SurSur agri office gears up for El Niño
By Greg Tataro Jr.
TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Mar. 17 (PIA) – The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAg) in Surigao del Sur has already started to lay out preparations for the possible effect of “El Niño.”
Marcos Quico, chief agriculturist here, said the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office (DA-RFO) in Caraga headed by Director Edna Mabeza has even requested on March 11, 2015 for the “list of area” that might be at risk.
“The DA-RFO XIII is now preparing mitigation for the possible occurrence of weak El Niño in our region. Requesting you to submit your respective list of area possibly be affected including operational/non operational NIA Water Service Station,” so went the fax message appearing in bold print.
In this regard, Quico has deemed it wise to coordinate with the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) through Provincial Irrigation Management Office (PIMO) chief Engr. Dexter Sablaon for significant inputs.
NIA, in return, provided the OPAg with the “Status of Irrigation Development” in the province as of December 31, 2014.
The total potential area for irrigation development was posted at 26,778 hectares while the service area with existing irrigation system is yet at 15,957 hectares or equivalent to 59.58 percent, it was learned.
El Niño is a phenomenon characterized by severe climate disruption to countries in and beside the Pacific. (NGB/Radyo ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)
DA, LGUs partner on rabies eradication
By Fretcher Magatao
BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 17 (PIA) - The Department of Agriculture (DA) led the nationwide kick-off activity for the rabies awareness month.
Together with the LGUs in the region, a mass dog castration and anti-rabies vaccination were conducted last March 7 in different cities and municipalities region-wide.
“This activity is conducted to control dog population and eliminate rabies infection in the city,” Dr. Niño Ceasar Perez said.
In 2014, the city has recorded 1,800 dog-bite cases wherein Brgy. Libertad topped the highest number of cases which led to one casualty.
Avoiding more fatality, the city aims to be rabies-free by 2016 through the conduct of dog castration and anti-rabies vaccination services in the city barangays. The veterinary team is also conducting regular mass dog vaccination at the City Hall every Wednesday to give convenience to pet owners instead of going to Tiniwisan where their office is located.
“We have been regularly conducting anti-rabies vaccination in the barangays down to the purok level just to make sure that every dog is vaccinated,” said Dr. Perez.
The same activity was conducted in Surigao City and the municipality of Santiago. A report from the Department of Health (DOH) shows that there are 1,022 dog-bite cases last year in Surigao City leading to five deaths of rabies infection.
“We have been reminding the dog owners to vaccinate their dogs since rabies infection is very alarming in the city. The office has been conducting regular information dissemination through IEC materials and lectures to the barangays in the locality,” said Dr. Maridel Zerda of Surigao City Veterinary Office.
“We have prioritized the municipality of Santiago for anti-rabies vaccination to dogs for it revealed the highest number of dog bite cases among all other municipalities in Agusan del Norte last year. We would want to conduct the same operation next month in another municipality,” Dr. Belen Aruelo, Agusan del Norte Provincial Veterinarian said.
Republic Act 9482 or Anti-rabies Act emphasizes on the responsibilities of the concerned agencies such as DA, DOH, Department of Education and Department of the Interior and Local Government; it also includes the pet owners with corresponding penalties.
As such, the synchronized activity on mass castration and vaccination is geared toward Rabies-Free Philippines by 2020. (DA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)
Gov’t troops score in clash with NPA rebels in Agnor
By Cpt. Joe Patrick A. Martinez
CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City, Mar. 17 (PIA) - Government troops under 29th Infantry Battalion (29IB) and 13th Regional Police Service Battalion clashed with communist rebels killing a still undetermined number of gunmen in the hinter-area of Brgy. Hinimbangan, Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte around 8:20 a.m., Monday.
An information was relayed by a concerned civilian in the area about the presence of some 30 New People’s Army (NPA) rebels believed to be members of Guerilla Front 16 of North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee who are extorting money from the local populace in the area in preparation to support the logistical requirements for the upcoming anniversary celebration on March 29.
Ltc Adonis Ariel Orio, 29IB Commanding Officer, immediately coordinated with the Philippine National Police (PNP) to conduct a joint operation to go after the said NPAs.
Upon arrival at the said area, NPAs indiscriminately opened fire against the government troops unmindful of the presence of civilians in the community. The troops managed to maneuver to a more advantage position and were able to return fire against the NPAs. Troops inflicted casualties to the NPAs. After the 20-minute gun battle, the NPAs withdrew out of the engagement area. Civilians in the area have seen the engaged NPAs carrying their wounded and dead comrades.
Recovered from the area are the following: one M203 grenade launcher, three M16 and two AK 47 rifles, undetonated Improvised Explosive Devices with complete paraphernalia, backpacks of NPA casualties and subversive documents with high intelligence value.
Troops also recovered one dead NPA and is now being facilitated by the 29IB, PNP and local government unit of Kitcharao for identification and proper disposition.
Ltc Orio immediately ordered his troop to conduct pursuit operation against the escaping NPAs.
Major General Oscar T Lactao, Commander of 4th Infantry Division, congratulated his gallant troops together with the PNP in performing their duty in protecting the people in Kitcharao against the lawless elements.
“We also would like to thank the people for giving us timely and complete information about the presence of the NPAs in their community,” he said. (4ID PA/PIA-Caraga)