Thursday, August 14, 2014

CSC Caraga pushes institutionalization of PGS 

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 14 (PIA) – After completion of the initiation, compliance and proficiency stages of the Performance Governance System (PGS) Pathway, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Caraga pursued its position for the institutionalization of a competency-based human resource system.

In May 2010, the CSC adopted the PGS, the local adaptation of the Balanced Scoreboard developed at the Harvard University. In treading the PGS process, the CSC has directed its vision, identified a new core purpose and set of values, and outlined strategic objectives and measures leading to the fulfillment of its vision. “Thus, PGS is gearing towards improved public service delivery and establishing transparent and accountable system of governance,” said CSC Caraga regional director Resurreccion Pueyo.

Pueyo said that when CSC adopted the PGS, the agency restated its vision, mission, and core values. A strategy map was crafted that outlined the direction of becoming the Asia’s leading center of excellence for strategic human resource (HR) and organizational development (OD).

“We wish to align CSC’s new initiatives, thrusts and programs to the national leadership. PGS is centered to the objectives of shaping high performing, competent and credible civil servants - more citizen and client-centered; more strategic in terms of formulating and implementing policies; more results-oriented that overly-focused on procedures; and more empowering and entrepreneurial,” remarked Pueyo.

Strategic initiatives under PGS were carried out to respond to the growing need for reform. CSC, as the lead implementer of Anti-Red Tape Act or ARTA, sought to promote transparency, simplify procedure, and expedite transactions. Pueyo underscored that it is necessary to keep effective practices to prevent graft and corruption.

Starting July 2010, the CSC has administered the Report Card Survey (RCS), a mechanism provided in the ARTA used to rate agency performance and client satisfaction in terms of frontline service delivery. Agencies are rated for compliance with the requirements of ARTA and client satisfaction.

Pueyo revealed that part of its creative program is the conduct of ‘ARTA Watch,’ where CSC officials make a surprise visit to the frontline service offices at noon time to check their compliance with ARTA such as the posting of Citizen’s Charter and observance of the ‘No Noon Break’ policy.

Also, in terms of ensuring fairness and efficiency in performing quasi-judicial functions, CSC targeted to shorten the resolution time for administrative cases, from 60 days as prescribed by the 1987 constitution to 40 days.

Included in the array of objectives also are ensuring efficient management of financial resources and cultivating partnership with local and international institutions measured by the number of priority programs implemented through technical cooperation with local and international partners, stated Pueyo.

PGS is a performance management and measurement tool that aims to translate organizational goals from ‘qualitative and word-based interpretations’ to ‘measurable targets and metrics. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


PopCom chiefs meet in Caraga

By May Ann O. Escobal

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 14 (PIA) - The Commission on Population (PopCom) Caraga will host the Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning (RP-FP) mid-year assessment workshop of the Mindanao-based Regional Population Offices on August 14 – 15 in one of the establishments in Agusan del Norte.

PopCom Caraga regional director Alexander A. Makinano revealed that all PopCom regional directors and assistant directors in Mindanao, together with the staff of PopCom Central Office will convene to ensure and determine the progress of the guidelines implementation.

Makinano further said that the activity will not only focus on the guidelines but also in assessing the RP-FP accomplishments vis-à-vis its target and identification of common issues and concerns in the guidelines implementation.

RP-FP is one of the components of the Philippine Population Management Program (PPMP) under the Commission. It aims to help couples, parents and individuals to achieve their desired timing, spacing and number of children and to contribute to the improvement of their Maternal Nutrition and Child Health Nutrition status.

It can be recalled that PopCom issued Implementing Guidelines No. 01 on February 3, 2014 known as “Guidelines to Reduce Unmet Need for Modern Family Planning.”

PopCom official emphasized the importance of attaining the goals for the reduction of FP unmet need from 22 percent to 11 percent which is one of the desired outcomes of the Responsible Parenthood / Family Planning (RP-FP) program. (PopCom/PIA-Caraga)


SurSur DENR gears up to join world record-breaking bid on tree planting

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Aug. 14 (PIA) – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) office in Surigao del Sur headed by Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Rosendo Asunto has already started to lay down the groundwork for their agency’s bid to break the “Guinness World Record” on tree planting dubbed as “TreeVolution: Greening MindaNow.”

Asunto broke the news on Tuesday during the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting chaired by Governor Johnny Pimentel.

He said that finalization on the details of the “Guinness World Record-Breaking Attempt” is set, citing the regional conference schedule on Thursday, this week.

PENRO Asunto also gave a brief backgrounder of the plan that will be carried out on September 26, the culmination day of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) month celebration.

It was also learned that apart from such main objective to “Break the record for the Most Trees Planted Simultaneously in Multiple Locations by India,” the DENR also aims to “Achieve the 2014 National Greening Program (NGP) target of Mindanao; Contribute to Mindanao’s target of 841,288 hectares planted by 2016; and, Campaign for nurturing our waters thru tree growing.”

Meanwhile, Gov. Pimentel assured that the council will be behind the simultaneous tree-planting activity, adding that the DENR can also count on the provincial government to mobilize its people aside from providing for the transportation needs.

For his part, Marihatag Mayor Alan Pelenio, who is a known agro-industrialist prior to becoming a town chief executive, aired his desire to plant “cacao” especially in the MACASALTABAYAMI area—an economic cluster of seven municipalities in the central part of the province comprised of Marihatag, Cagwait, San Agustin, Lianga, Tago, Bayabas, and San Miguel.

He said that initially, the entire cluster can plant up to 7,000 cacao trees—1,000 trees for each cluster member.

As early as last Monday, during the regular flag ceremony program, Gov. Pimentel told capitol employees that he wants Surigao del Sur to get a share of the pie for the 100,000-hectare target cacao plantation in the country—at least 10,000 hectares.

This time, he added that there are only an estimated 8,000 hectares of cacao plantation nationwide.

Referring to this new thrust, he said that he “has already requested the seven mayors of MACASALTABAYAMI.” (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


FP event calls for better life

By May Ann O. Escobal

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 14 (PIA) - The goal of ensuring better quality of life among Filipino families marks another height as the whole country celebrates Family Planning (FP) month this August.

This year’s theme, “Ang planadong buhay ay maayos na buhay” emphasizes the importance of family planning so that every Filipino would enjoy the benefits of good health, improved economic condition, happy and harmonious family relationship.

Commission on Population (PopCom) Caraga regional director Alexander A. Makinano articulated one of the program components of the Philippine Population Management Program which is the Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning that deals with issues related to sexual and reproductive health, including fertility and family planning concerns which primarily aims to help couples realize their desired timing, spacing, and number of children in accordance with their socioeconomic, emotional, and psychological capacity.

In the observance of the event, Makinano said that RP-FP program gives the necessary information to the couple and helps them decide as to the number of children they wanted to have. “Couples are encouraged to achieve their dreams for a quality life through proper birth spacing of at least three to five years,” Makinano emphasized.

In Caraga Region however, only 55 percent of married women age 15-49 use some method of family planning, according to the 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS). More than a third of women (38 percent) use modern methods, while 18 percent use traditional methods.

Some survey revealed that, Caraga Region had 54.2% of married women age 15-49 who are currently using any family planning method, while 45.8% have no method at all.

“If the Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) of a certain country or region is low, that means only few are using family planning methods and with that, there will be probabilities of unintended pregnancies among women and would likely result to high population growth rate,” Makinano emphasized.

Among the FP methods, the pill is popular among women age 20-39, among educated women, and among women with 1-4 children in Caraga region. Traditional methods are more popular among educated women in the region and those who have had at least one child.

Makinano stressed the benefits of Family Planning for these are essential to securing the well-being and autonomy of women, while supporting the health and development of communities. “Family Planning prevents pregnancy-related health risks in women. It reduces infant mortality; helps to prevent HIV/AIDS. It empowers people and enhances education. It reduces adolescent pregnancies and slows population growth,” he added. (POPCOM/PIA-Caraga)


DOST 13 supports Climate Change advocacy

By Margarette Faye Urbiztondo

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 14 (PIA) - “Nagbabago na ang Panahon.. Panahon na para magbago…”

This was the striking statement posted on uniform tarpaulins region wide advocating climate change.

“We are running out of time… We need to educate our people. Let us act now for the welfare of our children,” Butuan City mayor Ferdinand Amante exclaimed as he welcomed guests and participants during the Regional Information Officers’ Summit on Climate Change Advocacy held recently in one of the convention centers here.

According to Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Caraga regional director Dominga D. Mallonga, who was also one of the speakers of the said summit, “Not all hazards spell disaster. It could only be a disaster if we are not able to cope with such changes spontaneously occurring in the environment.”

She further discussed on the DOST outcomes/projects, as a product of science and technology, intended for disaster risk reduction.

One of DOST’s major projects for said purpose is the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) which “aims to provide assistance and assessment to disaster prevention and warning against possible floods, typhoons and other disasters.”

“Are we ready for the next Yolanda?” she purposely asked.

“We may not be able to stop the occurrence of climate change, but at least we find ways on how to adapt to such changes, reducing risks brought by extreme disasters,” Mallonga added.

Other speakers for the said summit were Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand Amante Jr; DENR Caraga regional director Nonito Tamayo; Oxfam Mindanao Coordinator Dante Dalabajan; Board Secretary Earl Dela Victoria; Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Caraga’s Grace Abella; PIA-Caraga regional director Abner Caga; PIA-11 regional director Efren Elbanbuena; PIA-10 regional director Thelma Oliver; and PIA-9 regional director Noemi Edaga.

Inspired with the theme, “Strengthening partnerships among communities for climate change adaptation and mitigation,” said event was realized through the efforts of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Caraga, supported with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) 13, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), and Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) and other private sectors; Mary Kay, PLDT-Philcom and Bayan Telecommunications. (DOST-13/PIA-Caraga)


Agusan solon files heritage bill anew; seeks to declare Balangay as ‘National Boat’

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 14 (PIA) - “The Philippines is an archipelagic country and seafaring is in the blood of the Filipino...the Balangay is a source of true national pride that should not be forgotten. It is time to formally include it in our roster of national symbols” said Agusan del Norte first district representative Lawrence Lemuel H. Fortun.

Fortun on Wednesday filed House Bill 4879, declaring the Balangay, also known as the Butuan Boat, as the National Boat of the Philippines. Just last week, he also filed 4823, declaring Butuan as heritage tourism zone.

In his explanatory note, Fortun articulated the Balangay as a demonstration early Filipino boat-building genius and seamanship expertise during the pre-colonial times, it being known as the first-ever wooden watercraft to be excavated in Southeast Asia. “The technology used in building this boat is unique to the Balangay. The vessel is a plank boat adjoined by carved-out planks edged through pins and dowels. It is a finely built boat designed for long-distance navigation made without the use of blueprints and was taught to be made from one generation to another using an ancient technique that has been preserved and is still employed by boat makers of Sibutu Island,” Fortun explained.

Found only in the Philippines where flotilla of such ancient boats exist, the Butuan Boat was utilized by early ancestors to maintain trade relations with neighboring islands around the country and empires around Southeast Asia. The extensive utilization of the boat for this purpose confirms the active involvement of our forefathers in robust commercial activities in Asia as early as the 10th and 11th centuries. The boat was first mentioned in the 16th Century in the Chronicles of Pigafetta, and is known as the oldest watercraft found in the Philippines.

“As demonstrated by our ancestors, building a Balangay and sailing it in the high seas entail solidarity and harmony among boat builders and seafarers. It is for this reason that it is now used by the Philippine Government as a term to refer to the smallest political unit, now popularly known as the barangay. The Balangay is a symbol of the Filipino community’s character of unity, cooperation, determination and resilience” Fortun added.

It can be recalled that then President Corazon Aquino decreed on March 9, 1987 Presidential Proclamation No. 86, declaring the Balangays as “national cultural treasures” and the vicinity of its excavation as “archeological sites.” Every year, Butuanons pay homage to the mighty Balangay, naming after it its month-long festivity during May. Last 2010, three replicas of Balangay, the Diwata ng Lahi (Spirit of the Race), Masawa Hong Butuan (Radiance of Butuan), and Sama Tawi Tawi (People of Tawi Tawi) completed the 14,000 kilometers ‘Voyage of the Balangay,’ symbolizing great feat of the mighty Balangay believed to rule Southeast Asian waters.

“The Balangay deserves its rightful place, not only in the museums, but also more importantly, in the consciousness of every Filipino. Declaring it the country’s national boat will ensure that future generations of Filipinos will recognize the invaluable contribution of our forefathers in shaping our maritime tradition and passing on the values of solidarity, harmony, determination, courage and bravery,” he said.

Once passed, the Balangay will be formally included to the roster of national symbols. Concerned agencies such as National Historical Commission of the Philippines, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the National Museum and the Department of Education, among others, are directed to promulgate necessary rules and regulations. (LAWig Katawhan/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Dinagat Islands is least drug-affected province in Caraga, says PDEA

By Ma. Jane Mayola

SAN JOSE, Dinagat Islands, Aug. 14 (PIA) - The province of Dinagat Islands has registered the lowest percentage of drug-affectation among the five provinces in Caraga Region, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said.

During the recently held Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC) meeting, PDEA Caraga regional director Erwin S. Ogario reported that as of July this year, the province has the least drug-affectation with only five percent compared to the other provinces in the region.

Ogario also reported that the province has zero or no report of seizure during their operations conducted in the province from the year 2007 to 2013. "In 2014, there were only 3 reported arrests," said Ogario.

During the said meeting, the council discussed several important matters relating to the organization, operation, and proliferation of prohibited drugs in the province.

The meeting was presided by Dinagat Islands Vice Governor Benglen B. Ecleo and participated by the administrative board, executive committee members, and the working committee. (SDR/PIO-Dinagat Islands/PIA-Dinagat Islands)


MARPOL bill now ready for second reading; Fortun positive for its immediate passage

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 14 (PIA) - Appropriations committee of the lower house approved, without question, House Bill 861, or the Prevention of Pollution from Ships Act of 2013, now readied for second reading.

The said bill was earlier approved by the Committee on Ecology and was likewise cross- referred to the appropriations committee to discuss and iron-out budgetary issues. During the hearing today, the committee finding merit on the legislative measure, prompted a smooth and unanimous green signal to proceed to second reading.

It can be recalled that Agusan del Norte first district representative Lawrence Lemuel H. Fortun filed the said legislative measure days after assuming office. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Ecology last July 24, 2014.

HB 861 aims to remedy the shortcomings of the 1976 Presidential Decree 979 and more significantly, seeks to implement the provision of the MARPOL 73/78, otherwise known as the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships 1973, as amended by the Protocol of 1978.

While the Presidential Decree 979, or the Marine Pollution Decree of 1976, was promulgated in 1976 to address the calls for protecting marine and coastal resources from ship’s pollution, the decree has become too general in its implementing regulation or standard and no longer responsive to the prevalent threat of pollution from ships.

Renewed calls for strengthening the marine and coastal protection from pollution of ships was made anew after the confirmed dumping of toxic wastes in Subic by a US Navy contractor and the many incidents of oil spills just this year.

Fortun, through this bill, wants to implement provisions of MARPOL 73/78, a convention entered into by the Philippines in 1973 and was subsequently ratified by the Senate in 2001. “One of the highlights of the said measure is to establish guidelines for the identification of harmful substances,” Fortun said. It also seeks to set emission standards for ship plying Philippine seas.

Fortun expressed his high hopes for the timely passage of the bill in the coming sessions of the current Congress. (LAWig Katawhan/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Solon seeks probe on hospital’s alleged negligence

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 14 (PIA) - Agusan del Norte first district representative Lawrence Lemuel H. Fortun has filed House Resolution (HR) No. 1379 directing an investigation on the reported failure of the Department of Health (DOH) to strictly implement, monitor and ensure strict compliance by hospitals and medical clinics with the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 8344, law prohibiting the imposition of any deposit or down payment as prerequisite to a patient’s confinement in, or admission to, a hospital or medical clinic or the administration of medical treatment or support in emergency or serious cases, and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.

The resolution directs the House Committee on Health to investigate, in aid of legislation, the reported practice of non-compliance with impunity and wanton disregard by some hospitals and medical clinics of the provisions of RA 8344 and the failure of the DOH to properly implement, monitor and impose appropriate sanctions on the erring hospitals and medical clinics.

Section 1 of RA 8344 reads: "In emergency or serious cases, it shall be unlawful for any proprietor, president, director, manager or any other officer, and/or medical practitioner or employee of a hospital or medical clinic to request, solicit, demand or accept any deposit or any other form of advance payment as a prerequisite for confinement or medical treatment of a patient in such hospital or medical clinic or to refuse to administer medical treatment and support as dictated by good practice of medicine to prevent death or permanent disability..."

Since last week, netizens volunteered sentiments over post on Facebook of a certain Tutz Salarda-Chan and she shared grief with the passing of her daughter 'Yanna'. Story of Yanna spread like a wildfire as both national and local dailies started to catch her sad fate.

Jannary "Yanna" Chan, a critically-ill 10 year old child, succumbed to a heart ailment in the early hours July 16, 2014, after Butuan Doctors Hospital in Butuan City reportedly denied her admission for medical treatment due to insufficient money to pay for the hospital's pre-admission required deposit of P30,000.00.

Yanna accompanied by her mother, came all the way from San Francisco Doctors Hospital on board an ambulance with complete medical certificate and referral documents. Despite the presentation of said documents, the critical situation of the child and the entreaty of the parents, hospital personnel refused admission, forcing the family to look for another hospital in Davao City - that required another few hours of travel and on their way thereto, the child perished.

"Prior to this incident involving the death of Yanna Chan, there have been earlier accounts and reports of hospital and medical clinics rejecting or refusing to administer medical treatment and support on account of their inability to pay the required deposit or downpayment," Fortun in his explanatory note.

“This is wanton disregard of a law passed by Congress for the preservation of human life regardless of a patient’s economic status,” Fortun added.

Parallel to filing of HR 1379, the solon also wrote the DOH Caraga to immediately conduct an inquiry on the alleged refusal of Butuan Doctors Hospital to admit Yanna. In his letter, Fortun aptly wrote: "I respectfully urge you to act on this concern with haste and urgency as part of the mandate of the Department to monitor and enforce the provisions of the law (RA 8344)." (LAWig Katawhan/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


DepEd conducts District PATUBO competition

By Dr. Jonas H. Jomonong

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 14 (PIA) - The Department of Education (DepEd) Southwest Butuan District conducted its first District PATUBO competition held at the West Central Elementary School last August 11, bearing the theme,"Pahawagon Ta ang Kulturang Butuanon Kaiban Ang Pagpatubo Hong Kakahuyan."

The said activity aims to raise the level of awareness and give value to Butuanon culture and its dialect and its restoration among the participants.

Seven schools under the district namely: West Central Elementary School, Mandacpan Elementary School, Maon Elementary School, San Vicente Elementary School, Villa Kananga Elementary School, Bit-os Elementary School and San Roque Elementary School competed in the quiz bowl, balak, poster making contest, sayawit, and playlet. It was learned that the contents of the different categories were in Butuanon dialect as part of its preservation.

Meantime, the winners of each category were as follows: balak was won by San Roque Elementary School followed by Bit-os Elementary School and Maon Elementary School, respectively.

For the poster making contest, West Central Elementary School garnered first place, Bit-os Elementary School as second and Maon Elementary School, third.

In addition, Maon Elementary School bagged the first place in the quiz bowl followed by Bit-os Elementary School as second and West Central Elementary School as third.

For the sayawit category, West Central Elementary School won fisrt, San Vicente Elementary School, second and Mandacpan Elementary School as third.

Lastly, Mandacpam Elementary school garnered first in the playlet followed by San Vicente Elementary School and Villa Kananga Elementary School second and third, respectively.

Top performing schools will represent Southwest district to the upcoming 1st division PATUBO competition come August 14 at Butuan Central Elementary School.

Project PATUBO stands for "PAHAWAGON TA Ang TURISMO HONG BUTUAN (Let us promote Butuan's tourism)," which is one of the flagship programs of the Butuan City division. (DepEd Butuan City Division/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Tagalog News: Gobyerno handang ipagtanggol ang mga kamag-anak ng mga biktima ng Maguindanao massacre, sabi ng Malakanyang

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Agosto 14 (PIA) - Ang Kagawaran ng Katarungan (DOJ) ay handang magbigay ng proteksyon sa mga pamilya ng mga biktima ng Maguindanao Massacre, kasunod ng ulat tungkol sa bantang panunuhol sa isang biyuda ng naulilang biktima, ayon sa isang opisyal ng Palasyo.

“Isa sa mga bagay na talagang aming ginawa ay gawing segurado na ang mga saksi ay nasasakop sa ilalim ng Witness Protection Program,” sabi ni Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda sa isang panayam sa media noong Miyerkoles.

“Ito ay napaka importante para sa amin – na ipagtanggol sila. At para doon sa mga hindi sakop ng Witness Protection Program, hinihikayat at hinihiling naming sa kanila na sumali sa programa, para hindi sila malagay sa kapahamakan,” dagdag niya.

Pinayuhan ni Lacierda yung mga inalok ng pera kapalit ng kanilang katahimikan na maghain ng reklamo sa korte para makapag-imbistiga ang Department of Justice.

“Kung hindi, hindi rin kami makapag pasiya sa bagay na iyan,” sabi niya.

Subalit sinabi ni Lacierda na hindi pa malinaw sa ngayon kung kailan ginawa ang tangkang panunuhol, dahil kung tutuusin, tapos ng naepresinta ang ebidensya ng prosekusyon.

Ang publiko, sabi niya, ay naghihintay na sa depensa para magpresenta ng kanilang mga ebidensiya. (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)