8.18.2015

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Feature: DOLE Caraga's milestones from 2010-2015

By Iris C. Asis

What the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Caraga has become from 2010-2015? One of the indicators showing progress of the region is the increase of employment and decrease in unemployment.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), employment rate in April 2010 to April 2015 has been constantly increasing with an average growth rate of 2% (exceeding the average growth rate of the labor force participation rate of 1.6%) and unemployment rate decreased from 7.6% (April 2010) to 5% (April 2015).

Corroborating excellence, the agency evaluates performances in Employment, Labor Relations, and Welfare and Protection to identify its significant contribution to this remarkable progress.

DOLE thrives for optimum results by promoting employment thru Phil-JobNet and momentous programs for both students and the labor force. Over 32,230 SPES beneficiaries were catered. There were 370,443 jobseekers reported placed and 144 job fairs conducted; 106,213 job vacancies were also posted in the phil-jobnet website. DOLE Caraga was commended on December 2014 for being one of the five regions to have posted the most number of job vacancies in the said website.

With the increasing number of companies in Caraga, DOLE belligerently enforced inspection and disposition of cases; 5,859 establishments were assessed up to date. In SEnA (Single Entry Approach), 94% RFAs (Request for Assistance) were settled with a 100% disposition rate.

In 2014, developmental approach in company assessment/inspection was applied to eradicate fear and apprehension from the establishments. Since then, managers have positively responded and have voluntarily requested for the conduct of joint assessment.

Moreover, convergence among DOLE and its attached agencies namely, National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), Regional Tripartite Awage and Productivity Board (RTWPB), Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) and Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) paved the way to a more productive relationship with the industries. Seven TIPCs, 11 ITCs and eight VCGPs in Transportation, Construction, Education, Eco-Tourism, Maritime, Mining, Plantation, Wood-based, Wholesale and Retail, Banking and Finance and, Security, General and Other Services were created to advocate workplace harmony.

The agency also extended its services to the distressed and displaced individuals; 249 livelihood projects released for 29,275 beneficiaries. One of the notable figures of success is the SAFRA-ADAP MPC (San Francisco Association of Differently Abled Persons Multi – Purpose Cooperative). Established by 15 disabled persons from a mere P50, 000 livelihood grant from DOLE Caraga, they now have a total asset of 14M employing 90 workers. They have developed into a competitive and world class producers of different wood products through the capacity and skills training from DOLE and its attached agencies.

DOLE Caraga was awarded the outstanding Regional Office (Category C) during the DOLE-Wide Yearned Performance Assessment Exercises on December 2014. Seemingly, CY2010-2015 has brought in significant developments and opportunities that need to be sustained. These are the improvements that can serve as platform for the agency in the following year and years to come.  (DOLE-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


OWWA organizes OFW Family Circle in Claver; provides orgl devt trainings

By Jean Pearl I. Millones

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 11 (PIA) - Persistent with the drive to equip its members with ample and beneficial skills through organizational development, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Regional Welfare Office Caraga steered the way for the formation of Claver Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and Family Organization (COFO).

OWWA Caraga regional director Samuel S. Madrid emphasized the amplified opportunity that an organization could attain together as opposed to dispersed individual efforts.

The newly elected president of COFO, Nolito V. Neri, a seaman, shared his visions and plans for the organization which included their aspiration to avail of the Mobile Information Technology Training on top of other techno-transfer programs that the agency may provide.

Participated in by some 35 ex-OFWs and beneficiaries, the event became a perfect avenue to campaign the programs and services of the agency and explain the advocacy for the welfare and interest of its member OFWs.

Acknowledging the difficult life treaded by workers abroad, the agency carried out the values reorientation seminar that aims to re-instill the essential Filipino values especially towards family and relationships. DSWD training specialist Anafe Lecciones addressed the individual characteristics and capabilities of each family member and their potential contribution in maintaining stronger family ties notwithstanding the distance that separates them.

Encompassing the innate traits the participants already possessed, the values on money was also discussed by a representative from DTI Surigao del Norte Lyza D. Trapal which tackled the skills in efficiently managing family finances. Basic practices on minimizing expenses through wise use of resources and the importance of saving was given emphasis by Ms. Trapal.

The recently conducted two-day activity on July 28-29, 2015 was made possible through the support of the local government unit of Claver.

Municipal Administrator Ernesto P. Sulapas extended the government’s support in empowering the OFWs in their locality.

“We are looking forward to implementing programs and projects intended to support the OFWs and in helping them elevate from being ordinary home-makers to becoming contributors to the improvement of the community as a whole,” Sulapas said. (OWWA Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


DTI-Surigao Norte intensifies consumer education

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Aug. 11 (PIA) -  A total of 68 residents of this city learned their basic consumer rights during the Consumer Education Seminar conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) at Barangay Sukailang Multi-Purpose Hall here on August 4, 2015.

During the said seminar, participants were also briefed on the technique of identifying quality products and the basic procedures to lodge their complaint at the consumer welfare desk of the business establishment in the event that they can purchase items with factory defect.

The participants were made to understand that considering their limited income level, they need to be responsible in making wise purchasing decision to be able to save money.

They were also reminded that in making purchases they have to carefully check on the exact product specification as well as the quality and quantity they need.

This is because they cannot just return the products to the seller for the reason that they have changed their mind, they dislike the color or not sure of the exact dimensions.  Hence, consumers also have to assume responsibility in making a very informed decision while making purchases.

The DTI Team encouraged the group to continually find ways to learn and educate themselves not only on consumerism but also on livelihood and business development aspects to improve their socio-economic condition.

The DTI Team who provided consumer educational inputs to the participants is composed of Rodrigo R. Matabaran, Supervising Trade and Industry Development Specialist, Josephine D. Gabutin and Lourdes A. Chua, both Trade and Industry Development Specialists. (SDR/DTI-SdN/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


DA Caraga optimistic for Dinagat Islands to be rabies-free

By Aurelius P. Arais

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 11 (PIA) - The Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga region is optimistic that within this year the entire province of Dinagat Islands (PDI) will be declared as Rabies Free Zone.

Last July 27-30, 2017, a team from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and Department of Health (DOH) headed by National Rabies Program Manager Dr. Raffy Deray conducted the final evaluation.

As per general guidelines, an area will be eligible to de declared as rabies free zone if it has enacted a local ordinance on the prevention and control of rabies and implemented localized comprehensive rabies prevention and elimination program and notably no confirmed case of rabies both on human and animal for the past two years.

Dr. Novelle Calub, one of the evaluators from BAI, emphasized during the assessment in every municipality of the Dinagat Islands that being conferred as rabies-free zone is an honor with corresponding responsibilities.

“Acquiring a status as rabies free is a great honor since it will send a strong signal of security to your visitors or tourists yet it carries huge responsibility particularly on maintaining the province rabies free,” Calub said.

Dr. Esther CardeƱo, Regional Animal Rabies Coordinator said that DA Caraga and DOH with their provincial and municipal counterparts have been working closely to help PDI compliant to all the requirements particularly in the implementation of the rabies prevention and control program.

If the evaluation reveals positive result, PDI will be the first province to be declared as rabies free in Caraga Region in addition to last years’ declaration of the island municipality of Soccoro, Surigao del Norte.

Rabies, a fatal but preventable disease, remains to be a significant public health concern in the country. In the National Rabies Prevention and Control Program (NRPCP), the original plan is to work towards the elimination of Rabies in 2020.

However, with the robust collaboration of the DOH, DA and LGUs in partnership with other non-government and international organizations such as the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the government is optimistic to attain a rabies-free country by 2016.

The DA and DOH believe that eradicating rabies at its source remains to be the key strategy thus its objective is to cover at least 70 percent of the estimated dog population in the country to be vaccinated against rabies.

Rabies, a zoonotic disease, causes 55,000 deaths every year worldwide with 56 percent of the cases occurring in Asia.

In the Philippines, there are 200 - 250 deaths every year mostly among children below 15 years of age.

To date, more than 20 areas in the country had been declared as rabies free zone. (DA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


SurSur health office drums up school-based immunization program

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Aug. 11 (PIA) – The Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) here headed by Dr. Algerico Irizari has started to drum up the school-based immunization (SBI) program of the Department of Health (DOH).

According to Marilou Panilan, IPHO nutritionist-dietician II/Provincial Adolescent Health Program Coordinator, who spoke on Monday before capitol employees during the flag ceremony program hosted by the Tanggapan ng Sangguniang Panlalawigan (TSP), this nationwide SBI program aims to protect the health of school-aged children through immunization that helps eliminate different contagious diseases, citing measles, German measles, tetanus, and diphtheria, thereby boosting their immune system.

However, only public school pupils/students in grade one and seven province-wide are set to be given a dose of the prescribed vaccine for free within this month of August through injection on their respective right and left arms, referring to Measles Containing Vaccine (MCV) and Tetanus-Diptheria (Td) for the former and Measles-Rubella (MR) as well as Tetanus-Diptheria for the latter, she clarified.

The IPHO coordinator bared some 11,360 pupils in grade one and 8,564 in grade seven are the respective total number of enrollment in the Department of Education Division Office of the province as of June 2015, saying also that said data do not include the number of enrollment in both Tandag City and Bislig City Divisions at the mentioned grade levels.

Panilan also pointed out the importance of “CONSENT FORM” signed by parents or “guardian” of any child/student before vaccine can be given.

With this information, she then shared the necessary advisories in relation to the SBI as well as the reminders for the possible side effects of the vaccines.

The SBI program is made possible through the joint undertaking of the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd), and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), it was learned. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


DA, FAO collaborate towards rice sufficiency

By Aurelius P. Arais

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 11 (PIA) - Reduce production costs, increase yield and increase farmer’s income.

These are the focal point on the collaboration of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and United Nations - Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) towards achieving food sufficiency.

To trickle down the concept, DA and FAO recently conducted a 10-day extensive Refresher Training Course on Regional Rice Initiative: Phase II at Veranda in Carmen town, Agusan del Norte.

The training was attended by 57 participants who are mostly integrated pest management coordinators from DA regional offices and provincial and municipal/city agriculture offices from various regions in the country.

The training focused on innovative and sustainable practices focusing on rice ecosystems, landscapes and value chain incorporated on Save and Grow concept.

Save and Grow set by FAO is a new paradigm of intensive crop production, one that is both highly productive and environmentally sustainable.  It focuses on eco-friendly farming practices often combining traditional knowledge with modern technologies that are adapted to the needs of small-scale producers. It also encourages the use of conservation agriculture, which boosts yields while restoring soil health.

Graduates of the said training are expected to pass on the learning to the farmers through the conduct of Farmers Field Schools (FFS).

During the graduation ceremony, DA undersecretary for policy and planning Segfredo Serrano emphasized the importance of capacitating the farmers to be resilient during calamities brought about by climate change.

“There are only two options for us to do about climate change, to mitigate or to adapt, which the latter is the best thing to do as far as our country is concerned,” he said.

DA Caraga regional director Edna Mabeza lauded the participants for the eagerness and willingness to learn.

“Education is a continuing process and I hope that upon returning to your respective regions you will teach the same to the farmers which is the objective of this kind of training,” Mabeza said.

FAO Asia and Pacific program development officer Alma Linda Abubakar said that since 2013, FAO has supported the Regional Rice Initiative and assisted three pilot countries such as Indonesia, Lao Peoples Democratic Republic and Philippines.

“Selection of the pilot areas was based on the commitment of each country to adhere to its purpose and its strong cooperation,” Abubakar said.

Regional Rice Initiative is focusing on goods and services produced by and available from rice ecosystems and landscapes, and identifying and undertaking sustainable rice production practices to enhance resilience and increase efficiencies in rice production to improve food security.

The regional initiative is aligned with FAO’s strategic objective to make agriculture, forestry and fisheries more productive and sustainable and its sustainable crop intensification policy, promoted under the banner of Save and Grow. (DA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)