3.15.2012

PIA News Service - Thursday, March 15, 2012

Surigao expects peaceful transport rally

By Eugenio Lira, Jr.

SURIGAO CITY, Mar. 15 (PIA)
-- Local officials expect a peaceful transport rally today following the issuance of a permit on Wednesday to the local transport group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) headed by Ronald Orillo.

City Vice-Mayor Danilo Menor, officer-in-charge, issued the permit allowing the transport group to hold a ‘march rally’ from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. covering the areas spanning 3.5 kilometers from the Medical Center, Rizal Street, Narciso Street, Paradise Street, Navarro Street, Borromeo Street up to the Luneta area.

P/Supt Jonathan Trojello, city police director, said they already have a contingency plan in place, which includes fielding a ‘mini-bus’ owned by the city government and other several vehicles to ferry any stranded commuters or the riding public.

In case of any transport strike, a Civil Disturbance Management Team, composed of uniformed policemen aided by traffic enforcers from the City Traffic Management Office, will also be fielded.

“We are prepared for any scenario on this scheduled nationwide transport strike. But based on our past experience in May 2011, the local PISTON group here in Surigao City was able to paralyze only twenty percent of the transportation activity,” Trojello concluded. (FEA/ELJ/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

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RAFI to award winners, finalists of Triennial Awards

MANILA, Mar. 15 (PIA)
-- After three years of nomination, extensive screening, and validation, two winners out of 10 finalists will be honored during the 5th Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) Triennial Awards on Mar. 22 at Marco Polo Plaza.

The winners will receive a trophy, cash prize of not less than P400,000, and the opportunity to travel in the Visayas and Mindanao to share expertise to various groups.

The RAFI Triennial Awards is the premier service and humanitarian award in the Visayas and Mindanao, which recognize the philanthropic, humanitarian, and holistic efforts of individuals and institutions in enhancing the quality of life of various groups and communities.

Five finalists vied for each of the awards category—the Ramon Aboitiz Award for Exemplary Individual and Eduardo Aboitiz Award for Outstanding Institution.

They are Fr. Angelo Buenavides, Prof. Estrella Cantallopez, Apolinario Leyson Sr., Fr. Dennis Tamayo, and Rene Vendiola for the individual cateogory, and Agri-Aqua Development Coalition Mindanao Inc., Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation Inc., Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation Inc., SOS Children’s Villages Philippines, and The Great Physician Rehabilitation Foundation for the institution category.

These finalists were selected by an independent search committee composed of distinguished representatives from the academe, private sector, and civil society. They are Island Souvenirs President Jonathan Jay Aldeguer, The Freeman and The Philippine Star Columnist and “Straight from the Sky” Host Valeriano “Bobit” Avila, Marcellin Foundation Inc. Founder Brother Crispin P. Betita, University of the Philippines-Tacloban College Dean and Guiuan Development Foundation Inc. Founder and Executive Director Margarita dela Cruz, and Mag-uugmad Foundation Inc. Executive Director Leonardo Moneva.

The Search Committee is chaired by dela Cruz who was an individual category finalist for the 3rd RAFI Triennial Awards and a member of the 4th RAFI Triennial Awards Search Committee.

The selection process starts when individuals and institutions are nominated for the RAFI Triennial Awards. The search committee validates each nominee in the Visayas and Mindanao before the short-listed nominees are screened by the RAFI Board of Trustees to determine the final awardees.

The RAFI Triennial Awards was launched in Dec. 6, 1996 during the 39th anniversary of the foundation to commemorate the philanthropic, humanitarian, and holistic ideals of RAFI founders Don Ramon Aboitiz and his son Don Eduardo Aboitiz. It is now on its 15th year this year, which is also the 45th year of RAFI.

It is one of the awards capabilities of RAFI, recognizing individuals and institutions that go the extra mile in bringing about change and in uplifting the quality of life of communities.

For more information about the RAFI Triennial Awards, please contact (032) 418-7234 loc. 105 and look for Cathy Margate, or visit www.rafi.org.ph or www.facebook.com/rafi.org.ph. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga/RAFI)

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MinDA bares support to women during IWD

DAVAO CITY, Mar. 15 (PIA)
-- Bringing attention to the contributions of women to production in Mindanao, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) expressed its support to women food producers honored during the International Women’s Day (IWD) celebration in Davao.

MinDA chair Sec. Luwalhati R. Antonino conveyed the authority’s support to women in the island-region through its program for rural communities, during the “Women’s Market” event of the IWD celebration last March 8.

“We will look for resources for you to plant trees, maybe coffee, rubber or palm oil. Show the people you are the ones tilling and taking care of the trees you planted,” Antonino exhorted the women who belonged to organizations engaged in sustainable livelihood and climate change adaptation.

Antonino added that women farmers have a big role to play in food security in Mindanao, being the ones engaged in food production. She underscored government programs that support women through development initiatives stated in the Mindanao 2020, A Peace and Development Framework Plan for Mindanao.

The Mindanao 2020 was further explained by Charlie Escaño, division chief of the Office for Project Coordination and Management of MinDA, during the presentation of government agencies on their services for rural women.

“Mindanao 2020 deliberately promotes gender sensitivity and balance in all development concerns. It upholds the welfare of Mindanao women, while fully tapping their potential contributions to nation-building, and securing peace and development in the island-region,” said Escaño.

She revealed that Mindanao 2020 stated specific imperatives and initiatives that “increase women’s access to capital and financing facilities, facilities, information, technology, technical assistance, and livelihood opportunities, to heighten levels of economic opportunity and financial sustainability for Mindanao women.”

“Gender sensitivity and balance would be served through appropriate policy reforms, program and project design, budget allocation and institutional development,” said Escaño.

The two-day “Women’s Market” highlighted Mindanao women’s significant role in food production, gathering over 20 groups of women food producers from all over Mindanao to showcase their food products. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga/MinDA)

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DENR acquires new computers to boost its field operations

By Eric F. Gallego

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 15 (PIA)
-- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has upgraded its Management Information System (MIS) through the acquisition of 2,802 Desktop Computers, 100 Laptop units, 1,413 printers and 425 scanners which were distributed to the 16 DENR Regional Offices throughout the country.

The project, which began on December 08, 2011, has a total project cost of P126,860,566.75.

In Caraga Region, DENR Regional Executive Director Leonardo R. Sibbaluca said a total of 181 new desktop computers have been delivered to the DENR Regional Office.

“This development is part of the expansion program of the DENR Management Information System to keep pace with the fast-developing information technology in the world,” Sibbaluca said.

“It is the priority program of Secretary Ramon JP Paje to bolster its field operation and provide the delivery of services to the people particularly in far-flung areas at the fastest means,” he added.

The Management Information System (MIS) is a computer-based system that provides the managers with tools for organizing, evaluating and efficiently-running their respective offices or department.

The DENR-MIS is consist of software that help in decision making, data resource such as data bases, the hardware resources of a system, decision-support system, people management and project management and any computerized processes that enable the department to run efficiently.

Sibbaluca said these new computer equipment will provide all information that can be used by various field offices in their day-to-day operation and improved their linkages and communication to the regional and central offices without delay. .

“These new computers can help us in our field operation particularly in the implementation of Executive Order No. 23 which is the ban on cutting of tree in the natural and residual forest and EO 26 or the National Greening Program since it can give us at any time of past, present and prediction information ,” he said.

The objective of this project, according to Dir. Sibbaluca, are (1) to migrate from conventional Analog Telephony to new Cisco Unified Communication IP Telephony Solution and provide the latest IP Telephony Services that will effectively enhanced the communication among the DENR Offices; (2) to install Wireless Access Network to all Regional Office providing anytime/ anywhere network access; and (3) to enhance the existing network infrastructure of DENR Head Office thru additional network ports and main high network availability and resilient Network infrastructure.

The project, which is expected to be completed by June this year, has three phases.

These include the supply and delivery of information technology equipment, installation of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) infrastructure by Trends and Technologies, Inc., and the installation of DENR- Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network (IPVPN) by the Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT).

The IPVPN-DENR features the following which include WAN Technology of choice, domestic Virtual Private Network solution via internet protocol for multi-site to multi-site connectivity, own private internet which is secured and cost effective and managed system, and a Bandwidth offering of 64Kbps -2Mbps to 1,000 Mbps via Ethernet. It is also equipped with Access Ubiquity which included Host/Hub/DR Connectivity; Remote Site Connectivity and Mobile User Connectivity. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga/DENR-13 RPAO)

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DENR exec asks vehicle owners to clean up their emissions

By Eric F. Gallego

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 15 (PIA)
-- Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 13 Regional Exec. Dir. Leonardo R. Sibbaluca expressed concern over the thick black smoke emitted by some vehicles plying along the main thoroughfares of Caraga Region.

He asked the owners to clean up their emissions to avoid polluting the air.

“Everybody wants to breathe clean air unlike in Metro Manila where the people are struggling on the midst of air pollution... We want fresh air,” Sibbaluca said.

Sibbaluca was echoing the appeal of DENR Sec. Ramon Paje who joined the recent operation of anti-smoke belching unit teams of the local government of Pasig City and the DENR’s Environment Management Bureau along C5 Road, a major highway in Metro Manila recently.

The executive director said the intent of the government is to discipline erring vehicles and private emission testing centers.

“It would be practical for vehicle owners to cooperate with this endeavor by submitting their vehicles to an “honest-to-goodness emission test before renewing their registration,” Sibbaluca quoted Secretary Paje.

The DENR with the assistance from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has already closed down 50 erring private emission testing centers in Metro Manila after finding out that they accepted payment from “no show” registrants in exchange for a certification that their vehicles had passed the emission test.

Paje also stressed that in addition to efforts in reducing the level of total suspended particulates (TSP) in the air, the DENR also intends to lower the level of particulate matter (PM) with the size of ten microns or PM10, as well as those with the size of 2.5 microns or PM 2.5.

“The DENR is also keen on reducing smaller-sized pollutants because they pose higher risk on human health. PM10 can get into our lungs and cause respiratory illnesses, while PM2.5 can get into the bloodstream and lead to cardiovascular diseases, even stroke,” Paje said.

Health department statistics showed air pollution-related illnesses such as acute lower respiratory tract infection, pneumonia, bronchitis, tuberculosis and heart diseases have consistently topped the list of morbidity and mortality causes in the country.

The Philippine Environment Monitor, published by the World Bank, indicates that in 2006, the economic burden of air pollution was P52 million based on loss of income due to reduced workdays, and P910 million based on medical and hospitalization expenses. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga/DENR-13 RPAO)

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DOLE-RCC, Butuan LGU conduct “RCC On Wheels Caravan”

By Noel B. Najarro

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 15 (PIA)
-- The Department of Labor and Employment-Regional Coordinating Council, in coordination with the Butuan City local government unit, conducted the “RCC On Wheels Caravan.”

Dubbed as “Serbisyong DOLE Sa Inyong Tugkaran Kalambo-an sa Butuan City (DOLE’s Services Right At Your Backyard, A Progress for Butuan City),” it was held at Brgy. Rajah Humabon Covered Court area Tuesday morning.

The caravan aimed to serve the 11 riverside barangays.

DOLE Dir. Ofelia Domingo said there were at least 10 accredited, legitimate and duly licensed agencies participating during the event offering more or less 16,282 “job orders” for the job seekers who may qualify for employment whether locally or abroad.

Meanwhile, TESDA Provincial Director Florencio N. Sunico, Jr. introduced the carpentry, beautician, electrical and other skills trainees of TESDA, who were provided with starter kits during the introduction of the “TESDA Specialista Technopreneurship Program” (TSTP).

They will be expected to hone their skills while they practice as entrepreneurs.

This will be recorded as part of their working experience which will be among the basis for the issuance of their appropriate certification by the agency which can be reflected in their job applications whether domestically or abroad.

Marietta M. Bellotindos of POEA, on the other hand, discussed the Anti-Illegal Recruitment Campaign, while the other attached agencies also such as the NLRC, NCMB, TESDA, RTWPB, and PRC discussed their current programs and the services provided by their respective offices by their directors or other officials present.

For his part, Mayor Ferdinand Amante Jr. pointed out during his message that the problem of peace and order, livelihood, economic development, disaster risk reduction and even the issue of climate change, of which not only the city is facing but in the regional, national and even on international level will always boil down to the issue of job security and livelihood for the community.

The mayor added that it was but timely that the activity was held right at the area of the 21 riverside barangays located at the banks of the Agusan River which were also affected by the city’s “Likas Operation Program.”

Thus in the “spirit of convergence” he said, the city government’s “livelihood cluster” consisting of the PESO, CEED, Manpower Skills Training, DA, City Cooperative, CSWD in partnership with the regional government line agencies converged in order to come up with the necessary solution. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga)

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DOTC secretary set to attend Caraga 70th RDC meeting

By Greg Tataro, Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur March 15 (PIA)
-- Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Mar Roxas III is expected to grace the 70th Regional Development Council (RDC) meeting in Caraga on Friday, March 16 in Surigao City.

The event will tackle development agenda regarding RDC Executive Committee resolutions, DOTC issues and concerns, Mindanao and Caraga Region power situation, National Greening Program (NGP) Highway plan, Caraga Cultural Book, Poverty Summit, DSWD Convergence Approach, and Surigao del Norte Protection Initiative.

Surigao del Sur Governor Johnny Pimentel has already confirmed his attendance, according to Marjorie Pagaran, staff of the Office of the Provincial Governor.

Caraga RDC is chaired by Surigao del Norte Governor Sol Matugas. (Radyo Ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA Surigao del Sur)

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DENR-13 exec lauds approval of senate bill against workplace discrimination

By Eric F. Gallego

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 15 (PIA)
-- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Caraga Regional Executive Director Leonardo R. Sibbaluca lauded the approval of Senate Bill No. 429 on third and final reading that seeks to end discrimination against women in work place.

Senate Bill No. 429, or the “Anti-Discrimination Against Women on Account of Sex Act” was adopted by the Senate with 11 affirmative votes, zero negative votes and zero abstention.

“The approval of Senate Bill 429 is timely considering the celebration of the Women’s Month in March,” Sibbaluca said.

The measure aims to ensure gender equality in the workplace by penalizing employers or executives who prefer hiring or favoring male over female employees with respect to the dismissal of personnel, promotion or grant of other benefits.

“It is just right and proper for the women in the work place to be given protection in respect to gender equality,” Sibbaluca said.

Principal author Senator Jinggoy Estrada said Senate Bill 429 will protect women from getting lesser compensation or other form of remuneration and fringe benefits. The senator also noted that this will ensure that women will get equal opportunities in terms of promotion, assignment, training opportunities and scholarship grants as their male counterparts.

The bill penalizes employers or executives found guilty of discrimination against women with a fine ranging from P50,000 to P200,000 or jail time of two to four years.

Estrada said, “The Philippine Constitution stipulates the fundamental equality between women and men, recognizing the women's role in nation building. The promotion of the rights and welfare of women can only be achieved if they will be provided with the support and protection of measures such as this.” (NCLM/PIA-Caraga/DENR-13 RPAO)

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POPCOM employs mass advocacy to stop violence against women

By Rutchie C. Saluta

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 15 (PIA)
-- The Commission on Population (POPCOM) is launching a massive advocacy in reducing cases of violence against women in the region.

The activity, dubbed as Orientation-Seminar on Gender and Development cum Male Involvement in Responsible Parenting, aims to increase participation and support among men in rearing and caring the children, and other domestic concerns.

Said training, organized in different batches, will be attended by members of transport groups, faith-based organizations, and men in uniform from the Philippine National Police on March 13-15, in the Province of Dinagat Islands.

A similar activity will also be conducted for the transport sector in Tandag, Surigao del Sur on the 28th, this month.

POPCOM Regional Director Camilo S. Pangan emphasized that males need to be involved more actively in efforts to achieve maternal health and women empowerment.

“Our efforts to advance the welfare of Filipino women have been slow-paced since we are living in a traditionally patriarchal society where men dominate over women in almost all facets of life,” he said.

Pangan cited that even within the family abode, issues such as family planning, child rearing, and home management are predominantly decided upon by husbands.

“This is why we want to reach out more men to make them allies in advocating gender and development,” he added.

POPCOM’s effort in advancing women’s welfare is in line with the celebration of Women’s Month with the theme: Women Weathering Climate Change: Governance and Accountability, Everyone’s Responsibility. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga/POPCOM-Caraga)

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Cebuano news: Palasyo dili mosuporta nga ibalik ang death penalty aron motagam ang mga kriminal

By Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Mar. 15 (PIA)
-- Ang Malacañang miingon nga dili niini suportahan ang sugyot nga panawagan alang sa pagbalik sa silot nga kamatayon “death penalty” sa nasod bisan pa sa bag-ong mga insidente sa heinous crime partikular ngadto sa kababayenhan ug kabataan.

Pipila ka mga grupo ang mihimo og rekomendasyon nga nag-awhag sa gobyerno aron pagbalik sa silot nga kamatayon sa mga kaso sa pagpanglugos sa mga kabataan.

“On the death penalty, our position is that we’re not in agreement in the imposition of the death penalty. Given the present justice system, there is a likelihood that… because of our poor justice system, there is a likelihood that if we impose the death penalty baka yung maling tao, yung walang sala ay baka maparusahan at patawan ng death penalty,” si Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda miingon atol sa regular press briefing didto sa Malacanang kagahapon Miyerkules.

Si Lacierda mipasabot nga si Pangulong Benigno S. Aquino III nagpabilin sa iyang posisyon mahitungod niini sa dihang siya midagan alang sa presidency niadtong 2010.

Samtang si Lacierda miangkon nga ang bag-ong mga kaso sa pagpanglugos nakaalarma gyod, siya miingon nga sa kinatibuk-an adunay pagkunhod sa mga kasong panghitabo sama niini base sa statistics sa pulisya.

Base sa indicators gikan sa Philippine National Police (PNP) ang insidente sa krimen mikunhod, si Lacierda mipasabot nga adunay 24-porsyento nga pagkunhod sa kinatibuk-an nga crime rate niadtong 2011 kumpara sa 2012 nga rekord.

“The PNP has been strengthening and improving the crime prevention that is why we address criminal incidence,” matud niya.

Si Lacierda usab mipasabot nga ang mga barangays kinahanglan motabang aron malikayan nga mahitabo ang mga krimen sa ilang tagsa-tagsa ka mga lugar.

Kalabot na sa gitaho sa mga negosyanteng Filipino-Chinese nga adunay pagsaka sa insidente sa mga kidnappings ug uban pang mga krimen sa nasod, ang Presidential Spokesman miingon ang Malacañang mopaabot sa maong isyu ngadto sa liderato sa pulisya.

Bisan pa nga adunay mga taho, si Lacierda miingon nga ang sitwasyon sa kahapsay ug kalinaw sa nasod nagpabilin nga kasarangan ug ang mga mamumuhunan padayon sa pag-anhi sa Pilipinas aron mobubo sa ilang puhunan. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)