Friday, August 22, 2014

Site specific disaster mitigation, urban planning conference set in Butuan City

By Venus L. Garcia
        
BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 22 (PIA) – The city government here through the office of the city architect in partnership with the Filipino American Society of Architects and Engineers (FASAE) – South California will hold a Conference-Workshop on Site Specific Disaster Mitigation and Urban Planning slated on August 25-27, 2014 at the Red Palm Sites, this city.

“FASAE is embarking with this endeavor to achieve with local architects, engineers, designers, and consultants what our affiliates in the Philippines have called a ‘gold standard’ in the performance by both of our staff and support groups and in imparting professional services for site specific disaster planning and mitigation,” said officer-in-charge city architect John Paul Velasco.

The organizers agree to collaborate thoroughly on this significant activity to directly address the impacts of climate change at a level that would be a demonstration of a sustainable village that is ideal for replication throughout the areas devastated by typhoon Yolanda and all other locations in the regions.

Outlined activities and topics for presentation and discussion during the forum include master  plan for a demonstration sustainable village DNA (SVDNA) for government employees; master plan for a demonstration SVDNA for the indigent population; and disaster planning and mitigation workshop in accordance with the latest code.

Velasco said that they consider this undertaking as a constructive effort between them and among the local cluster of construction professionals in building and propagating disaster resilient communities.

For more details, contact the in-charge at the City Architects Office at phone numbers (085) 342-8784 or 0929-4476747; or email at jhn_velasco@yahoo.com. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


Agri Credit Ugnayan on AFFP conducted

By Rhea C. Abao

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 22 (PIA) - The Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga together with the Agriculture Credit Policy Council (ACPC) and Peoples Credit Financing Corporation (PCFC) held an Agri Credit Ugnayan recently to interested farmer associations and cooperatives within the region.

DA-13 marketing assistance division chief Lynn A. PareƱas said that Agri Credit Ugnayan is an intensified information campaign of the DA for its stakeholders to be informed regarding the programs of the agency specifically on credit or financing which can be provided to farmers.

During the forum, ACPC Director Norman William S. Kraft said that the implementation of the Agriculture and Fisheries Financing Program (AFFP) intends to enhance financial inclusion of the rural poor particularly those who belong to the agriculture sector as a means to bring about more inclusive growth. Although the local banking sector is known to have more than sufficient funds for lending, access to these funds by smallholders in the agriculture sector remains constrained.  Thus, insufficient access to finance by the enterprising rural poor is seen as one of the biggest constraints for advancing both rural and agricultural development.

“We want an active involvement in the provinces of the region, who needs financial assistance for their cooperatives or associations,” Kraft said.

According to Account Officer of PCFC Leonido Carlo Flores, Agriculture and Fisheries Financing Program is a  P1 billion fund appropriated to ACPC for the establishment of a flexible credit facility for the benefit of small farmers registered in the Registry System of Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA).  It is an alternative to the rigid and stringent credit facility usually provided by banks and other micro-finance lending institutions.

The funds were released by ACPC to the two Government Financing Institutions (GFIs), with Land Bank of the Philippines receiving P550 million intended for agri-finance facility while the PCFC has P450 Million for agri-microfinance facility.

Participants of the said Agri-Credit Ugnayan is positive that the program will definitely help the farmers and fishers in the region.

“The regional orientation on AFFP gives us the awareness on how to avail the services offered, we are looking forward for a partnership that will help our organization to access credit assistance with lower interest rates,” said Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK) chairperson Zenaida Mansiliohan.

DA- RFO XIII Marketing Assistance Division continues to facilitate farmer associations, cooperatives in their access on credit/ financing assistance that will be eventually generate investment and employment in their communities. (DA-13/PIA-Caraga)


DA strengthens partnership with LFTs

By Rhea C. Abao

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 22 (PIA) - The Agri-Pinoy Rice Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) called for an Agriculture Extension Worker-Local Farmer Technician (LFT) partnership to complement the effort of the department in boosting agricultural productivity and sufficiency in the country.

To attain the objectives of Food Staples Sufficiency Program (FSSP), the DA set its vision to enhancing effectiveness by strengthening the delivery of extension services to rice farmers and accelerate the adoption of new technologies and “best practices” through the Local Farmer Technician Program (LFTP).

Based on research studies, the need to increase the number of extension workers remains high as formidable number of farmers are not reached by the limited number of agricultural extension technicians. At present, the rice farmer-to-LGU technician ratio is more than 150:1. New and improved technologies and other farm support interventions can reach more farmers by strengthening the LFTP.

According to DA-13 regional technical director Edgardo D. Dahino, LFTs are very effective partners in carrying out extension services because of their first-hand experiences in rice production. Aside from that, LFTs were also trained on the principles and concepts of rice science enabling them to become rice farming technicians.

“Caraga region has now 98 LFTs who were trained and now acted as partners and active players in the development and promotion of modern rice production technologies in low yielding rice-growing areas in the region,” Dahino said.

Aside from strengthening LFTP, community seed banking was also introduced as an extension tool to increase farmer’s access to quality seeds. The facility is controlled and operated by farmers themselves.  DA had also invested in trainings to fully equip the LFTs.

“My social mobilization, facilitation, and communication skills was enhanced after I went through verious trainings conducted by DA and its attached agencies which made me a more capable Local Farm Technician,” said Felix D. Vasquez, LFT of Cagwait, Surigao del Sur. “Palay Check System, Integrated Pest Management and Agro-Ecosystem Analysis are a few of the rice technologies that were shared to me which I also shared to my fellow farmers through Farmers Field School,” he added.

As part of their incentive, LFTs are provided by the DA P3,000 per month released quarterly.  This is to ensure mobility of the LFTs within their area of responsibility and also ensures sustainability of agri-extension services in the barangays. (DA-13/PIA-Caraga)


Tagalog News: Problema sa tubig inumin sa Kitcharao, Agusan Norte nasagot na – Roxas

BUTUAN CITY, Agosto 22 (PIA) - Nilinaw ngayon ni Interior at Local Government Sec. Mar Roxas na nakikinig ang pamahalaang nasyonal sa lahat ng pangangailangan ng taong bayan hindi lang duon sa mga residente ng Metro Manila kundi pati na rin sa mga probinsiya.

Tinukoy ni Roxas ang 1,103 residente ng Barangay Sangay sa Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte bilang isa sa mga benepisyaryo ng proyektong Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig para sa Lahat (SALINTUBIG) na programa ng Department of Interior at Local Government (DILG) sa Region 13.

Sinabi ni Roxas na tinutugunan ng gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng DILG ang mga proyekto na inilalapit ng mamamayan sa ilalim ng Grassroots Participatory Budgeting o mas kilala sa tawag na Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB).

Ipinaliwanag ni Roxas na ang 1 milyong pisong halaga ng proyektong Salintubig sa Barangay Sangay, Kitcharao sa Agusan del Norte ay inilapit ng mismong mga residente ng nabanggit na barangay sa kanilang Civil Society Organization kaya nabigyan ng endorso at ngayon ay pinakikinabangan ng mahigit na 1,000 mamamayan doon.

“Ang akala namin kinalimutan at pinagsarhan na kami ng pinto ng gobyerno pero noong sinubukan namin sundin ang proseso at inilapit ito sa aming lokal na organisasyon ngayon ay abot-abot ang pasasalamat namin sa pamahalaan at may malinis na kaming pagkukunan ng tubig inumin,” pahayag ni Bartolome Abejero, Sr., punong barangay ng Barangay Sangay.

Inihayag din ni Abejero na nabawasan ng malaki ang problema ng kaniyang barangay sa kalinisan sa katawan dahil madali na sa kanila ang pagkuha ng tubig.

“Naging maayos din ang dati ay madalas na pagkakasakit ng mga bata sa lugar namin, lalo na iyong sakit sa tiyan o diarrhea at iba pang sakit na nakukuha sa tubig. Hindi na kami ngayon nag-iigib ng tubig mula sa ulan at hindi na rin umiinom mula sa inimbak na tubig,” dagdag pa ni Abejero.

Ipinaliwanag naman ni Roxas na ang programang Salintubig ng DILG ay pagsunod sa Millennium Development Goal no. 7, kung saan itinatakda na dapat ay 50 porsyento ng populasyon sa buong mundo ay mayroong access sa malinis at ligtas na tubig.

Idinagdag pa ni Roxas na nakaayon din sa Philippine Development Plan for 2011-2016 ng kasalukuyang pamahalaan ang pagbibigay ng tubig at sanitasyon.

Sinabi pa ng kalihim na ang pondong inilaan ng national government na idinaan sa DILG ay dinagdagan ng 10 porsyento o P100, 000 ng local government unit ng Agusan del Norte bilang parte nito sa programa na pinakikinabangan sa ngayon ng may 220 pamilya at kabahayan sa Barangay Sangay.

Ikinuwento din ni Abejero na iyong inakala nilang pang-habang buhay na problema nila sa tubig sa kanilang lugar ay natapos din dahil sa mas pinabilis na proseso ng GPB.


“Ngayon hindi na kailangan pang lumapit at makiusap kami sa mga politiko sa aming lugar para lang pansin iyong mga idinudulog namin. Dahil sa GPB, lalapit na lang kami sa lokal na organisasyong dito sa amin, sila na ang magbibigay ng rekumendasyon at pag-endorso na mas mabilis at siguradong popondohan,” dagdag pa rin ni Abejero, punong barangay ng Sangay, Kitcharao. (DILG-13/PIA-Caraga)