11.09.2010

PIA News Service - Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010

Gov. Matugas chairs LMDA

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (09 November) – Surigao del Norte Governor Sol F. Matugas was elected by majority of the members of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Lake Mainit Development Alliance (LMDA) during its Board Meeting on Tuesday (November 9) held at the Agusan del Norte Provincial Training Center, capitol site, this city.

The lady governor was represented by Vice Governor Carlos Egay Jr. who immediately presided the meeting after the election.

Meanwhile, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)-Caraga Regional Director Carmencita Cochingco was re-elected Vice Chairman.

The BOT election of Chairmanship followed a rule agreed by the previous Board of Trustees to select a new set of officers after every local election. The reorganization of the BOT will give opportunities for the newly-elected officials to be chosen as officers of the BOT and replace the officials that have loss during the election.

Another rule set by the BOT is the position of the Vice Chairperson as set aside to the line agency members. The customary practice is that, the member line agencies prefer NEDA to be the Vice Chairperson. The Vice Chairperson can also act as a convenor when the selected officials loss in the local election. The treasurer of the organization is set aside to the host municipality.

The selected local government official will occupy the position as officer of LMDA during their term of office. The rule set by the previous BOT can be changed as agreed by majority of the members. (PIA-Caraga)


Tagalog News: Gob. Matugas, napiling chairman ng LMDA

Ni: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (09 Nobyembre) – Napiling bagong chairman ng Lake Mainit Development Alliance (LMDA) si Gob. Sol F. Matugas ng probinsiya ng Surigao del Norte sa ginawang halalan ng Board of Trustees (BOT) ngayong hapon (Nobyembre 9) sa Agusan del Norte Provincial Training Center, capitol site dito.

Kumakatawan sa nasabing opisyal ay ang Bise-Gobernador ng probinsiya – Carlos Egay Jr. na kaagad nangulo sa ginawang BOT meeting pagkatapos ng halalan.

Samantala, napiling muli si NEDA-Caraga Regional Director Carmencita Cochingco bilang Vice Chairman.

Ang halalan ng Board of Trustees Chairmanship ay alinsunod sa alituntuning napagkasunduan ng dating miyembro ng Board of Trustees na pumili ng bagong set na opisyal pagkatapos ng lokal na halalan. Ang pagpili ng bagong itinakdang opisyal ng BOT ay magbibigay ng pagkakataon sa mga bagong napiling lokal na opisyal ng mga munisipyong kasapi ng samahan na mapiling opisyal ng BOT at mapalitan ang mga opisyal na natalo sa nakaraang national at local elections.

Isa pang alituntuning napagkasunduan ng BOT ay ang posisyon ng Vice Chairperson na itinakda para sa mga kasapi na line agencies ng samahan. Napag-alamang ang nakaugalian kasi ng mga kasapi ng BOT ay ang pagtalaga sa NEDA bilang Vice Chaiperson. Ang nasabing opisyal ay magiging convenor kung ang napiling chairman ng samahan ay natalo sa local election. Ang taga-ingat-yaman naman ng samahan ay itinakda para sa host municipality. (PIA-Caraga)


Cebuano News: Gob. Matugas, napiling chairman sa LMDA

Ni: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (09 Nobyembre) - Napiling chairman sa Board of Trustees sa Lake Mainit Development Alliance (LMDA) si Gob. Sol F. Matugas sa probinsiya sa Surigao del Norte atol sa gipahigayong pinili-ay karong adlawa, Martes, Nobyembre 9 sa Agusan del Norte Provincial Training Center, capitol site, ni’ng dakbayan.

Si Gob. Matugas gi-representahan sa Bise-Gob. sa maong probinsiya nga si Carlos Egay kung diin mao gyud dayon ang nangulo sa gipahigayong BOT meeting pagkahuman sa maong pinili-ay.

Samtang, subling napili si NEDA-Caraga Regional Director Carmencita Cochingco isip Vice Chairman.

Ang gihimong pinili-ay sa Chairmanship sa Board of Trustees (BOT) nagasunod sa rulings nga gisabutan sa miaging mga miyembro sa BOT kung diin, kini nasabutan nga magpili og bag-ong set nga opisyales pagkahuman sa national ug lokal nga pinili-ay sa nasud. Ang pagpili sa bag-ong set nga mga opisyales sa LMDA naghatag usab og oportunidad sa mga bag-ong opisyal sa mga munisipyong sakop sa maong assosasyon aron magpapapili isip bag-ong opisyales sa BOT aron mapulihan ang mga napildi’ng opisyal sa nakalabay’ng national ug lokal nga piniliay.

Lain pang ruling nga nasabutan atol sa maong nakalabay ng panagtigum mao ang pag-alokar sa Vice Chairmanship position ngadto sa mga miyembro niini nga mga government line agencies. Naandan sa mga sakop sa BOT nga ang NEDA mao’y kanunay gitudlo nga mamahimong Vice Chairperson.

Nahibaloan nga ang Vice Chairperson mao’y mamahimong convenor kung ang napiling chairman sa LMDA naparot sa nakalabay’ng national ug lokal nga piniliay. Samtang ang treasurer nga posisyson usab gitakda nga ihatag ngadto sa host municipality. (PIA-Caraga)
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Surigao Norte towns adopt BPLS for LGUs
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Surigao del Norte (9 November) – Four (4) local government units (LGUs) of this province will adopt the newly introduced streamlining of Business Permits & Licensing System (BPLS).

These 4 LGUs are the city of Surigao with three (3) neighboring municipalities namely: Claver, Mainit and Tubod.

The BPLS, as presented during the MOA signing at the provincial convention center recently, aimed at unifying numerous forms, confusing steps, long waiting time and assorted signatories to "provide efficient delivery of services to the public by reducing bureaucratic red tape and preventing graft and corruptions."

Some the benefits of the BPLS streamlining include an improved revenue generation, reduced time and resources spent by LGUs in the BPLS process, more complete information base on business enterprises in their localities for more informed policy and decision-making and better image for the LGU in the area of good governance.

DILG Prov’l Director Domingo Bulabug said the direct beneficiary of a streamlined BPLS is the businessman. “Less corruption and reduced time spent in registering their business redound to financial savings,” he said.

It may be recalled that during the first SONA of President Benigno S. Aquino III, he emphasized that on top of the agenda for development of his Administration is job generation.

"While we look for more ways to streamline our processes to make business start-ups easier, I hope the LGUs can also find ways to implement reforms that will be consistent with the ones we have already started," Aquino said.

With this, the DILG and DTI responded to this pronouncement through the BPLS. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)


8th National Youth Parliament Successfully Implemented

Butuan City - 128 youth leaders nationwide representing the in-school youth, out-of school-youth, working youth, youth with special needs, and Sanguniang Kabataan (SK) attended the 8th National Youth Parliament (NYP) with the theme: “Kabataang Pinoy: Ako ang Pagbabago,” held on November 5-8, 2010 at the Almont Hotel’s Inland Resort, Butuan City.

“I hope that through the NYP Program, the delegates were able to share their experiences in their respective fields of expertise. From there, they can identify unique ideas and deeper awareness on certain pressing issues,” Commisioner Steve Laurence M. Arquiza, 5th NYP President and the National Organizing Committee Chairman of 8th NYP, said.

Arquiza also stated that the NYC hopes that through the NYP, delegates can discuss issues and concerns in local level as well as the national. NYP has a rich tradition of discussing emerging issues such as juvenile justice law, clean-air act, and prohibiting underage smoking.

Aside from the parliamentary sessions, Usec. Christopher Lawrence S. Arnuco, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Commission, delivered his State of the Youth Address (SOYA) about the current situation and issues of the youth as well as his aspirations for the youth sector.

Other spekers were Undersecretary Alicia Bala from DSWD, Congressman Jose Aquino II, and DBM Assistant Director Rolando Toledo.

The NYP delegates elected officials through electronic voting. Jericho Jan Bustamante from Zamboanga del Sur won the Presidential seat while Renelyn Tan from the NCR edged out her rivals for the Vice-Presidential race. Other elected officials were: Rachelle Anne Miranda as Secretary General; Daryll Edisonn Saclag as Deputy Secretary General; Romuel Imperial and Francis Lynn Malalis as Sergeants-At Arms.

The program is spearheaded by the National Youth Commission in partnership with the local government of Butuan City headed by Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante Jr. and the regional line agencies of CARAGA including DepEd, DOST, DSWD, DOH, PNP, DILG, DPWH, DENR, PIA, NEDA, DTI, CHR, NCMF, DOJ, POPCOM, CHED and DOT. (NYC/PIA-Caraga)


POLICE REPORTS
By PO3 Criselda Bulahao-Nalam

Report on stabbing incident

On November 07, 2010 around 1:30 in the morning at Eyes Videoke Bar located at P- 2, Bongaitan District, Mangagoy, Bislig City, Surigao del Sur, the victim identified as one Raymond Balbares y Delos Santos, 21 yrs old, single, fisherman and a resident of the abovementioned place.

Victim sustained one (1) stabbed wound on the left portion of his stomach and was rushed to Bislig District Hospital by the responding personnel of Bislig CPS for medical treatment.

Initial investigation disclosed that the victim together with his two (2) companions having drinking session, while on their way home they were approached by six (6) unidentified persons and without apparent reasons stabbed the said victim and fled to unknown direction after the incident.

Bislig CPS still conducting thorough investigation for possible identification and apprehension of the suspects. Progress report follows. (PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)

Report on vehicular accident

On November 07, 2010 around 6:10 in the evening at National Highway, in front of Davao Warehouse , Brgy Maygatasan, Bayugan City, one (1) unit motorcycle Bravo Honda bearing plate number 6939-LN driven by one Michael Bada y Buhoy, 25 yrs old, and a resident of P-6, Brgy Sagmone, Bayugan City together with his two (2) back riders identified as one Ciriaco Buhoy y Higana, 54 yrs old, married and one Nelia Buhoy y Tangkoy, 52 yrs old, married and both residence of P-6, Brgy Sagmone, Bayugan, Agusan del Sur, were allegedly hit and run by a L300 Van, color-white.

Victims sustained multiple injuries on the different parts of their body and was rushed to New Bayugan Doctors Hospital for medical treatment but Nelia Buhoy pronounced dead on arrival by the Attending Physician. PNP personnel of Bayugan CPS conducted scene investigation and hot pursuit operation against the suspect but evaded the arrest. Bayugan MPS took cognizance of the case.
(PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)

Report on shooting incident

One Rodene Arnaiz y Sagudaquil, 41 yrs old, married, farmer and a resident ofP-4, Brgy Lucena, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur reported to Prosperidad MPS the on November 08, 2010 around 3:00 in the afternoon, particularly at P-2, Brgy Lucena, Prosperida, Agusan del Sur that he allegedly shot by one (1) Roque Fuentez, 50 yrs old, married, farmer and a resident of the aforementioned place with the used of cal .357 homemade revolver. Victim sustained gun shot wound on his right shoulder and was immediately brought to DOP Memorial Hospital for Medical treatment while the suspect fled to unknown direction.

Upon received of the report, PNP personnel of Prosperidad MPS led by SPO4 Samson Sesin, proceeded to the crime scene to conduct further investigation as a result one (1) Isidro De Pedro Jr, of legal age and a member of CVO at above cited place, turn over to the responding personnel, one (1) cal.357 homemade revolver (deface SN) with three (3) live ammos and two (2) empty shell allegedly used and owned by the suspect together with one (1) cal.38 homemade revolver with serial number 2996 with six (6) live ammos allegedly owned by the victim which was voluntarily turned-over by both suspect and victim after the incident.

Said firearm was temporarily deposited to supply room of Prosperidad MPS for proper disposition. Hot pursuit operation was being conducted by Prosperidad MPS for possible arrest of the suspects. (PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)
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Month after mercury phase-out deadline
Mindanao region health care system close to 50% mercury-free


General Santos City – A month after the September 2010 deadline for mercury phase-out in health care, Health Care Without Harm-Southeast Asia (HCWH-SEA) released a report documenting the mercury phase-out compliance of health care facilities and institutions in the country. The verdict for Mindanao region: “close to passing mark.”

Out of the 497 hospitals in Mindanao region (Source: Philippine Hospital Association), only 269 responded to the survey (Refer to Table 1) and of this respondents, 230 (46%) are already phasing out mercury. (Refer to Table 2). This puts Mindanao ahead of Luzon with 444 (41%) hospital-respondents who are phasing out mercury out of the total 1,086 Luzon hospitals and 53 (20%) in Visayas out of the 268 hospitals.

“We are happy with this result,” said Faye Ferrer, HCWH-SEA Program Officer for Mercury in Health Care. “Taking into consideration the geographical location of Mindanao which is far from the Department of Health central office, the turnout of respondents, as well as the close to 50% mercury phase-out status is exemplary.”

“We however encourage the DoH not to be lax with this result. There is still another 50% that needs support in their mercury phase-out,” Ferrer added. “We however would like to note that the dismal score of the other island groups may be attributed to the low return rate of the survey forms.”

DoH-Administrative Order 2008-0021 mandates the gradual phase-out of mercury-containing devices in all health care facilities and institutions by September 2010. Early this year, HCWH-SEA conducted regional forum in 10 of the 15 regions in the country to disseminate the information to the health facilities.

The group conducted the survey from January to July and out of the 1,851 hospitals in the country, 717 hospitals and 107 rural health units responded. (Refer to Table 3)

What happens next?

Among the general provision of AO 21 is that health care facilities must immediately discontinue the distribution of mercury thermometers in their admission/discharge kits.

Of those surveyed, there are still 9 in Luzon, 4 in Visayas and zero in Mindanao who are distributing mercury thermometers. (Refer to Table 4)

“We encourage these hospitals to shun away from mercury and to choose the safe alternatives,” said Ferrer. “From there comes another issue which is ‘where to store phased-out mercury devices?’”
From the survey, Mindanao has the highest number of in storage mercury thermometers, BP apparatus and fluorescent lights/bulbs. (Refer to Table 5)

The group presented the guidelines to interim storage of phased-out mercury devices in health care which is in a safe place within the hospital premises.

“We enjoin all health care facilities to take this issue seriously,” said Ferrer. “Sanctions must not be the sole justification for phase-out.”

A general provision of the AO mandates that health facilities applying for a renewal of License shall submit an inventory of all mercury-containing devices as well as a mercury elimination program. The PhilHealth on the other hand in its new benchbook added mercury-free as a requirement for its accreditation.

“At the end of the day, the question for health workers to ask is, ‘did we do our best in providing health care?’” said Ferrer. “If we are still using mercury, the answer is obvious. No, you have not done your best. But it’s never too late to change.”

HCWH is an international coalition of more than 470 organizations in 52 countries, working to transform the health care sector worldwide, without compromising patient safety or care, so that it is ecologically sustainable and no longer a source of harm to public health and the environment. For more information on HCWH-SEA, see www.noharm.org.ph. (Sonia G. Astudillo & Faye Ferrer, HCWH/PIA-Caraga)


Legarda: Senate duty bound to review VFA

Citing the several contentious provisions of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States, Senator Loren Legarda today said that Congress is duty-bound to review the treaty.

Legarda said that the Legislative Oversight Committee on the VFA (LOVFA), which she co-chairs, is compelled to review the treaty to ensure that provisions of the agreement would not be disadvantageous to the country.

“We are mandated to review the VFA and to consider this in the light of the numerous calls for action on reported inequities and legal questions characterizing the agreement. In this regard, we shall ask the Presidential Commission on the VFA to immediately forward to us its comprehensive report on the implementation of the agreement covering the past 11 years,” she said.

“We will likewise, request stakeholders concerned to share with us their views toward generating a very comprehensive review that will allow us to come up with a decision that will serve the best interest of the Filipino people,” she added.

Legarda also explained that to achieve a genuine fine-tuning, divisive provisions of the agreement must be identified including the issue of jurisdiction on military personnel accused in a criminal case, the kind of activities that the US Military may undertake with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the duration of such exercises, which must only be temporary.

The Senator also noted that the Philippines considered the VFA a treaty and was duly ratified by the Philippine Senate. However, the US did not consider it a treaty and did not send the same to the US Senate for concurrence.

“We need to know how this affects the enforcement of the agreement. We always have to keep in mind that in reviewing the VFA, or any bilateral agreement, we should be guided by two main principles—its constitutionality and the national interest. We have to ensure that the agreement would lead towards the enhancement of the welfare of our people,” Legarda concluded. (Office of Senator Loren Legarda/PIA-Caraga)


BCWD, DBP ink contract for 550M Term Loan Facility

Butuan City Water District (BCWD) and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) inked contract for the 550 million pesos Term Loan Facility on Oct. 26, 2010 in a simple yet momentous ceremony at the Almont Hotel’s Inland Resort.

DBP’s Mervin G. Garsuta, in his welcome address, said the signing of the contract should have been done few months earlier, but approval by the DBP Board of Trustees was delayed for a reason and purpose.

“Prayers, hard work and persistence were the key factors in the success we are having now.

“We are here gathered tonight to forge our partnership and commitment for the development of our country and Butuan City which will benefit about 300,000 residents of the city,” Garsuta said.

DBP Northeastern Mindanao’s biggest account so far, the 550 million pesos loan will be used to buyout BCWD’s existing loan with Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA).

DBP’s interest is much lower than that of LWUA which will enable BCWD to save millions of pesos that can be used in the further development of its system.

BCWD Board of Directors chairman Juanito A. Lao was happy that DBP finally granted the 550 million pesos loan after months of processing.

“The granting of the 550 million pesos loan to BCWD will improve its financial capacity because with only 10% interest, BCWD will save some two million pesos a month; and I learned that if BCWD will pay very well, the DBP will reduce the interest,” Chairman Lao said.

BCWD interim general manager (IGM) Alfredo G. Bayanin disclosed that the refinancing of BCWD’s LWUA loan was an idea of general manager (GM) Anselmo L. Sang Tian. However, LWUA then did not allow such scheme because it had much money. It is only now that the LWUA granted the request of BCWD for refinancing because it needs money for its huge commitment to other water districts.

IGM Bayanin took the opportunity to explain for having a GM and an IGM in the water district. He said that it was just unfortunate that BCWD had an external problem which compelled LWUA to appoint an IGM.

He also bade farewell to the water district because LWUA pulled him out from the water district; and thanked the BCWD family for the wholehearted support extended to him during his stint as temporary general manager. (BCWD/PIA-Caraga)

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RDCC-13 strengthens disaster risk reduction and management system

Camp Rafael C Rodriguez, Libertad, Butuan City - Members of the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council met today to strengthen the Disasater Risk reduction and Management System and to plan out counter measures and solve any eventuality that may come in the region.

The RDCC full council meeting held at Executive Function Hall, Goat2geder Hotel and Restaurant, Butuan City tackled the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act No. 10121, also known as "An Act Strengthening the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management System, providing for the National Disasater Risk Reduction and Management Framework and Institutionalizing the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan, Appropriating Funds therefor and for other purposes.

Caraga Police Director PCSUPT REYNALDO SERRANO RAFAL, PhD, CEO VI, RDCC Chairman said the meeting is of prime importance considering the typhoons that hit Metro Manila and other areas in the Philippines which caused great damage not only to resources but even costed lives, not to mention the other calamities which added more injuries to the people and the nation as a whole. Caraga is so blessed for being spared by such calamities, but still the government will not discount possible disaster that might hit the region.

Disaster risk reduction is a gigantic task considering the scarcity of resources. The provinces in the region which are along coastal areas and are near open seas are disaster-prone areas and the lack of manpower is also a great concern. This huge task cannot be done by a single agency alone may it be in the government or in the private sector. The Caraganons must every resources and contribute even in small ways. That is why the National Disaster Risk Reduction Council or the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Council in the region is composed of different government agencies with specific duties and responsibilities so the government can quickly respond to the needs of the time, especially when disaster comes. Public information campaign on disaster preparedness is still one of the best tools for disaster risk reduction. The community is enjoined to stay informed and keep abreast of current developments that may affect the lives in one way or another. Being always informed is being more aware, and being more aware is being better prepared for any eventuality.

RD RAFAL added that capacity building for local government units in identified vulnerable areas could help a lot and examples of these are Disaster Management Training and Contingency Planning Community-Based Disaster Management Enhancement of Emergency Response Capability through training of first responders. While the government is primarily responsible for disaster management, however, everybody is equally responsible to undertake disaster preparedness, mitigation, response and rehabilitation activities to ensure one’s survival and safety during emergency situations. Self-reliance must be developed by promoting and encouraging the spirit of self-help and mutual assistance among the local officials and their constituents. He emphasized that in whatever problem that besets in the region, the ingenuity and resiliency of the Caraganons has never failed. The organization of Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) Committees was made during the meeting. The RDCC will continue to look for solutions to the problems and take an active part in implementing them. (PCI Nelly Tabornal Villagarcia, PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)