PIA News Service - Monday, May 6, 2013



FTS in polling precinct in Barangay Libertad National High School successful

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, May 6 (PIA) – The final testing and sealing of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine in one of the precincts in Barangay Libertad National High School was successful.

“We are all ready for the May 13 elections and we hope it will be successful,” Fernando Sarmiento Jr., Board of EIection Inspectors chairman, said.

After the sample ballots were checked and found to have matched the result from the PCOS machine, watchers and the representatives of volunteer-organizations then signed the final poll results

The BEI, composed of chairman, clerk and a member, briefed and demonstrated to the watchers representing different local candidates and the representatives of volunteer-organizations on how the PCOS machine is used.

Among those who tested the machines were personnel of the Philippine Information Agency and members of local media.

Sarmineto said ballots which will be rejected four times while feeding it in the machine will no longer be forced to be scanned in the machine, instead, this will be placed in an envelope and will be sent to Comelec Manila as part of their report recorded in the minutes that there are ballots rejected.

“The PCOS machine won’t be able to read properly or even accept the ballot if it has unnecessary marks. Over voting of candidates in a position also won’t reflect in the PCOS machine, so voters will really have to ensure that their ballots are clean, properly-shaded and avoid over-voting,” explained Sarmiento.

Sarmiento also said that on election day, an express lane for the pregnant women, persons with disabilities and senior citizens will be established in his precinct as set in the Comelec guidelines. (JPG/RA/Media ng Bayan)


Butuan City Comelec, gov't agencies intensify ‘Oplan Langkat’

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, May 6 (PIA) – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) here has intensified the conduct of ‘Oplan Langkat’ or removal of political advertisements nailed on the trees and electrical posts along the roadside of Butuan City.

The continuous conduct of said activity intends to remind people that trees and electric posts which have been indiscriminately used for the posting of all kinds of campaign materials violates the Comelec's implementing rules and guidelines.

Sizes of local candidates' tarpaulins posted in private establishments are properly checked by the team and are removed when it exceeded the standard size of 2x3m. This is properly documented by the PIA.

Lawyer Ernie Palanan, Comelec head, said that they will continue to monitor and remove these materials that still do not comply with the standard size and are not posted in the designated areas established by the Comelec.

Palanan further stressed that those local candidates who will be reported threating other personnel of the government who are doing its job to support the Comelec especially in the 'Operation Langkat' and in ensuring a secure and fair conduct of this year's midterm elections will face due legal sanctions according to law.

“Our co-government workers who are deputized to support the Comelec’s activities to ensure a safe and fair elections are just doing their jobs designated to them and nothing personal. For those candidates who will be known threating the lives of our co-government workers will face due legal sanctions and that’s for sure. We will also provide legal assistance to our working personnel who will have complaints against any candidate,” Palanan said.

Other agencies involved in the campaign are Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga, Special Weapon and Tactics (SWAT) Unit of Butuan City Police Office, and civilians.

Meanwhile, Palanan and PIA-13 head Abner Caga checked and monitored the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines that are now housed at the Father Saturnino Urios University Morelos Campus which will be used in the different barangays in Butuan City during the midterm elections on May 13, 2013.

The PCOS machines intended for the polling precincts in the hinterlands is scheduled to be delivered on Sunday, May 5 while the final testing and sealing is on May 6 and this will be held at the respective barangays’ polling precincts in the city.

The teachers and residents in different barangays have also expressed their overwhelming support to the unified efforts of the Comelec, PIA, PNP & other partners. People have witnessed the untiring efforts of the team during 'Operation Langkat' which shows that the team is seriously implementing the guidelines set by law. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


City Comelec officer elated over PIA-Caraga’s RMRT

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, May 6 (PIA) – Citing the importance of delivering relevant and accurate news and information to the public during the May 13 elections, City Election Officer Atty. Ernie F. Palanan expressed his elation over the creation of the Rapid Media Response Team (RMRT) which was recently initiated by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-Caraga Region.

According to Palanan, the organization of the RMRT will serve as venue of providing the partner media with relevant news and information to be aired in their respective outfits, thus, achieving a uniform and consistent delivery of communication to the listening and viewing public.

The official added through this endeavor, the PIA has been the venue of promoting camaraderie and unity among the local tri-media outfits in the city.

“This is a welcome development in the broadcasting industry in Butuan City… Through this, information inconsistencies will be minimized, if not, eliminated… Inconsistencies cause misinformation to the listening and viewing public, and we must get rid of it,” Palanan said.

The city election officer also expressed his thanks and gratitude to PIA-Caraga for coming out with such initiative to ensure that only relevant and accurate information will be released to the public through the agency’s network of legitimate media personalities who are members of the RMR team.

“The Philippine Information Agency here in Caraga should be given due recognition for this noble initiative whose aim is not only to promote camaraderie and unity among media personalities and their outfits, but more importantly, to see to it that only relevant and accurate information will be broadcasted in a real-time basis to the public through their pool of partner mediamen,” Atty. Palanan said. (RER/Media ng Bayan/PIA-Caraga)


Comelec urges school officials to prepare classrooms for May 13 polls

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, May 6 (PIA) – City Election Officer Atty. Ernie F. Palanan has urged school officials here through the Department of Education (DepEd) to prepare the classrooms to be used as polling precincts in the upcoming May 13 midterm elections.

During his recent radio program dubbed “City Comelec Election Officer Hour” aired over 107.8 Power FM of Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-Caraga, Palanan said they received reports that there are still some schools in the city that have not made any preparations for the conduct of the election.

He added in order not to experience last minute preparation during the election day which may cause tension among the members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs), as early as now, school administrators whose schools are assigned as voting precincts should do necessary preparations in order not to disrupt the voting process during the election day.

The official also enjoined the school officials to designate within the school premises an action center where the media, volunteers, members of the National Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL), Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) will have the venue to stay as they monitored the election process.

Palanan also said the action center must have personnel who will entertain queries from all sectors of society to ensure smooth conduct of the election.

With this development, the official advised the BEIs to be in their respective places or voting precincts at least one day before the election to prepare everything and to watch over the PCOS machines. Barangay communities are also enjoined to watch over the machines.

He also encouraged the public to visit the Comelec Office to know their cluster precinct and number sequence. “In this case, they can immediately go to their precincts and cast their votes,” Palanan added.

He likewise informed those who do not know their sequence and were not able to visit the Comelec Office to inquire at the action center of the respective schools where voting precincts are located.

Further, persons with disabilities, lactating mothers and senior citizens are advised to bring pertinent documents to show that they have infants and are feeding them or identification card that they are senior citizens so that they may be given priority in casting their votes.

Palanan also reminded barangay officials, candidates and supporters to stay away from the voting precincts after they have casted their votes in order not to disrupt the election proceedings.

Political watchers are also warned not to campaign or distribute brochures of their supported candidates because that they will be held liable to any legal measures against them. (RER/PIA-Caraga)


Comelec Central hails Butuan City’s “Operation Baklas”

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, May 6 (PIA) -- National officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) hailed the “Operation Baklas” conducted in this city spearheaded by the local Comelec office.

According to Comelec-Caraga Regional Director Atty. Michael Abas, during the commission’s recent Command Conference, the local Comelec office was specially mentioned by Comelec Commissioners for converging stakeholders, both in the public and private sectors to participate and witness the activity.

Lawyer Ernie Palanan, local Comelec head, said he is thankful to some government agencies and private organizations who have actively participated in the conduct of the activity which showed that if there is cooperation, any activities will succeed.

The official also recognized the effort of PIA-Caraga personnel for providing communication support by covering the activity, sending blow-by-blow Short Messaging Service (SMS) to text blast recipients including the local tri-media in real-time.

On Saturday, the team conducted the activity along the main streets here and still found election campaign materials such as posters, tarpaulins, and billboards that are not properly posted in designated areas by the Comelec. (RER/PIA-Caraga)


BFAR-13 opens farmers and fisherfolks' month celebration

By Jesieca B. Babatid

SURIGAO CITY, May 6 (PIA) - The fisheries bureau in Caraga region opened the month-long celebration of Farmers’ and Fisherfolk’s on May 2.

The activity kicked-off with a grand motorcade around the city's major thoroughfares participated by the partner LGUs in the five provinces of Caraga.

This year’s celebration with the theme, “Mangingisdang Direktor para sa Matatag na Balikatan”, is highlighted by the implementation of 9th season Fisherfolk Directorship Program pursuant to Department of Agriculture (DA) Special Order No. 88, series of 2005.

The program aims to empower the fisherfolk to govern the national and regional office for the whole month of May. This is one of the significant undertakings of the bureau to recognize the tireless effort of the farmers and fisherfolk being the government’s partner in poverty alleviation and security program.

The 9th installed Regional Fisherfolk Director (RFD) is Mr. Perfecto Lisondra from Surigao City, Surigao del Norte. He is the Chairman of City Agriculture and Fisheries Council (CAFC), MRDP-Multisectoral Representative, member of Farmer’s Association, Provincial Fisherfolk Representative for Surigao del Norte, and member of Surigao City’s Local Poverty Alleviation Program.

A press conference was set right after the opening ceremony with the invited media, both in print and broadcast, in collaboration with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-Surigao del Norte. This enabled the new fisherfolk director gets a warm welcome and shared his goals and vision in the tenure of his directorship.

BFAR-13 Regional Director Nerio G. Casil, in his message shared some inspiring words to the new Regional Fisherfolk Director and assured him full support and assistance.

Casil also said that while the RFD heads the office, he will be out for an immersion in fishing communities in the region.

A management committee meeting (MANCOM) was also held during that day presided over by the newly installed RFD.

Regional Fisherfolk Director Lisondra said that lined-up activities for the whole month of May were already arranged and these includes project monitoring and visitation region-wide, turn-over of fisheries projects, training of fishery law enforcement, mangrove planting, courtesy calls to Local Chief Executives.

The month-long celebration will commence with the search for outstanding fisherfolks in Caraga, one (1) per province, wherein big prizes awaits to the qualified winners. (BFAR-13/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


DTI-Caraga warns on unsafe practice of refilling butane canister with LPG

BUTUAN CITY, May 6 (PIA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) - Caraga Region warns the public on unsafe practice of using and/or refilling butane canisters with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking and other household uses.

DTI cautions that these canisters are not intended for and designed to store LPG. Based on Philippine National Standard (PNS) 03-01:2000, only welded steel cylinders with water capacities of 1 liter to 150 liters are intended for storage and transport of LPG. Butane canisters are made of tin only which is thinner than the required steel cylinders for LPG. As such, the LPG, which is highly flammable, may leak from the canisters that could lead to explosion and fire thus posing great danger to its users.

Furthermore, consumers are advised to read the labels on the canisters before using them to ensure that it contains butane rather than LPG or other types of flammable gases. Article 77 of the Consumer Act of the Philippines on Minimum Labeling Requirements for Consumer Products requires manufacturers or refillers to indicate the contents of the products and its general or active ingredients.

The DTI urges the public to report any information on the said unsafe practice. (NCLM/DTI-13/PIA-Caraga)