NYC to accomplish the Youth Dev’t Index

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 21 (PIA) – The National Youth Commission (NYC) mandated under Republic Act 8044 otherwise known as the Youth in Nation Building Act as the sole policy-making body of the government in youth matters is determined to accomplish the Youth Development Index (YDI).

“The Youth Development Index is a systematic and progressive tool in measuring youth development. It is important to be accomplished the soonest for it will define the levels of development within categories of education, employment, participation, environment, and health integrating all known development frameworks in one system,” emphasized Earl Saavedra, Commissioner for Mindanao of NYC.

Saavedra recalled that in 2009, an NYC commissioned study on the situation of the Filipino youth was conducted. “More than 5,000 respondents were interviewed in the 17 regions of the country,” he remarked.

Seven major indexes were also constructed which include: Education; Employment; Health and Well-being; Participation: Leisure; Income and Expenditure; and Environment.

“The youth-serving agencies and institutions, local government units, non-government organizations, research institutions, and other institutions and individuals focusing on youth development will benefit from this effort,” emphasized Saavedra.

As expected outcome, the YDI will be the standard measure of youth development of the Philippines. It will be integrated in all national accounts in relation to social and economic development of the country. As a result, it is recognizing the importance of the youth sector as a partner in nation building. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


NYC discusses Mindanao Youth Agenda to Caraga RYAC members

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 21 (PIA) – In time with the first quarter meeting of the Regional Youth Advisory Council (RYAC) held on Thursday at the Department of Education (DepEd) Caraga regional office, this city, the National Youth Commission (NYC) discussed the Mindanao Youth Agenda and presented some situation analysis on the youth.

Earl Saavedra, Commissioner for Mindanao of NYC bared that the youth, as defined by Republic Act 8044 otherwise known as the Youth in Nation Building Act are those young people belonging to the 15-30 age group.

“The youth sector is one of the largest sectors in the country, comprises 30 percent of the country’s total population, in 2010 was estimated to be at 27.83 million,” relayed Saavedra.

The major issues that were identified among the Filipino youths include: employment, education, health, environment, youth participation, Sangguniang Kabataan, youth policy, access and quality youth programs and youth rights.

It was also learned from Saavedra that the youth has its sub-sectors, namely: In School Youth (refers to those currently enrolled in an academic institution); and the Working Youth (refers to those who were employed or self-employed). “The youth is also categorized into three: Youth Child (those 15 to below 18 years old); Core Youth (those 18-24 years old); and Young Adult (those 25-30 years old),” he said.

“The Filipino Youth has finally spoken and these are the issues that they wanted to be addressed as identified in the Mindanao Youth 9 Point Agenda: 1) Quality Health Services for all; 2) Affordable, accessible quality education for all; 3) Improving food security through sustainable Agriculture; 4) Maximize environmental resources against Climate Change; 5) Safe and secure environment; 6) Cultural preservation and appreciation; 7) Maximizing youth potential; 8) Balanced and sustainable empowerment; and 9) Valuing positive lifestyle for young Mindanaoans,” disclosed Saavedra.

Saavedra further emphasized that with the convergence efforts and strategies of government agencies to address the needs of the Filipino youths, the following will be implemented: Publication of the compendium of youth programs and services available for the youth in Mindanao; Publication of Scholarship Programs and Alternative Learning Programs available for the youth; Creation of a One-Stop-Shop information hub for available youth services in the regions; and Forging of ties with the academe for the creation of Youth Satellite Offices in their academic institutions that shall ensure linkages of youth programs of the different government agencies to the youth, among others.

“We shall also establish local youth development councils or similar structures in the local government units of Mindanao; promote entrepreneurship and provide avenues to sustain businesses established by the youth; and roll-out consultation workshops in the different regions in Mindanao to ensure harmonization of youth programs of LGUs with the Mindanao Youth Framework for Development,” stressed Saavedra.

Continued monitoring and evaluation reporting system of regional initiatives shall also be developed. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


CHED-13 names  3 'other' priority courses in Caraga

By Fryan E. Abkilan

BUTUAN CITY, March 21 (PIA) – The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in Caraga has included Midwifery, Elementary Education and Accounting Technology in the list of priority courses for academic year (AY) 2014-2015 to 2017-2018 in the region.

“These courses comprise the last three percent of the priority courses prioritized as ‘others’ with an allocation of one percent each per course,” said CHED-13 regional director Zenaida Gersana during the recently held 78th Regional Development Council (RDC) Caraga Full Council meeting here.

Gersana said the same priority courses will also guide them for the awarding of CHED’s Student Financial Assistance Program (StuFAPs), an scholarship grant open to poor and deserving students.

Gersana said Midwifery was included so that more students/scholars will be involved in maternal and child health care given that maternal mortality rate (MMR) in Caraga is high.

“Elementary Education is also important to be included in the list to address gaps in the teaching profession in the various areas of the region. While, Accounting Technology will serve as a fallback for students and scholars who may not qualify for other accounting courses,” said Gersana.

The priority courses with the corresponding percentage allocation in terms of scholarships include: Information Technology (10 percent), Agriculture and Related Fields (15 percent), Teacher Education in specific majors (10 percent), Science and Math (13 percent), Engineering (15 percent), Health Sciences (10 percent), Arts and Humanities (five percent), Social and Behavioral Sciences (five percent), Business Administration and related courses (five percent), Architecture (five percent), Maritime (two percent), Communication (two percent) and others - Midwifery, Elementary Education and Accounting Technology (three percent).

Gersana said as of this time, they have already started processing applications for scholarships, grants-in-aid and loans per CHED Memorandum Order No. 13, series of 2014 or the “Enhanced Guidelines for the Implementation of StuFAPs, Effective AY 2014-2015.”

For more details, interested students may visit CHED’s national website (www.ched.gov.ph) or the Caraga regional office website at www.chedcaraga.com. They can also call be reached at (085) 342-7483. (FEA/PIA-Caraga)


DOH, Philhealth conduct media forum on ALAGA KA program

By Nora L. Molde

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 21 (PIA) – The Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) together with partner-agencies of Caraga region conducted on Friday a media forum on the ALAGA KA Para sa Maayos na Buhay program.

According to Philhealth regional vice president Johnny Y. Sychua, the grand launching of the ALAGA KA program will be simultaneously held on Monday in the 17 regions of the country. In Agusan del Norte, it will be held at the provincial capitol covered court, said Sychua.

During the event, His Excellency President Benigno S. Aquino III is expected to give his message via live streaming between 10:30 to 11:00a.m.

Sychua said they are expecting more or less 3,000 members from the province of Agusan del Norte and Butuan City to attend the launching.

Also, DOH 13 regional director Minerva Molon said among the activities that will be conducted during the event include medical consultation among the member-beneficiaries, vaccination for kids, and a consultation for those who want to stop smoking will also be given attention. "Medicines are also ready and enough for those who will avail," Molon added.

"ALAGA KA" according to Jane Santos of Philhealth will empower and inform every members of the health agency of their rights and benefits.

ALAGA KA, which stands for ALAmin at GAmitin, is a campaign strategy that aims to better disseminate appropriate information regarding rights and privileges under the present Kalusugan Pangkalahatan (KP) to PhilHealth Members, especially to qualified dependents of Indigent, Sponsored Program and Organized Groups as well as land-based members of those under the Overseas Workers Program (OWP) and employees of the Department of Education (DepEd).

The campaign also aims to encourage members to avail of their service packages such as the Primary Care Benefits, which include breast and cervical cancer examinations, laboratory examinations for blood, urine, stool, phlegm and other examinations that may be prescribed by the physician. Others include medicines for asthma, cough, colds, pneumonia, loose stools and urinary tract infections or UTI.

“During the launching, activities will include PhilHealth Membership Services, particularly informing ALAGA KA families of their PhilHealth benefits, validation of new ALAGA members enrolled through Point of Care Program, testimonials from members and other stakeholders, and audio visual presentations on KP and DOH programs,” Sychua added.

ALAGA KA is a collaboration between PhilHealth, DOH, Local Govt Units and other stakeholders in the health sector to make sure that indigent members and those from the near poor segment of the population are properly instructed on how to avail of these basic health services at the rural health units & health centers where they are assigned. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga)


60 SurSur women train on bangus deboning

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Mar. 21 (PIA) - Around 60 women in this city were trained on bangus (milkfish) deboning recently by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatc Resources (BFAR).

According to City Social Welfare and Development officer Tessie Buniel, the participants were 4Ps beneficiaries and the parents of the MDG-FACES (Millennium Development Goal- Family based Action for Children and their Environs in the Slums) Scholars from the seven center barangays (Bag-ong Lungsod, Mabua, Rosario, San Agustin Sur, Telaje, Dagocdoc and Bongtud) of the city.

The activity is part of the month-long celebration of the Women’s Month sponsored by the city government thru the City Agriculture Office in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Buniel said.

"The skills training conducted was aimed to develop women by teaching the essential skills for sustainable income-generating activities," Buniel added. (NGBT/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Coast guard Surigao celebrates 46th Founding Anniversary

By Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Mar. 20 (PIA) – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Station - Surigao del Norte celebrated recently its 46th Founding Anniversary at Gateway Hotel, this city.

This year’s celebration is anchored on the theme, “Sama-samang Kooperasyon ng mga T.A.O. (Taong gobyerno, Ang mga mananakay at mamahayag, Operators ng mga sasakyang pandagat) ang susi sa siguradong maayos, matapat na serbisyo at ligtas na pagbiyahe sa karagatan.”

PCG-Coast Guard District Commander in Northern Mindanao Commodore Ferdinand M. Velasco together with City Mayor Ernesto T. Matugas graced the said event.

Velasco, in his message, congratulated the men and women of PCG Surigao del Norte Station for a job excellently done "and for giving so much accomplishment to PCG."

“I also would like to thank the city government of Surigao, provincial governments of Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands especially the local officials for their undying support to one of my biggest units in Northern Mindanao district,” Velasco added.

On his part, Mayor Matugas lauded the effort of the PCG personnel in strictly implementing its mandate to ensure maritime safety.

"On top of protecting life and ensuring safety at sea, the Philippine Coast Guard is the front liner of search and rescue, enforcement of marine environmental protection laws, and even securing our own national patrimony in support of national security and economic development of our country," Matugas said.

Highlighting the event was a ceremonial turn-over of one unit Honda 40 horsepower aluminium hull speed boat led by Commodore Velasco to Surigao del Norte Station Commander Zenmond C. Duque.

The event was also witnessed by the representatives from the national line agencies, representatives from the local government units of Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands, and media. (SDR/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


History, cultural heritage and tourism be integrated in curriculum

By Aimee B. Sienes-Sajor

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 21 (PIA) – Agusan del Norte second district representative Erlpe John M. Amante pushed through House Bill No. 3892, for the integration of local and provincial history, cultural heritage and tourism modules in the Social Studies curriculum of elementary and secondary levels in all public and private schools.

The main purpose of the bill is to ensure that students are given proper education and exposure on the history, cultural and arts, tourism assets, products and resources of their locality in order to instill a sense of pride and belongingness with the community where they belong.

It also aims to boost the tourism industry by turning locals into effective ambassadors and engage locals in the preservation of the rich cultural heritage, traditions and critical environments of every locality in the face of rapid urbanization and modernization.

Cong. Amante expressed that “molding our students to become appreciative of their place and conscientious on the welfare and development of their community will redound to a stronger foundation for nation building”.

The said bill is strongly supported by the 16th Sangguniang Panlalawigan headed by Vice Governor Ramon “Rambu” Bungabong through Provincial Resolution No. 056-2014 for the integration in the Social Studies curriculum in all private and public elementary and secondary schools.

The resolution was authored by Provincial Board Member Rey G. Jamboy. (NCLM/LGU-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Experts to talk of future PH and future earth in DOST council’s assembly

By Joselito A. Carteciano

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 21 (PIA) - When the country bore the brunt of natural disasters last year, the members of the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP), the advisory council of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), felt the urgency to deliberate on some action plans and programs to thwart similar occurrences.  Thus, this year, in its 81st General Membership Assembly dubbed Future Earth, Future Philippines to be held on March 26 – 27 at the Historic Manila Hotel, NRCP will convene hundreds of Filipino researchers, scientists, technologists, innovators, and economists to discuss the future prospects of the country and the world.

The first day activities include the paper presentations of DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo and three world renowned scientists.  DOST Secretary Montejo’s presentation will touch on the subject of Sustainability for Future Philippines while 1986 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry and President of International Council for Science (ICSU) Dr. Yuan T. Lee will expound on the matters concerning Future Earth, the Initiative for Global Sustainability.  Then ICSI Director for Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Prof. Nordin Hassan will illustrate what lies ahead for the countries in Asia on his presentation Future Earth, the Regional Perspective; and Executive Director of the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) Dr. Stephen Adrian Ross will show some opportunities from Asian marine resources on Prospects for Sustainability of the Seas of East Asia.

On the second day, the participants will be engaged in five parallel workshops to come up with research plans, programs, and policy recommendations which may contribute in addressing the impacts of the future earth scenarios to humankind. The topics include:  atmospheric and environmental change; health and human well-being; marine and aquatic ecosystem; terrestrial ecosystem; and economic transformation towards sustainable development.

The NRCP, established on December 8, 1933 by the virtue of Act 4120, is now considered to be the oldest collegial and scientific advisory body of the Philippine government and the first in Asia Pacific.  From 114 pioneering scientists, the NRCP now has more than 3,000 members who are world renowned researchers, scientists, technologists, innovators, and economists who continuously provide the various sectors and stakeholders with myriad of research-based knowledge useful in sustaining and maintaining the well-being of the Filipinos and the entire nation as well.

DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo, NRCP President Lourdes J. Cruz, NRCP Vice-President Ester B. Ogena together with the Members of the NRCP Governing Board and its Executive Director Carina G. Lao will head the proceedings of this momentous event. (S&T Media Service, DOST-NRCP/PIA-Caraga)


News Feature: Surigao Norte DAR-ARB receives indemnity claim from PCIC

By Daryll M. Tumbaga

SURIGAO CITY, Mar. 21 (PIA) – An agrarian reform beneficiary (ARB) received his indemnity claim worth P17,680.00 from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) through the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)-PCIC Agricultural Insurance Program for ARBs.

ARB Eleuterio Bano, a resident of Brgy. Cawilan, Tubod, Surigao del Norte, was so ecstatic after receiving the said claim from the PCIC as it handed over to him by the Department of Agrarian Reform - Surigao del Norte (DAR-SDN) Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) II Jamil P. Amatonding, Jr. recently at the PARPO II’s Office, DAR-Surigao del Norte Provincial Office, this city.

Bano said that he is very happy to have received such kind of aid and he will show the check to his fellow farmers who were passive about the programs of PCIC.

“This will really help me defray the costs in buying fertilizers for my palay crop especially now that my crops have already grown fuller after re-planting,” Bano said.

PARPO Amatonding, on the other hand, was overwhelmed upon seeing pure joy in the face of ARB Bano.

He also encouraged Bano to show his check to his fellow farmers who were passive about the PCIC aid as proof that they can really rely on the government for help regarding crop damages in the future.

It can be recalled that Bano was a victim of the wrath of typhoon Yolanda last year, he was so bothered and worried when he learned that his palay crops were devastated by typhoon Yolanda but after learning from the DAR Municipal Office of Tubod that he can seek help from the DAR-PCIC Program, he documented the damages of his crops and rice field and then submitted the photos and filled-up the Pro-Forma Notice of Loss to the DAR office.

DAR, likewise, indorsed the same to the PCIC Regional Office in Cagayan de Oro City. Then the PCIC Adjuster visited Bano’s rice field to validate and investigate his claim. (SDR/DAR Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Tagalog News: Pangulong Aquino kinilala ang limang organisasyon sa kanilang kagalingan sa pagganap sa tungkulin

Ni David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Marso 21, 2014 (PIA) - Pinangunahan ni Pangulong Benigno S. Aquino III ang seremonya sa paggawad ng 16th Philippine Quality Award (PQA) kung saan limang organisasyon ang tumanggap ng pagkilala ng kanilang kagalingan sa pagganap na idinaos sa Rizal Hall, Malacanan Palace noong Huwebes.

Sa kanyang talumpati, binigyang diin ni Pangulong Aquino ang kahalagahan ng kalidad ng ginagawa at pagtakda ng mataas na pamantayan sa serbisyo, sa pamahalaan man o pribadong ahensiya.

“Kung tama lang, hindi ito sapat. Sa pagdating ng bago, makaagham na pagtuklas sa halos lahat ng posibleng larangan ng pagiging eksperto, kakaunti lamang ang dahilan na nalalabi para sa kulang sa standard na trabaho at ito ay nasa atin na - sa pamahalaan man o sa pribadong sector – para ihatid sa kapanahonan ang katiyakan ng pagtaas ng pamantayan para sa posibleng produkto at serbisyo,” sabi ng Pangulo.

Habang kinilala ang mga nagawa at kakayahan ng bawat pinarangalan, hinamon din sila ng Pangulo na paigtingin pa ang mga nagawa at “gumawa ng mas mabuting papel para ipatuloy ang kalakasan, kunlaran at tagumpay ng mamamayang Pilipino."

"Dagdagan natin ang kultura ng kalidad at kakayahan na nakagamot na dito sa Pilipinas. Kung patuloy tayong sabay na magtrabaho- saan mang sektor tayo nakapasok – mai-tatak natin sa ating kultura ang umiwas sa mahinang nakaraan, at ipagpatuloy ang kagalingan. Tayo ay makapagpatayo sa pamamagitan ng ating tagumpay bilang isang bansa, at kompletong umikot papunta sa lipunan ng pakipagsalihan at oportunidad,” sabi ng Pangulo.

Ang limang organisayon na tumanggap ng Recognition for Commitment to Quality Management Award ay: Philippine Information Agency na pinanguluhan ni Kalihim Herminio Coloma; Department of Science and Technology Region IX na pinanguluhan ni Dr. Anthony Sales; Lyceum of the Philippine University na pinanguluhan ni Atty. Roberto Laurel, Philippine Association of Colleges at Universities Commission on Accreditation na pinanguluhan ni Dr. Rosita L. Navarro at; Zamboanga Polymedic Hospital (Ciudad Medical Zamboanga) na pinanguluhan ni Erwin G. To.

Ang PQA ay ang pinakamataas ng hanay na pambansang pagkilala para sa ulirang ginawa ng organisasyon. Ito ay katumbas ng pagkilala sa isang bansa ng prestihiyosong Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award ng Estados Unidos at iba pang sistema ng may kalidad na gantimpala sa 88 na bansa sa buong mundo.

Ang PQA ay itinatag noong 1997 sa pamamagitan ng Executive Order 448 at ito ay pinatibay sa pamamagitan ng Republic Act 9013 na kilala ring Philippine Quality Award noong Pebrero 28, 2001. Ang PQA ay siyang naglalatag ng pagsukat sa kagalingan para tulungan ang mga organisasyon na maabot ang pangmundong sukatan ng kagalingan.

Ang Department of Trade and Industry ay ang tagapamahala ng papremyo ng PQA.

Ang mga tumanggap ng PQA ay inaasahang ipamahagi ang kanilang di pangkaraniwang pamamahala bilang halimbawa para sa ibang organisayon na tumutumbok ng kagalingan sa paggawa. (PIA-Agusan del Sur)