6.01.2015

Monday, June 1, 2015

OWWA to celebrate 20th Migrant Workers Day

By Susil D. Ragas and Jean Mary Ronquillo

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, June 1 (PIA) - The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will be celebrating the 20th Migrant Workers Day dubbed “Araw ng Pasasalamat” on June 7, 2015 to show the government’s resolve of honoring and recognizing the valuable contributions of OFWs to the country.

This year’s celebration is anchored on the theme, “Kasanayan at Husay sa Paggawa, Proteksyon ng Migranteng Manggagawa.” In Caraga region, the event will be held at Surigao del Norte Provincial Gymnasium from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. The one day celebration will include fun-filled activities such as parlor games, raffle draws and dance competition.

OWWA-13 regional director Samuel Madrid enjoins all Caraganon Overseas Filipino Workers (vacationing and returnees) including their families, especially those from Surigao del Norte area, to participate in this celebration dedicated for them.

To register, please visit the nearest Public Employment Service Office (PESO) or contact the OWWA Regional Welfare Office-13 with telephone numbers (085) 342-6178/815-1894. (SDR/OWWA-Caraga/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Global Surigaonons conduct tree planting for Lake Mainit shores reforestration

By Zimmbodilion Peter Mosende

MAINIT, Surigao del Norte, June 1 (PIA) — Migrants and residents of Mainit, Surigao del Norte led by the online facebook group, Mainitnon Gihapon, in collaboration with the local government of Barangay Quezon, joined hands recently in planting more than 600 bangkal trees along the Bitan-ag area of Lake Mainit shore.

Members of Mainitnon Gihapon or MG are local and migrants Mainitnons from all over the world. Many have come home as far as Canada, North America, Europe, Middle East, North Africa, and Australia to join this year’s 2nd global reunion which included a support to the tree planting cause.

Several members of MG, even prior to its existence as a facebook group (founded Dec 2011) (http://pidjanga.blogspot.com/2011/12/mainitnon-gihapon-mg-facebook-group.html), have been strong supporters of the re-greening and reforestation efforts for the lake. This included support to the first ever tree planting efforts of the online group Mainit Dot Org (MDO) in 2006 with 300 bangkal trees planted, followed by Tambayayong Mainit, Inc. (TMI) in 2009 and 2012 (600 bangkal and susot trees), all on the eastern side of the lake shore called Panayakpan.

Incumbent barangay captain and a tree enthusiast Gaudencio Mondano, who has extensive experience on reforestation in Papua New Guinea, pushed the lake shore reforestation as one of the barangay’s top priority development agenda. The barangay named this as the Panayakpan Ecopark project.

With a convincing proposal, and armed with evidence from the previous tree planting experiments that both bangkal and susot trees are guob-resitant which means they can survive in long term flooding, the Philippine Red Cross granted a P300,000 seed fund for the establishment of a barangay nursery and planting of additional trees. By end of 2014, the barangay has planted almost a thousand trees spanning around two kilometers of lake shore from Barangay Quezon to the neighboring Barangay Mabini.

The MG-led tree planting this year covers the western portion of the lake going to Barangay San Isidro. A total of 625 bangkal trees were planted spanning around 1.5 kilometers of lakeshore.

“With its capacity to hold water of up to 40 liters a day, a throng of fully grown bangkal trees has a potential to help mitigate the effects of the dreaded annual lake flooding,” said Mondano.

“I am so happy to be back home after several years of living abroad. I am so excited to be of help,” shared Crispo Salino, an MG member based in Canada who also joined the activity.

“This has always been among my advocacies. My dream is to see one day that the 62-kilometer shoreline of Lake Mainit will be fully reforested so that our children, grandchildren and their grandchildren would enjoy the beauty of the ecopark. It is my prayer that with the joint efforts of Mainitnons and Surigaonons, we will be able to see again the beautiful lakeshore forest which existed in this very lake a century ago,” expressed Manila-based MG member and Pidjanga blogger (www.pidjanga.blogspot.com) Zimmbodilion Peter Mosende who was also among the force behind the successful tree planting projects of MDO and TMI since 2006.

Members of Mainitnon Gihapon have suggested that this project be sustained in the coming years with the hope that fellow Mainitnons will realize the importance of trees in the lake’s ecosystem, and the neighboring lakeshore towns will replicate barangay Quezon's success. (MG member/PIA-Caraga)


Gov’t conducted Bayanihan through Peace Caravan in Agusan del Sur

By Maj Christian C Uy

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City, June 1 (PIA) – The local government unit (LGU) of Agusan del Sur province led by its governor, Hon. Adolph Edward G. Plaza, together with the national and local agencies, Philippine National Police (PNP), and 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, conducted the 2-day Peace Caravan dubbed as “Nagkakaisang bayan para sa kapayapaan. The Government works for you” in far-flung communities of Loreto town on May 28-29, 2015.

On board five Huey Helicopters of Philippine Air Force, trucks and light vehicles, said government officials went to Brgys. Kauswagan and Manawe of Loreto, Agusan del Sur, and provided programs and services for the people.

Loreto town has been one of the hotbed areas as far as insurgency is concerned in Caraga. Since the deployment of the Community Organizing for Peace and Development (COPD) in year 2013, a Bayanihan activity that is being facilitated by the Philippine Army, LGUs and government line agencies in support to peace and development initiatives, the delivery of programs and services gradually changed the perception of the people to include the New People’s Army (NPA) and their mass supporters into believing that it is only through these developments we can solve the problems and alleviate their plights.

Municipal Mayor Dario Otaza of said town welcomed everyone and expressed his utmost gratitude to all the stakeholders during the 2-day program.

Present also during the activity were Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) Secretary Teresita Deles; Usec Gettie Sandoval of OPAPP; Usec Emmanuel Bautista, executive director of the Cabinet Cluster on Security, Justice and Peace; Usec Ronaldo Geron, deputy executive secretary for Finance and Administration Chris Morales of the Department of Agriculture (DA); Director Leocadio Trovela of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG); LtGen Aurelio  Baladad, commander of Eastern Mindanao Command, Major General Oscar Lactao, commander of the 4th Infantry Division and other representatives of regional and provincial directors.

Government services include medical mission by the Provincial Health Office; project turn-over of Timbangan ng Bayan by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI); hand-over of land titles by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR); skills training and scholarships for Provincial Community Training Center by TESDA-13; distribution of seedlings and livestocks by the Provincial Agriculture Office; implementation of OPAPP’s big ticket project which is the farm-to-market road connecting Talacogon, La Paz, Loreto, Veruela, Bunawan, all of Agusan del Sur; and Kasalan ng Bayan conducted by the Municipality of Loreto local government.

“Just like what I’ve said before, through the Internal Peace and Security Operation (IPSO) or the Bayanihan activities, all stakeholders have worked together to achieve a common goal that is to bring hope for the people and create a peaceful community that is ready for further development. The role of the Philippine Army is to ensure that all of these government projects and services will be safely delivered in your communities,” MGen Lactao said.

After the giving of programs and services to the people, the national and local dignitaries proceeded with the ceremonial hand-over of support to 154 former rebels (FR) who finally decided to go back to mainstream society. These FRs have received support based from the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) from the LGU of Agusan del Sur.

Further, a total of 152 high-powered and low-powered firearms were surrendered by the FRs. Only those who have firearms are entitled to receive cash assistance from the Guns for Peace Program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines but the amount will depend on the result of the joint validation and authentication committee (JVAC) as remuneration to the guns surrendered. Moreover, Mayor Otaza also provided cash assistance to the FRs.

“We congratulate our brothers and sisters who have returned to their normal life. Thank you for finally leaving the non-sense armed struggle and believing that the only solution to the problem is to take part on the peace initiatives in your communities. Rest assured that these continuing programs will reach not only to this area but in all corners of the archipelago. Walang iwanan (no one will be left behind),” said Usec Bautista during his speech. (INF, PA/PIA-Caraga)


DOST’s complementary food helps dip malnutrition in Agusan del Norte town, study says

BUTUAN CITY, June 1 (PIA) - The complementary food feeding program of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Jabonga, a third class municipality in Agusandel Norte, helped decrease malnutrition incidence from a high of 74 percent to 34 percent, according to a study.

The study, tied up with a 120-day complementary food feeding program, was conducted by DOST’s  Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI).

Findings showed that the significant increase in body weights of children is attributed to the 120-day complementary food feeding program implemented by DOST, through its attached agency FNRI.  The latter developed several variants of said complementary food.

This feeding program is a continuous undertaking in partnership with the Municipality of Jabonga and its Municipal Department of Social Welfare and Development office.

“As part of DOST’s commitment to help curb malnutrition in the country, we have developed the complementary food  technology  through the FNRI several years ago with extensive research using readily available raw materials like rice and monggo,” said DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo.

The DOST-FNRI developed and rolled out three kinds of complementary foods, namely the Rice-Mongo Curls, the Rice-Mongo Baby Food Blend (Instant) and the Rice-Monggo with Sesame.

Complementary food samples were formally presented during the Science Nation Tour (SNT) in CARAGA recently.  Sec. Montejo handed over a basketful of complementary foods to Jabonga Mayor Jasmin F. Monton, who welcomed the DOST intervention as a very effective innovation that addressed the municipality’s malnutrition problem.

“Nagpapasalamat kami ng lubusan sa DOST para sa programang complementary food feeding program dahil ito ay nakabawas sa malnutrisyon ng mga bata sa Jabongana may edad mula anim na buwan hanggang tatlong taon sa loob ng 120 araw (We thank the DOST for the complementary food feeding program because it reduced malnutrition of the children in Jabonga with ages from six months to three years old in a span of 120 days),” said Mayor Jabonga.

The Rice-Mongo Curls, a blend of rice flour and mongo, is crispy  with an appealing cereal taste enhanced by artificial flavours. This product contains 130 kcal of energy and 4 grams protein per 30 grams. This is enough to meet the 12 percent of recommended energy and 14.3 percent of recommended protein intake of children with age of one to three years.

As a nutritious snack, it contains 15 milligram of calcium, one milligram of iron and 21 grams of carbohydrates.

The Rice-Mongo Baby Food Blend (plain variety), meanwhile, is an instant food preparation rich in protein and energy, processed using the extrusion cooking method. It contains 120 kcal and 4 grams protein per 30 grams. This formulation is enough to meet 17 percent of recommended energy and nutrient intake (RENI) for children aged six to 12 months and 29 percent of recommended protein intake for children of the same age.

The Rice-Monggo Baby Food Blend contains 140 calories (19 percent RENI) and four grams of protein (19.4 percent RENI) for children aged six to 12 months.

The first batch of the Jabonga project had two sets of participants who started in April and October 2014. Set A had 73 while Set B had 15 participating children. After 30 days of implementation, 33 of the 73 children achieved the normal weight status for Set A and eight of 15 children achieved normal weight status for Set B. Then after the 120-day period ended, 69 out of 73 was declared with normal weight for Set A and all 15 declared with normal weight for Set B.

This complementary food feeding program of the DOST-FNRI is now being replicated in other towns and municipalities in the province as well as in the nearby province of Surigao del Norte, and other regions in the country with significant malnutrition problem.

The unique and effective health food products of DOST-FNRI will also be featured in the upcoming National Science and Technology Week 2015 from July 24-28, 2015 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. All kids and adults, science aficionados, techies, and fun loving people from all walks of life are invited to see the DOST exhibits of various technologies and innovations for FREE. For more details please log on to nstw.dost.gov.ph or can also visit the DOST website, www.science.ph.  (S&T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)


Caraga farmer associations receive P2.93M worth of farm machineries

By Rhea C. Abao

BUTUAN CITY, June 1 (PIA) - “To lower the cost of production and to increase farmers income are priority concerns of the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Agri-Pinoy Rice Program”, said DA-13 Regional Director Edna M. Mabeza, as she personally  turned-over the agricultural farm equipment worth of P2.93 million.

The turn-over ceremony was spearheaded by the Regional Agriculture Engineering Division (RAED) and witnessed by Chief of the Integrated Laboratories Division John E. Gamboa, Sr.  and Chief of  Field Operations Division. Rebecca R. Atega .

DA continues to uplift the lives of Caraga farmers through the support of farm mechanization. There were 20 farmer- associations and irrigator associations who received a full grant of pump and engine set. Ten units were given to the associations from Agusan del Sur, five units for Butuan City, one unit for Agusan del Norte, three units for Surigao del Sur and one unit for the Province of Dinagat Islands.

Five farmer associations and irrigator associatons  from the five provinces also received rice threshers. This is under to the 85:15 counter parting scheme wherein 85 percent will be shouldered by the department and the remaining 15 percent will be the counterpart of the recepient. The distribution of the farm machineries was based on the proposals submitted by the associations.

“Claver, Gigaquit, Bacuag (CLAGIBA) Irrigators Association received four units of rice threshers. A total of 1,011 members will benefit the said equipment. Aside from the machineries and equipment we received DA also partnered it with technical assistance as they deliver the services and programs of the government. With this, we are very grateful from the full-packed assistance we have received,” said Pablo Escaro, president of CLAGIBA Irrigators Association.

Under its Farm Mechanization Program, DA is continously extending pre and post harvest equipment and facilities to qualified farmer associations, irrigator associations, cooperatives, local government units and accredited farm service providers. (DA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


DepEd-SurSur expects 130,000 students for 2015 classes opening

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, June 1 (PIA) – Three schools divisions of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Surigao del Sur are ready to greet over 130,000 elementary pupils and high school students province-wide for the opening of classes today.

Everything has already been set, according to the respective schools division officers concerned.

Assistant schools division superintendent Lorenzo Macasocol of DepEd-Surigao del Sur division said that they have started the Oplan Balik Eskwela in which public assistance stations were put up that would remain operational until June 6, 2015 following the successful conduct of the Brigada Eskwela.

Macasocol added that as the biggest division, some 100,000 elementary pupils and high school students are expected to come to school during the opening day while division planning officer III Bevelyn Garrido cited they have a project enrollment of 82,504 and 29,536 for elementary and secondary schools, respectively.

However, early registration data shows a significant number of students have yet to enroll as there are only 74,063 for elementary and 29,085 enrollees for secondary posted.

On the part of the Tandag City division, schools division superintendent (SDS) Gregoria Su also said that they have a projected enrollment of 10,206 and 4,511 for the 26 elementary and five secondary schools, respectively.

Bislig City division headed by SDS Josita Carmen said that public schools under her are also ready for the incoming school year.

The Bislig City division down south of the province has a much bigger student population compared to Tandag City.

Meanwhile, Macasocol and Su told media that classrooms are no longer a problem in their area due to construction of additional school buildings.

However, Macasocol said in particular that some newly constructed classrooms are yet to be turned-over due to back jobs upon learning some minor defects after inspection.

“No collection policy” is strictly enforced here, DepEd officials further emphasized. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)