Monday, May 19, 2014

Update on Agusan River Basin highlights special AgSur Environment and Sustainable Devt council meeting

By David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR, May 19 (PIA) - "There are four latest initiatives/ activities that the Agusan River Basin Governing Board (ARGB) had undertaken until April this year have signaled the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Caraga Region to plan and calendar the Workplan for the Preparation of the Agusan River Basin Enhanced Master Plan for 2014, with 16 activities that is expected to end on January 16, 2015."

This is the conclusion of the reports delivered by Regional Technical Director (RTD), Forest Management Services of the DENR Caraga Regional Office Maritess Ocampo during the briefing on the update of interventions done by the government in the Agusan River Basin Project as the highlight of the Agusan del Sur Environment and Sustainable Development Council.

“On November 29, 2013, DENR Caraga was provided with the Central Office based Budget of Php 5 million for the updating of the Agusan River Basin Enhanced Master Plan. Procurement process was initiated. Then on March14, 2014, the Notice of Award was issued to Lichel Technologies, Inc. Signing of Contract was immediately followed on the same date. On March 22, 2014, Notice to proceed (NTP) was issued to Lichel TI after the contract was approved and, on April 9, 2014, Technical Review of Inception Report was submitted by the Lichel Technologies Inc. at the DENR Regional Office, Ambago, Butuan City,” RTD Ocampo said.

According to RTD Ocampo, the Agusan River Basin have already garnered support from Asian Development Bank in 2005 with ADB granting a technical assistance for the preparation of the ARB Master Plan with DENR as the implementing agency in coordination with the NWRB. In 2006, the first draft of the study period was completed and submitted to DENR. In 2007, the Master Plan was subjected to various consultations which garnered the endorsement from Provincial Development Council (PDC) of Compostela Valley, PDC Agusan del Sur and City Development Council (CDC) of Butuan City.

But by then, the Caraga Regional Development Council passed a resolution No. 45 to return to Woodfields Consultancy Inc. (WCI) the master plan report for refinement.

In March 2008, the Enhanced ARB Master Plan was submitted, and the following month, the Pre-Project Preparatory Technical Assistance (PPTA) commenced. In 2010 and 2011, the PPTA Agusan River Basin Integrated Water Resources Management commencement and was contracted to Poyry IDP Consult, Inc. in association with Nippon Koei, U.K. and Schema Consult, Inc. for a 16 month study, from February 1, 2010 to April, 2011.

According to RTD Ocampo, the Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation chaired by the DENR Secretary has approved on May 2, 2012 a resolution “Adopting the 18 major River Basins in the Country as priority areas of government interventions, and Agusan River Basin is one of the chosen.

Being one of the chosen, the Agusan River Basin has wide coordination and partnership management body that would complement and harmonize local and regional development conservation, enforcement and implementation efforts effectively, and sustainable manage the river basin. (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


DepEd sets convergence meeting for Oplan Balik Eskwela, Public Assistance Station

By Nora L. Molde

BUTUAN CITY, May 19 (PIA) – The Department of Education (DepEd) Caraga region is set to conduct an Inter-Agency Convergence Meeting on the Oplan Balik Eskwela (OBE) and Public Assistance Station (PAS) on May 27 at Teacher Development Center here.

According to DepEd regional director Atty. Alberto T. Escobarte, said OBE and PAS primarily aim to address the problems commonly encountered during enrolment period.  This is also to ensure that pupils/students are properly enrolled and are able  to attend school on June 2, 2014 – the first day of classes for school year 2014-2015, he said.

Escobarte said target participants on the said activity are heads of line agencies, private corporations and DepEd Caraga officials.

Also, during the convergence meeting, DepEd will solicit from participants their commitment of support and plans for the smooth and systematic process in the opening of classes, Atty. Escobarte added. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga)


AFP chief to welcome 97 rebels thru 'Pagbabalik-loob III' in Caraga

By Greg Tataro, Jr.

TANDAG CITY, May 19 (PIA) – Some 97 rebels, four of whom come from Surigao del Sur, are set to officially surrender to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista in a special ceremony at 9:00 a.m. dubbed as “Pagbabalik-loob III” on May 21 at Naligayan Cultural Center, Provincial Capitol Ground, Patin-ay, Agusan del Sur.

According to Army 401st Brigade Commander Col. Gregory Cayetano, together with the AFP chief, who will be the Guest of Honor and Speaker, is Army Eastern Mindanao Commander (EMC) Lt. Gen. Rainier Cruz III while other invited guests also include Surigao del Sur Governor Johnny Pimentel.

Cayetano said the occasion will also feature the symbolic turn-over of 18 high-powered firearms aside from numerous low caliber guns.

Under the “Gun for Peace Program (GPP)," Col. Cayetano assured the release of remuneration in exchange for the firearms brought in by the concerned surrenderee depending on the kind and quality.

He said that an AK-47 has a full monetary value of P78,000—a considerable amount good for setting up a business for livelihood, adding that an “M60” carries a much bigger tag price of P218,000.


Meanwhile, the brigade chief both recognized the provincial governments of Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur, which incidentally are his area of responsibility (AOR), for their partnership with the 4th Infantry (DIAMOND) Division of the Philippine Army (PA) under Brigadier Gen. Ricardo Visaya in its relentless campaign for rebels to return to the fold of the law. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)