5.11.2015

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Surigao Norte bares activities for its 114th founding anniversary

By Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, May 6 (PIA) - The provincial government of Surigao del Norte is all set to celebrate its 114th founding anniversary this coming May 7-15, here.

This year’s celebration with the theme, “Empowering Communities through Sustainable Agri-Tourism Development” begins on May 7 with an opening parade that will start at 7:00 a.m. to be followed by an opening program at the provincial gymnasium.

Right after the opening program, a Farmers’ and Fisherfolk's Forum anchored on the theme, “Ipadajon Pagkaon Surigaonon, Let’s Do Organic and Nature Framing” will follow at 9:30 a.m, then a boodle lunch and ribbon cutting of Agri-Trade Fair Exhibits dubbed “ATO INI Produkto ug Pagkaong Surigaonon” at 3:00 p.m, and a cultural show dubbed “Pasundayag” at around 6:00 p.m. at the Provincial Sports Complex Oval.

Other lined-up activities for the nine-day celebration include, Team Capitol Sports Fest (8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) on May 8 and Bandahan (6:00 p.m.) at the Provincial Sports Complex Oval; May 9- Hataw sa Surigao: Zumba na Surigaonon (5:00 a.m.) at the Provincial Gymnasium and Bandahan (6:00 p.m.); May 10- Mountain Bike and BMX Tournament (6:00 a.m.) that will start at the Provincial Capitol to selected route; Inter-municipality Solo Singing Competition “TINGOG SURIGAONON 2015” (6:00 p.m.) at the Provincial Sports Complex Oval; May 11- Provincial Local History Writing Seminar (9:00 a.m.) at the Cultural Center for Children; Team Capitol Health and Wellness and Natural Healing Seminar (2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.) at the Provincial Convention Center and Hip-Hop Dance Competition “Talento Surigaonon” (7:00 p.m.) at the Provincial Gymnasium; May 12- Opening of Local Artists’ Gallery and Photo Exhibit (8:00 A.M) at the Arts and Culture Center, “Pasundayag” (6:00 P.M) at the Provincial Sports Complex Oval; May 13- Provincial Youth Skills Competition (8:00a.m.-5:00 p.m.) at the Provincial Gymnasium and "Pasundayag nan Kanta, Sajaw ug Balak Sinurigao" (7:00 p.m.) at the Provincial Sports Complex Oval; and May 14- 1st Provincial Youth Entrepreneurship Summit (9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) at the Provincial Convention Center and Pasundayag-back to back concert with live bands from Cebu (6:00 p.m.) at the Provincial Sports Complex Oval.

On May 15, the founding day, a centennial thanksgiving mass at 7:30 a.m. will be held at the Provincial Convention Center followed by a centennial flag raising, centennial program, and centennial panambay alang sa Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries at 9:00 a.m. and the blessing and inauguration of Go Negosyo Convergence Center at 10:00 a.m. at the Provincial Capitol; Capitol Sports Fest Awarding at 1:00 p.m., centennial parade at 3:00 p.m. and Agri-Fair Closing and Awarding Ceremonies at 4:00 p.m.

A grand fireworks and the “Duyom nan Pasalamat” recognition and appreciation night and concert featuring the “OPM Hitmen” will be held on the evening at the Provincial Gymnasium.

Surigao del Norte celebrates its founding day every May 15 of each year pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 988. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)


264 hired on Labor Day job fair in Butuan

By Lacheln O. Rafallo

BUTUAN CITY, May 6 (PIA) – A total of 264 applicants were hired on the spot during Friday's Labor Day Job Fair, here.

Data from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Caraga revealed that of the 1,231 job registrants, a total of 1,109 applicants were successfully interviewed while some 119 applicants were referred to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Caraga.

The job fair featured a total of 16,208 job vacancies from 29 local and overseas agencies, it was learned.

DOLE Caraga regional director Atty. Johnson Canete said that the government is making its best to improve the country’s economy through improving the employment rate, "that is why the yearly celebration of Labor Day is the event where Job Fairs are made around the country."

“[In fact,] the increase of the employment rate [in Butuan] has helped the improvement of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate in the city,” he added.

Meanwhile, DOLE Caraga has also launched the PhilJobNet Kiosk on the same day of the event in cooperation with TESDA Caraga and Robinson’s Place. Job seekers who were unable to attend the event are encouraged to find the PhilJobNet Kiosk at 3rd Floor, Lingkod Pinoy Center, Robinson’s Place Butuan. (FEA/PIA-Caraga)


676 hectares of private agriculture lands up for distribution in Caraga – DAR

By Joie L. Ceballos

BUTUAN CITY, May 6 (PIA) - A total of 676 hectares of private agricultural lands is up for distribution in the region within the first semester of 2015, according to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)-Caraga.

This is following the first one-on-one discussion of newly-installed DAR Caraga regional director Julita A. Ragandang with the provincial agrarian reform officers and municipal agrarian reform officers last April 20-24, 2015.

"This is a remarkable effort to distribute private agricultural lands, which is the main thrust of the comprehensive agrarian reform program (CARP)," says Ragandang.

DAR-Caraga targeted 12,000 hectares for distribution this year but has found 1,160 hectares as of April 23, 2015 to be deductible from the target as they are considered problematic or with defective notice of coverage.

Ragandang acknowledges the performance of the DAR-Caraga in the past years. "But i am here to help and continue the good that you have started towards completing our commitments to the beneficiaries," she added.

Ragandang is a home-grown rank to regional director of nine years in Region 9. (DAR-13/PIA-Caraga)


DepEd Butuan orients, installs BAC, TWG, other special bodies

By Dr. Jonas H. Jomonong

BUTUAN CITY, May 6 (PIA) - The Department of Education (DepEd) Division of Butuan City recently conducted a one-day Orientation-Workshop on the Roles and Functions of Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), Technical Working Group (TWG) and Special Bodies in Gazebo, Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte on May 1, 2015.

Jeanie L. Mativo, assistant schools division superintendent and the BAC chairman welcomed the participants to the said workshop.

Arsenio T. Cornites Jr., schools division superintendent (SDS) discussed the significant concepts under Rpeublic Act 9184 on the Procurement Law.  On the other hand, Mayalene De La Rita, division supply officer talked on property and supply management.

The main purpose of this one-day orientation-workshop is to orient the BAC, BAC Secretariat and the TWG on their roles and functions and other special bodies including the inspectorate committee, disposal committee, canvasser and inventory committee to ensure proper utilization, procurement of supplies and to safeguard assets and properties from wastage or misuse.

After the workshop, members of the different committees and other special bodies were installed by SDS Cornites.  Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) will be chaired by ASDS Mativo, Reynaldo B. Encarguez as vice-chairman and Mary Joy A. Intong, Dr. Israel B. Reveche, Dr. Donald D. Orbillos, Romeo A. Estillore and Maricor Alegado as members.  The BAC secretariat is composed of Rowena C. Egay and Joshua Albia.

Furthermore, the technical working group (TWG) is composed of six groups.  Engr. Nichael Nadria and Victor Hernando for Infra and Furniture; Christopher Mortal and Joshua Albia for ICT related; Dr. Ana P. Lasco for Suplies and Materials; David Carmelo for Catering Services and venue; Dr. Bebelyn C. Corvera for Instructional Materials; Rolita B. Flores for General Services and Joyce P. Adlawan as Legal Consultant.

On the other hand, Rey Collado acts as the team leader for inspectorate team with Trifon B. Vergara and Junwayne B. Garcia as members. Rolando Sajol and Joven A. Balaba will act as canvassers.

Furthermore, the committee on disposal will be chaired by Rodrigo Madelo with Dr. Rogelio Sultan and Maria Lina Azote as members. Mayalene S. De La Rita will spearhead the inventory with Mabini Balayot and Michael U. Martin as members.

With the new set-up and well-organized committees and technical working groups and other special bodies, transparency and accountability will evidently be observed in the organization. (DepEd Butuan City division/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Surigao consumer group inducts new sets of officers

By Rodrigo Matabaran

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, May 6 (PIA) - The newly-elected officers of the Surigao del Norte Consumers Organization, Inc (SUNCO) was recently inducted into office here.

Inducted into office were the Board of Directors (BOD) and Officers of the organization headed by its president, retired colonel Nestor T. Mindaña.

Other officers being inducted were Avelino E. Jarabe, vice president; Carmela L. Beltran, secretary; Aurora C. Pertos, treasurer; Pedro R. Espina, auditor; Luciano E. Beltran and Manuel M. Cabada, public information officers.

The BODs are composed of retired colonel Pedro L. Eder; Engr. Orestes R. Añoneuvo, barangay kagawad Peñaflor A. Laxa; Nelia A. Mantilia, Anita A. Rebuyon, Eduardo L. Alac, Domingo M. Gordonas and Rumella F. de la Cruz.

The newly elected officers were inducted into office by city mayor Ernesto T. Matugas and also present during the induction ceremony was the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Surigao del Norte  provincial director Celestino L. Negapata.

In his message, Negapatan encouraged the group to sustain the harmonious collaboration with the government in undertaking consumer education and protection activities.

He also expressed gratitude to the SUNCO officers and members for their voluntary service to the Surigaonon community.

SUNCO was organized in October 2010 and was registered with Securities and Exchange Commission in December 7, 2011. It aims to undertake consumer protection and advocacy activities as it initiates and actively participates in consumer education seminars, fora and other relative undertakings. The group started with 68 and now has a total of 115 members.

As an active consumer group, it is a member of the Local Price Coordinating Council (LPCC) of the city being chaired by the city mayor. (SDR/DTI-Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Defense chief graces Taganito Evacuation Center groundbreaking ceremony

By John Glenn A. Platil

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, May 6 (PIA) - Department of National Defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin graced and fronted the groundbreaking ceremony of the Taganito Evacuation Center on April 28, 2015 in Claver town, this province.

Sec. Gazmin was joined by Claver mayor Eddie Gokiangkee and first district representative Francisco Matugas, chairperson of the House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.

Also present were Taganito HPAL Nickel Corp president Takanori Fujimura, vice president for Operations Augusto Villaluna, and officials of Caraga Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC).

The three buildings, with funding support from the Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC), were built as evacuation centers for the people of barangays Taganito, Hayanggabon, Urbiztondo, Cagdianao and other constituencies of the town.

Sec. Gazmin said that Clavernons are now secured and safe from natural calamities like storm surges and flashfloods because the evacuation centers are sheltered upon the hills of Taganito and under the compound of THPAL.

Meanwhile, Rep. Matugas thanked the NAC officials for helping the community and for saving innocent civilians from danger of catastrophes.

He also commended the company for rising to the occasion, making sure that the giant initiative would also guide other mining companies all over the country to do their share in terms of corporate social responsibility.

“This project helps the concerned barangay, the whole town of Claver and the entire province, in general,” Rep. Matugas said.

It was learned, that several mining companies will be recognized by the provincial government this coming May 15 during the province's 114th founding anniversary celebration for their actions and meritorious contributions which greatly help the people of Surigao.

NAC comprises of Taganito Mining Corporation, Hinatuan Mining Corporation and THPAL Corp. (SDR/PIC-Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


BIR – SurSur warns tax cheats; bares other feats

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, May 6 (PIA) – The Revenue District Office 106 (RDO 106) of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in Surigao del Sur has issued a warning against taxpayers who deliberately and intentionally avoided obligation to file income tax return (ITR) until the set deadline on April 15, 2015.

Monib Dimakuta, RDO chief, said the “sifting process” is ongoing, referring to the laborious and tedious conduct of crosschecking ITR records; no tax cheat has yet been noted and found out so far, he added.

Citing a high percentage of turnouts among filers, the ITR filing here was tagged as successful in general.

Be that as it may, Dimakuta assured they will go after those who failed to file their ITR and everything that goes with it upon verification.

Meanwhile, the said office bared the accomplishment on tax collection for the first quarter of 2015.

Dimakuta admitted they have yet to exert more effort in order to hit tax goals, but was glad to note that RDO 106 has topped the tax collection in Caraga region for the entire quarter.

His office has collected P183,132,028.01 of the P199,459,000 tax goal or just posted a shortfall of only P16,326,971.99 which is equivalent to -8.19 percent—the least deficit incurred among the four RDOs in the region, he said.

On the other hand, the BIR chief here was quick to say that collectively the BIR regional office has surpassed the actual tax collection of last year for the same quarter.

He said that based on comparative data, the BIR-Caraga has posted a total increase in tax collection amounting to P105,554,538.22 or equivalent to 12.97 percent during the same period of the preceding year which only had P813,685,082.31.

On other achievements, Dimakuta confirmed having received on April 22, 2015 the result of the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) Report Card Survey of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) signed by CSC Caraga regional director Resurreccion Pueyo with a score of 90.39 percent or a descriptive rating of “EXCELLENT.”

The CSC result is yet for validation by its central office, he clarified. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Weak El Niño impedes BCWD surface water source, concessionaires advised to save water

By Ramil Barquin

BUTUAN CITY, May 6 (PIA) - Forecast from the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) showed that the Philippines is currently experiencing the effects of a weak El Niño. PAGASA released El Niño Advisory No. 2 last April 7, 2015 stating that the weak El Niño will likely continue until mid-2015 with the chances of strengthening toward the end of the year.

Based from the hourly monitoring of the Taguibo River, the accumulated rain have not increased the water yield of the river. It has been observed that the stream has decreased within a month despite of incidences of rain.

On April 29, 2015, the water yield of the Taguibo River was measured using a stream flow meter. It was measured just downstream of Bobon Creek and within the project site of the Butuan Bulk Water Supply Project. The amount of water flowing through the Taguibo River measures an average of 2,100 cubic meter an hour which is about 175 percent of BCWD’s requirement of 1,200 cubic meters.

Despite the 75 percent excess of water source against the requirement, the extraction rate could not reach the 1,200 cubic meters per hour requirement due to lower river depth. The average total production extracted from the Taguibo River is only 704 cubic meters per hour which is about only 59 percent of the requirement of BCWD with only a maximum production recorded of 886 cubic meters per hour and lowest production of 472 cubic meters per hour on that date.

If the weak El Niño will extend until the end of this year, then there is a high possibility that the water yield of Taguibo River will continue to lower down until such time that it will be lower than the 59 percent of the required 1,200 cubic meters per hour.

As part of the Butuan City Water District’s (BCWD) commitment in providing quality service to its concessionaires, the BCWD has been doubling its efforts in monitoring its water sources and preparing for any possible effects that may impede in the operation of the BCWD.

BCWD relies mostly in the Taguibo River as the major source of its water supply. As such, BCWD is now preparing for any possible effect of the weak El Niño in its water supply. Among the preparations include (1) the implementation of street-by-street leak detection and repair program, (2) campaign to report any illegal water connection, (3) conditioning of the five pumping stations which are the back-up sources of BCWD, (4) guarantee that the six reservoirs are sufficiently re-charged, (5) operation of the booster pump at Km. 6 Libertad to cater to high elevated areas such as Bancasi, Pinamanculan and Dumalagan, and (6) worst case scenario is the implementation of distribution management through valving and tanker rationing.

Several activities are also in line to be able to inform the public on the possible effect of El Niño to the water supply of Butuan City Water District. BCWD is urging its concessionaires to conserve water. According to a study by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) entitled “Determination of Basic Household Requirements,” an average Filipino family uses six liters per capita per day for drinking and 12 liters for cooking and the kitchen. Majority of the water use in every Filipino household is for personal hygiene which is at 68 liters per capita per day and 74 liters for sanitation services. The basic household activities which consume the bulk of the water use of a Filipino family can be lessened through water conservation.

BCWD compels its concessionaires to reduce, reuse and recycle. This will greatly help minimize the average water consumption of every concessionaire.

BCWD is reminding its concessionaires that the office is only responsible for maintaining the water line from the mainline to their water meter, the concessionaires are responsible for the repairs to any part of the water system from the meter toward their homes. If they find leaks in the mainline of BCWD, they are urged to report it immediately to the office of BCWD. And if there are leaks in their homes, they need to have it repaired.

For more water conservation tips to mitigate the effect of El Nino, concessionaires can visit BCWD website at www.bcwd.gov.ph. They can also get water conservation tips leaflet at the BCWD Collection Lobby. (Public Relations Officer, BCWD/PIA-Caraga)


173 gov’t offices hailed as frontrunners vs red tape – CSC

BUTUAN CITY, May 6 (PIA) - A total of 173 government offices have been given the Citizen’s Satisfaction Center Seal of Excellence for their efforts to combat red tape and render the highest quality of frontline services to the public since 2011, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) announced.

This came after the CSC awarded the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) Main Office as the latest government office to receive such recognition. The awarding was held March 16 at the CSC Central Office in Quezon City, with GSIS President and General Manager Robert G. Vergara accepting the award from CSC Commissioner Robert S. Martinez.

GSIS Main Office was conferred a wall-mountable glass seal bearing the “Seal of Excellence” logo to symbolize the achievement of excellence, as well as a cash reward amounting to PhP 100,000.00 to be used specifically for further improvement in their frontline services.

Commissioner Martinez welcomed this development, as he said that having 173 Seal of Excellence awardees means more and more government offices are cleaning up their acts to ensure that clients are always satisfied with their services. “Sana nga, sa pamamagitan ng paggawad ng Seal of Excellence, unti-unti nating maibalik ang tiwala ng mamamayan sa uri ng ating pamamahalang naka-angkla sa integridad, kahusayan, dedikasyon, at pananagutan (Hopefully, through conferment of the Seal of Excellence, the government will regain the trust and confidence of the public anchored on integrity, excellence, dedication, and accountability),” he added.

Pursuant to Republic Act No. 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA), the CSC conducts the Report Card Survey (RCS), a client feedback survey used to rate agency performance and client satisfaction in terms of frontline service delivery and to monitor agencies’ compliance with the requirements of ARTA.

The CSC checks if the service office has a Citizen’s Charter that contains detailed commitments on transaction steps, cost, and time. It also checks if anti-fixing measures are implemented, if frontline staff wear identification cards, if there are no hidden transaction costs, if there is a manned Public Assistance and Complaints Desk, and if the service office observes the No Noon Break policy.

Also considered is overall client satisfaction based on the effectiveness of frontline service providers, service quality, physical setup of the office, availability of basic facilities, and client feedback.

Service offices which obtain a score of 90-100 are rated Excellent. Those with scores of 90-100 but have a failing mark in one area are rated Outstanding. Scores of 80-89.99 are rated Good; 70-79.99 are Acceptable; and 69.99 and below are Failed. Offices that fail in any of the two core areas, regardless of the final numerical rating, also incur a Failed rating.

Service offices that received an overall rating of Excellent in the RCS undergo a second-phase validation process, and those that pass this validation are conferred the Seal of Excellence award.

The award aims to promote service delivery excellence in the bureaucracy; to acknowledge the hard work of civil servants in providing responsive, efficient and customer-centric services; and to drive competitiveness among government agencies. (CSC/PIA-Caraga)


DOLE-13 salutes Filipino workers during the 113th Labor Day in Caraga

By Iris C. Asis

BUTUAN CITY, May 6 (PIA) - “We at the Department of Labor and Employment Caraga, through the leadership of our regional director Atty. Johnson G. Cañete, salute the commendable efforts of all our Filipino workers around the globe in providing a steadfast mark that propel our economy today to the heights of economic gains.”

This was the statement of Genebelle B. Bal, OIC-assistant regional director of DOLE Caraga during her welcome message on the Labor Day celebration held recently at the Almont Hotel’s Inland Resort, this city.

The men and women of DOLE Caraga along with its attached agencies hustled to make the Labor Day celebration a success. Over 1,231 job seekers flocked and 264 applicants were hired on the spot on the Labor Day Job Fair; that is 34 percent of the 769 qualified applicants.

Pride and joy fill the air as every hired on the spot was called on stage, interviewed and awarded a token.

While applicants sashayed in the venue, mothers were enjoying the free manicure, pedicure, foot spa, massage and as cream of the crop, every girl’s desire, a single red rose.

Also, the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) trained personnel form Butuan Manpower Agency entertained over 112 mothers.

Meanwhile, promo diskwento fair spearheaded by the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB) was happily patronized by the Regional Coordinating Committee (RCC) members, DOLE staff and the participants. Over P21,000 worth of products were sold.

Two livelihood grants were also awarded at Almont Hotel’s Inland Resort. The Chorizo making business worth P88,607 for the Rural improvement Club Women’s Association of Brgy. 2, LGU-Nasipit, Agusan del Norte and P80,000 for Brgy. 6 Women’s League, BLGU – Brgy. 6, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte on their dress and curtain making venture.

As part of the continuing advocacy on labor laws, 86 certificates of compliance and three tripartite certificates of compliance with labor standards were distributed on that day.

It was also learned that a synchronized launching of the search kiosk commenced at Robinson's Mall here, Capitol Hall in Tandag City, Provincial Government office in Patin-ay, Agusan del Sur and Provincial Government office in San Jose, Dinagat Islands.

In Agusan del Sur, Philsaga Mining Corporation (PMC), Provident Tree Farms Incorporated and Agusan del Sur Electric Cooperative celebrated Labor Day in their respective companies. PMC commemorated the valuable efforts of their employees through a 30-day sports fest; awards were given on May 1, 2015 in time for the Labor Day.

Further, PMC officers and staff initiated the mangrove reforestation program at Wakat, Barobo, Surigao del Sur.

In Claver, Surigao del Norte, mining companies such as Taganito Mining Corp., Platinum Group Metals Corp., Taganito Hpal and Adnama Mining Resources Inc. with their contractors and subcontractors unite to honor the special event with a mass and motorcade. They culminated the activity with an orientation on labor laws.


“This is our humble offering to our Caraganon beneficiaries who continue to seek gainful opportunities to provide for their families the state of life that we all deserve,” said Bal. (DOLE-13/PIA-Caraga)