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PIA News Service - Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Remains of OFW killed in Lebanon arrives in Butuan City

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 14 (PIA)
-- The remains of an OFW who worked in Lebanon arrived Monday in Bancasi Airport here.

Juvelyn Numeral Concon from Brgy. Sibulan, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur was working as a household service worker. She was among the three OFWs who were killed when a commercial establishment in Lebanon collapsed on January 15, 2012 at around 6:00 p.m.

The names of her two companions were withheld due to their undocumented status in Lebanon.

According to report, the three were attending worship at God’s Divine Love Worship Hall located at the third floor of the said building when the incident happened.

The report also revealed that the building was constructed in 1960s and was considered dilapidated.

In a phone-patch interview with Irish Antonette Destriza, family welfare officer of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)-Caraga here, she said the Philippine Embassy has facilitated the transport of the victim’s cadaver on February 11, 2012 from Beirut to Bahrain.

Destriza added that on Feb. 12, the body was brought to Manila, Philippines and on Monday, Feb. 13, the body was brought here via Philippine Air Lines (PAL) at around 12:20 p.m.

The official further said that since Concon is a member of OWWA, her family will receive insurance benefits amounting to some P200,000 and a burial assistance worth P20,000.

Since the victim is single, her brother who is currently a fourth year high school student is her beneficiary, aside from the educational assistance which he will be receiving as soon as he will be enrolling in college, amounting to some P10,000 annually or P5,000 per semester.

Meanwhile, the mother of the victim will also receive livelihood assistance through the “Nego (from the word negosyo meaning business) Cart”. (PIA-Caraga)

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25 school heads in Agusan del Sur to take up master's degree

By David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Feb. 14 (PIA)
-- Twenty five school heads from elementary and secondary schools in Agusan del Sur will take up masteral degree in education and administration in Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) in order to attain the thrust of the provincial government of Agusan del Sur (PGAS) to give quality education to Agusanon children.

Representing Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza and Vice Gov. Santiago Cane signed a Memorandum of Agreement with ADDU President Fr. Joel Tabora signifying their partnership in enhancing the capability of the school heads in teaching and school management at Trento West Central Elementary School where the MOA signing took place.

Tabora said very few in the entire country had entered into such agreement with their university and it is a noble deed of the government to upgrade and enhance the capability of the teachers. Fr. Tabora also expressed his joy being partner of the DepEd and the provincial government of Agusan del Sur in the development of quality education in the province of Agusan del Sur.

“Gov. Plaza and the officials of Agusan del Sur has really given importance to education because of our mission to give quality education for better and brighter future of the Agusanon children. In this manner, we can be assured that our children will become productive and good Filipino citizens in the future,” Vice Gov. Cane said.

The tuition fees and other expenses of the scholars will be shouldered by the PGAS, while the salary and other allowances will be shouldered by the DepEd during the duration of their studies for three months.

The sending of 25 school heads to ADDU is already the second time around. The first time was in the year 2009 and according to Vice Gov. Cane, the program will already be yearly starting this year.

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Boat capsizes off Surigao City, 43 rescued

By Susil Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Feb. 14 (PIA)
-- A motorized boat, carrying at least 37 passengers including 6 boat crew members from Surigao City en route to Basilisa, Dinagat Islands, capsized Monday afternoon at Sitio Panomboyon, Brgy. Buenavista in Hikdop Island, this city.

Initial report from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) revealed that the boat, identified as M/B Venjun-II, left around 1:30 p.m. Monday at Surigao City port en route to Basilisa town. Upon reaching at the seawater of Sitio Panomboyon the boat’s starboard bow accidently hit a floating object causing it to crack.

All 37 passengers and 6 boat crew members were safely rescued late Monday afternoon by M/B LQP-1, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Navy, PNP-Maritime and Quick Action Response Team (QART) of Surigao City.

PCG Station Commander Lieutenant Joel Simo-ag added that they have also tried to recover the boat but it totally dipped into the seawater at around 6:00 p.m.
The ill-fated boat, owned and operated by Narciso Caban, Sr., was skippered by Efren Dayoc.

Meanwhile, PCG denied the allegation that the boat was overloaded. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)

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Mayor to take oath as RPOC Chairman before Sec. Robredo

By Mary Christine Anthonette M. Salise

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 14 (PIA)
-- City Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr. is scheduled to take his oath as new Regional Peace and Order Council Chairman of Caraga Region before Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary and Chairman of the National Peace and Order Council, Jesse M. Robredo, on Friday, February 17, 2012 in Almont Hotel Inland Resort, this city.

Mayor Amante has been appointed by President Benigno S. Aquino III early this year to head the Peace and Order Council of the Region to address major issues and concerns affecting peace and order in Caraga including insurgencies and recommend measures which will improve or enhance the peace and order situation in the Region, said DILG XIII Regional Director Rene K. Burdeos.

A meeting is also scheduled to take place after the oathtaking to discuss the peace and order situation in Region XIII and to stress the importance of the role of government agencies’ in attaining lasting peace in Caraga. Schedule of Convergence effort undertakings in addressing the said issues will also be discussed during the activity. (NCLM/DILG-13)

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Regional flood advisory for Caraga issued

by Robert E. Roperos


BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 14 (PIA) -- A flood advisory has been issued anew today by the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) following the continuous downpour that is being experienced by majority of areas in Caraga Region.

The advisory was issued at 9:00 a.m. today where accordingly, for the past 24 hours of monitoring, it has been observed that the rainfall ending at 8:00 a.m. are as follows: Surigao = Trace; Butuan = 5.0 mm; and Hinatuan = 6.0 mm.

The advisory also warned the people living near the mountain slopes and those in low-lying areas of the river systems to be alert at all times.

Local DRRMCs concerned are also advised to be alert for possible flashfloods and landslides.

Waterways still likely to be affected are rivers and streams, as well as its tributaries in Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Sur, and Agusan del Norte.

Meanwhile, as of weather advisory of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) issued at 6:00 a.m. today, easterlies affecting the Eastern section of the country, and the low pressure area was estimated at 1,200 kilometers East Southeast of Southern Mindanao (4.0oN, 138.0oE) and it is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility within the next 26 hours.

The entire archipelago will experience mostly cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms.

Moderate to strong winds blowing from the East will prevail throughout the entire archipelago and the coastal waters will be moderate to rough.

In a related development, local DRRMC of Tago in Surigao del Sur reported that the Tago River came near spilling level, while Kalinawan River and Lake Mainit, both in Jabonga, Agusan del Norte are closely being monitored due to continuous rise in water level affecting large areas of rice field and some residential structures.

Also, Office of Civil Defense (OCD)-Caraga reported some P120,000 cost of damages to the roads in the province of Surigao del Sur. (PIA-Caraga)

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New PhilHealth website unveiled

MANILA, Feb. 14 (PIA)
- The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) today unveiled its new corporate website in ceremonies at the Discovery Suites in Ortigas, Pasig City.

The new website, www.philhealth.gov.ph, now includes online services that range from electronic registration, claims eligibility verification, and online mapping, to electronic premium reporting and payment for employers.

“The site welcomes our visitors to three major sections that are of primary interest to our stakeholders. These are Members, our Corporate Partners, and our Online services,” said PhilHealth President and CEO Dr. Eduardo P. Banzon.

He added that snippets of bulletins and issuances can be seen on the upper right-hand corner of the page.

The members panel leads the site visitor to PhilHealth’s five member categories. Each sub-section opens to a standard heading of who are qualified under each category, what the registration procedures are and what benefits are in store for the member. Each sub-section also has a set of frequently-asked questions that are specific to a particular member-category.

On the other hand, the Corporate Partners panel features PhilHealth’s key partners in the implementation of the National Health Insurance Program. These include the Health Care Providers, the Employers, the Collecting Partners, and Private Sector Partners.

Among the online services is the E-Claims through which accredited institutional providers may now verify the eligibility status of members and dependents prior to benefits availment. The Institutional Health Care Provider System will enable accredited providers to check on the membership status of Sponsored Program Members under the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS- PR) during benefits availment.

For employers, PhilHealth offers the Electronic Premium Remittance System (EPRS) which facilitates reporting of their remittances; the E-Payment System which they can use when remitting premium contributions; and the DepEd Textfile Uploader System, a special application for the Department of Education which has thousands of employees nationwide. The E-Group System facilitates registration and billing of organized groups.

Another important feature of the new website is the Mobile Mapping Service, a facility for viewing the locations of health facilities and provides a visualization of various corporate data using maps. Office Locations shows the locations of PhilHealth’s Regional and Branch offices. Once the link is clicked, the Google map of the Philippines will be displayed. Overlaid on the Google map are the locations of the Regional and Branch Offices shown using the PhilHealth logo as the symbol.

Under the Health Facilities Locations, the Google map will show by default all health facilities that are already mapped. This facility will enable the site visitor to see the location of a specific health facility on the Google map and its photograph. At the same time, the PhilHealth GIS Application System (PhilGIS) can show statistical data on accreditation, claims, collections, and membership data in map forms or statistical maps. These maps are shown by regions and by provinces. (PhilHealth)

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POPCOM to youth: Be sexually responsible

By Angie Balen-Antonio

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 14 (PIA) --
The campaign on responsible sexual behavior among the youth has been intensified by the Commission on Population on the alarming incidence of teenage pregnancies in the whole country.

The Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Survey (YAFSS)
 revealed that 29 percent of 15 – 24 years old have had their first sex encounter before the age of 18, about 2.72 million among males and 1.18 million among females, in which 57 percent of the first sex experiences reported by young people were unplanned.

POPCOM Director Camilo S. Pangan is reminding young people to be sexually responsible not only on Valentine’s Day but throughout the years.

He also emphasized that the youth should take advantage of all opportunities that may come in order to prepare themselves for adulthood because this will ensure a healthy life for themselves and their future family, including their capability to fully realize their potentials.

“Our campaign slogan: Ang pag-aaral ay para sa hinaharap, huwag ipagpalit sa sandaling sarap.. truly captures our advocacy to stay away from early sexual involvement as this would hamper in reaching their dreams in the future," Pangan stressed.

In its various advocacy activities, POPCOM encouraged parents to give quality time to their children so that sensitive matters like sexuality can be dealt with accordingly instead of getting unreliable or wrong information from friends or other sources, which will destroy the future of their children and their children’s children.

Meanwhile, according to the National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), 33.9 percent of women age 15 – 24 in Caraga Region began childbearing. Births among this age group will likely to exceed one million annually by 2020 in the Philippines.

Further YAFSS revealed that early pregnancy and childbearing endanger the health of the woman and her child. Biologically and psychologically, the young adolescent is still unprepared for pregnancy and childbirth considering that her reproductive system is still immature to take on such functions. (POPCOM-Caraga)

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Surigao City holds Pre-Valentine Kasalan

By Annette P. Villaces

SURIGAO CITY, Feb. 14 (PIA)
-- In line with the celebration of Civil Registry Month and Valentine’s Day, the city government of Surigao successfully held its Annual Pre-Valentine Kasalan last February 10, 2012 at the city auditorium, this city.

The said activity was organized yearly by the city government through the Office of the City Local Civil Registry.

City Mayor Ernesto T. Matugas officiated over the mass wedding ceremony.

This year’s Pre-Valentine Kasalan recorded the highest pairs over the years with around 208 pairs, according to Mayor Matugas on his message.

The youngest couple to participate in the wedding rites were both 19 years old, Remon Yurtas of Brgy. Catadman and Resa Plaza of Brgy. San Isidro while the oldest couple to wed were Priscila Garcia, 63 and Pedro Pernada, 69 both are residents of Brgy. Washington, this city.

“The city will continue to conduct this activity in realization of our mission which aims to help those live-in couples to be legally married and of course to legitimize their children,” Matugas said. (Surigao City PIO/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

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Cebuano news: Malacanang giabisohan ang mga Overseas Filipino Workers sa pagtrabaho isip drug mules aron malikay sa silot nga kamatayon

By Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Peb. 14 (PIA)
-- Ang MalacaƱang mipahimangno sa mga Filipino nga nagtrabaho isip mga tigdala og droga (drug mules) alang sa mga international drug syndicates aron malikay sila sa silot nga kamatayon (death penalty), ang opisyales sa Palasyo miingon niadtong Sabado.

Si Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda mipagawas sa maong pamahayag atol sa interbyu niini sa DzRB Radyo ng Bayan niadtong Sabado, human nga nadakpan ang duha ka mga Filipino didto sa Macau tungod sa pagpayuhot og droga (drug trafficking) niadtong Pebrero 1.

Ang administrasyong Aquino, nga adunay lig-on nga anti-illegal drug policy, mihimo og mga komprehensibo ug aktibong mga sumbanan aron matubag ang isyu sa drug mules ug aron protektahan ang mga Filipino nga mabiktima sa mga international drug syndicates.

Matud ni Lacierda nga kinahanglan ang mga Filipino makakat-on gikan sa gidangatan niadtong gibitay didto sa China niaging tuig tungod sa pagpayuhot og droga.

"Pagkatapos kung sakaling i-impose sa kanila ang death penalty kargo po ng sambayanang Pilipino ang kanilang problema. So sana matuto na po ang ating mga kababayan na huwag pagamit sa mga drug syndicates," matud pa niya.

Iyang giawhag ang mga Filipino nga sundon ang panawagan sa gobyerno aron protektahan ang ilang mga kaugalingon batok niining mga sindikato sa droga.

"Ito ang pakiusap natin sa mga Overseas Filpino Workers (OFWs) at sa mga taong lalabas ng bansa -- huwag po tayo pagagamit sa mga syndikato ng droga at huwag tayong papayag na gamitin ang ating mga kagamitan, mga maleta na lalagyan ng kanilang mga gamit na hindi nila personally ini-inspect," siya miingon.

Ang Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) mitaho nga duha ka mga Filipino – usa ka lalake ug usa ka babaye- ang nadakpan sa Judiciary Police sa usa ka puluy-anan didto sa Macau. Ang duha ka mga Filipino gikatahong nagbaton og 46 gramos sa methamphetamine hydrochloride, o ilado sa Pilipinas nga gitawag og shabu.

Ang nakumpiska nga mga droga gibana-banang nagkantidad 90,000 patacas (US$11,392.405). Pipila ka mga gamit pangdroga usab ang nakaplagan didto sa maong puluy-anan.

Usa usab ka Filipino nga suspetsadong pumapalit, ang giimbitahan sa mga awtoridad sa Macau police alang sa pipila ka mga pangutana.

Si Lacierda mingon ang gobyerno mipaabot na og tabang ngadto sa detinadong mga Filipino aron maseguro nga respetado ang ilang mga katungod.

Adunay mokabat 19 ka mga Filipino ang kasamtangang detinado didto sa Macau tungod sa mga kaso sa droga.

Ang goyernong Pilipinas hugot nga mi-kooperar uban sa mga ahensya sa kapolisan didto sa laing mga nasod alang sa pakigbisog batok sa anti-drugs trafficking. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)