Thursday, March 26, 2015

AgSur guv inks MOU with AMRI president for scientific study of Agusan River

By David M. Suyao

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, Mar. 26 (PIA) – Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza with Adnama Mining Resources Inc. (AMRI) President Fernando Borja signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the start of the scientific study regarding the proposed dredging of Agusan River.

AMRI has filed their intention to voluntarily help in the conduct of the scientific study a year ago while the provincial government of Agusan del Sur (PGAS), thru the Agusan del Sur Environment and Development Council (ASESDC) has made a thorough study and review on the documents.

One of the highlights of the study said AMRI will be taking samples of soil while digging around a foot deep and a kilo of specimen gathered at random mostly along the upstream of Agusan River.

“On the process of our study and collection of specimen and samples, if ever we encounter some artifacts, valuable minerals and other valuable materials, we will turn them over to the provincial government with explanation. We will also assure you that one member of our team that will conduct the study will be coming from PGAS so that every move we make will be transparent to the government. We would like to inform you also that the thorough scientific study will last for two years if needed,” Juanito Manzano, AMRI exploration manager said.

After series of deliberation done by the ASESDC, the application to conduct the study submitted by the AMRI was forwarded to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) for another review and upon determining that the intention of the study is beneficial to the government and the people of Agusan del Sur, SP member Hazel del Rosario, chairman on Environment Committee of the SP sponsored Resolution No. 974 “Authorizing Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza to sign the Memorandum of Understanding with AMRI” while AMRI on its part issued Corporate Secretary’s Certificate authorizing the corporation’s President Fernando S. Borja to sign the MOU representing the AMRI.

“Even though this is just an initial move of PGAS to dredge Agusan River as the main project to control floods, I want everything to be transparent. That is why we deliberated the application of AMRI passing thru technical and legal teams in order come up with the best decision. Now here we are, entering into Memorandum of Understanding with AMRI, in order to signal the start of the scientific study,” Gov. Plaza said.

On AMRI’s part, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Jeremias Dolino said AMRI is glad to be part of the safety plan and development of Agusan del Sur. He also assured Gov. Plaza and all those who witnessed the signing of the MOU that AMRI will abide by all the provisions stipulated in the MOU and deviation or violations of the MOU will mean termination of the project and the contract.  (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Dinagat Islands Chamber of Commerce hosts 1st provincial bizcon

By Ma. Jane A. Mayola

SAN JOSE, Dinagat Islands, Mar. 26 (PIA) - Businessmen, proprietors, and industry establishments gathered for the opening ceremony of the 1st Provincial Business Conference (Pro BizCon) at the Provincial Guest Center, Brgy. Cuarinta, this municipality.

The three-day conference with the theme, "Enriching Business, Stimulating Economic Growth" will be held from March 25 to 27, 2015.

It aims to help the province's economic growth by creating an environment for business through knowledge and technology sharing.

Former Press Secretary and Mindanao Development Authority chair Atty. Jesus G.Dureza, in his keynote speech, complimented the province for its vast natural resources saying “Dinagat Islands is nature's gift to mankind.“

He also congratulated the province for the awards it received in terms of security and disaster-resiliency.

Atty. Dureza challenged everyone to preserved the nature and maintain less criminality rate for investment promotion and economic progress of the province.

Activities of the three-day conference include seminar-orientation to the participants about various topics pertaining to business development and strategic ways.

The said activity is spearheaded by the Dinagat Islands Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIPCCI)  in partnership with the provincial government of Dinagat Islands. (SDR/PIO-Dinagat Islands/PIA-Dinagat Islands)


BIR Butuan optimistic in reaching its P4.9B goal, launches 2015 "Angat Pa, Pinas" Tax Campaign

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 26 (PIA) - The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Revenue Region (RR) No. 17, Butuan City officially launched its 2015 Tax Campaign at the Robinsons Place, here.

BIR Caraga regional director Norberto D. Vitug welcomed all the guests and partners from the local government units (LGUs), civic and professional organizations, media, officials from the Millennium Challenge Account-Philippines (MCA-P), national, regional and district officials and employees.

He said that Caraga region is well-known to have the second fastest growing economy in Mindanao and it is endowed with beautiful beaches and tourist spots. Its recorded collection growth from CYs 2012 to 2014 were 21 percent, 4.5 percent, and 11.4 percent, respectively. He also mentioned that this 2015, the region’s collection goal is P4.9 billion, up by 17.9 percent as compared to its 2014 target.

He told the audience that last 2014, the region collected P3.8 billion including tax collections credited to the Large Taxpayer Service (LTS) amounting to P558 million.  Thus, actual collections in the region including those of the LTS would have totaled P4.3 Billion, exceeding the collection target by 4.11 percent.

Vitug also observed that Butuan’s 2015 Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) by province, cities and municipalities amounts to about P13.2 billion.  With the benefits derived from this IRA, he hopes that one day taxpayers in the region shall outdo each other in paying the correct taxes which will eventually benefit the Filipino people.

He then presented the various projects and sources of collection for the region, namely: monitoring of the withholding tax of IRA utilizations; strict implementation of audit threshold; monitoring of resorts or beaches through tourist arrivals which are increasing since CY 2014 by 15.73 percent; monitoring of log production and manufactured products which amounted to P3,128,389,000.00 (veneer, plywood, blackboard, fiber board, etc.); monitoring of top 50 professionals; monitoring of top 100 self-employed; strict implementation of benchmarking; improve audit efficiency; enhanced Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) program; a revitalized Oplan Kandando and a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the barangay heads to report on new businesses in the area.

Taxpayer Service Programs & Monitoring Division chief Marivic A. Galban gave the audience a briefer on the Public Awareness Campaign (PAC) program of the BIR, showcasing the PAC through an audio-visual presentation on its milestones and plans, including the rationale of this year’s tax campaign theme and logo. She was assisted by Public Information and Education assistant division chief Maria Lourdes D. Narvaez and Mina Villamor of the Client Support Service.

Deputy commissioner of Internal Revenue Lilia C. Guillermo, director Vitug, assistant regional director Christine Juliet R. Chua, revenue district officers Bagro S. Saransamun (RDO 103-Butuan City), Noel B. Gonzales (RDO 105-Surigao City), and OIC-assistant revenue district officer Ma. Jonelle S. Faune (RDO 104-Bayugan City), chief Marivic A. Galban and MCA-P managing director and chief executive officer, Ma. Victoria E. AƱonuevo unveiled the 2015 Tax Campaign Theme and Logo.

The 2015 tax campaign theme “Angat Pa, Pinas” calls for greater cooperation among Filipinos to pay their taxes as their contribution to nation-building. The campaign logo takes cues from the colors of the Philippine Flag, using arrows that show an upward movement to denote greater progress and positive change for the country. The campaign jingle provides a battle cry for Filipinos to work for a better tomorrow.

A ceremonial electronic income tax filing and payment of a 1702 RT return for CY 2014 was done by Royce Food Corporation head accountant Noeme B. Garces amounting to P598,707.00 shortly followed.

Guillermo, for her part, congratulated Royce Food Corporation for filing its income tax return and paying the tax due thereon. She further appealed to the audience to help the BIR in sustaining economic growth and thanked them in advance for supporting the collection efforts of the region. She also mentioned that the BIR is busy nowadays in conducting tax briefings on electronic filing and payment in order to achieve the BIR’s collection goal of P1.704 trillion.  She took the opportunity to remind the region’s taxpayers of the forthcoming April 15, 2015 Income Tax filing deadline, saying that there will be no extensions.

Eighteen top taxpayers from the districts of Butuan City (RDO 103), Bayugan City (RDO 104), Surigao City (RDO 105) and Tandag City (RDO 106), with the assistance of their respective RDOs, dir. Vitug, ARD Chua and Dep. Comm. Guillermo, pledged their support through 24 building blocks of various infrastructure projects like a sports complex, agriculture/irrigation, schools, library, museum and airport, topped with the “Angat Pa, Pinas” emblem.

ARD Chua official closed the kickoff with a reminder and appeal to all taxpayers to file early and take advantage of the easy and convenient electronic filing in order to avoid the long queues and the last hour inconvenience in filing on or before April 15, 2015. (BIR Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


Feature: Your weight and the "yo-yo effect"

By Charina A. Javier

Have you tried to reduce weight through dieting and then after dieting gained even more weight than before? Well, that experience may be the ratchet effect or the "yo-yo effect" of dieting.

What is the "yo-yo effect" of dieting? It is the cycle of losing and regaining weight. This happens when a person tries to reduce a significant amount of weight in a short period of time through rigid dieting and then suddenly discontinues dieting because of boredom or sheer hunger. When this happens, the person gains weight but this time becomes even heavier than before dieting started. For example, a person weighing 180 pounds tries to lose 10 pounds in two weeks and then suddenly discontinues. That person may gain weight more than the weight before dieting, meaning, more than 180 pounds. Again, the person exerts efforts to lose weight, discontinues, then gain weight again. And the cycle continues.

This cycle is more harmful than losing only a few pounds in a longer period of time and maintaining it. A person who undergoes the cycle of losing and regaining weight (a person who loses 50 pounds fast and gains it back) is more at risk of developing chronic diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes, among others, than a person who loses about 10 pounds and maintains it. When a person loses weight and regains it, the body becomes more efficient in making and storing fat. This is the reason why that person finds it harder to lose weight the next time weight reducing is done again.

How then can one avoid the yo-yo effect when reducing weight? Remember that a person does not gain weight instantly, and this is the case also with losing weight. Before someone starts dieting or engaging in a weight loss regimen, that person has to set her mind for a long-term weight-reducing plan, not just a short-term one. One should exercise patience if she desires the long-term benefits of reducing weight since significant changes in the body are not seen at first. An ideal weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week. Weight loss should be gradual to have a permanent effect.

One should try to maintain the desirable weight when reached. This is the hardest and oftentimes taken-for-granted part in reducing weight. People tend to go back to their usual lifestyle before they started reducing weight, forgetting the fact that they are more prone to gaining weight again.

Many people have been trying out popular or "fad" diets advertised as being effective in reducing weight.

According to Felicidad V. Velandria, retired Supervising Science Research Specialist at the Food and Nutrition Research Institute-Department of Science and Technology, "What people need to understand is that "fad diets" are nutritionally deficient diet. These diets are really based on the premise that a major alteration in the distribution of food components namely carbohydrate, protein and fat, will lead to significant weight loss and consequently better health status. "Fad diets" do cause weight loss because these diets contain lower calories but in a disproportionate and unnatural distribution. The quick weight loss is due to the diuretic effect from low carbohydrate intake and its effect on salt and water loss. A diet containing less than 1,000 calories per day causes slowing down in metabolism, making weight loss more difficult, resulting in weight gain once the individual returns to her regular eating habits."

"A low calorie, well-balanced diet accompanied by regular and effective exercise is the proven safe and medically accepted way to loss weight. To do these, one must have the 3Ds: determination, dedication and discipline," she said.

For more information on food and nutrition, contact:  Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City; Tel/Fax Num:  8372934 and 8373164; email: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph, mar_v_c@yahoo.com; FNRI-DOST website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph.; FNRI Facebook page: facebook.com/FNRI-DOST; FNRI Twitter account: twitter.com/FNRI-DOST. (FNRI-DOST S&T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)


Feature: Make life easier for our lolos and lolas, give them water!

By Ma. Anna Rita M. Ramirez

Water is life. The need for water intake is great among older persons. Dr. Chernoff, in an article on “Nutritional Requirements and Physiological Changes in Aging” gave equal importance to thirst and fluid requirements among the aging population as energy and nutrient requirements. Water plays a significant role in the maintenance of body functions, transport of nutrients, and waste removal. As 50 percent of an adult body weight is water, reduction in water volume or dehydration will cause cells to shrink and die. Water maintains health and aids in the treatment of diseases.

Apparently, not all older persons have access to water. Things that may contribute to decreased accessibility to water are voluntary water restriction due to problems of frequent urination (incontinence); difficulty in mobility, e.g. the old person is bed-ridden or tied to a wheelchair; or he has diminished thirst sensitivity. Reduced thirst in older persons may predispose them to severe dehydration, impairment of cognition (or poorer mental function), and additional water loss.

Among the risk factors for dehydration in the older persons are: (a) laxative abuse (that older persons probably take due to constipation problems); (b) diuretic abuse (that may occur with intake or prescription drugs for cardiovascular diseases); (c) occasions of depressions (that older persons may experience unnoticed by other household members); (d) dependence on tube or parenteral feeding (on occasions of illness when oral feeding is hindered); (e) use of multiple medications; and (f) when the older person has a chronic infection.

These are telltale signs of dehydration in older adults. These include: drying of the eyes, swollen tongue, sunken eyeballs, elevated body temperature, and decreased urine volume. Dehydration can also bring about constipation, nausea and vomiting, decreased blood pressure, mental confusion, and fluid and electrolyte disturbances. As quality of life for the older persons depends to a large extent on the individual’s capacity for physical mobility, mental alertness, and cognitive function, “conscious” provision of fluids to them could very well serve its purpose.

Like in most of the younger adults and under normal health conditions, a minimum intake of 1.5 liters or 7-8 glasses of water per day is considered sufficient to prevent dehydration for most of the older persons.

So if your lolo or lola is starting to show any of these telltale signs, do “give them a few words of advice” - or better still, give them water!

For more information on food and nutrition, contact:  Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City; Tel/Fax Num:  8372934 and 8373164; email: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph, mar_v_c@yahoo.com; FNRI-DOST website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph.; FNRI Facebook page: facebook.com/FNRI-DOST; FNRI Twitter account: twitter.com/FNRI-DOST. (FNRI-DOST S&T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)


Tagana-an women undergo training on seaweed processing

By Rodrigo R. Matabaran

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Mar. 26 (PIA) - A group of women from the municipality of Tagana-an underwent a seaweeds processing training held on March 17 to 19, 2015 at the Womens Training Center, Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte.

The ultimate goal of the seaweeds processing project is to increase the income of the target family beneficiaries that can help improve their economic well-being. It is also one of the required deliverables of the Bottom Up Budgeting (BUB) funded Seaweeds Processing Project of which fund was released last year to the Tagana-an municipal government by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

A total of 25 participants learned the skills on how to prepare various food products from seaweeds such as fresh and dried seaweeds pickles, flour jelly, jam, cookies, polvoron and fruit pie, among others.

Vital inputs on good manufacturing processes, food sanitation and packaging technique were also taught to the participants for them to be able to produce good quality processed seaweeds food products.

The training was conducted by technical personnel of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) regional and provincial offices headed by Fisheries Post Harvest and Marketing Division officer-in-charge Helen L. Suarez.

In his message, Tagana-an mayor Cesar Diaz encouraged the participants to make use of their learning and enhance their skills to develop locally processed products made out of seaweeds and make it a viable business undertaking. 

On his part, Tagana-an vice mayor Falcone D. Aristan expressed his thanks to the BFAR technical team and DTI personnel for helping their local constituents.

As a coastal town, Tagana-an has a wide coastal area ideal for seaweeds production.  At present, local seaweeds producers are selling their fresh and dried seaweeds to buyers within the province and the neighboring provinces.

Hence, the local government aggressively promotes the seaweeds production and processing hoping that it will eventually be developed as a thriving local industry that can create more jobs and income opportunities.  The processing project is expected to create added value to the raw seaweeds produced in the municipality.

Aside from DTI, other agencies including the Department of Agriculture (DA), BFAR and Surigao del Norte Provincial Agriculture Office supported the seaweeds development effort of the municipality by providing needed financial and technical assistance. (SDR/DT-Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


AgNor creates council of sectoral leaders

By Aimee B. Sienes

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 26 (PIA) - The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Agusan del Norte created recently through Provincial Ordinance No. 384-2015 the Council of Sectoral Leaders in the province of Agusan del Norte, defining its composition and functions and for other purposes.

The brainchild of Vice Governor Ramon “Rambu” Bungabong, the ordinance aims to establish and strengthen a council of all sectoral leaders in the province that shall assist the province in its development planning and in the implementation and monitoring of local government socio-economic development projects based on the Grassroots Participating Budgeting Process/Bottoms Up Budgeting (BUB) process.

Under the said ordinance, the council shall be composed of elected leader representatives from various sectors and federated non-government Organizations (NGOs), Peoples Organizations (POs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) duly accredited by the provincial government in the manner prescribed by law, circular and/or provincial ordinance or executive order.

Among the functions of the council include identifying issues and concerns, in consultation with the city/municipal levels, and submit a three-year plan to the provincial governor and the SP to cater the needs and full development of all sectors to achieve total development of the province.

The council also serves as advisory council of the province and the SP and the leaders may be invited to attend committee meetings to solicit their comments or opinions on referrals or any concern pending therein.

Elected leader representatives from the identified federated NGOs, POs and CSOs in the province from various sectors shall elect its officers among themselves.

The term of office of the elected officers shall be three years with the right to one re-election. Their term of office shall commence on the first working day of September following the month of the election of no representative and shall expire on June 30 of the third year or until their successors shall have been elected and qualified. For the effective implementation of the ordinance, the province will appropriate P100,000.00 starting next calendar year 2016 and every year thereafter to shoulder the cost in the organization and meetings of the council. (LGU-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Tech-voc trainees feature skills in Kalandrakas XI

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 26 (PIA) – Technical Vocational (Tech-Voc) trainees from this city and the province of Agusan del Sur have featured their skills during the staging of “Kalandrakas XI,” one of the highlights of the 2015 Women’s Month Celebration in Caraga Region.

According to Fe Gomez, Senior TESD Specialist and Gender and Development (GAD) focal person of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-Caraga, some five male and five female trainees of Massage Therapy NC II from the Butuan Manpower Training Center were requested by the Regional Development Council (RDC)-GAD to perform their services to those in attendance.

Aside from this, Gomez said some eight trainees in the beauty care have offered services in manicure, pedicure, foot spa and facial.

At the end of the day, 22 male and 54 female participants were able to avail services in massage therapy while 63 individuals have availed services in beauty care.

Atty. Marylin Pintor, RDC-GADCC Chairman acknowledged the support extended by the member-agencies. She said the heads of the different government agencies and their respective focal persons are among those who have contributed to the success of the activity.

She added that from the opening activity until the conduct of the Kalandrakas XI, employees of the different government agencies were very active participating in the foot parade, throwing holi powders in different colors which added color to the festive mood of celebration.

Atty. Pintor also acknowledged TESDA for regularly showcasing the skills of their trainees serving the participants in massage and beauty care.

This year’s celebration of Women’s Month pays importance of equitable participation and representation of women in policymaking or decision making in all levels of organizations or bodies in our society. “Juanas” who brought inspiring changes here in the country and across the globe with its theme “Juana, Desisyon Mo Ay Mahalaga sa Kinabukasan ng Bawat Isa, Ikaw Na!”

The 2015 Women’s Month Celebration is the best time to highlight the “drivers of change” wherein women can express their strength, power and abilities being a credible leader in the society.

This celebration recognizes the role of women in the political arena or in any levels of organizations making use of her decision making that could influence their over-all contributions to progress. (TESDA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)