7.22.2014

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

News Feature: Climate change from a wholistic perspective

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, July 22 (PIA) – The environmental change that may affect more migration, both internally and internationally, for people to seek safer grounds; the environmental risk drivers; changes in annual mean temperature/rainfall and sea level rise; the quality and extent of coastal resources; the level of environmental pollution; the overall state of biodiversity and other determinants have contributed to the underlying impacts on the progression of climate change from which the need for adaptation capacity in a wholistic perspective must be put in place.

Climate change affects migration

Taken from a viewpoint of the founding and current member of the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network Merlie “Milet” Mendoza who enunciated in details her topic during the Information Officers’ Summit on Climate Change Advocacy conducted by the Philippine Information Agency and Department of Environment and Natural Resources Caraga on Wednesday in this city, she expressed that climate change can be attributed to both natural and human interventions, therefore, the culpability should not be indicated to natural causes of climate change alone.

As defined by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) environmental migrants refer to the persons or groups of persons, for compelling reasons of sudden or progressive change in the environment that adversely affects their lives or living conditions, are obliged to leave their habitual homes.

“There are four paths by which environmental change may affect migration: intensification of natural disasters; increased warming and drought that affects agricultural production, reducing people’s livelihoods and access to clean water; rising sea levels that render coastal areas  uninhabitable; and competition over natural resources that may lead to conflict, which in turn precipitates displacement,” enumerated Mendoza.

Mendoza cited that the determining factors for migration include vulnerability or resilience to these situations, that is, the capability to cope or adapt to them will determine the degree to which people are forced to migrate and the availability of alternative livelihoods or other coping capacities in the affected area generally determines the scale and form of migration that may take place.

Mendoza likewise explained that the first stage of climate change-induced migrationor the premigration is when actions to prevent, mitigate, and help individuals adapt to environmental hazards take place and “when prevention of the underlying causes of environmentally induced migration is the most critical need but it will require considerable political will, time, and resources to take the steps that are needed to protect the environment.”

Adaptation and disaster risk reduction

As clearly described by Mendoza, adaptation refers to “initiatives and measures to reduce the vulnerability of natural and human systems against actual or expected climate change effects while disaster risk reduction involves systematic efforts to analyze and manage the causal factors of disasters, including through reduced exposure to hazards, lessened vulnerability of people and property, wise management of land and the environment, and improved preparedness for adverse events.”

“Identifying vulnerabilities is essential in each case since the “characteristics and circumstances of a community, system or asset make it susceptible to the damaging effects of a hazard,” said Mendoza.

Therefore, the challenge is that “attention needs to be given to both sides of the environment and migration nexus: identifying adaptation strategies that allow people to remain where they currently live and work, and identifying resettlement strategies that protect people’s lives and livelihoods when they are unable to remain.”

Humanitarian perspective of reducing vulnerabilities

Over two decades of peacebuilding experience, humanitarian and development worker Milet Mendoza shared that while performing emergency response, “we shall take into consideration the need to reduce vulnerabilities and to strengthen the community’s disaster response capacities and capabilities.”

Mendoza stressed that to the extent possible, communities shall take active involvement and it is desired for them to get organized to draw strength within and help each other.

She told the participants of said summit about how publicity and advocacy activities should be managed. “We shall recognize disaster victims as dignified humans, not hopeless objects, whose rights must be upheld at all times. Our presence, work, and assistance shall in no way cause further harm to, or prolong suffering of the community we seek to serve,” bared Mendoza.

“When engaging in climate change advocacy, recognize the role as complement to the primary role of the government in mitigation and adaptation and disaster and emergency management. We shall coordinate efforts for the maximum benefit,” Mendoza remarked. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


TESDA launches Grassroots Participatory Budgeting in Caraga

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, July 22 (PIA) - To ensure that government funds are downloaded at the grassroots level, the regional office of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Caraga has recently launched the Grassroots Participatory Budgeting (GPB).

The activities which were held in separate venues: Municipalities of Gigaquit and Mainit in Surigao del Norte was graced with the municipal officials as well as top officials of TESDA-Caraga spearheaded by regional director Florencio F. Sunico, Jr.

In his speech, TESDA-Surigao del Norte OIC provincial director Liza B. Budtan said GPB, which was formerly called “Bottoms-Up Budgeting” in 2012 where during this time, the Technical-Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Programs was not yet included and only in 2013 where the said program was given one of the priority programs of the Aquino administration.

Budtan said the GPB was made possible through the efforts of the respective local government units in empowering their constituents by providing them with skills training to be productive citizens in their locality and will be given the opportunity to work and earn a living.

The official also said five out of 20 municipalities and one city in Surigao del Norte have identified TVET component under the 2014 GPB: Gigaquit, Mainit, Sison, Dapa and Surigao City.

Budtan likewise explained that with this program, TESDA was able to identify more people who will be trained.

“We are trying the best we can to implement the accessible TVET where more people especially the youths will be trained for we believe that the best legacy that we can give to the people is developing their skills and potentials,” Budtan said.

By accessible, Budtan added “we mean education and trainings must be brought near the public, without the need for relocating themselves so that they can go to schools and Technical Vocational Institutions (TVIs) that are usually located in cities.”

In the municipality of Mainit, 57 beneficiaries will undergo training in Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) and 30 for Cookery, while in Gigaquit, 30 will be trained in SMAW and 100 for body massage.

In a related development, Sunico emphasized that for 2014, the GPB allocation for Caraga Region is P13 million.

Meanwhile, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed between TESDA and the local government units of Gigaquit and Mainit to ensure proper implementation of the program in the region.

To date, Sunico said the schedule of program launching in other municipalities from other provinces in the region is now in place. (TESDA-13/PIA-Caraga)


CSC first grade eligibility sought for elected barangay officials

By Aimee B. Sienes

BUTUAN CITY, July 22 (PIA) - All elected barangay officials may soon be granted first grade civil service eligibility who have rendered three consecutive terms of service and a bachelor’s degree holder.

This is now being sought by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for Cong. Erlpe John M. Amante of the second district of Agusan del Norte to pass a bill in congress to make the move a reality.

The Civil Service Commission (CSC), as of date, grants sub-professional eligibility to all elected and appointed officials who are able to render three consecutive terms of service regardless of their educational attainment.

Provincial Board Member Benjamin D. Lim, Jr., chairman of the Committee on Barangay Affairs, pushed for the passage and approval of Sanggunian Resolution No. 146-2014, requesting Cong. Amante for the passage of the said bill in congress.

Lim expressed that it is only fitting and proper to grant first grade civil service eligibility to all barangay elected officials who have completed three consecutive terms of service and holding a bachelor’s degree considering the enormous tasks that they are performing in their respective local government units (LGUs) for public service to ensure effective delivery of basic services and facilities to their constituents.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan approved said Sanggunian Resolution No. 146-2014 during its 48th Regular Session. (LGU-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


SP seeks conversion of honorarium of barangay officials into basic salary

By Aimee B. Sienes

BUTUAN CITY, July 22 (PIA) - The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Agusan del Norte headed by vice governor Ramon A.G. Bungabong, earnestly requested Cong. Erlpe John M. Amante of the second district of Agusan del Norte, to pass a bill helping the plight of the barangay elected and appointed officials.

This is the conversion of their honorariums into basic salaries and amending for that purpose pertinent provisions of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991.

Provincial Board Member Benjamin D. Lim, Jr, chairman of the Committee on Barangay Affairs, who pushed for the approval of the said move, manifested that converting their honorariums into basic salaries will boost their morale and will give them the opportunity to become qualified members of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and avail all the benefits that the said government agency would give to its members.

This is also pursuant to Section 521 of the Local Government Code of 1991 which states that the Congress shall undertake a mandatory review of the code at least once every five years and as often as it may deem necessary, with the primary objective of providing a more responsive and accountable local government structure.

The barangays are the smallest political units of the government and frontliners in the delivery of basic services to the people. (LGU-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Four-month SSS collections in Mindanao jump 13 percent to P3.2-B

DIPOLOG CITY, Zamboanga del Norte, July 22  – The Social Security System (SSS) has collected P3.2 billion in members’ contributions in Mindanao from January to April this year, up by 13 percent from P2.9 billion over the same period in 2013, with nearly 80 percent of overall collections coming from the employed sector.

Atty. Rodrigo Filoteo, SSS Assistant Vice President for Western Mindanao, said the contributions from regular and household employers from Mindanao rose by 13 percent to P2.5 billion. About P1.6 billion of these payments were from “large account” employers, or businesses with at least 100 workers.

“Meanwhile, contributions from the smaller ‘branch account' employers reached P959 million during the four-month period. Double-digit collection growths were attained for both large and branch employer accounts in Mindanao at 10 percent and 20 percent, respectively, which attests to the sustained efforts of SSS branch offices to promote employer compliance in the area,” he noted.

Filoteo, along with other senior officials headed by SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr., are in Dipolog City on July 21 and 22 to meet employers, branch heads and employees in Western Mindanao as part of management's continuing drive to promote closer ties between SSS and its stakeholders.

The SSS has over 135,000 registered employers in Mindanao, of which 99 percent – including some 33,000 household employers – fall under branch accounts, while about 1,400 employers are classified as large accounts. In terms of number of covered employees in the area, 2.9 million members are employed by businesses, and about 7,300 more are household workers.

Collections from self-employed and voluntary members amounted to P698 million, reflecting an increase of 13 percent from the P618 million within the first four months of 2013. The SSS has 1.2 million covered self-employed and voluntary members in Mindanao.

The AlkanSSSya Program helped contribute to the increase in collections from informal sector workers, who are covered as self-employed members. As of April 2014, a total of 110 informal sector groups representing 11,735 workers in Mindanao have already joined the AlkanSSSya. Workers enrolled in the program are given their own secure compartment in their organization's AlkanSSSya unit, where they can store their daily SSS savings until these are collected, counted and remitted by their ISG to an SSS branch or collection partner at the end of each month.

Filoteo said another option for interested ISGs or associations is to enroll in the e-AlkanSSSya Program, which entails the automatic deduction of contributions from workers' salaries and wages that will be remitted monthly by the organization to the SSS.
“The e-AlkanSSSya Program addresses the social protection needs of job order and contractual workers in barangays and other government offices who are excluded from the mandated coverage of social security institutions for regular public sector employees,” he explained.

The SSS has 31 branch and representative offices as well as eight Service Offices in Mindanao. Its operations in the area are supervised by four SSS division offices stationed in the cities of Cagayan de Oro (Mindanao North), Davao (Mindanao South 1), General Santos (Mindanao South 2) and Zamboanga (Mindanao West). (SSS/PIA-Caraga)


PNP confirms move to unmask identity of 'killed NPA rebels behind Prosperidad incident' buried in SurSur

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, July 22 (PIA) – Surigao del Sur Officer-In-Charge (OIC) provincial director P/SSupt. Narciso Verdadero admitted that his office is trying to exert efforts to unmask the identities of buried New People’s Army (NPA) rebels slain in botched attack on July 15 in Prosperidad town, Agusan del Sur.

Verdadero said that he was tipped by intelligence agents that some nine dead bodies believed to have been among those who participated during the attack in Prosperidad, have been buried, particularly, in San Miguel and Tago towns.

The provincial chief PNP indicated that such matter is a police concern that requires a thorough investigation.

It will be recalled that right after what happened, Army 401st Brigade Commander Col. Gregory Cayetano appealed on the relatives of the slain rebels to coordinate with barangay local government units (LGUs) in their respective localities in order to give their “dead” a decent burial.

Besides, the army officer also wanted all injured NPA rebels to be brought to hospitals for medical treatment.

Cayetano bared that the rebels who attacked the house of Datu Calpit Egua in Prosperidad, including those who were ordered to set up blockades, with estimated combined strength of four platoons, were groups coming from various guerilla fronts (GFs) whose other members hail from several towns in Surigao del Sur, citing San Miguel and Tago, aside from other rebel-influenced areas in the province, hence he was confident that these people will return to their places of abode.

During the incident, 18 were confirmed killed, 13 of which were NPA rebels, four were baganis or Indigenous Peoples’ (IP) warriors, while one was an army soldier.

Reportedly, there were also a lot who were believed to have been fatally wounded on the side of the enemy forces.

Meanwhile, Verdadero added that his order to all police units to be in full alert status stays until revoked. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Cagdianao gets fire truck from BFP

By Ma. Jane Mayola

CAGDIANAO, Dinagat Islands, July 22 (PIA) - Mayor Marc Adelson Longos on Monday, July 21 received for and in behalf of the local government unit a fire truck from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) during the flag raising ceremony at the Cagdianao Municipal Building, here.

The turn-over of fire truck was said to be the first step of installation of fire station in the said municipality.

In his message, Mayor Longos was thankful for the realization of the BFP's project and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) "not only to have a quick response during fire incidents but also to uplift fire safety and prevention."

Also, Dinagat Islands BFP Provincial Fire Marshall F/Insp. Ellafil Libarnes revealed that aside from the fire truck being donated in Cagdianao, another unit of fire truck will be donated to the municipality of Tubajon within this year. (SDR/PIO Dinagat Islands/PIA-Dinagat Islands)


SurSur extends tax amnesty

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, July 22 (PIA) – The amnesty program for real property taxes in Surigao del Sur has been extended until the year 2014 ends.

Provincial Treasurer Wenifreda Perez said that this is by virtue of Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution No. 457 Series of 2014 passed on July 1, 2014 entitled “Extending the tax amnesty on the payment of interest, basic and special education fund (SEF) of real property tax delinquencies in the province of Surigao del Sur from January 1 to June 30, 2014 to July 1 to December 31, 2014.”

The granting of the same has been in effect since the start of this year through Resolution No. 73 dated September 9, 2013.

However, Perez claimed that while on the one hand such move is indeed favorable to their tax collection campaign, citing 79 percent accomplishment of the P82 million 2014 real property tax goal with yet five municipalities left to submit report for the first half, but on the other hand, it also brings tremendous burden on their part to hit their tax goal for the ensuing year.

The five municipalities that have yet to submit their respective data to complete the whole picture for the first half are Carrascal, Carmen, Cagwait in the First District; Hinatuan and Tagbina in the Second District, she bared. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Tagalog News: Gobyerno hinihikayat lahat ng Pilipino sa Libya na umuwi

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Hulyo 22 (PIA) -  Hinikayat ng gobyerno noong Lunes ang lahat ng Pilipino na nasa Libya na bumalik na sa bansa dahil sa sobrang di matatag na pampulitika at seguridad na kalagayan doon.

Sa isang pahayag na pinadala sa mga miyembro ng Malakanyang media, sinabi ni Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. na itinaas na sa level 4 ng Department of Foreign Affairs ang Alert Level sa Libya.

Sa ilalim ng Alert Level 4, pina-iiral ang sapilitang paglipat ng mga mamamayang Pilipino.

“Inuulit ng DFA ang kanyang panawagan sa lahat ng mga naiwang Pilipino sa Libya na umuwi kaagad dahil hindi na ligtas ang manatili pa sa Libya,” sabi ni Secretary Coloma.

Dagdag pa niya na nagpadala na ang DFA ng Rapid Response Team kasama na ang augmentation team sa Libya para tumulong sa Embahada ng Pilipinas sa Tripoli sa mga paglilikas.

Lahat ng Pilipino sa Libya ay pinayuhan na tumawag agad sa Embahada ng Pilipinas sa pamamagitan ng mga numero sa telepono na (00218) 918-244-208 at (00218) 911061166 at mga e-mail address na: Tripoli.pe@gmail.com at Tripoli.pe@dfa.gov.ph.

Ang Embahada ng Pilipinas sa Libya ay matatagpuan sa KM 7 Gargaresh Road, Abu Nawas, P.O. Box 12508 Tripoli.

“Ayon sa DFA, nagtakda rin sila ng 24 oras na hotline para sa mga pamilya ng OFW sa Libya,” dagdag ni Coloma.

Sabi niya na iyong may mga tanong at balisa tungkol sa kalagayan ng kanilang mga kamag-anak sa Libya ay maaring tumawag sa hotline numero (02) 552-7105 o (02) 834-4685. Maari ring ipadala ng mga pamilya ang kanilang mga tanong sa pamamagitan ng e-mail sa: oumwa@dfa.gov.ph.

Pinatupad rin ng DFA noong Linggo ang sapilitang paglikas ng mga mamamayang Pilipino sa Gaza Strip kasunod ng pagtaas ng tensiyon sa pagitan ng Israel at mga militanteng Hamas. (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Cebuano News: Gross income sa merkado publiko misaka karong tuiga

SURIGAO CITY, Hulyo 22 (PIA) – Misaka ang kinatibuk-ang kita sa merkado publiko sugod sa bulan sa Enero hangtod Hunyo karong tuiga kumpara niadtong niaging tuig 2013.

Sumala sa gibutyag ni Surigao City Public Market supervisor Albert T. Lustiva, misaka ang ilang nahimong kinatibuk-ang kita diha na sa sulod sa merkado publiko diin kini mikantidad sa P8,633,000 sugod sa bulan sa Enero hangtod Hunyo 2014 diin kini misaka sa kantidad P287,810.00 kumpara sa  miaging tuig sa susamang bulan nga aduna lamang kinatibuk-ang kantidad nga P8,345,770.25.

Samtang sa bahin sa lokal nga pangagamhanan sa syudad ubos sa pagdumala ni city mayor Ernesto T. Matugas dako gyud ang kalipay niini sa dihang iyang nasayran nga mitaas ang gross income sa City Public Market.

Matud ni mayor Matugas nga dako gyud ang mahitabang sa maong kita tungod kay kini mao man ang gamiton alang na sa pagpahigayon sa mga proyekto ug programa nga nagpadayon hangtod karon aron mapalambo pa ug mamahimong limpyo ug hapsay ang dagan diha sa maong merkado. (SDR/MICO-Surigao City/PIA-Surigao del Norte)