sources of human trafficking in the country. 

Port Police Chief Inspector Eugenio Lira, Jr. said Surigao City is the strategic point of destination going to the north or south of the country. 

Bus lines operate the Davao-Manila route via Lipata port. 

He said much cheaper fare and lenient enforcement of the law attract illegal recruiters here. 

He added that human trafficking is rampant here because there are many ways of leaving the city. (Roel N. Catoto/PIA-Surigao del Norte)
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1 dead, 200 houses razed in Surigao City fire  

SURIGAO CITY (24 August) - A 68-eight-year-old woman died in Saturday night’s fire that also gutted more than 200 houses in Barangay Taft, the worst fire incident here in a decade.

Police Chief Inspector Charlie Cabradilla said at least 360 families have been rendered homeless while Surigao City Fire Marshall Peter Sean Antony Atup said at least P10 million worth of property went up in flames.
Atup said the charred remains of Nenita Cabada, who had been bedridden for long, had been found.

The fire started at around 7:30 in the evening on Saturday at the residence of Perlina Gorde in the inner portion of P. Reyes Extension. The house was occupied by one Cherry Maravilla.
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The Surigao City Fire Department received the alarm at 7:45 P.M. and quickly called for help as the flames spread across houses mostly made of light materials.
Atup said he raised the fire alarm to the 5th level.

“Eighteen fire trucks responded including a fire boat because it is a coastal area. Cold fire chemicals were also used to effectively suppress the conflagration,” Atup said.

Fire trucks from the Surigao Filipino-Chinese Volunteer Fire Brigade, Surigao Quick Action Response Team, Surigao Air Transportation Office, and the fire stations from neighboring Surigao towns of Tagana-an, Placer, Claver, Mainit and Alegria and even from Agusan del Norte’s Kitcharao and Jabonga came to help.

He said the firefighters found it difficult to put out the fire because of the narrow pathways. The wooden footbridges were also burned.

Atup added the water was not enough because fire hydrants were far from the fire scene. Aso, the fire boat had difficulty in getting water from the sea as it was low tide at that time and the garbage clogged the hose, preventing it from sucking water.

Because of these problems, the fire spread to Nueva Street. It took the firefighters about four hours or until 11:25 p.m. to effectively control the fire.

Atup said his team is still conducting a thorough investigation on what really started the fire.

The Surigao City Disaster Coordinating Council headed by City Mayor Ernesto T. Matugas could not be reached for comment as of presstime.

The Departent of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has set up the Nueva Gym in Barangay Taft as evacuation center along with the Mariano Memorial Center Elementary School.

He said several police personnel have been deployed to the area to ensure no one will take advantage of the fire victims.

Edna Sumaylo, a resident, claimed she was victim ized by robbers who pretended to help her move her valuables out of her house.

To her surprise, however, her bag containing some 4,000 pesos, went missing.
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Edna’s neighbors also claimed that gas tanks and other home appliances were also stolen. (Roel N. Catoto/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Surigao Norte gov, city dad respond to fire victim’s cry for help

SURIGAO CITY (24 August) - The provincial government of Surigao del Norte and the city government here through the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) provided immediate relief assistance to 360 families affected by the huge fire that hit the streets of P. Reyes and Nueva Saturday evening, Aug. 21, 2010.

The fire incident left one dead, a 68-eight-year-old woman identified as Nenita Cabada. 
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Acting Provincial Media Affairs Officer Roberto Parada said Gov. Sol Matugas personally visited the displaced victims at the Nueva Multi-Purpose Gym and Mariano Espina Mem. Central Elem. School last Sunday.

“The governor personally handed over some relief assistance to 293 families which include rice, canned goods, sardines, plates, and utensils,” said Parada.

The remaining 75 families were also given relief assistance yesterday.

On instructions of Mayor Nitoy Matugas, the CSWDO has also provided food assistance to the victims which include 12 kilos rice, noodles and sardines. 

Parada said that the provincial government is also set to recommend the grant of financial assistance to the victims after the validation of records of victims. (Fryan E. Abkilan, PIA-Surigao del Norte)


NPAs show true color in the death of police officer 

The local terrorists group or New People’s Army operating in Surigao del Sur has shown their true color in “sniping/ harassing” elements of Task Force Kalikasan at about 1:15 pm of 21 August 2010 in the vicinity of Km 21, Kulambugan Spur, San Agustin, Surigao del Sur that resulted to the death of the COP of Lianga and wounding of 2 DENR personnel. Task Force Kalikasan is organized upon the initiative of the Caraga Conference for Peace and Development (CCPD) with Bishop De Dios Pueblos of Butuan City as the convenor.

The Task Force led by DENR personnel with PNP elements of Lianga, Regional Mobile Group (RMG), troops from 41DRC and 75IB from the Philippine Army under 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division conducted spot inspection at the cutting area and inventory of cut logs of San Agustin – San Miguel – Marihatag – Lianga Federation or SAMMILIA at vic Km 22, Brgy Diatagon, Liangga, Surigao del Sur. 

The government has taken moves to shut down SAMMILIA for illegal logging practices but the local terrorists or NPAs wants the company to continue with its wanton destruction of forest resources in Surigao. The source from the CCPD said, “SAMMILIA is indeed a cooperative but only some politicians and the NPA rebels particularly their Commanders benefit from it that is why they resort to terror tactics so that its operations will not be shut down. I just pity the cooperators and the rebel combatants because they sacrifice a lot but they do not enjoy the fruits of their hard labor.” 

“Their terror tactics will have a boomerang effect on these terrorists because instead of wallowing in fear the government will only be firm in its resolve to pursue the stoppage of illegal logging practices of SAMMILIA,” said Col Augusto Tolentino, Commanding Officer of 401st Infantry Brigade based on St Christine, Lianga, Surigao del Sur.

“It goes to show that these terrorists resort to illegal activities just to finance their losing cause. Just like the marijuana plantation worth P1.6M destroyed in Lapaz, Agusan del Sur last month where it was also believed to be protected by NPA rebels,” added Col Tolentino. (LTC TRIUMPH DOMINIC G BAGAIPO (OS), 4th CMO Bn, 4ID, PA/PIA-Caraga)


PNPA cadet admission test

The Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA), a constitutive institution of the Philippine Public Safety College, will administer the annual Cadet Admission Test for the Four-year Bachelor of Science in Public Safety (BSPS), full scholarship Cadetship Program. The deadline for application is on September 30, 2010. And the examination is scheduled on November 07, 2010 (Sunday)) 7:00 A.M – 12:00 noon in Twenty Six (26) test centers nationwide. Butuan City is the test center in Caraga.

The following qualifications for admission are as follows:

1. A natural born Filipino citizen 
2. A person of good moral character
3. Male or female, single and with no legal obligation to support a child or a children
4. 17 to 21 years old at the time of admission (Born between 5/2/1988 - 5/1/1993) 
5. At least 162.5 cm in height for male and 157.5 cm for female
6. Weight not more nor less than five kilograms (5 kg) of the standard weight  
  measurement corresponding to his/her age, height and sex
7. At least high school graduate
8. Must be able to perform the following physical fitness exercise: pull-ups; full arms hanging; 2 minute push-ups; 2 minute sit-ups; 100 meter dash; 1,000 meter run
9. Physically and mentally fit for cadetship
10. No criminal, administrative or civil case on file before any prosecutors Office or any Court of Judgment and other derogatory record/s
11. Not a former cadet of PNPA or other service academies

Applicant must submit duly accomplished application together with a self-stamped WINDOW ENVELOPE to the Office of the Registrar or mail to: The Director, Philippine National Police Academy, Camp General Mariano Castaneda, Silang, Cavite 4129. No walk-in applicants will be allowed to take the examination. Notice of examination shall be sent through mail or visit: www.pnpa.edu.ph & www.ppsc.gov.ph for the list of examinees, place of examination, test requirements and for more information. Applicants can also call telephone numbers (049) 545-5939 or (02) 3964076. Application forms are available in Public Information Office, Camp Rafael C. Rodriguez, Libertad, Butuan City. (PCI Nelly Tabornal Villagarcia, PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)


Free dental and medical mission 

247 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) from different Agrarian Reform Communities (ARCs) of Tago Surigao del Sur comprising BALILAYCAR, TAGO CLUSTER, CADAGA and BAC availed of the free dental and medical mission held at Gamut, Tago, Surigao del Sur last August 20,2010. The said mission was sponsored by Department of Agrarian Reform CARAGA Oppose Violence Everywhere (DAR-COVE) Surigao del Sur Chapter, a group of male employee of DAR in coordination with the 401st Infantry Brigade, DOH-Rural Health Unit, PNRC Surigao del Sur, LGU Tago and Barangay Officials.  

There were 176 ARBs availed medical consultation, 67 dental services or tooth extraction and 4 children circumcised. All were provided with prescribed medicines and it was facilitated by Medical Doctors: Dr. Radamis Serrano, Dr. Mariano Atacador, Dr. Johnny C. Dela Cruz and Dentists: Dr. Earlyod Mira and Capt. Neil B. Imperial. There were also volunteer nurses, midwifes and dental aids who assisted in the activity. 

Key officials were also present in the said undertakings in the person of Mayor Henrich Pimentel, Assistant Secretary for DARAB - Atty. Jim Coleto, PARO Benjamin M. Mataksil, Admin and Finance Officer Diomedes Maisog, DARCOVE Surigao del Sur Chapter President Harry D. Quinones and other officers, MARO Melanie A. Quico, DARLA President Mayluna Simplicio, DAR employees, . 

It was a successful and meaningful undertaking of the DARCOVE and the department as a whole in reaching out to the people in need of medical services. It shows that we are not only concern of the livelihood of our ARBs through giving of agricultural lands and infrastructure projects but also their wellness as well.
(Myra Q. Yu, DAR-Surigao del Sur/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Tandag CRS outlet to reopen as BREQS-Provincial outlet

BUTUAN CITY - After the fire incident last May 21, 2010, which caused major damages not only in the building but also equipments and civil registry documents, Tandag Civil Registry System (CRS) “Serbilis Center” outlet will be reopened tentatively late this year as BREQS Provincial Outlet according to NSO Regional Director Rosalinda C. Celeste.

Batch Request Entry System or BREQS is a scheme where NSO authorizes a partner to receive requests for NSO-issued copies and certification of civil registry documents from the public and issue the documents to its clientele. 

The actual processing of the requests is done by the Serbilis Outlet assigned to service the authorized partner (also known as the BREQS User). 

BREQS will be implemented to serve the needs of the residents from Tandag City and its neighboring municipalities.

On the other hand, NSO Surigao City will host the CRS Serbilis Center which is scheduled to open early next year. 

A study conducted by UNISYS, a private agency that initiated the computerization system of CRS and the official partner of NSO for the “Build, Operate and Transfer” (BOT) scheme, shows that CRS Provincial Outlet will be more favorable if it will be situated in Surigao City since it is accessible in transporting supplies and equipment, more options in telecommunications and easy access to road networks and transportation facilities. 

The transfer of the Provincial Outlet in Surigao City will still undergo a thorough study. Preparations of the venue and the work plan will be undertaken before it will be operational.

To date, NSO has 11 NCR CRS Outlets, 14 Regional outlets, 5 of which are from Mindanao namely: Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Cotabato, Davao and Zamboanga City CRS Outlets. There are 20 Provincial Outlets nation-wide but only 4 are currently operational in Mindanao specifically: Dipolog, Iligan, General Santos and Ozamis City CRS Outlets.
(NSO 13/PIA-Caraga)