2.08.2015

Friday, February 6, 2015

PIA Mindanao regions to launch official mobile app

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 6 (PIA) – In preparation for the future challenges of the breakthroughs of technology in digital age, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) regional offices of the island Mindanao propel in introducing new specialized platform called ‘PIA Mindanao’ mobile application, a comprehensive source of information through the use of smartphones, tablets and iPads.

PIA Northern and Northeastern Mindanao cluster head and PIA Caraga regional director Abner Caga underscored that it is the first and distinct mobile app that caters local news and updates per region in Mindanao.  It is tailored to benefit particularly Mindanaoans and everyone concerned. “This app is conceptualized in a manner that other PIA platforms can be conveniently accessed at any time and in any place by mobile people who needs mobile app to keep track of the latest news, weather forecast, and other relevant updates that will help better ride out a disaster,” he said.

Initially introduced as ‘PIA Caraga’ mobile app sometime in December 2014, said app has gained a positive rating as carefully monitored by the PIA Caraga IT and maintenance team. It was even presented and adopted already by the Caraga regional disaster risk management council (RDRRMC).

“The mobile app created and introduced by PIA Caraga is an innovation that will contribute to the attainment of PIA’s mission to inform different communities of government programs, projects and services. This is another platform that we can utilize and will make PIA regions in Mindanao take the lead,” said PIA-10 regional director Thelma Oliver.

PIA-9 regional director Noemi Edaga also expressed that PIA Caraga’s launch of an additional platform is significant in building a strong Mindanao considering that communication is vital in building a strong republic.  “Said launch of the app will be preceeded by its pilot-testing by PIA Mindanao cluster for a foretaste of an enhanced delivery of information and government advocacies in one setting,” she added.

PIA Mindanao personnel claimed it as a product of mutual cooperation and altruistic concern for the public being served since the app was basically created as a life-saving instrument where it can help motivate people to practice resiliency and educate them about preparedness measures for them to respond accordingly especially during disasters and calamities by downloading the app.

“This comprehensive and inclusive mobile platform is proof that the PIA exerts as much effort we can muster to reach out to as many people in Mindanao and every Filipino in the country and all over the world with very fresh and relevant information,” said PIA-12 regional director Olivia Sudaria.

The app is a commissioned project of PIA Mindanao where PIA Caraga region started to generate and design its content and painstakingly invested the passion and time to fix glitches until it is ready for conversion into ‘PIA Mindanao’ from ‘PIA Caraga’ mobile app.

Meanwhile, PIA Southern, Central and Western Mindanao cluster head and PIA-11 regional director Efren Elbanbuena described it as a Mobile Governance, a strategic use of government services and applications which are possible using mobile phones, tablets and wireless internet infrastructure. “We want to ensure that the application distribution platforms are available to people via mobile technologies using cellular phone/tablet devices. This is a promising intervention in providing information right at your fingertips,” bared Elbanbuena.

Embedded in the mobile app is the icon of Advanced Forward Emergency Broadcasting System (AFEBS) Network, the agency’s  information and advocacy station live streaming 24/7, where disaster management tips, interviews and discussions on significant issues can be heard. Directory of government offices, maps, news releases, textblast messages, photo sharing features can also be viewed and used.

To enhance more the information dissemination capabilities, PIA Caraga along with other PIA Mindanao regions will soon establish and launch the ‘One Mindanao TV’, a simultaneous live newscast and an online television news program with news and current affairs coming from the five regions in Mindanao through the utilization of the Internet Video Live Stream. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


Habitat for Humanity turns-over 40 houses to SurSur village residents

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 6 (PIA) – The Habitat for Humanity Philippines with partner stakeholders had turned-over on Thursday the 40 houses to residents of Barangay Talisay, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.

The Habitat for Humanity took the chance to help the victims of the recent typhoons that hit Caraga region which include Hinatuan. It is a rebuild project of the said organization.

Atty. Abdussabor Sawadjaan Jr., regional head of Habitat for Humanity Philippines - Davao and Caraga regions acknowledged its partners who helped and donated funds for the construction of the houses for the residents in the said barangay.

"We are very happy to see that finally you (beneficiaries) now have a decent home to live with your families after being hit by several typhoons. Through the support and donations of our partners, we were able to gather funds and now, the local government of Hinatuan will turn-over it to each one of the 40 recipients in this barangay... you take good care of your houses and may you live peacefully in this community," expressed Sawadjaan.

Charlie Ayco, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Philippines central office graced the activity and recalled how the organization has gathered donations for the construction of the houses to help victims of the recent typhoons that hit the area.

“I am here to personally see your new houses and to share with you the happiness that you all feel now especially that you now have your own decent houses through the help of our partners who never fail to support us in our endeavors. This is also a concerted effort of our Habitat officials from Davao and Caraga regions,” Ayco highlighted.

Also, Celso Tambasacan, barangay captain of the said area expressed his warm thanks to the Habitat for Humanity Philippines and to its partners for extending help by building houses for the residents who were victims of the recent typhoon. "This is a blessing to all of us here who will benefit from this project of the Habitat. Thank you very much Habitat for Humanity Philippines for your effort in giving our people new home to live. May you be blessed more and be able to help more people who need shelter," he said.

Yolanda Espijo, chairperson of the Upper Talisay Housing Cooperative assured the Habitat and the funders of the project that the beneficiaries will take good care of their new houses, maintain its cleanliness, and will never forget how Habitat changed their lives.

"We are very thankful to the Habitat for Humanity Philippines for giving us hope and a home to live with our families. We truly appreciate your time and effort," Espijo articulated.

Meanwhile, as partners of the Habitat in the rebuild project of 40 houses in barangay Talisay, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, the representatives of Lutheran World Relief and San Miguel Foundation also gave their inspirational messages to the beneficiaries, and encouraged them to be disaster-resilient community. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


Loyola residents in Hinatuan receive water filter from Habitat

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 6 (PIA) – In time with the house dedication and turn-over ceremony of the 40 houses to the residents in Barangay Talisay, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, the Habitat for Humanity Philippines also turned-over the water filter in Barangay Loyola, of same municipality. 

The Loyola Dream Housing Cooperative welcomed all the Habitat officials and guests, and recognized their valuable efforts in providing them the water filter so they can drink clean water and prevent different water-related diseases.

Charlie Ayco, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Philippines central office also commended the active participation of the Loyola residents in community activities and reminded them to help one another.

“I am very much thankful to our very supportive partners like the San Miguel Foundation who donated funds for us to provide you with these houses you are already living, as well as to our water purifier donor Johanne Bacosmo. Big thanks also to Habitat Butuan officials for their assistance and for introducing other initiatives for the Loyola residents. With this water filter provided to us, we can be assured that our children could drink clean water. We are also happy to know that the local government unit of this municipality is very supportive,” expressed Ayco.

Ayco further bared that there will be skills training for the residents in the said area to capacitate them.      

Edilberto Cacho, chairman of Loyola Dream House Cooperative in Barangay Loyola, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur recognized the unified efforts of the Habitat in providing them the life saver water filter for their barangay. Several water backpacks were also given to the residents.


"We will never forget what you have shared with us. The houses and facilities that you provided us mean so much to us. We, the beneficiaries may leave this world one day, but our children's children can still utilize all these things. We hoped to continue our good relationship as partners in community building," stressed Cacho. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


New commander assumes 402nd Brigade top post

By Noel B. Najarro

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 6 (PIA) - The 402nd “Stingers” Brigade of the Philippine Army, under the 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division (4ID) has a new commander after a change of command was conducted on Wednesday at its headquarters in Camp Bancasi, Brgy. Bancasi this city.

In a turn-over rites presided by 4ID commanding general Maj. Gen. Oscar T. Lactao, outgoing brigade chief BGen. Jonathan G. Ponce turned over his post to the incoming commanding officer of the said brigade, Colonel Isidro L. Purisima. BGen. Ponce will be moving up to the Army’s national headquarters in Camp Emilio Aguinaldo and assume post at the G-9 (Retirees and Reservists Affairs Office).

The Wednesday turn over rites was attended not only by the top Army officials from the 4ID, Battalion Commanders and regional officers but also by their counterparts from the Philippine National Police led by Police Regional Office 13 deputy regional director for administration PCSupt. Keith Ernald Singian and PSSupt. Greg Pimentel, the PRO 13 Chief of Directorial Staff. Also in attendance were representatives from the local government units led by Congresswoman Arlene “Kaka” Bag-ao of Dinagat Island Province, Agusan del Norte Vice-Governor Ramon AJ Bungabong (representing Gov. Ma. Angelica Rosedell Amante-Matba) and Butuan City Mayor and Regional Peace and Order Chair Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr. Local Government Executives (LGEs), Local Government Unit representatives (LGUs) and Directors or representatives from the various government line agencies also attended the event.

Outgoing 402nd chief BGen. Ponce was awarded with a “Military Merit Medal” by Maj. Gen. Lactao, for his various accomplishments in the region from the time he assumed as 402nd commander on July 31, 2014 until January 22, this year. Other stakeholders also rendered to the outgoing chief their commendations and appreciations.

For his message, the outgoing 402nd chief cited among the major accomplishments during his term the declaration of the Province of Dinagat Islands as an “Insurgency-free Province,” on December 17, last year. According to him that soon to follow will be the declaration of the province of Agusan del Norte as “Conflict-manageable Province and Ready For Further Development.” He also pointed out that in this region the Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police have their inter-operabilty, close coordination and cooperation. He said that he assumed his post in Caraga at a time when the region was declared a national priority area, and believed that he and his brigade have done their best to make the region to what it is now in terms of security, peace, development and progress. He said he is leaving his post to a very capable officer in the person of Col. Purisma who can manage and led the brigade well into its direction and mission.

Col. Isidro Purisima, the incoming 402nd Brigade commander said he is very glad to become part of the “Team Diamond” and vowed to Maj. Gen. Lactao his one hundred percent commitment to the division’s direction, vision and mission. According to him, he is aware of the peace and security challenges of the region including that of the man-made and natural disasters. He said that among his thrusts will be to strengthen the “Bayanihan” program with the help and cooperation of the local government executives, the LGUs and other stakeholders. According to him, his brigade will continue the pursuit of peace and development by separating the lawless from the law-abiding, separate insurgents from their mass base, detach these insurgents from the indigenous people, revoke their influence from every sector of the society and isolate them from their sources of financial support. He said that he will relentlessly pursue armed threat in support of law enforcement. He calls on to the insurgents to abandon their armed struggle. “I’m not asking them to abandon their principles, but to abandon armed violence,” Purisma said.

Maj. Gen. Lactao for his inspirational message, noted the region LGU, agencies and stakeholders support to their military, the inter-operability of the military and the PNP and the other positive developments here which have contributed much to the region’s peace, progress and development.

He pointed out that the President had laid a peace and security campaign plan for the military and that is the “Internal Peace and Security Plan Bayanihan.” He said that the program focused not only on military solution but on many dimensions to achieve peace and security which includes social, economic, cultural and spiritual dimension. He also pointed out that the army is following the so-called “Army Transformation Road Map” which envisions a world class army by 2028. According to him that to realize this, the army must follow at least these imperatives which are: intensification of stakeholders engagements, perform their job without violating human rights and to work within the framework of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL), human rights and the rule of law, according to Lactao. (PNA/PIA-Caraga)


PNP, army seize firearms, ammunitions in clash with NPAs

By Noel B. Najarro

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 6 (PIA) - Government troopers composed of the elements from the 13th Regional Public Safety Battalion and the 402nd Brigade, Philippine Army encountered about 15 lawless elements, believed to be members of the New People’s Army (NPA) at Brgy. Rojales Carmen town in Agusan del Norte; at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

A turn-over of command ceremony was on-going at the 402nd Brigade headquarters in Brgy. Bancasi, between outgoing 402nd Brigade Commander BGen. Jonathan G. Ponce and the incoming Brigade Commander Col. Isidro Purisima, presided by 4ID commanding general Maj. Gen. Oscar T. Lactao when the news about the encounter erupted.

PSSupt. Joseph D. Plaza, Battalion Commander of the 13th RPSB in an interview said that his personnel and the 402nd Brigade elements were conducting combat operations when some local residence in the area reported the presence of some heavily armed group. Plaza said the group might be up for something when the joint team of Army and PNP who responded engaged them in the said area, which resulted to a 10 to 15-minutes firefight.

The joint police-military team pressed on the armed and forced them to scatter and flee towards the hinter areas of the said place leaving behind much of their supplies and armaments.

The operating troops searched the encounter site and recovered the following items left behind by the fleeing rebels: a) three units of M16 A1; b) three units of AK 47; c) a US Carbine Caliber 30; d) an M203 Grenade Launcher; e) two units Paltiks; f) 2 units Caliber .45 Pistols; g) several Rifle Grenades of 40mm; h) different ammunition and magazine of Rifles; i) Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs); j) assorted blasting caps; k) 50 meters of Electric Wire color black; l) Rifle Cleaning Kit; m) two bolos; n) a handsaw; o) two units homemade Rifles; p) five handheld radios; q) eight Bandoliers; r) 12 pieces assorted Cellular Phones with SIM Cards; s) several backpacks; t) subversive documents; u) various medicines and paraphernalia.

Col. Purisima, the newly assumed 402nd brigade commander who was with PSSupt. Plaza at the RPSB office during the presentation of the seized evidences also said in an interview that he commended the PNP and the Army in-operability, close coordination and cooperation which have resulted to such accomplishment. “We don’t necessarily would have wanted this to be this way, as we wanted things to be settled in a peaceful manner. But we need to do this as your security forces to isolate these lawless people from the public so that they could not continue on with their acts of violence,” Purisima said.

A member of the group was captured during the encounter and now is temporarily under the custody of the RPSB while appropriate case is being prepared for filing in court. (PNA/PIA-Caraga)


Butuanon cyclist to defend crown in Ronda Pilipinas

By Ma. Lourdes P. Apego

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 6 (PIA) - The reigning champion of the international cycling race Ronda Pilipinas Reimon M. Lapaza, a native of Butuan City, is set to defend his crown starting next week.

On Thursday, Lapaza together with his seven-member team will travel to Dipolog City to ride a boat for Dumaguete where the Visayas leg of the Ronda Pilipinas will be held starting February 11, 2015.

In an interview, the 28-year old international champion said he is not only excited but determined to become back to back champion of the prestigious competition sanctioned by Union Cycliste International.

Lapaza recalled joining and winning Ronda Pilipina  last year was not easy because he was able to compete not just with fellow Filipino cyclists but with cyclists from other countries in a competition that included 14 stages traversing more than two thousand kilometers of road.

On February 4, 2014, Lapaza's group was given a formal send off by the city government here headed by Councilor Virgilio G. NeryJr. of the Sangguniang Panlunsod Committee on Health, Sanitation and Sports.

Lapaza is joined by Lito Patayan (Coach), cyclists Leo Jade S. Lopez, Tots N. Ojeda, Cesar Lapaza Jr., Gilbert Enarciso, and John Earl Sagarino.

They were escorted by supporters Engr. Allan Taruc and Jose Enriquez.

It can be recalled that the Butuanon group blazed a trail in the history of national and international cycling with the records of former champions Rex Pitao, Virgilio Viray and Ernesto Sagarino. (Radyo ng Bayan Butuan/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Surigao Norte town now processes business name registration online

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Feb. 6 (PIA) - Businesses in the municipality of Bacuag, Surigao del Norte can now register their business names at their own locality with the municipal government’s implementation of the On-Line Business Registration Hub.

The said project is under the Bottom Up Budgeting (BUB) Program through the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

DTI-SDN provincial director Celestino L. Negapatan expressed his appreciation to the municipal government of Bacuag headed by mayor Sheila Mae O. Cebedo for their effort and cooperation in implementing the On-Line Business Registration Hub Project.  The project is the first of its kind in the province, aiming to help the local business community since business name registration is processed only at the DTI provincial office which entails more time and costs on their part.

He further explained that the said initiative is in support to the Business Permit Licensing System (BPLS) streamlining program which aims to reduce the processing time and costs in registering local permits.

Through the said project, one unit of internet-ready computer station was purchased and installed along with a printer and other accessories at the office of the Business Permit and Licensing Officer (BPLO).  The equipment will be used to process business name applications though the DTI’s Enhanced-Business Name Registration System (e-BNRS) which allows online processing of business name registration including electronic payment of fees through the use of Globe G-cash.

At the end of the activity, three business names were registered by the BPLO, each processed less than 15 minutes.

The trainings were conducted by DTI-SDN technical staff composed of Supervising Trade and Industry Development Specialist Rodrigo R. Matabaran, Business Registration Officer Fame M. Fazon, and Trade and Industry Development Specialist Ninebeth A. Romo. (DTI-13/PIA-Caraga)


PNP: SurSur stays under alert

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Feb. 6 (PIA) – The “February 4 bus bombing” in Hayanggabon, Claver, Surigao del Norte has prompted the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Surigao del Sur to place the entire province under alert status.  

During the incident, two persons have been reportedly injured.

Meanwhile, PS/Supt. Narciso Verdadero, acting provincial director of the PNP here stressed that the “Alert Memo” issued on the same day immediately following the incident will remain at least until the end of the month, extending up to the duration of the 2015 Caraga Regional Athletic Meet (CRAM).

Surigao del Sur is the host province to the upcoming regional athletic meet on February 22-27 for the second consecutive year.

The alert memo carries specific directives like the conduct of inspection on bus/jeep terminals; intensification of intelligence gathering; setting up of strong check- and chokepoints; strict implementation of Patrol 101; and maximizing police visibility especially in places of convergence to preempt similar incident, Verdadero pointed out.

Besides, all lower units were also instructed to closely coordinate with their army counterparts in their respective area of responsibility (AOR) to thwart any enemy hostile plans, he added. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


GOJO MWS program launched in Surigao del Sur

By Myra Q. Yu

SURIGAO DEL SUR, Feb. 6 (PIA) - The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) here successfully launched the newest assistance program named as GOJO-MWS in Tagbina, this province on February 4, 2015.

GOJO is a Japanese word for “damayan” in Tagalog or “dayong” in Visayan dialect which means mutual aid based on spirit of cooperation. Meanwhile, MWS stands for Membership Welfare Services.

This venture is implemented in the areas covered under Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Projects (ARISP) handled by the Barobo-Tagbina Peoples Organizations Network of Surigao del Sur (BATAPONSSUR) Federation of Cooperatives consist of: Progressive ARB Multi-purpose Coop (PARBEMCO), Mabuhay Kahayagan Coffee Growers Coop (MKCGC), Tagbina ARB Multi-purpose Coop (TAGAREBE MPC), Nagkahiusang Mag-uuma sa Guinhalinan Coop. (NAGMASAGUICO), and Batunan Farmers Coop (BAFAMCO).

In his message, Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer Benjamin M. Mataksil encouraged the coop officials to recruit more members to avail the program as he appreciated this endeavour as good practices of helping one another both in times of happiness or difficulties.

As explained by the representative of BABAs Foundation Inc., DAR's partner non-government organization (NGO), the program will provide unique assistance products such as birthday gift, maternity assistance for first child caesarean, partial disability, calamity (fire case), and wedding anniversary gift which are not offered by any existing insurance companies.

The BATAPONSSUR Federation is now accepting interested individuals who are members of cooperatives/organizations to become a GOJO member. (NGBT/DAR SDS/PIA-Surigao del Sur)