1.11.2011

PIA News Service - Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011

7 contingents to join 24th Kahimunan Festival

BUTUAN CITY – Rain or shine the City Tourism Office expect a huge crown lining up the street of JC Aquino Avenue and beefed up security preparations with the help of the PNP and Barangay Tanods for thousands of spectators who will go to the City Sports Complex in time for the celebration of the Feast of Señor in Barangay Libertad which is held every third Sunday of January to honor Sto. Niño, the Holy Child Jesus.

This year, seven contingents confirmed to join the Kahimunan street parade and will showcase best performances in the afternoon of January 16.

OIC City Tourism Chief Lilit Concon said, “The festival has been promoted as a tourist attraction, with a contest featuring two out-of-town contingents consisting of Gingoog City and Ezperanza in Agusan del Sur, and five locals namely; Barangay Bonbon, Butuan Central Elementary School, Agusan National High School, Barangay Libertad and the group of Barangays Tiniwisan, Ampayon and Taligaman.”

They will compete in the Grand Kahimunan with 200,000 pesos cash at stake for the 1st placer, 2nd prize will be awarded with 150,000 cash, while 3rd placer will be given 120,000 cash.

Non winning contingents will still be receiving 10,000 pesos as consolation prize,

Special prize will also be given with 10,000 cash for the Best in Costume, Best in Musicality and Best in Street Dancing.

For the first time, City Tourism Office announced that the city government will give 5,000 pesos cash whoever will be chosen as this year’s Festival Queen.

 The Kahimunan is a traditional ritual performed by the natives before the start of the planting season, characterized by chanting, singing and playing accompanied by indigenous musical instruments such as the gimbor (drum), gong and bamboo instruments called Kalatong and Kotik.

This year, Ms. Concon said that organizers required the performers to include the Lapaknon dance steps as introduced by Pet Mosquito, Director of FSUU Culture & Arts Program depicting the culture of a native Butuanon.  

The Kahimunan celebration was founded by then First Parish Priest of Sto Niño Parish in Libertad, Father Juanito ‘Nito’ Benito in 1987 dubbed as the “Mini Kahimunan”

Children from neighboring chapels under the Sto Niño Parish were invited by Fr. Nito Belino to dance in front of the image of the Sto. Niño as they begin the 10-day novena.

From Mini Kahimunan it evolved into Children’s Kahimunan and later added more attractions with some adult group dance competitions in the “Grand Kahimunan Festival”.

Part of the Kahimunan Festival is the motorcade of statues of Sto. Niño on January 14 at 9 in the morning, Fluvial Procession at Libertad River at 2 in the afternoon, and the Grand Procession with fireworks display and praise dance on January 15 at 5 in the afternoon.

The highlight activity on January 15 will be the enthronement of Señor Sto Niño during the scheduled Concelebrated Pontifical Mass with celebrant, Most Reverend Juan de dios Pueblos. 

The enthronement will be led by 2010 Hermana Mayor Adeodatus Itao and Dr. Ma. Chita Itao who will pass on their responsibilities to Mark Anthony Samper and Atty. Yvette Samper as this year’s Hermana Mayor. (Jocelyn E. Morano, dxBN-Butuan/PIA-Caraga)


Loren urges execution of local climate action plans, calls for enhanced community-based disaster management and early warning system amid La Niña onset

As the country is expected to experience heavier rains and intense typhoons with the onset of La Niña, local government units (LGUs) must ensure the execution of their climate action plans, Senator Loren Legarda today said.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, also called for enhanced community-based disaster management and early warning system in every community.

“Empowered and equipped with the necessary mandate, knowledge, skills and tools, LGUs should develop their own disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaption (CCA) plan of action within their jurisdiction as a way to reduce losses in life and assets due to disaster. We realize the importance of such mechanisms as thousands of families suffer from the effects of recent heavy rains in Visayas and Mindanao,” she said.

The Senator cited reports from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) stating that floods and landslides caused by heavy rains in Visayas and Mindanao have already affected 213,264 families or 1,120,685 people in 1,073 villages of 124 towns and 10 cities in 21 provinces, mostly in the Caraga, Bicol and Eastern Visayas Regions. Meanwhile, the estimated damage to property is at P747 million.

“Incessant rains have caused this kind of scenario. As we are in the midst of La Niña, we should expect more intense rains even with the absence of a typhoon. That is why I urge LGUs to make sure that they have their climate action plans and that enhanced disaster management and early warning systems are in place,” Legarda said.

She explained that LGUs should improve disaster risk information through risk identification or assessment, make people more responsive to government-issued disaster warnings, reduce sources of risk and exposure of vulnerable sector by providing house upgrading and relocation options for settlers located in hazardous areas, and ensure effective disaster preparedness and recovery mechanisms by encouraging active participation of the vulnerable communities.

“We have to be always prepared, especially the LGUs because they are closer to the people, they are in a strategic position to deliver effective and lasting results on their respective DRR and CCA agenda,” Legarda concluded. (Office of Senator Loren Legarda/PIA-Caraga)


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Legarda: Boost people’s food self-sufficiency to mitigate hunger

Senator Loren Legarda today called on the government to establish programs that would boost the citizens’ self-sufficiency in food to help mitigate hunger.

Legarda made the statement following the release of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey results on the rate of hunger in the country.

The survey, conducted from November 27 to 30, 2010, showed that 18.1% of Filipinos or about 3.4 million families experienced hunger in the past three months.

While the government said that it expects hunger incidence to reduce in the next months with the implementation of the conditional cash transfer program, the Senator said that food self-sufficiency would help further alleviate hunger and poverty for the long-term.

“The principle we have to use here is that which a popular proverb tells us: ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’ We can help our people through the CCT program, but we also have to teach them how to maximize the use of that money,” Legarda said.

“I also urge local officials in provinces, municipalities and barangays to conduct food production campaigns to boost food self-sufficiency. One example is the backyard vegetable program in every household and in vacant spaces in the communities. This could also be done in public elementary schools to address malnutrition among schoolchildren,” she added.

Legarda said that food sufficiency is necessary to improve the people’s living standards. It would also help the government in its effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, particularly the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger. (Office of Senator Loren Legarda/PIA-Caraga)
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DAR distributes 760 hectares to 472 farmers in Las Nieves villages

By: Gil E. Miranda

Department of Agrarian Reform of Agusan del Norte continues on fulfilling its promises to help the landless farmers in the far-flung barangays of Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte through the distribution of Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) held at Las Nieves Municpal Gymnasium on January 11, 2011.

A total of 760 hectares of agricultural land awarded to 472 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries in KATIMALIBON ARC comprising Barangay Katipunan, Malicato and Bonifacio and ROSSANIM ARC comprising Rosario, San Isidro and Marcos Calo of Las Nieves. 

Hon. Erlpe John M. Amante represented by Hon.Vice Governor Enrico R. Corvera of Agusan del Norte, together with Hon. Reinario P. Rosales, Municipal Mayor of Las Nieves and PARO II Andre B. Atega, CEO VI represented by PARO I Denia M. Jabagat of DAR Agusan del Norte led the hand-over of certificates to the said farmer-beneficiaries.

The said ceremony also attended by the two large fruit industry in the country today: La Agusana Fruit International Inc., represented by Chairman Mr. Romy T. Yray, and Del Monte Corporation headed by Gen. Manager, Dir. Guido Villabeta.

This highly memorable event is another milestone of Las Nieves farmers since it integrates the distribution of certificate of titles and the Banana Groundbreaking Ceremony for the hundreds of hectares of agricultural land in KATIMALI ARC and ROSSANIM ARC, which will be transformed into landscapes of Banana Plantation.

Farmer-beneficiaries shed tears of joy upon receiving their land titles and timely abreast with the opportunities and challenges offered by good and reliable investors.

“The investors’ primary objectives is to uplift the economic status of the farmers in Las Nieves and to become highly develop Municipality in the next generation”, Hon. Governor Corvera said.

Hon. Governor Corvera lauded DAR under the leadership of the Regional Director Faisar A. Mambuay in CARAGA Region and PARO II Andre B. Atega of DAR Agusan del Norte for the full support and cooperation extended to the LGU of Las Nieves. 

Meanwhile, Ms. Teresita P. Estrella, Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer of Las Nieves, came-up with an initiative, that the CLOAs used as a leverage for the farmer-beneficiaries themselves to compulsorily declare their ownership to the assesor’s office and obliged to pay their tax for this year on the day of distribution of CLOAs. 

“This drive will not only save time for farmer-beneficiaries from remote villages to revisit at Assessors office to declare thier ownership and pay taxes but also to give an opportunity to the LGU to collect at least 99 percent of taxes from the new landowner for the year as easiest as possible on that day”, MARO Estrella said. (DAR-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Caraga)

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Police hospital to rise soon in Butuan City 

Camp Rafael C Rodriguez, Libertad, Butuan City - Caraga Police Director PCSUPT REYNALDO SERRANO RAFAL, Ph.D, CEO VI, led the groundbreaking ceremony of Police Regional Office 13 hospital in Libertad, Butuan City yesterday. The activity was also attended by Leonita P. Gorgolon, Director IV, Center for Health Development-Caraga who is the guest of honor and speaker and led the ribbon cutting; unveiling of the marker and lowering of time capsule.RD FARAL said that the PNP is doing everything and exercising all resources to make plans a reality, adding that the project is based on the PNP Integrated Transformation Program and is in line with Program Thrust of the PNP. 

The PNP is geared towards putting-up modern buildings especially hospitals and improved capabilities to better respond to the concerns of the community. General RAFAL will not only improve the physical infrastructure of police stations but also health services with well-equipped facility manned by personnel with improved capability. 

The hospital project come into reality through the effort of the officers and men of Regional Logistics and Research Development Division of Police Regional Office 13; PNP regional Engineering Service 13, and Department of Health Caraga headed by Director Gorgolon and with the initiative of Health Service 13, through the Regional Housing Board Committee of PRO 13 chaired by Police Chief Superintendent NELSON PONSONES NARIO, Deputy Regional Director for Administration. Dedicated efforts were made and through persistent follow-up and hard work for the realization of the project, it takes only more than one month the project come into a reality. 

RD RAFAL expressed his gratitude for the concerted effort and has not slowed down in making ways to serve better the community. The PNP remains the strong institution that it has always been, courageously withstanding the storms along the way, accepting its faults with humility and working to correct them, and continually seeking new ways to serve better. What matters at the end of the day is the desire of every policeman to serve the best way he can. 

Meanwhile, General RAFAL also led the 17th PNP Ethics Day celebration held at Police Regional Headquarters grandstand, Libertad, Butuan City the same day. The celebration with its theme” PNP, Leading the Straight Path Towards Excellent Service” was graced by Director Meshach D. Dinhayan of the Civil Service Commission, Agusan del Norte-Butuan City Field Office. The police force in the region was reminded to always abide, adhere to and internalize the provisions of PNP Ethical Doctrine. A truly professionalized and dedicated law enforcer promotes peace and order, ensure public safety and enhance community participation guided by the principle that a public office is a public trust and that all public servants must, at all times, be accountable to the people. The police will surely serve with utmost responsibility, integrity, morality, loyalty and efficiency with due respect to human rights and dignity as hallmark. (PCI Nelly Tabornal Villagarcia/PIA-Caraga)


Caraga police start special weapons, tactics training 

Camp Rafael C Rodriguez, Libertad, Butuan City - Police Regional Office 13 launches Special Weapons and Tactics Orientation Course Monday at the Regional Special Training Unit 13 (RSTU 13), Santiago, Agusan del Norte. The activity designed to train the police in addressing significant incidents like hostage crisis to make sure the safety and security of the community in the region. 

Attending the activity were PSSUPT MANUEL DG OBRERA, Agusan del Norte Police Provincial Director; PSUPT ORTEGA, RPSMB Commander; RSTU 13 Training Director PSUPT. ADOLPH C. ALMENDRA; RSTU 13 Asst. Training Director PCINSP. REYNANTE NGOHO SIBAYTON; PCI NELLY TABORNAL VILLAGARCIA, Chief, Public Information Officer and other Police Commission Officers from the Police Regional Office. 

Caraga Police Director PCSUPT REYNALDO SERRANO RAFAL, Ph.D, CEO VI emphasized that the community must not only be served efficiently and effectively, they must also be served with utmost courtesy. The call for good manners and right conduct in policing remains and the commitment to it should be stronger than ever. He added that as the PNP faces greater challenges in 2011, PNP policy will remain guided by the Eight Foundation Initiatives on Training in the Basics, Procurement Review, Enhancement of Equipage, Police-Community Partnership, Doctrine Development, Reward and Punishment, Human Rights and Mentoring Leadership, as well as the operational imperatives on the continuing campaign against street crime, loose firearms, wanted person, and enhancement of disaster-preparedness capability. 

Meanwhile, PRO 13 commenced its “Back to Basics” Training for the City and Municipal Police Stations, the same day in Santiago, which is composed of Police Commissioned Officers (PCOs) and Police Non-Commissioned Officers (PNCOs) from police stations in Agusan del Norte. 

General RAFAL also said they will undergo unit re-training in RSTU and surely develop camaraderie, coordination and cooperation for the attainment of the PNP mission and vision. Other City and Municipal Police stations will soon follow. The continuous training of the police helps to improve every personnel especially in investigation capability, though they had been provided with the investigation manual already. General RAFAL clarified that good manners and right performance of duty remains to be the philosophy of a day-to-day service of the PNP. (PCI Nelly Tabornal Villagarcia/PIA-Caraga)