Thursday, July 16, 2015

DTI Surigao Norte intensifies consumer education advocacy campaign

By Rodrigo R. Matabaran

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, July 16 (PIA) – To help ordinary consumers get the best value for money, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Surigao del Norte provincial office intensifies its consumer education advocacy activities at the grassroots level.

Since January of this year, a total of 35 consumer advocacy activities were already conducted ranging from the distribution of consumer education flyers up to the conduct of consumer briefings and seminars.

A total of over 700 individuals and households were being reached in the process in various communities throughout the province.

According to provincial director Celestino L. Negapatan, this effort has to be done consistently to educate the consumers on the rights and responsibilities more so with the inflow of numerous products in the local market.

Locally produced as well as imported products are expected to flood the local market as economic integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will come into full effect, and wholesalers and retailers continue to import consumer goods from other countries in the world like the US, China, Japan and Korea among others.

DTI also reminds to keep oneself be updated and informed on consumer advisories released by various government agencies to make appropriate purchasing decision.

The agency encourages consumers to be watchful and vigilant in choosing and using products to ensure their safety and well-being. Quality has to be given due consideration first while at the same time trying to have it at affordable cost.

As producers and manufacturers are using different media to advertise and sell their products, consumers should not rely on one source, and if possible must verify and validate the overall quality, functionality, efficiency and efficacy of certain items.

One has to be a wise consumer to be able to get the best value for money every time we make a purchase. (SDR/DTI-Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Agnor solon remains steadfast in pushing environmental agenda

BUTUAN CITY, July 16 (PIA) - Agusan del Norte representative Lawrence 'Law' Fortun joined today's gathering of technical experts, practitioners and various local stakeholders in discussing modalities, practices, and experiences of designing and implementing payment for environmental services (PES) in the country.

Keynoting the workshop, the solon emphatically called on the natural propensity of humanity to organize and collectively address ecological crises as a "defining political discourse concerning sovereign nation-states sharing a common space called Earth." Citing the 1987 World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) report, Rep. Fortun is optimistic that “humanity has the ability to make development sustainable to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Rep. Fortun elaborated his stand on the current condition of the Taguibo watershed, citing three critical issues this governance space has to take head on. He lenghtily narrated the pains of threats caused by unwarranted activities, such as timber poaching, mining, and illegal road construction, that up until now came to take its toll against the major source of potable water in Butuan.

The second source of challenge in Taguibo watershed is its overlapping tenurial instrument, the solon stressed. "This is a case where one particular common-pool resource cut across many tenurial instruments, and have been managed by different local institutions, supervised by many different government agencies with different operational rules - which are often ambiguous and conflicting," Fortun explained.

"The third challenge of Taguibo common-pool resource, and perhaps more compelling, is its complex absence of equitable sharing of gains and costs from resource units withdrawn from the common-pool resource," the solon continued.

It can be remembered that, it was during Fortun's time when he was then the vice mayor when the Sanggunian Panlungsod of Butuan successfully passed the City Watershed Code with the huge help of the reactivated Environment and Natural Resources Council.

The solon, however, lamented that up until now, there was no serious effort and genuine commitment to lift a finger and implement the landmark legislation. "We have yet to see a serious implementation of the reforestation and rehabilitation programs, and support to the efforts of other NGOs and POs like the Save Taguibo Watershed Network."

Concluding his speech, the solon borrowed the proposal of Rev. Fr. Randy Jasper Odchigue, a scholar from Father Saturnino Urios University, for a "dissenting particularity" in confronting ecological issues, that is, preference to favor and fight for justice, love, compassion for and in behalf of the poor.

"In summary, the whole advocacy of protecting the watershed is captured by its battlecry: 'water is life.' This has also been expounded by a parody of Cartesian cogito, Bibo, Ergo Sum: I drink therefore, I am," Fortun said.

"But this one-line parody of Cartesian cogito also capture our rhetoric refusal to accept that we are helplessly dependent on nature and we cannot live without its abundance and endowments. It is our cowardly retreat to implore fundamental and particularistic need to consume and exploit spheres over which we hold no dominion; to rationalize our colonizing deeds of nature; and somehow to refuse respect over flora and fauna, and offer crusades of exhausting ecological guilt if and when nature start to strike back," he concluded. (Lawig Katawhan/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


DTI advises consumers on pawnshop transactions

By Rodrigo R. Matabaran

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, July 16 (PIA) – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Surigao del Norte advises consumers who will be dealing transactions with pawnshops to carefully read and study the agreement they will sign.

Although pawnshop operation is under the regulatory supervision of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), DTI issues this advice to let the public understand the importance of being fully clarified on the loan transaction they will execute with pawnshops in the light of the recent issue on the interest rate presented to the DTI Consumer Welfare Desk by a consumer having a transaction with one of the pawnshops operating in the city.

In case of disputes on the interest rates and related concerns, the regular courts have the vested power to determine the reasonableness and legality.

It is for this reason that consumers should first look into and compare the rates and fees imposed of different pawnshops in a locality before making any decision to enter into any transaction.

Consumer needing guidance on this related matter can visit the DTI provincial office located at the 2nd Floor of Simtoco Business Center, Burgos Street, this city or call at telephone number 826-6129 or 09195971199. (SDR/DTI-Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


AgNor turns over ram pump water system to Las Nieves barangay

By Aimee B. Sienes

BUTUAN CITY, July 16 (PIA) – Agusan del Norte provincial governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell “Angel” M. Amante-Matba and vice governor Ramon AG. Bungabong led the turn-over ceremony of the Barangay Hydraulic Water Ram Pump Water System in Barangay Lawan-lawan, Las Nieves, recently.

In her message, Gov. Angel emphasized that many people worked to successfully install the ram pump and anything could be done if everybody works on it.

She also said that a leader could not do anything if there is no support from the people that is why everyone should help one another to achieve something good for the community.

The project calls for the construction/installation of Ram Pump water system classified as a Level II Facility. Hydraulic Ram Pumps are motorless or fuelless water pumping devices that are powered by falling water.

The pump works by using the energy of substantial amount of water falling to a small height to lift a small amount of water to a much greater height. In this way, water from a spring in a valley can be pumped to a village or irrigation scheme on the hillside.

The source of water comes from the spring near Ojot River. The water is conveyed by using pipelines. The sizes of the pipelines depend on the capacity of the water.

The water system is accessible through public faucets or tapstands.

The event was also attended and witnessed by provincial board members Elizabeth Marie R. Calo, Danny M. Moran, Rodulfo A. Pitogo, Antidio B. Amora and Virgilio R. Escasinas, Jr, Las Nieves municipal mayor Avelina S. Rosales, municipal councilors Aleja K. Asis, Larry F. Bautista, Joventino N. Manliguez, Melchor C. Pasquito and Melchesidec T. Balacuit, PNP provincial director PSSupt. Rommel Francisco D. Marbil, ANECO gen. manager Horacio T. Santos, ANECO board of director Jose P. Rosales, Lawan-lawan punong barangay More H. Migduyan and members of his council, Simbalan Punong Barangay Walter Tuga, Higaonon Water System Association (HIWASA) President Eddie “Datu Bawang” S. Ampiyawan, purok officials, PPDO Rofel T. Cabaltera, PGSO Nemia D. Alegarbes, technical working group of the province, and residents of the barangay.

This project is implemented in Barangay Lawan-lawan in Las Nieves and Barangay Simbalan in Buenavista, covering Sitios Lekda, Banagbanag and Antonio. (LGU-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


DA Caraga spearheads SOA mass enrollment

By Rhea C. Abao

BUTUAN CITY, July 16 (PIA) - The Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga through the Information Section spearheaded the mass enrollment of School on the Air (SOA): Rice and Climate Change last July 8, 2015.

The SOA has 258 officially enrolled students participated by 97 college students, 20 college instructors from Agusan del Sur State College of Agriculture and Technology (ASSCAT), and 141 rice farmers from the various barangays of Bunawan.

For this year, SOA will discuss the topic on rice and climate change good for four months every Friday starting July. DA recognizes the need of information campaign for the rice farmers and agriculture students as they perform an important role for the agriculture sector in the region.

Based on research and study, agriculture sector is one of the most vulnerable sectors because of climate change. This sector is largely dependent on climatic conditons, one of the most affected, putting food security at risk. This necessitates putting in place the adaptation strategies to reduce the vulnerability of the sector and enhance the adaptive capacity of the rice farmers.

“SOA on rice and climate change is very timely as we experienced the mild El Niño for the past months. I am interested to learn about the  new rice varieties and new technologies that is adaptive on climate change. I am looking forward to apply all the lessons that I will learn from the SOA,” said Noel M. Torrecampo, Bunawan rice farmer.

On the other hand, DA encourages the participation of the agriculture students through the SOA to build strong partnership to the youth for the future of the agriculture sector.

“I am excited to listen and experience learning through school on the air, this is a new way of learning and probably this will give us (students) more information and awareness about the climatic conditions that can affect the sector of agriculture,” said Ferdinand E. Lacson, 4th year Agribusiness student from ASSCAT.

In celebration of the Rice Awareness Month this coming November, DA will recognize 10 outstanding farmers, 10 college students and two college instructors for their outstanding performance during the four-month study in the SOA.

The activity is in partnership with the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice)-Agusan and Regional Agrculture and Fisheires Council (RAFC) in coordination with the Provincial Agriculture Office of Agusan del Sur and the Municipal Agriculture Office of Bunawan. (DA-13/PIA-Caraga)