PIA News Service - Monday, January 30, 2012

Feature: It all began with a single step

by Gervacio Dauz, Jr.

Lilia T. Alabat, married, with three children, and currently residing at the Holy Redeemer here did not realize nor dream enough for her tent to be extended. But her single step pushed her later to “a thousand miles” of opportunity in clinching a job of her dream.

Lilia’s parents had no grand foresight of sending her beyond high school; they just contended that “anyway, you will just get married later, so a high school diploma would be fitting and enough for you.”

Nursing a dream of finishing a course, she left her hometown of Buenavista, Agusan del Norte and embarked on a journey to college through the benevolence of her auntie in Davao City somewhere in year 1984.

She enrolled as a Commerce student at the University of Mindanao, and at the same time juggled a weekend part-time job at Gaisano Mall just to make both ends meet. Sometimes, she contented herself by eating just once a day. Because the resources were nil, she eventually fell by the wayside and went back to her hometown.

Still, she attempted to continue her studies at the Butuan City Colleges here taking up Management. But then again, she was sidetracked in the name of love and went on to receive her first certificate from the altar of marriage on the 14th day of May 1987.

To sustain her growing family, she tried having a part-time job as a teacher at the Philippine Electronics and Communication Institute here. Eventually, Emmanuel, her husband, prevailed upon her to focus instead in nurturing their kids and this forced her to stop and took on the reins of being a full time housewife.

While the days marched into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years, her yearning for a diploma hadn’t waned. Thus, when she heard about the Pangulong Gloria Scholarship back in February 2009, she wasted no time by grabbing the opportunity of becoming a scholar. She pursued the longings of her heart . . . at the age of 44 at that.

At the Butuan City Colleges (BCC) here, she enrolled at the 356-hour Food and Beverage Services Course and hobnobbed with classmates less than half her age. Due to age disparity, she felt out of place, but then experience prevailed over youth in the long run. What many of her classmates could not perform – whether via oral, written, or practical – she could easily fill in with glamour and aplomb. The tasks of skirting, fruit carving, and flower arrangement to name a few were easy pickings for her. This was so because she got the passion for doing it and the prior experience during her high school years at the Northern Mindanao School of Fisheries in her hometown.

Because of her dedication and solid performance, she handily passed the FBS NC II on the 9th day of May 2009 and graduated as the cream of the crop in her batch on the 22nd day of May 2009. On top of that, she was hired as part-time teacher of her alma mater by no less tha Remedios Famador, who is the School President.

One time, when Famador was dining at the Rosario’s Grill Restaurant, Mrs. Rosalina Go, the resto owner, befriended her and inquired from her if ever she knew somebody that she can endorse to work as Operations Manager at the restaurant.

Without batting an eyelash, and of course confident of her pearly find, she readily proffered the name of Lilia as if without par.

Because of the turn of events, Lilia was ushered in and admitted to her new line of work effective 25th day of July 2009 as the Operations Manager of Rosario’s Grill even before her term as a part-time teacher expired.

Looking back, she divulged to this writer that opportunity masquerading as hardships can be turned into gold if one has the proper preparations to go for it and the proper connections to propel him or her to clinch it. For this good break, she profusely thanked Famador for the opportunity. “I am doubly grateful also to TESDA for giving me the opportunity to hone my skills and allow me the chance of becoming one of its scholars,” she said.

As a penultimate showmanship of her leadership by example, Rosario’s Grill Restaurant went on to be adjudged as the Best New Restaurant for year 2010 by no less than the City Tourism Office here.

Indeed, “Best of Butuan 2010 – Butuanons living in the City and the Balik Butuanons said we do it best,” so goes the accolade.

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Feature: 4 Cabinet members turnover 6,000 armchairs

by Gervacio C. Dauz, Jr.

Some cabinet secretaries will converge on the morning of February 3, 2012 at the Butuan Central Elementary School (BCES) for a short program.

They will lock arms to purposely do a ceremonial turnover ceremony for an initial batch of 6,000 armchairs at the adjacent Agusan National High School (ANHS), both of which are located in this city.

Secretaries Armin A. Luistro, Ramon J. Paje, and Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva of the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) respectively and Chairman Cristino L. Naguiat, Jr. of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) gave assurance to grace the said occasion if only to ceremonially endow new armchairs for the pupils and students of the following schools here: ANHS; BCES; Butuan City School of Arts and Trade (BCSAT); Gabriel Elementary School; J. T. Domingo Central Elementary School; Libertad Central Elementary School (LCES); San Vicente Elementary School; and Villa Kananga Elementary School.

Peter G. Esterioso, Principal IV of ANHS, was thankful with this upcoming turn of events because “this will be our first time to receive such volume of armchairs produced through the P-Noy Bayanihan Project.”

He shared that “there are at least seven new rooms needing about 420 armchairs, plus several hundreds more that need replacement or major repair.” Thus, “this Project,” he pointed out, “would really be heaven sent for our students here, numbering about 9,037.”

According to Lita Furia of TESDA Caraga, as of this writing, 2,000 armchairs were already delivered for ANHS, 1,900 for BCES, 800 for BCSAT, and 400 for LCES or a total of 5,100.

Based on estimates provided by DepEd for year 2011 alone, 1,640,822 armchairs are at least lacking across the country, and the same list shows that Caraga has 39,480 armchair shortages.

The initial 6,000 armchairs to be turned over were produced by 110 trainees cum producers at the Agusan del Sur School of Arts and Trade, which is a TESDA-administered school, in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur since March 2011.

The production scheme is under the education and livelihood component of the P-Noy Bayanihan Project through the convergence of the aforementioned four government agencies. The partnership arrangement, which seeks to produce arm chairs and other furniture items for DepEd schools in at least 10 production sites across the country, was signed on the 22ndday of March 2011 by the four secretaries concerned.

Secretary Villanueva considers the Bayanihan Project as one of his flagship programs, considering that it “ensures the development and utilization of the nation’s manpower, promotes employment, and accelerates economic and social growth” manifested or realized through TESDA’s identified training institutions nationwide.

Edwin C. Gatinao, TESDA Caraga Regional Director, revealed that in compliance with the directive coming from TESDA Central Office, “I always spend no less than two days per week just to see with my eyes and ensure that the production of armchairs will be on target.” He further revealed that ASSAT facilities underwent retrofitting with tools and equipment provided for by PAGCOR, to include also borrowing from other TESDA institutions.

As per Memo of Agreement, DENR’s role is to turn over confiscated logs, lumber and other forest products – particularly those without pending cases in court – to TESDA production sites.

It used to be that illegal logs confiscated by the DENR were mostly relegated to the yards and ponds, left unattended until the same would be rotten and wasted for naught.

But things look upbeat now because the once useless piles of logs are now being put into use through the P-Noy Bayanihan School Furniture Production Program and the proof of the pudding is the said initial batch of 6,000 armchairs that will be delivered to the beneficiary schools.

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DENR 13 to produce 1.4M fruit tree seedlings for NGP this year

by Eric F. Gallego

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 30 (PIA)
-- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Caraga Region is set to produce 1.4 million pieces of seedlings of fruit trees and indigenous and premium species for its reforestation activities under the National Greening Program (NGP) this year.

DENR Regional Executive Director Leonardo Sibbaluca said senior forest officials of the PENRO and CENR offices in the five provinces of Caraga region have made the commitment of this large seedling production during a meeting presided over by the Regional Technical Director of the Ecosystem Research and Development (ERDS) Virgilio dela Cruz on Friday at the DENR Training Center in Butuan City.

The ERDS, which has been tasked to handle the procurement and production of seedlings for the NGP, has submitted a detailed program on the production and procurement of quality planting materials for 2012 with a total cost of P 22.5 million.

Sibbaluca said there are about 13,290 hectares of denuded forest lands and tree parks that were identified and prepared as potential sites for tree planting activities in the different areas this year.

He said the production of seedlings will likewise be initiated by the Department of Agriculture which is expected to contribute about 2 million pieces of fruit tree seedlings .

Among the kind of tree species that were suggested to be produced are bamboo, banaba, bangkal, coffee, cacao, dao,ilang-ilang, ipil, kamagong, lanipao, lauan, mahogany, molave , rubber, and some of the vanishing species like bitaog, balat-buaya, baitanghol, sagimsim, agoho and lanutan.

Last year, the DENR 13 has plated fruit tree and indigenous tree seedlings on a 5,000-hectare unproductive forest land spread over the different areas of the region. (DENR-13/PIA-Caraga)

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Tagalog news: 7 iskolar sa Australia mula Agusan del Sur nagtapos

by David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Enero 30 (PIA)
-- Pitong iskolar mula rito na nagtapos sa kanilang pag-aaral sa Australia ang pinarangalan sa lingguhang flag ceremony sa harap ng kapitolyo dito sa Patin-ay kamakailan lamang. Ang mga iskolar na itoay mga empleyado ng panlalawigang pamahalaan na nagpakadalubhasa sa kursong Animal Studies, Environment Management, Human Resource Management at Public Finance dahil sa pagiging magkatuwang ng lalawigan ng Agusan del Sur at ng Australian Human Resource Development Facility (PAHRDF) sa pamamagitan ng Australian Aid (Ausaid).

Mula ng magkatuwang ang lalawigan ng Agusan del Sur at ang pamahalaan ng Australia noong 2006, 27 eskolar na ang pinadala ng pamahalaang panlalawigan sa Australia para mag-aral sa kolehiyo o kaya’y magpakadalubhasa ng iba’t ibang kurso. Sa 27 na mga eskolar, 26 na ang nakapagtapos at may isa pang naiwan doon para tapusin ang kanyang pag-aaral sa New Castle, Australia na nagpakadalubhasa sa Human Resource Management.

Ang pamahalaang panlalawigan ng Agusan del Sur ay siyang gumastos sa mga allowances ng mga eskolar na nag-aral sa mga tanyag na unibersidad sa

Sydney, Melbourne, Caberra, New Castle, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin sa Australia habang ang pamahalaan ng Australia naman ang sumagot ng kanilang tuition fees at iba pang mga gastusin sa unibersidad sa loob ng panahong sila ay nag-aaral.

Base sa ordinansa na ipinasa ng panlalawigang pamahalaan ng Agusan del Sur, ang mga nagtapos na mga iskolar ay kailangang magtrabaho muna sa pamahalaan sa loob ng anim na taon pagkatapos na sila ay magsipagtapos ng kanilang pag-aaral, bilang pasasalamat sa pagkakataong ibinigay ng pamahalaan.

Nang bigyan ng pagkakataong magsalita sa harap ng mga empleyado ng kapitolyo, nagpasalamat ang mga iskolar sa pagkakataong ibinigay sa kanila ng pamahalaan, at nagpasalamat din sila sa mga kasamahan sa trabaho na tumulong sa kanila habang sila ay nag-aral pa sa Australia.

“Kami ay lubos na nagpasalamat sa panlalawigang pamahalaan ng Agusan del Sur sa pagkakataong ibinigay sa amin, na hindi mapantayan ng salapi. Sa pagkakataong ito, kami ay nangakong dito namin ibubuhos kung ano man ang aming natutunan sa labas ng bansa. Dito sa atin, tayo ay magtulungan para maiangat ang ating kalagayan sa buhay,” sabi ni Angelita Salo, isa sa mga iskolar.

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Cebuano news: Puerto Princesa Underground River sulod na sa New Seven Wonders of Nature

ni Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Enero 30 (PIA)
– Ang MalacaƱang mipadayag sa dakong kalipay tungod sa report nga ang Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) gidekara na isip usa sa New Seven Wonders of Nature, ang opisyales sa Palasyo miingon niadtong Sabado.

"Confirmation that the Puerto Princesa Underground River is one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature is welcome news indeed. Throughout the competition, Filipinos from all walks of life have given time, energy, and resources to this campaign," si Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda miingon sa iyang pamahayag nga gipagawas niadtong Sabado.

Ang Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) kumpirmado na karon isip usa sa New7Wonders of Nature. Kini naila nga adunay kinatas-ang malawig nga underground river sa kalibutan.

"This effort has raised awareness not only overseas, but nationally as well: visits to the PPUR have increased tremendously. This is proof positive of how effective a national effort of this sort can be --- to build awareness, express pride, and achieve results," si Lacierda miingon.

Niadtong 2011, si Pangulong Benigno S. Aquino III miawhag sa mga Filipino sulod ug gawas sa nasod nga iboto ug suportahan ang garbo sa nasod, ang Puerto Princesa Underground River, isip usa sa mga finalists sa global search alang sa New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Sa iyang parte, si Bernard Weber, ang Founder-President sa New7Wonders, gipahalipayan ang katawhang Filipino tungod sa pagsuporta sa ilang nasyunal nga finalist sa maong global campaign.

“When your very own President Aquino came out in support of the PPUR campaign, I knew that this country was taking the New7Wonders of Nature seriously,” si Weber miingon.

“Fans of PPUR all over the world responded to his call for action by voting in record numbers and today’s confirmation is the well-earned reward for this extraordinary display of enthusiasm,” sa iyang pagdugang.

Ang Puerto Princesa Underground River nahamutang sa 50kilometros norte nga bahin sa syudad sa Puerto Princesa, Palawan Island sa Pilipinas.

Kini nasakopan sa batong limestone nga bukid nga talan-awon, daghang dagko nga lawak nga adunay talagsaon nga mga pormasyon sa stalactites ug stalagmites, ug 8.2kilometros malawig nga underground river nga padulong ngadto sa langob adisir mogawas ngadto deretso ngadto sa West Philippine Sea. Didto sa eksit nga bahin, usa ka walay tatsa nga danaw ang gikuwadro sa mga karaang kahoy nga nagtubo sa tubig.

Ang probisyunal nga New7Wonders of Nature mao ang: Amazon, Halong Bay, Iguazu Falls, Jeju Island, Komodo, Puerto Princesa Underground River, ug Table Mountain.

Sunod sa Jeju Island, ang Puerto Princesa Underground River maoy ikaduha nga makumpirma sa preliminaryong basehan, human makumpleto ang balidasyon sa telephone voting dinhi sa Pilipinas.

Ang nahabilin nga lima ka probisyunal sa New7Wonders of Nature kasamtangan pang mipailawom sa tulo ka mga ang-ang sa proseso sa beripikasyon, nga mao ang national voting validation, global voting calculation confirmation, ug ang preparasyon ug implementasyon sa seremonya sa opisyal nga inagurasyon. (PIA- Surigao del Norte)