PIA News Service - Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011

Convergence planning, harmonization workshop to be held in Butuan

by Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 19 (PIA)
– City Mayor Ferdinand Amante Jr. initiated the Convergence Planning and Harmonization Workshop for this city for Calendar Year 2011-2013 among partner agencies in the government.

During the recently held Regional Development Council – Development Administration Committee (RDC-DAC) Meeting, Mayor Amante recalled that in 2007, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Finance (DoF), and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) have signed the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) providing Guidelines on the Harmonization of Local Planning, Investment Programming, Revenue Administration, Budgeting and Expenditure Management.

The signing of JMC No. 1 series of 2007 proved to be the landmark policy in the synchronization and harmonization of the core local government unit operations.

“The city aims to be the pilot LGU in Caraga region to implement the JMC and apply the principles of convergence,” stressed Amante.

Also, in line with the JMC, Mayor Amante, who at the same time the RDC-DAC chairperson called a meeting on June 27, 2011 between the city government of Butuan and the regional line agencies catering frontline services to the LGU to plan out a harmonization workshop for the projects and programs for Butuan.

The actual convergence planning and harmonization workshop was conducted on August 19, 2011 at the Balanghai Hotel here.

It was also learned that the objectives of said workshop are: 1) to match similar projects of the city and regional line agencies for possible expansion, prioritization and avoid overlapping of projects; 2) for regional line agencies to present to the city their planned interventions within the City’s jurisdiction for proper coordination and assistance; and 3) for the city to present the gaps where the regional line agencies can assist in funding or technical assistance.

With this development, Mayor Amante is seeking commitment from the RDC-DAC members and other partner agencies, stakeholders to support the Harmonized Butuan City Convergence Plan. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

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Get the other croc, Bunawan chief exec says

by Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 19 (PIA) -- Bunawan, Agusan del Sur Mayor Edwin Elorde today said for the safety of the people especially during rainy season, Lolong’s companion must be captured at the soonest possible time.

He said the local government is determined to capture the other crocodile, which was seen earlier last month with Lolong as the two reptiles attacked a carabao along the riverbank in the area.

Elorde however admitted that people in the area especially those living near the riverbanks are worried and fear for their lives. “This is the reason why there is a need for the other crocodile to be captured,” he said.

The town’s local chief executive further stressed the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (PWRCC) agreed with the local government unit for the immediate capture of the said crocodile.

“As per our agreement, we need to construct another cage before they will resume the operation to capture the croc,” Elorde said in Cebuano dialect.

With rainy season already fast approaching, Elorde said they are doubling their efforts together with the PWRCC to capture the other crocodile before December this year.

Meanwhile, Elorde pointed out that Lolong is in good condition at present and has already eaten two times since he was captured last month. (PIA-Caraga)

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Surigao del Sur delisted from 20 poorest provinces in Phl – NEDA-Caraga chief

by Nida Grace B. Tranquilan

TANDAG CITY, Oct. 19 (PIA)
-- The province of Surigao del Sur has been removed from the list of 20 poorest provinces in the Philippines.

The announcement was made by National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Caraga Regional Director Carmencita Cochingco during the Regional Development Council (RDC) meeting held Tuesday in this city.

Surigao del Sur Governor Johnny Pimentel attributed this development to the implementation of sustainable basic services and allocation of funds yearly to support priority programs. This includes farm to market roads to all the barangays in the province.

Further, he said that access to potable water system and improvement of the hospital facilities were contributing factors.

Hosted by the provincial government, the 69th RDC Meeting was presided by Chairperson and Surigao del Norte Governor Sol Matugas and was attended by Regional Directors of government agencies in Caraga Region. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)

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Captured croc in Agusan del Sur now a tourist attraction in the area

by Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 19 (PIA)
-- The 21-foot crocodile “Lolong” that was captured in Bunawan, Agusan del Sur a month ago is now a tourist attraction in the area.

According to Bunawan Mayor Edwin Elorde, after the newly-constructed park has been opened to public, more and more local tourists from as far as Metro Manila are coming to see the captured crocodile touted as the biggest and longest captured croc in the country and perhaps in the world.

Elorde said the P20 entrance fee collected by the municipal government to visitors earned for the town an P8,000 daily income. “This is an additional income of the municipality that is why we are doing some improvements in the area,” Elorde said.

Elorde further said they have already finished constructing the second cage where, as per agreement with the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (PWRCC), the LGU will construct another cage before they will proceed with the operation of capturing the other crocodile.

According to report, Lolong, together with another crocodile attached a carabao early last month near a riverbank in Bunawan. This prompted the local government unit and the PWRCC to capture Lolong.

As of press time, they are still eyeing to capture the other crocodile which is reported to be smaller than Lolong.

Furthermore, Mayor Elorde said the giant crocodile is already active and was able to eat two times already since he was captured. He added Lolong has already eaten 17 kilos of fresh chicken meat, enough for him to be active.

The official said at present, foods are again served so that anytime the crocodile wants to eat, he can take his food.

Meanwhile, Elorde assured the public not to worry regarding Lolong’s health because he is properly taken cared by the authorities. (PIA-Caraga)

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David relieves BI exec after American bolts Davao immigration jail

AGUSAN DEL NORTE, Oct 19 (PIA)
-- Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. relieved the head of the bureau’s field office in Davao City in connection with the recent escape of a detained American national, it was learned yesterday.

David designated lawyer Nimfa Edroso as acting alien control officer of Davao , vice Maria Kiamco who was reassigned to her mother unit at the BI’s immigration regulation division in Manila.

David said Kiamco was relieved pending results of the investigation into the escape of Tigor Hasongan Siapanar, an American of Indonesian descent, who bolted his detention cell last Oct. 17.

The immigration chief also directed Kiamco and other employees at the BI-Davao field office to explain in 72 hours why no administrative and criminal charges should be filed against them in connection with the escape of Siapanar.

Siapanar, 27, disappeared from his cell before dawn last Monday after cutting its iron grills with a steel saw.

“I will not hesitate to file charges against anyone who will be found liable for this incident,” David said.

He added that the personnel tasked with guarding Siapanar may be administratively charged with gross neglect of duty and slapped with a criminal complaint for infidelity in the custody of prisoners.

According to lawyer Maria Antonette Mangrobang, BI acting intelligence chief, she already dispatched a team of immigration agents to investigate the detainee’s escape and submit their report within two days.

Mangrobang said the team was also directed to coordinate with the Davao police in conducting a manhunt for Siapanar.

Records showed that Siapanar was turned over to the BI last January 11 after he was arrested by Davao policemen for illegal gun possession.

He was later found to be an undocumented and overstaying alien as he failed to produce his passport and a check of the BI’s database showed that he never bothered to extend his stay as a tourist since he last arrived in the country on July 16, 2007.

However, despite his being an illegally staying alien, the BI could not deport due to several criminal cases that are pending against him before the courts in Davao City.

The Davao City police disclosed that Siapanar faces a string of criminal cases, including attempted murder, domestic violence, child abuse, and illegal drugs. (BID/PIA-Caraga)

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10 barangays in Agusan del Sur recipients of Red Cross multi-million project

by David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Oct. 19 (PIA)
-- Ten barangays in two municipalities of Agusan del Sur will be recipients of a multi-million project of the Netherlands Red Cross and other Netherlands non-government organizations.

The project will mostly focus on disaster risk reduction, eco-system management and restoration and climate change adaptation.

Chosen barangay for the first two years of implementation are Barangays Hawilian, Guadalupe and Langag of Esperanza town and Barangays Mambalili, San Marcos and Nueva Era for the town of Bunawan.

For the second two-year implementation, Barangays Remedios and Sta. Fe of Esperanza town and Barangays Poblacion and Libertad of Bunawan town will be the recipients.

During their visit in Barangay Hawilian, Elike Van Sluis, Red Cross Country representative to the Philippines and Indonesia said the area really need the program because people in Hawilian are vulnerable to suffer floods and landslides.

“When we saw the terrain, I thought that people in Hawilian should really be trained on how to get away from risks during rainy season because water will be rushing towards the area when flooding occurs. And because of that, landslides are inevitable,” Van Sluis said.

According to Christyll Basan, Philippine Red Cross Agusan del Sur Chapter Administrator, places like Hawilian were their chosen areas because of the area’s necessity and vulnerability to disaster.

The project will end in 2015. (PIA-Agusan del Sur)

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DILG, OMB join hands vs. corruption in LGUs

MANILA, Oct. 19 (PIA)
-- The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) have joined forces to combat corruption in local government units (LGUs) from the provincial to the barangay level.

The partnership was formed after DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo and Ombudsman Conchita C. Moralles signed a memorandum of agreement to harmonize the programs and initiatives of the DILG and OMB relative to the prevention of corruption.

The agreement was forged during the DILG’s Biyaheng Pinoy culminating activity commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Local Government Code held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

Robredo said corruption is one of the challenges faced by local governments as it affects the quality of public services, investment climate and economic development.

According to the DILG Secretary, since local governments deal directly with people, the effects of corruption are quickly felt; hence, there is a need to build a partnership with the Ombudsman and come up with preventive measures against corruption in LGUs.

“We have agreed to work together in promoting good governance in the LGUs by harmonizing our respective reform programs,” said Robredo.

Robredo cited the Integrity Development Review (IDR) program of the OMB which will be matched with the Local Governance Performance Management System (LGPMS) and Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH) programs of the DILG.

The IDR is a program that assesses sufficiency of corruption safeguards and corruption vulnerabilities within an agency’s systems including those of the LGUs, while the LGPMS is a self-assessment and development tool that helps LGUs determine their progress in various sectors.

On the other hand, the SGH is an award program recognizing performing LGUs based on pre-determined performance indicators, making them eligible for accessing the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF).

Robredo explained that the collaborative efforts of the two agencies will come into play by using selected indicators of the IDR as indicators for the SGH and LGPMS, and in like manner, the LGPMS integrity report can be used by the IDR as guide in determining LGUs' action to scale up corruption prevention or integrity related initiatives.

To effectively carry out the agreement, a Joint Management Committee (JMC) and a Joint Technical Working Group (JTWG) to be composed of officials and personnel from the DILG and the OMB shall be created.

The JMC and JTWG shall provide overall guidance in the implementation of the program and ensure coordination among local government units.

The agreement likewise provides for the designation of Resident Ombudsman Coordinators (ROCs) in all local government units to be recommended by the local chief executive. (DILG Public Affairs Office/PIA-Caraga)


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Del Carmen folks train on disaster preparedness

by Welivie Calang-Diola

DEL CARMEN, Surigao del Norte, Oct. 19 (PIA)
-- The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) of Surigao del Norte recently conducted a disaster preparedness training for barangay officials and disaster volunteers here.

Around 200 volunteers from the 20 barangays attended the training. These included the punong barangays and barangay kagawads on peace and order.

The participants are among the first line of defense or early responders during emergencies and calamities.

The training held from Oct. 10-12 focused on Basic Life Support Services, Fire Drill and other relevant topics which were thoroughly discussed with the use of demo and simulation strategies.

The training team came from the office of the PDRRMC.

The training was conducted in coordination with the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) of Del Carmen. (DILG-Del Carmen/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

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DILG to LGUs: Revisit implementation of ARTA Law

by Mary Christine Anthonette M. Salise

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 19 (PIA)
-- The Department of the Interior and Local Government Region XIII called on the local government units of Region XIII (Caraga) to review implementation of the provisions of Republic Act 9485 also known as the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2008.

The call was made during a forum dubbed “Governance Forum Towards Transparent and Efficient Frontline Services," held recently in partnership with Agencia Espanola de Cooperacion Internacional Para el Desarrollo (AECID) through the latter’s Strengthening Local Governments in the Philippines (SLGP) Project.

Participants to the forum included representatives from the six (6) cities and eight (8) selected municipalities from the four provinces which exhibited high implementation of R.A.9485. The forum will tackle the implementation report on the ARTA Law.

The survey on the ARTA law implementation was conducted by DILG XIII to assess the compliance of the abovementioned LGUs to the Anti-Red Tape Act as well as measure the level of satisfaction of their customers/clientele.


DILG Assistant Regional Director Lilibeth A. Famacion said that before the passage of the ARTA Law, red tape was rampant and fixers transacted business for clients at the city/municipal halls.

The Anti-Red Tape Act aims to eliminate red tape, graft and corruption through transparency, accountability and predictability by simplifying frontline procedures and formulating service standards to be observed in every transaction.

The DILG in partnership with the Civil Service Commission and other agencies is responsible in monitoring implementation of the ARTA. (DILG-13/PIA-Caraga)

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Tagalog News: Pangulong Aquino makikipagpulong sa mga pinuno ng Department of Finance at Bureau of Internal Revenue

ni Maria Rebecca C. Ayaton

BUTUAN CITY, Okt. 19 (PIA)
-- Ayon kay Pangulong Benigno S. Aquino III makikipagkita siya sa mga pinuno ng Department of Finance (DOF) at Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) upang talakayin ang mga usapin sa Poverty Eradication and Alleviation Certificates (PEACe) Bonds ng pamahalaan.

Sabi ng Pangulo, makikipagkita siya sa Kalihim ng Finance at ng Commissioner ng BIR o kahit sa tagapangulo (chair) upang mapag-usapan at masiyasat ang mga isyu para matugunan ang mga reklamo ng mga taong napasailalim ng PEACe Bonds.

Ito ang ipinahayag ni Pangulong Aquino sa panayam niya kasama ang mga miyembro ng Malacañang Press Corps pagkatapos niyang dumalo sa 110th anibersaryo ng Philippine Coast Guard, kahapon na naganap sa PCG headquarters, Port Area, Manila.

Ipinahayag ng Pangulo na may mga miyembro ng NGO (non-government organization) na nakinabang dito na humiling din na makipagpulong. Aniya, baka makikipag-pulong siya sa ilan sa mga miyembro ng NGO ngayong linggo.

Noong lunes, walong bangko ang umapila sa Korte Suprema na maglabas ng temporary restraining order para pigilan ang BIR sa pagpataw ng dalawampung (20) porsiyento sa final withholding tax sa P35 bilyon PEACe Bonds na nagmature naman kahapon.

Ang mga bangkong ito ay ang sumusunod: Banco de Oro, Bank of Commerce, China Banking Corp., Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., Philippine Bank of Communications, Philippine National Bank, Philippine Veterans Bank, and Planters Development Bank. (MRA, ulat mula PCOO/PIA-Caraga)

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Cebuano News: Aquino makigtagbo sa hepe sa DOF, BIR on PEACe bonds isyu

ni Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Okt. 19 (PIA)
-- Si Pangulong Benigno S. Aquino III miingon nga siya makigtagbo sa hepe sa Department of Finance (DoF) ug ang Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) aron tukion ang isyu sa Poverty Eradication and Alleviation Certificates (PEACe) Bonds sa gobyerno.

“I’ll be meeting both the Secretary of Finance and the Commissioner of the BIR, or the chair, to discuss this particular issue tapos ire-review natin specifically to address the complaints of those who undertook the PEACe Bonds,” ang Pangulo miingon.

Si Pangulong Aquino mihimo niining maong pamahayag atol sa usa kahigayon nga interbyu sa mga miyembro sa Malacañang Press Corps human kini motambong sa 110th founding Anniversary sa Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) kagahapon Martes didto sa PCG headquarters, Port Area, Manila.

“There are also certain members of the NGO [non-government organization] community who benefited from this who also have asked for a meeting. I think I’ll be meeting some of them today or at least within the week,” siya midugang.

Niadtong Lunes, otso ka mga banko ang mihangyo sa Supreme Court aron pag isyu og temporary restraining order aron pagpaundang sa BIR pagpahamtang sa 20 porsyento nga final withholding tax sa P35 bilyon PEACe Bonds, nga mag mature karong adlawa, Oktubre 19.

Kini nga mga Banko mao ang Banco de Oro, Bank of Commerce, China Banking Corp., Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company, Philippine Bank of Communications, Philippine National Bank, Philippine Veterans Bank, ug Planters Development Bank. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)