Monday, June 8, 2015

Butuan City inmates avail SSS’ AlkanSSSya Program

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, June 8 (PIA) – The Social Security System (SSS) in partnership with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Caraga has launched on Friday the AlkanSSSya Program with the city inmates as the beneficiaries. 

There were some 26 female and 72 male participating inmates in the said activity.

Officials of the BJMP-Caraga Regional Office expressed their gratitude to SSS especially to SSS Northern Mindanao Division assistant vice president Atty. Edwin Alo for partnering with the Butuan City Jail in the launching of the SSS' AlkanSSSya Program. With this, inmates will be taught to save and assured of their future whether in jail or in the mainstream of society.

Atty. Alo emphasized the importance of being an SSS member. "With your SSS membership, you are secured and protected. Just pay your monthly dues religiously and you will surely benefit from this program," he said.

J/Insp. Raul Badillo, assistant warden also expressed his thanks to the SSS officials for partnering with the BJMP-Caraga for its program intended for the welfare of the city inmates. He also reiterated that with the said program, inmates can now avail of the SSS without any hassle on their part and their relatives.

"May the AlkanSSSya Program of the Social Security System help many of our inmates here in the city. I know you have your livelihood here so I believe all of you can pay your SSS premium on time without any problem. May your contribution also help you in times of emergencies especially when you will be discharged and live another life again in your respective community," articulated Baltar.

Also, Antonio Fabia, SSS Butuan City branch head congratulated all the recipients and inspired them to continue life even inside the jail. “Your life doesn’t end up here, be optimistic that there are still many wonderful things to come. And the SSS as your partner is very willing to help and assist you. Meantime, we are asking you to save and pay your monthly due,” he said.

It can be recalled that the AlkanSSSya program evolved from the original "TrikanSSSya" conceptualized by the SSS Las Piñas Branch and subsequently launched to cover tricycle operators and drivers. The project entailed the construction of a pigeon-hole-like "piggy bank" for these drivers to drop off their daily savings intended for SSS contributions. Such set-up was ideal for members who cannot afford to remit their entire monthly premiums in one payment but are able to do so on a daily basis. Inspired by the idea, the TrikanSSSya program has since been adopted and institutionalized as a nationwide program for all SSS branches to cover and collect from Informal Sector Groups (ISGs) or self-employed members with irregular income.

Under the program, daily savings are placed in the AlkanSSSya unit, which is a metal cabinet or any material with secure mini-compartments that are assigned to association members who can drop in any amount daily until the required minimum SSS contribution is met. Once a month, the informal sector group officials, under the monitoring and guidance of an SSS Account Officer, count out the collected savings, fill out the requisite payment forms, and remit these to SSS through the bank or an accredited collecting agent.

It was also learned that as of June 2014, the SSS has been able to partner with 837 different ISGs and successfully registered 83,757 workers as SSS members. In terms of contributions, more than P81.1 million have been collected, although many other ISGs have yet to make their first counting.

Meanwhile, Atty. Alo, together with Mr. Fabia, BJMP Warden J/SInsp. Jonathan Baltar, JO1 Psychie Macagaan, and AMS Head of SSS Butuan Ma. Zima Balansag signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) witnessed by the male and female participating inmates.

Right after the MOA Signing between the officials of the SSS and BJMP-Caraga, the 26 females and 72 males personally dropped their coins at their AlkanSSSya - a typical can where they can place their payments intended for their SSS monthly dues. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


Tandag Water District assures customers of ample supply; bares new policies, initial plans

By Greg Tatato Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, June 8 (PIA) – Tandag Water District (TWD), which is under new management, has assured its more than 6,200 customers of sufficient water supply.

General Manager (GM) Annie Ty, who took over the helm on May 18, expressed confidence about having a much better service, especially on the quantity and quality of water.

She said that water interruption is no longer a major stumbling block, citing that aside from having several surface and underground sources, TWD has now employed a technology via a new “water treatment facility.”

However, a busted water supply pipe has caused much inconvenience to customers over the weekend.

Meanwhile, aware that the city—its service area—is booming, having in mind two medium-sized malls to open soon, apart from a new branch of a popular food chain that is expected to break ground also sooner or later, the new GM added that TWD will further venture on finding and developing new water sources.

Just less than a month-old in her post, the lady executive also disclosed a more lax and lenient policy on customers who encounter problem in paying their bills—a bit of good news since no disconnection is going to take place provided those facing such circumstance will agree on executing a promissory note or paying a minimal percentage of the amount due.

Moreover, Ty took pride in saying that tap water here is indeed potable, hence suitable for drinking.

She also revealed that instead of going outside of the province for a water sample laboratory test, TWD has already made possible tying-up with the Provincial Health Office (PHO) for such a requirement.

In addition, the new GM, who replaced predecessor Engr. Ruben Elpa, is planning to allow a contract agreement with prospective concessionaire/s to plant trees at Tandag watershed with a total area of 784 hectares. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


11 Caraga schools now have DOST’s STARBOOKS

BUTUAN CITY, June 8 (PIA) - A globally recognized digital science library developed by the Department of Science and Technology-Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST-STII), is now being used as a handy research tool for students at 11 high schools in Eastern Mindanao.

Recently, DOST-STII launched STARBOOKS or Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly-Operated Kiosk Stations in the said sites during the Butuan City, Caraga Region stop of the Department’s national roadshow dubbed Science Nation: Agham na Ramdam.

STARBOOKS is a user-friendly digital library of science and technology (S&T) information which may be accessed without Internet connection. It is the first science digital library in the Philippines, containing thousands of S&T resources in various formats - text and audio/ video - placed in especially designed pods set in a user-friendly interface.

STARBOOKS is one of five projects worldwide recently chosen by the American Library Association (ALA) to receive the 2015 ALA Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects on June 29, 2015 in San Francisco, USA.

The 11 Caraga schools now installed with STARBOOKS are Agusan National High School and AMA Computer Learning Center in the city; Mainit National High School in Mainit, Surigao del Norte; Jabonga Central Elementary School, Jabonga, Agusan del Norte; Burgos National High School, Burgos, Siargao, Surigao del Norte; Tag-abaca National High School and Loreto National High School in Basilisa and Loreto, Dinagat Islands respectively; Jacinto P. Elpa National High School and Lingig National High School in Tandag City and Lingig, Surigao del Sur; Esperanza National High School and Bayugan National Comprehensive High School in Esperanza and Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur.

“ALA, if you would ask me, is among the most influential academic bodies,” said DOST assistant secretary Raymund E. Liboro during the launch, “so for those who have STARBOOKS in their school library, you are getting a world-class product.”

Also present during the launch were other key officials of DOST led by undersecretary for regional operations Carol M. Yorobe and and DOST Caraga regional director Dominga D. Mallonga.

Science Nation: Agham na Ramdam is a continuing roadshow that showcases DOST’s achievements and contributions in the region’s economic growth through various scientific and technological interventions. The launching of STARBOOKS was one of several activities during the event. STARBOOKS will also be featured during DOST’s National Science and Technology Week slated from July 24-28, 2015 at SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia, Pasay City. (S&T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)


10 troop carrier vehicles arrive at PRO 13

By Noel B. Najarro

BUTUAN CITY, June 8 (PIA) - Ten units of troop carrier police vehicles are now at Police Regional Office 13 ready for disposal to the designated municipal police stations of Agusan del Norte.

Police Regional Office 13 regional chief spokesman PSupt Martin Gamba, in an interview on Monday morning, said that the vehicles which arrived at Camp Rafael C. Rodriguez on Thursday last week were procured by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and were shipped via Cagayan de Oro City port.

According to him, the vehicles were already designated to the ten municipal police stations of the province of Agusan del Norte upon the receipt of their regional supply officer.

He said he did not have any idea why only the municipal police stations of Agusan del Norte were made to be recipients of the police troop carriers, excluding the city of Cabadbaran. Each unit has already been marked with the names of the respective recipient municipal police stations upon its arrival at the Cagayan de Oro city port as received by their regional supply officer, he said.

The regional spokesperson chief also said that he did not know if there will still be more shipments of similar vehicles for the other provinces in the future. He said however, that the vehicles will soon be disposed and turned-over to the supply officers of the respective designated municipality. As to when and who will do the turn-over rites, he did not have any idea yet.

Presently, according to Gamba, they are still on the process of checking and recording the vehicles and these may probably be turned-over anytime this week.

According to Gamba that the troop carriers will be a big boost as to the mobility of the police and may greatly contribute to the peace-keeping, anti-criminality and anti- illegal activity campaign of the municipalities of Agusan del Norte. (PNA/PIA-Caraga)


Surigao Norte guv inspires employees

By John Glenn A. Platil

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, June 8 (PIA) – Surigao del Norte Governor Sol F. Matugas energized rank-and-file employees of the provincial capitol during the Monday Morning Sharing (MMS) on June 1, 2015 held at the Provincial Convention Center, this city.

Governor Matugas announced that the 14th month pay is being considered to help the spirited and determined workers of the provincial government.

In addition, the governor said that she is carefully studying her plans to promote excellent performers from the Provincial Assessor’s Office, citing their national standing in revenue collections from large-scale mining companies which directly benefit the constituents of the province by way of giant infrastructure projects and road-to-bridges networks.

On top of the rewards being evaluated, governor Matugas also explored legitimate ways to promote impressive, remarkable and great team-players from the Provincial Treasury.

“I cannot promote everybody or raise the salary of every individual here across-the-board due to budgetary constraints. We are doing it reasonably, in stages, step by step. Any reward or incentive is performance-based. Promotion is the essential and ultimate result of hard-work and productivity,” explained governor Matugas.

Meanwhile, she also revealed that officials from the city are eager to travel and see the wonders of Siargao. Reiterating her formal invitation, governor Matugas encouraged all those who do not know Siargao to visit the enchanted paradise which hosts the annual World Surfing Cup and International Gamefishing Competition.

With respect to the subject on transparency and accountability wherein the province earned 100 percent compliance rate, governor Matugas asserted that anyone is welcome to express his/her commentary against a department head or immediate superior in line with the principle of freedom of expression so long as the critique is helpful to improve the organization.

Accordingly, the governor said that solid collaboration, pure understanding and great teamwork are important elements to sustain “Ang Bag-ong Surigao” (The New Surigao).

She emphasized that a down-to-earth utility worker is as necessary as the senior manager because when one is having a problem, the entire establishment gets affected. (SDR/PIC-Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Surigao City hosts Mindanao traders' confab roadshow

By Rodrigo R. Matabaran

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, June 8 (PIA) - The organizers of the 24th Mindanao Business Conference (MinBizCon) recently conducted a roadshow here to consult the local stakeholders on possible business and economic development policies that will be presented as formal resolutions during the business conference proper that will be held on September 2-3 this year at Dipolog City.

The MinBizCon is an annual business conference organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and supported by various government and private organizations.

PCCI vice president for Mindanao Affairs Annie O. Ty and Caraga PCCI Regional Governor Sesinio O. Narisma led the consultation.

The attendees during the roadshow included the officers of the different Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Caraga region, the academe and the officers of Surigao Chamber of Commerce and Industry, being the roadshow’s host, headed by vice president for Provincial Affairs Willy Gan, and vice president for City Affairs Manuel Kong, and some leading figures of the local business community.

VP Ty presented the overview of the Mindanao Policy Consultation while Cecil Triño, Area Development Officer of Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Caraga talked on the MinDA's role in the economic development of Mindanao.

Some vital economic development concerns that was proposed and suggested to be considered important talking points during the MinBizCon and be presented to the national government are issues on power supply, improvement of the quality of telecommunication services, value-chain based infrastructure development, conflicting tenurial instruments of lands that hinders private sector investments, engagement of the private sector and major industry players in achieving the goals on inclusive growth.

The organizers disclosed that the city is the 4th leg of the series of roadshows throughout the five cities in Mindanao.

They have already done similar consultation activities in Dipolog City, Cagayan de Oro City, and Gen. Santos City.  The last roadshow will be held in Davao City.

The city was chosen as the roadshow venue in Caraga region considering that it will host the 25th MinBizCon next year - 2016, it was learned. (SDR/DTI-Surigao del Norte)


Tagalog News: Palasyo ikinalugod ang pahayag ng Tsina ng pagkakaroon ng mapayapang solusyon sa isyu sa West Philippine Sea

Ni David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Hunyo 8 (PIA) - Ikinalulugod ng Malakanyang noong Linggo ang pahayag ng Tsina na “Hindi sila hahanap ng solusyong military sa pinagtalunang teritoryo” na nasa West Philippine Sea (WPS).

"Ikinalulugod natin ang mga pahayag na tulad niyan at sang-ayon din po tayo doon sa proposisyon na hindi dapat gumamit ng anumang military solution. At inaayunan din po natin ‘yung kanilang pahayag na ang apatnapung taong pakikipag-ugnayan sa pagitan ng Tsina at ng Pilipinas ay peaceful, friendly at cooperative," sabi ni Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr., saisang panayam sa dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

Sinabi ni Coloma na dahil ang pinagtalunang isyu sa WPS ay may ugnayan sa ibang bansa, at hindi ganoon ka simple ang paglutas sa kabilaang isyu.

"Marami pong bansa, usually po ay more than two sa bawat pinagtatalunang lugar diyan o features o maritime entitlements diyan sa West Philippine Sea. Kaya po iyon po ang ating posisyon. Hindi po ganoon kasimple," sabi ni Coloma.

Sinabi ng ambassador ng Tsina sa Manila na si Zhao Jianhua noong Biyernes na “Gusto namin na ang Pilipina ay bumalik sa negotiating table” at dagdag pa niya na ang Tsina ay walang pinaunang kondisyon sa pagbabalik ng usapan.

Noong Marso ng nakaraang taon, ang Pilipinas ay naghain ng isang memorial sa International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) laban sa Tsina kaugnay sa ginawang pag-angkin sa WPS.

Ang iba pang umaangkin sa mga lupain na matatagpuan sa pinagtalunang lugar pandagat ay ang Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei at Taiwan. (PIA-Agusan del Sur)