Friday, July 25, 2014

UPPI, PopCom to hold Regl Dissemination Forum in Butuan

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, July 25 (PIA) – The University of the Philippines Institute (UPPI) and the Commission on Population (PopCom) Caraga is set to hold the Regional Dissemination Forum on August 1, 2014 at Goat2geder Hotel and Restaurant, this city.

“The UPPI and the Demographic Research and Development Foundation conducted since 1982 a series of national surveys on the Filipino youth aged 15 to 24 years old dubbed as the Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality (YAFS) study,” bared PopCom-Caraga regional director Alexander Makinano.

Makinano further disclosed that the 2013 YAFS 4 Survey contains the same basic data gathered in previous rounds. The YAFS 4 has also expanded in range of topics as well as added new questions to previously existing topics.

“It has a new topic on Health and Lifestyle (including a short depression scale). The topic on media has been expanded to include the new forms of communication technologies that were not yet well-developed in 2002 such as social media, cellphone use and cyber-bullying,” added Makinano.

YAFS is one of the primary sources of information on sexual and non-sexual risk behaviors at the national and regional levels which covers a wide range of topics that are relevant to young people.

The findings have been widely used in education and health and had provided the evidence base for health programs for young people by government and non-government organizations nationwide. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


DOLE Caraga aids 299 workers with P2.3M in monetary claims

BUTUAN CITY, July 25 - Two hundred Ninety Nine (299) Caraganons benefited through the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Single Entry Approach Program amounting to P2,363,634.62 from January to June 2014.

This conciliation arsenal of the department provides a speedy, impartial, inexpensive and accessible settlement procedure for all issues/complaints arising from employer-employee relations to prevent them from accelerating to full blown disputes.

There were 132 requests for assistance (RFAs) handled by DOLE’s 10 dynamic Single Entry Approach (SENA) Desk Officers in the region resulting to an 83 percent settlement rate which surpasses the national target of 75 percent.

“Our SENA achievers as of June 2014, Technical Services and Support Division and Agusan del Norte Field Office, has the shortest duration to settle RFAs within three days. The Technical Services and Support Division has attained the highest settlement rate of 93 percent,” bared DOLE-Caraga regional director Atty. Johnson CaƱete.

Agusan del Norte Field Office and Surigao del Norte Field Office has the highest number of RFAs handled which comprises a total of 37 cases. Surigao del Sur Field Office, on the other hand, has the largest number of workers benefited from a single conference comprising of 116 workers. (JPG/DOLE-13/PIA-Caraga)


NRCO awards 21 livelihood assistance to displaced OFWs

BUTUAN CITY, July 25 (PIA) – The National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO), an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) awarded 21 livelihood assistance to the displaced Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who were sent back home in the Philippines.

The livelihood grants were given to financially aid the returning OFWs who have been maltreated and laid-off from work.

Relative to this, DOLE-Caraga, in cooperation with NRCO and Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) recently conducted a one-day orientation to the livelihood beneficiaries held at the VJ’s Sportsbar and Ihaw-Ihaw, Butuan City.

The seminar is designed to give them enough and adequate knowledge on how to manage and sustain their businesses acquired from the P10,000.00 given.

DOLE-Agusan del Norte Labor Employment Officer III Raymond de Juan discussed the principles of simple bookkeeping and techniques on designing cash inflows and outflows of the business. He emphasized on the difference between personal and business expenses.

RTWPB Board Secretary Earl V. Dela Victoria, together with Atty. Cornelius Mahinay, presented the Industrious, Systematic, Time-Conscious, Innovative and strong Value for Work (ISTIV) Bayanihan. ISTIV is a regular program of the RTWPB to help BMBEs and Micro Enterprises achieve their business goals.

Dela Victoria highlighted the importance on how to earn the attributes of a productive person and also enumerated the programs/activities and services that are being offered by their office. (JPG/RDJ/ICA/DOLE-13/PIA-Caraga)


LGU-Placer gets BUB fund from DTI

By Rodrigo R. Matabaran

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, July 25 (PIA) - The local government unit of Placer received the check amounting to P500,000.00 from the Department of Trade and Industry under the Bottom Up Budgeting (BUB) Program during the ceremonial turn-over held recently at the Municipal Hall, Placer, this province.

The fund was intended for the establishment of a Display Center for local products in Bad-as, Placer that will be operated by United Women Association (UWA) of Placer, a federation of women’s group in the municipality as the proponent. 

Its location being adjacent to the public market operated by the municipal government, the center will serve as an outlet of local products and souvenir items that consumers, visitors and tourists can buy.

Barangay Bad-as is situated at a junction of the national highway from Surigao City going to Butuan City and Tandag City and vice versa of which passenger vehicles usually stops over.

Moreover, it serves as a trading center of the rural communities of Tubod, Placer and Tagana-an being at the heart of the gold mining areas of the province. Hence, it is considered ideal and strategic location for the project. (SDR/Information Officer, DTI-Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Cagwaitnons train on bamboo handicraft

CAGWAIT, Surigao del Sur, July 25 (PIA) - A total of 30 active members from various community-organized groups here were trained recently on bamboo handicraft production with on-site demonstration and hands-on sessions.

The training was spearheaded by the Provincial Science and Technology Center of Surigao del Sur (PSTC-Surigao del Sur) in partnership with the Bamboo Technology Resource Center – Technology Application and Promotion (BRTC-TAPU) of Mindanao State University- Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT).

Cagwait mayor Lilian Lozada, who requested personally the training, had expressed the strategic plans to sustain and make use of the newly acquired skills and knowledge to be an important industry of the municipality.

“The abundance of bamboo in the area can be a worthwhile opportunity to build up the potential of the locals,” said Lozada.

Lozada inspires the group to continue and come up with products displayed recently during the celebration of Araw ng Surigao del Sur held last June 17-19, 2014 and Kaliguan Festival last June 23-27, 2014.

Meanwhile, Lilian Valencia of BTRC-TAPU had stressed during the training the importance of bamboo, which she calls it as “the grass of life.”

“It is fast growing and can be harvested 3-5 years after planting and despite of being an indigenous material, one can produce world class product out of it because bamboo has its own aesthetic appeal,” she said.

Accordingly, the market opportunity and demand for bamboo products are high. In fact, the demand for eco-friendly products like bamboo has surprisingly exceeded the demand of wood products. Aside from being used as handicraft, bamboo can also be used to mitigate disaster risks and climate change.

Meanwhile, BTRC-TAPU is an attached office of the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) that is mandated to provide extension activities for community development whose training staff are strongly committed to excellence in the application and promotion of science and technology in the countryside. (NGBT/DOST/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Surigao Norte holds youth innovation, entrepreneurship workshop

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, July 25 (PIA) – The provincial government here thru the provincial economic enterprise and development management office (PEEDMO) held a one-day orientation-workshop on innovation and entrepreneurship for the youth on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at Sagisi Hall of Gateway Hotel, this city.

PEEDMO officer-in-charge Graciela E. Mante said the workshop was participated by selected student leaders of the province.

Mante said the one-day entrepreneurship activitiy was aimed to incorporate an entrepreneurial perspective to the mindset of the youth and stimulate their drive to organize strategies for employment creation, product and service innovation, community revitalization and livelihood promotion.

"This is the first of a series of workshops intended to aid the younger generation to develop their capacity in maximizing their potential to be the prime movers in the economic development of the province, " she said.

Mante said the output of the workshop will be presented in the up-coming Youth Entrepreneurship Forum on July 25, 2014 to be held at the Surigao State College and Technology (SCCT) Main Campus. (SDR/PEEDMO-SDN/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


News Feature: A thirst for water quenched by SALINTUBIG GPB

By Florian Faith Jr. P. Bayawa

BUTUAN CITY, July 25 (PIA) -  The one thousand and one hundred three (1,103) residents of Barangay Sangay in the municipality of Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte have now access to sufficient water supply after being granted a potable water system project of the Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig Para sa Lahat, known as the SALINTUBIG program of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region 13 (CARAGA) through the government’s initiated program – Grassroots Participatory Budgeting (GPB) process with a budgetary cost of Php 900,000.00.

The “Improvement of Sangay Potable Water System in Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte” has been the ultimate answer to the endemic problem of water inadequacy in the barangay. Through the GPB process, formerly known as Bottom-up Budgeting (BuB), the water project was identified and prioritized through the active participation of peoples’ representatives and the endorsement of the Civil Society Organization (CSOs) since the residents of Brgy. Sangay has long been deprived of sufficient access to safe and potable water. The local government provided a counterpart worth Php100,000.00, making the total project cost into Php 1 M that caters 220 households in the barangay.

Punong Barangay Bartolome Abejero, Sr. of Brgy. Sangay showed the operational water stations, which is a kilometer away from the water source.

“Overflowing with joy and gratitude, we would like to express our deepest thanks to the government for answering the need that we have long been asking for. We thought the government has closed its doors on us, but we are wrong. Through the GPB, we went through the process and now we are heard. It is very satisfying (Dako kayo ang among kalipay ug pagpasalamat sa gobyerno sa pagtubag sa among dugay na nga gipanagayu. Abi namo nga gitalikdan na kami sa gobyerno pero nasayup kami. Mahitungod sa GPB, kami ning sunod sa proseso para mahatagan ug proyekto ug nadunggan gajud kami. Kami nahimutang na)," said Punong Barangay Bartolome Abejero, Sr.

Hygiene and sanitation in the barangay has improved since the operation of the water system. In fact, diarrhea and other related water borne diseases which are very rampant in the area mostly affecting school-age children have considerably dropped. The most noted positive change was the immediate relief of the residents in fetching gallons of water from the very distant water source.

Consistent with the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) No. 7, which is to reduce by 50% of the world’s population without access to safe and potable water, the government has committed to provide water to all Filipinos, particularly for the poor and waterless communities. Through the GPB and pipelined through the SALINTUBIG program of the DILG, many waterless communities have now access to safe and potable water. This is also in response to the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) for 2011-2016 which gives priority to water and sanitation.

The 2013 SALINTUBIG is designed to grant financing and capacity development programs for the implementation of water supply projects in waterless municipalities, in poorest barangays with high level of waterborne diseases, in resettlement areas and public health centers without access to safe water and in the BUPB priority areas as contained in DBM-NPAC-DILG-DSWD Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1 Series of 2012 signed on November 12, 2012.

The DILG as the lead executing agency responsible for the provision of grant financing for the implementation of water projects, also enhances the capacity of the LGUs and water service providers to plan, implement, manage and operate the water projects. (DILG-13/PIA-Caraga)


650 households in Veruela benefit from PCF project

By Florian Faith Jr. P. Bayawa

VERUELA, Agusan del Sur, July 25 (PIA) - Having suffered from a high prevalence of water-borne diseases resulting to the increasing morbidity rate of the municipality of Veruela and having been deprived of access to potable water for so long, the 650 households of Barangays Anitap. Katipunan, Del Monte, Sisimon and Sta. Cruz are now enjoying access to safe drinking water.

Access to safe water supply is made possible through the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region 13, a flagship program of the department aimed at supporting development initiatives of the local government units which is provided as an incentive fund to LGUs that are recipients of the Seal of Good Housekeeping.

The establishment of 130 units rainwater collectors amounting to Php 3,760,000.00 from the PCF fund has answered the lack of potable water supply in the municipality being its second major problem as identified during the Barangay Workshop Consultation. In fact, a significant decrease of incidents of waterborne diseases in these barangays has been recorded since the project’s completion in 2013.

Each rainwater collector with a water tank capacity of 1,000 liters is shared by five neighboring households with the primary purpose of providing drinking water. To sustain the operation of the project, the beneficiaries, being the end-users with the assistance of the barangay officials are responsible in its maintenance. (DILG-13/PIA-Caraga)


U.S. Ambassador Goldberg visits Benguet to promote disaster risk reduction activities

BENGUET, July 25 - U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Philip S. Goldberg visited Benguet Province from July 24 to July 25 to lead a series of activities that will further advance disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation measures in the region.

Benguet is one of the most vulnerable provinces to climate change in the Philippines. The province is highly exposed to typhoons, landslides, soil erosion, and drought.

U.S. Embassy Manila’s United States Agency for International Development (USAID) partnered with the World Food Programme (WFP) to implement a Disaster Risk Reduction and Response/Climate Change Adaptation program. The partnership aims to increase risk reduction initiatives in nine provincial governments, 23 municipal governments and eight cities outside Metro Manila by strengthening their capacity for climate change adaptation. The DRR Program is also working with seven academic institutions to introduce locally available and innovative solutions to address disaster risks and nine non-government organizations to do community-based disaster risk reduction interventions.

U.S. Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg said, “the U.S. government (USG) is committed to working with the Philippine Government to strengthen the capacity of communities to mitigate, prepare for, and respond to natural disasters and to increase resilience to global climate change.”

On July 24, Ambassador Goldberg travelled to Tublay to lead the ribbon-cutting ceremony of an Emergency Operations Center. With USG support, the municipality of Tublay, along with several local government units, constructed Emergency Operations Centers that will serve as hubs for disaster management activities.

In addition, through the DRR program, the population of upland communities, particularly the women, received training and materials to pursue coffee farming as a means of livelihood. The coffee farming activity, which was designed to prevent landslides in Tublay, also helped boost the average income of women farmers.

The day’s event culminated with one-on-one interaction between Ambassador Goldberg and the women coffee farmers to discuss the impact of local DRR initiatives on their day-to-day lives.

On July 25, U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Brian L. Goldbeck, along with the Governor of Benguet, Hon. Nestor B. Fongwan and municipal mayors, announced new USAID-funded grants in the amount of Php14.8 million (USD $340,000) to support DRR activities in five partner local government units in Benguet, as well as the University of the Philippines Baguio, and the local People’s Initiative for Learning and Community Development.

“These grants are intended to build the capacity of the awardees to implement high-impact solutions to minimize their communities’ exposure to the dangers of natural disasters. With this additional support, we hope to contribute to our collective commitment to help vulnerable communities save lives, properties, and livelihoods,” stated Goldbeck at the Provincial Capitol of Benguet in La Trinidad.

“In close coordination with the Philippine Government and under the Partnership for Growth, the United States and the Philippines are working to support communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change to help achieve more inclusive and resilient growth for Filipinos,” stated  Mr. Reed Aeschliman, Deputy Mission Director, USAID/Philippines, who was present throughout the two-day series of events, alongside Praveen Agrawal, WFP Representative and Country Director and Onoura Daniels, WFP DRR Program Coordinator.  (U.S. Embassy/PIA-Caraga)


IPHO confirms alarming incidence of dengue in Tandag City; joins call on public to take action

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, July 25 (PIA) – The Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) in Surigao del Sur led by Dr. Algerico Irizari has confirmed the alarming rise in dengue cases in the city.

Through Rodrigo Gordo, Sanitation Inspector IV and Disease Surveillance Coordinator, it was learned that as of July 22, the number of cases has already swelled to 171, admitting that the data was sourced from Ephraim Toral, City Disease Surveillance Officer.

Gordo stressed that a meeting has already been held late last week purposely to address the problem.

He also agreed with the city government taking drastic action to get rid of dengue-carrying mosquitoes due to the upswing of cases. 

Earlier, Mayor Roxanne Pimentel, through former mayor Alexander Pimentel, now city administrator, already sought the support of both media and public to combat the situation.

Of the 21 barangays comprising the city, 13 have already made it to the list of dengue-hit areas; Barangay Telaje got the most number of “suspected” victims, Pimentel told. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


TESDA-Caraga provides skills training to gov’t soldiers

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, July 25 (PIA) - Believing that winning the hearts of the people is not a matter of always using the long arm of the law, the 401st and 402nd Infantry Brigades of the Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division has partnered with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in providing skills training to soldiers through Aquaculture and Vegetable Crop Production.

The project, dubbed as “Pagbansay-bansay alang sa Kalinaw ug Kalambuan” (Training for Peace and Development), aims to develop mutual cooperation on skills development and training to help uplift the living condition of communities through sustainable livelihood programs.

According to Von Gerald Nuer, a rifleman of the 401st IB, the training is beneficial to soldiers like him because this will serve as another source of income. He admitted that like any other government employees, they also experience in engaging loans.

“This is a good opportunity for us soldiers so that we can have extra income out of this training in Tilapia production,” Nuer said.

Aside from this, Nuer said after the training, they will also serve as the trainers of the people in their respective communities. “After we passed the assessment, we will go back to our respective communities and train them in tilapia processing… In this way, we can help them find livelihood opportunities,” Nuer said.

When asked why they engaged in tilapia production and not other species, he said tilapias can dwell in fresh waters and since majority of their assigned communities are located in mountainous areas, tilapia production is very practical.

Nuer has finished training on operate fish nursery and perform fish grow-out operations leading to Aquaculture NC II together with other 29 combat soldiers at the Northern Mindanao School of Fisheries (NMSF) in Matabao, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte.

For the vegetable production training that was conducted in Surigao del Norte College of Agriculture and Technology (SNCAT) in Magpayang, Mainit, Surigao del Norte, a total of 37 soldiers received their Certificate of Competency (COC).

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Lenon Babilonia, 402nd IB Executive Officer, in his words of welcome emphasized that the partnership with TESDA has given significant contribution in developing the manpower skills of the government soldiers.

The official likewise pointed out that the trainings that the soldiers have acquired will also be passed to the communities through technology transfer. “This is to help the community to have sustainable livelihood opportunities,” Babilonia said.

Col. Babilonia likewise congratulated the soldiers for receiving their badge of courage. He explained that the badge of courage simply means that the soldiers have put down their weapons and replacing them with planting tools, weighing scales, and fish nets to help the community organize and to have livelihood projects and help the government in solving the insurgency of Caraga Region.

In his message, Lt. Col. Gregory Cayetano, 401st Infantry Brigade Commander stressed that aside from providing the community with the facilities needed for fish and vegetable production, the people must also be given skills training to properly manage the facilities, time, and effort in implementing tilapia and vegetable production.

“With this initiative, there is a need for our government soldiers to be trained by highly-technical manpower certified by TESDA so that as they will pass on what they have learned to the people in their respective areas of responsibilities, we can assure that the livelihood opportunities that we are providing them will be put in place, thus, it will be sustained,” Cayetano said.

The official further said that with majority of the people who belong to the middle and lower-level class, there is a need to increase their level of living condition. “This is a better way to solve insurgency in our country,” Cayetano added.

Cayetano likewise challenged the graduates to establish a trend and influence the bandwagon so that other stakeholders will come in and help us out. “We don’t only need to equip them with facilities, but more importantly with right attitude and family values, as well as home economy to improve their living condition, for the benefit of the children,” Cayetano said.

The project involves the concepts on Technology Training, Methodology Training, Execution/Demo Farm, Community Training, and Community Enterprise.

Technology training will be initiated by TESDA on various Technical and Vocational Skills through alternative education to selected soldiers. After the technology training, TESDA further trains personnel participants on methods of teaching their acquired skills and knowledge to include Cooperative Development and Social Preparation.

The AFP units shall establish a demo farm or laboratory in their respective areas assisted by TESDA Field Offices for the participants to apply their acquired skills and knowledge.

AFP, through the Community Organized for Peace and Development (COPD) and TESDA will train communities according to their preferred course with the help of Provincial Local Government Units and business sectors.

The Community Enterprise will be established by trained communities as their Demonstration Farms, supervised and evaluated by AFP Units and TESDA Field Offices. (TESDA-13/PIA-Caraga)


PNP, AFP get security set for SONA sked in Caraga

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, July 25 (PIA) – Both the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Caraga region have already their respective security measures set for the July 28 schedule of the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno Aquino III.

Surigao del Sur Officer-In-Charge (OIC) Provincial Director P/SSupt. Narciso Verdadero, for his part, said that it has always been a routine for them to stay in full alert status, conduct choke-and checkpoints, and employ other stricter security measures and procedures in times like these just to ensure good peace and order.

The provincial chief PNP also indicated that law enforcers are more suspicious against criminals and others of that ilk out to possibly take advantage of the situation, especially so that some groups are expected to hold simultaneous protest actions.

In a separate interview, Army 401st Brigade Commander Col. Gregory Cayetano said that “with or without SONA,” the rebels are going to “intensify moves” in the aftermath of the “Prosperidad botched attack” on July 15, not discounting the possibility of resorting to “terror activities.”

It will be recalled that during that incident, 18 were killed, 13 of which were New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, four were “baganis” or Indigenous Peoples’ (IP) warriors, and one was an army soldier. 

Also, Cayetano admitted to seeing the usual horde of people going to the streets to stage rallies on that SONA schedule which the rebel groups might infiltrate.

However, the brigade commander assured that “preemptive moves” are always in place.

In this regard, Cayetano called on the public for support, adding that it will be better if they can pinpoint the rebels’ exact locations.

Cayetano believed that rebels will always try to “embarrass” the administration in any given scenario. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Cebuano News: 52 ka mga aplikante sa Jobs Fair 2014 nakakuha og trabaho

SURIGAO CITY, Hulyo 25 (PIA) - Mokabat sa 52 ka mga aplikante ang nahimong 'hired on the spot' o nakukuha og trabaho atol sa gipahigayon nga Jobs Fair 2014 nga gipasiugdahan sa lokal nga pangamhanan sa syudad pinaagi na sa Public and Employment Service Office (PESO) ug sa pakigtamabayayong sa buhatan sa Department of Labor and Employment Office (DOLE) ning syudad.

Sumala ni PESO Manager Gloria Gemina ug City Human Resource Personnel nga mikabat sa 279 ka mga indibidwal ang nag- apply sa nagkadaiyang mga kumpanya ug ahensya sa maong kalihukan diin.


Sumala pa ni Gemina nga aduna usab mokabat sa 139 ka mga indibidwal ang mipasar sa interbyu ug mupailawom kini sa usa ka eksaminasyon o exam ngadto sa buhatan nga ilang gi-aplayan. (SDR/MICO-Surigao/PIA-Surigao del Norte)