KBP Butuan Chapter inducts new sets of officers

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, April 8 (PIA) – The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) Butuan Chapter has inducted newly sets of officers for this year held on Monday in one of the local convention centers here.

On behalf of Mayor Ferdinand Amante Jr, Vice Mayor Angelo Calo led the induction of new sets of KBP Officers, and read the message of the mayor.

Amante expressed his congratulations to the new sets of officers and encouraged the KBP members to maintain the level of professionalism as broadcasters. "We hope that the good will out-number the not-so-good kind of media," emphasized Amante on his written message.

Amante, further commended the efforts and initiatives of the broadcast media in promoting the city government’s “Grow a Million Trees Program” and its Vision 2020.

The mayor also disparaged the acts of some media who give false information to the public and attacking personalities without basis. “If you witness corruption in the city hall and anomalies in the city government offices, report it and be not afraid if the truth is on your side,” he stressed.

Also, Vice Mayor Calo shared that the media has a lot to do to influence the people. “While we enjoy freedom of speech, we must also not forget that we have obligation and duty to deliver the best to our people (listeners and viewers). Let’s be honest in what we say and do,” he remarked.

The following are the 2014 new set of officers of the KBP Butuan City Chapter - President: Mr. Carlito 'CK' Kho of TV-7; Vice President: Ms. Catherine A. Tobes of dxMK-Magik FM; Secretary: Ms. Himaya Veronica D. Juni of dxBN Radyo ng Bayan; Treasurer: Ms. Marivic C. Cubelo of dxJM-Radyo Asenso; and Standards Performance Officer: Mr. Allan Silor.

Meanwhile, the KBP Board of Directors are: Mr. Israel Palero of dxMB-Love Radio FM; Mr. Romeo Zerrudo of Philippine Electronic Communications Broadcasting Corporation (PECBC); Mr. Benjie Balansag of Bombo Radyo; Mr. Richmond Hinayon of ABS-CBN; Mr. Rolando Presilda of Wild FM; Mr. Ramil Bangues of RMN; Mr. Romeo Catalan of Sunny FM; and Kevin Kho of KillerBee FM.

The night ended with the presentations of each member station through dances and song numbers. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


Butuanong Konsumador, DTI Agnor launch price billboard project, conduct consumer education seminar

By Nora L. Molde

BUTUAN CITY, April 8 (PIA) – The Butuanong Konsumador, Inc. and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Agusan del Norte provincial office launched on Monday the Price Billboard Project at barangay Ampayon public market here.

According to Butuanong Konsumador, Inc. vice president Nora Rama, the Price Billboard Project will help provide information to consumers on the prevailing prices of basic and prime commodities in the locality. "It is a tool for them to make wise buying decision," Rama said.

The project is under the Bantay Presyo Program of DTI, which aims to put up price billboard in select public wet markets in the city. Barangay Ampayon is the first Price Billboard Project recipient-wet market of the city, Rama added.

During today's launching of the Price Billboard Project, a barangay consumer education seminar was also conducted at the barangay covered court.

“Businesses can refuse to give refund to you/consumers if you can't prove that you bought it in their establishment - you should have a receipt; you changed your mind about it; you have damaged it; and you knew or should have known about a fault when you bought it (example second hand items), said Cristina Dedel, public information officer of DTI Agusan del Norte.

Dedel also discussed during the seminar the eight Rights of the Consumers, these include: Right to Basic Needs; Right to Safety; Right to Information; Right to Choose; Right to Representation; Right to Redress; Right to Consumer Education; and Right to a Healthy Environment.

Dedel also said that "a well informed consumer is a well protected consumer."

The Butuanong Konsumador, Inc. is a consumer organization of the city. (NCLM/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


NSO readies April 2014 labor force survey

By Villa Bayotas

BUTUAN CITY, April 8 (PIA) - The Philippine Statistics Authority (National Statistics Office) Caraga will conduct the April 2014 Labor Force Survey (LFS). The LFS is a nationwide quarterly survey of households conducted by the NSO to gather data on the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the population.

The LFS aims to provide a quantitative framework for the preparations of plans and formulation of policies affecting the labor market. Specifically, the LFS is designed to collect information on the following:
1.      Distribution of household population 15 years old and over, by employment status, by sex, and age group;

2.     Distribution of employed persons by major occupation group, major industry group, class of worker, number of hours worked, highest grade completed, nature of employment, and by sex;

3.     Distribution of underemployed persons by total hours worked, major occupation group, class of worker, and by sex; and

4.     Distribution of unemployed persons by age group, highest grade completed, by number of weeks looking for work, job search method, and by sex.

In Caraga, NSO Field Staff and selected trained Statistical Researchers (SRs) will do a comprehensive door-to-door interview to the sample households from April 8 - 31, 2014. NSO would like to assure the respondents that all information furnished to the SRs are strictly confidential and shall not be used as evidence in court for purposes of taxation, regulation or investigation as provided for in Section 7 of RA 6713.

A total of 2, 246 sample households will be visited by the regular NSO Staff and Statistical Researchers. Among the provinces in the region, Agusan del Norte including the City of Butuan has the highest sample households posted at 642. (NSO-13/PIA-Caraga)


DepEd Butuan City division intensifies info on 'Abot-Alam' program

By Marivic M. Cuizon

BUTUAN CITY, April 8 (PIA) – The Department of Education (DepEd) Butuan City division intensified its Abot-Alam Program to improve delivery of quality education for the Out-of-School Youth (OSY) in the country.

Education Program Supervisor and Division Information Officer Dr. Israel Reveche said that as what education secretary Br. Armin Luistro aimed for the country that “No Filipino youth would be left behind in education," the division is now doing announcements and information dissemination activities to barangays in order for the OSY to avail the Abot-Alam program of the government.

DepEd’s Abot-Alam program is a strategic framework that envisions a “zero” OSY in the Philippines. For the year 2014, the program targets to give education and livelihood skills to one million OSY in the country.

The Abot-Alam Program will also improve delivery of quality education for the OSY in the country, Reveche said. (DepEd-Butuan City Division/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


SurSur PDRRMC on alert, standby due to TD Domeng

By Greg Tataro, Jr.

TANDAG CITY, April 8 (PIA) – The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) in Surigao del Sur said that they have been on alert as well as on standby over the weekend due to Tropical Depression (TD) Domeng that has entered the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) on Sunday.

According to Josefina Palma, Senior Staff of the PDRRMC, all of their office and field personnel are now ready for any eventualities that might come along.  Last week, she said that hotlines with all their counterparts at the city and municipal levels have already been activated for any advisory from the DRRMCs top hierarchy being the standard operating procedure (SOP).

Based on the latest typhoon tract from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (PAG-ASA), as of 4:00 a.m., TD Domeng was spotted at 620 km east of Davao City, with maximum sustained winds at 55 kph near the center while moving west-northwest at 5 kilometer per hour. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


LAWig TESDA program ushers 733 TWSP grads

By Gervacio C. Dauz, Jr.

BUTUAN CITY, April 8 (PIA) - In an unprecedented move that gathered several hundreds of Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP) graduates at the spacious Capitol Covered Court here just recently, Cong. Lawrence Lemuel H. Fortun, Representative of the 1st District of Agusan del Norte, candidly acknowledged his graduates’ presence and sent them off via a plain handshaking and certificate-bestowing ceremony together with a message of goodwill and encouragement.

Bannering under the moniker “LAWig TESDA” program, his LAWig’s human resource development uptake in tandem with TESDA ushered at least 733 TWSP constituent-graduates who became skilled and capacitated after a grueling hands-on training in their respective qualification choice.  Curiously, his part of the tandem is represented by “LAW,” which was taken from his signature nickname, plus an “ig,” which when juxtaposed or fused together connotes and conjures the image of a “voyage.”

During his “heart to heart talk” with the TWSP graduates, he challenged them to soil their sleeves until such time that they get employed.  “Inasmuch as you are already armed with the skills of your own choice,” he bellowed, “make the necessary move so that you will become relevant” as constituents of this district or as citizens.

Not going far, he actually used his personal experience to drive home a point in order to encourage them.  As per his narrative, he once was a working student who toiled at work by daytime, and studied diligently at night, even burning the midnight candle on countless occasion . . . until he made it through the rain by graduating from the premiere University of the Philippines and becoming a lawyer in the process.

Like one showing a report card, he divulged his brisk attempt of scraping some nooks and crannies just “to source out funds for your scholarship.  "This is because I really value human resource development,” he revealed.

Furthermore, “we will attempt to sustain and expand our LAWig TESDA program even more, so that we will be able to help in the development of our community, our country,” this he vowed to the loud cheers and clapping of both the school executives who were present as well as the graduates themselves.

Regional Director Florencio F. Sunico, Jr. of TESDA Caraga pointed earlier during his talk that “this gathering is the most extensive in terms of the number of qualifications as well as the number of graduates.”  However, “the bigger challenge is not so much about getting the certificates actually, but more of getting into employment or the job market,” he argued.

He admonished the graduates to really aspire, if not perspire, in clinching a job, because “the next batch of TWSP scholars will be dependent upon you as we will be seeking employment report of at least 62 percent.  The next round of our TWSP slots would hang in the balance if you will not land a job,” this he repeatedly pronounced.

Veering on practical terms, he asked the graduates: “What has the training done for you?”  He went on to answer that “it opens door of opportunity for you.  And the equity that you should give in exchange is for you to make use of your skills.”

Provincial Director Rodrigo G. de Villa of TESDA Agusan del Norte, on the other hand, urged the graduates to aim for the stars, to be experts in their respective fields of endeavor.  And being experts he meant the need to continue learning as “you will play a dynamic role . . . in the development of our country.”

As for statistical breakdown, Cong. Fortun and TESDA’s TWSP fellows graduated in exactly 10 qualifications with the corresponding number of graduates per qualification, to wit: Bartending NC II, 23 finishers; Bookkeeping NC III, 50; Computer Hardware Servicing NC II, 195; Consumer Electronics Servicing NC II, 25; Driving NC II, 20; Food and Beverage Services NC II, 160; Household Services NC II, 33; Housekeeping NC II, 50; Massage Therapy NC II, 27; and Shielded Metal Arc Welding NC II, 150.

Participating schools that trained the TWSP fellows were the following: Agusan Colleges, Agusan Institute of Technology, AMA-Computer Learning Center, Butuan City Colleges, Butuan City Manpower Training Center, Butuan Doctors’ College, Caraga State University-Main Campus, Center for Healthcare Professions, Father Saturnino Urios University, Global Competency-Based Training Center, Las Nieves Training Center, Philippine Electronics and Communication Institute of Technology, and Saint Joseph Institute of Technology. (TESDA-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


5 agrarian scholars earn college degrees

By Daryll M. Tumbaga

SURIGAO CITY, Apr. 8 (PIA) – Five scholars under the Programang Agraryo Iskolar (PAI) of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) graduated from baccalaureate degrees.

The three DAR scholars who graduated recently from Surigao State College of Technology (SSCT) Malimono Campus, Surigao del Norte were Federico C. Maturan, graduated with a degree in Fisheries technology; Marecel M. Maturan finished her Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, and Rona C. Garcitos finished her degree in Marine Biology.

While the two DAR scholars graduated from SSCT-Main Campus, Surigao City were Zenith R. Labadan and Cherry Loue I. Ocon who both graduated with a degree in Bachelor in Technical Teacher Education.

In his message, Federico Maturan expressed his deepest gratitude to DAR for giving him the scholarship grant that will pave the way to change the course of his life and his family as well.

“I am very happy and grateful to DAR for giving me this rare opportunity because I know that may parents cannot afford to send me to school. That’s why I really tried hard to take my studies seriously so that I will be able to help them financially in the future,” Maturan said.

The five scholars were honored and given certificates of recognition by DAR Caraga Regional Director Faisar A. Mambuay witnessed by Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) II Jamil P. Amatonding, Jr, PARPO I Jose T. Sebucao, Program Beneficiaries Division Chief Elizabeth L. De Guzman and the parents of the scholars during the simple recognition ceremony held recently at the DAR provincial office, Surigao del Norte.

The DAR scholarship program started last 2003 and was called as President Diosdado Macapagal Agrarian Scholarship Program (PDMASP).

Then, on June of 2010, President Benigno Aquino changed the PDMASP to what it is now known as Programang Agraryo Iskolar (PAI).

Through these years, the DAR Scholarship program in Surigao del Norte alone has already benefitted 23 recipients, all of them are sons and daughters of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries in the province of Surigao del Norte. (SDR/DAR-SDN/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Gov’t moves for earlier completion of Cotabato airport expansion project

COTABATO CITY, April 8 (PIA) - Government officials have assured business leaders here that flight operations at Cotabato (Awang) Airport willl resume normal operations in August this year, with the expected completion of runway and taxiway expansion project earlier than the original target.

In a recent dialogue-meeting at the Executive Office of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), officials from key government agencies and local business leaders have reached a consensus for flight adjustments and fastracking of airport expansion work.

The meeting, which sought to address issues arising from the airport’s flight service limitations, was attended by officials from the ARMM, City Government of Cotabato, Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), as well as leaders from the business community.

Currently, flights to and from Cotabato City are reduced to four days-a-week schedule with Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays dedicated for project construction work.  Prior to this, the airport has four daily flights to and from Manila.

“We are looking into every possible way to ease the inconvenience resulting from the airport expansion work, even as we recognize the impact of this to the business sector,” said MinDA Executive Director Janet Lopoz, adding that, “efforts are geared at hastening project implementation, while ensuring that quality is not compromised.”

According to DOTC’s Lino Dhabi, Assistant Secretary for Project Monitoring and Evaluation, the rehabilitation of Cotabato Airport accords safe and enhanced facility for flights by providing adequate dimension of runway and taxiway, in compliance with the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Meanwhile, Lopoz said the DOTC Project Management Unit has committed to submit monthly reports to the concerned agencies to ensure that the new project timeline and the quality standards are strictly followed.

An agreement was also met by the inter-agency group to facilitate a window time of flight schedule from 12:00 PM to 4 PM every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, with the Philippine Airlines (PAL) Express expressing interest to provide flight services to the proposed window schedule. 

The P55-million airport improvement project, which commenced in January this year has drawn negative reactions from the Cotabato flying passengers reporteldy due to lack of public consultation and delays in work. The reduced flights also resulted to double handling and attendant costs.

The original project timeline has set the project completion, including construction of perimeter fence, to December this year.

Acting on the call of the Cotabato business sector and other flying passengers, the Regional Board of Investments of ARMM passed a resolution to convene all the concerned entities to resolve the issues on airport improvement project.

“It was a good thing that MinDA acted immediately on our request to convene all the concerned agencies in this project, even elevating our discussion to the DOTC Central Office,” said RBOI Director Atty. Ishak Mastura.

He added that the meeting has paved the way for revising timeline for project completion and subsequent resumption of daily flights, sooner than planned.

“The completion of the project is seen to significantly improve the business climate in Central Mindanao, as it aims to attract more local and foreign investors by providing the needed business logistics, particularly flight connectivity,” Mastura said. (MinDA/PIA-Caraga)


DILG-13 turns over new fire truck to BCFS

BUTUAN CITY, Apr. 8 (PIA) – The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region 13 has formally turned over the Rosenbauer TFL 4000 fire truck to Butuan City Fire Station (BCFS) through city mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr. during the regular Monday Flag Raising Ceremony on April 7, 2014 at the city hall grounds, this city.

The new firefighting engine is a 1,000 gallon water-pumper, four-door fire truck with seven-passenger seating capacity. Mounted on the chassis is a 240hp water-cooled main engine linked to the water pump via power-take-off.

Also, it features a strong water cannon that can push water up to 62 meters horizontally and 24 meters vertically which is equivalent to an eight-storey building. It can discharge 2,400 liters of water per minute.

“I’m very glad because with this highly capable fire truck, inevitable fire incidents in the city will be swiftly suppressed especially this hot summer season,” Amante expressed.

The mayor encouraged everyone to be more cautious and responsible to avoid the risks of destructive fires.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Fire Protection regional director SSupt Mario Socorro C. Timonera also conveyed his gratitude and further disclosed that additional fire trucks will be furnished for the city’s benefit.

“It will definitely augment the physical component and operational capability of our fire station,” Timonera added. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)