Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Science Nation Tour connects, interact with people, says DOST Caraga chief

By Nora L. Molde

BUTUAN CITY, May 27 (PIA) – “Science Nation Tour connects and interacts with various stakeholders in the academe, the government, the media and industry,” says Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Caraga regional director Dominga Mallonga during the Science and Technology Forum held Wednesday here.

Director Mallonga also acknowledged all participating agencies, students, partners, heads of agencies and state universities and the contribution of the members of the Regional Development Council (RDC) during Wednesday’s kick off ceremony.

“The Science and Technology (S & T) Forum is part of the larger activity of DOST which is the Science Nation Tour dubbed as Agham na Ramdam - Science which is felt by a larger mass of people in Caraga region,” said director Mallonga.

Director Mallonga said that the tour is not just a mere caravan of DOST services but a roadshow where we inform, disseminate, communicate and share with the public about research initiatives.

New technologies, programs and projects with Science, Technology and Innovation content will be shared so that more students, the youth, the micro and medium enterprises, local government units, civil society organizations, communities and the general public will come to appreciate and be inspired by what they hear, see and experience, bared director Mallonga.

“Through the Science Nation Tour we connect and interact with the people and will also create substantive partnerships that could provide opportunities towards joint undertakings and scientific and technological collaborations that can harness the power of science for the benefit of our regions and the country as a whole," said Mallonga.

She added that the Science Nation Tour is a process of providing an avenue for inspiration, technology demonstration for engagement and results for conversion.

The roadshow provides Information, Education and Communication (IEC) which inspire, engage and convert people to adopt Science, Technology and Innovation as a way of life.

The S & T respond to the needs of society and both are game changers. Significant reductions in poverty and improvements in the quality of life are made possible through advances in scientific and technological knowledge and applications, Mallonga said.

During the S & T Forum, research and development initiatives of state universities/colleges and various teams are being discussed.

Also, director Mallonga acknowledged the very important role of the media in helping DOST bring the good news to the people. (NCLM/PIA Caraga)


Caraga stakeholders participate in DOST’s S&T roadshow, forum

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, May 27 (PIA) – Heads/regional directors of government agencies, representatives from public and private sector, students and media actively participated during the kick-off program of the roadshow dubbed as “Science Nation: Agham na Ramdam” by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Caraga held on Wednesday at Samping Avenue, this city.

At around 6:35 a.m. on the same day, DOST Secretary Mario Montejo, the event's guest speaker, together with undersecretary for regional operations Carol Yorope, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction assistant secretary Raymond Liboro, and representatives from Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) and Ateneo de Manila University arrived at the Bancasi National Airport. The group was welcomed and received by DOST-Caraga regional director Dominga Mallonga.

During the program proper, Surigao del Norte Governor and Regional Development Council (RDC) chairperson Sol Matugas delivered her welcome remarks to all the participating agencies and partners.

“We are very optimistic that your presence in this science forum will strengthen our ties as partners and will enhance our learnings, programs and services in the field of science and technology. Thank you very much for your participation and we look forward to our future endeavors,” expressed Matugas.

Matugas recognized the valuable efforts of DOST thru regional director Dominga Mallonga. "I congratulate regional director Dominga Mallonga for being so active in the promotion of science and technology in the region," she expressed.

Also, on behalf of Butuan City mayor Ferdinand Amante Jr, Engr. Pierre Anthony Joven read his message. He stressed that technology has made various developments for the city.  

"Today is the best time to express our gratitude to everything good that is happening to us in our city through the DOST. As this forum includes the researches outcomes and other topics, the people of Butuan will be more aware of the effort of the government in its innovations for the benefit of the city and the region in general... We are also glad that the Philippine Science High School is accommodated at the Caraga State University Campus. I am confident that students will do their best just to be enrolled at Pisay to learn and develop their skills in science and technology... May this activity today lead us to another significant innovations and developments," he relayed.

Director Mallonga also acknowledged all the participating agencies, heads of government offices, students and partners and their contribution to the different projects of the government in the field of science and technology.

"Today's activity is not just a forum but a roadshow to really create meaningful outcomes/results by catering to people everything that we have in science and technology," she said. Dir. Mallonga also recognized the vital role of the media in bringing the good news to the community.

Meanwhile, Sec. Montejo encouraged more Filipinos to become technology self-reliant, being able to identify what type of technology to use in a project, suitable to social and economic conditions of the geographic area in which it is to be applied. It should be appropriate and environmentally sound.

"We, in the Science and Technology department is continuously doing innovations for inclusive growth. We build-up our 'know-how' and capabilities to come up with innovative solutions to directly address the concerns, problems of the people in the community," bared Montejo.

Montejo further reiterated that the government is strongly supporting Climate Change Adaptation efforts. “We seek to improve the level of our preparedness for us to be more prepared in the future... As we prepare ourselves for the future, technology will also help us. Through it, our planning, decision making will be more definite because we have basis," he disclosed.

Aside from the press conference, the participants also witnessed the presentation of Early Warning Devices and Site Installations; Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) Signing with Governors and City Mayors; Presentation and launching of Eastern Mindanao Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research Alliance for Development (EMIEERALD); and Presentation and Commitment Signing of Caraga Food Safety Team.

Sec. Montejo also led the presentation, launching and MOA Signing of Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosk Station, also known as Starbooks at Robinsons Place’ Atrium. The secretary with other officials also visited the Tindahang Pinoy at the Robinsons Mall; Caraga State University (CSU); and CSU-Phil LIDAR and Responsible Mining Laboratory.

The DOST and RDC Caraga have prepared various lined-up activities for the second and third day of the roadshow. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


DOST opens 3rd leg of ‘Science Nation Tour’ in Caraga Region

BUTUAN CITY, May 27 (PIA) - With the aim to make science “felt” by the average Filipino, the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST's) nationwide roadshow dubbed “Science Nation: Agham na Ramdam” made its next stop in Caraga Region, which started on Wednesday, May 27 and will run until Friday, May 29, 2015.

DOST Caraga hosted the third regional leg of the Science Nation Tour to promote the agency’s programs, projects and services.

DOST Sec. Mario Montejo arrived in the city Wednesday morning as keynote speaker of the Science and Technology (S&T) Forum attended by some 300 participants from the partner stakeholders of the region, members of the Caraga Regional Development Council, local officials, representatives from other line agencies, students and local media.

"Today is the best time to express our gratitude to everything good that is happening to us in our city through the DOST. As this forum includes the researches’ outcomes and other topics, the people of Butuan will be more aware of the effort of the government in its innovations for the benefit of the city and the region in general,” relayed Engr. Pierre Anthony Joven as he read the message of Butuan City mayor Ferdinand Amante Jr. during the opening of the S&T Forum.

DOST Sec. Mario Montejo, in his keynote speech, said that the Science and Technology department is continuously doing innovations for inclusive growth. “We build-up our 'know-how' and capabilities to come up with innovative solutions to directly address the concerns, problems of the people in the community," he said.

"As we prepare ourselves for the future, technology will also help us. Through it, our planning, decision making will be more definite because we have basis," Montejo added.

Other highlights during the S&T Forum were the presentation of Early Warning Devices and Site Installations; Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) Signing with Governors and City Mayors; Presentation and launching of Eastern Mindanao Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research Alliance for Development (EMIEERALD); Presentation and Commitment Signing of Caraga Food Safety Team, and press conference.

Right after the forum, Sec. Montejo led the launching and signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of STARBOOKS or the S&T Academic and Research-Based Openly-Operated Kiosk Stations at the atrium of Robinson’s Place Butuan. This new academic resource for students and researchers is equipped with key access portals in strategic areas in the Philippines.

Users can have access to the latest data and information contained at DOST (SciNeT), Philippine eLib project sources, freely-available online resources, and subscribed databases.

Montejo likewise visited ‘Ang Tindahang Pinoy’ store located at the second level of Robinson’s Place. The store showcases local products under the One Town, One Product (OTOP) project.

He also visited the Phil-LiDAR 1 and 2 projects located at the Caraga State University campus in Brgy. Ampayon, this city. Phil-LiDAR 1 also called “Flood Hazard Mapping of the Philippines Using liDAR: Caraga Region” is one of several projects under the “Phil-LiDAR-1 Hazard Mapping of the Philippines using LiDAR” program funded by the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development – Department of Science and Technology (PCIEERD-DOST).

Phil-LiDAR 1′s purpose is for the state universities and colleges to undertake researches on the utilization of LiDAR technology to generate flood hazard maps of their assigned project areas. CSU's Phil-LiDAR 1 in particular will generate flood hazard maps of the river basins and watershed of Caraga Region. While, Phil-LiDAR 2 aims to produce detailed maps using LiDAR for various applications: production of high value crops; irrigation assessment; aquaculture production; forest protection; and discovery of renewable energy sources.

After his brief visit at CSU's Phil-LIDAR, Montejo was then toured at CSU’s responsible mining laboratory.

During the evening, DOST Caraga spearheaded a night of music and dance with DOST Scholars (Phil. Science High School Students, Parents and Science Education Institute scholars) and awarding of science ambassadors.

On the second day of the tour, the launching of the Smarter Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) in Jabonga in the province of Agusan del Norte will be conducted followed by the inauguration and blessing of the Complementary Food Manufacturing Plant in Gigaguit, Surigao del Norte.

A stakeholders' night will also be held on Thursday and the Launching of the Better Mines Project of the Field Testing of the Gold and Copper Processing Plant without the use of cyanide and mercury in Del Pilar, Cabadbaran City and a visit at the new Philippine Science High School site in Brgy. Ampayon, this city on Friday, May 29. (FEA/JPG/NCLM/VLG/PIA-Caraga)


DTI Surigao Norte, GIZ conduct technology business matching cum financial forum

By Rodrigo R. Matabaran

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, May 27 (PIA) – A total of 45 participants mostly from the tourism related enterprise (TREs) attended the Green Technology Business Matching cum Financing Forum held on May 20, 2015 at the Parkway Hotel this city.

The activity was conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in partnership with GIZ (Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), a German international cooperation agency.

The activity aims to encourage the TREs to adopt climate smart and environment-friendly measures and practices in their operation as well as facilitate their access to possible sources of green technology services and financing mechanism. With the presence of technology providers and financial institution representatives, the activity allowed the TREs to access the green technology service providers and suppliers.

Among the resource persons are Engr. Elmer Tecson of Surigao City Environment and Natural Resources Office who spoke on Solid Waste Management and Engr. Jerry Halibas of Carage State University and Jerome Mill of Solaric Philippines discussed about Renewable Energy

Another set of technical resource persons that also discussed Solid and Waste Water management are Dr. Elesio Ruiz and Beverly Santos of Richfund International, Co. The green financing concerns were tackled by Jesily A. Rejuso of the Development Back of the Philippines, Joel L. Butaya of the Land Bank of the Philippines and Maricel Emboy-Cosme of Butuan Prime Loans.

The presentations were followed by open forum and business matching where participants explored on various possible green business opportunities.

DTI provincial director Celestino L. Negapatan, im his welcome address, encouraged the participants to find ways to enhance their business operation by adapting measures to be environment friendly and climate change resilient. (SDR/DTI-Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


PopCom to award cities, towns of UNFPA

BUTUAN CITY, May 27 (PIA) - Three cities and municipalities shall be named in the Top 3 ranking, at the regional level – and these local government units (LGUs) will be nominated to the national level for their outstanding accomplishment in the field of health and population.

The Rafael M. Salas Population and Development Award (RMSPDA) is designed to perpetuate the legacy of Rafael M. Salas, the first Filipino Executive Director, by honouring LGUs, local chief executives and institutions or individuals for their outstanding contributions in the field of health and population. It aims to showcase outstanding health and population oriented cities and municipalities; recognize excellence and innovation in health and population programs of cities and municipalities; and encourage cities and municipalities to heighten implementation of population development responsive programs.

Commission on Population (PopCom) Caraga regional director Alexander A. Makinano revealed that this year, the award will be conferred on city and municipality that have been involved in the field of population and development. He further emphasized that the criteria of this prestigious award are Governance on Health and Health Financing; Access to Programs, Services and Facilities; Performance Monitoring; and Population and Development Elements.

PopCom together with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and PhilHealth will also have to validate the LGUs’ scorecards maintained by DILG. The awarding ceremonies are scheduled to be held in August of this year.

To recall, PopCom officially launched the 2014 Rafael M. Salas Population and Development Award (RMSPDA) on February 18, 2015. PopCom, as the leading strategic partner, policy and program advocates for the Philippine Population Management Program, established the RMSPDA in 1989. (PopCom-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


SurSur PNP set for 'Balik-Eskwela'

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, May 27 (PIA) – The Philippine National Police (PNP) in Surigao del Sur is all set for the 2015 opening of classes, according to P/SSupt. Narciso Verdadero, acting provincial director.

“A memorandum dated May 23, 2015 has already been sent out to all lower units for specific instructions and guidance,” he said.

Verdadero pointed out the police force is tasked not only to maintain peace and order but also to keep the whole citizenry safe and sound, particularly all school children year in and year out.

His instructions, among others, include maintaining a close working relationship with the Department of Education (DepEd) and other national and local government agencies concerned, deploying of personnel to carry out patrol, and keeping “communication lines” open for any complaint or report.

Last week, the provincial chief said law enforcers have actively joined and participated in the conduct of “Brigada Eskwela” province-wide. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


News Feature: Butuan employers highlight convenience of using EPRS

BUTUAN CITY, May 27 (PIA) - One of the greatest innovations of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) is the development of the Electronic Premium Reporting System (EPRS), a revolutionary database system that changed the reporting system of the employed sector to a more reliable, customer-friendly system that brings ease to employers as well as to their PhilHealth Employers Engagement Representatives (PEERs).

“In comparison with other agencies that required us to submit monthly reporting of premiums, PhilHealth has the most convenient, fastest and easiest remittance system,” shares PEER Jearamie T. Buque, a Compensation and Benefits Specialist of EQUI-PARCO Construction Company based in Ambago, this city. The company is one of the most valued clients of PhilHealth Regional Office Caraga.

“Considering that we have 897 employees, posting of payments through EPRS has never been a problem. EPRS made updating easy especially those employees who are already separated or have no earnings. With just a few clicks, total remittance is already adjusted and payment is much easier!” she said with a smile.

“What I like the most is the convenience and its 24/7 availability. No matter where I am, as long as there is an internet connection, I can access the system. Very advantageous to our office since we are very busy and sometimes there is a need to do reports outside our office. We can do our report without having to download the system to all our computers so we can access the system anywhere,” she added.

Ryan Jae G. Yap, Operations Manager of Manila Auto Care based in this city, states that “I have no problem with the connections. It is fast and reliable. EPRS is convenient in updating (the list of) employees such as adding new employees, or taking away employees’ names from the system. There is no need to go to the office and installation of the system is one-time. In fact, upon realizing the convenience of the EPRS, we immediately registered our other businesses as well.”

"So far, so good! It is fast and automatic. It is hassle-free; EPRS has a 'no earnings' feature, which is quite convenient for us. I am contented with the program and have not encountered any problem yet,” said Alicia B. Pen, Payroll/Payable Staff of Saint Joseph Institute of Technology. (PhilHealth-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


SPES benefits 400 in BIslig City

BISLIG CITY, Surigao del Sur, May 27 (PIA) – The city government here in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has accommodated at least 400 students for the implementation of the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) this summer of 2015.

This year’s batch of SPES beneficiaries have completed their month-long stints with private and government entities.

According to Bislig City Information Office, the culmination ceremony was held recently at the City Covered Court, Poblacion attended by city mayor Librado Navarro together with city administrator Charlito Lerog and other city officials.

It was learned that the check amounted to 60 percent of the wages from the DOLE has already been turned-over to the city government. The other 40 percent will be provided by the city government, which will be sent directly to the school where they will be enrolled in the coming school opening in order to assure that their financial obligation with regards to their education will be augmented.

The implementation of the said program hopes to lower the rate of out-of-school youth, and improved the literacy rate of the city. (NGBT/with reports from the CDIO- Bislig City Info Office/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


BUB scholars in Agusan Norte finish training

By Catalina O. Tacubao

BUTUAN CITY, May 27 (PIA) – A total of 122 scholars under the Bottoms Up Budgeting (BUB) in Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte have finished skills training.

The beneficiaries finished Shielded Metal Arc Welding NC-II and Driving NC II from Candelaria Institute of Technology (ICT) in Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte.

Also, some trainees have finished Prepare Hot Meals leading to Cookery NCII from the Provincial Training Center (PTC) also in Cabadbaran City and were conferred graduate by OIC-Provincial Director of TESDA Agusan del Norte Emma R. de Villa.

In her speech, Dir. De Villa emphasized the relevance of the project as it provides free technical-vocational (tech-voc) education to poor but deserving students. Dir. De Villa added this is in response to the Education for All program of the Aquino Administration.

De Villa further pointed out that with the trainings the scholars have finished under the scholarship program, they will find better job opportunity both here and abroad.

The graduation ceremony was held at the municipal gym which was graced by Kitcharao Vice Mayor Jenry E. Montante and other Sangguniang Bayan Members.

According to Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) website, the Bottom-up Budgeting (BUB) aims to ensure that funding requirements for the development needs of municipalities and cities are included in agency budget proposals. It promotes inclusive participation in community development by empowering civil society organizations (CSOs) to be engaged in the budgeting process.

This policy note presents the results of a process assessment of the BUB in Quezon Province. It was part of a bigger study, commissioned by the Department of Budget and Management to the PIDS that covered 12 municipalities and cities in four provinces representing Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. (TESDA-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)