PIA News Service - Thursday, July 19, 2012


Surigao Norte gov bares effective local governance practice, sound fiscal management in 2nd SOPA

By Fryan E. Abkilan

SURIGAO CITY, July 19 (PIA) -- Good governance and sound fiscal management highlighted the accomplishment report of Governor Sol Matugas delivered Wednesday, July 18 at the provincial convention center, this city.

In her second State of the Province Address (SOPA), Matugas focused on how the present administration transformed the previous state of the province into a world-class functioning, efficient and achievement-laden delivery of public services under the HEALS agenda (Health, Education & Environment, Agriculture & Aquaculture, Livelihood & Tourism, Social Services, Security & Senior Citizens).

The governor’s speech dealt with gains and improvement of the provincial government local governance, as well as education, human resource management, tourism, public health delivery, disaster management, agriculture, peace and order, infrastructure, and a number of recognitions given to the province.

“Because of our good practices in local governance, we received this year, P7 million as performance challenge fund from the Department of the Interior and Local Government through Secretary Jesse M. Robredo,” she said.

The lady governor also emphasized the strengthened sound financial management, which was on top of her priorities. “The province was able to obtain grants and generate income of P667 million in my first year and I am pleased to report to you that we were able to generate P266.9 million more in year two, or a 40 percent increase, bringing it to P 933.43 million.”

Matugas said it is only in her administration that regular employees enjoyed two salary increase. This year, Matugas said there will be another salary increase in October.

According to Matugas, good financial management does not end with effective/efficient resource generation. “This administration considers that good resource allocation and utilization is equally important. Thus, we strictly observed the synchronized planning-budgeting process in consultation with NGOs, duly approved by the provincial development council and the sangguniang panlalawigan in the form of an annual investment plan which is our basis for budgeting.” (RER/FEA-PIA 13, Surigao del Norte)


NGOs report PAMANA projects' status

By David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR, July 19 (PIA) -- The New Tubigon bailey bridge connecting Barangay New Tubigon, Sibagat and Barangay San Juan, Bayugan City is in good condition.

This is based on the report of Educational Discipline in Culture and Area-based Development Services, Inc. (EDCADS), a nongovernment organization (NGO) accredited by PAMANA and the provincial government here to monitor the status and situation of all PAMANA projects implemented.

The New Tubigon bailey bridge, which crosses the Andanan River, was inaugurated and turned over last February 22, 2012. It is 18 linear meters long and made mostly of light materials that can only cater light vehicles like motorcycles and carts.

New Tubigon Barangay Captain Librado Felizilda said the route from New Tubigon via San Juan using the new bridge going to Bayugan City reduces their travelling distance by about 30 kilometers compared to the original route they use before, passing thru the mountains and small rivers, with almost impassable roads before reaching Poblacion Sibagat.

EDCADS also said out of 20 respondents interviewed, 19 of them said they are satisfied with the rehabilitation of the Andanan bailey bridge and that there are no greater threats in passing the bridge.

A farm-to-market road (FMR) that connects eight barangays comprising 2,113 households in Bayugan City is the Pinagalaan FMR, 6.84 kilometers long with some P25 million cost. As of May 12, based on a report of Propegemus Foundation, an NGO, the physical accomplishment of the project is 30.05 percent, with financial accomplishment of almost P7 million while construction is still on-going.

The Pinagalaan FMR will connect the barangays of Osmena, Magkiangkang, Villa Undayon, New Salem, Mt. Carmel, Pinagalaan, Sta. Teresita and New Lanao, all in Bayugan City.

The last PAMANA project reported by an NGO called the Sibog Katawhan Alang sa Paglambo, Inc. (SIKAP) is the rehabilitation of 15 kilometers FMR from the national road junction to Don Alejandro, Mahayahay and Binicalan, all in the municipality of San Luis, with an appropriation of P3.4 million. (RER/DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Bicol University Ph.D. studes visit Butuan City

By PSupt Martin M Gamba

BUTUAN CITY, July 19 (PIA) -- Doctorate students of Bicol University Graduate Studies Camp Crame Extension Program composed of officers from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Department of Education (DepEd) with professors recently visited this city on their educational tour.

In consonance with their subjects PhD PASA 311: Moral Recovery and Peacekeeping and PhD PASA 344: Individual, Family and Society, the educators taking up Doctor of Philosophy in Peace and Security Administration and their professors arrived in Butuan on July 13, 2012. A courtesy call followed at the office of Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr.

The guests also had prolific interaction and information sharing with the graduate studies students of Caraga State University, with University President, Dr. Joanna B. Cuenca early morning of July 14.

Moreover, the guests witnessed the rich history, distinct culture and progressive infrastructure of Butuan City as they stepped in various spots of Butuan City.

“Butuan is indeed an exciting source of cultural and historical artifacts in Mindanao,” said Arnel F. Fernandez, class president.

The guests had a truly enriching and unforgettable experience through the historic tour and the successful completion of an enormous task. (RER/NCLM/PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)


PRO 13 conducts anti-illegal logging seminar

By PSupt Martin M Gamba

BUTUAN CITY, July 19 (PIA) -- Police Regional Office (PRO)-13 on Tuesday conducted a seminar on anti-illegal logging in pursuit of the government's drive to stop illegal logging activities nationwide.

This is in line with Executive Order 23 issued by President Aquino, implementing the indefinite log ban and creating an Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force to be headed by Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje.

President Aquino also tasked Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome to help the task force in the implementation of EO 23.

During the seminar, Rafal directed all the provincial directors, assistant provincial directors, deputy provincial directors for operation and chiefs of police to deeply understand and effectively implement EO 23 and other DENR laws.

Rafal added Caraga region is rich in forest resources and cutting of trees has been part of the cultural activities of indigenous people. He said said Caraga police will give its full support in the implementation of EO 23 subject to strict compliance with existing guidelines of the DENR to prevent illegal logging, which is the main culprit of flooding and landslides that cause significant loss of lives and damage to properties.

Aside from Rafal, resource persons include forester Ronaldo D. Gadot, Camilo Emmanuel Soriano, Romy Ladroma, all of Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC); Police Senior Superintendent Ferdinand G. Sevilla, Deputy Regional Director for Operations and Raul Rosales, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO), Agusan del Norte. (RER/NCLM/PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)


Mindanao infrastructure budget focused on improving road connectivity

MANILA, July 19 (PIA) -- Mindanao, which currently has the lowest ratio of paved roads to overall road infrastructure among the country’s regions, is now set to get a larger allocation from the national government’s proposed annual budget for infrastructure.

This was reported by Secretary Rogelio Singson of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), at a roundtable discussion among business leaders and senior officials on Mindanao infrastructure policy held recently at the Traders Hotel according to a press statement from Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program.

The roundtable was organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through its GEM Program, which is implemented under the oversight of MinDA.

“Sixty-nine percent of national roads in Mindanao are unpaved. Mindanao has the lowest paved road ratio,” said Secretary Singson. “It is clear that Mindanao should get a bigger share of the budget.”

Under the proposed FY2013 budget, Mindanao will receive PhP27.62 billion, or 26.1 percent of the national infrastructure budget, up from PhP20.4 billion the previous year.

Infrastructure budget allocations for the other regions are as follows: Northern Luzon - 24.1 percent; Southern Luzon - 20.4 percent; the National Capital Region - 14.6 percent, and Visayas -19.4 percent.

“Our objectives are to improve the country’s attractiveness as an investment destination by enabling seamless connectivity, and to lower the costs of communication and transportation,” said Angelito Colona, PCCI vice president for transportation and logistics.

Secretary Singson also pointed out the bottlenecks in implementing road infrastructure projects in Mindanao, including right of way and security issues, shortage of cement suppliers in parts of the region, the practice of truck overloading which results in faster road deterioration, and the need to integrate ports and airports with road systems.

The meeting included a presentation by the Philippine Inter-Island Shipping Association, on issues affecting freight rates in domestic shipping, focusing on Mindanao.

The roundtable was part of the run-up to the 21st Mindanao Business Conference, or “MinBizCon,” which will be held August 2-4 in Butuan City. The highlight of the annual conference is the presentation of the Mindanao Business Policy Agenda to President Benigno Aquino III.

The formulation of the agenda began with broad-based regional policy consultations held in Mindanao’s major cities to identify and address bottlenecks that hold back trade and investment, and to clarify government rules, regulations and timelines.

Drawing on the outputs of these consultations, a draft policy agenda was compiled by MinDA in collaboration with PCCI. The draft listed the most urgent policy concerns, as well as required government actions and private sector commitments.

The regional consultations were followed by high-level roundtables focusing on specific sectors, including infrastructure, which were held in Manila on July 3-4 with MinDA and Cabinet officials and private sector representatives for a thorough review of the draft policy agenda, and for government to formulate appropriate responses. (Growth for Equity in Mindanao/PIA-Caraga)


Tagalog news: Caraga disaster council bubuo ng reg’l risk profile

By Danilo S. Makiling

BUTUAN CITY, Hulyo 19 (PIA) -- Ang regional disaster risk reduction and management council (RDRRMC)-Caraga Region ay magsasagawa ng isang writeshop upang bumuo ng regional risk profile na gaganapin sa Hulyo 31 hanggang Agosto 1 sa Tavern Hotel, Surigao City.

Ayon kay Office of Civil Defense (OCD)-Caraga Regional Director at RDRRMC Chairperson Dr. Blanche Gobenciong, ang pagbuo ng risk profile ay parte ng limang taong Comprehensive Regional Strategic Action Plan na magbibigay ng detalyadong impormasyon hinggil sa risk at vulnerability ng rehiyon sa panahon ng kalamidad.

Ang aktibidad ay dadaluhan ng RDRRMC technical working group galing sa iba't ibang ahensya ng gobyerno sa pangunguna ng OCD. (RER/DSM/PIA-Caraga)