PIA News Service - Friday, March 9, 2012

Canadian Embassy holds environment forum in Surigao City

SURIGAO CITY, Mar. 9 (PIA)
- The Embassy of Canada in Manila, in partnership with the Chamber of Mines of Caraga Region Inc. (CMCRI), will be holding an Environmental Forum on Friday, March 9, 2012 at the Tavern Hotel, this city.

Carlo Figueroa, public affairs officer of the Embassy of Canada, said the forum is part of the Embassy's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy for the Extractive Sector aimed at supporting the Philippines' management of its natural resources.

Figueroa said the forum will be conducted for Caraga-based local government officials and leaders of communities hosting mining projects with a view on achieving an improved understanding of the various environmental laws governing mining; fit between local environment-related ordinances and national and customary laws; and increased involvement in the implementation of these laws and local ordinances.

Among those who are expected to attend are Mines and Geosciences Bureau-13 Regional Dir. Engr. Alilo Ensomo, Chamber of Mines Vice Pres. for Environment Jay Nelson, Environmental Management Bureau Division Chief Cesar Siador Jr., Chamber of Mines Caraga Region Inc. Pres. Dulmar Raagas and Embassy of Canada Senior Trade Commissioner Karra-Lee Gerrits. (FEA/Embassy of Canada/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

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Korean firm to invest in AgNor

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 9 (PIA)
-- At least seven municipalities in the province will benefit from a Korean company when its starts operating here in Agusan del Norte.

This is the intent of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that is set to be signed by Governor Erlpe John M. Amante, in behalf of the province, and the International Agricultural Development Institute (IADI), based in Seoul, Korea.

“Our company is very much interested on cassava, palm oil, and the processing of wood pellets, which are highly in-demand abroad,” Nam Kyu Park, the Philippine Branch Manager said in a letter sent to the provincial governor.

IADI wants to occupy 5,000 – 15,000 hectares of land for a period of 25 years at the LASBUENASCAR area (composed of Las Nieves, Buenavista, and Carmen), inclucing the towns of Tubay, Santiago, Jabonga, and Kitcharao.

Provincial officials are ecstatic over this development since this is a fruition of their efforts over the years in trying to attract investors to pour their investments here.

Since 2010, numerous foreign and local investors have already forged ties with the province. The LASBUENASCAR Agro-Forestry Project area has been their favorite investment spot because of its vast area and its soil suitability perfect for crops.

The latest of which was in March 2011, when a MOA was signed between the province and a Korean-based firm, Newphilcorn Corporation for the establishment of a yellow corn plantation and processing plant consisting of 1,000-5,000 hectares of land.

Last January of 2011, a ground-breaking ceremony was held for the establishment of a banana plantation by La Agusana Fresh International, Inc., a local investor based in Davao City.

And in 2010, a MOU was inked with Shine Art Valley, another Korean company for a banana and oil plantation.

The province is expecting a significant turnaround of its economy in the coming years vis-à-vis the surge of employment in the affected areas.

“The memorandum of understanding serves to establish cooperation between the two parties and define their respective roles and responsibilities for the effective and sustainable implementation of the proposed plantation project,” a resolution of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan
said. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga/LGU-Agusan del Norte)

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One Stop Resource Center for youth and migrants launch, receives overwhelming support

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 9 (PIA)
-- The provincial government of Agusan del Sur, in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), launched the Datu Lipus Makapandong Youth Employment and Migrant Center on February 24, 2012.

It received overwhelming support from various government agencies, NGOs, faith-based organizations, youth and migrant organizations, and private sector.

The ceremonial cutting of ribbon was spearheaded by Agusan del Sur Governor Adolph Edward G. Plaza and IOM Philippines National Programme Organizer Mr. Ricardo Casco.

They were also joined by Department of Labor and Employment Caraga Regional Dir. Ofelia B. Domingo, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Caraga Regional Dir. Marieta A. Lumawag, and Philippine Overseas Employment Agency Caraga Regional Dir. Marieta Bellotindos, who signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will signify their support in providing social
and economic programs and services for the youth and migrants.

Plaza expressed his heartfelt gratitude to IOM and other stakeholders for the timely realization of the One Stop Resource Center.

He also took pride for its establishment as it is the first OSRC built in the entire country through local government units and IOM collaboration.

Meanwhile, Ric Casco of IOM warmly all the people who persevered to realize the project, especially the DOLE Province, headed by Naomilyn Abellana and Province’s PESO, headed by Divina Lagumbay.

“This turnover goes with the capacity-building investments poured into your service staff and partners who shall help your local government provide an improved employment, training, counseling and migration related services to your constituencies, particularly sensitive to
the needs of the youth,” Casco added.

The Datu Lipus Makapandong Youth Employment and Migrant Center will serve as information hub and venue for discussions of issues on youth, employment, migration, psychosocial services and trainings, YEM programs and services.

It will also provide economic opportunities by creating and/or expanding livelihoods and community enterprises through investments, job matching and incubation center for micro-enterprise development.

The establishment of the Datu Makapandong Youth Employment and Migrant Center was initiated in 2011 by the International Organization for Migration and ATIKHA under the Project “Establishment of One Stop Resource Center” and as a part of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Joint Programme on Youth, Employment and Migration (YEM) Alternatives to Migration: Decent Jobs for Filipino Youth funded by the MDG Achievement Fund. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga/DSWD-13)