Tuesday, September 1, 2015

DILG Caraga confers SGLG 2015 awards

By Don Manuelo O. Patrimonio

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 1 (PIA) - The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Caraga Region held the regional conferment ceremony for the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) 2015 dubbed as “Pagkilala sa Katapatan at Kahusayan ng Pamahalaang Lokal” last August 25 in one of the convention centers here.

The activity was participated in by 252 persons composed of two governors, 30 mayors, 35 local officials, 20 local functionaries, 92 DILG officers and employees, eight regional directors/representatives of SGLG regional partner agencies and 65 LGU personnel.

It was held as the culminating activity for the SGLG assessment conducted in 2014 and to confer the SGLG awardees their SGLG markers, Governance Assessment Reports as well as the Performance Challenge Fund ceremonial checks amounting to P7 million for the provinces, P5 million for the cities and P3 million for the municipality as incentive to the awardees. The activity also aimed to encourage other local government units to emulate the recipient LGUs since passing the SGLG not only allows LGUs to access the PCF but also opens windows for development offered by the national government and financing institutions as well.

Among those conferred the SGLG 2015 awards were: Municipality of Socorro, Surigao del Norte received by Mayor Denia Florano; Province of Agusan del Sur received by Vice Gov. Santiago Cane; Province of Dinagat Islands received by Vice Gov. Benglen Ecleo; Province of Agusan del Norte received by Gov. Ma. Angelica Rosedell Amante-Matba; and the Province of Surigao del Norte received by Gov. Sol Matugas.

Also conferred were the 73 other municipalities, cities and province that were given their certificates of recognition with their Governance Assessment Reports; and the regional offices of the SGLG partner agencies (i.e. COA, OCD, DepEd, DSWD, DOH, NCIP, DENR, DTI and PNP).

Other checks for other DILG-funded water and road projects were also awarded during the event. These were the projects availed through the Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB), SALINTUBIG and PAMANA projects.

A total of P6 million worth of checks were released to three municipalities of Agusan del Sur, La Paz with P1 million; P4.25 million for Prosperidad; and P750 Thousand to Rosario, for their BUB Water Projects; while the municipality of Tubajon, Dinagat Islands received P1 million for their SALINTUBIG Project; and the province of Surigao del Norte with P800 thousand for their water project funded through PAMANA.

P120 million was also released to the province of Agusan del Norte; P64 million to the province of Agusan del Sur; and P40 million to the province of Surigao del Norte for their road projects funded through PAMANA.

“We are very much honored for being conferred this prestigious award of the DILG. […] We commit to establish an ideal place to live in thru the promotion of peace, public order and safety, ensuring integrity of environment, building up of the rural areas, putting in place livelihood and other economic opportunities especially in tourism; advancement in support of sustainable agriculture; and provision of inclusive social and health services founded on a meaningful and strong partnership with civil society and the value of bayanihan which is very alive in Socorro,” says Mayor Denia Florano of Socorro, Surigao del Norte, the sole SGLG awardee from the cities and municipalities of the Region.

“We are elated to be able to pass the stringent procedures for the Seal of Good Local Governance.  […] The challenge for us is how to maintain this [but] rest assured […] we will do our best to be able to make it again next year,” says Agusan del Norte Gov. Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba.

“[We] thank [the] officials of DILG, especially to Sec. Roxas for conceiving a high level of award, the Seal of Good Local Governance. We commend you and we appreciate you for your efforts to recognize the little efforts that we contribute to nation building,” says Surigao del Norte Gov. Sol F. Matugas.

The Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) originated from Seal of Good Housekeeping that promotes transparency and accountability in local government operations. The SGLG was introduced to challenge local governments to continue the good governance practices while providing better public services, prepare for the challenges posed by disaster, sensitive to the needs of vulnerable and marginalized sectors of the society, encourage investment and employment, protect the constituents from threats to life and security, safeguard the integrity of the environment. (DILG-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


Agnor ARB wins Land Bank’s 2015 Gawad Pitak

By Gil E. Miranda

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 1 (PIA) - Ruben Ragas, a vegetable farmer in Barangay Sanghan in Cabadbaran City, has again set another milestone by streaking a record grand victory as 2015 Ulirang Magsasaka during the 25th Land Bank Gawad sa Pinakatanging Kooperatiba (Gawad Pitak 2015) in line with the 52nd Anniversary celebration of Land bank of the Philippines (LBP) held at the Land Bank Plaza in Malate, Manila on August 7, 2015.

Ragas, together with his wife Fe, joyfully received the award handed-over by keynote speaker and former senator Ramon Magsaysay Jr. along with Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisma, Land Bank president and CEO Gilda E. Pico, Treasurer Roberto B. Tan and CDA chair Orlando Ravanera.

“Winning 100 thousand worth of fixed assets is a blessing or reward for years of productive work,” he said.

In 2014, Ragas was also conferred as the “Ulirang Magsasaka” 1st runner-up honors during the 24th Annual Gawad Pitak where he won P75,000 fixed assets.

“I really appreciate the Land Bank’s way of recognizing the farmers performance and of course the Department of Agrarian Reform whose vision is to empower the farmers in rural communities,” he said.

“I am  proud as part of this milestone given due recognition of all my untiring effort. It brings us encouragement to elevate socio-economic condition not only in my family but also to those in need,” Ruben added.

Ragas, who continuously cultivated the piece of land that was awarded to him by the Department of Agrarian Reform, is now paving his way to success. Over 15 years, he reckoned the blessings from his farm. As an agrarian reform beneficiary (ARB), he strived to increase the farm production successfully and profitably giving due respect to mother nature by way of fostering integrated and diversified farming system.

The DAR in this province headed by Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Andre B. Atega expressed its heartfelt congratulations to Ragas and his family for this important milestone in their lives, as it depicts the successes in agrarian reform program implementation in this province.

The LANDBANK Gawad PITAK  is anchored on the importance of giving due recognition to the farmer-sector and cooperatives whose hard work and effort promote positive outcome toward progress. (DAR-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Surigao Norte joins observance of 21st National Crime Prevention Week, Peace Month

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Sept. 1 (PIA) - Local and national government agencies have joined in unison the observance of the 21st National Crime Prevention Week (NCPW) and Peace Month that kicked-off Tuesday with a motorcade around the city's major thoroughfares.

The opening ceremony was participated in by the personnel from the Philippine National Police, Department of Interior and Local Government, members of the City and Provincial and Peace and Order Council, government employees from the national line agencies and representatives from the non-government organization.

This year’s celebration is anchored on the theme, “Krimen ay Tudukan Karapatan ay Igalang.”

Other lined-up activities for the month-long celebration include, radio guesting or information dissemination on crime prevention, school-based awareness drive on crime and drug abuse, skills training, barangay-based awareness drive on responsible parenthood for crime prevention, zumba and walk for peace.

There will also be an awarding of provincial outstanding Barangay Peace and Order Committee (BPOC) and provincial winners of Lupong Tagapamayapa Incentives Award. (SDR/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


4ID commander presides at 36IB HQ command turn-over in SurSur

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Sept. 1 (PIA) – MGen. Oscar Lactao, commander of 4th Infantry Division (4ID) of the Philippine Army (PA), has presided the turn-over of command ceremony at the headquarters of 36th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Dayo-an, Tago town on Monday.

Lt. Col. Randolph Rojas, new battalion commander, replaced Lt. Col. Anastacio Suayabaguio, Jr.

The next assignment of the bemedalled former battalion commander, who spent two years and 15 days of successful tour of duty, was not immediately known.

MGen. Lactao, who was the keynote speaker apart from being the presiding officer, told Suaybaguio, in the meantime, to go for “rest and recreation” with his wife and family as the “division” is yet to decide what “next higher level of responsibility” will be given to him.

On the other hand, citing a lot of responsibilities for a battalion commander to take, Lactao admitted to have “second thoughts” on appointing Rojas to the post, considering his being a true-blooded Surigaonon, but decided to give it to the latter, anyway, for the same reason. The new installed “batcom” bared during his speech upon assumption of command that he hails from Bislig City.

Also, the 4ID commander, in his keynote speech, requested the support of all stakeholders for Lt. Col. Rojas, especially the political leaders, media, business sector, and civil society organizations.

Prior to his new post, Rojas has been the executive officer (EX-O) of the 402nd Infantry Brigade under Col. Isidro Purisima.

The top personalities here, both in the civilian and military sectors, who graced the occasion, were Governor Johnny Pimentel, several mayors, Col. Alexander Macario and Col. Isidro Purisima, respectively, of the 401st and 402nd Infantry Brigades.

The turn-over of command ceremony that kicked off at 10:00 a.m. culminated with a simple lunch. (Radyo ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


USTDA partners with PH to promote value in public procurement

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 1 (PIA) – The United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), in cooperation with the Philippine Government Procurement Policy Board’s Technical Support Office (GPPB-TSO), kicked off today a three-day procurement workshop under USTDA’s Global Procurement Initiative: Understanding Best Value (GPI).

As part of the GPI Procurement Assistance Program, USTDA will provide training and technical assistance to help the Philippine government incorporate life-cycle cost analysis and value for money elements into its procurement practices, which will help increase international competition and facilitate improved procurement outcomes for infrastructure projects in the Philippines.

“This program is an invaluable step in strengthening economic cooperation between the United States and the Philippines," said Michael Klecheski, Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy, Manila. "The program supports all the efforts of the Government of the Philippines to promote transparency and good governance, with the overarching goal of obtaining the best value and quality for government funds.”

The three-day workshop, which was developed in collaboration with GPPB-TSO, provides training to 50 public procurement officials from GPPB-TSO and other Philippine government departments.  Led by USTDA, the workshop will include sessions taught by the George Washington University Law School’s Government Procurement Law Program and technical specialists in the transportation sector.  It will focus on how to obtain the best value for the Government of the Philippines in civil works by incorporating tools such as life-cycle cost analyses, total cost of ownership and savings over time into its procurement practices.

The Procurement Assistance Program will advance the Government of the Philippines’ 2016 agenda to reform public procurement and increase infrastructure spending.  It also supports USTDA’s goal of leveling the playing field for U.S. companies seeking to compete in large-scale infrastructure tenders around the world. (U.S. Embassy/PIA-Caraga)


Surigao Norte town holds public hearing on local investments, incentives code

CLAVER, Surigao del Norte, Sept. 1 (PIA) – In its effort to further accelerate the economic growth of this municipality, the Sangguniang Bayan conducted a public hearing on the proposed Local Investments and Incentives Code (LIIC) held recently at Claver Municipal Gym, this province.

The presentation of the proposed ordinance was done by councilor Tresa P. Placencia, the primary sponsor of the said legislation and councilor Nilson B. Ocon.

The public hearing was attended by government officials of the municipality and different barangays, representatives of the existing mining companies, business sectors and different community organizations.

The local legislation is in support to the economic development agenda of mayor Eddie P. Gokiangkee aim to attract more private investments in different sectors.

The local officials realized that it needs to pursue a more balanced development of the municipality to be sustainable in the long term and not just totally rely on its booming mining industry.

Although its huge nickel deposits can still sustain operation of the existing companies for the succeeding years, the local government pushed for the development of different sectors which they think will sustain the growth of the economy and provide employment of the local manpower.

Among others, some of the priority projects proposed to be given local tax incentives includes eco-tourism, agri-business, light manufacturing industries, aqua-culture, housing development, environment and waste management.

Interested investors need to have at least a capital investment amounting to not less than P1 million and employment of not less than ten workers.

The proposed local investments and incentives code of the municipality fully supports and align with its Municipal Comprehensive Development Plan and Land Use Plan.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Surigao del Norte Supervising Trade and Industry Development Specialist Rodrigo R. Matabaran explained during the public hearing that the initiative of the LGU in coming up its LIIC is timely considering the present thrusts of the national government to improve the country’s economic competitiveness.

He also explained that based on the results of the 2015 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) assessment conducted by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), the municipality of Claver was ranked 50th most competitive municipality out of 462 municipalities in the 1st and 2nd Class Municipalities Category throughout the country.

The enactment of the LIIC is expected to improve the competitiveness score of Claver in the next year’s CMCI survey, Matabaran added. (SDR/DTI-SdN/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


SurSur guv inks Negosyo Center MOA with DTI, EO for Provincial MSMED Council reorg

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Sept. 1 (PIA) – Governor Johnny Pimentel, Provincial Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Council (PMSMEDC) chair, has signed on Thursday in a formal ceremony the Negosyo Center Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as well as the Executive Order (EO) reorganizing the Provincial Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (MSMED) Council at the Negosyo Center located at the DTI office here.

With the officials and members of the Provincial Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council (PSMEDC) in attendance, the signing of the two important documents signified the tie-up between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Provincial Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Council (PMSMEDC), all of this province, to undertake program in accordance with Republic Act 10644 otherwise known as the “Go Negosyo Act.”

As parties to the MOA, containing five articles, both the DTI provincial office, represented by Romel Oribe, OIC-provincial director, and the PMSMEDC, represented by Governor Pimentel as “PROGRAM PARTNER” have mutually agreed under certain premises to work together to achieve six objectives they have enumerated, to wit:  1. To facilitate ease of doing business of potential and existing MSMEs in the area; 2. To provide technical expertise and services to accelerate development of SMEs; 3.  To build competencies of the MSMEs; 4. To access technical advice through coaching session; 5. To improve managerial skills and enhance entrepreneurial behavior, and; 6.  To develop a more dynamic, competitive and sustainable MSMEs in Surigao del Sur.

As stated, the MOA is renewable every year upon agreement of both parties.

Meanwhile, Executive Order No. 6, series of 2015, titled “REORGANIZATION OF THE SURIGAO DEL SUR PROVINCIAL MICRO, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT (PMSMED) COUNCIL AND CREATION OF WORKING COMMITTEES,” was also signed by Governor Pimentel, being the chair of the PMSMEDC, whose works include supervision of the Negosyo Center.

Prior to the signing, referring to the MOA, Director Oribe said “basically this is about the usual function of the Provincial SMED Council, because, again, the Negosyo Center being the battle cry now of the president (PNoy)—actually now, it was passed as a law, sponsored by Sen. Bam (Aquino)—our president would like to have all cities, municipalities and provinces come up with a Negosyo Center because we want to create Philippines such an entrepreneurial country. . . so meaning we’ll do our very best, everyone of us, to make the lives of our business persons easier.”

On the other hand, after signing the MOA, the governor stressed in his brief message that “the objective of the MOA is to make it easier for businessmen and entrepreneurs to do business with the government.  The issue before is that it is very hard to do business in the Philippines, not only for small and medium entrepreneurs but also for foreign investors.”

Early on, in the same message, Pimentel said “in behalf of the provincial government, of which I am the chief executive, I would like to congratulate DTI and, of course, the SMED Council and the small and medium entrepreneurs for…the signing of the MOA for our Negosyo Center.” (Radyo ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)