Tuesday, September 22, 2015

OWWA kicks off capability building series for Caraga PESO managers

By Jean Pearl I. Millones

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 22 (PIA) - The increasing number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their dependents in Caraga region entails the rise of issues and cases encountered by OWWA members as well as their beneficiaries.  Clients from distant provinces take long ways of travel to report incidents and address their complaints to the regional office which involves both financial and non-financial costs (time, effort).

Recognizing these developments along with its underlying challenges, the role of the Public Employment Service Officers (PESO) as the principal implementing arm of the efficient delivery of services in the local government units (LGUs) essentially needs to be intensified and their capabilities amplified.

In the thrust of capacitating the PESO managers through transfer of knowledge and skills driven to provide response to the concerns of their constituent OFWs within their own local government units in an easy, convenient and minimal expense for the clients, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) spearheaded a series of Provincial PESO Conferences, a capability building activity for the PESO Managers, for the month of September 2015.

The forefront two of the five “PROVINCIAL PESO CONFERENCE: Enhancing the PESO to Better Serve the OFW” was participated in by 17 PESO managers and their understudy from the province of Surigao del Norte on September 17 and 22 in Agusan del Sur on the 18th. The exercises aimed to provide PESO managers with Enhanced Training Orientation on OWWA Programs and Services and capacitate them with the proper protocol in responding to the OFW cases, queries, concerns and program availment procedures.

POEA regional coordinator for CARAGA Meriam Balmocena, reiterated to the PESO managers, the forefront network of POEA in disseminating overseas employment opportunities, the legal documents and means of hiring overseas. She also emphasized the significant role of PESO managers in reducing and gradually eliminating the threats of Illegal Recruitment and Human Trafficking through heightened requirement in giving authorities to the recruitment agencies.

As a major objective of the conference, OWWA Caraga welfare case officer Annette Lovete discussed the Case Management Protocol. Lovete highlighted the common cases encountered by the OFWs as well as their dependents in Caraga Region. The basic procedures on handling complaints, requests for assistance and methods of intervention for each case were also introduced to the PESO managers. A workshop was also conducted to usher familiarity of the most common counseled cases.

Three more conferences shall be held in Surigao del Sur on September 23, Dinagat Island Province on the 28th and Agusan del Norte on October 2015.

This is an action of OWWA Caraga to continually develop its programs and services tailor-fitted to the needs and welfare of its members, right at their localities. (OWWA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


SSS NorMIn reports increase in benefit payments

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 22 (PIA) - Benefit disbursements for Social Security System (SSS) members in this city and the rest of Northern Mindanao reached P1.98 billion for the first six months of 2015, reflecting an increase of 14 percent from the P1.73 billion released for the same period last year.

SSS Assistant Vice President for Mindanao North Division Edwin M. Alo said the payments for regular pensions of about 95,400 SSS pensioners in the area, which amounted to P1.78 billion, comprised 91 percent of the total benefit disbursements from January to June 2015.

“The six-month pension total for North Mindanao was 15 percent higher than the P1.55 billion we disbursed here for the first half of 2014. This increase was bolstered by recent SSS benefit enhancements, particularly the five percent across-the-board SSS pension hike that took effect just last year,” Alo said.

Upgrading members’ benefits is among the key reforms implemented by current SSS management within the past five years. Effective September 2013, the SSS increased Employees Compensation (EC) pensions across-the-board by 10 percent and doubled the previous P10,000 EC funeral benefit to P20,000.

Following the EC increases, the SSS announced a five percent across-the-board pension hike that benefited nearly two million pensioners under the Social Security (SS) program effective June 2014. The SSS also increased its P20,000 SS funeral benefit to a variable amount of up to P40,000, depending on the members’ number of monthly contributions and average monthly salary credit.

Alo reminded workers of the advantages of active SSS membership, which entitles them and their beneficiaries to benefits for various contingencies such as sickness, maternity, partial and total disability, old age or retirement, and death. Lifetime pensions for retirement, disability and death are provided by SSS.

Butuan City is among the three North Mindanao locations covered by the SSS Regional Visit headed by SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio S. de Quiros, Jr. on September 21 to 23. The other two stops are Agusan del Sur and Surigao, where de Quiros and a panel of top SSS officials are scheduled to meet with employers and other SSS stakeholders in the area on September 22.

The SSS North Mindanao Division is headquartered in Cagayan de Oro (CDO) City. Apart from its CDO hub office, the division also supervises the operations of 10 SSS branches, including Butuan, CDO-Lapasan, Camiguin, Gingoog, Iligan, Oroquieta, Ozamis, Surigao, Tandag and Valencia.

It also oversees SSS Service Offices in Robinsons Place Butuan, Robinsons CDO and San Francisco, Agusan, as well as SSS Representative Offices in Cabadbaran, Trento and Dapa. (SSS/PIA-Caraga)


All systems go for 21st Siargao International Surfing Cup

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Sept. 22 (PIA) - It’s all systems go for the province's biggest international event, the Siargao International Surfing Cup held on Thursday, Sept. 24 in Gen. Luna, Siargao Island.

Governor Sol F. Matugas said that the province will bring the tournament to the professional surfers, after the surfing organizer - the Asian Surfing Champions made the competition part of the World Surf League qualifying series.

As it celebrates its 21st year, Gov. Matugas said the tournament is expected to be attended by more than 60 surfers from the various parts of the world, "as we have also increased the prize money to $50,000.00."

Surfers from Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Europe have already confirmed their participation.

This year’s event will start with a registration of participants on Sept. 23 and the formal opening will be on Sept. 24 at 3:00 p.m. to be held at Cloud 9, Gen. Luna. (SDR/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Cebuano News: Balaod alang sa kabataan sa Kitcharao aprobado na

Ni Jay Vincent V. Demain

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 22 (PIA) – Pinaagi sa usa ka balaod, aduna nay kasegurohan nga maproteksyonan ang katungod sa kabataan sa lungsod sa Kitacharao, Agusan del Norte.

Pinaagi sa Municipal Ordinance No. 036, ang Children’s Code nga aprobado na sa Sangguniang Panlalawigan sa rekomendasyon ni Provincial Board Member Elizabeth Marie R. Calo, giila sa lungsod sa Kitcharao ang papel sa kabataan sa katilingban.

Ang ordinansa maghatag og garantiya nga proteksyonan niini ang pisikal, spiritwal ug inteliktwal nga katungod sa mga bata.

Kini nga ordinansa subay sa Provincial Ordinance No. 255-2009 kun Children’s Welfare Code of Agusan del Norte. (LGU-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Cebuano News: Carmen mitukod og AIDS council

Ni Jay Vincent V. Demain

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 22 (PIA) – Pormal nang gitukod ang Multi-Sectoral STD/HIV/AIDS Council sa lungsod sa Carmen, Agusan del Norte pinaagi sa usa ka municipal resolusyon aron pagsumpo, paglikay sa pagkuyanap sa among sakit makamatay.

Matod pa, usa sa pito ka nasod sa tibuok kalibotan ang Pilipinas diin midaghan na ang nagbaton sa sakit nga Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome kun AIDS.

Ang AIDS usa ka sexually transmitted disease diin kun dili dayon matambalan sa doctor, mahimo kining ikamatay sa taong nagdala niini ug mutakod pa sa uban sa sekswal nga paagi.

Tungod niini, gimandoan ang tag-iya sa mga establisimyento sa lungsod sa Carmen sama sa sauna ug massage clinics, barber shops ug entertainment bars lakip na ang ilang entertainers, nga moapil sa mga seminars nga ginahimo sa Municipal Health Office sa Carmen.

Kinahanglan na kini sa paghatag og permit to operate sa mga establisimyento sa maong lugar.


Aprobado na sa Sangguniang Panlalawigan ang nasangpit nga resolusyon, ang Municipal Resolution No. 6, sa rekomendasyon usab ni Provincial Board Member Rey G. Jamboy. (LGU-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)