1.07.2012

PIA News Service - Saturday, January 7, 2012

DA-Caraga steps up measures to increase farmers’ productivity

by Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 7 (PIA)
-– The regional office of the Department of Agriculture (DA) here in Caraga Region is stepping-up measures to help farmers increase their productivity.

DA-Caraga Regional Information Officer Rebecca Atega said aside from distributing hybrid palay and corn seeds, farmers in Caraga Region are also receiving high-value commercial crops to ensure livelihood sustainability.

“Naka pang apud-apod na ang buhatan nato sa DA og mga hybrid palay, corn seeds, ug ingon man mga high-value commercial crops sa atong mga mag-uuma isib abag kanila aron sa paglambo pa sa ilang panginabuhian,” Atega said.

(We have already distributed bybrid palay, corn seeds, as well high-value commercial crops to our farmers to assist them and improve their livelihood.)

Atega also said DA is intensifying the animal dispersal program in an effort to help farmers find alternative livelihood opportunities.

“Ato usab gihingusgan ang animal dispersal program aron mahatagan usab og alternatibo ang atong mga mag-uuma og laing matang sa panginabuhian,” Atega said.

(We are also intensifying the animal dispersal program to give our farmers alternative livelihood opportunities.)

With these developments, the official is hoping that agricultural production in Caraga region will increase this year. (PIA-Caraga)

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Brgy. Libertad officials all set for Kahimunan Festival 2012

by Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 7 (PIA)
-– Officials of Barangay Libertad here are already prepared for the conduct of the 2012 Kahimunan Festival on Sunday, January 15.

According to Libertad Punong Barangay Vincent Rizal Rosario in an interview over Bombo Radyo here, this year’s festival will only be featuring contingents from their barangays.

Rosario added because of the limited financial resources, as well as time constraints, the organizers and the barangay officials decided to feature the local contingents coming from their barangay.

However, the official said each contingent is allowed to hire musicians from the neighboring cities and provinces to ensure musical quality.

“Bisan og wala kadtong mga taga-laing lugar nga muapil, apan nindot guihapon and atong festival tungod kay gitugutan man ang matag contingent nga mu-hire og mga musicians sa nga silingang lugar dinhi sa dakbayan,” Rosario said.

(Despite of the absence of those contingents from other places, but still the festival will be colorful because the organizers can hire musicians from other cities and provinces.)

Today, the Mindanao Open Chess Tournament will be opened and the Talent Portion of Mutya Hong Libertad will be conducted this evening at the barangay’s covered court. (PIA-Caraga)

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Movement to “Save Mt. Hilong-Hilong” snowballs

by Noel B. Najarro

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 7 (PIA)
-- A movement is snowballing here in the region pushing “Save Mt. Hilong-Hilong” mountain range.

The “Save Mt. Hilong-Hilong,” movement kicks-off with a mini-symposium culminating with a signature drive to the movement’s declaration of concern, held recently at the lobby of Father Saturnino Urios University (FSUU) organized by the Ivory Charities Foundation, Inc., in line with its advocacy to save Mt. Hilong-Hilong, its thick jungle forest cover, its bio-diversity, its pristine rivers, falls and springs and its significance to environment.

Part of the mini-symposium was the reading of “Why Save Mt. Hilong-Hilong Range” by Atty. Vince Fortun, a member of the Save Mt. Hilong-Hilong Committee. The participants also viewed the “Mt. Hilong-Hilong Primer” by Forester Benjie T. Lasam, another committee member.

It was followed by the reading of the “Declaration of Concern” and a message from an “Indian Chief Seattle of the Suquamish Tribe” by two ICF members.

The “Piso sa HX2” was also launched as presented by Engr. Abraham T. Montilla, another member of the committee. Every concerned individual who wanted to support the movement will drop at least a P1.00 in a marked box.

The “Agusan Association of America”, “Agusan Association of Texas”, “Butuan Global Foundation, Inc.” and BBY2K10 signified their whole-hearted support for the movement.

Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr. and Vice-Mayor Lawrence Fortun signified the city local government’s support for the movement by their presence and by signing the movement’s declaration. Mr. Jaime G. Ubanos, Chief, Protected Areas and Wildlife Division, DENR Caraga, also represented his department during the activity. Each official gave their appropriate messages for the occasion.

Mt. Hilong-Hilong rising at 6,601.37 feet above sea level, considered the highest peak in Northeastern Mindanao can be located at the Diwata Range near the boundaries of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur provinces.

The movement pointed out in their “Declaration of Concern” that the range “forms a natural barrier” shielding Butuan City and Agusan del Norte “from the fierce pacific winds during typhoons.” They also claimed that Mt. Hilong-Hilong is “truly…one huge living natural lung, so vital today when the world’s environment and our very survival are threatened by carbon emissions and global warming.”

The movement calls for the preservation and the protection of the mountain range from exploitation. They are at the same time pushing for the absolute prohibition of mining, logging, quarrying, sale or export of its resources and dumping of solid or liquid waste and slash-and-burn way (kaingin) of farming. They are calling also for the conservation of the land and everything underneath it, flowing on it, growing on it, living off it, or exuding from it. They insist that there shall be no development or construction, except if done for responsible and restricted tourism and recreation facilities.

The movement also pointed out what they considered a serious threat to their present cause, was that even though there are two bills in the house of congress, where each bill accordingly “on the surface appears intended to protect Hilong-Hilong range by declaring it as a protected area,” they claimed however that succeeding provisions of the very the same bills clearly do not protect the mountain. They asserted that the bills “inexplicably allows mining, logging, quarrying, sale and export of flora, fauna and other resources, and even dumping of toxic chemicals, upon authorization by a local management board.

They also pointed out that the composition of the local board is “overwhelmingly dominated by local politicians and local public officials. The house bill accordingly provides also the representation of the two congressmen in the board. The DENR accordingly, whose budget will provide for all expenditures is represented by only one, the Regional Director as chair of the board. The academe has only one representation and there will be three from the NGOs.

The private sector accordingly, is markedly under represented even as they are the stakeholders who will suffer the ill effects of environmental degradation.

They are calling for the withdrawal of the two bills in congress and substitute the same with a more environment friendly legislation or a Presidential Proclamation and that a public hearing be held in Butuan City for the purpose. (PIA-Caraga)