Monday, May 12, 2014

RAFI accepts nomination for 6th triennial awards

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, May 12 (PIA) – The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI), a non-stock, non-profit organization based in Cebu City is soliciting nomination for this year’s RAFI Triennial Awards.

The RAFI Triennial Awards was established to give recognition to individuals and institutions who have made tangible impact into the lives of the people, particularly in the areas of culture and heritage, leadership and citizenship, micro-finance and entrepreneurship, education and integrated development, said George Abcede, officer-in-charge of National Museum-Region 13 Branch.

Abcede added that RAFI awards are given to those who have committed themselves to building a more humane, equitable and caring society, reflecting the philanthropic, humitarian and holistic ideals and values of RAFI founders, Don Ramon Aboitiz and Don Eduardo Aboitiz.

The foundation is encouraging submission of the list of nominees both for individual and institution categories on or before May 16, 2014. Nominees from government agencies, non-government organizations, people’s organizations, civil society, academe, business and other sectors are accepted.

According to Abcede, the Ramon Aboitiz award for exemplary individual category is open to every Filipino natural born or naturalized citizen at least 30 years of age, upholding integrity, and has made significant contributions by enhancing the quality of life of various groups and communities.

For the outstanding institution category, Abcede said that it is open to all government, non-government and people’s organizations established at least three years with operational programs and services and committed collaboration with other groups in bringing about comprehensive and responsible development.

Nomination forms can be downloaded at www.rafi.org.ph/triennialawards and send completed forms to Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center, Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc., 35 Lopez Jaena Street, Cebu City 6000.

For additional information, Ehrliza Madale and Agustina Tamayo of Butuan National Museum can be contacted at (085)342-5328 or email at mel.yan@rafi.org.ph. You may visit also their Facebook account facebook.com/rafi.org.ph and Twitter account @rafiorgph.

Abcede reiterated the invitation to join them  in carrying out their comprehensive network of collaboration that brings out the role model in each individual by partnering with RAFI or nominating unsung heroes. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


AgSur vice gov discusses parliamentary procedure to Red Cross volunteers

By David M. Suyao

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur, May 12 (PIA) - "Before anything else, an organization or group with good, disciplined, responsible and talented members with a concerned, well trained and open-minded leader will survive and excel and become a good organization."

This is the opening statement of Agusan del Sur Vice Governor Santiago B. Cane Jr. when he became the honored speaker to discuss leadership during the celebration of the World Red Cross Red Crescent Day on May 8, 2014.

Attended by volunteers, stakeholders, donors and concerned individuals who voluntarily offered their services, in kind or anything through the Red Cross voluntarily, Cane offered to discuss the Parliamentary Rules and Procedure practiced by the legislative bodies of the government and other sectors resulting to effective, transparent, responsible and peaceful legislation process.

“In every group, there is a leader and a group cannot be organized and sustained towards its goal without meetings. Therefore, let me present to you the Parliamentary Rules and Procedures, we in the government is practicing because we believe this process is the most effective, responsible, transparent and peaceful way in achieving our plans and goals in the government even after heated arguments or debates,” Cane said.

Included in the discussion of Cane are the correct way of opening a meeting, the tools or facilities needed in order to call the attention of every member of the organization during meetings, the parliamentary process like the calling of the meeting to order and the declaration of a quorum, including the use of the third party (e.g. “this chair”) when talking to any member of the organization.

“The use of gavel is very important because it emphasize the power of the presiding officer. The use of third party is also important so that there will be no direct confrontation between members engaged in a discussion or debates,” Cane said.

Three games were played in the afternoon session of the celebration. Every end of the game, a winner was declared followed by the giving of prizes. The celebration is worth dreaming that it will happen again next year. (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


SurSur agriculture office: Visit of Sec. Alcala to push through

By Greg Tataro, Jr.

TANDAG CITY, May 12 (PIA) – After having been postponed twice last month “due to unavoidable circumstances,” the scheduled visit of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala to Surigao del Sur is certainly going to push through on May 12-13.

Provincial Agriculturist Marcos Quico said, after verification from the Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga Regional Office, that the same itinerary will apply for the two-day event which is primarily the inauguration and blessing of two rice processing plants in Cantilan and Madrid towns costing P15.5 million each.

Based on the previous itinerary, Alcala will have to stay overnight, and then will leave the next morning for Agusan del Sur for another official function.

Earlier, Governor Johnny Pimentel announced about the visit, adding that the province is already set for the occasion. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Feature: Feeling blessed for . . . Helping and putting one’s feet in another’s shoes

By Gervacio C. Dauz, Jr.

BUTUAN CITY, May 12 (PIA) - He thought that after training and sending off more than 300 graduates under the Massage Therapy NC II and after likewise conducting special training sessions for at least two batches of differently-abled persons (DAPs), his mentoring job would be a walk in the park, a repeat performance so to speak.  But Mr. Colito G. Orias, Jr., Instructor of said qualification at the Butuan City Training Center (BCMTC) here, found out that life is still full of surprises.  This he crudely found out when he admitted the third batch of DAPs just recently.

The said third batch, actually mainstreamed together with the 13th batch of normally sighted trainees, was composed of eight blind men and women trainees, who were scholars under the Mayor’s Office here.  In consideration of their unique traits, dispositions, and tendencies, Mr. Orias at first separated them from the sighted, meeting with them on Saturdays just to focus on them and give them special attention.  The first tack was in educating and immersing them on the theoretical aspects of therapeutic massage.  “The first few meetings, I think, were smooth sailing,” this he recalled.

After the “period of romance,” reality set in – as in reality bites.  “As the next engagement would be the hands on, practical side,” he intoned, “I therefore immersed and joined them together with the sighted.  And then I noticed that the heterogeneous mixture of the sighted with the blind was causing frictions.  In saying or crafting of words, there are these appropriate or politically correct terms that should be learned in dealing with them.  For one, you don’t address them as ‘buta’ but ‘blind.'”

He explained that “though ‘buta’ and ‘blind’ are just the respective Filipino and English equivalents, yet they would feel slighted, if you call them ‘buta’.”  Furthermore, “they would take it as an affront if you refer to them as persons with disabilities (PWDs).  In an obverse manner, they would be cordial and engaging if you just refer to them as differently-abled persons.”

Digressing a bit, he shared that his original passion and forte, baccalaureate training and exposure used to be in the arena of civil works.  In fact, he got some stints in several construction firms before – either as a foreman or draftsman – at the asphalt jungle of Metro Manila.  But when he underwent a skills training in massage and acquired a competency as a Licensed Massage Therapist with DOH Accreditation No. 12-08-3468, he gradually gravitated into the field of massage.  One thing led to another – with him acquiring Massage Therapy NC II credentials, plus a training to become a registered trainer and assessor – until he got this invitation to be an instructor at BCMTC.

He recalled that it was this writer who first initiated him into admitting DAPs. “Remember the two blind fellows you referred here at BCMTC to undergo training?” he reminded me.  “The easy path at that time was to deny them.  But conscience-wise, I could say no.  If we are helping the sighted, there are more reasons for us to capacitate the DAPs.  They need our attention.”  So, at that time, even if he was scratching his head, it led him to a path unknown that he felt very rewarding afterwards.  “But, oh boy,” he mused, “it was tough and very challenging in dealing with them.”

His scheme of giving them a support system was through grouping them into four.  “What I mean,” he explained in detail, “is that among the four, one is a sighted person, who stands as their leader.  Then I would allow them to explore alternative ways to hasten their learning the rudiments of the trade.  However, due to pressures, there was this one sighted leader who wasn’t able to take the alleged tantrums of the blind in his group.”

Obviously irritated, the sighted fellow lambasted in return: “Maayo ra’g nangabuta mo!”   Roughly translated, it means “Good that you became blind!”  But the nuance was indelibly negative and condescending.  And this harsh episode resulted in a sequel wherein the DAPs reported the event at the City Social Work and Development Office . . . until he got dragged in the mess not of his undoing.  Though not liable, it appeared that he was culpable by virtue of command responsibility.  As a corrective measure, he explained his side: “You are here to train and be trained.  Also, I don’t entertain intrigues.  But if this case cannot be resolved, then I want you to know that I am taking full responsibility of this.”  Fortunately, after pricked emotions subsided, the two camps had a truce, with him breathing a deep sigh of relief.

“I noticed too,” he continued, “that they are touchy or easily slighted.  Thus, they will snap back as if to show that they can manage even without the sighted.  However, with a suave but sincere way of endearing them, they can easily be won back.  That’s what I’m telling the sighted, and that’s what I have been demonstrating to them.”

When asked if he is still open to admitting the likes of them even if it means struggling, he responded in the affirmative.  Obviously, though Mr. Orias got some crude awakening in helping the blind and of course other differently-abled fellows, still he vowed to continue doing what he thinks is good, because “it is in helping the least of our brethren that we nurture a better world for the likes of them.  It’s when they become functional and useful assets to society that we feel blessed in return also.” (TESDA-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)