Friday, June 13, 2014

Butuan-Agusan LGU officials recount Filipinos’ gallantry

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, June 13 (PIA) – City Mayor Ferdinand Amante, Jr. represented by Vice Mayor Angelo Calo underscored the heroism and valor of Filipinos in paving the way for the independence of the sovereign nation during the 116th Independence Day Anniversary on June 12, 2014 with this year’s theme, “Pagsunod sa Yapak ng mga Dakilang Pilipino, Tungo sa malawakan at Permanenteng Pagbabago” held at Guingona Park, this city.

“With the same strength and determination, let us work together to attain our goals and vision,” Calo said with the presence of all the government officials and employees, heads of offices and public servants from different agencies and bureaus.

He said further that country's independence motivates the people to uphold good governance and move towards sustainable growth. “We have to embark on different initiatives and effective strategies and bring forth economic and social progress. One small act will contribute to a great end,” he remarked.

The uniformed personnel from Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Philippine Army (PA) and Philippine National Police (PNP) Caraga, Rovers and Boy Scout of the Philippines (BSP) representatives were in snappy salute and formation in honor of the Philippine national flag which made its first public appearance at General Emilio Aguinaldo’s declaration of independence from Spain.

Following the solemn prayer for the blessing of independence, for the heroes' bravery and leadership were the sounding of sirens and laying of wreath led by Butuan Vice Mayor  Calo.

Meanwhile, City Councilor Samuel Allan Amante also recounted with gratitude the gallantry of men and women of yester years who fought for the nation’s independence. “With our independence, we enjoy the civil rights of a democratic nation. We hold the territorial rights and laws and the right to dream and continue to realize these dreams. Indeed freedom is very sweet,” said Amante.

As relayed also by Ian Sabado in behalf of Cong. Lawrence Lemuel Fortun, he emphasized that “what we lean in our history must be appreciated and we must take part on it to relive the spirit and struggle of what is written in our history books.”

He gave appreciation to all the teachers for inculcating to the students the remarkable historical accounts of our country and how the heroes conquer the colonial rule of other nations.

In Agusan del Norte, the celebration also marks the opening of the province’s weeklong 47th Araw ng Agusan del Norte.

The celebration concluded with the community singing and releasing of freedom balloons. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


NEDA Caraga drafts RDP 2013-2016 ComPlan

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, June 13 (PIA) – The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Caraga, as the secretariat of the Regional Development Council (RDC), drafted the Communication Plan (ComPlan) for the Revised Caraga Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2013-2016 to serve as a guide in implementing interventions that will ensure that the goal of the Caraga RDP is received, understood, and acted upon by the target audiences.

“The objective of the ComPlan is to communicate to the Caraganons that the RDP is a blueprint to sustain high economic growth, increase job opportunities, ensure a sound environment, and improve quality of life. The specific communication strategies are increasing awareness, knowledge, and participation, and mobilizing partners who will serve as agents of change,” bared Jazmin Berido, Economic Development Specialist of NEDA-Caraga.

Berido also said that the ComPlan identifies Caraganons as the target audience along with specific groups such as civil society organizations, non-government organizations, people’s organizations, private sector, local government units, regional line agencies, and academe.

“Contained in the communication plan are activities that will motivate the target audiences to participate; provide avenue for influencers to model their behaviors; provide resources and support to raise individual confidence; and provide incentives and rewards. Such activities include provincial and city caravans, conduct of Corporate Partners’ Forum, establish and maintain online social networks, and song writing, wall painting, and photography contests,” added Berido.

Berido further disclosed that in the implementation of this ComPlan, various media or tools will be used to inform the public and get them involved. “We will be needing the help of the Philippine Information Agency on this matter,” she said.

Meanwhile, RDC vice chair and NEDA-Caraga regional director Mylah Faye Aurora Cariño also pointed out that the call to action message of the said ComPlan is “Be the agent of change” – a call for everyone to perform relevant and strategic actions for the region and become agents of change.

“The ComPlan for the Revised Caraga Regional RDP 2013-2016 will really be implemented since we have already secured a fund intended for this which is close to a million,” emphasized Cariño. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


AgSur lines up activities for 3rd, 4th day of Naliyagan Festival

By David M. Suyao

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, June 13 (PIA) - Seven competitions are lined up on the third and fourth days of the Naliyagan Festival right at the heart of the town's Naliyagan Cultural Center (NCC) believed to entertain spectators that are mostly occupied by their work during working days on June 14 and 15, 2014 (Saturday and Sunday).

To break the third day will be a fun run open to volunteers who want to share a little of what they have. This is sponsored by Cong. Maria Valentina Plaza of District I, and co-sponsored by the Philippine Red Cross and the Naliyagan Stakeholder s Association, Inc. (NSA). The fun run will start from the municipal grounds of this town from the Northern side of the province and San Francisco from the Southern, and will end up at the Naliyagan Cultural Center.

The first competition on the third day is called the “Bauto Race 2014” where participants will show their skills in boat rowing right at the lagoon within the NCC. The competition is open to all but it is expected that participants will be mostly coming from residents of the river towns.  At the same starting time, the 3rd Eddiebong Plaza dart competition at the D. O. Plaza Sports Complex, also within the NCC grounds.

At 7:00 p.m., the Barangayan sa Naliyagan will start, expected to be participated with all the 314 barangay officials. The barangayan will be entertained by the original Asin Band and as nightly highlight, another fireworks competition will be displayed, while merry making continue.

A motocross invitational competition will greet the fourth day, June 15, 2014 and will start at 9:00 a.m. This will be participated by riders as far as Davao City and provinces, Cagayan de Oro City, Tagum City, Butuan City and the local riders from Agusan del Sur. At the same starting time with the motocross, the Gov. Eddiebong Plaza Men’s Tennis Cup and the 3rd Dart Competition will also start. In the afternoon at 2:00 p.m., the “Mano-A-Mano,” a boxing bouts, can be witnessed.

In the evening of the fourth day, the Cong. Bebs Plaza- Mellana will highlight the NCC main grand stage, and will be participated by the dance troupe from the 13 municipalities and the lone City of Bayugan while the merry making all over the Naligayan grounds continue. At 9:30 p.m., another fireworks competition/ display will again color the evening skies.

Street Dancing on the fifth day will become the center of attraction and to highlight the day will be the delivery of the State of the Province Report by Gov. Eddiebong Plaza.

The famous “Binaga,” the roasting of fresh water fish in the evening of the fourth day will conclude the 22nd Naliyagan Festival while merry making will last until everyone will be exhausted. (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


DILG Sec Roxas to grace 54th Araw ng Surigao del Sur

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, June 13 (PIA) – Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG ) Secretary Manuel “Mar" Roxas is set to visit the province of Surigao del Sur on Tuesday, June 17 to grace the grand opening celebration of the 54th Araw ng Surigao del Sur.

The announcement was made by Governor Johnny Pimentel during the meeting conducted this morning held at the Provincial Governor’s Conference Room, Capitol, Tandag City with the department heads and representatives from the different national government agencies, provincial/city government of Tandag, civil society organizations (CSO) and stakeholders.

According to Governor Pimentel, the provincial government will also lead the conduct of an Agri-Trade Fair participated by the 16 municipalities and the cities of Bislig and Tandag.

The Agri-Trade Fair is being considered as a venue to promote the local products with high market potential. It will also be an opportunity to link the local producers and sellers.

Pimentel also announced that June 19, the Araw ng Surigao del Sur, was proclaimed as a special non-working holiday in the entire province of Surigao del Sur by virtue of Republic Act 7671. (NGBT/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Surigao Norte PENRO, CENRO celebrate World Environment Month 2014

By Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, June 13 (PIA) – The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Surigao del Norte and Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Surigao City participated in the 2014 World Environment Month celebration this whole month of June.

This year’s celebration carries the theme, “Raise your Voice not the Sea Level.”

The celebration kicked-off on Sunday, June 1 with a tree planting activity at the sanitary landfill. Last June 2, a thanksgiving mass was offered at the City Cathedral followed by a flag raising and a motorcade around the city.

On June 3 to 11, a river tour was conducted at Barangay Sabang, while the provincial government hosted a radio program on environment month celebration, mangrove replanting and site cleaning, and environmental dialogue on Surigao River quarrying.

Other lined up activities of the month-long celebration include Coastal Clean-up (all stakeholders); Mine Site visit at Hinatuan, Talavera, Tagana-an; Distribution of Waste Receptacles; Conduct of Waste Management Seminar/Orientation; Bike for A Cause; Silop Cave Management Planning Process; Handog Titulo Casetta; Ground Breaking and MOA signing Capitol MRF; Sportsfest Basketball Fun/Exhibit at the City Gym; and Mangrove Protection Forum for Barangay Nabago and Brgy. Cabongbongan.

Environment Management Specialist Jocelyn H. Maceren of DENR-PENRO said each year during the month of June is declared as the Environment Month, this month marks the time for all the people to remember of how important our Mother Nature.

“We planned and program various activities for the said celebration to promote environmental consciousness and to mobilize the citizenry in protecting and conserving the environment and natural resources for the present and future generations,” Maceren said. (SDR/DENR-Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Basilisa town gets P2.5M worth of Marine Fish Cage Project from DA

By Macky Ravelo

BASILISA, Dinagat Islands, June 13 (PIA) – The town of Basilisa in Dinagat Islands recently received a Marine Fish Cage Project worth P2.5 million from the Department of Agriculture-Caraga Region.

The said project comprises five cages with 5,000 bangus fingerlings established at the Marine Culture Site at Isla Cibukaw in Basilisa town.

The said project was established during the conduct of the 6-day hands-on training on Marine Fish Cage Technology Design, Construction and Maintenance facilitated by the Department of Agriculture through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-RFTC, Panabo City Training Specialist II Rodulfo E. Cardoza in coordination with the Municipal Agriculturist.

Around 50 identified fisherfolks from different barangays of Basilisa attended the said event held at Barangay Tag-abaca, this town. (SDR/MIO-Basilisa/PIA-Dinagat Islands)


Consumers urged to be vigilant in buying school supplies

BUTUAN CITY, June 13 (PIA) - In all times, consumers must ensure that they get value for money on the products they buy.  More so in buying school supplies for their children to ensure that the products are safe to use and of good quality.

Below are some information and tips in buying school supplies:

DTI, through its Bureau of Product Standards (BPS), has developed 37 Philippine National Standards (PNS) for school supplies and paper products such as crayons, pencils, ball point pens, marker pens, eraser, chalk, notebook, pad paper and glue. These standards specify the appropriate physical and chemical properties, performance rating and labeling of products that should be patterned or adhered to by manufacturers to make sure of the safety and reliability of their products.

All these products must be properly labeled.  They should indicate particularly the name and address of the manufacturer, converter or importer and the name of country the products were manufactured and the toxicity levels. 

The number of pages, trademark or brand name and size must also be written in the cover of notebooks and pad papers. The color of the ballpens must also be specified in its box in addition to the trademark or brand name. Pencils should indicate the hardness symbol – No. 1, 2, 3. Each crayon must indicate the color, brand and trademark. Erasers must be labeled whether it is rubber or plastic.

For notebooks, the paper can be written on both sheets (back to back) and the wire holding the pages must not rust. Pad papers must also be written on both sheets and the glue holding the paper must not easily peel off.

Inks in ball pens must show immediately upon writing. It must have a smooth writing performance and must have a shelf life of 90 days.

Crayons and the lead in pencils must not break easily when used under normal writing pressure or sharpened.

Erasers must not deform the quality of the paper when used.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also checks on the toxicity levels of the materials used in the manufacture of school supplies.  As a result, crayons, which should not be toxic, shall be additionally marked “non-toxic.”

For the prices, consumers are advised to check the latest suggested retail prices (SRPs) for the school supplies issued by the DTI. Copies are posted in major retail establishments and can be downloaded in the DTI website www.dti.gov.ph. (DTI-13/PIA-Caraga)


DTI-Agusan Sur conducts price, supply monitoring

By Cerila P. Inson

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, June 13 (PIA) - A total of eleven major school supplies wholesalers and retailers in San Francisco and Bunawan were visited by Department of Trade and Industry -Agusan del Sur (DTI-ADS) personnel in the course of its monitoring activities.

Prices of school supplies sold in these establishments were found to be within the suggested retail prices (SRP) except for two products; crayons which were priced at P19.75 per SRP but were sold at P20.00 and 80 leaves composition notebooks, priced at P12.50 per SRP, but were sold at P14.00.  Two establishments will be issued with show cause orders for selling products above the suggested retail prices SRPs.

The monitoring activities in the two municipalities were made to ensure that prices of school supplies in the said areas are within the SRPs issued by the agency.

Copies of the SRPs for school supplies were also provided to the business establishments for their reference.

Monitoring activities will continue for the whole month of June to cover more municipalities such as Bayugan City, Trento, Sta. Josefa and other river towns.

Parents who have yet to buy school supplies are encouraged to visit the Diskwento Caravan on June 17-19, 2014 in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur. (DTI-13/PIA-Caraga)


Feature: Filipino Youth: New Bloom Heroes and Advocates of CSAP

By Sha Honey Sardiva and Stella Maris Barlisan

BUTUAN CITY, June 13 (PIA) - The Parish Youth Apostolate, in partnership with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Hinatuan, recently conducted a Summer Youth Camp at Saint Augustine Parish, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur. It was graced with the theme, “Filipino Youth: Called to be Saints; Sent Forth as New Heroes of Faith.” The activity intends to strengthen the spiritual growth of the youth as individual and as member of the community.

It was participated by 264 youth from the six districts of the municipality and seven parish leaders. Noticeably, the Youth Camp was predominated by a total of 136 Pantawid Pamilya Children Beneficiaries.

The occasion was formally started with a mass and followed by several talks conducted by invited spiritual leaders to explain and demonstrate the theme to the participants. Sha Honey B. Sarvida, Pantawid Pamilya Gender and Development (GAD) Focal Person was also invited by the group to share her knowledge as Resource Person on the issue of Child Sexual Abuse Prevention (CSAP) as part of their community awareness session. The talk highlighted the Kinds of Touch that is deemed necessary in the prevention of CSA and sharing of real life experiences of abuse cases of children.  Sarvida also added that Filipino youth can become heroes in their modest ways when they take part as ambassadors and advocates of Child Sexual Abuse prevention. The illustrations and detailed discussion of the kinds of touch have leaved a significant impact not only to the youth participants but to the organizers as well. Father Leonardo Quizada, Jr. happily demonstrated the safe touch as he shake hands with the resource speaker after her speech.

The event did not only give awareness to the participants, but have also opened opportunities of molding their characters, behaviors and spirituality as they heartedly do self-meditations and spiritual activities; built new relationships from their new found friends; and boosted their self-esteem and courage through several team and individual games and contest.

Hearing the participants say that they enjoyed the whole activity is already fulfilling. But hearing from them the thought of sharing what they learned from that short talk to their fellow youth is more rewarding; because it entails replication of awareness to others. This is a stepping stone towards becoming new heroes of faith. (DSWD-13/PIA-Caraga)


KC-AusAID steps up with 18 day care centers, 94 classrooms contributed in Caraga

By Eunice G. Montaos

BUTUAN CITY, June 13 (PIA) - Eighteen day care centers and 94 classrooms were implemented in Caraga through the funding assistance of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), formerly Australian Aid for International Development (AusAID), under the facilitation of the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan- Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), a poverty-alleviation project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

These major educational facilities were implemented by the community volunteers of the non-prioritized barangays of the Kalahi-CIDSS Makamasang Tugon (KC-MT) project and those identified through the results of the Supply Side Assessment (SSA) of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

These sub-projects which amount to Php 82,563,169.88 from the AusAID grant worth Php 69,898,732.63 and the local counterpart contributions (LCCs) of the barangay and municipal local government units (B/MLGUs) worth Php 12,664,437.25.

This grant benefited 14 municipalities in the region namely Cagdianao, Cagwait, Gigaquit, Jabonga, Kitcharao, Libjo, Lingig, Loreto (AdS), Marihatag, Pilar, Socorro, Veruela, San Miguel, and Sibagat.

According to DSWD regional director Minda B. Brigoli, the implementation of the sub-projects was divided into two batches. ”The first batch was completed in May 2013, while the second was completed in December 2013,” Brigoli said.

 “We are very proud and grateful to our workers as well as to the community volunteers that all the sub-projects were accomplished months ahead of the projected/targeted completion date without jeopardizing the quality of the infrastructures,” she added.

In August 2014, the project will step-up with the additional AUD 12M, or P476M grant from the Australian government. (Social Marketing Unit/DSWD-13/PIA-Caraga)


DSWD Caraga holds 1st Caraga Day Care Workers Summit

By Theresa D. Barsobia

BUTUAN CITY, June 13 (PIA) – Highlighting the commitment of the national government and local government units in strengthening day care service, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga Field Office held the first Caraga Day Care Workers Summit on June 4–5, 2014 at Sanchez Gym, Caraga State University, Ampayon, this city.

Anchored on the theme: “The role of day care workers in developing a poverty and disaster resilient Filipino children,” the summit was made possible through the convergent involvement of the active local government unit (LGU) partners throughout the region, Day Care Workers Federation Officers, local social welfare development officers (LSWDOs), regional developmental workers, and more than 1,800 municipal/city/ provincial social workers in attendance.

DSWD-Caraga regional director Minda Brigoli, in her message said that the evolution of the Day Care Service from mere provision of substitute parental care to a highly satisfying and stimulating early learning experience for children entails more pro – active measures to assure its delivery. With the call of the New Normal, Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) has to turn its wheel and to position itself as a venue to capacitate and build the resiliency of Filipino Children against poverty and disasters.

“We can’t equal the kind of service you are doing for our children,” assistant secretary Teodulo R. Romo, Jr. remarked as he delivered his keynote speech.

Asec. Romo gave his high regard to the endless patience that all workers exerted in dealing their day care children. He pronounced the authentic Caraga culture he experienced in his two–day stay with the day care workers in the whole region. “I was enriched culturally,” he added.

He elucidated that in the event of the natural and man – made calamities it is the children who suffer the most. He encouraged the day care workers to empower oneself in providing healthy environment to the day care children. He suggested three tasks in ensuring the safety of the children. First, is for the day care workers to assess the vulnerability of the existing day care centers if the latter is susceptible to any potential disasters. Second, is to organize the parents of the day care children with the consultation of the BLGU and engagement of the LGU to seek for a safer place when to relocate the center. Third, is to bring – in to the general assembly the parents of the day care children to participate in the KALAHI – CIDSS Community Driven Development (CDD) process and to exert effort in making a relocation and construction of day care centers (DCC).

The event also recognized the 454 accredited day care workers (DCWs) who stand – out among the 2,058 DCWs across the region. Selected DCWs were awarded based on the criteria set for the search for the most outstanding DCWs in every province. Each awardee received a certificate of commendation and a cash prize amounting to Php 5,000.00 from their respective province.

Also part of the summit was the oath taking of the re – elected Regional Federation of Day Care Workers (RFDCWs) with Nenita R. Tillo as the federation president.

Tillo presented the accomplishment reporting and policy recommendations by the RFDCWs – Caraga to the public. She reported the low accreditation rate which is only 11 percent of the total universe of DCWs and DCCs. Moreover, among the major barriers to the accreditation process is the very low support given by the B/ MLGUs in the ECCD- DCS implementation. Also part of her report was the low monthly remuneration amounting to below Php 3,000.00 mostly on honorarium basis while handling two sessions per day with 25 – 45 day care children.

In lieu to the clamour of funding and sustenance for the DCCs and the workers presented by the federation president, the five governors and 71 LGU officials committed their support to the passage of the Magna Carta for the Day Care Workers.

Agusan del Norte governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante–Matba extended her support highlighting the roles and responsibilities of the provincial government on the strengthening of day care services.

Surigao del Sur governor Johnny T. Pimentel gave his support highlighting the commitment of the provincial local government to enhance effectiveness of day care service.

Dinagat Islands vice governor Benglen Ecleo presented his support highlighting the plans and directions of the provincial government to capacitate day care workers along disaster preparedness, ECCD in emergencies and child protection in emergencies.

First District of Agusan del Norte (Butuan City and Las Nieves) representative Lawrence Lemuel Fortun, Second District of Agusan del Sur representative Evelyn Mellana, Agusan del Sur governor Adolf Edward G. Plaza, Surigao del Norte governor Sol F. Matugas, Surigao City mayor Ernesto T. Matugas, Bayugan City mayor Kim Lope A. Asis, and Cabadbaran City mayor Dale Corvera bequeathed their support to the federation in the messages read by their able representatives. They highlighted the zeal and dedication of the provincial government to promote the welfare of the day care workers and the efforts of the provincial government to ensure continuous upgrading and competency building of day care service providers.

In culmination, the summit ended with a Search for the Ms. Day Care Worker. More than 60 candidates from different municipalities and cities were selected and adjudged based on their gown worn on that night.  Candidate from Baguyan City is crowned as the Ms. Caraga Day Care Worker.

Golda V. Pocon, SWO IV/Head, Standards Unit spearheaded the whole summit with the Day Care Workers Federation of Butuan City as the LGU host.

It is educed that, the best welfare and interest of children have always held high priority and paramount consideration by the government of the Philippines particularly by the Social Welfare and Development Workers. The passage of the Presidential Decree No. 603 (1973) known as the Child and Youth Welfare Code and Executive Order No. 1567 which provides for the establishment of a Day Care Center in every barangay and along with the several other local policies welfare and development attest to this commitment. (DSWD-13/PIA-Caraga)