PIA News Service - Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011

Feature: Colors, glitz and glamour of Kahimunan Festival 2011

Kahimunan Festival 2011 featured two major attractions giving colors and life in the busy streets of Butuan City amidst the scorching heat of the sun on January 7 – Children’s Kahimunan and the Grand Kahimunan on Sunday, January 16, 2011.

The Children’s Kahimunan gathered four contingents vouching for glitz, glamour and prize where contingent from Paghidaet P-4 Libertad grabbed the first place and took away PhP 20,000.00 cash. Inahan Sa Kanunay’ng Panabang (ISKP) [Our Mother of Perpetual Help] Chapel of Dumalagan got the second prize receiving PhP 15,000.00, while Tribu But-an of P-6 Libertad grabbed third place receiving PhP 10,000.00. Each contingent has at least 50 performers parading from the highway at P-5, Libertad, Butuan City.

The major highlight of the festival, Grand Kahimunan 2011, started at the corner of J.C. Aquino Avenue and J. Rosales Ave. at exactly 1:00 in the afternoon with six contingents vying for the most coveted title.

In the Grand Showdown, Agusan National High School (ANHS) once again proved its supremacy in portraying artistic movements with the utilization of colorful and appropriate props considered a plus factor of their victory for second straight year. They received Php 200,000.00.

Contingent from Esperanza, Agusan del Sur also showed what Agusanon can offer in festivals such as Kahimunan, as they portrayed the recent flooding in the province of Agusan del Sur. It can be recalled that the province has greatly affected with the recent disaster that hits the region due to a tail-end of the cold front affecting the Visayas and Mindanao regions. The contingent was declared 1st Runner Up, taking away Php 150,000.00.

Another out-of-town contingent, Gingoog City wowed the audience with their fast-pace series of formations, styles and movements, giving them the 2nd Runner Up title receiving Php 120,000.00.

Contingents from Brgy. Bonbon, Butuan Central Elementary School, and Brgy. Libertad also received Php 10,000.00 each as consolation prizes.

Meanwhile, special awards were awarded to Esperanza, Agusan del Sur as Best in Street Dancing; and Agusan National High School winning Best in Costume, Best in Musicality, and Festival Queen, receiving Php 10,000.00 for each special award. Adjudged ANHS student as this year’s Kahimunan Festival Queen also received a roundtrip ticket for two to Manila courtesy of Philippine Air Lines, the country’s flag-carrier airline.

Sto. Niño Floats also graced the street parade with colors and flora of different species. The competition was participated in by Village 2 BSR and ISKP, Arujville, Butuan Central Elementary School, Brgy. Dumalagan, Fatima, MTA Chapel, and Brgy. Ambago.

The Kahimunan Festival was made possible through the concerted efforts of Butuan City Government through the leadership of Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr., Butuan City Tourism Office headed by Lilit Mission-Concon, Sto. Niño Shrine Parish Council led by Carling Niñeza, Butuan City Tourism Council chaired by Atty. Rema Erigbuagas-Burdeos, and Brgy. Libertad Council under Brgy. Captain Vincent Rizal Rosario.

The office of Congressman Jose S. Aquino II of the first Congressional District of Agusan del Norte also served as major sponsor while Department of Tourism (DOT) – Caraga Regional Director Leticia Tan also donated tarpaulins and plaques.

The event was also supported by Agusan del Norte 2nd Congressional District Rep. Ma. Angelica Rosedel Amante-Matba, Orgon Wood, Equiparco, Dy Teban Hardware, Madyaw Construction, Gaisano Mall, ADFIL Construction, PNB, RONWOOD Construction, China Bank, Mc Donalds, Allied Bank, GLOBE, Veterans Bank, Green Pine Agri Corporation, Julie’s Bakeshop, Butuan City Water District, San Miguel Corporation, Pure Thirst, Coca Cola, Almont Hotels’ Inland Resort, AMA-CLC, Lifeworks Printhub, Philippine Airlines, Aling Cora, Woodstock Restobar, Weegol’s Garden, Uncle Sam’s Burger, Gold ’n Pearl Bakeshoppe, Red Apple, Budget Foods, Roldan’s Eat-All-You-Can and VROSS Meatshop.

Kahimunan Festival highlights the annual celebration of Barangay Libertad Fiesta held every third Sunday of January, in honor of Patron Saint, Senior Santo Niño. (Julius M. De Villa, Butuan City Tourism Office/PIA-Caraga)

DSWD serves 80T CCT beneficiaries in Caraga

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 19 (PIA) – Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman recently said more than 80,000 Caraganons have already benefitted the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program of the government.

Speaking before the national and local tri-media during the recent visit of President Benigno S. Aquino III here where she was one of the cabinet members who accompanied the country’s chief executive, Sec. Soliman revealed that the nationwide beneficiaries of this program already reached to more than a million.

“Naabot na po natin ng higit isang milyon ang bilang ng ating mga benepisyaryo sa buong bansa at dito sa Caraga, mahigit 80,000 pamilya na po ang nabiyayaan ng programa at madagdagan pa po ng mahigit 60,000 ngayong taon” (We have reached more than one million beneficiaries nationwide and here in Caraga Region, more than 80,000 families benefitted the program and this number of beneficiaries will be added with more than 60,000 this year), Soliman said.

With these developments, Soliman said the program was systematically implemented through the concerted efforts of government agencies concerned as well as public and private organizations in the region as part of the poverty alleviation campaign of the national government.

Conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs aim to reduce poverty by making welfare programs conditional upon the receivers' actions. The government only transfers the money to persons who meet certain criteria. These criteria may include enrolling children into public schools, getting regular check-ups at the doctor's office, receiving vaccinations, or the like. (PIA-Caraga)


Surigao del Sur crime rate decreases, PNP says

By: Nida Grace B. Tranquilan

TANDAG, SURIGAO DEL SUR, Jan. 19 (PIA) - 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)


Continued rains in Dinagat Islands affect 740 families; 3,696 individuals

By: Fryan E. Abkilan

DINAGAT ISLANDS, Jan. 19 (PIA) - Continued rains for the past few days have affected 740 families or 3,696 individuals throughout the province.

Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) Deputized Coordinator Rosario Roxas reported that the affected families, mostly from the municipality of Libjo, were immediately housed at their respective evacuation centers.

“The Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) of Libjo reinforced evacuation in Brgy. Rosita by providing dump truck and the local DRRMC of San Jose assisted the evacuation at Brgy. Don Ruben,” said Roxas.

Roxas revealed that one house was reportedly washed out while 25 houses were partially damaged, all from the municipality of Libjo.

As of press time, damage to agriculture has not yet been assessed. Initial assessment of damage to infrastructures is estimated at P1.1Million.

No casualties/injuries were also reported.

Roxas further said relief goods for the affected families in Brgy. Rosita and Plaridel in Libjo are set to be distributed today by the local disaster risk council. (Fryan E. Abkilan, PIA-Surigao del Norte)



DSWD chief admits CCT not only a solution to mitigate hunger in the country

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 19 (PIA) – Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman recently admitted that conditional cash transfer (CCT) program of the government is not only the solution to mitigate hunger in the country.

With the feedbacks that are coming out in surveys pinning down this anti-poverty program of the government, the social welfare chief said aside from CCT, some hunger-mitigation programs are already set in place by the government such as the supplementary feeding program which is scheduled to be implemented this year.

To date, Soliman said one million families have been benefitting the program nationwide. This year, 1.3 million families will be added in the list of beneficiaries.

Sec. Soliman also emphasized that in mitigating hunger and poverty in the country, all Filipinos must go hand in hand by sharing feedbacks and suggestions to higher authorities on the things to be done in order that the program will be properly implemented.

“Through feedbacks or even complaints of the general public, we will be reminded and allow us to review the processes that have been implemented so that proper implementation of the program will be made. Through this, the majority will be served accordingly” Soliman said. (PIA-Caraga)


Surigao Sur Guv seeks donors for PDRRMC members’ re-training

By: Nida Grace B. Tranquilan

TANDAG, Surigao del Sur, Jan. 19 (PIA) - The Provincial Government of Surigao del Sur through Gov. Johnny Pimentel seeks for foreign aid to fund the proposed re-training of all members of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC).

During the PDRRMC re-organization meeting held recently, Gov. Pimentel wanted that all council members including the Chairman of the Barangay DRRMC and Municipal DRRMC will be re-trained in order to have proper coordination especially during disaster specifically in the conduct of rescue operations.

According to Pimentel, each local government unit should know their role since they are the front-liner during disaster while the provincial government only assists and augment whatever lacking basic services needed.

As per information of Josefina Palma, PDRRMC Office recorded catastrophe every year where massive flashfloods and landslide occurred affecting majority of the municipalities in the province. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Surigao Norte DRRMC reports 138 evacuees in Mainit

By: Fryan E. Abkilan

SURIGAO DEL NORTE, Jan. 19 (PIA) – The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) here reported that a total of 138 individuals or 35 families fled their homes when two days of continuous rains caused floods in the municipality of Mainit.

Initial report from the chief of the Provincial Social Service Office, Antonio Tiu, revealed that the affected families were evacuated at the Mainit municipal gym and local training center. Tiu further said he also received reports that an undetermined number of people in the municipality of Alegria were evacuated.

In Surigao City, 16 families from Brgy. San Juan were also reportedly evacuated at the Kaskag gym. As of this time, the affected families have already returned home.

Earlier, the local Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the tail-end of a cold front caused a widespread rain over Northeastern Mindanao prompting the PDRRMC to declare an alert level 1 in the entire province. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Cebuano News: 138 ka mga tawo namakwit sa lungsod sa Mainit

MAINIT, Surigao del Norte, Jan. 19 (PIA) – Makusog nga ulan ug hangin ang mihapak kagahapon, Enero 18 ang miresulta sa pagdeklara ug alert level one sa tibuok probinsya sigun sa rekomendasyon sa buhatan sa PAGASA ug nagpasabot nga walay klase ang elementarya lakip na usab ang pre-school.

Sa nakuha nga unang impormasyon gikan kang Antonio Tiu, hepe sa buhatan sa Provincial Social Service Office kun (PSSO), nahibaw-an nga adunay 35 ka pamilya nga gilangkuban sa 138 ka mga tawo sa lungsod sa Mainit ang namakwit ug didto gidala sa gym ug training center. Nahibaw-an usab nga sa lungsod sa Alegria, adunay pipila ka pamilya ang namakwit.

Samtang, ang Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) nagpakita sa ilang pagka-aktibo ug kooperasyon diin mipatawag dayon kini ug emergency meeting para mahibaw-an gilayon ang mga mamahimong danyos ubos gihapon sa pagdumala ni Gov. Sol Matugas diin nastranded kini sa Cebu City human mitambong sa Sinulog Festival.

Sa pakighinabi kang acting Gov. Arturo Carlos Egay, Jr. kini mibutyag nga ang tanan preparado na sama sa medical units, engineering, PSSO ug uban pa. Sa laing bahin, matud niya, ang rescue team usab mipahigayon na sa paglibot-libot dinhi sa mainland ug ubang bahin sa lalawigan para pagmonitor sa naasoy nga sitwasyon aron madali ang pagresponde. (Surigao del Norte Provincial Information Center/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


ACE new set of Officers for 2011-2012 sworn into Office

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 19 (PIA) - The new set of officers of the Association of Caraga Executives (ACE) were sworn in before Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr. during the Association’s General Assembly on January 17, 2011 at the Almont City Hotel, this City.

ACE is composed of Regional Directors and Assistant Regional Directors of regional line agencies in Caraga Region.

The new set of officers, headed by their President, Atty. Rene K. Burdeos, Regional Director of DILG Region XIII, will serve the Association for 2011-2012, is guided by the goal of their Constitution and By-Laws which is to forge closer ties among its members, develop managerial skills and set mutual benefit mechanisms.

In his acceptance speech, RD Burdeos thanked the members for the overwhelming attendance during the assembly. The new ACE Prexy reminded the members that the primary purpose of the Association is to forge closer ties among the members to attain better delivery of their agency’s services to the people.

RD Burdeos added that ACE will also forge strong partnership with the City Government of Butuan considering that the ACE members are based in Butuan City.

“ACE members are experts in their own field. The members should always make sure that they’ll be constant advocates of the present Administration’s battlecry: Tapat na Palakad, Patungo sa Bayang Maunlad, RD Burdeos said.

Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr., the guest of honor and the inducting officer, thanked the members for choosing him to be part of the First General Assembly. He requested the members to continue supporting Butuan City through the Association’s projects.

New ACE officers are the following: President – DILG-Caraga Regional Director Atty. Rene K. Burdeos; Vice President – COMELEC-Caraga Regional Director Francisco G. Pobe; Secretary - RTWPB Board Secretary Earl dela Victoria; Treasurer – DBM-Caraga Asst. Regional Director Helen Dumayas; Auditor - DBP Butuan Branch Manager Sisinio Narisma; and Public Information Officer – PIA-Caraga Regional Director Abner M. Caga.

The newly elected board members are: DOST-Caraga Regional Director Lyndo Villacorta, DAR-Caraga Regional Director Faisar Mambuay, TESDA RD Florencio Sunico, and DepEd Schools Division Superintendent Cruzita ZM. Taala. (Mary Christine Anthonette M. Salise, DILG-13/PIA-Caraga)


Manila de Bugabus MPC receives P4M worth of assistance from DA-SAIS-BC

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 19 (PIA) - The Department of Agriculture through the Strengthening of the Agro-Industrial Sector in Bicol and Caraga Regions (SAIS-BC) project in coordination with the LGU of Butuan City, turned over to the Manila de Bugabus Multi-Purpose Cooperative an Integrated Cassava Processing Center.

The cooperative has been engaged into cassava business since 2003 with cassava chips and cassava granules as its main products. With the assistance they received from SAIS-BC it is expected that they could boost their production and expand it for the benefits of its members.

The turn-over ceremony was held at the project site last December 16, 2010 and was attended by City Councilor Angelo Calo, City Agriculturist Engr. Alberto Buca, Agencia Española Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarollo (AECID) Regional Technical Officer Nielo Tingzon, DA Regional Executive Director Reinerio B. Belarmino, Jr., some DA staff and members of the cooperative.

Director Belarmino congratulated the Manila de Bugabus MPC for being one of the lucky five (5) cooperatives in the region that engages in cassava business to receive assistance. In his speech, he suggested that it is better for the said cooperative to further put up a piggery production so that the cassava granules be used for feeds instead of selling it. In this manner, it can help increase the swine production which the region lacks in supply. He also commended the SAIS-BC for its huge impact on the farmers and added that hopefully the project, which will culminate in the end part of 2010 will have an extension or Phase 2 .

On the other hand, Mr. Tingzon said that the project through the AECID wants to see that the beneficiaries put to good use the assistance given to them and be able to realize their objectives .

The project which is worth over P4 million includes facilities and equipments such as cassava processing center, mechanical flatbed dryer, chipping machine, granulator, multi-purpose drying pavement, hauling truck and farm tractor.

The SAIS-BC is a bilateral project implemented by the Philippine Government through the Department of Agriculture and the Spanish Government through the AECID to promote the agri-business sectors in Bicol and Caraga Regions. (Vanessa P. Sanchez, DA-13/PIA-Caraga)


GSIS needs SP Resolution to grant calamity loans

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 19 (PIA) – The Government Service Insurance System have not yet started processing calamity loans as still waits for the copy of the Sangguniang Panlunsod resolution declaring Butuan under a state of calamity.

GSIS Butuan Manager Mamole Pangandaman issued a statement to Radyo ng Bayan to answer queries about the granting of Calamity Loans to GSIS members affected by the recent flooding.

The emergency loan is available to eligible members working in government offices located in areas declared by the local government as under a state of calamity.

Pangandaman said, “There will be no problem, GSIS will be offering emergency loans to members working in calamity-declared areas as soon as we will be provided with the approved resolution.”

As of this writing, the provincial government of Surigao del Norte have submitted the resolution declaring the province under the state of calamity.

However, Pangandaman revealed that GSIS still has to receive the final approval from GSIS-Central Office for the release of appropriated budget for the emergency loan program for members who are victims of calamities.

“The sooner we get the copy of the SP resolution, the quicker we can process requests for the release of the budget from the central office and immediately start processing applications for a calamity loan,” added GSIS Butuan Manager Pangandaman.

Previous years, GSIS grants 20,000 loan with an interest rate of only 8 percent yearly and payable in three years. (Jocelyn E. Morano/PIA-Caraga)
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Tree planters, truckers told to strictly observe load limits

By: David M. Suyao

Agusan del Sur Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza calls on tree planters and truckers to strictly observe load limits when transporting planted specie logs to avoid further destruction of the national highway.

During the peace and order council meeting recently, Gov. Plaza said he observed that all trucks loaded with falcate logs are practicing overloading that primarily causes the destruction of the national highway that connects Butuan City to Davao City.

“Everyone of us here are stakeholders. Therefore, let us not finger point on who is responsible to act on this practice because in the future, we will be the ones that will suffer if our national highway will be destroyed,” Gov. Plaza said.

Gov. Plaza also called on Engr. Jaime Bernat of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) if he has knowledge how much the weigh bridge cost because he believes it is the only legal way to determine if the truck loaded with heavy materials comply with the load limit.

“I will seek the help of our two congresswomen in the province to help finance the putting up of the weigh bridge. This is the only way we can penalize those who violate the law of loading. If possible, we will have two weigh bridges and put them at the boundaries in Trento and in Tabon-tabon, Sibagat,” Gov. Plaza added.

Gov. Plaza also said that he observed that the most damaged portion of the road is on the right side when going to Butuan City because that is the side where the overloaded trucks pass when transporting their cargoes mostly logs to Butuan City.

Everyday, around 20 ten-wheeler trucks pass by the national highway loaded with falcate logs to Butuan City and other places for milling. Agusan del Sur is noted for its tree plantation and that ignites alarm to the local government to set a law that would regulate the loading. (PIA-Agusan del Sur)