11.04.2013

PIA News Service - Monday, November 4, 2013

Signal no. 1 hoisted over Caraga Region provinces, Mis Or, Camiguin

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 4 (PIA) - The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has upped its warnings against possible disasters as it hoisted storm signal no. 1 over the five provinces of Caraga Region and two provinces in Northeastern Mindanao due to Tropical Depression (TD) Wilma.

In its advisory issued 6:45 a.m., Monday, the provinces of Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte including Siargao Island, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Misamis Oriental and Camiguin are now under Signal No. 1.

PAGASA said TD Wilma was estimated based on all available data at 180km East of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur. TD Wilma has a maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center. Moving west northwest at 19 kph, TD Wilma is forecast to be 60 kms east of Dumaguete City by Tuesday morning and 80 kms east of Puerto Princesa City by Wednesday morning.

An estimated rainfall amount of 5 to 15 millimeters per hour (moderate - heavy) is expected within the tropical depression's 300-km diameter.

Embedded along the inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ), TD Wilma is expected to bring moderate to occasionally heavy rains and thunderstorms to the regions of Caraga, eastern and central Visayas, and Northern Mindanao.

Office of Civil Defense  (OCD) Caraga regional director and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) chairperson Liza Mazo said they are now on Blue Alert for the possible effects of TD Wilma. Mazo said, the blue alert will allow the council to continuously monitor and disseminate weather bulletins to civil defense units down to the town levels.

Under blue alert, all field personnel are on standby to respond to contingencies at any time and its assets are pre-positioned for easy deployment. (FEA/PIA-Caraga)


Election contest rivals draw lots for barangay council seats

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 4 (PIA) –Rival candidates for barangay councilor who got the same number of votes during the 2013 Barangay Elections last October 28 have agreed to draw lots to resolve the poll deadlock.

In barangay New Society Village, Monib Manalocon Nagamora won a seat in the council against Tarhata Moldes Unda after a one-time toss of coin. Both got 272 votes and tied for the seventh seat in the barangay council.

Sweden Cruzado and Frederick Plaza, electoral candidates in barangay Baan Riverside who both obtained 698 votes, relied upon their chance of winning in three coin tosses. Cruzado was proclaimed winner for the seventh post of barangay kagawad.

Barangay Board of Canvassers (BBOC) chairperson of barangay Masao Maria Amor Abrigo, along with other BBOC members have also proceeded to the drawing of lots through two folded slips of paper, one marked ''Ruth del Valle'' and the other marked “Elizabeth Visaya.''  Del Valle whose name was first drawn and read was declared winner who will occupy the fourth seat in the council while Visaya to take the fifth seat.

The race was over for the candidates who are favored by luck and hapless opponents took the grace in losing. The BBOC prepared and signed the minutes of coin tossing as an official proof of breaking the tie and proclamation.

Butuan City election officer Atty. Ernie Palanan said that tossing a coin is a chance decision in accordance with the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines where candidates are fairly proclaimed as winners. “Now that we have the results for the tie breaker, it’s high time for the winners to take their winning post and accordingly deliver their duties for the development of their respective local community,” he said. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


DSWD Caraga evaluates Bayugan City Day Care centers

By Alvin A. AƱonuevo

BAYUGAN CITY, Agusan del Sur, Nov. 4 (PIA) -  The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga Region has evaluated recently the five Day Care Centers in Barangay Poblacion to determine that they have followed the requirement for Level 1 Accreditation.

In an interview with Mrs. Ferilyn A. Lucenio, Day Care worker of Madasigon Day Care Center, said that the level 1 accreditation will determine the quality of their centers such as their physical structure, teaching materials, and other requirements as stated in the Level 1 accreditation. The level 1 accreditation is good for one to three years.

Madasigon Day Care center has about 50 pupils. Other Day Care Centers in Barangay Poblacion are Bulawanon Day Care Center, Bidcor Day Care Center, Masanagon Day Care Center, Mauswagon Day Care Center and SNP Supervised Neighborhood Play.

The evaluation was led by Ms. Sherry Ann Flores, Regional Accreditor and was assisted by City Social Welfare Development Officer Mrs. Marilou A. Aquino on  October 29.

The said activity was supported by the Barangay Poblacion Council headed by Barangay Chairman Kim A. Asis and  DSWD Bayugan City Day Care Officer Anita P. Bandija. (Bayugan City/PIA-Caraga)


CENRO reports status of illegal logging cases filed in court

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

SURIGAO DEL SUR, Nov. 4 (PIA) – At least four cases against illegal loggers filed in the province have resulted in conviction, said Bislig City Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) Forester Michael Montalban during the Provincial Multi-sectoral Forest Protection Committee (PMFPC) meeting held Thursday, Oct. 31 at the municipality of Cantilan, this province.

Montalban said the implementation of the Executive Order 23 has resulted to the apprehension of around 29,217.15 board feet of lumber and 377.72 cubic meters of logs under his area of responsibility.

EO 23 declared a Moratorium on Cutting and Harvesting of Timber in the Natural and Residual Forest and Creating the Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force, it was signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III on February, 2011.

Meanwhile, CENR officer Joseph Leo Oconer being the host, welcomed the members of PMFPC who attended this year’s first conference conducted outside the city of Tandag.

Upon his assumption to CENRO Cantilan, Oconer said, based on their data, the illegal logging activities have been neutralized this year as compared from the previous years.

There are four CENR offices in Surigao del Sur based in Bislig City, Lianga, Tandag City and Cantilan that strictly implemented the EO 23 under the supervision of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-PENR) office. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)


TESDA launches video making contest

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 4 (PIA) – The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is launching a video-making contest.

Dubbed as “Tatak TESDA video-making contest,” the competition aims to document success stories of technical-vocational (tech-voc) graduates. It also propagates Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) through testimonials from tech-voc graduates themselves using digital and social media.

Also, the video-making contest aims to give recognition to successful tech-voc graduates, and create greater awareness on TESDA and its programs and services.

There will be two categories for the entries to this contest. For individual category, any TVET graduate of any qualification/course from 1996 onwards. He/she must be a holder of a National Certification (NC) of Certificate of Completion (CoC) and is working in the Philippines or abroad either as wage employed or self-employed in the qualification where he/she was trained, and of any age.

For school category, any TVET graduates endorsed by their Technical Vocational Institution (TVI) may join the competition. The TVI must be a holder of Certificate of TVET Program Registration for any qualification covered by Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP). The TVI must also be a holder of Certificate of TVET Program Registration for the qualification of the graduate on the video and currently offering the said program.

More importantly, the school must be of good standing, compliant to all the Unified TVET Program Registration and Accreditation System (UTPRAS) requirements including passing the compliance audit.

TESDA employees and their relatives up to the third degree of consanguinity and affinity are not eligible to participate.

Interested participants must create a two to three minute video using any recording device. Language used can be in English, Filipino or combination of English and Filipino. The entry shall be submitted/uploaded by the graduate or by the TVI.

The video should be taken at the workplace/work setting and may be in the form of dramatization, storytelling or music video and contains the answers to the question: “How did tech-voc training change your life?”

Participants are also required to upload the video in their Facebook account and send the link to tataktesda@tesda.gov.ph, along with an accomplished entry form which can be downloaded from the TESDA website at www.tesda.gov.ph.

Entries are accepted from November 4 to December 30, 2013. The TESDA Screening Committee shall review the entries and notify the graduate/TVI if the video is considered an official entry to the contest. The first 1,000 entries that pass the screening shall receive a token from TESDA. The TESDA Screening Committee shall upload the video on the TESDA Facebook account.

The graduate/TVI shall promote the video to their friends and relatives since entries that get 1,500 Likes shall be entitled to one TWSP scholarship slot. This is a one time availment during the submission/uploading period. The videos shall remain on the TESDA Facebook account until the end of February 2014.

Top ten entries from the Individual Category shall receive P10,000 for the refinement of their videos.

For Best in Video (Cinematography) category, the graduate will receive P25,000 and a trophy while winner in the TVI will receive P250,000 worth of TWSP scholarship and trophy. Same prizes will be given to winners under the Best in Story (Screenplay) category.

A graduate who wins the People’s Choice Award will receive P50,000 and a trophy while the TVI receives P500,000 worth of TWSP scholarship and a trophy.

Grand winner in the graduate category receives P100,000 and a trophy while in the TVI category, the grand winner receives P1 million worth of TWSP scholarship and a trophy.

Participants/finalists can win only one of the first three categories and the Grand Winner Award. The award and utilization of the TWSP slots by the graduate and the TVI shall be subject to and in accordance to the existing guidelines of TESDA.

Interested participants may contact the nearest TESDA provincial offices for details. (TESDA-13/PIA-Caraga)


Caraga RTESDC chair cites benefits of mining

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 4 (PIA) – The chairman of the Regional Technical Education and Skills Development Committee (RTESDC) has recently cited benefits of mining to the economic development of Caraga Region.

Speaking before the members of the RTESDC during its second regular meeting held recently in one of the local convention centers here, Dulmar Raagas emphasized that the mining industry has contributed to the economic development of the region.

Raagas explained that aside from the two percent excise tax that is collected by the government of the gross sales of the mining companies, a five percent royalty tax of the actual market value of the minerals produced within mineral reservation is also remitted to the state’s coffer, he said.

The official further said mining companies in the region have also paid corporate income tax of the contractor and other taxes and fees such as occupational fee are appropriated in accordance with RA 7160 to the LGUs concerned. RA 7160 is known as the Local Government Code of 1991.

Raagas pointed out that 10 percent of the royalty tax will be allotted for special projects and other administrative expenses related to the exploration, development and environmental management of minerals in government reservations, while 90 percent will be shared by the National and Local Government by 60 percent and 40 percent respectively.

The RTESDC chair said the 40 percent LGU share will be distributed to Barangay – 35 percent, Municipality/City – 45 percent, and Province – 20 percent.

In 2012, Raagas said mining companies in the region have remitted a total of P3,079,692,102.83 in taxes.

In terms of employment rate, a 17 percent increase in 2012 was noted due to the existence of new producing companies such as the Greenstone Resources Corporation and the Sinosteel Philippines H.Y. Mining Corporation.

Specifically, Raagas said mining companies in Surigao del Norte have 9,209 employees; Surigao del Sur with 4,797; Dinagat Islands – 1,050; Agusan del Norte – 1,009; and Agusan del Sur – 3,245.

While the official admitted that mining may destroy environment, he said Contingent Liability and Rehabilitation Fund (CLRF) was generated by all mining companies in the region. He said ten percent of the total amount of the cost of Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program (EPEP) or P5 million, whichever is lower will be deposited to a Government Depository Bank. For 2013’s EPEP, the mining industry has reserved some P1,329,348,974.87.

To monitor the Trust Fund, a mine waste fee of P0.05 per metric ton and tailing fee of P0.10 per metric ton was put in the reserve fund. Also, final mines rehabilitation and decommissioning fund form part of the CLRF.

In general, Raagas said the mining industry in Caraga Region has uplifted the region’s economic condition.

It can be recalled that early this year, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) has reported that Caraga Region is not anymore the poorest region in the Philippines since the economy has increased due to the mining industry.

On April 23, 2013, the NSCB released its latest report on the state of poverty in the country through their website http://www.nscb.gov.ph.

The report has used the data from the Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) conducted by the National Statistics Office (NSO) last July 2012, which measured poverty incidence or the proportion of people below the poverty line to the total population.

The report revealed that at the regional level, the regions with the lowest poverty incidence among families in the first semesters of 2006, 2009 and 2012, continue to be the National Capital Region, CALABARZON, and Central Luzon.

Also, for the same period in 2012, ARMM consistently figured in the bottom (poorest) cluster of regions with the highest poverty incidence among families between 42 to 47 percent in the same period.


The NSCB report also emphasized that even Region 9 and Caraga were included in the poorest cluster in the first half of 2006 and 2009, the two regions did not figure in the bottom cluster during the first semester of 2012. However, SOCCSKARGEN and Eastern Visayas were new entrants in the said cluster at around 37 percent. (RER/TESDA-13/PIA-Caraga)