PIA News Service - Sunday, April 10, 2011

CSC pushes for 50-50 gender balance

MANILA, April 10 (PIA) - The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has called on government agencies to ensure equal participation and representation of women and men in the third level or executive/managerial level of government.

CSC chair Francisco T. Duque III wrote cabinet secretaries where he emphasized that the population of executives and managers in government is dominated by men. Thus, he urged cabinet secretaries to consider qualified women for appointment to vacant third levels or executive/managerial positions in their respective departments and attached agencies.

The CSC chief said that the third level handles the decision making and policy making processes in government.

“Thus, achieving gender balance in top level positions in the bureaucracy would ensure that both women and men equally contribute to and benefit from development,” he stressed.

Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women explicitly provides that, “Within the next five years, the number of women in third (3rd) level positions in government shall be incrementally increased to achieve a fifty-fifty (50-50) gender balance.”

As of August 2010, the percentage of women occupying third level positions was registered at 41.3 percent based on the Statistics on Filipino Women by the Philippine Commission on Women. (CSC-13/PIA-Caraga)

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Improved roads in AgSur to boost farmers’ income

ESPERANZA, Agusan del Sur, April 10 (PIA) – Farmers here are looking forward to improved incomes following the rehabilitation of two key provincial roads that connect hinterland communities to town centers.

The six-kilometer Crossing Luna-Duangan Road used to be passable only to motorcycles and big trucks during the rainy season; now it can handle all types of vehicles, cutting transport costs of farmers by 10 percent and travel time of commuters from one hour to 30 minutes.

“Gawas-sulod na ang mga sakyanan karon diri. Maayo ni nga panghitabo sa amoa. Kung daot ang dalan, gamay lang amoang makita. Usahay, dili dayon namo mabaligya ang amoang abot. Kaltasan sa buyer ug 5 o 6 kilo kada sako kung low quality na ang palay sama sa lahi na ang color niini (All types of vehicles can now pass through, which is good for us. Bad roads can reduce our income. At times, we could not sell our harvest immediately. The delay can cause discoloration of palay, lowering its quality and making buyers to deduct 5 to 6 kilos per sack upon payment),” said Rico Gungob, a resident of Brgy. Catmonon, one of the four barangays that the road cuts through.

The palay buying price was at P12 per kilo in their last harvest, said Gungob, who has already started planting palay for this cropping season.

Though most buyers from the town proper travel to the farms to pick up the harvest, their vehicles usually cannot make it through the terrible road conditions. Floodwaters and mud reach knee-deep during rainy season, according to Gungob, forcing farmers to hire motorcycles to ferry their goods to the waiting vehicles. This entailed a hauling fee for each sack of palay from the farmers’ own purse.

“Gamay na lang lagi mi’g kita. Grabe na amoang paningkamot (We earn less though we’ve really worked hard),” he lamented.

Data from the Agusan del Sur provincial agriculture office show that the province falls under a Type II climate – there is no dry season in the area while rains fall hard during December and January.

Gungob said he and other farmers would no longer have to pay extra for hauling and handling their produce over poor surfaces, thanks to the refurbished P25-million Crossing Luna-Duangan gravel road, which is equipped with pipe and box culverts as well as line canals. The rehabilitation project was funded by AusAid’s Provincial Roads Management Facility (PRMF) and implemented in partnership with the Department of Interior and Local Government and the provincial government. It will directly benefit around 5,000 people residing in barangays Crossing Luna, Catmonon, Labao, and Duangan.

The Australian government assistance is not confined to actual road works alone. In Agusan del Sur and six other provinces, the five-year (2009-2014) PRMF is using the road sector as the entry point for improving overall service delivery through reforms in provincial government practices. Capabilities of provincial personnel will be improved along with the systems that support road maintenance — from budgeting, internal auditing and procurement, to contract management and engineering services. Funds for road rehabilitation and maintenance will enable the provinces to put into practice the reforms undertaken.

Other provinces supported by PRMF are Surigao del Norte, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Bukidnon, Guimaras, and Bohol.

Aside from the Crossing Luna-Duangan road, PRMF is also rehabilitating the six-kilometer Pisaan-Borbon-Tagapua Road in San Francisco town, directly serving around 7,000 people. Improved at a cost of P24.6 million, the road will also draw commuters from the nearby town of Talacogon, and reduce travel time to the commercial center of San Francisco by 30 minutes.

The two roads are among the core network of provincial roads identified by the local government and seen as the vital links of the communities to key markets. The PRMF will contract out to private firms the annual maintenance of these two roads in the next three years.

The Provincial Roads Management Facility (PRMF), a five-year (2009–2014) A$100-million initiative of the governments of the Philippines and Australia, aims to spur economic activity in the southern Philippines and make infrastructure and social services in the region more accessible to the public. Through PRMF, the Australian government is working with the Philippine government to rehabilitate and maintain core road networks in the Visayas and Mindanao. Partner provincial governments are also being assisted to address and overcome constraints to road network planning and management.

PRMF aims to boost the local economy by improving road transport so that more people will have better access to rehabilitated and maintained road networks, economic activity, and public infrastructure and services that will improve their livelihoods. Better roads will also improve access to jobs, health services and essential social and educational facilities in rural and regional areas. (Leah Bugtay/PIA-Caraga)

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Cebuano News: Balanghayan Grow A Million Tree Project gilusad ni Mayor Jun Amante

BUTUAN, April 10 (PIA) - Tinambungan sa mga empleyado gikan sa nagkalain-laing ahensya sa gobyerno, gilusad niining adlawa, Abril 9, ang Balanghayan Grow A Million Tree Project pinaagi sa usa ka mabulukon nga programa diin gipasabot sa atong Halangdong Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante Jr nga kini nga programa alayon sa programa ni Presidente Benigno S. Aquino III nga makapananum aron masagop ang atong nasud sa padayon nga kadaot sa kinaiyahan dala sa atong pag-abuso sa atong kakahoyan.

Kauban ang tibook konseho ug si Bise Mayor Law Fortun, madasigon nga gipahigayon ang usa ka Tree Planting caravan ngadto sa pito ka mga barangay niining Syudad nga gilangkuban sa Brgy Ampayon, Buhangin, Mahay, Bit-os, Bancasi, Libertad ug Ambago diin usa ka libo nga seedlings sa Kayam, Mahogany, African Tulips ug mga Bakhawan ang natanum karong adlawa.

“Sa atong populasyon nga 300,000, kung ang tanan mutanum og 3 ka binhi matag adlaw, ang I million trees nga atong gilaum daling makab-ot dayon,” kini ang deklarasyon sa atong Mayor isip hagit ngadto sa katawhan aron masulbad ang hulga sa baha ug huwaw.

Isip dinapit nga bisita, mihatag usab sa iyang pakigpulong ang kanhing Chief Justice Renato S. Puno kalabot sa kamahinungdanon niini nga programa diin matud pa niya, “Kini nga programa dili gipanag-iyahan sa usa ka tawo lamang, apan gipanag-iyahan sa tibook katawhang Butuanon”.

Gipasabot usab ni DENR Undersecretary Ernesto D. Adobo Jr nga ang ahensya sa DENR naningkamut usab nga mapakgang ang epekto sa climate change pinaagi sa pagmintinar sa atong palibot diha sa pagpananum.

Usa ka Pledge of Commitment ang gipangpirmahan sa tanang mitambong diin dinhi nahipatik ang mga kaakuhan sa tanan aron kini nga programa mapadayon ug mulambo nga adunay kongkreto nga kapadulngan diin ang katawhan maoy labing makapahimulos. (JCM, Butuan City – PIO/PIA-Caraga)