6.05.2014

Thursday, June 5, 2014

DENR Caraga joins World Environment Day, underscores SIDS

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, June 5 (PIA) – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Caraga headed by regional director (RED) Nonito Tamayo has spearheaded in this region the yearly event of World Environment Day (WED) with emphasis on the 2014 year of Small Islands Developing States (SIDS).

“As we rally around for environmental activities and take actions to raise global and local awareness on the importance of the trees to us, the environment, and its surrounding habitat, let’s also bring to mind the SIDS for which member low-lying coastal countries tend to share similar sustainable development challenges, including limited resources and fragile environments, among others,” mentioned Tamayo in his message during the kick-off of WED at Caloc-an, Magallanes, Agusan del Norte where different national line agencies and stakeholders gathered for a coastal clean-up and tree planting activity early morning Thursday.

Tamayo reiterated that many SIDS now recognize the need to move towards low-carbon, climate resilient economies, as set out in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) implementation plan for climate change-resilient development.

The SIDS were first recognized as a distinct group of developing countries at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in June 1992.

“Learn the ways in which you can live in harmony with the environment and by practicing these you can help lessen the negative impact on the planet,” added Tamayo.

He encouraged everyone to reduce, reuse and recycle to combat global warming.

“Avoid burning fossil fuels, coal and other gases that release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere because the more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, more heat is trapped which make the earth warmer,” addressed Tamayo.

He said that as the climate shifts, make it an opportunity to realize not only the responsibility to care for the earth but also to become agents of change.

“Let’s consider everyday an Arbor Day. Let’s plant more trees for the preservation of our natural resources and ecosystem and find solutions that will ensure a brighter future for generations to come,” bared Tamayo. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


AgSur prepares for 22nd Naliyagan Festival, 116th Independence Day Celebration

By David M. Suyao

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, June 5 (PIA) - Ground preparation for the week-long and grand opening of the 22nd Naliyagan Festival is now 75 percent, where the 116th Philippine Independence Day celebration will take place that will add color and meaning to the dual celebration.

While the two soft opening activities of the Naliyagan Festival will take place days before the grand opening called “Hugyaw to Agusan” on June 7, and the “Bubuta Tu Manok Tu Naliyagan (a 4 cock derby)" on June 10, the grand opening on June 12, 2014 will be started at 4:30 a.m. by an Ecumenical Dawn Prayer right at the covered Naliyagan Cultural Center (NCC) ground to be followed by the simultaneous holy mass at 6:00 a.m. in all parish churches provincewide.

While the simultaneous masses are conducted, native ritual called “Panawagtawag” will also take place right at the main stage of the NCC, giving the lumads (indigenous peoples) the honor to perform their culture’s practice in calling the good spirits to bless the festival because this is the season that will showcase the Agusanon’s rich and colorful culture.

Right after the concelebrated mass at 8:00 a.m., the giant national flag, the provincial flag, the naliyagan flag and the 314 barangay flags will be raised bearing the symbol of independence and after the flag raising ceremonies, the wreath laying at the Rizal monument also located at the NCC ground by Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza, Cong. Maria Valentina Plaza (First District) and Cong. Evelyn Mellana Plaza (Second District) with the 401st Infantry Brigade headed by Col. Gregory Cayetano assisting.

After the wreath laying ceremony, the grand opening of the 22nd Naliyagan Festival will be declared together with the ceremonial opening of the Naliyagan Trade, services and entertainment center. This will highlight the Naliyagan Agri-Industrial Fair, the Naliyagan Food and Entertainment booths, the Naliyagan Bazar, the Naliyagan Trade Show and Exhibits, provincial government’s local governance Best Practices showcase and Constituency offices Districts 1 and 2.

The Serbisyo sa Naliyagan Para sa Katawhan will also start ranging from jobs fair, Kasambahay registration, National Economic Research and Business Assistance Center (NERBAC) services and the blood-letting by the Philippine Red Cross. All these services can be availed right at the NCC grounds.

In the evening of day one, the Naliyagan tribal songs and dances will be showcased with the theme: “Kulturang Agusanon: Padayon sa Modernong Panahon. This is open for all to see. Live bands at the NCC main stage and the Rizal stage will be non-stop performing, with comedy variety intermission. As finale for the first day, the Naliyagan fireworks display competition will color the skies in the evening.

Gov. Plaza with the officials and the provincial government invite the public to witness and see the Naliyagan Festival in order to enjoy and witness the rich and colorful culture of the Agusanons. (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


18th Kaliguan Festival to kick-off on June 24 in SurSur town

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

SURIGAO DEL SUR, June 5 (PIA) – "The 18th Kaliguan Festival will kick-off on June 24-28, 2014, which will be held in Cagwait," said Mayor Lilian Lozada during a press conference conducted on Wednesday.

This year's celebration is anchored on the theme, "One Vision, United Action Towards Sustainable Tourism Development."

Event coordinator Mike Santos is hopeful that the five-day celebration will be sustained and soon to be commercially competitive like other well-known festivals in the country.

"The sustainability of the event will definitely bring the name of Cagwait as well as the province of Surigao del Sur into the map of the tourists’ favorite destinations," said Santos during his event concept presentation.

To make the celebration unique, a Kaliguan Facebook Photoshoot Contest 2014 will be conducted. "The said competition is open to all professional and amateur photographers," said Santos.

During the kick-off ceremony on June 24, Mayor Lozada said the Kaliguan Agri-Industrial Fair, Kaliguan Food and Entertainment Booth, Kaliguan Bazaar, Kaliguan Trade Show and Exhibit, Kaliguan-LGU Best Practices Showcase and Serbisyo sa Kaliguan para sa Katawhan will also be launched.

Accordingly, the Fluvial Parade and the Perlas ng Kaliguan Pageant will also highlight the celebration. Celebrities from the GMA Kapuso Network will add colors to the celebration as they showcase their talents during the “Barangayan sa Kaliguan” night.

It can be recalled that the Kaliguan Festival was first celebrated on June 24, 1996 in honor of St John the Baptist initiated by Mayor Lillian Yu-Lozada, the then chairperson of the Municipal Tourism Council in partnership with the provincial government and Department of Tourism. (NGBT/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


DOST develops ‘predictive damage, business continuity’ for more pro-active disaster preparedness in PHL

MANILA, June 5 (PIA) - The Department of Science and Technology will share lessons on innovations in disaster risk reduction and management, including its new agenda for including “predictive damage” and “business continuity” as part of the country’s pro-active disaster preparedness agenda.

DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo first announced the two concepts during the opening plenary session of the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) Manila Conference (2014) hosted by the Philippines at the Diamond Hotel on 5th June 2014, Thursday.

The recent onslaught of typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) called for new ways on the practice of disaster risk reduction and management and its inclusion as priority in the country’s development agenda.

“Recent severe weather events clearly showed that mega disasters are the new challenge we have to face. And we cannot be caught flat-footed or ill-prepared because doing so costs us more,” noted DOST Sec. Montejo.

Before Haiyan, mega disasters in Asia included the 2011 tsunami in Japan and the 2004 tsunami in Aceh, Indonesia.

“Advanced information on impending disasters derived through the application of science and cutting-edge technologies enables vigilant local governments and the public to take early action and in turn, save lives,” he added.

In the Philippines, the use of science-based weather information was made possible by DOST’s modernization project, which included flagship programs such as the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (Project NOAH), which offers an online platform to monitor typhoons and floods based on real-time data feeds from 1,000 rain and water level sensors nationwide and the internationally renowned national 3D mapping project called Disaster Risk Assessment, Exposure and Mitigation-Light Ranging and Detection Technology (DREAM-LiDAR). The latterwon the prestigious Geospatial World Excellence in Policy Implementation Award for 2014 awarded by the Geospatial World Forum last May in Geneva.

Both projects were launched under the direction of the Aquino administration to promote a more proactive stance on disaster management with the delivery of science-based information to local communities and national disaster managers and the vigilance of leaders and first responders to act accordingly based on the information showed that it can be possible to achieve zero casualties and reduce risks and damages due to flooding, and disasters related to severe weather events.

He cited local champions in the country that benefited from the use of Project NOAH and 3D map models of the DREAM Project such as Marikina City, which enforced evacuation hours ahead of the 2012 and 2013 Habagat (Southwest Monsoon) Flood events, which registered Ondoy-like flood levels. In 2009, the same city in the metro was submerged in floods after Ketsana (Ondoy) dumped a month’s worth of rain—about 300mm—in a span of only six hours.
 
Predictive Damage and Business Continuity

Since the commencement of the Aquino administration’s term in 2009, the DOST has undergone major improvements to provide quality, accurate, location-specific, and timely information based on science so local leaders and communities may know how to best deal with an impending disaster. To date, DOST has nearly completed the mapping of two-thirds of the 18 major river systems of the country, which included Marikina River and Cagayan River, both of which overflowed and flooded nearby communities during the typhoon season.

The DOST plays a crucial role in terms of providing information related to weather and geological hazards in the Philippines, mainly through its agencies Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), respectively.

Pushing further the envelope for better disaster preparedness, DOST is introducing the concept of “predictive damage” and “business continuity.”

Predictive damage,noted Sec. Montejo, “is the capability of being able to simulate and model severe weather events and the amount or extent of damage that they would cause to the areas affected.”

Probability-based behavioural damage models for various types of infrastructure and natural assets of concern can be developed by evaluating and analyzing historical data on damage caused by previous severe weather events.  These models then used in conjunction with our improving weather forecast methodologies would allow us to predict probable damage, thus allowing pro-active disaster preparedness and response.

“This approach is not only applicable for response or near-term planning but may also be used for a medium- and long- term disaster risk reduction program,” he added.

On the other hand, “business continuity is the capability to restore, within a prescribed period, vital services both public and private after a severe weather event.  These vital services include power, communications, transport, food and drinking water, heath, security, banking and commerce, among others.”

Vital services can be restored after 12, 24 or 48 hours or more depending on the priority of a service.  We proposed that a committed “business continuity” timetable for vital services be made the goal for all disaster preparedness and response programs.

The predictive damage will serve as the starting point for analyzing the strength and vulnerabilities of critical assets and infrastructure against severe weather scenarios modeled using the maps generated by DOST’s projects. This will allow planners to better understand areas for improvement, retrofitting, and can even go as far as provisioning of backup services for disaster preparedness and response.

Other plenary speakers will be Philippine cabinet officials and leaders of international organizations on DRRM, including Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Senator Loren Legarda, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Kristalina Georgieva, and United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Head Margareta Wahlstrom.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is the lead coordinator for the conference in partnership with the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).

The Philippines jointly organized the ASEM Manila Conference 2014 with Japan, Switzerland, and the European Union, together with sponsorship of Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Norway, Spain, Vietnam, and the United Kingdom. (DOST STII/PIA-Caraga)


AFP shares same view with PNP on bulk of explosive chemicals, devices seized in SurSur

By Greg Tataro, Jr.

TANDAG CITY, June 5 (PIA) – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has expressed the same view with the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Surigao del Sur about the bulk of explosive chemicals and other devices seized in Barangay Liatimco, Lianga town over a week ago.

Lt. Col. Ignatius Patrimonio, Commander of the 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion (2SRB), whose headquarter in Barangay St. Christine lies in the same town with the barangay where the rare “finds” were seized, also gave more weight on the probability that such voluminous supplies of explosive chemicals and other materials are being used in the manufacture of “landmines and other improvised explosive devices (IED).”

Patrimonio contentiously said that there is no illegal mining activity nearby in their location, adding also that as far as illegal fishing is concerned, such is a remote possibility due to the absence of “wick” as reported.

Right now, he said, that they have already started to coordinate with their counterparts in the PNP about the incident.

It will be recalled that on May 25, at about 3:30 p.m., a police operation was jointly conducted by Lianga Municipal Police Station (MPS) led by Deputy Chief of Police (DCOP) Insp. Roy Licayan;  Surigao del Sur Criminal Investigation and Detection Team (SDSCIDT) headed by PCI Arvin Montenegro;  Police Regional Office 13 (PRO 13) led by PCI Greggie Pimentel;  and, SDS Police Provincial Office (SDSPPO) also led by PSI Manolo Andrew Caoile  in Purok 2 and 3 at Barangay Liatimco, Lianga town by virtue of Search Warrant No. L-SW-04-14 issued by Executive Judge Alfredo Jalad of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 28 against respondents Bebot Espuerta, Daday Abunado, ang Roberto “Talok” Consigna for alleged violation of Presidential Decree 1866 or illegal possession of firearms and explosives as amended by Republic Act (R.A.) 8294 and further amended by R.A. 10591 and R.A. 9516.

However, Officer-In-Charge (OIC) Provincial Director P/SSupt. NarciscoVerdadero lamented that among the three subjects of the search warrant, only Espuerta, who was later identified as Arturo Andohuyan Espuerta, was nabbed while Abunado and Consigna eluded arrest.

But in their respective residences, S/Supt. Verdadero pointed out that the search and seizure yielded lots of blasting caps, wires, detonating cords, match sticks, and a total of 129.7 kilograms of ammonium nitrate-fuel oil (ANFO). 

A Smith & Wesson .357 Revolver with a defaced serial number loaded with five live ammunition was also found at the Abunado residence, he added.

With such a big haul, Verdadero admitted eyeing highly suspicious activities considering the history of the place being an NPA-influenced area which Patrimonio agreed, saying that the reported “IEDs might be used against state forces.” (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


PAGASA modernization bill gets Congress’ nod

QUEZON CITY, June 5 (PIA) - Agusan del Norte First District Representative Lawrence “Law” Fortun recently revealed that House Bill No. 4397 entitled the An Act Providing for the Modernization of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) otherwise known as the “PAGASA Modernization Act of 2014” was unanimously approved on third reading by members of the House of Representatives.

Fortun, who is a principal co-author of the bill, said that seeing the importance and benefit of the bill, the members of the House took no delay in passing the bill on third reading. The said legislation affirms PAGASA’s critical role as the government’s primary agency tasked to monitor and report weather conditions to the public. PAGASA also takes a very crucial role in conveying precise weather information that forms part and parcel of disaster preparedness and risk management for the government.

“Damage can be prevented and lives can be saved if we are scientifically informed and appropriately prepared," the explanatory note of the bill aptly stated. Because of this critical role, it is pertinent “to elevate its technological and operational capacity to effectively and efficiently perform its mandate.”

Among the objectives of the bill are a) To upgrade physical resources and operational techniques through the acquisition of state-of-the-art instruments, equipment, and facilities to enhance current capabilities in providing timely and reliable forecasting, warning services for the general public and information for agriculture, transportation and other industries across the country, b) To raise the salary and compensation of the officers and employees of PAGASA to make their pay competitive in the global market, c) To raise the research and development capability and human resource development, adopting a rationalized and integrated approach with focus on improvement of operations for specialized services and cost recovery, d) To develop mechanisms for integrating disaster management and socioeconomic development planning at the national and local levels, e) To establish regional weather service centres in strategic areas in the country to broaden the agencies base for delivery of service to the countryside, f) To cultivate greater awareness by the public of weather systems, the progress of typhoons, climatic changes and other related information through the educational projects and programs, and g) To develop a technology-based and financially self-sufficient data center which will serve as the central information station for real-time weather updates available to every individual and for the Philippines’ typhoon preparedness plan.

The house bill finds impetus with the experiences of the country being located in a typhoon belt and ‘ocean-encircling belt of active volcanoes and earthquake generators.’ Just late last year, regions of central Philippines have experienced the havoc of one of the world’s strongest typhoon. “We have seen the most damaging calamities that hit our country with super typhoon Yolanda and the strong earthquake which devastated the Visayas region and left thousands dead and millions of pesos in damages. With these occurrences, I really see the need to modernize PAGASA for them to give timely and accurate forecasting so as to make us more prepared when calamities hit,” Fortun said in co-sponsoring the bill. (LAWig Katawhan/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Tagalog News: Pondo para sa mga pang-imprastrakturang proyekto hindi manggagaling mula sa isiningit na pondo mula sa kongreso, sabi ng Palasyo

Ni David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Hunyo 5 (PIA) - Walang kahit isang sentimo ay manggagaling mula sa mga isiningit na pondo ng kongreso o pork barrel kapag ang pamahalaan ay ay nagpatupad ng mga aprobadong malalaking proyekto ng imprastraktura, sabi ng Palasyo noong Martes.

Ang kasalukuyang pamahalaan ay hindi naglagay ng pondo para sa mga proyekto sa pamamagitan ng isiningit mula sa kongreso, sabi ni Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr., at dagdag pa niya na kahit sa katapusang taon ng administrasyon ni dating Pangulo Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ay pinagbawal na ang paglagay ng pondo mula sa mga isiningit.

"Doon naman sa Aquino administration, totally abolished ‘yung concept of insertion dahil nagkasundo ang ehekutibo at lehislatura na kung ano lamang ang budget na iniharap ng executive as the National Expenditure Program, ‘yun lamang ang pwedeng repasuhin o pag-aralan ng Kamara at ng Senado," sabi niya noong siya ay nakipanayam sa media.

Tinigilan din ng pamahalaan ang paglagay ng pondo sa mga proyekto sa pamamagitan ng mga Priority Development Assistance Fund ng mga mambabatas pagkatapos na ito ay ideklara ng Korte Suprema na hindi naaayon sa konstitusyon, sabi ni Coloma, pinansin na ang PDAF ay buong-buo na inalis mula sa 2014 na badyet.

Noong nakaraang linggo, ang National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board na pinamumunuan ni Pangulong Aquino ay inaprobahan ang siyam namalalaking proyekto para mapabuti ang irrigasyon at patubig, pati na ang transportasyon at pangkalusugan.

Ang mga proyektong ito ay maipatupadsa pamamagitan ng iba’t ibang pamamaraan sa paglagay ng pundo, kasali na ang public-private partnership (PPP) at ang pamumuhunan ng pribadong sektor. (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Tagalog News: Estados Unidos, iba pang bansa gustong mamuhunan sa Mindanao

Ni David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Hunyo 5 (PIA) - Ang Estados Unidos at iba pang bansa ay tinitingnan ang Mindanao para sa kanilang pakipagsapalaran sa pamumuhunan, sabi ng Malakanyang noong Miyerkoles.

Sa isang panayam sa media, sinabi ni Presidential Spokesperson Edwin na nagbigay galang si US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker kay Pangulong Benigno S. Aquino III noong Miyerkoles dala-dala ang delegasyon ng mga negosyante na gustong tumingin kung saan sila maaring mamuhunan.

“Naghahanap sila ng mga potensiyal na lugar para mamuhunan tulad ng paggawa ng sasakyan, enerhiya, imprastraktura sa Mindanao, imprastraktura para sa malakihang transit at pati turismo,” sabi ni Lacierda.

Noong bumisita si Pangulong Barack Obama sa bansa noong Abril, sinabi niyang si Pritzker at isang delegasyon ng Amerikanong negosyante ay darating sa Pilipinas para tingnan ang posibilidad na mamuhunan sa bansa.

Sinabi ni Lacierda na ang klima ng bansa ay nagiging paborable pagkatapos malagdaan ang Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro ng mga representante ng Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) at ng pamahalaan ng Pilipinas.

“Ngayon na dumating na tayo sa isang mapayapang kasunduan kasama ang MILF, maraming bansa ang tumitingin sa Mindanao na isang potensiyal na lugar para sa pamumuhunan. Nakita na natin an ibang bansa – mga bansa sa ASEAN, na tunitingin sa Mindanao. At isa ang Estados Unidos sa mga bansang interesadong tumingin na mamuhunan sa Mindanao,” sabi ni Lacierda.

Ang Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro na nilagdaan noong Marso 27, ay tumapos sa deka-dekadang hidwaan sa Mindanao. (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Cebuano News: Surigao City Engineering Office padayon sa ilang mga proyekto

SURIGAO CITY, Hunyo 5 (PIA) – Nagpadayon ang pipila ka mga proyekto sa Surigao City Engineering Office partikular na sa pag- improbar og pagpang-repair sa mga nagkadaiyang establisyemento ug imprastraktura dinhi sa syudad.

Kini ang gipamahayag ni Engineer Rodolfo Farma ang acting Assistant City Engineer sa buhatan sa Engineering ning syudad.

Sumala pa ni Engr. Farma nga mokantidad sa kapin ug kulang P25 milyon ang nasampit nga mga proyekto sa pag- improbar og pagpan- repair sa mga nagkadaiyang establisyemento ug infrastraktura nga gilangkoban sa mga mosunod, 20 ka mga nagkadaiyang tulay ug kalsada dinhi sa syudad, walo ka mga school buildings nga gipundohan sa Department of Education, 11 ka mga water supply diin aduna usab 13 ka mga water system project ang napahigayon nga pinunduhan sa proyektong gitawag nga “SALINTUBIG” ug 2 ka lain pang mga proyekto.

Samtang dugang pa ni Farma nga nagpadayon pa gihapon ang ilang konstruksyon sa maong mga proyekto og sa pagka-karon anaa na sa 95.02 porsyento ang ilang na akomplisar. (SDR/MICO-Surigao/PIA-Surigao del Norte)