1.15.2014

Delgosea conference opens in Bangkok

By Fryan E. Abkilan

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 15 (PIA) – The Democratic Local Governance in Southeast Asia (Delgosea) kicked-off its first conference for this year at Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn in Bangkok, Thailand.

The two-day event, which opens today and will run until Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, is anchored on the theme: “5-years ASEAN Charter” with Article 1 of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Charter providing the starting point for the debate, stating that one of the purposes of ASEAN is “to strengthen democracy, enhance good governance and the rule of law, and to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms” and “to promote a people-oriented ASEAN in which all sections of society are encouraged to participate in and benefit from the process of ASEAN integration and community building.”

The conference organizers, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG ASPAC), have invited some prominent keynote speakers, such as Hon. Adolfo Severino, former Secretary General of ASEAN and Gerhard Stahl, Secretary General of the Committee of the Regions of the European Union.

On behalf of Hon. Severino, Eva Maaten, Delgosea communication manager delivered his keynote speech, which focused on the 5-years ASEAN: Perspective for the Development of ASEAN as a value-based community.

Stahl, who explained the ‘Institutional mechanisms for promoting good local governance in the European Union,’ said that the concept of local government as set out in the Council of Europe’s Charter expresses the right and ability of local authorities to regulate and manage a substantial share of public affairs under their own responsibility and in the interests of the local population, “and it specifies that this right should be exercised by councils or assemblies composed of members freely elected by secret ballot on the basis of universal suffrage.”

The conference brought together representatives from the municipalities, CSOs, local government associations, academe and media from all 10 ASEAN states. (with reports from Delgosea/FEA/PIA-Caraga)


EU Committee of the Regions Sec-Gen bares different approaches to local govt

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 15 (PIA) - Secretary General of the Committee of the Regions of the European Union (EU) Gerhard Stahl discussed the different approaches to local government, during the first day of Democratic Local Governance in Southeast-Asia (Delgosea) Conference held on Wednesday in Bangkok, Thailand.

“Local governance in Europe has its roots in three different traditions, that of Central/Nordic countries, that of Anglo-Saxon countries and that of western and southern countries,” said Stahl.

The Central/Nordic Countries have a tradition of far-reaching local self-government. “For example, in Germany, local self-government has constitutional status while in the Scandinavian countries local authorities have a very wide spectrum of tasks covering important policy areas directly affecting citizens such as education, health and social services. In all cases a significant degree of fiscal autonomy exists and there are well-functioning mechanisms for consultation between the different levels of sub-national government,” explained Stahl.

He also revealed that in Anglo-Saxon Countries, municipalities are not so well protected, their powers are subject to statute and the ultra vires rule often applies, meaning that a local authority may only exercise those functions and tasks that are specifically authorized by statute. While municipalities may be responsible for large areas of public administration, their competencies and prerogatives are often limited and they may have only limited institutional opportunities to influence legislation which concerns their interests.

“Western and Southern Countries are marked by a Napoleonic tradition. Local government is protected by the Constitution but there may be heavy controls from central government. These countries are also characterized by a large degree of sharing of competencies and tasks among the different levels of governance,” Stahl added.

Stahl further clarified that the competencies of local and government vary greatly across European countries. According to him, this is a function of considerations such as the following: whether the basis for competences is constitutional or statutory; the degree to which competences are linked to the level of government (regional, provincial, municipal); the extent to which competences are exclusive or shared with other levels of government; and whether competencies are legislative or administrative, among others.

Meanwhile, citing pubic investment as a very important component of the functions of regional and local authorities, as it typically involves different levels of government at some stage of the investment process, Stahl emphasized that it requires local and regional authorities work in close coordination with each other and with national governments and that they have the necessary governance capacities to design and implement investment projects. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


EU Committee of the Regions Sec-Gen keynotes Delgosea conference

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 15 (PIA) – Secretary General of the Committee of the Regions of the European Union (EU) Gerhard Stahl has delivered his keynote speech, highlighting the institutional mechanisms for promoting good local governance in the EU, during the first day of  Democratic Local Governance in Southeast-Asia (Delgosea) Conference held in Bangkok, Thailand.

“For local government to respond satisfactorily to the global challenges of sustainable development, whether these be economic, social or environmental, good local governance, based on the key principles of democracy, transparency and accountability, is imperative,” said Secretary General Stahl.

He made mention that in the Organisation for Economic  Cooperation and Development (OECD), sub-national government accounts 40 percent of public expenditure and 72 percent of public investment expenditure, which means that regions and cities are the key actors in the sphere of economic and social development.

He also discussed the different approaches to local government. He said the local governance in Europe has its roots in three different traditions, that of Central/Nordic countries, that of Anglo-Saxon countries and that of western and southern countries.

He further cited that the competencies of local government vary greatly across European countries. This is a function of considerations such as whether the basis for competencies is constitutional or statutory, the degree to which competencies are linked of government (regional, provincial, municipal), and whether competencies are legislative or administrative, among others.

“Many European countries have embarked on fiscal decentrlization programmes over the last few decades, reassigning spending and revenue responsibilities from the center to sub-national (regional and local) governments. This development relies essentially on efficiency arguments. Sub-national governments have more information and hence can better match policies with citizen’s preferences,” he added.

It was also learned that the European law is not generally concerned with the internal state structure of Member States. The concept of institutional and procedural autonomy excludes interference by the EU in the organization and procedures at member state level for the implementation of EU policies providedthe goals set in EU Treaties and directives are met.

According to Secretary genera Stahl, partnership between public authorities at national, regional and local levels in the Member States and with the private and other sectors has long been one of the key principles in the implementation of EU cohesion policy.

“Transparency and accountability, competencies based on clear rules and a culture of cooperation in partnership between different government and private sectors has important advantages for the successful economic development in a globalized nations,” concluded Stahl. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


LPA causes inconvenience to Agusanons

By Nora L. Molde

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 15 (PIA) – The effects of low pressure area (LPA) in the province of Agusan del Norte have brought residents in low-lying areas to be evacuated in a higher and safer place.

Local officials of the province have ordered residents affected by flashfloods to evacuate to identified evacuation centers.

According to Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) Officer Erma Suyo, as of Wednesday morning, Jan. 15, there are 95 families (405 individuals) from the barangays Bunga, Poblacion and Magsaysay, all in the municipality of Jabonga, who are now evacuated at the munlcipal gym, Jabonga Elementary School and Jabonga National High School due to flooding.

Suyo also said that the national highway of Purok 4 of Sta. Ana and barangay Tagmamarkay of Tubay are now under water and impassable for light vehicles.

"Because of the effects of the LPA, the province is now implementing Code Blue – preparatory level (on heightened alert, close monitoring and ready for possible response)," Suyo added.

She also said, the municipal DRRMCs were advised to be on alert status and urged to activate their emergency response teams for possible effects of the LPA in their area of responsibilities since Saturday, January 11.

"All local DRRMC’s are advised to conduct regular and close monitoring of low-lying areas and further advised to institute and observe proper protocols. Communities were also advised to be vigilant as continuous heavy rains still experienced in the province," Suyo said.

Since Saturday, the PDRRMC has been regularly conducting ocular survey to flood and landside-prone barangays of the municipalities of  Cabadbaran, Tubay, Jabonga and RTR.

On January 13, the Provincial Engineering District headed by Engr. Nicolas Alameda led the clearing operation at the landslide area in San Roque, Kitcharao assisted by the PDRRMC headed by Officer Erma Suyo & Provincial Engineering Office personnel.

The province is equipped and has already organized its response teams, nine of the 10 municipalities including Cabadbaran City response teams undergone trainings for response during times of calamities. (NCLM, PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Fishermen missing for more than 24-hrs found alive

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 15 (PIA) - The two fishermen from Tubay, Agusan del Norte including a 14-year old boy who ventured into the sea early dawn of January 11, 2014, who were reported missing, have safely returned to their respective families at 5 p.m. the following day.

Romeo Etable, Jenifer Aquiatan and Rejoy Basadre went on fishing despite the advance warning from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) to avoid the big waves and continuous heavy rains brought about by the low pressure area (LPA) affecting Caraga region.

It was learned that the boat’s engine has failed to function normally. However, they were able to seek refuge from other fishermen in barangay Tinigbsan who willingly accompanied them in going back to barangay Poblacion, Tubay, Agusan del Norte, said Erma P Suyo, Agusan del Norte PDRRMC officer. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


Two missing persons found dead

By Darryl P. Pinabacdao

SURIGAO CITY, Jan 15 (PIA) - After being declared missing during the onslaught of heavy rains, two persons were found dead in separate places on Tuesday, Jan. 13.

Michael Paran, 15 years old, residing in Purok 3, Sitio Hubasan, Brgy. Mat-i, this city was found Tuesday afternoon in Brgy. San Roque, Surigao City while Jolito Agatia residing in Alegria, Surigao del Norte was seen Tuesday morning in Santiago, Agusan del Norte.

Search and rescue operations were conducted last Saturday when Paran went missing while swimming with friends at Sitio Hubasan River in Brgy. Mat-i. Agatia on the other hand, was also believed to have drowned in Santiago, Agusan del Norte. The two are now mourned by their respective families in Brgy. Mat-i and Alegria, Surigao del Norte.

The said operation was headed by the city Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council rescue team composed of Philippine Maritime Police led by PSSupt. Edgar Cuanan, crew from city rescue and response team led by Mario Gesta and some PNP personnel. (DPP/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


DAR to distribute 4,666 hectares of agricultural lands in Surigao Sur

By Myra Q. Yu

TANDAG CITY, Jan. 15 (PIA) - More farmers in Surigao del Sur will receive lands as the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) will distribute around 4,666 hectares of agricultural land this year under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

This volume of lands to be acquired this 2014 is part of mandatory targets to be accomplished and will be distributed to more or less 600 deserving and qualified agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs).

Record shows that for the past years of implementation of CARP, the province has consistently delivered and accomplished more than 100 percent in land acquisition and distribution.

DAR Caraga and its provincial offices are still determined in the completion of the yearly targets. (NGBT/DAR-SDS/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Mindanao energy plan matches with Mindanao dev’t corridors program

DAVAO CITY, Jan. 15 (PIA) - Efforts to lay down a long-term energy plan to ensure sustainable power regime for Mindanao could also prime the ground for spatial development initiatives being pursued under a corridors program, a top energy official said.

Dir. Jesus Tamang of the Department of Energy (DoE) Energy Policy and Planning Bureau cited that the energy plan being crafted for the island strategically support the blueprint for development called the Mindanao 2020 Peace and Development Framework Plan.

“The Mindanao Energy Plan (MEP) sets specific strategies in support of the energy requirements of the Mindanao 2020, especially under its Mindanao Corridors Development,” said Tamang at the first leg of series of MEP regional consultations which kicked-off in Cagayan de Oro City recently.

The DOE official said that its office is working in close collaboration with the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) to achieve better synergy of efforts, noting that, “the Mindanao 2020 strategies are consistent with what we have developed in the energy plan.”

The energy department also recommended that Mindanao 2020 integrate an intermodal mass transport system, adding or improving existing airports to increase mobility in the island and cater to the influx of visitors, all of which will require energy.

A spatial development framework pushed by MinDA, the Mindanao Development Corridors is designed to strengthen Mindanao’s competitiveness by increasing the efficiency of industries and its value chain to create more jobs and foster inclusive economic growth.

The framework builds on existing regional and local plans but strengthens these with the complementation with other corridors in the island region.

“We need to be ready for structural change. With the increase in power demand in Mindanao, we need to consider all possible sources of energy, preferably indigenous,” said Tamang, citing Mindanao’s high capacity for alternative fuels.

He said DoE is seeking the support of the local leaders to achieve energy sufficiency by identifying renewable energy sources within their respective areas, as oil and other forms of energy are needed to provide for the still growing requirements of transport and mobility in the region.

“We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with DOE on this very important undertaking for Mindanao,” said Dir. Romeo Montenegro of MinDA Investment Promotion and Public Affairs.

He added that part of the goals of the regional consultation was to seek stakeholder support on the identified immediate measures to the current power supply shortfall that caused intermittent brownouts in parts of Mindanao.

Montenegro also stressed that MinDA supports the development of renewable energy (RE) sources, consistent with the Mindanao 2020 strategy on diversification of energy mix, with premium of RE technology.

“We are pushing for more investments in renewable energy projects, particularly hydro, biomass and solar to keep our ideal 50-50 energy mix of RE and fossil-fuel power source by 2030,” he added.

DoE spearheads the MEP public consultation in collaboration with MinDA, which co-chairs the Mindanao Power Coordination Committee (MPMC).

The first consultation draw over 200 power stakeholders and other multi-sectoral representatives who gave their inputs and recommendations on the formulation of the Mindanao energy plan, which is one of the recommendations during the Mindanao Power Summit in April 2012.

Similar public consultations will be held in Davao, Gen. Santos, Zamboanga, and Butuan to provide the context and highlights of the MEP and generate inputs from power stakeholders. (MinDA/PIA-Caraga)


Shun ‘strong typhoon’ rumors but stay vigilant amid LPA, says Montejo

By Ma. Lilibeth P. Padilla

MANILA, Jan. 15 (PIA) - Science and Technology Secretary Mario G. Montejo called on residents affected by low pressure area (LPA) in Eastern Visayas, to ignore rumors that another strong typhoon will hit it, saying they should rely solely on the government weather bureau as the LPA is expected to continuing dumping rains in Eastern and Central Visayas, Mindanao and the Bicol region until Friday.

“People should not believe rumors if they don’t want to run the risk of being hoaxed,” said Montejo.

He was reacting to reports that residents in Tacloban -- who have barely started to recover from Typhoon Yolanda -- are having the jitters after getting rumors through text and the social media that another strong typhoon is heading for Eastern Visayas.

“PAGASA is ably and diligently providing the public early warnings and advices based on expert analysis of scientific data gathered.  We have been going through all forms of media to communicate them to the people,” Montejo said.      

 “We have project NOAH, that provides real-time rainfall information discernible at a local scale or community level. So why not make use of all these tools, instead of relying on rumors?” he added.

Montejo said the information provided by PAGASA are always up-to-date as they keep monitoring weather systems  24 hours a day. “We have been issuing public warnings since last week,” he added.

Montejo, however, said PAGASA warnings are not supposed to stir panic because they are issued just make the people vigilant and prepared.

He said people should remain vigilant since LPA is expected to stay in the country until Friday, and continue causing moderate to occasionally heavy rains in Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Mindanao and the Bicol Region.

This, as he appealed to those who make fun of spreading typhoon hoax, to be sensitive to the plight of the people in Tacloban.

“Taclobanons have barely started to recover from Yolanda. To make them panic on baseless information would be an extra burden to them. Let us at least be sensitive to their plight, if we cannot do anything to help.” (DOST-STII/PIA-Caraga)


Tagalog News: DepEd itninakda ang maagang pagrehistro sa Enero 25

Ni David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Enero 15 (PIA) - Itinakda ng Department of Education (DepEd) ang Enero 25, 2014 (Sabado) na petsa para sa maagang pagpatala sa lahat ng pampublikong elementarya at sekondaryang paaralan sa buong bansa. Isang layunin ng DepEd Order No. 2, s. 2014 ay para makalikom ng impormasyon na siyang pagbabasehan ng paghahanda para matugunan ang puwang na maaring umusbong kahit bago ang regular na talaan.

“Gusto naming pigilin ang lohistikong suliranin pag dumating ang bagong pasukan na magsisimula sa Hunyo,” paliwanag ni Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro, FSC. “Pag alam ng mga pinuno ng ating mga paaralan kung ilan ang mga mag-aaral bago dumating ang pasukan, mas maihanda nila ng mabuti ang mga silid aralan, mga upuan at mga kagamitan sa pag-aaral.”

Ang tuwirang tinutumbok ng maagang pagrehistro ay ang mga nasa edad limang taon para maseguro na ang kanilang pagpatala para sa kindergarten at lahat ng mga anim na taong gulang para maseguro na sila ay maitala sa Grade 1 sa darating na Hunyo.

Ang iba pang tinutumbok ng maagang pagrehistro ay ang mga out-of-school children (OSC) at out-of-school youth (OSY) mula sa kulang sa biyaya na grupo at mga batang lansangan na nasa edad 5 hanggang 18 taong gulang. Ang mga tunutumbok na mga mag-aaral na ito ay bibigyan ng gusto nilang paraan ng pag-aaral na maaring pormal sa pamamagitan ng alternatibong paraan (ADM) o kaya sa pamamagitan ng alternatibong sistema ng pamamaraan (ALS).

Para maseguro ang unibersal na pakikilahok, itinala ng DepEd ang tulong ng mga local at barangay para sa maagang pagrehistor ng OSC, ng OSY na may kahirapan sa pag-aaral at ang mga katutubo.

Makikita na ang DepEd ay subsubang magtatrabaho kasama ang local na pamahalaan, ang Parent-Teacher Association, mga opisyal ng barangay, grupo ng civil society at mga sibil na kupunan at mga negosyanteng sektor dahil sa maagang pagrehistro para maseguro ang malawakang pakilahok ng ibat-ibang sektor sa naturang gawain.

“Ang ating pinagsamang pananaw ay matiwasay na pagbubukas ng pasukan sa Hunyo, kaya tayo ay maghahanda ng maaga ngayong Enero,” sabi ni Luistro. (PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Cebuano News: Bag-ong Tourism Assistance Center, 2-storey classrooms sa Dapa gibendisyunan

Ni Mary Jul E. Escalante

SURIGAO CITY, Enero 15 (PIA) –  Usa ka bendisyun ug turn-over sa bag-ong Tourism Assistance Center ug 2-storey building (8 classrooms) ang gipahigayon kagahapong adlawa, Enero 14, 2014 didto sa lungsod sa Dapa, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte.

Atol usab sa moang okasyon gitunol ni Gov. Matugas ang tseke kantidad P100,000 ngadto sa DepEd Siargao Division isip maoy Best Division ug No. 1 Division sa tibook Pilipinas ubos sa pagdumala ni Schools Division Superintendent Gregoria Su.

Pagkahapon sa susamang adlaw, gipahigayon usab ang bendisyun ug turn-over sa bag-ong Tourism Assistance Center nga nahimutang sulod sa Dapa Port.

Ug pagkagabie gihimo ang usa ka programa isip tribute alang sa kasaulogan sa ika-65 nga adlawng natawhan ni Engr. Proserfina M. Coro, ang port manager sa Dapa.

Ang maong programa gipahigayon atol sa ika-104 nga kapistahan sa patron Sr. Sto. Niño sa maong lungsod ug kini gitambungan nila cong. Francisco T. Matugas, governor Sol F. Matugas, board member (BM) Simeon Castrence, BM Mamerto Galanida, Phil. Ports Authority manager Engr. Isidro Butaslac uban ang mga opisyales niini, mga opisyales sa buhatan sa DepEd ug sa Dapa pinanguluhan ni mayor Yulie Ruaya uban ang mga opisyales sa nagkalain-laing barangay. (SDR/PIC/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Cebuano News: Gobyerno mikomiter sa pagdala ug malahutayong anti-poverty intervention

Ni Nida Grace Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Enero 15 (PIA) - Ang gobyerno mitutok karon matubag ang kapobrehon sa nasud pinaagi sa programa sa conditional cash transfer (CCT), kini ang gipamahayag ni Presidente Aquino dili pa lang dugay.

Sa pakighinabi human sa gihimong groundbreaking ceremony sa unang Gen power generation didto sa dakbayan sa Batangas, si Presidente Aquino gipangutana kabahin sa pinaka-uwahe nga survey diin mipakita kini ug taas nga bilang sa mga katawhang Filipino nga miangkon sa ilahang kapobrehon kon kawad-on.

“Pero palagay ko dapat nating pagtuunan ng pansin lahat ng mga intervention natin dito ay hindi naman ‘yung panandaliang kalutasan, kundi pang-matagalan,” siya miingon.

“Ano ba ‘yung pang-matagalan? Syempre, ‘yung CCT. Tulungan natin ang bawat pamilya na makapagpatapos ng kanilang mga anak, dati grade school, this year mag-uumpisa ‘yung pati high school,” dugang pa niya.

Ang pagtabang sa mga kabatan-onan nga makahuman ug sekondarya maoy malahutayong anti-poverrty intervention, sumala pa ni Presidente Aquino.

Gitumbok ang pagtuon nga gihimo sa Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), si Presidente Aquino miingon nga ang mga kabatan-onan nga mihuman ug sekondarya makakuha ug trabaho nga mamahimong mopataas sa kita sa matag pamilya.

“Dadagdag ng 40 percent, hindi makukuha ng survey ngayon ‘yan. Pero ‘yun ang, palagay naming ay pang-matagalan. Dadagdag nang dadagdag ‘yung kakayahan ng bawat Pilipino para makasama doon sa pag-angat ng ating ekonomiya para lalo talagang maging inclusive. Bigyan mo ng skills para maka-participate sa growth ng ating ekonomiya,” dugang pa ni Presidente.


Sumala pa sa Presidente nga ang survey ingon nga mitumbok sa pagpangutana sa mga respondente sa mga rehiyon sa Visayas ug Mindanao nga nagun-ob sa bag-ohay pa lamang nga mga kalamidad, sa ingon negatibo nga naka-apekto sa mga panglantaw sa ilahang mga kondisyon. (PND/PIA-Surigao del Sur)