8.04.2012

PIA News Service - Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sen. Guingona lauds Butuan mayor

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Aug 4 (PIA) -- Senator Teofisto Guingona III on Thursday lauded city Mayor Ferdinand Amante Jr. for having been mentioned by President Aquino during his State of the Address (SONA) last July 23.

Speaking before the participants of the 21st Mindanao Business Conference during the opening ceremony held here, Guingona said the President has recognized the efforts of Amante in curbing illegal logging activities by intensifying the campaign against it.

Guingona added that Amante was the only mayor in the country who was acknowledged by the President in his SONA, and for this, he said the residents of Minadanao are truly proud of the mayor.

It can be recalled that series of apprehensions of illegally cut logs were conducted by the city government in different areas of the city. The operation was also conducted in cooperation with the Philippine National Police of the region.

Meanwhile, Guingona also congratulated Amante for intensifying its partnership with the private sectors and establishments through the public-private partnership program of the city government.

Guingona said because of this program, the city will eventually prosper, which is also the mandate of the Aquino administration. He added the government needs the cooperation of the private establishments to move the country forward.

Guingona together with his father, former vice president Teofisto Guingona Jr., his mother, Gingoog city mayor Ruth Guingona, were here in the city recently to grace the turnover of the family-owned five-hectare lot in Barangay Ampayon here to the city government.

The lot will be used for the establishment of the Philippine Science High School-Butuan Campus. The ceremony was conducted at the regional office of the Department of Science and Technology on Wednesday. It was attended by the city officials, led by Mayor Amante.

The Guingonas were also the guests of honor during the 62nd Charter Day Celebration of the city dubbed “Adlaw Hong Butuan” last August 2. During the celebration, the Guingonas joined the city officials in the inauguration of Guingona Park, formerly the city’s Rizal Park, located in front of Saint Joseph Cathedral here. (RER/PIA-Caraga)


Japan to invest more in agri, PPP in Mindanao

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Aug 4 (PIA) -- Japanese investors will pour in more investments in the country, especially in Mindanao, in support of the Philippine government’s public-private-partnership (PPP) program.

This was learned during the second day of the 21st Mindanao Business Conference held at the Almont Hotel’s Inland Resort here.

The said business conference runs from August 2 to 4, 2012, with invited business leaders from the Philippines and other countries.

“We found Mindanao rich in agriculture, in terms of banana and asparagus production and many others, and we want these exported to Japan,” according to Ochiai Naoyuki, member of the Embassy of Japan International Monitoring Team and first secretary/senior advisor for reconstruction and development of Mindanao.

Naoyuki said they are conducting a study in Mindanao considering the issue on power shortage. He also welcomed the opportunity to help the government by putting up investments for existing hydropower plants in the Philippines.

Naoyuki also explained that Japan, as a policy direction, aims to provide assistance to other countries in order to help them uplift their economic stability.

“We usually provide assistance in terms of infrastructure under our community development projects like irrigation, farm-to-market roads, and many more,” Naoyuki said.

The Japanese government is also giving out information to other partner countries about the Philippines and its rich resources, and also encouraged business sectors to open investments in the Philippines. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


Sen. Pimentel backs EO 81

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Aug 4 (PIA) -- Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel today said he is backing up President Aquino when the latter signed Executive Order (EO) No. 81, creating the Mindanao Power Monitoring Committee (MPMC).

In an interview with the local press prior to his speaking engagement during the 21st Mindanao Business Conference here, Pimentel said he is happy that Malacanang has focused on solving issues and concerns of the power situation not only here in Mindanao but as well as in the entire country.

He said power situation now does not only affect Mindanao, since Luzon has already started to feel what the residents in the region have experienced during the past years.

Pimentel added these concerns may lead to a national problem if this will not be properly taken care of.

“What the government has been doing is just a right time for this can help solve issues and concerns regarding to the power situation not only in Mindanao but also in Luzon,” he said.

However, he is against privatization of the Agus-Pulangi hydropower plants, saying that these are the only few state-owned properties that are still existing here in Mindanao, and that Mindanaoans should benefit the services of these plants in the economic development of the island.

Pimentel further said he believes that whether the plants will be privatized or not, the price of electricity will remain high. “So, what’s the use of privatizing the plants if it will generate same result,” he said.

EO 81 underscored the need for a coordinating body that will monitor, harmonize and integrate recommendations on addressing the issues and carrying out specific initiatives for the Mindanao power industry sector.

The MPMC is tasked to spearhead and coordinate the efforts of the national, regional and local governments, and power industry stakeholders to improve the power situation in Mindanao.

The committee is headed by the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), with the members such as the Department of Energy, Energy Regulatory Commission, National Electrification Administration, National Power Corporation; and Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation.

The order also enjoined representatives of the Mindanao Electric Power Alliance and Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives to become members of the committee.

MPMC shall develop a database containing vital information regarding the power sector in Mindanao and other matters that may affect it. It shall also assess the current situation of the power sector in Mindanao and evaluate the viability of the Mindanao Power Summit recommendations, and regularly submit reports and recommendations to the President.

Likewise, the committee shall perform such other duties and functions as may be necessary to implement the EO.

The order also enjoined representatives of the Mindanao Electric Power Alliance (MEPA) and Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives (AMRECO) to become members of the committee.

MPMC shall develop a database containing vital information regarding the power sector in Mindanao and other matters that may affect it. It shall also assess the current situation of the power sector in Mindanao and evaluate the viability of the Mindanao Power Summit recommendations, and regularly submit reports and recommendations to the President. Likewise, the committee shall perform such other duties and functions as may be necessary to implement the Executive Order.

The initial funding requirement for the first year of operations of the MPMC shall be determined jointly by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and MinDA, and sourced from the Contingent Fund and such other sources as may be identified by DBM. Thereafter, the amount needed for the operation of the MPMC shall be incorporated in the regular budget of MinDA. (RER/PIA-Caraga)


San Francisco mayor vows to eradicate malnutrition

By Alexis Cabardo

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur, Aug 4 -- The San Francisco mayor said her administration will never stop seeking strategies and programs that will possibly eradicate the malnutrition problem in the area as it is her administration’s mission.

During the culmination program of the Nutrition Month Celebration, mayor Jenny de Asis expressed her gratitude to all parents, stakeholders including the barangay officials who have extended their efforts in reducing the number of malnourished children in San Francisco by an average rate of nine percent for the last three years until 2012.

According to de Asis, one of her administration’s strategies, which she herself is conducting together with Malyn Bugawan, the municipal nutrition action officer, and personnel from different departments of the municipal government, is to visit the 27 barangays in San Francisco. This is in order to conduct medical outreach programs, including the feeding program in line with her administration’s program on juvenile education and nutrition.

They conduct education and nutrition activities not only during nutrition month but through the whole year.

“Another program that we are giving importance to is the establishment of "gulayan sa barangay," schools and backyard, because we believe this will have a very remarkable impact in eradicating malnutrition cases in the municipality,” Mayor de Asis said.

de Asis also called on parents, especially the mothers, to encourage their children to eat nutritious foods, vegetables and fruits because these are nutritious and good for their health.

In time with the culmination program of the Nutrition Month Celebration, the seventh Nutrition Summit was also held in the covered court of the D.O. Plaza Sports Complex, attended by the barangay nutrition scholars (BNS) from the 13 municipalities all over the province and the lone city of Bayugan. The aim of the summit is to enhance the knowledge of BNS on the new approaches in the implementation of the nutrition program.

Also, in line with the continuous campaign of the National Nutrition Council to eradicate malnutrition in the country, Agusan del Sur governor Adolph Edward Plaza called on all stakeholders to strengthen the delivery of medical and nutrition services especially in remote areas. (DMS/PIA-Caraga)


PNP, rescue teams save 63 fishers

By PO1 Ryan Cumahig Cagula

BUTUAN CITY, Aug 4 (PIA) -- Sixty-three fishers have been rescued by police and rescue teams after big waves sunk their fishing boats in Butuan Bay at around 4:00 a.m. last August 1.

This was through the joint rescue operation of Police Regional Office (PRO) 13, Agusan del Norte and Butuan City Search and Rescue teams, Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) and provincial DRRMC.

Despite the rogue waves, personnel from Buenavista Police Station, Tubay Police Station, Agusan del Norte Police Provincial Office and 13th Regional Public Safety Battalion immediately proceeded with rubber boats after such report reached their respective office at around 8:00 a.m.

Seven fishing boats from Barangay Manapa, town of Buenavista, while six others from Barangay Poblacion, Tubay, Agusan del Norte were reportedly capsized due to catastrophic waves.

Some fishers were slightly wounded while one was rushed to Nasipit Municipal Hospital after his blood pressure climbed to 200/100. Their boats incurred heavy damages.

“There were more than 30 fishers in the water when the waves hit us,” said Angelito Canatoy, one of the survivors.

PRO 13 has rubber boats and pumpboat with trained personnel to assist the public during disasters and calamities.

The PNP urges the community to be more vigilant and to report immediately to the nearest police station any incident that needs quick response. (NCLM/PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)