5.05.2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

Butuan Kidney Alliance strengthens info drive for ESRD awareness

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, May 5 (PIA) – The Butuan Kidney Alliance, Inc. (BKAI), a non-profit organization of volunteers chaired by Dr. Rene Vargas, is promoting further a public awareness on the early detection, prevention and treatment of diseases and conditions that can lead to chronic kidney failure or end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

“As an advocacy group, we are dedicating in dealing the plight of patients suffering from ESRD and support universal access to its remedies including hemodialysis services,” said Dr. Vargas in a press conference on Friday at the Philippine Information Agency Caraga regional office.

Vargas reiterated that the cost of the life-saving dialysis is prohibitive, way beyond the reach of even the average Filipino family. The financial burden is even more painfully felt by the indigent families.

By revealing figures, it was learned that each dialysis session costs about P5,000, and patients optimally need three sessions per week, or P15,000 a week, or P780,000 for the 156 sessions per year. There is also an added expense for medicines, repeated laboratory tests, plus the professional fees.

“To the indigents, this expense is fatal. It is not surprising that we see many patients taking dangerous risks, receiving dialysis only once a week or even less, some not at all,” stated Dr. Vargas.

He said that vital information and facts must be disseminated in order to prevent and minimize the occurrence of ESRD especially that presently there is no free dialysis offered in this city, unlike other counties where dialysis is provided at no charge.

“The incidence of ESRD and the need for dialysis in the Philippines and in Butuan City are increasing at an alarming rate. There is also a critical need for more adequate government support to alleviate the suffering of patients and their families and to make dialysis services available to everyone in need,” he added.

However, the Phillippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) is giving financial assistance to the families of patients with ESRD in the amount of P10,000 every two months of dialysis. While this amounts to P60,000 per year, the amount seems insignificant when compared to total dialysis expenditure.

Meanwhile, Dr. Wilfred Mallonga said that most kidney failures are mainly caused by hypertension and diabetes.

He encouraged to maintain healthy weight, avoid eating excessive sweets, increase intake of water, quit smoking and manage stress to avoid suffering from chronic kidney failure.

Perla Ponce, member of the board of trustees of BKAI positively relayed also that it is a good thing to know that kidney failure is preventable. She suggested to eat the right kind of food, to get involved in daily exercise and shift to a healthy lifestyle. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


AgSur PNP organizes advisory council for transformation, development

By David M. Suyao

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, May 5 (PIA) - Agusan del Sur Police Provincial Office (ADS-PPO) organized recently an advisory council for transformation and development whose advisory strategic role is to interpret and analyze the PNP Integrated Transformation Program – Performance Governance System (ITP-PGS) (PNP PATROL 2030), including the ongoing programs, projects and activities pertaining or relating to the reform and development of the ADS-PPO.

“The primary role of the council is advisory in nature. It does not have an administrative or operational authority over, nor responsibility for specific operational decisions within the provincial police office,” Police Provincial Director P/SSupt. Alexander Sampaga said.

According to P/SSupt. Sampaga, the council has three primary functions. First: To advise and assist the PPO in identifying key priorities and strategic issues in accordance with the PNP ITG-PGS (PATROL Plan 2030), provide insights in aligning the PPOs policies, plans programs with the political, socio-economic, cultural and moral development needs of the organization; Second: Together with the Technical Working Group (TWG), the council will evaluate and revise the strategies for the implementation of the PGS in accordance with the PPO thrusts, programs, projects and advise on the necessary amaendment to the current and development of future programs, projects and activities and; Third: To assist and advise the PPO on possible ways to generate additional enabling resources in order to support and sustain the PPO’s present and future plans and programs.

Even in his absence, Agusan del Sur Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza was nominated by Veruela Mayor Salimar Mondejar being the chief executive of the province. Gov. Plaza was then voted as the Chairman of the ADS- PPO Advisory Council with Mayor Salimar as Vice Chairman being the chairman of the League of Municipalities of Agusan del Sur. All the selected members who attended the meeting automatically became members of the council.

According to mandate, the council will meet at least once every two months except when there is an emergency need to meet. The PPO also welcomes suggestions and reports from the members of the council whenever they found it necessary. (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Surigao Norte celebrates 113th Founding Anniversary

By Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, May 5 (PIA) – The province of Surigao del Norte is celebrating its 113th Founding Anniversary with a week-long activity from May 2-15, 2014.

This year’s celebration is anchored on the theme, “Kultura Surigaonon, Kabilin na Bililhon” (Surigaonon Culture: Precious Legacy).

The celebration kicked-off on Friday, May 2 with the opening parade around the city followed by an opening program at the Provincial Sports Complex then, centennial On-The Spot Painting Contest (inter-secondary). At around 7:00 p.m., a teachers’ folk dance competition was held at the city's Luneta Park.

This coming May 11, a half marathon dubbed as “Run for One Surigao” - a marathon for peace and unity spearheaded by the Surigao Runners Club (SRC) will be conducted and on May 13, the Search for Binibining Surigao 2014 will highlight the week-long anniversary celebration.

Other lined up activities include: Coastal Clean-Up; Cultural Shows; Mountain Bike and BMX Tournament; Konsierto sa Luneta Park; Oratorical Competition (inter-secondary); OPM Singing Contest; Paduwa 2014; Agri-Aqua Trade Fair; Hip-Hop Dance Contest (inter-secondary); Photo and Art Exhibit; Dance Showdown (Surigao’s Festivals); Fireworks Display; Surigaonon Food Festival; Local History Writing Seminar; Skills Competition (table skirting and arrangement, fruit carving, cooking contest, wine mixing); and Centennial Float Parade.

Just recently, the office of the Provincial Governor issued Executive Order No. 012, series of 2014 declaring May 2-15 as the official week-long activity celebration and enjoining all government offices, public and private schools, non-government organizations, civil society organizations and private sector within the territorial jurisdiction to participate in the opening of the celebration and the subsequent activities thereafter. (SDR/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


DILG Caraga chief presents Caraga’s State of Disaster Preparedness during INAP Roadshow

By Don Manuelo O. Patrimonio

BUTUAN CITY, May 5 (PIA) - Department of the Interior and Local Government Caraga Region (DILG 13) regional director Lilibeth A. Famacion presented Caraga Region’s State of Disaster Preparedness and highlighted the Seal of Good Local Governance as having Disaster Preparedness as a core element during the Disaster Risk Reduction-Climate Change Adaptation (DRR-CCA) Roadshow entitled Iba na ang Panahon: Science for Safer Communities last April 29-30, 2014 at the Gateway Hotel, Surigao City.

The forum which was rife with technical inputs on scientific tools for weather forecasting and monitoring for disaster preparedness, prevention and mitigation also became a venue Local Chief Executives and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officers (DRRMOs) to apprise themselves with the National State of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and the state of disaster preparedness in the region. The former was presented by no less than the lady director of the Office of Civil Defense, Liza R. Mazo, and the latter by DILG regional director Lilibeth A. Famacion.

During her presentation, Famacion revealed the results of the assessment conducted by the DILG-13 across the 77 Local Government Units in the region (i.e. 67 municipalities, six cities and four provinces excluding Dinagat Islands) for the Seal of Disaster Preparedness (SDP) last 2012.  The SDP is a proof of local government resilience to risks and vulnerabilities. Based on DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2012-79 dated April 25, 2012, it intends to assess performance gaps of LGUs and link them to policy or program intervention and monitor improvement on disaster preparedness.

Results as presented showed how our LGUs fare relatively low-medium in most of the indicators with some indicators with high ratings.

The areas wherein majority of the region’s LGUs rated high are in Leadership Structure in terms of organized DRRMOs; and External Support in terms of Partnership and Volunteerism.

Areas wherein majority of the region’s LGUs rated medium are in Leadership Structure in terms of organized DRRMCs, Disaster Operations or Emergency Center; and Operational Readiness in terms of Simulation Exercises, and Evacuation Alert System.

And the areas wherein majority of the region’s LGUs rated low are in Leadership structure in terms of Incident Command System; Risk Assessment Planning and Budgeting; Operational Readiness in terms of Early Warning System, Local Policy on Forced or Pre-Emptive Evacuation Enacted, and Stockpiling and Equipping; External Support in terms of Community Awareness; and the likelihood of preparedness. The Likelihood of preparedness is the capability of the LGU to address the potential effects of a disaster to human life. It implies a window of 6 to 12 hours before a disaster takes place.

Famacion also highlighted the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) as the flagship program of the department, raising the bar of local governance from that of the Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH).  The SGLG’s six outcome areas include Disaster Preparedness and is actually one of the three core assessment areas that the LGU must pass in the 3+1 scheme. It looks at Hazard Assessment that is linked to plans; systems, structures, process and budget; and availability of documents such as Executive Orders creative LDRRMC, designating LDRRMO, Comprehensive Land Use Plan, DRRM Plan, Contingency Plan, Local Climate Change Action Plan and Standard Operating Procedures.

The DRRM-CCA initiatives and accomplishments of the DILG 13 were also presented by Famacion as well as showcased in the form of an exhibit at the hotel lobby throughout the duration of the roadshow. (DILG-13/PIA-Caraga)


DILG’s LGPMS operationalizes SGLG, no longer self-administered

By Don Manuelo O. Patrimonio

BUTUAN CITY, May 5 (PIA) - The 2014 Local Governance Performance Management (LGPMS) is no longer going to be a self-assessment tool as before. This was brought out during the Caraga Leagues of Local Planning and Development Coordinators Forum held last April 23, 2014 at Prince Hotel, Butuan City where the LGPMS and the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) were among the major topics discussed during the activity which was spearheaded by the National Economic Development Authority – Region 13.

LGOO VI Jocelyn C. Jayoma, LGPMS Regional Anchor, informed the body of the new LGPMS which operationalizes the Seal of Good Local Governance. As such, it is no longer a self-assessment tool among Local Government Units (LGUs), as was the practice before. The new scheme is based on the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular Number 2014-39 dated March 24, 2014. This is to remove biases and maintain objectivity in the assessment since the LGPMS stepped up from being a mere planning and performance monitoring tool into the performance oversight tool for the recognition platform for the SGLG that would identify the top performing LGUs in the areas of Good Financial Housekeeping, Disaster Preparedness, Social Protection, Business Friendliness and Competitiveness, Environmental Management, and Peace and Order.

Under the new scheme, a team of assessors coming from the DILG, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and National Government Agencies (NGAs) called the Regional Assessment Team (RAT) will be the ones who will visit the LGUs to make their assessments. The results from the RAT for the component cities and municipalities will be encoded by the Provincial Focal Person into the LGPMS data capture form; while the results for the provinces and highly urbanized cities will be encoded by the Regional Focal Person. Once encoded, the LGPMS will automatically process the data and generate the list of qualified LGUs for the SGLG.

For a start, the SGLG embarks on a 3+1 principle where each LGU should pass all the three core assessment areas, i.e. Good Financial Housekeeping, Disaster Preparedness, and Social Protection, while only needing to pass only one of the remaining essential assessment areas.

The SGLG recipient LGUs are eligible to access the upscaled Performance Challenge Fund, a support fund to finance local development initiatives in furtherance of national government goals and strategic thrusts. Access to other program windows and capacity development assistance from the DILG will also form part of the incentives package, subject to national policies and guidelines.

To gear up for this, an orientation on the SGLG and LGPMS is set for all DILG field officers on May 5, 2014 at Pietros Square, Capitol-Bonbon Road, Butuan City. Here the different Municipal/City Local Government Operations Officers (M/CLGOOs) and Provincial Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) involved are to be apprised with the implementation details of the program. (DILG-13/PIA-Caraga)


Caraga’s entry to Tatak TESDA Video-Making contest wins Best Video

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, May 5 (PIA) – Caraga Region’s lone finalist in the first Nationwide Tatak TESDA Video-Making Contest won Best in Video during the Awards Night Friday, May 1 at the PAGCOR Grand Theater in Parañaque City, Metro Manila.

Noel Japitana of this city was chosen as one of the awardees in the Individual Category out of 10 finalists coming from different regions in the country. He received P25,000.00 cheque plus a trophy and a Plaque of Recognition from Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director-General, Sec. Joel J. Villanueva; TESDA Deputy Director-General for TESD Operations Atty. Teodoro Pascua; Deputy Director-General for Policies and Planning Irene M. Isaac and TEVSAPHIL Chair Col. Alejandro T. Escaño.

The three-hour show was hosted by Philippine showbiz comedian Bayani Agbayani and Korean Disc Jockey Grace Lee. The crowd was likewise entertained by performers of Gateways Institute of Science and Technology Choir, Asia Pacific College of Advance Study, Jacobo Z. Gonzales Memorial School of Arts and Trades, TV-5’s Talentadong Pinoy Grand Champion, and ABS-CBN’s The Voice Artists Thor and Lecelle Trinidad.

For the Individual Category, Bryan Hernandez of San Pablo City, Laguna won the Grand Prize and received P100,000 plus plaque and trophy, while Elnard Ympal of San Juan, Province of Siquijor was declared Best in Story receiving P25,000.00 cheque, and National Capital Region’s Omar Kevin Mohammad of the host city won the People’s Choice Award and received P50,000.

In the School category, United Christian Academy College of Asia grabbed the Grand Prize, winning P1 million worth of Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP) slots. The school also won the People’ Choice Award grabbing P500,000 worth of TWSP scholarship slots. Negros Occidental Language and Information Technology Center of Bacolod City won the Best in Video award, receiving P250,000 worth of TWSP scholarship slots, while I-Link College of Science and Technology in Midsayap, Cotabato was declared Best in Story and also received P250,000 worth of TWSP scholarship slots.

From a total of 137 official entries received by TESDA Central Office, the top twenty were selected – 10 for Individual and 10 for School categories and from the ten finalists, special awards and the grand winner were selected in each category.

The five judges were headed by Mr. Robert Labayen, Head of Creative Communications Management of ABS-CBN.

In his speech, Sec. Villanueva emphasized that the winning videos will be used by TESDA in the agency’s promotional and advocacy campaigns which include the showing as advertorial materials in national and international shows promoting technical-vocational education in the Philippines. (TESDA-13/PIA-Caraga)


Tagalog News: Palasyo sineguro ang katiyakan ng pagkain sa gitna ng banta ng El Nino

Ni David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Mayo 5, 2014 (PIA) - Sineguro ng Malakanyang noong Linggo na may sapat na paraan para maseguro ang katiyakan ng pagkain sa bansa sa gitna ng banta sa mahaba ng magiging epekto ng El Nino.

Sinabi ni Presidential Communication Operations Office Secretary Heminio Coloma, Jr noong Linggo na ang katiyakan sa pagkain ay isa sa mga nangungunang prayoridad ng Kagawaran ng Agrikultura (DA).

“Kaya kapag tinunghayan po natin ang kanilang budget sa General Appropriations Act of 2015, makikita po nating nakahanay doon ang mga kongkretong programa sa pagtiyak na magkakaroon tayo ng sapat na pagkain,” sabi Coloma sa isang pakipanayam sa media na inihayag noong Linggo sa pamamagitan ng dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

Sinabi niya na ang kagawaran ng Agrikultura ay pinangunahan at kinunsidera ang mga likas na kalamidad na maaring tumama sa bansa.

“Isa na po diyan ‘yung pag-diversify ng ating mga supply kung sakaling tamaan ng bagyo o kalamidad ang isang lugar na hindi naman mawa-wipe out o mawawala ang ating inaasahang panggagalingan ng pagkain sapagkat nakapaghanda naman po sa pamamagitan ng pagtatanim sa iba’t ibang lugar ng ating bansa,” pahayag ni Coloma.

Ang Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Atmospheric Services Administration – Department of Science and Technology (PAGASA-DOST) ay nagbabala na maaring maramdaman ng bansa ang epekto ng El Nino sa darating na Hunyo at tatagal hanggang sa unang tatlong buwan sa darating na taon.

Ang El Nino phenomenon ay isang abnormal na babala ng temperature ng tubig dagat na makakaapekto sa mga bansa na nakapaligit sa Pacific Ocean na magdadala ng tagtuyot at magsimula ng abnormal na desinyo ng panahon. (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)