7.12.2013

PIA News Service - Friday, July 12, 2013

Regional committees draft anti-trafficking action plan

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

DAVAO CITY, July 12 (PIA) -- Focal persons of regional committees on anti-trafficking in regions 11 and 13 (Caraga) have drafted their action plans on trafficking in persons (TIP) and other forms of gender-based violence (GBV).

The Regional Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Trafficking-Violence Against Women and Children (RIACAT-VAWC) in regions 11 and 13 drafted their Strategic Action Plan on TIP and other forms of GBV during a two-day strategic action planning workshop on TIP-GBV held July 9-10 at the Regency Inn, this city.

Focal persons from government agencies, non-government organizations and private stakeholders from the two regions participated in the workshop.

The activity was held in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), National IACAT, United Kingdom Aid, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children's Fund (formerly United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund or UNICEF) and Child Alert Mindanao.

Pamela Averion, national officer of gender from the UNFPA, said the activity aims to discuss recurring issues on GBV and protection on children, especially on areas severely affected by Typhoon Pablo.

“There is also a need to revisit the organizational structure and functions of RIACAT-VAWC to develop the Strategic Action Plan on Trafficking in Persons 2012-2016 and its Regional Technical Assistance Plan that would comprehensively address Gender-Based Violence including humanitarian situations,” said Averion.

Scheree Herrera of UNICEF said one of the recommendations was to come up with regional and provincial strategic planning workshops to thoroughly discuss issues and concerns as well as the action plan of the service providers.

“We already had conducted a Provincial Strategic Planning Workshop for PIACAT-VAWC of Compostella Valley on April 16; Davao Oriental on April 17; and Agusan del Sur with UNICEF and UNFPA last June 3-4, 2013. The consolidated result for the province will be included in the Joint Strategic Planning Workshop of RIACAT-VAWCs of regions 11 and 13,” she said.

Meanwhile, Prosecutor Karla Cabel from the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Manila said Republic Act 10364, also known as the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012, is an act expanding Republic Act 9208, or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.

“Trafficking in persons refer to the recruitment, obtaining, hiring, providing, offering, transportation/transfer, maintaining, harboring or receipt of persons with or without the victim's consent or knowledge, within or across national borders by means of threat, or use of force, or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of position, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the person, or, the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for the purpose of exploitation which includes at a minimum, the exploitation or the prostitution of other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery, servitude or the removal or sale of organs,” relayed Cabel.

Lawyer Jinky Dedumo of DOJ-Manila clarified that as stated in the law, trafficked persons are victims and will not be prosecuted, fined, penalized for prostitution.

The member-agencies have crafted their Regional Strategic Action Plan for Trafficking in Persons 2012-2016 with the following key area results given priority: advocacy and prevention; protection, recovery and reintegration; prosecution and law enforcement and partnership and networking.

Meanwhile, the National IACAT called on all Filipino citizens to advocate and help prevent possible human trafficking in their areas. They may also call the Anti-Human Trafficking Action Line at 1343 for any related report. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


PhilDHRRA, PyD, & partner stakeholders express commitment to promote gender equality, women’s participation in local governance

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, July 12 (PIA) -- Representatives of government agencies, non-government organizations, academe and media personalities gathered on Friday at the Amontay Beach Resort, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte and witnessed the Philippine Partners for Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (PhilDHRRA)-Mindanao's launching of its Project dubbed "Agusan del Norte 2013 Caucus: Promoting Gender Equality and Strengthening Women's Participation in Local Governance."

Said project is part of Paz y Desarrollo's Regional Program to Promote Gender Equality in Political Participation in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Philippines, East Timor and Vietnam which are all funded by the Spanish Agency for International Development and Cooperation (AECID).

The project is aimed to contribute to women's empowerment and participation in claiming human rights, in synergy with duty (government) and moral bearers (academe, NGOs, media). It began its implementation in 2012 and will run until March 2015.

Mr. Glenn Bais, regional coordinator of PhilDHRRA-Mindanao, shared the overview and key roles of stakeholders for the 2013 Agusan del Norte Caucus Project. "In collaboration with other partner stakeholders, we intend to improve the lives of the poor by empowering them to attain sustainable development; and uphold the rights and needs of women and children," he cited.

“Based on data, weak participation mechanism and process that promote gender equality; low-level of knowledge on women's civil and political rights; and gender disparity in terms of women's representation in political exercise and inequitable representation of women and men in the local special bodies are the main observations in the community that needs to be addressed,” stressed Bais.

Bais added that in order to attain the objectives and outcomes, the project will undertake the following major approaches/strategies/activities: 1) Capacity building and advocacy; 2) Constituency building; 3) Joint Rights Holders - duty bearers, inter-local partnership development; 4) Monitoring accountability toward institutionalization and sustainability; and 5) Establishment of management information system.

Bais also lauded the efforts of the local media in their active participation in the community development activities to promote an informed society. "The moral bearers which include the media are promoters of the principles or rules of right conduct, public moral or ethical standards in the society," he said.

Also, PhilDHRRA, PyD and partners signed in the Solidarity Message Tarp to manifest their commitment and support to the project and to provide an enabling environment for rights holders through meaningful participation in the barangay/city/municipal governance.

Meanwhile, Ms. Luchie Salcedo, Gender Specialist of PhilDHRRA urged the duty and moral bearers of government agencies, NGOs, and partner stakeholders in Agusan del Norte to promote collective empowerment through synergies. “We aim to collaborate, communicate and negotiate each other positively and empower our communities especially the women sector to fulfill the achievement of human rights,” she said.

The 2013 Program Caucus on Gender Equality and Women's Participation in Local Governance by the PhilDHRRA-Mindanao and Paz y Desarrollo, is initiated to foster multi-stakeholder synergies on Gender Equal Participation Advocacy by sharing good practices and identifying convergence points. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


PDEA bares 282 barangays region-wide affected by illegal drug menace

By David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR, July 12 (PIA) -- The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said 282 of the 1,311 barangays in Caraga Region are affected by illegal drug menace, while 195 barangays are already moderately affected.

PDEA Regional Director Erwin Ogario said only 59 barangays are slightly affected by the drug menace while 28 barangays are seriously affected as of May this year, as per record of PDEA.

“There are only two most popular drugs that are proliferating in the region. These are Methamphetamine Hydrochloride otherwise known as shabu and cannabis or Marijuana. And sad to note, while drugs are believed to be coming from South of Mindanao, Cebu and Metro Manila, distribution of drugs in Caraga Region is believed to be coming from Bayugan City in Agusan del Sur,” Dir. Ogario said.

PDEA Dir. Ogario also said while series of raids were conducted in Agusan del Sur, there are still marijuana plantations that exist in the hinterlands (name of municipality withheld) and are subject for confirmation and operation by the PDEA, PNP and the army.

“We have received reports that somewhere in the hinterlands of Agusan del Sur, plantation of Marijuana are vast, and we are presently confirming their existence as we are organizing the raiding team composed of PDEA, the PNP and the army. Aside from that, there are also reports that we receive from concerned citizens about the existence of illegal drugs in neighbouring municipality where the reported marijuana plantation is located,” Dir. Ogario said.

While insurgency is an issue in Agusan del Sur, Dir. Ogario said it is one enabling environment for illegal drugs trade. These traders employ mostly women and children coming from informal and depressed areas believed to be havens of illegal drugs and its distribution.

“As of May this year, we have already conducted a total of 79 operations regionwide and have arrested 121 persons whose cases are filed in court. We have also seized both shabu and marijuana amounting to P1,549,152.66 as of May, 2013. Because we do not have benchmark in our operation, and drug problem continue, we cannot also say there is a decrease or increase in the drug trade in Caraga Region,” Dir. Ogario said. (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Support from stakeholders needed to attain peace and order - AFP

By David M. Suyao

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, July 12 (PIA) -- The 401st Infantry Brigade said the peace and security in their area of responsibility (AOR) is gaining headway, while insurgent groups’ influence have been reduced in some areas.

This is what 401st Brigade Commander Gregory Cayetano reported during the Provincial Peace and Order Council meeting here on their analysis on the peace and order situation in Agusan del Sur.

He said the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army and National Democratic Front’s (CNN) influence in some areas have been lessened and some of their major hostile plans were pre-empted.

The report said the CNN in their area of responsibility have incurred 647 non-violent activities ranging from sightings, hostile plans, foraging, Ideological, political and organizational (IPO) work, extortion harboring, movement, consolidation, food transport, meeting, recruitment, tech-in and encampment.

Their violent activities totalled to 12, where harassment and arson claimed three each, abduction, fire upon and sniping recorded two each.

“With the CPP/NPA in our AOR placed at 335 regulars with 413 assorted high-powered firearms, they could most probably do some course of action such as launch tactical offensive against economic establishments, attack poorly manned patrol bases and PNP stations, disarm civilians possessing firearms, harass bayanihan teams to delay clearing of NPA affected areas and derail government projects. They will continue to resort to limited offensives focusing on 'soft targets' such as harassment or attack of CAA (Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary)/SCAA (Special Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary) patrol bases, PNP stations and security of business firms,” Cayetano said.

He added that the groups are also expected to intensify extortion activities targeting mining, illegal logging, agricultural firms and big business operators, intimidating them with threats of attack to support their movement.

“But we are here to stop them, to protect our people, the government and our constitution,” Cayetano said.

Cayetano said peace and order in their area of responsibility could be attained through the cooperation and support of all stakeholders in the brigade area of operation. (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


'Pablo' survivors tell stories of disaster to NHTS-PR staff

BUTUAN CITY, July 12 (PIA) -- Other people live in concrete houses, sleep in soft and comfy beds, eat delicious food and drink clean water, wear branded clothing, ride in luxurious vehicles and buy the latest gadgets. But residents of barangay Nueva Era, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur do not have these things.

Though blessed with abundant land, barangay Nueva Era is a poor community. This property was donated by the popular religious group Iglesia ni Kristo. It was granted to them in 2002.

One of the residents is Jennifer Capin, a mother of seven children, shared her experience when tropical storm Pablo struck. “Grabe gyud tong bagyo. Kami sa mga anak nako nanga hadlok kay nang lupad ang amoang mga atop. Pwerte namong ampo kami sa akoang mga anak (Tropical storm Pablo wreaked havoc in our community. Strong winds blew away our roofs; my children and I were terrified. We prayed so hard)."

After the horrible typhoon, life became more difficult. The community had no safe drinking water. There was only one toilet. “Isa lang ang amoang C.R. ug daghang balay ang gagamit mao amoa kini gitawag og “corporation”. Ug wala pud mi tarong na tubig usahay ang ulan mao amoang tubig or gakuha mi sa balon," Albert Justo, a farmer and a resident of Nueva Era, said.

(We only had one comfort room here and many households are using it that is why we called it 'corporation.' Also, we do not have water safe for drinking.)

These were among the problems Nueva Era residents told a team from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga. The agency's National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) staff went there to conduct a special validation for the victims of tropical storm Pablo.

The goal of special validation was to determine the conditions and needs of affected households. This is also intended to review the status of households already in the database and assessed households that are not in the database but were affected by the typhoon.

The special validation was also conducted to give face to the conditions of those affected and as a baseline as to what assistance and services will be provided by the government through the national agencies and other stakeholders for the victims of typhoon Pablo.

As a social protection agency, DSWD through NHTS-PR is leading the process in identifying the poor. The NHTS-PR felt the suffering of residents in barangay Nueva Era that is why the team makes extra effort to reach the Pablo survivors even in a far-flung area.

“Nalipay mi nga naa mo karon nag interview sa amoa ug naka balo mi unsa ning NHTSPR, unta mapansin sa gobyerno amoang kahimtang diri sa Nueva Era.” (We are very happy that you came here and interviewed us and explained to us about NHTSPR, we hope that our Government will see our situation here in Nueva Era), Jennifer said. (FEA/DSWD-13/PIA-Caraga)


Spain sets dev’t project anew in Caraga

By Keneath John O. Bolisay

BUTUAN CITY, July 12 – The Spanish government through its international development cooperation agency, the Agencia EspaƱola de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarollo (AECID), is once again renewing its development endeavors with the Philippine government through its new project called the Local Empowerment and Development towards Governance (LEaDGov), to be implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Caraga region this year.

In relation to advancing the community-driven development (CDD) processes of DSWD’s anti-poverty project Kalahi-CIDSS (Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services), LEadGov aims to strengthen the capacities of local government units (LGUs) in facilitating inclusive and participatory processes that capture and integrate the priority needs of poor communities into local government poverty reduction plans.

According to Kalahi-CIDSS deputy national project director, Camilo G. Gudmalin, LEaDGov picks up from where PODER (Poder y Prosperidad de la Comunidad) the project that AECID and DSWD previously partnered on.
PODER, another CDD project, was implemented in Caraga region for the past seven years. It built on the success of Kalahi-CIDSS.

“LEadGov, as per the institutionalization framework of Kalahi-CIDSS, shall now gear our partner LGUs who have graduated from Kalahi-CIDSS in ensuring the sustainability of the CDD principles in the local development processes in the community,” Gudmalin added.

The new project shall address specific needs of LGU staff and representatives in terms of policy development, structural adjustments, systems enhancement, and resource allocation.

Regional social welfare chief, Minda B. Brigoli said that LEaDGov will “consequently complement the capability building and implementation support component of the local poverty reduction action plans (LPRAPs) of LGUs implementing the Bottom-up Budgeting (BuB) program of the government.”

The project will be implemented in Jabonga, Agusan del Norte and Tagbina, Surigao del Sur. Each will receive a grant of PhP 500,000.00

LEaDGov will be launched in Butuan City on July 19 and will run from July 2013 to March 2014. (DSWD-13/PIA-Caraga)


PopCom launches campaign to reduce teen pregnancy

BUTUAN CITY, July 12 (PIA) - The Population Commission (PopCom) has partnered with student leaders from various colleges and universities in Caraga Region to reduce incidence of teen pregnancy. After a day of Student Leaders Congress here in time of the World Population Day celebration, a total of 94 student leaders inked Pledge of Support and Commitment of the Adolescent Health and Youth Development Program (AHYDP).

Dr. Rosalinda D. Marcelino, the acting executive director of PopCom, faced the local media revealing the priorities of the entire commission in curbing incidence of teenage sex resulting to early pregnancies.

She said media could play a major role in the campaign as it reaches out to more young people and educating parents in responding to the fertility needs of their adolescent children.

The youth are among the sectors given special attention by PopCom-Caraga. The campaign for responsible sexuality was made different as PopCom-Caraga and the local population offices grouped the young people and placed them in a place where they can expose and share their talents, and explore and discover new skills.

Discussions on issues and concerns relevant for their own growth and development were centered on AHYDP - SHAPE module. On the evening, various recreational and musical activities happily participated by the youth.

The Summer Youth Camp took place in key areas of the region:

April 22 – 24 at Dinagat, Province of Dinagat Islands
March 16 – 17 at Mabua, Surigao City
May 27 – 28 at Bislig City
May 29 – 31 at SDSSU, Tandag City

Out of the modest financial support of RPO-Caraga, the camps were organized. The AHYDP-focused sessions were mainly facilitated by RPO-Caraga technical staff.

The Mindanao Health Program, another USAID – funded program, is looking to implement a community-based program addressing teenage pregnancy in Caraga Region. As revealed by Mr. Makinano, the OIC of PopCom-Caraga, that during his meeting with Dr. Roy Gavino, Area Technical Team Leader, the program will mobilize the Barangay Service Point Officers (BSPOs) in launching series of activities addressing this teenage–related cases at the grassroots.

Trying to reach the young people in a fora more popular to them, PopCom-Caraga expanded its IEC for AHYDP to social media and text messaging.

PopCom-Caraga opened and developed an account in facebook. Anyone may like and add PopComPopCom-Caraga. Meanwhile, dissemination of information extended from the usual tri-media to text messaging through the Philippine Information Agency. News advisory of PopCom-Caraga sent to PIA for posting in website and disseminated through the text messaging to thousands subscribers nationwide.

150 AHYD tarpaulin posters and 180 RP-FP tarpaulin posters were printed taking into account the gender and cultural values of Caraga. The AHYD posters depict the risks confronting the adolescents if they engage in early sexual activities, while the RP-FP poster is the vernacular illustrations of different FP methods. (PopCom-13/PIA-Caraga)


Surigaonon News: City Agriculture mohatag bag-ong Hand Tractor ngadto sa San Antonio Farmers Association, Brgy Punta Bilar

Ni Annette Villaces

SURIGAO CITY, Hulyo 12 (PIA) – Ang buhatan sa Surigao City Agriculture ubos sa pagdumaya ni City Agriculturist Isaias Elumba mohatag nan bag-o na Hand Tractor uban ang accessories niini ngadtoi sa San Antonio Farmers Association sa Barangay Punta Bilar, ning syudad.
An ama na ekwipo nihatag gikan sa Department of Agriculture ubos sa Corn Program o Farm Mechanization Project sa syudad ubos isab sa pagpaningkamot ni Surigao City Mayor Ernesto Matugas.

Tumong sa amo na program na mahatagan nan madali na pamaagi an mga Surigaonong mag-uuma sa ilang trabaho ug aron usab madungan ang ilang produksyon o ani. (SDR/CMO/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Cebuano news: Pres Aquino mitumbok sa paningkamot sa CAAP ngadto sa pag-usbaw sa Philippine Air Safety Compliance

Ni Nida Grace B. Tranquilan

MANILA, Hulyo 12 (PIA) -- Si Presidente Benigno Aquino III mitumbok sa Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) nga walay puas nga naningkamot alang sa nasud nga motuman ngadto sa international air safety diin miresulta kini sa paghangwat sa ban sa European Union nga ginadid-an ang mga carriers sa Pilipinas nga mobiyahe ngadto sa Europe.

Ang Presidente midayeg sa CAAP, nga gipamunuan ni Director General William Hotchkiss, sa pagbuhat ug maayong trabaho – siya miingon sa iyahang pangunang pagpakigpulong sa ika-8 nga Ambassadors, Council Generals ug Tourism Directors Tour nga gipahigayon didto sa Malakanyang kagahapon.

Ang Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines kon CAAP usab nagtrabaho apil sa hataas nga mga gabii para lamang nga tugutan ang mga carriers nga mohanyag ug derikta nga makalupad gikan sa Pilipinas ngadto sa Eyuropa, ug dugang nga mga destinasyon ngadto sa United States. Karong adlawa, gikahimoot ko nga ibutyag kaninyo nga sila mihimo ug pag-usbaw nga makapahingangha. Kini nagasugod niadtong Marso uban ang International Civil Aviation Organization nga mihangwat kalabot sa mga mahinungdanon kahilwasan diin kaniadto ilahang natino sa atoang nasud,” (“The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines or CAAP has also been working long nights to allow carriers to offer direct flights from the Philippines to Europe and to more destinations in the United States. Today, I am pleased to announce that they have made stunning progress. It began back in March with the International Civil Aviation Organization lifting the Significant Safety Concerns that they had previously identified in our country,”) si Presidente miingon..

“Kini naguna sa pinakamaayong balita nga atoang nadawat kagahapon: nga ang Air Safety Committee of the European Commission mitugot sa ataong flag carrier – Philippine Airlines- sa pagbalik ug deriktang flights ngadto paingon sa Eyuropa. Naangkon sa CAAP ang usa sa ilahang mga medyor nga katuyoan, ug ako nagpaabot ug puno nga pasalamat sa ilahang pangulo, General Hotchkis ug sa tanang nagatrabaho aron sa paghimo ug posible. Sa panghinaut, kini nga kauswagan mohatag kanila ug dugang kadasig nga ilahang gikinahanglan aron sa pagbugtaw sa atoang ubang mga katuyuan sa sektor sa panakayan sa kahanginan,” (“This led to the very good news we received just yesterday: that the Air Safety Committee of the European Commission has allowed our flag carrier—Philippine Airlines—to resume direct flights to Europe. CAAP has achieved one of its major goals, and I extend my full gratitude and congratulations to its head General Hotchkiss and all who worked to make this possible. Hopefully, this development will give them the extra energy they need to pursue all our other goals in the aviation sector,”) dugang pa niya.

Sa tuig 2008, ang US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), misilbi ug rekomendasyon gikan sa International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), nga nagpaubos sa air safety rating sa nasud ngadto sa ikaduhang kategorya gikan sa unang kategorya human ang CAAP mipalpak sa pagtuman sa estandard nga kahilwasan sa taligama sa operasyon sa air carriers .

Duha ka tuig ang milabay, Marso 21, 2010, ang EU misunod ug pahiuyon sa pagubos sa carriers sa Pilipinas sa susamang kategorya.


Ang kategorya 2 nagpasabot sa civil aviation authority sa nasud nga wala misangkap sa kahilwasan sa oversight sa ilahang mga operators sa air carries pinasubay sa kinakubsan nga estandard sa safety oversight nga gitukod sa ICAO. (NGBT/ PND (rck)/PIA-Surigao del Sur)