PIA News Service - Monday, January 13, 2014

6 killed in Dinagat Islands landslide

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 13 (PIA) – Due to the low pressure area (LPA) affecting Caraga Region, six people were burried alive in a landslide incident at Brgy. Poblacion, Cagdianao town, Monday morning.

The fatalities were identified as Atanacio Geltura, 62 years old; Realyn Geltura, 41; Michelle Geltura, 34; Felixberto Munoz, 34; Alqueder Munoz, 2; and Primitivo Morales, 33, as revealed from a report of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) of Dinagat Islands.

Meanwhile, two rescued survivors were also identified, Renz Anthony Geltura and Jose Cabillan.

According to Ma. Jane Mayola, public information officer of Dinagat Islands, three houses were partially damaged and two were totally damaged brought by the sudden collapse of the land.

“A composite team of debris clearing task force was sent by the local Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the provincial government to areas where landslide incident happened,” she added.

Earlier today, Dinagat Islands acting governor Benglen Ecleo ordered the augmentation of relief goods to the affected families in Brgy. Magsaysay,Dinagat town and Brgy. Poblacion in Cagdianao town.

Also, as per report from Municipal DRRMC of Basilisa, Dinagat Islands, a landslide occured on Sunday at Brgys. Poblacion, Tag- Abaca with no casualty or damages on record.

In a consolidated report (SitRep No. 6: LPA East of Southern Mindanao) of the Office of the Civil Defense Caraga headed by regional director Liza Mazo, big rockslides also occured in Magkono, Wilson, San Jose, Dinagat Islands. The slides has been cleared and now passable to all types of vehicles.

Mayola said that 187 families (935 individuals) from Brgys.Ferdinand, Montag, Edera, Sto. Nino, Nazareth, Tag--Abaca, Benglen, Coring, Roxas and Catadman have evacuated to designated evacuation centers due to hazard of flashfloods & landslides brought by heavy rains.

Due to imminent threat of LPA, governor Ecleo also ordered the suspension of work and declared the suspension of classes at all levels in the entire province, effective January 13, 2014 until further notice is issued of its lifting. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


Classes suspended in Surigao Sur due to LPA

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Jan. 13 (PIA) – Classes were suspended on Monday in Surigao del Sur due to rains and floods brought about by the low pressure area (LPA).

Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management supervising specialist Abel de Guzman said that several mayors have suspended classes in all levels.

"Tandag City Mayor Roxanne Pimentel declared the suspension of classes last night from pre-school up to secondary level," de Guzman said.

Early this morning, the local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officers (DRRMOs) reported the suspension of classes in all levels in the municipalities of Bayabas, Tago, San Miguel, Lingig, Madrid, Cortes, Cantilan and Bislig City.

"Cagwait suspended only the pre-school and  elementary level,” de Guzman added.

As of 10 a.m. today, floods have already subsided in the municipality of San Miguel except in some low-lying areas. De Guzman also added that power lines in San Miguel have not yet restored.

 "Tandag City's water supply has not been restored yet," said de Guzman.

PAGASA said as of 10:30 a.m. today, the LPA was spotted 70 km Southwest of Cagayan de Oro City. (NGBT/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Surigao Sur gov suspends govt work due to bad weather

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Jan. 13 (PIA) – Surigao del Sur Governor Johnny Pimentel on Monday suspended work in the provincial government due to the inclement weather where some roads are still not passable.

The declaration was announced early this morning by Executive Assistant Tomasito Pareja informing all the employees under the provincial government not to report to office except those involved in search and rescue operations.

Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (DRRMO) supervising specialist Abel de Guzman said, that the search and rescue units and volunteers are on standby at the Operation Center ready to respond and extend assistance. (NGBT/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


2 dead, thousands displaced as floods hit Agusan Sur

By David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Jan. 13 (PIA) - Two persons died by drowning while thousands of local residents from the eight out of 12 municipalities and the lone city of Bayugan were affected by the recent flooding that hit Agusan del Sur and Caraga Region due to incessant rains brought by the low pressure area (LPA).

In an initial report as of 7:00 PM, January 12, 2014 submitted by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Council (PDRRMC) to the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Council (RDRRMC), Melito Gortina, 19 years old from Barangay Lucena and Pinco Sabatin from Barangay Magsaysay, all of Prosperidad town died by drowning. Two unidentified persons from Barangay Cabawan were also missing.

On the same initial report, some 27,500 families or 137,000 people were affected. These affected families came from the municipalities of Rosario with 2.050 families or 10,129 persons in nine barangays; Bunawan with 234 families or 1,122 persons in four barangays; Trento with 5,871 families or 29,355 persons in 16 barangays; Veruela with five barangays, 529 families or 2,028 persons; Sta. Josefa with 186 families or 30 persons from 11 barangays; San Francisco with around 14,000 families or 70,986 persons in 27 barangays; San Luis with 92 families or 368 persons with four barangays and Prosperidad with 4,630 families or 22,190 persons in 15 barangays.

Affected families have evacuated to some 15 identified evacuation centers like gymnasiums, elementary schools, barangay halls, mormon churches, day care centers, private schools and many were accommodated by relatives and neighbors.

According to PDRRMO Action Officer Roberto Natividad, the PDRRMC has been giving warnings to the local DRRMCs province wide while radio stations keep on calling residents specially those living in flood and landslide prone areas to be vigilant and to immediately evacuate to identified evacuation centers even before the flood and landslides occur. Natividad said that at the upon observation that rivers are rising, he immediately dispatched three teams of the Search and Rescue Agusan del Sur (SARAS) to the municipalities of Veruela, Bunawan, Rosario and San Francisco identified as flood prone areas. On Sunday, according to Natividad, Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza, chairman of the PDRRMC personally handled the operations.

As of 7:00 PM, Sunday, the municipalities of Veruela and Rosario have started the distribution of food relief assistance like rice, sardines, noodles, milo packs coffee, milk and sugar to their respective affected constituents. (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Surigao Norte gov declares suspension of work in govt

By Darryl P. Pinabacdao

SURIGAO CITY, Jan. 13 (PIA) — The Surigao del Norte Provincial Government declared on Monday suspension of work in the provincial government due to heavy rains brought about by the low pressure area.

Gov. Sol Matugas, in an advisory, urged the employees especially those residing near the riverbanks, shoreline, landslide and flood prone areas not to report for work.

"All provincial offices must maintain a skeletal force as not to hamper the offices operations," she said.

Government offices in the city have also been suspended for the day due to heavy rainfall, floods and as precautionary measures.

However, agencies involved in disaster risk management such as the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) have to report. (DPP/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


DENR-PIA forge blitz campaign on Climate Change in Caraga Region

By Eric F. Gallego

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 13 (PIA) – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through regional executive director Nonito M. Tamayo has entered an agreement with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) through its director Abner M. Caga on Thursday, January 9 for an extensive information campaign on climate change in the region to generate people’s  actions  for the immediate adoption of its mitigation measures.
          
“I believe this is an urgent issue in the face of the worldwide phenomenon on climate change so that the people may understand it  and thereby guide them to adopt mitigation measures to minimize the effects of climate change and global warming,” Tamayo said.
          
“We can no longer avoid this phenomenon on climate change but we can adopt  appropriate measures  to cushion its impact on our daily lives,” he said.
          
The signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between the DENR and the PIA took place at the DENR Conference Room and witnessed by Philippine Daily Inquirer correspondent Franklin Caliguid, the chief of the DENR Public Affairs Office Eric Gallego and PIA staff.
          
“It has been our mission to help the government agencies in disseminating this type of information to guide the people with their decisions particularly about climate change and global warming phenomenon,” Caga said.
          
Tamayo said the DENR has tapped the services of the  PIA considering its technical expertise, network  and capability in implementing advocacy campaigns.
          
Similar MOA was signed by DENR Secretary Ramon JP Paje and Secretary Sonny Coloma of the Presidential Communications Operations  Office ( PCOO) at the national level.
          
Under the agreement the PIA shall  provide the technical assistance and management services in the development and implementation of the Climate Change Advocacy Campaign; conceptualize, develop, produce and disseminate information, education and communication materials required by the Advocacy Campaign Plan; draw up media plan for the airing of climate change plugs, develop and maintain social media community and platform, organize and strengthen networks of program advocates particularly from the youth sector and organize and conduct  advocacy activities/events on the ground including campus tours and community in selected areas.
          
The DENR, on the other hand, shall provide PIA with the necessary funds to implement the Climate Change Advocacy Campaign, provide pertinent reference materials and resource persons that maybe required in the campaign implementation and approve the campaign plan  and other requisite documents relevant to the execution of the plan such as scripts, media placement plan among others and monitor the implementation of all the activities under the said agreement. (DENR-13/PIA-Caraga)


Former Romblon prof, DOST’s Most Outstanding Provincial S&T Director

By Angelica A. de Leon

MANILA, Jan. 13 (PIA) - A former professor of statistics and agricultural engineering at the Romblon State University was adjudged as the best provincial science and technology (S&T) director of the entire Department of Science and Technology (DOST) system during the  Outstanding Provincial S&T Director awarding ceremony at the DOST Executive Lounge in Bicutan, Taguig City recently.

Dr. Bilshan Servañez of  Region IV-B Romblon, who has been in government service for 22 years,  bested three other finalists to garner the esteemed award. Engr. Mario dela Peña of Region VII Siquijor grabbed first place, while Felina C. Malabanan of Region IV-A Batangas and Angelita Parungao of Region III Bulacan, took runner-up positions in the annual awarding rites.

“This is important for me,” says Dr. Servañez of the recognition.  “This is actually an affirmation of the decision that I made.”

Twenty-two years ago, he made the shift from the academe to industry, choosing to work at the DOST office in Romblon.  “I took up engineering and wanted to become a scientist,” he narrates. Thus, he jumped ship and moved to the Department for the chance to apply to actual use the things he learned in engineering school.   From that time on, Dr. Bilshan Servañez never looked back.

“We are a province with a backwater economy so we only have small industries there.  The only huge industry we have is the marble industry,“  he shares, “but what we lack in size, we make up in number.”

According to him, the Romblon office is presently handling about 62 SETUP projects in Romblon.  Citing the distant location of the market in their area and the problems involved such as transportation costs, Dr. Servañez stated that  as a solution, DOST cultivates the local market for these SETUP products which they produce at top level quality.

However, he added that some of the products do end up in the bigger market, such as peanut butter which they sell to a locator in Shoe Mart.  “The next time you eat pancakes or waffles with peanut butter, think Romblon,” he says.

“We also bring our marble to the province. We have several contributions to the marble industry - cutting machine, turning machines, polishing machines, lathe machines – we deploy all these to the marble sector,” Dr. Servanez proudly states.

He also mentioned their linkages, explaining that he submits proposals to other agencies as well, such as the Department of Labor and Employment.

All these factors, Dr. Servañez believes, are what make them tick, thus making his big win as Most Outstanding Provincial S&T Director of the year possible.

DOST’s top four provincial S&T directors received citations and cash prizes. (S&T Media Service, DOST-STII /PIA-Caraga)