DFA, PIA hold info drive on West PH Sea issue in Butuan
By Daisy Jane M. Apit
BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 25 (PIA) –The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), in partnership with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), gave updates on the latest matters on the West Philippine Sea (WPS) issue especially on the results of the case filed in the Arbitral Tribunal to Butuanon media practitioners in a press conference held Monday at the Samping Avenue, this city.
According to DFA - Maritime and Oceans Affairs Office executive director Ma. Teresa Almojuela, the hearing on the merits of the case filed have already been conducted last November and the results will be given this last quarter of the year.
"We are positive that the results will be in our favor. The government is continously making efforts in engaging the WPS issue in the international talks with other foreign countries," added Almojuela.
During the press conference, the talks covered the core issues of the West Philippine Sea dispute, the Philippine official policy and its guiding principles, as well as the government efforts on the issue.
"The issue on West Philippine Sea is not only relevant for the interest of the country in winning the dispute but also to reinforce the supremacy of the rule of the Law specifically the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS)," Dir. Almojuela said.
Furthermore, PIA Program Management Division staff director Emelyn Libunao underscored that the respect to the primary of the rule of law is the government's guiding principle. “Waging war is not our end option. We want to help our fellow Filipinos to truly understand that we are determined to defend what is legitimately ours. That is, pursuing the fight through diplomatic track as prescribed by the frame reference ins resolving the dispute,” Libunao added.
The press conference is part of the three-day from January 25-27 activity in Butuan set by the said offices to disseminate information to the stakeholders. (VLG/JPG/NCLM/DJA/PIA-Caraga)
“El Niño” downs rice yield in SurSur
By Greg Tataro Jr.
TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Jan. 25 (PIA) – The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAG) here, which played host to this week’s Monday flag ceremony program, bared the agriculture sector had suffered from the mild effects of El Niño phenomenon in 2015.
Marcos Quico, provincial agriculturist, told capitol employees palay harvest did not turn that good, citing climate change, particularly El Niño, as culprit.
By presenting a comparative data planted with rice in 2014 and 2015, production per metric ton (MT) was said to have gone down significantly, pointing out that during the previous year, 2014, a total of 33,701 hectares were reported to have been planted as compared to only 31,059 hectares in 2015.
As a result, Quico said, the province had posted a “-6.84 percent growth rate (GR),” showing production at 112,493 MT in 2014 as against 104,794 MT in 2015.
“We expect that we will be having shortfall of supply in the next months. The only advantage we have—because we have a ‘seesaw’ harvesting in Surigao del Sur. While the central (part) is resting, the Carcanmadcarlan area (five clusters of municipalities in the north) is harvesting,” explained the chief agriculturist.
Rice fields in the province are classified only as “irrigated and rainfed,” the former somewhat doubling the area of the latter.
As broken down, the irrigated and rainfed areas planted/harvested in 2014 were at 22,404 and 11,297 hectares as compared to 20,164 and 10,895 hectares, respectively, in 2015
On the other hand, the chief agriculturist allayed fears of rice shortage.
Referring to worst scenario, he assured that this would not take place unless rice production could go down to as much as 50 percent.
During that occasion, Quico also disclosed plans of seeing Governor Johnny Pimentel and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members for a consultation.
“We are intending to report this to the Sanggunian and to the governor so that we can also suggest some mitigation to, at least, cushion the impact of the dry spell,” he said.
Last year, Quico had said many times over that mitigating measures had been in place here even before mild El Niño had taken its toll on the farm sector. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)
More than 300 Caraganons benefit from Responsible Parenthood, Family Planning mass mobilization
By May Ann O. Escobal
BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 25 (PIA) - More than 300 beneficiaries were served successfully during the Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning Mass Mobilization held on the later part of 2015 in the municipalities of Mainit and Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte; and in the cities of Surigao, Butuan and Bislig, respectively.
Regional Director Alexander A. Makinano of the Commission on Population (PopCom) Caraga pointed out the significance of this activity to give quality family planning and other health services to the less fortunate Caraganons especially to women with unmet need on family planning and wanted to avail of the services for free.
“When we say unmet need, these couples or women want to limit and space their pregnancy but are not using any family planning methods because of fear of side effects, misconceptions, and inadequate knowledge on method desired,” Makinano elaborated.
PopCom official also emphasized that prior to the service delivery, breakout sessions were first conducted among married women of reproductive ages.
Through the partnership with local population and health workers, the beneficiaries underwent sessions on Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning (FP) as well as counselling on FP for those women with unmet need who desired to use FP method.
Mass Mob is one of the initiatives implemented by PopCom in partnership with the Department of Health-Caraga specifically to reduce unmet need for modern family planning which is critical element in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of improving maternal health. (PopCom-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)