PIA News Service - Thursday, April 14, 2011

Reforestation task force,partner-stakeholders to plant more trees in Mt. Mayapay

by Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, April 14 (PIA) – The Mt. Mayapay Rehabilitation Task Force (MMRTF) composed of government line agencies led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) with partner stakeholders from the private sectors and non-government organizations will hold a massive tree planting activity on April 15, 5:00 o’clock in the morning at the Mt. Mayapay, Barangay Nongnong, here.

The massive tree planting is also in line with the launching of the International Year of the Forests Declaration and the National Greening Program (NGP) of President Benigno Aquino’s administration in Caraga region.

Mr. Musa Saruang, Regional Technical Director for Forest Management Services of DENR reiterated that Pres. Aquino recently issued the Executive Order No. 23 - Declaring a moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber in the natural and residual forests and creating the anti-illegal logging task force.

Saruang also stressed that aside from EO No. 23 series 2011, the EO No. 26 or the NGP also supports to the former. It can be recalled that with the issuance of the EO No. 23, Pres. Aquino also mandated the Department of Agriculture - Department of Agrarian Reform - DENR convergence initiative to develop the NGP with the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Budget and Management, private sectors and other concerned agencies and institutions. 

“Even before the issuance of the EO No. 23 series of 2011 by his Excellency, the government agencies and partner-stakeholders here in our region have been working out to prevent the abuses on our forest products thru the MMRTF… with our continuous efforts, we can all face the challenges,” Saruang said.

Meanwhile, Regional Technical Director for Ecological Research and Development Services Virgilio dela Cruz also said that with the NGP, multi-sectors shall plant some 1.5 billion trees covering about 1.5 million hectares for a period of six years from 2011 to 2016 in the following lands of the public domain: Forestlands, Mangrove and protected areas, Ancestral domains, Civil and military reservations, Urban areas under the greening plan of the LGUs, Inactive and abandoned mine sites, and other suitable lands.

MMRTF has been conducting massive tree planting activities since 2008. (PIA-Caraga)

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Regionwide Stakeholders Dialogue set in Butuan

by Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, April 14 (PIA) – The Caraga Conference for Peace and Development (CCPD) in partnership with the Agusan del Sur Tree Farmers and Shippers Association, Inc. (ATREFSAI) will conduct a Region-wide Stakeholders Dialogue of small tree farmers/shippers on issues and concerns with government agencies and institutions in Caraga region who have concerns on their welfare and development on April 15, 2011 at the DENR-Caraga Conference Room, this city.

Government agencies involved in this dialogue includes Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR); Philippine National Police (PNP); Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC); Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Philippine Information Agency (PIA); 402nd Brigade, 4ID Philippine Army; and Father Saturnino Urios University (FSUU).

The said dialogue will provide a venue for the different stakeholders to discuss relevant issues and concerns arising from the potential resources conflict and provide resolution for the common good.

With this, CCPD with all the concerned agencies are hoping that through this dialogue, a continuous good relationship with stakeholders will be maintained. (PIA-Caraga)


More foreign investors express interest in Surigao City

SURIGAO CITY, Apr. 14 (PIA) - More investors have signified their intentions to put up their business in Surigao City.

Early this month, two Malaysian investors namely, Lee Vui Lin and Chu Vui Fang representing the Multi Supply Corporation in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, visited the office of the City Mayor Ernesto T. Matugas. They seriously signified their intention to put-up a Farm Tank Depot (Supply of Petroleum Gas) in Nonoc Island and a low-interest rate housing project intended for government employees.

Mayor Matugas, on the other hand, gratefully said that these new investors will be of great help in giving opportunity to Surigaonons who are jobless.

He then assured all the Surigaonons that more investors will be coming to the city.

“I assure all the Surigaonons that more foreign investors will come soon,” Mayor Matugas said.

Just earlier, the Chairman of the Wellex Group of Companies, William Gatchalian also visited the city and the industrial site of Nonoc Island.

Just nine months after Mayor Matugas assumed into office, around 30 foreign investors have already visited the city and they all signified their interest to put business ventures. The series of visits of various investor groups are the initial results of the aggressive promotion being undertaken by the city mayor himself in various trips to Metro Manila.

The city, although geographically small, has one of the most dynamic economies in the part of the country. With an industrial base anchored primarily on mining and mineral processing, the expected resurgence of mining activities in the forthcoming years would invariably result to a boom in the local economy. (Annette Villaces, PIO-Surigao City/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Geohazard mapping in San Francisco, AgSur completed

SURIGAO DEL NORTE, Apr. 14 (PIA) - The Geohazard Mapping and Assessment at 1:10,000 scale for the municipality of San Francisco, Agusan del Sur had been duly completed by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Caraga Region XIII recently.

The said town is the first of the eight (8) municipalities/cities being targeted by the MGB-13 for this year’s geohazard mapping and assessment program.

Initial coordination with the municipal LGU and reconnaissance survey of the area was conducted on February 24 to 25, 2011. Results of the 1:50,000-scale rapid geohazard mapping and assessment of the municipality as well as introduction and overview of the methodology and expected output of the 1:10,000-scale geohazard mapping and assessment project was presented to Honorable Mayor Jenny De Asis and her technical staff and six (6) barangay captains whose area of jurisdiction surrounds the Mt. Magdiwata Watershed on March 1, 2011. Actual field mapping and assessment was conducted from March 2 to 16, 2011 covering ten (10) of the twenty-seven (27) barangays of the municipality situated in mountainous to hilly terrains.

The covered barangays are: Alegria, Bayugan 2, Bitan-agan, Das-agan, Karaos, Lapinigan, Lucac, Mate, Ormaca, and San Isidro comprising an aggregate of seventy-two (72) puroks. The survey covered an approximate area of four (4) 3’ x 3’ quadrangles.

An exit conference showing the highlights of the geohazard mapping and assessment results was presented to key staff of the LGU on March 18, 2011.

Formal presentation of the final results was then scheduled during the last week of March upon collation of data and completion of preliminary geohazard maps. (MGB-13/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

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New forest guards in Caraga recruited to replace ailing foresters

Butuan City, April 14 – With Father Time catching up, some of the 174 regular forest guards in Caraga region who are unable to sustain the rigorous field works will be confined to the office to pave way for the young bloods being eyed in the recruitment program of the DENR in the days ahead.

DENR-Caraga Regional Executive Director Leonardo R. Sibbaluca said he has reviewed the list of forest guards and foresters personnel in the entire field offices of the DENR in the region and found out that many of them could no longer sustain the pace in day-to-day operation because of deteriorating health conditions that are fit to work only in office.

“We need able-bodied personnel who are young and strong so that they can run after the timber poachers and illegal loggers” Director Sibbaluca said.” The retiring and ageing forest rangers and foresters shall be given light assignments such simple administrative works at the office to utilize them while awaiting for their retirement day.

RED Sibbaluca has expressed his serious concerns over the health conditions of most of the ageing forest guards and foresters who are forced to conduct regular patrols over the vast timber lands of the region with pen at hand as the only weapon to ward off illegal logging perpetrators.

He said at least 60 percent of the total forest guards can still sustain the operation that involves mountain climbing and hiking. The list of people to be recruited shall involve men as a matter of in-house policy. On the other hand, selected women will be also be considered in the hiring but they should be degree holders in Bachelor of Science in Forestry as the main requirement.

The implementation of Executive Order No. 23 by President Benigno S.Aquino III in February this year which ban the cutting of logs in natural and residual forest nationwide sent a strong signal to the illegal operators who must have entertained the thoughts that the government is serious in its campaign against illegal logging this time.

Earlier, Director Sibbaluca issued stern warning to all field personnel involved in the operations against coddling timber poachers and illegal loggers. “Let me warn the concerned personnel to reform their ways or face severe disciplinary actions,” he told his audience at a recent meeting with the Forestry Supervisor personnel and the Officers- in- charge of CENRO and PENRO offices in the five provinces in the region.

The DENR in latest survey of the Pulse Asia from February 24 to March 6, this year made an impressive leap to 4th Place, from 8th in 1999, in the rooster of top 10 agencies considered as “least corrupt". 

Director Sibbaluca said the Regional Environment Task Force under his command had been successful so far in most of the operations made since EO 23 was implemented. “There are reports of corrupt practices by some of the field personnel but let not this irregular actions spoil the improving image of the DENR” he added.

He has tasked the Regional Technical Director for Forest Management Services Musa C.Saruang to conduct a thorough investigation about the erring personnel for appropriate disciplinary action. 

In the latest report , more than 50,000 board feet of illegal flitches of lauan species worth more than P 1 million as a result of the operations made by the Regional Task Force at Sitio New Gingoog, Barangay Remedios in Esperanza, Agusan del Sur last April 1, 2011. The task force led by Director Sibbaluca, himself also apprehend two Isuzu Forward trucks loaded with illegal-mb lumber at the Macapagal Bridge in Butuan City.

He said that from January 1 to March 15, 2011, a total of 40,007.11 board feet of lumber and 734.95 cubic meters of logs have been confiscated by the Environment Law Enforcement Team and the DENR field men.

Since President Aquino assumed office in July 1, 2010, a total of 233,10958 bd.ft of illegal lumber and 10,928.43 cubic meters of logs have been apprehended, seized or confiscated by the DENR. (Eric F. Gallego, DENR-13/PIA-Caraga)


DSWD supports HEALS – Soliman

BUTUAN CITY, April 14 – Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Juliano Soliman told Surigaonons that DSWD supports the provincial government’s convergence program on social protection services called HEALS, which captures the key convergence areas such as Health, Education and Environment, Agriculture and Aquaculture, Livelihood and Tourism, Spiritual Renewal, Senior Citizens and Social Welfare Security.

According to Secretary Soliman “local government is the road for the services of the national government.” She commended the provincial government of Surigao del Norte headed by Gov. Sol F. Matugas for taking the initiative in framing this convergence strategy in implementing social protection services.

This new effort of the local government of Surigao del Norte (SDN) together with the eight (8) national agencies, Soliman said, poses a challenge not just for SDN but for the whole country in meeting the millennium development goals (MDGs) specifically on education and maternal health.

The presence of the regional and assistant regional directors of partner line agencies is a manifestation of their support to make this convergence strategy work. The eight (8) agencies who signed the Memorandum of Agreement in support to the program include the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Soliman hopes that the fruit of the local and national governments’ concerted efforts is a developed Filipino people and community. (DSWD-13/PIA-Caraga)


Cebuano News: Gobyerno mihimo ug lakang-kampanya aron wagtangon ang usik sa bugas

by Susil Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, April 14 (PIA) - Ang gobyerno mihimo ug lakang pinaagi sa usa ka media campaign aron mawagtang na gyud ang mga nausik nga mga pagkaong bugas, nagkanayon ang us aka opisyal sa Impact Assesment Policy Research and Advocay of Philippine Rice Research Institute niadtong Martes.

Kini gibutyag ni Dr Flordeliza Bordey, program leader for Impact Policy Research and Advocacy of Philippine Rice Research Institute sa dihang iyang gibutyag ang kalabot na sa usa ka impormasyon nga matud pa ang matag Pilipino kono nag-usik ug 14 grams ginaling nga bugas matag adlaw.

“Probably many of you have not known that every Filipino is wasting about 14 grams of milled rice per day or it is equivalent to about three table spoon per person per day,” siya nag-ingon atol sa regular press briefing didto sa malakanyang niadtong martes.

Siya nagkanayon, “that if there are 94 million Filipinos who are wasting this (rice), then we are wasting about 480,000 metric tons of rice which can already feed about 4 million people for the whole year.”

Ang pagwagtang sa maong usik, matud pa ni Bordey, maoy usa ka paagi aron madumala pag-ayo ang konsumo. Gawas sa pagwagtang sa usik niini , siya mihatag pod ug duha ka mga alternatibong pamaagi kini mao ang - diversify staple ug i-awhag ang pagkaon sa unpolished rice aron pagdasig sa responsabling pagkaon alang sa maayong panglawas ug nutrisyon.

“One of the strategies that are not well-explored by the previous administration is managing of consumptions. It’s like we are trying to keep on increasing our production but then our consumption side is increasing and increasing because, one, of the population growth and second, of the increasing per capita rice consumption,” matud niya.

Si Bordey nag-ingon nga “from 106 kilograms per person per year in year 1998, 1999 our rice per capita consumption rose to 119 kilograms per person per year in year 2008-2009.”

Aron matubag kining maong kalabotan sa nag kataas nga konsumo sa bugas matag usa, si Bordey miigon kinahanglan mohimo ug education campaign ug information dissemination aron dasigon ang mga katawhan sa pagkaon sa mga alternatibong kan-onon.

“So, how do we manage consumption? It’s not like telling the people not to eat rice but we intend to promote responsible consumption pattern for better health and nutrition,” dugang pa niya.

Matud pa ni Bordey, usa ka pamaagi mao ang pagdiversify sa mga tinubdan sa kan-onon o carbohydrates. “So, rice is not the only source. Some parts of the population are eating white corn as their staple. Some are eating sweet potatoes, cassava especially in the country side,” matud niya.

Matud ni Bordey, kini posible usab maka pakunhod sa presyo sa bugas kon ugaling mapadaghan pa ang supply niining mga alternatibong kalan-onon. “And therefore we, induce substitution from the rice towards these crops in the process,” matud niya.

“Another one was the consumption of unpolished rice or better known to many as brown rice. So, this brown rice is not only more nutritious than the white rice but it also has this property of higher milling recovery. So, for example, a one hundred (100) kilogram of palay, we can turn it into about 70 kilogram of unpolished rice or brown rice whereas if we convert it to white rice we will only be able to recover about 65 kilograms of white rice,” matud niya. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)