PIA News Service - Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Surigao Norte unveils Heals Plus priority programs for 2013 under the leadership of Governor Sol F. Matugas

By Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Feb. 13 (PIA) -- The provincial government of Surigao del Norte unveiled recently its priority projects and programs for 2013 dubbed “Heals Plus” during the Provincial Development Council meeting held at the Gateway Hotel, this city.

This year’s flagship projects are anchored on Heals Plus (Health, Education and Environment, Agri-Aquaculture, Livelihood and Tourism and Social Service, Spirituality, Senior Citizens and Security) - a Heals Program re-enforced and strengthened with more additional projects of the provincial government, said Arturo M. Cruje, Provincial Planning and Development coordinator.

Cruje said the Heals Plus program will be geared on Infrastructure, Health and Social Services, Economic, Peace and Disaster Preparedness, and Administrative.

He said among the top priority projects are the Pamana program worth P170 million and P25 million for livelihood; Provincial Capitol Housing project; Golden Homes – a housing program for senior citizens; Provincial Training Center; Tourism Assistance Centers; Training Centers for person with disabilities; Provincial Library and Museum; Provincial Legislative Building; Siargao Sports Complex; Provincial Peace Village, and those programs under public and private partnership program for health and economic development.

On her part, Governor Sol Matugas vowed to continue and complete all ongoing major programs and projects this year including those foreign and national funded projects to address various concerns of the province and attain the development goals under the Heals Plus agenda of her administration. (SDR/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Cash-for-training recipients get scholarships

By Gervacio C. Dauz, Jr.

CABADBARAN CITY, Agusan del Norte, Feb. 4 (PIA) -- A total of 217 youth recipients under the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (DSWD-Tesda) Cash-for-Training Project (C4TP) marched at the People’s Hall, Government Center here this 4th day of February and received their respective, coveted scholarship vouchers, which will serve as their skills training passes to capacitate or retool themselves for a better future.

The said youth recipients came from the municipalities of Magallanes, Jabonga RTR, Santiago, and Tubay, plus the lone city of Cabadbaran, and were chosen based on the criteria that they are ranging from 18 to 30 years of age, single, preferably at least high school graduate, and belonging to a poor family. Surprisingly, the municipality of Kitcharao waived its opportunity to avail of said scholarship slots for its constituents.

Each eligible youth scholar is allocated a sum of P20,000, which is translated in the form of several benefits such as training cost, allowance, assessment fee, and tool kits – the latter being provided only for those who will undergo skills training for self-employment.

Minda Bulatao-Brigoli, regional director of DSWD, urged the scholars to really aspire for the best in order for them to acquire skills that could make them economically productive later.

She said, “This opportunity is not for us in the agencies; rather it is for you. We are investing on you, because, in the future, you will be the ones who will define what kind of development our country will have. Being youth, you have the zeal and drive, and you will serve as the propelling force for our next generation. So, take good care of this opportunity.”

Dr. Florencio F. Sunico Jr., regional director of Tesda Caraga, revealed that C4TP allocation for Agusan del Norte and Butuan City is pegged at P8.5 million with 425 scholarship slots. Having said it, he seriously urged the scholars to really, “Make use of the opportunity, because we are counting on you.”

Furthermore, he shared, “Our philosophy is about teaching a man how to fish, so that he will be able to eat for a lifetime.” He dovetailed it to the scholarship undertakings, saying, “We don’t give you money, but training opportunity to enhance yourselves. This is taxpayers’ money and we are just stewards.”

Dale Corvera, city mayor here and host of the launching and awarding activity, tackled the scholarship opportunity as, “A gift from the government for you, our young people. Through this opportunity, you will learn skills that you can use for your future.”

He went on to share the example wherein his leadership was challenged in accommodating several applicants, but there is only one nursing position available in the city government. “But while others are trying to fight for that one vacancy, here’s a mining company in Surigao asking me if I have skilled workers here that they can hire. So, the irony goes on and on, which is about mismatch between the labor and market.”

Veering on the contribution of Tesda, he said, “When Tesda gives skills training, it always provides the appropriate ones needed by the market.” He cautioned, however, the scholars that it would still be a useless endeavor “If you will not take charge of it.”

As a development undertaking, the C4TP was a joint concoction between Tesda and DSWD, “In support of the government’s thrust to provide a sustainable intervention to improve the plight and condition of the youth and empower them through skills training and assistance towards gainful employment and entrepreneurial activities.” (NCLM/ TESDA-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)



DAR-Agusan Norte carries out agrarian and economic programs for farmers

By Gil Miranda

AGUSAN DEL NORTE, Feb. 13 (PIA) -- The Agrarian Reform Office of Agusan del Norte has announced the full implementation of the Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity and Economic Support Services (ARCCESS) aimed at providing additional support to farmers.

“We shall proceed with the implementation of ARCCESS by turning over common service facilities including farm implements, machineries and equipment in the first quarter of 2013,” said Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer II Andre Atega.

Ester Cabalan, OIC Chief of the Beneficiaries Development and Coordinating Division, revealed that there are two agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs) with projects to be financed at P3 million each.

Cabalan identified the two organizations as the Tagabaca Multi-Purpose Cooperative of the Tagabaca Agrarian Reform Community in Barangay Tagabaca here whose project, the Tagabaca Grains Center had been approved, and the Baliguian Irrigators Association of the CLIMMBBB Agrarian Reform Community in Jabonga, Agusan del Norte, whose proposal for an Integrated Rice Production and Marketing had been favorably considered.

The ARBOs will serve as conduits of the ARCCESS program to encourage other agrarian reform beneficiaries to become ARBO members.

ARCCESS is a package of intervention designed by the national government to develop and expand the farmer’s livelihood through training and acquisition of proper technology in managing a viable business undertaking.

For this year, another two agrarian reform beneficiary organizations will each receive P3 million funding support from ARCCESS, namely, the AvanceƱa Beneficiary Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Sanghan Agrarian Reform Community in Barangay Sanghan, Cabadbaran City, and the Palmavera Small Coconut Farmer Beneficiaries Cooperative of Mapcola Agrarian Reform Community in Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte.

The two organizations’ approved project proposals are Rice Trading and Pre and Post Harvest Facilities, and Palay Trading and Post Harvest Facilities, respectively. (NCLM/DAR-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


ICRC calls for 30 M Swiss francs to support typhoon victims

MANILA, Feb. 13 -- With humanitarian needs still staggeringly high more than two months after typhoon Bopha (locally known as Pablo) devastated south-eastern Philippines, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is appealing for more than P1.3 billion (close to 30 million Swiss francs) in additional funding to support its aid operations for hundreds of thousands of survivors. The destruction caused by the typhoon has left them with few resources, as most have lost not only their homes but also the sources of their livelihood.

"Together with the Philippine Red Cross, we will provide food and other essentials, such as tarpaulins, mosquito nets, cooking utensils, and soap and other hygiene items, for up to five months to 300,000 people who lost virtually everything during the typhoon," said Alain Aeschlimann, ICRC head of operations for East Asia, South-East Asia and the Pacific.

"At the same time, we will strive to help restore livelihoods. Our assistance will include a cash-for-work program to upgrade agricultural production areas, and provide people with seed, seedlings, tools, and equipment to enable them to restart farming," he said.

To ensure that even the worst-affected communities can obtain basic necessities, the ICRC and its local partner Philippine Red Cross will support the repair of damaged water supply systems and the reconstruction of health facilities. Some 30,000 people will also benefit from the donation of building materials to fix their partially destroyed houses.

Since the immediate aftermath of the typhoon on December 5, the ICRC, working together with the Philippine Red Cross, has already been providing 300,000 people with food and other important supplies.

It has also set up a field clinic, which admits more than 100 patients daily and offers free medical care for basic health problems, maternal and child health care, psychosocial support, and vaccinations.

In addition, the ICRC and the Philippine Red Cross have made clean drinking water available to more than 25,000 people by setting up emergency water distribution stations, transporting drinking water to communities, and upgrading existing water systems. (ICRC/PIA-Caraga)


Feature News: A Home at Last!

By Dianah Generalao

BUTUAN CITY, Feb 12 (PIA) -- The fast-rising city of Butuan is set to soar into greater heights as the Butuan City government entered into a contract with J.D. Legaspi Construction for the construction of the Butuan Polysports Complex; the signing was held at the mayor’s office, Feb. 8.

“Our City Sports Center has finally found a home,” said Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante as he said that the Butuan Polysports Complex will soon rise in Barangay Tiniwisan.

Starting construction very soon, Phase 1 of the Butuan Polysports Complex will include the city gymnasium, stadium, football field, and a rubberized track oval. Phase 1 will cost P252,939,664.26.

Phase 2 will comprise of an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a wake board park, and commercial buildings that will include hotels and boutiques.

In a public bidding held last Jan. 16, 2013, J.D. Legaspi Construction was able to offer a complying bid for the proposed construction in accordance to the Terms of Reference, Conceptual Plans, and Outline Specifications. (CMO-PIO/PIA-Caraga)


"Programang Pangkatawhan" slated on Feb. 23

By Eldie N. David

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 13 (PIA) -- A social services outreach dubbed "Programang Pangkatawhan" (Community Program) will again kick-off on February 23, in Brgy. Pianing, this city.

The program, headed by Vice Mayor Lawrence “Law” Fortun has been implemented for almost six years in the different barangays in Butuan City and has been availed already by some 20,000 individuals.

This outreach program will offer free dental services especially to indigent residents and free optical services to senior citizens of Brgy. Pianing.

The free legal assistance for late birth registrants will also be offered as per request of the residents of the said barangay. A free haircut will also be available during the outreach program. The program will start at around 8 a.m. until 12:00 noon.

The outreach program has been implemented purposely to extend the basic services needed mostly by the people.

Fortun said that even with the meager budget in his office, he made it sure that the funds are maximized in order to offer these basic services which the people mostly need.

The program will also be implemented in the coming months in the different barangays in the city. The bigger version, however, will again take place in summer this year. (NCLM/LGU-BC-VMO/PIA-Agusan del Norte)