5.15.2012

PIA News Service - Tuesday, May 15, 2012

OFWs in Caraga undergo training to avail govt’s reintegration program

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, May 15 (PIA) –- More than 500 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from Caraga Region have undergone training to avail the P2 billion reintegration program of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

This was learned from Ritchel Molero, OWWA-Caraga information officer.

She cited that since the implementation of the program, no OFW from the region have benefitted yet from this national government-initiated program aimed to assist the OFWs and their beneficiaries to establish entrepreneurship and business opportunities for livelihood.

However, the official said when the program was already implemented here in the region, more than 500 OFWs and their families have already undergone entrepreneurial training and development (ETD).

Molero further said the training is one of the requirements so that qualified applicants can avail the program where they (OFWs) can borrow money from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

Part of the reintegration preparedness includes trainings on value formation, financial literacy, EDT, techno-skills and capacity building trainings.

The official also said requirements of the more than 500 OFWs who have qualified from this region were already submitted to LBP and PNB for further verification and approval. Molero added these banks will do the final approval of the application, as well as to identify the amount that will be granted to the applicant.

To date, Molero said the banks are still on the process of verifying the loan application and hopefully the grant will be released the soonest possible time.

Because of this, OWWA-Caraga is already coordinating with their officials in the central office so that they will directly coordinate with the said banking institutions so that loan applications of OFWs in the region will be approved immediately.

In this way, Molero said OFWs in Caraga Region can benefit this program of the Aquino government that will surely help them and their family in alleviating poverty, thus decreasing poverty incidence in the region.

The P2 billion Reintegration Fund for enterprise development is a loan facility, in cooperation with the LBP and the DBP, where a member or their legal dependent can avail of P300,000 to P2 million loan grant. (RER/PIA-Caraga)

TESDA-Agusan del Norte continues to implement scholarship program

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, May 15 (PIA) –- To assist poor but deserving students to obtain technical education, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-Caraga Region continues to implement scholarship program, offering the Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP).

TESDA Agusan del Norte Provincial Director Dr. Florencio Sunico, Jr. said their office can only accommodate 400 slots and is open to high school graduates who are at least 18 years old.

The official also said qualified scholars can only choose four courses as these are the only courses that are available or offered in the region. These are: agro-forestry, hotel management, construction, and electronics.

Scholars must finish their chosen course on the specific period and must undergo assessment after finishing the course or training for free.

According to TESDA, TWSP is a facility to provide the necessary supply to address the skills demand of the industries.

Specifically, it aims to provide skills and competencies to job seekers through appropriate training programs that directly connected to existing jobs for immediate employment.

It also seeks to empower private education and training institutions to offer relevant training programs that meet job requirements.

Aside from high school graduates, this is also open to those employed but ready for a career change, underemployed or unemployed, with or without experience and ready to undergo training in the selected priority sectors and other sectors with identified highly critical skills requirements.

For 2012, Malacañang proposed a P2.725-billion budget for the agency, which is about P93 million less than its 2011 appropriations.

But TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva said that despite the reduced budget, they aimed to provide as many as 1.3 million individuals with various technical vocational training education and training-related services.

TESDA’s two scholarship programs –TWSP and the Private Education Student Fund Assistance (PESFA) – gets P700 million and P200 million, respectively, TESDA said. (RER/PIA-Caraga)

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Social Dev’t Committee elects new chairperson, co-chair

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, May 15 (PIA) -– Member-agencies of the Regional Development Council – Social Development Committee (RDC-SDC) elected a new chairperson and co-chair during its 2nd quarter meeting held recently in one of the local convention centers here.

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga Regional Director Mercedita Jabagat was elected as the new chairperson and Department of Health (DOH) Caraga Regional Director Ariel Valencia as the co-chair.

During the RDC-SDC Reorganizational Meeting on September 28, 2010, former Regional Director of DOH-Caraga Dr. Leonita Gorgolon was elected as chairperson and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Caraga Regional Dir. Florencio Sunico Jr. as the co-chairperson.

However, Dir. Sunico was transferred to Iloilo City in June 2011 and Dir. Jabagat of DSWD was consequently elected as co-chair while on March 5, 2012, Dir. Gorgolon was also transferred to San Fernando as the new regional director of DOH Region III relinquishing the Caraga post to Dr. Valencia, the new regional director.

As one of the sectoral committees of the RDC, the SDC holds a significant role as the clearing house of the RDC for areas on social concerns in the region. As such, it has to be effective and efficient through having a full set of officers and secretariat staff, among others.

Hence, the RDC-SDC has now elected the new chairperson and co-chair who will then serve for the remaining term of former chairperson Dir. Gorgolon.

As the newly elected chair, Dir. Jabagat expressed her acceptance and commitment to her new tasks and stressed that she will do her best. Dir. Valencia also thanked the members for trusting him and takes the role as an opportunity for him to help improve and sustain the programs on social development for Caraga.

The RDC-SDC is in support to the Aquino administration’s Philippine Development Goals 2011-2016 on social development. (RER/JPG/PIA-Caraga)

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DepEd-Caraga boosts teachers’ skills for K to 12

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, May 15 (PIA) -- As support to the Aquino administration’s Philippine Development Goals 2011-2016, the Department of Education (DepEd) Caraga is strengthening skills of teachers in the region to cope with the implementation of the K to 12 Basic Education Program.

Teachers for the basic education are currently undergoing simultaneous training on the program's curriculum, Conchita Ubay, elementary education chief, said during the 2nd Quarter Meeting of the Regional Development Council – Social Development Committee (RDC-SDC).

“DepEd is holding a mass training for Grade-1 teachers on the implementation of K to 12 Basic Education Program. It starts today up to May 28, 2012. The training is being conducted in different venues spearheaded by the different Division Offices of Caraga Region,” said Ubay.

The K to 12 Basic Education Program aims to upgrade the education system in the Philippines to make it competitive with other countries in the world.

In implementing the program, the following phases have been adopted: a) Universal kindergarten was offered starting school year 2011-2012; b) New curriculum for incoming Grade 1 as well as for incoming high school students (Grade 7 of HS Year 1) will be offered starting 2012-2013; and c) Senior High School education will be provided by school year 2016-2017.

The key roles in the implementation of the K to 12 Basic Education Program is played by DepEd together with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and TESDA.

The local government units, private sector, government agencies, civil society organizations and other concerned parties are expected to take the challenges on the roll out of the program. (RER/JPG/PIA-Caraga)

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Conversion of 3 Surigao del Norte state HEIs to a university, pushed

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, May 15 (PIA) -- The Regional Development Council – Social Development Committee recently approved the endorsement of the proposed integration and conversion of the Surigao State College of Technology (SSCT) in Surigao City; Surigao National College of Science and Technology (SNSCT) in Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte; and Surigao del Norte College of Agriculture and Technology (SNCAT) in Mainit, Surigao del Norte into a Surigao del Norte State University.

The SSCT has already presented its proposal during the RDC-SDC 1st Quarter Meeting on January 30, 2012 held at the Goat2geder Restaurant here. After the comments of the SDC were taken by the SSCT, the proposal was supposed to be presented during the SDC Special Meeting on February 21, 2012 but was deferred for presentation during the 2nd Quarter SDC Meeting.

The proponent was required to undertake and incorporate the recommendation in their proposal before the body can finally endorse it to the RDC for appropriate action.

The RDC recommended the following to the SSCT: 1) 10-year investment plan for research and extension, including details; 2) Result of consultation with other Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) within the province regarding the proposal; 3) Result of the consultation with the state colleges that will be amalgamated with the SSCT; 4) Profile of the faculty and staff; 5) Investment per student/per capita cost of production; 6) Core competencies per campus/niche of each campus; and 7) Full documentation of the proposal.

The proponent has complied with the details and recommendations required by the body during the 2nd Quarter Meeting held Monday at the Almont Hotel’s Inland Resort, this city.

Thus, the Social Development Committee approved the endorsement of said proposal to the Regional Development Council.

SSCT President Dr. Gloria Gemparo reiterated that the main mission of their institution is to provide relevant, high quality and sustainable instruction, research, production and extension programs and services within a culture of credible institutional governance.

With this development, the SSCT is hoping for the final approval of its proposal in the national level. (RER/JPG/PIA-Caraga)

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DAR projects turned over to beneficiaries

By Genalin P. Luis

BUTUAN CITY, May 15 (PIA) -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) through Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project Phase III (ARISP-III) had its formal turn-over of some two sub-projects recently.

The recipients were Dacutan Purok-5, Sta. Fe Farm to Market Road (FMR) and the Potable Water System (PWS) level II at Catmonon, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur, with Brgy. Sta. Fe, Catmonon and Dacutan (SACADA) ARC.

Projects are funded by the government of Japan through Japan International Cooperating Agency (JICA) with Yukihiro Kawahara as a consultant team leader vis-a-vis, the government of the Philippines and Municipal Local Government Unit (MLGU) of Esperanza, Agusan del Sur.

The Dakutan to Sta. Fe FMR has a total project cost of P36,272,163 million that covers 5.135-kilometer concrete road benefiting 5, 578 farmers, of whom 443 are agrarian reform beneficiaries of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

The project started last June 16, 2011. The potable water system level II (PWS), on the other hand, commenced its construction last July 11, 2011 which has a total project cost of P4,482,630 with 187 number of household served.

Governor Adolph Edward G. Plaza and Cong. Ma. Valentina G. Plaza from the province of Agusan del Sur assisted by Mayor Leonida P. Manpatilan of Esperanza, Agusan del Sur, led the ribbon-cutting ceremony held in the project sites.

In his message, Plaza stressed that people in the barangays should join hands together to have a progressive community.

“These projects were the result of unity and cooperation among the residents of SACADA-ARC. You should sustain these projects, maximize its use to produce high-valued crops,” he further said.

Mayor Manpatilan gladly accepted the projects.

“With these projects, let us double our efforts to become the rice basket of Agusan del Sur. These projects are indeed very helpful in the lives of the farmers, ” she added.

She expressed gratitude to the DAR management and the ARISP III for making the lives of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries better.

Consultant team leader Yukihiro Kawahara of JICA by way of support also shared that they are ready to assist the government and the farmers in the best possible way they could.

“This is just the beginning. What is important is how you utilize the projects and make your lands productive to gain a better quality of life,” he said in his message.

“For twelve long years of waiting, finally the projects were realized. Let us be thankful to God above all for these blessings and to all our stakeholders and partner agencies that become instruments in making our dreams possible," Cong. Plaza also shared.

With the said projects, the residents of SACADA-ARC can now transport their farm products to the market place without hassles. In the same reason, they need not walk few kilometers everyday just to fetch clean, safe drinking water. Water-borne diseases will also be minimized accordingly.

Also present in the above turn-over ceremony were ARDO Alejandro Otacan of DAR Regional Office, PARO II Paysal B. Tumog and PARO I Myrna R. Ferrer of DAR Provincial office, Ms. Imelda Lamboon of Central Project Management Office of ARISP, representatives from DPWH and other government officials. (RER/NCLM/DAR-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Caraga)


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DAR turns over P3.8-M potable water system

By Myra Q. Yu

SURIGAO DEL SUR, May 15 (PIA) -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) recently handed over a potable water system (PWS) Level II project worth P3.8 million to Adlay, Carrascal, this province.

Surigao del Sur Governor Johnny Pimentel led the turnover ceremony together with Vice Mayor Alfred Arreza, DAR Assistant Regional Director for Operations Alejandro Otacan, Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer Benjamin Mataksil, DAR officials, Municipal Engineering Office staff, PARCCOM representative and Barangay Adlay officials.

Said project is funded under Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project (ARISP III) by the Japanese Government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), in partnership with Local Government Unit of Carrascal.

The project will cater to 773 households of Barangay Adlay. The operation and maintenance of the PWS is a joint venture of Barangay Adlay and the Adlay Water System and Sanitation Association (AWSSA).

In his speech, Vice Mayor rreza expressed his gratitude to DAR and ARISP for the realization of said project.

"It’s been years that people of Adlay have difficulty on their source of potable water and now it is finally answered," Arreza said.

Meanwhile, Gov. Pimentel encouraged the recipients to be responsible enough in handling the project and suggested as well to give contribution that will serve as common fund for the maintenance.

Likewise, ARDO Otacan is impressed for the continued support extended by the Local Government Units for the success of the projects’ implementation.

This accomplishment is another milestone for DAR-Caraga being the lead agency of this project and with the LGU as the implementing agency. (RER/NGBT/DAR-Surigao del Sur/PIA-Surigao del Sur)

OWWA chief to OFW dependent scholars: "Bring honors to your parents"

By Ritchel Molero

BUTUAN CITY, May 15 (PIA) –- Overseas Workers Welfare Administrator (OWWA) Administrator Carmelita S. Dimzon challenged overseas Filipino workers (OFW) dependent-scholars not only to finish their education but to graduate with honors and exemplary recognition to inspire the youth and bring honor to their parents.

During her recent visit here to award the scholarship grant amounting to P220,000 in time with the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of OWWA, the official challenged the scholars to graduate Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, or Summa Cum Laude.

"Study hard... inspire each other and the youth around you. Bring honors to your OFW parents. There is no better gift you can ever give to them, than this,” Dimzon said.

Three wives of OFWs were also provided with death and burial assistance which totaled P460,000. “We know no amount of money is equivalent to anybody’s life, but this is only one of the myriad services OWWA is providing you in your state of loss and grief. The cash assistance we are giving you is “little” but we are hopeful that this will help you start and augment your earnings in the near future,” Dimzon stressed.

Luciana Cortes, one of the death insurance beneficiaries is thankful for OWWA benefits. Her husband, Albino Cortes, died of Acute Massive Aspiration Syndrome in Papua New Guinea on Feb. 26, 2012.

Moreover, more than 60 Caraganon participants of the Entrepreneurial Development Training were encouraged by Admin. Dimzon to invest and engage in business emphasizing that being an OFW is not a lifetime job. (RER/NCLM/OWWA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

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DAR to implement ARCCESS in Agusan del Norte province

By Gil Miranda

BUTUAN CITY, May 15 (PIA) -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has implemented the Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity and Economic Support Services (ARCCESS) program.

This, after President Benigno S. Aquino III and DAR Secretary Virgilio delos Reyes expressed intention to improve the lives of the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs), through the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reform (CARPER) by adopting this new strategy - the ARCCESS program.

According to Agusan del Norte Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer Andre Atega, this program will contribute significantly in improving farm productivity and in turning ARBs into entrepreneurs.

Also, ARCCESS Program Coordinator Raul N. Hermoso said that among the projects lined up for establishment in the program after assessment and validation are Tagabaca Grains Center for TAGABACA Multi-Purpose Cooperative at TAGABACA ARC and Integrated Rice Production and Marketing for Baliguian Irrigators Association (BIA) at CLIMBBB ARC.

“In Sanghan ARC, Avanceña Beneficiaries Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, (ABFMPC) submitted a proposal Rice Production and Palay Trading for ARCCESS funding. Proposal is already reviewed at the DAR regional office and now being forwarded at national level for approval,” Hermoso said.

He added that after the needs assessment, DAR will hire an accredited professional service provider that will come from private sectors and non-government organizations (NGOs) to coach the ARB Organization in day-to-day business operations of common service facilities and in organizational strengthening activities.

Hermoso further said ARCCESS is a package of interventions to raise farm income and farm productivity and improve rural enterprises to become commercially viable.

Meanwhile, Ester Cabalan, DAR-Agusan del Norte OIC-Chief of the Beneficiaries Development & Coordination Division (BDCD) said that DAR, in partnership with the Surigao del Norte College of Agriculture and Technology (SNCAT) has conducted a needs validation to determine specific interventions that DAR will provide through ARCCESS.

ARCCESS will be implemented as public-private-partnership where DAR will tap the expertise of the private sectors and other private institutions to provide professional services to ARB organizations and link these organizations to agri-markets. (RER/NCLM/DAR-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Caraga)

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Cebuano news: Aquino nalipay sa plano sa mga transport groups nga paubsan ang pamasahe

Ni Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Mayo 15 (PIA) -– Gikalipay ni Pangulong Benigno S. Aquino III ang lakang sa mga grupo sa transportasyon nga boluntaryong ipaubos ang mga pamasahe sa pampublikong transportasyon human ang pinakadakong rollback sa presyo sa gasolina karong tuiga.

Sa iyang mensahe atol sa National Transport Conference nga gipahigayon didto sa Marikina Hotel ug Convention Center kagahapon Lunes, ang Pangulo miingon ang lakang sa grupo sa transportasyon maoy simbolo sa ilang kaluoy ngadto sa kalisod nga gisagubang sa mga yanong katawhang Filipino.

“Saludo ako sa ginawa ninyong rollback sa pasahe; sa pagbalik ninyo nito sa 8 pesos, mula sa 8.50,” matud sa Pangulo.
Iyang gidayeg ang transport groups, nga gipangulohan sa 1-United Transport Koalisyon (1-UTAK) ug mga miyembro niini alang sa hiniusang tabang niini aron paubsan ang pamasahe.

“Walang pilitan, walang tulakan, walang bangayan—nagbukal po ito sa pagkukusa, nagbukal ito sa malasakit ninyo sa kapwa Pilipino. Kabaligtaran nga po ng 1-UTAK ang utak-alimango; nakatuon kayo sa kolektibong pag-angat ng sambayanang Pilipino,” matud pa niya.

Atol sa maong kalihukan gipresentar sa mga miyembro sa 1-UTAK sama sa Federation of Jeepney Owners and Drivers Association of the Philippines, Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines, ug ang Liga ng Transportasyon at Opereytor sa Pilipinas, Inc., ang usa ka manifesto ngadto kang Pangulo isip simbolo sa ilang gikasabotan sa gilayon nga pagpaubos sa pamasahe.

Ang Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board kagahapon Lunes miingon nga ang minimumfare nga P8 moepekto karong adlawa Martes, Mayo 15, human kini mipirma sa mando alang sa awtomatik na rollback sa mga pamasahe sa jeepney, nga gipatas-an ngadto sa P8.50 niadtong niaging Marso. (SDR/PIA-Surigao del Norte)