(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 29 May 2024) At 3:00 AM today, the center of the eye of Typhoon "AGHON" {EWINIAR} was estimated based on all available data at 850 km East Northeast of Extreme Northern Luzon (23.1°N, 129.7°E) with maximum sustained winds of 130 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 160 km/h. It is moving Northeastward at 20 km/h. Southwesterly Windflow affecting the western section of the country. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—˜π—”π—§π—›π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—œπ—‘π—— 𝗔𝗑𝗗 π—–π—’π—”π—¦π—§π—”π—Ÿ π—ͺπ—”π—§π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Light to moderate winds coming from South to Southwest will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.1 meters).

Friday, May 30, 2014

PIA Caraga inks cooperation agreement with Butuan Kidney Alliance, Inc.

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, May 30 (PIA) – The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga represented by its regional director Abner Caga has sealed an alliance with the Butuan Kidney Alliance, Inc. (BKA, Inc.) chaired by Dr. Rene Vargas for the commitment of working together to raise awareness about kidney failure and disease prevention here yesterday.

The signing of the agreement was one of the highlights of the advocacy campaign in relation to the celebration of the National Kidney Month with the theme, “A Healthy Lifestyle Makes Your Kidneys Smile.”

No less than the program manager of National Kidney and Transplant Institute-Renal Disease Control Program (NKTI-REDCOP) Dr. Antonio Paraiso and the president of Rapid Media Reaction Team Franklin Caliguid have witnessed the official pledge of partnership.

As a lead advocacy group and a non-profit organization of volunteers duly organized to promote a public awareness on the early detection, prevention and treatment of diseases and conditions that can lead to chronic kidney failure or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), BKA, Inc. commits to provide information on the programs and projects and/or data that will be beneficial in certain communities in Caraga Region.

BKA, Inc. will also work together with PIA Caraga in pursuit of attaining its objectives especially on significant advocacy undertakings.

PIA Caraga also earmarked its support in providing assistance on the dissemination of information about Kidney Failure awareness campaign programs initiated by BKA, Inc. in the region; endeavor to help in achieving goals of BKA, Inc., that is, to promote familiarity about its programs on kidney failure control; extend earnest effort in the drive against kidney disease through distribution of accurate data and reliable information; and will work together with BKA, Inc. for the welfare of every member in the community.

“This is one better way for our agency to lend a hand by advocating in significant undertakings related to health,” said director Caga.

The members of the board of trustees of BKA, Inc. and the local media representatives as well were present during the signing of agreement.

Meanwhile, Dr. Vargas expressed his gratitude and consequently discussed with director Caga the plans and programs for the upcoming activities that both parties have to carry out together. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)

NKTI-REDCOP intensifies IEC on Renal Health & Disease Prevention

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, May 30 (PIA) – As the National Kidney Month will be celebrated in June this year with the theme, “A Healthy Lifestyle Makes Your Kidneys Smile”, the National Kidney and Transplant Institute-Renal Disease Control Program (NKTI-REDCOP) has intensified its information, education and communication (IEC) campaign in the different regions of the country including Caraga.

Dr. Antonio Paraiso, NKTI-REDCOP program manager, together with Dr. Susan Jorge, assistant program manager, and Cristina Tumaliuan of Philippine Renal Disease Registry visited this city for the conduct of Lay Forum on Renal Health and Disease Prevention on May 29, 2014.

During said activity, there were more than 300 participants comprising barangay health workers (BHWs), academe, nurses, information officers of government agencies and local media.

Paraiso encouraged everyone to take care of the kidneys as a vital organ. “We are here to raise awareness among all Filipinos that kidney disease is common, that often it is without symptoms, that it can be prevented and that it can be treated if diagnosed early,” he said.

Paraiso also asked other government agencies to help intensify nutritional campaign. “We’ll teach people how to cook and select what food to eat so they will practice a healthy diet,” he added.

Meanwhile, Jorge shared that an individual should drink five to eight glasses of water a day because our body needs it.

“Let’s eat vegetables, do exercise, have enough sleep and avoid any vices. I know we all desire to be healthy and the best way to achieve it is to practice healthy lifestyle, and we should take this seriously,” stressed Jorge.

Jorge further explained the risks of sleep deprivation which causes an increase of a person’s blood sugar and blood pressure. “Make it a practice to always observe a good sleeping habit and follow the doctor’s advice to avoid health complications,” Jorge pointed out.

The Renal Disease Control Program (REDCOP) is the office in-charge of implementing the NKTI's public health projects on the prevention and control of renal and other related diseases. It plans, implements and monitors projects for research, advocacy, training, service and quality assurance. REDCOP's activities are done mostly on a national scale through its network of Regional Coordinators throughout the country.

The REDCOP also administers and manages the Philippine Renal Disease Registry (PRDR), which include the following: the End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Registry composed of the Hemodialysis, Peritoneal Dialysis & Transplant Registries, and the Chronic Kidney Disease Registry composed of Biopsy. (VLG/JPG/PIA-Caraga)

NKTI-REDCOP officials visit radio stations in Butuan

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, May 30 (PIA) – In time with the conduct of the Lay Forum on Renal Health and Disease Prevention on Thursday, program manager of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute-Renal Disease Control Program (NKTI-REDCOP) Dr. Antonio Paraiso, together with assistant program manager Dr. Susan Gorge, and Cristina Tumaliuan of Philippine Renal Disease Registry visited several radio stations here for its advocacy campaign against kidney disease.

Said officials were interviewed at RMN dxBC-Butuan, Bombo Radyo and Power-FM of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga.

The importance of having a healthy lifestyle and tips on how to prevent other diseases that also affect the kidneys of the individuals are some of the topics discussed during their radio interview.

Paraiso explained that the NKTI’s goal is to provide world class health care to all patients and their families and to pursue excellence in developing and establishing the highest level of training and research for physicians and paramedical personnel.

“Our mission is to campaign for a healthy lifestyle. We inform people how to live a healthy lifestyle, prevent kidney disease and let them understand how to cope if they already have this disease,” remarked Paraiso.

Paraiso further disclosed that apart from its general campaign on renal health and disease prevention, there are issues and concerns that the NKTI-REDCOP need to address and let people know how to prevent kidney disease. “That's why we visit places in the country to raise awareness among all Filipinos that kidney disease is common, that often it is without symptoms, that it can be prevented and that it can be treated if diagnosed early,” he said.

Also, when asked the difference between a nephrologist and urologist, Jorge explained that a nephrologist is a physician who studies and deals with neprology. "A nephrology is the adult and pediatric study of the kidneys and its diseases. The nephrologist deals with the diagnosis and management of kidney disease. Meanwhile, a urologist is a physician who had specialty training to diagnose and conduct surgery operations, treat diseases of the male and female urinary tracts, as well as of the male reproductive organs," she said.

Jorge then advised people to undergo urinalysis every year so that they will know if they have kidney disease, and to know what to do so as not to complicate the disease.

Meanwhile, Tumaliuan reported that around 142 patients were recorded to have undergone dialysis in Caraga region last year, 2013. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

DOE, DTI to conduct “Consumers Forum on Downstream Oil Industry and Energy Conservation” in SurSur

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, May 30 (PIA) – The Department of Energy (DOE) together with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is set to conduct a “Consumers Forum on Downstream Oil Industry and Energy Conservation” on June 3 at the Shacene Pension House Grand Ballroom, this city.

According to the letter of invitation of DOE Director Manuel Llaneza, the occasion has two primary goals:  To enhance the level of awareness of the consumers, industry stakeholders/players, and other concerned government agencies on different energy efficiency and conservation measures and the pertinent government rules and regulations, safety and standards, including other issues and concerns that are currently confronting the oil industry, and;  to provide the LGU’s and other government agencies with a technical reference pertinent to the crafting of local ordinances, issuance and granting of permit/licenses to various gasoline and LPG establishments.

Based on said communication, the whole activity will put premium on six major topics:  1. Overview of the Downstream Oil Industry; 2.  DOE Rules and Regulations on Household LPG;  3.  LPG Consumer & Safety Tips; 4.  DTI LPG Cylinder Standards; DOE LPP Retails Rules and Consumer Tips; and, 6.  Household Energy Conservation Tips.

An open forum will cap the affair before DTI OIC-Provincial Director Romel Oribe gives his closing remarks. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan/PIA-Surigao del Sur)

SurSur guv set for SOPA

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, May 30 (PIA) – Surigao del Sur governor Johnny Pimentel is all set to deliver his State of the Province Address (SOPA) on June 3.

Marjorie Pagaran, secretary to the governor, said that copies of the official program of invitation were already sent out to all concerned.

Prior to the schedule, Pimentel has already indicated about the SOPA but also told capitol employees to attend and listen, adding in jest that based on observation during the past that some just kept on huddling while he was underway with his report.

Meanwhile, based on the order of presentation, the SOPA will be preceded by the 2013 Annual Legislative Accomplishment Report (ALAR) of Vice-Governor Manuel Alameda, Sr.

But, prior to and shortly after the 2013 ALAR, both congressmen of the province, Philip Pichay of the First District and Florencio Garay of the Second District, are expected to give their respective messages.  Garay will do the honor first followed by Pichay.

The SOPA which will highlight the 44th Regular Session of the 17th Sangguniang Panlalawigan contains the accomplishment of the Pimentel administration for the preceding year and the plan for the current year. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan/PIA-Surigao del Sur)

DSWD Caraga’s outstanding practices in KC-AusAID implementation pay-off

AKLAN, May 30 (PIA) – Best Practices in Kalahi-CIDSS Australian Agency for International Development (KC-AusAID) implementation, and Development Partners’ Choice awards were received by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office Caraga during the Implementation Review for AusAID Grant Culmination Activity on May 20-23, 2014 at Paradise Garden Resort Hotel, Boracay Island.

This event purposed to gather the KC-AusAID workers to share their experiences, gains, and even learnings in their implementation of the Project to recipient municipalities all over the country.

DSWD Caraga was recognized with its best practices and innovations which are as follows: application of Thematic and Environmental Management System (TEMS) to the construction of sub-projects (SPs), promotion of social and peace cohesion among barangay residents through SP implementation, inclusion of Indigenous People (IP) as workers for construction, convergence (internal and external) with other agencies to fast-track the process, completion of quality SPs ahead of targeted time, establishment of ASK-CF database system for regional fiduciary review, conduct of regular meetings and technical sessions with workers with their municipal counterparts, strict observance of construction safety protocols, involvement of women during SP implementation, and close coordination between community volunteers and barangay officials particularly in strategizing the delivery of materials in far-flung areas.

Regional Infrastructure Specialist and Engr. Macrino Sumagang, Municipal Monitor Maryfel Jerios, Finance Analyst II Mary Jane Angcos, Infrastructure Assistant and Engr. Vanessa Endozo, and Project Operations Officer III and Engr. Potamio Valdehueza, are the representatives from the Kalahi-CIDSS Regional Program Management Office (RPMO) of DSWD Caraga, who participated the summation activity and received the two plaques given by the Coffey International.

Other participating regions are the following: IV-A (CALABARZON), V (BICOL region), VI (Western Visayas), VIII (Eastern Visayas), IX (Zamboanga Peninsula), X (Northern Mindanao), XI (Davao region), and XII (SOCCKSARGEN).

AusAID is a program of the Australian Government which aims to provide support and assistance to developing countries, such as the Philippines, to fight against poverty and achieve sustainable development.

KC-AusAID implementation in the country, including the social preparation, started in November 2012 and was finished on April 2014 with a total budget of 10 million Australian dollars.

Its implementation in Caraga benefited the 13 municipalities in the five provinces of the region, with a total of 68 sub-projects constructed. Most of the SPs are day care centers and classrooms since the Australian Government gives emphasis on the importance of education in attaining development.

These recipient localities are the following: Cagdianao, Gigaquit, Jabonga, Kitcharao, Libjo, Lingig, Loreto (Agusan del Sur), Marihatag, Pilar, San Miguel, Sibagat, Socorro, and Veruela.

With the successful implementation of this project in the country, the Australian government extends assistance through another grant amounting to AUD 12M or approximately Php 476 M to be utilized within 18 months.

AusAID will now have a new brand name which is the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). (Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga)

Mindanao state universities, colleges to offer DRMM, climate change courses

DAVAO CITY, May 30 (PIA) - Mindanao’s state universities and colleges are stepping up efforts in making the island-region and its people more adaptable to climate change by integrating disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) as well as climate change adaptation and mitigation (CCAM) in their curriculum.

The curriculum integration includes the proposal to offer short-term courses on DRRM and CCAM to students, employees of local government units (LGUs) and other interested individuals. Part of the initiative is the move to designate DRRM and CCAM as compulsory subjects for all courses or to include these in the existing subjects such as the National Service Training Program (NSTP), the Civic Welfare Training Service (CWTS), and the Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC).

Among the schools that have committed to integrate DRMM and CCAM in their curriculum include the University of Southeastern Philippines, the Compostela Valley State College, the Davao del Norte State College, the Sultan Kudarat State University, the Mindanao State University-General Santos City Campus, the University of Southern Mindanao, the Cotabato Foundation College of Science and Technology and the Cotabato City State Polytechnic College.

Other schools such as the Southern Philippines Agri-business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology (SPAMAST), the Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology (DOSCST) and the Notre Dame of Dadiangas University have already incorporated DRMM and CCAM in their CWTS and NSTP subjects.

“The country’s state universities and colleges play critical roles in integrating climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in the education sector,” said Dr. Irvin Generalao, SPAMAST president.

Majority of the students enrolled in SPAMAST come from poor families “who are considered as among the most vulnerable sector to climate change,” he added.

“By integrating and offering DRRM and CCAM in our programs, we intend to equip our students the appropriate skills, attitudes, and knowledge necessary for them and their families to adapt to climate change, and eventually cope with its impacts,” he said.

Generalao said that students who recently completed the school’s NSTP underwent series of trainings on first aid and disaster preparedness.

SPAMAST also implemented projects on climate change, including the Regional Disaster Science and Management (RDSM) funded by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry and Energy Research and Development (PCIERD).

The RDSM maps out the earthquake-prone areas in Davao del Sur and disseminates these information to concerned local government units and authorities.

The school also manages two automated weather stations that are located in Digos City and Matanao, Davao del Sur.  The weather stations collect timely information on meteorological conditions such temperature, amount of rainfall, and relative humidity, which are being forwarded to Ateneo de Davao University for consolidation.

“We hope to contribute to President Benigno Aquino III’s programs on DRRM and CCAM in our own little way. SPAMAST sees to it that all of its academic programs, including agriculture, environmental science, and engineering must include awareness on climate change among its courses,” Generalao said.

During roadshows with higher education institutions in Regions XI and XII conducted by the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), SPAMAST and the other 10 state universities and colleges in Mindanao also pledged to undertake researches on climate change aimed to aid policy and decision-making bodies.

“These studies are crucial and we would like to maximize the expertise of our home-grown academic institutions,” said Janet Lopoz, MinDA executive director.

She added that MinDA regularly submits policy briefs to the members of Mindanao lawmakers’ bloc in Congress while adding “the agency lobbies for Mindanao-related policies that are supported by thorough research.”

The Mindanao 2020 or the island-region’s 20-year peace and development roadmap for 2011-2030 stressed that Mindanao must position itself to adequately meet the challenges of climate change.

“We are glad that our stakeholders from the education sector are now rallying for this cause. The government and private sectors must work together in implementing DRRM and CCAM initiatives,” she said.

Lopoz encouraged all stakeholders in Mindanao, especially those from the private sector to collaborate under MinDA’s flagship program called the MindaNOW! Nurturing Our Waters Program which seeks to harmonize all DRRM and CCAM efforts in the island-region.

Republic Act No. 10121, the law that institutionalized the country’s DRRM system and framework requires the integration of disaster risk reduction in the school curricula. It mandates the Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to integrate disaster risk reduction and management education in their school curricula, which include the National Service Training Program (NSTP), formal and non-formal, technical-vocational, indigenous learning, and out-of-school youth courses and programs.

The education sector on the other hand is required by Republic Act No. 9729 or the law that created the Climate Change Commission, to incorporate climate change into their primary and secondary subjects that include science, biology, sibika, and history. (MinDA/PIA-Caraga)

TESDA offers free assessment, certification

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, May 30 (PIA) – To promote assessment and certification program at the company/enterprise level, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is offering free assessment and certification.

During the forum on the implementation of Senior High School with the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Technical Vocational Institutions (TVIs) held recently at Balanghai Hotel and Convention Center here, Romel Natad of TESDA-Caraga presented the rationale of the National TVET Competency Assessment and Certification (NATCAC). TVET stands for Technical Vocation Education and Training.

Natad said NATCAC is the conduct of free competency assessment and certification in identified key qualifications at the regional and provincial level. “For each identified assessment schedule, there shall be a sector-based synchronized assessment nationwide,” Natad said.

However, Natad said assessment for other sectors/qualifications may still be scheduled by the Regional Offices or Provincial Offices during the assessment period. The program shall be funded by the Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP).

Aside from promoting the program at the company/enterprise level, Natad said it also expands clients’ access to assessment and certification program; enhance the competitiveness, employability, and productivity of workers; and upgrade the qualification of existing workers, trainers and assessors to a higher level of qualification.

Meanwhile, TESDA Caraga regional director Dr. Florencio F. Sunico, Jr. said trainers of private and public Technical-Vocational Institutions (TVIs), including TESDA Technical Institutions (TTIs), Local Government Units (LGUs), and other government agencies providing TVET programs and DepEd trainers, Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) drivers, workers, industry practitioners, professional, career shifter, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), Filipino expatriates with relevant experience, industry practitioners who are prospective competency assessors are qualified to apply for free assessment and certification.

“They can apply at TESDA accredited competency assessment centers or TESDA provincial and district offices,” Sunico said.

Requirements for application are as follows: duly accomplished application form, self-assessment guide, three passport size pictures in white background with name written at the back, and certificate of employment.

The assessment covered all qualification in NC II, III and IV levels with promulgated training regulations.

For the Automotive and Land Transport, qualifications are as follows: Automotive Servicing NC II, Driving NC II/Driving (Passenger Bus Straight Truck) NC III, and Motorcycle Small Engine Servicing NC II.

Under the Construction, qualifications such as Technical Drafting NC II, Masonry NC II and III, Plumbing NC II and III, Carpentry NC II and III, Heavy Equipment Operators NC II, and Electrical Installation and Maintenance NC II and III are included in the program.

The qualifications under Electronics include: Consumer Electronics Servicing NC II and III, and CATV Operation and Maintenance NC II and III.

Computer Hardware Servicing NC II and Visual Graphics Design NC III are the qualification included under Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

For Tourism, qualifications that are included are: Food and Beverage Services NC II and III, Cookery NC II, Bread and Pastry Making NC II, Housekeeping NC II and III, Household Services NC II, Bartending NC II, Tour Guiding NC II, and Travel Services NC II.

In Agri-Fishery, Agricultural Crops Production NC II and III, and Horticulture NC II. Under the Metals and Engineering, qualifications offered are Shielded Metal Arc Welding NC II and III, as well as Machining NC II.

Under the HVAC, the program has included Transport RAC Servicing NC II and Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Services NC II. For HSCDS, qualifications included are Bookkeeping NC III, Photography NC II, and Security Services NC II.

The national assessment will be conducted at TESDA Women’s Center, TESDA Training Center Taguig Campus Enterprises (TTCTCE) and the TESDA Brick Plaza for selected qualifications in partnership with concerned industry sectors.

It is also conducted at TESDA Regional Offices nationwide. Sunico said the Regional Training Centers and/or selected private TVIs may act as the regional hub with the Provincial Training Centers (PTCs), TTIs, and selected TVIs providing simultaneous assessments for the identified qualifications.

The schedule and venue for the national assessment per qualification will be determined by the regional and provincial offices. However, the schedule must be within the following identified assessment period.

For Automotive, Land Transport and HVAC, the assessment was held last May 12-23, 2014. On July 14-25, 2014, qualifications under Construction and Metals and Engineering will be conducted. The Tourism, Electronics and ICT qualifications is scheduled on August 11-22, 2014 while Agri-fishery/Food Processing and HSCDS is set on October 13-24, 2014.

The National Certificate (NC) or Certificate of Competency (COC) will be issued to the successful candidates in accordance with the provisions stated in the Procedures Manual on Preparation and Issuance of NC/COC by the end of the assessment schedule.

For further information, the public is advised to get in touch with the nearest TESDA Regional or Provincial Offices in their area.

In Caraga Region, the regional office can be reached at (085) 341-5220. TESDA-Agusan del Norte can be contacted at (085)342-0085. TESDA-Agusan del Sur (085) 343-7278; TESDA-Surigao del Norte (086) 826-2592; TESDA-Surigao del Sur (086) 211-3957; and TESDA-Dinagat Islands (0908-9956348).

With these developments, Sunico enjoined the public to grab this opportunity to be assessed and certified for free. (TESDA-13/PIA-Caraga)

TESDA trains Agusan del Sur policewomen for driving

By Engr. Norberto B. Dorado

BUTUAN CITY, May 30 (PIA) – The Provincial Office of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Agusan del Sur has conducted a refresher course and assessment in driving to lady enforcers of the province’s Philippine National Police (PNP).

Dubbed as “Drayber Ko, Ate Ko,” the activity is supporting the Gender and Development program of the government, promoting the equal role of women to the society.

During the training, some 14 policewomen have participated the program coming from Bayugan City and the 13 municipalities of the province. Said participants serve as patrol car alternate drivers in times of responding to gender cases and emergencies.

Agusan del Sur Police provincial director Alexander Sampaga said the training conducted by TESDA will help the provincial office police force in responding to crimes or emergencies that may happen, aside from the fact that this also supports the gender equality program of the national government.

Sampaga added, the role of women in the development of the society today cannot be denied. They also served as initiators in promoting peace and security in the area. “Thus, they need to be developed and trained with works and jobs which we previously think that are only intended for men,” Sampaga said.

With these developments, Sampaga acknowledged the effort and time extended by TESDA, which promotes the Human Development Cluster of the Philippine Development Plan and supports the Peace and Security sector of the plan. (TESDA-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Caraga)

DA info officers set communications direction for PRDP

By Jay M. Rosas

QUEZON CITY, May 30 (PIA) – Information officers from various regions gathered to craft a communications plan that would help the new national rural development program.

Tagged as the Information, Advocacy, Communication and Education (InfoACE) unit of the PRDP, the InfoACE is composed of information officers coming from the Department of Agriculture (DA) regional offices.

The team agreed to come up with a communications plan that would set directions for various communication and advocacy initiatives under the PRDP.

PRDP is a six-year program designed to establish the government platform for a modern, climate-smart and market-oriented agri-fishery sector. The Program is being implemented by the DA with funding assistance from the World Bank, national and local government units.

The Program will partner with LGUs and the private sector in providing key infrastructure, facilities and technology to raise incomes, productivity and competitiveness in the countryside.

“The role of information and communication is critical at the inception of PRDP,” said PRDP deputy program director Arnel De Mesa, citing the positive outcome of strategic InfoACE activities of the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) that helped in planning for the creation of PRDP.

“We need to get the word out there about the Program to generate stakeholder support particularly with our target clients, the local government units and private sector,” he said.

De Mesa added that one of the key information that LGUs need to know is the lower counterpart equity of 10 percent in various rural infrastructure projects like farm-to-market roads. Relevant information on policies and project specifications should also be communicated to adhere to quality standards as previously practiced in MRDP, he added.

An important part of the workshop the communications audit, which allowed the participants to evaluate communication skills and expertise, programs and technology, which are crucial in the implementation of communication and advocacy activities.

MRDP InfoACE unit head Noel Provido also presented the communication needs research for PRDP conducted by the unit in cooperation with the DA information officers.

“The study presents media preferences and exposure of the program’s intended audience and should help the information officers in anticipating and responding to communication challenges that will arise during the course of the implementation of the Program,” he said.

He cited that among the information needs that arose during the MRDP implementation was to come up with a unified checklist of requirements in easy-to-digest format that LGUs and people’s organization (PO) beneficiaries would understand.

He also said that the unit is finalizing short video documentaries that highlight success stories and best practices of the Program implementation, which he said could serve as benchmark for implementing projects under PRDP.

PRDP is a P27.5 billion program where the bulk of the program will go into infrastructure and enterprise development components. It will also adopt value chain analysis of priority commodities identified by the province or region and make use of business development plans as bases for investments. (DA-MRDP/PIA-Caraga)