4.11.2014

CCPD, BUPPFALUC to hold Coconut Farmers Consultative Assembly

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, April 10 (PIA) – The Caraga Conference for Peace and Development (CCPD) in partnership with Bishops–Ulama-Priests-Pastors-Farmers And Lumad Conference (BUPPFALUC) will be holding the Coconut Farmers Consultative Assembly on the Utilization of the Coco Levy Funds on April 20-21, 2014 at the San Lorenzo Ruiz Pastoral Center in Ampayon, this city.

The arrival of the participants will be on April 20 at 3:00-6:00 p.m. The program will start at 7:00 p.m.

CCPD Convenor Most Rev. Juan De Dios M. Pueblos said the activity is aimed to achieve the following objectives: 1) Consult the CCPD and other stakeholders on the utilization of coco levy funds; 2) Identify and assess the sentiments of the farmers and other stakeholders on the utilization of coco levy funds; and 3) Establish an argument on the creation of coconut farmer’s bank, an option to invest the farmers’ shares with the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB).

It can be recalled that the Coco Levy Fund Scam was a controversy in the 1970s and 80's in the Philippines involving the former President Ferdinand Marcos and his cronies.

The issue has not died today, with coconut farmers fighting for justice against the forced taxation, and a share of the Coco Levy Funds' investments. The Coco Levy Fund is estimated to have ballooned anywhere in the range of P100-150 billion in assets. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


Orientation on ISO Certification set for Caraga Contractors

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUUAN CITY, April 10 (PIA) – The ACE Training Services based in Cagayan de Oro City, a provider of affordable with quality training and consultancy services is set to hold a Two-Day Orientation/Awareness Seminar on International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Certification on April 11-12, 2014 at the Karaga Hotel, this city.

ACE Training Services has partnered with the contractors in Caraga region for this seminar to ensure them (contractors) to become ISO certified as a response to the need for quality in the construction sector especially projects from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Ronwood Construction and Supply; Madyaw Construction and Development Corporation (MCDC); C’Zarles Construction and Supply; Reyrose Construction and Supply; ROIM Builders and Construction Supply; Giovanni Construction; Baicamar Construction and Supplies Incorporated; Datrebil Construction and Supply; and Two Aces Construction and Supply are the group contractors who will be participating in the Two-Day Seminar.

The ACE Training Services managed by DR. Alvaro Salingay, Lead Trainor/Lead Consultant, has been accepting consultancy and training services to clients wanted to become ISO certified such as government agencies, local government units, state universities and colleges, construction sector, power industries, cooperatives, manufacturing sector, international and local research centers, hospitals, banks, call centers, and import/export companies, among others. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


TESDA-backed schools, benefactors yield over 1,500 graduates in SurSur

By Greg Tataro, Jr.

TANDAG CITY, April 10 (PIA) – Some 1,530 students have graduated from Technical Education and Skills Development Authority- (TESDA) backed schools and other so-called providers-benefactors in Surigao del Sur this school year (S/Y) 2014.

According to Allan Millan, Supervising Technical Education and Skills Development Specialist, their agency has tied-up with 11 technical-vocational schools together with two local government units (LGUs)—Surigao del Sur province and Tandag City, citing that both the latter have their own respective scholarship programs—Jobs through Tech-Voc Program (JTP) for the province and Access for Youth Employment Center (AYEC) for the city.

Various courses ranging from simple to complex skills like Housekeeping, Health Care, Computer Programming, Auto Servicing, Front Office Services, and many more have been offered to these graduates in order to equip them with the necessary qualifications for employment purposes with matching National Certificate Level II (NC II) already issued.     

Meanwhile, TESDA, under the supervision of Provincial Director Rey Cueva, continues to be of help by providing technical skills to those who want to avail of its services, Millan added.(NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


DTI starts release of grassroots participatory budgeting project funds

By Fritzie Rose L. Gulle

BUTUAN CITY, April 10 (PIA) - For several Mondays now, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) provincial office in Agusan del Sur has been joining local government units in their flag raising ceremonies. This is because they are using the occasion to do the formal release of grassroots participatory budgeting (GPB) formerly known as bottom-up budgeting (BuB) project funds.

DTI-Agusan del Sur leads in the number of releases in terms of number of projects funded, number of LGUs covered as well as the amount of funds released for the period January to March 2014.

Fourteen projects of four LGUs worth P6.13 M were released for the said province.         

All in all, DTI has released a total of P16.82 million to 34 projects for 10 LGUs in the region by end of the first quarter of 2014.

Funding for the Province of Dinagat Islands' (PDI) 11 projects for two LGUs – San Jose and Dinagat amounting to P5.61 M has been turned over in full.

The rest of the provinces are working to release the rest of the funds to start project implementation in the next quarter.

DTI-Caraga got P87.96 million or 17 percent of the department’s over P532.56 million GBP budget in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for 2014.  This amount, however, represents a mere 5% of the P1.07 billion total GBP budget for the whole region.(DTI/PIA-Caraga)


NFA re-activates Warehouse Task Force in Surigao del Sur

By Greg Tataro, Jr.

TANDAG CITY, April 10 (PIA) – The National Food Authority (NFA) provincial office in Surigao del Sur has again re-activated its Warehouse Task Force (WTF) since the recent weather disturbance morphed into a typhoon.

NFA Officer-In-Charge (OIC) Provincial Manager Gleen Echin said that the move is a standard operating procedure (SOP) which is part of disaster preparations due to a possible threat that Tropical Depression (TD) Domeng could bring in the locality.

She noted that under such emergency situation, the local government unit (LGU), especially those which have standby credit facilities with their agency can, at any time, withdraw up to 1,000 bags of rice from any of their three warehouses as agreed upon in the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

 Echin bared that, by now, 15 out of 19 LGUs—Tandag City together with 14 more municipalities—have already signed-up for this kind of MOA with their office including the provincial government.

Meanwhile, the official clarified that each LGU concerned is entitled to a maximum of 1,000 bags standby credit, 10 percent of which can be withdrawn in advance. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


DOT to launch Tourism Star Phils in Caraga

By Kylee Doreene T. Que

SURIGAO CITY, Apr. 10 (PIA) - The Department of Tourism (DOT) 13 is set to launch the Tourism Star Philippines with media core on April 11, 2014 at Tavern Hotel, this city.

The Tourism Star Philippines is the newest effort of the department to boost visitor arrivals in the country by recognizing people who have exhibited their commitment to tourism development with their investments, or excellent customer service.

Anybody may be nominated to become the Tourism Star, be it hotel owners, accommodation managers, chefs, public utility drivers, housekeepers, tour guides, local chief executives, government personnel or civil society organizations that could exemplify true Filipino hospitality and who would go the extra mile in providing an unforgettable and delightful experience to tourists.

The awards will be given by no less than the President himself.

Prizes in cash and in kind are up for grabs.  For nominations and more details, they may visit their website at www.tourismstar.ph. Deadline of nominations is on the June 30, 2014. (SDR/DOT/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Rotational brown-outs in SurSur numbered

By Greg Tataro, Jr.

TANDAG CITY, April 10 (PIA) – Power distributor Surigao del Sur Electric Cooperative II (SURSECO II) bared that the lingering problem on rotational brown-outs being suffered in their service area, day in and day out, will soon be a thing of the past.

SURSECO II General Manager Engr. Iglorio Hinayon, whose service area spans from Lianga to Carrascal towns, including Tandag City,  said that King Energy Generation, Inc. (KEGI) is expected to start operation before the end of May.

Lately, the cooperative was able to sign a 10-year-5-megawatt contract with KEGI, a 7.8 megawatt power plant located in Tandag City, which services can be tapped at any time power from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) snaps to ensure a steady supply of electricity, Hinayon pointed out.

With the emergence of the new power plant nearby, SURSECO II is now tied up with three power providers—NGCP, Therma Marine, Inc. (TMI), and KEGI. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Multi-million agri projects set for blessing, inauguration in SurSur

By Greg Tataro, Jr.

TANDAG CITY, April 10 (PIA) – Two rice processing centers (RPCs) amounting to P15.5 million each are set for blessing and inauguration in Surigao del Sur next week.

Provincial Agriculturist Marcos Quico bared that the provincial government, through his office, is now gearing up for the said occasion on April 14 at Barangay Patong-Patong in Madrid and Barangay Calagadaan in Cantilan, both neighboring towns in the northern part of the province.

He said that Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala will grace similar events on the same day, adding that the agriculture czar is sure to have a pretty hectic schedule during his two-day stint until the next day due to other commitments in the locality.

Quico also said that before going to Surigao del Sur, Secretary Alcala and party will have to proceed first to the province of Agusan del Sur in Caraga region for an earlier commitment in Talacogon town. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


DTI honors 1st batch of Caraga successful women entrepreneurs

By Geraldine B. Dangate

BUTUAN CITY, April 10 (PIA) - A chain of bakeshops, restaurants, souvenir and pasalubong shops, locally-made ice cream, noodles, abaca and water lily handicrafts, micro lending, aquamarine products, catering, mini grocery and buco pie.

These are the different goods and services founded, owned and managed by the first batch of successful women entrepreneurs who were recently recognized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Caraga during a regional gathering to celebrate Women’s Month in the region.

Eight women entrepreneurs composed the 2014 first batch of honorees. They are Esther Sy Uy of Marjeck Food Products and Ma. Elena Mercado of Mercado’s Sudlanan Atbp. – from Butuan City and Agusan del Norte; Rose Go, owner of Rose Bakeshop and Rosario’s Restaurant with Noemila Balaba of Triple Diamond Micro Lending Corporation – from Agusan del Sur; Concepcion R. Paqueo of Kaisdaan Center and Lydia Ga of Roslyd Foodhaus and Catering Services – from Surigao del Norte; and Emma L. Guerra of E.L. Guerra Mini Grocery Store with Natividad V. Mojica of Nat’s Buco Pie – from Surigao del Sur.
          
The honorees were identified by the DTI provincial offices which had the privilege of working with them as they grow their businesses.

DTI-Caraga regional director Brielgo O. Pagaran and DTI-Agusan del Norte OIC Gay A. Tidalgo handed over the plaques of recognition and tokens of appreciation to the honorees during the 10th Kalandrakas sa Kababaihan at the Balanghai Hotel and Convention Center, Butuan City.  They were joined on stage by the Regional Development Council – Gender and Development Coordinating Committee (RDC-GADCC) Chairperson Director Marilyn Pintor of the Commission of Human Rights (CHR) and Vice-Chair Edna Hontiveros of Forward Filipina.

All the honorees except Ms. Go have been profiled and written about in the DTI’s 2010 and 2012 edition of “Caraga Women Entrepreneurs and their Stories.” The latter is an agency publication produced every two years by the DTI-Gender and Development (GAD) Regional Focal Team and aims to showcase and chronicle the inspiring stories of women in business. (DTI-13/PIA-Caraga)


Be a responsible pet owner - DA

BUTUAN CITY, April 10 (PIA) - The problem on rapid population growth does not only pertain to human nowadays. Canine (dog) population might also need their own Reproductive Health (RH) bill as its populace is rapidly increasing with the Philippines now considered as the Dog Capital of East-Asia.

Rabies is a disease of public health importance in most part of the world especially in the Philippines which ranked top 10 with the most rabies incidence according to the World Health Organization.  Dog, as the principal reservoir and transmitter of rabies in the country shares 98 percent while two percent from cats and other domestic animals.

Although dogs have become more welcome in the homes many Filipinos, irresponsible pet ownership remains one of the factors that need to be given attention if the country is to eradicate rabies by 2020.

According to Dr. Esther B. Cardeño, Chief of the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RADDL) of the Department of Agriculture-Caraga, the problem on rabies is very much associated with irresponsible pet ownership since most of the stray dogs are products of the inability of the owner to care for the animal properly resulting to animal bites on humans.

Likewise, report from the Department of Health-Caraga showed an increasing case of animal bites from 2009-2013 where last year posted the most number of cases reaching 11,722 region-wide, a 38 percent increase from 2012.  Six are recorded human rabies casualties. 

The continuing battle against this fatal disease has long been given utmost attention by the concerned agencies tasked to prevent, if not eradicate fully, the spread of the bug.

The Department of Agriculture through the Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI) was tasked to lead the implementation of the National Rabies Prevention and Control (NRPC) Program pursuant to Republic Act 9482 or Anti Rabies Act of 2007.  Through a multi-sectoral effort, various activities were conducted nation-wide towards rabies eradication.

In Caraga Region, mass rabies vaccination of dogs is not just done during Rabies Awareness Month of March but all-year round.  Every year dogs are vaccinated in coordination with the Local Government Units, Provincial and City Veterinary Office, and private organizations.  Dog population control is also done through mass castration to those that are not used for breeding.

LGUs also established their own impound facilities to control stray dogs while on regular surveillance and monitoring.  Information and Education campaign was done not only with the LGUs but to the schools where the most vulnerable bite victims are present, children 15 years and below.  To date, a total of 72 intermediate schools were already covered and another 20 for this year is targeted to increase awareness and seek support for the control, prevention and eradication of rabies to teachers, parents, and children.

DA also intensified its campaign and provided vaccines and drugs to augment the needs of vaccination and dog population control to the LGUs.  As of the 1st quarter of 2014, there are about 166,784 total dog population on DA’s record and with the 31 samples submitted for laboratory confirmation in RADDL, result showed 3 of these were confirmed positive. 

While the goal to a rabies-free Philippines remains a challenge, Caraga Region is looking forward to declare one of its island Province rabies-free this year.  The municipality of Socorro, Surigao del Norte and the whole province of Dinagat Islands is on its final evaluation by the NRCP Eradication Committee come May 26-29, 2014.

“This is a sort of a kick-off to our goal in keeping our region rabies-free by 2016,” Cardeño said.  The Province of Dinagat Islands has been recorded of having no rabies incidence for the last 5 years.

“We will continue to intensify our campaign especially on responsible pet ownership throughout the region to continually educate our people.  Well informed people make responsible pet owners.  Responsible pet owners make rabies-free dogs and therefore rabies-free Philippines,” said Cardeño.  (ETP/DA-13/PIA-Caraga)


Feature: Supplementary Feeding with Education: Effective against Malnutrition

By Imelda Angeles-Agdeppa

MANILA, April 10 (PIA) - Growth and development is a long and continuous process throughout life. Previous life stages like infancy affect succeeding phases like adulthood.

In the Philippines, undernutrition is one of the pressing concerns of society due to its counter-productive implications to health and the development of the country.

The results of the 2011 Survey on the Updating of Nutritional Status of Filipino Children and Other Population Groups by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) revealed that 33.6 percent of children aged 5 to 10 years old are stunted. The survey also reported that 7.3 percent of children of the same age group are wasted.

A research published by Victoria, et al. in 2008 in The Lancet Journal revealed that undernutrition was strongly associated with shorter adult height, less schooling, reduced economic productivity and lower offspring birth weight for women in Brazil, Guatemala, India, Philippines, and South Africa.

Human capital is perceived to be the most important asset of the country. Thus, undernutrition is a great hindrance in achieving economic stability and development.

Due to this, several approaches have been developed in the Philippines to address this concern. These include food fortification, supplementary feeding, and nutrition education and many others, all of which has its own advantages and disadvantages in formulation and implementation. 

Infants and pre-school children are the main focus of nutrition interventions since they experience rapid growth and thus, need higher energy intakes.

Pregnant mothers are also targeted for nutrition education and other programs. This is because researches reveal that an underweight mother would most likely have a low birth weight child, which increases the risk for undernutrition and other illnesses in later stages of life.

Nutrition programs carry out results of significant improvement to schoolchildren’s physical development. However, behavioral development should also be considered to sustain a healthy population.

Intervention programs for schoolchildren aged 6-12years should therefore aim to alleviate undernutrition and address the behavioural development with regards to proper nutrition and healthy eating.

One of the most common forms of intervention programs for school-age children is supplementary feeding. It is a program in which food is provided to selected individuals, belonging to a specific target group, to prevent or treat malnutrition. Supplementary feeding is considered as a short-term and palliative form of intervention.

To address this concern, supplementary feeding is usually paired with nutrition education programs to target both physical and behavioral development of the beneficiary.

In 2011, the National Nutrition Council (NNC) provided a set of guidelines for the implementation of supplementary feeding programs in the Philippines.

The primary objective of supplementary feeding programs is to improve the nutritional status of the targeted undernourished individuals. This is through the provision of one-third of the recommended energy intakes. It also aims at improving the knowledge, attitudes and practices of mothers and child caregivers as well as that of other family members along with key nutritional practices and growth monitoring.

Supplementary feeding programs nowadays not only aim to increase energy intake but also increase consumption of micronutrients like iron, iodine and vitamin A.

Supplementary feeding programs require a minimum of 90 days, given that after that period, the beneficiaries should have significantly improved in nutritional status. Otherwise, the program should be continued until 120 days.

If the nutritional status of the target participants fails to improve after 120 days, medical intervention should be done to address the potential presence of chronic illness.

There is a wide variety of foods given in supplementary feeding activities, from single food items like milk, oat meal and juices, to full lunch meals. Determination of foods to be provided highly depends on the objectives of the program as well as the resources for the feeding activity.

Simultaneous to the feeding activities, there should be nutrition education classes for mothers and caregivers on basic nutrition and food preparation. Nutrition education is for the continuous promotion of healthy eating within the family and to target larger populations aside from the beneficiaries.

Although supplementary feeding requires high costs and attention, it is still an effective way in alleviating undernutrition and correcting or forming behavioral and cognitive development.

In a study conducted by Angeles-Agdeppa in 2010, a total of 1,009 school-aged children in Tacloban City were provided ready-to-drink juice fortified with iron, zinc, lysine, Vitamin A and Vitamin C for 120 days. Results revealed the decrease in anemia prevalence from 100 percent at baseline to 42.3 percent at endline. There was also a significant increase in cognitive abilities after the feeding activity.

Integrated and continuous efforts towards improving nutrition in all age groups should be done to help address malnutrition in the country.

Healthy and competitive citizens help in developing an economically-stable country, rooted from a well-nourished family.

For more information on food and nutrition, please contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, Bicutan, Taguig City; trunkline: 837 2071 local 2296 or 2287; telephone/fax no.: 837 3164, email: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph or mar_v_c@yahoo.com; website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph(FNRI-DOST S&T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)


News Feature: Dried beans and nuts, cheap but good protein sources

By Regina M. Pagaspas

MANILA, April 10 (PIA) - Did you know that Filipino household members are not getting enough protein? This is based on the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) which is 80 percent of the Recommended Energy and Nutrient lntake (RENI). This was reported by the 7th National Nutrition Survey (NNS) conducted in 2008 by the Food and Nutrition Research lnstitute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST).

Protein is a nutrient needed by the human body for growth, repair and maintenance of body tissues.

While meat, fish, poultry and eggs are excellent sources of high quality protein, these foods may not be affordable to many Filipino households.

Consumption of beans and nuts in any form may therefore be a cheaper but good substitute for the expensive protein sources.

lf you are among the many Filipinos that lack protein in the diet, take advantage of the many types of beans and nuts and the many ways and forms to prepare and eat them: use tokwa and tofu, which come from soybeans or utaw in preparing various ands and in combination with vegetables; try the llonggo dish called KBL, which is made of kadyos, baboy, and langka, uses kadyos in combination with a litfle pork and unripe jackfruit; take the very popular laho which is also made from soybeans along with other products such as soymilk, soy sauce, and others; make snacks from the more popular mungbe an or munggo like buchi, hopia munggo, turon munggo and ginataan munggo; saute mungbean sprouts or togue as viand or as lumpia for snack make delectable sweets from other beans like kidney beans and chick pea or garbanzos; snack on the ever popular fried peanuts.

While these foods are plant-based protein, adults with kidney problems, arthritis or elevated uric acid levels, individuals with allergies to beans, nuts or legumes should limit consumption of these food items and consult their doctor or nutritionist.

Eating any of these dried beans and nuts everyday can add to the daily protein intake of Filipino households that are lacking in this nutrient.

For more information on food and nutrition, contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), Gen. Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City; Telephone/Fax no.: 837-2934, 837-2071 local 2295; e-mail: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph; mar_v_capanzana@yahoo.com; FNRI-DOST website: http//www.fnri.gov.ph. (FNRI-DOST S&T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)