PIA News Service - Thursday, March 24, 2011

PAG-ASA eyes low pressure east of Southern Mindanao

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, March 24 (PIA) – A low pressure area was eyed at 2:00 a.m. today by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) and based on satellite and surface data, it is estimated at 520 kilometers east of Southern Mindanao (5.5oN, 130.5oE), wind convergence affecting Visayas and Mindanao including Palawan.

For the past 24 hours, observed rainfall ending at 8:00 a.m. today, revealed that Butuan City has 49.4 mm, Hinatuan – 22.5 mm and Surigao – 62.4 mm. PAGASA also forecasted rainfall from light to moderate for the next 24 hours.

Watercourses likely to be affected are rivers and streams in Surigao del Sur and Surigao del Norte particularly in Cantillan, Tandag City, Tago, Hinatuan, Actul, Caraga, Bislig, Gaas Lulet and Surigao river.

Likewise, rivers and streams in Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur particularly Agusan River and its tributaries like Ojot, Wawa, Andanan, Libang, Maosam, Gibong, Adgaoan, and Simulao will also be affected, the PAGASA advisory said.

Because of this, PAGASA issued warning to people living near the mountain slopes and in the low-lying areas of the above-mentioned river systems and the local Risk Reduction and Management Councils concerned as also advised to be alert for possible flashfloods and landslides. (PIA-Caraga)

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Nutrition Council seeks communication support from PIA-Caraga

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, March 24 (PIA) -- The National Nutrition Council (NNC), personnel of NCC-Caraga recently met with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Caraga seeking the latter’s support for its communication activities.

In a roundtable discussion, Rowena Gomez, NNC-Caraga Nutrition Officer requested PIA to share the agency’s best practices as NCC-Caraga is starting to be fully-operational in the region.

OIC-Regional Director Abner Caga said, the agency has made full use of the technology of internet and Short Messaging Systems (SMS) in its dissemination efforts.

Gomez thanked PIA for sharing with them the best practices of the agency as she acknowledged that the insights they learned will be put to good use in their communication activities.

The National Nutrition Council (NNC), as mandated by law, is the highest policy-making and coordinating body on nutrition. As such, it shall create a conducive policy environment for national and local nutrition planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and surveillance using state-of the art technology and approaches.

The council also ensures a functional cohesive, multisectoral and multilevel network to institutionalize the formulation and operationalization of policies and guidelines for efficient and effective program management.

It also intensifies advocacy and information dissemination efforts (public education) for nutrition-oriented decision-making in families and organizations.

Meanwhile, NNC strengthens competency of stakeholders through the provision of technical assistance, capacity building and skills development, and generates and mobilize resources to support innovative nutrition interventions at the national and local levels. (PIA-Caraga)

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KOICA-assisted Caraga Reg’l GIS Center inaugurated

BUTUAN CITY, March 24 – After almost two years since the Caraga Regional Development Council (RDC) passed a resolution establishing the Regional Geographic Information System Network (RGSIN), the Regional Geographic Information System (GIS) Center was inaugurated on March 22, 2011.

Mr. Kim Jin Oh, Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Resident Representative to the Philippines, graced the inauguration of the Regional GIS Center and the web-launching of the system. He expressed support to the success of the project and hoped for sustainability through the cooperation of the stakeholders. Mr. Kim revealed that Caraga is the priority region for KOICA’s assistance.

The Center received approximately US$50,000 worth of the software and hardware from the Korean Government through KOICA. Congressman Jose S. Aquino II of the First Congressional District of Agusan del Norte provided PhP250,000 for one unit GIS server, while the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) also provided GIS softwares and computers and conducted training on basic GIS.

A Korean volunteer (KOV) with expertise in GIS, Mr. Eun Sun Jang, fondly known in NEDA 13 as Brian, was deployed by the KOICA on November 2008. He was followed by Ms. Hyang Hee Kim (Kate in NEDA 13) whose expertise is in database management. Brian assisted in the finalization of the project proposal submitted to KOICA, identified the needed GIS software and hardware, and worked on the initial development of the system. Another KOV, Mr. Jong Seok Lee (Harry in NEDA 13) was loaned to NEDA-Caraga from Aurora State University to develop the web-based GIS. Kate, on the other hand, will develop the database for the social and economic statistics that will form part of the data capture for the system.

Mr. Joselito C. de Vera, executive director of the Philippine National Volunteers Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA), emphasized in his message at the launching ceremony that volunteers are partners in development. He said that the project will benefit the regional line agencies (RLAs), local government units (LGUs) and individual communities especially in hazard-prone areas.

NEDA 13 Regional Director Carmencita S. Cochingco encouraged government agencies in the region to access information and try the products and services for free at the Center. Some services, on the other hand, will be charged by the Center to defray expenses for materials, she added.

The operation of the GIS Center will serve as support mechanism for effective physical planning, decision and policy making, investment programming, monitoring and evaluation of socioeconomic development and environmental-related policies, programs, projects and activities.

The web-launching of the RGIS Center also included the ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on the operationalization of the RGIS Network.

ARD Cecilia L. Rosales of NEDA-Caraga led the toast to KOICA for its assistance to Caraga Region, and for NEDA-Caraga in particular. Other visitors who graced the launching ceremonies at NEDA-Caraga were KOICA Administrator Ms. A-young Kim and eight KOVs assigned from across the region; NEDA-VII Regional Director Marlene Ca. P. Rodriguez and the NEDA-VII staff Cornelio B. Guantero, Jr.; NEDA-II representative Ernesto D. Peralta; local chief executives and LGU representatives; regional directors of line agencies in Caraga; ODA partners based in Butuan City; private and state colleges and universities; the media, and other development partners in the region.

Clients can now log on at http://rgisn-caraga.neda.gov.ph to access GIS information of the region. (Ian G. Miculob, NEDA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

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DENR expresses support to newly-established RGIS Center in Caraga

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, March 24 (PIA) – Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Caraga Regional Technical Director for Forestry Management Service Musa Saruang recently expressed the agency’s support to the newly-established Regional Geographic Information System (RGIS) in Caraga Region.

During the project launching held recently at NEDA-Caraga grounds, RTD Saruang stressed with RGIS, DENR is one of the government agencies that will benefit from this state-of-the-art facility.

Saruang added that with the existing problems of land uses, land tenures and overlaps, DENR is hopeful these will be solved with the use of RGIS since the web-based information system will serve as repository of all files and information of all government offices in the region, including DENR.

It was learned that RGIS establishes a standard Base Map to guide all mapping activities of Caraga Region for which, DENR is among the government agencies responsible for conducting surveys as it is tasked to identify geo-hazard areas through its attached agency – the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).

Among the other specific objectives of RGIS Network include the standardization of the region’s GIS information on regional indicators, data formatting, and sharing protocol; Provide accurate, up-to-date and reliable spatial and non-spatial information and; Promote the utilization and application of GIS technology in Caraga Region.

The RGIS Center served as a hub of all GIS-generated data and information. It is also the main center for processing and integration of data and information, considered as a one-stop shop of regional data needs.

Further, RGIS act as a Resource Center of the region where publication of statistical data of Caraga can also be made.

The project is a joint undertaking of the Philippine government and the Republic of Korea through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). (PIA-Caraga)

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PNP should not hide police blotter to public – PNP 13

By: David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR, March 24 (PIA) – Newly installed Agusan del Sur police provincial director P/SSupt. Gerome Baxinela said police offices in all the municipalities in the province should not hide police blotter from the public particularly the media because people have the right to know what the police are doing.

In an interview with media, P/SSupt. Baxinila said, police blotter reflects the situation of peace and order of the community. It also identifies the unruly and trouble makers in the community.

P/SSupt. Baxinela explained this after the media informed him that many police stations and offices deny the log book where the blotters are listed and presented. Baxinela said, he will call the attention of all the municipal police chief not to deny the blotter to media so that they can help the police disseminate the information the public need.

Being new in the province, P/SSupt. Baxinela said he is happy to see for himself that Agusan del Sur as a whole is peaceful. “Unlike in Cotabato where I was previously assigned, I am very happy to see that the province of Agusan del Sur is peaceful and the people are friendly and hospitable. I am very optimistic that the people and the police will be working hand in hand to maintain the peace and order in the province and become part of the development and progress,” P/SSupt. Baxinela said.

According to Baxinela, his plan is to intensify police visibility in all the municipalities in order to contain petty street crimes since he was installed as police provincial director of Agusan del Sur.

“In a progressive place like Agusan del Sur, petty crimes like thief, assault in person and properties, physical injuries and homicide are rampant. We can stop or reduce these kind of crimes if we intensify our police visibility and impartiality,” P/SSupt. Baxinela said.

P/SSupt. Baxinela was installed as police provincial director on March 8, but his order to assume the post was dated March 1, 2011. (PIA-Agusan del Sur)

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Agusan del Norte to celebrate World TB Day in Buenavista

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, March 24 (PIA) -- Preparations for the World TB Day Celebration in the province of Agusan del Norte is underway with the Municipal Health Office of Buenavista and the Provincial Health Office finalizing the details of the event.

In a phone-patch conversation with Agusan del Norte Provincial Health Office Public Information Officer Jimmy Egay, the official said, series of activities are lined up for tomorrow’s event.

Egay said highlighting the celebration is an advocacy campaign and Tuberculin Skin Testing for children aged nine years and below, as well as a sputum test for residents from Brgy. Sacol in Buenavista, Agusan del Norte. A free medical service will also be conducted in the barangay, where people from neighboring municipalities can also avail.

Among the activities is the dedicatory signing of commitment of public and private stakeholders to support the TB program of the national government.

World TB Day, is an annual event celebrated every March 24th and is designed to build public awareness that tuberculosis today remains an epidemic in much of the world, causing the deaths of several million people each year, mostly in developing countries.

It was on March 24,1882 when Dr. Robert Koch astounded the scientific community by announcing that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus.

At the time of Koch’s announcement in Berlin, TB was raging through Europe and the Americas, causing the death of one out of every seven people. Koch’s discovery opened the way towards diagnosing and curing TB.

World Tuberculosis (TB) Day was announced in 1982, on the 100th anniversary of Dr. Koch’s discovery of the cause and cure of TB. (PIA-Caraga)

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RDC-SDC to accept, screen Caraga nominees to the 2011 search for Makabagong Rizal award

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, March 24 (PIA) -- NEDA-Caraga Regional Director and Regional Development Council (RDC) Chair Carmencita Cochingco, in a press statement said the Philippine Center for Gifted Education, Inc. (PCGE) based in U.P. Diliman, Quezon City has requested RDC-Social Development Committee (SDC) to accept and screen nominations to the 2011 nationwide search for Makabagong Rizal award.

According Dir. Cochingco, a total of 35 national finalists will be chosen to serve as exemplars of Filipino youths as envisioned by Philippines’ national hero – Dr. Jose P. Rizal.

Cochingco added the activity is in connection with the 150th birthday of our national hero.

Cochingo further said three shortlisted nominees will be selected from each level – elementary, secondary and tertiary, to represent the region in the national selection.

The project which carries the theme, “Mga Makabagong Rizal, Pag-asa ng Bayan,” was formally launched March 16, 2011 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). This project is a joint undertaking of the National Historical Commission (NHC), the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), and Tanghalang Pilipino. (PIA-Caraga)

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BFP Ag Sur conducts hospital fire drill

By: David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR, March 24 -- The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) conducted a fire drill and evacuation procedure at the D.O. Plaza Memorial Hospital (D.O.PMH), this province.

The drill was aimed at teaching hospital personnel what to do during incidence of fire for them to rescue and save patients who are helpless during emergencies.

F/Insp. Danilo Castor, BFP chief of Prosperidad said, the reason why serious physical damages and even death happens during the occurrence of fire is because of panic, ignorance and non-cooperation among the people where the fire is happening.

He emphasized the need for an organized group with specific tasks who will take the lead in emergency situations who shall guide the group on what to do.

“In an institution like the D.O. Plaza Memorial Hospital, personnel should be organized, in order that proper actions be implemented and rules be followed. Of course, the chief of hospital will automatically become the overall marshall, with an assistant, so that in case of fire and the chief of hospital will not be around, his assistant should automatically take over the command,” Castor said.

He emphasized on the need to always stay calm, to follow orders and to be aware of where the fire fighting equipments and alarms are placed, so that firefighters can immediately respond.

During the drill fire trucks with sirens blaring from BFP Prosperidad and the provincial government together with rescue vehicles and ambulance of the Search and Rescue Agusan del Sur team (SARAS) rushed to the D.O.PMH, with BFP personnel and SARAS volunteers. Upon arrival, they jumped off, bringing along their equipments and facilities and immediately proceeded to the supposed fire blaze, while the medical first responders immediately attended to victims.

In an interview with Dr. Joel Esparagoza, DOPMH chief, he said it is very important that drills like this should be conducted periodically so that everybody within the vicinity of the hospital will be knowledgeable and be of assistance during the occurrence of fire.

“Fire is our shared responsibility. It is therefore very important, especially in hospitals, that proper decision and movements be coordinated and managed. Of course, we have our strategies as hospital personnel, but proper delegation of responsibilities counts most. We are therefore very thankful that the BFP had conducted this drill to upgrade our knowledge and skills,” Dr. Esparagoza said.

The conduct of the drill, according to F/Insp. Cator, is part of the BFP activities in line with the celebration of the Fire Prevention Month. (PIA-Agusan del Sur)

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Troops recovered another firearm from NPA

CAMP EVANGELISTA, March 24 – Operating troops belonging to the 30th Infantry (Python) Battalion recovered a firearm and some ammunition after they encountered two NPA members in Purok 3, Lahi, Surigao del Norte yesterday, March 23, 2011.

Following a brief firefight with the troops, which lasted about five minutes, the two NPAs left an Ingram with 18 ammunitions, one (1) fragmentation grenade, and one (1) jungle hammock in the encounter site.

One of the NPAs was identified as Jeson Larong @ Jonas, member of the NPA’s Guerilla Front 16A while the identity of the other one is yet to be established. Both immediately fled from the area, leaving their gears behind.

“What we are seeing now is a consistency of our troops in effectively conducting their operations, their discipline and presence of mind with which they carry their assignments. Early this week, another unit in Surigao del Sur successfully seized an arms cache owned by the NPA. As our troops solidify the defenses in their respective areas, we also want to clip down the potential capability of the armed NPAs so as to prevent them from persecuting hapless civilians,” says Major General Victor A. Felix, Commanding General, 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division, PA.

Major Eugenio Julio C Osias IV, Commanding Officer of the 4th Civil Military Operations (Kasaligan) Battalion explained that operating troops is ingrained with exercises to automatically respond according to situations they are in. (4CMOBn/PIA-Caraga)

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10 mining firms in Caraga sign pact with DENR on Adopt a River/Estero program

BUTUAN CITY, March 24 (PIA) – Ten companies in Caraga Region have entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the DENR to develop a comprehensive program that would ultimately reduce pollution of the river that they will adopt through the “Adopt a River/Estero” program.

The formal signing of the agreement between the DENR and the companies in Caraga Region highlights the celebration of the World Water Day on March 22,2011.

According to DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje this year’s local theme, “Malinis na Katubigan para sa maunlad na pamayanan”, which is culled from the global theme, “Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge”, well describes government’s two-fold priority of clean water especially in urban areas and providing accessible water services to the poor.

The confirmation and sealing of the agreement was made on a simple ceremony held at the DENR Regional Training Center at Barangay Ambago in Butuan City on Tuesday headed by the Regional Technical Director for Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Mario L. Eludo who represented Regional Executive Director Leonardo R. Sibbaluca and the Regional Director of the Environment and Management Bureau Ester Olavides.The entire ceremony was witnessed by the staff and personnel of the EMB and the DENR.

Under the agreement, the parties concerned shall coordinate with each other and agree to determine the necessity of, and to the extent possible, plan for, dredging and desilting of the “ adopted river” and to provide other remedial measure to improve it such as planting of bamboo and other plant species along the river bank, rip-rapping or coco-matting and greening of linear parks among others.

The DENR through the EMB shall ensure that the measures to be applied to reduce pollution at the adopted river by the company are harmonized and consistent with the overall initiative of the DENR in improving the quality of water bodies in the country.

The EMB shall also facilitate actions against violators of Republic Act No. 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act) and Republic Act No. 9275 (Clean Water Act).

The participating companies on the other hand, shall assist in the information and education campaigns and community mobilization activities of the DENR and the concerned local government units to foster harmonious relations with, and solicit the community participation, cooperation, and support, for the program.

The agreement shall be effective immediately and shall remain in force for period of three years.

Director Eludo said “the condition of our rivers, other water bodies and waterways has been exposed to impact of rapid urban population growth.” He said “ the huge volume of silt, wastes and garbage and other debris have affected our waterways and become a threat to public health and safety.”

The companies in Caraga Region that signified their willingness to adopt a river/estero are the Philisaga Mining Company, MRL Gold Philippines Inc., Celebes Coconut Oil, Taganito Mining Corp., Oriental Vision Mining Philippines Inc., Plantinum Group Mining Corp, Shenzou Mining Group Co., MarcVentures Mining Development Co., SMRI and AAM Philippines. (Eric Gallego, RPAO DENR 13/PIA-Caraga)

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Cebuano news: Malakanyang nag-awhag sa mga katawhan sa pag suporta sa Earth Hour Day

SURIGAO CITY, Mar. 24 (PIA) - Ang malakanyang nag –awhag sa mga katawhan sa pag-apil og pagsuporta sa pagsaulog karong tuiga sa Earth Hour aron makadaginot sa enerhiya og sa kanunay kini mamahimo na nga usa ka maayong buhat.

“Buot namong sublion ang panawagan sa Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) sa pagsalmot og pagsuporta sa Earth Hour nga pagahimoon karong Sabado, Marso 26. Gi-awhag ang tanan sa pagpalong sa suga sulod sa usa ka oras,” matud ni Deputy Presidential Spokesman Abegail Valte.

Dugang pa ni Valte nga ubay-ubay na nga mga Pilipino ang misanong og misuporta sa maong programa og sila nanghinaut nga unta modaghan pa ang mosuporta karong tuiga dili lamang sa pagpalong sa suga kon dili labi na usab ang pagdaginot pagamit sa ilang mga appliances.”

“Kami naglaom nga mamahimo kining usa ka buluhaton kanatong tanan paingon sa kalamboan,” matud pa niya.

Niadtong miaging tuig sobra sa 1,000 ka siyudad ug munisipyo ang misalmot sa Earth Hour 2010. Karong tuiga ang League of Municipalities nga adunay 1,512 ka miyembro ang mosalmot og mosuporta sa Earth Hour 2011. Gi-awhag usab ang uban pang mga ahensiya sa gobyerno sa pagpakita sa ilang suporta.

Ang League of Cities of the Philippines, ang organisasyon sa siyudad uban ang 122 ka miyembro niini mopakita usab sa ilang suporta.

Ang maong Earth Hour usa ka kinatibuk-ang lakang aron pag-awhag sa katawhan, negosyante og gobyerno sa tibuok kalibutan sa paghimo ug maayong buhat alang sa kinaiyahan, sa pagpakita sa atong suporta pinaagi na sa pagpalong sa suga sulod sa usa ka oras.

Ang Earth Hour 2011 nagtinguha sa pagpakita sa lihok sa katawhan, negosyo ug gobyerno aron makonhuran ang epekto ngadto sa kinaiyahan.

Gi-awhag ang tanan sa pagsalmot niining usa ka kinatibuk-ang kalambigitang lakang sa pagtuki, pagpadayag og paghimo og mga saktong lakang og solusyon batok sa maong hagit sa kinaiyahan.

Ang Highlight sa Earth Hour 2011 magpakita sa tibuok kalibutan sa iyang labing talagsaon nga timaan sa kangitngit sulod sa usa ka takna nga oras diin gatos ug libooan ka katawhan sa nag kalain-laing nasod, relihiyon, kultura, katilingban, henerasyon og lokasyon mopalong sa ilang suga aron sa pag pakita sa ilang suporta niining kinatibuk-ang selebrasyon sa pagprotekta sa kalibutanhong kinaiyahan.

Ang Earth Hour 2011 pagahimoon karong Sabado, Marso 26, 2011 alas 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm, lokal time zone. (Susil Ragas, PIA-Surigao del Norte)

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Cebuano News: P-Noy Agrarian Reform Agenda nakakuha ug dugang pondo nga 27.5 million Euro

SURIGAO CITY, Mar. 24 (PIA) - Gisaksihan kagahapong adlawa ni Presidente Benigno S. Aquino III ang signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) nila Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) secretary Virgilio de los Reyes ug Italian ambassador Luca Fomari kalabot na sa Italian Assistance to Agrarian Reform Community Development Support Project ( IARCDSP).

Ang maong proyekto may kalabutan sa mokabat P2.6 Billion nga soft loans ug grants nga mukabat sa 26,190,016 euros gikan sa Italy lakip na ang 14,438,000 euros gikan sa Pilipinas isip counter contribution sa maong proyekto, tinguha niini nga mapausbaw ug mag makanunayon ang kita niadtong mga napiling Agrarian Reform Communities (ARCs).

Ang MOU signing gihimo kagahapong adlawa Marso 23, 2011 didto sa Oro Christian Grace School auditorium. Cagayan de Oro City.

Ang maong MOU signing gisaksihan nila Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sec. de los Reyes, Amb. Formari, DSWD secretary Dinky Soliman, DILG secretary Jess Robredo, DOH assistant secretary Nemesio Gaco, Gov. Oscar Moreno, Cong. Rufus Rodriguez ug lakip na ang dul-an 1,000 ka mga katawhan nga gikan sa mga nagkalain-laing sektor sa katilingban ug mga benipisyaryo sa nagkada-iyang poverty-alleviation projects sa gobyerno. (Susil Ragas, PIA-Surigao del Norte)