PIA News Service - Friday, Jan. 28, 2011

Agusan Sur Blood Council exceeded blood requirements, extended supply to other areas

by David M. Suyao

The Agusan del Sur Provincial Blood Coordinating Council (PBCC) has exceeded its blood collection for 2010 with 2,693 bags against the target of 2,500, according to the record of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), Agusan del Sur Chapter.

The blood collection mostly came from field donation where a team of medical technologists from the D.O. Plaza Memorial Hospital (DOPMH) led by Lolita Dumanon and PRC Agusan del Sur Chapter led by medical technologist Julie Lapides regularly conducting monthly blood collection by municipality. On record, field donation reached 2,428 bags, while replacement reached 120 bags, walk-in donors with 68 and patients directed to produce the needed blood, 77 bags.

Not only patients from the province of Agusan del Sur were served of the blood that were collected but also patients from as far as Kidapawan City, where two bags were sent for emergency use. But because the DOPMH is noted for its facilities and good doctors, even patients from neighbouring provinces are rushed to the DOPMH, making it the number one consumer of blood with 1,795 bags consumed. Second is the Bunawan District Hospital with 236 bags. The rest went to hospitals in Butuan City and Surigao del Sur.

Since blood collection became very strict that only Red Cross and authorized blood collection centers were authorized to extract blood from donors, record shows that male donors are dominant. Last year, male donors in the province reached 1,617 while female donors registered 455. Many were also found positive of Hepa B with 168 samples, Syphilis with 49, Hepa C 19 and even HIV case with three.

Agusan del Sur is also unique in dealing with the blood program, compared to other provinces and cities nation-wide. The provincial government set aside P1.5 Million, plus supplementary funds if needed, to shoulder the re-agents cost of P1,500 per sample testing, to ensure that the blood extracted from donors are free from any diseases. Last year (2010), the provincial government has released some P2.3 million for the re-agents alone. The 13 municipal government and the lone city of Bayugan also share P50,000 every year to shoulder the fuel and oil and other travelling expenses of the team that travel to all the municipalities to collect blood. (PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Agsur PRC pushed themselves to hardships to feed flood victims

By: David M. Suyao

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Agusan del Sur Chapter never turn its back during the flood calamity that hit Agusan del Sur. With their resources and volunteer workers, they pushed themselves to the most affected victims, conducted feeding and distribution of relief goods.

PRC Provincial Administrator Christyll Basan said, even at the height of the flood, just that their vehicle could pass, she, together with her personnel and youth volunteers proceeded themselves to evacuation centers to feed the victims suffering from cold, and distributing relief goods to those who opted to stay in their homes.

“We travelled by foot to remote barangays, walking on mud about five to seven inches deep that were eroded by the strong current of flood waters, carrying repacked relief goods. But we feel relieved when we see teary eyed flood victims, glad to receive what we have brought them. Even that simple five kilos rice, three tins sardines and three packets of noodles that contain the relief pack that we distributed, they took them as gift from heavens. That inspired us to work even more,” Christyll Basan said.  

From January 6 to 9, PRC Agusan del Sur chapter have extended help by distributing relief goods to 687 families or 1,906 persons in seven municipalities province-wide. At the height of the floods on January 3 to 4, PRC have fed 391 families or 3,199 persons in nine evacuation centers who were most affected by floods. 

The recipients of the PRC outreach were those victims who were not served by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office led by Mrs. Josefina Bajade. (PIA-Agusan del Sur)


DOLE-13 announces financial aid to Surigao Norte flashflood victims

SURIGAO DEL NORTE, Jan. 28 (PIA) – Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Caraga officer-in-charge director Ofelia Domingo revealed that a total of P500,000 financial assistance were provided to the victims of flashfloods.

In her recent visit to the province, Domingo said that the financial assistance are for families/ workers affected by the recent heavy rains and flashflood. The said calamity roughly hit businesses, institutions, residents and families in low-lying villages across the province.

Meanwhile, Gov. Sol Matugas was grateful with the national government’s assistance saying that they will use it to shoulder the wages of workers who will be hired for the rehabilitation of roads and infrastructures, clearing of canals and drainages.

“We will channel this to our municipal mayors.” said Gov. Matugas.

Matugas said she will make sure that the local chief executives will select and prioritize the most affected workers to be the beneficiaries of the program and assured that no politics will be involved in the selection. 

“I will ask them (mayors) to select the most affected families for this program,” said Gov. Matugas. (FEAbkilan, PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Flashfloods hit 8,088 families in Surigao Norte 

SURIGAO CITY, Jan. 28 (PIA) – A total of 8,088 families or 34,242 individuals from 108 barangays were affected by the recent flashfloods brought about by the torrential rains that hit the entire province, an initial report from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) revealed.

PDRRMC data further revealed that only 296 families were evacuated in the four evacuation centers located in their respective municipalities. Landslides were reported in the barangays of Laurel and Aurora in the municipality of Tagana-an and in barangay Banbanon, San Francisco.

Damages to agriculture and infrastructures are still in thorough estimation.

PDRRMC also reported one missing person from the municipality of San Francisco identified as Amado Basadre.

Meantime, to properly synchronize and fast track the rescue/disaster operations of the province, Gov. Sol Matugas ordered the creation of 5 zones which will be headed by the local mayor with corresponding provincial coordinator.

Zone 1(Surigao City) will be headed by City Mayor Erneseto Matugas with Manuel Kong as the provincial coordinator. San Francisco Mayor Simplicia Bacol will lead the Zone 2 (Malimono and San Francisco) with Human Resource Management and Development Officer Ramon Gotinga as her provincial counterpart. Zone 3 (Sison and Tagana-an) will be headed by Tagana-an Mayor Cesar Diaz with provincial agriculturist Gromyko Geraldino as the provincial coordinator.

For Zone 4 (Alegria, Mainit, and Tubod), Alegria Mayor Dominador Esma will lead the team with provincial rescue group head Dr. Panfilo Jorge Tremedal as the provincial coordinator. Zone 5 (Claver, Gigaquit, Bacuag and Placer) will be headed by Felimon Napuli with barangay affairs head Ronald Eupena as the provincial coordinator.

As of reporting time, the province is still under alert level two. Classes for the elementary and secondary levels are already suspended. (FEAbkilan, PIA-Surigao del Norte)

 
DILG awards Php1M to two Performing LGUs in Region XIII

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region XIII turned-over two checks in the amount of Php1,000,000.00 each to the local government units of San Jose, Province of Dinagat Islands and Cagwait, Surigao del Sur, recently. The amount given served as recognition for performing local government units in Caraga Region which passed the evaluation for Seal of Good Housekeeping focused on the governance areas of (a) good planning; (b) sound fiscal management; (c) transparency and accountability; and (d) valuing performance monitoring.  

The Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) program for the Local Government Units of the DILG is an incentive fund to LGUs in the form of counterpart funding to high-impact capital investment projects in the Annual Investment Program (AIP) and funded out of the 20% local development fund consistent with P-NOY administration’s national priorities and programs to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
 
The PCF Program of the Department aims to motivate all 4th to 6th class municipalities to adopt measures to attain good governance performance in the areas of planning, budgeting, revenue mobilization, financial management and budget execution, procurement, and research mobilization to make them eligible in availing the financial package.  
 
In Region XIII, there are four grantees of the PCF which passed the test of good housekeeping and these LGUs are: San Jose, Province of Dinagat Islands, Cagwait, Surigao del Sur, Carrascal, Surigao del Sur, and San Agustin, Surigao del Sur. (Mary Christine Anthonette M. Salise, DILG-13/PIA-Caraga)


Chiz summons MRT, LRT for full audit report on non-rail revenues
 
Amid plans to raise metro rail fares, Senator Chiz Escudero wants the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and the Light Rail Transit (LRT) to submit to the Senate the full details and accounting of their revenue sharing from the advertisements and lease operations of the Metro Rail Transit Corporation (MRTC) and the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA).
 
Escudero, chairman of the Senate justice and human rights committee, said these non-rail revenues can be tapped to subsidize the fare increases the government was planning to implement.

“If only the government gets its full collectibles from non-rail revenues, pressure to raise fare levels would be unloaded off its shoulder. From the way it looks now, there is a dismal proportion in terms of revenue sharing realized from non-rail revenues between the government and the MRTC,” Escudero said.
 
The MRTC, which operates the MRT, has been collecting and receiving income from ads and lease operations through its subsidiary, the MRT Development Corporation (MRTDevCo).
 
The MRTC, however, failed to settle its outstanding debt to the government, which now runs to more than P1 billion.
 
“While it is true that the government needs to look for viable measures to address the huge subsidy, it continuously shoulders the costs of our rail transport system, and raising fares should not be the first option,” Escudero said. “We have existing options that are just waiting to be explored. In this case, non-rail revenues should be maximized and utilized for fare subsidies.
 
Based on a study by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, the government at present subsidizes the fare of each commuter at P95.00 per day, or an annual subsidy of P23, 850 per rider.

The senator said the country should already be implementing what all rails in the world are doing: using non-rail revenues to subsidize fares.

A Japan Bank for International Cooperation study conducted in 2007 showed that non-rail revenues of MRT and LRT can still be improved by increasing the advertising rates and the retail tenant leased areas to deflect the fare hikes.

LRT’s non-rail revenue share is only 2.6 percent of the total earnings. Whereas in neighboring countries, their light rail systems get more than 20 percent of the non-rail revenues.

Escudero has been pushing for a congressional inquiry to determine ownership and full operational control of MRT 3 so that proper steps could be taken on how to deal with fare subsidies, among others. (Office of Senator Chiz Escudero/PIA-Caraga)