News Feature: Butuan: Kadyawon on its 28th Balangay Festival
By Daisy M. Apit
The Filipino culture had been considered as one of the joyous and colorful ethnicities because our archipelagic country has plenty of festivals and celebrations to offer for the world to celebrate with. And amid this scorching summer heat of May, our beloved Butuan City is celebrating its 28th Balangay Festival.
The City Tourism Office and the City Tourism Council through the Butuan City Arts, Culture, Tourism and Sports (BC ACTS) Council Inc., being the organizers, have lined up several activities that will surely turn the city into a jam-packed funhouse.
Highlights of the month-long festival are the opening day on May 1, which had been done with a motorcade from City Hall to Guingona Park. Not only were the eyes of spectators satisfied with the sight Butuan beauties during the Mutya Hong Butuan introduction was done. But also with all the Butuanon pride materials and products presented at the trade. People had ridden to their heart’s contents also at the carnival fair. The day had been sealed with a magical display of fireworks.
The Balik Butuan Dinner Reception on May 12 which will cater and welcome back all Butuanon balikbayans, definitely a night of nostalgia for all participants. Another enjoyable major event is on May 15 where the Kaliwatan Fun Walk: Tree Nurturing will be held.
One of the most awaited affairs where the city’s muses show their beauties, talents and wits to win one prestigious crown, the Mutya Hong Butuan Pageant and Coronation Night is on May 18 at the Father Saturnino Urios University (FSUU) gym. Balangay Float Parade which will be participated by LGUs, NGOs, other city stakeholders and barangays is on May 19. The gigantic and thunderous parade will be held at the streets of City Hall grounds to the Sports Complex.
Excited for all these and other fun-filled events? Well, what are you waiting for? Come and join the fun kay ato ini, kadyawon ta! (this is ours, let's nurture it!) (PIA-Caraga)
DENR, LGU warn Agusan Marsh folk on peatland fire
By Johny S. Natad
BUTUAN CITY, May 11 (PIA) - With strong warning against putting up fire on sensitive peatlands in Agusan Marsh, the representatives of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 13, the local officials of Talacogon, Agusan del Sur and fisherfolk have discussed on April 19-21 about the fire that affected the peatlands at Talacogon Lake and Lake Kalingayan held at Talacogon Municipal Hall.
The dialogue followed the recent site visit conducted by the team of Sustainable Management of Peatland Forest in Southeast Asia or SEApeat Project in Agusan Marsh Pilot site which reported huge marks of peatland burning at Talacogon Lake peatlands.
“There were large tracts of burnt areas (about 15-20 hectares) within the Talacogon Lake peatlands. Similarly, it was observed that there was also fire and smoke from burning of vegetation apparently near Lake Kalingayan peatlands. This was due to burning of grasses and sedges to allow fishers to get fish from the lake,” report said.
Protected Areas and Wildlife Division (PAWD) chief Jaime G. Ubanos of DENR-13 and Talacogon Mayor Jesryl Masendo have pushed for the dialogue with the fisherfolks to find workable solution to prevent fire in the highly-flammable peatlands.
“The dialogoue between LGU and fisher folk was recommended by Mayor Masendo to find alternative remedies including the provision of livelihood that could discourage them from burning peatlands,” Ubano said.
Ubanos said 70 participants composed of LGU officials, Bureau of Fire Protection, barangay captains and fisherfolks coming from six barangays of Talacogon were present at the meeting.
They came up with solutions including the activation of Bantay Danaw, livelihood programs for the fisherfolk, tourism development, and intensification of information, education campaign to address the issue. (DENR-13/PIA-Caraga)
DENR Exec commends LGU Surigao for hosting 15th PSS National Cave Congress
By Maria Catherine M. Gonzaga
BUTUAN CITY, May 11 (PIA) – Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Caraga regional director Nonito M. Tamayo commends the City and Provincial government of Surigao City for holding the 15th Philippine Speleological Society (PSS) National Cave Congress, the very first cave congress in the Caraga Region on April 20-24, 2015.
“In behalf of the DENR Caraga, I would like to congratulate and express our deep appreciation to the city government of Surigao and provincial government of Surigao del Norte for holding the 15th Philippine Speleological Society (PSS) National Cave Congress, which by the way is the very first cave congress in the Caraga Region. We are very privileged to have a very active and resourceful partner in promoting sustainable use of our caves,” Director Tamayo said.
The event with the theme “Caving in a Changing Climate” was attended by more than 400 individuals composed of representatives from various regions all over the Philippines. Aside from Director Tamayo, the event was graced upon by the presence of Surigao City Mayor Ernesto Matugas, DOT Caraga regional director Leticia Tan, PSS National President Jason Garrido, Training Center for Tropical Resource and Ecosystem Sustainability, UPLB Campus Director Roberto P. Cereno, Union of International Speleology and Asia Federation of Speleology President Kyung Sik Woo, GIZ/PAME Senior Advisor Terence Dacles and Filipino Cave Divers Co-founder Johann Jake Miranda.
Tamayo stressed that caves are more than just holes or passages in the surface of the Earth; it is a sanctuary with very complex, fragile, and unique ecosystem with important scientific, economic, educational, cultural, historical, and aesthetic values.
For the past 14 years, the National Cave Congress has provided the DENR, local government units (LGUs) and other concerned stakeholders with the technical knowledge needed for the management, conservation, and protection of our caves especially in terms of management planning, basic caving, and cave survey and assessment.
“DENR Caraga in partnership with the concerned LGUs, had already classified a total of 36 caves out of 119 caves recorded in the region; four of these have management plans, namely: Puting Buhangin cave in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur; Delot cave in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur; and Buenavista and Silop Multi-Cave system both in Surigao City, Surigao del Norte. In addition, 18 out of 36 classified caves are included in the national list of classified caves per DMC no. 2012-03 and DMC 2014-03,” Director Tamayo said.
During the congress, the caves of Buenavista, Mapawa, and Silop were the ones explored by the cavers. These caves were added to the list of known caves in the Philippines as eco-tourism destinations in Caraga. (DENR-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)
NIA bares P159.8M “El Niño funds” for SurSur
By Greg Tataro Jr.
TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, May 11 (PIA) - The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) through the Provincial Irrigation Management Office (PIMO) here bared a total amount of P159,876,550 intended for the purchase and installation of 104 units of water pumps in order to cushion the impact of El Niño in Surigao del Sur.
Engr. Dexter Sablaon, PIMO chief, said this is contained in the “List of Projects for El Niño Funds” to be implemented province-wide.
A total of fourteen municipalities where various irrigation systems or projects are found have been identified for the installation of said units, it was learned.
Sablaon clarified that projects will come either in the form of centrifugal type/surface pumps or shallow tube wells (STWs) to be used as “back-up” source for mostly communal irrigation systems (CIS); the rest for national irrigation systems (IS). .
The remainder of the funds will be used for canal construction, he added.
In the meantime, the PIMO manager advised farmers to plant early so palay can be harvested by the month of August.
Program of Works (POWs) has already been approved of irrigation systems/projects with water pumps while the others are undergoing preparation, Sablaon remarked. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)
WEmboree gathers 69 youth in AgSur
PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, May 11 (PIA) - Some 69 youth identified to become frontline volunteers in times of calamities convened recently at the covered court here in order to gain the skills designed for them to become effective in extending their roles in times of calamities thus, realizing the aim to have zero casualty and less damages on properties.
Spearheaded by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the activity is the 5th component of the program called WEmboree, which is part of the holistic approach in increasing the community’s awareness and sense of responsibility on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. It is a gathering of young, able-bodied people from different communities, academic institutions and organizations, celebrating one goal: Changing the mindset of participants and all stakeholders from “ME” . . to . . “We”.
“I am very glad and proud that another set of young volunteers are gathered here today to signify their noble intention to become front liners and become part of the provincial search and rescue teams in times of calamities and disasters. Honestly speaking, it is your group that can do something in terms of advocacy, team building, strategic actions, responses to situation and many more because you are young, strong and able. What we can share here is to equip you with knowledge and additional skills in gatherings and trainings like this so as to strengthen your camaraderie, cooperation and teamwork. We have started this, and rest assured, I will give you my sincere and full support for you to excel in your noble purpose, which is to help save life and properties,” said Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza as inspirational message for the participants.
The actual training ranged from Effective and Creative Communications Strategies, Resource Mobilization for Youth Organizations, Effective Disaster Response for CSOs and Youth organizations and Rehabilitation and Recovery.
The WEmboree was participated by 69 volunteers (5 participants per municipality and lone city) from all over the province, with age ranging from 14 to 28 years old.
The activities for the two-day WEmboree were Body Painting contest, Poster Making contest, Jingle composition, and the signing of commitment as the final sign of dedication to responsibilities. (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)
DENR halts illegal sawmill construction in Surigao Sur
By Eric Gallego
BUTUAN CITY, May 11 (PIA) – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Technical Service in Caraga region has stopped the construction of a sawmill plant in a remote barangay of Magroyong in San Miguel, Surigao del Sur for failing to produce the necessary documents required by the agency.
DENR 13 regional director Nonito M. Tamayo said the Montevista Woodcore Industries owned by Luchayhua Libuangan Limlao of Montevista, Compostela Valley has been asked to cease the construction of its veneer plant after failing to produce and show the necessary documents including building permit, environmental clearance certificate and a permit from the DENR Secretary to operate a wood processing plant (WPP) to the DENR team.
“What the foreman presented were mere Certificate of Business Registration issued by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) which expires on February 2019 and an approved resolution from the Sangunian Bayan of San Miguel dated September 17, 2013 endorsing its consensus to the Provincial Governor allowing the construction of the veneer plant in their locality,” Tamayo said.
He said the company’s WPP permit in Montevista has expired. The company also declared that its operation is no longer viable although its log supply from Malaysia still exist. Its log supply from two local suppliers in Surigao del Sur has existing record of of 15.30 cubic meters. In addition, the company has existing contract with a private tree plantation in Surigao del Sur for log supply of 3,191.38 cubic meters.
The team led by Federico A. Senoc, Jr., Chief of the Technical Services Division of PENRO Surigao del Sur has found out that the proposed veneer plant is adjacent to the timber land rich in natural-grown species.
Observers however believe that the presence of a veneer plant in the area can threaten the natural forest from exploitation and poaching activities.
Tamayo said it requires an approval of the DENR Secretary to operate its veneer plant in the area, although the company had requested for the transfer of its wood processing plant to a new location nevertheless it is considered a new application.
The team has also confiscated 132 pieces of newly cut lauan species lumber with a total volume of 1,758 board feet from the construction site of Montevista Woodcore Industries in that barangay. (DENR-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)
DTI Surigao Norte enjoins LGUs to participate in e-Gov services
By Rodrigo R. Matabaran
SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, May 11 (PIA) – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Provincial Office enjoins the local government units (LGUs) to participate the Capability Building on Electronic Government (e-Gov) Services on May 13, 2015 at Almont Hotel, JC Aquino Avenue, Butuan City.
The activity is sponsored by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) in cooperation with DTI – Caraga and the Regional Competitiveness Committee of the Caraga Regional Development Council.
The purpose of the activity is to promote the use of electronic-based automated system to improve efficiency on the delivery of government services particularly in the business registration and licensing.
All Business Permits and Licensing Officers (BPLOs), their staff as well as LGUs Information Technology (IT) technical officers are encouraged to join the said activity.
Experts from the Social Security System (SSS), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Philhealth and Pag-IBIG will be invited to introduce and present the new electronic service facilities and demonstrate to participants how it works.
Registration to the Capability Building on Electronic Governance Services is free. Those who are interested to join the roadshow can contact DTI Regional Office through email to Caraga@dti.gov.ph; fax or call at 085-815-1271on or before May 11, 2015 or through DTI Surigao del Norte Provincial Office at 826-2373. (SDR/DTI-Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)
DENR 13 exec lauds mining firm for Adopt a Mangrove program
By Eric Gallego
BUTUAN CITY, May 11 (PIA) - Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 13 regional director Nonito M. Tamayo on Monday lauded the officials of Philsaga Mining Company (PMC) for initiating the “Adopt a Mangrove Project“ in Wakat, Barobo, Surigao del Sur in support to the National Greening Program (NGP).
The firm’s effort is viewed as very timely at a season when the DENR is looking for appropriate sites for the implementation of its P400 million initial funds released by the Department of Budget and Management for the establishment of mangrove and beach forest plantations in four provinces particularly in areas affected by the killer typhoon Yolanda in the north eastern seaboard of Caraga Region.
“The initiative of the PMC to share its resources in NGP is considered beneficial and good to the community,” Director Tamayo said.
The PENRO of Dinagat province was the first to have received funds amounting to P3.6 million for the rehabilitation of shorelines and beaches hit by destructive typhoon in 2013. Director Tamayo said the DENR is validating other shorelines in Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and the towns of Carmen and Nasipit in Agusan del Norte for mangrove and beach forest plantation development project. “Several areas are now being validated before the funds are released for the purpose,” Tamayo said.
The Adopt a Mangrove project by the Philsaga Mining Company in Barobo, Surigao del Sur was formalized during the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement among the company President Atty. Raul C. Villanueva, the mayor of Barobo, Surigao del Sur, Felixberto S. Urbiztondo, the Barangay Captain of Barobo Jaime Roquete and OIC CENR Officer Hernan Ramirez representing Director Tamayo held at Licanto Beach Resort in Wakat, Barobo.
More than 500 participants mostly students, employees and workers of the mining firm have come all the way from Bunawan, Agusan del Sur to join the mangrove propagules planting at the 5-hectare site in Wakat.
Tamayo said the event is part of a collaborative efforts provided through Executive Order 26 and Republic Act 7160 or the local government code which mandates local officials to share responsibility with the national government particularly the DENR in protecting, developing and managing natural resources and the duty of sustainably managing natural resources and environment within their administrative jurisdiction.
The MOA allows the DENR to provide technical assistance and extension services in the implementation of the program, to take the lead in the site assessment, as well in monitoring and evaluation of the site to assure at least 85 percent survival.
The PMC in coordination with the other co-partners, on the other hand, shall provide funds for the establishment, maintenance and protection activities of the 5-hectare mangrove area for three years from 2015 to 2017. It will also assist in the implementation of the “Adopt a Mangrove Program” as well in the conduct of site evaluation and inspection, and protection and maintenance activities to ensure at least 85% survival.
Mangrove forests stabilize the coastline and reduce erosion from storm surges, currents, waves, and tides. The detritus in mangroves are food to fish and other organisms and the intricate root system provides them shelter from predators.
There are about 80 different species of mangrove trees. All of these trees grow in areas with low-oxygen soil where slow-moving waters allow fine sediments to accumulate. Mangrove forests only grow at tropical and subtropical latitudes near the equator because they cannot withstand freezing temperatures.
Many mangrove forests can be recognized by their dense tangle of prop roots that make the trees appear to be standing on stilts above the water. This tangle of roots allows the trees to adapt to the daily rise and fall of tides, which means that most mangroves get flooded at least twice a day. The roots also slow the movement of tidal waters, causing sediments to settle and build up the muddy bottom. (DENR-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)