2.11.2011

PIA News Service - Friday, Feb. 11, 2011

DepEd to get P32-B more budget in 2012 – Sec. Abad

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 11 (PIA) – Here’s good news to the Department of Education (DepEd), for the first time in more than ten years, DepEd is going to get a huge increase in its budget which is 32 billion pesos more making the 2012 budget to more than P200 billion.

This is what Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Sec. Florencio “Butch” Abad emphasized in his speech during the Caraga Regional Budget Consultation for fiscal year 2012 and Regional Development Council (RDC) special meeting held on Thursday in one of the local convention centers here.

With the huge increase of the budget, Sec. Abad said the Aquino administration hopes to cover the classroom gap before President Aquino’s term ends by providing substantial investments in the budget and by entering into co-financing programs with local government units, among others.

According to the official, the government has already discussed with the business community for them to be engaged in a build-and-transfer scheme using part of the yearly budget in the school-building’s amortization so that the private sectors can build public school buildings that DepEd and LGUs cannot build.

Sec. Abad also said Ayala Land is among the private sectors who are interested with the project. (PIA-Caraga)

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DAR gives relief to ARB flood victims

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 10 (PIA) -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) extended relief goods to agrarian reform beneficiaries in four (4) barangays last February 7-8, 2010.

Regional Director Faisar A. Mambuay led the distribution activities calling it a moral responsibility to the CARP beneficiaries. “This is a commitment to the people”, says Mambuay.

About 250 families in Brgy Tagabaca, Butuan City and 300 families in the Kaunlaran ARC covering Brgys Mambalili, San Marcos and Nueva Era, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur benefited from the relief operations.

The said barangays were reportedly submerged in floodwaters due to heavy rains since January 31 until February 3, 2011.

“This is a product of the employees initiative to pool our limited resources”, Mambuay added. The office also tapped the employees associations and cooperatives, civic group and private individuals to join in the effort.

Mambuay also said the activity will be done also in the other provinces in the region. (Joie L. Ceballos, DAR-13/PIA-Caraga)

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DSWD distributes 5000 family packs to Surigao del Sur flood victims

TANDAG, Surigao del Sur, Feb. 11 (PIA) - Surigao del Sur Provincial Social Worker Development (PSWD) officer May Navidad Salinas revealed that Surigao del Sur received 5,000 family packs of relief goods from DSWD Caraga.

In an interview, Salinas said that the family packs will be distributed to the eight municipalities reportedly submerged in water during the heavy rains on January 31-Febraury 2. The following municipalities are: San Miguel (800); Carrascal (800); Lanuza (700); Madrid (600); Cantilan (600); Tandag (500) and two municipalities from 2nd District of this province thru the effort of Congressman Garay, Tagbina (500) and Barobo (500) respectively.

According to Salinas, each family packs said to contain: 3 kilos of rice; 3 noodles; 4 tins corned beef and 5 tins sardines.

Distributions of the relief goods are still on-going through the Office of the Municipal Social Welfare and Development (MSWD) of the respective municipalities, Salinas added. (NGBTranquilan/PIA Surigao del Sur)

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Aquino admin to prioritize country’s poorest regions benefit poverty reduction program

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 11 (PIA) – Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Sec. Florencio “Butch Abad” on Thursday said the Aquino administration will prioritize the poorest regions in the country to benefit from the poverty reduction programs of the government.

Speaking before the local chief executives and regional heads of government offices during the Caraga Regional Budget Consultation for fiscal year 2012 which is also in time with the Regional Development Council (RDC) special meeting held in one of the local convention centers here, the budget chief said the four poorest regions: Caraga, ARMM, Region 8 and the Bicol Region will likely to be given priority to benefit from government's poverty reduction programs.

According to Sec. Abad, the flagship poverty reduction program of the administration involves three converging programs, and one of those is the Conditional Cash Transfer Program (CCT).

Abad added, this year, CCT has received a budget of 21 billion to cover 2.3 million indigent households by the end of 2011. “We are targeting to be able to reach 4.6 million households by the end of 2015,” he said.

“So, if the 21 billion is equivalent to 2.3 million households, you can very well see the magnitude of the investment that we are going to make in CCT by the end of 2015. That’s easily a minimum of 42 billion pesos. But that all depends on how well we are able to implement the program because we believe direct subsidy to poor people is the best way of actually reaching to the poor,” Abad added.

The regional budget consultation is aimed to generate comments and recommendation of the country’s budget chief on the budget proposals presented by the different local chief executives and heads of the regional government agencies in Caraga. (PIA-Caraga)

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Gov’t to invest more on public health

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 11 (PIA) – Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Florencio “Butch” Abad on Thursday said the government has invested “the highest ever investment amounting to 7.2 billion pesos” to build maternal health care centers nationwide.

Abad said one of the findings in their studies revealed that the country is underachiever in public health area. “In fact, 11 women died of child birth in the country everyday as a result of unplanned or complicated child births,” he said.

The government has also focused and gave value on immunization especially to newly-born babies where accordingly maternal deaths and child mortality rate is increasing especially in the urban areas, the official said.

In September 2010, the health department reported that in 1990, the maternal mortality rate of the Philippines was 209 deaths per 100,000 live births.

The DBM chief is here in the city to grace the Caraga Regional Budget Consultation for fiscal year 2012 and Regional Development Council (RDC) special meeting. (PIA-Caraga)