Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Duty bearers’ training slated in AgNor town

By Nora L. Molde

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 25 (PIA) – The CINEMOBILE project of the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation-Integrated Development Center, Inc. (JPIC-IDC) will conduct a two-day Duty Bearers’ Training in Handling Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Cases on March 12-13, 2015 at Amontay Beach Resort, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte.

According to Cinemobile Phase III - JPIC-IDC, Inc. information and advocacy officer Joeruce O.. Butcon, the training will be participated by the Prosecutors, Social Workers, Women and Children Protection Desk (WCPD) Officer, Investigation Officers, Criminal Investigation Group (CIDG), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Anti-Cyber Unit.

The JPIC-IDC is a faith–inspired non-government organization that envisions in helping people and communities in achieving its holistic development.

Butcon said, JPIC-IDC is currently serving thru CINEMOBILE Phase III project, which aims for the “Capacity development of structures and competencies of state and non-state actors to fight against human trafficking in Caraga region, Mindanao” in which the project areas are the two provinces of Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur particularly in the areas of Butuan City, Cabadbaran City, Nasipit, Bayugan City, municipalities of Bunawan and Prosperidad.

“With this new project venture, we will continue our concerted efforts in combating commercial sexual exploitation through trafficking in which we will respond, protect and prevent sexual abuse and exploitation of women and children,” said JPIC-IDC information/advocacy officer Jose D. Butcon. (PIA-Agusan del Norte)


DTI urges public to avail services of accredited repair shops

By Rodrigo R. Matabaran

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Feb. 25 (PIA) - The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) encouraged the general public to avail of services from electronic and automotive repair shops accredited by the agency for the general welfare and safety.

In its latest monitoring, a number of repair shops are operating without the DTI accreditation as they were not able to comply important requirements including that of having TESDA accredited service technician, basic important tools and equipment, and the prescribed comprehensive general liability insurance cover, among others.

For the protection of customers, insurance coverage in required for service and repair shops establishments just in case there will be losses and damages of the items or equipment deposited in the shops during fires and/or other incidents.

DTI Surigao del Norte provincial director Celestino L. Negapatan advised the public that before availing services they should ask the establishment for their valid accreditation documents.

Interested parties for the updated list of accredited service and repair shops establishment in the province of Surigao of Surigao del Norte, they can visit the DTI Provincial Office at 2nd Floor Simtoco Building, Burgos Street, this city. (SDR/DTI-Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Feature: Alcantara: Keeping the sports emblem blaze

By Carlos Chow Corres

According to Michael Phelps, one can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the further you get. Arven Alcantara is an exemplar of Phelps’ maxim. A simple school boy transformed into one of the brighter stars in the field of taekwondo. Today, he is an inspiration to the multitude of aspiring sports enthusiasts.

Born in San Miguel, Surigao del Sur and spent elementary education at San Miguel Central Elementary School, Arven was just a kid who loved joining school’s athletic events. He spent first year high school at San Miguel Comprehensive National high School, transferred second year and finished high school at Jacinto P. Elpa National high School, Tandag City, school year 2012-2013.

During his high school years, he was a yearly consistent gold medalist for taekwondo in both provincial and regional athletic meets. He set record for Caraga Region in Taekwondo when he bagged gold medal in the 2010 Palarong Pambansa at Dapitan City.

With his determination to continue his dreams, he conquered the national sports scene. Having known of his exemplary performance in taekwondo, he became a member of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines. He received numerous recognition and awards, to include: Most Valuable Player Best of the best; Silver medalist (welter Weight Division) UAAP Season 76; Gold medalist (Light Weight Division) Philippine National Games, and Gold Medalist in various university-based taekwondo competitions.

His performance was not only known in the Philippines but even in the international sports society. He grabbed gold medal in ASEAN University Games held at Palembang, Indonesia giving credits to team Philippines. Alcantara was also one of the strongest members of the Phil-Smart team vied for the 2014 World University Taekwondo Championships at Hohhot, China.

Currently, he is a third year student at National University (NU) taking up Bachelor of Science in Business Administration majoring Marketing Management. He is a Taekwondo team captain of National University, Manila, a member of National University Bulldogs and National Philippine Team for Taekwondo.

Arven Alcantara is a person worth emulating. His determination and optimism are the most essential traits that aspiring sports individuals must emulate. As he lit the urn with blazing flame during the 18th Caraga Regional Athletic Meet in Tandag City, the message stances that every athlete should keep the fire of discipline burning and spirit of sportsmanship ablaze. (NGBT/DepEd Division of SDS/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Feature: Remote AgSur Higaonon community defines inclusive development

By Eunice G. Montaos

As they hear the clang of the distant bell, the loud resonant repeating noise signal that they should gather in their multi-purpose hall located in the heart of their village.

This had been the practice of the Higaonons in Barangay Kinamaybay, Esperanza in Agusan del Sur during their implementation of the Kalahi-CIDSS program which calls for assemblies to encourage the maximum involvement of the residents.

Kalahi-CIDSS or Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan- Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services is one of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD's) big ticket poverty-reduction programs which mainly focuses in the empowerment of ordinary citizens by way of their inclusion and active participation in local governance and key community activities meant to address local poverty issues. It uses the Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach which ensures the inclusion of the Indigenous People (IP) and other vulnerable sectors in community decision-making.

Community involvement

Samuel A. Ampahan, 31, serving as a chairperson of the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC), opens about his unforgettable experiences in the Kalahi-CIDSS program. He narrates how the residents obediently and actively join the assemblies conducted by the facilitators of the said program. With their participation in the said activities, they were able to articulate the kind of sub-projects that the whole community needs and were deprived of having been situated in a far-flung area.

Samuel reminisces that it was hard to organize a pool of volunteers from their community because most of the villagers were afraid to affiliate due to lack of education, and some are even “no read-and-no write.”

“Hadlok man gud mi sa una kay wala baya jud mi kahibalo intawon unsa ang amoa buhaton, mga ultimo ra baya jud mi nga mga lumad (We were afraid before because we don’t know anything and we do not know what are we going to do, we are just natives in this place),” expresses Jeny S. Gallego, 45, one of the members of the barangay council.

But nonetheless, as Samuel shares, they were patiently encouraged by their community facilitators to venture in joining as volunteers for the program. They were promised to be taught and guided well along the implementation.

Perks of involvement

“Sa taas nga higayon nga nag-boluntaryo ko, natudluan ko sa mga standard ug regulasyon sa proyekto ug sa materyales. Bisan tuod ug gamay ra akong nahuman nga edukasyon, pero ang edukasyon nga gihatag sa Kalahi-CIDSS kanamo kay taas (In my long experience as a volunteer of the Program, I had been taught about the standards and regulations of the projects and materials. Even though I only finished a vocational course, however the education that the Kalahi-CIDSS taught me is high),” he quipped.

“Pinaagi sa programa, dili lang kami nakabaton ug proyekto, kami usab nakabaton ug kaalam (Through the program, we did not only get projects, but also knowledge),” Samuel added.

Also serving a pastor in a church in his community, Samuel shares his honest observations on the distinct and finicky process of the Program. He opens about the participation, transparency, and accountability principles as salient dimensions of Kalahi-CIDSS.

“Ang proyekto wala namili kung kinsa ang mo-boluntaryo, kaming mga lumad gihatagan ug katungod ug oportunidad (The project didn’t choose who to volunteer, we were the ones given the authority as well as opportunities),” Samuel testifies.

With the five sub-projects which are the road, day care center, rice and corn mill, solar dryer, and concrete pathway availed by Kinamaybay through the Kalahi-CIDSS program, their small community appreciated how unity can contribute in accomplishing many things.

“Kung tan-awon sa CBMS survey, wa jud nakapasar sa skills tungod kay kulang sa edukasyon ang mga katawhan. Pero pasalamat mi sa mga facilitators nga buotan nga nagtudlo kanamo para magmalampuson ni nga mga proyekto para mapakunhod ang among kapobrehon (If we will check the CBMS survey, nobody really passed in terms of skills. We are very thankful to the facilitators who are very kind to teach us for the sub-projects to be successfully realized),” expresses Punong Barangay Rolando Pinahan.

Enjoying the things we’re once deprived

He added that their presentation during the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum (MIBF) was entitled “Nag-anyugon/Nag-antos sa Kalisod (Suffering from Poverty).” However, they are very glad today that their poverty situation is slowly eradicated through the interventions of the program since it opened many doors for the other agencies to help their community.

“Bisan kami nahilayo sa kabihasnan, pero kami naabot jud sa hinabang sa gobyerno (Even though we are distant in location, the help from the Government still reaches us),” adds Pinahan.

Marife S. Escabas, 27, Leslie G. Manpatilan, 20, Marisa S. Aya, 38, and the other Higaonon volunteers in Kinamaybay, relate how their exposure in the various trainings conducted by the program, have helped them develop their interpersonal and social skills. According to them, they were then very shy and were afraid to socialize with people other than their neighbors. With their experiences in workshops, canvassing for the materials to be used in the implementation, regular meetings, and their achievement of realizing high-cost sub-projects, they have become more confident.

With the five Kalahi-CIDSS sub-projects implemented in their small village, Kinamaybay can now be easily accessed compared before that it would be really hard to reach the community. The presence of the sub-projects in their locality contributed much in the residents’ settling down in their place. Their basic needs for food and survival were also addressed, and the villagers themselves testify that their situation is not anymore as hard as before.

The Higaonons in Kinamaybay may be some of the most marginalized and vulnerable sector in the society.  It is aimed by the national government that through Kalahi-CIDSS, they will have access to the basic social services, and will have their voice to articulate their unique needs as IPs. The program, through its CDD approach, will ensure that no one is left behind. (Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


PNP: No protest action in SurSur on EDSA People Power anniversary

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Feb. 25 (PIA) – The Philippine National Police (PNP) in Surigao del Sur has not monitored any group set to stage a protest action to mark the 29th EDSA People Power anniversary celebration here.

However, P/SSupt. Narciso Verdadero, PNP acting provincial director, assured that the entire police force is always ready to respond to any call of duty.

The provincial chief PNP admitted his men are busy with the security measures being carried out due to the ongoing 18th Caraga Regional Athletic Meet (CRAM) being held in Tandag City this week.

Also, Verdadero pointed out they remain in close contact with their army counterparts.

Meanwhile, he said that a good peace and order situation continues to prevail province-wide, adding that they always keep a watchful eye especially on the New People’s Army (NPA). (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Feature: Peace and dev’t projects pacify mothers’ anxieties

By Eunice G. Montaos

Knocks in the middle of the night, fox holes under their house, and her father’s sudden casual disappearances-these were some scenarios that were lived by Janita P. Acuña in her younger years when their community was yet a haven of insurgency. Peace then was but a luxury.

These dreadful experiences in growing up were Janita’s strong motivation to choose and maintain a peaceful community their village has become.

Lone parenting

At 42, she is a mother of six children whose ages range from 5 to 18. Her family had to be away from her husband, Francisco, 42, who is working very hard as a security guard in Cagayan de Oro.

With the distance, Francisco could only afford to visit them in Villa Verde, Tagbina, Surigao del Sur, only thrice a month. This gives a lot of challenge to Janita in terms of taking care of their children.

In late afternoons and early nights when her children walk towards home from their school, Janita sometimes feels anxious having no lights in the streets to guide her children’s paths towards home. As a mother, she knows that dark areas are always susceptible to danger.

This was the very reason behind her affiliation as a volunteer for the PAyapa at MAsaganang PamanayaNAn (PAMANA) project which was implemented under the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan- Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Though she was hesitant at first because she is toothless more so she thought she has no pleasing personality. But for the sake of the safety of her children, she sacrificed for the solar streetlights to be realized in her community. These she did so that her children can go home safely.

“Dili na gusto nga ang mga kahadlok nga akong nabati sa una mabati pud sa akong mga anak karon.  Di pud ko gusto nga ang akong mga anak manginabuhi pud sa kahadlok (I don’t want my children to feel the dread I felt when I was young. I don’t want them to live in fears either),” Janita emotionally opens.

Legacy to leave behind

Though she tearfully shares her disappointment that she was not included in the engraved list of names of volunteers for the health station sub-project during the Kalahi-CIDSS:KKB, Lyra Vee A. Vigonte, 42, still volunteered in the implementation of PAMANA projects.

As a mother, she longs to leave a legacy for her only child. She, too, like most mothers, wants her child to be proud of her.

Serving as the chairperson for the Project Preparation and Operations and Maintenance teams during the implementation of the water system sub-project in Villa Verde, Lyra shares that she does not want her child to question her someday why she didn’t participate in putting up the said sub-project.

The successful water system sub-project completion in the village eventually answered the need of Lyra’s family for enough water supply but also her co-villagers’ as well.

“Kahinumdom pa jud ko sa una atong wala pa ang proyekto, mubangon ko ug alas-kwatro sa kaadlawon para magpila mangabo ug tubig unya makauli ko sa among balay alas-kwatro na pud sa hapon (I can still remember before the project was put up in the village, I will have to wake up as early as 4 o’clock in the morning to queue for the water and I went back home as late as 4 o’clock in the afternoon),” opened Desideria T. Rarasonabe, 54, a resident of Villa Verde.

Punong Barangay Alejandro T. Panamogan added on this statement that the problem on the lack of enough potable water supply once challenged the peaceful situation of their community as it created conflicts between the residents who all badly need water and also the local barangay council.

“Gubot jud kaayo ang mga katawhan, tungod lang sa tubig mag-inawayay, ug permi pud mabasol ang council (The people were in conflict before and they even blame the council for the of water crisis),” he said further.

Problems solved, conflicts settled

The conflict which was caused by the problem in water was solved through the funds made available from the combined resources of Kalahi-CIDSS Makamasang Tugon and PAMANA cycle 1, various community consultations, bayanihan/pahina activities, and active participation of volunteers.

These mothers in Villa Verde found an avenue to develop their skills and to learn significant things through the Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA project. They all recognize how distinct the Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach incorporated by the Program as it promoted understanding and unity between and among the residents and the local barangay council.

Apart from motherhood, they found themselves as project implementers and peacekeepers in their won simple way.

With their experiences in the intervention of the program, the anxieties which are but innate to every mother were all answered through the peace and development efforts of the national government. (Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


Feature: Saludo 2015… A breath-taking spectacle

By Jay C. Dalman

The Caraga Regional Athletic Meet 2015 kicked off with a blast of colors for the annually anticipated Saludo afternoon of February 22, 2015 held at the Surigao del Sur Sports Center arena in Tandag City. Everyone in attendance feasted on the impressive presentations of the 12 delegations comprising the Region of Caraga. Every division has its unique and creative way of showcasing its exhibition. Government officials, DepEd Division Leaders, Physical Education and Sports Supervisor (PESS) Coordinators and guests led the forefront of their respective contingent which fostered an inspiration for every athlete to put their best foot forward.

The delegation from Agusan del Norte gave the fabulous opening in their red and white ensemble. Their entrance was highlighted by raising their caps in harmony with their chanting and hand movements. Agusan del Sur Division followed in a hue of lemon yellow designed with a patch of blue. The hand movements with emphasis of hand salutes wrapped their performance. Bayugan City, who appeared in mint green and stripe yellow pattern, also showed a fantastic performance. Maroon and white spelled the performance of Bislig City Division matched with smooth execution, synchronized foot work and chanting. Butuan City nailed their performance by showcasing hand movements which emphasized the contrast of their green and yellow inspired uniform. Meanwhile, Cabadbaran delegation appeared in a subtle avocado green with a complement of orange. Their entrance came out in a slow pacing, coordinated with dramatic strides which added effects to their already awe-inspiring performance. The Dinagat Islands Division also came out in surprise with their powder blue and yellow attire accented with red backpacks. Their nice pacing quite made an impression on their over-all performance.

Another presentation which also made a mark was that of Siargao Division sporting a shade of violet variegated with white and yellow; their miming movements of the ocean waves brought the house down - truly our country’s surfing capital. The throng of delegation from Surigao City emerged in royal blue and yellow. They gave a bit of hilarious ending by saying “‘Adto nami. Bye! ” which earned an outburst of laughter from the audience. Surigao del Norte Division was not left behind as they turned up in perfect cadence and progressive chanting in orange and white uniform. Tandag City made an impressive impact when they showed body formations and coordinated hand movements; they looked attractive in peach mixed with lines of sky blue and white which added to the flavor of their remarkable presentation. Finally, it was a “save the best for last performance” for the host division - Surigao del Sur delivered a wonderful treat and wowed the audience in their fuchsia with black and yellow accent. Their amazing interpretation of Surigao del Sur hymn was celebrated in hand gestures which made their performance unique and truly unparalleled.

 As a whole, the SALUDO presentation has turned the entire field into colorful patterns, rhythmic cadence, synchronized chanting and choreographed hand movements. Indeed, it ushered for a wonderful beginning – an astounding expression of salutation - a perfect opening for CRAM 2015. (NGBT/DepEd Division of SDS/PIA-Surigao del Sur)