News Feature: Street dancing, local delicacies, fireworks concluded Agusan del Sur's Naliyagan Festival
By David M. Suyao
AGUSAN DEL SUR, June 19 (PIA) -- The hot rays of the sun did not stop the eagerness and excitement of the 14 contingents composed of children from elementary and high school levels from all over the province to perform in the street dance competition, as part of the Naliyagan Festival, a six-day celebration of Agusan del Sur's founding anniversary.
Because the dominant colors of the costumes of the natives of Agusan del Sur are yellow, red, and black, these are the colors worn by the performers. During the street dance competition, the first performer was from the municipality of Sta. Josefa, while the City of Bayugan performed last. The municipality of Veruela was declared as the champion, and the City of Bayugan placed second.
After that, the people rushed to the Naliyagan Plaza ground for the “Binaga” (roasting) of mudfish. Governor Adolph Edward Plaza performed the ceremonial torching of the roasting pan. Then, the roasting began. The air was filled with the aroma of roasted mudfishes while the live band and artists of Coca-cola performed.
A fireworks display filled the sky with bright, colorful, sparkling lights.
The Naliyagan Festival also included the search for Bae Naliyagan where Jesha Macadina from Prosperidad was crowned as Bae Naliyagan 2012, followed by Tara Zamora from Sibagat crowned as Bae Sabuyakan. (RER/DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)
Agusan del Norte cites headways in education
By Robert E. Roperos
BUTUAN CITY, June 19 (PIA) -- Agusan del Norte Governor Erlpe John Amante said that as a result of the province’s efforts of providing “Education for All,” the 187 public elementary schools in Agusan del Norte have posted an 11 percent increase in enrollment in the pre-school and 3.83 percent increase in the elementary.
During his State of the Province Address (SOPA), Amante said the same achievements were attained in the secondary level. Enrollment has increased, resulting to a net enrollment ratio of 52.30 percent, surpassing the 50 percent national level mark. He also reported that the province has always valued technological education and training and its contribution to society.
The official stressed that the province has also institutionalized the children’s welfare program, “a proof that the provincial government acknowledged that the youth are hope of our country," he said.
Further, Amante said that the province sees to it that a place where they can be rehabilitated, with the end view of guiding them back to a productive life, is provided. “Hence, we constructed a Youth Center of Bahay Pag-asa to house children in conflict with the law,” he said.
Amante likewise emphasized the role of the province in providing delivery service efforts to the elderly where significant number of indigent families were provided assistance under the Integrated Social Development Assistance Program (ISDAP).
In terms of disaster response, Amante said the province responded by serving relief goods to the 6,507 affected families in hard-hit municipalities.
“Our relief operations went beyond the province when we sent the Agusan del Norte Emergency Response Team to provide assistance and deliver relief goods to the victims of ‘Sendong’ in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan,” Amante said.
Amante likewise boasted the local health system that the province has implemented. He said the province has remained focused on the vision of a healthy, productive, empowered citizenry equitably enjoying quality preventive, curative, and rehabilitative health services in a clean and healthy environment.
Economy wise, the provincial governor said that through the modern agricultural farming and fishing that the farmers and fishermen in the province were able to implement through the efforts of the provincial government, palay and fish production have significantly increased in 2011.
“I would like to especially convey my heartfelt gratitude to the 9,500 farmers and fisher folks without whom the cited productions would not have been made possible,” Amante said.
Amante also reported that year 2011 was an exciting and busy year with investors from China, Korea, and the Philippines trooping in to invest in the co-management program of the province. “Memoranda of Understanding and Memoranda of Agreement were forged between these investors and the province,” he said.
Meanwhile, the local chief executive cited that the province’s peace and order and security is vital for full development. Amante reported that during the year in review, the province has registered 415 crime incidents. Out of these, 257 cases were cleared, resulting in 61.93 percent crime clearance efficiency (CCE).
Amante further highlighted the anti-illegal logging campaign of the provincial government which resulted to the recovery of abandoned logs and law-an flitches with a combined market value of P160,000. He added that a social integration program has been made part of the province’s peace and order drive.
Having reported the aforementioned accomplishments, Amante took the challenge to make Agusan del Norte a more progressive province in Caraga Region.
“Every challenge hurdled is a step towards our aspiration for a prosperous and happy populace. I can only be courageous in facing these challenges because I firmly believe that we are one in this aspiration. With the providential help of the Almighty, I again invite all of you to join me this time in our pursuit for the well-being of all,” Amante said. (RER/PIA-Caraga)
NEWS FEATURE: Agusan del Sur celebrates 45th Foundation Day by giving and receiving awards
By David M. Suyao
AGUSAN DEL SUR, June 19 (PIA) -- Hundreds of people from all walks of life gathered at the Naliyagan Plaza as early as 9 a.m. on Sunday, June 17 to witness and participate in the 45th foundation anniversary of this province, with the Sunday mass as the opening ceremony.
In his welcome address, Vice Governor Santiago Cane Jr. said an almost golden foundation anniversary of the province of Agusan del Sur is worth celebrating because in Agusan del Sur, golden opportunities await the investors and visitors, both in business investment and tourism.
In a brief history of the province read by Schools Division Superintendent Crucita ZM Taala, it was learned that the whole Agusan province was divided into Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur on June 17, 1967. After it was divided into two provinces, the municipalities declared to consist Agusan del Sur are the municipalities of Bayugan, Esperanza, Prosperidad, San Francisco, Bunawan, Talacogon, La Paz, Loreto, Veruela, and Sta. Josefa. Prosperidad was chosen as the capital town of Agusan del Sur.
During the celebration, the Department of the Interior and Local Government awarded Agusan del Sur Governor Adolph Edward Plaza the Bureau of Local Government Finance award while First District Congresswoman Maria Valentina Plaza turned over an L300 van to the ABC president of her district. The municipalities of Esperanza and Veruela also received the Red Orchid Award from the Department of Health, for religiously implementing the no-smoking ordinance in their municipalities. The Red Orchid Award was handed by Plaza, Sangguniang Panlalawigan member and Chairman of the Committee on Health Nestor Corvera, and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Joel Esparagoza.
In his message, Plaza said that being the second governor of Agusan del Sur, his father, the late Gov. Democrito O. Plaza otherwise known as D. O. Plaza, has opened the gate of the province into business and commerce. Trading and commerce like buying and selling of local products to local and foreign businessmen and organizations became popular in Agusan del Sur that it made the province economically stable. Roads and bridges were constructed, joining one municipality to another, encouraging agriculture to flourish.
Today, Plaza said, “while we celebrate our 45th Foundation Anniversary, we have to join our efforts, physically and mentally in order to uplift more the economic condition of the Agusanons. While the provincial government is giving all the opportunities to our children thru scholarship, job opportunities, good health and good business opportunities, we have to do also our part by doubling our efforts thru responsible performance in our job and protecting government properties and reputation.”
The celebration of the 45th foundation anniversary of Agusan del Sur ended with a graceful dance by the Saliao ASSCAT Dance Troup from Bunawan. (RER/DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)
DILG head to talk on culture of disaster prepredness
By Robert E. Roperos
BUTUAN CITY, Agusan del Norte, June 19 (PIA) -- Secretary Jesse Robredo of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will grace the regionwide “Tapatan on Disaster Preparedness” on June 26 at Almont Hotel’s Inland Resort here.
As one of the world's mostly hit by disasters, the country has no recourse but to be ready at all times. The DILG regionwide activity aims to develop a culture on preparedness among local government units (LGUs) and local communities so that they will be able to respond more effectively to disasters and mitigate the adverse impacts of every calamity that may occur, said DILG OIC-Regional Director Lilibeth A. Famacion in a press statement.
Famacion also said this is also in pursuant to Republic Act No. 10121, otherwise known as the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, which emphasizes the urgency and significance of placing disaster preparedness as priority development agenda of LGUs.
The official further said the conduct of the activity is also supported by the department’s circular 2010-143, which directs the strengthening of LGU capability, particularly the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (DRRMCs) to prepare for disasters.
Famacion said the highlight of the “Tapatan” is the call of action of Sec. Robredo to be manifested by the signing of the Pledge of Commitment. Here, participants pledge their firm resolve to prioritize their local disaster risk reduction management and climate change adaptation plans and initiatives.
Meanwhile, in time with the activity, the DILG will award recipients of the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) to two provinces, five cities, and 21 municipalities of the region.
For the provincial level, the provinces of Surigao del Norte and Agusan del Norte will each receive P7 million while the cities of Cabadbaran, Tandag, Surigao, Bislig, and Bayugan will each receive P3 million.
For the municipality level, to receive P1 million each are the municipalities of Buenavista, Las Nieves, and Nasipit in Agusan del Norte. In Agusan del Sur, the municipalities of Bunawan, Esperanza, La Paz, Loreto, Prosperidad, Rosario, San Francisco, San Luis, Sibagat, Talacogon, Trento, and Veruela will also receive P1 million each. For Surigao del Norte, only the municipality of Claver qualified to get the same amount.
Finally, in Surigao del Sur, same amount will be awarded to the municipalities of Cantilan, Hinatuan, San Miguel, Tagbina, and Tago.
Also, three municipalities and five barangays will receive the Salintubig project, a project of the DILG in an effort to provide water system project to waterless areas in the region.
The municipalities of Talacogon, Trento and Veruela, all in Agusan del Sur are the recipients of this project, while Barangays Bugsukan and Buntalid in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur; Brgy. Remedios in Esperanza, Agusan del Sur; and Barangays Sta. Cruz and Mabini in Tubajon, Surigao del Norte composed the recipients of the Salintubig project, it was learned.
The activity is anchored on the theme, “Preparedness Saves Lives.” Dir. Famacion said participating this region-wide activity are the local chief executives in Caraga, regional line agencies, DRRM officers, local government information officers, media, academe, and regional stakeholders, among others. (RER/PIA-Caraga)
Tagalog News: Caraga Dev’t Admin. Committee tinalakay ang GSIS retirement programs
Ni Danilo S. Makiling
BUTUAN CITY, Hunyo 19 (PIA) -- Tinalakay ng Caraga Regional Development Council-Development Administration Committee (RDC-DAC) ang "retirement program" ng Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) sa ginawang pagpupulong nito kamakailan lang.
Ayon kay Chariss Jo Dela Cruz ng GSIS Butuan, ang GSIS ay nagbibigay ng iba't ibang retirement program na nagdedepende naman sa kwalipikasyon ng miyembro.
"Ang GSIS ay mayroong retirement package na kinikilalang isa sa mapagbigay na bansa na sumisiguro sa kalaayan sa pinansyal para sa mga miyembro nito, lalo na pagkatapos nilang umalis sa serbisyo," ani Dela Cruz.
Idinagdag din ni Dela Cruz na ang retirement program ng GSIS sa ilalim ng Republic Act 660 o tinatawag din na “Magic 87,” ay nagbibigay ng dalawang mapagpipilian para sa annuity at lifetime pension. Para naman sa retirement sa ilalim ng Republic Act 1616, ang GSIS ay magbibigay ng refund para sa mga miyembro ng GSIS premiums na may “take-all” na pagpipilian sa parihong oras. Para naman sa retirement sa ilalim ng Presidential Decree 1146, para lang sa mga nasa serbesyon matapos ang Mayo 31, 1977, pero bago paman ang Hunyo 24, 1997 ay makakakuha ng retirement program na ito. Ito ay nagbibigay din na pagpipilian para sa mga retirees kung basic monthly pension at cash payment.
Sa ilalim naman ng Republic Act 8291, ang retiree ay maaaring pumili sa kaniyang personal reward, kung "five-year lump sum" o cash payment with instant pension, kung saan ang mga retirees ay maaaring pagsamahin ang kanilang GSIS at Social Security System (SSS) creditable years ng serbisyo para makapasok sa retirement program na alok ng dalawang pension funds bilang tugon sa Republic Act 7699 o Portability Law.
Samantala, ipinaalam din ni Dela Cruz ang komitiba na ang GSIS kamakaylan binago ang Claims and Loans Interdependency Policy (CLIP) sa pagiging Choice Loan Amortization Schedule for Pensioners, na naglalayong mapaliit ang mga kasalukuyang obligasyon ng mga retirees.
“Ang GSIS ay nagsasagawa din ng Pre-Retirement Counseling Seminars kada buwan sa loob ng bansa kung saan ibat-ibang retirement modes ang tatalakayin. Ang mga nagplaplanong magretire ay tinuturuan din kung paano kompyotin ang kanilang retirement claims sa ilalim ng retirement law,” ani Dela Cruz.
Ang GSIS ay nabuo sa pamamagitan ng Commonwealth Act No. 186 na ipinasa noong Nobyembre 14, 1936, at binago sa ilalim ng Republic Act No. 8291 noong Hunyo 24, 1997.
Ang RDC-DAC ay pinamumunuan ni Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand Amante. (RER/PIA-Caraga)