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PIA News Service - Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Foundation repairs classrooms for Asturias

CEBU, Dec. 18 (PIA) -- A private foundation rehabilitated several classrooms benefiting hundreds of pupils here.

The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) through its School Rehabilitation Program (SRP), recently turned-over 15 classrooms to the teachers and school administrators of four public elementary schools in Asturias here.

Four school buildings of Asturias Central School, Agbanga Elementary School, Agtugop Elementary School, and Tag-amakan Elementary School were repaired, benefiting over 700 pupils.

While RAFI shouldered the material cost, the local government unit of Asturias and the provincial government of Cebu shouldered the labor cost. The teachers, parents, and the community served as custodians of the construction materials throughout the repair period.

Part of the repair was the installation of a two-piece concave-type blackboard and a toilet and lavatory in each classroom.

“RAFI is doing its best to help provide enabling conditions by improving physical structures,“ Anthony Dignadice, RAFI Education Development Unit executive director, said.

“We wish to emphasize the need for effective learning and this would require change in the culture of classroom management,” Dignadice, added.

The completion of the 15 classrooms in the four schools of Asturias now brings the coverage of the School Rehabilitation Program to a total of 507 classrooms in 151 schools in 34 towns in Cebu since its inception in 2004.

“The most difficult part of the implementation was the transport of construction materials to schools in far-flung areas. Despite this challenge, what truly encouraged me was seeing the need for a better school for the community,” Eliseo Leones Jr., school head of Agtugop and Agbanga Elementary Schools, said.

Asturias is one of the municipality-beneficiaries of RAFI's SRP.

“We’ve been dreaming to have a beautiful school building for so long, and now that we have it, we are so happy,” Leones, added.

The SRP is a program under the Education focus area of RAFI, which creates conducive and engaging learning environment to nurture the love for learning. Its other focus areas are Integrated Development, Micro-finance & Entrepreneurship, Culture & Heritage, and Leadership & Citizenship.

For more information about the School Rehabilitation Program, please contact 418-7234 loc. 205 and look for Jicel Reve Gabriel, or visit www.rafi.org.ph or www.facebook.com/rafi.org.ph or http://schoolrehab.rafi.org.ph. (RAFI/PIA-Caraga)


Caraga entrepreneurs train on business planning for expansion

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 18 (PIA) -- Some P34.7 million-worth of investment leads from planned expansions was generated by 28 entrepreneurs from the region who participated in the recently concluded Planning for Expanding Business Training (PLANET) held at the Almont Hotel’s Inland Resort, this city.

Participants which included owners of micro-, small- and medium- enterprises (MSMEs) and board members and officers of enterprising cooperatives prepared 19 business plans with project costs ranging from P100,000 to P10 million.

Some of the projects developed were additional capital for the cooperatives’ re-lending program, construction of poultry pre-fabricated building, expansion of sand and gravel quarrying through heavy equipment acquisitions, expansion to full production of lemongrass hydrosol and oil, among others.

Planet is a training aimed at empowering MSMEs on how to prepare business plans that would increase their chances of availing loans from banks and other financial institutions.

After completing the course, participants are expected to be able to 1) explain the credit application procedure and financing scheme of credit institutions, 2) understand the different components of a business plan, 3) discuss the mechanics of preparing a business plan, and 4) prepare and present a business plan ready for credit application.

The training was conducted by the UP Institute for Small Scale Industries in partnership with the Industrial Guarantee and Loan Fund through the Development Bank of the Philippines, and in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry-Caraga. (DTI-13/PIA-Caraga)


Caraga industry clusters conduct training on value chain

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 18 (PIA) -- Selected industry leaders in Caraga attended the Value Chain Orientation Workshop for Industry Cluster Stakeholders on December 17 at the Almont Hotel’s Inland Resort, this city.

The participants come from the priority industry clusters (ICs) - palm oil, banana, high value vegetables, wood, and tourism.

The five ICs are under the Industry Cluster Assistance for Regional Economic Development (iCARE) project which is implemented by DTI-Caraga with the support from German International Development Agency (GIZ) COSERAM project.

The workshop was facilitated by Rita Pilarca, a GIZ consultant on value chain development based in Manila. The workshop is also a preliminary activity prior to the conduct of industry-focused workshops for the selected top three sectors to be conducted in January to April 2013.

The five ICs under the iCARE project forms part of the more than 20 industry clusters being developed by the region. The clustering process necessitates the operation of upstream (raw material suppliers, production inputs) and downstream (logistics, value-adding, packaging and marketing) economic activities to support the whole value chain.

Industry Clustering is cited as a major strategy under the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016 to propel the country forward in economic and industrial development.

Caraga has decided on this approach much earlier when the Caraga Regional Development Council adopted the Industry Clustering strategy on March 17, 2004 through RDC Resolution No. 6 to spur regional economic development and as a way of enhancing the region’s competitive advantage. (DTI-13/PIA-Caraga)


ILO-DOLE-DTI Climate change adaptation project in Agusan del Norte prepares for scale-up

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 18 (PIA) - Following the successful run of the climate change adaptation (CCA) project in Agusan del Norte, project documentation for possible scaling up in the cities of Cabadbaran and Butuan and nearby Agusan del Sur is now in the works.

The scale-up, dubbed “Scaling Up Risk Transfer Mechanisms for Climate Vulnerable Farming Communities in Southern Philippines,” will be funded under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) – Special Climate Change Fund through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for US$1.05 million with possible expansion to US $3 million.

The project which is targeted to start July 2013 aims to reduce poverty by strengthening the resilience of farming communities in the selected areas that are vulnerable to climate risks through provision of integrated financial package (IFP) that increase certainty and improve productivity and sustainability.

According to Ms. Lurraine Baybay-Villacorta, former ILO CCAP Project Manager and now Regional Programmes Consultant on Green Jobs and Climate Change of the ILO-Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, the scale-up hopes to replicate the outputs and impacts of the pilot run which had partner service providers seeking out high risk communities not being serviced by regular financial institutions, mobilizing and optimizing use of local resources, and bringing to the communities existing productive and technical support facilities thus allowing communities to continue with their production in the face of climate risks, diversify their incomes, strengthen their asset base and apply more effective risk-based decision making to farming.

She said scaling up of the CCAP is also being considered and worked out by the International Labour Organization (ILO) for the countries of Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia.

In the Philippines, project preparations are led by the ILO in cooperation with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the same core partners that collaborated with the Agusan del Norte Provincial Government, the municipal governments of RTR, Jabonga, Buenavista and Las Nieves, and other stakeholders from the government and private sector in implementing the CCA demonstration project “Climate Resilient Farming Communities in Agusan del Norte through Risk Transfer Mechanisms.”

The pilot CCA project developed and applied a local financing and risk insurance model to rice and corn farmers in vulnerable areas in the four towns of Agusan del Norte. The approach was to bundle financial and non-financial services in an integrated package which included climate change briefings and environmental management awareness as well as the innovative weather index-based insurance (WIBI) to test in farmers who were deemed more vulnerable to climate-related risks by their poverty and lack of access to financial and other productive resources.

The package further includes - completion of a financial literacy program which not only informs farmers on their loan obligations but also on how to manage their household budget and savings; farmers’ field school to provide updated support on crop production activities and appropriate business technologies for alternative livelihood activities; fast processing of loan applications to respond to changing planting patterns and timetable; cash-cycle responsive amortization schedule that allows for payments only when farmers already have the money (after harvest, after sales).

The financing also includes crop insurance and immediate refinancing to allow farmers to recoup losses due to climate –induced damages; personal credit life insurance and mortuary protection for the farmer borrower and the members of his or her household – so as not to burden the farming household in case of death in the family; and marketing support – to wean them away from unreasonably low-priced purchases from traders.

The CCAP integrated financial package, which test run ended December 2011 but the partners have continued to make available in the pilot areas up to this day, had three (3) models: rural bank, cooperative and the local government unit (LGU).

The rural bank model is being run by the Peoples’ Bank of Caraga (PBC) while the cooperative model is run by Baug CARP Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BCBMPC) which was hailed National Awardee (1st Place) in the Land Bank of the Philippines’ 2012 Gawad Pitak Awards. The third model – local government unit –run facility is being expanded in RTR (for alternative livelihood), it being the original designer and successful implementor of the said financing facility, and tested in Buenavista and Jabonga – mostly for crop production.

The three models differ only in their interest rates with the LGU facility being priced the lowest (@ only 5% for the whole cropping or less than 1% per month, the coop model at 1% per month and the rural bank model at 2.3% per month.

All three models, however, implemented the innovative schemes to make the financial assistance responsive to climate change vulnerabilities. (DTI-13/PIA-Caraga)


Caraga MSMEs participate in the 67th PICPA Annual National Convention Trade Fair

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 18 (PIA) -- A total of 25 homegrown micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) participated in the trade fair recently organized in support to this year’s 67th PICPA Annual National Convention held at the Almont Hotel’s Inland Resort, this city.

The trade fair was also joined by 55 exhibitors from all parts of the country, some of them regular exhibitors of the PICPA National Conventions and other national conventions.

The four-day fair generated combined sales of almost P355,000 for Caraga exhibitors and about P1.5 million for non-Caraga participants, understandably because of the higher number of the latter.

Sales on opening day were low as technical sessions were conducted in separate venues outside of the hotel. However, it was a totally different scene on the second day when the technical sessions were transferred to the trade fair venue

More than 1,900 participants huddled around the booths looking for things to buy as souvenirs and gifts/pasalubong. With the brisk sales, exhibitors had to extend their store hours until 10 p.m. The same scenario was repeated on the succeeding days.

Caraga exhibitors included De Lara Agsam Novelties of Lanuza, Surigao del Sur, Marge’s Hininang Tu of Cabadbaran, Agusan del, Butuan Pro-Food, Madyaw Kadyaw Souvenir Shoppe, Reyanne Jane’s Essence, Bundy Wine, Art Tribe Food & Crafts, and Blyth’s Food Products.

The trade fair was a collaborative effort of PICPA-Agusan del Norte Chapter and the Department of Trade and Industry – Caraga. (DTI-13/PIA-Caraga)


DTI holds 8th ConsumerNet Meets the Public forum

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 18 (PIA) – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Caraga Regional Office has conducted the 8th Consumer Network (ConsumerNet) Meets the Public forum held at the Barangay Imadejas Function Hall, Imadejas Subdivision, this city.

DTI Certified Establishment or BAGWIS seals were awarded to ten (10) business establishments in Agusan Del Norte for complying with Fair Trade Laws and ensuring the rights and welfare of consumers during the said forum.

Updates on matters affecting consumers such as water, electricity and the helmet act implementation were also taken up.

Remegio T. Martinez of the Butuan City Water District (BCWD) explained the necessity of curtailing water supply during the rainy season. Accordingly, water supply is cut off during rainy days for health and safety measures since the water produced from the Taguibo water shed becomes unclean, dirty and polluted. He said heavy rains can create flashfloods causing the water to be unclean for a couple of hours.

Martinez advised consumers to plant trees near the Taguibo water shed with the assistance of BCWD’s forester in order to help preserve our water supply.

Engr. Darwin T. Daymiel of Agusan Del Norte Electric Cooperative (ANECO), on the other hand disclosed that there is a generation deficiency or shortage of electric supply. There is no immediate solution of power shortage. As explained, the long term solution is the bidding and negotiation for a five year power supply with power producers.

The Motorcycle Helmet Act, and its strict enforcement and implementation by January 2013, was discussed by Atty. Maria Aurora R. Curaza-Maquiling of the DTI- Caraga and Edivee S. Busico of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC). (DTI-13/PIA-Caraga)


DTI-Caraga issues 10,397 helmet ICC stickers

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 18 (PIA) – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Caraga has issued 10,397 Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) stickers to motorcycle riders for their old helmets.

The helmet sticker marking is required under Republic Act No. 10054 otherwise known as the Motorcycle Helmet Act which requires motorcycle drivers and riders to wear only standard protective motorcycle helmets or those helmets which passed the DTI quality standards. The ICC sticker is required as helmets available in the market are all imported.

Of the 49,437 registered motorcycle units in Caraga Region, only 21% of the owners/users have applied for ICC stickers for their old helmets. With the minimal number of applicants, it is positively presumed that motorcycle drivers and riders have purchased new helmets (after August 1, 2012) now bearing the ICC sticker.

The helmet sticker marking for individual applicants ended last November 29, 2012. However, DTI is conducting on-site helmet sticker issuances in the different municipalities to accommodate motorcycle drivers/riders who are residents in that area until December 17, 2012.

Inspections and enforcement of the said Motorcycle Helmet Act begins on January 1, 2013. (DTI-13/PIA-Caraga)


Pagtuki tackles Cebuanos’ disaster preparedness

By Mier Villegas

CEBU, Dec. 18 (PIA) -- When the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) said that typhoon Pablo would cross to Central Visayas on December 4, the local government units of Cebu Province immediately took preventive measures.

In the city, classes and work were suspended on Dec. 4 and 5 in all school levels and government offices. The mayor also held a meeting with the Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) Council.

While the typhoon hardly affected Cebu province and the rest of the Visayas, it caused considerable damage to some parts of Luzon and Mindanao. The number of casualties, placed at least 1,200, is still rising. A total of 5.5 million people in 30 provinces were affected by the said typhoon.

Vice Mayor Al Arquillano of San Francisco town, Camotes, lauded the implementation of DRRM in the province's municipalities, but acknowledged the need to make improvements.

“The problem is in the mindset of the people, typhoons are natural while disasters are not because these disasters are made by men,” Arquillano said in Cebuano during the Dec. 8 episode of "Pagtuki," the radio program of Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI).

In San Francisco, Camotes, he said, two assessments were conducted to prevent disasters―one is done by the town officials and the other, by the residents of the barangays.

“To stay away from disasters, we have to continuously prepare,” Mirinda Morante, regional director of the Office of the Civil Defense 7, commented.

The Office of Civil Defense 7, in partnership with member agencies of the DRRM Council, also conducted integrated planning, which include management of human remains and missing persons, among others.

Arquillano challenged the municipalities of Cebu to regularly conduct disaster preparedness campaigns and drills to educate the public of DRRM.

Last Dec. 4, when PAG-ASA raised storm signals in the different provinces of the country, RAFI immediately put into place its disaster risk reduction management plan, especially highlighting relief operations, in anticipation of the effects of typhoon Pablo.

“Let’s continue to pray as much as we prepare,” Evelyn Nacario-Castro, executive director of RAFI's Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center (EADSC), said, also thanking those who supported the efforts of RAFI in its preparation for possible relief operations.

 "Pagtuki” is aired over dyLA every Saturday at 10-11 a.m. The program, which is one of the Knowledge Sharing & Advocacy capabilities of RAFI, tackles timely and relevant issues affecting the Cebuano community. (USJR, RAFI intern/PIA-Caraga)


DTI confers the “Bagwis Award” to 18 establishments in Caraga region

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 18 (PIA) – Eighteen establishments in Caraga region were given the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Bagwis Award for the year 2012. This brings the total number of awardees to 114 since 2006.

A Bagwis Award is given to a firm for its efforts to comply with Fair Trade Laws (FTL) such as placing price tags on items being sold, seeking permits on sales promotion activities, product standard (PS) marks for local mandatory products and International Commodity Clearance (ICC) stickers for imported items on sale such as helmets, among others.

The DTI-Bagwis Program, formerly known as DTI-Certified Establishments Program, aims to recognize and promote business establishments monitored and evaluated to be FTL compliant as well maintaining a functional Consumer Welfare Desk (CWD) which would attend to complaints from customers.

The award itself is an acrylic seal provided by the Bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection (BTRCP) which the establishment has to display at a conspicuous place within the store. Included as well is a 4mx8m tarpaulin signage which will be displayed near the establishment’s business name signage.

More importantly, DTI-Caraga will be promoting these establishments to the buying public.

DTI-CE/Bagwis awardees in return are expected to uphold the rights of consumers and comply with FTLs especially those that directly affect the safety and welfare of consumers.

Consumers are not only urged to patronize these establishments but are also encouraged to report to the DTI any violation of any fair trade laws committed by these DTI-BAGWIS awardees. These documented reports, once validated, will be the basis for the revocation of the DTI-BAGWIS award. (DTI-13/PIA-Caraga)


DTI organizes 13 Diskwento Caravans in 2012

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 18 (PIA) – The Department of trade and Industry (DTI) Caraga regional and provincial offices organized 13 Diskwento Caravans from March to November this year with total sales amounting to P1.7 million and benefitting an estimated 7,000 consumers/households all over the region.

The Diskwento Caravan program, which was launched by the Department of Trade and Industry in 2011, aims to give consumers the joy of buying basic necessities, prime commodities and, other household and personal commodities at prices much lower than the prevailing prices in major stores, groceries and supermarkets.

Products are sold at a discount of P1 to P10 pesos per item compared to regular prices.

The agency has partnered with Butuan- and Cagayan de Oro-based distributors as well as major wholesalers of products including noodles, canned sardines, biscuits, cooking oil, soy sauce, vinegar, toilet soaps, detergent bars and powders, and canned meat products which are the most saleable items as product inventories are high and available brands are varied. For the month of June, school supplies were added to the inventory to benefit the school children and their parents.

DTI-assisted local producers also participated in the activities and sold their products at factory prices.

In order to sustain the program, the agency will be networking with additional distributors and major wholesalers within and outside of the region to increase the number of suppliers and products in future Diskwento Caravans. (DTI-13/PIA-Caraga)


Tagalog news: Administrasyong Aquino nagpahayag ng kanilang paniniwala na mapapanatili nila ang mabuting relasyon sa bansang Japan

Ni Danilo S. Makiling

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Dis. 18 (PIA) -- Malakas ang paniniwala ng administrasyong Aquino na mananatili ang mabuting relasyon ng bansa sa Japan, matapos matalo sa parliamentary elections si Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, tanda ng pagbabalik ng kapangyarihan ng Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

“Bilang strategic ally at partner, maaari tayong magtrabaho sa kahit anong pamahalaan ng Japan. At tiyak tayo ay magtratrabaho sa makabagong pamumuno, ang LDP Leadership. Tayo ay umaasa sa maayos na relasyon natin sa Japan,” ani Presidential Spokespersons Edwin Lacierda sa isang press briefing na isinagawa sa Malacanang kamakailan.

Si Prime Minister Noda ay nangakong baba sa puwesto bilang party president matapos ang resulta ng exits polls na nagpapakita na ang oposisyon LDP ay nanalo sa isang landslide victory sa parliamentary elections.

Ang hakbang ni Noda ang nagbigay daan kay former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe na bumalik sa kapangyarihan na siyang kasalukuyang pinuno ng conservative-learning LDP.

Noong nakaraang taon, bumisita si Pangulong Aquino sa Japan upang palakasin ang pagkakaibigan ng dalawang bansa loob ng 55 taon. (NCLM/DSM-PIA-Caraga)


Cebuano news: 890 youths participate in the 1st Prov'l Youth Summit

Ni Catherine A. Balomaga

SURIGAO CITY, Dis. 17 (PIA) -- Mokabat sa 890 ka mga kabatan-onan gikan sa nagkalain-laing mga kalungsoran sa probinsya ang mipartisipar sa gipahigayon nga 1st Provincia Youth Summit bag-ohay pa lamang didto sa Provincial Convention Center, ning syudad.

Ang maong summit nga nag-uban sa temang, “Green Communities, Green Future: a Challenge to youth participation in nation building,” nga gipasiugdahan sa lokal nga pangagamhanan sa probinsya sa Surigao del Norte gitambongan nila Surigao del Norte Governor Sol F. Matugas, Surigao del Norte 1st district Rep. Francisco T. Matugas, Vice Governor Arturo Carlos Egay Jr., and Senior Board Member Myrna M. Romarate.

Tumong ug tinunguha sa maong kalihukan ang pagpasabot sa mga kabatan-onan sa ilang dakong parte sa dakong mga problema nga giatubang karon sa nasod ang climate change, illegal drugs ug mga kabatan-onan nga nahilambigit sa mga krimen.

Gihisgutan atol sa maong kalihukan ang mahitungod sa Human Rights/Moral Values, Youth in Entrepreneurship, Youth for Peace Advocacy, Adolescent Health Education and Solid Waste Management.

Sa mensahe ni Governor Sol Matugas, iyang giaw-hag ang mga kabatan-onan nga mamahimong aktibo, mabinanantayon aron masulbad ang maong problema ug likayan gyud nga malambigit sa mga krimen ilabina na ang illegal nga droga tungod kay sila maoy bugtong paglaum sa nasod.

Samtang sa iyang bahin, si Climate Change Commission Secretary Lucille L. Sering isip maoy pinasidunggang mamumulong mipasabot usab og dugang mahitungod sa climate change og iyang gisubli nga dako ug mahinugdanon gyud ang tabang gikan sa mga kabatan-onan aron masulbad kining maong problema tungod kay ang mga kabatan-onan maoy pinakadakong sektor sa katilingban. (SDR/Provincial Information Center/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Cebuano news: Pangamhanang Aquino mipahayag sa pagtoo nga padayon ang maayong relasyon sa Japan human miangkon sa kapildihan si Prime Minister Noda sa Parliamentary nga piniliay

Ni Nida Grace B. Tranquilan

TANDAG CITY, Dis. 18 (PIA) -- Ang panngamhanan sa Aquino mipahayag sa hugot nga pagtoo nga mapadayon ang maayong relasyon sa Japan human miangkon sa kapildihan si Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda sa parliamentary eleksyon niadtong Dominggo, nga misimbolo sa pagbalik sa gahom sa Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)

 “Komo kaalyado sa estratehiko ug kaabag, kami makatrabaho uban ang bisan unsa nga gobyerno sa Japan. Ug siguradong kita makatrabaho uban ang bag-ong liderato, ang LDP. Kami naglantaw sa padayon nga masibuton ang relasyon uban ang Japan,” ("As a strategic ally and partner, we can work with any government in Japan. And certainly we can work with the new leadership, the LDP leadership. We look forward to having a continued warm relation with Japan,") si Presidential Spokesperson Edwi Lacierda miingon atol sa regular nga press briefing sa Malakanyang niadtog Lunes.

Si Prime Minister Noda misaad nga mokanaog isip president sa partido human migula sa piniliay nga mipakita nga ang oposisyon LDP miresulta sa anas sa kadaugan sa parliamentary nga eleksyon.

Ang paglihok ni Noda pagpasayon alang sa pagbalik sa gahom sa kanhing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, ang sagad nga lider sa “conservative-learning” LDP.

Sa miageng tuig, si Presidente Aquino mibisita sa Japan sa hanyag nga dugang paglig-on ug paglig-on sa tinuyo nga piyansa sa panaghigala nga gigalam sa duha ka nasud sobra sa 55 na ka mga katuigan. (RER/NGBT-PIA Surigao del Sur)