1.17.2011

PIA News Service - Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011

Alert level 1 up in Surigao Norte, Dinagat Islands provinces

SURIGAO CITY, Jan. 18 (PIA) – Alert level one was raised early today, Jan. 18 in the provinces of Dinagats Islands and Surigao del Norte following a continuous rainfall which started Monday evening, Jan. 17.

Vice Gov. Carlos Egay, Jr., in a radio interview, said an alert level one was hoisted upon recommendation from PAGASA. 

Based on PAGASA’s rainfall observation, amount and duration, the total rainfall in the entire province has reached at 68.4mm.

With this development, an automatic suspension of classes in the pre-school and elementary levels both from private and public will be enforced. 

On the other hand, Dinagat Islands Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) Chairperson Gov. Glenda Ecleo has raised an alert level one in the entire province. 

Ecleo advised all her constituents situated at the steep slope and low lying areas to take precautionary measures for possible landslides and flashfloods.

As of press time, light to heavy rains continue falling in the two provinces. (FEAbkilan, PIA-Surigao del Norte)


SURNECO, Surigao Water offer 5% off to Surigaonon elderly

SURIGAO DEL NORTE, Jan. 18 (PIA) - Surigaonon elderly can now enjoy the 5% discount of electricity and water bills.

Surigao del Norte Electric Cooperative (SURNECO) Gen. Manager Engr. Danny Escalante, in an interview, said a senior citizen can now avail of 5% discount after the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) finally passed a resolution adopting the rules governing the implementation of such discount as mandated under Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizen’s Act of 2010.

Engr. Escalante said a senior citizen, whose household used must not exceed 100 kilowatt-hours, could avail himself of the discount as long the bill was registered under his name for at least a year.

“The implementation will start this billing month of January,” said Engr. Escalante.

To avail of the discount, Engr. Escalante said a senior citizen should submit the following: duly accomplished application form at SURNECO office, photocopy of the Senior Citizen ID card issued by the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA), and SURNECO bill (bearing your name).

Meanwhile, Surigao del Norte Metropolitan Water District (SMWD) Division Manager Sandra Bonilla said that the 5-percent discount on senior citizen water bills offered by SMWD has already been implemented since last year.

“After the passage of Republic Act 9994, or the Expanded Senior Citizen’s Act of 2010 early last year, we have already been implementing a discount,” said Bonilla.

Bonilla said that to avail of its discount, a senior citizen or his authorized representative should accomplish an application form and submit a photocopy of the Senior Citizen identification (ID) card issued by OSCA (original ID should be presented to SMWD for proper verification); his water bill; and a special power of attorney executed by the senior citizen in favor of the authorized representative if applicable. (FEAbkilan, PIA-Surigao del Norte)
.
.
Various agencies give hand during the calamity in AgSur

By: David M. Suyao

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 18
(PIA) - A total of 2,301 sacks of rice from the provincial government and the National Food Authority (NFA) were distributed to flood victims following the recent flooding that hit Agusan del Sur.

Aside from rice, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) thru the Provincial Social Welfare and Development (PSWD) also distributed 559 cases of sardines, 774 cases of noodles, 120 cases of coffee, 112 cases Milo and five sacks of sugar. The DSWD Regional Office also gave 40 sacks of rice, 20 boxes of canned sardines and 28 boxes of noodles.

According to Josefina Bajade, head of the PSWD, since flood waters subsided, her office has been identifying and distributing relief goods. 

The NFA has directly released 360 bags to the municipality of San Francisco, 100 bags to Rosario, 30 bags to Trento, 250 bags to Veruela, 380 bags to Prosperidad and 66 bags to the Philippine Red Cross who in turn also distributed to the flood victims.

Chrystelle Basan, Philippine Red Cross Agusan del Sur Chapter administrator also reported that her office had conducted feeding operations to 391 families or 1,906 persons in eight barangays, relief operations to 687 families or 3,199 persons in six barangays province-wide.

At the height of the floods, cooperation among government agencies was visible. The 75th Infantry Battalion under the 401sr Brigade of the army dispatched three KM450 and an Isuzu elf truck with 38 AFP personnel to operate in the search and rescue operations. The 402nd Infantry Brigade also dispatched one M35 truck, two KM 450, one Isuzu elf manned by 63 personnel responding to the needs of the flood victims. The 52nd Engineering Brigade also augmented one M35 vehicle with personnel for rescue and evacuation operations while the Philippine National Police Provincial Office augmented one rescue truck, one Isuzu elf, 15 patrol cars and 350 PNP officers and personnel distributed to the 14 municipalities province-wide to assist in the rescue and evacuation operations. 

The Department of Public Works and Highways maintenance section also dispatched rescue teams and a number of vehicles to ensure the safety of the travelling public and to augment in the rescue and evacuation operations. 

While flood waters rushed everywhere on January 3, three municipalities were declared under a state of calamity. The municipality of Bunawan with Resolution No. 01 series of 2011, the municipality of Sibagat with Resolution No. 01-11 and the municipality of Bayugan with Resolution No. 1. Series of 2011. The province of Agusan del Sur also passed Resolution No. 185 series of 2011 declaring the the entire province in State of Calamities on January 4, but was signed by Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza on January 5, 2011.

As of press time, victims of the flood have totally returned back to their residences. (PIA-Agusan del Sur)
.
.
Damages on agriculture caused by floods now reach P20M in Agusan del Sur

By: David M. Suyao

Patin-ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur
, Jan. 18 (PIA) - Damages to agriculture brought about by the recent floods reached up to P20M, reports from the Provincial Agriculture and the Provincial Veterinary Offices said.

Armando Lagumbay, provincial agriculturist said, mostly affected are the rice and corn fields reaching up to almost 6,000 hectares, with an estimated cost based on inputs of more than P12M, with rice alone amounting to some P10.9M and corn with almost P1.5M.  

Lagumbay said vegetable, banana and root crops farms were also affected totalling to 284 hectares but the cost were not yet declared.

Small fishponds and fish pens were also damaged amounting to P699,000 while some 70 linear meter of dike were destroyed with an estimated cost of P350,000. Hatchery facilities like refrigerator, computer, internet connection, cooler, tricho stocks and supplies and materials were also affected with damage cost of P138,000. 
.
On livestock and poultry, the total damages registered to more than P6M where the municipality of San Francisco registering the most number of damages amounting to almost P3M. Among the animals that were drowned and killed were horses - 22 heads; goat- 189 heads; swine- 429 heads; chicken- 4689 heads; ducks- 5,203 heads; carabao- 31 heads and cattles with 24 heads.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council early today call on people living in low-laying areas to be vigilant and alert in case moderate rains that started yesterday afternoon become heavy and continue to pour that will cause flash floods in already affected areas. Using the government owned radio station DXDA, the PDRRMC called for people in flood vulnerable areas to prepare for evacuation anytime the proper authorities will announce the final alert level. (PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Fisherman reported missing off Surigao City

SURIGAO CITY, Jan. 18 (PIA)
- A local fisherman in Brgy. Mabua this city was reportedly missing since yesterday, Jan. 17 as strong winds and waves brought by the tail end of cold front hit Northern Mindanao.

Reports from the Quick Action Response Team (QART) identified the missing fisherman as Rey Benitez y Tagubar, 23 years old, a native of Purok 5, Brgy. Mabua, Surigao City.

According to Rey’s brother, Desiderio Benitez, Rey sailed off around 12noon, Monday in his yellow pump boat with 7 horsepower engine along the coastlines of Mabua-Leyte Sea and failed to return home yesterday evening.

QART could not mount a bid to find them yesterday evening due to rough seas and bad weather condition.

As of press time, search and rescue operations are now going on by the city’s rescue unit. (FEAbkilan, PIA-Surigao del Norte)
.
.
DENR replaces new PENROs, CENROs in Surigao del Sur and AgSur

By: Nida Grace B. Tranquilan

TANDAG, SURIGAO DEL SUR, Jan. 18 (PIA) - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Caraga Regional Executive Director Leonardo Sibbaluca issued an Order to temporarily replace new Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officers (PENROs) and Community Environment and Natural Resources Officers (CENROs) in Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Sur.

As per information by the PENR Office here, a Special Order number 2011-017 dated January 14 was issued following the result of the anti-illegal logging operation of the Environmental Law Enforcement Task Force headed by Major Gen. Renato Miranda.

According to report, Surigao del Sur OIC PENRO Claudio Asumen was relieved and temporarily replaced by PENRO Domingo S. Cabrera Jr., while in Agusan del Sur, PENRO Sixto C. Badua was replaced by PENRO Emelyn Garong.

Also, three CENR Officers in Surigao del Sur and five in Agusan del Sur were relieved and also replaced by the following: Surigao del Sur CENRO Tandag - Joseph Ardel M. Argosino; CENRO Cantilan- Mario C. Tiaoquen and CENRO Bislig – Ferdinand Alba. In Agusan del Sur: CENRO Bayugan - Efren Ruel; CENRO Talacogon- Eufracio Subayno; CENRO San Francisco – Marlon Geolingo; CENRO Bunawan – Vicente Sembrano and CENRO Loreto Alberto Bacayana. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)
.
.
Foreign Medical-Surgical Mission set in Agusan del Norte 
.
By: Jimmy L. Egay
.
BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 18 – The provincial government of Agusan del Norte headed by Governor Erlpe John M. Amante hosts the medical and surgical mission that is conducted in the provincial hospital and in Cabadbaran City by the Philippine Medical Mission Foundation of Michigan, USA from January 17-21, 2011.
.
This mission performs free corrective surgeries on burn or skin contractures, hernia, goiter, cleft palate and hare lip, removal of myoma, ovarian cyst and gall bladder stones and also performs tubal ligations on patients that had already been screened earlier by the screening committee of the provincial hospital.
.
A separate medical consultation mission is also being conducted simultaneously in Cabadbaran City where Mayor Dale B. Corvera hosts the team from USA.
.
Patients for the medical mission from Cabadbaran area will have to secure consultation ticket from their respective banarangay chairmen for presentation on the schedule that this mission is set at Cabadbaran Gymnasium.
.
Meanwhile, the provincial health officer of Agusan del Norte, Dr. Elizabeth N. Campado, disclosed that the Provincial Hospital at Libertad, this city temporarily suspend its acceptance of patients for admission Jan. 12-21, 2011.
.
The provincial hospital, however, will accommodate patients needing emergency management.
.
Also, patients who will come to this hospital seeking for elective surgeries to be performed will be deferred and those with other ailments requiring admission will be referred to other hospitals within the city.
.
According to the provincial coordinating officer for this mission, Dave Luison, all patients who had already been pre-screened for surgery arrived on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011 at 8:00am for final screening by the Michigan doctors at the conference hall of the provincial hospital. (PHO-AdN/PIA-Caraga) 
.
.
DA Secretary set to visit Butuan City

By: Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 18 (PIA) – The Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga Regional Office here bared that the honorable Sec. Proseso J. Alcala, Jr. is set to visit this city to grace the caraga Agricultural and Fisheries Council (AFC) Congress with the theme: “Bridging the Gap, Touching the Hearts of AFC’s” on January 20, 2011 at the Almont Hotel’s Inland Resort here.

It was also learned that during his visit, Sec. Alcala will lead the turn-over of various agricultural implements to the respective beneficiaries as well as attend farmer’s forum. 

Also, a news conference is scheduled on the same date to be participated by representatives from the government line agencies, private stakeholders, and tri-media. (PIA-Caraga).
.
.
DFA sets foreign service exams

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 18 (PIA)
– The Board of Foreign Service Examinations of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), pursuant to the provisions of the Foreign Service Act or R.A. 7157 and the Revised Administrative Code of 1987 is set to conduct the 2011 Foreign Service Officer (FSO) Examinations to recruit candidates for appointment to the position of Foreign Service Officer, Class IV.

In an announcement issued by DFA-Butuan Consular Office, OIC-Regional Director Mary Val Adiong said the acceptance of the completed application forms and screening of the applications are based on sets of criteria.

The applicant should be less than 35 years of age on March 20, 2011, a holder of at least four-year bachelor’s degree or higher. “Thus, applicant is required to submit relevant evidence such as transcript of records, and either the diploma or certificate of graduation.

Applicant should be a Filipino citizen and concurrently a permanent resident of the Philippines. If married to a foreigner, the applicant must secure from the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, through the Board of Foreign Service Examination authority to take the FSO examinations. 

If applicant has dual or multiple citizenships, he/she should submit a notarized affidavit stating that upon passing the examination, he/she intends to renounce his/her allegiance to all his/her other countries of citizenship. He or she must also submit a notarized affidavit stating that he/she is a permanent resident in the Philippines.

Dir. Adiong also said the applicant has to pay a non-refundable admission fee of P500.00 before taking the Qualifying Test upon acceptance of his/her application. All completed application forms must be returned to DFA Butuan Consular Office not later than February 4, 2011. “Incomplete requirements will not be accepted,” Adiong said.

For further information, interested applicants may contact Ms. Suzette Aluag-Callo through telephone number (085) 342-7822 and telefax number 342-5700.

FSO Examinations is composed of five parts. The first part is the FSO Qualifying Test and is set on |March 20, 2011. Preliminary interview will form the second part and is set on June 4 and 5, 2011. The third part is the Written Test which is tentatively scheduled on June 8 to 10, 2011. An oral test will comprise the fourth part and is tentatively scheduled on October 12-14, 2011. Meanwhile, the last part of the exam is a psychological test tentatively set on November 12-25, 2011.

Application forms may be obtained by either downloading from the DFA website at www.dfa.gov.ph or by securing at the Main Office of Regional Consular Offices of the DFA. (PIA-Caraga)
.
.
Cong. Aquino cites importance of PH flag’s official hoisting in Mindanao
 
By: Nora CL Molde
 
BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 18 (PIA)
– Agusan del Norte First District and Butuan City Representative Jose S. Aquino II cites the importance of the Philippine flag’s official hoisting in Mindanao during the commemoration of the 112th anniversary of the First Formal and Official Hoisting of the Philippine Flag in Mindanao Monday, January 17 at the city’s Rizal park.
 
Cong. Aquino in his message delivered by Butuan City Councilor Josephine M. Salise that the occasion is but fitting tribute to remember and record our appreciation and gratitude to the contributions and sacrifices made by our forefathers and many leaders who have made and gain our independence.
Aquino also said that through the untiring efforts of our brave forefathers that we have the freedom that we enjoy today.  
 
“Their selfless devotion to duty is a reminder to all of us that our country is not a cause for division but for unity and stability”, Aquino added.
 
According to history, on January 17, 1899, the Philippine flag was hoisted in a formal and official ceremony in the town of Butuan by the appointed governor for the Third District of Mindanao (also known as Surigao Province) Wenceslao Gonzalez. This was an epochal event that signaled the accession of the Republica Filipina under General Emilio Aguinaldo on the island of Mindanao. (PIA-Caraga) 
.
.
Tail-end of a cold front, still affecting Surigao del Sur
By: Nida Grace B. Tranquilan
Tandag, Surigao del Sur, Jan. 18 (PIA) - Based on the PAGASA-Hinatuan weather update releases, the Tail End of Cold Front (TEOCF) is still affecting the whole province of Surigao del Sur including the Northern part of Mindanao. 

This province has experienced cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorm since yesterday (Jan. 17) noon. 

Also, PAGASA Hinatuan warned all fishermen to take precautionary measures against big waves while residents living near riverbanks, low lying areas and near mountains’ slopes are adviced to take necessary precautions against possible flash floods and landslides. 

As per information by PDRRMC consultant Josefina Palma, Tago River is being closely monitored since it started to rise from its normal level where PDRRMC staff are now conducting ocular inspection to check the real situation in San Miguel and to validate the on-going relief goods distribution in some far-flung barangays conducted by the municipal government. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Surigao del Sur crime rate decreases, PNP says 

By: Nida Grace B. Tranquilan

TANDAG, SURIGAO DEL SUR
- The Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) 1st quarterly meeting for 2011 was successfully conducted Monday presided by council chair, Governor Johnny Pimentel at the Provincial Capitol Conference Room, highlighting the decrease of crime rates posted by the Provincial PNP office here.
 
PNP Provincial Director PSSupt. Julito Diray said out of 1,027 index crimes reported, physical injury is the most prevalent with a total of 390 incidents, followed by theft with 324 incidents, robbery with 130 incidents, murder with 110 incidents, rape with 36 incidents, homicide with 22 incidents, carnapping with 12 incidents and cattle rustling with 3 incidents. Diray said, the records show a decrease of 28.43% incident rate compared to CY 2009 which posted a crime rate of 53.95%.

PNP Overall assessment for 2010 is generally peaceful and manageable. Dir. Diray further said that the government flagship projects and other economic activities are not hampered despite threats posed by Communists Terrorists (CTs) and other criminal elements.

Meanwhile, no crime incident has been reported that were committed by PNP personnel assigned in this province. “This is due to the Values Formation and Leadership Enhancement Training which is considered part of our best practices in the previous years until at present,” Diray said. 

In related development, council members approved the Integrated Area/Community Public Safety Plan (IACPSP) for 2011. Accordingly, 10 areas of concern were stated in the plan to be given priorities for implementation, with the support of agencies and stakeholders of the council. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)
.
.
Butuan City now alert level one, DepEd declares suspension of classes

By: Nora CL Molde

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 18 (PIA) – Alert level one is now up in Butuan City due to the combined effect of Northeast Monsoon and Tail-end of a Cold Front being experienced in Caraga region today.

Following the declaration of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) putting the entire city on alert level one, the Department of Education (DepEd) Butuan City Division Supt. Marilou Dedumo declares Monday, January 18, suspension of classes in elementary and high school in both public and private schools.

The declaration of CDRRMO’s to alert level one is for the public to be prepared for possible flash floods if rains will continue.

As of press time, water level at Agusan River is 1.1 meters and the critical level is 2.8 meters. (PIA-Caraga)