2.15.2011

PIA News Service - Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011

8,500 free books given to five municipalities in AgSur

By: David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Feb. 15 -- Some 8,500 free books were handed over to five municipalities in Agusan del Sur to supplement the educational materials of students in the elementary and high schools as contribution of the Asia Foundation to national development, international understanding and English-language literacy.

In a simple ceremony at the Provincial Training Center in Patin-ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, Vice Gov. Santiago Cane Jr. and DepEd Schools Division Supt. (SDS) Cruzita ZM Taala received the books from Efren Balajadia of the Asia Foundation witnessed by provincial officials and teachers from Agusan del Sur with a promise to fully utilize the books to its fullest in order to elevate the learning quality of education in the province.

“Education, being the top priority program of the provincial government, we, the officials and people of Agusan del Sur are deeply grateful for the concern of Asia Foundation for responding to our needs to provide these precious books in order to give quality education for our students, both in the elementary and secondary school,” Vice Gov. Santiago Cane said.

The 8,500 books will be apportioned to 144 elementary and 23 high schools in the five municipalities in the province. The elementary schools in the municipality of Bayugan will receive the highest share with 54 elementary schools and 2 high schools, followed by San Francisco with 28 elementary schools and seven high schools. Rank 3rd recipient is Trento with 28 elementary schools and four high schools, Bunawan with 20 elementary schools and eight high schools and the last is Sta. Josefa with 14 elementary schools and two high schools.

As words of acceptance, SDS Cruzita Taala said Agusan del Sur is one of the most privilege provinces to the precious books which she said will be a great contribution to acquiring higher level of understanding and knowledge in English.

“As we are greatly honoured to be the recipient of the Books for Asia Program, rest assured we will make use of these blessings to the fullest and give extra care for the books so that our children, not only in the present generation but also for the next and following generation, can benefit what these books can give,” Supt. Taala said.

The Asia Foundation has been running its books for Asia (BFA) program for more than five decades now. The program includes the regular distribution of books and other reading materials for all educational levels in more than 18 countries throughout Asia. Under the Transparent Accountable Governance Project with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Asia Foundation have distributed more than 400,000 books and reading materials to schools and libraries in different parts of Mindanao since 2003. (PIA-Agusan del Sur)

BFA program turns over 7,500 books & reading materials to Surigao Sur

Tandag, Surigao del Sur, Feb. 15 (PIA) – The Books For Asia (BFA) program of “The Asia Foundation” (TAF) successfully turned over some 7,500 children’s books and other reading materials to schools of the four municipalities and lone city in this province.

Surigao del Sur Gov. Johnny T. Pimentel graced the occasion together with the municipal mayors and representatives of Tandag, Hinatuan, Cagwait, Carrascal, Bislig City and the Department of Education (DepEd) headed by OIC Schools Division Superintendent Gregoria Su.

In his message, Gov. Pimentel extended his greatest gratitude to the Asia Foundation. He also thanked Dir. Efren Balajadia, the BFA program Director during the occasion.

On the other hand, Dr. Su promised that they will utilize and maximize the use of the books. She said they will take care of it so that it will last possibly for many years.

Also, TAF turned-over some 16,500 children’s books and reference materials to 330 schools in a separate ceremony held recently in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur on February 9 and here in Tandag this province on February 11.

The program has already distributed some 400,000 books valued at US$5.8 million as continuing efforts to support quality education in Mindanao. As the need for books remains, the requests are on the rise. Thus, the Books for Mindanao program expects to increase its distribution in the coming years. (NGBTranquilan/PIA-Surigao del Sur)

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DAR extends relief assistance to farmer-beneficiaries

BUTUAN CITY –-The Regional Office and the Provincial Agrarian Reform Office of Agusan del Norte in cooperation with the DAR-Employees Association and the Solid Employees Development Cooperative (SEDCO) recently distributed relief packs to over 200 affected Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) of Barangay Tagabaca, this city.

DAR-Regional Director Faisar M. Mambuay, assisted by PARO II Andre B. Atega represented by Development Facilitator Melodina Reyes of DAR Provincial Office and Barangay Captain Antonino Cantero of Barangay Tagabaca personally handed-in the relief packs to the farmer-beneficiaries, who were being affected with the said calamity.

“We are all affected by the calamity, but we in DAR will always gather our strengths if only to reach those in dire need," Mambuay said.

“This is part of our unsubstituted commitment to provide a holistic development in the rural communities,” he added.

The barangay of Tagabaca is an Agrarian Reform Community with over 400 agrarian reform beneficiaries. More than 300 hectares of rice land is damaged due to relentless downpour of the rain, which caused water systems to overflow and that inundated the area of Tagabaca particularly along the riverbank early in February. (Gil E. Miranda, DAR-13/PIA-Caraga)

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Indepedent body investigates cause of Butuan old city hall fire

By: Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 15 (PIA) -- City Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr. said in a press conference, that the city government has its own independent investigating body along with the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in finding out the main cause of fire that razes the old city hall building recently.

Amante said that the possible causes of fire may be faulty electrical wiring or electrical lines circuit-problem since the building was built years ago and arson. The fire according to witnesses started at the city division office of the Commission on Audit (COA).

Amante also bared that there were several division offices burned while some offices were just partially burned and were able to recover their office supplies, some office equipment, and documents.

Some of these offices are temporarily occupying the third floor of the city mayor’s office while others are temporarily staying in other big offices.

It can be recalled that the division offices of Philippine Regulatory Commission (PRC), Land Transportation and Traffic Management Office (LTTMO), Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP), and City Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Mayor Amante is asking the said offices to still serve the public despite the incident while the city government is still looking for resources for the reconstruction of new building for them. (PIA-Caraga)

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Caraga geohazard maps finally completed

SURIGAO DEL NORTE, Feb. 15 (PIA) - After five years in the making starting the year 2006, the 1:50,000 - scale landslide and flood susceptibility maps of Caraga Region is finally completed.

Covering 55 quadrangles of the entire Region-13, the generation of rain-induced geohazard maps digitized in a Geographic Information System (GIS) platform is one of the output components of the Geohazard Assessment and Mapping Program of the DENR - Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Regional Office No. 13 in support of the broader national government’s disaster management and mitigation programs.

These maps, a product of both desktop analysis and actual field surveys, are hoped to be of vital input in the integration and mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction (DRR) in the formulation of land use and physical framework plans at the subnational, provincial and local level.

The various output components of the geohazard mapping program at the regional level was duly accomplished with the active support from MGB Central Office.

The MGB Regional Offices IVA, IVB and X also helped in fielding geologists in their respective regions during the first phase part of the field geohazard assessment in 2006 to supplement personnel from the MGB XIII and MGB Central Offices. (MGB-13/PIA-Surigao Norte)

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Surigao sur gov sponsors 81 scholars under JTP-TESDA

TANDAG Surigao del Sur, Feb. 15 (PIA) – TESDA revealed that there are 81 enrolled beneficiaries scholars for Job through Tech-Voc Program (JTP), sponsored by the Provincial Government of Surigao del Sur thru the effort of Hon. Johnny Pimentel.

Accordingly, the provincial government sponsored P15,000 each scholar for Driving - Heavy Equipment Operator (On-Highway Dump truck); P3,500 each scholars for Driving – Light Vehicle and P6,000 each scholars for Masonry.

Part of its preparation for the program implementation is to find a training center where series of training will be conducted by the scholars.

According to TESDA Specialist Allan Millan, Governor Johnny Pimentel allocated funds amounting to some P600,000 for the renovation of the former Farmers Training Center thru coordination with the office of the Provincial Agriculturist to utilize as new Provincial Skills Training Center for the newly-opened program of the provincial government.

The implementation of the JTP is in coordination with the Provincial Engineering Office headed by Engr. Secarro, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist headed by Mr. Marcos Quico. (NGBTranquilan/PIA-Surigao del Sur)

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PhilHealth Butuan re-orients public on NHIP benefits

By: Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 15 (PIA) – The Philippine Health (PhilHealth) Insurance Corporation here re-oriented the general public on the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) benefits by the government, in time with its 16th anniversary celebrated under theme, “Tapat na serbisyo, Sapat na benepisyo, Lahat Panalo,” National health Insurance Program (NHIP) Regional Vice President Johnny Y. Sychua.

NHIP is the "new Medicare" with an expanded health package of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation - that is, through PhilHealth, local governments can give universal coverage to their citizens ensuring that people with illnesses do not become a burden to the local government.

It is a pro-poor benefit package that provides uniform benefits to all wherein premium payments can be made easily and conveniently, and reimbursements to hospitals and other health service providers are fast and orderly.

The NHIP benefits were effectively implemented on April 5, 2009 based on PhilHealth Circular No. 9, series of 2009.

Also, rural health units are paid through capitation by PhilHealth to provide quality outpatient benefits to indigent families.

Hospital Benefits (for all enrolled families) are the following: Room and board, drugs and medicines, X-Ray laboratory, professional fees, operating room, surgeon's fees, and anesthesia while the outpatient benefits (for enrolled indigent families only) are as follows: Primary consultation; Laboratory fees for chest X-ray, complete blood count fecalysis, urinalysis, and other laboratory exams.

Beneficiaries will receive the Benefit Payment Notice right after reimbursements is made by Philhealth.

Philhealth is calling on the public especially those who are not yet enrolled to enroll with their family members and learn more about the benefit packages offered by the country’s health insurance agency. (PIA-Caraga)

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Caraga NHIP membership grew 13.8 percent

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 15 -- The membership of a leading government socialized health insurance program in the region posted a robust double digit percentage growth at the close of the year 2010 as compared to that of the previous year, a top regional official said today.

On the occasion of its 16th anniversary celebrated under theme, “Tapat na serbisyo, Sapat na benepisyo, Lahat Panalo,” National health Insurance Program (NHIP) Regional Vice President Johnny Y. Sychua mentioned during a press briefing, that the NHIP registered membership had gone up to 602, 197 on January-December 2010 or an increase of 13.8 % as compared to 529,343 during the same period in 2009.

Sychua said that every February of each year, the entire nation celebrates the month-long national health insurance program month based on a Presidential Proclamation 1400 in 2007. The official said that this year’s theme mandated them to continue to strive and be committed to render better services to NHIP’s members and their dependents. “(This is our call) to be more responsive and effective in doing our task,” he said. He added that this year they will introduce or increase hospitalization benefits and outpatient services and improve their claims payment schemes. He said that all of these are aligned with the program’s renewed vision statement which is “adequate and affordable social health insurance coverage for all Filipinos.”

Sychua recalled that RA 7875 otherwise known as “The National Health Insurance Act of 1995” was created into law effecting the shift or change from the old medicare to the national health insurance program, primarily to accelerate universal coverage. It is also enhance or expand, he said, the benefits to include more outpatient services and also consolidate the medical care programs and functions administered previously by the Social Security Services (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and the Overseas Workers and Welfare Administration (OWWA), and to ensure sustainable national health insurance program for all Filipinos.

He said that in accelerating universal coverage, indigent families are enrolled in the program through the partnership of the national government, the local government units, some legislators, the civic clubs as well as other non-governmental organizations and private sponsors.

He also mentioned that nationwide, there were already 22.46 million Filipinos or families which are now covered by the program. This will translate, he said, to more than 60 % of the nation’s population which are now enrolled and can now avail with the benefits of the program.

He pointed out during his presentation that in Caraga region, the sponsored program accounts for 268, 678 enrollees, which means that they are “poor Caraganons,” which can now be benefited of the program.

The activity held at the NHIP regional office conference room was also attended by other senior NHIP regional officials including Mr. Sotico M. Cascara, chief MSD, Dr. Eduardo S. Gonzales, chief, HCDMD and those who presented to the local press the other updates of the program such as the “New Case Rate Payment” by Dr. Mary Grace S. Tanangkingsing, Chief, BAS; “Contribution Requirement for Availment” by Mr. Zandro B. Etic, SIO III and the “Increase in IPM Premium” by Ms. Evelyn C. Esguerra, Chief, Collection Unit.

The event was further highlighted by the pleasant intermission numbers rendered by the now famed PRO-Chorale and other NHIP talents with Ms. Parley U. Buyan, PRO III as the master of ceremony. (Noel B. Najarro/PIA-Caraga)

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Cebuano News: Libreng Medical Chek-up sa mga Empleyado sa Kapitolyo Ipahigayon

SURIGAO DEL NORTE, Feb. 15 (PIA) - Ang buhatan sa probinsya ubos sa administrasyon ni Gobernador Sol F. Matugas, mopahigayon ug libreng Panambal o medical check-up sa tanang empleyado sa kapitolyo aron mahatagan ug pag-atiman ang maayong panglawas sa mga empleyado.

Tungod kay mao kini ang usa sa pinaka bug-at ug daku nga gitutukan sa administrasyong Matugas kabahin na sa HEALS program niini.

Si Gobernador Sol F. Matugas nagbutyag nga iya karong gipanghingusgan ang pag pahaum sa programang paugnat sa kusog o ang gitawag nga “Fitness and Wellness Program” sa probinsya aron matubag ang sakto nga panglawas sa mga empleyado ug sa ingon nga mas mapalambo pa ang sakto nga pagserbisyo sa katawhang surigaonon. Ang pagpanambal sa mga empleyado sa kapitolyo mamahimong libre ug walay bayad sa mga balayranan sa pagpanambal sulod sa usa ka tuig.

Ang maong programa gibutyag sa gobernador atol sa selebrasyon sa Valentine’s Day, kagahapong adlawa, gipahayag sa gobernador ang sakto nga pag-amuma sa atong mga kasingkasing aron malugwayan pa ang atong kinabuhi. Apan kung dili nato kini atimanon, mao kini ang hinungdan sa pag-undang sa atong kinabuhi matud pa sa gobernador.

Ang pagpalihok sa maong programa pagapanguluhan sa Provincial Sports Council ubos sa pag pangulo ni Bise –Gobernador Arturo Carlos Egay, Jr. ug kini ipahigayon sa matag semana.

Namahayag si Gobernador Matugas nga mabalik ang pag paugnat sa kusog sa mga empleyado sa kapitolyo isip legasiya sa iyang uyoan nga si kanhi Gobernador Jose Sering. (Surigao del Norte Provincial Information Center/PIA-Surigao Norte)