Hundreds more are still to be rescued, says Butuan CDRRMC chief

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 21 (PIA) – City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) chief Grace Espere bared that hundreds more are still to be rescued from the areas affected by flooding caused by Tropical Depression (TD) Agaton.

“Hundreds of individuals are still to be rescued in areas near the riverbanks here in the city. We should rescue them as soon as possible as the water in Agusan River continues to rise. We should not delay the help that they need from us,” said Espere.

As of 10:00 p.m. on January 20, the CDRRMC has rescued some 200 individuals in barangay Baan. The rescuers lasted its search and rescue operation until dawn of January 21.

Espere also revealed that of the 86 barangays in the city, nine are recorded as landslide-prone barangays while the rest are prone to flooding/flashfloods. "We should really take precautionary measures the fact that we know our place is prone to flashfloods and landslides," she added.

Espere further mentioned that she had already lobbied to the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) to put into ordinance the implementation of preemptive evacuation to residents living near the riverbanks. "If this will be put into law, those flood affected residents/individuals who will refuse to cooperate and take action will be penalized. We wanted to secure them as early as possible especially in times like this," she stressed.

Meanwhile, rescue operation is still ongoing today in areas which include the barangays Baan Riverside and Buhangin. Mayor Ferdinand Amante Jr. also personally checked and secured the flood victims in areas affected. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


TD Agaton incurs big damage to agri, infra in Butuan

By Nora L. Molde

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 21 (PIA) – Due to floodings caused by Tropical Depression Agaton, the damage to agriculture and infrastructure in the city now reached to P31,792,750.

The City Agriculturist’s Office (CAO) revealed that damages of agriculture now reached to P16,985,750, while infrastructure damage is at P14,807,000 said City Engr. Lorden Vismanos.

A total of 1,775 hectares of rice field worth P15,825,750;  50 hectares of corn area worth P500,00.00; 30 hectares of banana area worth P300,000.00; and 24 hectares of vegetable area worth 360,000.00 was recorded by the CAO.

Meantime, the city suspended classes in all levels of both public and private schools including work in public and private institutions and banks as per Proclamation Number 7 on Monday, January 20.

Also, per Sangguniang Panlungsod  Resolution Number 004-2014, the city was declared under a state of calamity due to the effects and damages caused by the low pressure area on January 12. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga)


Butuan CDRRMC explains local flood warning system

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 21 (PIA) – This city’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) chief Grace Espere bared the meaning of each alert level being raised especially during the sudden rise of water level in Agusan River.

“People should have this information so that they themselves will know ahead what to prepare for and be able to take action,” said Espere.

The local color-coded or flood alert scheme also intends to help the public prepare for the possibility of massive flooding in Agusan River, the third largest river basin in the country.

Espere explained that when water level in Agusan River is below 2 meters, it is still considered as normal and the council is in Code White.

When water level reaches at 2 meters, it is already Code Blue or Alert Level 1, wherein the council prepares for possible evacuation of residents living near the riverbanks. In this alert level, a flood warning is also issued.

“It becomes Alert Level 2 or Code Yellow when the water reaches at 2.50 meters. In this level, selective evacuation is applied and the council will have to activate its evacuation center and evacuation unit. The task units will also be in full mobilization,” added Espere.

Meanwhile, Alert Level 3 or Code Red is when the water level reaches at three meters. In this level, forced evacuation will be implemented, as well as the search and rescue of flood victims.

Espere further reminded the public not to get panic but rather stay alert and vigilant in times of disasters and give their full cooperation to the orders of its local DRRMCs. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


Naval Forces reinforce for rescue operations in Butuan City

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 21 (PIA) – The Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao (NFEM) in Davao on Monday has ordered the navy personnel based in Naspit, Agusan del Norte to proceed to Butuan City to extend assistance in rescuing the flood-affected residents.

This was an outcome of the coordination initiated by Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga regional director Abner Caga, in cooperation with the Samahang Magdalo Balanghai Chapter represented by Michael Leo Torralba, with the Caraga Regional Diaster Risk Reduction Management Council chaired by Office of the Civil Defense Caraga regional director Liza Mazo.

“In events like this when extreme weather creates a detrimental effect to lives and properties, we have to engage with our linkages in order to hasten the operation to help our affected fellowmen,” said Caga.

In a quick response for reinforcement, Lt. Glen de Luna of naval intel group said that they have dispatched the responding team composed of 15 navy personnel led by commander Primitivo Novo upon urgent request for their support in rescue operations.

The navy team has geared up to respond utilizing their speed boat for an extensive rescue operation in barangay Buhangin, Butuan City, where many residents are still trapped in deep-flooded areas.

They have initially rescued 27 persons and more will be transported to evacuation centers with the ongoing rescue operation.

 “The Samahang Magdalo Balanghai Chapter will be resorting to have direct coordination with the operations unit of NFEM Davao to ensure that the needing public are moved out from a dangerous situation to safe temporary shelters,” declared Torralba.

PIA Caraga has been disseminating updates on the situation of the victims/evacuees and coordinating with other concerned government agencies for immediate response. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


TD Agaton left 7 persons dead, 27 injured, thousands affected

By David M. Suyao

PATIN-AY, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, Jan. 21 (PIA) - Tropical depression (TD) Agaton left seven persons dead, 27 injured and thousands affected in the entire province.

In a partial report submitted by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) to the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Council (RDRRMC), died by drowning were identified as Emerlinda Artajo, 48 years old; Liza Moreno, 29 years old, both from Campo 4, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur; Felix Aspa from Barangay Napo, Prosperidad and Ana Marie Noble Ocite, 2 years old from Barangay Caimpogan, San Francisco. Died due to landslide were Ceferino Garcia, 52 years old and Isagani Defello 32, both from Rosario town and Edong Pastor, 52 years old of Barangay Waloe, Loreto.

Of the 27 injured, almost all suffer from punctured and lacerated wounds on the feet. Only five came from San Francisco while the rest came from Bunawan, Agusan del Sur.

According to the same PDRRMC report, of the 13 municipalities and a lone City of Bayugan, only five municipalities have submitted their partial reports.

On the partial reports of the affected families by TD Agaton submitted as of January 20, 2014, the municipality of Rosario reported that 401 families or 2,005 persons were affected in two barangays. Bunawan has also reported 5,589 families or 23,724 persons were affected while Loreto reported 933 families affected and San Francisco has recorded 4,011 families or 14,081 persons affected.

In an emergency meeting held at the PDRRMC Command Center on Monday, a resolution was filed requesting Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza thru the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to declare the entire province  under State of Calamity. Another resolution by the PDRRMC was also passed requesting the governor to declare suspension of all classes in all level while no work in the provincial capitol be imposed except those whose services are needed in time of calamity.

Since the start of the TD “Agaton” activities in the province, local government units (LGUs), the Search and Rescue Agusan del Sur (SARAS) from the provincial and municipal levels has been on 24 hour alert status and are ready to respond to any call of emergency. LGUs have also started distributing relief goods to the affected families. (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


7,253 families in Surigao Sur affected by TD Agaton

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Jan. 21 (PIA) – Around 7,253 families were affected due to flashfloods in Surigao del Sur brought about by Tropical Depression Agaton, an official from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) office said.

PDRRMO supervising specialist Abel de Guzman said that out of 7,253 affected families, 5,033 families were temporarily housed at the different evacuation centers since Jan 19.

"The municipalities of Carrascal, Cantilan, Cortes, Hinatuan, Tago, Carmen, San Agustin, Lingig, Lianga, San Miguel, Cagwait, Bayabas, Barobo and two cities of Bislig and Tandag were flooded for almost two days. As of 6AM today, the floodwaters have already subsided except those in the barangays of Tago and San Miguel," de Guzman said.

He said that the roads in Barobo and Unaban-Gamut, Tago, Surigao del Sur were also submerged in floodwaters and were not passable to all types of vehicles.

De Guzman said some roads which were reportedly flooded yesterday are now passable to all types of vehicles, "except the road from Tagbina going to Hinatuan, which are still flooded." (NGBT/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Surigao City distributes relief goods to 371 families

By Darryl P. Pinabacdao

SURIGAO CITY, Jan. 21 (PIA) - The city government of Surigao thru the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) distributed on Monday relief goods to 371 families or 899 individuals who were affected by flooding caused by Low Pressure Area (previously Tropical Depression Agaton).

The team visited all the different evacuation centers such as the Washington Gym, Barangay Luna Hall, Livelihood Training and Productivity Center Bldg, Surigao City High School, Caraga Regional Science High School and Capitol Building.

Each pack contains rice, noodles, cans of sardines and bottles of mineral waters.

CSWD Officer Gloria Salvador said the total cost of materials and assistance extended to all evacuees has reached up to P40,000. (DPP/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


DSWD-13 extends P.8M worth of assistance to Agsur flood victims

By Maria Cecilia N. Sosas

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 21 (PIA) - The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Caraga has released around P805,950 worth of assistance to the flood victims of the three towns in Agusan del Sur recently.

DSWD regional director Minda Brigoli on Tuesday morning personally visited to the municipalities Esperanza, Talacogon and San Francisco, which were hardly hit by Tropical Depression Agaton.

She was able to talk to Municipal Mayor Deo Manpatilan, Jr. of Esperanza as the place is submerged in water. Brigoli immediately ordered the regional office to release P805, 950.00 which includes 3,000 family packs to the affected families.

She also directed the DSWD field workers to help the operations in the Local Government Units (LGUs). (DSWD-13/PIA-Caraga)


126 individuals volunteer for DSWD packing of relief goods

By Stella Maris V. Barcelon

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 21 (PIA) - One hundred twenty-six individuals volunteered today for the packing of DSWD relief goods in barangay Tiniwisan, this city Sixty-eight of them are staff and scholars of Butuan City Congressman Law Fortun and Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand Amante, 18 are from the Mormons’ Church while 40 private individuals also volunteered in the packing of relief goods.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office Caraga aims to reach 31,000 family packs ready to be augmented to requesting local government units (LGUs).

The Field Office continues to receive requests for relief augmentation from different LGUs. To date, the office has released 14,912 family packs worth P4,092,419.12 to 13 LGUs. A total of 5,000 family packs are to be delivered to the municipalities of Agusan del Sur namely Esperanza with 3,000 family packs, San Francisco with 1,000 family packs, Bayugan City with 500 family packs and Rosario with 500 family packs.

DSWD Field Office Quick Response Team with three shifts in a day together with the Municipal Action Teams (MAT) leaders, community based-workers, and project-based staff continues to monitor the situation on 24-hour basis. (DSWD-13/PIA-Caraga)


Recognizing excellence, launching dreams

MAKATI CITY, Jan. 21 (PIA) - The Metrobank Foundation (MBFI), in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), have launched the 30th Search for Outstanding Teachers (SOT). The 2014 Search coincides with the 35th anniversary of MBFI. With the theme, “Launching Dreams towards Nation Building”, the Search honors the teaching profession specifically those who manifest commitment to the development of the youth through exemplary competence, remarkable dedication to their work, and effective educational leadership. Since its launch in 1984, the Search has awarded a total of 326 educators all over the Philippines. 

Joining the Search is easy. Teachers just need to submit a two-page Basic Information Sheet (BIS) with no additional documents required. The Search is open to all teachers in the elementary, secondary, and higher education levels in both public and private schools throughout the country. Possible candidates should be Filipino citizen who are actively teaching in the country for the last 10 years and with valid PRC license.
                                                                                                              
For the Elementary competition, schools are entitled to nominate two nominees, one each from the primary (Kinder to Grade III) and intermediate (Grade IV to Grade VI), while schools for secondary and higher education competition are entitled to one nominee, respectively. Past Regional Finalists and National Finalists of the Search, who meet the basic eligibility requirements and have shown sustained good moral standing in the community, are deemed automatic Provincial Finalists.

Good News! Cash prize for each of the ten winners is increased from Php350,000.00 last year to Php 0.5 Million this year. The awardees will also receive a medal, a trophy, and a plaque of recognition for their school. National Finalists not chosen as winners will receive Php20, 000.00 cash while Regional Finalists will get Php10, 000.00 cash incentive.

The deadline for submission of the BIS to the MBFI Secretariat or to the nearest Metrobank branch in your area is on/or before January 27, 2014. Basic Information Sheets are now available in all Metrobank branches, DepEd regional and division offices, and CHED regional offices nationwide. Eligible applicants will then be asked to submit the official nomination forms on February 21st. The forms may also be downloaded through the Metrobank Foundation website at www.mbfoundation.org.ph. For further details, please call the MBFI Secretariat at tel. nos. (02) 857-0618 / 898-8898; telefax: (02) 818-5656/750-0837; or e-mail: idlabitad@metrobank.com.ph; or aareyes@metrobank.com.ph. (MBFI/PIA-Caraga)