Thursday, May 1, 2014

DOST chief cites importance of 'Iba na ang Panahon' IEC campaign

By Nora L. Molde

BUTUAN CITY, May 1 (PIA) – “We, at the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), believe that we can use science to better understand and improve our disaster planning and preparations at the national and local community levels,” says Secretary Mario Montejo during the “Iba na ang Panahon: Science for Safer Communities” Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign in Surigao City on April 29-30.

“'Iba na ang Panahon: Science for Safer Communities' Project campaign therefore, is our science-based formula in dealing with calamities: Early Warning leads to Early Action. Early Action minimizes Loss. Therefore, reduced amount of loss leads to Early Recovery,” Montejo said.

Montejo said that based on the lessons of typhoon Yolanda, "we have come up with a 4-point agenda to Guide Community Disaster Preparedness, these include: Increase local risk knowledge; Capacitate hazards monitoring; Test warning and communications protocol; and Build response capability in communities."

The campaign slogan, according to Montejo bears two meanings. One deals with the changes in our seasonal climate and weather patterns, with weather disturbances coming in more frequently and with great intensity -- a possible effect of climate change. “This is why Ondoy, Pepeng, Sendong, Reming, and what would otherwise be a harmless Habagat happened one after the other,” he added.

“The other change speaks of new available tools such as the latest high-resolution maps and flood modeling solutions that allow our scientists to study hazards and bring better forecast warnings which give ample lead time for the community folks to take the necessary action,” Montejo said.

Through these new tools, we also hope to raise your awareness and understanding as local chief executives, disaster managers, partner civil society organizations, and even the local community media on these hazards. And introduce NEW tools that can be used for community disaster preparedness hinged on the 4-pt agenda to guide Community-based  Disaster Preparedness mentioned previously,” Montejo bared.

DOST’s “Iba na ang Panahon” is a two-pronged slogan that means: 1) Time (“panahon”) has changed (“Iba na”), so let’s move on from antiquated “tools” to S&T-based information and tools in designing disaster preparedness plans; and 2) Climate (“panahon”) change (“iba”) compels us to be more prepared for hazards to make our communities safer. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga)


Tourism Consultation Workshop conducted in Dinagat Islands

By Ma. Jane Mayola

DINAGAT ISLANDS, May 2 (PIA) – The Provincial Tourism Office here participated a three-day consultation workshop for the preparation of Tourism Development Master Plan held recently at the Aurelio Gym, San Jose, this province.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Assistant Secretary Arturo P. Boncato, the event's guest of honor, said the activity aims primarily to improve local products that include attractions and services that Dinagatnons could offer.

"We have to focus on access and connectivity that will open more doors for the travellers. The local government should focus in the culture of tourism to ensure that tourism will grow thereby making Dinagat a model island destination that is sustainable," Boncato said.

The activity was attended by the members of the Provincial Tourism Technical Working Group, provincial department heads, representatives from the seven tourism municipal offices, tourism stakeholders, national line agencies, NGOs and private sectors. (SDR/Dinagat Islands/PIA-Dinagat Islands)


SSS achieves another banner year in 2013

MANILA, May 1 - The Social Security System (SSS) marked another banner year in 2013, highlighted by the sustained growth both in net income and assets. Net income for 2013 was P38 billion, registering an increase of six percent from P36 billion in 2012, while total assets likewise grew by six percent to P385 billion.

May Catherine Ciriaco, SSS Vice President for Management Services and Planning, credited the increase to improved financial operations as reflected by the 9.3 percent jump in contribution collections that for the first time surpassed the century mark at P103 billion.

“Investment and other income stood at P34.4 billion, up by 1.5 percent from P33.9 billion in 2012 despite the low interest rate scenario and volatility in the financial market. SSS' 8.7 percent return on investment continues to outperform market benchmarks such as the four percent 10-year T-bond rate and 0.7 percent 364-day Treasury bill rate,” Ciriaco noted.

SSS benefit releases totaled P91 billion, with over half of which or P49 billion paid for retirement claims, and about one-third or P30 billion disbursed to survivors of deceased members. Payments for maternity, which totaled P4 billion, and retirement posted the highest rates of increase among SSS benefit types last year at 12.6 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively.

The contribution-benefit surplus --- or the positive difference between collected contributions and disbursed benefits --- grew by 16 percent to P12 billion. The 2013 surplus marked a five-year high, and was six times more than the P2 billion surplus in 2010.

Ciriaco said prudent management of operating and capital expenditures led to improved SSS operating efficiency despite higher transaction levels, greater number of members served and increased SSS presence locally and overseas.

“SSS operating expenses in 2013 reached only P7.6 billion, which was relatively flat compared to 2012. More significantly, spending for SSS operations in 2013 represented only 57 percent of our allowed charter limit, even as we were able to reach out to more members and handle a heavier transaction load last year,” she added.

Transaction volume swelled by 6.4 percent to 33.7 million last year from 31.7 million in 2012, with contribution-related transactions, accounting for half of the 2013 total. The growth in SSS transactions is in step with the 4.3 percent growth in SSS coverage to 30.7 million individual members, while the number of registered employers totaled about 912,000 by end-2013.

To provide members greater convenience and easier access to SSS services and facilities, the agency last year opened a total of 21 local offices nationwide – namely three new branches at Panabo (Davao), Guadalupe (Makati City) and Congressional (Quezon City), as well as 18 rent-free SSS Service Offices located in 17 malls and one inside the Muntinlupa City Hall.

“To reach out to overseas Filipino workers, SSS opened two foreign representative offices for Filipino communities in Macau and Bahrain that have a high concentration of migrant workers. We also deployed more roving SSS officers to bolster our coverage activities in the Middle East, Europe and Asia and encourage OFWs to register or re-activate their SSS membership,” Ciriaco explained.

Members also benefited from the six-day work week implemented by all SSS branches from October to December 2013, as well as the special Saturday schedule of all SSS offices in June 2013 to accommodate household employers and domestic workers complying with the Batas Kasambahay enacted last year.

In 2013, the agency accredited 12 microfinance institutions, cooperatives and organized groups as servicing or collecting partner agents so that their members can transact with SSS via authorized representatives within their own organizations. SSS also signed last year coverage agreements with the Insurance Commission and the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers – Quezon City Chapter.

“Implementation of the AlkanSSSya Program, which was introduced in 2012 as a major driver for the social protection of informal sector workers, picked up its pace last year with nearly 600 groups representing more than 53,000 members nationwide joining the program in 2013 alone,” Ciriaco said. “SSS plans to further expand the AlkanSSSya's reach this year to extend social protection to more workers in all corners of the country.”

There were government offices also joining the AlkanSSSya Program in 2013 to provide SSS coverage for their job order (JO) and contractual workers who are not covered by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), with Brgy. Pulang Lupa Dos in Las Piñas City as the first participating local government unit. SSS further strengthened its coverage campaign for this sector by signing agreements in 2014 with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

"We continue to seek ways to make transacting with SSS easier, faster and more convenient for members. As part of this thrust, we installed E-Centers where members can use or access SSS' desktop computers, telephones, information kiosks and other self-service facilities to help cut down the time spent transacting at our branches,” Ciriaco said.

Members can also check their records and transact without going to the nearest branch through the SSS Website (www.sss.gov.ph) as an alternative and more convenient option. The number of SSS Web accounts rose to 2.9 million as of end-2013, with new enrollees last year totaling 804,492 members and 91,056 employers. About two million SSS website transactions were also recorded last year, from over a half a million in 2012.

The SSS also met with stakeholders through communication forums to provide updates on SSS plans and programs, as well as gather direct feedback to help identify and address barriers to active SSS membership. SSS briefings in 2013 were held at overseas Filipino communities in Doha, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oslo, Berlin, Hamburg, Tokyo, Bangkok, Beijing, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, USA and Canada, while local regional visits were also conducted in Zamboanga, Tacloban, Butuan and Palawan. (SSS/PIA-Caraga)


DSWD-13 to hold job hiring, orientation for KC-NCDDP

By Eunice G. Montaos

BUTUAN CITY, May 1 (PIA) - To easily facilitate the hiring of competent workers for KALAHI CIDSS- National Community Driven Development Program (KC-NCDDP), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga will be conducting a Job Hiring and Orientation on May 2, 2014 at the Robinson’s Place, this city.

The activity will seek potential employees that will work with the Program, orient applicants on the KC-NCDDP, and will share information between job seekers and employers.

With the expected launching of KC-NCDDP in June 2014, 346 field workers will be needed by the Office to complete the staffing requirement for the 2014 implementation in the region.

Assistant Regional Director Mita G.Lim said that this job fair is a strategy of the Regional Program Management Office (RPMO) personnel to cope with the tight timeline of hiring qualified applicants since the Program implementation is set to start in the early second semester of this year.

Interested and qualified applicants for the area coordinator, deputy area coordinator, municipal finance analyst and community empowerment facilitator positions are invited to attend the said activity with their comprehensive resume and application letter addressed to regional director Minda B. Brigoli of DSWD-Caraga. (DSWD-13/PIA-Caraga)


DSWD-Caraga to hire 346 field staff for KC-NCDDP

By Eunice G. Montaos

BUTUAN CITY, May 1 (PIA) – Three hundred forty-six (346) field workers are needed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga for the on-board of the Kalahi-CIDSS-National Community Driven Development Program (KC-NCDDP).

With the 46 municipalities in the region which are identified to be covered by the Program, many workers are needed to suffice the workforce required for the implementation.

Regional Director Minda B. Brigoli already announced that despite the presence of the existing Kalahi-CIDSS staff in the office, still it will need more workers since the Program will have a broader scope.

Assistant Regional Director Mita G. Lim pronounced that the Office will hire 39 Area Coordinators, 44 Deputy Area Coordinators, 49 Finance Analysts and 214 Community Facilitators in the region.

Interested and qualified applicants for the said positions are invited to submit their application letters and resumes at the Records section of DSWD FO Caraga, Pili Drive Ext., Butuan City or at kc_sm_caraga@yahoo.com.

The deadline for submission of applications is on May 2, 2014.

The NCDDP is the scale-up program of the Kalahi-CIDSS project, one of the core anti-poverty alleviation programs of DSWD. With its participatory, transparency and accountability principles, the Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach used by the Project is proven to be an effective strategy in advancing development in local communities.

KC-NCDDP is set to commence in May 2014 in the region. (DSWD-13/PIA-Caraga)


DSWD Caraga readies for KC-NCDDP take-off

By Eunice G. Montaos

BUTUAN CITY, May 1 (PIA) - With the recently approved scale-up of the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan - Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga is now getting ready for the set-off of KALAHI CIDSS - National Community Driven Development Program (KC-NCDDP) in the region.

For 2014 implementation, this Program covers 46 municipalities and five provinces in Caraga. With varied implementation conditionalities, these are categorized into three: five belonged to the “177” non-Poor but Yolanda-affected, another 36 are in the “377” Poor and Yolanda-affected, while five are identified in the “293” Poor but not hit by the super typhoon.

This final list of areas to be covered, and workers needed by the Program for this year’s take-off was only finalized during the 1st Quarter Mindanao cluster Project Review and Evaluation Workshop (PREW) last April 9-12, 2014 at Eden Nature’s Park, Davao City, from which the final go-signal for the KC-NCDDP national launching in June 2014 was signified by the central office to the regional offices.

Right there and then, the RPMO met for action planning, strategizing and tasking in preparation for this undertaking.

Social marketing initiatives were intensified for the pulling of applications from potential applicants for 346 vacant positions.

KC-NCDDP Regional Project Manager Mita G. Lim said that public service announcements about the urgent hiring were already plugged through radio stations and social media sites.

Examination for the 1st batch of shortlisted applicants for the area coordinator, deputy area coordinator, community empowerment facilitator and municipal finance analyst was already conducted last April 27-28, 2014.

A Job Hiring and Orientation activity will also be facilitated by the RPMO at Robinsons Place, Butuan City on May 2, 2014.

Local chief executives of the 46 target municipalities were already communicated and notified for being recipients of the KC-NCDDP grant and will set meetings for dialogues and orientation with the RPMO in May 2014.

NCDDP is the national expansion of the CDD strategy, which was used and proven effective by Kalahi-CIDSS in its past 11 years of implementation. KC-NCDDP is designed to support CDD post-disaster response and is anchored on its development objective to have barangays/communities of targeted municipalities become more empowered to achieve improved access to services and to participate in more inclusive local planning, budgeting, and implementation. (DSWD-13/PIA-Caraga)


SurSur Agraryo Scholars received certificate of recognition from DAR-SDS

SURIGAO DEL SUR, May 1 (PIA) - The Agraryo scholars who successfully graduated  four-year degree courses for the school year 2013-2014 received a certificate of recognition from the Department of Agrarian Reform-Surigao del Sur (DAR-SDS) provincial office headed by Benjamin Mataksil held during the flag ceremony conducted on April 28.

The said scholarships accordingly were under the Programang Agraryo Iskolar (PAI) in which 30 scholar-grantees already finished their studies province-wide.

During the distribution of certificates, each scholar had given the opportunity to expressed their heartfelt thanks and gratitude of having such great opportunities extended by the government to the less fortunate students. According to them the program really helped them a lot in many ways and the answers to their needs in taking up their degrees in college.

One parent of the grantee named Julita Consuegra had emotionally shared a message that if it not because of the program, her daughter will not be able to finish her studies due to poverty.

Meanwhile, the program has already five batches since the start of implementation in 2003. The 10 graduates for school year 2013-2014 were the last batch to avail such program bared by DAR office.

Such scholars accordingly finished their degrees in Surigao del Sur State University (SDSSU)-main campus, SDSSU-San Miguel; SDSSU-Tagbina; and University of South Eastern Philippines, Bislig City. (NGBT/with reports from Myra Yu, DAR-IO/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Cebuano News: Butuan govt ug A. Brown, magtukod ug mga multi-purpose hall

Ni Sheila Yatar

BUTUAN CITY, May 1 (PIA) - Pagasugdan na sunod bulan ang konstraksyon sa duha ka Multi- Purpose Hall sa Brgy. Mahay ning dakbayan human sa gipahigayong Groundbreaking and Capsule Laying Ceremony, buntag sa Abril 28, 2014.
          
Isip usa ka joint venture sa Lokal nga Panggamhanan ug A. Brown Company Inc., gipangunahan kini nila Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr.. kauban sila Vice Mayor Angelo S. Calo, SP Members Hon. Sergio C. Pascual ug Hon. Jaime M. Cembrano, Jr. ug mga representante gikan sa A Brown Company Inc. (ABCI).
          
Gipadayag ni Mayor Amante, atol sa iyang mensahe, ang kalipay ug pagpasalamat sa ABCI tungod sa pagsalig niini sa Lokal nga Panggamhanan sa Butuan. Nanghinaut usab ang Halandong Mayor nga pinaagi sa maong mga dakbalay, mahatagan ug dugang panginabuhian ang mga lumulupyo sa maong barangay, hilabina ang mga kababayen-an.


Ang usa ka Multi- Purpose Hall adunay floor area nga 120 sq.m. samtang ang usa pa niini nga dos andanas aduna’y floor area nga 240 sq.m. (LGU-Butuan City PIO/PIA-Agusan del Norte)