PIA News Service - Saturday, February 18, 2012

Butuan Mayor takes oath as new RPOC chair in Caraga

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 18 (PIA) -- Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand Amante, Jr. on Friday took his oath as the new chairman of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) in Caraga, before Dept. of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Sec. Jesse Robredo who administered the oath-taking, during the council’s meeting held in one of the local convention centers here.

In his speech, Amante said he accepted the appointment of Sec. Robredo believing that peace and order could never be attained in the locality without a resolution of the peace and order situation.

“In deference to Gov. Johnny Pimentel of the province of Surigao del Sur, I also would like to concentrate Butuan City first before going regionwide… But then I realized, that we as a people, we could never attain peace and order in our respective places and local government units without a resolution of the peace and order in the region,” Amante said.

The official added he took the challenge after the national government assured of a backup support in all efforts just to attain peace.

“… so I took the challenge but only after I was assured by the national government through Sec. Jesse Robredo that we will be backed-up in all our efforts in the attainment of peace,” Amante said.

Amante further said peace is not merely the absence of war and hatred but it is also the presence of cooperation, compassion and justice.

“In Caraga, we may not have the kind of war we see on television, happening in many parts of the Middle East or Africa, but we have drug trafficking, all forms of gambling, crimes against life, and property in our locality,” he said.

Furthermore, the newly-installed peace and order chair of the region stressed that what affects the region most is the problem on insurgency which threatens foreign investors and businessmen.

Amante also cited poverty as one of the factors of the insurgency problem that is threatening the region.

Also, he said rapid progress and development has to happen to attain peace and development. “There can never be peace without progress and development,” Amante said.

With all these, Amante urged the officials of the region as well as the stakeholders to continue working together for peace while also working together for progress.

Amante said peace can never be attained through waging a war but it can be best attained through understanding.

The city’s chief executive also vowed to Sec. Robredo that with the national government’s support, he will accept the challenge to lead the people in Caraga Region in the attainment of peace and order. (PIA-Caraga)


FREEDOM chief pushes for organic farming

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 18 (PIA) -- In support to the climate change mitigation program of the national government as embodied in the Philippine Development Plan for 2011-2016, Foundation for Rural Enterprise and Ecology Development of Mindanao (FREEDOM) Executive Director Antonio Peralta urged farmers to try organic farming.

In a roundtable discussion held recently in PIA-Caraga Regional Office here, Peralta said organic products will help people obtain healthy lifestyle as organic products were processed in a natural way, using organic fertilizers, among others.

Peralta further said aside from this, since organic farming will not anymore use chemicals as fertilizers and pesticides, this will promote healthy environment. “Thus, majority of the people will benefit from it,” he added.

Furthermore, the official stressed organic products have been doing well in the market today as many people knew the health benefit they will get from it. “Since many people are looking and buying for these products, livelihood of farmers will be sustained,” he said.

Moreover, Peralta explained for the organic products to be more saleable in the market, it must bear good packaging. “Packaging has contributed to why the buying public patronized the product… so this must be strengthened through enhancement trainings and workshops,” he added.

Also, he said that most importantly, for the product to compete with those that are circulating in the international market, it must be certified with an internationally-acclaimed certifying body like to Control Union (CU) Philippines.

The official said once the product is internationally-certified, this will be sold in a price double than the original. “This will mean a lot to workers as this can help increase their income,” says Peralta.

Meanwhile, Peralta said going into organic farming will also mean responsible farming especially if the products are certified because workers and management will follow the standards set by the international certifying body, “and one of the standards is for the management to see to it that all the processes implemented must be environment-friendly,” he said.

He pointed out that aside from gaining income, the workers and the management can also help in environmental preservation, heeding towards the call of world leaders to mitigate the impact of climate change or global warming.

“So, workers have increased their income and at the same time, they can help protect the environment and mitigating the impact brought about by climate change or global warming,” Peralta said.

FREEDOM is a non-government organization whose mission includes, among others, to provide viable economic and social programs to benefit indigenous peoples and rural communities in Mindanao; Develop and improve the indigenous peoples and rural communities' education and literacy through training and technology transfer; Coordinate programs with local international donor communities and non-governmental organizations; Link the indigenous peoples and rural communities with agribusiness private sectors in Mindanao; and empower the indigenous people and rural communities with sense of respect, dignity and dare to dream. (PIA-Caraga)


Clinches ISO 9001:2008 certification
Feature: TESDA ups ante in standardized services


By Gervacio C. Dauz, Jr.

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 18 (PIA) -- Technical Education and Skill Development Authority (TESDA) Dir. Gen. Joel Villanueva, in behalf of the agency, received the International Standards Organization (ISO) Cerficate 9001:2008.

In a simple rite at the TESDA Complex in Taguig City, Gen. Manager Jen Wen Chia of the TUV SUD PSB that audited the services of the agency handed the certificate to Villanueva.

Accordingly, TESDA was given the prestigious quality branding because of its two major programs, the Unified Technical Vocational Education and Training Program Registration and Accreditation System (UTPRAS) and Competency Assessment and Certification (CAC). Both were able to pass the stringent gauge set by the ISO governing body.

UTPRAS and CAC are systems and processes that ensure integrity and quality of training delivery and training outputs involving all technical-vocational courses.

With the award, TESDA has become the only educational agency and among the government certifying agencies to be granted with such a status.

Villanueva said the ISO certification makes TESDA at par with other international educational institutions that provide the same skills development services.

“After receiving this coveted status, we are emboldened and resolved to work harder because this will mean nothing if we don’t live up to the standard,” he added.

Meanwhile, at the operational, grassroots level, TESDA - Agusan del Norte provincial dir. Florencio F. Sunico, Jr. brimmed with excitement because he believes that such adulation is another feather in the cap for TESDA.

“Being the operational, provincial implementer, which grants accreditation of assessors and assessment centers, including the power to recommend at the Regional Office level the issuance of Certificate of Program Registration under the UTPRAS for technical-vocational education and training institutions our authoritative vantage point through the ISO award has surely been greatly enhanced,” he said.

ISO 9001:2008 specifies requirements for a quality management system where an organization (a) needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide product that meets customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements and (b) aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for continual improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. (TESDA-Agusan del Norte)


Textbook distribution to be implemented

By Eldie N. David

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 18 (PIA) -- The Sangguniang Panlungsod of the City of Butuan has approved a resolution authorizing City Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr. to enter into and sign in behalf of the City Government of Butuan a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Children’s International Philippines, Inc. and the Butuan City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) Office for the implementation of the textbook distribution of the city government.

The Children International Philippines, Inc., represented by its Chief of Programs Rebecca J. Fuellos, is one of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) affiliated with Children International, duly licensed by the DSWD to operate as an auxiliary social welfare and development agency.

The Children International has a textbook distribution program aimed at providing opportunities to enhance learning of the youth in schools and barangays within the Philippines. To do this, the Children International and the CSWD have partnered in facilitating access to quality reference second-hand books that will help promote the interest and youth in reading.

The resolution was jointly authored by all the councilors led by Councilor Erwin L. Dano, the chairman of the Committee on Education of the SP and Vice Mayor Lawrence Fortun. (NCLM/Butuan City VMO)


Seed warehouses up for rehab

By Eldie N. David

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 18 (PIA) -- The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Butuan City recently approved a resolution, authorizing City Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr., to sign and enter in behalf of the city government a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Unit XIII and separately, with the Taligaman-Antongalon Irrigators Association and the Tagabaca-Aupagan Irrigators Association for the repair and rehabilitation of the Seed Storages/Warehouses of both associations.

The rehabilitation of the association’s seed storage/warehouse facility, which has a total combined project cost of P500,000, are among the identified priority projects of the Department of Agriculture in support to the establishment of community seed banks.

The resolution, which was unanimously supported by all the members, was principally authored by Councilor Angelo S. Calo, the chairman of the Committee on Agriculture of the Sangguniang Panlungsod. (NCLM/Butuan City VMO)