Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Caraga RCC, DOLE update media on various accomplishments, plans, upcoming activities

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 2 (PIA) – In time with the 81st Anniversary celebration of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Caraga, its attached agencies from the Regional Coordinating Committee (RCC) met with the local media and gave updates on their accomplishments, plans and upcoming activities.

DOLE-Caraga regional director and RCC chair Atty. Johnson Cañete assured the media that the department has been religiously monitoring the establishments’ implementation of the standard labor laws.

“We have this single-entry approach in addressing problems, grievances of the workers through mediation and conciliation. Our Labor and Employment Officers are assessing the performance of the different companies, establishments in the region to correct, enhance whatever is needed for improvement,” emphasized Cañete.

"We have maintained a zero-percent actual strike in Caraga for this year. There are two pending case notices for strike but we are optimistic that these will not pursue," highlighted National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB)-Caraga regional director Atty. Ligaya Lumbay.

Meanwhile, Austin Bade, accountant of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Caraga, said their office is continuously providing a one-time financial relief assistance amounting to P10,000.00 to OFWs displaced from work due to political conflict in Libya. “As of today, there were 75 Caraganon OFWs who underwent repatriation out of 4,255 total repatriates, of which a total of P680,000.00 was already released to 68 Caraganon displaced OFWs. Based on OWWA membership processing records, Caraga has a total of 325 active and inactive workers in Libya,” he said.

Bade added that on their Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP), it is offered to active member OFWs and their legal dependents who intend to enroll in any short-term training program consisting of a maximum of P14,500.00 per course leading to a completion of a vocational or technical course in any Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-accredited school.

Also, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)-Caraga Senior Labor and Employment Officer/Coordinator Meriam Balmocena revealed that they are continuously monitoring and facilitating the OFWs in the preservation of their rights and job recruitment. "As of today, we have some 970 OFWs served higher compared to last year's 647 served OFWs. It means that there is an increase of OFWs who are becoming aware of their rights and responsibilities. They're no longer hesitant to raise their concerns and complaints to our office," she said.

"For our undocumented OFWs, we are providing them P10,000 livelihood assistance to let them start their own business, and for those OFWs who already started their business but failed, we are helping them revive and start anew of their business. Other than that, we also have the 'Balik Pinay, Balik Hanapbuhay' Program for distressed OFWs. We are also continuously conducting trainings for OFWs and their families," bared Nancy Jacinto, Labor and Employment Officer III of National Reintegration Center of OFWs (NRCO)-Caraga.

This year’s 81st  anniversary  of DOLE is anchored on the theme, “Higit pa sa Tagumpay at Reporma, ang DOLE mas Makabuluhan, mas Nadarama." (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


PyD launches travelling photo exhibit in Butuan City

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 2 (PIA) – Paz y Dessarollo (Peace and Development), a Spanish non-government organization working towards the improvement of living conditions of the communities in 11 countries across Asia and Latin America, launched today the PyD travelling photo exhibit dubbed “FEMALE FORWARD! Towards Gender Equality and Women Empowerment” at the ground floor lobby, City Hall, this city.

With 18 compelling visuals on display, the exhibit provides a glimpse of PyD’s journey as it implements the regional program on Gender Equality in Political Participation in nits project areas across Agusan del Norte and Lanao del Sur in Mindanao.

It features the compilation of various photos from PyD’s past and present project and achievements.

“As mandated by our organization, the exhibit will reflect our belief in the power of people and in social, political and economic empowerment. The photos will evoke positivism, a sense of hope, and the power of women to improve their situation,” cited Antonio Miguel Gonzales Arias, country representative of PyD-Philippines.

 He said that the photographers include PyD’s very own dedicated staff as well as professional photographers from Italy and Spain.

“We are proud to partner with Butuan City local government as we are one with the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW) 2014 with the theme, “End VAW Now! It’s our Duty!” Indeed, part of ending VAW is promoting the contributions and strengths of women as well as encouraging them to “Stand Up, Step Up, Speak Up!” – the call of PyD Female Forward Campaign,” Arias said.

Guests and public viewers had a quick tour in the exhibit area right after the short program, ribbon-cutting and cocktails. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


Hinatuan MDRRMC gears up for 2014 Gawad Kalasag field assessment

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

SURIGAO DEL SUR, December 2 (PIA) –  The Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (MDRRMC) of Hinatuan this province chaired by mayor Candelario Viola is now gearing up for the field assessment and validation for the national selection committee slated on December 3-5, 2014.

The said assessment and validation is in connection with the municipality's nomination and inclusion in the top 3 for the prestigious “Gawad Kalasag  2014” under the first and third class municipality category for the national level,  said Gemma Millan, community development information officer (CDIO) of Hinatuan. 

“Up for grabs are first, second and third places,” she added.

It can be recalled that Hinatuan DRRMC was awarded first place for the Search for Excellence in DRRM and Humanitarian Assistance during the Caraga Regional awarding of Gawad KALASAG 2014 in time of the national Disaster Consciousness Month Culmination held in Butuan City last July this year.

Accordingly, Hinatuan town was placed second and first in year 2012 and 2013, respectively in the national level competition under the same category.

Meanwhile, the Gawad Kalasag (KAlamidad at Sakuna LAbanan SAriling Galing ang Kaligtasan) award is given to individuals, private institution, civil society organizations (CSOs), and government organizations, in recognition of their initiative in doing humanitarian activities as response to the disaster-affected communities, as well as intensified its effort their interventions in helping to mitigate and adapt climate change and disaster resilient community. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)


NHA, Dinagat Islands LGU conduct shelter program orientation

By Jane A. Mayola

SAN JOSE, Dinagat Islands, Dec. 2 (PIA) – The National Housing Authority (NHA) and the provincial government of Dinagat Islands through the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) recently conducted an orientation on the Housing Materials Assistance (HOMA) program held at the Provincial Guest Center here.

The activity aims to orient the beneficiaries about HOMA program and the proper implementation of the P14 million worth of funds for housing materials assistance to the victims and survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda in the province.

A total of 2,520 families from different municipalities of the province will benefit from the said funds.

NHA Caraga senior livelihood officer Titus G. Ipanag presented the proper procedures and guidelines on implementing the program.

Ipanag also presented other programs under the NHA which include the Resettlement Assistance Program for local government unit, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and Philippine National Police (PNP), and the housing program for uniform and non-uniform personnel of AFP, PNP, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and Bureau of Jail and Management Penology (BJMP).

It was learned that the NHA team has already conducted a survey in the municipalities of Dinagat and Loreto. (SDR/PIO-Dinagat Islands/PIA-Dinagat Islands)


Works on multimillion bridge in SurSur nearing completion

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 2 (PIA) - A massive bridge project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Surigao del Sur will soon be completed; its current accomplishment rate is 78%.

This was disclosed by DPWH-Caraga regional director Danilo E. Versola, citing the construction of P738-million Tago-Lapaz Bridge, a 12-span, 320 lineal meter bridge, connecting Barangay Poblacion, Tago, and Barangay La Paz in Bayabas.

Versola said Secretary of Public Works and Highways Rogelio L. Singson ordered the DPWH-Caraga office to fast track the completion of the much delayed project which faced several stoppages in its phases of construction since 1991.

Singson, when he assumed office as DPWH Secretary, ordered all the bridge projects taking years to complete be finished under the term of President Aquino. One classic example of these bridges is the Aluling Bridge in Cervantes, Ilocos Sur, which was conceptualized way back in 1978 with construction activities started in 1990. The bridge finally opened to traffic in March 2013.

The final stage for the completion of the Tago-La Paz bridge costing P60 million involves the furnishing and launching of portions of span 7, 8 and 9; construction of spans 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9; construction of concrete railings both sides from pier 4 to pier 9; and the repair and construction of craneway.

The final stage of work may be finished this December if the weather permits, said Versola.

Situated near the Pacific Ocean, the project area usually experiences rainy weather condition during “ber” months, which hamper the progress of works.

Upon completion, the Tago-Lapaz Bridge shall serve as an alternative bridge to the existing 200-meter old Gamut Steel Bridge along Surigao-Davao Coastal Road.

It will also shorten travel time within Surigao del Sur’s coastal municipalities, and eventually, improve the peace and order condition in the area boosting the economic activities in the whole province. (DPWH/PIA-Caraga)


Concrete seawall in Butuan coastal barangay inaugurated

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 2 (PIA) - To beef-up disaster preparedness and mitigation especially in coastal communities in the city, a concrete seawall was successfully completed at Brgy. Lumbocan. The said seawall was formally opened to the public, after a brief ribbon-cutting and turn-over ceremony Thursday afternoon.

The said seawall construction was seen as opportune and timely as well, given the disaster risks faced new by coastal areas along Brgy. Lumbocan. The month of November to February in the country has been marked as typhoon-prone season, with increased risks due to climate change and environmental degradation. Early this year, the city has experienced one of the most intensive floods since 1980s and affected thousands of families especially those living in the lowlands and coastal areas.

The said infrastructure project is hoped to mitigate risks from sudden sea-level rise and minor typhoon surge. In the long run, the newly-constructed seawall is also expected contribute to building disaster-resilient and adaptive community.

Funding for the said construction was pushed for by Rep. Lawrence Fortun, and was implemented by DPWH-Butuan City District Engineering Office. In attendance during the brief ceremony were Rep.Concree Fortun, Engr. Alipio Grana and Engr. Cesario Alegado from the Department of Public Works and Highways, Punong Barangay Shirley Reyes and members of the Council of Brgy. Lumbocan, Butuan City. (LAWig Katawhan/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


4ID condemns NPA’s attack on ambulance in AgSur

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City, Dec. 2 (PIA) – The 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army (4ID, PA) condemns the New People’s Army’s (NPAs) attack on ambulance that killed four civilians and wounding of seven others on board at Sitio Latay, Barangay Marfil, Rosario, Agusan del Sur at around 5:30p.m. on November 30, 2014.

The victims who just came from a thanksgiving mass in Wayside Baptist Church and were on their way back to their residences on board an ambulance from the municipality of Rosario were ambushed by more or less 20 NPAs believed to be members of Guerilla Front 14 of North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC).

Among the 14 on board the ambulance (6 civilian adults and 8 children), four civilians were killed and seven were wounded (6 adults and 1 child).

75th Infantry Battalion commanding officer Ltc Noman Alcovindas immediately coordinated with the PNP in the area and ordered his troop to rescue the victims while other troop conducted pursuit operation on the said NPAs.

4ID commander MGen Oscar T Lactao said that "this is clear evidence that NPAs are more than just criminals but a terrorist group. I strongly condemn this terroristic attack of the NPAs that killed civilians and wounding others on board an ambulance. These people came from a thanksgiving mass and were probably praying for peace in their community but these NPAs attacked them.”

“I urge the PNP, the Commission on Human Rights, and the church to investigate on this terroristic attack. These NPAs must be put behind bars. We cannot just let them roam around and threaten the peace-loving people of Mindanao,” MGen Lactao added. (4ID, Phil. Army/PIA-Caraga)


Feature: Feeding dreams to success

By Ms. Daisy Mala & Theresa D. Barsobia

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 2 - “Life is better when you get to buy commercial rice and you won’t have to eat NFA rice anymore,” bragged Lilibeth Polinar, 50 years old, President of Mararag 2 SEA-K Association (SKA) of Brgy. Mararag, Marihatag, Surigao del Sur.

Libeth recalls how she used to loan money just to pay her debts.

“It was a never ending cycle,” she reminisced.

Until, the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) came on 2013 when she saw that light of opportunity.

Having been a hog raiser and a tenant rice farmer for many years, she and her husband Cirilio, 54, had always dreamt of owning a piggery and their own land to farm. However, they don’t have the capital.

In March 2013, the SLP came into picture, the said program lent money to Libeth as a start up capital to set off her project amounting to P7, 000.00.

With the borrowed money, she purchased three sacks of feeds for her hogs. After a month she sold her fattened hogs for almost P20,000.00, with this big return of investment Libeth and Mang Cirilio decided to finance a rice paddy. And the fruit of the harvest they’ve decided to venture into another, the Multi – grains retailing business. Libeth opened the Polinar Agrivet Supply located at the Poblacion,  along the hi - way.

Expanding the venture

In June 2013, barely after three months, Libeth invested into Mutli – grains retailing business with an initial capital of P20,000.00. She rented a small space in Marihatag for a meager amount. She started selling 12 sacks of different variety of feeds and a sack of rice.

After six months, she raised her sales from 12 to 33 different variety of feeds or even more and 14 different variety of rice. On lean days, she sells a maximum of Php 20,000.00.

Contributory to her success is her good relations with QualiFeeds, a product producer company of feeds and other agrivet supplies. Built through trust, instead of paying it on a bi – monthly basis she pays her purchases on a weekly basis which in return gives her better incentives apart from the regular incentive she’s getting. And with the increasing demands she can now purchase on credit an average of 200 sacks per week and will even increase on peak seasons.  As her orders raise so goes her incentives from the company.

Overcoming competition

There are four other agrivet stores in the municipality. The competition is very stiff that one of the store owners had to mark down his prices to attract more customers. Despite this Libeth remains steadfast and continues her good relations to her customers and remains loyal to QualiFeeds. Her orders keep on increasing. Now, Libeth is the sole distributor of QualiFeeds products in the municipality. Bigger discounts the company offers, hence she sells her products at a lower price than the other competitors.

Libeth now enjoys an average monthly income of P440,000.00.
From the earnings and incentives, she was able to buy one brand new multi – cab, two side car motorcycles, and a laptop which she uses especially during bidding which bids are posted via online.

And out from the income generated from the Mutlti – grains retailing business, the couple now rents a three - hectare rice paddies formerly Mang Cirilio tilled but now it’s Lloyd, the third child tends.

Leaping big

“Everything she touched grows,” Marihatag municipal mayor Allan Pelenio candidly commented.

Mayor Pelenio added that Libeth is a woman to be mirrored and be replicated with her utmost dedication and passion showed not only in her businesses but as well as in achieving her dreams.

The mayor also mentioned that Libeth is a risk – taker and is not afraid to take a big leap.

On October 8, 2014, Libeth opened a new branch of her retailing business at Brgy. San Agustin, the Polinar Agrivet Supply 2 managed by Jessie Boy, her fourth child. For less than a month of operation, there was already a return of her investment. Now, she plans to rent another space just within the block where her store is located for her to have a bodega after she sought an increasing hike of the sales.

Apart from her agrivet business, Libeth is also into buying and selling copra and uling (charcoal). This gives her another additional income.

All for the children

Libeth and her family are never tired of working hard, all for her children. She financed Marilou, her first child, a solo parent,  a sari - sari store at Brgy. Mararag. Now Marilou was able to build her abode and raises pigs from the income of the store.

Also, she lent Michael, her second child now based in Davao the multicab and capital for his buy and sell of mango business.

She is also into retailing of gasoline. Louie Paul, her fifth child manages it. She got her supplies from Phoenix Company of which gives her an additional average income of P5,000.00 per week. Louie also helped in her mom’s buying and selling of palay.

Her two other children, Cyril Beth and Cyrix John, take care of the three sows on its way this December and January and six hogs. Cyril Beth is a college graduate while Cyrix is a third year Criminology student.

“These are all for them, we are doing this to give them a better life which we were deprived of,“ Libeth proudly said.
Future plans

The Polinar Agrivet Supply 2 in San Agustin does well. With its promising response  from the market, Libeth plans to expand to other neighbouring municipalities. Before the year ends, she is dedicated to open another branch for her retailing business, the Polinar Agrivet Supply 3 for his second child to manage. Now, she is busy looking for a strategic space where to put up her 3rd Agrivet store.

On her success

“I owe it all to Him. I am grateful of this privilege, His abundance given. I am forever grateful for those who became instruments of our success. To the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the DSWD and to the SLP, my second family I considered, thank you very much without forgetting of course the QualiFeeds,” Libeth tearfully narrated.

“SLP completely changed our life. It gave our family a chance of a lifetime.  Who would lend us capital with no interest? It’s only SLP. If chances knock you really have to gamble, that’s what I did. Never to be afraid to take chances, you’ve just got to have confidence in yourself,” she continued. (DSWD-13/PIA-Caraga)


Tagalog News: Budget Department nagtatrabaho kasama ang Kongreso para sa maayos na pagpasa ng supplemental budget, sabi ng Palasyo

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Disyembre 2, 2014 (PIA) - Ang Department of Budget and Management (DBM) ay nakikipag-ugnayan sa Kongreso para sa maayos na pagpasa ng P23.3 bilyon na supplemental budget, isang opisyal ng Palasyo ang nagsabi noong Lunes.

"Ginagawa ng administrasyon sa pamamagitan ng DBM, ang pakikipag-ugnayan sa ating mga mambabatas at sa mga lider ng Kongreso para magkaroon ng pagkakaunawaan kung ano ang pinakamainam na landas na tatahakin hinggil dito sa pagkakaroon ng supplemental budget," sabi ni Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. sa mga mamamahayag sa isang panayam sa media sa Malakanyang.

Sinabi ni Secretary Coloma na ang DBM ay nakipag-ugnayan sa komitiba ng mababang Kongreso at sa komitiba ng pananalapi ng Senado tungkol sa pagpasa ng karagdagang badyet para sa taong 2014.paliwanag niya.

“Pangkaraniwang proseso ‘yan kapag mayroong mga panukalang batas na patungkol sa pananalapi o budget. Kinukuha ng Kongreso ‘yung datos at impormasyon mula sa DBM at ito ang ginagamit nila sa pagpapasya,” paliwanag niya.

Sa P2.6 trilyon na pambansang badyet para sa taong 2015, sabi niya na ito ay na aprobahan ng parehong Kongreso.

“Hinihintay na lang ang pagdaraos ng bicameral conference committee meeting, kung hindi ako nagkakamali, ngayon (Tuesday, December 2) ito nakatakda,” dagdag niya.

Ang DBM ay nagmungkahi ng 2014 Supplemental Appropriations para magamit sa mga proyekto ng pinunduhan ng binurang Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) na natapos na pero hindi pa nabayaran.

Ang supplemental budget ay siya ring sasagot sa gagastusin para sa mga pagsaayon ng mga lugar na nasalanta ng bagyong Yolanda at pati na rin sa paghahanda ng pagho-host ng 2015 Asia Pacific Economic Coopefation (APEC). (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Cebuano News: ‘Light Up Carmen 2014’ gidugok

By Roselyn Exaure/Rolando Lopez

CARMEN, Agusan del Norte, Dec. 2 (PIA) - Nahimong nagmabulukon ug gidugok sa kinabag-ang duot sa katawhan ang gipahigayon nga "Light Up Carmen 2014" sa lungsod niadtong Domingo.

Libuan ka mga tawo ang miduyog aron sa pagsaksi sa maong tinuig nga kasaulugan kon diin ang lungsod sa Carmen usa sa mga lugar nga gikahinamang adunay maanindot nga talan-awon panahon sa kapaskuhan, pinaagi sa maanindot nga mga dekorasyong pang-pasko sa tibook nga gambalay sa munisipyo.

Nanguna sa pag switch-on sila si Agusan del Norte Governor Maria Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba, Agusan del Norte 2nd District Congressional Office chief of staff Gloria L. Pabillore, Agusan del Norte Police Provincial Office director Francisco D. Marbel ug Carmen municipal mayor Ramon M. Calo.

Sumala pa ni Mayor Calo nga abli alang sa tanang dumudoong ang ilang munisipyo panahon sa kagabhion nga buot mosaksi sa maanindot nga talan-awon, kon diin naandan na usab kini nga dugukon sa mga katawhan dili lamang sa lungsod sa Carmen apan sa mga kasikbit usab nga mga lugar. (LGUAgusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)