2.20.2011

PIA News Service - Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011

Caraga to get bigger budget from national gov't

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 20 -- “Caraga Region will get bigger chunk from the national budget for its poverty reduction programs,” Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio P. Abad said during the Regional Budget Consultation conducted recently by the Regional Development Council (RDC) at Luciana Convention Center, Butuan City.

“From 37.6 percent in 2003, the region’s poverty incidence among families in 2009 worsened at 39.8 percent,” Secretary Abad added.

Recent data released by the National Statistical and Coordination Board (NSCB) show that Caraga was the poorest among the country’s 17 regions, a step back from its modest improvement in 2006 being the second poorest next to Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Since the region will be competing against other groups, Secretary Abad advised “to lobby vigorously for its budget in 2012.” Caraga is one of the four regions where Secretary Abad attended the regional budget consultations. These four regions are the bottom four in poverty situation.

Asked by the media during the press conference on the implication in the region’s poverty situation of Executive Order 23, which implements total log ban in natural and residual forests, Secretary Abad suggested to include the affected families in the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand Amante bared that a total of 13,000 families are affected by the total log ban since these families are engaged directly in the agro-forestry industry.

The RDC asked the regional line agencies (RLAs) to present their budgets and corresponding programs, activities and projects (PAPs) that are aligned to Presidents Aquino’s Social Contract, Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP), Regional Development Plan (RDP), Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Disaster Risk Reduction-Climate Change Adaption (DRR-CCA).

With comments by the RDC and the civil society groups integrated in the proposed budgets, these will be endorsed to their respective central offices for consideration prior to submission to DBM.

This year, comments from the civil society organizations are strongly solicited and made part of the budget process. The budget call for 2012 was issued earlier to ensure ample time for consultations, particularly with the private sector.

Secretary Abad emphasized that the budget process should not merely be a venue for allocating funds to programs and projects. Rather, the budget process should be an exercise in empowering people by giving the regions a voice in determining the way public funds are spent and a hand in plotting their own destiny. (Ian G. Miculob, NEDA-13/PIA-Caraga)

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NPA surrenders on Heart’s Day

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 20 --Another member of the New People’s Army(NPA) surrendered on Valentine’s Day February 14, making a total of six (6) surrenderees since the start of 2011 alone according to the Army’s 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division.

Florendo Entoc aka Ka Enen/Rohel Bayang a resident of Barangay Lahi, Gigaguit Surigao del Norte voluntarily surrendered with a cal.38 pistol to the Community Organizing for Peace and Development (COPD) team under 1Lt Jefrrey DG Lumague at the temporary base in Barangay Lahi. Entoc is a a member of fire squad Abe of Guerilla Front 16 A, North-Eastern Mindanao Regional Command (NEMRC).

According to Major General Victor A. Felix, Commander of the 4th Infantry Division said that he is very pleased with the increased numbers of rebels who surrendered.

“The recent surrender of another member of the NPA is a good sign from the field that more and more of the rebels are not satisfied with their lives within the armed struggle and that they trust our COPD teams,” Felix said.

4th ID Spokesperson Major. Eugenio Julio C. Osias IV Commanding Officer of the 4th Civil Military Operations (Masaligan) Battalion said that we attribute the recent surrender to the success of our COPD teams.

“The increase of surrenderees is the result of our COPD activities in the region punctuating the Army’s commitment in the pursuit of lasting peace and development. This is also a sign that more of our armed brothers are tired of the armed struggle. They are now willing to help convince their friends and comrades to put down their arms and join the mainstream of society,” Osias said. (4th Infantry (Diamond) Division, Philippine Army/PIA-Caraga)

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ECEP employs 350 in Surigao Sur

TANDAG, Surigao del Sur, Feb. 20 (PIA) –- The Emergency Community Employment Program (ECEP) of the national government immediately employed 350 laborers/workers from three municipalities of this province affected by the recent floodings.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Provincial Director Hermie Daytoc revealed that President Noy personally handed over the check amounting to P510,300 to Gov. Johnny Pimentel during his visit to Butuan City recently. “The said check was intended for 350 beneficiaries from the municipalities of Tandag, Tago and San Miguel,” Daytoc added.

Accordingly, the funds from DOLE represent as 60% counterpart for 10 days work and 40% from the Local Government Unit (LGU) share respectively.

LGU will be responsible for the program implementation like the evaluation of the most affected areas, selection of workers, implementation of work plan and project implementation.

It can be recalled that the whole province was declared Under State of calamity thru Resolution No. 193 approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan on January 4.

Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) revealed that almost all of the 18 municipalities and lone City here were reportedly affected as a major impact and effects of Northeast Monsoon and Tail End of Cold Front on January 2-4, 2011. Flashfloods and landslide occurred again on February 1-2 where State of Calamity still in effect. (NGBTranquilan/PIA Surigao del Sur)

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NSO-Caraga celebrates 20th Civil Registration Month

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 20 -- National Statistics Office (NSO) both its regional and provincial offices joins the nationwide celebration of the Civil Registration Month with this year’s theme: “Quality Civil Registration in Support of the National Development Goals”.

Expected to participate in the celebration for the whole month of February are local civil registry offices all over the region.

Mass Civil Weddings are scheduled in different municipalities initiated by the local government units through the Civil Registry Offices and the Office of the Mayor. Mass Wedding or “Kasalan ng Bayan” will facilitate the solemnization of those couples who are living together for more than five (5) years (Article 34) without the benefit of marriage for free.

Also, there will be an On-the-Spot Poster Making Contest to all interested High School students in Butuan City on February 24, 2011.

Other activities lined up for the celebration include the 3rd Civil Registrar Quiz on February 28, 2011. This will be participated by selected Civil Registry Staff in the region. Mobile Registration and information campaign/symposium to different barangays and schools are also conducted by the NSO Provincial Offices in coordination with the different city/municipal civil registrars.

Moreover, in line with the expansion of CRS outlet in the region, a new CRS outlet will be opened in Surigao City Monday, February 21, 2011. Copies of the civil registry documents will be easily accessed by our fellow Surigaonons and other neighboring area.

Also, Batch Request System (BReqS) Provincial Outlet will be launched this February 22, 2011 at NSO-Tandag, Surigao del Sur Branch, and this will be implemented to cater the needs of the residents from Dinagat and Siargao Islands and other neighboring municipalities.

The declaration of the month of February of every year as the Civil Registration Month was issued by the former President Corazon C. Aquino through Proclamation No. 682, issued on January 28, 1991. It aims to “remind the citizenry of their duty to register acts and events concerning status of persons, and enhance nationwide awareness and appreciation of the legal, administrative and statistical values of civil registry documents.” Likewise, it seeks to “underscore the necessity for Congress to provide adequate funds for enforcement and administration of laws on civil registration”. (Villa S. Bayotas/PIA-Caraga)