9.26.2010

PIA News Service - Sunday, Sept. 26, 2010

SSS Butuan launches supplementary feeding program

By Robert E. Roperos 

Butuan City - The Social Security System (SSS), Butuan Branch through its branch manager Raine Jamero, officially launched this morning, September 21, the SSS Supplementary Feeding Program at Mahay Elementary School, Brgy. Mahay, this city with the presence of Commissioner Jose Sonny Matula, Mayor Ferdinand Amante, Jr., and representatives of the Department of Education (DepEd). 

Prior to the launching, said officials and representatives signed a memorandum of understanding for the conduct of the feeding program. 

In an earlier statement, Jamero said the feeding program will be conducted three times a week for two months to 129 children-beneficiaries from the said school. 

The SSS Supplementary Feeding Program is part of SSS' corporate social responsibility thrust. Since 2008, SSS has allotted funds to be utilized for the supplementary feeding of undernourished school children. 

For 2010, by virtue of SSC Resolution No. 358-s. 2010, SSS has allotted P4.5 million for the said program. To date, 68 public schools and institutions and 5,444 school children have already benefited from the program. (PIA-Caraga)


Butuan gov’t conducts forum on RA 9994 to senior citizens

By: Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY – The city government here with the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) conducted recently a forum on Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, held at People’s Hall, City Hall.

Right before the forum proper, OSCA held a free blood sugar test to first 50 participants from the senior citizens. 

OSCA Barangay Health Aide Ms. Marie Joy Pontillo, bared its programs and services for the senior citizens. She said that OSCA is conducting the following: 1) Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Treatments from Monday to Friday, 8:00-11:00 a.m. and 1:00-4:00 p.m.; 2) “Operasyon: Pag ga-am hong mga pinalanggang senior citizens,” which includes free dental extraction every Monday, 8:00 a.m.; 3) “Operasyon: Luwas Pag-atod Program,” which includes eye screening/cataract operation; 4) Lecture Demo Program wherein caregivers, patients, and students under the exposure program will undergo training and lecture on healthcare; 5) OSCA goes to barangays, wherein various services are provided to scheduled barangay; 6) Mortuary Assistance Program which provides cash assistance of P2,000.00 to the family members of 150 qualified deceased senior citizens residing in this city; and 7) Aerobic Training to senior citizens.

In his message, City Mayor Ferdinand Amante Jr. emphasized the great importance of the senior citizens in nation-building.

“Your participation in this program is very important because our partnership is part of nation-building,” Mayor Amante said.

Also, City Administrator Leah Mendoza stressed that senior citizens should enjoy the benefits that the government is providing them especially that they can now avail of the full 20% discounts on prescribed medicines and other amenities.

“I welcome this opportunity to be part of this program and not just because I am the City Administrator but also because I belong in this program for the senior citizens,” said Mendoza.

Meanwhile, other concerned agencies like Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Department of Transportation and Communication, Department of Health, Food and Drugs Administration, Butuan City Water District, and Agusan del Norte Electric Cooperative also take part in discussing issues and concerns related to the benefits and privileges of the senior citizens. 

The city government with OSCA and partner agencies are now getting ready for the Senior Citizens Week celebration come October 1-10, 2010 with lined up activities. It is celebrated nationwide under Proclaimation No. 470, declaring the first week of October every year as Linggo ng Katandaang Pilipino (Elderly Filipino Week).
(PIA-Caraga)  


RCDC prepares members for Cooperative Month celeb

By: Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY – The Regional Cooperative Development Council (RCDC) Caraga prepared its members for the Cooperative Month celebration on October 2010. Various activities were planned to be conducted next month to be participated in by the entire coop members in the region.

The celebration will kick-off on October 1 with a thanksgiving mass at the Cooperative Development Council (CDA) Caraga Conference Room, this city. 

Simultaneously, Bislig city coops will also participate in their parade to be followed with a program. On Oct. 3-31, the coops will also conduct sportsfest and radio exposure, and also planned for a tree-planting activity. Aside from that is the conduct of the Coop Forum on Good Governance.

According to RCDC Chairman Mr. Francisco Loque, Oct. 1-3, 2010 is set for the 2nd Philippine Coop Teamshop to be held at Dumaguete City by the organizers coming from CDA, NCDC, PCDC, and LGUs. Some coop sectors from Caraga had already registered to join the said teamshop.

Some coops in Caraga will also participate in the 10th National Coop Summit at Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City.

Loque also said that all coops in Dinagat Islands will hold a provincial Cooperative Summit on Oct. 15, 2010 while at the same time Butuan City coops will also hold the Seminar-Workshop on the Accreditation of Cooperative External Auditors wherein all CPAs auditing coops are enjoined to participate.

Also, CDA-Caraga Regional Director Manuela Pelaez bared that cooperative leaders and officers in the region are encouraged to participate in the Seminar on Implementing Rules and Regulations on Republic Act 9520 (an act amending the cooperative code of the Philippines to be known as the "Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008") at Balanghai Hotel and Convention Center, this city.

“RCDC will also conduct educational contest thru poster-making and quiz bee in the primary and secondary schools in Caraga. This is to  

Meanwhile, Oct. 30 is set for the culmination program which will start with a mass and then blessing of CDA-Caraga library wherein Caraga products will be displayed.

RCDC-Caraga calls on public and other government agencies to give their full support
in this endeavor. (PIA-Caraga) 

 
DENR leads 25th int’l coastal clean-up in Tandag

By Nida Grace B. Tranquilan

TANDAG, SURIGAO DEL SUR– The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) leads a coastal clean-up activity held recently along the shorelines of Brgy. Mabua, Tandag, this province.

It was a synchronized worldwide activity every September in response to the 25th International Coastal Clean-up Celebration joined by over 100 countries. Volunteers who joined the activity were engaged to remove trash and debris along coastal areas. 

This year’s theme: “Trust Travels: From our hands to the sea, Around the Globe through time”, Coastal Cleanup Day is the world's largest, one-day volunteer effort to clean up the marine environment like local beaches, rivers, lakes and canals to show their commitment to cleaner waterways.

Among the volunteers who joined the activity were the 36IB, Philippine Army under the command of LTC Rene Cañete, Surigao del Sur State University (SDSSU) students lead by Dr. Rogelio Bajamonde, NSTP Coordinator, Local Government Units (LGU) employees of Provincial Environment & Natural Resources Office (PENRO) and Community Environment and Natural Environment office (CENRO). (PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Cebuano News: dugang benipisyo sa Senior Citizen sa Butuan gituki sa seminar sa RA 9994

Ni Michael Imbo

BUTUAN CITY- Gituki sa kagamhanang lokal ang kahinungdanon sa Republic Act 9994 kon expanded senior citizens act of 2010 didto sa People’s Hall, ni’ng dakbayan, dili pa lang dogay.

Ang Akta Republika 9994 nagsaysay nga naghatag sa mga prihibiliyo sa mga senior citizens kon An act granting additional benefits and privileges to senior citizens, further amending Republic Act No. 7432, as amended, otherwise known as “An Act to maximize the contribution of senior citizens to nation building, grant benefits and special privileges and other purposes”.

Gipahigayon ang forum on Republic Act 9994 ubos sa pagdumala sa Office for Senior Citizens Affair ilalom sa liderato ni Ms. Joan A. Ancheta-Officer in Charge.

Si Butuan City Mayor Hon. Ferdinand M. Amante ang mismong mihatag sa mensahe nga nagtumbok sa dugang benipisyu ug mga prihibiliyo nga mahatag sa mga senior citizens sa dakbayan.

Sumala sa alkalde nga daku ang iyang suporta sa mga senior citizen kinsa duol sa iyang kasing-kasing ug nanginahanglan sa mga nag-unang benipisyo sama sa mga medical ug pinansyal nga panginahanglan.

Sa mensahe usab ni Butuan City Administrator Leah Mendoza mipaabot sab sa iyang suporta sa mga senior citizen, matud niini nga ang mga diskwento ug mga dugang benipisyo ang haum sa programa sa kagamhanan aron mapahimuslan sa mga senior citizen.

Gisaysay sa forum ang constitutional principles nga madawat nga prehibiliyo
Ang pag-ila sa katungod sa mga senior citizen diha sa kumunidad ug sa gobyerno.

Ang paghatag sa suporta sa ilang partisipasyon sa kumunidad ug mga aktibidades nga dunay interes alang sa nasud Pilipinas.

Pagpadayag sa ilang kasinatian ug mga natampo alang sa nasud nga mahimong pundasyun sa lig-on nga pamilya sa katilingban.

Gilauman nga mahatagan sa patas nga pagtagad sa gobyerno ug pribadong sector aron makab-ot sa mga senior citizens ang gitumbok nga mga benipisyo. (PIA-Caraga)


Cebuano News: Pre-Regional Science Fair gilusad sa Butuan City


Ni Michael Imbo

BUTUAN CITY - Malampuson ang gihimong programa sa mga magtutudlo uban ang mga magtutungha sa nagkadaiyang tunghaan didto sa West Central Elementary School, ni’ng dakbayan, dili pa lang dugay.

Ang gilusad nga Pre-Regional Science Fair kon Quiz naghatag kahigayunan sa mga kabataan nga mahulma ang ilang kaalam ug paghimo sa mga experiment nga may kalambigitan sa siyensya.

Si Dr. Ledwina Calo, Education Supervisor sa Department of Education-Butuan City Division ang nagsaysay nga ang programa gilusad aron ihatud ang mga nagkadaiyang ideya sa mga estudyante lakip na ang mga magtutudlo aron madugangan ang kalamboan nga matampo sa science ug teknolohiya.

Si Mr. Rodrigo Latonero, Principal sa West Central Elementary School ang mapasalamaton sa pagtambong sa mga magtutungha gikan sa elementarya ug high school diin didto sa iyang tunghaan gipahigayon ang programa.

Human niana, gipahigayon sab ang “Meet the Press” aron mapaabot ngadto sa kumunidad ang mga kalihukan ug proyektong gilusad sa mga magtutungha nga magamit sa teknolohiya ug bag-ong paagi sa science.

Ang tagsa-tagsa ka mga estudyante nga representante sa ilang tunghaan ang mihatag sa eksplenasyon kabahin sa science investigative project nga nakatabang sa pagamit sa teknolohiya ug mga ekspiremento.

Tutokan sa ahensya sa edukasyon ang paghatag ug dakong suporta sa mga kabataan nga mahimong salamin sa kausaban ug maghatod sa kalamboan nga dala sa sensya ug teknolohiya.

Ang Department of Education ang misanong nga mapadayon ang programa sa rehiyon ug makab-ot ang dekalidad nga edukasyon sa mga kabataan nga mauy gilauman nga kaugmaon sa nasud. (PIA-Caraga)


POLICE REPORTS 
By PO3 Arturo Suganob Campania

Report on encounter 

One Section of Operating Troops led by 2Lt Oscar Demacali composed of three (3) personnel of 42nd DRC, Six (6) personnel of 26 IB and two (2) from CAA, encountered more or less twenty (20) CTs led by Commander Pidot/Edoy of GF8, Northeastern Mindanao Regional Command (NEMRC) at the vicinity of Brgy Valentina, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur on September 22, 2010 at 7:20 am. Firefight lasted for more or less five (5) minutes until the enemy withdrew towards unknown direction. As a result, One unidentified male CT was killed on the enemy side while no casualty on the government side. The government troops also recovered two (2) unit m16 rifle with serial number 565211 and 1418291. (PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)

Report on shooting incident 

One Pepito Yonson y Bayed, 39 yrs old, married and res of Purok Aure, Brgy Talisay, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte was shot with the use of cal .357 revolver paltik hitting his left leg by one Uldarico Abendaño y Ramoga, 49 yrs old, married, also res of same place. Initial investigation disclosed that while the victim and his wife were on their way to Nasipit Port riding a single motorcycle, suspect also riding a single motorcycle overtook them and blocked their way, and shot the victim hitting his leg. Victim managed to run while suspect destroyed the victim's motorcycle. Victim proceeded to Nasipit District Hospital for treatment while suspect voluntarily surrendered at Nasipit MPS. Incident took place at Purok Aure, Brgy Talisay, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte on September 21, 2010 at 9:35 pm. Motive-personal grudge. Case now prepared for filing in court against the suspect. Progress report to follows.  

One Eddie Cagas y Ostos, 21 yrs old, married and res of P-2, Brgy Sta Cruz, Sibagat, Agusan del Sur was shot with the use of short firearm of unknown caliber by alias Toto Brital, legal age, driver and res of Brgy Sta Irene, Bayugan City. Victim sustained one gunshot wound on his chin that passes thru his right shoulder and he was immediately rushed to Bayugan Medical Hospital for medical treatment. PNP elements of Bayugan City Police Station upon receipt of the report immediately proceeded to the crime scene to conduct investigation and arrest the suspect. However, suspect already fled towards mountainous area of Sitio Bagodanon, Brgy Sta Irene, Bayugan City. Initial investigation disclosed that said suspect was allegedly mauled by the brother of the victim prior to the incident. Incident took place at P-1A, Brgy Taglatawan, Bayugan City on September 21, 2010 at 10:15 pm. Progress report to follows. (PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)

Report on robbery incident 

The house of Ronaldo Gardose y Galagate, 59 yrs old, widow, farmer located at P-9, Brgy Poblacion, Sta Josefa, Agusan del Sur was forcibly entered by unidentified suspect by destroying the padlocks and carted away assorted jewelries with an estimated amount of one million pesos and cash money amounting to Php 6,000.00. PNP elements of Sta Josefa MPS led by PINSP LLOYD JUMAMOY MERCADO now conducting in depth investigation for possible identity and arrest of the suspect. Progress report to follows.
(PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)

Buenavista policemen arrest wanted person 

One Apolinario A Araña, 27 yrs old, single and res of Brgy Rizal, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte was arrested by PNP elements of Buenavista MPS led by PO3 Rogelio C Sarsaba by virtue of WOA dated September 15, 2010 issued by Judge Gael Paderanga of MTC, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte for the crime of grave slander, docketed under CC nr 3926 with recommended bailbond amounting to Php 6,000.00. Apprehension took place at Brgy Rizal, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte on September 20, 2010 at 2:20 pm. Suspect now detained at Buenavista MPS for proper disposition. 

One Arnold S Juntilla, 33 yrs old, married and res of P-2, Brgy Noli, Bayugan City was arrested by PNP elements of Bayugan City Police Station led by PO3 Nestor Rasonabe by virtue of WOA dated September 8, 2010 issued by Hon Judge Eduardo S Casals of RTC Branch 1, Butuan City for violation of RA 9262 (violence against women and children), docketed under CC nr 14359 with recommended bailbond amounting to Php 80,000.00. Apprehension took place at P-7, Brgy Noli, Bayugan City on September 21, 2010 at 11:00 am. Subject person now detained at Bayugan City PS for proper disposition.
(PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)

Report on illegal gambling 


PNP elements of Tandag City Police Station led by PSINSP GALO MELLINA MARTINEZ arrested one Jayvy Ray Salcedo y Angcon, 23 yrs old, married and res of Monglow, Brgy Bag-ong Lungsod, Tandag City on September 21, 2010 at 7:00 pm at said place while actually caught engaged in illegal gambling known as last two digits and swertres based on PCSO Lotto Draw. Confiscated from suspect's possession were one (1) stub unfilled tally sheet; one (1) pc filled-up tally sheet; one (1) pc ballpen; one (1) stub unfilled receipt and cash bet money amounting to Php 785.00. Arrested person and confiscated items were brought to Tandag City Police Station for proper disposition.
(PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)


Butuan masahista group upbeat on sustainability

BUTUAN CITY – Twenty nine masseuses, who marched for graduation this 18th day of September 2010 at the Barangay Youth Center here, became upbeat and optimistic of the bounties that could be theirs because benefactors and development facilitators such as the Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU), PANGKALAMBUAN and other government agencies are providing them with a helping hand and a ray of hope for a sustainable tomorrow.  

Hon. Higinio S. Castañares, Brgy. Captain here, announced that the BLGU council has already approved in principle a commitment of PhP15,000.00 as a startup fund support for their collective livelihood venture. He likewise offered and designated one room of the Center, alternately used as an office of the Barangay Health Unit, to rev up their proclivity and inclination for practicing their new-found trade, which is body massage.

 He was of the belief that it is better to “teach a man how to fish, so that he will be able to feed himself for a lifetime.” That’s why he deemed that their trade, acquired through Alternative Learning System (ALS), is a good leverage for them to raise additional income for their family. He further suggested that they should organize themselves into a group so that at the bottom line the initial gains they have might be sustained.

Ana P. Lasco, Education Supervisor I of the Department of Education – Butuan City District, urged the graduates in her remarks that “you should start with your family. And if you have mastered it, you can radiate to the community where many needs your services.”  

 In consonance, TESDA came into the picture, offering a lifeline in terms of facilitating the group’s inclination to be organized, even to the point of helping them acquire a legal personality, so that they can transact business officially, not simply in a clandestine manner. 

Mr. Gervacio C. Dauz, Jr., Special Projects Focal Person who represented Provincial Director Leo Velez during the affair, said that “without legal personality, you will appear to be simply an informal group, which in a worse- case scenario can be sued easily by existing massage parlors which got a license to operate. To parry that, we shall therefore try to organize you into an association with legal personality.”  

In order to realize their desire, Mr. Dauz oriented them with the requirements and walked them through the means and manner of attaining or achieving a legal personality. Because of the guidance, the massage group resolved that they would apply for registration as soon as possible.

 PANGKALAMBUAN and the World Vision Development Foundation, Inc supported the massage group throughout the training period and had even provided them with a start up kits individually containing large towel, face towel, baby powder, alcohol, lotion, and massage oil in order for them to ply their trade.

World Vision, which is their main benefactor, envisions them to become self-reliant and sustainable so that they can support themselves through thick and thin by the time it withdraws in year 2013.  

Ms. Leonora Missiona, facilitator of the massage skills training and also a nationally certified masahista through the PGS Scholarship, became the interim President of the group for purposes of registering them. She was thankful of the intervention and expressed that “without TESDA helping us with the plan to be registered, we might be groping in the dark after our graduation.’

Even before the graduation, at least one enterprising trainee in the person of Ms. Ida Parcon testified that as an on-call practitioner she has already regular clients to boost and gained as much as PhP3,000.00 for her initiative. (Gervacio Dauz, Jr., TESDA-13/PIA-Caraga)


Trying to be at par with the best
60 masons go for trade enhancement and retooling 

BUTUAN CITY – Sixty masons, majority of whom are considered able and veterans in handling their wares, flocked at the Capitol Compound here this 20th day of September 2010 with the intent of attending the all-expenses paid Ang Espesyalistang Mason basic and enhancement training tendered by Pacific Cement Philippines, Inc . in cooperation with the Provincial Government of Agusan del Norte and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority of Agusan del Norte Provincial Office.

Provincial Administrator Percianita G. Racho, pinch hitting for the Hon. Governor Erlpe John M. Amante, thanked the PCPI or PACEMCO group for choosing the Province of Agusan del Norte as a beneficiary for this sought-after skills training. 

In response, Mr. Nestor Y. Saldivar, PACEMCO Vice President for Sales, pointed out that “it is our privilege to serve the people of Agusan del Norte.” He went on to reveal that the “Ang Espesyalistang Mason skills enhancement is a flagship program of our company anchored on its corporate social responsibility in partnership with TESDA. It is part of our company’s recognition of the value of masons as partners to its business and the construction industry as a whole.”

He disclosed that the current group of masons would be the 8th batch in their roster of beneficiaries. The company’s aim, he shared, is to “enhance the knowledge and skills of local masons by providing appropriate training and recognition” in order to improve their knowledge, skills and attitudes in accordance with industry standards.

As an icing to the cake, he divulged that under the program each participant will be provided with free tools and uniform, allowance, and bags of cement for training purposes.  

His primal request though from the participants was for them to really give their best in order that they will improve their skills and acquire a national certification that they can use to apply for work both here and abroad. “Comes a time,” he foresaw, “that you can no longer practice your trade without a national certification.”

As a post-training support, he urged the participants to be organized, so that they can easily be found, tapped, and recommended for existing jobs.  

Regional Director Florencio F. Sunico, Jr. of TESDA Caraga Region waxed ecstatic in behalf of his agency because the training program has been going on for the 8th time already and even beyond. “Our unflinching hope,” he mused, “is that the industry would continue with this kind of arrangement because they know best what’s good for them. This preferred mode, which is industry-based, is commendable and the prospect of landing a job is bright for our skilled workers.” 

Signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between and among PACEMCO, the Provincial Government, and TESDA followed suit to galvanize continuing partnership.  

Afterwards, Engr. Glenn G. Zerda of PACEMCO oriented the participants on what to expect during the six-day training, a greater part of which would be the acquisition of core competencies like hollow block laying, plastering, and baluster laying. Statistics-wise, he showed that their program as of 20th day of September 2010 had already 223 graduates, wherein 154 of whom were assessed and only 135 successfully acquired the national certification status.  

As for regional work opportunity, he shared that the Taganito Mining Corp. in partnership with the Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. urgently need an initial 5,000 workers for the $1.0 Billion High Pressure Acid Leach Nickel Plant in Claver, Surigao dle Norte. PACEMCO, he twinkled, was given the arrangement to recommend workers, particularly masons, for the construction of their bunkhouses, staff houses, administration building, hospital, etc.  

Hon. Loreto Maragañas, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member, pointed out that “organizing the group into an association with legal personality is on the right track so that we, from the Provincial Government, can help you” through allocation of resources.  

“The standard that we have,” said Leo V. Velez, TESDA Provincial Director, “is a result of consultation with the industry. Our job then is to qualify and certify workers such as you as a matter of standardizing the practice of your trade.” He finally declared the commencement of the 8th Batch Ang Espesyalistang Mason Training. (Gervacio Dauz, Jr., TESDA-13/PIA-Caraga)


Mayor Amante inducted MSMED Council co-chair

BUTUAN CITY – In an unprecedented move, Hon. Ferdinand Amante, Jr., City Mayor here, attended the Butuan City Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Development (MSMED) Council session this 21st day of September 2010 at the SME Center, DTI-Agusan del Norte Provincial Office and was eventually inducted into office by DTI Provincial Officer Gay A. Tidalgo as co-chair of the said body, which is composed of representatives from government line agencies, city government unit, and the private sector.  

His presence infused needed moral support and spurred upbeat projections for the future of Butuan MSMED Council as per sentiment from those present and augured well for Chairperson Eufroceles D. Udarbe, Sr., who noted that it was “the first time in history that the City Mayor of Butuan has graced our meeting.”

Tackled during the meeting was the legal basis of the existence of the body under Republic Act 9501, which is “An act to promote entrepreneurship . . . ” amending for the purpose the previous act known as R.A. 6977.

As reflected in Section 7 of R.A. 9501, the creation of MSMED Council is mandated to effectively spur the growth and development of MSMEs; to carry out policies to strengthen the promotion and assistance to MSMEs; and to provide an institutionalized venue for public-private sector dialogue on policy issues and action programs affecting MSMEs.  

Mr. Winston A. Guillen, representing the United Furniture Makers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, put emphasis during the meeting about the need to advocate Results-Based Management (RBM), which is about measuring the relevance and success rate of an agency or organization not merely on the basis of its activities and output, but on the more primal level, which is about outcome and impact.

He pointed out that a lot of agencies confuse and even equate activity with productivity, which should not be the case.  

Finding sense and credence in his remarks, the body unanimously agreed and approved the need to drumbeat the gospel of RBM in order that there will be a common perspective for measuring success. Even Mayor Amante decided to give the emerging assessment gospel a chance to be tried in his sphere of influence and assigned DTI to facilitate the conduct of it.  

Tackled also during the meeting were the MSMED Council’s powers, duties and functions, to wit: (a) Policy formulation; (b) Program advocacy; and (c) Program coordination and integration.
At the operational level, Ms. Tidalgo, DTI Provincial Officer, pointed out that currently the MSMED Council’s Center or nerve center of operation is still lodge at the DTI Office. But she implored that it should technically be under the independent care and management of the private sector.  

In a related development, she divulged that the MSMED Council will be looking forward to a wider and more comfortable space, where it can display products, conduct conference, and put up office for purposes of pushing the agenda of MSMEs in Butuan City.

Ms. Vivian Otaza of the Caraga Travel Links egged Mayor Amante to assign a space to be converted into a Tourism Assistance Center in order to improve the climate for attracting and engaging tourists not only in the city, which is considered to be the regional seat, but in the entire Caraga Region as well.

Mr. Egmidio Tidalgo, Jr., representing the Micro Entrepreneurs Club, was voted and also inducted into office as the new Public Information Officer of the Council.

Mr. Gervacio C. Dauz, Jr of TESDA Agusan del Norte likewise pushed the idea wherein the city government can have its cake and eat it too. He was referring to the adoption and implementation of national certification (NC) for Driving, which is not only an adjunct to the tourism industry, but cuts across the gamut of transport services and societal mobility. To operationalize the idea, the city government, he argued, can offer NC II Driving Course in its Butuan City Manpower Training Center through legislation. As a follow through, it can further set up an Assessment Center for purposes of gauging the skills of the drivers. And if they pass the hurdle, they will be awarded with a national certification by TESDA, which is “legal tender” both locally and abroad.  

If adopted and implemented, it can mean generation of additional funds for the city government and at the same time improving the standard of doing things as well as expanding the opportunity of alleviating poverty through self or wage employment either here or abroad.  

Enshrined in Section 22 of Republic Act No. 7796 or commonly known as the TESDA Act is the mandate for TESDA to establish national occupational skill standards. Hence, the Authority shall develop and implement a certification and accreditation program in which private industry group and trade associations are accredited to conduct approved trade tests, and the local government units to promote such trade testing activities in their respective areas in accordance with the guidelines to be set by the Authority.

Mayor Amante, in consonance with other members of the Council, became optimistic that the idea raised was not only doable but sustainable as well. As a vote of confidence, he even went on to disclose his preference for technical education and skills development: “I am shifting my administration’s scholarship priorities from baccalaureate degrees to vocational training.”
.
In the end, he reasoned out with reference to the whole Council: “My presence is simply that I want to engage with you.”
(Gervacio Dauz, Jr., TESDA-13/PIA-Caraga)