Wednesday, February 19, 2014

GADCC Caraga pursues women empowerment

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 19 (PIA) – The Caraga Gender and Development Coordinating Committee (GADCC) continually promotes empowerment of women by providing the necessary mechanisms to foster equal opportunity for them to participate in and contribute to the political, social and economic developments.

As a prime advocate for women’s empowerment and gender equality, GADCC Caraga has lined-up several activities for this year’s observance of Women’s Month Celebration. Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chairperson Etta Rosales will grace the opening ceremony on March 3, 2014.

There will also be a Forum on Reproductive Health and a regular conduct of “Kalandrakas” where variety of activities and services that suits women and men’s interests will be made available such as free legal consultation, beauty and massage services, trade fair, and face painting, among others.

Profiling of successful women entrepreneurs will likewise be highlighted and a photo contest dubbed “One Day in a Life of a Woman in Caraga” is open for pro and amateur photographers.

Apart from oratorical contest and jail visitation, a Women’s Congress in a form of Consultative Assembly per local government unit will be conducted on dates from March 1-15.

Cecil Besona of Department of Interior and Local Government Caraga, a member of the panel during the 2014 Women’s Month Celebration press conference held on Tuesday, reiterated that local government units are mandated to allocate 5% of its general budget intended for the gender and development (GAD) programs and projects.

“This is to strengthen the GAD focal point system,” added Besona.

As mentioned by Caraga GADCC chair Atty. Marylin Pintor, “aside from focusing on women empowerment, CHR Caraga is including in its advocacy and campaign the anti-child pornography wherein we conducted an ocular inspection of internet cafes in Butuan City. A resolution was also established which directs LGUs to prohibit business owners to set-up cubicles in net cafes.”

Meanwhile, National Economic Development Authority Caraga officer-in-charge Mylah Faye Aurora Cariño also bared that there is much reason to commemorate the Women’s Month. “Other than celebrating the gift of life, we see these women being at the forefront in rehabilitating calamity-affected areas. Their valuable works affirmed their significant role in nation building which deserve due recognition,” she added. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


Caraga GADCC underscores women as ‘drivers of change’

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 19 (PIA) – In line with the celebration of 2014 Women’s Month, the Gender and Development Coordinating Committee (GADCC) Caraga placed high regards to women who are considered “drivers of change” for their untiring act of volunteerism in times of disaster, conflict and calamity.

This year’s celebration recognizes the role of women in the rehabilitation process and their over-all contributions to progress as it is anchored on the theme “Juana, and Tatag Mo ay Tatag Natin sa Pagbangon at Pagsulong.”

“It pays tribute to the strong and resilient 'Juanas' who brought inspiring changes here in the country and across the globe,” said Atty. Marylin Pintor, Caraga GADCC chair.

In a press conference, it was learned that the International Women’s Day was officially recognized by the United Nations in 1917 due to such history of women organizing around the world.  Women’s contributions to society were acknowledged for promoting gender equality.

“Women as drivers of change turned out to be the prime movers of change and not simply being recipients of change. Their efforts, regardless of how diminutive, could go a long way for continuing progress,” bared National Economic Development Authority Caraga officer-in-charge Mylah Faye Aurora Cariño.

Recounting the recent Zamboanga crisis to the pork barrel scandal and the catastrophies, Pintor also pointed out that “with recent geological, socio-economic and political upheavals that shook the country last year, 2014 bring a new ray of hope that will pave the way for healing, recovery and reconciliation and that Filipino spirit remains indomitable and unbowed.” (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


DOE, MinDA conduct public consultation on Mindanao Energy Plan

By Nora L. Molde

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 19 (PIA) - A total of 92 participants from the different government agencies, local government units, non-government organizations, students and electric cooperatives of the Caraga region participated the whole day public consultation on the Mindanao Energy Plan 2013-2030 and Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign on Energy Efficiency and conservation on Wednesday here.

The event, initiated by the Department of Energy (DOE) in partnership with the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), is pursuant to the overall thrust and direction of ensuring energy security, achieving optimal energy pricing and developing a sustainable energy system in Mindanao.

During the activity, MinDA Planning and Research division chief Estrella Turingan said based on the Mindanao Development Plan, energy is vital to economic progress because "it fuels our development."

Turingan further said that Mindanao is contributing 14 percent to the Philippines economy in the year 2012.

Also, DOE-EPPB Director Carmencita Bariso while presenting the Mindanao Energy Plan said three of the largest oil and gas basins in the Philippines are located in Mindanao – Cotabato, Agusan-Davao & Sulu Sea, and also, four of the major coal basins are located in Zamboanga, Davao, Cotabao-Sarangani and Surigao with a total resource potential of 704.4 million metric tons.

Bariso also said, there are 33 Coal Operating Contract (COC) holders in Mindanao, 14 for exploration and 12 in development and production. During the year 2013, a total of seven exploration contracts were awarded.

Meanwhile, DOE bared that the two biodiesel producers in the Philippines are located in Mindanao: 1) Bioenergy 8 Corporation in Sasa, Davao City with 30 million liters production capacity from coconut oil; and 2) Freyvonne Milling Services in Toril, Davao City with 15.6 million liters production capacity from copra.

For the year 2012, the Mindanao’s household electrification level reached to 54.25 percent.

The different types of fuel was also presented by DOE Undersecretary for Power and Energy Planning Raul Aguillos, which include Coal, Oil Based, Geothermal, Hydro, Solar, and Biomass. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga)


CCC, 4 Surigao Norte towns ink MOA on Climate Adaptation Support Services

By Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Feb. 19 (PIA) – A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Climate Adaptation Support Services was signed by Climate Change Commission (CCC) secretary Mary Ann Lucille L. Sering and four recipient municipalities represented by the mayors of Pilar, San Benito and vice mayors of San Isidro and Del Carmen all in Surigao del Norte during the Provincial Development Council meeting held recently at Gateway Hotel, this city.

According to Sec. Sering, the Climate Adaptation Support Service (CASS) is one of the major components under the Ecotown Demonstration Framework "and it will serve as an interim assistance to the vulnerable communities in the form of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) with the aim of building adaptive capacity through economic resiliency."

"Ecotowns are planning units composed of municipalities or a group of municipalities located within and around the boundaries of critical key biodiversity areas which are at high risk to climate change," said Sering.

She also said the four recipient municipalities under Climate Change Adaptation Support Service fund will receive an amount of P510,000.00 for project implementation and will be downloaded in favor to the municipality subject to existing government accounting and auditing rules and regulations.

Under the said MOA Climate Change Commission responsibilities include provision of implementation mechanism for the operationalization of CASS, ensure that the approved CASS implementation schedule are properly carried out, and monitor and evaluate the implementation.

For the recipient municipalities, they have the responsibility to open and maintain a special account in a government accredited bank under the name of the Ecotown-CASS program, identify the target beneficiaries based on the agreed criteria for implementation of the said project, designate core group composed of municipal officials to facilitate, ensure that the designated core group will spearhead the formulation and monitoring of the performance of the beneficiaries in relation to the conditionalities and expected outcome of the project, provide technical support such as agricultural extension services, ensure that any and all financial support will utilized solely for the purpose of attaining the objectives of the project an all disbursements must observe the applicable government accounting and auditing, rules and regulations, and submit periodic progress report to the commission.

Republic Act No. 9729, as amended, otherwise known as the Climate Change Act of 2009, mandates the Climate Change Commission to coordinate with the local government units to address vulnerability to climate change impacts of regions, provinces, cities and municipalities, and to facilitate capacity building, for local adaptation planning, implementation and monitoring of climate change initiatives in vulnerable communities and areas. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)


PRC thanked AgSur guv for assistance extended

By David M. Suyao

PATIN-AY, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, Feb. 19 (PIA) - The Philippine Red Cross Agusan del Sur (PRC-AdS) Chapter conferred a certificate of appreciation to Agusan del Sur Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza after being recognized and awarded as the best performing chapter for 2013 by the Philippine Red Cross.

Recounting the assistance extended by the provincial government to PRC Agusan del Sur Chapter during the Board of Directors’ (BOD) meeting, BOD chairman Rev. Solomon Bilaoen said it is proper that the chapter should recognize and appreciate the efforts of the provincial government that benefit the people specially in Agusan del Sur thru the PRC by conferring the governor a certificate of appreciation.

As cited in the certificate of appreciation, the provincial government, thru Gov. Plaza have been subsidizing the cost of Blood Processing Fee from year 1997 up to the present in the amount ranging from P1.5 to P2 million annually. At a cost of P450,000, the provincial government also purchased one unit Blood Bank refrigerator, donated a parcel of land and constructed a new building for the Philippine Red Cross Agusan del Sur Chapter and provided counterpart for the cost of one unit ambulance.

Aside from the above mentioned, the provincial government of Agusan del Sur also provided PRC membership fee for the Search and Rescue Agusan del Sur (SARAS)volunteers and provided funds for the subsidy of two  volunteers (1 clerk, IHL, SOS, Membership in-charge from year 2010, and 1 driver for the year 2013 up to present).

“I want everybody to know especially the board of directors that we are envied during our meetings with other chapters nationwide because we are lucky enough to have a provincial government such as ours. I have shown them the resolution passed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan subsidizing the cost of blood processing, but according to them, it is hard for them to solicit the same help that the people enjoy thru the Red Cross,” PRC-AdS administrator Ligan said.

In return, Gov. Plaza was so glad to see the plaque of recognition for PRC-AdS while receiving the certificate of appreciation conferred to him. (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Feature: DA’s FMR: Linking producers to the market

By Aurell P. Arais

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 19 (PIA) - Whether it’s a myth or not, some would say number 13 connotes bad luck but here in Caraga Region, 13 is a figure of accomplishment.

The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 13 accomplished 13 concrete farm-to-market roads (FMR) region-wide with a length close to 13 kilometers and with a total project cost including LGU counterpart of more than P194 M.

The implementations of said projects were based on the proposals emanating from the respective LGU recipients and compliance of the required documents.

Of the 13 FMR completed projects, three were implemented in Surigao del Norte particularly in the municipalities of Gigaquit, Taganaan and San Francisco; three in Agusan del Sur in the municipalities of San Francisco, Trento and in Bayugan City; seven in Agusan del Norte particularly in Magallanes, Buenavista, Santiago, Jabonga, Nasipit and Butuan City.

Three of the said FMR were implemented through the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the rest were implemented under the respective LGU.

Completion of the projects were respectively funded through the Farm to Market Road Development Program (FMRDP), Caraga Integrated Development Program (CIDP), Support to Emergency and Livelihood Assistance Project 2 (SELAP) and the Bottom-Up-Budgeting now known as Grassroots Participatory Budgeting Process (GPBP).

Maxuel Jusain, a barangay kagawad of Himanaug, Taganaan, Surigao del Norte said that the FMR implemented in their barangay stirred-up the economic activity in their area.

“Kaniadto kining ang imong agi-anan daut kaayo. Way musulod dinhi nga mga sakyanan aron paghakot sa mga abot sa among mga mangingisda ug mga mag-uuma, pero karon nga nia na ning FMR hayahay na gyud (This is a bumpy area before. No transportation vehicle would come here to fetch the products from our fisherfolks and farmers until the implementation of this FMR. It is such a relief)," Kagawad Jusain said.

He also narrated that prior to the implementation of the FMR, farmers had to carry the burden of paying high labor cost from P30-P40 per bag to the highway but now transport vehicle can traverse freely in the farming communities.

Around 400 households mostly farmers and fisher folks are dwelling in the area and could directly benefit the convenience of the road with an influence area of 339 hectares.

Meanwhile Genaro Jacob, barangay chairman of Banbanon, San Francisco, Surigao del Norte said that with the completion of the FMR in their area traversing the farming communities on one side and beach area in the opposite side sees the opportunity for agri-tourism development.

He added that the implementation of the said FMR eased the burden of the farmers and fisherfolks in delivering their produce to the market while giving convenience to beach goers.

“Mapasalamaton gyod ko sa DA kay dako kaayo ug kaayuhan nga natampo ang kalsada nga among nabatunan (I am so grateful to DA because the FMR that we have now contributed much for the betterment of our barangay)," he concluded.

Overseeing the implementation of the said infrastructure projects is the Engineering Division of DA RFO 13 under the leadership of Engr. Rene Morales.

He said that farm to market road projects of the Department of Agriculture are implemented to provide access of the farm or aqua products to the market. (RAFID-DA Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


26K couples attended parenting classes

By Angie B. Antonio

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 19 (PIA) - About 26,131 couples of reproductive ages attended the 1,588 Responsible Parenting-Family Planning (RP-FP) classes conducted at the barangays region-wide.

The couple-attendees who have finally decided to use any modern family planning methods have contributed to the 32,325 reported current Family Planning (FP) users generated from the RP-FP classes.

The RP-FP class is a community-based demand generation activity that geared towards addressing the unmet need for family planning among couples through informed choice on what FP services that suits them.

The population offices of Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Sur, Butuan City and Bayugan were among the top performers in the implementation of the RP-FP program in the region.

Director Alexander A. Makinano of PopCom Caraga expressed his appreciation to the Provincial/City Population Officers for the laudable support to the Philippine Population Management Program during the recent Regional Population Management Conference held in the city.

Aside from the RP-FP program, PopCom is also campaigning on Adolescent Health and Youth Development Program, and Population and Development Integration. (POPCOM-13/PIA-Caraga)


MOA seals cold chain project in Butuan

By Ma. Diana Luisa Generalao

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 19 (PIA) – Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr. has finally sealed the launching of a cold chain project here during the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg at the Claire Philips conference room, US Embassy, Manila on February 7.

This recent undertaking by the local government further strengthens the newfound economic boost in the city, which is undoubtedly expected to open more career opportunities for the locals here.

“This economic improvement, along with all the other undertakings we have already made and those that we have yet to do, will be able to provide jobs for many of our locals which will lead us to our goal of graduating more than 3,000 families from the poverty level,” Mayor Amante said during the flag raising ceremony at the city hall grounds, February 10.

Through this MOA, the US Department of Agriculture in partnership with Winrock International agrees to establish a cold chain storage facility in over 300 barangays in Caraga region, with Butuan City as the base for the said project.

The cold chain project demonstrates connectivity to another undertaking, which involves engagement with the Middle East for the export operations of marine resources.

“I met with the Consular Attache of the Philippines to the Middle East last month and plans for making Butuan this region’s center of marine resources for export to the Middle East are already being concretized. We can use these cold storage facilities to store fresh Lapu-lapu, lobsters, crabs, and other marine resources we have acquired from all over the region while preparing them for export abroad,” Amante added. (LGU Butuan PIO/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Tagalog News: Palasyo: Hindi pipigilan ang mga opisyales ng pamahalaan na sumakay sa mga sasakyang pampubliko

Ni David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Peb. 19 (PIA) - Libreng sumakay ang mga opisyales ng pamahalaan sa pampublikong sasakyan bilang sagot sa panawagan ng mga tagataguyod sabi ng Malakanyang noong Martes.

Pero ayon kay Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr., hindi ito dapat maging dahilan ng mga opisyales para sa hindi na matupad ang kanilang opisyal na gawain.

"Wala naman sigurong pumipigil sa akin o kahit sino mang opisyal ng pamahalaan na isagawa ang bagay na ‘yan. Kailangan lang sigurong unawain na meron din namang mga kinakailangang gampanan na tungkulin,” sabi ni Coloma sa kanyang pakipanayam sa mga mamamahayag.

Ito ang kanyang sinabi kaugnay ng petisyon ng clean air advocates sa Korte Suprema na utusan ang mga opisyal at empleyado ng pamahalaan na bawasan ang konsumo sa gasoline ng kalahati at sumakay na lamang sa pampublikong sasakyan.

Sinabi ni Coloma na ang pagsakay sa pampublikong sasakyan ay dapat walang negatibong epekto sa kalidad ng serbisyo publiko ng maibigay ng opisyal ng pamahalaan.

"Baka naman sa literal na translasyon ‘yang panukalang ‘yan, maantala din naman ‘yung paghahatid ng serbisyo publiko. Baka naman po unawain din na ‘yung nagsisilbi sa pamahalaan ay mayroon na rin pong mga sakripisyong isinasagawa,” sabi ni Coloma. (PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Cebuano News: Gobyerno misaad sa pakigbugno batok sa mga nanghukhuk sa gobyerno, matud sa Palasyo

SURIGAO DEL SUR, Peb 19 (PIA) -  Ang administrasyon ni Presidente Benigno Aquino misaad sa dili matarug nga pasalig sa pagpakig-away sa mga naghukhuk ug mga kurap sa nasud isip kabahin sa iyahang gisaad atol sa panahon sa pagpangampanya niadtong 2010 nga piniliay.

Sumala pa sa taho, adunay mituhaw nga mga kahadlok gikan sa pipila nga nag-ingon nga ang dedikasyon sa kasamtangan nga administrasyon sa pagpakig-away batok sa mga nangawkaw sa gobyerno mahimong magduha-duha sa paglabay sa panahon.

Apan si Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr, atol sa regular nga press briefing sa Palasyo miingon nga ang publiko kinahanglan nga dumdumon nga ang administrasyon sa Aquino napili tungod sa palataporma nga “anti-graft and corruption.”

“Tandaan natin na ang administrasyong ito ay nahalal dahil sa panawagang ‘kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap,’ kaya batayan ng administrasyon ang prinsipyo na kinakailangan ang mabuting pamamahala. Ang maayong pagdumala importante nga makab-ot ang politika ug ekonomiya nga kalambuan sa administrasyon nga katuyoan,” sulti pa niya sa mga reporter.

Ug kalabot sa padayon nga imbestigasyon sa Senado ug DOJ sa P10 bilyones nga pork barrel fund scam, si Coloma miingon nga ang gobyerno magpadayon sa mga nag unang pakisusi ug pagpasaka ug sumbong batok sa mga tawo nga nihimo ug mga kasaypanan sa gobyerno.

Ingon nga ang Senado ug ang DOJ hugtanon nga mitutuk kang Janet Lim-Napoles ug sa pipila ka mga magbabalaod nga dunay kalambigitan sa pagpangilad. Adunay mga report sumala pa, mahitungod sa pipila ka mga magbabalaod nga padayon nga ilang gimentenar nga mga NGOs tumong aron gamiton alang sa dibersyon sa mga alokasyon sa ilahang pork barrel.

“Lahat ng mga umano’y katiwalian hinggil sa paggamit ng pondo ng bayan ay dapat siyasatin, alamin, at mabigyan ng tamang proseso para matunton kung merong mga lumabag sa batas,” siya miingon.

Ang National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) miimbistigar na sa mga NGO nga dunay kalabotan kang Napoles ug sa ilang koneksyon sa maong iregulidad sa pork barrel, si Coloma miingon nga ang gobyerno mibuhat ug mga lakang aron mapadali ang pakigsusi batok sa kamatuoran.
Kalabot niini ang pagmugna sa usa ka inter-agency anti-graft komisyon nga gilangkuban sa Department of Justice, Commission on Audit, ug Office sa Ombudsman. Kini nga inter-agency commission ang padayon nga molihok sa pagpangita sa mga nahilambigit sa “scam.”

Hinoon, ang mga magbabalaod nga nadamay sa maong kontrobersiya mao sila ni Senador Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon Revilla Jr. ug Jinggoy Estrada. (NGBT/PND/PIA Surigao del Sur)