Butuan Mayor orders full, impartial arson investigation; suspends civil security unit
By: Robert E. Roperos
BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 7 (PIA) – Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante Jr. on Saturday ordered a full and impartial arson investigation on the fire which gutted the old city hall building early morning on Friday, Feb. 4 where the offices of the City Commission on Audit (COA), Professional Regulations Commission (PRC), City COMELEC, City Land Transportation and Traffic Management Office (LTTMO), City Vice-Mayor, Old City Treasurer, part of Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP), among others, are located.
Mayor Amante also ordered the suspension of all Civil Security Unit (CSU) personnel assigned within the City Hall premises during the incident, including its officers, pending the result of the investigation.
In related development, Vice Mayor Lawrence Lemuel Fortun confirmed that the People’s Hall located at the third floor of the new city hall building will temporarily be utilized as the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Office and Session Hall.
Also, offices affected by the fire were directed to look for vacant areas in local government offices. Meanwhile, some national government agencies located in the city also offered areas of their offices where the affected city hall personnel can temporarily use and continue their work. (PIA-Caraga)
Butuan Mayor assures Butuanons, flood and fire will not deter his administration
By: Robert E. Roperos
BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 7 (PIA) – Following the series of calamities which hit the city this year, City Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr. assured Butuanons that flood and fire – a veritable, as well as a literal, baptism of water and fire for his administration – will not deter him from righteously governing the local government unit.
In a press statement issued by the city hall on Saturday (Feb. 5), the city chief stressed that he is very disheartened by the series of misfortunes that befell the Butuanons.
“While, my heart aches reflecting upon the damage caused by the recent flooding, I am truly devastated by this fire that gutted the old City Hall building where the City Commission on Audit (COA) Office is located,” the official said.
Mayor Amante added the recent fire is preventable that is why the official is upset over the incident. He also said the incident comes after the worst flooding experienced by the local folks here in recent years.
Amante said records that are very crucial in instituting changes in the city has been lost but the official is still hoping and praying that said records are still retrievable.
It can be recalled that the city has experienced two massive floodings during the start of the year displacing number of families and properties. On Friday, February 1, a fire razed the old city hall building at around 4:00 a.m.
As of press time, the city government is conducting an investigation on the incident. The damage to properties was estimated at around P15 million. (PIA-Caraga)
Surigao Norte solon backs EO 23
By: Robert E. Roperos
BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 7 (PIA) – Surigao del Norte 2nd District Representative Guillermo Romarate, Jr. today said he is with President Benigno S. Aquino III when the country’s chief executive signed on Thursday Executive Order No. 23 declaring a moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber in the national and residual forests and creating the anti-illegal logging task force.
According to Cong. Romarate, the recent massive flooding and landslides which hit all provinces in Caraga Region can be attributed to the extreme illegal logging activities in some areas of the region.
The directive emphasized that the entire country has been a witness to the ever-changing climate conditions brought about by the La Niña phenomenon.
It also said the destructive effects of the phenomenon on the environment are apparent in many regions in the country and it is an accepted fact that the effects are worsened due to the continuous denudation of the forest zones.
With these developments, Romarate said he strongly believed and agree with Pres. Aquino’s declaration of the directive. “The executive order is just in time with all the calamities that have been experiencing not only here in Caraga Region but as well as in the other regions of the country especially those that were greatly affected,” Romarate said. (PIA-Caraga)
32nd reg’l reservist week set in Butuan
By: Jennifer P. Gaitano
BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 7 (PIA) – The 15th Caraga Regional Community Defense Group, Army Reserve Command based in Bancasi will host the 32nd Regional Reservist Week Convention with the theme: “Laang Kawal: Kabalikat ng Bayan sa Pagsulong ng Kapayapaan”, on February 12, 2011, 9:00am at Sanchez Gym, Caraga State University Main Campus, Brgy. Ampayon, this city.
This event will be participated by some 320 participants coming from the Reserve Components of the Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force, and Philippine Navy respectively.
Also, prior to the conduct of the Regional Reservist Week Convention, a 1-day advocacy campaign will be undertaken purposely to intensify the recruitment of reservists on February 11, 1:30pm at the Kalayaan Hall, Bancasi, this city.
During the whole day advocacy, participants will be briefed on Republic Act 7077 or the Reservist Act of 1991, and other topics will also be discussed. An open forum will then follow.
Meanwhile, on its second day, participants will also be briefed on the Internal Peace and Security Plan “Bayanihan”, and on the Disaster Risk Reduction Management. Afterwhich, officials will then give update on the Reservist and Retireee Affairs Policies and Programs.
Expected guest speakers of this 2-day event are Agusan del Norte Provincial Gov. Erlpe John M. Amante, and BGEN Joel P Ibañez, Commander ARESCOM. (PIA-Caraga)
Surigao Norte gov throws support for EO 23
SURIGAO DEL NORTE, Feb. 7 (PIA) – Gov. Sol Matugas has expressed her full support over President Benigno Aquino III’s issuance of Executive Order (EO) 23 which orders a total log ban all over the country.
Signed by the President on February 1, EO 23 declared a moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber from natural and residual forests, prohibiting for an indefinite period the cutting down of trees not planted by man.
“I like that, I support that because that has been our dream to really enforce the law in illegal logging,” said Gov. Matugas.
The lady governor said that it is really a good move for the present administration to protect the remaining forest cover of the country. “What I would like to expect from the present administration is that they must have a political will in enforcing the law,” said Gov. Matugas.
Gov. Matugas also suggested a tree-farming concept where loggers are only allowed to cut trees in a designated area. “What I would also like to suggest to the present government is that they should identify a designated area where to cut trees, somewhat like a tree-farming concept.”
“The government should plan ahead of time on what trees they are going to cut. We can’t really say na waya gajuy utdon (that we don’t cut trees anymore),” Gov. Matugas added.
“We need to plan ahead of time for environmental protection. It’s a no non-sense plan. As for the province, we will support the action of the present administration,” said Gov. Matugas.
Just recently, the province experienced massive flooding which killed at least 6 persons, left 20,537 homeless and has caused the local government multi-million pesos for damaged properties. (FEAbkilan, PIA-Surigao del Norte)
Massive floods isolate all barangays in San Miguel, Surigao Sur
TANDAG, Surigao del Sur, Feb.7 (PIA) –The massive flooding that hit the province for the second time this year has isolated the interior municipality of San Miguel, this province.
For many years now, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) identified the municipality of San Miguel as flood prone area. Fifteen (15) of 18 barangays were submerged in water after the Tago River overflowed due to incessant rains on January 31 to February 2.
PDRRMC partial report revealed, the 7,676 families were affected during the height of the flooding where 225 families were evacuated from two Barangays of Tina and Baras.
Residents from the three interior upper barangays of Bagyang, Bitaugan and Calatngan were also isolated due to the strong current of Tago River.
As of press time, the Office of the Provincial Agriculture and the Department of Public Works and Highways did not reveal yet the estimated cost of damages. (NGBTranquilan/PIA Surigao del Sur)
PSWD reaches out to farthest barangays on relief distribution
By: David M. Suyao
AGUSAN DEL SUR, Feb. 7 (PIA) - The Provincial Social Welfare and Development (PSWD) has already extended relief assistance to 13,249 families or 73,747 persons, since the second occurrence of floods on February 1 that hit Agusan del Sur.
According to PSWD chief Josefina Bajade, day and night, her office has been occupied with packing and delivery of relief goods.
“During the day, we deliver the relief goods even to the farthest barangays, and at night, we repack the relief goods, each pack contain three kilos of rice, three tins of sardines, three packs of noodles, sugar, coffee and even used clothing if there are kind hearted Agusanons that will donate used clothing. Our unfortunate brothers and sisters need them badly. Even old blankets, mosquito nets, and other items that can warm the flood victims,” Mrs. Bajade said.
With the large number of flood victims, the PSWD has already delivered some 2,000 sacks of rice, almost a thousand cases of sardines, 1,376 cases of noodles, 230 cases of coffee, 205 cases of Milo and fivr sacks of sugar, as of February 6.
The volume of relief goods did not include the distribution that the PSWD made for the victims of the January 3 floods, which already reached up to 1,500 sacks of rice, more than 700 cases of sardines, almost 900 cases of noodles, around 150 cases coffee and around 130 cases of Milo last January 18.
“As of February 6, we have already served 49,172 families or 249,814 persons badly affected by floods. Today, we will leave after lunch, to again distribute the relief goods after we finish packing. The order of Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza is to reach even the farthest barangays affected by floods, especially the lumads. The governor cannot imagine how hard their life as of now. That is why we are on the double with our distribution,” Mrs. Bajade said.
The recent flood that hit Agusan del Sur has left behind some 21,000 families or 111,000 persons as victims of flood, P94,747,100 damages in infrastructure and some P540,000 in agriculture. (PIA-Agusan del Sur)
Bislig City to host 3rd Calagan Festival, WOW Araw ng Caraga 2011
TANDAG, Surigao del Sur, Feb. 7 (PIA) – Bislig City of this province will host the 3rd Calagan Festival-WOW Araw ng Caraga spearheaded by the Department of Tourism (DOT) Caraga. The annual activity is a weeklong celebration set on February 22-23, 2011.
This is to commemorate the creation of Caraga Region when President Fidel V. Ramos signed into law Republic Act 7901 on February 23 1995. It can be recalled that the 1st WOW Araw ng Caraga was celebrated on February 2009.
One of the highlights of the Calagan Festival is the stationary form of dancing. This year’s dancing competition is based on the existing local festivals of respective provinces and cities in Caraga with the following: Agusan del Norte (Sipit-sipit ); Agusan del Sur (Naliyagan); Surigao del Norte (Bonok-bonok); Bislig City (Karawasan); Surigao del Sur (Kaliguan); Butuan City (Balangay); Surigao City (Bonok-bonok); Cabadbaran (Dagkot); and Dinagat Island (Bugkosan).
2011 is a great opportunity to the lone city of this province to promote Bislig City as one of the destinations in Southern Philippines in terms of eco-tourism and aqua-marine products. (NGBTranquilan/PIA Surigao del Sur)