Tuesday, June 17, 2014

BCWD aims for ISO certification

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, June 17 (PIA) – As the company aims to achieve quality management system (QMS), the management and personnel of Butuan City Water District (BCWD) will participate in the two-day International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Orientation/Awareness Seminar on June 19-20, 2014 at Dottie’s Place Convention Hall, this city.

BCWD general manager Anselmo Sang Tian said they are aiming for ISO 9001:2008 QMS certification through setting-up, knowing and conforming to the requirements set for said ISO certification.

“We are determined to fulfill the ISO certification on quality management system and we will be there soon. With this two-day orientation/seminar on ISO by the Ace Training Services, we will do our best to comprehend the processes in ISO and comply with all the needed requirements,” expressed Sang Tian.

Sang Tian further bared that ISO 9001:2008 QMS is an internationally accepted standards applied by many companies aiming to satisfy its customers through continual improvement of its system.

“We are not perfect but we believe that by doing the right process or system in our management, we can continuously provide the quality services which our concessionaries deserve,” Sang Tian pointed out.

Also, it was learned that the benefits of being and ISO 9001:2008 QMS certified include the following: 1) Involves Top management in the improvement of the Quality management System; 2) Facilitates the organization to become a customer-focused organization; 3) Ensures sustained customer satisfaction by producing, delivering services and providing support functions that meet customers’ needs and expectations; and 4) Increases the effectiveness and efficiency of the organization through continual improvement in systems and products /services quality. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


DAR celebrates 26th CARP anniv; bares significant accomplishments        

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, June 17 (PIA) – In celebration of its 26th year of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Caraga convened the local media and reported its significant accomplishments, as well as activities for this year.

In a press conference held at the Robinson's Place here, DAR-Caraga regional director Faisar Mambuay thanked the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga for its untiring support and info-dissemination of DAR's programs and services to the public. He also appreciated the efforts of the local media in the promotions of the farmers’ welfare.

Mambuay disclosed that around 122,264 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) with 259,220 hectares have benefited in the DAR's Land Tenure Improvement. "First of the major programs of CARP is the Land Tenure Improvement which re-distributes land to qualified landless farmers," he said.

Mambuay added that DAR-Caraga has been a consistent performer in land distribution with over 100 percent accomplishment from its annual target in the past 12 years.

"In 2013, 147 percent of DAR's Land Acquisition and Distribution was delivered by the region making Caraga number 2 in accomplishment by percentage. There was a total of 9,588 target beneficiaries in this program while this year 2014, the region is faced with its 23,027 hectares target," announced Mambuay.

Mambuay further relayed that the second of the major programs of CARP provided for various support services and interventions to farmer beneficiaries to ensure continuous improvement of their quality of life. 

"The CARP program will not end in June 30, 2014 instead this will continue until President Aquino's term. We will continue to move forward and provide the services to our farmers," Mambuay emphasized.

It can be recalled that the CARP is an agrarian reform law of the Philippines passed in 1988. In this program, all lands exceeding seven hectares were bought by the government and sold to the landless farmers.

Meanwhile, it was also learned that DAR-Caraga is spearheading this year's International Year of Family Farming in the country, with the Department of Agriculture and other partner-agencies. "Family farming is inextricably linked to national and global food security. Both in developing and developed countries, farming is the predominant form of agriculture in the food production sector," he explained.

The good director also urged Caraganon farmers to register their farm land and their products at DAR to avail of the insurance in times of disasters.

Among its other activities, the DAR-Caraga is also staging the "Ani at Biyaya ng CARP" Photo Gallery at the 2nd floor of Robinson's Place, Butuan City. The gallery will run until June 22, 2014. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


Gov Plaza bares PGAS' plans, programs for sustainable development

By David M. Suyao

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, June 17 (PIA) – Governor Adolph Edward Plaza lay down the provincial government of Agusan del Sur’s (PGAS) strategies on how the province bagged the honor and prize having awarded the Seal of Good Housekeeping, including his administration’s plans and programs that will uplift the economic condition of the Agusanons.

In his State of the Province Address (SOPA) delivered on Tuesday at the Naliyagan Cultural Center (NCC) during the 14th Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP), Plaza said it not enough that the government will be giving the people what they think is good for them but it must be what the people need most.

“Thru the Community Based Management Survey, we have better understanding on what specific programs and projects our people need, and that is the time our intervention comes in because Agusanons have different needs. The delivery and implementation of our pro-poor programs always come in timing, from education, livelihood, health, infrastructure and other programs that include environment protection, so that recipients will have the sense of ownership,” Gov. Plaza said.

According to Plaza, his administration is giving emphasis on the Upland Sustainable Agro-forestry Development (USAD) Program so that farmers can produce rice even in the upland.

“Construction and repair of our farm to market roads are included in our USAD program and are now on-going, in order that our farmers have easy access to market their products,” Plaza added.

Plaza also said his administration is doing its best in order to access to funding institutions to finance lined up priority projects that the provincial government have lined up. And because of this, there are big programs of the provincial government that are funded by four funding institution and one of them is the PAMANA program that has almost P500 million funds.

“Right now, I am challenging the Department of Agriculture that if they have programs and projects to be implemented here in Agusan del Sur, we can arrange it even tomorrow because we have a standby surplus fund of P100 million ready for our counterpart,” Plaza said.

On education, Plaza said the province have presently 374 scholars for this school year 2014-2015. “We have already hundreds of graduates as products of our scholarship program and many are now working with the provincial government as doctors, nurses, teachers and managers. This scholarship program will continue to increase until there are qualified students who want to avail of it,” Plaza added.

Plaza’s oral presentation of his SOPA is backed-up by a multi-media presentation presenting figures and graphs. (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Talacogon GPB project set to take off

By Kylee Doreene T. Que

AGUSAN DEL SUR, June 17 (PIA) - The Department of Tourism (DOT) headed by its regional director Leticia DC Tan handed over the check amounting to P1 million to the municipality of Talacogon thru Mayor Jesryl E. Masendo on June 2, 2014 at the Municipal Hall.

The check is a partial (50%) release of funds for the establishment of Agri-Ecotourism Center under the DOT Grassroots Participatory Budgeting Program of 2014.

Talacogon aims to position itself as the agri-industrial municipality of Agusan del Sur so that it can stand out from other municipalities in the province and in the region as a whole. Other objectives of the project include showcasing the various agricultural products and technologies that could not only augment the income of farmers, but also cater visitors and tourists.

The total cost of the project is P2.3 million of which P2 million will be funded by the national government and the remaining P300,000.00 will be the local government unit’s counterpart.

The Grassroots Participatory Budgeting (GPB), formerly known as the Bottom-up Budgeting (BuB), is a joint undertaking of the DOT and the Department of Interior Local Government which aims to ensure the implementation of priority poverty reduction projects as identified at the city/municipal level through a participatory planning and budgeting process. (DOT-13/PIA Caraga)


DENR apprehends 1,439 illegal logs

By Eric F. Gallego

BUTUAN CITY, June 17 (PIA) – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Caraga forest officers in coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Army (PA) have apprehended about 1,439 pieces or 113.82 cubic meters of freshly cut logs from the eight different illegal operating mini sawmills during two days anti-illegal logging operations at the remote Barangay of Baylo in San Luis, Agusan del Sur.

The DENR is also verifying reports that some local officials are either involved or directly engaged in the illegal operation of mini sawmill.

The two-day operation was backed up by three teams of regular army soldiers from the 26th Army Infantry Batallion, 4th Infantry Division under Lt. Col Rolando Dumawa and one unit from the Special Action Police Force (SAF) under PNP Chief Aldrin Salinas. 

The authorities, however, were dismayed to find out that the gadgets, engines and other tools have been removed by the operators from the sawmill before they arrived at the site. The police were also checking reports that nine 6-wheeler trucks loaded with lumbers of various sizes have managed to slip away earlier and heading to an undisclosed place in Bayugan, Agusan del Sur.

“The operators seemed to have anticipated the crackdown on illegal sawmill in the area,” DENR 13 regional director Nonito M. Tamayo said. 

Tamayo has instructed PENRO Roberto Oliveros of Agusan del Sur to look deeper into the situation and find out about the people involved in the illegal trading of logs.

Tamayo went to the area to personally supervise the operation. He said that some people in that barangay are reportedly coddling with timber poachers.

“It’s very disappointing, “Oliveros said.  The area has been placed on surveillance following reports of the clandestine mini saw mill operations of logs harvested by timber poachers from the nearby defunct timberland domain of Integrated Forest Management Area holder Woodland Domain Inc (WDI).

“The illegally-cut trees that are harvested from the area are moved through the tributaries to the sawmilling plants along the riverbanks.

According to OIC, CENR Officer of Talacogon, Luis Gonzaga several raids have been made by the CENRO personnel in the previous months only to be informed later that the operators are back again in business. “It’s like cat and mouse game,” he said.  

Barangay Baylo is also known as hub of timber poachers with armed supporters. The report said operatives from the CENRO Talacogon who bring nothing but notebooks and ballpens can hardly penetrate the area due to the critical situation.  According to CENR Office Gonzaga, “The request for military back-ups for anti- illegal logging operations are more often jeopardized by the current military operations against the New People’s Army rebels."

The extractions of the 1,439 pieces of illegal logs from the different sawmills took about 48 hours which included 243 pieces 28.09 cubic meters at Purok 4; 996 pieces ( 85.99 cubic meters) at Purok 3 at Sitio Don  Alejandro all in Barangay Baylo, San Luis,  Agusan del Sur and 200 pieces (19.74 cubic meters) from the Barangay Proper of Baylo. The authorities also recovered one unit of C190 Diesel engine and one unit S195 N Chang Fa brand Diesel engine capable of generating 9.48 kilowatt electric power.

Tamayo said “the DENR is definitely filing appropriate charges against the people who were engaged and involved in the illegal sawmill operations and illegal logging activities."

He said that he will confer with some government agencies on issues related to the participation of some local officials in the illegal sawmill operations.

Tamayo instructed PENRO Oliveros to strengthen the monitoring of illegal logging activities particularly the timber poachers in the forest area formerly occupied by the WDI.

The DENR director has earlier met with the DENR 11 officials headed DENR 11 regional director Joselin Marcus E. Fragada in Davao City  to further improve the tracking down of undocumented forest products being transported by closed vans along the Maharlika Highway between Davao City and Agusan del Sur.  (DENR-13/PIA-Caraga)


BIMP-EAGA envi cluster adopts climate change proposal

DAVAO CITY, June 17 (PIA) - In a bid to make BIMP-EAGA and its people more adaptable to climate change, the sub-region’s environment cluster adopted the proposal of the Philippines to implement a USD 1.2 million project that will build the resilience of local communities and enhance disaster preparedness.

Entitled “Building Local Community Resilience in BIMP-EAGA for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation and Disaster Preparedness,” the project proposal was presented by the Philippines during the 3rd BIMP-EAGA environment cluster meeting held in May in Sandakan, Malaysia.

“The proposal’s main thrust is to lessen the impact of climate change, with the prime goal of preventing environmental disasters within the region,” said Janet Lopoz, executive director of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).

She said that environmental disasters can be prevented by implementing projects that strengthen disaster risk management and develop efficient response mechanisms in addressing environmental issues within BIMP-EAGA.

BIMP-EAGA stands for Brunei Darussalam Indonesia Malaysia the Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area, a key strategy to accelerate social and economic development of less developed areas in participating countries.

The Philippine representatives composed of officials from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and MinDA led the presentation of the proposal to the sub-region’s environment cluster.

An EAGA-wide policy on climate change adaptation and mitigation will be formulated based on key outputs of the proposal, including climate change-proofing of infrastructures, resulting in local communities that are more resilient to environmental disasters. The policy will also push for the sustainable management, protection, and utilization of the region’s natural resources.

Lopoz stated that within BIMP-EAGA, there is the strong need to address issues among the river basins of each member country, where the rivers flow from water sources to estuaries that lead towards the main bodies of water that surround the sub-region.

“Water is a shared resource among all EAGA countries, and our ecosystems are in a way interconnected with each other,” said Lopoz.

The project, which will be implemented in a span of three years also incorporates capacity building on humanitarian assistance and disaster response leading to the development of disaster preparedness action plans at the community level.

It also aims to strengthen Customs-Immigration-Quarantine-Security (CIQS) mechanisms for disaster response, and establish resource centers for information sharing on climate change and disaster risk reduction within the four countries of the sub-region.

 Lopoz added that the budget will be spread across 11 critical watersheds and river basins and seven coastal areas in the sub-region.

Located within the Coral Triangle, BIMP-EAGA is part of the global epicentre of marine species diversity that is considered as the “Amazon of the seas.”

The triangle is home to a combined population of over 350 million people and is recognized as a global priority for conservation.

Due to its geographic location, the region is considerably sensitive to the effects of climate change and is vulnerable to possible natural and environmental disasters.

 “This proposal consolidates all efforts from across the sub-region, and prioritizes programs and projects that will lessen the impact of climate change while ensuring environmental integrity in the area,” said Lopoz.

The proposal’s final draft is expected to be endorsed by this month to the senior officials of BIMP-EAGA for approval and eventual implementation. (MinDA/PIA-Caraga)


DTI releases P1.1-M for Malimono enterprise projects

SURIGAO CITY, June 17 (PIA) – The municipality of Malimono, this province received funds for three micro-enterprise projects from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Surigao del Norte provincial office amounting to P1,100,000 under the Grassroots Participatory  Budget (GPB) program.

The three funded projects are Coco Processing in Barangay Cayawan amounting to P550,000, Fish Drying Shared Service Facility in Barangay Cantapoy costing P142,500 and Bamboo Development in Barangay Tinago with P237,000.

The said projects will be implemented by the following three community organizations which include the Malimono Farmers Consumers Cooperative, Women Livelihood Vision for Tomorrow and Tinago Eagles Fishermen and farmers Association.

Malimono Mayor Teodoro F. Sinaca expressed his gratitude to DTI provincial director Celestino L. Negapatan for the support extended to his municipal constituents who are eager to implement their proposed enterprise projects. He is also hoping that with the guidance and supervision of the LGU, proponents will be able to implement and operate their projects successfully so it can generate income for the organizations as well as the members-beneficiaries.

On his part, Negapatan assured the projects proponents that DTI will be assisting them on their various technical needs and that if they want further support for additional equipment as they sustain and expand their operation, the agency will always be ready to help in their productive endeavours.

Based on the work and financial plan prepared by the recipient groups, various activities like benchmarking, trainings, acquisition of needed materials and equipment among others are scheduled in the coming months to fast track the implementation of the said projects. (SDR/DTI-Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)