PIA News Service - Friday, March 16, 2012

5.9 magnitude quake jolts Surigao

By Fryan E. Abkilan

SURIGAO CITY, Mar. 16 (PIA) -- A 5.9-magnitude earthquake epicentered two kilometers southwest of Dinagat Islands struck at 3:58pm today, according to a bulletin released by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

Phivolcs also reported that the quake was tectonic in origin and the possibility of damage and aftershocks are also expected.

The bulletin showed that the quake was felt at Intensity VI in Surigao City, Intensity V in General Luna, Surigao del Norte; Basilisa, Dinagat; San Ricardo, Southern Leyte; Intensity IV in Carrascal, Surigao del Sur; Intensity III in Tolosa and Tacloban Leyte; Davao City; Bislig City; Borongan, Oras, Dolores, Eastern Samar; Intensity II in Cebu City; Sulat, Eastern Samar; and Intensity I in Hibok-Hibok, Camiguin.

Brgy. Captain Alfredo Dacuron of Brgy. Luna, in a radio interview, said widespread panic was reported during the grand opening of Gaisano Capital Surigao in the barangay, injuring more than 20 shoppers rushing out of the mall. Dacuron said the injured shoppers were immediately brought at the Caraga Regional Hospital.

In a radio interview also, First District Rep. Francisco Matugas said the provincial gymnasium’s beam was reportedly damaged that caused injury to three people attending an event.

As of this posting, no casualty has been reported but rescuers are still scouring the areas affected. (FEA/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

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Butuan CPOC members give updates on peace, order situation for 1Q

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 16 (PIA) -- Member-agencies of the City Peace and Order Council here chaired by Mayor Ferdinand Amante Jr., convened Thursday and tackled issues, concerns, and updates on the peace and order situation in the city.

On behalf of the city mayor, City Councilor Ryan Anthony Culima presided the said meeting. This monthly meeting is in line with the implementation of president Aquino's Philippine Development Plan on Good Governance.

PCINSP Reynante Sibayton of Butuan City Police Office (BCPO) bared its operational accomplishments. On its campaign against illegal gambling (PD 1602), two positive operations were conducted from February 28 to March 14, 2012 that resulted to the apprehension of three persons and the confiscation of cash bet money for lotto/swertres, and several gambling paraphernalia while two cases were filed at the City Prosecutors Office.

On accounting of wanted persons, Sibayton revealed that a total of seven persons were arrested for the period, all covered with warrant of arrest.

Sibayton further bared that on its campaign against illegal possession of firearms (RA 8294), one positive operation was conducted by BCPO, which resulted to the arrest of two suspects and confiscation of one unit cal. 22 magnum revolver (homemade), one unit cal 35.16 revolver (homemade), and one unit 38 cal revolver. Two cases were filed in court against the suspects.

“With the unyielding police operations in the pursuit against criminalities, the whole city of Butuan remains peaceful and manageable with the unstinted support from other concerned government agencies, non-government organizations, religious sectors, and the community,” said Sibayton.

Also, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Caraga Deputy Director Cristy Silvan reported that from January 1 to March 13, their office has conducted 11 successful operations wherein nine persons were arrested and 11 cases were filed in court.

Silvan also stressed that their target tasks for this year are as follows: prioritize high value operations; ensure air-tight cases against drug personality; intensify advocacy efforts in strategic areas; and strengthen relationship with all stakeholders to achieve peace and order situation.

Meanwhile, a representative, Aldebaran Mordeno of the City Social Welfare and Development Office bared that 15 years old and below ‘rugby boys’ in their custody are now participating on a basketball tournament in Barangay Poyohon.

“The PNP here is the one shouldering the uniforms and shoes while officials in barangay Poyohon are providing their food and CSWDO is in charge of the other necessary expenses. In this way, we encourage these rugby boys and other children to engage into sports instead of getting themselves involve into any crimes,” Mordeno stressed.

With this, the city government with other partner agencies asked the support and cooperation of the general public on its campaign to peace and order. (JPG, PIA-Caraga)

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Reg’l Committee on Disability Affairs sets activities for the year

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 16 (PIA) -- To continuously promote the welfare of persons with disability (PWDs), the Regional Committee on Disability Affairs (RCDA) led by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga with partner agencies will once again spearhead different celebrations with various activities for this year. According to Flerida Labanon, regional program coordinator of the National Council for Disability Affairs (NCDA), the local government units must also include programs and services for the children/youth with disability, women and older persons with disability because they also form part of nation-building.

Labanon also stressed that local government units should double time its advocacy on the implementation of the 20 percent discount privilege on purchases and services not only for the senior citizens but for the PWDs as well.

“In time with this year’s women’s month celebration, our women with disability will also be highlighted and they will also be participating in different activities especially on disaster-risk reduction and management… This year, we will also observe the 5th World Autism Awareness Day. We also encourage our PWDs to participate in the Search for the “Asia-Pacific Disability Champions Award,” said Labanon.

Activities like “Light-up Blue” (lighting/releasing of sky lanterns), photo exhibits, and on-the-spot poster making contest are among the set activities for the 5th World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, 2012 with the theme “Make the rights real for persons with Autism.”

Deadline of submission for the nomination forms from the different sectors for the Search for the Asia-Pacific Disability Champions Award involving PWDs is on March 30, 2012.

Also, on May 2012, the RCDA will be conducting ‘access audit’ on the facilities of Surigao del Sur provincial offices and Tandag City municipal offices. Afterwhich, a consultation/forum with the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) employees will be held.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Caraga will be conducting skills training and trade fair for PWDs.

Meanwhile, the Department of Education (DepEd) Caraga will be spearheading the Anti-bullying Campaign in the primary and secondary schools through series of consultations with the students and their parents.

The RCDA members will finalize other activities for this year during its second quarter meeting.

RCDA with partner agencies and stakeholders call on the public to give their full support on these activities for the welfare of the PWDs. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

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DILG-Caraga to launch anti-poverty action plan

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, March 16 (PIA) -- The Department of the Interior and Local Government - Caraga Region is set to launch the anti-poverty action plan, a project which is under the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC).

According to DILG-Caraga legal counsel Atty. Tony Vitor in an interview with a local radio station here, the project was already implemented for the past decade under the administration of former President Joseph Estrada.

Vitor added said program was continuously implemented under the present administration in an effort to counter poverty incidence in the country especially here in Caraga Region.

The official said the project is a joint undertaking of different government agencies to sustain livelihood opportunities among the people.

As of 2011, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) reported that Caraga Region is the poorest region in the country, replacing the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) as the poorest in 2010. (PIA-Caraga)

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Davao City to host 28th GSP reg’l encampment

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, March 16 (PIA) -- Davao City will host the 28th Regional Encampment of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP) on April 10-15, 2012.

In a phone-patch interview this morning, Juzette Nemenzo, GSP Agusan Council executive said the regional encampment will be participated in by some 13 councils in the Eastern Mindanao regions composed of Agusan del Norte and Butuan City, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Sur, Bukidnon, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Davao City, General Santos, and South Cotabato.

Nemenzo added the National GSP enjoined all council members to send at least 100 delegates symbolizing the concluding celebration of the centenary year of World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).

The council executive here also said this year’s encampment is anchored on the theme: “Together we say: I change myself to change the world."

A P1,800 registration fee shall be collected from the participants. Nemenzo said the participating Girl Scout will shoulder the said fee.

The annual gathering of Girl Scouts in Eastern Mindanao regions will be held at Camp Alano, Toril Davao City.

With this, Nemenzo is enjoining Girl Scouts in the region to participate in this annual encampment as this will serve as training ground for them to increase the participants' self-confidence, self-esteem, self-respect, trust and unity.

For interested participants in the city and in Agusan del Norte, just contact the GSP Agusan Council through telephone number (085) 342-8014. (PIA-Caraga)

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PhilHealth-Caraga cites benefits of computerized system

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, March 16 (PIA) -- In response to transparency and accountability program of the present administration, the regional office of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) here said, with the implementation of its computer-based system on recording of the members’ payments, they can assure that their records will be updated from time to time.

In a radio interview with Parley Buyan, PhilHealth-Caraga information officer, the computer-based recording system that is implemented by the agency is a way to uphold transparency of transactions between and among the agency and the members.

Buyan also said through this, members don’t need to be worry on their records since it is already updated. With this, she added members can immediately transact with their office should they need assistance on their claims and other services.

The official further said with this automated recording system, queries of members will now be immediately addressed. “Thus, transparency will transpire in transacting with the members,” Buyan said.

In a related development, the PhilHealth online services are considered the newest addition to the agency’s menu of electronic services. This features different access points that the agency’s stakeholders can tap to transact with them online. It includes registration, premium payment and reporting and even locating their offices nationwide. Log-on to http://www.philhealth.gov.ph/services/ for details. (PIA-Caraga)

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DOTC Secretary Roxas to grace RDC confab

By Jun Parada

SURIGAO DEL NORTE, Mar. 16 (PIA) -- Transportation Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II will be the guest speaker during the full-member Regional Development Council (RDC) Caraga meeting today, March 16 at the Philippine Gateway Hotel, Surigao City.

Roxas will discuss with the governors, city and municipal mayors, and members of the provincial boards of the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur and Surigao del Norte on measures to attain better business climate and enhance business and investments opportunities in the region.

The conference to be hosted by Surigao del Norte Gov. Sol Matugas, also the chairperson of RDC-Caraga, is regularly convened to tackle important issues and concerns on peace and order, trade and commerce, health, agriculture and other concerns.

“From there, DOTC Sec. Roxas will proceed to Siargao Island as a guest during the inauguration of the P25 million newly constructed terminal airport building in Sayak, Del Carmen. This is a milestone in our effort to fully develop Siargao as a tourist destination by improving the capabilities of our airport and other ports of entry to the picturesque Island,” said Rep. Matugas. (FEA/Provincial Information Center/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

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DENR-13 exec reminds people to conserve water this summer

By Eric F. Gallego

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 16 (PIA) -- Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) - Caraga Regional Exec. Dir. Leonardo R. Sibbaluca reminded people to conserve water, particularly this summer season.

“Let us put into practice of what we’ve learned about conservation of water so that the next generation may continue to enjoy an unlimited supply of water resources” Sibbaluca said

He made this reminder as DENR prepares to celebrate activities for the World Water Day on March 22. The World Water Day will espouse the theme “Katiyakan sa Tubig, Katiyakan sa Pagkain (Surety on Water, Surety on Food).”

The executive director said some people throw waste into the waterways which pollutes the rivers, lakes, estuaries, and other water bodies which can affect our food resources.

“Let us stop this bad habit of dumping wastes into the rivers, creeks and esteros to preserve our resources,” Sibbaluca said.

“We thought it’s just a little matter when we see a busted pipes oozing with fresh water on the street but consider the volume of resources that are being wasted away which are considered precious to the people in other parts of the world who are suffering from inadequate water supplies” he added.

According to DENR Secretary Ramon Paje, the DENR at the Central Office in Diliman, Quezon city has lined up activities focused on increasing public awareness to conserve water resources “because it is an important component of our life.”

“Water is very much incorporated in the food supply chain, whether in irrigation and fisheries or producing feeds for our livestock,” Paje said.

The World Water Day 2012 will also look at how the swelling population can cope with the increasing pressure on available water resources by consuming less water-intensive products and reducing food wastage, which translates to lost water, according to him.

“This is the concept of measuring the ‘water footprint’ or the total volume of freshwater used to produce the goods and services consumed or produced,” Paje said.

A water summit dubbed “Water Knowledge Fair at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City will introduce “knowledge products” focused on delivering water services particularly in rural areas.

This will be participated by government agencies, local government units, water service providers, and other stakeholders. The participants will discuss different water-related programs and strategies.

The event is organized by the Philippine government, along with partners from the Millenium Development Goals Fund. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga/DENR-13 RPAO)

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Cebuano news: Malacanang miingon ang ekonomiya sa nasod milihok paingon sa saktong direksyon

By Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Mar. 16 (PIA) -- Ang pagkunhod sa unemployment rate nga gipakita sa Enero 2012 nga Labor Force Survey sa National Statistics Office (NSO) usa ka pagpahayag nga ang ekonomiya sa Pilipinas milihok paingon sa saktong direksyon, ang opisyales sa Palasyo miingon.

Si Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda mipagawas sa maong pamahayag atol sa regular press briefing didto sa MalacaƱang kagahapon Huwebes isip tubag sa bag-ong Labor Force Survey nga nagpakita nga ang unemployment rate sa nasod mikunhod og 7.2%.

Ang mga taho miingon ang kadaghanon sa walay trabaho sa Pilipinas mikunhod ngadto og 7.2 porsyento sa Enero gikan sa 7.4 porsyento human sa usa ka tuig.

"In yet another manifestation of the upward trajectory of the Philippine economy, an estimated 1.1 million new jobs were generated in January 2012 compared to a mere 292 thousand net employment created in the same period last year," si Lacierda miingon.

"While employment grew significantly by 3% in January 2012, coming from only 0.8% in January 2011, the quality of employment during the period also improved with full-time employment rebounding to 2.6% this year from negative 2.6% last year," siya mipasabot.

Si Lacierda usab miingon ang maong survey nagpaila nga ang underemployment rate mikunhod usab gikan sa 19.4% niadtong Enero 2011 ngadto sa 18.8% niadtong Enero karong tuiga.

Siya mipasabot nga ang pagtaas sa employment maoy resulta sa midaghan nga pamuhunan sa pribadong sektor ug gipakusgan nga pamuhunan sa imprastruktura ug agrikultura.

"We note that the following regions posted high employment rates: Cagayan Valley, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), MIMAROPA, (Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), the Zamboanga Peninsula, and SOCCSKSARGEN (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City)," siya miingon. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)