Thursday, February 26, 2015

PhilRice Agusan is best branch station anew

REMEDIOS T. ROMULADEZ, Agusan del Norte, Feb. 26 (PIA) - PhilRice Agusan received the top prize in the 2014 Best Station contest – an annual internal competition organized by the Institute to elevate and improve the modalities in promoting new technologies in rice production. It also aims to highlight the best-fit practices of the stations in rice Research and Development (R&D).

PhilRice Agusan was also recognized for successfully and creatively executing the Intensified Rice-Based Agri-bio Systems (IRBAS) program in support of PhilRice’s major advocacy, the Rural Transformation Movement (RTM).

RTM aims to help reduce poverty by promoting diversified farming and agri-business ventures. Nucleus estates will be put up to give farmers access to support services including training, inputs, custom services, technologies, product development and packaging, and marketing.

“I thank the PhilRice management for organizing this contest and all my colleagues for keeping our station beautiful,” said Abner T. Montecalvo, station manager.

PhilRice Midsayap and Batac placed second and third, respectively, and were cited for creating a strategic research direction and for continually improving their internal systems and processes in accordance with Integrated Management Systems standards. PhilRice has three ISO certifications.

The following awards were also given: Most Improved Field Day to Los Baños; Most Interactive Field Day to Negros; and Most Innovative External Linkage to Bicol.

The judges traveled across the country to evaluate each station based on the following: IRBAS (Rural Transformation Campaign Execution); level of mechanization; organization of field day; varietal demo; client satisfaction; innovations; internal processes and financial reports; housekeeping and safety; state of infrastructure; income generation; and station management.

The judges were Dr. Rex Navarro, former director for communications of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT); Dr. Genaro San Valentin and Thelma Padolina, PhilRice consultants; Charlene Tan, founder of Good Food Community; and Donald Mateo, from the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech).

PhilRice Agusan had earlier received the Best Field Day (2011) and Best Station awards (2013).

The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on November 5, 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos. (PhilRice Web Team/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


TESDA, LGU-Dinagat Islands to implement skills upgrading thru training cum program

By Ma. Jane A. Mayola

SAN JOSE, Dinagat Islands, Feb. 26 (PIA) - The Provincial Labor Employment and Manpower Office (PLEMO) of Dinagat Islands in partnership with the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) will implement the Skills Upgrading thru Training Cum Program for the Issuance of Recognition of Prior Training (RPT)-TESDA.

In this program, skilled workers who are working under existing private or government projects may acquire Certificate of Competency or NC-II (National Certificate) from TESDA.

According to PLEMO officer Emma Mausisa, the training cum issuance of recognition program of TESDA is a strategic program for skilled workers like carpenters, masons, plumbers and such, to maximize their effort because aside from earning on their work, they will also be given TESDA certificate if they complete the number of hours required.

She said that the program also aims to institutionalize the group of skilled workers in the province in order to promote globally competitive manpower skills. (SDR/PIC-Dinagat Islands/PIA-Dinagat Islands)


Feature: What the Olivan’s has to say? #KayaKoangPagbabago

By Ryan M. Tapayan

“Kapikas,” that’s how Melodie of General Luna in the Islands of Siargao, Surigao del Norte describes Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Melodie D. Olivan is married to Junjie G. Olivan. The couple is blessed with four children namely, Lea Jane, James, Mia Jade and Jirah.  Melodie’s family is one of the self-sufficient families in the locality. Having blessed with broods, the couple meets both ends to sustain the needs of their children.

Junjie is a full time fisherman, but occasionally works as a driver during storms and rainy season. Melodie on the other hand does the household chores and is managing their sari-sari store. She also manages and heads their group SEA-K financed bigasan termed as Rose SKA Cooperative.

“Dako kaayo ang tabang nga taghatag sa ako sa Pantawid Pamilya. Mao gyud ni ang nagsugud sa tanan. Kaniadto, usahay dili kami makakaon ug tulo ka beses sa isa kaadlaw. Kaisa lang gyud, pag ting-panihapon bag-o kami mangatulog. Lugaw pa gyud. Basta lang naay masulud sa tiyan, okay na (Pantawid Pamilya has helped us a lot. It is Pantawid that has started everything. Before, we barely eat three times in a day. Just “lugaw” {local way of cooking rice in a sugar} for a dinner in a day before we sleep. As long as we have something to eat at night, it’s okay),"  Melodie relayed while she sheds in tears.

Melodie’s life as she shared it to the [Pantawid Pamilya] has lightened up when their family was included in the first cycle of assessment of the agency's Listahanan, an information system that identifies who and where the poor are.

“Mura gyud to ug blessing in disguise. Gi-interview lang mi ug isa ka grupo ug enyumereytors. Nangutana sila ug daghan kaayo nga mga butang nga nag hisgut mahitungud sa among kinabuhi, stadu sa smong kinabuhi, ug biskan man sa among pamilya. Abli kaayo ang among pagpanaghisgot. Ang among pag-inistoryahanay naghatag sa amo ug unsa man gani ang naa sa amo karon. Salamat kaayo sa inyo, salamat kaayo sa paghatag sa amo ug paglaum. Salamat sa paghatag sa amo ug kinabuhi. Salamat sa pagpakita sa amo nga kami pud pwedi mulambo. Karon, biskan sa kapit-us, ang tanan nay kabilinggan. Tungud kay kining tanan nag andam man kanamo sa pag-atubang sa mga kalisud sa kinabuhi. Mga kalisud nga akong gituohan, nga kung kami mulihok isip usa ka pamilya, kaya namo tanan (It was like a blessing in disguise. We were just interviewed by a group of enumerators. They asked us with so many things concerning our life, social status and even about our family affairs. The conversation was open. Indeed, that talk gave us what we have now. Thank you [Pantawid Pamilya] , thank you for giving us hope. Thank you for giving us life. Thank you for showing us that we too can shine. Now, though life is so dramatic, everything is worth it, because these things have thought us to prepare ourselves to the coming struggles. Struggles that I am sure, if we work as a family, we can do everything)," Melodie shared.  

When asked about dedication, inspiration?

“Ginoo jud. Kung wala siya, wala gyud ning tanan. Ikaduha, ang akong pamilya. Sila ang akong kusog. Sila pud ang akong inspirasyon (It is God. Without him, we can’t achieve what we have now. Secondly, my family. They are my strengths. Also, they are my inspiration)," Melodie happily relayed.

Melodie is active in all community activities. When she started attending their discussions on Family Development Session (FDS), Melodie convinced her husband Junjie to get himself involve to all barangay related affairs. She realized that getting involved is her family’s contribution to the improvements of their barangay. Now, because of the Olivan’s leadership and dedication to public service, their family was chosen by their fellows [beneficiaries] to head their bigasan sa bayan [loaned amount from SLP].

Did they respond well to the conditionalities of the Program? 

Olivan family has learned the principle of commitment. They considered every condition set by the program as written scriptures. They commit themselves to become a model to others when it comes to sending their children to school, attending FDS, sending their children to health centers and etc.

“Mahadlok gyud siya mu-absent [Pantawid Pamilya]. Dako gyud ang iyang kadasig sa pag apil-apil sa mga FDS. Maayo siya mu-atiman sa among mga anak, ug sa ako pud isip iyang kapikas. Karon, taas na ang iyang panglantaw para sa among pamilya, ug labaw na gyud para sa among mga anak. Siguro, tungud na sa iyang nakat-unan sa FDS (She is afraid to skip FDS meeting. Melodie has showed great interest in joining FDS. She takes good care of our children. She also takes good care of me as his husband. Now, Melodie has high hopes to our family; much more to our children)," Junjie happily relayed.

Life is indeed full of dramatic pause. Sometimes we fall, and sometimes we rise. To rise amidst the difficulties in life is what matters most. Like the Olivan’s, other Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries especially those at the survival level are encourage to do something for good. They [Survival beneficiaries] are encouraged to strive harder and meet both ends to reach self-sufficiency. Before, the Olivan’s own nothing. Now, because of the many interventions they received from other programs [SLP,KALAHI-CIDDS,FDS,Supplemental Feeding,PhilHealth and etc.], their family has owned a sari-sari store, has bought two pump-boats; bought one single motorcycle, and has started building their house.

Life is so dramatic indeed, all you have to do is to learn how to tango when it is ballad, and learn how to cha-cha when it’s contemporary. They are the Olivan’s. Everyone is encouraged to learn from them #KayaKoangPagbabago. (Social Marketing Unit/DSWD-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


Surigao Norte town commits continued support to Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA next cycle

By Eunice G. Montaos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 26 (PIA) - The local government unit (LGU) of Gigaquit in Surigao del Norte, through Mayor Carlos M. Egay, Sr., expressed on February 23, 2015 at the Women’s Center in the said town, its continued support for the next cycle of the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services-PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn (Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA) project.

The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA in the year 2015 was successfully inked on the same date by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Caraga and the LGU of Gigaquit.

Through this newly-renewed partnership, each of the 13 barangays in Gigaquit will utilize a grant amounting to P300,000 from the program, and the municipal and barangay LGUs are expected to provide a local counterpart contribution (LCC) as stipulated in the MOA.

The proposed sub-projects of the recipient conflict-affected barangays are the following: construction and installation of electric-powered street lights, installation of solar power street lights, construction of water system level II (gravity-driven), construction of drainage canal, construction of solar dryer, and other peace and development projects.

Mayor Egay, in his expression of commitment, thanked the workers of the DSWD and the partners of the LGU for their effective contributions to the successful implementation of the sub-projects of Kalahi-CIDSS in the municipality.

“I am truly impressed on the projects of Kalahi-CIDSS in Gigaquit because all were implemented with good results. Rest assured that we will do the same as we have done in the past. We will continue our commitment to put necessary resources needed for the completion of the Project in this next cycle,” Egay emphasized.

Deputy regional program manager Ester V. Villamor, representing DSWD-Caraga regional director Minda B. Brigoli, congratulated the LGU for their good performance on Project implementation and for being identified as one of the recipients of the GAPAS Award (Model LGU implementing Kalahi-CIDSS category) which was distributed during the 64th anniversary celebration of the Department in the region.

Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA Project aims to empower local communities through improved participation in local governance and involvement in the preparation and implementation of poverty-reduction projects. (Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


Army troopers in clash with NPA rebels in SurSur

By Maj Christian C. Uy

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City, Feb. 26 (PIA) -  The 4th Infantry Division troopers clashed anew with more or less 15 New People’s Army (NPA) at about 2:10 p.m., February 25, 2014 at Sitio Mabong, Barangay Caromata in San Miguel, Surigao del Sur, the third clash with the NPAs within the week. 

The exchange of gunfires lasted for about 15 minutes afterwhich the NPAs fled the area leaving their one comrade dead behind. The troops also recovered one AK-47 rifle with one bandoleer.

The first clash happened last February 23 at about 12:15 p.m. wherein troops of 26th Infantry Battalion led by 2Lt. Bryan Villena at Brgy. Padiay, Sibagat, Agusan del Sur. The exchange of gunfires lasted for 10 minutes after which the NPAs scampered leaving their makeshift camp and some ammos of AK 47.

Another clash happened on the same day at about 3:10 p.m. wherein troops from the 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion under Cpt. Romeo Ferdiand Bautista were up against more or less 30 NPAs also in the vicinity of Brgy. Padiay, Sibagat, Agusan del Sur. The exchange of gunfires lasted for about 40 minutes after which the NPAs abandoned their camp and fled the area. Troops were able to recover four Anti personnel Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and other war paraphernalia. The NPA camp can accommodate about 50 persons.

These series of security operations were being conducted following reports from concerned civilians that the NPAs are consolidating along these areas possibly to conduct atrocities in the nearby areas. These areas are known to be strongholds of the NPAs known to be the planning areas of the NPAs before conducting atrocities against the people.

“With the continued support of our fellow Filipinos, we are now able to drive away the NPAs in their strongholds. We will continue to do this in order to prevent these criminals from planning and harming our communities,” said 4th Infantry Division commander MGen. Oscar T. Lactao.

“To our fellow countrymen who are still advocating violence as a means of change we encourage you to lay down your arms and together we will help change our communities for the better through peaceful means,” MGen. Lactao added. (PA/PIA-Caraga)