PIA News Service - Thursday, October 17, 2013

Indonesian investors mull expansion of oil palm plantation, processing plant in Agsur

By David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Oct. 17 (PIA) - Seven members of the Indonesian investment team from two Indonesian government owned and controlled companies named PT Perkebunan Nusantara (PTPN) and Pertamina paid visit here for an investment mission particularly to expand Indonesia’s oil palm industry in the Philippines, utilizing idle lands in the hinterlands in order that they become productive.

According to PTPN Director for Planning and Development Memed Wiraminardja, the team has four purposes in coming to the province and these are "to get information and discuss with Philippines’ interested party and procedure of land acquisition for oil palm plantation; looking for prospective creation of the plantation, transport and communications, infrastructure, extension plantation, shape of the region, climate, etc.;  knowing the administrative data such as administration demographic data, availability of labor, level of education of the population, public facilities, social amenities, religion and culture and; the peace and order situation, economic situation and the like."

According to Alma Argayoso, Philippine Attache to Jakata, Indonesia, this move of the Indonesian government is one of the products of President Benigno S. Aquino’s attendance to APEC summit when he offered the potential investment areas of the country in order to bring in investment for agriculture and tourism which mean benefit for people living in far flung areas.

“For all you know, Caraga Region is a very potential area of plantation all over the country having 384,000 hectares of land to offer. These two companies therefore is planning to acquire 30,000 hectares next year and 30,000 hectares thereafter for another 10 years. To date, Agusan del Sur has only 20,000 planted with oil palm,” Argayoso said.

Vice Governor Santiago Cane who welcomed the Indonesian team also expressed his delight of the investment plan, saying investment is the spark plug of development in the province.

“In fact, we in Agusan del Sur have legislated an Investment Code where I authored way back in 1998 during my first term as member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. We have done this because we are protective of the investments here in Agusan del Sur while protecting our environment. We are doing this in order to fully observe and implement the laws in order to maintain ecological balance and to align it to investment,” Vice Gov. Cane said.

The Indonesian investment team will be staying here until October 18 in order to actually visit the areas with the assistance of the local government officials. (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


GIZ, LGUs ink MOA for flood warning project in Sursur

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Oct. 17 (PIA) - The provincial government of Surigao del Sur and municipal governments of San Miguel and Tago on Monday entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Deutsche Gesellschaft Fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) for a flood warning project along Tago river stretching in two towns of this province.

Present during the MOA signing were Surigao del Sur Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) chairperson Gov. Johnny Pimentel, Tago mayor Rogelio Pimentel, LGU San Miguel representative and GIZ representative.

The establishment of LFEWS device started last June this year with a project presentation to the provincial government and municipal local government units of San Miguel and Tago thru the local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (DRRMC.) A stakeholders orientation and planning workshop was also conducted. Site survey for the device installation was also done after the planning workshop in coordination with the stakeholders and the LGUs.

As of this time, the construction system device of LFEWS is set to be completed before the year-end said Dr. Walter Salzer GIZ Program Director.

The establishment of the LFEWS is very timely as the towns of San Miguel and Tago were both identified as flood-prone areas according to Gov. Pimentel. (NGPB/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Surigao City intensifies National Greening Program

By Annette Villaces

SURIGAO CITY, Oct. 17 (PIA) – The City Agricultre Office (CAO) and the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (City ENRO) here will spearhead the planting of bamboo trees in the 12 barangays of the city.

According to CAO Project Focal Person Ramon Laid, the said activity is under the National Greening Program of the government mandated under Executive Order No. 26 issued by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III on February 24, 2011. It seeks to plant some 1.5 billion trees covering 1.5 million hectares for a period of six years from 2011 to 2016, inlands of the public domain.

Laid said under the program, bamboo trees will be planted in 12 barangays of the city, namely: Luna, Bonifacio, Quezon, Trinidad, Anomar, Mabini, Mat-I, Rizal, Poctoy, San Roque, Serna and Togbongon.

He also said that an information drive was already undertaken by the City ENRO and City Agriculture together with representatives from different barangay councils, land-owners and farmers.

The barangay officials of the 12 barangays will coordinate with the different schools and socio-civic organizations under their jurisdiction for the conduct of tree planting before the end of this month. (SDR/Surigao City PIO/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


DTI-Agusan del Sur to award engineered-bamboo processing equipment to SAFRAADAP

By PD Lolita I. Dorado, Irene L. Macheca, Marson Jan S. Dolendo

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Oct. 17 (PIA) -  The Department of Trade and Industry-Agusan del Sur Provincial Office (DTI-ADS) is set to award 2.8 million pesos worth of engineered-bamboo processing and manufacturing equipment to the San Francisco Association of Differently Abled Person (SAFRAADAP) Multi-Purpose Cooperative.

The awarding of the said set of equipment is part of the agency’s Shared Service Facility (SSF) program which provides processing equipment or machineries needed by the various industry clusters to increase their productivity. A cooperator  or partner organization (in this case SAFRAADAP) will receive and manage the operation of the facility for the common or shared use of members and other micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the locality for a minimal fee.

The introduction of engineered bamboo offers a new hope to thisfurniture-making cooperative and other producers dependent on wood who were affected and threatened with the declaration of EO 23 that put the whole country into total log ban.

With SAFRAADAP management’s quest for alternatives, the members willingly embraced this new opportunity on bamboo.

In response, DTI-ADS facilitated the conduct of Skills Training on Engineered Bamboo Manufacturing last July 15-17, 2013 attended by 20 participants from SAFRAADAP.  Experts from the DTI-Cottage Industry Technology Center (DTI-CITC) taught participants to produce quality bamboo planks for furniture production, floor tiles, door panels and other construction materials.

This was followed by a Business Opportunity Seminar with Mr. Eduardo Manda of the Philippine Bamboo Foundation as the resource speaker last July 25 and 26.  The seminar presented the economic benefits of propagating bamboo as a source of materials for furniture and construction-related products. It also highlighted the need for community involvement for bamboo propagation.

Manda also pointed out that bamboo is the logical choice as a possible substitute to timber.  It is reportedly the most sustainable resource because of its ability to reproduce regularly throughout the year.  Bamboo which is classified as a grass is also recognized for its role in combating climate change and in conserving soil and water.

One hectare of bamboo is expected to yield 1,200 matured poles per year.  These poles can be sold at 50 to 100 pesos each, and when processed into bamboo slats, these can be sold at triple the price thus giving more income to the bamboo growers.

DTI’s SSF project, on the other hand is open to all cooperators or any juridical entities not limited to NGOs, people’s organizations, cooperatives, industry/trade/business associations and academic institutions that are supporting MSMEs belonging to an identified industry cluster. (DTI-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)