8.22.2013

PIA News Service - Tuesday, August 20, 2013

PMA invites applicants to join Class 2018

By Nora L. Molde

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 20 (PIA) – The Philippine Military Academy (PMA) through Maj Michael P Colanta PA, officer-in-charge Butuan Team PMA Entrance Exam invites interested applicants to take the PMA entrance examination on August 25.

According to Maj Colanta, the PMA entrance exam will be conducted in 37 examination centers all throughout the country.

This year, interested applicants must comply with the following qualifications: minimum height of 5 inches for both male and female (from 5’4 for male and 5’2 for female); natural-born Filipino citizen; physically ft and of good moral character; single and has never been married; at least high school graduate; no administrative/criminal case; must pass the PMA entrance exam; and should have been born from April 1, 1992 to April 1, 1997.

Maj Colanta also said that the lowering from the height requirement is expected to bring about increase in the number of applicants.  The changes in the minimum height requirement came about when it was observed during the conduct of the Limited Physical Examination (LPE) in different exam centers, that many are denied the chance to go through the first phase of the selection process, solely for the reason of not meeting the height requirement, he added.

Also, Maj Colanta said with the previous height requirement many Filipino youth who have good education background and are physically fit are disenfranchised from the opportunity of being able to take the entrance examination.

Maj Colanta further said, that with the adjustment made in the height requirement, PMA will be increasing the pool where the best candidate for PMA cadetship will be selected.

Being a PMA cadet gives an individual a noble privilege in serving the country.  One is able to avail of a free college education with a well-rounded curriculum, as well as, receive monthly pay and allowances.  After graduating from the Academy, one is guaranteed a progressive career as an officer in the Army, Navy or Air Force.

Successful applicants will compose the PMA Class 2018 who will be officially received in the Academy in an Oath-Taking Ceremony and Reception Rites on April 1, 2014.

Application forms an be downloaded from www.pma.ph.  Applicants can also apply on-line in the said website.  For more information, call (074) 447 3686, (074) 447-2634 local 6751 or 6752, (02) 913-6286, 0949 4270584, 0928 6697651, 0943 7056890, 09273810493, 0917 8964299, or write the Office of Cadet Admission, Philippine Military Academy, Fort General Gregorio H del Pilar, 2602, Baguio City. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga)


CSC-13 chief calls on stakeholders unified efforts on the protection, preservation of Butuans Mt. Mayapay

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 21 (PIA) – Civil Service Commission (CSC) Caraga Regional Director Adams Torres called on government workers and stakeholders to work hand in hand in addressing the need to come up with sustainable ways for the protection, conservation and rehabilitation of the city's Mt. Mayapay.

During a meeting with Regional Director Abner Caga of the Philippine Information Agency; Mr. Michael Torralba, a blogger and Regional Coordinator of Samahang Magdalo; and Philippine Daily Inquirer correspondent Mr. Franklin Caliguid held at the CSC-Caraga regional office, Dir. Torres expressed his concerns on how government workers and partner stakeholders can better ensure the sustainability of Mt. Mayapay.

Despite not a resident from Butuan, he shares with the Butuanons’ concern on the protection and conservation of the Mt. Mayapay, known heritage of Butuan.

“I am committed to join with other partners in this noble cause not only as a government servant but as a concerned citizen of Butuan, thinking that with our unified efforts we can save Mt. Mayapay and give our future generations the opportunity to experience the healthy environment, full of resources,” said Torres.

Torres then suggested to PIA to produce video materials that would depict the picture of Mt. Mayapay from the previous years and in the present, and show the community how we can make a difference in improving and sustaining the Mt. Mayapay.

“The least that I can do as of the moment, when these materials will be made available, I commit to present these during trainings and gatherings of government agencies and partner stakeholders to inculcate the mindset that environmental protection is everyone’s concern, and that we should all do our part,” stressed Torres.

Torres further said that tree planting activities may not be enough to ensure the sustainability of the Mt. Mayapay, the need to seek for other interventions that will make  the effort sustainable and successful.

Torres also bared that during trainings and gatherings, the commission will be soliciting ideas and suggestions from their partners to collaboratively come up with other noble interventions to save Mt. Mayapay.

Mt. Mayapay is a prominent natural landmark in Butuan City. Its plateau formation is the predominant feature that serves as backdrop of the City.  It is the highest peak of Butuan City-Buenavista mountain ranges with an elevation of 675 meters above sea-level. It is also considered as one of the tourist attractions in the city.

Forest cover however of Mt. Mayapay has dwindled due to illegal logging. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


DTI-13 reports updates & highlights of its 1st Semester 2013 accomplishments

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 20 (PIA) – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Caraga headed by Regional Director Brielgo Pagaran reported on Monday the highlights of its accomplishments for the first semester of 2013, as well as updates on the region’s economic development.

During the Media Forum, Pagaran bared that Caraga region now ranked 11th among the poorest regions in the country with a rate of 34.1% in the First Semester Poverty Incidence Among Families, and having P9,779 Per Capita Poverty Threshold in the first semester of 2012.

“The fact that instead of being No. 17 or being the poorest region in 2006 and 2009, the latest National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB) report in 2012 has placed the region now at No. 11 to 12 tied with Region 5. Trailing us are regions 10, 9, 8, 12 and ARMM,” said Pagaran.

Pagaran added that this would indicate that our economy is leveling up and our income is increasing.

It was also learned that on the heels of Caraga's two consecutive years of high growth in its Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP), the region is treated once again with "good news" from the 2012 1st Semester Official Provincial Statistics Report of the NSCB released on April 2013.

Also, Dir. Pagaran revealed that San Francisco in Agusan del Sur is the country’s most competitive municipality while Butuan City is the 4th most competitive city.

“The over-all ranked of San Francisco in Agusan del Sur based on 1st Index Rankings of the National Competitiveness Council, also ranked No. 6 in economic dynamism and No. 14 in terms of electricity rates. Meanwhile, Butuan City also ranked in several other high rankings: No. 5 in economic dynamism, No. 2 in number of new business registrations, No. 6 in business registration renewals, No. 9 in capitalization of new business registrants, No. 15 in capitalization of business renewals, No. 13 fastest travel time to airport, No. 9 in number of cell sites, No. 7 in hotel rooms and No. 19 in electricity rates,” Pagaran said.

Surigao City is another big winner with high ranks on the following: No. 14 in new business registrations, No. 18 in business renewals, No. 14 in capitalization of new business, No. 3 as fastest travel time to airport, No. 16 in water rates, No. 14 in cell sites, and No. 17 in hotel rooms while the municipality of Claver in Surigao del Norte ranked No. 6 and Cantilan in Surigao del Sur at No. 9 in government efficiency.

Meanwhile, on the Shared Service Facility (SSF) Projects, the DTI-Caraga has a total of 28 approved projects in the region involving 1,400 beneficiaries (average of 50 beneficiaries per project) with a total amount of P22.17-M.

The department also disclosed that it has conducted eight ‘Diskwento’ Caravans for the 1st Semester of 2013. With this, there were 75 exhibitors that participated; 7,002 consumers benefitted; and generated sales worth P956,576.28.

Pagaran expressed that the DTI from its past performance periods has again met and even exceeded its agency targets for the 1st half of the year.

"These accomplishments may not still be enough to impact on our region's goal of reducing poverty significantly. We will continue to do our best," he said. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


GSIS meets Public sector unions in Caraga; bares devt in programs & services

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 20 (PIA) -- Several  employees associations, organizations gathered recently at the Samping Avenue Hall of this city, together with Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) Butuan Branch Officials and Ms. Karina David, GSIS member of the Board of Trustees (BOT), for the conduct of Consultative Meeting with the Public Sector Unions in Caraga region.

In her message, GSIS Butuan Branch Manager Belen Talita, emphasized that continuous information dissemination brings GSIS closer to its members.

"The constant conduct of dialogue with our partner stakeholders give us the opportunity to improve our programs and services and strengthen our working relationship with them," Talita said.

David also bared that GSIS aims to regain the trust and confidence of partner stakeholders, pursue the social mission of the charter and promote an efficient organization that is fully-automated and member-focused.

“Letting you know on the updates and getting your feedbacks will surely help improve our programs and services. We will ensure as well that our members will get and enjoy the benefits they deserved,” David emphasized.  

David also disclosed that the Enhanced GSIS Scholarship Program provides 200 Scholarship Slots for children of the GSIS members with Salary Grade 1-24. “Incoming freshmen are accepted in schools accredited by GSIS. With this program, GSIS gives up to P20,000 tuition and P2,000 monthly allowance,” she said.

It was also learned that among the initiatives of GSIS to provide responsive services to its members include the following: Deployment of more GWAPS Kiosks; New Emergency Loan Program (reduced interest rate from 8% to 6%; waived 1% service fee); No more Annual Renewal of Active Status for Pensioners (National Statistics Office to determine pensioners' status); and Revised Survivorship Policy (surviving spouses of members and pensioners can receive pension even if gainfully employed and receiving other income/pension).

As to the posting and reconciliation of the GSIS members' accounts, David explained that the GSIS has already formed a Reconcilement Task Force to improve the updating of accounts and will deploy electionic-Billing and electionic-Collection to its members.

With these developments, the GSIS hoped to increase the number of members registered and to add more benefits.

The GSIS is created by Commonwealth Act No. 186 that was passed on November 14, 1936, and later amended under Republic Act No. 8291 dated June 24, 1997. As designed in its charter, GSIS is a social insurance institution under a defined benefit scheme. It ensures its members against the occurrence of certain contingencies in exchange for their monthly premium contributions. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


291 pupils receive school kits from Red Cross in Lingig Town

By Nida Grace B. Tranquilan

SURIGAO DEL SUR, August 20 (PIA) -- Philippine Red Cross Surigao del Sur (PRC-SDS) Chapter distributed on Monday, August 19, school kits to four barangays in Lingig, the southern tip municipality of this province.

PRC-SDS Chapter officer In-charge Felomina Rivamonte said some 291 pupils received school kits from the identified barangays affected by Typhoon Pablo last December 2012.

The recipients are the Palo Alto Elementary School of Barangay Palo Alto with 101 beneficiaries; Mansailao Elementary School of Barangay Mansailao with 96 beneficiaries; Tigbawan Primary School of Barangay San Roque with 27 beneficiaries; and Tamsian Primary School and Bentigan Primary School of Barangay Pagtilaan with 67 beneficiaries.

Rivamonte said the school kits contain: back-pack; pencil case with ball-pen and pencils; sharpener; eraser; notebooks; paper; color with packs of noodles. Some pupils also received slippers during the distribution.

Rivamonte further said that some residents from these barangays are still on the process of recovery while others are still living in tent houses. (FEA/NGBT/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


DILG-13 holds workshop on water supply management

By Don Manuelo O. Patrimonio

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 20 (PIA) -- Technical staff from provincial, municipal and city engineers and planning offices in the region underwent a skills enhancement seminar-workshop on Detailed Engineering Design (DED) Preparation, Procurement, and Fund Management at Samping Avenue, this city.

The four-day event was spearheaded by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Caraga Regional Office together with the Office of Project Development Services (DILG-OPDS).

The participants came from the 22 recipient local government units (LGUs) of the 2013 implementation year of the Bottom-Up Planning and Budgeting (BUB) with water supply systems identified as priority projects. Caraga region LGUs received an aggregate amount of P67.242 Million for water projects in this year alone.

During the opening ceremonies, DILG-Caraga Regional Director Lilibeth A. Famacion announced that more funding for water supply projects through BUB are already lined up for 2014.

The seminar-workshop is one of the series of capacity development interventions the DILG will be providing that are intended to enhance capacities of the technical personnel who are directly involved with their LGU’s water supply projects.

The trainers were  from Manila and include Engr. Renato L. Lorenzo of the Water and Sanitation Services Unit of the DILGOPDS and their consultant, Engr. Ramon L. Dela Torre.

The discussions and workshops revolved around water system design parameters, key components, drawing plans and standard symbols, technical specifications, Environmental Protection Agency Network (EPANET), hydraulics, fund management and the procurement process.

Also in the training were some representatives of the Water and Sanitation Hub (WATSAN Hub) composed of Fr. Saturnino Urios University, Propegemus Foundation Inc., and Bayugan Water District.

The WATSAN hub is a local pool of water and sanitation experts that is concurrently being organized in various localities across the country. They can be tapped as mentors, consultants or resource speakers to local government initiatives on water supply.

It was hoped that these trainings will improve and fast-track the implementation of the water supply projects—a very dire yet rudimentary service needed by all. With projects such as these, the government is hoping to improve access to potable water across the country. Increasing skills of LGU personnel improves such services that lead to the achievement of this goal—an endeavor we share here in Caraga Region. And as Engr. Lorenzo opines, Caraga Region is known to be among the better performing regions in water-supply project implementation. (DILG-13/PIA-Caraga)