PIA News Service - Friday, December 10, 2010

Aboitiz Foundation commits to rehabilitate Sta. Ana Day Care Center in Nasipit

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (10 December) - In its effort to support the pre-basic education needs of the children in Barangay Sta. Ana, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte, Aboitiz Foundation through the Therma Marine, Inc. donated some Php 256,000 to Brgy. Capt. Miguel Tadena for the rehabilitation of Sta. Ana Day Care Center.

 Mr. Miguel Tadena, Sta. Ana Brgy. Captain receives the check amounting to Php 256,000.00 from Mr. Jan Risager (left), plant manager of Therma Marine, Inc. (TMI), and Mr. Jose Venancio Batiquin (right), Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Aboitiz Power Corporation in a ceremony on Friday, December 10, 2010 at NNVS covered court, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte. TMI committed to support the rehabilitation of Sta. Ana Day Care Center for which, the building is already dilapidated. (PIA-Caraga)

In a formal turnover of check held on Friday (December 10) at the covered court of Nasipit National Vocational School (NNVS), Brgy. Capt. Tadena said the presence of the power barge in their barangay also means additional support to their barangay.

“For how many years that the power barge plant is operating in our barangay, we’ve been receiving financial assistance of Php 10,000 monthly from the Plant Manager Mr. Jan Risager. This means that as long as Aboitiz Foundation is here, we will continue to receive blessings from them,” Tadena said.

Tadena further said, with the cash assistance donated by the company, the Sta. Ana Day Care Center Building will be rehabilitated the soonest possible time. 

“The building of our day care center is already dilapidating. Because of this, we are now using portion of our barangay center to make sure that the pupils are comfortable during their classes. Thus, this donation from Aboitiz Foundation will make the education environment of our pupils more conducive for them to learn,” the barangay official said.

The turn-over ceremony was attended by officials and personnel of Aboitiz Foundation, as well as the faculty, staff, and students of NNVS, and some guests from the government sector. (PIA-Caraga)


Aboitiz Foundation turns-over 15 computer units to NNVS

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (10 December) – Aboitiz Foundation through the Therma Marine, Inc. turned-over on Friday (December 10) 15 computer units with complete peripherals to Nasipit National Vocational School (NNVS) in Bayview Hill, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte.


Dr. Evlena Moron, high school principal of Nasipit National Vocational School switches the computer unit donated by Therma Marine, Inc. (TMI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corporation during the turn-over ceremony on Friday, December 10, 2010 at NNVS covered court, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte. Witnessing the ceremonial switching are Mr. Jan Risager, TMI plant manager (extreme right) and Mr. Jose Venancio P. Batiquin, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Aboitiz Power Corporation. (PIA-Caraga)

During the turn-over ceremony held this morning at NNVS covered court, Aboitiz Power Corporation Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jose Venancio Batiquin led the company in signing the Deed of Donation and was accepted by the school officials through the High School Principal Dr. Evlena Moron who signed the Deed of Acceptance.

Speaking before the faculty, staff, students, and guests, Dr. Moron expressed her appreciation to the foundation for the bountiful blessings they have given to the school. 

“We would like to express our deepest appreciation to Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. for giving our students the opportunity to avail the cash financial assistance of the company. This is already a big help to the parents of these 15 students,” Moron said.

Also, EVP Batiquin, in his speech said, Aboitiz Foundation is prioritizing education highlighting their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) because the company believes that the students will be the future leaders of the country. “We should prepare the students to be the global warrior in the future as the world tends to become an information and communications technology (ICT) generation,” he said.

Through the donation, Aboitiz Foundation is hoping that the technological knowledge and skills of the students in NNVS will be improved to cope with the demands of globalization. (PIA-Caraga)


Aboitiz Foundation awards financial assistance to freshmen high school studes in Butuan, Nasipit

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (10 December 2010) – 30 freshmen high school students received financial assistance from Therma Marine, Inc. Mobile 2, formerly the NAPOCOR Power Barge moored at Nasipit, Agusan del Norte.


Freshmen students of Nasipit National Vocation School (NNVS) posed with their teachers after receiving the financial cash assistance from Therma Marine, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corporation in a ceremony held on Friday, December 10, 2010 at NNVS covered court, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte. The beneficiaries graduated on top of their respective classes in different elementary schools in Nasipit, Agusan del Norte. (PIA-Caraga)

In separate ceremonies conducted on Thursday and Friday, December 9 and 10, 15 freshmen students from Agusan National High School who graduated class valedictorians in different elementary schools here received on Thursday Php 3,000 from Aboitiz Power Corporation Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jose Venancio Batiquin. The awarding ceremony was held at the People’s Hall of the Butuan City Hall.

In his speech, Butuan City Mayor Dr. Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr. stressed his heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Aboitiz Foundation for choosing Butuan City as one of the recipients nationwide.

Meanwhile, 15 students in Nasipit, Agusan del Norte also received same financial assistance from Batiquin in a ceremony conducted on Friday at the covered court of the Nasipit National Vocational School in Bayview Hill, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte. The students also graduated on top of their respective classes in different elementary schools in the municipality as class valedictorians and salutatorians, respectively.

According to Mr. Victorino Sumalinog, Aboitiz Foundation’s Corporate Social Responsibility Chairperson, the recipients will have to maintain a grade weighed average of 88% to qualify for the next school year. During their second year, they will be receiving Php 4,000; third year – Php 5,000 and; fourth year – Php 6,000. After finishing the secondary education, the recipients may have the chance to be awarded scholarship program for their college education. 

“If all of them qill qualify until 4th year, the company, depending on the budget, will only get 10 scholars from the fifteen. Thus, five of these recipients will be eliminated from availing the scholarship program,” Sumalinog said.

Sumalinog further stressed, the ten scholarship slots will be determined in a competitive examination for which the 15 recipients from each place will be qualified to take. The examination will be administered by the company.

This noble undertaking of the Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. is in support to the thrusts and programs of the Aquino Administration to promote the “Education for All” program of the Department of Education (DepEd). (PIA-Caraga)


Mayor Amante cites education as a way to achieve goals

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (10 December) – Mayor Ferdinand Amante, Jr. on Thursday (December 9) cited the importance of education as a way to achieve one’s dream’s and aspirations in life.


Fifteen freshmen students from Agusan National High School received financial assistance from Therma Marine, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corporation in a ceremony held on Thursday, December 9, 2010 at the People’s Hall of the Butuan City Hall. Also in photo are officials of Aboitiz Power Corporation and Butuan City Mayor – Dr. Ferdinand Amante, Jr. (PIA-Caraga)

Addressing his speech to the fifteen freshmen students of Agusan National High School (ANHS) during the awarding of financial grants by Therma Marine, Inc. (TMI) of the Aboitiz Power Corporation, Mayor Amante said TMI’s project will lead the student-beneficiaries in achieving their ambitions.

Citing his personal experience, the city’s top official said, he did not expect that he has accomplished what he has achieved now. “I did not expect that I was able to reach this position that I am holding right now. But because of education, I did it,” he said.

With these developments, Amante challenged the beneficiaries to be at their best and excel in whatever academic activities they will be joining. “You are the future leaders of your generation… we have high hopes in you. This opportunity comes to your life ones. Do not waste this opportunity. Be the best that you can be,” the Mayor stressed.

The first batch of financial grantees of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project will be receiving Php 3,000 each in their freshmen year; Php 4,000 during their second year; Php 5,000 in their junior years and; Php 6,000 in senior. 

After graduating in secondary education, the first batch of college scholars will be chosen among them through a competitive examination, it was learned.

The awarding ceremony was held at the People’s Hall of Butuan City Hall attended by ANHS faculty and students as well as public and private stakeholders. (PIA-Caraga)


Aboitiz Foundation inks MOA with Agusan del Norte PENRO to protect, preserve environment

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (10 December) – “Protecting and preserving the ecology is one of the priority concerns of Aboitiz Foundation,” thus said Jose Venancio P. Batiquin, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Aboitiz Power Corporation.

Mr. Jose Venancio P. Batiquin, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Aboitiz Group of Companies signs the memorandum of agreement with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources through PENRO Agusan del Norte representative (left) committing their company to protect and preserve the environment by planting trees in Nasipit, Agusan del Norte to mitigate the impact brought about by climate change. The MOA signing was held at the covered court of Nasipit National vocation School, Bayview Hills, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte. Also in photo are Mr. Jan Risager (holding a newspaper), Therma Marine, Inc. Plant Manager, and an official of the provincial government of Agusan del Norte. (PIA-Caraga)


True to this, the company signed a memorandum of agreement with the presence of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Agusan del Norte Rosendo Asunto who was ably represented by his personnel held on Friday (December 10) at the covered court of Nasipit National Vocational School in Bayview Hills, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte.

According to Aboitiz Power Corporation’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Chairman Mr. Victorino Sumalinog of Davao Light, the company is committed to plant 1 million trees nationwide. 

“This is one way of showing the company’s commitment to help in mitigating the effects of climate change for which, we are all affected. Also, the company is envisioned to protect and preserve our mother nature,” Sumalinog said.

Further, Sumalinog stressed that the tree-planting activity was already made in Amontay, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte on October 6, 2010 which was also simultaneously conducted in other places in the country. (PIA-Caraga)

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POLICE REPORTS
By PO3 Arturo Suganob Campania

Report on illegal possession of firearm

One Jessie Villena Comendador, 37 years old, married, caretaker of Smart Cell site repeater and resident of Purok 14, Pulang Lupa, Trento, Agusan del Sur was arrested by PNP members of Trento Municipal Police Station (MPS) led by PO1 Norman Orit while actually caught in his possession one unit cal .45 pistol, bearing serial number 479585 with one magazine. 

Subject failed to show legal documents of said firearm. Case for violation of RA 8294 (illegal possession of firearm) was already filed at Provincial Prosecutor’s Office, Patin-ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur under I.S. Nr 13-03-INQ-10L-069 while seized firearm now under the custody of Trento MPS for proper disposition.
(PNP-13/PIA-Caraga) 

Report on illegal gambling 

PNP elements of Butuan City Police Station 1 led by SPO4 Demetrio Castulo Jr conducted operation against illegal gambling on December 5, 2010 at 3:10 pm at the sidewalk of Ester Luna Street, Brgy Leon Kilat, Butuan City apprehended one Rufo Ferrer y Anion (usher), 68 yrs old, married, res of P-2B, Brgy Bading, Butuan City. 

Confiscated from his possession were one (1) pc filled-up swertres tally sheet, two (2) pcs filled-up ticket stub, one (1) pc ballpen and bet money amounting to Php 500.00. Subject and confiscated items were brought to Vice Control Section of BCPO for proper disposition. (PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)

Report on shooting incident 

One PO3 Bornio Mercader, PNP member assigned at Dinagat Islands PPO and a res of Brgy Mamis, Barobo, Surigao del Sur was shot by armed men wearing military camouflage uniform believed to be CTs. 

Initial investigation disclosed that subject was playing basketball at Brgy Mamis, Barobo on December 8, 2010 at 5:00 am when the armed men approached and shot him with the use of undetermined cal of firearm. He managed to run but was chased and shot again several times. PNP elements of 1st Regional Public Safety Company base at Cutlog, Barobo, Surigao del Sur now conducting hot pursuit operations while PNP personnel of Barobo MPS now conducting investigation to locate the whereabouts of the victim. Progress report to follows. 

Also, one Romeo Quizada, 33 yrs old, single, tricycle driver and res of Cadugan, Brgy Bag-ong Lungsod, Tandag, Surigoa del Sur was shot to death by three (3) unidentified persons using undetermined cal of firearm on December 8, 2010 at 8:30 in the evening at Boulevard of said Barangay.  

Initial investigation conducted by Tandag Police Station disclosed that said victim together with his live-in partner Analiza Amago were on board his driven tricycle and while on their way to Quezon Street of said Brgy and upon reaching Boulevard, another single motorcycle with three (3) unidentified persons on board shot them hitting the victim’s leg. Victim tried to escape but chased by the perpetrators and shot again five times resulting to his death. SOCO team in Surigao del Sur PPO led by SPO3 Arnel Vertudazo conducted crime scene investigation and recovered eight (8) spent shells and one live ammo of undetermined cal of firearm. 

Remains of the victim was brought to Saint Peter Funeral Homes for post mortem examination. PNP elements of Tandag Police Station now conducting follow-up investigation for possible identity of the suspects. (PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)

Report on arrested wanted person

One Lourme Derama Abia, 33 yrs old, married and res of Brgy Lantungan, Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur was arrested by joint PNP personnel of Aurora Police Station of PRO 9 and Butuan City Police Station 2 led by PO1 Moises Macalolot Jr by virtue of WOA issued by Hon Judge Augustus Calo of RTC Branch 5, Libertad, Butuan City dated November 24, 2010, docketed under CC nr 14147 for the crime of estafa with recommended bailbond amounting to Pjp 240,000.00. 

Apprehension took place at Brgy Lantungan, Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur on December 8, 2010 at 4:30 pm. Subject person was brought to Butuan City Police Station 2 for proper disposition. (PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)


Alameda wins SK Provl Federation in Surigao del Sur

By Nida Grace B. Tranquilan

San Agustin Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Municipal Federation President Manuel F. Alameda Jr., wins today’ elections in the SK Federation for Provincial level held at Shacene Pension House, Mabua, Tandag today, December 10..

Per information received from Provincial DILG information Officer Ernie Gultiano, the newly elected SK Federation President is the son of Vice Governor Manuel O. Alameda, Sr. of this province unanimously won with 19 votes over his opponent.

Meanwhile, the elections for “Liga ng Mga Punong Barangay” Provincial Federation President will be set on Friday, December 17. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)

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Missing PNP personnel shot by suspected CTs in Brgy Mamis

By: Nida Grace B. Tranquilan

Surigao del Sur (December 9) - PO3 Bornio Mercader, member of Philippine National Police (PNP) presently assigned at Dinagat Police Provincial Office was shot by undetermined number of armed men at Brgy Mamis, Barobo, of this province on December 8, 2010 at around 5 pm.

Police reports revealed that, while PO3 Mercader was playing basketball when a group of men wearing camouflage uniform with patches of 26IB Phil. Army believed to be the members of Communist Terrorists (CTs) NPA suddenly arrived at Brgy Mamis and fired several times towards him using undetermined caliber of long fire arms.

Report said, the victim managed to run towards nearby bridge of the said place but he was chased and shot again several times by members of the said group.

Barobo Chief of Police Officer Darwin Yu in a phone patch interview said that the victim is still missing as of press time, and motive of the incident is yet to be determined. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Cebuano news: CCPD nagpahigayon og symposium on culture of life 

Ni Michael Imbo

Butuan City - Padayon sa adbokasiya sa pagbukas sa mga diyalogo ug symposium on Culture of life nga gipangunahan sa Caraga Conference For Peace and Development (CCPD) aron matugkad sa katawhan ang kahinungdanon paghisgut sa mga nag-unang isyu lambigit sa Reproductive Health Bill, dili pa lang dugay didto sa St. Peter College, Km. 6. Ampayon, ni’ng dakbayan.

Nahimong dinapit nga keynote speaker si 2nd District Parañaque Congressman Roilo Golez isip usa ka mambabalaod sa renda sa kongreso.

Si Rev. Fr. Carlito Clase ang nitampo sa pagpasalamat ngadto sa mga mitambong sa maong kalihukan gikan sa mga opisyales sa gobyerno, mga sector sa negosyante, religious group, kumunidad ug nagkalain-laing advocate group gikan sa Cagayan de Oro, Iligan ug Bukidnon.

Duyog sa pag-abi-abi gipadayag ni Rev. Fr. James Michael Abellanosa ang dakung kalipay sa pag-abot sa mga bisita lakip na ang mga dinapit nga speaker.

Una nga mipagawas sa iyang mga ideyalismo ug panlantaw si Dr. Eleonor Palabyab, Obstetrician and Gynecologist gikan sa Davao City. Matud niini nga ang kinabuhi kinahanglan ampingan.

Gipadayag ni Cong. Roilo Golez ang mga naka-apektong butang sa nasud sa pagpasa sa Reproductive Health Bill. Gisaysay niini ang gidaghanon sa populasyon sa laing nasud ug ang ilang pagsaka sa ekonomiya.

Hugot nga gipakusgan niini ang kampanya batok sa RH Bill, ang mga kongresista padayon nga nabuak gumikan sa nagkalain-laing rason alang sa ilang mga baruganan lambigit sa maong isyu. 

Nagmalampuson ang kalihukan uban sa suporta ni Caraga Conference for Peace and Development (CCPD) Convenor-Butuan City Bishop Most Rev. Juan Dios Pueblos pinaagi sa iyang panapos nga mensahe alang sa kalinaw ug panlantaw nga ikalambo sa rehiyon lakip na sa tibuok nasud sa Pilipinas. (PIA-Caraga)


Regional BPLS launched


The Regional Business Permit and Licensing System (BPLS) streamlining was recently launched at the Peoples’ Hall, Butuan City Hall, Brgy. Doongan this city, spearheaded by the Regional Office of the Department of Interior and Local Government, the Regional Office of the Department of Trade and Industry and the City Government of Butuan.

Butuan LGU after a successful launching and inauguration of its version of the project last October served both as the host and a showcase of its success for the other LGU beneficiaries invited for the activity. 

Though unfavorable weather hazard kept the invited guest of honor and speaker DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo and his party to make it to the occasion, he was ably represented by DILG Caraga Regional Director Atty. Rene K. Burdeos. The representatives of the two international development agencies which supported the project were present, the Agencia Espanola de Cooperacion Internacional Para El Desarrollo (AECID) represented by its Regional Director Mr. David Arnaldo and the USAID Local Implementation of National Competitiveness for Economic Growth (USAID LINC-EG) by its Deputy Chief of Party Ms. Ofelia M. Templo. The other sponsors for the activity includes the Embajada De Espana En Pilipinas and the Biyaheng Pinoy.

Also in attendance for the event were the regional directors of the different line agencies, top city officials and chiefs of offices, representatives of the beneficiary LGUs, business people, presidents of the chambers of commerce and other guests.

Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr. during his message for the occasion mentioned about the USAID LINC-EG visit to Butuan City last July, and challenged his administration to answer the President’s call during his SONA, and streamline the processing and granting of permits and issuing of licenses at the city hall. Supposedly the target date will be on January next year. However, the mayor said that through the efforts of City Councilor Ryan Anthony Culima, the chair of the committee of commerce, trade and industry of the City Council, Mr. Paul Cabrera of the Business and Licensing Section of the city government, it was decided to start right away the streamlining process.

The project was realized, Amante said, so that last October he signed Executive Order No. 11, launching the city’s fast lane processing of permits and licensing, making Butuan City a showcase in implementing the project in the Caraga Region. While the call of the President is to shorten the process of transaction to at least 15 minutes, the first five to apply for their permits during the simulation last October got their permits in 12 minutes.

DILG Caraga Regional Director Atty. Rene K. Burdeos during his keynote message for the launching said that the regional launching of the BPLS is based on the Joint Memorandum Circular of the DILG and the DTI, which were both members of the Philippine Development Forum.

He made mention that originally, the pilot project of the streamlining of the BPLS were the LGUs of Butuan City, Surigao City, Claver, Tubod and the town of Mainit, all in Surigao del Norte. The projects were to be implemented, supposedly in these 5 pilot projects for over three years. However, the DILG wanted to expand the project to some more LGUs in the region, which prodded them to find some agencies for assistance. Through the assistance of the AICED, the project is now expanded to include Cabadbaran, in Agusan del Norte; Bislig and Tandag in Surigao del Sur; Bayugan and San Francisco, all in Agusan del Sur.

The legal basis for the activity is the RA 9484 (otherwise known as the Anti-Red Tape Act), which objective is to improve the efficient delivery of services to the people by reducing the transaction time, the steps and other aspects involved in the process, thus eliminating red tape and consequently prevent the chances of graft and corruption. (Noel B. Najarro, The Butuan Star/PIA-Caraga)


Support agencies shows optimism on Reg’l BPLS success

The Agencia Espanola de Cooperacion Internacional Para El Desarrollo (AICED) and the USAID Local Implementation of National Competitiveness for Economic Growth (LINC-EG) both maintains a positive outlook over the success of implementing the streamlining of the Business and Permit Licensing System (BPLS) of some pilot LGUs in the region.

The representatives of the aforesaid agencies expressed strong optimism of the project’s success in their respective messages during the regional launching of the said project held at the Peoples Hall, City Hall, Brgy. Doongan, this city.

AICED Region XIII Regional Director David Arnaldo said in his message during the launching that his agency is pleased to partner with the DILG in implementing a project which will help in the strengthening of the local government in the country. He said that his agency will be here for a length of time, and it will be a pleasure to work with some LGUs. He said that their presence will soon be felt as he and his team will be moving around to the places of these pilot local government units as they will be supervising on how the project is going, the conduct of its implementation and other aspects of the projects.

He reminded however the pilot LGUs that AICED is a public agency of the Spanish government and the funds which were spent for the project did not come from some rich NGO institutions, but from the taxpayers of his country. He said that it is important to translate the message to all Spanish families back in his country that the project spent with their taxes was a success and helped much in the progressive development of the respective pilot local governments.

For her part, USAID LINC-EG Deputy Party Chief in her message for the occasion congratulated Butuan City government and Mayor Amante for accepting and launching the BPLS ahead of time. She confirmed her visit together with Mr. Alid David Camara, LINC-EG, USAID Chief of Party together with USAID representative John Avila sometimes in July. She said that they’ve met with Mayor Amante and Agusan del Norte Gov. Erlpe John M. Amante , City Administrator Leah Mendoza and other officials and discussed with them regarding the BPLS Project. She said that she was impressed with the commitment of the City Mayor.

She disclosed that LINC-EG’s support for Butuan City may end sometimes in September and described her agency’ support for Butuan City as “catalytic” which may pave the way towards a reformed BPLS project with the pilot LGUs.

She also said that the USAID would like to see the pilot cities ranking very high in the different competitiveness surveys in the future compared to the other cities of the country. (Noel B. Najarro, The Butuan Star/PIA-Caraga)

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30IB to hold MEDCAP, Grand Pulong-Pulong in Surigao Norte barangays

Surigao del Norte (December 10) - The 30th Infantry Battalion (30IB), 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army stationed at Barangay Santa Cruz, Placer, which has jurisdiction over the three provinces of Surigao del Norte, Dinagat and Agusan del Norte, will be having a series of Medical and Dental Civic Action Program (MEDCAP) and “Grand Pulong-pulong” to a number of barangays of the province.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Erwin Rommel Lamzon, Commanding Officer of the 30IB, the MEDCAP activities for Surigao City are scheduled on December 13 to the clustered barangays of Silop, Capalayan and Mapawa. 

December 14 at Brgy. Ima in Sison and December 15 at the clustered barangays of Sukailang, Anomar, Mat-I and Trinidad all in Surigao City. 

For Malimono town, Lamzon said they are scheduled to visit on December 16 at the clustered barangays of Tinago, Hanagdong, Cansayong, Masgad, Cantapoy and Bunyasan while on December 17 they will visit Brgy. Cantugas in Mainit and December 20 in Brgy. Gacepan, Sison.

On the other hand, the Grand Pulong-pulong is also scheduled simultaneously on December 11 to the following barangays: Brgy. Cantugas, Mainit; Brgy. Gacepan and Ima in Sison; Brgy. Cantapoy, Malimono; Brgy. Capalayan, Surigao City. 

On December 12, they are scheduled at Brgy. Tinago, Malimono and Brgy. Silop, Surigao City. Another simultaneous Grand Pulong-pulong activity is also scheduled on December 18 at the barangays of Mat-I and Trinidad in Surigao City and Cansayong and Bunyasan in Malimono. December 19 at Brgy. Masgad, Malimono and December 20 at Brgy. Mapawa, Surigao City.

The purpose of the dialogue according to Lamzon is to enhance the residents’ awareness on AFP's role on peace, security and development in their respective barangays. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Youths from Surigao del Sur, TAYO awardees

BUTUAN CITY – The Pro-Drop Out Reduction Program (PRO-DORP) Team from Cantilan, Surigao del Sur received an award from President Benigno Simeon Aquino III as one of this year’s winner of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) in a ceremony held on December 9 at the Heroes’ Hall in Malacañan Palace aired over Radyo ng Bayan stations nationwide.

Seven years ago, Cantilan, Surigao del Sur only had one public high school, the Cantilan National High School having a population of 1,013 students.

Based on records, the school had an alarming dropout rate of 15.28% in the school year 2003-2004. 

As a response to the disturbing reality, the PRO DORP Team formally set up the Reach-Out-Not-Drop-Out-Program in 2007 which addressed the individual issues hindering students from staying in school.

In line with this program, four sub-programs namely, Suporta Mo Kinabukasan Ko, Feed My Brain, Maglaro at Mag-usap Tayo, and EmpATHY were formulated based on the components family, individual, community and school respectively.

Representatives for each sub programs discovered valuable information on why students kept dropping out.

From the Suporta Ko, Kinabukasan Mo program, it was found out that 80% of the students could not pay miscellaneous fees on time which was resolved by launching an effort of scouting for some sponsors. 

Through Feed My Brain, the problem of poor comprehension because of malnutrition was countered with a feeding program.

Meanwhile, Maglaro at Mag-usap Tayo focused in addressing the presence of gangs inside the campus by intensifying school activities and group counseling.

EmpATHY or Empower the Teachers to Help the Young on the other hand realized that teachers likewise needed to address the personal as well as the student’s emotional problems through counseling.

Painstakingly the PRO DORP Team sustained the programs which resulted to positive results.

As of school year 2009-2010, the drop-out rate has been successfully reduced to 1.87%, a staggering 13% difference compared to the drop-out rate recorded in school year 2003-2004.

To this date, the PRO DORP Team continued with the programs and is now aiming for a 0% drop-out rate by 2015, inspired by the improvement showed by students of Cantilan.

Other TAYO Awardees are Mandaya Tribal Youth Organization from Mabetas, Upper Ulip, Monkayo, Compostela Valley; Pag-Asa Youth Organization Talisay City Chapter from Cebu; Pagaypay 4-H Club of Barangay Pagaypay, Passi City, Iloilo; Link.Exe-West Visayas State University of Iloilo City; Brotherhood for Peace, Baguio City; Education Revolution Movement (EdRev), Sta. Maria, Bulacan; Pochon Maanichar Centennial Batch Association, Inc., Ifugao Province; Alay ni Ignacio (ANI)-Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City and the Philippine Stagers Foundation from Balic-Balic in Manila.

Each of the winning groups received 50,000 pesos cash grants from Coca Cola Foundation Philippines and custom-made trophies specially crafted by Artist Toym de Leon Imao, wherein a total of 70 youth organizations made it to the finals, 19 of them were from Mindanao. 

TAYO campaigns for citizens not to rely on government, but to work on improving their communities by themselves where qualifiers range from 15-30 years old. (Jocelyn E. Morano, Radyo ng Bayan Butuan/PIA-Caraga)


Legarda lauds palace order to withdraw case against Morong 43

Senator Loren Legarda today lauded the government’s move for the dismissal of cases filed against the Morong 43, the group of health workers arrested February this year on allegations of links to the communist group.

A day before the announcement from the President, Legarda visited the health workers at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, where they are being detained, to check their condition. 

“This move from the executive is great news especially today when we are celebrating International Human Rights Day. When I visited them yesterday I was concerned with their health especially that they have been on a hunger strike since last Friday,” she said.

“Now that the President has ordered the withdrawal of their cases, we hope that courts would act on it immediately. In fact, pending the court’s resolution, I urge their immediate release on humanitarian grounds. They have been detained for 10 months now and we hope that these health workers may be freed the soonest possible time so that they can also spend the holidays with their loved ones,” she added.

Meanwhile, in observance of the International Human Rights Day, Legarda said that her visit to Camp Bagong Diwa on Thursday is also part of her duty as Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations to see if the country is complying with its international obligations by checking if authorities are adhering to the provisions of the Convention Against Torture (CAT) and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

The CAT was adopted by the United Nations in 1984. On June 1986, the Philippines ratified the CAT, which obligates signatories to the Convention to submit regular reports on how the rights are being implemented.

Furthermore, under the Optional Protocol to the Convention (OPCAT), which entered into force in June 2006, States parties are required to establish an independent national preventive mechanism that would regularly monitor all places of detention, inspect its facilities, and recommend solutions to prevent torture and other ill-treatment.

“We wanted to ensure that the rights of these health workers, and all other detainees, are not being curtailed while they are in jail. Authorities must respect human rights not only because it is stated under our Constitution but also because we must comply with our international obligations,” Legarda stressed.
(Office of Senator Loren Legarda/PIA-Caraga)


RH supporters: Sen. Sotto blundered - no contraceptive budget was removed 

In a meeting held yesterday, reproductive health (RH) supporters clarified that Senator Tito Sotto’s pronouncements that the Senate removed 800M earmarked for contraceptives from the Department of Health (DOH)’s budget are false.  

According to Elizabeth Angsioco, National Chairperson of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP), ‘The original budget of 400M for family planning which was approved by the House of Representatives (HOR) as part of the PhP931,349,000 line item for Family Health and Family Planning’ is intact and was not removed by the Senate. What happened was the HOR asked the DOH for a computation of what it might need for next year to address the unmet need for family planning (FP) of married poor women of reproductive age. The DOH accordingly responded with a computation amounting to PhP880,844,816.63 which was also sent to the Senate as a possible additional budget but was disapproved. This computation became Sen. Sotto’s basis for his remarks. Thus, in actual terms, the Senate did not remove anything from what was approved by the HOR but did not put in any additional budget. Sec. Ona clarified this in a letter dated 6 December 2010 addressed to Sen. Drilon.’ 

‘Sen. Sotto should be corrected. His statements are misleading bordering on the irresponsible. The good Senator should have studied the budget first before making pronouncements. In this case, nakuryente sya. Following this, we wonder what the truth is in relation with his pronouncement that the Senate would add to State Universities and Colleges (USCs) what they removed from DOH. If they did not really remove anything, where will the additional SUC budget come from? Those closely watching SUC budget should not let up,’ Angsioco added.

‘Moreover, we ask Sen. Sotto to explain his opposition to contraceptives. His statements are all generalities. We want to understand where he is coming from. He is a public servant and family planning commodities are necessary so people, especially the poor are able to plan their families. Even the President acknowledges this. Sotto’s position is a big disappointment as it completely disregards women's welfare. He is being anti-women and anti-poor,’ expressed Angsioco. 

Angsioco added, “our group composed of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP), Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc. (PLCPD), The Forum for Family Planning and Development (The FORUM), Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP), and Woman Health Philippines challenges Sen. Sotto’s strong opposition against allocating budget for family planning services and commodities. According to the group, it is the government’s responsibility to help those who are poor not just entertain them,” Angsioco concluded. (Vigie Benosa-Llorin, Philippine Legislators' Committee on Population and Development/PIA-Caraga)