Monday, December 29, 2014

TS ‘Seniang’ brings heavy rain, strong winds, displaces 2,403 individuals in Caraga

By Nora L. Molde

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 29 (PIA) – Four of Caraga region's provinces are placed under Public Storm Warning Signal (PSWS) number two as Tropical Storm (TS) Seniang enters the region early Monday morning.

Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (RDRRMC) chairperson and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) regional director Liza Mazo has recorded a total of 623 families or 2,403 individuals who were evacuated in 34 identified evacuation centers of the region, as of 11:30 a.m. today.

Tropical Storm ‘Seniang’ made landfall at 3:45 a.m. at Barangay Bakulin, Hinatuan in the province of Surigao del Sur.

As of reporting time, impassable roads and bridges are reported in the provinces of Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur and Butuan City. Power outage is also experienced in the provinces of Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Butuan City.

According to Mazo, different areas of the region are currently experiencing interruption in power and landline connections.

All local DRRMCs have already activated 24/7 their Operation Centers and continue to monitor the weather situation especially in the low lying, flood-prone and landslide-prone areas.

In Butuan City, rescue teams, rescue and heavy equipment are on standby for possible rescue operations.

Also, Agusan del Norte PDRRM officer Erma Suyo reported that PDRRMC chairperson governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba has issued an Executive Order No. 42 for the activation of PDRRMC and Incident Command System Incident Management Team on December 28.

Suyo also reported that the municipalities of Jabonga and Carmen have already conducted pre-emptive evacuation to families along riverbanks and flood-prone areas.

In an interview over the Philippine Information Agency’s Advanced Forward Emergency Broadcasting System (PIA AFEBS) Suyo said that as of 7:30 a.m., nine families or 43 individuals from Poblacion Jabonga, 80 families in Nasipit were already evacuated to safer grounds. Forced evacuation is currently ongoing in Brgy. Magsaysay, Jabonga. The local disaster councils are also continuously monitoring and local government units (LGUs) have prepositioned the relief goods.

All roads in the province are passable so far.

The Cabadbaran City Emergency Response Team (CERT) in the province of Agusan del Norte together with the BDRRMC of Brgy. La Union also facilitated the preemptive evacuation of around 20 families with houses built of light materials in Purok 1 due to the threat of flooding and strong winds brought by TS Seniang, Suyo added.

Butuan City mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr. also said that there are 149 families that are already evacuated and 3,500 family packs are ready for distribution. “Let's continue to pray for the safety of our fellow Caraganons. God bless Butuan," he said.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) Caraga Regional and Provincial Disaster Operations and Monitoring Center were also activated. Red alert status was raised and Search and Rescue (SAR) personnel and equipment are placed on standby for possible deployment.

Meanwhile, as of 6 a.m. today, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga has 22,000 family food packs now available at the Tiniwisan Warehouse in addition to the 14,852 prepositioned family packs in the strategic areas of each province. Selected workers have been mobilized for the continuing packing of goods with target 30,000 standby family packs.

Butuan City and the province of Agusan del Norte officials have declared suspension of work in both public and private offices except banking, utilities and agencies involved with public safety. (PIA-Caraga)


News Feature: SLP Congress 2014: 'Sama - samang Isulong ang Layuning Pangkabuhayan para sa Pagbabago'

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 29 (PIA) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) celebrated recently its grand year – end activity dubbed as the 3rd Annual Congress 2014 (Sama-samang isulong and Layuning Pangkabuhayan para sa Pagbabago) at the Robinson’s Place here.

The 3rd Annual Congress is designed to showcase the products and services engaged by the program participants from the different provinces in the region and link them to the market with sustainable demand.

It also underscored the sharing of best practices and stories from all successful social – entrepreneurs like Lilibeth Polinar of Marihatag, Surigao del Sur who was awarded as the Best Individual micro – enterprise all over the Philippines and also the Water Lily SKA Association of the municipality of San Luis, Agusan del Sur best group enterprise during the recently concluded “Bangon Kabuhayan” awarding ceremony held in Manila last month.

To recognize the efforts and support of DSWD partners, the Local Government Units (LGUs), National Government Agencies (NGAs), and other partners received the plaque of recognition. LGUs of Gigaguit, SdN; Las Nieves AdN; Lingig SdS; Loreto AdS; and Cagdianao, PDI received plaques of appreciation for being adjudged as supportive LGUs in the implementation of SLP over the years.

Also, the partner from national line agencies and academe received recognition for supporting the cause of the SLP in poverty reduction.

SLP Director Georgina Ann H. Hernandez from the National Project Management Office (NPMO) served as the keynote speaker of the said event.

Director Hernadez congratulated the region for coming – up with a grand activity which is another milestone marked by the department.

“Lingid po sa ating lahat na ang SLP Caraga po ang masasabi kong pinakamagaling sa lahat ng rehiyon. Palagi po silang nangunguna sa karamihan,” Director Hernandez shared.

Regional Director Minda B. Brigoli in her message said that the Congress in its 3rd year of implementation is a retrospect of the SLP achievements, glorifying the present blessing and preparing for next challenges on the pursuit of uplifting the socio – economic status of poor families and communities in the region.

She also added that DSWD’s passion is to engage all program participants into resource – based, market – driven, and socially acceptable microenterprise and employment opportunities the through purposive and collaborative efforts from the government and the beneficiaries.

The grand feast culminated with a fashion show of the different products from the selected SLP staff and Caraga models.


SLP has evolved over the years from mere capital assistance of SEA – Kaunlaran to comprehensive capacity building program of the participants. Program participants are not only provided with financial capital for their micro enterprise but as well as linking them to resource – based and market – driven opportunities by way of them to institutional markets. (DSWD-13/PIA-Caraga)