2.16.2012

PIA News Service - Thursday, February 16, 2012

‘PRC on wheels’ goes to Surigao City

By Fryan E. Abkilan

SURIGAO DEL NORTE, Feb. 16 (PIA)
-- The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) will have its extension delivery program services "PRC on wheels" on Surigao City on February 16-17, 2012.

City Public Information Officer (PIO) Annette Villaces said PRC will be accepting renewal of professional identification cards of various professions, processing of applicants for examination, request for certification and authentication, among others in Surigao City, “which has been identified by the agency as one of the strategic location in Region XIII to avail the PRC on Wheels.”

Villaces said the agency has already coordinated with the Office of the City Mayor to carry out their extension services between 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Feb 16 and 9:00 am to 12:00 noon on Feb. 17 at Brgy. Washington Gymnasium.

Villaces said PRC will be accepting applications for the March 2012 for Criminologists and Midwives and September 2012 for LET.

First time examinees must bring the following requirements: birth certificate from National Statistics Office; marriage contract from NSO for married female applicants only; and latest three copies of identical passport size colored pictures with complete name tag, white background and in proper attire (with sleeves).

For the school documents, the applicants must prepare original and authenticated photocopies of Transcript of Records bearing remarks such as "For Board Examination Purposes Only," "Graduated or Conferred," date of graduation and Special Order (SO) number if applicable. The other requirements are: certificate of exemption from S.O. (for applicants from accredited schools); separate copy of CHED SO with signature of approving authority; and diploma.

For repeaters, the applicants must bring photocopies of any of the following documents used in the previous examination if available: application stub, report of ratings, or official receipt. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)

.
Number of flood-affected persons up as water level rises in Lake Mainit

By Nora L. Molde

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 16 (PIA)
-- Due to the continuous rise of water level in Lake Mainit in the municipality of Jabonga, Agusan del Norte, the number of persons affected now reached 9,390 as of 10:00 a.m. today, according to the report of the Caraga Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC).

Southern Mindanao is currently affected by a low pressure area.

A total of 13 barangays with 9,390 persons are now affected, of which 9,100 came from Agusan del Norte and 290 from Surigao del Norte.

In Agusan del Norte, the RDRRMC reported that only 253 individuals or are housed in the evacuation centers; while in Surigao del Norte, 153 individuals have been evacuated.

Lake Mainit is situated between the provinces of Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Norte.

The RDRRMC through council chair and Office of the Civil Defense Regional Director Dr. Blanche T. Gobenciong has constantly coordinating with the local DRRMCs for the status of their area of responsibility and alerted them for possible landslides and flashfloods.

Also, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is on standby for relief operation and ready for possible augmentation to the local government units affected with the flooding.

The RDRRMC Operations Center maintains its 24/7 monitoring and continues to disseminate warnings and advisories through text blasts or SMS to member agencies, local DRRMCs, and local media in the region.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Information Agency is also assisting the RDRRMC round-the-clock in the dissemination of information in the form of warnings and advisories to its significant number of recipients in the region. (PIA-Caraga)

.
Pilipinas Natin Balangayan forum held in Butuan

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 16 (PIA)
-- In support of the transparency and good governance agenda of the government, the National Youth Commission (NYC) Commissioner-at-Large Gio Tingson and EDSA People Power Commission Project Officer Justin Arnold Gunnaccao graced today’s Pilipinas Natin Balangayan Forum as guest speakers.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) – Office for Special Concerns sent the two guest speakers to discuss the significance of EDSA Revolution to the lives of Filipinos especially the youth, who are now enjoying the freedom which our good leaders fought during the dictatorial presidency of Ferdinand Marcos.

Students from the San Vicente National High School and Sunrise Christian College in Butuan participated in the forum and asked several questions not only on the events during the EDSA Revolution but also how they can better contribute in nation-building.

The said conduct of the Balangayan Forum here was also initiated by Rex Ybañez, CEO of the Caraga Youth Leaders’ Network, Incorporated.

According to Tingson, this year marks the 26th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution in the country.

“EDSA reminds us how Filipinos from different walks of life got united and fulfilled its one common goal, and that is to have democracy over the dictatorship of the late former president Marcos. This is because we want to do the things which we think can be good to ourselves and to others without someone controlling us,” he said.

Tingson added that the government and citizens must work side by side to genuinely pursue change and development.

Also, Gunnaccao shared that Filipinos should not forget EDSA Revolution for the following reasons: 1) Filipinos share the same past, present, and future; 2) it is already part of our being Filipinos; and 3) EDSA signifies hope and courage of the Filipino people.

Pilipinas Natin is a campaign to build a volunteerism movement that thrives on the peoples’ continuing response to the call for change. It is a call for active involvement of the citizens, empowering a nation that imbibes, and cultivates the Filipino culture of caring, sharing and bayanihan.

With this, the NYC, EDSA People Power Commission and CYLN encourages the youths from different schools in the city to get involved in the activities in the community and of the government as part of their contribution to nation-building. This is also one way that their voices will be heard. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

.
Flood alert level 1 up in Butuan City

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 16 (PIA)
-- Following the low pressure area which continuously affects Southern Mindanao, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) has declared flood alert level 1 here as water level in Agusan River has risen to 2.05 meters.

In a radio interview with Eugene Boco, operations officer of CDRRMC-Butuan, he said as of 8:00 a.m. today, water level in Agusan River measured 2.05 meters, prompting the city government through CDRRMC to declare flood alert level 1 or the code blue alert.

Boco further said this is probably because of the high tide which occurred at 5:04 a.m. and measured at 0.4 meters.

The official added that according to their sources, since flooding also occurred in some portions in Agusan del Sur, Compostella Valley Province and in Davao del Norte, it is expected that water level in Agusan River will rise.

With this, the official warned the public to be vigilant for possible flashflood, as the local government is aiming for a zero casualty.

Meantime, an unconfirmed report revealed that a certain Danilo Logramonte, 38 years old from Brgy. Maon here hewed wood in the neighboring barangay of San Vicente and accidentally fell on the Agusan River.

The official said they have already conducted ocular inspection on the surface of the river, particularly along the river bank in Brgy. San Vicente but as of press time, the victim is still nowhere to be found.

However, he said the Butuan Search and Rescue Team (BUSART) will continue the search and rescue operations today.

In a related development, water level in Lake Mainit within the boundary of Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Norte has also risen prompting residents in the low-lying barangays in the said area to evacuate.

According to Regional DRRMC chair Dr. Blanche Gobenciong, Office of Civil Defense (OCD)-Caraga Regional Director, 24 familes or 140 individuals have already evacuated in the municipality of Jabonga. (PIA-Caraga)

.
28 families evacuated in Jabonga

By Nora L. Molde

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 16 (PIA)
-- Twenty-eight families were evacuated from Jabonga, Agusan del Norte as water level in Lake Mainit rose due to the continuous rains brought about by the Low Pressure Area being experienced in Caraga.

According to Caraga Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) chair and Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Regional Director Dr. Blanche T. Gobenciong, four barangays in the municipality of Jabonga located in low-lying areas were already affected. These include the barangays of Poblacion, Colorado, Tagbuyawan, and Bonga.

Gobenciong reported 28 families or 140 individuals have already been evacuated in the two barangays: Poblacion – 16 families or 80 persons, and Bonga with 12 families or 60 persons.

DRRMC in Jabonga has already activated and prepared their evacuation centers such as the municipal gym, the senior citizens building, and the old municipal building.
Barangay Bonga, on the other hand, is using the Bonga Elementary School as an evacuation center.

Also, the RDRRMC is constantly in touch with the local DRRMCs for the status in their areas of responsibility and to alert them for possible landslides and flashfloods.

The RDRRMC Operations Center maintains its 24/7 monitoring and continues to disseminate warnings and advisories through text blasts or SMS to member agencies, local DRRMCs, and local media in the region.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Information Agency is also assisting the RDRRMC round-the-clock in the dissemination of information in the form of warnings and advisories to its recipients in the region. (PIA-Caraga)

.
AgNor PDRRMC assures availability of needed equipment during calamities

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 17 (PIA) --
Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) of the province of Agusan del Norte assured the public that equipment needed during calamities are up and available.

During the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting held recently here, Gov. Erlpe John Amante solicited suggestions from the Philippine National Police, Philippine Army, and local chief executives of the different municipalities in the province in identifying other necessary equipment to be used during calamities so that PDRRMC can effectively respond to the public.

The council identified the need for more portable toilets in the designated evacuation centers in every municipality to ensure good health of the Agusanons especially the children. PDRRMC will also provide more rubber boats.

Also, Gov. Amante reiterated that municipal mayors should establish their own MDRRM Plan where flow of its disaster-response operations are identified.

“A clear early warning system must also be indicated in the plan/flow of operations, so everybody will be informed and be cautious,” said Amante.

The chief executive of the province also emphasized the need to intensify advocacy campaigns in every municipality so that the public will know what to do and where to go in times of calamities.

With this, PDRRMC hopes to reduce the risks of losing lives and properties of the Agusanons when calamity strikes the province. Amante also urged the public of its full cooperation. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


.
PCOO to hold Pilipinas Natin Balangayan Forum today in Butuan

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 17 (PIA)
-- In celebration of the 26th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) – Office for Special Concerns will hold the Pilipinas Natin Balangayan Forum in two different schools here today.

According to PCOO Undersecretary for Special Concerns Jose Mari Oquiñena, this is part of the activities set for the month-long celebration.

Usec. Oquiñena also said the forum, dubbed “Pilipinas Natin Balangayan Forum: Anong taya mo para sa Pilipinas Natin?” (Our Philippines Balangayan Forum: What is your bet for our country?), the activity hoped to inspire as much audience all over the country in two weeks time, leading to the February 25 celebration.

The official added the event highlights the importance of our shared democracy that the Filipinos benefit today and challenges the participants to rekindle the spirit of People Power through volunteerism and bayanihan (cooperation).

Pilipinas Natin is a campaign to build a volunteerism movement that thrives on the peoples’ continuing response to the call for change. It is a call for active involvement of the citizens, empowering a nation that imbibes, and cultivates the Filipino culture of caring, sharing and bayanihan.

The campaign creates an enabling environment where every Filipino is given the chance to contribute to the work of nation building through concrete and grounded activities that promotes township development and people empowerment.

Pilipinas Natin will be in different cities and municipalities all over the country. Through massive formation and service activities, the goal is to form the army of volunteers group into Balangays - the basic unit of Pilipinas Natin. Composed of 7-10 volunteers, the Balangay follows a monthly life cycle where they learn and nurture the Pilipinas Natin values and virtues.

Target groups to be invited to join the movement include the Student Government and Organizations in universities and colleges; Student Government and Organizations in high schools both public and private Youth organizations; out of school youth groups in communities, parishes and churches; Sangguniang Kabataan (SK); Fraternities, Sororities and Confraternities; Local government offices; Civic organizations, peoples organizations, and special interest groups. (PIA-Caraga)

.
MinDA Board cites urgency for Mindanao waters program

ILIGAN CITY, Feb. 16 (PIA)
-- With the threats of flooding and related environmental incidents due to the changing climate, Mindanao leaders leaders agreed to have an integrated watershed and river basin programs

In a recent meeting here of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Board, consisting of all Regional Development Council (RDC) chairs, LGU officials , and Congress and sectoral organizations in Mindanao, it unanimously pushed for the implementation of Mindanao Nurturing Our Waters (MindaNOW) as one of its flagship programs.

Secretary Luwalhati Antonino who convened the 5th MinDA Board meeting said that the program adopts the “ridge-to-reef” approach in integrating interventions for the development, protection and conservation of the watersheds and river basins in Mindanao.

“Mindanao has been suffering from massive deforestation and unsustainable agricultural practices”, said Antonino, adding that these contributed to major disasters including the recent flashfloods.

The MinDA chair noted that prior to the flashfloods that hit Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City last December, massive siltation and riverbank migration along the Pulangi river have caused flooding in the Allah Valley in North Cotabato.

She added that forest denudation along the Pantaron range in Bukidnon has also increased the water flow down to Agusan and Compostela Valley province, causing soil erosions and floods during rainy season.

With only 10 percent forest cover left, Antonino said that Mindanao must catch up with the national greening program which aims to plant 1.5-billion trees covering about 1.5-million acres nationwide.

Antonino stressed that the remaining forests especially those in the watershed buffer zones are no longer capable of holding rainwater during storm and heavy rains.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (NDRRMC) has recorded a total of 11 landslides and 43 flooding incidents in Regions 10, 11, 12, Caraga, and ARMM which affected 172,798 families in 283 barangays from January to July 2011.

“The flashfloods brought by Typhoon Sendong in December accounted for the loss of more than 1,000 lives and P1.45-billion damage to infrastructure and agriculture”, said Antonino, citing a report of the NDRRMC.

Antonino said that while Mindanao economy is projected to grow even more in the next decades, she emphasized that economic growth need not come at the expense of the environment.

She added that the MindaNOW program is anchored on President Benigno Aquino’s Social Contract with the Filipino People which promotes responsible use of the country’s natural resources.

“Economic and ecological integration as well as inclusive wealth creation must be anchored on planning Mindanao’s sustainable development based on its rich ecosystems”, she said, adding that these are the twin thrusts of the Mindanao 2020 Peace and Development Framework Plan (Mindanao 2020), the island-region’s peace and development roadmap for 2010-2030.

The MindaNOW program takes cognizance of the carrying capacity of Mindanao’s ecosystem including its archipelagic nature as the basis for planning the future of the island-region.

Antonino said there is a lot of work ahead for MinDA but she is grateful for the overwhelming support of the President, her fellow cabinet secretaries, Mindanao congressmen, and the private sector.

”We’ve been roaming around Mindanao and successfully forging partnerships with various organizations”, said Antonino.

Meanwhile, local city officials here welcome the MindaNOW program and pointed out the need to take action against illegal logging.

Mayor Lawrence Cruz said the flashfloods that hit the two neighboring cities were aggravated by hundreds of ‘hot logs’ that came with it.

Cruz said they are just waiting for results of the investigation which President Aquino directed following the devastation of tropical storm Sendong.

“With careful planning and strategic interventions such us infrastructure, only then can we prevent this kind of disaster”, said Cruz. (MinDA)

.
Cebuano news: Malacanang mipadayag og pagdayeg sa pag-ila sa coalition sa proposed Freedom of Information bill

By Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Peb. 16 (PIA)
-- Ang Malacañang mipadayag og pagdayeg sa pagdawat sa grupong Right to Know, Right Now coalition sa Freedom of Information (FOI) bill sa administrasyon ni Pangulong Benigno S. Aquino III nga gisumiter ngadto sa ubos nga balay balaoranan.
"We undertook our task in good faith, and we very much appreciate the coalition recognizing this," si Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) Undersecretary Manuel L. Quezon III miingon sa iyang mensahe nga gibasa ni Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte atol sa regular press briefing didto sa Malacanang kagahapon Miyerkules.

Ang Right to Know, Right Now coalition, usa ka network o grupo nga gilangkoban sa 150 ka mga civic ug media groups, nagduso alang sa pagpasar sa FOI nga balaodnon.

"From the very start, as we who comprised the Study Group told the coalition, we hoped that the process of engaging civil society and media as we undertook our work, would serve as a confidence-building exercise,"si Quezon miingon.

"Together with the coalition, we look forward to the House and the Senate in turn doing their part to make FOI legislation one of the crowning achievements of the 15th Congress," sa iyang pagdugang.

Niadtong miaging Pebrero 3, si Pangulong Aquino miingon ang iyang administrasyon misumiter na sa FOI pinaagi sa ilang mga alyado didto sa ubos nga balay balaoranan alang sa posibleng pagpasar sa maong balaobnon.

Sa mensahe nga gipagawas kagahapon Miyerkules, ang Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition gidawat ang bag-ohay pa lamang nga publikong pag-endorso ni Pangulong Aquino alang sa pagpasar sa FOI ug ang paggawas sa pinal nga proposed bill niini.

Ang coalition miingon ang pag-endorso sa Pangulo sa maong proposed FOI bill mihimo og duha ka butang—Una, ang pag-endorso sa Pangulo nakapawala sa rason nga ang maong balaodnon nalangan sa pagtuki, partikularmente didto sa ubos balay balaoranan.

Ikaduha, ang pag-endorso ni Pangulong Aquino miresulba sa “concerns” mahitungod sa maong balaodnon, ug nakunhoran ang peligro sa gitawag nga Presidential veto.

"Yet most important of all, the endorsement reaffirms the Aquino administration’s commitment to transparency, accountability, and good governance, and clears the way for the long-overdue passage of the FOI law as part of the larger struggle to advance our human right to information," ang tigpasiugda sa FOI miingon. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)