PIA News Service - Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Alert level 1 raised in Surigao City, Surigao Norte, Dinagat Islands due to LPA

By Fryan E. Abkilan

SURIGAO CITY, Feb. 15 (PIA)
-- An alert level one was raised early today, Feb. 15 in the city, and the provinces of Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands following continuous rains brought about by an active low pressure area (ALPA) in East of Mindanao.

In a radio announcement, the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) of Surigao City said an alert level one was hoisted upon recommendation from the local PAGASA.

“A suspension of classes in the pre-school and elementary levels both from private and public will be enforced as the ALPA is fast approaching to Eastern Mindanao,” it said.

Surigao del Norte Vice Gov. Carlos Egay, Jr., in an announcement sent to PIA, said an alert level one was also hoisted in the entire province including Siargao Island upon recommendation from PAGASA. “But the suspension of classes will only be for Pre-school following the new guidelines (EO 66) which was recently signed by Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III.”

Egay, however, said to those flood/landslide prone elementary schools, “the principal concerned can implement a localized cancellation or suspension of classes.”


On the other hand, Dinagat Islands PDRRMC through Provincial Administrator Benglen Ecleo has also raised an alert level one in the entire province.

Ecleo advised all his constituents situated at the steep slope and low lying areas to take precautionary measures for possible landslides and flashfloods.

He also directed the local MDRRMCs to take preparedness action on this concern.

Latest PAGASA bulletin, as of 5am today, revealed that the ALPA was estimated based on satellite and surface data at 400km East of Mindanao (5.5degN, 130.0degE). (PIA-Surigao del Norte)

.
PAL cancels Manila-Butuan-Manila flights today

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 15 (PIA)
-- Philippine Airlines (PAL) Manila-Butuan-Manila flights have been cancelled today due to zero visibility.

The announcement was made by PAL Butuan Manager Paolo Diaz De Rivera in a text message sent to PIA-Caraga this afternoon.

Rivera said flights PR477 and PR478 were cancelled due to terminal weather, causing a “zero visibility”.

He added affected PAL passengers were provided with a special flight that is scheduled to depart from Manila on Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 9:15 a.m. and is expected to arrive here at around 10:55 a.m.

Same aircraft will depart Bancasi Airport here at around 11:25 a.m., and will arrive at Manila at around 12:55 a.m.

Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific has also canceled their flight for Manila this afternoon while their morning flight has already departed at 8:00 a.m. bound for Cebu.

In a related development, according to Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), as of 8:00 a.m. today, the active low pressure area was estimated based on satellite and surface data at 400 km East of Mindanao (5.5oN, 130.0oE).

Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao will experience cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms with widespread rains over Easter Visayas and Eastern Mindanao which may trigger flashfloods and landslides. The rest of Luzon will have mostly cloudy skies with light rains.

PAGASA also reported that moderate to strong winds blowing from the East over Luzon and coming from the East to Northeast over Visayas and Mindanao will prevail, while coastal waters through the archipelago will be moderate to rough. (PIA-Caraga)

.
BIR-Surigao del Sur exceeds tax goal for January

By Greg Tataro, Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur February 15 (PIA)
-- The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) District Office 106 in Surigao del Sur got off to a good start by continuing its streak from the preceding year by hitting the tax collection target here at the beginning of the year.

According to Revenue District Officer (RDO) Amanoding Esmail, they have already exceeded their tax goal for the month of January.

Esmail said they have posted up to P48,472,995.82 or an excess of P1,958,995.82 which is equivalent to 4.21 percent of change for the collection target of P46,514,000.

Meanwhile, given a tax goal of P597,708,000 for 2012 to collect, Esmail wished to get a repeat of last year’s feat. (Radyo Ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA Surigao del Sur)


.
DOLE set to conduct Career Guidance, Employment Coaching in Surigao del Sur

By Greg Tataro, Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Feb. 15 (PIA)
-- The provincial office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Surigao del Sur is set to conduct a Career Guidance and Employment Coaching here on February 17, 2012.

According to DOLE Provincial Officer Teofila Rosales, said activity aims to impart knowledge and additional information on career guidance and employment to guidance counselors and Public Employment Service Office (PESO) managers in the province.

Topics on labor market information, tips in choosing career, principles of professionalism, developing highly marketable skills, pre-employment seminar, and orientation on philjobnet online, are mong the topics to be discussed. (Radyo Ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA Surigao del Sur)

.
MinDA says PHL to endorse accord on EAGA Non-Convention Sized Ships

DAVAO CITY, Feb. 15 (PIA)
-- The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) today announced that the Philippines will formally endorse the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Non-Convention Sized Ships (NCSS) when the Sea Linkages Working Group of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines - East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) meets next month.

“The MOU aims to formalize intra-EAGA movement of non-convention sized ships through mutual recognition and monitoring of safety standards, security requirements, environmental protection, and ship manning,” said MinDA chair Luwalhati R. Antonino.

According to Antonino, whose office also serves as the Philippine coordinating office for the BIMP-EAGA, there have been some informal intra-EAGA voyages going on, but concrete data about these operations cannot be collected yet.

NCSS are traditionally not permitted to sail international voyages, but once the MOU is approved, these existing operations within EAGA borders can be readily legalized, regulated and tracked.

Antonino, who also serves as the Philippine Signing Minister to BIMP-EAGA, added that the agreement seeks to facilitate negotiations for a harmonized BIMP-EAGA non-convention sized ships standards.

In an inter-agency meeting by Philippine members of the working group, representatives reviewed the draft MOU and identified improvement areas to be presented in the BIMP-EAGA Sea Linkages Working Group meeting slated in Jakarta, Indonesia on March 1.

The group agreed to have a pilot test of the MOU results in the country through the Tawi-tawi – Malaysia route.

“The finalization of the MOU will greatly benefit our small traders, specifically in the ARMM areas as most of them are using wooden vessels for their merchandise trading in the neighboring countries,” Antonino shared.

The Maritime Industry Authority, the Philippines’ lead agency for the Sea Linkages Working Group, along with the Philippine Ports Authority, DOTC, and Philippine Coast Guard will be leading the in-country formulation of the implementing rules and regulation (IRR).

They will also carry out port state control inspection on the NCSS of the other Participating Parties entering its national waters to verify if the condition of the NCSS meets the standards set in the IRR.

“Safety is the main concern of the MOU, specifically of the passenger vessels,” said Ma. Concepcion Arbolario of MARINA.

Arbolario added each country already has distinct regulations for NCSS operations, but these need to be standardized along with relevant national certificates in order to create mutual benefits for the participating countries.

“A harmonized regulation for the intra-EAGA NCSS operation will truly help our coast guards in implementing safety policies and necessary sanctions for those that fail to oblige,” Arbolario said.

BIMP-EAGA is an economic cooperation formally created in 1994 covering the border areas of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Its goals are spawning increased investments, trade, and tourism within this ASEAN sub-region. (NCLM/MinDA)

.
Rotary clubs of midtown Butuan, Cubao extend help to Sendong victims

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 15 (PIA)
-- The rotary clubs of midtown Butuan and midtown Cubao together with the Rotaracts of the Agusan Business and Arts Foundation, Inc. (ABAFI) have extended help to tropical storm Sendong victims in Iligan city recently.

The team went to Tent City, in Tambo, Iligan City and proceeded to Barangay Hinaplanon and endorsed the truckload of goods to Barangay Captain Veronico Echavez, for distribution to Barangays Hinaplanon, Tambo and Bayug.

Victims received relief packs containing basic commodities such as rice, canned goods, noodles, among others.

Meanwhile, the Butuan Midtowners is grateful to its sister club, the Rotary Club of Midtown Cubao, through its past President Fidel Marcelo and its President Dr. Ayong for the cash donations of P 50,000.00 which helped realize this joint project dubbed ‘OPLAN TINABANGAY’.

Further, Rotary Club Downtown Butuan, Rotarian Dani Jomonong, Rotarians John and Kerwin Uy’s Three Star Noodles, Fatima Commercial and Marject Food Corporation also donated rice and grocery goods.

Meanwhile, the two Rotary Clubs of Midtown Butuan and Midtown Cubao expressed gratitude to the Rotarians of Iligan Bay and Iligan City headed by Pres. Dom Siao, RMN and its Butuan Manager, Ramil Bangues, some officials of Iligan City and Barangay Captain Echavez for assisting them in the distribution of relief goods to Typhoon Sendong victims of Iligan. The club also donated gallons of water and clothing to Cagayan de Oro Sendong victims, it was learned. (NCLM/CY/PIA-Caraga)

.
Siargao Island to host 5th International Game Fishing Tournament

By Michael O. Conte

SURIGAO DEL NORTE, Feb. 15 (PIA)
-- Siargao Island, the surfing and game fishing (SurFishing) capital of the country, is set to host the 5th Siargao International Game Fishing Tournament in Pilar town this April.

In a report posted on www.siargaoislands.net, organizers said the tournament will be participated by anglers from all over the world.

“The town is expecting more than eighty anglers from the different countries in the world such as Japan, Singapore, Russia, United States, Germany, Switzerland and China to join the tournament,” the report said.

The tournament is the largest game fishing event in the country which has gained full support from both government and fishing clubs all over the Philippines.

The international event, which is expected to boost the tourism industry of the island, is organized by the Office of Cong. Francisco T. Matugas (1st District of Surigao del Norte), Office of Gov. Sol F. Matugas (Province of Surigao del Norte), Office of Pilar Mayor Lucio T. Gonzales, and Department of Tourism (DOT).

Siargao Island’s marine life is inhabited by thousands of fish species including marlin, sailfish, giant tuna, tanguigue, king mackerel, great barracuda, and swordfish. (DPWH-Siargao/FEA/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


.
Butuan City bags Agri-Pinoy Rice Achiever Award

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 15 (PIA)
-- Butuan City was awarded as one of the Top 50 Outstanding Municipalities/Cities of the Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Awards for 2011 in a ceremony held last Friday, February 10, 2012 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Manila with Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala as guest of honor.

According to Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante Jr, who received the award, the P1 million cash award will be spent on the city’s Organic Farming Program to further enhance rice production.

Butuan City’s rice production rose drastically from 2.6 metric tons in 2010 to 5.1 metric tons in 2011.

Joining Amante at the awarding ceremony were DA-13 Regional Executive Director Edna Mabeza, City Agriculturist Alberto Buca, and Gertrudes Fortun of the City Agriculture Office who also received an award as one of the Outstanding Agricultural Extension Workers. Fortun received P20,000.

Other awardees from the Caraga Region are the Municipality of Trento and the Provinces of Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur. (NCLM/CMO-PIO/Butuan-PIO)

.
“Sendong” has the most number of deaths – NDRRMC of the 10 destructive tropical cyclones for 2011 in Phl

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 15 (PIA)
-- According to a report from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), of the 10 destructive tropical cyclones that hit the Philippines in 2011, tropical storm “Sendong” had the most number of deaths, with the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan in Region 10 suffering the brunt.

This, after the NDRRMC has accounted the total number of casualties during last year’s tropical cyclones for which out of 1,541 total dead, there are 1,257 dead bodies have been accounted during the “Sendong” tragedy or an equivalent of 82 percent.

NDRRMC reported that while Sendong ranked first, typhoon Pedring which hit the country on September 24-28, 2011 followed, leaving at least 85 persons dead.

Also, typhoon Pedring was reported to have the most number of affected families/persons with 667,602 families or an equivalent of 3,105,355 persons, followed by tropical storm Falcon on June 21-25, 2011, having 389,348 families affected or an equivalent to 1,792,376 persons.

Meanwhile, out of 38,088 totally damaged houses, Sendong caused damages to 13,337 houses which ranked first, followed by tropical storm Juaning (July 25-28, 2011) with 11,196 houses.

As to the damage to properties, typhoon Pedring had incurred the biggest amount of P15,552,586,957.49, followed by tropical storm Juaning with a total cost of P4,441,798,208.89.

From January to December last year, 19 tropical cyclones have entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), and ten of them were destructive namely: Tropical Storm Bebeng (May 8-11); Typhoon Chedeng (May 20-28); Tropical Storm Falcon; Typhoon Juaning; Typhoon Kabayan (July 28-Aug 5); Typhoon Mina (August 21-29), Typhoon Pedring; Typhoon Quiel (September 29 –Oct 2); Tropical Depression Ramon (October 10-14); and Tropical Storm Sendong on December 15-18, the NDRRC reported.

These tropical cyclones affected Regions I, II, III, IV-A, IV-B, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, CAR and NCR left in their wakes the aforementioned effects. (PIA-Caraga)

.
NEDA-Caraga grateful for 37% budget increase of the region

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 15 (PIA)
-- With the 37 percent budget increase of the region for 2012 as compared last year, officials and personnel of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)-Caraga are grateful to the national government for this development.

According to Ian Miculob, NEDA-Caraga Economic Development Specialist in a radio interview recently, the increase of budget approved by the national government for Caraga Region indicates that the present administration is determined to achieve poverty alleviation since the region is considered the poorest in the country.

“Mapasalamaton kita sa atong nasudnong panggamhanan tungod sa paghatag og prayoridad sa atong rehiyon aron sa pagpalambo niini, tungod kay ang atong rehiyon mao man ang pinaka-pobre nga rehiyon sa atong nasud,” Miculob said.

(We are thankful to the national government for giving our region priority development because our region is the poorest in the country).

It may be recalled that when the regional budget consultation was conducted here during the second quarter last year, Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad vowed to increase the region’s budget so that plans and projects for the development of the region will be implemented.

During the consultation, Abad also said if development projects will be implemented, this also means development of livelihood opportunities for the people that will lead to poverty alleviation.

It was also noted that the country’s budget chief pointed out that since Caraga Region is the poorest among the 17 regions, the national government should give priority to the region’s poverty alleviation projects and programs.

Meanwhile, NEDA-Caraga officials are hopeful that the region will achieve development through the poverty alleviation programs that are set to be implemented this year and the years to come. (PIA-Caraga)

.
Butuan City gov't tasks CSU to design plans to make Brgy. Pagatpatan a tourist destination

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 15 (PIA)
-- The city government here has tasked the Caraga State University (CSU) to design and craft plans to make Barangay Pagatpatan a tourist destination of the city.

According to a report, this developed after the city officials visited the area and found its potential to be the new tourist destination here.

With this, the city government is optimistic that developing the area to be a tourist destination will mean development in the economic condition of this city, being the regional center of Caraga Administrative Region.

Among the potential tourist attractions found in Barangay Pagatpatan include an enchanted garden where water that flows on the water pipe glows because of its pressure.

Also, it was recently observed by the city government that migratory birds coming from other places in the country and even in other countries are found in the barangay.

Said barangay is along the river bank of Agusan River. It is considered the first barangay in the northernmost part of this city, adjacent to the municipality of Magallanes in Agusan del Norte which is separated by Agusan River, touted as the longest river in Caraga Region. (PIA-Caraga)

.
DSWD-Caraga to award P2.9M to SEA-K beneficiaries in Siargao Island

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 15 (PIA)
-- The regional office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Caraga Region is set to award some P2.9 million check to beneficiaries of Self-Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran (SEA-K) on February 16, 2012 in three towns in Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte.

According to Roy Serdeña of DSWD-Caraga Livelihood Unit, 16 organizations from Dapa, del Carmen, and Pilar towns in Siargao Islands will benefit from this financial assistance.

Serdeña added these organizations are composed of some 325 members who will benefit from this project of the national government in an effort to alleviate poverty.

The official said beneficiaries will use the financial aid in venturing livelihood opportunities.

During the awarding ceremony, the “Guaranteed Employment” program of the national government will also be offered where recipients of the SEA-K and the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), otherwise known as Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) are given opportunity to be employed in public and private agencies and establishments through the intercession of DSWD-Caraga.

SEA-K aims to provide the poor and disadvantaged sector of the society with timely access to credit and development opportunities. This project was realized during the previous administration and is continuously implemented by the present administration. (PIA-Caraga)

.
Committee hearing on Caraga 2013 budget set

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 15 (PIA)
-- A committee hearing to discuss the 2013 budget of Caraga Region is set on February 21, 2012, to be spearheaded by the Regional Development Council (RDC) through the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)-Caraga as secretariat of the council.

According to Ian Miculob of NEDA-Caraga in a press statement, during the hearing, agency regional offices (AROs), state colleges and universities (SUCs) and special development authorities will prepare anew their respective annual budget for FY 2013 after the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released the National Budget Memorandum (NBM) 112 on December 29, 2011.

Miculob said under NBM 112, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) – Caraga as the secretariat of the Regional Development Council (RDC) will formulate the guidelines in budget preparation in consultation with the DBM regional office.

The official added the RDC, which serves as the venue for budget consultation, is slated to review and deliberate the agency budgets in March during its Full Council Meeting prior to endorsement to the agency’s respective central offices.

Miculob further said sectoral meetings are scheduled to conduct the initial budget review on the following dates: February 21 (Social Development Committee Meeting), February 22 (Economic Development Committee Meeting), and February 24 (Development Administration Committee and Infrastructure Development Committee Meeting).

“Last year, the RDC endorsed the P21.8 billion 2012 budget of 20 AROs and four SUCs for the different programs and projects in Caraga Region. The Aquino administration, on the other hand, through Congress, approved a 37.9 percent increase which amounted to PhP30.2 billion budget for Caraga in 2012,” Miculob said.

The committee will likewise assess the plans and programs of the regional line agencies if it aligns with the five key result areas of the Aquino administration such as Anti-Corruption, Transparent, Accountable and Participatory; Poverty Reduction and Empowerment of the poor and Vulnerable; Rapid, Inclusive and Sustained Economic Growth; Just and Lasting Peace and Rule of Law; and Integrity of the Environment and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation.

For 2012, budget of Caraga Region increased by 37 percent as compared last year, following the regional consultation held here during the second quarter last year where Budget Secretary Florencio Abad vowed to increase the budget this year in an effort to alleviate poverty in the region. (PIA-Caraga with reports from NEDA-Caraga)

.
Cebuano news: Aquino pangunahan ang paglusad sa modernization program sa Globe Telecom network

By Susil Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Peb 15 (PIA)
-- Pangunahan ni Pangulong Benigno Aquino III ang paglusad sa modernization program sa Globe Telecom network ug contract signing karong adlawa Miyerkules didto sa Malacañang.

Ang Globe Telecom moselyo sa kasabotan niini tali sa Huawei alang sa $700-milyon dolyares nga Massive Mobile Network Modernization program nga ipahigayon nationwide sulod sa mosunod lima ka mga tuig uban ang Alcatel-Lucent nga maoy modumala sa maong proyekto.

Ang programang modernisasyon, giila nga maoy pinakamahinungdanon puhunan sa Globe Telecom sulod sa milabay’ng duha kadekada, lakip ang all-IP infrastructure, pervasive 3D coverage, double fiber optics capacity, 4D and LTE readiness, ug overall quality and resiliency.

Mokabat $570 milyon sa total nga kantidad ang gikatakdang magamit karong tuiga ug sa 2013, matud sa tigdumadala sa maong proyekto.

Human nga kini makumpleto, ang Globe Telecom milantaw og usa ka lig-on nga network nga makahatag sa kustomer og walay sama nga kasinatian nga maoy makapalahi sa kumpanya kumpara sa laing ka kumpetensiyang mga kumpanya.

Ang bag-ong Globe network ug IT system dili lamang motubag sa kasamtangang mga panginahanglanon sa customer apan kini usab mohatag og dugang kapasidad alang sa dugang sopistikado paggamit sa mobile ug broadband technologies.

Ang mga kustomer makadahom og arang-arang nga kalidad sa tawag ubos sa pervasive 3G coverage. rare dropped calls, ug instantaneous SMS delivery lakip usab ang fast Internet access.

Ang Globe Telecom, nga gipanag-iya sa Ayala Corp. ug Singapore Telecom, usa sa nag-unang telekomunikasyon nga kumpanya dinhi sa Pilipinas. Ang mga produkto ug mga serbisyo niini naglakip sa mobile, fixed, broadband, data connections, Internet ug managed services.

Ang mga opisyales sa maong kumpanya nga motambong sa maong seremonya mao sila Globe president ug CEO Ernest Cu, interim Huawei CEO Eric Xu, ug Alcatel-Lucent president Rajeev Singh-Morales.

Si Transportation and Communication Secretary Mar Roxas mouban usab sa Pangulo atol sa pagsaksi sa maong contract signing. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)