7.06.2014

Friday, July 4, 2014

Butuan Habitat for Humanity pushes for climate change risk resiliency

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, July 4 (PIA) – The Butuan Habitat for Humanity represented by its president, Nora Rama, has expressed full support on the drive for a climate risk-resilient and adaptive communities with safe, secured and productive environment.

“Our country is considered as one of the most vulnerable place to climate change where extreme weather and other disastrous catastrophes are most likely expected. The natural calamities brought havoc and worst destruction happen in ways we can’t ever imagine. Thousands of lives were devastated and homeless families suffer due to the unpredictable phenomena. It’s simply undeniable that climate change has some serious implications in our nation and we should commit ourselves to do our part,” expounded Rama.

She recounted that at their own level, as non-profit organization grounded in a mission principle of creating opportunities for all people to live in decent, durable shelter by helping build and renovate homes, Butuan Habitat has also stir its initiatives to inculcate in the minds of Habitat communities the idea of greening activities, conservation, and waste management, among others.

According to Rama, “the group is instructing for proper waste management as a basic approach of telling Habitat communities to develop an attitude of concern about climate change mitigation and adaptation.”

As Butuan Habitat for Humanity advocates for affordable housing and supports for sustainable and transformational development, its employees including the Nehemiah team, a group of American volunteers who helped build Habitat houses in Caraga region had direct involvement in tree planting activities in Mount Mayapay for years now.  

Meanwhile, Engr. Heddy Sumalpong, vice president of Butuan Habitat for Humanity also reminded to adhere on the national building permit code that 20 percent of the area should be open space and be plotted with plants. “It’s advisable not to fully concretize the grounds to have enough area for planting and cultivation. Let’s carry out our own contributions to help build resiliency,” she said.

Sumalpong said that they are in support to the laudable program of the Butuan City local government dubbed “Plant and Grow a Million Trees.”

Driven by spirit of volunteerism in working with the Butuan Habitat for Humanity, Rama underscored that people are the best resources to mobilize climate change advocacy campaign. “For even the richest people are not considered billionaires if they do nothing but the richest are the people who volunteered and synergized for mitigation and adaptation of climate change,” said Rama. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


DSWD-13 asks partners’ support on database streamlining of Listahanan

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, July 4 (PIA) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga asked support and cooperation from its partner government agencies and other stakeholders for the database streamlining of Listahanan or National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR).

As per Executive Order No. 866, national government agencies and other stakeholders adopted the Listahanan or NHTS-PR of DSWD as a mechanism for identifying poor households who shall be recipients of social protection programs nationwide.

During the Consultation Dialogue on the Listahanan or NHTS-PR with partners from the regional line agencies, non-government organizations, civil society organizations and academe on Thursday in one of the local convention centers here, assistant regional director for Administration/Listahanan - deputy regional project manager Nerisa Murih bared that the goals of said activity is to get the support of the partner agencies and organizations on the second round household assessment and to engage partnership for data-sharing by forging respective memorandum of agreements to utilize the available data in identifying potential beneficiaries.

“We also intend to promote the new brand name of NHTS-PR which is Listahanan,” added Murih.

Dante Rosales, regional focal person of DSWD-Caraga's Listahanan reiterated that the Listahanan is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are nationwide. "The system makes available to national government agencies and other social protection stakeholders a socio-economic database of poor families as basis in identifying potential beneficiaries of social protection programs and services," he said.

It was also emphasized that data sharing on Listahanan by its partners require execution of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

Rosales explained that the Listahanan's data is protected under a MOA which ensures that the data will be used only for its intended purposes.

"This is also in consonance with the Data Privacy Act of 2012, which is intended to protect the integrity and security of personal data in both the private and public sectors," said Rosales.

Also, Therese Margarette Babanto, regional field coordinator of Listahanan in DSWD-Caraga, revealed that of the 405,310 assessed households in Caraga, 232,301 households are identified as poor.

"Consistent with Executive Order 867, the updating of the Listahanan database of poor families shall be done every four years thereafter," emphasized Babanto.

Babanto further stressed that with the participation of its partners who will utilize the Listahanan, multiple provision of same programs and services to the beneficiaries will be avoided.

Christopher Saavedra, regional information technology officer of DSWD-Caraga cited that the objectives of Listahanan include the following: 1) formulate a uniform set of criteria for identifying poor families through scientific means; 2) facilitate sharing of high quality database to public and private social protection stakeholders; 3) reduce leakage or inclusion of non-poor and undercoverage or exclusion of poor from necessary social protection programs and servicer; and 5) lessen the implementation cost of social protection programs by saving resources intended for targeting.

Meanwhile, Cale Pineda, regional associate statistician of DSWD-Caraga revealed that the database of Listahanan is lodged with the National Housing Targeting Office (NHTO) at the central office of DSWD. "The Listahanan database is secured by standard procedures followed by a limited number of authorized DSWD staff who have access to it," he said. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


Surigao Sur town bags Regional Gawad Kalasag Award

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, July 4 (PIA) - The municipality of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur was conferred recently with the Gawad Kalasag Award for being the region’s Best Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council for 1st - 3rd class municipality.

The prestigious accolade was announced by Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Caraga regional director Liza Mazo during the kick-off celebration of the observance of the Disaster Consciousness Month in Caraga Region held at Hinatuan Gymnasium on July 2.

"Hinatuan is now vying for the National Gawad KALASAG 2014 representing Caraga region after winning the recent competition under 1st-3rd class municipality category while Barangay San Juan of this town will also represent under the Barangay category," Mazo said.

Meanwhile, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council chair Governor Johnny Pimentel congratulated the local officials of Hinatuan for being one of the finalists to compete for the national level this year. "The provincial government is here to support you in this endeavor," said Pimentel.

Pimentel has also congratulated Hinatuan for being the most prepared municipality in times of disaster, "and for being proactive and resilient having achieved zero casualty during the Typhoon Pablo, which devastated southern Mindanao leaving a number of casualties in the nearby provinces." (NGBT/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Surigao Sur holds summit on disaster risk reduction, management

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, July 4 (PIA) – The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC) of Caraga through the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) gathered the stakeholders for the DRRM Summit held in this city on Thursday, July 3.

The activity provided the local chief executives (LCEs) a comprehensive and standard understanding of their roles and responsibilities on DRRM for the effective and efficient delivery of government services.

Ma. Lourdes Martinez of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said the LCEs are mandated to take the lead in ensuring the integration of DRRM and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) in their respective local development plans and programs.

Also, Bernadeth Jacod of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Caraga discussed the implementing guidelines for the establishment of local DRRM offices (LDRRMOs) and Barangay DRRM Committees (BDRRMCs) to LGUs as well as budget allocation and on how to utilize the local DRRM funds.

Meanwhile, Surigao del Sur Governor Johnny Pimentel, in his message, urged the LCEs to put-up or create an office/item for the local DRRM that will focus programs on disaster preparedness as their areas are vulnerable to natural disasters.

The said activity is in collaboration with the Provincial DRRM Council chaired by Gov. Pimentel, LCEs, members of the Sangguniang Bayan, liga ng mga barangay president at the municipal level, local finance committee (LFC), local DRRM officers, and the local government operations officers (LGOOs). (NGBT/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Hinatuan Mining Corp. wins 2014 Reg’l Kabalikat Awards

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, July 4 (PIA) - Hinatuan Mining Corporation (HMC) of Nickel Asia Philippines is 2014 Regional Kabalikat Awardee in Caraga Region.

Under the industry category, HMC of Surigao del Norte bested the other competitor from Agusan del Sur after a head-to-head deliberation between the members of the Search Committee headed by its focal person, Ma. Cristina V. Soberano, TESD Specialist II of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-Caraga.

A decade after the company has been re-opened for exploration in 2004, it has been noted that the Hinatuan Mining Corporation has regularly supporting the education sectors of the government particularly the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), TESDA, and the Department of Education (DepEd).

It was learned that through the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), developing manpower is its main priority. Engr. Ranulfo S. Aquino, the company’s Administrative Manager said they believe that investing human capital is not a waste, but rather a legacy which they can leave to the community in Barangay Hinatuan, one of the island barangays of the municipality of Taganaan in Surigao del Norte.

Through the scholarship programs that they have been regularly granting to the local residents of the area as well as its neighboring island barangays, more beneficiaries were able to finish the Alternative Learning System (ALS) of the DepEd and just recently, more out-of-school youths were able to finish trainings in Welding, Consumer Electronics, and Automotive Mechanics.

Aquino said the scholars in Welding have undergone American Standard Certification Assessment through the Korean-Philippine (Kor-Phil) Training Center in Davao City. After passing the certification assessment, they were sent to Keppel Company in Batangas and Panasonic Philippines in Laguna for a ten-month On-the-Job Training (OJT) under the Dual Training System (DTS).

The official further said after their OJT, Keppel Philippines and Panasonic Philippines will evaluate the trainees and if found to have been qualified to work in their company, they will be immediately hired.

However, Aquino said the trainees will have the option to accept the offer or not since they may have the opportunity to work at Hinatuan Mining Corporation if their skills are needed by the company.

Aside from the regular support rendered to uphold human development, the mining company has capacitated the community for them to earn a living. In response to environmental protection where the company is regularly adhering to all its provisions, local communities were enjoined to plant seedlings of different species. After six months and the seedlings are ready for planting, the company buys the seedlings.

Also, in support to the schoolchildren and their parents, the company has provided free school uniforms from Kindergarten to High School students.Hintuan Mining Corporation has entered into a contract between TESDA graduates in Dressmaking to sew the uniforms at the expense of the company – from the sewing machines to the cloths, threads and other sewing needs.

One set of uniform will be paid by the company amounting to P250.00 for which P40.00 of it will go to the cooperative for which they are among the members.

The Kabalikat Award is one of TESDA’s reward mechanisms in giving due recognition and honor to its outstanding partners in the promotion and enhancement of TESD. The award is conferred to outstanding institutions, private firms/companies, LGUs and Legislative partners cognizant of their good practices and contribution in the promotion and development of the country’s technical and vocational workers in terms of qualification and/or competencies gained.

Said contributions may be in the form of training scholarships, donation of training machines and equipment, supplies and materials, recruitment and placement assistance to trainees and certified persons, internship training, TESD promotion and advocacy and other support services in pursuit of the advancement of TESD.

Under the Industry Partner category, these TESDA partners may be an industry association or individual private and public establishment/firm/company that adhered to good practices in the promotion and enhancement of TESD. The juridical personality of the awardees shall be considered in the selection. For instance, franchises will be treated as separate entities. However, departments/units/project areas shall be treated under its mother organization.

As the regional winner, Hinatuan Mining Corporation will be the official entry of Caraga to the national level. Winners will be announced and awarded in August 2014 during the 20th Anniversary Celebration of TESDA.

In 2012, the provincial government of Surigao del Sur was declared national winner in the LGU category, under the leadership of Gov. Johnny T. Pimentel. (TESDA-13/PIA-Caraga)


DENR Caraga signs MOA with local TV station, Barangay Doongan

By Maria Catherine M. Gonzaga

BUTUAN CITY, July 4 (PIA) - Barangay Doongan’s former dumpsite was converted into a Tree Park as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 13 and ABS-CBN Butuan signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on June 27, 2014 in a simple ceremony held at Barangay Doongan here.

The MOA also acknowledges the network’s initiative to undertake tree planting activities at Barangay Doongan Tree Park as part of their 15th anniversary celebration.

“ABS-CBN wants to affirm their social responsibility in their slogan, 'In the Service of the Filipino' thru Bantay Kalikasan program,” ABS-CBN Butuan News Anchor Lorilly Charmane Awitan said.

The ceremony was also attended by regional director Nonito M. Tamayo, barangay Doongan captain Gilberto Enriquez and OIC, CENRO Norman Asugan of Nasipit.

Under the contract, ABS-CBN shall conduct tree planting activities in the Barangay Tree Park from July until December 2014 with 300 seedlings to be planted every last Saturdays of every month or a total of 1,800 seedlings by the end of the year.

Tamayo acknowledged the support of the network in the National Greening Program of the government. “1,800 seedlings may be minimal if compared to the 1.5 billion trees target of the NGP but nevertheless, it is of great help. Great things come in small packages, if we continue to create activities like this, then hitting or exceeding our goal is definitely possible,” Tamayo said.

Barangay officials of Doongan shall be responsible in the maintenance and protection of the planted trees. The barangay aims to be a model for a sustainable urban forest-based community.

“We aim not only to beautify the environment but of course to protect it,” Awitan stated.

According to Tamayo, a lot of studies show that the Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. The impact of climate change could lead to a total of 167,290 hectares of seashore land in 171 coastal towns under 10 provinces in the Philippines to go underwater due to a one-meter sea level rise requiring all walks of life to take the initiative in taking care of our planet before it’s too late.

“Forests are the lungs of the Earth. We should all do our part in protecting it especially today that we are in the midst of climate change,” added Tamayo. (DENR-13/PIA-Caraga)


DENR 13 exec calls for readiness as employees conclude Environment Month

By Eric F. Gallego and Maria Catherine M. Gonzaga

BUTUAN CITY, July 4 (PIA) - The employees of the DENR Region 13 have successfully concluded the Environment Month Celebration on Monday with the call for action and preparedness in the face of the Global Climate Change, amid fun and games and talent competition on June 30 at the DENR 13 Covered Court in Barangay Ambago, here.

The occasion also gave recognition to 28 individuals including seven companies and local government units as “Environmental Heroes” for their support to the programs of the DENR particularly in the Anti-Illegal Logging Campaign and the National Greening Program (NGP).

“I wish to thank all those individuals, industry partners, local government units, the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Army under the 4th Infantry Division, including the media and other civil society groups who helped in pursuing the goals and programs of the DENR with the objective of uplifting the living condition of the people in the uplands and remote mountain villages and in protecting our forest areas from illegal logging and other environmental crimes,” regional director Nonito M. Tamayo said in his remarks at the culmination program.

Amidst the celebration, however, Tamayo reminded the people to be extra careful of the danger pose by the rising sea level owing to the effect of Global Warming that also triggers Global Climate Change.

Although it was not his intention to spoil the party, Tamayo nevertheless reminded the audience about the recent disaster in the provinces of Leyte, Samar and other provinces in the Eastern Visayas hit by Typhoon Yolanda in November 8, last year which claimed hundreds of human lives and destroyed billions of pesos worth of infrastructure, agriculture, schools, buildings and houses.

“This is now the new normal where you can see storm surges caused by strong typhoons,” Tamayo said. “It would be best for all of us particularly those people living along the coastal areas to be ready and prepared all the time since the guarantee of our safety is uncertain in the face of the climate change,” he said.

Tamayo cited a report by Senator Loren Legarda, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources that preparations and readiness must be in place in communities affected by the sea level rise which is seen to displace 13.6 million Filipinos by the year 2050.
    
Tamayo said that the coastal communities and small island nations have high vulnerability to sea level rise base on several studies made by experts on climate change.

A study made by the University of the Philippines Los Baños Climate Change Program indicated that there are 171 coastal towns in 10 provinces that might go underwater due to a one-meter sea level rise affecting about 167,290 hectares of seashore land by the year 2050.

“While experts predicted that this will happen years from now, we can act proactively by encouraging LGUs to update their Comprehensive Land Use Plans and identify potential relocation sites where people could be evacuated to keep them safe from the rising waters. We should also start strengthening our infrastructures and rehabilitate our natural defenses against storm surges such as our mangroves and beach forests,” Tamayo emphasized.

During the culmination program, the DENR has recognized the support of the following government, military and police officials, and several entities in the pursuit of the programs of the DENR on EO 23 and EO 26.

They are Police Regional Office 13 regional director PCSupt. Dominador E. Aquino,Jr.;  401st Brigade, 4ID Philippine Army commanding officer Col. Gregory M. Cayetano INF (GSC) PA; 402nd Brigade, 4ID Philippine Army commanding officer Col.  Ferdinand F. Quidilla, INF (GSC) MNSA; DILG-13 regional director Lilibeth A. Famacion; Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr.; Mayor Norbert B. Pagaspas of Buenavista, Agusan del Norte; Forester Ronaldo Gadot, Presidential Anti-Organize Crime Commission; Police Senior Inspector Manuel G. Bayaona, Jr., Police Special Action Force based in Tagbina, Surigao del Sur; Commanding Officer of the 75th Infantry Batallion, 6th ID Philippine Army Lt.Col. Novan L. Alcovindas; PNP Provincial Direcor of Agusan del Sur PSSupt. Alexander J. Sampaga; Commanding Officer of the 36th IB,4th ID PA Lt. Col. Anastacio L. Suaybaguio, Jr., Commanding Officer of the 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion, 4th ID PA Lt. Col. Ignatius N. Patrimonio; Butuan City Police Chief Romy I. Palgue; Police Chief Inspector Ignaicio B. Gamba of the 13th Regional Criminal Investigation Division Unit; PISNP Junil A. Gultiano, PINSP Michael P. Corvera, Army CPL Allan T. Sguinid, 41st DRC IB, 4ID PA; Army CPL Sharif P. Asula, 41st DRC IB, 4ID PA; PINSP Rodel R. Dorado, PNP Talacogon, Agusan del Sur; Jessie A. Magallanes, City Mayor Action Network, Butuan City; the LGU of Cagwait, Surigao del Sur; the LGUs of Claver and Pilar, all in Surigao del Norte; the Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation; Agatha Mining Ventures; the Barangay LGU officials of Barangay Lumbocan in Butuan City; and the Clarence Ty Pimentel Construction and Mining Corporation. (DENR-13/PIA-Caraga)


DAR Dinagat Islands distributes 427 titles to landless farmers

By Daryll M. Tumbaga

DINAGAT ISLANDS, July 4 (PIA) – A total of 427 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARB) received their land titles or Certificate of Landownership Award (CLOA) during the distribution ceremony conducted by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Dinagat Islands provincial office held recently at the Navarro Gymnasium, Barangay Poblacion, Libjo, this province.

DAR Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) II Jamil P. Amatonding, Jr. together with Dinagat Islands lone district representative Arlene J. Bag-ao led the distribution of the CLOAs that covered 632.5067 hectares of land located in seven barangays of Libjo and one barangay respectively in both municipalities of Basilisa and Tubajon.

In his message, PARPO Amatonding reminded the beneficiaries that it is their prime obligation to make the awarded lands to be more of use and productive.

Amatonding further urged them to register as members of the existing ARB organizations in the province as support services will be coursed through to these organizations.

On her part, Cong. Bag-ao was so happy that she gets to spend her birthday with the farmer-beneficiaries.

She also assured the public that when the Congress resumes, the extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) will be a priority so that extension of services to the farmers will continue.

The said activity was also graced by Libjo municipal mayor Lamberto T. Llamera, Jr., PARPO I Leoncio Bautista who represented DAR Caraga regional director Faisar Mambuay, guests from other line agencies, some municipal councilors, and DAR employees. (SDR/PIO-DAR/PIA-Dinagat Islands)