5.28.2014

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

DepEd Caraga reiterates free access to basic education

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, May 28 (PIA) – The Department of Education (DepEd) Caraga though its regional director Atty. Alberto Escobarte once again emphasized the equitable and free access to basic education as elaborately mandated in the constitution.

He said that regardless of the person’s socio-economic background or circumstances, each must obtain a quality education at no cost to meet their learning needs.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Deped Caraga Regional Education Supervisor and Information Officer Dr. Isidro Biol over Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga’s 107.8 Power FM, he stressed that the annual school maintenance week dubbed “Brigada Eskwela” is purely voluntary effort.

“No amount of monetary value should be collected from enrollees despite omission to join the Brigada Eskwela activities. Every pupil/student is entitled to his right of getting enrolled in a public school without compelling him to pay for fees. All they need to bring are the report card of previous year and certificate of live birth,” bared Biol.

DepEd Caraga is prioritizing the curriculum and teacher’s guide for the S.Y. 2014-2015 for inclusive and most efficient program of study.

Biol also mentioned that the Department is expecting a three percent increase in the number of enrollees this school year since more individuals are coming to learning institutions to acquire education. Some pupils/students are also transferring from private to public schools.

“We’ve observed a good increase of Alternative Learning System (ALS) enrollees. This is a manifestation that out-of-school youths, non-readers, dropouts in elementary and secondary are willing to obtain the government’s ladderized, modular non-formal education programs,” stated Biol.

As to number of teachers serving in public schools, “the DepEd here in Caraga has more than a thousand available items for teaching positions which will be apportioned to the 12 divisions,” he added.

DepEd Caraga has already started its Oplan Balik Eskwela 2014 activities on May 26 and will end on June 3, 2014 to ensure a smooth opening of classes.

For enrolment concerns, DepEd Caraga Information and Complaints Desk at Teacher Development Center, J. Rosales Ave., Butuan City can be contacted at hotline numbers 0999-8842671; 09428047155; 09158736272; and at landline numbers (085) 342-8207 local 121 and (085) 342-5969. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


PopDev Data Banking strengthens

By May Ann O. Escobal

BUTUAN CITY, May 28 (PIA) - Local planners and population workers are now well-equipped on data banking through the three-day training on Comprehensive Population Data Banking and Management conducted recently this city.

In partnership with the City Population Office of Butuan, Commission on Population (PopCom) Caraga has designed the training to enhance the capability of the local government units in developing appropriate tools, processes, and methodologies to have a systematic support in rendering social intervention for their respective constituents.

PopCom regional director Alexander A. Makinano stressed the importance of integrating population and development and its impact in the community which contribute to achieving population outcomes and processes in balance with socioeconomic conditions and development patterns.

The training anchored on the actual experience of Iloilo Province which resulted to the publication of updated socio-demographic profile for the province and its municipalities. Part of inputs shared by Ramon C. Yee, Provincial Population Officer of Iloilo Province, were the strategies along with the implementation of the said project. He also presented how they updated their demographic, socioeconomic data as basis of policy formulation and program management of the LGUs.

Furthermore, participants were taught on the techniques in conducting thorough interview and collecting relevant data from respondents. Based on the data they have gathered, Population /Planning and Development Officers encoded the processed forms, analyzed and interpreted the data using Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS).

With the technical assistance of the Population Office Staff of Iloilo Province, the transfer of technology on Population Data Banking and Management was concretized as the Provincial and City Population and Planning and Development Officers of Caraga Region translated their knowledge into action through field workshop on data gathering and came up with an analysis using SPSS.

According to population experts, Population and Development (PopDev) Data Bank is very helpful and also important in harnessing the power of up-to-date information in connection with the delivery of basic services that is accurate, fast, and reliable.

The three-day activity was indeed fruitful as action plans with corresponding budget requirements for the implementation of the Population and Development Program in their locality were laid out. (PopCom-13/PIA-Caraga)


'Programang Katawhan' benefits more than 1,000

BUTUAN CITY, May 28 (PIA) - Taking advantage of the long summer break and continuing the tradition started more than seven years ago of regularly doing outreach program especially for the less fortunate, Agusan del Norte First District Representative Lawrence “Law” Fortun again partnered with the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) Metro Butuan Alumni Association (MBAA) and the Alumni Council of North America in holding the Programang Pangkatawhan (Community Program) in the various barangays of Butuan City.

This time around, the following services offered were: libreng tuli, libreng gupit, feeding, optical, dental, medical and gift pack distribution benefiting the residents of Barangays Rajah Soliman, Maon, Ampayon, Mahogany, Salvacion, Diego Silang, JP Rizal and Datu Silongan. The group also participated in the Brigada Eskuwela of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Salvacion Elementary School. A total of 452 children were able to avail of the free circumcision and around 566 availed of the free haircut. According to Gilbert Espana, an alumni of the APO, the Alpha Phi Omega as a service fraternity and sorority where Cong. Fortun is an active member will always provide services to the community as their commitment to the ideals of selfless vow to their calling of servitude.

For his part, Fortun said that this outreach program has been regularly implemented since more than seven years ago. “This is our way of giving back to the people a service that they truly need for the support and confidence they have given to my leadership and we will continue to partner with well-meaning organizations and agencies to continuously offer this to our people,” the solon said. (LAWig Katawhan/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Feature: Way to discover one’s gift and calling Giving it a try . . . a follow through

By Gervacio C. Dauz, Jr.

BUTUAN CITY, May 28 (PIA) - We were breezing through several official activities inside the Robinson's Place here during the Labor Day celebration and my particular task was to document them as they unfold and progress.  When a lull provided me with a break, I sneaked near the Atrium Activity Center and lined up for a much needed free massage being conducted by fellows who are alumni from the Butuan City Manpower Training Center (BCMTC). 

As the seats were fully loaded, I just keenly observed for a while until I narrowed my choice to a fellow who seemed to be meticulous and passionate with his handling of a particular client.  He got an oomph and an o-la-la chuckle that I felt would be worthy of my time for a body tune up.  Forthwith, I chatted with him as to “how long will I wait for my turn to be massaged?”   He smiled and begged me to wait for one more gentleman to be massaged and then “it’s your turn, sir,” he assured me.

It was a chair massage, which was not quite comfy compared to a bed massage.  “Shocks, oh boy,” I thought to myself, “but he got the knuckles and the strength for hard press and he did touch me just enough in the right places for me to feel a sensational, pleasurable pain.”  It was then that I felt more than comfortable with the set up.  In between, I conversed with him how in the world did he land undergoing a skills training in Massage Therapy NC II.

“I have had been into this for quite a while, sir,” he disclosed, “but I needed a legal document to boost my part-time income generation.”  It was such answer that I desired to hear before I requested him if he can spare a time for an interview with me.  He agreed.

The sand and breeze of Doha, Qatar is terribly oven hot by day and bitingly chilly at night. Harry V. Tumada, who was then in his early 20’s at that time and working as a Steel Fixer for the Construction Development Company from year November 2006 up to May 2009, was used to such kind of harsh condition as an Overseas Filipino Worker through force of circumstances.  For such manual work, he developed toughened knuckles and vigorous gripping hands, which readied him for an alternative vocation.

While resting one evening, he got a surprise request from a bed-ridden co-Filipino worker, pleading with him to care for his semi-invalid lower body.  With nary any training nor trial for massage, he was not amenable to the idea of helping him.  But the fellow kept desperately imploring: “Just try, because if nothing would happen, at least you have tried.”

Stricken by his conscience, he approached the fellow one solitary evening and began to tenderly massage him.  Miraculously, the fellow was able to walk and go back to work after three intensive massage sessions and this became the talk within the compound where he and his fellow workers with different nationalities are billeted.  With such news, his brand of massage therapy sold like pancake as almost everyone began to patronize and line up to him for a schedule.  It was heaven-sent for him who needed to boost his little income – with him grossing 200 Qatari Riyals (QR) per month as a Steel Fixer, but supplemented by 50 QR per hour of doing massage for a client.

When he went back to the Philippines, he got practically no savings, even if he worked like a beast of burden.  “At least I was able to help my six other siblings go to school for them to acquire credentials and be established later in life,” he shared.  But just like in the past, he again got employed in several back-breaking jobs locally and used his savings to return to Qatar once more as a Steel Fixer beginning in January 2011.  His salary this time was quite bigger while working with the Al Jabber Engineering (AJE) in Al Khor, Qatar, and it was supplemented more with his massage sideline.  One time, he got a crude awakening as there were raw reports of complaints to legally charge him for practicing massage therapy without any necessary document to show.  Alarmed by this, he just minimized his once lucrative sideline and contented himself with serving only those within the compound of AJE until he exited on October 2012 and worked locally.

Vowing not to get flat-footed again, he enrolled in Massage Therapy NC II at the BCMTC on November 2013, courtesy of a scholarship by TESDA and Cong. Lawrence Lemuel H. Fortun, and graduated on April 2014 already armed with a National Certification.

When I asked him for whom and for what is he striving for all these years?

“I was immersed to hardships and sacrifices since I was a small boy,” he shared.  “My father died while I was only two years old and my mother did not have much time for the seven of us, siblings, because she was always tending our small farm in the mountain.  But she would send a small amount for us, plus some produce from the farm.  It was us, siblings, who rather supported each other through thick and thin.  I sold ice drops, balut, and many other stuff.  I became a shine boy, then a janitor by day and a student at night.  Even without food sometimes, I persevered and survived until I graduated from high school.  Afterwards, I tried my luck in Manila doing several menial jobs, then went back here, applied at a Jobs Fair sponsored by our city government somewhere in 2006, and by God’s grace I was accepted for Qatar.  Prior to my second leg in Qatar, my mother died without me seeing her remains as I was scheduled already to board the plane.  

“However, I want to be back for the third time abroad.  This time, I would really save money for the long haul as I got a two-year old son to support.  I hope to marry his mother too if and when the right time comes.  Above all, I thanked God, who became my Lord and Savior when I first worked in Qatar.  He helped erase my bad memories, my negative thinking, and my ill-tempered ways.  He has given me a new beginning, and now I feel so much hope welling from within.  I likewise believed that it was God who opened an opportunity for me to discover massage as one of my gifts and calling.  Now, at 34 years of age, he has given me also the credential to pursue massage therapy with passion and discipline. Back up with TESDA’s national certification, I will surely be engaging in massage therapy with forehead tilted high and with confidence. Thank you, sir,” this he blurted as his goodbye message.        

“Thank you, too,” I responded.  To summarize, here was a fellow who has hurdled the storms of life through the school of hard-knocks and experience, with a definite resolve and direction, coupled with a credential and an ever-enduring trust in God, who alone can open doors of opportunity and bless the works of his hands.  I say, “May his tribe increase.” (TESDA-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Cebuano News: Surigao City PopCom mipagawas sa ilang 1st quarter accomplishment report

SURIGAO CITY, Mayo 28 (PIA) – Ang Buhatan sa Commission on Population (PopCom) sa syudad, mipagawas sa ilang accomplishment report sulod sa unang kwarter gikan Enero ngadto Marso sa tuig 2014 atol sa Flag Raising Ceremony nga gipahigayon sa City Hall grounds bag-ohay pa lamang.

Sumala ni City PopCom Officer-in-Charge Jupiter Correos pipila sa ilang mga programa ang nahimong nagpadayon kini sama na sa pagpahigayon sa ilang Youth Advocacy Program ug Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning diin mikabat sa 15 ka mga nagkalain-laing mga tulunghaan ang napahihayon na niini, 12 ka mga sesyon  sa Pre- Marriage Counselling diin mikabat sa 86 ka mga maagtiayon ang mipailawom sa maong counselling.

Sumala pa ni Correos nga lakip usab sa ilang accomplishments ang pagpahigayon sa Youth Volunteers and Facilitators training ug Youth Camp usa kini ka tinuig nga kalihukan matag bakasyon alang sa mga kabatan- onan.


Samtang dako gayod ang pasalamat sa City PopCom ngadto na sa local nga pagamhanan sa syudad sa pagpangulo ni Mayor Ernesto Matugas tungod sa dakong tabang ug pagsuporta niini sa tanang kalihukan sa PopCom, dugang pa ni Correos. (SDR/MICO-Surigao/PIA-Surigao del Norte)