PIA News Service - Monday, October 28, 2013


Several voters in Butuan City barangay experience inconvenience, complaints in polling precincts

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 28 (PIA) – Several registered voters in one of the barangays of this city have expressed dismay over the election/voting process in their respective polling precincts in today’s barangay election.

As early as 7:00 am today in Agusan National High School (ANHS), this city, few candidates were visible at the waiting area of Barangay New Society precincts while other voters waited for their turn to vote. Those who are done casting their votes have immediately stepped out the polling place. This is also observed by the board of election inspectors (BEIs) to maintain the proper conduct of polling.

A certain voter in Precinct No. 147B-148B of Barangay New Society inside the ANHS has complained that she can no longer vote since her name in the list of registered voters in the said precinct was already filled by someone else who also used the same name. According to the BEI assigned, they still have to verify the said concern.

There were also individuals who were repeatedly coming in the polling precincts of same barangay to cast their votes but the BEIs identified them as flying voters and subsequently restricted from getting ballots.

Also, in Precinct No. 160 still in Barangay New Society, there was a report of a voter who used other registered name in the said precinct. However, Chairman of the BEIs Gladys Lagura, said the "impostor" failed to vote using another identity.

Lagura stressed that the "impostor" failed to vote since she has clearly identified the person as one of her students before. “We do not tolerate this kind of tactics by the voters. No flying voters will succeed in their intention. We will do our best to make this polling process clean and secured,” she said.

It was also reiterated in the polling areas through the BEIs that any voter is not allowed to vote unless he/she can clearly present his/her identification card and provide other personal information needed to support his/her identity, if situation requires. This is to ensure that legitimate/registered voters are the only ones who can vote and to prevent "impostors" who are said to be flying voters. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


Butuan Comelec officer confident of peaceful barangay election

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 28 (PIA) – In his interview over Power FM, Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga’s radio station here, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Officer Atty. Ernie Palanan has expressed optimism that this year’s election will be peaceful and successful. 

"With the help of our partners from the Philippine National Police, SWAT, as well as our local media, we can immediately respond to any concern in the polling places," he said.

Palanan also bared that there were two minors with ages 15 and 17 who were apprehended at the polling area in Butuan Central Elementary School around 8:00 am today for distributing sample ballots of their candidates.

"It is an election offense to use the children, minors during election. It is also considered as child abuse. Those candidates using them in their campaigns will be held liable," he said.

Palanan also reported that in line with the Liquor Ban, there were two persons apprehended today for violating the said law.

Meanwhile, Palanan announced that the City Comelec has provided the Board of Election Tellers (BETs) in the different polling places their meals and snacks for today’s election. "The BETs in the polling places in Butuan City are encouraged not to accept meals, snacks from any candidates in the respective barangay to avoid any negative perceptions from the voters," he stressed.

"Registered voters must not allow candidates to buy their votes. They should come to realize that election equalizes the rich and the poor since both can only exercise their right to vote once. That's why we should vote those that dictate our heart and mind," added Palanan.

Concerned citizens are also encouraged to report any untoward, malicious incidents in their polling places. Pictures that will support the report are also accepted. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


Caraga's election tellers ensure proper conduct of barangay polls

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 28 (PIA) - The Board of Election Tellers (BEIs) in Caraga region assured that they are certainly maintaining a good running of each voting precincts.

As the barangay elections started early morning today in this city, voters trooped to their respective polling precincts to cast their votes. Senior citizens and persons with disabilities or unable to read and write who were accompanied by relatives or trusted household member were given the opportunity to vote therein.

BETs are more vigilant in identifying the real identity of individuals to prevent flying and substitute voters to cheat during the elections.

Ballots and other voting paraphernalia are thoroughly safeguarded by BETs ensuring due restrictions for those who are not legitimate registrants in their barangays.

Detainees were also permitted to cast their votes in designated precincts with jail escorts from the Bureau of Jail and Management (BJMP).

Gladys Lagura, chairman of the BETs in precincts of barangay New Society, this city, said they are making sure that no person can deceive by voting more than once.

However, there are voters in the municipality of Buenavista, Agusan del Norte complaining that their names are not found in the list of voters. Upon verification, BET and Comelec personnel clarified that there are those voters who have not reactivated their status at the Comelec after the previous elections where they were not able to cast their votes.

As of this posting, Comelec Caraga regional director Atty. Francisco Pobe said the election situation in Caraga region is generally peaceful and orderly with minimal complaints well attended by BETs.  (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


Surigao del Sur barangay election peaceful, says PNP

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Oct. 28 (PIA) – The barangay (village) elections in Surigao del Sur remain peaceful and orderly with no reports of election-related violence, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said.

PNP Police Provincial Office Information Officer SPO4 Ranilo Malong said almost all of their monitoring showed peaceful and orderly elections.

Malong said that as of 6AM today, most of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) in Tandag City and other municipalities of Surigao del Sur were already in their respective polling precincts preparing some election paraphernalia. 

In Bislig City, as of 9AM today, the on-going barangay election is also peaceful with no untoward incident reported. Flocks of voters were also observed casting their votes early according to City Information Officer Carlito Abar.

Barangay Mangagoy in Bislig City has a large number of registered voters in the province with more than 20,000 voters. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)


NPA harass soldiers on peace and development mission

By 1LT Krisnen Peter G Sarsagat

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Oct. 28 (PIA) - About 40 rebels from Guerilla Front 34 of Southern Mindanao Regional Committee led by Maximo Catarata a.k.a. Tindugan attacked a team of soldiers on their temporary patrol base outside the community of Brgy Sabud, Loreto, Agusan del Sur recently, wounding a soldier.

While soldiers were defending their position, other fully armed rebels of the same group entered the barangay proper and forced some 70 locals to go out of their houses and herded them into one place. 

The local village leaders wanted to help the wounded soldier but were prevented and threatened to be killed by the rebels. A rescue military helicopter was supposed to land for medical evacuation but was also fired upon by the rebels.

Under the Geneva Convention and Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) wounded personnel (soldier or rebel) should be considered a non- combatant.

Lieutenant Colonel Jose Leonard B Gille, the Commanding Officer, 26th Infantry Battalion, 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division said that this is a clear violation of Geneva Convention and CARHRIHL “It is very clear that the NPA at the present time has stopped fighting for their cause. They have evolved to become human rights violators, terrorists and criminals. They have been saying that they are the people’s army but in contrary, they hostage the locals and kidnapped their leaders."

“The NPA is expert in deception and will intentionally violate International Laws and CARHRIHL which they have signed with us (Philippine Government),” Gille added.

It has been noted that Brgy Sabud is an NPA guerilla base until the arrival of soldiers whom were tasked to undertake humanitarian mission and secure government projects like PAMANA to be implemented in the area. With the barangay leaders and local residents turning into the government side to help defend their community from harassment and extortion activities by the rebels, they have become target for liquidation by NPA death squad. The rebels withdraw towards the hinterlands taking with them the village leaders whom they have utilized as human shield. Part 4, Article 4 section 4 of CARHRIHL states that “CIVILIANS have the right to be treated as such, to be distinguished from combatants together with their properties, and not to be the object of attack.”

While the barangay is trying to set itself free from insurgency, the rebels have become more frustrated to maintain grip and foothold and influence the outcome of the upcoming barangay election. Most of the kidnapped leaders are reelectionist for this Monday’s election.

“With the onset of what had transpired, the 26IB Peace and Development Teams will still remain in the area and our presence is deemed necessary to defend the people of Loreto from NPA [who are proven terrorists, human rights violators, extortionist and criminals.] With the help of the Local Government Unit and the Municipal Mayor, we will double our efforts to rescue the village leaders and affected residents and free them from the hands of these criminals," said Ltc Gille. (PIA-Caraga)


AgNor conducts food handling, sanitation awareness training

By Brian Jay Ceballos

AGUSAN DEL NORTE, Oct. 28 (PIA) - The provincial government here thru the Community Affairs Division in partnership with the Department of Tourism (DOT) Caraga Region, and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Caraga Region, conducted the first Food Handling and Sanitation Awareness Training Seminar in the municipality of Kitcharao, recently.

The one day training seminar tackled topics like the introduction to Good Manufacturing Practices, Cross Contamination, Hand Washing, Personal Hygiene, Food Contact Surfaces, and Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures.

Participants such as meat vendors, owners and managers of different tourism related establishments, and employees of government entities were provided the basic know how on the topics.

They raved about how thankful they are for the free training/seminar which turned out to be essential in the way they do business and in how they prepare food for their household as well as their customers.

Director Desiderio B. Julaton, Regional Director, National Meat Inspection Service Caraga Regional Office together with Ms. Jennifer A. Dejarme, Science Research Specialist II of DOST Regional Office served as resource speakers for the whole day activity which ended successfully with positive feedbacks from the participants. (LGU-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


FEATURE: Bangus production promises better income for fisheries

By Emmylou T. Presilda

AGUSAN DEL NORTE, Oct. 28 (PIA) - “Dako ang amo kalipay niini nga proyekto labi na ug makuha namo ang target nga 6 tons niining una nga harvest (We are so thankful of this project especially if we can reach the 6 tons target in our first harvest),”  San Agustin Fisherfolk Association, Inc. (SAFAI) Chairman Peter Felicilda said in anticipation during their first bangus harvest.          

Living along the shorelines of Carmen, fishers used to catch only a handful of “tamban” and squid during its peak season which they have to sell around the neighborhood.  Meager income is just enough for a day’s meal.  Sending children to school is not a priority.

They needed help and MRDP had its way through the Community Fund for Agricultural Development, a poverty alleviation program of the Philippine government with funding from the World Bank and implemented through the Department of Agriculture.

With the help of the Municipal and Provincial Facilitators, the SAFAI in Brgy. San Agustin, Carmen, Agusan del Norte was organized. Comprising of 15 households, the SAFAI was able to avail of the ‘big ticket’ project of MRDP-CFAD amounting to P5 million where P800 thousand came from the coffers of PLGU-Agusan del Norte as counterpart.

Before the project was implemented, members were capacitated with various skills training on bangus production and financial management.

While other residents continue to live in the cliché “to see is to believe”, the 15 household-members started to labor voluntarily to start establishing their Bangus Mariculture Livelihood Project.  The funding received from DA-MRDP was then used to construct 6 bangus fish cages and financed the first stocking and feeding of their bangus production.

On May 29, 2013, they started stocking each cage on a one week interval with 16,500 fingerlings.  The members took turns in taking care and feeding of the stocks which run for four months.
            
Finally, a heaping 6.1 tons was initially harvested last October 11 with a ready buyer from Butuan City named Ocean Deep who will bring the products to Cebu City as their end market.  An estimated P450,000.00 income was initially gained while harvest of the next cages will follow one or two weeks later.

“We are looking forward to a much bigger harvest the coming weeks because with the six cages, this first one had the most number of mortalities compared with the others,”  an excited Chairman Peter Felicilda said after a whole day of harvest.

“Hopefully through this project our needs will be met and we will already be able to send our children to school,” he added.

According to Municipal Agriculturist Nimfa Fernando, the project aims to help not only the 15 members but also other households who are willing to join and benefit from the project.  “Fifty percent of the net income shall be divided among the members and the other fifty percent shall be put in the association funds to finance other next in line beneficiary,” she said.

After the recent activity, housewives will also be trained with bangus processing for them to gain additional knowledge on how to earn additional income. (NCLM/DA-RFU 13/PIA-Agusan del Norte)