5.24.2012

PIA News Service - Thursday, May 24, 2012


DSWD-Caraga: Indigent senior citizens’ pension fund come from nat'l gov't

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, May 24 (PIA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said that fund source for indigent senior citizens pension in the region come from the national government.

According to Jane Amil, DSWD-Caraga Social Pension Unit chief, said the funds have been downloaded to all regional offices for distribution to the recipients.

The official explained that source of funds for the pension solely comes from the national level and that no other government agencies as well as local government units have provided for it.

For transparency and accountability purposes, the official said all transactions are properly accounted for and must undergo on the process of liquidation.

Based on article five, paragraph six of Republic Act 9257, the government was directed to provide subsidy and social pension to all indigent senior citizens of the country.

Amil said, qualified beneficiaries are those senior citizens aged 77 and above, and are not receiving any pension funds from any government institutions. Also, they must not regularly receive any financial support from their family, children and relatives.

Qualified indigent senior citizens are receiving P500 per month and can be withdrawn quarterly at the DSWD office.

In a related development, the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003 (R.A. 9257) provides additional benefits and privileges to senior citizens coming from the government and the private establishments, amending for the purpose Republic Act 7432, an act to maximize the contribution of senior citizens to nation-building.

Under the law, all indigent senior citizens can avail a 20 percent discount on goods and services.

Among these goods and services are those found in establishments like in hotels, restaurants, recreation centers, drugstores, hospital pharmacies medical and optical clinics and similar establishments dispensing medicines and medical rehabilitative/assistive devices, and funeral parlors.

They must also enjoy the same discount on public transportation such as in public railways, including LRT, MRT, PNR, Skyways, buses, (PUB), jeepneys (PUJ), taxi and shuttle services (AUV).

Air and sea transportation are the fare for domestic air, and sea travel based on the actual fare, including the promotional fare, advance booking and similar discounted fare for the exclusive use and enjoyment of Senior Citizens.

In terms of medical and dental services in private facilities, indigent senior citizens must avail the same discount including diagnostic laboratory fees such as but not limited to x-ray, computerized tomography scans and blood tests, including professional fees of attending doctors in all private hospitals and medical facilities.

Likewise, they are also entitled to a 20 percent discount on admission fees charged by theaters, cinema houses and concert halls, circuses, carnivals and other similar places of culture, leisure and amusement.

Moreover, senior citizens can avail of special discounts in special programs, particularly on the purchase of basic necessities and prime commodities.

They are also entitled to free medical and dental services in government facilities, including diagnostic and laboratory fees such as, but not limited to x-rays, computerized tomography scans and blood tests in all government facilities subject to guidelines issued by DOH.

The law also pointed out that senior citizens must be exempted from filing the individual income tax return, provided that the annual taxable income of a senior citizen from all sources does not exceed the poverty level. They are also exempted for any training fees on socio-economic programs conducted by private and government agencies.

The Expanded Senior Citizens Act also grants educational assistance to qualified senior citizens to pursue post secondary, post tertiary, vocational or technical education in both public and private schools through the provision of scholarships, grants, financial aid, subsidies and other incentives including support for books, learning materials and uniform allowance to the extent feasible.

For retirees, they are given a grant of continuance of the same benefits and privileges given by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), and Social Security System (SSS) and PAG-IBIG. Retirement benefits of retirees from both the government and the private sector shall be responsive and sustainable, and shall be upgraded to be at par with the current scale enjoyed by those in active service.

In terms of express lane privileges, the law stipulated that a priority for any transaction must be given to them in all private, commercial and government establishments. (RER/PIA-Caraga)

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DENR notes Mt. Mayapay’s return of biodiversity

By Noel B. Najarro

BUTUAN CITY, Agusan del Norte, May 24 (PIA) -- Environmental authorities noted a significant resurgence of the biodiversity of Mt. Mayapay, a prominent natural landmark of Butuan City, according to a planning officer of the regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Romel Alboromo, planning officer of the Planning and Management Division of DENR-Caraga, speaking before an audience consisting of stakeholders, district (purok) and barangay officials and concerned citizens during a forum to discuss the Butuan City Comprehensive Land Use Plan held at the Libertad National High School covered court recently, pointed out that DENR-Caraga is determined to sustain the notable resurgence and restoration of the biodiversity of the 18,523 hectares of a mountain range covering portions of Butuan City and Buenavista town of Agusan del Norte.

Mt. Mayapay located east of Butuan City, which plateau formation forms the predominant feature as the city’s backdrop rises 375 meters above sea level and is considered the range’ highest peak.

Alboromo, who headed a team of DENR, Community Environment and Natural Resources Office and City Planning officials also led by Lounella Villanueva, Planning Officer IV of the Butuan City Planning Office conducted the hearing and made an inspection thereafter, at the forested part of the mountain range located near Sitio Malalag which is a part of Brgy. Libertad.

Discussing on the topic “Preservation of Forestlands” during the forum, Alboromo disclosed that during the past two years, at least three deers were caught by poachers within the 375-hectare area designated for the mountain rehabilitation.

“Though the incident is unfortunate as these wild animals were supposed to be among the wild species to be preserved and protected by law, yet it tells us something that biodiversity is already resurgent in the area,” Alboromo said.

The environmental officer also said that aside from the deers, the presence of some bird species, tarsiers, wild hogs and monkeys were reported by the caretakers assigned by their office at the area. According to him, measures were already in place to avoid the repetition of the said incident.

Two years ago, a P 17-million peso, three-year (2008-10) rehabilitation project of the 375 hectares of the mountain range was initiated by the congressional office of Rep. Jose “Joboy” Aquino II, the Department of National Defense and the DENR. The project was expected to showcase Mt. Mayapay as a model park and strictly no logging zone.

The project was participated by the regional line agencies, the government owned and controlled corporations, non-government organizations, the private sectors, religious groups, academes and the indigenous people cultural communities.

A task force was also created to oversee the project with National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) as the lead agency.

The 18,523-hectare mountain range covering part of Butuan City and the town of Buenavista in Agusan del Norte; 4,179 hectares was considered as alienable and disposable, 14,344 hectares as timberland, 7,127 hectares as open access, 1,599 falls under the integrated social forestry (ISF), 1,229 falls under the community-based forestry management (CBFM in Butuan City), 2,250 hectares as watershed area (in Calayagan, Buenavista) and 2,139 hectares as military reservation area, according to a DENR data. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga)

GSIS-Butuan thankful to members, pensioners

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Agusan del Norte, May 24 (PIA) -- The management of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) in the city have expressed their thanks and gratitude to all members and pensioners for their full cooperation in all the activities that are spearheaded by the agency.

GSIS-Butuan Branch Manager Mamole Pangandaman said whenever activities are being conducted by their office, there’s a good turnout of attendance of members and pensioners which means that they are interested to know the updates of the government’s premier state insurer.

Pangandaman also told their members and pensioners to immediately get in touch with their office for queries or other matters regarding their transaction with agency, assuring them of their service.

It may be recalled that during the stakeholders’ dialogue with GSIS top officials held here in the city on February this year, more than 200 of its stakeholders composed of local government officials, government employees, pensioners and retirees have attended the event.

Participants coming from as far as province of Dinagat Islands, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Norte and Butuan City participated in the half-day discussion with GSIS top officials to clear their concerns.

During the dialogue, GSIS president and general manager (PGM) Robert G. Vergara emphasized that the existing policies on the grant of survivorship benefits were revised by the management with the end in view of granting equitable benefits to survivorship pensioners.

Vergara also outlined the initiatives launched for the past year and a half by the new leadership to bring its services closer to its stakeholders.

The GSIS chief likewise cited the expanded partnership with the Land Bank to include pensioners and active members; the deployment of 500 additional GWAPS (GSIS Wireless Automated Processing System) kiosks in key cities, clusters of municipalities and big government agencies such as the Department of Education.

The consultation forms part of the effort of the new GSIS leadership to “be more consultative, transparent, and member-focused” in line with its new vision and mission, in support to the transparency and accountability governance of the Aquino administration. (RER/PIA-Caraga)

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86 Brgy Employment Service Officers installed

By Francis Dominique Y. Nazario

BUTUAN CITY, May 24 (PIA) -- Some 86 barangay officials of the city were recently inducted as Barangay Employment Service Officers (BESOs) in one of the private schools here.

In a simple ceremony, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Caraga Regional Director Ofelia B. Domingo gladly welcomed the newly inducted barangay employment officers.

"It is a great honor to welcome you all as part of the DOLE family... This is your chance to serve your constituents in your own barangay and to help them find jobs,” she said.

Representing the barangay officials, Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) President Nestor Amora, in his acceptance speech, lauded the convergence efforts of DOLE-Caraga in continuing to innovate and find ways to minimize the incidence of unemployment in the region.

On behalf of Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand Amante Jr., Mr. Amora thanked everyone for the support and cooperation extended to the local government unit and its constituents.

BESO is the counterpart of the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) of the local government in the barangay level. (RER/NCLM/DOLE-13/PIA-Caraga)

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BFAR-Caraga to strengthen inland fishing

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, May 24 (PIA) –- With nearly two weeks left as Fisherfolk Regional Director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Caraga, Dir. Marciano Monato recently said the agency is eyeing to strengthen inland fishing here in the region.

Monato said the region’s fisheries bureau is giving focus on culturing fish of different types especially in inland fishing as this is beneficial to those provinces that are far from coastal areas like Agusan del Sur, although the province is near the Agusan River.

Aside from inland fishing, the agency is also enjoining local fisherfolk communities to strengthen the establishment of fish ponds and fish pens to ensure livelihood sustainability.

The official said fisherfolk may coordinate with the farmers to establish fishponds beside the ricefields. He added they are also giving attention to culturing fish in streams and rivers for those fishes that can thrive on fresh waters.

The fisherfolk director was installed on May 2, 2012 in time with the opening of the Farmers’ and Fisherfolks’ Month celebration. He assumes the position as regional director of BFAR during the month-long celebration. His term of office will end on May 31, 2012.

Meawhile, BFAR-Caraga Regional Director Nerio Casil will assume the position on the first day of June. He is expected to continue the plans and programs that are put in place by the outgoing fisherfolk director to improve the economic condition of the fisherfolk community in the region.

Accordingly, among the inland fishing locations are the lakes, rivers, streams, and even backyard pond at home. (RER/PIA-Caraga)

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PAGASA-DOST to conduct seminar-workshop for northern Mindanao mediamen

By Danilo S. Makiling

BUTUAN CITY, May 24 (PIA) -- The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration-Department of Science and Technology (PAGASA-DOST) is set to conduct an annual seminar-workshop for Northern Mindanao mediamen on May 25-27 at Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin, Balbagon, Mambajao, Camiguin Island.

Dubbed "PAGASA-DOST Seminar-Workshop for Northern Mindanao mediamen," the three-day seminar-workshop aims to update the basic knowledge of mediamen in meteorology, particularly the disaster risk reduction.

PAGASA Administrator Dr. Nathaniel Servando said the event also aimed to converge the weathermen and mediamen towards mitigating the impact of hydromet disasters by means of giving information to people.

This year's event is anchored on the theme: "Sharing Knowledge between Weathermen and Mediamen towards Mitigating the Impacts of Hydromet Disaster."

The event supports the disaster preparedness program of the national government, in an effort to mitigate the impact of disaster and calamities. (RER/PIA-Caraga)

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Red Cross Agusan del Sur chapter bags prestigious award

By David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR, May 24 (PIA) -- The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Agusan del Sur Chapter bagged another prestigious award of excellence, adding to the numerous awards they received in the previous years.

The most recent is the “Resource Generation Award of Excellence” received three weeks ago in Manila, by chapter administrator Cristyll Basan.

It was signed by PRC Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang and PRC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Gordon, that reads “Surpassing all expectation and overachieving its fund generation campaign targets for the year 2011."

In the entire country, only two chapters were awarded and they are the Rizal, Manila Chapter and the Agusan del Sur Chapter.

On December last year, PRC Agusan del Sur administrator also received recognition for invaluable contribution in moving 80 to 100 percent voluntary blood donation through regular mobile blood donation in the area of jurisdiction.

“We dedicate this December award to our mobile blood collection team headed by our PRC Agusan del Sur chapter medtech Julie Lapidez and D.O. Plaza Memorial Hospital medtech Napoleon Montejo for their untiring efforts in collection blood from our voluntary donors provincewide by conducting mobile blood collection,” Basan said.

According to PRC Medtech Julie Lapidez, this year’s blood collection is on the right track after having 42.16 percent collection against target, as of the end of April.

“With the provincial government conducting medical outreach program as many as three municipalities per month, we make sure that we join the outreach program so that the delivery of medical services and the blood collection activities be conducted jointly so that it will be very convenient for both the people and the service providers to interact,” Lapidez said.

For this month, three municipalities are lined up where the medical and dental outreach and the blood collection be conducted. They are the municipalities of Veruela, Del Monte, Talacogon and Sibagat.

For the month of June, only one was so identified and it is the municipality of Loreto. (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

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5 Surigao Norte towns to benefit from DOLE-TESDA convergence program

SURIGAO CITY, May 24 (PIA) -– A total of five municipalities in Surigao del Norte will benefit from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) - Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Convergence Program on poverty alleviation.

TESDA Provincial Director Rodrigo De Villa said the program brings together DOLE’s Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) and TESDA’s Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP) which aims to provide trainings and employment opportunities particularly to those belonging to the marginalized sector, especially out-of-school youth (OSY).

De Villa said the SPES-TWSP Convergence Program in the province will initially cover the municipalities of Socorro, Claver, Gigaquit, Placer and Malimono.

Under the program, OSY beneficiaries in the above mentioned towns will be enrolled in training programs registered with TESDA for a minimum of 20 days (160 hours) and a maximum of 52 days (416 hours). The training will be conducted within the premises of TESDA or in TESDA-identified institutions.

Interested OSYs may file his/her application and required documents at the nearest Public Employment Service Office (PESO) or TESDA Provincial Office.

For more inquiries, they may refer to the nearest TESDA, DOLE, or PESO offices in their areas. (TESDA-SDN/FEA/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

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P6-M water project benefits Agusan Nor barangay

By Gil E. Miranda

BUTUAN CITY, May 24 (PIA) -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) of Agusan del Norte through Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project Phase 3 (DAR-ARISP3) on Tuesday handed over a potable water system (PWS) Level II project worth more than P6 million that is serving some 344 households in Barangay San Antonio, R.T. Romualdez, Agusan del Norte.

According to DAR ARISP III Project Engineer Ernesto Gatab the Potable Water Supply (PWS) Level II System acquired its source from a spring using an intake box that consistently distribute water all the way to 62 common faucets servicing about five to 10 households per communal faucet.

RTR municipal agrarian reform officer Virginia Batosalem said, “About 1,958 residents from 344 households are currently benefiting from the said project. SAWSARTRAN will maintain the operation and maintenance and ensures all plans and policies will be provided and implemented to the beneficiaries.”

Bioleta O. Alingasa, one of the recipients, shared that the PWS completion greatly helps the residents, since they used to fetch water through a sloping nearly 800-meter trail from the water source to the village, and vice-versa. She added that because of this, they were prone to water borne diseases.

“Usahay kong ting-ulan dili mainom ang tubig nay uban dali ra mosakit ang tiyan (Sometimes if it’s rainy and the water is not suitable for drinking, others become susceptible to diarrhea),” Alingasa added.

The ceremonial turnover was led by Remedios T. Romuladez (RTR) municipal mayor Nilo D. Soliva, assisted by DAR regional director Faisar A. Mambuay and DAR Agusan del Norte provincial director Andre B. Atega who turned-over the documents to San Antonio Water Sanitation Association RTR Agusan Norte (SAWSARTRAN).

Soliva lauded to DAR-ARISP III for their developmental interventions on physical infrastructure projects, institutional strengthening and agricultural-agribusiness development being poured in his municipality.

He also expressed his gratitude to the provincial government of Agusan del Norte under the leadership of Agusan del Norte governor Erlpe John M. Amante and Agusan del Norte second district representative Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba who were the direct partners through counterpart arrangement in the implementation of the said PWS System and other DAR-ARISP III sub-projects.

DAR regional director Faisar A. Mabuay emphasized that the PWS sub-components will provide reliable water supply to the community and asked the end user to take care of the project in order to prolong its service.

Also present during the ceremony were RTR vice mayor Elioterio Enriquez, San Antonio barangay captain Diosdado Enriquez, DAR PARO I Denia M. Jabagat, DAR project engineer Ernesto Gatab, local officials and some residents.

The PWS project is jointly funded by the Philippine government and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and implemented under DAR’s Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project, Phase III (ARISP III). (NCLM/DAR-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Caraga)

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Cebuano news: Aquino mihurar sa acting NEDA chief ug 2 ka Special Presidential Envoys ngadto sa China

Ni Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Mayo 24 (PIA) –- Gihurar ni Pangulong Benigno S. Aquino III ang bag-ong grupo sa bag-ong natudlo nga mga opisyales nga gikatakdang motambayayong uban ang gobyernong Aquino aron segurohon ang paghatag sa mga nag-unang serbisyo ug maseguro ang maayo nga antas sa kinabuhi alang sa katawhang Filipino.

Sa usa ka simpleng seremonya didto sa Rizal Hall sa Malacañang Palace kagahapon Miyerkules, gipangulohan sa Pangulo ang pagpapanumpa sa katungdan sa bag-ong natudlo nga National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General/Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.

Ang bag-ong hepe sa NEDA maoy mopuli kang kanhi NEDA director-general Cayetano Paderanga human sa iyang resignation niadtong milabayng Mayo 10 tungod sa panglawas nga rason.

Si Balicasan mikuha sa iyang doctorate sa Economics didto sa University of Hawaii niadtong tuig 1985 human siya mitapos sa iyang masters degree sa Agricultural Economics didto sa University of the Philippines sa Los Baños, Laguna niadtong tuig 1982.

Siya migradwar magna cum laude gikan sa Mariano Marcos State University niadtong tuig 1979 diin siya mikuha sa iyang Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture.

Siya usa ka propesor sa Australian National University ug executive director sa Philippine Center for Economic Development diin siya nagserbisyo isip adviser ug expert sa poverty, food security, agricultural ug rural development, human development, impact assessment, ug governance issues ngadto sa mga public chief executives ug mga magbabalaod, non-governmental organizations, multilateral development institutions, sama sa World Bank, Asian Development Bank, ug nagkalain-laing mga ahensya sa United Nations.

Si Balisacan usab maoy tagsulat ug co-editor sa pito ka mga libro ug nagsulat og mosobra 100 ka mga articles ug technical journals ug book chapters.

Nanumpa usab sa ilang katungdan sila Ambassador Domingo Lee ug Ambassador Cesar Zalamea, silang duha maoy Special Enoys sa President ngadto sa People’s Republic of China (Department of Foreign Affairs).

Ang mga opisyales sa Philippine Coast Guard nga sila Vice Admiral Edmund Tan, Rear Admiral Cecil Chen, Rear Admiral Lino Dabi ug Rear Admiral Luis Tuason Jr. nunumpa usab kang Pangulong Aquino nga gisaksihan ni Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel Roxas II.

Ang lain pang mga opisyales nga nanumpa sa Pangulo naglakip nila Representative of the Consumer Organizations to the Optical Media Board, Office of the President, Elmar Ingles; Deputy Director V, Public-Private Partnership Center of NEDA, Ferdinand Tolentino ug napulo ka mga representante gikan sa nagkalain-laing mga sektor sa National Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council of the Department of Agriculture. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)