Friday, August 1, 2014

August 2 declared special non-working holiday in Butuan City

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 1 (PIA) – Under Proclamation No. 769 signed by executive secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr., August 2 (Saturday) is declared as a special non-working holiday in this city as it marks the observance of 64th “Adlaw Hong Butuan,” a yearly event that celebrates its Charter Day.

City Mayor Ferdinand  Amante. Jr. said that it is but fitting and proper that the people of Butuan be given full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion’s ceremonies with appropriate time.

This year’s theme is “Rooting for Butuan 2020,” which highlights series of cultural shows. The festival will also showcase the brighty colored floats and street dancers depicting the vibrant traditions and cultures.

The event will focus on its aim to promote Butuan as an agro-forest center and a premier city. It envisions to grow a million trees where it will be the hub for indigenous and endemic species.

Butuan became a city on August 2, 1950 by virtue of Republic Act No. 523. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


UPPI, PopCom-13 reveal results of youth adult fertility & sexuality study

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 1 (PIA) – The Commission on Population (PopCom) Caraga and the University of the Philippine Population Institute (UPPI) revealed results of the 2013 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality (YAFS) Study in the country which include Caraga region, held on Friday, during its Regional Dissemination Forum with participants in the academe, government agencies and media partners.

The paper entitled "Caraga Youth Today: Risk Behavior of Young People in Caraga" by the Demographic Research and Development Foundation and the UPPI provides a summary of key findings from the 2013 YAFS study with particular focus on the variosexual and non-sexual risk behaviors, teen pregnancy and Human immunodeficiency virus infection/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) among youth living in Caraga.

"The YAFS aims to provide updated information on a broad range of adolescent sexuality and reproductive health issues - its antecedents and manifestations which can be used in formulating intervention measures that will promote and safeguard the health and welfare of the youth," revealed Dr. Armisson Andre Ortega from the UPPI.

Ortega also disclosed that there are 488,958 youth ages 15-24 in Caraga as of the last census of population taken in 2010. This constitutes about 2.7 percent of the country's total youth population. While most of the youth have at least some high school education, 16 percent have no schooling or have at most an elementary education. The proportion studying 39.7 percent is the third highest in the country. The region, however, has the third lowest proportion of youth with college and higher education.

“Caraga youth are also digitally wired. 70.9 percent own a cellular phone and 54 percent of them use the internet, own an email account or have a social networking account; only two in five youth exercise at least two to three times a week, the third lowest proportion in the country; and Caraga youth are relatively low consumers of unhealthy foods and drinks,” Ortega added.

On the sources of information about sex, Ortega reported that more than a third of Caraga youth do not have any sources of information about sex. "Friends of the same sex, medical professionals, and mothers are the most preferred sources of information about sex and reproduction. Only 43.3 percent reported that they can find help in school regarding sex-related problems. Only one in ten Caraga youth has discussed sex at home while growing up," he said.

"One in three Caraga youth aged 15-24 in 2013 had engaged in sex before marriage (prevalence level of premarital sex among Caraga youth is slightly above the national level). This is almost double from the level of 17.1 percent from 10 years ago. There is a narrowing gap in levels of premarital sex between males and females over time," relayed Dr. Maria Midea Kabamalan from UPPI.

Kabamalan further bared that two in five Caraga youth ages 15-24 have sexual experience, about the same level as for the Philippines overall. "The youth's sexual debut is getting younger as indicated by the mean age at first sex which declines from 18.2 years in 2002 to 17.5 years in 2013 for both males and females," she said.

Also, Kabamalan presented that the proportion of youth who have heard of AIDS has significantly declined from 96.1 percent in 2002 to 87.7 percent in 2013. Caraga youth have moderate level of knowledge about HIV transmission prevention methods. “More than three in five youth feel invincible to AIDS, say for example, when they think there is no chance of them getting AIDS," she relayed.

Meanwhile, PopCom-Caraga regional director Alexander Makinano highlighted that this recent study has a new topic on health and lifestyle including a short depression scale and the topic on media has also 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 cyberbullying.

Makinano emphasized the significance of the said study for it will identify the high risk factors affecting the fertility behavior of the Filipino youth on early marriage, teenage pregnancy, and childbearing.

“The results of this study will be very helpful for us to identify what programs and services that need to be enhanced or implemented to really address the pressing issues which our youth faces today. This effort should not only be done by the government but should have direct and immediate intervention from the private sector and the academe. Let’s work together,” stressed Makinano.

The recent YAFS data was collected in 2013 in the Philippines with funding from the Australian Government, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Department of Health (DOH) and Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD). The study interviewed a total of 19,178 young people representing all sectors including males and females, single and married and the Muslim youth. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


DSWD-13 chief recognizes 2014 Gawad KALASAG regl winners, encourages them to do more

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 1 (PIA) – Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga regional director and vice chairperson for Disaster Response Committee Minda Brigoli expressed appreciation and recognition to the regional winners of this year’s Awarding of Gawad KALASAG  (KAlamidad at Sakuna LAbanan SAriling Galing ang Kaligtasan) 2014 held on Thursday at the Almont Hotel's Inland Resort, this city.

The said awarding is spearheaded by the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) chaired by Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Caraga regional director Liza Mazo.

Brigoli said the RDRRMC composed of various government agencies and stakeholders are not only doing everything to reduce poverty in the region but also to help people prepare during disasters. "In being prepared we are able to achieve zero casualty in any eventualities," she added.

The lady director also emphasized that the DSWD is continuously providing its programs and services especially to the marginalized sector of the society.

"The department being the vice chair for disaster response, we are tasked to provide services to people who are most vulnerable especially during disasters. As one of the committees to assess the performance of our Local DRRMCs in the region, we salute the winners for their efforts and hard work in ensuring the safety of the people in their respective communities in times of disasters," articulated Brigoli.

Brigoli further encouraged the LDRRMCs from the provincial down to barangay level to do more and never stop doing what is right and what is good for the benefit of the masses, and to save more lives by teaching people the ways to be prepared at all times.

"It's good to note the passion, skillful and high intention, and spirit of volunteerism among our Local DRRMCs. Their performance is not just for personal gain but a manifestation of sincere and sustained effort in the pursuit of excellence," highlighted Brigoli.

The Gawad KALASAG is an annual search for excellence in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and Humanitarian Assistance. The awards are given to individuals, non-government organizations, private sector and government organizations, in recognition of their initiative in helping the Filipino government uplift the standard of disaster management in the country. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


RDRRMC Caraga confers award to Gawad Kalasag 2014 winners

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Aug 1 (PIA) – The Caraga Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC) under the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) has awarded the plaques of commendation to the winning DRRMCs of provinces, cities, barangays, and schools that were evaluated for the Search for Excellence in DRRM and Humanitarian Assistance during the Regional awarding of Gawad Kalasag 2014 cum national Disaster Consciousness Month Culmination Program held on Thursday at Almont Inland Resort, this city.

In her welcome remarks, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Caraga regional director and vice chair of Disaster Preparedness and Regional Search Committee Lilibeth Famacion said that the RDRRMC members have done a lot of humanitarian activities as response to the disaster-affected communities, as well as intensified its effort to let people be informed and be prepared in any calamities and disasters. 

She also underscored the significant interventions of local DRRMCs in helping mitigate and adapt climate change.

Likewise, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)Caraga regional director and vice chair for Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery Committee Mylah Faye Aurora Carino expressed her heartfelt congratulations to all the awardees and all those who joined in the search for continue doing their act of volunteerism and for the efforts of saving lives and properties. 

The following are the winners of this year’s annual search, honoring the outstanding performances, initiatives, and heroic acts of LDRRMCs:

Provincial Category:
1st - Dinagat Islands
2nd place – Agusa del Norte
3rd place – Surigao del Norte
Citation – Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Sur

Highly Urbanized City Category:
1st place - Butuan City

Component City Category:
1st place – Surigao City, Surigao del Norte
2nd place – Bislig City, Surigao del Sur

1st to 3rd Class Municipality Category:
1st place - Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur
2nd place – Cagdianao, Dinagat Islands
3rd place – Veruela, Agusan del Sur
Citations – Trento, Agusan del Sur and Buenavista, Agusan del Norte

4th to 6th Class Municipal Category
1st place – Basilisa, Dinagat Islands
2nd place – Mainit, Surigao del Norte
3rd place – Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte

 Rural Barangay DRRM Committee Category:
1st place – San Juan, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur
2nd place – Bit-os, Butuan City
3rd place – Cabunga-an, Cagdianao, Dinagat Islands
Citations – Langag, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur; San Isidro, and Crossing, Kitcharao, and Malapong, Buenavista,  Agusan del Norte

Urban Barangay DRRM Committee Category:
Citation – Brgy. 4, Poblacion, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte

Public Urban Schools Category:
1st place – Agusa National High School, Butuan City
2nd place – Bayugan National Comprehensive HS, Bayugan City, Agusan Sur
3rd place – Surigao City NHS, Surigao City, Surigao del Norte

Public Rural Schools Category:
1st place – Marcelina NHS, Marcelina, Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur
2nd place – Noli Central Elem. Sch., Noli, Bayugan, Agusan del Sur
3rd place – Claver NHS, Claver, Surigao del Norte
Citations – Albor Central Elem. Sch., Libjo, Dingat Islands; Ipil NHS, Surigao City, Surigao del Norte

RDRRMC chair and OCD regional director Liza Mazo bared that it is only Caraga region wherein all its provinces have joined the Gawad Kalasag Search. “The RDRRMC had a hard time screening the work of our LDRRMCs. This is not a competition but a recognition for those who worked harder,” she added.

The Gawad Kalasag (KAlamidad at Sakuna LAbanan SAriling Galing ang Kaligtasan) award is given to individuals, non-government organizations, private sector and government organizations, in recognition of their initiative in helping the Filipino government uplift the standard of disaster management in the country. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


News Feature: Coffee perks up ARBs' life

The almost half-a-decade of coffee-growing by the farmers in Brgy. Kahayagan, Tagbina, Surigao del Sur is now paying off as they are about to launch in the market the newest excellent-tasting robusta coffee.

1965 when they started to grow coffee in a forest reserve area owned by Paper Industries Corporation of the Philippines (PICOP). And in 2010, DAR distributed the area covering 2,772 hectares.

Realizing the importance of collective bargaining, 140 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) formed the now Mabuhay-Kahayagn Coffee Growers Cooperative (MKCGC).

But for these poor farmers, running the cooperative was not easy most especially when coffee growing came to a halt brought about by the low buying price of fresh berries.

With continuous guidance from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the organization is encouraged to just plant more and utilize the land hardly fought for them. Until Nestle, became the organizations valued buyer. Nestle provided the organization with quality variety of coffee and several planting and growing trainings while DAR developed the organizations maturity with various capability-building trainings. The business went on good with Nestle using the world market’s fair price while other government agencies provided facilities like all-weather dryer.

Under the common service facilities component of the Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity and Economic Support Services (ARCCESS) project of DAR, MKCGC received one unit flatbed drier and sprayer all worth P1.4 million. The dryer is expected encouraged the farmer’s expansion in coffee farms as it can cater bigger volume than that of the present facility. Although last year, MKCGC is 281 tons short of the 400 tons per year requirement of Nestle.

But MKCGC could not just stop as supplier to Nestle. With a special arrangement, Nestle allowed the use of five percent to ten percent of the farmers harvest for their own product. And with the business development service component of DAR-ARCCESS, MKCGC was trained in roasting, grinding and packaging which gave birth to another business opportunity for the cooperative -- the Tagbina Robusta Coffee.

While waiting for the approval of the other facilities from the ARCCESS’s common service facilities (CSF) component like roaster and grinder, MKCGC, in pursuit of bringing their product closer to the market, tapped outsource services, but continues to hope for the soonest approval of the facilities and the take off of the DAR-IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) Project ConVERGE or Convergence on Value Chain-Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment for the packaging enhancement.

The Tagbina Robusta Coffee, which will soon be launched in the market, will not only provide our coffee time with new aroma but also perks a new hope of success for the Tagbina coffee farmers. (DAR-13/PIA-Caraga)


TESDA gets job done for first half of 2014 in SurSur

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Aug. 1 (PIA) – The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Surigao del Sur has gotten their job done for the first half of 2014.

Aside from the six major programs it is tasked to accomplish as shown with corresponding numerical outputs, provincial director Rey Cueva also cited the key initiatives and interventions his office has carried out.

These cover the various skills training and services it has provided in partnership and coordination with local government units (LGUs) and other stakeholders.

On Major Programs:  Number of persons profiled under Youth Profiling for Starring Career (YP4SC) – 819; Number of Persons Granted with Scholarships – 462; Number of Persons Trained in Various Skills/Qualifications – 2,937; Number of Persons Assessed – 3,595; No. of Persons Certified (Issued with National Certification) – 3,152; and Number of Graduates Employed:  Wage-employed – 1,054; and, Self-employed – 249.

In addition, Cueva also pointed out some particular undertakings they initiated which include, among others: Construction of 28 houses affected by Typhoon Agaton via training cum production arrangement in Barangay Bolhoon, San Miguel town; Primary partner of LGU Cortes relative to the development of tourism industry especially in the skills of their manpower requirements and livelihood program where over 100 town folks benefited; Primary partner of three army battalions in the province in the conduct of Community Organizing for Peace and Development (COPD) program especially to peace-challenged barangays.

The TESDA chief here made sure that the office under him lives up to the expectation of many as “the leading partner in the development of Filipino workforce with world-class competence and positive work values." (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Anti-communist group holds condemnation rally in Bislig City

BISLIG CITY, Aug. 1 (PIA)  – The anti-communist group called Movement Against Communist Organization gathered on the streets marching along Mangagoy, Bislig City from Saint Vincent Catholic Church, Bus Terminal to Bislig City Central Market on Tuesday, July 29.

Around 200 demonstrators participated in denouncing the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army – National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF/CNN) terroristic activities such as arson, extortions, bombings, ambuscades and other atrocities conducted by the CPP-NPA-NDF.

Former Rebel Alias “Tatay Boom” led the activity and addressed over the people about the true color of CNN inside and outside the organization about their terroristic activities.

Accordingly, the linkages of NPA (Red), the Legal Fronts (White) and the mode of recruitment in these people are not fighting for the sake of the poor as what they claimed, but they are extorting money from business sectors, construction companies and mining firms for their own interests. Their existence is not only to paralyze the economy but to gain logistic to extort money.

Meanwhile, the group composed of different sectors from tribal groups, former rebels, army reservists, church members of Philippine Prayer for Peace Inc, and Business sectors urges the people to remain united and continue to fight against these insurgents. The democracy stands strong many years ago and no one can destroy it according to them. 
          
75IB commanding officer LTC Noman Alcovindas said, “the key to peace and development is the concerted efforts of all stakeholders specially the combination of LGU and AFP/PNP.” 

Just recently, series of threats had been made by the CNN to all business sectors and construction companies to include the civilian in the area, official said.

Alcovindas further said, “we appeal to the members of NPA to abandon armed struggle and work jointly with the government. We are happy to note, that today there are people now who stand up and fight against the CNN.”

Lt. Col Alcovindas also cited that the manifestation of Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP)- Bayanihan was the best approach to fight for insurgency requiring all sectors of society to participate. (NGBT/with reports from CMO-75IB/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


AgNor guv backs MSMEs

By Aimee B. Sienes

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 1 (PIA) - Agusan del Norte Provincial Governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba gave full support to the small, micro and medium enterprises and put more emphasis on projects and programs that will give additional income for the community. This is one of her 6-point guides in the administration of the province that she is pushing.

Recently, she indorsed to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Agusan del Norte for appropriate action her letter dated June 18, 2014 requesting for an authority to enter into and sign the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in behalf of the province with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), represented by its Governor, Amando M. Tetangco, Jr., the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), represented by its President and Chief Executive Officer, Gil A. Buenaventura, the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), represented by its President and Chief Executive Officer, Gilda E. Pico and the Industrial Guarantee and Loan Fund (IGLF), represented by its Chief Executive Officer, Benel D. Lagua for the implementation of the Credit Surety Fund (CSF) Program in the province.?

The CSF Program, conceptualized by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, aims to help the micro, small, and medium enterprises to access credit from financial institutions without the need for collateral to generate economic stimulus in every province of the country, as mandated under Section 13 Republic Act (R.A.) 6977, otherwise known as the “Magna Carta for Small Enterprise,” and Section 82 R.A. 7653, otherwise known as “The New Central Bank Act.”?

The CSF is a guarantee fund program spearheaded by the BSP in coordination with the local government units and other financial institutions which intends to help the marginal farmers and fisherfolks in the identified areas. To implement the project, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan authorized Gov. Amante-Matba to sign the said MOA through Sanggunian Resolution No.173-2014, authored by Vice Governor Ramon AG. Bungabong.?

The MOA stipulates the terms and conditions, as well as the roles and responsibilities, of the signing parties to create an environment that is conducive to the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to a well-capitalized and well-managed cooperatives operating in the province.?

The other five in her 6-point guides include 1. true public service; 2. priority in implementing the infrastructure projects in far-flung areas; 3.delivery of public service to the most needy and regular visit to far-flung communities; 4.hiring of employees based on merit and capacity; and 5. high ethical standards of officials and employees and strong campaign against illegal drugs. (LGU-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Tagalog News: Palasyo nakatutok sa pagtulak ng repormang panlipunan, hindi sa pulitika, sabi ng isang opisyal

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Agosto 1 (PIA) - Nanatiling nakatutok ang administrasyong Aquino sa pagtulak ng reporma at paglutas mga suliranin ng bansa, at hindi nagbibigay ng prayoridad sa pulitika, ayon sa opisyal ng Palasyo noong Huwebes.

"Ang focus ng Pangulo at ng pamahalaan ay ang pagpapatupad ng mga ipinangakong reporma at paghahatid ng serbisyo publiko sa nalalabing 23 buwan ng administrasyon. Hindi pinagtutuunan ng pansin ang usaping pampulitika," sabi ni Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. sa isang panayam sa mga mamamahayag sa Malakanyang.

Nagkomento si Coloma sa mga hakahaka na ang pagkabanggit ng Pangulo kay Bise Presidente Jejomar Binay sa kanyang Ulat sa Bayan (SONA) ay maaring iniendorso niya si Bise Presidente Binay para sa darating na halalan sapagka Pangulo sa darating na eleksyon.

Sa taong 2015 na badyet na isinumite sa Kongreso ng sangay ng Ehekutibo, sinabi ni Coloma na hindi iimpluwensiyahan ng sangay ng Ehekutibo ang mga mambabatas lalo na sa pagpupundo ng mga programasa kani-kanilang mga distrito.

Sabi niya na ang administrasyon ay nanatili sa kanyang pangako sa prinsipyo na panghawakan ang tuwid na daan na ipinatutupad ng administrasyong Aquino.

"Malinaw po na ang prinsipyo ng ating Pangulo ay ang mabuting pamamahala at matuwid na daan," sabi ni Coloma  sa mga komentaryon na dala ang malaking bahagi ng alokasyon na nasa Pangulo ang pagpasya ay maaring ma-emplowensyahan niya ang mga mambabatas lalo na kapag ito ay para sa konstruksyon ng mga proyekto sa kani-kanilang distrito.

Sinabi ng mga kritiko na maaring gamitin ng administrasyon ang malaking alokasyon mula sa pambansang badyet para sa pulitika.

Bilang tugon, sinabi ni Coloma na “ang tema po ng ating budget ay “Kaunlaran para sa Lahat.” Ito ay pagsasa-pilipino lamang ‘nung nasa ingles na inclusive growth.” (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Cebuano News: Syudad sa Surigao mipahigayon sa BEST Orientation on Eco-Tourism, Environmental Awareness ug Climate Change Adaptation

SURIGAO CITY, Agosto 1 (PIA) – Ang panggamhanan ning dakbayan mipahigayon bag-ohay pa lamang og Barangay Organization Security Service- Barangay Emergency Special Team (BOSS- BEST) Orientation on Eco-Tourism, Environmental Awareness and Climate Change Adaptation sa City Gymnasium, ning syudad.

Tumong niini mao ang pagpahibalo lakip na pagpasabot ngadto sa mga kabatan-onan kalabot na sa ilang mga responsibilidad isip mga kabatan- onan ug lumulupyo sa ilang tagsa-tagsa ka mga dapit.

Gisugdan ang maong kalihukan sa alas 8:00 sa buntag hangtod alas 12:00 sa udto, diin nahimong partisipante niini mao ang mga estudyante sa Criminology ug NSTP gikan sa Northeastern Mindanao Colleges (NEMCO).

Samtang nahimong mamumulong mao sila City Disaster Risk Reduction and Mangement Officer Atty. Manuel Coro, City Volunteer Officer Jupiter Dotillos, ug Environmental Management Specialist II Leonardo Go, diin kini sila maoy mipasabot ngadto sa mga partisipante kalabot na sa Republic Act 10121 o Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and Climate Change Adaptation ug Eco-Tourism and Environmental Awareness, ug Role of Youth Volunteers. (SDR/MICO-Surigao City/PIA-Surigao del Norte)