PIA News Service - Monday, September 16, 2013

Agusan Norte solon files bill to protect the revered Mt. Mayapay


BUTUAN CITY - After diligent refinement and rigorous consultation with various stakeholders, House Bill No. 2900 was finally filed in Congress by Rep. Lawrence “Law” Fortun (1st District, Agusan del Norte) seeking to establish the Mount Mayapay Natural Park (MMNP) and thereby protect it from further degradation.

The bill entitled: An Act Establishing the Mt. Mayapay Natural Park (MMNP) Situated in Butuan City and the Municipality of Buenavista in Agusan del Norte, As Protected Area, Providing for its Management Pursuant to Law, And for Other Purposes was filed by Fortun amid several poaching and illegal activities in the esteemed plateau which has caused its deterioration.

In his explanatory note, Fortun emphasized that “the bill seeks to conserve and protect the unique biodiversity resources of Mt. Mayapay, a prominent natural landmark in the Caraga Region. "The highland is a magnificent mountain located East of Butuan City, considered the range’s highest peak with an elevation of 2,214 feet above sea level, with a plateau formation that is the predominant feature of the city’s backdrop.” The revered mountain “was a vital watershed in the environs of Butuan City and the Municipality of Buenavista, Agusan del Norte until it was abused by loggers and poachers.” 

Fortun further explained in filing the bill that “at present, the ecosystem of Mt. Mayapay has been invaded, assaulted and is now highly endangered, threatening to extinction whatever few remaining endemic flora and fauna thriving in the area. Moreover, experts have expressed alarm that if nothing is done to arrest its continuous degradation, landslides that may claim thousands of lives are not remote given the fact that the mountain lies along the fault line.”

Among the additional reform provisions of the bill include: 1.) inclusion of enumeration of prohibited acts within the natural park to cover quarry, mining, logging, etc.; 2) provision on stiffer penalties for violations of the law; 3) requirement of an act of Congress in the modification of the coverage of the law due to such factors as changing ecological situations or new scientific or archaeological findings; 4) inclusion of a specific provision on the establishment of buffer zones; 5) revision of the definition of tenured migrants and fixing of the other provisions relative thereto to prevent speculators from circumventing the law and legitimizing their illegal occupation; 6) provisions to further strengthen the PAMB and for a transparent, consultative and participatory administration and management of the natural park; 7) provision for the creation of an ExeCom within the PAMB to whom may be delegated some of its powers and functions to ensure consistent, continuous and sustained management and administration since the PAMB meets only quarterly; and 8.) provision for more security in the utilization of the MMNP fund to prevent misuse and abuse.

Fortun also took note of the people’s sentiments who strongly “voiced out their concerns on the sad state of Mt. Mayapay and the real threat of a forthcoming destruction of lives and properties should its devastation continue. Various sectors have taken initiatives calling for the protection and conservation of this glorious mountain, however, activities contributing to its further deterioration have continued due to the lack of a law that ensures its protection, rehabilitation and conservation.” (Eldie N. David/PIA-Caraga)

Caraga Regl Peace & Order Council crafts Roadmap for Peace

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 16 (PIA) - Members of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) in Caraga crafted the region's Roadmap for Peace during its three-day Framework Building Workshop held recently at the Almont Hotel's Inland Resort, this city.

The council further enhanced its plans and strategies in achieving a more peaceful and progressive Caraga with diverse, empowered, culturally sensitive communities living in a sustainable environment afforded with equal opportunities.

Among the issues and concerns raised by the members of the council include the following: 1) efficiency of the delivery of government services to clients; 2) effectiveness of the citizens' character and complaints desk installed; and 3) effectiveness of peace and order and public safety.

It was also learned that Criminality (involving illegal drugs and theft/robbery), Indigenous Peoples (ancestral domains claims) issues, Insurgency (involving extortion, unemployment, lack of job opportunities), and Resource-based Conflict are the four common factors that affects the peace situation in the region. 

The members were also grouped into four sectors during the workshop with the presence of RPOC chair and Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand Amante Jr to address existing issues and concerns. The four sectors are: Governance; Social and Cultural; Economic; and Environment. Each group then presented its outputs/results for further enhancement, recommendations by the full council.

Amante emphasized that in attaining peace, there is an instrument that will serve as guide, and that is through a Roadmap. "This roadmap should not remain just a piece of paper but it must be executed. Commitment of the Local Chief Executives in the region is really needed," he said.

The council will meet again in the month of October for finalization and approval of the crafted roadmap for peace for Caraga region. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


Caraga youth network strongly support environmental advocacy

By Johny S. Natad

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 16 (PIA) - Caraga Youth Leaders' Network Inc. (CYLN) has vowed to collaborate and support environmental advocacies especially  the call to  save Mount Mayapay.

CYLN Chairperson and CEO Rex F. Ybañes in an interview bared that the youth sector strongly advocate any environmental concern that affects the city and the region.

"The youth sector has the idea of supporting government in terms of environmental advocacy.  Any activity that has significant bearing to environment in Butuan and Caraga, the youth network will strongly support it. The save Mount Mayapay initiative is a concern to all especially the youth," Ybañes said.

Ybañes bared that there was initial discussion with the previous and new leadership of the network about the protection of Mount Mayapay. He added the network has issued a resolution of support to protect Mount Mayapay sometime in February 2011.

Aside from the resolution of support, Ybañes bared that in 2010, the CYLN organized the Hinlo Butuan, the first city-wide youth clean up drive as part of its committed environmental initiative which was participated by around 2,500 youth sectors like students and fraternities.

"We will be asking other partners and environmental advocates to conduct information drive for the youth network since some of our new officials have no real picture of Mt. Mayapay. Nevertheless, I will tell them to like the Save Mount Mayapay environmental advocacy on the facebook," he said.

Ybañes revealed that the CYLN’s primary core focus advocacy include youth leadership, environment, health among others.

The CYLN is the sole, leading and largest non - governmental organization in Caraga, which focuses to advance the Caraganon youth development affairs. It is a non-stock, non-sectarian, non-political and non-armed non-government organization registered at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and National Youth Commission (NYC) of the Republic of the Philippines. (JSN/PIA-Caraga)


NSO undertakes the 2012 Input-Output Survey on PHL Business and Industry

By Villa Bayotas

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 16 - The National Statistics Office Caraga will be conducting the 2012 Input-Ouput Survey of Philippine Business and Industry starting September 19.

The survey is the seventh in a series of Input-Output (I-O) survey series conducted by NSO. Its forerunner is the 2006 IOSPBI. The 2006 IOSPBI was undertaken as a rider to the 2006 Census of Philippine Business and Industry (CPBI), while the 2012 IOSPBI is a stand-alone survey.

The 2012 IOSPBI aimed to collect and generate information on the levels, structure, performance and trends of economic activities of the formal sector in the entire country for the year 2012. On the other hand, the purpose of the 2012 IOSPBI is to collect detailed data items on selected revenue, cost and inventory of businesses and industries covered in the 2012 CPBI in order to produce an I-O structure. An I-O Table is a comprehensive, detailed and consistent presentation of the flow of goods and services in an economy for a specified period of time. It provides a basis for analysis of the inter-industry use of goods and services, its intermediate uses and the flow of goods and services up to final demand.

In Caraga, NSO Field staff will be responsible for the distribution and collection of the questionnaires to the establishments starting September 19, 2013. NSO would like to assure the respondents that all information furnished to the Field Staff are strictly confidential and shall not be used as evidence in court for purposes of taxation, regulation or investigation as provided for in Section 4 of Commonwealth Act No. 591.

For Caraga Region, further information can be obtained thru the NSO Regional Office at Lopez Jaena Extension, Butuan City, and thru its four provincial offices with the following addresses: 1. Agusan del Norte Provincial Office, Lopez Jaena Ext., Butuan City; 2. Agusan del Sur Provincial Office, Patin-ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur; 3. Surigao del Norte Provincial Office, Navarro Street, Surigao City; 4. Surigao del Sur Provincial Office, Pimentel Bldg., Telaje Street, Tandag City. (NCLM/NSO-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)