8.05.2014

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

LGU reps ink manifesto for climate change adaptation mechanisms, access to PSF

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 5 (PIA) – The representatives from the nine local government units (LGUs) in Caraga region have recently signed a manifesto that would put forward their ongoing initiatives to establish appropriate mechanisms to adapt to the looming impacts of climate change.

These LGUs are Hinatuan, Lanuza and Marihatag, all in Surigao del Sur; Jabonga, Kitcharao, and Las Nieves, all in Agusan del Norte; Prosperidad and Bayugan City in Agusan del Sur and Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte.

As contained in the manifesto, the parties will take pride and actions in pursuing comprehensive climate and multi-hzard assessments significantly involving vulnerable communities under the project, “Building Resilient and Adaptive Communities and Institutions,” an Australian Aid support of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade implemented by Oxfam and partner non-government organizations.

“The project has helped them develop a comprehensive concept on adaptation wherein priority adaptation and risk reduction actions are integrated and funded under their local disaster risk reduction management plans despite limited resources,” said Dante Dalabajan, Mindanao Coordinator of Oxfam Philippines.

The partakers, however, have recognized that their existing initiatives are not sufficient to attend the wide range of adaptation projects that would benefit more vulnerable communities. But they identified that these communities have the capacity to adapt and would be able to experience economic growth amidst limited resources to fund such adaptation projects.

They were putting high hopes on the Peoples Survival Fund (PSF) as a finance mechanism that would help LGUs address the challenges of increasing capacities of vulnerable communities.

Thus, the signifying parties expressed their interest and readiness to submit proposals to access the PSF as it should be made available and accessible while mechanisms should also be in place by now to ensure that the funds go directly and transparently to adaptation and risk reduction projects based on the comprehensive assessment of climate change and disaster risks in highly vulnerable communities.

“As cited in the manifesto, it also calls on international donor agencies to integrate climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in their development investments,” added Dalabajan. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


DA-MRDP turns over P6M worth of livelihood subprojects to Las Nieves

By MJ Gumapac

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 5 (PIA) - The Department of Agriculture - Mindanao Rural Development Program – Adaptable Program Loan Phase 2 (DA MRDP-APL2) recently turned over seven sub-projects under the Community Fund for Agricultural Development (CFAD) to the seven People’s Organization (PO) in Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte with a total funding cost of P6 Million.
           
“It is fast, it has changed,” said Alma Agad, chairperson of San Isidro Farmers Association as she expressed her deep gratitude in her acceptance speech to the Local Government of Las Nieves and the DA MRDP.

“The face of our farming has changed, unlike before it was disorganized and scattered, but now it is fast,” Agad remarked.

The sub-projects consist of Rubber-based Plantations for Marcos Calo Farmers Association and Casiklan Wheels Farmers Association; Construction of Multi-purpose Drying Pavement with Mini-Warehouse for Pinana-an Farmers Association; Construction of Spillway and Acquisition of Farm equipment to Support Rice Production for Katipunan Farmers Association; Construction of Two Small Reservoirs and Two Submersible Pumps to Support Rice Production for the Poblacion Farmers Association; Establishment of Mini-Feed Mill for E.G. Montilla Farmers Association and Cluster Corn Mechanization and Support Enhancment San Isidro Farmers Association.
          
The LGU of Las Nieves even added P1M to the overall budget apart from their 20% counterpart to further expand the project and reach more beneficiaries. The said sub-projects are now being used in the seven barangays, especially in Barangay Pinanaan with their solar dryer and warehouse and also in Barangay San Isidro with their tractor and other production support enhancement machineries.
          
“Now that it has finally arrived, we should all take care of it for it is ours,” said Las Nieves Vice Mayor Manuel N. Biong who led the turn over ceremony together with its Sangguniang Bayan members.
          
The province of Agusan del Norte represented by OIC Provincial Agriculturist Alvin Aclan also witnessed the said ceremony as part of the workforce who facilitated the implementation of the project in support to the municipalities under MRDP2. (DA-13/PIA-Caraga)


News Feature: Livestock creates business opportunities

By Vanessa P. Sanchez

Simple interest becomes a thriving business enterprise.

A growing number of women in Surigao City are now engaged in meat processing, contributing to the rise of this industry in the city.

City Veterinarian Dr. Allan F. Quines revealed that in 2010, several vendors selling various processed meat products sprouted in the local market. Resolved to help improve the quality of their products, the Local Government Unit of Surigao City through the City Veterinary Office coordinated with the Department of Agriculture -13 and proposed for training on meat processing.

AgriPinoy Livestock Program with its Animal Product and By-product Utilization (APBPU) Component has given them the opportunity to capacitate their women.  APBU, is a post-harvest component of the DA-Livestock Program which aims to support the livestock and poultry production and growth of meat and by-product industry.  It has two components, the Waste Management Program and Meat Development under which meat processing falls.

It was in November 2010 when the first Meat Processing Training was conducted by DA-RFO 13 in coordination with Surigao City Veterinary Office. The training equipped the participants with knowledge on meat hygiene and sanitation, cutting and proper handling.

After that training, the 17 participants organized themselves to form the Association of Meat Processors of Surigao City (AMPS). They then started their own livelihood. To assist them, the LGU of Surigao City facilitated the establishment of a meat processing laboratory.  With that initiative, the Department of Agriculture through the Livestock Development Council (LDC) provided the equipments which included meat slicer, meat grinder, silent cutter, tie linker, smoke house, cooking vat, vacuum sealer and stuffer. The LGU also granted AMPS a start-up capital of P100,000.

Because of the growing interest meat processing, DA has provided in addition a refer van or cold storage unit amounting to P1.5Million in support to the slaughter house and meat processing lab in Surigao City.

Over the years, the association has expanded its membership and has continued to produce processed meat products to cater the growing number of buyers. Among AMPS’ market is the Surigao City Trade School where they deliver 30 kilos of embutido, and 5 kilos of longganisa, hotdog and chorizo twice a month.

Recently, they were able to make a deal with the Taganito Mining Company to deliver weekly 20 kilos each kind of their meat product to the company canteen.  In addition, the women also took opportunities to sell during special events in the city such as City Charter’s Day where they were able to gain P10,000 daily sales.

Some members of the association also do their own processing at home like Ruena De Paz who sells her products weekly at her husband’s office.  She would process 5 kilos of embutido which makes 40 rolls at P65 per roll and earns for her P2,600 a week.

“Dako gajud nga tabang sa among pamilya ang akong pagpamaligya ug embutido kay madugangan man akong kita (It has greatly helped my family because by selling embutido my income increased)," Ruena said. 

Dr. Maridel Zerda of the City Veterinary Office said that to date, there are about 200 swine raisers including backyard raisers, in Surigao City and meat processing is a viable way to augment their income particularly the smallholders/ backyard raisers. (DA-13/PIA-Caraga)


New TESDA deals focus on medical transcriptionists, bartenders

By Lisa Rivera

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 5 (PIA) - Looking to further strengthen and expand its partnership with the private sector, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has inked agreements with two organizations to enhance the skills of potential workers.

The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines (HIMOAP) will involve P16.275 million worth of scholarship vouchers that will train 1,550 individuals.

This will be sourced from TESDA's Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP).

The MOA with Ginebra San Miguel (GSM) Inc., on the other hand, will provide training and livelihood opportunities to 180 beneficiaries in selected areas through the TESDA Specialista Technopreneurship Program (TSTP).  The project is in celebration of Ginebra San Miguel’s 180 years.

"TESDA's continued partnership with the private sector is a display of palpable sense of optimism in the country's technical vocational education and training," TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva said.

"Here's an assurance that investments in the Filipino skills will always yield quality workforce needed by the industries," Villanueva added.

The 180 beneficiaries under the agreement with GSM will undergo entrepreneurial and bartending training course.  TESDA will conduct the training, while the beverage firm will provide the fund, for training and livelihood opportunity through the provision of a mobile bar, including needed materials such as one set of uniform for each trainee, mobile bar tools, and a set of starter products.

With HIMOAP, TESDA will tap its partner technical vocational institutions to provide Medical Transcription Finishing Course NC II to the 1,550 beneficiaries.  The training duration will be 160 hours.

According to the agreement, the partners committed an employment rate of at least 80 percent within six months from the scholar's graduation. HIMOAP also pledged to formulate a fund replenishment scheme to extend the mileage of the scholarship program.

A contribution to a Talent Development Fund will be made by a HIMOAP-member company every time it absorbs or hires successful graduates. The Talent Development Fund will be developed, managed, and utilized solely by HIMOAP to sustain training of their needed workforce.

Signing the agreement were Villanueva for TESDA, Josefina Lauchangco for HIMOAP, and Bernard Marquez for Ginebra San Miguel.  (TESDA/PIA-Caraga)


News Feature: DILG prepares 1.2B 2016 GPB Run

By Bryan F. Edulzura

Banking on lessons learned during the Bottom Up Budgeting (now Grassroots Participatory Budgeting or GPB) 2013 and 2104 run, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region 13 commenced preparation for the approximately P1.2 Billion 2016 GPB Run with the Provincial Focal Persons and Community Mobilizers Meeting last July 30, 2014 at the Local Governance Regional Resource Center (LGRRC) in DILG 13 Regional Office, this city.

The planning process for identification, endorsement and approval of 2016 projects will begin this August and the priority list is expected to be submitted on the first quarter of 2015 for the inclusion in the 2016 General Appropriation Act (GAA).

Though the DILG, National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) are still enhancing the Joint Memorandum Circular 5 for the 2016 GPB run, the Regional Poverty Reduction Action Team (RPRAT) of Caraga Region is taking a step ahead in beefing up the mechanisms to smoothen the GPB program implementation.

Taking into previous experiences, the RPRAT through the DILG is expected to receive about a thousand (1,000) anti-poverty projects covering all 6 cities and 67 municipalities in the region. In 2015, the budget for Caraga region is pegged at P1.2 billion with an average of P15 million per local government unit (LGU).

Gaining Grounds and Inclusive People Participation

According to RPRAT chair and DILG Caraga regional director, Lilibeth A. Famacion, GPB is slowly gaining ground as it becomes more popular among civil society and local governments.  Field reports are showing that more civil society organizations especially on the basic sectors are taking active role in project identification.

“With the latest development, going along with GPB’s popularity is imperative. People participation is the lifeblood of GPB, hence; as early as now we took initiatives in preparing the ground for a more meaningful and genuine people participation. Aside from engaging community mobilizers, we also install coordination mechanisms with the department’s field workers and that of other participating agencies to streamline communications at various levels,” said Famacion.

“Cascading right information to the grassroots community ensures support and sustainability of the program,” said Urban Poor representative Johnny Serrano.

Malicious Issues against GPB

The GPB Process is not void of malicious gossip and wrong information circulated in communities.  Among the issues hurled against GPB is that it is the pork barrel of Mar Roxas and funds for these projects are funded under Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).  “The rumor is ridiculous and is entirely not true,” Famacion points out.

"We know that the project identification is lodged under civil society rganizations (CSOs) and LGUs. DILG is only one, among the GPB participating agencies which include DOH, DSWD, DTI, DA, DAR, DOLE, DOT, NEA, TESDA, DepED, and DENR. We also know that GPB funds are operationalized through the General Appropriation Act.  As civil servants it is our duty to correct misconception and it is our moral obligation to tell the truth, nothing but the truth," she said.

Famacion also recognized that the program implementation in the previous years are not perfect.  "We are confronted with problems that somehow slowed down implementation.  Problems on project identification, change of project, LCEs influencing project to be implemented are few of the challenges we tackled. But we are installing mechanism to minimize if not eradicate these problems,” she said.

"The bottleneck of this program is on the ability of the stakeholder to identify projects that really address poverty situation in the countryside.  Notable in the previous years’ proposal is the lack of projects for the fisherfolk and their families," Famacion added.

The Local Poverty Reduction Action Team (LPRAT) whose members include 50% from the CSOs and 50% from the LGU, are the one to endorse the projects for funding.  The challenge is the ability of the CSO to articulate the projects they really need and generate support from the LGU.

Surigao del Sur Persons With Disability (PWD) federation president William Aguilar vowed that they will push for more projects that will benefit the fishermen and PWD sectors.

More than just Anti-Poverty Projects

GPB is actually more than just an anti-poverty initiative but it is also a good governance program as well. It encourages transparency and people participation in the local planning process. “We recognized that the poor knows better what projects to implement to free them from the claws of poverty and that corruption is curbed when people are involved in government finances,” said GPB regional focal personJocelyn Jayoma.  

“We need to inculcate that good governance means more access to incentives to fund development projects,” she added.

Bracing for more

“We expect that more stakeholders are interested to look into the GPB process considering that PDAF and DAP projects are under fire.  We welcome those interested parties – supporter and critics alike to really look into the program. With this, we give more meaning to people participation in local governance,” Famacion concluded. (DILG-13/PIA-Caraga)


Newly-established prov’l training center in Surigao del Norte, inaugurated

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 5 (PIA) - The provincial government of Surigao del Norte and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) have recently inaugurated the newly-constructed provincial community training center located at Bad-as, Placer town.

In her speech, Surigao del Norte governor Sol F. Matugas emphasized that this undertaking is another milestone under the livelihood component of the HEALS Development Agenda. HEALS is the province’s flagship program which means Health, Education and Environment, Agriculture and Aquaculture, Livelihood, Tourism, Social Welfare, and Spiritual Renewal.

“Our province-wide vision takes us towards a God-centered, empowered, and globally-competitive and prosperous Surigaonons. Keeping this in the heart of all our undertakings in serving our people, we have not gone away with our accountability for those who are in the deepest need of an avenue wherein they can achieve self-enhancement opportunities,” Gov. Matugas said.

The province’s chief executive also stressed that to be able to fully accomplish something as great as the establishment of the provincial community training center is very fulfilling, knowing that everything will be for the good of the sector we deem important in our journey towards “Ang Bag-ong Surigao.”

The official further said the youth sector specifically the out-of-school youths and the province’s constituents who are in extreme need for skills enhancements will be helped with the operation of the training center. “In here, will our beneficiaries be given the chance for better job opportunities fitting the skills they will be learning in the acilities,” Matugas said.

Matugas likewise pointed out that the Surigaonons are grateful indeed, that though the Private-Public Partnership (PPP) with the mining companies, the province has already reached this far in giving light to the dreams of their constituents.

“In behalf of the constituents in Surigao del Norte, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the mining industries who have been very much active in partnering with us, supporting our big leaps in bringing forth our plans, programs and projects that promotes the welfare of our province,” Gov. Matugas said.

With the strong partnership that the provincial government has created with the private sector, Gov. Matugas said Surigaonons have become all the more assured to be able to bring greater dreams into reality, and the inclusive growth the people wanted to achieve will finally be on hand.

The lady governor likewise vowed to have more projects that will pave better roads for the brighter future of the people in the province. “Thank you everyone, and rest assured that this structure will certainly still be followed by more projects that would help us pave better roads for the brighter future of our populace,” Matugas said.

The two-day affair was graced by TESDA Deputy Director-General for Field Operations Atty. Teodoro C. Pascua and Cong. Mel Sarmiento, Vice Chairman of the Commission on Appointments, who ceremonially cut the chain, signifying the opening of the training center’s operation. (TESDA-13/PIA-Caraga)


Tagalog News: Gobyerno determinado sa paglikas ng mga Pilipino mula sa Libya, sabi ng isang opisyal ng Palasyo

Ni David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Agosto 5 (PIA) - Sinabi ng Palasyo noong Lunes na determinado ang gobyerno na dalhin pauwi ang mga Pilipinong manggagawa (OFW) na nanganganib ang buhay sa Libya.

“Para doon sa mga nakakita ang kanilang sarili na talagang nasa panganib na kalagayan, gusto talaga ng pamahalaan na makauwi sila ng ligtas,” sabi ni Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda sa mga reporter noong siya ay nakipanayam sa Malakanyang.

Ayon sa Department of Foreign Affairs, (DFA) humigit-kumulang mga 831 na Pilipino ang nakabalik mula sa Libya hanggang Agosto 3, 2014.

Subalit napansin din ni Seretary Lacierda na marami ang dahilan kung bakit ang ibang Pilipino sa Libya ay ayaw umuwi.

“Halimbawa, marami sa kanila ang nakapga-asawa ng taga Libya mismo. Kaya mahirap biyakin ang pamilya ‘pag ganoon ang situation,” paliwanag niya.

Para doon na takot na makakaharap ang kawalan ng trabaho sa kanilang pagbalik, sinabi ni Lacierda na ang Department of Labor and Employment ay maaring tumulong sa kanila na makahanap ng trabaho dito sa bansa o kaya sa labas ng bansa.

"Nangyari na sa atin ito. Kung inyong matandaan, sa ating alitan laban sa Taiwan, tinitingnan na natin ang ibang bansa na gustong kumuha ng ating mga OFW. Halimbawa, sa Batangas, may kompanya doon na tinatawag na AG&P na siyang kumuha ng maraming OFW para sa kanilang kalakal,” sabi niya.

Sabi niya, ang pamahalaan ay sinusubukang makontak ang mga OFW sa pamamagitan ng pakipag-ugnayan sa mga komunidad ng Pilipino sa Libya, pati na sa kanilang mga kamag-anak dito sa Pilipinas. (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Cebuano News: District Convention sa Free and Accepted Masons of the Phils nagmalamposon

Ni Mary Jul E. Escalante

SURIGAO CITY, Agosto 5 (PIA) – Malamposon nga gipahigayon ang usa ka district convention nga gipasiugdahan sa Masonic District RXIII-A bag-ohay pa lamang didto sa Philippine Gateway Hotel, ning syudad.

Ang usa ka adlaw nga kalihukan nagdala sa tema nga, “Serbisyong  Makatotohanan Para sa Kapatiran at Mamamayan.”

Sa iyang mensahe isip pinasidunggang mamumulong si Surigao del Norte Gov. Sol F. Matugas miingon nga  mao kini ang unang higayon nga siya nakatambong sa maong kalihukan sa Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines diin siya nakadayeg sa ilang guiding principles nga mao ang brotherly love, relief ug truth.

Nagpasalamat usab ang gobernador kang Cesario Espejon ang nangulo sa Mt. Diwata lodge No. 236 sa Surigao sa opurtunidad nga siya nakatambong sa maong kalihukan diin iya usab gipaabot ang mga plano, programa ug proyekto sa panggamhanan sa probinsya ubos sa iyang HEALS plus agenda.


Ubay ubay nga mga mason ang nakadayeg sa programang HEALS plus sa gobernador diin ilang nakita ang tinud-anay nga pagserbisyo ug ang kinatibuk-ang pag uswag sa katawhan ug sa lalawigan sa Surigao del Norte.

Mitambong sa maong okasyon ang mga miyembro ug delegado sa Free and Accepted Masons of the Phils. nga naglangkob sa Agusan ug Surigao. (SDR/PIO-Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)